I started this daily video journal a while back. Then I completely forgot it existed for about six months. Came across it again today while I was trying to clean out my computer and thought I’d share. This is me talking for about 7m about my writing process and how it relates to my mental health.
That thing where you see a webcomic and you’re like, “Yep, that character is pretty much me today. …In fact, we’re even wearing the same sweater. Whoa.”
Some random factoids about me for no particular reason:
The transition from being cold to being warm is one of my very favorite physical sensations.
I’m going to be 32 in less than a week.
I always seem to wake up in the same physiological state I went to sleep in. (If I went to sleep sad or groggy, I wake up sad or groggy. If I went to bed with some energy left, I wake up feeling energetic. If I fell asleep horny, I wake up horny. It really is as if my body’s just gone on “pause”.)
As long as I’ve been getting regular sleep, I will also wake up almost exactly 8 hours from when I fell asleep, if I don’t set an alarm.
I claim to have “lived on five continents” but, technically, three of those were only islands that were associated with their respective continents (Japan - Asia; Ireland - Europe; Ross Island - Antarctica) and the fourth continent (Australia) is, itself, an island.
In every country where I’ve lived, I’ve spent at least one year living in that country’s capitol — or the closest equivalent, anyway, if you count McMurdo as the “capitol” of Antarctica. :P
I first discovered that I was queer because I realized I was attracted to a female Disney character — Esmeralda from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. (I’ve never even seen the movie, I just saw her on a poster and was like, “Jesus! That…is how I usually feel about boys. What?” This was followed in quick succession by attraction to Shirley Manson from Garbage, and to my middle school best friend who I had a torturous unrequited crush on for the next several years.)
I’m sort of paranoid about getting cancer. But apparently not paranoid enough to wear sunscreen on a regular basis or, like, quit smoking.
I have the chorus from “Jesse’s Girl” stuck in my head right now. It’s incredibly annoying. (Now, so do you! Bwahaha!!)
Even though I’ve thought that anthropomorphized animals were The Coolest Thing since basically forever, I let the Internet shame me out of actually looking at furry porn until, like, tonight. I’m glad I finally got over it. Good furry porn is really fun, and freakin’ hot, it turns out.
I started a “professional” Tumblr a little while ago under my legal name — which is basically just a “personal” Tumblr where I don’t post anything “unprofessional” (like stuff about furry porn) — so that when I’m eventually looking for jobs and clients and they Google me, they’ll ideally find that blog and think they’ve successfully discovered my “personal” we presence.
I was kind of a goth in high school. (Big surprise.)
I also played a bunch of tabletop roleplaying games including AD&D, Shadowrun, and, of course, every Whitewolf game under the sun. I kinda miss it.
The last novel I finished was Dune. The last movie I saw was Divergent. And I’ve been in the middle of a book of steampunk short stories called Clockwork Fairy Tales forever.
Bratton is not anti-futurology like me; rather, he is against simple-minded futurology. He thinks the TED style evades awkward complexities and evokes a future in which, somehow, everything will be changed by technology and yet the same. The geeks will still be living their laid-back California lifestyle because that will not be affected by the radical social and political implications of the very technology they plan to impose on societies and states. This is a naive, very local vision of heaven in which everybody drinks beer and plays baseball and the sun always shines.
I was chatting with a cis friend of mine who is an amazingly supportive and empathic ally, and made a comment about some extremists in the world who accuse trans women of retaining male privilege or of being patriarchy double-agents, and she was dumbfounded by the idea, having seen some of the shit I endure. She made an off-hand comment about “well, maybe before you transitioned, but now, really no,” and I had to stop and really think about that for a minute before we continued. Yes, on the one hand my life was easier in some ways, but in a lot of other ways it was a lot more emotionally violent, and ultimately the best way I could explain it to her was something akin to passing privilege, like when a gay man is assumed to be straight and doesn’t have to take as much crap, or when some racial minorities look “white enough” that they world just assumes they’re in the majority. There is some benefit to being mistaken for a member of the oppressor class, but those benefits are highly conditional and quickly taken away if your minority status is revealed, and often there is some kind of punishment inflicted for “deceiving” everyone. And perhaps worst of all, you can hear exactly what people in power think of people like you when they think they’re alone, and either sacrifice your illusory privilege (or even your physical safety) speaking up against it, or else sit there are take deeply disturbing abuse without being allowed to react.
Did I gain any benefit from people mistaking me for a boy? Probably. I probably got called on more in class, and got harassed less on the street. But my butch lesbian friends got similar treatment for rejecting femininity. And in the meantime I was still told nearly every day that girls need to be quiet, that girls aren’t good at math, that girls should dress and speak and act certain ways. I was told that if a girl gets raped, it’s because of how she was dressed or because she wasn’t careful enough. And I hated myself because I wasn’t little enough and pretty enough. And I worried I wasn’t really a girl because I liked science. And when I got raped, I “knew” it was because of how I’d dressed, and because I wasn’t careful enough. Trans girls have to grow up in the same crappy, woman-hating world every other girl grows up in.
No one calls out gay people for “residual straight privilege,” so on what bizzaro-world did we turn over a rock and find a concept that essentially boils down to “a hated and violently abused minority of women are the real danger to women, because they were forced to hide in fear of violent reprisal for years”?
For trans women the ability to pass as cis men before transition is a means of survival in which whatever privilege afforded us is a veil borrowed out of fear.
The violence done to all womankind is violence that is done to us as well. Our privilege is merely the ability to stand in an indirect line of fire, not out of it.
And honestly not all of us (not many even) even were able to do that?
I was so consistently attacked and abused and no one could articulate what it was they hated about me but my mannerisms, my voice, my movements, all of those things triggered intense fury in cis men (and boosted the bravery of less common exploitative cis women in violating my physical boundaries in much subtler ways).
Sometimes sexualized fury (the hazing and bullying took on sexual undertones at times and the words faggot and bitch were a constant attack)
For a while I believed that I had “passed as cis male” in my youth only to find out that I was the only one out of the people around me in my youth who believed that. And talking to other trans girls who knew of their past experiences better and without influences from cis bullying in the present muddying the water helped too.
No one was surprised. Everyone said they “knew something was up” with me. And they knew it wasn’t being gay or anything like that. They knew. I mean many of them still articulated it in sexuality terms but it was always a special kind of weird gay. A gayness not even acceptable to the cis gay people I knew, who acted like it was odd the way I was as well.
And mind you I am autistic and mentally ill and those things will change behaviors and make a kid “weird” to their peers. But it was very specifically a weirdness of gender.
My brother knew. My dad responded abusively to it. My mother knew something was up and was bothered by it. My peers knew and either treated me like scum to break or avoided me to avoid being associated with that (most of my friends were outcasts for whatever reasons). People would stare at me on the street.
I won’t say it applies to everyone, I’m not going to take agency away from other trans girls in describing their own lives. But I know that I was fooled and bullied into claiming first that I had male privilege and then later that I was passing as male privileged before transition and both proved to be untrue and the result of a transmisogynist ideology designed to ostracize and attack us, on the level of existence itself.
I think that’s a big deal. I think a lot more of us experienced this phenomenon than we realized.
when straight guys ask how lesbian sex works i feel really bad for their girlfriends because if you dont understand how to have sex with a girl in any way other than repeatedly putting your dick in her you are having some really bad sex
I want to reblog this 100 times but I’ll just do it once
Almost every problem that can be solved with money can be solved better by building a relationship.
And that’s win/win because, in the end, if you solve the problem with money, then you end up with a solved problem and fewer resources (less money). But if you solve it by building a relationship, then what you get is a solved problem and more resources (more relationships.)
A weird thing happened to me. A couple of years ago, I met someone and fell in love, and it turned out that person was kinda famous on the Internet.
Not like Justin Bieber famous on the internet, thankfully, but still the kind of internet famous that involves “fans” and “haters” and other random strangers paying a lot of attention to their activities, and sometimes writing them fanmail, or hatemail, or having sexual fantasies about them, or making parody blogs about them, or both. In fact, there is now an entire bully blog devoted to “interpreting” maymay’s work in insulting ways. It’s fucking weird.
Sometimes, I fantasize about a world in which nobody knows who “the infamous maymay” is and we just stay at home, and cuddle, and build cool things to distribute on the Internet anonymously, and hang out and cook food and have good conversations with our mutual friends. In reality, I understand why having such a polemical high-profile is both important to, and an unavoidable consequence of, maymay’s current work. I love them for who they are and I wouldn’t trade my real relationship with maymay for my fantasy one — although I would definitely agree to a version with more cuddling.
That being said, since I can’t (and don’t want to) take maymay off the Internet, I decided to put something on the Internet that can serve as a kind of psychic antidote for the torrent of concern trolling and negativity that gets directed at me and other people who love maymay. That swirl of negativity, misrepresentation, bullying, and bullshit can sometimes make me feel very solitary, like I’m alone in my affection for and appreciation of this person I love. Feeling that way is rough.
And I know that’s not the reality. There are lots of other people who love and support and value maymay, including family, friends, and fans. I’ve been collecting comments etc. that are supportive of maymay and/or their work for a while now. But, at least online, maymay tends to engage with their “haters” more than their “likers” — which means that, even if I don’t go looking for it, a disproportionate amount of the awful accusatory stuff gets signalboosted into my stream while the appreciation and support gets kinda buried. I want to gradually counterbalance that skewed representation with concrete pointers toward how much good their work and their outspoken and unorthodox tactics have done and how many people they’ve helped.
Anyway, this “fan” blog is basically a mental health resource for myself. But if other folks who appreciate or care about maymay want to participate, you’re welcome to follow or submit links. :) Thanks!
So, I started this blog. I’ve had it in my project queue for a while. I think I’m actually going to remove the above Intro post and just link to it here instead. I really do want that blog to be “Nice things about maymay reblogged without comment" because I don’t want it to become another political platform where I go off on rants about stuff. I’ve got enough of those. I just want it to be a Happy Place where I can "go" to take a little break from the trenches. :)
“You never get to the point where you think “I am the adult”, but you do get to the point where you think “I’ve dealt with this before.” The older you get, the higher and higher the percentage is of things you’ve already been through. Have you ever changed a tire? Had a flat tire? Someday, you might, and the next time it happens, you’ll know what to do, since you’ve already done it.”
-My dad. I’m 24, and asked if you ever shake the feeling of not being an adult, and this was his response. Probably the most comforting thing he could have said.