Coming-out (over)sensitivity

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:49 pm
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
So, eleven years ago, when I first began to suspect I was grey-asexual, I posted about my asexual character Merrick at the main asexual forum.

It didn't go well.

http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/20059-life-prison-fantasy-story-w-asexual-character/

Rereading that thread, I'm not sure why I writhed from the comments, except that . . . Well, read on.

So I mostly avoided the asexual community from then on. Fast forward to 2017, when yes, I'm sure now that I'm grey-asexual. So I got up my courage and mentioned Merrick to another asexual person.

It didn't go well.

https://mobile.twitter.com/duskpeterson/status/911342888272912384

Subthread:

https://mobile.twitter.com/duskpeterson/status/911418499800629249

Afterwards, I tried to beat back my tears by reciting to myself the valuable mantra, "It's not about you. It's not about you. You're the one who offended, so don't make this about you."

Still . . .

I wish I wasn't so darned sensitive during the coming-out stage. I went through this when I came out as bi, I went through this when I came out as nonbinary, and now I have to go through it *again*, this feeling that I'm not a proper [insert category] till I've been welcomed into the [insert category] community. (This isn't pure paranoia. My nonbinary coming-out experience in the gay/lesbian/bi community and trans community was a horror story.) And so, if I encounter even the slightest sign that I'm not 100% accepted, I curl up into a ball and whimper.

So basically, I could use a few "Yay, you're asexual!" comments from you kind folks.
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[personal profile] lightreads
The Underground Railroad

5/5. Cora escapes enslavement and flees to the underground railroad. Which is an actual railroad, actually underground. That takes her on a strange, terrifying trip through several faces of American racism as it deposits her in different eras and different not-quite-true-to-history moments.

This is extraordinary. And brutal. And mesmerizing. And so complex and rewarding that I’ve been thinking about it for a month, and yet seem to have nothing of great weight to say here. Some bullet points:
• The bent history of this is doing something brilliant, but I can’t articulate all of it. Cora goes from antebellum Georgia to South Carolina during an event like the Tuskeegee experiments (which actually happened in Alabama, in a different century), to North Carolina in the grip of extreme racial violence that never quite occurred on that scale. Time doesn’t work right in this book, and the details don’t line up, and I can’t explain it, but that makes this recount of not history more potent a recounting of our real history. How? I don’t know. It does.
• This book is only genre by courtesy. There is a genre conceit to it – the railroad – but the book is generally uninterested in the bend of reality at its heart. Cora thinks once, in passing, that the railroad is a secret so profound she never wants to speak of it. The whole book keeps that silence. It’s metafiction more than genre, is what I think I’m saying.
• Cora had to be a woman. There’s something in her furious, scared, scarred survival that just . . . required it.
• The first fith of this book is set on the plantation before Cora flees, and it shocked me in that I’d never read anything like it before. To be fair, I don’t read historical fiction much at all, but. Somehow I was culturally aware of plantations as organized white supremacy concentration camps where torture and terror ruled – what else could they be – but had never actually been presented with that in fiction. Ever. How is that possible?
• * I also don’t know how this is possible, but this book is not utterly and nihilistically horrid. Racial violence is at Cora’s heels from beginning to end, and it intrudes, eventually, into every space where she thinks she might at last be a little bit safe. The book is a recounting of modes of racism and modes of living with it, and all of them . . . end badly. And yet. And yet. It’s not that it retains a grain of hope. This isn’t quite a pandora’s box book. It’s just . . . she survives. She keeps moving.
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
The Three Lands


"Have you ever heard of a place where the custom is for friends not to touch each other?"

Adrian knows that friendship is a fundamental custom of all mankind. Or so he thinks, until his closest friend discovers a mysterious journal.

A commentfic for [personal profile] schneefink. This story can be read on its own, but it does have spoilers for the chapters of "Law Links" that I have already posted.

  • Online fiction: Famine or Feast at AO3.

  • Series: The Three Lands.

  • Series resources: The Great Peninsula: series resources for The Three Lands.



  • Law Links


    "Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

    Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

    Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




    Men and Lads


    "'You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'"

    A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

    All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men's worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies.




    Sweet Blood


    "He tried to keep his voice calm, though his pulse was racing."

    Time is running out.

    Vito de Vere has ten days to prepare for his performance in the Eternal Dungeon's first play. He may have fewer days than that to fight for his career and to save his prisoner's life.

    As the Eternal Dungeon prepares for the greatest change it has ever undergone, Vito must prove his worth by breaking and transforming a criminal. Nobody else is likely to manage it. And nobody but himself cares so passionately whether his prisoner survives.

    As an actor, Vito portrays the qualities of courage, love, truth, and trust. Now he must find the strength to take those qualities into the breaking cell.




    To receive notices of my fiction by e-mail )

    Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

    Sep. 16th, 2017 09:33 pm
    lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)
    [personal profile] lightreads
    Heroine Complex

    3/5. A cute entry in the flourishing subgenre of reimagined superhero stories, this one featuring the lady sidekick to San Francisco’s lady superhero who is her boss and her childhood best friend, and there are demon cupcakes and bloggers and Asian-American cultural issues and karaoke and lesbians and a lot of fashion.

    By “cute” up there I met aggressively cute. Take no prisoners cute. So cute it verges on over-engineered.

    This is good if you like this sort of thing, but want more women in your superheroes. I like that sort of thing . . . ish, but wasn’t wholly taken in by this. It has that sprint pacing of a story that is prose but really a comic at heart, and like a lot of comics it has that . . . this is going to offend people, but here goes. It has that comics sort of character work where everyone’s feelings go to 11 at all times over all things and everyone is fundamentally irrational. I find that exhausting, and not particularly interesting, so.
    duskpeterson: (bookshelves)
    [personal profile] duskpeterson
    Law Links


    "Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

    Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

    Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




    Men and Lads


    "'You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'"

    A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

    All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men's worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies.




    Sweet Blood


    "He tried to keep his voice calm, though his pulse was racing."

    Time is running out.

    Vito de Vere has ten days to prepare for his performance in the Eternal Dungeon's first play. He may have fewer days than that to fight for his career and to save his prisoner's life.

    As the Eternal Dungeon prepares for the greatest change it has ever undergone, Vito must prove his worth by breaking and transforming a criminal. Nobody else is likely to manage it. And nobody but himself cares so passionately whether his prisoner survives.

    As an actor, Vito portrays the qualities of courage, love, truth, and trust. Now he must find the strength to take those qualities into the breaking cell.

    Also, note that Sweet Blood now has an epigraph. Scroll down to the beginning note of Bond.




    To receive notices of my fiction by e-mail )

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