Notes on the Journey

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Letter to the editor: Regarding transphobia in the Iowa City community

violetausterlitz-trans-squareThis is Violate Austerlitz’s reply to my blog post. I have made him internationally famous, but do ya think he appreciates it? Narcissists LOVE negative attention. Sorry, Violate but pretending to be the opposite sex is a pile of sexist bullshit and I would not care but your choices are not being made in a vacuum and you are promoting the idea to vulnerable gay and lesbian kids that they were born in the wrong body and must really be tranz. This makes you an evil, sociopathic FUCKER.

Letter to the editor: Regarding transphobia in the Iowa City community


By Violet Louisa Austerlitz

By and large, Iowa City is and has been a welcoming and supportive place to live as a transgender woman. But there are still people here who feel the need to commit acts of radical hatred based on their own ignorance. One such person is the author of, who, among other things, has made a practice of attacking transgender people. This has become a campaign of harassment directed against local organizations that support us, and, lately, against individuals like myself.

Being personally and specifically attacked, misgendered and maligned in ways that are grotesque, false and hateful, is deeply disturbing. It constructs a false narrative that seeks to dehumanize not just me, but all transgender people. If someone chooses to believe that false narrative, I suppose I can’t stop them. But I refuse to let it be the only narrative that exists. My identity and my humanity belong to me, and to me alone. No one has a right to try to take them away from me, or from anybody else.

If you want to know who trans people really are, what we really want and how you can help us, know this first: We’re human beings, and our rights are human rights, and we have always been part of this world. We belong here, no matter where “here” might be. Memorize that. And then go to, or, and learn the truth of who we are and what we face. Our stories are valuable and should never be overshadowed by the voice of someone who operates purely from a place of hatred and ignorance.

And to Madam Nomad, all I can say is — bless your heart. I’m so sorry you feel that way.

Charcoal Practice


These are photos of my work in Charcoal, copying The Old Bastards, and the Time Magazine cover of Steven Colbert.


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