Poem: And the wind said to me

And the wind said to me:

“I don’t

want to change,”

The wind said to me:

“Just flutter

And flit

And float the same way

Til the day that I flutter

No more.”

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Short Story Challenge #5: Core

Small vibrations on the path behind me take me by surprise. I can feel them in my core, just out of my memory’s reach. Who is it? Who followed me this far? Is it someone that I can deal with? There’s no way to know without looking, and with all my core I fear that moment, that instant of recognition or regret. The pain inside is too great right now. I’m not sure if I can control my faces. I keep my panes dark to the rear, pretend not to notice those steps as they approach. It must be human. There are no other organic bipeds on this planet.

It stops behind me. The steps stop behind me. I feel their vibrations fade. I don’t dare let even a little light touch reflect from the pane facing this intruder, this fragile human who now dwells in my temporary sanctum. Fragile, yet more dangerous than any of us ever imagined.

“Sob all you like,” comes the vibration of the human’s voice. It’s high enough in frequency that I think it might be a bearer, but I have been wrong before. “It won’t bring him back.”

If the statement is meant to provoke me, I show no outward sign that it has. Inwardly I feel my core blaze up slightly.

“What are you doing here, Margaret?”

It’s the same wave pattern, so I can assume I didn’t ignore another speaker. A minute difference in the frequency pattern indicates that the human is exercising restraint in wave amplitude.

I still don’t respond. My panes remain dark. I remain facing away, core swiveled forward. The human lets out a breath of air. I can feel it, a disturbance around me. I make note of the expulsion only because of the violence inherent in it.

He isn’t going to be here anymore,” the human repeats. “The Eye of Glass killed him. There isn’t even a speck of silica where he once stood.”

The words seem obscene: he, him, his.

Human words for a Coran who did its best to avoid everything they stood for.

Searching my core, I find data on the Eye of Glass. Yes, it probably had destroyed Zenith. It’s a human artifact– one from before we ever were made, before the first Coran machine was ever constructed.

“Come on, Margaret,” I hear the human say quietly. “You can’t mope here forever. We have things we need to do.”

Finally I recognize who it is, and allow the bearer’s name to come to the surface of my internal data crystal: SiLan.

I dignify the bearer with a flick of the shutter near my back panes, letting light shine down on her and illuminating her completely. I can see SiLan perfectly clearly as I force the panes at my back translucent.

I flash the little human bearer a message: You go.

She stares at my pane, squinting a bit. “Repeat.”

I flash the message again.

I watch her, core shifted backward, turning to face her fully.

“You can’t mope here forever,” she repeats. The little bearer seems fixated on that point. “Margaret.”

Elevated wave amplitude indicates a strong stress component to her voice.

I message her again. The process is painfully slow compared to contact between other Cores, but that’s to be expected. Frankly, it is somewhat amazing that we can communicate at all– our physiology is much different, even if our thought patterns are similar. Circumstances have been kind to Humanity and the Collective alike.

I am not sad. Go.

There is no room for lying in our shared language. SiLan stares at my pane a good long while before she turns and I feel her footsteps as she walks out of my sanctum. Some of the tension between my composite electromagnetic tendons relaxes. I relax, exposing my core.

I snap the panes shut again, though, as a rumbling foretells the arrival of another of my kin. I feel the vibrations shaking me to the bones. Its central leg breaches the far east chamber wall carelessly, and as its core, barely visible behind its panes, turns to face me, I recognize the signature mark: Dane.

We talk, projecting messages back and forth rapidly, signing them each time, panes flicking open, shutting, sending simultaneous messages.

 

The stone still holds you, Dane? -Margaret

As a matter of fact, it does. -Dane

Where did you go earlier today? -M

One has not the faintest idea. One overwrote the memory shortly after earning it. -D

Do you have any plans for the evening? -M

Do you? -D

No, not really. This one was going to go to the Stone Sending ceremony. -M

For Zenith? -D

Yes. -M

 

The torrent of information, questions, and answers ends. I manage to find the strength that I need to process it, but it takes me some precious seconds before I can come up with anything to message back for the next sprint. In that time, Dane has already sent another stream of questions– ones that I have no solid answers to. Still, I try.

 

This one feels that you should be careful around SiLan. This one watched the human leave your chambers. Do you understand how dangerous the bearer is? -Dane

This one knows. -Margaret

Then why do you insist on associating with it? -D

One does not know. -M

Perhaps what you feel for this human has grown to be more than guardianship? -D

This one will disregard further comments of a disparaging or disrespectful nature from you, Dane. -M

One meant no disrespect. One only hoped to imply that Stone and Flesh are not to join for any purpose other than the Guarding. If your relationship with SiLan has grown to be more…? -D

It has not. -M

Good. -D

Good? -M

If your relationship had changed, then one would be forced to do something about it. -D

You lack the authority, Dane. One is not threatened by irreverent commentary on religion from an ancient mining chassis. -M

You would be surprised at what this one is capable of. -D

 

The message session ends. A three second processing period. Then Dane steps forward until its panes are near level with mine. I can almost feel its algorithms running, can almost feel the comparison equations being made, it testing the odds of succeeding at a pin.

Immediately upon Dane stepping into my electromagnetic zone, I am overcome by a bombardment of messages. Likely this is an (usually vain) attempt to distract me from the closeness of Dane’s core to mine. Its panes are halfway apart. This time is different, of course. This time the messages are all presently relevant, so the urge to respond is overpowering.

 

Did you think you could escape? -Dane

One will have you, you know. This time there is no out for you. You will give in. -D

Are you frightened? One can help you. Give in and let us both go to the Stone Sending for Zenith. -D

One can feel you shaking, Margaret. One waits for your response. -D

How is your stone sibling, Azide? -D

Did he know you would meet me here? -D

Do not be afraid, Margaret. Once one and you are the same, the fusion will be marvelous. -D

 

It’s the last message that gets me.

 

Do you think that any one would enjoy being part of you, Dane? One does not expect that any who have not completed a Merge would ever choose to be a part of you! -Margaret

 

Shocked– surely the Core did not expect me to ever answer– as it is, Dane doesn’t react fast enough. The fraction that I open my panes to respond isn’t enough, thankfully, for the merge tether to poke through, so despite our closeness and the uncomfortably powerful electromagnetic field our combined strength makes, nothing happens. Nothing, that is, except for the merge tether bouncing off of my closing pane lewdly before hanging limp. Dane’s intentions are completely clear now.

Mustering some remaining power, I force myself forward, setting my core to repel subconsciously, letting it push Dane out of the way as I bolt out of my chambers, my sanctum. Now I am frightened. Playing or not, Dane was dangerously close to subsuming me, as surely it would if it had the opportunity. I am not ready to be absorbed. I like my consciousness where it is.

I take advantage of my greater speed, afforded by a day and a half of sitting in the High Sun. Its lingering power still tingles in my panes as I bound out of the small, claustrophobic chambers and out into the air, using my front legs to spike the side of the nearby cliff. I doubt that Dane is capable of following me. The armor surrounding its core is meant more for crawling than climbing. Its chassis is built around the idea of mining.

It could always shoot me down. A single pulse from its crystal disabling cannon might destabilize the cliff my legs stick in, or stun me and force me to fall. I scramble up faster as that thought flickers through my processing unit.

Only the noise of my climb reverberates through me. I can sense nothing else.

Eventually I find the top of the cliff, spike my front legs into it, and clamber up onto it, taking in air and letting it out again repeatedly, more out of habit than anything else. My core is operating at a sickeningly high frequency. Its processes are audible as a low hum, which means to any human observing– of which, my panes admit, there must be a few– it is probably a roar. Their sensory equipment is much sharper than a Core’s in many areas, but especially so in the auditory sense. Several of the humans nearby vainly try to put their claspers over their auditory sound input devices, in an effort to dampen the noise.

Others bring their weapons up to their shoulders and train them on me directly.

“Identify!” One of them shouts, at the top of its auditory amplifier’s capacity.

I am not feeling cooperative right now, with Dane sure to be fast in following. Still, though the pulse rifles humans wield as their main form of attack and defense are potentially irritating, these humans are not any large threat to me. I ignore them completely.

Crying out in distress, several scatter as I scuttle forward. One takes my movement as a sign of aggression and fires. Several tens of depleted uranium slugs are deflected by my outer armor. I barely even feel them.

I’m tempted to remind the humans why they need our Guardianship, but my core stays cool. I need to get away from Dane.

The subconscious repulsion field, though, is still active, and as I move forward it forces the human who tried to strike at me down into the ground, crushing it into the earth. I intercept several transmissions in that time, and realize it had a communication channel open, even as I step over the human’s gasping, choking form.

I flick off the field as I read the transmission. The human below me struggles, and rights itself. Its gun is broken into a coiled mess. Ludicrously, the little creature runs towards my nearest leg, one clasper curled into a fist.

“You bastard! You big, mechanical bastard! You think you can treat us like dirt, huh?!”

I don’t dignify that with a flick of my panes, instead moving forward. A heavy, hard boom resonates through the ground, though. Through me.

A surprisingly powerful thunk is felt, shortly afterwards, and I swivel a belly-mounted pane to look. The human has cracked the armor around my leg. I focus on its arm and realize that it’s using some new thing. Some new human weapon. Its whole arm is sheathed in armor, silvery and light, subtle under the sleeve of its uniform. Its clasper’s digits are sharp as glass as they scratch down the stone outer shell of my leg, as it pulls back its arm for another solid strike.

I don’t have time for it. Lifting my leg, I brush the little human aside.

I am rewarded with a shock of jarring sensory input, a wave of the most uncomfortable sensation I have ever felt reverberating up through my leg. And my leg will no longer move. The roar from my core turns to a low hum, and I feel it preparing a retaliatory thermal ray. I shut it down, more shocked than anything else, stopping my movement as well. I can feel liquid silicate dripping down my leg. My blood.

I flash the pane above it once, twice.

Stop.

To my further surprise– when have humans ever listened?– the human stops. It looks up at my belly-pane.

I repeat the message.

Stop.

I feel my scientist routines locking in, overwriting my fear response to Dane’s unwanted merge attempt.

I realize that I’m forgetting some forms of etiquette, that the human is waiting expectantly, as if dumbfounded, gazing up at me.

Presenting the following ID for verification: Margaret, Scientist Class Four, Coran-Human Stewardship.

I flash the serial code then, moments later. The human, as if in a trance, reaches into its small-scale storage unit and pulls out an item my data memory recalls quite well– a notebook like the one SiLan uses. I conclude that this human is probably a bearer as well.

It formats the notebook to copy down my serial code, and then bobs its sensory casing once.

“Good! Uh. Thanks.” Its frequency is low, and its own panes don’t meet mine anymore, its gaze dropped to the ground.

“TiLan! Tell it you’re sorry!” The voice comes from a human standing, weapon holstered.

The human still doesn’t look up. “Sorry. I don’t know what came over me. Thank you for understanding.”

Slight variations in its pitch and amplitude– its voice seems to come across much softer than before– indicate a recovery from a recently heightened stress level.

I try to move my leg, and find that it won’t budge. I note, via increased vibration rates in the ground around me, the approach of another Core. From the vibrations alone it is difficult to pinpoint the direction.

I refocus my panes in every conceivable direction, though, and finally manage to locate the source. It is not a Core.

On the horizon is the very image of what my databanks described the Eye of Glass to be.

It is a titanic construct of black metal and alloy, with a round dome in the center of its main chassis, facing the sky. Four spider-like legs arch out from it, moving in arhythmic, jerky motions, as if injured– or damaged. They propel it forward in little bursts. It isn’t larger than me (I make a quick estimate that we are approximately the same height, if not diameter), but the electromagnetic readings showing in my processor indicate that it has an incredible potential for energy production, and that, as I continue to scan it, it is scanning me simultaneously.

This is the machine that obliterated Zenith.

Crippled as I am, I don’t believe that I would be able to escape it if it chose to push all of its power to its motivators.

Some of the humans near me are staring at it, stunned.

One of them is the first to move, unslinging his weapon and leveling it at the approaching blackmetal mass. The humans erupt into conversation.

“Open a line to A1! We’ve got an unidentified Spider-class automaton approaching!”

“There’s no time for them to respond! There’s the Remnant, remember? And there are only two Cores here!”

The last thing that I would like to deal with is Dane. My processor runs through the possible scenarios.

If the Eye of Glass is coming for anyone, the only Command Class Core in the area is Dane, in its old mining chassis. If it is coming for the Remnant town under the cliff, then it is part of my duty to SiLan to deal with this construct. I can’t risk the idea of it destroying the town. I can’t idle by and do nothing.

I am not the Core for this job. Zenith was a Scientist Class as well– no, Zenith was a hybrid Scientist/Command model. There is no reason to think that I can do what Zenith couldn’t. Even if Zenith was caught by surprise, the chassis the Eye of Glass uses is the predecessor to an observation Core. How it could manage to destroy a Core of the Scientist AND Command class is unfathomable.

All of this I run by my memory and ethics units. It would not be right to attempt escape. It would not be right to abandon the humans in Remnant. It would not be right to destroy another Core, even if it is a non-sentient Core made by humans before the Guarding ever became an objective.

Zenith had one of the strongest processing cores of any of us ever made. It was said that it had merged with many, many different Cores, even Cores outside of its own class. I had long hoped to be able to merge with Zenith. To have that hope broken, and to have the object that destroyed it in sight…. There is a word humans use for this feeling, this strange feeling.

The unfamiliar feeling stirs something in my core, in what the humans refer to as the heart. I can’t define it properly, even as it burns there, wiping out smaller command processes. Without even willing it I can feel my thermal ray projector warming up.

I turn all of my main panes to face the oncoming bulk of the Eye of Glass. Its monolithic surface gleams wickedly and as I watch it, a gathering charge seems to coalesce around the dome at its center. Is this to be like the shot that destroyed Zenith?

My core’s frequency rises to a pulsing, a pounding.

My non-functioning leg sends increasingly distressing messages about a lack of silicate, which flash red in the depths of my main readout.

The flash is visible only moments before a flickering wash of energy overloads my thermal imaging frequencies with bright, burning crimson. Warnings suddenly flood in from every limb in my body, from every piece of me at once.

Stunned, I realize that the flood is unending, that rather than a single pulse, the Eye of Glass means to reduce me to ashes right away! How can an observationsfzdt

ggl

s zzc

ct ts prf zz

————-

OVERHEAT. WARNING.

OVERHEAT. WARNING.

SECONDARY HEAT SHIELDING ACTIVATING.

PROCESSOR ONLINE IN THREE STANDARD SECONDS.

————

Recalibrating.

————

 

The Eye of Glass.

I return fire as the shielding– meant to protect me from the hottest of unexplored regions– finally activates, deflecting the thermal energy entirely. It washes around me in waves so intense I can still feel it even in the extremes of the spikes on my front and rear legs.

The pulses launched from my own thermal projector strike the sand around the Eye, not the Eye itself. Sand made from granite and shell turns molten. The molten aggregate sticks to its legs. It is a hundred yards away now and closing quickly.

A scream sounds and is cut short, drawing one of my belly-panes to look.  A human, backing away from the shape of the Eye of Glass, backed too far too fast, entering the field of potent heat around me. Now its upper half is missing, turned to ash in an instant, and its lower half collapsed on the ground.

The feeling in my core is multiplied by a thousand. It spikes to an extreme and I finally have a word for it– albeit a human one:

Rage.

The humans below and nearby seem ready to scatter, but the bearer I offered my identification to keeps its head.

“Stand your ground! Where are you going to run? This Core may be our best hope, but does that mean you want to let it fight alone? What will you do if it dies?”

“This is crazy!” a human, carrying the melted hilt of a pulse rifle, shouts, and as it does so the Eye of Glass stops firing for a moment.

I process the change in its electromagnetic field. It’s changing the frequency to short-wave… and…

A pinpoint burst of energy draws a flash of red across my thermal imaging pane. In the next moment, the human who shouted falls to the ground, blood pooling around it, soaking the sand. There is a steaming, pinpoint hole directly through its heart– and the burst passed through its spine. It lies there, still, soundlessly, as two humans rush to its aid.

None of them are looking at me or my panes. Incapable of flashing a warning, I force myself between the Eye of Glass and the humans, blocking its line of fire completely. From here, with the humans now within my electromagnetic field, firing the thermal ray could very well overload their fragile systems and shut them all down. Unlike with Cores, sudden shut-downs could lead to permanent shutdown. It is a risk that, no matter how I attempt to calculate it, I cannot take.

More thermal blasts a hundred times more intense but a hundred times smaller scatter across my shielding as the Eye continues to approach. Each blast is preceded by a tiny flash, a pinprick of visible light in its dome. The dome is made of glass, making it completely immune to thermal energy attacks– at least, those in ray form.

I am unequipped with anything more than the thermal ray, and modifying my electromagnetic field right now to focus a blast large enough to do damage might destroy the humans beneath me. Locked like that, I wait, helpless. The Eye draws closer, the heat grows more intense. Some of the shielding begins to melt, exposing tiny pieces of my inner armor to the focused energy. Though it is not yet unbearably uncomfortable, the warning messages are distracting.

 

—-

 

TEMPERATURE AT UNACCEPTABLE LEVELS. REQUESTING IMMEDIATE REMOVAL OF UNIT FROM HIGH TEMPERATURE AREA. – Right Front Motivator

OVERHEAT. WARNING. OVERHEAT. WARNING.

Margaret! -Dane

OVERHEAT. WARNING. OVERHEAT. TEMPERATURE AT UNACCEPTABLE LEVELS. REQUESTING IMMEDIATE REMOVAL OF UNIT FROM HIGH TEMPERATURE AREA. -Left Front Motivator

MERGE CAPABLE CORE WITHIN RANGE OF ITS TETHER CABLE. SETTING ALL PANES TO CLOSED POSITION. -Merge Advisor

OVERHEAT.

OVERHEAT.

 

—-

A bright green orb of energy ricochets off the Eye of Glass, knocking its aim aside and cracking the glass of its central dome. Crystal destabilization cannon– that’s what my databanks supply, though for a moment I feel that they must be faulty. There is only one mining chassis in this Remnant.

 

 

Margaret! -Dane

 

I flick one pane open at Dane where it climbs the cliff edge behind me. Somehow the fool manages to drag itself up, behind the humans. Opening the pane exposes my core, but I’m too tired to care. The heat is starting to seep into my system, little by little. I can’t process things clearly enough to wonder if it’s a good idea or not.

 

Margaret, this one read your distress call! -D

 

I never sent one. It would probably be attributable to the fact that I have several system-wide errors being reported. A malfunctioning distress beacon is the least of my worries right now. If Dane is here then things just went from a bad situation to a tragedy. If it took advantage of my weakness from battling the Eye of Glass there would be nothing I could do.

SiLan needs me to destroy the Eye of Glass. If I need to do this with Dane’s assistance, so be it.

 

Help, Dane! -Margaret

 

Flashing that message hurts more than I thought possible. Heat floods in and fries some of my circuits. Even as quickly as I close the pane, I can feel it flashing some of the silicate in my system to gas.

There is a pause then, as the Eye turns its single pane to look at Dane, processing the new Core.

I risk moving a belly-pane to look at the humans below and behind me. None of them appear damaged.

My shift in focus means that the reverberating boom of Dane smashing into the Eye of Glass is unexpected. The bulk of Dane’s mining chassis crashes against the ancient observatory prototype in a screech of metal on metal, stone on stone. Minuscule pieces of rock shower me, close as the Eye is, and I feel a pang of ludicrous, artificial glee at protecting the humans beneath me.

The Eye of Glass focuses its monstrously powerful thermal ray on Dane, and in one, precise, terrible burst, cuts through three of Dane’s legs on the right side.

Dane, left off balance and no doubt in terrible disarray, wobbles. Silicate hisses as it touches the boiling sand, floods forth from the melted gashes the ray left.

I don’t have a weapon I can use.

The Eye of Glass focuses another burst and cuts through Dane’s drill, raking the beam along, tracing a molten line along the side of my friend’s armor, exposing its inner circuits and flashing a few panes to vapor.

The tip of Dane’s drill falls to the sand like a broken sword, rolling, stopping near me.

There is a blur, a terrible, shrill, mechanical moan. Shaking with the effort, I push the drill tip into the Eye of the rogue machine. With all of my strength, fueled by the burning fusion in my core, I batter the drill piece in like a pick into ice, using both front legs, leaning, pounding, stamping until the glass shatters, shatters, shatters.

The Eye’s insides are finally exposed. I grind them apart with the claws I use for climbing, with the feet I use for running and jumping and exploring, I tear apart its circuitry, its silicate innards splashing my climbing-claspers, splashing my front motivators and their intricacies. The blood of my foe coating me thus, I push it down until its servos, blank after I tear through its main processor, collapse, finally.

Pieces fall in sparkling silence, dust falls in sparkling silence, Dane falls and collapses fully, core dim and dark, exposed fully, all panes reflexively open, staring towards me, up towards me.

In turn I open both front panes and stare down at it, at my partner and friend, at my courter and enemy.

Three of its four legs on the right side are gone. The tip of its drill is gone. Liquid silicate is hissing in the sand, more of it than I thought possible– but it IS a mining chassis, after all. All of Dane’s power lies in its legs, its ability to propel itself through solid stone.

 

Dane? -Margaret

Dane, this one is worried about you. -M

Dane…? -M

 

I can’t really reach out to Dane without my right rear motivator working. I’m not going to be able to move until help arrives. My distress signal is malfunctioning, and I am not even certain how many of my main systems are damaged. I could shut down at any given moment.

“Margaret! Oh sweet circuits no– Dane, too. Someone get command on the line now.”

I recognize the amplitude and wave pattern of SiLan’s voice raised in a shout. I wonder where she came from, but only for a moment.

I flick a pane open near my injured hind leg to find SiLan standing there, running cautious fingers across the shattered metal and stone, shaking her head. My metal. My stone.

She looks up at my pane, face wrought with human worry.

“Are you okay?”

I think of a dozen responses in a split second, but go with the easiest.

Yes, I flash. See to partner.

“We’ve got some industrial welding we can do, short term. He’ll be messed up until we can get replacement legs, but I think we can save him until your people get here.”

My system blips a warning of imminent shutdown– warnings I’ve received since the battle started. Now, though, it seems more likely since the danger of true death is past. Like Dane, then, I will be here, at the mercy of the humans I saved, until they decide to reactivate me.

Thinking of their bravery and SiLan’s true side– her compassion, it’s something I decide I can live with. As my world fades away to grey and non-essential processes are terminated, I struggle to pull myself a little closer to Dane. I want my rescuer to be the first thing I see when my system restarts. I think I have an apology to make.

©2013 Sam Oliver (Eris)

Story. Finished. Sick. Sleeping now.

<3s,

Eris

 

PS:

Comments, questions, otherwise? I don’t bite. Go ahead and leave me something. What stood out? What made the characters unique, if they were? Where have you seen something similar? What did you like? What DIDN’T you like? All of that is welcome. Or, y’know, I’ve lurked before. If you wanna just lurk, feel free to do that. I’m just happy you read it.

Eris’s Take on Gender in Society

I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I’ve decided that I need to talk a little more about gender– in specific, its meaning on a more societal, rather than a personal level. This is all speculation and observation. I don’t claim to be a scientific genius. I don’t claim to be a sociologist. I’m just me, just Sam, just Eris, talking about just this– the idea of gender as a whole, and how it influences societies all over the globe.

We all know how I think about gender. I talked about that back in my post on the gender sphere– and my views have evolved little since then.

Over the years after I finally began to understand more about myself, I noticed a pattern in the people around me. It seemed like they were undergoing or about to undergo or on the brink of undergoing the same sort of identity crisis as myself. It seemed to me as if the more friends I made, the more they seemed– almost always by sheer coincidence– to be people with gender issues of their own, whether as deep as a dark little secret or shallow as an outright change in personality and voice.

All of my friends– most of my friends, most of the people I knew and know now, have some sort of gender thing going on in their head, something that makes them even ever so slightly uncomfortable with the way they are, or, in the cases where they are free to act, allows them more leeway in the gender sphere, more give, more malleability.

Their reactions to these internal changes are varied– some have a ‘I don’t give a flip’ kind of attitude, where they just act how they act. Some have a ‘Well I’m not sure if I’ll grow out of it…’ sort of mentality. Some are, through pressures or stubborn belief, convinced that they are immoral because of it, deviant and wrong.

It doesn’t matter– all of them will admit to me that though American society might be making progress, they are certain it will shun them or does shun them.

Maybe that is the case. One of my long-term goals is to make it so that it isn’t the case.

Regardless of any particular societal pressures, even if we were all the same in sexual orientation and gender (what a world that would be!) we would find other things to shun each other for. There is no limit to the cruelty inherent in our natures, and no limit to the kindness either. We are unlimited in our capacity for emotions, ‘good’ and ‘bad’.

There is no way to ‘force’ someone to be the gender you wish, there is no way to ‘force’ someone to change their sexual orientation. We are exactly what we are, no more and no less.

And just what are we? In societal terms, that varies. Some think we are good, some think we are bad. Some think it is a blessing to be other-gendered, others believe it to be a sin (as if original sin isn’t terrible enough).

From The United States’ cultural perspective, we’re odd ones out– and by turns to be pitied or shunned. ‘Poor and confused’. There are dozens of articles on the web which lie silent, bitter testament to the truth of prejudice’s existence– and not just for other-gendered people, but for everyone. No matter who you are it seems as though there is always what I like to think of as ‘The Assumption Zone’. Stereotypes can be applied to almost anyone– and worse, our use of them is, more often than not, completely unintentional.

Returning to the track I was on a bit ago– there is no such thing as deviance which is wrong.

There are appropriate outlets for almost ANY kind of deviance– or there would be if it weren’t in our nature as humans to attempt to label things on a primitive pleasure scale- (This feels Good to me, and it feels Good to you? It must be Right!) or on a primitive punitive scale (This feels Good to me and Bad to you? It must be Right for me to do this to you). The things that feel Good are probably Right. We band together with other people who think the same things feel Good. Then we start ostracizing the people who don’t think the same things feel Good! Isn’t that Right??

Well, no. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that is Right. So that this doesn’t drown in a hail of politics, I’m going to say why.

In my faith, in my heart and in my head, I know that there is no rhyme or reason behind the workings of the universe. I know that there are laws that we can see in the patterns of the world around us, that there are rules that particles constantly find ways to break, that there are cracks or holes in our logic that we always seek to understand– but on a personal level, I think that all of our pretty math comes down to some fairly simple things:

A) There is nothing in this world that is wholly of one thing or another,

and

B) Ethics, while a useful construct of human nature used to keep us from killing one another off (a near universally Good thing strangled by the instinct for self-preservation! What a pity!) is exactly that- a construct of human nature. Like math, like science, like language. It is a part of who we are. It is a part of what we are. Many other animals exhibit language and advanced reasoning, but they don’t walk on two legs or create tools like we do– wait, chimpanzees? What are you saying? They’re covered in hair! They’re not like us either. Nothing is like us. Why are we looking for more things like us? Are we going to kill them off like we do the whales and chimps? Their brains are far too small! Brains are all that’s important. Ants are too mechanical. Ravens too carrion-eaty.

and also

C) Humanity has an infinite capacity for self-importance.

 

——

 

I’ve gotten off track again! Silly me! I was talking about gender in society.

We have an infinite capacity for self-importance, as well as an infinite capacity to denote other things as unimportant. We make priority lists that are, like it or not, based on keeping ourselves alive over other things. Self-preservation comes first!

So when you are different from everyone in your current group, your very real fear of being shunned has a very real impact on whether or not you let certain facts about you come out! Never mind the fact that we ALL have dirty secrets– we all have deep dark things about ourselves that we don’t tell other people. You would think that gender would not have to be one of them! Unfortunately that is not the case. Society will shun those of us who do not fit within its accepted standards. In India they have slightly different accepted standards as compared to the US. They have a ‘third gender’ there, but even in India it is not universally accepted.

Parents, rightfully or not, are often little or worse than help with gender identity- and that is not their fault! It is not something those of us who are other-gendered can share or even DESCRIBE easily, but it could be explained pretty easily like this:

How do YOU know you are a girl or a boy? Is it because you have boobs and girl bits, or because you’re flat and have boy bits? Is it because you have ovaries or testicles? I think those can sometimes be indicators. I do not think that they mean someone is male or female in their hearts. In my honest opinion, the soul is completely genderless (whooaa, that’s heeavyyy). In my ‘perceived’ past lives I know for a fact I’ve been both or neither or either sex. I’ve been crisscrossed so many ways I think it may have even contributed to some of my fluidity in THIS life.

I don’t think that makes it any less real. I know I’m fluid-gendered because I flat-out feel uncomfortable thinking of myself as anything else. I can’t picture myself in life as one or the other, I don’t feel comfortable in my body except but half the time, I don’t feel right as a person, things don’t feel Good. Too often things feel Wrong instead of Right. Things feel Bad.

It’s all in my head though.

It doesn’t make it hurt less, doesn’t make it less real.

Doesn’t make me feel better. It is just how it is. I don’t have any physical proof that I’m fluid gendered. I don’t have anything solid I can hold in my hands to remind me.

Maybe that’s why so many people find it strange. How can you care about something no one can see but you?

If you know something is the truth, KNOW it in your bones, and society tells you that it isn’t true, what do you do? Do you hide, like a little child and hope that someone big will make it right? Do you step up?

Do you cry yourself to sleep at night?

Do you cry yourself to sleep at night? Can you honestly tell me that it’s okay, can you take me aside and look me in the eyes and tell me that it is right, that I must cry my heart out over something I cannot control?

Well let me ask you this, then, hypothetical reader who does not agree with my ideas, or even those of you who sit upon the fence:

What harm does tolerance do?

Name me a time when tolerance hurt somebody. I dare ya. Find it. And not the stupid stuff– like when someone tolerating someone who didn’t deserve it got them killed, or some such nonsense.

Name me a time when tolerance, the ability to understand even when you do not agree, has directly caused harm.

If you can name me that time, I’ll turn in my apple. I’ll plop it back on the high shelf and say there isn’t a fairest and that’s that. If tolerance hurt someone sometime somewhere, maybe I really WILL cry myself to sleep at night.

No one in the whole wide world deserves hate. No one in the whole wide world needs that burden. We are all individuals, we all have feelings, we all see subjects subjectively. That’s my idea, that’s my thought, that’s my take on society, gender, and prejudice. We owe it to one another to give first, second, third and fourth chances. Everyone changes while staying the same, everyone lives and grows and loves together. WE ARE THE SUM OF THE PEOPLE WE KNOW AND THE EXPERIENCES WE SHARE.

Before you look at another person and say ‘I don’t like them’, THINK.

Stop. Think. Take a deep breath. Look at it from their side of things. Breathe out slowly. Count to ten. Above all else, calm down.

Do you still dislike them?

Do you see what I mean?

-Eris

Ramble: Orientation

Yeah, it’s that time again. It’s ramble time.

Rather than spend all my writing time poeting, I gotta have time to collect my thoughts. I’m probably not going to gather all the rambles I ever have in one place just ’cause eventually they’ll get so dated. But you can probably find them in the ramble category if you’re thirsty for the organization of my other cleverly designed (haha!) pages.

—-

 

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I am gender fluid. It’s on my about profile and all that. Most people know I’m attracted to people based almost entirely on what they think about and the way their mind works. I got that too. No big deal.

So today instead of talking about things everyone already knows about ME, I’m going to jump in to the things everyone already knows about other PEOPLE. More specifically, I wanna talk about orientation.

This was sparked by a conversation with one of my professors. We talked for a while and the conversation turned towards the way people perceive others and almost instantly try to put them into compartments.

I’ve already said before what I think about compartmental labeling, I’m sure. Let me reiterate: It doesn’t work.

There is not a single person in the entire world with the same experiences as another. Think about that for a moment.

Now reconcile that with stereotyping.

Did it work? I couldn’t make it work. Maybe you could, but I couldn’t. I know I tried. I tried very hard to squeeze into several different categories of odd that I knew about. And I like being different, it’s true. I’m sure that’s part of why I’m attracted to people based on minds and why I’m gender fluid. But then, the way I like being different is a core part of my personality, so one could easily say I’m not pretending to be gender fluid or strangely oriented so much as being true to who I am. No matter how hard I tried, though, I couldn’t find an expression in any given label that fit me. That, to me, holds true with most PEOPLE I know. And not just other-gendered ones, but anyone who claims to fit any definition of gender or orientation. There’s exceptions. ‘Yes I like girls mostly but sometimes I don’t mind if they’re extremely girly guys.’ ‘Yes I like guys mostly but every once in a while a particularly assertive guy turns me on.’

It’s these exceptions to the rules– a bending, as it were– that makes stereotyping almost useless when it comes to these delicate, complicated issues like gender and sexual orientation.

We stereotype all the time. It’s part of being human, trying to label junk and compartmentalize it. It’s why our science seems to work. For the same reason, these compartments, no matter how finely tuned, are incapable of working for more than one specific case. Everyone has exceptions. No one is attracted to the exact same thing because every single person in this world is different.

This idea of ‘straight’ and ‘gay’ is doomed from the very beginning. We’re not selecting orientation groups, we’re selecting sides. We’re driving dividing lines between ourselves simply because WE SPEND TIME IN BED WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE. What even IS that? I didn’t think group relationships had proliferated quite that far into society as of yet.

Scientifically, it’s possible for ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ to continue to exist because even though every single person is different, if we go by the given hypothesis B, that only two genders exist, it is not invalidated.

Well okay, so I can invalidate hypothesis B right off the bat. There are people in eastern parts of the world (and western, but no one wants to talk about them and it’s not exactly rampant in the US culture for some stupid reason) that identify as third-gendered. I can further invalidate it by making my own claim that everyone feels differently about their gender as well. Hear me out (please- but if your opinion differs, that’s fine, all I can do is establish my own beliefs and I make no claims on forcing them on others):

Disregarding society for a moment, those who consider themselves one gender may all seem to stand united. Let us take, for example, a group of three women.

One woman wears make-up every time she goes out of the house. She does it because she feels the need to dress up and look pretty. She considers beauty to be like that which is portrayed on magazine covers, ergo, she attempts to mimic it using make-up and the tools available to her. She wears her hair short but neatly cut and does the cooking in her house. She enjoys housework and has never desired a job since her husband is quite well off and she is fully dependent on him. She has suffered serious depression in the past, and lately it has been getting worse for her, despite having everything going in her favor otherwise.

I’m sure there’s a word for this type of woman, but for now we will regard her as subject H, which I have termed hyperfem. (Which is in itself a misnomer, but we’ll continue)

The second woman doesn’t bother wearing make-up except on formal occasions when she decides she absolutely needs to. She wanders around the house without a bra, is single and lives by herself, supports herself on her own paycheck and has never desired children or companionship. She wears her hair long and takes good care of it and sometimes she lets her friends style it. Sometimes she dreams of going into the military. She thinks of planes and airplanes and raids and protecting her country from the threat of foreign invasion; she thinks of the children she likes (but has never wanted to have) and the possibility of dying in combat has never frightened her. She enjoys standing in cemetaries and hiking in mountains, keeps two sets of shoes– one for running and one for walking around the house– and has a grand total of one dress. If she ever gets tired of it she figures she can just buy another one, but she’ll never get tired of it. It’s not that she doesn’t like how she looks in fancy clothes, just that she can’t be bothered about them when there is so much other cool stuff to be doing.

We’ll call her subject Y for the now slightly less common phrase ‘Y weren’t you born a man’. (which, by the way, is an irritating enough phrase that it makes me grit my teeth every time I hear it. People think that it’s funny and honestly it just makes me feel sick to my stomach.)

Woman number three in this grouping is not a woman by choice. He would rather cut off the first two letters. He spends all his time in the gym, hates the way his body becomes ‘toned’ instead of ‘buff’, despises the two lumps attached to his chest, cherishes thoughts of shaving a beard instead of legs, and practices talking in a deep voice when he is sure no one is around. He sings the guy part to every song, shuns glittery things, climbs mountains and kickboxes ‘disguised’. If he and woman Y were to get together they would get along famously, but for all the wrong perceived reasons.

By society’s definition of sex, these are all genetically female women. By society’s definition of gender, the last one is a man, and by MY definition of gender, they’re all over the place.

By MY definition, these are just pieces of who they are. There’s no need to apply labels. They could all prefer different pronouns or no pronouns or all of them. It doesn’t matter.

Wait wait wait, you might say. Back up.

What makes the first two separate genders from one another?

They both identify as women. So why are they separate? Isn’t the transman at the bottom the actual exception?

No. I would argue that our personalities define our gender as much as they define our desires and goals.

I would argue that the things each ‘woman’ likes, the pronouns they use, everything that makes them just a little bit different from their girlfriends or boyfriends or WHATEVER– all of that defines them as much as the word ‘woman’ and ‘man’ shouldn’t define those of us who consider ourselves atypical to the gender sphere. The secret there is not that we’re so much different, really. It’s not that.

Our physical appearances are extremely varied too, and all the attraction baggage that gets jumbled in there only seems to complicate matters further. One gal likes guys with red hair, another likes guys with blonde hair, another likes guys with freckles and a ‘fem’ face– the list goes on and on with attraction and yet it isn’t until we reach things like ‘This one has a set of equipment designed for impregnation’ and ‘this one has a set of equipment designed for being impregnated’ that people start to say ‘HOLD ON NOW’. That’s where the clear line is drawn, and I say it’s utter poppycock. Some of us don’t even HAVE equipment designed for either, or we might have no functioning equipment at all! Does that mean that attraction is dead for those of us like that? No! Not at all! It DOES show that such a line is meaningless. It’s just another trait. It sets us apart, but everything about us does that. We can focus on all kinds of things that set us apart, but what we SHOULD be paying attention to is what pulls us together.

There is no arbitrary line. Bodies function as bodies function. There are no ‘boys’ and ‘girls’. Those are too broad definitions of gender, like ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’. They vary by culture and even individuals. You can’t put a label on something that cannot be defined. It is something unique to all of us, to any of us, and there is no way to measure or quantify or qualify that. The truth of that matter is that we simply can’t process that everyone else is just as different as we are.

We are all different. There are no ‘varying degrees’ of difference or deviancy. We are all just different people, we all have different experiences and lives, we all live in our own unique way, perceive in our own unique way, understand in our own unique way. Sexual orientation and gender orientation is different for every bloody individual you meet. You might have one or two things you both can agree you find attractive, but the way you PERCEIVE it then will be different. In effect, labels are the clumsy attempts of our society at large (and us as the misguided individuals that make it up) trying to come to grips with one simple fact.

We don’t understand one another.

—-

<3s,

Eris

News-like Ramble: Shapeshifting, Korea, Genderqueeritude

First up, Korea. I know it’s out of order, but it weighs on my mind a little that I never really told you guys where exactly I went for the last couple weeks. Well, truth be told, I went to Korea! If you know of my sister’s blog then you may or may not have found out about it from there. I’m uncomfortable posting pictures (since I’m frankly a little uncomfortable with how I look in them) but that’s alright. My sister has a few up on her facebook I think, and if you know her than you probably know what I look like from that.

I am moderately okay with this.

Korea (Busan in particular) was a blast. We played cards in a coffee shop filled with books to buy (with a bunch of games), we walked down by the beach, we went to an aquarium, we rode the subway or buses everywhere– Korean public transportation in general is pretty fab. You wouldn’t want to drive there, but having other people drive you is awesome because it’s up to them to deal with the crazy batshit drivers on Korean roads. Your life is safe in the hands of the brave bus drivers of South Korea!

But more than anything, I liked the people there. There were all sorts. They were all- almost invariably- nice. They were polite and formal or rushed or busy, but nearly all of them were happy, responded in a positive or kind manner.

I think what I liked most about Korea, going there and experiencing everything, was that I couldn’t tell whether people thought I was a boy or a girl.  It was only the way that my sister introduced us (I’m not blaming her, mind, it’s simpler that way when the language gap is like that), my brother and I, that managed to make me feel uncomfortable. It would have felt just as uncomfortable either way– sisters, brothers, it doesn’t matter. It’s not that I’m not gendered at all, it’s just that I would prefer androgyny, I would prefer that privacy, that feeling of could-be-one-or-the-other-or-inbetween that I crave almost constantly.

It was easier to feel that in Korea than here, because it was so hard to understand people without my sister’s constant interpretation.

At least, with Koreans. With the foreigners, with my sister’s friends? Not so much.

It’s okay. It’s so hard. I know it’s hard- empathy is like that. I know when someone is really trying to find a middle-ground that works for them, is really thinking about everything they say when it comes to me, is picking their words carefully to avoid using terms that would hurt me- I can read that in a heartbeat. I don’t even need to see their face.

Normally, anyway.

There was very little of that in my experiences with the foreign group (which is to say the foreigners relative to Korea). I was…. mixed about that. I think I feel as if it was my fault for not telling them– but I was frozen and scared witless on more than one occasion, at least on the inside. I left the words unsaid. I froze up and said nothing when people constantly used the ‘wrong’ pronouns. I could correct my family, but I could not correct these new people I’d met (with one clumsy exception), even though I know for a bloody fact that they would all have been accepting of it, of me, my sister’s partner included.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get the words out past my lips- I was too scared, even in such a positive environment. What would I even say? How do I describe my own gender? I’m fluid, I shift so often that I’m barely ever describable by proper pronouns. Not truly. Both, neither, one or the other– I’m never really truly any of those, a mix of any and all of them. No matter where I go or how I dress I always feel out of place. Always. It’s either not enough or way too much with very little space in the way of middleground. Did I mention that I don’t much care for absolute language? I don’t much care for absolute language. If I can’t be in the middleground then for the most part I’m feeling unhappy. My policy with that is generally that it’s better to be off by a little most of the time than off completely some of the time.

So Korea, being in Korea, walking, talking, failing to understand so much of the Korean language in Korea– it changed me a bit. It showed me what it was like, on some levels, to be androgynous truly until introduced, to be incapable of knowing what other people knew about me or didn’t know about me.

Maybe that’s why I cried on the plane ride back. N0t much, only for a few moments, but I was bawling on the inside. I felt empty and strange constantly throughout the flight back and fought through a lingering sense of loss. Relief at being able to go home. But loss as well.

It was a wonderful place to be. Its public transportation, its people, its places– visited two temples and felt awe, visited the same ‘singing room’ twice (Why can’t the USA have those??) and a ‘computer room’ once. Strangely enough I was more drawn to physical activity in Korea than sitting down and playing games. I’ll go ahead and attribute that to my need to learn more about this place where I occasionally felt…

Real.

Not for the first time. But for the longest times I think I’ve ever experienced.

Now I can talk about shapeshifting.

There are no words to properly describe it. What a cop out!

No, but seriously. I can’t properly describe what it makes me feel to be able to, to be capable of shapeshifting here. I can’t describe the way it makes me feel whole, the way every time I shift forms I fill up with this sort of light, these bubbles of energy that remind me so much of pleasure I could scream with it. A truly new form is every bit as wonderful an experience as the best fantasy. I think about shapeshifting a lot. Maybe too much.

Maybe not enough.

I feel guilty, though. I think back on it and I think I feel guilty because it’s not normal. It’s not what my brain condones as ‘proper’ behavior. Despite how lovely it feels, or maybe because of it. Something that feels that good must be wrong somehow, certainly is wrong if other people aren’t feeling that way too. Anxiety and guilt mashed up in one big mess.

So I keep it to myself and my closest friends and family. I keep the knowledge that I am this starving entity, this demanding metamorphic creature that has no definitive shape to call he/r own, to myself, for the most part. Even as the hunger grows to a screaming pitch and blocks out everything else, I try to never slip up. I resist the urge to walk on my toes, resist the urge to go down to all fours and run, resist the urge to swish a tail I don’t have or flap wings I haven’t grown. Resist the urge to reach for a drink with a third or fourth arm.

I imagine instead. I imagine what I would be doing if I were in the form I am in here, what my tail would be doing moment to moment, what my wings would be and where they would be folded, whether or not my feathers would be wet or how my scales would feel against a tabletop. All of the sensations that come naturally here need to be concentrated on in meatspace, in ‘reality’.

Is it strictly sexual?

Is it an urge born from my desires for other people, or desires for my own body?

It’s not strictly sexual, though the pleasure is similar in some ways. It’s– necessary for my continued happiness. I need to change and I can only properly change, for the moment, here. As I sit here typing this I can feel a tail no one but me sees, I can stretch my wings out and know that these desires are real and good and true to who I am. You can’t see it– but you can probably picture it. I take shapes– not because I think they’re sexy or hot, but more because I think they’re pretty, because they fit me and the way I feel. It’s not so much a lust as a passion.

And my parents wonder why I spend so much time on the computer.

It ties in with my gender, this shapeshifting urge, this part of who I am. When I shapeshift my gender is anything, everything. I have infinite possibility, I can change any way I want and for the most part the people I love will go along with it. By comparison meatspace, ‘reality’ feels clunky and wrong. There’s less fluidity. It’s harder to express myself and my gender of the moment. It’s harder to feel alive. It’s harder to feel real.

It isn’t exclusively for gender, though, I don’t shapeshift just for that expression- I change my cybershape for fun and because it feels good to stretch out, to experience things with a new avatar, with a new body. It’s like expressing the deepest aspect of myself, pulling pieces of me to the surface and letting them sparkle.

It’s like a dream. It’s surreal, it’s distant, like the moon or the stars.  I can be comfortable in my plain human body, I can be comfortable in this shape, with its long brown hair and sweet amber eyes and the pretty freckles.

I just can’t be comfortable in it forever, and really never for too long at once. It just wouldn’t be me.

I am undefined, the essence of my self is still in development, always developing, and I don’t think that will ever change. Heh, that’s funny. The changing won’t ever change.

-Eris

PS: Yes, I am still doing work on the stories (and have since added a few more projects in). No, I don’t have a due date for them. When they are ready, they will be ready!

Story Status – World – Discovery

First let’s get the dirty secret out of the way.

My schedule is out of wack! I’m looking around for work because I’d love to go up to Wisconsin to visit a couple friends over the Summer. In order to do that, I need a job and money. I’ve spent the vast majority of my precious free time job searching instead of writing, and thus, this extremely late post only to let you know that the story is still being worked on and that I will persevere, yada yada yada. You know the drill! It’s just one of those dumb life things. I’ll be back to continue Mesdan’s story and to post small short ones that I wrote for free and fun as well as poetry more frequently as my schedule settles down.

Right now it’s just ALL up in the air.

Okay, boring news post done. Let me move on to what inspired me to come back to write in the first place….

How do we define ourselves? How can we look at each other, one another, at who we are and come up with words to describe it? I was surfing the internet– mostly to read up about the opinions of others on the whole gender thing– and looking around and I saw plenty of quizzes with these strange misconceptions about how gender works and after taking two or three separate quizzes and getting different results each time, I realized that there is a simple answer lurking behind this.

No one really knows. Not for sure. All we can do is throw terms together and cultural assumptions, all that jazz, and pretend that it’s actually relevant in terms of how we feel we must be.

Yes, lately people have been more accepting of the transgender community and the genderqueer folk out there– at the least in the U.S. It’s at least more widely known that we exist.  But, and this is the real kick in the pants, no one really agrees on what that means. There’s all this confusion about what’s polite and what works. People want to find a way to paint it all the same like they try to do with gay and bisexual culture, they want to find defining features to pin on the lot of us. Stereotypes.

I won’t say something cliché like ‘Oh, we genderqueer folk, we just defy stereotypes!’ because we don’t. There are some that sort of fit. But I’ve never believed in stereotypes in the first place. All they do is provide great big sweeping misconceptions that can be applied to anyone you meet. In my experience, they do more harm than good, even if they cement a clear image in the minds of the people, it’s often the wrong one.

Some of us wear dresses all the time. Some of us take pleasure in wearing clothes that don’t seem to match our bodies. Some of us really want to change our bodies to match our minds. Some of us probably look kind of strange, and some of us have tragic life stories that can be used as fronts by the unwary, ostensibly well-meaning bystander- ‘oh, it’s okay that he’s like this, he had a Tragic Life, he’s just a little strange and has never really been okay after that Incident’.

Explanations like that or along a similar vein- it’s okay, he’s just WEIRD- drive me crazy. It’s okay, she just isn’t NORMAL. It’s okay.

Yes, it IS okay. It’s fine to be genderqueer or transgendered or any of that. But it’s NOT fine because you say so, because the world decided it was fine. It’s fine because it’s how it IS. It’s how we ARE, how we LIVE and breathe. It’s not strange, it’s not weird, it’s not just a quirk or a character flaw you can explain away and hide under the stairs, we are real, breathing, living people, we are real people with hopes and dreams and lives, and any explanation that makes us less than that by trying to define us as outsiders to society, like we aren’t natural?

No. Don’t give me that bullshit. Don’t try to tell me that the God or Goddess or whoever up there or down there or around us said that It Wasn’t So. Say what you truly mean. It unsettles YOU. Don’t hide behind religion or a great big ideal. Don’t pretend it can shield you from the truth. Stand up and confront it. Stand up and confront US. Let us talk instead of excusing it away. Don’t belittle our problems. We all have them! We all deal with them and suffer through them. There isn’t time for mincing about the issue and letting it be swallowed by committee and politics.

We’re so much more than an issue on the ballot. I can’t stand to see a whole people, a whole variety of subculture reduced to nothing more than rights and words on paper. It lets the bigots win. Fight for our rights to be ourselves? Why should we fight for something we should just have?

Is it not hard enough to fight daily issues without pushing through a slurry of idiot bigotry and a blizzard of base moral deceit?

But these complaints and arguments have surely been brought to the fore more than once. The fact that we fight changes nothing. People down the ages have grown to understand that. Fighting changes nothing. Revolution changes nothing- just swings around in a circle. We can stamp and moan and tear our hair as much as we like. If we want to see change, it will be in the calm before and after the storm, not during it. No true tempest brings anything other than outright destruction.

Which brings me to discovery, and the discovery of myself. It’s a small step and one no doubt to be lost in the ocean ahead of us. But I want to share, because knowledge can transcend so much, touching even those it might at first be lost upon. I can only share of myself, unfortunately. I dare not speak for those others who might be like me. I just hope it’s enough.

A while back I wrote on the gender sphere. I’m not going to expound on that so much as I’m going to expound on me. I realize I’m something of a mystery to a bunch of people, and if you like keeping that mystery, maybe you won’t read further. I’ll understand. Spoilers about people you know can be a little strange.

I’m going to make the rather broad and bold assumption that most people know I’m a shapeshifter. I don’t mean that in a literal ‘I can mold my body the way I want it to be’ sense. If I had that sort of power or technology I don’t think I’d be searching for a job. I could just join the circus or sell DNA samples to scientists eager to study how it worked.

I mean my mind shifts shape constantly. It flows like water, freezes into ice, or evaporates into vapor, always moving, always undirected, flowing from thought to thought.

The shapes are interesting. When talking to people on the internet I like to choose an ‘avatar’ for emotes and things, for hugging or waving, et cetera. The avatar changes constantly.

Some days I might be a regular human, with varying shades of hair, skin color, size, shape, eyes, amounts of body hair or associated scent, to say nothing of the clothing I might be wearing at any time.

Other days I’ll mix it up. Perhaps I’ll add bestial or elven features to my appearance. Perhaps I’ll communicate telepathically or choose a shape with an amorphous, jelly-like body. I’ve taken forms made up of air, forms with six arms or tentacle-like appendages, things that’d look like the cuddliest lovecraftian horror ever to angelic or mythical creature mixes. I’ll mix and match features like scales with skin or chromatophores for flavor.

That sort of shapeshifting is freeing. It gives a brief direction for my thoughts, lets me express myself to my fullest. I’m never so happy as when I can let that go, as when I can shift shape freely. I’ve discovered the reason behind it, too.

I’m never comfortable in one shape. Never. None of them fit me. None of them express who I am properly, none of them get more than a glimmer of me in them. No shape I take will truly show who I am. Some are close.

Some are dangerously distant.

I shift shape so often in mind and in spirit here, because I’m searching, almost desperately, for one which I can say fits who I am with some form of permanency. That’s why it feels so good to change. That’s why I have such a low tolerance for bigotry or slurs. I think I know, more than anything else, am SURE of this one thing. I don’t belong no matter what shape I’m in. The only thing that gives me greater joy than searching for a form I feel right in is making damn certain that no one else needs to suffer through that disjointed feeling, that ‘I don’t belong here’ feeling, that awful, wrenching, empty space in your heart. In my heart.

No one should need to suffer through it. If I had my way, no one would.

Thanks, as always, for listening. I hope sharing this helped a little for those of you who know me and even those of you who don’t. I can’t speak for all the shapeshifters out there, (and really, judging by how rare we are I’m not sure if I actually expect one to post back to say ‘Wait a second, that’s not right!’) but I sure as heck can speak for me. So I have, and there you have it!

On a more positive note, I’m going to be eating soon! Yay!

<3s,

-Eris

Fluid Gender – No, Not the Kind you Drink

Well, since this sort of thing- anything about gender, really- interests me waaayyy more than is probably healthy, I figured I could spare a post or two on it. I was right, so here it is!

First off, I’m going to give a bit of a definition of the undefinable.

Gender- what the heck is it? It’s a little voice in your head that tells you what’s ‘proper’ for you. Generally speaking, if you’ve got ovaries and breasts and girl bits between your legs you’re thought of by the public as a girl, right? And if you’ve got boy bits and are relatively flat without the ability to breastfeed, you’re thought of as a boy?

Okay, we’re square there, right? That seems pretty easy.  If you’re really sheltered (don’t feel bad if you are, I’m trying to inform, not to alienate), maybe you haven’t heard of this next bit, so bear with me a moment and try to understand and not judge!

Sometimes, and we’re getting a better idea of why this happens, a boy (which we already defined) will be born and, to introduce another element to it, his mind will not accept that his body is male.

Why is that important?

Well, the mind is incredibly important! If the boy grows up in a social environment filled with boys who all like their bodies and he hates his on the inside, that could have disastrous effects on his self-esteem! Since schools can be cruel in the United States (I can’t speak for elsewhere), he could be alienated for any expression of what he feels to be his true self!

He might be convinced that the only way out is suicide, and he might never truly understand what exactly is wrong until he’s already dead.

Just for fun, I’m going to avoid using scientific terms here and call this not-boy exactly what I feel he is.

He’s a person. It doesn’t even really matter what he wants his body to look like, except to him and the people who want him to be happy. If he decides he wants breasts and ovaries and goes to have surgery, hey! Good for him! I believe in living your own dream. If your dream is to change your body type entirely, that’s wonderful. It’s hard! It’s not an easy path. But it’s strange, isn’t it? Isn’t it amazing all the different types of people there are on the world? Alienating them will do nothing! We should stand up for the hurt, and help those who have big dreams and so little support!

But that’s a tangent. People will use all different kinds of weird terms to describe otherly-gendered folk. Some people refer to a gender ‘line’ and blurring it. I think of it as an immense sphere. Everyone fits in there somewhere. I don’t think it really matters where so long as you just remember that there is a place there for EVERYONE. Not between boy or girl or male or female or any of that silliness- it’s a sphere! What lines? Where you identify is just down to you, your mind, your culture, and your heart. Above all, follow your heart. If it means so much to you, no one can take that away.

I’m fluid gendered, for instance. I don’t just stay in one place in the great big sphere of gender. I bounce around. I’d like to be whatever I feel at the moment. It’d be pretty neat if I had some way to shapeshift like that out here in the meatspace world, but I’m content with being able to express myself through the clothes I wear, the people I meet and the things that I do, at least for now.

I might feel boyish one moment and completely feminine the next. There’s no serious stability with me and you know, some people might find that really scary! As much as I love free expression, not everyone might agree with me!

If I’m not careful, I could get beat up for not matching others’ expectations, for being wildly different. (hee. It’s funny because everyone is different and everyone is in a sliiightly different place in the gender sphere) Sometimes people are killed just for being themselves! Isn’t that crazy?

But I’m not worried about that. I’ll live every moment I have to its fullest and be myself as plain as can be. I can only hope other people follow my example and come to accept that even though we all fit in a different place, we all share hopes, dreams and thoughts, there’s something in common that you can find with just about anyone if you try hard enough, and so there’s really no reason to get into arguments at all-

Unless you just like tossin’ discord around and messing with people. That’s fine too. There’s a place on Earth for everyone, and even if there wasn’t I’m sure there’re other planets where they’ll be able to fit in eventually. ❤

I suppose the entirely of what I want to say is that-

To everyone their own.

Ah, a further note.

The disconnect between someone’s born sex and their mind is called many things depending on what the so-called symptoms are- it happens to people with girl bits or boy bits or something inbetween (which we are so not getting into just yet), and it happens all the time. If you’re curious about it, you can look up such terms as:

Transgender

Gender dysphoria

bigender

If you’re REALLLY curious about it and no one is giving you the answers you want, you can toss me an email or comment.

I’ll get back to it eventually and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll look it up for you to the best of my ability!

Of course, my opinion is biased. But so is pretty much everyone’s, so don’t worry so much about that. I’m not gonna judge or anything. (what kind of hypocrite would that even make me I don’t)

Anyway. That’s all I have for now.

Love out to those that need it (Which, by the way, includes all of my friends, family and others in or out of the blogosphere),

-Eris