thinking about a lot of things imogen and stephen have said about marginalized people’s lit and it feels like it’s hard for us to break out of this stage of like, speaking in the language of the cisnormative culture that we’re all struggling with sometimes? or i guess of like, assuming that all…
I relate—I also am not sure how possible it is to exist outside of history. There’s no way to see one’s work like AS HISTORY WILL SEE IT, to be “right” in that way—the best anyone can hope for is either (1) have the courage to write whatever out of pure id forces and count one’s scruples to catch anything too messed up in the process of publishing, or (2) try to have one’s experience of the world and how one relates to/talks about it gradually cease to resemble cisnormativity—finding people you relate to, relating to them, recognizing or anxiously predicting real conflicts that arise from those relationships, all messy human stuff—and then accurately record your own transformed life. There are probably more than these two methods but I think both of these are useful and depend more on taste, so the ultimate goal becomes yet again just finding a taste and INFLICTING IT on the world in a way that you trust the world to push back against? Maybe this is awful, but I don’t know of any other way to do it kinda without paralysis
Jeanne Thornton’s The Black Emerald, freshly released on the new Instar Books (an imprint of OR Books), is one of the strangest things I’ve read in a long time. A collection of seven short stories and two novellas, this book really feels like it was written by someone who lives in a version of reality just slightly askew to our own. I devoured this book in just under twenty-four hours because I couldn’t put it down.
The closing novella, Myra’s Seven Conversations, has stuck in my mind as one of the best and strangest parts of the collection. It’s reminicent, to me, in some ways of Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. And the opening titular novella brings to mind both Caitlín R. Kiernan’s work and Billy Martin’s (formerly, Poppy Z Brite) novel Drawing Blood, for an overall pulp comic Lovecraftian bizarreness that ends both mysteriously and abruptly. Both of these are worth the price of admission alone, but between them are seven very odd and humourous stories.
I highly recommend this for lovers of weird fiction, and for readers of trans fiction and queer fiction. You need to read this! Jeanne Thornton is worth reading an ebook for.
!!! omgggg a comparison to WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE is like … a dream thing kind of!
So you cruise up 110 to the municipal ziggurat where you’ll meet Eddie Corot’s elopement guy and tie the knot soon, your fiancée you guess’s right hand smoking and her left holding her ribbon on against the convertible wind. You merge in and out of traffic, the radio static but unwilling for the moment to change it. Ashes strike your windshield and the sucking sound of the city and Doppler traffic surrounds your ears, and for a moment you try to pretend that you are an alien so that this will all seem as new and promising as you want it to.
[psst…read Sybil’s novel I’ve Got a Time Bomb]
DETRANSITION NOW!!! If you are one of the 1:12000 people born with GID, if your assigned gender is not your gender ID, if you are a fag who thinks dressing like a woman will get you more boyfriends, then you are crazy. Your head is all fucked up,…
the fuck is this
are you fucking kidding me. please don’t read this it’s a bunch of fucking virulent transmisogyny hiding behind the guise of “radical tough love” and one of the most awful and disgusting things i’ve ever read. fucking hell
i’ve read worse and been called worse this is baby level like did the person even try
all you baby trans girls who will never in yr lives face as much hell and violence as Sybil has have GOT to listen to older trans women!! Seriously, you are embarrassing. When a woman who’s been trans longer than you’ve been alive says something you find challenging, listen because **we don’t have many elders and some of them know a hell of a lot more than you**.ETA: do y’all not get that it’s a love letter from an older trans woman to younger trans woman, putting all the toxic shit we hear about ourselves and some of the tough realities all together in her own words in one nice tight package for us to study and learn from and resist???????
Just a quick “so ya’ know,” this piece was written by a woman who was beaten with a pipe and left for dead in a ditch because she’s trans. I’m not being metaphorical. They had to put her face back together and it’s a miracle she’s alive. I get that there’s basically no reason you should just know that if you don’t know who she is, but yeah. She has permanent brain damage from when someone tried to kill her, tried to make her a part of the statistics that get tossed around like there aren’t real people on the other end of them. She has felt the blunt end of transmisogyny, been put through the violence that so many of us talk about all the time and legitimately fear, but will never so intimately understand. She went through hell and came out alive and is one of the most incredible people I know. I’m pretty much 100% not interested in anyone talkin’ shit.
ELL OH ELL.
Sybil’s deep snark is basically the only trans thing that is cool ever.
Also, Sybil is one of my absolute favourite people in the entire world. Not only is she an immensely talented artist and writer, she is also good in the sack (see the painting of her spitting in my vagina), and I’m pretty sure she’s the mouthpiece of God thanks to all of the brain damage.
I love Sybil Lamb now and forever. She’s one of the only purely decent people I’ve ever met.
Maybe I’m not quite getting this but racism and ridicule of aboriginal beliefs, and bold face lies aren’t cool. Even if they are from one of us. Estrogen, is commonly harvested from plants, most commonly soy.
mental illness is indeed influenced by being queer, but all evidence shows it gets better, not worse when you transition. The depression is a symptom of minority stress and the self hate associated with being trans.
Am I the only one here who thinks this kind of inarticulate, uncomfortably slurred and insensitive shit isn’t ok? I don’t give two fucks if this person has years on me. since when has age, in and of itself, command respect? The wisdom associated with it is what I value, and its not on display here. She is suggesting that I’m just gay and want to get boyfriends. news flash I am ‘gay’, I like girls. I get that this shit is meant as some sort of inoculation against trans misogyny. That doesn’t make it okay. I see someone pouring a thick layer of internalized transphobia on top of this ‘tough love’.
I could understand if she wanted to show the ugly face of the world, I can even understand not prefacing it to get maximum effect; although I wouldn’t think it’s worth it. but all she did was make a weak ass amendment to the end saying stop being mad, its just a writing project. Authorial intent is pointless shit. Don’t tell me to take an insult because you came up with some nonsense justification.
like, shit, we don’t let this kind of violent, hate filled bile stand when it comes from without, less so when they make weak take backs, but this slur speaking hateful, careless veteran says literally the same thing and its inspiring? because it’s some sort of sick lesson? Fuck off.
you know what? I fucking knew what I was getting into, I did my reading, I checked my statistics, I read first hand stories and I hide in fear of the world. I fucking know this is what the world looks like, but I just (finally) got some anti androgens, and for the first time in years I haven’t wanted to kill myself, SO fuck you because if I had read this shit before I had my footing I may have waited, I maybe would be opening my arm right now if that happened, so fuck you.
Maybe Veterans might forget what its like, to be new to this, but it sure as shit must be easier to tell people not to do it, as an a malicious exercise, when they are distant from the uncertainty and self hate. The hardest decision of my life, and she fucking plays with it? she should know better.
transcatharsis what the fuck? context can lend understanding to this vile sick shit, but it sure as hell doesn’t exonerate her. Yeah she had the worst thing I can imagine happen to her, I empathize. but i doesn’t erase that she is acting like an insensitive self absorbed hateful bastard.
You should all fucking know better.
I don’t care how many years Sybil has been a ‘respected pillar of the community’ or what personal pain she’s gone through because those things do not make this piece any better.
This article is totally bad. I don’t care who it’s coming from but the textual version of someone screaming “you are not real! give up!” at me does not feel good. This is not tough love. This does not communicate anything resembling love.
If Sybil chooses to write shit like this in the future I hope to fuck that it is not published. Not online, not in print. I have read this article three times and I cannot figure out how this was supposed to be helpful for trans girls to read. Like, can you imagine if this was the first thing you ever read about transgender women? It regurgitates so much misinformation and bigotry!
Don’t try to convince me of the merit of this post because there is no way that I will come around. Fuck this article, I do not care what year it is from or what time machine Sybil came from.
So… this is a strange argument. I wonder if this disagreement actually comes out of a misunderstanding of tone. Like, it seems to me that people who are getting angry with Sybil are reading her very literally. Like, Sybil is 100% not, not even slightly, suggesting that trans people are just gay. Minervose, she is NOT suggesting that you, or her, or any of us, are “just gay”. She is taking a slur or criticism that has historically been thrown at us (and still is- see that awful thoughtcatalog piece) and taking it to its point of most possible ridiculousness. In doing so she exposes, not only how dumb this is (why the hell would we do THIS if we were “just gay”) which an explicit criticism would do fine, but also how much pain it can cause, which an explicit argumentative criticism wouldn’t do. ”Crying in the closet wearing your mother’s moth-bally prom dress and crying and fantasizing about a normal man holding you like a normal woman and crying???!? Cuz what the fuck was all that about anyways??? Why couldn’t you have just been a fag??” If you can’t hear how funny that is, how double-voiced, how it replays a source of pain and takes the idea causing the pain to pieces at the same time, and so shows, not just an argument, but all the complexity of lived experience, then you are not really getting this piece of writing.
I feel like the point in this discussion that most fully exemplifies this is when someone got all “but estrogen is made from soy!”. Like, ok, it used to be made from horses’ pee (heard of premarin?- a contraction for pregnant mare’s urine) but the point of what Sybil is doing is nothing to do with whether this is true any more or not. She is taking the worst people can say about us, and going through it in a way that, at the same time, also shows how bad that hurts us, and ALSO at the same time, mercilessly mocks it. “But estrogen is made from tortured horses” is NOT a valid criticism of trans people for all kinds of reasons, and Sybil’s laughter (c’mon, you can see it’s funny, right?) illustrates the ridiculous transphobia behind it when an attempt at factual denial would only accept it’s premises. Taking her as literally promulgating this slur is… well… I think you may need to go re-read it with an eye for irony, is all I’m saying.
Similarly with the question of love. If you can’t hear the intense love IN THE FACE OF EVERYTHING, the intense resistance to the badness of the world, the intense commitment to community, in a statement like “ I have a few hundred tr*ns friends and they are all complete, utter, damaged, head-cases”, then you are not reading it right. You are totally missing the humor and irony. This statement makes me stand up and cheer, because it insists our value lies, not in our being “alright after all” or “successful” or something, but precisely in our tough freaky damaged-but-surviving idiosyncrasy. Which, yes to that. Liberation not assimilation!
Throughout the piece Sybil is always saying at least three distinct things at the same time- what people say about us, how it hurts, why it is ridiculous. OK, four, or five, because she is also accepting that our passionate need to be whatever gender we need to be in the face of all the shit we get makes no sense, and laughing at us in our desperate shifts, and then coming to our defence in the face of her own laughter and vindicating us. Maybe that’s six distinct things. Look, there’s a lot going on here. It is seriously one of the most brilliantly tonally complex short pieces I’ve ever read. And as such, it demands a nuanced response, which, honestly, I don’t think you guys who are criticising it are giving it. As it stands, you are in danger of being like those people who read “A Modest Proposal” and got annoyed because they though Swift was saying we should kill and eat babies. Seriously, calm down, go read it again, and try to hear. Because right now you are missing, not only one of the best things ever written about being trans, but also just a really fantastic funny sad angry hopeful despairing tough amazing piece of writing full stop. And if you can’t hear it, and enjoy it, and be strengthened by it, that would be a real shame.
Sybil Lamb is really really amazing and Cat is too, and generally people should be allowed to be human with complex responses to things rather than pious robots who always do good unto the world
sunvapor said: What the fucks happening in Ferguson?
Alright, i’m gonna sit down and basically explain the situation in this ask so everyone of my followers knows why i’m so pissed.
Michael Brown, a 17 - 18 year old african american boy was unlawfully shot (8-10 times supposedly) by police in St Louis, Missouri on saturday, august 9th, 2014. He was unarmed, and had done nothing to attract suspicion other than the fact that he was black. His body was left in the street for 4 hours. (beware: somewhat graphic image linked)
There are several claims from witnesses (see: Dorian Johnson’s account and video [HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING UP ON HIS ACCOUNT, ITS VERY SPECIFIC] — Brown’s friend who experienced the situation first hand, La’Toya Cash and Phillip Walker— Ferguson residents nearby the incident), that fall together in generally close claims. However, the only one who’s claim seems out of place is the police officer’s who shot Brown. Who, by the way, is put off on paid administrative leave AND who’s name remained under anonymity for his safety (However, attorney Benjamin Crump is looking for a way to force release his name). He claims that Brown began to wrestle the officer for his gun and tried attacking him after he told Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson (22) to “get the f*ck on the sidewalk”.
According to Johnson, after a minor confrontation on the officer’s part where he grabbed Brown by the neck and then by the shirt, the officer pulled his gun on Brown and shot him at point blank range on the right side of his body. Brown and Johnson were able to get away briefly and started running. However, Brown was shot in the back, supposedly disabling him from getting very far. He turned around with his arms in the air and said “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!” By this point, Brown and the officer were face to face as the cop shot him several times in the face and chest until he was finally dead. Johnson ran to his apartment and by the sound of his account, seemingly had some sort of panic attack. Later he emerged from his home to see Brown still laying in the streets. People were gathered with their cellphones, screaming at the police.
According to msnbc, the police refuse to interview Johnson at all, despite his amazing courage to come forward. They didn’t wanna hear it. They only listened to the cop’s account of it all and were vague with the media on what they thought happened. They’ve also refused to commit to a timeline in releasing autopsy results and other investigation information.
Numerous rumors are sweeping around such as Brown stealing candy from a QuickTrip, the store he emerged from calling the cops on him, Brown reaching for a gun, Brown attacking the cop first, ect. But these have all been debunked. (I know a lot of these have been debunked, but im having a hard time finding sources. if anyone could help out and link some legit ones id be SO grateful)
The event in and of itself was terrible, but now it has escalated beyond belief. Around 100 or more people, mostly black, went to the police station to protest peacefully. Things quickly turned bad as martial law got involved and authorities were bringing in K9s, tanks, heavy artillery, ect. The heavy police presence only made things worse as riots began to break out and looting and vandalism started. [ x ] [ x ] [ x ]
Now, as of very recently, the media has been banned from Ferguson. There is also a No-Fly zone above Ferguson for the reason of “ TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES ” as said on the Federal Aviation Commission’s website. Cop cars are lined up on the borders to prevent people from entering/leaving. Media outlets are being threatened with arrest. It completely violates our amendments and everything.
It’s becoming increasingly scary and difficult to find out whats going on over there. I’m afraid this is all the information I have, though. If anybody else knows anything about the situation, please feel free to add on or correct any mistakes i’ve made as i’m no expert on writing these things.
And as a personal favor, i’d really appreciate anyone to give this a reblog in order to spread the word. I think it’s a shame that this is going on in our own country yet so few people know about it. Help me make this topic huge and get this as much attention as possible.
PLEASE SHARE!!! EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON.
So this is a little belated because I Was Traveling and then I Was Recovering From Travel. But my new book, THE BLACK EMERALD, is finally released from INSTAR BOOKS. Right now it is available as an ebook in epub, mobi, and PDF format. If it gets to 500 copies sold, OR Books is pledged upon its honor to release it as a paperback. I guess we are at 32 copies now, so DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR A PB EDITION ANYTIME SOON, but the ebook is pretty fancily done and features illustrations! (And if it hits I think like 200 sales I’m gonna do a limited number of hand-bound copies / probably gonna do that anyway in secret.)
Basically this is two long novella-ish things and a bunch of short stories exploring different kinds of despair, the kinds of good effects despair can have in our lives and on our friendships, and possible reasons why we might want to take steps to get away from it. I think it is kind of a “transitional work” in key ways, but I’m proud of it, and you should check it out!
From here on I’m gonna write at length about this collection. I’m doing this in part because I like reading this kind of thing so hopefully at least someone else will to, but also because at the present moment I’m terrified that there will be actually no reviews of it or press relating to it at all, despite people having said they’d review it/interview me about it. I do care about this stuff and don’t want this book to just like vanish as some dumb extraneous thing I did—it is legit an important book to me—so maybe if I talk some about it, its qualities as a specific text instead of “a friend’s book” will become maybe more apparent, and you will become curious about it??? Curious enough to pick up a copy??? WHO CAN SAY / READ ON IF YOU THINK THIS IS YR KINDA THING.Read more
I made a computer game! It is about finding your place in society and working hard to keep it! Works better in Chrome but I didn’t really debug it that well or anything, so who knows?
Like there’s a song about the thorax and a song about how the wings work, and like what it means to only live for an hour and to mostly need to eat during that time. Every fact included and musically correct. I feel like this is where the teen market is going.
The Black Emerald is coming EVER SO SOON! Pick up an early copy at our LAUNCH PARTY ON AUGUST 5TH.
https://www.facebook.com/events/803135356405076/ if you are on Facebook and want to RSVP to this kinda thing! If not, it’s going to be at
Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker St
New York NY 10012
I’m gonna be reading with MIRACLE JONES, CLARE LOUISE HARMON, and TODD ANDERSON, with a bunch of rad music and other stuff!
(A. Litsa did this cover also—you oughta hire her to do stuff! http://alitsa.net/)