Sunday, August 22, 2010

Corps

I can't sleep!! Thoughts about AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps are running laps around my brain!!

I'm still planning on joining AmeriCorps next year and relocating anywhere west, preferably southwest. This program holds my interest: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=35106. AAHHH IT IS LOVE!!!

This program, as you may see, is all over the country. I'm torn between Utah and New Mexico for this reason: http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/7969/800pxuslgbtcivilrightsf.png

Key:
Grey = No protection against discrimination

All forms of employment covered
Purple = Sexuality and gender identity
Dark Blue = Sexuality only

State based jobs covered
Pink = Sexuality and gender identity
Light Blue = Sexuality only

I'm not sure how Americorps/SCA fits into this (not state-based, most likely), but it's a good signifier of what to expect. From what research I've done, being queer in Utah is a terrifying experience...You probably well know how much I love Utah, but I will admit that I love the uninhabited parts and have yet to experience more urban areas of the state. If I get into this program in Utah, would by queerness be a problem? Should I just play it safe in New Mexico?

And then there's the Peace Corps. I'm not even close to ready for that, but it's something that I want to do. The places I'd most like to go are India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Nepal, etc. I'd be willing to start studying Hindi NOW if it'll increase my chances of going there.

In India, a third gender is legally accepted. The Hijra are a class of eunuchs/intersexed/transgendered/transsexual women. Usually the third box to check, aside M and F, is E for "eunuch" even though, according to Wikipedia, only about 8% of Hijras are actual eunuchs. There is another class, the sidhin, who are women who dress and behave like men while maintaining female pronouns. These women usually live this lifestyle when there are no male heirs to a large estate. ...would I be able to show up and say "hey everyone, I'm a sidhin from America! Do you like my cargo shorts?!"

Monday, August 16, 2010

CHILDCARE

I might have told some of you that I was basically raised by this insane, super-Catholic family up until high school. I stayed in their home more than either of my parents' and they played a much bigger role in my schooling, religious upbringing, etc. Which still wasn't much of a role: they kept me in their basement watching tv whenever I was over. It's no mystery why I was sick all the time and why I was afraid of people as a kid. Since they had cable, I didn't mind at the time; I thought this was all normal.

A mother and a father who absolutely loathe each other, three miserable daughters – the youngest of whom is around 5 years older than me – and an adopted son who cut off all contact when he turned 18. I'd say only the oldest daughter is some semblance of sane and even that's a stretch. The family had two dogs throughout the time I was under their care, both were neglected. All families have problems, but how many scream and cry daily about how much they hate each other while their dogs sit in piss-filled cages?

Why am I writing about this?

THIS IS WHY THERE MUST BE AFFORDABLE CHILDCARE!!!!!
In order for a household to qualify as some kind of childcare facility, a certain number of children must stay there. My mom took care of 5+ kids daily for a year, so her house qualified and was routinely inspected by officials. Because this family took care of only one or two at a time, it didn't qualify. My mom couldn't afford real daycare, thus she stuck me with these terrible people.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

'04, Year of the Vag

Due to several corresponding events, I really really miss Alverno right now. It was like a year-round Red Tent. This time of the month, separatist communes make sense "AAHHH GET THESE MAN-THINGS AWAY FROM ME!!"



'04 was a crazy year: I graduated from high school, started at Alverno, and came out as bisexual. I was working in a parish as a receptionist and, to make matters even more insane, that seemed like a good place to read both whichever Harry Potter book came out then and THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES. Shortly after moving into the dorms, I read CUNT and then everything changed...

I finally read Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own" today and absolutely loved it. It's heavy, like all Woolf's writings, and depressing. She noted that, in the hundred years leading up to '28, when the book was published, not much had changed for women. And...not much has changed since then. Legally, the changes have been remarkable! Nevertheless, though it's now legal for a woman to have her own money, all the women customers who have their husbands/boyfriends/daddies buy them garbage prove that custom doesn't necessarily follow law. Woolf's [wo]manifesto is still relevant and important today.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Femme Day

I decided to come in to work on Sunday all femmed out. Headband, makeup, dangly earrings, bra, skirt, hoes and heels. I even freaked myself out:

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This was partly as a social experiment...but mostly to keep my coworkers on their toes. And if I made anyone squirm, all the better!

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The last time I had dressed all up like this was for my old job, canvassing for WI Environment. As my regular, androgynous/butchy self, people were very rude and mean to me. When I was feminine, people were super-nice...and then my boss reprimanded me for not having "worked this hard" previous days. I absolutely hated the entire experiment. But this time, it was on my terms and my job didn't rely on it.

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Yes, I took one of THOSE pictures.
Anyway, normally, straight guys will give me the nod in passing and straight women (excluding the dense middle-aged trophy wives) know better than to gab with me. Sunday, the same kind of guys were giving me dopey grins and the same women tried to gush all over everything with me. In short, people were much nicer...which I appreciate but I don't want any of that crap if I haven't done anything to earn it!

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It felt so much better to be back to my abnormal self the next day. I don't get how nearly half the population manages to do that every day.