non fictional

Just a heads up, AO3 deleted one of my original works because someone reported it for “not being fanwork” despite original work being a “fandom” with over 35k fics.

“Under Section IV. of the Terms of Service, which you agreed to when opening your account, prompt requests, prompt lists, squee posts, notices about meetups, non-fanwork fiction or nonfiction, fic searches, rec lists, letters to other users, reactions to episodes, blog or Tumblr-appropriate posts, and other ephemeral content (i.e. content meant to be temporary), are not allowed to be uploaded on the Archive of Our Own.”

If you have multiple original works on AO3, you very well could be permanently suspended for violating the terms of service.

Be careful.

Some people ask: ‘Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’ Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women.
—  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

Then We Talk Slow
Author: letsjustsee
Word Count: 20k
Summary: 
The picture showed Harry smiling widely (with a fucking dimple) at the camera, his glossy brown curls situated artfully around his shoulders. Louis couldn’t see his whole outfit, but it seemed to consist of a pink, floral button-up with most of the buttons undone. Louis could also detect the dark outlines of tattoos on his chest, although he couldn’t quite make out what they were underneath the shirt.
What he could make out was that his own heartrate seemed to have picked up significantly.
Shit.
This was so not good. Not only had Louis drunkenly sent messages in a deliberate attempt to interact with this man, he was now insanely attracted to him without ever having met him in person.
Maybe Liam was right – drunk tweeting really was a horrible, rotten idea.

A famous/non-famous AU in which Louis banters back and forth with his new record company on Twitter, only to find out that Harry is the man behind the tweets.

3

In @crankgameplays‘s Snakepass video he brought up a nightmare he had as a wee boi about a giant snake strangling him. And for some reason I decided to depict the snake back for revenge. I dunno, I’m tired. Noodle attempting to eat a blueberry or something. Always ask first.

2

Currently (re-)reading: Edward W. Said, Orientalism
George Orwell, Essays
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Summer reading. I’m re-reading Orientalism before I read Covering Islam. I’ve never read Fanon before so I’m looking forward to that. And a little Orwell is always good.

Women’s Work: The First 20,000 years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber, 1996

This is a great book, all about the work of spinning and weaving, how it developed, and how and why it was women’s work. It makes the great point that women’s work is ephemeral - food, cloth, it’s all things that don’t survive archaeologically, so that it’s something that gets overlooked. The author also knows how to weave herself, and has tried out weaving some ancient cloths, pointing out that it’s only by doing something like that that you can work out practical issues. 

One of the things that was really great was the author pointing out that the most plausible reconstruction for the Venus de Milo is of her spinning:

Even better, is that since the book has been written, an artist who makes 3D printed sculpture has made a 3D model of what she would have looked like - and you can buy one for yourself:

“So, where’s your LGBT fiction?”

It’s no big secret that a large portion of the LGBT fiction market is online. Many books aren’t even available in print, which I know frustrates some readers (and authors!) who would like to find books in bookstores, libraries, etc. And heck, some people just like paperbacks.

But they aren’t in bookstores. Not in significant numbers, anyway. Even as larger publishers branch out into LGBT, they’re sticking to ebooks.

After talking to publishers, agents, authors, and booksellers over the years, I’ve come to understand one of the primary reasons for this is, quite simply, that queer lit doesn’t sell in bookstores.

With that in mind, I went on a mission this week. I visited five bookstores around Seattle and Portland - Powell’s, Half Price Books, and Barnes & Noble - and I asked the same question: “Where would I find the LGBT fiction?”

Y’all.

Y’ALL.

This is the LGBT Fiction and Non-Fiction section at a Barnes & Noble. The entire section.

But you know what’s extra aggravating?

This is where I found it:

I mean, great. Glad it’s near LGBT & Gender Identity (Though it’s literally the bottom shelf. The top three are Native American and African American non-fiction, which apparently are part of Cultural Studies but don’t warrant a sign despite occupying ¾ of the space…? IDK.)

Signage weirdness notwithstanding, look what section I’m in. I mean, if you’re looking for LGBT Fiction, you’d expect to look…in the….fiction section, right?

No. It’s in the non-fiction section. This is the view of the fiction section from the LGBT section:

Those are Graphic Novels, followed by SFF, followed by Romance. So if you’re in the mood for Gay Romance, you’re not even in the right ZIP code if you start perusing the romance section.

And if I wander over to the fiction section and look toward the LGBT section…

That far wall? The shelf with the LGBT books is perpendicular to that.

See what I’m getting at? There are literally only three ways someone will find the LGBT fiction section at Barnes & Noble:

1. Ask. Which is fabulous for people who are closeted, kids who aren’t comfortable asking, and people who don’t even know the genre exists.

2. Stumble across it. Which you’re totally going to do if you’re looking for a novel because you’d absolutely wander out of the fiction section to find one.

3. Already know where it is.

Can’t imagine why LGBT fiction doesn’t sell.

At Powell’s, the situation wasn’t any better. Powell’s is enormous. It’s multi-level with color-coded rooms because it’s just….huge. I made a valiant attempt to find the LGBT Fiction on my own, but after a full hour of browsing, including scouring all the rooms containing fiction, I finally had to go ask.

There was a reason I couldn’t find it - it wasn’t in any of the rooms dominated by fiction.

It was in the room with all the history books, tucked back behind Military History. Because God knows that’s where I go looking when I want some LGBT fiction.

To their credit, Powell’s had an impressively large section, and it was decorated with a gigantic rainbow sign….but what good does that do anyone if they can’t find the section?

Finally, Half Price Books. Behold, the entire Gay & Lesbian Fiction section:

And yep, that’s the non-fiction section. The Gender Studies and Anthropology section. All the non-queer fiction was downstairs. Not even on the same floor.

So…you know…I think I might’ve figured out why LGBT Fiction “doesn’t sell very well in print,” and what a shock….it’s not because people don’t want to read it.

Capii di essere sulla strada giusta quando cominciai a perdere interesse per l'inizio e la fine delle cose. Le brevi e tragiche storie d'amore non mi interessavano più come un tempo. Quello che mi interessava era il tipo d'amore a cui la persona si dedica per così tanto tempo da non ricordarne più l'inizio.
—  Sarah Manguso, Andanza
Becoming Queer

When I was 8 I was obsessed with Disney’s Aladdin. Not just the original movie, but both of it’s poorly made sequels too. I watched them everyday after school while I drew pictures in our basement TV room, simultaneously fixated on their adventures and creating my own on paper.

I remember being absolutely in awe of how handsome Aladdin was, but also of the beauty of Princess Jasmine. They were the most attractive people I could ever imagine existing.

When I was 10 my mom gave me an American Girl book all about puberty and the female body. I only read through the whole thing once, but I left it close to my bed because of the one page I looked at nearly everyday.

It was one of the sections of the book on bodily changes throughout puberty– body hair, periods, etc. At the bottom of was a picture of several girls in front of a mirror, completely naked, to illustrate the different sizes and shapes of breasts. I was absolutely fascinated by these girls: the soft curves of their hips, their round and full breasts, the way their thighs came together. Despite their cartoonish nature, this was the closest I’d come to seeing a grown girl’s body. It was foreign and beautiful to me.

Somehow, I knew this wasn’t normal, so I always hid the book after I was done in case mom asked why I still had it.

When I was 12 I found my self distracted in classroom discussion circles looking at girls chests and lips and thighs. Every time I caught myself I’d immediately look down at my lap and blush. I’d learned by now that it wasn’t normal for girls to look at other girls like that, what it meant to be gay. But I’d eventually find my eyes wandering again, my thoughts focused on how beautiful one of my female classmates was.

I remember walking down the hallway one day mentally reciting “you can’t be a lesbian, you like boys… every girl must look at each other like this.”

When I was 13 one of the girls that I clung to during PE (because they were just as repulsed by physical exertion as I was) told us she was bisexual. This was the first time I’d been told someone could be attracted to boys and girls at the same time. It was confusing and enlightening at the same time.

I remember she put her arms around my shoulders once, during badminton week, her face inches from mine. It made me nervous, but in a way that I’d never felt before. My stomach had dropped, and I didn’t know why. It wasn’t like the fear I’d felt from scary movies and my dad yelling at me, but it wasn’t quite like when I felt exhilarated from riding a rollercoaster or binging on sugar with my friends… it was something in between, and entirely new.

I’d told my mom about it and she immediately wanted to call the principal and make sure the girl didn’t touch me like that again. That scared me, her reacting like that. I started acting repulsed by the girl afterwards, telling my friends she had flirted with me even though I wasn’t entirely sure she had, how weird it was and how weird she was.

Looking back, I probably wish that she had been flirting with me.

When I was 14 I was acquainted with the first queer couple I’d ever met. They were in theatre with me, and I’d been wanting them to start dating for months. At this point I’d stopped acting weirded out by gay people and claiming that bisexual people were “selfish and should just pick a side already.” I openly showed my support for gay people, citing my theatre friends of examples of how “normal” they could be.

I walked in on the couple in the dressing room one rehearsal, shocked to see them making out. I stood in the doorway a moment, then walked out without either of them seeing me.

I thought about their kiss for the whole day, wondering how their relationship worked, what it was like to date someone of the same gender as you. I was dating a boy at the time, my first boyfriend and the one that would create fear and an inability to trust for my entire high school career when he started abusing me. I wondered if this couple’s relationship could be anything like ours.

When I was 15 I joined Tumblr. I’d just moved from Michigan to Alabama, had my heart broken by my abusive boyfriend furthering the pain he was inflicting by cheating on me, and was just beginning to realize that I had an eating disorder with no idea how to feel about it or whether or not I wanted it to go away.Tumblr became a place for me to escape all this into “fandoms” and “fitblrs” and personal posts from strangers I didn’t know but whose lives intrigued me. It was on Tumblr that I first encountered the word “pansexual.” I was 16.

I was intrigued and slightly obsessed with the concept of it, pansexuality. I’d only just begun to learn about transgender and heard rumors of other genders outside of men and women, and being attracted to all of them or being “genderblind” seemed impossible, but incredible. I spent months randomly researching sexual orientation and transgender people before finally adopting the term as my own.

Though, it was only in my head that I claimed pansexuality as my own. I didn’t want to tell anyone… not because I was ashamed so much, I’d forgotten that stigma several years ago, but more because I was afraid that I only wanted to be pansexual, not that I actually was.

After all, if only ever been in relationships with boys at that point. How could I know if I was actually attracted to other genders if I’d never dated them?

When I was 17 I got my first crush on a girl. I didn’t recognize that that was my motive at the time, but I was constantly staring at her in the two classes we shared, payed special attention when she spoke, and the day she announced that she had a Tumblr I made it my goal to be a part of her life.

By winter we were best friends. By summer I’d begun to realize the extent of my feelings for her. The first time I got drunk at 19 I blurted out that I thought about making out with her all the time. I told her how I felt at 20, 3 years of pining later.

She told me she didn’t feel the same.

When I was 18 and in my first year of college, I binge watched all of Laci Green’s videos on YouTube, deciding that it was time I figured out how my body and how sex worked. Through her I found not only the courage to masturbate for the first time, but my first confrontation with “third genders.”

I obsessively studied nonbinary genders, claiming to just be interested in them, giving speeches and presentations on them for class, messaging nonbinary people to ask about their experiences. I came to accept that I identified with this term the summer of my sophomore year of college.

When I was 18 I also came out to my dad. I’d already come out to my close friends, sisters, and mother at this point– all giving me generally positive responses. This was not the case with my dad.

We were fighting in the kitchen, something that had become a regular thing since I’d started expressing my feminist and liberal beliefs. He was making homophobic comments and I guess I must of have been very clearly upset by this, because he asked, “do you have a problem with that?”

To which I responded, “Yeah, because I like girls, dad!”

My outburst led to two and a half years of him telling me that my identity was fake, a scheme to get attention, that all I believed was a result of my being brainwashed at college and my own self delusion. The full force my panic, bipolar disorder, and depression came out during this time. The first time I thought of killing myself was when he threatened to kick me out and cut me off from my sisters if I didn’t stop with this “feminazi LGBT bullshit.”

When I was 19 I started dating one of my best friend from high school– a boy, but pansexual like myself, I felt like this was the first queer relationship I’d been in.

He told me he didn’t want a monogamous relationship, that he identified as polyamorous– which I knew because this was one of the reasons his last relationships hadn’t worked out. Thinking I wouldn’t fall as desperately in love with him as I did, I agreed to an open relationship.

Two months into the relationship and much research and self reflection later, I’d come to accept that I was also polyamorous and I never wanted a monogamous relationship again.

When I was 20 a girl on Tumblr reblogged a set of selfies that I’d posted, exclaiming in the tags about how handsome I was. I took one look at her blog, saw the profile picture of her staring directly at the camera with intense blue eyes and an expression impossible to read, and immediately followed and messaged her my thanks.

We started messaging frequently, talking about such expansive and random things, things I’d never talked about with anyone. Soon we were messaging everyday and I began to realize how hard I was falling. I wanted her, I wanted her so badly.

I hadn’t had a crush on a girl that’d worked out in my favor and I was constantly pining for a girlfriend. I loved my boyfriend, I was still attracted to men and non-feminine genders, but I felt not only “too straight” to be queer at that point, but also like I was missing some sort of affection in my life that only a feminine partner could fill. And I was beginning to wonder if this girl was the person who could finally end my wanting.

The only problem with this girl was that she lived an ocean away from me, in Denmark to be specific. But my feelings became so strong that I couldn’t just be silent anymore: I told her I liked her.

She said she felt the same.

Today, March 2nd, 2017, Hayley Kiyoko released the music video for her single “Sleepover.” It wrecked me.

Hayley has become someone that I not only admire, but someone who makes me feel so validated in who I am. A mixed, Japanese American, queer girl in love with art and comfy clothing. Before Hayley, I’d never felt like there was anyone in the media who was even remotely like me. With great music and a connection I’d never felt in any other celebrity before, I became an avid fan. So naturally, when the video for “Sleepover” was released it only took me minutes to find it on YouTube and watch.

The music video was so much more than I could have anticipated, actualizing all my experiences as a queer feminine person, admiring from a far, living in my head with my fantasies and no hope of ever being able to experience them in reality. With this video I was thrown back into all the years I spent confused and afraid of how I felt and who I was, all the girls I wanted to be with but knew they couldn’t work out, or didn’t work out even when I tried. And as melancholy as these thoughts were at first, it pushed me to the realization:

I love who I’ve become. I love that I’m queer.

And despite how grueling the process of it all has been, I wouldn’t trade all that heartache for a normal life if I could. I wouldn’t give it all up to be the straight girl with no struggles or worries about who she loved as I once believed I would. Even with the pain that it had brought, becoming queer has made me the person I am today.

And I love that person, even if there are still rough edges to be smoothed, I am finally unafraid of who I am.

IMO, prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi (genuinely RIP) basically nailed it when he called Manson a sad, horrible loser who wasn't even worth being scared of: "He stared at me in the courtroom, trying to scare me. I just stared back. Bored."

Helter Skelter is still a great crime book.

Because you realize Vincent Bugliosi never once bought into the Manson “myth.”

Platonic love is vital, essential, and perhaps the one thing left in this wretched landscape that could save us all for a little bit longer than we deserve. I love my friends even when I don’t tell them enough. I have crawled from the wreckage of enough heartbreak to know who will still be standing when I emerge and who won’t, and I hold those still standing close to me.
—  Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, “Carly Rae Jepsen and the Kingdom of Desire” in MTV

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! – When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

Western philosophers rated by fightability

Kant - You are in a town in Prussia. A frail looking man accosts you. He knows you know who he is. And he knows that you can see the glint in his eye that says the beating that he’s about to deliver unto you is going to be universalised. 8/10, it’s gonna get Copernican. 

Hume - A jovial looking Scottish man approaches. Despite his large frame and somewhat soft appearance you… you… uh, what? Is he here? Are you here? Is this, is this just a bundle of sense data? Somewhere, however in some small recess of your brain - if that’s a thing, you know he’s barrelling towards you at incredible speed. 9/10, this is going to hurt. Without doubt. 

Camus - You’re in a café. You think. It sounds like one, but all you can see is smoke and all you can smell is (other than smoke) deep thought. A man approaches. He smiles. Fighting you would be absurd, he explains, in beautiful floral French. You talk a while, about life, love, his work and honestly he just melts your heart. Fade to black. You awake the next morning refreshed and ready to continue fighting. 2/10, he left money on the sidetable. How rude. 

Sartre - You make your way onto a bustling Parisian street. You think. Again, it sounds like one but there’s a still strictly ludicrous amount of smoke. It parts like the red sea. A bespectacled man approaches. He looks at you, and you know that while this man may not know himself, he knows how to fight you. The smoke envelopes you once more. He’s coming. 9/10, hell is this fight in particular.

Žižek - You’re in a fast food restaurant car park in Slovenia, and so on. You are bizarrely aware of the nature of society as you sniff. You don’t have a cold. For some reason you keep thinking about batman. The Soviet national anthem begins to play as a bedraggled man emerges from a bin and lurches towards you and so on. 7/10, the ideology may be pure but this fight is going to get dirty.

Diogenes of Sinope - You’re in a barrel. Masturbating. You reckon you could get used to this. Maybe you’ll go and interrupt a lecture later. Suddenly, the barrel is rolling. Someone yells at you in the most vulgar greek to stop cramping his fucking style. Oh, right. You get up, out of the barrel and lock eyes with the also masturbating Diogenes. In his free hand he wields a plucked chicken like a flail. 9.5/10, behold, a boss battle.

The Trinity - The notion of disrupting a lecture still appeals, so you head down the road to the academy. Before you arrive, you are manhandled into an alley and out and up onto the acropolis. It seems all of Athens has assembled. As you are shoved into… a wrestling ring, the crowd begins to roar derision at you. From the opposite corner approaches a man they bill as the Macedonian Menace. Zeus alive, you already know that syllogistically he’s going to beat your ass. The crowd roars even louder for some reason, and a second man enters the ring. It’s Plato. He roars and cracks an amphora of oil over his head. The crowd goes ballistic. He screams something about the form of the ass whooping. You cower. As if that weren’t enough, a third much older and frailer man approaches, and the two assembled part deferentially. Hovering about a foot above the floor of the ring is Socrates. I was wrong, he says - but more as a thought in your head than a vocalisation, I know one thing. He pauses for effect. The crowd is still. You’re fucking dead. 30/10, good luck.