Arrested Development

19 05 2012

Wow. We’ve both had the chorus of the Arrested Development song Tennessee running through our heads pretty regularly since the first, tentative offer was made for us to come here. We just finally looked up the lyrics to the rest of the song and were pretty blown away by how much of the song actually could be applied to us and our situation… It’s not the same at all and we are by no means trying to own anyone else’s suffering, but if you swap racial oppression with queer/trans and religious oppression, much of it rings true. (Before you say there is no comparison, please do your research about queer and trans people being lynched and hung in the deep south.)

Talking about this just now, we’ve just realized that we are going to be able to do a lot to ease the suffering of some of the trans dead here. Especially because of how much the trans dead as a group have helped to protect us in battle and because we are always honored to do something to help Hela and Her people (trans people are Hela’s people — you can’t transition without the death of some part of someone you once were, while there’s a much more dramatic death and rebirth for a lot of trans folks when starting hormones, having surgery or reaching other important milestones), we very much look forward to this Work. That’s not even touching upon our personal drives to help and ease suffering, however we’re able.

And we’re finally in a place to be able to start doing the Work for real.


by Arrested Development

Lord I’ve really been real stressed

Down and out, losin ground
Although I am black and proud
Problems got me pessimistic
Brothers and sisters keep messin up
Why does it have to be so damn tuff?
I don’t know where I can go
To let these ghosts out of my skull
My grandmas past, my brothers gone
I never at once felt so alone
I know you’re supposed to be my steering wheel
Not just my spare tire (home)
But lord I ask you (home)
To be my guiding force and truth (home)
For some strange reason it had to be (home)
He guided me to Tennessee (home)

(Chorus) Take me to another place
Take me to another land
Make me forget all that hurts me
Let me understand your plan

Lord it’s obvious we got a relationship
Talkin to each other every night and day
Although you’re superior over me
We talk to each other in a friendship way
Then outta nowhere you tell me to break
Outta the country and into more country
Past Dyesburg into Ripley
Where the ghost of childhood haunts me
Walk the roads my forefathers walked
Climbed the trees my forefathers hung from
Ask those trees for all their wisdom
They tell me my ears are so young (home)
Go back to from whence you came (home)
My family tree my family name (home)
For some strange reason it had to be (home)
He guided me to Tennessee (home)


Now I see the importance of history
Why people be in the mess that they be
Many journeys to freedom made in vain
By brothers on the corner playin ghetto games
I ask you lord why you enlightened me
Without the enlightment of all my folks
He said cuz I set myself on a quest for truth
And he was there to quench my thirst
But I am still thirsty…
The lord allowed me to drink some more
He said what I am searchin for are
The answers to all which are in front of me
The ultimate truth started to get blurry
For some strange reason it had to be
It was all a dream about Tennessee




2 responses

22 05 2012
ɐɹǝʞsısıɥʇ (@Vesperteen)

You do realize that most of those gay and trans individuals were people of color, too, right? Stop stepping on the experiences of individuals that are not like you because you want it to ‘fit’ with your ‘pain’, you will never really understand how it is to be judged on your skin tone, alone. I dare you to try this shit with someone who is trans and a person of color. You will receive only scorn. Read up on white privilege, please. It knows no lifestyle, binary, gender, religion, etc.

25 05 2012
Bri Broken

Not everyone who has been on the receiving end of oppressive behavior feels the need to obsessively compare and contrast their oppression with others’ in an effort to figure out who’s suffered more or whose oppression comes from a place that is more fucked up. Sometimes people are able to band together, upon realizing that they share something like having been judged and treated poorly based simply on who they are, in order to lend one another support.

I’m not sure what shit it is that you’re so angry about you feel the need to lash out at me, but you can’t say that I’ve never been judged based on the color of my skin — in fact, you did it when you wrote this comment, and you made a whole lot of other assumptions to go along with it. By no means have I tried to own anyone else’s experience or compare suffering by volume, which is impossible; I also specifically stated that our experiences are not the same as those captured in the song lyrics, even while I was explaining how and why they spoke to me so strongly.

%d bloggers like this: