24 May 2010

In Transition

I've suddenly and very unexpectedly found myself in transition.  My whole life is in flux, and I'm not entirely sure just where I am headed.  I'm leaving it up to faith, praying nightly, and I'm prepared to never give up, despite the challenges that I see burning just over the horizon, their heat already burning my skin.

After recently coming out as genderqueer, I've begun a genderqueer transition (what does that even mean?).  I've come out as genderqueer to all my closest friends, and I'm beginning to do so more publicly and openly; I've adopted the genderqueer pronouns ze/zan, and I'm starting to ask people to use them in most situations; I made myself a binder and purchased men's clothes in hopes of experimenting with a male and/or androgynous gender presentation and perhaps living part-time in a male gender role (is that even possible?).  I am very uncertain about where this transition already went, where it's now going, or how "far" it will go in the future. In fact, I am scared this whole thing will be a huge failure. However, at this time, I don't know, and I am leaving it all up to fate, ready to see where it does and doesn't go as I embark on an amazing journey.

I am transitioning spatially - ie moving.  I'm not quiet sure where or when, but I know I am ready to find a place of my own and to call it home.  Within the next year, I will pack up my life and go somewhere else.  This also means transitioning to a new level of independence, as the distance will mean that the place I call home will no longer be in the same state as the place my family currently calls home.  I am scared, but I am ready.  Much of this, too, is left up to destiny, also known as the admissions counselors at the universities to which I am applying to transfer.

I am transitioning out of two romantic relationships, one of which recently pummeled into heartbreak, and the other is disintegrating due to distance.  Both of these have been very important, and they've had a huge influence on my life.  They've also been filled with new experiences, especially sexually, that taught me a lot about myself, my identity (especially asexuality), and my relationships.  I am unsure where my love life will take me from here, if anywhere, so it's all up to chance.

I am transitioning out of a very interesting time of self-exploration, self-discovery, and coming-out to a place where I am comfortable living with a queer sexual and romantic orientation that I've come to understand really well.  Alongside my gender identity, I've realized that I reached a point where none of my future relationships will be as hetero-normative as those in the past: until recently, I identified primarily as a woman and partnered primarily (almost exclusively) with men.  I am also transitioning out of a very life-changing year that opened up my mind to many new perspectives and completely changed my view of much of the world.  I am learning how to live my life as the person I've become and the person I am becoming.  This transitioning out of a period of transition really goes to show how transition never really begins, and never ends. So, here I am, in transition.
You want something that's constant,
And I only wanted to be me.
But. Watch.
Even the stars above,
Things that seem still
Are still changing.
-- Still, Ben Folds

12 May 2010

Sometimes I forget life itself isn't just a phase.

I am scared. Absolutely terrified, really. Sometimes, I forget to breathe, because I am petrified of going on, frightened of continuing. This is real. That's the hardest thing to believe, the hardest concept to swallow. This isn't some tale in a fantasy novel, this isn't a daydream I will soon wake up from. This is my life, my one and only reality. And the things I am doing now will stay with me for ever.

Sometimes, I feel I've gone too deep. I've learned too much about the world, and I've learned too much about myself. I'm declaring absolutes now.  I mean, I am always open to fluidity and to change, but certain things just won't change. Or, at least, I can't go back.  I know my body, my mind, my heart too well now.  Everything has been restructured.  I know this is right, but I wish it just wasn't... forever.

I'm hiding in a bubble. I feel safe in that bubble, safe to share myself with others, safe to change and evolve, safe to believe in the world. Oh, and we know pain in this bubble, we know difficulty. We know just what we're facing. Or do we? We look outside in disbelief. We know too much.

I go home, and my mother cries because she's scared for me. I tell her not to cry, I tell her there's nothing to be scared of. I beg her to just love me. She tells me I don't understand. My sister throws around transphobic and homophobic slurs and makes sexist and racist remarks that, to me, are inherently wrong, why would anyone ever say that, isn't it common sense? But to her, it's no big deal. She laughs at me when I tell her it's wrong. She ignores me when I beg her to rethink. I'm the only one asking her to think a little differently. To the rest of the world, she's right on.

To the rest of the world, We're mutants. We are queer, We are trans, We are feminist, We are liberal, We are young. Some of these things, We'll outgrow. Some of these things are forever. I don't want this bubble to pop, I don't want to grow up. I don't want these things to be forever. I want to be what my mother calls "normal", and I want the same for all my friends. But it's too late. It was too late from the day We were born, destined to, one day, look in Our souls and see something deviant.

I am afraid of loneliness, that We'll never find our place. I am afraid of apathy, of people judging and othering Us, laughing at Our struggles, erasing Our efforts, ignoring Our successes. I am afraid of hate, which, with apathy around, can never die. I am afraid of slurs and fists, of knives and weapons, I am afraid that We will suffer and hurt and die. I am afraid of murder.

05 May 2010

No Self

Buddhism has been on my mind a lot lately. I'd been curious about it for a long time, and finally studied it in my East Asia Religions class. Two Buddhist concepts that have been on my mind a lot are transience and no-self.  Transience is the concept of impermanence, that nothing ever stays the way it is now.  No-self is the concept that there is no single thing that makes you yourself.  Imagine, for instance, a chair. A chair is made of many smaller parts, so what makes it a chair? There is no single part that makes it a chair. Rather, we recognize this combination of parts (none of which are a chair on their own) as a chair.
"He knows no one shines forever. They change with the weather." - On The Arrow, AFI
One Buddhist meditation is to imagine oneself at five years old, now, and at sixty years old. Is there anything in common between these three people?  The three have completely different thoughts, perspectives, priorities, ideas, voice, appearance, and they are not even made up of the same physical matter. There's no single thread tying the three together.   Thus, there's nothing that makes us us. There is no self.
"You want something that's constant, and I only wanted to be me. But watch, even the stars above, things that seem still are still changing." - Still, Ben Folds
I have always been a terribly nostalgic person. I've always missed moments of the past, missed the people I used to be close to and the places I got to know. What I miss more than anything else is the way I felt in those moments. Looking back, you can never feel that way again. Especially love.  I like to say that once you've loved someone, you will love them forever. That's a complete and utter lie. While some people from my past still bring up feelings within me, I've forgotten many of them. Even the very important ones, such as my first kiss, my first love, my first boyfriend no longer make me swoon. It's amazing that someone who changed my life so much and made me feel so many emotions has now disappeared completely into the fog of my memories. I know that someday this will happen with the present. Perhaps that's even scarier than the thought of this moment never happening again or the prospect of missing someone. It's terrifying to think that there might be a time when I will no longer miss today, when this moment will be so far off, that I won't even know how to miss it. I will literally be a different person than I am today.
"And the waves crashing around me, the sand slips out to see.  And the winds that blow remind me of what has been and what can never be." - The Lighthouse's Tale, Nickel Creek
As I pack up, I think about how this has been the most life-changing year since freshman year of highschool.  This year, I also had the most significant romantic encounter since I was fourteen.  I am grateful for the ways I've changed, and I know the things I've learned will stay with me for the rest of my life.  Still, it sometimes shocks me to look back a year and think about how different I was then.  This really hit me on 420; a year ago, that would have been all that I ever wanted: marijuana was a huge part of my life, and pot culture was filled with hope and community. I've grown distant from this, and it was strange to walk through Norlin Quad, knowing how happy I should be, how happy I would have been, but, really, I didn't care. I am a completely different person than I once was, and the things that fill me with joy now are not the same as the things that filled me with joy then.  Looking around was like looking at the person I used to be from the outside. I am someone else now.
 Rate of Change
 I'm running out of Fridays.
Of course, they'll never be gone
Completely. But Fridays now
Are the Fridays of my life.

Recycle bins fill with beer cans
Flattened by the perpendicular force
Of name-brand sneakers
On the feet of drunk friends.

Gutters collect the butts and filters
Of Newports, Blacks, Camels, and PTs.
Puffs of smoke dissintegrate
And disappear into memories.

My memory is overflowing
With today. The present
Will soon be left behind
And I'll be searching again.

Soon I will scream and laugh
Making more memories to share
And to lose. Soon this and that
Will be the past and time will be fresh.

But I am scared. Not of vodka
Or of ashes, but that I'll sit
Someday alone and I will miss
The rum and chronic of today.

-- from my journal, 04.24.09
I've completely rethought my political perspective.  I've gone 180 on issues such as undocumented immigrants, affirmative action, racism, and colorblind ideology. I've begun identifying strongly as a feminist, and this has become a major part of myself and my identity.  I've also began exploring other forms of marginalization, oppression, and privilege that exist in our society.  I read Peggy McIntosh's "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" - like, really read it - and began to acknowledge my own privilege. I've also become familiar with standpoint theory, which is such a simple, common-sense concept, but it has completely altered how I perceive academic literature, and changed how I participate in discussions about marginalized groups that I am not a part of, especially if members of that group are present in the discussion.  Most significantly, I've completely restructured my perspective on what gender and sex is.  I've become sensitive to the gendering of children, biological essentialism, gendered spaces, cissexism, cissupremacy, and how fucking transphobic this fucking world is, and I've overcome more internalized cissexism that I ever thought was possible or necessary (it is very very necessary).  I can't seem to go ten minutes without thinking how patriarchy and sexism pervade our society by creating hetero- and cis-normativity and homophobia and transphobia.  My priorities have also changed significantly, with marijuana dropping off the radar completely, replaced with a dedication to combat oppression, specifically sexism and cissexism.  I've also become even more passionate about and involved in things that concerned me a year ago, such as gay rights.  I've come out three times as three different identities, and begun actively exploring myself, labels, and the way society impacts how I see myself.


So that's where I am at the moment. I'll be somebody else tomorrow, and in an hour. As scary as change is, I have no choice but to embrace it. And embrace it, I will.

D:

I would like to tell the world that I am less than happy by googling "heartbreak" and blogging the first image I find pretty.

First Kiss

I still remember the place where I had my very first kiss. I remember it exactly. I could go there today and sit right there, I could point out where he sat and where I sat.  I could tell you just what the March weather was like, I can remember the very texture of the California air. I could describe just how I felt, how nervous I was and how happy. I could trace my steps to the bus afterward, spreading my arms as if to hug the sky.  I could trace my emotions for the next few days, the memory still burning fresh in my heart. I used to come back to that place all the time, I would sit and think, and time and space would bend, filling me with that very sensation, that freedom, that magic. It's amazing how powerful a place can be.

Then time passed. There was a space between me and him, I was miles and roads and states from that place.  I moved on, and so did my heart.  I grew up, I changed, I became someone I never imagined I'd ever become.  There probably isn't a cell left in my body that was there the day we kissed.  I came back to that spot once, years later.  I knew what I should feel and I knew what I wanted to feel, but I didn't feel it. It's as if the memory belonged to someone else, to someone that wasn't me. I could have sat anywhere else in the world, any other town would have been just as strange.  I miss you. I miss that moment.

Everything is transitory. There is no self.

but I will always love you

04 May 2010

Multisexual Identities

An updated version of this entry is found here. However, this version addresses some things that I don't discuss in the other post.

This is another post summarizing my conclusions from following discussions on FetLife.com.  For this post, I am drawing from a discussion titled "Bisexual, Queer, identities. Is it fair to posit a group as bisexual if you want to include all people who are not "hetero" or "homo"?" from the group "Rethinking Trans" and a discussion titled "Umbrella Term for Non-Monosexual Identities" that I started in response to the former discussion in the group "Kinky gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered". I'm breaking this post into several parts, because I have a lot to say on the topic.

Bisexuality and the Erasure of Non-Binary Gender Identities

Many advocate for the use of "bisexual" as an umbrella term for non-monosexual identities, thus describing anyone attracted to more than one gender.  However, this is problematic in that it erases non-binary individuals.  Some have argued that "bisexual" does not actually erase non-binary individuals because it describes people who are attracted to both of the two sexes.  However, such a justification is problematic on several fronts: (1) it denies the existence of bodies that do not conform to the constructed concepts of "male" and "female" either because of an intersex condition or medical intervention; (2) it denies the existence of people with a non-binary sex identity; and (3) it is cissexist because it promotes a focus on the appearance of someone's genitals, thus promoting biological essentialism.  Others say that "bisexual" is not problematic as an umbrella term because it expresses an interest in men, women, and anyone in between. However, many non-binary individuals don't see themselves as on this continuum, and are thus erased by this definition. Clearly, "bisexual" is always problematic and gender-binarist when used as an umbrella term for non-monosexual identities.

One reason people may identify as "bisexual" is because it's the most convenient and/or the only available identity to use.  For example, I am listed as "bisexual" on several social-networking websites, although I identify very strongly as "panromantic*", because I have no other option.  Also, I occasionally tell people that I am "bi" (or, more often, it's something along the lines of "yeah, sorta" in response to their inquiry).  I am not sure how I feel about those situations. On one hand, I don't feel comfortable talking about the details of my identity with people who are unlikely to understand anything beyond gay, straight, or bi; at times, I worry that the people I am speaking to may be (unintentionally) cissexist, and thus may misunderstand what I am saying about myself and my partners when I explain that I am attracted to people other than men and women without going into extended discussions (in particular, I worry that they may not understand the concept of identifying as a gender other than man and woman, and may instead misinterpret me as third-gendering binary trans individuals).  On the other hand, it's completely a binary-gender privilege for me to casually identify as bisexual without it erasing my very own existence, and I fear that by telling others that I am "bisexual" rather than explaining the existence of non-binary genders, I am contributing to the erasure of people with non-binary genders in our society.  Thus, I insist on identifying as panromantic* to people who I know will understand, even if it takes some additional explaining.  It frustrates me when people identify as "bisexual" simply out of convenience, or when people continue to identify as "bisexual" even after being made aware of non-binary identities because they are unwilling to take the time to reconsider  their identity.

I must clarify that "bisexual" is not inherently gender-binarist.  Many people are, in reality, bisexual if they are attracted to binary-identified men and women, and not non-binary individuals. This is perfectly acceptable for those people that have thought it over and determined that this truly is their sexuality. There is nothing wrong with preferring binary to non-binary individuals (just as there is nothing wrong with preferring non-binary to binary individuals) as long as the existence and legitimacy of non-binary gender identities is not ignored or questioned by the bisexual person, and as long as this person does not discriminate against binary trans people as potential partners.  Another reason someone may identify as "bisexual" is because they are unfamiliar with the existence of gender identities other than "man" and "woman".  Although it's highly concerning that the existence of non-binary individuals is invisible in our society, it's impossible to criticize the bisexual individual in question, because they never had any reason to rethink their identity.  "Bisexual" is only problematic when it is used as an umbrella term for non-monosexual identities, and when it's adopted by non-monosexual binary-identified people that are not actually bisexual.

Umbrella Term for Non-Monosexual Identities

In popular discourse, we seldom see past a trinary of sexualities - homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual.  Although this is significantly better than a mononormative binary (the belief that all people are attracted to only one gender, and are thus either homosexual and heterosexual) and heteronormativity (the belief that all people are attracted only to people of the opposite gender), it's still highly problematic in that it erases non-monosexual people who are not bisexual.

There is a strong need for an umbrella term for non-monosexual identities.  Bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, anthrosexual, pomosexual, queer, fluid, etc. people often face similar forms of discrimination both from the mainstream heterosexual culture and from within the queer community.  Monosexism is the belief that monosexual orientations are superior to non-monosexual identities.  Monosexism promotes the view that people with non-monosexual identities are confused or undecided, that their identity is invalid or "just a trend", that non-monosexual orientations don't really exist, and that non-monosexual people are promiscuous, and it leads to the refusal or hesitance of gay and lesbian folk (or straight folk) from partnering with non-monosexual people.  Many people call these forms of discrimination "biphobia".  However, I feel like the term "biphobia" erases the existence of non-monosexual folk who are not bisexual and thus ignores the oppression and marginalization these people might face.

I must clarify that, just as bisexuality exists, so does biphobia. However, biphobia is a very specific form of discrimination faced by bisexual people (not other monosexual people).  For example, someone recently told a friend of mine, who identifies very strongly as bisexual, "Don't you mean pansexual? Isn't that more politically correct?" This statement specifically discriminated against people who are bisexual, erasing the possibility that these people exist and putting into question the validity of their identity.  It is also an example of subversivism.  Another situation in which "biphobia" may be an appropriate term (or perhaps it's not, I am uncertain) is when non-monosexual people face discrimination from the greater society, which may be unaware of non-monosexual identities other than "bisexual", and thus the discrimination is based on misconceptions specifically about bisexuality.

An umbrella term would bring together all people who face monosexism. If such a term were to become more mainstream, it would help combat the erasure of non-binary gender identities.  It's been suggested that the terms "queer" and/or "pansexual" be used as umbrella terms for non-monosexual identities. However, I find this problematic for several reasons. "Queer" has been used as a term to describe all individuals who are not straight, as well as to name the entire LGBTetc community.  "'Queer" would thus be unsuccessful as an umbrella term for non-monosexual identities.  "Pansexual" would be problematic because not all non-monosexual people are attracted to all or any genders, as is implied by the term "pansexual".  Some are bisexual, and others may prefer a certain end of the spectrum (or ends of the spectra).  Still other people who are attracted to all or any genders may distance themselves from the term "pansexual" for other reasons.

Some possible umbrella terms are multisexual and polysexual.  From what I've heard (and I may be mistaken), polysexual had already been used by some communities for this very purpose. However, it was eventually rejected, because many confused this term with "polyamorous".  Thus, I think "multisexual" is the best umbrella term for non-monosexual identities.  I encourage all multisexual people to embrace this term: identify as "multisexual" to others, express solidarity with other multisexual folk by acknowledging that you're both multisexual, and use the term "multisexual" and "monosexism" in place of "bisexual" and "biphobia" (except in discussions pertaining specifically to bisexuality).

Misconceptions about Pansexuality and other Multisexual Identities

As a multisexual person, I am often frustrated with misconceptions about multisexual identities.  Many of these misconceptions are a result of monosexism, and can be addressed by combating monosexism. Others include misconceptions about bisexuality (the belief that bisexuality is inherently gender-binarist and politically incorrect), which I already addressed at several points throughout this post.  In this section, I will specifically focus on misconceptions about pansexuality because I did not address these misconceptions elsewhere in the post, and because, as a panromantic* person, these misconceptions are personally very important for me to address.  Many multisexual people distance themselves from identities like "pansexual" and "omnisexual" for some or all of the reasons I will discuss below. I was once one of those people, but, for me, identifying as "panromantic*" is, in some ways, reclaiming the term.  Although I am not passing judgment on the identities of other people, I do encourage all people interested in all genders to identify as "pansexual" (or "panromantic*"), because I feel it could be beneficial to unite people with a similar sexuality.

Pansexual and omnisexual people, as all multisexual people, are often accused of being promiscuous. I've heard this go a step further specifically with pan- and omni-sexuality, in which people are turned-off by the apparent implication that these people are sexually interested to all objects, not just people.  This is obviously not the case, as this is a sexual orientation describing someone's interest in people of different genders, not inanimate objects.

Another problem I've noticed is that many people are turned off by what I like to call "the pansexual superiority complex".  This happens when pan-, omni-, anthro-, and pomo-sexual people (perhaps among others) patronize people with more restrictive sexualities, constructing their apparent lack of sexuality and ability to not discriminate based on gender as superior to other people's preference. This is a ridiculous perspective, as people cannot choose their sexuality.  Additionally, many pansexual people (including myself) feel that they don't lack a sexuality, but instead have a very specific orientation that includes an interest in all genders.  While the "pansexual superiority complex" does exist, it's unfair to generalize this complex to all or most pan-, omni-, anthro-, and pomo-sexual people. This is the main reason I did not identify as panromantic* until recently.

Another concept that I think not always holds true is the idea that pan-, omni-, anthro-, and pomo-sexual people are, in some way "gender-blind" in their desire. When someone first explained pansexuality to me, I was still in high school, and unfamiliar with non-binary genders.  I was told that the difference between pansexuality and bisexuality is that pansexual people don't see a difference between men and women, and instead only see what's in their head.  This definition initially deterred me from this identity.  Although it may be true for some people who identify as pan-, omni-, anthro-, and pomo-sexual, it is not true for many, including myself.  I most definitely "see" and care about the gender of the people I am with, as I believe it's a huge and important part of their identity and who they are.  Additionally, the reason I am attracted to someone may be different based on their gender.  Although I don't restrict myself to people of a certain gender identity(ies) or presentation(s), I very much so am not blind to these.

There are a couple more conceptions about pansexuality that I disagree with, but I am uncertain whether they are actually misconceptions.  The definition of pansexuality (like so many other definitions pertaining to gender identities and sexualities) is fluid, and may differ from person-to-person.

Does pansexuality (specifically) restrict people to a certain continuum?  For me, pansexuality has always meant that I am interested to people of all and any genders, including man, woman, combinations of the two, genders somewhere between the two, genders off this spectrum entirely, neutrois and/or agender people, people with multiple genders, and people who's gender is fluid.  Thus, I don't see pansexuality as restricting myself to any specific gender(s), but instead as acknowledging my interest in all genders. However, some people see pansexuality as more restrictive than other identities (for instance, pomosexuality).

Does pansexuality indicate a lack of preference?  I identify as panromantic* although my sexuality is fluid, and, most of the time, I have a preference for a certain gender(s).  I also have an overall preference, and lean in a certain direction more often than any other way.  However, despite my fluidity, I never restrict myself to any gender(s); thus, I consider myself panromantic*, despite having a preference.  However, some people see pansexuality as indicating a lack of preference for any particular gender(s), thus rejecting it as a self-identity for themselves.

*Note: In this post, several times, I switch between saying "pansexual" and "panromantic".  I personally don't identify as "pansexual" because I lie on the asexual spectrum, and thus prefer to remove references to "sexuality" in my identity. However, my sexual and romantic orientations match in every way except that I experience sexual attraction less often than romantic attraction. Thus, I think my perspective as a panromantic is just as valid in discussing pansexuality as the perspective of someone who identifies as "pansexual".

02 May 2010

Intersexuality as Identity.

This past year, I have had many fantastic conversations about all sorts of identities on the website FetLife.com, a BDSM social networking website.  At the time that I participated and followed many of these discussions, I was not armed with the vocabulary to discuss sex, gender, gender expression, sexuality, oppression, and marginalization the way I am now.  Thus, having sat on many of these questions for several months, I think I am finally ready to discuss my thoughts on these often complex and controversial issues in my blog.

One of the first discussions I ever had on FetLife (in the group "Kinky gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered") was on "Intersexuality as Identity".  I started this discussion five months ago, long before I had the knowledge or vocabulary to discuss concepts such as subconscious sex, gender dissonance, or sex identity (several of which are terms used and defined by Julia Serano, whose book The Whipping Girl I am currently reading).  Initially, I phrased the question as follows:

What do we think about intersex as an identity? Can intersex be an identity? Can a non-intersex person identify as such? Should intersex people identify as either man or woman?
The discussion was very exciting and featured some interesting perspectives, such as the perspective of an intersex activist, who insisted that people without an intersex condition should never identify as intersex; the perspectives of a person who identified as "emotionally and mentally intersex" and described "wishing to have been born intersex" and a person whose ex-partner identified this way, both of whom argued that people not born intersex can identify as such in the same way people assigned male at birth can identify as female and vise versa; and a person whose body neither resembled that typical for a female nor that typical for a male due to medical transition, and who was searching for a term to describe his sex.

One major problem I came upon in this discussion was that people conflated sex with gender and gender presentation.  Some of the individuals in the discussion often described feeling intersex because they saw themselves as both masculine and feminine and/or as both man and woman.  This is highly problematic, as intersex is a sex (or is it a category containing several different sexes?), not a gender identity or expression, like bigender or androgynous.  Using the term "intersex" to describe gender identity and expression is appropriative, and it creates misconceptions about the gender identity and expression of people with intersex conditions.

However, some of the people in the discussion expressed the desire to have non-binary sex characteristics, such as both male and female primary sex characteristics or ambiguous genetalia.  Just as someone's subconscious sex does not have to match their physical sex, someone's subconscious sex can also be non-binary.  However, using the term "intersex" to describe a non-binary sex identity is inappropriate, because intersex people face very specific medical needs, and they are often stigmatized and pathologized by society, so it's important to have a singular word to describe their experiences.

Alternative terms could be developed to describe people with non-binary sex identities, such as bisexed, multisexed, ambigusexed, etc.  Additionally, it might be beneficial if a term was developed to describe bodies that are neither traditionally male nor traditionally female, but are that way due to medical transition rather than from birth.
more and more trans folks are advocating for separate concepts of gender identity and sex identity. sex identity (also called 'brain sex' among other things) being equivalent to the mental map of your body as exists in your brain. given that, it's totally reasonable to assume that some people have intersex sex identities. however, intersex as a set of physiological condition is so stigmatized and pathologized that people with those conditions really need access to a singular word to describe their experience without also including people who do not possess those physical conditions but do have a sex identity that includes both male and female parts (which is really really not the same as a transexual who happens to end up with what seems to you as both male and female parts due to lack of access or lack of medical technology). this is necessary because, intersex babies are being mutilated non-consensually every day and intersex people have particular ongoing medical needs as adults, and so a clear, bounded identity category is needed for purposes of solidarity, support, and advocacy. including people with non-binary 'brain sex' would unacceptably muddy that up. what will probably happen is that those people will coin a new term to refer to sex identities that don't fit into the 'male' 'female' or neither (sometimes called neutrois) categories. -- FetLife user ephraim, quote from the original discussion

Regrets.

For a long time, I honestly believed I had no regrets.  However, recently, I began to realize that this really is not true, it just took me a little growing up before I realized that I should have done some things differently. Here are my regrets.

1. Not participating in theater in high school.  If I could re-live high school, I would do tech, because the theater community is not only intelligent, hard working, mature, and dedicated, but they are also very close and fun.

2. Taking French rather than Spanish.  Although I am very glad I can speak limited French, I wish I took Spanish, instead, because I find it to be the most beautiful language, and I feel like knowing Spanish would be more beneficial than French.

3. Living in a single this year (freshman year of college).  I'm missing out on a very important experience, and the single makes me lonely.