i am going to federal prison for this

Badass Black Women History Month:
Celebrating 28 Black Women Who Said,
“Fuck it, I’ll Do It!”

Day 23: Lucy Hicks Anderson
Badass Lady Law Breaker

Lucy Hicks Anderson was born in Waddy, KY, but her year of birth is unknown. What is known, is that from 1920 until 1945 she was constantly harassed and prosecuted for living as a woman. While the term “transgender” did not exist at the time, She insisted publicly that a person could appear to be of one sex, but actually belong to the other. 

According to Lucy’s own testimony, when she started school, she insisted on wearing dresses and started calling herself Lucy at a young age. Her mother took her to a doctor, and, amazingly, the doctor advised her mom to raise her as a girl. Lucy quit school at 15 to start working and eventually moved to Texas when she was in her twenties. In 1920, Lucy married Clarence Hicks and moved to New Mexico and, finally, Oxnard, California.

Lucy would continue to work as a maid, but eventually saved enough money to buy property at the center of town. She operated a brothel, divorced her husband and remarried a soldier in 1944. Around this time, it was discovered that Lucy was born male. The Ventura County district attorney decided to try her for perjury, believing she had lied on her marriage license by saying she was a woman. 

Lucy challenged the authority of doctors who insisted she was male. Reporters state that Lucy said, “I defy any doctor in the world to prove that I am not a woman. I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman.” 

She was still conviced and sentenced to probation for ten years. The harassment would not end there, however. Because Lucy was married to a soldier, she received allotment checks from the Army. The Federal government then decided to prosecute both Lucy and her husband, Reuben, for fraud. They were found guilty and sentenced to prison. After Lucy’s release, she tried to go back to Oxnard, but was told by the local police chief that she had to leave town or risk further prosecution. Lucy decided to live the remainder of her life in Los Angeles and continued to live her life the way she wanted. 

Read St Vincent’s beautifully sincere statement on her Grammy win


On Sunday, Annie Clark won the Grammy for best alternative music album while on tour in Australia. She posted a quick thank-you tweet on the night, then wrote this lovely open letter of sorts, sent out to her fan mailing list.

Read her reflections on the journey she’s taken, from first conceiving of the St Vincent project to this first Grammy triumph.

in 2007, i signed to beggars banquet records. i was living in dallas, texas in my childhood bedroom at the time, which i had fashioned into a makeshift studio in order to record some of what would end up being my debut album “marry me.”

the first days of touring my own songs and as “st. vincent” are very vivid. in early 2007, in anticipation of the release of my record, my (much beloved) agent put me on the road as solo support for jolie holland and midlake. he saw potential in me, but rightfully, thought i needed to get my live act together. get comfortable playing for people. get road-tested. like most of the rest of my career, it was a trial by earth, wind, and fire.

i was performing solo; just my voice, a guitar through an array of effects pedals, a “stomp board” — a homemade device i made out of a piece of plywood and a contact microphone that i ran through a bass EQ pedal, and a keyboard. i thought the keyboard looked unmysterious on it’s own, so i designed a lighted wooden enclosure to go around it. my brother-in-law helped me build it in his garage. it weighed a gazillion pounds and gave me splinters to carry, and i don’t think anyone was under any illusion that there was anything but a keyboard inside it. neither the first nor the last in a series of hilariously ill-fated ideas.

january 2007, i borrowed my father’s station wagon and drove 12 hours from dallas to frozen lincoln, nebraska to open for jolie holland (what a voice) at a half-full 150 capacity carpeted club. i believe the compensation was $250/gig but it could have been as much as $500 — more $ than i’d ever seen for a gig for sure and guaranteed, no less! in my memory, this midwestern jolie tour dovetailed right into opening the midlake tour. they were out in support of their excellent record, “the trials of van occupanther” and were the sweetest good texas boys you could ever hope to meet. the drummer of midlake, mackenzie smith, would later prove to be a great collaborator, playing on actor, strange mercy, and st. vincent.

on this tour, i’d enlisted my dear friend, jamil, to come and sell merch and help do the long drives. we’d just played a show in detroit and while we’d been inside, a blizzard had swept through and covered the stationwagon in snow and ice. it was treacherous. jamil, who always had some incredible hustle going, hired a homeless man named larry to dig the stationwagon out of the snow. (in college, he had a gold lexus, stripped it of the good parts, and resold it. when i asked if he was sad to see it go, he said, “girl, they think they bought a lexus but they bought a corolla.”) i’ll never forget driving out of bombed out-detroit, apocalyptic at 1 AM. interstate 94 tense and quiet, jamil trying to make sure we didn’t crash or stall on the icy road.

i have eaten years of veggie subway sandwiches on highways 10-90, stayed at a super 8 motel behind a kansas federal prison, peed in cups in dressing rooms when there was no bathroom, gotten eaten alive by bedbugs at a cincinnati days inn. i would not trade a single highway or city or moment or person i met for anything. i have loved it all.

i’m very grateful to have received this grammy. thank you to my producer john congleton, thank you family, thank you friends, thank you to all the incredible musicians involved, thank you managers and agents and publishers and labels and publicists and everyone who works hard at their jobs. and thank you guys. thanks for everything.

I woke up this morning to like six different people linking me the news that the Justice Department announced they’re going to stop using private prisons, and I find this very flattering because lots of people heard this excellent news and thought that I needed to know right away.

But, like, most private prisons (and most prisoners, in general) are state, not federal, and I don’t have much sense of how likely the states are to take the federal lead on this. I am loudly and proudly an incrementalist - things that make the world better are good, even if they’re ‘a smokescreen for the real problem’ or ‘a distraction’ or ‘a symbolic gesture’ - and this is good! This is really good! But if it is meant as a distracting gesture we had better not get distracted: private prisons aren’t over and public prisons still suck.

anonymous asked:

do you consider the russian anti-gay law fair? Do you think russians should do something about this?

This is the last time I will answer this question.

First of all, your terminology bugs me. Anti-gay law? Please send me a link to this so-called “anti-gay law” and then we can talk about this. What I understand under the “anti-gay law” is: the law that forbids people to be gay and subsequently punishes them for being homosexual with either a prison sentence or a fine. Now, I’m on the website of the federal codex of the Russian Federation and I don’t see any such law.

I will clarify this even more: IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO BE HOMOSEXUALLY ORIENTED IN RUSSIA. IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO BE HOMOSEXUALLY ORIENTED IN RUSSIA. IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO BE HOMOSEXUALLY ORIENTED IN RUSSIA. Clear enough?

No one is going to put you in prison because your dick prefers boys instead of girls. No one cares about your personal preferences. Our government has other things to keep itself busy with. 

I am not a spokesperson for the Russian government, but even less am I a spokesperson for the sentiment of the Russian people towards any occurring phenomenon. What Russian people think of homosexuality is none of my concern. There are people who are tolerant, there are people who are not tolerant. I will let you in on a very big secret: It’s like that everywhere else on this goddamn planet. People were all blessed (or cursed) with a mind of their own. Some are stubborn, some are tolerant, some are hateful, some are forgiving, some are happy, some are miserable, some are arrogant, some are indifferent, and so on. Once again, I can never speak for 142 million citizens of the Russian Federation, because that’s not representative. People are people. It takes some time to convince them of things and change their minds and their objectives. It takes time and we should be patient.

It is right that gay couples cannot get married in Russia. I don’t know how this will evolve. I suspect that with time it will become more acceptable, but I can’t know for sure. Now, I would like to remind you that Russia is not the only country on this world whose actions towards gay couples are troubling. Here is a (incomplete) list of countries who still haven’t legalized same-sex marriage, just to give you an example: Germany, Italy, Israel, Japan, Nepal, Poland, Turkey, and so on. Also don’t forget about the countries where you’ll get the death sentence for just being gay. 

Some people have come here on my blog and would start complaining to me about the police seizing them for demonstrating whatever on the Red Square and say how bad it is and how limited their freedom of expression is. It’s not my fault that you forgot to get your picketing permit from the government which you need to get before you start any kind of protest. You don’t just get out on the street with posters, it can cause inconvenience for the traffic and the infrastructure. Go get your permit and protest about whatever you want. Not my fault you can’t do a decent job of organizing a protest, but hey it’s whatever. 

Further on, the only law I know that even remotely talks about this is one included in The Federal Law about the protection of children from information harmful to their health and development. This law includes the prohibition of certain types of information that could be harmful to little kids and that would force them to act in ways that would harm their health, that would make them want to use drugs/alcohol/whatever, that would make them think that violence is acceptable and use it on others or inflict self-harm upon them, etc. These sources of information are not to be shown during day-time when children watch television or should not be shown on channels that broadcast children shows. 

Here is a screenshot I took of the law, which you can find here in Russian (use google translate, we live in such an innovative age!). 

A loose translation of it: 

Article 5. Types of information harmful to the health and/or the development of children.

1. Types of information harmful to the health and/or the development of children include: 

1) Information, provided in part 2 of the current article and prohibited for propagation amongst children;
2) Information, provided in part 3 of the current article subject to the provisions of articles 7-10 of the current Federal Codex and propagation of which is limited among children of certain age groups.

2. Information harmful to the health and/or the development of children includes:

1) The encouragement of children to commit acts that threaten their lives and (or) health, including harm to their own health, suicide;
2) Information capable of triggering in children the desire to use narcotics, psychotropic substances and (or) intoxicants, tobacco and alcohol products, beer and beverages produced on its basis, participation in gambling, prostitution, vagrancy or begging;
3) Substantiation or justification of violence and the permissibility (or) any cruel motivation to exercise violence against people or animals, except for cases stipulated by this Federal Law;
4) The denial of family values, promotion of unconventional sexual relationships and the formation of disrespect for parents and (or) the other members of the family;
5) Justification of unlawful behaviour;
6) Containing foul language;
7) Containing information of a pornographic nature;
8) Information concerning a minor affected by unlawful actions (inaction), including the name, surname, patronymic name, photo and video images of the minor, his parents and other legal representatives, the date of birth of the minor, the audio recording of his voice, his place of residence or place of temporary stay, his place of work or study, and other information allowing directly or indirectly to establish the identity of the minor.

Now, allow me to ask: has the whole world been bitching about a law that was signed to protect the development of Russian children? I don’t care what you think about this law, whether or not it’s justifiable, whether or not being gay has anything to do with nature rather than with nurture, etc. I don’t care. But have you really put up this entire moronic piece of crap circus for a law that doesn’t even concern adults? Is this why I have to put up with disgusting anons hating on me because my country is so anti-gay? Are you out of your rabbit ass mind, you smelling buttcracks of trailerpark rednecks??? 

What should Russian people do about this, you ask? Let Russian people sort it out for themselves, we’ll be okay. Maybe you should be more concerned with people dying of hunger and diseases all over the world instead of focussing on a law that prohibits pornography on children’s channels. 

Ultimately, I don’t know who you people think I am, but for further questions concerning the legislation of the Russian Government, please direct them to: http://government.ru/. It’s not like they pay me to be their spokesperson.