Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Just Here to Say that I Have Nothing to Say

I wasn't going to talk about the election. But given that the last few times I've actually made use of this blog it was with political leanings I came to the conclusion that my silence was a bit too conspicuous. That said, I have very little to say about what happened, and this is mostly an explanation of why that is the case.

If you were to go by my social media activities (youtube, facebook, instagram, etc.) you might not even realize that there was an election. So let me put it on record here, to be clear: I'm not happy. I am however very very very very tired. I've had to minimize my time on Facebook because if I spend more than 5 minute browsing my feed I frankly get almost too depressed to function. I can't talk politics right now, I can't watch other people talking politics, and I can't listen to the news. I'm not in denial, I know what happened and I understand the implications of it and I'm aware of how bad things could get from here. However I simply can't go down that hole right now, because I don't think I'd have the strength to pull myself out of it. It's self preservation, and I recognize the selfishness in that. But I'm of no use to anybody anywhere if I shut down because I've let the dread take over.

I hope people will recognize my continuing my normal output of pictures, videos, etc. as what it is: an attempt to offer some normalcy. That is NOT the same as normalizing Trump as president. But as much as I know that I've been grasping at the things that bring me joy and holding on for dear life, it's my hope that maintaining my usual output could possibly be that for somebody else. It doesn't mean I'm ignoring what's going on, it means that I need parts of my life to be as minimally impacted by it as possible. Because if I let this darkness touch every part of my life then I risk extinguishing all of the light, of sapping out the joy that I need to keep going.

So no, I'm not going to be commenting, sharing, retweeting or otherwise involving myself in the political climate of social media for the foreseeable future. That doesn't mean I'm burying my head in the sand or not watching, but I need to keep a certain distance for my own sanity. But also, please do not mistake social media silence for complacency. I'm not sitting idle. I am finding ways to help, causes to donate to, people to be sure I'm there for who I know are vulnerable. But I'm not going to talk about it on social media. I'm too tired to shout, but not too tired to act.

I have nothing to say, but I have so much to do.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

National Coming Out Day (or for some of us - Staying In Day)

Here it is again. And this year, just as every year, I debate whether I should come out to a more complete degree than I have. And this year, just as every other year, I will not be doing that.

Photo by Syd London

Of course I'm kind of out depending on your own view. I'm not closeted in the sense of being overly secretive, the close people in my life are well aware of this side of me and its importance to my identity, and obviously I have an online presence that I'm not at all shy about. But I don't show "before" images of myself (before make-up, wig, etc.) on my cross dressing related pages. I don't talk about being gender fluid or a drag performer in my non-drag social media profiles. I'm not out at work, despite there being no gender specific aspects to the company dress code. I don't walk down the street in the town where I live in makeup or heels. And I don't expect any of that to change this year.

I don't put up the sturdiest dividing line in the world between my male and female identities. But I don't allow them to purposefully overlap either. I've never promoted my non-drag work on my drag profiles and vice versa. And even as certain aspects of my day to day life see the two sides of myself becoming a bit more blended and I'm more comfortable with the middle ground, I don't see myself having a formal "coming out," anytime soon.

To a certain extent that makes me sad. Part of me wants to just go "Hey! I have a fluid gender identity and sometimes I wear makeup and skirts, and there's no shame in that!" Which of course is true, and I do believe, but the logistics and fallout of actually making that truly public knowledge are very real. And more to the point, they don't just impact me. I'm a parent, and I have a child whose life can be negatively impacted by how I am perceived by the town residents. I'm not just talking about embarrassment, as I'd like to think she's being raised in such a way that she won't see shame in something like this, I'm talking about bullying and shunning by others (both adults and kids.) I've found fairly consistently that impact on loved ones (children especially) is one of the biggest factors leading to coming out late in life. And I understand it, better than I would care to.

And yet, in some ways, the separation of my two primary gender identities makes life a bit easier. Compartmentalizing isn't for everybody, but for some of us it makes things easier to manage if everything isn't bleeding over and impacting everything else. Not every friend I have needs to know every aspect of my life. I can have my friends I only talk about geeky things with. I can have my friends I only really talk about the female side of my life with. In a way that makes those who I let in on both sides a bit more special and dear to me, as well they should be.

So before this day is over, don't expect me to announce my feminine self to the world on my drab profile, nor to connect my masculine identity to my drag profile. I will not be coming out anymore than I already have. And you don't have to either, if you aren't ready. This day is a wonderful thing, but don't let it jump a decision that requires no special date. Coming Out Day is not a deadline. You're not going to lose points for missing the due date. It's just a day. And if you choose to come out, wonderful. And if you don't, good for you.

There may come a day when the walls between my male and female lives crumble and fall. But it is not this day.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Where Have I Been?

Allow me to utilize that wonderfully annoying technique made world famous by politicians and public figures: ask myself questions and then answer them! WHEEEE! This'll be fun!

Where have you been?
I haven't gone anywhere, I've just been going through a period of doing too much and then attempting to refocus my life. So the things that I just didn't have time for, like this blog for example, have fallen by the wayside. But as far as my day to day life I've still be doing me. Still performing, still living, still evolving.

Does this mean you'll update this more regularly?
Probably not. I'd like to think you'll see more frequent posts here but I'm not about to promise something that I know I probably won't deliver on. There may be a temporary uptick, but I'm not about to promise anything like a weekly/monthly/whatever update going into the future. Not right now at any rate.

Will you ever make more videos for your Youtube Channel?
Yes! Yes I will. This is something that's fallen off by accident. I know I said over a year ago that videos would be less frequent, but I never intended for things to go completely dark for as long as they have. I'm a creature of habit, and sadly I got out of the habit of setting time aside to make videos. There may be other announcements coming in the future related to this, but I want to get my ducks in a row before I jump the gun on that.

Are you still performing?
Absolutely. Though video updates have gone quiet, I've never stopped hitting the stage whenever I've had the opportunity. I've also been making an effort to get out to more shows even if I'm not performing in them, so I've been around for more stuff in my semi-local area both on and off the stage. I've even developed a new stage persona.

Wait, so you're performing as something other than Vera?

Well, hosting at any rate. I sometimes co-host the Green Mountain Cabaret in a genderfuck persona known as Snow Peepers. When I say "genderfuck" I mean that Snow possesses clear traits of being both male and female, with the deliberate intention of confusing the hell out of people. Snow is a bit of a different beast from Vera. Vera is me (specific performance number affectations notwithstanding) with my natural feminine traits being emphasized over my masculine ones, while Snow is very much a character that I play with a personality not intended to be a representation of my day to day life in anyway. The reason for Snow's creation was that as a host I needed to lock down a more specific stage persona, and the direction I decided to go was not a direction I necessarily wanted be viewed as how Vera is. If you ever turn out for a performance you'll see what I mean.

Were you away because you're transitioning to being a woman fulltime?
No, and as I've said before I do not believe that I ever will go down that path. I strongly believe that I do have both sides to myself: I don't feel more right as a woman than I do as a man. However, I am experimenting with my own gender fluidity in that I'm trying out riding the middle ground a bit more in my day to day life. What I mean by that is up to this point I've basically either been Vera full on (make-up, hair, the complete look) or in total male mode. It was either all one or all the other. I'm experimenting with trying out the middle ground a bit more in my day to day life. For example I plan to get my ears pierced soon, which is something I decided against some time ago because I don't like the look of guys with earrings. But I'm going to give it a try and see how it feels having what in my mind is something more representative of my female side being present even when I'm operating more or less as a male. Now, I may well decide that this isn't working for me, let the piercings heal over and go back to what I was doing before. But who knows? That's part of the fun: finding out what's next.

Anything else?
Not right now, but we'll see what the future holds!