It’s been a long time since I’ve made a post about, well, me. Sorry, guys, I’ll try not to make it boring.
I’m (sort of, unsuccessfully) reading up on stuff for that post about ACT UP that I promised months ago. I had to return two of the books to the library, and accidentally gave them one of my own books that has similar cover art. It seems they haven’t found it yet. It makes me sad. The main source of information I’ve found is a 400+ page dissertation, and it’s kind of tough reading. I’m persuading myself that it’s worth it because it will teach me how to write a thesis.
As I think I mentioned before, I acquired a refurbished laptop shortly before the end of the spring semester (and bought a regular computer mouse to go with it), and currently have a summer job at the college’s alumnae house/bed and breakfast/catering service. (I call it the “Land of Chaos and Silverware.”) Everybody is actually calling me Chris–except when they think it’s short for “Christine.” I’ve corrected my boss at least three times now. (At least that’s how many times I’ve said it. I’m not sure she heard me the second two.) I have mostly evening shifts. I’m out to a few coworkers; other student employees. The rest probably all read me as queer, but just think I’m a lesbian. To be fair, there is a certain “Bryn Mawr Queer Girl” look….
Workplace demographics are interesting. There’s about 10 full- or part-time adult workers, then 20 student workers, where I work. Then there are the people who work in Erdman Dining Hall to feed the student workers and all the groups and summer camps who use the campus over the summer. Anyway, it’s like everyone who stays here is queer or POC or both. I can think of two or three exceptions, but their home states are all pretty far away, and I don’t know for sure that they’re straight; they’re just not obviously queer. It says something. I knew there weren’t going to be any good jobs near my family, at least not for only the summer; also, I really, really didn’t want to have to wear girl clothes for three and a half months. (Seriously, my gender aside, cargo shorts are the apparel of the gods when it comes to airflow and comfort.) I also didn’t want to spend that long being forced into church attendance and having to watch every single word I say. I know I’m not alone in those reasons.
Not having most of my friends around IRL has taken its toll. It is possible to go through real withdrawal symptoms from lack of backrubs. It happened. I spent some quality time in small spaces, like under my desk in my room. Small spaces feel like the walls are hugging you. I suppose that’s why I’ve always liked them. Anyway, I used the temporary agoraphobia as an excuse to watch Series 6 and 7 of Doctor Who. Good life choices. Then this week I watched all the Sherlock. Love how they modernized it. Wish they hadn’t written Sherlock himself as quite such an asshole; he’s not like that in the books, and I’ve read them all. At least twice. The short stories at least 4 times. Seriously, the books were my first fandom ever, before that show even aired.
Speaking of fandoms, Homestuck is off hiatus. There was much rejoicing on my Tumblr dash. And we finally know what void powers are. Turns out I wasn’t to far off in thinking that they’d paradox clone a new matriorb. It’s something similar, and I won’t give any more spoilers.
I went to Philly Pride on June 9th. Funnest thing ever. Watched the parade, went to a queer bookstore and bought the book that I accidentally gave to my library (relax, I did at least manage to read it all first), had sushi for lunch, and bought an awesome shirt and cargo shorts. I found out that Pride parades are ways that queer organizations can tell the community what resources they have. I saw a drag queen who looked like an old Greek lady, could’a been straight out of a church festival. It’s not all RuPaul’s Drag Race, and somehow that’s comforting. There were a lot of hot gay people. (Why is it that when I’m attracted to dudes it’s always the super gay dudes?) I saw more ways of wearing rainbows than I thought possible. There were confetti machines. I held a sign that said “ALL PRONOUNS DESERVE RESPECT”; it had many-gendered pronouns color-coded pink, blue, and purple, as well as the trans* and genderqueer pride flags drawn on it. The story of how I made the sign should be reserved for another post. It was that epic. An epic struggle. I met up with a fellow genderqueer classicist named Questy (tumblr: nonnobissolum). They are an awesome person.
Two things struck me at Pride. The first was a middle-aged lesbian carrying a rainbow flag on a labrys. The labrys, a double-headed battle axe, was popular in the 70s and was seen (Allison Bechdel’s work comes to mind) as late as the 90s, but hasn’t been used much for the last 20 years. That woman had been going to pride parades for at least that long; probably since before my mother was born. She’d been fighting that long. I wanted to talk to her, but she was only visible for a moment, and then disappeared.
The second thing was that, when the parade started, everybody cheered at the police cars at the front. 44 years since Stonewall. Perhaps we have already come a long way. We can now cheer the police, at least when we’re in large numbers, instead of running away. We don’t have to worry that they’ll pepper-spray or tear-gas us. I could go to a gay bar, and not have to worry about the police raiding the place and beating and raping me. It’s so little, yet so much. A police car, and the gays cheer and wave.
Questy and I are working on a queer vocab for Latin, now that Pope Francis admits there’s a secret Vatican gay lobby. Latin doesn’t actually have a word for gender. It just has a word for “type” or “distinction” (“genus”) which can but does not always include gender. While this is great for intersectionality, it’s making the queer vocab part hard. Once we get the queer vocab done, I will post it.
On Tumblr, I’ve gotten into a war with a heinous “men’s rights activist” called mr-cappadocia. His real name is Patrick Cooper. After I spent two days spamming his askbox, he blocked me from seeing his posts. Then he unblocked me for a day, then blocked me again for being “stupid.” Today he re-unblocked me, and I’m being as civil as I can to him. Guy apparently doesn’t know how the Senate or political parties work. Much easier for him to blame it on “feminist pseudoscience.” I really like taking it out on this guy. Gives me some practice when HuffPo is slow.
In the news:
There really is three times as much transphobia as homophobia in terms of number of hate crimes, bearing out my observations from the comments forums. (It’s on HuffPo somewhere and had charts and things, but I can’t find it.)
The Supreme Court is taking its own sweet time with the really important cases.
Obama is being shitty about pretty much everything; I think he doesn’t understand drones and surveillance and is to scared to do anything on queer rights and the economy. I want to go paradox clone Lyndon B. Johnson. (I think I’ve said that before.) Romney would definitely be worse, but I’m annoyed at having to vote against what I hate instead of for what I need, and given an average lifespan I’ve got about 12 more presidential elections to go.
Social Security has made it easier for trans* people to change their sex markers. The problem is, as Questy pointed out, “what do I change mine to?”
This is over 1300 words and I need to make lunch, so that’s enough for now!