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An update on Tuff Luck and the Deli

I knew that the unfortunate dissolution of the Tuff Luck Deli would cause quite a rift in a tight need community. I hesitated to publish Tuff Luck’s detailed letter to the community but in the end decided that they deserved to be heard even if it did come with a cost.

Indeed it did, and many discussions on Facebook showed clearly how upset people were. Some comments were thoughtful, others merely angry, but they were almost all passionate. I had hoped some of that discussion could happen here on this blog, as it is a more public forum but instead it was mostly confined to the semi-public gossip realm of FB.

So I would like to say, once again, that not only do I welcome discussion, but would happily publish and opposing editorial. I had hoped this would be a discussion starter and not a proclamation.

And though I run the risk of yet again publishing information furnished only by one faction, I feel it is important to continue the updates. Ryder and Choriko have issued another statement where they express the desire to move on saying, “We intend to use our remaining energy for positive growth. …We hope that being publicly called out was enough to encourage major changes in the way ‘the Deli’ is run in the future.”

This ambiguous answer is much less detailed than the first post, and while that may be more pleasant to hear and certainly less draining to write, is does leave some things unanswered. I applaud their owning their mistakes but they don’t ever account for them directly or say how they will conduct business dealings differently in the future. This would be good to hear but it seems clear that those involved are worn out by the process. And as no representative of Heather has issued any direct questions it would be difficult to respond.

But here’s the effort in it’s entirety:

Onward and Upward: An Update on Tuff Luck

At this time, we feel it is in the best interest of everyone to put our efforts into moving onward and upward. We intend to use our remaining energy for positive growth. We do not feel that taking further action against Heather or the Deli can be productive in any way. We hope that being publicly called out was enough to encourage major changes in the way “the Deli” is run in the future. …We would also like to take responsibility for our part in the matter and say that we will also change how we choose to conduct business in the future.

We are so grateful for the amazing outpouring of community support we have received during this hard time and throughout Tuff Luck’s existence. We believe we made the right choice in exercising honesty and transparency in this situation so that community members can make an informed decision on whether or not to continue supporting the business as it exists in the space. We feel strongly about queer/trans visibility and creating safer spaces for us to gather. We reached out to our community under this mission and felt that we owed the community a thorough explanation of why we were unable to hold true to this mission and why we have fully pulled our support out of “The Deli”.

We have also been called out for the many poor choices we made in this business dealing since the beginning. We understand that we could have avoided the difficult situation we find ourselves in had we educated ourselves regarding proper business procedures and ensured that those procedures were followed at every step. We have made many missteps along the way and would like to humbly accept these criticisms as well placed guide posts provided by individuals who are truly invested in community solidarity and accountability. We have learned so much throughout this process and are willing and excited to learn more.

Before we again attempt to set up a truly radical, functional collective we are first going to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience our community has to offer. Individuals and collectives have offered to educate and mentor us through this process. Intention, hard work, community support and sheer stubbornness have taken us this far but now it is time to re-focus our efforts on doing the work it takes to adequately educate ourselves and turn Tuff Luck into a functional community space and resource.

Though caution has been a major lesson here, our convictions are not at all shaken. Tuff Luck is not a place. It is an idea. It is an acknowledgment of the the difficult experiences one must live through to become happy and healthy as a person who’s gender is non-conforming and the importance of a safe and affirming space for us to gather with one another and our allies. Our community is comprised of people of varying ages, races, cultures, abilities and body types. We hope that in the future our policy of basic respect will once again create a space for these overlapping communities to come together.

Much love,

Ryder and Choriko

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