Q

Anonymous asked:

I cried at your response because... well.. of emotion. I just want to say thank you. Thank you. Thank you.... thank you.

A

Much love, my friend. Thank you for letting me know you’re out there. 

Dear Anonymous,

I just got home from work and saw your question. I wasn’t sure if you wanted me to share your story publicly, so I’m opting to answer publicly but leave the explicit details of your question out. I’m sorry if this isn’t as eloquent as I want/need it to be. I can’t possibly translate how much I care that this happened to you… I am so burned out right now and I want to tell you everything will be okay, but I can’t lie. All I can say is that eventually it gets better. It can take a long time, but it does get better. 

Thank you for reaching out to me. As a rape survivor, I know it can be incredibly hard and painful to share your experience. But I think being able to say it out loud — to tell your story and share it with anyone, even one other person — is a sign that you are moving (even if it’s slowly) forward. Sometimes you move forward a bit, then you bottom out, then you pick yourself back up, then you bottom out again. But at least you’re not trapped in silence anymore.

I need you to understand — I need everybody to understand — that if something happens sexually that leaves you feeling like you have been violated, even if it started out consensually, it IS rape or sexual assault. You don’t owe anyone anything when it comes to sex. You have the right to feel safe in your own body. You have the right to consent and then change your mind. You have right to expect a level of consideration and respect from a sexual partner. This boils down to at least the marginal level of human decency and I’m sorry (and fucking pissed) that you have been exposed to people who do not meet this standard. 

I want you to know that you didn’t do anything wrong. Any guilt or shame belongs to the person(s) who hurt you. This is probably the hardest lesson to sincerely learn.

I think sometimes we question ourselves over and over again… we forget to be kind to ourselves… we forget that we matter and that what happens to us matters. We downplay the trauma because we hear stories that make us feel like somehow our situation was not as damaging or wrong. Maybe because someone else had it worse. Maybe because we don’t know if we made it clear enough that we didn’t want to be touched. Maybe because we think that if we didn’t fight back, or scream, or say no loud enough that means it doesn’t count. But it does count. It does hurt. We have been violated. Someone robbed you of your basic human right to feel okay in your own skin. 

As humans, we cause enough suffering by just being born. We are self centered and selfish enough just by struggling to live. And some of us — even though none of us will probably ever be as good to each-other as we should be — grow enough as intelligent beings to understand that we have an effect on the world around us… on other people… and we have to make a conscious effort to do more good than harm. Because nature is basically amoral. Because we can’t be sure if there is any objective meaning to this existence. Because no one else is looking out for us…

We have to make this existence as meaningful, beautiful, and good as we possibly can, if we want anything to feel meaningful, beautiful, or good at all. 

I can’t do much to help you. I can’t help make this right. I can’t make it feel better. But what I can do is let you know that you are not alone. I can let you know that I hear you. I care that this happened to you. I think it matters. I don’t think you are to blame. I love you.

Most importantly, It gets better. 



Also, here is a place for you to find more resources: http://www.aftersilence.org/

That weird conflicted feeling when you suspect you’re lonely, but the idea of company makes you feel too tired to exist.

Current hair.

Is anybody out there?

I don’t know how I feel anymore. It’s like my heart is a giant mixing bowl that used to be filled with something rich and sweet, but these days I’m scraping the bottom trying to remember what the recipe used to taste like. I’m not happy but I’m not sad. There are ghosts that curl up with me at night. I can feel them pressing against the inside of my ribcage, as if they are trying to burst right through my chest. Feelings have become aliens, dripping memories like corrosive spit. I’ve lost my will to write, or maybe writing has turned its back on me because words are failing me left and right. All of my memories are standing in a row, they aim their riffles and wait for the signal to blow me away. I’m waiting for a pardon from my brain. I’m waiting for a messenger to ride in on a half dead horse, delivering a telegraph that communicates this has all just been a terrible mistake. I’m waiting for a smoke signal to break up the skyline. I’m waiting for a sign. Is anybody out there?

UPDATE: Transmisogyny at Broadway’s Pagliacci Pizza Resturant

edgeandvoidlit:

UPDATED: Dylan via Facebook. 

"This last Friday I was harassed at work for having the audacity to accept myself wholly and as I am, a trans woman. My identity, the very core of my self was mocked and denied by a customer who felt entitled to do so by his own bigoted views.

When I asked the management’s help in defending myself, both my direct superiors and those within Pagliacci’s central HR dismissed me. They told me a customer’s right to express hatred and bigotry trumped my right to a safe work environment. That my trans status occluded my basic human rights once I donned the Pagliacci’s uniform.

As many of you have echoed on Facebook, Tumblr, through articles, interviews, emails, phone calls, and letters, that was unacceptable. That was illegal. Thank you for that. I have been blown away by the support you’ve shown me and trans people everywhere. I have good news: you did it.

Several hours ago I spoke over the phone with Matt Galvin, the owner of Pagliacci’s. He is disgusted with the events that lead up to my firing, and is conducting an internal investigation into the mistakes that lead to it. In addition, he’s asked Elayne Wylie of the Gender Justice League’s help in changing the work environment, policies, and benefits to support trans employees.

To Matt Galvin: thank you for hearing, understanding, and acting. You’ve set a precedent this weekend that I hope companies worldwide notice and respond to, the idea that personhood extends to all employees, at all times, regardless of race, religion, orientation, and or gender. Thank you for showing with your actions that workers are more important than the business of those who would do us harm simply for being different. Thank you.

To all the friends, family, and strangers who spoke up, reached out, and acted up, to those in the media who listened and gave my story wings: thank you, thank you, thank you on behalf of myself and trans people everywhere thank you. Allies like you are the reason we have protections against harassment here in Washington, and soon nationwide. The actions speak volumes and have far reaching repercussions. You give us the courage to speak up, and the hope to keep fighting. You are all heroes.”

Original Post:

poutypuffgirl:

TW: transmisogyny, transmisogyny at the hands of managers/bosses/authority figures

image

Dylan, a young woman working at Pagliacci’s Pizza was wrongfully fired this week. She writes her account of the events that led to her unemployment in a facebook status, which she allowed me to post here:

If you want to know what it feels like to get fired for being trans, here’s the statement I gave to the stranger:

Monday, July 7 2014

I was working the salad station near the entrance to the restaurant of Broadway Paggliacci’s. Working there, your function is greeting customers, taking and making salad orders, and bidding customers farewell. It was in the evening on a shift I’d picked up from a coworker when I was saying goodbye to one of our regular customers. He returned the gesture, misgendering me as “man,” which isn’t something too unusual in my life.

I corrected him, “It’s ma’am actaully.” He didn’t hear me clearly the first time, and asked me to repeat myself.

"Ma’am, I’m not a man." He heard me clearly that time, and laughed at me before going about topping his pizza with the condiments we keep by the door. I had a few moments to say something, but I was too in shock to respond. On my way home I resolved to say something to him if I saw him in the restaurant again.

Friday, July 11 2014

Just about midway through my shift working the til at Pag’s he showed up again, waiting at the slice bar for service. I stepped over to him and said, “The last time you were in here I corrected you on my gender and you laughed at me. That was really rude, and I’d like you to apologize.”

He replied, “I don’t really care what’s happening in your life, man, I just need my pizza.”

I responded, “I just need to be respected in my place of work, and I reserve the right to refuse service to you.”

He asked me to have someone else serve him, and I stepped back and asked the kitchen, “Anyone else want to serve this guy?”

Mark the assistant manager stepped up and asked what was going on, and I relayed to him the details of what’d happened the previous Monday. He nodded, and served the guy his pizza. Again I was in shock, this guy had pointedly mocked my identity, and refused to acknowledge any wrong doing, and we were going to serve him? I questioned Mark, and he said “after that rush in the kitchen, I just didn’t want to get into a thing with that guy.” I was in shock again that my dignity was something so easy to dismiss. Should I have been surprised? This was a guy I’d had to ask not to use the word “tranny” around me.

After I took some time to cool down, I told Mark I disagreed with what he’d done, that it sent the message that it was fine to harass me and other trans women like myself. He told me he’d talked to the guy, and told him I preferred female pronouns before asking him, “Are we square here?” That’d been enough for him, but it wasn’t for me. I’d been harassed by a customer for being trans, and I wanted an apology, or to bar him from service there permanently. I decided to wait until Maria, the general manager arrived and bring it up with her.

Maria got in early and I asked her upstairs to talk about what had happened. She told me Mark had already spoken to her about what happened, and she’d spoken with Angela, the head of the company’s HR department about what to do. She told me company policy for dealing with rude customers is to continue serving the customer. To avoid conflict I would step in the back if he came in again and have management serve him. I told her this wasn’t about rudeness, that what he’d done was harassment based on my trans status. She told me there was nothing else she could do.

I went downstairs and thought about what had just happened, that the company I’d worked at for over a year had just backed a customer’s right to trample my identity over mine to speak out against discrimination. I talked over putting in my two weeks with my coworkers, and then went upstairs to do so. I came back downstairs and told my friends at work what’d happened, and why, “If this was about anything else, like race or sexual orientation, something different would’ve happened.”

Mark interrupted me at that point, angrily telling me if I had more to say I should take it upstairs with Maria and him, and that if I was quitting there were papers I needed to sign. I told him I had already given Maria my two weeks and went about my shift as usual. Mark disappeared for about ten minutes before coming down to tell me I could go home. Thinking this was in regard to a request I’d made earlier to Maria to clock off early and take care of errands at the bank I clocked off and went upstairs to change for the last time.

When I got to the top of the stairs, Maria was there with my discharge papers. “Mark told me you were saying Pagliacci’s doesn’t care, and I can’t have you doing that. This is your last day here.” That’s when it hit home for the first time that Pagliacci’s really didn’t care, and I said as much to Maria, signed my papers, changed, bid farewell to my coworkers and stepped outside into unemployment.

On Friday July 11th, Dylan got fired for standing up for her identity, her truth, and her rights in her pace of employment. Dylan has been misgendered, laughed at, and repeatedly silenced at every attempt she has made to speak out about her experience. Her managers repeatedly took the aggressor’s side, claiming that there was nothing they could do, and shamed Dylan for speaking out about her (righteous) frustration at the situation with her co-workers. Dylan was subsequiently fired from her job for demanding an apology from both her managers and the creep that laughed in her face a few days earlier. She sent the above message to The Stranger, and wants to make this as public as possible. “A statement needs to be made about making a safe environment for trans people.”, she says.

If you agree that Dylan was wrongfully fired, that she is brave for speaking out, and that the managers at Broadway’s Pagliacci Pizza are fucking horrible people, PLEASE REBLOG. SPREAD THE MESSAGE.

CONTACT INFO FOR BROADWAY’S PAGLIACCI PIZZA:

426 Broadway East
Seattle, WA 98102

E-mail them at: http://www.pagliacci.com/form/contact

Orientation

"Are you pansexual?"

"I suppose? Maybe?"

"What do you mean, maybe?”

"I’m not really sure how to label myself."

"Well, how do you identify romantically? Sexually?"

"Over-romantic and generally horny."

I think that out of all the lessons to be learned and all the messages to be delivered by the world, the last thing people need is to be given our approval to feel beautiful, or our forgiveness for being different, or our tolerance of their uniqueness. What people really need is to be reminded that they simply are beautiful, strong, and unique — with or without society’s permission. 

Bitchy Tangerine Is The Name Of Our Girl Gang: Part 3 - Dylan

Dylan listens intently to the lively conversation around her. Her face lights up with excitement when a concept or comment resonates with her. She makes profound points, in a way that demands attention based on the merit of her ideas, but gently as not craving to be the center of attention. When she speaks, it reminds me of someone leaning in to whisper a wonderful secret. Never failing to delight or stimulate.

Dylan strikes me as a rare and beautiful bird. Not just because of her gorgeous exterior, but also because of the depth I suspect she possesses. She is kind and compassionate; intelligent and passionate. She possesses a certain kind of self awareness that requires a daring leap out of the nest. I think people — in the past and maybe even still in the present — have tried to mutilate her wings. That they were afraid that she would soar too high and free if someone didn’t clip her flight feathers down. 

Dylan could be bitter and cynical. Granted, I think she’s been blown down that path by a cold gust of wind or two, but there is a burst of motion — perhaps learning to glide on the current of her own inner awakening — that carries her gracefully across the sky. 

Sometimes she plummets, but falling is just the sensation of embracing gravity just long enough to rest her thrashing wings before she propels herself above the horizon, up and beyond, inviting others to come reach for the stars.

People will tell you a lot of stupid shit about love. They will ramble on about tingles and explosions. They will grumble about wrongdoings and cry about trespasses. But the one thing they forget to highlight are all the little details. The mundane series of moments that transform a couple of single strangers into an intimate pair. There’s a lot of stupid shit that comes with being in love. But the most profound thing to remember is that it happened at all.

"Emotional exhibitionism meets intellectual hedonism sprinkled with creative liberties. These are the aural adventures of an amoral wonder. Rambling on the edge, musing through the void."

Moving Forward

As we sprint towards the future, there will be many people who will plant their heels in to slow us down. Because they’re afraid of what’s over the horizon. Because their feet hurt. Because we are moving too fast and they are afraid they won’t be able to keep up. Because they are anxious that they left the metaphorical stove on in the existential apartment of history. Because they think this social movement is just a vacation and some day we will be coming back to a burned down house. But social progress is not just us going on holiday. This is a mass exodus. This is us deciding it’s better to venture out into the amoral wilderness, to fend for our civil rights, than settle for arbitrary standards that are irrational and inhumane. This is not about men vs women, gays vs straights, transgender vs cis, race vs race, this is about humanity vs philosophical and political stagnation. Don’t get distracted. 

Bitchy Tangerine Is The Name Of Our Girl Gang: Part 2 - Jasie

Jasie lounges on her tummy, partly in the sun, partly in the shade. There’s a svelte guy in skinny jeans that are rolled up just past his ankles. He reminds me of a hipster high elf. Like if Lord of the Rings was re-interpreted as a magical realism indie flick, but he’s just her type. I can see her spying on him out of the corner of her eye as she flicks the ash from her cigarette. 

We listen to dubstep and soak up the sun. We are a pride of soft grunge post-punk lions mustering the energy to hunt ice cream and daydreaming about boys who are just out of reach or earshot… not to mention supplementing our vitamin D intake.

She peruses her Tinder matches, swiping left with frustration; a tiny "Eww" punctuating her disapproval or swiping right with enthusiasm, letting out a little squeal of delight.

The thing is, if you didn’t know her you might mistake her for a mean girl or a ditz, and granted sometimes she’s superficial or over caffeinated… sometimes her thoughts shuffle through the shallow kiddie pool, but she has a kind heart and her feelings are as deep as an existential well. Close your eyes. Make a wish. If you’re smart, you’ll wish for her. 

Jasie reminds me of a Jackson Pollock painting. Her personality is a swirl of vivid colors and varying textures. A beautiful mess that shouldn’t work, but somehow turns out to be a masterpiece.

She’s multi-tiered and complex in her simplicity, like a strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla layer cake or the concept of infinity. 

The Truth About Demons

Cody was infatuated with the dark. Other children found comfort in their night-light, but not her. She unplugged the distraction, and tossed it deep into the sock drawer. What she loved most was the thick-black. It was so intense at first, terrifying really.
 
Her chest would tighten with panic; breath quickened; adrenaline raced. She imaged what could be waiting for her, beyond the safety of her vision. But as she adjusted to her own discomfort and finished playing macabre mind-games with herself — she would calm down, push back her anxiety, and could peacefully indulge in this sort of second-sight.
 
All of the hidden truths and great mysteries, that were obscured from her during the day-light hours, spoke to her soon after the lights went out. What she liked best about the night-time shadows was how the mundane objects took on sinister and enigmatic qualities.

It was like magic really, without wands or incantations. It was as if she had slipped though a tear in fabric of what-is… this was the other-world. She wasn’t like Alice stepping through the looking glass. This was layered perception; a dual reality, where teddy bears were undead foes, bookshelves were gnarled, animated trees — the socks hanging from that bookshelf, were hellish ravens… and devils were actually just terrible parents, who were now fast asleep — and rendered powerless… for the moment. 

The darkness revealed many profound things to her. The most important being that fear couldn’t help you when you were living with demons. It just made things worse.

Only the strength of your desire to “see”, the clarity of your perception, and the manipulation of your own perspective — could truly set you free.