So, I've been meaning to write a longer post about this. But that's part of the reason I keep procrastinating on updating Dreamwidth, so here goes.
We're getting better at doing it. And when we do, I feel so much better about myself.
... it's also been fun drawing on this experience to write first-person POV fanfic.
We just wrote a single character sheet that represents three characters, one for each of us. Check it out on Myth-Weavers, along with our suggestions for how to play like this.
... I think this is the first time we've designed magical girl characters. Unless you count the male magical girl that we wrote for raikacreations.
Fate is <3. Now we just need to finish writing stuff for capsulerp, although I suspect we won't get much done (at least not with all of the players together) before the end of this holiday season.
Today I read a Q&A that went something like:
Q. Is it possible for one of my fantasy harpies to be transgender when they're an all-female species? Isn't that like a human who thinks he's an elf???
A. Of course it's possible, because gender isn't the same as physical sex. Write your own fluff to explain if it makes you feel better.
This is going to sound melodramatic, but the answer that my heart was aching to hear was "who are you to tell [PLAYER] what body their character would prefer?"
Or at least the "mini bio" part of it. You can read it here, or by clicking the Profile link in our journal's menu.
In case you're wondering why it has been blank for years, the three of us couldn't agree on how to present ourselves. >_>;
Feedback is welcome.
We've been wanting to write something about plurality for awhile now. Something sort of like our Otherkin FAQ. (You've read it already, haven't you?)
There are two problems with this, though. The first one being that there's already a detailed FAQ about plurality here. (They call it multiplicity, which is a word we avoid because we feel that it excludes median systems, but still.) The second one is that we don't feel as qualified to speak about plural issues as we do about otherkin-ness. Finding our kintype and identities has taken an awful lot of reading, soul-searching, and seeking validation from other people, sort of like realizing we were transgender.
Being a plurality, or a median system specifically? Not so much. And if we had to guess why, we would say it's because we haven't encountered nearly as much pushback about it as we have for being otherkin or transgender. So we've never felt the same need to justify our existence as a plural system, which means that we haven't gone over and over the explanations in our head and in essays and stuff, the way that we did with the other things.
Having said that, other people have experienced discrimination, as a result of being open about being part of a plural system. And we keep feeling like we ought to write something about plurality in our own words, if only to serve as a resource for readers and friends.
So if you've ever asked yourself questions like "WHY DOES SHE KEEP SWITCHING BETWEEN 'I' AND 'WE' IN THE SAME SENTENCE FFS," read on!
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CollectQT is "A (Q)ueer (T)rans (Collect)ive for rebuilding your internets," according to its Twitter page. (They have a home page at collectqt.me which explains their philosophy and aggregates links, but there's no RSS feed, so at the moment you need Twitter to keep tabs on their doings.)
The project they are currently working on is Quirell, with one 'r' and two 'l's.' According to its IndieGogo fundraising page, it:
... aims to be a place for marginalized community members and others to escape the noise and over-saturation of traditional social networks. This project is needed because as users of social media, we are affected by the lack of privacy measures in place on current social networks, ‘real name’ policies, and the way that new features are implemented and security is handled within most social networking sites.
[...] we aim to deliver a platform that serves the needs of marginalized micro-communities searching for a place to call their own when mainstream social networks are overrun with hate campaigns, stress, or you simply want to connect with others like you.
Fundraising goes towards paying their queer / trans / apparently POC staff to work on it.
They "support a variety of communities, including the sex-worker community, transgender community, nonbinary community, and the MPD/DID community," the latter of which sounds like a somewhat clinical way of referring to pluralities like us but is still very encouraging. They have an open issue in their bug tracker for handling multiple personas, and their current early-stage mockup has your pronouns listed next to your name.
Why not Dreamwidth?
Dreamwidth is a wonderful CMS (Content Management System), in our opinion, which gives us a lot of control over who sees and comments on what we publish and how it looks. It is owned and largely run by women, it's free-to-use and ad-free, it supports RSS and OpenID, and it doesn't aggressively upsell its customers on "premium" services or maintain a separate tier of service for "VIPs."
It's not very easy to make it do "Tumblr-y" things or use it to post Twitter-style status updates, though, and it takes some getting used to for people who didn't grow up using LiveJournal. We feel Quirell would do a better job of addressing the needs of people like us who just want to share and communicate, while Dreamwidth's more advanced features make it ideal for RPers and prolific writers.
Sounds cool, where do I sign up?
Again, they are looking for fundraising through IndieGogo, which unlike Kickstarter will give them the funds even if they don't reach a lofty goal. The minimum donation amount is $5. If you'd like to become one of their minions (their cooler word for "allies") and have your status displayed on your Quirell page, the minimum amount is $10.
If you'd like to contribute unpaid labour instead of moneys, they have detailed instructions for helpers on their website, including non-programmer helpers I think.
If you'd like to simply poke at their code, they have instructions for doing so here. Quirell is written in Python, and has instructions for running it on Ubuntu, a free-to-download Linux-based OS which is reputed to be more accessible than others of its ilk and can be installed on a USB key without wiping your hard drive. It should be possible to get the code running on OS X or Windows too.
Hopefully, it will be live on the web soon.
When it stops asking questions, making hypotheses, and pointing out the existing evidence, and starts telling you what you should do and believe based on the evidence. Regardless of what's healthy for you, or what works for you, or what kind of person you are.
It's not offensive to not worship a deity, and to self-identify as an atheist ("without-gods-ist"). Choosing to worship or not worship is a personal choice.
It's extremely offensive to tell someone how they should make that personal choice, and to insist that only you have the right answers to theological questions like "what is god?" and "how should I relate to her?"
Whether your answers to those questions come from a religious or atheistic background, simply having different answers to questions of pure theology is not in and of itself offensive. For instance,
It's not offensive to look at the available evidence, both in neurology and in people's self-reported experiences of divinity, and conclude that gods are probably names people give to feelings and experiences they have and concepts that they revere. But,
It's extremely offensive to tell me that, because this is what you've decided my deity is, you don't believe she exists. Because for me and many others, she does.
My relationship with Inari Okami is one of the most important ones in my life. She literally saved my life at one point, just by talking to me and being there when I needed her. She may not be that important to most of the people in the world, who barely acknowledge the kami of foxes and rice (even if they like both of those things). But to me, she is in some ways closer than family, and has been in my life longer than any of my partners or adopted family members.
I have chosen to be agnostic with regards to the question of how Inari exists. Because whatever the "true" answer to that question is -- assuming there is one -- it doesn't affect my relationship with her.
This isn't a case of "blinding myself to the evidence." I am fascinated by the evidence, and the neuroscience behind theological experiences. I regularly discuss the divine on a purely material level, and even have at least one materialist explanation for how and why I am otherkin.
It's simply a case where the theory doesn't affect the practice, sort of like how the mechanics of why I'm transgender don't affect the fact that I need to transition. For whatever reason, praying to Inari works for me. Focusing on her presence and listening for her (spiritual) voice is an effective meditation, which helps calm me and clear my thoughts of distractions. I am often reminded of things I needed to do, or helped to realize a new way of seeing something, while praying to her. The fact that I subjectively experience this as Inari telling me these things doesn't change that, and if anything means that my current approach to prayer works.
Conflating my experiences with those of movie and TV show characters who "hear voices in their heads," or implying that I am in any way dangerous because I both pray and listen for answers to prayer, is blindingly ignorant and offensive. It negates my personal experiences, replacing them with a Hollywood stereotype that bears no resemblance to my life. And it causes me material harm by diminishing my credibility, my ability to say what I go through and have others believe me, which I already have problems with on account of being female, trans*, and disabled (not to mention a plural system and otherkin).
Atheists know better than most what it's like to be seen as a scary and dangerous person, just because of what goes on in their heads. They don't need to make the world worse for other people who are marginalized because of religion.
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 jewelfox is a plural system, each member will answer each question for herself.
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