back burner

the no bullshit guide to getting your shit together: for the lazy student

Let’s be honest: time management and organization? They’re really hard. Sure, at first you might feel like you’ve gotten the hang of them, that you’re in control of your life. But how often have you fallen off the wagon? Procrastinated on one thing and the next moment, you’re behind in all your classes? I know that sometimes laziness feels like a part of who you are, but honestly, fuck that. Do you really want to give up your success for the disinterest of a moment?

If your answer is no (it better be no, or you really need to get your priorities straight), let’s get to it. 

STEP ONE: BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF

“This class doesn’t even matter.” “I don’t care about my grades.” “I can finish this the day before.” Sound familiar? You might feel great now, but when you’re staring down at your report card later, it’ll feel like you just got punched. 

This is a cliche, but the greatest obstacle to your success is yourself - especially the lies you tell yourself! Sit yourself down and be honest about what you need to improve on. Be as blunt as you can, but for god’s sake, don’t throw yourself a pity party! There’s no use agonizing over what you can’t change. Instead, set realistic, achievable goals, and make a game plan. Struggling with math? Go to extra help. Behind in all your classes? Stay in for a couple nights and actually work. 

STEP TWO: STOP WITH THE FANCY SHIT

Now you know what your goals are, but maybe you want some inspiration, so you log on to tumblr and are instantly bombarded by all these beautiful, well lit shots of the most gorgeous bullet journals, planners, and notes. Impressive, right? Well, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: they’re all useless! A simple phone planner works just as well, if not better, than a fancy agenda, because you’ll always have it on you, it’s not a hassle to carry around, and you don’t feel obligated to make it look pretty. 

Riddle me this, where are you going to find all this extra motivation to keep prettying up your bullet journal? To write all your notes in perfect, colour coded printing? There aren’t many times in life where taking the easy was out will actually benefit you, so take advantage! Stop wasting your time; get a phone planner and write your notes in your natural goddamn handwriting. 

STEP THREE: CLEAN YOUR ROOM

Yep, your entire room - not just your study space! This one can be put on the back burner for a bit if you’re on a really pressing deadline, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m notoriously messy, and if I don’t watch myself, I’d find myself in dirty-laundry-and-old-notes hell. A little bit of organized chaos is fine, I even encourage it! But try working when your desk is covered in mounds of paper and you have nowhere to put your laptop – it’s just not conducive to success. 

Keeping your entire room clean is a way to stave off stress, frustration, and even embarrassment, because nobody wants to show potential roommates how much of a mess they are. 

STEP FOUR: ACTUALLY WORK

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: “actually work? Who does this girl think she is?” I’d probably think the same thing, except I’ve learned the valuable lesson of sucking it the hell up, and you will too. When you get home from work, grab a snack and work. When you have a free period, figure out what’s due and work. Stop reasoning yourself out of work: you’re not going to finish this later, and that will be on the test. There’s really not much to say about this one, because it’s the step that requires the most raw effort, and you’re really only going to find that within yourself. Tell yourself what’s at stake, and realize that, by setting the standard for your mediocrity now, you’re potentially trapping yourself in a cycle that will last for years. 

STEP FIVE: CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK

Maybe you’ve been on top of your shit for a day, a week, or even a month, and that’s really great. But then… you fail. You miss a deadline or you bomb a test. So what do you do now? Do you allow yourself to fall back into your old habits? Fuck no! Everyone fails, even that studyblr with those perfect bullet journal photos and a perpetually clean study space. I’m going to tell you something that’ll sound really strange: you should value your failures, especially if you worked hard to avoid them. What?! Be HAPPY about failing when I actually TRIED? Yeah, you heard me right. If you don’t know how to handle failure, then when you inevitably experience it, your reaction will be much worse. 

Failing hurts, and boy, I know how embarrassing it can be. But learning how to deal with failure, and especially how to keep trying after it happens, is an invaluable lesson. 

STEP SIX: TREAT. YO. SELF.

Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting you treat yourself after the most basic of tasks, because please. Treat yourself when you know you goddamn well deserve it. Remember that “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.” If all you do is study and do your homework, then, pardon my french, your life sucks. If you don’t have friends, play a video game! Eat an entire jumbo chocolate bar! Indulge in whatever the fuck you want, you deserve it. I’m someone that has trouble prioritizing future benefits over immediate gratification, so by allowing myself little pleasures, I save myself from crashing and burning. 

Hope these tips helped, but remember to take them with a grain of salt - you’re you and I’m me, and different things work for different people. Good luck!

Raise your hand if you got all these cool goals and ideas you wanna do that keep winding up on the back burner because the daily grind of Life in General™ exhausts you, making it near impossible not to give in to simple, cozy pleasures instead

The Signs as things they need to realize

Aries- you need to realize taking care of yourself first is more important than taking care of others

Taurus- you need to realize that just because zodiacs say you’re supposed to be stubborn doesn’t mean you really have to be that stubborn

Gemini- you need to realize that you’re just as great single and to stop rushing into new relationships

Cancer- you need to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around you and to ask other people how they’re doing every once in a while

Leo- you need to realize that your friends really do like you and to stop second guessing them and yourself

Virgo- you need to realize your body is beautiful and you need to stop hating on it

Libra- you need to realize that you can’t please everyone all the time and that you have to learn to say no

Scorpio- you need to realize you’re good enough and to stop trying to become someone else

Sagittarius- you need to realize how to go with the flow and to stop trying to have control of the world around you

Capricorn-you need to realize that you have to take care of your body, put that book down and get a good nights rest

Aquarius- you need to realize that your mental health is important and shouldn’t be pushed to the back burner

Pisces- you need to realize that it’s impossible to avoid conflict forever and to just say what needs to be said

9

Part ½ _OLI

I’ve had these on the back burner for a while, mainly because we’ve been very busy. I also felt like these don’t really represent the kind of work we do now. These were a mishmash of different inspirations and techniques. Enjoy!

6

cutie 🍇

4 tips for getting ahead after falling behind

So ‘it’ happened. You got sick, you scheduled too much at once, you had a bad day (or week). We’ve all been there and it sucks. And now you’re behind and you’re feeling overwhelmed. These are just a few tips I have for getting back on track (and hopefully ahead) after falling behind.

  • If you are behind on homework it’s time to prioritize. You’re at a point where it might be worth it to let the tiny assignments that aren’t worth very much sit on the back burner until you’ve dealt with the important stuff. So what are your priorities?
    • Do you have work in a class that you’re doing really well in and you feel like you can set it aside and hand it in late, or you can afford to miss the assignment without screwing up your final grade? Great, set it aside and leave that stress for later.
    • Do you have work in a class you’re terrified of failing? Okay, focus in on that. If you don’t eliminate the chief point of stress first you’re going to find it very hard to focus on anything else.
  • Do you have exams coming up that you haven’t studied for? This is rough but you need to decide whether sleep or studying is better for you. There’s no wrong choice here; it’s different for everyone. I am a ‘needs sleep’ person but my roommate is a ‘stay up and get shit done’ person. If you know you can’t function without a decent amount of sleep then ixnay the idea of an all night all together.
    •  Now that you’ve figured that out it’s time to focus; what topics are you doing the worst in? Get started on figuring out what it is you don’t know. 
    • Also make sure to write down what you do know and keep looking over that constantly so you don’t lose the knowledge you already have. 
    • Now figure out what methods you actually have time for; if you’re in a crunch you may not have time for flashcards. I find that when it a crunch it’s helpful to essentially begin compiling a cheat sheet.
    • Write down everything you could possibly need for the exam as though you were going to be able to take it into the exam. Make it clear! Make it easy to glance at! Don’t waist time on making it look pretty!
    • As you go through creating the sheet make sure that you would know what kind of problem or topic that the concept/formula would go with and how you would use it to solve a problem.
    • The above means that you aren’t just copying over formulas, dates, quotes, etc.; You are committing the CONTEXT to your memory and if need be to your sheet.
  •  Is the problem reading? Heaven knows that’s been mine this week! First thing first: READ for the NEXT class. Don’t start with what you should’ve read last week; playing catch up is stressful and means that you may do a ton of work and still not be prepared for the next class.
    •  If you come across parts that don’t make sense because you haven’t read the earlier stuff skip back and skim those bits. 
    • Once you’ve read for the next class you can decide what the best option is for continuing. 
    • Either start at the back end of what you’re behind on or work your way backwards.
  • Is it an essay? Is it more than one? Okie doke. Break those kiddos down into the sections you think you need; intro, para 1, para 2, etc, conclusion. 
    • Alright, now give those sections titles and maybe like a brief summary. 
    • Okay now you’re ready; pick one section from one of your papers to start on. It doesn’t have to be the intro you just need to get started. I like to start with ones that require a bit of research on my part so that I can really get the ball rolling and start collecting articles. 
    • Then you should either set a timer for about thirty minutes and switch off every time the timer goes off, or (my preferred method) write until you finish the section before deciding which one to work on next. 
    • The real key is making sure that you change sections when you find yourself losing steam even if it’s in the middle of a sentence. Sometimes I start a sentence and then forget where I was going with it and it throws off the whole game so by changing sections you allow yourself to refresh and come back with new eyes.

That’s what I’ve got for now, I hope that some of this helps. I also want to remind you that you are not a bad person for getting behind whatever the reason was. Sometimes it happens even when you’re paying attention so try not to worry too much about it! If you find yourself getting overwhelmed and way too stressed out remember to let yourself breath and walk away for a few minutes. I wish you the best of luck and my ask/messenger is always open if you need anything.

I will always love One Direction. But, I wish media would let it rest for now. I remember everywhere Niall went after “This Town” came out, it seemed like the song, and embarking on a solo career, took a back burner to questions about the band returning. 

Today, asking if they’ve spoken to each other is one thing, but playing a lengthy 1D montage while one is on a program to promote a solo album is just…unnecessary.

They’re not going on shows and giving interviews to talk about 1D. Leave the past in the past for a bit. Give them all time and the opportunity they deserve, to establish themselves as solo artists, without harping on about what was. Start the 1D talk again when the ten year reunion is imminent.

I know people are really disappointed with the apparent Malec sex scene. And rightfully so. If they are willing to show Jace in that position and a huge portion of it with the girl and him talking about the runes and then just show Malec walking off an that’s it? So rightly pissed.

However, saying that I’m so happy that Malec once again communicated. I’m so happy that we got to see this vulnerable side of Magnus that is hidden away so often, where he was so happy to receive this gift from Alec. Later when their casually making out, it’s so easy and it’s so casual, it’s so realistic. Everything about Malec is realistic in this scene, it makes you relate to them so much. These two boys, just sitting and kissing on the sofa, nothing else but just being them. And the scene prior to the “sex” scene. I’ll take that communication over an actual sex scene any day. 

I’ll take Magnus opening up about his fears of losing Alec, about getting too close and then Alec walking away. I’ll take Magnus opening about going too fast and making Alec realise that even though he’s centuries old he is just as vulnerable and just as scared. Alec realising this, Alec realising that it’s not only his feelings that should be taken into consideration but Magnus’ as well. And the way he reassured him, that smile on his face that just screamed “you are ridiculous if you think I’m ever letting go of you”, it just made everything better. You could see Magnus’ worries slowly fade away as he was led away. 

So yea, I’m disappointed about the “sex” scene, not because we didn’t get to see it but because we saw a m/f one just at the start and then the lgbtqa ship was put on the back burner. But you know what, I’ll take Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood communicating like a real life relationship where so many people can relate to, over a sex scene anyday. anyday.

Be Careful What You Wish For

I am the DM for this campaign. For some context, at the very start of our campaign, our bard wanted me to create a Fantasy Hot Topic just for some laughs. There wasn’t anything I could do with that to start with so I held the idea on the back burner. Fast forward to one main mission completed and the party is in the middle of their second campaign. They ended up in a nice looking laboratory and were having a tour of the place.

Bard: Well if there isn’t anything else that I can look at here, then I suppose we can just-

A scientist busts through the door, yelling happily and waving a dagger around.

DM as scientist: WE’VE DONE IT WE’VE DONE IT! OUR PERFECT CREATION!

Bard: WHOA! Hold on, what’s going on?

Scientist: We have created the most powerful weapon in all of our time here! It’s fit for a king!

Bard: That’s uh, pretty cool. Do you happen to have a name for it?

Scientist: YES! We have decided to call it, Fantastical Heated Subject!

Bard: What a weird name, okay sure.

Eventually the Bard is given the weapon. Happy to have a stronger weapon finally, she writes it down. My player then slowly begins to think about the name a bit more before whipping her head towards me as I struggle to keep my laughter in.

OOC Bard: Wait a minute… WAIT A MINUTE

OOC DM: YOU WANT FANTASY HOT TOPIC? YOU’RE GONNA GET FANTASY HOT TOPIC

probably the worst thing ive realized from being any part of the hamilton fanbase is that the fanbase really prioritizes the pieces of work created by white fans. hamilton is literally about putting people of color into the narrative, but white fans are still favored by a majority of the fanbase, and the same 3-4 big name white fans who have strayed so far from the actual musical that they admit to barely listening to it anymore are what drove so many poc out of the fanbase. hell, it’s not even that white fans produce better content or that there’s more of them or that they have more of the means to do so, it’s just that this fandom treats fans of color so poorly even though hamilton is for them. there’s literally been like one big name fan of color and that was galactibun who y’all treated like shit and forced into remaking like 3 times. it’s so transparent that even in the fanbase for a musical FOR people of color, white fans are still the driving force and get to speak for us. once again poc are put on the back burner in something that was meant for them and the fact that a bunch of people will unfollow me for saying this really proves my point.

Off the back of my first post regarding Space Dad Kolivan have some headcannons/ideas/random stuff!!

Lance narrating: “Funnily enough, the deadliest of us is also the dadliest”

Hunk slips while pulling food out of the oven, Kolivan catches the food in one hand and Hunk in the other.

He likes to throw Pidge. Straight up at dubious heights, across the room, behind the enemy’s lines during a battle as some kind of flanking maneuver. He’ll just pick her up and toss her bc he can

He’ll actively and noticeably censor himself in the paladins’ presence.

Always manages to land a perfectly centered slap on the back of Lance’s head as situationally required

He’s legit the “I’m everywhere” dad

He has a Dad Chair on the castle, even when he’s not there it’s left for him

T H E   T H E R M O S T A T

He’s like a reverse gremlin, little inconsequential fixes that took the back-burner are suddenly being done and no one knows how or who by until Coran catches Kolivan adjusting something and he’s just like “it helps me think”

Kolivan insists on cooking a traditional Galra meal bc Kieth needs to taste his heritage

He’s a fab cook and Galra cooking is bae

Kolivan is very proud of himself and gladly teaches Hunk the recipes

He can drive and park any vehicle perfectly on the first try regardess of whether or not he has prior experience with said vehicle

He even once managed to drift into a flawless parallel park during a high speed escape

Can turn any situation or funny story into a Valuable Life Lesson

“Alright paladins, we’re going to do this clearly dangerous and highly risky thing in a needlessly complex yet still over-simplified way”

Creative in the most unusually creative way.

*explosion* the team comes running in to see Kolivan crouching with his back to the blast, looking badass. Kolivan stands up revealing a previously completely hidden Pidge, not a hair out of place

*is holding a baby, baby screams in delight* A MIGHTY WARRIORS CRY

Highkey protective af

Totally chill with Pidge climbing all over him, he doesn’t even notice the extra weight

One time Hunk found them in the bridge doing some modifications together and took a picture bc it was too cute

Kolivan was standing, leaning on the control panel doing things while Pidge was perched on his shoulders with her laptop on the top of his head, typing

They were both so hyper-focused that neither noticed Hunk quietly squeeing

He can and will fall asleep anywhere

but will wake up and be totally alert in 0.3 sec if he needs to catch someone/something

One time Kieth was standing on the kitchen counter looking for food on the top shelves bc he’s the second shortest person and he stepped back too far but Kolivan just reached out and pushed him back into a standing position without even looking up from his reading

Everything

Summary: AU. Reader rushes to her ex-boyfriend’s side when he’s in an accident.

Pairing: Bucky Barnes x fem!reader

Word Count: 4,733

Warnings: language, angst, referenced car accident/motorcycle accident, hospital, doctors, injury, fluff, more angst, more fluff, drunk driving mention, nothing gory, I’m not a damn doctor okay? Shonda Rhimes taught me this shit.

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Why Teens Shouldn’t Run Revolutions

Hi guys. I’m going to piss off a lot of YA writers (and possibly readers) today, so hang onto your hats.

Mainly, if you’re in love with the idea of a high schooler with no strategic or combat experience heading up a revolution or war because they’re “so dedicated and determined,” don’t read this. Please, don’t. You’re not going to see anything you like. Go ahead and keep enjoying your guilty pleasure – that’s fine. I’m not going to own up to some of the guilty pleasures I love in fiction but don’t buy for a second in real life. That’s chill. Go for it, man.

But there are just things that I – and readers like me – are tired of seeing. If you’re sick of that trope, then keep reading. If you’re open to the idea of ditching that trope in your writing, then I really recommend reading.

This assessment/collection of tips on why teens shouldn’t run revolutions - and if you’re going to make them, how they CAN do it well - will include comparisons to history, other fiction (Unplugged), and Black Butler. Plus swearing and a range of incorrect capitalizations, because it’s fun.

On we go:

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Why Fans Resonate With Lance So Much and Why We’re Mad He’s a False Protagonist (spoilers I guess)

So Lance has pretty much been my favorite character since about ten seconds after he came on screen, and I’ll try to get right to the point about why I feel that way and why a giant portion of the vld fandom feels that way as well.

Obviously, Lance has been openly shown to have insecurities about his self-worth. I can’t really think of another character from a cartoon show (except maybe, like, Sokka from A;TLA) to have this plotline to this degree, but it’s a very unique and sensitive characterization that should be handled a little more carefully than it has been.

As a recap, Lance doesn’t really contribute much in the way of “hyper-specialized skills” to Voltron (aside from occasional shots of underused Sniper!Lance.) But next to him, we see 1). An ace pilot with special alien heritage and advanced hand-to-hand fighting skills who has been picked as the successor to the team’s leader 2). An Earth hero/veteran with a special prosthetic that gives him valuable fighting abilities, who pilots the oh-so-special Black Lion 3). An engineering genius 4). A tech/ex machina genius 5). A space princess with magical powers, fighting skills, and shapeshifting abilities who can ‘sense’ and ‘channel’ whatever whenever the plot needs her to.

And then, oh yeah, we’ve got…Lance. Who cracks goofy jokes. 

He’s NORMAL! And it SUCKS to feel ‘normal’ when everyone around you seems so effortlessly special!

I’ve struggled with that feeling my whole life—that habit of constantly measuring myself against others and obsessing over what I can “contribute”. For the longest time, I thought I was only as valuable as what I could bring to the table. So I was shocked and awed to see a character with that same affliction. It’s odd. I’ve never had a character I resonated so strongly with. I see myself in Lance so much.

Our own insecurities are validated and reflected through Lance’s character. It’s a real emotional issue that many of us struggle with, so to see it on the screen given representation means something.

ANYWAY—Onto why Lance is a false protagonist, and why I’m pissed about it. In fiction, a false protagonist is “a literary technique, often used to make the plot more jarring or more memorable by fooling the audience’s preconceptions, that constructs a character who the audience assumes is the protagonist but is later revealed not to be.”

LANCE WAS SET UP DURING THE BEGINNING OF EPISODE ONE AS THOUGH HE WAS THE MAIN CHARACTER. 

Seriously, think about how books typically use their prologue+main story setup. We got our prologue (Shiro and the Holts being taken) and then it opens up to what the viewers assume is the start of the “Main Story” which typically follows the main character-to-be. This is a natural pattern to follow in storytelling because it helps the viewer understand and process what role each character plays overall. Lance is the first character we got a little bit of a read on with that whole “Blah blah remember you’re just a replacement for the dropout so don’t end up like him” Garrison test flight, so that’s another reason for the viewer to latch onto him. 

Watching Voltron for the first time knowing literally nothing about it going in, I knew there would be a team dynamic as episode one unfolded but thought that there would be special emphasis on Lance as the main character (think Aang from A;TLA. Yeah, there was a team of main characters, but Aang was THE main character if you get what I’m saying).

Seriously, go back and watch the first episode again if you didn’t notice it the first time. By a writing standpoint, Lance is written in the most “This will be the main character!” way possible. 

Which is why it’s so bizarre that he’s been pushed to the back-burner for so many seasons now. God, at this point, his back-burner isn’t even turned on anymore. He and Hunk are just the 3-day old pots of mac n’ cheese congealing by the sink while Shiro, Keith, and Pidge are lit up and ready to go at a moment’s notice, but at least Hunk’s Balmeran arc in season 1 spanned, like, 2 or 3 whole episodes when Lance is lucky to get anything beyond two minutes.

I’ve accepted that he’s not THE main character (I WAS starting to think it was Keith, but then he f’ed off for season 4 and I was like, no, Voltron, when we said we wanted less Keith we just meant we needed a better balance of characters not the entire removal of one) (and anyway how bad is it that even when Keith’s character is finally drawn back a little bit, WE STILL. GET. NO. LANCE (or Hunk). ARC.) 

Still, the dynamic from a writer’s standpoint is a little clunky. In my experience, stories are best told when they revolve around a singular main character, or two, like Gravity Falls for example. But things fall apart and get messy, especially in a television format, if you try to sell 5 main characters (six if you count Allura) as equally important (story-wise) right from the start. It just doesn’t work. It’s only natural to latch onto one or two characters and that’s why we keep getting these “Just wait, Lance will get his (3 second, never mentioned again or brought forward into a new season) moment!” promises. Good storytelling just doesn’t evolve well when you try to juggle five characters as all equally THE main character. And it ESPECIALLY feels super-clunky since Lance was introduced in episode one of the whole show as the potential main character and then used mostly for comic-relief ever since.

And when I say I want a Lance arc, I don’t mean “I want a Lance arc where Lance helps Keith learn to lead” or whatever—NO, GODDAMMIT. I WANT. AN ARC. FOCUSED SPECIFICALLY ON LANCE. NOT ON LANCE GROWING AS A SUPPORT FOR OTHER CHARACTERS’ GROWTH.

I was actually hoping that whole “Lance Dies in season 4!” worry going around would be true because 1). Lance obviously wouldn’t die for-real, so I wasn’t even worried about that 2). It would mean we would actually be getting what could have been a very emotional and quality Lance-focused story arc longer than three minutes.

I’m actually starting to think Lance isn’t going to get a story arc that spans across a few episodes that also remains the driving theme of those episodes. I think it will be another tossed-out line regarding his insecurity and that will be it.

I wanted Lance to be the Black Paladin so freaking bad, you guys! It would have been such a twist, such a moment for him to show off the leadership skills he’s been quietly accumulating. AND HOW ANGRY WAS I IN SEASON 4 WHEN LANCE LOGICALLY SAID “HM, MAYBE WE SHOULDN’T STAND UNDER THESE GENERATOR THINGS THAT LOOK LIKE THEY COULD FORM A FORCE FIELD AT ANY TIME” AND SHIRO BASICALLY SAID “WAIT HOLD ON, WE HAVE TO INVESTIGATE WHAT IT IS BY STANDING EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE.” WTF. LANCE, WHY ARE YOU SO IGNORED.

Anyway, it’s late and I’m cranky and kind of forgot where I was going with this but I’m signing off, passively hoping that maybe Lance will one day get his huge “I’m Keith and I get whole seasons dedicated to me” arc. 

But it probably won’t happen.

Ugh.

I’m going back to bed.

Taylor Mason

I am really excited about Taylor Mason’s appearance in Showtime’s Billions.

Here’s Showtime’s behind the scenes introduction of Taylor on YouTube, with interview snippets with the actor and the writers.

I don’t know the show at all. It is definitely not my usual genre. No one does any science or magic, you know? It’s a fast-paced businessy financey drama thing. I don’t even remember how I found out, but when I heard that Billions claimed to have the first ever nonbinary character on TV… well, to be honest, I kinda did a skeptical face. The articles are all very US-centric, and explicitly nonbinary characters are not uncommon in some parts of the world. And anyway, “nonbinary character” usually means “gender non-conforming binary character” because that’s usually the best we can hope for. But yeah, I was interested, so I looked into it.

Here’s my TL;DR: Billions is the first mainstream US TV show to my knowledge that contains a character overtly described as nonbinary and whose they/them pronouns are stated in the show and affirmed by almost all of the other characters.

We’re introduced to Taylor, played by Asia Kate Dillon (also nonbinary, they/them pronouns), in the first episode of season 2 - toying with another character about being vegan. They’re a sharp, brilliant, think-outside-the-box intern.

In episode 2 it gets a bit more in-your-face:

That guy in the second shot, Bobby Axelrod, is the very rich, very arrogant boss of macho boy’s club Axe Capital. And he just accepts Taylor’s assertion of their pronouns, no questions asked, no raised eyebrows. Just, “okay.”

Taylor proceeds to seriously impress the very rich arrogant boss guy in the chair.

Taylor isn’t going through some coming out plot, working out their gender and discovering themself. Taylor is out and comfortable and confident in their identity. People who refuse to accept them get bulldozed, either by other characters or by the plot itself.

Later in that episode there’s a scene in which Taylor isn’t present, and Taylor is misgendered by that bald guy, Bill:

It’s hard to capture the tone in this scene. It’s an alpha male showdown, over a nonbinary person’s pronouns. The arrogant guy who misgenders Taylor gets corrected, and then has two guys above him in the pecking order stare him down until he concedes, in body language and facial expression. Taylor’s rich white old guy boss is not gonna tolerate you misgendering them. (Over the next few episodes it becomes clear that Taylor is replacing Bill as Axelrod’s “favourite.”)

Bobby Axelrod upholds the pronouns of every singular-they nonbinary person in this one scene, to everyone watching the show. After that the conversation continues as before. It all happens very naturally as part of a conversational plot to take down a business rival, like it’s important and yet no big deal at all to correct a colleague’s pronouns.

There are people watching this who are nonbinary and going “wow, that’s me.” There are nonbinary people who haven’t worked themselves out watching this and going “wow, maybe that’s me?” There are parents of nonbinary kids watching this and going, “wow, maybe using new pronouns isn’t so hard? Maybe my child is not just going through a phase?” There are nonbinary kids watching this with their parents, thinking “maybe now my parents see Taylor being taken seriously they will take me more seriously.”

This is incredible.

Naturally, I have concerns. I’ve got them on the back-burner because one TV show is not a pattern among TV shows. It does, however, fit a known trend of nonbinary visibility.

Taylor is white, AFAB, thin, young, wealthy, able-bodied, and masculine-presenting. They fit the nonbinary cliché so well that I can’t even find any deviation from it. In reality nonbinary people are very diverse in pronouns, gendered presentation, race, body type, and class. But when newspapers are interviewing these “new” and fascinating nonbinary people, they always seem to choose people mostly like me: white, thin, AFAB, young, apparently able-bodied, androgynous-to-masculine-presenting. (I’ve been interviewed by journalists for articles about nonbinary people that then didn’t even include me in the final piece, because I refused to be seen as a representative of nonbinary people in some way.)

Taylor is also autistic. I don’t know if it’s deliberate, goodness knows writers create accidentally autistic characters all the time, but if you know what to look for in TV-autism it’s really really clear. And people really like to draw attention to the way autism and gender non-conformity overlap, to the extent that articles have been written by and focusing on doctors who believe that some gender non-conformity is directly caused by autism and should not be treated. (Article link. Warning: Daily Mail, general awfulness, etc.)

So going forward, I’m hoping that if and when there are more nonbinary people in TV shows we get to see some femininity, some differing body types, some people of colour, etc. I’m also hoping that we get to see some nonbinary people who are not obviously autistic - characters who express emotion freely and are not somehow brilliantly sharp and intelligent and innovative in one particular area of interest, for example.

But for now, I am thrilled. A TV show is portraying someone like me. In this case I’m lucky because I fit that autistic nonbinary cliché down to the ground, and I am perfectly represented in a mainstream US TV show for the first time in my life. I want other nonbinary people to experience that too, and this is a huge step forward and a long-deserved validation of the nonbinary community. I am excited to see what happens next for nonbinary representation and visibility.

This girl is in serious need of more love. In and out of universe. Like she doesn’t even have her own group of friends like a lot of the other characters in the series. I find that so sad.

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