Category Archives: Uncategorized

Book publishing and the intersection between marginalized narratives.

Lately i have been thinking about how marginalized narratives are published in the industry of paper bound books, and ive come to the conclusion that the concept that it must be written to “certain standards” is just really saying that “you must have xyz education levels to have a voice”. Publishers use the excuse that if the book is not “well written” then it is not worth publishing, failing to take into account the effects of marginalization on availability of education and access to knowledge and tools.

There are powerful stories not being told because the people who need to tell them may not be able to write at the level of quality that publishers insist on, and editors are failing to assist these people and thus creating a defacto ban on the stories of the most oppressed.

Access to knowledge is a privilege, high understanding of the English language is a privilege, the ability to read and write is a privilege. Access to the internet is a privilege. Until they are rights afforded to all we have a duty to use those tools to assist those who do not have them and who want to be heard.

The ability to publish your life experiences, world views, opinions, ect should be a right afforded to all human beings.

Editors should assist people with accessibility issues and enable them to have a voice. We should have a wide range and a diverse ecosystem of perspectives and world views.

And if a book that is written to show people your life experiences is written we as readers should understand to focus on the reality of that persons situation, if its poorly written there is a reason why and *that itself* is a valid part of the narrative as its a marker of how their life went.

We who have the privilege of proficient English reading and writing skills should check this and listen to the true meaning of their words as opposed to nitpicking the quality, unless the author themselves requests such a criticism.

One last infosec rant.

I generally have refrained from discussing information security for the most part for multiple personal reasons. However a thought chain has entered my head that i just have to discuss, this doesn’t mean i am going back into infosec, just one last rant about it left in me i suppose.

The problem with information security in my view is a bit complex.

 

First we have the absurd idea that end users who don’t do all the “just the right things” deserve to be compromised and exploited, if you subscribe to say, the full disclosure mailing list you see this attitude of victim blaming is dominant, and almost any attempt to place the burden on the attackers is met with extreme hostility.

The problem with this is two fold.

1. Victim blaming is wrong, why this is true should be clear.

2. Everything is already compromised. No exceptions, it does not matter what you do, if someone wants in they will find a way. This sounded like tinfoil talk years ago and i was accused of being paranoid many times for this, but the Snowden leaks have proven this as reality. Everything is compromised by design or by flaw.

If we want our information to not be used to harm us, we must start by dismantling the national security agency in its entirety, destroy every server farm and datacenter and make those assholes get real jobs. Then we must teach people to not abuse each other over the internet. This is a real issue that must be addressed by education, all too often people have the attitude of interactions on the internet not being real, or just a game. People forget there are other human beings on the other end of the screen. Educating people on not acting in harmful ways is effective in many situations so i don’t see why it cant be used here.

Then we have to destroy the information security industry who profits from arming criminals with exploits in the name of “full disclosure”.

Basically if you don’t buy their product or apply their patch they have an army of angry kids standing by to punish you for this, then they punish those kids or suck them into the information security complex.

You heard me right, the information security industry is blackmailing you and you dont even know it.

Where do you think those kids get the tools and exploits that they use to hack you? Most of the tools used are open source and available to the public, the rest are very easy to acquire. The exploits themselves are released to the public on a regular basis with the logic that
if they did not then companies would not patch their systems and then people simply wouldn’t know they were owned. But, you are already owned. You always have been, they sold you the illusion of safety from the army of script kiddies they created.
Most virus and malware code has not changed much in the past..10-20 years, its all the same stuff. All they do is adjust the methods of masking it from an antivirus and this is simple to do. (google “crypters” for more info)

Now this does not mean we should not take precautions or not look for red flags, but we should focus with the majority of our energy the idea of prevention through education. Anti malware systems should come with the operating system by default. Operating systems should be designed to be secure as possible out of the box.

Put the burden on the software writers, not the end users. Put the burden on the people causing harm, not those they harm. Put the burden on the people arming ignorant or desperate kids with cyberweapons.

Laws need to change also in regards to how we deal with these kids, because most of them are kids. We need to teach our children empathy, and teach them not to do evil online. And parents need to observe their kids online activities. A computer is not a babysitter.

We also need to hold the information security community as well as the operating system developers and hardware manufactures responsible for their cooperation with government agencies who want to reduce our security.

They had a moral duty to disobey the law and inform the public and they didn’t because they don’t actually care about your security they care about profits. these people should be held accountable and all profits made by this stripped.

I also believe we should have an international ban on government used cyberweapons and cyberwarfare with full government transparency and accountability in this area.

 

This week we saw a failure of feminism 101

 

This week we saw a failure of feminism 101 and as a result i discovered who did and did not understand and who was just blindly following popular faces.

 

On christmas a hashtag was created to give emergency food and monetary aid to transgender women, this tag was created by a trans woman of color, it was created specifically to help white trans women and trans women of color as well as transfeminine/nonbinary AMAB folks who suffer from transmisogyny. This was a trans feminine space. A black transgender man got angry because he did not like the tag creator and attacked the tag itself, a man thought he had the right to enter a womans space and have his voice heard over others.

 

And some of you people listened.

 

Had he asked about charity for trans men not using that hashtag (a womans space) he would have had every right to ask for aid as well, we could have all made a hashtag for trans masculine people as well. But he didn’t.

Had he brought up his issues with the tag creator outside of the tag, that would have been appropriate space to do so. But he didn’t.

He attacked the feminine space and the creator of it using the hashtag.

 

Then people decided the hashtag creator was now magically white . I don’t know who started that one, but yall are wrong as fuck.

And this mans excuse for butting into a womans space? The fact that hes a black trans man.

Im sorry, being black doesn’t entitle you to a womans space when you are a man.

 

This is feminism 101.

You failed.

Had the tag been created by white women and catered to white women, then yes it would have been racist, but it was started by a trans woman of color and it helped trans women of color. It was not “white by default” because the praxis proved otherwise. Both white trans women and trans women of color were helped.

Ergo your race accusation is null. The only exclusion by word and deed was the masculine elements. its feminism 101 that women have a right to their own spaces. its transfeminism 101 that trans women have a right to their own spaces, its also transfeminim 101 that TWOC have a right to their own spaces. Each marginalized group also has a right to its own spaces.

Men of any kind do not have a right to enter any of these feminine spaces. Regardless of what race you are, you are still a man and you do not belong in feminine spaces.

And just to be clear this does not include obvious things like healthcare/support relating to owning a womb and the related equipment. All womb owners should have equal access to spaces related to those body parts, such as abortion clinics, birth control and specialized medical care. Regardless of gender or lack thereof.

Trans women of color were front and center, she even got media credit for her work and many TWOC were aided by the tag.

 

I dont know why the fuck i have to spell this out to you.

This is feminism 101

Men dont go in womens spaces.

Regardless of any other axis of oppression.

Period.

 

PSA to iphone/ipad users of my site.

Disclaimer: This post is meant for the middle class folks, the ones with extra cash in their pocket and too much time, thinking they are allies when they arent.

 

I say all of these things criticizing the entire system we live in, and everyone reads it, likes it and shares it. I talk about how fucked up it is that a lot of our tech is made by exploited people, and you read my blogs on your ipads and iphones, my blog shows me the stats, most of you are iOS users, that means you buy apple phone products (im sure some of you were gifted these items or got them second hand or your work issued you one or stole/found them and you people are exempt from this rant, please join the rest of the class for cake and ice cream while i get my cluebat for these assholes [and if you stole it, keep up the good work])

The people who will be exempt from this will be statistically a minority, so please dont come and tell me how you “arent one of them” as all of you will say so to try to soothe your guilt.
And if you are buying iphones, that means you are paying money to benefit from the oppression of other human beings, there are now other products you can use instead.

If you are reading my work using devices made by the subjugation of others, thats fucked up. You should probably sit and think about that. And then realize that as good as an apple product is in quality, you arent willing to face to face oppress the maker of the device, so you shouldn’t be doing it by proxy. its not only evil, its cowardly.

Now some people might say “but laurelai, all the devices are made in fucked up situations we literally cant escape this without losing our way of life”

Here is my ideological advice: You are a worthless degenerate scumbag who places your personal comfort and desire for the latest flashy toy above the real lives of suffering human beings, buy a goddamn land line, angry birds isnt that fucking important i mean at the very least you could have bought an android or something else with the reasoning that it was the lesser of evils in a modern world where you need communication to function, but no you went with Evil INC’s latest evilphone 9000, now with less suicide (only because they put up nets).

Here is my practical advice because i know you wont follow the ideological advice, you scumbag, if you own an apple device, and you paid for it. Give it away to the first homeless person you meet, don’t sell it. Go buy one of these when it comes out. You have alternatives now, no more excuses.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/fairphone-the-worlds-first-ethical-smartphone-launches-in-london-8829444.html

Cis Feminism is a failure to the trans community

Feminism has failed transgender women, both white trans women and trans women of color (and others from what I have been told).

 

All too often modern feminism has used the talents momentum and energy of both white trans women and trans women of color (and other marginalized women) among them to further the causes of cis feminists and cis women. They ask that we join them under their banner using pithy slogans like “if you believe in equality you are a feminist” and things like that. Making it appear as if anyone who has any objections with feminism simply just doesn’t believe in equality enough.

No cis feminism, we believe that freedom from oppression and a life of peace is the right of all sentient beings.

 

 

What we don’t believe in is putting (usually) white cis feminists who meet cisnormative appearance standards ahead of everyone else (and that’s what feminism actually does in reality)

What we don’t believe in is using the word “solidarity” as a code for “please put up with this subgroup within feminism that wants you dead because we arent comfortable confronting them for your sake”

 

See we see you buddying up with TERFs and refusing to call them out with anything stronger than “that’s not my activism” hand waiving away the feminists in your circles that use the label of feminism to attack entire classes of women.

 

We saw your open letter stating that you were against transphobia (hell I even signed it too), and it was a great gesture, but you didn’t do the deed.

You didn’t confront TERFs, you didn’t confront the people who want us dead, you didn’t challenge them *at all*

Your token effort is simply not good enough.

The elephant in the room is that when most cis feminists say in public that trans women are women, but if you dig down to how you *act* it becomes clear you are just giving lip service in order to win us over to your side, all while you *completely ignore* transgender issues, transgender suffering and transgender death.

For fuck sake cis feminism a lot of us don’t even have the right to use public restrooms and all the lot of you can do is “socially acceptable” activities that don’t rock too many boats.

 

Like putting a woman on the face of a banknote.

 

Sure its a nice gesture but honestly its such a minor progress compared to the real deadly problems entire classes of women suffer from as to render it almost completely useless in the day to day suffering of other human beings.

It would have even been fine if that had just been one of many many activism actions that included solving real world suffering issues of marginalized women.

 

But if you really take a look at modern feminism a large portion of it is the pumpkin spice lattee sipping white cis feminism. If you all really grasped basic human decency you would put the most marginalized women *first* in your activism and you *don’t*. You don’t actually care about the rights of all women, you care about getting yours and fuck everyone else.

You care about making a splash and getting a popular blog and a book deal.

You also don’t give a shit about sex workers either.

Oh some of you say you do, but then you try to “rescue us” from our own lives, instead of trying to make sex work safer (and that’s what we really want).

Oh and you don’t really care about women of color as well. Hell women of color had to come up with their own terms to describe similar concepts within feminism because they wanted to *separate themselves from white feminism and its flaws*.

You have tried to put every women under the same umbrella and in doing so you continue to make the white cis woman the default, the one up first, whose problems get looked at first. Because its easy.

Yeah, you do it because its easy. You tell yourselves that its got nothing to do with any *ism* and how its just tactics, well let me tell you that kind of thinking is in itself problematic.

 

You start with the hardest things first because those take the most work and the most energy.

You do the deed and you don’t worry about personal branding, or branding in general.

 

Oh and before you start crying about how im being divisive or not showing solidarity, see my previous point about “solidarity” no i will not sit down and be quiet while you ignore our oppression in favor of cis problems.

You are the ones who need to have a seat.

But honestly these problems with feminism have been around since the temperance movement  (and look how well that worked out).

All too often activism has tried to force specific narratives or memes to present to the world, instead of allowing a diverse ecosystem of narratives, instead of making room for everyones life experiences.

All too often feminism has ignored the problems of women who are marginalized the most in favor of the women who have the most privilege.

 

In the end its your actions that define you, not your labels or your theories.

 

In the end feminism has failed the transgender community.

But in the end one can claim it was designed to fail us from the ground up.

 

I propose a new radical activism based on simple principles and based on *action* and not labels. The label will come later, and isn’t as important as the idea.

 

Principle 1.

 

Freedom from oppression is the right of all sentient beings. We live in a system built on oppression on many many levels, one piled on top of another. Most people accept this casually, we do not. An injury to one is an injury to all. If even one being lives under oppression then we are all oppressed.

 

Principle 2.

Empathy for sentient beings outside of your comfort zone.

This is pretty simple, most people fail at empathy for anyone outside of their small circles of life. Friends and family get empathy while everyone else isn’t really a person worth considering for most people, and we identify and acknowledge that this is the cause of a lot of major problems with the world and a contributing factor to kyriarchy. We must actively engage empathy for people outside of our comfort zones.

 

Principle 3.

Progressive stack

Applied to activism issues. (the most marginalized people have the loudest voices and get their issues addressed first, IE trans sex workers, trans women of color, trans prisoners ect..) This means white cis problems go to the bottom of the list, we still care about those issues but honestly they cant be priority one.  This is a triage of issues, placing the most important immediate issues first.

Principle 4.

Adaptation.

These principles are not brought down on high from anything and time changes everything eventually. These principles are not meant to be shackles , but tools to achieve real change. If any of these tools become too worn or too old to be useful then they should be discarded and replaced. All too often radical ideas that are wonderful for their time become the new status quo in the next generation, one that binds and oppresses, repeating the same sins of the previous generations in new ways.

However this does not mean we will compromise with oppressors or make “deals with the devil” .

 

Principle 5.

Ensuring history does not repeat itself.

Similar to principle 4 , all too often activism groups will repeat the mistakes and evil of the oppressors in an attempt to fight that oppression. This ends here.

No longer will we ignore the most marginalized among us in favor of those with the most privileges, this is going to take active work and a lot of deconstruction within ourselves.Also this means we will ensure we are knowledgeable about history , we have to educate ourselves on the failures of past activism if we ever hope to not repeat their mistakes.

 

Principle 6.

Allies.

Anyone wanting to call themselves an ally to our causes must be willing to face the same oppression we do. If you arent willing to bleed like we do you are not a real ally. Allies should not be trying to make their voices louder than the oppressed, and should instead listen to what we want and help us get it the way we want it. I’m sure all you allies have tons of “great ideas” frankly we don’t want to hear them so please listen to us do what we ask you to do.

Your resources and money while nice to have are not a reason for us to coddle you. Either give us what we need without strings because you want to see the right thing done or don’t try giving us anything.

If we coddle you for your resources you will just use them to reinforce your own privilege anyways so you arent actually doing us any good by us coddling you. We recognize this and refuse to fall into that trap. Either help us on our terms or leave us alone.

 

Principle 7

Body autonomy.

The right for a sentient being to alter their body as they see fit should be afforded to all. Nobody should have a right to tell someone that they cant alter their body, it is also wrong to shame people with body modifications of any kind.

As sentient beings and adults we should be able to make informed consensual decisions about our bodies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An open Letter to Cathy Brennan

Edit: There have been a few updates since I wrote this. If you read this before skip down to the bottom for the new bits.

 

 

You know Cathy, i was very very close to hating you, I don’t take any pride in admitting this as its not really healthy to hate someone but today you wrote something that made me finally understand you, and that borderline hate instantly became pity.

 

“Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy.

When I was a little girl, I really related to this.

I wanted to be a real boy too.”

 

My god, you aren’t cis.

 

But instead of taking this realization that you don’t fit into the box that says “woman” you chose to attack *everyone else* who doesn’t fit into that box either, because you decided to bury that part of yourself, much like the “ex-gay” conservative christians we hear about in the media.

Your own self loathing and dysphoria was something you couldn’t unpack and handle.

 

“When I started developing breasts, and my mother made me shop for a bra, I refused to be in the “lingerie” department with her at the same time. She would go in and leave a pile of bras for my approval, and I would surreptitiously look at the lacey pile, quickly selecting the most un-bra like ones (this was before sports bras. It was not fun).  I refused to say the word “bra,” because I was so despondent over the state of my chest.”

 

 

Do you know how many times i’ve heard the same sentiments echoed by trans men and genderqueer CAFAB people i’ve met? It breaks my heart that your self loathing was so powerful that not only did you reject trans men as friends after they came out, you openly attacked the entire trans* community because you can’t bear to see us be happy , something you deny yourself.

 

While it wasn’t the place of your trans men friends to tell you what you should identify as, its pretty clear to just about every trans person who reads your story that you aren’t cis and you aren’t gender conforming. So from now on I will never call you cis again.

 

So i’m going to tell you what they should have.

 

Men can be pregnant and have children, trans men are allowed to do that. Thats a thing thats ok to do.

Perhaps you aren’t a trans man, perhaps you are genderqueer or gender fluid or something else entirely, but you certainly aren’t cis.

And that’s ok.

They shouldn’t have tried to pressure you into identifying a certain way, and instead should have just given you support in your self exploration, and i’m sorry that you didn’t get the support you needed and now you are alone and in terrible obvious pain.

You even admit you still at some level want to be a man.

Well I want to tell you its ok to want that and its ok to act on it. You don’t have to, but its an ok choice to make.

 

What isn’t ok is your continued attacks on people who have figured out who they really are and are living the life that makes them feel happier. You don’t have the right to attack the happiness of other people or inflict misery on them just because you had a bad time of it.

 

You have fought so hard to attack the very concept of transgender because you know at some level if you stop doing it and accept us for who we are you have to look in the mirror and face the reality of your own gender issues.

And that thought scares the living shit out of you, so you continue to attack what you fear, this is literal transphobia. You are afraid of the very concept of transgender because inside deep down you know that if you stop fearing it you just might fall under that umbrella.

 

If that happens you know that all of your current friends will turn against you as you turned against the trans men you had in your life.

 

But what you don’t realize is that these people aren’t really your friends, anyone who can’t accept you for you isn’t your real friend. Instead of seeing the inherent problems with the community you are a part of and either working to reform or dismantle it you cling even tighter to it out of fear, because you don’t want to be alone. Perhaps you think its too late to change.

 

What you also don’t realize is that once you shed off these fake friends and people trying to force you back into the box that says woman that you admit you don’t fit into you will gain real friends who will accept you for who you really are, yes it might take time for some of us to forgive your past, and some people might not forgive you at all. But some of us will. Some of us have a past too and are willing to give people a chance to grow and change. Its never too late to change, or to grow as a person. As long as you are alive you have a choice.

 

Wouldn’t you rather be at peace and be around people who accept you for who you are inside? Wouldn’t you rather just open up and let the real you out?

None of your issues however excuse what you have done and continue to do, this needs to stop. Even if you can’t handle your own gender issues you need to understand *other people can* and you don’t have the right to attack them for it or have the right to try to take away the civil rights of other human beings because they were able to handle something you can’t. You don’t have the right to try to convince someones doctor to take them off of hormones because you have chosen not to take them.

Perhaps you should put down your metaphorical sword and go see a gender specialist and talk about your issues, perhaps they can help you find the peace you are clearly lacking.

Perhaps you should stop attacking the things you have denied yourself, and instead work to dismantle the cisnormative structures that hurt all people.

So no Cathy, I don’t hate you. I feel sorry for you.

 

Updates begin here.

Seems bug and the TERFs read this and I seem to have hit a sore spot or two.

Bug is now claiming all lesbians are transgender.

 

 

Projecting much bug?

 

Oh and I appear to have struck a nerve in known transphobic celebrity Rosanne Barr.

 

 

Thanks for the signal boost you fucking bigot 😀

Why I am against transgender military service in the US.

Let me start off by saying that I believe that transgender people are just as capable and just as able to meet the military standards as cis people and in a lot of areas we would excel and exceed cis people.

My argument is not based on skill. Also i’d like to add that I know Dean Spade is a douchebag and i don’t argue against that.

 

Next I want you to read what I write very carefully because if you become reactionary about this article and you haven’t actually read the words i’m just going to tell you to go fuck yourself. Disagree with me, thats fine but for fuck sake read all of what I write first. Argue based on what I wrote not what your brain put there.

 

I also don’t think transgender americans are any less or more patriotic than cisgender americans.

I also don’t think we should be denied the right to serve our country. In the long run.

I do however think that focusing on military inclusiveness right now is a bad tactical move for us for multiple reasons.

One, the fact that targeting an oppressed group like us for recruiting into the armed services is fairly exploitative considering how hard it is for a lot of us to find employment, instead of say solving the civilian employment issues we face you want to add even more economic coercion and bad choices to an already oppressed people. The day all trans people have the same employment opportunities cis people have in the civilian world is the day I will fight for transgender inclusion in the US Armed services.

 

That being said any trans person who winds up economically coerced into service does not deserve any scorn for this, doing what you must to survive is no dishonor. Nor will I try to tell any trans person not to join the military if they allow this. Those of you who might join because they lack any real opportunities elsewhere deserve our compassion and respect, they took a tough situation and tried to make the best of it. Your service is honorable in my eyes.

 

 

I also have empathy for service members who are still closeted with their trans status, I was one of those people myself for some time and they deserve every ounce of compassion for living through that hell.

 

My fight is not with you, nor the other people on the extreme edges of marginalization who don’t see any other way out. Do what you must to survive and feel no shame in doing so. I sure didnt feel any.

My fight is with the military industrial complex that seeks to exploit our marginalization to put warm bodies in front of enemy fire. The most marginalized among us are trans women of color and that is who is most likely to be affected by this. Racism intersecting with transphobia makes life as a trans POC very very dangerous and the Army by comparison will seem safer by orders of magnitude. A guaranteed paycheck, free medical care, housing, clothing ,food, and training all are attractive offers to any people who don’t have many civilian opportunities due to discrimination.

 

Think about who is funding this initiative, a white wealthy trans woman, is putting her millions she made into encouraging poor trans women of color to join the armed services. All the while she only came out long after she had made her money and gained power for herself. Her initiative is coming from a place of privilege.

Does that seem right to you?

yes she has done other good things for transgender people, but that doesn’t make everything she does right.

What focusing on this will do is not lead to more transgender rights but less, most Americans think that trans discrimination is already against the law, Gay INC.  worked to make sure we were not included in those new laws. Yet most people believe we are already protected by law. 90% of Americans believe trans discrimination is already illegal.

 

Ninety fucking percent.

 

My own mother believed this was the case until 2 weeks ago when we argued about transgender rights on the phone. She also loves dan savage.

 

Adding this will in the eyes of cis people be “equality”

They will point to that and say “see we included you stop asking for special treatment”, this will be the end of the road for us in the eyes of cis people.

 

“You can be in the army and you can get gay married what more do you want?” is what they will say and we all know this.

It will turn into another method to silence and oppress transgender people in the US, it is only a token effort meant to silence the voices of the oppressed so they can be fed into the war machine without protest. it creates the appearance of progress without actually addressing the massive social ills we face.

 

Because once you have completed your service (if you even survive) you get a GI bill you won’t be able to use, you won’t be able to use it because it requires you to pay the college costs up front and then the military reimburses you after you pass the course. That’s right, you have to already be able to afford college to get college from the military.

 

Now some people might say “well you can take classes while you are in the military it says so on the pamphlet”

Ok, yes that’s technically true you can, but it requires your commanders approval and you have to re-enlist for the option. This is a reward commanders hand out very rarely and only to the biggest ass kissers. Chances are you aren’t getting any college in while you’re enlisted.

So that GI benefit is practically useless to people who came from poverty. There is a reason why most people never use this benefit, and it isn’t a lack of desire for higher education.

Another point I would like to make is the fact that the oppression axes we face will continue to follow us inside of the military, racism, sexism, homophobia and other bigotry run rampant and unchecked. In fact they are encouraged on an institutional level.

The racism was painfully obvious, all you had to do was look at the chain of command photos of most units.

 

Most of the NCO’s were people of color and most of the officers were white, whites were encouraged to attend OCS (officer candidate school) and mentored more often than POC soldiers while often given time off to take night classes to meet OCS requirements. POC soldiers were encouraged to take the NCO route, while being discouraged from taking higher education on their own time and dime, all while the army proclaims diversity. Good enough to hold a gun for uncle sam but not good enough to be an officer giving orders. Fucking disgusting.

The officer corp has its roots in the US’s white landed gentry class and still strongly echoes these roots today.  I don’t often talk about racism because i’m not a person of color and i don’t want to appropriate or put my foot in my mouth, the racism in the Army was so painfully obvious it slapped you in the face regardless of who you are so i’m speaking about what I saw.

Sexism ran rampant also, so painfully obvious it slapped you in the face. Women either had to act like the stereotypical male or they were treated as less than human. God forbid you are a woman in the army with a healthy sex drive too, because if you were liberated about your own sexuality you were less than human too. Lots of slut shaming on against women, while pushing the men to fuck everything that walks whether they want to fuck or not.

Homophobia was so thick you could cut it with a knife, repealing DADT didn’t change the culture, it just changed a law. When I was in i had NCO’s and officers tell me that if DADT was ever repealed they would do their utmost to drive out homosexuals from their unit, and most people seemed to back them up vocally.

 

Other forms of bigotry ran rampant also, ableism is institutionally acceptable and the stigma for mental illness is so strong human beings in pain will refuse treatment because they fear the harm it will do to their careers often causing themselves more long term harm in the process.

So when you join the military you are not leaving your oppression behind, you are bringing it with you and putting it in a microcosm. And when you leave you will likely wind up right back where you started, plus with a good chance of having PTSD or some other untreated mental illness. Oh and chances are you are going to face the same kind of violence inside the military as you would have in the civilian world, the military already has a rape and assault problem against cis women thats near epidemic levels, with trans women  it would turn into a blood bath and i can’t even imagine the horrors trans women of color would face.

Oh and you still won’t have any civil rights when you get out.

You still won’t be able to use public restrooms.

Jobs still won’t hire you because you are trans.

You are still going to be the butt of every joke.

You still risk being murdered and raped, your veteran status will not protect you from racism or transphobia.

Bigots don’t ask for your fucking DD214 (discharge papers) before they beat you to death.

 

Activism isn’t a zero sum game but strategy is a real thing and putting military inclusiveness before civilian protections and opportunities are acquired will only hurt us as a movement. We need housing and employment protections , we need healthcare equality, we need protections for trans youth. We need social changes to occur. We need to end white supremacy and cis supremacy first.

 

What we don’t need us the US government using us as weapons of war while they deny us our civil rights.

So no i don’t think we should be focusing our energy on getting transgender people in the military in the US right now. Perhaps when we solve basic equality in the civilian world and when our military is no longer the worlds bully, then perhaps. Until then i don’t want to see transgender people dying for a country that denies them the right to use public restrooms and won’t even acknowledge the fact we exist in a lot of places.

 

 

Commander X , My Friend, My Compatriot

Commander X made the announcement that he was disbanding the PLF  and leaving activism and anonymity behind him.  When he made this announcement on twitter I was shocked, and a bit worried. But reading the indybay article I realized that while Commander X is invincible, Chris Doyon was human just like the rest of us. I know all too well the pressures of being “invincible” and the psychological and physical toll it can take.

 

Chris has paid a heavy price for being a man of conscience and a man of integrity, he can no longer return to his country, or see his family or friends. Some of you might want to debate me on the character of this man and to you I say this.

 

I have never met anyone besides Chris who acted as a leader and was still able to hold himself to the same rules as everyone else under him. I once even saw him ban himself from his own twitter account because he broke a rule he created.

He is what I looked up to in Anonymous, the ideal made flesh. In my opinion if more Anons…no if more human beings were like Chris the world would be a better place.

Chris is one of the most kind and understanding cisgendered people I have met, a person who has compassion for all living things, animal and human. To him all suffering matters. He understands oppression and bigotry  and he always did what he could to fight it. He would always stick up for me when others in our mutual circles would call me slurs or attempt to dehumanize me.

I actually cried when i wrote that last paragraph.

It’s entirely unfair for him to be branded as a criminal , a man whose empathy drove him to sacrifice everything in his life to make the world a better place. If exceeding the minimum standards of decent human being makes you an outlaw and an outcast I do not want to be accepted by that society, I would take pride in being reviled by it. And I often do. As did he.

I first met him through Ryan Ackroyd (AKA kayla) and we worked on op tunisia together, he and Ryan were instrumental in sparking and assisting the peaceful revolution in tunisia ( i can’t get into details so take me at my word please) and I was proud to have been a part of that. Chris helped liberate an entire nation from oppression, and while tunisia of course still has its own problems now they have a path forward to solve them.

We became fast friends and stayed in contact through various communication channels, mostly to keep in touch or to find out how his day was going.  I learned a lot from him, while our conversations were not often verbose, they are heavy with meaning and impact.

He may have given up activism (for very understandable reasons) but to me Commander X will never die, Commander X is an idea now, a meme. A symbol with power and meaning, something that will live beyond Chris and echo into history. As Jake Davis once said, you cannot arrest an idea, and to expand on that, you cannot kill an idea either. Commander X is a symbol of hope and compassion to me and one of strength and determination.

 

If you ever wonder what inspires me to push forward with my activism through all the hell and all the shit day after day, it was Chris, under the banner of Commander X.

Chris has decided to go back into robotics and is recreating the Machine Life & Artificial Intelligence Foundation, I highly recommend we follow his new account @M0RPHE0US and support his efforts as he once supported ours. Please though, if you do this respect his wishes, no politics or activism. I have followed his account and I will respect his desires. I will be happy to be there for him in this.  Show him you are his true friend and support his new mission. 

Though the man behind the mask has moved on to new projects and new chapters of life, he is my friend and I will be there for him.

So, goodbye Commander X.

 

Hello Chris Doyon, my friend.

 

With all the love I can bear to hold.

 

Laurelai Bailey.