#HeterosexualPrideDay, #MissingThePoint

The straights are at it again, with #HeterosexualPrideDay trending on Facebook and Twatter:

The social media universe is buzzing with the recent pronouncement, and as you’d expect, it’s inspired a sea of vehemently passionate responses.

Unlike LGBT Pride Month, which President Barack Obama publicly proclaimed official earlier this year, this one appears to have originated as a case of irony from Twitter user @_JackNForTweets a couple of weeks ago.

I, too, would like to celebrate the victories for straights, and the rights they have recently attained. I found this map, detailing in which countries heterosexuality is criminalized (red), in which countries it’s still legal to put straights in aversion torture (orange), in which countries straights can’t marry (blue), in which countries straights are executed for being straight (dark red). Countries in white have full heterosexual equality under the law:


Devastating. Truly, devastating.


She’s still a rich Republican

Caitlyn Jenner has said and done no shortage of odious things in defence of the Republican party, but now is an excellent time to remind everyone that her transition is not one of them. In this latest spat, Jenner asserts that Trump would be “good for women and the LGBT community:”

“I’m on the conservative Republican side. I’m not excited with what Obama has done to the economy, to our Constitution, all that kind of stuff. But as far as the transgender community, they’ve actually been very good,” Caitlyn told Stat. “Everybody looks at the Democrats as being better with these issues. But Trump seems to be very much for women. He seems very much behind the LGBT community because of what happened in North Carolina with the bathroom issue. He backed the LGBT community. But in Trump’s case, there’s a lot more unknowns. With Hillary, you pretty much know what you’re gonna get with the LGBT community.”

I’ll make my point short and simple:

I’m not excited with what Obama has done to the economy, to our Constitution, all that kind of stuff.

You’re not excited that Title IX was extended to trans folk? Okay then…

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What trans people mean when we say “misgendering is violence”

Content Notice: Dissecting hate speech, TERFs and transphobia

I’d like to introduce you to a concept, of which there seem to be multiple sources or authors. It’s often called The Violence Pyramid, or another derivative thereof. As would be suggested by the notion of a pyramid, each level facilitates movement to the one above it, the same way one builds a pyramid. In this case, reaching the top is not desirable.

Source: cindywatt

Also from cindywatt:

Psychotherapist Howard Halpern, in a brilliant New York Times piece in 1995, gave a spot on summation of gradual escalation of hate and violence.  He said, “ Social psychologists and demagogues have long known that if ordinary citizens are to be provoked to violent actions against individuals or groups of fellow citizens, it is necessary to sever the empathic bond with those to be attacked by painting them as different and despicable.   We are unlikely to harm a friendly neighbor because she has strong views about equal rights for women, but if we call her a “femi-Nazi,” she becomes “the other” — evil, dangerous, hated.  We are unlikely to harm the couple down the block who are active on behalf of protecting endangered species, but if we call them “environmental whackos,” they become “the other” — weirdos who must be vilified and suppressed as enemies to “normal” Americans. When our shared humanity with those with whom we disagree is stripped away, it becomes acceptable to blow them up. The answer is certainly not to censor such speech, but those who recognize this danger must challenge it wherever it exists, even in those with whom we politically agree.” 

Not to pull a Godwin, but the above proposed pyramid is practically a timeline for Hitler’s rise to power. He unified a particular demographic of Germans and whipped them into a froth over how unfairly they were treated, then he tapped into a pre-existing prejudice (antisemitism) and over the course of his election, and after it, gradually escalated his chosen boogeyman until at least some Germans–enough Germans–felt justified in state-sponsored violence against Jews.

When I react strongly to misgendering, this pyramid is what comes to mind. The bottom stripe mentions “insensitive remarks and non-inclusive language.” I have to wonder: This person is already denying me a critically important aspect of my identity–is there anything else they will take hostage?

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No space for trans folk in trans spaces

Content Notice: Angry use of t-word slur.

I get that Reddit is something of a pseudo-anarchist website in the sense that various subreddits are subject to little outside policing, but that doesn’t mean it is unique in this particular issue: One of the types of people attending trans spaces are “allies” who are desperately scrambling for answers and justification for leaving relationships of partners who have decided to transition.

There’s a reason I place so much value in good-and-proper “NO CIS PEOPLE” spaces. Few and far between, these “allies” are a giant pain in the ass when they enter the “all are welcome” trans spaces. Pro tip: If all are welcome, it ain’t a trans space.

Cis dude posts a story about his wife coming out as a trans man. The “coming out” process was almost two years prior to writing the post–referring to his now-husband as a wife is pretty fucking insulting after that amount of time. A couple months and he’d receive some gentle correction from me. A couple years? Get with the program buddy. But cis dude wants assurances that he’s not transphobic for losing attraction to his spouse.

Well, if all cis dude did was say, “my wife is now my husband and I’m straight, am I transphobic to break off the marriage?” the answer would be no. But he got called out for referring to his spouse as his wife after two frackin’ years into his transition. It just did not register to him that he was belittling his husband’s identity–cis dude’s straightness took priority. Wife this, wife that. Female this, female that. I’m straight. No really, I’m straight straight straight.

Cis dude is promptly called out for it.

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It’s The International season

While the normal (or at least less weird) colleagues of mine are watching football (soccer for you yanks) or basketball, I’m doing something a bit more eclectic.

I’m watching Dota 2. Specifically, The International 6, aka TI6.


I feel like E-Sports is a guilt-free pleasure. Retiring players don’t have to deal with massive brain injuries that impair them for the rest of their life, there’s no college apparatus elevating players’ unhealthy egos leading them to acts of violent entitlement, there’s no changeroom and therefore no locker room antics, and most of all, it’s not yet big enough to blackmail cities into building new arenas to host them.

Big tournaments, like The International, are played on a Local Area Network. The stakes are high, and lag would be unacceptable. Even though the LANs often rent arenas to throw the game onto massive monitors and fill out the audience with nerds like myself (or I would be there, except America terrifies me), they’re not typically blackmailing cities the way sportsball sports do. Perhaps most importantly to me–teams do not represent nations. There is no nationalist under current in Dota 2, because the players often are from all over, and they just don’t represent a country. That’s a big turn-off for me in sportsball sports. Now I can like a team because of the way they play without being seen as a “traitor.”

Rewind a bit–I’m in high school, depressed as fuck, with no idea why this is the case. I find a game I’m kinda okay at, and play it obsessively, going from kinda okay to pretty alright. The competence rewards my self esteem and keeps me alive long enough to not kill myself. So here I am. Still playing Dota 2 now and then, though I’ve found other pursuits which are more fulfilling and less stressful. Every now and then I’ll do a few rounds of matchmaking just to make sure I still know how to play in the current patch.

I’m cheering hard for Escape Gaming, because syndereN is one of my favourite team captains, and his team has been performing fabulously in the qualifiers so far. Don’t post spoilers. I know as of this writing that the second Euro qualifier has been decided, but I haven’t finished watching Escape’s games, and if you spoil them I will see you banned from every blag on this network!


Good music to have stuck in your head: Vivaldi

Back when I was still receiving classical training for piano, I hit a crossroads that many musicians must cross: Which composer do I like the most?

I would assume many musicians, like me, don’t overthink it at first. We like certain songs, and more than one composer can usually deliver.

But then time progresses and you start to detect a “fingerprint” in the musical composition, and eventually, one develops a preference for the fingerprint itself. I plan to resume my musical training in the next few months (after I’ve got my finances straightened out and finish the probationary period at my new job), and high on my agenda is the cello part in this song:

Not only do I like the oboe (listening to it, not playing it–egads, those fucking reeds), but there’s something about the way the cello is organized in Vivaldi music that is aesthetically pleasing to me. This song was the most vivid example that came to mind.


If you think Brexit wasn’t about xenophobia, check these out

Someone has been collecting all the tweets describing the hate speech British PoCs have received in the past 24 hours, as well as the corresponding hate speech used to… prove there’s no hate in Brexit, obviously:


118 tweets by the last count, including one from Tim Minchin (!).

Just in case you were doubting those aforementioned dog whistles.



Giliel has also pointed out this Twitter account, also collecting post-referendum hate speech & crime.

Moderate Religion: I don’t care

I know this will be a somewhat contentious statement given who participates on this network, but when it comes to capital-M Moderates in religion, I don’t care.

Don’t get me wrong, I am suspicious of faith placed in a concept that cannot be tested or observed. But I am not automatically opposed to faith per se. Faith seems to be a fairly healthy bedrock for relationships, for example, and it is seen as acceptable–expected, even–to have faith in one’s romantic partners. To be skeptical of your partner’s pursuits and goals and dreams is to be an asshole, a wet blanket, a ball and chain that holds them down; you’ll apply faith if you don’t have certainty on what those pursuits will look like if you’re being a supportive partner.

So faith, conceptually, is not that bad in my opinion. And more often than not, if you query a Moderate congregation, they’re more likely to be pretty on the fence about the God issue, but they’ll have often invested faith in their communities. They trust their leaders to advise them on issues such as honesty, relationships, self-esteem–and because we’re discussing Moderates, sometimes the advice is alright. Indeed, in Moderate congregations, where just about anyone can ask to lead a gathering, you’ll get people of all kinds of educational and professional backgrounds giving advice on these topics without mentioning the Bible or Quran or Torah once.

I make a habit out of visiting religious institutions every so often. Moderate congregations have a lot in common, be they Christians, Muslim, or Jewish. With the Jewish and Muslim and Eastern European Orthodox Moderate gatherings in particular, the conversation is just as much cultural as it is faith-based. The participants are united by a sense of Otherness, of being alien, and at least part of their participation is simply wishing to stay connected with their cultural roots while they carry on with their Canadian lives elsewhere. I’ve even been in Moderate gatherings where they have openly admitted a values dissonance with the origin culture, Mosques admitting the Islamic Republics from which many of those gathered came carried out brutal human rights violations. Of course, the gathering nodded along; many of them fled those same republics for that exact reason. The younger generation seemed less sure–they had always known Canada, and their congregations weren’t spewing constant hellfire over Queers.

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