Category Activism

4 posts

Post-YIMBYtown brain dump

I have a lot of things swirling around my brain that I need to process, and flesh out, and give words to but I haven’t had the mental energy or focus to do so. YIMBYtown took a lot out of me and I have like three things I need to write up about that because holy shit your boi here accidentally ran an international conference. But I haven’t had the energy to do that either.
The world got a lot dimmer this week. I don’t know, it was like something just flickered and died. I can feel it in my soul and it’s discomforting and weird. Trauma has a weight.
The trauma I carry, and the trauma others around me carry, they have weights and we can sense it. Mine is carried in the small of my back, like two granite stones. If I’m not careful they’ll pull me into a spiral. I’ve noticed that my trauma likes to hang out with other people’s trauma when we’re in groups and sometimes it takes me longer to recharge from that.


I enrolled at Laney, I have classes and everything. Tomorrow I go to schedule the Compass test for math and hand in my “I actually live in CA, please let me pay in-state tuition” papers. I’m taking what is basically Intro to Machine Tech, Arithmetic (unless I place into algebra), Spanish, and Jazz (dance) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In addition to my activism work. So I need a way to afford school which is where the crossroads lies, but……..if I’m really honest, I already know the answer.
I could try to get a part time job on top of full-time school and activism.
Or, I could hustle the shit out of myself and freelance.…which is what I’m actually going to be doing, even if I do toy with the idea of not having to be tracking work down all the time.


Some of the things I keep wanting to write about but haven’t been able to get out of my head:

  • Why cities are important to me after being isolated in suburbs as a child (and related to that: how being in a suburb and not rural nowhere is good for child safety)
  • Why I YIMBY (and how the intersection of homeschooling fits into housing politics)
  • Shit I learned doing YIMBYtown
  • Some of the things I’ve learned about my trauma and how I have to take care of myself
  • All 10 of the mountains I just climbed to enroll in the Machine Tech program and do trades and science and math…

I also want to make some shorts with pockets, and if they turn out to be okay, I might sell them.
I also have a few more pieces for Autostraddle in my pocket that I need to be able to write down.
I’m really tempted to start dabbling in local journalism doing more than writing press releases.
But I only have so much time in a day, and my energy is being eaten by existing this week. I feel like we’ve all aged about a decade.
 
This has been a rambly update, but now it’s out of the way so maybe I’ll be able to write something more cohesive later.

Existing Is Resistance

So, we elected a facist.
I, like every other marginalized in-any-remote-way person have spent the last week utterly terrified. It’s an anxiety attack that won’t go away. I’m suddenly very aware of the intersection of my transness, queerness, afabness, and olive skin.
I am public about all of those, I’m public about being queer and poly, I exude queer vibes in person.
Nothing is normal anymore. My life is topsy-turvy. All of my plans jumped out the window right behind my hope for the future. I was a poll worker on election night and I told the voters not to tell me anything because I needed to get through closing the polls when voting was over. I got home and my partner hugged me and told me what happened.
I was in shock. I’m still in shock. Every day existential dread grows a little more. Every day the background level of constant anxiety grows a little more. I’m worried about my olive-toned siblings, I’m worried about my partners, I’m worried about my friends. I’m worried about everyone.
And there’s a part of me that feels super prepared for this. A switch activated.
I was made for this. I am a product of the conservative movement meant to fight in the culture war they’ve spent the last 30 years building for and I am fucking pissed. Don’t think the right didn’t see this, didn’t plan this, didn’t see the opportunity in hiding Mike Pence behind the intolerable senseless oaf that is Donald Trump. We have Hitler 2.0 and puppets. Trump is horrifying and charismatic – he can pull on hate and fuel it. Pence is worse. Pence will have control.
And I grew up in Pence’s world. I grew up in the world that said my purpose in life was to fight in this war and guess what, they were right.
But I am fighting for my life and the lives of those around me. The lives of those already and about to be targeted. I know now why I felt like I needed to be here, why following my instincts have taken me to this place in this community…because I need to be here, now, – the resistance.
Existing as myself is an act of resistance, empowering others to do the same is resistance. This is our reality now.
We elected a facist, and now we have to do everything we can to stop facism from taking hold, or WW2 will pale in comparison.
I am fucking terrified, I am angry, I can’t stop thinking about the future, if that even exists. But I am taking this existential dread and channeling it into everything I’m able. I’m fighting with every fiber of my being and reminding myself that this isn’t normal. 
notnormal4small

What’s Next?

I’ve spent the week updating the security on all of my devices and getting PGP setup on my email. If you haven’t installed Signal already, you should. The EFF has some good advice in their security starter pack that would be a good place to start.
I’m going to be adding a page where you can verify my ID by my PGP key and see what things I’ve also verified. In the meantime, I’m on keybase.io. CRHE is gearing up for our annual fundraiser and putting efforts into preparing to help people who start homeschooling because of the election. I’m getting involved in my local community and politics to make change here with East Bay Forward and on my own. I’m helping build a safe, open, hackerspace in my community as well.
I’m making rage art again, and some of that is in the form of banners for download. I’m not being quiet. I’m enjoying the last 62 days of First Amendment rights before everything really goes to shit.

How you can help me

Finding a 9-5 job at a startup seems ridiculous now. It seems normal. Nothing about now is normal. I am looking to spend my energy helping people, being an activist, doing whatever I can to provide safe haven and squash facism. I am an artist, activist, and organizer with mad web skills, I intend on using every skillset I have to get myself and others through the next 4+ years.
If you have the financial ability to help, I need enough to pay bills and acquire meds and eat – you can setup a recurring donation on patreon and also get cool art. Or just donate. I am an uninsured, unemployed, queer enby trying to get my documents together. I just spent $200 on my passport update and still need to get my license updated.

I Helped Start an Organization Once…(and you can help)

About a year ago some homeschool alumni and I got together and founded the Coalition for Responsible Home Education. When Homeschooler’s Anonymous started exposing the stories of abuse and neglect in the homeschool community I realized that I wasn’t alone. It encouraged me to keep writing my story and I’ve written a lot over the last several years.
Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE) exists to do what we can to make homeschooling better for families like mine – families who use homeschooling to get away with giving their children a sub-par education, to cover for abuse, or as a thinly veiled attempt at isolation and indoctrination.
Here’s the thing: Homeschooling can be awesome, and most of my fellow board members had great home education experiences, but the fact that people like me, and many others, exist, means there’s a problem and we need to fix it.
Homeschooling should be a tool to give children the education that’s right for them, that equips them for the future, and gives them the tools they need to succeed at whatever they do –  not whatever plans their parents determine for them.
blogbutton
Which is why I work for CRHE, and we advocate for the interests of homeschooled children – by doing research and creating resources. It’s an issue that’s close to my heart and it’s hard, grueling work, but we have ambition, passion, and big plans.

But here’s where you come in: It’s December and we have our 501c3 status which means any donations are tax deductible, and I would personally, really appreciate it if you donated what you can, get on our email list, and share this organization with anyone you know. Because what we’re doing is important, and what we’re doing has the potential to help so many homeschooled kids, now, and in the future.
donate
**Also, if you donate at a higher gift level (and opt in) I’ll draw you something, because you’re awesome. <3

Introducing Don't Panic[k]: Life Beyond The Kitchen Table

I had this idea several months ago, about making a site that’s basically just a compilation of advice, thoughts, and resources for people just leaving/graduating the world of homeschooling and religious fundamentalism.
It takes a lot of work and energy to find resources for life in the real world when you don’t even really know how or where to start, which is kinda why I liked the idea of Don’t Panic[k]. I hope to grow it, with the help of people from similar backgrounds submitting resources and articles and ideas, into something useful for people just leaving their parents kitchen table.
So check it out, share it, submit ideas/resources/etc if you have any, and don’t panic (you’ve got this).
DPbutton