Sunday, July 16, 2017

International Non-Binary People's Day!

This holiday was on Friday. It's to celebrate non-binary people, what we contribute to the world, and awareness of the issues we face. The person who started it chose this day because it's right in between International Men's Day and International Women's Day. They found out that the date in numerology equals 3. So, another meaning for non-binary people. I think they mentioned that we're often lumped in with women, but we aren't women. Another way to refer to someone who's non-binary is nb or enby. I kind of like enby. It sounds cute. Also, the plural form is enbies, which is better than writing out or saying the whole 'non-binary people (or genders)' thing. There are so many more genders under this umbrella term. Agender people fall under it simply because we're neither man nor woman. We're still outside the binary. There are also other genders like genderfluid, demigender, bigender, pangender, and so much more. 

There are apparently subcategories under agender that I'm just starting to learn about. Really interesting stuff. Even with just looking at it from an anthropological standpoint, let alone for myself. I'm starting to watch more youtube vids and read more about enbies in general. I've also come across some nasty hate towards them. Not directed specifically at me, but I recently read an article by a TERF. TERFs are Trans-Esclusionary Radical Feminists, often shortened to rad-fem's. They aren't real feminists, and they're extremely hurtful to trans people in general. They think trans men are somehow betraying them, and trans women are 'forcing' their way into women's spaces. It gets a lot nastier. That's very mild compared to some of the horror stories I've read. 

Anyways, I hadn't read anything on how they view enbies specifically. It was really bizarre. It wasn't particularly nasty, but was quite rude and seemed to try and invalidate them. They used quotations every time they wrote out non-binary, trans, and other identities. (Made the article look even more messed up.) Saying that enbies make the "trans" community look bad. That the ones who were afab (assigned female at birth) are just confused. Like, they don't know there are many different types of women out there. Why not be a tomboy or something? They brought up how using they as a pronoun is grammatically incorrect. I've got news for them, it is correct. When you don't know someone's gender, people tend to use they without thinking. For example: Who are they? They wanted [something]. What are they doing? It's not hard. 

Genderqueer is essentially the same thing. It's just some people are uncomfortable with associating with the word queer. Totally understandable. I like the idea behind it (not using it as a slur), and reclaiming it. Many people use that word to describe the LGBTQ+ community, because it's easier than writing/saying the acronym. I recently heard another person say that maybe we should use Pride to refer to the community. I don't know...I like queer more. Although, if anyone from the community doesn't like me using that word around them, I won't use it around them. Oftentimes, people use non-binary in general instead of genderqueer. Although, I've seen people write/say both. Technically, we are all non-binary in the community. With genderqueer, I can see that it might be a bit confusing if people just see it. They might think: "What does this really mean?" So, maybe it's more of an in thing? Kind of confusing...

I went to our local Pride fest yesterday. Got a really nasty looking sunburn on my neck and a little down my back. My face is sunburned, too. It's really uncomfortable. It's my own fault, though. I didn't use sunscreen. I even have a little travel sized bottle in my purse. I think most of the time that it's not going to work. Oftentimes it doesn't. I usually get sunburned anyways. Maybe not as badly, though. 

I put a Planned Parenthood temporary ace tattoo on my cheek for it. I got it from them at the Seattle Trans Pride. It was surprising to see. People kept looking at it, and a few people asked if it was temporary. I don't think anyone asked what flag it was. Many people complimented on my earrings. Almost every time I go out I have someone compliment on them. They're big silver cat face earrings. They have kind of an I don't care attitude. I thought one person was going to rip them off. They kept saying how much they absolutely loved them. I've never been really good about complimenting people unless something really catches my eye. So, I end up saying thanks, nodding, and not complimenting them back. It's odd because many women tend to reciprocate comments after one of them does it first. I'm not a woman, so I wonder if that's why I'm not that good at it...I think it can be a very gendered and cultural thing to do. Not necessarily complimenting first or in general, but trying to reciprocate a compliment to be polite or something. So weird. I guess I try to be more genuine with that sort of thing. It might seem rude to others, though.

There was an ace flag up with the other flags scattered around the park. That was one of the things that made me happy. There was also a glass-based booth that had certain flag colors worked into the glass pieces. There were some pendants like that, but I think the only one that was ace themed was a little shallow plate. Looked cool, but didn't sound useful. It would have been cool if I saw a glass pendant with the colors. There were apparently some trans ones. I think Dad got one of them. It was cool looking. I didn't really look for my other 'identities' or parts of me.

There was a flag booth. I think I got my huge ace flag from the same place last year. The guy there is weird. I asked him about an aromantic flag. He swore he had it, and went searching for it. He looked for a while, and I said I'd come back later. About an hour or so later I come back. He says he couldn't find it in the booth, and I can go through the extra boxes behind his booth to see. I did that a little while, and got nothing. He seemed upset that he didn't have it. He apparently left it behind. So, I asked him if he had an agender one. He didn't. I asked him if he had a non-binary one. He didn't. (That was surprising.) I asked him if he had a genderqueer one. He had those. A big 3' x 5' or a smaller one was all he had. I wanted to have an even smaller one. (Not sure how big this one really is.) I settled for one of the smallest ones he had. 

I posted a pic to both fb and Instagram. Today, one of my followers commented: "Not to be a negative Nancy, but that's the Suffragette flag, though. lol" I looked it up, and yes it looks exactly like the UK suffragettes' flag. I also looked up info on the creator of the genderqueer flag. Since they were from the US, they didn't know about that UK flag when it was created. They created it off of other sexuality and gender flags, off of many meanings for the colors (that community could understand), etc. 

I mentioned this stuff, and that maybe they should do their own research on why the genderqueer flag is the way it is. There are many flags that look the same. Plus, this is a global symbol, unlike the UK flag. That's a big difference. There are only so many combos for a tri-colored striped flag, too. Nobody owns these colors. As the exchange kept going, I felt odd that I had to defend one of my communities' flags. Also, they said we should honor the UK suffragettes somehow if we're taking their flag...What? How? I don't even know where to begin on that. I eventually blocked them, because it was tiring, they were missing the point, and seemed to only get more bitter. First time I felt like someone was trying to get me to defend a flag. It's still going to be the official genderqueer flag whether they like it or not. Has been for a while. 

I got a cheeseburger for lunch there. It was pretty good. Well seasoned. Had Doritos Nacho Cheese chips with it. The chips might not have been a good idea, considering I'm supposed to stay away from corn products. Later, I got a root beer float for a snack. I think they knew what flag I was carrying, and said ma'am in a weird way. Really forceful, and somewhat indignantly. Like, making some sort of statement. It was odd. Eventually, their ma'am started sounding like mom. I was starting to laugh in my head, which made it a bit better. I don't have much of a problem with ma'am, as long as it's not said rudely. I know they're trained to say it. I'd definitely prefer a more gender neutral way of being addressed by them, though. They are quite a few out there that they can use to refer to customers. 

As soon as they gave the root beer float to me, it erupted out the hole in the cover. It was a sticky mess. I cleaned off the excess, and noticed the other people that had ordered it after me had the same surprise. Not very pleasant. I wanted to wait for Dad before I sat down with my float. She was getting a sausage for a late lunch. Eventually I couldn't stand much longer, and went to the covered picnic tables. She told me her sausage took 35 minutes. That's a long time! When I got my hamburger from the same place, I think it took about 10 minutes for it. It was towards the beginning, though. There was also a pizza truck. They brought their own pizza oven. I felt too warm for that. I thought there would be another food truck/booth. Oh well. Apparently, a store across the street from the park was giving away snow cones for free. That liked tasty, but I was too full from the other stuff at the time. 

We did go to Elmer's after that. I needed some place cool, and semi-quiet. I think Dad felt similarly. Someone at Pride kept screaming in a high-pitched voice, and I think they also had a whistle. It was annoying when they were right next to me. Could feel my ears pop. The music seemed like it was at decent volume, though. 

I put up a group flyer, for the local ace group I started, on the bulletin board. Saw a lot of people stop to look at it. That was great. I left some info sheets at the Pride info booth. The area for the pamphlets/info sheets was off to the side and kind of hard to see. I thought no one take them, and didn't really care. One person did take a copy, though. Having someone take at least one copy was amazing! 

There's an ace info site that has free info sheets you can download. They say what asexuality is and basically what it doesn't mean. It also lists their site's address, which is great. They're somewhat newer than many of the other sites I'm familiar with. I follow them on fb, though. They tend to be better than AVEN as far as their fb pages go. Anyways, I used that and added an 'other resources' section under it in Photoshop. By the way, Photoshop's an amazing tool! Made some interesting things through it. 

I listed a bunch of sites, and added the local group at the bottom. I mentioned these: AVEN, Asexuality Archive, Pieces of Ace, Demisexuality Resource Center, Asexual Stories, The Asexual Agenda, and Apositive. I wanted to add one of the more scientific sites that I know, but apparently it hasn't been active in a while and seems to be shutting down soon. That's sad. It listed a bunch of research papers/journals on it for free. I think even the person running the site had authored some of them. Another one I wanted to share was the Carnival of Aces. I might have forgotten about them...It's a group of ace authors/bloggers that write about a topic relating to asexuality each month. People not in the group are welcome to participate. Some are non-fiction and some are fiction stories/poems. Haven't really read those stories, though. It's different than Asexual Stories. That's lit. aces sharing their life stories. Hopefully I didn't give out too much info to people.

One person requested to join the group on fb later. Not sure if they were the ones that took the copy or if they were someone who saw the flyer. Found out they're 15 years old. That's young. I just hope it doesn't turn into a youth group or something. I want aces of all ages. Maybe if we get big enough, we can split it into a youth one and an adult one. Young aces face some different issues than adults. There are many things both groups face, though. It'd be awesome if we get a member who's much older than me. Everyone also has a voice and different perspective, too. I want people from all over the spectrum. It'd be cool if some were aro, like me. I'd have an added layer in common with them. Even better if they were agender. Triple A's are rare...I didn't plan to be that rare. I wish it wasn't. 

I called the GI department back to schedule an appointment. All their gastros don't have anything free on their calendars. An assistant is free, though. She's kind of like a specialist. They said she can do almost everything but surgery. That's not bad. This will also be within network. That will help with a lot of things. The closest appointment she had was for the end of next month. I agreed to that. The receptionist sounded worried that there wasn't something sooner. I told her about my situation. She said she has gone through something similar. She told me that if it gets even worse, I should go to the hospital. She wanted to keep talking after we said bye. I think she wanted to make sure that I was ok enough to wait for a little over a month. She seemed kind. I hope this assistant is more knowledgeable and cares about my symptoms. That last part is very important. It's not like I'm complaining for fun. They have to be aware of what's going on. I also still have a tendency to think that if I don't think about it, it's not there. That makes me less aware of it. Used to be much worse. 

Finished watching Kabukibu or Kabuki Club. I liked it more than I expected. It was cute. My fave mangaka group (one of the few I know, but they're awesome!), named CLAMP, had a hand in it. They're a group entirely composed of women. They make interesting manga. One of their trademarks is out of proportioned limbs for characters. That was somewhat of a turn off the first time I saw xxxHolic. I just wasn't used to that style. The rest of the art is usually amazing. For this show, the characters looked more 'normal'. They played a minor role in it, so that might have been why. It was an interesting view into the world of kabuki theater. It seemed they played around a bit with gender, too. That was fun to see. One of the female actresses has a very masculine look to her (she was also in drama, and many of the girls in it kept falling for her as well as some of the guys), and one of the male actors has a very feminine look. They both act normally very much like those, too. I think there was a character that seemed genderless. It was difficult for some fans to tell at first what gender he was. He didn't seem to care much about gendered stuff either. He had a very minor role, though. That was interesting. It'd be cool if there was a sequel. 

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