alias_sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
A piece of paper came out of my notebook around here, so I'm not 100% sure where one panel ends and the next begins.

Everyone Games: Creating Inclusive Gaming Communities
Ethan Lesh [Founder, Melbourne Gaymers], Alice Clarke [Diversity Lounge Co-Curator, PAX], Joshua Meadows [Co-Organiser, Sydney Gaymers], Jayden Williams [Writer, MMGN], Ashley Zeldin [Independent Developer, Adorkable Games/IGDA Los Angeles]
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: Dagna from Dragon Age reaching for a book (dagna)
Back! Had a great time! VERY TIRED! So for now here's some stuff from random fliers I want to record before I lose the bits of paper.

From the Diversity Lounge:

Victorian Bi Alliance Played a cool game of cards with these guys, and let another biromantic ace type know she wasn't entirely alone :) They have general online stuff I mean to look into.

Gaymers.com.au Has a Perth branch??

From the Indie Pavillion:

Influent Vaguely interesting looking language learning game

Appointment with Fear Visual novel/kinetic superhero comic thing, looked interesting!

Boy Goes To Space Atmospheric looking minimalist story

Bonza WORD PUZZLE GAME. The only game in the pavillion I actually got excited about :)
alias_sqbr: (up and down)
Written mostly for other confused people so they can compare notes and feel less weird for not figuring this stuff out the moment they hit puberty :) Some stuff about being grey Asexual in there too.

Dates are fuzzy because who can remember this sort of thing. My sexuality tag makes for an interesting timeline of my attitudes before and after coming out.

Vague discussions of sex and mental illness, mention of abuse )
alias_sqbr: Zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
Last one! I put all the remaining serious-ish topics together. Homestuck panel notes to appear once I have them tidied up!

EDIT: Do not trust the recs. They are a VERY mixed bag.

Queer women in sff )
Happy Queer Sff )
Gender Ambiguity in pop culture )
Why we like misery and violence in fiction )
Matriarchies )
alias_sqbr: Zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
So! I just came from Swancon. It was great! I may write some more coherent personal thoughts later, but plausibly not cos I don't have much interesting to say. What I do have are COPIOUS NOTES. So let's get started.

Queerbaiting )Favourite Comics )Magic Systems )
alias_sqbr: (bookdragon)
"Dykes to watch out for" by Alison Bechdel not only passes the Bechdel test, it invented it.
You can read some of it online but I got "The Essential Dykes to Watch out for" out the library and it was great reading all 27 years of it in one continuous remarkably consistent story.

It's the story of a group of friends in the lesbian community of an American town, and is a mixture of soap opera, humour, and political commentary. The characters grow and change and by the end cover a range of ages, genders, sexualities, identities, ethnicities, religions, political affiliations and nationalities (plus one of them is disabled. Not sure what the term for that would be :)) This sometimes feels a little tokenistic but overall what I love about the comic is that everyone is written with affection, even the *gasp* straight, male and republican characters.

The way the characters rant about the politics of the day as a way to avoid dealing with their more mundane problems reminds me of my family, though it's depressing seeing rants about George Bush and the Iraq war and the possibility of gay marriage from the early 90s and knowing how long things took to get even slightly better.

It's also a little geeky here and there. One of the later characters is a teenager who is OBSESSED with Harry Potter, from an blog official blog post called "Some Fanfic" I came across this adorable piece of fanart of her..and the fanartist turns out to have done Monstrous Regiment femslash and fancomics, yay!

Bechdel has also written a really good autobiographical graphic novel "Fun Home".
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (default icon)
So I was woken out of bed at 11pm by a plot bunny, and in my search for a bit of paper found the rest of my notes for The Trouble with Normal.

And here they are:
There is no sex/love dichotomy. Pretty much everyone is in favour of both sex and love, under the right circumstances. Yes, even fundamentalist christians and prostitutes (respectively).

Members of oppressed groups are divided into "good" and "bad".

Good: conventional, don't rock the boat, polite, asks for small easy changes, express appreciation for status quo
Bad: unconventional, make people uncomfortable

The subtext is: Being in group X is inherently bad, but some members manange to transcend this by being good in all other ways. EDIT: Obviously this is only bad if being in group X is not inherently bad eg as in the original example of queerness. See comments.

It's important to distinguish this from simply dividing people up into good and bad people by a measure genuinely unrelated to Xness. (Assuming you do so objectively and fairly)

Normally I don't post at such an absurd hour, but it's just typing stuff I wrote up already.
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] sanguinity has recced me a bunch of books recently, and the first I've finished is The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life by Michael Warner.

Overall I enjoyed this book, it was informative and readable and made me think which is all you can really ask for. I wrote up some notes as I went but keep feeling too sleepy to write them out properly, so instead you get vague meandering thoughts. Or you could just read the Wikipedia article :)
vague meandering thoughts )
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ithiliana made a locked post(*) asking her flist what GLBT people wish was better known by their peers at uni, and what straight people wish they'd known at uni. I found this a really interesting question, since by uni most people have gotten past the basic "Gay people exist and aren't evil" stage. EDIT: I haven't included stuff on non-monogamous relationships and other misunderstood aspects of sexuality like S&M etc since that wasn't part of the original post. Feel free to discuss them in the comments anyway :)

So, this is my answer, including stuff I've seen other people get consistently wrong:
Read more... )
So what do you guys think?
EDIT: I'm not going to correct this post since I'd be rewriting it forever and I think it acts an interesting snapshot into the brain of a well meaning but somewhat clueless straight person. But it's definitely flawed, and there's lots of important additions and discussion in the comments.

(*)to keep answers private, she said it was ok to mention it existed
(**)Well, not for straight people, anyway :)
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
Seeing as I know very little of history, let alone gay history, I've been doing a fair bit of research for my story.

All the histories of lesbianism I could find basically said "First there was Sappho, then we don't know very much, then there was the late 19th century, etc". Via [livejournal.com profile] nico_wolfwood however I came across Anne Lister and from there absolutely adorable story of The Ladies of Llangollen.

A pair of pretty young anglo-irish heiresses they fell in love in their teens, ran away together to Wales, and stayed in a big rambling strange old house until they died in their 80s. They became famous for their life-choice and lots of people came to meet them, after they died their house stayed a local attraction. In this 1840s book there's lots of quotes from various contemporaries about how they're odd but charming. They do tend to be a bit condescending, but personally I'd rather have people think I was cute than chase after me with pitchforks.

Also I've been listening to the History of Information podcast, about how the american postal service was originally meant as a way of cheaply delivering newspapers (and thus keeping the scattered population informed) Actual letters were just seen as a way of subsidising this, and thus were charged at a days wage per page. So people sent newspapers with coded messages encoded in them, by doodling "random" images or poking teeny holes in the letters etc, until the government gave in and made everything cost the same to post :)
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
So, we have group X. They have a cause (sexism, racism, the environment etc). You support this cause in principle, but don't like the way they pursue it. That's fine, but there are certain arguments which result from this situation which come up again and again and I thought I'd address them here. I've been pondering it for a while but this was a big "inspiration" :/

Note that if you do have a problem with that cause then that's a different thing, though then you still have to be careful not to conflate the medium with the message so the arguments below are still problematic. In fact a lot of the time I think people use these arguments (especially the last) to mask the fact that they don't want to support group X, but aren't willing to say that due to peer pressure or not having any rational argument beyond "It's hard" or "it makes me uncomfortable".

They're just not nice )
It's in their own best interests to be nice )
They have a moral obligation to be nice )
If they're not nice I'm justified in ignoring their cause, maybe even actively opposing it )
Links )
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
I don't believe in fate, but enough "random" things have happened to point me to posting about trans* issues that I'm going to give in to destiny :)

It's the transgender day of remembrance, a day made necessary by the horrible numbers of trans* people killed just for not being cisgendered. See also this list of participating webcomics.

Also, to (afaict unrelated, though one led me to the other) articles about trans* issues I read in the last few days: Describing the "always was" gender-swap fics, on "gender-swap" fanfic which fetishes trans* issues in a shallow and exploitative way, and Rethinking Sexism: How Trans Women Challenge Feminism, on the various attitudes to trans* people in the feminist movement, from "Gender is a social construct, you're just a guy in a dress", to "It's cool when people transgress gender boundaries. So why are you wearing a dress? Be all cool and ambiguous!" etc. Some lovely examples of these attitudes can be seen in the comments :/

Thinking about it, I guess (as is so often the case with prejudice) the issue in a lot of cases is that trans people are not seen as people. Their feelings and experiences are not considered or understood, they're instead punished or praised based on whether or not they fit a given person's ideology. (Sorry, that wasn't very deep, I'm pretty sleepy. But if I wait until tomorrow it won't be the right day!)
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
I know this is old news (I saw a vague reference to this on a [livejournal.com profile] metaquotes discussion and googled it), but I just found it really bizarre seeing an ad actively promoting homophobia. I guess it hadn't really sunk in that that's what people were doing.

Yes on 8 TV Ad: Everything To Do With Schools
I imagine the others are just as bad but that was enough for me.

Am I the only heterosexual person who would have no problem with my kids reading gay fairytales? Then again, when I was a kid we used to play pretend at being lesbians(*) so, you know... :D

(*)I'm trying to think of a way to make this sound less weird, but in retrospect, it was pretty weird. Ironically, the only boy we let play is the only one of us who ended up actually being gay, afaict. See! No harm done!
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
There's been a bunch of discussion about Prop 8 (to ban gay marriage) in California on my flist recently. Now, not being californian or even american it's not something I have much specific to say on but it got me thinking.

First, some links:Read more... )
And now some thoughts on abolishing gender )
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
Copy this sentence into your livejournal if you're in a heterosexual marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
Having finished my Phd and had some time for my brain to bounce back, I've been filling my brain with lots of different things, including history. The thing is, I find most history books to be either too dry and technical for my not-so-arty brain, or very conventional and uninteresting: all about the lives of kings and other rich white men, and tending to uncritically regurgitate the traditional and nostalgic ideas people already have with just a few glosses of extra facts. I think the desire to try to fit morally grey people like bushrangers and colonists into neat little good guy/bad guy boxes is one of the reasons I find my own country's history so unbearably dull.

One solution to this is to seek out histories which are explicitly from a more non-conventional viewpoint. Tony Robinson is about the only tv historian I can think of who does this, mainly with the lower classes, ie with his Worst jobs in history.

Beneath the cut: a synopsis of what I've found so far, including "The Homosexual History of Australia", "Damned Whores and Gods Police: the history of women in australia" and "Understanding Deaf Culture".
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (default icon)
So, I've been thinking for quite a while about writing a "Why I'm an antiracist" post along the lines of my why I'm a feminist one. Partly to explain because people have asked, and also to get it straight in my head.

Some of the reasons are reasonably straight-forward and reasonable1, but I had a rather unpleasant epiphany about it today. Namely, I think one of the reasons I focus on race in particular, instead of other "-isms" I'm not personally oppressed by like homophobia, is because in some ways it's easy.

In which I poke at my brain and am dismayed at what I find )
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
So, gay marriage is slowly making ground in America. Good for them, I say.

Now most of the people I've seen say anything against it are homophobic conservatives, and their arguments aren't worth even mentioning. But another objection (which I found difficult to understand at first but have gained more sympathy for the more I think about it) is that expanding the definition of marriage to include gay couples ignores the larger problem with their society (and ours too) focussing so much on "marriage" and ignoring more complicated partnerships, ie the law tends to assume that spouse = coparent = romantic partner = next of kin = co-owner of house etc.

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the best thing to do would be to remove "marriage" as a legal state and have various legal partnerships/relationships to do with next of kin, sharing of assets, childrearing etc, with the default being the same as the current legal marriage. What do people think? Am I missing something? I was inspired by the posts Why this queer isn’t celebrating and intersectionality and the stickiness of it all.

(nb the first question is just for calibration purposes :))

[Poll #1206670]

I realise this may seem like an odd position for me to take given that I'm in pretty much 100% mainstream marriage myself, but the fact that it happens to be the right thing for us doesn't mean I think everyone should be shoehorned into it.

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