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Jan 23 2012

Hello, Hello Again!

Hi everyone!

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:

http://skepchick.org/author/natalie1984/

And for my contributions to Queereka, you can click here:

http://queereka.com/author/natalie1984/

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.

Sincerely,
Natalie Reed

66 comments

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  1. 1
    Al Stefanelli

    I am VERY happy you are here, and I hope you feel like one of the family!

  2. 2
    Sivi

    Yay! Glad you’re keeping up the blogging.

  3. 3
    Felicia

    So happy to know you’ll continue blogging! :D

  4. 4
    yiab

    I’d like to ditto both the previous comments. Welcome back to tha intarwebz and I look forward to reading more of what you have to write.

  5. 5
    Crommunist

    Glad to have you on the team. We’ll talk soon about the inevitable Vancouver overthrowing of the worldwide skeptical community… uh, I mean… not… that.

  6. 6
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Just wanted to say all the things that have already been said. Glad you’re here, glad you’re still blogging, welcome to FTB!

  7. 7
    beardofpants

    I’m so glad that you ended up on FTB. It’s great to have you in the blogging sphere again.

    Also: YAYAY!! *arm flail*

  8. 8
    Erin W

    I’m glad you were able to find a new home in the series of tubes. I’ve missed your voice these couple of weeks. Much success at FTB!

  9. 9
    Praedico

    Woo-hoo and other celebratory noises!

    Welcome back to blogging, Natalie :)

  10. 10
    Quietmarc

    As a gay Canadian, I love that the queer and canuckian content of FTB have just been increased. I read you on Skepchick/Queereka, and look forward to following you here, too!

  11. 11
    Heorrenda

    I’m glad to see that you’ve found a new home for your blogging!

  12. 12
    laarree

    Glad to see you here with some of my other favorite bloggers. Loved what you were writing about at Skepchick and Queereka, and am happy to see you are continuing in this new online home.:-)

  13. 13
    Will

    Natalie! Glad to see you will continue writing. Looking forward to more posts from you. xoxo!!!

  14. 14
    awkwardturtles

    Hooray, Natalie!!! Can’t tell you how happy I am that you’re back to blogging :D

  15. 15
    dogeared, spotted and foxed

    Welcome! I’ve greatly enjoyed your work on Skepchick and am thrilled to know you’ll be writing for FTB. Your discussions of trans-feminism have been a challenging read at times and I’m very grateful for that. Even more importantly, your articles are impossible to skim through, they draw me in completely. That’s a bit rare among the wealth of skeptic, atheist and/or feminist bloggers but always appreciated.

  16. 16
    Ace of Sevens

    Welcome. I look forward to seeing your posts.

  17. 17
    ZenPoseur

    Go Natalie go! Woop! Woop!

  18. 18
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Sheesh! I already get no sleep as it is. Now I’m going to have another fun blog to follow. Can someone please invent a 30 hour day?
    Nice to have you Natalie!

  19. 19
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Welcome, good to see you here!

  20. 20
    noastronomer

    Welcome. I certainly enjoyed your articles over at Skepchick and look forward to learning some more here.

    Mike.

  21. 21
    Kevin

    Welcome! I’m very glad to see you’ve joined Freethought Blogs. I greatly enjoyed your writing for Skepchick and Queereka and was sad when Rebecca noted that you’d left the network. I look forward to every new post :-)

  22. 22
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    I am utterly delighted that you’re here!

  23. 23
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I’m veeeeeeeeeeeery glad to see you here. Hope you get comfortable and have a good time, and ll of us with you

  24. 24
    evilisgood

    Welcome, Natalie! I’m excited to see you here.

  25. 25
    Dhorvath, OM

    Just over the straight on the Island myself so I am interested in that typical regional self serving way in seeing what a local has to say. Glad you are here, it’s a good place near as I can tell.

  26. 26
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Skepchick’s loss is FreethoughtBorg’s gain! Wonderful to see you here and hitting hard from the outset.

  27. 27
    narcoleptikitty

    Hello =) I’ve been following your writing since you appeared on Godless Bitches and I have enjoyed reading along. I’m glad you have a new place to put your writings and I look forward to reading more.

  28. 28
    michaeld

    Yay another canadian! *delivers poke and squicky eye at pz’s request* Glad to see you’ve found a new home.

    Tangent brain crushes sound painful…. even if there are no pain receptors in the brain….

  29. 29
    Pteryxx

    …Linguistics? OH SHI–

  30. 30
    'Tis Himself

    Crommunist #5

    We’ll talk soon about the inevitable Vancouver overthrowing of the worldwide skeptical community… uh, I mean… not… that.

    See, I told you to watch out for those Canadians, but would you all listen to me? No!

  31. 31
    freemage

    Natalie: When JT let the cat out of the bag over on his blog, I literally squeed in happiness. FtB couldn’t ask for a more well-qualified thinker, or a better or more entertaining writer. Looking forward to your stuff!

    1. 31.1
      Natalie Reed

      JT? I thought only Dan and Stephanie mentioned it?

      1. freemage

        It’s definitely possible that I’m mis-remembering which blog it was on. It wasn’t a full-out post the way the others did–instead, it was an off-line about your arrival. It may have even been something that was said in a comment thread, rather than in the original post proper. And unfortunately, I can’t search for my own posts in the comment threads to find out where I saw it.

        All I really remember, though, is being delighted to hear about your arrival, which is the core point I was trying to make.

  32. 32
    Ringo

    Welcome to FTB! It’s nice to see a fellow BC transperson here, I look forward to reading your blog.

  33. 33
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Greetings from the Fraser Valley, Natalie.

  34. 34
    stubby

    Welcome to the neighborhood, Natalie.

    1. 34.1
      Natalie Reed

      You spelled neighbourhood wrong. ;)

  35. 35
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Hi, I’m here for the hazing. So, welcome to FTB, it’s great to see you here. Fantastic!

    From yur introductory post and the following post While I was Away, I’d say that you are right up at the bar with the best of them, so don’t be intimidated as a writer.

    I’m not sure whether I’ve read your work before, but I certainly plan to do so now. Cheers!

  36. 36
    Tezcatlipoca

    Enjoyed the interview on Godless Bitches podcast a short while back. *gives squinty eyed look, naturally, due to retina issues…*

    1. 36.1
      Tezcatlipoca

      or was it a guest spot…I forget which exactly, none the less enjoyed that show!

      1. Natalie Reed

        It was sort of both. A guest spot that mostly took on the characteristics of an interview, since I was sort of the “expert” (relatively speaking) on the subjects we were discussing. Kind of just a semantic thing. But I had a great time doing the show, and would love to maybe do a follow-up someday where we could get into some of the more complex topics like trans-misogyny, femmephobia, various religious conceptions of transgenderism, etc.

  37. 37
    Besomyka

    Glad to see you back! I remember reading your comments over at Skepchick, and was thrilled when you were chosen to start contributing posts. Then with Queereka, well… I made sure my trans support group knew about you and the site (not all are skeptics, but there was a lot of good information!).

    It was a bit sad that right when I started telling people about it you had left, but now here you are and Queereka is still going, so… all is as well in the world as I can expect right now.

    Yay!

    1. 37.1
      Natalie Reed

      To help clarify, it wasn’t quite a case of my deciding to leave Queereka. I really would have liked to have stayed there, and at Skepchick, and losing Queereka so soon after we launched was a bit heartbreaking. So yeah… just wanted to sort of let people know that it wasn’t really a case of quitting. It also wasn’t quite a case of being fired. It was a little of both. *shrug*

      1. Natalie Reed

        But I’m ALSO really really really happy to be here.

        It’s just a weird, complicated, mixed-feelings kind of thing.

        1. freemage

          “Separations” always are….

  38. 38
    Chris Hallquist

    Hello fellow FTB newbie. Hadn’t been aware of your stuff before, but I just read all the links you posted, and was pretty impressed.

  39. 39
    Infophile

    Welcome back! Or welcome over! Welcome again? Meh, you get the gist. I’ve certainly missed your writing, so I’ll make sure to bookmark this new blog to keep up with you. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

  40. 40
    Goblinman

    Welcome to the FTBs, Natalie!

  41. 41
    Andrew T

    You’re great and I’m delighted you’re here, whatever happened at Skepchick. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

  42. 42
    Jess(i)e

    Hey Natalie! I’ve read a bunch of your stuff while lurking over at Skepchick. I’m glad to see you’re blogging again.

  43. 43
    magistramarla

    Welcome to FTB, Natalie!
    There just aren’t enough hours in the day to read all of the thought-provoking blogs that are here.
    It looks like yours will be yet another one that I must add to my reading list!

  44. 44
    Kristjan Wager

    Great to see you here on FTB Natalie. I don’t think I ever commented on your posts at Skepchick (I always forget my login), but I read all your stuff with enjoyment.

  45. 45
    Puffy

    Yay! Glad that you’re blogging again :)

  46. 46
    Aliasalpha

    Hmm, magical, evident sense of humour, doctor who fan… Yeah I reckon I’ll be coming here a lot. Welcome aboard

  47. 47
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Glad you’re here! Skepchick works about 50% of the time at my work computer, but FTB always works so I’ll be able to read all your stuff now! And since I’m one of those “oh my god I’m freaking out about my transgenderism” types… you’ll be a big help to read I think.

  48. 48
    TV200

    Wow, this is good. I am really looking forward to new material from you here.

  49. 49
    Zeek the Geek

    Hello! Good to see you on Free Thoughts! Can’t wait to read your blogging.

  50. 50
    peicurmudgeon

    More and more of my day is consumed consuming FTB. It is only going to get worse.

    Another Canadian. Yahoo. We are taking over.

  51. 51
    jolo5309

    It is good to see someone pointing out the rest of LGBTQ issues, I never think of the TQ part of it, mostly because I don’t know any, and I never think about it.

    I am glad to see someone e;se here that makes me think in new ways.

    John, Saskatoon

  52. 52
    carolw

    Hi Natalie! I was sad that you weren’t on Skepchick or Queereka any more. I’m so glad you’re here! This is my other Skeptic blog home! Welcome, welcome. (internet lei around neck).

  53. 53
    Brad

    Just wanted to say welcome, and thanks for your linked articles, especially the “Myths and Misconceptions” and the “Chickens” articles. They have definitely helped clarify my own understanding.

    My only prior exposure to some of the ideas you write about is a vague recollection I have of an early 90s college course where we had a guest visit from a transexual nun (Google tells me it would probably have been Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark), but about all I remember from that was her off-hand comment that sexual intercourse and orgasms were much more enjoyable as a woman :) (a somewhat controversial statement at a conservative Christian college).

    Thanks also for your article on Sacrificing Privilege, which is a unique and persuasive perspective on gender and sexism in our society!

  54. 54
    Christianne

    Added to my already overburdened RSS reader, but gratefully. I’m glad you didn’t vanish. You write really well and articulate things that I think about transness and skepticism better than I ever could, so woot!

  55. 55
    Brian G

    Alright! So great to see you up and running again. Go Nat!

  56. 56
    Jadzia626

    Great to see you up and blogging again! I’m at a conference this week, so will have to catch up on blogs and everything else next week. Thanks for the acknowledgement though. Not sure I deserved it :)

    -Veronica

  57. 57
    Christina

    Rock on, sister! Glad to see you blogging here! *snug!*

  58. 58
    merryoldlandofoz

    I discovered your blog all of three days ago, and have since read backwards to, well, here. Firstly- I love your writing style. It’s clear, and manages to show you understand both how to use stylistically advanced language, and artsy uni level concepts without being wanky or pretentious (seriously, how?). Secondly, I want to thank you for opening my eyes- I had no idea how engrained cissexism was for me.
    Something of a wakeup call! Just take this post as a total ego boost for your writing and hat you’re doing here, thank you.

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