March 25th, 2017
sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sashajwolf at 06:12pm on 25/03/2017 under
Copying this from a comment I made on Facebook in order to have it easily accessible for future noodling. This is of course only how I experience dysphoria, not how anyone else does. The original discussion was, in part, about the extent to which dysphoria would still exist in the absence of gender stereotyping. I have made some minor edits for clarity.

I'm not "in the wrong body"; this body is very much part of me, and there are things I really like about it. But there are parts that feel stunted, like they never fully developed like they were "meant" to, and at times they ache as if they were still desperately trying to. Descriptions of phantom limbs from amputees often resonate with me. I assume this would not go away in a perfect society. It has got worse with perimenopause and seems to show some cyclical variation, so I imagine there's a hormonal factor involved.

Also, some of the parts I really like are the very ones that cause people to guess my gender wrong, and that causes a real psychological tension. I have to choose every day whether I want the cognitive dissonance of hiding those parts as if I were ashamed of them, or the cognitive dissonance of leaving them visible and being misgendered. This part would clearly improve if societal etiquette changed so that it was understood to be rude to guess someone's gender without being told, or at least rude to voice the guess.

Then there's a gender role/performative component, which expresses itself as a feeling that I'm constantly failing at "being a girl" by looking wrong, acting wrong, thinking wrong and just generally Being Wrong. This part has improved considerably since I gave myself permission to stop trying to be one, but there's a residue that would probably require societal permission to get rid of. For me, full societal recognition of nonbinary gender(s) would probably do it, but total abolition of the gender binary would also work for me (and for agender people? but maybe not for strongly binary-identified people?) Even then, there may be a biochemical component that would not disappear, because I feel the looking wrong part is linked to my bulimia, and that gets worse with certain nutritional deficiencies and could presumably still happen without sexism. Society not being so damn fat-shaming would surely help, though.

Summary: In a perfect society I'd probably still have body dysphoria and maybe a small amount of psychological discomfort. I might still define as trans because although we wouldn't be assigning gender at birth any more, I might still have self-assigned as a girl before the hormones kicked in enough for the body dysphoria to become noticeable. But I'd have much less cognitive dissonance and everyday life would be much more comfortable, so none of these issues would be the grave threats to mental health that they are now.
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative
March 24th, 2017
hollymath: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] hollymath at 10:33pm on 24/03/2017 under
I've been quiet (...too quiet) lately, but it'd be remiss of me to let a day when Paul Ryan said "Obamacare is the law of the land.… We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future" go by without comment.

I was terrified of the vote. Sick with it. When the friend I was visiting on Wednesday excused himself for a phone call, I typed this out on my phone and sent it to my representatives in an e-mail the ACLU mailing list had suggested I sent to my congresspeople:
I'm disabled. My parents are aging seniors, my mom particularly with longstanding health problems. My friends are poor, disabled themselves, or people of color -- sometimes all at once because that's how these things
work.

So if the ACA is repealed, I'm certain that someone I know and love will die who would not die if we keep it. If the ACA is repealed, I know that everybody I know will live in fear, suffering and misery that they won't have if we keep it.

People are kept alive by the ACA, they're kept in their homes, they're kept from that needless worry, fear and misery.

Ive lived in the UK for several years. I've enjoyed the services of a single-payer health care system there for me when I've needed it. I know this is possible. I know there's no reason for the US to be moving further away from that. It's cheaper, better care and my friends here boggle at the country I'm from being so far from having it ourselves. Please don'ttake us further still from that eminently reachable goal. Please don't make people suffer so unnecessarily.
They're all Democrats, and I was pretty confident they'd do the right thing anyway (Franken's been heart-warmingly awesome again in hearings for another awful appointee this week, which always makes me proud I get to vote for him) but I couldn't let it go uncommented-upon.

Today when I saw the vote had been pulled at the last minute, once I'd convinced myself it was for real (too scared to google in case it wasn't, I made Andrew confirm it for me) and that it wouldn't come back immediately (Trump saying he expects Democrats to seek a deal with him in a year when the ACA has "exploded" is what finally convinced me) I started crying.

I hate crying, but this was different. I've heard of crying happy tears before, and maybe this was that, but it felt more like an enormous version of the feeling I'd had on Saturday night when I thought I'd lost the keys to our B&B room so I couldn't go out because I wouldn't be able to get back in again and that this was going to be a costly and disappointing mistake to admit to our lovely hosts but then Andrew found the keys had fallen behind a table -- this on a much bigger scale, of course, but the same kind of relief. The same kind of "now I'm not being held together entirely by stress, my body must perforce collapse."

I thought of all the people being relieved and crying and screaming and hugging their loved ones and celebrating and getting drunk and remembering the people Obamacare didn't get here in time for, or the people still outside its help.

I was so fragile; Andrew had to put a frozen pizza in the oven for my dinner and my evening ended up being much less ambitious than I hoped for (I basically curled up on the couch with the dog, retweeting things until my phone's battery was just about dead and now I've come to bed but I'm writing this). My body seemed to react, after the tears, exactly like it did on Saturday and after other anxiety attacks: I couldn't get warm, my muscles were almost too weak to support me, I was having all kinds of emotions at once and had the attention span of a mayfly on speed.

Of the many, many RTs, from schadenfreude at Ryan and the other writers of this hideous bill, to the insistence that this is the best time in American history for the Democrats to push for single-payer healthcare (at least, that's what it's been called there; it looks like "Medicare for all" might be the epithet that persuades people), to the acknowledgements that we know the battle isn't over but we deserve this celebration to other badass political shit going on at the same time like a Democrat winning a state legislature seat where she had to be written in to the ballots and just more women wanting to run for office generally...I'd say it's been a good night.

It hasn't been one-dimensional celebration. It hasn't glossed over the limitations of the ACA and the people who live precarious lives even with it. It hasn't made us take for granted the sterling performances of congresspeople speaking on our side before the planned vote. It hasn't made us forget about the need to investigate the horrific numbers of black teenage girls who've disappeared recently in Washington D.C. who never get the care and attention of missing white girls. It hasn't stopped cleverly-named bills cracking down on Trump's corruption as it endangers us all. It hasn't made people stop talking about Trump/Russia or the need to impeach him.

But of all the tweets I've (html willing!) shared with you here, the one I think is most important is this:

Scoff if you must, but this is why I'm involved in politics. This is why I say that I'm proud of my Lib Dem friends, who when something angers or upsets us have a kind of instinctive reaction: let's write a policy motion about this. This is why I've been so much more active in politics (partisan or not) the last few months: it's just to cope with the increasing number of things that make me fearful, anxious and sad.

I stuck with the Lib Dems when they were adding to the things that made me angry and frustrated during points in the coalition because I knew I'd feel just as angry and frustrated but with no political outlet otherwise as I don't feel there's any other UK party that sufficiently aligns with my values for me to want to support it.* But even in things like the WI, which is scrupulously non-partisan (and, being a geographically-based way of organizing people, I'm not surprised mine is full of lefties), I feel like I'm doing the same kind of work: making the world less scary, anxiety-inducing, and saddening.

And if this kind of political event, or whatever you have in the countries you live in and love people from, makes you sad, anxious or fearful, I'd really suggest getting involved in something like this. It's heady stuff: be warned, it's easy to get addicted. Most of my Lib Dem friends have stories about joining where they didn't think much of it and ended up on federal committees, standing for parliament, or whatever. I swear Tim Farron has taken some of my lines when he talks about immigration. I have friends who've helped write policies that have ended up being the law for this country. It's pretty awesome.


* It seems to have been worth sticking around for: my pessimistic husband came away from last weekend's federal conference feeling reassured that our party's membership having doubled in the last few years hasn't made it what he feared it'd be: "There was a real, real, danger that we’d have got a lot of people who thought they were joining the Coalition And Liking Europe Party" he says, but as you can read there it's clear that the Lib Dems are still existing to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ludy at 11:15pm on 24/03/2017
Mum, finally, has a new wheelchair. It has adjustable height handles for whoever is pushing her. It's a simple and relatively small thing but it's going to be a significant improvement for Dad and me (we both have lower back issues)
NewChair also has wheels more suited to the sorts of uneven pavement surfaces they have round here so hopefully it'll be smoother for Mum too
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
nickys: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] nickys at 07:27pm on 24/03/2017
As Mothers Day approaches I was thinking back to stuff that the kids actually appreciated from us as parents.
It tends to be the things we shared as a family:

"Our teacher asked how many kids had dinner with their parents every night. Only four of us put our hands up..."

They like us doing re-enactment together so we have shared interests and activities.

They even vaguely appreciate having been taught to cook, clean and mend now they're living independently.


However, as a parent of an LGBT kid it gets even easier to be considered a great parent. All you have to do is not actively reject your child. Then not only they, but all their LGBT friends think you're doing amazingly and tell you so repeatedly.
I wish we lived in a world where this wasn't the case, and LGBT kids could take for granted that the worst thing their parents would do is nag them about cleaning their rooms.
March 23rd, 2017
lovingboth: ([default])
Oooh, I've had my first ever 'I'm (obviously fake name) from the Windows computer company, please do this to fix the problems you've been having..' scam spam phone call.

Unfortunately, they hung up on me when I expressed my delight at this...
March 20th, 2017
judiff: anaath bunny who like ran away or got stolenor somethging :( (Default)
posted by [personal profile] judiff at 02:05pm on 20/03/2017
Happy Bunny Festival/Spring Equinox Everyone!

[personal profile] baratron send us a link to this news story about the new Autistic Muppet on Seaseme Street it's like really cool that the Sesseme people know that Bunnys and Autism go together. (And it's like cool that she's a girl too becos a lot of people still seem to think that Autism is a boy-thing)
March 19th, 2017
skibbley: (Default)
March 16th, 2017
hollymath: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] hollymath at 10:41pm on 16/03/2017 under
Gary's already gone on his holiday, staying with Andrew's dad because we'll be away this weekend.

I opened the front door after many hours of clerical by-election work without being met by barking, a wagging tail, or short legs padding excitedly to the door.

I ate my dinner with no rush to take the plate out to the kitchen, because there were no feet jumping up to bop me on the leg to indicate an interest in examining the plate for any tasty food. (He always gives up this hope once the empty dishes have been taken to the sink; such a helpful inducement to tidiness.)

And now I have to go to bed with no chance of snuggles.

We've only had the dog about eighteen months. How did we manage so long without one?!

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