The Equality of Differences – QRM post

Hey all — my blog post for Queer Romance Month is out and I wanted to mention it here because I think people might be interested in it. I called it The Equality of Differences and I don’t think I can totally copy the whole post over here (since that wouldn’t be fair to QRM) so instead I’m showing you just the beginning of it below. Follow the link at the end to read the rest. I have spent most of my life feeling like an alien on Earth. The main reason for this is because it has often felt like, at every step of the way, I was different than what society expected. My earliest memory is of being at recess in elementary school and running up to a teacher to ask, “What’s a lesbian?” I know I asked that question because somebody called me one, but I don’t remember exactly what they said, nor what the teacher’s response was. All I know is whatever the teacher said gave me the impression it was something very bad, because I remember running back and yelling at the other kid that I wasn’t a lesbian at all. I was too young back then to know I actually was a lesbian, and way too young to know I was asexual as well. Maybe if I’d known I wouldn’t have denied it to that kid, because later I would grow up to realize how important it is to be myself. Even when that means I feel like I don’t belong. For anyone who’s interested, I wrote a blog post earlier this year...

The Equality of Differences – QRM post

Hey all — my blog post for Queer Romance Month is out and I wanted to mention it here because I think people might be interested in it. I called it The Equality of Differences and I don’t think I can totally copy the whole post over here (since that wouldn’t be fair to QRM) so instead I’m showing you just the beginning of it below. Follow the link at the end to read the rest. I have spent most of my life feeling like an alien on Earth. The main reason for this is because it has often felt like, at every step of the way, I was different than what society expected. My earliest memory is of being at recess in elementary school and running up to a teacher to ask, “What’s a lesbian?” I know I asked that question because somebody called me one, but I don’t remember exactly what they said, nor what the teacher’s response was. All I know is whatever the teacher said gave me the impression it was something very bad, because I remember running back and yelling at the other kid that I wasn’t a lesbian at all. I was too young back then to know I actually was a lesbian, and way too young to know I was asexual as well. Maybe if I’d known I wouldn’t have denied it to that kid, because later I would grow up to realize how important it is to be myself. Even when that means I feel like I don’t belong. For anyone who’s interested, I wrote a blog post earlier this year...

NerdCon: Stories (NerdCon 2015)

I made the trip to NerdCon: Stories, the first year of this new convention originally created by Hank Green and then done with Patrick Rothfuss and a whole lot of other authors. As they put it: Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff. When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all.  — John Green NerdCon is here to celebrate the enthusiasm of the Nerd! We want to capture some of the most important and exciting cultural institutions in physical spaces. We started on this goal in 2010 when we launched VidCon, but it just wasn’t enough for us. Now, NerdCons celebrating all sorts of important, fascinating, and vital things will arise. We are starting with NerdCon: Stories. Story-telling is as old as humans. In fact, it might be one of the things that helped us become humans. NerdCon: Stories is here to honor that institution with a diverse gathering of story tellers. I heavily debated whether I would go when I heard about it, because it was expensive ($100 for tickets) and I wasn’t sure. But my friend and I were both interested, and I thought it would be cool to be there the first year of something that might take off in the future, so we went. I am so incredibly glad we did. It was amazing. Amazing. Seriously, it was my favorite convention I’ve been to in… as long as I can remember, actually. It was so intelligently done for the most part. For one thing, the main panels were only...

NerdCon: Stories (NerdCon 2015)

I made the trip to NerdCon: Stories, the first year of this new convention originally created by Hank Green and then done with Patrick Rothfuss and a whole lot of other authors. As they put it: Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff. When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all.  — John Green NerdCon is here to celebrate the enthusiasm of the Nerd! We want to capture some of the most important and exciting cultural institutions in physical spaces. We started on this goal in 2010 when we launched VidCon, but it just wasn’t enough for us. Now, NerdCons celebrating all sorts of important, fascinating, and vital things will arise. We are starting with NerdCon: Stories. Story-telling is as old as humans. In fact, it might be one of the things that helped us become humans. NerdCon: Stories is here to honor that institution with a diverse gathering of story tellers. I heavily debated whether I would go when I heard about it, because it was expensive ($100 for tickets) and I wasn’t sure. But my friend and I were both interested, and I thought it would be cool to be there the first year of something that might take off in the future, so we went. I am so incredibly glad we did. It was amazing. Amazing. Seriously, it was my favorite convention I’ve been to in… as long as I can remember, actually. It was so intelligently done for the most part. For one thing, the main panels were only...

Let’s Talk About It: the complexity of feminism

This is something I’m labeling as a “Let’s Talk About It” here because I ended up talking at length about this topic, but it originated from an ask on tumblr. Below is the ask, as well as my answer. I’m posting here because it’s a long answer and others may find it to be of interest, or I may want to find this post again in the future. Copied tumblr post below: I answered the ICoS questions in a different post so here I’m answering just the feminist question. I split them because whether I consider myself to be a feminist is a complicated/long answer on its own. You may be wondering why this part took me so much longer to answer. It’s because no matter how many times I started this post, it always devolved into way too many topics way too quickly and somehow it involved a rant. Although you said it was fine to rant, I felt like I wasn’t explaining my thought process well and I kept getting way too sidetracked. To me, everything is interconnected so there are several really big topics that can get pulled in from the simple question of “feminism: yes/no?”. This is probably try #6 on this post and hopefully this will be the last attempt. All of this is, of course, merely my personal opinion– other people could think completely differently than I do, and it doesn’t make them less valid than me. It simply makes them a human being with a different opinion, which is not something to judge but rather something to accept and even love. The...

Let’s Talk About It: the complexity of feminism

This is something I’m labeling as a “Let’s Talk About It” here because I ended up talking at length about this topic, but it originated from an ask on tumblr. Below is the ask, as well as my answer. I’m posting here because it’s a long answer and others may find it to be of interest, or I may want to find this post again in the future. Copied tumblr post below: I answered the ICoS questions in a different post so here I’m answering just the feminist question. I split them because whether I consider myself to be a feminist is a complicated/long answer on its own. You may be wondering why this part took me so much longer to answer. It’s because no matter how many times I started this post, it always devolved into way too many topics way too quickly and somehow it involved a rant. Although you said it was fine to rant, I felt like I wasn’t explaining my thought process well and I kept getting way too sidetracked. To me, everything is interconnected so there are several really big topics that can get pulled in from the simple question of “feminism: yes/no?”. This is probably try #6 on this post and hopefully this will be the last attempt. All of this is, of course, merely my personal opinion– other people could think completely differently than I do, and it doesn’t make them less valid than me. It simply makes them a human being with a different opinion, which is not something to judge but rather something to accept and even love. The...

Anti-bullying, and remember: you could become someone else’s bully

I received this message at tumblr, and after I posted my response I decided I wanted to add it to my blog as well– both so it wouldn’t be lost, and because this is something I believe very strongly that will never change. I see way too many people use their own real or perceived hurt to hurt others, and that is exactly what bullies are often thought to do. Don’t let yourself become so certain of your own moral superiority that you are blinded to the impact of your own actions or words. Wow, thank you so much for pointing that out! I hadn’t seen it before and it was amazing! Since I think everyone should watch it, here’s the video: I love the message in it, and that it stands for anti-bullying. I really like how it talks about the different parts, how something small can become something so huge. I could really identify with that, both for me and for some of my characters. I want to take a second to remind everyone how much words can hurt, and how verbal or emotional abuse can cause as much– if not, in some cases, actually more– long term damage as physical abuse. But I also want to mention something else: I think we should all strive to treat others the way we wish we would be treated. This is unrelated to this video but sometimes, especially on social media, I see people get so wrapped up in whatever cause they’re trying to champion that they start attacking everyone else, labeling them as XYZphobic or XYZist even when they...

Anti-bullying, and remember: you could become someone else’s bully

I received this message at tumblr, and after I posted my response I decided I wanted to add it to my blog as well– both so it wouldn’t be lost, and because this is something I believe very strongly that will never change. I see way too many people use their own real or perceived hurt to hurt others, and that is exactly what bullies are often thought to do. Don’t let yourself become so certain of your own moral superiority that you are blinded to the impact of your own actions or words. Wow, thank you so much for pointing that out! I hadn’t seen it before and it was amazing! Since I think everyone should watch it, here’s the video: I love the message in it, and that it stands for anti-bullying. I really like how it talks about the different parts, how something small can become something so huge. I could really identify with that, both for me and for some of my characters. I want to take a second to remind everyone how much words can hurt, and how verbal or emotional abuse can cause as much– if not, in some cases, actually more– long term damage as physical abuse. But I also want to mention something else: I think we should all strive to treat others the way we wish we would be treated. This is unrelated to this video but sometimes, especially on social media, I see people get so wrapped up in whatever cause they’re trying to champion that they start attacking everyone else, labeling them as XYZphobic or XYZist even when they...

Neurobiology of Rape and Sexual Assault: Let’s Talk About It

In honor of US National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and for my 100th blog post, I wanted to cover a topic that is really important to me. This will be the first in my Let’s Talk About It series, looking at complicated or serious topics and exploring it in pieces a post at a time. Today I want to talk about the neurobiology of trauma, specifically in regards to rape or sexual assault. This is a complicated topic that many others cover better than me so I’m going to do as much of an overview as I can, and because there’s a lot to cover I will only touch on pieces. TRIGGER WARNING FOR ANYONE WHO HAS SURVIVED RAPE OR SEXUAL ASSAULT: I will be talking about what happens in the body and brain during trauma, so it’s possible some wording might be triggering. This focuses on hormonal reactions and the chemistry of the brain. Please do not read further if you think this will be detrimental for you. Regarding this post: First, you might notice me switch between victim, survivor, and victim/survivor. There is no specific reason for where I use each. The term ‘survivor’ is what I’ve seen preferred by those who have survived assaults and they are part of my target audience; however, another large part of my target audience is people who have never experienced an assault and who do not understand why things happen the way they do, and oftentimes that demographic uses the term ‘victim.’ Second, you should know that there are a lot of misconceptions about rape and sexual assault, and this feeds into rape culture. Two...

Neurobiology of Rape and Sexual Assault: Let’s Talk About It

In honor of US National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and for my 100th blog post, I wanted to cover a topic that is really important to me. This will be the first in my Let’s Talk About It series, looking at complicated or serious topics and exploring it in pieces a post at a time. Today I want to talk about the neurobiology of trauma, specifically in regards to rape or sexual assault. This is a complic ated topic that many others cover better than me so I’m going to do as much of an overview as I can, and because there’s a lot to cover I will only touch on pieces. TRIGGER WARNING FOR ANYONE WHO HAS SURVIVED RAPE OR SEXUAL ASSAULT: I will be talking about what happens in the body and brain during trauma, so it’s possible some wording might be triggering. This focuses on hormonal reactions and the chemistry of the brain. Please do not read further if you think this will be detrimental for you. Regarding this post: First, you might notice me switch between victim, survivor, and victim/survivor. There is no specific reason for where I use each. The term ‘survivor’ is what I’ve seen preferred by those who have survived assaults and they are part of my target audience; however, another large part of my target audience is people who have never experienced an assault and who do not understand why things happen the way they do, and oftentimes that demographic uses the term ‘victim.’ Second, you should know that there are a lot of misconceptions about rape and sexual assault, and...

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