The History and Value of Patronage

Trying something new, you can hear me narrate this post here… while you scan through the pretty pics if you want. YouTube link to my blog post narrations. 

I have two university degrees. My majors for my B.Sc. were biophysical anthropology/forensic chemistry, the other is a Masters in Teaching with a focus on World History. 

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Hard to tell which subject I like more, to be honest. These days, I don’t practice in either field due to health problems and licensure issues from our international move to Canada, but I keep up to date on professional publications for both fields. (Thank goodness for libraries.)

I rambled a bit there because what I really wanted to discuss is how far back the idea of Patronage goes in the arts, and how very important it is. (Every piece of art and every image used on this blog post, except Van Gogh’s, was made possible by patronage, Every. Single. One. So keep that in mind.)

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Patronage as the definition of supporting with cash or other forms of concrete support those creators whose work you value.white-82698_1920

In the past, it was only the very wealthy, the nobles, the kings/queens and the clergy who could do this for artists.pope-1209939_1920

We have records of patronage of the arts going all the way back to feudal Japan, around 1185 a.c.e. So it’s been going on for a long time.

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In medieval Europe, it’s the only way anything got done for the arts, because honestly, it’s damned difficult in today’s day and age to be a creative and still eat and have a roof over one’s head. Back then, it was impossible. Most of the great creators in our history had noble or royal patrons.

Like Leonard Da Vinci. He was a bastard born out of wedlock, and if he hadn’t had patrons from a very young age, we’d never have known his genius.

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Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni  Most often known as Michelangelo had several patrons from an early age. Again, without whom, we’d never have his works.

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino  Better known to most as Raphael is another great who had help with support for his works.

One who didn’t, and I’ll always wonder what he could’ve created if he had… is Vincent Van Gogh.

While there’s no doubt that he had some help from family and friends, I wonder if a more regular patronage may have been of aid in controlling the demons he most definitely struggled with. Can you imagine the wonders that may have come from his brush if he’d been certain he could both eat and afford his paints?

He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, after two years where he couldn’t sell his artwork. Two years where he couldn’t give away a painting for the cost of his dinner. Paintings which now sell for millions of dollars apiece, IF you can find one for sale.

You know, I’ve seen it said a lot lately that this time period of fear and angst and rage in the marginalized communities will equate to beautiful art. I’d really like the idea that the most stunning of art comes from tortured individuals to die in a fire and never raise its ugly head again. Because it just isn’t true.

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As I’ve proven (and could continue to prove with citations) most of the best art we’ve had in the world is because those artists were able to eat, they knew they had a roof over their heads, they had a studio to work in and the materials they needed to do their work.

In short, they had patrons.

The concept that Patreon has come up with, that just a dollar or two a month from a lot of people go to support a creator… it’s revolutionary.

In the past, it was only the rich that could help their favored artists create art, now it’s everyone. We as a culture can support the arts with our spare change. How absolutely amazing is that?

Seriously, I’d like you to stop and think about that for a moment. How mind-blowingly wonderful is it, that for the price of one fast food meal a year (roughly about 12$ here in Canada) you can help a struggling artist have the basics that they need to create art. pizza-2000595_1920

World-shaking, that’s what it really is.

I look forward to so much of the art that people with patrons are going to be able to make. I hope that everyone who can afford it will find someone to support as a patron through patreon, or even through the particular creator’s KoFis or paypal. (trust me, most of us have them, because art takes time and materials, and many of us can’t work traditional jobs for one reason or another.)

It’s so easy, and it could bring wonders to this world the likes of which we haven’t seen.

There are so many creatives out there, so many who educate or write or paint or sing or, or, or, orpick one. Something that speaks to your soul. Something that makes you feel alive.

And help them create.

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Because the only kind of art that comes out of the fear of not being able to pay your bills, or worry that you won’t have a house to live in, or food to eat… that’s the kind of art that comes at the end of a gun. Like poor Van Gogh. There were times in his life when he couldn’t give away one of the paintings we hold so valuable now… for the cost of a meal.

Times when he chose cheap wine (which was cheaper than food in the France he lived in) and his paints over eating a meal.

He chose his art over his health, and eventually he chose to take his life rather than continue to make art in an uncaring world.

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I wonder. What would he have been able to create if the world had cared, just a little bit more.

And I wonder. I wonder which creators out there, right now, are thinking of the same thing Vincent did, because they just can’t make it in a world that doesn’t value art. (oh… we value art, as long as it’s free, which is absolutely shameful… all you have to do is look at how rapidly digital books are pirated for that.)

Whose time is running out?

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As to who I support, I’m broke, so broke I can’t afford dentistry or new glasses. (More on me here) but I still scrape together enough to donate to wikipedia every year, and when I have a little extra in my paypal, I put it in a KoFi for someone so that they can keep creating.

It really doesn’t take a lot to help keep beauty and wonder in our world. I wish everyone could see that.

as always… if you like any of my words, please become one of MY patrons. I need the help, badly.

Buy Me a Coffee

Patreon image.pngPatreon is here

Paypal  and Skrill email addy is kaelan.rhywiol@gmail.com

Help me keep providing content, and you know, eating?

Amazon Wishlist too.

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On Creativity

This is my personal take on creativity, of course. Narrated version is HERE

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I’ve been marveled at a bit in my time for all of the creative things I enjoy doing, have done, and continue to do. (Really wish I could make even a subsistence living on it, and that’s my goal.)

I’ve been an amateur photographer since my first photography class in high school, I think I was sixteen. (Back when we had to use dark rooms and real film!) I took some of these pics yesterday for my account on Shutterstock. Digital photography is a vast improvement on the artform for me.

I do mostly backgrounds, nature shots, I have an eye for light/shadow and finding the unique in the everyday. I don’t usually photograph people, mostly because I know I don’t have the eye for it.

I do graphic design (I have an real University Minor in it and everything, lolz) and cover art for books, media packages and the like. I use a pseudonym for a degree of separation between the name I publish under and the name I do artwork under… (It’s here, if you want to see)

I spin, yes, using a spinning wheel. (I can also use an Andean hand spinner and a drop spindle, I actually started using those.)

I’m currently spinning a black merino, but my favorite things to spin are usually bamboo, alpaca, silk blends, merino, and Tencel. Anything soft, really (except bunny fur, cause I’m allergic.)

I knit, and I don’t have any pics of anything I’ve knit because I usually give them away.

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Obviously, given what I’m trying to achieve with my writing, I’m a writer, and it’s one of those things I’ve been doing for so long as a hobby that I just can’t remember a time when I haven’t been a writer. Trying to make a living at it is a much later development in my life.

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My very first book I wrote in Kindergarten. I colored the cover on upside down. But I guess my parents loved it anyway. It took me a while to really learn to love the written word because I’m dyslexic, but once I did… well, there wasn’t any turning back for me.

I’m an excellent editor, if anything, I’m a better editor than I am a writer, but I love writing, editing has its beauty, but it’s more analytical than creative for me.

I make stone jewelry, beads or chips, wire wrapped stones or wood, that type of thing. I’ve sold quite a few unique pieces. Malas like these I especially love to craft. Each one I’ve made has been a gift, the types of stones chosen to fit the person I made it for.

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I have historical reenactment garments in history museums, and my work has graced the stage. I have made a minimalistic living being a seamstress, but over time, I had to stop sewing because of my fibromyalgia. I still do an occasional stint at it, but it hurts too much, in all honesty, to do it very often.

medieval-276019_1920One of my pieces is a blue silk velvet that looks a lot like this late Tudor.

I’ve done calligraphy and illumination in medieval styles, and my work has been gifted as awards to strangers in historical re-enactment royal courts. king-arthur-1719278_1280

I’ve kept bees, studied aromatherapy and herbalism for going on ten or fifteen years? Maybe more, and I make perfumes, bath salts, candles, hand creams, and the like using those skills.

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I’m a gardener, and before we lost our house this past fall, I had a beautiful garden I’d poured my blood, sweat, and tears into for years.

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Of course, I don’t do all of these things every day, but I do consistently do them. I’ve taught middle eastern dance professionally, I’ve done and taught silk painting using the gutta serti methodology, I’ve learned how to batik cotton… there are so many things I’ve done and learned that I’ll never remember to list them all.

Oh, brewing! I’ve developed a talent at brewing wheat ales that are so delicious they’re hard to stop drinking.

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Creativity just calls to me and feeds my soul.

I cook and bake, my joys in the kitchen are learning new recipes from different countries and cultures to add to my repertoire.noodles-545259_1920.jpg

Something I’ve learned over the four decades I’ve been on the planet is that I need to be creative. I wither in a standard career in corporate, and though I love teaching, teaching to the test sucks the life out of me.

What is the source of all this creativity? I wish I could answer that. I’ve met people who don’t seem to have any of it, while I’ve been blessed with so much that I can’t even come close to listing all the things I’ve learned how to do. I’ve met those who are happy with one hobby, and wondered how they can focus on only the one?

I find inspiration in everything around me, on the days my fibromyalgia lets me, I wander woods and fields with my kids collecting herbs and barks and photographs. The herbs and barks we use for dying things, (yep, I do that too).

The photographs, I use for whatever I can.

I think it’s like that for a lot of creative folks, the writers, the singers, the artists, the entertainers. We bleed creativity and exude it in our very breaths.

I know without it, some daily expression of it, I can quickly slide into anxiety and depression, and I suppose this habit of creativity is a form of therapy or medication.

Ancient cultures may have called one such as me gods-touched, or a healer, a shaman or a druid. I don’t lay claim to any titles, but I do sincerely believe that our culture (our human culture, and the various, diverse patchwork pieces that it’s made up of) needs our creatives.

We need our entertainers, our gods-blessed people, for we are the ones who see past the here and now, to the maybe and when. To the IF.

We are the dreamers.

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Here’s the thing, though. Dreamers still need to eat. Here’s why I need the help… but, if you can and anything I do has value to you…

Buy Me a Coffee

Patreon image.pngPatreon is here

and Paypal  and Skrill email addy is kaelan.rhywiol@gmail.com

Help me keep providing content, and you know, eating?

Amazon Wishlist too.

1$/month 12$/year from 1000 people and I’d have enough to keep going and doing what I love. To keep dreaming.

Cover Reveal! SHE WANTS IT ALL by Jessica Calla

Cover Reveal! SHE WANTS IT ALL (Book 3, Sheridan Hall Series)

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Author: Jessica Calla

Genre: NA Romance

Release Date: May 16, 2017

Publisher: BookFish Books

Cover Designer: Anita B. Carroll, Race-Point US

About the Book…

Happy to sing cover songs with his band and float through New Jersey University with little to no effort, Dave Novak spends the first week of college partying. Then he meets Maggie Patrinski. Performing on stage in front of hundreds is easy for Dave, but the mere thought of Maggie sends his heart racing and turns him into a bumbling idiot. Even so, he can’t get her out of his mind.

Maggie’s not exactly thrilled when her roommate sets her up with Second Floor Dave, the hottie with a reputation. Not only has she just had her heart broken, but she’s vying for a competitive summer internship and studying to become a vet. She doesn’t have time for guys and isn’t interested in falling in love, especially when she may be moving across the country for the summer.

But as Maggie gets to know Dave, his charm wins her over and she falls hard and fast. The problem? Maggie has goals, Dave doesn’t. Maggie studies, Dave doesn’t. Maggie wants it all, Dave only wants her. With their summer plans up in the air and past mistakes creeping back into their lives, their future together is uncertain. The only thing they’re sure of is that when they’re together, they’re better.

Other Books in the Sheridan Hall Series…

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SHE LAUGHS IN PINK (Book 1, Sheridan Hall Series)

https://www.amazon.com/Laughs-Pink-Sheridan-Hall-Book-ebook/dp/B01D1XC96A/

SHE RUNS AWAY (Book 2, Sheridan Hall Series)

https://www.amazon.com/Runs-Away-Sheridan-Hall-Book-ebook/dp/B01KIS5BKC/

About the Author…

Author Pic She Laughs in Pink Jessica Calla

Jessica Calla is a contemporary romance, new adult, and women’s fiction author who moonlights during the day as an attorney. If she’s not writing, lawyering, or parenting, you’ll most likely find her at the movies, scrolling through her Twitter feed, or gulping down various forms of caffeine (sometimes all three at once).

Jessica is a member of Romance Writers of America, involved in the Contemporary, Young Adult, and New Jersey Chapters, and is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. A Jersey girl through and through, she resides in the central part of the state with her husband, two sons, and dog.

Where to Find Jess…

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jess_calla

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jessica-Calla-Author-1658471457735204/?fref=ts

Website: http://www.jessicacalla.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33874425-she-wants-it-all?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway…

Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6d6904f26/

Aro/Ace

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Narrated version here

I’m an Ace/Aro writer, so I should write words about this, yeah?

I want to. The emotions are there.

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Yet it’s an incredibly un-fucking-comfy thing to talk about.

Some threads.

Mine

and others

Wait, wait, I know what you may be thinking, Kae, you write different stripes of romance, don’t’cha?

 

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Yup.

 

 

 

 

Some definitions for Asexuality, which has far less scientific research than it needs.

Wiki Asexuality

Asexuality.org

The excerpts from this TIME book blurb (so much YES, for me, personally on this one)

I dislike the format, but the INFO is good here, PSYCH TODAY, OUR BODIES OURSELVES

Aromantic Wiki

Finding fiction words are so much easier for me than discussing anything resembling my real life. But. Here goes.

My first kiss… I was 12,

dolphin-1974975_1920.jpga reasonable enough age for the time and place, it excited me as a milestone… cause I’d been reading ’70s era romance (If you haven’t, don’t, it’s a feminist, racist nightmare). But it didn’t excite me, if you get my drift.

Between my monthly visits to the book mobile (lol, yeah, I’m old enough that the internet didn’t exist and to get books we went to the traveling library on wheels instead of the actual library because we lived too far away) the only things I had to read were either mom’s romance, dad’s dry as fuck civil war histories or the Encyclopedia Brittanica… wait, Oxford Dictionary, book-1850739_1920which I’d read by the time I’d turned 9.

 

While I really enjoyed reading (page by page, I’m totally serious) the Encyclopedia Brittanica, library-488678_1920and the Dictionary, and the thesaurus too, come to think of it (what? I was a special kind of kid) and I enjoyed reading the romance… it left some rather strange ideas in my head.

Things like, well… of course, you’ll like and want to have sex.

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I just can’t get over the expression on the deer’s face. It’s hilarious! But that said, yeah, it’s kind of how I feel about this overwhelming assumption that 99.9% of society has that well… OF COURSE… you’ll like and want to have sex, love and romantic relationships, I mean, who DOESN’T???? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

owl-158411_1280Um. Me?

Lot’s of people LIKE me?

Backing up a little, I’m demisexual, which is a sub-set of asexuality. I use the term asexual more often than demisexual because it’s slightly more recognizable, and it’s not incorrect. Just not as specific.

So for me, personally, given the right emotional connection to someone, I can and do enjoy sex.

TMI? Just wait.

Did you know that Merriam-Webster as of the time I’m writing this post doesn’t have an accurate definition of aromantic or asexual as per human sexual identification? They have the biological term, they have ‘lacking sexual relationship’ (which really isn’t accurate for many of us), and nothing that I can find under aromantic. There’s been rather a lot of public outcry on this of late, and I’m hoping they change it… but, shrugs.

You can check their current responses here…

To put it bluntly. It’s erasure. Even though I’ve only understood that there IS an actual definition for my life experiences in regards to sex… for, maybe a bit over a year or so?

I’m getting sick of being erased.

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And it’s everywhere.

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Popular TV

Music

Watercooler talk

Social media

Novels, especially romance novels (which, I really love to read and write, because while I don’t feel romantically inclined in real life, within the pages of fiction, it’s really nice.)

Our families, our world, it’s everywhere. An asexual can’t go or do or see anything without being reminded that we’re different. That the rest of the world… if it doesn’t actively think we’re wrong, or that there’s something wrong WITH us…

they forget about us. YOU, forget about us.

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It’s in all the little patterns of speech that we hear, from the time we’re little… the micro-aggressions.

Just a few that come to my mind…

You’ll want a husband someday.

Well of COURSE you’ll want sex, it’s, it’s… normal!

It’s just a phase you’re going through because you broke up with someone, plenty of fish in the sea.

I think I was maybe 11 when my mom and one of her cousins were visiting while we kids played, they were listening to a song with one of the lyrics as ‘love makes the world go round’… I honestly didn’t understand it, and when I expressed that I’d be quite happy without a relationship, my family laughed at me. Uproariously.

Except, I could be. Now don’t get your panties in a wad, that’d be uncomfortable. Yes, I’m married to a man I’ve loved for over 19 years. Yes, I’m quite happy that fate thwapped me upside the head with a board and I actually did fall in love with someone.

But I wasn’t looking for it, and it came as a HUGE shock when it lightning-880154_1280happened. I was single, wasn’t really interested in romance, like, not at all. I just didn’t get it.heart-1976653_1280(never really have been interested in romance in any way other than fiction), or in sex. Sex with people just didn’t seem to do it for me, and it never had until I met my husband. I tried so many things, thinking that maybe this time, it’d work and I’d feel ‘normal’. (I’ve really learned to loathe the word normal… just saying.)

Lol, that makes me sound like I had relationships with non-humans. Nope, not that either.

Asexuals/aromantics can still feel sexual impulses, we can still desire orgasm and masturbation… depending on where exactly you fall under the umbrella of asexuality. umbrella-1986924_1920.jpgSo… yeah, books and toys. I’ll stop there cause this is really going too far with the TMI.

But it’s important that if you don’t know about asexuality that you know we’re all people, and we all express in different ways.

dancing-156041_1280.pngThere are asexuals/aromantics who don’t want sex ever, and who don’t feel sexual desire AT ALL. And that’s okay.

There are asexuals/aromantics who are interested in romantic fiction and have toy collections to rival the stag shop. And that’s okay.

deer-1982416_1280  Oops, wrong stag. (Not really, I just think I’m hilarious.)

There are asexuals/aromantics who want to live in an intimate relationship which doesn’t include sex. And that’s okay, too.

There are aromantics who ONLY want sex, no relationship, nothing… I mean… look at the existence of the Tinder app for proof of that. And that’s okay, too.

There are all kinds of asexuality and aromanticism, and we’ve existed from the dawn of time.

evolution-296584_1280.pngWe aren’t new. What is newer are words to express who and what we are, how we feel. Ways that we can identify, to ourselves and to others.

Words that everyone needs to know and understand.

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‘Cause, even as an adult with more than a little understanding of life, it still hurts to be utterly erased by everything around you.

 

 

rodeo-720779_1280The assumption that just because I find a girl or a guy gorgeous that I’d want to ride-that-ride.

 

 

 

 

That I’ll be ‘complete’ only if I’m in a loving/sexual relationship.

eyeball-155174_1280Seriously??

That I’m wrong or abnormal because I’m not passionately searching for relationships and sex and all the other things that seem to make up a lot of society. (We’re polyamorous, so being married doesn’t preclude that for us.) wedding-443600_1280

You know, when I was a kid, reading those terrible romances (okay, they weren’t ALL terrible, but a lot of them really were.)love-164338_1280.jpg

It would’ve been amazing to see asexuality mentioned… anywhere.

It would’ve been eye opening to see the massive amount of diversity that exists just under the ‘asexual’ umbrella, so that I’d know I wasn’t made wrong.

It would’ve been thrilling, downright awesome to read about a demi-sexual girl or boy during my formative years when I was being pressured by my then boyfriend, who I didn’t love, to have sex. I detailed more about that here…

That’s why we as adults need to be always growing and learning about… well, everything really, but especially this, we’re raising the next generation of asexuals and aromantics now.child-817369_1920.jpg

I, for one, want them to see themselves everywhere, so they know they aren’t alone. That they aren’t broken. If we’re not doing that in our fiction, our music, our social media, the way we speak, our television…

Then we’re helping them feel broken…

In fact. We’re breaking them.

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If you like my content, please consider helping me out by becoming a patron, buying me a coffee or tossing a buck or two my way via Paypal? Sadly, this blog will go away the day I start working out of the house. I detail why I really need the help here…

Buy Me a Coffee

Patreon image.pngPatreon is here

and Paypal  email addy is kaelan.rhywiol@gmail.com

Help me keep providing content, and you know, eating?

Amazon Wishlist too.

 

Shell-shocked

I have PTSD. Can’t remember if I’ve ever talked about it, but yeah.

I’m also a recovered cutter. That’s someone who cuts themselves because reasons.

I’ve had clinical depression.

I have anxiety.

I’m autistic.

I have fibromyalgia.

I lost my younger brother to heroin overdose 3 years ago. MOTHMEN is soooo own voices in regards to sibling death.

and I absolutely cannot take another second of the bullshit on my blog. I just want to write books.

I could delete all the comments, but I feel, somehow, that it’s disingenuous. Besides, they’ve been screenshot already.

I do not have a moral obligation to anyone except my family of choice.

I live in North America, Canada, and until Frump manages to repeal internet freedom, I have the right and ability to follow and unfollow, based on my own judgment and preferences whomever I want to on twitter.

It’s 4am here, and I’m sitting here wondering if a person in another country that I’ve chosen to unfollow on social media can sue me for things other people have said on my blog.

I just…

My brain is echoing with static and I’m covered in a cold sweat from a panic attack. I just…

All I want out of life is enough patrons helping with a buck or three a month to keep me writing until I can manage to make it pay.

All I want is to write books, my experience of intersectional diversity and to speak out against bullying.

I figured I’d take some heat from the blog posts about bullying, I’m good with that, because I know my turf there.

I didn’t expect this shitstorm about something I wasn’t even involved in.

Yeah, shell-shocked… PTSD trigger…

 

 

 

 

Pretending

Narrated version here

Just so y’all know, I had a completely different blog post planned for today, it had dead bodies in it, and why I stopped being a crime scene tech,

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but then some things happened. You can catch up here, if you want…

Or not. Basically, I’ve been accused, twice in one week, by anonymous strangers of pretending to be something I’m not.

Specifically, I’ve been accused of pretending to be WoC/PoC.

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Firstly. To be entirely clear, I’ve never claimed I’m PoC. I’ve said, repeatedly, that I’m PASSING PoC. I’m white-coded. I LOOK white. (I’m not, I’m mixed-race.)

There’s a difference there. The difference being that I don’t suffer the massive amount of prejudice and reprehensible behavior that anyone with a darker skin deals with on a moment-to-moment basis. I don’t go to bed afraid simply because my skin is dark, and I don’t worry about sending my son out into the world, worry that I won’t ever see him alive again because he has dark skin. (I worry for many other reasons, but by a fluke of weird genetics, I don’t have to worry for those reasons.)

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It’s difficult to find and own your identity when you’re passing. When the world codes you as something you aren’t. When you know you have privilege and don’t get anywhere near the amount of hassle others with similar heritage get.

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I know how many relatives of different races/darker skins I have, I’ve felt in the past twenty-four hours that maybe I should just post my ancestry files and my DNA test and my dental records to prove that I am descended from the people I say I am (all the people, including the Europeans I look like).

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But why should I have to prove my own identity? I know who I am, most of the time, sometimes I wonder if I’m SANE pursuing writing as a career, but… aside from that, I know my people. (Lol, I may not talk to 90% of them anymore, but I do know who they are and what they look like.)

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Oh, right… cause it hurts like fuck to be told that you’re pretending to be something you’re not. Last week, I had two separate encounters with people doing exactly that.

Someone from a different tribe called me white-eyes when I argued for Standing Rock and against DaPL. If you don’t know, that’s a racial and cultural slur directed at colonial oppressors of European descent. It’s used in a similar method as the N word is to black people.

I also had someone tell me that “you may call yourself PoC, but honey, you’re pretending’.

So, let’s look at that, shall we?

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Definition of pretend

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1:  to give a false appearance of being, possessing, or performing pretend to be a psychiatrist>

  3. 2a :  to make believe :  feign pretended deafness>b :  to claim, represent, or assert falsely <pretending an emotion he could not really feel>

  4. 3archaic :  venture, undertake

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1:  to feign an action, part, or role especially in play

  7. 2:  to put in a claim pretend to any particular expertise — Clive Barnes>


So here’s the thing.

IF I were pretending, anything at all, wouldn’t I be pretending to be cis-heterosexual-white-christian-abled?

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Instead of claiming that I’m genderqueer-pansexual-mixed race-pagan-disabled?

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What would motivate someone to pretend?

Humans are innately self-centered, we just are. I mean, many of us learn to do things for others that have no actual benefit to ourselves, thank goodness, but when we’re born, we’re incredibly self-centered just so we can survive. Ask any sleep-deprived parent.

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Some people never grow past that self-centered motivation.

So, what in the name of all the gods would it benefit me–in the current world–to pretend to be things I’m not?coexist-1211709

To be frank and open about my mixed heritage, and more, the pain I feel on a regular basis because I never quite fit in anywhere?

Saying I’m passing PoC/white-coded isn’t gonna get me published, only my writing, perseverance and a whole heaping bucket of luck is gonna do that. If anything, my honesty about my mixed ethnicity is a mark against my hopes for traditional publishing, even with the strong push for diversity we’re seeing.

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It certainly hasn’t gotten me anything but more pain from both the PoC community AND the non-PoC community.

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But you know, I do have two First Nations grandfathers from different tribes, I have a black/FN grandfather, and a Danish one, I have an English/Irish grandmother, and an Egyptian GGGgrandmother. I have slaves AND slave owners in my family tree. I have a Slovakian branch of the family, a Russian one, Polish and Swedish too, and I have a Portuguese Ggrandfather. My family were immigrants, they went all sorts of places before my closest ones landed here on North America, or they were indigenous to North America.

And I’m not going to pretend they don’t exist, that they didn’t have their own struggles and joys in life simply to make it easier for someone else to pigeon hole me. No matter how much pain it brings to me to hear that I’m pretending. (and you know what? That fucking hurt… still waiting on that apology by the way… not holding my breath of course).

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Being honest about the fact that I’m pansexual isn’t gonna help me get published either. Nor sharing my struggles with being disabled. Having an asperger’s brain only helps me in publishing because I remember exactly which agents responded, which ones didn’t and which ones did it nicely.

Guess which ones get first crack at all my work from now on?

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You know where I do pretend? Real. Life.

I smile and pretend to understand the social interactions going on around me quite frequently, because I don’t want to be ostracized.

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I nod and smile at people through gritted teeth walking up this beastly switch back hill to get my kids from school every day, because I don’t want anyone to know exactly how much it hurts to walk that fucking hill.

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I used to pretend to listen to some of my family’s bullshit, kinda glad I don’t pretend that anymore, though it’d be nice if they got their heads out of their asses.donkey-310798_1280

I pretend one hell-of-a-lot more in real life than I ever do online.

Part of my ability to be free online is that I write under a pseudonym, I do that to protect my kids (I write about kink and I’m outspoken about a lot of things, it seemed prudent and I’m glad I do with the amount of death threats I get) and because I really don’t like my given name.

eyes-304338_1280(I mean, seriously, I’m named after a soap opera actress and it was the MOST common name in my school, there were six kids with my name in a class of 30, I don’t like my name, so I don’t even use it IRL except on legal paperwork, I use a nickname.)

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Other than that? I’m not pretending shit.

I’m me, and if that’s not enough, or too much for people who want to put me in a neat little box… well, their loss.

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Oh… and have a kitten pic.

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Didn’t need that

I didn’t need that kind of pain tonight. It’s already hard enough to figure out my own identity without you telling me I’m pretending. We have wonderful voices like Meleika, tweeting and telling us that we’re enough, that we’re whole, that we’re loved and accepted as being mixed race. This is referencing this comment here on my blog.

Then we have people like you, who tell people like me we’re ‘pretending’.

And you know? You’re the second, nameless, faceless person to do this to me in one week.

And if people are talking about me behind my back? Gods, what are we, in high school?

For the record, I hated high school.

If people are talking about me behind my back, maybe they need to put on their big-girl panties and talk to me privately, with a name attached to their account (since obviously they can’t be bothered to claim their words publicly) and possibly provide proof to their claims.

You hurt me honey, but since I’m not PoC enough for you, I’m not a ‘person’ enough for you, I guess I have to suck it up and deal with the pain.

S’okay, I’m good at dealing with pain. I’ve got lots, I’m used to it.

You just added a little bit more.