Pride Month // i talk about queer things

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(A note: I use the word queer to describe myself and I’m going to be using it a lot in this post, just to let you know.)

I’ve said this approximately 192730 times already but IT IS JUNE, AND IT IS PRIDE MONTH, aka the month of the year where I not only think about queer stuff all the time but also talk about queer stuff all the time! And everyone else talks about queer stuff too! (Yes. I like Pride Month a lot.)

I thought that today it would be nice for me to talk a bit about my own — and I sort of cringe to call it this, but? — ~queer experience~. I know this might feel like a familiar topic, and I am definitely not super unique, but it’s cathartic for me to talk about myself. And who knows? Maybe it will help someone else. ūüôā

The internet and by extension the blogging community have both been really formative for me in so many ways. One of these ways is that I essentially discovered that LGBTQ+ people existed and I could be a thing that wasn’t, like, a normative gender or sexuality. I initially thought I was asexual, actually. (And yes, fanfiction introduced me to this. It might sound weird but I think it made a difference to hear it described in terms of feelings?) I didn’t identify with what people around me were saying about crushes and attraction, and to be honest to this day I still don’t. But I’m really grateful to the blogging community for helping me to become more educated, and to discovering myself.

To be honest, I didn’t feel great about my identity for a long time. (I still often don’t.) But simply just talking about queer stuff and how I was feeling really helped me. I’m just looking back on my blog, and I think the first time I started blogging about LGBTQ+ stuff was early 2016? Yeah. In many ways I find it easier to talk to strangers over the internet, and it’s also cool that you can easily find other people who are similar to you.

The first time that I came out to my friends in real life was about a year ago — just after Brexit, actually. Anyway, one of my friends told me they were bisexual and then it turned out a bunch of my other friends were also LGBTQ+ which was cool! I don’t think I officially had, like, a proper coming out moment after that but somehow it’s sort of pervaded our friendship group that many of us are LGBTQ+ which is pretty rad. *finger guns*

I’ve had some people tell me they don’t like it when people put their orientation or identity as their defining feature. I really respect if you don’t want your identity to be a big thing, and of course I’ll try my best to not make a big deal of it! (I¬†mess up sometimes, and I’m sorry.) But I do find it frustrating when people say that I should talk about queer stuff less so I can try and assimilate or something. I know that many people don’t want to talk about their identity a lot but personally I find it pretty stressful to keep everything inside.

Because I am¬†always¬†thinking about queer stuff. It might sound weird, but just being able to talk about it makes me feel so much happier. I know that I have so much privilege — because I’m white, living in the UK, able-bodied, I haven’t really experienced much homophobia or queerphobia — yet it still made me feel isolated to just not be talking about stuff I spent a lot of of time thinking about.

Of course this is something so many people have to do, and I respect you so much. I’m so lucky to be in a place where I actually¬†can¬†talk openly about queer stuff — I can go to a society at school and just chill being queer. And IT FILLS ME WITH SO MUCH INEXPLICABLE JOY. I LOVE TALKING ABOUT QUEER STUFF.

So, yeah, I’m really happy that in the last year or so I’ve been able to be more free with myself, and accept myself. I really hope that I can do that more in the future. One of the things I’d love to do would be to attend a Pride celebration! The nearest one to me is London, and currently I am planning on going, which I’m pretty excited about. ¬†(If you’re thinking of going then and want to say hi then I’d love to hear. *nods*) I do hope that I can, and that I can be more happy with myself in the future, even if it isn’t always easy.

 

 

Spring Favourites!

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Yes! We are reaching the start of summer which means TIME FOR A SPRING ROUND-UP. Today it has been very warm and I am generally feeling happy, which…well, makes a change. You may notice that I’m missing my usual picture with all my favourites; this is due to a combination of a) I don’t have loads of time now because reVISION *flails arms* and b) I don’t have any physical objects to arrange this time so it would just, be like, photoshopped images. And I’m not good enough to do make all of that work.

1. Twelfth Night¬†I saw this play at the National and WOAH it was so good! The production was honestly stunning — as in, like, the set was beautiful and the live music was beautiful. It was just so pleasing to the senses. Malvolia was…really different to what I was expecting, and two years since reading the play I am still mad at the ending, but overall I loved it a lot.

2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas¬†I couldn’t stop thinking about this book, even once I had put it down.¬†Beautiful, writing, a powerful story — it definitely lived up to the hype, and it’s one of my best reads I can remember.

3. Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg To be honest, I initially downloaded it because it was cheap on Kindle, but I ended up enjoying it a lot! I NEED TO GET THE SEQUEL NOW, GODAMMIT.

4. Dodie¬†Soooo, in March I was lucky enough to be able to see Dodie on her UK tour with my friends, and it was SO FUN. I’d actually never been to a concert before, and it was so lovely to see Dodie just generally being wonderful and great and music. The band, including the warm-up act Rusty Clanton, were also great, and now I’ve been introduced to some new music!

5.The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla¬†I’ve wanted to read this for a while, so I was really excited to see it the school library! Each essay was different, but each one¬†brought something different, and made me think hard.

6. Las Chicas del Cable¬†Both me & my mum are learning Spanish, so we decided to watch this show on Netflix about women in 1920s Madrid. (It is dubbed, but I’m watching in Spanish with English subtitles.) The production is just gorgeous, and although at times it feels a bit melodramatic there is feminism and queer women and so much to love!!

7. Hidden Figures Aaah! This was awesome! It was great to see the stories of these super smart & inspiring black women told, and I also feel like a learnt History Stuff. *nods*

around the internet:

in the diary:

  • Well, I had a music exam… It didn’t go quite to plan, but I think I still passed, so fingers crossed! I might even get my results by the time this post is actually published. *winces a little at the thought*
  • We had a big family gathering for my aunt’s 60th birthday over the bank holiday, which was super nice because we rarely ever get together — my mum is one of 7 — and I got to see my super cute little cousins!
  • Exams are coming up so, erm, I have some fun revision to look forward to. -_-
  • I managed to survive my overnight walk for cadets at school, which I’m pretty pleased about! I’m rather ache-y now, but we did¬†walk 35k, and¬†our team only got super lost once which I think is impressive haha.
  • I went to a Witch, Please meetup! *screams a bit* Although I had to leave early, it was SO COOL AND WONDERFUL.
  • ALSO IT WAS EUROVISION. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND EXCELLENT and basically just a nice thing in the not-great world. Plus, I managed to convince my friends to be Eurovision fans, hehe ūüėČ
  • Probably some other stuff happened, but quite frankly I can’t remember it at this point. I’m off to see the new Studio Ghibli movie The Red Turtle tomorrow, which I’m rather excited for.

how have you been? seen any good movies recently? are you taking any exams?

How I Am // a life update

I haven’t been feeling so great for the last little while, and I haven’t been feeling too great about blogging either. I’ve written some posts I really like but for some reason the inspiration ¬†just…isn’t really coming?

This normally happens to me when I have a lot going on, or I get tired and stressed. As I get further into school I just don’t do creative stuff as much. Although it’s not nice, I’m used to that. But my earlier productivity usually covers for me and the cycle all works out in the end.

I mean, it’s probably because I’ve been doing a lot of stuff that has been stressing me out lately. I’ve experienced so many wonderful and exciting things over the last few months, and I am so grateful for that, but they do also sap my energy. I have found that once I’ve done all the 100% necessary things I just don’t have the strength to do anything extra.

I am currently also really,¬†really¬†worried for my CCF camp. CCF is this activity I do at school, and it’s basically cadets — I enjoyed it last year but to be honest this year has been a bit crap and I do regret choosing it over other options like volunteering. As I am in the Navy, we don’t learn a lot of stuff about how to actually survive on camps and the other people just look down on us for it. (Even though I’m pretty sure they can’t, like, tell you what neep and spring tides are haha.)

The camp is in two weeks and I have cried several evenings this week. I already feel sick thinking about it… I’ve been worried about it ever since I learned it was a thing, and I pretty much only survived that far by not thinking about it. I know that I might be making it out in my head to seem worse than it is, but I don’t quite know how to make it better except for blocking it out as much as I can.

I want to write regularly on my blog but at the same time I don’t want to post if I just don’t feel like it. Those posts just aren’t really that fun to read. They are not fun to write.¬†They do not make me feel good. Instead I ‘d¬†like to listen to some calming music/podcasts or something.

I am definitely going to have posts coming in the future! I’m going to some workshops at the Women of the World festival this weekend, and the weekend after I’m going to see Dodie on tour. (WHICH I AM STILL SUPER SCREAMING ABOUT.) I’ve been doing some nice stuff such as attending my school LGBTQ+ society, after a lot of worrying haha. But I might be a little less active for a while. I’m sad that I don’t really have the inspiration to post, but I don’t want to apologise because I would like to prioritise my mental health and not put of pressure on myself. I know you guys will understand, so thanks for being rad ‚̧

 

A List of Nice Things

Something that I wanted to do more this year was to make time for nice things sometimes, and to care for myself more. (Is this self-care? I mean, I think it probably is. I just don’t know when to use the word haha.) ¬†I still have not great mental health days, but I think in general it’s improved a bit? Yeah. Anyway, I thought I would make a list of some things that I do. ¬†(I have no idea if people want to read this but eh. It is in part a reminder for myself, so.)

Listen to some calming noises
The website Noisli¬†has some really lovely sounds which you can combine and save for different occasions. I find that certain sounds can really affect my mood, or make me think of stuff. (I have a really weird thing about the cicada/evening sound… I don’t know. Possibly from when I used to live in Japan? But yeah, I like that one.) I use this to help me feel calmer when doing work or just chilling, I guess.

Watch some TV
I don’t really watch that much TV, so it really feels like a treat when I do. Sometimes I watch stuff after finishing work, but I have also kind of set aside Tuesday afternoons as my designated ~TV watching time~. I feel like I always have stuff that I can be doing — whether that’s homework, language learning, blog stuff, music practice, writing, whatever — so it’s nice to just have a time to…not do anything and enjoy it. Yeah. *nods*

Set aside time for reading
This is kind of similar to the TV one! As my workload has increased with time, and I’ve started to use social media and stuff, I’ve read less and less. Sometimes it’s cool to just say ‘Ooh look I have some free time, let’s read a book’. (Because obviously I would phrase it in that way haha.)

Have a warm bath
Especially in winter when it’s cold, I find a warm bath can actually help me calm down and get to sleep faster. I also like to listen to stuff in the bath, or sometimes I use a face mask which I’m pretty sure does nothing for my skin, but feels nice anyway. Just in general making it a ~calming experience~.

Clean around the house/my room
My room isn’t the dirtiest, but it’s not the most tidy either. Pretty much the same goes for the rest of my house. I don’t normally feel like cleaning, but that’s mostly just because I feel like I don’t have the time or I should be doing something ‘more productive’. But I actually find tidying very satisfying and calming! Especially if I’m listening to something at the same time.

Play music out loud
When I have a little time alone to myself in the house, I like to play music out loud from the speakers in my kitchen, or just listen to podcasts out loud as I do stuff. Just. Playing stuff out loud! I don’t know, I like it a lot.

I feel like I could probably include other things but YEAH. These are just the things that initially came to mind for me. I guess other things include¬†not¬†doign stuff — whether that’s writing a blog post after a certain amount of days, spending extra time on my homework, whatever. If I try and do that all the time I just get completely burnt out and it is Not Good.

how are you doing? are there any nice things you like to do for yourself?

Becoming Happier With My Appearance

I KNOW, another personal post. What am I doing?!? Yeah, the New Year has kind of put me in quite a reflective mood, so I thought…I may as well.

I discussed in my 2016 recap post how I’ve started to feel more comfortable with myself, and that also includes the way I look. Although maybe it seems trivial to write about my own appearance, I have felt pretty negative about it in this past, and it’s taken a while to try and move past that. I still am! So I guess this is a part of myself. And in particular I find it difficult to sort out the things that are society or actually me.¬†Like am I genuinely doing this for myself, or is it part of the pressure to be conventionally pretty/skinny? GAH ALL THE THINGS ARE SO MIXED UP TOGETHER.

Firstly: I cut my hair really short at the start of last year. I like it a lot this way. I tell people that I might go back to long hair, but to be honest…I don’t think I will any time soon. Getting my hair cut has given so much more confidence, and except for sometimes dying it I don’t really need to take time to style. It makes me feel cool! Sometimes I can look more ~traditionally feminine~ and sometimes I can look more ~traditionally masculine~. In general I just LIKE MY HAIR A LOT and I’m so glad that I did cut it.

The hair kind of let me start to do all the things I wanted… I was wearing makeup only on school days, just because I felt self conscious about my skin. Argh, this is difficult, but I want to be really clear here: caring about your appearance is 100% okay! Liking makeup is 100% okay, that’s cool for you! But it wasn’t something I particularly liked, and¬†I wasn’t doing it for myself. I was doing it for other people. I still sometimes put on makeup, but not as much, and not just out of embarrassment. (Right now I’m wearing eyeliner. I’m terrible at putting it on, but it makes me feel cool and badass.) (I’m trying to worry less about what people think, and it’s hard but I AM TRYING.)

I wrote a little about gender earlier, and thanks for kind of letting me rant there — I guess this is all related. I don’t really know if I feel dysphoria, or if it’s just discomfort with the stereotypical feminine roles or whatever so many big words but I just don’t feel like wearing skirts and dresses that much anymore. (Hence I don’t often wear them.) Although it took a little persuasion *coughs* deception on my part with my parents, but I now have trousers that I wear to school instead of a skirt. It makes me feel a lot better about myself.

Usually I wear shirts or t shirts. I own SO MANY button up shorts, guys. Flannel! Office-y shirts! Really oversized bright yellow shirts! I LOVE SHIRTS. I like the way they look, and I like the way that they make me feel. Just in general…SHIRTS. Basically my favourite item of clothing, if you couldn’t tell. I live in shirts and skinny jeans.

Many people call people my age the ‘selfie generation’ or whatever. I often see things about how narcissistic we are and stuff. I’ve personally never been that comfortable taking selfies or having photos taken of me — I didn’t even have anything to take selfies with for a long time. I still don’t take them a lot but it feels really good to document the days when I’m just feeling super nice about myself or wearing a nice outfit! I like going back and looking at those. It’s fun to see me smiling as well. ūüôā I haven’t actually put any pictures here because this is more about my own feelings than my appearance, I guess, but if you do want to see my face then you can find me on my tumblr blog.

Yes! So this was actually pretty fun to do. I think being comfortable with yourself and gaining confidence is really important. It might be easier for some people than others. Although it’s taken me a while to get where I am now, I’m glad that I feel pretty okay with how I look and people’s opinions of me right now.

I Discuss Some Gender Issues‚ĄĘ

I’m gonna be honest… I’m a tiny bit anxious about posting this? (Or writing it. I haven’t actually posted it yet, so you know.) I don’t post all that much about personal things, and I especially don’t really post stream-of-conscious-ness-y things, though in some ways I wish I could. I edit a lot. The stuff I write is not my undiluted thoughts.

ANYWAYS. I digress! I’ve showed my blog a to a handful of people in real life, and although I’m not really sure if they actually read it, it’s enough to know that they can, and that worries me a bit. I’m not entirely anonymous and all that. But normally I just sort of try to write as though I don’t really care if real life people read my blog, otherwise I’d be worring ALL THE TIME and that’s super not fun. I guess it might be a bit awkward, but…at least I don’t have to talk face-to-face? Yeah, never mind, that was just a RANDOM INTRO BIT which got longer than expected.

Some of you guys have picked this up from my various tweets/conversations with you, but I’m kind of having some issues with my gender right now, I suppose? I just. I am just not 100% sure if I am a cisgender girl, in summary.

I don’t really know. I’ve been kind of considering this for some time now, I suppose, but my main thing is that…you know, it’s not one of those things where I automatically discovered what non-binary meant and said YEP, THAT’S ME. Equally, that didn’t really happen with the general other queerness thing — dude, I don’t think I’ve ever actually said it on the blog but I’M REALLY QUEER, IN CASE YOU COULDN’T TELL — but at least looking back there was kind of signs. A general feeling of difference.

I am basically just A PERMANENTLY CONFUSED PERSON. When I was trying to figure out whether I actually liked girls, or boys, or indeed anyone at all (what am I saying, still am) I spent a lot of time examining and picking apart my own emotions. Like, a lot. I still do that. I research, and then I compare, I feel certain, I research more, and I completely don’t know again. I’m now moderately certain that I at least don’t like girls any less than I like boys.

So, yeah, like I said — with ~gendery things~ that general feeling of ‘maybe this is me’ didn’t immediately happen. And I know that doesn’t necessarily mean loads, but it means that I end up feeling really uncertain. I didn’t particularly have a lightbulb moment, I don’t think, but I just sort of ended up thinking ‘I’d quite like to look like that’.

And THINGS GET COMPLICATED. It’s difficult to disentangle your own emotions from stuff like what society tells us, because they’re all mixed up. Is this just that I don’t feel I fit into the veryveryvery narrow typical role of a woman? Is me wanting to be less feminine a part of internal misogyny? Like when guys open doors for you because they’re ‘being a gentleman’. I’d rather it was just because I was an actual human being and it seemed a nice thing to do rather than because they thought I was a girl.

Anyway. In general from what I can tell, gender is kind of…bleurgh, no one even knows. DOES IT ACTUALLY EXIST? IS IT A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT? I suppose at the moment I feel a lot more comfortable wearing typically masculine clothes… I own a (crappy) binder. I’ve worn it a few times. It’s not that comfortable. But, like, is it just an issue about presentation? Is that kind of thing just part of the gender stereotyping? Would I be cool with just looking kind of more masculine but still identifying as a girl? (Because there are lots of super cool ladies who present more masculine.)

I also don’t really want to give up stuff like Girlguides — I mean, I enjoy it loads, but obviously it is a female space. That seems selfish of me. Does this mean that I shouldn’t be allowed there? Because I do find it a tiny bit uncomfortable when people just assume I’m a girl because of that. (Although it’s fair enough.) I’m not going to give it up just now, though, because I¬†am¬†still figuring things out.

As you can probably see: I just throw up more questions for myself! All the time! *shrieks* I don’t… I’m not really sure what I’m hoping to achieve with this post; some catharsis, I suppose. I’ve been semi-writing-it-in-my-head for some time now. I’ll probably remember loads of things that I wanted to say but didn’t get a chance to.

Also, I know my posting has been a little messed up lately, but hopefully over the holidays I’ll have more of a chance to write stuff and build up some posts for the next school term. ūüôā

 

 

Why is My Blog Like This? // my aversion to niches & stats

I am a very jealous person. It’s my least favourite trait of mine. It comes on fairly randomly and can stop me reading a blog or being in a fandom for months. (I’m trying to get better at that. I think I am, a little. It’s disgusting.) I hate that it can make me feel so awful; so that I feel awful for feeling awful. If you know what I mean.

I try not to look too much at views and followers and likes… I do look at the topics that are most popular. And of course I love to go and read the blogs of people who follow me. But I don’t really promote my blog that much. (First of all, I’m quite embarrassed by my own self-promotion.) I tend to just use my social media as — well, social media. I’m not a big Twitter person anyway, but it’s not like my Tumblr is actually that blog-oriented either. Instead it’s full of all my fandom and writing and visual edits stuff. I talk to people not necessarily about books and blog things. I might talk about Hamilton and social justice and my displeasure at the English syllabus instead. (Not that I don’t necessarily talk about these on the blog instead. Because I absolutely do.)

It’s weird to see how assuming a different writing style feels like slipping on another identity. The more I feel talking to you, the more I’ll abandon spelling and grammar to the depths of my brain. There is blog-me, blog-comments-me, lower-caps-with-capitalised-I-me, all-lower-caps-internet-slang-me. It’s just like how I speak to people! (I totally speak in different ways to different people. Irritating acquaintances get monotone sarcasm, for instance.)

I’m sure many of use read the ‘you need to find a niche’ tip for new bloggers. I went through an INSANE period of blogging research where I found all these useless things. To be honest, I think it’s just easier to practice rather than all of that. I always say that, though, and I’m still a crazy researcher.

I should probably make myself more of a niche. I don’t feel like my writing style is individual enough for that to be a connecting theme? It changes all the time; recently I have caught myself using a ridiculous amount of ellipses. I just want to write ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, because I am an indecisive person and also I am a person with changing interests. Objectively, I do realise it would be more efficient to focus on one thing and then another. But I have so many directions I want to spread myself in. And I am just disorganised. I want to blog AND write books AND write poetry AND record podfic AND play the clarinet AND sing AND make cosplays AND learn languages. (Phew. That was a lot of ands.) I’m not very good at any of those things — but I still enjoy them enormously, and hopefully that counts at least for a little bit. I’m still building them up slowly.

I can’t be completely sure how my blog comes across. I do write some sensible and structured posts. But very often I will just sit down and randomly wail about things. There are super blogs with all kinds of styles! But I know I could never completely rely on spontaneous blogging about my life. I would be TERRIBLE. My life just isn’t very interesting. I know I could never be a completely writing or books blog, because a) I am quite frankly a terribly inconsistent writer and b) I have an intense dislike of writing book reviews. I just…I CAN’T. I have too many things I want to talk about.

Yes. I suppose what I am trying to say is: I AM DIVERGENT. I cannot be contained. My blog has changed and will probably change and that is absolutely okay. I have a lot of different interests that are all fighting for my time, which is both silly and exhilarating. Also, I am a jealous little special snowflake who needs to not spend all her time thinking about success. hi