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Posts tagged "identity"

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New Comic!

Apparently now that I’m not in school anymore I’m all about giant long-form comics. 

Identity is a really important topic to me, and the trope of ‘finding yourself’ is almost as problematic and insulting to me as the trope of ‘coming out’. 

I want to destroy the idea that some identities are less valid than others, the condescension that comes with ‘they’re just figuring themselves out’, and the insulting dismissal of identity exploration and performance in youth as being somehow not ‘real’, or as ‘attention seeking’. Fuck all of that. 

And beyond the fact that  ’inconsistent’ identities are really challenging socially, they ALSO carry these real, actual life and liberty risks; we’re expected to use the same name, orientations, values, languages, and identities across all aspects of our lives, we are expected to have normative identities that can be quantified and qualified and trust me, TRUST ME  when a person is perceived as having inconsistent or unusual identities they are being flagged in all sorts of systems for extra scrutiny and action. I know this from experience. 

So, yeah, this ‘one true identity’, this ‘finding yourself’, this ‘who is the real you’ stuff is bullshit. We are so, so much more interesting than that, and we deserve better.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Towards the whole "pronouns hurt people's feelings" topic. Am I REALLY the only person on the planet that thinks people are becoming far to sensative? Nearly to the point that they shouldn't leave their little home bubbles in the case that a bird chirps next to them in a way that sounds like a mean word. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, we're becoming a little TOO coddling and people need to learn to deal with simplistic shit like words. And yes, I've been insulted and made fun of. I got over it. So can you.
hellyeahscarleteen hellyeahscarleteen Said:


Supposedly invented by the Chinese, there is an ancient form of torture that is nothing more than cold, tiny drops falling upon a person’s forehead. 

On its own, a single drop is nothing. It falls upon the brow making a tiny splash. It doesn’t hurt. No real harm comes from it. 

In multitudes, the drops are still fairly harmless. Other than a damp forehead, there really is no cause for concern. 

The key to the torture is being restrained. You cannot move. You must feel each drop. You have lost all control over stopping these drops of water from splashing on your forehead. 

It still doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But person after person, time and time again—would completely unravel psychologically. They all had a breaking point where each drop turned into a horror. Building and building until all sense of sanity was completely lost. 

"It was just a joke, quite being so sensitive."

"They used the wrong pronoun, big deal."

"So your parents don’t understand, it could be worse."

Day after day. Drop after drop. It builds up. A single instance on its own is no big deal. A few drops, not a problem. But when you are restrained, when you cannot escape the drops, when it is unending—these drops can be agony. 

People aren’t sensitive because they can’t take a joke. Because they can’t take being misgendered one time. Because they lack a thick skin. 

People are sensitive because the drops are unending and they have no escape from them. 

You are only seeing the tiny, harmless, single drop hitting these so-called “sensitive” people. You are failing to see the thousands of drops endured before that. You are failing to see the restraints that make them inescapable.










"Image Credit: Carol Rossetti

When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would become. 

Thousands of shares throughout the world later, the appeal of Rosetti’s work is clear. Much like the street art phenomenon Stop Telling Women To Smile, Rossetti’s empowering images are the kind you want to post on every street corner, as both a reminder and affirmation of women’s bodily autonomy. 

"It has always bothered me, the world’s attempts to control women’s bodies, behavior and identities," Rossetti told Mic via email. "It’s a kind of oppression so deeply entangled in our culture that most people don’t even see it’s there, and how cruel it can be."

Rossetti’s illustrations touch upon an impressive range of intersectional topics, including LGBTQ identity, body image, ageism, racism, sexism and ableism. Some characters are based on the experiences of friends or her own life, while others draw inspiration from the stories many women have shared across the Internet. 

"I see those situations I portray every day," she wrote. "I lived some of them myself."

Despite quickly garnering thousands of enthusiastic comments and shares on Facebook, the project started as something personal — so personal, in fact, that Rossetti is still figuring out what to call it. For now, the images reside in albums simply titled “WOMEN in english!" or "Mujeres en español!" which is fitting: Rossetti’s illustrations encompass a vast set of experiences that together create a powerful picture of both women’s identity and oppression.

One of the most interesting aspects of the project is the way it has struck such a global chord. Rossetti originally wrote the text of the illustrations in Portuguese, and then worked with an Australian woman to translate them to English. A group of Israeli feminists also took it upon themselves to create versions of the illustrations in Hebrew. Now, more people have reached out to Rossetti through Facebook and offered to translate her work into even more languages. Next on the docket? Spanish, Russian, German and Lithuanian.

It’s an inspiring show of global solidarity, but the message of Rossetti’s art is clear in any language. Above all, her images celebrate being true to oneself, respecting others and questioning what society tells us is acceptable or beautiful.

"I can’t change the world by myself," Rossetti said. "But I’d love to know that my work made people review their privileges and be more open to understanding and respecting one another."

From the site: All images courtesy Carol Rossetti and used with permission. You can find more illustrations, as well as more languages, on her Facebook page.

(via scenicroutes)

Asker Anonymous Asks:
So I've been reading a lot about asexuality recently, and from other people's account and my own experiences, I think I'm asexual. However, I don't really have anything to base it on, and I'm having trouble telling what I'm feeling in comparison to others... I was wondering if you knew where I could find allosexual accounts of sexual attraction?
hellyeahscarleteen hellyeahscarleteen Said:


Actually, yes!  It’s amazing, all the stuff that crosses my dash that I save away on the off-chance that it might be useful some day.

I have a few options for you, Anon.

First, from my very favorite sex-ed website, Scarleteen, there is this article on understanding desire. One of the types of desire that they talk about is what I would label sexual attraction, but they also touch on a lot of other different ways that desire can work.

The second description I have comes from a thread on AVEN about what sexual attraction feels like. A user who has experienced sexual attraction before chimed in here to describe what it felt like for him. (In case that permalink doesn’t work properly, I’m talking specifically about post #6, the rest is mostly asexual people speculating and/or very brief descriptions.)

There is also this thread on Reddit. Of the three, it is definitely the most crude, but if you can wade through that (gloss over any of the comments that are only one or two lines long, you won’t be missing much) there are a pretty good variety of descriptions there.

Last, but not least, a couple of ace-spectrum resources for you. This is a page that I’ve linked to as recently as yesterday, from Demi Gray, explaining sexual attraction and romantic attraction. While the mod of Demi Gray isn’t allosexual (she IDs as demisexual), she is still definitely more of an expert on what sexual attraction feels like than I am.  Also, the mods at Asexual Advice have an FAQ that includes some answers to the question “what is sexual attraction?” You can find that page here, and the second section is the one you’ll be looking for.

I hope that helps, Anon!


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Zoranoran246 asks:

I have a weird identity problem that nobody I know seems to share. I have lots of LGBTQ friends, and it seems like lately it’s a bad thing to be straight. I identify as mostly hetero, at least for now, but my friend group almost looks down on straight relationships, the way that many bigoted communities view LGBTQ people. I sometimes feel embarrassed about my orientation around my closest friends! I have no idea what to do. I don’t think that the fact that I’m straight detracts from how weird and wrong all this is. Perhaps I require a different perspective? Please help!

Sam W replies:

To start off with, I can assure you that you’re not the first person to be in this situation. So you don’t have to feel as though you’re the only straight person traveling in queer circles who’s ever felt uncomfortable with the way straightness is discussed. And believe me when I say the advice I’m about to give you is very much colored by my own experiences (I mean, all advice is to some extent, but let’s just say your question rang a lot of bells for me).

As a quick aside, I’m going to use queer as my go-to term here. I find it encapsulates the widest number of identities, especially in terms of sexual orientation, which is what you seem to be referring to (an obvious caveat is that not every LGBTQA person identifies as queer). You don’t mention gender identity specifically in your question (and I know some trans folks don’t associate with the term “queer”) but what I’m about to say applies regardless of which specific, marginalized sexual orientation or gender identity your friends identify with.

Now, you don’t go into specifics of what exactly your friends are doing, so I’m going to offer up some different scenarios (some of which are, given the patterns that exist in our current world, more likely than others). Are your friends harassing and picking on straight students because of their orientation? Are they writing mean things on their lockers or trashing their stuff? Do they shout rude things at straight couples holding hands, or ask invasive questions about the sex lives of their straight acquaintances? If so then yes, they are doing the same things that straight students do to queer students, and you should intervene and try to get them to stop. If talking to them directly about their behavior doesn’t work, I would involve a teacher or other adult at the school.

But, if I had to make a guess, your friends are probably not behaving that way. If they’re anything like the vast majority of queer folks, they’re mostly making jokes and comments about straight people and how much they’re annoyed by them/wish they would stop doing x thing/ wish they would all go away.

Essentially, they’re venting. And the reason they’re doing so near you is that you’re their friend (or you’re all hanging out in a safe space together). They’re using this feeling of safety as a chance to say all the things that politeness and/or a desire to avoid a nasty conflict, keep them from saying in the moment where they first think them. And if this is what’s happening, and you spend the majority of you time with these friends, then that may indeed give you the sense that it’s “bad to be straight.”

But here’s the thing: when your friends talk about how annoyed they are by straight people, or how much they hate them, those emotions have less to do with the identity of straightness and more to do with how they are/have been treated by straight folks. I doubt they think straight people are inherently sinful, or unnatural, or faking their identity for attention or to cause trouble (all of which, BTW, are things people assume about those with queer identities).

Instead, “straight people” is essentially shorthand for the nasty behaviors that your friends have been on the receiving end of. To be sure, there can be unpleasantness and bigotry directed from one part of the queer community to another, but the majority of nastiness that queer folks (your friends included) face comes from straight people. So, when they say things like “I hate straight people,” they’re expressing their anger, frustration, and exhaustion with the stuff they face everyday, be those micro-aggressions like looks or comments from people, or bigger aggressions like ostracization or violence at the hands of their family or their peers.

But it’s a hell of a lot simpler(and for some people more cathartic) to say, “I hate straight people.”

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