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Anonymous said: There's a difference between gender and biological sex.
Hey, anon. It’s me, your friend Zio. I just want to say that I know that you’re telling me this not out of malice, but because you feel like I might not know. I understand that. So I’m sorry for making an example out of you, but unfortunately you’ve triggered a cascade of thoughts that have been clamouring around inside of my head for a while now. Bear with me on this and I promise it’ll be over soon.
I do know that there is a difference between gender and biological sex, my friend. Trust me, I know, because I have to explain it to people I love ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Knowing that there is a difference between gender and biological sex is the basis of my entire identity. I wish I had known earlier, so I wouldn’t have had to spend my ENTIRE young life feeling like an alien. I wouldn’t have had to spend years wanting to literally cut myself out of my own skin. Trust me, kiddo, there is nothing like feeling like a freak for the entirety of your formative years for really cementing an idea in your brain.
However, in the context of my post, I doubt that a novelty online personality test based on clicking on colours wanted my biological sex rather than my socially assigned gender. The question seems to exist chiefly so that the quiz knows which gender pronouns to input when giving the results of the quiz. That is my understanding of the context, and I will stand by it. It is from this context that my comment arose.
And look, I feel like maybe you’re coming at this conversation from the position of linguistic semantics, whereas I am coming at it from the perspective of having literally no one in my life who doesn’t misgender me on a daily basis. That is to say, while your argument is empirical, mine is emotional. Obviously, when filling out medical forms that ask for my gender, I select “female”, even though I pause over the little check box for a long time with my pen. It makes me uncomfortable, but I recognise the reason I have to do it. But on my time, in my own spare time, I don’t want to have to make that difficult choice. I want to have the free and easy option of selecting “other”. I want to know that the people making fun online quizzes acknowledge that people like me exist. I want, just every now and again, to be able to relax and feel comfortable in my own skin.
What I am trying to say is, whereas you seem to be able to discuss the subject from a theoretical position, for me this is an area fraught with emotional pitfalls and personal experience. Time and time again, there is no option for me in online quizzes, or in signing up for websites. Time and time again, the media discusses me as though I am a strange creature that can never be understood. Even today, I was just contentedly going about my morning when I checked my askbox and found yet another message explaining something I already understand to me. There is literally no space in my life where this sort of thing does not happen.
I had a straight white male friend say to me, the other day, in a conversation about gender and sexuality, that he was just “playing devil’s advocate” in expressing an opposing opinion. I love this boy to death, I really do, and he’s a philosophy student, so I understand that he was coming at the conversation from the perspective of a philosophical debate, wherein the devil’s advocate plays a valuable role in keeping discussion going. But do you know how heartbreaking it is to talk to someone you love and have to explain that no, you don’t need them to come into your safe space and play the devil’s advocate, because you are aware of that standpoint. It’s not that you haven’t heard their line of reasoning before. In fact, more often than not, that’s the only line of reasoning you have ever heard. You don’t need to hear it again. Almost everyone you meet is playing the devil’s advocate. What you really need is for one or two people to stop trying to explain away your experiences from a semantic standpoint and just for once to listen and try to understand.
My psychiatrist refused to hear any idea that I don’t identify as female, because he’s “an old-fashioned guy”. He’s a gay man who went to New Zealand to get married. I had another gay male friend spend an entire conversation referring to a trans* girl as “he” and talking about whether or not “he” could “pass as a girl”. Hearing shit like this from supposed allies can be the most heartbreaking thing of all. If that’s what the queer kids are saying, imagine what you hear from everyone else.
So look, I’m not angry at you, anon. I’m not trying to fight you or spark a debate. I’m just saying, emotionally, that I have heard this before. I will hear it again. In fact, I very rarely hear any perspective other than the one you are propounding. What I am trying to do is explain to you just how much it hurts, every day. Every day there is a tiny needle that reminds you that you are so far out of sync with everyone else that they are literally not interested in trying to find out what it’s like being you. I’m tired, anon. I’m so tired. So please, let me have this one space. Of course I’m happy to answer questions. But let me have this one space where I don’t have to defend myself. Let me have this one space where I get to explain to you how it feels, not how it looks from the outside.
A white citizen is executed overseas by a foreign militant and war is declared on the militants. Black citizens are executed on domestic streets by local militants and war is declared on the citizens.
Broad daylight, sunny, suicidal, repeated gunshots, death. Murder. On camera.
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