May 2019
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31


an 'about me' that is exceedingly dense and comprehensive.


icon: "vivacious (my face with bold cat-eye makeup, with my head tilted down and to the side, looking at the camera with a wide close-lipped smile, hugging myself)"

There is a steep learning curve for most people to be close with me because I am so different from the default in identity, values, and language.
photo of me
[image description]
I have pale pink-toned skin, blue hazel eyes with light brown bushy eyebrows, and very dark brown hair with silver in it. My eyes are long and fairly narrow, my nose is medium-sized and upturned, my mouth is wide with full lips, and there is a gap between my two front teeth. I am wearing cat-eye liner that is very dramatic, with violet on my upper lids and shimmery white under my eyes down to the curve of my cheeks. I'm also wearing silver and violet jewels on one cheek and a goatee made of violet glitter. I don't wear foundation or lipstick, so you can see freckles on my cheeks and that my lips are a pale cherry red. I am making eye contact with the camera and grinning widely enough that you can see my upper teeth. I'm leaning against a scaly bright green plant so that it frames my face in the foreground and background.

--------


I'm 33 years old, queer, trans, agender, polyamorous, fat & proud, demisexual, poor, Georgian (the state), nudist, questioner, social justice activist, tree-hugger, eclectic pagan Quaker, content creator, vegetarian, energy-worker, non-neurotypical ADD-PI thinker, data scientist, consent advocate, color/light worshipper, photographer, art catalyst, jewelry maker, fractal artist, erotic mirror, psychonaut, xenite, writer, coffee clergyperson, experimenter, growth-seeker, and meta-burner. I tried to shorten that list but couldn't -- all of those labels are important parts of who I am.

I'm also white, usually read as cisgender, college-educated, and non-disabled, and I'm open to people checking me on my privilege.

My core values are justice, respect, reverence/wonder, connection/compassion, imperfection/action, honesty, curiosity/questioning, transparency/openness, creativity, growth/change, & thoroughness. I'm curious, open, sensitive, resilient, creative, growth-focused, respectful, compassionate, and thorough. Also, often overwhelmed, fearful, unable/unwilling to read passive statements as active*, easily distracted, not fully present unless I make a deliberate effort (and sometimes I can't), often brashly overstate when I am relaxed, easily convinced that someone has no investment in me, and demanding of high levels of emotional skills from those I am close with.

*I won't take "I'm not sure that's a good idea" as "no, I don't want to go" -- I will ask until you say 'yes' or 'no' or 'I can't answer that' (unless the question is about sex or something I know you don't like doing, then I will take hesitation as a no unless you correct me). Making me try to guess or infer is unethical, in my opinion, and I will resist it. I spent many years putting all of my energy into reading people and trying to predict what they wanted and it is the most GIGANTIC DRAIN.

But probably the most difficult aspect is that I am very careful with and sensitive about language, especially regarding slurs. Most people don't see ableist slurs the way they do other slurs, so even the very nicest people will say things like [slurs under here]lame, stupid, moron, idiot, derp, dumb, imbecile, special or slow (as an insult), retarded, crazy, insane, psychotic, mental, spastic, blind/deaf (to mean not paying attention or being deliberately obtuse, or to mean any personality trait rather than literal physical trait)... And these are usually so very habitual for people that trying to unlearn them is very hard and results in having to fumble around trying to find an alternative, which makes people feel less than smart. And partly due to the constant demonization of the trait of thinking more slowly than average (which is not ACTUALLY a problem), this is scary, vulnerable, embarrassing, and uncomfortable. So essentially, trying to be kind to me is scary, vulnerable, embarrassing, and uncomfortable -- if people aren't already trying to weed out such words from their vocabulary, they're probably not going to want to be around me. I write about this a lot: slurs are still very harmful when they are aimed at a situation/action/thing instead of a person and we can't be close if you use slurs because it damages me & breaks my trust in you and slurs are both harmful and not expressive: say what you actually mean instead / TW: slurs.

This on top of the fact that most people have to learn a whole new set of words/concepts to even start to understand me: queer, trans, agender, polyamorous, demisexual, fat & proud, nudist. To understand these things you have to break down the idea that gender is a continuum from male to female or that gender is any set of discrete categories, the idea that there are only two sexes, the idea that you can only be attracted to one gender, the idea that everyone has a gender, the idea that true love is exclusive, the idea that sexual attraction happens by appearance, the idea that fat is bad, the idea that nudity is sexual or scandalous -- for starters.

And I do my best to resist oppression and unpack privilege in all forms that I know. White people do not like to think about racism and white supremacy -- unless it is the overt kind that they can pat themselves on the back for not participating in. Abled people do not like to think about ableism. Cis people do not like to think about cis supremacy. And men and masculine people do not like to think about sexism and femmephobia (again, unless it is super overt). Thin/average people do not like to think about fatphobia. I bring this stuff up all the time, because when I notice it it upsets me. (I wanted to go murder someone over the blasphemy of that recent movie set in Egypt with an ALL WHITE CAST. THAT is white supremacy, to think that white people can tell any story, stand in for anyone. UGH.)

I also have access needs that many people are not used to, because of my ADD-PI and auditory processing difficulties. I read lips and expressions to fill in the gaps in what I can make out from sound. If there is conversation happening I can't handle music with lyrics playing, even very quietly. I need to make plans for social in advance, partly because I have to plan everything in order to remember it and partly because I have to work myself up to being ready to interact (social includes any form of real-time communication including IM). Phone calls are usually torture for me but I can do them okay if I know the person's voice and speech pattern well enough. I often feel the need to explain when someone jokingly misunderstands. I can't bear to leave a potential misunderstanding hanging, even if it is very unlikely that they don't actually understand. I think people think I am humorless because of this but I can't stop, even though I am embarrassed that it seems like I am 'not getting it.'

The most important access need I have is understanding that I have a very glitchy memory and can't control this. I use photos and writing and google calendar as my memory, because the one in my head is almost useless on its own. If I forget something, it's not that it isn't important to me: it's that I don't get to decide what to remember or forget. I often don't respond to communication in a timely manner and may forget entirely, and this chance INCREASES when the communication is more meaningful because then I need to set aside more energy for it -- and I have to both remember it and have energy at the same time. This is part of why I love LJ so much -- it is expected to be asynchronous, so I don't feel the additional stress of 'should have responded already' (except with comments on my posts, but I'm working on that).

Art is deeply important to me. I consider art to be any creative endeavor done to express oneself, tell a story, or create beauty. Not all art is the same quality, because practice, knowledge of self, understanding of the world, study of technique, and study of audience all allow for a truer creation. BUT a little kid scribbling on paper with a crayon is JUST AS MUCH art as the oil painting of someone who has been doing it for 40 years and went to school for it. And there is NO VALUE in ranking one against the other because unless you are in the artist's mind you can't tell how true it is to their intent, which is the only measure of success. The art that goes up in galleries is a reflection of what a few privileged people think other people want to see. It is not a reflection of the best art -- in fact it is often bad art (the only bad art is art that uncritically reproduces oppressive ideology: it's not really art, but propaganda. it's everywhere in galleries and art museums.). I make art because I feel that each art piece, whether observed by someone else or not, is an offering to life itself. LJ is my primary source for witnessing art, in the form of what you all write.

I'm a very spiritual person but I avoid dogma as much as possible. That's why I am a Quaker; Quakers actually believe in structuring your own morality as well as holding equality as a core value. I am also an eclectic pagan because I am simultaneously nontheist and theist, and the deities I worship come from various pantheons. I was raised as a christian (though I took it way more seriously than almost anyone else I knew), and have read the bible cover to cover 3 times and parts of it upwards of a dozen times. I feel that meaning can be found anywhere -- I have used the dictionary for spiritual guidance. But I mostly find magic & meaning in plants, fungi (the internet of the forest), microbes, glittery/shimmery/glowy things, and glass. I do energy work fairly often and rarely pray.

Friendship is vitally important to me and if you consider romantic relationships or partnerships (including marriage) to automatically be 'more' than friendships, I will limit my investment in you (also I won't date you). I value highly skilled friendship and I'm always seeking to improve. Intimacy is a thing I deliberately create with my friends through intimacy practice and making sure I see them and/or communicate with them regularly.

I'm not an easy friend! but my friends have told me that I am trustworthy, compassionate, empathetic, generous, encouraging, insightful, creative, genuine, and growth-inspiring, so I think that I am worth the effort. Still, it's so much easier for someone to be comfortable with me if they are already careful with language and already self-educate on sex, gender, relationships, race, disability, etc.

back to top

Comments
<lj user=" title='' />
feladrone ══╣╠══
(I really hope none of this comes across as offensive - I want to preface this by saying that I'm not well educated about social justice. I'm trying to learn, but admittedly I'm not spending much time on it. =S This is mostly just me thinking aloud and explaining how you've helped me. If you have any corrections for me please go ahead and tell me.)

Honestly, reading your journal the past few months has made a pretty huge difference to me, and it's making me try to change my habits for the better. The first time I heard of social justice was maybe four-ish years ago, from a person I knew in high school. This person is trans (totally fine) and got way deep into SJ stuff on tumblr. She introduced me to it. And I freaking hated it. I could go on forever about what a cruel person she was, but basically she just craved being superior to others, and SJW gave her the tools she needed. She legitimately believed trans people were of greater value than cis people, among other things. It was the only experience I ever had with SJW stuff and it left an awful taste in my mouth.

(This really upsets me. I should have been better than that. I was young then, I was 19 when I was still talking to her, but looking back I feel really bad that I discounted ALL of SJ based on one shitty experience with a person. Sure she used a lot of SJW terms and whatever to put herself on a pedestal, but she talked about legit things like slurs and I completely rejected it. No cool, past me, not cool.)

Anyways, it took me a long time to start commenting on your journal mostly because I felt a little intimidated by the SJW stuff, but after reading it for a few months now I've really changed my mind about SJ. I'm working on eliminating slurs from my speech. I avoided the ones most people know about like ret***, gay (in inappropriate contexts), etc. But I've come to realize that words like stu*** and idi** and the like are also slurs. I'm also trying to stop using God and Jesus in vain. I'm absolutely not Christian, but I don't want to disrespect people who are. Bi***, sl*t, and the like I'm really on the fence about. They don't offend me personally if they're not meant in a venomous way. A lot of people seem to find great value in reclaiming them. But a lot of people hate hearing them, ever. To be on the safe side I'm trying to stay away from them, but I honestly don't know.

And then of course you recently described your relationship with Topaz and it kind of blew my mind, since I really had no idea other people had that kind of relationship and that it worked.

I'm super short on sleep and half of that probably didn't make any sense, but whatever. I hope I didn't get anything horribly wrong. You've made a difference to me and you're inspiring me to do better. :) Thank you.
heart in my throat
belenen ══╣heart in my throat╠══
that first paragraph scared me as people often say something mean after that! But no worries, for one I am not easily offended. I assume the best intentions and am only offended when someone has an attitude like "I care more about doing whatever I want than I do about hurting people."

And I found this comment SO encouraging and it made me so happy!

About reclaiming slurs -- if someone takes it on as a positive label for themselves and they are a person who would have that slur aimed at them, then I am in complete support of it. I really never hear b**** used in a positive way though -- it's often defiant, but people use it like they're saying they're proud to be a mean, selfish person, and in my opinion that is not reclaiming, it's reinforcing. Sl*t I do hear used in a positive and reclaiming way, but there are some issues there with regards to race and gender and it gets complicated. The main thing that keeps me from using it is that if I don't stop and thoroughly explain, the person listening may assume the opposite of what I mean and then I have reinforced the thing I don't want to. So rather than use it and explain it I just don't use it.

Thank you thank you for this comment <3
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.