dashingdeviant: (Default)
2009-09-03 07:41 pm

Losing Yet More Faith In Humanity

You know, as much as I try to believe that people are inherently good and the dominant culture fucks people up, it's really fucking hard to hold onto that sometimes. Heckling someone over her fears about losing her home because of her medical conditions when she's trying to open up to you and be honest? Really? When does that become an okay thing in someone's mind?
dashingdeviant: (Default)
2009-06-22 10:14 pm

A Further Response

Given that Cedar publicly posted hir response, to keep things totally out in the open:

To CT Organizers and Community,

I want to echo Kat's sentiment, and am also deeply tired of academic masturbation as both communication and a silencing tactic. Also, Kat is correct that in our deeply broken culture, most abusers do not see themselves as being abusive, coercive, and assaultive. Abusers always justify and rationalize their actions to themselves such that they do not see themselves as violating another's autonomy and person. It is a part of their mindset that they do not see themselves as having enacted violence.

Furthermore, Hazel's intent is meaningless. What matters are that hir actions against me were, as I again reiterate, coercive and silencing. And the suggestion of a "bilateral accountability process" is absurd, is silencing and revictimizing of me and other survivors. What sort of community do we want to live in? One where when survivors are supposed to be accountable to their abusers? Should I be accountable to someone who raped me - let's not pretty things up to hide what's going on, coercing someone into sex IS rape. What am I to be accountable for? Sex not being pleasurable enough because I wasn't willingly engaged in it? Upsetting a perpetrator by openly and honestly making the community aware of their actions to get help in holding them accountable and getting support as a survivor? Refusing to be silent about someone who has perpetrated violence against myself and several other people that I am aware of? Defending myself and my community in the way that consistently does the least harm? Really, this request is ridiculous and demonstrates either just not getting it on a very basic level, or a conscious attempt to manipulate the community through co-opting the language of survivors to serve a perpetrator.

And if the attempt to manipulate the community isn't conscious, but is an unconscious thing, that is terrifying.

I'd also like to raise a big "huh?" to ze having "found out secondhand" what I wanted of an accountability process; I clearly stated that in my original call out, which went out to several lists ze is on.

Ze clearly does not wish me the best; if ze did, ze wouldn't have raped me and coerced me into a relationship in the first place. And how can ze wish for the community to acknowledge that there is a problem with violence before hir can acknowledge hir own? I hate to be a total hippy and say something along the lines of "true change starts from within", but when you've got a definite repeated problem of using violence and coercion, it's ludicrous to say the community needs to acknowledge that that occurs within the community before you recognize that you're a major perpetrator of it. So, talking about what the community should do while ze continues to deny responsibility and accountability and attempt to blame the victim is Cedar covering up hir heinous actions with pretty words.

I do, however, view hir stepping down from being a cat-herder -- and once again, I'd like to echo Kat in that we have no leaders (or, we are all leaders) -- and view it as a necessary, but far from sufficient, step in this process.

In joy and struggle,

Gauge Sparkly Purple Unicorn Freyjasbarn
dashingdeviant: (Default)
2009-06-12 11:15 am

To the radical queer/trans community

Dear Camp Trans Campers, Working Group Members, and other members of the broader radical queer/trans community,

I had been hoping to avoid making a public statement, but unfortunately, the actions and decisions of the perpetrator make it the only option to insure that ze will be held accountable, and that my safety needs will be met if I attend Camp this year.
Hazel/Cedar perpetrated sexual violence and coercion against me, coerced me into a relationship and coerced me to stay in said relationship through veiled threats of spreading lies about me and destroying my reputation in the community, constantly tried to distance me from my support network, has regularly made false accusations against people I love, and has consistently silenced my voice and attempted to control my emotions. Now ze is making accusations against me in an attempt to get me to not hold hir accountable, deny being abused, and set myself up to continue be abused by hir. All accusations ze has made about me are categorically and totally false, and undoubtably, so will all future accusations.
Ze coerced me into having sex with hir in May of 2008, using pressure tactics that would keep asking the same question over and over again until I broke down and said yes, meanwhile continuously violating my personal space more and more. Ze also coerced me into performing oral sex on hir without a barrier, which I previously said I absolutely did not do with casual hookups, and coerced me into performing various BDSM activities that I said were not an option at all for me that night.
Ze then decided we were in a relationship, and I was afraid to tell hir no to. Ze also began to try to separate me from social contact with anyone else in Philly in June of 2008, constantly demanding my attention, especially when I seemed to be talking to or otherwise occupied with anyone else. Ze attempted to continue this behavior at Camp Trans 2008, but, luckily for me, parts of my support network that ze refuses to deal with were there, and thus I was able to successfully interact with people other than hir.
Throughout the course of the relationship, ze constantly slandered the people I love and am close to, most notably Oliver, Kat, and cen, and also, upon my break up with Katie Kaput, ze told me she had said things about me that were completely false, causing me to avoid her for several months. Only by bumping into her and talking to her was I able to discover that conversations on the topic never even occurred between her and Cedar.
Throughout the relationship, ze tried to control my opinions, beliefs, and emotions, telling me what I was allowed to feel and think, and telling me that having certain, incredibly justified emotions toward anyone or anything was inherently oppressive, always with the implied threat that ze would attempt to destroy my reputation in the broader community if I did not keep myself silent.
In late April of 2009, ze attempted to silence my discussion of my experiences as a psychiatric survivor, and my position against psychiatric drugs, drugs which have caused me permanent neurological, physiological, and cognitive damage. Ze immediately twisted statements that I made, that had nothing to do with hir (especially since I am well known for supporting harm reduction, individual autonomy in medical choices, and the fact that one approach does not work for everyone), into statements about hir and hir choices, and then proceeded to make other false statements that had nothing to do with the topic at hand that were calculated to hurt me and scare me into silence, and to also hurt people I care about. I took this breaking off of contact as an opportunity to get an abuser out of my life, guessing (correctly) that ze would begin slandering me no matter what I did, and decided that I would handle the situation, if I decided I was able to attend Camp, with my support network as Camp approached.
Ze then recently contacted me again, trying to force an apology out of me, expecting that I would resume a relationship that I never wanted to be in in the first place, and had only been terrorized into in the first place. Given that it is not the responsibility of the survivor to work on their abuser, I briefly stated that I did not consider hir to be my friend or lover, said that ze had used coercive tactics against me, tried to separate me from my support network, and that ze had tried to silence me as a psychiatric survivor. I told hir that I wanted hir to go through an accountability process, and that I wanted no contact with hir until, at the very least, that occurred. What I wanted and expected was that ze would talk to someone known to the both of us to start that process, and that I could talk in more detail to that person, as I have no desire or ability to talk about my experiences of sexual assault and abuse with the perpetrator of that abuse, especially one who has abused multiple other people and had already begun false accusations against me in ways that while I would not immediately hear them, ze knew I would find out.
Ze instead made further false accusations for me, including that I was only doing this because ze had been a perpetrator before, and that accountability processes were power plays, and once again engaging in victim-blaming. This is a classic tactic of serial perpetrators: the fault always lies with their victims, and never with them. Even if they admit to having committed abuse before, that is just being used against them, rather than it being a pattern of behavior that they have failed to truly be accountable for and even attempt to change.

What I want:

-Is for the entire community to know that Hazel is a serial perpetrator, and for ze to never perpetuate abuse against anyone again, whether by people knowing that ze is a serial perpetrator who refuses to be truly accountable for hir actions, or hir actions actually changing.
-For the slander and false accusations against the people I love and myself to stop, and for ze to stop attempting to create rifts in my community here in Portland and the larger radical queer community.
-For hir to recognize that I have as much of a right as ze does to be involved with Camp Trans, and that as a survivor of abuse perpetrated by hir, I always have priority in access to spaces there over hir.
-I want this entire process to be transparent, as I believe that silencing survivors' voices and/or forcing them to rely on private communications is shaming and lets perpetrators keep perpetrating.
-If and when ze does enter an accountability process, I will clarify and work through how I want these things to be achieved.

What I need of the Camp Trans community:

-support in insuring that ze will not be in spaces I will be in at Camp.
-ability to work on specific projects related to Camp Trans without Cedar being involved; right now I am focused on the Race and Class Inclusion committee and medicking at Camp; other than that, I will likely put on a workshop and a performance, but right now I am unable emotionally to do any more than that. Also, I am still not sure if I will be able to attend Camp, emotionally, due to the extensive involvement Hazel has in organizing it and hir attempting to run all planning of Camp through hir.
-Help in making sure that Camp is a safer space for myself as a survivor of sexual and other abuse from someone involved in organizing Camp Trans, and also for members of my support network, who have been targeted by false accusations and attacks on their reputations by Hazel.

Once again, I wish that this statement weren't necessary, but given the unwillingness of this perpetrator to enter into an accountability process, and hir lies and false accusations against me, a survivor of hir abuse, I felt the need to set the record straight and put out in the open events that have personally hurt my ability to work with Camp Trans, and, I also believe, have hurt Camp Trans as a whole.

In joy and struggle,
Gauge Sparkly Purple Unicorn Freyjasbarn
dashingdeviant: (Default)
2009-05-08 03:40 am

Actual Solidarity

(posted in the feminist community over at LJ, which gets frustratingly navel-gazey)

So, there was a navel-gazing post here that was deleted that came across as a total "love me, I'm a liberal" and "give me my good ally cookies" post. And this is why I personally hate the term ally. The people who have privileges I don't who are side by side with me, speak up and take action on issues that affect me and their privilege lets them ignore, I know are good people who get it. They don't need to tell me they're my ally, I know they're with me, because I'm side by side in struggle with them. And when I go out and stand up for things that I have the privilege to ignore, that's how people know I'm in solidarity with them.

Really, all this talk about thinking differently and how much someone recognizes their privileges now and is a good ally,leaves me unimpressed and not wanting to hand out cookies. To everyone navel-gazing about their privilege and how good of an ally they are, were you in the streets on May Day? Do you know how your community treats houseless people? Have you tried to do anything about it? Do you know how busted the DSM-V committee stuff is for both trans people and sexual minorities? Educated anyone on it? Done anything about how the continued increase in militarization here and abroad affects poor and working class people, people of color, and especially poor and working class POC and is a significant part of the US's imperial ambitions ever increasing? Done anything to try and stop it? How's the police brutality where you are -- done anything about that -- political pressure, copwatching, etc? Know anything about the intersection of fatphobia and sexism that is behind United Airlines new policies? Done anything to support people stigmatized by psychiatry so that they don't get forced hospitalization and forced treatment? Done anything about how the prison-industrial complex is wiping out communities of color, and basically uses prisons as slave labor for multinational corporations and the US military?

I get it, you care so much that you navel gaze all day about how you've got privilege, and that you really wish that people weren't oppressed. Going on and on about it makes it all about you, and a whole bunch of talk about your experiences coming to terms with your privilege was oh so hard for you is just empty talk, and guess what? Being oppressed is a lot harder. And in case anyone hasn't noticed, we live under a massively oppressive system that is crushing our hopes and dreams and killing us and our friends and families every day. The system isn't going to smash itself while you navel gaze. We all need to work to tear it down, and a lot of that work is going to be hard, thankless work, a lot of it is going to be anonymous, a lot of it is going to be frustrating because it seems like we rarely win, but together we are strong, we can do this, and we can live in a world where we aren't oppressed, where us, our friends, and our families are safe. But you can't be involved in struggle for recognition, to soothe your liberal guilt, or to get praise from people. You have to be in it because you absolutely know that there is no other moral way to be in this world but to keep on fighting to change it. And we can change it, because if we all unite together in solidarity, there is nothing in the world that can stop us. And when you navel gaze and make it all about you, you stop yourself from actually doing the work. When you get wrapped up in yourself and dissecting every minute detail of how you've come to terms with your privilege, you're doing the system's work for it.

You don't have to be marching in the streets or taking part in direct action to actually do something; we all have our own preferred tactics, and as long as you're listening to the oppressed group that you're working with, and do things with that group rather than for them, you're doing something worth doing. Don't tell me you're a good ally because you try not to say busted things. Do things in solidarity with people, and people'll know the type of person you are by your actions.

I don't give out recognition for people making the only moral choice -- to engage in struggle -- and I don't expect recognition for what I do.
dashingdeviant: (Default)
2009-05-05 10:48 pm

Fashion Victory!

The Goddesses of Fashion smiled upon me, as I have acquired skinny jeans that actually fit me well out of a free store.

Funnily enough, they were the ones I was suspicious of - they're sized a 15, so I was questioning whether they'd stretch enough to fit my ass and thighs, but, they do. The article of clothing I wasn't suspicious of was a very well-worn pair of seven jeans that had been cut into shorts, and had rips right below each ass cheek (I know, amazing, right?)...I go to try them on, and can't get them fully up to where they should sit. nevermind even attempt to zip or button them. I look and find a size tag, and it says 28, so apparently they're a 28 waist. Which given that my actual waist is about 35", is waayyyyy too small - I can wear stuff smaller than that that is low rise, then it becomes a question of hips and ass. I think they would probably fit someone who is a 6 or 8ish, so...somehow that looks like a 15 or 16 to me. Whoops.

However, I do now have a pair of jeans that fits well, so I can mess with one of my other pairs of jeans that sorta fits (I'm thinking of taking the waistband off another pair when I turn it into shorts, which should make it fit better once I improvise a closing mechanism).
dashingdeviant: (Default)
2009-05-05 12:54 am


I'm still trying to plot my educational path, and my desire to become a radical lawyer continues to become less and less, and I'm more and more sure I want to spend my life working in radical community clinics teaching people how to watch out for themselves and their community health-wise, and empower them to use all the amazing non-allopathic healing tools at our disposal, and be there when they do need to see someone with a pretty high scope. Long-term, the main conflict is between doing an RN to Family NP path, and going to through a full-blown herbalist program while doing that, and just going all out and becoming a Doctor of Naturopathy, and working as a Naturopath.

The benefits of going through nursing would be:
-I will always be able to find a well-paying job anywhere, and it will be helping people.
-I could be an RN by the end of summer of 2011 - three quarters of prereqs starting in the fall, five quarters for an accelerated BN. I can then work for as long as I want before going for the NP (though by 2013, that will require a clinical doctorate and not a masters, however, that plays into the trend of the NP scope and utilization increasing in western allopathic medicine. I think.)
-Many of the situations I would like to work in, an NP will likely have the leeway to apply knowledge as an herbalist.

-More western allopathic medicine focused than I would like.
-Probably net longer education time than becoming an ND, as I wouldn't be able to start an NP program until at least 2012.
-While nursing is much more holistic than MD programs, I still think I would be happier with a more holistic, less allopathy focused approach.

The benefits of an ND would be:
-No need to juggle training as an herbalist with training in my degree programs that get me licensed; I can really only see maybe getting to go through the Elderberry School program and then informal trainings if I become a nurse, at least for a long while.
-More freedom to practice in the modalities I want to focus on, more independence from the system.
-Could be done other than continuing education (which I'll do either way) by the end of spring 2014.
-Will have a skillset that will be immediately apparent to anyone who look to work with/get employment from (whereas, with nursing, sure there will be a lot of jobs, but many of them will focus solely on western allopathy).
-Sarcastic: my mother can finally refer to me as her child, the doctor. Not that my parents really have much belief in non-allopathic medicine

-net more expensive than nursing, as I'm guessing that the NP portion of the nursing program lets you work as an RN at the same time. This would be going to school fulltime during the entire course of it.
-less job security. Being less enmeshed in the system means you have to make your own way more.
-While recognized as a physician, that is only in a limited number of states. Many states you can't practice due to it being practicing medicine without a license.
-All the education has to be done at one place, so it's committing me to live in the same place until I'm well into my 30s. That's kind of scary. Even though I like Portland now, I've already got itchy feet (as an aside, maybe I should find a way to spend the summer travelling, and just move back here to go to school for prereqs).

After talking to a naturopath a good bit about it, I'm once again leaning very strongly toward becoming an ND. It may be a more difficult path in the short run, but I think in the long run, I'd find it a lot more rewarding.

In the near term, I just wish I had the money to do the WFR course that's being offered out in Gresham in mid-to-late June. Because a) it would be really useful and b) I want to continue my training in some sort of organized way in the near term, especially since I'm going to spend a year going through prereqs (most of which will be pretty snooze-worthy for me, because I can't really see myself picking up too much out of a couple quarters of bio, a couple of quarters of gen chem, and a couple quarters of organic chemistry); at least I'll get to do a bunch of Spanish classes while I do that. I also really really wish I had had the money to do either the Elderberry or Arctos Schools of botanical medicine this year, because I really want some formal structure to learning herbalism (and I believe there is a lot of stuff you can't learn from books and would never to have pretended to learn it; what individual herbalists have taught me has been way more valuable, hour for hour).
dashingdeviant: (Default)
2009-05-04 03:05 pm
Entry tags:

Now on Dreamwidth

It should be fairly obvious to everyone that this is a replacement for my dashingdeviant account on Livejournal. I will likely have posts appear in both places for a while.

If you are reading this on LJ, I am here on dreamwidth.