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bear by san

March 2017

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bad girls marlene make my day

why are the wicked so strong?

Michele Fogal interviews me, mostly on gender roles.

Fran Wilde interviews me, mostly on food.

Tor is giving away its spring fantasy collection, including Range of Ghosts.



I feel like I need to say something more about the first link, which is this:

I've had my sexuality mocked, miscategorized, and dismissed--sometimes by people I had previously trusted very deeply--for my entire adult life. I've been not straight enough/not gay enough/too dyky/not dyky enough/too monogamous/not monogamous for somebody else's standards all my life. 

You know what? Nobody else's opinion fucking matters in the slightest. Right now, I happen to be in a monogamous relationship with a heterosexual male, and I have every intention of maintaining that relationship as long as it's possible to keep it going as a net positive in both our lives. He's an astounding and challenging and rewarding human being, and I think I'm lucky as hell that some unexpected interpersonal alchemy took us where it did.

But this relationship does not retroactively abrogate all of my other relationships.

I don't actually like defining or labeling myself, because all of the labels feel awfully simplistic and binary and false to me. I certainly don't fit society's established roles for women--but I consider that society's definitional problem, not mine. I consider my gender and sex and sexuality to be pretty much fucking irrelevant to who I am and who I love and how I interact with the world at large. The former two are biological issues, with no more bearing on who I am than the color of my hair.

The latter has a hell of a lot to do with who I am--probably the only thing more central to my identity than who I care for is my art--but it's always been a matter of for whom I care, and genitalia has very little to do with it.

So the reason I identify as queer--and, when I can force myself to feel like I'm not appropriating somebody else's identity, as genderqueer*--is not because I feel a personal need to claim it as an identity (I don't actually consider either thing important to my identity in the least), but because I consider it important politically to be out. Because I'm here, and I do not fit into society's boxes, and maybe it's comforting for somebody else occasionally that I exist.

It's an activist choice, in other words. As for what other people think of me? I don't actually care, unless I have an intimate relationship with them.

And I support anybody's right to self-determination when it comes to their own identity, their own body, and the people they love, partner with, and have wild one-night stands with.



*I've gone through this as an abuse survivor too: how can I claim it when other people had it so much worse than I did? But dammit, it's important to be visible.

Comments

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<3 forever.
And you.
congrats on finding someone with whom you sizzle (that's my BF's term I liked it so I stole it.)

It doesn't matter who lights the match.
Yep. That.
You're a good loudmouthed role model. *g*
Yup. People are just people, people.

I like you as a people [g].
luff
<3
I had a little speech here. But actually what it boiled down to--and what might have gotten lost if I'd left the little speech here instead, was--

Support support support.

Loff.
I like your speeches.

And *loff* right back.
All of this, yes.

At this point, I have given up the notion of being able to explain myself without at least half an hour of groundwork -- despite my fairly conventional appearance -- and I wind up falling back on "it's complicated."

So I salute you, o complicated human being.
Bravo.
how can I claim it when other people had it so much worse than I did?

Everybody has a Worst Thing That Has Ever Happened To Them. Regardless of what that was, it was the worst thing that ever happened to them, and it colors their experiences in similar ways to whatever the worst thing that ever happened to you colors yours.

Now, if the worst thing that's ever happened to you is a horribly painful hangnail, the fact that I have had the world pulled out from under me does not invalidate your horribly painful hangnail, which is still the worst thing that's ever happened to you. That pain is still yours, and I cannot judge it. Hell, I can't even quantify it. It's yours. You own that experience. Maybe your hangnail was a worse experience for you than my first divorce was for me. I can't even begin to know. All I can say is "Yeah, that worst thing that ever happened to you? I'm sorry. That must have sucked. I wish there was something I could have done to help."

...but what I can't do is say "Pshaw, that doesn't sound so bad", and I don't think anybody should.

...unless you're a news reporter volunteering to get tasered, tear-gassed, or pepper-sprayed on camera, because that shit's always comedy gold.
I think the tendency to minimize bad things that have happened is as much internal as external. It starts out as a healthy coping mechanism, a way of keeping things in proportion and small enough to deal with. Something like "My ingrown toenail is not an amputated foot and it wouldn't be healthy to treat it like one." which then gets twisted into "Since my ingrown toenail isn't an amputated foot, it's not a problem that needs to be dealt with. Therefore, I should be able to go on a fifteen mile hike without any pain."

And then after a mile or so you start to wonder why you can't walk like all those other people who don't have an amputated foot.

Of course, that's just me. It might be different for other people.
Well said. People are who they are.

And as for other people having had it worse? Going through an unfair experience is Not Right, no matter the degree of unfairness you're experiencing. It still has an impact.
Applause. Applause ad infinitum.

As a stodgy old (well, upper middle aged) straight-white-male who grew up in a time and place where 'queer' was a perjorative and who never met an openly gay/bi/whatever person until I was in my 30s, I heartily endorse your attitude that it's nobody else's goddamn business. Just so you know that not all of us are asshats.

Edited at 2012-03-24 05:04 am (UTC)
Yeah, you rock. <3 <3

My feelings about other people and their sexual/romantic lives are simple. "Is everyone involved a consenting adult? Are they all okay with it? Good."

As for orientations/preferences, I only care inasmuch as they affect me in one of the following ways:
- Person is attracted to me, I do not reciprocate: fine as long as person respects a polite "thanks, but no thanks."
- I find person attractive, they do not reciprocate: doesn't really matter if I'm too tall, too short, wrong gender presentation, wrong hair color...any reason, or no reason at all. They don't, I deal.
- Mutual non-attraction: easy.
- Mutual attraction: other relationships, distance, time constraints, and/or any number of other things might make it impossible to develop anything. Again, I deal; maybe we wind up settling on friendly flirting/teasing that we don't intend to act on, or everyone just sighs and goes on with life. (Or it works out and we're deliriously happy when we can get together, and do a lot of email and IM in between. :-)
Like so many above me, I wish to state for the record: Thank you for sharing this, thank you for being awesome, and *supportsupportsupport*

It deeply saddens me that this sort of this sort of thing is still an issue, but it really gladdens me that there are folks out there who can and do choose to make this stand.

I salute you, and all those that make this stand.
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