Writer's Block: And the Oscar Goes To
What movie, whether it was nominated by the Academy or not, gets your personal vote for Best Picture of 2008?
Anything besides Twilight.

Writer's Block: Tricky Questions
What is your first reaction when someone says "I need to talk to you"?

"Yes, the child is mine"

In any case, it throws them off-guard.

Writer's Block: From A to Z
Using one word for each letter of the alphabet, make a list of the words you most associate with yourself or that you feel best describe you.

L- lazy

(no subject)
Happy Thanksgiving all!

Let me tell you a story
I didn't feel a need to make this friends only. I will reserve my piece of humble pie for another day. I just feel really proud of myself and I just... want to share it with anyone and everyone. It was exhilarating, scary, amazing, and something I will never forget for the rest of my life.

I spoke. I believe the count was a bit over 100 people attending that banquet. I was one of two guest speakers who were there to tell how their program helped them. Programs being funded by mostly everyone in the crowd - and the United Way of Pike County's president. My leg was pumping a mile a minute. I was shaking in a cold sweat that whole night. I took my speech and stood by the podium, listening to the UW president talk. I could hear jumbled conversation and forks against dinner plates - the usual restaurant ambiance.

The only other speaker went before me. I suddenly wondered if mine was too long. For a moment, I almost thought of telling them I couldn't do it. To walk out and wait in the car until my father finished his dinner. Almost. I listened to this woman, who had been a victim of domestic abuse, speak very briefly. If she could tell her story, I could. Though she didn't tell much and I definitely respected her for it. I thought maybe I revealed too much in mine. It was very personal. I feel like I would be ripping myself open to these people I didn't know. People who might judge me. I was vulnerable.

I stood at the podium. "Hello everyone", and laughed a little. Because it was so dorky and informal, and I was in front of a sea of fancy dresses and business suits. But I kept on. My finger trembled non-stop as I read from the paper. "I'm here to tell you a very short, but true story... I used to know someone who hid in the darkness of their room, blinds shut - door closed." After this, the room hushed. I could no longer hear the ambiance I had heard all throughout the evening - even when the other woman spoke.

I looked through the room and at the faces of the people who were now giving their full and complete attention. I looked at them because I wanted to know this was me. It was who I was and my life was an open book. And I put it out there to show them how valuable their funding was. How much it helped. How far I had progressed and the hardships I'd faced when I was a child. One woman in the front row was so touched, she had tears streaming down her face and red eyes. I had done that. I had touched a life with my story.

As the speech came to a close, it overwhelmed me. It was emotional for me, digging up these things and exposing them. But I felt a peace up there, through my trembling and stuttering. I had brought these things up to a mass of people - exposed myself. Everything I tried to ignore was out there. And as tears fell down my cheeks, I finally finished my speech.

They stood up. Then they applauded. I couldn't hear myself stammering "Thank you" through the speakers. I looked over these people... giving ME a standing ovation. I scanned the crowd and found a few crying faces through my own clouded eyes. I truly felt inside, that whole room that night was proud of me. There is no feeling in the world than being applauded for something that came from deep inside you, and being cheered by a hundred people who respect you in some way.

As I walked back from my seat, a few people shook my hand and told me I did great. One man thanked me a great deal. One woman came up to me, hugged me, and said "I don't know who you are exactly, but I'm proud of you." When I sat down, the director of the program told me "This is something that will not be forgotten for a long time around here, you know."

I never felt so alive than I did that night. I never felt so accomplished just by sharing something true to me. I will never ever EVER forget that night for as long as I live. It's something I don't want to forget. I've never felt so much support and love in one room. I feel so honored to have had that experience at least once in my life. And I'm proud of myself for taking that plunge.

After everything that's been going on the past 2 months, I finally feel like I've achieved some clarity and peace. Not that it's solved all my problems! But it felt like it changed me. I feel like going out and grabbing life again. I want to speak more - not that I will get a standing ovation ever again probably. But even if I hadn't gotten a positive response, I couldn't imagine ever going through life without doing it again.

I am happy... and I am proud of myself.

(no subject)
a post by ecdysiasm
(A topic I pondered on frequently, but could never have said it more eloquently):

"I don't believe it when any trans person says they've never questioned that they were male/female/etc.

I can certainly understand why so many people say it, because we live in a world where trans people's genders are either disallowed or tolerated only with clear evidence (usually something meaningless like passability or one's genital configuration). If the answer you're supposed to give is the opposite of the one you're giving, then admitting that there's ever been any doubt offers a clear opening to religious fundamentalists, radical feminists, anti-LGBT hate groups, hesitant friends, resistant parents, frightened lovers. Admitting any uncertainty can come off as an admission of guilt, because we are guilty until proven innocent, and in many people's eyes we will never, ever be proven innocent.

What's more, one never hears cissexual people -- whose genders are given the clear-cut undeniability that most trans people long for -- admitting to having doubted their own genders. And I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of them haven't, but I also don't believe that it's because their genders are firm and real. Cissexual people never doubt their genders because cissexual people live in a world in which there is no room to doubt their genders.

See, there's this idea that seems prevalent that doubt arises from being wrong, when in fact, doubt is simply the natural effect of having multiple realistic options. Cissexual people never doubt because they are not offered multiple options -- a cissexual man who likes being a man will not only never be given reason to consider whether he might really be female, but is bombarded with cultural messages that tell him that doing so would be sick, silly, wrong. His lack of doubt isn't because he's definitely a man -- although he is -- it's because he is only presented with one option, and since it's a satisfying option, he'll never need to look further.

It's worth noting that most of the cissexual people I know who have expressed or implied any uncertainty about their genders have done so as a result of coming into the orbit of the transgender community (usually because of of a partner or friend transitioning), because in the trans community, an endless banquet of options are on the table: in the best parts of our community, one is free to be male, female, both, neither or something else entirely.

But even before or without becoming involved with the trans community, multiple options are always on the table for trans people -- and what is more, we live in a world where choosing the best one for you can subject you not just to scorn and derision, but a seemingly-insurmountable wall of very real difficulties and dangers. With even the tiniest bit of reflection, who could possibly look that in the eye and not wonder if maybe they'd be better off going the other way? Who could be told from every corner they're wrong and not wonder even once if it's true?

So, yes, I will confess: not only have I doubted in the past, I still doubt sometimes. I sit up at night sometimes and look at all the change in my life and I wonder, What if I've been wrong? What if this is a mistake and I should have stayed a furniture mover? I question myself all the time -- how I know I'm right is that the answers never change."

Writer's Block: Church & State
Should church and state always be separate? Why or why not? What should the nature of their relationship be?

The more appropriate question would be: Why should they be integrated?

Laws are there to benefit the people, as a whole, and to protect and allow the people to live to their fullest. Spirituality is just a sub-category, in that it's completely up to the individual what they want to practice and how it will benefit their lives.

On a side note, I'm pissed how the US pushes Christianity so much. It should be completely neutral.

Writer's Block: Sharing Haikus
The Japanese haiku poet Basho once wrote, "Old pond / a frog jumps / the sound of water." Try writing some of your own haikus about the little things in your life. A haiku generally consists of a five-syllable line, a seven-syllable line and a second five-syllable line. You can also use any combination of ten-to-fourteen syllables.

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don't make sense

Writer's Block: In the Event of a Zombie Emergency
Are you prepared for a zombie outbreak, or are you just going to wing it?
I live in a rural area so it's not like I'll be around too many zombies. Unless animals somehow got turned into zombies, then I'd be so screwed.

(no subject)
"No matter what happens, no matter where you roam
I'll mark your footprints in the dirt so you can find your way home"

To Elizabeth L. Martin: I promise I'll fulfill all my dreams if you promise to live long enough to see them.


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