We have control.

Much to-do has been made lately about the current group of 13-29ers, also known as Generation Y, or millennials. Just the same to-do has been made by every older generation about the one that follows it (and no, that quote was not spoken by Socrates, but it was written over a hundred years ago and referenced a mindset that had been around for centuries before that). I could spend paragraphs discussing the kind of world millennials are inheriting or the practical problems we’ve faced after a childhood of being told to follow our passions, but enough people have already dedicated more than enough time and bandwidth to that.

What I’d like to do is talk to you about a British radio sitcom.

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We need to talk about Steven.

ImageBeen a while since I’ve made a Doctor Who post, but it’s about that time. Season 7 of the reboot is about to wrap up, and the 50th Anniversary is upon us. In related news, the next episode is entitled “The Name of the Doctor”, and recently a “spoiler” was leaked about John Hurt’s mystery role in the anniversary special.

And the fandom is losing its mind.

(Here is your fair warning before you continue: I’m about to discuss the anniversary special and the supposed spoilers.)

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The shape of my gender

NOTE: This is a transgender-related entry. If you are confused by any of the terms used here, check out Ronen’s Trans Glossary.

ALSO NOTE: This article contains discussion of physical dysphoria.

In high school I studied the way boys moved and sat, particularly the way they crossed their legs with one ankle on top of the opposite knee. I enjoyed the shape of it, the geometric strength and openness of it, particularly when contrasted with the prim silhouette made by sitting the “girly” way. I trained myself to walk with a smooth step rather than a bounce. I wore loose pants and open button-ups over t-shirts. I wore bras and shaved my armpits and legs because That’s What Girls Did, but the only reason I ever practiced applying eyeliner was for the school plays.

I did not think of myself as transgender then. “Transgender” was the glossed-over tag at the end of GLBT; sexuality was a far hotter topic than gender identity even at my relatively liberal school. My vague definition of the word, at the time, mostly consisted of “drag queens.”

Family members, in the form of holiday and birthday cards, told me I was growing into a young woman. I would read those words and sense a wrongness, but when I asked myself whether I wanted to be a man instead, the answer was “Not really,” and I considered that the end of it.

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I’m not finished yet.

Photo by Philip MacKenzie.

Photo by Philip MacKenzie.

I’m sure that at some point in my life, someone must have told me I’d have to work hard to be successful. They must have done. It’s one of those things people just know. It takes ten weeks to form a habit and ten thousand hours to become a master. In order to get ahead, you have to be obsessive. Practice should be a daily routine.

Surely someone told me this. The problem is, I didn’t believe them.

I was a smart kid. Furthermore, I was blessed with certain creative talents. With a smattering of exceptions I could count on one hand, school was an easy place to be. I almost always got A’s or B’s. I starred in the spring musicals. I was in the French Honor Society and the Art Honor Society and the Advanced Choir.

You can probably see where this is going. It’s not as if the subject has never been talked about before. Hell, just now I clicked over to my Tumblr tab and was greeted by a study that shows children who are praised for their talents (rather than their efforts) are more ashamed when they fail. We feel we have value only when we succeed. And for many, success doesn’t mean being merely adequate: it means being top tier. 90th percentile at least.

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It’s not you, it’s the patriarchy

Photo by Thomaz Scalquo Cia (corpitho on sxc.hu).

NOTE: This is a transgender-related entry. If you are confused by any of the terms used here, check out Ronen’s Trans Glossary.

ALSO NOTE: This entry addresses points of biphobia and transphobia which some may find unsettling or triggering.

WARNING: YOU DON’T WANT TO CLICK THIS LINK. You especially don’t want to read the comments section. This is not reverse psychology. You really, really don’t want to. It is a train wreck. It is a pit of sharks. No matter who you are, you will walk away from it feeling ill.

In summary, for the strong of willpower who managed not to click: the link would have taken you to a post in the Oh No They Didn’t! Political community entitled “Where’s the politics in sex?” The original post was penned by a Huffington Post writer who is apparently (I had never heard of her before yesterday) notorious for transphobia and being generally Fail. The piece is about bisexuality in women, and here is one of the defining quotes:

I believe now, that if bisexual women had an ounce of sexual politics, they would stop sleeping with men.

To be honest, I didn’t read the complete article. I still haven’t. The above quote made me say “Oh, for fuck’s sake” (out loud) and move on. Then, when I came home later in the evening, the post’s comment count was over 400. It is now, as I type this, over 500 and still climbing. It is full of people discussing (often with great vitriol on both sides) the idea of ‘political lesbianism,’ i.e., the decision by women to exclusively date and sleep with women Because The Patriarchy.

And I did read most of those comments.

Now, here is my situation: I am an AFAB, bisexual (pansexual if you really want to get technical) trans individual who has been with the same (cis) man for more than six years. We are going to get married. Even though my identity is queer, this grants me a lot of straight privilege, especially since I haven’t yet begun any sort of legal or hormonal transition. We go out together, people (usually) see a straight couple, and thus we avoid harassment. We have the right to get married and receive both the social and legal benefits of that choice, and thus we avoid the legal persecution that acts upon most gay couples in America. I came into my queer identity while I was already dating him, and made the choice to keep on dating him, and thus continued to benefit from a system that persecutes others like me who happen to make a different choice. I know that the social pressure for AFAB people to date men, and only men, is the reason that up until the point I started dating him, I had never been with a woman. I am in no way unaware of these facts. I think about them, not every day or even every week, but often.

I have been tempted by, at times – I have experienced angst over – the idea that I should leave my cis male partner and go find a nice woman or queer person to settle down with. Because The Patriarchy.

Here’s the problem with that line of thinking: it’s fucked up.

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‘Ness used PSI QUEER! α!’

Quite recently, I developed a yen to re-start playing my absolute favorite video game of all time: EarthBound. How ‘absolute favorite?’ It’s the only video game I’ve ever remotely considered getting a tattoo based on (and the fact that I’m still considering it after… however many years probably means that at some point, I will).

For those who are unfamiliar, EarthBound is an aerial-view roleplaying game for the Super Nintendo – the style is similar to the early ‘Legend of Zelda’ and ‘Final Fantasy’ games, except that the story is very much rooted in the modern age. Instead of a medieval fantasy land, EarthBound takes place in ’199X’ and begins in a country called Eagleland.

At the start of the game, the player has the option to name the four main characters and answer other questions that customize certain parts of the dialogue and your attacks. At first, I was only going to use the default names… until I was struck with the idea to queer the game.

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On the illusion and shaping of reality.

Image by vassiliki at sxc.hu

“You have a very active imagination.”

That’s what my dad said to me. We were sitting in the car (where we have most of our important conversations these days) on a rainy day, talking about my genderqueerness, and what my dad saw as the reasons I started identifying that way.

He was referring to the fact that I never grew out of playing pretend, and even as a child I took it very seriously. I put on a costume and I would become that costume. I would allow my outward appearance to transform my behavior. According to my father, my active imagination had led me to choose genderqueer as an identity I had wanted to put on. He wasn’t saying there was no internal basis, but he was using my imagination as an excuse. In essence, he was saying that what I thought of as my Real Self wasn’t ‘really’ real.

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Bibrary Gender Identity and Expression Challenge: The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit by Storm Constantine

The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit by Storm Constantine

Vampiric homoeroticism with a David Bowie aesthetic: welcome to the world of Wraeththu.

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My Rebuttal, or, the 5 Most Hurtful Things I’ve Heard Since Coming Out

NOTE: This is a transgender-related entry. If you are confused by any of the terms used here, check out Ronen’s Trans Glossary.

ALSO NOTE: This entry addresses points of transphobia, cissexism and homophobia which some may find unsettling or triggering.

Why hello, blogsphere. I seem to have disappeared from you for a full two months. I’ve been a busy bee, and I’ve also been sucked back into the weird, weird world of LJ RP, which has been dominating a large part of my brain space. I’ve also been reading a lot of Cracked articles, which probably became obvious at the title of this post.

The other day, I found my gender dysphoria flaring up in a big way, and I felt compelled to finally address the most hurtful of the questions and accusations put to me when I have tried to come out as trans. Where better to do it than here? (“Where better? Why, to the asker’s/accuser’s face,” you might say, and I’m getting to that. I promise. But I do hope that writing this will help give me the courage to try and do so, as well as educate others out there on the internet.)

So without further ado: my rebuttal.

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Dress Like the Doctor: Part Three

In Part One, we covered the general, overall look. In Part Two, we got more specific with fabrics, patterns and colors. Now it’s time to finish up!

Part Three: Accents and Accessories

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