Tag Archives: community

Quick notes regarding triggers, social justice efforts, and the Chicago Dyke March

Quick reminders/thoughts related to the whole Chicago Dyke March evicting Jewish marchers thing. None of this should be taken as establishing what went down, this is just intended to challenge some of the ways I’m seeing people respond to some of the information getting reported.
  • people have the right to be triggered by anything; there isn’t a list of acceptable things to be triggered by, an application process, etc
  • people have the right to self determine whether something is a trigger, without requirement of formal diagnosis from a profession which historically treats marginalized people as mentally ill for refusing to comply with their marginalization
  • people are responsible for figuring out how they manage their triggers and their space needs related to those triggers
  • just because something is an important concept for social justice and people’s wellbeing does not prevent people from using that concept to harm individuals and communities; patterns of behavior should shape how we view one off occurrences
  • no space is responsible for or even capable of removing every possible trigger in that space
  • many spaces are highly capable of providing resources to support people in that space with common triggers, including but definitely not limited to trigger warnings, as well as uncommon and therefore unlistable triggers, including but not limited to having mental health support staff on hand
  • taking care of people most at risk due to marginalization and resisting the divide-and-conquer methodology of kyriarchy are common goals, even though the steps toward those goals may often appear to conflict
  • how much can those steps conflict without actually working at odds with each other? Context matters always
  • adhering strictly to simplistic arguments for social justice purposes allows you to act quickly, and it also gives people easy tools to dismantle your efforts. Allowing for complexity slows you down, and it also gives you the ability to work with people who would otherwise aim to dismantle your efforts. Both simplicity and complexity can be used toward the same goals even when they appear to conflict.
This is a test, this is only a test.
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This whole “Catching Wine” thing

I almost never talk about religion on here (I don’t remember if I have at all yet, so this page may be the exception), but I think in this case it’s useful for describing what this blog is about and who I am, and hopefully it’s more interesting to read than a list of credentials. I promise to keep it non-preachy. If you wanted a sermon this isn’t generally the blog to read. I am more likely to talk about things like transgender issues, kink communities, design quirks, and media bias. Most of what I do here is intended to show the complications in apparently simple situations, or to make apparently inscrutable situations a bit more accessible to people who aren’t already intimately familiar with their workings. (Relevant credential: my day job includes writing technical documentation that doesn’t make end users miserable and bug reports that make developers want to throw as few things as possible.) Anyway, my point is that this isn’t a sermon, it’s about me.

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Mixed play experiences: or, why one person had fun and another got hurt

This is a fictional story to look at the question of how a person can play well with some people while others experience consent violations, abuse, and even rape. I think often we imagine that people are either always abusive or never abusive, and while we’re getting better at recognizing that people can make mistakes and work to own and address them over time, there’s still not a lot of understanding of how a person can violate consent over the long term with some people and not with others. I wanted to group together a bunch of common perspectives in a tangible example to show what this often looks like in practice. Content warning: this is primarily descriptions of sexuality, consent violations and abusive behavior, occasionally graphic and including some systemically oppressive behavior and ideas and characters defending abusive/oppressive behavior.


Joy plays with many people of any gender as a top, and has a reputation for exciting, extreme play. Most people report great experiences with her, and she vets well both as a player and as a community member for her years of involvement. A number of people report that after consensually tying them up she engaged in nonconsensual gender humiliation and gagged them without consent, preventing them from safewording. Those people are all trans women. Outside of play she is a dedicated trans ally, and no trans men have come forward about any concerns, but she’s got a pattern of bad play behavior with trans women.

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What is a Gay Bar For: Unpacking Chosen Segregation

Why do gay bars exist?

I can’t possibly hope to encompass the entire spectrum of gay bars, and that’s not my goal here. It’s actually to address the pervasive fallacy that marginalized groups self-segregate simply by choice and therefore diversity efforts are unwanted by members of that group. Therefore I’m intentionally focusing on some common trends in gay men’s bars specifically which may be seen as examples of this self-segregation. To deal with some of the wordiness and repetition, I’m just referring to them as gay bars instead of gay men’s bars, and referring to their core attendance as gay and bi men. I apologize for the failure of the wording on account of the entire English language. (I’m pretty sure being white gives me that authority…erm…)

Gay and bi men go to gay bars to meet other men with a similar attraction, to socialize with friends, to be out, to find new lovers with whom to share the rest of their life or just a handjob in the bathroom. But straight people do that in straight bars, too. We made our own private venues, eventually working out to be straight bars, for this reason: that sexual and romantic relationships between men were legally forbidden and socially subject to violent efforts to prevent us from loving and fucking each other. We made places to hide and even to thrive, to share resources, to be employed and out, to create our own art and folklore and subculture around our sexual attraction. It’s a world that provides both safety from homophobia as well as the ability to be out and common.

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