Why The Perfumed Void?

I’ve had a lot of strange blog names over the years: DAOnC, My Little Corner of the Tuna Fish, my deadname a few times, Alyssa and Ania ‘Splain You a Thing. As I get older, the kind of strangeness that appeals to me shifts around, and it’s time to pick up a new one.

I’m Alyssa Gonzalez, and I write in the Perfumed Void.

At its most basic, The Perfumed Void comes from a line in this prose-poem I wrote: “Long years of intensive patterns and cycles maintained because as long as I maintained them, I never had to think of what might replace them, never had to face the yawning, perfumed void over which they stretched, never had to know why.” I made a break from a whole suite of patterns and cycles recently, things I maintained because, as long as I did, I could avoid having to think about what would come after.

It’s time to think about what comes after. It’s time to rappel into the void. It’s time for me.

I’m Alyssa Gonzalez. I’m a trans woman. I’m Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Cuban, American, and Canadian. I’m autistic. I’m an atheist. I’m a feminist. I’m a trained biologist working outside the sciences. I’m traumatized many times over. I am, in some sense, a refugee. I enjoy warmth, softness, sun, skin, fashion, Lovecraftian horror, social justice, and the overwhelming, emotional simplicity of an outstretched hand. I write personal essays about all of these things; explorations of atheism, science, popular culture, and world history; short fiction within and outside of big nerd properties such as Pokémon and Doctor Who; and more.

It’s perfumed because I believe in beauty, truth, kindness, the cleansing light of day, and high-heeled shoes. These things are rightly alluring, like a good eau de toilette, and draw us into the void, where possibility dwells. In the void, we encounter the voidbeasts that taunt and terrify, but we also find our own futures, written in tentacle scribblings and wafting scent.

So here I am.

It’s time for me.

And I’m glad you could be here with me.


Start here to sample Alyssa’s writing on various topics.



Why I am an Atheist: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Confessions of a Bag Lady: Five Things I Learned Collecting Beer Cans for Money. Part 1, Part 2.

Hispanic, Atheist, American, Me

Salsa Fuerte, Vergüenza Profunda

Caring So Much It Hurts

I Have Always Been So

Hija de Caguas y La Habana

How The Parents Learned

Guayaberas and Banana Leaves

A Year and Change

Flamboyán al Fin

Of Largest Lineage


Atheism, Religion, and Science

Possibilianism, or How I Learned to Stop Thinking about Hard Questions

The Word Games Believers Play

In Defiance of Nature

The Mover Out of Time

Justice Designed

Playing the Defender

Magic and Morality

A Fallen World

Handle Effect

The Why and the How

Command and Convenience


Atheism and Politics

Vladimir and Ayn Walk into a Bodega

Stop Giving Winter a Bad Name

A Civil Silence

Hell is Other People

The Oppressor’s Puzzle

One School System

Yams for All


Popular Culture

Treize Khushrenada You Beautiful Asshole: Gundam Wing in the Age of Fascism

For Today I Am a Boy – A Review

Nineteen Meltdowns: Pokémon Movies While Autistic

The Strange Potential of Sharktopus

Mysterious as the Trans Side of Mulan

The Shoes Are Not Impractical – You Are

In Praise of Optimus Primal


Science and History

Animal Form and Function: Eight sets of images, videos, and anecdotes Alyssa has used as instructional aids during a lab course she taught for six winters. She takes this time to introduce her students to the weird and wonderful animals that populate each group they encounter during the course.

Quotidian Science: Alyssa occasionally writes about science in a way that tries to bring the specialist’s thinking to people outside of specialized fields. Whether it’s evolutionary biology, aquarium keeping, pest control, or non-Euclidian geometry, those posts are here.

Shifty Lines: Many world conflicts are at least partially caused by post-colonial borders failing to reflect the on-the-ground reality of which people see themselves as a distinct group from which other people, with their own national identity. This series explores various world conflicts through this lens, and imagines what the world might look like if a serious effort were made to solve them with this in mind.



Alyssa’s Fiction: Alyssa writes surrealist, romantic, and adventure fiction. Lately, she writes Pokemon fanfiction from a social-justice perspective featuring transgender and indigenous characters.


Alyssa would like to thank Melynn Rose for her Gravatar image, and points you all to her Facebook page for all of your sketching and line-art needs.


Why The Perfumed Void?