Worldview

I’m trying to find and collect things that remind me how amazing the world is. I’m finally coming out of a particularly nasty round of depression fog, and I need to surround myself with things that emphasize the beauty of existence.

Depression is insidious because it creeps under my skin and poisons everything. It latches on to world events and whispers that this planet is full of suffering, that there is no point in working for a better life, because look, look how awful things are. Look how powerful evil and pain and greed and corruption are. Nothing will change. Nothing will improve. Then it turns inward, paging through everything I could have accomplished that I failed to. Every unfinished project, every passed opportunity. There is nothing that can’t be brought down and tarnished through the lens of depression. It’s a filter over all my senses that makes everything murky and painful, it sucks all the hope and joy out of the good things in life.

Depression makes the world very small.

I’m dedicating some time to re-discovering the beauty of human kindness, the wonder of discovery, the incredible strides that have been made toward freedom and equality. I’m building a safe haven out of stories and quotes and love and art. I’m giving myself permission to write and draw, and accepting mistakes as part of a long process. I’m stubbornly looking forward to the future, even pushing myself to believe that I can do more for myself. I can find a path that I enjoy. I can make a life doing things that I love.

Every time the fog lifts, I have to re-educate myself in optimism.

Depression makes the world very small, but depression lies.

Dating while Non-binary

Griffon doesn’t know about the genderqueer thing. I’m still not really confident enough to discuss it. I keep thinking that maybe I’m wrong. Or appropriating the title. Or maybe it’s just a phase or an idea that I’ve twisted around. Maybe I shouldn’t talk about it, just in case. These ideas are on my mind, but every time I quiet my insecurities down and actually think about my experiences and self-image, I know that I would be lying to  say that I’ve ever fully identified as female. Maybe I will someday. Just like how someday I might stop being attracted to women or develop a sex drive or decide that I want to create tiny humans in my torso. It doesn’t seem likely, but I can’t deny that it’s possible. And that possibility shadows any potential conversation.

Plus, Griffon is a heterosexual man. I don’t think he’d stop being attracted to me if I told him that I’m non-binary, but I can’t really predict what it would mean for our relationship. Obviously he’s not captivated by traditional gender expression, since I cut my hair short and wear men’s clothing and forego make-up (except on special occasions). From my perspective, not much would change, I’d stay the same person with the same habits and hobbies, except I’d be able to wear my binder sometimes. From his perspective, I have no idea. Honestly, I don’t even feel like I have a comprehensive understanding of gender. I don’t feel particularly tethered to any gender, there’s no gender that I find particularly attractive, all the nonsense about gender roles and expectations has always seemed pointless to me. I’m not trying to seem particularly “enlightened,” in fact, I feel the opposite. Knowledge that comes easily to so many people seems totally beyond my grasp.  As such, I feel completely unqualified to guess what telling my heterosexual male partner that “I’m not *really* a “woman” per se, at least, not all the time,” will mean to him.

Relationship-wise, I don’t like feeling as though I’m hiding things from my partners, and I know they don’t like having things hid from them. Functionally, I want to be able to wear my binder without feeling like I have to change out of it to be around him, lest I  accidentally blindside him into a conversation that neither of us is prepared for.

Things I Don’t Understand

Things I’ve been thinking about lately that I just don’t get. I’m going to talk candidly about menstruating in here, possibly also gender dysphoria (they’re very interwoven subjects for me), so trigger warning if anything in that arena is difficult for you.

1. Straight white males complaining about “tokenism” in the media. Not tokenism of Straight White Males, mind you, tokenism of minority and underrepresented groups. No no, Straight White Males, tokenism isn’t a problem that you get to whine about re: how it affects your Very Special Feelings. See, this is our complaint. Us being the minority and underrepresented groups. The reason why tokenism is a Bad Thing is not that it means a black guy got cast on your favorite crime drama, it is a Bad Thing that the lone black guy (or gay guy or disbled guy, or even sometimes a non- white/straight/ablebodied lady) is remarkable. See, if media handled an inclusive cast, these things would not need to be pointed out. The problem isn’t you having to feel mildly uncomfortable that your video games include options and characters not crafted special to your liking, the problem is that, by throwing in no more than an occasional nod to the world outside your Straight White Male bubble, people who produce media are pandering clumsily to a wider audience. People don’t like being pandered to. It’s condescending.

2. When people suggest baths as a treatment for menstrual cramps. I mean, I know I bleed much more heavily than a lot of people, but generally uteruses cramp up on the first day of the period, right? When bleeding is at its heaviest? The last thing I want to do is seem judgmental of women’s bodies, believe me. I like to think of myself as fairly forward thinking when it comes to menstruation, it’s just a bodily function, etc. I’m even vocal about the suffering caused by my own cycle, but honesty time: I have a great, great deal of respect for women’s bodies, but I still occasionally rediscover that I’m walking  around in one. I spend most of my time feeling distinctly agender, but since I can’t remove any of my biological parts (unfortunately) they remain here for me to suddenly remember, usually via bathroom mirror. I’m still coming to terms with menstruation and my body, so the idea of sitting in a bathtub while bleeding heavily sounds pretty awful. I always have to assume that anyone suggesting baths has a very light flow, in spite of cramping, because I can not actually handle the idea of soaking in my own menstrual blood.

3. How dudes expect to be taken seriously as allies to feminism when they react to women saying that they don’t think cismen can technically be “feminists” by throwning tantrums. As in, when women don’t like cismen using the title. I mean dude, did you actually stop to think about why some women might have opinions about who can be considered a “feminist” vs. an “ally”, or did you just begin your very grownup pouting session the moment someone suggested that you might not be welcome in their club? Guys get so hung up on this. My personal opinions of the definition of “feminist” aside, at the very least, this makes me wicked uncomfortable reading the guy’s stuff/being around him. If you can’t handle a woman saying “I don’t think men can use the title of feminist” then I really don’t want to see what you do when a woman mentions privilege or the patriarchy. Worse, I don’t see you bowing out gracefully when I ask for a safe space to discuss queer experience, or a woman in your life wants to go to the Women Only Night of Feminism Club. Let it be noted that I’m not saying men can’t disagree with women about how cismen can self-define, but shouting I AM OFFENDED I AM TOO A FEMINIST kind of makes you look like Derailment Dave. And no one likes that guy.

4. No one in my life has noticed my stutter. I have a stutter. It used to be way more pronounced and embarrassing, but even then, somehow, no one noticed it. It still comes out sometimes, mostly when I’m upset or anxious. It’s not even small, I’ll compulsively repeat entire words, phrases, sentences. No one has ever mentioned it, and if I bring it up, they seem honestly bewildered. It’s bizarre.

Binder Photos

I took these when the thing got here weeks ago, but I haven’t been feeling up to much. Yeah, even posting words on the internet is too much for me to handle some days. A lot of days, recently. But that’s depressing, so lets get to the photos. I don’t usually post pictures of myself on the ‘net (you’ll notice my strategic iPad placement), so this isn’t supremely comfortable, but I’m excited about this binder. Here goes.

This is what I look like in female-oriented undergarments:

I know, this is the ugliest of bras.

And then in the binder:

This would be a Boobs ‘n Butt pose if you could see my boobs.

As you can see, I managed to wear my ugliest underwear combination on this day. I actually did go out and buy myself some cute boyshorts and panties, I just had to do that AFTER I took pictures I planned to post to the internet. Of course.

And finally:

Girl Mode

Boy Mode

I realize this juxtaposition would be more effective if I wore the same outfit with and without the binder, but I wanted to get pictures of the whole altered “look”. Maybe I’ll do a real comparison post sometime.

…and now there are pictures of me in my underwear online. YAY~

Awkward

Me: “So did you and <name> ever actually date?”
Friend1: “No, we were friends with benefits for a while, but that ended poorly.”
Friend2: “Yeah, friends with benefits is never a good idea. It never works out.”
Me and Griffon: *standing very quietly and not making eye contact*
Griffon: *Subject-changing question?*

I’d just like to point out that Friend2 has never been in a FwB arrangement ever, and Friend1 was in his for quite a long time before it fizzled out. I’m not really sure what they consider a successful FwB relationship that more than a year of No Strings Attached casual sex fails to meet their qualifications.

Seriously, is it “FwB rarely leads to marriage”? Because no shit.

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