27 Jun


Call of WTF artists


on June 27, 2017   comments 14

Grease Rag is refreshing our flyers and online materials.

Are you a WTF (woman/trans/femme) artist? Do you identify with Grease Rag's inclusive and friendly mission?

We want you!

We want to give WTF artists an opportunity to participate in our new designs! This might show up on a button, or a flyer, or something else...

If you're interested, send a note to greaseragmpls@gmail.com by June 30th - please include the following:

  • Short statement or sentence about WHO you are
  • Short statement or sentence about WHY you want to design for GR
  • Include an EXISTING sample of your work

Because we want to support our community of talented BIPOC+ QT WTF artists, this opportunity is ONLY open to women/transgender/femme artists and we will PAY YOU for your labor!

Thank you to all of the WTF artists who have contributed their talent and labor over the years. We would CERTAINLY consider using your work again if you want to throw your hat in the ring. Gratitude and respect!

23 Jun


My Hopes and Wishes for Your Pride


on June 23, 2017   comments 24

Update: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone who participated in giving respect to QT BIPOC lives by disrupting the Pride parade. There is a photo in that link of the protest being led by children, BIPOC folks, and people in wheelchairs, in case you forgot who is most marginalized by law enforcement and events like Pride.

These were the demands made by protesters:

  • Honors the legacy and life of trans women of color and recognize Pride as the byproduct of their resistance of police brutality and repression
  • Combats State violence with the total elimination of police and law enforcement
  • Is accountable for their perpetuation of white supremacy and homonormativity and that they eradicate their normalization of these violent systems
  • Provide an exclusive healing space at future events for indigenous and people of color to process, rest, and restorative justice
  • Divests from all corporations as they promote the marginalization, exploitation, and criminalization of marginalized communities
  • Funds and organizes a Town Hall alongside members from marginalized communities including but not limited to Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, Native Lives Matter, and Justice4MarcusGolden
  • Provide racial reparations via redistribution of resources and monetary compensation to grassroots organizations of the coalition’s choice.

I feel numb. Philando Castile's murderer was acquitted. Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old pregnant woman, was shot dead by police after phoning them for help. Nabra Hassanen, a 17-year-old on the way to her mosque, was beaten to death. 13 trans people have been murdered so far this year, and they were all women of color. Our community is running itself ragged organizing, and healing, and grieving these tragedies.

My grieving looks like anger, sadness, frustration, and a desperate need to cling to the BIPOC WTF in my life, and to celebrate the queer BIPOC joy that I'm lucky enough to have access to. Because I feel so numb.

I really need to process some of these feelings with you, my Friends.

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01 Jun


Grease Rag Facilitator/Organizer Safety Training


on June 1, 2017   comments 16

Working together for safer spaces

Grease Rag Facilitators (the people who greet you at open shop, lead rides, and are familiar with our safer spaces policies) and Organizers (the people who are doing Facebook moderation, admin, fundraising and collectively make decisions) had a meeting to discuss safety and security.

Grease Rag cannot guarantee complete safety. We can only work together to provide safer spaces for each other, so we can all feel free to live our truths.

This meeting was called because we need to be ready to defend our safe spaces. Over the years, there have been a few safety concerns, and the list of people (abusers) banned from our spaces keeps growing. A recent incident motivated Julia to organize this meeting and share her de-escalation skills with us. Julia works with kids with aggressive behaviors and has many de-escalation skills that transfer to Grease Rag’s safer spaces.

This is just a general guide, because each situation is unique, each person is different, and we all have our own style of confrontation. Listed below are some of the specific skills that we talked about and practiced at our meeting.

Safety training

General Considerations

  • Your safety and the safety of the participants comes first!
  • Do not approach the acting out person alone. Take the other facilitator with you.
  • Move the conversation with the acting out person away from the participants or space.
  • Do NOT approach the person too closely or put hands on them, in any way, ever.
  • Use your best judgement about when to call the police or not. Keep in mind that there are can be huge - sometimes FATAL - ramifications for calling the police to intervene. *More in the section below
  • Try to be aware of what triggers your flight, fight, freeze. Is it safe for you to be confronting someone right now, in this way?
  • Don’t try to confront someone if you have been drinking.
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23 May


Pink Pussy Hats: Peak #ciswhitefeminism


on May 23, 2017   comments 60

There was recently a discussion in our Facebook group about the pink pussy hats popularized by the women's march in January. I've collected some thoughts and resources here in this post.

Women and trans folks need to buck the cis heteropatriarchy in solidarity with each other

Reproductive rights, trans health, women's health, immigration reform, services for survivors of domestic violence, healing from sexual violence, wealth equity.

All of these things are critical to women/trans/non-binary/queer survival. None of these things are inherently white, or require a pussy. All of us who do not have white cis male privilege need to have access, rights, and resources.

That said, I'd like to ask everyone to join me in considering what a sea of pink pussy hats says to QTPOC women and trans folks who are struggling. What does solidarity look like? What doesn't solidarity look like?


Assigned Male Comics by Sophie Labelle

Pink pussy hats are not inclusive of BIPOC and Trans women

This article verbalizes some of the reasons why pink pussy hats are unwelcoming and threatening to me, as a QTPOC.

Respect to Angela Peoples in this photo taken by Kevin Banatte.

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01 May


Listening to Community Project


on May 1, 2017   comments 1

Grease Rag Friend Amy Brugh asked me to contribute to her Listening to Community Project. She has asked a diverse group of people to answer some questions about what it means to listen to community. I was honored to be asked!

There will be more perspectives added, so visit Amy Brugh Consulting on Facebook if you'd like to follow along.

Listening to Community

Introduce yourself

L. Kling, they, them, theirs pronouns

I have been organizing with GreaseRag.org for eight years, working at the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition for three years, and part of the Minneapolis community for thirteen years. I spend my time facilitating spaces where people are invited to feel safe, where people commit to resisting oppression, and where people can reflect and be introspective together. I'm especially interested in facilitating spaces for BIPOC+ WTF* folks in an effort to reclaim space from cis white male privilege. I love complexity and intersections.

*BIPOC+ means Black, Indigenous, People of Color. Grease Rag is using the "+" to include folks who have an "it's complicated" relationship with their race.
WTF means women, trans, femme. More about this on Grease Rag's FAQ page, but in short, it means anyone who does not benefit from cis male privilege.

What does listening to community mean to you?

"Listening to community" is easy, and complicated.

The easy part is listening. Listening to hear, and listening and affirming someone's experience takes time, intention, and some skills. But it is not rocket science!

The hard part can be defining community, and creating space where people feel comfortable talking, and feel they are being heard. Is how you define community in line with how a community defines itself? If not, you have a problem! Within the community, there will be subcommunities and identities that add to the complexity of the larger group. That is natural and good! But are you creating space for everyone to speak?

Space can be physical- can someone with a mobility device or vision impairment participate? Space can be a feeling- does it feel hostile or unwelcoming? Space can be structural- Is there a process in place so that dominant voices don't take over the conversation?

Listening to community is also hard to do without community expertise. If you are not from a community, you need to connect with that community to have them drive what "listening" and "sharing" look like. Because it can be very different between communities! Assuming that you know the best way to communicate with a group of people is an oppressive behavior. A behavior where dominant culture assumes their experience is universal, which has the effect of erasing non-dominant culture.

How would you like to be listened to?

I have written a lot on how I would like to be listened to. It starts with how I would like to be asked to participate in a conversation. Every conversation should be consensual, and I should be allowed to set boundaries for what is to be discussed. I need the opportunity to say no. I want my time to be honored, and sometimes this means being monetarily compensated. But not always! Sometimes my time being honored looks like me getting credit for my words, and sometimes it means doing a skill trade so that I can grow as I offer my input.

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