Growing up, my dad had a rule. “You can’t get a tattoo. If you do, I will make you get it removed. Unless, that is, you join the army and can shoot a seagull in the eye from a mile away, or you have a near-death experience.”
On July 12, 2011, I rode my bicycle to the camp I worked at. On my way home, I rode down a hill, and stopped at the bottom. I looked both ways, and there was no car coming. I started to turn left when I got hit by a car going ~55 miles per hour. I completely shattered the windshield, and when the driver stopped, I was ejected back onto the road. The doctors in the emergency room were absolutely perplexed when I arrived, because they all agreed that I should have died, and they were amazed to release me 4 and a half hours later with only 16 stitches, a concussion, and a chipped tooth. During my recovery, I was angry and confused. A couple if days after my accident, I received cards from my eight year old campers. One of them drew a giant paper crane, and said, “if you fold a thousand paper cranes, you’ll get better”.
Not being able to read, ride a bicycle, or put stress on my body, I cut up an old sudoku puzzle, went on YouTube, and learned how to make a paper crane. By the end of the day, I had a laundry basket full of black and white paper cranes.
I kept making paper cranes, even after I made a thousand, and I ran into a dilemma. What do you do with paper cranes once you’ve made them? A girl in my class had committed suicide the same day I had my accident, and I brought a purple crane to her wake. Her family could not have been happier the moment I presented them with this crane. Something clicked in my head right there. I started giving them to people and hiding them in random places for people to find. I started making art with them, and they became a major part of who I was.
This tattoo is symbolic of my accident, and could not represent me any better.
Anonymous asked: you are a pretentious prick who is also a transphobic piece of trash, go to hell
There is so much of this stuff in my ask box, and most of it not even anonymous, but I don’t want to call out any particular user because I know they’ll then get a lot of hateful asks and the cycle will just continue.
First off, there’s a comma splice in your ask. I just have to let you know that, on account of how I’m a pretentious prick.
I hope that I’m not transphobic. I’ve been public and vocal in my support for the rights of trans people for years, and I’ve tried over the years to amplify trans voices, from T Cooper to Stephen Ira Beatty, rather than pretending to be able to speak for them.
Look, I am a person, and I am not a particularly good one. I am screwed up and make a lot of mistakes. But I am not a piece of trash. I would imagine that you are also screwed up and make a lot of mistakes, but you aren’t a piece of trash either.
But it is still hurtful—very hurtful—to hear people call me a piece of trash. It just makes me sad to hear, the way I think it would make most people sad to hear. The certainty and lack of nuance in that characterization reflects a broader lack of nuance in online discourse these days that just bums me out.
Stuff like this? It’s not activism. It’s hate mongering.
And it’s not even correct. Just because you levy an accusation at someone doesn’t make you right about it.
This is the kind of stuff that will ruin the internet, if we let it. I hope we can get ourselves together and end this so we can have good things.