dean spade


CeCe McDonald, Reina Gossett, and Dean Spade: Prisons Aren’t Safe for Anybody

In 2011, CeCe McDonald and her friends were attacked by a group of white people shouting racist and transphobic slurs. When CeCe stabbed one of their attackers in self defense, she was arrested and imprisoned for 19 months. During that time, CeCe’s evocative and thoughtful writing inspired an international community of activists to support the campaign to Free CeCe and to advance the broader movement for prison abolition. In February 2014, one month after her release from prison, CeCe joined prison abolition activists Reina Gossett and Dean Spade in a conversation about her own experiences surviving trauma and impossible situations, and the importance of love and collective organizing for people facing systems of violence.

This video is part of the series No One is Disposable, which features conversations on trans activism and prison abolition with BCRW activist fellow Reina Gossett.

Trans people are told by the law, state agencies, private discriminators, and our families that we are impossible people who cannot exist, cannot be seen, cannot be classified, and cannot fit anywhere. We are told by the better-funded lesbian and gay rights groups, as they continually leave us aside, that we are not politically viable our lives are not a political possibility that can be conceived. Inside this impossibility, I argue, lies our specific political potential—a potential to formulate demands and strategies to meet those demands that exceed the containment of neoliberal politics. A critical trans politics is emerging that refuses empty promises of “equal opportunity” and “safety” underwritten by settler colonialism, racist, sexist, classist, ableist, and xenophobic imprisonment, and ever-growing wealth disparity. This politics aims to center the concerns and leadership of the most vulnerable to build transformative change through mobilization. It is reconceptualizing the role of law reform in social movements, acknowledging that legal equality demands are a feature of systemic injustice, not a remedy. It is confronting the harms that come to trans people at the hands of violent systems structured through law itself—not by demanding recognition and inclusion in those systems, but by working to dismantle them while simultaneously supporting those most exposed to their harms.

Dean Spade, Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law, p 41

I mean, basically, yeah.

Resistance is what is sexy, its what looks good and is hard to look at and what sometimes requires explanation. Why would we want to do things that don’t require explanation, that are obvious, impervious to critique because no one even notices we’re doing them?
—  dean spade
Could the veterans of the Stonewall and Compton’s Cafeteria uprising against police violence have guessed that a few decades later LGBT law reformers would be supporting the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a law that provides millions of dollars to enhance police and prosecutorial resources? Could they have imagined the police would be claimed as protectors of queer and trans people against violence, while imprisonment and police brutality were skyrocketing?
—  Dean Spade, Normal Life, p. 89

So, the other day, I was driving to my hometown (for reasons) and here’s what I was thinking of….


It’s a good day in the bunker, some time after Beyond the Steel. Pala’s not suffering with the Mark too badly, Becky’s in a good mood, and the boys have no place to be. Someone, probably Becks, let’s be honest, suggests they play Spades. Pala’s in instantly, because that’s her best friend, and Sam’s in, because that’s the mother of his child, and as Pala goes, so goes Dean’s nation. 

They’re going to play partners, so it’s couple verses couple, right? Dean and Pala vs Sam and Becky. Everything’s going all well and good; they’re all talking shit and laughing together. Dean and Pala win the first game, then the second one. Sam starts to get competitive. Dean and Pala win the third game. They’re halfway through the fourth one when Sam exclaims, 

“You’re cheating! You can hear his thoughts!” 

Dean bursts out laughing, and Pala does too, gut-busting, tears-on-the-cheeks laughter. 

“Thought you were supposed to be the smart brother,” Pala teases. 

“Only took him three and a half games,” says Dean. 

Sam looks furious, and Becky just shakes her head, this expression on her face like “we should have expected this” and it only takes Sam about a minute to calm down, because he doesn’t remember the last time Pala or Dean laughed like this, so he starts laughing too, with the joy of it, the whole family here and alive (and human) and playing cards, which is so normal it’s ridiculous. 

They redeal and switch teams. Boys against the girls. Becky and Pala win the first game, then the second. Dean throws down his cards in frustration. 

“It’s no use, man. I can’t keep her out of my head.” Then, he smiles fondly at his wife. “Wouldn’t want to, truth be told.” 

Pala smiles back at him, eyes soft. 


tagging: @leatherwhiskeycoffeeplaid, @rizlow1, @karlabaza, @hot-topical-castiel@deansdirtylittlesecretsblog, @irishdoll80, @mairhof1, @ginny-lily

evieevee98  asked:

What about a dragon hybrid Castiel (as in human body with wings, tail, sharp nails and partly covered in scales?) being held captive somewhere and Dean saving him? I know it's very random and I don't know if you write fantasy, but let's see if this interests you ;)

Oh God, I’ve never written fantasy before, but I hope this is okay?

Castiel came to, aware of a few things simultaneously. First, his head was killing him. A warm, sticky substance was trickling down into his half-closed eyes. Blood then. The second thing Castiel noticed was that he was freezing, a chilliness to his surroundings that was forcing shivers to wrack through his body. He forced his eyes open, instantly noticing two more things. The first was that he was not in his bedroom at the palace, under the warm, thick blankets of his four-poster bed, and was instead on the floor of some kind of cage. The second was that he was not alone.

He recoiled as his captor struck one of the iron bars of his crate. Knees pressed to his chest, Castiel hissed instinctively, baring his sharp teeth and pointed tongue.

“You don’t scare me, little dragon. Your prince is the fighter, not you. And he’s not here to protect you now, hmm? Don’t worry, he’ll never find you.”

The words cut deep, slicing through the one fear that Castiel had felt deep inside since he’d realised his situation. He lashed out with his claws, eyes glowing blue with a hint of arcane magic.

“Release me. I am worthless. The King will never pay a ransom for me.” No matter how much his son begs, Castiel thought privately.

The resulting laughter was cold, calculated, cruel. His captor straightened up, barely acknowledging where Castiel’s claws had scraped over the flesh of his forearm, drawing blood.

“We don’t need the king to pay your ransom, little dragon. Your scales will fetch a pretty penny. Once we carve them from your body, of course.” He gestured to the sapphire scales that spread from Castiel’s neck, down his back and over his thighs and tail.

Horror flooded Castiel’s body, his blood running cold at the words. Dragon scales were priceless, true enough, but –

“I’m only half-dragon! I’m part human. No way my scales will fetch the price you’re hoping for. Please, just – just let me go. I – I don’t want to have to hurt you.”

Castiel wasn’t even fooling himself, his voice shaking as he tried to feebly intimidate his guard. He thought of his scarred, broken body once the scales were carved from him. He thought of Dean, turning away from him once he was no longer whole.

He didn’t get to pursue that train of thought, however as a roar from the entrance of his prison drew his attention. Castiel was barely aware of the tears of relief pricking his eyes as he recognised the armour of his own prince, caught in combat with the captor. Dean had come for him. Love swelled in his chest, pushing away the insecurities of earlier. Dean would always come for him, Dean loved him unconditionally.

It was barely a fight. Dean had motivation in spades to win, and there wasn’t a knight in the kingdom that could match the prince’s strength, and pretty soon Dean was unlocking the hatch to Castiel’s cage.

“Are you okay, Cas?”

Castiel nodded, throwing his arms around Dean and burying his face into his neck. Claws dug deep, piercing the armour, but if Dean was in pain or suffered any discomfort, he didn’t show it.

“Let’s get you home.”

Castiel nodded again, feeling a small smile touch his lips. There was nothing he’d like more.

Send me prompt ideas?

Recommended Readings for those who Do Not Understand how Hillary Clinton is Using the Issues of the LGBTQI+ Community to Push her own Agenda

Bassichis, Morgan, Alexander Lee, and Dean Spade. “Building an Abolitionist Trans and Queer Movement with Everything We’ve Got.” Captive Genders 

Cohen, Cathy J. “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?” Black Queer Studies

Donahue, Jayden. “Making it Happen, Mama: A Conversation with Miss Major.” Captive Genders 

Duggan, Lisa. “Equality Inc.” The Twilight of Equality? Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy 

Puar, Jasbir. “Homonationalism and Biopolitics.” Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times 

Saffin, Lori. “Identities Under Seige: Violence Against Transpersons of Color.” Captive Genders 

To Learn More About Trans

(As part of our trans visibilty day series, we invite our trans friends and followers to submit your stories @AGoodEqualTime) 

In the course of the last few articles we have been talking about trans personalities. We could also have mentioned Renee Richards, famous tennis player, and heroine of an autobiographical film called The choice; or Lynn Conway,  American computer scientist, electrical engineer, inventor, and transgender activist. And a lot of people forget, but it was a drag queen’s stiletto thrown at a cop that started the Stonewall riots and gave birth to the modern SWAT Team.

We have stated in our previous articles that trans aren’t new, it’s time now to turn back time and take a look to the trans people who made History.

  • Charles d'Éon de Beaumont, usually known as the Chevalier d'Éon, was a French diplomat, spy, freemason and soldier at French King Louis the 15th’s court. He  had androgynous physical characteristics and appeared publicly as a man and pursued masculine occupations for 49 years, while he successfully infiltrated the court of Empress Elizabeth of Russia by presenting as a woman. For 33 years, from 1777, d'Éon dressed as a woman, claiming to be assigned female at birth. Even though Doctors who examined d'Éon’s body after his death stated that he was in fact male, he remains in the public minds as an ambiguous character.
  • Born in Spain in 1592, Catalina de Erauso was daughter and sister of soldiers from the city of San Sebastián in Spain. Dressed as a man, calling herself “Francisco de Loyola”, she reached Spanish America and enlisted as a soldier in Chile under the name Alonso Díaz Ramírez de Guzmán. She served under several captains in the Arauco War, including her own brother, who never recognized her. In 1626, Catalina de Erauso was seen by Pope Urban VIII, who granted her a special dispensation to that would allow her to continue to live her life as a man, and to wear men’s clothing.
  • Lili Elbe, born in 1882 was the first ever intersex person to receive gender reassignment surgery in 1930. Her biopic, in which she’s portrayed by Eddie Redmayne, will be released in November 2015.

Because a little bit of reading never killed anyone, here’s a list of books:

First of all, here’s a selection of non-fictional books, most of them beeing academic research:

  • Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us, Kate Bornstein (1994)
  • Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law, Dean Spade (2011)
  • Redefining Realness, Janet Mock (2014)
  • Third Sex and Human Rights, Rajesh Talwar (1999)
  • Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue, Leslie Feinberg (1999)
  • Transgender History, Susan Stryker (2008)
  • Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has Come, Leslie Feinberg (1992)
  • Transgender Rights, Paisley Currah, Richard M. Juang, and Shannon Minter (2006)
  • Transgender Warriors : Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman, Leslie Feinberg (1996)

In French

  • Ni d’Ève ni d’Adam, Défaire la différence des sexes, Marie-Joseph Bertini et Daniel Bougnoux (2006)
  • La Transidentité : Des changements individuels au débat de société, Arnaud Alessandrin (2011)
  • La transidentité, de l’espace médiatique à l’espace public, Karine Espineira (2008)
  • LG… B… T… I… ? Identités émergentes, Karine Espineira et Arnaud Alessandrin (2013)
  • Psychologie(s) des transsexuels et des transgenres, Françoise Sironi (2011)

Fiction and poetry
Young adult/Children’s

  • 10,000 Dresses, Marcus Ewert (2008)
  • The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy, S. Bear Bergman and Suzy Malik (2012)
  • Almost Perfect, Brian Katcher (2009) 2011 Stonewall Book Award from the American Library Association
  • Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, Kirstin Cronn-Mills (2012) 2014 Stonewall Book Award winner
  • Being Emily, Rachel Gold (2012)
  • Freakboy, Kristin Elizabeth Clark (2013)
  • I Am Jazz, Jazz Jennings & Jessica Herthel (2014)
  • Just Girls, Rachel Gold (2014)
  • Luna, Julie Anne Peters (2004)
  • My Princess Boy, Cheryl Kilodavis and Suzanne DeSimone (2009)
  • Parrotfish, Ellen Wittlinger (2011)
  • Roving Pack, Sassafrass Lowrey (2012)

In French

  • Les Petites Déesses, Francesca Lia Block, (1999)
  • Hâvre de paix, Fujino Chiya, Thierry Magnier (2006)
  • L’Âge d’ange, Anne Percin (2008)
  • La face cachée de Luna, Julie-Anne Peters (2005)
  • Le garçon bientôt oublié, Jean-Noël Sciarini (2010)


  • Breakfast on Pluto, Patrick McCabe (1998)
  • The Butterfly and the Flame, Dana De Young (2005)
  • The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard (anthology), Tom Léger and Riley MacLeod (editors) (2012)
  • Holding Still For As Long As Possible, Zoe Whittall (2009)
  • I Am J, Cris Beam (2011)
  • Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami (2002)
  • Maxine Wore Black, Nora Olsen (2014)
  • Myra Breckinridge, Gore Vidal (1968)
  • Nevada, Imogen Binnie (2013)
  • Orlando: A Biography, Virginia Woolf (1928)
  • Run, Clarissa, Run, Rachel Eliason (2012)
  • A Safe Girl to Love, Casey Plett (2014)
  • Stone Butch Blues, Leslie Feinberg (1993) - Won the Lambda Literary Award and the 1994 American Library Association Gay & Lesbian Book Award
  • Trans-Sister Radio, Chris Bohjalian (2000)


  • Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, T.C. Tolbert & Trace Peterson (editors) (2013)

And finally, you can also take a look at the trans associations:



United Kingdom



United States

Dear Dean Spade, please use your fancy law degree to explain to me like I’m four what people in same-gender relationships who need extended healthcare coverage, immigration access, joint parenting rights, the ability to visit their spouse in prison, specific legal protections, etc RIGHT NOW in order to NOT DIE and lose their families etc are supposed to do until the socialist revolution makes all those things universal and not dependent on marriage rights, and why “queers” should be the ones to give all that shit up in the name of political purity and not straight people, thanks, Miss V


#SPN 10 countdown challenge  |  day 19 - episode 19, season 4
Dad didn’t have a choice with us, okay? But with Adam, he did.

I’ve been disturbed to see dynamics emerge where people create the new poly norm and then hate themselves if they cannot live up to it. If they are not perfect at being non-jealous, non-threatened, and totally delighted by their partners’ exploits immediately then they have somehow failed. I have felt this way myself. Frustrated at how my intellect can embrace this approach to sex and yet my emotional reaction is sometimes enormous and undeniably negative. At times, this has become a new unachievable perfection I use to torture myself, embarrassed even to admit to friends how awful I feel when overcome by jealousy, and becoming increasingly distant from partners as I try to hide these shameful and overwhelming feelings.

This doesn’t seem like the radical and revolutionary practice I had hoped for. In fact, it feels all too familiar, like the other traumas of growing up under capitalism—alienation from myself and others, constant insecurity and distrust and fear, self-hatred and doubt and inadequacy. I do not have a resolution for this dilemma. I only have hopes, for myself and others, and lots of questions. How do I recognize the inadequacy of the romance myth while acknowledging its deep roots in my emotional life? How do I balance my intellectual understandings with my deep-seated emotional habits/expectations? It seems like the best answer to all of this is to move forward as we do in the rest of our activism, carefully and slowly, based on our clearest principles, with trust and a willingness to make mistakes. The difficulty of having open relationships should not be a reason not to try it, but it should be a reason not to create new punishing norms in our communities or in our own minds. We’ve done difficult things before. We struggle with internalized oppressions, we chose to live our lives in ways that our families often tell us are impossible, idealistic or dangerous, and we get joy from creatively resisting the limits of our culture and political system that are both external and part of our own minds.


Dean Spade  

“For Lovers and Fighters”

We don't need no trans cops rolling down the worlds blocks

Lets Make the Violence Stop!

I usually don’t read comments on buzzfeed but my friend Dean’s interview was on it and I wanted to check out the brilliant insights he’s interview inspired.  Here’s some of my thoughts about the push back the interview got.

When a handful of white trans women with access to billions of dollars try to make trans ppl -who’ll be POC & poor- weapons of war I realize anything possible.

Except for these white trans women to realize that actually the most pressing needs for our community is getting *out* of deadly institutions like prisons, police, jail, detention centers, bad homeless shelters, forced hospitalizations, as well as access to healthcare, meaningful employment, homes.

Trans people, and I’m talking about my sisters and siblings, are already in extremely dangerous job situations why on earth would we need another one? Why on earth would we want to join the forces of colonialism and conquest at home and abroad?

As Kenyon said in his 2011 huffpost piece  A Military Job Is Not Economic Justice

Yes, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a victory – of sorts – significant when it comes to moving towards eliminating discrimination and advancing equality for LGBT individuals. But military service is not economic justice, and it is immoral that the military is the nation’s de facto jobs program for young, poor, Black and working-class people.

Even while we may applaud the repeal of a discriminatory policy, we have to be clear: militarism and war profiteering do not serve the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, or poor people, or people of color…

Furthermore there are poor people as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people beyond U.S. shores, who have been killed, traumatized, or disabled as a direct result of recent US-led wars or who have become vulnerable targets to backlashes to US policies and actions.

Yes “our gays” should have the “right” to serve openly in the military rather than labor under discriminatory rules – but we stand in solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the globe. We do not condone violence against them or their home countries. We support real economic justice.

I don’t want to be a force of military violence against other poor people of color who are trans, I want liberation. So I say no to this outrageous campaign and I hope you’ll join me in the movement for a trans liberation that is inextricably linked to ending all other forms of oppression!