As a mid-career professional who has served in quite a few organizations in my time I have always either been told or made felt that I was part of a bigger organizational “family.” Each time I hear this, I could not help but smile as the famous song” We are family” by Sister Sledge was playing in my head. Coming from an Asian culture where we place a high emphasis on family values, I found this notion a very healthy and homogeneous practice. One could argue it can create a conducive environment that propel productivity and staff satisfaction in the long run. Similarly, one could argue it is a false assumption. I leave you to draw your own experience to be your own judge. If I am to talk about myself, in past tense, I have been programed to believe that whoever did not fit into this “family” culture is a misfit. Hence, I have been an ardent supporter of this notion fully embracing the family culture in all my previous organizations until I met Connor Diemand-Yauman.
2016 saw release of two phenomenal movies about revolutionary black trans women, Marsha Johnson and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. Read about these movies below, catch a screening and tell us what are your thoughts:
1) Happy Birthday, Marsha: Happy Birthday, Marsha! is a film about iconic transgender artist and activist, Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson and her life in the hours before she ignited the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. Written and directed by Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel.
2) MAJOR!: MAJOR! explores the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years.
I was asked by a media house to contribute to a working document on how to support queer and trans folks under the trump administration. Here are some of the pointers I contributed. I thought I would share with y’all. This is not a comprehensive list in any way. Feel free to add your suggestions in comments:
- Support queer and trans people led organizations that support queer, trans, and gender non conforming people who are economically marginalized, undocumented, qtpoc. The state funding for services for trans youth might be further limited so organizations providing resources to queer and trans youth will need your help – especially for services like legal help with name and gender change, gender affirming medical assistance and other resources.
September 9th 2016. The day I arrived to Washington, DC. I cannot believe it’s already December 31st. I can still recall that day on September when I was struggling with 2 suitcases bigger than myself, to try to get to the first floor of the hostel we were staying at. My heart was full of emotions! Happiness,excitement, OMG, and a bit of sadness…
“Am I really living in DC?”
I kept thinking that for the first 2 weeks.
Since I posted about 3 books I read in 2016, I thought I would go ahead and post about 3 books I am planning to read in January, 2017. Comment with books you read or plan to read in upcoming year.
1) Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities: With Hope in the Dark, Rebecca Solnit makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable. Drawing on her decades of activism and a wide reading of environmental, cultural, and political history, Solnit argued that radicals have a long, neglected history of transformative victories, that the positive consequences of our acts are not always immediately seen, directly knowable, or even measurable, and that pessimism and despair rest on an unwarranted confidence about what is going to happen next.
Since 2016 is coming to an end, I thought I’ll make a list of 3 top books I read in 2016.
1) Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex: Pathologized, terrorized, and confined, trans/gender non-conforming and queer folks have always struggled against the enormity of the prison industrial complex. The first collection of its kind, Eric A. Stanley and Nat Smith bring together current and former prisoners, activists, and academics to offer new ways for understanding how race, gender, ability, and sexuality are lived under the crushing weight of captivity. Through a politic of gender self-determination, this collection argues that trans/queer liberation and prison abolition must be grown together. From rioting against police violence and critiquing hate crimes legislation to prisoners demanding access to HIV medications, and far beyond, Captive Genders is a challenge for us all to join the struggle.
Though coercion and rape have cast a persistent shadow over prospects of sexual health and consent in contemporary India, other narratives, agency and tools are quietly emerging to transform collective claims of power and bodily dignity. In these narratives from collectives, NGOs, on social media and among friends, dialogues about consent and pleasure feature prominently. This paper analyses statements in the news made by highly visible political and public figures regarding the subject of rape in the context of themes emerging from ethnography and semi-structured interviews with middle class people in Delhi. Using the device of social frameworks, contested framings of rape and consent are examined in order to interrogate essentialist gender norms, compare putative “causes” of rape, and highlight local efforts promoting sexual consent, health and well-being.
Take a song like ‘Blue Bayou” that is a simple song about being on the road. It probably sounds very lonesome but on the contrary, it is a happy song, “Where the folks are fun and the world is mine on Blue Bayou, where those fishing boats with their sails afloat, If I could only see that familiar sunrise through sleepy eyes, how happy I’d be”. It’s a beautiful thought. Similarly, my mind drifted away on a similar experience of my own in a new country going from location to location and traveling across state lines to finally be here in the sunshine state of California that can be only compared to the scenery mentioned in the song. How I ended up here is by no means an act of serendipity. It has a beginning, middle and an end with a chain of events dovetailed into one another.