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Oppose Trump [14 Nov 2016|06:55pm]
I just wrote to my governor, senators and representative, state senator and representative, county executive, county district supervisor, mayor, and alderperson asking them to publicly oppose Trump and his forming administration and to take whatever actions they can to block and stop his policies when the time comes.

If you would like to do the same, please feel free to copy and paste all or parts of the letter I composed.

(Keep in mind that calling representatives is more effective than writing or signing petitions, so please do also call your reps on specific issues as often as you are able to)

My letter:

Hello, my name is [my name] and I am one of your constituents. I am writing to all of my representatives from the local to the federal levels today to ask you to take a strong stand against president-elect Trump, vice president-elect Pence, and their forming administration.

While he will become our next freely elected president, Trump did not win the popular vote, and even his electoral win was not large enough that it can be considered a mandate. Therefore I am asking you, as my representative, to take a stand against his many dangerous policies.

We have elected a president who has admitted to sexual assault, who has espoused racism, islamophobia, xenophobia, abelism, misogyny, and other hateful things. He has attacked the free press and stated his disdain for the First Amendment of the Constitution of this nation. His plans for this country include many unconstitutional things, as well as policies that will hurt the most marginalized of our citizens – people of color, immigrants, Muslims, Jews, the sick and disabled, the elderly, the lgbt communities, and of course women. His proposed policies will wreak havoc on the environment, the economy, and relations with other countries for decades to come.

Furthermore, members of Trump’s transition team, and therefore assumed cabinet staff once he takes office, include people like white nationalist Steve Bannon, and climate denier Ben Carson. Trump has also promised to stack the Supreme Court with pro-life judges who will repeal Roe v. Wade.

So what am I, your constituent asking of you? I am asking that you 1) take a strong, vocal, and public stand against president-elect Trump, his proposed policies, and his choice of staff members. Please do not normalize the fact that he is hiring blatant racists, anti-semites, and homophobes as his top advisers. Speak out publicly and often so that your constituents know that you find these things to be unacceptable. I am also asking that you 2) wherever and whenever possible fight against the hateful, discriminatory, and damaging policies that Trump and his team are proposing. Now more than ever we need not only your voice, but your action to block and stop these proposed policies from becoming law.

As your constituent, I am asking you to take a stand for all of your constituents who are: disabled and/or sick, female, Black, Latinx, Asian, Muslim, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Native, immigrants, Jewish, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, trans, non-binary, intersex, elderly, poor, sexual assault victims, and domestic violence victims. I am asking you to take a stand for the education and well-being of future generations, for the environment, and for the citizens of other countries who Trump has so little regard for. I am asking you to take a stand to protect the free press and freedom of speech in this country.

As your constituent, I am asking you to speak up – loudly, publicly, and frequently. As your constituent, I am asking you to fight in every way possible against the policies of this dangerous man. Sadly, the voters in this country have done our job poorly. We now need our representatives in the government on all levels to stand up and do their jobs of protecting us more fiercely than ever before.

Thank you,

[my name/full address/email address]
2 comments|post comment

welcome to trump's america [09 Nov 2016|01:42pm]
I'm terrified. I'm enraged. I'm in mourning.

I can't stop crying.

I keep reminding myself that this was not a clear mandate. And while over half of this country is okay with a sex predator bigot for a president, it's only slightly half of the country. There is not a mandate for hate in this country. Not yet anyway.

I plan to keep living - for my loved ones, yes - but primarily out of spite. I won't let them make me go gentle into the night. I will fight for every scrap of life, joy, and meaning I can get.

If you voted for Trump - fuck you. Tell me so I can unfriend you, and delete you from my mental list of friends because you clearly don't care if I, or people like me, live or die.

To the rest of you (I believe most of it not all of you) - love, solidarity, and support. As a disabled queer woman I am terrified for myself. As a white non-immigrant non-muslim person, I am terrified for everyone else. I'll have your backs. I love you all.
14 comments|post comment

Fall TV Stuff [19 Sep 2016|07:10pm]
I apologize for not being around much but I thought some of you might like one of my old fashioned TV posts. It won't be as detailed as usual because I just don't have the energy for that, but here's a look at some of the new shows I'm thinking of checking out coming soon.

new fall showsCollapse )

In conclusion - lots of horror and thrillers this season. I guess folks wanna be scared. I do find it interesting how the horror genre is blowing up in television recently.
3 comments|post comment

[27 Jul 2016|06:44pm]
me keboard is messed up.

the letter b4 z doesn't work, so i just spell a lot of things funnie now (or sometimes i use the spellchecker to fix it and put it in 4 me). r is also gone, but i copie and paste it in, which makes tieping kind of annoying. also some of the number kes don't work and v is starting to go.

i am waiting until after big brother is over to get it fixed tho because i chat a lot with fellow fans and need the laptop to watch the livefeeds, etc. so don't want the laptop to be in the shop during bb season. which i know is kind of idiotic but whatever - that's me.

me life is just bb, other tv shows, sims, chilling with the cats, and resting a lot.
31 comments|post comment

[01 Jul 2016|06:44pm]
I don't have anything to say but I wanted to pop in to say hi!
3 comments|post comment

ten quick things [15 Jun 2016|08:16pm]
So let's see, what's going on with me....

1. Relieved to have finished my WisCon write-ups. I enjoy doing them and am glad they are useful to others, but it took a lot of energy this year so I'm glad I got them all done.

2. I'm transitioning from my post-con obsession into my Big Brother obsession. Cast interviews are up, so I'm learning about the new cast and gradually going back into my usual fan haunts to greet old friends and see what's what for the new season. The show comes back next week so I'll be deep into it soon.

Three. My keyboard isn't totally functioning and you can see which number isn't working properly there. Also the y and r keys are so-so. I find myself sometimes copy and pasting them as I type. Ugh.

4. Had my annual lunch with my dad last week. It went better than usual, but still kinda relieved to have it out of the way for the year again.

5. Same day, my step-sis-in-law gave birth. I'm excited and not sure when I'll get a chance to meet the new fella, but looking forward to it.

6. My brother has rejoined facebook and is posting a lot about my nieces, which is a huge joy. I miss seeing them in person more often tho.

7. Orlando makes me hurt. I've written more on tumblr, twitter, and FB about it, so we'll just leave it at that for now here.

8. Physically am pretty beat down, but mentally/emotionally I'm doing good. It's a balance, I guess.

9. Still missing my Cleo girl on a daily basis. But loving the stuffings out of our Shisky and Sheldon buddies.

10. IDK. How are you all?
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WisCon 40 Panel Write-up Link Post [05 Jun 2016|05:55pm]
And now, an end to the spam as I collect links to all of my panel write-ups and other posts all in one place for further linkage.

Feel free to link to this, or any of the posts individually. And feel free to comment here or wherever you found the link from initially - whichever you prefer. I hope this was helpful for folks.

And please point me to other panel write-ups - either of these panels or of ones I didn't personally get to.

my pre-con about me post

my post-con how I do social media post

General Post-con Wrap-up post

Panel Notes:

When Villains Are Our Only Representation (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the baddie)

Body Positivity and the Disabled Body

Critiquing Bootstraps, Positive Thinking, Diet and Exercise

Female Friendship in Fiction


Intersectionality and Other Words Taken from Women of Color


Bi Invisibility

Polyamory Won't Fix Your Love Triangle

There Is No Aging Out Of Fandom

Is Rey a Mary Sue?

Super Girls and Women in TV and Movies


Women Loving Women on TV
7 comments|post comment

WisCon 40 Panel Write-up Women Loving Women on TV [05 Jun 2016|03:12pm]
Panel note disclaimers and clarifications:

1. I only use the names of panelists and moderators as listed in the program book (or as corrected/specified by panelists themselves before the panel). If you want your name removed, changed, or linked to any online identity (or added if I forgot you) please let me know.

2. I do not name or link to audience members, even if I personally know who they are, because I want to err on the side of safety. Please let me know if you need to be credited for a comment, or wish to be linked to as the person who said the thing.

3. My notes are always incomplete. I take them for myself primarily and love to share what I got, but I absolutely miss stuff and get stuff wrong. Corrections and additions are welcome!

4. If I mess up a pronoun or other important info, please lmk! I will fix it immediately.

5. I add my own thoughts and feels in [] - if you see something in my panel report in [] that means it was not part of the panel, just stuff that happened inside my own head during the panel.

Special disclaimer for panels I was on:

1. I don't take much in the way of notes while I am paneling and I have a crap memory, so these notes will be even less complete than normal.

2. I always appreciate feedback, critique, even criticisms of how you think that panel went and specifically how I can better panel and/or mod in the future - you can do it publicly or privately, whatever you are most comfortable with. I thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!


Women Loving Women on TV

The 100, Arrow, Black Sails, Blindspot, Defiance, Empire, The Fosters, Jessica Jones, How to Get Away with Murder, Lost Girl, Orphan Black, Person of Interest, Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, and The Walking Dead are just a few shows that have depicted major female characters as lesbian, bisexual, or otherwise romantically and/or sexually interested in other women in the past year. This trend is exciting, so let's dig in to how these shows are succeeding or failing at representation and what we want to see more of in the coming seasons.
M: E. Cabell Hankinson Gathman. Elizabeth Guzik, Renee I, Rosemary / Sophy(gurl)
#womenlovingwomen for twitter

notes under cutCollapse )
3 comments|post comment

WisCon 40 Panel Write-up Supergirls and Women in TV and Movies [05 Jun 2016|01:53pm]
Panel note disclaimers and clarifications:

1. I only use the names of panelists and moderators as listed in the program book (or as corrected/specified by panelists themselves before the panel). If you want your name removed, changed, or linked to any online identity (or added if I forgot you) please let me know.

2. I do not name or link to audience members, even if I personally know who they are, because I want to err on the side of safety. Please let me know if you need to be credited for a comment, or wish to be linked to as the person who said the thing.

3. My notes are always incomplete. I take them for myself primarily and love to share what I got, but I absolutely miss stuff and get stuff wrong. Corrections and additions are welcome!

4. If I mess up a pronoun or other important info, please lmk! I will fix it immediately.

5. I add my own thoughts and feels in [] - if you see something in my panel report in [] that means it was not part of the panel, just stuff that happened inside my own head during the panel.


Super Girls and Women in TV and Movies

Supergirl. Jessica Jones. And Peggy! The 2015-2016 season brought us three explicitly feminist, female-led superhero shows. They join the women of Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Gotham, Constantine, Daredevil, and Agents of SHIELD. Both Marvel and DC have caught flack for the lack of female protagonists in their films (will we EVER get a Black Widow movie?), but Agents of Shield has given us several women to root for on the small screen, and we'll be getting a Wonder Woman movie soon, so it's not all bad. How are these shows and film series doing with our beloved female heroes? How do they fit in with or challenge the genre? How do they engage with feminist discourse? How do they succeed or fail on topics like race and sexuality? What are our hopes for the future?
M: Joanna Lowenstein. Kris Mayer, Jessica Plummer, David J. Schwartz, Jennifer Margret Smith
#tvsuperwomen for twitter

notes under cutCollapse )
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WisCon 40 Panel Write-up Is Rey a Mary Sue [04 Jun 2016|03:45pm]
Panel note disclaimers and clarifications:

1. I only use the names of panelists and moderators as listed in the program book (or as corrected/specified by panelists themselves before the panel). If you want your name removed, changed, or linked to any online identity (or added if I forgot you) please let me know.

2. I do not name or link to audience members, even if I personally know who they are, because I want to err on the side of safety. Please let me know if you need to be credited for a comment, or wish to be linked to as the person who said the thing.

3. My notes are always incomplete. I take them for myself primarily and love to share what I got, but I absolutely miss stuff and get stuff wrong. Corrections and additions are welcome!

4. If I mess up a pronoun or other important info, please lmk! I will fix it immediately.

5. I add my own thoughts and feels in [] - if you see something in my panel report in [] that means it was not part of the panel, just stuff that happened inside my own head during the panel.

Is Rey a Mary Sue?
Yes, and it's about damn time. Let it all out. This panel is for catharsis and joy.
M: Anika Dane. Jess Adams, Becky Allen, Renee I, Suzanne Walker

notes under the cutCollapse )
2 comments|post comment

WisCon 40 Panel Write-up There is No Aging Out of Fandom [04 Jun 2016|02:25pm]
Panel note disclaimers and clarifications:

1. I only use the names of panelists and moderators as listed in the program book (or as corrected/specified by panelists themselves before the panel). If you want your name removed, changed, or linked to any online identity (or added if I forgot you) please let me know.

2. I do not name or link to audience members, even if I personally know who they are, because I want to err on the side of safety. Please let me know if you need to be credited for a comment, or wish to be linked to as the person who said the thing.

3. My notes are always incomplete. I take them for myself primarily and love to share what I got, but I absolutely miss stuff and get stuff wrong. Corrections and additions are welcome!

4. If I mess up a pronoun or other important info, please lmk! I will fix it immediately.

5. I add my own thoughts and feels in [] - if you see something in my panel report in [] that means it was not part of the panel, just stuff that happened inside my own head during the panel.

Special disclaimer for panels I was on:

1. I don't take much in the way of notes while I am paneling and I have a crap memory, so these notes will be even less complete than normal.

2. I always appreciate feedback, critique, even criticisms of how you think that panel went and specifically how I can better panel and/or mod in the future - you can do it publicly or privately, whatever you are most comfortable with. I thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!

There Is No Aging Out Of Fandom
Too often we'll encounter the phrase you're so old! Or You're too old to be a fangirl. Fuck that noise, we're not going anywhere because we're not wee kids just dipping our toes into our chosen fandoms. Let's discuss this ridiculous idea like the mature adults we are, along with other aspects of our experience as aging SF writers and fans, and/or such topics as how SF/F has handled aging.
M: Tanya D.. Sigrid Ellis, JP Fairfield, Inda Lauryn, Rosemary / Sophy(gurl)
#agingandfandom for twitter

notes under the cutCollapse )
4 comments|post comment

WisCon 40 Panel Write-up Polyamory Won't Fix Love Triangle [03 Jun 2016|10:04pm]
Panel note disclaimers and clarifications:

1. I only use the names of panelists and moderators as listed in the program book (or as corrected/specified by panelists themselves before the panel). If you want your name removed, changed, or linked to any online identity (or added if I forgot you) please let me know.

2. I do not name or link to audience members, even if I personally know who they are, because I want to err on the side of safety. Please let me know if you need to be credited for a comment, or wish to be linked to as the person who said the thing.

3. My notes are always incomplete. I take them for myself primarily and love to share what I got, but I absolutely miss stuff and get stuff wrong. Corrections and additions are welcome!

4. If I mess up a pronoun or other important info, please lmk! I will fix it immediately.

5. I add my own thoughts and feels in [] - if you see something in my panel report in [] that means it was not part of the panel, just stuff that happened inside my own head during the panel.


Polyamory Won't Fix Your Love Triangle

We all get sick of love triangles in our fiction. We often find ourselves wishing the characters in these triangles, and other assorted shapes, would just go poly and love each other freely. But we also know that poly just doesn't always work like that in reality. Not everyone has the propensity towards polyamory. Sometimes the genders and orientations just don't match up. And very often, some of the characters who are in love with the same person couldn't stand to be in the same room together even before they fell for the same person—much less attempt an honest and intimate relationship together. Are there good dramatic (or comedic) reasons to employ love triangles? What other ways could we attempt to fix them? Do they need fixing? How would making them poly change them?
M: Debbie Notkin. W. L. Bolm, Ariel Franklin-Hudson, David D. Levine
#nomorelovetriangles for twitter

notes under the cutCollapse )
2 comments|post comment

WisCon 40 Panel Write-up Bi Invisibility [03 Jun 2016|08:31pm]
Panel note disclaimers and clarifications:

1. I only use the names of panelists and moderators as listed in the program book (or as corrected/specified by panelists themselves before the panel). If you want your name removed, changed, or linked to any online identity (or added if I forgot you) please let me know.

2. I do not name or link to audience members, even if I personally know who they are, because I want to err on the side of safety. Please let me know if you need to be credited for a comment, or wish to be linked to as the person who said the thing.

3. My notes are always incomplete. I take them for myself primarily and love to share what I got, but I absolutely miss stuff and get stuff wrong. Corrections and additions are welcome!

4. If I mess up a pronoun or other important info, please lmk! I will fix it immediately.

5. I add my own thoughts and feels in [] - if you see something in my panel report in [] that means it was not part of the panel, just stuff that happened inside my own head during the panel.


Bi Invisibility

People who love and are attracted to people of more than one gender often get left out of the LGBTQ discussion. Our letter is in there, but not our views. "Bi people" often includes those who are gender fluid, non-binary, or pangender as well. Assumptions are made about us based on our gender presentation and current partner. Let's talk about myths, lies, and the truths about bisexuality.
M: Lou Hoffman. Angela Blackwell, W. L. Bolm, Elise Matthesen, also Tanya D. was originally on the panel - had taken herself off due to overbooking herself - but put herself back on when she realized that otherwise the panel was all white. (Thank you Tanya!!)
#biinvisibility for twitter

notes under the cutCollapse )
8 comments|post comment

Wiscon 40 Panel Write-up Intersectionality and Other Words Taken From Women of Color [03 Jun 2016|06:16pm]
Panel note disclaimers and clarifications:

1. I only use the names of panelists and moderators as listed in the program book (or as corrected/specified by panelists themselves before the panel). If you want your name removed, changed, or linked to any online identity (or added if I forgot you) please let me know.

2. I do not name or link to audience members, even if I personally know who they are, because I want to err on the side of safety. Please let me know if you need to be credited for a comment, or wish to be linked to as the person who said the thing.

3. My notes are always incomplete. I take them for myself primarily and love to share what I got, but I absolutely miss stuff and get stuff wrong. Corrections and additions are welcome!

4. If I mess up a pronoun or other important info, please lmk! I will fix it immediately.

5. I add my own thoughts and feels in [] - if you see something in my panel report in [] that means it was not part of the panel, just stuff that happened inside my own head during the panel.

Intersectionality and Other Words Taken from Women of Color
In conversations about intersectional feminism, we often forget that the term itself was created by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, a black woman, for the express purpose of addressing the ways in which sexism and racism work together — specifically against black women in the US legal system. Mainstream (largely white) feminism has a history of minimizing or erasing the contributions of women of color, particularly black women. Flavia Dzodan, Audre Lorde, and Alice Walker are just a few examples. Intersectionality has become an important part of WisCon's feminist identity, but how can we claim to be intersectional if we don't make a point to continually lift up the voices of the feminists and womanists of color who have contributed, and continue to contribute, so much to the movement?
M: Chesya Burke. Mikki Kendall, Amanda Emily Smith - also added Jackie Gross to the panel
#wordstakenfromwoc for twitter

more under the cut tagCollapse )
1 comment|post comment

WisCon 40 Panel Write-up Female Friendship in Fiction [02 Jun 2016|10:40pm]

Panel note disclaimers and clarifications:


1. I only use the names of panelists and moderators as listed in the program book (or as corrected/specified by panelists themselves before the panel). If you want your name removed, changed, or linked to any online identity (or added if I forgot you) please let me know.

2. I do not name or link to audience members, even if I personally know who they are, because I want to err on the side of safety. Please let me know if you need to be credited for a comment, or wish to be linked to as the person who said the thing.

3. My notes are always incomplete. I take them for myself primarily and love to share what I got, but I absolutely miss stuff and get stuff wrong. Corrections and additions are welcome!

4. If I mess up a pronoun or other important info, please lmk! I will fix it immediately.

5. I add my own thoughts and feels in [] - if you see something in my panel report in [] that means it was not part of the panel, just stuff that happened inside my own head during the panel.

Female Friendship in Fiction
How often do we see women being friends with other women in our fiction? How often do we see it depicted realistically with all of its glories and pitfalls? How often does it pass the Bechdel test? Why are so many female-female relationships seen as frenemies instead of friendships? So many stories, even ones with strong female protagonists, focus more on female-male and male-male relationships than on female-female ones. Let's share some examples of books, movies, TV shows, and more that give us good examples of female friendship—and critique some of the ones that don't.
M: Becky Allen. Jess Adams, Nivair H. Gabriel, Naomi Kritzer, Effie Seiberg
#femalefriendshipfic for twitter

[Finally a panel I was not ON and therefore have some decent notes for! I'm bad at getting all the rec's down, so do check the twitter tag if you want more!]

Notes under the cutCollapse )
4 comments|post comment

WisCon 40 Panel Write-up Critiquing Bootstraps... [02 Jun 2016|08:51pm]

Panel note disclaimers and clarifications
:

1. I only use the names of panelists and moderators as listed in the program book (or as corrected/specified by panelists themselves before the panel). If you want your name removed, changed, or linked to any online identity (or added if I forgot you) please let me know.

2. I do not name or link to audience members, even if I personally know who they are, because I want to err on the side of safety. Please let me know if you need to be credited for a comment, or wish to be linked to as the person who said the thing.

3. My notes are always incomplete. I take them for myself primarily and love to share what I got, but I absolutely miss stuff and get stuff wrong. Corrections and additions are welcome!

4. If I mess up a pronoun or other important info, please lmk! I will fix it immediately.

5. I add my own thoughts and feels in [] - if you see something in my panel report in [] that means it was not part of the panel, just stuff that happened inside my own head during the panel.


Special disclaimer for panels I was on:


1. I don't take much in the way of notes while I am paneling and I have a crap memory, so these notes will be even less complete than normal.

2. I always appreciate feedback, critique, even criticisms of how you think that panel went and specifically how I can better panel and/or mod in the future - you can do it publicly or privately, whatever you are most comfortable with. I thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!


Critiquing Bootstraps, Positive Thinking, Diet and Exercise
We've all heard the messages: if you're poor, disabled, and/or fat you shouldn't be, you can fix it if you want, and so if you don't you're bad. Let's discuss the intersections of class, disability, and size — and perhaps deconstruct some of the myths surrounding them. (It's okay to be, you can't always change it, and you're not bad!)
M: Rosemary / Sophy(gurl). Gerri Balter, Kate Carey, Sarah Frost
#critiquingbootstraps for twitter

So, it was late, and I'd already done two panels, and there was a noisy Hamilton sing-a-long going on across the hall, and so this panel ended up being very loose and very audience participation heavy and just sort of a fun venting space for folks to discuss the intersections of class, disability, and size.

I DO want to make an apology, as moderator, that I failed at a thing. I failed to note other intersections - specifically race - and their further impacts and affects on these things. It hit me after the panel that I neglected to do that, and I'm sorry for the lack. I think there is specific value in talking about these three things together because they are treated so similarly and the connections that run through them are so interesting, but yea, even a comment about how race further impacts the discrimination faced by poor, disabled, and fat people would have furthered the conversation. I wish I'd done the thing.

That noted - I take even fewer notes when moderating than when paneling, but here goes a few general impressions at least:

- I started off the panel sort of summarizing the description as asking three questions - is it bad do be these things? is it possible to change out of these things? so then can we blame people for being these things?
-- I quickly added that I assumed we could all agree that sometimes it's bad but mostly just because of the way society treats us, people do sometimes move out of these things but that doesn't mean everyone can or that anyone has to, and obviously no we shouldn't be blaming people ugh.
--- So therefore the real questions are about how we can change society's treatment of us, what the difference between moving between these states and "fixing" or "curing" them is, and why people feel the need to moralize about them so much in the first place. I believe a robust discussion evolved from that.

- Sarah told a funny story at the start of the panel about a co-worker who yelled out "it's not worth it!" when she went for what the co-worker saw as an unhealthy snack choice in the break room. This came back to the discussion a few times as a handy example, which did culminate in a hilarious bit about "just being angry enough at the sugar" when we got talking about why people feel so free to comment on our bodies/life choices. The gist being that people are scared of catching the fat, or the chronic illness, or the poverty - so to convince themselves that they won't, they decide that their choices are better. So, if they can just manage not to make the same choices that WE do, they'll be fine. And since these states are seen as a moral pitfall - we should all want to get out of them - and therefore we should also want their advice. Hence, yelling at someone not to eat the sugar will help them to be a better person.

- Another great line was Kate's when discussing the phenomenon of folks taking poor and disabled people to task because they believe they are paying us in the form of taxes giving us benefits. Her response to this was: "why don't you go marshal the troops in Afghanistan then, since your taxes are paying for that too?"

- There was great discussion about the connections between class, disability and size - both as far as links being caused (it's hard to take care of your health when you have no money) and links not being caused (you cannot directly correlate size and health).

- Some good stuff about capitalism being the culprit for discrimination among all 3 groups.

- Lots and lots of cathartic griping about how difficult it is to navigate services for poor and disabled folk, as well as some sharing of helpful tips of how to do so.

- Lots of good cathartic venting about the different ways people perpetuate the myths of bootstrapping, and the equivalents of positive thinking for disabilities and diet and exercise for fatness. For instance - we're all pretty sick of being told to do yoga and eat kale. "Have you tried..." "Let me stop you - yes."

- I ended things asking for ideas how to change things for the better, because I love putting my panelists on the spot in the last 5 minutes by going "okaynowhowdowefixit?" muahahaha. I got, in return, some great stuff about being more understanding of one another and gently correcting loved ones when they say/do hurtful things and I feel like some more resources were thrown out there but I didn't manage to write them down so again - folks who were there - please feel free to add on to this!
2 comments|post comment

WisCon 40 Panel Write-up Body Positivity and the Disabled Body [02 Jun 2016|06:06pm]
Panel note disclaimers and clarifications:

1. I only use the names of panelists and moderators as listed in the program book (or as corrected/specified by panelists themselves before the panel). If you want your name removed, changed, or linked to any online identity (or added if I forgot you) please let me know.

2. I do not name or link to audience members, even if I personally know who they are, because I want to err on the side of safety. Please let me know if you need to be credited for a comment, or wish to be linked to as the person who said the thing.

3. My notes are always incomplete. I take them for myself primarily and love to share what I got, but I absolutely miss stuff and get stuff wrong. Corrections and additions are welcome!

4. If I mess up a pronoun or other important info, please lmk! I will fix it immediately.

5. I add my own thoughts and feels in [] - if you see something in my panel report in [] that means it was not part of the panel, just stuff that happened inside my own head during the panel.


Special disclaimer for panels I was on:

1. I don't take much in the way of notes while I am paneling and I have a crap memory, so these notes will be even less complete than normal.

2. I always appreciate feedback, critique, even criticisms of how you think that panel went and specifically how I can better panel and/or mod in the future - you can do it publicly or privately, whatever you are most comfortable with. I thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!

Body Positivity and the Disabled Body
Body acceptance and positivity movements contain some very worthy goals. However, living in a disabled body can make those goals more complex and confusing. Physical symptoms of pain and fatigue can make anyone feel negative about their body sometimes. Some conditions cause drastic and unwelcome changes to the body — making acceptance more difficult. And many disabilities require excessive focus on the bodily condition due to constant treatments, accommodations, and sensations. How do we, as disabled people, engage with body acceptance and positivity movements? What insights do we bring to the table? How can our voices in these movements create positive changes for everyone striving to accept and love their bodies?
M: Elizabeth Roy. Kate Carey, Claire Light, Rosemary / Sophy(gurl)
#bodypositivitydisability for twitter

- Our moderator Elizabeth had a kind of cool intro where she acknowledged having a conversation about disability in an abelist world and advised the audience that it's okay if they have to get up and leave, lay down on the floor, pace, or whatever makes them more comfortable. She also defined some terms and attributed this all to disability activist Lydia Brown. (if anyone took more specific notes - please share!)

- One thing we talked about was skin hunger, with Kate especially discussing how using her scooter seems to cause a physical barrier to touch - people are less likely to hug her, for example. This is a legit concern for people with lots of disabilities - we literally need physical touch. See studies about skin hunger.

- Johanna Hedva's Sick Woman Theory was brought up, especially in regards to intersections of disability and gender and race.

- Also brought up is the book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma with the note that it is "trigger city" because it delves into trauma and it's affects on the body.

- Some discussion about how body positivity campaigns often focus on how a body looks, when what disabled people need is often more positivity about how our bodies feel.

- I talked specifically about the feeling of failing at body positivity when I'm feeling negative about my body and it's symptoms and limitations.

- We got into ideas of curing vs. accepting our bodies as-is and how that's a different kind of positivity, but also how it can be difficult to do a lot of the self-care involved in body acceptance when disabled.

- Claire talked about the Western Cartesian ideas about the mind/body split and about how she finds it important to think of her body as part of herself, not something separate.
-- I countered that while, yes, that makes lots of sense, for me personally I find dissociating from my body when it's in pain to be helpful and that it helps me to take better care of my physical self if I separate it out because very often my physical and mental needs are at odds with one another. For example, coming to WisCon means not taking very good care of my body, but it's essential for my emotional and mental well being. [I thought about this later when taking my body to the hot tub in lieu of doing another panel - like "okay body I'm doing this for you, if you do this other thing for me" - the kind of thought processes that help me to live with my limitations]

- Elizabeth brought up the difference between that kind of dissociation and dissociation due to trauma, and I agreed that doing it purposefully because of pain vs. it happening to me because of PTSD triggers is a totally different kind of sensation.

- Claire had a lot of wonderful things to add about being disabled and a woman of color, specifically with being a woman of color who sometimes "passes" as white and with having invisible disabilities and how those identities can affect one another.

- Kate had some super interesting things to add from the perspective of someone who is dying.

- And, oh gosh, my memory is failing me but it was a great conversation that the audience added a bunch to as well, so I hope some folks will add to this thanks!!
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WisCon 40 Panel Write-up When Villains Are Our Only Representation [02 Jun 2016|02:20pm]
Panel note disclaimers and clarifications:

1. I only use the names of panelists and moderators as listed in the program book (or as corrected/specified by panelists themselves before the panel). If you want your name removed, changed, or linked to any online identity (or added if I forgot you) please let me know.

2. I do not name or link to audience members, even if I personally know who they are, because I want to err on the side of safety. Please let me know if you need to be credited for a comment, or wish to be linked to as the person who said the thing.

3. My notes are always incomplete. I take them for myself primarily and love to share what I got, but I absolutely miss stuff and get stuff wrong. Corrections and additions are welcome!

4. If I mess up a pronoun or other important info, please lmk! I will fix it immediately.

5. I add my own thoughts and feels in [] - if you see something in my panel report in [] that means it was not part of the panel, just stuff that happened inside my own head during the panel.


Special disclaimer for panels I was on:


1. I don't take much in the way of notes while I am paneling and I have a crap memory, so these notes will be even less complete than normal.

2. I always appreciate feedback, critique, even criticisms of how you think that panel went and specifically how I can better panel and/or mod in the future - you can do it publicly or privately, whatever you are most comfortable with. I thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!

When Villains Are Our Only Representation (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the baddie)
As marginalized peoples (poc, queer, trans, women, disabled, etc.), we learned at a young age that people like us in fiction were often the villains of the story. How did this affect and shape our idea of ourselves? Is it okay to appreciate the villain in a story? Can loving the Big Bad be a form of radical self love? Do we like it when a villain like Maleficent or Catwoman becomes the hero of her own story? What do we hope Peggy Carter does with Dottie Underwood? Is Dolores Umbridge more loathsome than Voldemort? Is Peridot a villain at all? And is anyone more badass than Azula?
M: Susan Ramirez. Caroline Pruett, Rosemary / Sophy(gurl)
#villainsasrepresentation on twitter

This panel benefited greatly by the additions of Alexandra Erin and Tanya D. who stepped up from the audience to make the panel more representative of the groups who often only get represented by villains. We the original panelists had hoped greatly that someone(s) from the audience would do this, so thank you thank you thank you to these two for doing it! (Alexandra's addition was especially poignant as she was wearing her Maleficent costume at the time)

I also want to note that this panel was (at least) 2 panels mushed together and I wrote up parts of the panel description myself in response to some conversations at last year's WisCon about the topic of villains as representation. As a queer disabled genderqueer smallfat cis white lady - I have lots of feels about some aspects of this and also recognize that I cannot possibly speak from experience about some other aspects of it. Also I just love villains. In general.

I apparently did not write down ANY notes from this panel, but here goes some overall stuff I can sort of remember that we talked about:

- the "othering" of villains, especially with visible cues, as a way to let audiences know to watch out for this character going back to the origins of visual storytelling
-- however, when the way to "other" a villain is by giving them a visible disability or disfigurement, making them fat, making them a marginalized race or ethnicity, coding them as queer or trans, etc. = leads to horrible stereotyping and perpetuation of discrimination against these people
--- not to mention how it feels to grow up seeing yourself primarily as a villain - what does it do to us to grow up relating to villains??

- discussions of how villains can certainly be fun to watch, but we aren't meant to emulate them or root for them to have a happy ending

- ways to have marginalized villains without it being awful include:
-- don't make the one black/queer/fat/etc. character in your story be the villain - if your story needs a marginalized villain, include more characters from the group that are NOT villains!
-- don't make the heroes in the story all straight white cishet abeled dudes either
-- don't give the villains who are gay the negatively stereotyped gay tropey attributes, etc. for poc/disabled...
-- have a wide variety of representation just generally speaking so that we're not always seeing ourselves in negative ways or as the Always Evil character

- I talked some about Hays Code (and someone else mentioned that similar existed for games, books, tv, etc.) and how that is STILL affecting storytelling today in regards to making the queer characters the villains. it was initially the only way to GET queer representation but now it's a trope that exists and is still used as shorthand.

- some discussion about sliding scales of villainy and how we're trained to see some types of villains as less or more bad than others
-- but how even then fandom will embrace a villain who is supposed to be seen as a Complete Monster type if he's an attractive white dude (examples: Grant Ward, Kilgrave)

- stuff about what makes us relate to villains including giving them a good backstory, having a connection to the hero in some way, seeing our own negative traits reflected back at us = having sympathy for them
-- especially in cases where the villain has been oppressed by society and is fighting back - even if that villain has gone too far with their revenge or is fighting the wrong people, we sympathize with them whether we are meant to or not.
-- sometimes this is not the case, though, such as the Straw Feminists in Veronica Mars - both their side and the side of the frat boys who turned out not to be the rapists but were perpetuating rape culture were seen as despicable by the narrative [I have FEELS about this]

- I have Faith circled a whole buncha times in my notes, so apparently we discussed her quite a bit and I was agreeing with what was said, but I can't remember atm - OH - yes - some of it was about how a woman having any kind of sexual agency villainzes her. this ALSO goes back to Hays Code stuff (women who have sex outside of marriage had to be punished in some way)!

- we talked about why Dolores Umbridge is hated so much more than Voldemort
-- discussion of women often being the ones enforcing patriarchy - the ones we have to interact with on a personal basis, so we have stronger feelings against them/can relate to going up against them vs. more nebulous anger at the ones in power
-- also some about how she, specifically, was punished in the narrative vs. male villains [can include Rita in this too]

- we talked about loving when the villain gets an origin story - sometimes that makes them more sympathetic (such as Maleficent where we see her side of the story and believe she was in the right) and sometimes it still positions them as the villain but we at least know WHY they did the things they did (such as Anakin/Vader)

- I think I snuck my love for Anakin in there somewhere, KNOW that I talked way too much about Spike, and Disney villains came up a lot - specifically Scar and Ursula.

- When talking about the phenomenon about fandom wanting to redeem Kilgrave/ship him with Jessica and the grossness of that, I am super legit grateful for the audience member who kinda defended it in the way of, like, people have personal reasons for shipping things sometimes too. Because, yes, Spike is hella problematic and his relationship with Buffy is hella problematic and I have been called a bad feminist for liking him/shipping them but sorryno. I acknowledge all of the grossness, but have Reasons for why his character and their relationship also speaks to me so YES. Sorry I sometimes jump on shipshaming - I do not mean to.

Both parts of this panel - about marginalized villain representation - and about just loving villains period - are things I could personally talk about/listen to people talk about for hours and hours. So I hope these panels keep popping up at future WisCon's - and also please let's talk about it online because I never want to stop talking about the importance of depictions of villains yaya!!!
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WisCon 40 [01 Jun 2016|04:45pm]
This was my 6th and favorite WisCon yet. I finally hit a good balance of taking care of my physical needs while allowing myself to do as much as possible. I had my local crew of close friends to decompress and touch base with, lots of other friends and acquaintances to say hi to all over the place, and met oodles of new awesome people. I was on the right amount of panels that all went well, and never left a panel I attended thinking "geeze, I really wish I'd gone to something else instead". I learned a lot, laughed a lot, and felt empowered a lot. I experienced almost no impostor syndrome which blew my mind. I was able to go into social spaces by myself and feel comfortable even if I didn't talk to anyone. I never felt especially stressed or traumatized or angsty. I just ... IDK, it was a great balance of things that just clicked well and made me happy.

In fact, when anyone asked me how I was doing my answer was "exhausted but happy" because I was.

Things started on Thursday as my pals and I got checked in to the hotel. I had decided this year not to do the outside-of-hotel stuff because of spoon allotment and that was the right choice, but I spent some time in the lobby meeting and greeting folks.

Shayla had her 40th bday celebration up on the 6th floor and I knew that she was likely to be late due to dinner plans and other things, so I made sure to be a presence up there in case folks stopped by and had an enjoyable time once people started showing up celebrating my awesome friend's existence on this planet. I left early-ish for important resting reasons, tho.

Friday started off with meeting my mom in the Starbucks in the lobby for some caffeine and catch-up time. I was so excited to finally be sharing this important part of my life with my mom, who taught me my feminism from infancy. We got her registered and she sat and chilled for awhile as I ran around the Gathering greeting ppl and then on to my back-to-back first 2 panels of the con: Villains as Representation and Body Positivity and Disability (I'm summarizing the titles, will come back for panel write-ups later). Mom had to sneak out towards the end of the second one, but still so awesome to have her there! :)

I "napped" for dinner (I'm not a napper, but it was kind of like the FOB - Flat on Back - times we used to have at camp where I just needed some quiet time and space to hang out on my bed and chill) and did not make any of the 9pm panels, but managed to drag myself to the panel I modded which was about the intersections of class, disability, and size. It was very loosely structured with lots of audience participation and lots of fun/cathartic.

I then did sleeps, because I wanted to get to morning panels the next day.

I did not make it to the 8:30am panel sadly, but did get to Female Friendships in Fiction which led to some fun hallway-con time after. I rushed to get some lunch - actually leaving the hotel but only to Michelangelo's across the way. They are a cash-only place and when I realized I was $1.50 short the guy was like "you guys are here and awesome every year, don't worry about it" which was amazing. So thanks to all the big tippers b4 me who made that possible!

I ate my lunch quickly and managed to finish just in time for the panel about Intersectionality and other words taken from WOC which was just so so so good - I learned a shitton. Then on to Bi Invisibility which was also awesome, Poly Won't Fix Your Love Triangle which went a hell of a lot better than I initially imagined it might, and then I had some much needed hot tub time and a rest.

Also got to share pizza and social time with an awesome group up in the trans/genderqueer space. So happy that place exists now!!

I usually miss the vid party because it's scheduled against other parties and interesting panels and stuff and it's one of those things I personally can't just jump in and out of because I need comfy seating, so this year I made sure to get there early and got a comfy chair in the back and it was so enjoyable. I got super sleepy and only made it thru the first half, but that meant I made it thru the premieres and the first of two sing-alongs, so that was ok. I got real emotional a lot and was glad we were sitting in the dark where my tears weren't visible. I also got really pumped up a few times where these vids were reminding that I still have some power despite all of my limitations and I needed that SO. BADLY.

Sunday I slept in missing both the 8:30 and 10am panels. But I got up in just enough time to caffeinate for my Aging and Fandom panel - which I spent mostly nodding emphatically at my fellow very smart panelists. Sorry I didn't have a ton of quality to add - they all just did it for me, mostly!

Off to Is Rey a Mary Sue and then Supergirls on TV and Movies which were both so emotional and inspiring and wonderful and I can't wait to write them up because WOW.

Ordered food from my fave local pizza place (Pizza di Roma) which does not deliver out to the far east side and happily enjoyed my food and rest time before making appearances at the Roborrific and By the Bi parties. I missed the 10pm panel I wanted to go to because I'd started coloring a page and couldn't stop half-way through because OCD. I did not stay very late to the parties because sleep needed to happen.

Monday, I got to and through my Women Loving Women on TV panel without stumbling over my words sleepily tooooo much, got packed up and checked out and reserved room for next year, thought seriously about sending my stuff home with Angie and staying around, but decided I needed to get home.

The cats were very happy to see me and are pleased to be back to our normal routines now, as am I.

Overall, loved all of the conversations I had, enjoyed the twitter-con that always happens simultaneously, got lots of hot tub time in which made my body much happier with the ways in which I was pushing it too hard, and am feeling very pleased and socially/mentally/emotionally/philosophically/spiritually/politically fed rn.

I totally missed seeing some ppl that I usually see each year - either because they didn't come this year or because we just didn't run into one another - but that was balanced by spending more time with some folks I'm newly getting to know better too. IDK. You just can't do EVERYTHING with EVERYONE in a matter of 5 days no matter how hard you try. But it was glorious all the same.

Next up: panel write-ups.
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[31 May 2016|02:34pm]
My annual post-WisCon how I use social media post so folks can find me in the various places and know how I use them can be found here. It's info for anyone, not just con folk!

I will be doing panel write-ups and con report stuff soon too. I'll start the posts here, make a master post with the links to them all, and then link that post all over. Just FYI.
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