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.


Semi-Permanent Questioning

This is a response for the first Gender Exploration Carnival theme (“Questioning”) for February 2021.

Summary: The process of realizing I’m nonbinary, multigender, and genderfluid has made it hard to know if I’ve hit the gender-saturation limit (and can ‘stop’ questioning). Being closeted offline has made it hard to experiment with offline specifics, and depression has made it hard to detect what’s going on internally, so I currently don’t have specific gender identity labels.

Continue reading “Semi-Permanent Questioning”

Bits’n’Bobs (and other blogs)

I put the prior post for contacting purposes up because I was in the midst of reaching out to a mod for a currently on hiatus blogging carnival throughout the end of Dec 2020 and the beginning of Jan 2021. A few other Pillowfort users and I were interested in unpausing that carnival, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

I got a WordPress set up for this new blogging carnival we’re going to try: Here There Be Genders: A Gender Exploration Carnival.

I’m afraid I can’t link to the Pillowfort posts relevant to this endeavor because, well, things happened after Pillowfort left Beta on 25 Jan 2021. It wasn’t horrible per se, but as of this posting (28 Jan 2021, 6 pm), the site is still down for maintenance. I didn’t realize how accustomed I got to checking on Pillowfort or how quickly I adapted to view-locking posts until I wound up cut off from the site suddenly. I didn’t make a meme for the occasion, but I did make the following vent-y edit:

{Image description: “I survived Pillowfort’s Opening” in an italicized font against a pale blue background, which has been added to the right of an image of ambergris from the Carta Marina (map). The ambergris looks like a clump of pale green misshapen lumps against a blue-grey background of the map’s ocean. /End description.}

For those who may not be aware, ambergris is a valuable for use in perfume whale feces related product. Undigested squid beaks, constipation, and floating around in the ocean are more or less involved to get ambergris itself. More than one synthetic version has been made, but with anything, some people insist there’s nothing that can replace actual ambergris [“In Search of Ambergris, a Highly Prized Slurry of Squid Beaks and Whale Feces“].