Pastiche Foundation

Gender Variance made Simple

First Fundraiser wrap up and thoughts

I didn’t do a proper blog post on Friday, just a promo for a spur-of-the-minute fundraiser inspired by discovering TipJoy via Twitter. I will return to regular blogging shortly, but I wanted to discuss what I did right and wrong during this first cyber-push.

I confirmed some suspicions I had about fundraising, people and Project Pastiche itself these last few days. I had a feeling that this would be great for Project Pastiche’s visibility, and I was absolutely right. I gained new members for the Project, and got donations from absolute strangers thanks to a key set of awesome people. It also confirmed my personal opinions that positive language is the best way to go, and that no matter how positive you are, people will help you out with what you can do better.

For example, some of the things I say on my site make me uncomfortable. The specific quote is

“The surgery is life-preserving and very necessary.”

It’s kinda sketchy, but I couldn’t think of a better way to say it. I knew that at some point, someone would criticise it, and they did:

I have a problem with his claim that this surgery is “life-preserving and very necessary”. The only “risk” is that he might get depressed and commit suicide if people don’t give him money for a sex change.

That’s just juvenile. Lots of people want things really, really badly. Unless they’re under the age of 12, they don’t threaten to kill themselves if someone else doesn’t buy them what they want.

I responded with backup evidence (including a statement from the AMA) and asked the commenter what he would say. Unfortunately no response has been offered, so I’m opening this up for you, gentle reader. How would you say it?

Other things I did right:

  • Repeated requests for retweets
  • Keeping people updated on the status of the drive (on Twitter and Facebook alike)
  • Keeping these posts minimal–counter-intuitive to many Twitterers, but quite frankly, I don’t want to see 5 posts on the same thing in a row. I’m likely to unfollow or leave an email list because that person starts to look like a greedy gus to me. I’ve got my own bills and so do you.
  • I have to hat-tip to Save Karyn once again, because $1 is not intimidating. Some give less, some give more, but no matter how little people do or give, it means a lot.

Things I could have done better:

  • Made sure I knew TipJoy’s technology before I tried to use it, but I got a laugh out of my own shortcomings!
  • Done some kind of warm-up to let people know this was coming.

Some things that surprised me:

  • Just how effective this was for publicity and funds
  • TipJoy’s fee for service? 1.05%. Paypal is nearly double that, so I may transfer everything over.
  • I really need to up my comprehension before I do that.

Either way, I came away from that event really excited for the future of the Project… it only reinforced my belief that Project Pastiche will succeed. As always, I would love your feedback and suggestions… and by all means, the donations still coming in to my TipJoy Account are still welcome!


May 18, 2009 Posted by | Fundraising, rights, SOFFAs, Transition Ftm Transmen Transman Transgender Transsexual | | Leave a comment

Why the Government has no right to deny gay marriage

This is a response to an article Josh Bull shared with me called Why the Government has no Constitutional right to allow Gay Marriages!

The author of this essay included a note that expressed that he expected to be flamed for his opinion. I am not here to do that, but to speak my peace in the conversation about this cultural breakdown. He clearly spent time and effort on it, so it is only fair that I take him seriously and do the same.

First, to the definition of ‘Marriage’ as used in the article to which I’m responding: I don’t believe the author is referring to the relationship itself between persons of any gender… I am uncertain whether he objects to the relationship itself. I believe he is referring to Nuptual vows being a state-sponsored contract.

For what it’s worth, I agree absolutely that the government should get out of people’s bedrooms (provided what is happening there is consensual and between adults)… however, sometimes we have to play the cards we’re dealt. One of those cards is state-sponsored marriage, with benefits like tax relief, spousal social security, hospital visitation, and more.

Since we do have state-sponsored marriage, let’s start with this famous line from the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This quote alone, taken literally, pretty much blows any opposition to same-gender marriage out of the water. It says we are all equal and thus should all have the same rights. With that, let’s turn to the Constitution just as the author did–after all, there are a surprisingly small number of people who realise that the Constitution is intended to protect the people, not control them. Here is an excerpt from Section 10 of the Constitution:

No State shall … pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts …

That last bit is the most important. “Obligation of Contracts” can be simplified as the ability to enter contracts (provided the actors are adults of sound mind) and the requirement that, once entered, the contract must be fulfilled. Expanding that into the Constitutional context, that means it is illegal for any state to prevent adults of sound mind from entering contracts. Nuptual vows being a state-sponsored contract is ridiculous but true.

So I can think of two solutions: either anyone in our country can be legally unified to anyone they want, provided those persons are adults capable of consent; or we completely destroy State Marriage. All men (and women) in the United States are equal, their rights must be the same. Make it real. Make it true. Make our Founding Fathers proud.

I have trouble believing that heterosexual couples would willingly hand over the privileges they gain in being legally wed. Pragmatically speaking, then, I think the best thing to do bases itself on the lovely line with which I started… the one from the Declaration.

I don’t want someone else’s nonexegetic interpretation of the book I hold most dear and study most deeply to permit them to dehumanise me, to take away my rights, to compare me to a child molester or animal abuser. I want this fight to end. I want peace.

Most of all, I don’t want our country divided anymore. If we can get together across these supposed lines, we can then fulfill the Responsibilities we have in response to the Rights we are promised in the Constitution and Declaration: To hold the government accountable for what it does.

May 7, 2009 Posted by | civil unions, constitution, declaration of independence, Gay LGBT GLBT Christian Jesus God Equality Compassion Diversity Respect Conscious Conversation, government, marriage, rights | 6 Comments