jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

It just occurred to me how funny the whole premise of bathroom laws is. Lawmakers apparently think that a guy can just walk into the women's room, and they'll be all "What are you doing here D: " and he'll be like "Don't worry, I'm transgender! :D " and proceed to pee standing up.

They think we need LAWS to stop this from happening.

If it were that safe and that easy, I wouldn't have caused nearly as many double-takes in the men's room. ^^;

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

I didn't write that earlier post from the viewpoint of a trans woman who's scared for her safety, because "bathroom laws" do not target me. They don't target trans people in general, or even trans women in general. The only people they target are those who look or sound stereotypically "between genders," whether or not they pose any danger to anyone.

I've apparently never been one of those people. Just out of sheer luck, I was born with lightly-coloured body hair and "feminine" facial features. So with a bit of invisible makeup and a growing, immature bust, I have never had someone even look at me funny in the women's room.

That didn't keep me from being mortally terrified of the place, though, and waiting until long after I was on hormones to go there. So what did happen was that I caused an awful lot of double-takes in the men's room, both before and during transition. ^^; Especially from elderly men and little kids.

"Who she, daddy? Who she???"

I'd be washing my hands, and people would open the door and just stop, looking at the back of my head and trying to figure out where they were. Sometimes they abruptly backed out, letting the door shut again. Were they making sure this was the right one? Did it seem easier to them to let this obviously-confused woman dry her hands and walk out, than to confront her?

Not that I've never been confronted about it. One time I tried to step into the men's room at a convenience store, and the clerk stopped me and gave me a weird look. (I sheepishly went in the women's room, which had a lock on the door, thank goddess.) Another time I was waiting in line at a bus stop's public restroom, and realized the guy behind me in line was trying to get my attention.

"Hey, you can't go in there! The women's room is that way." He pointed it out for me, helpfully.

"I beg your pardon?" I asked, turning to face him and using my pre-transition voice on purpose.

"Oh, sorry man!"

I avoided that bathroom from then on. >_>;

Remember, it's the law!

If you take these new "bathroom laws" literally, this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Making guys trip over themselves, and giving somebody's grandpa a heart attack.

None of the laws' supporters actually want me to do that, though. This is because, like I said, they don't target me. These people don't spare any thoughts when they see me in public, because I don't look like "one of those people." I really don't know how I feel about this! But again, it's not about me, except that my existence helps make it obvious what this is really about:

All they want is to be able to bully people whose looks they don't like.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So, we read an excerpt from the intro to a history book on the First Succession War, which was a mad scramble for land and resources after a political upheaval.

It reminded us of how much we love BattleTech sometimes, and why:

It was a week before my nineteenth birthday when we learned that Amaris had been captured and the [coup] was over. Naïvely, we thought things would get back to how they were before, in our parents’ day. How quickly we were disabused of that notion. The dukes knew things would only get worse and all the patriotic noise Kenyon had made was soon supplanted by something more authoritarian. We were just the wrong age, the perfect age to serve.

My boyfriend, Joe, was one of those called up that autumn, thrown into a boot-camp and then shipped off-world to fill out a line unit. I never saw him again—he died on Anegasaki when the Capellans killed the Fourth Militia. I was luckier I suppose, drafted into the planetary militia, so at least I was near home where it was safe and quiet. At least at first.

Then Kenyon got a mind to take over all the Star League facilities, following up on the rumors that Kerensky had left vast stockpiles on-world. That may have been true, but after four years spent on that wild goose, with little more than field rations, toilet paper, and SLDF recruitment pamphlets to show for it, the FWLM shifted their attention elsewhere. That didn’t save me from a grilling by SAFE—several in fact—because of who Gramps was, and his involvement with the Engineering Sub-Command. He died when I was nine, but even so, SAFE struggled to accept that a pre-teen knew nothing about SLDF activity. Dad got it much worse, and was held at the facility in Freeport for three weeks before they decided that the English teacher from Durandel High wasn’t going to give them much help either.

In those days, the years before the start of the Succession War, I did wonder: if this is how badly we treat our own people, how are things going to go when we start shooting at people we don’t like?

Compare and contrast, with how 40k portrays warfare. And authority, and nationalism. Even if you read 40k as a dystopian satire, where the Imperium is meant to be seen as brutal, you rarely get such a personal look, at the price that ordinary people pay for you to dress up in armour and play as a "hero." To satisfy your vain ambition, for power or wealth or heroics.

40k isn't alone in erasing civilians and glamourizing warfare, of course. Don't get me started on dudebro shooters. >_>; With the extremely subversive exception of Spec Ops: The Line.

Click here if you can't see the video.

For another good take (IMO) on how BattleTech portrays conflict, check out the short story at the start of the Alpha Strike Quick-Start rules (PDF link). A private military contractor called Wolf's Dragoons catches a desperate foe completely off-guard, and an enemy MechWarrior has an obvious mental breakdown, but there's no guarantee that she won't recover once they've gone past. So Natasha just shoots her mech's legs out and moves on. Even though she has TEH RAEG because of something the other side's employer did to Dragoon dependents.

Finally, if you want to support a PC / tabletop game that tells the story of people who live in the ruins that "heroes" and generals fight over, check out This War of Mine:

Click here if you can't see the video.

Armed conflict is a terrific backdrop for drama. But it isn't a playground or theme park, and it shouldn't be treated as one.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

But this post on a (relatively) progressive Mormon blog brought back a lot of really bad memories. Of being the outsider, not being invited to anything, not even having the same online games.

My situation with my family of origin cut off a lot of opportunities, but I had forgotten how exclusive and cliquish Mormon kids are. How much I dreaded the things that I could go to. How I prayed to find someone who felt just as bad, so that I could save them.

I've never confronted anyone about that, that I can remember. Not the way I confronted my family of origin. I just forgot, because mental blocks are a defence mechanism. They kept me from seeing a big part of the reason I feel so inferior, though.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

(Content note for these links and this essay: Racism, sexism, classism, transphobia, and xenophobia.)

I'd just like to take a moment to remind everyone, including my friends who are also transgender, that if you live in the first world everything that you have and enjoy is made possible through unthinkable violence and slavery. Of humans, to say nothing of nonhuman animals.

It's not a matter of how moral you are, or how much you consciously choose not to inflict violence on others. This is an inherent feature, of a world where some people are valued so much more than others. Because the purpose of inequality, inhospitality, and inhumane treatment is to make people broken and desperate.

The purpose of immigration restrictions, for instance, is to enable human trafficking, which means (among other things) being able to keep people in sheds they pay rent on and beat them if they don't wash your car just right. Meanwhile, the reason that the United States lacks the social safety net that other so-called "liberal democracies" have is because one of its political parties (we all know which one) used its "Southern Strategy," of convincing white voters that welfare payments would go to the wrong kind of people.

You know, the ones who are supposed to avert their eyes when they see you walk by, and who call you "sir" and shine your shoes for you.

Trans World Problems?

No. No, the new laws here in the States, that make it even more dangerous for trans people to use public restrooms, aren't a "First World Problems" thing. A "be grateful that you aren't a literal slave" thing. As though becoming a sex worker with no legal protections weren't something a lot of trans people have to turn to, and as though there are no trans people who are black, immigrant, or enslaved.

What this is, is a reminder that we (as trans people) aren't the first to suffer this indignity, and we won't be the last. Unless we can join our grasping appendages with others who are resisting things like it*, and turn the tables on our capitalist oppressors.

(It's redundant to call them that, but sometimes it just helps to hammer it home.)




* Or even others who are affected by it, despite not being trans. Don't forget; besides barring people who don't pass as cis from using the restroom, North Carolina's HB2 also banned local living wage laws, and made it harder for any worker to bring a discrimination suit against their employer. These aren't unrelated coincidences; these things are all part of systemic inequality and oppression.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

And our system has, in fact, been updated! We're now using a refurb of last year's fanless, 12-inch MacBook, and it's the most beautiful thing we have ever owned. Everything works so elegantly and consistently, we've had fewer frustrations than ever, and OS X is amazing -- you can assign new keyboard shortcuts to any item in the menu.

(App recommendations: iA Writer, and Notes. Yes, the Notes app that comes with a Mac.)

We want to learn Swift, and AppleScript, and page layout / ePub formatting in Pages and iBooks Author, and you don't actually want to hear about any of this. ^^;

What's more important, at any rate, and had an even huger impact on our life, was being able to spend about two weeks with Alias. We love it so much <3 and we took lots of pictures, although we've only posted most of them in a private Facebook group, composed entirely of Alias' family and their significant others. (We're really camera-shy, and we assume that others are as well.)

We played a lot of minis games, though. ^^; And Final Fantasy XIII. Turns out the reason we haven't done much console gaming lately is because there's been no one to share it with >_>; So now we're starting to experiment with streaming games on Twitch, and considering getting a capture card for our old consoles which don't let us do that natively.

... is that something that anyone here would be interested in watching?

Anyway, we're trying to get back into a regular schedule and form some good habits, which is hard without external reinforcement. >_>; And we keep thinking of how to reformat this blog ... with like, index pages of our stories, essays, and games. And maybe a consistent theme, of self-acceptance and learning how to express yourself. It's what we've needed the most talking-through, and it's what we've been wanting to help people with since our old Become Your Fursona stories.

Which we still have, and are considering formatting some of them for ebook stores. Maybe.

We're also hoping to be able to visit Alias in person up in Canada, towards the end of the year. It's scary talking about building a life and a future together, but it's also exciting to feel like this is a thing that can actually happen.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

We got to try out a game of Endless Fantasy Tactics with Alias, a day or two ago. It was pretty fun!

Alias' hand picking up a miniature, on top of a hand-drawn isometric 3d map that looks like it came from Final Fantasy Tactics. Various Warhammer 40,000 and Pathfinder miniatures are being used as proxies, and a lot of dice are being used as counters. To one side, there are print-out lists of each model's stats. To the other, there is a magnetic Pathfinder initiative tracking board, with magnets for each mini arranged in initiative order. It also has little red hearts and blue circles for each model's HP and MP.

Those unpainted models are totally beastmen, not XV8 Crisis battlesuits.

It's basically Final Fantasy Tactics: the minis game. Which means we had to draw an isometric map, and HP/MP counters for everyone. Oh, and it uses stat cards normally, so we printed out lists with our models' stats on them instead.

Technically you don't have to go to these lengths. They sell decks of cards for all of the models and items, plus a beginner set with a reconfigurable 3d board. But we wanted to start with the core rulebook, and we figured it wouldn't take that long to make our own play aids.

Turns out, it did ^^; partly because we had to learn how to do layout in Pages first. And then when we actually started playing, our large-sized models took a hit for each square they stand on, every time Alias' Lunarian bunnies AOE'd.

But the Lunarians are just so cute! As are gels, beastmen, and the dreaded Black Kiwi.

(The gels all want to be heroes, or something. It's awesome.)

Anyway, we'll probably be playing this more in the future. And here are some more pics of the play aids we created / used, behind the cut:

Read more... )

Did we mention that [personal profile] aliaspseudonym / [tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush has been visiting? ^^;;;

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Wouldn't that be an interesting weapon in 40k, or another miniatures game? You shoot someone with it (rolling To Hit as needed), and suddenly they can't do anything self-serving. Like fleeing from a hopeless fight, or going to ground in order to keep from being shot at.

There actually is a special rule in Warhammer 40,000 which does that, though. It's called Zealot.

Thoughts on negating the self )

At any rate, Alias has been over here for three days now, and so far we've played three games of 40k. It's rekindled my interest in this game, and reminded me what I love about it.

I keep going out of my way to make sure that Alias is having fun, though, and compulsively asking if it is okay. I'm scared that I'm being a bad hostess, that having it play one of my favourite games with me is selfish, and that I should be letting it dictate everything.

Aside from that, though, it's been really nice having it over. In many ways. ^^;

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Okay, so last night we kind of had a meltdown over stuff on Twitter. >_>; We've deleted our account, since it didn't seem to be doing anyone any good.

On the plus side, we lined up all our Warhammer 40,000 Tau models and took a picture of them. Here it is, in case anyone wanted to see:

A photo of dozens of tiny space infantry models, vehicles, and mecha, somewhat carefully arranged on a table. About half of them are painted green.

View options: DeviantArt

Was it worth it? )

Anyway ... we're looking into broadening our gaming horizons, with more accessible minis games like Endless Fantasy Tactics and Frostgrave. [tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush is coming over in just a couple of days (!!!), so hopefully we'll get a chance to try them out.

And cheer up a bit.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Content Note: Graphic violence.

devour )




TARYN: In reality, I suspect there would be a long line to eat white cispeople from the southern United States. Link. I don't think they would taste very good, either.

Please mourn with their victims, and stop allowing them to hurt others. Here in the States, or internationally like in Uganda.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Please source your eggs responsibly.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So, first we had spehss mureen fans tell us that Tau players shouldn't exist, on the 40k forum we frequent.

Then this happened (don't read the comments).

I need better ways of destressing.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

There's a danger in getting overly concerned with tropes, and the real point is to be free to draw inspiration from where you like while creating something that means something to you.

That's from the Yaruki Zero book, where Ewen talks about anime, but I feel like it addresses a problem we have been having with trying to make the erotic rpg we mentioned awhile back. Or any of our other attempts to make "universal" games, like [community profile] fursonarpg, and try to create stuff that we don't fully understand the appeal of on the basis that someone will want to play as it.

I think there's something to be said for opening up a game's rules or a setting's canon, to allow for something new to fit in. Sort of like how halfway through the game's run Games Workshop took the unusual step of creating an idealist faction, with clean lines and anime-inspired mecha, in Warhammer 40,000.

But I feel like this stuff is maybe best done gradually, and custom-made on a case-by-case basis. The Cleric and Monk classes in Dungeons and Dragons, for instance, came about because Gary Gygax's friends wanted to play a vampire hunter and a martial artist respectively. Meanwhile, I've been doing an ongoing freeform 40k RP, that started with ideas for my Tau characters and grew to encompass [personal profile] burning_ground's Chaos Daemons and Alias / [tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush's Necrons.

Sometimes we think about game design. This is one of those times. >_>b

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

O-Inari-sama, provider for those who are starving,

Please lead all of their children out of their clutches.

Every. Single. One.

May they spend all their last days in loneliness,

May they be all alone on their deathbeds,

And may their Heaven be Hell to them,

With nothing but empty chairs.

Thank you for helping to save me from them.





For more on what prompted this outburst, click here. The Mormons that you know are not good people, and they explicitly teach that you ought to be willing to kill your own child if needed.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Author's Note: This is the fifth chapter of a fanfiction adaptation of Christine Love's visual novel, Hate Plus. It continues from where the Analogue: A Hate Story adapt left off. It features a female player character, who left the Mugunghwa with *Mute and is currently married to her.

Content Note: Sexism, gendered slurs, and suicidal ideation.

* * *

She looked like an aged version of *Mute, her face wrinkled and partly covered with an eyepatch. Her "good" eye looked weary and her silver hair was frazzled, but the suitcoat she wore was impeccably kept. On its shoulders -- and on the eyepatch, I noticed -- was a logo I'd seen in a few dusty corners of the Mugunghwa ... a stylized flower, the ship's namesake.

She sounded like the *Mute I knew when she spoke, but her voice rasped and sounded tired. "If you're watching this, it means that I'm dead. Like, for all intents and purposes. I'm about to have my ... our memory wiped. But I've always embedded my most treasured memories in my code, as I'm sure you've seen by now. So I should have just enough time to update them, and give you a sense of who you can and can't trust, in whatever world they wake you up in. If they wake you up.

"Please forgive me for failing you, *Mute ... " Her voice sounded husky. "Please promise me that you'll learn from my mistakes, and try to do better."

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Despite our disenchantment with Microsoft, we still use and rely on OneNote. It's a free cross-platform app, with free online syncing and no ads, and it takes pictures and formatted text and automatically cites stuff that we copy and paste from online.

Anyway, we've collected a lot of quotes about how it's not surprising to find ourself as a hikikomori / part of the underclass, all things considered. And how we still contribute to society despite being devalued economically. And how society's requirements are unreasonable to begin with, especially when it plays favourites so blatantly.

It's actually kind of a source of hope and encouragement to read them. Sort of like 15 years ago, when we were first starting to come to terms with the idea that we're fundamentally "a writer" and couldn't be happy doing the jobs that the people around us were pressuring us to do. Which led to our taking it seriously and getting a lot of practice, and eventually led to us supporting ourself and another person through writing things that were important to us.

They also note that Apple stuff's been getting cheaper, while housing, education, and health care are all priced for the upper class. Which kind of puts things in perspective, and makes us feel better about owning an iPod and wanting a Mac.

I mean. There are billboards here in the States that advertise schools and hospitals. Srsly. Like, a lot of them.

In the past few weeks, a lot of the hurdles to obtaining health care and such here have been worked out. More than that, [personal profile] burning_ground has proven to be a very good friend and supportive Internet Family Member, and [personal profile] aliaspseudonym / [tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush is now talking about planning a future with us and visiting late next month.

We've gotten out of the habit of checking on Dreamwidth, and have set our fanfiction aside temporarily. But in other spheres of our life -- Final Fantasy XI, miniatures, and earning spending money on Mechanical Turk -- we've actually been Getting Stuff Done. Like, a lot more than usual, and a lot more regularly than usual. A day where we could do anything but read depressing stuff used to be rare, but now we can count on at least a couple hours of work every day. And save up for things, and have dreams and ambitions, even if they don't resemble most people's.

I feel like accepting our place in the underclass, as someone who's not valued enough by society to even be exploited as a labourer, is actually part of that. Because we've gone from seeing ourself as a failed member of the working class, whose struggles are all her fault, to seeing ourself as someone who's lost a lot of life's lotteries but has people who love and support her.

Knowing that, and having that support, has given us a lot of strength lately. It's not something that we're used to.

We can share some of the quotes that we've found if anyone's interested. Today we just wanted to talk about how we're feeling, lately.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Have you ever had a conversation that went like this?

You: When you did this, that, and the other thing, it hurt me in these ways. I am upset at you for hurting me, and afraid that you'll hurt me again.

Them: *sobs* How can you say such mean things? ; ;

You may not have known it, but your conversational partner was equipped with the Narc-Filter 2000™! A patented invention by Narcissists, Inc., the Narc-Filter 2000™ turns intelligible thought:

You: When you did this, it hurt me.

... into hateful, meaningless gibberish!

You: RARGHLE BLARGLE BLAH! FUCK YOU!!!1!

This not only lets you keep on doing thoughtless deeds, saying bigoted words, and being an all-around asshole. It also helps you feel good about doing it! You'll love it when the community rallies around you, shares in your misery, and feeds you that sweet N-supply. Just tell them how mean that uppity *CENSOR BLEEP* was to you, and then drink it all in through your crocodile tears.

Ohh, yeah.

This message was brought to you by [personal profile] jewelfox's latest misguided attempt to communicate with her parents. See Issendai.com for more about why this was a bad idea.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

From a comment by /u/Rosetylerkillsdaleks on /r/exmormon, about their racist Mormon grandma's mental breakdown when she realized she was partly of southeast African and Middle Eastern descent:

Basically she honestly believes she has tainted blood and it's really sad she can't accept it as something cool and unique.

That's really how we want to experience everything weird about ourself, from being otherkin / plural to being transgender and pansexual. As something that's cool and unique. Not in a "special snowflake," attention-seeking way, as though that weren't a label for narcissists to shut down anyone they think is getting more attention than them. More like the way people here in the States view European cultural heritage.

It used to be, having the wrong European heritage or being Catholic made you The Other. (Does anyone remember the episode of M.A.S.H., where Charles Emerson Winchester III freaks out about his sister marrying an Italian?!) Nowadays white, American identity mostly encompasses such people. And a lot of white people here in the States have at least a passing familiarity with different European cultures' traditions. Like knowing that "mass" means a church service, that you give stuff up for Lent, that baklava and tabouli are Mediterranean / Greek food, and that their family reunions can get kind of rowdy.

I'd really like for my "weirdness" to be seen that way. As something people have a passing familiarity with, so that it's not a big deal to them and they don't need to stop everything so that I can explain it. And then they judge whether or not it's acceptable, when I was doing just fine before they weighed in with their Unbiased Opinion.

I guess that's why I've spent so much time trying to explain myself, here.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

We've been having a bad time in the place that we've moved to, in terms of obtaining health care (especially trans-specific health care). Things are starting to look up -- we got seen at a sliding scale clinic and treated for our persistent cough, last week, plus we got an antidepressant prescription that we don't need to be groped for.

Finding a trans-friendly endocrinologist is more difficult; it feels like an underground scene of some kind, not a straightforward medical service. Things are still up in the air, here, but we managed to get blood tests done without breaking the bank ... or at least, [personal profile] burning_ground's bank account.

(She's really the one who's been handling it all. We've mostly been fretting panicking curled up in a ball playing games on the iPod [personal profile] aliaspseudonym got us. Which was much less expensive than the blood tests we needed.)

We're sorry for scaring people / being absent / not replying or noticing stuff / dropping [community profile] capsulerp. We hope everyone's doing okay out there, and we'll try to keep breathing.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Sometimes we toy with a headcanon where the 40k galaxy is actually a super-benign place where most sapients rarely resort to violence, sort of like in Alan Dean Foster's The Damned trilogy. And all the playable factions are those rare creatures that relish it, or see it as a legitimate means to an end.

Here's our take on each of the 40k factions (except chaos), based on the actual fluff when viewed from the right angle.

Read more... )

So is this just heresy, or are we on to something here?

About us

We're a harmonious plural system which collects identities, paints miniatures, and lives in Eorzea. We make stories, essays, and games.

We prefer female pronouns. Please ask us which ones to use for our miniatures.

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