Mad Trans Dreams

Visions and Resistance from outside Norms of Gender and Mental Health

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Daily Donations

Since the election, I have been making at least one small donation a day to a different organization each day. I expect that eventually I will stop doing this sort of giving and instead just increase my monthly giving to a handful of organizations. But for right now, I love this approach. It reminds me of how many organizations there are doing incredible work. It strengthens me in a time when I feel I need it.

By this point, though, I am starting to forget where I have already given. So below is a list of the places where I have given money post-election so far (through this process of daily small donations to different organizations–I have also given money to a number of others not listed here). I have such a long list in mind of places I want to give in the coming days that it feels both overwhelming and amazing. I am always also interested in learning where other people are giving their money, and why.

1/17: American Muslim Community Centers

1/16: Cicada Collective

1/15: CK Life

1/14: Southside Together for Power

1/13: National Black Disability Coalition

1/12: allgo

1/11: Navajo Water Project

1/10: Indigenous Environmental Network

1/9: Tohono O’odham Community Action

1/8: Society for Disability Studies

1/7: Sins Invalid

1/6: Visual AIDS

1/5: Give Directly

1/4: Critical Resistance

1/3: Chicago Community Bond Fund

1/2: Asian Pacific Environmental Network

1/1: Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

12/31: Black Lives Matter

12/30: The Icarus Project

12/29: Community Voices Heard

12/28: La Colmena

12/27: Hui Mālama i ke Ala ʻŪlili

12/26: Preemptive Love Coalition

12/25: Family Farm Defenders

12/24: South Asian Organizing Center

12/23: City Life / Vida Urbana

12/22: Justice at Work

12/21: The Audre Lorde Project

12/20: Transgender Law Center.

12/19: BreakOUT!

12/18: Iraq Veterans Against the War

12/17: Karam Foundation

12/16: LGBT Books to Prisoners

12/15: Operation Welcome Home

12/14: Arab American Association of New York

12/13: West Fund

12/12: Women with a Vision

12/11: TGI Justice Project

12/10: Black Youth Project 100

12/9: Partners in Health

12/8: Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois

12/7: Prison Birth Project

12/6: CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities

12/5: The Network / La Red

12/4: Detroit REPRESENT!

12/3: The Trans Latina Network. “Founded in 2007, Translatina Network is made up of trans individuals working locally and nationally to promote the healthy development of transgender Latina communities. Through the delivery of a wide range of information about services and events, educational outreach, and capacity building resources, Translatina Network supports individuals in maintaining personal wellness and developing leadership skills.”

12/2: FUREE. “Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) is a member led Brooklyn-based multiracial program of Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) led by mostly women of color. We organize and unite low-income families to build power to fight against systems of oppression so that the work of all people is valued and all of us have the right and ability to decide and live out our own destinies.”

12/1: Autism Women’s Network.  “The mission of the Autism Women’s Network is to provide effective supports to Autistic women and girls of all ages through a sense of community, advocacy and resources….The Autism Women’s Network is dedicated to building a supportive community for Autistic women of all ages, families, friends and allies. AWN provides a safe space to share our experiences in an understanding, diverse and inclusive environment. AWN is committed to recognizing and celebrating diversity and the many intersectional experiences of Autistic women….Our goal is to dispel stereotypes and misinformation which perpetuate unnecessary fears surrounding an autism diagnosis.”

11/30: Rahma “RAHMA’s mission is to address HIV/AIDS, Sexual Health, and Women’s Health primarily in the American Muslim community through education, advocacy, and empowerment.”

11/29: Black and Pink “Black & Pink is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and ‘free world’ allies who support each other. Our work toward the abolition of the prison industrial complex is rooted in the experience of currently and formerly incarcerated people. We are outraged by the specific violence of the prison industrial complex against LGBTQ people, and respond through advocacy, education, direct service, and organizing.”

11/28:  Disability Visibility Project. “Our aim is to create disabled media that is intersectional, multi-modal, and cross-platform.”

11/27: Lakȟól’iyapi Wahóȟpi Immersion Nest, “a Lakota Language Immersion school housed on the Sitting Bull College campus, located on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservation in North Dakota…. All instruction is conducted in Lakota with lessons mixing traditional Lakota seasonal and cultural knowledge with best practices in early childhood education.”

11/26: Mijente “Imagine a movement that is not just Pro-Latinx…but pro-Black, pro-woman, pro-queer, pro-poor because our community is all that and more.”

11/25: Native American Community Board, which “works to protect the health and human rights of Indigenous Peoples pertinent to our communities through cultural preservation, education, coalition building, community organizing, reproductive justice, environmental justice, and natural resource protection while working toward safe communities for women and children at the local, national, and international level.” They are water protectors, run Dakota Talk Radio, and also run the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center. #NoDAPL

11/24: The North American Indian Center of Boston, empowering and investing in the Native American community of Massachusetts for over 45 years.

11/23: The Native Youth Sexual Health Network, an organization by and for Indigenous youth that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice throughout the United States and Canada.

11/22: Communities United Against Violence (CUAV) “Founded in 1979, CUAV works to build the power of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) communities to transform violence and oppression. We support the healing and leadership of those impacted by abuse and mobilize our broader communities to replace cycles of trauma with cycles of safety and liberation.”

11/21: The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, working to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence.

11/20: Trans Women of Color Collective, working to uplift the narratives, lived experiences and leadership of trans and gender non-conforming people of color, our families and comrades as we build towards collective liberation for all oppressed people.

11/19: Trans Queer Pueblo, an autonomous LGBTQ+ migrant community of color who works wherever we find our people, creating cycles of mutual support that cultivate leadership to generate the community power that will liberate our bodies and minds from systems of oppression toward justice for all people.

11/18: Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD), an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that promotes equal access to legal system for individuals who are deaf and for people with disabilities. HEARD primarily focuses on correcting and preventing deaf wrongful convictions, ending deaf prisoner abuse, decreasing recidivism rates for deaf returned citizens, and on increasing representation of the deaf in the justice, legal and corrections professions.

11/17: Mariposas Sin Fronteras, a Tucson, AZ based group that seeks to end the systemic violence and abuse of LGBTQ people held in prison and immigration detention. They support LGBTQ people currently detained in Eloy and Florence, AZ through visits, letters, bond support, advocacy, and housing upon freedom from detention.

11/16: Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement. It was founded at the beginning of 2014 by trans and queer immigrants, undocumented and allies, youth leaders and parents.

11/15:  Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD), working to support, empower, and connect LGBTQ Muslims.

11/14: Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC), a faith-based human rights education organization focused on racial justice.

11/13: Muslim Justice League, “formed in the midst of the ongoing ‘War on Terror’ to defend the rights of Greater Boston Muslim communities. MJL was founded on the principles that discrimination towards any group endangers the rights of all and that Muslim advocacy is a valuable force for promoting global justice and equality. MJL defends human and civil rights through community education and mobilization, facilitation of cross-movement solidarity, legal advocacy, and cultivation of an environment in which pride in Muslim identity flourishes.”

11/12: Southerners on New Ground, “a regional Queer Liberation organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South.  We believe that we are bound together by a shared desire for ourselves, each other, and our communities to survive and thrive. We believe that Community Organizing is the best way for us to build collective power and transform the South. Out of this belief we are committed to building freedom movements rooted in southern traditions like community organizing, political education, storytelling, music, breaking bread, resistance, humor, performance, critical thinking, and celebration.”

11/11: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Dakota Access Pipeline Donation Fund

11/10: Families for Freedom, a New York-based multi-ethnic human rights organization by and for families facing and fighting deportation.


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After the election, I have found facebook both incredibly stressful and incredibly difficult to tear myself away from. One problem with tearing myself away was that facebook has served as my main source for news, and I have not been willing to go without news. But the other ways I typically got my news–like reading mainstream news feeds–upset me so much I would typically stop reading (that part was true even before the election.) Given that, and given everything people have been saying post-election about echo chambers, fake news, and suppression of freedom of press, I’ve been trying to be more thoughtful about how I consume news. That process has led me to consider what I’m actually (not) looking for in my news sources.
1. I don’t want news sources that are so blatantly hateful they diminish my humanity or the humanity of others. Whether it’s Breitbart or the NYTimes, if it’s publishing thought pieces on whether trans youth really deserve to use public bathrooms, or whether maybe women do belong in the kitchen after all, or whether all or only some Muslims are violent extremists, or whether trans women bring murder on themselves, or whether it’s a good thing to try to control autistic people by administering electric shocks, or whether it wouldn’t after all be best for everyone to involuntarily commit more people with mental illness…I’ll pass, unless I have some really specific research related reason motivating me to dive in. I’m not worried about it influencing my views in an insidious way, so much as I am worried about it devastating me emotionally while giving me no new or useful information. And I don’t want to support authors, editors, or publishers for doing horrible things.
2. I don’t want news sources that resonate perfectly with my politics, but that don’t bother with fact checking, skip entirely over complexity and nuance, or pack in so many advertisements that I can barely read the content. The political resonance makes me vulnerable to not looking at claims as skeptically as I should, so I’m actually somewhat less worried about reading sources like these when they do not match my views–although they still wouldn’t be my first choice.
3. I don’t want news sources that are written primarily by and for white U.S. urban progressive-liberal-moderate professionals with lots of investment in the status quo. For me, it’s too risky–these sources can subtly suggest collusion and complacency in ways that appeal to me a little too much, and pull me in directions I would rather not go.
4. I don’t want most of my news sources to be owned by massive corporate conglomerates or governments–and while I’m okay with reading a few that do fit this profile, I want them to be a minority of my sources, and I don’t want any of them to be owned by the same massive corporate conglomerate or government.
5. I do want news that tells me about things happening that I don’t already know. I want news from around the world; I want news that pushes me out of my U.S.-centric perspective and broadens my knowledge base. I also want hyper-local news; I want to know about proposed zoning changes in my neighborhood that could speed along gentrification, or about the local city council person accused of corruption. And I want national news–I want to learn about these cabinet appointees as if my life depended on it (maybe it does). I want news about issues that I rarely think about or have never even heard of, and I also want news about issues I care deeply about and am personally and professionally invested in.
7. I want news that pushes me to question and think, not just to feel fear, disgust, outrage, or hero-worship. I don’t want news that shows investment in “balance” (as in, acting obligated to share the views of someone who thinks Black lives don’t matter in a piece about Black Lives Matter or to dig up some obscure climate change denial person in a piece on global climate change) and “objectivity” (as in, pretending that the authors’ and editors’ culture, politics, experiences and biases could never influence their work).  I do want news that highlights at least some nuance; that provides context and history; that strives for transparency about relationships that may influence reporting; and that offers multiple informed perspectives on events, primarily from people directly affected by them.
8. As much as possible, I want news from sources that treat their workers well, that have leaders from various marginalized groups, that have some independence from those in positions of the greatest social power, that try hard to resist government or big business control of their content, that respect requests for anonymity from vulnerable people, and that try hard to verify the information they provide.
9. For better or worse, I also want news that is convenient for me to consume–ideally, that I can easily read on my phone in the train.
10. I want most of my news in English, because that is the only language I know at all well. I want a little of it in Spanish or French too, though, because I can at least read those languages a little and would like to learn them better.
I’m still trying to work out how to achieve as many of those goals as I can, but here’s where I am. With the help of many people’s suggestions and some of my own explorations, I have started reading the following pretty much every day:

Those are the ones I read most regularly, because I can read them very easily from my phone. But here are the others I am also trying to read at least somewhat regularly (originally, I had a plan of looking at a different three of these sources each day of the week, but it has not turned out that way):

I’ve only been trying my new approach for around a week, but it’s already a revelation. I think on some level I thought the changes to the news I consumed would be fairly minor–that my friends on facebook were probably posting roughly the same articles I would get through choosing my news sources and looking at them directly. Not so, not even remotely (or if so, the facebook algorithm changes all that). This new approach has also yielded very different material than I would get (and cringe about) through Google news.  I can’t claim to suddenly be calm and well-informed, but I am learning more about what is happening outside of the U.S. than I was learning before, and I’m not finding the news so unbearably upsetting to read.

I’m going to keep experimenting, probably shifting some sources out and others in. Once I’m more confident I can make an informed decision, I’ll choose at least a few to support financially.