23/06/2014

For me it was when I was 4…

…then again at 7, but first time first. We lived in a huge mobile home in a field owned by my grandparents in pretty much the most isolated part of mainland Ireland. It was…okay I guess. I don’t really remember much apart from the dogs. Everybody had a dog. My grandparents had a border collie named Candy, my grand-aunt a border collie named, I don’t remember that makes me sad, I loved that dog. Anyway I had a border collie mix named Charlie, who I found out this year was put down the day we left; he went mad when I went away, and after nearly killing my uncle as they drove home from the train station my uncle was forced to drown my lovely 2-year-old dog so he wouldn’t end up crashing the car. I get it, but I hate it. It says a lot that that dog is still my 2nd clearest memory of Mayo, and that I still miss him 30 years later.

I say second strongest memory because my strongest memory is the time I told my Mom that I was a girl. I can remember standing in the tiny kitchen with her, watching her make scones, and then blurting it out. I was 4, I was already trying to read, already had had so many nightmares that they’d stopped scaring me, and I already knew something had gone horribly wrong with me. My body felt like a loaner. It felt like a stop gap while my real body was being finished. It didn’t feel like it was mine. Oh and it was already becoming sick, I started to have the bowel problems that have plagued my entire life since in those 2 short years in Mayo. But, time to focus on what’s important here; the gender.

So I’d told my Mom I was a girl. You know who liked dogs, and calves, and guns, and building random things, and hid all the time (like a soldier) with my dog in the tall grass at the edges of the field, you know, a girl…with a penis. And her response was…

…nothing.

No response. None at all. Now the fact that my Mom has absolutely memory of this at all makes me think that she actually didn’t hear me. Mom is a very quiet woman, but she’s a noisy baker, so it’s likely that she didn’t. But tell that to a 4-year-old who’s just told her Mom that penis and boy-play-stuff aside, she’s a girl. Yeah it all got put in a small box, locked up tight, and fucked down the deepest darkest part of my psyche. And there it stayed ’til I was 7.

7 was a big year for me. I started Primary School, I had my First Communion…ugh, got my first watch, discovered Virginia Madsen, and got molested for the first time.

The last part would be the part that’s pertinent here. You see I hadn’t had any sexual awakening at that stage. None, at, all. I was a blank sexual state, on a blank gender slate, all balanced on an already geeky as hell slate. So it probably shouldn’t be surprising to me that having my sexual nature activated in just about the worst way possible, against my will, and far too early for me would have a secondary effect. Yup my boxed up gender hit a trampoline somewhere down that deep dark hole, and then it bounced back up into the light of day, walloping me in the teeth, and adding immeasurably to my misery.

I told my Mom again, and again she doesn’t remember this. I don’t remember her response, I don’t even remember if there was a response. But whatever happened when I told her it was almost 2 decades before I would tell her again, this time making sure it stuck. In the mean time I hid who I was. I hid what was being done to me all the time. Well really I hid everything that makes me me.

This is all by way of sharing my early experience of my own gender. Why?

Because the video below shows how to (mostly, and even where she got it wrong it’s totally understandable) get it right if your child ever comes to you with something similar. But how to get it right is summed up best in these words…

Pay attention to what they say, and don’t dismiss it. They know themselves in a way you never will.

http://vimeo.com/user27600859/howtobeagirl

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22/06/2014

Waking up can be rough sometimes…

So last night I had a dream where my PTSD had vanished, I was my old self again, and the really gorgeous goth girl who gets off the bus across the street from my house most days had asked me out; AND it gets better…

I had just bought an old 2 door cinema, and was converting the two theatres into a house for myself, with these insane multi-tiered mezzanine floors, and enclose spiral staircases between them, two walk in wardrobes, a 100 square foot artists studio, a command centre of my own with a custom dual motheboard, 4 graphics card, 32 gigabyte, liquid cooled gaming rig. Oh and a 16 foot projected screen with 7.1 surround sound for my 360…AND it got better.

The following morning I was travelling to ComicCon as a panellist, because not only had Acidgirl become huge, but it had been made in to a cartoon. The dream ended with my PiC and I having a pint with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

Then I woke up…rough morning man, rough morning.

11/06/2014

How My Eleven Year Old Son Taught Me That Having a Gay Character in ‘Train Your Dragon’ is Important

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Guest post by Mindy Forsythe.  Mindy is also the adoptive mom in the evolequals story   The Real True Story About How Parents Adopted Out Their Child When He Told Them He Was Gay

 

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My eleven year old son Mason has been a big fan of DreamWork’s “How to Train Your Dragon”. In the new sequel, DreamWorks plans for Gobber the Belch to reveal his homosexuality.  Dean DeBlois, writer-director and openly gay himself, told E! News that the character’s acknowledgement will be subtle.  Subtle or not, this is exciting news for our family.  We have four beautiful children aged eleven to nineteen.  They are typical siblings…fighting one minute and best friends the next.  Two of our children, however, have a relationship that has shown me just how important and influential DreamWorks’s decision to include gay characters really is.

Mason, the baby in our family, is athletic, intelligent, tough as nails…

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03/06/2014

No country for young women: Honour crimes and infanticide in Ireland

People forget that Ireland was, and often still is a nasty small-minded, parochial country. And people seem to wilfully ignore that Ireland may say “We treasure our children”, but the truth is completely different.

As an abuse survivor, I’ve had people tell me to shut up about it. That’s it’s in the past and should be left there. Never mind that it is my past, my present and something I will never escape in my future.

The people who tell you to shut up are the same ones who will turn around and use that information to destroy you given a chance.

Yes Ireland, such a beautiful country, until you scratch the surface of that lovely veneer…

Feminist Ire

magdalene

When I was in first year in secondary school in 1997, a girl in the year above me was pregnant. She was 14. The only people who I ever heard say anything negative about her were a group of older girls who wore their tiny feet “pro-life” pins on their uniforms with pride. They slagged her behind her back, and said she would be a bad mother. They positioned themselves as the morally superior ones who cared for the baby, but not the unmarried mother. They are the remnants of an Ireland, a quasi-clerical fascist state, that we’d like to believe is in the past, but still lingers on.

The news broke last week of a septic tank filled with the remains of 796 children and babies in Galway. The remains were accumulated from the years 1925 to 1961 and a common cause of death was malnutrition and preventable disease…

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31/05/2014

I Don’t Consider Myself a Misogynist

This guy just gets it…

Poorly Edited

I used to identify myself as a maleist. That is, I believed that the rights of men were being whittled away by American women. I believed that we were raising a generation of men to be pussies. We were stamping out natural male instincts in an attempt to keep them subdued. We were telling American men that they should be ashamed of their sex and instincts.

I’m sure Fight Club had something to do with this.

I don’t identify as a maleist anymore. I find myself thinking these thoughts from time to time. I realize that they are misguided. But, they’re still lingering.

I don’t consider myself a misogynist… but….

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28/05/2014

#YesAllWomen: What difference does it make?

This…

Feminist Ire

Finola Meredith has a piece in The Irish Times today bemoaning the #yesallwomen hashtag on twitter. When I saw the headline “The Twittersurge #YesAllWomen is a useless weapon against endemic misogyny” I laughed. What’s a better weapon? An Irish Times feature with a Breda O’Brien riposte the following day?

May the liberal force of Fintan O’Toole be strong in you, Irish Times Columnists.

Meredith’s issue with the hashtag is that she believes that tweeting that is about as useful as going outside in the street and shouting “sexist men are bastards” and it will make no difference. Tempted as I am to go and stand outside Coppers this Saturday night to disprove her point (Just imagine the real life “NOT ALL MEN!!” screams you’d hear afterwards), there is an important point hidden in here concerning major media outlets that dominate, such as The Irish Times, who have a role…

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19/05/2014

A Crohns Girls Travel Kit.

One of my most difficult, and fraught undertakings is travelling anywhere more than five minutes from home. This is hardly surprising when your bowel control can at best be described as tentative. But there are ways to make travelling that little bit safer, the main one being a small travel kit.

What do I mean by a travel kit? Well that’s a little difficult to explain, as it will vary from person to person, so the best that I can do is give you my travel kit. You can then easily adjust it to fit your exact circumstances.

Spare undies 2 pairs pretty obvious really, but make sure it’s two pairs. If you lose it once there’s a good chance you will again.

Heavy flow sanitary pads – Even when I manage to keep things under control until I get to a toilet, I’ll often find myself passing lots of mucus for hours after. The sort of mucus that you don’t realise is there when you fart and….woops sticky mess. The pads will at the very least keep the mess in check ’til you make it back to the toilet. Also very useful if you have piles that tend to bleed.

Motilium, and Lomotil/Imodium – If your symptoms are anything like mine you’re probably going to feel nausea while you travel. So Motilium or a similar medication to control it is a good thing. Likewise an anti-diarrheal medication is a great idea to have with you.

Small hot-water bottle – Sit on it and you’ll have cramp relief, hold it to the back of your neck and you’ll have some relief from a dehydration headache (But remember to drink that sort of headache is not fun.), and if you, like me, find yourself shaking from cold after a bad attack it’ll help you to get warm again. Most places are very accommodating about filling a small half-litre water bottle if you ask politely.

Mints/chewing gum – To help cure the post vomit bad breathe. Alternatively carry a small fold-able travel toothbrush with a really small tube of toothpaste. If you vomit a lot this is really important to keep your teeth…no not clean, not sparkling, I literally mean to keep them; vomiting is basically enhanced tooth death.

Flushable wet wipes/baby wipes – Not only much gentler for wiping a tender backside, but will help to eliminate any lingering smell. But really do make sure that they’re flushable.

I can, with some creative packing, fit all of those in to a very small handbag, and they really can be a sanity saver for the travelling Crohns Girl.

Any suggestions for things I’m missing out on? Please comment below.

14/05/2014

So the Bristish Political party UKIP have shown their true colours…

The website scriptonitedaily.com are reporting that the British political party UKIP have started taking legal action against bloggers who dare to post a certain picture on their sites. For full details read the linked page, but I for one have no problem calling UKIP what they are, a party of hate, and a party who use intimidation as their chief tool to silence any criticism.

A party that holds dear those who think LGBT folk should be punished for existing, and are to blame for floods.

A party that welcomes members who feel women have gotten too big for their boots.

A party based in part on racism of the darkest kind. A party that use inflammatory language to stoke the fires of the Other. The kind not seen since the 1930’s and 40’s. The kind that was so beloved of the National Socialist Party back in Germany’s darkest days.

A party more than happy to scream about their freedom of expression, while using any means they can to silence criticism from others.

Here in Ireland we have our version, and as soon as they show their true colours I’ll have just as little trouble calling them what they are. But right at this moment I’m worried for the futures of my friends in our nearest neighbour. My LGBT friends. My female friends. My friends who are parents.

UKIP are not Libertarians (Most real Libertarians would shudder to be placed in their company.), Ukip are to speak plainly Neo-Nazi’s in well-tailored suits. Their rhetoric matches that term, and so do their actions…Oh and that image they’re trying to have removed from the internet? Why it’s this one…

How thin-skinned the real bastards of the world are when the light is shone on them. Oh, and to use another now well-known meme.

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12/05/2014

So Summer has arrived, apparently. (Or the things I hate/love about Summer.)

So, in a purely calendar based way, we are now 12 days in to my least favourite of the seasons; though the birds drowning in the trees may disagree. I like Winter, Spring is cool, and Autumn is just frikkin’ awesome; but Summer…Summer mostly sucks. Mostly.

It’s too hot! I don’t cope well with heat. It makes me sticky, smelly, and grumpy, while also making it feel like far too much work to do anything that might ease those issues. Being a Gothgirl, with a very healthy respect and fear of skin cancer, I find myself spending far too much time skipping from shadow to shadow.

But on the other hand – The pretty girls wear a lot less. Enough said.

I have to shave…parts – Because I too have to wear less, I find myself having to shave off a season’s leg hair growth. It’s awkward, messy, and my legs sting/itch like a son of a female dog for days after.

But on the other hand – The boys of the world are missing out on that moment when you get in to a freshly made bed, with freshly shaved legs. Oh Goddesses, the sheer sensuality of it all! As an added plus, my legs look great in shorts.

My dogs want to play out the back, not cuddle me on the couch – So I find myself abandoned, even on days where I feel like death warmed up. No, no fluffy cuddles, no hugely satisfied sigh from my Beagle when she finds just the right spot, and goes to sleep with her head on my lap. No hugely satisfied sigh from me when my…fuck knows what…stops trying to climb in to my ear, and instead settles on the back of the couch behind my head.

But on the other hand – I can play my Xbox with the littler of the two insisting on sitting between my legs, with her paws on my hands, growling at everything on the screen. Also no constant opening/closing of the back door as they insist on treating me like their own personal doorman.

No fires – I loved a good fire. I’d cheerful, comforting, warming, heartening, and many, many other words ending with “ing” which you can find in your thesaurus.

But on the other hand – No ashes to clean, no fuel to bring in, no getting up to stoke it.

Too many movies I want to see, but not enough money – Godzilla, or Guardians of the Galaxy. X-Men, or self-respect.

But on the other hand – Who am I kidding?! It’s going to be Guardians, I mean I’m completely hooked on a feeling.

Having to pretend to like going to the beach – I don’t. It’s gritty, smelly, crowded, filled with beer-gut possessing men who insist on pretending they have anything anyone wants to see. Oh, and the water in Ireland is always, always, ALWAYS fucking freezing cold!

But on the other hand – I got nothing…absolutely nothing.

12/05/2014

The Frozen Problem Pt.1: Elsa

Read this, it’s AWESOME!

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