Daily Archives: July 31, 2017

Queer People Deserve Nuanced, Dynamic Conversations About Our Bodies

It is undeniable that how we experience our bodies is often impacted by the identities we hold. I’ve known this deeply as a transgender, queer, and mentally ill person, trying to navigate self-love and body acceptance in a world that routinely denies my humanity and my worth. Our bodies are, perhaps, the most politically-charged battleground that we know; how we honor, protect, touch, and understand them often collides with the de/valuing of those same bodies in the culture at large.

Having conversations that acknowledge this complexity is a rare thing. Queerness, by its very nature, complicates the way that we move through the world — and by extension, the relationship we forge to our bodies and to each other. It’s worth talking about, and yet we are only beginning to collectively unravel this dialogue.

I’ve never known a queer person who hasn’t had some kind of complicated relationship to their body. Dive deep, and you’ll find there’s an abundance of perspectives and experiences. It’s normative ideas about what queerness “looks” like; the privileging of some bodies over others; the ways in which embodied violence intersects with different oppressions; the ways that our aesthetic and expression codes our gender, sexuality, and community ties; the notion of who is most and least desirable; the suggestion that only binary experiences exist; and the erasure or inescapable visibility of our queerness depending on how we present.

If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. We could talk about this for days and still only scratch the surface.

So when we consider mainstream ideas of “self-love” and “body love,” it becomes apparent that what queer people need from these conversation is real nuance. It is impossible for queer folks to have these conversations without some kind of acknowledgment about the unique ways we connect with and disconnect from our bodies — especially when we consider our bodies a site of struggle, trauma, and even violence.

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When Elizabeth Cooper invited me to be a part of the Queer Body Love Speaker Series this year, all of these messy, half-formed thoughts really came to the surface for me. We need spaces like these, and we need vulnerable, dynamic, layered conversations from a multitude of perspectives.

We deserve unique resources that help us untangle the messy profoundness of our queer bodies, at every intersection they live in. We need to move beyond Lisa Frank bopo and stretch mark selfies, and sink our teeth into the very real work of queer liberation, beginning with our bodies and extending to one another.

I’m so excited to be able to share the Queer Body Love Speaker Series with my readers. It’s a series of video interviews with queer activists, leaders, and artists that expands the conversation of “body love.” It’s such a rare, accessible (the whole thing is transcribed!), and wonderful resource for queer folks and those that love them. It’s been inspiring to watch this unfold as both a viewer and a participant, two years in a row now. It’s easily one of my favorite projects I’ve ever had the honor to be a part of.

This year’s question is one that I’ve grappled with a lot since beginning this work: How do we love ourselves, our bodies, and each other in the face of oppression? 

Elizabeth invites you (and I do, too!) to explore this question with our amazing crew of queer speakers. She writes:

Personal and spiritual development in the Western world often tries to forget that we are humans living in bodies in society. And… we are humans living in bodies in relationship to other people. Our cultures and the systems we live in affect how we see ourselves and literally how we feel in our bodies.

It makes sense if you’re struggling with really experiencing your own, embodied sense of self worth. Most mainstream cultures teach us to de-value our authentic selves.

And there is another way.

Choosing self-love isn’t an individualistic endeavor. We need each other. We need to hear and know that we are not alone in the struggle to love ourselves. We need possibility models, hope, inspiration and practical ideas and tools to support us in really committing to self-love.

That’s why I’m so excited to share these amazing interviews with you. It’s time to explore what it really means to take pride in all parts of ourselves. It’s time for us to learn from each other how we CAN love our ourselves and each other in the face of oppression — and through it, to the other side.

You are so worthy. Let us show you how you too can believe that.

This is a resource that creates real opportunities for self-insight, healing, and community-building. If you’re interested in learning more, I encourage you to check out the website here and consider signing up! Not only did Elizabeth interview me and some incredibly rad activists, but my cat, Pancake, makes a guest appearance as well… so it’s obviously worth it.

See you there!

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Winding up the Summer

My oldest is coming home this week from her internship–she’ll be home until the 19th when she moves in to her dorm at the W.  We’re going to New Orleans for a short trip to see the Bible Museum at the Baptist Theological Seminary and to eat some good food.

The little one  Is still having some itching in her ear but the doctor said to wait until she was completely done with her anti biotic before worrying about that.  So we will see how that works out.’

I sent out a bunch of stuff this weekend and am  hopeful for the future that someone will pick something up.  We will see.  Everyone wants micro-this and flash-that, so I am sending out shorter pieces. I just hope I just get more responses now that July is over and more people  will start reading again  now that the summer is almost over. We’ll find out.

Still waiting  on the school to let me know if I will teach.  We will see what happens with that.  I am easy about it knowing it’s in God’s hands now

Hope everyone has a good beginning of the week and a  good end to their summer.

 


Reblog – The Next “Leg” of My Journey

Originally posted on My Medical Musings:
It’s nearly 3 years since my left femur snapped in two. Those first two years I can barely remember. It’s a blur of surgery after surgery, hospital stay after hospital stay, recovery after recovery.…

Frogs on My Skin

To give an inkling of how stressful my weekend has been…While driving earlier amidst the chatty Kathy doll in the backseat that is my child…A fly landed on my arm repeatedly and I seriously thought, I am so sick of these frogs getting on my skin.

Bizarre, fucked up, all that jazz, right? Not really a novelty, though. My brain is constantly substituting wrong words in my head and out aloud. (Have you read my posts, hello???I am not stupid nor bad with spelling nor illiterate, my brain JUST DOESN’T WORK RIGHT.) Least I have an idea where the ‘frogs’ thing came from. I was playing frog vs Shopkins with my kid earlier (the little plastic toys) so apparently I had frogs on the brain and metaphorically on my skin. Hmmmph.

Friday wasn’t awful. Mrs. R called and invited us to go for a car ride to the boondocks so she could pick up some dollhouse for her grandkids then she took us out for ice cream and back to the house for wine and lots of whine (Spook had to endure hanging out kid free, all the while bemoaning her boredom and how unfair it was for her to be so bored. Welcome to my life, kiddo.) R had a friend over he’s trying to teach guitar to, which of course, I was not warned about so that made me a little ill at ease. Oddly, the guy is from the neck of woods near where I threw up, er grew up, so his country ways were more welcome than the normal uppity company the R’s have. My kid acted like a spazz, saying it was creepy to be around two men playing guitar and she acted like Mrs R was gonna bite her and she was ‘nervous’. Yet she spends three days miles away from me meeting various yahoos my dad knows and she’s fine. The kid is turning my brain to Jello.

Saturday started out okay. Then dad darkend my step and informed me one of the kids Spook had played with during her time at their house had been found to have a louse in her hair. And BAM, down came everything crashing. I instantly checked my kid’s hair, having noticed almost no itching or anything visible and yet…I found two live buggers and a mix of nits and dandruff and scalp pieces. Into treatment mode we went. Tons of laundry, combs, brushes, mayo, conditioner, five different shampoos and conditioners, combs, tweezers…What a fucking nightmare. And doubly grueling cos I go ahead and treat myself with no proof I have it because I just won’t risk it. SEVEN times even after being told about lice and sent away her brat ass friends knocked on the door. Which made me get my yell on. (Horrid time to run out of real cigarettes, nerves toasted and roasted.)

Plus side, no friends, little stress. Spook and I got along ok.

Suck side, I lost my suck ass phone somewhere Friday night and no idea where and calling it from another line won’t help cos it was on vibrate and almost dead. Now I have to replace the damned phone at my own cost when I do not have the extra money and meanwhile, no one can reach us and I can’t even dial 911 cos I have NO PHONE. In a way, it’s a relief. They can accuse me of ignoring them but when you don’t have the phone to ignore, they’re the jackasses. Not a relief, having to cough up money for another phone. I hate phones but with school starting, I gotta have one. Not to mention it’s my alarm clock too so Spook and I overslept and she couldn’t go to church today even though I’d cleared her hair.

I kept her inside until 1 pm and the kid shocked me by tearing into her nightmare closet mess and bagging up junk and old clothes and tossing them out. I was so proud of her for taking initiative and bursting into action. I, on the other hand, woke to find my shark week had arrived way earlier than usual (often happens when starting a new medication and hormones fluctuate, I did the research, it’s happened a few times with new meds.) Anyway, no smokes, shark week=bitchy listless Morgue. Kid was doing all this stuff and most I did was feed indoor and outdoor cats and wash dishes. In all fairness, I busted my ass yesterday with all the treatments, washing, vacuuming, dishes, cat care…

She decided after cleaning and three kids knocking that she was done and I said, let’s go through your hair again to be safe and so…tantrum began and she pouted in her room a half hour. Then she came out and let me comb and pick through her hair and I relented. Only to have yet another day of kids in my yard, asking for food, and her bickering with everyone or getting a booboo every five seconds. By the time she came inside, I was ready to drop into bed. But no, I had to play the Shopkin/Frog/Hello Kitty game with her and I set an amount of time because it was nearing bedtime and as usual..She kept trying to barter for more time by using guilt trips and accusations of neglect. Even after I let her have the TV to watch cartoons and asked for TEN SIMPLE MINUTES WITHOUT MOM MOM MOM…Ninety seconds in, there she was in my doorway, mom mom mom.

I should be bald from yanking out clumps of hair.

Speaking of hair, I really found I hated the way the dye turned all pink and orange this time so I dug out a box of black dye that’s been there for months and mostly went back to black with a few patches of the pinkish orange pieces. Which are likely gonna be dyed purple at some point. Because I can and because it’s fun to freak out the local rednecks who think anything but denim and flannel is “freak show” territory. Idgets.

Now she is finally out for the night and I am waiting for my Xanax and melatonin to kick in. I have shark week spinal pain and I just want to rest. It was the weekend from hell and I earned a rest. I say so.

Three…more…weeks. Then school starts and my nerve endings may actually stop fraying and bursting into flames daily. A mom can dream…