Why pronouns?

I’ve been having thinky thoughts about my gender lately.

I’ve always been ‘okay’ with using she/her, but lately (For the past year really, I take my time with decisions, part of my autistic nature) I’ve been wondering why that’s been the case?

I think it’s because I’ve always been called she/her/girl.

I think it’s also part of a mid-life re-evaluation of myself that has been going on for me.

Ms and Miss and Mrs have always irritated the living fuck out of me. I have hated those terms applied to me like one would hate being forced to wear a hair shirt.

When I was around four or five, I asked my mom when I’d get a penis, because I wanted one. She laughed at me so hard I never asked again.

I’ve always loathed pink, like… with a freaking passion, it’s only as an adult that I’ve learned to like a few shades of it. It’s not likely to ever be a favorite color for me.

Dresses and heels, can we talk about those? Um. Yeah, they aren’t for me. I like broomstick skirts cause they’re cool in the heat and I have curves so shorts never look good on me, but just to buy a dress to wear because I like dresses? Erm. I can’t think of a time when I’ve ever done that.

I almost have to twist my own arm to go buy a fancy dress for something that requires me to wear one, (like a wedding).

I love being a mom, but I’ve never felt like a girl. A lot of my hobbies are decidedly ‘male gendered’.

I looooove muscle cars, as in utterly adore them. I’d own one if I could. I love motorcycles too, (I’m a Harley person in case you’re curious).

I dress very androgynously, my favorite outfits are beaten up jeans that fit, flip flops or combat boots and a loose fitting shirt or a muscle shirt.

Decidedly non-feminine.

Except that I love getting mani-pedis and I wear my hair long. (Undercut at the back and sides, but long on top) I love make-up, even though I’m horribly unskilled in its application.

I loathe the trend of shaving/waxing for females as a matter of course, but I like to shave my legs in the summer, not for looks, but because I like the way it feels.

If I were to wear what I *want* to wear as a dress up? It’d be a suit vest, well tailored slacks and a dress shirt. Not sure about a tie, I’ve never tried one, so I don’t know if it works for me.

So… gender. I’ve decided to give myself permission to claim the terms AFAB (assigned female at birth, cause yeah, technically I have girl parts and there is no way on earth I’m ever going to be mistaken for male, not with my curves) and NB, non-binary. These things fit me so well I’m kind of sitting here wondering why it took me so long to realize their veracity. I’ve used the term genderqueer for over a decade, so I guess the leap isn’t that large of one.

I’ve decided that it’s okay for me to use the XIE/XEM/XYR pronouns, because they fit the real me better than she/her.

I doubt I’ll correct anyone who misgenders me in real life, it, like a lot of ways that I pass, are just too much of a fight for me most days. I don’t have the spoons to fight being white-coded, or passing as non-autistic, I doubt I’ll have the spoons to fight being misgendered either.

Online though? Yeah, I need it to be clear that I want my pronouns respected every bit as much as I try my best to respect others.

It’s absolutely amazing to me how free this decision has made me feel. I can’t even find words (and me a writer!) to express the depth of emotion claiming these terms and pronouns for myself makes me.

The closest I can come to is Joy.

 

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Survivor’s guilt

I rather have more than my share of it.

Definition of Survivor Guilt

So I recognize it, when it shows up.

I have it now, at the end of the week in which the GOP run House laughed, and had beer delivered to the Whitehouse to celebrate their vote to strip over 24 million people from the country of my birth of basic health care.

Democrats celebrated too, because their party received massive donations in the wake of the vote.

People celebrating, for whatever reason, because people will die from this action. I was going to link some articles and think pieces on that, but honestly? Click over to twitter and look at this hashtag

#IAmAPreexistingCondition

People can tell it better than I can.

I’m afraid to go see if the vote passed the Senate. I’m… honestly afraid to go look. I hope it didn’t, but it’s going to make me feel even worse if it did.

See… for completely unrelated reasons, our blended international family moved to the other nation we can call home about 5 years ago (closer to 6 now) and even though I’m American… even though *I’d* be one of the ‘pre-existing conditions’ folks who would lose their health care…

I have health care. (Or I will soon, immigration stuff being what it is.)

So. Yeah.

I feel guilty as hell about that. We didn’t move to Canada for the health care (it honestly isn’t perfect, there are HUGE issues with it). But it exists, and there isn’t to my knowledge a question of whether it should or not. It’s sort of viewed as an ‘well, of COURSE healthcare is important!’ situation.

There isn’t an entire party of politicians AND THE PEOPLE WHO ELECTED THEM INTO POWER (’cause you voted them in? You caused this, don’t like that? Do something about it) trying to get rid of it.

For why?

I don’t know, I don’t understand why getting rid of healthcare is a good idea to ANYONE.

Yes, I know it’s not everyone.

I’m in such an odd place emotionally about my birth country. I have never, ever, been more ashamed of my government (considering I’m mixed race, trust me, I’ve been ashamed). I’ve also never been more proud of so many Americans who fight, who resist, who march, and call their reps, and who continually pull their weights in a very difficult fight.

I’ve rarely had more disgust than when I hear people saying they vote their conscious… really?

REALLY?

A lot of the people who say that are Christian. Is this what you thought would happen? (I’ve spoken to several people who voted for Frump out of their beliefs… I have issues with that, emotion needs to be removed from voting, faith has NO place in government, but I digress.) So, I’d ask those who say that now.

Would your savior have been happy at all the people who are going to die if that act passes the Senate (if it hasn’t already).

Or would your Jesus be as appalled as I am?

Next I’d ask, what are you doing about it?

I don’t know… I’ve rambled more than I intended with this. Speaks to the state of my mind and emotions about it all.

I just don’t get it.

My Brother

Content Warning: Suicide, Death of a sibling, Self-harm, Drug addiction.

What makes someone a brother, anyway? Is it blood? How much time you spend with someone? Familial ties? Or who they are to you?

We had all of that. Blood, time, familial ties, memories… he was so much to me. I don’t even know if he knew how important he was to me. Like every young fool, I never said it in the moment. I thought we’d have time. Then life happened.

He was my brother, that’s all that matters, especially now that he’s gone.

Three years ago today, it’s 12:51 AM, May 1, 2017. He died early in the morning, before dawn, three years ago today.

He was a couple of years younger than me, and when we were kids, it was me who stood up to the bullies when they came after us. At least until he got stronger than me. Gods, so many times we were like two peas in a pod. Together every second.

He was pretty for a boy, always was, even when he grew up.

Even when he was hooked and dealing, he was still pretty. He had brown eyes and Seelie brown hair, skin a few shades darker than mine at its darkest. (I’m one of those mixed-race folks who don’t look it unless we’ve been in the sun for 5 minutes.)

In the way brothers do, he got bigger than me and protective. He taught me to throw a punch the right way, and he taught me how to build a fire with nothing but sticks on a night neither of us could bear to go home. I’d be willing to bet to this day the parental units were too busy arguing to notice we were gone.

He also taught me how to track animals so I could watch them. He liked to hunt with a gun, I liked to hunt with a camera, but the skills are almost the same. Almost every pleasant, formative memory I have from childhood had him in it. Life wasn’t easy growing up for us, so we were one another’s anchor.

Until we grew apart as older people, he was my best friend.

You never, ever, get over the loss of a sibling. I remember the day I got the news. I found out on facebook.

As you may know, I have a pretty fucked up family (lol, if you’ve read through my blog, you know that.)

Because of who he’d become, an addict, a felon, broken… people thought I wouldn’t want to know. It was my former highschool best friend who let me know in the kindest way possible that “I should call home.”

My dad didn’t even know it had happened. I called him in a panic and caught him as he was getting his coffee and newspaper that morning and asked him, “Is Kyle dead?”

It took me most of the day to find out for sure that yeah, my brother had ODd.

Thing that didn’t make sense then, even though I think I understand now… he’d been clean for a long time. Years, ever since his kids had been born.

But you’re never quite forgiven for being an addict, no matter how much you do to get better, be better.

I’ll never know why he did it.

See, he was smart. Smarter than me by far, part of why he ended up so broken is that… well, in a family of people who cling to their ignorance like it’s holy, being smart isn’t the vaunted thing it should be (it broke me, too, so I get it.) He had to have known after being clean for so long what would happen.

I can’t believe he didn’t.

I don’t even know what happened that made him do it. I can guess, a lot of shit happened leading up to it that isn’t mine to share, but… I’ll never know.

When I knew for sure that he was gone, that he’d done it, I paced around my living room until my screams boiled out. I’ll be forever grateful that my daughter was in school that day and that my son was napping a tired toddler sleep. I bit through the meat of my palm to keep silent enough that I wouldn’t wake up my son.

Even now, it hurts so much just to think about, much less write it all down.

Because of life and immigration issues, I hadn’t seen him in over five years. Now, I’ll never see him again.

Gods damnit.

Kyle. I speak your name and remember.

Everything.