TheBluegrassSkeptic

◊ Platinum Patron ◊
  • Content count

    1,268
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    2

TheBluegrassSkeptic last won the day on January 22 2014

TheBluegrassSkeptic had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

665 Outstanding

About TheBluegrassSkeptic

  • Rank
    Mistress of Shenanigans
  • Birthday 05/26/1977

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.ex-christian.net/blog/170-the-bluegrass-skeptic/#.VUFcXfCIlpM

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Covington, Kentucky aka The Asshole Of America
  • Interests
    Conversation is great, but discussion is better. I thoroughly enjoy sharing ideas, discussing all manner of topics, and writing. I love, love, love, love, to write!
  • More About Me
    What to know about me. I was formerly Zomberina Contagion on this website, but she crumbled to dust on April 28th, 2015, around 11:32 a.m. Her job and the state she lives in just couldn't give her enough of an outlet, but not everyone likes zombies. " Did you see them repressing me? You saw them didn't you?" were her last words.

    Ironically, as her decayed creepiness fell away, the skeptic in her shriveled little brain wouldn't give up the fight. A mad scientist discovered it before it was too late and transplanted it into a new body.

    Ta da! Here I am. The Bluegrass Skeptic. Kentucky has me loving the field of science, the practice of reason, and its many varieties of bourbon. It's tough being an atheist in the South, but at least I have bourbon.

    In all seriousness, I'm a very real, down to earth, goofy, socially missing clues left and right, kind of person. My name is Kate Ashcraft. I work for the mail service, have a passion for writing, a huge lack of sleep, and I've discovered that living in Kentucky has some up and down sides. Mostly down in my opinion. Between crappy seasonal weather, Republican dominated politics, and God? This free thinker is screwed in all the wrong ways but the good one!

    My website TheBluegrassSkeptic.com, will be up and running May 15th 2015. You should check it out if you liked Zomberina's style. The only thing that has changed is things are more organized and centrally located. You might find there is more to see than you realize. Kind of like a flea market, there will be something for everybody.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    My massager......

Recent Profile Visitors

5,060 profile views
  1. Enabling Coping Patterns Strike Again

    It was a timing much like other realized moments of accounting in my life. I sat at the red light. Chest tight, my eyes wet and slippery, the church on the opposite corner rang its bells. Its enormous clock had struck 7p while I was waiting at the intersection. Like a reverberant pang of regret, the tolling of the bells echoed the hollow sentiments that had gripped a of hold me. The deep pangs of grief I had begun wrestling with physically pulsed in my ears as every dark note rang out from that church tower. The red light seemed to last forever. Seconds like minutes. My thoughts becoming a monsoon of physical discomfort. And that red halo cast down onto the sliver hood of my car, also colored me with a shade of self loathing I hadn't experienced in years. A cold reality I had doggedly avoided for almost two years now, crept into my future planning quite painfully just a few minutes before I had reached that light. I sat there, seething with a raging disbelief that I had once again shown my penchant for using shitty enabling patterns for coping in life. I once again ripped my own heart to shreds. I knew I had willfully ignored the flags for months. I once again ignored the lack of results when expressing my own needs. I had straight up given away three years of dedication under a personally enforced blind eye - and now was being asked for potentially fifteen years more of the same. To continue a perpetual state of unsatisfying relationship roles. I sat at that red light and blistered with incredulous laughter, tears, and white-knuckled fingers on a steering wheel. Could I really be so angry at him for what I so plainly continued to enable? A friend in public, but spoken for in private. His holding back on communicating relationship issues with me under the guise of "looking out for my feelings". His absence in my everyday life. No. I wasn't going to lay all of this at his feet. He didn't make this the norm. I allowed it. I did this. My fear of demanding for myself that which makes my life enjoyable. My fear of admitting it isn't okay and it needs to change immediately. My lack of belief that I do deserve the good things with someone I care about. With every bell that tolled, I was mentally going through the checklist of what I needed, and not one box was marked off. A voice that was not just acknowledged, but respected and adhered to. Equal control of the relationship. Self-respect to demand and enforce what I need to be happy too. A fucking picture together. A good hump at least once a week. Yeah, three years - no pictures together. What was I thinking? The light turned green, the bells were silent. My mascara shown all over the back of my hands in that emerald hued spotlight as I made my turn. No goddamn picture. Still invisible to the public. So many flags and no check marks. This is the devastation many feel in life. Especially when you have all the dreams in place at the other's behest, but not a single step has been taken to make it a reality. It's devastating because you realize that you compromised yourself for a shiny, dangling piece of fancy that you eventually knew wouldn't take off - but you chased it anyway. Now three more years of my life are gone, and it isn't even a new lesson learned.
  2. #MeToo: Awareness Is Only A Beginning

    Both are very good questions. The reality is that it is on the decline. See the BJS summary report here (https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv15_sum.pdf), it states that "From 1993 to 2015, the rate of violent crime declined from 79.8 to 18.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older." This is for violent crime in general, which includes rape and sexual assault too. This is a marvelous thing-- in general terms. When we get the actual break down? Here on page 2, you can see the rape/sexual assault numbers. This is from BJS so it is a safe pdf link( https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv15.pdf). The numbers show a more hard number of reported rape/sexual assault numbers: "Rape/sexual assault(b) 284,350 (2014) 1.1 431,840 (2015) ‡ 1.6 ‡" The devil is in the details , and I did a lot of looking into the little notation marks, because that is a huge increase from 2014 to 2015. When you take into account the notations: †Significant difference from comparison year at 95% confidence level. ‡Significant difference from comparison year at 90% confidence level, and then the fact the BJS adjusted their data collection in 2015... "(b) BJS has initiated projects examining collection methods for self-report data on rape and sexual assault. See NCVS measurement of rape and sexual assault in Methodology for more information." That is a very important tool. NCVS is the National Crime Victimization Survey, and you can read all about it on page 3. In a nutshell, this survey is pushed out I think at least once a year, to try and get a handle on the numbers of violent crime, like rape and sexual assault, not reported to police. This isn't just someone pushing 1 for rape or 2 for burglary on the phone. Actual face-to-face interviews are conducted, multiple times. I think this is an important tool to have, and I wish they would make the methods used for data collection, and the actual numbers at the end of the year, more publicly known. We have these highway signs all over my state that let us know how many traffic deaths so far for the year. Sometimes it even specifies alcohol related, motorcycle related, etc. It's a constant reminder every ten miles or so near the major cities of what the numbers are. It creates not just an awareness, but helps mentally focus drivers on the roads to use more caution. For me, I think the numbers on sexual assault and rape should be plastered regularly on television, within internet browsers, or somewhere we would be able to apply that reminder. Granted, BJS doesn't really cover harassment, but that is something we can still find a way to get out there. Now, to answer if the number drop is due to awareness? Absolutely. I think there has been a sharp accounting for perpetrators thanks to social media. Determent is preferable, but I think what we lack is empowerment of victims. Too many times so many folks hear about a pastor or famous Hollywood director and say, "Well, yeah. We all knew about their behavior, but what do you do? Report it and get excommunicated or fired?" There are no safe guards for victims. I understand that we cannot just allow flippant accusations of crimes against others. I agree the court of public opinion is damaging, and one never truly recovers once a reputation has been put in front of a national stage and found guilty based on a smirk captured in unrelated events. But the level of vitriol that accusers meet even from law enforcement and court officials is appalling. Objectivity does not mean discouraging one from ever coming forward, or making a victim feel it is wrong to speak up to begin with. Asking a question, making a statement of concern, or revealing one has been hurt by another, should not immediately draw skepticism. What ever happened to acknowledging a problem? Acknowledgement is not confirmation of the actual events, but it sure as hell isn't off putting or intimidating. Acknowledging someone's experience allows for discussion, investigation, and conversation. Why does this person believe s/he has been abused? What events happened to lead to this conclusion? Who was present, how did this person perceive his/her role in the event? I mean, this is every day investigative practice. You can hug a person and acknowledge his/her experiences without convicting anybody until all the facts are there. How hard of a concept is this? And why is it not in practice anymore? For me, all of this increased media attention to Weinstein, Weiner, and the assholes at Mythicon, really highlights the systemic problems in reporting sexual abuse/assault/harassment. It shows that, yes, while the numbers may be coming down, how many actually understand or accept that what they have experienced was unacceptable? Especially if you ever bring up these experiences, people immediately do not acknowledge your experience, but outright question the validity, motive, and level of harm you experienced without ever investigating the actual events you are sharing? I know that the numbers are higher than what we see. Not just from under reporting, but lack of comprehension of what sexual assault/abuse/harassment constitutes. Many are taught to downplay these experiences from an early age. I didn't understand what my father did was wrong for many years. Not because I didn't know that it was wrong. I absolutely knew that sexual touching of my genitals, of my breasts, and penetration was wrong--- if a stranger did it. I had no idea that my dad could do those things to me. I did not have the concept that his doing it to me was the same thing as a stranger doing it. And I think that is where we need so much more education in our society on this matter. How many men/women accept the fact that sexual commentary is normal, and you just have to let it slide off? How many people feel like an absolute negative nancy when they have to put their foot down in these situations? And why do they feel guilty for saying no to people making sexual commentary that they are not comfortable with? Solution? It's education. We need more of it.
  3. #MeToo: Awareness Is Only A Beginning

    If you haven't seen it yet, there is a hashtag floating around the past week that says simply #MeToo. This is in response to the growing fire storm in the media this past week about Harvey Weinstein's despicable behavior towards women he worked with. Many have come forward alleging instances of unwanted sexual advances, sexual touching, and even rape. Additionally, some other male actors have come under close scrutiny after being confronted about their own behaviors towards fellow female actresses in Hollywood. Much of what has always been acknowledged in the movie industry is now becoming a banner to rally under for the respectful treatment of female peers not just in the acting industry, but everywhere across the United States. But, as I posted my own recognition of this very important hashtag, it brought out a lot of deeper reflection on what this is all about. This is not just about women coming forward and sharing that they have been sexually harassed or abused in life so that others do not feel alone in their suffering. This is about male victims too. And it is a physical showing of hands on the national stage. It is a movement that is putting a sea of faces out there for all to see and measure. It is showing the grim reality that it isn't a rare occurrence at home, work, school, or public bar scene. Turns out that sexual harassment and assault are more common place in our communities than most want to admit or ever realized. This is mostly in part due to under reporting to appropriate authorities. Under reporting is a tell tale symptom of the lack of support we have in our nation for those who suffer sex crimes. As a victim, I can appreciate this feeling of lack of support. In my case, police officers had my father's own admission, and they still insisted I go back home later that night after everything was brought out in the open. This is the cruel reality for many sexual abuse victims. An even crueler reality? There is a growing awareness in this country of what is happening, but it stops there and isn't blossoming into a larger community outreach to fix this problem. Case in point. Friend of mine and I were discussing my own sexual abuse and assault experiences, and he made a comment along the lines of this kind of thing is all too common a story among the women he knows. He then recounted how one previous girl friend had been raped by an ex that broke into her home one night, another by her father growing up. Another close friend of his had been molested by family members growing up. Then he recalled his own half sister having been raped repeatedly by his estranged father. He found out about this from his half sister some years ago. Even worse, her mother knew about it, and even watched and yelled at her during the event because it was considered a just punishment. All of this he found out years later from his half sister, and at that point he pretty much decided he would avoid his dad from then on. But our conversation didn't stop there. He then realized he knew at least two men who had been sexually abused in their youth. And then of course his own experience of being fondled by a Boy Scout troop leader when he was young. He often down plays this experience though, as he doesn't see how it has affected him other than it being awkward, and never went further than fondling. Nonetheless, our conversation really made him put into words what many are realizing this week: The majority of people he knows have been sexually abused, molest, assaulted, etc. What does this awareness accomplish after this moment? What do we do with this shared knowledge and perspective once we have it? Does it mean he is now more sensitive to trauma? Possibly. Is he going to call up his local city leaders and state level officials to start putting money into programs to help victims report the abuse? Maybe push for a counseling initiative? Or insist we get comprehensive sexual education in schools? Probably not. What do we do once we get others aware of the epidemic that is sexual abuse? Not everyone can be the activist that is beating down the doors of legislators to get funding in place. The reality is that this is where the local community has to step in and find their own initiatives to develop solutions to under reporting, lack of education on sexual consent, and poorly funded crisis counseling. It could be something as simple as volunteers getting schools on board to do two week elective classes on sex ed and consent. Or volunteering at crisis centers to man the phones and be that rock for victims to cling to at 2 a.m. in the morning after being hurt by someone they trusted. Awareness is a key part of the problem, but it is not enough. We cannot just leave it as sexually abusive behavior happens everywhere to everyone. If you cannot contribute money to funded education or crisis programs, consider contributing your time. Or at the very least, sit down and have that conversation with your kids, your parents, your neighbors, or a teen that you know is possibly struggling with these issues. Have the conversation and get them help immediately. Don't just be a visible reminder of the trauma, help fight it any way you think you can. #MeToo
  4. Dear Atheist Role Model: Sexual Consent Isn't Just About The Act Itself

    We've all got a country song or two in us, and this is one song I refuse to hear on repeat by people in my community who are role models in the atheist movement. :/
  5. I'm just going to say it. I have had it up to fucking here with the Atheist Role Model Who Is Causing A Lot Of Drama In My Personal Circle bullshit. This is utter BULLSHIT. I have had the opportunity to interact with him for a three years or so now. Granted, it was usually one sided, and when he wanted something, but I have been privy to a lot of background discussion he authors. Ever having a shoulder and ear that many of us mutually shared to let him vent his woes. In all honestly? I'd known him approximately 6 months, and tried to shake off my red flag warnings. But goddamn, once again, I should have listened to my inner voice. He is a dishonest person, and while we can't be perfect, repeat behavior like this is a problem. A little background as to why I am so vehemently stepping out here. As many of you know, I'd dealt with a dishonest man for 17 years. Prior to that? Well, let's just say my ex-husband didn't fall far from the tree on the standard mistake of men I have a penchant for. He was father of the year in the streets, a selfish bastard in the sheets. He would always tell me to communicate with him what I wanted, and I'll be damned if he would ever acquiesce. All the way down to coitus. He would ask my advice, if he didn't agree, he treated me as if I were infantile, and then of course, if he would use my advice? Declare he had come up with the chosen action all on his own. I was never considered a contributor, unless he was showing off his family. Relationship wise? Oh, we were monogamous, but he would serial cheat, telling the other women either that he was single, or in an open relationship. Of course he would insist I pleasure him on demand whether I wanted to or not (god forbid he went more than 3 days), and blame me for everything that ever went wrong. If the world wasn't in agreement with him, then surely something was wrong with the world. So, when dealing with a certain atheist super hero of the South, I began to feel an odd atmosphere of deja vu. I tried to shake it, but then the drama with a particular non profit erupted. And seeing and hearing his own testimony, behind private group doors, on what was going on versus what they said, I took a grain a salt from both parties. Worse, I let slide the fact this atheist "role model" only approached me if he wanted "crowd sourcing" ideas, wanted to be sure whose side I was on when I was reading through past posts of the non profit mess, or shared a thumbs up if recent pictures of my tits looked amazing. In all honesty, I could give two shits less if he didn't stay with the non profit, I just didn't want a good service disappearing due to drama that BOTH parties should have taken to arbitration. I know damn well if he were in the right, that non profit would have been on the hook for the arbitration bill, and vice versa. I now am faced with what I suspected he would do to a friend mine, who is also a former girlfriend of his, coming into reality. Trash and burn. And frankly, I understand that it is his relationship and none of my damn business, except... He violated consent. Not once, but at least three times. With his now ex-wife. With my friend. And now another friend. And I don't mean he sexually assaulted anyone, but he took sexual advantage. He changed the rules without consent. Cheating is a serious consent issue if you didn't know. If I am in a monogamous relationship, and I decide I want to sleep with other people and not clear this with my partner, or the other partner I am sleeping with, I am taking away their consent to the relationship because I have changed the dynamic of the relationship. Yes, if you sleep with a different partner, and the other does not know, a little bit of advice: DO NOT FUCK YOUR ORIGINAL PARTNER AGAIN UNTIL YOU TALK ABOUT IT. More partners mean more risks. Health wise, emotionally, and financially. I used to take a very different attitude about cheating. My standard rule of thumb has been if someone cheats, just move on, let it go, and treat it as another lesson learned. I no longer take it so lightly because of the earlier mentioned reasons. I've been a victim of disease being brought to my bed. I've been a victim of the emotional toll of desperately trying to save a relationship I was told was still monogamous-despite his cheating. And I have been a financial victim because I had to move almost immediately as my ex-husband couldn't stand me living in the home if I wasn't going to be in a relationship any longer, or wouldn't at least still fuck him in the mean time till I moved. And I have walked the fine line of cheating, more like disappointing future expectations, but still came clean before engaging my partner again. I gave him the option to stay or walk, and he walked. Deservedly so. I gave him the choice to continue. I gave him a voice. I didn't lie. I didn't hide my actions. I didn't seek to possess him on terms that would have been against his will. So, I do not take this continuation of behavior as just a "life lesson" that this role model continues to repeat. Does he really need consent explained? I highly doubt it. In fact, I think he needs to be honest about who he really is, and what he wants in a relationship. Quit being a coward. If he wants an open relationship, then go into a relationship that is open. Do not promise whatever the lover wants to hear in order to have this person in your life, making you feel special and wanted. That person is not there for you only, and selfish desire is never a good reason to manipulate someone to get what you want. If this person isn't open to being open, then you can't lie and violate them like that. No, means no. You will just have to live with the rejection and move on. FWIW, my ex-husband got 17 years of my life. 17 years of constant lying, possessiveness, secrets, disease, narcissistic torture, and violation of my consent to the terms of the relationship. He never once said to me,"Kate,I cannot be in a monogamous relationship." He never gave me the opportunity, or even show the respect to allow me to participate in our relationship. No, he used me. He abused my role as mother and caregiver. He also stood on the backs of countless other women in order to fill his starving ego and insecurities, and he also used them to punish me, and further his career that took him out of town for weeks at a time. This role model for secular and exiting religious alike, is violating consent on every level. It is disgusting and below him, especially when writing "“We are a sex positive community if we are nothing else. Personally, I’m proud of that fact, because as a former Southern Baptist I am so very done with the body shame and antiquated approach to sexual relationships that I inherited. But people also use the freedom this affords to exploit others and take advantage of them." What he is doing isn't just a small matter of cheating. If what is said is to be trusted, he outright abandoned a family he created, and then proceeded to wreck another. So why am I acting like I have any part of his circus? His behavior has had a negative effect on my own social life within certain secular circles. I passed up on what he refers to as a "fight club" get-together last year because I knew he would be there. You know, some of these gatherings are a very intimate settings, and the idea of even shaking his hand, or worse hugging him, made me sick to my stomach. I skipped out on two conventions because I knew he would be there, and there was no way I was going to stand by with a happy shit smile. And the fact I am passing up on events to avoid him, and the drama attached, is bullshit. Who is he to have this effect over me? I will tell you. He is a trigger zone of red flags for me. I know his fan club will be jumping all over me, and so be it. Unlike the majority of them, I have dealt with him on a much more intimate level. I've seen and read enough from his fingertips to be justified in my scorn. To be clear, my scorn isn't for him to personally answer to. He owes me nothing, and this word salad might seem unnecessary to many, but it's my rally cry for him, and others like him, to get help. This role model is burning out fast, and I don't know if he can see it. So let me hold up that mirror for him, and let him decide. He can claim that this is me projecting past bad relationships on to him, but it isn't. His own actions have triggered my own warning flags to stay away and avoid. Please do better, oh Southern Secular power house. Your own kids could be your next victims simply because of the example you have set. ****Special Entry Update**** I have screenshots from the accusers, and am not going to retract one iota of what I have penned here now that I have read it all. I am glad they are working together to not only share their experience and eventually put the screens out there, but are keeping a stiff upper lip with the absolute hatred they are receiving in the fall out. There have been some who question the use of words and phrases like "sexually violated", "sexually assaulted", etc. I leave that up to the discretion of the accuser, as I am not in her shoes. I will say a violation of consent is most definitely an issue here, and I stand by my assessment that the women involved were most definitely sexually taken advantage of by this spokesperson I am blogging about here. Don't like it? See my field of fucks, and that it is barren.
  6. What is your opinion on Alex Jones

    He is a charlatan making money on fear and escapism. Like much of the rest of the US pundits.
  7. And Then it Happened

    Not as bad as our friend's experience here on this blog. I, at least, mostly just dealt with threats. I couldn't imagine having to face down an entire community of church members.
  8. An Extra Facet Of Coming Out

    I'm working on it. Part of me is still reserved on the whole thing. Like, my heart says this is where I am heading, but my brain is like "out for more analysis".
  9. An Extra Facet Of Coming Out

    I see the term "pan" be panned by a lot of the lgbtq community, so I'm hesitant to use it. I just leave it as I love who I love. I don't know completely how I feel about myself yet, but I definitely need to quit putting on a visual that I just don't like at all. Pronouns don't matter to me as much as others think it ought to. I don't have a problem being referred to in the feminine. It isn't a big deal to me. I would rather folks just call me by my name hahaha
  10. An Extra Facet Of Coming Out

    Actually, I do like old white men....
  11. And Then it Happened

    I tell you, my parents used to threaten to put me in front of the congregation all the time for whatever I did wrong. The thought of if was terrfiying. I'm sorry you had to experience this and have to censor who you are. Just isn't right.
  12. Hi This Site Is Awesome

    Welcome to the site! I love this place. I cannot stop coming back because the community here is very supportive and insightful. Hope you like us and become a regular!
  13. An Extra Facet Of Coming Out

    I have severely scaled back participation in Pride and LGBTQ community activism over the last year or so because I have reached a major crossroads in my life during this time. I openly have lived as a bi-sexual woman for approximately a decade. I have also added a slight addendum to that and expanded my bi-sexuality to include those who are also genderqueer, gender fluid, and trans, as I have really found I am attracted to pretty much anyone. I have come to realize I will love and be sexually attracted to just about anyone out there. There is no specific type that I look for. I do not know if this is being worded correctly, as trying to explain my emotions do not always come out as a clear message on paper or blog pages. With all this rehashed, this past year I have been trying to figure out how to describe a larger elephant in my closet that I have not truly addressed head on, nor have I even attempted to just kind of word salad it out in mildly veiled inquiry. Usually I like to crowd source my perceptions so others can help me verbalize better what I am thinking. I literally struggle with this. There are days I would describe my feelings as brown, or my attitude as a number. I can't make it translate into intelligible words when leaving my brain where others can actually understand what the hell is going on up there. I am kind of reaching a breaking point, and maybe I have the correct letters and punctuation to make it all present itself in an understandable dialog. Somehow, I doubt it, but here goes. For the first time today, I used the word dysphoria. This is a big deal for me. I have thought about this word for the past couple of years or so thanks to so many of my friends out there being able to put a word to what they are feeling when having trouble accepting their physical selves. This word they used gave me a starting point to discuss with my own therapist, and of course research it, in order to see if it somehow applied to my own emotional state about my personal self. There has been a lot of personal conflict and nights of quiet contemplation for hours on the subject of what I am. I use the word what, because I know who I am. I am Kate. I am funny, have a bit of dry with, a need to be right, an avid lover of all things robots and scifi, and I have goals in life for my later years where I will be so happy with my family that all the past years of struggle will be eclipsed by the few I will have left of joy. I know who I am. And this is where I might be using all the wrong language, so I am so very sorry if I offend anyone with my words to describe my journey to find the what of who I am. Little thing about me most don't know. I consider my gender the what of me. What are you? Male, female? Gender has always been a what for me. It has never been a part of the definition of me, as if I have always treated it as optional. I really do not know where I got this from. My parents never exposed me to the LGBTQ communities growing up. Some have said it is probably from me disassociating myself from childhood sexual abuse, and for awhile I bought into that a little since I had no other explanation. My therapist and I discussed this finally, and he seems to think my doubts are well founded and this has zero to do with the sexual abuse I went through as a child. We have looked back on my childhood, and I shared equal enjoyment in things that would be considered predominantly male and activities seen more as female related. The same was true of dress, hair style, and everything else you can think of. One thing is very clear. I never really latched on to the idea of gender roles at all, let alone worried about being perceived as male or female. I only worried if people got my name wrong. And I always corrected them and got offended if they insisted on not calling me correctly. On a side note, it still deeply hurts me today when people butcher my name, and keep on insisting on it. I have a boss that does this now, and while I actually love her dearly, it hurts she insists on calling me what she does despite my protest. Relationships. Public image versus my personal image. My general attitudes. Anyone that follows my public work, sees my secret group postings, or has dated me, will undoubtedly say,"You obviously do not have a problem with being female. You use your feminine wiles, you try to appear attractive as a female, and you certainly enjoy sex toys designed for females. So, obviously, you don't hate your vagina or breasts." I'm not saying any of this. Again, my female body is part of the what I am. And after being abused as a child, and trying to survive abusive relationships, one tends to use their body as a tool. It got me through some pretty tough times, and it has given me plenty of pleasure. What can I say, orgasms are amazing. I love sexual intimacy. Yes, some days, I adore my curves and the little button I was born with, and other days it disgusts me, and I wish I could trade out for other experiences. My body is a what. It's like a canvas that I get to decorate and find innovative ways to create fun visuals and sensations with. The past year I have come to realize that more often than not, the pretty images I share on profiles, the extra effort I put into looking nice on a podcast, it isn't for my benefit. It is something I've been in denial of for awhile, and I just need to admit this isn't me being too poor to afford taking care of my look. I have been in a steady, and rebellious, direction of no longer doing this to myself. It has been depressing me. No amount of make up will make me happy with who I am when it isn't a visual that I want to wear to begin with. This is my dysphoria. This is where my elephant in the closet comes bursting out. I have come to finally put the words together for something that has been in my everyday life for too long. I would say I am on the fluid spectrum of gender identity. I don't want to wear the pretty eyelashes, mascara, or any of that. Or at least, not for the reasons I have been doing so. The pressure to look appealing is hard enough, but to do it in a manner that doesn't fit what you are seems to make it worse. My clothing wardrobe is experiencing a similar deal. I had to go shopping for an outfit for an important job interview, and while I told my lover that the store just didn't have any complete suit sets available, the reality was that I was revolting against the idea I have to present myself in a strong, feminine, power outfit. I just didn't want to do it. I got overwhelmed walking around that store looking at all these clothes and thinking how I would rather have a nice shaved cut, some gel, and a flat chest with a fit shirt and slacks. Little touch of lipstick would be good, and just some foundation to even out my face. I didn't want to be feminine at all for my interview. And then there is a festival coming up and there is a sundress I would love to wear with a floppy hat and some sandals, and my painted toes to boot. Welcome to my struggle. Hopefully I can get this in a more understandable format at some point. If I could offer a plug into my head and you feel it all, I would gladly share. Anyway, thanks for reading. <3
  14. Forum shutdown concerns

    I too am super happy so many answered the rally cry. I posted the pay pal link and issue everywhere I could think of. I hit up a couple podcasting networks too. I hope they become regular sponsors.