Time for the last new blogger introduction: me! This would have been slightly cooler if I posted it right after kactus, but ta-da, I’m the second new blogger here at Feministe. This may come as no great surprise, since I’ve been repeatedly popping my head up to do some guest-blogging, but I’m excited to sign on in a more long-term way.
OK, introducing myself. The first thing you should know: I have a tendency to ramble that sometimes results in walls of text. The first time I had a limited space to write an “About Me” was when I was eighteen, for a scholarship, and I ended up writing it in a stream of consciousness to cram everything in. I’ve gotten better at it over time, but I’m still going to put the extra info behind the cut.
I’m a multi-racial queer+trans woman in my early thirties. I’m fortunate to be able-bodied, fairly healthy and average-sized enough to be able to shop for clothes here in New York City, and also to have a fancy college education and a decent job where I can be creative. Plus, I’m a middle-class American citizen, which means I get to live off the suffering of countless others. I grew up in Seattle, in a family of academicky hippies. I’m the oldest of three sisters, which means my dad will never, ever stop making corny King Lear jokes, for years and years on end. I inherit a lot my personal feminism from my mother, who immigrated in the 60s and spent much of my childhood writing books about Japanese women’s literature and history. Other big chunks of my political consciousness come from spending years as an admin on the infamous strap-on messageboard for various kinds of queer & trans radical misfits.
I play a lot of video games. My excuse is that I also make video games for a living; I write and do game design on games about dysfunctional offices and time-traveling revolutionary eggs and middle-school girls struggling for social dominance. Previous versions of my professional life involved big national gay-rights organizations, online literary magazines, and a huge toy company that makes little connectable plastic bricks. So I have opinions on a lot of subjects, including of course video games and problems in the video game industry. I’ll probably write a bit about my own games too–and more about process and social meaning than just shilling, I promise!
In my spare time I also work for the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, an organization that provides free legal services for low-income trans people and trans people of color here in New York. SRLP tries to serve and empower communities and individuals who are hard hit by a combination of oppressions: transphobia, racism, gender coercion, and poverty, as well as so many other factors like homelessness, immigration status, chemical dependency, HIV, and let’s not forget police brutality. I’ll probably keep writing about what’s going on with SRLP and trans activism, from bathroom politics to trying to keep folks out of the prison system. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is a collective, which means we decide everything by consensus; being part of SRLP has been an amazing, interesting, challenging, weird, awesome experience for me so far.
My favorite author on the subject of feminism + trans issues, naturally, is Julia Serano’s Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. I’ve embarked on a personal project to try not to scapegoat femininity myself, even though I have mixed feelings about it–which you can read more about in this post on what “trans” means to me. That’s also the newest “trans 101” discussion, which you should read before you ask questions on trans-related posts!
My current favorite video games are Okami, World of Warcraft, Planetfall, Urban Dead, Portal, and Rock Band. My favorite color is a dark maroon–which disturbingly, is also my father’s favorite color. My favorite foods are all varieties of dumplings — or really anything with a savory filling wrapped in some sort of dough. After an intense argument with a close friend and colleague, I have concluded that yes, samosas count as a type of dumpling too. Long live dumplings!