submissions for the frei art cooperative

we are looking for submissions: poetry, short stories, articles!   if you are an indie artist we would love to hear from you!

we have several projects going on right now.

the contritions of the phoenix zine that focuses on indie art (visual, written, musical) and social commentary that sheds light on classism, queer related issues,the environment, sexism as well as global events.  we also like jokes-a lot of jokes.

wild flowers for eric is a zine that focuses on mental illness.  we are looking for stories, art, music that brings mental illnesses to the forefront in order to help people understand the struggle of living with mental illness, loving someone who has a mental illness and hopefully how to navigate through society to find help.  all the proceeds will be going to a family who lost a husband/father to suicide.

and the topic is…a panel of individuals from varying backgrounds all presenting their side of a different queer related topic every month.

we want to present a wide variety of artists!  if you have art, stories, articles, rants, reviews, comics, music, etc that you would like to submit please email thefreiartcooperative@gmail.com 

thanks-grace

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i watched you devour my heart/somethings you can’t apologize away

we are circus freaks

ornamental and flamboyant

we are miscreants

abominable, undesirable, unacceptable

the house of vipers and lies

blending enough reality

to disguise falsehood

we only know how to dance

to the rhythm of disingenuous

we are heathens, unkept

there is no place for us

in the progressive high society

such sweet liberals

fighting for the freedoms

when it is understood and direct

“fighting for the rights of homos

well, that’s just…..messy”

there is no place for us

in the gutters and the slums

we are the first raped

we are the first killed

we are the last noticed

missing signs picturing

dykes/twinks/muff-munchers/bears/queens with things/kings without

don’t get much circulation

what is a fag worth these days?

a chicken?

the sound of bone smashed on the curb

holds a different pitch than on asphalt

blood stains the earth

an unholy sacrifice

stalking, preying, torturing, burning, bleeding

but the forces and consequences are not mine

i watch the fear, the trembling

i hear the sobbing and moans of loneliness

i bare witness to the damn breaking

knowing without doubt

there will never be safety again

i’ve held the hands of strangers

who were never strangers

because we were/are/forever will be

comrades in a war to exterminate

we nefarious, perverse monsters

we will paint our faces with delicate smiles

with just the right tones and hues

it will be beautiful

it will be fantastic

when 20 years have flown by

and the pictures are pulled out

and bouncing babies are asking questions

there will be no reason to explain

the carnie freakshow that is us

 

 

mine is bigger than yours

 

fresh off the presses

it’s nice to meet you

i see you are gay

don’t worry, i am accepting

i once knew a woman

who had a cousin that was one

you know he was

ummmm…like you

then i read a book

about timmy and his two mommies

and before i threw it in the fire

i thought how timmy must feel

and i was a bit concerned

but only because if he had

two mommies who taught

the poor child to pee standing up?

i am an expert on all things gay!

once there was a black man

who worked in the warehouse

he was good for a black guy.

we weren’t friends, but we talked occasionally.

i heard some of that martin luther king jr speech.

i am an expert in being a person of color.

there was one day, i talked to a muslim woman

she told me her beauty is a gift

i told her to take the damn scarf off her face

and get with the program of the new world

this isn’t the 19th century anymore.

a tear fell from her eye and became a stain

on the mask she chooses to wear

no man or god can tell me what to do!

i did see that documentary over

the prophet muhammad on the history channel

i now an expert on all things islamic.

one day i was getting into my prius

my sweet sweet hippie-mobile

with the proper amount of bumper stickers

showing my progressive politics

letting everyone know how

radical i am in my efforts to

change the world making it a better place.

i read this article on the ozone layer

i am an expert on all things ecological

a black man who was obviously on crack

came and asked for some change.

he said he was hungry and all

though he was skin and bones

his face ghostly, gaunt, quite ashen

there was no way i was going

to help this man buy more drugs

i saw an intervention once or twice

i am an expert on all drug use.

one day i was walking through the park

and this thing passed me on the hiking trail

it was a shim-you know a man dressed like a woman

obviously not a real woman, the walk releasing

all the secrets attached to his genitals

i changed courses and caught up to him.

i told him i just had a few questions

“so do you have a you know…penis?

where do you put it?  is it really little

and that is why you dress like a girl?”

he broke into a run for some reason

it seemed almost as though he

didn’t want to tell me

what’s going on in his pants

but i am entitled that information

i have gone to a drag show

they are really funny

i am an expert on all things transvestite.

another day i was driving to the grocery store

and the cars were going less than 20 miles an hour

it was so slow, and really i had somewhere i needed to be

i had no time for this nonsense

i switched lanes and saw a man in a wheelchair

puttering down the road holding up traffic.

there aren’t sidewalks, but i doubt

he really needed to be somewhere

bad enough to hold up traffic

one day i read a book about a woman

who lost her legs in an accident.

i am an expert on all things disabled.

i don’t see the trouble

i don’t understand what these people

have to be upset about.

i have known oppression

i was born with a vagina and not a penis

not even a nubbin of a penis

is quite horrible, but i smile through

the difficulty

it’s only natural for men

to oogle me

it makes me feel

pretty

attractive

desired.

i  have been able to swim

the river of oppression

and i have had it much worst

than those others who chose

to not blend in

insisting on

their personal identity being counted

i am an expert on all things oppressive!

so if all those people would just shut up

at least try to look normal

stop being so weird

life would be much more simple

there are gay conversion clinics

organizations teaching muslim women not to submit

the trannies decide to go into public like that

there are drug rehab facilities

the cripples are looking for sympathy

the poor need to stop being so lazy

my difficulty is unavoidable

my oppression is the real deal

i am sick of people wallowing

in the “poor me” mud

that it is their choice

to be knee deep in anyway

but no one can understand

the pressures facing the

white middle class educated employed married

heteronormative cisgender woman

my barrel is overflowing with turmoil

there is no one coming to my aid

my oppression beats those others

in size, weight and density.

what they need is to stop being such

whiny asses especially when

they brought it all on themselves

-to win the three-legged race for being the most oppressed.  grand prize the beautiful cardboard crown, a blue ribbon, and a sash.

i think next year i should get the grand prize trophy

the eradication of my soul and cremation of what is left

meticulous in designing

hours evolving as days

days reform to months

holding hands of children

afraid, alone, and tortured

arms embracing those

seeming to drown

into darkness and confusion

the man who lost his friend

the girls sexually assaulted

answering phone calls

in the middle of the night

calming someone down

or the voice of a young man

crying on the other end

because his dad didn’t raise him

to be a faggot

contracted to build community

brick-advocacy

brick-support

brick-education

growing into a web

more striking than

any arachnid symphony

glistening on a sunny day

the dream manifested

taking shape and alive

in a puff of smoke

stolen, damaged, gone

the name is the same

mist and mirrors

slight of hand

a spade living in the palm

ready for expulsion anytime

comradery replaced by egos

no return for helping people

none that you can hoard

no photo ops

no glitter or gold

i mourn the loss daily

my brainchild ripped apart

smiling is hard to do

being lonely filled with fears

too much time is spent

crying rainbow tears

kennedy-a transman in the world of cis thoughts

usually on sunday mornings, we drag our butts outta bed and go and get coffee at this locally owned coffeeshop.  it’s usually quiet, it’s local, the coffee is good, and the owners are pretty cool.  so there is usually a group of us weirdos that meet there.  from our household it is usually amy, sam, sometimes jeff, and myself, but we always go and get kennedy, he is a part of our family too.

i met kennedy last march.  he and a group of friends came to the pride group i had founded.  kennedy jumped into the group head first, attending all the social events, the youth group, and doing any community service that we had set up.  it was impressive to say the least.  so it was pretty easy getting to know him.  and it wasn’t too long before i heard his story.

see kennedy is trans.  he was born female but identifies and feels male.   he lives as a male.  he struggled with self-identity for many years, which is common, especially when you have never met another trans person.  he went through the gambit of well i am just a really intense lesbian, also normal.  but that wasn’t the end.  the search went on and on for the answer to the question most of us never have to ask “what am i?”  he came across an article about a trans person and he saw that was the exact same thing he had been going through his entire life.

i personally was extremely confused about trans identity for a very long time.  like many others i thought that gender was wrapped in sexual identity and therefore a transguy was a really wicked butch lesbian who it would be easier to identify as a man, and a transwoman was a over the top flamboyant gay man who it would just be easier to be a female.  i don’t think this varies much from the mainstream ideology of what is and isn’t trans.  but i was lucky enough to have someone teach me.

just before i started dating amy, when i first met her, i was in a relationship w chris, a ftm transperson.  i thought it was extremely strange when i first had a crush on him bc he would have been the first male i was attracted to in decades.  it left me w an odd feeling bc for so long inside of myself i had identified as at least bi and leaned more towards lesbian.  the relationship with chris taught me alot about gender v sexuality.

it was also an inside view into the reactions to a trans person, not only in the hetero world but in the lgb culture too.  in the hetero world there is an ever rising fear you will be “found out” and that leaves you open to extreme violence, emotionally and physically.  in the gay culture, it’s usually not so abrasive.  trans ppl are left out of events, they aren’t really taken into consideration when those of us on this side of the rainbow are fighting for equal rights, there is extreme prejudice and not alot of support-look at where the lgbt orgs were concerning cece mcdonald.  i saw that trans ppl had really nowhere to turn, very little acceptance and not a huge group of ppl who were advocating for their rights to be who they are.  there wasn’t a huge movement of public acceptance or education.

later on i met several other trans or gender queer ppl, who really really taught me alot!  i was lucky enough to have friends who would come into my home, drink coffee and just discuss issues of gender identity, what it means to be female, what it means to be male, etc.  these conversations fueled me to learn more.  i am sure everyone got pretty sick of hearing my wow gender is weird and awesome and not at all black and white epiphanies, but luckily noone told me to shut the hell up!

when we moved from maine to oklahoma, i started a pride group in the town that i live in now.  i started it mostly for the youth to have a place to be, a mentoring program, and an outlet for all those others in bouncing around in the world trying to figure things out.  i also was extremely insistent that trans ppl were not just welcomed but i actively searched them out.  i knew from before the bigotry of the gay community and i was not about to participate in that sort of hatred.  the youth was always my primary focus.  they needed the most support, and for the most part their parents, if they knew their kid was queer, were usually not so accepting.  our youth group did alot in the community, we held a rainbow ball an all ages prom open to the public where you could dress how you wanted and bring who you wanted if anyone as a date (we don’t have that luxury here in the school systems) and it was free, we went bowling, we cleaned the parks, we went on walks against sexual violence, and we talked alot.  the pride group overall started moving in a direction that i could not participate in with inside politics and popularity contests rumors and hatefulness.  i pulled myself out of the entanglement with the intention of staying to lead the youth, but there were ppl who for one reason or another decided that i shouldn’t do that, and started rumors making it impossible for me to continue my work.  the rumors became so bad and so wide spread i will not leave my house alone, and when i do leave it is pretty rare, but i see kennedy almost every week.

kennedy is amazing!  not only is he well articulated he is patient.  he doesn’t usually lose his cool when referred to as the wrong pronoun on accident, he will take a step back then explain what it means to be trans as long as the person he is talking to is willing to be respectful and listen.  it is such a wonderful thing to watch!  today on his facebook page he wrote:

ive come across a lot of people who say ‘well its not /that/ big of a deal when i misgender you’ or make jokes about how i’m trans because that’s /totally/ something to joke about anyways (if you can’t tell that is sarcasm then you might need to learn context clues) and i just want everyone to understand the fact that i wake up everyday having to deal with feeling out of place and disgusted in my own skin and i hate myself so much because of my body and the fact that it isnt who i am and you reminding me of it does not in any way make me want to keep talking to you whether you are family or not
please be considerate when talking to me or about me because it is a huge part of who i am and how i see things and just dismissing it as a phase or something to laugh and joke about is not okay and im not going to associate with people who make me feel like shit

i think he says it best!

no big deal, just another hate crime

Image

bottles against the skull

glass protruding shimmering

green in the moonlight

screaming dyke 

into the darkness

shadows dance

in and out of sight

darting from dumpsters

and into doorways

the smell of blood

yeast and rotten meat

creeps into the nostrils

and lingers in the throat

the cracking of bones

bounce from bricks

trapped in floating bubbles

tinkling into the streets

the sounds of screaming

underwater

surrounded by those

not willing to see

the terror down below

closing the curtains

and going to bed

leaving a huddled mass

alone and forgotten

the darkness as a blanket

damp velvet shroud

under the light of venus

leaving keratin 

and chunks of epidermis

in the puddle of coors light

tonight was the night

we lost another warrior

another beauty

sentient being ceases

to take a breath

we are hunted

trapped and broken

terror echoing in every cell

the expendable the unwanted

we are monsters of humanity

trying to escape

justified hatred

genocide forgiven

sanctioned and demanded

from your god above

it is war