Friday, 31 December 2010

Friday Flash: And the Mysteries Knew Me

Going through an old notebook, I found this little piece.  I'd say it's circa 2008, though possibly as early as late '07.  I was a bit spotty with dating my work in here.  Uncertain time-line aside, I do remember that it was one of those things I wrote in a torrential flood of inspiration and then had no idea what I was going to do with it, especially since I didn't know about flash as a writing style at the time.  So I'm posting it here, with a little on-the-spot editing and a new title.

And the Mysteries Knew Me

She sat with me all the while, singing the songs we'd learned in the empty places. Her voice shone with her wings, both lit from some wondrous source. As I lay there, listening, I could feel it. The velvet night wrapped me up in its warm embrace and carried me up through the higher planes of its silence. When I sought to look, I found that my eyes were no more, nor was my body.
The song though, was a thing I could see, a thing I could touch. Her voice became my world and my world became the stars. Light came to the deepest shadows and dark engulfed where light had been. I was ecstatic. When I laughed, my voice was that of the stars which were bells, shimmering in the highest of the heights.
Then the skies became cold, so cold. The very marrow of my being shivered and ached. I found my body again and with it, I found agony. My laughter was no more. My screams ran at right angles to my being. Her song now was a keening, a wailing despair echoing in my existence. The world trembled, and I trembled with it.
Within eternity I wept, tears running hot over cold sweat. Her voice was softening, a whisper then. The chill became bearable, the kind found in a draughty winter shelter. The song slowed. My trembling eased. My breath ragged, I returned to myself, but I was changed. Innocence gone, I now knew the mysteries and by the gods, the mysteries knew me.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Friday Flash: The Seeking-Rhyme

Here's a wee bit of Friday Flash for you all.  A short little scene, really, it's something that was in the first chapter of my WIP.  I'm going to cut the chapter in the final piece but I like this scene.  It shows the kind of person Michael would like to be and maybe would be if his past didn't continually hunt him down to bite him in the ass.

The Seeking-Rhyme
“S'cuze me, mister?” A small voice called out. Michael turned to look out of curiosity, and was surprised to find that the small child had actually been addressing him. Nevertheless, he squatted down so that he was at the child's eye level.
“Yes, wee-one? What is it?”
“I lost my mommy,” said the child. “I was looking at something, and when I looked back, she was gone!”
Michael glanced up and down the street. “Well, she can't have gotten too far, I imagine. We'll find her, don't you worry your little head. Where was the last place you saw her, then?”
“Over there, by the window with all the shiny things in it.” The child was pointing at a bead store down the street, with many examples of beaded flowers and animals on display.
“All right, we'll start there,” said Michael with a smile. He took the child's small hand in his own and together they walked towards the store front. When they got there, he crouched down again and looked the child straight in the eye. “Now, I'm going to show you a little trick, and with it we'll find your mommy, easy as anything. All you have to do is close your eyes and spin around, all the while saying this little seeking-rhyme. It goes like this: Spin and shine/ Seek and find/ I have lost my mommy-mine/ Spin and shine/ Seek and find/ I shall find my mommy-mine. When you stop, whatever direction you're facing, that's what direction your mommy will be in.”
The child looked at him doubtfully and mumbled, “That won't work.”
“Oh it won't, will it? Well, there's no harm trying though, is there? Come now, I'll do it with you.”  He stood up then and started spinning, and the child reluctantly joined in. Together, they recited the words:
Spin and shine
Seek and find
I have lost my mommy-mine
Spin and shine
Seek and find
I shall find my mommy-mine
They opened their eyes to see a woman rushing down the street, frantically searching this way and that, calling out as she went.
“Mommy!” the child exclaimed, and started running towards the woman.
“Oh, my darling!” she cried, scooping the child up into a fierce hug. “Oh, I was so worried about you, where on earth did you get off to?”
“A nice man helped me, Mommy, we made a spinning song and then there you were!”
“Who helped you?”
“That man there, with the long coat,” the child replied, pointing towards Michael.
“Where..? Honey, I don't see anyone in a long coat,” said the woman, perplexed, then she shook her head. 
“Whatever, doesn't matter. I'm just glad you're safe!”
Michael smiled and nodded to himself, then went on his way.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Oatcakes of DOOM!

In an effort to keep blogging, I've decided that if I think of something I want to blog, I'll do it now, not 'sometime later.'  Also potentially keeping up with theme days.  Who knows, maybe Saturdays will become 'Cooking With Eric' or something.  Right now, the only thing I promise you is Oatcakes.

I started with this recipe on the Canadian Living website to get an idea of ingredients and proportions.  I'd started messing around with it already on the first batch.  Any time I make something on the sweet side of oats, I use cinnamon and nutmeg, so that was a no-brainer for me.  This time however, I went all out.  One of the first things I changed was to use the handy-dandy servings converter on the site to calculate proportions for 100 servings.  Their original 36 was good, but I'm using these babies as a staple snack, so I need to be able to make more at a time.  So from there we have:

4 1/4 cups rolled oats
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups cold butter or margarine
~1 cup cold water
cinnamon, nutmeg and honey to taste

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, with a generous dash of cinnamon and a less generous dash of nutmeg.  Nutmeg is a powerful spice, and a little goes a long way.  Cut up the butter or margarine and mix it into the rest by hand until mixture is pebbly.  The original recipe wanted me to use knives or a pastry blender, but I have no such blender and find getting in there with my hands more effective and satisfying anyway.

Add honey and sprinkle water in a little at a time.  Press it together with your hands, adding just enough water to hold the dry ingredients together.  Again, hands.  This is baking, we're meant to get our hands dirty.

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Form balls (a little larger than a golf-ball) and flatten onto a greased baking sheet to make cakes approximately 3/4" thick.  The 1/4" thickness in the original recipe was good enough, but I found it too dry and wanted something more 'cake' and less 'cookie' anyway.  This seems to work.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden on the outside.  Let cool.

The whole thing makes about this much(minus the two that I already ate):

Share and enjoy!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Flash Friday: Lockbox

This was originally for a contest, but I never did finish it before the deadline.  Instead, I kept it around until an ending occurred to me.  Now I'm sharing it with you.  Proof that I should be writing fantasy rather than crime or noir.


I shuffled into my room, not bothering to turn on the light, and fell into bed.
“Ow! Sunnova-” Rubbing the back of my head, I got up and flicked on the light.
There was a box on my pillow.
It was a standard metal cash box, which explained why it hurt like hell when it connected with the back of my head. Since it remained inert after a blow that threatened to give me a concussion, I figured I could safely assume that it wasn't wired to explode. I picked it up and began examining it.
The box looked brand new, without so much as a scratch on it. No name, no note, nothing to indicate where it could have come from, and what's more, it was locked. There must be a key, I decided. Who would leave a locked box on my pillow with no way for me to open it? Oh, sure I could pick the lock, but if I didn't have to put in the effort, I wouldn't. I looked around for a place to put the box while a searched for a key, quickly realizing why whomever had gifted it to me had left it on my pillow. There was nowhere else to put it.
Ok, so the place was a mess. Who was I trying to impress? For me the room was little more than a place to crash out after a long night of either hunting or hiding other people's secrets. I didn't really care what they were up to so long as the money was right, and until now, none of it had ever followed me home. Hell, I wouldn't even know if this was my work following me home until I got the box open.
I gave the back of my head another rub before tucking the box under my arm while I searched through the rumpled bedding one-handed. After a little while, I spotted a glint of metal where the key had fallen between the pillows. Keys, actually. It was the standard two keys on a small split ring that came with the purchase of such a cash box, confirming for me that it was bought new just for this purpose. Sitting on the edge of the bed, I balanced the box on my knees and unlocked it.
The small figure inside stood up.
“T'were 'bout time, Jack-a-daw, though I'd thank ye not to rattle me 'round so,” he said, dusting himself off.
I stared at the fey creature for a moment before closing the lid on him again and locking it. Whatever he wanted from me could wait.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sample Sunday: Christmas at Barnaby's

Since it is now technically Sunday, I figured I'd take advantage of #SampleSunday and post a sample here.  This is a rough scene from a short story in progress derived from a novel just newly into the editing stages.  And yes, that is all the context I'm giving you.  For now.  And now, I hope you enjoy them as much as I've enjoyed bringing them to you:

The Faerie mummers from Christmas at Barnaby's

They were watching the mummers, Michael sitting at Barnaby's feet. Isabell sat before Tristianne, her arms around Lisa. It was, to say the least, an entertaining show.
“My Lord,” said Michael, “are you quite certain hiring the Faeries for this was such a good idea?”
Barnaby raised an eyebrow. “We always hire Faeries. Besides which, where else could we find mummers these days, particularly ones who will perform in the Realm?”
Michael shook his head slowly. “I suppose, my Lord. It's just that this here is the strangest Herod I've ever seen.”
Lisa looked more closely at the Faerie cavorting before them. She wasn't sure what the creature looked like it might be, but she definitely couldn't see how Michael had gotten the biblical king out of it. “Herod? How d'you figure?”
“Who else would the villain be?” said Michael, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world.
Lisa watched the Faerie a while longer as it pantomimed running off the end of a cliff like Wile E. Coyote.
“Michael,” she said, “you might not have watched any TV, but between this and the carollers back there, I think these Faeries have.”
Isabell giggled and the Daemons smiled while Michael just shook his head again. “Strangest Herod ever,” he repeated.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Lets Talk About Food: Oat-covered Chicken and Fried Rice.

I've been cooking.  The real thing too, with basic ingredients from scratch and everything.  Ask anyone who's known me for a while; this is a strange occurrence.  Still, if you think about it, me starting to cook now makes a lot of sense.  It really comes down to three things:

One, hunger.  I'm on T and among other things, it makes me hungry.  Very hungry.  Food-is-the-best-thing-in-the-world hungry.

Two, cost.  I'm on the prowl for a job, but in the meantime money is tight.  I could spend over $60 for frozen, ready-to-heat meals, or I could spend $45 on twice as much chicken, some eggs, and everything I need to make Borscht a couple of times over.

Three, something one of my teachers said.  It was an analogy about learning skills versus learning specific projects by rote.  He said, and I paraphrase here, that say you know how to make scrambled eggs, and only scrambled eggs, that's all you're going to make.  However, if you understand that heat + eggs = cooked eggs, you can come up with a variety of ways to cook eggs.  I pretty much took this analogy and sent it back to the concept of cooking: food + heat + spices = cooking.  From there, I can experiment.

So, here's what I did today.  I took a piece of boneless, skinless chicken breast, an egg, some breakfast-type oatmeal, and various spices.  I beat the egg in one bowl and put some oatmeal and spices in another.  I took the chicken, dipped it in the egg, then rolled it in the oats etc. until covered.  Then I put it on a baking sheet in the oven at 400 Fahrenheit.  I think I let it cook for about 15min, though I'm not 100% sure.  Meanwhile, I made some rice and cleaned up a bit.  The chicken was ready before I needed it, so I ended up keeping it in the oven with the heat off and the door open a bit while I worked on the rest.  When the rice was ready, I added the egg I'd used for the chicken into the same pot I cooked the rice in.  I also messed with the burner heat some and added soy sauce and frozen peas.

The fried rice, pretty much perfect, at least by my standards.  The chicken... well, it ended up a little bland and a little dry.  I think next time I'll get the rice started before hand, and maybe use more spices, and putting them in the egg as well, rather than just the oats.  Either way, it was more than edible, and I didn't have anything half-cooked to give me food poisoning.  I'll call that a success.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Aesthetics of Technobabble

I have a confession to make: I love technobabble.  It doesn't much matter what the subject is, I find technical jargon fascinating.  Though I don't really need to understand in order to enjoy it, I can usually follow the gist of what's being talked about.  Sometimes I can even relate it back to other subjects, and by sheer repetition and unconscious cross-referencing, learn something.  Basically, it's fun.

This, naturally, accounts for my taste for science fiction.  In fact, I've been making a point of reading some vintage scifi, partly for fun and partly to gain a sense of the history of the genre.  In particular, and in all honesty the inspiration for this post, I've been reading 'The Complete Venus Equilateral' by George O. Smith.

Due to its publication history, it's not laid out like most novels I've read.  Essentially, it's a compilation of stories, most of which were originally published in the periodical 'Astounding Science Fiction' and each followed their own story arcs.  So each 'chapter', if you will, is a short story which just happens to tie directly into the one before.  What does this have to do with technobabble?  Well, these stories are full of it.  Oh, granted it's laughably out of date by now, seeing as these stories were written mainly in the early 40's and centred around radio tubes, but the whole premise leans heavily on the technical.  The whole thing is really about a bunch of electrical engineers in space.

However, even with my love of technobabble, I'd still probably find the whole thing terribly dry if it weren't for the way Smith wrote the characters.  Just reading the way these fellows interact makes me believe they're real.  Curious, jocular, and continually teasing each other; I could easily imagine myself with these guys, trying to find the next new advancement in technology.

Out of date as it is, and as much as it tests the limits of my suspension of disbelief (for example, the idea of anyone living on Venus), I'm really quite enjoying 'Venus Equilateral'.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Musings Regarding Self-Preservation and Survival of the Species

I was having an interesting discussion with my sister today.  She's in nursing, mostly long-term care facilities thus far.  Of note, when she mentioned her crack patients and wanting to tell them to 'switch to weed for a week because they're too damn skinny right now.'  My response was that it must be a matter of trying to find the most likely solution in a bad situation, and she said that's pretty much what nursing is.  This, among other things led to musing about a general lack of self-preservation in humans to which she said, 'in this world, is that really surprising?'

I have to admit, she's got a point.  When you think about it, a sense of self-preservation is an extension of a sense of survival of the species, something that, based on daily life experiences, is hardly something we as humans need to worry about.  I mean, look around!  We are horribly over-populated, we cover every corner of the globe where human life is even vaguely tenable, and it really doesn't look like we're going to stop any time soon.  It's impossible to feel that the species is on the verge of dying out when crammed over-capacity on a subway train, when walking shoulder to shoulder with strangers in the street, when waiting hours in line to get into a party or trying to find good seats at a movie theatre.  When faced with this in daily life, I think the average person can be forgiven for thinking that, as a species, we're pretty well on top and there's nothing really to worry about.  So what if I die young as a result of drugs/alcohol/pervasive chemicals/cellphone radiation/etc.?  There will always be someone else to take my place.  As far as humans go, plenty more where I came from.

Now the thing is, I have a certain difficulty seriously believing this to be a problem.  I'll admit that probably has more to do with my personal cynicism about most things, and very likely has something to do with the pervasive attitude I just described.  The gods know I don't have a very strong sense of self-preservation myself.  If it seems like more fun than playing it safe, chances are I'll go for it.  Hell, my dearest friendship is based on mutually assured destruction, and really, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Who's Your Doctor?

It might seem blasphemous to say this, especially so early in the season and so soon after David Tennant... but I think Matt Smith may be my Doctor.

I'll admit that I was a wee bit sceptical when I first saw the publicity shots of the new Doctor.  He was alright from certain angles, in the right light... but mostly he looked odd.  How could this guy compare to out beloved David Tennant?  Then I saw him move.

By that, I mean I saw a preview clip, not just just some still photos.  I was hooked.  There was something very real, very alive about this new Doctor.  And so, without even having seen a full episode, I must confess he stole my heart.  As I continue to watch the series, this feeling that he is The One, my Doctor, only grows.  There's something very immediate about his performance; I love the way that even he is surprised and delighted when one of his plans works out.

Of course, lets not forget the new companion, Amy.  I'm sorry Donna fans (you too, Sarah) but I think Amy is the strongest companion yet.  She's sharp, she's clever, and she can often figure things out for herself.  (The fact that I've always had a soft spot for redheads doesn't hurt...)

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Identifying Identity

A while ago, I was at a pub with an acquaintance and we were talking about life, the universe and everything; our little corner of it anyway.  One of the things she said was, "when you decide to transition, it becomes everything that you are."  

At that time, I hadn't actively decided to transition.  I was still testing the waters so to speak, though now I'm sure I was past the point of no return already.  Now I look at her words form the perspective of having decided, and I can tell you that for me, she wasn't entirely right.

In a some ways, I was more trans before starting my transition.  I was obsessive about the concept, particularly about it in regards to me.  Every day was am I?  Aren't I?  Checking in the mirror to see if I could tell just by looking; which bits are masculine?  Which bits are feminine?  Every time I met someone new, what name was I supposed to use?  Sometimes I introduced myself using both names, and left it up to the other person to choose what to call me. In short, I could not stop thinking about being trans.

Around the same time I started my physical transition and sought out hormones, I also came to realize that the identities that meant more to me throughout more of my life had more to do with what I did than who I was.  Artist.  Performer.  Writer.  These were things about me that had no real bearing on my gender or my sex, and were things that were important to me before I ever even heard the term 'trans'.  Of course, being trans has and will always have a profound influence on these aspects of myself, how could it not?  But being trans is only a facet of who I am.  It is not the entirety of my identity.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Opinions and Consequences

This is just a short post to expand upon a thought that occured to me today: Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. They're also entitled to the consequences of voicing them.  

What prompted this was reading the comments here in which someone pointed out, very politly I might add, the author's transphobic/cis privilaged language.  While it's true that she used this language out of sheer ignorance, instead of apologizing and learning when being called on it, she got defensive and essentially refused to be held accountable.

This seems to me to be symptomatic of a pervasive attitude in our society, particularily on the internet.  Starting from the idea that everyone is entitled to their own opinions most people seem to go on to assume this means and therefore you can't tell me I'm wrong.  I however posit that not all opinions are well informed, and that there are consequences to voicing uninformed opinions.  The best thing any of us can do when being called on an uninformed or poorly thought out opinion is to learn, to take other points of view into account, and apologize when necessary.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Too Tired to Party, But Not Apparently Too Tired to Blog

So it's St. Pat's and instead of drinking the night away, I'm sitting in bed with my computer on my lap.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to address the hypersensitivity I've seen on so many other trans blogs and discussion groups.  I couldn't really understand why they were so ready to jump down people's throats any time someone uttered anything that could be even remotely construed as being offensive.  I could guess at the roots of this anger, but mostly I felt sorry for them that they'd gone through something bad enough to make them so bitter.  That wasn't going to happen to me, right?  After all, I'm stronger than that, and transitionning under better circumstances, right?  Well, as I get further along in my own transition, I'm beginning to realize that while they may still be somewhat hypersensitive, it's not without cause.

My first inkling that perhaps not all was right with my world was reading my letter of recommendation to
start hormone therapy.  While I could understand that much of it was lifted from the Standards of Care which is currently about 9 years out of date, I was still surprised and not a little irritated to find it riddled with 'she's and 'her's in reference to me.  I have a certain amount of patience for friends and family who might not understand, after all it takes time to educate.  But to have someone who works with trans people on a regular basis commit such blatant disrespect?  That I could not fathom.  If it got me what I needed, however, I could grin and bear it.  Irritated but undeterred, I shrugged it off.

What really drove it home for me though, was listenning to this same psychologist explain to my mom how trans man and women aren't real man and women; they're trans.  They are and will always be in between.  I sat there listenning to him talk about how he'd felt 'uncomfortable' at a house party full of trans men and how you could always tell that there was something 'off' about a trans person... It dawned on me then that he didn't take this, or me, seriously.  Worse, he was being transphobic.  Here was someone who was supposed to be on my side, and all the while it seems that he's just playing along and humouring this poor, gender-confused little girl.  Because over the course of the session, he as good as said 'I don't see you as male.'

Between this and other social opposition I've encountered, it's becoming more and more clear to me that in the eyes of most of the rest of the world, I'm either a fraud, or else not a person.  And coming from the privilaged possition of being white and middle-class, I'll admit it's more of a shock than I expected.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Star Trek Analogy

Ask pretty much anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am a geek.  I'm all about Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels, comics, Dungeons & Dragons and of course, Star Trek. 

Ever since I was a little kid, I've loved Star Trek, Next Generation especially, though I was only ever managed to watch it once in a while when I could catch it on TV, and never in any particular order.  What I can remember of my childhood impression of the show is this: Data was my hero, Jordie and Warf were also pretty cool, and I really did not like that doctor-who-wasn't-Beverly-Crusher.  Until I began to watch all the episodes in order, I couldn't say why, only that there was something about her that rubbed me the wrong way.

As I reached Season 2 of my viewing campaign, I came to realize that my dislike of Dr. Pulaski had less to do with her not being Dr. Crusher, and more to do with her attitude towards Data.  While the rest of the crew at least made a consistant effort to treat Data like a person, she just couldn't seem to get past the fact that he was an android, and continued to see him as a machine, no more worthy of regard than any piece of equipment.  That diregard rankled, not only because Data was my favourite, but because the attitude of people like her can be a real threat to people like me.  I might not have been conscious of this as a kid, but part of me understood.  Part of me was afraid, and so I hated her.

What it comes down to is this: Data, the android who would be human, is analogous to any minority group who has had to fight to be seen as even human.  In my case, Data's experience parallels my own as a trans man.  I see my own struggle for personhood in his character.  In Dr. Pulaski, I saw all those who would disregard my experience as real, all those who would continue to judge from a position of priviledge.

Still... watching now, I can't completely condemn her character.  She has made sacrifices worthy of respect, and though stubborn she seems willing to at least try to learn.  Whatever the case, I'll keep an eye on her as I watch, secure in the knowledge that for better or worse, we do get Beverly back eventually.

Friday, 19 February 2010

A Question of Charity

Something interesting happened today.  A boy came to my door, essentially selling newspapers as part of a programme that would help him pay for university.  After a little thought I agreed that for ten dollars, this was something I could feel good about supporting.

It got me to wondering.  Why this cause?  Why should I be more willing to help one kid go to school while I find the idea of disaster and poverty relief charities questionable?  I tried once to work as a canvaser for a public outreach service, but quickly left because I could not bring myself to promote an organization that I did not support 110%.  Opting to promote the branch I found least objectionable didn't help.  It simply went against my values.

When I think about it, I believe my attitude comes down to my ideas about the role of more developed countries when dealing with less developed ones.  It may be cynical of me, but I see a trend wherein anytime a more 'advaced' society gets involved with a more 'primitive' one, regardless of the intentions someone, usually the conquered/colonized/aided population ends up worse off than when they started.  Although I've seen methods that seem more sound to me, for example providing the building blocks for sustainable resources rather than handing over finished products, I'm still not totally convinced that it will pan out.

There is also the question of whether it's right for one people to impose their values on other peoples.  Who gets to decide who's morality is better?  Every society has abhorent as well as redeeming qualities in different proportions, and what is abhorent to you may be natural to me, and vice versa.  Is help even wanted?  Most of the time with large, overseas causes, I don't know if they want our help, or if 'help' is being imposed upon them. 

This brings me back to the boy at my door.  He was out doing this work on his own behalf.  The programme was there to help him help himself, and from the looks of things he was willing to make the most of the opportunity.  As a college student myself, I recognize that you get out of it what you put into it.  If this kid is willing to work to get there, then it seems to me that he'll put the same kind of effort into the post secondary experience.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

In The Beginning...

Man, when I was young I shoved my ignorance in people's faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been honed to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn.
              ~Faber, Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
     When I decided that I wanted to write a blog, I knew that I wanted it to be a place where I could examine
my views and ideas, a place where I could define and refine them.  I spent a while mulling this over, and the above quote kept coming back to me.  It absolutely describes what it is I intend to do here.  Right now, I am a young man.  I have thus far been doing myself a disservice by keeping myself on the sidelines of discussion, and never showing my ignorance.  How am I to learn if I don't know what it is that I don't know?  Also, by the magic of the internet, I can promote discussions to expand the minds of others in the same way. 
    In particular, I want to take an uncommon stand on today's issues, particularly those which impact myself and my community.  I want to examine the concept of privilege, rights and community activism. I want to understand what people are doing in these areas, why they are doing it, and if in the end it's doing any good. I also want to understand and solidify my own views on these issues, how it effects both myself and my interactions, as well as what I need to work on in order to become a better person, and what will lead to actual positive effects. I want to see where sensitivity to a cause becomes over-sensitivity and reactionary behaviour.
    I want to try to take an outside perspective on a community that I am a part of.  This means equally the queer community, the trans community, and to a certain extent the art community, because art is one of the many ways we influence opinion.  I also want to look at community efforts on a larger scale and look at the fine line between a need for better protection and the sense of entitlement rampant in contemporary society.
    This is an open invitation to participate!  Learn, discuss, tell me where I'm wrong and why.  Hopefully, we will both learn from this experience.