|—||Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Ep 7: The Clean Room)|
I’m probably going to start humira tomorrow.
the pens were delivered, I’ve made an appointment, and I’m going to go. But I still say probably, because in the last few days I’ve begun itching all over, and I have clusters of blisters on my fingers. I feel like i’m being driven mad, I can’t sleep at all, and I’ve scratched to the point of leaving purple bruises. I know I need to point this out to the doctor, but I know this doesn’t really fit in with my diagnosis and I’m worried this will delay treatment further.
This is the first time that a specialist had ever seemed to believe me about my symptoms, so I don’t want to do or say anything to change that…
I got sick and took a break from people for a while.
Long story short: After being dicked around by a lot of doctors, I’ve been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. If you don’t have google, this is an autoimmune arthritis that mainly targets the spine—though in my case, practically every other joint in my body is affected as well. Especially my feet and hands. Eventually, bones fuse. This is not a good thing.
After several months of trying prednisone at various doses and having increasingly bad reactions, I’m waiting to to go on humira. the doctor’s office told me they were “processing” the prescription and the meds were on their way. This was repeated several times over several weeks. My mom called the insurance company for me and found out that I had been rejected weeks ago because the office didn’t enter the forms correctly. So, I actually spoke to someone in the doctor’s office AFTER I had been rejected, and had been lied to. This has left me entirely unmedicated for a month, while lurching from flare to flare.
This story is going to take a while to tell.
Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
Critical Race Theory: An Introduction by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic
The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America- Robert M. Entman and Andrew Rojecki
Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism - bell hooks
Feminism is for Everybody - bell hooks
outlaw culture - bell hooks
Faces at the Bottom of the Well - Derrick Bell
Sex, Power, and Consent - Anastasia Powell
I am Your Sister - Audre Lorde
Patricia Hill Collins - Black Feminist Thought
Gender Trouble - Judith Butler
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
Medical Apartheid - Harriet Washington
Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory - edited by Michael Warner
Colonialism/Postcolonialism - Ania Loomba
Discipline and Punish - Michel Foucault
Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? by Mark Fisher
Cultural Theory and Popular Culture - John Storey
Here’s a comic I made a long time ago and never published. The text is from the introduction to A New Queer Agenda by Joseph N. DeFilippis.
Got a haircut without incident, and I really like it. But I’m having a strange amount of dysphoria about stuff that usually doesn’t bother me all that much. Namely that i have a narrow, “feminine” neck. It’s not something I’ve ever thought about before, but now everything else I’m dysphoric about comes roaring to the foreground of my mind. My hips are too wide and my shoulders too narrow. And while recently I’ve begun to like my jawline and cheekbones, I don’t like the fat distribution in my face. And then I notice, not for the first time, that my forehead and jaw look quite a bit like my older, deceased sister. Down to the texture of my skin. If I went on testosterone, would that change? I feel guilty about wanting to change, and I feel confused about wanting to see some semblance of her in the mirror.
I started binding because I thought “If my chest just looks flat I’ll be okay, I don’t need hormones and surgery”. And here I am, wanting both anyway, because binding isn’t enough anymore. I’m afraid that if I start to “correct” more of the things I feel dysphoric about, I’m just going to find other things about myself to hate, and I’ll have dismantled my life only to find it still in shambles. I’m starting to feel like a condemned building. A coat of paint and some new lights aren’t solving the problem.
[it doesn’t help that I’m 21 and jealous of trans people half my age. I’ve known I was trans since at least 2009, had a loudly lurking sense of it many years before then, but haven’t gotten anywhere. these kids are already “post transition”, whatever the fuck that means. I’m bitter and angry and then I’m disappointed in/pissed off at myself that I’m bitter. Slightly exaggerating about these people being half my age. I just feel really old and awkward sometimes, like I’m missed the boat on a “normal” adolescence/teen years and everything that comes with it. but maybe everyone feels like this. I really don’t know.]
I tried to register to vote three times when I was in college. Each time I failed to pass the “literacy” test. Only after the passage of the Voting Rights Act was I registered, and thank God Almighty, my parents voted as well. They were not activists but ordinary folks who wanted the same rights as the white people. Today, I feel the scabs coming off the old wounds and they are bleeding again. I knew people who were asked how many bubbles are in a bar of soap, or how many grains of sand are in a quart jar as part of their literacy test. I remember that the names of those who attempted to register were run in the local newspapers so that, by law, any registered (read white) voter could challenge their moral fitness to become voters. The real reason was to publicize who they were so their employers and Ku Klux Klan neighbors could take actions against them for having the nerve to think they should have the rights reserved for whites.
So much of our focus is on what the law did to help to emancipate generations of African Americans. However, the deep scars are still there in the form of emotional trauma (some friends of mine suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome), loss of family to death, broken dreams, ruined lives, and consigned once again to second and third class citizenship.
This is why I mourn today because the conditions for so many have not changed that much. Moreover, the gains we won continue to erode as we see in the dismantling of the most important piece of legislation on racial equality of my lifetime.
|—||Civil Rights Veteran and SNCC Member Joyce Ladner addressed the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights decision. (via legolaswhisperingelvenprayers)|
“Michael Hastings did not write to make friends, but if you were his friend, he was an inspiring and exciting and original and deeply lovable guy.” - Rachel Maddow, who paid moving tribute to Michael Hastings last night on MSNBC.
Select work by Hastings:
The Runaway General: the 2010 profile that took down General Stanley McChrystal.
Julian Assange: The Rolling Stone Interview: Hastings’ 2012 interview where the WikiLeaks founder talks about the future of journalism.
The Rise of the Killer Drones: Hastings’ 2012 piece on how killing by remote control has changed the way we fight.
America’s Last Prisoner of War: Hastings’ 2012 investigative piece on a soldier that became a crucial pawn in negotiations to end the Iraq War.