Post-TRoE

This has been written for the November 2022 Gender Exploration Carnival for the theme “TDOR.”

tl;dr I contributed to what I think will be my last year of taking part in TRoE, and I can’t untangle my reaction to the Club Q shooting from this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance.

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TRoE 2022

An image of at least four candles lit against a black background. Source: LibreShot, resized.

The basic prayer for the Trans Rite of [Ancestor] Elevation, revised for 2022. The use of “transition” here is for moving from the living to the dead (and not literally gender-or-sex transitioning).

I’ve struggled, on and off through the years, with reading all of the names and being able to handle attempts to work with the new trans ancestors – as previous years of @trans-rite have done – so I stuck with offering water and reading this prayer for 2022.

From @trans-rite:

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Reflections on Survey Taking

This has been written for the August 2022 Gender Exploration Carnival for the theme “Surveys.”

tl;dr In my experience, surveys can vary in what degree of specificity or awareness of a demographic is reflected in their questions and answers… I’ve had to settle into approaching this topic with a ‘survey persona’ frame of mind… An unspoken assumption from more than one or two survey makers is that their hypothetical respondent is probably going to be monogender and omnistatic (or “omni-static”)… Is there a way to handle responses for multigender people that will work perfectly in all surveys? Probably not. {Readers can definitely take what I have to say with a grain of salt – I have no survey making experience.}

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Musing on Pride

This has been written for the June theme of “Pride Month” for the Gender Exploration Carnival.

tl;dr I don’t have a great way to wrap up. I suppose there’s still a part of me that likes the idea of having a public show of support for the LGBTIA+ community, especially in a rural area like where I live, because it’s some level of proof that you don’t have to go all the way to a major city to find us. It’d be nice to have local support, you know?

[This has been cross-posted to Pillowfort here.]

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April 2022 Round Up

The theme for April 2022 for the Gender Exploration Carnival was Visibility.

There was one submission:

Anon – “Offline experiences of Transgender Day of Visibility

I will describe my experience of the last Trans Day of Visibility, which was very fruitful for me. I attended 4 sessions of symposium and had informal meetings with several people involved.

Visibility

The Gender Exploration Carnival is one of several blogging carnivals – an event where a host blog puts out a theme for the month, participants create content and share the links with the host, and the host posts a round-up at the end of the month. For more information, you can check out the FAQ page.

For April 2022, I have decided to host the Gender Exploration Carnival on my WordPress with the theme “Visibility.” The following prompts are merely suggestions, and you are not required to answer one question (or all of them) in order to participate as long as your submission is connected to the theme.

Suggested questions:

  • Did you do anything online or offline for the International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV)?
  • Do you find that TDOV is not personally meaningful even if larger organisations or community spaces find it useful for activism or educational efforts? (Perhaps you don’t self-identify as transgender, aren’t out as transgender, or are in a group that has more hypervisibility than other communities under the trans umbrella.)
  • Do you find that “visibility” is – or is not – helpful in terms of activism or education? Do you prefer “awareness” or some other term?
  • What do you want to see happen after TDOV is over? How can organisations move beyond sporadic “visibility” days?

The deadline for submissions is 2 am EDT [UTC-4] on 1 May 2022. I will post the round-up around 2 pm on 2 May and will accept late submissions until then. You can submit an anonymous entry for this month by emailing genderexplorationcarnival@pm.me (the post will be self-hosted on the Gender Exploration Carnival WordPress), or you can leave a link to your submission in a comment on this post. If you have an idea for a theme and would like to host, please leave a comment on Volunteer As Host. For those who are open to reblogging a corresponding Call for Submissions on Tumblr, this post has had the linking reconfigured.

Discord Pronoun Roles

This has been written as a submission for the Gender Exploration Carnival’s May 2021 theme “Pronouns”.

As a semi-closeted person, I fluctuate all over the place when it comes to people asking about pronouns and indicating what’s safe to use for the situation. Sometimes I chafe at the assumption that I must use cis assumed pronouns, sometimes I panic and cannot check the they/them box on a form, and sometimes I feel unnecessarily secretive. While this makes sense on a certain level in offline spaces, it still pops up every once in a while online, like a hard to kick habit.

I’ve had they/their in different profiles and bios for several years now. As a multigender person, I like that they/their also carries an association of non-singularity in the sense that it feels like they/their can work for the totality of all the gender experiences that I could describe instead of only feeling applicable to a certain gender. As a genderfluid person who’s not always self-aware enough to change identifying info as the gender flows, it’s just easier to default to they/their regardless of whatever specific gender shenanigans are happening. I can set up my profile or bio and leave it.

This means that I haven’t really thought about the pronouns I share with others in a while because I haven’t made a new account somewhere recently. Until I got invited into a new Discord server, and there was that section in the bot channel where you can react with a certain emoji to get a pronoun role. I’ve encountered enough neopronoun users online that I doubt I’d have any issues with trying a set out, but somehow, this pronoun role message managed to trip me up. I didn’t really want to react for they/their, I absolutely did not want to react for a binary pronoun, and I didn’t quite know what to do.

Did I want to try out a new neopronoun set? What if someone looked at a non-Discord account linked during the event and used they/their for me? On the one hand, it felt so silly that I couldn’t bring myself to react with some plant emoji or whatever it was that represented they/their, and I was overthinking this. On the other hand, it unexpectedly felt like I was being asked to ‘Go around the circle and share your pronouns’ on the first day of class (assuming the class had a little over 100 people in it). The Discord server was for a fandom event, and I didn’t actually know anybody already, so it felt somewhat similar to interacting with offline strangers.

The secretive habit tried to kick in, and I didn’t react for any pronoun role. Unfortunately, it’s really awkward in some sentences to completely avoid pronouns, so I still wound up with an ‘I don’t know, so I’m using they/their’ usage at least once. Not to mention, so many others reacted to get pronouns in the first place that it looked strange to not have any. A fun little template thing that was supposed to be minor accidentally used cis assumed pronouns for me because I didn’t actually have new pronouns to replace the template one’s with. (Privately, I had a lot of inconvenient emotions, but I knew it wasn’t purposeful.) I wound up reacting to get the they/their role, and the template was updated.

(While I have felt happy with they/their being used for me offline in the past, and I still use they/their on several online accounts, the moment of reacting to get they/their in this server felt like I failed at some sort of experiment. I didn’t feel disappointed, but it’s more that I felt like I was trying to console those inconvenient emotions about the use of my cis assumed pronoun set. I have to live with those in so many other situations, but it unexpectedly hurt in this instance. I’m not sure I even made it two weeks before I settled for the they/their pronoun role.)

Pronoun roles seem to be, well, A Thing in Discord servers that I’ve popped into, so I know I’ll wind up facing this situation again at some point. I’m not sure if I’ll leave the pronoun roles alone again, or if I’ll react for something to start with. Some have ‘No pronouns’ as an option, but it’s not so much that I actively don’t like them being used for me. In theory, this should be a nice little trial for a neopronoun set I’ve flirted with wanting to try. Or I could react for more than one set or something. Occasionally, I just feel weird and resistant to sharing what pronouns I’d like someone to use for me, and I’d rather have an option for ‘Prefer to not disclose’.

Lost and Not Yet Found

This has been written for the Gender Exploration Carnival, specifically for April’s theme of “Neurodivergence/Mental Health” hosted by Em.

I’ve mentioned it before for this carnival, but I haven’t really talked about the sense that my gender feels obscured or potentially briefly leaves due to depression in online spaces. I’m not sure that this is what people mean by agender, genderflux, or even a neurogender influenced by depression.

It more feels like I’ve lost something, but I’d have to get through the embarrassment of admitting I lost in the first place before I could label the experience. I tried to see if I could somehow communicate this feeling of obscuring and maybe losing in a poem.

Title: Lost and Not Yet Found

The fog creeps out of the ground,
descending from the hills,
and settles over the trees and landscape
like a comfortable blanket
(not a pretty one, kept carefully clean
of cat hair and crumbs),
like a friend’s arm curling around
your shoulders on the couch.

You can’t see outside your window,
and for a moment, your brain can’t
fill in what’s supposed to be there,
even though you know the trees
and the curves of the hills remain.

Depression creeps out of the corners,
and settles over your mind
like a well-worn and familiar blanket,
like a sad but consistent friend.
Your gender fades into the whisps of fog,
and for a moment, your brain can’t
fill in what’s supposed to be there.

You can’t see the outlines of it,
light does strange things within the grayness,
and your questions get swallowed up
(your voice sounding quiet and strange).
The idea that fog can make something disappear
unnerves the hindbrain, and yet…

A fleeting moment of relief will be there
when the fog gets burnt off by the sun,
and you can see your gender remains
where it had been left, like a tree
returning to the crisp view of the hills.
You didn’t lose it. This time.

-End-

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