Starting Over, What’s Ravn up to?

Greetings from my hideaway.

I am such an asshole. My sincerest apologies for dropping off the face of the earth once again.  I keep getting ‘likes’ on this page and I notice that there is traffic here.  I miss blogging so much, and I didn’t realize that my little prepper blog got so much attention. I suppose there are not many prepper blogs that come from a transgender perspective.

I had a realization today that for me I’m not prepping for when SHTF, because shit has hit the fan for me in the present. I need to get my ass in gear now.

A few updates on what has been going on in my life without getting into too much detail:

  • June, moved back to my college town, worked full time at a homeless shelter
  • July, went through a painful break-up (relationship of 6yrs)
  • Fall, started EMDR for my complex PTSD–it’s going well, healing and growth however is painful.
  • Fall, issues at work, interpersonal issues with coworkers,
  • Winter, quit full time job due to too much passive aggression among co-workers
  • January, I turned the big 30!
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  • January, got hired on the spot at the same Foundation I worked at in the town before at the branch here.
  • February, working only part-time, hours are not being met, learning frugality.

I reached some fitness goals too. I can dead-lift 225lbs, and I weigh only 132lbs. I reached my cut goals and my lifting goals.

I’m lifting heavier than I ever thought possible. I go to the gym 5-7 days a week. I’m now working more on endurance and flexibility—what good is strength if you can’t have agility, dexterity, and stamina?  My goal for this year is to be able to touch my toes. (Damn short hammies!)


I lost my health insurance when I quit my full-time position, but I did qualify for MNcare insurance.  However, I was in an insurance purgatory for a bit where I needed to pay for my scripts out of pocket. My health insurance starts next month and I will get reimbursed from the pharmacy.  I am hopeful that within the year I will get bumped up to a full-time position and have more hourly stability on the job. Meanwhile, my finances took a huge dive. It made me really learn how to manage my money and where it goes.  It’s these sorts of things that people don’t seem to understand that prepping is all about—-preparedness for anything–that includes job loss, illness, job change, etc.  I had plenty of food stored away this month and managed to only spend about $70 for food (You can do so much with potatoes).

In 4 months my lease is up and I well be venturing forth into finding a place of my own—no roommates. I need my own place.

I’ve been doing a lot when it comes to taking care of myself.  I feel like a loner most of the time now, but it’s given me time for deep introspection and reflection.  Along with counseling, I’m putting the pieces together of my fragmented sense of self. When it comes to prepping, I want to take a holistic approach and have all bases covered. It’s not just about stock-piling a bunch of stuff and doing bug-out drills. To me, Prepping is becoming self-reliant and learning to truly depend on yourself when you can’t depend on anybody else.

It’s so hard to trust anyone in this world, but I can trust myself to get my needs met and survive.  I do long for community someday. But right now, I need to get my shit together.

Thanks for reading,

Ravn Thor

The Transgender Prepper

 

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Why I feel so strongly about prepping: Part 1, Protection

Good morning,

This is a reflection post that will be going over my thoughts, feelings, and concerns that validate my vigilance about prepping.  There’s many a reason why this queer canary in the coal mine is sounding the alarm.  I’m not Chicken Little squawking that the sky is falling. I’m more like a Raven articulating the very real threat we must prepare for. These are not just  “what-if” scenarios.  These are things that are happening right now in the present and some that have a high chance of happening in the future.

First and foremost, what I mentioned in my introduction post about being transgender.

I need to make clear of the very real facts about the danger Trans people face.

Fact: The majority of the victims of hate
violence homicides (72%) in 2013 were
transgender women.

FACT: Transgender people were more likely
to experience police violence and physical
violence from law enforcement.

FACT: Transgender people of color were more
likely(6 times more likely) to experience police violence.

FACT: Transgender women were more
likely to experience sexual violence

IN 2015, AT LEAST 21 TRANSGENDER PEOPLE HAVE BEEN VICTIMS OF FATAL VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES, MORE KILLINGS OF TRANSGENDER PEOPLE THAN ANY OTHER YEAR ON RECORD

Rates of suicide for transgender youth and adults is astronomically high.

It’s extraordinarily dangerous being who you are as a LGBTQ person in America:

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), current data suggests that 20-25% of lesbian and gay people experience hate crimes within their lifetimes.

Most attacks on LGBT people are from strangers

LGBT people are more likely to be attacked by people they don’t know. 56.78% of respondents to the NCAVP survey said that the violence they’d experienced came from an unknown offender.

Police don’t respond to anti-LGBT violence properly

Police response to anti-LGBT violence is extremely uneven, with a majority of respondents saying that law enforcement was “hostile” or “indifferent” to their claims of violence. That’s why nearly half of victims didn’t even bother to report their attacks to police in the first place. And even when they did, only a tiny sliver classified the reported attack as one of bias.

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Sir Isaac Newton: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Since there have been more visibility for trans people and more acceptance, there has been a surge in backlash and violence against us.

Nearly a fifth of the 5,462 so-called single-bias hate crimes reported to the F.B.I. in 2014 were because of the target’s sexual orientation, or, in some cases, their perceived orientation.

Ironically, part of the reason for violence against L.G.B.T. people might have to do with a more accepting attitude toward gays and lesbians in recent decades, say people who study hate crimes.

As the majority of society becomes more tolerant of L.G.B.T. people, some of those who are opposed to them become more radical, said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Since the election there have been:

1,094 Bias-Related Incidents

I saw a FB post a few days after the election from a progressive friend who snarkily made the comment of how they better go out and buy a gun.  They weren’t being serious and were I think poking fun at how many conservatives ran out and spent boatloads of money on firearms because of the 2008, and 2012 election.  This person is not trans, person of color, poor, or queer, or disabled.

Just this morning, I read about  Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, a Transgender 2 spirit woman, who was an active community member for the group Sioux Falls Two-Spirit and Allies, was murdered.  She is the first known transgender homicide in South Dakota, and the 2nd transwoman to be murdered in 2017.

It suddenly dawned on me how much privilege is in the gun debate. People like that progressive friend above, do not have to worry about the kind of violence I have to worry about, and they are able to trust the police.

I’m all for peace, love, and nonviolence. But I think it’s foolish and frankly an act of violence to not protect yourself in any way that you can. Like, what are we expected to do? Ask nicely not to be killed? No. That’s not reality.  We need to protect ourselves. We need to learn how to shoot, how to handle guns and various weapons, we need to be able to protect ourselves 24/7.   The fact that over half of the violence that happens to LGBT people are from strangers should cause alarm. I don’t want to just be minding my own business going about my day only to be murdered by a complete stranger—my life stolen before my time. Not without a fight.

As the data shows, we cannot rely on the police, we cannot rely on the government, and solely on allies. We have to depend on ourselves and each other.

As a transgender person, it is an act of self love that I  give myself a Testosterone shot in my leg every week.  I also firmly believe that it is an act of self love to learn how to protect myself to ensure  self-preservation.

On my journey to self-reliance and being a prepper I am going to take up arms and learn how to shoot. I plan on saving up for an air-soft gun to practice with for awhile first. I will also learn how to use other weapons as well as my body as it’s own weapon.

I understand that this is a pretty loaded (no pun intended) post and some may not agree with my stance or politics. I hope we can find the common ground of wanting to live and survive.

Thanks for reading,

Ravn Thor

“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.”  bell hooks

Tying up loose ends–Getting documents in order.

Good afternoon,

For this particular post, I urge that time is of the essence.  After the next two weeks getting these ducks in a row may be much more difficult depending where you live.

For trans-folks it is essential to get your legal identification documents completed with your name change, and gender marker change on the following documents:

  • Driver’s License
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security
  • Passport

It varies state by state on how to do this and you can find your state here.

It took me a long time to finally get my gender-marker changed on my drivers license and social security.  The reason this hit so many bumps is because the only doctor in the state where I live who treats patients like me had his nurses write the gender-marker change letter.  This took about three different re-writes and caused much unnecessary stress. Depending on where you are, the DMV and SS have very specific sentences that need to be in these letters. The anxiety and stress behind all this was because it was hard to know whether or not the next person I interact with to get my drivers license and social security card gender marker changed would be accepting or neutral.  I’ve heard too many horror stories from my trans friends of being humiliated at the DMV or SS office. Anyway, here is a link for information about Social Security Gender Marker Change.

I need to change my Passport and Birth Certificate. I hope to get that done before the 20th.

Legal Documents to consider for Cis LGBQ folks

For those who are Cis(not-trans) and in the LGBQ(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer) alphabet there are some risks to certain rights that were gained from the previous administration that can very well be dissolved or revoked such as marriages.  I’m an activist and I fully support writing letters to politicians and making phone calls and forming demonstrations and all that jazz.  That is certainly part of it. However, this post(and blog for that matter) is more about how to survive in the meantime.

Off the top of my head I can think of two legal options to protect yourself and your family.

The first one is for both of you to give each other power of attorney. From the link:

“In critical situations, a hospital may only allow family members to visit a patient. If you and your partner aren’t married in the eyes of the law, will your access to your partner be restricted? Will doctors defer to the opinions and wishes of your partner’s parents?

If you are an LGBT couple or an unmarried hetero couple, you should consider creating a living will and healthcare power of attorney document naming your partner as your attorney-in-fact or healthcare proxy. This legal document helps ensure your partner can be involved in your medical treatment if you’ve been incapacitated and are unable to communicate.”

Here is another guide for legal planning for same-sex couples.

This is something I’ve been meaning to do with my significant other.  I also believe that if one is Asexual or someone who is not  in a committed relationship that during these times it could be vital to have one of your chosen family have your back legally.  Do you want someone you trust to help you during a crisis or do you want to be turned over to the State to make those decisions? That can be pretty scary when the State does not recognize our basic human rights.

The other option that I can think of is something that many gay couples had done before for legal protection.  It may sound strange but adoption is an option.  I’m not talking about adopting children.  I mean a partner adopting their partner.  Yeah, I know, that’s odd, but honestly I find this to be a brilliant idea to use when we live in a society that opposes marriage and the same legal protections that Hetero couples have from us.  It is something to consider if it comes to that.  Here’s another story about it.

Anyway, I hope to get these loose ends tied up for myself.  Good luck, comrades.

“Nobody’s going to save you. No one’s going to cut you down, cut the thorns thick around you. No one’s going to storm the castle walls nor kiss awake your birth, climb down your hair, nor mount you onto the white steed. There is no one who will feed the yearning. Face it. You will have to do, do it yourself.”
― Gloria E. Anzaldúa