Current Project: Queer Zine in Orange County
Radio is power. Listen to UC Rebel Radio!
"the importance of imagining an alternative to the current order is not to lay down a precise programme for the future, but rather to provide a point of alterity or exteriority as a way of interrogating the limits of this order. Moreover, we should think of utopia in terms of action in the immediate sense, of creating alternatives within the present, at localised points…. Utopia is something that emerges in political struggles themselves." -Saul Newman
- Intergenerational Relationships/Interactions: I’ve observed and experienced a lot of older queer folks attempting to fuck a younger member of the community under the guise of mentorship. It’s fucking abusive and disgusting, and I think we need to work, as a community, to hold those people accountable.
- The lack of healthy queer relationship resources. We have no examples of healthy queer relationships, and I think that a lot of queer couples regurgitate the heteropatriarchy because that’s what we’re fed - and it’s not us. I think trying to navigate the manifestations of heteropatriarchy in queer relationships is so daunting that we never have community conversations about it and drag it into the light for everyone to confront - leaving queer survivors of intimate partner violence to go at it alone. For queer abusers, I think there’s a huge potential for re-education about healthy relationship ways and we should find some ways to do that.
- Intra-POC bullshit. The anti-blackness, the appropriation of black culture by non-black queers, the appropriation of various brown cultures by non-indentifed folks, light skinned folks not taking into account the fucking space we take up, the invalidation of immigrant queers. It’s the small end of the wedge that is just going to grow unless we sit down and address this shit together. I want to say “people of color” and not have any shitty feelings about how that term doesn’t even remotely approach the divisions between our separate communities.
- Masculine-of-center queers who are held up as the face of the queer community. /gag. WHY IS FEMME PRESENTATION ONLY REVOLUTIONARY WHEN MASC FOLKS DECIDE THEY WANT TO PUT ON LIPSTICK AND SOME GLITTER FOR THE NIGHT AND LIKE A TUTU OR SOME SHIT. TELL ME WHY. I do this shit every day, but it’s considered decidedly not-queer because I’m femme presenting most days. Unless I’m with a masc person, my femme presentation renders me invisible in queer community. Arm candy for queer masc person = visibility. My queerness is contingent upon masc folks I surround myself with and THIS IS LITERALLY NEVER OKAY
all of this!!!
Jared Leto has been winning multiple awards for playing the transgender character of Rayon in the film “Dallas Buyers Club.” The transgender community has then watched him throw them under the bus.
1. LETO: "It was the role of a lifetime," he said. "It was an incredible thing to represent this group of people who largely are ignored."
Ignored. Leto ignored criticism from the trans community and allies who don’t want him representing this group of people in the way he has been. "wouldn’t it have been better if the starring role had gone to an actual trans person" - La Times. Despite complaints and Leto having one of the most powerful publicists in Hollywood, Leto claimed in December that he had never heard criticisms that trans roles should go to trans actors. When asked what research he did for the role he said “a lot” but he did not formally engage, pay, or study under any trans people.
Transgender roles should go to transgender actors and if that is not possible (for whatever reason) productions should hire transgender consultants to “get it right” instead of perpetuating negative stereotypes.
Jared ignores this:
2. LETO: "you wouldn’t want to stick a transgender person with only transgender roles, so it goes both ways."
Transgender people DO NOT GET cisgender roles. It does not go both ways due to systemic oppression. Cisgender people take transgender roles then do what Leto is doing instead of the advocating and “possibility modeling” of Laverne Cox in “Orange is the New Black.” She represents trans people beyond the screen role in the media in positive ways never experienced before. This creates “teachable moments” as Katie Couric put it after her problematic questioning. When a cis person takes a trans role, trans stories are exploitation, not representation.
Meanwhile, Trans Hollywood’s experience is that trans people are often told they do not have enough experience for key roles. It’s a systemic problem, cis people take trans roles, trans actors are left with nothing.
3. "I thought I’d look pretty good in a skirt."
No Jared, the character of Rayon is fictional in this film “based on a true story.” She was ahistorically written in order to be the “most gay” and visually problematic for Matthew McConaughey’s character Ron Woodroof. You removed your eyebrows (?) and played her with intense makeup, hair, and clothing to make Ron uncomfortable and a very unlikely ally.
You weren’t there to look good, you were there to look bad. You are perpetuating the “man in a dress” stereotype of transgender women.
What if the role had gone to these transgender women? Would the theater laughed as hard at Ron ripping down Rayon’s photo while masturbating? How would the supermarket scene have played out if Ron was just seen walking around with a beautiful woman vs. a straight cis male playing….what…..
4.LETO: ”This wonderful creature who was unfortunately addicted to drugs and dying of AIDS and fighting for her life.” and “beautiful creature….”
While you’ve made it clear in interviews that Rayon was living life as a woman and wanted trans related medial care but you don’t talk about playing a woman or trans woman. You talk about playing a “creature.” USE THE WORDS “TRANSGENDER WOMAN.” Again, how do you feel you are representing “this group of people” if you never use the terminology? If you call one of us a creature. We don’t want you up there Jared if you are just going to be a bro about it.
5. LETO: ”It’s wild, even putting on lipstick is a very shocking thing, [and] putting on heels is a very shocking thing, putting on tights is a shocking thing” “. One of the things I did was wax my entire body including my eyebrows,’ 'I'm just fortunate that it wasn't a period piece so I didn't have to do a full Brazilian [wax]. 'Ladies, you know what I'm talking about though…and so do some of you men, I think.'
All superficial gendering. People are not giving the award to rockstar Jared Leto who talks about how weird it is to do things femme cis women and femme trans women do every day. They gave it to what seemed like a serious actor in a demanding role. Jared did not use the role as a learning moment to be forever changed by trans struggle. Instead he jokes about it like a cis man does, it’s trans misogyny. When asked about leaving the role behind….
6. LETO “I tucked those balls firmly away… I’m still coughing them out.”
Come on, is he our drunk uncle making fun of us? And on criticism for his Golden Globe’s speech…
7. LETO “obviously I didn’t prepare a speech.”
But he did! He gave nearly the identical speech at the Hollywood Film Awards.
Hollywood Film Awards Speech:
Golden Globes Speech:
This led to proper criticism over the transphobia and exploitation:
Jared Leto and Michael Douglas’ Homophobic Acceptance Speeches
The Golden Globes gave Jared Leto an award for playing a trans woman because Hollywood is terrible.
So is anything changing? YES!. Leto’s SAG AWARD Speech dispensed with the cheap jokes and had some class, dedicating the award to the groups he borrowed emotional equity from instead of being about himself, his waxing, and his return to film after six years, and the great parties:
8. LETO: " I’d like to share it with the Rayons of the world. To the people who have made a choice to live their lives … as they have chosen to dream it. I’m so proud that i’ve been able to glimpse the world through your eyes."
There is learning happening but it seems more as a response to backlash than actual learning or community. What is next? We do not identify as “Rayons.” Say the word “TRANSGENDER.” We appreciate the attempt at recognizing a marginalized group but Leto is avoiding our self identity, making up his own point of view on what we are and should be called. We are organizing so this learning curve never happens again. We need trans actors in trans roles for visibility, representation, and positive models instead of wanting to vomit listening to a cis man make fun of us. We don’t want to be writing Tumblr posts and articles defending ourself from a person who thinks they are representing us. While in this period of civil rights, we want to see ourselves truly represented and moving forward.
stop tryna guess what I am
stop tryna tell me who I’m not.
I was born in the Philippines
so it makes me Filipino.
and these slightly slanted eyes ain’t just for seein,
bitch, i see right through you.
you expert on me,
with your, fake asian tattoos?
you expert on me,
with your, tae bo and kung fu?
so what you try dim sum on the menu?
so what you a fan of lucy liu?
so that makes you an expert on how i should look?
what the fuck do you know about being Asian?!
I’m about to put you in your place son
what do you know about Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
what do you know about demilitarized zones and no gunnery?
about li lai and the military?
what do you know about the killing fields and the signs that wield
"no Chinese or dogs allowed"
what do you know about comfort women and geisha girls?
about colonization all over the asian world?
what do you know about the great wall?
i could school you on each and all
motherfucker i’m about to get raw!
you picked the wrong asian girl to mess with.
cuz my tongue is split.
it’s forked and steel tipped
and it will puncture and bleed you
and if you don’t know,
now you know,
don’t ask me what i’m sayin in my native tongue,
you wanna know so badly go learn it yourself.
20 years it took me to perfect a language my mothers and her mothers spoke,
20 seconds it took you to ask me what my sisters and i spoke about?
if i said i wasn’t talkin to you,
why don’t you stop botherin me all up in my business?
how dare you step to me invade my privacy,
waste my time ask me if i’m able to relay you the contents in my conversation?
what nonsense is this?
do i look like your private translator?
nosey motherfucker you prolly thought dialogue centered around you
and you just wanted to make sure.
is it because you’re paranoid and insecure?
or just jealous cause my tongue’s got more skills than yours?
so you wanna learn ”i love you” and "hello",
why you need to know?
you think of me as some Asian hoe
ready to turn around just because you said
”hey baby, anyong hasaeyo, anyong hasaeyo?”
or ”ni hao ma, i love you china doll”.
please, your shit don’t impress at all,
my words were meant to be mentioned in meticulous manner
yet your mispronouncing man-handling mouth
fucks it all up!
my meanings misused for miscommunication misinterpretations mispoken mistake
motherfucker it makes me mad
so you better have listened, asshole, and listen well
don’t talk to me anymore, don’t fuck with me anymore,
because i am done talking to you.
relevant to the katy perry bullshit.
someone asked me, not too long ago why/wherefore trans* is transmisogynist… i didn’t have a ready answer since this is a critique i’ve skimmed over and not thought to much about. but. i have been thinking about it and it really is. refer to this image:
I’ve said elsewhere that there is not trans community. and that the notion of a trans community is actually and directly harmful to trans women. and it is.
And yeah, i look at this poster and i see all the things i hate about it and the trans* umbrella politics.
I mean. Why are “third gender” and “Two Spirit” on this list?
are they really trans(asterisk) identities??? (hint: this third gender girl say ‘no’ about that at least)
more to the point
the notion that the ‘trans community’ needs to be more inclusive strikes me as suspect when , at best, there has been over-representation by middle class+ binary white trans people. especially since i often hear arguments in favour of this umbrella
is really about non-binary inclusion
except… from my experience with the trans(asterisk) community binary trans women of colour definitely aren’t, um, ‘included’ in any meaningful way
ultimately i find calls for inclusion suspicious when certain people are assumed to be included, but arent really. it has the net effect of saying that the non-space binary twoc are occupying is too much. that more room should be made for all these other identities. without really considering how the current trans ‘community’ is structured by the exclusion and exploitation of twoc.