Hi friends. Difficult update at the bottom of this newsletter. I probably shouldn’t even be sending out a newsletter this week but it’s giving me some sense of control and normalcy so I’m sticking with it. It’s a resource week and I especially hate to skip this one.
My friend and Book Riot colleague, Laura Sackton, has done some great work crowdsourcing over 250 Trans Justice Organizations to support. She writes about the list here and you can access the list directly here. She also recently posted a list of 100 trans books she loves and I see many of my favorites on this list as well.
While we’re at it, I want to share “6 Orgs Fighting Back Against Anti-Trans Legislation in Tennessee and Beyond” via them. You can see my post about this topic here.
The short version is that the heavy rains in California lead to the failure of a levee along the Pajaro River and this has truly fucked a bunch of agricultural land but more importantly it is devastating to the farmworkers who live and work there in awful conditions so that our privileged asses can have strawberries year-round. California produces 75% of the nation's strawberry crops and each acre of land produces an average of 21 tons of strawberries annually (via University of Illinois). At least 1,000 acres of strawberry fields have been flooded and I’ve seen videos of flooded strawberry fields and workers, without rain boots or other rain gear, scrambling to salvage what fruit they can and putting their lives at risk even more than usual. Actual produce aside, this recent disaster has displaced nearly 2,000 families and likely has calamitous ramifications for the future of agricultural workers in the region if things don’t change drastically. I love strawberries. I also love lettuce and broccoli, whose crops are also fucked. But honestly, none of that truly matters in the face of this human catastrophe. I don’t believe that capitalism is ever at its “best” but this is certainly one of the many ways it is at its worst. Here is a GoFundMe organized for direct aid of the Pajaro farmworkers.
Before I get to the hard news, here is a photo of me, the cutest child ever to exist:
CW: parent death
My mom passed away on Monday morning, so much sooner than we anticipated. On Saturday, the doctors told us, “We know we said weeks, but we’re looking at days.” On Sunday, an internal sense of urgency woke me up at 6:30am and I had only one thought, “We gotta get to the hospital.” We were there by 8:45am on Sunday. By noon my gut told me that Mom wasn’t going to make it through the night. She did, of course, because she is a fighter and fought to her very last breath. Nicole and I were with her the entire time. We did not leave. We were awake for over 35 hours.
I have no words for how much I hurt. One of the many things that makes it hard is that while my mother wasn’t perfect, she was pretty fucking rad. Everyone loved her. She had a way of making every person she met feel like they were special when all along, she was the actual most special one.
I’m taking time off from work, of course, and trying to work on funeral arrangements. To add insult to injury, my birthday is in 8 days. I am trying very hard to not have my mother’s funeral on my birthday but we’ll see what needs to happen and if I am allowed that small luxury.
That’s it for this week! You can shop any books I’ve mentioned in this newsletter at my affiliate shop, The Infophile’s Bookshop, and support independent bookstores. If you want to send me some snail mail, you can find me at P.O. Box 21481, Oakland, CA 94620-1481. If you are a subscriber and would like for me to send you some happy mail, feel free to give me your address.
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