Below the fold…
Last weekend, I finally managed to bring my D&D campaign to a close. I started conceptualizing the story that became this campaign close to ten years ago, in a different city, with different ambitions. It was part of my first serious attempt to be a Dungeon Master, after two previous games that devolved into high-powered absurdity. It evolved hand-in-hand with the expansion of my campaign setting, a homemade version of the detailed worlds published for reference and inspiration. The end of this long-running game gives me a lot to think about, including what to do with all this extra free time. Somehow, I think I’ll find something.
Below the fold…
I’m currently a candidate for permanent residency in Canada. It’ll be a while before the Canadian authorities make their decision, and then a bit longer while I come up with ~$500 that Canada likes to extract from its immigrants for the privilege of the legal right to remain even after their stay is approved, on top of a similar expense required to even apply. I’ll have to sit for some sort of interview in between, most likely, so that an official fundamentally unqualified to make this determination can decide if my relationship to Ania is genuine. I haven’t yet determined whether I’ll have to make that appearance while crossdressing, given that my legal paperwork is all under the old name, but signs point in that direction. I’m still figuring out whether it’s a good idea to start moving on my legal name change now, or if that would complicate my application. Immigrating while transgender is a dreadful experience overall.
Eventually, I’ll also have to renounce my US citizenship, because even having US citizenship is a liability for US citizens relocated long-term elsewhere. The United States is unusual in two respects: it is illegal to enter the United States with a non-US passport if one is a US citizen, and the US extends its financial fingers into the doings of US citizens living abroad. Much has been written about the annoyance that these rules impose on people even approaching middle-class, despite being ostensibly aimed at drawing back some money filched by jet-setting CEOs and parked elsewhere in the world. Worse, because US citizenship is transmitted by birth to at least one American parent or on American soil, if I have children, anything in their names is also subject to US scrutiny and US taxes, when they’ll have no personal connection to “the old country” at all. Relative poverty has kept me off of the IRS and Treasury Department’s radar, but I’ll still probably have to answer for my invisibility once my income becomes real.
Guest post by America Yamaguchi
[CN: sexual assault]
“Female-bodied” is a term that is endlessly harmful.
It reduces cisgender women to their uterus. While childbearing is a massively important component of patriarchal harm, it goes far beyond that. It is also harmful to insist that childbearing or a uterus is what makes a woman a woman, both to trans people of all genders, and to cisgender women who are infertile for any reason. It compounds a major source of psychological distress to cis women who cannot have children. By the standards of “female-bodied” to mean the uterine body plan, a cisgender woman who is missing any aspect or has a dysfunction by any part, is bound to feel like less of a woman. Thus, this term directly attacks the womanhood of a variety of cis women as well as trans women.
There’s a tradition scattered around Latin America, inherited from 19th-century Spain, about grapes on New Year’s Eve. One eats las doce uvas de la suerte as the old year turns into the new one, assigning each grape a resolution, hope, or desire. As with many traditions, it was invented for cynical, consumerist reasons, in this case by vintners in Alicante to sell their excess grapes. It grew into its significance, becoming a magical ritual to ward off ill fortune and mischievous spirits and then into a tradition maintained for tradition’s sake.
My family has consumed las doce uvas de la suerte every year that I can remember, in between glasses of champagne and the din of festive noisemakers and fireworks. The fireworks and little trumpets and such were well in excess of what my sensory sensitivities deemed tolerable, without fail, but I liked the grapes.