Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

What Do You Really Mean when You Say, “Fuck the South?”

leave a comment »

A friend of a colleague posted this old article today on their wall. It’s from 2004. The year Swiftboating became a thing and the War on Terror was in its full horrific glory.

I get it. We, The Southeastern US, seceded from the Union in order to protect our Nation’s greatest shame, the enslavement of human beings. We would rather have protected the wealth of enslaved people than the wealth of morality. Our states seem to universally support right wing policies that hurt children, the poor, the disabled, veterans, black and brown people, immigrants, women and queer people. If you hit the oppression BINGO and belong to multiple identities here, our Southern leaders are really good at giving you the best ever of prizes.

I could spend time on refuting the facts of the founding fathers, who they were and where they came from, but probably a good listen to the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast recording will suffice.

I’ll refrain from addressing the cultural gems that are in the South: you can look up Nashville Hot Chicken, Delta Blues, and the Gullah Geechee on your own because Google is a thing.

I could get to the roads thing I guess, but it’s also pretty easy to Google “who pays for roads?” and learn that SPLOST and tSPLOST pay for lots of infrastructures.  It is certainly true that we don’t carry our weight when it comes to federal dollars in and out.

I wonder why that might be? Much of those lost taxes wouldn’t be paid for by most of us, since the South has some of the highest poverty in the country, especially when combined with the Appalachian region that overlaps the South. Hmm, who can and should be paying taxes and aren’t? I believe it might be new movie lots and production houses, car manufacturers and the music industry who all get huge tax breaks in order to move their businesses here, a right to work state, where they don’t pay their fair share AND *bonus* can ruin lives of workers at any time.

Is it possible that in the same way a gerrymandered district with no chance to elect a Democratic congressman in Georgia’s 6th was out voted by the wealthiest, whitest areas of the district, the entirety of the South might not be being represented adequately accurately, or fairly by those who have been elected?

I wonder why Dems can’t make gains in the South? Is it just because we are white and racist and classist? Sure, some of us are.

Though, lots and lots and lots of counties have 50% or more black populations.  Since the South has the largest concentration of black Americans/residents in the country, I’m going to go ahead and posit that racism and classism prevent the South from getting the representation we deserve and want, rather than the supposed fact that we are voting for what we have en masse. Black men represent 37% of the prison population, in a majority of states, those convicted of felonies are stripped of their basic human right to participate in the democratic process.

What about the poor and how they vote? Georgians overwhelmingly supported an expansion of Medicaid. Who chose not to do so?  Old, rich, white men in Atlanta.  That wasn’t put to a popular vote and gerrymandered districts made voting those same old, white men out of office difficult (see again GA 6th and Jason Carter’s bid for Governor.)

When you say fuck the South, you are saying fuck the most vulnerable and well, the other side is already doing that.

Written by thelittlepecan

July 3, 2017 at 10:41 pm

Posted in Sociology

Queer in the Academy

I wrote a guest blog for Edge for Scholars on being a queer scholar and how being out and proud makes me a better educator.
Welcome to Class, I’m Alana and I’m Queer.

Written by thelittlepecan

June 15, 2017 at 11:48 pm

Posted in Sociology

Does a year make any difference?

IMG_5428

I’m trying to decide how I feel today. I want to mourn, but I don’t want to center myself.

Let’s talk about Marsha. She wasn’t a drag queen and she wasn’t white. She was a black trans woman and she was a revolutionary.

Yeah, #HappyPride…but let’s remember that corporatization of everything is the path of the destruction of all things. The movement doesn’t stop with marriage-do you think trans people have no barriers to marriage?  When there are still barriers to bathroom access? When there are still barriers to dancing?

I saw one of Karen Handle’s commercials. Well, one by an outside org, but you know what I mean. Blaming Syrians for all of ISIS. As if ISIS isn’t killing Syrians.

Blaming Muslims for PULSE. As if queer people can’t also be Muslim and want to dance. As if many Muslims aren’t brown like Latinx people are sometimes brown and find themselves on the same shitty end of the privilege straw.

It’s worse today than it was last year.

At least 12 trans persons, mostly trans women of color, have lost their lives this year.

http://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-transgender-community-in-2017

Hate crimes against Muslims have increased each year.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/05/11/hate-crimes-against-muslims-us-continue-rise-2016

Queer Muslims continue to experience erasure

http://queermuslimproject.tumblr.com/

They experience death in some countries.

In Chechnya gay men are being detained and executed extrajudiciously.

Here are the queer Latinx persons who were murdered last year.

http://blacklivesmatter.com/in-honor-of-our-dead-queer-trans-muslim-black-we-will-be-free/

 

Fight for the dead by protecting the living.

#resist

Written by thelittlepecan

June 12, 2017 at 5:46 pm

Posted in Sociology

The Queerification of Me: Coming Out in the Wake of Pulse

The first time I fell in love with another woman, she held my hair as I vomited violently into the toilet and then she held my secret while I came to terms with being pregnant at 17 years old.

And then she kept my secret for 10 more years after I had my first abortion.

She loved me unconditionally when my first husband demanded I sever ties with her.

A demand that came only after determining that we were too intimate and therefore too powerful to be allowed a relationship.

Women who love each other are dangerous, y’all.

She is my first love..

However you think I mean that I can pretty well guarantee has no relationship with reality.

She still loves me unconditionally. And it was never our time and maybe it never will be, but my assumption has always been the porch in a rocking chair with sweet tea and bourbon while we laugh at the tricks gravity has played on our once lithe bodies after our husbands die and our children go on with their lives.

I’ve never “come out” to anyone. I have used passing as a way to hide away from hard conversations. I have used passing as a way to advance my own privilege. I have used passing as a way to self-denial.

Not today, Satan.

I’m a queer, pansexual, cis-gendered white woman married to a cis-gendered white male…*

And I think I’m just about tired enough of participating in my own erasure.

My marriage looks straight to you, but it’s not, so let me say that again for those in the back–MY MARRIAGE AND NON-MONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT STRAIGHT.

The love of women, genderqueer and non-conforming, and trans personalities and bodies and minds and souls will always be part of my relationships…if I’m fortunate enough to find those people who wish that with me.

Until someone threatened to out me at my job I let passing be enough…and then and ONLY then did I accept that I got to decide if I’m queer.

My family, my heart, my people and those families and hearts and peoples from communities I wish to ally and align myself with have been brutalized.

And I am broken.

But y’all, they done fucked around one too many times, though.

It’s always one too many times.

So, I’m broken, yes. I’m devastated and I don’t know moment to moment how I’m going to look the world in the eyes and say,  “Today I can.”

But I will.
Because I am tired and I am angry.

 

I’m here.

I’m queer.

 

You can get used to it, or we can burn it down.

 

 

This was my “coming out” statement on Facebook following the Pulse Nightclub shootings. I was on my way home from attending the NNAF abortion funds conference as a board member of the Magnolia Fund (please give them money). A radical, feminist, women of color centered space where I could #shoutyourabortion (well, should MY abortion) through the We Testify initiative. I could love on women and say #menaretrash and feel myself in all my feminist, loud, queer, awkward intelligence.

And then I got on the plane to go home and I saw.

And we sobbed silently on that plane all the way back to Atlanta from Houston.

I wrote about solidarity, but I also needed to be in solidarity with myself. With who I am.

As I prepare to go through relationship changes and personal changes and school and career changes, I acknowledge that I have a right to take up space in the queer community and in the world as a whole as a queer person.

Queer

 

*I realized after the fact that this might be read as thinking my cis-gender or race were being erased and that is absolutely not the case so while I leave this writing in its original form, the only parts of my identity I felt were being oppressed were those related to being a queer, non-monogamous woman.

Written by thelittlepecan

May 8, 2017 at 10:13 am

The Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab and I Said Namascray, Bitches

My friend Lisa has been asking me to go to yoga with her for going on three years. I did Pilates before and I really rebuffed the woo of yoga. 


I had been so wrapped up in my atheist identity that I left no space for anything that might be misconstrued as metaphysical or a threat to my non-belief. 


But I got to rehab and it was 12 Steps and find a higher power and honestly, my higher power is me! There’s nothing bigger than my own will to do right by myself.


I met Christine. She was our yoga and DBT instructor. Learning to sit with my own thoughts, listen to my own breath, stop worrying about who is checking out my ass in down dog was a very difficult task.


Christine invited me to be completely non-judgemental. With myself and with others. To laugh at myself if I fell out of tree pose. To cry when she touch my forehead during savasana. To feel my feelings and stop attributing those feelings to anything outside of myself, including god or whatever, that I am human and imperfect and that’s okay.


When Amy left and I was so alone, it was yoga class that helped me cope.


I am learning to understand that inner intensity, meditation and emotional literacy within myself is not connected to anything metaphysical if I don’t want it to be.

(Look! I can bloom my tree!)


I’ve got a long way to go. But I believe that this practice is saving my life, well, I believe that my choice to practice and commit is saving my life and is so much more useful than 12 step navel gazing and guilt and shame and war story sharing.


I am grateful for my mat. 

Written by thelittlepecan

May 7, 2017 at 2:26 pm

They Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab and I Said: We Found Love in a Hopeless Place

I didn’t even notice her the first day. She was in the bed and I was…well, terrified.

On the second day I saw her. I was smoking, still feeling really isolated. Trying to figure out my place amongst non-peers 15 years younger than me with no fucking clue the opportunity they were passing up. I know, because you couldn’t tell me shit as a 22 year old tweaker.

Black beanie. High-tops. Hoodie.

Smoking PallfuckingMalls.

(Oh, I wrote down words about it, but this one is from my memory.)

Swagger underneath a heavy cloak of insecurity. Chiseled cheekbones and clear hazel eyes. Really, they aren’t always hazel and I couldn’t even see them in that moment anyway.

In detox with me. The only other queer woman so far as I could tell, not that it would have mattered because I picked her.

I.Picked.Her.

In any other normal scenario I’d have been sidled up next to her at a bar, or making obnoxious googly eyes at this bad bitch hidden by the drums.

*look at me! look at me!*

I settled for an out of tune piece of shit guitar.

I don’t even know. I just knew she was the only person I had any interest in spending time with in that place. To find out that those feelings were reciprocated was the greatest gift I could have ever received there, besides the strength to stay sober. She was (and is) part of that strength.

When she has a moment of happiness, her face is the pure, innocent and unabashed joy of a child. Like wonder and excitement and newness all come together. She sparkles.

Of all the times I’ve ever wished someone could see themselves through my eyes, this is the most profound.

I found love and trust and companionship in one of the most hopeless places I’ve ever been in and it was one of the most ebullient experiences of my life.

Written by thelittlepecan

April 30, 2017 at 10:57 pm

They Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab and Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough

You know what doesn’t survive a PhD?

What won’t survive alcoholism?
What won’t survive an out of control child?
What won’t survive a plague of trauma unexamined?

A marriage. That’s what.

I’m going to live tweet, live blog, live live the revolution of my heart. Where I learn to love myself and put the needs of my child and my soul and my body and my ambitions before anything or anyone else. It’s not their fault. I readily give others these permissions to expect things from me and there’s just no consent on what I expect in return. And now, here we are. The proverbial house on sinking sand.

It’s sad. I’m sad. Relationship loss and grief is every bit as awful as death. Maybe more so. But sobriety is life. It’s the only thing keeping me alive.

And if you don’t want to hear about that because I’m not amending the constitution of my life in the timeline you have determined, well, then that’s all right. I’ll still be moving on my own pace. I get that I have been undeniably, brutally, in many cases unforgivably, selfish in the past. I have so much guilt and shame about that, things I can never undo. But I will not be made to feel guilt for working through and toward sobriety at a speed dictated by anyone other than myself and the Universe.

I said yes, yes, yes. This is the outcome of that.

Written by thelittlepecan

April 30, 2017 at 10:42 pm