dean spade

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I met Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor. We just talked for a few minutes but she is now one of the only people in positions of power in Washington who’s defending our communities and has a pivotal role to play in our movement’s wellbeing. When we met, despite all the failures in policy that she herself had endured as a Latina woman, she remained optimistic of the ability to change them and make the world better for transgender people/all communities in the U.S. I questioned her perception that gradual progress was necessarily the way to go and recommended she read Normal Life by Dean Spade when she asked about legal transgender literature (and you should read the book too).

While I am always skeptical of any form of legislative change and believe in the withering away of the state, it was inspiring to know there is at least someone in D.C. who has the bare minimum good intentions for the trans movement, which can’t be said for 99% of politicians.

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.


Dean Spade: History of Queers Against Police

Dean Spade talks about the dramatic shifts in queer and trans movements over the last 50 years with the emergence in the 1990s of a highly visible and well-funded gay rights movement whose demand for inclusion in hate crime legislation and police protection goes against queer and trans community-based grassroots organizing to end police and state violence since the 1960s.

BCRW and The Engaging Tradition Project co-convened a conference called Queer Dreams and Non-Profit Blues to examine the critiques emerging from queer and feminist activists and scholars about the impact of funding on social movement agendas and formations. During the conference, Hope Dector from BCRW and Dean Spade from The Engaging Tradition Project conducted interviews with many of the speakers about their analysis and strategies related to the conference themes. These interviews were edited into 30 short videos that aim to bring these critical perspectives into an accessible format for use in activist spaces and classrooms. These videos highlight the type of knowledge production that is possible when the boundaries between activism and the academy are actively traversed.

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
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
Sometimes while I ride the subway I try to look at each person and imagine what they look like to someone who is totally in love with them. I think everyone has had someone look at them that way, whether it was a lover, or a parent, or a friend, whether they know it or not. It’s a wonderful thing, to look at someone to whom I would never be attracted and think about what looking at them feels like to someone who is devouring every part of their image, who has invisible strings that are connected to this person tied to every part of their body. I think this fun pastime is a way of cultivating compassion. It feels good to think about people that way, and to use that part of my mind that I think is traditionally reserved for a tiny portion of people I’ll meet in my life to appreciate the general public. I wish I thought about people like this more often. I think it’s the opposite of what our culture teaches us to do. We prefer to pick people apart to find their flaws. Cultivating these feelings of love or appreciation for random people, and even for people I don’t like, makes me a more forgiving and appreciative person toward myself and people I love. Also, it’s just a really excellent pastime.
—  Dean Spade
Down By The Seaside

Prompt: Sunburn
Pairing: Destiel
Tags/Warnings: All the fluff, beaches, single dad dean, AU
Summary: Cas causes shenanigans with sunblock which is promptly returned.


Castiel is watching Emma play in the sand with her bucket and spade when Dean joins him on the lounger. A cold spurt lands on his back and he gasps.


“It’s just sunblock, don’t want you to get sunburnt in this heat,” Dean assures.

“But it’s cold, and we put some on when we got here!” Castiel whines.

“It won’t be when I rub it in, besides, it needs reapplying,” Dean says with a smirk. Castiel cranes his neck round to see Dean with a massive grin on his face. He rolls his eyes playfully before refocussing on the horizon in front of him. Dean’s hands begin to massage his back, rubbing in the white lotion. It’s more than soothing and warms up quickly.

“Hmm, that’s good,” Castiel mumbles. Another gasp when Dean dollops sunblock on the back of his legs before he chuckles and lets Dean rub all that in too, cheeks heating when he feels Dean’s hands get dangerously close to his groin. “Dean! We’re in public,” Castiel hisses, laughing and turning over.

“So what? At least you’re protected,” A wink and Dean wipes a finger of sunblock on Cas’ nose, leaving an obvious white smear. His antics are childish but they make him laugh and before Cas knows it, Dean’s laughing loudly. The people next to them are looking but Cas decides not to care and grabs for the bottle of sunblock in Dean’s hand.

Successfully attaining it, Castiel holds it up high as Dean tries to get it back. After a few moments, Cas has Dean pinned down to the lounger, laughing.

“Cas! You… gah!” Cold sunblock dribbles onto Dean’s back in retaliation, but it rubs it in with a glorious massage which has Dean humming quietly. “Thought you were complaining about this being a public place?”

Keep reading


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

anonymous asked:

hey no shade but how would you improve coercive systems? I've never heard anyone make the points you did, and I guess I'm pretty confused? what's so bad about cats for prisoners?

The bad thing isn’t cats for prisoners. Cats are cute!

The bad thing is prisons. Prisons don’t work, don’t make us safer and are really about controlling the population because the State would rather prosecure thieves than fix poverty, would rather lock up a fraction of rapists than fix sexism, would rather lock up people of color for minor drug offenses than fix racism, etc. Prisons don’t make our society safer, they just make the people in power safer because it’s something they can use against us when we get weird ideas about having a right to real freedom from their rule. 

Communities where there is justice and freedom from need are perfectly capable of solving disputes and harmful behaviour without relying on punishment. There has already been a lot of writing on this so there’s some stuff below. 

So about cats:

When there are projects like cats for prisoners, art for prisoners, theatre for prisoners, I’m generally happy that prisoners are getting one less crappy thing in their life. But the way they are presented are as things that will make the existence of prison okay. They’re not. No amount of cute cats and art programs will change a prison into a helpful institution. They’re still places that disappear human beings rather than fix societies’ problems. 

What’s more, these projects are almost always immediately used as another form of coercion. Prisoners don’t get a cat, period. They get a cat as long as they behave the way the prison wants and that cat can be taken away as punishment. It’s just one more way of controlling people. 

In the end these projects are not really about helping prisoners at all, they’re about us who read the news articles. They’re about maintaining the lie that prisons are humane places with a few minor flaws that can be reformed. They’re absolutely not. We don’t need prison reform, we need prison abolition. 

Reading list: (and some stuff to watch)


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?

kajuned  asked:

This is just a short, random question but is there any particular reason Dean blurted out "Cas get out of my ass!" in 6x19? XDD It's both hilarious, random, and Destiel-themed. Did you like it?

Argh, short fun question but long grumpy answer, because I’m afraid not, sorry… At least except for how you can apply the longing retcon to why Cas chose to pop up specifically then and there… The longing retcon makes everything better.

The immediate context is:

BOBBY: I’m looking, but I’m thinking maybe it’s time you made a call.

DEAN: Why has it always got to be me that makes the call, huh? It’s not like Cas lives in my ass. The dude’s busy. (Cas appears behind him. Dean turns around, surprised.) Cas, get out of my ass!

CAS: I was never in your – (Dean gives him a look.)

The ~joke~ is that Dean is saying Cas doesn’t “live in his ass” aka isn’t always following him around, doing whatever Dean wants (aka what Cas says he does more seriously in 6x21 with “I always come when you call” and at least during parts of earlier canon where he was able, did answer a few of Dean’s prayers/come when he needed him, although tbh there’s never been a particularly stable time where Cas was always on call to do what they needed with nothing better of his own to follow, except I guess between 10x10 and 11x10 (That part ended with Cas giving us another “I came as soon as you called”, even…)

Of course Dean is actually pissed off since 6x01 that it turned out Sam was alive and Bobby, Sam and Cas conspired to keep it from him so he’d stay with Lisa, instead of being where he’d truly want, which is with his brother and hard-earned family, doing what he felt was his job, while they prioritised, all of them, the idea of Dean, who they loved deeply, leading a normal life even if it meant not having it with them. So he’s already pissed off about that, but then Cas won’t answer their prayers and in 6x03 shows up only because the staff of moses was more interesting than them, and for several episodes the only way to get him to show up is by mentioning more heavenly weapons, and meanwhile Dean’s in soulless!Sam meltdown, so Cas not answering is just making everything worse for him. 

And he still won’t tell them what’s going on with the angel war even by 6x19, the very previous episode Cas didn’t answer when they prayed, Rachel came instead and Cas only showed up when she started insulting them. Basically none of his appearances have been good and given Dean any real implication Cas came because he liked them or wanted to help them, so by this point he’s pretty much had it with Cas (which, of course, makes his absolute digging in his heels refusal to allow the idea that Cas betrayed them next episode even worse - it’s the same old same old, where Dean is furious with Cas on the surface level but makes enormous allowances for him on a deep personal level where obviously he still loves Cas deeply, no matter what he’s doing. 12x19 and 12x23 had that feeling in spades from Dean as well.)

But anyway. “Dude’s busy” is the most massive understatement of how slighted and miserable Dean was feeling about Cas’s attention that year.

Then obviously because he’d been talking about Cas being in his ass, in the sense of, idk, brown-nosing hanger on (why are all our terms and phrases for this about poop. why. humanity has issues), so when Cas does pop up unasked but immediately when they start talking about him (”you know who spies, Cas? SPIES.”) and he’s standing RIGHT BEHIND Dean, Dean’s already mentioned Cas being up his ass and there he is in a suggestively close, strange place to appear, making a joke on the other times Cas appears close behind Dean for dramatic effect. So Dean snaps at Cas because it’s really uncomfortable to have him that close without warning, and of course there’s the whole innuendo going on all the way through this, that they’re pretty much using butt sex as the metaphor for everything ELSE in their lives. 

(And Cas maybe genuinely had no idea or maybe plays innocent about listening in and makes the very Cas comment of taking him very literally instead of realising it’s all a metaphor >.>)

In the wider context, I really don’t like it because it implies Cas is being kinda creepy and paints his interest in Dean as, well, getting too up close and personal with Dean’s ass for his liking. It’s similar to the 5x18 lashing out from Dean except despite it having a ton more obvious context about why Dean says it, on an emotional level, in 5x18 the total lack of context to why Dean’s obsessed with Cas blowing him or him getting laid last time someone looked at him like that, makes it contrast to him lashing out at Bobby for not being his father and at Sam for being a failure of a brother or whatever it was, showing Dean has a very specifically directed anger he doesn’t *mean* towards all 3 of them, and these are the 3 different ways he feels about his brother, father figure, and angel… Like, once you go past the very top layer, it’s pretty impressive Destiel subtext, as it’s the sort that’s deeply integrated and uses other characters as direct contrasts. Also in 5x18, Cas is doing nothing creepy and is entirely the one being wronged by Dean’s words and actions.

In season 6 Cas is recharacterised as distant and grumpy with the excuse of the angel war and as I said is entirely “unhelpful” for most of the season. 6x20, the episode AFTER this, offers us all the context where the writing is sympathetic and Edlund does such a good job bringing in the philosophical themes from season 5 and showing what happened to them, and Cas as a result, that watching from 5x22 to 6x20 and then continuing on your way is a weirdly valid way to skip through, just because the episode puts so much contrast on what we’ve seen so far in the season and reveals everything, and puts such a strong Cas spin on things that going back and rewatching, the entire season looks different. And more on Cas’s side and more like we know what he’s dealing with so it’s easier to understand why he has no time for Dean and lashes out and doesn’t answer his prayers, and left Dean to rake leaves, and so on and so on. 

But also in season 6, the occasional snark about Destiel from earlier seasons is multiplied by a lot, especially with Balthazar indiscriminately snarking about Cas having a thing for both Sam and Dean depending on whichever one he’s talking to, and then Crowley gets involved in 6x20 onwards, trying to paint a word picture of him home wrecking Cas and Dean. And this sort of language is all over the season, and Balthazar and Crowley are Cas’s main co-conspirators, and are heavily queercoded/actually shown kissing dudes on screen in Crowley’s case, and anyway even if Cas consistently shows no interest in sex they *still* find a way to make him as close to evil and skanky as you can go within his characterisation (*side-eyes 6x10* and not just the Meg bits - all of it with the porn and all and, yes, of course that includes the bit where Samuel walks in on them and thinks they’re all perverts) - it was all characterisation choices across the season to aid in building Cas up to kill him off (and, incidentally, the ABSENCE of evil skanky Cas in season 12 is why it was abundantly obvious they had no plans to permanently kill him off)… 

In THAT context, that Cas was the queercoded big bad of season 6, who had only once been a friend and only Edlund interceding meant we got any sympathy (and he had to argue for that episode to happen the way it did and for there to be a chance to tell Cas’s side as a character-leaving tribute, but imagine season 6 without it, just another plot episode with a one-sided confrontation…) and so on… that line in 6x19 is prime material for making fun of Cas and Dean’s connection, specifically in a way that paints Dean as the straight dude who is uncomfortable with butt stuff, and Cas is the one equated to wanting to get up Dean’s ass. 

With Cas eventually coming back, redeeming, and the writing deciding to be kind to him again once a Cas friendly writer was back in charge, it is MUCH easier to laugh about these lines and look at them in a really different context of what Destiel became, but actually thinking about the line as it is and if I like it? Nope, in 6x19 Dean belittles and complains about Cas constantly while upset with him, and of course he has a sympathetic (and at that point, only offered side of this argument) reason to feel this way, but he vents his frustration with harsh words, and then the narrative is going out of its way to make Cas look bad, and this is like the unholy meeting point of all of it >.>

But since 10x10 you can say it’s canon that angels don’t need a formal prayer, they can respond to a longing instead, and Dean was just talking angrily about Cas not being in his ass, and hahaha Dean repression Winchester at work making on-the-nose jokes about what he can’t have and is scared to ask for, woah that was bad timing for Cas to just mysteeeeriously show up without being FORMALLY PRAYED TO rrrright after Dean was musing on Cas being up his butt. No wonder he looked shocked and offended at his appearance, and Cas got so confused responding to Dean’s shock and offence for showing up for a prayer booty call only to find Sam and Bobby watching…

Yeah, that fixes a lot, thanks, Buckleming, for being too lazy to look up if angels can still track people who aren’t warded (spoilers: uh, no one ever took that away from them?? Just from tracking Sam and Dean??? But this works great too!)

So yeah, the fanon version of this line is very amusing to me in the right light :P