Five Things On My “Happened To Me” List

So this week was one filled with some interesting twists. Not quite a “To Do” or bucket list but close enough.

I was targeted by Gender Identity Watch as a “anti-lesbian lesbian blogger” because I am an ally to the trans community. This is commonly known as being “TERFd” which you can learn more about at TransAdvocate. It isn’t particularly fun to be TERFd, but this is far less awful than how this group treats actual trans folks. Please do me a favor and don’t respond to them. I’m sharing because it is important to know some of the terror inflicted on trans folks in the name of feminism. We need more feminists and lesbians to push back by standing up for our trans sisters in particular. How can you be an ally to the trans community today?

I had a tweet published in the October 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan. Now that’s something I never expected. Plus, they paid me $50 for my tweet. I donated that $50 to the funeral expenses of Alejandra Leos. I haven’t actually found a copy of Cosmo yet, but I do know the tweet was about bisexual visibility. So that’s cool and a bit weird in the same moment.

Cosmo magazine
Yep, I have a tweet published in this issue. Oh my!

I had my debut exhibit in an art exhibition – Artistic Vision Pgh – Friday night in Garfield. At the former Quiet Storm on Penn Avenue. I have to admit that I was pretty awestruck by that. The event was so nice and the other artists (the real artists?) were super nice. I have a terrible time with names/face but I was so pleased to meet them all. It was one of the genuinely nicest art experiences I’ve ever had – I usually hate these things because people are a bit pretentious. Not so with this crowd, not so at all. I felt really good about myself after being at this event. What a gift!

art of blogging
The art of blogging

My post “Top Ten Brad Takei Moments” got a new boost from BlogHer – I’m now an entertainment blogger! Does this mean I can write off my cable expenses? Hmmm.

We started with TERF so let’s revisit that for my final “thing” on this list – tonight, I’m going to see lesbian singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick perform at Club Cafe. Ferrick performed at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and we discussed briefly when I interviewed her. I disagree with most of what she said in defending her decision, but I can appreciate that she engaged me in a rational conversation lesbian to lesbian. I’m going to the show because I believe in supporting queer artists and I want to keep the dialogue going. I don’t need Ferrick to respond to my being TERFd, but I do wish she and other performers (like Pittsburgh native and queer comedian Gloria Bigelow) were more vocal about the actual harm being done to our trans sisters. In fact, I’d invite them both to watch this episode of sisTers, particularly the segment on “The Stroll” in Downtown Pittsburgh where young transwomen engage in sex work to survive after being rejected by their families. I”m sure they won’t because the only person in Pittsburgh willing to talk about The Stroll is Joe Wos, a middle aged white straight cis heterosexual man. He gets it because he works on that street and sees what happens. Not a single other community leader I approached was willing to watch the video much less talk about it. I’m going to talk about it. A lot. Every chance I get. Because it is related to things like lesbian music. Have you watched the video?

In all seriousness, this was a strange week. People seem really impressed by the Cosmo thing which is very odd to me because I am not a Cosmo person (girl?) People seem underwhelmed by the murder of Alejandra Leos or the struggle to pay for her funeral which is very sad to me and a harsh reminder of how racism is a queer issue. And frankly people were more worried about how I felt about being TERFd than about how my trans friend felt about being TERFd. I appreciate the empathy, but really … this is not the worst thing to happen to me. Most of the awful things I experience as a blogger or activist start with other queer people.

Can I be a Cosmo girl anti-lesbian trans-ally lesbian blogger? I guess so.

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