Category Archives: Being Human

End of the Year Review

Let’s face it: 2017 was a shitty year. We spent every second of it fighting and I think I’m not the only one who is fucking exhausted on this December 31st.

But 2017, for all its shittiness also shone a light in places that needed light for years. It started to dismantle structures that were in place for decades. It – no, WE took down more than one toxic man in the process.

I have no illusions that 2018 will be any better. We’re not done yet. We’ll keep fighting because it’s our only option. We’ll keep taking down anyone who is toxic and we’ll keep standing up for everyone marginalized.

Just like this year, we’ll be so tired that we’ll want to quit. Just like this year, we won’t. Because many snowflakes make an avalanche and climate change is real. Because facts are different from opinions and there’s a difference between science and faith. Because we’re real and we’re here and we’re not going to go back in our closet.

Holiday greetings from me to you

To those who love the sinner but hate the sin ( = being queer)

I have spent a sleepless night thinking about your love.

You tell me “you love everyone” and that you just feel that “that kind of relationship is not what’s best for me”.

I’ve spent a sleepless night thinking about why it makes me feel so bad when you tell me you love me. Why it triggers me. Why it terrifies me.

And somewhere in the darkest depth of the night I have found the answer:

Your love is like that of an abusive husband.

Like him, you know what’s best for me, better than I do, so I should obey your laws not follow my heart.

Like him, you take my freedom away because I can’t be trusted with it and might do something you don’t like.

Like him, you isolate me from the ones I love because you say they aren’t good for me, they will damage my soul.

Like him, you promise me to be free from pain later, in an undefined future, if I just accept being lonely and relying solely on you now.

Like him, you will punish me if I misbehave. You will strip my rights away, you will beat me up – because you love me and want to make me better.

Like him, you say I will only be worthy if I negate who I am and live for your ideal and your belief of what I should be.

Like him, you drive me to despair and call it love.

And like with him, I need to be protected from you. I  try my best to protect myself but I know on my own I am not enough. I need allies. Who fight for my right to be free and to be safe and to love and to be happy in this life.

I am crying while typing this because I hope so much that I have enough allies and I’m so afraid that I don’t. That one day I will have to rely on your love. Which I know will kill me.

Childhood Memories – Battered Women

I was thinking about the neighborhood I grew up in today. Specifically, about the two battered women who lived on our street.

The first was the mother of two small children, the two girls being my earliest friends.

They were hurting. I knew they were hurting. At four or five years old, I didn’t understand why. I couldn’t place the bruises. I didn’t know what it meant when my parents said that the older child was trying to help. I didn’t know that the black eye was because her father had punched her in the eye when she tried to use her tiny body to physically stand in front of her mother and protect her.

What I knew was that people were looking down on them. That my parents weren’t happy if I stayed overnight with that family. What I knew was that there was gossip. She’s an intelligent woman, why doesn’t she leave him? She should get her children away from this. I also knew that you could gossip but never talk to them directly about it. When you saw them, you were supposed to pretend that everything was okay.

So we did. In our games, we pretended that their father didn’t exist, that their mother was also their dad and that we were happy.

A few years later, their mother managed to get away from her abusive husband. She did it without help. Because there was no help to be found in this neighborhood.

The other woman did not get away. Her husband is a belligerent alcoholic, they have no children. This one just withered away. Where I was still allowed to play in the house of my friends, we were not allowed to go to that house to play. Not because the woman didn’t want us there, but because belligerent drunk husband was unpredictably violent (while charming sober wife-batterer predictably only hit his wife and children, being much too circumspect to risk being reported to the police).

This second woman has been married to her abuser for 35 years now, living in the same neighborhood for nearly as long. For 35 years she has moved about the street like a ghost, silent and almost invisible. Since her husband is intolerable, most people have stopped greeting them decades ago. Note how I say them. They’ve stopped greeting them both.

I don’t visit home often but it’s still a few times a year. The last time I saw her must be almost a decade ago. I talked to her then. Against my parents’ wishes because talking to this woman is inviting the wrath of her husband. A five minute conversation about the most superficial things. I wonder how often she even gets that.

I thought about these two battered women today. And I thought about my parents. It’s not our business. There’ll only be trouble if we try to interfere. We can’t help anyway. It’s the woman’s own fault if she doesn’t leave. That’s what I learned from my parents before I was even old enough to learn how to read or write. Is it any wonder that I didn’t feel like I could share with them when years later as a teenager I was the one being abused? That I didn’t think they would help?

I can’t tell whether they would have helped after all. We’ll never find out. What we found out, though, is, that their teachings didn’t take. I never accepted their bullshit. I’ve got anxiety and depression and every so often bouts of PTSD – but I’m fiercely protective of my friends. When that oldest child of the neighboring family needed to go to a shelter when we were 15, I made my mother drive us. When my parents tried to forbid me being friends with a girl who was being sexually abused because it would get them in trouble if I didn’t shut up, I didn’t listen.

Abusers want you to react like my parents. They want you to be scared. They want to silence you and they want to isolate their victims. Don’t do them that favor.

You don’t need to be loud and you don’t need to change the world. You can’t change the world. I can never help half as much as I want to. But I can do this much. I can not look away when I see signs of abuse. I can ask. I can believe. Not only believe the victims’ stories but also believe in them.

It isn’t much. It’s never enough. But it’s a start.

A whiny post

I miss having a friend at work. I like my coworkers as well as the next person. They are smart, they do their work well, they respect me and I respect them. We have nothing much in common apart from work, but that’s okay. Has always had to be okay.

But when I started here, a decade ago now, I made a friend. We became good friends. The kind of friend that you trust with your personal life. The kind of friend who listens to your stories even if they aren’t interested in the same shit you’re interested in. The kind of friend you tell about having been abused. The kind of friend who notices the days when you’re feeling off. The kind of friend that you can tell about your PTSD and anxiety and depression.

Since she left, I don’t have that anymore. My coworkers are friends with each other. They have the same hobbies. They have the same status. I lead the department and I’m doing a good job at it. But I’d love to have one friend. Someone to confide in on the bad days. Someone to share the good days with. Just one person I trust. That would make daily life so much better.

I’m proud of you

I’m proud of you.

Sometimes, you’re not someone’s first choice to say these words.

You’re not the person they really want to hear it from.

It doesn’t matter.

Tell them anyway.

Especially now, at Christmas, which for so many of us is the annual festival of hiding ourselves.

Of smiling for family who don’t even want to know who we truly are.

Who’d rather live with a lie than see us happy.


So I might not be the person you want to hear this from but I’m telling you:

I’m proud of you.

For everything you achieved this year.

For the fact that you’re still around.

For every minute that you were able to be yourself.

I’m proud of you, my friend.

Pride (and Prejudice – or rather: and Anxiety)

I’m scared today. Part of it is that I got triggered yesterday (by rattling pipes, it’s embarrassingly easy to trigger me with heating systems), so my anxiety level is up an extra 10 notches today and I have no idea how to bring it back down.

The other part is more based in reality and less in decades-old trauma so that’s what I actually want to talk about.

I’m going to the pride parade in my town this weekend. It’s not the first time I’ve gone and usually it’s fun and everyone is nice. But so far, I’ve always either gone with lesbian friends (passing as lesbian) or with my husband (passing as straight ally). And frankly, I don’t want to do either anymore. Because I’m not lesbian and I’m not straight. I’m bisexual. So I’m planning to wear bisexual pride colors this year and have my bi!pride flag with me.

I didn’t think much of it before the worry started creeping in a few days ago. I have such an amazing bunch of online friends who completely accept me for who I am, and many of whom are also mythological creatures (bi, ace, aro, genderfluid, pick and choose your fav), that I kind of forgot that the unicorn status is frowned upon or declared invalid in the ‘real world’ queer community quite often. And I’m even ‘worse’ than your average nymphomaniac bisexual because I’m a girl married to a dude, so according to lesbian logic* I’m now straight and am just using the bi label to garner attention.                         *No, it’s not ‘all lesbians’. Just like it’s not ‘all men’.

Sorry if the sarcasm is dripping off the screen and into your keyboard. But in the wake of #LoveWins and the tears of joy over that, I was all love and happiness and rainbows and I hate how outside perceptions make me feel like I have no right to be a part of that. How I’m considering leaving the bi!pride flag at home. How I already want to mold myself to the majority because it has less risk of being shunned.

I want to find something positive to end this post with because I feel there should be a conclusion or a positive moral tale or whatever, but there really isn’t one. All there is is this gnawing anxiety and the feeling like the world is not a safe place for me.

Frankly, it sucks.

And that’s all I have to say to it.