a little ramble about the NaNowriMo meeting: if anyone at the meeting is reading this, remind me next time to talk to you in person about this…
I hate to admit it, but I want to meet people. I go out of my way to meet people.
Yesterday I was half an hour early for the NaNoWriMo meet-up that took place in a cozy cafe in a side street. I looked around and saw a woman eagerly typing on her laptop, with papers strewn everywhere, and I thought that must be what a true writer looked like. I wondered if the people I would meet would also be like that, obsessively writing and only looking up from their oeuvres to take a sip of their drink or perhaps eat a slice of cake.
I tried to introduce myself, to make sure they at least knew, even just for a split second, that I did not identify as female, and therefore I called myself Dominic, and thereby implying that female pronouns are also black-listed.
It’s quite funny that almost all of ‘us’ write fantasy novels, stories about something extraordinary, or rather out of the ordinary, as they include fable animals or magic, fairy beings and such like. I am also keen on writing a fantasy story, because it opens up different possibilities if I stop being creative. It’s easier to make things up in a fictional world. To me, reality requires too much research.
But what I also find striking is that although many write fiction or fantasy, when confronted with fantastical ideas or transhuman thought, they are not interested. I mentioned that I didn’t have breasts anymore as part of my plea to not call me any female things, and one of them blurted out (it seemed almost involuntary, the response was so fast and sharp): “I’m not interested”.
I wonder why are you sitting here for, then, if it’s not about the people you meet? You are immersed in your writing and that’s great, but I personally wouldn’t come here just cause I can write with other people next to me. I can do that at home, and much more succesfully at that.
I am lucky though, though the people all left without saying a word while I was still in the bathroom, a man with a top hat drove me home cause it’s on the way to where he lives. It was refreshing to hear someone talk as fast as he does and be able to talk about things others might find disturbing..aka: ideas…but one thing did bother me. It only occured to me to be upset when I was already safely home and able to re-create the whole conversation. He basically related to me how he knew a thing or two about bullying and being deprived of his freedom and being different, because he wore hats and these are not fashionable. So he sometimes gets strange looks. ! . Are you comparing having someone throw your hat in a tree when you were a kid to being transgender, excluded from society, deprived of your identity, doubted, poked, prodeed, raped, villified, accused, killed? (I obviously haven’t been killed yet, so who am I to talk).
Do you think the type of erasure is so similar, middle aged white cis male? (You probably don’t even get the fact that I am trying to stereotype you, too).
Then he talked about one of his most beloved movies, wherein a filmmaker shows stereotypes in a cicrus, people with lost limbs and strange faces, and generally different conditions and talked about this in the context of transsexuality, comparing how similar people reacted to disabled people and to trans people, practically creating a link with disability and being trans.
We all have our priviledges and are all on a quest either to gain them or more of them, or not to loose them. I still have many priviledges so I probably shouldn’t be too upset at people’s offhand remarks, but that’s exactly the point. That people speak their minds so freely abut topics they know shit about, and that they feel content and, moreover, entitled to show their emotions and pry into people’s lives and make judgements or dismiss someone straight out because, well, who represents the norm….? Right, not I.
This guy is divorced and he said his family couldn’t understand how his divorce happened so quickly and without problems, and how the divorced parties could still communicate normally with eachother. He even got criticised for his exemplary behaviour, and why, because it’s unusual. It’s normal to fight, and therefore you’d rather support such behaviour than laud a person for acting differently.
He of all people should understand the fact that we try to shape our world into what we want to see and what we want it to be like. Perhaps he should take another look at me and people who have a gender disconnect and really see what it means to live like that. Perhaps he should take his hat off.