Hey folks, it’s exciting to be here.
My name is Eddie, and I’m not just a long-term lurker on Balloon-Juice, but also your unofficial resident Balloon-Juice artist. Back in 08, I made the original Tunch OBEY shirts and the drawings of Lily and Rosie that are still available in the BJ store. The angelic cat image that so often pops up on this page was a drawing I made for Cole back when Tunch went to kitty heaven in the sky, and it always makes me smile to see it.
I am extremely politically active, which I channel through my art. I’m a full-time artist for a living, primarily working as a director-choreographer, visual artist, and writer. I also teach courses in public speaking, directing, movement, and story-crafting. I have been really lucky to find a way of life where I am always fundamentally giving back to the world. In the last fourteen years, John has offered me the keys to the blog numerous times, and numerous times I have begun to draft something, chickened out, and gone back to lurking. I generally much prefer to be a behind-the-scenes kind of person…
But I can’t just exist lately… because I am trans. My very existence is deemed political. Not a day goes by where I don’t experience anti-trans propaganda. New anti-trans laws are being proposed and signed into law at a hysterical pace, politicians are building their entire platforms on eradicating trans folks, and newspapers like The NY Times and WaPo write furiously about the “trans debate.” Even the Pope decided to take a shot today!
To which I’ll say: There is no trans debate for me. I exist. I can’t “take sides” here, and the way the media is framing transgender issues is deeply harmful and painful.
Last Friday, I had coffee with a friend of mine, a very liberal older gay man who had a lot of concerns and questions about “gender affirming care” for children. I spent the next two hours breaking things down for him about what exactly that process looks like as someone who not only transitioned themselves as an adult, but what exactly we are talking about when it comes to gender affirming care for children. He told me that he learned so much and was surprised at how much the media was misrepresenting these issues, and he wished that more people could just sit down with me and learn from my experience, expertise, and resources.
So here I am! My goal as a poster is to provide more resources for all of you so that you can better understand how to argue when someone tries to “debate” trans rights. I will also field questions that come up in the comments when I have the time, although I really hate your commenting system (sorry, John) so I will likely always answer them within posts themselves. There is SO much information and there is SO much going on right now, that it’s hard to find a place to start, so I’ll begin by simply offering you the TedX talk I gave in 2020 that will give you a rundown of my own story and answer some of the questions people most commonly have about being trans.
I use they/them pronouns mostly, which was first used as a singular pronoun in the English Language by Geoffrey Chaucer around 1390, and was commonly used as a singular pronoun until the Victorian era. However, if you struggle with what you feel is a plural pronoun, you’re also welcome to use xe, xer, xers (pronounced ze, zer, zers, and used like “she, her, hers”). I find that once you offer the grammar police a new pronoun, they rapidly shut up. And for anyone saying, “THESE NEWFANGLED PRONOUNS,” xe has been in usage since the 1970s, so they can either shut the fuck up, or use the phonetically identical pronoun “Ze” which was first used in the 1840s.
I speak four languages and love history, linguistics, and kindly proving people wrong. Let’s dance.
I have some posts planned already, but please ask questions in the comments. I’m very good at providing great answers to “gotcha” questions, so feel free to make requests to boost your arsenal against anti-trans rhetoric. Forgive me as I figure out posting etiquette like how to add a category that is just “trans rights,” and make a “below the fold” link, which I swear I’ll know next time…
Here is also my CAT / ART TAX. His name is Baby, and he’s been around for about 16 years. We’ve had some crazy adventures, including him once escaping from his carrier on a place during take-off. If there is interest, Baby would be pleased to share more pics and stories.