Hey guys if you like my writing, plz be my friend/fan/follower on GoodReads. Also even if you have never read anything I have written but generally wish me goodwill and success. Also if you’re cool or want to try being cool.
I didn’t work a particular queer literary event at my theater job just for scheduling reasons, but it was one I had been interested in because every time I try to do a literary event I get suggested to talk to these people, and one of the bartenders was like, “It was gross. These are the people who like to make a scene about boycotting Woody Allen movies, but they asked us to make a custom drink called the Nabakov that was ‘12 year old scotch and a muddled cherry’. Fucking gross.”
Aaaand I’m looking forward to leaving Boston within a year.
Joan of Arc: Transvestite and Heretic……………………………………17
Who Were the Fairies?……………………………………………………….27
Homosexuality and Class Warfare………………………………………..41
Heretics: Women, Buggers and Free Spirits……………………………61
The Sacred Orgies of Witchcraft………………………………………….72
The Medieval Counterculture……………………………………………..88
The Mass Murder of Women and Gay People………………………..98
Sex Magic in the Early Third World……………………………………108
Sex Among the Zombies…………………………………………………..118
Magic and Revolution………………………………………………………137
Appendix: Calendar of Events……………………………………………153
Message me if you want a download link for this, especially if actually buying it is cost prohibitive. I, um, might have a lot of expensive books as pdf on similar topics, if you want things.
Every quick term to describe gender and sexuality falls short of the reality of people’s lived experiences, desires, meatsacks, and needs, so if you need to go to a “gay men’s” thing and a “non binary asexuals” thing and a “women’s” thing, seriously go ahead and do it, and just be aware of yourself but don’t let anyone side-eye you and say you shouldn’t be there.
Like if its a public or professional or health or creative thing it actually matters more how we treat one another once we’re there than that we fit some check box completely. Once we have acknowledged that gender and sexuality are about self determination, dividing by bodies is gross, and dividing by identity alone is impossible. Oops you thought I was a woman and then found out LATER I’m not and you’re annoyed. You had to find out later and THEN you got annoyed. That’s your problem.
Like the following used to annoy me a LOT but lately it’s like if some guy shows up and he’s all like “you know, I still really do feel connected to being a woman even though I transitioned, because shit is complex, and there’s some stuff here that would really help me”, or, “I’m kind still presenting as male and androgynous and I’m kind of both a trans woman and not really into either category” and someone else is like “I’m a cross dresser who watches a LOT OF YouTube transition vlogs and I just want to make friends and think” and someone else is like “I’m a punk queer woman and I’m OVER all of this”, I really think all of those people belong wherever they need to be at a given moment. Maybe they should just all hang out. Maybe they all find each other annoying. Maybe they annoy each other because society sees our resemblance at the expense of our distinctions and we learn to deny and resent any resemblance.
There’s obvious exception and that’s like private invite only shit and you and do that shit or let people do that shit, that’s cool. Every single thing that calls itself a space or a resource or a project needs to centralize a proactive approach to trans misogyny and racism. And then it’s like, I don’t want to be a member of any club where I can’t bring my friends with me. They’re really nice people.
"When does women mean women and when does women mean not-man?"
Christ, I don’t know. Never. Always. Sometimes. Once you leave behind medical determinism it’s all kind of context dependent. Shrug. Women are awesome. My values center around correcting the systemic devaluation of women and that semiotic thing where shit can stand in for women and femininity without even being women so all this gender oppression is related and we are kind of “Real Men” or “something else” and yet we are also so, so much more than that.
This author I like said women who see themselves as wounds, as imprints of violence, know more about themselves and the world than ones who see themselves as flowers because it feels empowering. Maybe that’s true or maybe that’s limiting or maybe it’s both at the same time because we live in an extremely strange world that is actually built on internal contradiction. Maybe multiple truths co-exist and that’s the point. Maybe that kind of liberalism is fence-sitting. Anything except “the way it is” and “destroying gender”, like something other than those two, please, though.
The point is, when someone is looking for a way to survive, be a good friend. It doesn’t mean coddling their biases, but it also doesn’t mean the anger you feel at them has any value in that specific interaction.
I’m not the guru on any of this but I’m weary of “community” and prefer friends. IME, Community inverts and replicates terrible interpersonal habits. Friendship saves lives.
A friend of mine who I trust and like very much and who is also going to be in a position of some responsibility in the military sent me a message about supporting trans people. He originally wrote:
Can we talk about the study into trans integration in the military? This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and would hope to be actively involved on when I am serving. I get that that money could go to much more important things, but what do you think their research will lead to? I’m interested in it from a leadership angle, too, as in: if one of my sailors identifies as trans, how can I support them, and how can I navigate that within the military?
I wrote back:
I think the last part of your question is the most important. The first part divides quickly into basically people who think inclusion is progress and people who see it as forgetting history. Though we can go there too. If you like, I can repost your questions to a wider audience.
This is why I ask you questions - you’re making me think about what’s implied even in the way things are asked. I’m thinking about how much hubbub there was about repealing DADT, and how it ended up not affecting operational effectiveness (which is what the brass is mostly concerned with) but I guess on the other side it doesn’t address specific attitudes and actions interpersonally within the military, i.e. how soldiers treat each other regardless of what policy is. I guess what I’m trying to figure out is — I have good intentions, but how can I be effective with those intentions, and how can I work to change the atmosphere?
I think I’m still figuring out what the question is, and what the preferred result is. Basically I want to be a good leader, and I think that a huge part of that is having my sailors feel comfortable so they can do well.
I think regardless of how you feel about trans people in the military or the military at all (I’m one of those folks who sees it as forgetting history, but I’m also pro-improving the lives of people right here right now w/e their reasons for being in it), lots of people who are trans pass through or serve in it at some point, and my friend is looking for advice on how to be an actual ally to trans people in the military as someone in power. I could give him some general feedback on how to support a non-misogynist and queer friendly environment in a very general way, but I’d love if I could send him some thoughts from people who are trans and have been, plan to be, or are currently involved in any kind of military service (doesn’t matter if you are out or not, though mention that if it’s important to what you’d ask someone in his position).
The moment I learned women could make sad, angry rock music with ambiguous lyrics about things other than relationships with dudes was when I heard some goth girls from the “alternative” high school cover Hole’s “Softer Softest” and post it on LiveJournal in 2003 or so.
I’m thinking about it now because Vaughn just put on some Hole and some T. Rex and, uh, all of a sudden Fleetwood Mac (I blame Austin’s influence, obviously) after we had a Lou Reed marathon and lay around talking about feelings and music and eating bagels. We have eaten at least six bagels I think.
I lay in my room recovering from my first time doing yoga, which kicked my ass, but also mentally just going over some things in my mind. I finally told my parents point blank that I will never be straight, or a woman in a way they recognize for what it means to me, and even the men I bring around are always going to be queer, too, and probably I am going to only date other trans and queer people forever, so can we please do something about the PTSD minefield that is Thanksgiving with our extended family.
Mainly this got me thinking about another thing which is never being able to be truly out anywhere I go. Max asked me “when did you come out?” and is taking a lot of pride and joy out of their own being out and vocal as genderqueer at work and elsewhere. I’m really happy for them but I had to answer their question as “I don’t know, continually, I both am and am not?” And it’s just frustrating because I have these guilty, twisted up feelings:
1. I want to apologize to the straight men who have genuinely tried to love me but for whom I could never do much but disassociate or be needy (overcompensating for disassociating) around. I enjoy sex with many kinds of bodies but I can never explain that having sex with straight men has never been quite what I hoped it would be, that there’s this dimension outside of what is happening descriptively that lets me know I’m playing the role of their observe and I just… can’t. I’ve cared deeply for and loved some men who happened to be straight and I never want to deny that part of my history but there’s always been something off about it, and I feel guilty because it was never as simple as “eww, men’s bodies” because what the fuck is a male body anyway. Breaking it down that way is false and childish for me.
2. If I mention having a girlfriend in a work environment, it’s not dangerous because anyone there is going to judge me for being “gay”, it’s dangerous because then work people try to add me on facebook or they tell me to bring my girlfriend to an event and then they stare when my girlfriend is this “dude in a dress” and I become so angry at the staring and I’m tired of “explaining” and it kind of makes me want to never bump into anyone I know from any job in any kind of social context. I experience other kinds of trans phobic BS for looking like “kind of a dude in a dress but maybe just an ugly fat chick????” but Max is the kind of person who is very visible in being so tall and deep voiced and loving so, so much to be the pretty pretty princess who I adore. As to co workers and random people on the train etc, I actually don’t want to hate people for literally not having encountered trans people before, for having an expectation that is the result of the same bullshit that most people are raised with or learn, but also like, I know the kinds of things people say and do because they say them to me before they realize who I am or who I love. And after, as well, depending on the nature of their weirded-out-ness. And people can get violent and then I will set everything on fire.
3. Max was really inspired by Red Durkin’s comedy in NYC and wanted to get some dresses and kind of coped with their anxiety about it by quoting Red the whole time. Which was great. We went into a boughie second hand store and they found some cool stuff and the woman was like “uh… so… are you waiting for someone or…. are these for you?” And Max was like “FOR ME :D” and the woman was being pretty nice like “ohh, ok, I wasn’t sure, well that’s cool, I saw this drag act…” and went on about some drag queens who came by to buy stuff, and I popped my head out of my own dressing room (the pants didn’t fit, THE PANTS NEVER FIT) and said “Max isn’t a drag queen, they’re just really pretty!” which is something I knew would make Max feel better and it did. The lady sort of was like “heh ok whatever” but the check out girl looked positively disgusted when we checked out with our ~gown therapy~.
4. I got an awful, sudden kidney infection this week and went to the ER Monday night. Max called out of work the next day and stayed with me while I recovered. They went back into work and mentioned taking care of “my partner”. Half their co-workers said “oh, how is he?” the other half said “how is she?” So I guess now we know who thinks they are what.
5. My girlfriend likes her dick and I like her dick too and I can never say “I love my girlfriend’s dick” because it means I’m “fetishizing” a trans person’s body even though cis lesbians love each other’s silicone dicks all the time and that’s super ok. Max likes aspects of their body and I like all of their body because I like them.
6. I’m definitely leaning more towards words like “genderfluid” than “genderqueer” lately, and being with another person who is like this has been incredible. I had a moment of clarity during sex when I said “Oh, I’m a lesbian”, like yelled it in the throes of passion, but it was in this way where being into female parts of myself has only ever felt possible when it allowed to come and go at it pleases, and that seems to be the case being with Max, whose all over the place too but then if I’m a person whose elsewhere into other people who are elsewhere it’s basically the literal definition of homosexual.
7. Ideally, I would love to never think or talk about gender EVER AGAIN in my whole life. In my day to day life, I talk about music and crushes and books and history and my job and travel and art projects. I hate that I keep thinking about it and that I have to keep explaining and defending myself to a.) myself and b.) th’ wurld.
8. My lover wants to though because they are still figuring out a few things, and I’m never going to not have those weird “uhh, THATs your girlfriend?” moments unless I keep talking about it.
9. If people think who I date is weird they will never want to know what’s actually going on inside of me AND YET also sometimes people do and they learn in their own way and it’s also easy to underestimate how accepting and rad the randomest folks will be.
10. I realized the love for my friends and human beings fills the role of love for God in my life and this has a lot of implications.
I was feeling sad and packing my suitcases to leave Blakes spare room and move back with my parents and being tired, but then I spent all night trading YouTube music and personal compliments with my friends and I ended up outright flirting with and then getting together with and kissing a very, very effervescent and brainy genderqueer goddess. *swoon*
I realized I’m really attracted to femininity in a way that can take any form or have any gender and I think this might be what pansexuals are getting at.
I like cerebral, prickly bitches with hearts of surgical grade steel that rest on velvet pillows, side lit by diner neon. Sometimes they are punk rock grad students or surreal artists or beardy scientists and sometimes they are tall dorky software developers in boleros.
They are always cat people, though. LOL.
Whenever I wear dresses or makeup to queer spaces, inevitably some wayyyy too excited cis femme (who 90% of the time has or has had multiple trans men for partners, and may or may not be casually not returning the phonecalls of their current trans lady date) comes over and is like
Butch privilege? Say what?
Ohhh yeah. I used to be a part of a facebook group focused on discussing misogyny and trans issues and queer issues and stuff and this person started posting about how people read as feminine women are more oppressed than people read as masculine women because “masculinity is seen as authentic and femininity as fake” and “masculine women/butches can blend in in male dominated industries and social circles” by “broing out” with the guys.
I was like, “Masculinity is seen as authentic IN MEN. In people read as women, a minimum of femininity aka slight tomboyishness COMBINED with certain body types (thin, probably white, probably cis) and industries can make you seem ‘down to earth’ but actually being read as a masculine woman is terrible in the greater world and in no way is my experience of being read this way have any perks in a male dominated industry. In fact people think I’m pathetic and stupid and I’ve been assaulted at jobs by men I was working with and for just for being there AND daring not to be their idea of what a woman should present as.”
The thread ERUPTED with academics and women’s college/gender studies types ranting about how femininity in this umbrella sense hands down results in more misogynist experiences and I was like “what no misogyny is like lightning it looks for the shortest route to ground it doesn’t work one for one like ONE LIPSTICK = ONE HARASSMENT???” and ONE woman piped in to say “um I’m fat and poor and perceived masculine and people think I’m mentally ill and this has had huge economic consequences for me, I think this masculine priv is not a thing and lesbros exist in a bubble?”
And then the original person was like “Yeah you WOULD deny the axis of privledge you benefit from. BUTCH/MASCULINE PRIVILEGE!”
Then I left the facebook group.
(I don’t even identify as a woman but I get read and treated as one MOST of the time and have a great radar for “what kind of misogyny are we experiencing today? is it standard issue Eww Vagina? Role Inversion Gay Panic? Does She Have A Dick Panic? Is That A Man or A Woman? Standard Ugly Girl Invisibility? etc)
Here’s a little comic I should draw:
A stereotypical butch and a stereotypical femme are sitting in a waiting room for a job interview. The butch glares at the femme and thinks nervously, “Ugh she’s going to get the job because she blends in better with what a woman should look like”. The femme glares at the butch and thinks, “Ugh she’s going to get the job because she’ll fit in as one of the guys.”
The job interviewer peaks out from his office and thinks, “Ugh fuck it’s either Barbie or Fugly.”
One time my college’s “Feminist Club” had a “pay equity bake sale” where cookies were 70 cents for women and 1 dollar for men. I pointed out these were statistics for white women and men asked them if the prices were adjusted for POC and if trans women got cookies for free due to their overwheming un and underemployment. The head of the feminist club had no response and told me I was picking fights and solidarity was the most important thing so I shouldn’t make them look bad.
Having self doubt? This is for you.
Playing hurry up and wait at La Cage aux Folles rehearsal and the headset commentary/chatter is about the erasure of trans women and gender variant people from media that features “drag clubs” and “gay bars” and other aspects of LGBTQ history where trans women, drag queens, cis het cross dressers, and lots of other kinds or both or all and their clientele freely intermingled (I learned a lot about this interviewing 80 year old trans lesbians for an oral history project, and side note the lesbian trans women are even more not mentioned, shocking) yet somehow get flattened into 100% gay men. And some of our gay men are played by cis women for musical reasons.
Anyway I’m impressed with the dude running the spot cues and his comments. “Casting the Cagelles with a few women kind of doesn’t make sense because they’re cis women but we needed them to hit the notes. If there were actual trans women in the mix it would make sense with some of the side characters who seem to prefer to live full time.”
(Though according to my elder friend, there were always some cis women among the crowd in what she called “cross dresser parties”* who were specifically romantically and or sexually interested in the intended guests…)
Interesting and impressed at the production staff making an honest effort at recognizing that history.
* I’m using terms people used for their own experiences and many of the over 70 trans women I talked to used terms and ideas that would be hurtful to a lot of younger women (like “GG” and the like), but I also respect their self identification and stories and am doing my best to quote things neutrally. Many older women I talked to emphasized that terms were of varying importance to them while relying on networks of people with very different identities for survival and social lives, like gay male drag queens, straight male transvestites, a handful of cis lesbians, and each other. Anyway cool stuff.
I’m writing a fantasy novel. It’s a re-imagining of Doctor Faustus where Faust is the last student of the Northern Renaissance master Albrecht Durer, who also happens to be a wizard. The entire third act takes place in 1960s New Jersey for plot leaps which will become apparent. Yeah I know. History is a setting in this novel, if you care about “accuracy” you are barking up the wrong gay wizard odyssey because nuns fly and artists travel inter-dimensionally and street queens go super saiyan on cops.
Even though putting something online can count as publishing it, and yes I would love to have it in print someday, I’ve decided to post a semi-polished draft in the form of regular updates on a webpage. I am doing this because I crave interaction through this very long term project and maybe someone will actually look forward to reading it. I have decided to use my own web space and not social media for this project because I’m feeling a little web 2.0. There’s a page counter and everything.
The working title is “Tragical” or “Tragical History”.
Spoiler for those who are looking for more queer reads, Mephistopheles (who will appear around ~20k words) is a trans woman and a lesbian of color (from bronze age Knossos), and eventually becomes the main POV character.
I have never written a novel before, but I am the author of “Greenhorn” in the LAMBDA Award winning book The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard and “Cordyceps” in the forthcoming Friend. Follow. Text. #StoriesFromLivingOnline.
Please share and reblog this if you think it would be interesting to anyone else (RJ? Might this be a thing your blog could promote?). I would really appreciate the visibility, and I know some people actually like reading on the internet. Please do not duplicate the content of the page itself anywhere without my permission, though. THANKS. I LOVE YOU. —Auncle K
|Me:||Queer women think I care too much about men's feelings and straight men think I have no capacity to empathize with dudes. When people say bisexuals have straight privledge when they date not-their-gender they are making a gigantic leap of assumptions about what that couple gets read and treated as by others. The idea that masculine women excel in male dominated fields because they can be one of the fellas conflates femininity with womanness. Misogyny has got me down lately. Nothing is enough for anyone. For the 3rd time in a month yesterday, I came out to someone as genderqueer trans and their first reaction was "ha as long as you don't make me call you ze or shim or whatever, right?" People love to tell me stories of an annoying genderqueer person they met who was "totally obnoxious about it". I was like why are you telling me this do you want me to assure you I'm safe and humble in my inability to feel good anywhere around anyone ever? That's all.|
This look is called “They Lost My Suitcase At The Airport So I Had to Buy Emergency First Day of Work Clothes at WalMart But Even Though My Job Is Very Physical Clothes for That Are Coded Dudely And I Can’t Get Taken Seriously Looking Like A Masculine Woman When I’m Making First Impressions Because People Think I’m Stupid, Sloppy, and Unprofessional So Here’s A Benign Muted Thing I Could Pass As An Office Lady But Still Maybe Sweat In”.
Sometimes I do take comfort and curiosity from something like a digit ratio. V and I used to be obsessed with ours before we transferred our obsession onto Meyers-Briggs typologies.
She’d be like, “look at how long my pointer fingers are” and I’d be like “look at how long my ring fingers are” (not look as in awe and glory but look as in hey notice this) and there’s a photo I have of us touching hands and that’s the context of the photo, two lovers looking over their and each other’s bodies saying “yes, see, look!” It was never mutually or implicitly exclusive with self determination blah blah chosen identity smash medicalization hierarchies. It was just interesting to us. We asked a lot, do we need these long fingers to feel real? Or maybe it’s as simple as, we should not ignore these long fingers.
I kissed her hands a lot. I’m a hand-squeeze-then-kisser. Today I noticed my current lover’s long pointer fingers. It doesn’t determine anything. It’s just interesting to me.
Long middle fingers, meanwhile, are bio destiny that you’re great at flipping people off.