but not for my conservative town

Dear Orphan Black and Clone Club,

I almost never post (personal) stuff on social media, but this time I felt instinctively the urge to do it. That’s the least thing I can do for you, because you have done a lot for me.

I started binge-watching the first three seasons of this show when I was at a low-point in my life. Surrounded by heteronormativity and other negative vibes in a conservative town, I craved adequate LGBTQ+ representation on media. Everyday, I escaped on Tumblr and usually reblogged positive and uplifting posts concerning my orientation, because it helped me a bit. Therefore, I discovered a gifset of Cophine and it may sound stupid, but it fascinated me. There was nothing sexual, nothing perverse, nothing for straight cis-male eyes, just two girls/women flirting with each other. Came for the gays, stayed for the whole show (I guess some other Clubbers would agree). At a first glance, Cosima reminded me of myself. I don’t think that I immediately started watching the first episode, but after a certain time I did and it was intriguing. Nowadays, in a period of bullshit television and crappy cinema, Orphan Black is something different and truly a high quality show (and I am not really somebody who regularly watches TV shows or movies). I loved the plot, the cinematography, the vibes, Tatiana’s acting skills were clearly amazing- and this applies to the whole cast also. After I watched the first episode, something interrupted me and I didn’t continue watching for weeks or even months.

One day, I was in a really bad mood, and I suddenly had a random feeling, that I should continue with the show. As you can imagine, from that day forward, I was invested and welcomed to an unforgettable trip.

One thing I want to tell you is: Thank you. Thank you so, so, so much.

Because of you, I

  • feel more accepting of and more comfortable about myself
  • see a brighter future
  • met my girlfriend
  • met many different people who were funny, bitchy, nice, weird, creepy, interesting, artsy and chill
  • fell in love with the cast
  • fell in love with Tat’s German and laugh
  • fell in love with Ebro’s hair and laugh
  • have found other good movies and shows in relation to the cast
  • have found exciting books
  • came to know Trevor Yuile
  • have faith in the film industry to become more creative and not monotonous as it is now
  • am amazed by your special effects
  • have hope that I will find a family who will accept me as I am

I repeat myself, but thank you for such a beautiful, kinda life-changing story with such a perfect music soundtrack. Hopefully it doesn’t sound exaggerated, but it’s just how all of this affected me. Because this is how high art works.


So, to my galaxy of people; thank you for the nurture. I wish you all the best.


A Clone Clubber from Germany

in light of this tumblr “safe” mode, i want to talk about my own experience with this website. im almost 19 now and i joined tumblr when i was 14. here are some details of how tumblr was a part of my journey as a lesbian:

  • i literally discovered that im gay from tumblr. it’s a kinda cheesy story but i was 14 and on tumblr on a sideblog of someone i followed that was dedicated to pictures for her future wife. i was 50 pages into looking at lesbian wedding photos when i realized that straight people don’t Do That
  • the first person i came out to was via tumblr. i told my best friend at the time who i met on here through the “fan mail” we had then and i was sobbing typing out the message. receiving her support and having someone outside of my town to talk to about it (who was also struggling with her sexuality) meant the world to me 
  • i first learned about lgbt history and activism through tumblr. it’s the reason i became interested and invested in social justice and obviously this education continued way beyond tumblr but it gave me my start coming from a school that, like many other high schools, erased the existence of gay people in its curriculum.
  • it introduced me to almost ALL of the gay content that i consumed. the tv shows, movies, books, singers, webcomics, etc that’s had gay representation that’s helped me come to terms with my sexuality over the years, I almost solely found through tumblr. 
  • most importantly, it gave me gay friends. im from a conservative town in florida and before my first year at college this year, i had no means of making gay friends or really any friends at all (because i was hated as an out lesbian in my town) in person. I’ve made so many gay friends on here who were INSTRUMENTAL in me accepting myself and still are so important to me to this day

im 18 now but all of the things listed above happened when i was ages 14-17. i know that this website is awful at times but for gay youth who are completely isolated from any sort of lgbt community, it can be really REALLY important. @staff you’re not protecting anybody, you’re literally harming gay youth and you need to fix this shit now.  

things bitty has experienced bc of the ~soft closet~
  • i have seen posts about bitty’s parents beating him up for coming out
  • i have seen posts about bitty’s parents being perfectly accepting
  • i suspect the reality is somewhere in the middle
    • the ~soft closet~
  • i am from the Baby Bible Belt– my town (and family) is incredibly conservative, but not like violently homophobic, i understand this middle ground, i am here to contribute
  • under a cut bc this got way too long and way too personal!! awesome!!

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

merman aus?? i'm dyin scoob i need those to live

Thank you for this request! I live for this AU! Hopefully these are what you’re looking for!


Mermaid AU


Blue Echo by Myka, Mature, 13k (WIP)
Yuri is a natare. A mermaid. He knows how to follow the rules that keep his kind safe. So why does a human dancer named Victor make him feel like breaking all of them? Lovely merman AU!

there’s an ocean in your eyes by Arrowsbane, Not Rated, 856 words
In which Yuuri is an artist, looking for inspiration in the Ocean. He wasn’t quite expecting a merman to pop up out of the surf. Mermaid!Victor and artist!Yuuri, love!

Swimming With The Fishes by instantpuppypaper, Mature, 29k (WIP)
Viktor, the ‘King’ of the seven seas; dangerous, pretty, and impossible to catch. Legends say even the ocean was in love with him, rescuing him and his crew when all seemed lost. Amazing mermaid AU with merman!Yuuri and Pirate!Victor.

Can You Sea Me? by tobisebaschan, Teen, 25k (WIP)
Yuuri Katsuki is a 24 year old, Marine Biologist/Whale Conservation Specialist. Victor is a very handsome merperson living off the coast of Yuuri’s town. They meet for a split second and Yuuri doubts reality, but he’s determined to find out the truth. Thumbs up!

It Shouldn’t Be That Simple by livetosail, Gen, 4.2k
Mermaid!Yuuri is blind, and has been rejected from his pod for years. Suddenly, a storm comes and another mermaid (Victor) takes refuge in his cave. Cute!

The Merman in my Private Bath by ruru_u, Teen, 5.4k (WIP)
Everyone thought Yuri was crazy when he claimed a merman saved his life. Even he learned to convince himself it was all some crazy dream - until one day, a beautiful and mysterious creature washes up onshore. Funny and descriptive AU! Bonus illisturations which are gorgeous.

Shells by gawsoloy, Teen, 6.1k
Mermaid!Victor gives Yuuri a pink conch as a present when he was just a boy. They meet again and again briefly, but when Yuuri’s 23 they really meet. Nice AU!

Our Secret by Syrum, Teen, 5.1k
Yuuri has a secret, one he has sworn never to tell. Until Victor. Until one afternoon, stuck in Russia in a slightly chilly hotel room. Now, everything rests on Victor’s reaction, and Yuuri knows he isn’t ready for this. This fic is everything I didn’t even know I needed!

Beside the Dancing Sea by lily_winterwood, MapleTreeway, Explicit, 179k
New York Times-bestselling author Viktor Nikiforov arrives in the sleepy seaside town of Torvill Cove to cure his writer’s block. After encountering local wallflower Yuuri Katsuki at a party, he discovers that this mysterious dark-haired man has a couple secrets up his sleeve.

Writing gay romance between Jewish characters with two differing levels of observance

I’m writing (or, right now, more planning/outlining, with occasional writing of small scenes that I can’t get out of my head) a novel about two Jewish men who fall in love in a very Xtian, conservative town. The older of the two (late thirties) is more closeted, reclusive, and is somewhat separated from his Jewish identity as a result of a combination of assimilation and intermarriage further back in his family. The main character (mid-late twenties) on the other hand is very involved with his synagogue, works at a Hebrew summer camp, keeps shabbos, etc.

My issue is that I’m very observant (conservaform) and so is my family; I know a few folks who go to my synagogue who are “high holy day Jews”, or might also come for a wedding or bris or bar/bas mitzvah, but not many who are non-observant to the degree of this character (hasn’t set foot in synagogue since being a child, didn’t have a bar mitzvah, has a pair of somewhat observant grandparents and some cousins/etc who are observant, but most of his immediate family isn’t observant). So I’m not sure how to portray the secondary character without someone going “why not just write a Jewish guy in love with an Xtian guy” or something, because even if his relationship to Judaism and Jewish culture are somewhat distant, they’re still there. I’m also afraid that someone is going to say “why are you bashing Xtianity” about some of the subject matter (as someone who has lived in a small town, I have a decent bit of material from personal experience on Xtian antisemitism), but really the main point is that I want to portray two Jewish men loving each other.

I want to write this but don’t want goyim in particular to try to argue that I should have just made my MC’s romantic interest Xtian in the first place, because one main theme I want to explore, which I haven’t seen explored much in fiction, is being gay and Jewish. Specifically, one concept I had for the second character is how his being closeted comes largely from a place of being raised in a Xtian-secular household in a very Xtian town, and homophobia being very religiously where he lives, and so him sort of being reluctant to explore religion at all; but then seeing how the MC is Very Jewish and somewhat-openly gay, and feeling both nostalgic for the parts of his grandparents he sees in the MC (speaking Yiddish, cooking traditional Ashkenazic food), as well as longing to be as comfortable with both his sexuality and to have a relationship with G-d as the MC does.

I don’t know if this is a weirdly specific character/plot concept, but it just came to me I guess and it’s been at me long enough that I’ve started to try to outline writing it. I just want to see more gay fiction with religious, specifically Jewish, characters. Thanks for any advice you can give.

Thank you for submitting a question so close to my heart! Looks like I need to break this down into several parts: 

1. How to portray secular Jews as something distinct from Christians, secular or otherwise - this may not be as hard as you think it is because you’re Jewish and your factory settings, your defaults, your unexamined ideas, may already be different from the Christians around you. Like, I was in my 30’s before I found out that gentiles don’t do the chair dance. I thought everyone did that. Give The Upside of Unrequired by Becky Albertalli (review here) a read – her main character tells the audience that “we’re the kind of Jewish family who eats bacon” and religion itself isn’t really a presence in her life, but she still finds it meaningful that the boy she’s working with at her new job turns out to be a fellow Jew.

Other possible markers of secular Jewishness:

  • Finding Jewish representation/acknowledgment of our existence in fiction (or the Jewishness of celebrities) meaningful
  • Casual use of the most common Yiddishisms (maybe not entire curse phrases, but, like, using the word ‘kvetch’ in ordinary conversation)
  • General feeling of alienation or otherness around super overt displays of Christianity
  • Foods like matzo ball soup or latkes (for your Ashkie characters, anyway; this might be different for other subgroups of us.) 

In my new release Knit One, Girl Two, the main character Clara is a secular Jew and one of the details I used to illustrate that is that her first kiss involved sneaking off with another girl during a friend’s bar mitzvah reception. She also refers to her grandparents as Bubby and Zayde and has strong opinions about which Jewish foods she does and doesn’t like. She’s slightly awkward around the love interest’s higher level of observance, which is something secular Jews might feel out of self-consciousness—if the character cared. A secular Jewish person and a gentile person don’t approach an observant Jewish person’s observance in the same way. The gentile may misunderstand or have misconceptions; the Jewish person might feel self-conscious for not participating. Or feel nostalgic for observant people in their past (like “oh, my grandma used to –!”) 

2. How to portray your own marginalization without sounding like you’re bashing the privileged group. Now, you’re not really obligated to watch out for the feelings of a group that has hurt you by having power over you… but at the same time I 100% understand not wanting to step on toes just to save your own peace of mind. Some suggestions for this:

  • Having some of the Christians in the town be nice, but powerless to stop the jackwagon ones.
  • Flat-out having your character say “I’m not mad at Christianity; these people don’t even seem like they’re following Jesus in the first place”
  • Cut down on the more painful elements and focus on your main characters’ reactions to their hurt rather than describing the bigotry itself. That will cut down on how much your bigoted characters hurt your RL readers, so they’ll be mad at them for your main characters’ sake but not for their own sake and it’ll give them a little distance. (Example: “OMG, I can’t believe how much of a jerk Todd was being, saying all that garbage about Jews and gay people.” Instead of “Todd walked into the room and shouted that Jews are X and gay people are Y!”)
  • Try to cut down on having the most bigoted characters belong to groups marginalized along another axis. You’re going to perpetuate fatphobia if your most bigoted character is also your only fat character, and if I were reading this story I’d be uncomfortable if the homophobic/antisemitic characters were Black unless a Black author was writing it because from a white pen this could easily be read as blaming those two -phobias on Black people instead of white supremacy where it belongs. 

3. I don’t think you’re going to get “you might as well have made him Christian” coming from outsiders because you’re a Jewish person writing Jewish characters. Just speaking from personal experience.. In any case, a secular Jewish character is not a Christian character. Sometimes they can come off that way when gentiles write them, because they won’t know what kind of details to add to make their being Jewish not seem arbitrarily pasted on, but I doubt that would happen from a Jewish writer. 

4. “One main theme I want to explore, which I haven’t seen explored much in fiction, is being gay and Jewish.” 

I have several recommendations for you! 

First of all, Jordan S. Brock’s just come out with a m/m novel called Change of Address based on her own experiences with PTSD and a service dog—it’s even dedicated to the service dog. Like her, the love interest is a Jewish adoptee, and the character’s observance mirrors her own – he and his father don’t allow bacon in the house but they’ll eat pepperoni as long as it’s somewhere else, for example. 

Out of print but easy to find in libraries through ILL is The Dyke and the Dybbuk, Ellen Galford’s paranormal f/f comedy about a demon who possesses a Jewish lesbian cab driver and makes her get a crush on an Orthodox woman as a prank. (Review)  

I also collected this list of free queer Jewish SFF short stories, which includes nonbinary representation. As far as my own works go, I really tried to infuse the Tales from Perach collection with all the joy and gratefulness both Judaism, Jewishness, and queerness have brought to my life – there’s a lesbian’s grateful prayer of thanks for her relationship with her wife, an elderly trans woman and her husband attending services, and a royal family with two moms and two dads putting on an exceptionally lavish Purimspiel that includes a scripted swordfight. 

I’m glad you’re writing something to add to this and expand the body of LGBT Jewish literature, especially something where both members of the couple are Jewish.

–Shira

‘Since Obamacare and these issues have come up, the women are in my grill no matter where I go,’ Rep. David Brat (R-VA) said at a local gathering of conservative groups, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. 'They come up — ‘When is your next town hall?’ And believe me, it’s not to give positive input.’ Chants of 'save our health care’ drowned out an address that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) gave on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

If you’ve been wondering why this blog has been so quiet about Charlottsville-  I am a mentally ill queer person and my Fiance is a Jewish man living in a largely conservative rural town.  I’m fucking TERRIFIED.  And reading about it, even the supportive stuff is triggering a lot of anxiety/obsessive/generally bad mental stuff.  There’s a non zero chance that the abdominal pain I have is an ulcer from the stress.

So I’ve donated what I can to the Southern Poverty law Center, and called all my reps, but that’s the end of my spoons.  I’m also gonna turn off anon for a bit becuase I’m sure the six anons asking me to reblog support posts are well-meaning but kids I really, really need a shelter from the news right now.

My love is will all of you, and thank you for understanding,

Gallus.

LGBT movies I recommend!

Brokeback Mountain 

(I really hope you have already seen this tho, its a classic. Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger plays two shepherds falling in love in 1960 Wyoming)

Jongens 

(Dutch, two teenage boys fall in love and deals with it) 

Freier Fall 
(German, two police officers, one with a baby on the way, develops feelings for one another. One of my favourite movies of all time) 

Keep reading

I have a new home!  Did I even mention that?

My lease is up at the end of the month, and I’m moving to a place of my own.  

Rowdy and I are not breaking up, but we are going back to living separately.  Supposedly moving in together is “taking things to the next level,” but we found that living together wasn’t necessarily enhancing our relationship, and we have really different lifestyle preferences.  He wants to live in the city and be super social, and I want to be a hermit in the woods.

So I’m going to go be a hermit in the woods!  My new place is the upper floor of a hundred-year-old barn 40 minutes from town, with conservation lands nearby and acres of forest out back.  It’s beautiful, in an eccentric creaky sort of way, and I’m looking forward to making it my own.

…This will be the 22nd house or apartment I’ve lived in.  Holy shit do I move a lot.

Mermaid/Merman AU

Arms of the ocean - PinkCactus

The two had swam farther than ever before, so that they could be alone on the clear winters night. Away from the crowds of people in the underwater cities, away from their parents and their friends. Tonight, it wasn’t about the royal traditions. Tonight, it was about them.

Blue Echo - Myka

Yuri is a natare. A mermaid. He knows how to follow the rules that keep his kind safe. So why does a human dancer named Victor make him feel like breaking all of them?

calling me to the soft sand - Arrowsbane

“Your human ways are strange,” Phichit says after a long pause. Yuuri shrugs, not really sure what to say to that. “You’re not the first to think that.” Yuuri admits, looking out to the horizon while fumbling for his preferred charcoal stick.

Can You Sea Me? - tobisebaschan

Yuuri Katsuki is a 24 year old, Marine Biologist/Whale Conservation Specialist that works for a Marine Life Rescue & Aquarium. Victor (or at least that’s his human name) is a very handsome merperson living off the coast of Yuuri’s town. They meet for a split second and Yuuri doubts reality, but he’s determined to find out the truth. They meet again eventually and things get hopelessly complicated.

The Crystal Tear - daiki

Disclaimer: This is loosely based from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (which means that I altered some terminologies) A/N: I was going through the folder of my old fics (this one had a very old pairing of mine originally with the same title) when I saw this and I felt that Victuuri would do well in this universe AKA clergyman!viktor and mermaid!yuuri bonus: phichit as a hyper pirate and an aged-up pirate yurio who’s done with everyone’s shit

Disney on Ice (Fanart series) - lamenart

I simply love these beautiful babies, and I love Disney World, so I thought I could combine these two amazing worlds. It’s going to be series of Disney Princes Viktuuri arts.

Fine Wines and Russian Spirits - mismatched_ideas

Come to Yakov’s Wine and Spirits Shoppe, we have everything! Viktor had been 27 for a long time. He couldn’t remember how long, but it was definitely a long time. He didn’t remember when or how he died but that didn’t matter much to him. Now he resigned himself to live a boring life working hard at Yakov’s Wine and Spirits Shoppe. Yuri had been 15 since he died and it pissed him the hell off. Nobody really understood how ghosts worked but after meeting Yuri anyone would agree that hormones could remain as unbalanced as the day someone died. Yuuri had been 24 for less than a year. He would be turning 25 if his roommate hadn’t convinced him to do something very stupid. He’d been 24 for less than a year but he had a lot of being 24 ahead of him and Yuuri wasn’t sure he was okay with that.

Fish Out of Water - sunshinestealer

Viktuuri mermaid prince AU because why not. Lemon in later chapters.

Forbidden by myshipstookovermylife

Victor is a fairy. Yuuri is a merman. They’re not supposed to be in love, not even supposed to be seen together.

From the waves - WailingAmaryllis (Athenias)

All Yuri Katsuki ever wanted was to meet the elven child who treated him with utmost kindness once more. But when he finds that elf again, he’s anything but ready to face the emotions that had built up over the years. Victor Nikiforov, or “the elven prince of skating”, is elated, on the other hand. He had been longing to find that mysterious siren that did nothing to harm him his entire life. In hopes of finding him, he had made a point to get his name and face known worldwide. But the question remains.Do either know the other is infatuated with them?

Heart like a harbor - ninjakins

Scientist Victor has fame, wealth, and no more mysteries left to plumb, until he is rescued by the greatest pursuit of his life.

(The psuedo-steampunk meramid AU that no one asked for.)
—–
It was impossible. it was beautiful. The entranced part of Victor cooed while the scientific part of Victor took over. The siren tales of the local sailors came to mind—hist studies of sea shanties had come in handy after all—but no, Victor knew in a heartbeat that what he was looking at was more rare: a genuine… “A mermaid,” Victor breathed. “And you talk!”

The Heart of the Ocean - MerWhoLocked

Pods are what keep us safe, Yuuri had to remind himself. It was more than just a social construct. It was instinctive behavior, born from a desire to protect themselves from larger predators. From an early age, pups were taught this vital life lesson but Yuuri seemed to have the hardest time following the rules, creating resentment among the others in the pod. His own shy nature didn’t seem to help in that regard either and Yuuri found himself at odds with most of the other merfolk. But what happens when you don’t have a pod anymore?After meeting Victor, Yuuri finally understands what it’s like to be loved. A loving family isn’t always the one your born into, sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself. But can they survive an ocean full of predators and judgmental merfolk who won’t accept them?

hold your breath - plisestkypng

Both leading unsatisfying lives, siren Yuri Plisetsky and Kazakh prince Otabek Altin find their way into each other’s lives.

In Regards to Love: Agape - nannahthelesbian

Yuri is convinced she’s a fallen Angel who only needs to regain her wings to reclaim family and happiness. Viktor is a fisherman in love with a merman who forgets him year after year. When Yuri urges him to follow the merfolk migration, she hopes helping him will be the key to earning her wings. Yuri didn’t expect to get tangled up in Viktor’s story … or to care about it. (alternating PoVs)

I’ll Be Your Sea - PlayingGod

Yuri Katsuki had always wanted to be a pirate, and now at the age of 23, he was. He never had much luck, so of course fate would have it that he would end up on Glacies, a strong pirate ship with the most obnoxious captain one could imagine. The days on the ship were pretty straightforward. A pirate’s life was not as exciting as he thought it was going to be when he was younger. He wondered if his whole was going to continue this way, unchanging. He wondered if he was always going to be a coward. Perhaps the stunning, ethereal creature with moonstone eyes will help him change. Or A pirate/mermaid (well, merman) AU where Yuri is a pirate on a ship with JJ as Captain, and they capture a beautiful merman who would sell for more gold than they would know what to do with. Except Yuri really doesn’t want to do that.

Kaiyō Negai-Ocean Wish (Victuuri Mermaid AU) - Shy_Ika

Viktor Nikiforov can no longer surprise anyone. The pressure built up and Viktor lands himself in 2nd, earning himself a Silver medal After making the bold desision to quit skating for a season and coach Yuri Plisetsky, Viktor finds himself only falling further into a depression. Events lead up to him discovering the beautiful Yuuri Katsuki, shimmering blue fish tail and all. Rated T for Attempted Suicide. Reader beware!

Lantern - RedxLipstick

Victor goes to Hasetsu, Japan to recover from the injuries which ended his career as a Living Legend Competitive Figure Skater. He starts going to the beach every night to seek out the strange, dancing lantern he keeps seeing in the waves. Then he meets Yuuri, and everything changes.

let’s be forever let forever be free - Vitali (exocara)

Katsuki Yuuri loves the mermaid who used to sing at the beach near his home. Viktor Nikiforov loves the man who basically fell off a ship and serenaded him whilst drunk. Basically, The Little Mermaid AU that no one asked for.

Love Hurts - Plisetskitty

Mila is a mermaid princess who is in love with Sara. Sara is one of her subjects, and is in love with Mila. Neither has admitted her feelings for the other, but when Sara gets kidnapped by a human, Mila realizes she has to save the love of her life.

Low Tide - Bad_Wolf

Victor and Sara are marooned in a little boat after a mutiny. No food, no water. Thankfully, they are rescued by a helpful woman and man. So helpful, not at all suspicious.

The Merman in my Private Bath - ruru_u

Everyone thought Yuuri was crazy when he claimed a merman saved his life. Even he had convinced himself it was all some crazy dream - until one day, a beautiful and mysterious creature washed up onshore. Yuri’s seldom-used cold pool finally has a customer! (who doesn’t seem to want to leave)

Mermen Don’t Eat Katsudon - Cassivell

Viktor was drifting again, swimming wherever the current decided to take him. The icy waters of home no longer comforted him, nor did his family or kingdom. Mermaid AU with lots of cultural misunderstandings, Yuuri blushing, and Viktor being a little bitch

My fate - Zon_Chan

Katsuki Yuri wants to explore the world out of the ocean. Viktor Nikiforov wants to find happiness.

She

Our relationship is one built on ironies. The first of which was my intentions. I let it be known, early on, that I had no plans for a relationship. This was to be, I tried to stress, a series of casual hook ups. She would arrive late to my apartment, after hours of studying, and we would Netflix and chill long before I knew there was such a thing as “Netflix and chill.” We shared in our med school misery, enjoyed each other’s company, and the relationship flourished. Four years have passed now and casual is not how I would describe our relationship. 

I was the first to say “I love you.” I was the first to offer to live together. I was the first to bring up marriage. On at least two of those topics I was initially rebuffed and her plans for “career first,” the mantra of many women in a male dominated field, guided our path. The idea of a man wanting marriage while a woman did not was hard to explain to my small town, catholic parents. Living together before marriage was hard for her to explain to her conservative, immigrant parents. Somehow, we both survived the experience.

The last year for us has been a struggle as we redefine our relationship in the face of real responsibility and 80-hour work weeks. We spend our days in different hospitals, frequently on different shifts. It is ironic that, despite both being doctors, our jobs do not overlap in the slightest, as she takes care of children and I spend my day with adults. Much of our conversation now occurs in the short window periods where we both occupy the same space - usually while simultaneously finishing notes or reading about a case for the next day.  

Perhaps the greatest irony is that she some how believes that I am the better half. I am a flawed man in so many ways. I am moody, narcissistic, and a work-a-holic. I definitely do not deliver well on all the things she deserves. Meanwhile, she is brilliant, caring, and spends a fair amount of her time ensuring my needs are addressed. Her resolve and dedication to being a good doctor are inspiring. She forces me to be better in ways she does not understand. 

She is not a princess and our relationship is far from a fairy tale. But she is an incredible woman who impresses me daily. This year has been full of difficulties and I often forget to count my many blessings. She is a blessing. She is my love. She is my future. And I could not be more thankful for that. 

« Lesbians who did the “hunting and gathering” information work in the 1970s and ’80s had no way of knowing whether or not they were the first wave of sleuths trying to learn about their origins. Each woman writer, publisher, distributor, academic, and activist worked tirelessly on her own project, often alone, typing, handwriting, inventing card files and mailing lists piecemeal, over and over. Every aspect of lesbian culture discovered, produced, and publicized had to be done the hard way: word of mouth. […]

Complicating everyone’s best attempts to share or advertise information, was the still-illegal aspect of just being homosexual in America. Until the Lawrence v. Texas decision in 2003, state sodomy laws made consensual adult sex in one’s own home an arrestable felony, reaffirmed by the Supreme Court case Bowers v. Hardwick in 1986. Activists—including bookstore managers—had to practice constant vigilance in terms of what was sent through the mail to a woman’s house; address lists were carefully guarded.
In small-town America and most conservative states, sending lesbian-themed materials to a home address threatened women’s jobs, housing, child custody, military status, professional certification, probation and prison evaluations, church standing, school admission, psychological assessment, social workers’ reports, and actual physical safety. (Women who received the periodical Lesbian Connection in this era well recall its fingernail-defying arrangement of clamped power staples; no intruder could pry open a page to see what lay within.) […]

For my university students now, most resources needed for a reasonably good women’s history paper can be downloaded, instantly, at the touch of a button. [In the 1980s,] it required hours of girl-sleuth time and energy to get your hands on an out-of-print lesbian book or to find images of lesbians in the media… . Locating coveted information on lesbian culture… meant thumbing through dusty journals and traveling between libraries. Source not at the Binghamton University library? Time for another road trip to Cornell… I wanted, in 1984, to find biographical details on the early life of Louise Fitzhugh, who wrote Harriet the Spy. It took me until 1994 to find them, involving trips with borrowed ID cards to university libraries ranging from Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh to Bates College in Maine. Even with all these privileges of academic affiliation, I had to invest nearly a decade of legwork just to confirm that Fitzhugh was a lesbian in her day. […]

In the late 1970s, the obstacles were clear for anyone, young or old, excited by the mere idea of looking at lesbian history. Lesbian existence was, itself, debatable. The idea of a lesbian past almost had to be invented—or reinvented, over and over, by different women working alone. »

— Bonnie J. Morris, The Disappearing L: Erasure of Lesbian Spaces and Culture

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Chris Colfer's letter to fans on the release of "Stranger Than Fanfiction"

Hello readers,

I hope you enjoy my latest YA novel, Stranger Than Fanfiction. It features a group of friends who are faced with big life choices and powerful secrets—each one distinct in his or her own way, much like the amazing fans I’ve met in my travels. I don’t think it will shock anyone when I confess that my own “coming of age” years were different than most American teenagers. Being plucked from a conservative small town and thrust into the spotlight of a hit television show introduced me to unique challenges, privileges, and insights. Those experiences have given me a great opportunity to bring an unusual perspective to YA fiction—and I couldn’t be more grateful for the chance!

Enjoy!

Chris Colfer

My FTM Detransition

This is the story of my own transition and detransition.  This is my experience only.  I’m not speaking for anyone else.  

I’m in my midlife now, and up until about six months ago I knew I was trans. My top surgery and hysterectomy were done almost two decades ago.  My name change was legal almost a decade ago.

I’ll start at the beginning.  I was born in the sixties in a conservative town at a time when gender roles for men and women were extremely rigid.  I know these roles are still rigid, but believe it or not they are less extreme than they were. Growing up it was apparent to me even as a child that I was less than just for being born female.  Fathers were proud of their son’s in a way no one was of their daughter’s.  When son’s were born it was celebrated, when daughter’s were born it was just another day.  Additionally sons had power, they were allowed to be vocal and have opinions. Daughters were seen and not heard.

My mother wanted nothing more than a girl when she had me.  She’s told me that by 3 years old she could no longer keep me in dresses, that she would put me in a dress and within minutes she would find me stripped down and dressing myself in my fathers clothing.  This was the beginning of the clothing wars with my mother, and I give her a lot of credit for finally letting me win that war to a large extent.  She did eventually allow me to wear t-shirts, jeans and sneakers most of the time, though I still had to wear dresses for holidays and events.  Those days involved a lot of screaming fights and crying.  I was not allowed to cut my hair short until high school, which was another battle and a huge relief when the day finally came.

My friends were all boys.  I liked their toys, their games, and playing sports. I felt like one of them, but I couldn’t understand why I didn’t have a penis.  So every night I would ask god to please let me wake up with a penis.  I don’t recall how long I made this request, but I remember waking up disappointed for a significant period of time.  I never had any interest in girls, their toys, or their games.  And I found their conversations boring.

Over and over I heard the same things from the adults around me, even some I didn’t know:

“Girls don’t do that”

“Why are you wearing boys clothes?”

“Why are you wearing boys shoes?”

“You’re a girl you know”

And later, “Why do you have a boys haircut?”

Looking back I can see the beginnings of my internalized misogyny.  And why would I want to be a girl? Girls didn’t get to wear comfortable clothing or shoes. Girls didn’t have any of the freedoms afforded boys. Boy Scouts went camping while Girl Scouts sold cookies and did what I considered to be boring, and in a skirt!  A girl’s future involved getting married and having children, which I had no interest in.  Girls didn’t grow up to have careers, they grew up to be housewives doing laundry and making meals and I had no interest in that either.  There was no room for me in any of this, so from the beginning I was separating myself from girls and identifying with boys.  

At 11 when I got my first period I honestly felt like my life was over.  I became very distressed, and cried every month for years, begging my mother for a way to make it stop.  My mother would try to comfort me telling me that this was something all girls/women went through, and that just made it worse for me.  All I could think was that 12 times a year, for what seemed like the rest of my life I would be bleeding from my vagina.  And while I never liked my vagina to begin with because I felt I should have a penis, I now despised it, and it was the start of intense dysphoria which would last for many years.  To make things worse my breasts started noticeably developing quite suddenly and my mother decided it was time for me to wear bra’s.  My periods were distressing but I would at least get a 3 week break from them.  Bra’s were everyday.  From the very beginning I felt encumbered bra’s. They felt like a harness around my body, and I longed for the freedom I had when my skin felt free under my t-shirts before I had breasts.  

Once I started puberty I was around boys less because I was isolating, due largely to the distress of a changing body and the realization that I was trapped in a body that did not feel like mine and that I did not want.  I was not comfortable in my own skin, and I had a lot of self-hatred because of my body.  

I also discovered the love I had for women was here to stay.  When I was younger I had crushes on girls, but I didn’t give them too much thought because my friends were boys who also had crushes on girls.  The only talk of gay men, or lesbians (shims as they were called in my town) I ever heard growing up was mocking and negative, so I kept this secret to myself.  In high school I was determined to make peace with my body and spent my junior year wearing make-up and dressing like a girl.  I had no friends because I had already be judged a freak by my peers and I became more depressed than I already had been.  In my senior year I went back to dressing in a way that felt right to me, back to men’s clothing, with big button shirts over t-shirts to hide my breasts.  I had learned to wear sports bra’s in a smaller size to flatten myself.

After high school I went away to college in a major city and for whatever reason ended up quickly becoming friends with lesbians and the lesbian friendly women, without even being aware that this is who they were initially.  Then for the first time I began dating woman.  I enjoyed this new group of friends, and girlfriends too.  I got a fake ID and began going to gay and lesbian bars and a new world was opening up to me.  I had transformed into a butch lesbian and it felt like maybe I was coming into my own, sort of.  

I did begin to notice not long after was that I still didn’t feel right in my own skin. I was with a group of friends I loved, and had a girlfriend that I loved and yet I didn’t feel a part-of within the lesbian community.  I was with women, who were proud of being women.  But my body still felt foreign to me.  I still had dysphoria.  I still felt distress with every single period I had, not only that my periods were heavy, and painful, and a full week long.  And I still wore tight sports bra’s to hid my breasts.

It’s important to remember that this was the mid 80’s, long before the internet, and long before the word transexual was used to mean anything other than a pejorative.  The only time I heard the word “trans” was in reference to transvestites and prostitutes at that time, and it was used in the most derogatory way.

After 4 years of college in a major city where being a butch lesbian was largely accepted (in the right parts of the city), I moved to another major city.  This new city was a big wake up call for me because while there was a large lesbian community, it did not include butch lesbians. I had a buzz cut and wore jeans, t-shirts, Doc Marten’s, and a black leather motorcycle jacket and I was not welcome within this lesbian community.  I’m sure somewhere in this new city there must have been butch lesbians, but with no internet I never found them.  I tried for a couple of years to make friends within this group and no matter what I did I couldn’t make friends, and couldn’t find a girlfriend for quite a long time either.

I decided to throw myself into my work and became a workaholic.  I worked long hours, and 95% of the people I worked with were straight.  Once again I became more comfortable with the men I worked with, and generally talked only to the women I had crushes on, some of which I had relationships with.  I still had dysphoria, still hated being in my body, and still did not identify with being female.  I began distancing myself from being female even more, my internalized misogyny came crashing back, and I was incredibly depressed. Life went on like this for years.

Eventually the word trans became part of the vernacular, and when I was about 35 I had top surgery. This was one of the happiest days of my life.  It was the beginning of a journey that was going to help make me comfortable in my own skin.  Within a couple of years I had a hysterectomy.  The hysterectomy was for medical reasons and not related to my being trans, but that was the other happiest day of my life.  Now life was really looking hopeful for me.  I still had some bottom dysphoria, but without breasts and periods my life instantly became easier to deal with.  I very much wanted to start T, but at the time I had a great job in a somewhat conservative industry that I wasn’t willing to lose at that time.  I had already been passing well enough to use men’s rooms and get called “sir” pretty consistently without T, provided I didn’t talk much. But I was leading a double life for years as a female at work and male outside of work, and I was getting tired of that.

In 2012 I started a low dose a T because I was still concerned about losing my job.  When my voice started to change I decided to come out to my boss.  I lost my job about a month later.  A couple months after that I started getting a lot of cystic acne and I was seeing my dermatologist 2 to 3 times a week to have cysts drained.  The longer I was on T the more acne I had, and I still was not at a full dose.  Other than the severe cystic acne, the other changes I was getting were relatively minor as I already looked fairly male, though I did love the big energy bump I got from it.  After another few months both my dermatologist and endocrinologist said as long as I continued taking T, I would continue to have cystic acne.  Cystic acne had plagued me through my teenage years and there was no way I could live with it in my 40’s and beyond. I stopped T.  

While it was incredibly disappointing at the time to have to stop T, at the same time I felt relief.  I can’t exactly pinpoint why because I still didn’t feel or identify as female, but I wasn’t going to actually be 100 percent male even with T. Something didn’t feel right about it.  

It’s been 5 years since I stopped taking T, and in most of that time I still considered myself trans until my thinking slowly started to shift without me being completely aware of it. The more I thought about what my identity is, the more I felt like I’m just me.  Sure, I was born female, but I’m still just me, and that me is gender non-conforming. Then about 6 months ago I was on YouTube, and I discovered there were other people who had people who had transitioned, but had then detransitioned.  And on Tumblr I found more people who had detransitioned.  And none of us detransitioned for the same reasons, we are all unique.

And here’s something else, all my life I considered myself a feminist but I wasn’t, I was a misogynist for decades until the pieces started coming together. I was unknowingly lying every time I called myself a feminist. How could I distance myself from being female in every way possible and not be a misogynist??  Wouldn’t it make more sense to be a different kind of woman?  I didn’t and don’t have to buy into this antiquated patriarchal system of what is male and female.  For me, by transitioning I was buying into that system and I don’t want to perpetuate that rigid binary model.  And more importantly, for me that is, is that had I understood at a young age that is was possible to be whatever kind of female/girl/woman, and that I didn’t have to follow the narrow path I was presented with.  Maybe I could have been spared a lot of discomfort, anxiety and stress I felt about being born female.  It’s not to say I still wouldn’t have been distressed over my breasts because I did feel entirely confined and trapped by bra’s.  But it is hard to quantify whether my periods would have caused so much distress for decades because they were abnormally heavy from the start, and I had excruciating cramps from my first one until the last one.  And by my mid 30’s before my hysterectomy I was having extremely painful periods twice a month.  Just maybe if I had had a normal cycle I would have outgrown the distress, but I’ll never know.  And as for my bottom dysphoria it’s possible that had I not felt so trapped by my gender, had I known there was more than one way to be female, had I had more access to sports and parents who wholeheartedly accepted me as different, maybe that would have eased that dysphoria.  

This is what I’ve come to take away from my experience.  Gender roles are bullshit.  Yes I was born female, but I can be anyone I want to be.  I don’t have to fit into any kind of rigid role I don’t want to.  And I don’t have to take T to try to turn myself into something I will never be. I also don’t regret my top surgery, because who says I can’t modify my body in any way I want to.  I can do whatever I want to my own body.  And here’s something else that happened on it’s own, somewhere between the ages of 40 and 45 I woke up one day and realized I no longer had bottom dysphoria.  I wasn’t working on it, and the only thing I can think of is I just didn’t care anymore.  I didn’t care in the same way I don’t care how people read me.  I know who I am, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

Maybe all of us who are AFAB could start to embrace our differences and build a better community for ourselves.  If we work together and accept each other, we could begin to close the gap in the difference between the way men and women are treated in society.  We could stand up for each other and not tolerate being “less than”, and we can demand the respect we deserve.

I’d like to add that I am NOT part of the right wing Christian movement.  I am not a republican. I am not against people transitioning because we are free to do whatever we want with our own bodies.  This post is my own experience and nothing more. 

yocheved-for-the-win  asked:

Hey! Your blog seems really cool! I wish you the best on your conversion journey:) Just curious because I'm pondering an orthodox conversion at the moment myself (I converted conservative last year) what books did the Av Beis Din recommend for you? I want to read as much as I logistically can on top my reading for school until I'm able to find a bigger community to explore. The frum community in my town is fairly small & far from my university.

Hey, first of all thanks! The list he recommended is LONG and some of the recommendations are actually series - so in total, it probably contains around 90 books. Some books on it are starred, though, indicating that they “have been found by [the London Beth Din’s] students to be particularly beneficial”, so I’ll list those for you here:

  • Gateway to Judaism by Mordechai Becher
  • Living Jewish: Values, Practices and Traditions by Berel Wein
  • To Be A Jew by Hayyim Halevi Donin
  • Shaarei Halachah by Ze’ev Greenwald
  • The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology, Vol. I & II
  • Challenge: Torah Views on Science and its Problems by Cyril Domb and Aryeh Carmel
  • In the Beginning: Science and Biblical Creation by Natan Aviezer
  • Permission to Believe by Lawrence Kelemen
  • Permission to Receive by Lawrence Kelemen
  • G-d, Man and Tefilin by Aryeh Kaplan (for men)
  • Halichos Bas Yisroel, Vol. I & II by Yitzchak Yaakov Fuchs (for women)
  • To Be A Jewish Woman by Lisa Aiken (for women)
  • The 39 Avot Melacha of Shabbat by Boruch Chait
  • Sabbath Day of Eternity by Aryeh Kaplan
  • Shemirath Shabbat, Vol. I, II & III by Yehoshua Neuwirth
  • The Really Jewish Food Guide by London Beth Din
  • The Living Torah by Aryeh Kaplan
  • The Stone Chumash (Artscroll/Mesorah)
  • The Artscroll Siddur, Machzorim for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Succot, Pesach and Shavuot, Kinnot for Tisha b’Av, Selichot for fasts, Hagadot for Pesach
  • Book of our Heritage, Vol I, II & III by Eliyahu Kitov 
  • The Shoah by Yitzchak Goldstein and Yoel Schwartz

There are a few authors which seem to pop up quite a bit. Coming at the top is Aryeh Kaplan, followed by Lawrence Kelemen. Zelig Pliskin and Abraham Twerski also have several books each recommended on the complete list. So if you’re looking for further reading, it seems like these authors could be a good starting point. Hope this is helpful!

Otp prompts that I'm too busy to write

-road trip where everything goes wrong
-awkward first date
-let’s go to obscure book stores and befriend the cute cashier who keeps singing Hamilton (based on my own experience)
-my kid likes you better than me
-why on earth would you bring home a kitty?
-I tried to bake you a birthday cake but I suck at cooking so do you want to help me clean the kitchen? (Also based on my own experience)
-I’m asking you on a date but you don’t know it’s a date
-I’m sorry I flipped you off in the Walmart parking lot
-your friend is a bitch but I really like you so can you fix her please
-the power’s out and I’m scared of the dark please help me
-we’re the only lesbians in this very conservative town do you wanna run away with me?
-sports rivalries of all kinds
-your bed is warm so I’m gonna sneak in while you pretend to be asleep

Creepypasta #1028: I Thought I Cheated On My Boyfriend, But I Was Wrong.

Length: Short

Just 6 months ago, I was just the sweet, innocent pastor’s daughter in a small, conservative town. I wasn’t allowed to date, I said my prayers every night and went to church every Sunday. Well, that was who I was, until I met Leo.

Everyone in town had always warned about Leo’s family. They lived about 30 minutes out of town away from everybody and I had always heard rumors they were odd, ungodly people. But when I met Leo, I knew those rumors couldn’t be true. Most boys wouldn’t talk to me because of who my father was but Leo didn’t care. He was so sweet and handsome and unlike anyone I had ever met.

We snuck around for months to see each other and it was amazing until one strange night. Leo knew about my faith and that I believed in staying pure until marriage. He was always very respectful of this. 

But, one night when we snuck out, he seemed different. His voice sounded different. He had a mischievous look in his eye and a devious smile. I found it alarming at first, but later I found it incredibly alluring. He was driving and ended up stopping far away from town right outside the forest. I became frightened.

“Leo, where are we? It’s so dark. I don’t think we should be here.”

Once I heard his reply, I became much more than frightened. I heard him laughing, then he turned and looked at me with a sadistic smile and said “I’m not Leo.”

It felt like something heavy dropped down hard into my stomach and I started to have trouble breathing. I tried to brush it off. Surely, he was just joking.

“Ha, ha. Sure, Leo. Who are you, then? His evil twin?”

His face turned much more serious and his eyebrows raised. “Actually, that’s not far from the truth. Though I have some stories from our childhood that prove Leo can be the evil twin sometimes.” He then laughed and put his hand out. “Mantus, Leo’s identical twin brother. Nice to meet you. I’m a little hurt, he never told you about me,” he remarked, twinged with sarcasm. Then he looked me up and down, “especially since I’ve heard all about you, Annie.”

When he said my name, shivers went up and down my spine. All the hairs on my arms stood straight up. I knew for sure now that this was not the boy I fell head over heels for. I also knew that I had never felt so scared of someone and insanely attracted to someone at the same time. I know this sounds like a stupid excuse, but I truly felt like he had me under some sort of spell.

He ended up leading me out into the forest, my hand in his. Something told me to rip my hand away from his and run. An even stronger voice told me to go wherever he wanted to take me and that’s the one I listened to. He ended up leading me up a dirt hill. He laid down a blanket and surrounded it with several lit candles. I knew it was wrong, but I was so conflicted because he looked exactly like the man I loved. I made love to Mantus that night on a hill out in the middle of the dark woods. If anyone in town knew about this, I would be kicked out of church and shunned by my family. And on top of that guilt, was the guilt of just committing adultery.

Now, having sex with your boyfriend’s identical twin seems like a fucked up enough occurance, right? I WISH that’s what happened. When I decided to confess to Leo about what I did, I learned that my situation was much more twisted and incredulous.

I told him we needed to talk, so he met me at the park. I could barely look him in the eye, but I just decided to get it over with and spit it out.

“I met your brother the other night.”

Leo looked at me confused and laughed nervously. “Annie, what do you mean? I don’t have a brother.”

Credits to: TrainerTori

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anonymous asked:

Have you seen the movie To Wong Woo, Thanks for everything Julie Newmar? It's about 3 drag queens that get stuck in a conservative town for the weekend. It was flipping great. You should check it out.

To Wong Foo is on my list to watch this week actually!! It’s been an actual crime I haven’t seen it since I’m always quoting:

Originally posted by kennelruth