foundry

[TW] TBLG: Don’t Piss Off the Gays!

I have always had a problem with Huffington Post and, really, I don’t know why I even follow them on Facebook anymore.

From their obvious sexism to blatant support of transmisogyny and ignoring those of us who tell them that posting trans related material in a section of their “news” website called, “Gay Voices,” is wrong… They still continue to be shit.

In the ongoing battle between cisgender gay men and their apparent privilege to use slurs and incorrect words (in regards to trans people), a one Alaska Thunderfuck decided to provide a rebuttal.

In a video that I will not embed directly, which was also published on Huffpost Gay Voices, the aforementioned cisgender gay man drag queen depicts his disgust with trans women, i.e. Parker Marie Molloy to be specific, by pretending to shoot her in the head (while wearing a bad wig and no makeup, no less).

Apparently this was hilarious enough to be called news and I’m sure both Calpernia and Andrea were sharing a big circle jerk of laughs with their cis man friends.

So of course there was an uproar (I would be disappointed if there hadn’t been one) and, as usual, this is the reply we get:

This page originally contained a video by drag artist Alaska Thunderfuck. We believed that the clip was one example of how diverse gender-variant communities are currently engaged in a complicated conversation about important issues regarding language, identity and privilege. However, we now realize that the video is patently offensive to many people and ultimately now feel it goes beyond being useful in this discussion and therefore have removed it from the site. We apologize.

Skirting around the issue and basically not apologizing for anything in-particular while also fucking up the facts.

Alright, so… Alaska Thunderfuck is not gender variant. A.T. is a cisgender gay man who is also a drag queen. That is not gender variant.

I feel like this is HuffPost’s way of pinning this little shitstorm on the trans* community entirely.

I mean, an entire staff of cis gay men certainly wouldn’t want to take the fall for the constantly unsafe environment that they create, would they?

What did you expect though? Rational people?

 

sexpositivity

[NSFW] Sex: After Transition

First of all, if you’re a family member and you’re reading this entire blog post, you probably already know that you’re gonna have a bad time.

southparkbadtime

You have been warned.

Now, this is an interesting topic, because I had my thoughts about sex when I started transition and I was under the assumption that I wouldn’t change in that respect.

But I did.

Back then my idea about sex, for me, was that a penis goes into a vagina and that I’m only attracted to cisgender women and that I couldn’t even imagine myself being attracted to cis men, trans men or trans women.

Thinking about that now, I think that may have been the result of a little internalized transphobia, something I’ve managed to erase entirely.

Something magical happened, though. I was around six months or so into HRT and I had setup a date with another trans girl I’d met through a dating website and I was attracted to her.

I think this is about the time I began to change.

Now, I will say that I’m the kind of girl who fucks on the first date. Just because.

For me, sex is lust and passion. It’s something that I crave, like the strawberry banana fruit rings I’m chewing on right now, or that first cigarette of the morning.

We went out to an Irish pub and she wined and dined me, except the wine in this particular situation happened to be beer.

Afterwards, we spent around an hour or two in my car on top of a parking garage while it was pouring rain and it was there that I had my first new experience.

And the sex was good.

There wasn’t any vagina involved and yet I was enjoying myself. Sex with someone who wasn’t cisgender as myself, not being cisgender either, was… exhilarating. It was like my first time all over again, except a thousand times less awkward.

The next day, I had time to dwell on this subject a little bit and I realized that I wanted more. I was suddenly re-addicted to sex.

In the following months I performed fellatio, received it, I topped, I bottomed and performed acts of making out and heavy petting.

All of my favorite things lumped together.

Over the course of the year and 7 months that I’ve been transitioning, I’ve had more sex in that length of time than I’ve had my entire life pretransition.

This is a good thing, because now my sexual interests have evolved and I’m super flexible.

My criteria for sex partners is now as follows:

If I’m attracted to you we’ll probably end up naked together.

I don’t know if this all changed because I was ignoring it my whole life (like a few other things I’ve learned about myself) or if hormones literally turned my sexual preference on its head.

I imagine this is something that might upset the cisgender lesbian and gay community, too, although I’ve never heard any dissent from them on this particular topic (among all of the topics they talk over us about). I would be interested in reading verbal vomit, though, because I’m sure it exists.

The added positive effects of all of this, though, I think is that it made me more sexually positive. I don’t have anything against sex workers, I don’t slut shame other women for enjoying their own bodies or using said body for monetary gain and I hold the opinion that lots of people are way too sensitive about the subject of sex.

So let’s make this a topic that we talk about more and maybe it’ll help to deconstruct a lot of the negative stigma surrounding sex and body positivity.

 

timthumb

Trans: Old Guard vs. New Guard

Old guard and new guard, what are these things?

“Old Guard” refers to those who believe you are either non-op, seeking op, or post-op and that those are the only options and that there is no in-between. Gender bending and not being completely passable to one side of the gender spectrum. This older perspective is pre-current day research.

The the New Guard are people who are more about gender fluidity and still fall under the transgender umbrella.

So, basically, the old guard are the trans women who will hold you to high standards and deny you your rights just as quickly as a TERF would and the new guard are people like you and me, people who just want to live inside or outside of the gender binary without issue.

My first run-in with the “old guard” type was back when I originally came out as transgender in 2012 and was looking for a place to mingle with people who were very much like me.

So, of course, Reddit was the answer.

There were many places to go… SRS (Shitredditsays), transpassing, transtimelines, transpositive, transspace, transgender, asktransgender, etc. and so on.

It took a while, but I eventually began to see the divide in the community and, I’m not sure if it’s like this anymore, because I never visit Reddit, but /r/transgender was one of the subreddits that sticks out quite clearly in my mind.

Here we had a group of trans women who shared “secrets” to being more feminine or they’d write up blog posts with their pretty pink borders and backgrounds and they’d give a checklist of everything you needed to do in order to be “more of a woman.”

I swear, most of these women were middle aged and white.

But there I was, barely any clue as to what was going on in my own life in regards to gender and the issues that would eventually come up in my personality, and even then, I’m seeing this and I’m thinking, “Why are there rules?”

Fuck rules.

There’s a recent article over at Advocate.com where Calpernia Addams, the hugely problematic trans woman who advised Leto on his character in “Dallas Buyer’s Club,” where she makes a bunch of wild and hilarious claims.

That we, the “new guard,” those who believe in gender diversity and the right to live however you see fit, are conservative in our values.

I know, I slapped my forehead too.

If you strip away all the filler, she’s basically ranting about anti-trans slurs and how we need to be grown ups and get over it, but what she’s really doing is willingly handing power to cisgender men and women (but mostly men).

This doesn’t make sense to me, because if I were personally trying to gain power, I would give it to those who already have an ocean full of power over me.

I imagine though, eventually, her voice will be stamped out like an accidental fire that’s gone on longer that it should have.

Calpernia is one of the “old guard.”

If you haven’t had surgery and you don’t “pass” well, you may as well give up.

That’s the reasoning they want you to adopt.

I mean, I believe that we, as a community, need to stop pushing back against each other, but when someone like C.A sells out and throws you and I under the bus, the only thing left to do is cannibalize.

Women like Laverne Cox are considered “new guard,” because she actually represents the community and she doesn’t scold anyone for being hurt by words or throw anyone under the bus for not agreeing with her.

Laverne is a grown up.

We follow the path that Sylvia Riviera blazed. Not the rigid, straight-line that some sell outs would use to justify their actions and their own personal beliefs.

This shouldn’t be a war. We all need to be on the same side to triumph over oppression.

But, unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way.

Internal sexism should have gone the way of feminism from the sixties, long ago.

Oh wait, they’re mostly one in the same, aren’t they?

But, even the term “new guard” is sort of a misnomer, because we’re the ones, as I mentioned earlier, who are following Sylvia.

I’d like to wrap this up and end with one of my favorite videos of her, which dates back to 1973.

y’all better quiet down! from reina july on Vimeo.

 

fromgoogle5

Review: Elder Scrolls Online

For my opening statement about Elder Scrolls Online, I’d like to say that this is coming from someone who has been playing a DragonKnight (Ebonheart Pact) Dark Elf and is level 21. So, contents of my review may be a bit subjective or limited in experience.

After having played a few hours a day since early start, I’ve gotta say that this is exactly what I feared it would be the day the game was announced—Another World of Warcraft successor.

sunlight

 

Not that I hate WoW, but I was sort of hoping for a different experience, if not just slightly. But that’s okay, I still play and I still have fun.

Upon beginning the game, with your first character, you are taken through a training area, which, lo and behold, has you escape from a prison of sorts. The staple of Elder Scrolls games…

prison escape

 

After navigating through the first minutes of the game, you get a quick feel for how it’s going to be the rest of the way through your advancement.

Movement is smooth, the weapons are diverse (you can basically use anything you want), armor is diverse, in that you can wear pretty much whatever you choose—It works exactly the way weapons and armor work in Skyrim—Crafting isn’t limited to forcing you to choose one or two skill areas for each character, rather,  you can do them all and fill up your inventory and bank space pretty quick.

Once you’re out in the world, it really begins to feel all the more like an Elder Scrolls game. Which is great, because I’m a pretty big fan of the series.

Questing is different than some other MMOs though, in that a lot of the quests you find, you’ll find on your own via exploration. Ingenious really, forcing the player to reveal every bit of the map if she or he wants to level up, gain gold and new items.

crafting

 

The dungeons (that I’ve seen so far) are pretty fun, but, next to crafting, I’m a dungeon junky (just don’t ask me to raid).

During my beginnings in ESO, a certain dungeon called, “The Banished Cells,” had been broken, all the way up to a couple days ago, which was disappointing.

That is something that should be noted though, that this game had handfuls of broken quests and dungeons and still does, even a few weeks after release. I can’t imagine how these weren’t ironed out in closed beta and the numerous open betas that were held pre-release.

But I guess such is the world of MMOs? At least it wasn’t as broken as Anarchy Online was when that game first released (my first MMO).

The anchors, much like the rifts in Rift, are something I’ve grown accustomed to, especially since open world adventures and things are something I pretty much expect to be included in new themepark MMOs.

This gigantic thing crashes out of the sky and spawns monsters for you and a party to kill until the end. You get loot, achievements and all the good stuff.

Public dungeons are a decent idea… A dungeon that you can venture into with or without a group and it lasts maybe 10 minutes or so until you reach the mini-boss. This is where you’ll find people camping for soul shards.

I haven’t really seen campers since Anarchy Online (oh the painful hours spent waiting on mob spawns).

Something I don’t like though, is the inventory interface. Lots of people like it because it’s clean and minimal, but I actually do enjoy an inventory page that is similar to WoW or EVE Online, so that I can clearly see, in one big clump, what all I have to mess around with.

Zenimax absolutely throws skillpoints at you though, through dungeons, quests, skyshards and leveling. You can sculpt your character into whatever you please and then some. I like this aspect as well, because I don’t like a rigid game.

The mounts, although I had the CE, seem a bit expensive, which is a little worrying, because one of my guildmates wasn’t even able to procure one until she was in the 30th levels.

But here’s one of the coolest things—You have to feed your mount, and there are 3 different things to choose from. You can increase its speed, its stamina or carrying capacity. This is great, because carrying capacity in this game is always an issue.

If you’re like me, you’re picking up every single piece of material you find. And if you’re like me, you’ve purchased nearly all of the affordable inventory upgrades for both your bank and your bags.

It gets pretty damn expensive after a while.

My 3rd favorite part of Elder Scrolls Online, are the sometimes decision driven quests.

Ever since Mass Effect I’ve wanted to have control over the storyline and I’m really glad Zenimax implemented a bit of that into this game.

For example, you have a quest where one character is sentenced to execution and you have the choice of having him executed or working something out with the local tribes-people.

Deciding whether someone lives or dies is always a fun experience.

But that’s about it, I think…

Let’s see, did I forget anything? The soundtrack is great, the sound effects aren’t annoying and the graphics system is extremely flexible.

Having no boundaries and a slightly choice driven storyline, regardless of how WoW-ified it feels (and how much I love Tamriel), I’m going to go ahead and give Elder Scrolls Online 4 Meryls out of 5.

4 out of 5

Pros:

  • Everything is flexible
  • Fun questing experience
  • Great soundtrack
  • Awesome dungeons
  • Able to do just about anything on just one character
  • Achievements
  • Lush with lore

Cons:

  • Buggy
  • No Dark Brotherhood
  • Broken quests

Had it not been for the bugs and broken things, I might have given this a 5 out of 5.

If you’re TBLG friendly and looking for a guild, /tell @msfortney and I’ll get you into TransFected!

MORGAN KARGA2

Introducing, Morgan Karga #thepaxseries

Morgan Karga
Born: 
Unknown
Affiliation: None
Father: Unknown
Mother: Unknown
Suffers from: Minor dysphoria, claustrophobia, rage, sociopathy

Probably my most interesting and complex character yet, Morgan Karga is born from the idea of Dante and Meryl and takes over as the voice and lead at the halfway point of NETHERBOUND.

A character I created to be more inline with something that I could relate to while crafting a much larger story that continues on past the end of Dante’s, due to the fact that I find it increasingly more awkward writing from a man’s perspective, as unfortunate as that may be.

But I do believe this gives me a lot of working space, if you can call it that.

Morgan Karga is an unfeeling, antihero who seems all-to-used to killing and, for reasons unknown, derives pleasure from causing pain, even if that pain is directed at her enemies, or to be more precise, the remnants of the once hulking organization and terrorist cell, ZeroFactor.

Her fight is, mostly, directed by the galactic federation, but her interests are always related to personal and monetary gain.

That is, until a new threat rises from the “belly of the beast.”

Something that threatens every fiber of her being and who she really is; where she came from.

All things that will be answered in a shorter period of time than it took for the first 2 books to answer things like, “What the fuck is this voice Dante is always hearing in his head?”

But what does this mean for Dante? Is he dead? What?

You’ll have to find out in NETHERBOUND, which is slated for October 2014 (if I get off my ass and finish it, of course).

Meryl_SinGarda(cellpic)

Dismantling Meryl Anne SinGarda #thepaxseries

Meryl Anne SinGarda
Born:
 1987
Affiliation: Former organization “PaxCorpus”
Father: Gedeon SinGarda, deceased
Mother: Mariame Singarda, deceased
Suffers from: Bipolar disorder, claustrophobia

Like Dante, Meryl had her beginnings as a rookie NYPD cop who fancied Dante from a distance, only ever meeting him on breaks or out on the streets.

Before the end of civilization, the may have been nothing more than acquaintances who shared alluring glances every so often or spoke to their inner senses with nothing more than body language.

These two were meant to be together from the start, but this is something that would not be discovered until day 2 of the apocalypse, when Dante and his unit return to Manhattan to search for left-behind survivors.

Fast forward to the end of “PaxCorpus” and Meryl plus Ed and Rob are saving Dante from the ruins of Harrisburg, where she and he share a night together before they head to Salem and the ongoing struggle of survival.

But somewhere in Meryl’s past, in between the years of 2013 and 2020, there was something very emotionally destructive that had happened to her.

Something traumatic and jarring.

Having already been a post-operative transsexual, you’d think that there isn’t much she hasn’t experienced, until she’s captured in the middle of a gas station bathroom, where unspeakable things are performed upon her up to and not limited to, the painful removal of her left eye via a knife used by a “Z” terrorist.

This is why her demise is ever more powerful, and why her return and confrontation with Dante with be the turning point of the entire series.

When I was formulating PaxCorpus, Meryl was never even meant to be a strong character that had a constant appearance in the book. In fact, I think she was supposed to die around the time of the “ghost train” not even halfway through.

I’m glad I decided to keep her though and transform her into what she is now, because she is instrumental in the transformation of Dante in my upcoming novel, NETHERBOUND.

PaxCorpus_amazon

Dismantling Dante Marcellus #thepaxseries

Dante Marcellus
Born:
1985
Affiliation:
Former organization “PaxCorpus”
Father:
Vincent Marcellus, European-American, whereabouts unknown
Mother:
Kathryn Marcellus, Spanish-American, deceased
Brother: Jack Marcellus, thought to be deceased
Suffers from: Depression, anxiety, “voices” in his head

The story of Dante Marcellus begins with the book, PaxCorpus. A regular guy doing regular things, like drinking beer in front of his television watching a presidential address to the nation.

Former Harrisburg, PA cop, worked for Manhattan’s Emergency Response Unit and participated in the evacuation of the island on day one of the “attack.”

Came to blows with his brother Jack, who defected to the terrorist cell, ZeroFactor and went hand-in-hand with the destruction wrought by the book’s antagonist, Nuhm De’Ara, or better known as, Julianna Moretti.

Ran a safe-zone in the former city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and suffered amnesia for a time period of six years before he regained these things inside of his mind that he’d once lost and suffered a betrayal and the destruction of the small post-apocalyptic civilization that he’d been instrumental in building.

Flees to Salem, New Jersey with lover, Meryl Anne SinGarda, friends Robert “Rob” and Ed “Edward” and takes shelter in an abandoned fallout shelter.

Upon being attacked, once more, by the rogue terrorist cell, ZeroFactor, Dante and the remaining team head for Manhattan to exact revenge, release those who had been captured and to, hopefully, secure supplies in order to survive a bit longer.

That was, until he’s bitten, his hand is chopped off and his entire team is killed, the lead antagonist, Julianna, laughing in his face as she shoots him into space aboard the lifeboat of a ship that orbits the city of Manhattan.

This is where NETHERBOUND begins.

But the original idea of Dante came from a short story I had written back in 2005 that involved a guy named Jack who worked at a gas station (and was late for work), who then experiences the illusion of a ghostly and deadly figure that causes an attack on his place of work and the destruction of said gas station.

Pretty weird, but I guess we all have our strange beginnings.

When I originally wrote the final version of Dante, he was never meant to live past PaxCorpus, nor was the story originally planned to become a series of epic proportion. But things seem to change.

Much like a real human being, Dante transforms emotionally and physically throughout each story. His first appearance resembling something like John McClane and later evolving into a character unmistakably his own.

The biggest transformation yet is coming and it will be something that sets in motion a whole series of new character development issues, setbacks and moral questions that further sets Dante apart from your average hero, who is not a hero at all.

Dante is like the Charlie Brown of apocalyptic fiction. His bad luck is never-ending and wherever he goes, death follows.

But I ask you this, what if, after being shot multiple times, cut up, blown up, bitten, having gotten everyone close to you killed, what if you became death itself?

Abandon morality, become your enemy.

NETHERBOUND.

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