Making books happen and stuff
If you were designing a writers retreat for transgender authors, what would it look like? Who would be there? What would make you want to attend? What would make it possible for you to attend?
Reblogged from smith-q-and-a :
For people who want updates about trans* women at Smith, major developments have happened in recent meetings with the administration and admissions. Here they are:
-Smith admissions will accept alternative documentation to confirm gender identity if there are inconsistent or non-female gender markers on admissions materials. It is still indeterminate what kind of language will be used on the website in the implementation of this change.
-Smith admissions will not consider financial aid/FAFSA documents when evaluating an applicant for consistent gender markers
-Smith will allow Q&A to create a “best practices” protocol for admissions employees to use when interacting with or advising trans applicants
-Further meetings with other administrators will discuss inclusion of information specific to trans women’s issues/transmisogyny during diversity trainings, use of preferred name in Smith documents and directories, and reporting/oversight on implementation of demands
-Smith can’t publish statistics about number of trans women applicants and acceptance ratios for confidentiality reasons, but might be able to direct trans women applicants to student organizers who can help oversee the process
-Student organizers and administrative officials will form a committee that will meet, ideally, 3 times a semester to talk about trans women’s inclusion at Smith college which will be co-facilitated by the student RCSG Coordinator (Q&A’s Emily Coffin) and Audrey Smith (Dean of Admissions)
Published by Smith Q&A
fb: Smith Q&A
Reblogged from shayvaalski :
"I don’t want the priority reading audience for our books to be non-queers. I don’t want them to be palatable to straight and cisgendered people. I don’t want publishers to have their cake and eat it too: slyly de-queer the book to appeal to cis/straight audiences and assume LGBTQ folks will figure it out and buy the book too. As Imogen Binnie unabashedly proclaimed at a recent reading in Vancouver from her new novel Nevada, which features a trans woman protagonist: “I don’t care if straight people read it.” I understand that literature is a very powerful activist tool and that non-queers reading about queers is a great thing. I can see that by not proclaiming their queer content on the cover that some books are going to gain readership they might not otherwise and that this reading experience might be transformative for said non-queer people and could positively impact their interactions with queers in the future. But that’s not as important to me as a queer person who needs queer literature finding and reading it."
Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, “Why I Don’t Want to Be a Queer Book Detective Anymore (Although I Do Still Want to Be Harriet the Spy)”
Apropos of the conversation the other day between HBBO and Shayvaalski about representation and writing marginalized characters for a privileged audience.
Also, I’ve seen Binnie’s name being thrown around like confetti almost daily for the last month. I’m special-ordering her novel right now for the library.
One thing I’ve learned from my love affair with Modernism, is that there is power in insisting that your art be taken on its own terms. Most of my favorite novels had, as one of their explicit goals, the creation of a new way to use language in the new (post-WWI) world. And they did not apologize for that. The old tools were broken, and they took seriously the need to create new ones that worked for themselves and their experience, without reference to whether it worked for their parents, or Arnold Bennett, or Mrs. Humphrey Ward down at the Times Literary Supplement. It was vital to them that they create art that matched their experience and their internal vision. So they created it.
I’m sure not saying that’s the only way to write or the only way to take your writing seriously. But I think in modern American culture “taking yourself seriously as a writer” has come to be synonymous with “writing something that will sell to the mainstream.” If you’re not doing that you’re viewed as pompous, or a dilettante. But commercial viability is not the only portion of art-making that can be taken seriously. Not by a long shot.
I keep thinking about the rise of the Christian Right, in the 80s. A relatively small group of people within the US Republican party made HUGE political inroads in the country at large, as well as moving their own party dramatically to the right, within an alarmingly short period of time. They did it, in large part, by aiming high and insisting on defining their own terms. I mean, I disagree with these people on just about everything, but you’ve got to hand it to them: the term “pro-life” is a brilliant piece of propaganda; it’s one that had the left playing catch-up for DECADES, while abortion rights were rapidly eroded all over the country. And if you’re constantly on defense rather than offense in this kind of battle, you can only ever hope to break even, never ahead.
I don’t want queer people to be in the same position vis-a-vis literature, as the left has been to the abortion debate. I don’t want us to be constantly begging at the door of the mainstream for acceptance and understanding. I want a queer literary culture so rich and deep, so vividly-realized, so true to the lived experience of queer humans—be that of fluid gender; of diverse attraction; of diverse practice; of sex as an integral and messy part of human experience; of relationships darker and brighter and more complicated than normative happy-ever-afters—that its importance in the larger literary fabric becomes, on its own terms, undeniable.
Hey Blue look, SUPPORT FOR YOUR THEORY OF WRITING.