This morning I found myself sitting in my favorite neighborhood spot, Akat Cafe Kalli, where the politics are as palpable and potent as the coffee. I sat here, eating my breakfast sandwich, drinking my café de olla, reading my book , nodding my head along to the music, which I was growing increasingly aware of and was increasingly digging, but also increasingly scared to trust it. As I listened to the explicitly political lyrics on police violence, racism, sexism and homophobia that seemed to speak directly to me as a queer, leftist, womanish person of color, my suspicion grew that I might feel significantly less in tune with other, yet unnamed politics of the artists whose album was playing. The feeling increased as the words, now in Spanish as well as English, continued to resonate as much as the music to which they were set.
It happens sometimes. I do web work and other kinds of tech support for community organizations, some of whom I work with outside of paid work. Working at this intersection of technology, my activism and my communities means I get shaken up at unexpected times.
Today I was working on a plan for a new website for the Audre Lorde Project, an organization I've worked with both professionally and politically for more than a decade now. I was checking out their site analytics to get a sense of what their site traffic might indicate about who's coming to the site, and for what.
I pulled up a report of their site traffic over the past year and saw two huge spikes. I started looking into the first one.
Transmisogyny--transphobia directed specifically and often exclusively at trans women--has felt continually rampant in many of my communities for an entire decade now.
I frequently witness transphobia against trans women expressed by people who do not similarly target trans men, thus rendering this particular expression of transphobia sexist in a somewhat traditional sense.
It's heartbreaking and awful that these kids had to experience and witness police brutality in Anaheim. But it's also amazing to hear this group of young Latin@s of many genders speak about their experience. They were scared by what happened to them -- the girl in the preview frame was hit in the leg by a rubber bullet -- but they're not scared to speak up, to come up with their own opinions about the situation, and to demand justice. It might sound corny or trite but youth like these give me hope for our future.
I really did mean to go to sleep early tonight. But I didn't, and at around 1am I started seeing hints of what's going down in Anaheim via my Twitter stream. I'd actually seen -- and even retweeted -- some very specific and worrisome info on Anaheim earlier today, but it was while I was working and trying to stay as focused as possible. Yes, I'll admit, I sometimes retweet even big deal things without getting to peruse them thoroughly. Probably not the best idea.
Anyhow, this tweet from Liz Henry tipped me off again:
Today a high school friend of mine shared this NPR piece on Facebook: An American Nun Responds To Vatican Criticism. In the NPR interview, Sister Pat Farrell, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, speaks to the issues being raised by the Vatican's current patriarchal attack on the organization; the Vatican has announced that three American bishops have been appointed to oversee it.