20 June 2017

The Next Stage of the Journey

https://www.flickr.com/photos/55856449@N04/35136777245/
I've always liked roads. They represent the unknown space, the travel, the possibility, the what comes next. And I know a lot of people use the road with a tree, or a sun on the horizon, something that signifies a particular point that you're travelling too, but I prefer the road that you can't see what's ahead. Where maybe the path turns off and takes you on a detour past people you never thought you'd meet or interact with. Or maybe it just keeps going straight, but you won't' know til you get there. And that's the path that I'm travelling. It's time for my next journey.

Three years ago I moved to Vermont to attend the Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) and I'm done. I turned in my thesis and I'm just waiting to hear if I passed. During that time period I've made friends, lost friends, came close to ending my life, came out as trans and queer and I've started transitioning and I'm feeling better about myself than when I came. I've learned to improve my craft and I'm ready to throw stuff at the world and see what sticks. I no longer have a FT job here in VT (long story) and my lease is up at the end of July (amicable parting) and so now is a good time to try something new, a journey to the west coast. More specifically to Portland, Oregon. I'm not really sure why, but that's what my gut has been telling me for 4 years now. It was my backup plan if I didn't get into CCS and now it's become my plan.

What do I have planned out? Well....other than moving by the end of July that's where I need some help actually.

  1. I need a place to live for me and my two cats (the cats are non-negotiable as they are my care takers) I'm open to whatever, even if it's just a loft space or a borrowed room, etc.
  2. A job. I'm open to library world work, art world work, anything that let's me use my skill set and try new things. I work hard, learn fast, and kick butt in the process (where needed of course.)
  3. Money. This is the major one. I worked out what it would cost to move and it isn't cheap. It will be about $2,000 just to move stuff. Another $2,000 for first and last month's rent on a place (unless some kinda deal can be worked out.) And another $2,000 for various other expenses.
    1. I had money saved up (not a lot but some) but it went out the window when I left my FT job a couple months back and I've also been paying off some debt accumulated over the last three years.
    2. I plan on leaving a lot of stuff behind when I move, but even though I'm cutting down my book collection I'll still have a fair number of graphic novels and autographed books coming with me. Other furniture though I'll probably be leaving behind and picking up cheap stuff at the other end when I have money.
So all together about $6,000 is what I'm trying to scrounge together as quickly as possible. So if you have thoughts, ideas, can help, etc. let me know in the comments, twitter, etc.

03 December 2016

The fight we must

https://www.flickr.com/photos/71918853@N06/30745293660/
*warning I do not hold back on language in this post*

This is something that's been bugging me & I just saw an article that kinda summed things up. And it's about voting for &/or defending t-ump.

I did say a couple days after t-ump was elected "hey maybe he was saying that shit just to get elected. He's already started taking back some of the shit he was saying." But I was wrong. He's still doing the same shit and even worse shit than what he was saying. And I'm pissed at myself for blocking out all of the shit that he did up til that point and thinking "maybe he won't be as bad as we think he is. maybe we can work together"

And I think this is a big fucking problem. Maybe we weren't the ones that elected this bigot. Maybe we were. But I fear that we're going to forget all thing anger come January. And we can't. We can't let what he is become normal. Y'all he mocked a gold star family. He mocked a disabled reporter. He insulted John McCain and said he wasn't a hero for being a POW. He insulted women so many f'ing times that we lost count. He said it was normal for rich men to say they could grab women by the pussy and do what he wanted with them. He said that all Mexicans were rapists and murderers. I won't even get started on what he said about Muslims and immigrants to this country, because I fucking lost track!

And I started to normalize this ish as a trans woman. WTH is wrong with me for even beginning to think that this asshole might be better than we think? That's where a lot of my anger & desire to fight comes from lately. That I started to normalize this. And so many others I think have too.

And I get some of it. We don't really wanna fight. We're tired. We're seeing friend against friend. Family against family. And this is something that America hasn't seen in a long fucking time. And I think we don't really know how to deal with it and our method has been to go "ehhhh whatever. It'll be ok. I'd rather have peace." But we can't. Not now. Not this way.

This is the line that is drawn. There is no longer a middle ground people. You either stand and fight against t-ump and his hate-supporters. Or you allow yourself to become a part of them. Maybe you aren't saying the things they are, but you aren't condemning them either. You aren't stopping them. You've passively allowed yourself to become one of them because you said nothing.

This sounds harsh and I'm sure I'm going to lose people I care about over it. But this is reality. I'm not saying you have to go out and picket and protest to show that you don't support him. But give to those that do. Don't let his supporters yell and harass another person. Don't let them corner someone alone. I know. It's scary. But so are the times we face.

The line is drawn. Where do you stand?

13 November 2016

The way is dark take this spark

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Friends I don't need to tell you how dark this past week has been. You've seen it. You've experienced it. You've felt it. Instead I'd like to tell you a couple of stories. About me. It may seem like it rambles but...bear with me.

Growing up I used to day dream a lot. I'd let my mind wander any chance I got and I would dream. I'd dream big. I'd dream small. But I'd just keep dreaming. I'd dream about waking up and finding myself turned into a girl over night, which...obviously never came true. I'd dream about playing baseball or doing other things. But there were two reoccurring ones that I had.

When I was younger I used to watch the Care Bears. If you aren't familiar with them they were bears (and later other animals) that would go out into the world to fight darkness. They had a symbol on their stomachs that would give them items they needed, but would also let them combine their powers into the Care Bear stare which would defeat the villain through love. At least that's what I saw it as. I was a strange little kid growing up. Never really had many friends. And I'd see or hear things in the news and I'd worry about it. I'd worry about the people that were hurting. The hate in the world. And I decided that I could be a Care Bear also. And I would sit on the swings and I'd send my heart out into the world. I'd send it to people that I didn't know, to countries I'd never been, to whomever to spread love where it could. I lost count the number of times I did that. I lost count the number of times I wished I could end the hate. To make people happier.

The second day dream I'd have is when I got into my teen years. I'd gotten into reading and was reading whatever I could get my hands on. And I had read the Hardy Boys and the Lord of the Rings and I wanted to be a hero like them. But I couldn't imagine myself that way. But then I read a series called "The Dark is Rising" by Susan Cooper. It was a series where King Arthur had been real, where Merlin had stood by him, where the dark and light were forces in the world battling each other! And the main characters were young children, one of whom was the last of the old ones born. He was the last watcher. And that idea stuck into my head. I decided I was the last of the old ones reborn into the world. The last knight. But last had a different meaning to me.

I had grown up as the oldest child and always felt that it was my role to watch out for my siblings and later this extended to friends or people that I cared about. I had read somewhere that mama animals walk behind their children to protect them from things that might sneak up on them, but also to have better view of what was coming. So I started trying to be last in the line. To protect them. To stop what came around. I was the last line of defense. And that's what I became. Not that I was much of a deterrent being kinda scrawny ass kid, but I stood there none the less. And in my day dreams I would fight in the last big battle but I'd stay behind. I'd guard the door. I'd keep the way shut. So that others may escape. That they may live yet a while longer in peace.

This is me. The spark that I keep handing out to people? My heart. My love. My hope. My joy. Take it. Carry it with you into the dark places ahead and pass it on. Make it grow stronger. Make it grow brighter. Make it into a fire that will cover the world. And I'll stand at the back. Sword drawn cutting down the demons in the dark. But I am not alone.
Please take this *spark* to help light the way. If it goes out I've got more. I'm here. You're here. We'll keep going. We'll cry & we'll keep fighting. If you need something let me know.

23 July 2016

No more silence

I hate discussing politics. Really. If you're a good friend and I know where you stand on things, I don't mind discussions about things. But in general? I don't like the arguments I know that it will cause. I don't like the hate that gets hurled back and forth on some things. I don't like the pain & the hurt it causes. So I stay silent. But the cost for that has become greater than I can bear sometimes.

In recent years I outed myself as battling depression/anxiety and being on the Autism Spectrum because these things matter to me. But I've stayed silent about a lot else, because I told myself that I couldn't bear the cost. Cost of losing friends, cost of losing opportunities...the cost of just standing. But those were all things that I put aside when I outed myself for other things. Because they mattered.

In reality, I'm scared. Scared of losing things that honestly...maybe I don't need.

So the first thing I share. I wrote last year that I was genderqueer. Which is true, but not the whole truth. I read this piece recently about an author sharing that she's a transwoman in the closet. And I shared on Facebook that I relate to his piece a lot. Actually I said:
not that my parents were that way, but the wishes. the desires. yep that's me. & i've had the same types of interactions from women that the author does. that i couldn't understand something because I'm "male" & it's made me feel afraid to say anything somedays. i've been disowned because of what my outer appearance appears to be vs how i feel. & this is probably as close as I'll ever get to talking about it. bc I'm afraid. bc i fear the loss that may come. bc i fear the backlash. i get why things are the way they are but it doesn't change anything if we can't listen & understand each other. there is still good in this world. but it will be lost if we don't listen to each other. & i know its hard but its worth. it has to be.
So I was trying to say what I really feel like, but chickened out. But I can't do that anymore. Hell, its part of a comic I'm finishing and I'm still almost to scared to put it in there. But I can't. I won't. Not anymore.

I'm trans. I think I've wanted to be a girl since I was 8 years old. I've never felt comfortable in my body or how it looks or how it feels. I just..I don't. It sucks that there's no magic wand or magic pill that will change it. I don't know if I'll ever go through the transition process, because honestly genetics was not kind to me and my body will never match my head. But par for the course. I am who I am. And I've wanted to be a girl for a long time.

I shared this with a few people a couple of years ago and then stopped talking about it. In part fear. But also in part, because I had a huge falling out with the first person I shared this with. Not over this, well not directly, but other things, like some of what I shared above. And it hurt. A lot. I lost not only their friendship and a lot more in the process because of how I handled the loss, but a lot of other people as well. I still miss them. But I miss not being open and honest. And I'm tired of being scared.

To family & friends, yeah this is a shitty way to spread the news isn't it? And I'm sorry. But I...I don't know a better way. I've been silent and scared for so long, because I was afraid of losing you. I mean, seriously I'm tearing up writing this because I don't want to lose y'all. And trying to have the conversations for me in person or on the phone or even in email would have been so much worse and I would have chickened out. But...this is the truth of who I am. And I can't keep hiding it.

If you were someone that I shared this with a while ago, I'm sorry being silent on the truth, but thank you for not deserting me.

If you're one I lost because of the fallout, I'm sorry and I wish things could have been different.

But I'm done apologizing now. This is me. Hi.