Sunday, August 19, 2012

I prefer Whipped Cream

When it comes to dessert toppings, my favourite is whipped cream. I'm really not a fan of ice cream at all, and especially not as a topping to pie. I know, to publicly state that I don't like ice cream makes me a bit of a pariah, especially this time of year when we're all looking for ways to cool off. But there, I've said it.

And how does that make you feel? Knowing my dessert preferences are out of the norm? For the most part, people look at me a bit bewildered, but then accept it and carry on. After all, that leaves more ice cream for them, right?

So why is it there is an entire movement trying to scientifically, genetically prove (or disprove) varying sexual orientations and gender identities?

We could get into WHY I don't like ice cream. Maybe it was a childhood trauma (brain freeze resulting in a tantrum which knocked my high chair back- bashing my skull into the brick chimney). Maybe I have a genetic predisposition against dairy (too much makes my tummy hurt- but thats not true of all dairy). Or it could be my sensitive teeth make ice cream painful. Or I could just not like the taste of frozen cream. Who knows, because nobody is challenging my very right to exist on my lack of interest in ice cream.

And yet the LGBT* community faces this ALL THE TIME.

Know what? I don't care WHY I'm queer. I just know that I am. Isn't that enough to warrant just as much of a right to happiness and self expression as the next person?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Genderfree #4

Well folks, another week has gone by (where did it go, by the way?), so I guess it's time for another

For some reason our culture is obsessed with body hair. Where it's acceptable, and where it isn't. It's also obsessed with the fact that how you remove that hair must conform with your gender (because each gender is required to groom different areas in order to be accepted).

So for this week, I challenge you to find me gender neutral razor. You know, something you can shave with- be it your face, your legs, your pits... doesn't matter.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Genderfree Challenge #3

Apparently Stat holidays totally screw up my internal clock. I meant to post this yesterday (Monday), but because of the stat holiday for Canada Day giving me yesterday off of work, I completely forgot it was Monday. Go figure.

This week's Genderfree Challenge: Deoderant.

No one wants their smell to be offensive. We all have different definitions of what that means though. Why do those definitions need to be aligned with our gender?

About a year ago, Hubby and I were shopping and we both needed to pick up deoderant. We were at Costco, and I couldn't find anything I liked there in "women's" deoderant. They were all over priced super "moisturizing" to reduce the irritation from shaving. I haven't shaved my arm pits in a few years, so I certainly don't want to spend extra money on deoderant with features I'll never make use of. Hubby says to me "why don't you just get this stuff?" (pointing to the same stuff he buys).

It was like a bomb went off in my head. I hadn't even considered it a possibility until that moment. Our society has me so brainwashed that I couldn't even THINK of not using women's deoderant. I texted my buddy (a transgender man), and his response was "Honestly I'm surprised you hadn't switched already." As though this is everyday stuff for him. But for me, it was groundbreaking.

It was also awesome as it shows me just how amazing my Hubby actually is.

Oh- and as a complete side note- I find I'm less stinky since I stopped shaving my underarms. I rarely even use deoderant these days, and so far no one has complained. I find basic cleanliness works well at keeping the odours at a minimum.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Genderfree Challenge Week 2

When I originally posted the idea of a "gender free challenge," my goal was to challenge those who identify comfortably within the binary to take five minutes out of their day and live in my (and many other non-binary types) shoes. It was to help raise awareness of how many needlessly gendered items there are out there in society. But as this grew through Neutrois Nonsense's Tumblr, it got me thinking of how valuable of a resource this could become for other gender variant folks. Know of a brand of gender free adult vitamins? Great! Share it with the community! Know a store that has gender free adult vitamins available for sale? Great! Let the rest of us know, so we may shop there also.

And so, regardless of how you identify, I issue this week's Challenge!

This week, I challenge you to find a package of baby socks that is not labelled as "boys" or "girls." It's true that you can find packs with "neutral" colours in them (greens, yellows, etc), but even those generally tend to state on the tag that they are for boys or girls.

As with every challenge, I encourage you to come back and let me know how it was. Were you able to easily find them? If so, what store were you in? Tell me- what will you do if you ever hope to buy baby socks before the baby is born? Let's hope everyone tells you the gender as soon as they find out from an ultrasound!!! REALLY????? Speaking from personal experience, I think it's ridiculous, which is why a pack of baby socks is this week's Gender Free challenge!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Genderless Challenge #1

Once again a post on Facebook has inspired me to dust off my laptop and write in my blog. And my little brain being what it is has completely exploded with the possibilities. So I would like to issue a challenge to all of my Binary-identified friends (you comfortably fit into MALE or FEMALE), in an effort for you to get a glimmer into what it's like to not have that luxury. And as my brain has a tendency to "go big or go home," this will be the first in a series of "Non-gendered" challenges (until I run out of ideas basically).

If you identify in the non-binary spectrum, I encourage you to issue this same challenge to your friends and family.

So for this week:

When you're out picking up groceries (or at WalMart running errands), take an extra 5 minutes of your time for me. Head into the Vitamin aisle, and find yourself some non-gendered, age appropriate multi-vitamins. See how easy (or not) it is. How many options do you find?

Let me know how that turns out for you. And be sure to come back for next week's Genderless Challenge.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

TV will be the death of me

I'm trying an experiment. I'm not sure how long this is going to last, or how well it's going to go.

I've realized how much time I spend sitting and watching TV. And that once I sit down to watch, I can't seem to find the willpower to stop. Part of me wants to cut our cable off altogether (save money AND free up my time), but my Hubby loves TV and is reasonable about his time with it. Somehow when he sits down to watch some TV with his lunch, he still finds the willpower to go back and spend another few hours on whatever project he was working on. Sadly, I am too lazy for that.

So I'm trying an experiment. I will not turn on the TV. And if Hubby is not in the room, I'm trying to find the willpower to turn off the TV too (he'll sit down to watch something, then leave the room leaving the TV on). We'll see if I can actually get more accomplished. I have a stack of books I've been meaning to read, and an art project I've been trying to work on, not to mention just basic housework chores. Oh, and then there's all the extra stuff I'm trying to do for work (new job is kicking the crap outta me).

I'm not killing my TV, but I'm certainly trying to ignore it. So please, ask me how it's going. Help me stay on track by asking where I'm at on all of the aforementioned projects. Maybe, just maybe I can get myself out of this lazy rut.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Time and a Place

Lately I've been seeing things which upset- sometimes even anger me. Innocent comments which make me want to lash out with a snide comment trying to teach the original poster a lesson. Now, I know (sadly from experience) that this method actually solves nothing.
But I do need to vent a little and get some things off of my chest (Even though I'm sure I've said all of this before).

I tend to go through this any time someone announces that they're pregnant. Instantly people start asking/discussing the baby's "gender." There's reasons why this frustrates me so:
  1. Gender and Sex are different. Gender is a complex sociological, psychological identity, and Sex is what biology assigns to you. Neither is binary, and the two are NOT intrinsically linked (although the vast majority of the population gets the privilege of having the two sync up).
  3. Why is that the most important part of having a baby? Shouldn't we be more intrigued by the baby's health? Every baby has a meat shape, and every meat shape is different, and that early in life the meat shape is developing so rapidly and changing so rapidly that WHAT DOES IT MATTER????
What's making this strike home for me so soundly, is that the comment which instigated this was a "friend's" Facebook status. I'm generally pretty picky about who I accept a Facebook friendship with, but lately I've been seeing a lot of comments and posts which go to show me just how ignorant people are. It's not always in relation to Gender Politics, sometimes it's just Politics in general, or Religion... and what I'm struggling with is this:

Do I stay "friends" with these people, knowing their Facebook updates generally do nothing but infuriate me? Generally the people making these comments I only ever talk to on Facebook, so "unfriending" them would be essentially cutting them out of my life completely. Some are family, some are simply childhood friends where we've grown apart...

Ok, after all of that venting, I know the answer. Pick your battles. And the internet is not the proper place for it. I don't want to turn into this person:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

IDAHO and the Invisible Queer

This past Thursday was IDAHO: International Day Against HOmophobia and Transphobia. The Transphobia part was kind of just stuck on there as an after thought, as it so often seems to be. It doesn't *quite* fit into the nice acronym, does it?

As I dressed for work that morning, I got thinking: What can I wear today to show my queer support and queerness? I've recently started a new position at work, and dress and deportment calls for business casual, and I'm already dressing quite androgynous. I have a few blatantly queer t-shirts, but t-shirts are inappropriate for work, so they're hidden under buttoned-up collared shirts. BORING!!! So I wore what I always wore, and left for work hoping to see some spark in the day of Queer Support.

I spent all day watching, and saw nothing. At which time I realized, I am the Invisible Queer. While I may not be specifically closeted, I'm also not out. How did this happen? I used to be quite militant about my orientation, but now that I accept my gender as queer, I've once again become invisible. I've spent the past few days considering this, and it turns out I'm a big chicken.

I'll fully own my priviledges for this one: I'm white, which gives me a definite advantage in Canada (despite what the "officials" say), and I'm relatively well off. It's taken me a long time to accept I'm fairly well off, but after buying a house and realizing all the bills can be covered off of one income, and my spouse's income simply provides food and pays for the renovations, well- we're doing pretty well. I've come a long way in the past 10 years, financially speaking. And lastly, my relationship is hetero-conforming. I'm FAAB, and my spouse is male. He's one of those rare CIS men who actually cares about social issues. I still have a difficult time accepting him for how awesome he is, but he reassures me he accepts and loves me for how flawed I am.

And so, I'm a big giant chicken. I know I've got life pretty easy. I've recently read a GREAT blog post about how to explain priviledge to those who have it: All in terms of Video Game settings, and realized that while I may not be at the TOP of the Easy Settings, I'm pretty damn close. So at this stage of the game, why rock the boat? Why try to make life for myself (and now my Husband, since he's partnered in to my crazy life) more difficult? Is it wrong of me to get wrapped up in our home renovations and projects at work and this great book I'm reading and simply live my life without needing to constantly defend or explain my queer status, because I'm too afraid to make any sort of issue out of it?

But then the guilt kicks in. I read blogs such as Tranarchism by Asher which this past month has shared post after post after post showing just how priviledged I am. And for no other reason than a fluke of my birth and a bit of invisibility. And Theirs is not the only blog which reminds me of this (although it is the most unapologetic and militant of the ones I read).

So I live with this guilt feeling not queer enough. I'm not prepared to embark on surgery or hormone treatment, because after researching and considering it, at this time I know it's not a part of my identity. I don't want/need it. Ok: Top surgery would be kinda cool, but I'm content with binding. While I feel dysphoric in my own body, I can't justify drastic measures such as surgery or hormones at this time. And so I feel not Trans enough to try to claim this little section of community. I'm FAAB, married to a MAAB CIS man, so I'm not "queer" enough to claim the Gay/Lesbian/Queer section of the community. I feel an outcast looking in, as I don't have the courage to make such drastic changes to this body that doesn't quite fit me, nor do I have the courage to try explaining my gender and coming out at work.

I'm the Invisible Queer, perhaps better fit in the "Ally" category, but knowing that's not quite right either.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Repost- Some thoughts from Eli

Life has been busy lately, and my blog has suffered because of it. This blog where I vent my thoughts on my identity. Gender issues, sexuality issues, tattoo ideas and thoughts (got a post brewing about tattoos... we'll get to that...) somehow just haven't been the top of my brain lately.
While neglecting my own blog, I've been reading the thoughts of others. One of my favourites has become My Life With Tits by Eli; nd the most recent blog post is one which has shaken me out of my bloggy laziness in that I feel it needs to be shared. In fact, I think everyone needs to read it, and truly consider what it means.
And so, I'm stealing that post. Ok, it's not stealing because I asked permission first, and fully give credit to Eli for the following words. Read and consider wisely my friends:


Where Did This Soapbox Come From?
Everyday I come out to more people and it gets easier. I talk about top surgery at work openly and have little fear of anyone’s response. This is mostly due to the fact that upper management has made it clear they have my back. This confidence also comes from the overwhelming support I have gotten from my friends.
I’m really fucking excited for the surgery, and appreciate the fortunate spot I find myself in: not only can I afford it, but also I have had great help from my therapist and loved ones learning how to accept my trans identity. Lots of people don’t have this. Most of you know the stats, but I am going to repeat them here for those of you who don’t. According to “Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey,” by the National Center for Transgender Equality:
“Ninety percent of transgender and gender nonconforming people report harassment, discrimination and mistreatment on the job, and the injustices they face have devastating economic and personal consequences.”
“A staggering 41 percent of the more than 6,400 respondents said they had attempted suicide, compared to a rate of 1.6 percent for the general population.”
“One in five transgender people in the U.S. have been refused a home or apartment, and more than one in ten have been evicted, because of their gender identity.”
“78% of respondents who were out as trans while in K-12 school indicated that they had been harassed on the basis of their gender identity, with over one-third (35%) reporting that the harassment escalated to physical assault. The abuse could be so severe that it resulted in almost one-sixth (15%) leaving school to escape. Those who are able to persevere had significantly lower GPAs, were more likely to miss school out of concern for their safety, and were less likely to plan on continuing their education, according to data from GLSEN2. Perhaps most alarmingly, 51% of NCTE survey respondents who had been bullied reported attempting suicide.”
This study is comprehensive and respected and the first to have such a large pool of respondents in the trans community. And it’s ugly and we all have to take responsibility for changing the lives of transgendered individuals. This isn’t about tolerance anymore, it’s a matter of acceptance, because, of course, when one claims to be “tolerating” another, it is really intolerance that is occurring. Could you ever look another person in the eye and say to them sweetly, “Oh darling, of course you are welcome here. I am tolerating you.” We tolerate things we dislike but can’t change. We don’t tolerate those whose essential humanity we recognize as the same as our own.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” And that is the bottom line here: what we do to the least of each other we do to ourselves. When we don’t take up the plights of the minority even those of us in the majority are injured. And if we cannot be moved to action to save ourselves, then we are no race worth saving.
Ok. I’m done preaching. Let me get back to speaking for myself. I’m fucking angry that these stats reflect reality for a population I consider my people. I’m fucking angry that this shit is common. I am mad our stories usually end with a murder.
I am with them in Rockland.
I am reading new stories everyday. Ones like this, and this, and this.
What can I do? I can tell everyone I know I’m a trans dude, and that’s a start.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Rose by Any Other Name

Names are important things. They are generally the first thing we tell others about ourself. They give us a sense of identity and individuality. Ever work at a place that has multiple people with the same name? Or with the same name as you? Watch as everyone tries to retain their own name, while making it unique enough to discern who is who.

I've known a lot of people who have gone through name changes (some legal, some just as "nicknames"), and everyone does it for different reasons. Each name change is unique and personal. Technically I could include just about every marriage I know of in this category even (or at least half of my married friends... stupid patriarchy). Some people change their name early in life, as soon as they can apply for it without a gaurdian/parent's permission. Others wait until later in life. Whatever the reasons, names change.

My own name has changed, although not for the reasons most guess. Legal name changes are common in the trans* world, because names, just as much as clothing, are categorized into "male" or "female." Sure there are some "unisex" names, just as there are some unisex t-shirts out there, but even if the tag claims it's unisex, we all know that society still interprets it to be either "male" or "female." My legal name change has nothing to do with my gender. Well, actually that's not entirely true, as my legal name change was a result of me not wanting to take my spouse's name at our wedding...

Thomas (my latest internet name) was my surname, and actually has been since birth. When I was 17, I joined the military and it became more of how I was known than my first name. As I became friends with the guys in my unit, many of them simply called me Tommy when we weren't on official business. They really didn't care that I was female, they simply cared if I could do the job. Strange as it seems, my time with the Canadian military was when I saw the most and the least differences in how men and women were treated. And a large part of that was how the women approached their own gender. I didn't want or expect special treatment. I wanted to be one of the guys. I wanted to be held to the same standards they held themselves. And so my detatchment (the team of 7 I worked in), ignored the fact that I was female, and simply treated me as a teammate.

After I got out of the military, I began performing as a drag king in the Vancouver scene. My drag identity became how I was known to many of my new friends in the queer community. And you guessed it, Tommy stuck around. My given name is extremely feminine. I have never heard of a masculine version of it, so I simply adopted my masculine surname as my name.

Flash forward a few years, and I'm getting married. My spouse is the most amazing man I've ever met. I explain that I can't give up Thomas as my surname, due to my own personal history with it (sure one could argue I got it only out of patriarchy in the first place, from my father, but I've claimed it as my own through my own personal history). I would rather give up my given name than give up Thomas. I've fallen out of touch with most of my old army buddies, and I've gotten out of the drag king scene because the petty soap opera drama was too much for me, so nobody calls me Tommy or Thomas anymore, but I can't give it up. I cannot simply take my spouse's last name.

But I can't ask  him to give up his name for me. That's not fair. I refuse to ask him to do anything I'm unwilling to do. And we wanted to show that WE are together, a family, a partnership, all that lovey dovey commitment stuff that goes along with a marriage. So we were at an impasse. I can't give up Thomas, I can't ask him to give up his surname to take mine.

And thus the legal name change. We hyphenated. In Canada, with a marriage, you can legally take your spouse's name (the law is gender neutral, so he could've taken mine), or you can keep your existing name. That's it. In order to hyphenate it requires a legal name change. So we did. We both took each other's name, and now we "match."

But I still identify most with Thomas, the surname I had at birth.

And just because most of you don't know- Rose is one of my names given to me at birth. By far my least favourite, but as my given names were a gift from my grandmother, I can't justify changing them. I'll just stick with going by Thomas online, and my first initial in real life. So now you're in on the joke of the title of this post- this Rose is still technically called Rose....

Have you ever considered or had a name change? What inspired you to choose the name you did?

Saturday, March 31, 2012


I find it incredibly strange how much emphasis our society puts on gender. Specifically on which of the two gender boxes you fit in. Even when shopping, there are "men's clothing," and "women's clothing," but never just clothes. Does the cotton t-shirt self combust if worn on the wrong person? Do the pants suddenly disintegrate if the crotch they conceal is "wrong"?

Sure, some could argue that men and women are shaped differently. Women have boobs, men have pecs, etc; but is that always true? I know a few women who have absolutely no breasts, and a few men who do.  Really, this goes back to my earlier discussion an meat shapes. Everyone's meat shape is different.

Even our language is structured to reflect two and only two gender options (I found learning French to be even worse, as they blatantly gender-ize all objects into masculine and feminine for no good reason I can see). If you're worth discussing in English as a person, the pronoun options are he, she, and it. I personally don't find any of those options appealing. He and she just plain don't fit, and it is so demeaning and de-humanizing. And so the dilemma: do I stick with she (as the one I've heard all of my life) or do I try to find/create something more suitable.

Years of reading on the internet (thank god for technology), and I found myself learning that I am not alone. There are others like me who don't like the two accepted gender options. And they have a secret code of gender neutral pronouns. The problem is, they truly are a secret code: Xe, Xir, and an assortment of others which need constant explanation and defense in the real world. Sure, most genderqueer communities recognize them, but my day to day life isn't in a genderqueer community, and I really do not feel like trying to educate everyone at work. I just want to be treated equal, with no fuss made about my neutrois identity. I feel no need to explain myself to everyone I interact with.

I've always been drawn to the "singular they," but the language nerd in me rebels at that idea. They is not singular, and I am not multiple people. I need singular pronouns which reflect my gender neutral identity.

And then I found them. It was like a shockwave to the system. There is a movement to take they/their/them, and re-conjugate to make them singular. In walks ey, eir, and em into my life. And I was blown away. Finally I have found pronouns which I can identify with both in the gendered sense, and in. The fact that I'm an individual.

While I still feel no urge to explain myself to everyone I interact with, I would appreciate if here, on my little corner of the web, my identity is respected and proper pronouns used. If you know me in real life, and you choose to carry this into the real world as well, you will probably become one of my favourite people.

Taking this small step of publicly announcing it makes me giddy with excitement and nervous energy.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Survey Time

One of the awesome blogs I follow, Neutrois Nonsense, is asking for non-binary folks to fill out a brief survey on their experiences so that the blog master extraordinaire may build a site to help build the community, specifically with resources for those who wish to transition. Its difficult enough for trans folks to access the resources required for transition, even more so for non-binary trans* folks.

That blog has been pivotal in my own self acceptance and realization (along with learning that there is indeed a vocabulary for all the non gendered thoughts and concepts in my brain), so I encourage you to go check out eir blog.

And if you happen to also be non binary identified, I encourage you to fill out eir Survey.

Remember, community can only happen if we ourselves build and maintain it. So lets help build this so that we all may benefit from it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Follow up

I read an op/ed piece which sums up what I was trying to say in my previous post much more eloquently than I could ever say it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I just can't stay quiet: Kony 2012

Last week "Kony 2012" took over my Facebook account. I'm not on Twitter, but I've heard it also took over that as well. Everyone was posting up and watching a half hour documentary made by Invisible Children. Like everyone else, I spent a half hour of my life watching this polished little video. I've been passionate about the putting a stop to the use of children as soldiers for years now, and have been involved with Romeo Dallaire's Child Soldiers Initiative for about a year now.

Of course, there was a huge backlash against the Kony 2012 film. After all, it asks people to actually pay attention to global events and care, and put that compassion into action and pressure on their government. I will admit, the film did shine a spotlight on an issue which has been ignored for years, and to that I am grateful. But it felt.... MTV generation. It felt like the issue was dumbed down into sensationalized morsels designed to spark quick emotion and hope for the best. No lasting real information was passed on.

I've read conflicting reports on the film- some say Kony is no longer in Uganda, but in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. If this is the case (I have no evidence to support or deny it), then sending US troops to help the Ugandan military won't do much good. Ugandan soldiers have no jurisdiction in the DRC.

I also find the reports of Invisible Children's funds going to prop up the Ugandan military as a way to stop Kony. While I can't say that I have the solution to stopping Kony's use of child soldiers, I can't say that I want my money supporting the Ugandan military. My taxes pay for my (Canadian) military, and that's really the only army I care to financially contribute to. Because what happens if a Canadian soldier ever comes face to face with a Ugandan soldier on opposite sides of the battle? I would never be able to forgive myself if I knew my money was supporting an army that was attacking my own.

But my personal criticisms have nothing to do with where Kony may or may not actually be, or how Invisible Children spend their money.

One of my issues is with inconsistencies within the film itself. Maybe the producers were hoping we simply wouldn't be smart enough to notice. There are images of a document claiming that the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA- led by Joseph Kony) has no goal other than to perpetuate it's own power. Where did this document come from? Who stated this? Is this an LRA manifesto, or is it something the International Criminal Court said about Joseph Kony? If this is someone else's interpretation of LRA actions, it isn't fair to include it in this "documentary." We cannot put words into Joseph Kony's mouth as a way to condemn him. Let him do that on his own.

My other major problem with this film is that the filmaker claims that if anyone in the US were to do what Joseph Kony does- kidnap children and force them into combat- obviously has never seriously looked into gang mentality in poverty stricken areas across North America. Children are regularly being drugged, brainwashed, and used by adults as a way to increase and hold the adult's power. I highly HIGHLY recommend reading They Fight like Soldiers, They Die like Children by Romeo Dallaire for more information on this. Actually it gives you a broader view of Child Soldiers everywhere.

And the crux of it is, this DOES happen elsewhere. It's NOT isolated to Uganda and Joseph Kony. But funny enough, it tends to correlate with areas of poverty. People just don't care about poor people, they only care about the wealthy and the famous.

And that's my biggest issue: this problem won't go away just by arresting Joseph Kony. Sure, he's the ICC's most wanted, but he has SO MANY generals under him willing to step into his place. His method of kidnapping, drugging, brainwashing, torturing, and all around destroying children is an entire system, and it won't go away if you pull him out. If you want to stop Joseph Kony, you have to take away his resources. Protect and empower the locals to protect their children. And that involves helping them dig their way out of the extreme poverty that plagues the area, providing education, providing medical training and aid, and about a billion other small things that we take for granted here in Canada. This film took an EXTREMELY complex issue and oversimplified it as though it solved everything.

I will admit to some positives of the film: more people now know who Joseph Kony is and what he's doing than ever before (although he's been doing this for 26 years, so why did it take so long for everyone to start caring? Oh right, it needs to be in a flashy video first!). More people are starting to actually look into the issue, and many are smart enough to do their research before giving any organization any of their money. I've even had one friend admit that the Kony 2012 film was the kick in the pants that she needed to sponser a child in Africa. So the film wasn't all bad. It just wasn't all good either.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Thoughts on a Meat Shape

What comes to mind when you hear the term "meat shape?"
I recently came across it in a blog post, and I must admit I found the post incredibly entertaining (note: if you're transphobic, homophobic, or uncomfortable with discussing genitalia, don't bother following that link, and navigate away from this page right now. And don't come back).
The term got lodged in my brain, and I haven't been able to shake it. It's crude enough to shock someone into paying attention, while being generic enough to not assign either biological sex, or gender to a person. I particularly like the phrase:
a lovely term to refer to genitals–”meat-shape.” As it turns out, I’ve found this word incredibly useful for talking about meat-shapes without having to differentiate their colonizations.
Which brings me to my not so surprising public revelation: My meat shape and my brain are at odds with one another. Ok, this isn't exactly new to me- I've known for a while that I have gender issues. And lately I've been thinking of how to go about altering my meat shape to a more pleasing for my brain. Now, I should clarify; I am NOT a man trapped in a woman's body. I fall outside the binary somewhere, which means accessing resources for transgender folks is a bit different. The non-binary is not recognized by what little government resources are out there, and few surgeons are willing to recognize it either. I feel no desire to start taking hormones, or to jump through a bunch of hoops with a psychiatrist or psychologist in order to get the government to shove me into a different- just as ill fitting- gender box.
My brain prefers to be hidden by superhero themed underpants. My brain prefers to look like a Ken doll: no definition to the lower or upper bits, and a perfect smile to charm the world! Which is more important to listen to, my brain, or my meat shape?

Not my own drawing. Found online at

Barbie vs. Ken

We live in an unrealistic society which tells me I'm supposed to want this:

There is just so much wrong with this that I can't even begin, and yet this is what is considered "normal" for someone born into a female body to wish for. Since it's completely unnatural, we are encouraged to surgically enhance ourselves in an attempt to attain this unreachable goal.

So tell me, why is it considered "strange" and "unnatural" for me to consider surgical alterations to change my body into this:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Blog!!!

So, I've started a second blog as a way to showcase all of the artistic things my hubby dearest does.

Dudes of Cube

Cube Dudes (the paper action figures he builds) are now officially for sale exclusively at Cherry Bomb Toys

Check back on the NEW blog for regular updates on which Cube Dudes he's working on, which ones are currently for sale (all are limited editions), and what's new in the land of arts and crafts for Bill.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Personality and Pigeonholes

As a queer individual, I'm a firm believer in all of the colours of the rainbow. I like the concept of life being a colour spectrum; able to blend seamlessly from one to another, while taking into account everything in between. Recently our company underwent a "Colours Seminar" as a way to help define each person's personality and help build constructive communication amongst people. Now, maybe it's because I've spent years of my life surrounded by the rainbow of queer culture, or maybe it's just because I'm a rationale thinker, but I already knew that people are different, so they have different communication styles. Then again, I guess part of the spectrum is that some people are idiots and need to have it explained to them.


Two people will interpret the exact same lecture in very different ways. So I didn't really think that the company needed to spend money on hosting this seminar (which by the way was mandatory for all staff- thus COMPLETELY screwing up the production schedule and putting excess stress on operators already on a tight timeline).

I find it difficult to accept that people can be pigeonholed into one of four distinct personality categories (in this case they were titled by colours- Blue, Green, Gold, and Orange). True, the assesment showed that we're all a blend of all 4, it's just how dominant one or another colour is... but I still find it a little insulting somehow.

The "self assesment" to determine which colour you are was questionable... At one point the Seminar Facilitator (for lack of a better term) said that "Perception is reality. How someone perceives your communication is the reality of who you are to that person," yet then went on at a later point to explain how SOME people will use their secondary (2nd most dominant colour) as a "mask" if they are afraid to show their "true" colour.

Wait a minute- if another person's perception of me is indeed the reality of who I am according to that person, how can I be wearing a mask and "really" be someone else? I thought who I am is based on how other's perceive me. You can't have it both ways.

Isn't it possible that my "self assessment" of myself is really who I wish I was, not who I actually am? Could I be writing down the answers I want to be true, when in fact how I'm perceived is completely different? And when it comes to facilitating harmonious work relationships, isn't how I'm perceived the root of any friction I cause (I'll admit- I'm perceived as a bit of a bitch. Probably because I'm right all of the time and stand up for myself. In the interest of professional advancement I'm working on that... the being perceived as a bitch part at least).

It also got me thinking of how subjective our interpretations of the personality traits are. For example, in a list of words "open-minded/spontaneous," I identify with open-minded, but I am NOT a spontaneous person. How about the phrase "fun loving?" Of course I love to have fun, but how I define fun is very different from how others define it. Fun for me is a good book I can't put down. Board games with my sister. A quiet night watching my spouse play video games. Others would think I'm totally lame, but seriously, I live for the quiet peaceful moments. Or how about "family values?" How do YOU show that you value your family? Showing respect for your elders by doing your duty to care for them in their old age? Working 12-14 hours a day to bring home enough money to provide the best schools, the best toys, and anything else your children could ever buy? Are you into "tough love" or "give them everything I lacked?"


But it got me thinking of all of the other "personality profile assessments" out there. Some are legit... some are questionable. I've taken quite a few in my life (despite my dislike of pigeonholes and labelling), and I almost always felt as though I was the square peg they were trying to force into a round hole. Funny, that literally used to be my job at this company up until I transferred last spring. There's the fully recognized Myers-Briggs assessments, as well as the BSRI to help determine people's gender roles. I'll admit, I've taken the BSRI many times online or out of my Gender Studies text book, and gotten a different answer every time.

So- what's your take on personality assessments?  Are they linked to culture? Gender? Are they Pop-psychology fluff? Do they account for the wonderful myriad of people that make up this crazy world and build understanding, or do they over-simplify and create fissures and fractures?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

No more

Well, there you have it folks. A year in the life of me.

This pretty much says it all.

Photo taken 16 January 2012

Party Prep

Birthday Party Goody Bags: candy, lego minifigs, and temporary tattoos!

Photo taken 15 January 2012

Well Whadd'ya know

Photo taken 14 January 2012

Catching Snowflakes

I actually love how this photo turned out.

Photo taken 13 January 2012


Time to paint my nails.

Photo taken 12 January 2012

Howdy Pardner!

Photo taken 11 January 2012

Yellow Ducky

Photo taken 10 January 2012


Photo taken 9 January 2012


Ok, so I missed a day. And not just in the photography project, but in general. I was SICK. And when I woke up somewhat not sick (at least able to open my eyes without vomiting), it was already 3am the next day. So I snapped this photo.

Photo taken 3:41 am 9 Jan 2012

Early Birthday gift

My auntie gave this to me as an early birthday gift. It's appropriate.

The funny thing is my Mom also gave me jewelery for my birthday- a delicate little butterfly necklace.

Just shows the contrasts in my personality I guess.

Photo taken 7 January 2012

Here Comes the AIRPLANE!!!

Photo taken 6 January 2012

Junk Munchies

Looking for some junk food to snack on.

Photo taken 5 January 2012

Cat Love

Get more!

Photo taken 4 January 2012

Mad Dash Crochet

So in amongst all the insanity, I tried to crochet gifts for my neices. One got hers for Christmas, the other was planned for her birthday. I didn't make it in time, so we ended up buying her something, but here is me, trying to finish.

Photo taken 3 January 2012

the Toymaker

Got an elf for Christmas...

Photo taken 2 January 2012

Nerd Alert!

Yes, that is lightsaber lip gloss. And yes, it's Mace Windu's light saber.

Photo taken 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Ringing in the new year with Sugar!

Photo taken 31 December 2011

Pros and Cons

Photo taken 30 December 2011


Photo taken 29 December 2011

Hard Core

Nothing says hard core like toesy socks with "bad to the..." and a flaming skull on them.

Thanks to my nephew for this great Christmas gift!

Photo taken 28 December 2011

Apparently I've made so many posts today that the system thinks I'm a robot...

New Toy!

Boxing Day shopping got me a new Blackberry Playbook. I must say, I love it!

Photo taken 27 December 2011

Boxing Day

Sooo Tired from the aforementioned Road Trip and Christmas festivities

Photo taken 26 December 2011


My hubby got me a swanky flash for my camera!

Photo taken 25 December 2011

Home again

Sooooo Tired!!!!

Day 4: Abbotsford to Victoria.

4pm, 20(ish) guests arrive at my house for Christmas dinner. Soooo tired from the road trip.

Photo taken 24 December 2011


Day 3 of trip: Attend funeral.

Drive from Burns Lake back to Abbotsford in 11+ hours again (1pm-just before 1am). If you know the terrain, you'll know how much my brother was speeding.

Photo taken 23 December 2011

Road Trip

Can you find me?

Road Trip leg 2- Abbotsford to Burns Lake (in 11 hours... with a toddler).

Photo taken 22 December 2011

Life throws curveballs

And here is where Christmas got shot to shit.

This is me, on the ferry, heading away from home after work on Dec 21st. My grandpa has just passed away, and I need to get from Victoria BC to Burns Lake BC, and back in time for Christmas Eve dinner. Thankfully I'm not alone as I was able to travel with my sister.

Let's do this. Leg 1: Victoria to Abbotsford BC to spend the night at my brother's house.

Photo taken 21 December 2011.

Our house

Notice we did have time to get lights up... not as many as we will next year, but at least enough to not be the scrooge house on the block!

Photo taken 20 December 2011

Man of Steel

I just like the reflections in this one.

Photo taken 19 December 2011


Digging through the box of presents, wrapping them up to go under the tree.

Photo taken 18 December 2011


We get our own community paper. And you know what that means? We get our own flyers for which store has which sale on. No more stealing off of my sister!

Photo taken 17 December 2011. One month to go folks!!!

Party Time

All dressed up for the company Christmas party. I'm quickly realizing how vastly uncomfortable I am in looking "like a girl."

Photo taken 26 December 2011