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The Unfacted: Lessons Learned Coming Out.

I wrote a little something on twitter about lessons learned coming out and living in a “make up your own facts” world.

The Donald Trump v Hillary Clinton election has given us a moment in which the threads of what the country appear to all agree upon are unravelling.

Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float level of narcissism seems to have given us a new level of ignoring or making up facts in politics and government.

Is it?

So many on the left are convinced of the need to only persuade with argument and the apparent hopelessness of this for our collective future safety when we cannot agree on basic things.

It’s not new that people in the US won’t accept facts. Here’s one example and some things I learned from it.

 

After Trump I Went to the Castro

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Youth Protesting in the Castro

I went to the Castro the night after Trump was elected to be with my people. I went there to fight Prop 8 and when marriage equality passed. It’s where queers marched the night Harvey Milk was killed by an elected white guy full of resentment and looking for someone he was allowed to blame. It’s where we lost a generation and where they were loved and mourned and fought for. It is the gay Jerusalem. After Harvey was killed, more people came out. When HIV/AIDS hit and decimated a generation and the President refused to even acknowledge this was happening, many well-to-do white, gay men came out and were outed, queer men and women united to work together and care for and bury our own. ACT UP was created. We organized. People learned about medicine and drugs. When Prop 8 passed in California, more straight folks joined us than ever before. Each time something unimagineably horrible has happened, something unimagineably powerful has been born in response. there has been no one leader. The change has come within each person and from what they have done.

I want to time travel to 1988 and tell everyone “We have the meds!!! You did it!! You cheated death! We have marriage, we’re not criminalized!! We have some trans* rights! Keep going! Come out.”

Some part of future me is here to tell you the same.

Losing Faith in the Media and Other People

November 11, 2016

I wrote this to someone sad and possibly in disbelief about the NY Times giving Trump the validation and narcissistic attention he has longed for without saying what he has done to get where he is, without making a moral and factual stand and calling things like racism and sexual assault and authoritarianism what they are.

This applies to much more than this one paper, or Jimmy Fallon mussing Trump’s hair like a playful fraternity brother. It applies to a lot of things and people that may begin to feel different that what you had believed. I urge you to consider that if something or someone seems different to you than you had imagined, that that is not just about someone else or something else changing. It is, most importantly, about you changing. When you do think, and not just feel about it (critical!) you will find that your own present conclusion means you now believe you were misguided before or did not see as whole a picture before. Consider why you didn’t and what that way of seeing and believing meant to you. These are suggestions I am offering from my own experiences of loss. Everything Is Subject to Change. #EISTC:

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It is painful to see the places and people one believed were safe and enduring “homes” appear to not be what we’d believed : an external consistent safe and reliable place. The “parent” element we look for and project into so much and so many. It is believe it or not, good that you feel the disappointment. It is healthy. It is so hard. I am sorry for the feeling and it is good to be in community to help as we have these feelings. But it is not feeling** that allows illusions and projections to rule us, to give our unwitting obedience to something other than our own connection to our inner guidance. It is a lonely, abandoning feeling path but it is one many millions are now on. You are not alone. You are becoming more yourself. With all of us.

Why Didn’t People Vote?

November 14, 2016

Why did people not vote?

Comey FBI “surprise” delighted on from the Bannon / Trump campaign. Last minute suprise plot twist! Stay tuned!

But you can’t pull the pieces apart.
Patriarchy, sometimes “she’s not one of the good ones, like me. Sometimes ”uppity cunt.“”

White supremacy.

Media, global economic change, failure of straight up talk from elected officials, GOP stonewalling for a generation, liberals failing to vote in midterms, hammered narrative about Hillary not Ms Rodham Clintons wickedness evil ambitious Lady MacBeth cackling. Email email. So much media time about email.

Very little coverage in media and TV of Trump’s fascist working and rallies. I’ve never been anywhere that men don’t get to say and do what they want to women. Isn’t that what life just is? Economic depression, felony convictions, systemic imprisonment of people of colour, lies to white folks from the GOP, the Roseanne show ending.

SCOTUS gutting the Voting Rights Act, States doing the same. Voter ID requirements. Fear of the government for deportation. Fear. Not knowing you can get a lift to the polls. Not having many polls. A long line at the polls. Not getting time off work. Believing fake news you saw on Facebook or TV. Trump and Bannons and Ailes and Stone getting in the vote. It’s rigged. I’m not sure I’ll accept it.

Bernie Sanders and so many others telling you “they’re both the same.” Not learning in school how the basics of democracy work. Not understanind that Trump is fascist and corrupt. The word tremendous. Not knowing where to go to vote. Having a doctors appointment. Not wanting to miss your show on TV. Did I mention she sent emails?

I don’t get exactly what I want. Being afraid people will have guns at the polls. Failing to know that people died for your freedom to vote. Not having someone growing up who always voted. Not having someone who believes in you and says you matter. Helplessness, not believing your vote will matter.

Where’s Daddy?

Bitterness for Sanders. Bernie or Bust. Humans have nothing to do with it, what happens is up to Jehovah and so she will never vote, said two young Black women to me. “I’m not going to vote,” said Trent pushing me in a wheelchair through the Las Vegas airport. “We’re going to have a war no matter who I’d rather save lives than take them.” He is going to play D+D still. He still is going to recycle his soda can.

So many reasons. So many versions of helplessness, so many versions of “Daddy beat me for my own good.”

It came down to not so many of them in a few neighborhoods in the midwest.

There is a third party in the US. This is it.

Compassion and White Liberal 12 Step

Compassion and empathy are important things to have. But who needs it most right now from you? Where will it do some good immediately? Do you have compassion more for the people scared out of their minds about real impending persecution? Are you able to care first for yourself and see and handle your fear? Are you able to see first what are real risks and harms in the world today right where you are? Do you believe intellectually understanding something will make your feelings of fear or disorientation go away? Do you have a fantasy about placating someone who isn’t interested in what you’re saying? White liberals need to stop going to the hardware store looking for bread. Build bakeries.

My Systemic Podcast Interview

I was interviewed, just before the election, by Brett Terpstra on Systematic Podcast. I was really happy to get to talk with Brett who has built, among other things, the brilliant nvalt a note taking text editor for the Mac. It’s a double episode and we talked–among other things– about comedy, the Net’s influence on me, and Iggy Pop. You can hear it in your podcast apps or here on this page where you can also see the notes and my recommendations of great stuff.

Hillary Clinton Lost Because She Is a Woman

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Hillary Clinton from the National Archive

I have issues with Ms Henein for her approach to defending Ghomeshi and the way she attacked the women who brought charges. So I recognize some irony in this extremely well-written op- ed of hers because I believe she professionally took plenty of advantage of the dismissal of women voices in public, adding to it. (Yes I get that it is a common tactic in her job. Yes I went to law school, I get how it works). BUT she is willing to say about Hillary Clinton what few mainstream media spaces are saying in the US today (yet another reflection of sexism), “She lost because she is a woman.”

Yes.

Hillary Rodham Clinton wasn’t just opposed by the GOP and the industry of conservative and far right media. She was attacked by the FBI. Wikileaks went after her, Russia. This reminded me of my mentor law prof’s tenure review. Her feminism and femaleness and scholarship so flipped out so many men that Law and Econ profs across the country decided to wage a national campaign to Northwestern University to stop her tenure even when the law school recommended her and her work was unquestionable.

There is room enough for us all to speak and completely be ourselves in public. But we won’t live that reality until we women take, not request, our full rightful place in public and the men that are terrified by that deal with their feelings on their own. It is possible. It will happen. But it won’t until we stop the emotional labour and the stooping and smoothing over and just take our place over and over again. We will have to deal with the discomfort of male discomfort over and over and our fear of their fear. We have to let them be afraid and angry and stay focused for support on our own guiding star and our own groundedness, each other, and those who are able to hear and see us.

I know from coming out, eventually, the reality of the full you, when it does not move and go away, becomes more difficult to pretend and wish away.

 

The waning hours of patriarchy.

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The core thrust of misogyny is the dismissal of women’s voices and experience. It’s the sometimes explicitly but often implied statements: “you don’t matter(,)” “you have no credibility” and above all “I can’t hear or see you.” Speaking up means opening yourself up for versions of all of this, sometimes from people you previously really trusted and cared about.

I’m proud to be part of Helena Price’s newest project of women who support Hillary Rodham Clinton for President. It’s already been covered by Glamour, Time and CNN.

 

My Google Talk. How to Tummel: Design for Conversation

I show and explain how to engage the room in a performance or talk. I teach this approach in UnPresenting workshops and in-house training.
Email to arrange one
.

I sign with Stars Agency and Interview Tig Notaro at BlogHer

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It’s a week with some good news! I’m pleased to say that I’ve just signed with Stars Agency, NoCal’s top acting agency for on camera work. In case you’re curious here’s my reel.

I’ll also be hosting a panel at the 16th BlogHer conference this week in LA. A lot has changed since I performed at the very first BlogHer. Women like Kim Kardashian and Mayim Bialik will be keynoting and thousands of bloggers will be there. I’ll be hosting a timely conversation called Keeping Friends During a Heated Political Season with Tracy Viselli, Sugar Jones and Xenia Galaviz. It’s August 5th at 10:15am. If you’ll be there come say hi.

Saturday, I’ll also be hosting an Amazon Studios screening of Tig Notaro’s new series One Mississippi and interviewing Tig afterwards. The series is also produced by Diablo Cody (United States of Tara) and Louis CK (Louis).

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I recently guested on She Knows, the podcast of the group that puts on BlogHer in an episode titled How Humor Can Hack Social Change along with humorists Jenny Yang and Luvvie Ajayi. Elisa Camahort Page did an excellent job ofhosting.

I’ve not been at a blogging conference in some time. I’m hoping it

‘s still full of meeting people whom you only know by odd Internet handles (the first Net person I really noticed back in 1996 was an Enhanced CD developer named steakface),  having great conversations in halls, and constantly charging our devices.



Copyright © 1998-2016 Heather Gold.

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