Saturday 2 January 2016

Well, No....

A college education no longer functions – if it ever did – as a ticket out of poverty...
...because it's not a magic golden ticket, if you have too many other issues. And boy (girl?), do you have other issues!
...especially not for people at the crux of different forms of discrimination. As a trans person of color and survivor of LGBTQ youth homelessness, I struggled after graduating from college. Actually, that sentence belongs in the present tense: I am still struggling very much.

OK, so who is Christopher Soto?
Christopher Soto (aka Loma) is a poet and activist living in Brooklyn. Their (sic) chapbook Sad Girl Poems is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press in January 2016.
I graduated in May with my master’s degree from New York University. I have not been hired for full time work yet...
Gosh! The poetry business ain't hiring? Shocker!

Maybe you should have studied something else? I mean, it must be your fault that..

There is enough money in my savings account to last me until the end of February but, if I do not find work by then, I’m not sure what will happen. What is a survivor of LGBTQ youth homelessness going to do if they are facing employment discrimination, housing discrimination and have no familial support to help them during the transition out of college?
Yes, it's 'discrimination' that must be the answer.
I thought getting a higher education would make things different, but it turns out demographics have been stacked against me the whole time.
Yup, demographics are to blame. Not you. Of course.
This is a structural problem, so we need structural solutions. The LGBTQ movement should take notice – and take care – of the homeless youth (of color) in their community that struggle into young adulthood because of circumstances such as employment and housing discrimination.
Ah, because you're special, over and above anyone else. How nice!
Homeless LGBTQ youth need free and optional housing to supplement the estimated 4,000 beds available for homeless young adults nationwide, only about 350 of which are LGBTQ specific, the Ali Forney head told NBC News last year.
TANSTAAFL, chum...
We need affirmative action in the workplace and in housing (there are employment laws and housing laws to protect against gender-based discrimination but laws aren’t always followed).
So laws aren't followed, so we need more laws..?
We need to focus on decriminalizing sex work (as suggested by Amnesty International this year) and decriminalizing drug use (Portugal did it 14 years ago, and the prevalence of drug use dropped).
Wait, what? How on earth did this demand creep in, and .... why?
Homeless LGBTQ youth sometimes turn to alternative forms of income such as sex work and selling drugs in order to survive. This, in turn, means frequent contact with the police. People should not be criminalized for poverty.
Ah! Right. No, dear, you don't get busted for 'poverty', that's not on the statute books, but for prostitution and drug dealing. You don't need to do that, you could study (a genuine subject this time) and get a job.

Like everyone else.
We need healthcare and doctors who understand the trans community.
That might be a tough ask. Frankly, you're mostly hysterical and incoherent, at least, the public 'faces' of transgender, the squeaky wheels getting all the media grease, anyway.

You don't understand yourselves.
We need to be able to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of our choice and move through the world safely (gender discrimination guidelines like the ones New York City just passed are a start).
While you have the plumbing of a male, you'll use the male toilets. And vice versa. Don't like it? Get it cut off!
We need opportunities to help us succeed into our adulthood, to become the adults that we want to become.
You've had them. That you haven't made the most of them is....well, frankly, it's on you, isn't it?


ivan said...

What is a survivor of LGBTQ youth homelessness going to do Flip burgers, pump gas or any of the other jobs that those without real degrees do for a start to live.

Twenty Rothmans said...

It's a bit of a nuisance when you get out into the big bad world and find out how stupid you are, having been given the "Everyone is a winner" routine during what I can only assume was a subsidised "education".

Soto comes across to me as being borderline retarded, but not quite as stupid as people who buy the Guardian. It is particularly worrying to note that most of the people I see reading that rag alight at Westminster.

Soto can take his poetry and ram it up his quivering, transgendered freckle. He hasn't achieved not because he's a person of colour or because he likes cock from time to time. He hasn't achieved because he is a cretin. If your cake is a flop, you have to blame the cook.

Go to your mother - oh, sorry, that was culturally insensitive yo mama, Soto, and ask her why she gave you such a lousy batch of DNA.

Lord T said...

It has reached the stage where someone that ticks all the right boxes for the discrimination passes of today can't get a job. Seems like the economic migrates have finally flooded the unskilled job area. Perhaps we should consider slowing down the flood of these people.

So sad that these people are now hitting what the common and garden white male has been hitting for some time.


Anonymous said...


Oh dear what a pity how sad never mind. If for example this precious little flower had done a STEM subject no one would have given a toss about its sexual identity and whatever it believes itself to be would be in work.

That's it I have self identified as a fluffy bunny! I will now put fluffy bunny down on all official documents. I have outed myself as a fluffy bunny!

DavefromTacoma said...

I went to a large state university in the U.S. The graduation ceremony had gotten so large that they started having two ceremonies. One ceremony was for everyone graduating from the Business School, the Engineering School, and the School of Medicine. The other one was for those graduating from the Liberal Arts and Humanities School. The school newspaper snarkily referred to the first ceremony (business, engineering and medicine) as the "trade school ceremony". Funny thing is, everyone at that first ceremony got good jobs after graduation while those that graduated in the second ceremony ended up working at Starbucks.

Someone should've explained to this precious snowflake that poetry is a hobby not an occupation before they spent six years getting a masters degree in it.

Flaxen Saxon said...

Shit. There are always jobs at Maccas. He can practise his poetry and rail against the world in his own time. I write poetry but I don't expect to get paid for it.

Anonymous said...

I've just about got my head around the alphabet soup that is LGBT. But Q? Wossat?

Macheath said...

According to the offspring, the Q is for Queer (but it's one of those inconvenient words which, these days, can apparently only be used in the first person singular or plural, unless you fancy a socially awkward visit from the local constabulary). LGBT on its own is difficult enough for most people; I imagine this Christmas has seen more than a few conversations along the lines of "Isn't that some kind of sandwich, dear?"

Apparently the full Monty, so to speak, is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Allies, shortened to LGBT QQIA (to which I, for one, always want to add 'Cuthbert! Dibble! Grub!').

Anonymous said...

Macheath, you hater

It's LGBTTIQQ2SA, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, transsexual, Intersex, Questioning, Queer, Two-Spirit and Allies.

Just a minute, I've left out Pansexual and Assexual. O Noes, I've left out Poly-Amoric as well, so that's LGBTT ...

Anonymous said...

Personally, I look back to the good old days when LGBT meant that your car was supposed to go a bit fancier.

And, no-doubt, kept it's rear end against the wall.

Greencoat said...

'This is a structural problem, so we need structural solutions.'

How about a gibbet?

Longrider said...

I am trans. I also write poetry. Please can I have money?


Why-ever not?

JuliaM said...

"Soto comes across to me as being borderline retarded, but not quite as stupid as people who buy the Guardian."


"Seems like the economic migrates have finally flooded the unskilled job area."

Consequences, at last!

"Funny thing is, everyone at that first ceremony got good jobs after graduation..."

Funny how those with desired skills can always have the last laugh... ;)

JuliaM said...

"There are always jobs at Maccas. "

And toilets always need cleaning.

"... (to which I, for one, always want to add 'Cuthbert! Dibble! Grub!')."


"How about a gibbet?"