So, this happened http://www.leatherati.com/
I agree with most of it just because logistics. But not the dissolving of the regional titles. Stopping the regional contests is one thing, but dissolving the titles is entirely another, disrespecting those who worked hard to win, and rendering their titles null and void.
I am also most definitely not approving of the cisgender thing. That is a step backwards if there ever was one. I mean, heck, nobody is getting onto them for them being males only or gay only. But making it so that gay males who were FaaB can not participate is pretty rude, not to mention downright transphobic.
For the record, from what I know of it, the original International Leather contest was split by gender for no other reason than that they could get away with it. And I am pretty sure there is /not/ a leather contest for straight people only, as that would be "bigoted".
As for their excuse that there is a trans contest... I'd never heard of it before today, and I am a bootblack!
I just talked to my mentor (title holder of Central Plains Bootblack Competition, 3rd place IMLB winner, and proud transman). The trans contest was created by a cis male, the first one was competed in by only two transfolks (who worked at the bar with the creator of the contest after being talked into it), and judged by a panel of cisgendered judges. The guy didn't even consult with a transperson about how to run a trans-centric contest, what mattered to transfolk, or even /if/ a contest especially for trans was necessary. There are /not/ any feeder contests for the trans contests (even if it mattered).
The trans community doesn't want a bunch of special, separate stuff, any more than the African Americans did during the civil rights movement, they just want to be included and treated the same as everyone else! So transfolk are supposed to just be quiet, sit at the back of the bus and drink from that special fountain over there? I call bullshit!
As for me, I can no longer support the ILSb circuit. What do you think?
More info on the transgender contest: http://www.examiner.com/
Straight competitors and title-holders are so rare, that it was in the news when it happened: http://www.queerty.com/
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Monday, September 23, 2013
Written by Kryistina - Lung Ma at 2:00 AM
Written by Kryistina - Lung Ma at 1:21 AM
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Today for invisible illness awareness week, I'm going to talk about a subject that is very close to my heart.
In a world where if you have a neurological or psychiatric disorder, you get lower quality health care and people make assumptions about what type of person your illness makes you, this needs to be said.
Today, right now, and all over the world, it needs to be spread.
Getting the message out, removing the stigma, forcing people to realize, recognise, admit, and react in a way that shows that they know that a person is just a person, regardless of their illness, is vital.
It can, and will, save lives.
If someone sprains their ankle, and they have no "mental drugs" on their medical record, they get pain meds. If that same person has even a single med for depression, or anxiety, or any of a million other drugs for mental or neurological disorders, then they get tylenol or ibuprofen, if they get anything at all.
"Nobody wants to be around a gloomy Gus", "We like you better when you are happy", and so many other sayings make it clear to those with depression that it is unacceptable to be, or feel, any way but perfect, cheerful, entertaining, happy.
The stigma surrounding mental illness is so great, that I raised my daughter without any help for my disorders, because I was terrified that if someone, anyone, knew what was going on in my head, they would take her away from me. That is what our society, and this stigma has done to those of us with these types of disorders. The stigma, that terror, kept my daughter from having as good a childhood as she could have, because I knew that I would be judged. Not for something I could control, not based on my actual parenting skills, but judged as a person, and as a parent, for the illness in my brain.
How is that good? How is that productive? How is the prejudice that propagates these feelings beneficial to anyone, anywhere, at any time? It's not. Stigma never has been, and it never will be any form of helpful or positive. Ever! Whether that stigma is against "blacks", "retards", "nerds", furries, "spics", people with service dogs, "gays", "poor people", pagans, handicapped people", "transgenders", "the 1%", or any other group or label, stigma and prejudice is still wrong. It is painful, unproductive, cruel, unnecessary, and wrong.
We have all seen what socially-acceptable prejudice creates, what it encourages. It is more clear when looking back in history to the Jews, the "blacks", pagans, "gays", and so many other groups who were treated like they were less than human simply because they existed. It wasn't acceptable then, and it is not acceptable now. Prejudice is never acceptable, no matter what group is the chosen target.
There are those who write nasty letters, discriminate against, and even purposely torment those who are in a group that it is "socially ok" to hate or look down on. Purposeful psychological abuse of the mentally ill by cruel people who like to watch others suffer is rampant and widespread. And it is considered acceptable by the population at large, because "those people" being abused are "crazy", and not deserving of being treated like a "normal person". Normal is a setting in a dryer. When applied to people, I can only assume that "normal is some sort of pretend conglomeration based on the most popular people in the world at any given time, and that not a single one of them, as individuals, actually meet the definition that they assisted in creating. I don't know for sure what "normal" means, but I can be sure that I have never met, and I doubt I ever will meet, anyone who fits the label.
We need to stand up and speak out. All of us, all of the time. Those with as well as those without an illness that affects our brains. We ALL need to speak out, and we need to keep speaking out. Spread the word, mental illness isn't "crazy", it's not "bad" or "scary". Mental illness is not a precursor or a symptom of substance abuse. Mental illness is it's own thing, separate and alone. And millions of people suffer from it every hour of every day.
You can help ease the suffering of someone with a mental or neurological disorder today. By educating others, you can help to remove the stigma, you can cure some of the fear that those who suffer have about being "found out". You can help all peoples to have equal health care, regardless of the diagnosis that live in their brains and on their medical charts.
For more information check out these valuable links:
Written by Kryistina - Lung Ma at 9:04 PM
Friday, August 23, 2013
Fine, I give up!
For over a month now, I have been training my rescue as a service dog. Everywhere I go, people ask me her name. But I haven't picked one for her yet. When folks hear that she has no name, they look at me oddly, and think that I don't care for her enough to name her, or some other nonsense. But the reason she doesn't have a name yet is the exact opposite. The name I pick will be with us both for the rest of her life. It is an important thing to consider, just like naming a child, and I will be saying it a lot throughout the coming years. Not too big of a problem until you get to the part about my personal preferences, and basic training tips.
Dog name advice from the professionals:
* A dog's name should be two syllables,
* A dog's name should have at least two "sharp" sounds, such as K,P,T,B, and so forth.
The above rules are suggested for naming as they provide a name that is easy for the dog to recognize, learn, and hear/respond to on the first call.
My personal preferences:
A name must represent who the dog is, and give a feel for her personality and temperament.
A name must feel good rolling off of my tongue. I must enjoy saying it.
A name will hopefully be relatively simple to spell and remember, for ease at vet's appointments and the like.
I would like for her name to be from a language other than English.
Her name will not be ridiculously cutesy like baby, princess, baroness, or anything ending in y, ie, or sounding like it does.
I would like for her name to mean something like helper, assistant, friend, mindful, support, service, attendant, ally, boon, gift, blessing, relief, loveable, sympathetic, perseverance, kindness, moxie, efficiency, competence, patience, hero, prowess, adroit, wisdom, or similar.
Of course, the REAL problem behind naming her is her personality. As is sadly rather common for most rescues, she has some PTSD of her own from being abused before she was dumped outside of town by her previous owners. This has led to no small amount of difficulty when discovering who she really is under the fear that she regularly expresses. This isn't to say that she isn't intelligent, sweet, and affectionate, she very much is all of those things, and training is moving along rather rapidly because of it. But she was so badly mistreated before I took her in, that she ducked all the way to the floor at any rapid arm movement closer than 20 feet away from her, was so terrified of water that she just vibrated during her baths, and regularly shied away from any swinging rope, large person, men, and even some household items. She was even afraid to vocalize in any way! I've been working with her on these things, and many of the issues have improved greatly, to the point that you almost can't tell they were ever a problem. That said, other new things are revealing themselves, as the bigger issues are resolved. We're working on all of these things as we go along, and while she has learned many of the things necessary to pass the *test, I still sometimes worry that she will never quite overcome her fears and let me see who she really is under all the emotional baggage. But I digress.
I need a name for my dog, and I'd love to have your help. XD
* There are no official/legal government service dog registration organizations, training requirements/schools, or sanctioned tests. I have chosen to have her pass a test known as "public access" test, as well as have her capable of passing the AKCCGC test before I present her as a fully trained service dog in public.
Written by Kryistina - Lung Ma at 7:17 PM
Thursday, August 08, 2013
In America, we are exceedingly self-important. We seem to think that we have the right to complain and alter the behavior of others. That we somehow have the right to hold other people responsible for our comfort, even if they don't know what might make us uncomfortable. If we expect to have everyone we meet never to say anything that might possibly offend us, then we are asking to live in a world with automatons and robots, not other people.
You might be a bright and shining star, a unique and beautiful snowflake, but you aren't the only one. Everyone is special, not just you. We, as humans, communicate with a vast collection of words, images, and languages, full of nuance and inflection. Everyone's interpretation and understanding of the same word(s) is based on, and colored by their own perception and previous experiences. To one person "ice cream" might bring up images of an abusive childhood, and "snake" would be a happy memory of a childhood pet, while to others, the words/images have different feelings attached. To avoid, or expect to avoid saying or doing anything that might possibly offend or trigger someone, is to stand perfectly still and not make a sound or move. And even then, someone might be traumatized or triggered by silence, mannequins, people standing, the color of shirt you are wearing, or any other of a million things. It is impossible to avoid issuing a trigger, or to know what might be a trigger for someone else. If we posted "trigger warnings" on everything that might be a trigger, then everything that was said or written would have a trigger warning on it. That would be just as useless as not having a warning at all, and it would take more time, and be an obnoxious amount of work for the person trying to communicate.
If you (person-general statement, not finger pointing) want to keep from being offended or triggered, stay off the internet, don't watch movies, sell your television, avoid people at all costs, and never leave the house. That will help you avoid most potential triggers. Please note that I said most, because even those extreme measures can't prevent an individual's exposure to all possible triggers.
I have a goodly collection of triggers for my PTSD, some worse than others. I have very rarely seen any warnings for my triggers, and until now, I haven't mentioned them on social networking sites. If I see something that bothers me on the internet, I just scroll down or go to another web page. If there is a trigger that effects me in person, I attempt to remove myself from the situation so I am not around the trigger anymore. The only time I mention a trigger is when it is a really big one, and even so, usually only in person when I can't escape it, and later, privately, after the trigger has stopped and I have regained my composure, in order to prevent it from happening again. It REALLY is that easy. See trigger, leave situation.
Now, I'm not talking about discrimination, hate crimes, or anything of that sort, but of things like "OMG, you posted a pic of a spider, you know I hate spiders, how could you?!", "you said something about appearing as if you have an addiction, and I'm offended because I have trouble with willpower and self-control and took what you said as a personal insult.", or even such silliness as "You said you didn't like my hairstyle, so I'm going to bitch you out because I took it personally, even though you had no idea what hair-style I have.".
I'm not talking about pet peeves. If you have a pet peeve about something that is easily changed for the better of all involved (like my hatred of willful ignorance, or horrible grammar), go ahead and say something. But whatever you say, do try to make it pleasant and non-caustic, or at least somewhat humorous.
And finally, I'm not talking about things that are sent specifically to you via personal chat, private messages, or whatever. If someone is sending you something in particular, and you have told them that a subject bothers you, they should avoid sending things specifically to you that mention it.
Nobody should have to warn everyone off of a public post in the off chance that someone might happen across it and see something that they don't like.
It is a natural human instinct to fight back at something that makes you uncomfortable, but we must remember that staying around a trigger, dwelling on it, and complaining about it, only increases your exposure to it, and aggravates the effect it has on you. Hear that? Purposely choosing to remain in the presence of a trigger, for whatever reason, and letting it control your thoughts, is harmful to your well-being.
So avoiding triggers in this world is an unreasonable expectation, dwelling on having seen a trigger is unhealthy, and demanding that others cater to you is presumptuous and rude. What is the other option? Stop blaming others for how you feel. Grow up, take responsibility for your own feelings and react to the world in all it's glory like a responsible, considerate person. Don't like what you see, get over yourself, and move on to something else.
Written by Kryistina - Lung Ma at 12:39 AM