An open reply to Zeph Fish on her open letter to the estranged branches of her radical queer family

Dear Zeph —

Your open letter on Fest yesterday to Alice Kalafarski and readers of, is one of the most insightful, intelligent, and incisive I have read in years. It is not only so on the divisive politics of Fest, but also on describing today’s snapshot of women’s communities by affirming its several intersections of experiences, ages, working classes, bodies, survivor knowledges and, to several degrees, one’s ethnicity and cultural foundation.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for speaking on this.

If it is OK, may I raise a few points atop several others why trans women are not yet being seen in critical mass numbers at Fest? Three perennially come to my mind:

  1. economic class and poverty being one (despite the few highly visible, highly liquid trans women whose links to the tech industry are renown);
  2. affirming that Fest does not speak to a lot of trans women whose interest in dyke-positive spacing as heterosexual women is minimal or even absent; and
  3. a nagging reminder that for someone who does not attend Fest, it is still viewed from outside as a largely white, culturally elitist bacchanal (whether fairly perceived or not) with very little grasp of the much more basic barriers facing all women — cis and trans — in places like the U.S. (where many of us are not) and far, far beyond.

Continue reading

Foundation: defining gender.

|||| Patience Newbury

“A primeval, albeit universally intelligible language delivering the most rudimentary means of human communication upon which: social systems of order; divisions of labour; industry of culture; ways of perceiving the external world; and structures of spoken languages are founded.” Continue reading

Entertaining a second definition for cisnormativity.

|||| Patience Newbury

The Bauer, et al., premier definition of record (or authority) for cisnormativity advanced the novel argument that such a social condition actually exists and is meriting of a name. While there had been unofficial uses of the word within online forums, it was only in 2009 that it was raised to critical peer scrutiny. It is likely to be explored in future papers to varying extents. Continue reading