Monthly Archives: December 2006

Best Fit Of Pique Posts 2006

I was going to wait to do this until I hit my four year anniversary of blogging. This blog actually started out as something completely different, but I erased that one because I was crazy.

The Horrors Of Personals
Fitting my identity into the little check boxes of online personal ads.

Butch-Femme Misconceptions
In which I blow away percieved notions of butchness by talking about being pounded with big dildos and my penchant for frilly lacy girly undergarments.

I’ve Heard The Crabs Screaming
The ethics of eating crab, Thirza gets squeamy about killing things, and a terrible rumour about vegans and placenta munching.

Message From A Scraling
Yucca Mountain, sacred First Nations site and now Nuclear Waste Storage facility.

Hands Up all the queer girls who are ogling the pepsi commercial
On Parker Posey’s pepsi spot, now gone!

Survival Tactics
How to stay unscathed by the stigma of mental illness. Ironically after the incident in question happened I did get in trouble at my workplace for having a disability. I later quit. I’m still in the process of getting a human rights complaint together, but people I know keep dying and stuff.

Youtube and Me, Happy Times
My favorite Youtube videos including French and Saunders, Margaret Cho, and Peaches w/ Iggy Pop.

Needles, Metal, Cute Girl, Oh My!
The joys of having a cute girl run needles through my body. Needles are fun. *giggle*

Thank God For The Library
All the books I read on my holiday road trip, a pic of me at Arches smoking a clove cigarette, and the indignity of taking poop to a cute girl.

C’mon and Drug Me Up
My best friend Margaret’s mental health bedside manner, dealing with The Snuffits, and by the way, I am still looking for a contingent to do an action of peeing on Ewan Cameron’s grave. In fact, I should get a list together of people’s graves I intend to piss on.

HK119! HK119!! HK119!!! I still don’t have this cd, eeeehn! I love HK119!

Killer Condom
This is my favorite movie and I don’t have it either! Okay, obviously I have some internet shopping to do.

Die-Die, Sweetly Die
Lesbian Vampires make me wet, and so does Parker Posey.

Hell in a Handbag
Blogger drama, what’s a “good” feminist and why do you get to say what a feminist is?
Fuck off with sticking me in your fucking ghettos, and why oh why are we all supposed to hate Courtney Love?

Medical Marijuana and My Mood Disorders
Thoughts on the debate around psychiatric illness and the use of medical marijuana. By the way, I tried to join a Yahoo group for medical marijuana users and they wouldn’t let me because I identified as bipolar. Dorkasses.

Mohawk Ironworkers and The World Trade Center
An Aboriginal take on Sept 11.

The Hottest Biracial Bitches
Musing on biracial identity, and wondering about it’s link to my penchant for hot bisexual women. Living beyond binaries is sexy dammit.

What the Fuck Is That? UFO Sighting
This was a goddamn true story and it STILL scares the shit out of me. I have no idea what I saw that night, but it looked like something was coming from another dimension.

Paranoia’s Origin: The Half Used Pencil
How I ended up being a paranoid human. And white people have some fucked up weird paranoia’s yo.

Coming Out Day
Closeted Lesbians who MUST come out!

The Hays Code and it’s Continuing Influence on Queer Subtext in Media
Yeah, this post is basically exactly what the title says. Subtext is a curious creature.

Poorest Postal Code
Life in the pooerest postal code in North America.

People, They Want to Touch Me
People, They Want To Touch Me
You really don’t know who Nina Hagen is? REALLY??

I was going to list some of my favorite December posts, but they’re right down there. The only thing that needs reiterating is: Nicole, YOU REALLY need to find another merkin. Yours is way too high maintenance just for some sham het love!

2006 was an okay year I guess, for me personally. Some good stuff happened, and some bad stuff happened, there was a death in the family, I had to quit a job that was making me sick, I got two animal friends, someone kissed me, I got into Transmediale, but not into Berlinale. Two books came out that talked about my work. I got to know my family again. I left a mice infested slum apartment back in Vancouver. I did enough mushrooms to trip out. I got a couple more body mods. I finally see the allure of marriage and children. I’m learning to self-reference and I trust my standards and values a lot more. I saw a UFO, and was terrorized by a knocking ghost, and have spent time in the company of a poltergeist AGAIN because once wasn’t enough apparently. I finished my screenplay, yeah, that’s a big deal, even if it’s not a final draft yet. I’m adjusting to using the internet to do most of my interacting with like minded people since I live in SASKATOON!!! Aaaaaah! I live in Saskatoon!!! Oh bugger, I’ve had to nurse the links on this post back to health THREE TIMES!! I think that’s a hint I should just hit publish already.

Happy New Year!

Straight people Parties

Eeeenh! I ended up at a straight person party last night, I mean UBER straight, as in a flood of spritzheads came tumbling out of a clown car and then chattered very loudly for a very long time about nothingness. I’m not sure how straight people do it, but they can have like, a two hour conversation about NOTHING! What the hell? It’s kind of amazing to watch, if dreadfully boring.

I have a new favorite film magazine. It used to be Filmmaker, which is a really good magazine, but with a specific way of looking at film, more of a how was it made, why did you write it this way kind of approach. I used to get a magazine from Kodak that was quite excellent in it’s own funny way. It was like “Oooh, House of Flying Daggers was shot with a 55mm lens and on 800T film,” kind of thing. Which is good in it’s own way, if you’re shopping around for the perfect speed of film to get a certain look. Actually I should get Kodak to send me that again. And then I was into Res, because it was more about digital film and video culture and a bit hipper, and the layout was spectacular, but it only comes out four times a year. Creative Screenwriting is okay. But CineAction, that is my new favorite. It’s not all “this is a 400 speed film” or “he wrote the entire script sitting on the toilet” or anything, it’s actually a critical look at films. This issue analyzes V for Vendetta, examines the work of Michael Moore, and links pedophile hysteria with a Post 9/11 world as seen in Palindromes.

We got my dog a shock collar for his barking, but it’s not working, I think it’s not on properly.

I also recently got a double issue of Social Text composed of queer theory essays including the amazing Judith Halberstam writing about White Masculine Gay Male Shame. I love Judith Halberstam. I used to have Female Masculinity and it was my favorite book about being butch, but my mom’s cat peed on it and no one can save it now. So in the garbage it went while I cried and cried.

Sometimes when I’m around very young people I feel like a pervert with a corrupting influence. I don’t know why. Maybe because they are young straight vanilla people and I am very much not.

I bought out the lesbian vampire erotica at McNally Robinson. I’m surprised there’s actually a decent queer section in Saskatoon. When I was a teenager I had to get the bookstores to order in all my lesbian erotica. And a book with me in there is on the shelves. Even a picture!

I got a nice artist fee from being part of a DVD collection of video art by women which is being marketed to universities. Which is why I could afford the freakin’ EXPENSIVE E bra.

Oh man, I’m trying to watch Party Monster, but jesus christ it annoys me. I haven’t been this annoyed with a film since the last time my deadbeat cousin crashed our livingroom and spent 72 hours watching every boy film on the movie channels. I nearly hit him in the head with a remote control and whacked him around with a broom. Male entitlement pisses me off. Anyway, I’m going to start watching Art School Confidential instead, Party Monster may remain forever unwatched.


You know those shows that people like Oprah do, where they fit a whole bunch of women for bra’s and they all come out in new bras going wow, I’m an A cup, I’m a DD cup! and whatever. Well, my mum took me to get fitted today and I’m an E cup!!! Holy fuck, I never thought that would happen. I thought I was a C cup, or maybe a D, but I never ever thought I could be an E!

Anyway, I have a really nice sexy bra now that cost way more than I usually pay. It fits like a glove. A boob glove. I love having breasts, even if I am mannish. I hope someone sleeps with me because I just want to show off the bra.

I did mushrooms a couple nights ago and holy fuck was I fucked up. At one point I was saying “Yeah, the things I hate most are the squids, they can fuck off, what did they ever do for us except bob around and shit. They’re good in calamari though. Hey, do I exist? Wow, this floor feels cool. And everything is like glue. Check out this lip balm!” Our poor friend Preston was REALLY fucked up and just doing the same thing for forty five minutes, shaking, and passing out. Turns out he accidentally took SIX grams of mushrooms. And then I thought someone was cute and then found out they’re in HIGH SCHOOL!!! Yeah, I felt way beyond being a cougar. I would fuck a nineteen year old, but beyond that I get nervous.

I have a tattoo appointment in a few days! Hurrah! I’m getting three of the tattoos I wanted done in the same session. My biohazard tattoo and my two nautical stars on my forearms. I know I’ll be all “oweeya!” after, but it’s okay. I love tattoos, and even the whole process of subjecting myself to extended periods of pain is fun in a “look at me and my pain threshold” butchy macho kind of way. Now I just have to end up with enough money to do my Virgin of Guadalupe and my jaguar spots.

I have no idea what I will do for New Years. Try to find someone who wants to see my bra? I don’t know. Get drunk and do drugs for sure. I’m looking into moving into a housing co-op out in Sutherland. For non-Saskatoon folks, Sutherland used to be a small town until it got absorbed in Saskatoon sprawl. It is also where a murdered skeleton was found recently dating back to the 1920’s. Okay, murdered woman, you can’t murder a skeleton. She turned into a skeleton. And she was thrown in a well, so apparently her soft tissues turned into wax. Ew.

E is for Ew.

It’s also for Exciting, and Erotic!

The Butch Jobseeker

As long as I’m talking about butch experience that other people, even femmes, completely fail to recognize, I thought I would talk about the personal economic impact of having a butch identity. Also I was inspired by a blog from Cameron at Gender 3.0 (which you can find under the surf with me section here).

There are some people of colour who sneer at queer rights activists because we can hide, while their difference is obvious (which is a stupid idea because I’m a POC and I’m not obvious). Okay, maybe some queers can hide, but not fuckin’ many. And especially not butches. And being butch is not a fashion decision, believe it or not. I don’t stand in front of my dresser pondering on whether to go with something girly in the extreme or my standard boy clothes (jeans, t shirt, bunnyhug, sneakers). Even when I do girl drag I still feel completely butch and miss having belt loops to stick my thumbs in.

I do, however, spend a loooong time trying to decide on my clothes for job interviews. Everybody does this, but not with the same issues as a butch woman. I have to balance my identity with corporate expectations of gender normativity, and no matter how carefully I choose my clothes, I fail the gender normative test every goddamn time. And I can so tell. The employer can be all excited about my qualifications but as soon as my butch self walks into the office for the interview, it’s over. And not only that, but both s/he and I know it’s over and for what reason, but we still go through the motions. They ask a few questions just to make me feel like I’m being considered, and then it’s over, shake hands, we’ll call you, and an hour of my time is wasted and I leave feeling humilated and without any method of redress.

So yeah, hard time finding jobs. The ones I do get are usually with people who know me. Sometimes butch dykes will tell each other where the few employers are in town that are dyke friendly. If this degrading job discrimination wasn’t bad enough, most people in my life (who are not butch) pester me about when I’m going to find a job, as if it’s in my control, like I can just walk into an office and say “I’m here, I will be working out of that corner office with the windows, thanks!” I’ll mumble something about being butch and that making it difficult to find work, but they don’t accept that as an explanation, because they don’t see butchphobia because they don’t know how to recognize it.

I always had a theory that being butch hinders my employment options, but I didn’t feel backed up in my theory until Cameron from Gender 3.0 said there are studies which show butch women have lower average income than femmes. It blows that whole theory out of the water that butch women are pretending to be men to access male privilege. Tell me honestly how many mainstream people treat butch women with the same esteem as bio men. And while femmes have a lot of struggles for sure, being gender normative is a huge privilege that I will never have. I had one girlfriend who totally recognized the privilege she had being high femme, which was nice, but not many other queer women recognize it. I can see it when I talk to femme friends who are job hunting, they end up with new jobs at a much more frequent rate than I, they get more interviews, better pay, better treatment. They don’t have someone go cold when they go for the interview.

Now I’m trying to keep myself steadily working on my own film career, which in some ways is good, some ways not so good. I’m still butch, still talking about being genderqueer in my films, even if I’m not saying it out loud. And I’m not entirely convinced yet that Telefilm is going to give me a million dollars to make a film about a butch woman in a psych ward. In fact, I keep getting turned down by various places when I pitch this freakin’ film. And if I won’t get funding for this, I’m dubious that I will get funded for a film about hunting down a white murderer of aboriginal women and having an extended beheading scene at the end. But who knows, maybe I will end up with like, six screenplays and one day people will be less discriminatory and someone will actually want to produce them.

Or maybe they will end up dusty in an attic, I will die penniless and alone, and fifty years hence some feminist will unearth my manuscripts and call me a forgotten genius and I’ll end up in some art history text. Poor Thirza. She was too many things too many people hate and no one ever knew what an awesome story teller she is.

And what will I do for a living? Call centres? Dear lord, someone enforce laws against discriminating on someone based on gender, and I mean all genders, not just Men and Women.

Trying to get out of being stone

Stones are interesting things. People ignore them all the time, or kick them around, or use them to hurt people. They don’t think about how old a stone is, or that it’s alive and has it’s own soul. Once in a while I meet a stone that wants to go traveling with me. I like it when that happens, they’re good company. You just carry them around until they let you know they’re ready to sit someplace for a while, maybe back where you found them, maybe somewhere new. Stones deserve to be respected, they have feelings like anything else.

Same with people who turn stone. I suppose it’s a term for post traumatic stress disorder that is specific to the lesbian community. I know femmes can be stone too, but mostly I only know the subjective experience of being a stone butch. I think a lot of butches can wind up being stone. It’s a process, I started going stone early, and then shit just accumulated until I am where I am today.

Stone butches are probably the ones you most hate, if you’re butch phobic. We’re the ones that seem hard and cold and suspicious. It’s not that we’re really like that, it’s just that we learn after enough pain that in order to survive you have to keep from showing emotions. Even if someone is hurting you all over again, you just go away and try to maintain this impervious exterior. Getting diagnosed with a mood disorder put the final nail in the coffin of expressing emotions. I mean, when your emotions are considered pathological and grounds to be incarcerated in an abusive prison, you don’t often express them unless you know for a fact the person you’re with isn’t going to toss you into the psychiatric hoosegow.

I don’t like being stone. I doubt anyone does. There are a lot of different ways to be stone. The commonality between all types is a fear/avoidance thing about being touched, specifically due to triggers. Touch is supposed to be the most important thing for the mental well being of a person, but being stone shuts a lot of that out. Some people can touch me though, without me cringing or shrugging them off or slapping the shit out of them. Not many, and I really have to trust them, and you’d be surprised who I don’t trust in my life.

Coming out of the hospital I could feel myself going into the most intense type of stone anyone could be in. I sometimes wonder if a touch or a hug or just someone acknowledging I went through extreme emotional torture would have stopped the process. It’s really curious. Unfortunately the majority of my friends roundly rejected me after I got released, so I guess we will never know.

It’s sad, I guess I feel like parts of me have died every time I’ve gone more and more stone. Maybe they have, they’ve changed me anyway. Or maybe those parts just went somewhere deep inside until it’s safe to come out. I dissociate a lot. I don’t know if I have DID, but I know it happens. When it does it feels like going to a dark quiet spot in the back of me, kind of like hiding under a bed. And then auto pilot takes over. I don’t know if people can see it from the outside, who ever auto pilot is she knows me really well and can pull off pretending to be me. I can watch her talking or experiencing something but I’m completely disconnected from her. When she’s having a conversation it feels like listening from underwater, and I have terrible recall of what was said. And then sometimes I dissociate and it takes auto pilot a while to kick in, which I would think would look like an obvious glitch but I don’t think people are perceptive enough to recognize it.

I’m lucky in that I’m not completely stone, there are some people I trust, and there is at least one person right now I feel safe being close to. It’s kind of a relief to know I can express and receive physical affection. In fact, it’s the first time I’ve been touched lovingly since I left the psych ward. It feels like coming home to myself. I think people who aren’t stone can’t understand the feelings involved. I guess it’s just that after all of that stuff happened, it’s amazing to be recognized as a sexual desirable person who needs to be held and kissed and coyly flirted with. It’s not something just anybody can do with me, for sure. I wasn’t sure anybody would do it with me actually, which is really scary. I hate to say I need a woman to be saved, but it’s true that getting out of being stone means finding someone who’s touch is actually desired, and usually that’s a lover. I don’t know that this person will ever be my lover, but she can touch me and I don’t cringe or feel weird or anything, I just feel like I did before shit happened to me.

I don’t know how else to explain being stone. But there’s a song by Evanescence that describes it perfectly.

A Message From AIM Just In Time For Christmas

I’m sleepy, but I wanted to throw this statement from AIM on my blog for something to consider when you go to movies over the holidays. I don’t normally support NOT seeing a movie just because it’s problematic, but in this case I would advise people to wait until it’s on video or tv, just because paying to see it makes the capitalist system justify racism. Yeah, so no Apocalypto.


Holocaust Denial In America
December 19th 2007
David Duke, in a Holocaust conference in Tehran, was big news in America as he accepted an invitation by the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In Duke’s speech, he said the purpose of the conference was“ to offer free speech for the world’s most repressed idea, Holocaust revisionism…and the condemnation of the shameful imprisonment of European scholars and academics who simply dare to state their opinions of historical events that occurred over 60 years ago.”
Duke went on to say “ I as a former American elected official will be condemned by the Zionist influenced press in America for coming here in peace and friendship to a nation that they hate: the nation of Iran.” Overwhelmingly, the media in America condemned the Tehran gathering and labeled it the “Holocaust Denial Conference” but on the question of the many other Holocausts, the American media remain stunningly silent.
For indigenous people, Holocaust Denial in America is nothing new. Revisionist history is nothing new, but rather it is big business supported and financed by multi-nationals like Walt Disney and Hollywood A-list actors like Mel Gibson. They will not go to jail for distorting history or justifying the slaughter of Mayans. They will make millions of dollars in their revisionist movie, Apocalypto. Mel Gibson’s version of Mayan history is based on the lies of Spanish conquistadors and men like Bishop Diego de Landa, the Franciscan monk who, on July 12, 1562, burned hundreds of Mayan codices and over 5000 Mayan “cult” images. He later tried to justify his crimes, his Inquisition and torture of Mayan people by stating he had found evidence of human sacrifice.
The real savages, the Spanish Conquistadors, hacked off the limbs of Mayans for not bringing in enough gold and silver ransoms. They justified their savage crimes by deliberate lies depicting the Mayans, Incas and Aztecs as sub humans who sacrificed humans to the sun god. In this movie Mel Gibson does the same thing. He depicts the Mayans as sub-human, grotesquely violent, and incapable of compassion. The American Indian Movement condemns Apocalypto as revisionist history, in the same vein as Rambo, John Wayne westerns, and hate inciting movies such as G.I. Jane.

The historical evidence of the slaughter of Jewish people in the Nazi death camps of World War II is irrefutable. Any movie or documentary that denies that evidence should be roundly condemned and censored. No movie should profit from justifying the killing of Jewish people in the Nazi death camps. The American Indian Movement supports the Jewish people in seeking justice for their Holocaust and the recovery of gold and other valuables stolen from the Jewish people during that Holocaust.
The American Indian Movement condemns Walt Disney Inc and Mel Gibson for profiting from the distortion and revisionist history in the Holocaust of the Mayan people. The American Indian Movement urges world governments to initiate recovery of all stolen gold and silver taken from the Mayan, Inca and Aztec people. AIM condemns the piracy of so called “Spanish” doubloons recovered from sunken ships and calls for all recovered gold and silver to be returned to the rightful indigenous owners. AIM further condemns the Catholic Church and its institutions for unrepentant theft of Mayan, Inca and Aztec gold and silver, which is hoarded in Christian idols in Europe.
AIM urges nations worldwide not to stop there, but to demand that the United States restore to the rightful owners the more than $14 billion of gold stolen from the Black Hills in South Dakota, to the Dakota people.
The American Indian Movement acknowledges and thanks the small groups of activists and supporters who have protested the movie Apocalypto and condemns this movie as an act of greedy profiteering, of revisionist history and justification of the slaughter of indigenous peoples.
To our indigenous brothers and sisters in Central and South America who continue to struggle with intense poverty deriving from entrenched colonist policies, we offer our support and apologize for this outrage of a movie which is being pushed, financed and supported by Holocaust Denial in America.

Written by Chief Terrance Nelson, Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation, American Indian Movement Board Member Telephone # 204-782-4827, email
Approved by American Indian Movement for general distribution

A different kind of child abuse

There’s a scene in the excellent movie Boogie Nights that always makes me cry. It’s when the future Dirk Diggler comes home after being wooed by the porn director and is confronted by his mother. She tells him his girlfriend is a whore, he’ll never amount to anything, and when he starts getting ready to run away screams that he owns nothing, everything is hers, and proceeds to destroy his possessions.

I didn’t have something exactly like this happen to me, but pretty close.

Even since I moved out of the house, I’ve been on a pretty long journey to figure out why I turned out feeling so depressed, suicidal, fucked up, etc. I started unravelling parts of my life and examining them. I had to name certain things that happened to me, which was really difficult. One of these was the fact that I suffered a lot of emotional abuse as a child. People often don’t know what emotional abuse is, or the insideous long term effects it has on a person. The only childhood abuse that gets any validation is sexual or physical abuse. I actually think the abuse I went through as a child is what kicked off my long struggle with depression.

With Christmas coming up I’m remembering a common past time among my mom, uncles, and auntie. All the cousins would be sitting around trying to be happy when one would be singled out for a prolonged ridiculing until they were on the verge of tears. It was bad enough to be abused like that by a group of adults who should know better, but to do it in front of our other cousins made it even more humiliating. Eventually when we had Christmas gatherings, the cousins were just really quiet, sneaking away to socialize with each other then coming back and trying to be as invisible as possible to avoid the annual ridiculing. It wouldn’t work, some kid would be trying to learn to be an individual and have different hair, or unconventional clothes, or piercings, and they would get picked on pretty severely. I’m actually surprised no one flipped out and started wailing on an abuser.

I had a lot of various kinds of emotional abuse happen to me, like being made to feel ugly, being “teased” until I cried and then being told I was too sensitive or that they were only joking. The worst though was when my mom decided I was out of line or was mad at me for some reason. She would ignore me, sometimes for a week at a time. She’d go to her room and not answer when I tried to talk to her, she would sit around in the living room and pretend I wasn’t there, we had completely silent dinners. I would be reduced to writing notes to her and pushing them under the door, and trying to decide between running away or committing suicide. As you can imagine, this all did lead me to have a very suicidal childhood. I didn’t hear of this happening to others until a friend of mine talked about being abused the same way. Both of us were children of single parents, so as you can imagine, being ostracised from the love of the only parent around was pretty shattering to a child. I only had my pets for a constant source of love, and even then they were used in this sick cycle of abuse, she would either threaten to have them put down or to take them away from me.

My only real outlet for talking about my feelings was writing my daily diary entries, which she routinely read and ridiculed me about. As an adult when I started writing in online diaries in order to reach out and connect with people dealing with the same issues as me, she also read my diary and defended her actions when I would get angry by saying if I was writing a diary on the internet it meant anyone could read it, including her. Nevermind that I was writing anonymously and dealing with some pretty heavy issues like her abuse (“you always write about hating your mother”), my sexual assault, various revelations about my sexual interests, trying to do healing.

It was hard enough being abused at home, but school wasn’t any better. Being an abused kid automatically makes you a target for bullying, so I had a pretty shitty school life. I hated school, but I didn’t like home either. I was one of those kids who wandered around alone a lot. Suicide was an escape hatch, I didn’t like my world and I was a kid with no options except to quit life and hope to god there was something on the other side. Later in high school I even seriously considered becoming emancipated.

I didn’t really start healing from my abusive childhood until I left home and found friends I could talk to about these things, cry with, listen to their stories, read about toxic families. I never felt safe confronting my mom about my childhood until I went manic, and then she threw me on a plane back to Montreal and helped get me committed. As you can imagine, I never felt safe confronting her about it again. And in a way, I know it won’t make a difference. She’ll never see her behaviour towards me as abusive, she’ll deny certain things happened, she’ll ridicule me for letting it bother me so much.

Recently she told me she was depressed so I had to be nice to her. I didn’t know what to say. I would like to be nice to her, but then I see certain things she still does that just fills me with anger now instead of sadness. Ever since I started dating as a teen she’s started a long campaign of hating everyone I love and trying to turn me against them. It’s really depressing. One older friend told me she was probably jealous that she would lose my love if I had a sweetheart. But it’s getting to the point where I feel like one day she’s going to make me choose between whatever woman I love and her, and I know I won’t choose her.

The one good thing is that the people in my generation, except for the ones who have become lifelong alcoholics, are pretty cognizant of how we were all treated as kids. We talk about it and try to figure out ways to heal or just to avoid continuing the cycle when we’re parents. We try to avoid the long standing grudges that are rampant in my parent’s generation. I know we won’t be perfect, even I notice myself doing the dreaded silent treatment at times, and I always feel ashamed and try to cut it out.

Maybe the hardest thing about dealing with my past is being saddled with the Crazy label. I was Crazy when I confronted my parents about abuse and neglect, and now that I have a history of hospitalization I know I’m vulnerable to being hospitalized again for stepping out of line or pissing someone off or just going through an emotional moment of healing around events of my past. Anytime I talk about my feelings I’m asked if I took my medication, and when I fly off the handle (something common to abuse survivors and people with rape-related PTSD) I’m accused of being a terrible broken bipolar person. My view of the world is consistently invalidated by the diagnosis given to me by people who know nothing of TLE, abuse survivors, rape survivors, or people suffering PTSD.

And I’m tired of not talking about this just because I’m worried it will hurt my family. They weren’t worried about hurting me. I would hope they would take this information and become more loving, compassionate people with insight into their actions, but I know it will probably be taken as an affront to their parenting skills and me just being mean.

What really made me realize what my abuse was, was when I dated an emotional abuser. She was charming, everyone thought she was amazing, but she was undermining me, invalidating me, taking me to parties with people I didn’t know and then abandoning me, and then eventually telling me I was a horrible lover. She even went so far as to bite me so hard I was trying to punch her head to get her away and ended up with nerve damage in my neck. Luckily I was seeing the emergency suicide counsellor I saw for two years and she helped me see that I had an abusive lover and it wasn’t my fault. I started learning about emotional abuse and seeing how it impacted my childhood.

Once I was talking to a friend who was an incest survivor about my abusive childhood and I was trying to say it wasn’t as bad as somethings that happened to kids. He told me not to minimize my abuse, it doesn’t matter what happened or didn’t happen, if I ended up with bruises or not, it was still abuse and it still had a major impact on who I became. In fact, studies have concluded that of all the types of child abuse, emotional abuse is the worst.

I don’t want to live in a rut caused by abuse, it sucks ass. I want to grow as a person and be capable of love without fucked up shit accompanying it. I think I am. My closest friends tend to be people who have also been abused in various ways, whether they name it or not. I wish my parents could get out of their own rut of abusive patterns. I know they’re only repeating the cycle laid out by their own parents, but I don’t think repeating cycles should be condoned.

This Christmas my wish is that families respect and love their children. I hope that parents realize they simply have the role of responsibly raising an individual who is not their possession and with whom they cannot dictate their life path. I hope that parents encourage their kids to pursue their dreams, even if those dreams seem unorthodox or foolhardy. I hope that at Christmas dinner, someone will engage a small kid in a conversation that doesn’t invalidate or ridicule them, a conversation that will make them feel they can be expressive and respected.

Imagine if kids weren’t abused how different life would be. I think most societal problems can be linked back to the formative years of all of us.

Self Test for children of Emotionally Abusive Mothers

Description of Emotional Abusive Mothers

A good article on emotional abuse in families and it’s effects on children

Overview of Emotional Abuse

Sex Work

Being a dyke I’ve been intimately involved with sex workers both as lovers, friends, and colleagues. I think straight people get surprised by the link between sex workers and the lesbian community. The fact is, a high percentage of female sex workers are queer. I not only know sex workers, I was one for a very very very brief time. It was phone sex, it was terribly boring and silly. I pretended to have an orgasm while watching t.v., and then I quit when a foot fetishist kept asking for me, just because he talked and talked for a REALLY long time. I did, however, come really close several times to doing street based sex work. In that case, it wasn’t because I actively chose that kind of work, it would have been survival sex work. I lived in grinding poverty for several years in Vancouver, I often had no food, I skipped on my rent several times, I ran up bills I couldn’t pay, I had a very difficult time being hired for work, mainly for being a butch woman. Sometimes I had no phone. I wasn’t going to do sex work for drugs, I just want to go eat at least one meal in a day. And through all that I still self funded a video art practice.

God, let me say again, I have only ever gotten one grant in my entire career. I honestly don’t know where this idea that I’m getting tons of money for being an Indian comes from.

So yeah, sex work. My family helped me out some, but they did the guilt trip thing, and I never told them about wandering along the strolls wondering about getting into the next car that stopped for me.

I had a girlfriend who started doing sex work again while we dated. Friends were really fucked up about the whole thing. They thought she was some kind of low life (she was going to university), they felt bad for me dating her (no way, she was cute and sweet!), and one friend even asked me if I was jealous for her doing sex work. I had to laugh at that one. I didn’t really care that she was having sex for money, my only concern about her was the very real possibility of being assaulted on the job.

Some people say that the dangers sex workers face is exactly why it should be eliminated and more aggressively prosecuted. I think this is problematic, because it pushes sex work even farther on the margins. People who do Shame The Johns campaigns and push sex workers out of neighborhoods put these women into even more unsafe places, like industrial areas where there’s more isolation. The more prostitution is criminalized, the easier it is for predators to prey on women. Even filing a rape report if you’re in the biz becomes a humiliating venture where cops refuse to believe a sex worker can be raped.

If people are serious about keeping vulnerable women from doing sex work out of survival, they need to look at the bigger picture. The minimum wage should be raised, women’s labour should be more respected and improved, and for sure butch women and other marginalized people need to have more job opportunities. Consider how many transwomen end up in the sex work biz.

And there are sex workers who like their jobs, as much as people hate to consider. Some women I know have certain clients who are their favorites, there’s a certain level of intimacy that happens that while it is not romantic, falls under a category of therapy. While there are assholes out there, there are also a lot of johns who are genuinely just looking for some closeness and release which they may not get for certain reasons like age, disability, the recent death of a wife, etc.

I remember one time I went to visit my girlfriend when she switched from the streets to a massage parlour. We were hanging around talking with her coworker when a client came in. The coworker started laughing and said “Oh my god, what if a client came in and picked Thirza!”

Basically, I think that feminists pathologizing sex workers are misogynist and classist, and that the battle for sex worker rights should not be allowed to be dampened by women who infantilize the people doing these jobs.

Another thing, when people say sex work shouldn’t exist because it is demeaning, they should consider other jobs poor people often do which are equally demeaning. Outbound call centre work, McDonalds, Production Assistants, all of those are demeaning jobs which have a demoralizing effect on their workforce.