visible-beings

A couple of things

I know I’ve not been on here long. But I’ve been around silently for a while and I’ve seen a few things because I’m very much involved in another fandom.

Mental health always comes above fandom. Not being a visible constant online presence does not mean being unsupportive or inactive. If you need to take a break take a break. You are important.

Promo cycles in any fandom are a mixed bag. Interviews and written press will often focus on anything but the music, and will often portray people in an unreal or unflattering light if it suits their agenda. Don’t lose heart and don’t fixate on every detail. (Got a lot of experience with this one in my main fandom - slight hair change means big articles, but new music often gets crickets.)

Yes, management will actively try and screw over an artist with regards to their single release. I’ve seen it happen before. I don’t know if that’s what’s been happening this week or not, depends what their longer term strategy is. First week sales aren’t the be all and end all.

No matter what the first week chart position is, be proud of what you have achieved and continue to achieve. Trust me, you’re all amazing and what you can, have and will achieve together is incredible.The projects in this fandom completely blow me away.

Take care of yourselves and each other and take care of your boys. 💖

Sally Face Theory. Warning. Spoilers.

WHAT IF LARRY ISNT DEAD.

I am running on fumes and I forget if it was confirmed that people think Sal killed Larry in the game, but what if he wasn’t dead but in a coma.

NO NO DONT LEAVE.

Ok, for one thing, there’s at least some signs on a ghost of how they died. But with Larry we see no disfigurement, no abnormal skin tones like that girl on the abandoned floor, etc. All he had is veins being more visible under his skin and his eyes clear and colorless.

Also, I know some places can give the death penalty for murder here in the states but like, even if I’m wrong it seems odd. So obviously there were more murders or something Sal would of been blamed for that would amount to the death penalty. And it would take YEARS to do so and yet Larry looks older as well. With how things seem I don’t think it was jus in the future where he died, and they are going quickly with all the paperwork and shit that comes with it.

If he were in a coma, and Sal was blamed for multiple other murders and or crimes around the apartment complex by the obvious cult involved, what’s attemptive murder on a long list going to do but prove a point?

I JUST REALLY DONT WANT LARRY TO BE DEAD OK

when we first got married i had to psych myself up every time to say “my wife” to a new person. it was awkward because with “girlfriend” a lot of people would just assume i meant “friend,” and of course “fiancée” is gender-neutral when spoken, so we’d always had plausible deniability. but the meaning of “wife” is pretty unavoidable. still, i made myself do it on principle, and slowly but surely it became natural.

now i love saying “my wife,” to everyone all the time. i love saying it to the old woman distributing the strawberries at the farm share, asking if she knows where i can still get rhubarb because every summer i make my wife a pie. i love saying it to the gay employee helping me at crate and barrel, telling him i’m buying these glasses because my wife and i both had them growing up, and seeing his eyes light up. i love saying it to friends of friends and to new acquaintances and to potential coworkers and to the women at the laundromat. i love being aggressively out, and i love having such an easy way to be aggressively out. i love being the first woman with a wife someone has ever met, making our existence part of their reality. i love being visible for other lgbt people who might feel a little less alone knowing i’m there, which helps me push past the fear when it comes. most of all, i love not hiding. i love saying “my wife” and i love my wife.

4

Lesbian Visibility Day🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈 a couple that is out and about being visible all the time even though it can be really hard. we’re happy and proud of ourselves ❤️❤️

This is Dλke March Chicago’s statement on what happened and I need to break this down, because my rage over this anti-Semitic dumpster fire of an event cannot be contained:

  1. “Sadly, our celebration of dyke, queer, and trans solidarity was partially overshadowed by our decision to ask three individuals carrying Israeli flags superimposed on rainbow flags to leave the rally.” The flags in question were not “Israeli flags super-imposed on rainbow flags.” They were Rainbow flags with Magen David on them. That is not the same. At all. Either these people are incredibly uneducated about basic symbology, and therefore have no business running an event like this, or they knew these were not Israeli flags per se, but felt uncomfortable with public Jewishness. 
  2. This decision was made after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism during conversations with Chicago Dyke March Collective members.” Given that the flags were not Israeli flags, this second sentence can only imply that the organisers saw participants who were being openly, visibly Jewish and then immediately took it upon themselves to go up and quiz them about their beliefs on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to make sure that they were “the right kind of Jews,” before determining whether or not they could stay. Because they were not carrying Israeli flags, and were not commenting about the conflict, the only way they could “express repeated support for Zionism during [their] conversations” was if they were confronted about their politics on the grounds of merely being Jewish and asked to pass a loyalty test. Moreover, in the account from Ellie, the Persian Jewish woman whose statement I posted earlier, there was absolutely no discussion where she “proclaimed Zionist leanings.” In fact, she maintained that she was not in the least attempting to make a statement on Israel and was only there as a proud Queer Jew of Colour—yet they ejected her anyway because her Jewishness was “triggering.”
  3. We have since learned that at least one of these individuals is a regional director for A Wider Bridge, an organization with connections to the Israeli state.” So, again, they were totally unaware of her affiliation at the time of questioning. There was no indication that she worked with this organisation at the time. They are openly admitting this. They didn’t know this particular woman’s politics until they saw her Magen David and grilled her on her beliefs.
  4. “A Wider Bridge has been protested for provocative actions at other LGBTQ events and has been condemned by numerous organizations.” The labelling of this incident as a “provocation” is staggeringly insidious, as Jews have been accused of being evil provocateurs with ulterior motives for literally centuries. The implication is that Jews are evil puppet masters attempting to infiltrate and derail gentile communities, and the accusation has frequently been weaponised to either incite or excuse anti-Jewish violence. This has been true throughout the world over, from Germany to Iraq to Ethiopia, and now Chicago. It is a coded message branding Jews as perfidious and untrustworthy. “You can’t believe anything they say about what happened because they are known liars who will deceive you for their own gain in every way possible. Do not trust any Jew who has not submitted to you and proven themselves beyond any reasonable doubt.” 
  5. “The Chicago Dyke March Collective is explicitly not anti-Semitic.” Did you read your own statement, or…?
  6. “The Chicago Dyke March Collective supports the liberation of Palestine and all oppressed peoples everywhere.” *Except the Jews.
just a few things straight* people need to never do again

since i’m feeling extra bitter tonight!

  • don’t call ppl gay as a joke/insult, this is 101 level shit friends!

  • DEFINITELY don’t call homophobes gay as a joke/insult. this goes TRIPLE for homophobic politicians etc who deliberately torture, or endanger/end the lives of, LGBT+ people. fuck your putin memes!!!

  • don’t suggest that violent homophobes are just closeted self-hating gay ppl or that “the worst ones are always secretly gay”. that places the blame on us for our own oppression which is a cruel move

  • don’t bring up the fact that “LGBT+ people aren’t all perfect, they can be abusers too!!” because we know, you paint us all that way in order to justify our oppression, and you literally cannot handle that conversation with nuance because of that history - so leave those discussions to us.

  • don’t say making a butch-coded character a lesbian would be “a stereotype” so it’s somehow more Progressive™ to have yet another straight character who just happens to take all her fashion cues from lesbian culture. we need rep more than you do, straight girls with short hair!

  • don’t insist that it’s somehow wrong to be LGBT+ and fulfil stereotypes, as though the negativity in those stereotypes doesn’t nearly always come directly from straight people being uncomfortable with people being visibly LGBT+ and having our own cultures and ways of identifying ourselves to each other

  • don’t act all offended when someone mistakes you for one of us. take some time to think about why you think they should know you’re straight, and why you think it’s so bad to be seen as one of us.

  • don’t make AIDS jokes. what the literal fuck. it was a fucking genocide you monster.

  • don’t defend the way we die on screen all the time. don’t write stories where we can’t be alive and happy and LGBT+ all at the same time without being punished for it by the narrative.

  • don’t go making or joining in on our jokes about how straight people are the worst. that’s you too, buddy, no matter how big your rainbow backpack is.

  • don’t talk about how there are straight people and Straight People™ and you’re better than those other Straight People™. that’s not your fucking call and if you think it is you’re definitely Straight People™

  • don’t assume that everyone in your life is straight. odds are a lot of people just aren’t out to you. it’s your job to learn to be a person they can feel safe being honest with, and to act like that person even when you think you’re only interacting w straight ppl.

  • don’t assume that all LGBT+ people are adults who always knew. be aware that in most groups of children, some will be lgbt+, and be respectful of that possibility in how you talk to them

  • don’t out us. don’t speculate on whether someone you know is lgbt+. don’t mention us in conversation purely to get Cool Credit for knowing A Gay, that’s weird and uncomfortable even if it’s not to someone we know/will ever meet. other lgbt+ ppl see u doing that and we are creeped out.

  • don’t pretend you can be privately creeped out by/uncomfortable w/disapproving of our existence without being a homophobe. you’re a homophobe. you don’t have to stay that way.

  • don’t fetishize relationships between ppl of the gender you’re attracted to. our sexuality and our relationships are not for your consumption and us loving/fucking each other is explicitly not about you at all!

  • stop talking about same gender relationships like they’re dirtier or more sinful than yours. stop pretending gay fanfiction is dirtier than straight fanfiction.

  • shipping isn’t activism, porn isn’t activism, and it’s homophobic to pretend voyeuristic fetishization of our existence is remotely supportive. especially if you’re still uncomfortable w gay & bi people of your own gender.

  • like it’s 100% ok to ship gay relationships but it doesn’t make u an activist or exempt from homophobia, and u do need to examine how u interact w those stories to make sure you’re not objectifying oppressed ppl for ur own pleasure - we’re not fetish objects, we’re people

  • stop showing up to gay bars uninvited. stop having your bachelor/ette parties at gay bars. stop treating our only places to meet each other like your personal zoos.

  • don’t hit on gay men or lesbians, in earnest or as a joke. This includes hitting on gay ppl of your own gender bc you think it’s funny or bc you want to turn on your partner. don’t fucking ask us if you can watch us having sex. stop asking for sexual interaction altogether from people you know aren’t attracted to your gender. you will not be an exception.

  • don’t pressure ur bi partner to engage in a threesome they haven’t said they actually want. definitely do not hit on LGB+ ppl on behalf of your bi partner. wtf dude.

  • straight women, please stop calling your platonic female friends “girlfriends” or people you admire as “woman crushes”. Take some time to think about why you think just indicating she’s a girl is supposed to make it clear that your feelings toward someone are actually platonic, and how that makes lbpq women you know feel.

  • when someone comes out to you, don’t act like they’re suddenly a predatory pervert w no self control. don’t stop inviting them to events or start acting differently around them. we interact w ppl of our own gender all the fucking time w/o making it sexual, stop interpreting every interaction w a gay person as sexual in our minds, it’s almost certainly not. ur not that irresistible, stop making it weird.

  • don’t pretend our existence is 100% about how we have sex. that means stop making excuses to not tell children about us! don’t act like we shouldn’t be gay in public! don’t act like your weird kinks make your experience remotely equivalent to ours! (stop ‘coming out’ as kinky you creeps!)

  • don’t demand we present a desexualized and platonic image of our existence and relationships at all times. we have wildly varying sex lives and levels of complexity in our relationships to sex, just like you do.

  • don’t ever EVER use the word h*m*sexual, it’s considered a slur bc it was used for medicalized justifications for our torture. there’s a reason 99% of the usage of that word today is by anti-gay groups.

*tbh this is really just @ straight cis ppl even tho it’s abt gayness since honestly most of these do not apply to straight trans ppl, bc straight trans ppl are an integral part of the same communities/face many of the same issues - and almost always have better fucking manners.

How Sony deals with fandoms

I’ve been to an international in-house PR summit hosted by one of my clients this week and nearly fell off my chair when one of the guest speakers was a VERY important person from Sony Music Entertainment. Let’s call him John. I won’t disclose his function and real name because I don’t want to reveal where I was, but based on his title he definitely knows what he‘s saying and has a lot of industry experience.

His speech was mainly  about how to engage with a variety of different target audiences. Of bloody course one of the first slides he showed was a picture of 1D engaging with fans which was supposed to drive the point home that there are some audiences who are more passionate about a brand than others.He mentioned then that he’s worked with 1D on their albums which drove me into a bit of a freeze.

Because I’m embarrassing, I recorded parts of his speech on my phone and wrote the most important things down to share some interesting insights he gave about how Sony manages their artists’ target audiences, crafts their artists’ social media actions and deals with the fact that at the end of the day they always need to get people to buy music.

 

HOW DOES SONY UNDERSTAND AND MONITOR AUDIENCES (like fandoms for instance)?

According to John, they have their very own data-driven digital tool that helps them identify and manage different target groups for an artist (it’s not perfected yet but has been rolled out a lot of countries, I think he said 50?) and see where there might be connections to other artists, who the influencers are, what the specific target groups are or will be interested in and to identify collaboration opportunities.

Target groups are being split into four categories: Fanatics, enthusiasts, casuals, indifferents. These segments are being broken down into even smaller groups defined by age, genre preference, gender and country. They found that the older you get, the less likely you’ll be a fanatic or enthusiast.

How does Sony find this stuff out? Well, they survey polled music audiences of every age in a way that covers either nationally representatives or represent one of the major top tier cities. People shared their music preferences, consumption habits, lifestyle, media habits etc. Sony gathered all that information, analysed the insights and created their own audience understanding tool.

According to John, that way everyone at Sony has access to an interactive map of the world of Sony that looks into segmentations and audiences for every artist while being searchable in a number of different ways. The tool is pulling from real data, but they are also adding to that „with things like analytics of platforms like Spotify where we are able to gather lots of informations about user behaviours and reference that against things that we do“.

 

HOW SONY STRATEGICALLY SHAPES PR STORIES

John gave the example of Snoop Doggy Dog who had launched a new album (song? Idk) around that time: „There was a week-long debate in parliament around the legalization of Marihuana, so we just jumped on this conversation and did lots of social marketing around Snoop with his rolling papers and his spliffs… so maybe that’s bad taste, I’ll allow you to judge that for yourselves. The point is though that you are also marketing into a wider cultural context. [You need] an understanding how that works and where you can have a conversation that is seamless and not fake, genuineness is quite important.

“The way you can get people to connect is: You’ve got a lot of stuff that you want to say. Start under the assumption that people actually don’t give a shit about 95 percent of it. And then see which are the bits that might overlap. This is where the understanding of the audience really comes into its own. It forces us to think before we jump to execution. The quest for relevance is vitally important.”

Why are people to connect with a brand/band though? John thinks this is one of the most underused questions when planning an approach. Why is it that they do specific things? He gave an example: „We would normally take a record to radio because we always believe that radio is the thing that breaks the record. But if my core audience, my phase one audience – the people that are gonna give that band its first lift – are on Spotify, what am I doing on radio??“


ENGAGEMENT AROUND ARTIST IS KEY

„The thing is that you don’t start with a conversation around a product. The consumption of the product is the end point of a journey where you built an engagement and a fan. So again, for us that means that when we sit down and do our plan around our next Robbie Williams album, we start with „How are we gonna maximize the engagement around Robbie Williams“? because that will then sell us albums. Not „Okay, we’ll be releasing in a week in November, eight weeks out we need to be here, here and here“. So we’re not doing product launches anymore unless [it is suitable for the target demographic]. We have to built a tension and an engagement around an artist.“

 

ABOUT THEIR ARTISTS‘ SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS

„We run most of our artists social media channels or at least their official  pages, so we are involved in all of those conversations.“


Shocking, I know.

Based on the situation we face in this fandom,with this band, feel free to draw your own conclusions about what this information means.

HERE ARE MY KEY TAKEAWAYS:

1.       It’s not news at all, but the existence of their own audience understandig tool confirms it: the 1D fandom is being monitored, segmented and analyzed. Sony’s strategies are tightly tied to that fact. Collaborations or artist interactions such as Louis/James Arthur or One Direction/ Little Mix are most likely the result of a data-driven analysis of whose fan groups are similar and whose are likely to be open towards that particular other artist too.

2.       Again no news, but the example of Snoop Doggy Dog shows that there are strategies behind even the most random photos. Often placements of specific pictures or stories serve a wider purpose. Hello pap walks, hello b**ygate, hello Louis Twitter, hello Liam visibly being linked to L.A.‘s cool singer/songwriter crowd before his first album drop.  

3.       The decision to not promote Louis‘ song could very well have been a logical outcome of the team asking themselves the question „Why?“: Why should we promote his song with huge effort when we KNOW his own fans are going to do it passionately, especially if they think  we don’t give a shit? Why not playing that game in order to make them promo it the hardest way they can?“ Why indeed??

4.       One Direction is a huge deal for Sony. John was talking about a lot of bands during his speech but whenever he was talking about major acts, he always listed One Direction amongst them (along with gems like Beyonce, David Bowie, Adele). He name-dropped them at least 5 -6 times in a 60 minute speech. He really didn’t have to because the audience was in no way whatsoever a target audience. So yes, they clearly have been and are a very huge deal for them.

5.       The part about social media? Well :))))))

fanfic
  • poison ivy wearing muddy overalls n rubber gloves on the set of a gardening show w the hosts tied up n gagged behind her stroking a genetically modified carnivorous plant like a lapdog: hello fume-spewers of gotham city. its your hostess with the most...the mostess...its me, poison ivy. sorry to interrupt your resource-guzzling evening's entertainment by taking over every channel of your worthless old-media network. oh wait. i'm not. at this very moment the bouquet of roses i sent to strangle the mayor will be
  • heavy static followed by sudden cut 2 the penguin, drinking straight vodka and crunching icecubes wearing a feather boa and a velvet dressing gown covered in grease-strains and reclining in the hosts chair on a talk show set, which is being visibly smashed by themed muscleboys in th background: GOTHAM CITY YOU FUCKERS, YOU ABSOLUTE SWINE, HERES THE DEAL I WANT (crunch) A BILLION DOLLARS LEGAL TENDER TRANSFERRED TO MY PAYPAL AT vintage_cloaca_1937@icberglounge.com.org OR YOU CAN (slurp) SAY GOODBYE TO-
  • sudden cut back 2 poison ivy, furiously gesturing to the hypnotised crew to do whatever damnable technological things they do to unfuck the broadcast: (high pitched screeching)
  • sudden cut to the penguin: -YOUR PRECIOUS "SUN". I-
  • the penguin: (hears phone ringing) OH WAIT UH HOLD ON A SECOND
  • the penguin: (pullS a gold rotary telephone out of his purse) HWEH?
  • poison ivy, shreiking thru reciever: fuck off oswald im doing a Bit!!
  • the penguin: TO FUCK WITH YOUR BIT I BOUGHT OUT ALL THE NETWORKS FOR 1 HALF HOUR SLOT AND NOW I HAVE MINUS A BILLION DOLLARS AND I NEED A BILLION DOLLARS
  • poison ivy: these airwaves arent big enough for the both of us you horrendous little animal. i swear to piss i will
  • sudden cut to the riddler, sitting atop a giant rubix cube w the squares flashing neon at intervals wearing 2 pairs of 3D glasses and a coquettish mod ensemble w so many sequins on it that the studio lights reflecting off it cause at least 3 lens flares a second: GREEEEEEEETINGS CITIZENS OF GOTHAM CITTTYYYYYY! i, the RIDDLER, have interrupted your intellectually unstimulating broadcast to bring you some entertainment you'll hopefully find a little more...challenging. a new game show....with a DEADLY TWIST. for you see
  • the riddler: (hears his 2001 nokia beeping) uh...well, it seems we have our FIRST CALLER of the evening
  • the riddler: ...and our SECOND CALLER. um
  • poison ivy: (garbled screaming)
  • the penguin: (choking on an ice cube in pure rage)
  • the riddler: woah now hey now hey there woah there just a second
  • the penguin: -THE SUN
  • poison ivy: -THE MAYOR-
  • the penguin: -A BILLION DOLLARS
  • poison ivy: -A TRILLION DOLLARS-
  • sudden cut to harley quinn, sitting at home on the couch in front of her webcam wearing a sweaty sports bra and loony toons pajama pants and eating a hotdog: whats up folks! just wanted to hang out
Mikael as an important character in Sana’s story

OK so, after my post remarking how prominent Mikael was in “FY FAEN”, I started to wonder “why?”.

“Why would Mikael go from being barely visible, teasingly so almost, to so ‘in your face’ in the space of one episode?”

It’s not just because Julie is trying to remind us we’ve seen him before: she knows we spend our time on the internet analysing every frame of her show, she’s knows we’re tech-savvy, she knew the minute NRK would update their profiler page we would start looking up the characters and making the connection with Mikael (if we hadn’t already, I’m guessing she knew most of the core fandom would know about Mikael coming back already, the sudden influx of followers on Yousef Hjelde El Mofty’s instagram was indication enough, we also know Mari and Julie regularly look up the SKAM tags to take the pulse of the skamily).

But even if for the non-internet fans, the casual viewers, keeping Mikael gently in the background would have been more than enough to later pull the rug
and go

“Tadaaaa! Even’s best buddy, Mikael! You should have known! He was there all along but you didn’t notice!”

So, to me, it’s not just Julie teasing us about Mikael and his connection to Even.

And that’s when I realised that every season is from the main’s POV, this season is no exception.
And who is becoming more and more prominent in Sana’s POV, while Yousef is progressively seemingly falling from grace? Mikael.

@darker-sooner​ pointed out the frame above to me and how there are two main characters in it: Sana and Mikael (also, in terms of the position of the characters, Sana and Mikael are turned towards each other in this picture…they’re still not really looking at each other though, that will come later)

My reasoning is that, from a directing standpoint, having Mikael progressively take more and more space in the frame equates having him take more and more space in Sana’s life.
For now, she’s not really looking at him. She’s interested in Yousef. Mikael is still background. But even in the background, she’s starting to notice him more.

My theory is that we will start seeing them interact and be in each other’s “backgrounds” more and more.
Maybe next time it will be a “hi” exchanged on camera.
Maybe after that a sentence or two.
I’m not yet certain Mikael will definitely be a love interest for her. But I really feel like he’s going to be an important person in her life in this season.

people really need to understand that lesbians and gay men really are no more “visible” or “represented” than bi/pan people. you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how homophobia works, and how gayness is seen by most people (especially homophobes)

like, give me a list of at least ten characters who get to say “i am gay/lesbian”. i cannot really think of many, because most of the time characters are not explicitly one identity. they are hinted to be same gender attracted through stereotypes or some kind of “well, y’know…”, and most of them are jokes or they die (bury your gays has always been a moral lesson on how being sga leads to unhappiness)

when homophobes talk or think of “h*m*sexuality”, they do not think “man who exclusively loves men”. to them, it’s a condition or an act, the same way “s*d*m*te” was a person who had strayed to committing sins (eg anal or oral sex [between the same gender]). they do not think, ah, yes, gay men are 100% sinful while bi men are only 50% sinful. we’re all just s*d*m*tes to them in an equalmanner

so when homophobes speak of h*m*sexuality, it’s not gayness being visible or represented. and acting like it is and we somehow benefit from it is incredibly homophobic and benefits no one but homophobes. like, if these people truly saw gayness as an identity, why would they believe in conversion therapy and shit like “lesbians just haven’t met the right man”? but sure, because the porn category is “lesbian” and not “bi women”, even when it’s porn for men and othen including men, it proves lesbians are more privileged

might write more on this later but yeah, sip on that my friends

Humans Are Weird - Language

Crew Recreation Room, SSV Eternal Grace

“Hey, toss the remote over here, will ya?” Chief Jesse’s accented voice was barely audible over the rabble created by the rest of the crew in the packed rec room of the spacecraft. His outstretched hand was waiting for a remote, which was thrown his direction by one of the human engineers across the room. “Cheers mate. Now, if I can get everyone’s attention!” He waited for a few moments to be acknowledged and rolled his eyes, not surprised that he was ignored. He stood up on one of the tables and slammed his left boot down onto it, the impact creating a loud enough bang that turned a few heads. “I said shut the bloody hell up!” That got everyone’s attention, and Jesse nodded with approval as he pulled his datapad from a pouch on his duty belt and held it up for him to read.

“Alright-y, ladies, bastards, and the rest of you lot, I’ve got a few words from our ever-so-lovely captain regarding a few security concerns they’ve raised with me. Firstly: Op-Sec! That’s short for “Operational Security” for those that can’t understand acronyms. While we aren’t a part of the IMSF, we are contracted to the Intergalactic Governing Council, meaning that we do have a level of secrecy that we need to abide by. That means when talking to your folks back home about how things are going, you need to be more mindful about what you are telling them. Please don’t tell them about where our next few ports of call are, or the areas we’re operating in at the current time unless you are on a secure channel or it is a matter of dire emergency. Last thing we all need is a bunch of pirate pricks to raid us all because one of us had a loose pie-trap, you got me?”

Jesse listened to a murmur of agreement before nodding approvingly and consulting his notes. “Sweet! Second: It’s come to my attention by some of the guards that some of you horny buggers are sneaking off to secluded areas to do the do, if you get my drift? Now, because I’m a decent bastard - yes, hard to believe that, but I am decent,” he had to wait a moment for a few chuckles to settle down before continuing on, “I won’t be naming names or shaming people. Honestly, I don’t care who or what you decide to fuck, as long as it’s in your own time. What I do care about is the use of protection and the locations where I’m hearing people are being caught in the act.”

Zan’via and another member of the crew, a human medical staffer by the name of Kelly Jean, were standing towards the back of the room listening to him remind the group that areas like the engine rooms and storage bays weren’t conductive to ‘safe sex’. Zan’via noted that every once in a while Kelly would chuckle at a few words and phrases that the security chief would use, and once the man had finished his announcements, Zan’via decided to see what exactly caused Kelly to find they’re friends speech humorous.

“Excuse me, Doctor Jean, if I may have a moment of your time?” Zan’via spoke up before the woman could leave and return back to the medical wards.

“Certainly, Zan’via. What’s the problem?” She replied, gesturing towards an empty table nearby.

“Well, I found it a slight bit concerning that you were quietly laughing during Chief Lynn-Michael’s announcements on what I believe were fairly serious subjects.” They started, leveling a neutral expression towards the doctor.

“Oh? You noticed that? I’m sorry, I just find the way the Chief speaks to be amusing, that’s all.” Kelly said, blushing slightly at how she’d been caught out.

“The way the Chief speaks?”

“You have to admit, he does have a way with words, right?” Kelly prodded, now curious as to how Zan’via, and by extension the rest of the Gal’eth race, would interpret the Chief’s speaking patterns and mannerisms. There was a moment of silence before Zan’via emitted what could be interpreted as a ‘groan’ and shook their head.

“I would, if I could understand some of the terms and phrases he uses on a frequent basis.” They admitted with a small sigh, rubbing their face in irritation. “I’ve been meaning to ask him about it, but every chance I get he’s either busy or something comes up that needs his attention.”

“Maybe I can help. Granted, I’m not fluent in Australian English, but I’ve been around him long enough to pick a few things up.” The classifier that Kelly used before the name of the adopted universal language piqued Zan’via’s interest.

“Australian English? You mean there is more than one form of the language?”

“Well, yes and no. English as a whole is one language, but there are different versions or dialects of it, and each differ by region. The three major versions I’ve encountered in my life are American English, British English, and Australian English. The differences are subtle between them, like spelling and how there are different names between the three for the same object. Australian English, which is what our wonderful Chief of Security is quite fluent in, is actually an interesting blend of both the American and English systems, with some unique terminology and rules thrown in for fun.”

“For fun?” Zan’via asked with a surprised expression.

“Yes, for fun. There are a few ways that Australian English, or ‘Aussie’ as it’s referred to sometimes, is easily distinguished against the others. And that’s one right there: shortened versions of words.” Kelly said with a smile.

“I do not quite follow.”

“It’s a joke, both to Australians and to foreigners, that they are a lazy bunch and will shorten anything that can be shortened. Australian becomes Aussie, service center becomes ‘serve-o’, names like Bermingham, Wilson and McDonald are turned into ‘Birm-o’, ‘Wils-o’ and ‘Macca’ respectively. That brings me to a second trait: nicknames.”

“Nicknames?”

“The Chief’s full name and title is Head of Security Jesse Lynn-Michaels. When he was in the IMSF, he was Special Operations Chief Petty Officer Jesse Lynn-Michaels. That’s where he has his current ship’s nickname, Chief. It was a shorter way of calling his rank. The same carries across to any name or title if you’re an Australian, even if your name is relatively short. Occasionally he’ll call me Doc or ‘Kel’, or the Captain ‘Boss’. I’m sure he’s even shortened your own name from time to time.”

“You would be right on that regard, he constantly calls either me ‘Zan’ or ‘Zany’.” They said with what could be called a soft smile.

“See? It also serves as a benefit to tell when he’s being serious with you or not. If you hear him yell ‘Zany, get over here’, then you’re less likely to be in trouble than if he addresses you as ‘Zan’via’ or ‘Engineer’s Mate Third Class Zan’via Top’hei’.” Kelly stifled a chuckle as she saw the large alien being visibly shudder at the use of their full rank and title. “I guess some things are universal, right?”

“Agreed, and I see your point.”

“Good. Another classic hallmark which I’m sure you’ve noticed is the excessive swearing and use of rather frank terms and phrases.” Kelly said with a slight frown.

“That I have noticed; both him and his security team do sound more profane than other members of the crew.”

“Mhm. It’s another joke that Aussies don’t have a filter, and will often say what needs to be said at the expense of themselves and others. On one hand, this can be a benefit as you can safely assume that they are being genuine in their remarks. On the other, that same trait can get them into serious trouble. Do you think the Captain would have made those announcements in the same fashion, and with the same phrases?”

“I do not, it is safe to say that our Captain would have been much more formal and polite about the entire ordeal.” Zan’via said resolutely, their trust in the Captain surpassing everything else.

“Would you have paid attention through the whole thing?” The follow up caught them off guard.

“I beg your pardon?”

“If the Captain was the one speaking, would you have paid attention and remembered everything they would have said?”

Zan’via had to stop and think for a moment, recalling some of the longer briefings they’ve had to attend with the rest of the engineering department. The Captain was no doubt a good speaker, but they could admit that some of the time the Captain spoke could have been better spent on moving along with the subject matter.

“I do not like admitting this, but it is likely that I would forget some topics that they would cover.”

“You aren’t the only one, and that’s most likely why the Chief speaks so frankly and casually. It keeps the audience relaxed yet alert at the same time, and it also helps deflate any tension and unease when topics like sexual relationships are brought up. That said, Chief knows the limit, and if he started swearing and cursing with every second or third word he knows that he’ll lose his audience and risk getting himself in trouble.” Kelly’s datapad chimed at her from her pocket, and she quickly glanced at a clock on a nearby wall. “Oh, damn. Zan’via, I’ll be happy to continue this conversation later. I’ve got a patient in the Eye-See-You that I need to attend to.”

“Very well, ‘Doc’.” Zan’via said with a smile as the doctor stood up and hurried away.

‘I’ll have to ask her what certain words mean, next time…’

autism activism hits me in a way that not a lot of other things do. it’s extremely personal to me in a way that very few things are.

i wish we were treated like people. i wish our activism reached outside of the autistic community more and in more ways than a performative few posts reminding other neurotypical people that they love the autistics

i wish that people did more work to normalize stimming that wasn’t quietly pressing buttons in your pocket or spinning some dinky toy for a while.

i wish we could exist as we are in public. i wish being visibly autistic was acceptable.

i wish that i could have my sensory needs respected without invasive questions about why.

i wish i wasn’t socially shunned by my neurotypical peers when i started to be more open about the symptoms of my autism.

i wish that “weird” really and truly didn’t mean bad.

i wish i wasn’t trained into eye contact like a dog being trained not to shit on the floor.

i wish “special needs kids” actually got approached and got friends because they were actually represented on a cartoon on tv and the neurotypical kids realized that neurodivergent people have feelings and can be lonely.

i wish that autism wasn’t “uncomfortable”, or an uneasy topic, or too alien to write because of the utter lack of any exposure to any autistic people or autism activism.

i wish autism wasn’t forced into invisibility because of neurotypicals that are uncomfortable with who we are.

  • Me : i have no fear
  • Friend: what if every once in a while everything, from non living stuff to living stuff in the universe gets bigger at the same time and therefore we don't realise it but sometimes Some things or beings stay small. Thefore not being visible to the naked eye and we call them extinct?
  • Me: I have one fear.

this is the ONLY picture of me from Pittsburgh Pride this weekend. I was so immersed in the love surrounding me I didn’t once feel the need to take my phone out - something I rely on heavily for my social anxiety. But this weekend was different. This weekend was my first Pride passing as a man & being shirtless.

I can’t even begin to describe the euphoric feeling that washed over me when I felt the sun on my chest with my trans flag strapped across my neck, I felt invincible. For once, I felt strong.

I’m never going to back down. I’m never going to stop being visible. I’m so proud to be trans. I’m so proud to be queer. I’m so proud to be me.