Owners of Tenacious Unicorn Ranch experience a lot of folks declaiming the project for being "just white trans women" even though one of the co-owners is Latinidad. It seems to me all of the central folks are white-passing, though each have experiences of ethnic or racial difference that simultaneously mark them as non-white and allow them to experience privileges that come with passing as white. I guess their whiteness depends on who is assigning racialized identity to whom.
TUR is putting all their local expansion on hold to support an indigenous group who are building a similar project in so-called Arizona. That project will be by and for indigenous queers only.
Do you think that's enough to excuse a group of working class and working poor trans folks, who are mostly white-passing women, from settling on stolen land and procliming themselves as anarchists?
The organizers of TUR also dedicate their highest priority to caring for trans people in emergency situations. While I was here, they facilitated re-locating a poor, unhoused white trans woman who was abandoned in the woods near a Nazi stronghold in Cotopaxi, CO with no food and no water. The unicorns picked her up, gave her free safe intermediate housing, fed her, offered her as much cash as they could, and helped her find a safer location to stabilize with a chlidhood friend in another state. They even bought her bus tickets to get there.
At what point is it possible to simply observe the deeds of others and accept the goodness in them while also knowing we must do better?
What I'm learning here is a big lesson in imperfection. The unicorns are far from perfect. So is the ranch. The questions of "how did you do it?" begin to reveal that there is no magic, no subtle interchanges -- they just tried and kept trying. They failed a lot, too, but they didn't give up. They just kept trying and committed with everythign they had-- everything they have left. They didn't wait to be certain. They didn't wait for permission. They honestly didn't even wait to really know how to do it. They just tried and the community lifted them up and set them on fire.
I feel grateful to have learned from my elders in the mountains. Trials, struggles, joys, hearts, silences, laughs, all the stories and emotions and guidance they offer. I am grateful to them.
Presence of ancestors is important to my belief system.
They've all been through so much and I feel so grateful to them for making space for us to survive.
I love J and her dreams.
I love Bonnie and the lighter ey gave me and eir ingenuity and dedication.
I love Penny and her fire and ferocity and lovingkindness.
I love Jen's intelligence and perspicacity.
I love Kat's cuddliness and Selena's laugh.
I will pay their gifts forward.