steffie's more-or-less stable world: 3.15.06
*** Steffie's Performances ***
SAT MARCH 25: Opening for Rocky Horror Picture Show,
Labyrinth, 400 Bagley, Detroit
STEFFIE'S MORE-OR-LESS STABLE WORLD: 3.15.06
I. Upsetting Lyrics
II. SpagFest Burlesque Show
III. Radio Radio
IV. Ides of March
V. Life In Hell
I. UPSETTING LYRICS
i didn't mean to upset people with the lyrics, yesterday. i'm fine.
It's just a song.
i AM struggling with very difficult problems pertaining to the transfer of Jam Rag to new owners, which cannot be discussed publicly.
i've lost just about everything over the last two years: my home, my family, my business, my life as an activist, etc. And -- let's face it -- i am just a child.
There are two things left which are really dear to me -- my wife and my surrogate mother -- and i'm desperately trying to hold on to both. The song is a reflection of how it would feel to have those last two candles extinguished; it is just a wisp of the wind away.
i'm NOT suicidal. And that's the problem. i am left trapped, because suicide is not an option.
i look on suicide with serenity, as a blessing ("One of these days i'll find a way to make it right, so i can say goodnight."). But this blessing is withheld from me.
My self-esteem and confidence are shot. And the songwriting is a rare source of pride. So, naturally, i want to share my songs. i don't mean to worry people.
The songs are good -- i know it -- if only for the brutally honest introspection.
There seems to be no end of them; i've written 18 songs since August. And they are getting better and better. "Make It Stop" is a cool tune! And "Your Eyes" is tender, gentle and passionate.
i just never knew i could do this.
Most of the things i write about are experienced, in one way or another, by lots of people. It is wonderful when someone writes, "Gosh steffie, you really express how I feel sometimes."
The lyrics alone are nothing. It makes me sooooo happy when i get a chance to play them for people.
Don't you want to make me happy?!? :-)
* * *
PS: My favorite response was from Paul, who feared suicide and wrote,
> If you say so Stephie, but who will give the non thinkers fits?
Oh dear. i guess i do have an important job to do after all. :-)
II. SpagFest Burlesque Review
It's so funny -- two years ago no one thought twice if i took off my shirt in public. Now i have a couple of ounces of fatty tissue there -- really NOT MUCH has changed (to my great dismay) -- and yet people are horrified that i am not drowning in shame about my precious breasts and love to show them off.
Gee...and people think >I<>
i DO have lots of shame. i am ashamed of having been cruel or dishonest, or selfish. But my body?!?! i might as well be ashamed of the sunrise.
Anyway, SpagFest will always be one of my happiest memories. The girls treated me like their kid sister. i was primped and pampered. i got to be the center of attention. And the audience gave a MOST rousing ovation, despite my guitar being horrendously out of tune.
i sang a song, "Forever," about my despair over having lost (at the time) my surrogate mother. "My sun has gone dark forever."
A video is forthcoming. If anyone wants to see a pic, let me know.
III. RADIO STUFF (both courtesy of our Prometheus friends) firstname.lastname@example.org
A. Prometheus Trip to Detroit.
B. Full-Power Non-Commercial Licensing Window To Open
A. The Prometheus Radio Project, a national grassroots organization that
has built LPFM radio stations from New Hampshire to Florida to
California, will hold major workshops in Michigan during the week of
March 27th-April 1st. Expect low power but high intensity
demonstrations of exactly how community radio works, and to learn what
you can do now to bring community radio to Michigan. You can join us at
the Mexican Town Center on the 27th at 6:30 pm, at a meeting in Ann
Arbor the evening of the 28th, or contact Prometheus so they can join
you at your organization today.
(note from steffie: i'm looking for a ride to the Mexican Town event.)
B. If you have questions about the information below, email our
technical director, Andy Gunn, at email@example.com, or email
Pete Tridish at firstname.lastname@example.org !)
Greetings from the Prometheus Radio Project! This note is to inform you
that the FCC is preparing to open a FULL POWER
NON-COMMERCIAL/EDUCATIONAL licensing window.
A full guide from on this will appear in the next month or so, but for
now we want you to have a few basic facts to help you determine whether
you should be gearing up to apply for a full power license or if you
should just ignore this whole thing.
Non-Commercial Educational (NCE) full power radio licensing had been
hopelessly complicated for the past 15 years, and frozen for more than
five. The FCC has finally made improvements to the application system,
and the first real opportunity to apply since the late 80's will be
coming up soon.
The lay of the land:
-- Very soon, the FCC will open a window for new, full power
non-commercial educational (NCE) radio frequencies.
-- We don.t know yet exactly when, but there will be some warning --
The FCC will give notice announcing when the window will be open,
typically 30 to 60 days in advance.
-- The window itself will last five days.
-- You can only file your application during this 5-day window, so
everything needs to be ready to go.
-- If you do not apply now, it will probably be many, many years before
there will be another chance. To make matters worse, any frequency
worth having will probably be taken in this window of opportunity.
IV. IDES OF MARCH
It's the anniversary, today, of the ugly, brutal encounter with my father over the discovery (my joy, his disgust and rage) of my true gender identity.
A curt response from him two weeks ago to a letter i sent recently makes it clear i am out of their family forever.
My birth family has disintegrated since i found steffie inside, and i cannot help but wonder how much is my fault...or at least how much is an indirect result of steffie reborn after 35 years of premature burial.
Even as a five-year-old, i remember thinking about how passive my grandfather behaved around dad. It couldn't have always been that way.
i understood that this is how people grow old -- when the torch is passed from one generation to the next. And i did NOT want my father to grow old and weak. So i vowed to never grow up, to never take his place.
But fate is a relentless hunter.
And it is always hiding where you least expect it.
> Life in hell
> In California prisons, an unconventional gender identity can be like
> an added sentence
> By Tali Woodward
> San Francisco Bay Guardian, CA
> Mar. 15, 2006 - Mar. 21, 2006 . Vol. 40, No. 24
> Rosa casts her dark eyes downward and then looks up from under wispy
> bangs to say matter-of-factly, "I've been raped six times.
> "At one time I was raped by five individuals," she continues in
> slightly tentative English.
> Rosa wasn't born female, but she says she was very young when she
> realized "I was special." Today, she doesn't just "pass" as a woman
> - it's hard to imagine how anyone would see this person with the
> bewitching eyes and feather-soft voice as anything else.
> Except that for the past eight years, Rosa has lived in men's
> The way the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
> (CDCR) sees it, Rosa has a penis, and that makes her a man. Never
> mind that she hasn't seen herself as male for decades, or that she's
> been taking feminizing hormones since her 16th birthday. Rosa, who
> is serving 15-to-life for stabbing a man she says was trying to kill
> her, was never able to afford sex-reassignment surgery. The one time
> she came close to saving enough money, she spent it helping her
> sister set up a fruit stand in Mexico. So the prison system put her
> in with the men....
> A SILENT CRISIS
> Transgender women are more likely to end up in prison than virtually
> anyone else. The oft-quoted statistic about African American men -
> that one in four has a history of incarceration - is dwarfed by the
> available stats on people who are male-to-female, or MTF. A San
> Francisco Department of Public Health survey conducted in 1997 found
> that almost two thirds of MTF respondents had been incarcerated.
> More than 30 percent had spent some time behind bars during the
> preceding 12 months.
> Most people agree that the high incarceration rate is due mainly to
> the difficulty trans people have finding and keeping work (see
> "Transjobless," page 13). To survive, they often turn to sex work,
> drug dealing, or other illegal forms of moneymaking - and, in the
> process, greatly increase their risk of arrest...
> HOUSING QUANDRIES
...> "Would you put your daughter in a locked room with 11 or 12 men and
> say, 'Fend for yourself'?" she asks.
> Ele Tsu now lives in a cell but says that when she was assigned to a
> dorm, "I was lucky if I could have one or two nights a week where I
> wasn't bothered....
> "Rapes occur with frequency," Ele Tsu told us. "And we've learned to
> keep our big mouths shut because what happens is we are victimized
> again. We're called liars; people say, 'You enticed them, you didn't
> have your bra on, you were dressed in an overly feminine condition.
> You asked for it.'"
> When sexual assault is reported, inmates say, the victim and the
> perpetrator get the same treatment: Both are locked up in
> Administrative Segregation, or Ad Seg.
> ABUSE AND CARE
> ..."They treat you like 'that,' 'it,' or 'whatever he is,' " Rosa said
> of her fellow inmates. She's usually referred to as "he" and often
> called a "faggot," despite her womanly bearing and the fact that she
> is involved with an inmate who considers himself straight. There's a
> general attitude that "you decided to be like this, [you] brought it
> upon yourself," Rosa says. "Nah - I didn't choose to be rejected. I
> didn't choose to be humiliated. I didn't choose to be beat up. I
> didn't choose to be raped."
> According to some, harassment is just as likely to come from prison
> staff. Lee says different people in different prisons have told him
> the guards will routinely demean them - over the PA system.
* * *
...But AB 1160...would limit the use of so-called gay panic or
> (more frequently) trans panic defenses: the argument that a killer
> was driven to rage by the discovery that a person who appeared to be
> female was, in fact, biologically male, and thus is not fully
> responsible for the murder...
> More recently, the defendants in the Gwen Araujo case argued they
> were guilty only of manslaughter because they had been unable to
> control their anger upon learning that Araujo was biologically male.
> When you think about it, the claim is pretty bizarre: Not even the
> most crass and sleazy defense lawyer these days would try to argue a
> killing was less heinous just because the victim was black. But the
> Araujo case, which first ended in a hung jury before two of the
> three defendants were eventually found guilty of second-degree
> murder (a third pleaded guilty to manslaughter), shows just how
> utterly marginalized transgender people remain in society, even in
> the liberal Bay Area.
Love to all my precious friends,