A year or two ago, I got into a kick of reading primarily young adult literature over that written for adults. It’s not that I think one is better than the other, but YA lit has the tendency to do a lot more identity-exploring than adult lit, and I find that interesting.
I’m currently crawling through the beginning of writing a book I want to try to get published. This is something I have wanted to do since I was about three years old, so it’s a long time coming. It’s YA, and because I want to write in YA and I like reading there, I’ve started following a fair number of YA-focused blogs. A little for advice, but mostly for book reviews.
(Obligatory recs: Check out YA Highway for general news, reviews, and advice. Intergalactic Academy is awesome for sci-fi reviews. Seriously. Go read it now. Although their light-text-on-dark-background layout may make it easier to read in a feed like Google Reader.)
One of the blogs I follow is Malinda Lo’s, and she just wrote about YA Pride Month. Basically, taking the US’s general Pride Month of June and focusing on it through a lens of YA lit. The part I found most interesting in her post (and that makes it worth mentioning on this blog) is a footnote about how Lo will be interviewing authors writing YA novels with LGBT main characters. The book I am working on now has queer main characters so it caught my eye.
I decided that in my YA Pride series I wanted to mostly invite writers who identify as LGBT to be interviewed or guest post for my site. While I don’t believe one needs to identify as LGBT in order to write about LGBT people, I also feel that there is value in supporting LGBT writers. In the interests of full disclosure, I have had trouble finding transgender-identified YA writers to participate in this series, simply because there are so few of them. I haven’t finished my search for contributors yet, and I may still be able to find a trans YA writer to participate, but if I don’t, the reason is not because I didn’t attempt to find one; it’s because we need more of them.
This might seem like a weird area of my body to focus on with regards to gender dysphoria, but recently I had to shop for clothing to attend a wedding in and I realized I have a thing about my shoulders and collarbone.
Bare shoulders and a bare collarbone are not neutral. Unlike other items of “women’s” clothing that happen to fit my body, I can’t find neutral/masculine details to tilt me away from an overall feeling of pretending to be a woman that I’m not. Exposing that part of my body in public is unabashedly feminine. Guys may go around with a couple of shirt buttons undone, but unless there’s exercise or sex involved, you don’t see dudes going into events with shirts that show their collarbone from shoulder to shoulder.
You might be wondering why I bothered looking at anything that would leave my shoulders bear. To be honest, I just don’t want to melt, and it was also the more economical option. The wedding is going to be on a hot summer night. Dresses expose skin in a socially appropriate way that also allow for greater cooling capability. Plus, I own no other formal clothes I can wear without a binder, and you would have to pay me a decent amount of money to wear a binder for an entire wedding on a hot Southern night. What can I say, I overheat easily. A dress was also going to be less expensive than finding an entire suit.
I went to my first ace panel! It was at my old undergrad school and Sciatrix was leading it, having organized it through the LGBTQIAetc club there.
There were four of us on the panel, all asexual, and then a fair-sized audience. I didn’t count but I’d think there were at least 40 or 50 people? They could raise their hands and ask questions, or text in questions to an internet account that another club member would read out to us. Either the questions were for specific people or we would go down the line and all give out answers.
Content note: I discuss sex drive in this, in regards to its unpleasantness for me and its presence in psychiatric treatment.
Today I finally had an appointment with a psychiatrist to get on an antidepressant. I’m hoping that it’ll work and I won’t have to try another drug, but I go back in a month to assess how things are going. We’ll see around then whether things have kicked in or not. My main goal for treatment is to be moderately less of a slug than I am now, and to generally not be so sad.
One thing I was delightfully relieved about was that neither the counselor I spoke to nor the psychiatrist asked me how I was feeling sexually. Over the past few months, I read a lot on depression and tried to see if that fit me, and I ended up repeatedly taking self-scoring depression assessments to evaluate how I was feeling over time. A frequent question was something along the line of “have you had a decreased interest in sex?” and once or twice there was even “I do/do not enjoy spending time around and looking at attractive people.”
I stopped watching House a long time ago for various reasons. But since I’m on Tumblr to be involved with the ace community there, it would’ve been hard for me not to hear about the other night’s episode.
Spoilers beyond this point and warning for ace stereotypes and medicalization of asexuality
Here’s a summary of the episode from an AVEN user. There was an eye-rolling-looking emoticon at the end but I can’t copy the animation and don’t know how to type it out. Also if you click the link, you have to click “Show” to show the spoiler text in the comment.
A lady with a bladder infection attracts the attention of House, who tries to prove that she and her husband aren’t really asexual. Watson stops him, so House investigates the husband, who turns out to have a tumor causing his lack of libido. Treating it, which is necessary for him to live, but make him sexual. The wife ends up revealing that she lied about her asexuality because she likes sex (Because all asexuals are repulsed).
I’m amused at the Watson/Wilson mixup but I will also say — I don’t care that Wilson said House was wrong at the beginning of the episode. The final impression left about asexuality isn’t going to be a couple of minutes at the beginning of the episode, it’s going to be how the episode wraps up. The conclusions that the brilliant Dr. House reaches about asexuality. That’s what people will take away. When House disproved the asexual characters, he also disproved Wilson.
There are so, so many things wrong here. The writer of the episode responded to criticism on Twitter. But that doesn’t really make it better.
Although there were about eight years between the time I started identifying as asexual and when I started identifying as neutrois, I don’t think I could separate my asexuality from my gender, now.
But first I have to talk about how being asexual tied into my identification as neutrois. And I can see this post getting rather sprawling, so I’m going to attempt to use headings. I’m also going to put a cut, because this is kind of a long post.
(Warning: I talk about physical sex and sex drive in here, though not in much detail.)