Monthly Archives: August 2011

Post the Eleventh or On Why Social Justice is Important

This is the anniversary week of Hurricane Katrina that devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. I was a sophomore in high school when it happened. I remember going to Robyn’s room after school and we would talk about it. Talk about the horror and devastation. Talk about the biased media coverage and the ineffectiveness of FEMA. Talk about the suffering of the poor and people of color in New Orleans.

I remember talking about how the media said that white folks were trying to find food but people of color were looting. I remember, as I looked at the news coverage, the disproportionate amount of people of color in the shelters and on the roofs of homes and on the streets. I remember seeing white folks come back after the evacuation, devastated that their homes were destroyed. I remember seeing people of color devastated that their homes were destroyed, the horror in their eyes, the knowledge that of what they had seen first hand.

And I can’t help but be struck by the fact that Hurricane Irene ripped through the east coast, albeit with much less devastation, around the anniversary of Katrina and that there was once again instances of people being left behind. Specifically those prisoners left on Riker’s Island in New York City.

Six years later we are still leaving behind the under served, the disfranchised and the dispossessed. We are still operating in a system that is exclusionary and that ends up with untimely and unfair deaths. Six years later, we are still making the same mistakes. And do you know what the worst part is?

People still don’t care.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many many people who advocated for their evacuation and were appalled that they were being left behind but the vast majority either didn’t care or worse, thought that they deserved it. Moreover, those in power did nothing. To a certain extent, it was Katrina all over again.

And it affirmed for me the importance of the work that I do. It reemphasized why social justice is so important. It showed me once again why I work long hours, spend my days struggling, and face almost insurmountable odds. It showed me why I am so motivated and passionate. It showed me why I do this.

Social justice is important because it saves lives.

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Post the Tenth or Every Morning

I wake up every morning with the Sound of Sirens

Blaring across town

Another murder

Another overdose

Another death

I wake up every morning wondering what fresh hell

The world will throw at me

Will it be losing the job because I was too brown

Or losing the lover because my body was wrong in their eyes

Or losing my identity to the maw of Society that says I’m not real

I wake up every morning wondering

Is today the day?

Is today the day that I die?

The day that some fuck gets it in their head that

I don’t deserve to live

Is today the day I’m murdered?

And every morning I get up

Put on my make up

And face this fucked up world that hates me

That owes me nothing

And I. Demand. Everything

And I will not be denied

I dream of the day when waking up

Is the easiest thing I have to do


Locked Up and Left Behind: New York’s Prisoners and Hurricane Irene (via Solitary Watch)

Oh good, the Prison-Industrial Complex and those in power are fucking over the under served. Surprise Surprise.

Locked Up and Left Behind: New York's Prisoners and Hurricane Irene "We are not evacuating Rikers Island," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a news conference this afternoon. Bloomberg annouced a host  of extreme measures being taken by New York City in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, including a shutdown of the public transit system and the unprecedented mandatory evacuation of some 250,000 people from low-lying areas. But in response to a reporter's question, the mayor stated in no uncertain terms … Read More

via Solitary Watch


Post the Ninth or On Social Justice and God

I am a social justice activist. I live and breathe social justice. It is my lifeblood. It is probably the biggest part of my identity. I live for the days that I get to open eyes and raise awareness about the true nature of world we live in and its stark realities. I live for the days that I get to teach people how to fight oppression and achieve a more equitable world. And I live for the days when others teach me. When we get together and share knowledge and strategize on how to make the world a better place. I live for those days when I find out that your liberation is bound up with mine and that we must fight together to make a difference.

I’m a social justice activist because it is work that needs to be done. It is often times overwhelming, exhausting and thankless. It is easy to get discouraged because its hard to see any immediate results. Not only that but dealing with the backlash. Few people enjoy being faced with their privilege and how they were bred into a system that kills. Few people like facing the truth. But I feel it needs to be done because if nothing changes, nothing changes. If I don’t do it, who will?

At the same time, I am a very spiritual person. I have felt and seen things that, for me, can only be miracles. From getting sober to escaping a queer bashing by making myself “unnoticeable” to money manifesting from nowhere, I have come to believe that there are powers greater than me and that said powers have my back. And whether this is ultimately a delusion or not is unimportant because its real to me. Moreover, spirituality as taught me that I am powerless over so many things and the only thing I have power over are my own actions. It has taught me that the only way to effect change in my community and in my world is to act and act in the right ways, whatever right means in each context.

These two sides of my identity are constantly at war. The spiritual side of me is constantly trying to reassure me that the powers that be will take care of me. That my needs will be met and that I will be safe. That I will lead a successful, happy life with wonderful friends and a partner (or two) at my side. And to turn over those things of which I am powerless to control. And yet the social justice side of me understands the harsh reality of the body that I have and the oppressions that it subjects me too. It knows that my body is a battleground for almost all of society’s baggage. The fact of the matter is, transwomen of color frequently get the shit end of every stick. Whether it be because I’m brown or because I defy what society says a person with a penis should act and look like or both, I have a harder time finding places to live, places to work and people who love and support me for who I am.

And I wonder that if this greater power really had my best interests at heart, wouldn’t she have put me in a white straight man’s body? Or better yet, would she not create a world where people were equal regardless of the bodies they possess? Why give us this fucked up world where people, thanks to systems of power and oppression, live fruitless lives and die ignoble deaths?

These are questions that I am constantly grappling with myself. And the answers that I have come up with are not always happy.

I can come to the conclusion that, despite my experience, there are no powers above or below that help us and guide us. That we are utterly alone and that our problems must be solved with our own solutions. Nothing and no one else will help. Another conclusion that I can come to is that while a creatrix might have gotten things going in the beginning, she is no longer involved now and that is why things have gone to shit. Still another conclusion is that the reason why our world is fucked up is so that we can learn to be better human beings. Its like a huge cosmic game that is being played so that we can advance as spiritual beings. The final conclusion, and the most attractive by far, is that greater powers exist but they have a limited sphere of influence. They can only effect this world in subtle ways and sometimes, or oftentimes, that is not enough. And because of their limited influence, shit like greed and oppression are allowed to occur.

All the conclusions have draw backs. The first and second one are devoid of hope, which is so important. The third conclusion is also problematic because if greater power could create a world in which we must learn and grow why not just make all of us automatically as spiritually advanced as we can be and avoid the suffering? Is there something intrinsic in suffering that makes it so that we learn? But again, if she has all this power why make it so that it is painful? Why not make it so that learning comes from joy? Moreover, what does that say about people who have easy lives? That they are spiritually advanced enough that they don’t need to struggle as much as those with hard lives? That seems to me to be erroneous.

Lets look at the final conclusion once again. If the greater powers can only influence us in those subtle, coincidental ways are those than enough to keep us afloat? Or perhaps because we are oppressed we are given greater access to those subtle powers? That since we are oppressed we have a better ability to move and shift those subtle energies? And how are we to trust these things when not only does mainstream culture invalidate it but also when they are so intangible?

I would argue that yes, the greater powers that be might not be all powerful but they can and do help us. That we as oppressed people must trust, more than those who aren’t, that there are powers out there who want what’s best for us even if they can’t always get it. My experience has shown this. And we must believe if only because it gives us, it gives me, hope. And hope is vital. It is critical. It is so fucking important. The battle is already lost when hope has already fled. Even if its an opiate, its an opiate that has kept me alive through times when I thought I would never survive.

But just because there might be greater powers out there helping us out doesn’t mean that we get to rest on our laurels and not fight. Just because they have our back doesn’t mean that they are gonna fight our battles for us. Social justice is the work of the people and the people must work it.

None of these conclusions are airtight nor are they all positive but its the best that I’ve come up with so far. But I suppose uncertainty shall always be a part of life.

The only thing I know for certain is that I’m here to leave this world better than I found it.


Post the Eighth or Coffee

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!

THE FOLLOWING IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

The steam rose languidly from the cup of coffee. I leaned forward and breathed in the rich smell and smiled. I loved coffee. Still love coffee. At the time, I was sitting in a dimly lit cafe on the east side. I was trying, and failing, to work on my final take home exam. The smell of the coffee and the people watching was making it hard to concentrate.

One person in particular was especially vexing. His skin was as dark and smooth as the coffee that I was drinking. His locks fell down around his face gracefully as he poured over his book. His body was all power and strength and yet he held himself gracefully, almost softly, leaning back on the overstuffed couch. He seemed so intent on his literature that I was almost loath to interrupt.

Almost.

I waited until he got up to make my move. He rose from his couch, stretched and made his way to the front counter. As he was ordering another coffee I quickly moved over to sit on the couch.

“Do you mind if I sit here?” I asked as he walked back towards me.

“Not at all.” He replied, smiling shyly.

I knew I had him. I positioned myself so that our knees touched. He glanced at them once and than at my breasts but left his knee next to my own. After sometime I said, “I really like that art piece over there.” Pointing to painting of a flower near the bathroom.

“Yeah,” He said, “Its very… Vaginal.”

I laughed, “Lets go look at.”

“Ok.”

We walked over to the painting and studied it for a few moments. He brushed his hand against my arm and I knew it was deliberate. This was my chance.

I opened the bathroom door and pulled him into the bathroom. It was dark and I couldn’t see a thing but that didn’t matter. He pushed himself hard against me, eagerly searching my mouth with his own. I was only too happy to oblige. I pressed him up against the wall, pinning him with my own body.

“Pull my hair…” He whispered to me. I replied by reaching my hand into his locks, caressing each in turn and yanking down. He gasped. I brushed my lips against his exposed neck. His skin was as soft as I had imagined. I bit down and he screamed. He ran his hand down my back to cup my ass. He pulled and scratched at it as I bit down ever fiercer.

He finally gasped, “Stop. Please.”

I smiled and pulled away. I moved him over to the sink, feeling my way through the dark. I reached into his jeans and felt what I was hoping for.

He was so wet.

Even in the dark I could see his expression of pained eagerness. I could feel those eyes questioning, wondering. Will I reject him? Will I be like so many others who, when exposed to this wonder, shrink back in fear? I pull my hand out from his pants and I feel him tense. He knows what will happen next.

I take my fingers and run them across his mouth, his lips parting to allow my entry. “You are so beautiful.” I whispered. And with those words he melted against me and began sucking my fingers earnestly. I bit my lip, reveling in the feeling of his mouth around my digits.

While he was sucking my fingers I used my other hand to unbuckle his belt and undo his jeans. He wriggled out of them while still sucking on my fingers. I flung them aside and got on my knees. At this point my eyes had adjusted to the darkness and I looked up at his face. He was so beautiful, so vulnerable and so mine.

I inched down his boxers slowly, whispering all the while what I was going to do with his glorious cunt. He shivered and moaned, rocking his hips back and forth.

“Please…” He breathed.

I got his boxers down around his ankles and leaned close. I blew across his pubis and along his cunt. He shivered again. I fingered his labia gently, teasing him with the tip of my finger. He bucked, shoving his crotch in my face, his desire clear.

I inserted two of my fingers into him and began to fuck him. I fucked him gently, tenderly. He rode my fingers expertly, meeting my thrusts with his own. I could tell he had done this before. I began to fuck him harder, reaching deeper inside him. I inserted a third finger. He whimpered.

I put my mouth around his clit and began to suck. He gave a low long moan of pleasure and I could feel the heat rising in my own crotch. He tasted so sweet. Sweet and salty and mine. I ran circles with my tongue around his clit as my cock got harder and harder.

His breathing got faster as I fucked him more intensely. I kept riding his edge, slowing down or speeding up to keep him from coming. I kept taking him to that point but not allowing him to fall into blissful oblivion. I played him like I would a sweet violin. His knees began buckle and shake at the pressure and I knew he couldn’t last much longer.

“Please can I come, sir?” He asked with desperation in his voice.

I pulled out of him and with my tongue I spelled, “Come.” on his clit.

And he came.

And he came.

And he came.

It was like a deluge as his wetness swirled out of him and down his legs. I leaned closer to drink it in and as I pulled my nails across his thigh he came again. I put my hands on his stomach to support him as he slumped forward, spent.

I rose, planting a kiss on his lips. I could feel the smile there.

“I’ll see you at home, honey.” I said.


Post the Seventh or On the Politics of Dating

Dating is a complicated and emotionally dangerous activity. It’s rife with uncertainty, vulnerability and anxiety. Its also a lot of fucking fun. The complicated mixture of anxiety and excitement, wonder and arousal can at times become addicting. And I love it.

Recently, I went on this date with this boy and it was rather lovely. We flirted, we talked and we drank coffee after which we than retired to a more intimate setting. It was good.  My favorite part of the date, however, was when he wanted to emphasize to me that he was interested in me not just because I was a woman with a penis but rather also because he was attracted to me as a person. He wanted to emphasize that my body was the least of it and that my personality was the most of it. My heart melted.

Because more often then not, guys who are interested in me are not interested in the fact that I’m first generation American. They are not interested in the fact that I go to school for Psychology and Philosophy. They aren’t interested in the fact that I live and breathe activism. All they are interested is in the fact that I’m a “chick with a dick”. All they want to know is how long my cock is and how big my tits are. They only care to make sure that I don’t tell a soul that they slept with someone as perverted and dirty as a tranny.

And quite frankly, I am sick and tired of being fetishized without my consent! Its one thing if we are in a scene and I have agreed to be objectified and you have agreed to objectify me. In fact, there are many situations in which that turns me on. But its frustrating when I can’t even tell someone I’m interested in them without them instantly being fixated on my cock. And do you know what the worst part is?

They don’t even know any better.

Because the society that we live in teaches us, practically since exiting the womb, that bodies that are not white, heterosexual or cisgender are strange, forgien and forbidden. We have been taught in myriad and sundry ways that those sorts of bodies are OTHER and that people who possess those bodies amount to only their bodies. In other words, those who possess OTHER bodies are not people. They are just things to be had and thrown away.

And people don’t even know that they are doing this because it seems normal. It doesn’t occur to them that they are OTHERING me or anyone else because that is what the status quo is. When oppression is normalized those who oppress can not see it. Not only did I not consent to being objectified but neither have they consented to objectify me. They just don’t know that they are doing it.

Which is why my heart burst open with joy when this boy said to me that he gets it. That he doesn’t want to objectify me. He wants to see me for me. He wants me to know it.

And that gives me hope.


Post the Sixth or On how Poor People aren’t Lazy

This is the status that I’m seeing posted around Facebook these days.

Thank you Florida, Kentucky, and Missouri, which are the first states that will require drug testing when applying for welfare. Some people are crying and calling this unconstitutional. How is this unconstitutional? It’s OK to drug test people who work for their money but not those who don’t?… Re-post this if you’d like to see this done in all 50 states.

And it pisses me off! What pisses me off about it is the underlying classist assumption that poor people are lazy. The underlying classist assumption that all you have to do to be successful is work hard. That if you are poor or struggling that all you have to do is pull yourself up from your bootstraps and give it the ole’ college try.

This is an incorrect assumption!

Its incorrect not only because poor people are the most hard-working people but also because all their hard work amounts to little. People who are poor NEED to work hard because otherwise they go hungry. People who are poor have to do the shittiest jobs because they don’t have any other choice. They need to work their shitty jobs to get by to pay rent, food etc.

Some might cry at this point, “But Morgan why don’t they just go get and education! That’s the way to get ahead!” To which I would reply that going to school is all well and good and education is the quickest path to liberation. However, people who are poor often can’t afford to go to school. Either because the high school they were educated at was unable to educate them properly due to lack of resources or because they have a family to support and literally can’t afford to go school because if they do they aren’t able to work the hours they need to pay rent, food etc.

The capitalist system that we live in keeps these people trapped in a vicious cycle where it’s all they can do to survive. And in this state of desperation we wonder why they do drugs. Why does anyone do drugs? For amusement, for escape. For people who are poor, drugs are often the only way to escape the despair that so often surrounds their lives.

And while I recognize the importance of taking responsibility for ones own actions and the fact that it’s a lot easier to deal with life and escape poverty if one isn’t addicted to drugs, I still think that legislation like this hurts poor people more than it helps. I would argue that we should be funding schools and MEANINGFUL job opportunities. I would argue that we should be organizing a grass-roots campaign showing people that drugs and alcohol are tools that those with privilege use to keep us oppressed. We need to foster a culture that show compassion for the downtrodden not by telling them to work harder but by working with them to liberate all of us.

And most of all we need to BUST the apocryphal nature of the American Dream. We need to educate those around us and show them that the American Dream is unattainable for most people for reasons that involve privilege and different forms of oppression. That it is the exception and not the rule. We have to liberate people from the delusion that the American Dream is real and show them instead how to organize and fight for their own liberation.

Liberation won’t come if we fuck other people over. Liberation won’t come for anyone if we continue to oppress each other in these small little ways. The bottom line is only this.

We all need to work together for liberation.