Blog Archives

Corsets and Eyeliner

So… What’s your type?   People have always tried to get me to answer this question and not a single person has ever believed me when I answer honestly and explain that people are nice looking but not sexually attractive until I get to know them, I don’t want to have passionate sex with anyone until I can have a passionate discussion, but that answer has only been viewed as a half-truth or an out-right lie.

So now I’ll be completely honest about what traits and behaviors I’m attracted to!

I’m attracted to: confidence, a good sense of humor, activism, bright eyes, self-awareness, sarcasm, passion, soft skin, rough hands, individuality, compassion, a thirst for knowledge, people who wear corsets as/over shirts, avid readers, good writers, people who share my interests, people in my fandoms, Hufflepuffs and people with eyeliner on.  This is FAR from a conclusive list, but if I were to find someone who had/did all of this then I may just want to jump their bones on the spot, although I’d get consent first (safe, sane and consensual!) because that’s important.

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

“No Homo lolol!”

“No homo” is a phrase I’ve heard and seen after phrases as innocuous as (“I love your shoes”) to the most sapphic (“Your tits look GREAT in that top”) and no matter what precedes it the phrase confounds me.   What about paying someone a complement indicates romantic interest?  And isn’t romantic interest just another complement?   If you understand this phenomenon, feel free to explain it to me but if you are as confused as I am then feel free to share this question with whomever insists that they are “no homo.”

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

STOP THE SHAME!

I recently participated in a conversation that got me thinking about all the shame associated with sex.  One of my friends admitted to exploring sexuality from a young age and another friend admitted to being uncomfortable with the idea of masturbation, both friends were laughed at and teased for being “too sexual” and “not sexual enough” respectively.

Shame doesn’t do anybody any bit of good, what does it matter if someone’s personal buisness isn’t what you think is right?  What you think is right is just right for you.  Don’t force anyone to conform to your ideals no matter how right you think they are and don’t conform to any ideals that are not your own out of shame.

Stop sex shaming
Stop virginity shaming
Stop kink shaming
Stop woman shaming
Stop man shaming
Stop fetish shaming
STOP SHAMING!

I love and accept you as you are, no matter how “different” you may seem.  And remember, there is a place for you somewhere.

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

Hir; A Poem

This is a beautifully done piece of spoken word, I recommend it.

 

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

Where’s The Restroom?

Earlier this month I was blessed with the chance to attend a leadership and activist training as well as participate in a day of advocacy at a state level, this was my second year attending this summit and, to be honest, one of my main reasons for returning had nothing to do with the change I could make.  I wanted to go so I could spend a weekend surrounded by people who asked for my P.G.P. (Preferred Gender Pronoun), in a place where ALL the bathrooms were gender neutral and where I knew I’d be accepted as I am.  When I left I realized just how important having a gender neutral bathroom was, and how often I risked my own health to avoid choosing one or the other, I realized that if I know I’ll be able to make it to a gender neutral bathroom I’ll simply hold it even if I get an infection because of it.  I realized how uncomfortable I always am when I have to choose based on biology and I realized that if I feel this way then I can’t be alone.

If someone as self assured as myself is afraid to choose a bathroom based on comfort then how can we expect others to do the same?  If someone as confident in their gender as I feels diminished and trapped by the bathroom choice then how must it make those just coming out to themselves feel? And what can we do about it?

I can’t answer about the feelings of others, but I can tell you what you can do; If you find a place with gender neutral bathrooms you can let them know how much it means to people, if you find a business that has gender neutral bathrooms you should choose them over their competitors and if you have a place you feel safe enough suggesting gender neutral bathrooms then you should do it.

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

Fear

**This post may contain spoilers regarding the book Divergent by Veronica Roth, if that bothers you, skip to the conclusion.**

So I’ve been listening to the audio book of Divergent, and I’ve reached a few conclusions and even more questions, mostly about myself. I’ve concluded that, most likely, the aptitude test would place me in Amity, Erudite or Dauntless (or I’d be Divergent) and that I would choose Dauntless with very little hesitation. I also realized that if I were to be forced to face my innermost fears rather then the fears I allow myself to think about I would most likely be surprised.

**At this point if you want to avoid spoilers you can read again**

I have spent many years of my life finding, facing and/or controlling my fears, the physical ones at least. I once feared heights and so, like Keladry, (Protector of the Small quartet by Tamora Pierce) I forced myself to face heights whenever I could, I rode roller coasters and thrill rides that forced me onto high places and then dropped me from them, I climbed things and jumped down, I went up tall buildings and looked down until the fact my brain told me to be afraid had no effect on my body or my clarity of thought. There was a time I feared fire, I learned everything I could about fire, I played with fire and in time I learned to understand fire until when I saw fire I felt both fear and attraction.

**Spoilers, but mild ones that shouldn’t really spoil anything at all unless you’ve already guessed what will happen next**

Other then Heights and Fire I have not suffered from many fears, not counting those that came from lack of worldly experience, but I knew there had to be things I fear besides those two obvious choices. And then Divergent reminded me of fears outside the physical. I realized how much I fear vulnerability, how much I fear intimacy, how much I fear a lack of intimacy and how much I fear removing the armor I have constructed around my emotions and affections.

**Spoilers are all gone, go ahead and read.**

When I realized those fears I realized that those fears may just be why I have never opened up to someone in a romantic way. Not only did I fear rejection I feared the vulnerability and the weakness that comes with it. But like all my other fears I know that by acknowledging this one I can face it and control it. Well, I hope I can…

I now have an internal debate about how to deal with these fears; one side argues that both physical and emotional intimacy will get easier if I just practice, just get it over with, while the other says that I should ease into it starting emotionally and, eventually, ending physically when the moment is right. Over the weekend at a party the “get it over with like a band-aid” part of me won out for a while and I had my first “kiss,” although I hesitate to call the small collection of three second pecks actual kisses. This was of course while playing two different silly party games; Suck and blow, a game in which you move a card of some sort around a circle of people by first holding it to your mouth by sucking in air and then pass it to your neighbor by them sucking in air while you blow out air, and if you or your neighbor drops the card you have to kiss and then spin the bottle. The unromantic, three second kisses while somebody counts the seconds were awkward to say the least and most of me doesn’t even count any of them as a “first kiss.” But another part of me is glad I didn’t make it to seventeen and never been kissed.

But I’m off topic, and as you can clearly see, the topic is fear. What do you fear? Have you faced it? Controlled it? If not, why? Let me know in the comments below!

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

On Jokes, Stereotypeing and Gender “Differences.”

Today I spent time with family members I don’t often spend time with, one in particular, and I was reminded of the reasons for the separation during our visit today.

For the most part I ignore cruel and sexist comments such as “you through like a girl.” But when one is surrounded by such comments, even if they aren’t directed at you or are meant as a joke, it hurts.  Between the sexist jokes of my grandfather, the gender based discrimination at the hands of my own uncle and the silent acceptance of everyone around me except my mother I find my spirit nearing it’s breaking point.

The pain I felt with every assumption made about me based on the presence of breasts on my chest and with every family member that just let it slide…  On a less personal note I must remind all of my readers to avoid making generalizations about anyone based on anything they cannot change.

It’s fine to assume someone is part of a sub-culture if they dress like they are, it’s fine to assume someone is buying books if they are in a book store and it’s fine to assume someone wears a bra if they have boobs.  But other gross generalizations based on BIOLOGICAL FACTS THAT CANNOT BE CHANGED are inappropriate, unfair and rude.

My rant is done, I’ll be back with a more logical and less emotional post some time next year.  Until then, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Yours in Queerness,

Duo Spiritus

Sex (The Good, Safe Kind)

Yesterday I attended a “presentation” about safe sex for queer youth, there were so many problems with the presenter I could not begin to address them all in my blog.  But I CAN try to give better answers (based on research, not expertise) to the questions that came up.  But remember, I am not a doctor or any other expert on sex of any kind, so read what I have to say and then go look at the resources I paired with each question .  And ask a real doctor any important questions.

Q.  Could I get HIV/AIDS from food?  Or any STD really….

A.  Nearly all STDs are transmitted only by the exchange of blood or genital secretions, the exceptions to that rule are genital warts and herpes (as far as I know) in which case it is contact between the sore or wart (as well as blood and genital secretions) and sensitive skin or a wound that can result in contracting the STD.   The best way to be safe and avoid STDs is to only have sex with a person you love and trust, and both you and your partner getting tested regularly.

http://kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/stds/std.html#

Q.  What is a Dental Dam? 

A.   A dental dam is a piece of latex or silicone that one should place between their mouth and their patners vagina/anus when participating in oral sex.  This creates a barrier between partners to prevent spreading of STDs and should be used if you do not know if your partner is free of STDs or you know your partner does indeed have an STD.  But the best way to prevent STDs is still to be picky about who you have sex with.  Although in the singular case of deantal dams a QUALITY plastic wrap will work as well.

http://www.pamf.org/teen/sex/std/oral/dentaldam.html

Q.  If I ask my doctor for birth control/plan B wont they tell my parents?

A.  At age twelve your parents have no right to information shared between you and your gynecologist, for females age twelve is the age they receive legal control over the reproductive health.  I do not know if the same is true for biological males…

Q. What about “Pulling out?” Doesn’t that work too?

A.  No, “pulling out” provides no protection against STDs and very little protection against unwanted pregnancy.  There are indeed sperm in pre-ejaculatory fluids. (pre-cum)

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control/withdrawal-pull-out-method-4218.htm

 

Remember to do your own research, using reliable sources, and wait to have sex until you and a partner you love are ready.

Yours in Queerness,

Duo Spiritus

You want chivalry?

When my friends talk about finding love they often wonder aloud why they can’t find a person who thinks they are attractive when they first wake up, who will open doors for them, who stands when they walk in the room and who really listens when they talk.  Even the wonderful man I find myself falling for has said these things.  I do these things for most people most of the time, and all the time if I “like-like” the person, but nobody notices.

If this is truly what people want then why don’t they see it when I hand it to them on a silver platter?

I see the pictures on tumblir, facebook and other assorted sites about how “girls just want to date a gentleman” and in my head I scream silently because I know that they mean they want a gentleman who is perfect in EVERY way; tall, white, buff with a penis. (and no boobs)  They don’t mean they want someone who will act like a gentleman, treat them well and see them as beautiful.

I guess for the time being my flirting, my romancing, will continue to be ignored and I will continue to act with chivalry, bravery and honor.  I only hope that eventually someone comes along who actually wants that…

What do you look for in romance? What do you find instead?

Yours in Queerness,                                                                                                                              Duo Spirtus

Body Image and Self Hatred

So far all my blog posts have been rather political or idealistic with very little information that is personal, but not this posy. This post is about body image, body loathing and body changing in others and in myself.

Everyone has two looks; the way they WANT to look, and the way they actually look. Usually the way a person wants to look is based on how society wants them to look because of race, gender, age, location, sexuality or whatever other stupid groups that one can be grouped by. I wish I could say knowing and hating this fact made me immune to it, but it doesn’t. I know how I want to look and I look in the mirror and see only little bits of it, sometimes, if I look hard enough and I’m in a good mood. Mostly I see fat, scars and acne, all things that logically I know have a reason for being there. Logically I know that I am a healthy weight, that acne break outs are a part of growing up and that my scars are monuments to how much pain I survived to get here… But logic plays no part in your feelings.

I know many people who spend hours of thought a day policing what they eat, caloric intake/output, but I can’t do that so instead I spend hours of thought a day SHAMING myself for my food choices. “You ate too much Duo, now you’ll never get thin!” or the nice voice “Did you really need that cookie Duo? You could have just eaten another carrot if you were that hungry.” I spend time debating whether or not to eat (my stomach always wins) and if something makes me skip a meal I’m proud of myself. And then when my head is clear from emotional, body hating voices and words for just a moment another set of words comes along; “Now you’re just like any other teenager Duo, why can’t you be BETTER than the teens that worry about their looks?” so I just cannot win. I get to be ashamed of my shame.

My ideal body may not be the one I would be assigned based on race, age, location or sex at birth but it is a product of media and societal ideals of beauty and sexuality. I want to be skinny, with bigger muscles, slight abs and clear skin. I want to wear crisp white button up shirts and jeans or black slacks with a long black overcoat decorated with chains topped with some kind of dapper cap or dashing hat. Instead I wear jeans and baggy t-shirts (and some form of fancy headwear) to hide the body parts I hate.

I am not the only person in, what seems like, an everlasting internal battle with myself over my body image, but I may well be the only person who never sees someone like themselves portrayed as someone who may have self image issues. It’s almost always girls between 12 and 25 years of age who are portrayed with eating disorders, self image issues and negative thoughts about their own body. Sometimes it’s boys between 14 and 25 years of age but it is NEVER youth outside the gender binary and it is very, very rarely someone younger or older than the ages above.

I think youth who do not conform to gender norms fight even more with body and self image issues because there are so few resources where genderqueer, two spirit, trans, non-gender, gender free, pangender or any other queer labeled youth can find support for their unique and beautiful bodies, clothing that fits both their body and their style and images of happy queer youth of all shapes, sizes, colors, sexes, genders and identities. We have to change this, don’t judge a person by their looks, make no assumptions and complement choices and achievements instead of physical attributes, especially if you are a parental figure or educator.

At the bottom of this post is a video that made me tear up a bit, just remember that the video’s message really should be for people of all genders.

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus