ALA jerks about their Nevada description
(x-posted from my Facebook)
Okay, uh so: yesterday Tom Léger posted that Imogen Binnie’s rad book NEVADA (which everyone oughta read) was listed on the 2014 Over the Rainbow List, yay! This list, published by the American Library Associations’s LGBT Round Table, lists 74 fun LGBT-centric books published for Adult Readers in 2013, giving you EASY ACCESS to excellent LGBT works published in the past year. (Also on the list: the Zan Christensen-edited Anything that Loves, and Seven Stories Press’s Mundo Cruel, congrats!)
The problem was the description used to allow readers of this list to decide whether or not they wanted to read the book. I wish I had the original description, but it was something pretty close to this:
"Punk trans woman Maria Griffiths, who is too poor to afford surgery, breaks up with her trans girlfriend and, as her life unravels, travels to Nevada where she encounters surly James, a twenty-year-old who likes to look at pictures of men who have become women."
In other words it’s THE WORST POSSIBLE DESCRIPTION OF NEVADA IMAGINABLE, both (1) factually inaccurate and (2) super insulting. Fortunately, a lot of griping on the Internet happened, and OUR VOICES WERE HEARD with this new description:
"Transgender person Maria speaks in the 3rd person from a "personal" view and gives voice to a powerful transgender manifesto within the novel."
Q: Is this like a really inept attempt to make amends, or an attempt to punish and other trans women for complaining about a mainstream LGBT organization (or at least the LGBT branch of a mainstream organization) once again just kinda not giving a shit?
The original description sucked, make no mistake. What’s really really objectionable is that it was replaced by maybe the most passive aggressive thing possible in a way that’s clearly either contemptuous or punitive. In either case, the thought process of whoever made the edits can be pretty easily mathematically reduced to: “Don’t like my description? Well, fuck you! Find something to complain about with this one!” You can view that basic emotion with as much charity as you like—“Oh no, my description offended! I’d better avoid getting too specific about anything in order to placate these clearly irrational individuals” is about the most charitable I can imagine—but it’s still essentially either contempt or punishment. FOR A BOOK THEY ARE HONORING.
Like of course people are going to get things wrong, of course like It Takes Time, of course it’s cool that the ALA has an LGBT roundtable to create lists like this, sure, count yr blessings. But it makes me pretty mad because NEVADA is REALLY REALLY GOOD and does not deserve this.
This reminds me of that thing where you call out a cis person for misgendering you and instead of calling you by the correct pronouns or names, they do enormous feats of linguistic gymnastics to avoid referring to you by your actual name or pronouns or giving any sort of respect whatsoever.
IT’S EASIER TO JUST RESPECT US, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE.
You know they purposefully chose the phrase “transgender person” instead of “transgender woman”. You know they purposefully chose those scare quotes.
Jesus fucking Christ.
Anastasia and Tangled have the distinction of being two princess movies where the plot resolves via recovered repressed memories
No wonder I like them so much. Remembering my repressed girlhood in the depths of the black hole of what was done to me.
Meeting Hank Green, A Tale.
He walks up to the door of the YouTube space, I keep in mind that I’m trying to get an internship at What’s Trending. So I have to be a PA first, and a nerdfighter second. I ask him, “Hank, did you want to walk the red (it was really blue) carpet?”
He replies, “…. Can I go pee first?”
Pleasure to meet you!
I met Hank Green outside a hotel in London, quite by accident. I said “Hank!” a little giddy. He said “I’m just gonna hug you then go into my hotel, cause I need to pee.”
We hugged. He went into the hotel, I did an internal dance, then went to catch my train (and text my brother, who was enormously jealous mwahaha).
Apparently I have to pee a lot. I have to pee right now, actually…
Hank, if you ever need advice on dealing with frequent urination, ask any trans woman on hormones. We’re professionals. We’ve got this.