Also.Also.Also: Anti-Trans Protestors Try to “Take Over” London Pride, Won’t Break Our Spirit and Other Stories for the Week

Welcome to another summer Monday! The sun woke me up before my alarm. Outside my bedroom window, the sky is so bright it’s barely even blue. The grass is lush and green. I recognize that of those sound like clichés. But I’m really trying to take time and express gratitude for the small moments, because otherwise life’s a shitshow, you know?

Anyway, that’s my goal this week. To write down three things every day that I’m grateful for. Today’s list starts with a bright, crisp sunrise and the view from my window.

Here’s what else:

Queer as in F*ck You

I hate hate that we have to start with this news, but it’s important that we deal with it. Anti-Trans Protestors Invade London Pride Parade & Are Allowed to Take Lead.

As always, for my money, Heather Hogan says it best:

Ok. In other news, during the latest episode of her podcast, Soleil Ho over at Bitch talks with queer trans writer and activist Juno Roche about Queering Virginity.

Angela Ponce Is The First Trans Woman To Compete In The Global Miss Universe Pageant.

By Malaysia Walker: How an Anti-LGBTQ Mississippi Law Denies Freedom to Trans Women Like Me.

That’s a forever kind of love.

WHEW, I just know that bunch of you out there are going to love to this, Buffy and Faith’s Relationship Taught Me About Queer Thirst.

(And while we’re on the topic of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I bet you’d enjoy an Autostraddle deep dive into the subject? Here you go. In particular, I still think about Lindsay King-Miller’s “Our Willow, Ourselves” often.)


Saw This, Thought of You

Sex Workers Deserve Mental Health Care, Too.

I hope you don’t mind me taking a quick moment to shine a light on these brave kids from my hometown, Students in Detroit Are Suing the State Because They Weren’t Taught to Read.

The conversation about fashion and disability is growing but far from over.

“That’s what makes me great. I always play everyone at their greatest, so I have to be greater.” — Serena Williams gives her all every time. I know less than zero percent about tennis, but that inspires me. Maybe it will inspire you, too.

A study into how viral videos are turning lesser-known women candidates into political sensations.

This one is for my #BeyHive, The Louvre Now Has a Tour Based on Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s ‘Apeshit’ Video. If you don’t have a trip to Paris planned anytime soon, you can also take the tour virtually like RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT.

After Realizing Princess Shuri’s Impact, Letitia Wright Is Working To Get More Girls Involved In STEM.

Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, wants it to return to its original, specific purpose: serving as a counter to sexual violence.

A nominee for the open spot on the Supreme Court will likely be announced today; in other Supreme Court-adjacent news, today’s the 150th Anniversary of the 14th Amendment, which gave citizenship to African-Americans after the abolishment of slavery. From The New York Times, it is not too late to give this powerful document its due.

And here is Academy Award nominated director Ava DuVernay (quoting Nikita Gill), with some Monday Motivation:

Show ‘em your fire this week! Love ya.

Before you go! It takes funding to keep this publication by and for queer women and trans people of all genders running every day. And A+ members keep the majority of our site free for everyone. Still, 99.9% of our readers are not members. A+ membership starts at just $4/month. If you're able to, will you join A+ and keep Autostraddle here and working for everyone?

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 352 articles for us.

28 Comments

  1. “What a waste of your one wild and precious life” is the most Heather Hogan-esque takedown ever.

    On the same topic, I really appreciated this Twitter thread by @shonfaye: https://twitter.com/shonfaye/status/1015591737421639680 Especially this part: “Personally I don’t even hate them – I pity them and fear for my future self: it is so so easy to be co-opted by the patriarchy and by the dehumanising rhetoric of reactionary politics, as these people have been.”

    Lastly, Carmen, yes, keep taking time to recognize life’s small moments!!! In January, I started a practice of writing down a few things I’m grateful for, and it’s been fairly easy to find the time to do it, fairly easy to catch up if I miss a couple of days, and really helpful for my mental health! It’s nice to look back at small bright spots, especially when things can seem so dark overall.

  2. London Pride sucks. They let G4S (who run detention centres such as Yarls Wood, which incarcerates hundreds of women and families for undetermined amounts of time and forcibly deports them. Many of these women have applied for asylum due to fear of torture and death in their own countries due to their LGBT status), and ACTUAL ARMS DEALERS march in the parade Only corporations and organisations can march, and pay an extortionate fee to do so. Plus, if you wanna take part, you have to march behind the police.

    Pride did nothing to stop the TERFS marching ahead of the parade; they were met with very little resistance. Official Pride in London has never been, and never will be, for me. It’s for brands, corporations, and fair weather allies to generate a whole bunch of spending, and does not centre the most vulnerable members of our community, instead, it does a whole long way to erasing them. I really, really hate it.

    • Waiting on Pall Mall, we got… TERFs first… a small lull… then the organisers with a massive flag… then the Barclay’s Bus. It wasn’t a particularly overwhelming start.

      The balance has gone too far towards companies using it for advertising (and, a cynic would say, to get themselves up the Stonewall 100 list), and there doesn’t seem to be any kickback- there were a few of us shouting at BAE Systems and AstraZeneca, but generally the crowd didn’t seem to care in the slightest. Booooo.

    • I’m still mad about last year when they didn’t let any bi groups march but let a Supernatural fan group march. So this year’s disaster has me in an “I’m not surprised, but I am disappointed” place.

  3. I take these anti-trans protestors are mostly conservatives, racist, and pro British colonialism with their eagerness to call the police on trans women just existing in public space? What really pisses me off is the fact that before British colonized places like Indian sub-continent, and parts of North America people from all over the lgbtq spectrum lived on harmony with society no problem. Once Christian and white colonists came they put a blanket ban on LGBTQ community. Do these people not see they are upholding Christian/white patriarchal standards? That they are going against their own rights, as they would be next? Like what benefits is there for terfs uphold the patriarchy and conservatism?

    Side note: I was under one of the trans tags on tumblr yesterday and found a post that was arguing that these pro-colonists terf women(not her words) should have been armed with guns, knives, and bats to make sure trans people, our allies, and men get the message we are not welcome at pride. The rest of the blog could have been easily mistaken for an alt-right, anti-porn blog, but from England. Ugh.

    • “I take these anti-trans protestors are mostly conservatives, racist, and pro British colonialism with their eagerness to call the police on trans women just existing in public space?” I don’t think that’s the case particularly, no. More like a vocal minority of people like this- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germaine_Greer – throwbacks from second wave feminism. Michelle Tea wrote a really good essay about TERFdom at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival in Against Memoir- but I guarantee there are much better educated people than me on this site that can explain things more helpfully.

    • Unlike British colonists, TERFs begin from a place of suffering actual gender oppression (and in this case, homophobia too). They have real trauma and just misdirect it. If we compare them to actual states/nations, they’re more like historically marginalized groups who turn to to hardline right wing nationalism out of a purported desire to protect themselves.
      Though TERFs certainly like to make deals with conservatives and see no issue with conservatives’ support of patriarchal policies toward cis women, which is really confusing. Maybe when you hate a group enough you’re just willing to sacrifice your own interests in order to harm them?

  4. I’ve been thinking lately about how similar TERFs and the alt right are. Both groups have a contingent of trolls who devote an enormous amount of their free time to targeted harassment and doxxing of people they hate. For the alt right, it’s women, people of color, and LGBTQ people. For TERFs, it’s trans women. They both punch down, and the TERFs in attacking trans women validate the hierarchies they’re supposedly against. I wonder if they’ll ever come around to listening to Audre Lorde: “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

    • These lesbians claim that we’re forcing them to sleep with people with penises, and push back against the very basic fact that transwomen are women by saying ‘men’ are invading women spaces.

      These things are being repeated over twitter, mumsnet etc. and lore shockingly in academia. We have a huge problem in the U.K. with a group called “a woman’s place” who pretends they just want to politely debate and so under academic freedom should be allowed to. But they very regularly verbally assault and harass trans women, they’ve proven over and over they’re not harmless debaters.

      Also someone’s identity is not a fucking debate. As a friend said on fb, this isn’t about whether pineapple belongs on pizza or not

  5. I don’t get it either. My old neighbor was on the Michigan WMF board and was probably genuinely accurately described as a TERF, until talking to me, meeting my (trans) partner at the time etc., when she was like, Ok, this makes sense. She was super second wave and also super reasonable when I actually talked to her, and changed her tune. I know a number of older lesbian women who are now in their 60s in my community who went through the same process. None have said a disparaging word about trans people after initial conversations where they made kind of stupid stereotypical comments, then proceeded with respect once educated. This anecdotal experience makes me wonder who these people actually are?? Also I hate that TERF includes the words “radical feminist” because I feel like actual radical feminists are not exclusionary.

    • Some people hold TERF-ish views because of the usual sorts of reasons, because they don’t know any better. Unfortunately, there are also definitely TERFs who’ve had every opportunity to learn and don’t. The Internet acts as an amplifier for the craziest, nastiest people, even when those people are rare in real life.

      • It just stinks. I think because of those interactions I think of second wave lesbians, but they are pretty prominent in my community and have been able to be respectful and adapt. Which is good because there are a few who I really adore and see as surrogate mother figures where my own is not affirming in any way shape or form. I am now with a cis guy and none of them made me feel like I should be excluded from their community despite the reputation of second wave, Michigan WMF, starting a women’s only commune etc. feminists. I’m sure it is other people who are doing this. Then again I’m totally not familiar with what is happening on Twitter and what I’m reading here about online harassment is blowing my mind- doesn’t happen on the social media platforms I use.

    • It’s also not radical to side with police, the same fraternal group of people who tried to arrest us at stonewall, & bothered people for wearing clothing marketed towards a gender different than theirs. And in this case aligned with people holding up colonialism.

  6. Also, because I apparently have a lot of feelings tonight: I liked the essay on Buffy, not least because I was watching it when I was going through some similar things to the author. I really wish Buffy and Faith had been a real romance, but realistically it was the 90s, we rarely get queer female leads today. (One reason I think Clexa lit a fire under fandom, and then caused such outrage, was because it was one of the very, very few shows where the queer women got to be the protagonists, not just the supporting characters.) When someone remakes BtVS, Buffy/Faith should totally be a thing.

    The other thing about BtVS is that the auteur theory is sexist bullshit. Joss Whedon came up with the idea and played a big role in the show’s development, sure, but reducing BtVS to Joss Whedon ignores all the other people who contributed to it, including all the women both in front of and behind the camera. BtVS has plenty of flaws and I understand why some people hate it, but don’t hate it because Joss Whedon is a dick, it gives him way too much credit for a collaborative work that dozens of people helped make.

  7. Brb, throwing out the London pride keychain someone gave me a while back and replacing it with a purgatory sheriff’s department badge keychain.

    Also sending extra love to ask the trans women who have to experience this bullshit.

    And thank you Autostraddle for existing so I could abandon the dumpster fire that is AE years ago. Saw via Twitter that they are giving a platform to these people.

  8. TERFs always remind me that hatred runs deep. I live in sweden and while older established feminists might give voice to slight TERF-rhetoric, they aren’t organized here. So I usually can tweet things without fear of being doxxed etc. But even that has led to several dog piles on twitter for me. Usually from british TERFs. They are a dangerous minority among feminists. And I think most feminists need to own up the fact some parts of feminism led to dangerous transphobic bigotry. I do at least.

    Most cis wlw I talk to have no problems with trans women. However small this minority, they remain a threat to creating true safe spaces for cis and trans women. Especially since they are almost always willing to fuck over cis women who differ from them in opinion. Like a tweet I read. I can’t remember it exactly but it was something like this: “They speak of lesbian erasure but call me a cis lesbian straight for being with trans women. Who’s erasing who?”

    I don’t know where I am going with this. I needed to vent, and nobody will read this probably. I just wish we could do something about TERFs.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!