Posted in activism, bigotry, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, dragon, emergency, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, health, history, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, politics, society, storage, urgent

8/27: Choices (Dragon on War and Life) #crowdfunding

My grandfather and all three of his brothers chose to fight in WWI.

My father and at least one of his brothers (I think both of them did) chose to fight in WWII.

I have cousins and others who chose to enlist. Uncles on my mother’s side (who married in, as there were 4 girls and 1 boy and my uncle was too young to serve) chose to fight in WWII and even in Korea.

Due to my various injuries, I would never have passed the physical, but I seriously tried to get into the AF as an officer. That was my choice. They just didn’t want me.

We can choose to fight fascism and tyranny, or -as some choose- to join said fascism and be those we fight against. I am not a veteran, but I have enough of them in my family and amongst my friends to know what they fought, and even died, for. To corral hate, injustice, bigotry, fascism, genocide, and so much more.

And we choose to fight it. We must learn from the history of this world, of our ancestors, so we can stop repeating the same bullshit.


There are things we also cannot choose to do or choose to happen. I did everything I could to find work and keep my apartment, but one really shitty month when things didn’t go as I thought they should ended up with me losing my apartment of over seven years. I didn’t choose to be homeless. I fought with everything I had, everything I could muster, but it wasn’t enough. So now I’m still homeless, struggling to make ends meet, struggling to keep my belongings safe from auction. Struggling to make the choices of what I need right in this moment to keep me and my cat safe and healthy. She needs cat food and litter. You don’t want to know how long I’ve managed to stretch the box of litter I bought while still in the apartment. Well, considering I finally was out at the beginning of March, you can do the math. She needs fresh litter. And food.

I refuse to give up my cat. That is my choice. I also will fight to keep my belongings safe in storage until I can get a place again. I’ve had people tell me that “if (I) can’t afford to keep a cat, (I) shouldn’t have one” … well, that asshole got blocked really fast. Portia is one of the few parts of my life that makes life worth holding onto.  She keeps me grounded and in reality. She comes first. I just wish my food stamps covered cat food (I can’t go to Pongo Fund, as the food they hand out is too rich and makes her sick. She has a very specific type of food. The protein and fat percentages have to be in a certain mid-range or she mats and gets sick).

I did not choose this ‘in between’ life. In between homes. In between jobs. I don’t like it. I’m working on changing it. Vocational Rehab for work help, fighting to finish school, doing odd jobs via Taskrabbit to make a little money, but it never lasts long and it’s feast or famine in terms of income.

I do what I can, but it isn’t enough. So my choice is to ask for help. So I ask.

~Dragon

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Posted in activism, bigotry, community, crowdfunding, empath life, faith, life, peace, poetry, politics, sexuality, storage, writing

8/14: Tears

Words fly.
Flames threaten from
One side of the barricade.
The other keeping the flames of
Hate
At bay.
God sheds a tear
Still so much hate
Division.
Violence.
Fear.
Anger.
Messengers of peace
Ignored or
Killed, even.
No one is
Superior or Inferior.
Skin.
Gender.
Sexuality.
Disability.
Equals
But not treated
As equals.
Another tear shed.
The rain is proof of that.

~A

Posted in bigotry, community, cosplay, dragon, faith, feminism, friends, life, politics, research, Science Fiction and Fantasy, society

7/15: Trek and Overcoming Human Cultural Differences

A few years back, I was doing some demographics research for a project my boss was working on. While I don’t have the work I did (everything I did is still protected by an NDA I signed), I remember what I found.

There’s been a long-standing misconception that the SF/F fandom is predominately male. HA! Nope. Women are equal, if not a higher percentage, of SF/F fandom than men. And yes, that statement comes from research I did a few years back. Based on research done over the years…. *ahem* …. decades. Even back in the 50’s and 60’s, female readership of SF/F books and periodicals (such as Asimov, etc) was roughly 49-50%. Today? I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s higher. Fandom is just as much for US women as it is for men.

So, what sparked this post? The following image:

20023784_10154719646601546_3572358340627745923_o

And then the ensuing “discussion” on a friend’s posting of this on FB. Filled with Trek fanboys who think they know better than us “females” …. guess what, Ferengi wannabes, you are not better than us, you are not smarter than us, and you most definitely do NOT grasp the concept that women can have a better fucking grasp of Trek than your Neanderthal-esque selves. Crawl back in your caves, boys. Us ladies got this.

Here’s the thing:

How do they know religion isn’t practiced in the Trek future? Because it isn’t as fucking obvious? Trek showed how humans, as a global society/race, have moved beyond differences and work WITH each other. Even if those differences may still exist. We know from later shows and films that the French still make wine (Picard facing his brother), the cuisine and such of Cajun/Southern life survives (Sisko)… and what else? I mean there are all kinds of things that survive a few centuries… if Cajun culture survives, I’m pretty damn sure Islam (not the terrorist shit, but the peaceful religion practiced by nearly all Muslims, save for that percentage of a percentage that have skewed it for their own purposes) will survive. 

The individual episodes don’t have enough airtime to show every aspect of life in Starfleet. So we don’t really know if religion is still around on Earth in Trek. I know one thing: Sisko and other humans in Starfleet are respectful of Bajoran faith. For all we know, there may be a ship chaplain or multiple ones for different faiths represented. Or, in TNG and later, programs on the holodecks for various religious ceremonies and services.

We simply do not know.

But having someone of a specific faith represented doesn’t mean indoctrination (man, I can hear that bigoted outcry now) or pushing any one faith or anything. It’s merely giving a chance to represent the beliefs of Roddenberry and his vision of unity. Just as Chekov was a representative of Russia (who was a major enemy of the US until the end of the Cold War in the 80’s) and showing that we can one day overcome our differences. Just as a Muslim woman would be representative of what many white supremacists and others hate and fear in the here and now. To show that the differences we have TODAY can be overcome in the future.

Showing that humanity on this planet can overcome our hate, judgment, fear, and violence and thus come together to form one world coalition so we can explore the stars without infighting and competition amongst ourselves. We will still have differences and cultural diversity, things that are shown in the later shows. Humans are not “homogenized” in Trek. The military aspect may show some of that to some degree…

But…

Remember, Starfleet is not all encompassing of humans. It is essentially the Navy in Space. One part of Earth’s culture as envisioned by Roddenberry and his people.

~Dragon the Geek

Posted in bigotry, bugaboos, cats, chronic pain, community, convention, dragon, friends, life, peace, politics, PTSD, society

7/4: our webs are down

I got back from GearCon to find that the house internet has been borked by Century Link doing work nearby. I’m using the limited hotspot on the other phone until fixed, so I won’t be here much.

I discovered new pain Sunday at con, so I’m taking things easy. Sciatica sucks donkey ass. 

Happy 4th to my fellow Americans. 

Please don’t set things (or people) on fire with possibly illegal fireworks. I will be on “cat calming” duty. Have a phone and fire extinguisher nearby.

Be nice to each other. 

Respect local Veterans who likely have PTSD and fireworks are a massive trigger for them.

Don’t shoot guns into the air… those bullets are subject to gravity, just like you.

No fighting. No road rage. No hate.

Don’t drive under the influence of anything other than happiness.

~Dragon 

Posted in activism, asexuality, bigotry, bugaboos, faith, LGBTQIA Pride, life, Personal, politics, sexuality, society

6/26: Building Bridges… #politics

Since the election in November here in the US and the Brexit vote in the UK, our society seems to have fallen into a free-for-all of hate and violence. I’ve posted on the vicious cycle in the past. Quite recently, in fact. Since that post, I’ve seen news of more vehicles being used to plow into crowds of Muslims during Ramadan. And then there’s 45 (I don’t use his name) breaking a long-standing tradition of the White House celebrating Eid. He also didn’t say a word on Pride Month, so at least his hate is consistent.

One thing I’ve noticed, at least here in the US, is that a large number of people killed or harmed in hate crimes are not “white Christian people” (for the record, if you haven’t figured it out, I’m a white somewhat-Christian female), but people of color as well as non-Christian religions and LGBTQIA. Vehicles plowing into crowds of Muslims outside their own mosques, LGBT being attacked and arrested for wanting to show their pride, black men and women being gunned down by citizens and police alike, etc… the list just keeps going.

This cycle is perpetuated by fear of the unknown. That fear becomes hate. Are there attacks by non-whites? Yes. But the ratio of white attackers to non-white attackers, at least in the US, leans toward more whites than non-whites. Here in Portland, hate crimes and discrimination are on the rise. And we’re a pretty damn liberal city. Our surrounding cities and counties are not so liberal, though, and we have a lovely mass transit system here. One I use all the time. If my queerness were more obvious, I might get some random jackass giving me shit. My mohawk isn’t quite enough. Remember, this is a very liberal city. And I’m not quite queer-looking enough to get harassed.

We fear what we don’t know or understand. This is fairly common human nature. The nature of our society. The thing is that we have access to more information at our fingertips than our not-so-distant relatives. If you don’t know something, look it up. Ask questions, talk to people. If you fear Muslims, go to the site for TED Talks (also, if you have Netflix, they have a fair number of them there as well) and look up the religious ones. If you want to understand POC or LGBTQIA, …. ASK! No harm in putting a question out there.

The only stupid question is the one that never gets asked.*

Ask. Listen. Learn. Seriously, learning isn’t just in a classroom. Each day, we have a chance to learn from our surroundings. Take advantage of that.

The more we know, the less we fear. Okay, except for spiders… that’s my weakness… I know plenty about them, but still don’t like them. But when it comes to humans, just learn. When we communicate and learn from each other, the barriers we build in our minds and our society will break down and we can work together.

That’s all for now… sorry I’ve been quiet.

~Amanda

(* – Although if you ask me, as an Asexual person, about amoebas or how we mate, that is one question you should keep to yourself. It gets old.)

Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, community, empath life, faith, life, peace, society

6/19: Can’t Shut It Out (aka Dragon Gets Angry and Philosophical)

Hate begets hate.

The cycle just keeps going. Every morning, I wake up to news of anger and hate. People using guns, knives, vehicles, etc to maim and kill. People on the fringes of society who loathe and hate those who are different. People who want revenge for something the people they harm didn’t do.

I’m am Empath. I cannot block out what is going on. The emotions that whirl around in our society today. Anger, hate, anxiety, fear… it keeps going. It keeps hitting another level. Genocide, bigotry, prejudice. It keeps ramping up. Another attack. Another shooting. Another vehicle plowing into a crowd.

No matter the race or religion of the person with the anger, it is terrorism. Terrorism is not something “they” do. It’s something “anyone” can do. Terrorism is striking terror and fear into other people. Usually a group or subculture. I look at the various attacks of the last several months and I see hate and anger being forced onto a group of people… making them afraid.

Some terrorists want you to retaliate. Daesh and other fringe groups. They do NOT represent all Muslims. Not by a long shot. As someone said (whom I can’t remember the name of), “If all Muslims were terrorists, the rest of us would be dead by now.” When you have millions of followers of Islam, just as with -any- other religion, you will have the angry, deluded fringe. It isn’t even just religion. It’s political groups, it’s subcultures of our society.

One example of a non-religious incident: A couple of years ago, a Furry convention up in Seattle was under fire because a few people, possibly not even con-goers, decided to trash hotel property. In a considerable way. I’m not talking dinging the corner of a desk. I’m talking willful destruction of property. The hotel contract was cancelled and they couldn’t find another hotel in Washington State to host them. That convention is now on hold until everything settles down. All because of a few jackasses who fucked things up.

See the similarities? A small percentage of a group gives the rest of said group a bad reputation. A fraction -a very small fraction- of Muslims are connected to Daesh/ISIL.

And yet, others lash out at anyone they think is Muslim. The attack last night in England. This time a white person running a vehicle into a crowd of peaceful Muslims as they left their mosque.

If you can’t understand why some Muslims stray and start becoming violent, look at the person who injured several peaceful Muslims last night.

Then if a Muslim who has turned to violence attacks a crowd of non-Muslims, the cycle of hate and fear and anger and violence continues.

To end this, we must focus on those who do good in the community. I see mosques opening their doors in times of natural disasters and other situations to those who are not of their faith, but who are in need. I see them going out and feeding people who need food. Shelter when it is needed. I see more Muslims behave more Christ-like than a lot of people who consider themselves Christians.

My core faith is Christianity. I lean toward Omnism overall. I do my best to understand all faiths. I have a lot to learn. But I think we all do.

Focus on those who have strong positive ties and help others. Ask them as a child would ask a parent. What is your faith about? What do you believe? Try to listen to what they say. Talk to people, listen to people, learn from people.

The organist at a church I used to attend was being honored one morning for 40 years of service. He took the mic and told a little tale. When he and his wife converted to Christianity, they knew a few other Christians and many, many friends of theirs were not. He said he noticed that over the years, the scale has tipped so that they know very few who are not Christians and many who are. This stuck with me.

This is partly why I maintain friendships with believers of all paths, as well as many atheists. I try to show what Jesus taught: love, acceptance, compassion. I don’t preach to people… despite being ordained. I sit back and observe and show compassion when I am capable. I’ll readily admit that I’ve been under a lot more stress the last few years, so my supply of compassion is a bit low. But I still try.

One thing I think a lot of people don’t fully understand about Islam is that it’s the third of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. Allah is Arabic for God. The same God Christians worship.

If we listen and learn from each other, I believe the fear will dissipate.

What we don’t know, we fear.

So, let’s start learning. Start asking. Go to the sources. Talk to an Imam. Talk to… anyone!

This list of TED Talks is a good place to start. Here’s another page chock full of talks. And then the Interfaith Amigos…

We need to work on building community with those who are not just like us. We can win over hate.

~Dragon

Posted in asexuality, bigotry, cats, chronic pain, LGBTQIA Pride, life, Personal, sexuality, storage

6/7: Random Ace-ness and Antics

My last three posts have been about sexuality/asexuality, dating, disadvantages of being Queer Asexual in this society. I will certainly continue on this general topic this month, being Pride Month and all.

This post will likely be a bit of that plus updates on other things….


Asexual Erasure: When I got home today, I saw that a friend on FB had posted an article on the erasing of asexuality within the LGBTQIA community. This is something I’d mentioned in one of the recent posts. We don’t get taken seriously. I highly recommend reading the article linked above. She did an incredible job detailing the shit we have to go through. Yes, ‘A’ can be for Allies as well, but being an Ally isn’t a sexuality… Asexuality IS. We aren’t aliens (although I do tend to feel like one that got left behind on Earth sometimes). We’re human beings just like everyone else (I hope we all are), and our lack of sexual attraction should have nothing to do with whether we, who are -at times- even more marginalized than others within the LGBTQIA community.

I am open about my sexuality because of this crap. I’m tired of people dismissed us, telling us we’re mentally ill for it… and the list goes on. So I’m “out and proud” and you can’t tell me or anyone else that we don’t matter just because we don’t get sexually attracted to others.

The way I see it is that with being Ace, I have less issues in my life. I have other things to do with my time than go to bars and clubs and be treated like a piece of meat. I have many hobbies. I like my hobbies. I don’t need a bunch of horny assholes trying to get in my underwear to tell me that I’m a real woman.


Storage: Two days in one week… that’s pushing it for me. I had an appt to trim up my mohawk downtown today, so after that, I headed up to storage. I didn’t get very far, but did do some shifting around of things. I even found a jar thingy of hair stuff to spike/play with my hair.

Note to self: learn the lengths for hair clippers… do not do a 1. Unless you like having hair that almost passes for military.

20170607_143502
This is for all the assholes who treated me like shit. 

Portia is sleeping… for now. With a full moon in a couple of days, her antics have ramped up. It’s funny and adorable, but when I’m trying to sleep at 3am and I heard these thuds because she’s playing on the hot tub cover…. it isn’t so cute.

*thud*chirp*squeak*thud*thud*scrabble*thud*squeak*thud*


I’m still exhausted and dealing with pain… I just about have all the “tools” needed to start organizing some of the stuff I have here. Gradually…

~Amanda

Posted in activism, asexuality, bigotry, bugaboos, community, LGBTQIA Pride, life, Personal, sexual assault, sexuality, society

6/6: Not Broken #asexuality #pride

Being asexual tends to either get rude/lewd comments or dismissive remarks.

I’ve heard the “amoeba” crack so many times, it’s permanently etched in the back of my brain. Yet every person who says it thinks they’re being all cute and funny.

You’re not. Please… just stop.

I get the “maybe you need to try dating women. You might be a lesbian after all.”

I am more aesthetically attracted to men than women… by a LONG shot. Can I appreciate the female form? Yeah, but I’m not attracted to them.

“You just haven’t found the right guy yet”
“Maybe it’s a libido/hormone thing.”

I could go on…

For the record, asexuality is NOT a physical/hormonal/libido thing. It’s how our brains are wired, not the hormones. Some of us have active libidos. Some don’t. Some are occasionally active. Doesn’t mean we act on those urges with others. (There are great food analogies elsewhere)

What IS a physical thing is what’s called “sex aversion.” And anyone, of any sexuality, can go through phases of being sex-averse. I am also sex-averse due to the repeated sexual assault from years ago. Some are virgins (they tend to think of the act of sex to be icky, for lack of a better word), some are survivors like me, as well as other reasons.

I’m on this topic as June is Pride Month. Some in the LGBTQIA community don’t see Aces as being part of the community. I’ve heard the “well, this is about sex and they don’t have any, so they don’t count.”

WRONG!! All sexualities are about the different types of sexual ATTRACTION. Not the act of sex. And yes, we count. A lack of sexual attraction is still a misunderstood sexuality. But major researchers of sexuality have recognized asexuality for decades. Yes, we’re different. We get some discrimination as well. Not as much obvious treatment, but it is there. Some others I know have been subjected to “corrective rape” which is such a back-asswards thing to do… we don’t need to be fixed.

No repairs are necessary.

We aren’t broken.

~Amanda

Posted in asexuality, bigotry, community, LGBTQIA Pride, life, Personal, PTSD, sexuality

6/6: Being an Asexual Tomboy in a Femme World

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always preferred doing things like “helping” my dad with carpentry stuff, pretending to be a knight hunting for dragons in the overgrown lot next to our house, climbing trees, etc. I also had plenty of dolls and a playhouse all my own up on the hill. I dressed up as Peter Pan around 4th grade or so, and even today, I’m more comfortable on my own in a hardware store than a dress shop. I do wear skirts and dresses from time to time. But my hair is short (more like in a mohawk, but ‘details, details’) and I rarely wear makeup and do “girly” things. Although, when I want to, I can clean up pretty damn well.

This all comes up because of a conversation about an article a friend posted on FB about this girl who wasn’t allowed to join a girls sports team because her hair was short. She didn’t look “girly” enough. I can tell you that if she were my kid, I’d raise all kinds of Hell with that decision. The conversation on my friend’s post turned ugly pretty damn quick with a couple of people who say they’re Trans Allies, but from their words, they most definitely are NOT. Now, I’m not trans. For the most part, I am perfectly fine with being cis-female (although I’d love it if they ripped out my damn uterus and other parts… I have to be on hormonal BC because of severe hormone-induced headaches that can last upwards of two solid weeks). But I respect my friends who are transitioning or have transitioned.

I’m more like the girl in the article. Throughout most of my childhood and teen years, I had short hair in some form. Rarely did it go past my chin, let alone my shoulders. It’s thin and fine and does better short. Hair does not define a person’s gender. Never has, never will. At least it shouldn’t. Right now, in my 40’s, I have this mohawk. I don’t spike it or anything, but I love how it is. If people can’t see past my hair and understand I’m really quite female, then they’re the idiots. I almost feel sorry for them. My hair doesn’t define me, I define it.

So, then the thought cam to me this morning after catching up on the comments on said friend’s post: Men see long hair as feminine and when women have longer hair, they’re seemingly more dateable. Now, my sexuality is really what dictates whether I want to date or not. Currently, I’m in a “get the fuck away from me” phase. Partly due to my C-PTSD, and partly because I have yet to meet a single man roughly my age that I’m even romantically attracted to. There are other factors there. Such as understanding my sexuality to its fullest and that it means you aren’t getting sex on the first date. Seriously… how old -mentally- are some of these guys… 15?

The amusing thing is that when a man has long hair (which, when done well, is pretty damn sexy), HE isn’t considered more feminine… he JUST has longer hair. So I see double standards. Maybe I just don’t hear comments about masculinity and long hair.

I have short hair. I’m not homosexual. I’m not heterosexual either. And nothing else “in between” … I’m asexual, and currently more aromantic as well. I’m just not interested in any of it… but my hair has nothing to do with my sexuality.

Really. It doesn’t.

I’m just me. Hell, even my sexuality doesn’t fully define me. It helps, yes, but it isn’t my lone defining trait. That list is really long.

I define me. I define what and who I am. Nothing and no one else does that for me.

I probably have more to say on this, but this will do for now.

~Amanda

Posted in anxiety, bigotry, depression, empath life, homeless, life, peace, Personal, politics, PTSD

6/3: Anger and Burnout

There is this part of me that wants to speak up… to bring up points on others’ threads that the vast majority of “terrorist” attacks here in the US have been perpetuated by white male assholes…. that no, 45 isn’t doing shit to keep us safe… when in reality, he’s encouraging that white male hate, bigotry and violence.
This part of me wants to scream at his supporters and those who are in-between and in denial about his bullshit to just fucking wake up and see that he’s screwing over them as well as the whole damn planet. He is the laughingstock of the political world except to those Repubs who are either blindly following him or knowingly using his idiocy to their advantage. I want to shake them. I want them to wake up and try to understand how this all works.
But I’m tired. I have my own shit to deal with in my life. I struggle to find work. I have lost more in the last five years, than in the previous ten combined. Both parents, my beloved soulmate kitty, my apartment, and a fair bit of my sanity (or so it feels). I’ve developed social anxiety and delved into a depression I can’t shake. 
I have more days than I’d care to admit where I just want to curl up in a ball and shut the whole world out. But I can’t. I have to stay connected. Job hunting, keeping up on storage, doing stuff here where I’m staying. Trying to muster the energy to keep going.
One might think that at my age, I should have my shit together and know where I fit into society, but I don’t. I see and feel stuff around me and feel even more at odds with where I fit and what’s going on in society.
I want to speak up more, but it drains me. I don’t like arguing with people. I’ve had enough of that in my life before now. I crave peace. Not just for myself, but for all. Is it wrong to wish for that? Is it wrong to want the hate and violence to stop? It keeps going in this vicious cycle. One side attacks the other, then retaliation… and it keeps going around in circles. When does it end? Breaking that circle has to happen… and soon. Nothing will be left to save if we keep letting it go around again and again.
I have my moments…. I want to save the world… or even a part of it… and then I realize I’m one person. I can’t do it all. I have to take care of me and my cat first. But sometimes being an Empath can suck. I want to reach out and help others so much. I just want there to be less pain, less anger.
Less violence.
~Amanda