Sign #61: When you were little, you stuffed the “wrong” area while looking forward to puberty and adulthood.
Welcome to my personal blog series in a project I’m calling “Signs You’re Not Cis-Gender”. You guessed it; the numbers are completely random. These are just little observations I’ll make about my personal experience as a genderqueer boi. They definitely aren’t to be taken as the universal experience for everyone who identifies genderqueer or in the vast trans* spectrum. This is just me. Just little glimpses into my life. And if you glean anything that makes you think about trans* issues or society and how we all relate and coexist (or at least try), then awesome!
But back to the sign for today. This is something very personal that a lot of kids do. When they have this vision in their heads of becoming a grown up, they often try to imitate (usually a parent or other everyday authority figure). For a lot of little girls, this means stuffing the shirt or bra to simulate having fully developed breasts. My sister and I used to do that as a joke, pulling our t-shirts up and through the neckline to form make-shift bikini tops. It was funny and harmless and completely gendered… or so everyone probably thought.
In reality, in the recesses of my room, with the blinds drawn, I would not just stuff my shirt, but also stuff my pants. Koosh balls and socks were best, in my mind, and I would strip to my underwear and push them into position to simulate having a cock. I did this rather regularly, too, and kept the things I used for this gender pretending in a little canvas bag that I would hide under several things in a drawer of my closet. I don’t think my parents ever knew about it. But I loved it despite feeling the need to hide it. I think, in my young mind, just like girls were expecting to develop breasts when they reached puberty, part of me expected to grow a penis when I hit puberty. I never expressed this to my parents at all, but I always felt more myself with those silly Koosh balls in my pants. Should have been a sign. Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose!
Now that I may have ruined a part of your childhood by associating it with packing… or perhaps improved upon it?… I hope you enjoy this new series of posts! I’m hoping I can find little details to share each week, so stay tuned!
I woke up this afternoon (yeah, it was a bit of a late night, darn insomnia) and immediately went outside to help my room-mate change the oil of my car. He was having difficulty with the oil filter, and I managed to unscrew it for him. This, of course, led me to asking all the steps of doing an oil change, so I’m feeling a bit more knowledgeable now, which is awesome. I don’t have the opportunity to learn much car stuff in the kinesthetic sense, so getting my hands a little dirty definitely helped me so I’ll remember how to do it myself in the future.
So, there’s the plus side. On the minus column to balance it out was what went down right after that. I took my newly oil-changed car to the store to grab some new windshield wipers. It was sprinkling rain, and my parking spot was relatively wet. When I stepped out of my car, there was a rather large puddle of oil on the water. I immediately tried to examine my car to see if the oil was coming from my car. (Maybe the bolt at the bottom of the pan wasn’t screwed back on tightly enough, y’know?)
There was a guy who had just finished his shopping getting into his car next to mine, and he politely asked if anything was wrong. I said that no, I was just checking to make sure the oil wasn’t coming from my car. He mentioned that I could always take it back to wherever I’d gotten the oil changed, and I waved him off and said, “I just finished changing the oil myself.”
His response? His eyes went all wide, and he laughed, “Holy shit! Even I don’t know how to do that!”
Not a bad response in itself. He was attempting to tip the hat and give me credit for having just learned how to do something car related on my own, but the unspoken, “And I’m a guy!” was still there, the surprise that I could change the oil of my car (as a presumed female) when he as a male didn’t know how to do that.
I’m all for giving credit where it’s due and praising people for having skills you might not have, but the implied gender bias there made me inwardly sigh.
Now, if I appeared more male, I guarantee you that implication wouldn’t have been there in his phrasing. Not saying that he was mean in any sense. He was nice and polite in trying to help if he could, but I thought it was interesting how little things like that are just ingrained.
Women are just as capable of fixing up their cars. Guys are just as capable of making mistakes on said repairs. Offering help is always appreciated if it comes from a good place — I’m all for that! — but when it’s only offered because you’re sensing a damsel in distress, that’s problematic.
In the end, I thanked the guy, told him I’d keep an eye on the car and make sure it wasn’t a problem, and went in the store to get my wipers as planned. It turns out the oil wasn’t from me, since I’ve checked under my car again and there’s no leak. Just something I was thinking about after the fact.
It’s time for RainbowCon again! This is the second year, and we’re at the Holiday Inn Westshore, right by Tampa International Airport. Registration is open, and it’s very affordable at $75 for the whole event (minus the field trip and evening events). The room block is also great. They gave us a discounted rate of $109/night, which is awesome being so close to the airport.
Check out the website and our schedule… and then register! 😀 You know you wanna come!
Bit of a random blog post here, but I thought I’d follow a whim for once and post something silly and off the cuff. 🙂
So, when most people are going through adolescence, we have a series of nightmares I think we carry with us. Usually, I think these center around things like social humiliation and the like. I know mine did. All those tales of people dreaming they showed up to school naked and were laughed at… that sort of stuff.
One I randomly remembered and thought I’d foist onto you unsuspecting blog follwers was a little nightmare/fear that I held once I got into high school. Let me set the scene (I’m an author, after all):
Chemistry class. Goggles and aprons. Bunsen burners, glass titration flutes running down into flasks, mystery chemicals just waiting for the right catalyst to start that reaction everyone’s been aiming for. But some students are better at chemistry experiments than others, and suddenly your lab partner–or worse yet, you yourself–fumbles with some aqueous chemical. You panic as it splashes you, and some of the powder you were measuring (in moles, of course) joins the fluid on your skin. Apparently, the two should not mix, and suddenly your skin is on fire, the chemicals burning even through your clothing. You shout, alarmed, and a teacher rushes over, but there’s nothing to be done but to shove you over to the shower.
That’s right. The shower. Remember those safety showers that were kept in the corners of the chemistry rooms? They had two purposes: flushing eyes out through little eye-cup fountains… and full-out dousing the fuck out of a student. But hey, you’re covered in burning, remember? So someone pulls the tab and yanks the switch, and you’re immediately soaking wet and told to strip off every single article of clothing that the chemicals might have touched.
Completely naked. In front of your classmates. And you just know that class has your high school nemesis and their cronies in it, and they’re stifling back laughter as you’re forced into that vulnerable, terrifying position. But what’s worse is the person you’ve secretly admired, the one you carry a hidden flame for… they’re also there, seeing more of you than you were ready for.
And I feared being in that position in high school. It wasn’t debilitating–I didn’t freak out in Chem class whenever we were working experiments that had a little risk to them–but I definitely remember how horrible it sounded to have to strip completely in front of your classmates and be doused from head to toe.
But that’s the sort of stuff I draw on when I write. I remember things like that and twist them around into fodder for my erotic fiction. Because as embarrassing as it would have been, what if it served as an erotic catalyst to a relationship forming? I don’t typically write YA, so I’m not necessarily talking about high school kids, but what about a Teachers Aide or Graduate Assistant in college getting into that situation and being exposed to their students? If there’s an existing flame between them, something being denied, maybe that incident would spur them into action.
Well… That’s assuming no lasting harm was done by the chemicals. But then, even taking a bad situation to worse like that could still work in my twisted mind.
So! Any of you have childhood or adolescent nightmares? Share some in the comments!
S.L. and I are gearing up to begin working on two new novels! Both are gay fiction with erotic and romantic elements. We’ve already added a PDF for patrons for the novel Scars of the Deep, though it does contain spoiler elements as it was a brainstorming session between S.L. and me. If you want to be able to read that, you’ll need to become one of our patrons!
The first novel is part of the Other Side of Night series. It’s the second book (long awaited!) and follows two new characters into the world of vampires, ghouls, and hunters. This time, we meet Noah, a young man entering his freshman year at Cornell, running into his ex-boyfriend Grey—his brother’s best friend who simply disappeared one day, leaving Noah a note breaking things off. Noah is drawn into a world his brother had tried to protect him from, and his very humanity is at stake.
The second novel, Scars of the Deep, follows a wealthy philanthropist named Thane Vail who meets Adam Leor, a man who sits on the Board of Advisors for the conservation charity Deep Waters Foundation, and is instantly drawn to him. Thane doesn’t know why, but Adam pulls at him, and he begins an intense, erotic relationship with Adam. Adam, despite the rumors he’s heard about Thane and the warning his friends and colleagues offer, lets himself become swept up in Thane’s world of reckless excess and lavish drama. Thane tempts the Fates as he tries to learn about Adam’s past, determined to understand the attraction that runs deeper than anything he’s felt in his very, very long life.
S.L. put together a temporary cover for Scars of the Deep so we had something to put at the front of any material we release on Patreon for it. While it is gay fiction, the cover has a female on it. She is a central character, just not the main characters. She’s a dryad named Elpis who is tasked with watching over Adam.
Patrons of ours over at Patreon get some fun perks aside from just getting to read the stories as we write them. Here are just the four tiers:
Pledge $1.00 or more per Chapter
A chance to vote in a poll for what log scene S.L. and K. will do next for live session in Google Drive. Plus, weekly invitation to watch a Google Drive of S.L. and K. writing a log scene. These could be erotic in nature or completely innocent. We will let you know when we send out the invitation.
Pledge $5.00 or more per Chapter
Receive eBook bundle (PDF/MOBI/ePub/Lit) of any titles we complete and release while you are our patron, plus any previous reward levels.
Pledge $10.00 or more per Chapter
A custom 100-200 word drabble based on either an original concept or within our realm of fanfiction preferences each month you’re our patron, plus any previous reward levels.
Pledge $20.00 or more per Chapter
Receive a print book (shipped free in the US) of any title we release while you are our patron, plus any previous reward levels.
Happy New Year, everyone! I wanted to finally update my blog. 2014 was definitely a tough year full of trials and tribulations, but I’m eager for this new year and hope it’ll be a year of finding equilibrium again. This post will recap some of the bad, some of the good, and some of what I look forward to. I hope everyone has an amazing year!
2014 – The Bad Stuff
I feel it puts the good into perspective to acknowledge the negative things that I’ve gone through with the attitude that I’ve worked past them. 🙂
Last year was a tough one, and it began quite early on in the year. In January, we lost our 20-month-old kitten, Dorian to Feline Infectious Peritonitis. It put all of us into a bit of a tailspin, and it was a struggle to get ourselves together again. Unfortunately, that was the first of a total of three cat deaths for 2014. The other two were Little Boy at the end of April and Mama Kitty at the beginning of December. Both of them died of old age. It’s been a very difficult year with our pets, many of whom are just getting up there on years, so nature is just catching up with them. We also had a scare right before Christmas with our 3-year-old black cat, Victor. He’s the one we took in around the same time last year when Dorian was sick. He needed emergency care to clear up his urethra, which had gotten blocked. He’s all right now, but the expensive care right before Christmas was a difficult monetary blow to the household. We love our Victor-kitty, though! It was definitely worth saving him.
My writing really suffered this year as everything else became more important (or, if not more important, then at least more pressing). I was poked into co-writing the trans* short story “The Best Thing on Eight Wheels” by the wonderful Kathleen Tudor. Without her prompting, I never would have finished the piece for the Sweethearts & Seduction anthology, but it was an amazing experience and my first trans* story. I then acted more as muse than co-author when S.L. Armstrong and I wrote “Of the Flesh” for the gay vampire anthology, Blood Embrace. And… that’s been it this year. It’s rather pathetic, I know, but I’ll be making more of an effort this coming year.
2014 was also a year of making a very difficult decision. With S.L. Armstrong’s (Saundra’s) health on the decline, we had to choose between keeping Storm Moon Press running strong and continuing our efforts with RainbowCon. In the end, RainbowCon won that proverbial battle, and we’ve decided to close SMP down to outside submissions, merely keeping the press around for existing books to see out their contracts. I’ve been making contact with all our authors since the decision was made, though, to make sure everyone who would rather have their rights back to shop the stories around to other presses or self-publish them has an opportunity to do just that. It isn’t their fault that we’re shutting the press down to a minimal operations level, so I’ve been doing what I can to get everyone where they’d like to be with their works. It’s been particularly stressful for me, since I’m the one at the press who’s in contact with all the authors individually, but I really want every author to get that one-on-one so they know every single work with us is important.
2014 – The Good Stuff
On the flip side of the coin, there were a few awesome things that went down last year, and those deserve to be celebrated!
The largest triumph of the year was RainbowCon. Saundra, Roger, and I created RainbowCon to be a time and place people could gather together to celebrate everything about QUILTBAG media. Our first ever conference was in April 2014, and while there were still some kinks to iron out (first time jitters ^_-), the event went on without any major hitches, and most of the attendees had a great time! That’s all you can ever really hope for as a con organizer, so we were all exhausted but incredibly gratified by the process. We’re already planning 2015’s event, and unlike 2014, where the conference was centered only around fiction, RainbowCon will expand to include comics, webcomics, television, movies, and more.
Following RainbowCon last year, we also adopted three kittens (two immediately: Joshua & Gray; one a month later: Daniel). In the wake of losing Dorian, they were such a comfort to us all, and they’re the sweetest things.
I’ve also had the good fortune to work on some amazing pieces of fiction this year, despite SMP cutting back so drastically at the tail end of the year. I was Saundra’s cheerleader through the process of her finishing Human Rights, which has gone on to be an amazing bestseller on all our third party vendors! I took a large part in putting out our Devout anthology, which showcases gay priest-kink (a personal kink I really enjoy reading), and it was a joy working with the authors involved, several of which are long-time favorites of mine. You know it’s going to be an awesome anthology when the team consists of Kathleen Tudor (aka D.K. Jernigan), Annabeth Leong, Ann Anderson, Angelia Sparrow, and the incomparable Cari Z. I’d definitely check out that anthology if you can! I’m also mid-proofread on Ren Thompson’s Dead Heat, and while post-apocalyptic zombie lesbian horror isn’t anywhere close to my usual fare, that book is worth looking out for the next few weeks as well. 😉
Lastly, a tiny little triumph of mine was actually reading not just one book all the way through, but three. I read The Hunger Games. I was skeptical of them at first but actually greatly enjoyed them. But it’s the first time in at least a year, if not two, that I’ve actually read a book cover to cover. That it was an entire trilogy just makes it even sweeter.
2015 – Looking Forward
So, there are several things I’m really looking forward to this coming year. I’m sure there will be ups and downs, challengers and triumphs, and unexpected events, but there are a few things I know I’ll get to enjoy, so here’s a little list!
- First Cruise Ever – My bosses at my day job (massage therapy) gifted me a two-night cruise to the Bahamas for two. So, in 2015, I’ll get to take my first ever cruise! I’ll be wisking Saundra away for a little vacation filled with awesome food, plenty of relaxation, and an afternoon spent in the Bahamas (hopefully NOT during hurricane season). What a wonderful treat that’ll be, especially now that Saundra and I have determined that our anniversary date is December 16th. We might have a unique asexual relationship that’s emotionally and intellectually deep, but it really works for us, and we’ll be able to celebrate together.
- Kittens Kittens Everywhere! – I mentioned Joshua, Gray, and Daniel earlier, but we believe Joshua is pregnant! Joshua and Gray were both supposed to be boy kittens, but when we picked them up, they were girls, so we keep using male pronouns and always say they’re our genderqueer kitties who deserve to have their life choices respected. 😄 Joshua should be giving birth to his kittens in January! Joshua is a black/white tuxedo kitty, and Daniel (who knocked him up) is orange and white, so we might get any combination of colors, too, which is super exciting!
- Visiting my Family – In February, I’ll be taking a trip back to my hometown, Flagstaff, Arizona. This’ll be my first trip back since my parents’ divorce, which’ll be a little weird, but I’ll get to see my mom’s new digs, spend some quality time with her, and then it’s off to California to spend time with extended family, including my two grandmas. It’ll also include spending my mom’s birthday at Disneyland. Bonus!
- RainbowCon 2015 – In July, we’ll be holding our second Rainbow Conference, and I’m already stoked. We have Alex Woolfson and Adam DeKraker as our guests of honor, and they’re the creator and illustrator of The Young Protectors, a web-comic featuring a gay protagonist and antagonist. It’s an awesome comic, and I can’t wait to have them and everyone else in Tampa for more panels, workshops, community, and fun! Now, if only I can get NOH8 to show up for a photoshoot. Fingers crossed! I’m working on it! I’ll also be talking to a bunch of local GSAs at the high school and college level to spread the word about the conference and also promote QUILTBAG awareness and get people to celebrate artistic diversity in their own circles!
It’s going to be a packed year at this rate, and the fun has only just begun. I apologize to everyone following the blog, since I totally fall off the wagon again and again. When you’re the marketing director of a press that is currently trying to close its doors, everything becomes much more important than your personal blog, y’know? Nevertheless, I’ll be making an effort to post a bit more often and perhaps write a little fanfiction or freebie flash fiction to keep my writerly juices flowing this year. It’s time to get back into writing after such a long hiatus. Saundra and I have more than enough ideas, just little oomph to get them down onto paper. Here’s to getting to a place during 2015 where that isn’t the case!
I hope you all will join me on along the way. Thanks for being here thus far. ❤