Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Addition...

to my Blogroll. Go check out this new blog about disability and feminism. Very interesting people talking much more coherently than me about disability rights, feminism, and the intersectionality between them.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Happy Coming Out Day (yesterday) and Indigenous Peoples' Day (today)!

I just learned today that my father was there when the Wampanoag originally suggested that Columbus Day should be changed to a day celebrating the world's indigenous cultures, when he was an undergrad. Very cool.

Also, although I'm very out on this blog already, I'm queer and kinky and if there happens to be anyone out there reading who is curious or unsure about either of those things I would be perfectly happy having that conversation.

And now, a coming out story that I wrote for Coming Out Day last year:

So I kinda feel like "coming out" is much more ambiguous and less easily defined for bi-/pan-sexual/queer people than it is for those who identify as lesbian/gay, but here's my best attempt:

When I was younger I was very unclear about my sexuality. I grew up in a very open-minded town and knew plenty of gay and straight couples in the community, but bisexuality wasn't something that was ever really addressed anywhere. While I knew people who had had relationships with both men and women they were generally described as either "becoming" or "realizing that they were" gay after having had straight relationships.

By the time I was in middle school it was pretty clear that I was attracted to
both women and men, not one or the other. I joined the gay-straight alliance and attended the meetings religiously. When I was 14 I kissed a girl at an event sponsored by the GSA. The next day I was approached by another girl in my grade (also a GSA member) and told how disgusting my behavior was. By the end of the day the information had spread throughout the school and I was officially labeled as "the gay girl" (even though I'm not really 'gay' exactly). My school was in a in a fairly conservative small town and this was before it was "hot" for girls to be bi- (which is a whole different issue), so it didn't really go over very well.

Thankfully, I soon transferred to a much more progressive school and most of my experiences since then have been much more positive (although people still assume that I am gay or straight based on who I am with at any given time).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

On Being "Crazy"

As an addendum to my last post, I'm really sick of reading/ hearing "well, I don't think of insane or crazy being ableist words and I (or my friend, parent, whatever) have clinical depression." This isn't a topic I've discussed openly much, if ever, so bear with me.

Depression has its own stigma, people who are depressed are thought of as weak, they should "just get over it and be happy," or are told its "just a case of the blues." I don't want to suggest that depression isn't a real disease or minimize it in any way, but it's not the kind of mental illness that people are referring to when they use the word "crazy."

Crazy is something altogether different. Crazy is delusion, psychosis, mania, schizophrenia. Insanity, in the depths of society's psyche, is jabbering in tongues rocking back and forth in a padded room. It can't be trusted. It is the serial killer, the mother who kills her children, the man who laughs while committing the most vile crimes - this is what "crazy" conjures up in the minds of the general public.

This terror, this nightmare looming in the dark places of our collective consciousness is harmful. Incredibly so. It means that people who are not neurotypical are stuck with the paradoxical choice of lying or being mistrusted. Perhaps more importantly, it makes us less likely to seek help when it is needed. It took me years to admit, even to myself, that my brain was fundamentally different than most. Because I didn't want to be crazy.

I still don't. I'm terrified of the psychotic break that I am 30 - 50% more likely than others to have, even though I know that it would probably be manageable if it were to happen. I don't generally share the fact of my mental illness with others, even with those I am close to. Admitting who I am is risking ever being trusted or taken seriously again. The reason for this is "crazy."

Ableism at Feministing


My biggest issue: the use of non-neurotypical status to discredit or dismiss the voices, opinions, and experiences of commenters in other marginalized groups (sex workers, kinksters, trans folk, etc) is unacceptable and needs to be addressed.

I don't know why I even bother to keep reading Feministing, but I just can't seem to help myself. Must be the masochism, or the crazy, or both.