In Life/Green's name and For life's Sake
And looking towards the wellspring from which all life springs
I swear to keep the world growing
To turn my leaves always towards Sunfire and Rainstorm
And to transmute them to the stuff of life's need.
To place my roots between hard rock and seedling
And to respect all that grows well in it's own way -
To look towards growth and life - when it is right to do so
(keeping in mind)
(The cleansing fire that enriches with ash)
And to respect and love the red land and the black (and all their people)
Looking always towards the wellspring of water that exists within all things
And from which their life extends...
Personal experiences - within and fitting in
I have been slowly writing a series of posts on how being both Trans and Disabled/Neurodivergent interact with eachother. For me they are tangled together.
I am trans but a lot of trans-ness seems to get explained in terms of gender identity.
I don't really have this thing called "Gender Identity".
I have experiences. My body is shaped in certain ways, I have a large-ish bosom and curves. But I've also felt other things - sensations that make more sense coming from another form. I mis-judge distances between hips and objects, topping in bed (in the sense many gay men use it) feels as natural as breathing. I have dysphoria - although sometimes "dissonance" would be more accurate. Sometimes it burns like fire, but sometimes it is merely this doubled sensation. Which can be be neutral. Sometimes it even leads beautiful places. There is sweetness and thorns. But because of that I act in ways that some people consider "unacceptable" for my assigned gender. I also accept and love my body in many ways. I *am* my body in many ways.
I also go against how people of my assigned gender are supposed to act, people have told me that.
I don't really have this thing called "Gender Identity".
But I am not a person who can live in a vacuum without other people. Be surrounded by them, but unconnected and isolated. I want to talk about things with others. I am part of that sea. So I need words. With my experiences, in some circles I would be considered a Trans Man (with very low dysphoria). And so I am. In some circles someone with these experiences would be considered an Androgyne. Or Genderfluid. But these are not really my words. I am borrowing them so we can be on the same page. And the changes are not changes in me, just what I am called.
in building up their book of rules,
I had mine given without want,
I couldn’t build one, had no tools.My book has not, my name upon it.
It feels unlike mine in hand.
If not that I relied upon it,
I’d let it fall like grains of sand.
-Donna Williams (from Not Just Anything)
But a lot of how I act does not necessarily have to do with sex/gender. I have certain things I'm good at and like to do. I love to cook, garden, knit, work with metal. My "role" has more to do with these things than what's between my legs or what I do with it. Some of what I am is labeled feminine, some masculine. What I wear is a lot about colors and what they invoke. I attempt to invoke many things and gender is only one of them in a long list. Branches and moss, fire and earth, rose petals and blood. I do occasionally wear things to look masculine, and some "feminine" things make me feel sick and frightened because of things that happened.
I am Trans. But the rest...
I've seen this said a lot of different ways. I've heard that straight relationships are more based in love than gay ones. I've heard that monogamous relationships are more true to love or sensible than poly ones. I've heard polyamorous relationships held up as more sensible and loving. That mentally disabled people's relationships are not as full.
All of this is wrong. All of these have the capacity to be wonderful, glorious. Or to be hurtful.
All intimate relationships have the same standards - The consent of the participants. The respect and compassion with which they treat eachother. Whether the relationship enriches both of them. Whether it leads to healing, growing, blossoming. Whether the relationship enriches the community around them.
The outward forms of these things may look vastly different. They should look different. Shaped by the people in them. But they're not some weird exotic thing. They have the same heart.
TW: for f-ed up coercive therapy (although I'm not going to be too graphic)
When I went through puberty, though, all these things started to happen that I knew were not quite right. But I knew what would be right. I could feel it in my bones. And all the things that felt right put me with this group of people called "men". And so I did things to signify that I was in that group. Things like not wearing makeup or nail polish, not wearing a bra, calling myself "like a boy" and "a tomboy". Things were hard - but I was figuring out a way of living with the hard things that worked for me.
In many ways "feminine"* things are more suited to me. I love colors and playing with different clothing combinations. I love cooking and other domestic ways of enriching the world. (Although me in bras still makes me WTF.)
*But none of this stuff is inherently female.
My wearing different clothes, not wearing makeup, etc. were my ways of communicating (my only ways of communicating) which category I should be in. And it was also part of me *thinking* about those very same things (when you don't think in words, sometimes objects become your "diary" in terms of working out your thoughts).
So before I had fully sorted out my feelings, I started to be trained out of all the physical signs of them. Extensive, one-on-one training.
Confusion. I didn't even know who or what I was. Even though some of the things I felt and did are textbook *Trans.
for years I've felt that what they did was "not that bad" (even though the hurt goes deep) or just "trying to help me" or "necessary". (even though those aren't valid excuses for hurting people.)
This is just one of the reasons I have a problem with how people talk about Mentally Disabled people.
The current conception of autism and developmental disorders - of differences being mostly "meaningless behaviors" and "not understanding socialization". makes Reparative Therapy seem "more OK" to do to Autistic people. It makes it seem helpful at times.
And this is also why I still don't dress as flashily or as colorfully as I'd like. Or use nail polish for anything. Because everything still has that taint of force/coercion to it. And it's a long hard road to embrace it again and clean it. But I'm glad I'm on that road now.
For those of you on DW that I converse with - I haven't been ignoring any of you for personal reasons. And I still will post sometimes.
But I realized something - using words takes a toll on me. A big toll. And right now I am studying at University - which means that using words is at the *heart* of many of my duties as a student. So by the time the semester ended, I had to take a break from all of that - to avoid going down in flames.
But the other side to this (the Good side). Is that as soon as it was all over, as soon as I stepped back, Parts of my emotions, joyful, connected parts that I hadn't felt all autumn - they came back. Slowly and with a *lot* of pain sometimes. But they came back.
Just wanting to say that these things are not lost forever.
Burt school is pretty close again, so I might not be posting or replying very much.
But I still care about you all and wish the best for you this new year.
And happy new Baktun to you all!
May the Sixth World treat you well and bring you what you need.
Maya complained about how much Ann was away. "It's clear that she and Simon have started something and are just out there having a honeymoon while we slave away in here." That was Maya's way of looking at things, that would be what it would take to make Maya as happy as Ann sounded in her calls. But Ann was in the canyons - and that was all that was needed to make her sound that way...
This is one quote I really like from Red Mars - I might add more to this same post as I write them up, or give them their own post, whichever is less confusing.
Red Mars is a novel about the first 100 colonists on Mars and how they interact with it and how Mars changes them. And how they get along with eachother. And then there's environmentalism, and politics, and a mystery... It's a very "big" book for the number of pages it has. :)
I really love and respect Ann Clayborne and her love for Mars.
(Image description: A bunch of people in business clothes far in the background. In the foreground, a tiger stripping off a business suit with a look of confidence and joy. The words: “Halloween is when our costumes are taken off”)
Happy Halloween to everyone.
Here are links to information on
Occupy Decolonize Tucson and Occupy Decolonize Phoenix:
Protest starts at 9 am
(sorry main occupy phoenix site is down)
Protest goes from 12 noon - 6 pm.
Cops are being grouchy about people sticking to the allotted protest time - which is no reason not to stay later - there’s supposed to be people there long term. Just be aware and make your own choices.
Here are some links to people’s issues or disagreements with the “occupy wall st.” movement. Please read them, they are making important points:
I have real problems, myself with using “occupy” so near the Tucson Presidio. It seems like stirring up the worst memories and feelings of that place. And there is so much history there, bad and good and mixed. In fact it’s the wrong target for any ‘occupation’. The city, Tucson, is not our problem - it is our home and downtown’s heart is where the history of our city, of us, lies thickest. Any fierceness should be located at the Broadway Financial District.
The Phoenix Capital Building seems more appropriate, because the legislators that sit in that building have made a sad habit of policies that cut deep into what we need to be a strong community for the profit of a few. Even when people have shown their opposition by voting for propositions that raise the sales tax on themselves to fund education.
In any case, if I am in Tucson, I will not be carrying any sign that says “occupy”. Nor in Phoenix either. But I will be there, because I believe it is important to be seen. For all of us to be seen.
(please signal-boost, especially if you are or know any Arizonans)
And the Fire is the Heart
For it's sake, all fires whatever are sacred to me.
I shall kindle them small and safe where there are none
For the wayfinding of those who come after.
I will breathe on those fires about to die in dark places
And in passing, feed those that burn without harm to any.
The fire that burns and warms those around it,
In no wise shall I meddle with it, save that it seems about to consume it's confocals, or die.
To these ends, as the Kindling requires, I shall ever thrust my claw into the flames
To shift the darkening ember or feed the failing coal.
Looking always towards the inmost Hearth from which all flames rise together
And all fires burn, undevouring. In and of that which first set light to the Worlds
And burns in them forevermore.
-The Saurian/Cat version of The Oath.
The Book of Night With Moon
by Diane Duane
Remember the NPR “Top 100 SF/F” list that came out a while back? That (at least in my opinion, although opinions vary) cane out very white, male, and also boring. There was a process by which the judges narrowed the selection I don’t fully understand.
Eruthros has gathered nominations for the past two weeks for a list of the top 100 Speculative Fiction works. It’s very long, so here’s where she’s taking votes to narrow it down to a short list. Please go vote! You can also vote with OpenID.
I've been reading some stuff about consent recently, and it's all about spoken consent and how that's super important.
Here's one of the articles I'm talking about:
And a Good response on Tumblr:
( Bunch of Personal Musings About BDSM stuff - not graphic )
She’s trying an experiment to see if she can fund some much needed house repairs and nursery renovations for her soon-to-be kiddo. Anyway, go over there and look, even if you do nothing else. A lot of the paintings are just gorgeous. They're based partly on peope's prompts (a word or two to represent in the painting) and I'm surprised by how she represents them in shape and color.
In this post, ze made a couple of epic cool drawings *more accurately* describing zir gender/sexuality.
So I'm following suit:
( Read more - and see pictures... )
Sorry about the lack of image descriptions, maybe later.
( Hedgehog - a poem by him )
Also a Happy Belated-by-almost-a-month Birthday to Walt Whitman
( From Leaves of Grass )