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Why I Bother

So I’m enjoying the glow of victory today. Last night, our team, The Gallifreyan High Council, emerged as Time Lords Victorious in the Vancouver leg of the Cross-Canada Skeptical Smackdown quiz night. In addition to myself, the trans-feminist skeptic-ish atheist blogger, we had Joe Fulgham, co-host of the Caustic Soda science and pop-culture podcast, Xavier MacDonald, who bears a striking resemblance to The Green Arrow, and Lars Martin, both a nuclear astrophysicist and the cuddliest, most loveable German in the world. Pics will probably be forthcoming at either Skeptic North or Confessions Of An Asshole Skeptic, probably around the time we also figure out our national standing.

But that isn’t the only bit of pride I will oh-so-immodestly strut around today!

Because you know what this is?

This is my 100th post at SNR!

If we’re to assume that the Phawrongula wiki’s entry on me got my average word count right (as opposed to several other things they definitely did not get right… and yes, I mean actual factual errors, not just subjective opinion stuff), then we can assume that’s something like 163,000 words. A slim, but solid, trade paperback!

Or three NaNoWriMos, in eight weeks. If you’re okay with using NaNoWriMos as a unit of measurement. Which you obviously should be. Sheesh. Do I have to explain everything?

It has me sort of thinking “damn, if I just make a slight adjustment to my writing routine, I could honestly get a couple books done by the end of the year”.

So I’m’a prolly do that.

‘Cos, like, writing books and stuff is sort of what I always wanted to do. I think? That or being a dinosaur and bug wrangler.

Anyway, to celebrate this little milestone (there won’t be any others for awhile), I thought I’d so a little something special today, and share why I do what I do… why I continue pressing forward with this, despite all the flack and hassle and work and attacks and bigotry and phawrongula/ERV idiocy and everything I end up having to deal with. Why I’m willing to so thoroughly compromise my privacy and put my gender on the line as a public fact. Why I’ve decided to repeatedly say all kinds of guaranteed-unpopular things like, oh, “God does not love trans people”.

The reason I do it is because of e-mails like these:

I have been wanting to send you a letter for a while to tell you how much I appreciate you and your blog. As a trans woman I really needed to see someone out there who was talking about things in a way I understood. Nearly all the trans people I met are constantly telling me to look to god or how god loves us, they also have varying degrees of hostility towards feminism (somewhat understandable) and a strong tendency to anti intellectualism. It limited the degree to which I felt that I was part of the community. My skepticism/atheism in particular got me treated like a pariah when it came up. I remember one particular meeting where everyone was talking about how bad vaccination was and I made the mistake of arguing….

Reading you blog was the first time in a long time I felt like perhaps I wasn’t weird even in my own community. I can’t identify with everything you discuss but its enough that for the first time in a long time (perhaps ever) I felt like I wasn’t alone. Being trans always made me feel that and being even non standard in the trans community heightened it.  Even more important I found your blog on Skepchick a few months after I had started transitioning and I really really needed to feel connected somewhere. Your blog gave me a voice at the most important time possible when I was realizing how hard things would be for me. I am eternally grateful for that.

*

I know you’re probably getting a lot of replies after the big deal made about you on Freethought Blogs, but I wanted to thank you personally.  An avid follower of Pharyngula, I’m trans myself and found myself connecting to your posts.  One gave me the courage to insist on a discussion with my parents about getting their condolence to be myself (dress as a girl) around our extended family, and it worked out so that the next time we meet, I’ll get to be as beautiful as I want.  Thank you for that encouragement.

*

thank you for being someone to look up to. thank you; as a nerdsome transgender woman in the early/mid stages of transition; for being a positive role model. thank you for showing me that surviving doesnt have to mean crawling back into the mire of lies from which i was spawned. thank you for showing me that as i grow, go through a complicated gender transition (theoretically; yes. there is. i think there are lizards that do it.) deal with big issues, and discover more about the inner workings of who i am, that i dont have to sacrifice my self or whatever integrity and compassion i may possess if i wish to grow and thrive as you clearly have. thank you thank you thank you thank you. please continue being awesome; no pressure.

*

Thanks for being so open on your blog.
I am currently going through some issues around my gender identity and who I want to be, and one of the most comforting things has been your writings. It is nice to know that there are others out there who have been through similar problems, and that they are (or at least seem, and i hope you are :) happy.
So thank you for being so open about what you have been through, and for the links to other trans* sites that you have provided. I totally owe you a drink and/or hugs if you ever come near [snip]

*

This is just a quick email to say how much I’ve been enjoying your blog since you started writing at freethoughtblogs. Not to say I think its changed your writing, rather that’s just when I discovered your writing.

I am sorry to say that trans people were completely off my radar, despite being queer myself. I couldn’t have hoped for a better or more informative place to be introduced to the variety of issues that you cover, from the trials that trans people face to atheism and scepticism as well as addiction. I’ve learnt a lot from your blog pieces and I hope that your blog has made me more aware and will give me the confidence and knowledge to be an effective ally.

I know this may seem silly, but seeing you blogging and being so eloquent and confident despite the danger that this puts you in makes me feel far more confident. I am a rape survivor and seeing someone be as incredible as you are write about issues that do cause people to be confrontational and threatening on a day to day basis makes me feel like I can put myself out there more. I don’t feel that I am putting this very well. I look forward to reading your blog because, aside from the fact that I love your writing style, I feel more able to face the rest of the day, it make me feel that I can stand up for myself and other people, that I can walk from work to the train station. I suppose its like a one way support system.

This email is just to say thank you for that. Your writing has done a lot for me.

*

I’ve been a longtime reader of Pharyngula and followed PZ over to FTB.  I haven’t been too interested in the other blogs on there, until you started blogging on the network.  I wanted to thank you because reading your blog has allowed me (perhaps even forced me) to deal with gender issues I had repressed and tried to forget.

I’m not sure whether you’re really interested or not, but I’ll explain what I mean regardless.  I grew up in a very ultra-born-again, evangelistic, young-earth creationist, bigoted, anti-science, anti-everything home.  Even more unfortunately for me, I was also born male and had intense gender dysphoria from about 10 years of age onward.  I never told my family about it for reasons which are probably obvious.

I did my best for the longest time to suppress the whole thing.  But when I was 13, I met a boy I really liked.  We became best friends quickly, but he was also an superultramega-Christian, and was virulently homophobic (how he felt about trans people, I have no idea– I didn’t even know what trans was back then.) So I never said anything.  But our friendship continued for the longest time, and meanwhile I worked even harder to hide my feelings towards him.

When I was about 19 I [...snip...] And I spent about the next five years pretending to be a perfectly normal guy.  I even met a girl and fell in love with her (pansexuality has its benefits), and we’re now married.  I was atheist by then, but I was a stupid Libertarian atheist who thought you could be perfectly rational and used that as a rationale to “decide” to be normal.

But now and then the dysphoria would come and knock me down, and I still had feelings for my long-time friend.  It actually got so bad that I couldn’t talk to him anymore– I was too afraid he or someone else would find out and my new “normal” life would be shattered.  I just stopped returning his calls and pretending not to be home when he came around.  Eventually he got the idea and we were no longer friends.

This is where you come in.  I’ve actually been starting to accept myself.  I got in contact with my old friend and told him everything.  Turns out he liked me too, and he considers himself to be bisexual, and he always kinda figured I was trans.  For various reasons we’re not considering getting together (friendship, marriage, etc.) but it’s great that it’s all in the open now and I can stop being dishonest.

Anyhow… there’s a lot more detail I’m missing out, because I simply don’t want to bore you with my entire life story.  But I wanted to let you know that you’ve helped me, even though I’m still technically in stealth mode.

*

I wanted to write to express to you how deeply your work has affected me. I came out as a trans woman last year and it was a struggle for the first few months to find clear and logical information and perspectives that I could relate too. Since then I have found a few but none as important as when I started reading your articles on SkepChick and then Queereka and now here. As a secular, rationalist, atheist, feminist myself I appreciate and adore all your posts. I feel like you so brilliantly contextualize many amorphous feelings floating around in my head in that sort of way where when I read your blog I constantly get those “A-ha! this makes perfect sense” moments. I am very passionate about all these subjects as well as futurism and social and political trends and would love to be as effective a communicator of my ideas as you. I guess I see you as a role model in that way, especially since I had all but abandoned ideas of any sort of entry into the public sphere since coming out, and we have had very similar histories (from what little I know about you from your posts). Anyways, thank you. Thank you for being a light in the darkness of pseudoscience and misinformation. Considering myself an intellectual, it is important to me to be moved by a carefully constructed argument and I find that is often very rare when dealing with issues of cissexism and transphobia. Never stop doing what you do, it is so tremendously important. And thanks for the contributions so far!

*

Hey Natalie,

The way I hear it, you’ve had an awfully shitty week.
I can’t say I’m writing because I know you personally. But I can tell you the difference you’ve made, and your importance, and hope that at some point, it makes a little tick mark on the less shitty side of the scale for you.

I read your blog every morning. I’ve got early class at the university, and before it, I make my coffee, head over to the FTB site, and scroll down to the bottom right, and click on whatever’s new on Sincerely, Natalie Reed. It’s especially great if there’s a couple new things, because it means I’ll get my mind bent in multiple new directions. (I might also be late to class if they’re long posts.) I, like most people, do that thing where I scan internet articles. But you have this fantastic way of writing where everything sorta cascades and sounds like you’re talking conversationally, and then it all pulls together and I realize something I haven’t thought about. I sit down and read your posts end to end, and I love it. You’ve educated me more than any other FTBlog has. It’s pretty awesome. I’m cis and straight, and being from Texas, trans issues rarely ever (okay, probably never) crossed my life. I was anti trans discrimination, but I wasn’t very knowledgable, and I’m sure beyond a doubt that I would have asked at least a couple of the insensitive questions on the list, totally unthinkingly. Now I won’t. Because you said something, and you said it brilliantly.

You inspire me, and dammit, it pisses me off when people, particularly atheists, treat you badly. So here’s a huge thank you. And a kitten.

[that one had a little pic of a kitty with it... which I'm apparently not allowed to upload to wordpress because it says the filetype is not okay "for security reasons". You heard it here first: WordPress hates kittehs.]

 

So… hopefully that can give you all a bit of an idea as to why I do this, and why I’m going to continue on doing so for the foreseeable future. You guys, the readers, are what matters to me and gives me the strength and sense of purpose to carry on, and to always resist the recurrent temptation to just say “fuck it… this is not worth it!” and just give up on it all. You all mean the world to me, and just knowing that in whatever tiny way my writing and my blog has been able to help people out and give them some little bit of extra hope or strength or sense of being a little less alone in the world, that is everything, and all the reward a writer could ever ask for.

For me, writing has always been about reaching out. Casting a fragile little message in a bottle out into a big scary, intimidating, seemingly-hopeless and endlessly empty sea, in the tiny hope that somehow somewhere it will wash up on shore, and find a reader, and mean something to them. In that hope, of a reader connecting to your words, is where the draw of writing lies- a (perhaps desperate) defiance of the loneliness of being stranded  in a human life. And in that act of reading, in that moment of finding some words that suggest that someone, somewhere, somehow understands what you feel or think or have lived, that is the same thing too. That same sense of salvation and comfort and light. The sense of not being alone. The sense of being understood.

Thank you all so much for that.

Sincerely,

Natalie Reed

 

ETA: And here’s a pic of our winning team, The Gallifreyan High Council! (sadly, we did not end up placing as national champions, though)

Comments

  1. Anders says

    Congratulations on the 100 posts and congratulations on being the smartest person in Canada!

    Every post I read here teaches my something new. I know I’ve made a fool of myself on some occasions, but I really like it here. And I love learning, so I hope you’re willing to endure another 100 posts of silly questions.

    Skål!

    • Anders says

      And if you intend to go the writing route, I will give you a word to help you when things feel dark.

      “It is fear, the feeling of moral and intellectual inferiority, that breeds reigns of terror.”

      Torgy Segerstedt

        • Anders says

          Your teammates would be used to your presence, whereas the full force of your femininity could be projected at the adversaries.

          Only two women? Of how many? That’s a bit weak, isn’t it?

          • says

            Yeah… I think there were 20 people, total? One of the guys there was trans / genderqueer, though.

            Usually Vancouver skeptic events are very, very nicely gender balanced, and in terms of gender diversity (and understanding related issues), we’re definitely way ahead of the game in comparison to most skeptic communities. Mostly just a fluke.

            I mean… me and Ian are Vancouver skeptics, after all. And I’ve always felt welcome and supported and appreciated here, and I think he does too. So that should say something about how our community does in terms of diversity issues, at least. :)

  2. walton says

    I, too, really appreciate your blog and have learned a great deal. (I don’t often comment here, but I read your posts every day.) In the past I was largely ignorant about trans issues, and you’ve helped to educate me about many things I didn’t understand. And your writing is very powerful. So… thank you.

    • says

      As far as I can tell, the main complaint they have is the wordiness. Funny how the cesspit hasn’t criticised someone who is equally wordy and posts on FtB such as Richard Carrier, for example. What else does Richard have in common with Natalie? Both tackle their subjects comprehensively and exhaustively: a sense of completeness and inevitable logic inform all of their articles. But I’m guessing we won’t see a criticism of Dr Carrier because of the usual misogynism and anti-women bias of those folks.

      • says

        To be fair, they don’t criticize me as much as Stephanie, Jason, Ophelia, Greta, Jen, Greg and PZ (and Rebecca, of course). They’re usually the primary targets. I’m just sort of peripherally ridiculed every once in awhile (sometimes with little qualifiers like “she says interesting things every now and then”, which is pretty heavy praise given the ludicrously intense bias they have), likely simply on the basis of being a woman and a feminist. But what’s interesting is that they leave people like Maryam, Libby-Anne and Ian alone, despite the fact that they more or less share a whole lot of the views they’ve excoriated the people mentioned above for.

        It seems that basically, their hatred is earned on the degree to which people speak up about controversies internal to skepticism, and talk about the issue of sexism / misogyny in skepticism. So while Libby-Anne, Maryam and Ian are every bit as feminist as Stephanie and Greta, they get left alone because they generally don’t specifically discuss things like DJ Grothe or Ben Radford or Staks Rosch or whatever. And I *usually* get left alone because I only *occasionally* talk about that stuff.

        Still, though, if the most “damning” critique they can come up with for me is “tl;dr”, and the worst insult “Nathan Reed”, I feel pretty good about things. I’ve long, long believed that “tl;dr” 99 times out of a 100 reflects a failing on the part of the reader rather than the writer. If you want little bite-sized pieces of pseudo-information, or can’t be bothered to read anything longer than 500 words, you can go watch some TV or hop on board twitter.

        • Chirico says

          I enjoy reading your articles regardless of the length, and I don’t think you’re being needlessly wordy, but I do think there’s something to be said for the line, “brevity is the soul of wit.” :P

          • says

            “Birds of a feather flock together”
            “Opposites attract!”

            Aphorisms don’t mean much to me. Truth is, there are lots of different writing styles. Some people are terrific at doing the whole brevity thing and saying a great deal with very few words. Others are terrific at creating deep worlds of prose to immerse oneself into and get swept up and lost within. Do you think Swann’s Way would have been better if it had been written by Hemingway instead? There’s no particular superior writing style, just the writing styles that work best for particular writers and particular readers.

      • says

        There’s a difference between bloviating tl;dr that is tedious beyond measure to read, and writing which jumps out at the reader, draws them in, and refuses to let go; the best of your work has those qualities in spades. Good writing should never be mistaken for the infamous teal deer.

  3. Brownian says

    Also, I put my kitteh in my USB port (don’t worry; he went in willingly after a jammed a Tender Vittle™ in there). Let me know if he doesn’t arrive on your end within some reasonable timeframe. Might have to download a patch or something.

  4. Anna says

    Congrats on number 100!

    I really look forward to your blog every day and hope to be here to celebrate number 1000.

    By then you should publish your collected works which will be about 50 Lord of the Rings but worth every dead tree to print :)

    • Anders says

      “…and here we come to what is colloquially known as the Wastelands. Thousands upon thousands of square miles of what was once the verdant forests of British Columbia, cut down to provide paper for the books of successful authour Natalie Reed…”

  5. Sour Tomato Sand says

    Thanks bunches, Natalie, for introducing me to Phawrongula. It’s like watching a train wreck where the conductor is me, five years ago.

    • embertine says

      Argh, ditto STS. I didn’t know it existed until five minutes ago. I’m going to just rewind my brain to the point where that was still the case and leave it at that.

  6. noastronomer says

    Congratulations and thank you. Don’t really want to dredge up the recent ‘token’ fracas but I do want to say that FTB came out on the winning side by keeping you. Well on the winning side.

    Mike.

  7. Dalillama says

    I’d just like to add my voice you the “Natalie kicks ass” chorus. Even when you’re discussing issues that I’ve had previous familiarity with, you’ve got a great way of framing things, and have provided me with some new ways to look at things.

  8. says

    Wow, I actually *tried* to find a place that Phawrongula would say something reasonable. The third time I read “baboon”, I gave up.

    ARRRGH

    On the plus side, apparently it means you, Rebecca Watson and Greta Christina now have evidence in favor of being the most influential atheists of 2012.

    • says

      Well, Rebecca won last year, so that should theoretically mean she won’t have as much traction this year.

      But yeah… I’d be lying if I said getting into the top three for Jen’s Most Influential Female Atheist 2012 weren’t one of my goals for the year. :)

      …I’ve also been thinking about setting up my own Most Influential Trans Person Of The Year poll / contest thing. I’d obviously be disqualified from that due to being the creator, though. But I was thinking, and it seems like there really isn’t any such thing on the internet, so I definitely think it’s worth setting up! Maybe limit it for trans writers, bloggers and activists only, so that people who just happened to end up media darlings (like Chaz Bono) wouldn’t hog up all the votes.

    • says

      It’s part of the whole schtick those folks have that comparing their detractors to a different family of primates is an insult. I can’t support such disrespect for baboons.

      For a more substantial demonstration of their hypocrisy and the fact they don’t get it, take a look at their cunt page, which is full of examples of feminists reclaiming the word and using it positively, hooray! – which has precisely nothing to do with the objection of it being hurled around indiscriminately as an identity slur. And those guys being the typical offenders.

  9. Louis says

    Congrats on the blog milestone!

    I’ve only recently discovered your blog, but I love it already. I really appreciate the fact that you offer a skeptic trans perspective. It’s not a perspective I encounter all that often on the net, and being skeptic and trans myself it means a lot to me to be able to read your posts and feel like I’m not quite such an anomaly after all.

  10. says

    Did some research, and apparently 165,000ish words is comparable to The Grapes Of Wrath, Cold Mountain, Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince, or Alias Grace. Longer than the Two Towers or Return of The King, but a bit shorter than Fellowship of the Ring.

    Eight weeks!

    Another couple weeks and I’ll be in Moby Dick territory. :p

    • says

      I’ve been noticing that. I only hope that you’re not going to burn out. You do take breaks, right? Do other things? Watch TV, earn money, sleep, eat, and all that? /mother-hen

          • says

            The “not eating” generally follows from the “not making money”.

            I mean, look at that picture up there? Is that a girl who looks like she’s had enough to eat?

            Really, this is all part of my clever plan to be a perfect female version of the lanky, tall, underfed, eccentric, self-destructively-focused, substance-abusing genius archetype.

          • Anders says

            No, that’s what’s bothering me. Please get a tip jar in time for your birthday. Please!

  11. tort says

    Important question: do you want to be a dinosaur who also wrangles bugs or a person who wrangles bugs and dinosaurs? Either way I’m in, I just want to know what to put on the business cards.

  12. Lars says

    Cuddly, eh?
    Vell, ve’ll see about zat vunce my doomsday device…
    Sorry, sometimes I can’t help the German scientist thing. Congratulations on the 100, in addition to our glorious victory, obviously. SNR and Ian’s blog are among my favourite blogs these days, because they certainly have the highest frequency of stuff I never thought about before. If only there wasn’t so much text, I could actually get some sciencing done in the time I spend here…

    • says

      Secretly, me and Ian are CSIS operatives (from the Alpha Flight division) here to distract you from sciencing so that you’ll never complete your doomsday device and endanger the world. For Queen and Country!

    • says

      How do you know my comment numbers?

      According to my dashboard here I’ve had 5398 real comments. I’ve got 459 sitting in my spam folder right now. And 9 in my trash.

      Edit: nevermind. It’s in the links.

      Okay… so yeah, that means presumably about 6600 spam comments have attempted to be posted.

      • says

        Ouch – that’s a serious lot o’ sp@m for you to have to deal with. :-(

        (And yes, the comment numbers also are an obvious feature for us Reeders either by replying to a comment, or by having the page URL redirected to a comment anchor – it’s why I can tell that I’m replying to #comment-11917, while I can see another #comment-11923 of mine is awaiting the attention of the moderation fairies for having included a couple of hyperlinks.)

  13. Utakata says

    Phawrongula??? …so Pharyngular has a flea? Lol! And surprisingly one that is not set up by Ken Ham/Answers in Genesis, but supposed “skeptics” from p’ERV. With frends like these…

    Speaking of which, I notice the info on you was “graciously” provided by a one John Greg, which is name I don’t think anyone wants to be for publicity reasons associating with. Since it’s my understanding he’s been banned from many free thinking sites for trolling and misogyny:

    “You don’t get to wallow gleefully in a cesspit of misogyny for months and months, bleating about ‘twats’ and ‘cunts’, and then show up here and gloat at the thought you’ve spotted a smudge.”

    - was PZ’s Dungeon entry to about him. Yeah…a real piece of work. So sourcing Greg is like quoting Rush Limbaugh on women’s issues. But that’s enough about that idiot…

    …and more on topic.

    I just wanted to let you know, Natalie…you’ve have been source of help and inspiration to a close trans gender friend of mine. And infact one of those quote you made for this article is by said friend. So you have an immense impact on this person…whose transitioning has been an extremely positive development for her. I can only hope you can continue help to her and others by writing what you do. So please keep up this good work …although that’s like asking a chior to sing. :)

    • says

      He’s commented here on occasion. I haven’t banned him yet, because unlike the comment policies of Greta or PZ, I prefer to wait until someone actually violates my policy HERE before taking any action. And I also really really don’t like banning people. I’ve only ever done it once.

      That said, he’s definitely on a sort of probationary basis, having already been issued a warning.

      There’s also this little comment of his I noticed on ERV a few days ago.

      “Did you know that they intentionally put the buttons on different sides depending on if it’s meant for a man or woman?”

      I had, to my everlasting shame, forgotten about that. As a bloushirtily transgendered manwoman (catch up Natalie!) — I used to wear women’s blouses when I was a young rock star — I am, in sordid memory, crying tears of rage amid the deepest blue horror: gentian blue.

      I too am profundly triggered.

      Posted by: John Greg | March 9, 2012 6:47 PM

      Sooo… yeah. I’m not exactly eager to be patient with him if he pops up here again.

      • Utakata says

        I would never tell you who and who not to ban. And it wasn’t the intention of my message. And besides it’s your blog…and after witnessing a few back seat drivers over at Greta’s blog, I would never dream of inflicting that on you. But I just wanted to post that…so you and others can consider the source, who is to my mind a wholey unpleasant character. But it appears you are already on the ball with that one, so I have no fear.

        …and besides, your inspritation and selflessness to others is exemplary. As far as I am aware, I don’t think anyone can say that of Mr. Greg.

  14. says

    Another thought that occurred to me (and yes, it arrived in a discrete manner, preventing me from putting it into the previous comment): you padded this post out with nearly two thousand words that weren’t even yours! Take those messages out and you’ve barely got a third of an article!

    Just kidding, that was not the thought that occurred to me. It’s the recognition that the messages you posted are very similar to PZ’s daily series of “Why I am an atheist” e-mails he’s received from the Pharyngula Horde of commenters and lurkers.

    Now obviously it’s doubtful you would have the quantity of material PZ has to sustain a daily column, but judging by that sample you would easily have the makings of an occasional series of posts which could be a series of say, “How I came out as trans*” posts, or the occasional series might be like PZ’s “I get email” but in a good way! Obviously you’ve gone to the trouble of hiding the identity of the writers you quoted above, so likewise it would be desirable for submitters to remain as anonymous/pseudonymous as needed. (And trans positive letters from your cis Reeders would be just as welcome, obviously.)

    I also feel you’ve probably received a lot of e-mails from gender variant people around the FtB/skeptic/atheist community that otherwise would have been isolated posters on various blogs; from your traffic I think you would surely have a better idea than most of how numerous we actually are. I’ve said before your presence has helped bind together members of a trans* skeptic community that was already there, but waiting to emerge like crystallisation in a super-saturated solution around a seed crystal. (How does that make you feel?)

  15. says

    Huh O.o this is the first I’ve heard of phawrongula. Its definitely a different view of things… I especially like that the timeline of freethought blogs doesn’t even have the creation of freethought blogs on it. Pretty much entirely mislabled. All very strange…

  16. says

    I’m quite lucky that my experience of the trans community has for the most part been limited to the internet, and other than a few blogs, to one forum in particular, where there seem to be reasonable number of like minded people. If not, I might have been in the position of writing a similar email (except, I probably wouldn’t know you, or your blog, without said forum). I’ve seen that strange anti-science anti-atheism anti-feminism thing rearing it’s head in discussions, and it sort of makes me a little hesitant to engage with the local community in real life…
    Luckily, no matter what happens, I’ll always have the internet…

    • Anders says

      Could be interesting with a post on good places for trans* people and allies on the Internet. You’ve mentioned Gitp, but there has to be more. A greenlist, if you will.

  17. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    It’s great to see you’re making such an impact :) I also have a lot of mind-expansion to thank you for, especially with your post on skepticism and addiction, which was huge for me. (I used to be a real jerk about drug-related things, and while I started to recognize something was off with my views some time ago, I’m ashamed to say it took your post on the matter to shake me into something resembling reasonable empathy and understanding.) Your writing style is interesting enough – and your insights and clarity of explanation are compelling enough – to make it not just okay but actively awesome how long your posts are. I wish I had more time to just sit with them!

    I do really, really wish you hadn’t reminded me of Phawrongula. I find the slimepit crowd particularly emotionally draining for some reason, and it really sickens me that they’re still at it.

  18. embertine says

    Oof, I really needed this today after having to walk away from my desk for an hour and a half because my delightful colleague was pontificating about how unfair it was that queers had rights now. Good to know that you’re making a difference.

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