Blogathon: 24th Hour

And that’s it!

We’ve made it!

SSA Week is now over, and it looks that even though we didn’t quite make it to our goal of $100,000, we did manage to raise an incredible $90,230!!!

Great job, everyone. Sincere thanks to everyone who donated, everyone who stayed awake with me and followed along over the course of these past long, exhausting 24 hours, commented, chatted, tweeted, dropped by with cups of coffee, and all kinds of other little kindnesses.

You’re a fantastic bunch of readers, and I really do sincerely love you all. You make these kinds of things worth it.

Once I recover, I’ll probably put together a little recap of the blogathon posts, with little brief statements about what each was about, to help people pick through for anything they missed or are particularly interested in.

I am almost totally definitely, though, going to be taking the rest of today, and Monday, off.

So, recap post aside, I’ll see you all on Tuesday!

For now, I’ll leave you with one of my favourite ever songs. Enjoy!

As for me, I have to stay awake just a tiny bit longer to make sure I get my methadone dose before I crash out. But after that, some wonderful, wonderful sleep.

And maybe I might get to dream about Benedict Cumberbatch again.

<3 <3 <3

Imagine No Religion 2- A Recap

Okay, I’m back! With a nice little bundle of posts for the coming week.

First things first, though, as promised, I wanted to write a little recap of the Imagine No Religion 2 conference, and a few of the things that stood out to me over the course of what was, all in all, a pretty awesome weekend.

As good a time as I was having, though, my brain has a hard time turning off, as does the parts of it that get irked by certain attitudes. Given that during most of the weekend there wasn’t much opportunity to respond to any of the things that got to me, and very little time before the next thingy that required my attention began requiring my attention, I had little recourse but to just settle those thoughts in some little corner of my brain and wait for a chance to get into them. This is that chance.

So… structuring this as several little mini-posts, here’s Everything I Wanted To Say At Imagine No Religion But Didn’t Get A Chance To Rant: [Read more…]

This Is Awesome

Check out Cathy Brennan’s latest attempt to insult me via her new, hilariously incompetent tumblr, radicalfeministmemes:

In the words of Michael Halila:

Watch out for the new radfem transphobe tactic of making their opponents seem both awesome and attractive. It, um.

My only quibble is I’ve technically only been kicking Y chromosome ass since 2010.

Spot The White Savior

So there’s this person called Amy Dentata.

She thinks atheism is racist, and didn’t like my “God Does Not Love Trans People” post.

So she wrote a response. More or less same kind of argument Be Scofield made.

But Amy Dentata doesn’t play fair. In the exchange that followed in the comment thread, she deleted two of my responses to her criticisms.

I’m not keen on people playing the “thou must not speak ill of religion” game, and especially not keen when they decide to simply DIRECTLY silence discussion.

Unfortunately for Amy, I’m not an idiot. I saved my comments. And I have a blog of my own. This was the exchange that would have been: [Read more…]

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! [Read more…]

A Transgender Manual Of Style

Hi folks!

So… I’ve been meaning to get some kind of glossary put together for a long, long, long while… but it occurred to me lately that also a lot of people have some additional trouble with knowing HOW to use trans terminology.

So I wanted to make a little go-to reference guide, which I’ll probably set up as a static page (and expand after receiving whatever input or questions come along in the comments). [Read more…]

Sacrificing Privilege

This is a repost of an article originally posted on Skepchick. I felt I needed a bit of a day off. I mentioned yesterday the exhaustion I was feeling from having to do a whole lot of fighting, on a whole lot of fronts, in a very short period of time… and then along came Be Scofield, who decided I’m the latest incarnation of the pure evil that is Gnu Atheism, trying to force all the poor defenseless minorities into our imperialistic atheist dogma and “Western” scientific principles. So yeah, just one thing too many, and I need a moment to relax and recharge. Fortunately, Ophelia, Chris and Jason have all done a great job of responding to Be, so I don’t really need to worry much about providing a rebuttal (To respond to Be or not to respond to Be? That is the question…whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageously slanderous blog posts, or to take arms against a sea of inanity and by posting a rebuttal end them…). It does, however, provide a nice touchstone for a piece I was planning to do this week anyway, which will be going up tomorrow. “Confessions Of A Post-Modernist”. So stay tuned, I’ll be back soon!

Special apologies to all the new readers who’ve come in as a result of Kate Beaton’s kind tweet, and the recent new-life my Lorax post has gotten. Under most circumstances, this blog features new content every weekday (typically one theory-oriented essay at 9am EST and a shorter more topical piece around 1pm EST), a recap on Saturdays (with cute animals!), and on Sundays a music video, collection of links and news items and some kind of puzzle or game (I’ll also be adding comics and drawings in the near future). I’ll be back to form tomorrow.

So anyway, here’s one of my articles from Skepchick, which was particularly well-received the first time around. I hope all my new reeders enjoy it, and older ones enjoy getting to return to it with new eyes. [Read more…]

The Abridged “Sincerely, Natalie Reed”

Sorry, I’m a bit busy with some important stuff for tomorrow (that will probably alienate whichever readers I didn’t already alienate by linking “Die Cis Scum”) and don’t quite have time for the post I’d had planned for this afternoon. So instead I’m going to offer a little something for all the “tl:dr” folks who can’t be bothered to slog through my prose.

[Read more…]

Fun Video On Cynthia Nixon’s Choice, And An Announcement (I’m giving a live talk!)

This is a little late, and a little less than topical, but as many of you may have heard, earlier this month Cynthia Nixon (an actress known for her role on Sex And The City) made a very open declaration that for her, being a lesbian was in fact a choice. This directly challenged the currently prevailing queer narrative, and the increasingly dominant mantra of “Born This Way”, and she received some pretty significant negative backlash.

Kind of creeps me out. The fact of the matter is, we don’t yet have much conclusive evidence as to what exactly determines sexual orientation or just how innate it really is. For most people who are queer, our identities feel quite fixed and immutable, and we often fought very, very hard to make them conform to social expectations and went through a long period of hating ourselves and desperately wishing to be “normal” before ever accepting that this is who we are and is who we need to be to be happy. But that experience is NOT universal, and many people have a far more fluid and shifting experience of sexuality and/or gender.

And what really stands out for me is the fact that the Born This Way debate really doesn’t matter unless we buy into the concept presented by the religious right that queer identities or acts are somehow immoral, sinful, disgusting, inferior or otherwise undesirable (“But we can’t help it!”). Even if it is a choice, it’s a choice we bloody well have the right to make for ourselves.

Anyway, a couple really great ladies I know from Teh Twitterz put up this incredibly cute, insightful and fun video last week, which articulates these issues wonderfully (and with wonderful accents) and I happened to watch last night and found too awesome not to share: [Read more…]