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cry baby

a new appreciation of women-only space

Posted on 2009.04.12 at 01:59
the play party

taking a break from writing i decided to pedal down to a play party that a friend invited me to. i'd been to a couple of other play parties and many a bathouse in the past few years, all of which were women-only spaces. this party was mixed genders and there were several cis boys in the mix. i wasn't certain about how i would feel in the space.

intellecually at least i thought that i was not going to be a big deal - i was thinking 'come on becca, you know how to say 'no' and besides, it could be hot to watch some guys (or girls and gusy) getting it on'. i felt that politically, as a progressive queer i should be comfortable and into having sexual spaces that aren't gender sequestered, right?


maybe it was the pheromones in the room? i was just so not feeling hot or at all interested in being sexual. i felt extremely asexual. there was nothing that actually 'happened' per se - all the guys were very respectful and cute in their lovely passivity. but, despite that, i was just totally not interested in them and their presence completely was a turn-off and made me feel extremely uncomfortable in expressing myself in any sexual way. it was disappointing and i was disappointed in myself for being unable to just get into it.

i left the party. first to leave. i cried in the hallway for a good 10 minutes before leaving. it was in this moment that i really realized that i am a total, utter, unrepentent lez. the though of men grosses me out. their smell, their pheromones, their bodies do nothing for me. moreover (and informing why i was crying) they are very much a trigger having been through an abusive relationship with a guy when i was 17/18 and also some childhood stuff. i've never really gotten over that. i've never really dealt with that and, i suppose, being sequestered in women-only spaces has provided me with the safety from ever having to confront that.

i don't honestly know if confronting that abuse. i don't think that even if i did i would feel differently about men. even this thoughts i find rather fucked up as it seems like my identity as a lez is both a response to abuse (which it's not) as well as being something that is inherently something that i need to get over (which i can't nor do i want to). nonetheless, being in that space made me feel like a bit of a failure, like failing some pansexual litmus test.

i really wanted it to be a women-only space. i realized how important that is to me despite being someone who has often criticized the limitations and supposed intellectual problems of such arrangements. but on a visceral level i realized the importance of such spaces, to be free, as women, from our traumas and judgments put onto us by men.

cry baby
Posted on 2009.04.12 at 01:59
taking a break from writing i decided to pedal down to a play party that a friend invited me to.

cry baby
Posted on 2009.03.15 at 14:21
I just read this note by my friend. Its horrific description of violence that was committed against her initiated my sick sick slew of facebook profile updates.

I am mortified and angered that there is no place safe in this world for those who do not conform to the cisgendered and cissexual norms that our society inculcates us with.

I want to ask all of my friends to read this. It vividly describes violence against women and those who are visibly non gender-normative.

After reading this, I want us all to consider what we can do, in our day-to-day lives, to challenges cisnormativity and heteronormativity so that maybe there can be a time and a place where this is an historical piece of trivia rather than a daily fact of life for queer and/or trans folks everywhere.

cry baby


Posted on 2008.12.03 at 02:37
a few fantastically depressing weeks emotionally have been capped by a totally unexpected break-up. that makes 3 in 5 months. this is really difficult to take. it was all quite unexpected and i'm still holding out hope.

i really do need to better at not withdrawing when i start feeling shitty. it's one of my worst attributes.

i am happy though to be going to montreal tomorrow morning. space for toronto much. time to write. time to work on myself. and some time to shop. :)

i have barely 5 weeks till i start full-time at the clinic. it'll be great to have a full-time job, with like real pay and benefits and such. i still worry that it's not going to happen even though a for sure thing.

finished my reading course. this means i've completed all my coursework for my masters and 'just' need to finish writing my thesis, defend that, and i can close that tumultous and drawn-out part of my life.

feeling tired. feeling like i've been watching my life happen for the past few weeks. maybe if i write i will break out of this funk. much to say, so little energy to get it out. gotta change that.

cry baby


Posted on 2008.11.05 at 22:02
i am smitten. i am entranced. i have been displaced. i feel like i have supernatural powers.

ainsley and i met just over 2 months ago. almost every night has been spent enchanting each other with our tenderness, with our sillyness, with our scents and caresses, in each others arms. we have a wonderful world together.

is there 'a one'? cause i feel like this is it. like i wonder sometimes though if i need a sanity check. i've never felt anything quite like this. all of my boundaries and borders and emotional management devices are breached or broken.

it's all terrifyingly euphoric.

we talk about kids and homes and lives and such quite often. it makes sense like nothing has made sense to me before.

cry baby
Posted on 2008.10.23 at 17:45
i am sick again! i never get sick and this this is the 2nd major viral episode or something in as many weeks. means i'm not getting nearly as much work done as i need to be. my supervisor put a deadline of next friday to me for a whole reading course that i have outstanding. that, and i have to have a draft chapter written every two weeks thereafter for my thesis work. (gulp).

i ventured out of ainsley's basement to a cafe here. together we've been a puddle of sick, as she got sick the day before i. i haven't written yet about how *awesome* our love is for each other. the past 7 weeks that we've been together has been a spectacular experience of opening up, of both living and envisioning a really lovely future, a life together. it amazing how it's affected every other part of my life: how i want to be more creative, how i want to give more to the world, how i'm like think about kids (???) - it's like life was good but now i feel so lucky.

now, to stop being sick...

cry baby

cis privilege and passport applications

Posted on 2008.10.08 at 21:12
update... i am so sick right now, spiking a fever, i'm not even sure what i'm writing, or even what writing is. but what i do know is that i haven't updated my LJ in way too long.

i haven't felt this degree of shit in a long time. i *never* get sick. the timing (is there ever a good time to get sick though) isn't good as i'm planning on going to montreal this weekend to do a workshop at the waves of resistance conference in montreal.

i'd hate to not be able to go to the conference. i also feel that the work that i'd be doing there is super important. discussions of cis privilege and cissexism are sadly rare. most people haven't even been introduced to these 'concepts' before taking one of my workshops. as a sidenote, that these are 'concepts' is indicative of how this privilege is so masked, so unexamined, cis privlege is something that all cis people, it's an ongoing experience that all cis people have (to varying degrees), they just need to be awakened to it...

what was a major aggravation for me to day was that my application for a UK passport was sent back to me. thankfully it was 'incomplete' rather than 'rejected'. apparently i need to send them a doctor's note that says 'rebecca cannot psychologically accept the sex of her birth and has made permanant, irreversable changes to live in the other sex'. changing my sex on my birth certificate (not to mention all my other i.d.) wasn't enough for them.

with this letter, it became crystal clear again that my identity is conditional, its social validity and institutional existence being controlled by a physician. this was such a degrading experience.

this sense of conditionality, of invalidity as a woman (or man) is something that cis people never experience.

*we live, i scream to the clouds, in a cisnormative world.*

cis experiences, cis life-courses, cis identities, these are all valid, these are all 'normal'. these are, moreover, the ONLY valid and normal expeirence. to reenforce this, trans existences, where permitted, have their 'non-normal' status cemented through needing professional approval to even come into social and institutional existence.

no matter how we good we pass as cis, we will always be trans. cissexist agenda, one so insidious and autonomomic that most cis people don't even realize it's there, keeps us in check as 'non-normal', as 'conditional' and 'pathological'.

well, to end on a bright note... can't wait till i actually have my UK passport! i'll be able to not just travel to the UK (and the US) but to live and work there (and anywhere else in the EU as well)!

cry baby

election time in canada

Posted on 2008.09.07 at 14:08
i find it odd, on the day when a national election in canada was called, that a booth plastered to the max with obama garb was set up at a street festival to register folks for the *U.S. election*.

these are very important political times in north america. we haven't had a canadian and U.S. election held simultaneously since 1988. some of my earliest memories were watching john turner, and ed broadbent lambast brian mulroney about the free trade agreement he was going to pursue. the archaic first-past-the-post (fptp) electoral system in canada produced a majority ('progressive') conservative government with only 43% of the vote.

there has been a lot of movement and things to consider since the last election in 2006 - movement that could very easily give us a majority conservative government:

1) DION - perhaps most centrally, was the selection of stephane dion as liberal party leader. dion was elected as a consequence of the 'anyone-but-ignatieff' movement within the liberal parts - a decision that i'm certain most liberals are strongly regretting at this time. for what dion has on his side in terms of intelligence and policy acument, he lacks when it comes to leadership - a major point given the economic and geo-political instability currently going on. dion's most fateful misstep has been proposing the lightning-rod-of-a-policy: ;The Green Shift' which in essence calls for shifting taxes away from income and onto carbon. suggesting such drastic economic reforms, proposed precisely as the country is entering a peried of economic uncertainly, appears to be scaring people away from the untested leader with his untested policy.

2) MR. HARPER, MEET MR. HYDE - a rather brilliant tactical move has been the wolf-in-sheep's-clothes maneouvre the conservatives have done since 2006. in contrast, post october 14, a majority government - or even a significantly strengthened minority - will certainly lead to the realization of an neo-liberal agenda unequaled in canadian history making the recent $45-million cut to national arts funding look like playful foreshadowing.

3) OUT OF LEFT FIELD CAME THE GREENS - the green party got their first MP last week when blair wilson, elected liberal but sitting as an independent 'crossed the floor' to the green party (never mind that he was already sitting the back corner where the greens would be sitting if they actually had anyone else in parliament, never mind that parliament hasn't actually been sitting since may). this virutally assures a spot for elizabeth may, green party leader, in the upcoming leader's debates, and will certainly further solidify the greens as a legitimate political entity. already polling at 8-10% nationally, it is foreseeable that this election could see the greens getting their first 'elected' MP though this is uniquely tricky given the fptp voting system that favours concentrated support in local regions rather than broad national support

4) VOTE-SPLITTING - with the rise of the greens, the unparalled strength of the ndp under the charismatic jack layton, and the leftward-shift of the liberals under dion (not to menion the eternal presence of the left-leaning sepratist bloc quebecois in quebec) the spectre of vote-splitting among progressive and centrist voters is significant. strategic voting, employed in the past by the liberals to siphon votes from the NDP is going to become a lot more complex with the presence of 3, sometimes 4, left-leaning candidates in a riding. and besides, the effectiveness of strategic voting is debatable at best, not to mention it furthering the nauseating trend of having to vote *against* something rather than casting a vote in favour of an ideology you actually favour.

in the end, i fear that i will be right and that this election could very likely see the election of a conservative *majority* with less than even 35% of the popular vote. the whole set-up of our parliamentary democracy is so ill-suited to the current political climate of canada. while people talk contrast canadian elections being boring, as a battle of bland also-rans, particularly in contrast to the telegenic and captivating characters in the U.S. election, I would contend that voter apathy in canada extends from the fact that we cannot vote for our leaders, and that our votes are systematically rendered meaningless through the fptp electoral system.

the time for a new voting system is long overdue and it will need to come out of a consensus decision from all the centrist and progressive parties to make *this* piece a central part of their platforms. i fear that it will take 4 years of majority conservative rule to actually make this a reality.

i hope that i'm wrong.

cry baby

exhaustion and health stuff

Posted on 2008.09.03 at 18:56
over the past 4 weeks i've gotten progressively more exhausted and now i'm really starting to get worried.

while i was somehow able to pull it together to get through work the last few days, when i haven't been working i just crash. i feel so sluggish and unable to do anything beyond basic living stuff. i have almost constant nausea and hot flashes. i was convinced first that my hormones were all outta whack. then, once that was ruled out, i thought it was a thyroid issue, or maybe anemia. with both those ruled out, i resigned myself to believing that it's just 'simple' exhaustion, that it would resolve with a bit of rest.

but, over the past two days since i stopped working, things have not gotten better and, in fact, i feel worse! what's most odd, is that my body just feels 'off'. i have sore, swollen lymph nodes all over my body; i also went to the doctor today and he looked a bit concerned and is sending me for an ultrasound and x-rays... which really scares me. what is going on?

i'm trying to relax but i'm really bad at it. i actually don't really know what it's like to really relax, i think. i've lived my whole life in a state of hyper-vigilant stress, always expecting that someone will attack me - i owe it to day in constant torment in high school and pretty much the whole time i was growing up. of course, this is all residual trauma; it is something that i need to shed. now, nothing ever happens: in virtually all circumstances i have my conditional cis privilege but i still feel like something, somwhere, by someone is going to happen.

of course this is not the only stress in my life, but it's a significant (and constant one). my thesis is the other read about my internal thesis neurosisCollapse )

i have to cancel my trip to new york cause i really don't think that spending two full days over the next week is something that's really gonna help my body right now. it sucks, it really really sucks. this whole summer just feels like things conspire to make any fun thing an impossibility.

i hope that i'll be well enough to make a trip to new york in the fall. and then a trip out west in the winter sometime, once i'm post-thesis. :)

cry baby

so happy that september is here

Posted on 2008.09.01 at 13:05
i have been exhausted for the past 3 weeks. this is a level of physical and existential exhaustion the depths of which i've never experienced. i've totally been working too many thing for way too long. my body just feels so off and part of me is really hoping it's 'just' exhaustion and not something a lot worse.

i'm in need of some serious down time and i'm going to get it. there's really no 'choice' going on here.

i will be broke and that too is a serious anxiety i need to face. but, in reality, i don't need money in the way that i used to. i got used to being so stressed about it, of needing to save thousands of dollars; i need to let go of that stress, it's no longer relevant. i need to let go of a lot of trauma as well; it too is no longer relevant but lingers nonetheless.

p.s. i'm coming to new york on friday. i'm very excited to see some folks when i'm there. :)



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