complacent lives

What Drives The Signs
  • *Check Sun and Moon Signs*
  • Aries: fear of being complacent
  • Taurus: living up to their own expectations
  • Gemini: improving themselves
  • Cancer: comparing themselves with other successful people
  • Leo: their ego
  • Virgo: achieving perfectionism
  • Libra: fear of being judged negatively
  • Scorpio: passion and competition
  • Sagittarius: personal inhibition
  • Capricorn: seeking truth and knowledge
  • Aquarius: curiosity and gaining independence
  • Pisces: seeing the best of life
Who I Am

I will not be baited into a war of race.  

I will not water the deep seeded hatred. 

I will not fall into propaganda and the division they propagate.  

I will not fall into the pitch black abyss that is hate. 

If you are greeted with disrespect, disdain or malice rise above. 

This is not message, of ignorant or blind unconditional love. 

This is not a statement rooted in my faith, that is on the rocks. 

But character and values. 

This is who I am and what, I freely believe in. 

I will not let them taint my soul. 

I will not let them break my spirit. 

I will not let them kill my mind. 

I will not let them alter my being.  

My character and values are who I am. 

Not what they think, or a byproduct of their actions.  

You will not force my hand, you will not kill my passion. 

No I will not hide my pride nor will I follow suit in similar fashions. 

But, I will not be complacent and live in silence.  

I won’t let beliefs, ideologies, startle me and rob me of my kindness. 

I will not give in to the hate, that is blindness. 

Even if they tell me my life doesn’t matter I will not mirror that effect. 

I choose to be a ray of light, a beacon offering, insight and respect.  

I will still put you above myself because that is why I believe exist on this earth. 

To give more than I have ever received. 

Leave a trail behind me paved with understanding and empathy.  

Not spread more heartache and misery. 

I am a free individual, my character not built upon how others act towards me. 

My character shall not be broken and be missing peace.  

I will not concede to the animosity or ignorance.  

I will look face first into adversity and those who wish to bring harm to me. 

I will reach out and show you the respect, I have independently charge free.

Regardless of any transgressions or eruptions, I may be the target of. 

You will not corrupt me.

Impetus

KHR Time-travel/Friendship one-shot, featuring Reborn and Tsuna.


When Reborn first meets Sawada Tsunayoshi, he expects a scrawny, teenage boy living in complacent ignorance.

According to the information that had been compiled for him by CEDEF, Tsunayoshi is a clumsy teenager with below average grades in all subjects at school, netting him the mocking nickname of “Dame-Tsuna.” At home he is just as average, and though he has slowly become more helpful to Sawada Nana and generally more productive over the past few months, he is still just as painfully average and ill-suited to becoming Vongola Decimo at the moment.

According to the brief surveillance Reborn performed when he arrived in Namimori, the reports are accurate enough.

But when he finally makes his appearance in the Sawada household, expecting a gawky, confused teenager, he instead finds himself on the receiving end of a heavy gaze that has his hand twitch for his gun.

Tsunayoshi is a boy of thirteen years, with a willowy, angular build that speaks of transitioning adolescence, and he hardly appears to have the ability to harm a fly. He sits in a relaxed posture, leaning against the kitchen chair with an easy slouch to his back. Everything about him exudes neutrality and comfort, despite the fact he is alone with an otherwise stranger in the quiet kitchen.

Yet, his eyes—brown eyes that do not even hold a hint of sunset orange—pin Reborn with an intense, unreadable gaze.

If Reborn was anyone else, he might have been somewhat intimidated. As it is, he is the Greatest Hitman in the World, and he is only bothered by the fact that neither CEDEF’s intelligence or himself had noticed anything remiss like this before.

He briefly checks his surroundings, noting the eerie silence and obvious lack of a Sawada Nana in the immediate area, despite knowing he hadn’t seen her leave at any point during the day—

“Maman is out at the moment,” Tsunayoshi says, his high-pitched voice at odds with the gravitas to his tone. His eyes never seem to waver from Reborn, and everything about him is unreadable. Unnerving. “She didn’t have the ingredients to cook what I asked for, so she decided to go grocery shopping.”

Reborn’s response is almost automatic. “Why didn’t you go yourself?” He questions before he can consider otherwise, mindset somewhere between tutor and trained assassin. “Your mother takes care of you, and you have a roof over your head. Menial tasks like grocery shopping should be handled by you.”

The reprimand rings somewhat hollow to Reborn’s own ears despite his conviction, and the wariness he feels both puzzles and unnerves him.

The feeling only grows when Tsunayoshi smiles, a strange, awkward tilt of his lips that Reborn cannot place. He interlaces his hands on the table, and his smile gains a sharp edge.

“It would have been rude to keep my guest waiting, considering he had already waited a week before introducing himself. I simply told Maman as such.”

Unease doesn’t begin to describe what Reborn feels at the moment, and it is a foreign emotion that he hasn’t experienced for years, decades. But he refrains from doing anything ill-advised, such as putting a hole through his student’s head, and instead begins to explain his reasons for being there.

Tsunayoshi’s face is aggravatingly blank throughout the whole explanation, only nodding or giving monosyllabic responses to certain cues.

When Reborn asks if he has any questions—and how strange that is, considering he had expected the boy to be throwing questions and refusals from the very beginning—Tsunayoshi nods.

“Would you like some coffee?”

Reborn has to withhold the twitch that threatens to show. “Questions related to what I have told you, Tsunayoshi.”

“No I don’t. Would you like some coffee, Reborn?”

If this is a ploy of some sort, Reborn cannot see the reason for one. He eyes the boy suspiciously, but nods anyway when he detects no ill-will.

Reborn blinks, and there is suddenly a steaming mug of coffee before him on the table.

“Drink it while it’s hot,” Tsunayoshi says, nursing his own cup. He takes a sip, and frowns. “… I think I waited too long to offer. It’s not bad, but not as hot as it should be.”

Eyeing the steaming beverage warily, Reborn picks it up, and discreetly readies his Sun flames. There is no odd coloring or scent to the drink—it actually smells rather good—but he refuses to be poisoned by his future student, so precautions are necessary.

He takes a tentative sip, and blinks at the taste. Italian roast, suspiciously similar to how his once-favorite cafe in Italy prepared it.

“We’re having Italian tonight,” Tsunayoshi says in-between sips, his eyes closed and his demeanor unguarded. “Maman is a good cook, so it’ll be good.”

Reborn quietly watches him, wondering. He idly wonders if the endearment is just that, an endearment, or if the boy truly knows French.

“Oui, je parle français,” Tsunayoshi says in unaccented French, a grin forming at Reborn’s narrowed gaze. “Ma io parlo italiano più fluente.”

Reborn knows that Tsunayoshi’s behavior is highly suspicious. The boy had not displayed any interest in other languages, let alone proficiency in them, and there is also the fact that he apparently anticipated Reborn’s arrival.

… But Reborn also knows that the boy is, for lack of a better phrase, freely showing the hitman the truth, however indirect. It is not quite telling, but the glint in the boy’s eyes is enough to indicate that he knows exactly how much information he is divulging to the hitman, and that he means no harm to his person.

Perhaps, Reborn thinks, that is why he doesn’t feel a strong urge to pull a gun on his own student anymore.

(That doesn’t mean he will not watch. Reborn has a favor for Timoteo to accomplish, but if Vongola does not benefit from the boy being alive, the solution is easily accomplished.)

Dame-Tsuna,” he says, “I don’t take kindly to people hiding information from me.”

The statement is a threat, but without the full vehemence that usually accompanies its delivery.

He doesn’t quite know what, exactly, the thirteen-year-old boy has to hide. And while Reborn would usually find nothing wrong with threatening information out of another, he has the strange feeling that nothing would get the full truth out of the boy. Not unless he himself decided he wanted to tell Reborn.

That is surprisingly fine with the hitman. He can be patient. He reasons that he himself has his own secrets that cannot and will not be divulged.

(Tsuna is not his equal, he is his student, but he has somehow afforded some level of respect from Reborn nonetheless.

He is a curious individual, and so long as the benefits of observing outweigh the potential dangers, Reborn is confident enough—in both his own abilities and position—to wait.)

Tsuna blinks. He smiles, apparently noticing the small peace-offering for what it is.

“I’ll keep that in mind.”


“Hey, Reborn?”

“Do not start conversations with ‘hey,’ Dame-Tsuna. It is rude.”

“We’re friends, and no one’s around. Besides, I don’t see you pulling a gun on me.”

An irritated sigh. “Tsuna.”

“Right, right. I wanted to ask you this. What would a person you didn’t know need to do in order to ingratiate themselves to you?”

“… Why the curiosity?”

“Well, er. That’s… it? I’m just curious.”

“Interesting.” A pause. “… They would need to be competent, firstly. In all areas. I do not favor ignorance, over-inflated pride, or indolence. They must have a certain appreciation for aesthetics and outward appearances, accompanying any intelligence or social worth they may have. Dullness, in all senses of the word, disgusts me.”

“You gave me a list on how to annoy you, not how to befriend you.”

“Even competent individuals do not always qualify for my ‘friendship’, Dame-Tsuna. In my profession, most of the capable people I meet are either a target that needs to be erased, or an enemy that may take my life if I am not careful.”

“… Huh. I was thinking that the ‘over-inflated pride’ bit was hypocritical, but I guess not if you can admit that.”

“…”

“Wow, to think you would pull a gun on me for a comment like that a decade ago. Now it’s just offended silence.”

“I don’t know what you mean. I still do on occasion, but only when I’m in the mood for a good spar.”

“Ahaha, I suppose so—Ah. Wait, you’re deflecting.”

“Maybe you could use a bit more training after all if you’re so easily distracted, Dame-Tsuna.”

That is an opinion. Besides, it’s a matter of who I’m speaking to. You, Kyoko, Haru, Kensuke, Hana, I-Pin and my guardians are the people I can fully relax around.” A sigh. “Really Reborn, what would a person need to do?”

“I already answered, for the most part. I have standards for who I believe is suitable to be a ‘friend,’ but those standards are typically at odds with my occupation. The only reason why I have ‘friends’ now is because I am also an official part of Vongola, and I have no worry of being stabbed in the back while here. Mostly.”

“… So, be competent, intelligent, capable, but also be trustworthy, open, and interesting?”

“In summary, yes.”

“… High standards.”

“That is also an opinion.” The click of a gun, and a dangerous smirk. “I think I’m in the mood for a bit of exercise now. How curious.”

I’m only two episodes into Luke Cage but I already want to write essays about what this show is doing with questions of reclaiming power v recycling oppression on almost every facet of the show. One of the first things that shocked me about the first episodes was the repeated use of the n-word. Now, thankfully (and perhaps quite obviously), this word is being spoken exclusively by black characters and it’s extremely important to notice and elevate that the professionals who are writing these lines are people of color as well- an anomaly not only for Marvel but for so much of TV & film, the majority of the writers for Luke Cage are African-American. God, does that make difference. 

But getting a little closer to my point- even though I’m definitely not going to do my argument any justice in a quick little post- but let’s consider what’s happening with the use of the n-word. Finally, we’re not having some bullshit conversation about who get’s to use the word (i.e. “i’m white but can’t I use the n-word if-”). Instead, we’re having contending, even explicit arguments between black characters about what this word means and what its proliferation produces: Luke doesn’t reclaim the word, citing its historic roots in slavery, oppression, and degradation. But Stokes does and there’s something really significant about how he uses that word- now, if Luke Cage was aiming for a flat and pedantic argument, the equation would be simple: Luke rejects the N-word and he’s a good guy! Stokes embraces the N-word and he’s a villain! So if you’re a good person, you don’t use the N-word! But, the show isn’t doing that. Hallelujah for complexity. Consider what Stokes is doing when he tells Mariah: “It’s easy to underestimate a n—-. They never see you coming.” Stokes is a horrific man, but it can’t be said that his function as antagonist isn’t related to white power structures- he knows what larger, White American power structures expect of him so he turns those expectations on their heads in the most wicked ways: citing the Constitution in relation to his trafficking of military grade weapons, establishing his base in the heart of Harlem, taking advantage of political influence, a sphere that is meant to appear completely detached from and fixed against gangs, violence, crime and, yes, even black folk. So, relate all of that to his use of the N-word. He isn’t wrong about those in power underestimating the men they deem subhuman. He’s aware of how the world is rigged against him and he’s weaponizing himself with that, he’s taking advantage of that. 

Luke, Mariah, Misty, even minor characters like Dante and Pops all represent different walks of life that are absolutely informed by black oppression and racism. Do you work within the power structure that aims to destroy you, hoping to reform from the inside out? (Misty Knight) Do you work outside and against these power structures, weaponizing your identity and your marginalization to match violence for violence? (Stokes, Mariah) Do you grapple with both contending choices, instead? (Luke and, to a degree, Mariah). It all boils down to a question that has no easy answer- how do you achieve empowerment in a world that has aimed its canons against you? how much can you reclaim before you recycle and reinstate the trauma, the violence, the histories? how far can you detach yourself before you’re becoming complacent or blind or living in denial of your history and potential?

I swear I’m going to stop rambling, but the question of whether or not you can reclaim the instruments that are used to oppress you doesn’t stop at linguistics. It’s in Luke’s use of a hoodie, a solemn reminder of Trayvon Martin, and it’s in Stoke’s use of three-piece suits. It’s in Mariah’s choice to pursue political power, while Stokes pursues criminal power and Pops establishes interpersonal, communal power. It’s an argument embedded in the very conflict of the first episodes, embedded in Luke Cage’s identity as Power Man- what does a bulletproof black man do in a world that demonizes, oppresses, attacks and makes a spectacle of black masculinity, black strength, black bodies? This argument is embedded in the lighting of the show, the director’s choices, the setting, the repeated mention of African American literature, the music (god, the unapologetic embrace of black rap and hip hop! that portrait of Biggie in Stoke’s office! god there is so much to be said about that). This show is so freakin’ important because I don’t know of any other form of media that has come even remotely close to touching all the nuances of this argument. If you’re not doing so already, go watch this show. 

A TRANS WOMAN SPEAKS ON CHARLESTON, ANTI-BLACKNESS AND WHITE SUPREMACY

We live in a country where we can watch 12 yrs a slave and yet deny the atrocities of slavery

We live in a country soaked in blood, built on bones and drunk on tears

We live in a country where the government will demand we be a Christian nation and yet remain silent when Black Christians are slaughtered in their churches

We live in a country where white terrorism is celebrated as patriotism

We live in a country that actively engaged in killing trans people and yet pretends trans people never existed

We live in a country who’s school system is designed to tell white children what they steal they own and who they kill deserve it

We live in a country where black pain is white supremacy’s sexual delight

We live in a country where Martha Washington is canonized but Mary Ellen Pleasant is forgotten

We live in a country where they would rather us watch television shows about bringing rapist to justice rather than bring rapist to justice.

We live in a country that reinforces and generates mental trauma and yet stigmatizes mental illness

We live in a country where only white men are pitied for acts of terrorism

We live in a country where white politicians can demand we return to the “good ole days” without  being jailed for treason- our president is black

We live in a country that celebrates the genocide  of indigenous peoples and call it nation building

We live in a country that tells black people our rage will keep us out of heaven

We live in a country whose anti blackness is so pervasive that we entertain the lie that a white woman could be black

We live in a country where our black president can be considered the most powerful man in the world and yet he too is held hostage by white supremacy

We live in a country where you can play by all the rules, worship the state God, live a life of peace and none of those things will save you

We live in a country that would rather protect white supremacy than its own citizens

We live in a country that offers white women as distractions while consigning on tying nooses around its black citizens’ necks

We live in a country that will tell me it’s best I live here rather than somewhere else while engaging in a system that is responsible for globalized anti blackness

We live in a country that wants us to love it but attempts to kill us everyday

We live in a country that likes its blackness docile, complacent and dead

We live in a country where not taking accountability is always its answer when its citizens ask why…


DANE FIGUEROA EDIDI

The Fisherman - A Tayvin Oneshot

Taylor was never one for the idea of soul mates. The whole idea of there being only one person you’re meant to be with – one, single, solitary person out of the seven billion living and breathing souls on the planet, spread out across every corner of the globe, how only one of those millions of millions of variations of personalities and hearts were meant for you – she just didn’t buy it. It sounded farfetched, even for someone like her, the world’s biggest hopeless romantic. It was impossible. The sheer statistical improbability of a soul mate was impossible. The odds were just not in your favor, nor were they ever going to be. It was a game everyone liked to play, but no one could ever win.

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AoT Analysis - Eren

With SnK Chapter 58 right around the corner, I’ve decided to write extremely elaborate analyses honoring the series’ fantastic characters (since most of them will probably be dead sooner or later). My way of writing can be kind of long-winded, so grab a coffee, this will take a while. I thought I’d start with Eren since he’s the main character after all. Ok, here goes:

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Green Witchcraft: Walking the Green Path IV

No matter what her/his access to nature, the green witch works closely with the earth. You can live on the forty-seventh floor of a high-rise apartment building and still have a meaningful relationship with the earth.

   Among the green witch’s common allies are earth spirits. Earth spirits can be valuable partners and aides in your practices. An earth spirit is an intelligence or awareness (presence) attached to a particular place, a plant or tree, a natural object such as rock or stream, or a specific type of weather. These intelligence are sometimes called devas, sometimes faeries. Often we simply refer to them as “earth spirits” , “spirit of”, or “force of” something. It is important to understand that these spirits are not deities.

  Do all green witches recognize or work with earth spirits? No. Some green witches are comfortable with talking about faeries or devas, whereas other roll their eyes and down to hoeing the garden. Most do recognize that nature has an intelligence, or a sense of spirit, that varies according to the location. Not all of us give a name or classification to that sense of spirit. 

   How each green witch works with these spirits or forces depends on how she perceives them. Most green witches will agree that connecting with the various forces and energies of nature is key aspect of their practice, but it’s likely that no two green witches will be able to agree on how to do it, or even what forces they connect to. This shows how highly individualized the green practice is. One thing that most green witches would agree on is that they strive to work in harmony with these force of natures.

   How you visualize these spirits is completely up to you. You may see them as tiny people or orbs of light (for me plant spirit appear in my mine’s eyes as a mix of their physical plant self but have human-like features, for example. Comfrey appears to me as a little old woman, the blue-purple flowers of the plant are her bonnet and the leaves are arms). You may not see them at all, nut instead experience emotions or sensations when you are near the tree, flower, standing stone (I get this when I’m out in nature) or phenomenon with which the spirit is associated. Whether your visualizations matches other visualization is unimportant. What is important is that if you choose to work with them, you must honour the spirit as allies in your green witch to attune to the natural world and to re-balance and harmonize life.

    You can encounter nature spirits in many places and through a variety of methods. The simplest method is to reach out and connect with the spirit of a single plant, then ask the plant spirit for information on the plant’s uses and properties. In his book Plant Spirit Medicine, Eliot Cowan stresses that the energy possessed by each individual plant is entirely personal. The information and/of gift the spirit of that plant offers you is exactly what you need at that moment. This gift is not necessarily energy that is traditionally associated with the plant. For example, if you project your awareness to a rose bush, the energy you receive in return will not necessarily be love. The spirit of the rose bush may perceive that you require something difference and offer it to you. The key to working with nature spirits like this is to be open to what they have to offer you without expectations or preconceived ideas. Referring to a list of correspondences associated with particular plants is useful for getting a general idea of how to use the plant’s energy, but it is much more useful to communicate directly with the spirit of the plant to acquire your own understanding or interpretations of the energy and how it may be applied. The green witch never assumes she/he knows something, or presumes that he/she is correct, or takes something at face value. It is important to seek out your own experience and build your own opinions as you deepen your understanding of an elements, a process, or a situation. Although the green witch uses herbs for their medical qualities, the magical qualities of the natural world are also very much their friends. If you look  at the uses traditionally associated with various herbs throughout the ages, the medicinal benefits often parallel the magical uses. this is because, while a herb has a certain chemical makeup that determines its effect when applied to the physical body, it also possesses a unique energy that affects the emotions, spirit, and energy of a person.

(My thoughts on plant correspondences: As mentioned above, a list of plant correspondence can be useful in getting a general idea of a plant, but it is worth noting that these correspondence tend to come from observations of the physical attributes, planet associations & medicinal uses of a plant rather then it’s actual spirit itself, so it well worth reaching out & learning from the plant spirit itself)

In green witchcraft, one of the most important practices is constantly re-establishing your understanding of nature as it is now around you, nature in your personal surroundings, Maintaining contact with your physical environment is crucial to maintaining a meaningful individual practice. If you lose touch with your environment, you lose the one thing that connects you to your natural surroundings.

   Green witchcraft is always about the now, about the current state of your environment. Being aware of your environment means knowing the energies moving through it, the energies it produces, its health and rate if vibration. It is also being aware of your own energy and mental or emotional state fit into your surroundings. If you’re not aware of the current state of your environment, then how can you evaluate what sort of work is required of you? You may think you know your environment, but you might be surprised when you stop to create a new relationship with it. One of the basic foundations of living the green witch path is forging a connection with nature and natural forces. It is imperative that you forge a connection with what is actually there, and not what you assume to be there.

  As a green witch, you constantly reassess your connection to the environment around you, to individual energies and objects within that environment, and also the plant itself. Browsing through books about gods and goddess with help you understand the allegories cultures have developed to explore and explain mankind’s relationship with the planet and a culture’s natural surroundings. It may be especially helpful to look at the earth-related deities of the cultural groups who are native to your geographical location. Understanding how earlier people perceived their relationship to the earth and their surroundings can help inform your own understanding of how the area has evolved or remained constant.Research the history of your town, you’ll be amazed at what you discover, read accounts of settlers and how they related to the land to discover how they used the bounty of nature in their everyday lives.

Complacency has no place in the life of a green witch; you must be open and aware at all times in order to be as in tune with nature as possible. If you live in an urban setting, the the city’s energy is the energy to which you must open yourself in order to be in tune with your neighbourhood, and your environment. It is crucial to interact with your natural environment as it actually is, not the nature you imagine or idealize. The environment you knew yesterday or last month is no longer the environment that surrounds you, energy id in a constant state of change. Thus, the green witch must also be aware, and always adjusting her/his knowledge.

   Although the green witch uses herbs for their medical qualities, the magical qualities of the natural world are also very much their friends. If you look  at the uses traditionally associated with various herbs throughout the ages, the medicinal benefits often parallel the magical uses. this is because, while a herb has a certain chemical makeup that determines its effect when applied to the physical body, it also possesses a unique energy that affects the emotions, spirit, and energy of a person.

(Source & inspiration The Path of the Green Witch)

UNDOING THE ERASURE OF                              TWOC

                                   Undoing the Erasure of TWOC

        Holding Accountable Silent Society andStructural Oppression

Before we begin we mustname just a few of our fallen Twoc sisters. Goddesses Mia Henderson, Islan Nettles,Tiffany Edwards, Kandy Hall, Tiffany Gooden, Lamia Beard, Ty Underwood, all ourTrans sisters lost, we remember you beautiful, living, honored ancestors. Walk in light. Walk in love. Walk in power.

This article has been a long time coming. I began etching these words to address a society that continues to erase Twoc after Goddess Eylul Cansun, a Transwoman of color from Istanbul, made a suicide video and had little coverage while goddess Leelah Alcorn’s suicide note was waved across national media outlets as if what she said had not already been said by countless Trans folk living and dead. While Sister Leelah was given a victim narrative and garnered a hashtag, Sister Eylul who was a living Trans adult was silenced. I cannot help but to feel the lack of coverage was because her suicide openly attacked a system that continues to value whiteness, cisnormativity, men and queer identity as a fetish over living Trans persons. She said society wouldn’t let her live, work, thrive; she was attacking a whole way of life that continues to offer us shining examples of mainstream success while oppressing most of the Trans population.

Now we are in 2015 and five Transwomen of color are dead already—that is one for every week of the new year . And as I said before, most of media and much of society has been silent. When the media speaks, although Transwomen are quoted, I have yet to see these same Transwomen honored for the work they have already been doing around fighting structural oppression. The Trans community has already been unpacking and fighting the webs of oppression which become manifest in the silence around Twoc deaths, and the oppressive structures that continue to tighten nooses around the necks of many living Trans persons of color.

Let me be clear, the Trans sisters, brothers and siblings with whom I break bread know the names of our fallen sisters, we speak them, we honor them. We also use any means at our disposal to fight the oppressive systems that led to our sisters’ murders. Recently, Goddesses Katrina Goodlett, Lourdes Ashley Hunter, Elle Hearns, myself and the other sisters of TWOCC spoke openly about the lack of media outlets taking accountability for their silence around our sisters’ lives. I watched how some folk made excuses for their ignorance while others attacked me and my sisters for our unapologetic critique of the visibility police. The same people who held the supposed banner of allyship were now utilizing the learned behaviors and violent tools of structural oppression to attempt an erasure of our analysis (and through it our lives, and voices). I too witnessed how certain organizations used our Trans brothers and Cis black sisters to release statements and speak on television programs about Leelah (and sometimes our Twoc sisters’ murders) but rarely offered a platform to black Trans women who are the most marginalized.

Our society must begin to acknowledge the way structural oppression leads to accepted silence around the deaths of Twoc and the continued oppression Trans persons face.


1. Society allows it.

At the heart of mainstream society is a desire for the extinction of the Transwoman. Violence against Trans identities is ingrained in the founding of this country. In order to divest indigenous people of communicative, religious and resistant power, the colonization of mind, body and soul must be forcefully placed upon them and they must begin to process themselves through a foreign gaze. This process to gain normalcy must be reinforced through several generations, so by 2015 the silencing of living Transwomen, the erasure of our narratives and the divesting of our humanity by every aspect of society is so common place we begin to see transness as a foreign intrusion of gender as opposed to a spiritual reality manifesting, and essential to the sustainability of a healthy society.

2. Racism and transphobia cannot be discussed separately.

Because ransphobia, as we know it, has roots in colonization and was a tool utilized by a burgeoning idea of whiteness to oppress brown and black folk, you cannot separate the conversation of one from the other. Many people have tried, and we have seen what this leads to: some Trans folk, who become assimilationist begin to police transness and human rights for Trans folk through a white supremacy gaze, meanwhile some black folk (whether queer or not) co-sign on the violence we black Transwomen face by attempting to silence anyone who speaks out for our rights.

3. Structural oppression says there can only be one marginalized person to succeed from each generation; so society will use celebrity visibility as an excuse to ignore the conversation and work around trans intersectionality.

We cannot discuss visibility without also realizing and critiquing who holds the reigns of visibility. Structural oppression says there can only be limited of success stories and then attempts to use the image of our successful sisters against us, pushing the idea that if they made it and you do not ‘there must be something wrong with you’ or you are not trying hard enough. Meanwhile, there are living breathing Twoc being slain by their lovers, killed in the streets, tokenized on their jobs and erased completely from discourse, legislative meetings and a living wage.

4. Cismen wanting Transwomen to remain their secret sex fetishes.

Goddess Ts Madison on the Kitty Bella show said (that because of structural oppression) sex work is often the first way many trans women are able to access money. It is exponentially harder for a Transwoman to access spaces of education, wealth and privilege, no matter what state of bodily transition she is in. The sexual desires and misogynistic ways men have been taught to see womanhood have been instrumental in denying access to certain spaces for Transwomen. Many men in power attempt to keep Transwomen from accessing money through any other means other than a rigid form of fetishization and sexual exploitation. We also have a way in this society of vilifying sex workers while celebrating and glorifying the men with the means, power and privilege to purchase their services.

5. Assimilation is not freedom; assimilation is not safety.

Structural oppression would have us buy into the idea that assimilation offers freedom to the marginalized. Paired with this idea around a Cis controlled visibility machine, the false tales that assimilationism weaves are deadly. Cis folk use it as a bargaining chip in Cis rationality for the violence Transwomen face. Structural oppression upholds an image of what perfection is in order to promote continued complacency around the lived experiences of those whom assimilation does not list within its parameters. Respectability politics (abusers dynamics) pushes the agenda of who has the right to be honored as a martyr and who simply becomes another number and name read off at Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). The truth about assimilation is that the criteria are always shifting and the odds will always be stacked against black and brown folk. So your money, your beauty your fame your success and your hard work still won’t save you from violence, and certainly have never been a means of true safety for the black woman. Most courts and law enforcement have been instrumental in violence against Trans women.

6. The Fear of the Black Goddess is the fear of the Black Woman.

The first goddess is the black Goddess from her all things have sprung. Because religious colonization is a tactic used by structural oppression, we must also include the attempted enslavement of the black spiritual body as part of discourse around the erasure of trans people. All things become discovered, reinvented and born from black womanhood and attempts to suppress access to divine power and human rights for her are at the heart of the fear that structural oppression has forced on marginalized communities. In cultures where the Goddess was revered the binary was not used as an ideological prison, it was simply two ends of a spectrum upon which each individual had the power to choose their place. When black Transwomen are loved, seen as essential and honored amongst their people, watch how the waves will ripple. Just watch.

7. Fear of Trans women of color leadership.

I have attended so many meetings in which Trans leaders’ names that are sacred on my tongue, women who have impacted me directly and siblings who have elevated my life are not known. Then, when my sisters and I begin to speak in these meetings, some Cis folk begin to berate us for our unapologetic analysis. They in their privilege are so used to trampling and co-opting Trans space that they grow belligerent when Trans women celebrate, acknowledge and push to the forefront our own leaders. Some of these organizations will go so far as to attempt to hire a white Trans man to act as their “allyship” mouthpiece while actively engaging in the erasure of black Transwomen, the very people they claim they seek to serve.

Let me say this, tokenization is no longer an option for Trans folk in any capacity, its normalcy soon becomes a poison that leads to the silencing and elimination of Trans lives. Tokenization doesn’t honor Transwomen of color leadership and often relegates us to names called at TDOR and smiling faces on posters. To media outlets and organizations trying to make us tokens, we see you and we won’t stand for it. Collaborative efforts and allyship should not sound like “Trans folk, cook the meal for us, but eat the scraps while we conveniently forget your names, accomplishments, and try to co-opt your movement”

We must begin to honor the voices, lives and experiences of black Trans folk just as we must begin to honor the spaces of exclusive transness we cultivate and manifest. We must begin to acknowledge the work of Trans folk as if it were the very breath of life because, quite frankly, for many of us it is. We have to stop trying to dictate, through the gaze of structural oppression, which Trans lives deserve media attention and which ones do not.  We must take accountability for not knowing names like Islan nettles and Gizzy Fowler, and we must be honest that Cis appropriation and privilege are more valued by media than Trans truth.

Stop it. Stop co-signing on our deaths, stop asking for our compliance and stop asking us for quotes, free labor, our bodies and our wisdom while telling us why you can’t hire us. The social and physical violence you offer us in life is the violence which brings about our death.

 In closing, I honor our fallen Twoc and I invite you to learn their names but do not think your work is complete, learn the names of living Twoc too. For if you cannot honor the living, you certainly won’t be able to honor the dead; for they are us and we are them. Then ask (with the intentionality and reality of action) “Tran women of color, what does support look like to you?”

Dane Figueroa Edidi

It would appear that accusing people of sexual assault/misogyny/racism/bigotry is the new witch hunt.

Teenage girls became bored and complacent with their Puritan lives, and started to act out.  When they got caught doing so, they were able to throw the guilt off of themselves, and in the process discovered that they had the power to punish whomever they chose by accusing them of witchcraft.  They also became absorbed with the attention this brought them.

Teenage girls became bored complacent with their privileged lives, and started to act out.  When they lacked something to complain about, they were able to create their own drama where it did not exist, and in the process discovered that they had the power to punish whomever they chose by accusing them of serious social taboos.  They have also become absorbed with the attention this brought them.

Many people were unjustly executed for witchcraft.

Many people have been unjustly accused of rape, racism, misogyny, etc., and have had their personal information spread all over the internet, had their blogs hacked and deleted, received death threats, been told to “get raped”, had knives and syringes of unidentified fluid sent to their homes, lost their jobs, and all kinds of other horrifying shit–all with zero evidence to substantiate the claims.  They seem to be under the belief that if facts don’t support their behavior, then creating their own “proof” is somehow the next best thing.  They fabricate a story, and then point to it and cry “SEE!  THIS PROVES IT!”.  It’s no better than gluing antlers to a stuffed rabbit in order to “prove” the existence of a jackelope.  In other cases, it’s just a matter of a bunch of snot-nosed brats throwing a temper tantrum because they can’t stand looking at their own behavior and scream “STRAWMAN!” when someone dares to hold up a mirror.

It’s a bunch of spoiled children on a power trip.  If they can damn someone else, they can not only feed off of the attention it brings them by pretending to be simultaneously a hero and a victim for doing so, but they can also boost their own incredibly low self-esteem in the process.  If you claim your negative behavior is for a worthy cause, then you can accuse those that disagree with your methods of being against your cause, and not just against how you choose to represent it.  They’re nothing but bullies using otherwise noble sentiments as a shield to excuse their bullying.  

30 things to tell yourself: Losing him is not a loss
  1. You lost something you never had. If he wanted to be with you, he never would have left, even when given the choice. What you lost were your hopes and dreams of what could have been.
  2. Things may have ended, but that doesn’t mean that you failed. It isn’t failure if you have become more aware of who you are and what you need.
  3. Think about who you were before you met him and who you are now. There are some lessons that you never would have learnt, so thank him for being your teacher.
  4. Every breakup and rejection is another chance for you to pick wiser the next time.
  5. The complacent life you once lived is now thrown out of proportions. It’s time to reflect and reevaluate what it is in life you really want.
  6. It’s never easy to let go, until one day, you do and the wounds that you couldn’t stop reopening finally starts to heal.
  7. You will stop seeing him through rose-tinted shades. Now, you can see what exactly didn’t work out and how to better yourself from here.
  8. You lost someone who didn’t want to keep you, so you can find the ones who actually will.
  9. You get to prove that you are enough, instead of feeling like you’re inadequate.
  10. You may have build your life around the person you were dating. Now’s the time to build it around the things you actually like.
  11. You can focus solely on yourself and your selfish pursuits. You will stop choosing him over yourself.
  12. This is life’s way of telling you to dream bigger.
  13. Maybe it’s time to throw a party and make some questionable decisions. 
  14. You can now do anything you want, at any point in time. You have absolute freedom without the need to constantly check-in.
  15. The only permission you need for anything you want to wear or do is your own.
  16. Social gatherings are exciting again. Potential is everywhere.
  17. Think of the doors that were closed because you were with him. You may want to rebuild some of the bridges you’ve burnt down before.
  18. You’ve got all the freedom to travel, no strings attached.
  19. There’s always some fun in kissing a complete stranger.
  20. You will realise that your happiness is important, and how the way other people feel about you is not your responsibility.
  21. Being unhappy in love is bad, but being unhappy with yourself is worse.
  22. You realise that your self worth is not dependent on someone else’s validations. You are your own home.
  23. Maybe it’s time to get a dog.
  24. Your world fell to pieces and someone you loved slipped away. But you’re still alive, and this only proves how strong you are.
  25. You opened up to someone and risked heartbreak before. That is one of the bravest things to do.
  26. You got to experience love and some of the best memories. That’s not something anyone could take away. Not even him.
  27. There will come a day when you will wake up and everything in your life will feel like it’s yours. You will feel proud of all your efforts that got you to where you are today, because your accomplishments are now completely your own.
  28. Every ending calls for a new beginning, and you get to decide what kind of beginning it is.
  29. Believe me, your heart is stronger now.
  30. Yes, you may have lost him. But here’s the most important thing - you didn’t lose yourself.
YOUR NEW PATH
You do not know exactly where you are going, and you cannot go back to the place from which you came. It is perfectly natural to feel afraid, and fear only needs to be felt anyway. In every Now, a billion possible futures are born and die, a billion possible lives are lived to completion or not, and you walk here at the Origin. Stay close to life at the place where it happens. Look back only to celebrate your innocence.
You can expect to feel groundless sometimes, for everything will be falling into uncertainty as you walk. Do not resist the urge to know, but do not seek your sanctuary there either. For there is actual safety in falling; you can only fall more deeply into yourself.
Some may call this journey a risk, but the only true risk is to live in complacency. The only true pain is the unwillingness to feel it. You will lose the old securities, but you will soon discover that they were never, ever real.
Tired of the lies, nauseated by the easy answers, your old path will fall away, and your new path will be forged with every step. Your only guide will be the heart, and the breaths, and the sound of your own life (closer now), and a wisdom forged in glorious doubt.
Your heart may be pounding, your legs may be trembling, you may feel more insecure than ever, but you are alive, my love, you are alive.
—  Jeff Foster