232 years of nothing to celebrate. Always was always will be.
It’s been twenty years.
I usually let this day pass, and have done consistently since 2008. I don’t go to any vigils, mourning happens every time I read of another death. Another murder. Over the years, the reasons have changed, but primarily TDOR is a day for my aunties, sisters, siblings and cousins and I don’t want to be around cis people or masc people performing mourning for what is overwhelmingly a list of people murdered for being feminine. Feminine and Black and brown and Indigenous and sex worker.
22 in the States. That we know of. 331 worldwide. Again, that we know of.
We know those numbers do not reflect reality, just like official numbers of how many of us there are. I was reading the report Being Transgender in Belgium yesterday, published in 2009 (and its followup published in 2018), which came up with figures of such rarity, the entire trans population in Belgium would almost be wiped out by those 331 murders. Which proposes two questions: If the incidence of trans people is so staggeringly low, 1 in 10 or 20 or 30,000, why is there so much attention on us from medical reports and legislation and experts having opinions over decades, and the vast corpus of published research, for a few hundred people out of eleven million? And why are cis people — mostly male, but let’s not forget feminist cis women and their history in this — so determined to not just murder us, but erase us from existence and memory?
I say, ‘us’, knowing there is legitimate disapproval and frustration especially from Black and Latina trans feminine people (21 of the 22 murdered in the US were Black) with white-presenting trans people claiming ‘us’, and I know how pale I am. I’ve been writing back into my history recently, spending a lot of time with those aunties and sisters in Aotearoa, back when we were called transsexuals, trannies, shemales, and the only job open to us was sex work. I remember them on K’ Road and Vivian Street, Māori, Pasifika, and a couple of Pakeha women. Women, not trans women or trans feminine or anything else, ’cos that’s what we were and that’s what we aspired to be, no matter how hard the path. I remember fists and guns and knives and iron bars, and the constant fear, or just being hit by the disgust or hate or ridicule. I was lucky. I got out. I have dance to thank for that. But there were a few occasions if things had gone slightly different, a cop car hadn’t cruised past at that moment (on more than one occasion, also ironic, no?), or friends in a car hadn’t, or something to interrupt what was about to happen, I wouldn’t have made it. So, ‘us’.
A difference in recent years is we’re no longer just being remembered and talked about on one day of the year for having gotten ourselves murdered. Every day I see my beautiful sisters and feminine siblings utterly shredding it, and truly, that it’s possible at this moment for them to live their lives so fully and openly and to be loved for all of their selves brings me much joy. And I want to remember my aunties and sisters from whom I learned to live my truth (as we say today), and who burn brighter for me the older I get. Some of them probably made it out, quite a few wouldn’t. The other violences were AIDS and drug addiction, and these ravaged us. Doing the remembering, then. Each one of these deaths hurt. All the deaths that shouldn’t have happened and lives unable to be lived hurt.
One day late celebration of supernaut’s 7th April birthday. Supernaut is fully a teenager now, emoji-ing and posting images like she thinks this is Instabang. Emile said supernaut is a life-project now.
Every year! I forget! Belated celebration of 7th April birthday, last before supernaut turns a teenager.
supernaut is ten years old! Double figures! 生日快乐！
Ten years, twelve countries, thirty-ish cities I can remember, 2162 posts, 4405 images and videos, four designs plus quite a few redesigns, masses of recoding … There was no YouTube, definitely no Twitter, MySpace barely existed and people were still using Friendster, FaceBook had started two months previously, so no one was using that, Slashdot was massive, Pirate Bay and BitTorrent were young, 3D printers? nope! Google hadn’t even made Maps, and Gmail was exactly one week old … there was no iPhone or iPad, MacBook Pros were still PowerBook G4s, iPods hadn’t even got a colour screen, WordPress was a month shy of its first birthday and Movable Type was what everyone was using, 56k dialup was the way to go in Australia, where I was living. Sounds like the Dark Ages.
I’m not sure I expected supernaut to last this long, I think the idea of ten years of blogging was far too abstract to entertain then; blogging in itself was about to be told it was going the way of dinosaurs and everyone would soon be podcasting and vlogging instead. Ten years on, and people still have blogs. More people even, blogs everywhere. People who don’t have their own blog have Tumblr or exist entirely on Twitter, or YouTube channels, or WordPress’ own network, or LiveJournal, or on the hundreds of social network sites like Sina Weibo that was launched only five years ago and has half a billion users. Among the people I know though, having your own website for a blog is still pretty rare. Actual websites, not so much, but blogs?
And blogs that have lasted ten years or more? There’s a few blogs on my news feed that have been around since 2004 or earlier, but no more than a few out of currently more than 200. And over the ten years there have been thousands that have come for weeks or months or a couple of years, then gone. A couple of years seems the average for old-age blog death.
And here is supernaut, ten years old! That’s beyond old age, it’s like time travel, like I was born in the Renaissance and didn’t take the hint about pushing up daisies. So, dear supernaut, happy birthday! If I and the internet are around in ten years, I imagine you’ll be here too, and while I can’t yet easily get you drunk or loaded, I intend to do that myself to celebrate.
Happy birthday to WordPress, which is 10 years old today! I began using it for a site for Gala in 2007, having heard some good things about it and not wanting to torment her with Movable Type, which I was then in the thrall of. Since then, I’ve gone from, “Ooh! Make template changes and don’t have to wait for 1000 posts to be rendered!” to using it for every design project, and because of WordPress, I’ve learnt I know about PHP, CSS, dealing with servers, setting up a (proper) MAMP stack, jQuery, SQL, and all the things that I use to be a designer (currently learning Git, even). So here’s to WordPress, currently running 17% of the internet, and keeping me fed and roofed.
Ja, naturlich, immer ein weniger mehr und immer bisschen spät. Habe Ich heute mit Katrin geplaudert, und dann mir ging ein Licht auf… Ja, am April 7te war mein Blog Geburtstag. Sechs jahre alt, fast 1500 Posten, viele viele Fotos, am wenigsten seben Staaten, hier und da, da und dort, toll, geil, extra voll krass…
Happy birthday supernaut, I would give you a big kiss but you are still only ones and zeros but I love you anyway.
Just to remember where supernaut came from…
mmm… ja, so… leider, ich habe nochmal vergaß.
Meine erste Blog Geburtstag in Berlin! Det find’ ick schau. Das war vor zehn Tage, aber nur eine woche darauf habe ich erinnert.
So I shall enjoy my birthday a little belatedly. Ich bin ein säumiger Bloggerin. Versuchen, es wieder gut machen. Nachgrübeln über Schokolade essen.
Oops … 我忘了… I forgot…
My blog’s 4th birthday was almost three weeks ago on the 7th of April.
I am tardy. Attempt to make amends. Consider to eat chocolate.
Waah! Three years of blogging. How did that happen? Funny it seems more of something to celebrate than my human birthday. So, “gifts of chocolate, love, massages, shoes, or underwear from Agent Provocateur all appreciated.” I’m going to Cape Patterson till Monday night.