To Pee or Struggle to be Free?
by Grover Wehman
I was looking for coverage on the internet later that night,
I found the disturbing news I'm the kid I always
lusted to be. I left the conservative Midwest to find what I thought
was my home in protest blocks, short haircuts and sex parties.
I thought I'd be so happy I could fuck myself with the silicon
cock of freedom in the trannie fag-boy-cunt I call home and make
a revolution. I've found gender works like that. Too bad the revolution
I was pumped for the World Economic Forum protests. I was ready
for an all-out-take-back-the-streets-take-back-the-night-take-back-your-pocketbook
with my body on my streets. I blocked my calendar from any pesky
interferences from sex parties, drag king shows or hot dates.
I was mentally prepared, if necessary, to be arrested with other
anti-capitalist radical kids. I thought they would have had my
back through the always painful ordeal.
But the day came and went and I was let down by what seemed to
be a cop-permitted black banner parade past Starbucks and The
Gap; and I went home with my kids for some processing over lentil
soup and dumpstered muffins. I was partially unsettled that we
hadn't made enough noise and gotten enough visibility to get the
national media attention that WEF deserved.
However, I know I wasn't the only one of my kids who let out a
silent sigh of relief at not having to deal with the cops and
their violent ways, a situation complicated by our gender variant
identities. I always went into street protesting having made the
decision to get arrested if necessary, acutely aware of the history
of added violence against gender queers and gender variants throughout
history. I did it anyway because I somehow always felt assured
that the non-gender queer protesters would have my back and give
of the arrest of Dean, a trannie boy violently arrested and brutalized
for peeing in the men's room at Grand Central Station, right about
the time my trannie ass walked through on my way to the six train
home. After his press release about his arrest, I closely followed
the dialogue on the indymedia website. Part of me was not surprised
at the number of people who had no clue about trans issues, but
I was comforted that these people were supportive and trying to
These supportive activists and trans allies were darkly overshadowed
by the various classist, racist, and transphobic activists making
comments in response to Dean's case. Multiple activists stated,
"If 'she' had 'F' on 'her' license 'she' should have gone
to the women's room," expressing sentiments resembling, "If
he didn't have a penis he wasn't a real man and shouldn't have
been there anyway," or "If he's so set on being a man
and going into the men's room, why would he have been scared to
go to the men's prison." The implications of these statements
extend far into offensive, patriarchal, power-structured, privilege
The ability of "fellow" activists to completely disregard
any race or class analysis they have done of the systems of power
thus far, simply because they have not yet deconstructed gender
as an oppressive system, made it apparent to me that I as a transgendered
person am not as respected or accepted as the movement would like
me to think. I slowly, sadly realized that the majority of the
movement had just put on a happy face and really hadn't embraced
a self-critique on gender.
They may let girls sit in the driver's seat now, but this even
made me see that they don't do it because they recognize their
privilege and oppression in existing in the prescribed "M"
box; they do it as a gesture of their liberalism. And when gender
variants mess up those boxes, the men in their tokenized
step aside, just don't know how to open the car door for us. I
guess I was fooled by the liberalism of privileged white boys.
They showed me they don't have my back when the cop's harassing
my people because of their oppressive power privilege.
I say sisters and brothers check yourself and I'll check myself
too. Let's look how deeply power has scarred us, in what forms
"the man" dominates, and how the movement must be beyond
pink and blue.
After this event I took a step back and retreated into my day-to-day
activism of zine making, fucking, and living gender queer. I thought
the time was right for me to do some activism this weekend, and
ventured out with my fellow queers to do street theater in demonstration
against the darned Reverend Fred Phelps who came to New York City
to protest various NYC organizations and blame them for the WTC
events because of their inclusion of queers in their organizations.
(www.godhatesfags.com- this dude's loony).
I thought would be in a fairly safe space because I was with fellow
queers. I had retreated from organizing with anti-capitalist white
bio boys who call me "she" (although some of them are
fabulous, this has not been my experience with most). My fellow
genderqueer friends were doing demonstrations as a takeoff on
Phelp's disturbing protesting and rhetoric, in a comical street-theater
We were lumped together by my favorite NYPD with other "gay
and lesbian" organizations from the city who had come out
to protest. I was saddened by the misogyny that was seeping from
many protesters mouths as they called Phelps "pussy"
and "stupid cunt", and made classist remarks on the
uneducated, incestuous, Midwestern lives of the Phelps supporters.
As Phelps brought out his upside down American flag, I laughed
to myself thinking, I fly one of those too. As my friends and
I were on the front lines of the small barricade calling back
ironic distortions of their homophobic rhetoric, we were belted
by the Phelps version of the Star Spangled Banner,
which included rockets blowing up queers. This over-the-top homophobia
was so absurd it was almost comical to me, someone coming from
the Midwest, acutely aware that these notions really are held
by some people in this country.
Then the "fellow" "queer" organizations behind
me covered their hearts and started singing the REAL version of
the Star Spangled Banner back at Phelps. I went out
of my mind trapped in this barricade, my face being a front line
representation of this song based on the prosperous war that solidified
white people's imperialist claim to another population's land.
A country which made it's wealth off of slavery by stealing entire
nations from Africa, and now uses that money to kill women and
children and keep them locked in their homes so that we can have
nice sweatshirts and cheap oil to drive our cars. This song is
our cry that it is okay to be queer? I certainly hope not. That
song and that flag have nothing to do with who I fuck and how
I identify. If this is the queer revolution, I want out.
My heart is now stone cold, a conflicted state of emptiness. The
queer movement is no longer my home.
The anti-racist/capitalist movement isn't either. It seems I'm
standing on the doorstep of communities that can't accept me and
my "kind" no matter what group I'm standing with. I'm
a radical youth anti-racist-anti-capitalist-feminist-sex-positive-trannie-gender-queer-leather-kid.
Like so many of my hyphenated ambiguously complex kids, I am wandering
virtually alone, wondering why the movements that are supposed
to free me and my kind, have failed me so completely.
So now I feel trapped, delving now into the sex radical revolution
I need, sporting my anarchist clothing, and critiquing their politics
when I can. But I find myself looking back to where I came from;
where I never really safely was; where I just passed through invisible,
like so many of my trans brothers and sisters and hirsters; where
I am dismissed as idealist by my fellow queers; where my body
isn't wanted in the revolution; where my fellow bodied don't want
For a second I think, maybe I can just turn back, and ask them
to take me in, and teach them all about myself and hope it helps
them understand gender and we'll all be trans allied revolutionaries
this is just not the way it can be. It is not my job
to educate the revolution because they haven't tried to get it
themselves. And the capitalist based "gay" movement
can't afford to hear what I have to say.
So I have dumpster dinners with my fellow tranarchist friends,
and dream of a day when I can strap down oppression, strap on
the dildo of revolution, and fuck the ambiguous pain away.