Thursday, December 30, 2010

I love the princess!

Art made just for us, and about our lives is one of those things that makes loving ourselves and our identities just a little easier. So without further ado, I bring you The Princess:

The Princess is a web comic by Christine Smith about a young trans girl in elementary school and now *GASP* her non-binary friend Irma! I really can't express my love for this comic enough. It deals with honestly with trans issues and shows the painful process of a mother coming to terms with her trans child, but at heart it is a feel-good story bent on making you go "awwwww." Don't knock it! Yes I know you are a bunch of hard up activists, but you need some feel-good goodness, I know you do. If you are trans or a trans ally and you aren't reading this comic yet, you really need to start.

I really recommend you head back to strip #1 and read the archive through (it won't take long). The one disclaimer I will make is that the comic is about white suburban children and families, so if you feel like that narrative is too distant for you to relate to, you likely won't get as much out of this.

The comic updates Mondays and Fridays, so head over to and start reading before the next comic posts.


Keep it pink y'all,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holidays and Queer Family

One of the greatest things about being trans/queer is the family that we get to create with each other. Because we share a very experience of exclusion, when we come together we are able to form strong bonds with each other very quickly, even if otherwise our personalities are very different or even incompatible. Unfortunately, there tends to be a strong division between chosen family and bio family. Nothing brings out that division like the holidays. Queers who get along with living bio family (at least well enough to spend time with them) spend the time with them, often leaving the city centers where we tend to congregate, whereas queers without a bio family to spend time with often get left alone for the holidays.

This past xmas I got to combine the two families. I am lucky enough to have parents who support who I am, to live in the same city that I grew up in, and to have lots of wonderful friends, so I've made it a habit of inviting any of my friends who don't have a nearby bio family over to my parents' place for holidays. So on xmas I had two wonderful friends over. One friend, whose family is deceased, stayed over with us on xmas eve and spent all of xmas day with us. Also, another friend ended up at our house because she was supposed to spend xmas with her partner's family, but they ended up having a fight at the last minute. Both of these friends are dear to my heart and definitely part of my queer chosen family here in Boston. I have to admit that, as much as I wish the one friend had a bio family to spend time with and the other didn't have to fight with her partner, I was pleased as eggnog that their circumstances landed them at xmas with me. We opened presents, played Carcassonne (a nerdy board game, don't judge me), drank tea, played Carcassonne, watched the Venture Bros., and played Carcassonne. We played a ton of games of Carcassonne, seriously.

There wasn't really anything remarkable about this xmas with my parents and two wonderful friends. We just sat around in our PJ's and didn't do much of anything. I'm not going to have any real stories to tell at parties or anywhere else from it. But it was still one of the best days I've had in a while. Being close to these two wonderful queers makes me happy. It's ironic how unremarkable that phrase, “makes me happy,” sounds, because I really don't think the importance of it can be overstated. I wouldn't know or be close to these two friends, or many other friends that I have, if it weren't for sharing the bond of transness, and being close to them makes me happy.

Who makes you feel happy?

Keeping it pink with holiday love,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I love dancing!

Dancing is fantastic. Dancing was fun yesterday, it's totally a great time today, and tomorrow dancing will still be the best thing since cake. I'm talking about fancypants ballet, or well choreographed anything, I am talking about probably-a-bit-silly-looking, flail-my-arms-about-like-the-uncoordinated-white-hippy-I-am kind of dancing, because that is really the only kind I can manage. I love dancing!

I have met a lot of trans people who weren't very comfortable with dancing. At least it seems like a lot, I don't claim to have done a scientific survey. When I started living as trans, I avoided it, too, even though I loved to dance back when I was living as cis. It makes sense. People tell us that boys dance this way and girls dance this other way, and that only certain types of bodies look good doing it (we usually don't have those bodies). Of course we are going to feel awkward about moving our bodies. Well, I don't mean to trivialize that discomfort, but, to put it simply, SCREW THAT!

Dancing isn't just fantastic, it's empowering. Although hormones and body modification (and money) can help shape your body more the way you want it, to a large degree we get stuck with some body that grew up all by itself, and trans folks know better than anyone that the world around you just might not approve. But you can move however you want! You can pull out any dance move you want. You can emphatically express any level of femininity, masculinity, thirdinity, and/or you-inity you want (I totes made some of those words up). Dancing is a super fun way to take control of your body and to express your gender how you want to express it.

I never feel more at home in my body than when I'm dancing. Dancing has been a wonderful tonic for those times when I have felt the most dysphoric in my body. At times I wanted to have sex with a partner but just felt too ashamed of my own body to enjoy them touching me, so I took them out to a dance night to shake off that ick feeling and then back home for some horizontal dancing. ;) I'm down to dance any time, anywhere, at a club, in your room, at a house party, in front of my computer with headphones on, in public, whatever. So the next time you see me, let's strap up our dancing boots (dancing booties? teehee) and kick it! Music is preferred, but what the hell, I'll dance without it.

Now to be serious again for a minute in order to address two very important issues. Being able to dance is a privilege I have as an able bodied person. Also I have the privilege of having access to trans-positive and queer spaces where I can be physically safe dancing in public. As wonderful as dancing is, it simply isn't something everyone has access to. Second, the best way to have a great time dancing is to keep it consensual! Consent is sexy and genderfabulous, sexual assault and date rape are not. Just because you are shaking your body doesn't give anyone the right to touch, objectify, or abuse you. If someone comes up to you on the dance floor and grabs you without your direct permission, that is wrong, that is not ok, and you were not 'asking for it.' On the other side of the coin: you don't have the right to touch or objectify anyone else! If you see someone dancing and you want to touch them or dance up against them, get their consent first, and consent is the presence of a yes, not the absence of a no.

Ready to dance but still not sure how? No problem, I got you covered! Check this fabulous anti-oppressive dance video from Boston Sass Attack! They'll show you how.

Keep it pink y'all,

Monday, December 13, 2010


Yes, you got that right. This is a trans blog. This is a genderqueer blog. And it's going to be FUN!

I bet you weren't expecting that. If you have read trans blogs, like, ever, you know what we love to talk about. We love to talk about suffering. That's fair because we go through a lot of it. It's more than fair, it's necessary, it's great, and the internet wouldn't be the same without it. I read many of those blogs and comment on some of them, and thank you, every last beautiful one of you who writes, comments on, and reads those blogs for bringing our community along with the discussion.

But I can't shake the feeling that we are only painting half of the picture. I know we go through a lot of shit, but I know we are happy too, especially when we come together. I am lucky enough to live in Boston (USA), where there are quite a lot of us, and I am lucky enough to have lots of trans friends and acquaintances (oh what the hell, the acquaintances are friends too, I love them all to death). Sometimes when I hang out with these wonderful, beautiful, interesting, crush-worthy (I can't help it!) folks, we of course talk about things that hurt, but even when we do we are sharing heartfelt love and sympathy. Most of the time, though, we are joking and laughing, complimenting, talking about our fav new songs, showing off our sweet new clothes, going to open mics where we share our creativity, dancing our butts off at each others' parties and each others' events, and seeing wonderful trans performers.

Point is, we are fun, we are cool, we are vibrant, we are loving, we are fabulous! And it's not despite being trans, we are fun because of it. Being trans is fun. Whoaaaa there, you say. Slow down, you say, being trans is painful, it's so much harder than if I were cis. That's true, it is. I have suffered a lot in my life from being trans, from the years of loneliness and bullying in an all-boys high school, to the time in the psychiatric ward and under the thumb of the mental health system, to almost committing suicide, to losing nearly all of my friends, to abusing alcohol, to running away from home because my parents refused to accept my gender, to losing my job because the weight of being misgendered and stared all the time was just to much, to being queer bashed, and so on and so forth. But I would not give up being trans, ever. I love it, I love being trans.

I love being able to decide my gender. I love being able to wear different clothes and signal different genders from day to day, or even within the same day. I love that smashing up against the walls of gender has freed me from the ridiculous confines of its judgments and narrowness (seriously, I feel like the one eyed person in the land of the blind, which makes me QUEEN). I love being interesting, damnit! When it comes down to it, cisgender is just so boring. (Fashion queen mode) You're... you're gonna do something about this whole thing you've got going on, right? Listen, honey, did you even think about your gender before you went out today? We're gonna work on this, when I'm through with you, you'll be genderFABULOUS (end fashion queen mode).

So this blog is going to be dedicated to the positive experiences of being us. That doesn't mean hiding the suffering. It means acknowledging the suffering, but keeping it uplifting. And it definitely does not mean avoiding politics! But it does mean that, on this blog, we are going to approach our politics and our desire to bring down oppression in the light of building enjoyable community and just being happy with ourselves. Let's not forget why transphobia is bad, after all. Transphobia is bad because it makes us hurt, because it bars us from being happy. So let's fight back against transphobia by being happy! Being happy is the most revolutionary thing that we can do. This is a space for us, those who have gone through so much pain because of gender, to be happy. Here, we are going to practice being happy with ourselves, happy about gender, happy with the beauty in each other. Ok I can sense you feeling guilty already! It's ok to feel pain, and, like I said, don't hide it, bring it here, tell us about it, let us know it's there, and then just try, even if a little energy is all you can muster, just try to join in our little trans community of fun.

What can you expect to see on this blog? Well, fun, duh, I've said that enough. I'll be relating amusing stories and my thoughts, and I'll also be posting about awesome trans performers/artists. Likely I may be posting some stuff not trans-related that I just think is cool and y'all might enjoy. Also, hopefully, you'll also see what you have to offer! If you have stories, jokes, insights, thoughts, videos, whatever to offer, please do send them in and I'd love to post them.

Why the name? Well, I volunteer for this wonderful organization called Black and Pink, a volunteer-run group that connects trans and queer prisoners in the US with pen pals like you and me outside of the prisons. (Check out the website,, to learn more or get a pen pal!) I recently got a letter back from my first pen pal. She said that she didn't want to write about how awful it was being in prison, she wanted to "keep it pink" and talk about positive things. I mean, wow, that's impressive. I thought, if she, a trans woman in a male prison, can keep it pink, so can I (and I was also definitely no question about it adopting that phrase). So here I am, on a blog, keeping it pink for all of you!

Keep it pink, y'all.