Thursday, October 19, 2017

National Pasta Day!

This holiday was on Tuesday. I love pasta! ๐Ÿ˜ Could probably eat it all day every day. That wouldn't be very healthy, though.๐Ÿ˜…I like pretty much all the shapes I know of. The thick pasta seem fancy to me. Having it for special times, like Shabbat. It's probably because I'm not as used to that type of pasta.

I've felt pretty crummy gut-wise this week. ๐Ÿ˜ž So much so, I've wondered if I'm flaring again. The only way to really know for sure is through tests...As long as I don't have a prolonged fever, throwing up every day, and losing weight faster than usual; I can't do much about it.๐Ÿ˜’If any of those things were happening, I've been told to go to the hospital immediately. The pain has increased on both sides of my abdomen, which scares me a bit. I think I'm reacting to food more often again, as well. 

I was able to make a phone appointment with my gastro for the end of next month. She wanted me to make it for the end of this one. There was only one other one that was sooner, but it was around 8am.๐Ÿ˜ณEven if I was up at that time, it still seems too early for a phone call to me. Not only that, but they have it as possibly calling 30 minutes before or after the appointment time...I might ask her about having tests done again. I think by then it'd be a few months since the last round of them. It'd be the first one since I started Lialda, and we could see how that's going with those tests. 

Last week, I tried on an old embroidered keyhole knit sweater. It fit surprisingly well.๐Ÿ˜ณIt's supposed to be clingy, which I'm not used to. I don't think I've been able to fit into it since I was 19. That was just before the infamous 'freshman 15' people usually gain in college. I'm almost 33. That's a long time.๐Ÿ˜ฎ I don't particularly like how much it accentuates my chest. Every time I bend over a little, it shows a lot of cleavage through the keyhole, which I don't really like either. ๐Ÿ˜‘The rest of it feels nice. 

I decided to look at other old clothes a few days later. Most of these old clothes I hadn't worn since high school. Pretty much everything I tried fit. This was really surprising, good, and slightly weird to me. I found 2 flannel shirts (wore these quite often in high school), a red long-sleeved shirt with white embroidery, and 2 cardigans. I think the traditional Chinese shirt (don't remember the name of it) fit, too. It's fancy and cool looking. However it takes some maneuvering to get it on yourself. It has lots of buttons and a zipper on the side. I was trying it on over something else, too. This was the most surprising one to fit into, to me. It's rather small. Even when I got it from a women's day conference thing years ago, it was small and tight on me. 

So, with all these things fitting, I'm basically the same size as I was in high school. ๐Ÿ˜ŒI didn't think I'd make it back to this size. I also thought I was gaining weight again. I'm apparently still losing it. It's kind of scary that way. I want to be back to the normal weight range for someone like me, though. This means I'm getting there faster than I expected. I'm only going to truly worry if I somehow become underweight. 

I joined some more LGBTQ+ groups on facebook. 2 generalized ones, and another non-binary one. Also, found another IBD group. The generalized LGBTQ+ group I was apart of beforehand was really weird. Especially after the fights about allies in the acronym. The creator had some bizarre ideas. After that drama, hardly anyone posted. ๐Ÿ™„So, I dropped that one. I like having a generalized group for it. Feels more like a community. There aren't very many of them, and some of them can be ace/arophobic as well as enby-phobic. The 2 I just joined seem very inclusive. One of those groups has it as 16+ for the minimum age. They just recently made a 30+ group. I might join that as well. Not sure if I'll drop the 16+ if I do that. We'll see. 

The new enby group seems more active and interesting. There are actually questions and topics we can discuss. The other one was mainly just selfies and intros. ๐Ÿ˜‘The new one apparently has another subgroup. I dropped a couple of ace groups, because they weren't active. There aren't that many ace groups on fb as it is. The new IBD group has a huge amount of members, and it's a lot more active than the other one because of that. I can connect more with that community this way, too. 

I've made at least one fb friend through the new enby group. Another one added me as well through one of the ace groups. Very interesting. Their requests were like a day apart. Another person that I knew beforehand through the local trans group friended me too. That was a day after those other 2. Cool. I'm all for people friending me, as long as they don't harass me, and I know them through some sort of group. ๐Ÿ˜Š

In the new enby group, someone asked if all afab enby people identify as trans masc. Many people think of the stereotype that enbies tend to be masculine or look that way. Afab is assigned female at birth, by the way. I'm afab, and agender. I tend to like some things that are considered 'feminine', but it's like a pretty and fun mask. ๐ŸŽญI don't particularly feel femme or masc. In my mind it's kind of hard to feel either if you don't have a gender. Unless it's referring to clothes or expression, I guess? Still, clothes don't actually have a gender. Many of the 'men's' clothes honestly look bland and boring from what I've seen. Although, some of their vests look interesting. I'm actually thinking of looking more into that stuff, too. Anyways, some people were also saying since they're enby, they're not trans. That's it works. ๐Ÿคฆ‍♀️Trans means that your gender is different than the one that was assigned to you at birth. So, technically being enby makes you trans. Sure, it's up to the individual to decide if they want that label, but that's personal. I put that I'm trans, enby, and genderqueer. I like all of those. Honestly, I don't know which of those last 2 I like more. They mean the same thing, but some people are uncomfortable with the word queer. (Totally understandable.) That's how enby came about. It's newer than genderqueer. Someone felt exactly the way I did about all this, which was cool. ๐Ÿ˜ŽSomeone else loved it. 

Another person said they didn't feel enby enough because they still use she/her pronouns.๐Ÿ˜จ She's agender. She wasn't sure about they/them for herself. Many people, like me, said you should use whatever you feel comfortable with. You're still valid as an enby. ☺️I've been thinking about my pronouns, too. I still use she/her, because I'm used to it. They/them seems interesting and logical for someone like me, but I don't really know if it's right...๐Ÿค”I don't have to decide immediately, though. 

We finally had a meeting for the trans group. Couldn't find a place for it during the summer. There was a pretty decent amount of people. We had one new person, which was good. I talked more about agender stuff during my check-in. Found out one member is agender, but leaning on the masculine side. I suppose that's kind of like the idea behind the ace/aro spectrums? It was interesting. A couple of members, who weren't there, are bigender. I can't imagine having one let alone 2 genders at once, but that's still cool. ๐Ÿ˜ณThere are pangender people out there, as well. That's incomprehensible to me to be all genders at once. Even more fascinating, though. A couple of the older trans women seemed to be confused by some of it. They're willing to learn, though.

I brought up how I've been thinking about top surgery (double mastectomy). I've always felt weird about my chest. Especially when they 'exploded' a couple of years into college. It felt more 'right' when I was small. They've felt foreign since they grew, too. ๐Ÿ˜จI still want 'feminine' clothes to fit me. Someone suggested a reduction instead. That might be ok, however there's still a health risk side. My mom had breast cancer, her mom had it, and one of my mom's sister's had it. I saw what it did to my mom. I don't want that to happen to me. ๐Ÿ˜ฃSo, getting top surgery will both be a gender and health thing. Doctors will most likely get behind it if I only bring up the health risk part. They still might fight with me. Saying I'm too young for such a drastic change. I'm tempted to bring it up with my primary, but I don't like her anymore. We'll see.

Icons or avatars were brought up that people looked up to. Many people thought about others that they felt they could relate to gender-wise. Mine have always been people like Marie Curie, Audrey Hepburn, and Coco Chanel. I think in the past, I went with what body-type I had. I feel weird with saying female-bodied, but some trans people use it. These were fierce, smart, beautiful, and cool women. I also went by personality rather than gender. The thing is, I don't know any out agender celebrity, scientist, or other icons. So, I can't truly see my gender represented through anyone. ๐Ÿ˜’

When I brought up Audrey Hepburn, one of the older women said: "oh, you mean Katherine Hepburn." It took me a moment, because I wasn't sure why she 'corrected' me on it. ๐Ÿค”After a moment, she added: "since she was a tomboy." No. Agender doesn't equal tomboy. ๐Ÿคฆ‍♀️Tomboys still are women. I meant who I said, too. 

We might have a Halloween party at the next meeting. ๐ŸŽƒThat meeting will be on the 1st, so it makes sense. It'd be a nice, fun, and social thing. I just have no idea what I'd wear for a costume. 

My birthday is November 7th. ๐ŸŽ‰Coming up really quickly. I don't have anything planned yet, nor a list of what I want for it. I'm horrible at making birthday lists. ๐Ÿ˜’I might want a new computer. Mine is having issues going online, and isn't supported by Microsoft anymore. Can't decide between Mac or Windows. I think it'd be cool to have an all-in-one. Computers have come a long way since my current one. Another thing might be a black ring. I might go out to eat for it, go shopping, maybe see a movie at the theater, etc. I don't really know yet.๐Ÿคท‍♀️

I've made it to practicing my clarinet for 55 minutes. Yay! ☺️Next week I might start doing it for an hour. I don't want to practice for longer than that. I'm sounding much better now. Trying to play things I usually skip, too. 

Finished the agender chapter in the memoir. Ended up being longer than I expected. I'll get back to the travel one next time. At the moment, I'm covering stuff from Kentucky. The state I was born in. The sequel to Alliance has been interesting so far. I'm still not sure where it's headed.๐Ÿค”

I noticed that Dad had created a playlist based on her memoir. It gave me the idea that maybe I should make one for mine as well as for my other books. That sounds like it'll be fun, and I might feel closer to them. The Sweet Endless Terror one would be probably the easiest to make. A lot of Halloween and other scary/ominous music. ๐Ÿ‘ป๐ŸŽต

I've kind of given up on the local ace group.๐Ÿ˜” No one showed up for months when I went regularly to the cafe. No one has asked where we are since I stopped going. No one's posted in the online group for a long time. I was pretty much the one to post stuff. There were one or two allies that did too, but no one else. It just...seems sad.๐Ÿ˜ฃ It seems they want a group, but once they're a member they don't do anything. I get that some people want a more private place, but this was voted on. Also, we don't have many options available to us. 

At some point, I still want to go back to my ace media list. I want to search a bit longer for stuff to add, and then share it. I think I'll share it here somehow, in the inactive local ace group, other ace groups on fb, on ace forums, etc. I want it out there, and people can suggest adding more to it. That way there's an even broader list over time. It just takes time with this stuff. It might be a while before I share it.๐Ÿ˜ž

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

National Coming Out Day

I'm basically out to everyone I know. Although, I tried telling my grandpa over the phone that I was ace (about a year ago), and he said he couldn't hear me. So, I technically haven't told him. He's also on facebook, but hardly uses it. I think it'd be best to come out to him if we were face-to-face. He lives on the other side of the country, though. I hope I do see him again before it's too late...I'm not sure how he'd take it. He's a very kind and accepting person, though. He just might not understand. 

I do want to be more out with being aro ace and agender. I mentioned them in my mini bio on fb. It was the first time I had anything for that. I still share and write about them on there. 

I write about all 3 in my memoir. I actually am redoing the agender part, because I wasn't really sure at the time. Agender will have a separate chapter devoted to it. Aro and ace will be in one chapter. The first one to be precise. Agender is the 2nd now. I also refer back to them throughout the book, because they've influenced my experiences and how I view the world. So, people will be introduced to all 3 this way once it's published...I can probably add an LGBTQ+ tag to it on Amazon. Should be interesting.

In the future, it'd be nice to have a black ring. A black ring on the middle finger of the right hand indicates the wearer is ace. It'd be cool to get one with a spade on it. Another symbol for aces are the ace suit in playing cards. Ace of hearts is for (allo)romantic aces, spades is for aro aces, diamonds is for demiromantic aces/demisexuals (and other people in the grey areas), clubs is for wtf(or quoi)romantic aces/wtfsexuals and other people who can't figure out what their sexual and/or romantic orientation is (or it's indescrible). Sometimes romantic anarchists will use the ace of spades. That's kind of cool. A white ring was thought up for aros, but it hasn't really taken off. They don't have special symbols for what type you are like the ace suit, either. An arrow is a big symbol for it, though. An alien is an agender symbol, which is interesting, too.

I think it'll be cool to get themed clothing and accessories of these identities. That way I could be even more out. There's a surprising amount of it online. Another reason for me to be out is to educate people.

Asexual Awareness Week is coming up quickly. I might be a presenter/speaker at a local youth group meeting. I didn't think about this until Dad suggested it. We don't know if it'll actually happen, but it's an interesting idea. Another way to be out, and to do something for AAW. I'll not only go over ace stuff, but aro and agender as well. Aros are fighting to be separated from the ace community as much as possible, but they're represented during it, too. As an aro ace, I feel like 2 of my communities are ripping each other apart at times. Most aces are alloromantic, and most aros are allosexual. Often ace activists throw aro aces under the bus. We tend to be thought of as less human, or forgotten about, or misrepresented by them. Aros are a lot better about it, but the community is still new and growing. I'll bring up agender, because I am one and it influences my experiences. Mine would be different than an aro ace cis person. Or even an aro ace binary trans person. It'll show that my experience is not universal, which is good. 

I realized recently that I go against a lot of 'normatives'. These are things that are considered the norm, strictly enforced, everything catered to a specific group of people, what's considered good and desirable by society, etc. My existence goes against heteronormativity, since I'm aro ace. Heteronormativity is centered on people who are both heteroromantic and heterosexual, or straight. Not to mention that sex is considered the best thing, necessity to keep living, everywhere in media, etc. Of course, it's 'straight sex' that's encouraged. 

Amatonormativity's another one. It's the idea that romantic love is desirable, it's 'human', better than other loves/relationships, certain rules and assumptions about love, etc. This can be dangerous to alloromantic people too, but it's especially damaging to aros. It's a factor even when people of different (or some like to use 'opposite') genders are close friends. Society will assume that'll 'blossom' into romance and then become sexual. This is an odd view to me. Starting at an early age we're shown romantic themes all the time in media.

Cisnormativity is another one. The idea that being cis is normal, human, everyone has to be this way, etc. If you're not, you're not human or have some sort of mental illness. (According to society.) I'm not cis, so this affects me.

Binary-normativity is another. The world is set up and catered to people of the binary. Being strictly a man or woman is what everyone is. There's no such thing as more than 2 genders. Again, that's how society views things. This affects me as well since I'm agender. Even some binary trans people are against/hate the idea of non-binary people. That's hating on our very existence. 

Christian(or Christo-?)-normativity. The assumption that everyone's Christian. Everything, in most parts of the world, is centered on Christians. Probably more than they realize. I'm Jewish, and I see this quite often. Don't even get me started with the few months before Christmas on up to the holiday itself...That makes non-Christians even more like outcasts or like they don't matter. 

Not only that, but there's a belief Christianity and Judaism are the same thing. No. No, they're not. Clearly these people don't know the history nor what the religions are about. (Or cultures.) Someone a few months ago told me they're Christian, and asked me what the difference was. Well...the biggest thing is we don't have Jesus at all in our religion. That is central in Christianity, and if you believe in him you are one. They were astounded by it. Couldn't believe what I told them. I get that a lot when I tell people this. I like to educate others, but sometimes I'm tired of doing it.

Neuro(?)-normativity. People that are mentally healthy deserve better, are more understood, and are treated with respect more than mentally ill people. This makes many people feel even worse about themselves. Like I mentioned before, I have multiple mental illnesses.

 Physically healthy-normativity. (Not sure what the prefix for this one would be.) People who have a chronic condition, like an autoimmune disease, are told if they only did certain things, it'd cure them. Offering 'healthy' food to them (might not actually be healthy for the person with the condition), saying they just need to try yoga, why are they always in pain, when will they get over it, have they tried this diet, and the list goes on. It's fueled by pure ignorance, and thinking such and such helped them with their stomachache. Or some other brief ailment. It's really disturbing and frustrating. IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease is considered an autoimmune disease. The unsolicited advice I get is crazy. It was especially so when I posted about the diagnosis on fb. No, there's no cure for it. No diet is going to change the disease itself. (It can sometimes help with side effects from both the disease and meds.) 

Oh, and I love when people say at least it's not cancer...Yes, I'm happy it's not, but in a way it's belittling what IBD patients go through. We have to battle this thing for the rest of our lives. Even while in remission we might still have horrible symptoms. Some people lose most of their intestines through surgeries. Some people have to have their buttholes sewn shut, and some have to have external bags that act like colons and other parts of the intestines. The treatments can wreak havok. The extraintestinal stuff is crazy, too. (Eye problems, hair falling out, liver issues, fatigue, etc.) People die from 'complications' of the disease and meds. Some commit suicide because it's too much for them. But, at least we don't have cancer...Oh, wait, we're more at risk for cancers relating to the digestive tract. Wahoo!