Activism Archive

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  • Art with Mental Health Detritus

    I enjoy using pill bottles and Saphis casings as frames for my mixed media oil paintings. Stockpiling and creating from the detritus of my illness makes me feel as if I am doing something positive and healing. In so openly declaring my illness in visual art, owning it, I feel I am working towards destigmatization. These three paintings were created in the same series of recent work.

    Activism and Me

    I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Jasper Moriarty. In xyr first post with us, xe discusses xyr struggle with balancing self-care with activist work. Thanks for sharing with us, Jasper!

    Trigger Warnings: mention of death and rape threats

    Alternatively titled: A Struggle For Balance

    My activism is a crucial part of my life, despite my strange relationship with it. It’s not quite splitting (something that happens in Borderline Personality Disorder, where a person is unable to integrate the good and bad qualities of something/someone and therefore keeps them distinctly separate), but I would call it somewhat comparable.

    Trans Activism and Burnout

    Over the past few years, I’ve worked hard to try to participate in activism that was relevant to my interests and identities, and also to recruit others into that activism. Trans folk, and trans women in particular, have long had an inclination and good reason to hide from society, to “go stealth” as we call it in the community. Societal pressures pushed us into a permanent closet that more closely resembled a mausoleum than the relative comfort of the closet. Our past was dead and our present remained cold and isolated, with few if any places we could reveal our history in a safe and confidential space.

    From Teargas to Twitter: How I Disengaged from Activism

    At nineteen I traveled from Portland to Seattle with friends for the World Trade Organization protests that became known as the WTO Riots or the Battle of Seattle. I was tear-gassed and ran from rubber bullets, fleeing the police across barricaded city streets. I enjoyed the sense of danger, thinking little of the fact that I was narrowly escaping arrest every time I left an intersection at “one” when the National Guard announced they were moving in on a count of three. I was a teenager, my friends were anarchists, and my perspective was different then.

    How to be an Ally to Disabled & Neurodiverse Folks in Activist & Academic Communities

    This is based on my own experience as a Disabled, Trans, Queer, Autistic activist. In compiling this list, I consulted other Disabled activists as well. Most activism I’ve been involved with has taken place in Queer, Radical, & Academic communities. I’ve been both a grass-roots activist and a student activist. I do not claim to speak on behalf of Neurodiverse or Disabled folks–or any group for that matter. Here are a few ideas I’ve compiled on how to be a better Ally to folks who have been left out of social and political movements/communities:

    A letter I wish I could send

    Okay, family member. Do you think you are doing me and your son a favor by donating to Autism Speaks? You’re not. I don’t care how good your intentions are. First let’s take a look at Autism Speaks’ mission statement: At Autism Speaks, our goal is to change the future for all who struggle with […]

    Involuntary Invisibility: How It Hurts LGBT*Q People Mentally

    We clearly have this need to see ourselves in and to identify with some of the images we’re being shown daily. It satisfies two of our humanistic needs: to belong and to have self-esteem. If we do not see ourselves represented in politics and the media, we might not feel included; we might not get that sense of community we need. Furthermore, if we do not see ourselves in these images and are being given the message that these images are the “right” or the “normal” way to be, we will most likely have a lower self-esteem.

    Sick of capitalism: The chronically ill body as a site of resistance.

    I’m sick. I have chronic illnesses which cause me lots of pain and fatigue. The specific names and causes of my illnesses are not important (and not even totally known by me or my doctors). I spend a lot of time in bed. Sometimes even weeks at a time. This is not something I have […]

    Homophobia and Other Bullshit

    Most of us can recognize homophobia in everyday life in certain situations: derogatory remarks, violence in newspapers, magazines, and headlines, perhaps something that has been done to us personally, like bullying, loss of a job, friends, family, or exile from communities and homes. In a lot of these cases, it is pretty clear what is happening and why. But when some of this stuff happens as a child, or can have another context put to it that makes the lines a little blurry, it’s more difficult to separate fact from fiction, and to identify behaviors and incidents for what they really are.