42 votes

What's a question you want to ask, but you're worried about how it might come across?

Intro

A while ago, we held a LGBT Q&A panel that allowed people to ask questions to LGBT people that they might have been afraid to ask otherwise. I think this was incredibly valuable, and I would like to try a slightly less structured and topical version of the thread.

This thread is for questions about any topic that you're worried might come across as insensitive or invasive or uncomfortable or whatever -- questions that might get responded to negatively if you were to ask them elsewhere. Ask a question that you tend to keep to yourself, for whatever reason.

My hope is that people can ask some questions in good faith and get answers in good faith. In order to do that though, I do think it's important that we have some norms in place:


Ground Rules

Anyone can ask questions or provide answers or both. This topic is not a panel but a Tildes-wide discussion.

Askers

Ask a genuine question that you want a genuine answer to. Feel free to ask informational questions, experiential questions, and opinion questions. They will be afforded the principle of charity, but also understand that this is not a thread for hot takes or passive aggressive shots or anything like that.

Follow-up questions are allowed and encouraged.

To keep threads organized, post a new top-level comment for each separate question, unless your questions are all related to the same topic and work better as one comment.

Answerers

Give genuine answers to the questions given. The goal of the thread is education and understanding. Even (and especially) if a question is difficult, frustrating, or off-putting, I think one of the best things you can articulate is why it is that way for you as a way of helping others understand your experience and perspective.

All

Please abide by this principle: if your words have the potential to cut, then please have the courtesy of using some anaesthetic. If you know you're entering into potentially inflammatory territory, please go out of your way to soften sharpness and defang your words. The last thing I want this thread to be is a set of escalations or inflection points.

If you're worried your question might look provocative, openly state your intention and give some background for why you want to ask, to show that you're acting in good faith and willing to listen to answers. If you're worried your answer might slam on someone, openly state your intention and give some background for why this is a topic that elicits such strong feelings from you.

If a question or answer does cross lines or occurs in bad faith, please label it as malice.

If you do not want to see this topic in your thread for any reason, please use the ignore post feature.

I am hoping that we can have some very thoughtful, compelling, and insightful conversation here, and, based on what I know of the Tildes community and our last attempt at a thread like this, I have full faith that we can achieve that.

153 comments

  1. [15]
    FishFingus
    (edited )
    Link
    If I feel like I've been unable to concentrate on anything or try my best in any meaningful way since late primary school, I really dislike being stationary for too long, I avoid responsibility...

    If I feel like I've been unable to concentrate on anything or try my best in any meaningful way since late primary school, I really dislike being stationary for too long, I avoid responsibility for fear of failure, I have no ambition or initiative or desires in life, I can't move on from thinking about past mistakes, and I constantly feel devoid of energy...how much can this can be explained by mental disorders, and how much by me being a lazy piece of work?

    BTW, going to try and get a psych. eval. after lockdown ends. I imagine it will take quite a while, though.

    EDIT: Thank you so much for your replies. I'll re-read them and follow up on them in the coming days. You're all so kind and empathetic! :)

    22 votes
    1. [5]
      Icarus
      Link Parent
      Nobody is inherently lazy. I think no matter what, you should recognize that you have the ability to change. Humans aren't static and lose the ability to adapt and change, no matter what stage of...

      Nobody is inherently lazy. I think no matter what, you should recognize that you have the ability to change. Humans aren't static and lose the ability to adapt and change, no matter what stage of life you may be in. We are all constantly changing, whether it be our moods, attitudes, personalities, or behaviors, these are all in flux in some form or another.

      I, nor anyone here, can diagnose you. Regardless though, you can take steps to work on your mental health in your own time. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a proven method that helps a variety of mental health issues including (but not limited to):

      • Worry, rumination, and sticky thoughts
      • Understanding and Managing Emotions
      • Problem-solving strategies
      • Grief, sadness, and depression
      • Panic attacks and anxiety
      • Procrastination
      • Dealing with rejection
      • Insomnia

      You can learn and practice methods that therapists will help coach you through in your own time before you go in for your psych eval. It takes work/time and is often hard, but if you can chip away at some things you will see improvement whether you are on or off medication. I know there are tons of books you can buy on Amazon or at your preferred book store if you want to go that route. Personally, I found the Great Courses has a lecture series on it with example therapy sessions so you can get a perspective from the therapist's side on what is happening during a session:

      https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-for-daily-life

      I think you can get a month free of Great Courses to try it out and the app is available on many different devices if you wanted to watch it on a TV or other device.

      17 votes
      1. [4]
        knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        Something to consider about therapy, from my psych professor who was also an active clinician at the time, is that a psychologist will leverage any number of theraputic techniques depending on any...

        Something to consider about therapy, from my psych professor who was also an active clinician at the time, is that a psychologist will leverage any number of theraputic techniques depending on any number of variables to do with the patient. At least in her opinion, a major peeve is having a client show up and say "I need CBT," it's like walking into your doctor's office and saying "I need azithromycin for my cough" when it's really up to the practitioner how they'll approach, with patient consent of course.

        10 votes
        1. [2]
          vord
          Link Parent
          For anyone going down this journey for the first time, whether for a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist: Don't be afraid to hop around a bit, and beware of quacks. It took me 5 docs before I...

          For anyone going down this journey for the first time, whether for a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist:

          Don't be afraid to hop around a bit, and beware of quacks. It took me 5 docs before I found one that I liked and was able to work with. One of my priors was convinced the cure to all my ailments was to just take fish oil supplements....

          I'm a big fan of the 3 in one: therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist. Mental health is immensely complicated, so having to have different people for each role makes it that much more complicated...especially is the psychiatrist is just a 15 minute session to prescribe the pills.

          8 votes
          1. knocklessmonster
            Link Parent
            I'll second that. I was talking to a psychologist that wasn't helpful, but unfortunately haven't had the opportunity to find another. Even if you aren't bumping into quacks (which are...

            I'll second that. I was talking to a psychologist that wasn't helpful, but unfortunately haven't had the opportunity to find another. Even if you aren't bumping into quacks (which are exceptionally rare) it can take some time to find the one.

            5 votes
        2. vektor
          Link Parent
          I think part of that comes from a lense of intense (deserved) scepticism of old-school therapy. The german system recognizes, aside from CBT, also e.g. psychodynamic psychotherapy and analytical...

          I think part of that comes from a lense of intense (deserved) scepticism of old-school therapy. The german system recognizes, aside from CBT, also e.g. psychodynamic psychotherapy and analytical psychotherapy. People probably just don't want to get Freud'ed. Now, I might be horribly wrong about those latter two approaches being Freudian. But that doesn't matter. People have a notion of what therapy is like and they have learned that CBT is not that and sounds a lot more productive. Hence, the demand for CBT is probably not generally meant as the explicit rejection of anything else it seems to be, but more the rejection as what people perceive to be the alternative.

          5 votes
    2. joplin
      Link Parent
      I'm not qualified to answer that question, but this one: Obviously I don't know you, so I can't directly answer, but one reason why you may not want to work on it is because you don't know how and...

      how much can this can be explained by mental disorders

      I'm not qualified to answer that question, but this one:

      how much by me being a lazy piece of work?

      Obviously I don't know you, so I can't directly answer, but one reason why you may not want to work on it is because you don't know how and because it's hard. I know when I want to learn some new method of computer programming, there are times when I can just sit down and do a search, find what I need, and learn the new technique. Other times, all that comes up are advanced research papers with math I don't understand, and I pretty quickly give up. It's the same with other aspects in life.

      I think having someone to talk to about this as you're planning on doing is a great idea. But it can also be useful to search out some of this stuff on your own in the meantime. I don't think what helped me will help you, but explaining it might get you thinking about what might help you.

      One thing that helped me understand other people better was listening to podcasts about skepticism and critical thinking. I grew up with a family that constantly criticized everything. Their criticisms were sometimes valid and sometimes not, and it was often hard to tell which was which. So as I grew up, I just assumed everyone who criticized me or something I liked was a jerk like my family members. It wasn't until I started to learn about skepticism and critical thinking that I was able to discern when criticism was valid, when it was constructive, and when it was likely just someone trying to cut me down. Maybe there's some information out there that will help you learn how to take responsibility, deal with the negative feelings that might entail, and do something productive with those feelings before moving on?

      9 votes
    3. [3]
      vektor
      Link Parent
      Counter questions, maybe to get you started thinking about and working on this (I assume you want to): When or how are you "lazy"? When you hit a road block? Always? Do you think mental disorders...

      Counter questions, maybe to get you started thinking about and working on this (I assume you want to):

      • When or how are you "lazy"? When you hit a road block? Always?
      • Do you think mental disorders are treatable without medication? Do you think laziness is treatable?
      • If you would kinda want to do something, where does it stop? Do you think about it and then not start? Do you start and then not follow through? Do you go most of the way and then not finish it up?

      These questions could be important in a psych eval situation, I think (someone correct me or add more questions if you're actually qualified). Having thought about them before and having a few observations of your own behavior could be useful.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        FishFingus
        Link Parent
        I tend to hit a roadblock whenever things look like they're too difficult because they rely on techniques I don't yet know but are quite teachable. As you can imagine, that's pretty often when...

        I tend to hit a roadblock whenever things look like they're too difficult because they rely on techniques I don't yet know but are quite teachable. As you can imagine, that's pretty often when you're doing something that requires expanding your knowledge base, e.g. on a course. I tend to catastrophize and overthink things for a while before usually realizing that it's easier than I imagined.

        I can put things off to the last minute or, if there's no deadline, for literally years - possibly indefinitely.

        I think mental disorders are treatable without medication, but each time I stopped taking mine I remember breaking down into tears. As bad as things can be on medication, they've never been that bad. I think laziness is treatable, but it's a constant regime that you can almost never break. You cannot let your guard down, and you have to be going all the time.

        During lockdown, I had the idea of starting to learn Italian. I was also exercising fairly regularly. At some point - I don't know when - I just decided not to one day, and then I think I lost the inertia to continue. It seems that I inevitably lose interest in everything after a while, from hobbies to jobs - my last three paid ones didn't last longer than 3 months, and my very last was over in weeks because I freaked out over the idea of being on the phones. My first job was behind the counter at some min-wage clownshow, and the customers would sometimes keep me up at night. Those experiences built on a solid base of anxiety and misanthropy (not quite, but for lack of a better word) that came from boarding school.

        5 votes
        1. vektor
          Link Parent
          mood. I've been meaning to put into practice something for myself here: Keep a backlog of achievable tasks to fall back to if I hit some roadblock. Basically, have a bunch of stuff running more or...

          I tend to catastrophize and overthink things for a while before usually realizing that it's easier than I imagined.

          mood. I've been meaning to put into practice something for myself here: Keep a backlog of achievable tasks to fall back to if I hit some roadblock. Basically, have a bunch of stuff running more or less in parallel. If I hit a roadblock in one of them, this gives me the chance to take a step back, do something else, sleep on it a night, see what comes up. And if I realize that there's no avoiding the unpleasant way through the roadblock (channel pure fucking power of will now!) - then I can at least intersperse that task with more pleasant and rewarding tasks from my backlog and get me some of that sweet sense of pride and accomplishment.

          I think mental disorders are treatable without medication, but each time I stopped taking mine I remember breaking down into tears. As bad as things can be on medication, they've never been that bad. I think laziness is treatable, but it's a constant regime that you can almost never break. You cannot let your guard down, and you have to be going all the time.

          Let me clarify a thing: I was assuming you were not on medication (you mentioned seeking an eval, which implied to me that you have not started treatment yet. I do not at all wish to imply that you should go off your current medication. I was addressing the point about laziness and was actually more aiming in the direction of "do you think therapy will help with whatever undiagnosed or unrecognized(i.e. laziness) disorder you might have?"

          I agree with your point about treatment of "laziness" (or whatever it is in your case) being a constant struggle, but I think this might highly depend on your tool set. Better tools, acquired through therapy or intentional meta-learning might help a lot here in helping you get back on track e.g. with your Italian lessons. Maybe you can observe in yourself what makes you lose your inertia, and what helps you regain it. Then manipulate the world around you to facilitate better outcomes. For me it helps to put my phone out of sight to stay focused. I'll often distract myself with it if I'm bored with what I'm doing, even though I should be focusing. But that's unlikely to be applicable to your situation, it should just illustrate how simple some strategies can be.

          2 votes
    4. [5]
      NoblePath
      Link Parent
      Have you considered You have complex childhood trauma or complex ptsd? Adult Children Anonymous is where I found a solution for a symptom list that you have just perfectly described (plus some...

      Have you considered

      1. You have complex childhood trauma or complex ptsd? Adult Children Anonymous is where I found a solution for a symptom list that you have just perfectly described (plus some other relationship problems).

      2. Have you considered psychedelic therapy? I don’t mean popping some e’s at a rave. I mean serious use of medicine with healing intention and solid integration and other complementary work (working in a community plus therapy) before and after. It’s helped me and many others.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        FishFingus
        Link Parent
        Childhood trauma would surprise me. I hada pretty fortunate, even somewhat sheltered childhood. Maybe that's the problem - it was all downhill from there. :P I would like to try micro-dosing with...

        Childhood trauma would surprise me. I hada pretty fortunate, even somewhat sheltered childhood. Maybe that's the problem - it was all downhill from there. :P

        I would like to try micro-dosing with cannabis some day, to see how it feels and if it helps. Not legel here yet, AFAIK, and certainly not available on the NHS to my knowledge. I...think that's what you meant?

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          NoblePath
          Link Parent
          Well, regarding the trauma, that’s the trick with complex trauma. The traumatic events are not acute, they are rather small, seemingly innocuous, but cumulative (like being sheltered-my mom was...

          Well, regarding the trauma, that’s the trick with complex trauma. The traumatic events are not acute, they are rather small, seemingly innocuous, but cumulative (like being sheltered-my mom was very proud that i never broke a bone as a lad, but that was actually a big contributor to my c-ptsd). The problem is identified by its effects, rather than its cause(s).

          Regarding psychedelics, my path was ketamine, which has an off label use for tx of depression and ptsd. Generally not covered by insurance, but can be very effective.

          Other psyhedelics are not legal, but very effective for people who get “stuck” in life. Google ayahuasca.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            FishFingus
            Link Parent
            Eh? Blimey, you could get PTSD from being too sheltered? Boarding school was pretty hellish, but I don't think I've got anything that serious. I doubt any of this is really enough to be a form of...

            Eh? Blimey, you could get PTSD from being too sheltered? Boarding school was pretty hellish, but I don't think I've got anything that serious. I doubt any of this is really enough to be a form of PTSD. Maybe I'll mention it to the psych.

            1. NoblePath
              Link Parent
              From the Wikipedia entry on complex ptsd:

              From the Wikipedia entry on complex ptsd:

              it has also been shown that the motivations behind such abuse can be well-intentioned.[6] Situations involving captivity/entrapment (a situation lacking a viable escape route for the victim or a perception of such) can lead to C-PTSD-like symptoms, which can include prolonged feelings of terror, worthlessness, helplessness, and deformation of one's identity and sense of self.[7]

              2 votes
  2. [4]
    gpl
    Link
    To the extent that we recognize both gender and race as being largely socially constructed, why is being transracial not really a thing? I feel kind of dumb asking this as I consider myself...

    To the extent that we recognize both gender and race as being largely socially constructed, why is being transracial not really a thing? I feel kind of dumb asking this as I consider myself relatively familiar with these things, but it has never really made sense to me why the thought of someone being transracial is not taken seriously. I am genuinely curious what people think about this.

    16 votes
    1. [2]
      eladnarra
      Link Parent
      I'm neither trans nor black, so other folks might be able to answer it better, but I found that this article explains one potential difference well: Why We Shouldn't Compare Transracial to...

      I'm neither trans nor black, so other folks might be able to answer it better, but I found that this article explains one potential difference well: Why We Shouldn't Compare Transracial to Transgender Identity

      Unlike gender inequality, racial inequality primarily accumulates across generations. Transracial identification undermines collective reckoning with that injustice.

      14 votes
      1. gpl
        Link Parent
        That was a really good article, thanks for sharing. I can't tell if I am completely convinced by the arguments presented but it's certainly a great perspective and I think it is more clear now...

        That was a really good article, thanks for sharing. I can't tell if I am completely convinced by the arguments presented but it's certainly a great perspective and I think it is more clear now that there are serious differences between the two. I'll have to think more about it honestly.

        5 votes
    2. Seven
      Link Parent
      +1 on this question. I've always wondered about this, but I never found the right place to ask the question. I have had similar thoughts about both being socially constructed. The only reasons I...

      +1 on this question. I've always wondered about this, but I never found the right place to ask the question. I have had similar thoughts about both being socially constructed. The only reasons I could think of would be because transracial people could be seen as appropriating minority identities, but that's the exact same rhetoric TERFs use against trans women. I then thought that it might be because there's no dysphoria related to one's racial identity, but applying that same logic to transgender people sounds exactly like transmedicalism.

      10 votes
  3. [6]
    kfwyre
    Link
    Has anyone here lost connection or had a falling out with friends/family due to politics (particularly radicalization)? If so, what has it been like, for you and for them?

    Has anyone here lost connection or had a falling out with friends/family due to politics (particularly radicalization)? If so, what has it been like, for you and for them?

    15 votes
    1. Icarus
      Link Parent
      I come from an extremely conservative area so I was the rare speck of blue in a sea of red. Despite this, I did manage to have close friends and a friendship that started in 1st grade and pretty...

      I come from an extremely conservative area so I was the rare speck of blue in a sea of red. Despite this, I did manage to have close friends and a friendship that started in 1st grade and pretty much finally ended 14 years later when the Trump phenomenon came on to the scene. I think the hatred that he felt for Hillary Clinton at the time fueled his affection for Trump more than anything. But it was just too much for me.

      A year or so ago he got in contact with me and while we had a good 3-hour conversation, he tried to play off the presidency at the time as some unavoidable clusterfuck. This ultimately brought me to realize the biggest problem with our relationship is his own sense of accountability and ownership of actions. He had been on a long slide of blaming others and being a blatant womanizer/misogynist by the tail end of our relationship. I hope that one day he finds the wisdom to identify the cycle of hurt he perpetuates and works to put a stop to it, but that sort of relection doesn't usually come about until significant hardship is felt.

      16 votes
    2. Adys
      Link Parent
      I've lost a couple of people who came out as anti-vax. I found that I had zero patience for that shit; In each case I calmly and plainly told them I disagreed, and I simply stopped talking to...

      I've lost a couple of people who came out as anti-vax. I found that I had zero patience for that shit; In each case I calmly and plainly told them I disagreed, and I simply stopped talking to them.

      No big fight. No going out with a bang. Just a "huh, this person is just not worth talking to right now".

      The way I'm phrasing it might make it sound like their position made me feel like this about them but truthfully, it's the other way around: the way I felt about them made me not want to bother when a major philosophical disagreement came up. In other words, this only came up with people I didn't care much about in the first place. Turns out, none of the people I connected deeply with are anti-vax, and there's probably a good reason for that.

      If one of them were, would I be able to disagree with them and retain my friendship? Yeah, I'm certain of it. I'm very good friends with people I clash on in much more significant ways.

      11 votes
    3. Micycle_the_Bichael
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yes, but also no :P We haven't had a major fallout yet but you can tell one is on the horizon. My grandparents and uncles are super racist, homophobic, and sexist. They are really rude and shitty...

      Yes, but also no :P We haven't had a major fallout yet but you can tell one is on the horizon. My grandparents and uncles are super racist, homophobic, and sexist. They are really rude and shitty to the women and attack with traditional conservative views (they are the ones cooking dinner, they are doing all the grocery shopping, they do all the dishes, etc), they are condescending and infinitlize the men (Assume my partner will do the cooking and cleaning despite us repeatedly establishing that I prefer to do the cooking and dishes, acting like we are incapable of basic tasks if they are traditionally feminine tasks like dusting or shit like that, say my cousin with ADHD 'isn't smart enough' to go into his desired field because his dad is in it and is insecure about his intelligence), they say homophobic shit in front of their not-straight family members, they say anti-asian shit in front of someone who's adopted sister is asian (really the "I have an asian sister/friend" part doesn't really matter, we'd all be pissed about racism/homophobia either way, I'm trying to drive home how self-absorbed and incapable of self-reflection they are). Hell, one called my cousins wife a whore to her face and never apologized. They constantly condescend to us about everything we do and think. And now they are causing a huge stink about how our significant others are tearing our family apart. No blame to the male members of the family mind you, just the "women" (my partner is NB but presents feminine) we are marrying. Like, no guys, its the fact that you're all really shitty and *-phobic, and especially are phobic towards our loved ones. No shit we aren't jumping for joy at the concept of spending holidays with the family. I've tried repeatedly explaining to my parents that it isn't anyone's partner that is breaking up our family, its the older generations refusal to see other people as worthy of human rights, and will say so with people from those groups right in front of them and then expect us to be chill and not defend ourselves. If they want us to start coming to events and responding to texts more, maybe they should reflect on how their actions and words hurt us and think about changing. So there's just a lot of tension bubbling under the surface but I think because the two people who are most confrontational have not been going to family events because of COVID we have avoided any major fallout, but I don't imagine there exists a future where we don't have one.

      7 votes
    4. ChuckS
      Link Parent
      My Dad and I both are solidly Pro-Democrat, but whenever I'd post something along those lines on Facebook he'd call me and give me shit for saying anything, like I'm going to get fired from my...

      My Dad and I both are solidly Pro-Democrat, but whenever I'd post something along those lines on Facebook he'd call me and give me shit for saying anything, like I'm going to get fired from my work (as an engineer?) for having political posts and China and other countries (travel for work) might arrest me or something.

      So I deleted my Facebook.

      Best decision ever, I don't miss it at all, but then he's sending me random pictures with no context, adding me to group chats with racist family members, all kinds of stuff like that.

      I told him I left Facebook over him, and he's pushing basically the same experience back on me and it needs to stop. Now he doesn't talk to me lol. I don't really care.

      5 votes
    5. NoApollonia
      Link Parent
      I had recently reconnected with my bio-dad's kids (we're all adults) around the time of the 2016 election....and shortly after and seeing/hearing them talk like Trump was God I ended up blocking...

      I had recently reconnected with my bio-dad's kids (we're all adults) around the time of the 2016 election....and shortly after and seeing/hearing them talk like Trump was God I ended up blocking them on social media and just haven't spoken to them at all in the past year or two. I can venture a guess they went ballistic when Biden won.

      3 votes
  4. [13]
    reifyresonance
    Link
    How do you decide if you're going to stay with a romantic partner long term? How do you decide what you can compromise on, and what you can't? How do you decide if problems (with them or with the...

    How do you decide if you're going to stay with a romantic partner long term? How do you decide what you can compromise on, and what you can't? How do you decide if problems (with them or with the relationship - if it's a "me" problem of course I'm gonna work on it) are worth trying to work on? How do you know if it's time to move on?

    Context: tough times in my first long term relationship, 3 years in. Young soul seeks experienced soul.

    I'm guess I'm worried about how this would come across due to context I've omitted - it puts everything in a bad light. Let me know if this doesn't fit.

    12 votes
    1. [4]
      vord
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Disclosure: I married the first woman I dated. Been together 14 years, married 11. Two kids. The reality is that there isn't any solid way to tell. I've seen happy long-term marriages from people...

      Disclosure: I married the first woman I dated. Been together 14 years, married 11. Two kids.

      The reality is that there isn't any solid way to tell. I've seen happy long-term marriages from people who got married less than a month after meeting. I've seen 10 year+ relationships crumble in the face of the slightest pressure. The best you can do is to step back and think about your happiness. What follows is a series of rhetorical questions yo help get you started.

      • Are you happy, or just afraid of being alone?
      • With compromise, are you compromising more than your partner, or vice versa? That can certainly build resentment long term.
      • Every relationship has ups and downs. Are there more happy days than sad?
      • Do you have any shared interests? It's perfectly fine to only have a few, but having at least a few helps.
      • Can you spend 8 hours together with no screens and be happy? What about with? If it's only one or the other, maybe there's a disconnect.
      • Are there any patterns of abuse or manipulation? It can be hard to tell if you're experiencing them in the moment. Read up on the signs.
      • Are there irreconcilable differences? I've seen two long-term relationships crumble because 1 person wanted kids and pressured the other into it.
      • Do you trust each other? Would both of you trust the other to wholly manage finances?
      • Sex matters. I've held as a rule that more is better than less. If neither of you has any interest for more than a day or two, perhaps it's a warning. Make sure you're on the same page about fetishes, monogamy, and frequency.

      My biggest advice is to live together for at least a year and have plenty of sex. I've seen many relationships crumble because they didn't do that.

      Don't be afraid to marry, but also don't be afraid to end it. Marriage is mostly a legal construct of the state. Prenuptial is not a dirty word, alimony is a nasty thing with a lot of bias in the system. But shared healthcare, tax savings, and a ton of legal protections are nice.

      Edit: Also don't let my wife make your wedding cake to save money. They turned out great, but so far 100% relationship failure rate.

      13 votes
      1. [2]
        reifyresonance
        Link Parent
        Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it. Answers to rhetorical questions I know you posed this as rhetorical, but I'm going to type out my answers anyways, just to think through it. May...

        Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.

        Answers to rhetorical questions I know you posed this as rhetorical, but I'm going to type out my answers anyways, just to think through it. May or may not end up posting them. Airing own dirty laundry, all feel free to skip.

        Are you happy, or just afraid of being alone?

        I am not happy and have not been for quite some time

        With compromise, are you compromising more than your partner, or vice versa? That can certainly build resentment long term.

        I feel I am compromising more. I am a more malleable person, her more rigid. The dynamic is as you said.

        Every relationship has ups and downs. Are there more happy days than sad?

        No. A lot of tense and stressful days.

        Do you have any shared interests? It's perfectly fine to only have a few, but having at least a few helps.

        Not really. I guess we both like nature, but it's allergy season.

        Can you spend 8 hours together with no screens and be happy? What about with? If it's only one or the other, maybe there's a disconnect.

        I don't think we have spent 8 hours without screens, I don't think we could. I think we used to be able to. With -- we live together and have for a few years, so this happens often.

        Are there any patterns of abuse or manipulation? It can be hard to tell if you're experiencing them in the moment. Read up on the signs.

        Quick search, found first 3 websites with lists of signs. I got 4/11, 6/11, and 3.5/12, being as liberal as possible with the mentioned signs. I think that's not great but not enough for a diagnosis, y'know? I'll watch for these more as time goes on.

        Are there irreconcilable differences? I've seen two long-term relationships crumble because 1 person wanted kids and pressured the other into it.

        A discussion we've been having. What's irreconcilable? People can change. Small one -- I don't want her to smoke inside, but she does anyway. Irreconcilable! But there is a bigger one that I don't know if I can change on.

        Do you trust each other? Would both of you trust the other to wholly manage finances?

        Ehh she's way into crypto and I'm not -- it's made her a lot of money, but I wouldn't want her managing more than a portion of my finances. Too risky. Pretty sure she wouldn't trust me wholly either -- I'm pretty young, she's not.

        Sex matters. I've held as a rule that more is better than less. If neither of you has any interest for more than a day or two, perhaps it's a warning. Make sure you're on the same page about fetishes, monogamy, and frequency.

        how about I haven't wanted to except to make her happy for a month or three but also we havent been at all cuz she found out thats why I was doing it haha

        gotta admit this doesn't look good. and like, I know things aren't good. but I think I should work on fixing them. maybe. I don't know. I'm giving it a solid try. I was going to leave but I don't think I can without trying to put the work in first.

        My biggest advice is to live together for at least a year and have plenty of sex. I've seen many relationships crumble because they didn't do that.

        We kinda.. jumped the gun. A year of long-distance, then I moved in with her. A friend pointed out we missed the whole "dating" stage kinda... I almost want to go back and do that part.

        Marriage is mostly a legal construct of the state.

        Absolutely agree, haha. I've taken almost the opposite view though, that I shouldn't need the state to acknowledge my commitment for it to be real. Those tax benefits tho :eyes:

        So many thoughtful comments.. I will get to the rest of y'all, read the books, etc. Lot going on right now though.

        9 votes
        1. Omnicrola
          Link Parent
          Don't be afraid to ask for space, mentally or physically, to think through things. Don't be afraid to go "backward". If you feel rushed, or in retrospect feel like you missed a stage/process that...

          Don't be afraid to ask for space, mentally or physically, to think through things. Don't be afraid to go "backward". If you feel rushed, or in retrospect feel like you missed a stage/process that you feel is important, express that to your SO. Tell them why you think it's important to experience something you think you skipped.

          Also (and this is really hard) don't find yourself trapped by the sunk cost fallacy. Just because someone has put in a ton of time and effort into a relationship, doesn't automatically mean that they should tolerate things or compromise in ways they otherwise wouldn't .

          7 votes
      2. joplin
        Link Parent
        From my understanding, this isn't quite true. I found this article to have some interesting stats in it: They also found that the "more sex" group didn't have much more sex. They didn't actually...

        Sex matters. I've held as a rule that more is better than less. If neither of you has any interest for more than a day or two, perhaps it's a warning.

        From my understanding, this isn't quite true. I found this article to have some interesting stats in it:

        The subjects were 64 volunteer, married, heterosexual couples who already made love at least once a month. University of Pittsburgh researchers surveyed their happiness in general, their sexual frequency, and how they felt about their lovemaking. The researchers then told half the group to live their lives as usual, but asked the other half to double their sexual frequency. If they made love twice a month, they were asked to do it four times, etc. Participants also completed a short daily online survey about their sex and happiness.

        The group that lived their lives as always remained as happy as they had been, but the more-frequent-sex group surprised the researchers by reporting less happiness and erotic satisfaction.

        They also found that the "more sex" group didn't have much more sex. They didn't actually double it because they didn't really want to.

        I also read somewhere (can't find the article right now) that having more sex makes you happier up to a point and then happiness doesn't increase. If I recall, people who had sex 2 times a week reported being happier than people who had sex once a week, but people who had sex 3 or more times a week did not report being any happier than those having sex twice a week.

        3 votes
    2. Icarus
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      My past three relationships have been long-term (3 years, 3 years, and my current is 4 years) so I can maybe give you something to mull over for this answer. My current relationship is my...

      My past three relationships have been long-term (3 years, 3 years, and my current is 4 years) so I can maybe give you something to mull over for this answer. My current relationship is my strongest out of the bunch, likely due to our age and maturity. But what clicked with me is that love, while often portrayed as the giddy-romantic first-month relationship affair, is a lot more than that. I'm not a Christian but there is one Bible verse* that does resonate with me and my feelings for my partner.

      Corinthians 13:4-8

      Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

      Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

      I think this covers nearly all the bases except for one: Love is work. It is whether at the end of the day, especially the toughest days, that you decide whether tomorrow you want to do it all again. Over the past four years with my current partner, we have overcome so much together. We wouldn't have gotten so far if we decided that the other's shortcomings and deficits were too much to bear.

      Often, I think about my capability to love and to give to others as this emotional well. We have all had people in our lives who take from the well and either don't give back or don't allow it to fill over time. The only way the well is filled is by having our needs met. If you are with someone and at the end of the day, the well seems to always empty, there is a problem. It's not necessarily a serious relationship ender, just a time where you should communicate to your partner on what's going on. If they are open to listening, you are patient for change, and them willing to work (and maybe you have to do some work too!) then that is long-term relationship material.

      8 votes
    3. [2]
      dotsforeyes
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Every relationship is different so I can only offer what I've found out anecdotally and in a general sense. It helped a couple of my friends, maybe it'll help you? *Recognize that: Those questions...

      Every relationship is different so I can only offer what I've found out anecdotally and in a general sense. It helped a couple of my friends, maybe it'll help you?

      *Recognize that:

      1. Those questions and the process will repeat itself every so often when one or both of you have a change in priorities
      2. There is always the risk of being wrong for all parties involved
      3. I am working with the assumption that your relationship isn't crossing any moral boundaries (abuse, involvement of minors, etc)*

      Get to know yourself as an individual and what you want to do with your life. It's a bit backwards but - assuming this person was not a factor in your life- what do you like, what do you not like, and where do you see yourself in X years? It doesn't have to be anything career-related. If in X years you only get as far as "I hope I'm alive and healthy" or "i just want to make it to tomorrow" then that's fine.

      What's next is to find ways to clearly let your partner know that that is your plan AND find ways to know what their plan is. Every couple is different at how they prefer to communicate, just make sure both of you know this latest information about each other and how specific each of you are with your futures. Then, after you have both your info and your significant other's info, take a moment in private and think if you can live the rest of your life with this person knowing that's what they ultimately want to do with their life.

      I cannot stress enough that if you don't know this information about your partner, don't intend/ have any interest in doing so in the future, or aren't keen on renewing and updating the info every so often then there is no long term and it might be time to move on. The same goes for them.

      As an example, I have been with my current significant other just over a decade. We almost called it quits twice (amicably) but both times got to hash things out afterwards because we were both open to figuring out what each other wanted. We go over stuff like that every time we have a big fight (afterwards not during), sometimes over food and drinks when emotions are too high. Sometimes when all one person wants is "to be alive in 10 years maybe" and what the other wants is "to be fulfilled in my field/to have kids" then you have to decide whether to live with those problems (laid back partner, a family in the future) or not.

      One red flag for me is if one or both of you are too tired or can't be bothered to go through that process even after multiple attempts over a period of time (weeks and months, not hours) because that means maybe there's something underlying between you two that REALLY isn't working out. And that's okay. It's better to recognize that now so you can break up and save both of you the stress of staying together.

      Another red flag is you or your partner saying "Oh i know that about them already, we don't need to go through all that". No, you don't know them that well. You're not them. After a year they may not even be the same person anymore - especially if it's early days and you guys are still getting to know each other - so it's important to always be prepared to pay attention (sometimes indirectly) about big and little things.

      7 votes
      1. reifyresonance
        Link Parent
        Thank you, this helps. I have no idea what I'm doing with my life. I've been drifting aimlessly for a hot minute. I don't know how to figure this out. I've got a few spiritual experiences that I...

        Thank you, this helps. I have no idea what I'm doing with my life. I've been drifting aimlessly for a hot minute. I don't know how to figure this out. I've got a few spiritual experiences that I think have shown me a destination, but not a path. I don't know if/think it's one she can take with me. But if your head's in the clouds, you need your feet on the ground -- and I don't know what that part of my life is going to look like either. Just had a job interview the other day though, for something I think I'd enjoy doing, so that feels like it's moving again. Though I don't know how to untangle "interpellated desire to be a productive cog" from "wanting to do something with my life instead of just vibing." Lots of fertile ground for future thought.

        I'm going to check in more closely with her about where she wants to end up. We talked about this the other day, but not in depth.

        It's better to recognize that now so you can break up and save both of you the stress of staying together.

        This, and the paragraph containing this, might be true, and that scares me. We've been having trouble with the reconciliation part. My view is that this is mainly on her, but I'm not an outside observer, and she seems to think it's with me. Who's right? Nobody knows! (Probably both of us to an extent -- but I'm bitter that I always end up admitting fault and she rarely does.)

        Again, thank you for writing such a thoughtful comment. I hope it helps other people as much as it's helping me.

        5 votes
    4. [4]
      MonkeyPants
      Link Parent
      The best book on relationships is the Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work. The book emphasises that relationships need mutual respect to thrive. So are the problems likely to cause increasing...

      The best book on relationships is the Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work.

      The book emphasises that relationships need mutual respect to thrive.

      So are the problems likely to cause increasing levels of antagonism and disrespect outside of the immediate disagreement?

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        streblo
        Link Parent
        I'm not a relationship guru or anything so no idea how it stacks up but my wife and I read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and while there were parts of the book I didn't like overall it...

        I'm not a relationship guru or anything so no idea how it stacks up but my wife and I read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and while there were parts of the book I didn't like overall it has a really simple and effective message:

        Different people have different ways of realizing and manifesting their love for someone else. For example, my wife and I can be curled up on the couch each with a book and that recharges my "relationship battery." For my wife it does nothing -- she wants quality time and conversation where we're not engaged with something else. So @reifyresonance it's important to know what both yourself and your partner want out of a relationship to make sure you are meeting everyone's needs.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          MonkeyPants
          Link Parent
          That is a good book. Another book similar to that you might like is Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. It popularized the idea that women want to talk about problems, and want sympathy not...

          That is a good book. Another book similar to that you might like is Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. It popularized the idea that women want to talk about problems, and want sympathy not solutions, where as men prefer to avoid talking about problems, wanting instead to hang out with mates or hang out in the man cave. The book is quite old, and was very popular at the time, so you might already be familiar with most of the concepts.

          3 votes
          1. Omnicrola
            Link Parent
            I think that book has some interesting observations, but is incredibly outmoded now. I think removing the gender roles, and generalizing it to: "Sometimes people want to be alone to with through...

            I think that book has some interesting observations, but is incredibly outmoded now. I think removing the gender roles, and generalizing it to:
            "Sometimes people want to be alone to with through his they're feeling. Some people sometimes want help/actions to deal with their emotions. Sometimes that same person wants to just be listened to and validated."

            As a cis male, I have found myself in all 3 modes at different times for different reasons. I've begun using each of them at different rates as I've progressed on my personal emotional awareness.

            5 votes
    5. NoApollonia
      Link Parent
      I'm nearly 35 and been with the same guy since I was 17, so figure I can weigh in - LOL. Honestly a lot of it boiled down to I could not (and cannot) imagine my life without him in it. Just...

      I'm nearly 35 and been with the same guy since I was 17, so figure I can weigh in - LOL. Honestly a lot of it boiled down to I could not (and cannot) imagine my life without him in it. Just thinking about us breaking up or if something happened to him is enough cause me to break down in tears. For us in particular, I think it helped we had known each other for years before we started dating and were friends first - and we keep the friends first even now. So basically even if we're arguing or ticked at one another, if anything is wrong with either of us, we can put it aside to be there for one another. How much we care about each other supersedes our differences.

      2 votes
  5. [3]
    scrambo
    Link
    Does anyone constantly imagine being with someone, other than their current partner? (Coming from the context of a monogamist relationship) I wouldn't even say that I'm struggling being in this...

    Does anyone constantly imagine being with someone, other than their current partner? (Coming from the context of a monogamist relationship)

    I wouldn't even say that I'm struggling being in this relationship with them, it almost feels like a "What If" scenario in my head. No plans to act on the thoughts at all, frankly. I've always kinda rationalized them away as "intrusive thoughts" or as a way that I keep myself honest to "not get so attached that I would fall apart if they left". Still makes me feel a little guilty though, because I do love them very much.

    In a similar vein, I've had several other recurring forms of intrusive thoughts as well: "Randomly forcefully kissing someone who I'm interacting with (Boss, director, manager, family members, stranger on street, bully back in high school, etc)", Getting into fistfights (or sword/gunfights) with strangers walking by, people I've never met, friends, bully's back in high school, people I consider jerks, etc. Anyone else do this?

    11 votes
    1. joplin
      Link Parent
      I think it's fairly normal. Yes, I sometimes fantasize about having a different partner or no partner. As you say, it doesn't mean I love my partner any less. It's just a thought experiment. A...

      I think it's fairly normal. Yes, I sometimes fantasize about having a different partner or no partner. As you say, it doesn't mean I love my partner any less. It's just a thought experiment. A "What if…". I also think about other random things like, what if I died tomorrow? What would the people in my life feel and do? How would I react if someone close to me died? I think it's our brains subconsciously working through various issues and sometimes they just surface at weird times. I wouldn't think it's problematic unless it's affecting your life in some negative way.

      11 votes
    2. bloup
      Link Parent
      If you feel like this happens to you a lot (and especially if these thoughts cause you any kind of distress, or they just feel unwelcome and it’s like you can’t make them stop), you should speak...

      If you feel like this happens to you a lot (and especially if these thoughts cause you any kind of distress, or they just feel unwelcome and it’s like you can’t make them stop), you should speak to a psychiatrist about OCD.

      2 votes
  6. [8]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    For trans people: What is it like to be halfway in the process of transitioning? Is it like being androgynous or more like being in uncanny Valley? (Anyone got a better term, because usually that...

    For trans people:

    What is it like to be halfway in the process of transitioning? Is it like being androgynous or more like being in uncanny Valley? (Anyone got a better term, because usually that term isn't used to describe real people?) (And this is massively simplified, of course.)

    10 votes
    1. [5]
      fional
      Link Parent
      I will answer a slightly different question, because I assume it's closer to what you're getting at: What is it like to be in the first year or two of hormone therapy (HRT) for treatment of gender...
      • Exemplary

      I will answer a slightly different question, because I assume it's closer to what you're getting at: What is it like to be in the first year or two of hormone therapy (HRT) for treatment of gender dysphoria? I'll answer this from the trans woman perspective.

      Assuming, like me, you're transitioning sometime after your first puberty, it's a very turbulent time:

      • You're finally doing it, the thing that's been keeping you awake at night for months, or years. Going for it can be an incredible relief because you're finally making that unsaid thing said, and you don't have to keep trying to live up to this fake construct and dual identity you've been propping up for so long.
      • It's also terrifying--there's no guarantee that you'll get the outcome from HRT that you'd hoped for in your head, and at this point it's too early to tell. You have spent ages agonizing over every secondary sex expression that you've had up to this point, and if it's reversible or something you can live with. Will your hairline recover? Have your hips' growth plates closed? Can you find a voice that works for you, given the irreversible influence T has on your voice box? "Is this all the changes that I'm going to get?" (This is particularly dire if you live in the various subreddits where the extremely young and/or fortunate transitioners tend to flaunt their success.)
      • It's also boring! It feels like nothing happens for the first six months. Transition, in a lot of ways, is like a bunch of very slow moving changes--physical, mental, and social. Each of which on their own doesn't contribute that much, and none of them are a binary flip-flop, but they have a compounding effect so the overall "graph" can be quite hockey stick. Nothing seems to be happening at any given point until suddenly everything seems to "click" and then retroactively you can be like "huh, I guess a lot of things did happen."
      • In a lot of ways, you're also having to destroy your old identity and rebuild something new. Some friendships will blow up disastrously, some will tail off because you've stopped overlapping socially, some friends and family will genuinely surprise you in how much they support you. There's usually some conversations you've had, and still other conversations you've yet to have, that you dread more than anything. But they happen, and it's not the end of the world, even if it seemed that way beforehand.
      • Add to all the above: it kinda is a second puberty. You're ramping down one primary hormone, and ramping up on another and that can have all sorts of interesting effects. Hot flashes, mood swings, the works!

      On the whole, it can be a fairly messy process; especially if you are trying to keep up your relationships, work life, etc.

      22 votes
      1. [4]
        Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        It takes years for hormonal transition to work? Oof. I guess that's what r/egg_irl posters mean when they meme about realistic transition goals. So some people might never get to the point of...

        The first year or two

        It takes years for hormonal transition to work?

        It's also terrifying--there's no guarantee that you'll get the outcome from HRT that you'd hoped for in your head, and at this point it's too early to tell. You have spent ages agonizing over every secondary sex expression that you've had up to this point, and if it's reversible or something you can live with. Will your hairline recover? Have your hips' growth plates closed? Can you find a voice that works for you, given the irreversible influence T has on your voice box? "Is this all the changes that I'm going to get?" (This is particularly dire if you live in the various subreddits where the extremely young and/or fortunate transitioners tend to flaunt their success.)

        Oof. I guess that's what r/egg_irl posters mean when they meme about realistic transition goals. So some people might never get to the point of passing as a cis female to most people? How often does this happen to trans people?

        (I'm gonna answer @Gaywallet's question here so I'm pinging them.)

        Anyway, the reason I worded my question that way was mainly because I got around to watching PhilosophyTube's video on transitioning and she said she had hidden it for a while, so I assumed it was because in the middle stages of transitioning, she didn't pass as either and decided to just keep wearing her old look to save her the awkwardness of being halfway through transitioning and not passing as a man or a woman. So my question is, what do trans people look like when in the first year or so apparently of HRT? Can they pass as both genders or neither?

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          fional
          Link Parent
          This shouldn't be surprising--puberty 1.0 isn't overnight either! In practice, different effects kick in at different times. The first couple of months can feel like nothing at all is happening...
          • Exemplary

          It takes years for hormonal transition to work?

          This shouldn't be surprising--puberty 1.0 isn't overnight either! In practice, different effects kick in at different times. The first couple of months can feel like nothing at all is happening (though I presume at the cellular level things are different). The first noticeable effect for me was a dramatic softening in my skin, which continued to get even more dramatic through the first two years. Then breast development starts to become evident. though it tends to happen it fits and spurts which makes it hard to predict if you can expect more.

          Other effects can take a really long time. Hairline recovery is slow, if at all (there appears to be some point of hair miniaturization where it becomes irreversible for a particular follicle). Fat redistribution is also very gradual, it appears that your hormonal regime dictates where new fat is stored but extant fat is happy to keep on keeping on wherever it happens to be.

          I would say you probably won't see much at the 3 month mark, and by the 24 month mark you'll probably be near 80% of final effects, but that last 20% is stretched out over many many years and are much more subtle. This is all decidedly nonlinear as well--changes to how you administer HRT (injections seeming more effective than oral routes for most), surgical procedures (removal of the extant gonads that contribute hormonally in an antagonist fashion), and development of secondary sex organs (that still participate in endocrine regulation)--all of these can kickstart new momentum in changes.

          So some people might never get to the point of passing as a cis female to most people? How often does this happen to trans people?

          It's quite possible, but I don't know that there's any statistic. Nor do I think that such a thing can really be measured; passing is much more of a spectrum than a binary "yes/no" attribute you can apply to a person, and it can be impossible to know ""the truth"". Plenty of cis people have "failed to pass", and in reality our gender identification is pretty much the overlap of countless heuristics rather than an objective test.

          This can actually be a really pernicious issue for how we judge ourselves. If I'm confident in my gender identity, then I can laugh off the rare "sir" as an unfortunate accident. If I'm feeling really dysphoric and low self-confidence, then that one "sir" in a thousand can be "the proof that everyone else that gendered me correctly is just gaslighting me with kindness because I live in a liberal town and they recognize I'm trying to identify as a woman even though they see right through me." Exact same interaction, but one ends in me laughing for a second, and the other makes me spiral for the rest of the day.

          Another nasty facet is that you really can't get this as a "true opinion" even if you wanted to. You can't ask a friend if you pass, because just by the process of getting to know someone, you learn to identify them as the gender they present as, and you mentally emphasize the things that support that identity, and deemphasize the things that don't. It's not that you want to be intentionally misleading, it's just that your brain is a pattern matching engine that learns to update its model as new information comes in.

          There was a period where I was... rather deep in the hole of trying to be objective about this, because I was terrified and filled with self-doubts, and I kept getting obsessed with the various flavor of ML algorithms online that purport to classify face images with various best-guess attributes (gender, age, smiling/not-smiling, etc.). I would get consistently misgendered by these, and it really crushed me. I ended up reproducing the models by hand, with extra annotation so I could track which parts of the image contributed most to the final decision. Turns out--a lot of these models end up being glorified eyeliner detectors.

          What do trans people look like when in the first year or so apparently of HRT? Can they pass as both genders or neither?

          I would say... most later transitioning trans people have attributes that heuristically match to both man and woman, and therefore exist in a grey space that is markedly more open to interpretation. This means that rather subtle cues can be much more influential.

          Taking myself as an example: I'm around 5'10". That's not impossibly tall for a woman, but is in the "wow! you must've played basketball in high school!" crowd. I've had substantial laser and electrolysis hair removal on my face--the complete absence of beard shadow is extremely rare in men. My usual speaking voice is a low alto, again it doesn't necessarily "give it away" in either direction.

          In practice, that means that strangers will latch onto rather minor cues to drive their decision-making process. One of the biggest I've noticed is, funny enough, the fit of pants. If it's the winter, and I'm wearing a COVID mask, and I'm wearing a baggy set of jeans and a puffy winter coat, my "sir" rate goes up dramatically. If I wear a set of thermal leggings that are tight fitting, and more form fitting jacket, it never happens. Within this restricted scenario, it seems our gender identity comes down to gender segregated fashion choices.

          Similar to PhilosophyTube, my first year or so of HRT I mostly elected to wear baggy jeans and oversized hoodies, and for the most part present as "an unidentifiable lumpy outline". This pushed me far enough into ambiguity that most people just kept treating me the way they'd always treated me. If they had their suspicious as to the effects of HRT, they kept it to themselves. It did mean that, later on, there was a second "bandage to rip off" in the form of getting rid of the safety blanket hoodies and presenting myself more proactively.

          12 votes
          1. Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            Oh I love these little cues so much because they are so varied. I've seen people with VISIBLE BRA STRAPS get the sir treatment by some and the ma'am treatment by others. Just like how some people...

            In practice, that means that strangers will latch onto rather minor cues to drive their decision-making process. One of the biggest I've noticed is, funny enough, the fit of pants. If it's the winter, and I'm wearing a COVID mask, and I'm wearing a baggy set of jeans and a puffy winter coat, my "sir" rate goes up dramatically. If I wear a set of thermal leggings that are tight fitting, and more form fitting jacket, it never happens. Within this restricted scenario, it seems our gender identity comes down to gender segregated fashion choices.

            Oh I love these little cues so much because they are so varied. I've seen people with VISIBLE BRA STRAPS get the sir treatment by some and the ma'am treatment by others. Just like how some people think that working on cars is inherently masculine, some cues are hard and fast rules for some and completely missed on others. I find it endlessly fascinating as it's a lens through which I don't spend a lot of time thinking about since I do not care about gender, and my transitioning has made it all the more prescient to me.

            You see, I take a lot of great joy in causing others confusion about my gender. In vernacular terms, I'm a genderfuck, because I cannot describe in words how much it brings me joy to cause someone to rethink everything they have told themselves or internalized from society about gender. I think a part of this joy comes from the fact that I do not understand gender, at all. One thing I've taken acute notice to is how much people really draw from cues like you've mentioned here. Male and female clothes fit people differently. Women tend to wear makeup which makes their faces appear in a certain way. Before transitioning I built up quite a bit of chest muscle. As fat started to accumulate over transitioning, I paid attention to who read it as muscle and who read it as breast. I've found that this is even more context dependent than anything else - the first time anyone in my family even noticed it as breasts was when I was wearing a crop top, despite having worn plenty of form-fitting t-shirts prior (think muscle tee or tight tanks). I have a feeling that if I let my chest hair grow in, I could probably get away with going topless so long as I was wearing men's shorts or swim trunks and it would just be read as a muscular chest with a little bit of fat on it (this one I'm a bit less sure about as my nipples are quite a bit larger now).

            9 votes
        2. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          You shouldn't make assumptions. I don't remember her exact wording, but a combination of where she lives making her want to delay the announcement as long as possible and wanting to figure out how...

          I assumed it was because in the middle stages of transitioning, she didn't pass as either and decided to just keep wearing her old look to save her the awkwardness of being halfway through transitioning and not passing as a man or a woman.

          You shouldn't make assumptions. I don't remember her exact wording, but a combination of where she lives making her want to delay the announcement as long as possible and wanting to figure out how best to word her thoughts are top of mind as reasons why she likely delayed. There's a million reasons to delay telling people you are transitioning, and the vast majority of them are fear and have nothing to do with 'passing' or not. In general if you are not trans, I would avoid talking about passing or even implying that someone could or could not pass. It's a complicated subject and one that often has a lot of emotions to consider behind it.

          8 votes
    2. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      What even is 'halfway' in the process? At what point have you 'succeeded' in transitioning? Does there necessarily have to be a goal? I'm confused about what you are trying to ask - can you...

      What even is 'halfway' in the process? At what point have you 'succeeded' in transitioning? Does there necessarily have to be a goal? I'm confused about what you are trying to ask - can you restate?

      A note- outward presentation (androgyny) is not necessarily associated with being transgender - you can be androgynous regardless of your birth sex or what gender you identify as.

      9 votes
    3. reifyresonance
      Link Parent
      It really depends on context. In one country, I was always gendered correctly, a mere year or so in, but in another, the story was different. Most people pick a gender for you and just go with it,...

      It really depends on context. In one country, I was always gendered correctly, a mere year or so in, but in another, the story was different. Most people pick a gender for you and just go with it, but some pick one and then flip to the other, apologetically. (Both ways) Also you (below) mentioned surprise it takes years - I think you might find r/transtimelines interesting.

      5 votes
  7. [10]
    Seven
    Link
    I'm so glad we're doing another one of these. After the last one, I've been keeping a running list of questions to ask at the next one. Let me know if I should separate them into separate...

    I'm so glad we're doing another one of these. After the last one, I've been keeping a running list of questions to ask at the next one. Let me know if I should separate them into separate comments.

    For LGBTQ+ folks, what are your personal thoughts on the term "queer"?

    If a nonbinary person is exclusively attracted to men or exclusively attracted to women, is there a word for that sexuality?

    If I, a man, am attracted to women and nonbinary people, but not men, is there a word for that sexuality?

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      I identify as queer, so I am a fan of it. Pretty much any possible sexuality or romantic orientation you can think of has been termed. Generally speaking I haven't observed many people using the...

      For LGBTQ+ folks, what are your personal thoughts on the term "queer"?

      I identify as queer, so I am a fan of it.

      If a nonbinary person is exclusively attracted to men or exclusively attracted to women, is there a word for that sexuality?

      Pretty much any possible sexuality or romantic orientation you can think of has been termed. Generally speaking I haven't observed many people using the specific labels like feminamoric or androsexual in real life, but tend to simply call themselves queer (non-specific) or gay (attracted to men or non-specific) or lesbian (attracted to women).

      If I, a man, am attracted to women and nonbinary people, but not men, is there a word for that sexuality?

      There's a few to pick from on the page I linked above, but honestly the simplest and most accurate is simply straight or hetero. If you wish to queer code so that non-binary people can know that you are queer-versed you could use a term like venusian or feminamoric or simply queer.

      9 votes
      1. Seven
        Link Parent
        Thank you for your answers! I like that there are specific words for all those sexualities, but I also definitely understand the need for more simple words for those things. Thanks for the...

        Thank you for your answers! I like that there are specific words for all those sexualities, but I also definitely understand the need for more simple words for those things. Thanks for the information!

        3 votes
    2. [2]
      autumn
      Link Parent
      For reference, I'm a bisexual cis woman. Very into it, unless it's used as an insult. I agree with Gaywallet's answer completely. :) That could be considered bisexuality, since one definition (and...

      For reference, I'm a bisexual cis woman.

      For LGBTQ+ folks, what are your personal thoughts on the term "queer"?

      Very into it, unless it's used as an insult.

      If a nonbinary person is exclusively attracted to men or exclusively attracted to women, is there a word for that sexuality?

      I agree with Gaywallet's answer completely. :)

      If I, a man, am attracted to women and nonbinary people, but not men, is there a word for that sexuality?

      That could be considered bisexuality, since one definition (and the one I use) is being attracted to more than one gender.

      9 votes
    3. [4]
      CrunchyTabasco
      Link Parent
      As a bi cis man, I'm mostly here to expand on the first question, as autumn and Gaywallet have covered the other two probably better than I could. The word "queer" is kind of complicated - for...

      As a bi cis man, I'm mostly here to expand on the first question, as autumn and Gaywallet have covered the other two probably better than I could. The word "queer" is kind of complicated - for some, it's a slur; for some, it's an umbrella term; for some, it's an identity. For me personally, I use it as an umbrella term for the LBGTQ community. So, I'd describe myself as queer - but my specific identity isn't queer, it's homosexual biromantic (or something like that, the jury is still out!). I used to use "gay" as an umbrella term in this way, but now I think queer fits much better. Overall, I'm pretty fond of the term.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        PopeRigby
        Link Parent
        Whenever people says they use queer as an umbrella term for the LGBTQ+ community, I wonder what they would think about calling a trans person queer. For me, that seems like it would be strange to...

        Whenever people says they use queer as an umbrella term for the LGBTQ+ community, I wonder what they would think about calling a trans person queer. For me, that seems like it would be strange to do that, but what is your take on it?

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          CrunchyTabasco
          Link Parent
          My trans friends share my opinions about the word and sometimes use it to describe themselves, so it doesn't seem strange at all to me, but others' experience and outlooks will definitely vary.

          My trans friends share my opinions about the word and sometimes use it to describe themselves, so it doesn't seem strange at all to me, but others' experience and outlooks will definitely vary.

          2 votes
          1. PopeRigby
            Link Parent
            Thanks for the reply. I haven't actually asked a trans person what they thought out it, so I probably should. And it obviously varies depending on who you ask.

            Thanks for the reply. I haven't actually asked a trans person what they thought out it, so I probably should. And it obviously varies depending on who you ask.

            1 vote
    4. NoApollonia
      Link Parent
      Bisexual here....I mostly identify as female despite not really feeling my gender (somewhere around NB). I honestly don't like the word queer as it's been used so much as an insult. There are...

      Bisexual here....I mostly identify as female despite not really feeling my gender (somewhere around NB).

      I honestly don't like the word queer as it's been used so much as an insult.

      There are hundreds of terms, so there would be a word for it...not sure what it would be as it would be up to how that person wants to identify.

      It's likely bisexuality, but again it depends on how that person wants to identify.

      4 votes
  8. [10]
    vektor
    (edited )
    Link
    [TW: Mention of child sexual abuse] Ohh, I've got a spicy one that just occurred to me again. And I'm not posting it because it's spicy but because I've been genuinely curious about it for a...

    [TW: Mention of child sexual abuse]

    Ohh, I've got a spicy one that just occurred to me again. And I'm not posting it because it's spicy but because I've been genuinely curious about it for a while.

    Do you think the US is having a big old pedophile panic?

    I'm asking because in that assumed panic, any reason is thrown out the window. People don't differentiate at all between child abuse (criminal act) and pedophilia (a paraphilia, i.e. a mental condition; not an action). Any discussion about more liberal age of consent rules is violently shouted down because "would someone think of the children". Even a change such as "replace statutory rape with a court-administered test of whether the consent the younger partner gave can be considered valid" is not even controversial anymore, I feel there's a united front against such thought. And again, the answer isn't "that test should also consider X", "but here's loophole X that would open up" or "how would courts even do that?", but rather "eww, you're a pedo/pedo-apologist".

    I'm fully aware that the slight hint of a proposal shown above is not nearly adequate, and I'm not looking to litigate that. It's just an example. I'm asking about public opinion, about the panic. Given how... wary I am about getting panic-like return on this post, I'm deliberately not saying whether or what I would do, because I don't think I want to write a post that is sufficiently hedged against ad-hominem attacks or legal loopholes. But maybe I should mention that my view on any legal change would be "protect children from adults" before it is "protect adults from jail".

    10 votes
    1. [3]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Yes and no. The yes: it's definitely true that, right now in particular, there's an illogical panic going on in the US about pedophilia in the form of QAnon and its followers. It's hard to call...

      Yes and no.

      The yes: it's definitely true that, right now in particular, there's an illogical panic going on in the US about pedophilia in the form of QAnon and its followers. It's hard to call that an accurate representation of the problem, however, as it's clear that the accusations of pedophilia are more of a moral hook for entry into a heavily slanted political conspiracy theory than anything else.

      The no: arguments about age of consent laws have been seemingly constant on the internet since I first logged on in the 90s, and at this point I've sat through decades of them. I'm not saying this to apply to you specifically but more to apply to the general arc of these conversations: I've reached the belief that nearly all of them attempt to hide predatory behavior or intent behind a "rational" veneer. And, even if someone is genuinely arguing without malicious intent and in good faith, it often doesn't matter on a practical level because it invariably brings out the people who aren't and see in those arguments support for their malicious intent.

      I also find that even the most level-headed discussions of this sort of thing make it clear that the people arguing for it are approaching consent as a rule to be established in their favor rather than a moral principle. Consent gets treated as a checkbox or hurdle to be cleared which isn't what consent is at all. The conversation is almost always entirely about why we should be able to accept a younger and younger "yes" without demonstrating any sort of appreciation or concern for the social or emotional development of the person giving the "yes". If someone cannot clearly demonstrate to me that they have adequately and meaningfully considered the personhood of the person that they're interested in sleeping with, then they should not be able to sleep with them.

      Nearly every online discussion of age of consent I've seen has failed this test, because nearly all of them approach the issue from the aspect of arguers looking for support to affirm their own desire rather than the support for the legitimate personhood of the people they desire. I think this is what you're getting into with your idea about a court-administered test rather than statutory rape laws, but even that I feel is of very limited utility. If a person's view of consent is primarily "how will this play out in a courtroom?" then I feel they have thoroughly missed the point of "consent" as a concept.

      I know that all of this is probably unsatisfying to you as an answer, but I'm pretty much of the opposite opinion: I think we should be more concerned about this issue. Thanks to the #MeToo movement, we have only recently become widely aware, as a society, of the extent of sexual assault and exploitation that is out there, as well as how our laws and institutions fail to guard against or prosecute this. We still have a long way to go to make sure sexual assault against adults is adequately handled, and I'm of the belief that children deserve even greater protections.

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        vektor
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I can definitely agree on your point about The Yes. The QAnon crowd is stark raving mad, all the while supporting Gaetz, Trump and the like. But I wasn't even talking about them; this kind of...

        I can definitely agree on your point about The Yes. The QAnon crowd is stark raving mad, all the while supporting Gaetz, Trump and the like. But I wasn't even talking about them; this kind of completely panicked view is prevalent in leftie circles too. I mean, try and see how far you can get with the pedophile vs. child sexual abuser distinction; I haven't gotten farther than "oh, so you're a pedo" yet, scientific evidence that that venn diagramm's got some serious cheeks be damned.

        And I also believe that this panic extends to -effectively- thoughenings of any kind of consent laws. "The law is just perfect the way it is, everyone who thinks otherwise is a pedo.", effectively.

        I do see how one would sour on AoC discussions if you've seen a bunch, but even if this notion is explicitly called out, I don't observe a change in behavior. If I were to say "I do this because I believe it will help children speak up if harm comes upon them", that'd be flatly ignored and I'd still be called a pedo. That's why I believe that even then, this backlash comes -fundamentally- from a panicked attitude.

        If a person's view of consent is primarily "how will this play out in a courtroom?" then I feel they have thoroughly missed the point of "consent" as a concept.

        To clarify: If the older partner in the relationship hedges against impropriety by asking how this will look before a judge, then we're already fucked. That's what you're saying, right?

        In that case, I agree, but that wouldn't be the point. The point is to craft a law that reasonably distinguishes valid and invalid consent. You can apply that to everyone for all I care. The point isn't to allow what was previously verboten, but to find laws that reflect social norms. In this case, don't harm your partner.

        I feel I should drop the point about concrete laws because as stated that was not point here, just an example.

        Regarding your last part, I definitely agree on the #MeToo aspects, and I can see your point regarding child sexual abuse. Perhaps I should clarify that my point isn't "child sexual assault is not a big deal, stop worrying", but rather that the US seems to be so panicked about it that any kind of rational decision making is impossible. "Calm down so that we can correctly identify the problem, evaluate our options and take proper action" or something.

        4 votes
        1. kfwyre
          Link Parent
          Ah, thank you for this clarification, vektor. It helps me better understand where you’re coming from a lot better. I projected onto your comment some stuff you didn’t intend and missed the points...

          Ah, thank you for this clarification, vektor. It helps me better understand where you’re coming from a lot better. I projected onto your comment some stuff you didn’t intend and missed the points you were trying to bring up.

          I definitely do think there’s an aspect of pedophilia being a go-to association as a way of shutting down legitimate concerns, or as a form of guilt by association.

          6 votes
    2. [2]
      spit-evil-olive-tips
      Link Parent
      Yes, 100% Along related lines: Human Trafficking Awareness Campaigns Are Feeding A Dangerous Myth The author of that piece, Michael Hobbes, is also one of the co-hosts of the You're Wrong About...

      Do you think the US is having a big old pedophile panic?

      Yes, 100%

      Along related lines: Human Trafficking Awareness Campaigns Are Feeding A Dangerous Myth

      Over the last two decades, human trafficking has become one of the most prominent social issues in America. Airlines, hotels and ride-hailing companies train their employees on how to spot victims. Nonprofits enlist celebrities to spread awareness campaigns on social media. Last week, just after the close of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, President Trump held an anti-trafficking summit and created a White House position dedicated to the issue.

      Whether from lawmakers, nonprofits or celebrities, nearly all of these efforts send the same message: Trafficking is everywhere, it’s getting worse and ordinary Americans have the power to stop it.

      There’s just one problem. None of the lawmakers or nonprofits behind these campaigns can provide any evidence that “raising awareness” of human trafficking is doing anything to address it.

      The author of that piece, Michael Hobbes, is also one of the co-hosts of the You're Wrong About podcast, and they did an episode discussing many of the things covered in that article. They've also done episodes on Stranger Danger and the Satanic Panic of the 1980s.

      The US also does Kafkaesque shit like Eight women were rescued and arrested following a recent human trafficking operation in Ohio.

      "Arresting the people who are the victims of human trafficking sounds harsh, but the complicated reality is that this often is the best way that law enforcement can help,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. “The bonds of human trafficking are often chemical chains of addiction and a hopelessness that there is no other way. This gives the survivors a chance to reset with services that are available.”

      Searches of laptops and phones at the US border also use "stopping child porngraphy" as their justification. Some of the court cases (for example: 1 2) about such searches involve defendants accused of possession of child porn.

      Arguing against allowing such searches also means arguing that accused child pornographers should have their criminal charges dismissed (because of a legal doctrine known as fruit of the poisonous tree). "I'm not defending pedophiles and child pornographers, but..." is not a particularly comfortable position to take.

      6 votes
      1. vektor
        Link Parent
        Reminds me of the cases of "production, distribution and possession of child porn" against teens with a snapchat account. I get that it can result in unintended consequences down the road and...

        The US also does Kafkaesque shit like Eight women were rescued and arrested following a recent human trafficking operation in Ohio.

        Reminds me of the cases of "production, distribution and possession of child porn" against teens with a snapchat account. I get that it can result in unintended consequences down the road and people should absolutely be careful.

        But dude, read the room.

        3 votes
    3. [3]
      DanBC
      Link Parent
      You've noticed that people don't draw any distinction between these two things, and that any attempt to discuss it collapses quickly because people say there is no difference. The problem you're...

      People don't differentiate at all between child abuse (criminal act) and pedophilia (a paraphilia, i.e. a mental condition; not an action).

      You've noticed that people don't draw any distinction between these two things, and that any attempt to discuss it collapses quickly because people say there is no difference.

      The problem you're facing is that the people who say "I have a sexual interest in children, but I would never abuse them" almost always go on to say some variation of:

      • Images of child sexual abuse aren't harmful
      • Maybe children can consent to have sex with people who are very much older than them
      • Perhaps child abuse isn't always harmful.

      They then argue that the sex they'd have with children isn't that harmful type of sex, it's this very careful, consensual, loving sex and that these are different. It's a delusion. It's harmful. It needs to be rebutted at every opportunity. And this "needs to be rebutted" point isn't just the view of people who see a sexual interest in children as something abhorrent; it's the view of people who've worked in be-friending circles.

      We have decades of experience of these arguments coming from groups like PIE or NAMBLA, and because of this we know we need to be constantly vigilant against these points.

      When someone is making an argument that is indistinguishable from the arguments that come from pro-abuse organisations that person shouldn't be surprised if they are treated as if they are pro-abuse.

      Any adults with a sexual interest in children should seek help and support to prevent any offending behaviour. https://www.lucyfaithfull.org.uk/

      4 votes
      1. vektor
        Link Parent
        Not in my experience. I've seen the mere mention of "these are two different groups, the overlap isn't nearly complete, and we need to treat the two groups separately." shouted down. Perhaps for...

        The problem you're facing is that the people who say "I have a sexual interest in children, but I would never abuse them" almost always go on to say some variation of:

        Not in my experience. I've seen the mere mention of "these are two different groups, the overlap isn't nearly complete, and we need to treat the two groups separately." shouted down. Perhaps for the reasons you outlined (because they usually go on to say the things you mentioned), but then certainly out of prejudice because those points were not even close to being advanced. An example would best be described as threat modelling - it's important to know who the abuse is likely to come from to protect against it, therefore the distinction needs to be made. Even then you're apparently a pedo apologist.

        Ohh, and nevermind the pure disdain and mockery for pedophiles actively receiving treatment. "Ohh, just doesn't want to catch a case." - Nahh, maybe just has a conscience.

        6 votes
    4. Sand
      Link Parent
      The only country with public sex offender registries? The country where things like this happens? Yes, I think they have a pedophile panic.

      The only country with public sex offender registries? The country where things like this happens? Yes, I think they have a pedophile panic.

      3 votes
  9. [4]
    Kuromantis
    Link
    I think there was a decent amount of discussion of this last time around, but here: One of the main aspects of being trans is that you (usually/presumably) want to go from being male to female or...

    I think there was a decent amount of discussion of this last time around, but here:

    One of the main aspects of being trans is that you (usually/presumably) want to go from being male to female or vice-versa. Isn't that bi-normative and reinforcing of gender roles? I also hear people talking about wishing to wear feminine clothes, although I'm not sure if it's just r/egg_irl jokes or actually representative of most trans people.

    Similarly, if gender is a social construct, then what is transgenderism? (Anyone has a better suffix?)

    9 votes
    1. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      It can feel like, at times, that my identity is erased as a nonbinary trans. I sometimes struggle to explain to people that no, I don't view myself as a man or a woman. Among trans women they'll...

      It can feel like, at times, that my identity is erased as a nonbinary trans. I sometimes struggle to explain to people that no, I don't view myself as a man or a woman. Among trans women they'll sometimes joke, in good faith, about similarities or compare me to their experience because there are many similarities. In my mind, unless you were raised in a society which is not binary, anyone who wishes to change how society perceives them can identify as trans if they so wish. I believe transgenderism is simply the redefinition of how you wish others to perceive you.

      9 votes
    2. fional
      Link Parent
      I don't know that there's a single great answer to this. I think gender is probably a very muddy concept, with some parts social construct and some parts grounded in more physical manifestations,...

      I don't know that there's a single great answer to this. I think gender is probably a very muddy concept, with some parts social construct and some parts grounded in more physical manifestations, but trying to pin it down exclusively as one or the other risks excluding some folks' important lived experiences.

      On the one hand, there are a handful of fairly renowned examples of people in the 60s/70s that--due to intersex conditions or unfortunate surgical outcomes as infants (e.g. circumcisions)--were raised as the opposite gender than they were originally assigned, to extreme detriment in their personal lives, and ultimately their decision to transition to their natal assigned genders. This might imply some degree of intrinsic causative factors--but much like homosexuality and the search for the "gay gene", is fraught with a lot of ethical issues. I also think the framing can support medicalism, where trans folks seeking medical transition see themselves as more "true" than those that don't, which is nasty and particularly erasing of nonbinary identities.

      On another hand, gender probably has a lot of social construct elements, but being a social construct doesn't mean something is imaginary or inconsequential. Social constructs have really huge consequences! (See: race.) While seeking some sort of ideal of "not seeing gender" and treating all people identically can appeal from a theoretical perspective, that's not at all anyone's lived experience, and wanting to fit into the social construct that maps to ones' identity is certainly attractive when the alternative is a constant battle to swim upstream against a narrative that just does not work.

      From personal experience? I've noticed in the years since I first transitioned there were definite stages. At first, I saw myself through the lens of being treated AMAB my entire life, and therefore though I "wanted" to be a woman, I had a really difficult time actually internalizing that. During that phase, I think I biased towards indulging in normative gender roles, in part because I was trying to prove my gender identity to myself as much as anyone else, and external presentation was an easy way to signal that (also something of a whirlwind tour of all the bad fashion decisions most people get through in their teens).

      Once I'd gotten more comfortable with myself, I've settled into a more relaxed stance about gender presentation. Before, I used to wear t-shirts and jeans most days. Today, I still wear t-shirts and jeans most days (granted, different cuts and different fits). The important changes are how I view myself, and I'm 100% happier with who I am today. Totally worth it.

      (Disclaimer: That's just my experience, and between living in one of the most liberal cities, and hormone therapy being rather generous to me, I enjoy a fair bit of "passing privilege" that means that I fit into society the way I want without having to overtly signal it that hard. Don't want to speak for anyone else.)

      8 votes
    3. spit-evil-olive-tips
      Link Parent
      My attempt at answering, with the caveat that I'm a heterosexual cisgender man: (why am I answering if I don't have direct experience about this?) Along the same lines as white people, stop asking...

      My attempt at answering, with the caveat that I'm a heterosexual cisgender man:

      (why am I answering if I don't have direct experience about this?)

      Along the same lines as white people, stop asking us to educate you about racism - signed, every POC you've burdened with this question I think it's important for cis people to try to educate other cis people, so that the burden of education about transgender issues doesn't fall 100% on trans people themselves. It's not right to expect trans people to constantly explain their existence by answering questions, even ones that are well-meaning and completely in good faith, from curious cis people.

      There's a difficult balancing act here, where I want to do my best to explain this, but also absolutely do not want to marginalize or erase any actual trans or not-cis voices who want to add something or correct what I've said. I would welcome any feedback on how I can be a better ally in this regard.

      I think there's important distinctions to be drawn between internal gender identity (when you close your eyes and picture yourself, who do you picture?), external gender expression (when you go out into the world, who do you present as?) and gender roles (based on your gender expression, do we as a society prescribe certain things that you either must or must not do?)

      My ELI5 understanding of being transgender is that it's a mismatch between that internal gender identity, and the gender assigned to you at birth (or sometimes in the womb!) when your doctor plays the "is that a penis? yes/no" game.

      That definition says nothing about gender expression, and nothing about societal gender roles.

      Cisgender men, for example, can choose their gender presentation on a spectrum between masculine and feminine (and "spectrum" doesn't even describe it adequately...if the masculine/feminine spectrum is an individual volume knob or dimmer switch, then something as complex as gender expression is this mixing board with thousands of independent-yet-interconnected knobs).

      Transgender men can make the same choices. Ditto cisgender women and transgender women. Everyone can choose their own gender expression, regardless of their gender identity, and it can be as masculine or feminine or neither as they want.

      And ditto nonbinary people. If someone's internal gender identity is nonbinary, they might choose their external gender expression in a way that binary-thinking people such as me interpret as "about halfway" between masculine and feminine. Or, they might not. Either way is totally fine. Maybe that nonbinary person just really likes having pockets, and so they wear "men's" clothing much more often than they wear "women's" clothing.

      And then, gender roles are even further detached. In addition to being cishet, my gender presentation is pretty stereotypically masculine. I have a full beard, drink beer, ride a motorcycle, like to shoot guns, whatever. By traditional gender roles, particularly here in the US, that means I should be the breadwinner of my family, and have a cishet wife who stays at home and bakes cookies and takes care of the kids.

      As a masculine cishet man, I happen to fit into those traditional ideas of gender & sexuality, but I want nothing to do with the traditional gender roles that usually travel alongside them. If I ever get married, I want it to be to an equal. I don't want kids, but if I did, I'd have absolutely no problem staying home to raise them if my wife was the breadwinner of the family.

      I think the key thing to take away is that these 3 things - gender identity, gender expression, and societal expectations - are real. Yes, they're socially constructed, but that doesn't mean they're not real. Society expects things of you. Most people (probably almost everyone except nonbinary people), when they meet you, will try to categorize you as male or female based on your gender presentation. When people talk about "X is a social construct" that sometimes gets shortened and oversimplified to "X isn't real" which isn't really accurate.

      Importantly, those 3 things should be thought of as disconnected from each other. The traditional way of thinking is that if you have a penis, your gender identity is male, your gender expression must also be male, and you will be expected to fulfill the "male" role in society. Ditto assuming that people with vaginas will be female/female/female across the board. The thing we want to break down is the assumption that knowing one of those things about a person tells you something about one of the other dimensions.

      (also, there's a 4th thing, which is sexual orientation, which I haven't even touched on, but the same sort of thinking applies)


      I personally would avoid "transgenderism"...the -ism suffix "is often used to describe philosophies, theories, religions, social movements, artistic movements and behaviors". There is certainly a philosophy and social movement around being more accepting of trans people, but ultimately transgender people simply are. They're not a philosophy or ideology.

      7 votes
  10. [5]
    Icarus
    Link
    Here is a fun little thought experiment/question that I will pull out of a past psychology class. When you see @Icarus show up and comment or engage the site, if you close your eyes and imagine...

    Here is a fun little thought experiment/question that I will pull out of a past psychology class.

    When you see @Icarus show up and comment or engage the site, if you close your eyes and imagine who I am as a person, what characteristics/features come to mind on who and how you believe I am?

    8 votes
    1. Grimalkin
      Link Parent
      I see shaggy hair, toga, wings and you're wielding a bow and arrow ala the Kid Icarus NES game that I used to play all the time.

      I see shaggy hair, toga, wings and you're wielding a bow and arrow ala the Kid Icarus NES game that I used to play all the time.

      8 votes
    2. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      If I focus and really truly conjure up an image, in my mind’s eye I’m seeing... hubris, a close proximity to the sun, and it looks like maybe some melted... wings? Not sure what those are about....

      If I focus and really truly conjure up an image, in my mind’s eye I’m seeing... hubris, a close proximity to the sun, and it looks like maybe some melted... wings? Not sure what those are about. ;)

      In all seriousness, the first thing I think of when I see you comment is that you’re “that guy who did stand up for Timasomo!” This carries with it associations of fondness (he chose to participate in my pet project!), courage (he was brave enough to tell jokes to a live audience and then posted video of it to the internet), and admiration (he chose a project, put in the work, and saw it through to the end).

      Based on what you said in your stand up I know a bit of demographic information about you that I won’t put since I don’t want to prime anyone else’s responses. But honestly, I don’t tend to envision most people by what I perceive their demographics to be but more the characteristics about them that I like. From what I’ve seen of you outside of Timasomo, you seem like a very thoughtful, even-keeled person; passionate about things, but in a reserved and contemplative way.

      6 votes
    3. Micycle_the_Bichael
      Link Parent
      Basically a person wearing a white morphsuit sitting in a dimly lit cement room in front of a blank metal table with nothing on it. I have a really hard time creating detailed images in my brain....

      Basically a person wearing a white morphsuit sitting in a dimly lit cement room in front of a blank metal table with nothing on it.

      I have a really hard time creating detailed images in my brain. A lot of times my imagination feels like an rushed monet painting by an inexperienced artist where the broad strokes are present but the details are left out and things often have this vague fuzziness or lack of sharp edges and clarity to them, and the more I try to focus on making the details clear, the blurrier the larger picture gets. I live with my fiancee and have spent every single day with them for the last 4 years. I can barely picture their face in my head and I can barely keep a clear picture of it for more than a handful of seconds. So when I think about a person online that I don't recognize the username of and have no real knowledge of, my brain basically tries to make as undetailed of a monet painting as possible where I'll slowly paint over the white parts of the canvas as I interact with and get to know the person better.

      4 votes
    4. Kuromantis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This might be a little close to noise and perhaps rude but... I don't have an image of you. Not anything more specific than the generic archetype of the white dude in their 20s that I have when...

      This might be a little close to noise and perhaps rude but... I don't have an image of you. Not anything more specific than the generic archetype of the white dude in their 20s that I have when not knowing anything more about you.

      2 votes
  11. [9]
    ainar-g
    Link
    Specifying pronouns. I'm mostly on board with the idea, but there are a couple of questions about the most common form that people use to specify them that bother me, and they are probably not...

    Specifying pronouns. I'm mostly on board with the idea, but there are a couple of questions about the most common form that people use to specify them that bother me, and they are probably not what you think.

    In English, most people who list their pronouns (of those I've seen) do it like this: “he/him”. The two questions I have about this form:

    1. Why include the Objective case pronoun (“him”) when pretty much everyone knows what it is from the Subjective case one (“he”)? Does it ever happen that someone would like to be a “he” when the person is the subject of an action but also be “her” when they are an object?

      And I can already hear you typing about new pronouns like “xe/xir”, but that leads us to my second question:

    2. If we include the new pronouns into the equation, why isn't the Possessive case specified as well? Using the example of “xe/xir”, I can now way “Xe has a cat” and “I brought xir a pack of cat food”, but how do I say the “xe” equivalent of “His cat is black and white”? Should I use the same “xir” as in the Objective case, just like with “her”? Or is there another, already agreed-upon form of Possessive case that is hidden just like “his” is hidden from “he/him”?

    I know I'm probably overthinking, and the answer is probably “It's been like that, so it is what it is”, but still. Also, English isn't my native language, so I might be missing something obvious here.

    8 votes
    1. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Just stating "He" absent any additional information may be confusing. It also helps people to conjugate neopronouns they haven't seen before such as Xe/Xir or E/Eir. Some people write He/Him/His,...
      1. Just stating "He" absent any additional information may be confusing. It also helps people to conjugate neopronouns they haven't seen before such as Xe/Xir or E/Eir.
      2. Some people write He/Him/His, similarly some people might write Ze/Zem/Zeir. There are no standards on how this is displayed.
      6 votes
    2. [6]
      Eric_the_Cerise
      Link Parent
      Just a passing thought. I'm an American of Hungarian descent. English is my native language, but I speak Hungarian fairly well, too. Hungarian has entirely gender-neutral pronouns, and I think...

      Just a passing thought. I'm an American of Hungarian descent. English is my native language, but I speak Hungarian fairly well, too.

      Hungarian has entirely gender-neutral pronouns, and I think that would be an excellent way of adapting English -- completely eliminate he/she/her/him and just switch over entirely to xe/xir (or whatever we settle on).

      Here's the interesting point. As a native English speaker, the Hungarian pronouns do not give me any trouble. However, I know native Hungarian speakers who speak English really quite well, who still have trouble picking the right pronouns when they speak. I think there must be some really deeply embedded training that goes along with learning English as a first language, that cements the idea in your head at a young age, to look at people (and animals, dolls, etc) as explicitly and exclusively, either "he"s or "she"s.

      6 votes
      1. autumn
        Link Parent
        They/them works well for this, and I use it when I don’t know a person’s preferred pronouns.

        completely eliminate he/she/her/him and just switch over entirely to xe/xir (or whatever we settle on).

        They/them works well for this, and I use it when I don’t know a person’s preferred pronouns.

        8 votes
      2. ChuckS
        Link Parent
        I tried for a while to learn German, and I think Mark Twain put it best:

        I think there must be some really deeply embedded training that goes along with learning English as a first language, that cements the idea in your head at a young age, to look at people (and animals, dolls, etc) as explicitly and exclusively, either "he"s or "she"s.

        I tried for a while to learn German, and I think Mark Twain put it best:

        Every noun has a gender, and there is no sense or system in distribution; so the gender of each must be learned separately and by heart. There is no other way. To do this one has to have a memory like a memorandum-book. In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has. Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl.

        5 votes
      3. [2]
        Tardigrade
        Link Parent
        What are those gender nonspecific Hungarian pronouns or does Hungarian blend pronoun with other elements of the sentence in an undetachable way.

        What are those gender nonspecific Hungarian pronouns or does Hungarian blend pronoun with other elements of the sentence in an undetachable way.

        2 votes
        1. Eric_the_Cerise
          Link Parent
          ő = he or she őt = him or her ővé = his or hers Additionally, Hungarian is what they call an aglutinative language, meaning that a lot of the little "helper" words get added on as prefixes and/or...

          ő = he or she
          őt = him or her
          ővé = his or hers

          Additionally, Hungarian is what they call an aglutinative language, meaning that a lot of the little "helper" words get added on as prefixes and/or suffixes. Pronouns often get rolled into words, too. Entire sentences often get built into a single word. Eg, "Szeretlek" means "I love you."

          5 votes
      4. ainar-g
        Link Parent
        Careful there! Another couple of steps and you might trigger Linguistics nerds into starting another Sapir&Whorf vs. Chomsky flamewar downthread, heh.

        Careful there! Another couple of steps and you might trigger Linguistics nerds into starting another Sapir&Whorf vs. Chomsky flamewar downthread, heh.

        1 vote
    3. vektor
      Link Parent
      May I propose the superior alternative to he/her? It's she/him. Why? It doesn't objectify women. However, the alternative you suggested "he" or alternatively "she" or "they" without anything else...

      Does it ever happen that someone would like to be a “he” when the person is the subject of an action but also be “her” when they are an object?

      May I propose the superior alternative to he/her? It's she/him. Why? It doesn't objectify women.

      However, the alternative you suggested "he" or alternatively "she" or "they" without anything else is better still, as it doesn't objectify men either.

      Sarcasm and jokes aside, I second your question. I assume it is for historical questions, and is probably carried on because "they/them" in your bio is clearly a pronoun check, whereas "they" is just a word without context that can be quite ambiguous.

      4 votes
  12. [2]
    balooga
    Link
    With apologies for my outsider terminology, I sometimes wonder if "out" nonbinary or trans people question whether the decision to transition resulted in a net improvement for their quality of...

    With apologies for my outsider terminology, I sometimes wonder if "out" nonbinary or trans people question whether the decision to transition resulted in a net improvement for their quality of life. As I understand it, it's liberating to align the gender you present with your inner identity, to correct gender dysphoria or find your true self. But in most cases, as far as I can tell, those wonderful benefits also come with the cost of judgment, microaggressions, discomfort, distrust, fear, misunderstanding, discrimination, harassment, and abuse from others. Not to mention the possibility of outright alienation from family and friends.

    I'm not excusing any of those things. Certainly not victim-blaming. But at this moment in history, any person considering a transition must be aware that those things will almost inevitably follow in some measure. It's wrong, but it's our present reality. To face that knowingly, and still proceed, takes a great courage. It seems like you'd be signing yourself up for a lifetime of frustration and anger, constantly switching between the roles of activist/educator and political punching bag, when maybe you just want to get on with your new life instead of making every moment about justifying and explaining it to people.

    I know that this is an opinion question and I'm sure everyone it applies to will have a different take on it. I'm not asking "do all trans people regret it" — but I am curious if, after however long it's been for you, you feel that what you have now is the same thing you signed up for, and whether the benefits of your chosen life over your previous one continue to outweigh the drawbacks.

    8 votes
    1. reifyresonance
      Link Parent
      In short - there is no way I can know how things would've been otherwise. I don't think it was really a choice, I just had to follow it. We get the "courage" thing a lot, but to me it was really...

      In short - there is no way I can know how things would've been otherwise. I don't think it was really a choice, I just had to follow it. We get the "courage" thing a lot, but to me it was really the only viable path, so I don't think I'm courageous for taking it. Benefits/drawbacks? I can't know. Some days it sucks. Most days it doesn't register. It is what it is baybee :) we're just livin it out one day at a time. I'm pretty sure I'd be miserable if I tried to detransition though.

      For reference, these are my feelings after 5 years social transition, 3 years medical transition (overlapped).

      9 votes
  13. [5]
    Kuromantis
    Link
    For poly people: Do you ever pick a new partner primarily with the intention to fill a gap in your sexual life (as in, none of your current partners fulfill some desire(s) you have and you want to...

    For poly people:

    Do you ever pick a new partner primarily with the intention to fill a gap in your sexual life (as in, none of your current partners fulfill some desire(s) you have and you want to find someone who does) or is that too difficult because you'd need to find someone you would want as a romantic partner rather than a purely sexual one, or you already have all the partners you want, or they don’t want to add someone else to the polycule?

    Do you perhaps find it convenient you don't need to be as sexually compatible to any specific person, alongside more people in the relationship making it more likely someone is willing to fulfill your tastes? (Does it actually work like that, by the way?)

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      1: Yes-ish. If I'm interested in finding another relationship, it's likely that it'll be because there's some part of my life I'd like to share with someone that my current partner(s) aren't...

      1: Yes-ish. If I'm interested in finding another relationship, it's likely that it'll be because there's some part of my life I'd like to share with someone that my current partner(s) aren't interested in sharing. I had a girlfriend for years with whom I argued politics constantly, and that was pretty much off limits with my wife. It can be a sexual need, but there are as many people as reasons, so it doesn't have to be.

      2: I look at it this way: No one is ever going to be 100% compatible with another person. Putting that expectation on your partner is setting you both up for failure. I think it's generally understood that your partner doesn't have to share all your hobbies and interests and that it's ok to have other people that you share those experiences with. My wife goes cycling three mornings a week, and I'm glad she does that with someone else. We just also have that opinion about a broader range of relationship activities.

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        Kuromantis
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        To me this raises an interesting question, if you're polygamous/polyamorous and want to marry, what do you do? Just marry the person you like the most? Grit your teeth and sit here waiting for...

        I had a girlfriend for years with whom I argued politics constantly, and that was pretty much off limits with my wife.

        To me this raises an interesting question, if you're polygamous/polyamorous and want to marry, what do you do? Just marry the person you like the most? Grit your teeth and sit here waiting for polygamous marriage and other rights to become a political issue? How much does this vary among polygamous/polyamorous people?

        1 vote
        1. MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          Man, that's a big, big question. I can only speak for myself, but I married the person with whom I wanted to cohabitate and share finances. We had similar ideas about money, preferences about how...

          Man, that's a big, big question. I can only speak for myself, but I married the person with whom I wanted to cohabitate and share finances. We had similar ideas about money, preferences about how to maintain a household, etc. We were both solidly and determinedly poly before we started a relationship. For someone with whom I am planning to live and share a life for 40-50 years, these are the parts of a relationship that I cared most about being in alignment.

          For marriage in a legal sense, I don't really care about marrying more than one person.

          Like many things, this varies widely between people.

          4 votes
    2. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Absolutely yes. I cannot stress enough how much I love human diversity, and I like to explore that in my sexual life as well. I also do not understand what romance, let alone what a romantic...

      Absolutely yes. I cannot stress enough how much I love human diversity, and I like to explore that in my sexual life as well. I also do not understand what romance, let alone what a romantic partner is. I invest different things in different people and some of the words others use to describe their relationships experiences I find lacking or confusing. I do not think I have ever had a purely sexual partner in my life - I'm not opposed to the idea, but I am very fascinated in others and every relationship I've had has at least had some emotional component.

      Yes, but I'm not sure what the difference between a non-sexual partner and non-sexual friend is - the concept of romance is foreign to me. The lines between partner and friend are also often blurry, and I only really define them by asking people I spend a lot of time with how to refer to them.

      7 votes
  14. [2]
    petrichor
    Link
    Non-binary folks: Do you consider yourself transgender?

    Non-binary folks: Do you consider yourself transgender?

    7 votes
    1. cardigan
      Link Parent
      No, but it doesn't bother me that that's what the prevailing opinion in the community seems to be.

      No, but it doesn't bother me that that's what the prevailing opinion in the community seems to be.

      8 votes
  15. [3]
    frostycakes
    Link
    This might come off as super whiny, in which case I apologize. But, how the hell does one set goals for life with a history of failing at any through both external factors that were entirely out...

    This might come off as super whiny, in which case I apologize. But, how the hell does one set goals for life with a history of failing at any through both external factors that were entirely out of one's control, as well as a strong self-sabotage streak and some mental struggles?

    Like, I can't even wrap my head around the idea of setting a goal I could try and achieve. For example, one I've had off and on is finishing my degree. But why try when I've failed at it twice, once due to a crippling depression flareup and once due to just not taking it seriously? I'm already over $70k in the debt hole now, I'd have to move back home to do so since I did horribly trying to juggle full time employment and taking a high enough courseload to put my student loans in deferral-- and thanks to a lot of shit in my past, I do not feel comfortable or safe living with my parents (even though they were just the enablers of the abuse, not the worst of the abusers themselves-- the main one has been dead for five years now).

    I just feel like you can only have a pattern of failure so many times before the logical option is to not try at all. Especially when the stakes get to the point of having lifelong consequences for failure (see said student loans), setting goals feels pointless because it's only a matter of time before either I fuck it up, or some life event comes along and does that for me.

    7 votes
    1. beneGesserit
      Link Parent
      This is a big question with a complicated answer, but I'll give it a shot. I won't go into the gory details but trust me when I say I understand where you are coming from. For me, (and this is...

      This is a big question with a complicated answer, but I'll give it a shot. I won't go into the gory details but trust me when I say I understand where you are coming from. For me, (and this is just my experience, take what resonates) there were a few steps that allowed me to turn things around:

      1. I started out by setting really small goals for myself. Like small. Like getting out of bed in the morning, cooking a meal for myself, cleaning, etc. They were tiny promises to my future self, and keeping them mattered. Once you start being able to slay small goals, you can start adding on slightly more complex ones. Don't rush it, and don't set yourself up for failure by taking on too much at once.

      2. Embarking upon a serious journey of self-compassion. It's cheesy as hell, but gradually and consistently altering how I spoke to/about myself in my head fundamentally changed my life. I have had many abusive people in my life, but by far the person who was most abusive to me was me. I sabotaged myself, said things to myself I would never say to another human, put myself in wildly unsafe situations, etc. and basically existed in a deep and seething hell of self-loathing. Learning to shift my thoughts went a long, long way in healing the relationship with myself and now I can confidently say that I care for myself and that my actions reflect that. It takes a lot of time, but it's simple, free, and if you're able to be even moderately consistent with an approach results will inevitably follow.

      3. Meditation, sleep, and exercise. It blew my fucking mind how effective these tools were at managing the very severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD I have struggled with. Getting serious about these three things (i'll also say making sure I eat relatively well) was a huge factor in my recovery and continues to be to this day. They seem simple but it's weirdly advanced practice-having the discipline to follow through on just one of these (practicing good sleep hygiene by going to bed and getting up at approximately the same time every day and making sure you sleep ~8hrs, 15mins daily meditation, weekly exercise) requires the kind of self-care muscles that it takes a while of slaying the small goals to build. I always suggest starting with sleep because it provides the most immediate and direct relief and once you've mastered that start adding on the others.

      There's definitely more but I don't want to overload you so I will stop there but I just wanted to put it out there that change, even profound change, is absolutely possible and attainable. Go slow, be gentle with yourself, and learn to be consistent. You'll get there. Feel free to DM me if you have questions about what I wrote here.

      7 votes
    2. NoblePath
      Link Parent
      Please see my reply to fishfingus for my experience. I dropped out of grad school and had been stuck for a very long time.

      Please see my reply to fishfingus for my experience. I dropped out of grad school and had been stuck for a very long time.

      2 votes
  16. [3]
    UntouchedWagons
    Link
    Which is Trans-man and which is Trans-woman?

    Which is Trans-man and which is Trans-woman?

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Micycle_the_Bichael
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Edit: I think I want to actually edit this to be more inclusive to NB people so lets try this instead and if a trans member of the community wants to reach out in this thread or my DMs with...

      Edit: I think I want to actually edit this to be more inclusive to NB people so lets try this instead and if a trans member of the community wants to reach out in this thread or my DMs with feedback that would be greatly appreciated

      A trans man is commonly defined as someone who was assigned female at birth. A trans woman is commonly defined as someone who was assigned male at birth. These are OK, but not ideal because they still are based on the concept of a binary gender. What I think is a better way would be to say "A trans man is someone who is transitioning to male from their assigned birth gender" and a similar definition for trans women. A good way to remember it is:

      Trans men are men, trans women are women. A trans-<x> person is trans-itioning from their gender assigned at birth to x

      7 votes
      1. Cycloneblaze
        Link Parent
        I can get confused by this too, or I used to. If you're not familiar with the term "transgender man" or similar, it can be ambiguous. Did they transition from a man or to one? The way I think of...

        I can get confused by this too, or I used to. If you're not familiar with the term "transgender man" or similar, it can be ambiguous. Did they transition from a man or to one?

        The way I think of it is, people aren't going to tell you what they used to be and put in effort to change from, they're going to tell you what are; what they want you to know them as now. So if someone says that they are a transgender man, they must mean that they are now presently a man.

        11 votes
  17. [2]
    culturedleftfoot
    Link
    Here's something I've had trouble understanding: what's with the recent prevalence of anxiety diagnoses in our young people? Do all these folks really have some sort of mini-PTSD (or pre-traumatic...

    Here's something I've had trouble understanding: what's with the recent prevalence of anxiety diagnoses in our young people? Do all these folks really have some sort of mini-PTSD (or pre-traumatic stress disorder, even)? Or is it just more or less poor parenting that's become the norm, where they didn't get equipped with the tools to calm their fears in childhood?

    6 votes
    1. vektor
      Link Parent
      Are you sure that's the cause of what you're seeing? Possible explanations: Higher diagnoses because of more awareness. Overdiagnosis. The world got more stressful/faster/scarier.

      Are you sure that's the cause of what you're seeing? Possible explanations: Higher diagnoses because of more awareness. Overdiagnosis. The world got more stressful/faster/scarier.

      9 votes
  18. [4]
    psi
    Link
    How does demisexuality differ from bisexuality?

    How does demisexuality differ from bisexuality?

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Demisexual simply means that sexual attraction builds over time in some respect - it may mean that they do not feel sexual attraction at all absent some sort of connection/relationship or simply...

      Demisexual simply means that sexual attraction builds over time in some respect - it may mean that they do not feel sexual attraction at all absent some sort of connection/relationship or simply that they start at some value that isn't 100% and that a connection/relationship which builds over time helps nudge it to 100%.

      Bisexuality means you are attracted to more than one gender.

      A good resource for simple questions is the nonbinary wiki or the LGBTA wiki.

      10 votes
      1. psi
        Link Parent
        Ah, sorry, I mixed-up my words (but thanks for the answer!) -- that question is pretty silly in retrospect. I'll post the question I meant to ask as a new top-level comment.

        Ah, sorry, I mixed-up my words (but thanks for the answer!) -- that question is pretty silly in retrospect. I'll post the question I meant to ask as a new top-level comment.

        5 votes
      2. NoApollonia
        Link Parent
        And today I learned what demisexual means....and that it's a thing.

        And today I learned what demisexual means....and that it's a thing.

        2 votes
  19. [6]
    Kuromantis
    Link
    Apparently being agender is a thing. What is it about? Is it more about liking the concept of postgenderism or "leaving the ticker null" or does it entail more, and if so, what?

    Apparently being agender is a thing. What is it about? Is it more about liking the concept of postgenderism or "leaving the ticker null" or does it entail more, and if so, what?

    4 votes
    1. bloup
      Link Parent
      I think I might be agender but I haven't figured it out yet. For practically my entire life, I considered myself to be a heterosexual cisgendered man without really thinking about it too much. But...

      I think I might be agender but I haven't figured it out yet. For practically my entire life, I considered myself to be a heterosexual cisgendered man without really thinking about it too much. But as an adult, trying to better understand the experiences of transgender people made me realize that I did not actually understand gender at all (and I really still don't) and in fact, the more I learned and thought about gender, the less sense it all made to me, and the more preposterous it all felt. I don't feel any particular "attachment" to masculinity, and never have. I feel like my entire life I've been engaging in "gendered activities" simply because I feel like this external social pressure to conform to everyone else's idea of who I am "supposed" to be. I asked myself questions like "if I lived in an alternate universe where the only difference was human gender roles were completely swapped, would I have some kind of problem with wearing dresses and makeup?" and I can't imagine I would. I don't really have any problems with my body, at least none that I think shouldn't be considered "normal" or "healthy". When people talk about feeling like they are born in the "wrong body" it actually genuinely confuses me. I try and try to understand but I can't. Like sometimes I wish my body were proportioned differently so women's clothes would look better on me but it's just not and I'm okay with that! I guess like, it doesn't feel any different than wishing I was a different height or had a more athletic build, or had a "more attractive" face. For all I know, I could have been AFAB and, still wound up with straight hips and a flat chest. Would I feel like that made me any less of a "woman"? I just can't imagine it would! I mean seriously, people come in so many different shapes and sizes and colors. Sure, biological sex correlates closely with the presence of many of these features, but the idea that any of these traits in particular "belongs" to a particular sex or "characterizes" those sexes just makes absolutely no sense to me!

      When I look at what people who call themselves "agender" have to say, it seems like they often have remarkably similar experiences and thoughts to me. However, there is definitely a diversity of experience. Many agender people live their public life as their gender assigned at birth, but it's not necessarily true. There are even agender people who experience gender dysphoria and elect to undergo medical procedures in order to remove what they consider to be gendered aspects of their body.

      I definitely think the post-gender philosophy is extremely appealing and represents like the only possible future where I think agender people would actually feel like they could really express themselves.

      I hope this gives you some insight.

      7 votes
    2. [4]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      I often struggle with the idea that I may be agender. Unfortunately I don't know many people who identify as agender so I'm not sure if it's an applicable label to me, but on a fundamental level I...

      I often struggle with the idea that I may be agender. Unfortunately I don't know many people who identify as agender so I'm not sure if it's an applicable label to me, but on a fundamental level I do not understand what gender really is. I understand that it's a social role, but it's amorphousness that makes it very confusing to me. An action can simultaneously be masculine, feminine, and neither depending on who you ask. I have no intrinsic feelings of any action belonging to a gender, but to humans in general.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        Kuromantis
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Huh. So the reason you and @bloup think you might be agender is that, since gender is an social construct and genders are defined by mostly arbitrary or essentialist stereotypes, trying to...

        Huh. So the reason you and @bloup think you might be agender is that, since gender is an social construct and genders are defined by mostly arbitrary or essentialist stereotypes, trying to identify yourself with a gender is pointless because gender is/should be pointless?

        ...I fully agree with all those statements, the main reason I identify as male gender-wise is because I'm male bodied, and because I do a handful of things I believe fit some stereotypes for male people like spending most of my time online, lacking meaningful social relationships and occasionally circlejerking about that, and most of those things are limited to a pretty specific type of guy, and none of those things are actually inherent to men either. I think most people care far more about gender roles than gender itself, main exceptions being a handful of "based-men" (personal euphemism for online cultural conservatives) who believe that being very traditionally masculine like being muscular is ideal and the far more numerous women who have to identify deeply because of societal/institutional effects and pressures.

        3 votes
        1. bloup
          Link Parent
          I don’t think that’s quite it. I am questioning my gender identity. I notice that I seem to have many similar thoughts and experiences to many people who call themselves agender (the ones I shared...

          I don’t think that’s quite it. I am questioning my gender identity. I notice that I seem to have many similar thoughts and experiences to many people who call themselves agender (the ones I shared with you being a few examples), so the idea that I might be agender seems pretty plausible to me. But I also try to put all this in the context of my own experiences and relationship with gender:

          I feel like I’ve never really had the opportunity to “explore” my gender identity, and a lot of it simply comes down to a fear of social repercussions for not conforming to gender stereotypes.

          I feel like I tend to enjoy socializing with women a lot more than men, but have always felt like my perceived masculinity was this oppressive force in women’s spaces. I honestly feel like, as a man, I can’t even exist in public spaces because all I can think about is how people literally have good reason to be weary of unfamiliar men. And then I think about “who would be the one who might try to be murder me if I attempted to explore my gender identity” and I know in my heart “well it’d definitely be a man...”. All of this has really led to me deeply resenting the idea that “I am a man”.

          Sometimes, I think about the idea of living as a woman or what it would be like to have been born a woman, and in a lot of ways it seems extremely appealing. I actually think there’s a very good chance I’d be a lot happier if everyone saw me as a woman. Sometimes these sorts of thoughts make me wonder if I’m actually a trans woman. However, I also feel like all of my gender anxieties originate from external sources, which seems a lot different from the experience of most trans people. Like my problem seems to mostly be all about how others see me, rather than how I see myself. Because when I look in the mirror I just don’t see a man, I just a person who happens to have some facial hair who I am okay with being. I just wish everyone else could be okay with it too no matter how I chose to express my individuality :(

          6 votes
        2. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          Both of these are examples of internalizing the values that society tells us belong to men and women. No human is immune to internalization (although some experience it less or more than others)...

          main exceptions being a handful of "based-men" (personal euphemism for online cultural conservatives) who believe that being very traditionally masculine like being muscular is ideal and the far more numerous women who have to identify deeply because of societal/institutional effects and pressures.

          Both of these are examples of internalizing the values that society tells us belong to men and women. No human is immune to internalization (although some experience it less or more than others) and what we see in art (such as Hollywood and modeling) can teach us what we think society values or finds beautiful. I, too, felt a pressure to be muscular and fit because I was attracted to it and it felt attainable given the body I was born into. Internalization are something I absolutely struggle with in terms of who I find attractive at first glance, versus who I find attractive after I get to know them a bit - the former is much more restricted and something I'm unsure I will ever fully unlearn.

          4 votes
  20. [3]
    psi
    Link
    How does pansexuality differ from bisexuality? I've heard some people say that pansexuality is more inclusive of trans people than bisexuality; but then I've also heard bisexual folk reject that...

    How does pansexuality differ from bisexuality?

    I've heard some people say that pansexuality is more inclusive of trans people than bisexuality; but then I've also heard bisexual folk reject that claim, saying they've accepted trans people before pansexual was even a label. So what exactly is pansexuality? Is it truly different from bisexuality, or is it just a new label for the same thing?

    4 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      To add onto @Gaywallet's already great answer: The bi/pan friction, and why you see disagreement even within the LGBT community, comes from two forms of erasure. Bisexual erasure is unfortunately...

      To add onto @Gaywallet's already great answer:

      The bi/pan friction, and why you see disagreement even within the LGBT community, comes from two forms of erasure.

      Bisexual erasure is unfortunately quite common and persistent. One of the most common forms of it, for example, is that bisexual men are assumed to be "actually" gay and just lying about it. Bisexuality is also often left out of discussions/frameworks of sexuality, with "hetero/homo" being the binary that a lot of people jump to and work under. This can be confirmed by assumptions regarding someone's orientation based on their romantic partner(s). If a bisexual woman is dating a woman, she's often assumed to be gay, and if she's dating a man, she's often assumed to be straight, for example.

      Meanwhile, nonbinary erasure is the product of the common understanding of gender being split into only two choices: male and female. The framework has us believe that every person falls into one or the other category. This means that people who are neither fully male nor female get subjected to the idea that they're lying about their gender, or that no matter how they present or feel, there is a "real" gender fully rooted in either male or female beneath the surface.

      As Gaywallet mentioned, "bisexual" as a term came well before "pansexual" did. Many bisexual people see their attraction as not an explicit binary attraction ("I like men AND I like women") but more as an attraction without gendered limits ("I like people"), and for them, "bisexual" was the term that best fit their identity. When they are told that "bisexuality" is explicitly upholding the gender binary and is excluding trans people, they often feel that this is an affront to who they are, because the label has never meant that to them and does not match their lived experiences under it. For those people, defining themselves as "bisexual" never meant "I only like two genders" or "I like both genders but only cis people". As such, trying to change that term and apply that sort of meaning to it not only feels wrong, but it also feels like another log on the bisexual erasure fire. They've had to suffer distrust and misunderstanding of their attractions for so long, and, oh look, here comes a new term to let them know that they're "wrong" again!

      Meanwhile, nonbinary people are fighting an uphill battle against the very widespread assumptions that gender is a binary and that people are either male or female but never inbetween, never neither, and never both. This is reinforced constantly in our day to day lives. Schools will have students line up as "girls" and "boys". Restrooms are split into "men" and "women". There's the idea that people can be split into two convenient, definitive, and exclusive halves. Anything that contributes to this image unfortunately contributes to nonbinary people's erasure -- why don't they get a line?; why don't they get a bathroom? The term "bisexual", on the surface, appears to support this split, as the "bi-" prefix means "two". Thus, "pansexual" can be seen as a way of identifying one's attraction as "I like people" without also reinforcing a gender binary.

      When we combine both of these frameworks, we can see that these two terms can create a level of conflict. "Bisexual" can look like it's contributing to nonbinary erasure, while "pansexual" can look like it's contributing to bisexual erasure. For any given individual, it ultimately comes down to their own experiences and preferences that will determine how they identify themselves and how they intend it to be interpreted. There isn't a hard and fast rule, and there is some default level of ambiguity in it.

      10 votes
    2. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Some history - the term bisexual predates pansexual. This is part of the reason some people identify with bisexual and not pansexual. This is something that often happens as language evolves -...

      Some history - the term bisexual predates pansexual. This is part of the reason some people identify with bisexual and not pansexual. This is something that often happens as language evolves - some people have come to terms with or have an emotional attachment to a specific kind of label so they feel no desire to redefine or shape themselves so that other people can understand them with more clarity. At the end of the day, labels exist so that others can understand you quickly and efficiently and are by definition less specific than having a conversation with the person. Because of this, the level to which someone decides labels are useful or not to them really depends on how they view language as a tool and what they wish to project openly to the world versus that which only people who know them might know.

      In more definite terms, pansexuality was a label created in conjunction with other labels such as omnisexuality to further define bisexuality. Bisexuality is an umbrella term, which simply refers to people who have attraction to more than one gender. Pansexuality is the specification that this attraction is to all genders. If gender factors into attraction, one might simply exist under the greater bisexual umbrella or they might specify a different label such as pansexuality or omnisexuality. Anything more specific than that depends on the person - some people consider pansexuality to be attraction absent gender, but not all people agree with this definition or use it for themselves.

      The section usually attracted to more than one gender on the romantic and sexual orientation page of the non-binary wiki does a good job at explaining each label - both what they mean and how people tend to adopt or identify with it.

      7 votes
  21. [7]
    petrichor
    Link
    To take a different form of @ainar-g's question: What is the difference between specifying pronouns and specifying gender, and why does the former seem to be preferred?

    To take a different form of @ainar-g's question: What is the difference between specifying pronouns and specifying gender, and why does the former seem to be preferred?

    4 votes
    1. [6]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Pronouns do not have to match gender. You can be female and prefer he/him pronouns. Similarly, some people do not want gender neutral pronouns used for them and may specify that they want to be...

      Pronouns do not have to match gender. You can be female and prefer he/him pronouns. Similarly, some people do not want gender neutral pronouns used for them and may specify that they want to be referred to as a she, and never a they. In some cases people may not wish for pronouns to be used at all and would prefer to be named.

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        petrichor
        Link Parent
        I'm a bit confused, could you elaborate? Why would anyone who's female want to be referred to as a man? Isn't gender almost entirely caused by the social effects surrounding it? For people who...

        I'm a bit confused, could you elaborate? Why would anyone who's female want to be referred to as a man? Isn't gender almost entirely caused by the social effects surrounding it?

        For people who don't wish to use pronouns, what's wrong with they/them?

        2 votes
        1. [4]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          At the heart of the question is a need for an explanation for a feeling that neither you nor I experience. I can, at best, repeat their words back to you, but I simply do not know why they would...

          Why would anyone who's female want to be referred to as a man?

          At the heart of the question is a need for an explanation for a feeling that neither you nor I experience. I can, at best, repeat their words back to you, but I simply do not know why they would want this. I merely know that they wish to be referred to in this manner, and respect those wishes.

          For people who don't wish to use pronouns, what's wrong with they/them?

          Some people have strong feelings about specific pronouns. If I don't like being called she and ask for others to refer to me as he, it's about how those words make me feel. Just like anyone can take issue with gendered pronouns such as he and she, people can feel strongly about pronouns which are not gendered.

          Perhaps a good question to ask yourself is how would you feel if someone referred to you by only using it/its pronouns? Most people would be upset because we often reserve those pronouns for non-human things such as cats or computers. However, there is nothing inherently within language that states you can't use this for a person (and some people actually have this as their preferred pronouns). Instead, it is your internalization of the value ascribed to it/its and where it is appropriate to use it/its that makes you upset with the use of these pronouns. In much the same way, someone can feel upset about the use of any pronoun, including all pronouns. In some cases people can feel validated by specific pronouns being used, in much the same way that you may have felt very good as a kid being referred to with 'man' instead of 'boy'. This is often the drive behind why people want certain pronouns used for them. In other cases, people may not have strong feelings about any pronouns, and it's about specificity or announcing an identity to the world.

          In short, language is difficult and the reasoning behind why someone wants you to use or avoid specific language is just as diverse as humans are.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            petrichor
            Link Parent
            Hmm. I don't understand any of that in the slightest, but thanks for giving a shot at an explanation.

            Hmm. I don't understand any of that in the slightest, but thanks for giving a shot at an explanation.

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              What if someone were to refer to you by a nickname you did not want, or by an entirely different name altogether? How would those words make you feel?

              What if someone were to refer to you by a nickname you did not want, or by an entirely different name altogether? How would those words make you feel?

              2 votes
              1. petrichor
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                I understand that people like being called by something they prefer, that's pretty straightforward. What confuses me are the reasons that would lead someone to want to be referred to as something...

                I understand that people like being called by something they prefer, that's pretty straightforward.

                What confuses me are the reasons that would lead someone to want to be referred to as something other than what they identify as.

                2 votes
  22. [6]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    This one isn't here because I'm worried about how it might come across in the sense of sensitivity, more so in the sense that this is a question I feel is hard to ask without feeling very clueless...

    This one isn't here because I'm worried about how it might come across in the sense of sensitivity, more so in the sense that this is a question I feel is hard to ask without feeling very clueless and at least a bit naive, but the articles I've seen aren't very helpful.

    Anyway, a lot of problems that usually belong on ~life have seemingly become much more common in discourse, those mainly being social and "productivity-related" problems that can be assumed to have been affected by internet. People talk a lot about dealing with procrastination, how to be better at dating and how hard dating is, how to make friends/stop being lonely, something which seems to be particular to the last 10 years or so (at least, nearly all the articles I've read about dating and difficulty don't really talk about the past far enough so all I can do is assume based on old memes.)

    However, mental health has followed this same track in popular discourse, but given psych wards and bullying, the exponential increase of people talking about mental health seems to be largely uncovering what was always there.

    So how much does this large increase in discourse of procrastination, loneliness and dating reflect an increase of procrastination, loneliness and difficulty to get an SO (among other things, I'm sure), vs just uncovering what was already there?

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      vord
      Link Parent
      Probably a bit of both (at least in USA). Since the dot-com bubble especially, people aren't really any better off. There really hasn't been any substantial rise in income to offset the heavily...

      So how much does this large increase in discourse of procrastination, loneliness and dating reflect an increase of procrastination, loneliness and difficulty to get an SO (among other things, I'm sure), vs just uncovering what was already there?

      Probably a bit of both (at least in USA).

      Since the dot-com bubble especially, people aren't really any better off. There really hasn't been any substantial rise in income to offset the heavily increasing costs of housing, food, education, and healthcare. College didn't fulfill the promise of upward mobility, so now wages are very low and non-dischargeable debt is at an all-time high. So both depression/anxiety (two factors that certainly exacerbate procrastination) and the ability to treat it is getting worse. And as any depressed/anxious person will tell you: It's really hard to meet people and form relationships in that state....which will exacerbate those feelings further.

      But even beyond that, there's this drastic change in how people are interacting. My wife and I were an anomaly among millennials...we met and even married in-person before the major rise of smartphones and dating apps (when OKCupid was very new and hadn't sold out yet). We kinda watched as many of our peers just kinda fell into this smartphone rabbit hole, where relationships were easy to setup but kinda hollow and fell apart just as easy. Seeing people spending time with other people, but spending the vast majority of their time staring at their phones.

      We can chat with strangers from around the world easily, we can tell our stories and recognize problems in ourselves and others more readily and share those experiences. But we also now have trouble talking to someone sitting next to us on the bus, so even pre-COVID the social distancing is worse than ever before.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        I find it interesting you bring up material conditions because I've always imagined things like dating and socialization as mostly removed from economic concerns and, if you're a...

        [...] So both depression/anxiety (two factors that certainly exacerbate procrastination) and the ability to treat it is getting worse. And as any depressed/anxious person will tell you: It's really hard to meet people and form relationships in that state....which will exacerbate those feelings further.

        I find it interesting you bring up material conditions because I've always imagined things like dating and socialization as mostly removed from economic concerns and, if you're a cis-het-white(-ish)-man like me, entirely removed from anything political, so in my mind, anxieties stemming from economic problems would only affect your social and dating life when people reject you for your debts. Now that I think of it depression generally gets in the way of everything you do as opposed to just what causes it. (I got genuinely depressed once so I should know better.)

        But even beyond that, there's this drastic change in how people are interacting. My wife and I were an anomaly among millennials...we met and even married in-person before the major rise of smartphones and dating apps (when OKCupid was very new and hadn't sold out yet). We kinda watched as many of our peers just kinda fell into this smartphone rabbit hole, where relationships were easy to setup but kinda hollow and fell apart just as easy. Seeing people spending time with other people, but spending the vast majority of their time staring at their phones.

        So it is accurate to say that, when not mentally ill, most people should usually blame themselves that they're not succeeding at dating or am I misunderstanding your comment? Because I've always found it hard to blame collective stupidity for dating becoming a lot harder, either assuming that it has something to do with dating apps turn dating into something profitable for them or just sitting here without a clue to if this is even a real problem or not.

        1 vote
        1. vord
          Link Parent
          Yes and no. Can you blame an addict for relapsing when they're constantly bombarded with ads about how great their drug of choice is? We were enticed with what are genuinely amazing advances in...

          So it is accurate to say that, when not mentally ill, most people should usually blame themselves that they're not succeeding at dating.

          Yes and no. Can you blame an addict for relapsing when they're constantly bombarded with ads about how great their drug of choice is? We were enticed with what are genuinely amazing advances in technology, and now we're kinda-sorta addicted to our phones. Not in a malicious or intentional way, but just not seeing consequences until it was too late. Didn't even really notice it in myself till I had a kid and would put away my phone around them. A smartphone has this siren song, constantly trying to grab your attention. Resisting that draw is hard, and when I finally was easily able to cast it aside for hours....I noticed I was mostly alone. Other parents never putting their phones down. Using their kids as props for social media posting. I've always had a cynical streak, but this stuff strikes me as unhealthy.

          But, all systemic issues aside, I'm reminded of a quote I'm gonna butcher horribly:

          If you have 1 SO that was an asshole, it was probably them. If you have 10 SO that were assholes, perhaps it's time to look inward.

          We all like to absolve ourselves by blaming others (I'm certainly more than guilty), but especially when it comes to personal relationships, gotta be willing to put yourself out there and hope someone else does the same.

          I was one of those horrid 'niceguys' for awhile, and I just got lucky with my mental breakdown wiping out my social hangups for a bit (thanks hypomania!), and meeting a woman great enough to overlook my fedora....

          4 votes
    2. [2]
      Kuromantis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Another question I have about dating difficulty and loneliness is that, while most articles I have read refrain from mentioning gender, more often online I hear about this being a...

      Another question I have about dating difficulty and loneliness is that, while most articles I have read refrain from mentioning gender, more often online I hear about this being a disproportionately male problem, either implicitly via memes (TFW no GF instead of SO) and these places being made up of mostly men or explicitly, from places like r/menslib which mainly say that since gender roles put men in the role of dating women, men have to do most of the approaching and most of the being rejected, alongside it being mostly an accepted fact that men lack intimacy.

      However, the manosphere uses many of these arguments to blame women and be sexist, and many memes about and like "TFW no GF" are often picked up or made by these people, and they often say no such things can happen to women, which obviously isn't true.

      So do you think loneliness and having trouble dating are the same for all genders and focusing on men is a baiting tool for sexists or should it be accepted as fact that, in this specific area, men have it worse, even if obviously women can and do suffer from this?

      2 votes
      1. Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        Loneliness and having trouble dating are universal human problems brought about by current society. I don't think it's actually possible to rank the differences between dating while presenting...

        Loneliness and having trouble dating are universal human problems brought about by current society. I don't think it's actually possible to rank the differences between dating while presenting male and while presenting female. This is because different people view the experience in different ways. For example, some women prefer to have a never-ending stream of men interested in them so that they can feel valued or because they would prefer to never 'settle' down. Some men also like and take advantage of the existing system and develop tactics to prey on some of the women shaped by this system.

        I think the biggest blame belongs with society for creating these norms - why should it matter if you have a girlfriend or not? While there are social pressures on both genders, I believe women have more outlets to vent about how frustrating the process is and how it can feel ruthless. Men don't quite have the same space to express emotion and thus they are left finding other ways to express it, such as through memes or through the gamification of the process in an attempt to improve their chances (notably not a way to get closure with the emotions that come along with internalized failure).

        6 votes
  23. [8]
    NoblePath
    (edited )
    Link
    Do black folks find Dave Chapelle (and other black comedians on CS or SNL or similar) to be funny? And if the answer is no, do I need to take a look at myself for finding it funny, because I might...

    Do black folks find Dave Chapelle (and other black comedians on CS or SNL or similar) to be funny?

    And if the answer is no, do I need to take a look at myself for finding it funny, because I might be contributing to the problem?

    Edit: to answer the issue of "all black people are the same." I used the phrase "Black Folks" instead of "Blacks" or "Black People" or even "African Americans" on purpose. While of course monolithic labels and hard groupings are a part of the problem, there are groups who can share cultural characteristics and express preferences as a group. "North American Citizens descended from African slaves" is one such group. And while even that group is not monolithic, there are a number of cultural facets on which a large number of individuals do align. The phrase "Black Folks," incidentally, was shared with me by a leader of a local (to me in NC) civil rights group of broad membership, as a way to identify this loosely conglomerated cultural group.

    I guess a follow up question might be, what's a good way to identify cultural groups and their members that allows us to understand the landscape but affirms unity over division?

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      At this point Dave Chappelle is a contender for the greatest comedian of all time. I wouldn't put anyone else in his category, tbh.

      At this point Dave Chappelle is a contender for the greatest comedian of all time. I wouldn't put anyone else in his category, tbh.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Omnicrola
        Link Parent
        Can you expand on this? What to you elevates him above and beyond just being good at comedy to being great? I find him funny, and often poiniant, but I also know that as a white male, I'm probably...

        Can you expand on this? What to you elevates him above and beyond just being good at comedy to being great?

        I find him funny, and often poiniant, but I also know that as a white male, I'm probably missing a good chunk of underlying context and references.

        3 votes
        1. culturedleftfoot
          Link Parent
          I think he's transcended comedy and should be regarded as a bonafide philosopher. We can surely agree that he's been riotously funny for quite a while, but post-Chappelle Show fiasco, he's become...

          I think he's transcended comedy and should be regarded as a bonafide philosopher. We can surely agree that he's been riotously funny for quite a while, but post-Chappelle Show fiasco, he's become truly indispensable. He seems to have decided to just say what's on his mind, and contextualizes the issues of our time in a way that few others are either willing or able to. For example, look at what he chooses to do/say in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing last year, or how he handled criticism of his jokes about trans people in Equanimity and Sticks and Stones. He's able to tapdance through the lasers because he's very intelligent, emotionally mature, and probably most importantly, consistently honest with himself (and his audience). It's a combination that isn't nearly common enough and tends toward wisdom. Matched with his fantastic storytelling ability, he weaves real truth between his jokes in the tradition of the best griots, giving listeners something of real substance to leave with if they so desire. I don't think you need to be Black to fully enjoy what he does; simply paying attention and being curious will take you far.

          6 votes
    2. [4]
      an_angry_tiger
      Link Parent
      Do you think all black people are a solid block who think the same and have the same tastes in comedy?

      Do you think all black people are a solid block who think the same and have the same tastes in comedy?

      4 votes
      1. MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        Please keep in mind this section from the OP:

        Please keep in mind this section from the OP:

        Answerers
        Give genuine answers to the questions given. The goal of the thread is education and understanding. Even (and especially) if a question is difficult, frustrating, or off-putting, I think one of the best things you can articulate is why it is that way for you as a way of helping others understand your experience and perspective.

        9 votes
  24. [4]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    For poly people: Given that, in the US, polyamory is at a roughly 20% acceptance rate, how much do you usually hide your polyamory? Is it just calling your partners roommates to people you aren't...

    For poly people:

    Given that, in the US, polyamory is at a roughly 20% acceptance rate, how much do you usually hide your polyamory? Is it just calling your partners roommates to people you aren't confident are overtly progressive or super socially libertarian or is it more cumbersome? When people find out, how often do they shame you for this, especially given that, at 20%, living in an otherwise progressive city won't shield you from the worst, as it might (might) do for other LGBT groups and women?

    Second question, for everyone:

    If polyamory was fully legalized and normalized at a, say, 70% or so acceptance rate, do you think it would be significantly more common or would it stay the same as now, just without needing to be basically hidden and with less judgement? If you think it would be more common, how much more so?

    3 votes
    1. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      I don't, but it's a bit more complicated than that. I'm open about all parts of my identity, but I don't showcase my polyamory. That is to say, I use language at times to downplay it. If I spend...

      how much do you usually hide your polyamory?

      I don't, but it's a bit more complicated than that. I'm open about all parts of my identity, but I don't showcase my polyamory. That is to say, I use language at times to downplay it. If I spend time with a partner, I just say my partner, but I don't specify which partner. If I do something with multiple partners I'll either say partners or another partner or whatever is relevant/correct for the speech. I don't openly advocate much about polyamory unless directly asked (I am working on expanding benefits to allow for more than one partner to share medical with so long as you pay for it), whereas I do spend time educating others about queer issues when it's relevant to something being considered.

      It's a weird line to walk, but I think I walk it because I'm in ways more concerned about being judged about being polyamorous than I am concerned about being judged about being queer with respect to sexuality or gender. Society doesn't really talk about this a lot, and as I'm typing this out I realize this is perhaps a failing of my own - if I don't start those conversations, society will probably continue to not talk about it a lot and I have the mental energy and aptitude to educate others. Perhaps I should use this as an incentive to myself to be more honest and open about my identity. I will have to mull it over.

      What I will say, however, is that since most people still view me as primarily masculine or male presenting (albeit some form of queer masc) I am privileged in that they will not be slut shaming me for having multiple partners. Some men are jealous of my lifestyle because they do not understand it. They think I merely can have sex with anyone and that I'm living 'the high life' or what-have-you. Unfortunately feminine presenting individuals do not get this same treatment - if they present as poly they are often slut shamed, regardless of political affiliation. Progressive cities are unfortunately still not as poly-tolerant as they are queer-tolerant. I cannot tell you how many dating profiles I come across which have overtly poly bigoted statements in them. I understand, however, that many people are monogamous and many people are trying to protect themselves from people who are not looking for serious relationships or wish to hide under the poly umbrella as a way to live out the kind of relationship they want but without being honest with themselves or others with their desires, but I wish they would do so with language that is not openly hostile.

      5 votes
    2. [2]
      Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      I think one directly implies the other. If it where legal and accepted at a high rate in society at large, then it implies that there is a certain level of open practice of that behavior within...

      do you think it would be significantly more common or would it stay the same as now, just without needing to be basically hidden and with less judgement?

      I think one directly implies the other. If it where legal and accepted at a high rate in society at large, then it implies that there is a certain level of open practice of that behavior within society. What that level is is anyone's guess, but I'd think fairly high.

      I'd also like to think that in a society with that high of an acceptance rate, a lot more people would be able to see and partake in the benefits of not trying to be fulfilled by a single person for their entire life. Personally I think there is tremendous merit in the idea, but I would have a very hard time emotionally trying to actually put it into practice. Monogamy is too strongly embedded in my norms to let go of easily. I don't have any issue with other people practicing polyamory though.

      3 votes
      1. Kuromantis
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Mildly different topic but I personally disagree with the idea that acceptance of something implies a significant amount of open practice, if anything I think social progressivism when successful...

        I think one directly implies the other. If it where legal and accepted at a high rate in society at large, then it implies that there is a certain level of open practice of that behavior within society. What that level is is anyone's guess, but I'd think fairly high.

        Mildly different topic but I personally disagree with the idea that acceptance of something implies a significant amount of open practice, if anything I think social progressivism when successful and not made void by economic inequality often trends toward emancipating smaller minorities of people as the bigger ones get equality. (Which is good of course, it means less people need to face discrimination and prejudice, etc.)

        I'd also like to think that in a society with that high of an acceptance rate, a lot more people would be able to see and partake in the benefits of not trying to be fulfilled by a single person for their entire life. Personally I think there is tremendous merit in the idea, but I would have a very hard time emotionally trying to actually put it into practice. Monogamy is too strongly embedded in my norms to let go of easily.

        I agree. While I think the poly people that have confirmed that poly relationships cam be more practical make a very good case for mainstream adoption of polyamory (not that they explicitly want that of course), I think things like fearing someone you like liking one person best in the polycule, dating multiple people simultaneously, probably needing to tear down the idea of your SO being the one and only person for you, having multiple romantic and sexual partners at once and probably more are all thing that would (and arguably should) push me and most people away from being poly IMO. However, if that can be done, I think polyamory would go mainstream.

        2 votes
  25. [3]
    Kuromantis
    Link
    Alright, I'm going full personal here. A preference I've had for as long as I can remember is that I generally like to spend my time on the internet by myself, usually flatly leaving the room if...

    Alright, I'm going full personal here.

    A preference I've had for as long as I can remember is that I generally like to spend my time on the internet by myself, usually flatly leaving the room if my parents come in. Often enough, and admittedly probably unsurprisingly, my parents are annoyed by this. Sometimes they'll tell me to stop that and stay in the room with them.

    I feel I can either interpret this as:

    Them being annoying when they do this and not letting me just do what I want

    OR

    As them asking me to just spend some time with them for once, because I spend most of my day like this and don't spend much with them despite them being my parents and me living with them every day.

    Which interpretation do you think is more accurate? Is there a better middle ground?

    3 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Getting up and walking out of the room in response to someone entering it is a pretty strong social cue that the person leaving does not like the person entering. I think it’s possible that your...

      Getting up and walking out of the room in response to someone entering it is a pretty strong social cue that the person leaving does not like the person entering. I think it’s possible that your parents are interpreting your preference for isolation as expressing a dislike for them personally. This is likely concerning to them and also might underlie their need to connect with you in the first place: they might feel you are “pulling away” and they want to make sure to sustain their connection to and support of you as their child.

      If they’re wanting to connect with you, and you’re wanting to not have them invade your room/time/space, try making some time for them in your day in a different location. Check in, hang out, and talk with them then, and it’s likely they won’t feel the need to enter your room to engage you. That will hopefully let you feel that you have your desired time and space to yourself and make their visits feel less invasive.

      9 votes
    2. culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      Probably depends on what their interpretation of your actions are. Might they think you are trying to specifically avoid them, as opposed to wanting to be online in peace? Teenage years are...

      Probably depends on what their interpretation of your actions are. Might they think you are trying to specifically avoid them, as opposed to wanting to be online in peace?

      Teenage years are generally when you start establishing your sense of identity, and boundaries are a part of that. Parents often don't handle it well, even when they recognize intellectually the need to start loosening their leash. They feel they need a level of intimate knowledge about you to help guide you properly, but it's likely not a great feeling to face to the realization that you don't measure up enough to be considered a friend by the creature you've nurtured for the past decade-plus.

      In theory, I'd advise you to try finding some grace within yourself and maybe try appeasing them a little. Ask them to be honest with you about what their concern is behind asking you not to leave the room. Maybe they might be scared of you growing ever-distant from them and leaving them behind. Maybe they see it as a simple matter of respect, I don't know. But if you can have that conversation with them in a way that both sides are willing to treat the other just as people, without the baggage of your existing relationship but instead with mutual respect, you may find some progress that will serve you all in good stead for the rest of your lives.

      Having said that, that's something that depends on the quality of relationship you've had up to this point, usually takes folks years of experience/maturity to truly wrap their heads around, and may even be a bit unfair to ask or expect of someone your age. Either way it goes, if you can honestly say you don't think they are trying to treat you maliciously, try your best not to hold it against them.

      8 votes
  26. [2]
    vegai
    (edited )
    Link
    Given how gender is a social construct and as such quite a malleable concept (isn't it?), is there a significant risk that we could be causing gender dysphoria in individuals that would not have...

    Given how gender is a social construct and as such quite a malleable concept (isn't it?), is there a significant risk that we could be causing gender dysphoria in individuals that would not have had it otherwise? Would that be a good thing or a bad thing?

    3 votes
    1. spctrvl
      Link Parent
      I think it's very unlikely gender dysphoria can be caused by an outside source. While gender expression is constructed, gender identity seems more or less inborn; if it were possible to influence...

      I think it's very unlikely gender dysphoria can be caused by an outside source. While gender expression is constructed, gender identity seems more or less inborn; if it were possible to influence it socially, I can't imagine there'd be anywhere near the number of people bucking the overwhelming social pressure to conform to their assigned gender.

      I think the only impact that greater recognition and acceptance of trans people has had is that people who might otherwise have stuck it out and lived their whole lives in the closet are feeling more able to transition. Ending gatekeeping measures like lived experience has also eased the path to transition for people who don't wholly conform to the expectations of their preferred gender, so you see a lot more trans lesbians or tomboys for instance, but it's not that they have milder or acquired dysphoria, it's that the stigma for being a trans person not conforming to your new gender expectations is like, trans squared, so visibility was near nil until fairly recently.

      5 votes
  27. [2]
    moocow1452
    (edited )
    Link
    About a month ago, I (29M) tested positive for a UTI that I took meds for and peed clean for, but I still had pain and excessive urination symptoms for, and urgent care said to contact my doctor....

    About a month ago, I (29M) tested positive for a UTI that I took meds for and peed clean for, but I still had pain and excessive urination symptoms for, and urgent care said to contact my doctor. Doctor had an appointment 3 weeks out last Wednesday, and I low simmer panicked for that for him to shrug his shoulders and refer me to a urologist. That previous week, I lost my job, and I started having concurrent abdominal pain, Bowel fun, sweats, shivers and fatigue, but no fever that seemed to be linked on eating foods, and I'm split between I picked up a stomach bug, anxiety from the UTI and Job loss is driving this, or if I just now random IBS, coupled with what might be some random Interstitial Cystitis as diagnosed by doctor Google, and now this is my new normal and have to sort out problem foods and never enjoy them again and I'll be in pain forever anyway. I know that I'm catastrophizing and even my worst case scenario means I can manage, but I'm dealing with pain and not rational, and it just so happens that these conditions are vague and inconclusive to test enough that my imagination runs wild. And the last time I went to the emergency room for what I thought was an appendix issue, it turns out my diagnosis was a $1200 bill and some constipation.

    If I have to do a question, it's some variant of "am I going to be okay," because nobody really knows the answer to that question (Edit: except me), and I don't want to acknowledge my hypochondriac nature.

    4 votes
    1. reifyresonance
      Link Parent
      I have had... a lot of medical anxiety since covid started/I had something that might've been it. Had chest pains that seemed like a heart attack, turned out to be like sternum inflammation. That...

      I have had... a lot of medical anxiety since covid started/I had something that might've been it. Had chest pains that seemed like a heart attack, turned out to be like sternum inflammation. That was a fun few months going to the cardiologist. Had UTI symptoms, turned out I was eating too much spicy food (rip). Weird bubbling in my pelvis area, oh no, am I leaking internally??? Other stuff too.

      The most useful wisdom I have gained thus far is "Yes, I am going to be okay. I'm going to do what I need to in order to diagnose this, and then I'm going to do what I need to in order to deal with it. That's the whole process. I'm not going to die in the week it takes to get to the doctor. Even if it's cancer or something, the process will be the same. It'll suck, but it'll be okay." And like, that's still really hard to do sometimes. Noticing your fear and mindfully responding to it goes a long way though.

      I will often light a white candle for peace, tranquility, and serenity, and ask the powers of such to be with me as long as it burns. (Customize to fit beliefs.) My new doc doesn't prescribe them, but benzos e.g. xanax, klonopin have been extremely effective for acute anxiety. Also, the propranolol I was prescribed when I thought there was something wrong with my heart.

      Also, I think it is best to avoid doctor Google. The mind and body are more connected than I once thought, and anxiety about symptoms almost always seems to make them worse. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

      I wish you the best of luck in dealing with your maladies or lack thereof. It is not easy, and I sympathize.❤️

      4 votes
  28. [2]
    Kuromantis
    Link
    If I may be a little offtopic, It might be nice to copy the things you encouraged on the last thread here. Most importantly, should we post our questions under the same comment, or not? Or should...

    Askers

    Ask a genuine question that you want a genuine answer to. This is not a thread for hot takes or passive aggressive shots or anything like that.

    If I may be a little offtopic, It might be nice to copy the things you encouraged on the last thread here. Most importantly, should we post our questions under the same comment, or not? Or should we approach a middle ground?

    1 vote
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Updated! I’m thinking separate comments for different questions (unless they’re all related) is a good way of organizing things.

      Updated! I’m thinking separate comments for different questions (unless they’re all related) is a good way of organizing things.

      2 votes
  29. [2]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    Well I would definitely not pose any such questions here either. It's not as if we're suddenly on neutral ground and all hostilities, accusations, and gross misunderstandings will be prevented. I...

    Well I would definitely not pose any such questions here either. It's not as if we're suddenly on neutral ground and all hostilities, accusations, and gross misunderstandings will be prevented.

    I appreciate the effort, but I don't think that is possible and I'm afraid that, if people do participate (at least in the way that the title is asking for...) this will get locked.

    I do hope I'm wrong.

    9 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Completely understandable, mrbig. I have the same worries too. I don’t think we’ll ever fully prevent social frictions or disagreements. My hope is that we can at least stay on the rails though,...

      Completely understandable, mrbig. I have the same worries too.

      I don’t think we’ll ever fully prevent social frictions or disagreements. My hope is that we can at least stay on the rails though, and hopefully produce some valuable discussion on difficult topics.

      If there’s anything you think would help improve this thread or others like it in the future, please let me know.

      11 votes