There are people my parents refuse to tell about me.
Technically, that’s pretty much everyone. They couldn’t use my name to my face, so there’s no way they’re getting it right around other people. They’re not much better about my pronouns yet, mostly switching to gender-neutral nouns like “child” instead of “son” and changing who they’re addressing mid-sentence to use “you” instead of “she.”
They handled my aggressively femme presentation with far more politeness and warmth than I anticipated. They said a bunch of things that tell me that they’re trying to position themselves, wrongly, as understanding and accepting parents whom I should have told about my transition much earlier, when it was still new, to honor the (also incorrect) closeness and openness of our relationship. But they still can’t say my name, not even to me.
Continue reading “Bigotriage”
Something peculiar happens with film budgets. Films that spend more on their cast than small countries spend on food make decisions premised on that kind of money. In a culture that places whiteness, maleness, and similar statuses on pedestals and holds others down, that often means that seeking the biggest names—the people most often recognized for their talent and expertise—means finding people who have had every advantage up to that point. Big-budget films are incredibly white and distressingly male, by and large, regardless of where they are set, and it’s only recently that films could give top billing to members of ethnic minorities without immediately becoming “niche.”
That’s what makes lower-budget films especially interesting.
One of the first things I noticed when I started watching classmates’ film projects, amateur movies on YouTube, and other low-budget cinema was the overwhelmingly greater diversity in the cast. Women and non-white people, disappeared from sight in mainstream films, appeared in profusion, matching the reality of the diverse places I have lived.
And that’s what brings us to Sharktopus (2010).
Spoilers for all three Sharktopus films below the fold.
Continue reading “The Strange Potential of Sharktopus”
Hay una banda sonora especial para la matanza moderna. La mayoría no son envenenando a la gente en un sueño permanente. Cuando un asesino moderno con un arma moderna asesina a 50 personas y hiere a 53 más, hay un sonido que sigue el carillón del último casquillo cuando cae al piso. Mucho tiempo después de los gritos y llantos y sirenas se colocan por otro lado, hay otro sonido, nos dicen.
Continue reading “Vino Para Mí”
I’ve been on several Caribbean cruises. I’m also terrified of next month’s automatic bill payments. The juxtaposition of those two facts, both as true as they are incongruous next to one another, is something I’ve had to learn to understand, live with, and acknowledge as part of myself.
Continue reading “The Decadence of Memory”
CN: 11 June 2016 Orlando murders.
There’s a special soundtrack to a modern massacre. Most of them aren’t poisoning people into too-long sleep. When a modern killer with a modern gun murders 50 people and injures 53 more, there’s a sound that follows the last shell casing’s floor-bound chime. Long after the shrieking and crying and sirens are diverted elsewhere, there’s another sound, they say.
Continue reading “He Came For Me”
Autistic Person: I’m here for the job doing THING.
HR: Ah, good, good. How much experience do you have doing THING?
Autistic Person: Experience?
Continue reading “Autistic Job Searching: A Play in One Scene”
Humanism is shorthand. It’s a start, a summary, and a statement. In a world of ideologies that refuse to recognize my humanity or that assert that it has no value, it is a bold and clear assertion:
I matter, because I am a person.
Continue reading “An Inclusive Humanist Manifesto”
“Well, I give up. What’s the catch?”
“Oh, no catch. Although we are technically in New Jersey.”
The way American television talks about New Jersey, one would think the apocalypse already happened, but only there. The air is semisolid industrial waste and the beaches are made of finely ground syringes. The people are ruder than the rudest New York stereotype, bizarrely puffed-up Italian-American caricatures, elitist Princeton heirs, and immigrants from all over Asia and Latin America, somehow all at once, with only racism letting anyone have something other than the most impossibly overwrought “New Jersey accent.” It’s treated as New York’s leavings and the USA’s armpit, in media as obnoxiously cliché as How I Met Your Mother and as original and usually-compassionate as Steven Universe.
None of that is the New Jersey I remember from the eleven years I lived there.
Continue reading “Lilacs, Kiełbasa, and Why New Jersey Deserves Better”