How to build resilience in trans kids (and everyone else)

With all the focus on awful government news these days, it’s easy to forget how much power we have as individuals—and as a thriving community of queer and trans people and our allies.

Let’s not get locked in to planning for the next 4 years. Let’s also look at the next 40 and the next 400. We need queer and trans kids to grow up resilient and become powerful adults. We know this is possible because we have powerful queer and trans adults who grew up when U.S. culture was worse than it is now for queer and trans kids. Remember the 1980s? Or the 1950s?

Each of us has the opportunity to help build resilience in each other and in the next generation of queer and trans kids. Let’s look at how we do this:READ MORE

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2017 Year of Love

[Pictured above Amirah Sackett (left) and Rachel Gold at the Caravan of Love march in Minneapolis, Feb. 11, 2017.]

I’ve had some restless nights since the current regime was elected. Woke up panicky, wondering if they’d come for me. But I realized it wasn’t me they’d come for this time. Queer, white Jews in American—not the top of the hate list at the moment. We’re more in the middle. I started making lists of my friends, ranking them by the most vulnerable, so I’d know who to keep tabs on.

That was November. Now I’m making lists of who to pay attention to so I know when to show up and be part of the beautiful coalitions that are forming. I’m making lists of where I can make the biggest difference. I’m getting really excited for the next two-to-four years. It’s not going to be easy or comfortable, but we have one of the best opportunities in recent history to build immense coalitions across the U.S. and change the future for good.READ MORE

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Writing descriptions that reveal character

If you’re at GCLS this Saturday in D.C., I’m teaching a class with Laina Villeneuve: “Astonishingly Beautiful: Descriptions that Reveal Character.”

And if you were there, here’s the PPT: Descriptionclass.pdf

Among the cool things we’re going to talk about is all the work that description can do in a story. We often think that the work of description is to show something visually or, at best, to cover all five senses (six if you’re writing paranormal). But description can do so much more than that. It can:

  • Continue the action
  • Foreshadow
  • Give us the character/voice of the describer
  • Reveal character through traits/mannerisms
  • Give us a world/culture


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Apocalypse as a metaphor for compassion

This morning I woke up cranky and started thinking about apocalyptic stories, particularly the one in Mass Effect 3, and wondering if there’s a way in which they allow us to deal with our own sadness for the suffering we can’t fix in the world, and therefore open a path for us to become more compassionate.

The game starts with Earth under attack from an alien machine race known as the Reapers, who have come to wipe out all sentient, organic life in the galaxy. Massive robots rain down from the sky. Billions are killed.

In the midst of my bad mood, that felt comforting. I thought of Commander Shepard in the opening sequence standing in the open door of the Normandy and watching a small fraction of the evacuation, only to see the evacuation shuttles shot down a moment later. She must turn away from the destruction and go look for help for Earth.


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Happy Thanksgaming!

Thanksgamingwords2From the same family that brought you the hit holiday National Day Off for Jews (celebrated Dec. 25), we present: Thanksgaming! 

Celebrated annually on the same day as Thanksgiving, this holiday gives gamers everywhere a day to give thanks for our tremendous good fortune in the variety of great games available, the easy accessibility of the “flow” state to us, and the way games bring together diverse people over vast distances.

There are two main ways to celebrate this holiday (though of course you’re invited to invent more):

1. Spend the day at home in comfy clothes, eating easy to prepare foods and playing your favorite games. Periodically log in to the social networks of your choice and express heart-felt thanks for these wonderful games and your brilliant achievements in them. Congratulate your friends on their Thanksgaming achievements.

2. Spend the day with family and friends and play games together. Give thanks for the way games bond people, build teamwork, and keep your crazy relatives from fighting (much).

Isn’t it time for a holiday that unites gamers without requiring us to leave the comfort of our homes, dorms or apartments? Join us in celebrating Thanksgaming and consciously increasing the amount of happiness in the world by doing what you love to do and sharing that with others.


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