b. binaohan

A Point of Clarification on My Language Use

heyyy.

so after speaking with a friend the other day i wanted to say something about how i speak about ‘twoc’

lately ppl have been making a serious effort to be specific about who is being targetted by transmisogynist violence

and this is GOOD

because is matters a hell of a fucking lot that in the US the primary targets are Black trans women and/or Latina trans women.

i’m not american though

so i usually stick to saying ‘twoc’

bc in canada, where i live, the last two trans women of colour who’ve been murdered were SE Asian trans women (one Filipina and one Malaysian trans woman). bc this is canada, there arent that many murders compared the US and other places (one is too many, though). so these two cover about 3-4 years.

this is pretty much the same amount of time i stopped presenting super butch

and maybe i should start being more specific…

bc. from where i am, it kinda seems very relevant and important to me that 100% of the recent murders in canada were of SE Asian trans women.

so. um. yeah.

basically. what i’m trying to say here is that when i say ‘twoc bear the brunt of transmisogyny + violence’ i’m not trying to erase the needed specificity of the US and its context. i just want ppl to know where i’m coming from with this. like, for accountability and other purposes.

(i also will not expect everyone to have read this or know where i live. i literally do not care if ppl reprimand me over the generalization. i will explain as often and patiently as needed. bc even if SE Asian trans women are clearly targets in canada, overall we have far fewer deaths. i will never, ever bregrudge being told that i need to centre Black and/or Latina trans women more. not ever.)

What Was This Baby Doing in This Bath Water?

for some reason, i’m thinking about essentialism this morning and the perils and benefits of it.

essentialism has become a four letter word in trans discourse. for good reason too, since — as a whole — the concepts and ideas have largely been used to deny trans womanhood and they feed into a medical model of transgender that entirely works to dehumanize and (ultimately) kill trans women. as a theory, it is used by radfems and conservatives and liberals alike as a way to systematically denie the womanhood and dignity of twoc.

the problem i’m suddenly having with this is that just talking about ‘essentialism’ collapses a whole bunch of distinct theories/conceptions about gender into one subtype of essentialist thought.

in reality, the type of essentialism that leads to the above ills is of the biological type. biological essentialism =/= essentialism. what i mean by this, is that the ideas and concepts within biological essentialism is a subset of essentialism as a whole, but it is definitely not either representative of the whole nor can the whole of essentialist thought be reduced to biological constructions of the theory.

biological essentialism is definitely the type most frequently used by radfems, truscum, conservatives, HBSers, liberals, etc. as way to both deny the womenhood of trans women of colour but also to ensure that our identities and selves must always be mediated through a colonial, medical system. it is biological essentialism that reduces our lived-experiences to genitals, secondary sex characteristics, to ‘sex,’ to our genes/phenotypes, to our hormone levels, etc and so on.

and, obviously and without question, biological essentialism absolutely MUST be resisted for the violence it enacts and perpetrates against twoc bodies.

HOWEVER

it absolutely does not follow that because biological essentialism ought to be resisted that all essentialist conceptualizations of transness must also be resisted or expunged from how we understand our bodies and genders and their relationship.

while it is the case there are some non-biological forms of essentialism that also must be resisted (see ‘born this way’ theories of queerness and transness in white liberal circles). but even in these cases… we must be clear about why one theory is bad and the other good.

when we talk about the white, liberal rhetoric of ‘born this way’ a lot of the problem adheres not to the fact that it is an essentialist understanding of gender or sexuality, but because this is a rhetorics of apologism. white liberals assert ‘i was born this way’ as a means to explain, excuse, justify, and legitimize themselves to their oppressors. it is a way of asserting ‘pls stop oppressing me, i was born this way, i can’t help it’. it is a rhetoric borne out of a need to defend themselves against the conservative framing of gender/sexuality as something ‘chosen’.

if you notice… a lot of the problems here are a consequence of the context in which this discourse takes place. it isn’t really about the validity of the claims themselves.

i remember reading an article a while back about bakla/trans women/transpinay ppl in the PH and how they understood themselves… the PH is a predominantly catholic country bc of spanish colonialism. this means that a significant percentage of the subjects in the article attributed their identity to God. this is a type of essentialism as well. it isn’t biological essentialism. and it isn’t the same type of… ‘social’ essentialism mobilized by white trans and/or queer ppl.

at its most simplistic, essentialism is the assertion that there is an ‘essence’ within people/things that makes us uniquely ourselves. that there is something inherent to our being/selves that makes us, us. that without this inherent quality, we could not be ourselves.

within a catholic worldview, we cannot be ourselves without God having created us. God makes all things and people and living creatures. thus, if you exist, God created you. and if you exist as a bakla/trans women/transpinay, then God created you like that.

without getting into the mess of trying to reconcile an indigenous gender (bakla) with a colonial spiritual system, there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with asserting an essentialism predicated on God creating you (ie, this is the way your soul and body is, because God wanted it this way).

if we take a step back from the catholic parts of this to look at some of the folk explanations for being bakla… we can see that some regions/villages have a theory of essentialism that ascribes the reality of being bakla to having the heart of a woman.

now, if we were to assert biological essentialism, we’d have to understand this fairly literally. bakla have the physical heart of that women do. on this literal interpretation, we come into a type of biological essentialism that doesn’t quite seem to fit into the above colonial, white model of biology. as far as white biology is concerned, it is a pretty incoherent statement to assert that physical organ in charge of pumping blood in our bodies is gendered and different in men and women. not only different, though, but phenomenon of having a heart gendered/sexed differently than the rest of your body causes you to express/present/embody a gender that cannot actually exist within the white medical model.1

but what if this is meant figuratively? well, then we are still operating within an essentialist notion of gender, but one that isn’t biological. it basically asserts that human beings have a this essence called ‘heart’ and that — of other possible relations — one of the things this heart-essence determines is your embodied gender.

either way… i don’t really have a personal problem with this essentialist theory for why i exist as i do. i wouldn’t be inclined, additionally, to try use this as an explanatory model for all gender and for all peoples.

like. i’m 100% ok with another pilipin@ telling me that god made me as i am. i would be 1000000% not okay with any white person telling me this ever.

you’ll see that one of the key differences between these theories and how they play out into the real world, is how the white medical brand of biological essentialism

becomes institutionalized into actual systems that end up having meterial and real consequences for people

that white biological essentialism is (and always has been) a colonial tool of violence (see also biological racism — which likewise depends on biological essentialism).

in conclusion…

NUANCE! NUANCE!

be specific about what ur criticising and why. being general and unspecific when u say ‘essentialism is bad’ simply serves to entrench white discourse as the dominant and default one. it erases indigenous and/or poc ways of conceptualizing gender that might, in actual fact, be essentialist. so. yeah.


  1. since the closest analogue would be being intersex… and having the heart of a woman in a ‘man’s body’ is not one of the recognized intersex conditions/classifications.

On the Public Confession

now, there is one kind of public confession that this post is most assuredly NOT about: when people who’ve been abused, victimized and/or are survivors feel the need to discuss their experiences publicly.

no.

this post is about people who’ve been abusive and/or assaulted someone in the past and is now choosing to confess it publicly

what purpose does this serve?

as far as i can tell, this is like 10000% self serving. they are doing this to frame themselves as ‘good’ in contrast to when they were ‘bad’

they are doing this to either seek punishment in the form of ‘public’ outcry or whatever

or doing it so that they can be absolved of their sins

for ‘forgiveness’ from people who aren’t their victims.

like…

this drama can only be properly staged if you are (however loosely defined) a ‘public’ figure. otherwise… no one gives a fuck about ur confession of being a shitty human being in the past (or maybe being one still)

think of HS

did his confession serve anyone other than himself?

doesn’t look like it.

Moar Thoughts on anti-Blackness

i don’t want to comment on the thread and derail, but i keep seeing that ask/answer where someone is like ‘Australian First Nations’ aren’t Black! the answer, of course, is great. going into history, current knowledge about where/when they came from etc. great. but what is this fucking notion that, by default, just bc some group of poeple is in asia they are asian? can’t be Black? not ever. i mean. obvs there is a lot of colonial fuckshit happening with the ontological sorting of some ppl as ‘Black’ some as ‘Asian’ and some as ‘Indigenous’.

but. fuck. i hate this pervasive notion that one cannot be Black AND Asian AND Indigenous at the SAME time. like. when the spanish creeped onto the shores of the PH they took a look around and called one group “small Black people” and everyone else ‘Indios’. and, yes, bc anti-Blackness is a real thing, the ‘small Black people’ ended up at the bottom of the racial hierarchy with Indios just above them. and Chinese settlers above those two. local mestisa above that and so one, etc. of course. bc this is white supremacy using race as a reductive ontology, these categories were largely exclusive.

so… like. it should be pretty obvious that sticking with a firm notion of each being its own thing is, well, to buy into white supremacist notions of race as a thing.

in reality, the ‘small Black people’ (Aetas and other groups) are actually the ORIGINAL inhabitants making them… drum roll … Black AND Asian AND Indigenous. all at the same time. like magic. likewise, they have cultural/ethnic/racial cousins in places like Papa New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other pacific islands.

it is weird (ok, not weird bc i know how anti-Black my own ppl are) to me that people would seek to disavow the Blackness of these ppl. especially when, um, their current colonial/pejoritive name LITERALLY MEANS ‘small Black people’. and it is pretty clear that the spanish (and other colonizing groups) very much put them at the bottom of the racial hierarchy reserved for… drum roll … Black people wherever they happen to exist in the world.

and it is undeniable that this Blackness is, in part, why non-Black Asians of the same lands/areas have zero issues mobilizing the tools and methods of white supremacist settler state structures to erase them from nationality/patriotism narratives, the land, the history, all while benefitting from land/etc. again… this is also why their structural position as Indigenous is undeniable even when they are dealing with other ethnic groups who’ve been living in the same area for a long time too.

one does not need to be white to utilize the logics of anti-Blackness and settler colonialism. and following a colonial blueprint does not absolve us (us = the non-Indigenous and/or non-Black Asians) from the heinous shit we do in trying to construct and reify an ~asian~ identity that fundamentally excludes Blackness and Indigeneity. upholding whiteness and white supremacy is to be a willing participant in the evil it visits upon the world.

and, sure, we can have a discussion about what it means for ‘original’ inhabitants of a place to invoke settler colonial logics and structure themselves as ‘settlers’ by framing others of the same land as ‘the natives which must disappear’. actually. i WOULD LOVE to have such a discussion about the PH and groups like Tagalogs vs. Aetas and/or Kalinga (and other such Indigenous groups) if i actually thought that such a thing was possible in a non-shitty way.

A Comfort to My Soul

so

my name change is recently official. and finally managed to get a provincial id with name + gender marker changed (now waiting for it in the mail). i still need to get my healthcare info changed (but this will require yet ANOTHER epic wait at service ontario, but i have everything i need now, so it should be ok). still waiting for various documents and whatever. my bank accounts still have old name and my main account requires that i have photo ID with my NEW name on it before they’ll change that.

my solution? opening a bank account at a different institution under new name. so far successful. i’m hopeful i may actually get paid this month (since my stuff is handled via direct deposit and apparently will not go through since i’ve changed my name at work but can’t at the bank… but now i’ll just switch direct deposit accounts).1

anyway. so because of all this weirdness new bank wanted me to confirm some info.

i call in.

and the person on the phone is all

person: “is this the account holder?”

me: “yes. this is my account”

person: “r u trying to access someone else’s account??? j’accuse!”

me: “no. this is mine…”

puts me on hold for 5 minutes

person: “r u sure this info is accurate??? it says ur female and to use ‘ms.’ J’ACCUSE!!!!”

me: “that’s because i’m a woman”

so. obviously this whole thing was because my voice clearly doesn’t pass for a cis woman’s. i don’t care about that.

i’m not changing my voice.

whenever i think about this….

i remember Nina Simone.

back when i was first getting into her and listening to her ALL THE TIME ppl would always be like “who is this man singing???” and i’d be “this isn’t a man. it is Nina Simone” and they’d just be incredulous.

(this is one of the areas where some of the logic of transmisogyny and misogynoir overlap)

and look

LOOK

Nina Simone has/had one of the best voices ever gifted to a woman (nay, human being) on this planet. and because it sounded a certain way… people’ve been incredulous that it is the voice of a woman.

now. i’m not suggesting that my voice is even 1/100th as lovely and beautiful as Nina Simone’s, not by far. however.

(i actually have no idea where i was going with this since i just went to the bathroom and now i can’t remember why i was writing this post. but i’m going to post it just because i’ve been so light on posting recently)


  1. also realizing that there may be some utility in having a bank account under my old name, since i do a fair bit of business online now and… no one shall know mah true name!

Teen Wolf. Season 3b. Orientialism and the Yellow Peril

soooo. when i saw that season 3b of teen wolf was intended to be largely stiles-focused i pretty much decided to give it a pass. so much of a pass that i haven’t even been reading any fic because i literally hate stiles this much, at the moment. i hate him.

what i also hate?

is that a supernatural show decides to include some East Asian mythology (yes, in the show they use the Japanese variations of the fox myths, which started in China). they do this… and they have all the (mostly) white characters being threatened by Japanese spirit warriors/demons called Oni, who are in turn controlled by a fox demon… or something. through the journey they get to visit many mystical Asians who guide them on their way. Yay! Or something.

sooo i would hope that the orientalism of all of this is pretty apparent. like, yeah, obviously no one expects a white created/written werewolf show to have accurate and authentic Japanese lore. heck, they play pretty fast and loose with all mythology. ok. ok.

but the problem is, is that these are the first Asian characters we are seeing on the show. and. of course. they are demons. and. of course. they are also threatening the show’s maiden, stiles.1

so. orientalism.

mainly because idk why white ppl seem to fucking love the fox myths of East Asia. but. ur pretty much fucking guaranteed that if there is going to be East Asian supernatural something in a white produced show, it’ll be foxes. always with the foxes….

but what about the yellow peril????

well. beyond the obvious notion that Japanese ppl and their spirits have literally invaced a white town to threaten its denizens, part of this comes from the fact that it isn’t just Japanese ‘people’ who are threatening beacon hills.

but the fact that it is actually Japanese fox spirits…

one fairly common literary interpretation of the origin of the fox myth in China (where Japan also gets it from) is that fox myths represent Chinese fears and anxieties about barbarians (which were all the bordering non-Chinese peoples). this is a fairly common literary interpretation because, well, the Chinese character for barbarian is pronounced ‘hu’. And the Chinese character for fox is also pronounced ‘hu’.

and when you read the fox stories in various parts of Chinese history2, you can see this anxiety played out in the ways that the stories happen. the problem with foxes, is that they were always taking the forms/shapes of (mostly) women, infiltrating communities, and often trying steal the ‘essence’ of men so that they could become truly human3.

do u see? do u see where this interpretation that fox myths represent xenophobia about these non-humans (barbarians) infiltrating your community and stealing your essence (culture) to become real humans???

soooo… when we take this to beacon hills. where being Asian in a white town that has a nasty habit of murdering its poc. but being Asians are fox spirits (non-humans pretending to be human) where one of them (yes the ‘bad’ one vs. the ‘good’ ones) has literally invaded the body of the village maiden and everything is chaos and misery.

yellow. fucking. peril.

because even this distinction bw the ‘good’ fox spirits and the ‘bad’ one, maintains this understanding that to be a ‘good’ non-human in the human town means being invisible, unseen and unheard. this is how one is a ‘good’ Asian American in a white supremacist settler state that fundamentally requires (esp. since we are talking about Asian women) that Asians be docile and submissive to whiteness, in order to be the acceptable kind.

anywya. not even sure where i’m going with this anymore.

but fuck teen wolf is always such a clusterfuck of white supremacist fail. and pushing aside the character of colour hero (scott) to have this little side trip to remind Asians that, yes, we a eternal foreigners (and not really quite humans), that we should remember our places, else we will be killed off.


  1. who from all appearances is maybe still a virgin? actually given that this was a major plot point in 3a i’m guessing this didn’t change before he got possessed. more to the point: he is the one the fandom and the show constantly portrays as the innocent. despite the fact that he is a creepy Nice Guy™.)

  2. fun fact: the early Chinese fox stories are sometimes called ‘pre-fiction’ because many of them are actually just included in standard histories of their respective era. albeit, they were usually confined to a section for stories like this, but they weren’t really considered to be ‘stories’ as entertainment or fiction. but histories.

  3. ‘essence’ here is really me using a euphemism. the Chinese word most often used for this is also the one that means ‘semen’ but not quite in a biological way, since this was before western science. in Chinese cosmology there are a few different kinds of qi. one is jing (? not sure if i am remembering the right word ?), which does tend to translate to ur bodily/sexual qi.

R U Str8?

one interesting thing that ChellA pointed out to me (that i had noticed but wasn’t really thinking about much up until that moment) was the the network gathering had a lot of queer and/or lesbians attending. which is super cool.

but it also led to this weird thing (note: this isn’t about ChellA anymore, since I’m just referencing her remark and how it got me thinking and not about anything she did), where ppl kept asking me if i was straight whenever i’d mention my bf.

i do get why…

but it was also sort of frustrating because (as far as i know) we never really did a whole “i’m a transpinay, but really i ID as bakla” thing. or never really got deep into talking about trans womanhood beyond the binary (whcih i know some of the people who attended really wanted to talk about this but, idk, we just didn’t end up doing it).

i guess it was mostly weird because while ‘trans woman of colour’ doesn’t necessarily equal a queer identity, nor does ‘trans woman of colour’ necessarily equal a binary identity.

so when i’d pose the question: does ‘nonbinary’ twoc dating a cis man = straight, i’d usually get a ‘no’.

more to the point, i would have to explain that for my ppl/self, sexuality and gender are the same thing. which also means that i refuse to slot myself into pure sexuality discourse.

my gender is bakla.

my sexuality is bakla.

my expression is cozy femme.

my desire is most often for men.

how gay am i?

how straight?

and i’d imagine that some will think “well… cozy femme + man = straight appearing relationship and all the privilege that this entails” which sure. yeah. maybe sometimes. i can own up to this…

but also

that basic assumption (for those who’ve never met me or seen me) is that i regularly read for cis…

which is…

not really a thing for me. i don’t always (or even often, i’d say) read as a cis woman. for me, these days, it is more rare for people to correctly read my gender expression vs. the almost constant and certainly daily misgendering i deal with.

i guess it was just an interesting question to be constantly possed to me, when connecting with other trans women of colour. since, yeah, we can talk until we are blue about colonialism, gender, and oppression, but we still have internalized so much of this discourse that questions like this seem just a-ok to ask, particularly when it wasn’t really relevant to the discussion (like we definitely weren’t talking about sexuality and how it impacts how trans women of colour experience oppression).

just thoughts…

Once More With ‘Poc’ ~erasing~ Differences

soooo.

through a series of mishaps, i ended up being the sole person facilitating a qtpoc lunch caucus at the amc. not my first choice of things to do, because i have strong feelings about not being the person who ‘leads’ in poc space b/c of my light skin privilege. i think i did okay with this, since i really just facilitated a discussion instead of talking at/to everyone else or even trying to direct anything. idk. it’ll be a while before i feel okay with this thing that happened. even if no one else cared.

anyway. the occassion arised (again) that a non-Black poc mentioned how they don’t like using ‘people of colour’ because it erases differences and the specific experiences of blah blah blah.

we’ve all heard this before.

since this is still a fucking thing that people are getting wrong, here is Loreta Ross talking about the origin of ‘women of colour’ (and thus also ‘people of colour’):

watch the entire thing if you are also thinking that ‘poc’ is about ~erasing~ differences.

if you think this, you are missing the point. and, yeah, maybe you should stop using the term, since using this term fundamentally requires that you act in solidarity with Black women (and people). that you work on your anti-Blackness. and a major portion of this, is knowing where so much of the language and concepts that ~people of colour~ currently use comes from.

it means honouring the work of the Black people who’ve given so much to us1.

you don’t like the term? and you want to toss in some super ‘i’m the best activist’ points in mentioning this and trying to look cool and everything?

this is what you are communicating:

i don’t care about solidarity with Black women, first and foremost. i don’t care about solidarity with any other peoples oppressed by white supremacy. i only care about me and mine.

which, sure. i get that too. but you should be a lot less disingenous about how you are making this claim. instead of trying to tear down the work that Black women have done, just say that you don’t respect their contributions and that you don’t care about them.

note: i’m not saying people must identify as a ‘person of colour’. When you listen to Loreta Ross’s words, it becomes pretty clear that unless you are understanding ‘person of colour’ as a political ‘identity’, as a political statement, as about your explicit and intentional actions to work in solidarity with all poc, you probably shouldn’t be using ‘person of colour’ to describe yourself. she says it herself. this isn’t about how much ‘biologically’ you are asian, but about your commitment to work with people outside of this white supremacist, biological category.

if you don’t want to use ‘poc’. don’t. i’ve seen some people with good reasons for not doing so that — is this really possible? — doesn’t involve denigrating and misunderstanding the work of Black women.

but when you talk about how ‘poc’ erases differences and creates some kind of homogenous group implying we all experience white supremacy in the same way… you only reveal your ignorance of history and your deep misunderstanding who people of colour are2.


  1. well ‘given’ might be a generous word in a lot of cases, but in this one it has the appearance of a gift from Black women to the rest of us.

  2. like. my dad isn’t a person of colour. yes, he is tagalog. but he fucking hates Black people. and he also hates the Indigenous people whose land he decided to settle in. he does absolutely fucking nothing to work in solidarity with other peoples impacted by white supremacy. he is asian. but unless he starts working on dealing with his anti-Blackness and working through his disrespect of the people whose land he settled, he’ll never be a person of colour.

The Vagaries of Having a ‘Brand’

after going to the qtpoc tumblr meetup yesterday at the amc, a bunch of people came up to me and were all

“i loved ur blog, when it was still around!”

which was super weird and not the point of this post

i was surprised (or, i guess bemused) to hear this because, um, my blog is still around? lol.

still on tumblr (http://binaohan.tumblr.com). my main blog (this one) is, of course still around. has been around the longest, even if i’ve shifted urls like a billion times.

in a lot of ways, what happened last night let me know that i really made the right decision in deciding to migrate my tumblr. because ‘biyuti’ really had become my ‘web brand’. i fucking loathe the notion of branding as far as ppl goes (or in general, tbh).

this was a good step b/c while i started biyuti publishing, i have taken a few steps back, as far as the daily management and stuff goes. i don’t want to be a public person. biyuti publishing has someone to do that now (nina). she can take care of all of this stuff.

one of the reasons i’ve stepped back from using ‘biyuti’ as my online pseud is because of this brand issue. back when i started biyuti publishing, it was meant to be a vanity project for myself. and because it sounded nice while incorporating my name. now, though, it is getting much, much bigger than I could have imagined. and i don’t want people to think that ‘biyuti publishing’ = biyuti = me. there are so many other amazing people getting published with biyuti publishing that i don’t want any of their work to necessarily be associated with me as an individual. with the publishing house, sure. but not with me.

i’m not really meant for the business/entrepenurial life. i just want to write. and think about things. i want biyuti publishing to be a thing that can exist without me, if it needs to. i want awesome twoc who may not like me still want to work with biyuti publishing. and i’m pretty sure this won’t happen if people think

biyuti publishing = biyuti = me

biyuti publishing is already bigger than me.

which is why i’m switched to blogging under my pen name that i use for biyuti publishing itself (ie, b. binaohan).

that way i can also exist as a distinct person from biyuti publishing.

another reason why migrating tumblrs was a good choice:

how much space i was taking up. i’m super glad that ppl enjoy my words and that i helped them out and stuff. but i’m not the only fantastic thinker out there. there is so much brilliance and genius expressed by people who have a hard time getting ‘exposure’ (whatever the fuck that means).

i guess what i’m saying… is that i don’t ‘fans’. i don’t. i want comrades. people i can work in solidarity with. i also want what othe rpeople want: to read and witness people and their lives that fucking fill me with joy and hope for the future.

and… this isn’t going to happen if i’m taking up so much space that no one else can get a word in.

i think people might be surprised at how few followers the biyuti tumblr had. i’m getting teh impression that some think i was/am far more tumblr famous than i actually was. the last tumblr had something like 1600 or so followers. a log. but not that much compared to a bunch of people i follow/interact with on a regular basis. i’ve never put any effort into building a large number of followers. not what i’m about.

esp. not when i’m still 100% convinced that whatever happens, my role in bring about a free future should never be as a leader. i have my set of privileges. and if we are talking about something like decolonization (as i often do), i need to take a seat behind Indigenous peoples and/or Black peoples — esp. Black women — and/or peoples currently in a iaopoc non-settler state (unlike me) and/or

if decolonization is to have any substantive meaning or the best possible chance for surviving, it cannot have me or people like me as the leaders. the leaders of a thing should always be drawn from the people most impactd by the thing. i have my struggles, but i am not that person. i cannot speak for those people. i cannot (should) not ‘lead’ them.

when i think about the future and how we can move towards freedom, the way i imagine myself is simply being primed and ready to go once the leaders have decided the day is now. my role, via my writing and other activities, is to help get more people get themselves ready to go, when the time comes. that is really it. this is where i see myself fitting in.

deleting my previous tumblr was a good movie. i have about 1/5th my previous levels of followers. i hope those other 4/5ths having found other wonderful people ot fill the void i didn’t leave behind.

Twoc Gather: First Post

strangely, the biggest thought i had last night as i was trying to sleep (it took me maybe… 20 minutes to fall asleep which is a reallly long time for me) and i was not so much thinking about the fact that i had just spent a day hanging around a bunch of twoc (which is amazing and i still haven’t eally processed he whole experience).

but i was thinking about how this was eaisly the most disability inclusive day that i’ve experienced. it wasn’t perfect because the venue was really shit for people with mobility disabilities. and we didn’t really do much to support people with anxiety and socializing difficulties. i’m sure there were a lot more things overlooked.

even so… i know, for me, i found the day significantly more accissible than any event i’ve ever attended. not because we did anything to specifically support my needs (we didn’t), but because of the general cultural difference around disability in the event/group.

yesterday was the first time i really felt like i could exist as a disabled person in public. my disabilities where mainly invisible, but i was still able to have a day mostly within my abilities and without feeling shamed about it.

example: i need breaks from activities. and i didn’t necessarily participate in all activities. but absolutely no one attempted to pressure me into doing things that i didn’t want to do. if i decided to sit an activity out. wander outside for freshh air (the room was stifling).

not a single solitary person tried to restict my movement or was up in my face about not wanting to do a thing. it was awesome.

also… re: autism and stuff. because of the community norms of how we established the space, people generally where encouraged to articulate their own access needs/boundaries. this shit is fucking perfect for me b/c i function much, much better in social situations where people have clearly defined the boundaries for acceptable ways to communicate/interact with them. it was soooo nice to not have to worry about ‘being awkward’.

that said…

one hting i relaize is really fucking missing from a lot of the discussion i’ve read/seen1: resolving conflicting access needs.

so. when we create these environments where people are safe and welcome to express their access needs…

what happens when these needs conflict?

it happened a few times yesterday and i wish i could say that they were all resolved… but they haven’t really been, not really. as far as i can tell, there really aren’t any guides or whatever for how to deal with this sort of thing. and even with all the work i’ve seen around these issues (re; accommodation), very few appear to address this rather important issue in an intentional way. once we are successful in creating a world that is even close to being universally accessible and inclusive, how are we going to deal with situations where two people with incompatible accesss needs want to (or need to) share space? so far, all of our solutions are ad hoc, which isn’t a problem on its own, because you won’t know what possible conflicts exist until these two (or more) people actually attempt to share space.

but we don’t have any cultural norms/capacities to actually know how to address this in a way that will maximize the access and dignity of both parties. and i really mean this. because sometimes these things won’t be resolvable. who gets to stay? who must leave? how do we deal with situations like this???2

last. and this is a part that makes me sad.

even though a lot of work as been done…

do you know how many times i caught people yesterday apologizing for their disability and needing accommodations?

this is a group where apologies for this sort of thing (shoudln’t be necessary and i know that none of the coordinators thought ppl should be apologizing. fuck. some of us where the ones apologizing).

i guess for me, since i don’t get out often and interact with ppl (oh, hi, agoraphobia), this is the first time that i really noticed how much being disabled reduces you to a beggar.

we become so used to begging, begging people/organizations/etc to accommodate us and meet our needs. so used to trying to appease systems and people designed to exclude us. so much time spent just fuckign hoping that we’ll even be accommodated for 1/10th of our needs…

that we apologize all the time for the most basic fuckign shit.

“i’m sorry i want to exist in a space that doesn’t make me dizzy, nauseaous, and vomit”

“i’m sorry i want to enter spaces”

“i’m sorry i can’t hear very well and you keep talking so fucking quietly”3

esp. since i know that many of us struggle with getting our, um, struggles recognized by the medical machine jsut to receive basic care. fuck, to even have our struggles validated so we can access care and be deemed worthy by the state to acccommodate.

i’m tired. and need coffee and i need to put on makeup. so. um.

yeah. i’m done here.


  1. i know i’m not necessarily the most educated or whatever about disability actiivsm and stuff so i know it is highly possible that this is being discussed somewhere. i hope to find this discussion somewhere.

  2. and this isn’t a rhetorical question. i do want to know. you don’t have to discuss this with me though, i just really do want to know.

  3. and just in case anyone thinks i’m trying to implicate anyone specifically, this was actually me, talking quietly. fortunately the HH person i was talking with was okay with telling me to speak up, but i did a pretty fucking terrible job of it.