White Lies and Approximate Definitions

This post was written for the May 2021 Carnival of Aces, where the theme is “Words and Conceptualizations.” You know how sometimes you tell those little white lies because the truth is just too complicated to explain? You don’t intent to mislead anyone, but telling the full story would take too long, so you justContinue reading “White Lies and Approximate Definitions”

The Layer Cake of My Identity

This post was written for the May 2021 Carnival of Aces, where the theme is “Words and Conceptualizations.” My bio on this blog currently labels me as “an asexual, aromantic, autistic, non-binary person.” While this isn’t inaccurate, it’s more of a context-sensitive approximation of my identity than a comprehensive examination of it. The truth isContinue reading “The Layer Cake of My Identity”

The Language of Asexuality Before AVEN

The asexual community as we know it today is quite young; while the broader LGBTQ rights movement is usually traced back to the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the modern asexual community evolved much later. The founding of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) in 2001 was an important milestone in the asexual movement; theContinue reading “The Language of Asexuality Before AVEN”

The Amatanormativity in Romance-Coded Language

Much of the language we use to talk about relationships is steeped in amatanormativity. Even the term “relationship” is often assumed to be short for “romantic relationship,” when many aspec people prefer to use the term “relationship” in its more broad sense. In particular, the language we use to talk about partnerships tends to assumeContinue reading “The Amatanormativity in Romance-Coded Language”

Spoons Are Expensive

It’s no surprise that living with a chronic illness or disability in the US can be expensive given the current state of the US healthcare system. People in the neurodiversity community often joke that “mental health is for the rich” given the prohibitive costs associated with mental healthcare. However, the financial problems faced by neurodivergentContinue reading “Spoons Are Expensive”

The Problem With Functioning Labels

Autism is a disorder that most people are vaguely familiar with. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about autism—often perpetuated by the media—that people have taken as granted. Among these misconceptions is the idea that people with autism can be broadly classified as “high-functioning” or “low-functioning.” I’m going to explain why terms like theseContinue reading “The Problem With Functioning Labels”

The Cultural Model of Gender

Within the transgender community, there are different conceptual models we use for understanding gender. These kinds of models help us answer questions like, “At what point is a trans woman considered a woman?”. Is it when she begins identifying as a woman? When other people start thinking of or referring to her as a woman?Continue reading “The Cultural Model of Gender”

Deconstructing Label Culture

While most people are familiar with the most common labels queer people use to describe their identities, there are a number of microlabels used by specific subsets of the community that rarely see use outside them. Most people have heard the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, but most people have not heard of termsContinue reading “Deconstructing Label Culture”

When Does a Difference Become a Disorder?

A common form of hate minority communities face is people pathologizing their differences—telling them that they have a disorder, that they’re mentally ill, that they need treatment, etc. Queer deal with this a lot; people tell them that their sexuality or gender identity is an illness that needs to be “cured.” Far from good-faith attemptsContinue reading “When Does a Difference Become a Disorder?”

Are the Straights Okay?

There’s a lot of contempt for cisgender heterosexual (cishet) people in queer communities. Queer people regularly face discrimination from cishet people, and they tend to feel safer in queer spaces where they can be surrounded by people like them who “get it.” These are spaces where queer people can vent about the discrimination, erasure, invalidation,Continue reading “Are the Straights Okay?”