Luxander’s 2017 CONvergence Panels!

Hey, all! The CONvergence schedule is now out, though there might be changes and additions between now and when CON time actually comes. But! Here’s a link to the full schedule and then I’m gonna list the ones I’ll be on here.

“Breaking into YouTube” Thursday 12:30pm – 1:30pm @ Sheraton Whalon
How do you start your own YouTube channel? We’ll talk about everything from making your own videos and starting a YouTube channel to getting subscriptions and more.
Panelists: Nicholas Boden, Steve Sylvestre, Luxander Pond (mod), Kat Surth, Squall Charlson

“The Cosmic Perspective” Thursday 3:30pm – 4:30pm @ Atrium 4
Neil deGrasse Tyson refers to the “cosmic perspective” when it comes to managing anxiety about day-to-day life. Scientists share and discuss the many facts about the universe that make modern earthly problems feel insignificant.
Panelists: Dan Berliner, Melanie Galloway, PZ Myers, Luxander Pond (mod)

“VR: Fad or Staying?” Saturday 2:00pm – 3:00pm @ Atrium 2
A lot has happened in VR in the last year. New viewers, platforms, and applications continue to arrive. What are the best uses of the technology? Will it be around in a few years or just have been a passing fad?
Panelists: Ross Conklin (mod), Luxander Pond, Allyson Cygan

“PTSD Representation in Geeky Media” Saturday 5:00pm – 6:00pm @ Plaza 1
In every form of media, PTSD has been used as a plot device or character development. This disorder is shrouded in mystery and seems misunderstood by both writers and audience. Panelists with first-hand PTSD experience discuss the nuances of our disorder
Panelists: Haddayr Copley-Woods, Skazka 9000, Amy Fischer, Luxander Pond, Michael Spaulding (mod)

“Crowdfunding 101” Sunday 11:00am – 12:00pm @ Edina
Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and many others. What are your experiences, both as a project manager and as a backer, on the various sites?
Panelists: Anj Olsen, Elise Matthesen, Luxander Pond, Mark DiPasquale, Sam Stiles

I don’t think I’m on as many panels as last year, but I’m still really looking forward to it! All panels take place at the main venue, the DoubleTree, except for the first on this list which is at the Sheraton hotel next door.

If anyone wants to meet up at the convention, you can follow my Twitter (@Lux_Pond) which will probably have many tweets with the official #cvg2017 tag. You can probably catch me outside at Smoker’s Paradise at some point, and I’ll try my best to have my hair freshly dyed so you can spot me from across the highway. ;P

Luxander’s 2017 CONvergence Panels!
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Speak Your Mind–Even If Your Voice Shakes

I find myself not knowing quite where to begin, as I don’t imagine everything here will be taken super well. But that’s kind of the problem and the point of the post.

We’ll start with some backstory: Some five years ago, my dad turned me on to the existence of Skepchick, and Teen Skepchick in particular since TS was looking for new bloggers and he figured that might be my jam. I wrote my first ever semi-professional piece, it was published on Teen Skepchick as a guest post, and a couple weeks later I was on the writing team. So began my involvement in the atheist community.

Being a writer on a sister site to something as major as Skepchick was a fantastic opportunity, and it set me on a course to developing an incredibly supportive network of friends and acquaintances made up of my peers. I’m still friends with a handful of my fellow TS bloggers today–actually I do a podcast with one of them.

I met more people at conventions, started writing for Queereka and then FTB (Freethought Blogs), sat on panels and even gave a talk, accruing new friends all the while. Until I found myself in the middle of an amazing, interconnected group of skeptics, atheists, feminists, and progressive thinkers. I’ve known many of these people for years, and have always appreciated how fortunate I am to be among people who accept me (including many of my fellow bloggers here at The Orbit).

As it happens, I also joined the Skepchick network riiiiight around the time Rebecca Watson uttered the phrase, “Guys, don’t do that,” and what had initially appeared to be a unified movement started to thoroughly implode. Continue reading “Speak Your Mind–Even If Your Voice Shakes”

Speak Your Mind–Even If Your Voice Shakes

On Desirability And Transition

This was originally posted on Facebook, so I apologize to those who may have already seen it. I felt it was worthy of a cross-post because hot damn sometimes I’m good at words.

CN for hormone replacement therapy, depression, internalized transphobia, dysphoria, desirability/sex, body parts

I am a trans person.

I’ve been on testosterone for almost two years.

I used to feel attractive–yes, even when I lived a life indistinguishable from a woman’s. Continue reading “On Desirability And Transition”

On Desirability And Transition

Moving Forward-A List of Pros

Yes, sorry, I’m bad about actually blogging, that’s my B. I’m working on it, I promise. Also I didn’t intend to use this blog for personal things, but I haven’t written in forever so w/e.

Anyway, CN for depression, s**c*dal thoughts, exercise

I’m about to quit a job that has been exacerbating my depression and making me want to kill myself. I’ve been struggling the entire time, but the suicidality crept up in September and hasn’t fully gone away. I only started working there a year ago.

But today I filled out a formal resignation form, giving my two weeks’ notice. Also, my supervisor had the amazing idea of using up a big chunk of my annual (paid) leave for the second week, so I only actually have five more work days. Then a week-and-a-half vacation before I start my new job. (I’m going to do delivery driving for Jimmy John’s.)

Obviously this is exciting and awesome, and so I’m going to refrain from annoying my Facebook friends by putting a list here of all the things I’m looking forward to when I’m no longer employed by the USPS: Continue reading “Moving Forward-A List of Pros”

Moving Forward-A List of Pros

I’m Starting A Patreon!

Hello, all!

Today I’m announcing the launch of »my Patreon page.« Most of you probably know what that is, but if you don’t: it’s a way for creators to be paid for work they normally do for free, such as making YouTube videos and blogging, via monthly pledge donations.

My Patreon is mostly to support my YouTube endeavors; it’ll help me rebuild my aging computer and set up a proper recording space. (I’m using a fur-covered, torn green screen as a background. Save me. T_T) But! I’m also offering rewards on there that pertain to my writing, as a way to encourage me to use this platform more.

Even if I can’t come up with some super srs bsns for this blog, I want to give it more attention. I’ve had this idea to over-explain the lyrics to World of Warcraft parody songs for several years and I think I’d get a kick out of it, even if no one else does.

So, if you want to support my creative works and give me things to write about, check out my Patreon! If you don’t want to or can’t support it, I’d still be grateful for a share.

Hope you have an awesome day!

I’m Starting A Patreon!

CONvergence Panels!

LET THE EXCITEMENT COMMENCE.

CONvergence is coming up soon, here in just over a month, and the events schedule has been posted! Which means that I now know and can share with you which panels I’m going to be on!

DID I MENTION SOMETHING ABOUT EXCITEMENT??

*ahem* Anyway, the full schedule is available here, so you can check out all the amazing things that are going to be happening. There’s an art show, movie screenings, a pie contest, and signings. And, of course, panels!

I’m going to be on six(!) panels this year, so here’s my schedule for those who are interested: Continue reading “CONvergence Panels!”

CONvergence Panels!

CATHY BRENNAN IS A FAKE GOTH??

Alright, y’all. Just be aware that I’m super pissed off about this, but I’m gonna try not to rage too hard. CN for transphobia.

So, Cathy Brennan. She’s a Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) who is notorious within the trans community for her website “Gender Identity Watch” and its affiliated Facebook pages. On the Facebook pages, there has been a history of outing and harassing trans women. Brennan also appears in meatspace, with one notable picture of her holding a paper cutout of a person with the crotch circled, and the text reading, “Sorry about your dick.”

She’s an awful person. Continue reading “CATHY BRENNAN IS A FAKE GOTH??”

CATHY BRENNAN IS A FAKE GOTH??

Frivolous Fridays: NEW SEASON OF GoT!

»Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care a lot about that may not necessarily have serious implications for politics or social justice. Although any day is a good day to write about our passions outside of social issues, we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun.«

Welcome to a new thing we’re doing! As the blurb says, we want to encourage each other to blog about whatever we want to our heart’s content. I definitely feel obligated to write about Serious Important Business every time I blog here, so we thought it would be nice to have an open day to talk about silly things that don’t necessarily have to make a punchy point. It mixes the solemnity of what many of us write about with some levity, so it doesn’t become overwhelming to you or our bloggers.

[Note: It has occurred to me that it’s April Fool’s Day, but this is not related to that.] :p

On to the silly thing! Continue reading “Frivolous Fridays: NEW SEASON OF GoT!”

Frivolous Fridays: NEW SEASON OF GoT!

The World’s Best Breakup Song

There’s this song I discovered because I’m listening to the radio more often lately. It’s called “Let It Go” (no, not THAT one) by James Bay, and it’s incredibly sad, as a breakup song is expected to be. But the angle it comes from is remarkably unique, considering the way the genre usually plays out.

Here’s the music video, and I highly recommend you listen to the song, but I’ll also post the lyrics in full below the fold and explain why this is the world’s best breakup song:

Continue reading “The World’s Best Breakup Song”

The World’s Best Breakup Song

Knowing Disabled People Changed My Mind About Ableist Slurs

CN: ableist slurs

This post is spurred by a recent post by my colleague Ania, which is a challenge to those of us within the community to stop using ableist language for one month. I recommend reading her post explaining why certain words are harmful to neurodivergent and disabled people and can perpetuate stigma against them.

Over the last few years, I’ve come to know many people who have disabilities, or identify themselves as disabled even if they don’t have official diagnoses. Ania herself has been a big part of my revelation on this topic. I have learned through exposure that terms which I used to use casually, like “retarded,” “stupid,” “lame,” and “blind” are subtly enforcing a culture which demonizes those traits. Continue reading “Knowing Disabled People Changed My Mind About Ableist Slurs”

Knowing Disabled People Changed My Mind About Ableist Slurs