Friday, May 19, 2017

International Museum Day!

The holiday was yesterday. Museums are awesome! There are so many different types, and all of them are interesting. Cool that there's a day devoted to it. The day was created by the International Council of Museums in 1977. The organization chooses a different theme each year. This year's theme was Museums and Contested Histories: Saying the Unspeakable in Museums. Last year it was Museums and Cultural Landscapes. Today's World IBD Day. IBD definitely needs awareness. Too many people are ignorant about it.

My health seems to be getting a bit worse. I'm actually throwing up more often. I usually don't have this issue. I remember my 'specialist' had said that if I throw up often, or have a fever for a while, or I'm bleeding a lot; then it's time to go to the ER. It's not constant, though. I had made a phone appointment for Wednesday to talk to my primary about the new med, side effects, seeing a gastroenterologist, possibly having malabsorption issues again, that weird lump that's still behind my ear, etc. For phone appointments, they can call you 30 minutes before and after the appointment time. So, I waited the entire time, and there was no call. About a half hour later I get a voicemail from her about how she was sorry she missed the appointment, and we really needed to talk to at least bring her up to date on things. My phone didn't ring before I got the message. Maybe service wasn't good at that moment or something. It still was after my appointment time. I'm a little upset about it, but will try again soon.

Another thing that made me a little pissed off, was about a post on one of the public ace pages I follow. Someone said that another person told them that the A in LGBTQIA is for ally. Their response was awesome! But, they were still shaking with anger. This is a huge thing for us, and often it's a tactic to erase our identity from the community as a whole. It's also strange to say allies matter more than aces. The A also stands for aro and agender. It's pissing off 3 different identities at once. And, I might be all 3. At the very least, I know I'm 2 of them. Many 'gate-keepers' tell aces they're 'basically straight', and that we're invading their spaces. Then, turn around and often actually let in straight people into those spaces. Doesn't make sense. They push that aside, saying that allies are often closeted LGBTQ+ people. That seems weak at best. There might be some, but they're still associating with that community. Oftentimes, people who use this argument seem to only want the L and G part. Allies are an important outside force helping the community, and don't need to be in the acronym. 

There was drama again in the closed LGBTQ+ facebook group. The same that seems to be brought up every few weeks. This time, it seemed to be even more heated. The admin/creator of the group wants to be as inclusive as possible. I know she means well by this, and I know English is not her first language. I like that the main title for it is Rainbows, Unicorns, and Aces. Then, it used to have a longer acronym than many LGBTQ+ groups, but that was still ok. She made it much longer recently. People started to ask what some of the more lesser known letters meant, understandably. So, she listed them out and some of the definitions. First of all, with some of the back and forth, she said the definition of straight is a bigot essentially. (This felt really horrible.) Heterosexual wasn't straight to her. This in itself caused tension. She had added H for heterosexual, and added that the A also stood for ally. She had a lot of identities under the A already. Many of these identities and the ones added for others, actually fell under other umbrellas. Like asexuality covers ace-spec people, but she listed specific ones as separate. Anyways, she clearly didn't understand why the H especially was a big no-no. She said that since trans people can be heterosexual, aros can be heterosexual, and aces can be heteroromantic, there needs to be an H to acknowledge them. It was crazy enough to me that I stepped in and commented on it. I said those people belong in the community (if they choose to) because they're trans, aro, or ace. Not because of the hetero part of their identity. We live in a heteronormative world, so why would we need hetero in there? (There are so many more reasons that it's a really bad idea...) I'm not saying being straight is bad. I'm saying that identity isn't why someone would be apart of the community. I think it might be hard for some people to think about intersectionality, and that might be her problem with this. I got quite a few likes on this, so I must have said it right. 

I also responded to the ally part. She wants allies to be apart of the group, because all her friends are allies, and to her, not adding them would be an insult. I mentioned that she can have it as: [acronym] And Allies. That way she acknowledges them without throwing them in the community. Many groups do it like that. 

She also wanted suggestions for the acronym. I mentioned that some people have it as QUILTBAG+, and it's kind of fun to say. A good majority do: LGBTQ+. The plus meaning other identities that aren't listed. It's not erasing them this way, and is shorter/easier to say/type. MOGAI (Marginalized Orientations, Gender Alignments, and Intersex) has been growing in popularity, too. I kind of like it, and it seems inclusive. I prefer writing/saying LGBTQ+, though. Something about it sounds better, I guess. She liked the ideas I brought up. However, she's thinking of leaving the group, because of this drama. She was the one that turned it into something crazy like this. Now she's looking for admins to replace her. Kind of sad. She finally seems to understand, but is giving up. 

Went to the local trans group Wednesday night. We had a few new people this time. It's interesting and nice that the group seems to be growing pretty quickly recently. There was a group of 3 new people that were talkative, but really nice and friendly. One is Taiwanese, I think, and translates things into Mandarin. In fact, she wants to learn more about LGBTQ+ groups, and translate what she finds out into Mandarin for other people to learn. She's actually lesbian, so she has that perspective already. I think that's amazing! Another one came from Vietnam, is a trans man, and I think might have been one of the youngest members in a while. At the end of the meeting, he made sure to hug Dad and I. It was sweet of him. I think there was a new person who is non-binary, too. That was nice to see. I'm still nervous to ask about gender stuff there. I have this weird feeling if I do, I'll offend someone. Mainly because of the strong possibility of me being agender. Like, to people who experience gender, it might be insulting if someone might not...I know the group's not like that, but it still feels weird to me. I haven't met anyone through the group that's agender, either. They might be the ones that would help me the most. I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't care what others might think, and just ask things anyways. Also, someone has been bringing 2 dogs for last few meetings. I love animals, but they've been very distracting. It won't matter much next time, since it's the 5th Wednesday. Those are potluck and movie meetings.

Local Pride stuff is coming up. The picnic is next month. It was nice last time. The Pride parade will be apart of the 4th of July parade. Last year they didn't have an ace flag. I helped with holding the huge rainbow flag, though. It was really something to see that flag throughout most of the events last year. 

This time I plan to bring my big ace flag. It's 3' x 5'. Bigger than me. I just need to find a pole for it. I'm a little nervous that it might be too big, overshadow other identities, or that it might be too into people's faces. However, Pride is about being proud about who you are. So, maybe it's perfect for it. A popular saying in the ace community is: Ace and in your face. That would certainly fit this. I might wear it as a cape at the actual Pride at the end of July. Some people do that with the big flags. I'm not sure if I'll trip over it, though. 

It'd be kind of cute to find a mini aromantic flag at Pride. Although, I doubt I will. I could wave it around while I'm there.

I was told that they'll have a bulletin board at Pride for group flyers, and that I can leave info sheets or brochures at the main info booth. That makes it easier. Although, I'll still tell people about asexuality and the group, if they ask. I probably will have some people at least ask about the flag. It'd be cool if other aces show up, too. They might gravitate towards me if they see the flag. I was thinking of having a separate booth for the local ace group I created, but no one else seems interested in it. I don't want to be the only one there if we have one. It's silly that way. 

I'll make the flyers for the group soon. Might get people that are actually willing to show up offline. I was thinking about it yesterday, and it was brought up a while ago, that the group's name might need to be changed. I knew there was a group called ACES, but I didn't think they had the county in the name. So, it's essentially the same thing, only with more capitalized letters...It stands for Alternative Community Education Society. A totally different thing. Often, it's seen as a very sexual organization. So, I'm wondering if people have been confused by this? I was just going with the pattern before of other groups. I really thought that group had a specific city name in it, instead. I should have looked more closely at it when I made the group. However, this makes me wonder about the few other ace groups in the region. Many apparently aren't as active as they used to be. Maybe people get it confused with that organization, too? So, I think I'm going to change it to [County Name] Asexuals. It's short, upfront, and gets the point across. I made a post on there about changing the name, if anyone objected, and/or if they had other suggestions. So far, no one's objected to it, or had other suggestions. I know I only posted it yesterday. However, if I still have no objections by tonight, I'm changing it. If people have issues with it, they can tell me. Maybe we could come up with something better if they give me a better alternative. This might actually look better to people at Pride, too. I wanted to make sure it was an ok name for everyone. That way I can start designing the flyers. It'd be a waste if I made flyers before the name change. Hopefully I'll have them ready for the meeting after the one this Saturday. That way I can at least put one up at that cafe while I'm there. I looked at Asexual Outreach's free info sheets, but the wording is strange. I might look at other places for it. Although, the asexual issues sheets were pretty well done. They have a teen and an adult one. Those groups face different issues. Maybe I could use that in addition. We still would need a general info one. Maybe I'll make my own, if need be. I'll probably have them before Pride comes along. So, lots of fun and interesting stuff coming up. All of this has potential to boost our group's visibility and membership.

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