Safe and Sound: A Renter-Friendly Guide to Home Repair
Don’t panic—I’m here to help!
As a transwoman, I’ve discovered (the hard way) that we live in a world with much to fear. But imagine fearing something as simple as asking for help. Imagine relying on others—landlords—to provide a basic human right, like housing, but knowing those same people believe you’re an abomination because of your sexuality or gender identity. Imagine a world where reaching out for help is more than just a mundane task—it’s a game of chance. Sadly, for too many renters, this isn’t just a one-time moment of fear. For single moms, college students in a foreign town, and many others, a knock on the door can feel just as terrifying, even when you need the help.
All renters deserve to feel empowered enough to take matters into their own hands. The skills I’ll show you how to develop will allow you to help friends, teach family members, and even assist a panicking neighbor—further empowering more people to take on tasks on their own. We all have a home—whether it’s made up of brick walls or plaster—filled with memories and dreams. Knowledge should pass through any barriers put up around it because a little bit of knowledge can go a long way toward making someone feel more in control of their own life.
Your soon-to-be favorite virtual repair technician,
Mercury Stardust, the Trans Handy Ma’am
About the Author
Mercury Stardust (@mercurystardust), the Trans Handy Ma’am, is a professional home maintenance technician, burlesque performer, and award-winning activist. Mercury credits her TikTok success to her experience teaching burlesque, where she learned to communicate and create a safe space for students who had frequently experienced trauma. She’s been featured in stories by NBC, NPR, Buzzfeed, Newsweek, Washington Post, and Pink News. Her leadership within the trans community has led to collaborations with such brands as Dolby, Lowe’s, and the trans-healthcare company Plume. Mercury lives in her home state of Wisconsin with her partner and two cats. She’s a world-renown and international award-winning burlesque entertainer and runs Wisconsin’s only weekly burlesque show, Five Star Tease. Her work on and off the stage earned her Madison’s Teens Activist of the Year in 2021 from Madison’s Outreach.