My name is Natalie Reed, and I’m newly arrived here to Freethought Blogs. Before this move, I was a writer for the Skepchick network, and managing editor for sister site Queereka. I’m young and grossly unqualified, but people seem to enjoy what I do. “What I do” generally being posts on trans and queer issues, gender, sexuality and so on from a skeptical, secular perspective.
I’m probably just going to go right on doing more or less the same sort of thing here at FTB, though the fact that I now have my own little niche, and will be posting on a more regular basis, will allow me to quickly start branching out into other areas as well. I’d love to start discussing LGBTQ issues in a more general sense, and also start covering other areas of particular interest to me, such as addiction and mental health issues, Canadian stuff (helping out my lovely colleagues Crommunist and the Lousy Canuck), feminism in general, some of my “hobbies” like linguistics, literature and neuroscience, and also some of my own takes on atheism, skepticism, humanism and related subjects. Maybe even some “traditional” skeptic topics like alt-med, God, conspiracy theories and cryptids, too!
To acquaint yourself with some of the concepts, issues and terms I’ll be dealing with, please feel free to check out some of my prior works on Skepchick and Queereka. In particular, I’d recommend…
Transkeptuality: Gatekeeping And the Value Of Critical Thought, in which I provide a bit of an introduction to why, for me, I feel that trans-feminism is of importance to skepticism, and skepticism is of importance to trans-feminism, along with why I feel skepticism should invest itself in social issues in general. “It’s hard to be an unbiased thinker when you’re immersed in a biased culture”.
Bilaterally Gynandromorphic Chickens, And Why I’m Not Scientifically Male, in which I tackle what I have personally found to be the most prevalent and tenacious misunderstanding about transsexuality within the skeptic community and movement.
Sacrificing Privilege, in which I articulate some of why the experiences of people who have transitioned from living full-time as one gender to another are of great value to feminism and our understanding of our culture’s social treatment of gender.
And perhaps best as a sort of easy trans-stuff primer, I’d recommend 13 Myths and Misconceptions About Trans Women, Part One and Part Two, in which, as the title suggests, I debunk a set of particularly common and damaging misunderstandings about trans women and try to articulate the often somewhat complicated truths behind them, what I perceive as the main origins of the myths and underlying misapprehensions, and what I see as their particular harm.
For access to my other articles at Skepchick, you can click here:
And for my contributions to Queereka, you can click here:
I know that some of you might be curious about it, but I’m afraid I’d really rather not discuss the details of what resulted in my departure from Skepchick and Queereka, so please please please don’t ask about it. But it does seem there have been some problematic misunderstandings, so I’d like to clear those up with a few brief statements:
- I would love to have stayed, and greatly enjoyed the work I was doing there.
- It was an interpersonal issue, not a content issue.
- It was not motivated by any cissexism on the part of Skepchick or Rebecca Watson, or a disregard for the value of my work. Concerns about the increased inclusion of LGBT stuff into Skepchick and the subject matter of my posts were only related in a very minor, tangential way. Honest. I know that oftentimes the work and contributions of trans women to feminism are disregarded, ignored or forcibly pushed out of the movement, but that was not the case here.
- I harbour no ill will or resentment towards Skepchick or Queereka, I still greatly value the role both play in our community and movement, I’m proud of having written for the former, immensely proud of having played a major role in creating the latter, and I’m still on good terms with most everyone there.
That’s all I’m going to say about it.
I’d also like to make it VERY clear that I have no intention of hopping aboard the Anti-Watsonite crazy train. Please don’t bring any of that venom here thinking you’ll find a sympathetic listener. Just don’t go there. It puts me in a pretty awkward position, so I’m not going to be very patient with anyone who does.
Anyway, this has been a tough couple weeks for me. I’d like to send my heartfelt thanks to all the friends who showed their support, understanding and kindness, patiently listened to my whining and moping, helped me through this, kindly offered to help me establish a new blog or project, and helped me find my new home here. You all are really the best set of friends a girl could ask for. In particular, I’d like to thank Amanda Graham, Amanda Wanner, Anna Jobsis, Bug Girl, Carrie Chapman, Dan Fincke, Debbie Goddard, Ed Brayton, Elliot Brady, Elyse Anders, Ethan Clow, Felicia Gilljam, Fred Bremmer, Greg Laden, Ian Bushfield, Ian Cromwell, Jill Powell, Joe Fulgham, Jules Klassen, Karyn Wittmeyer, Kate Hemenway, Lara Beaton, Michelle Bell, Miriam Fallyna, PZ Myers, Sadie Crabtree, Shanna Cundal, Spacey Casey (congrats on the big trip!), Sonya Fiset, Stephanie Zvan, Veronica Berglyd, Will Robertson, Zinnia Jones, the Vancouver Skeptics In The Pub, the folks at Trueselves, everyone at FTB for supporting my inclusion, and my wonderful, long-suffering mum. Also thanks to my readers for your patience, support and kind words. You’re all fantastic!
I’m very very happy and grateful to be here at FTB, look forward to getting to know my new colleagues (and hopefully some new readers and commenters!), and can’t wait to start filling the inter-spheres with my crazy gibberish once again. It is a huge honour to be part of such a fantastic group of bloggers, and I hope I can live up to the intimidatingly high bar they’ve set.
It’s great to be back.