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...


cereus: Cereus cactus blossom (Cereus)
(Another (personal) version of the Wizards Oath from Young Wizards books by Diane Duane)

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 -
                                                                                          Without harm to others
To look towards growth and life - when it is right to do so
(keeping in mind)
               (the invasive)
                           (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...

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: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (Default)

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)

The Hearth

Sep. 17th, 2011 02:03 pm
cereus: Abstract picture of the sun as a fire with the word Hearth (hearth)
The Fire is at the Heart
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

cereus: Cereus cactus blossom (Cereus)

From :

"In light of recent proposed budget cuts in various countries, I feel compelled to mount a defense of the common sense concept of the government being able to “afford” something:

  • If we can afford to spend billions of dollars on weapons systems we will almost certainly never use, we can afford to have a system where a dedicated tax stream pays for some bare-bones retirement and disability benefits, with no more overhead than it costs to print and mail the checks.
  • If we can afford to endlessly occupy two countries for no apparent reason, surely we can afford to help people get health insurance.
  • If we can summon up $700 billion out of thin air to bail out banks, surely we can afford to fill in the state and local budget gaps that would lead to firing people who provide essential services.
  • If we can afford high-tech laboratories to do scientific research the results of which we will basically give away to corporate interests for nothing, then we can afford humanities instruction, which requires a teacher, a chalkboard, and enough chairs for all the students.
  • Again, if universities can afford to run money-losing athletic programs, then they can afford to provide the minimal research support funds humanities people require — basically time off to focus on research and maybe the occasional plane ticket, since the other resources they need consist of little more than the pre-existing infrastructure of a good library that you’d need for the university anyway.

The pattern is the same again and again and again: the thing that actually costs not too much money is denounced as unaffordable, while the insanely expensive thing is never even questioned. It’s like if I overdrew my checking account and decided I needed to start buying store-brand cereal while never questioning if I can afford that Lexus."

That wold be Love/Metta in action.

Also another good site:
cereus: Sandworm and Fremen from Dune (sandworm)
Inspired by reading Amanda Forest Vivian's post "Disabling Queerness"

When I was growing up, there was a big excitement about the "strong female characters" now being written in books and a lot of those selfsame books were shoved into my hands.  I loved to read and read fast, so a supply of books was a good thing.  And there were good parts to them - in many ways they were what the last era needed - the antidote to the last era.

There's a lot of emphasis in feminism, at least of my mother's generation,of telling girls they can be strong.  On letting "Strong women" develop their potential.  Because women are really as strong as men.  But what about the women who aren't "strong"?

Whatever way you determine strength there's a lot of people that are going to be weak.  Because not everybody has the strength, verbal agility, stamina and physical energy level, and personality (not to mention equal economic opportunities) to make it in this world if we change nothing but allowing women to compete.  If you want to make the lives of women better how much have we accomplished if a large group are still struggling.

In many ways feminism was trying to get woman to be seen in the same way as men.  But there's a trap in how men are seen, too.

There's a dark side to the male role in society is just that if you're strong, great, but if you're weak, if you can't handle it, you're gone.  If the dark side of the female role is the housewife/drudge then the masculine dark side is cannon fodder.  Can't handle the responsibilities of high-power lifestyle? Bang. Show weakness? Bang. Show emotion, or compassion for the wrong person? Bang.  Love another man? (Everyone knows that men are gross, you'd have to be sick.) Bang.  Dress in feminine clothes? Bang.   Have trouble focusing in class and so barely graduate high school and then try to go to community college and try to hold a minimum wage job, and end up short on money?   You can go into the army. It's a great opportunity.  Many of the male roles are designed to make a crop of obedient soldiers.  But it's not a good life anymore than the life of a drudge, or a doll is.

In a talk I went to recently on Math Anxiety they showed a chart that showed what most men and women said their sucess or failure at math was caused by:

                    Success         Failure
Men              Skill           Lack of Effort
Women        Luck           Lack of skill

I've seen so many disabled  people fall into the trap of "I'm just not trying hard enough".  So this makes me wonder...

Telling me, a "girl*" that was (and still is) struggling to speak, to use words at all, to not slur - that she should be speaking "louder" with more "confidence"  if she wants any one to pay attention to her or care for her.  That "She" doesn't "have to speak so softly because she's female" wasn't a good idea.  It was almost hurtful in a lot of ways.

Can't we find a way to treat all people well, without falling into either of there traps?  Can we build a society that works for the Weak and the Strong and the WeakandStrong, and everyone else?

* Not that much of a girl actually, just as much of a boy.  They had no way of knowing about the parts that were there but didn't match my physical body.

May 2017



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