One of the problems we ran into with crowdfunding The Switch - A Transgender Comedy is that our community's spending patterns are unlike most others. While most Kickstarters would exponentially grow towards a goal and then exceed it, often easily doubling or quintupling their goal, ours crested the minimum before the halfway mark, and then... dropped, then rose and then dropped again. So while your average Kickstarter that asked for $50,000 and hit that goal less than halfway through would go on to $140,000-$190,000, our donation graph waffled and settled at $62,500ish. People gave what they could, and we got what we needed, but that's it.

As near as I can tell, the determining factors seem to be:
- People were reducing their donations because most of us are flat broke and so won't give more money than the minimum. Under different circumstances, the people contributing money would be running a fundraiser themselves just to pay rent

- Following the above, because of the lack of money, and the reliance on social media, our in-community-fundraiser per individual rate is high compared to many other demographics. We also get asked for a large amount of online micro-volunteering: fill out this human rights survey, help me complete my project, sign this petition, argue with this bigot. It's like the annual Christmas charity fatigue, only it's year round.

What worked for us really well was in-person calls to action. Can you give us used stuff? Could you cut us a deal on rentals? Do you have extra food? Trans and Cis people and businesses both pitched in huge for those, and it brought down the cost of our shoot to where we could afford to finish it. We also found that asking "Can you show up and help out in person?" was, for trans folk, a "push" rather than a "pull" - it offered community contact and a sense of meaning to people who are often isolated and depressed, and people came out and volunteered their time. These don't work well when you're trying to drum up nationwide support, but for local community stuff, it's amazing. 
 I don't agree with this

As a trans woman and activist, I love the use of trans, trans* and transgender as umbrella terms

In my experience, the problem we have is one of semantics, rooted in whether transgender means:
(a) people who break the rules of gender other than in who they sleep with (i.e. people whose identities *and/or expressions* differ from that assigned to them at or shortly after birth )
or
(b) people who cis society perceives "cross over" from one binary gender to another, even though many actually identified that way their entire lives

When I was introduced to the term "transgender," it clearly meant (a). It was an umbrella used for organizing, and at least made an effort to represent all the gender outlaws under one banner. But when the media started reporting specifically on transsexuals in the late 00's, it assumed "transgender" was a polite substitution for "transsexual" because... uh... I guess they thought it's better to not say "sex" or something.

(Tangent: At times, "transgender" it was used to refer specifically to no-ho/non-op people who have a binary gender identity that conflicts with their assignment at birth, thus shedding the medical diagnostic ties of "transsexual." This should be no surprise, as the term "transgender" was reappropriated from the word "transgenderist" as was popularized by Virginia Prince in the 1970s who organized around this very identity, and who was instrumental in the part-time MTF-spectrum umbrella that included both trans women and AFAB crossdressers.)

As a consequence of this binary-focused mainstream media coverage, many non-binary people and cissexed gender non-conforming people felt it does not include them, so they stopped identifying with it.

If however, we use Transgender as an umbrella term, many gender-variant people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth might want to use the term "cis*sexed* and transgender" while non binary people can use "non binary transgender"

Failing that, to my knowledge, we lack any short umbrella term that has ever satisfied a large number of people. And that causes a problem whenever someone is trying to concisely convey the spectrum of people who might have a stake or at least a deep-seated personal interest in combatting transphobia, binary sexism, imperialist gender systems, transmisogyny, body-freedom and so on.
(From a Facebook discussion relating to [THE ORGANIZATION IN QUESTION])

 I've seen waaaay too many "women's" (and "labour" and "gay" and "student" and "environmental" and "neighbourhood..." and for that matter "patriot") organizations derail criticism of their actions and stall out change by saying that to call for public accountability of them "is to attack the cause." (i.e. women, labour, the environment, etc...)
 
Many people prefer an approach of kind patience and fence-mending. But when I see the above tactic, I'm pretty much then and there willing to help take a piece out of the organization, just on  general principle - if only as a warning to others that might mimic them. So I hope that [THE ORGANIZATION IN QUESTION] is *not* problematic, and does *not* try this.
For a long time, when discussing responsibilities, other activists have told me "I had to realize that there is only so much one person can do, alone or as part of a group."

But where do you draw the line? Where do I? I fear drawing it too close, to set my standards too low, to cop out. I could always labour more, organize more, act more.

But recently, working-working-working, a metalwork business, a docuentary, peripheral involvement in a startup, getting published, old struggles their heads from the mud of history, studying, cooking, exercising, and dating, I've started doing as much as I can do in a day. Planned, methodical, constructive.

I should say "As much as I can do in a day if I want to do it over the long term." I can and do do more when I abuse my own health, but this usually is a short-term gain with a long-term loss.

Doing this maximum shows me the limits of what I as one person can do. It shows where potential ends and hubris begins.

From here, it is not about doing more, but doing it smarter, and with my whole self, weighing, prioritizing, choosing. Finding time to rest. Knowing when to push. And not feeling guilty for not doing more. Rather, feeling cunning about how I could do what I do better. (Cunning is one of my favorite states of mind.)

My life is pretty good right now. Not "soon," not "eventually," not "someday," now. It's just a matter of optimizing.

Women-only pharmacy reverses policy excluding transsexual and intersexed women


Also see the Femininjas's Website

I still have some concerns about whether the gentrification issues have been addressed, but this, at least, is good news.

I understand they need volunteers, and this is a good time to make change.
Dear Premier Campbell,

I am a car owner and former urban studies student in the GVRD. In the light of your government's commitment to the environment and to BC's long-term economic prospects, it is my suggestion that you avoid twinning the Port Mann Bridge. Widening the bridge is a poor idea. Due to the phenomenon of "traffic elasticity,"

Sent to
premier@gov.bc.ca
kevin.falcon.mla@leg.bc.ca
maurine.karagianis.mla@leg.bc.ca
carole.james.mla@leg.bc.ca

Wanna do something similar?


So I was thinking of boycotting the Olympic sponsors when I ran into this.

Not cool.

I'd say it's over the line, but I think that we've past that point. I mean, it's the sort of thing I'd expect from - oh - the United States Central Intelligence Agency.


In any case, long befer this story, it seems that several thousand other people had already come to the conclusion that a boycott can and should extend to the people who are funding the Chinese government's bread-and-circuses-and-bread-is-optional program.


Several Olympic sponsors believe this to be unfair. I would remind them that the point of sponsorship is to have your name associated with popular things. For example: when notedly homophobic Senator Larry Craig went before a judge after being caught soliciting sex in a men's washroom, he was not wearing a Nascar-style advertisement-jacket. Get it? Perhaps I should send their advertising department my resume?


Some people believe that this is unfair to people in China. Speaking as someone who lives in an Olympic city, I would love for my city's Olympics to be Boycotted - that way I might be able to get a ticket to this event that my tax dollars are paying for. I would love it even more if BC was a dictatorship and the Boycott was aimed at motivating the government to pursue human rights. I mean, I'd hope that people would pay more attention to my human rights than a bobsled race that I can't afford to see, but I'm funny that way. 
I'm following up on the letter I sent out earlier to a woman's kink thingy.

What amuses me about all of this is:

[edit: I'm leaving the remaining typos in to remind myself why I shouldn't write important letters when I should be sleeping]

1. With this dyke event, where variant gender-expresion is presumably welcome (short hair, comfortable shoes), I'm going to bat to have body-variance included

2. At the women's centre, where they are pretty darn good about body-variance (i.e. intersex, MtF), I am (actually, I should say "was, and may again after the CFS stuff is done") trying to get gender expression included so the space users will stop bothering women with short hair.

So we have people who belong to the one, who would wonder whether they're welcome, and fully welcome, at the other. Maybe I should introduce them.

Man, this shit makes me tense. It just pokes a stick in me.                Boundaries. Boundaries.

Anyway. The letters. I guess I'm putting them here to prove I exist, that I am doing this. I think that probing for these answers is the right thing to do, but I feel like I'm being a jackass.

What I want is a clear answer, and it annys me and scares me when I can't get one (confer: BC vital statistics and changing gender). With a clear answer, I do not have to worry about me or one of my friends getting a hurtful response where they thought theywere welcome. I might even be able to look forward to expanding the social bounds and esources of somethnig that I care about (see examples one and two above).

I paraphrase their last poster:
'a party for women (gay/straight/trans); genderqueers and FtMs with ties to women's kink are welcome'
I put up the posters around mainstreet and SFU. I was unable to attend. I still have their tape gun.

They're putting on another event. I wanted to ask some questions before I volunteered again. The volunteer coordinator obliged and asked if I wanted any specific "deets" (short for details I assume, not misspelled "beets"). I sent them this:
XRO:
The office is full of old papers and I am left to puzzle out what happened over the last year and where we spent our money. There should be two rather pricey banners sitting around, but I've not seen them. There is a box of just shy of a thousand "I Support the SFSS" buttons. Those ran a little over five hundred bucks and I think went largely unused during the anti-impeachment campaign. Fortunately, I can think of an ironic use for them.

We also have a bunch of signed protest postcards to the provincial, and on occasion, federal government. Most of them (about three hundred) are anti-tuition cards for Victoria, which means that we have to provide our own postage, and that's a big enough expenditure to require taking it before the advocacy committee and then processing it through finance. Should it be surprising that this is a Federation campaign?

I put the first 178 cards into two large envelopes, which I can mail for $5.02, instead of $90.78 (plus labour and committee time). Now I'm finding the rest, since they're not all in one place.

Spread the word please:
The advocacy committee is interested in supporting SFU student activism on any semi-organized
social justice cause that does not contradict SFSS social policy. We can help you with networking, room-booking and can give you supplies or cash. I am the person who puts items on the agenda, so contact me.
SNOW!!!!!!!

I went to the Trans Alliance Society's AGM. It's nice, or at least it's interesting, to go somewhere where some of the people assume you're FTM, while a few others who know this is not the case diplomatically negotiate around not being sure if the name you gave them last week still holds, but everyone likes the fact that you volunteered to take notes.

Then Bevan and I walked around in the snow.

Yeah! Winter!

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