The Big Trans Woman FAQ (or what you should ideally read before you ask me stupid questions)

Today’s topic is less polyglot, but if you want you can shoot me an email at joannamartinevanschaik(at)gmail(dot)com and help me translate it. The good thing is that I’ll usually be able to tell you whether you screwed up somewhere. The bad news is that it will cost you two hours of your time for a cause we all need to worry about, but none of us are actually on the barricades fighting for enough.

So, here goes: the questions you can now look up the answers to here, without having to harass me about it in public and show off your ignorance!

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This blog: what it is and what it does. And what it does not do.

This is a blog. Everyone has a blog now, even I used to have a blog (way back in the day) but considering I never updated that thing, I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf (electronically speaking). So, you may ask, what am I going to blog about? Because everyone has already written about something, so my particular insights are not going to keep my readership tuned to my every post, waiting with drool dripping from their open jaws to read whatever (dare I say ”very intelligent”? Or is that too much honour?) thing I have come up with to rant about. So the answer is; I’ll just write what is on my mind, and you’re going to read whatever is on my mind here, okay? (You could stop here, but you would be missing out on a life’s worth of amusement. And that’s not just because of the inevitable typos). Läs mer

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Great Red Spot

Put away the gun in your hand
It will only hurt you more

Tiny eyes belie the depths
A storm in the flesh
The Great Red Spot
Has landed on Earth

Don’t believe the lies
You can join us
There’s time to turn from the hate
Put away the gun in your hand
It will only hurt you more

Neptune whipped up
A bluish-grey tempest
His trident is yours
To stab us in the heart

Don’t believe what they say
Your value is not
Prowess in a sexual melee
Put away the gun in your hand
It will only hurt you more

Christ the Redeemer
Failed the both of us
You can choose Zoloft
Or the end of days

I once lit a candle for the ones
That departed too soon;
Don’t make me repeat
My lament for the dead
Silence your clarion call
This war is not on our turf

Don’t go there, it’s not what
You think you’ll find
Don’t believe what they say
You’ll just drown
In their visceral hate
Put away the gun in your hand
It will only hurt you more

In memory of the ones that died.
Killed by their own hand or by another.

In honor of the ones left behind.
You know who you are. The Survivors.

Every child dead in a shooting is one too many.
These are lives best spared by empathy.
It matters not if you chose to die yourself, or to take others down in the fray.
We slay our kin as if we were rabble.
In times of strife, let us take each other’s hands – and carry the torch for life.
For in death, we are offered no second chance.

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The Sentinel

Somewhere beyond the void
Where the interstellar and the solar collide
In obscurity, lit up by galaxies
A minuscule sentinel glides

A ray of light
Shining on us
Strewn forth by the Sun
A little meter
Asking if we’re not the only one

The sentinel lifts its aluminum arm
Picks up the signal from the medium
It takes an age to arrive home again
An anomaly in this new millennium

A burst of fire
Englobing us
Spewed forth by the Sun
A little meter
Asking if we’re not the only one

Hit the hydrogen wall
Break through the sheath
Where the Sun’s reins fade
Floating in the quiet breeze
Of the interplanetary glade

The sentinel twitches its eyes
Little grey sticks on a TV brick
The ion engine bursts into life
Pushing into the blackened thick

A scratch of sparks
Paralyzing us
Spit forth by the Sun
A little meter
Asking if we’re not the only one

The sentinel
Eyes and ears for the blundering blind
Hormones for the scientific dwarves
A vigilante
For a horde of confused young minds
Watching the stars from its cosmic wharves

Lighting up our insides…
Our insides…

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4 A.M. Keyboard Warrior

Push the buttons,
Pull up the screen
I feared this day would come
Trying to tarnish my glimmer and sheen
Go on then, have at me
Don’t hold back
I’m sure you wouldn’t know when to stop anyway

All hope is lost
All faith gone
When you’re done with me
Just make sure to keep your computer on

Yeah I’m sure you can find
Mistakes and errors
Everything I do is a waste of time
I use up oxygen better spent on killing myself
To top it all off
Who’d believe a poor tranny chiming in
Pretty sure it’s got better things to do

Russia sends bots to troll
China hacks into your brain
The worst about all this?
You’re not even manipulated to inflict the pain!

All hope is lost
All faith is gone
When you’re through with me
Just make sure to keep your phone on

Don’t let your mom call you down for burritos
Don’t forget to stock your fridge with Mountain Dew
Keyboard hero with a fancy broadband speed
Bend the line just to spit fire at the sorry few

What goes through your mind?
Lars Ulrich is terrible
Gerard Way a gay fag
Laura Jane Grace should go back to being Tom
And Jo is an old shemale hag

Valid opinions, mate
Clean up your vomit in a paper bag
Throw it in the trash
And jump in the bin
Don’t forget you’re the one that never fit in

All hope is lost
All faith is gone
When you’re finished
Just make sure to hit enter
And kill my brain with your banter

If only all cops weren’t bastards
You’d pay the fine
Justice ain’t served
But when the rapture comes
Your back against the wall
You’ll be first in line.

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Beyond The Open Door

I dreamt of white ball gowns
Black pianos on the wooden floor
Portraits on the brick wall adorn
The hallway to the open door

I dreamt of raven black hair
Vials of crimson red wine
Asleep in the deep blue
I drifted away on cloud nine

Before the veil of white
I stare into the blinding light
Hoping to find you there

”The heart lies still in the dust.
It beats only for the dream.
Taken from its owner by a sordid eye,
Gleaming from behind the veil,
There’s nothing more to say.

Let those who must bleed,
Run the wood red;
The dying sound of the reeds
Outside the castle moat
A score for the fading light.”

The curtains turn black
The sound of the pin drop
The vial crack;
I open my eyes to the night
And the vertigo of the fall.

No mattress to cushion the blow
No tinderbox to kindle the glow
Awake and paralyzed
I see you’re still alive
Beyond the threshold, dancing
Ever out of reach

With open eyes you step forward
Pour the wine over my face
Slash my wrists with the shards of glass
And vanish without a trace

Into the void beyond the veil
Swirling in black and white
Striking the bottom of the well
I open my eyes to a ringing bell…

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Edging a little closer
To the vanishing light

Today I saw ghosts
Dancing in the shadows
Of the vanishing light

A pill
To numb the mind
Once I was blind
Now I can see
Your silhouette beyond the glass

In your mind
A stranger clothed as a friend

Today you saw hope
Dancing in the shadows
Of the vanishing light

How long will I be here?
This pill I swallow
Pulls me away from the precipice

Lights out
Sweet dreams
Was I here yesterday?
I don’t remember when I came in
And I don’t know when I’ll leave

This pillow is hard
But I will try to crawl
Away from the vanishing light

One more day
One more night
Basking in the shadow
Of the dying, fading, flickering
Vanishing light.

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Te echo de menos

Si no hubieran parado
Todos los aviones
Estaría celebrando
Sí no hubieran decretado
El cierre de negocios
Estaría comprando

(Billetes de vuelta que jamás usaría)

Tu paradero, un agujero
En el tiempo
Y el espacio entre nosotras
Hace que te echo de menos

Vístete, mi chica
De machona o de princesa
Vestidos de seda o de algodón
Apretados o anchísimos
Y te cogeré la mano
Para sentir el subidón
De la adrenalina
Que me provoca tu presencia…

Tu paradero, un agujero
En el tiempo
Y el espacio entre nosotras
Que desvanece
A cada paso del reloj
Hace que te echo de menos
Cada día un poco más
Un poquito más

No soy una de esas
Que canta lindos himnos
De amor y pasión
Sin embargo, tu voz
Queda grabada
En mi latiendo corazón

Si no hubieran parado
El mundo por catástrofe natural
Podríamos retirarnos
A la alcoba del deseo primordial
Y te diría cada día
Cuanto te eché de menos
Sí te diría cada día
Cuanto te eché de menos

Tu paradero, un agujero
En el tiempo
Pero en el espacio
Te encontraré.

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The Only Way To Move Forward (Is Move)

The needle lay discarded on the floor
A laptop beeped in the distance
His eyes flashed to the red button
Clicked to purchase one more time
He didn’t know who sold, but he would buy
Anything to break the status quo;

The patches neatly folded into the bin
She sought out the darkest corners
Of Shanghai to get her hands on them
The last of her savings wasted away
Her mother turned her face in shame
The only way to move forward is move

They married to finally get away
From awkward questions and prying eyes
They never shared a bed in their life
Happily childless, perennially hopeless
Just to avoid being shengnu or beaten
They don’t know who the other smooches at night

Yeah, they tried on the mirror for size
Burnt bridges just to manage to survive
Fled home and hearth to find the way out
Satiate their thirst for love or sexual drought
The knife shaved the bone down thin
Tore through inches of adolescent skin

They live inside castles made of glass
Vanished in wisps of water vapour
Thrice the red rooster cried no,
They quietly nodded to stay alive
Hidden in plain view, emerging at night
To stay away from the scarlet camera eye.

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The Ark Sank (and Took Us With It)

We were born on Planet Hell
Slowly the river beds dried up,
The forests disappeared;
The sun shone malevolently above our heads.
And as we dipped our trunks into the last pool
We caked ourselves in mud to stay cool.

We swam and roamed the high seas
Fed on the krill that used to swarm
In every corner of Panthalassa;
But as the temperature rose,
And the coral bleached and turned white,
Our aquatic zenith turned to night.

One common enemy;
One fight we had to win;
One defeat we could never allow;
It came to pass.
Thule culture, Pachamama, Amalur – wept clean.
So disappointed were the druids,
They shuffled off this mortal coil before the fall.

Gaia was never ready for the ark.
A colony of jellyfish float in the dark
Ethereal beauty lit up by fading twilight.
The crimson tides rolled in and swept away
Whatever was left of the cockroaches,
The mice, and the human vermin that crawled,
Recycling corpses between the stings of men of war.

A toucan – fell from a branch.
A wolf – howled for the last time.
A tiger – stalked its shadow.
A worm – ate its own debris.
A frog – poisoned its own dart.
An elephant – stabbed its child with the tusk.
A human – knelt at the river bed of Creek Mary’s Blood.

We were born on Planet Hell.
We left it on the sinking ship
Noah denied, God defied
By the will of a proud race of killers
Murderers, rapists, assassins,
The ark wasn’t ready for us.

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La divulgación cientifica

Hola a todo el mundo, Jota aquí! (Sí, ahora me podéis llamar por mis iniciales, va bien). Sé que no he escrito ningún artículo tradicional, hace mucho que me he dedicado a la prosa en vez de enrollarme con la poesía. Eso ha sido principalmente por dos motivos: 1), no escribo aquí si no tengo nada que deciros, y 2) he estado muy ocupada con mis estudios de intérprete, así que he soltado algunos poemas de vez en cuando pero nada que va más allá.

Pues hoy cambian las cosas, y es por que ya tengo un poco más tiempo que dedicar a ellas, y además porque en tiempos del coronavirus ya parece que nos hemos olvidado del todo de la ciencia. ¿Manifestaciones para abrir la economía, sabiendo que un virus anda merodeando por todos lados? Check. ¿Influencers que extienden sus taradeces mentales (es decir, bulos de antivacunas y otras mentiras)? Check. ¿Líderes mundiales que prefieren beber lejía antes que consultar con un especialista en virología? Double check. (No estoy mirando a nadie en particular… o sea… o sea…)

Hay un antídoto contra la ignorancia, la estupidez y la putrefacción mental que se dispersa por todos lados y se llama la ciencia. Lo sé, es de frikis que hacen experimentos en sus áticos o de esos tipos que hablan de teorías de cuerda y de mecánica cuántica que exige muchas matemáticas y que nadie entiende porque fuisteis demasiados vagos como para mover un dedo en clase en el cole. Ya, estoy señalando a vosotros también porque sé que eráis todos como yo. Por desgracia, yo en un tiempo pasado estudiaba la divulgación científica y sé alguna cosa u otra sobre el tema. Basta. Que paréis.

Lo que hacen los divulgadores (o sea, las divulgadoras, ya que sabéis, todas las buenas en este campo son mujeres, ya veréis) es divulgar información científica de tal manera que un niño de cinco años lo vea y piensa: ¨Jó, mamá, ¡eso es muy interesante! ¡Voy a ser astronauta!¨ Luego descubre que hay que estar en forma y que cuesta mucho trabajo, así que se dedica a jugar a Call of Duty 23 (estamos en el futuro, ya sabéis). Pero hasta este momento quizás a alguién haya entrado en la cabeza la idea que podemos razonar, que hay mucha belleza natural en el mundo y que la verdad no solo se divulga, sino también se comprueba. (Lo digo porque hoy en día muchos científicos parecen haberse olvidado de este último).

Y como el mundo es grande y que hay muchísimo por contar en este campo, he decidido haceros una lista de YouTubers buenísimos que fomentan el pensamiento crítico y que nos inmunizan contra el veneno del conservatismo, la pseudociencia, la religión y los bulos de la extrema derecha. Recuerda, si no haces tus deberes en materia de la ciencia, te pueden transmitir cualquier guarrería – no solo convertirte en el hazmerreir de este mundo por decir tonterías, sino también dejar morir a tus hijos por no haberles puesto las vacunas. O puedes atrapar el coronavirus y contagiar a los demás, yo que sé.

Vamos a empezar con mi nuevo descubrimiento en español: Ese enlace os dirige al canal ¨La gata de Schrödinger¨, un canal de una periodista científica muy buena que se llama Rocío Vidal. Desmonta a tantos bulos que os dejará boquiabiertos. Lo mejor: es una mujer cis que desmonta a los TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists). También tiene un libro que expone a todos los argumentos contra la pseudociencia y que me voy a comprar enseguida.

Luego está Rebecca Watson (o Skepchick). En inglés esta vez.

Lidera una panda de mujeres que combaten la ignorancia. ¡Que más queréis!

Una cuenta que no ha visto mucha actividad, pero es de una mujer trans y escéptica es la de Stephanie Guttormson (Think Stephtically)

Un cómico español que desmonta a los bulos de la extrema derecha español (menos científico esta vez, pero divertidísimo) que se llama Moi Camacho:

Para la filosofía hay mucho Breadtube, pero mi favorito de todos los tiempos es ContraPoints (y no está cancelada por estos lares aún)

La divulgadora estadounidense Cara Santa Maria:

Si tenéis algo para completar la lista (en cualquier idioma), mandadme un mensaje aquí o dejad un comentario y veo lo que puedo hacer para vosotros.

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The Errant Child

I still remember the children playing at your feet
Two little girls, almost too young to see
Their grandmother’s last breath
Too distracted to think about death

I still remember the voice from days gone by
Of boiled potatoes and sweet rhubarb sauce
Is there anything to trade for that feel?
Nostalgia flowing off an old movie reel?

A speed skater lost in his thoughts
Encircles the ice
The sun shines, your husband caught a fish
Back in it goes
Your God above blessed you with kindness
Given to all
A pity we weren’t raised to share your faith
In the heavens

If you could see me now,
Would you recognize me?
If you could see me now,
Would your kindness extend?
A question I asked myself,
But it was cut short too soon.

Would you recognize the girl
That you thought a boy?
Would your God pardon the ways
Of your errant child?
Mother of mothers,
Would you understand?

Mother once said:
”It might have been for the best,
That she did not know”
I still wonder in the depths of my heart
If the mercy of the Lord
Extends to those
Who have departed from His show.

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