Announcing the third & final forthcoming book from the fine fine people at Against Equality. The book is entitled Against Equality:Prisons Will Not Protect You. Book cover designed by moi, Chris Vargas.
I'm a fat brown cis male queer, humorless feminist, tender queer, late 20's college student. This is a blog about people of color solidarity, queer separatism, body positivity, dismantling the white supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy and general insurrection. This blog is a manifestation of my fat, brown, queer rage.
I also run the body positive blogs fuckyeahchubbyguysofcolor and fatnudes, if you're into that sort of thing.
Announcing the third & final forthcoming book from the fine fine people at Against Equality. The book is entitled Against Equality:Prisons Will Not Protect You. Book cover designed by moi, Chris Vargas.
TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly
Announcement of Publication and First Call for Submissions
Announcement of Publication
General Editors Paisley Currah and Susan Stryker are pleased to announce that TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly will be published by Duke University Press, currently planned for launch in the first quarter of 2014. TSQ aims to be the journal of record for the interdisciplinary field of transgender studies, and to promote the widest possible range of perspectives on transgender phenomena broadly defined. Every issue of TSQ will be a specially themed issue that also contains regularly recurring features such as reviews, interviews, and opinion pieces.
The first four themes have been selected to highlight the scope and diversity of the field:
• TSQ 1:1 will be a collection of short essays on key concepts in transgender studies, “Postposttransexual: Terms for a 21st Century Transgender Studies.”
• TSQ 1:2, “Decolonizing the Transgender Imaginary,” will explore cross-cultural analysis of sex/gender variation, and bring transgender studies into critical engagement with ethnography and anthropology.
• TSQ 1:3, “Making Transgender Count,” co-edited with the Williams Institute’s GENIUSS group (Gender Identity in U.S. Surveillance), will tackle such issues as population studies, demography, epidemiology, and quantitative methods.
• TSQ 1:4 “Trans Cultural Production,” will be devoted to the arts, film, literature, and performance.
CFPs for TSQ 1:2-4 will be issued in the months ahead. Proposals for issues starting with TSQ 2:1 (2015) are welcome at any time, and will be reviewed on an on-going basis. Please send inquiries to email@example.com.
Call for Submissions for TSQ 1:1 (2014)
We invite submissions of short pieces (250-1500 words) for the inaugural issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, “Postposttransexual: Terms for a 21st Century Transgender Studies,” to be published by Duke University Press and planned for launch in the first quarter of 2014. Our intention is to showcase a wide range of viewpoints on the present state of the field by bringing together fresh thoughts and informed opinion about current concepts, key terms, recurring themes, familiar problems, and hot topics in the field. Each piece should have a title consisting of a single word or short phrase describing its content; the volume will be organized alphabetically by that title.
Articles may be written in the style of a mini-essay, as in Raymond Williams’ classicKeywords; as a factual encyclopedia-style article such as might be found on Wikipedia; as a capsule review of transgender-related developments in a particular field (archeology, musicology), geographical location (Iran, Taiwan), or a topic (pornography, psychoanalysis). Creative interpretations of the required form are also welcome. However, each article must address the topic under discussion in relation to some aspect of transgender studies or transgender phenomena.
Contributors are free to propose topics of their own, or to choose from the following suggestions of key terms and concepts: ability, abject, activism, administration, aesthetics, agency, aging, affect, anarchy, animal, anti-heteronormativity, architectonic, archive, asexual, assemblage, authentic, becoming, bureaucracy, binary, biology, biopolitics, biotechnology, bisexual, body, body part, border, built environment, burlesque, capital, castration, children, choice, class, clinic, colonization, color, commodity, commons, community, condition, construction, cosmetic, cross-dressing, cut, dance, death drive, decadence, decolonize, deconstruction, degenerate, desire, deterritorialization, diagnosis, diaspora, difference, digital, disability, discipline, discrimination, diversity, drugs, embodiment, empire, employment, epistemology, erotic, error, essence, ethics, ethnology, ethnic, ethology, etiology, eugenics, exception, exotic, experiment, fake, fantasy, fashion, feeling, feminist, fetish, film, forensics, freedom,fundamentalism, futurity, gay, gender, gender-variant, genderqueer, genetic, genitals, gesture, global, habit, haptic, hate crime, haunting, health, HIV/AIDS, homophobia, homosexuality, hormones, hybrid, hygiene, ICD, identity, indigeneity, information, incarceration, institutionalization, interdisciplinary, intersex, jouissance, joy, justice, LGBT, labor, lack, language, law, lesbian, liberation, man, Man, marriage, materiality, media, medicine, memory, migration, misogyny, modernity, monster, morphogenesis, movement, murder, mutilate, necropolitics, network, NGO, non-Western, normal, object, objectification, occupy, ontology, open, organ, origin, original, originary, paradigm, pathology, pedagogy, performativity, performance, pharmaceutical, phenomena, phenomenon, posthuman, policy, political economy, popular culture, population, pornography, poverty, power, practice, premodern, progress, privilege, prostitution, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, psychosis, public, queer, race, racialization, reality, reform, religion, resistance, revolt, revolution, representation, reproduction, reterritorialization, rhizome, rights, riot, ritual, sacrality, science, science fiction, segregation, sense, sensorium, separatism, sex, sexuality, smell, somatechnics, sound, space, state, sterilization, subaltern, subject, surgery, surveillance, swarm, taste, technique, temporality, terror, third, toilet, touch, trafficking, trans-, transgender, translation, transphobia, transnational, transspecies, transsexual, transversal, transvestite, underground, victim, virtual, vitality, visuality, violence, voice, WPATH, whiteness, will, woman, work, X, xenotransplantation, youth, zoontology.
To be considered for publication, please submit a one-paragraph proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating the term or concept you’d like to write on, the estimated length of the article, a brief indication of your approach or main idea, and a brief identification of yourself and your qualifications for addressing the topic.
Inquiries are due by Tuesday September 4, 2012; submissions will be due by December 3, 2012, and final revisions will be due by March 4, 2013.
"Capitalism is fundamentally invested in notions of scarcity, encouraging people to feel that we never have enough so that we will act out of greed and hording and focus on accumulation. Indeed, the romance myth is focused on scarcity: There is only one person out there for you!!! You need to find someone to marry before you get too old!!!! The sexual exclusivity rule is focused on scarcity, too: Each person only has a certain amount of attention or attraction or love or interest, and if any of it goes to someone besides their partner their partner must lose out. We don’t generally apply this rule to other relationships—we don’t assume that having two kids means loving the first one less or not at all, or having more than one friend means being a bad or fake or less interested friend to our other friends. We apply this particular understanding of scarcity to romance and love, and most of us internalize that feeling of scarcity pretty deeply…
We are interested in resisting the heteronormative family structure in which people are expected to form a dyad, marry, have kids, and get all their needs met within that family structure. A lot of us see that as unhealthy, as a new technology of post-industrial late capitalism that is connected to alienating people from community and training them to think in terms of individuality, to value the smaller unit of the nuclear family rather than the extended family."
Dean Spade, For Lovers and Fighters
i’m sure i’ve reblogged this already but someone asked me a question about opening up a monogamous relationship today so here you go
"the thing is, i’m not looking for people to mindlessly force themselves to call me ‘he’ in order to avoid making me uncomfortable. if comfort was my goal, i could probably have found a smoother path than the one i’m on, right? i haven’t chosen this word ‘he’ because it means something true to me, or it feels all homey and delicious. no pronoun feels personal to me. i’ve chosen it because the act of saying it, of looking at the body i’m in and the way that my gender has been identified since birth and then calling me ‘he,’ disrupts oppressive processes that fix everyone’s gender as ‘real,’ immutable, and determinative of your station in life. i’m not hoping that people will see that i’m different, paste a fake smile on their faces and force themselves to say some word about me with no thought process. i’m hoping that they will feel implicated, that it will make them think about the realness of everyone’s gender, that it will make them feel more like they can do whatever they want with their gender, or at least cause a pause where one normally would not exist. quite likely, this will be uncomfortable for all of us, but i believe that becoming uncomfortable with the oppressive system of rigid gender assignment is a great step toward undoing it."
"Because I spend so much time now in a very professional, gender normative work environment, I have to remind myself that I love weird people, I am weird, I want to be weird, and being normal is truly horrifying. I’m thinking of that experience of seeing someone on the street or on the bus who is working some kind of weird, non-normative look and feeling some delight and relief, like the person’s existence is making space for you."
Dean Spade in q&a with Queer Couture
aaaaaaaaaaaah yes! this this this this!
From its roots in bottle-throwing resistance to police brutality and the claiming of queer sexual public space, the focus of lesbian and gay rights work moved toward the more conservative model of equality promoted in US law and culture through the myth of equal opportunity. The thrust of the work of these organizations became the quest for inclusion in and recognition by dominant US institutions rather than questioning and challenging the fundamental inequalities promoted by those institutions. The key agenda items became anti-discrimination laws focused on employment (e.g., the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act [ENDA], as well as equivalent state statutes), military inclusion, decriminalization of sodomy, hate crime laws, and a range of reforms focused on relationship recognition that increasingly narrowed to focus on the legal recognition of same-sex marriages.
Participatory forms of organizing, such as nonprofessional membership-based grassroots organizations, were replaced by hierarchical, staff-run organizations operated by people with graduate degrees. Broad concerns with policing and punishment, militarism and wealth distribution taken up by some earlier manifestations of lesbian and gay activism were replaced with a focus on formal legal equality that could produce gains only for people already served by existing social and economic arrangements. For example, choosing to frame equal access to health care through a demand for same-sex marriage rights means fighting for health care access that would only affect people with jobs is that include health care benefits they can share with a partner, which is an increasingly uncommon privilege. Similarly, addressing the economic marginalization of queer people solely through the lens of anti-discrimination laws that bar discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation - despite the facts that these laws have been ineffective at eradicating discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, and national origin, and that most people do not have access to the legal resources needed to enforce these kinds of rights - has been criticized as marking an investment in formal legal equality while ignoring the plight of the most economically marginalized queers. Framing issues related to child custody through a lens of marital recognition, similarly, means ignoring the racist, sexist, and classist operation of the child welfare system and passing up opportunities to form coalitions across populations targeted for family dissolution by that system. Black people, indigenous people, people with disabilities, queer and trans people, prisoners, and poor people face enormous targeting in the child welfare systems. Seeking “family recognition” rights through marriage, therefore, means seeking such rights only for queer and trans people who can actually expect to be protected by that institution. Since the availability of marriage does not protect straight people of color, poor people, prisoners, or people with disabilities from having their families torn apart by child welfare systems, it is unlikely to do so for queer poor people, queer people of color, queer prisoners, and queer people with disabilities. The quest for marriage seems to have far fewer benefits, then, for queers whose families are targets of state violence and who have no spousal access to health care or immigration status, and seems to primarily benefit those whose race, class, immigration, and ability privilege would allow them to increase their well-being by incorporation into the government’s privileged relationship status. The framing of marriage as the most essential legal need of queer people, and as the method through which queer people can obtain key benefits in many realms, ignores how race, class, ability, indigeneity, and immigration status determine access to those benefits and reduces the gay rights agenda to a project of restoring race, class, ability and immigration status privilege to the most privileged gays and lesbians."
Dean Spade in the chapter “Trans Law and Politics on a Neoliberal Landscape” in his book Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law, 60-62.
"Sometimes while I ride the subway I try to look at each person and imagine what they look like to someone who is totally in love with them. I think everyone has had someone look at them that way, whether it was a lover, or a parent, or a friend, whether they know it or not. It’s a wonderful thing, to look at someone to whom I would never be attracted and think about what looking at them feels like to someone who is devouring every part of their image, who has invisible strings that are connected to this person tied to every part of their body. I think this fun pastime is a way of cultivating compassion. It feels good to think about people that way, and to use that part of my mind that I think is traditionally reserved for a tiny portion of people I’ll meet in my life to appreciate the general public. I wish I thought about people like this more often. I think it’s the opposite of what our culture teaches us to do. We prefer to pick people apart to find their flaws. Cultivating these feelings of love or appreciation for random people, and even for people I don’t like, makes me a more forgiving and appreciative person toward myself and people I love. Also, it’s just a really excellent pastime."
Dean Spade, “For Lovers and Fighters” (see here)
I’ve been reading these recent conversations about “the privilege of being desired” bop around Tumblr these past few days. The conversation was a bit hard to follow because it was happening in all different directions (which is simultaneously really cool and hard to navigate). It made me think a lot about how normative ideas about beauty and desire trickle down into radical spaces. I am queer, trans, white and fat and I find that even in the political spaces and ‘communities’ that surround my life there is a definite erasure and rejection of disabled bodies, fat bodies, non-white bodies and a pretty intense privileging of masculinities - just to scrape the surface.
The thing we need to remember here is that both “beauty” and “desire” are loaded guns. For those of us who live our lives on the colonized lands of North America, we learn much of what we know about beauty and desire from mainstream media. The media sends us messages that tell us all about what bodies are desirable and socially acceptable, how we should love and fuck each other and how we should appropriately perform our masculinity or femininity. People, bodies and practices that fall outside of these norms are marginalized, made invisible and ridiculed.
The politics of desire are failing us because they have been colonized, and are channeled into capitalist practices of consumption. Media promotes normative ideas about beauty and desire to sell us products that keep the capitalist system intact. Fat bodies, disabled bodies and racialized bodies do not sell products as effectively as white, skinny and seemingly stable bodies and therefore those bodies often fall outside of normative visual economies of desire and beauty. Yeah that’s right, this shit is being sold to us.
Mainstream discourses on desire exist at all levels of society and are deeply embedded in consumerism, racism and sexism (or capitalism, white supremacy & patriarchy). We learn about beauty and desire at school and in the media (television/internet/advertisements on the street) and we internalize those values. Sometimes we (or our friends and family) regurgitate these norms to hurt or have power over people and sometimes we create new norms or find that our desires don’t match up the way they are supposed to. Mass media shapes our lived experience and understanding of the world in deep and complicated ways. I can definitely say that I have been thoroughly infused with the values of capitalism, patriarchy and white supremacy and my queer politics are about always resisting that, and making room for all bodies. Because I am queer, norms about beauty and desire play out in my life and politics in different ways than they might for a straight white (cis) dude, but these normative values permeate the best of minds, and none of us are unscathed - not even you!
Norms of beauty and desire are reformulated and reproduced in radical spaces. No matter what we do, commodified and colonized ideas about beauty and desire permeate everything and even follow us into our cherished radical communities (be them geographical or digital like tumblr). The key here for me is to think critically about how these processes occur. One of the most important things anyone has ever told me was that “dominance and power function by remaining invisible”. Our ability to think critically about the forces that shape our lives and to then speak out and imagine against them are vital to transforming pervasive and damaging notions of beauty and desirability that are clearly hurting ignore so many of us.
We need to be accountable for the ways that we consume beauty and understand desire. We create counter-norms about beauty and desire in the body positive and queer spaces here on Tumblr. Still, these spaces exclude many voices, bodies, aesthetics and often reinforce the norm. These digital spaces create a visual environment that leaves so many experiences and bodies out of the equation. I do not know how we can combat this, but I hope that we continue to think critically and have non-linear conversations with ourselves and each other about beauty and desire. If we start talking about this maybe we can start to disentangle desire from the cold, dead hands of white supremacy, capitalism and patriarchy and reconfigure it in ways that create room for more bodies to be adored and appreciated on their own terms and in ways that feel affirming.
I want to leave you with seriously fucking relevant quote that sets my heart on fire:
“As the (generational) effects of global capitalism, genocide, violence, oppression and trauma settle into our bodies, we must build new understandings of bodies and gender that can reflect our histories and our resiliency, not our oppressor or our self-shame and loathing. We must shift from a politic of desirability and beauty to a politic of ugly and magnificence. That moves us closer to bodies and movements that disrupt, dismantle, disturb. Bodies and movements ready to throw down and create a different way for all of us, not just some of us” - Mia Mingus (Moving Toward the Ugly: A Politic Beyond Desirability)
Desire and beauty have failed me and cannot accurately capture how or who I fuck, how or who I desire or how I want to be desired. If you need me, I’ll be exploding desire in the revolutionary possibilities of ugly.