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)

This is the first part of a fanfic adaptation of Dead Space, by way of the Steven Universe television series. It contains spoilers for Steven Universe, and takes place in the future of SU's setting. I have tried to write it to be accessible to someone who's not familiar with the canon, but SU has a lot of lore to keep track of, so your mileage may vary.





I was alone, in a world made of crystal. And I was not running fast enough.

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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)

By Joe Parlock on Polygon:

I racked my brain to think of games featuring autistic characters that have stood out to me, and four came to mind. All of these characters are different kinds of people with autism, and some of them can be interpreted as positive representations. They also bring to light the tropes and stereotypes surrounding the condition that made me so worried about people finding out I have autism.

He uses the "person with autism" wording that a lot of people (like me) find unpleasant. But as long as we're now letting women and PoC talk about those kinds of characters in video games, we should also be listening to disabled people's thoughts on how disability is portrayed.

Personally, as an autistic person who plays video games one of my favourite portrayals is in Final Fantasy XIV Online. Your player character is shown talking to people occasionally, but words are never put in her mouth. And her somewhat-muted, frequently nonverbal reactions in cutscenes make her easy for me to identify with.

At any rate, I can't recommend the last game Parlock suggests enough.

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)

Still too scared to present overtly as female, especially when we aren't on hormones yet. Ended up somewhere in between, which was as comfortable as we could get with our appearance. May have been a mistake.

What we did

Sat on a bench for a half hour while people talked to each other around us, then took photos of [personal profile] rev_yurodivy fursuiting, then found a table where people were playing card games and managed to get into a couple of games of magic.

How we felt

Nervous, out of place, and overloaded (in the autistic sense). At the very least, we should have brought sunglasses.

It felt really, really unnerving to be there, because it seemed like we were invisible to most people. Our "female register" voice is quiet and there were a lot of people around, which is probably part of why we felt ignored. When we did talk to people we didn't know what to bring up except electronics, and that didn't go well.

People seemed visibly dismayed to talk to us. One person didn't even say anything but just sort of stared at us for several seconds with a :| expression on his face. Several people we used to know barely acknowledged us, or didn't at all.

We felt shell-shocked for hours afterwards, but I think right now we're leaning towards hurt and rejected.

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)

This essay is part of a series based on Meirya's 30 Days of Otherkin Challenge. These essays describe what it's like for Jewelfox to be otherkin. If you don't know what otherkin are, please read Jewelfox's Otherkin FAQ.

Because [personal profile] jewelfox is a plural system, each member will answer each question for herself.

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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 I went out to see [personal profile] rev_yurodivy off at the train station, then decided to go to the LGBT centre in the next town to see if they could help me with my transition, after stopping somewhere to eat.

In the process, I was correctly gendered three times, while not making an effort to present as female:

  • One of the people behind the counter at a generic "asian" restaurant ma'aming me while trying to get me to try a sample.

  • Someone behind me at Gamestop like "Can I help you, ma'am? ... sir?" Had to adjust after getting a closer look I guess.

  • Someone who opened the door to the men's room as I was getting ready to leave seeing me and doing a double take and backing out really fast and letting the door close. (This was kind of hilarious.)

The best part is that before all this I was sorta looking in the mirror at the restroom, trying to figure out what impression people got of me and how I really looked. I guess those helped answer my question.

content note for incoming ablism depression and transphobia

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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)
A few random things, in order from least to most depressing and building up to unpleasant realizations.

Trigger warning for talk of depression, parental abuse, terrible trouble with socializing, and canned sandwiches. Especially the canned sandwiches.

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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)
My GNOME Outreach Program for Women internship is now over. My project was the JavaScript app developer documentation. When I started, it was woefully out-of-date and incomplete, and extremely poorly organized.

So how is it now?

Still really bad, in my opinion. Especially compared to Apple or Android's developer docs.

You can see, on the page I was working on, the beginnings of a curriculum. It tells you what you need to do to get started, and then starts to walk you through GNOME app development before giving you lots of code samples for specific widgets. But there are some experiments and approaches I took that I think were questionable, like the Switch widget example that covered AboutDialogs in more detail than Switches, or the starting lesson which jumps straight into Webkit.

When I started this project, I knew things had to be better but I didn't fully know how to get there. I used a lot of trial and error, writing code sample after code sample and refining my approach in each one. After attending the Open Help conference and sprint, I had a much clearer idea of where to go, and you can see the outline for my "App Guide" project on the live.gnome.org wiki.

I hope to complete the first draft of this guide in time for the next round of Outreach Program interns, and I hope to become a mentor for some of them. Whether they're working to improve developer docs, or writing their own GNOME apps.

Taryn's take on the Outreach Program

It was one of the best experiences of my life. It was confusing and frustrating at first, especially once I found out that GNOME app development wasn't as simple as I'd been led to believe by the existing tutorials. But I found my footing quickly, I think, even if that involved asking a ton of questions on IRC.

The parts that I'll always remember include all the technical triumphs, the encouragement from my mentor and the other interns and people involved in the program, and meeting up with people at Open Help. And in the #gnome-women IRC meeting where we gave feedback on the program, I said that one of the best things about it was how open-ended it was, because of how it let me understand the problem and approach it in my own way.

Since then, though, I realized another big thing about the program that helps make it successful:

Money

We've probably all seen the research on what motivates us, and how money is not a big part of it. But you know who's really motivated by money? People who don't have enough.

Women, disabled people, gender and sexual / romantic minorities, ethnic and cultural minorities ... all these groups are more likely to have a hard time making ends meet financially. And the opportunity cost for them to volunteer for Free Software is a lot greater than it is for a white, abled, male, non-queer hacker, who's being paid a decent salary and has health insurance.

Just as an example, the time I spent dealing with autistic shutdown and widespread intolerance, and trying to explain feminism 101 concepts to deter trolls from attacking me and others, are all things that most hackers don't have to deal with. They're practically a second job for many ... to say nothing of the women who are still expected to be the primary (or sole) caretakers for their children.

The Outreach Program's $5,000 payment is barely enough to maintain a minimal first-world standard of living over three months. But for me, it was more than enough. I was finally living my dreams, and being paid to work on what most excited me. And I could set aside other work that I didn't have the spoons (emotional energy) for, so that I could concentrate on this.

One of the reasons I'm going to continue working on GNOME is because I'm hoping to sell the App Developer's Guide as a Creative Commons-licensed book, and make some money from it. I'm hoping that once "GNOME OS" becomes more widespread, more people will want to learn to write apps for it, and that this guide will be there for them.

But another huge reason is because, once the problem of "how do I pay rent and buy food?" was taken care of for a few months, I saw how much I loved being a part of the GNOME community and helping with my part of it. So that stipend provided the activation energy for what will hopefully become a chain reaction, as I mentor other women who may go on to help others in turn.

I'm hoping to show them that they can be a part of GNOME too; that GNOME needs them, and that they can have fun contributing to GNOME. And while it may seem vulgar to talk about if you're explaining the program to people who don't need the money, as someone who's been there that stipend really helps sell the program to people who do.

Wrapping things up

Many thanks to the GNOME Foundation, Google, Mozilla, Collabora, the Free Software Foundation, and Red Hat for sponsoring my internship. I had a lot of fun with it, and I hope I made (or am) something that's worth it.

Many thanks to my mentor, Tiffany Antopolski, for answering so many weird questions and doing so much work to find out how to make the JavaScript code work right, especially for her version of the "Hello, GNOME" tutorial which hasn't gone live yet. Seriously, she went the extra kilometre, especially since mentors aren't paid.

Many thanks to her, Radina Matic, and Marta Maria Casetti, for being extremely supportive either on my journal or in person at Open Help. I needed a lot of encouragement and reassurance, and it was an amazing feeling to be validated and accepted there. If I'd known this would happen, I would've tried to raise money to go to GUADEC too somehow.

Many thanks to Shaun McCance for running the Open Help conference, and to him and Ryan Lortie for answering my questions there and helping me figure out what the App Guide should cover. Also just for being awesome. You guys rock.

Finally, many thanks to Marina Zhurakhinskaya and Karen Sandler for running the Outreach Program, and to Karen for helping make it possible as the GNOME Foundation's Executive Director. This may be the most welcoming Free Software community for women (including trans women) that I know of, right up there with Dreamwidth.

Here's hoping, and helping, that it just gets better from 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)
I'm going to be attending the Open Help conference this week, to learn about Free Software documentation and hopefully do some intense writing for it.

The good news is that I live close enough that I'll be able to go there by bus, so I won't have to be seen naked or groped by a man. The bad news is that I'm an autistic, transgender abuse survivor, with PTSD and OCD. I'm also basically vegan. Because of this, I've had to do a lot of planning for this trip, and generally making a pest of myself on IRC asking questions and things. (Sorry, Shawn!)

Here's what I've had to take precautions for. I'm open to suggestions if there's anything I've left out.

Accomodating autistic people

Being autistic means, in my case, that lights, sounds, and physical sensations are a lot more intense than they are for most people. It also means I have trouble making out spoken words, especially when things are noisy. If I'm forced to remain in a stressful situation, I may reach a state of "sensory overload" and shut down, going nonverbal or emotionless.

I'm bringing sunglasses and a ton of earplugs, along with anti-anxiety and anti-depressant herbs to help moderate the effects of the external environment -- Valerian and St. John's Wort, respectively. (Unfortunately, the country I live in has chosen to make the actual medications I need unaffordable.) I'm keeping my tablet and smartphone with me at all times, in case I need to write out a message, and I'm bringing an emergency plushie -- these should be in every autistic's survival kit, seriously.

Beyond that, I am going to avoid extremely loud environments like restaurants and bars; these are terrifying and physically painful for me to be in, and I won't be able to hear anything anyone else is saying either. This pretty much excludes me from all socialization, unfortunately, but I'm given to understand this is par for the course for a Free Software conference.

Accomodating transgender people

I'm just beginning my transition, and am not used to presenting as female in public ... this will be only the second time that I've done so. I'm not too worried about being around the other people attending the conference, but going between the hotel and the conference center is going to cause Mortal Terror.

To mitigate its effects, I'm going to travel exclusively in groups, and will always make sure at least one other person is with me when going between the hotel and the center. (I'm hoping this doesn't cause a huge logistical problem.) I'll also wear sunglasses and sound-dampening earbuds, and play music as loud as I can stand it to distract me from where I am. If I have to, I may just present as male, but I would prefer to avoid doing that. I'll be doing so on the bus, at any rate.

Fortunately, the conference rooms appear to have their own restrooms, which may mean I won't be reliving my "being smuggled out of Soviet Russia" levels of fear from the last time I tried this. Hopefully, no one will be too weirded out if I shave and re-apply makeup there before heading back to the hotel. I am nervous that the conference doesn't have an anti-harassment policy, however, considering the Free Software community's reputation for undesirable behaviour.

Accomodating vegans

A lot has already been said about this. I'll just say that I will be bringing a ton of peanut butter and bread.

Kinda wish I didn't have to do all this

Being trans would be a lot less stressful if I didn't have to hide it from everyone outside of my social group, and being misgendered was the social equivalent of being told my shoelaces were untied instead of a dangerous situation. And being autistic would be less of an inconvenience if people had any idea that autistic adults exist, or what kind of accomodations we need.

At the moment, being autistic in the States is like being quadriplegic in a country with no wheelchair ramps, and I feel extremely uncomfortable every time I have to ask someone to lift me up onto the sidewalk. Hopefully, it won't cause any issues ... beyond my taking up lots of time dealing with them and spamming everyone else with them, anyway. :P
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.

I was washing my hands in the men's room while this guy and a couple of little kids were there at the sink next to me, and one of them was just staring up at me, wide-eyed.

"What her name?" he asked his dad. "What her name?"

"I don't know what his name is," his dad told him. But I was like ^_^

II.

They were selling bracelets with tags marked "CURE AUTISM" at the Whole Foods Market, which gave part of their proceeds to "charities" meant to exterminate us. [personal profile] rev_yurodivy and I spoke up about this to the manager, and he agreed that it was absurd and said that he'd look into it and they wouldn't carry those anymore.

(The less-awesome part is I spoke to an employee about it first, and she was sorta spaced-out and talking about how "Oh yeah, it's like how there's a conspiracy to put ADHD kids on Ritalin, because they have God's light." Also she handed me one of the bracelets to take up to the counter. I needed to do harae so bad to get rid of the ickiness of that encounter but I hadn't brought my dice. >.< )

III.

The creativity that the players are showing, for the RPG that we're planning, is amazing. [personal profile] redsixwing and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy especially have written epic-length essays about the gods and species of this world, taking the few things that I wrote and running with them, and [personal profile] avia got in on the fun incorporating her swan maidens and Church of Flight concept into it.

I'm working on a website that'll make things easier for us, and let us put all the worldbuilding stuff in one place so that we can reference it later. Also, forums, which I prefer to Dreamwidth roleplaying. I feel like it's amazing what you people are doing, and I want to make it easier for you and reward you. That way you'll all build an awesome world for me to play in. >.>;

If you were thinking of playing but haven't yet started / finished talking about a character, go ahead and post a reply here to get the ball rolling! I may not be able to take everyone on who wants to play in the game, but if someone else wants to GM another one in this world, and take advantage of the same forums and resources, that'd be awesome. ^_^

Please note that the world itself is licensed CC-By-SA, sort of like Wikipedia and the SCP Foundation. Fursonas and personal characters are exempt, but essays and things should be licensed under the same license unless you really prefer otherwise and speak to me about it. That way, everyone can benefit from your creativity, and we can make this neat world together.
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)
They've apparently teamed up with Autism Speaks, an organization that purports to represent autistic people while marginalizing and depersonalizing us.

Trigger warning for descriptions of how they've done so.

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In case you were wondering, I was trying to see how much the kind of toys I grew up with would cost today so I'd have a benchmark for inflation. I don't know if anyone here would actually shop there. Spread the word?

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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