"I know that there are people who think that this is odd. They take their comfort other ways -- from liquor or from God. Now sometimes prayer can call me or a drink helps get me through, But nothing is so healing as the days I spend with you." -- from "My Thousand Closest Friends" (1991) by Naomi Pardue
"Oh, take your time don't live too fast.
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman you'll find love
And don't forget son there is someone up above.
And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand [...]"
-- from "Simple Man", written by Ronnie Van Zant (b. 1948-01-15, d. 1977-10-20) and Gary Rossington (b. 1951-12-04)
"Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people." -- Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson, b. 1958-06-07, d. 2016-04-21)
[Though I think taking it too far and living as if "I don't have to work toward this because it's already done," might be counterproductive. Still work to make the change you want catch up to you.]
"Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood." -- William Penn (b. 1644-10-14, d. 1718-07-30), +++verify source&work+++
"One week after Jeff Sessions changed DOJ policy by refusing to protect transgender people under Title VII and launched a sweeping license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, he's seeking credit for prosecuting a hate crime? We believe Americans deserve an Attorney General willing to address systemic discrimination and enforce policies and laws that prevent hate violence in the first place." -- Sarah Warbelow, Human Rights Campaign Legal Director, 2017-10-15
Typing passwords from muscle memory with an injured finger sucks. It's a little like remembering a tune from its fingering on one instrument while playing it on a different instrument, but mistakes are physically painful instead of aurally. (And no, I have no idea what I did to the finger, just that even light pressure to the fingertip causes electric-feeling pain to shoot up my arm and moderate pressure makes the pain go all the way to my chest. No visible signs and I didn't have a violent mishap. Strange.)
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-02-26:
"The late John Greenwood, Q.C, who served as Ontario's Assistant Deputy Attorney General in the late 1970s, had a signature line he used to deliver with a straight face. "Anybody can convict the guilty,' he'd say to visitors to his office, "the trick is to convict the innocent.' People laughed uneasily, sensing it may not be entirely a joke."
-- George Jonas, writing about John Greenwood in the National Post.
(submitted to the mailing list by Z.D. Hora)
If I had a "dollar" for every time I saw someone use quotes for emphasis -- Rex Morgan (@rexm), 2017-09-18 (reacting to this sign, but I'm sure y'all pictured several other examples from memory already)
"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors?" -- Thomas Jefferson (b. 1743-04-13, d. 1826-07-04, US President 1801-1809), 1781
"As his name is not 'Biggest Bird', we are to understand that Sesame Street is home to at least one, perhaps more, truly immense unseen birds" -- TOMb, 2017-10-11
Thinking about National Coming Out Day. I don't think there's anyone in my life or even kinda near my life who doesn't know that I'm transgender. And a lot of you know that I'm kinky, and some of you may know/remember than I'm polyamorous. (Well, 'ambiamorous' -- I can actually be quite happy in a monogamous relationship or a poly one, depending on whom I'm in the relationship with and how it develops. But I identify more as poly.) I've been "out" about all of that for a long time, even if not everybody has had the last two come up in conversation with me, so it kinda feels like i don't really have anything left to come out about. But maybe I do (though I said some of this in less detail last NCOD). Because several years ago I realized my identity was shifting and I felt a strong mental pressure to start making my body change too.
While many of you met me while I identified as "intergender" (because genderqueer wasn't a label yet when I chose one), my identity is no longer in-the-middle. A lot of folks who've run into me recently have heard this because they've asked -- either because asking about pronouns is a more normal thing nowadays or because they notice changes to my body, or both -- but I'm closer to the F pole on the gender graph than I was, and looking forward to seeing whether this journey carries me all the way there.
So here's my Coming Out Day thing, which (as I mentioned) folks who talk to me one-on-one a lot or have run into me and asked questions already know, but not everybody is up to date on: I have been on HRT for about five years, my pronouns are she/her (though I won't hold a "he" against anyone until I harmonize my gender-presentation with my gender-identity), I am trying to schedule a relevant minor surgery, I'm trying to work up my nerve to shave my beard (which feels like a bigger step than growing breasts or telling people or trying to schedule an orchiectomy), and I'm trying to pick a new name. Some of this is scary, more of it is wonderful, a bunch of it is both. Even though I haven't reached my destination (or figured out for sure what my destination is), that mental pressure to act is greatly reduced since I started taking these steps, my emotions seem to work a lot better on estrogens than androgens, and a lot of "mental static" that I'd gotten used to has gone away. (As Zinnia Jones has pointed out, not all symptoms of gender dysphoria are obviously that, until treating the dysphoria makes them go away.)
I stopped using conventional labels like 'gay'/'het'/'straight' to talk about my orientation a long time ago, and started just saying "attracted to women" and leaving the label as en exercise for the listener ... but did (do) identify as "queer". First because being trans (and especially for being visibly gender-nonconforming) I was already part of the queer community, and again because even though attraction to women didn't feel gay, it didn't quite feel straight either. (Because when my gender was in-between, which was the "opposite gender"? The labels 'bi' or 'pan' would have worked if I had been bi or pan, but I wasn't and AFAICT still am not.) Amusing thing though: I've assumed that most other people mentally tagged me as het, and while HRT did not change my orientation (it can do that, but I've never found out how common or rare it is), changing my gender does mean that the label for my orientation changes.
It's been said that coming out isn't a one-time act, but something that winds up being repeated again and again when meeting new people or joining new groups -- and that goes double for bisexuals and trans people. Like coming-out, transitions are scary and liberating and sometimes difficult ... and there's more than one. Even for a textbook story of a binary gender transition there are medical, legal, and social transitions which may happen at different times and aren't instantaneous. Of those, social transition is the scariest (and generally the most important). And I've already transitioned socially from male to genderqueer years ago, but here I am in the middle (beginning, I guess) of another social transition, from genderqueer to female or mostly-female, in the middle of medical transition, and looking into options & to-do list for legal transition. And y'know? Telling people one on one has been relatively easy (has gotten easier with practice), but standing up to the world and saying, "Here I am, I am changing, this is what I am doing," is a lot harder. So I guess I had something for National Coming Out Day after all.
BTW, what do folks think of the name Eftychia (Ευτυχια, /eff-ti-KHEE-a/ where the χ is sort of between a kh sound and a gh or really-rough-'h' sound)? Still making up my mind, but that one's in the running.
You ever get a vision stuck in your head in that way that usually only tunes get stuck? I've got one stuck in my brain right now, of a collie or a sheltie, dancing around a herd flock of velociraptors, herding them.
(Feathered, turkey-sized, real velociraptors, not big-ass movie ones.)
Chalk this up to my having just listened to a segment on The Current about necrofauna -- attempts to revive, or create approximations of, extinct species such as the mammoth and the passenger pigeon. (They mentioned dinosaurs as something they'll probably never be able to restore. But then a brief conversation with xpioti got velociraptors stuck in my head anyhow.)
"The closet does have a benefit. It provides safety. Which at times is important. But remember, as long as you are in there, two other things will be too. Fear and shame." -- Anthony Venn-Brown, A Life of Unlearning - a preacher's struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith
[11 October is National Coming-Out Day.]
A good Shemini Atzeret to my friends observing it today, and an especially joyous Simchat Torah to all celebrating that either today or tonight/tomorrow! (And yes, I know what I just said -- 'joyous' + 'simchat' -- is kind of redundant.)
"Art is the child of nature in whom we trace the features of the mothers face." -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [via Goodreads]
"Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well." -- attributed to Aristotle (b. 384 BCE, d. 322 BCE)
[Happy Thinksgiving to my friends in Canada!]
"Security to the persons and properties of the governed is so obviously the design and end of civil government, that to attempt a logical proof of it would be like burning tapers at noonday, to assist the sun in enlightening the world; and it cannot be either virtuous or honorable to attempt to support a government of which this is not the great and principal basis; and it is to the last degree vicious and infamous to attempt to support a government which manifestly tends to render the persons and properties of the governed insecure." -- John Hancock (b. 1737-01-23[*], d. 1793-10-08), 1774-03-05
[*] Recorded as 12 January 1736 in the Julian calendar, which England and her colonies used at that time; retconned to the equivalent Gregorian date, 23 Jan. 1747, when the Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1752. See a calendar for September 1752 for the changeover (on a Unix/Linux computer, type "cal 9 1752"). Note that different countries adopted the Gregorian calendar in different years.
"Science fiction is no more written for scientists than ghost stories are written for ghosts." -- Brian Aldiss (b. 1925-08-18, d. 2017-08-19), in 1961
"Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance."
-- Yoko Ono
"The commandment of the Four Species is to bind them as one unit to create a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts. So too in our society, it is not enough to accept the differences among people, we must include them as equal contributors in our communities." -- Kalman Samuels, 2017-10-04
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