Some feel as a butch woman, that wearing a dress or looking typically girl pretty devalues my butch cred. But that’s the same trap of devaluing the feminine. See, men and women will be equal only when typically masculine and typically feminine styles and looks are totally acceptable for both genders.
Well, I’ve never broken down in tears on stage, but this one hit me hard right in the middle.This is a departure from my usual work, but, it’s something that I think needs to be said. I said sometimes it seems like having the soul of a poet is like having an open wound. I just feel things, very deep, so deep that when I try to shake it, it rattles around, but won’t get out of my head until I write it or perform it…and even then.. it isn’t always exorcised.
Damn it Mr. Williams
Damn it Mr. Williams
Why the fuck.
Why don’t we cry for a person
When they’re still alive?
Why when they’re hurt,
Can’t we do more than make a face
and say ‘I sympathize’
Why doesn’t another person’s pain touch us until they’re gone?
Why can’t take away another person’s pain at all?
And why are people with such a depth of empathy, the tenderest caring souls who let the world truly touch them,
treated as though they’ve lost their minds,
Even before they lose their minds.
The end of life is death,
and death should make the story arc complete,
it feels as if when a person commits suicide their lives become a book with the last chapters torn out.
Damn it Mr. Williams, Damn it Ms. Monroe,
Damn it Hemmingway and Mr. Conaway and Gray
and Thompson, Plath, Hutchence, and Woolfe and Cobain
And Van Gogh
And everyone who ever killed themselves,
because, there was more story
And Damn it Justin
And Damn it my cousin
And Damn it my friend in high school
And I can’t judge
Damn it Me
I considered it too, so many times,
Stood right at the edge and looked down,
It looks so easy on TV
But it’s not
It’s hard to override the body’s overwhelming need to self preserve
When a person truncates their own fate, it has taken every last part of them to fight for that break.
I’ve driven blind,
and sped through bottles of pills,
never really attempting
still challenging death to take me
but I’m not hers yet.
I took the fear and the queasy chest
The endorphin high of pushing too far too fast as evidence that even though death was standing so very near,
That the fear was in some way,
a desire to live.
When you’re dead, you can’t change anyone’s mind anymore
And you can’t change you’re own ever again either.
If the one constant of existence is change
Even when the possibility of change doesn’t matter to me anymore,
I know objectively that will change too
Some suicides are selfish,
they don’t think about anyone else’s harm
But some care too much
Because an open heart
can be an open vein gushing empathy and love
The church has it wrong
these will be saints too
Because saints, are people who give everything
Giving so much, but not knowing how to accept the same gifts in return
Damn it Mr. Williams,
Damn it Robin, can I call you Robin?
and damn them whoever they are
The people or molecules in your brain, who pushed you to break and not bend.
I wish you had just one more change of mind, one more chapter.
I have written a piece about my experience with the Book of Face lately. Instead of targeting people who harass and intimidate others, regardless of the name they are using, they are shutting down profiles with “not real sounding” names if they can’t prove that’s their legal name. There are many reasons one would not want their legal name on the internet, psychologists with clients, people who have been stalked and harassed either in real life or online, performers, and trans people who haven’t been able to complete the process of changing their name yet. All have legitimate reasons for not wanting their legal name on the internet on a platform like Face Book with a less than stellar privacy record. Yet instead of owning their limitations, or even requiring a name on file that isn’t exposed to the public and letting people choose their public names, they are moving forward with closing accounts. I personally know or have met in real life, 9/10th of the people on my friends list, I have had my account for 5 years with no problems. I have paid to advertise my fan page, so I have participated in their economy. Yet I sit and wait to see whether that will all be erased by a key stroke over a flawed policy.
Posted to my personal page, September 21, 2014
Every time I search one of your names on G+ and come up empty I’m sad. I feel like I’m losing a kind of extended family. I’m only here because of all of you. FB really offers nothing that I can’t find anywhere else except for all of you. But even though I’ve spent so long getting to know all of you and sharing myself, FB doesn’t believe I legitimately exist. I feel hunted and afraid. FB has made me feel hunted and afraid. Some entitled asshole with high minded ideals of how safety *should* work can’t erase the fact that the first thing you tell a kid when they go online is that you don’t tell people your name. For their safety, to protect them. There is a reason that “outing” people is condemned in GLBT and other communities. It’s because people in marginalized groups know that no one can know better the circumstances of a person’s life and what they’ll have to deal with if they were out. They may be threatened, lose jobs, lose family. It is no one’s decision but the individual’s whether to tell others what they are all about.
I’m Fox in RL and online more than not. I’ve published, recorded and performed as Fox Smoulder for the last 13 years.
… You know what? FB has become just another abuser telling people they are crazy when they take legitimate steps to ensure their safety. FB has become just another bully telling people they can never choose their own identity or who they want to be in the world. And you know what they’ll say if I’m harassed and stalked online or in RL? Like any abuser they’ll say “well you shouldn’t have put yourself out there online.”
So yes. I’m gathering my things and trying to connect with you all elsewhere. You all are the reason I’m here and only a little everywhere else. I will be moving what community I’ve built here that I can to G+. Anyone who is over there circle me or whatever they call it.. And I’ll keep playing with people on Tumblr and Twitter. Pinning on Pinterest, blogging on WordPress and Livejournal and MySpace (sometimes) and I’m up in the air about Instagram, and my Fb fanpage. Because supporting in any way this kind of abuse even for a few cool filters or the ability to let you all know when my next show is, really rubs my fur the wrong way.
I do not take kindly to being threatened.
Some say the policy is as it is, deal with it. But the tech business has always had to change and shift as people begin to use products in unforeseen ways. Phones got microscopic, now they’re big again. Companies didn’t persist in only offering tiny phones when they found that people wanted different features. They even bought out contracts to get people into bigger phones sooner. That’s just good business when things change.
Like businesses, ideas have to change to successfully work when things change around them. The Book Face considering legal names as the only acceptable “real names” is a shit policy that needs to be rewritten. Why persist in offering a flawed product? Until the policy changes, real harassers and bullies will carry on, business as usual, but now with the explicit blessing of the platform itself, as long as the bullies use a “real sounding name”. Having a real sounding name or even their legal name, does not make hurtful people less assholes. These are people for whom accountability means nothing anyway. Not to mention that if Face began requiring a copy of an ID to open an account, no one would have ever signed up in the first place. People build community in unpredictable ways, sometimes with usernames, but that makes it no less legitimate. It just makes it harder for people with ill intent to find people’s street addresses. My bank needs my legal name, and that’s about it. Accepting accountability is not in a name, it is in the person and his/her actions.
Whenever self interested ideologues get power they seem to stop caring that their high minded ideals don’t work like they want them to in the real world, with real people. They start trying to force the world to fit their idea instead of adjusting their ideas to fit the rest of us. I speak as an artist. Artists are always among the first they come for. Maybe it’s because artists are often the ones that remind them of the human element, which they consider a flaw in humanity, rather than a flaw in their ideal plan to account for humanity. But it is a mistake to think people will participate in any community in which they do not feel safe.
A mistake that has yet to be fixed.
Interested in how I came to be known as Fox? What’s the big deal about a name anyway? Read here: What’s in a Name?
When I did my ice bucket challenge video I opened up my pants to reveal my Batman boxers.
Because everyone knows super heroes wear their costumes under their street clothes,
My Mom’s response in the comments:
“Is this porn? or stripping? In which case, you should be making money not supporting other’s causes. No, I’m not putting you down, I love it. I’ll bring some ice water for your triathlon on Sunday. …Mom
There was a time when I was skinny as a post and you thought I was fat,
You had a breast reduction when you were older but chided me for my chest being flat,
When I came out to you and you said Satan had possessed my soul,
And now you are saying you love that I may work wrapped around a pole?
Update: My mom gave me a check to send on to WARONALS.COM! I did another challenge to bring attention to War on ALS because I am a triathlete and I learned about Jon “Blazeman” Blais in 2005. He was diagnosed with ALS in May of ’05, finished the Hawaii Ironman in September of ’05. Unable to comet any longer, he was in Hawaii to cheer on a competitor named Brian Breen in ’06 and by ’07, Jon had passed on. So this challenge is to support War on ALS, the foundation set up in his honor.
I also challenged on Allison Moon, Sierra, and Patricia Tallman
On another note, I’ve gotten in a couple tangles with people about the ice bucket challenge wasting water…
Seriously, every one knows damn well there is no link between people without clean water and this challenge. It’s not drying out aquifers, or shutting off water to homes in Detroit, or draining reservoirs, but here: http://www.detroitwaterbrigade
or 100+ ways to conserve water Those links will get people started on a path to real water conservation efforts, rather than going online and poking at people who are just trying to do some good.
Yesterday I did a photo shoot for A project called Visible Bodies: Transgender Narratives Retold
It is a community project with the goal to ’empower trans people and educate cis gender people’. Some of you know, I haven’t always been comfortable with my gender identity. For a long time I felt I was expected to pick one and go all in, but neither gender fits me very well. Over time I learned that I don’t hate my body, I just hate the role in society that was expected of it. Because of projects like Visible Bodies where trans people can use their own voices and speak their truths, I’ve realized that the difficulty doesn’t lay within me, that the culture itself needs to be reshaped to serve all humanity, including myself, and that made all the difference. With Visible Bodies I can give back and add my voice as a gender queer performer telling my story too. Everyone’s story is unique, and it can not be over stated how much speaking out and being heard as trans, breaking that barrier of invisibility, can heal and strengthen a broken soul, and change the hearts of others.
If you identify as trans, visit their website. If you want to financially help with this project (every $ helps!) so more people can be heard, here is the link to the indiegogo fundraiser.
There are volunteer opportunities too!
Keep your eyes on my FB And Twitter feeds and ‘like’ their FB page for more updates. This is going to be an amazing project!