Age 9

Mar. 31st, 2013 04:35 pm
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
How this works:
You comment, I give you an age (please tell me how old you currently are - I don't know all of your ages unfortunately) and you fill out the meme questions with what applied to you back then, and now.

[personal profile] wordweaverlynn gave me 9.

I lived in:

A studio apartment on the 19th floor of an apartment complex on the Boston side of the Boston/Cambridge border, near the Science Museum, with my mother. My idea of a proper dwelling for an adult has always been an apartment in a high-rise building, and I've never really realized that vision given that I moved to the West Coast when I grew up, and that's less of a thing (unless you're into the condo-buying class, which I'm not; not too long after that, we got booted out of our subsidized apartment because the developer decided to flip Boston off and break his promise to maintain affordable housing, instead converting it all to condos).

I drove:

Nothing, because I was too old for my Smurf Big Wheels and hadn't yet learned how to ride a bike without training wheels.

I was in a relationship with:

The Boston Public Library, West End branch.

I feared:

People. Not knowing what to say. Embarrassment. Boredom. (This is not *too* different from now.)

I worked at:

My dissociation skills.

I wanted to be:

A librarian *and* a bookstore owner (just one or the other wasn't enough).
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Well, maybe this meme is dying down, but I happened to re-read Emily's Trans 101, Upgoer Five Style and while it's good, I also couldn't resist writing my own version. Strangely enough, I felt like the limited vocabulary here helped me be clear, whereas when I was writing about my job, I felt too constrained by it in places (possibly because of having to circumlocute for technical terms, which was less of an issue here.)


Most people think that when a baby is very little, they can tell whether the baby is a boy or a girl. Also, they think that every baby is either a boy or a girl, never both.

They think this because they think that what a baby's between-the-legs looks like tells you whether the baby is a boy or a girl. But that's not true. Both boys and girls can have one kind of between-the-legs. And both boys and girls can have the other kind of between-the-legs. It's how you feel that makes you a boy or a girl, and babies can't talk to let other people know how they feel.

Also, there are more ways to feel than just boy or girl, and you can also feel any or all of those ways no matter what you have between your legs.

Some people think that everyone has a mark inside their cells that says they're a boy or that they're a girl. This, too, is wrong. These marks are real, but it's people who decided that one mark makes you a boy and the other mark makes you a girl. People are wrong sometimes.

Most people who get called a boy when they're a baby are boys, and most people who get called a girl when they're a baby are girls. It's harder for girls who got called boys, and boys who got called girls, and people who aren't boys or girls. There are two different ways in which it's harder.

First, some people have a picture of their body inside their brain that's of a body that looks and feels different than how the rest of their body is. You can't change that picture even by thinking very hard or getting help from another person. If you are this way, you have to change your body instead to make it match the picture in your brain.

Second, whether a person needs to change their body and does, or they need to change it but they can't, or they don't need to change it, many people aren't very nice to boys who don't look like they think a boy should look, or to girls who don't look like they think a girl should look, or when they can't decide if another person is a girl or a boy.

I'm in both the first and the second group. People thought I was a girl when I was a baby, but I was a boy. I didn't know this could even be true until I was much older. As soon as I found out that just because people thought I was a girl didn't mean I was one, I knew I wasn't a girl. After a while, I realized that I was a boy, and not someone who wasn't a girl or a boy. I was able to change my body to make it more like the picture that's built into my brain, so I'm much happier having a body now. And most people who see me realize I'm a boy without me having to tell them, which also makes me happy, because it was hard to explain to people who thought I was a girl that I was actually a boy.

It's harder for people who got called a boy when they were a baby but aren't boys, because lots of people are very afraid of people who they think have said no to being a boy. They think that someone else not wanting to look like a boy means being a boy won't be as fun for them. To deal with their fears about themselves, those people hurt other people. This gets in the way of the people who got called boys and aren't, who are just trying to live their lives.

You can make it better by believing people when they say that they're a girl, or that they're a boy, or that they're something else and not a girl or a boy. You can also make it better by telling people they are wrong when they make fun of others who they think are being boys wrong or being girls wrong.

Check it!
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
You can still ask me to ask you questions if you want to, too!

1. Are role models a thing that work for you? If so, describe a role model relationship you've had, past or present.

Yes, they are very much a thing... but perhaps I should say "were". I've kind of formed this kind of relationship with every academic advisor I've had (and a few job supervisors), but "relationship" implies something where the role model is aware that they are a role model, and I doubt that was true every time. I don't want to talk about specifics in public, because some of these situations didn't end well and others just kind of make me sound like a gushy fanboy if I talk about them. (And there's overlap between those two.) Instead, though, I shall reflect on why I don't have role models anymore. It just gets more navel-gazey from here (plus, four more questions and answers) )

tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (working)
0. How old were you when you first learned about sex (the relational kind, not the personal characteristic), and under what circumstances?

In your edit, you said you thought you asked me this before, but I don't think you ever did! Hence, bonus question.

Unsurprisingly, the answer may be a bit TMI )

1. Somehow despite also holding down a job, exercising, feeding and clothing yourself, etc., you find the energy to participate in online fora to an extent that would have made total sense to me 10 years ago but is unthinkable now. What keeps you coming back to all these different spaces? (FB, DW, G+, Twitter, Reddit, etc.) Do you use each for different purposes, or do your social networking activities form a compact set mostly overlap under the banner of 'connecting with others'?

Well, first, exercising? Heh. The rest of this is not at all TMI, but I'm still cutting for length. )
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
(aka "no, I really don't want it to be 2003 again except in the sense of having meaningful discussions on LiveJournal.") These from [personal profile] luinied, who happened to overlap (mostly) with stuff I've been thinking about anyway. Well-done :-D

  1. Of all the places you've lived, which has been the least soul-crushing in terms of general place-to-live factors? That is, excluding your job, who you knew in the area, etc.. (As though this is easy to untangle, I know.)

    I try to aspire to a higher standard than "not soul-crushing", you know :P That said, I found Cambridge, England to be very pleasant. It's well-nigh impossible for me to separate that experience from my job, the overall headspace I was in then, where I came from, where I went afterward, and so on, but the surroundings helped. I'm not sure I would move back there, even with a reason, since it was hard to find much of a queer scene there. (Maybe that's changed.)

  2. What is it like working at Mozilla on a day-to-day basis?

    Leaving out the recent political tensions there (because that's the other post I'm working on): Read more... )

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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
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