{polite swearing}

Do I have any memory of what was in that draft that was published instead of previewed (again)? Nope. I have no idea what was in “To Write”. Hope it wasn’t horrible.

Am I having issues with the CoA posts? Yup. While I would like to finish them and post them at some point, I’m just not seeing it happening in time for the carnivals.

Am I seriously considering drafting elsewhere to see if I can reduce premature posting here on WP? Yeah. I’m not sure why it’s hitting now after years of not having this issue, but I’m already very tired of this mistake.

A small bouquet of oopsie-daisies

This post is brought to you by the small space between preview and publish.

I’m aware I probably got the attention of the WP bloggers whose pieces were linked in that first draft that was posted too early, and I’m aware that might not have made sense for any followers reading the post in an email where I didn’t have sections finished. (I’ll absolutely put a heading or list somewhere without completely filling in the section, so there were randomly empty fic placeholders, I’m sure.)

Draft 2.0 will hopefully roll out a bit more smoothly. I hadn’t made up my mind before accidentally posting, but I was debating splitting the a-spec adjacent narratives in some of my fanfic plots into an aro (clearly marked for the Carnival) and an ace post. I figured it might be easier on the eyes than one super long post, but I also hadn’t factored in what might need a warning for squicks, triggers, and repulsed/averse readers yet.

Lent (iii)

While I found it interesting to read some of the pages on Queer Saints when doing research for part of a play (working title Judas Kiss), I don’t really have a personal investment in reconciling centuries of shifting historical attitudes with being a queer Christian. I took my dog out of that fight years ago because it didn’t seem like I could reconcile traditional church messages with being queer (and other reasons), and I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about that elsewhere when explaining how I wound up in pagan and polytheist circles. I know in one of my chats with my QT dead that I was prompted to dig into some of my Christianity inflicted wounds surrounding this, but unfortunately, it’s not exactly an unheard of experience, so I’m not currently going to go find it to share here.

Some parts of my family were/have been involved with the United Methodist Church, and as of drafting this out (6 March), it’s not that far from a big announcement that made national news about the UMC voting to uphold its ban on same-sex marriage and ordaining queer individuals [link]. The decision passed in a 53 percent to 47 percent vote, and there are questions about some sort of split being possible because it’s not a clear cut ‘everybody agrees’ matter. When I look at some of these Queer Christian perspectives, I think of people who are not yet my ancestors, my living Queer siblings, who don’t want their answer to religious conflict to be walking away.

I can’t deny that I personally had to go through an anti-Christian phase as a teen, in order to work out some of the baggage and scabbing wounds, but I’ve been trying to do better. I had a dear friend in high school who was an ally and quite Catholic, and I know the Catholic girl I had a crush on had a different kind of struggle because she didn’t want to stop being Catholic. (Sometimes looking back at who you’ve known and crushed on certainly answers why you have occasional bouts of blasphemy kink.) I don’t have the space to list off all of the Christians I’ve encountered or know who actually are queer themselves or queer accepting, but needless to say, they do exist. Trying to not poke fun at Christians isn’t going to absolve my QT dead of their respective wounds, but sometimes, letting those instances slide is a moment of acknowledging their complexity.

Stop Islamophobia and White Supremacy

Lady Of The Lake

This morning: 49 dead, 48 hospitalized from a mass shooting and attack on two mosques in Christchurch in Aotearoa (New Zealand). White supremacists planned and carried out the attacks. The gunman live-streamed the carnage.

In-depth coverage of the incident from Democracy Now. The commentaries from Qasim Rashid, a lawyer and human rights activist, and Farid Hafez, a lecturer and researcher at the University of Salzburg, are extremely important.

This is the latest horror to require a repudiating response and a strong call to action and solidarity from activist allies who oppose Islamophobia, structural and personal racism, anti-Semiticism, anti-immigration hate, and so on. (Have any of us done enough? I know I haven’t.)

Here are two opinion pieces just published in The Guardian.



“After Christchurch, Muslims need more than just your thoughts and prayers” by
Masuma Rahim, a clinical psychologist. A quote from her editorial piece:

“Your thoughts and prayers…

View original post 461 more words

Butch

Due to how I rearranged my posting schedule here, I’ve technically not yet posted my review of Stone Butch Blues (it’s scheduled for later in Feb). I had kept a few personal notes in a separate draft that I thought might clutter up the #reviews and opinions post, but then – surprise, surprise – the personal bit got too personal, so I focused on other drafts.

Personal History

I didn’t experience bullying or physical attacks where ‘butch’ or any related words used to refer to masc lesbians were involved while growing up. I’m pretty relieved that I haven’t experienced the rape that Jess does in the story [1]. My experiences growing up over 30 years after the setting of Stone Butch Blues that included living in a rural area in my teens are obviously different (my classmates worked on their family farms, in 4-H, in FFA, hunted, and wore enough camo that I didn’t stand out as different).

And yet, I can’t say I was sheltered from ‘butch’ and related words. My grandmother was the first person I remember using ‘dyke’ to refer to me in a warning about others potentially using it if I wore a certain ‘masculine’ outfit with such short hair. (My mother chalked it up to generational differences, and sometimes, I had to agree. I wasn’t forced to wear dresses or skirts as an automatic part of being properly dressed for school regardless of uniforms, which Mom did experience, and plenty of girls in my generation wear pants that wearing jeans isn’t a masc thing.)

I still remember the ass on campus who ‘joked’ about how his cock could fix butch lesbians, and at the time, I was the only butch lesbian within earshot, so it definitely raised my personal awareness of potential danger from rape. {Did he specifically and directly threaten me, personally? No, but rape jokes aren’t funny when only a year or two later there would actually be someone attacking women on campus. Joking about any sort of sexual assault on a college campus isn’t exactly funny.}

I also remember how comfortable it was to wear my grandfather’s hand-me-down work clothes – 70s era jeans, in particular – while working in the E Shop. I also used to wear his long-sleeved overshirt – where he worked on one patch, his name on the other – when it wasn’t too hot, but an oversized men’s t-shirt that didn’t rid up in the back, wasn’t sheer, and allowed for full arm movement was a staple. (Some of these clothes also survived my time in the Paint Shop, so they definitely looked lived in.) Work boots. My carabiner with my keys (in addition to my shop key, my dorm was old enough that I needed a general dorm key and a room key). Multitool (with knife). Working as a techie was hell on my body in a physical sense, but how I dressed felt right.

Stone

While I had tangentially read about stone butches when trying to figure out how to Google the questions I had about butches when I was younger, I didn’t really connect stone to what I was trying to figure out. I didn’t really think about it until I stumbled upon Xan West’s WP, specifically What Is Stone?:

I am interested in talking about stone in a way that does not assume it is attached to specific gender identities. I think stone identity can be useful for and accessible to a wider range of folks if we stop assuming that it is tied inextricably to specific genders. I want folks to be able to access the idea that they might be stone, because I think it can be a really helpful framework.

I might find it easier to connect stone with butchness, but I think that poking at this long enough turns up a connection with stone and other genders. I can pull out quick tidbits that jump out from West’s post, but honestly, prodding around at to what extent stone helps to explain some aspects of myself is big enough that it might deserve its own post for thorough chewing:

[…]

B. Limits on touch/penetration/nakedness

C. Being a sexual top

[…]

F. Sexual orientation – pleasure is centered on another

In the process of trying to Google something about Stone Butch Blues, I wound up finding a post by Coyote at The Ace Theist where the book is mentioned – Tapping at “Stone”: me & a stone (a)sexuality:

“With that said, conceptualizing a simultaneous stone & ace identity becomes easier when you remember some of the specific subgroups that exist within that diversity of experiences I mentioned, including:

This isn’t to say that ace = stone, and there’s a fair bit about the ace specific complications around focusing on pleasing a partner because it’s not uncommonly suggested that an ace person should compromise and have sex with their partner. However, there are areas where the differences get a bit gray and hazy if you will.

[…] the help of the wayback machine can confirm two interesting details here: 1) “placiosexual” was defined according to the person running that blog as “when one feels little to no desire to receive sexual acts but expresses interest/desire in performing them on someone else” and also that 2) they described placiosexuality as “within the asexual community.”

It’s hard to look at that definition and not see an echo of stone. […] I think a lot of stone folks would object to being considered ace, and that’s fine by me. But the existence of multiple people who use the “placiosexual” label and consider it to be ace-related suggests to me an existing tendency to read asexuality and stonelike tendencies as not just compatible, but naturally related and in coalition with each other.

I’ve explained in older posts about how I came to gray-asexuality, and I’ve found it easier to call myself ace when trying to explain certain situations and reactions (even in recent posts), but I can’t help but to think that this isn’t quite clear cut as that. My gut says that I’ve been using ace as a relatively more well-known shorthand for what might actually be more of a stone experience, but I think I need to let things percolate and prod some more.

[1] When I tried to go looking for a list of pages or chapters to avoid while writing up the review, I found other thoughts on the book or general warnings, so I made a point of trying to include what I could remember and easily refind (tracking all of the allusions would be a longer list).

Trigger Warning(s): Rape (Feinberg gives a warning before the story starts). Specifically, an incident of “corrective rape” from members of the football team in high school (Ch 4, pg 39 – 40) and allusions of rape from police officers after raids on bars against a variety of men and women (off-screen, in a sense) before and after the main character experiences it (Ch 5, pg 65 – 66).

Ghosts of Hypomania

Me, reading over old typed entries I wrote in 2015 (Part I) and part of 2017 (Part II), and softly whispering: wtf

Context: I wrote Part I from January to March in 2015 after a mental health episode. It helped me to work on self-realizing and self-accepting mental health issues that I’d been trying to ignore in the lead up to a drop-in therapy session on campus. At the time I was working with accurate self-knowledge and research I’d done into what was possibly going on (seasonal depression aka seasonal affective disorder / S.A.D., probably winter type). My premise was to draft out a bunch of posts and put them into a ‘journaling about my mental health’ tag on my personal tumblr (tag never created).

While I did a little updating in the document, I never did post any of the drafts to tumblr as posts, and I also never wrote anything beyond my spring semester of my Junior year [Part II]. This might seem like a wasted effort now in 2018, but it’s a rather good summarization of my history with being a bit Mentally Fucked Up, which dates back to at least high school. For those not around to witness the live descent into varying degrees of depression, suicidal ideation, and Very Self-Injurious things from my Senior year, a good summary of that is in “Just keep burning”.

Part II was never finished, but I do have the best notes of how fluoxetine (fall semester, Senior year) and bupropion xl (spring semester, Senior year) went compared to me foolishly not writing down notes at the time (clearly, neither worked very well given what was also going on that year). Why bring this up now when this is all depressing backstory? While at the time my depression seemed to have a seasonal flavor to it, I’m not sure that’s actually what was going on. Hidden away in Part I:

“Hypomania (Or those three days I don’t bring up to anyone because I don’t know how to describe them)” [Written: 1.24.15]

Sometime in the spring of my 11th grade year, and proper spring mind you, I had a period of three days where I believe I had a hypomanic episode. I honestly don’t bring this up to anyone because it’s only ever happened once, and I’m not even 100% sure it would be considered hypomania. I went from the numbness that had set in after not killing myself, which made it feel like some part of me had still died despite my body going on, to not-numb. I had this idea for a story and ALL the ideas for how this world worked, and it was vitally important that I write it down.

It’s not uncommon for me to let things percolate mentally before writing something down, but with this idea, all these explanations and details were coming so quickly that I thought I’d forget them if I didn’t write them down right then. I had all of this energy, and I couldn’t stop fidgeting if I wasn’t working on writing this idea down. I was pacing and irritable in a class period where I had the time but not the means to write down the idea, and I just really only wanted to focus on this idea. The third day wasn’t quite as bad as the first two, and then the idea wasn’t quite as important and I didn’t feel such a strong urge to work on it. I settled back down into apathy, but it still seemed like an improvement compared to numbness left over from the depressive episode.

This served as the inspiration for a poem I wrote in my Sophomore year spring poetry workshop:

“A warm, windy spring day after a harsh winter.” [Written: 3.14.14]

The warmth of the sun

burns dendrites and axons

into winds whipping

at tornado force speeds

not unlike

the chemical mix that

giddies the senses

into a channel of inspiration

that must be transcribed.

 

These rapid fire thoughts

must be caught with

graphite and chiseled into

petal-delicate paper

not unlike

how the stars slip through

the sieve of stretching hands

that happily burn and singe

their feathers into phoenix ash.

 

The phoenix ash warms the heart

into a race to finish

this explosion before the rain comes

and the wax wings melt

not unlike

the neurological signals that

override the circadian rhythms

and propel the mind into

the short-lived high phase.

/End of entry/

Can I definitively, 110% prove that I experienced a hypomanic episode? Eh, I think that’s the most succinct way to describe it in hindsight, but I’m still a bit hesitant after being off with self-diagnosis in the past. Regardless, no matter how it’s labeled, there are times when writing is tied up with being Off. As much as it’s a bit surreal (dare I say, painful) to admit that something isn’t quite right with my connection and ability to write at times, I can’t avoid that whatever-it-is is flaring up right now.

¡Milestone!

Today is my birthday, and let me tell you, it’s a bit weird admitting to that after growing up online where it was Unwise for young children to share their age. However, I have reached a milestone – 25 years, a quarter of a century, far longer than I ever thought I’d live while suicidal. It may have first dropped by before I was a legal adult, but Junior year of undergrad was very fucking close, fam. Like, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it to the intake appointment in two weeks, I was afraid of being institutionalized, and I had a friend hold onto birthday alcohol and acetaminophen (so I wouldn’t combine them) Close.

I wasn’t really in a place for those ‘here are random enjoyable moments’ lists, which isn’t to say they don’t help other people. Most of them are so small and fleeting (watch a sunrise, be the first to walk in freshly fallen snow, smell a flower, etc.) that they didn’t register for me. I had horrible insomnia and could see the sunrise, and it was the bleak, emotionless sign that my all-nighter was switching over into “I have to interact with people” mode. I had to walk everywhere on campus, and I saw a fair bit of cultivated nature (the tree outside of Glidden that would bloom in the spring, the holly bushes outside the one frat house on the walk to Kantner, so many leaves in the fall).

I certainly think there are things I should’ve done differently to manage my depression in hindsight, but something that wasn’t horrible was coming up with a to-do list that was long-term. True, at the time I couldn’t conceive of anything more long-term than a week or two, but my People saw that I needed something that was just far away enough in the future that I could hopefully get better and have other reasons to live before the task arrived. I’m sharing two body modification requests that explicitly tie into milestones for survival (I believe the palm idea was previously attributed to Loki in that Rocky Horror Picture Show Dream post, but Dad took over on the idea).

2020: Tattoo for Fenrir (II)

  • Purpose: Commemorate surviving 5 years. Honor Monstering gender, Otherness.
  • Right palm. Outline of wolf paw print; black ink.
  • Aim for getting it on / shortly after – 1/23/2020

2025: Tattoo for Njord (II)

  • Purpose: Commemorate surviving 10 years.
  • Knuckles/outer fingers. “HOLD FAST”; font and color details TBD. Other details TBD.
  • Aim for getting it on / shortly after – 1/23/2025

Some might be looking at Njord’s idea and having some questions about so many TBD’s being filled in, but the point isn’t to have a perfectly planned out idea today. It’s to have enough of an idea to want to stick around for the planning. Also, for those who are a bit confused on why that particular idea: “To hold fast means to hold onto the [rigging] lines fast when the ship is aloft in bad weather, so sailors would not be thrown off. These words served as a special reminder to hold on and persevere during tough times” (Source). The image is from the same source, and it is not the exact idea I want (in terms of font, color, size), but it’s an okay example.

Body mod isn’t going to “fix” anything, but it’s something I can plan for and live for when things get rough. It’s why some people focus on a pet (ex. who will feed Mr. Whiskers if I’m gone?), look forward to a movie, or get themselves involved in a show with another episode on the way.

Book Wishlist

Polyamory

Power Circuits: Polyamory in a Power Dynamic” by Raven Kaldera [$5 pdf / $20 paperback] (2010)

Blurb: Power Circuits is an alliance between two alternative lifestyles: polyamory, or multiple open and honest romantic relationships; and power dynamics, relationships that choose to be consciously and deliberately unequal in power, such as dominant/submissive or master/slave. Both lifestyles are on the cutting-edge frontiers of romantic and sexual relating, and for a long time practitioners of both have found little sympathy in either camp. This is the first book of its kind that navigates the waters of effective polyamory and power exchanges, with many essays from the brave practitioners who swim there.

Pagan Polyamory: Becoming a Tribe of Hearts” by Raven Kaldera [$10.99 Kindle / Paperback ranges from $9 – $20 based on Used – New] (2005)

Blurb: The term “polyamory” describes non-monogamous relationships based on honesty and affection. Presenting a fascinating peek inside the polyamorous lifestyle from a Pagan perspective, Raven Kaldera offers practical insight and spiritual depth into a vastly misunderstood way of life.

Relating polyamory to astrology and the elements (air, fire, water, earth, and spirit), the author addresses all aspects of the polyamorous life, including family life, sexual ethics, emotional issues, proper etiquette, relationship boundaries, and the pros of cons of this lifestyle. Kaldera also discusses polyamory as a path of spiritual transformation and shares spells, rituals, and ceremonies for affirming one’s relationships and spirituality.

Power Dynamics & Service

Real Service” by Raven Kaldera & Joshua Tenpenny [$5 pdf / $14 paperback] (2010)

Blurb: In any consenting and negotiated personal service relationship, there are hundreds of ways in which the servant can make the master’s life easier, and the master can manage the servant most effectively. Why is it that we usually only hear about a few of these ways? From housework to driving to child care to personal care, nearly anyone who is in service (or who would like to be) has dozens of skills they already know that they can offer as a service, and there are countless more practical everyday skills they can learn. Real Service is a handbook for service-oriented submissives and the people they serve, providing techniques to help a service relationship function smoothly, and suggestions for service that can be offered.

Sacred Power, Holy Surrender: Living A Spiritual Power Dynamic” Edited by Raven Kaldera [$5 pdf / $14 paperback] (2011)

Blurb: What is it like to live a deliberate negotiated power dynamic — a dominant/submissive, master/slave, or owner/property relationship — as part of one’s spiritual path? This book is an anthology of real people who follow that barely charted road in a variety of different faiths and spiritualities. These writings go beyond the simple matter of ethics and move into the realm of relationship as transcendent discipline. Edited by Raven Kaldera, Sacred Power, Holy Surrender takes us into a world where power can be uncorrupted and surrender can be a way to freedom.

Paradigms of Power: Styles of Master/Slave Relationships” Edited by Raven Kaldera [$5 pdf / $15 paperback] (2014)

Blurb: Consenting Master/slave relationships come in all varieties, inspired by many different historical periods and modern subcultures. One of the wonderful things about this lifestyle is that we can create our own unique paradigm with its own rules, protocols, and vision. From Victorian to medieval, from Leather to Gorean, This collection of essays by many practitioners of M/s showcases the beauty and diversity of this demographic, and will hopefully be an inspiration to future couples and families who are only now finding their way onto this road.

Intersection of Disability / Illnesses & Power Dynamics

Broken Toys: Submissives with Mental Illness and Neurological Dysfunction” Edited by Del Tashlin & Raven Kaldera [$5 pdf / $15 paperback] (2015; 255 pages)

Blurb: In erotic stories, consensual submissives and slaves are usually beautiful, perfect people who can endure any hardship while balancing a tray of drinks in one hand. But what about real life, where many of us in dominant/submissive or master/slave relationships cope with mental illness or neurological disorders? Some would say that these individuals shouldn’t even be doing power exchange, and yet many are – and they are making it work. Broken Toys explores the brave stories of people in service and surrender who are struggling with imperfect brains and nervous systems, and the inventive masters and mistresses who love them, and find ways to use the dynamic to keep everyone going.

Mastering Mind: Dominants with Mental Illness and Neurological Dysfunction” Edited by Del Tashlin & Raven Kaldera [$5 pdf / $12 paperback] (2014; 143 pages)

Blurb: In the world of Dominant/submissive and Master/slave relationships, new seekers often find an overriding ideal archetype of dominants, masters, and mistresses always being calm, controlled, and with all their mental and emotional faculties perfectly in line. But what happens when the dominant struggles with a mental illness or some kind of neurological disorder? Some would say that these individuals shouldn’t even be doing power exchange, and yet many are – and they are making it work. This book is an anthology of the experiences of brave dominants who strive to be honorable and effective in the face of these odds, and the people who gladly serve them. These stories are a bouquet of triumph and loyalty, and an inspiration to every practitioner of power dynamics who reads them.

Kneeling in Spirit: Disabled Submissives” Edited by Raven Kaldera [$5.00 pdf / $12 paperback] (2013; 95 pages)

Blurb: In erotic stories, consensual submissives and slaves are usually beautiful, perfect-bodied people who can endure any physical hardship while balancing a tray of drinks in one hand. But what about real life, where many of us in dominant/submissive or master/slave relationships cope with imperfect bodies and real-life challenges? Kneeling In Spirit explores the brave stories of disabled people in service and surrender, and the inventive masters and mistresses who love them.

Hell on Wheels: Disabled Dominants” Edited by Raven Kaldera [$5 pdf / $12 paperback] (2012; 95 pages)

Blurb: In the world of Dominant/submissive and Master/slave relationships, new seekers often find an overriding ideal archetype of dominants, masters, and mistresses always being big and strong, and able to physically overpower and discipline their submissives and slaves. But what happens when the dominant is or becomes disabled, and requires caretaking from the submissive? This book is an anthology of the experiences of brave disabled dominants and the people who gladly serve them, and how they maintain their authority from the darkness, the chair, and even the bed. These stories are a bouquet of triumph and loyalty, and an inspiration to every temporarily-abled person who reads them.

Intersection of Trans & BDSM

Double Edge: The Intersection of Transgender and BDSM” by Raven Kaldera [$20 paperback] (2010)

[cover image]

Blurb: Double-Edge: The Intersection of Transgender and BDSM is a smart book that tackles difficult, fascinating, controversial subjects with panache and compassion. It’s the latest public service from the fierce and tender pagan priest, activist, farmer, community organizer, oracle, nightmare of those devoted to normal and ordinary, and all-around role-model Raven Kaldera, whose complex identity gives him a rather comprehensive perspective on the topics of kinky sex, alternative relationships, and gender variance.

Respecting Other People’s Self-Identity

Sometimes a beneficial aspect of the internet is that you gain exposure to lived experiences that are not going to pop up in your irl community, but sometimes online communities create the illusion of agreement and solidarity where the reality is that definitions are dependant on one’s age/generation, location (my experiences in rural Ohio are different from a trans person’s experiences in urban California), and exposure to resources (‘old’ print books vs current online 101 guides, f’ex).

My post on how I identify included that I figured out I wasn’t cis before I landed on my current description, so I have a stronger identification with trans before nonbinary, genderqueer, or genderfluid. I don’t have an irl LGBTQIA+ community, so I tend to know more queer and trans people online. While it’s obviously not an ironclad rule that older queer and trans people don’t have an online presence, I’ve found that I do tend to find people closer to my age in online spaces, whether it has to do with a site (ex. tumblr tends to skew younger) or circles that don’t overlap because of different stages of life (high school and college circles tend to be intro heavy because students may just be starting to Question).

During a recent late night Google while trying to figure out the combination of words to find something related to gender play (no, dear google, not the book), I came across a LJ and then the connected WP of an older(*) genderqueer person who has a post with the following (Not Trans Enough?):

From my standpoint, it is misleading to refer to myself as “trans” because if I do, everyone assumes I *have* transitioned, *will* transition, or at least *want* to transition, and that my concerns and issues probably focus on access to hormones and surgery, the politics of bathroom access, and discrimination against identifiably trans people. I don’t feel included in the term “transgender”, I feel ERASED by it and hence do not use it.

The post shares part of an experience in a FB group where this person was being misgendered, so various definitions were being shared by users. Honestly, I’m not really sure this person would appreciate their misgendering being turned into a teaching moment for me, but I didn’t realize that I’d fallen into a bit of a trap around assumptions of sorting people into cis or trans categories (without considering that some people are not cis but don’t use trans). It’s easy to put into a Trans 101 guide, and it might be helpful when trying to explain to cis people, but it’s not written in stone and absolute. Personally, my experience with the definition of transgender is broader than the above, but y’know, there’s nothing wrong with a reminder that some people don’t want to use it.

 

(*) Mentioned coming of age in the 1980s. Eh, not old enough to be one of my grandparents (Old), but probably somewhere around my mother’s age (older). I mentioned age as an influence on definitions because at least some of the difference between their definition and how I’m used to defining trans is probably generational. It doesn’t make one definition better than the other, but it’s something to keep in mind and reminds me of this post [relevant snip from the tumblr post shared below].

naamahdarling:

(This post is going around.  Since I pretty much like the post, I’m making my own post rather than introducing this in the responses there, but I do want to link to it for context.)

A really cool and classy trans lady I corresponded with for a while on a different social site used words like “transsexual” and “transgendered.”  She spoke of herself as being born in the wrong body, and she spoke of herself as being biologically male, MTF.

She was in her late 60s.

I did not correct her.  I would not in a hundred years have dared.

Given the social climate and hostility she had endured, I was fortunate to be speaking to her at all.

I have occasionally seen younger people criticizing older people quite harshly for that sort of thing.  That hurts.

The use of language changes, my friends.

It is so, so very important to help people outside the community understand what language is most appropriate, and it’s important to discuss this stuff within the community so that we can reach some kind of consensus (however messy) moving forward.

It is also very, very important to respect the elders among us, and to understand that their experiences and the wisdom they have to share with us are of tremendous importance and incalculable value.  And the language they use?  Is part of their history, and our history, and respecting that fact in all its complexity is part of respecting them . . . and respecting ourselves as a community.

Language is so important, but in thirty years I guarantee you some of the language we defend so vigorously now will be woefully outdated, and many of us will still be clinging to it, much to the consternation of the younger generation.

I’m not saying it isn’t important to strive to create the most respectful, helpful language possible, and educate others when it is right to do so.  It is vitally necessary that we do so.  But we have to remember that this is a process that, thank heavens, never, ever ends.

Language cannot, and should not, stop evolving.  Look at us.  Look at all of us.  So beautiful, so many.  We are a dynamic community, a vivid community, full of art and history and passion and pathos and great, great power.  Something so lively is always surrounded by change.  That is so beautiful, and should be welcomed going forward … and it should be respected looking back.

There are words not yet invented that will apply to those not yet born.  Those people should be respected when they join us.  And the words we use now, they are good for now, and we should be respected.  And our elders should be respected.  Letting language take that from us is a horrifying prospect.

So.  Let us not forget that language is primarily meant to be what helps bind us together.  Let us remember not to let it set us apart, to squeeze us like a fist.

Please remember your history when discussing language.  You will eventually be part of our history.  You already are.  Please.  Go with open hands.

2018 in Review

[Thelatestkate: Drawing of a multicolored ferret with the phrase, “I know it wasn’t easy, so thanks for sticking around for another year.”]

Trying to think back over 2018, it feels hazy and nebulous like 2017. Finally reached a point where I realized I had slipped into an unsafe eating pattern during 2017 and needed to stop that (fun fact, there’s subclinical and clinical starvation). Some People were still finalizing Their Leaving, and Someone (currently unable to name publicly) surprised me by dropping in with an interest in Adoration (less reciprocal obligations and different offerings compared to veneration or honoring).

My grandfather’s cancer diagnoses, chemo and radiation treatments, and my grandparents wound up with a second dog after years of letting Raven be an only child (after Sweetheart passed sometime in undergrad). My grandfather and great-aunt’s unexpected passings. My grandmother has started preparing for selling the house and downsizing (somewhere in town) sometime in 2019. Trying to help her navigate turning on and using the computer for the small number of necessary tasks that involve online sites – checking grandfather’s email, online bank statements – is a special kind of frustrating because she doesn’t really want to learn how to do it (fingers crossed that she goes to the intro to computers classes in the new year).

Fanfic as coping. Fanfic as realizing that I may not be interested in a certain dynamic, but it’s still rather easy to write it. Fanfic as a way to connect to certain histories. Claiming my first prompt on ao3 (and realizing that giving the character a 200+ year lifespan in this au might require finishing the draft in 2019 despite wanting it done by 31 Dec for character reasons). Fanfic as realizing a boom-and-bust method of having ideas and skeletal drafts but struggling to finish a story might be something other than laziness (Mental Illness pondering that deserves its own post). Past-me was smart to come up with a chapter uploading schedule in order to stagger it all out, but past-me was not smart in thinking I would get that many drafts done this year.

Original fiction? In my Google docs? (It’s more likely than you think.)

I have a somewhat hazy memory of voting for the first time in 2012 in the fall semester of my Freshmen year of undergrad, but it’s kind of shoved in among all kinds of other firsts, Adulting issues, and focusing on my studies during college memories from undergrad. I know I voted to re-elect Obama, but I honestly don’t remember if I voted again until 2016 (Sanders wasn’t an option anymore, so I bit the bullet and voted for Hillary Clinton). Basically, I think this past Nov was the first time I voted in a midterm, and let me tell you, that was disappointing as fuck in a rural, majority Republican county. But I made sure I was still registered, did my candidate + issue homework, and got my ass to the polls, so I did the best I could do.

Honorary shoutout to Tumblr’s content policy update and the ensuing purge effective 17 Dec 2018. I’m trying to make my remaining accounts and this WP work, but I can’t make any promises about not trying any alternatives out in 2019. (Follow certain users to Dreamwidth? Follow people seeking to recreate the better, early 2000s side of tumblr at Pillowfort.io? Figure out if it’s worthwhile following kinky bloggers to bdsmlr, qink, MojoFire, or other places?) *shrug* We’ll see.

[Source: User zadiest: i refuse to die until things are better and that is a threat]