17 March 2018

On passing privilege and 'male disposability' (whatever the fuck that is)

I want to write a thing.

And maybe in the writing and the telling, even if my words are pretentious and make you cringe with embarrassment something...anything...might be gained.

I am a member of, and somehow a moderator of, a discord channel. And in the last day or two or three, a person came into the advice channel and asked some questions about transition.

So far so good so what?



The question was, on the surface, innocuous:

"do you think i could pass if i transitioned?"

But here are the qualifiers.

1) this was followed up with statements that if they couldn't pass, they wouldn't bother.
2) coupled with a past message history (that i missed), which included such prize bon mots as:
"men were designed to be disposable, and as a man, that's makes me feel really hurt."

Wow OK.

Let's unpack this bullshit.

First off, transitioning to avoid 'male disposability'?

In a society that is entirely based around male dominance and a cishet capitalist patriarchy? Giveth unto me a break, cries this Julie.

Secondly...thinking that transitioning will somehow give you special privilege and power?

Listen...here's a tip...we really do not get checks from George Soros.

There are no secret power broker meetings.

Hell, the best you're gonna get is pizza, beer and a dozen of us comparing breasts and engaging in wild junk food fueled orgies with paeans to Bacchus and Aphrodite...

(girls, next week's the full moon, and the party's here. if you have any plus ones, please let me know, k? Thx)

But for real? For real for real?

The guy got kicked, and rightfully so.

And I was tripping balls on sleeping meds so I just remember being snarfy, and introducing a bunch of people to the word applesolutely.

But here's the bigger picture, ok?

It's an outsider perspective to think that transition is all about passing.

And hell, the dude even kept using male pronouns so you know he was either trolling, or...well, I think he might have been serious.

And hella dangerous.

We struggle with passing...passing does come with privilege, but it's hella not easy. It hinges on so many variables none of us can control.

And hell...I know I never will 'pass.'

But I don't care anymore.

And with that modifier 'anymore,' I obviously did at one point.

But age, genetics, body structure...I have what i have.

And cisnormative femininity is a) bullshit b) unattainable even by 95% of cis women, and c) dangerous.

Oh, and

D) bullshit.

It's so important I had to say it twice.

Passing brings with it a degree of safety, and I recognise that.

But safety for any woman is an illusion.

And for trans women? Doubly so.

Transition isn't a fetish thing.

It's about saving one's life.

And do you think that's dramatic? Do you think that's over the top?

It's bloody not.

Had I not started transitioning, I'd have killed myself...a fact that surely has some people out there wishing I hadn't.

Transition is saving my life by degrees.

And no, I won't "pass."

But I'll look ok.

I already do sometimes.

And yeah people will look at me.

But they already do.

And have for a long time.

And this isn't about fitting in.

It's not about accessing women's spaces.

It's not about throwing off the imaginary shackles of 'male disposability.'

It's not about getting the privilege of looking like a woman.

It's about staying alive.

And being real.

And yeah I get more than a little angry when someone acts like this is just some suit they can put on.

Because it's our life.

And we are not costumes.

And the sooner men/terfs stop with this fetishy 'womanface' bullshit, the better.

11 February 2018

Gaming as a trans woman

Hi, my name is Julie, and I play games online.

Please note the conscious non-use of the word gamer.

Gamer implies a community that I do not feel myself a part of. Gamer implies a community that I feel is not welcoming to me, and which hasn't been welcoming to me for...6 to 8 years at least, if not more.

I play World of Warcraft. I've played since late burning crusade. I off tanked or main tanked from Kara through tier 11 in cataclysm (so tier 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11). From there I switched to DPS main through Warlords of Draenor (which ha ha OpenOffice wanted to spell correct to Drano and it's funny cos it's true the expansion was like drinking Drano ha ha) (tier 12,13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18) because going vers and switching between the two for Legion.

I'm a member of a primarily LGBT+ guild on Wyrmrest Accord.

And that's about the only reason I still play.

To give you an idea, when I create a new character, after I get my UI set up, the next thing I do is leave both /trade and /general chat. I do this for my own well being. I do this for my own well being because even being in a queer as fuck guild, both chat channels are as full of transmisia, homomisia, racism, fascism (latent and otherwise) as you'd find in any online multiplayer game.

And this is an RP server...which automatically means a smaller population.

There's a reason why in wow a lot of queer people end up on Proudmoore, the unofficial LGBT server...and ever there there have been issues, including blizzard once banning an entire guild for discrimination because they were LGBT+.

Because it was discriminatory.

Yet people like Mark Kern will tell you "but we grew up, and changed the world, and invited everyone along. We didn’t care about your skin color or your gender or your disability. We just wanted friends and to share all our cool ideas and gadgets."

Yeah. right. OK.

Ask the black gamers who get to hear themselves referred to as...a whole list of slurs I will not write here.

Ask the queer gamers who get called fag, tranny, trap.

Ask the women gamers who won't get on a mic because they're terrified of sexual abuse/rape threats, leading other players to wonder if they're trannies.

Ask any of those about death threats.

Cos I know what I get in my whispers...in my DM box here on twitter...et cetera.

To say gamers aren't gatekeepers at all is the big lie. because they are. anyone who games and isn't a man has such a high hurdle to overcome just to be seen as worthy of being noticed, let alone heard...

...that the only way we end up feeling welcomed is to create our own walled off, gated community.

Which in the end is what they want.

They want us far away from them. In self imposed exile. So we don't sully their precious games with our presence.

Cos we're fake geeks.

Fake gamers.

Fake fans.

Ignoring for the moment that the player I learned to tank from was a woman...and queer. and a better thank than anyone I ever knew. In my second guild, my own guild master...a guy I was best woman for at his wedding, said in voice chat 'know how I know you're a fag? Cos you like musicals.'

Ignoring the fact that it's opera, but...this was someone I knew. Not a stranger, someone I gamed with every day. A...'friend.'

Or in the guild I was in in Mists of Pandaria...when I was soloing content and people were shocked...until they found out I was trans, at which time it was 'oh, it's cos HE'S a man.'

Yeah, I was welcomed alright.

So gamers...designers like Mark 'you're bullying me' Kern...all y'all can eat my entire trans ass and balls, because your ignorance is showing in every word you write. You don't see it cos it doesn't affect you. And for a group who claims so much oppression, such a history of abuse and bullying...you sure learned how to dole it back out...almost like you didn't learn how to be kind because you were once treated cruelly.

So I'm Julie.

I play games.

But don't ever call me a gamer.

10 February 2018

BDSM and aesexuality; some thought from your friendly local grey-ace

There is, I think, a kind of preconception that bdsm = sex.

Some of this, I am sure, comes from companies like kink dot com, for whom fetish and BDSM intersect in a very clear-cut way. it's not surprising...they >are< a porn company. and...their stuff is nicely done. I have massive respect for any place that does pre- and post- interviews, takes safewords seriously, and so on. i know there have been issues there (James 'yes I'm a scum-sucking rapist and should not even have a career now' Deen comes to mind), but the interviews afterwords stuff is something that i think should be standard operating procedure for any production company.

Sorry, long diverge there.

Point is, for so many people, their introduction to kink and BDSM is through porn...and that means that there's a preconception that the two are inextricably intertwined. And I am not going to sit here and say they can't be. Nor am I going to sit here and say they can't, or don't, run parallel.

From my standpoint...

Sex, for me, is a ritual experience. It's connection, It's mindset. It's not necessarily genital based. That doesn't mean it can't be...but it means for me it's unessential. Some of this comes from being grey-ace, some of this is because...well...the ritual of serving and service is a major thing for me.

Ritual is a thing I like. A lot.

And it is a thing that is found in BDSM for me.

(Possibly lengthy side note: one of my interests is ceremonial magick, and while talking with a friend a few nights ago, the idea of reworking a ritual to take into account my love of ritual in BDSM came up...and it's an interesting conceit, and one I'd not only be willing to explore, but script out, stage, and even film. It's the kind of thing I'd like to see, it's the kind of thing I don't see, and if magick is the act of creating in accordance with Will, the sheer act of attempting this means it'll be a success even if, or especially if, it doesn't all come across...because it is doing something New and Different.

Tangent over.)

The ritual of kneeling, of taking the collar, of reciting the safewords...the ritual of whatever follows...is paramount for me. It puts me in mindset. It prepares me.

And it does not have to end in sex.

For me, submission and sex and connected but separate. I submit when i ask permission. I submit when I take time to support and care. I submit when i do as I am told and go to bed at a decent hour in order to take care of myself. I will be submitting when i am told to do whatever Miss asks of me when I go visit. That may include pleasing Her. It may be washing Her back in the shower. It may be cooking, or rubbing her back. It may be offering my ass for a spanking that, in Her words...'a spanking doesn't begin until you wish it was over.'

Submission can be being restrained and being used for Her pleasure.

Sex is in there.

But I'd be just as happy if She got home and told me to stand, supplicatory, while She just observed me.

It'd just be a different, but equal, kind of happy.

Equally as intense.

Equally as ritualistic.


Because pleasing Her...making Her proud of me...is a high that i can't even begin to express in words.

My motivation for this lengthy word salad is this:

Last night I got a DM request from a now-follower asking about sex and submission/bdsm. Said new friend is ace, and she asked this:

"does a d/s relationship *have* to have sex, or can that aspect be removed without rendering the relationship moot?"

I'm sure, based on above, you know what my p.o.v. is. but here's how I replied in the moment:

"hey there :-)

I'm on the ace spectrum as well...demisexual, really, so a kind of grey-ace...but BDSM is very much separate from sex. the sad thing is that so much fetish video, for example, focuses on bdsm as a starting point for intercourse, but really the two are or at least can be very much separate.

For me, D/s is very much separate from any other kind of intimacy. i can and do happily submit without sex being part of submission. it does add to sexual intimacy, but not always in tandem. 

Long story short: you can so have a D/s relationship that is fulfilling to both dom(me) and sub without sex. communication is the biggest part...being on the same page helps so much :-)"

I know for some people the two are inextricable...BDSM is a kind of foreplay. and I think that is valid, and wonderful...and it's a thing that I love. so much.

But I don't need it.

And I know that's not an uncommon thing.

Sex is pleasure. It can also be a way of showing love. Or of glorifying and worshiping the bond between people.

BDSM is, for me, pleasure. It is a way of showing love. or of glorifying and worshiping the bond between me and Miss.

I want, and need, both.

And they will wind and parallel and intersect.

But even when they don't, the desire and need for submission to Her are part of me that wills out over sex.

So yes, Virginia...there's a place for you in the BDSM community as an ace person.

Because there's a place for everyone in the community.

And anyone who tells you otherwise is someone you'd never want to submit to in the first place.

Go forth, communicate openly and fully, and play safe.


09 February 2018

Pronouns, hashtag the resistance, and accepting blame

OK, 'tis vent the spleen time.

I wanna talk today about so-called progressives (also known as hashtag the resistance) and pronouns/respect for the LGBT+ community.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single person in possession of 'allyship', will eventually show that allyship to be worth the paper it's printed on, if that, as soon as confronted with a failing.
We joke that people will quickly correct themselves when they misgender a dog, but flip out when told that they misgendered a person.

The thing is, time and again it proves to not be a joke,but rather a sad reality.

Now, this has nothing to do with purity tests. it has nothing to do with not being good enough, or perfect. It has everything to do with never having been what they claim to be. When you mess up...when I mess up, it's incredibly easy to say 'shit. i'm sorry. what do you use?'

When I talk about enby pals, I try to check in advance to see if they use they/theirs, or so called neopronouns, or whatever.






...and then carry it on for an hour.

Or two.

Over 100 posts.

Give or take.


You make a mistake.




Move on.

Be better.

The worst part here is the fact that we're told over and over that we >have< to support democrats, we >have< to compromise, we have to give a little in order to get a little.

Thing is?

We have.

We were told to focus on winning the right to marriage for same sex couples. we did. we fought long and hard, even after being told that our rights are just too divisive, and if we can get this done then we can focus on trans rights.

And we did.

And they didn't.

And we're still divisive.

Our existence, we are told by our own community, is divisive.

And in the end, the ones fighting for us are...us.

But we're supposed to support the resistance, and democrats, people who really don't give two flying fucks about us.

Because it's duty.

And you can sit here and blame me for what happened in 2016. I held my fucking nose and voted for a republican rather than a fascist cheeto coloured fuckstain. I didn't vote for me...I voted against a greater evil.

And now we're supposed to just belly up to anyone who can't be arsed to even show us basic decency...who wants us to allow uniformed police who don't protect us to march in pride...

So while all y'all pink hat wearing pussy power being hashtag the resistance doing neoliberals sit here and belly up to the fascists just like y'all want us to belly up to you, well..

"I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks—is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have."

Call us radical.

It's true.

And I came here out of choice as much as because y'all pushed me here.

Because you made it clear that I...that we...are too divisive.

That we ask for too much when we ask you to use our fucking pronouns.

Because you made it clear that all we're worth are your table scraps.

06 February 2018

today (6 February 2018)

Today marks 14 months on estrogen for me.

Nothing pithier than that.

427 days.

And no many more ahead of me.

*pops cork*

rose mcgowan and transmisia, part 2

Now, I want to offer a part two to my ranty bit.

This one touches more on things that hit me and my community.

There are a lot of things TERFs use to try and manipulate the dialogue currently.

Things like

AFAB transwoman
Tim (trans-identified male)
TERF is a slur
Appeals to science, then...
Science denial
First off, trans is an adjective.

And they know that.

They say transwoman to separate us, because they don't see us as women.

Same with TIM. it's a separatist word to try and convince people that trans women are fake, liars, rapists, monsters.

They reject the opposite of trans...cis...because it's a made up term.

Well, language is an artificial construct...all words are made up.

And cis is a latinate prefix that means on the same side as...as in, on the same side as the gender assigned at birth.

TERFs prefer 'normal' to cis, because again they see themselves as the sole arbiters of what womanhood is.

They are all about abolishing gender roles...as long as they can still separate and deny women agency.
They see trans women as men, trans men as women.

They reduce womanhood to ovaries, uteri, vaginas and the monthly cycle/ability to birth a child.

They are gender essentialists who use the oppression of the oppressors to keep others down.

They use the tools used against them.

They use the tools used against all of us.

TERF is not a slur: it is an acronym that accurately describes their politics and position. they exclude trans women from womanhood, from feminism, and they do so gleefully and with great gusto for injury.

They attack us the way they are attacked.

They rely on Mendelian squares when karotype is far more complex.

They rely on 2nd grade science even when biologists tell them otherwise.

They rely on Eurocentric gender systems even when anthropology shows hundreds of societies that have or had non binary gender recognition.

They're bigots who lovingly sidle up to the far right/alt!Reich/fundamentalists...their enemies...because both hate us with the same quasi-religious fervour.

And if you watch...they go after people they perceive as more easily hurt...

The young
The newly out

They do this to cause the most damage.

They're like gaters and doxxers (in fact, many love to dox us) trying to get the best kill count they can.
The only inaccurate thing about TERF is the f.

Because they're not feminists.

They're in it for themselves and only themselves.

They don't care about women as a whole.

They care about their privilege and fuck the rest.

To link the two threads together...

Are people like rose McGowan TERFs?


What I know is they're ignorant as fuck, disregard lived experiences that do not match their own, and set themselves as sole arbiters. And they...and TERFs...need to be drowned out by other voices speaking the truth:

Trans women are women.

And they...we...don't want special rights.

We want the same rights.

Good night and good luck, friends.

05 February 2018

rose mcgowan and transmisia, part 1

(NB: this was written 3 February 2018.)

I'm gonna try and get as much of this out as i can while at work. this is a patented Julie long ranty heap of broken images thread.

Let's get some stuff out of the way.

1) I'm white.
2) I'm a woman.
3) I'm trans.

I am born with certain inherent privileges that come from existing in a system that has been built to benefit white people.

I am trans, and I face a lot of discrimination because of that, but I am still white. and trans women of colour face much greater discrimination and violence than I do.

I have privilege.

I feel every woman has a place at the table.

Trans women.
Trans women of colour.
Cis women.
Disabled women.
Black women.
Indigenous women.
Japanese women.
Chinese women.
Korean women.
Vietnamese women.
Latin and Latinx
Fat women.
Skinny women.
Buff women.

Women full stop.

And as a white woman, I sit my ass the fuck down and listen to people with other experiences and lives to mine.

I learn from them.

I don't speak over them.

I don't speak for them.

I learn, and I amplify with their words.

I don't ask them to do labour I can do.

For any woman to set herself as not only an arbiter for womanhood in general, but for the hurt, abused, raped, etc...

That's adhering to a patriarchal system that presses down on all of us.

Feminism, to me, should be a socialist thing. For everyone according to their need, from everyone according to their ability.

Some women need more right now.

And until we have a level playing field, we all need to realise this, accept this, digest this, and move forward.


People like Rose McGowan..Alyssa Milano...so many others...when we say white feminism, they are who we speak of.

What happened with Rose is not uncommon...especially from her.

It is not the first time.

It likely will not be the last.

We've all spoken about it before.

And no one listens cos hey trans women lulz.
We all have stories to tell.

And the only storied we can tell are our own.

None of us have the right to speak for everyone.

And those of us who have benefits because of the system that others do not need to use those benefits to uplift voices that are unheard/ignored.

And people who stan women like Rose McGowan..who cheer her as she shouts down a trans woman, who sits there and asks them 'what have you done for women,' who separate themselves from all women...are not feminists I want to ally with.

For all of us, or for none of us.

Those are the options.

Choose wisely.

(follow me on twitter @xycyberjulie to see these posts as they happen.)