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tigtog blogs a lot elsewhere, but here on Feministe she mostly does the tech support and feeds the giraffe. tigtog tweets in irregular flurries @vivsmythe.
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243 Responses

  1. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm |

    Well, it’s been a thoroughly unpleasant couple of days…

    So, because of a thought I raised in #spillover: Fandoms, fandoms, anyone? I know there’s a lot of Game of Thrones peeps here, and Doctor Who and Supernatural, and Firefly (apparently :P), but what else? I’ve got about a gazillion tinyfandoms, but the ones I’m really into are Saiyuki (my most enduring love), Yu Yu Hakusho, Shingeki no Kyojin, Fullmetal Alchemist, and I’m currently being dragged into the Free! and Dangan Ronpa fandoms as well, haha. On the live-action side, I do so adore Babylon 5 and (more complicatedly) the Joss Whedon canon, bar Dollhouse, which creeped me out too much to even try.

    Anyone else?

    1. Denise Winters
      Denise Winters August 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm |

      Well, I disappear for a while and come back to recent threads, and on top of that, even though a nearby convention was finally able to disassociate from someone I didn’t want my money going to, I still will not be going due to being an uninsured hourly worker who needs a procedure soon, sooo, yeah. I think fandom discussion is in order:
      Torchwood . Especially because I know that what really happened after Season 3 was that Martha came in as doctor with new hubby Micky on tech support. And Ianto and Jack had a loving non-monogamous marriage, and a mostly reformed Captain John occasionally makes an appearance. Also, Gwen Cooper kept getting cooler (That the actress insisted on her character keeping her last name makes me go back and like the character more than I did). That’s what happened and you can’t tell me otherwise.
      – Doctor Who and Firefly of course
      – Supernatural though I kinda fell off after season 5.
      – Star Trek, especially DS9.
      – Hercules and Xena (with the exception of a few seasons I like to pretend never happened)
      – Also Cleopatra 2525 and Jack of All Trades which probably peg me as hopelessly cheesy and campy in my tastes. Also as someone who adores Gina Torres and Bruce Campbell. And if adoring them is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right.
      – Comics: Oh my goodness comics. The New 52 has been a let down in some ways with regards to female characters. I am sticking it out with Birds of Prey even though the departure of Lady Blackhawk is a disappointment (though I read the first two issues of Blackhawks and am intrigued) and Frakenstein, Agent of SHADE is impressing me. Batman Inc, just……no.
      – Game of Thrones. After the agony of waiting for the final Wheel of Time book, I promised myself I would not start GOT until the next to last book was out. I lied. I read all five over the course of three months.
      – Anime though not to the extent I use to be, in part because of accessibility. Some of my older favorites are Yu Yu Hakusho, Cowboy Beebop, Outlaw Star, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ronin Warriors, Sailor Moon, and Samurai Champloo. Also, Dragonball series (with exception of GT) holds a special place in my heart because it helped me meet some of my best friends in middle school and was the first fanfic I wrote ( a Bulma/Vegetta fic with one of my best friends).
      – Whedonverse (Did I mention Firefly? Because I really like Firefly, also it has Gina Torres).

      I have also developed a get rich quick scheme based on my geekiness:
      1). Write a crossover Firefly/Torchwood fanfic
      2). Change character names and location
      3). Self-publish
      4). Profit

      I might be missing an important step or some key components, but overall think it is a solid business plan.

      1. Librarygoose
        Librarygoose August 17, 2013 at 12:07 am |

        That’s what happened and you can’t tell me otherwise.

        But that IS exactly how it all went down. Why would anyone argue with what is obviously canon and involves giant bloody ground holes in no way shape or form? Ianto and Jack 5eva!!!

        1. Librarygoose
          Librarygoose August 17, 2013 at 12:10 am |

          Also, as long as the fic is called something that is a pun about suspenders, like Brace yourselves. Except, ya know, clever.

          Hell, either way I’d read it and will eagerly await your get-rich-quick scheme.

        2. Denise Winters
          Denise Winters August 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm |

          Brace Yoursel or something similar is a great idea! Much better than my original top three choices (Sexy Smugglers in Space who also Travel through Time and Fight Aliens; Fifty Shades of Whatever Color Results from Mixing Brown, Maroon, and Different Shades of Blue; Please Buy My Book that Originated as a Fanfic and has lots of Steamy Time).

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune August 17, 2013 at 12:26 am |

        I really really like your Torchwood. I wish I could go back in time and make you the boss o Torchwood. (I stopped with s2 because I got spoilered for CoE and GODDAMN do I not want to watch the Gwen Cooper show. The fact that we’re supposed to like her after she roofied her husband…ugh.)

        1. Denise Winters
          Denise Winters August 17, 2013 at 10:06 am |

          Yeah, that was absolutely disgusting. She wants the validation of confessing and apologizing, but without the actual consequences (and a heaping dose of violating bodily and mental integrity on the side). Also, I think Owen was forever tainted by his personal use of the pheromone spritz on two people. Too bad you got spoilered for COE, because it is amazing and a series that I enjoy re-watching.

        2. theLaplaceDemon
          theLaplaceDemon August 17, 2013 at 10:50 am |

          Uhg, I’d forgotten about the roofie story arc. That was awful.

          I will say though, I think CoE is some of my favorite television, period. I really like the short season/long episode format for storytelling, and CoE tugged at all my heartstrings. It also did a really good job with believable, fleshed-out minor characters – people like Ianto’s sister and brother-in-law.

          Another thing I appreciate in general about Torchwood is how it didn’t try to define or box in its characters sexualities. We see Ianto dating both a man and a woman, but “is Ianto bisexual or gay?” never comes up. Same with Gwen – there’s definitely same-sex attraction there, but it’s not, like, A Thing.

      3. Willemina
        Willemina August 17, 2013 at 12:39 am |

        Yay for someone else who knows and loves Jack of All Trades! Cheese is some of my favorite entertainment.

        1. Ledasmom
          Ledasmom August 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm |

          Jack of All Trades? Awesome show. I haven’t seen nearly enough episodes of it.

        2. Lara Emily Foley
          Lara Emily Foley August 21, 2013 at 5:51 am |

          I have the whole thing on DVD! I still sing the theme song to myself.

    2. Barnacle Strumpet
      Barnacle Strumpet August 16, 2013 at 8:39 pm |

      I’m mostly into Attack on Titan now myself, but I’m also into ASOIAF (sorry, the tv version looks lovely, but I have so little patience for tv as a format), Supernatural (I’m seriously considering a break-up with this series though. Nephilim. That’s all I’m saying. Last straw in a very big pile of straws) and Transformers, are my main three.

      Also Fullmetal Alchemist, Berserk (needs a new trigger warning every three pages), Harry Potter, and Fire Emblem (6, 7, 8).

      And I’m watching Dangan Ronpa, but tbh, I don’t think I want to touch that fandom with a ten-foot pole. Lots of drama in addition to some lovely “the anime sucks! the anime fans are doing it wrong. Play the LP~” No. D:<

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune August 17, 2013 at 12:43 am |

        SnK is fucking fantastic, isn’t it? And I really do love the gender breakdown (and the canonical gay is a bonus – I’m given to understand both Reiner and Ymir are, not to mention holy hell Armin oi) on the show. And the animation. And the plot. And the ALL THE THINGS. I haven’t been this excited about a show – and this unadulteratedly pleased by one – since, god, I don’t even know. FMA Brotherhood, maybe. Shame no one on my flist over on Dreamwidth is into any of those fandoms. And oh god DR sounds like a wanky fandom.

        (Also, I’m still not sure what to make of the Chihiro deal, which seemed pretty weirdly handled in the anime. THoughts? o_O)

        1. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet August 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm |

          It really is. It kind of brought me back to anime, I was pretty close to giving up on watching it and going over totally to book fandoms and western media.

          Honestly on the Chihiro issue I don’t have a particular belief I’m set on. Some people have made some pretty convincing arguments that Chihiro is a trans woman and that that is not made explicitly clear due to Japan being a bit behind re: gender identity, but I can also understand where people read the matter straightly as the story presents it, which is more friendly to the idea that Chihiro is male. The anime (and the manga, and probably the game as well) is hella contradictory on the matter. Actually being a male is the only presented motive (wanting to bulk up and cease presenting as female) that led to them going to Mondo for help. I could buy another reason easily (wanting to get to know Mondo better; a crush; a desire to get physically stronger as a female as well) but those aren’t the reasons shown to us. We’re not really shown much of Chihiro at all, so it’s not easy to guess where they were really coming from. There’s nothing that really denies the canon statements that they are male and were cross-dressing to avoid bullying.

          I can see why the Chihiro-as-male narrative rankles so badly to people who believe Chihiro is a trans woman (since the “they’re just a cross-dressing man”) is used so often in an extremely ugly way against trans women but. This person is not real. And they have never said they were a trans woman, or a woman at all. There is no direct statement from Chihiro on their gender identity that is being deliberately ignored and denied. So honestly the drama and the hate seems unnecessary.

          I don’t know that DR fandom is that bad really; SnK has the same problems with Hanji and doesn’t even have a canon gender/sex-related plot event to excuse it…

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune August 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm |

          Yeah, I spent a couple of years watching live-action stuff pretty much exclusively, but eventually the racism and queerbaiting and misogyny annoy me out of nearly everything, so I’m back in anime. (Not that anime is always unproblematic by a long shot, but I dunno, it seems easier to drop and less hurtful when it’s awful.)

          I was kind of Team Crossdressing Male too, with Chihiro, because it seemed pretty clear that he wanted to be a guy (who maybe crossdressed) and didn’t identify as a girl. It was nice, ’cause my first reaction when The Revelation of Chihiro’s gender happened I was all “shit fuck no gross don’t do this”, but thank fuck, they didn’t. And I agree that Japan’s not very good with gender identities in general, but I dunno, seems like trans* folk get much better (nice) representation there than in North American media.

          ANd holy shit, what’s the problem with Hanji? I mean, I don’t personally read her as cis, but that’s pretty much just my headcanon and I’m happy enough to abandon it if it’s brought up in-text (so to speak). *sigh* Ah, fandom, wank on, wank on…

        3. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet August 18, 2013 at 7:27 pm |

          (Not that anime is always unproblematic by a long shot, but I dunno, it seems easier to drop and less hurtful when it’s awful.)

          Yeah. at least there’s no casting pain in anime. I think a lot of the hurt with live action is knowing that by a show casting an all or almost all white cast, not just viewers are being affected, but also actors that are PoC are being continually shut out of jobs and financially hurt. While it sucks that Mikasa is the only PoC that we know of in AoT, any loss because of that is only happening to the viewer, and that’s arguable given that it’s a majority-Japanese audience in a medium that typically consists mostly of Japanese characters.

          And I agree that Japan’s not very good with gender identities in general, but I dunno, seems like trans* folk get much better (nice) representation there than in North American media.

          I definitely think anime does a better job of presenting queer characters and playing with gender identity than most western mediums, even if it isn’t reflected in rl Japanese society. There are plenty of problematic portrayals and unfortunate implications, but at least we’re there. With Sailor Moon Japanese audiences got lesbians and the U.S got kissing cousins after all…

          ANd holy shit, what’s the problem with Hanji? I mean, I don’t personally read her as cis, but that’s pretty much just my headcanon and I’m happy enough to abandon it if it’s brought up in-text (so to speak). *sigh* Ah, fandom, wank on, wank on…

          The author, as I’m sure you’ve heard, told everyone there was no set gender for any of the characters. Instead of rejoicing and acceptance for different headcanons, we get “This person is definitely agender, you erasing scum”.

          People are telling off people for using female pronouns for Hanji because that’s supposedly cissexist and misgendering. (on the belief she is some flavor of non-binary.) There are a lot of non-binary FAAB people that stick with traditional female pronouns. It pushes my rage buttons that there are people policing what pronouns non-binary people are supposed to use, and setting up this supposed Non-Binary Ideal of how non-binary people are supposed to act. I find it just as cissexist to assume that someone thinks Hanji identifies as a girl because she is written using “she”, or is drawn with visible (non-bound) breasts, or any of the other crap. I always thought a big part of pushing against transphobia and gender essentialism was teaching the idea that you shouldn’t make assumptions about people’s gender based on any trait about them other than their own stated identity…

          I read Hanji as agender myself, but I still loathe anything that’s telling us how we’re supposed to look, act, dress, or speak.

          I really need to take my own advice though, and remember that it’s just a matter of fictional 2D characters…

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune August 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm |

          While it sucks that Mikasa is the only PoC that we know of in AoT, any loss because of that is only happening to the viewer, and that’s arguable given that it’s a majority-Japanese audience in a medium that typically consists mostly of Japanese characters.

          Wait, hang on, there’s more than just Mikasa for POC. Connie’s pretty clearly not white, neither is dude from the Survey Corps whose name slips my recall. Neither is their drill sergeant. I mean sure they’re not Japanese, but the vast majority of POC in the world are not-Japanese.

          The author, as I’m sure you’ve heard, told everyone there was no set gender for any of the characters.

          I had not heard, and SQUEE SQUEE SQUEE SQUEE this never happens!

          People are telling off people for using female pronouns for Hanji because that’s supposedly cissexist and misgendering. (on the belief she is some flavor of non-binary.)

          Wow. That’s…wow. I’m not cis, I use female pronouns, I’m comfortable with female pronouns (and male pronouns on some days and no pronouns on others ffs). What is this horseshit I can’t even.

          And great, LGBTQ community, for saying that people who have visible boobs MUST BE X or Y or whatever. Seriously. Val’s over here going “seriously? This is a world with bigger problems than pronoun policing, can we knock it off?”

          (Personal Hanji headcanon: asexual, genderqueer, uses any pronouns or “hey you”, mainly Titan-centric allthefeelings, and I SO DON’T GIVE A SHIT what Hanji was assigned by anybody. ARGH.)

        5. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet August 18, 2013 at 11:45 pm |

          Wait, hang on, there’s more than just Mikasa for POC. Connie’s pretty clearly not white, neither is dude from the Survey Corps whose name slips my recall. Neither is their drill sergeant. I mean sure they’re not Japanese, but the vast majority of POC in the world are not-Japanese.

          You could be right; I looked up screencaps and Keith Shadis (the drill sergeant) for instance is noticeably darker than most of the trainees in the anime. (I’m mostly a manga fan, and unfortunately, in it he’s always shown with skin the same shades as Armin and Sasha.) I didn’t read Connie as any more likely to be a PoC than anyone else in the squad though. What is it about him that marks him explicitly not white?

          And great, LGBTQ community, for saying that people who have visible boobs MUST BE X or Y or whatever.

          Well, at least instead of “she has boobs, she must be a girl” it’s “Zie has boobs, so they must be misgendering hir as a girl!” so…their heart is in the right place I guess, but they’re coming at it from the same mindset we’re supposed to be getting away from. I find that sort of thinking more depressing than outright bigotry/ignorance. If the people who have good intentions can’t even get it right (and understand the heart of the problem) then it makes me wonder how we’ll ever get through to people who are blatantly hateful and wilfully ignorant.

        6. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune August 18, 2013 at 11:55 pm |

          If the people who have good intentions can’t even get it right (and understand the heart of the problem) then it makes me wonder how we’ll ever get through to people who are blatantly hateful and wilfully ignorant.

          Yeah. I guess this issue strikes particularly badly at me, because I have sensitivity issues from fibromyalgia, which basically means that I have to dress veeeeery carefully if I don’t want to fuck all my muscles up for days. Among the things I can’t wear pretty much ever? Anything that restricts my breasts or presses against my skin with any weight. When I see shit like this, all I hear is “well, you know, you’re not REALLY genderqueer if you don’t bind” and seriously, fuck that, I shouldn’t have to be in constant pain to be allowed to have a gender. Fuck that. Twice.

    3. Computer Soldier Porygon
      Computer Soldier Porygon August 16, 2013 at 9:37 pm |

      I have such a complicated relationship with ASOIAF/GOT. I’m obsessed with it, yet it bores the shit out of me.

    4. dawnofthenerds
      dawnofthenerds August 16, 2013 at 9:57 pm |

      Ooh, I love Babylon 5! Also, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Tolkein, Calvin and Hobbes, Sailor Moon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Star Trek, Merlin, Sherlock, Supernatural, more books than I can count, and comics! Especially Birds of Prey, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Runaways, and everything Gail Simone writes :D And probably a lot more that I’m just not recalling off the top of my head.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune August 17, 2013 at 12:44 am |

        Ooh ooh ATLA! Much love for ATLA ♥

    5. GallingGalla
      GallingGalla August 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm |

      Not too many for me, actually. Tolkien (for which I tried to write some fics and never finished), Firefly, BSG. I used to be enamored with BTVS and Angel, but I’m cooling to them. Currently wading my way through Wheel of Time; I’m on book 6. I must admit I’m struggling with WoT and have had to put it aside for a while. There’s just so many threads and characters, I can’t keep track of them all, and the story doesn’t really seem to be going anywhere.

      I’m also watching Star Trek Next Generation – for the first time, totally ignored it when it first came out. I’m still in the first season, but I can’t say I’ve warmed up to it yet. I’m hoping that DS9 will be more compelling.

      1. Radiant Sophia
        Radiant Sophia August 16, 2013 at 10:30 pm |

        I’m also watching Star Trek Next Generation – for the first time, totally ignored it when it first came out. I’m still in the first season, but I can’t say I’ve warmed up to it yet. I’m hoping that DS9 will be more compelling.

        I am also watching through ST:TNG for the first time. IMO it gets much better with the second season. (I haven’t done the DS9 yet)

        1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 17, 2013 at 8:04 pm |

          Friends of mine who’re serious Star Trek fans have a rule: it’s not a real episode unless Riker has a beard.

          I watched the first series a couple of years back with them, also not having watched it first time round (or much of TOS; it was always on too late here). Mostly we laughed a lot at how bad it was, but Picard was always worth seeing. :)

      2. Brennan
        Brennan August 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm |

        Yay, another Tolkien lover! I wrote a crap-ton of LotR fic over the spring, but lately the muses keep starting me on a fic and then leaving me high and dry. It’s very frustrating. BSG was another fandom that I wrote fic in. And I’ve consumed just about everything Whedon ever created.

        The first three Wheel of Time books are sitting on top of my bookcase in anticipation of me someday having time for them.

      3. BabyRaptor
        BabyRaptor August 17, 2013 at 8:53 pm |

        RE WoT: I think you’ll find that it gets better once Sanderson takes over the writing.

        I preferred Jordan’s work to Sanderson’s, but I’m aware that this opinion is a minority opinion.

    6. karak
      karak August 16, 2013 at 11:09 pm |

      I cosplayed from YuYu Hakusho, and I’m a huge Saiyuki fan!!

      Really into G Gundam, Gundam Wing, Cowboy Bebop, Big O, and watching Free! and Attack on Titan right now.

      >>huge anime nerd

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune August 17, 2013 at 12:47 am |

        Ooh, who’d you cosplay? *_* Also yay for the YYH/Sai overlap fandom! It is large and happeh. Also \o/ Minekura works for cheap cosplay (well, some, I guess.); Val and I got married in Tenpou and Nii cosplay.

        (Also, any ships? Any ships? I must ask!)

        1. Karak
          Karak August 18, 2013 at 2:51 am |

          Sooo many ships; cannot decide.

          My friend and I did Kohto and Juri, the announcers from season 2 of YYH. We do “together” cosplay a lot, as she is small, blonde, and pale and I am tall, brunette, and olive.

          Other “together” cosplays were Raven and Starfire from Teen Titans (reboot Starfire is…ick) and Jupiter and Saturn from Sailor Moon.

    7. Willemina
      Willemina August 17, 2013 at 1:21 am |

      I’m sorta bending the definition of fandom to anything I’ve gone on about for more than 30 minutes to some terrified person at a party who stepped on the landmine by asking “So, read/watched/played anything fun lately?” For some reason I’ve never really gelled with an online community for entertainment stuff.

      So much Neal Stephenson it’s ridiculous. ASOIF of course, though I refuse to watch the show until the books are done. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld and Max Brooks’ Zombie Stuff. Stanislaw Lem, Stanislaw Lem, Stanislaw Lem (for his realistic sci-fi, his absurdist sci-fi, and for his cyber fables).

      BSG, Firefly (not Serenity), Buffy (Angel didn’t click and Dollhouse was abberant). Lexx and Farscape because giant organic space ships are awesome. 30 Rock and Green Wing. Fullmetal Alchemist (haven’t gotten in to Brotherhood), Baccano! and Cowboy Bebop. Red Dwarf and Doctor Who, really hoping Capaldi gets to be Scottish and a bit Jon Pertwee-ish.

      The Thief trilogy. Mass Effect, Baldur’s Gate, almost anything by Bioware really. TES from Morrowind on. Every Fallout.

      I’ve got that glass-eyed geek gaze going on now so I’ll stop. Thanks for the opportunity to nerd out mac!

      1. Willemina
        Willemina August 17, 2013 at 2:15 am |

        Forgot Dresden Codak, SMBC, XKCD, and Gunnerkrigg Court.

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan August 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm |

          Because this is how my mind works, I was like xkcd? Who could I slash in that? And naturally the answer was guy-in-a-hat X the hat. Because obvs.

      2. Alexandra
        Alexandra August 17, 2013 at 11:16 pm |

        Oh my GAWD, the Cyberiad is so brilliant! Glad to see another SMBC fan, too.

        1. Willemina
          Willemina August 18, 2013 at 12:29 am |

          That book alone put “Learn Polish” on my bucket list. The word play and rhetorical flourishes in the translation are sooo amazing I can only imagine how Lem sparkles in the original.

    8. pheenobarbidoll
      pheenobarbidoll August 17, 2013 at 1:27 am |

      Firefly, supernatural, game of thrones, Harry Potter, marvel comics, Eureka, star wars( the originals) the Dresden files, Stephen king, and I’m a huge horror fan. Plus dnd and other assorted table top games, wow, and of course all things Tolkien.

      1. pheenobarbidoll
        pheenobarbidoll August 17, 2013 at 1:33 am |

        Also-the walking dead, anything to do with zombies really, I day dream about my za plan( it’s very detailed) evil dead, Halloween ( movies and holiday. I go nuts with costumes. You should see my pumpkins too.)

        1. Donna L
          Donna L August 17, 2013 at 1:49 am |

          the walking dead

          The comic, or the TV show, or both?

          I only watch the TV show. I can’t wait until October!

          And one of these days I’d love to hear your za plan.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L August 17, 2013 at 2:00 am |

        Stephen king,

        There were many years when I read just about every single thing he published (which involves a lot of reading!), but it’s been a while, and I don’t know if he’s written anything good lately. I started that book about the town under an invisible dome, but was bored by it. I still think that parts of Salem’s Lot were the scariest thing he ever wrote — there’s something about the idea of vampires hovering outside windows waiting to be invited in that has always gotten to me from the time I was about 9 and read Dracula. Which I made my mother throw out because I was too afraid even to have the book in our apartment.

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll August 17, 2013 at 8:43 am |

          Read joyland. Not horror really, but a very,very good book.

        2. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll August 17, 2013 at 8:47 am |

          The show. I want to hoof Rick in the junk half the time though and I cannot stand Carl. Lol . My za plan is about 4 pages long. My husband thinks it’s a bit too much, but he’s gonna get bit fairly quickly into it so bah on him.

        3. Willemina
          Willemina August 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm |

          I’m curious, how much of your Z plan includes skill prep. My own is short still, only about a page and a half but 3/4 of it is things I need to do to get ready (still kicking myself for not taking metal shop in high school). It does make up for shortness by being done up in a project management timeline.

          It makes my goals of exercising, eating right, and learning handy skills more “fun” in some way.

        4. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll August 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm |

          Some skill prep, but more geared towards surviving the people because unless you get caught in a swarm, people will be more dangerous than the zombies. Being self sufficient is high on the list. Food, water, medical supplies…learning how to do things geared towards long term not just short term. If I had a million dollars I’d have a bad ass anti zombie place that no one could break into..-dreams-

        5. Donna L
          Donna L August 17, 2013 at 7:13 pm |

          In theory, wouldn’t being off somewhere in a remote wilderness where there are no other people — and, therefore, no potential zombies — be the best idea, assuming that you had enough supplies and/or could live off the land?

          Besides, if I remember the book World War Z correctly (I had no interest at all in seeing the movie), zombies freeze in cold weather, so people who escaped to Northern Canada did quite well.

        6. Tyris
          Tyris August 17, 2013 at 7:19 pm |

          My za plan is about 4 pages long. My husband thinks it’s a bit too much, but he’s gonna get bit fairly quickly into it so bah on him.

          He’ll get bitten because he’s unprepared, or because your plan calls for you to sacrifice him as a distraction?

        7. Willemina
          Willemina August 18, 2013 at 12:26 am |

          so people who escaped to Northern Canada did quite well

          After a little bit of Donner Partying because of a lack of preparedness they did all right. A lot of malnutrition and rampant disease, so not much different from everywhere else.

        8. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll August 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm |

          Remote yes. But everyone else wants to be remote, too. So you have to prepare. And you gotta get there first.

      3. Denise Winters
        Denise Winters August 17, 2013 at 10:01 am |

        Any recommendations on where to start in the Marvel Universe?

      4. Gretchen
        Gretchen August 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm |

        I love anything zombie but sadly my husband doesn’t share my obsession, I also have a comprehensive za plan which he finds very weird…but, someday I’ll be the one laughing while he’s groaning, bloody, dead and unable to perform simple tasks like operating door handles. And after he’s infected and he lurches forward to take a bite, I’ll smash his head with a blunt instrument and say “eat this”. Muhaha

        Embarrassing confession: the last time I bought a pair of shoes my first thought was: are these conducive to za survival?

        I’ve said too much…

      5. Brennan
        Brennan August 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm |

        star wars( the originals)

        Just the trilogy, or classic expanded universe too? (There must be some other Timothy Zahn fans out here somewhere . . .)

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll August 17, 2013 at 6:47 pm |

          Just the trilogy. Sorry :(

        2. amblingalong
          amblingalong August 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm |

          (There must be some other Timothy Zahn fans out here somewhere . . .)

          Yeah, I was bummed that the new movies won’t be those three books. It’d fit perfectly.

        3. Brennan
          Brennan August 17, 2013 at 11:25 pm |

          Yeah, I was bummed that the new movies won’t be those three books. It’d fit perfectly.

          I know, right? But instead what little canon I still held dear is about to get ret-conned out of existence. :-(

          Oh well, life is hard . . . (tongue firmly in cheek)

        4. Li
          Li August 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm |

          I really like Timothy Zahn, but my opinion on some of the other EU writers is… less flattering.

    9. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve August 17, 2013 at 5:17 am |

      I’m not intentionally trying to appear old…but…I am a fan of:

      The Clash, Johnny Thunders, Lou ReedStewart Lee, Chris Morris, A Confederacy of Dunces, Catch-22, Alan Partridge (all iterations,) The Replacements, Albert Brooks, Monty Python and Arsenal FC

      …among other things

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve August 17, 2013 at 5:19 am |

        forgot:

        Peter Cook, Patti Smith, Richard Hall, and Chrissie Hynde

        1. Kathy
          Kathy August 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm |

          I’m a big fan of Patti Smith. I finally got to see her perform in 2004 and she was amazing. The appropriation of the n-word, and some of things I’ve read about her treatment of other women in the music industry give me pause (and make me not want to champion her music), but when I was younger, she was it.

        2. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve August 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm |

          I’m a big fan of Patti Smith. I finally got to see her perform in 2004 and she was amazing. The appropriation of the n-word, and some of things I’ve read about her treatment of other women in the music industry give me pause (and make me not want to champion her music), but when I was younger, she was it.

          Here she is waving to me at Brooklyn Bridge Park last year… Patti

      2. Alexandra
        Alexandra August 17, 2013 at 11:14 pm |

        I love Monty Python. Do you remember the skit where they’re asking all of the famous leaders of Communism and Marxism about English football? I frickin’ love that one.

        And the philosophers’ drinking song, and basically all of Life of Brian and Meaning of Life.

        1. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve August 17, 2013 at 11:42 pm |

          I love Monty Python. Do you remember the skit where they’re asking all of the famous leaders of Communism and Marxism about English football? I frickin’ love that one.

          Yes, they asked Karl Marx what the nickname of West Ham United was….and Chairman Mao answered a question about Jerry Lee Lewis correctly.

      3. Andie
        Andie August 18, 2013 at 12:01 am |

        Oh, Monty python.

        Not gonna lie.. I judge people on a) if they get Monty python and b) whether they prefer Holy Grail to Life of Brian.

        Me, I say Life of Brian all the way.

        1. Alexandra
          Alexandra August 18, 2013 at 12:04 am |

          No, of course. Life of Brian is the superior film. “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” ties with “Every Sperm is Sacred” for greatest Python musical number.

        2. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia August 18, 2013 at 12:13 am |

          whether they prefer Holy Grail to Life of Brian.

          Oh wow. Roommate and I have gone rounds over that. Roommate prefers Holy Grail.

        3. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve August 18, 2013 at 12:33 am |

          Oh, Monty python.

          Not gonna lie.. I judge people on a) if they get Monty python and b) whether they prefer Holy Grail to Life of Brian.

          Me, I say Life of Brian all the way.

          I would say that Life of Brian is the better film by a long shot, but Holy Grail has funnier moments.

        4. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll August 20, 2013 at 5:55 pm |

          Monty python yes. And the young ones.

    10. Andie
      Andie August 17, 2013 at 10:01 am |

      I’m generally off in my own little world of fandom (with the exception of Harry Potter) which mainly consists of Revolution, Kids in the Hall and old school Degrassi.

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve August 17, 2013 at 10:56 am |

        I’m generally off in my own little world of fandom (with the exception of Harry Potter) which mainly consists of Revolution, Kids in the Hall and old school Degrassi.

        Andie!!!!! You’ve gone off HardCore Logo???? Every time you post I think of that movie!

        1. Andie
          Andie August 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm |

          Oh man! I usually think of fandom’s in regards to book or TV series.. Not movies.

          I will never, ever go off Hard Core Logo.

    11. Alexandra
      Alexandra August 17, 2013 at 11:13 pm |

      I was a huge Harry Potter nerd as a teenager. I wrote fanfiction, I roleplayed as Lord Voldemort, Bellatrix Lestrange, and Hermione Granger… it was great.

      I first got on the internet so I could roleplay and make fansites for the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. Yes, that series. By that author. It’s… not something I’m necessarily proud of, lol!

      I was really into Battlestar Galactica for a while.

      I also did a lot of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in college, and it was great, and I’ve just joined a Pathfinder game, which is… okay. Meh. Not as good as WFRP!

      Also I love Dragon Age: Origins.

      1. Brennan
        Brennan August 17, 2013 at 11:26 pm |

        You have excellent taste.

      2. Willemina
        Willemina August 18, 2013 at 12:21 am |

        It’s too bad they didn’t make a sequel to Dragon Age. *eyeroll*

        1. Brennan
          Brennan August 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    12. wanttobeanon
      wanttobeanon August 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm |

      I don’t have much time for the participatory kind of fandom these days (my favorite kind of fandom), but I cranked out a couple of quick fics in the Marvel universe for the kink meme not too long ago, which is the fandom I always stray from and always, always come back to. I find it’s so different when I watch something with intent to participate in the online fandom versus when I’m just watching a show or movie to take it in and pass the time.

      I am enjoying watching GoT, although I haven’t done anything with the online community since I heard GRRM didn’t want fic written using his characters and universe. (Does he still stand by that?) If I’m not already invested in a fandom’s internet presence when I hear that, it makes me pre-emptively flounce. Like, ‘very well, I shall take my fanfic skillz and jazz hands elsewhere sir!’

      I just finished watching The Tudors. As a series it seemed to me it really was more about the women in his life then it was about Henry himself, which was pretty cool. I liked it okay I guess, although Henry was not a sympathetic character to me and I wasn’t even sure whether the viewer was supposed to like him. Not amazing stuff (but oh my god the costumes were amazing).

      I bought the She-Ra dvds recently and am reliving my childhood a little bit watching them while on the treadmill. Next I’m going to watch Babylon 5 again followed by either Breaking Bad or Dexter (I’ve seen the first two seasons only). I have fallen off Supernatural.

      Also, it’s not MY fandom, but I watch a fair amount of Bubble Guppies because it is my two year old’s favorite show and I have thrown up my hands with regard to my hopes not to show her any television in her extreme youth. They did an episode about hair and I found myself analyzing the way they handled the racial angle (ie, going for dreadlocks, cornrows, etc) during the part where they sang about changing hair colors and styles.

    13. Brennan
      Brennan August 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm |

      Question for fannish-ly and feminist-y minded people: How do you reconcile enjoying and participating in fandom with acknowledging the Problematic aspects that seem to crop up in many fandoms? Does racism/sexism/homophobia/ect. always spoil your enjoyment? Do some fandoms end up feeling like “guilty pleasures”? Is it enough to keep the -isms out of your own fic/art/meta/whatever, or do you feel the need to call out other fans? What about when the Problematic Aspects are in the source material rather than just the community?

      I think all this is to ask: can I reconcile being A Feminist with devoting a lot of time and mental energy to fanfics about Aragorn?

      (If this is getting too Heavy and Deep for this thread, feel free to yell at me, and I’ll wander over to the spillover thread.)

      1. AnthroBabe
        AnthroBabe August 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm |

        Sometimes I can put my brain away to consume such media, but it’s tough. My first foray into comics was in 1977 with Ms. Marvel. I absolutely loved that she was strong and used MS. instead of Miss or Mrs. I was all of 10 years old and I collected that shit. I didn’t follow her after awhile so I didn’t get to be outraged at her later rape and dealing with rape apology in subsequent years….yeesh. But I found out about it when trolling the Internet (“I wonder whatever became of Ms. Marvel…”) I am still afraid of MODOK! :)

        1. Brennan
          Brennan August 18, 2013 at 9:54 pm |

          I hear you. It’s especially rough when childhood favorites wind up that way.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune August 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm |

        How do you reconcile enjoying and participating in fandom with acknowledging the Problematic aspects that seem to crop up in many fandoms?

        Depends on the fandom. My primary fandom’s pretty quiet and non-douchey (I think the blow-ups have always been about interpersonal shittiness, not isms), and while I read/write for other fandoms I rarely interact much, so it’s a nice experience for me personally.

        Does racism/sexism/homophobia/ect. always spoil your enjoyment? Do some fandoms end up feeling like “guilty pleasures”?

        Yes…? No…? I have a few guilty pleasure fandoms and they’re actually all the live-action ones. I just expect less out of the overwhelmingly straight/male/cis live-action stuff (which be realistic is most of it, whether Indian or USian). And yeah, I’ve dropped a lot of fandoms because they Displeased Me, but once in a while something just gets to me enough I file it into the Guilty Pleasure notch. I can’t really manage more than one or two of those though, because it does wear on me, so right now I guess it’s SPN and Game of Thrones. Most of my anime fandoms aren’t half as problematic, even the ones I’m not terribly involved with (or the ones for which I write and do basically nothing else, like Yu Yu Hakusho, because holy shit that fandom is a quagmire of crap).

        Is it enough to keep the -isms out of your own fic/art/meta/whatever, or do you feel the need to call out other fans?

        I don’t often do call-outs in fandom but I’m lucky, because usually, like I said, there’s nothing to call out in my fandom. Well, there was that one time with the fic about Seiten Taisei’s 15-inch dick that gave Goku 30 orgasms (and was deeply creepy/rapey), but whatever.

        What about when the Problematic Aspects are in the source material rather than just the community?

        See the first reply, I guess. I tend to drop fandoms that make me unhappy with Problematic Stuff, so I don’t generally stick around to see if the community was as happy with the PS as the source material was.

        1. Brennan
          Brennan August 18, 2013 at 10:07 pm |

          My primary fandom’s pretty quiet and non-douchey (I think the blow-ups have always been about interpersonal shittiness, not isms), and while I read/write for other fandoms I rarely interact much, so it’s a nice experience for me personally.

          Those are nice. ;) I’ve always been baffled at the amount of variation you can find from one fandom subculture to the next and even within some fandoms.

          And yeah, I’ve dropped a lot of fandoms because they Displeased Me, but once in a while something just gets to me enough I file it into the Guilty Pleasure notch. I can’t really manage more than one or two of those though, because it does wear on me, so right now I guess it’s SPN and Game of Thrones.

          I often find myself in a similar trap. I’m right there with you on GoT. SPN *almost* lured me back with “The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” but then I ran out of energy in fandom and time in RL.

      3. Sally Archer
        Sally Archer August 18, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

        It’s tough to be a feminist or any woman or any other marginalized person on the planet these days (because like it or not, global technology keeps objectifying the historical objects of oppression, evident by how few non-thin, non-attractive, non-youthful women are ever depicted online or in other media as anything but objects of derision). Because it is so tough, we turn sometimes to fandom as an escape into another world. I’ve even found myself tuning in to True Blood and following its fandom writings online, or to Mad Men, or to Game of Thrones, all offerings inconsistent with my feminism’s core belief in avoiding GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). On my better days I buck up and just don’t do it.

        Also on those better days, my nighttime dreams are usually better, more connected to the natural world, to mystical imagery that supports my life, to sorting out what I need to address instead of being a re-do imaginatively of somebody else’s story as in waking hours seen via media.

        As much as female tokens in programming, script writing and production are no longer one per area but maybe a couple or even three or so here and there, the global sex class of males and their preferences (and men’s objectifications about women and other marginalized people) still largely predominate in the offerings available to us. Also many women, knowing what it takes to participate in the mainstream that men still run, write and produce material that objectifies women and other marginalized people. When I watch a show like True Blood, I’m to some extent identifying with oppressors and forgetting how few real gains have been made by my global sex class of women. I don’t like how that feels except during the buzz I get while it’s happening, so lately I’ve been doing it less and less.

        But in a world this tough, small wonder that we turn to those pasttimes because, short of heroin (never a good idea), they help us momentarily escape a reality not changing fast enough to be comfortable.

        1. Brennan
          Brennan August 18, 2013 at 10:36 pm |

          I think “buzz” is a good word for it.

      4. Andie
        Andie August 18, 2013 at 4:27 pm |

        I mentioned earlier that I am a huge Kids in the Hall fan girl… And I’ve run into some problems in re watching episodes.. Namely two sketches that were done in blackface which, after being schooled in how fucking awful that is, now leaves me squicked out and conflicted.. Because on one hand, the two sketches in question (Mississippi Gary and Tony Comes to Dinner) actually contain what is, in my opinion, well-meaning commentary about cultural appropriation and benevolent racism… But gets fucked up by the fact that it’s still five white dudes thinking it’s okay to use fucking blackface.

        I don’t know if they every got called on it either.. Part of me thinks maybe, because later sketches with Mark McKinney as Mississippi Gary were done sans blackface, but I feel like the sketch with Scott Thompson was done in later seasons.

        Anyway, that’s made me have to step back and kind of re-evaluate. They broke a lot of barriers in other areas, but I have a hard time with that one.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L August 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm |

          That would make me very uncomfortable as well, Andie.

          How did you feel about all their drag sketches, or the ones Monty Python did? I never got the feeling that they were misogynistic, or intended to mock or ridicule.

          Personally, I was always a big fan of SCTV. I loved so many things they did.

        2. Andie
          Andie August 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm |

          I liked their drag sketches better than Monty python’s because I feel like they were treating their female characters more like people than caricatures, as was often the case with MP… It never (or rarely) seemed to come across as “look at these silly things women do!” (with the exception of the sketch where Kevin McDonald wants Dave foley to talk about their relationship while Dave has a huge poisonous spider on his face) but more “look at these silly things people do!” I always thought they were really trying to play women, rather than just playing up the “look at these guys in dresses har har har.”

          I will add though, that Death Comes to Town had so many problems (racism, ableism, fat phobia to name a few) that I couldn’t watch it beyond the first episode.

        3. Donna L
          Donna L August 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm |

          That makes sense. In Monty Python, a lot of the drag sketches were just portrayals of screechy, ridiculous old women with shopping bags. Kids in the Hall mostly wasn’t like that.

      5. Kathy
        Kathy August 18, 2013 at 6:03 pm |

        I actually find it hard to separate the art from the artist, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. My fandoms tend to be confined to music, and lord knows there’s no shortage of problematic artists in the music industry. (I just mentioned Patti Smith’s use of the n-word upthread.) I was Morrissey fan when I was younger, and he’s pretty much a bigoted a-hole. He’s also a bigoted a-hole who provided an alternate version of masculinity, something I didn’t see too much of living smack in the middle of the US in the pre-internet 80s. I usually blog about pop culture, so it is something I think and write about a lot, but there are no easy answers. But as I’ve become more aware, I’m more likely to seek out those artists who aren’t problematic.

        1. Brennan
          Brennan August 18, 2013 at 10:34 pm |

          That’s interesting. I don’t really follow music, but I see a similar thing in fiction fandoms where it gets even more complicated because you can (sometimes) separate the characters from the work as well as the work from the author. So, I’ve often ended up in this awkward place where (for instance) I can accept that Aragorn wasn’t racist while acknowledging that the LotR trilogy sort of is and the jury’s still out on Tolkien himself. But, I don’t know how I feel about those mental gymnastics.

      6. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet August 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

        I have never felt any conflict about any problematic issues in any of the source material I watch. In a world where proportionate and accurate media representation is a true rarity, boycotting any troublesome source material means giving up a hobby of consuming media, and I question the point of such an action.

        I’m not really interested in calling out other fans either. If I have a chance to make my displeasure known to a creator of the canon source material, that’s another story. Fanfic and art, unless you’re a BNF, are probably never seen by more than a few hundred people, versus something like Glee, where an individual episode is viewed by what, 10 million+?

        It’s usually enough for me to talk about the problematic issues in source material with friends or whoever I am watching/reading it with at the time. So long as I’m not letting them go ideologically unchallenged, I can consume guilt free. That’s not to say I can stomach all ugliness; but if a show has become so bad that it’s unpleasant to watch, than it’s not a “guilty pleasure” or any kind of a pleasure at all.

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan August 18, 2013 at 10:40 pm |

          I agree about not calling out other fans, but that’s mostly because I’m not very participatory in my fandoms; I mostly lurk and read fic. I think I once left a review basically saying “please don’t call Itachi* a [insert really racist word referring to black people]” but that was the only time I felt compelled to call someone out.

          I’ve seen very little overt racism in my latest fandoms; essentially PoC get the same amount of play that they do in the canon, which isn’t much, so calling out fans wouldn’t accomplish anything. Women get slightly shitty treatment, but that’s all internalized misogyny so what do you say to that? And I’ve yet to resolve my feelings about the whole appropriation-of-gay-male-identities thing for myself yet, so if I run into fic that’s really crappy I usually just don’t read it rather than getting into a scrambled and confused pseudo callout.

          *yes, Japanese ninja Itachi from Naruto. Go figure. :p

        2. Brennan
          Brennan August 18, 2013 at 10:45 pm |

          That’s a good point about audience size. I guess the only thing that troubles me is that without “call outs,” the problematic stuff can become normalized and multiply. But, sometimes calling out only serves to fuel more wank and give the fan a bigger audience.

    14. Natalia
      Natalia August 19, 2013 at 4:06 am |

      I’m a Justin Cronin fangirl as of late. His vampire trilogy has yet to be released in film form – but the rights have obviously been bought out for some time.

      He is amazing and wonderful and I am always sucking up to him on Twitter and I CANNOT HELP IT BECAUSE OH MY GOD HIS WRITING IS THAT GREAT.

      All pretense to dignity is just gone. And I was never even into vampires, unless you count “True Blood” (not the books, just the show – and even that hasn’t been doing it for me as of late).

    15. Chataya
      Chataya August 20, 2013 at 9:08 am |

      The only fandom I’m “active” in is the furry fandom, but I do squee over a lot of things!

      – Books: Temeraire series, Danilov quintet, ASoIaF, Dresden Files, anything by Daniel Abraham and his many pen names, Neil Gaiman, Discworld

      – TV/Movies: Avatar: TLA, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Pan’s Labyrinth, Studio Ghibli, Madoka, Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist, Game of Thrones

      – Web stuff: Welcome to Night Vale, Ava’s Demon, Oglaf

      – Video games: Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Okami, Chrono Trigger/Cross, Fire Emblem: Awakening

      – Comics: Hellboy, BPRD, 30 Days of Night, The Sandman, Hellsing, Runaways

    16. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen August 20, 2013 at 10:38 am |

      Fandoms, oh fandoms….

      Harry Potter is the big one, and the first I ever got into. BBC Sherlock, Spirited Away, Black Butler, Star Trek. There may be Parade’s End fic-writing at some point.

      I also squee over and occasionally read fics in a number of other fandoms, but don’t really participate: NCIS, Star Wars, Twin Peaks, Doctor Who, Death Note, Gaiman, Discworld, Tolkien, some tiny fandoms, some other stuff. I have picked up a bit of GoT from the occasional episode that was on TV and I have the books, but have not read them yet. I know pitifully little about anime but I am learning (suggestions always welcome!).

  2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
    The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 16, 2013 at 8:11 pm |

    Squeeee! Baby giraffe!

    It’s been one hell of a week, all up. Not stressful, but just stuff piling up. The boss was on holiday, which means 1/3 of our workforce is gone, and this week of all weeks orders started coming out of the woodwork, something we haven’t seen in years. On top of that, between torn cartilage, my stupid period and getting a weird not-quite-a-cold bug that’s made my asthma play up, I’ve felt crap all the time, and practically been rattling from all the pills I’ve been taking. Such fun.

    Today I’ve got to take Fribs to the vet for her six-monthly check up (am I the only person who wants to scream when the word “wellness” gets used?). After that it’s finishing sewing up and ironing the Epic Brown Knitted Tunic, at long last.

    1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 17, 2013 at 2:43 am |

      Well, that was eyebrow-raising in a Spock way. Just read up on the NSAID I’d been prescribed and among the side effects are queasiness/nausea, cold symptoms (!!!) and chest tightness.

      Glad I’m seeing my regular doc on Monday. I’ll be informing her that I’m not finishing that course! They worked a treat getting rid of the pain they were for, but the side effects are worse in their way.

  3. Ally S
    Ally S August 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm |

    [Content note: death]

    My grandfather’s health has been rapidly deteriorating ever since he returned from his home country, and today he has been admitted into the local hospital, where he will stay for at least 24 hours. Apparently he has extremely high blood sugar and blood pressure and is experiencing severe fatigue. He has type 2 diabetes and signs of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. I wish I could be optimistic, but I think that, at the age of 77 with numerous severe health problems, he is going to pass away very soon.

    Needless to say, I’m very worried about him. I’ve never had a strong personal bond with him (he is, after all, one of the ultraconservative members of the family who has shown himself to be very racist), but the thought of him passing away is getting harder and harder for me to deal with because he’s part of the family. I have no idea how I’m going to cope with his death when I’m already in a very unstable emotional state.

    1. Donna L
      Donna L August 16, 2013 at 9:21 pm |

      I’m sorry, Ally.

      It is good to hear from you though; I’ve been a little concerned.

    2. Barnacle Strumpet
      Barnacle Strumpet August 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm |

      I’m sorry you’re going through this right now. It’s never easy dealing with the death of a family member, at the best of times. When you have a lot on your plate already it makes everything a zillion times worse.

      Don’t hesitate to ask for help and support from the people who love you. It’s no easy thing to shoulder alone.

    3. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen August 17, 2013 at 2:14 am |

      I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with this on top of everything. Hugs/whatever gesture of comfort that may be wanted. It can be hard to lose a family member even when you’re not close to them. Also losing grandparents can sometimes bring on a sense of loss of family history/connection to the past, though that may or may not be going on here.

    4. Miranda
      Miranda August 17, 2013 at 8:46 am |

      I’m sorry to hear, and I wish you peace and strength in the time to come.

      I know you’re not asking my advice, but for what it’s worth: My dad passed away from a terminal illness when I was about your age. I got through it by distracting myself as much as possible–I must have re-read the Harry Potter series three times– and with the support of a large (though dysfunctional and, somewhat like yours, very bigoted) family. If you ever want to talk or vent to a stranger, feel free to shoot me an email.

      1. Ally S
        Ally S August 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm |

        Thanks, Miranda. I know from experience that it’s certainly possible for even bigoted family members to be supportive in some ways. Being around them is getting increasingly harder, though, because I can’t stop thinking about how they’ll react once I come out to them.

        Distraction only helps me in the very short term; typically, it inevitably causes some kind of repression that makes everything more painful to think about once I’m no longer distracted. Nevertheless, I’ve been trying to distract myself more these days – I currently think of it as some kind of second-last resort. I don’t read Harry Potter, but I’m certainly trying to do more writing, which tends to help me get my mind off of some things.

    5. wanttobeanon
      wanttobeanon August 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm |

      So sorry, Ally. It sounds like it’s coming at a very rough time – not that there’s ever a good time, but there are most certainly extra bad times… take good care of yourself.

    6. Ally S
      Ally S August 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm |

      Good news! My grandfather was released from the hospital today, and his blood sugar levels are now normal. His health is still in very bad shape, but at least he averted further health problems.

  4. Tyris
    Tyris August 16, 2013 at 9:27 pm |

    We saw an interesting sign on a footbridge this week, about how putting a yellow ribbon on your dog’s leash is an indication that the dog needs some space for whatever reason and should not be approached.

    Since we’re never quite sure whether we’re successfully radiating an aura of pure “go away” or “my hovercraft is full of eels,” this sounds like a fantastic idea! Except for the bit where we have to have a leash to put the ribbon on in the first place. It would get stepped on.

    1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 17, 2013 at 2:36 am |

      You could get one of those dog harnesses and wear that with the ribbon, minus the lead.

      Or just a dog-collar with spikes, which would look really cool with a yellow ribbon attached!

  5. SamLL
    SamLL August 16, 2013 at 10:07 pm |

    I guess scarves are more important when you have that much neck.

    1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 17, 2013 at 2:37 am |

      Makes me think of that old line about how bad it’d be for a giraffe to have a sore throat – ow.

  6. karak
    karak August 16, 2013 at 11:11 pm |

    I found out that I have a severe vitamin D deficiency that explains a lot of my fatigue and general misery–my test results for my immunodisorder came back inconclusive. Strangely, that felt a huge blow to my identity–have I been managing a disorder I don’t have? Do I have something else entirely? Am I not even sick at all?

    I feel like a fake and like I’m not even at square one, but below square zero.

    1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 17, 2013 at 2:40 am |

      Seconding what tigtog said.

      I don’t know your history or how you’ve identified things before, but I will say that a huge vitamin D deficiency is being sick. Nothing fake about that at all, it’s real and nasty. Which isn’t much comfort, but it emphasises that no, you’re not fake, no way.

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve August 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm |

        I don’t know your history or how you’ve identified things before, but I will say that a huge vitamin D deficiency is being sick.

        I feel like it should be called a ‘Vitamin D eficiency’

        1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 17, 2013 at 8:06 pm |

          It would be more efficient to write it that way!

    2. wanttobeanon
      wanttobeanon August 18, 2013 at 4:56 pm |

      It certainly sounds like you’ve been sick, and a vitamin D deficiency, especially a severe one, is no trifling matter. I hope you feel better soon as it gets rectified.

    3. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan August 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm |

      I’m sure you’ve done this already, but when I was feeling shitty I also got my thyroid hormone levels checked out along with my vitamin D. Everything was normal so eventually I chalked it up to the depression, but having a physical diagnosis would have been nice, if only to have something in my blood I could point to as the source of my lethargy and inattention.

  7. Hannah
    Hannah August 17, 2013 at 2:03 am |

    I’m doing better. It was really bad for a while with mood swings and stress and my girlfriend almost left me because how unstable I was but we changed my medication around and I’m feeling worlds better plus I started regular counselling so yeah, I’m starting to feel better and that’s great

    1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 17, 2013 at 2:40 am |

      That’s great news, Hannah!

    2. Alexandra
      Alexandra August 17, 2013 at 11:08 pm |

      The right medication is like magic. It is the most amazing thing in the world to go from miserable and dangerous to myself and get back to happy, able to work, able to dream… the best thing. Therapy is great too. Congrats + good luck!

      1. Radiant Sophia
        Radiant Sophia August 17, 2013 at 11:36 pm |

        The right medication is like magic.

        Stamping that. I’m glad you are feeling better, Hannah.

  8. IndianFeminist
    IndianFeminist August 17, 2013 at 9:10 am |
  9. Andie
    Andie August 17, 2013 at 10:07 am |

    Just got back yesterday from my first back-country camping excursion at the Bruce Peninsula National park for my birthday. It was a little rough. The 8 km hike in was a little too ambitious for myself and my girls, but overall we made it in and out without major incident.. Just some short tempers upon reaching camp. Am fairly sore today, after hiking upwards of 18km and driving 600 km in a three day period.

    1. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve August 17, 2013 at 11:39 am |

      Just got back yesterday from my first back-country camping excursion at the Bruce Peninsula National park for my birthday. It was a little rough. The 8 km hike in was a little too ambitious for myself and my girls, but overall we made it in and out without major incident.. Just some short tempers upon reaching camp. Am fairly sore today, after hiking upwards of 18km and driving 600 km in a three day period.

      I believe they call it ‘back-country’ due to the immense back pain hiking it causes.

      1. Andie
        Andie August 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm |

        Surprisingly, my back is in decent shape. I guess that’s the benefit of a good pack and decent footwear. My thighs muscles, on the other hand, are cursing me, my children, my children’s children, and my children’s children’s children.

  10. Donna L
    Donna L August 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm |

    It’s Saturday and I should feel less anxious and stressed than usual, but if anything it’s even more intense. In part it’s because of all the work I need to get done this weekend, and the fact that I haven’t had a weekend when I can just relax and not think about work in many months now, and haven’t been able to take a vacation since 2011, and always feel that I’m barely keeping my head above water at my job (as well as financially given all my obligations), and that it will never change, and that I started working as a lawyer when I was 23, and how did the years go by so quickly?

    But I feel that way just about every weekend! Recently, and the last few days in particular for whatever reason, I’ve also been thinking more consciously than usual about how stressed and anxious and bombarded — and pessimistic — I feel about the relentless and pervasive hostility, disapproval, and aggression (and I’m only referring to verbal aggression for the moment, not the other kind) directed at trans people in general, and specifically trans women, from seemingly every quarter. It probably isn’t necessary to explain that I felt targeted by societal negativity and disapproval of who I am, and was strongly affected by it (as well as by the complete absence of positive images of anyone who was like me), since early childhood, in terms of the resulting shame and self-hatred that lasted for decades, and were — and still sometimes are — an ongoing struggle to overcome. (I first met another trans woman when I was more than 40.) And nobody should discount how completely disappointing it was to feel totally rejected — and worse — by feminism when I was young, even though I would have liked to identify as a feminist from the time I was 13 or so, when my mother started subscribing to Ms. Magazine.

    So none of this is new. But despite all the advances in trans rights, and despite all my own personal progress, I think the hostility has gotten even more intense in the last few years, as the media and popular culture pay more attention to trans people, and as trans people themselves become more vocal in advocating their own rights and interests, and as certain people like the person I’ve recently mentioned elsewhere have become more aggressive and emboldened in attacking trans women.

    Either that, or we simply don’t exist, which is still true for organized feminism most of the time and in most places. As excessively as I may seem to bring up the “trans” aspects of different topics here, I do so because if I don’t, or one of the small number of other trans women who comments here doesn’t, who will?

    I know Mac brought up the concept of “microaggressions” in the solidarityisforwhitewomen thread, and although I’m not that educated on the concept, I think it’s fair to say that trans women can be affected by the same kind of thing, and that whatever one calls it, the cumulative effect of being bombarded with negativity and hostility (or, at best, being treated as invisible), even if it’s generally low-level, day after day, year after year, decade after decade, can be rather exhausting and unpleasant. Including the longstanding cultural image of trans women as being either fundamentally disgusting and ridiculous and pathetic, or fundamentally deceptive, in a physical way.

    1. Barnacle Strumpet
      Barnacle Strumpet August 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm |

      As excessively as I may seem to bring up the “trans” aspects of different topics here, I do so because if I don’t, or one of the small number of other trans women who comments here doesn’t, who will?

      I can’t tell you enough how grateful I am that you do this. I know it takes a lot of mental effort and risk every time a person has to challenge someone on some cissexist gender BS, or even to mention the unique way something impacts trans* people. I fall prey to that “I’ll just be shouting into the wind” mentality and falter too often. I suspect a lot of us are the same. It’s not fair that you have to pick up all the slack.

      I’m sorry society’s constant hostility is weighing on you. I wish I had some good advice for dealing with the stress. You have my admiration and respect for dealing with it all and staying strong in the face of it.

  11. Donna L
    Donna L August 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm |

    Maybe I can avoid moderation by trying to break this lengthy comment up into shorter sections:

    It’s Saturday and I should feel less anxious and stressed than usual, but if anything it’s even more intense. In part it’s because of all the work I need to get done this weekend, and the fact that I haven’t had a weekend when I can just relax and not think about work in many months now, and haven’t been able to take a vacation since 2011, and always feel that I’m barely keeping my head above water at my job (as well as financially given all my obligations), and that it will never change, and that I started working as a lawyer when I was 23, and how did the years go by so quickly?

    But I feel that way just about every weekend! Recently, and the last few days in particular for whatever reason, I’ve also been thinking more consciously than usual about how stressed and anxious and bombarded — and pessimistic — I feel about the relentless and pervasive hostility, disapproval, and aggression (and I’m only referring to verbal aggression for the moment, not the other kind) directed at trans people in general, and specifically trans women, from seemingly every quarter. It probably isn’t necessary to explain that I felt targeted by societal negativity and disapproval of who I am, and was strongly affected by it (as well as by the complete absence of positive images of anyone who was like me), since early childhood, in terms of the resulting shame and self-hatred that lasted for decades, and were — and still sometimes are — an ongoing struggle to overcome. (I first met another trans woman when I was more than 40.) And nobody should discount how completely disappointing it was to feel totally rejected — and worse — by feminism when I was young, even though I would have liked to identify as a feminist from the time I was 13 or so, when my mother started subscribing to Ms. Magazine.

  12. Donna L
    Donna L August 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm |

    So none of this is new. But despite all the advances in trans rights, and despite all my own personal progress, I think the hostility has gotten even more intense in the last few years, as the media and popular culture pay more attention to trans people, and as trans people themselves become more vocal in advocating their own rights and interests, and as certain people like the person I’ve recently mentioned elsewhere have become more aggressive and emboldened in attacking trans women.

    Either that, or we simply don’t exist, which is still true for organized feminism most of the time and in most places. As excessively as I may seem to bring up the “trans” aspects of different topics here, I do so because if I don’t, or one of the small number of other trans women who comments here doesn’t, who will?

    I know Mac brought up the concept of “microaggressions” in the solidarityisforwhitewomen thread, and although I’m not that educated on the concept, I think it’s fair to say that trans women can be affected by the same kind of thing, and that whatever one calls it, the cumulative effect of being bombarded with negativity and hostility (or, at best, being treated as invisible), even if it’s generally low-level, day after day, year after year, decade after decade, can be rather exhausting and unpleasant. Including the longstanding cultural image of trans women as being either fundamentally disgusting and ridiculous and pathetic, or fundamentally deceptive, in a physical way.

  13. Donna L
    Donna L August 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm |

    I have no doubt that all of this is the primary cause of my ingrained fear even in my “real life” of how people would react if they knew — which has made it completely impossible for me to try to find someone to be with or even imagine being with someone, or someone wanting to be with me, since my last partner broke up with me shortly after I transitioned eight years ago, and has caused me to resign myself to being alone for the rest of my life, and to convince myself that I don’t even mind! I thought I might feel less pessimistic about that after I had my surgery four years ago, but for a variety of reasons including the fact that the recovery didn’t go so well (long story), that hasn’t made much of a difference. Self-pity, yes, but I know I’m hardly the only trans woman (especially, perhaps, trans women in middle age), who’s felt that way and has resigned herself in that way.

    Of course it would be easier if I just didn’t pay any attention to those cultural messages. Because I could if I wanted to, just by making sure not to read about any of it — no trans-related websites; no feminist or popular culture websites, no nothing! — since in my daily life I don’t directly deal with it for the most part, given that I am extremely fortunate (purely by genetic luck, including being as diminutive as I am) not to be “visibly trans,” and to have been perceived as a non-trans woman, by people who don’t “know” the so-called “truth,” essentially 100% of the time since I transitioned. And I’m not sure I would have had the courage to transition if I hadn’t been pretty sure that would be the case.

    1. wanttobeanon
      wanttobeanon August 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm |

      Donna, if I had one wish right now after reading this, I would wish for you to find someone special who makes you happy (and vice versa of course). You are so smart and thoughtful and generous, and the staying single thing seems to weigh on you sometimes.

      I’m not sure if I’ve said this before, I think maybe I started to but then decided against it and deleted — but sometimes you remind me so much of my mom. She’s said a number of times she ought to avoid keeping up with the news, that she’d be happier in blissful ignorance of all the bad things happening out there and not barraged by all the ugly cultural messages coming in. Obviously the sources of what’s distressing to her are a bit different, but the issue of whether to participate in awareness or avoid the stuff that ends up dragging you down is (I think… please forgive me if this I am outrageously off base with this) similar.

      I would echo the other people who’ve said how grateful they are to have your perspective here. You’re one of those people on the internet whose shared thoughts and life mean something to total strangers, and I’d be sorry if you decided to stop posting here, but I also want you to look after yourself emotionally. Catch-22.

      All the hugs if you want them.

      1. moviemaedchen
        moviemaedchen August 18, 2013 at 9:17 pm |

        Yes, I echo this too:

        I would echo the other people who’ve said how grateful they are to have your perspective here. You’re one of those people on the internet whose shared thoughts and life mean something to total strangers, and I’d be sorry if you decided to stop posting here, but I also want you to look after yourself emotionally. Catch-22.

    2. Tony
      Tony August 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm |

      Donna your posts here have always been wonderful. I do appreciate *everything* you say about trans issues.

  14. Donna L
    Donna L August 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm |

    But for whatever reason, I can’t just forget about it, and can’t just ignore it and pretend to myself that this isn’t part of my history, and that it doesn’t still affect my life. Plus the fact that even if I did, I would undoubtedly feel too guilty about figuratively abandoning people like me who don’t have the same options I do.

    So, hey, no wonder I’m anxious and stressed by all of it!

    If people find this all tl;dr, that’s fine; it’s way more of a venting exercise than anything else.

  15. Donna L
    Donna L August 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm |

    One more part of the overall stress I forgot to mention: the knowledge I have that as a trans woman I am considered personally responsible for — and personally obligated to explain, disavow, apologize for, and/or condemn, because if I don’t (and sometimes even if I do) I am equally guilty — every single stupid, clueless, offensive, and/or fucked up thing any other trans woman (or person who claims on the Internet to be a trans woman, although sometimes I have my suspicions about who is behind it) ever says or does. All of which — even if it was clearly provoked by deliberate baiting, never mind the cumulative effect of the hostility directed at trans women — is always taken to prove whatever bad thing someone wants to prove about how angry, awful, disgusting, fraudulent, deceptive, violent, delusional, “crazy,” male, and/or dangerous all trans women supposedly are. (Current example: a particular hashtag currently on twitter that may be extremely understandable, but which I happen to think is extremely misguided and counterproductive.)

    Of course, being a Jewish person who happens to be strongly identified as such and very familiar with Jewish history, I am not unfamiliar with this particular dynamic! But at least in the Northeastern part of the USA in the year 2013, I feel it far more strongly as a trans woman.

    1. GallingGalla
      GallingGalla August 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm |

      I hear you, and go through many of the same things. Especially the fear / despair about ever finding a partner (or in my case, even just a really good friend).

      Sometimes after reading about TERFS, or experiencing transphobia directly, I am tempted to detransition. Especially given that I do not pass well at all, and get gendered male 2/3 of the time even though it’s been 7 years since I transitioned. There’s the knowledge that my upcoming surgery won’t make a difference in this aspect (it’s not like people in the street are going to look in my pants before gendering me!) – though, who knows, maybe getting rid of a source of dysphoria will increase my self-confidence and that will change people’s perception of me.

      I’m getting through it with the support of an excellent therapist and equally excellent psychiatrist.

      I know that I’m mostly a lurker here and don’t comment much, but I do greatly value your contributions here, Donna. All the internet hugs I can give you, if you want them.

      1. wanttobeanon
        wanttobeanon August 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm |

        I just… want to hug you too Galla, and everyone who’s single and not into it. I hope that you find someone to love and be loved by.

        I’m very glad you have the support of a good psychiatrist AND therapist, I know that can be invaluable resource when dealing with the things life throws at you. And I really hope your upcoming surgery goes well.

    2. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen August 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm |

      I’m sorry you have so much stress, in addition to all the crap you have to deal with as a trans woman. The fact that you keep going, keep posting here even with the abuse you sometimes get here, and the beauty with which you respond to other commenters never fail to touch my heart. Please know that there are people here rooting for you.

      Hugs if wanted.

    3. trees
      trees August 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm |

      I empathize and as I’m the touchy-feely emotive type, I’m sending you all the warm-fuzzies I can muster.

      I would like to humbly respond to this point:

      One more part of the overall stress I forgot to mention: the knowledge I have that as a trans woman I am considered personally responsible for — and personally obligated to explain, disavow, apologize for, and/or condemn, because if I don’t (and sometimes even if I do) I am equally guilty — every single stupid, clueless, offensive, and/or fucked up thing any other trans woman (or person who claims on the Internet to be a trans woman, although sometimes I have my suspicions about who is behind it) ever says or does.

      I can relate and it is dehumanizing, but I question if the effort is really worth it since people don’t need any actual evidence to support a caricature. You can be model perfect and some people will just say you’re the exception, not like the others, or they’ll question your authenticity.

    4. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve August 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm |

      Of course, being a Jewish person who happens to be strongly identified as such and very familiar with Jewish history, I am not unfamiliar with this particular dynamic! But at least in the Northeastern part of the USA in the year 2013, I feel it far more strongly as a trans woman.

      I can easily say that you sound like you’re feeling it far far far far more strongly than I am (as just a New York Jewish cis guy.) (In case I’m being unclear like I was on the last thread, I’m agreeing with you and saying ‘even more so!’)

  16. Donna L
    Donna L August 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm |

    Thank you for the very kind words. Internet hugs accepted!

    It probably doesn’t help my general mood that on top of everything else I’ve been having a difficulty day with my illness (Crohn’s Disease), so I’ve been in a lot of pain and feeling immensely fatigued as well. So I haven’t been able to leave my apartment, which in turn makes me feel more depressed.

    Trees, it isn’t so much that I actually always try to do that, because as you say it’s mostly a waste of time; it’s that I always feel external and internal pressure to do it.

    Galla, I obviously can’t make any predictions as to how you will be affected, but can tell you that having GRS four years ago unquestionably reduced my dysphoria in a significant way that medical and social transition hadn’t really accomplished, and correspondingly increased my overall self-confidence and self-esteem — as well as my ability to truly believe in myself as a woman without the self-doubt derived from the continual reminder of my history. (That was for me only, not anyone else; as you say, it didn’t change how anyone else perceived me, and it certainly wasn’t what “made me” a woman. Nor am I being some kind of transsexual-supremacist HBS jackass or remotely suggesting that having surgery is necessary for anyone else; every trans person is different and there are obviously plenty who neither need nor want genital surgery to feel “right.”)

    If it hasn’t improved my self-confidence or optimism in terms of looking for or finding someone to be with, that’s just me. Partly because I’ve come to realize that for most anti-trans people it doesn’t make a bit of difference; their public emphasis is on the other, but that’s pretty much a lie, since if you carefully read what they have to say, they consider trans women who’ve had surgery to be “men” just the same. But more importantly, as embarrassing as it is to admit, because of my self-consciousness and unwillingness to impose myself on anyone, given my less-than-perfect surgical outcome. Something that doesn’t apply to anyone but me.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune August 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm |

      Donna, I don’t know what to say about your heartache aside from that I am very, very sorry and I hope you feel better (god that sounds trite).

      On being the model trans woman – I dunno, Donna, I think you should stop, if it’s stressing you out this badly. It’s not like you being on your best behaviour has stopped anyone being an asshole to you. And speaking as someone part of a few groups that have way more to apologise for collectively than trans women(!), I don’t think asking a marginalised person to apologise for or bear the brunt of others’ behaviour is fair anyway. If I’ve ever made you feel like you need to, I apologise; I was probably only intending to get your opinion on something.

      And as for microaggressions, you hit the nail on the head accurately as to what they are and how they work. I’m not sure how to deal with them, either, though. D:

      *hugs if you want ‘em*

    2. Radiant Sophia
      Radiant Sophia August 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm |

      Donna, I’m having trouble finding words that don’t make me want to yell at myself for being stupid, so I’m just going to stamp what Mac said above.

    3. GinnyC
      GinnyC August 18, 2013 at 5:20 am |

      Donna, I generally lurk. I just wanted to say that I always appreciate your comments! Also, the internet assholes can shove it. I’m increasingly convinced that those self-righteous jerks are more interested in hurting others just to feel momentarily powerful than any type of social-justice.

    4. Donna L
      Donna L August 18, 2013 at 11:46 pm |

      Hey, I just wanted to say thank you so much again to everyone for your kind comments. It means a lot.

  17. Donna L
    Donna L August 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm |

    “difficult,” not “difficulty”!

  18. Donna L
    Donna L August 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm |

    Maybe I should add that the result wasn’t exactly the surgeon’s fault. It was that I had very serious post-surgical complications resulting in a complete intestinal obstruction (probably related to my general health issues), as a result of which I was sent a few days later by the surgeon’s clinic to the nearest emergency room, where I spent the next eight days and almost died, before I was sent by ambulance — which I had to pay for myself, putting $2,000 on a credit card, before they would agree to take me! — from a particular city in Canada to NYC. Eight-hour ambulance rides are always fun. Anyway, that meant that nobody was really paying attention to my surgery, and it never healed properly. Neither the Canadian nor the NYC hospital had any idea how to take care of me that way. (To quote a doctor at the major NYC hospital where I was: “We’ve/ never had a patient like you before, and we don’t know what to do for you”). Even in Montreal the surgeon himself went on vacation a couple of days after my surgery, and his partner wasn’t much help, so I was kind of on my own. Kind of a perfect storm of things not working out, really. It reminded one older friend of mine of women being dumped at an emergency room after a botched abortion at a private clinic. But these things happen sometimes when there are only a handful of reputable surgeons in North America who do GRS, and not one in New York City since a guy up at Montefiore in the Bronx stopped doing them many years ago.

    The point being that mine was a very unusual situation and result.

    1. Donna L
      Donna L August 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm |

      I’m sorry; just for accuracy’s sake, I remembered it wasn’t really that my surgeon’s partner wasn’t helpful; it’s that my surgery was scheduled right before the clinic closed down for the summer, so there wasn’t anyone around at all to give advice to the doctors at the hospitals where I was.

      And thanks again to all.

  19. konkonsn
    konkonsn August 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm |

    So I started reading aljazeera English a couple of weeks ago because my workplace blocked the site that I used to read. Now I’m addicted to aljazeera (much better than the former site, which is now unblocked, but I’m not even bothering with). But the comments section…yikes!

  20. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 17, 2013 at 9:10 pm |

    Anyone have any suggestions for good things to do on a trip to San Diego? No one I know has anything but the tourist stuff to recommend.

    1. Andie
      Andie August 18, 2013 at 12:03 am |

      I have a friend who does face painting parties for kids there. She also does liquid nitrogen ice cream demos and balloon animals.

      Other than that, I got nothing.

    2. ch
      ch August 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm |

      If you’re a beer lover, Stone brewery in (I think) Escondido is one of my favorite breweries and they do tours and have a tasting room. I haven’t been, but I hear it’s fun and I love their beer.

  21. Alexandra
    Alexandra August 17, 2013 at 10:39 pm |

    I am packing tonight, and moving tomorrow. Holy shit.

    My dog likes my future roommates, which is good. He almost had a heart attack in his eagerness to greet one of them.

    On the other hand, I had to deal with one of those stupid little… comments that I get sometimes just for being a woman in what was a traditionally male field. I was volunteering today, and part of the volunteering includes collaboration with medical students from the local hospital. While I was unloading supplies and doing an inventory, another (female) pre-med and I were chatting with the male med student down from the hospital. He asked us whether “we were sure” we wanted to go into the field. I mentioned off hand a fairly inane reason for wanting to go into medicine, and his reply was —

    “So you want to be a nurse.”

    Not like it was a question, as a statement. I told him that I “didn’t enjoy taking orders,” to which he replied, “Oh, so you don’t want to be a nurse.”

    He also spoke to the only male pre-med volunteering that day, almost exclusively – despite the fact that I am technically the president of this club. It’s like… I have had almost universally good experiences so far as a pre-med, but the negative experiences I have had have been really negative. My least favorite was an experience I had while shadowing, where the doctor whom I was shadowing didn’t bother to obtain the consent of a woman with a mental health problem for having me in the room, and then mocked her for having some personal problems. Given that I am a high functioning crazy person, that was deeply shitty.

    Sometimes I just want to chuck all this med school BS and go into science. Not that the sexism there is particularly benign…

    1. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan August 18, 2013 at 10:49 pm |

      Lol, I can’t wait until Mr. Premed realizes what the nurses think about “taking orders” from him! Protip, little baby doctors, part of the nursing coursework includes how to set clueless doctors straight. :D

    2. Donna L
      Donna L August 18, 2013 at 11:44 pm |

      Alexandra, I can empathize, because I’ve had some bad experiences as a patient watching doctors and medical students be nasty to their “underlings,” and also not being asked my permission to have medical students in the room to witness certain things. Not to mention the snickering and faces being made by a few med students when a doctor explained certain aspects of my body (before my transition) by saying that I’m transgender.

  22. Sally Archer
    Sally Archer August 18, 2013 at 2:17 am |

    First, what an uplifting of the baby giraffe sporting the red neck scarf. A thousand thanks for that one!

    In the realm of what’s civilized, learned this week that toymakers have honored important “herstory” by creating and making available to girls the Harriet Tubman doll: http://www.girls-explore.com/servlet/the-22/Harriet-Tubman-Doll-Set/Detail.

    For some correlative incivility, Russell Simmons this week posted to You Tube (for his new digital version of Def Comedy Jam) what he sadly thought was a funny depiction of Harriet Tubman not running her Underground Railroad to free a thousand slaves by her wits and genius, but instead (following a history of the massa raping her) by Harriet Tubman seducing the massa so a black man could tape it as blackmail to make the massa let Tubman escape with the other slaves. Ew. Even Spike Lee found it creepy and downright wrong. It’s billed online as a controversy, but how can any sane person think this is not way off base?

    This attempted erasure of Tubman’s shining example in the name of misguided comedy symbolizes so much that we the people (and she the people) still have to overcome. Keep strong connecting to what sustains you and lets you grow in courage. I blogged more about it, with links and photos, at https://sallyarcher.wordpress.com/.

  23. Ally S
    Ally S August 19, 2013 at 12:00 am |

    This family reunion has been very rough for me. I’ve been spending a lot of quality time with my relatives, and they all seem to be very fond of me. And I love spending time with them, too. But at the same time, I can’t stop thinking about the day they find out who I really am and then lose nearly all of their appreciation and respect for me. The more I enjoy spending time with my relatives, the more painful it is to think about how their reaction will be when they find out I’m trans* and non-religious. I know that their worldview is bigoted, but they mean so much to me, and I can’t bear the thought of losing them. All of this is eating away at me inside, and I find it hard to enjoy anything or look forward to the future now.

    I really want to see a therapist who can help me alleviate my pain, but I have no opportunities to see a therapist these days, and very soon I’m going to visit my mother, who lives in another state. And while my mother is supportive, I can’t go to her for help because I know that she is easily overwhelmed by other people’s emotional problems. I also feel bad about venting to her in detail because I know she is very worried about me, and I don’t want to make her feel even worse. For the same reason, I don’t vent to my older siblings anymore. And in general, I’m worried about giving people the impression that I’m self-absorbed, selfish, and attention-hungry. So I’m trying to shoulder all of this by myself for now. Hopefully these feelings will end some day, but I don’t know when.

    1. Hrovitnir
      Hrovitnir August 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm |

      :( I wish I had something helpful to say. I do think about you a lot, and hope things work out for you. I hope that’s not creepy.

      1. Ally S
        Ally S August 20, 2013 at 12:33 am |

        Oh, no it’s not creepy to me at all! Quite the opposite. No one here has acted towards me in a way that I think is invasive, threatening, or creepy. I probably wouldn’t be hanging out here anymore if I had to deal with commentators disrespectful of my boundaries.

        1. Hrovitnir
          Hrovitnir August 20, 2013 at 3:53 am |

          I’m glad. I just hate hearing about cool people (I mean, any people, but it’s more personal when you enjoy someone’s opinions/writing) in really shitty situations that you feel like you can only offer platitudes for.

          Especially complicated situations like you describe. There is no easy answer to the reality that you do love your family, and it’s such a painful situation to be in. There is no logic that can be applied, it just hurts.

        2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 20, 2013 at 5:46 am |

          Seconding all that, Hrovitnir.

    2. Radiant Sophia
      Radiant Sophia August 20, 2013 at 1:07 am |

      I’m so sorry things are so rough for you right now, and I fully understand the dread you feel about future familial confrontation. I hope that you find someone you can talk to about these things.

  24. EG
    EG August 19, 2013 at 9:53 am |

    When feminists you’ve always admired break your heart by signing on to transphobic bullshit (and then Pandagon posts the letter with neither warning nor commentary). Christine Delphy, Michele Wallace, Faith Ringgold, among others.

    [Moderator note: (a) trigger warnings for comments on that link !!!
    (b) as has been made clear in subsequent comments here from f. and j-dub, that site is not the old/actual Pandagon, it is a totally new website built on the old pandagon.net domain by someone who is NOT Amanda Marcotte or Jesse Taylor, and given the level of deception they've employed to build a site that looks like it's been there for years (by raking content from all over the web to fill space on the front page) so that it looks like it could really be the actual Pandagon, the probability of deception regarding the supposed signatories as well seems quite high]

    1. Ms. Kristen J.
      Ms. Kristen J. August 19, 2013 at 10:12 am |

      Just to add…Big Massive Sparkly Trigger Warning on the highly transphobic comment section at that link.

      1. EG
        EG August 19, 2013 at 10:17 am |

        My apologies. I hadn’t read the comments.

        1. Ms. Kristen J.
          Ms. Kristen J. August 19, 2013 at 10:23 am |

          It was probably implied by your description but I was a bit startled by the blatantness of it so early in the morning!

        2. matlun
          matlun August 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm |

          I would say the comments section was perfectly predictable.

          A groups of TERFs wrote a declaration together using the normal TERF arguments. They got a lot of pushback as well as defence in the comments, and it degenerated pretty quickly.

          The end result should surprise no one when that article was the starting point.

    2. f.
      f. August 19, 2013 at 10:53 am |

      Wow.

      I’m really confused, where are the bylines or the “about this site” on the Pandagon redesign? I haven’t been there for ages and now I can’t tell who may or may not be making editorial decisions on the site.

    3. Radiant Sophia
      Radiant Sophia August 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm |

      O.k. That’s kind of shocking. Have they always been that way, and I just didn’t notice?

      1. f.
        f. August 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm |

        Hey, I was confused by this myself. Googling brought up this statement from Marcotte, saying that the old Pandagon domain has probably been parked by TERFs:

        http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/19/a-short-statement-on-anti-trans-bigots-swiping-pandagon-net/

        Gotta say I would’ve been surprised to see this particular brand of fail coming from Marcotte.

        So there’s that.

        1. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia August 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm |

          O.k. I’m just stupid and unobservant. The world is back to normal.

    4. Matthew
      Matthew August 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm |

      The comments are really horrific…

    5. J-dub
      J-dub August 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm |

      That’s actually not “really” Pandagon – Amanda Marcotte moved Pandagon over to Raw Story a couple of years ago, and apparently let her old domain name (or URL? not sure of lingo) expire. This (disgusting) trans-phobic group swiped the URL and have been posting junk on it. Amanda actually just posted a statement on the whole business here, condemning it/them and reasserting the fact that she hasn’t used that URL for some time.

    6. EG
      EG August 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm |

      the probability of deception regarding the supposed signatories as well seems quite high

      For reasons I don’t wish to go into, I know that at least one person on the list holds such views. I don’t think that the attempt to appropriate Pandagon’s name suggests that the list of signatories is false.

  25. Donna L
    Donna L August 19, 2013 at 7:19 pm |

    Cont:

    But cis feminists (like most cis people generally) still, deep down, believe that they are superior to trans women and that we are not actually women. And those beliefs continue to be evident to more politically aware trans women through all of y’all’s actions if not your words. To provide one instance of how out of touch you are, Amanda, in regards to trans women’s experience, take this: “There is no doubt that anti-trans bigots are irritating.” Irritating? You think anti-trans bigots are “irritating”? They are not irritating. They are infuriating and terrifying. They murder us. They rape us. They evict us from our homes and fire us from our jobs. They deny us necessary medical care. They are not “irritating.” Or rather. . .if that’s all they are to you, maybe you should just shut up about trans women’s issues. We don’t need you lecturing us on how to fight for our liberation.

    I’m not quite as down on cis feminists as this writer, because there are obviously some — including people right here — who, I truly believe, do accept trans women as women, both here and in real life. But I still can’t even begin to imagine an equivalent group of pro-trans cis feminists with similar academic and authorial credentials going out of their way to put together a response to this latest transphobic screed.

    1. number9
      number9 August 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm |

      Donna, this whole situation is awful and vile, and Amanda’s comments that transphobic feminists are merely “irritating” are awful and vile as well. I wish I had the clout to initiate the cis feminist pro-trans response! That feminist establishment in academia and online is yet again failing to act in support of trans women is not surprising, but it is extremely disappointing.

      I am so sorry that this keeps happening and that you have to deal with this. I know support from strangers can’t even begin to mitigate the massive bigotry you have to deal with, but I at least wanted to say that.

      1. EG
        EG August 20, 2013 at 3:19 pm |

        That feminist establishment in academia and online is yet again failing to act in support of trans women is not surprising, but it is extremely disappointing.

        I know a response is in the works…and it is to be hoped it’ll see daylight sooner rather than later.

        1. number9
          number9 August 20, 2013 at 3:33 pm |

          That’s really good news, thank you for sharing that, EG. I share your hope to see it sooner rather than later.

        2. Donna L
          Donna L August 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm |

          I’m looking forward to it myself.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L August 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm |

        Thank, number9, and everyone else. Believe it or not, support from strangers (not that I view the people here as exactly strangers) does mean a great deal to me. Together with the love and support I get from a couple of people I know in real life (including my son), it helps me with the near-daily exercise I go through in which I try to remind myself that despite my occasional thoughts to the contrary — decades of internalized transphobia aren’t so easy to overcome completely, never mind all the transphobia that bombards me from “outside” — I am, in fact, a good and worthwhile person, who has neither done anything wrong, nor hurt any other woman (let alone all women) in being myself. (Something I hesitated actually to type. Because saying good things about myself has always been extremely difficult for me, so much so that I usually have to imagine other people saying such things to me, rather than saying them to myself, even inside my own head. About a dozen years ago, a friend of mine asked me to list my own good qualities on a piece of paper. I was unable to think of or write down a single one until she started helping me. Also an exercise I found useful.)

  26. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
    The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 19, 2013 at 9:36 pm |

    I finished knitting my tunic at last! :)

    http://i.imgur.com/jXriML9.png

    1. trees
      trees August 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm |

      Damn, nice job. Did that take a billion years? I love your knitting and kitty cat sharing.

      1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 19, 2013 at 9:58 pm |

        Thank you, trees, that’s the sweetest thing to say!

        It took about five weeks, give or take, but it felt like a billion years!

        Speaking of kitties, I’ve discovered Mads has a rubber fetish. She goes quite peculiar over any rubber-soled shoes or the rubber foot on my walking stick. :P

        1. number9
          number9 August 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm |

          Wow, five weeks?! That makes it even more impressive! I’m liable to spend five weeks on a mitten, so I really admire your skill – and efficiency!

        2. Tony
          Tony August 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm |

          Yeah, that looks like it took a heckuva lot longer than 5 weeks, but what do I know.

        3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 20, 2013 at 7:43 pm |

          ::blushes::

          Thanks, all!

          The great thing about the tunic is that it gets faster as it goes. Casting on is at the full width, and it reduces every fourth row. Plus, very basic pattern (giant triangle x 2, plus sleeves) makes it easier. I get time to knit on the train, and while ignoring telly in the evening, and when not generally distracted by teh internets, so it builds up. :)

    2. Hrovitnir
      Hrovitnir August 19, 2013 at 11:35 pm |

      Oo, that is pretty epic! I love me a giant snuggly tunic. :D

      1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 20, 2013 at 5:48 am |

        Thank ‘ee! :)

  27. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 20, 2013 at 4:05 pm |

    Someone please tell me that “Waverley” (Sir Walter Scot) is even remotely interesting. I’m a chapter in and I’ve dozed off thrice. And I have to read it for class. ufgkdfgjdfbgkfdbvdf.

    1. Donna L
      Donna L August 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm |

      It’s a little difficult for me to believe that Walter Scott was as amazingly popular as he was, in the 19th century. I did read Ivanhoe as a child, I’m pretty sure (I know I read the Classic Comics version!), because there were sympathetically-portrayed Jewish characters (Rebecca and her father).

      Rebecca > Rowena.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune August 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm |

        Rebecca always > Rowena.

        It’s funny that you should mention liking Ivanhoe for that, because that book was the first time I realised that anti-Semitism was a thing in the world, in getting irrationally and extremely angry that Ivanhoe/Rebecca was not the canon ship, so to speak. I was all *stomps around room* BUT SHE’S (Rowena’s) LITERALLY JUST ABOUT BLONDENESS AND BORINGNESS WHAT THE HELL DUDE”, which was when it occurred to me that no, really, this was a Thing, people genuinely thought Ivanhoe/Rowena was better just for her being Christian, and what the everloving fuck. (And then my mother had to have the “Europe hate(d)(s) Jews” conversation with me, lol. Or rather not lol.)

        But yeah. Scott’s boring as fuck. -_-

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune August 20, 2013 at 4:43 pm |

          And Rebecca kicked ass.

        2. Donna L
          Donna L August 20, 2013 at 5:49 pm |

          William Thackeray wrote a short novel which was an entirely unauthorized sequel to Ivanhoe, called “Rebecca and Rowena” — it was 19th century fanfiction, really — in which Ivanhoe ends up with Rebecca. I definitely liked it better than Ivanhoe, except that at the end Rebecca converts to Christianity. Because it’s one thing to like Rebecca better than Rowena, but God knows you can’t have a mixed marriage!

        3. Donna L
          Donna L August 20, 2013 at 6:17 pm |

          It’s funny that you should mention liking Ivanhoe for that,

          I was happy just to see Jewish characters at all, in a book by a non-Jewish author about “olden times” — especially since they were portrayed in a generally positive way. When I was a child, I don’t think I knew of any historical novels in which Jews were at the center of the narrative. Unless you count “All-of-a-Kind Family”!

        4. Computer Soldier Porygon
          Computer Soldier Porygon August 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm |

          Holy shit, I loved All-of-a-Kind Family. I was just trying to get someone to help me come up with the title recently, but the only thing I could remember specifically was that one of the older daughters had to dye a white dress after she borrowed it without asking and spilled tea on it (or was that a different series)

        5. Matthew
          Matthew August 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm |

          Slight tangent – but this reminded me of Daniel Deronda by George Elliot? Its portrayal of Jews is not without problems, but it has some sympathetic/positive Jewish characters and is one of my favourite Victorian novels.

        6. EG
          EG August 20, 2013 at 6:34 pm |

          That was an All-of-a-kind Family book! Henny “borrowed” Ella’s dress to wear to her first girl-boy party and then had to dye the whole thing in tea!

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune August 20, 2013 at 8:15 pm |

          I definitely liked it better than Ivanhoe, except that at the end Rebecca converts to Christianity. Because it’s one thing to like Rebecca better than Rowena, but God knows you can’t have a mixed marriage!

          Errrrrrrrrg. Exhibit Something in my “Thackeray pisses me off” collection.

          I was happy just to see Jewish characters at all, in a book by a non-Jewish author about “olden times” — especially since they were portrayed in a generally positive way.

          Yeah, I can definitely understand that. God knows I’ve done it for other things.

          @Matt I wouldn’t be able to say definitively, because I’m hardly Jewish, but I think that Daniel Deronda is intended to be a positive portrayal of Jews, and that George Eliot had her head out her ass at the very least, which was more than I can say for 99% of Victorian writers afaict. (That said, the whole “raised gentile, is suddenly a biggie in Jewish society” seems…problematic? Something of the “he’s been raised good at least” effect? I dunno.)

        8. Computer Soldier Porygon
          Computer Soldier Porygon August 21, 2013 at 2:05 am |

          That was an All-of-a-kind Family book! Henny “borrowed” Ella’s dress to wear to her first girl-boy party and then had to dye the whole thing in tea!

          It’s all coming back, all coming back to me now…

          And then the dress was even prettier than it had been before!

        9. Matthew
          Matthew August 21, 2013 at 5:42 am |

          @mac
          Totally agree with you there. And the whole no mixed marriages in the end topoi I suppose, which Donna flagged in an earlier comment.

        10. Donna L
          Donna L August 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm |

          I loved the All-of-a-Kind Family books. It meant a lot to me to be able to read a book about a Jewish family on the Lower East Side, because even as a child I knew that that was where my paternal grandfather had grown up, on Suffolk Street and East Houston Street around Avenue A.

          Although I had to be careful not to be seen with the book, so other kids wouldn’t tease and make fun of me for reading books about girls.

    2. Alexandra
      Alexandra August 20, 2013 at 4:43 pm |

      Sir Walter Scott is like… James Fenimore Cooper. We only read them because of their historical significance – the writing is so bad, and the stories include so much obvious racism/anti-Semitism, that people don’t do it for fun any longer.

      1. Willemina
        Willemina August 21, 2013 at 10:07 am |

        Mark Twain had a super trolly essay about Fenimore Cooper’s writing ability. That man would have been terrifying on the internet.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L August 21, 2013 at 10:43 am |

          I love that essay. (Note the criticism of Cooper for calling women “females.”) Twain would have been a terrific blogger.

    3. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen August 20, 2013 at 5:22 pm |

      All I know of Scott is a) he owned Napoleon’s notebook, and b) Ivanhoe still retains the dubious honor of having been the most fucktastically boring book I have ever encountered anywhere. And I can entertain myself when I’m at loose ends by reading the backs of cereal boxes, FFS.

      But yes, Rebecca is made of win.

    4. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

      Ivanhoe was so bad that even having Anthony Andrews in the lead role couldn’t save it.

      My absolute least favourite 19th century book: The Three Musketeers. Maybe it’s better in French, but turgid rubbish that’s no more than libel =/= a good read.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L August 20, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

        It’s funny that that kind of turgidness never bothered me as a child, when I devoured the Three Musketeers and all five million of its sequels. Bad writing bothers me a lot more now. As a child, I was more easily able to ignore it.

        1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help August 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm |

          I first read it when I was about twelve, I think – first year of high school – and it didn’t bother me then, either. Even now, it’s not so much the crapulous writing that hits all my rage buttons, it’s the malice toward people I care about, the fucking willful ignorance of history and the lies. Oh, did I mention the malice?

        2. Matthew
          Matthew August 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm |

          I absolutely loved the Three Musketeers. For some reason, if I read a book as a child and enjoy it I normally can enjoy it again if I read it as an adult. If that even makes sense.

          I have no idea why, but I also really identified with ‘Milady de Winter’ as a child and thought she had been treated horribly by being branded etc when she was a young woman. Ok, so she does try and kill quite a few people etc, but as a child I always thought she was just attempting to survive…

    5. The Dormouse
      The Dormouse August 20, 2013 at 9:45 pm |

      I had to read that book last semester in one of my classes. It doesn’t get better. I wish I could tell you it does. But even our professor admitted he only included the book in the syllabus because of its literary and historical significance and because it fit the goals of the course. Only my good friend could find anything good to say about it the entire two class sessions (that four whole hours wasted discussing a book NO ONE liked) we were studying it in. And even then it’s only because she’s one of those people who can find something redeeming in everything she needs to read for class. And she still hated the book. I’m sorry I don’t have better news for you.

      1. The Dormouse
        The Dormouse August 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm |

        Although! I think my best friend LOVES that book. So it’s possible it isn’t as bad as I think it is.

  28. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla August 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm |

    [CN: transphobia]

    I see that Private Manning has come out as trans (as Chelsea Manning).

    I’m frankly scared of how the transphobic haters are going to react to this. And I’m not talking about just right-wingers or the radfem contigent, but a hell of a lot of moderates, so-called “liberals”, and mainstream journalists who echoed the administration party line regarding her supposed guilt and the appropriateness of her detention and sentencing.

    I’m scared that her case will be used as a(nother) bludgeon against trans folk. So not only will we be seen as freaks and fakes as always, but also as Threats To Our Security™, Aiding The Terrorists™, and traitors just by our very existence. Maybe the TSA will judge us too dangerous to be allowed to fly. Maybe whatever gender-identity protections we have (already way too few) will be rolled back. Maybe there will be an increase in hate crimes against us, and the authorities will look the other way. Or maybe there will just be some invective and it’ll blow over. IDK, really, but I’m scared.

    1. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen August 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm |

      Yeah, I can see a lot of ways for the transphobes to use this to bad ends. On the one hand, I admire her courage for coming out under this kind of scrutiny, but on the other hand a lot of vileness is coming to the surface on both the left and right. (I made the mistake of reading some of the comments to the NY Times article – big mistake. An article, of course, which misgendered her throughout, arg.) And I have to wonder how much her trans identity (which I believe came up in the court martial) influenced the sentence.

      I really hope that the sort of possibilities you discuss turn out to be too paranoid, but it’s scary. I hear you.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L August 22, 2013 at 8:37 pm |

      The first part of what I posted about this at Shakesville today:

      I think I need to go into hiding and not read anything until this dies down. I’m afraid to look at anything at all about this. (I tried Gawker, and although perhaps 30-40% of the comments are supportive, the hostile ones are so awful I had to stop almost immediately. And that’s a so-called “progressive” site. Not that conservative vs. progressive politics make much of a difference in the likelihood of transphobia, in my experience.)

      There is no justification whatsoever for denying her the care and treatment she needs. Military prison or not. And what part of “prisoners are entitled to medical care” do people not understand? “Not on my taxpayer dollars”? There are a great many far more expensive and far less necessary things being paid for with my tax dollars that I don’t like, and I don’t get a say in it. Neither do you. (Not to mention that people seem to have extremely bizarre ideas about how much hormone therapy costs — how about $10 or $15 per month, even without insurance? Please.)

      1. Donna L
        Donna L August 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm |

        The second part:

        And, of course, ever since stories about Manning’s transness first started to come out, it isn’t just the religious and political right that’s been hostile. The transphobic radical feminist wing of feminism (a/k/a the Stalinist wing) has gleefully pounced on the story and has been all over the Internet (and Twitter) trying to use Manning as “evidence” supposedly proving that trans women are delusional and deluded, that they can’t be trusted, and have criminal — and probably traitorous — propensities.

        It’s relentless. People speak a lot about the micro-aggressions that marginalized people have to deal with, and how enervating and demoralizing it is to have to deal with them, even on a low-level basis, day after day, year after year, decade after decade. Lately, for whatever reason, it hasn’t seemed very low-level, or very “micro,” at all, with respect to all the transphobia out there (never mind the never-completely-erased internalized transphobia that interacts with the external stuff to make everything worse). It’s easy for people to say, “just don’t read it,” and I don’t go looking for it, but I’m not sure that cis people necessarily realize how pervasive it is. I’d have to avoid the Internet and other media pretty much entirely if I wanted to be free of it.

        So, Galla, I hear you.

        1. Jamie
          Jamie August 22, 2013 at 10:18 pm |

          I read some comments (WHY DID I DO THAT) at one of the news sites and wanted to vomit, and I’m cis. I can’t even imagine how it must have felt for you. I’m so sorry, Donna.

        2. GallingGalla
          GallingGalla August 22, 2013 at 10:28 pm |

          @tigtog, I honestly don’t know. I’ll have to think about it.

        3. Donna L
          Donna L August 22, 2013 at 10:50 pm |

          Tigtog, I’m not sure how I’d feel about it either. But if there are people here who want to talk about it (I have no idea if there are), then they should be able to. I don’t have to read or participate if I don’t feel able to.

          Thanks, Jamie. And yes, reading comments on any news story about a trans person — let alone this one — is always horrifying. I thought Gawker was bad, but have no doubt that most places are 10 times worse.

        4. Donna L
          Donna L August 22, 2013 at 11:25 pm |

          And by the way, there are horrible comments at The New York Times, too. Politics makes no difference when it comes to transphobia. It appears with equal frequency across the political spectrum.

          So far, The Times is refusing to follow its own guidelines on how to refer to trans people, and continues to refer to Chelsea Manning with male pronouns.

          CNN also refuses, claiming that its guidelines don’t “permit” using the preferred pronouns or name for a trans person until they’ve had a legal name change, and for all I know until they submit a videotape proving they’ve had genital surgery.

  29. tmc
    tmc August 22, 2013 at 6:08 pm |

    I love my poly family. I feel very fortunate to have my husband and my boyfriend in my life, and as we begin discussing the future that all of us want to build together, I sometimes wonder what I ever did to deserve the love and companionship of such amazing people.

    As things have gotten more serious with my boyfriend, I’ve been gradually coming out of the poly closet in bits and pieces to friends and family members and even some coworkers, and so far not a single person has reacted negatively or said anything ignorant. I know that’s not going to last forever, especially once my husband’s family finally has it confirmed (I’m positive that they already suspect something). But for now we are surrounded by people who accept our “non-traditional” and happily queer family as normal, healthy, and okay. And that feels so, so good right now.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune August 22, 2013 at 6:12 pm |

      Yay polyness! ^__^ I’m so happy for you!

      1. tmc
        tmc August 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm |

        Thank you! :-)

    2. tmc
      tmc August 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm |

      And even my boyfriend is amazed by the fact that he can come hang out with me and my parents and my brother, and they all just joke with him and treat him like part of the family (and my mom treated us all to dinner last week, my boyfriend included, which BLEW his mind!). There’s no tension, no weirdness, we can show each other affection and it’s just whatever. I know that most poly folks aren’t so lucky and I just really appreciate how understanding and open-minded my people are.

      1. moviemaedchen
        moviemaedchen August 22, 2013 at 8:50 pm |

        That’s great, tmc. I’m glad you have such supportive people around you. And it’s always good to hear positive news like that. :D

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