For me, January will be a month of closure.


On the 6th, I finish transition. (and begin bruising in uncomfortable places)

On January 20th, Bush leaves office and will be replaced by a member of homo sapiens.

On the 29th, we see the CFS elders in court.


Closure. Yes.

A classmate of mine is fond of internet stalking. She was kind enough to let me know that my "Facebook photos arne't secured." I don't know how many she went though, but in actuality, only some of them were visible to her: mostly ones from about one to two years ago. I don't know how many she looked at, if any, or what she thought of it. She's given no feedback. The photos in question are early transition and pre-transition. I left them open to members of the University network because, hey, I went through three names administrating the student society, so what's the point of hiding it from the people who voted for me under said names?

That was a while ago.

Going through and irreversably de-indexing each photo was burning the past:
- Uncomfortable in its resemblance to burning books.
- Welcome in its similarity to burning a body before it putrifies.

The age of ubiquitous computing, user-generated indexed content, and/or panoptic surveillance, redefines the closet. It's harder to keep secrets, and easier to uncovering them, even accidentally. .

With cameras everywhere, all it takes is one person's mouseclick to capture and index your image to make that moment, or at least one cropped-and-lit angle of it, accessable to everyone who might want to know.

I hope this will pan out into a more honest society. Where we realize that we all have bad hair days, and we all did some stupid things in our youth. Where we recognize that honesty is vulnerability is strength; that seeing another's naked face is an opportunity to smile warmly, not to judge harshly.

I look forward to the day when politicians can honestly say "Yes I toked up. Then I failed the exam." and people will shrug, and begrudge whomever miguses it as an attack.

But we haven't quite made the shift yet.
I'm listening to the Debates for the Members at Large.
(this isn't the most astounding videorecording, but if you're intersted, here it is)
A few minutes in, the Chair asks the candidates "what do you of the SFSS recently?"

While they have plans for improvements, ALL of them are pleased with the work of the student society.

This is the first time that I have ever heard anything like this from candidates.

Shiny.
In case you're wondering what I do at work, here's 80% my job in three links

1. How the CFS fails at social change
2. How the CFS plans to keep us in (and a link to the document in question)
3. Our solution

I also do other stuff. But not much of it right now.
[The original of this was less precise. It did not include paragraphs 2, 3 and 6. It said only "I hate them" when asked at the CFS meeting about what "I hate them" means, paragraphs two and three flew out of my mouth. It seemed worth writing down.]

I'm off to another CFS meeting. This one starts at 11 am in Kamloops on Saturday, and finishes on Sunday evening. The will cover overnighting on Saturday/Sunay, but not at any other time. Thus we are expected to both leave and return to Vancouver at odd hours with not enough sleep to drive properly.

I hate them; the people who make the decisions. The people who steer the meetings so that they creep along at a snail's pace whenever critical people attend, and, as soon as the only people there are ill-informed enough to trust them, switch tracks to see to it that the meeting is fully "productive."

I hate it when people take a trust relationship and pervert it. I hate the people who have undermined the idea of a student movement.

For a while, I was worried that the anger that I felt towards the CFS-elite was ebbing. But it's come back in a calmer, more comfortable format. I think it's because I'm still mad, but I'm not afraid of them anymore.

I feel confident that we are going to fuck them up.

We'll fix it and expose them, or we'll leave it.
I am heading off to Victoria for the BC-CFS SAGM. I remember the last one in Nanaimo in January.

Unready and new: twelve days on the job; too much classwork; having just pushed the very public switch to my transitional name.

Throwing together a delegation after two folks scrubbed out at the last minute; constantly relying on two experienced members; alcohol and walking out to Tim Horton's at two in the morning.

Paranoia: sleeping arrangements arranged with six people and four beds and one of them is there to keep an eye on us; personal belongings going missing and some coming back right away, with the laptop coming... later.

A progressively colder environment: silence and snubbing in the hallways; subtly rude behaviour at women's caucus; sharp words to deviation from the party line.

Confidence: so this is what groupthink looks like; coming back with a new set of pronouns; having a new sense of purpose.

It's seven months later now. I'm ready and savvy. There are a hell of a lot of politics and interesting motions on the table - two of them mine.
Let's see what happens.
So anxious this morning as to be shaking.

The big deal is not so much all the little messages we give ourselves, so much as lifestyle management. I've been pushing myself for a year? And now it's not just "an issue I should look at," but a bear that's catching up to me and knocking me down. The last time I had a break of more than a long weekend was over a year ago. While I had August mostly to myself, I was assembling my own business, working in  a metal shop, and, more saliently, dealing with my gender issues - so I was not able to relax: five solid hours of sleep was a good night.

Fortunately, in two weeks, I will suddenly have a lot fewer responsibilities. And that goes on for a week and a bit until I go to the BC-CFS conference, and then I get a break for pretty much the rest of August.

Two awesome things happened today:

1. I gave a classroom presentation in Ann Travers' sociology class. Ann's a prof to whom I'd not really spoken in some time. She said she'd introduce me to her students, and when I told her that "I'm changing my sex and going by Sasha now," she smiled, gave a hearty  "rock on" and did the knocking-fists together thing (I don't know what it's called). She said that "that explains why I'm looking good" and then we talked about her research a bit.

This is exactly what I've wanted to happen when I've come out to someone, and this is the first time that is has. I've wanted someone to nod heartily and slap me on the shoulder, or hug me, not because they're worried or shocked, but thrilled and/or proud.

2. The other cool thing that happened today was giving a presentation in forum about our work on the CFS issue. It had been a long and boring meeting, but my report drew spontaneous and thunderous applause from a normally disaffected crowd. Nice work everyone.

Yeah. Heroics.


It was hard for me to enjoy either of these at the time - on both occasions, I was so jumpy as to climb the walls, but when I remember them, that anxiety isn't there. I can carry the memory around, purified.
It was good to go to dinner, and be surrounded by life.

I was wondering why the office was so quiet -
Laurine, our ombudsperson died on Saturday night;
I didn't know her very well, but I can see that my friends did, and that they're hurting;
an in-bed heart-attack; sudden; unexpected.

It still does not seem real: I expect her to show up tomorrow;
amicably baffled by this false rumour.
And, in the coming weeks, I will likely be surprised
that I haven't run into her, and then I'll remember.

This is one of life's post-its, it reads,
"you, and anyone you know, could die at any time."
"So act approprately"

New to me was this sudden desire to fuck.
You could explain it evolutionarily: a surprise death spurs the desire to repopulate the tribe...
(it's also the first death I've seen since with the new hormones)
...but that doesn't cut it. Rather, it feels like a way of saying "we're still here, right?"
Very, very glad to be back in Vancouver. Wow. CFS = dysfunctional. More details available in person.

Being in Ottawa gave me the chance to think about anything other than the CFS, such as my career plans - a topic of some ambivolence. After some consideration, I think that this post-bac and student union work is actually a good thing to be doing with my time. The main problem is a perceived lack of respect that comes with the "failure" to "leave school and get a real job."

Waitaminute. This is a real job. It has real responsibilities such as the  UPass, clubs, making staffing decisions, dealing with the CFS and running a grants committee for a nonprofit with a membership the size of a midsized town. It just happens to attract incompetents, pays poorly and required me to re-apply four months after getting it.

And I'm in school for good reasons - I like the material, it feeds into my career plans, better qualifies me for an MBA, and even provides me with the knowledge to do my current job better.
Another fourteen-hour day: I have disappeared into the Simon Fraser Student Society.

This is because it's Elections and Referenda time. I am running for election against someone I've never heard of, and also against a woman who is tied to a large number of highly CFS -y intistutions, events and people. This is interesting.

One referendum question is on leaving the Canadian Federation of Students. I drafted it. This is important to me. We are giving them hell.

If you know anyone who would like to help with the referendum campaign, please send them our way.

Our webpage should be up within the day.



(Thursday morning, I get to take a little break to get my beard burnt off with a L.A.S.E.R.!)
I still don't know how to write about it, and I can explain more in person.

One of them 11.5-hour days at the office.

A day where we've paid for our delegates to attend the CFS meet only  to discover that one - no two - of the five - oh, no six (apparently someone is coming from SFU-Kamloops... yes, that's right, the Kamloops Campus) - people that we're sending to Friday evening - no,  Thursday afternoon - meeting in Nanaimo (it is still to my knowledge in Nanaimo - check back tomorrow for changes) cancel on the day of.

I run around to our constituency and activist groups to drum up volunteers for a paid trip, and by "paid," I mean that the SFSS covers basic costs. I go to Out-on-Campus, SFU's Public Interest Research Group, the First Nations rooms and... the Women's Centre.

Reason #882 why the CFS is bad:
Its online communication seems limited to "Funny, I was sure I emailed you."

This novel approach applies to such benign items as showing up in the North AQ with a table, pamphlets and so on, much to the surprise of the entire student society board, then stating that they must have got the wrong email from the General Office. This is strange because not only has my email never been "graham.fox," nor have I given such an email to the GO, but the XRO's email is is the same as it has always been.

This oversight has repeated itself as the CFS has just rescheduled a conference without telling us. I guess that I'm leaving for Nanaimo on Thursday morning instead of Friday because if I went on Friday, I (surprise!) wouldn't be able to submit items for discussion.

I am here

Jan. 8th, 2007 04:06 pm
I'd been to meetings and so on, but now, at work in the Student Union on the first day of school, I actually feel that I'm on the job at the SFSS.

I feel connected to the land and space of SFU in a new way. This is my space. I can feel it move, and I am a part that makes it turn.
It's good: secure; embodied; rooted.
...spiritual? Maybe. Whole? Possibly. It's a feeling of resonance: not the promise of things to come - just a good thing in the now.

If this is what leadership feels like, then I'm definitely interested.

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