I’m twenty today! When I was a little kid I used to say twenty was when I’d be a grown-up, so according to eight-year-old Stephen, I am now an adult. I share this birthday with gender warrior Goblin King David Bowie and sex-positive warrior and inventor of the striptease Gypsy Rose Lee. (Also, Stephen Hawking! And the guy who wrote the words to Mexico’s national anthem!) It is also the date of an unsuccessful slave rebellion (1811), the only day in America’s history we’ve ever had zero national debt (1835), and the day Bush signed No Child Left Behind (vomit).
I don’t want a lot for my birthday, internet. I just want the end of oppression in all its forms. I’d like that to start with giving gifts to people close to my heart who are doing good and important work.
As a birthday present to me, please donate to Trans Youth Family Allies today. They save the lives of gender-variant children. I’m not exaggerating; I have absolutely no doubt that without the work TYFA does for their kids, plenty of those kids wouldn’t be alive. They save trans kids from bullying and harassing, both from their peers and from adults, sometimes even from authority figures like teachers. They save trans kids by getting them the medical care they need. They are doing some of the most important work I can think of. (They also have a store, by the way, if you long for some TYFA-themed boxers, which, I’ll be real with you, I kind of do.) You can sign up for a monthly donation at a fixed rate if you want, or you can do a one-time donation. I highly recommend the monthly!
But you always love the guest at the birthday party more who gives two gifts, right? You’re a little bit nicer to them the whole party because you can see that two gifts are wrapped in the same paper with a note from them on top. That’s why you should also donate to my friend Kevyn’s top surgery fund. Kevyn is an activist. We co-run an organization at our college; zie co-runs The Circle, an organization focused on getting resources to trans folks, with Ira Gray, and really zie is just a lovely sweet person who deserves health care. It would be a big present to me if you could help hir get that.
Nineteen was a weird as hell year, man. I mean, to begin with, there are people reading this thing now, whereas before it was like, folks from my community who knew me because I did activist stuff there and read my poetry at readings and shit. (I’m definitely a real writer; did you see that last sentence?) But now you’re all reading this, and I feel a responsibility towards you because of that. I’m trying hard to produce quality posts only and not to be too silly on Twitter. I hope I’m doing a good job. If I’m not, let me know.