01 Apr


DarkMatter and Making Grease Rag Safer for WTFs


on April 1, 2016   comments 0

DarkMatter is a poetry and performance duo made up of two trans South Asian artists, Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramanian.  They perform pieces about colonialism, racism, gender violence, and trans and non-binary identity.  I'd love to introduce you to some of the work they have produced recently that has affected me, and how Grease Rag is attempting to make better spaces for trans and non-binary folks.


Janani, The Laura Flanders Show:

"Dark matter and dark energy together comprise 96% of the universe but are only understood in their effects."

Trans inclusive feminism is a cis construct

Alok writes about "trans inclusive" feminism as a cis construct, because it centers around "including" trans people in presumably "cis" feminism on their blog, Return the Gayze.

Trans inclusive feminism does not just look like cisgender women gatekeeping who is allowed to speak about gender violence. Trans inclusive feminism does not look like only incorporating binary trans women who fit normative conventions of what a woman should look, act, speak, and experience violence like. Trans inclusive feminism does not look like requiring trans and gender non-conforming people to narrate our experiences and identities through the rubric of “woman,” or else just dismissing us as “men.” Trans inclusive feminism does not look like reinforcing the gender binary by maintaining that all women are victims and all men are perpetrators. It does not look like reducing gender to our bodies, it does not look like making assumptions about people’s histories based off of what they look like, in fact it does not look like requiring someone to look like anything at all.

"Including" transgender people in feminism is like "diversifying" white spaces by inviting people of color to a table that does not truly welcome us.

Trans feminism looks like recognizing that gendering people without their consent is a form of gender violence. Trans feminism looks like recognizing that you don’t have to be a woman to be a feminist because you don’t have to be a woman to experience sexism and trans/misogyny. Trans feminism looks like decoupling “femininity” from “womanhood,” and holding space for a vast spectrum of femininities that grace many bodies who do not identify as women. Trans feminism looks like recognizing that we will never win if we continue to fight patriarchy with the gender binary because patriarchy is the systematic policing and regulation of the gender binary. Trans feminism looks like holding space and accountability for all of the ways that all of us (regardless of our gender) are capable of enacting patriarchal violence on one another.


Darkmatter on Facebook, "TGIF- Thank goddess I'm femme"

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31 Mar


Trans Day of Visibility 2016


on March 31, 2016   comments 0

Trans Day of Visibility is March 31, 2016.

#tdov #morethanvisibility

TDOV is a day to show your support for the trans community. It aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people around the globe while fighting cissexism and transphobia by spreading knowledge of the trans community. Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance, this is not a day for mourning: this is a day of empowerment and getting the recognition we deserve!


Let's show up!

Today, wear purple in solidarity, rally at the State Office Building at 1:30, and make sure we check our cis privilege and truly see our beautiful trans community today.

Why do I have to check my cis privilege?

Hetero patriarchy is one of those messed up systems that enforces binaries (man or woman are the only valid choices allowed) and also objectifies women in a way where value is directly tied to how closely you fit the narrow ideal of a sexually desirable woman.

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24 Mar


What to do when your bike is stolen


on March 24, 2016   comments 5

Grease Rag Friend Ninjarita O'Brien is one of the admins of the Facebook group, Twin Cities Stolen Bikes, and has done a great job documenting how to hang onto your bike, be able to identify your bike if it is stolen, and provide information on how to find your bike and reunite found bikes.



High resolution download

Keeping your bike secure

Here are some general tips on securing your bicycle

  • Use a u-lock and another type of lock
  • Lock up in well-lit, well-trafficked areas
  • Lock your wheels and frame to something immoveable that your bike can't be lifted off of, like a sign pole without a sign on top
  • At minimum lock your frame
  • Store your bike indoors in a secure location as much as possible
  • Make sure your mobile apps (Strava, MapMyRide, etc.) are not broadcasting your current location
  • Watch a video on locking techniques
  • Secure your bike to something immoveable even when it is in your garage or shed
  • Use locking skewers on your wheels
  • More tips from the Minneapolis PD

Identifying your bike

Try these techniques to provide enough information if your bike is stolen, and to help other people spot it if it is riding around town without you.

  • Store this data someplace where it can't be easily deleted
  • Take a picture of you and your bike periodically, showing the drive train side of the bike
  • Write down the serial number on your bike, often under the bottom bracket shell
  • Register your bike with bikeindex.org
  • You can register your bicycle with the Minneapolis Police Department online, or call 311, or use 311's phone app.
  • Make a list of how to ID your bike, from color to brand to parts and any other details

What to do when your bike is stolen Read More

24 Mar


This is not a "bathroom" issue


on March 24, 2016   comments 0


We need to act now because this is not a "bathroom" issue. This is a safety issue for transgender people (not cis people). This is blatantly transphobic.

1. Contact State Senator Scott Newman about his comments that he is being bullied by the trans community for standing up to his transphobic bill

2. Write to your state senator or state representative

Details below. Boost this.

State Senator Scott Newman and State Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen unveiled their anti-trans bathroom bill today at a press conference:  

"Newman...described the many phone calls his office has received on the topic. He said the response by the transgender community has been 'coarse, they are threatening. They’re crude.... not the bullied. They are the bullies.'"

More information about the 44 MN House Republicans backing bans on transgender employees using the bathroom.

Image reposted from Grease Rag Ride & Wrench friend, Remy:


From Cate Crowe:

Newman thinks we're crude and coarse. I appreciate the compliment. And, I'd rather be crude and coarse than the embodiment of evil. Attempts to eradicate vulnerable populations by WASP 'Murcan men are evil. If passed, this bill would push trans Minnesotans to de-transition, move, or commit suicide. Newman fails to realize that makes this personal.

1. If you'd like, you may reach Newman at 651-296-4131, call his assistant (Evan at 651-296-5246), and/or send Newman an email at sen.scott.newman@senate.mn. Perhaps instead of assuming you're a crude, coarse bully, Senator Newman will have a nice chat with you about your concerns. Don't count on it.

2. Please consider writing your state senator and/or state rep regarding this matter. You can determine who your senator and rep are here--You can identify your senator here: http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts/.

Here's a template for writing a letter you may find helpful:

The Honorable [First Name] [Last Name]
Minnesota State [House/Senate]

Dear [Senator/Representative] [Last Name]:

SF3002, HF 3374, and HF3395, now in committee, concerning the elimination of access to locker rooms and bathrooms by transgender Minnesotans is of paramount interest to me because I am a [trans woman, trans man, ally, brother to a trans woman, etc.] This issue directly impacts [my employment, my housing, my ability to go out in public, etc.]
I am primarily concerned about those portions of the bill that would roll back existing anti-discrimination statutes because [I would no longer be able to use the bathroom at work]. Other language in the bill would [severely limit my ability to go to the gym or go out to eat].
I understand that you [authored this bill, co-authored this bill, are on the Judiciary committee, are my State Senator/Rep]. As such, you are in a position to advocate for the civil and human rights of transgender Minnesotans. I expect that you will do so, since you are required to uphold the Equal Protection clauses of our State and U.S. Constitutions. This bill is—at best—an inept and inane replay of Plessy v. Ferguson 120 years later. Separate but equal facilities are unacceptable to our courts—and to me.
Thank you for your consideration of my viewpoint on this matter. I believe it is an important issue, and would like to see the legislation fail to ensure that transgender Minnesotans can work and live without being made pariahs.


[Your name]
[Phone Number]
[Email Address]

08 Mar


2016 International Women's Day: WTF-only ride


on March 8, 2016   comments 0

A ride for Women, Trans, Femme, and GNC friends!

International Women's Day
Tuesday, March, 8, 7-9:30p
Powderhorn Park

RSVP on Facebook

7p Meet at Powderhorn Park

8p Arrive at Butter Bakery: 3700 Nicollet Ave S

If you benefit from cis-male privilege, please sit this ride out- thank you for respecting our space.

2012 Grease Rag International Women's Day Ride

2016 “Pledging for Gender Parity”

In 1975, which was designated as International Women’s Year, the United Nations gave official sanction to, and began sponsoring, International Women's Day. Now, every year, the UN designates a political and human rights theme to IWD. 2016 is “Pledge for Parity”.  The gender gap is real.  REAL HUGE.  And if you are a cis person or a white person or a person with economic privilege, recognize that the effects of the gender gap are more dramatic if you are POC, poor, and transgender.

The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn't close entirely until 2133.

Everyone - men and women - can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly - whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.


Labor History: International Working Women's Day

International Women's Day, formerly known as International Working Women's Day, did not start in 1975. In the late 1800's the oppression of women politically, economically and socially was becoming unbearable, and globally, strong women were beginning to unite, campaign and speak OUT to demand rights, equality, humane working conditions and the right to vote. Many national celebrations of womanhood were organized around the globe in the early 1900's.

Women have been politically active, organizing labor unions, striking, protesting, and fighting for every cent of the 77 that we earn compared to a man's $1*, and for rights to manage our own bodies for much longer than International Women's Day has been around. I mention this because I love IWD, but it's important to me to recognize that we have been proud radical organizers since before it was sanctioned or recognized!

*2010 Census Data (There would be an even greater inequity if we broke this down by race.)

Google Doodle: One Day I Will...

Google Doodle made this video for International Women's Day, about seeing the possibilities for women, globally.

Honoring those who came before us

I mourn the young Jewish and Italian immigrant women at the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, and celebrate the hard work done to liberate and protect workers of the world, even as tragedies like the 2012 Dhaka Bangledsh fire are still happening as we value cheap goods over human lives.  Women and poor immigrants are most affected by this lack of protections for labor.

I am inspired with individuals like Annie Londonderry, breaking down gender barriers with a bike and a ton of heart.

I am encouraged by the women who worked and starved and bled and died for suffrage in this country.  Especially the Black suffragettes who were not able to exercise their right to vote, universally in this country, until the 1960's, even though the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920.

I stand with Slyvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and other transgender advocates fighting for justice before and after the Stonewall Uprising.  Without their demands for the voices of people of color and low income trans people be heard the gay rights movement would look a lot more white, a lot more privileged, and a lot more cis than it currently is.

I am proud of movements like #BlackLivesMatter, started and guided by the wisdom and strength of queer black women: Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors

Celebrate together

For me, personally, the concept of "woman" is not the most useful category, as it does not contain me, or even my "womaness."  I celebrate this day as a WTF day of action, organizing, and solidarity.

Grease Rag WTF Friends- Let's do what we do best!!  Get together and ride and tell stories about what International Women's Day means to us.

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