cereus: Abstract picture of the sun as a fire with the word Hearth (hearth)
(This came up in my mind because Mark is reading Sunshine on video!)

One of the things about Sunshine that's amazing is the community there.  Like Mrs. Bialosky sticking up for Sunshine, and helping keep the neighborhood flowerbeds planted, and sharing the right kind of gossip.  And Mel comforting her when needed and giving people rides on his motorbike.  And Sunshine making food for everyone (obviously :P ).

And Paulie taking an early morning shift every once in a while so others can sleep in.

And Charlie... And Jesse.... And Miss Yolande...

And none of these people are the same.   Sunshine is a baker, and a monster of sorts, and a tree.  Mrs. Bialosky is a Were (and an old lady).  Mel repairs motorcycles and paints them.   And Paulie is as young and enthusiastic as Mrs. Bialosky is old and measured.

And I think the same thing applies in the real world.  Communities can form with all kinds of people, provided they can (and actually want to - which is important)  work together.  And the "traditional" kind of community actually has grandmothers and young boys.  People who are deeply devoted to carrying on mysteries and ceremonies (religious or otherwise) and people who have doubts about everything and call themselves "godless".  And some people who just like the festivals because they're fun and pleasant and connect with them on that level. (And some of those three things can be the same person.)  They have farmers, and medicine makers, and stonemasons, and teachers, and people who don't necessarily do anything we'd see as "work" but are still part of the whole thing.

Community doesn't have to be about what kind of person you are.  Community is about holding eachother up.  Keeping eachother going.  About whether we enjoy eachother's company sometimes, and find ways to deal with it when we frustrate or hurt eachother.   And making sure people don't get their boundaries walked over.

(And when that isn't working - that can be a valid reason to walk away from a community.  There has to be that ability.)

I think sometimes the ideas of "what kind of person you are" and "Community" get mixed up and melded together.  An I think that  it's been causing some frictions recently.  LIke for instance, kids who are (mis)diagnosed with something else and/or questioning whether they're autistic or not asking if they are "allowed" to be in "the autistic community".   Which, I would say - can you communicate with a group of autistic people?  Does doing so help make your life a better place?  (Perhaps through increasing your understanding of what's going on with you.)  Can you give something back?  It doesn't have to be anything much.  Then congratulations, you are part of AN autistic community.  Diagnosis shouldn't have to figure in (IMHO). Not all autistic people are part of "autistic communities" either.

And things can get especially tangled in LGBT+/Queer communities.  Because there's all sorts of history tangled up there.  And also, sometimes the same word can do *triple* duty, describing not only "what kind of person you are" (in matters of attraction or gender) but also culture and community.  So a Lesbian who discovers she's into guys sometimes but still wears the same gender-fuck-y clothing, and cares about the same people, and likes to go to Lesbian Bars has a dilemma on her hands.

And this also, I think feeds into the "culture wars" that go on.  I mean, if in your worldview, everyone in the same community has to be the "same kind of person" and trans people start coming into your community, or some lesbians have had male partners, and you don't want to transition or do it with guys then you have 3 options.  Either give in and do the stuff you don't like,  Loose your community and be out in the cold because the definition has changed.  Or tell those "awful people" to stop doing all the "awful, gross stuff" that you hate, so there won't be any pressure on you to do it either.

Of course, all those options are awful.  There's got to be other choices because all those ones are bogus.

The history can come in in many ways, some of which make this more complicated.  Like the fact that a lot of LGBT+ people got kicked out of their original communities for doing whatever they were doing gender or relationships-wise.  And so they need the resources the new community can provide badly.   And getting it to them is important.  But even then, that might not fall nicely into the existing categories.

And it brings up the whole question of who came up with the idea that only people with the same sexual orientation could be in the same community in the first place...

Yeah.




cereus: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (Default)
After using the cover art in a recent thread,...  XD

I'm reading Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence, it's really good!

Some reviews describe it as uninteresting or dull, but it really isn't!  It may not be about stunt flying or anything, but it's very well written.

cereus: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (Default)
part 1

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.

Though others may have had some say
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)
 
In this culture, there are ceremonial roles for Women/girls and Men/boys.  There are almost never ceremonial roles for in-between people.  I care deeply about Ceremony and Ritual (in some ways)  I can't not. So in ceremonial instances I have to choose - and I prefer to go with the male role it feels more comfortable . (This includes things like whether it is needed to keep your head covered, etc.)

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...

cereus: A heart entangled with a rainbow colored infinity sign (poly)
There is no one kind of relationship that has some special magic that makes it superior to all others.  Or all that different from others.

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.

No on 102

Dec. 2nd, 2008 04:41 pm
cereus: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (FailCafe)
Posted from my private blog.

My views have mellowed a bit since I wrote this though.  At the time I was still in shock and angry.

Marriage may be a religious institution that our government should have no say in, but prop 102 is still a nasty and foolish piece of work. Not only does it potentially restrict access to hospital visitation rights, but it also might send a nasty message about the equal worth of relationships.

It seems to me that the whole "procreation" issue is a red herring. Because when I see anybody who's married (even the fundie christian types) when they talk about their spouse and why they married them it's never about how they wanted to fill the Earth with their children. It's about LOVE. They LOVE each other. Ok, not always. My best friend was perfectly willing to cohabitate until his lover got into a serious accident and the hospital paperwork got messy.

This simple fact is at the heart of why I'm suspicious of anything that restricts marriage, even if I'm not really sure how it would fit into my life if I did get married. The ritual aspect always struck me as cool, but being neither monogamous nor possessive, and being annoyed by empty social rituals, I can't see any reason to tie the Knot.

Love is too rare and precious to worry too much over who other people choose to love. That should be a non-issue. Having believed for a long time that I was flat out "incapable of love" (and all the trouble that caused) it baffles me when people pull this kind of shit and assume that others are unfit to be in a relationship.

EDIT: I'm no longer sure how important this is. Mixing up personal lives and politics is often a bad combination. Basing your arguments on what people "might think" is no way to prioritize.

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