Day 10 – News You Can Use


I don’t have any tattoos, but I would like to get this and every other slogan off an Asian tee off the cloth and onto my back.

Today I watched a video of John McEnroe take down Margaret Court for homophobic comments and the outpouring of public support for his #takedown. Two white people taking each other to task for homophobia. I see a lot of this, and as a queer person, I’m glad it exists. I just wish I saw more of it around both individual, intentional acts of racism and systemic racism. See here for video.

Winnie and I spoke today about scarcity. It’s an interesting concept because attitudes about scarcity often manifest as anxiety. If we don’t say YES to everything that seems good, we worry we’ll never get another chance. I once had an opportunity to change a novella-length of mine for an agent who said he would love to try and sell it as a book. Mind you, I’ve been working on a different book for a very long time. I said no because I was too exhausted to work on changing my short story into a novel even though I knew I was lucky to even get this opportunity. What if this was my only chance to publish? But the truth is I didn’t WANT to do it. I didn’t want to spend time on that project. I didn’t, and even without a book published today, I still feel no regret. I spent a lot of time, per T and my Doctor’s advice, envisioning my success and fantasizing about it.

The Doctor once advised me, “Perhaps when you write you should think about what benefit it could have for somebody who’s meant to read it. Maybe it makes no difference to you, but it could make a difference to them.”

In watching the endless streams of commentary and ❤ emoticons supporting the new Wonder Woman, it seems so difficult and (unpopular) to even make visible Gal Gadot’s Zionism/Pro-Israeli Defense Forces stance and to criticize her for supporting the killing of Palestinian civilians. I actually ❤ Wonder Woman. My brother flung his first lasso thanks to her. Her invisible jet has been the subject of one of my worst jokes. A woman as strong as a man raised me because the tv that raised me had her in it. It seems really easy to proclaim that Wonder Woman has a universal message that empowers women. So then I have to ask why some women’s lives are worthy and others are not. This article, among many others, was great / enlightening:

The other night I was hanging out with Bollywood Heartthrob. We’d had a delicious Thai meal that redeemed my entire existence in the suburban Hell in which I find myself. There was an appetizer called moneybags that Bollywood Heartthrob pointed out was basically as cute as the ones in Duck Tales. Bollywood Heartthrob also lives with her mother in the burbs. This is the little known price I’m paying so that I can pay the price of sperm banks and single motherhood. It’s also a gift so I have no true complaints, but I am finding myself in a moray of boundary issues. Anyway, I was dropping Bollywood Heartthrob off when her mom called. “OMG, don’t you hate it when your mom calls on a Saturday night and asks where you are or what time you’re coming home?” I almost started crying I was laughing so hard on the inside. Relief. That’s what that was. Somebody else gets my pain.

I can’t stand the way racism operates in the US. It’s full of people who believe that there’s one way to be Asian, to be Black, to be Muslim, to be Hindu, to be Queer. And all of those ways are spelled like this: O-T-H-E-R. Or, N-O-T M-E.

The comedian Jenny Yang posted the following and flagged the headline as notable. I agree. It made me feel that happiness truly was everyday and truly was natural style.

Man Allegedly Bench-Presses Goose for 10 Minutes at L.A. Park; Goose Allegedly Loves It


I got into a heated discussion with a sperm bank receptionist the other day where a guy actually wrote under race: Asian, Mixed, Canadian, Taiwanese. I did my best to understand when the sperm bank receptionist said “Well, it’s self-identified by the donor, so he just wanted to put that about himself so you would know.”
“Right, I said, so what’s his racial mix besides Taiwanese?”
“What do you mean? He’s from Canada.”
“Is he Vietnamese from Canada, Black from Canada, or White from Canada? I’m assume he’s White right?”
“Well, we don’t know the exact mix, and that’s what he wanted to put.”
“Okay, well it’s not as if you’d let me put whatever I thought was my race, right? Like, can I put alien?” (okay, it was a thought.)
“He’s half white and half Taiwanese.”

Kazim Ali’s book Fasting for Ramadan is life-changing. He especially wants to know what you think of the recipes. The vegan chocolate ice cream is especially good.

I had a moment the other day when somebody posted about Manchester, and I realized that nobody cared about Yemen or Baghdad. It’s wrong how we distinguish which lives matter. But #BlackLivesMatter and so all of you already knew how we do here in the US. Skin color, genitalia, and class. (Coincidentally, you only know the first one of those with sperm banks – the second one is assumed – the third it’s not in their interest to disclose.) #Spermploitation. But seriously, as my dear friend Brilliant Black Girl said about this process — you start to get real rankled thinking about the amount of sperm being flushed down toilets and how men control so much and so many of them are gendered so as to share or spread their sperm (especially without having to be responsible for their babies) as much as possible and then when a woman wants sperm, sometimes precisely for the reason that a man doesn’t have to be in the picture or be responsible for the baby, then it becomes this rare commodity that the men don’t want to share and that the woman has to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for. Roughly $700 for one specimen. That’s the going rate. There’s a difference between fatherhood and spermhood, but there are days when I think the real problem is that our society hasn’t taught us how to distinguish between them.

Here’s a great episode from comedian and friend Kristina Wong. I adore her. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY KWONG!

Here’s some insight into the sperm industry for any of you who’ve ever had to navigate it, or are thinking about it. INSIGHT: I’ve never paid this much money and received so much meaningless information. And, there are so many bells and whistles with these mills — I mean banks. Dollars here for more photos. Dollars there for an essay. Dollars back here for an interview. Wait for it — there’s a service that will let you blend people’s faces together. Truthfully, I have no idea how any child is going to turn out, but I’m supposed to spend hours and hours on this crap of picking a sperm donor. Oh, did I mention that gay men can’t donate (if they out themselves, I suppose) to many, if not most, banks? Oh, did I mention how unavailable all of this is $$ for queer folks — who already have other economic barriers…exactly.

I don’t know if you want to read about sperm banks and motherhood. Maybe not. It feels awkward and weird to talk about it for me. But as I was talking about it with Lisa Ko, dear friend and author of The Leavers (best book of the year people), she helped me to realize that us not talking about this stuff, keeping it quiet, also means information is cut off and queer stories are cut off, and as a result, people like me feel alone and faraway from what’s expected and typical – to queer every system.

You deserve to have news you can use.



Get the book so your soul never goes hungry.

Here’s the recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Vegan Ice Cream…in Kazim Ali’s Fasting for Ramadan.





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