Monday, February 25, 2013


Normally this would be the day when I write something awesome, but I'm sick as a dog.  Every time I need to swallow it feels like my throat is stabbing me with the hatred of a thousand suns.  This has made me realize just how often we swallow during the course of a day, something I would love to return to taking for granted.  I slept for twelve hours this morning, at yet I still need to go in to my last class to take a quiz and finish one of our experiments in lab.  Fuck my life.

I'll see you folks later this week.  Hopefully with a throat that doesn't feel like fire ants are mating inside of it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

20,000 Visitors!

Holy crap, guys!  This blog is not even a year old and already it's been viewed over 20,000 times.  I'm truly humbled.  In such a short amount of time I've been invited to speak to LGBTQ and secular organizations and conventions close to a dozen times.  I've been able to lessen ignorance, reach out to others who have struggled with their identities, and hopefully make the world safer for others in my own small way.  And all because
I.  Refused.  To.  Be.  Silent.

So few of us fall into the mold of the Social Norm.  There are only so many white, Christian, conservative, misogynist, upper class, abled, thin, young, masculine, cisgender, heterosexual, monogamous, fertile, men in the world.  And you know what their greatest fear is?  That we actually realize how vastly we outnumber them.  That we may actually challenge the system that places them at the top.  That we might start to question that maybe the "way things are" is not the way they must be.  That we might find our voices and start to speak up!  Because as soon as that happens, as soon as we all get together to work for equality, the privilege they currently enjoy will come crashing down.  If we fight for equality, that mean they will need to give up un-earned power.  They might actually need to acknowledge that others experience life differently.  They might have to think!

And we can't have that, now can we?

So in thanks for all the amazing support I've received, I encourage everyone to go out there and make yourselves heard.  If you like writing, than write a blog or book.  If you're musically talented, than start sharing your songs.  If you can move a paintbrush, than share your vision.  Whatever way you have of expressing yourself, make time for it.  I've got a full-time course load, a demanding job at a non-profit, a family to love and a home to take care of.  And still, with what little free time I have, I make time to write this blog because it connects me to the world.  It allows me to acknowledge and think about how my personal experience translates to the political world at large.  It lets me recharge and keep up the fighting spirit that makes me want to go out and kick some ass.  That's worth a little selfishness a couple times a week.  Make the same commitment for yourself and start changing the world.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Deconstructing Love and Monogamy

Yesterday at the Fellowship of Freethought, Chris and I had a fascinating discussion with new friends about the socially constructed ideas about love, monogamy, and relationships.  In particular, one friend said, "There is no other relationship in which we expect monogamy except romantic/sexual relationships.  You would never tell your best friend they weren't allowed to be friends with anyone else and that the two of you need to have a ceremony in front of everyone that says you're both off limits for friendship from now on, and if you're ever friends with anyone else I get half your shit."  Now that's not quite how I see marriage, but he has a point. 

All of these notions about what a relationship should be are socially constructed to support patriarchal systems.  Even polygamy, which has origins in all the Abrahamic religions but is now taboo, still limits the sexuality of the multiple women to one man.  And gay or bisexual relationships are often ridiculed because they don't fall in line with monogamy.  Open relationships are fairly common in the LGBT community, especially with gay men, but I've often wondered why that might be.  Is it because men are sexually driven and thus gay men are doubly so because they have no woman to "tie them down", as is often suggested?  Or is it because deconstructing one set of socially constructed norms about sex makes it easier to do the same to other norms?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Psychology Survey

Hey guys, I'm working on a survey in my psychology class about Body Perception and Sexuality and would really like your participation. Please click the link below, it only takes about 5 minutes.  Also, be sure to use my name, Dorian, in the first question.  Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Queer Booklist: Part 2

Books for Older Kids and Teens

This is the next part of my series on queer-friendly books for kids and parents from my recent presentation "Raising Gender-Conscious Freethinkers." 
Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
This story is about Logan, a high school senior who falls in love with a trans girl, Sage, and then has to deal with his transphobia and fears of being "gay".  I really enjoyed this book because it offered me a unique perspective on what might be dealing with internally while dating a trans woman, but ultimately the ending leaves a bad taste in my mouth because Sage decides to de-transition.  My other issue is that I've yet to find a book that's from a trans girl's perspective and is not just "about" a trans girl.
Awkward and Definition by Ariel Schrag
This is one of my favorite suggestions because it's an autobiographical graphic novel written by a teenager as she was living it.  Too often authors look back on their teenage years with the filter of an adult and so it might not come across as authentic.  The coolest thing about Ariel Schrag's graphic novel is the slow realization of her sexuality unfolds in real time.  So it includes the warts and all of coming to terms with being queer and is absolutely relatable, funny, and with artwork that improves with each page to boot.
Butch is a Noun by S. Bear Bergman
Contrary to what the title might make you believe, this book is about gender norms in general and what it means to go against those in a society that often rigidly enforces them.  While it might be considered a "must have" for any butch teenager, it really unpacks gender in an accessible way that everyone can enjoy.

A Letter to My Future Son

Dear Leonard,

Because you were born with male sex organs, Dad and I have used male pronouns since we adopted you with the full understanding that you may very well articulate a different gender identity when you are able.  That being said, since there is a 97 to 99% chance that you do, in fact, identify as a boy I would like to talk with you about masculinity.

No doubt you will get a lot of mixed messages about what it means to "be a man".  While Dad and I have done our best to raise you in a gender neutral household where we split the housework and financial burdens as equals and are not afraid to speak our minds or show our emotions, you have probably noticed this is not "normal".  While you might enjoy playing house with your sister or helping Dad vacuum or helping me bake cookies, most of the other boys you've seen on TV are probably playing "war" or shooting guns or wrestling and rough-housing, you probably like playing those games too.  While your father and I are pacifists, we understand that all of those things can be a lot of fun.  We'll probably even play video games with you when you're older where the primary focus is to shoot things.  We all play games like that because they're fun, but it's important to know that being manly has nothing to do with hurting people.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Queer Booklist: Part 1

 For those who saw my speech yesterday about "Raising Gender-Conscious Freethinkers", these were my suggested readings from the speech.  The next few lists will be posted throughout the week.  Enjoy!

Books for Younger Children

My Princess Boy by Charyl Kilodavis
This is a cute book written by the mother of a child who identifies as a boy but still loves to wear dresses and pretty things.  And really, what's not to love?

Be Who You Are by Jennifer Carr
This is one of the best books out there to explain what it's like to be transsexual to children.  It's from a little trans girl's point of view, and addresses the coming out process and some of the complications placed by society, but ultimately has a happy ending. 

10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert
The artwork in this book is absolutely gorgeous!  It's about a child who dreams about creating and wearing beautiful dresses, but is told upon waking that "Dresses are for girls."  The gender of the child is a little more ambiguous, which is great because most gender-variant children don't really "decide" until they're older.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Queer Booklist: Coming Soon

For those of you who are going to the North Texas Secular Convention tomorrow and want to be able to find all the awesome information I show you, it will posted up here by the end of the weekend.  And for those of you who can't go to NTSC tomorrow, consider it a nice treat of awesome kids books and parenting books for all things queer and feminist.  See you tomorrow!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Transgender Unicorn

I was hoping to talk about Humanism today because I realized I had not really had a secular post in a while.  I hate to focus too much on one topic and I swear I will write about Humanism soon, but today I'm just so upset about the unit on "Transgender" in my women's studies class that I must get these thoughts out of my head in order to enjoy the rest of my day.

Almost inevitably, in one class each semester, there comes a time when I have to read about myself in a textbook.  Last semester it was my Abnormal Psychology class when it discussed Gender Identity Disorder.  The semester before that it was the "Third Sex and Hinduism" chapter in my Comparative Religion class.  Before that it was my Human Sexuality class.  And every damn time it makes me extremely uncomfortable because the position of the textbooks are always cis authors writing about trans people for the benefit of cis readers.  Not once does it ever seem like the publishers, editors, or writers acknowledge that trans people might be reading their text book.  Never is it suggested to the reader than trans people may be in their classroom.  Never is it suggested that the reader has more than likely interacted with multiple trans people and never even realised it.  The discussion always hovers around genitals and medical issues rather than the implications of a society that highly values cisgender identities over transgender ones.  It is almost always "othering" by constantly assuming that the reader is cis and has absolutely no idea what it must be like to be uncomfortable with their gender or physical sex.  The text almost always uses problematic language in some form or another, whether it uses outdated terminology, misgendering pronouns and names, reveals or prefers birth names over prefered, or overly simplistic definitions.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

North Texas Secular Convention!

Come see me next weekend at the North Texas Secular Convention.  I'll be giving my talk on "Raising Gender-Conscious Freethinkers".  I don't want to give too much away, but one of the discussions will be about queering mainstream media so it teaches lessons we want to teach, rather than heteronormativity.  Yes, this means making Disney movies enjoyable again.