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December 5, 2006 | trans battles| Dean

Well, we've had a major setback in the battle that SRLP has been fighting for 4 years to take the surgery requirement out of the procedure for changing gender on NYC birth certificates. I poured a lot of myself into this battle so I'm feeling sad and defeated. If you want to learn more about it, check out the SRLP website. You can find a lot of our advocacy documents in "issues" under "identity documents" and also there is some stuff on the front page of the site about it. To see my depressing feelings about it this morning, you can look at my livejournal.

In other news, two new books out that I have essays in that might be worth looking at. Mattilda's new collection, "Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity," and Melody's new collection, "We Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Gneration of Feminists."

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August 2, 2006 | read and write| Dean

I’m in San Francisco for a number of reasons including to go to queer family camp with Rania, Katrina, Craig, Colby and Riley. We're very excited. I'm hoping for sing-a-longs, too-cool teens, gay family swimwear, and hopefully a lot of wonderful gossip.

On the way out I was doing a lot of new reading that has me extremely overstimulated. The combination of books responsible for this state of mind are: Seeing Like a State by James Scott, Forced Passages by Dylan Rodriguez and Homo Sacer by Gorgio Agamben. Seeing Like a State is a really good book for thinking about how increasing standardization, intervention, and surveillance is a state-building mechanism that simultaneously creates ideas of individual citizenship. I was floored learning about how the move from having commons in European towns to having a freehold private property system and individual taxation created a new individualized relationship between states and citizens. It is fun to think about these ideas through the examples in that book--especially the creation of standarized weights and measures and the creation of surnames. Reading this next to Forced Passages, which examines how the prison industrial complex undergirds all of American law and culture as a primary method of social control and profitmaking, makes my brain crackle. All three of these books are urging us to leave behind current understandings of politics that focus on divides between conservative and liberal, left and right and instead examine how these distinctions are decreasingly meaningful. These texts are helping me think, instead, about how shifting technologies of standardization and simplification are building state power that is deeply concerning no matter who is currently running the state (which of course is a combination of commercial and governmental institutions operating under varying motivations by interconnected but not singular operators). My mind feels boggled and excited, trying to think about things like the Real ID Act and new military conscription databases and gender and foster care group homes in analyzing this understanding of power, and it is especially challenging to think about what I want in all this--what is the demand? I especially keep walking away from discussions about increasing governmental and commercial surveillance with that question--what do I want to happen? What kinds of surveillance do I want to exist, how do I evaluate the surveillance culture we're living in beyond just out of a conviction that the people doing it are doing it for terrible ends? What alternative vision are we proposing? If I expect a state to redistribute wealth, or provide housing and health care, I must be anticipating some kind of data gathering to allow those activities. What does that mean to me in light of biopolitical analysis?

Look at these books and tell me what you think, please.

Also, I'm working on a new writing collection project emerging out of the work I've been doing lately to write about what I remember of my life. Have a look.

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June 23, 2006 | more to read| Dean

I recently discovered the world of blogs. I guess some people consider this a blog, but I always thought of it as a zine. Anyway, I've gotten a lot of response from my article about polyamory below so I thought I'd direct you to another interesting thread on the topic at my friend Jack's blog angrybrownbutch.com. Also, I'm experimenting with livejournal, and if you want to see that try cruciferous.livejournal.com. Who knows if I'll keep it up but I'm pretty fascinated right now, and I've roped Katrina, Boots, Lis and Craig into starting their own as well. I like any chance to be a pusher.

If you're in NYC, get your ass to the trans march today and make your voice heard that the City can't deny us permits to march. If you're in SF, also come to the trans march and to the afterparty at El Rio benefiting SRLP and TGI Justice Project. Okay?

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June 12, 2006 | things to read| Dean

I realize I’ve said this at every six-month posting for a long time but I really am dedicated to getting back on track and posting regularly to Make. I think my new lifestyle that starts in the fall is going to facilitate this. In September I’m ending my staff position at SRLP and starting a law teaching fellowship that is a collaboration between UCLA and Harvard Law Schools. I’ll be living in LA starting in November (do you live there, do you want to be friends?), and being deliciously free—writing, reading, researching but not having to show up to an office job. I think there will be delightful writing times to be had on Make.

In other general news, Craig finished his qualifying exams and got his dissertation proposal approved. Hooray! As you know, he’s amazing. I’ve been taking a creative writing class at the Brecht Forum with a bunch of lefty folks, mostly middle-aged, which has been really fun. I love hearing other people’s stories and writing in a non-academic non-activist setting.

I’ve gotten a lot of responses to my piece on polyamory, posted in the dispatch below. I’ve edited it a bit for an anthology so here it is if you’d like to see. Also, here’s a draft of something I wrote for that same anthology that ended up wanting the poly piece more. Also, here’s an essay I recently gave to Mattilda for his new anthology about realness. Finally, since I’m giving you bits and pieces of writing to chew on, here’s a draft of an article I wrote for an LGBT studies reader that still needs work as well. I’m accepting comments and edits to all of these.

If you’re in the Bay Area, you should come to a screening of Cruel and Unsual, a film about trans women in men’s prisons that SRLP helped with, at the Frameline Festival on the 21st in SF. On Friday, the 23rd, we’re having a benefit dance party at El Rio for SRLP and the TGI Justice Project after the trans march. Please come to both!

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January 25,2006 | trans law syllabus| Dean

I feel terrible that Craig and I are so rarely posting things to Make. I keep writing dispatches and then thinking they are too dumb to post. But I thought some people might be interested in looking at this Transgender Law syllabus I've been working on for a class I'm teaching starting next week. I'm excited to get to go to Boston once a week and hopefully make new friends and learn new things about queers and freaks who live in the cold.

To be honest, I'm having a crappy day struggling with some of the less pleasant feelings that come with a life that includes an open relationship. I tried to write something about it once. If this sort of thing interests you, look here. I wanted to get out some thoughts on the topic--but I think I might say some different things now than I wrote then. My mom always said that God comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable. Today I'm getting down with discomfort and trying to be cool with it.

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June 1,2005 | greed revisited| Dean


August 1,2005 | new paper and nostalgia| Dean

A new article that Craig and I wrote just came out. Have a look.

I can't sleep so I thought I'd take a stab at putting dates on some of the stuff on Make. It seems we never really thought that there would be a time when we'd be older and have some more complex thoughts (i'll only speak for myself, craig, we all know, was born brilliant)--but sometimes I'm a little worried that people will think i wrote some of this stuff yesterday. So I was looking back and trying to think of when we wrote stuff, and I realized how totally sweet this is. I met Craig in 1997. I had just turned 20, was a "flyer girl" at Meow Mix and had a really mediocre pompadour, and he was a very earnest 22 year old who had just moved to New York from Sarasota and Miami's suburban sprawl. We wrote a bunch of shit down. It was the first time I'd tried to write things informally after becoming pretty convinced that I was dumb at college. The first thing I wrote was about white trash fetishization--remember when those buttons that said "Trailer Trash" and the "White Trash Cookbook" first popped up? Ranting was such a thrill. Being heard and understood by Craig and Ananda and Ananya and wheatpasting for the first time and learning how to make stickers was intoxicating.

My favorite thing I stumbled upon was Craig's diatribe about being called young and naive. Now we're edging towards old and loony--any day now we'll be standing on the steps of Union Square with dog-eared posterboard signs that make almost no sense but convey a strong sense of conspiracy and indecipherable flyers demanding immediate action. I'll have jars of saurkraut strapped to my belt and be holding a banana like a cell phone in some kind of statement that I think says it all, and Craig will be making brilliant political speeches between analyses of celebrity romances and playing tunes on a portable keyboard. 20 year old radicals will walk by and feel slightly embarrassed for us. I can't wait.

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June 1,2005 | greed revisited| Dean

My friend Corey from C'ville recently wrote me (on friendster which I just learned is rumored to be an FBI surveillance strategy to determine who knows who) and dug up a conversation I started in the first issue of Make way back in 1998. Wow, we're getting old...Here's what I wrote back to her:

you wrote me a good message about greed and friendster ate it up before i could reply. that is sad to me. i remember that part of it was about karma and whether or not its a cop out to extrapolate to general goodness rather than getting down to the nitty gritty of what our personal economics mean in the world. i agree with you that it is. not to mean that we should be judgmental jerks, but that we can find ways to do the hard work of actually being honest about money, recognizing our lack of perspective given the lies of our economy, and blowing up the taboos associated with talking about it. as you mentioned, my economic situation has changed since i wrote greed. now i make a salary--37000/yr and pay it to citibank who now owns my educational loans and my landlord who luckily is a friend. i still think all the time about what it means to buy food from local farmers that costs more money but i think costs the world less, but is still a luxury choice. i'm still really pissed about inheritance and want to convince everyone to give it up. i still hate all the new yorkers with secret trust funds who pretend they are starving artists and activists. i'm still against newly invented needs like cell phones and digital cameras... now i'm also part of building a collective organization which is really fun and interesting and i get to think about the nonprofit industrial complex and we get to create cool policies like everyone here gets paid the same whether they are a lawyer or a development consultant or whatever and we choose to do our own cleaning in our offices and things like that...but still we pay our rent to a disgusting development company and we buy our insurance from a company that discriminates against trans people (like all of them)....

i think its about willingly being uncomfortable and not seeking out comfort...do you agree???

these are the things i'm thinking about greed these days...i like our dialogue. if i could find your letter in friendster i'd ask you if i could put it on Make.

xo dean

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May 25,2005 | media advocacy| Dean

Our friend JP in Texas shared some letters with me today that he wrote in response to some irresponsible reporting. Have a look. There is so much hideous coverage of trans news all the time that it seems like we might should all get inspired to write angry letters as often as possible. Thanks for these examples JP!

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May 22,2005 | It's a BABY! | Dean

Are we still friends? I keep promising to be a regular contributor to Make and failing. I’m dreaming its going to happen any minute. It’s Sunday and raining, why am I at work?

Big things have happened since my last post. Most importantly, the unbearably beautiful Riley Spade was born on April 9, 2005. In case you are behind the times he is a joint project of a wide variety of special and important people in my life (including Craig), many of whom have now taken up the name Spade thereby beginning some kind of dynasty (think blake carrington, not ming). I cannot begin to describe how Riley smells or what it feels like when he sleeps on your chest or the agony of living 3,000 miles away from him. I get to see him again in 42 days.

Needless to say, I’ve become obsessed with Mothering magazine, the whole concept of attachment parenting, and anything to do with baby nutrition. Did you know that pacifiers are terrible horrible bad for babies? Did you know that when I was seduced by anti-family anti-baby versions of queer politics I was really just buying into sexist anti-woman bullshit? Did you know that Rania and Katrina, Riley’s moms, are geniuses of anti-consumerist environmentally friendly baby-raising that I find endlessly inspiring?

In others news, I’m working with some folks on planning a Trans March the Friday night of Pride in NYC that will focus on racial and economic justice. I’ll provide details here as soon as we know. I’m terribly torn because I desperately want to attend this crunchy food festival thing at a commune in Tennessee where people gather salads in the wild and make beer and teach each other how to can things from their gardens. I’m torn between my public life as a radical trans lawyer in NYC and my secret inner hippy sprouter/fermenter. Speaking of which my first attempts at sprouting hazelnuts were a failure and I’m heartbroken. If only I could go live with Riley and cook for Rania and Katrina and perfect my woo-woo culinary skills.

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March 25, 2005 | As Free as Cabbage | Dean

So much to report! First, on Wednesday the judge found all of the Brooklyn 7 defendants not guilty on all counts! I am so happy to be done with my first criminal trial, and a real victory within it was our efforts to make the cops testifying, the judge, and the lawyers all call my client by his correct name and pronoun.

In other news, I'm reading the most awesome book, Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. Craig thinks I'm really crossing the hippy divide but I can't stop myself. It's an amazing book that looks at all kinds of political issues including the history of colonization, the history of science, consumerism, gender self-determination, homogenizatoin of culture, globalization, food justice, and so much more through the lens of microorganisms and fermentation. It is really a pleasure to read and gives me fantasies of living in the country. I learned in it about how during WW2 when everyone was hating germans and calling them "krauts" as an epithet, the US government renamed sauerkraut "liberty cabbage" similar to how french fries were recently renamed "freedom fries." This is a good book, really.

Finally, I wanted to share with you all a response that Sebastian in Texas wrote to Nick Gorton's article about GID. Sebastian writes:

I just read Nick's article and my reaction is just sarcastic; perhaps in order to deal with the "emotional/political discomfort" the article provokes in me. Based on his statements that disease is: "A clinically significant adverse effect or experience for an organism due to an interaction between one or more biological traits of that organism and the environment in which it resides" given that I am a multiracial, colonized, poor, with a female reproductive system( female classified) person living in an environment that causes a "clinically adverse effect on me(organism) then my skin color in interaction with the environment I reside in( racist society) is creating a disease in me??? and therefore I need "to be treated" for the consequences of racism, colonialism, imperialism, etc.. Given that my skin color is a biological trait the effects of racism would be according to him my disease. May be I am just confused considering I suffer all of these diseases at the same time( may be I have a syndrome)... and still need to go to work, walk down the street, and the cost of "therapy" is impossible for me cause I am poor too. HMMMM.

Well "my diseases" are making me unable to keep writing about this for now. It happens that these diseases have as some of the symptoms: "anger, sadness and lack of access to power, abusive behaviors by other organism ( I need a training on how to suck it up) and ....."

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March 8, 2005 | Little dancing snowflakes | Craig

You know, I have some idea of myself as basically lazy and unproductive, clearly some leftover ideas from a youth spent with parents who constantly expressed total shock at ideas such as the notion that teenagers need sleep ("Are you still in bed?!?!"). And then sometimes I think about a day like today, in which I worked my Student Affairs job, prepared an assignment for the class I'm teaching, submitted bureaucratic crap to get a Master's, and wrote a five-page paper, and I think -- maybe I'm actually kind of busy.

The "urban tribe" post elicited quite a response from the Make readership, much more enthusiasm than my long-winded, emotional, political rants tend to get. It's like how I spent high school writing important investigative journalism for the school paper (It's not easy being green: the truth behind frog dissections) that not a single student ever read. But then I did an article for the last issue of my senior year of Why are School Cookies *So* Good? that teachers, jocks, and stoners alike could not stop talking to me about.

There's a blizzard outside (a prize to anyone, besides Ed, who gets the snowflakes reference) whereas yesterday I walked thirty blocks in a denim jacket. But even that glimpse of Spring put me in such a good mood, and on my walk I had a great Gay Solidarity moment when a man literally pushed me out of his path at Union Square. We both had headphones on, so my muttered "What the fuck?" was something more like a shouted "WHAT THE FUCK!" which had him spinning around, pulling off his headphones, demanding to know what I said and calling me a "skinny faggot." I did my gentle, calm routine, "You really shouldn't push people, and also is this really worth getting so upset about?" He continued his cursing, fist-shaking routine and stomped off in search of other diminutive queers to forcibly remove from his path, or more likely to drop dead from a rage-induced aneurysm. But then, waiting for the light, these two nice girls checked up on me and we discussed the pointlessness of getting so mad on such a nice day, and then I got the "family" comment: "And I really didn't appreciate the faggot remark cause I'm gay too." And I was like -- I love my lesbian sisters! We're here, we're queer, we're getting pushed around, but we're still happy!

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February 24, 2005 | Moms love it | Craig

If my mother is reading this, her feelings will get hurt by what follows, even though it is meant in gentlest jest. But also, mothers shouldn't read their children's weblogs without permission, so the occasional stubbed toe comes with the territory. Also, if my mom reads this shit, I probably have more to worry about than hurt feelings. Anyhow, just got a hilarious email from my brother Matthew with this advice:

in case you haven't heard, mom has read a new book about our generation. ultimately, it could lend her some much needed insight. but more immediately, she might try and talk about your "urban tribe." i find doodling helpful during conversations like these.

I love the lifetime learner in her.

Not much else to say. Lynne Stewart, Ward Churchill, Iraq, Michael Jackson, the MTA, earthquakes, tsunamis, NYPD: the world is a shambles.

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February 17, 2005 | fixing | Dean

Thanks to Sarah for letting me know that I keep putting up links that don't work. I think I fixed all the ones in the dispatch below.

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February 16, 2005 | bits | Dean

I'm in the world's most boring training, required in order to maintain my bar admission. Literally dozens of people are sleeping. Earlier a sexist pig spoke to us for two hours about wills assuming the entire time that "your client" is a man whose heir is his wife. Now someone is telling us how to write persuasively which is really a lecture about how legal writing started in the year 1066 and the Normans or something. Another excellent opportunity to spend $350 to stay in a hiearchical, power-hoarding profession. But, also an opportunity to write to my beloved Make friends. I even have time to use proper capitalization which I know Craig will like.

Two things to give you. First, I'm not sure if I ever shared this reading list from SOUL that a few people have asked me to pass on. Second. Kay from the American Friends Service Committee drew my attention to this blog as a resource for anti-militarism analysis and info. Have a look.

In other news, I've been reading a variety of books in little pieces. I'm obsessed with the information in Nourishing Traditions about lactofermentation and cultured dairy products and sprouted grains (speaking of which my sprouts are turning out really well!). I spent the other night reading in Ward Churchill's Perversions of Justice and enjoying getting a deeper understanding of the connection between motivations for the American Revolutionary War and limits the English were trying to put on the colonists' theft of land from indigenous people. I've also been reading again from Judith Butler's Undoing Gender and I am liking her discussion of how grief and desire undo us and are constituative of community as well. I also read a little of Judith Halberstam's In a Queer Time and Place and I was enjoying the discussion of the construction of "family time." It reminded me of conversation Craig and I have had about the regulation and tracking of moods (self, and by professionals), and the construction of the expectation of happiness. I've been having a lot of big general thoughts, perhaps typical of 27 year olds (?), about what life is supposed to look like, what it's for. Work? Social change? Sex? The creation of some kind of family? Introspection and personal growth? I'm thinking about how these things are connected and how they are prioritized, and I keep running up against questions about where my norms come from, whether and how my approaches to social justice work are informed by capitalist worth ethic crap, and how to find the right balance amongst external and internal goals.

Finally, I want to share with you all an article that Nick Gorton, a trans doctor, wrote based on a response he wrote to my article Resisting Medicine/Remodelling Gender. Here is Nick's piece. I found it thought provoking in a variety of ways, especially given the work I've been doing on trying to make Medicaid programs cover trans health care. I'd be interested to hear your responses to Nick's essay, and I'll share them with him if you want me to.

I actually wrote the previous four paragraphs of this dispatch last week, and since then I have a few more things to share. First, I wanted to share a link to a petition in support of Ward Churchill who is being targetted for his statements about 9/11. Second, I wanted to recommend a book Rickke recommended to me that I'm really enjoying, Ideas for Action by Cynthia Kaufman. It's like a Cliff's notes of radical theory--a great refresher and connector and learning tool. I don't agree with everything in it but reading it is a really fun process as is talking about it to others. It's very readable so it's a good tool for people who don't have much experience with or love for reading Marx, Foucault, etc.

In other news, some upcoming events: I'll be in Berkeley at the Fifth Annual Women's Rights Conference doing a keynote Feb 26th and 27th; I'll be speaking at the ALLGOoffice in Austin on March 11th; everyone should go to the Trans Health COnference in Philly March 12-13th; and this Thursday the 17th there is an event about Lynne Stewart's case at 7pm at the Community Church of New York (Hall of Worship), 40 E. 35th St. (bet.Park & Madison), #6 Train to 33rd St. Sorry I didn't list those in any kind of date order. Hope to see you.

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February 2, 2005 | Greg's parents got me drunk | Craig

And speaking of drunk, if you live in NYC or nearby, send me a note with your address and I'll mail you an invite for my 30th (?!$#) birthday party next week.

For a brief moment tonight, somewhere about two-thirds of the way through my last jack and coke, I had an experience of total clarity: This is what I will write on Make connecting the movie Hotel Rwanda to the war on Iraq to the recent elections there to the elections here. Needless to say, by the end of the drink, the moment had passed, but I'm certain I was on to something. It would be easy to make a critique of Hotel Rwanda for its representational politics, etc., but what the fuck the movie had me in hysterial tears and I'm not sure what to do with the simultaneity of being manipulated, knowing it, feeling it, and going somewhere with it anyhow. Know what I mean? Another round anyone?

Also, happy birthday to everyone who had a birthday recently. You know who you are. I've been thinking about you, you aquarians (and maybe you capricorns too).

Also also, Make recently received word from our dear correspondent Ed Rabinski that Ed is thinking of getting a livejournal. Forget me and my petty livejournal ennui. Ed, please! You know I will read your sage yet wry commentaries day in and out. Please!

Okay I should log out. Freeservers said this is our 190th week of having a website. Happy 190th to us!

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January 26, 2005 | home sick | Dean

I'm behind on so many dispatches I've been meaning to write. First, ever since Bran circulated the "Why should I cut off my dreads/mohawk?" flyer after Creating Change I've been meaning to post it on Make because I think its a really useful tool. This is something worth handing out at every mobilization or conference where lots of white folks with appropriative hair styles gather. Sorry for any design changes that occurred in translating it into an HTML document--originally it was given to me as a folded brochure.

Also, I've been meaning to post some more info generated by the posts below about Hawai'ian soverignty. Courtney recommends that we all read the book From A Native Daughter: Colonialism and Soverignty in Hawai'i by Haunani-Kay Trask. She writes, "It is really good, a comprehensive look at history of colonialism (and foreign interests that made Hawai'i into a state of the US) and more current (as of 1999) activism. It includes a great appendix of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and further appendices of resolutions by Hawai'ian anticolonial activists...totally informative and amazing." Thanks, Courtney.

In other news, I've become obsessed with the idea of making my own yogurt (first batch failed but i intend to begin again) and sprouting beans and grains. I have only begun to live out my hippy food dreams, I'll keep you up to date.

Finally, something a little depressing for all fans of gender self-determination and workers' rights: On January 4 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a female employee of Harrah's Resort who argued that Harrah's policy of forcing their female employees to wear their hair "teased, curled or styled," and wear "foundation/concealer and/or face powder, as well as blush and mascara," nail polish, and lipstick was sex discrimination. Gag me! Extreme sexist gender policing at the bodily level, I guess, isn't an affront to women's equality it turns out.

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January 21, 2005 | transform columbus day | Craig

Hey ho. Attention all coastal snobs: Our pal in Shannon asked us to please post this call for support regarding people on trial in Denver following arrests at Transform Columbus Day actions. (Shannon didn't call us snobs, I did.) Please give it a read and make some calls/send some emails to back up this really important work. Thanks all, and thank you Shannon for tipping Make off about this. Also, did we say your anti-anti-pink reply tickled us, well, you know, pink.

Make also recently received news of this surprisingly spot-on site with advice to straights inviting the queers to their weddings. Email it around now, the summer marriage extravaganzas will be here faster than you can toss a bouquet.

That's it. I am like totally prepared to start teaching next week, with many days to go. I feel eerily calm. Except when I think about ratemyprofessor.com, which makes me want to die.

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January 19, 2005 | i feel like going home . . . | Craig

. . . but at the same time, I don't. Thus sang my new boyfriend, Jens Lenkman. Although apparently he's everyone's new boyfriend. Greg found some "twee" website with like a 2004 indiepop awards things and ol' Jens got like 15 votes, the most, for best indiepop band. The Mean Corner got one vote! Which isn't bad, Magnetic Fields only got 2. I guess the site wasn't offended that our unofficial motto is "fuck twee."

I've been having livejournal envy. Should I get a livejournal? Is it too late to jump on that bandwagon? Would I be more popular and happier if I had one? I'm keeping the resolutions simple this year -- freak out less and write on Make more -- so we'll see how that goes. Last year's ill-conceived resolution to "swim laps" remains untouched, but apparently as a Grad Center student I can get cheap access to Baruch's fancy new gym with a big pool. Will I follow through? And will that make me just another gay with a gym memberhip?

Speaking of gay, I've been feeling a tad moody lately (cue Lenkman song) and went on Monday to Fort Tryon Park, because what better way to celebrate a goth episode than staring at the Hudson in 10 degree weather. And there are a LOT of gays around Washigton Heights, I had no idea. A silver-haired genttleman in a suit seemed to be giving me the hairy eyeball on the train and little does he know I have a very precise fantasy about forty-year old businessmen on subways. But alas we parted ways -- he stayed on the train, I exited at Long-term Monogamous Boyfriend.

In other bad plans for bad weather, Allison and I decided to have a revival bar-hopping last night. Bar-dashing was more like it, we couldn't go more than 2 blocks it was so fucking cold out. Nonetheless, it was great times, we reviewed her recent birthday party, at which there was a Drunken Incident. Kaycee and I also recently reminisced about the various drunken incidents we've helped along at Allison's parties. There was the missing prop purse, the time we took mushrooms on our way over, the time I spent two hours on the kitchen floor processing with my on-again, off-again. Various unmentionable make-outs, etc., etc. Katrina says I'm getting old, but I'm sure I've got a few drama queen years left in me yet.

Oh, btw, hotmail emptied our inbox, so I lost the past year of emails recently. Apologies to people I didn't get back to in time . . . especially our greek translator Eleni -- hello! It was great to hear from you. And Carolyn and Sarah -- tragedy! Hope your times in the city were good.

Have to get ready for the SRLP fundraiser thingie tonight. Good luck to everyone going/in DC. Be safe!

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January 1, 2005 | resolutely | Dean

I’m in SF celebrating the new year and spending time with my wonderful non-blood family, including the pregnant Katrina spade (!), and my excellent sister, and I wanted to take the opportunity away from hectic new york and work to give you all some much overdue links. I hope you got to spend some time thinking about how to be healthy and strong in 2005, flexible and resilient, graceful and accountable, for all the work we are each doing to make a world we want to live in.

So, first, coming out of some conversations we’ve been having at SRLP that I won’t recap in full: we’ve been talking a lot about different models for understanding our work, and how we see direct services work as intimately tied to the survival of our community and the massive redistribution of wealth and power we are seeking. We’ve been thinking together about how problematic the separation of community organizing from direct services work, often because of funding structures and the non-profit industrial complex, is to the creation of community resources accessible to those most marginalized and endangered by the maldistribution of wealth and power that defines our current experience. I have two links to share with you, both from my friend and mentor Rickke Mananzala, that have been important to us in thinking about these issues. First, this essay by JoNina Abron talks a lot about the Black Panther Party’s survival programs and how they fit into the broader vision of the party as well as criticism that they were “less revolutionary” than the party’s other programs. Second, The Four Pillars of Transformative Social Justice Infrastructure, a tool from the Miami Workers’ Center that we used as a central understanding to bring together activists from a variety of strategies (service providers, organizers, researchers, policy reformers) at a day-long workshop at a conference recently. Rickke led folks through an understanding of this tool and people really got into it as a method of understanding where their work fit into a broader vision of movement strategy that connected it to other types of work from which it is usually separated in the day-to-day. This tool is really helpful in thinking about how to approach our work within any given pillar, as we reflect on how it supports base-building, the Pillar of Power. Have a look and enjoy, and keep your eye on the SRLP website where I’m hoping we’ll be publishing more writing from collective members about the analysis that underlies our work and connects to these ideas.

Big news to announce: Ismalia’s side won the big case they were working on about who would be Puerto Rico’s new governor! Congrats! There are tons of articles about it but here is a link to one.

I also got some recommendations from Shane hunting around for books that we all might read to get more info about Hawai’i statehood history, which are "Nation Within” by Tom Coffman, “Aloha Betrayed” by Noenoe Silva, “Dismembering Lahui” by Jonathan Kamakawiwo'ole, and “Osorio Colonizing Hawai'I” by Sally Merry. I haven’t read any yet—if you get to them first please write to Make with any thoughts you want to share. On the book reporting tip, I should also state truthfully that I stopped reading “Where White Men Fear to Tread,” a book I was enthusiastic about in an earlier dispatch. There were several really amazing ideas running through it, but I was having a really difficult time dealing with the way that gender was approached in the book, and eventually some passages about domestic violence, homosexuality, and a few other things made me just feel like I needed to stop. Rin from Denver wrote me a really insightful email recommending the book “The American Indian in Western Legal Thought” by Robert Williams Jr., and a video, available at the Fourth World Center in Denver and possibly elsewhere about a tribunal indigenous peoples had in Hawaii about ten years ago—Rin didn’t mention the title but this might be enough info to find it. It was awesome to get such great responses to my call out for info.

Finally, I want to recommend two great videos. At SRLP we’re trying to engage in political education within the collective—helping folks from varying communities learn more about each others struggles and struggles of other people against oppression in different times and places. Our first video night we watched “Palante Siempre Palante,” a documentary about the Young Lords political vision and activism, which I highly recommend. For the second video night we watched “The Panama Deception,” a documentary about the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama. I cannot recommend it highly enough—both because perhaps, like me, you lived through this and were completely misinformed about what went on, and also because of the remarkable parallels between the misinformation about the Panama invasion and the misinformation about Iraq and Afghanistan. The similarities in media rhetoric are chilling.

Okay, I need to put up dispatches more often so they can be less rushed/packed with all the things I’ve forgotten to follow up on. I hope you are feeling okay about 2005 and planning all the writing you want to contribute to Make this year.

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November 27, 2004 | cosquillas means tickle| Dean

So I’m visiting Ismalia, much-loved law school friend and make contributor. She’s a real live attorney now, and is involved in this completely overwhelming (to me) case about whether 20,000 votes will be counted or not, which will decide who becomes governor of Puerto Rico. We hang out in her apartment while she works on mandamus briefs and gets a million calls from the other lawyers (some of whom worked on Bush v. Gore apparently) and then she finishes the brief and then it’s on the cover of all the papers the next day. This is incomprehensible to me on so many levels. It’s amazing to talk to her about living here, in this colonial limbo where the choice to be on this island means giving up your federal voting rights (which she’d get to keep if she moved to, say, France), where people are disproportionately represented in the US military, where there is government-made pineapple juice that is delicious. Today we talked about how we need to learn the history of Hawaii’s statehood and the resistance that must have entailed, and Alaska’s. I started thumbing through the Post-Colonial Studies Reader and revisiting ideas about the construction of the idea of “nation”—so easy to think about given the emergence of new “Americas” so blatantly in the last four years. I’m also reading Russell Means’ autobiography Where White Men Fear to Tread and thinking about how the many of the current control technologies of welfare may have been strategies first tested on reservations. I just found a newish book by Ward Churchill about Indian law and I’m thinking that understanding this (especially when analyzed by a non-lawyer which is always so much better) will unlock so much. So much of what I focused on in law school and since in terms of understanding the law and rights discourses and the failures of formal equality and the understanding of the united states as a fundamentally racial project has taken up slavery and its development into incarceration, but has not included enough exploration into all the issues in Indian law would so clearly better illuminate this understanding and instruct the resistance I’m trying to conceptualize and reconceptualize with it. More and more it seems to me the thing we’re all trying to do is to connect ideas—systems of domination, strategies of resistance, conceptual frameworks for experience—white supremacy, gender binarism, imperialism, patriarchy, heteronormativity—felony disenfranchisement, rape culture, the criminalization of poverty, occupation, mall-ification of urban space—legal and social services, graffiti, direct action, turning out the vote, armed resistance, wealth redistribution. It makes me continually confront the unbelievable ignorance I possess about most everything including the things that I’m most directly involved in like the land I live on and how I got there. This isn’t overwhelming, somehow, though, it’s just a continual unlocking, every idea a new chance at solidarity, something new to redistribute. There is no subtraction. Today we tried to name every US territory and I knew of course we couldn’t, and I realized that until I met colby a few years ago I’d never even heard of the Marshall Islands, and I got excited about all the people all over who are working on political education programs and how badly we need them. I think I’m ready for another reading group. Have you heard of Soul? Bran just sent me their reading resource list. It’s a good place to start.

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November 21, 2004 | country roads take me home| Dean

I'm here in beautiful Albemarle county v.a.. how can it be some complex to go home, so impossible? this morning i learned how to hang sheet rock or something from my foster father. then i went to my mom's grave and saw the mostly bare trees with a few still holding a bright red and orange party at the top, attempting to ignore november. the woods are beautiful. when i was a kid all i could notice was people. i feel like i've just become aware of trees. my mom's friend asha told me something helpful, "there is no such thing as subtraction."

I just finished reading the book "Fall on Your Knees" and it was so epic, watching a whole bunch of people grow up and die and create new people who grow up and die. i feel like i need these kinds of books because i can't really comprehend time, age, death, change. My friend Ida and I discussed the non-linear nature of time, how the whole concept of time travel is meaningless because it pretends that time is rational, even, measured.

this is perhaps my most non-sensical dispatch yet. going home utterly strips me of context--i can't remember being around people who can remember my name or pronoun. It's like going back in time, but distorted. The general store in my home town now sells olive oil and brews coffee for the new yuppies and urban transplants. The horses are still aging in the field across from it, and I can't bear to go up the hill and see how my mom's house has been remade, unrecognizable. yet, at the general store i saw a boy who was on my elementary school soccer team, he looked just the same. i ran away. everything is the same and different.

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November 5, 2004 | david to me to you | Dean

i got this email from David in Minneapolis and he said i could share it with you. its got some interesting ideas for activism in it and stories from MN.

Hi Dean,

I wanted to thank you for taking time out to speak with Lavender Magazine (a magazine that you might not be that familiar with). Lavender (who's largely funded by the lovely PlanetOut) has a long history of neglecting to speak about women, let alone trans issues, as their role as being not only the largest gay publication here but the most corporately funded (thanks Miller Beer!) So needless to say I was shocked when they not only ran the interview that they had with you but that they included your statements about marriage and it's prioritization of things like class and privilege (REAL issues that they LOVE to avoid!) If you'd like to read the article, here's a link for you.

Recently my interest in media (and specifically the gay media's role in discussing real issues concerning their "community") has been increasing significantly. One Pilot project was going to gay press offices and interviewing people there about their coverage (or non-coverage) of the Pride arrests. A few months ago, a Focus on the Family conference was held in a predominately white, upper class suburb of St Paul concerning their program that unteaches people how to be gay! People who have been through the program, full color brochures – yes, testify! A small group of people attended (largely the Avengers chapter here) and staged a kiss-in outside of the event. They sent statements to all media outlets (television, magazines – gay and otherwise) expecting them to print something about this hushed meeting. But the only ones who showed up was the television press. A few were cited with disorderly conduct by the police and have upcoming court dates. I think that when television media is giving an event more coverage than the gay press that it's somewhat of a tragedy.

There was a Lavender staff person at the Vigil that a non-profit organization called District 202 who works with queer teens had recently for a trans woman who was assaulted and shot in the hospital. Over 50 people showed up and the article is nowhere to be found, months later.

What's really interesting, particularly in regards to all of your work centered around bathroom politics, is a long running straight family owned gay bar here in downtown Minneapolis galled the Gay 90's. The Gay 90's has been running a porn room bar for over a decade in the rear of their establishment (only accessible through the men's restroom, imagine that!). Throughout the years there's been some security incidents with some trans men who were trying to enter. Security questioned them, telling them that they were not "male" and that that area was for men only and promptly threw them out of the bar. And where was the gay press on this? Where were the big gay organizations rushing to call them on their transphobia? Absolutely nowhere, of course.

Instances like this have really been discouraging me of late. So I have decided to organize some people together. People interested in holding media responsible for not only what they cover, but what they neglect to – pasting up our own articles on the stands if we have to, but trying to get our own published articles printed as well. I'm not sure if it's going to be our own Gay Shame chapter here, or some sort of Media Trespass group, but so many are tired of it. So I wanted to thank you for proving to me that there is indeed space for change. That somewhere, inherent in a company that caters to oversly sexualized upper-class white men that's the last gay publication in the city, there's someone letting some real issues in. We're all going to write to Lavender and thank them for running that. We're all encouraged by your hard work and brilliance. Mattilda's new book is great!

I hope your trip back to New York from the mountains was a good one.

Stay well and thunderous,

David Ball, queer kit

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November 3, 2004 | right now | Dean and Naomi

Naomi and I are sitting here waiting for the SRLP Public Education Team meeting to start and feeling ick-o-rama about the whole prez thing. Yesterday Bridge told me that 23 million people in the US can't vote because of immigration and felony disenfranchisement laws. Naomi is disturbed to report that 25% of gay people voted for Bush according to exit polls. What she wants to know is, in the inevitable liberal feeding frenzy that is going to ensue, some will argue that liberals need to move closer to the center to be more appealing, and some will argue that liberals need to be more radical. She wants to ask, how can you be more in the center than Kerry, who wants to hunt down terrorists and kill them. On that pleasant note, we'll go to our meeting.

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October 27, 2004 | "every now and then i fall apart" | Dean

I'm attaching my final dispatch from blue mountain. Y'know, I don't really read over these things for typos or to make sure they make sense or anything--I hope that is okay. The fun of posting on make is its informality. I hope you feel the same?

Unless you're in Australia, go outside right now to see this, okay? I'll be watching too.

P.S. by the way, have you seen the new Sylvia Rivera Law Project website?

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October 17, 2004 | virtual connect | Craig

Dear Dean,

I fixed the dispatches page so it should work fine now. (Be sure to just copy text starting from the "p class" code and you should have no more troubles.) I'm listening to Iron and Wine, to make a musical connection to you out there in the woods. It's getting wintery here and I'm scared of the cold months ahead, and the vague depression that usually accompanies them for me... but today I'm thrilling in the crisp, dry air and the long hours spent indoors, loving the clubhouse, doing work but it feels more like piddling around, not stressy.

I miss you lots. As usual, it feels like everything and nothing is happening here. I went to Chicago with the band for that Pilot event which was inspiring and a good time. They made this wonderful program guide and printed my essay about media exposure in it. Saw lots of people from NYC, and from California (Emily...) and long lost faces like the switchblade comb gifter. Met the guy who does queerkit and other friends of friends. Danced a lot. Got a cold but drank too much anyhow. The world feels vast and tiny both.

Last night, went to see a show in Greenpoint -- Ginger played, and Mirah. The lights were perfect, and we were packed body to body in such a small room. A late night walk to get the train in Long Island City, over the Pulaski bridge, past a candle factory scenting the whole atmosphere.

Got your postcard, it's beautiful. But now I see love/tracked on the floor where you walked outside.

Come back to us soon.

love,
Craig

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October 16, 2004 | eating issues | Dean

Click here to see a letter i wrote to the folks at this residency responding to the self-policing/fatphobia/food talk that was going along with our meals (like it seems to everywhere). Maybe this will be of use to you if you're in a similar situation.

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October 15, 2004 | more | Dean

Click here to see more entries from blue mountain.

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October 6, 2004 | breaking up is no longer hard to do (in spanish) | Dean

I just posted another blue mountain dispatch so have a look see.

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October 4, 2004 | reporting from the field (and stream) | Dean

I am far away, and writing more dispatches of greater length than usual, so to read them click here. I'll continue updating when I get chances to get on the internet.

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August 30, 2004 | RNC etc. | Dean

Things have been super hectic and exciting since the first wave of arrests on Friday night at Critical Mass. I've been working with lots of volunteers at SRLP helping trans and gender-nonconforming arrestees in whatever way we can as they work their way through the system. Yesterday I got to take a 2 hour break from jail support to march with the Racial Justice 9/11 contingent at the Still We Rise march. It felt really good to be out in the street with amazing people after spending so much time watching the enormous waste of time and resources that the arrest/detention/arraignment process is for the City and the protesters alike. I'm particularly feeling sick of arrogant lawyers and I'm excited to have a good evaluatory conversation with some of my favorite National Lawyers Guild and People's Law Collective volunteers after this is over about what role this kind of legal support has in our movements and how we can do it in a way that is oppositional to the information-hoarding hiearchy-creating way of being that characterizes legal work.

One thing I wanted to share that Bridge emailed me this morning is this link to this cool bike that spells out messages on the street. Clearly, this time of protest makes me think a lot about the use of cell phones, as I see people doing creative stuff like this with cell phones, and also today's roving street party that can be attended by signing up to get text messages of its location. Also, to be completely transparent, I borrowed a cell phone to use during the protests when I was away from the office or at court so that people could reach me to tell me about new trans arrests, since I'm the only person in SRLP's office who is a barred attorney and has the special Corrections pass to get into holding areas. I'm reminded of how Craig always says that its not that technology is good or bad....its how its used. My position on cell phones remains the same, and I hope we can all be really careful about creating activist events and strategies that RELY on cell phone and are closed to people who don't have them. My recent use of one only exemplified for me the personal reasons why I don't want one--how it feels to be reachable at all times to do work is something I definitely don't want more of in my life. But two other recent bits have also furthered my anti-cell phone zeal. First, reading Christian Parenti's book The Soft Cage, and second getting an email from Rania that said over a million cell phones a week are thrown away in the U.S.. Also, of all the things I've ever posted on this site, my cell phone article generated the most hate mail and continues to be the source of the most comments when I meet people (usually telling me how long they waited until they 'gave in' and got one). I think there is something to this--not just because of the surveillance consequences for activists, the environmental consequences, the economic consequences of mass consumption of this luxury item, the interpersonal consequences of this new form of communication, but also because it seems like there is all this guilt about cell phones, and I think we should ask why. Anyway, just a little more stimulation from my tired brain to yours.

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August 3, 2004 | Remember me? | Dean

So, lots of times when I leave NYC and get just the tiniest bit of slowdown and perspective I am overcome with sadness and loss at my total neglect of this website! It's horrendous. My job has taken over my life. Granted, I'm one of the luckiest people in the world because I get to do work I think is vitally important and work in a non-hierarchically structured organization packed with amazing radical trans folks and our allies, but still, I miss Make. So, while I'm here in SF experiencing the intellectual/emotional openness that this place, with its rapidly changing weather and unending flowering trees and shrubs inspires in me, I thought I'd write the readers of make a little love letter full of promises I hope to keep. These are the kinds of things I've been dreaming about sharing with you: 1) I want to write really good talking points about how the "War on Terror" has impacted trans people. I went to this amazing meeting in the spring in Philly coordinated by the Audre Lorde Project about the impact of the "War on Terror" on LGBTST communities and we made up some cool talking points that will be posted soon on the SRLP site but there are so many horrific, really specific ways in which trans people have been feeling the effects that I want to write up some specific points. For example, did you know about the warning that went out to all airports to be vigilant of "men in dresses"? Or the warning that went out to DMV's all over from the Federal Government to tighten up their policies for gender change on drivers and non-drivers ID's (as if it isn't already nearly impossible for trans folks to get ID for work and school)? Or, most recently and I think very disturbingly, tons of our clients have been coming in with these letters from DMV's saying that they are revoking their licenses because they are comparing their Social Security Administration records to their DMV records and seeing differences. Some people have also reported that their BOSSES are getting letters from SSA if the information differs, and one client also reported getting a letter from the IRS about this. This is particularly distressing because all these different agencies have different standards for how you change your gender with them, so often times trans folks will be able to change gender marker at, say, the DMV, but not SSA, so of course the records will be different! Anyway, for our clients it has meant being outed at work, having the humiliation of being asked to prove their gender YET AGAIN to various bureacrats, losing their drivers' licenses, etc. If this stuff interests you, also, you should see the video work of Tara Mateik who is doing a lot of great work about the association of trans and gender non-conforming people with terrorism. 2) I want to write to you about this incredible process SRLP is going through of becoming a collective, and what that means when doing something as traditionally hiearchical as legal services, and what it means for us to be intentionally creating a governance structure where power and decisionmaking is held by a majority of trans/gender non-conforming people and people of color, and so much more. For a start, soon we'll have our collective handbook that describes our new structure on the SRLP website. Keep your eye out.

Okay, this dispatch is so long. I'm going to leave you with those two ideas first, and hope I fulfill my promise. I'm so sorry for my absenteeism, and thanks to Colby for reminding me to post something. I love the kind of people who read this site and sites like it--who are reaching out to engage ideas and exchange strategies with hope for shaking up the world--I fear that the intensity of my job has narrowed my vision and concentration, and while I've learned a ton from that I want to remember to make sure to concentrate on broader exchange and accessibility and cross-issue polination and all those good things. (and I miss getting angry emails defending cell phone usage)

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July 31, 2004 | Grumpalicious | Craig

I'm somewhat exhausted, cranky, sick and casually depressed. How's everyone else? I fought a cold and the cold won -- assisted no doubt by the secretly emotionally roller-coastery week I had. Also I'm kinda bummed about the summer being almost over, I'm still writing the first of three papers I wanted to have done before September, it's time to start prepping my fall course, blah blah blah. Do I complain about school too much? Been wondering lately how much I'm digging it, and at some point I had a rule that I wasn't allowed to complain about school since it is something I've totally chosen to do, I don't have to be there, and I mean, it's just school. Nonetheless, I'm desiring some slightly more carefree days and nights, and have been feeling a bit sick of NYC these days. I want to be somewhere quieter where I can feel a bit lonely. I'm jealous of last summer -- had a dream the other night I was back in Moscow.

Whoa, am I a party pooper. In better news, Rania from SF is coming next weekend so I am very excited to hang out and party down. Also, for people in NYC and coming into town for RNC, leave some time the weekend before to check out the Life After Capitalism conference -- it should be rad. According to the skedj, Helen from Toronto is gonna be here. Is that true Helen? Friends of Helen? I'm gonna make her hang out with me.

Oh! And hello to Emily in Ithaca. Thank you for the really kind email, it meant a lot.

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July 14, 2004 | Happy Bastille Day | Craig

At school, burnt from spending the day doing bureaucratic chores, killing some time before meeting up with Miami pal Jackie O for some din-din downtown. Been bad about writing here, but been working on some other writing projects, in between jetsetting about. Since the last dispatch, went to Chicago and Urbana, back to San Francisco, and to Charlotte, NC with Timmy and his wild and raucous friends for a couple of days of swimming in lakes, dancepartytime, and chemistry experiments. Since getting back I'm trying to sort through my paper with Greg, a piece with Dean about sodomy laws and gamarriage, and my final from last semester for that existentialism class. Whoa, that one's a mess. Trying to work something out about Foucault's biopolitics, plague narratives, Darwin, and eugenics.

Got a nice email from future pals The Syndicate today. They're queer, trans, and on tour, so check them out when they swing your way. The Mean Corner has a show next week which I'll post info about soon.

Oooh! And don't forget this Saturday is the explosive launch of feminist genre-defying masterpiece LTTR #3: practice more failure, with live art and amazing folks doing incredible stuff, as always. Come, it'll be fun.

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June 25, 2004 | Thrillinois | Craig

On my way to Chicago and Urbana today for the Crossroads 2004 Cultural Studies Conference which I've only just realized doesn't have anything to do with the Britney Spears cinematic masterpiece of the same name. I guess I learned the piano part to "Not a girl, not yet a woman" for nothing. Instead of poetry readings around a campfire, me and Greg will be giving a paper on a panel with other folks from school, including our advisor, who did her dissertation on bars in Urbana. Fun!

Elsewhere in the middle of the country, Make's spies in Denver passed this call our way. You can get more info by sending anticapitalqueer@hotmail.com a note. Gay Power is back and I am feeling it!

Dear friends and community members,

This is a call out for members of GLBT, queer and allied communities to join us for Alternative Pride. Alternative pride is meant to offer an option besides the consumerist based booths, food and beer that has come to symbolize gay pride. As a community of people strongly committed to social justice we want to create a space were the ability to purchase a $250 booth does not exclude certain groups from participating and being heard. Alternative pride is meant to be a youth friendly space open to people of all ages, orientations, gender identities and gender presentations. We hope to bring together a community of people from varying backgrounds and identities to show that pride can be a celebration of community without the pressure to buy, especially from corporations who use that money to support things that directly contradict the primary objectives of many different parts of the queer community,

We are not protesting pride. We want to go to pride and experience a diverse and multifaceted queer community. We want to party, dance, laugh and sing. There are many different people participating with varying opinions, all of who should be honored. There is not one primary political objective for organizing Alternative Pride, other than to bring a community of people together to be visible, have fun and to create a space for ourselves at pride when we do not see ourselves being represented in the larger gay pride arena.

Instead of spending $250 to buy a space at pride, alternative pride has elected to come together and picnic on the grass at pride around the fountains. There will be community food and please bring a dish to share if you can. Also, if you can please try to wear pink, it’s good for visibility and lots of fun but not required or course. All are welcome to join us. We will be mee0ting at 11:30am. Look for blankets, signs and people in pink.

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June 18, 2004 | Too early for this | Craig

In a new twist on an old theme, my recent insomnia had me up at 6.30 this morning which, for anyone who knows me, does not happen. Usually lately I just can't fall asleep, but last night -- exhausted and tipsy after a fun but somehow nervewracking show -- I passed right out. I woke up an hour ago feeling too hot and a bit emotionally wacky.

Greg and I have plans to work on our paper today, something about theories of the traumatized body that considers the productivity (for capital, for technology) of amputated/damaged soldiers' bodies returning from Iraq. We're supposed to do a version of it at the University of Illinois in Urbana next weekend if we can get some cash together to make the trip. Any suggestions of floors to crash on would be much appreciated.

And, as promised: Reagan's Bloody Legacy by David Corn.

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June 15, 2004 | Happy Birthday Dean! | Craig

Everyone send Dean happy birthday wishes today! There's still time left, especially for you left coasters out there.

Speaking of which, my time in SF was amazing but way too brief. I discovered a new favorite activity -- softball. Who would've thought? I could hit the ball and catch it and throw it and everything. I didn't even feel bad about myself when I messed up. I guess I'm not actually still 7 years old on the bench in little league after all. What a difference 22 years can make!

In other eclectic news, a recent Post tagline on an article about NYC high school seniors getting breast implants for graduation gifts: Cup and Gown. I like that even more than when W's daughter got in trouble with the law a few years ago and the headline was Jenna and Tonic. I wish I worked at a newspaper, it seems fun!

And speaking of fun, come see my band the Mean Corner at the Luna Lounge on Thursday. We play at 9:30 and we can't guarantee keeping the beat or hitting the notes, but we can promise a cute crowd of swinging queers and trannies. You can get more info on our webisite, which also has some songs to listen to.

Also, how wrong it is that I am kind of (by which I mean totally and completely) excited about this? Come on, Nicole Richie is hilarious!

Um, next dispatch will be about how bad Reagan was, I swear. Just feeling a bit peanut butter floofy today.

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June 7, 2004 | California scheming | Craig

I'm in San Francisco, drinking milkshakes, eating donuts and waffles, and sitting in the sun. Nonetheless, I feel a bit jumpy, like I can't come down from the stress of the past several weeks, having every minute booked and bouncing nonstop from task to task. Trying to decompress, actually reading a novel, though of course it relates to school stuff in some way -- Pattern Recognition, William Gibson's last one, on loan from Jesse. It's real good. I feel sad that I have to go back to NYC next week and write a paper, and frustrated that my password for posting grades got fucked up and I couldn't do it before I left town and now I look like an ass.

Oh my god, I am getting extreme shit from Rania because Colby just came over and I am wasting time on the computer. It's true, I should go, I'll write more later -- maybe a rant about installment 19 of horror stories from the Department of Health STD clinic. This time I had the pleasure of dragging T____ through that special little hell as well, filling me with guilt and winning him a plethora of points.

Gotta go!

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May 27, 2004 | Reading | Craig

Whoops, May slipped by. And I was doing so well with this thing!

I'm a little bit caught up in school these days. School and drinking and working on RNC related organizing and drinking and grading. Some great things I've read lately: We Have Never Been Modern, by Bruno Latour. He's kinda arrogant and schmarmy, but it's a great critique of social science methods and framing. The Visible Human Project, by Catherine Waldby. She is a genius and such a good writer. This one is about digital anatomy archives, and is a great explication of biopolitics and informatics, with fun stuff on ghosts and death to boot. Requiem for our Prospective Dead, by Brian Massumi. This is an essay, not sure from where. I can only read like two paragraphs at a time, it's so dense and brilliant. Written post-Gulf War 1, but pre-W, it's frightening in its relevance. The best description I've seen of how to understand individual elected officials within the actually existing systems of power.

Me and Greg are working on some stuff together, a project that started by looking at stories and photos of amputated US soldiers, but which has maybe taken some new turns since Abu Ghraib. It's interesting/scary to be working on stuff that's so current and feels so unknown. Uh, what does that mean? I guess when you come to understand academic practice as intimately implicated with the "dangerous stuff" like capital flows, governmentality, and transnational information networks, participating in intellectual production becomes this whole other thing that is beyond questions of accountability even. How to work from within the "no outside." If that clears anything up.

I know I'm wildly behind on emails, as per usual. Apologies! Email is so overwhelming, no? Maybe we should get rid of the endwealth email address and ask for postcards instead. So much more fun. Headed to SF for a quick visit June 5th. Wanna hang out?

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May 2, 2004 | A note from KayCee | Craig

Hello my beloved Make editors,

I want to say how excited I was to see Katrina's posting of the article about preparing kids for protests. This is much of what I am thinking about these days. As a teacher I spend the majority of my time with kids and the time I am not with them I am thinking about them. 0 As someone engaged in radical politics and alternativey lifestyles, I often feel somewhat marginalized from these communities because of my work and passion with kids. I can't stay out late at night, I work alot, many people view elementary school teaching as apolitical and don't take the needs and issues of kids and youth seriously. At most events I go to I see few if any kids and families. Not only do I love working with kids, but I also want to have one of my own. I am looking for models of radical teaching and radical parenting. I am looking for scenes that are inclusive of kids, youth, moms, dads, and families. I am looking for different ways of living. I am working with a group called Radical Teachers and we are putting on an event called Building a Youth, Child, and Family-Inclusive Radical Movement. If this sounds interesting to you, see the announcement for details.

Love,
Kaycee

Radical Teachers presents:
Building a Youth, Child and Family-Inclusive Radical Movement

Please join us for a discussion with local activists and organizations working for social justice on:

• Ways to insure that youth are included and youth issues are addressed.
• How to create child and family friendly spaces/meetings/events/actions.
• Why reaching out to youth, children, and families will strengthen our movement for social justice.

Saturday May 22nd
4-6 pm

Location:
Independent Media Center
34 E. 29th St. 2nd floor
Bet. Park and Madison
6 train to 23rd st.

**This is a child-friendly event**

email for more info:
info@radicalteachers.org


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