I just discovered that I can do custom menus. (I didn’t realise this because I came to WordPress from LiveJournal, and while LiveJournal might have a great community, as a blogging platform it is actually fairly blah in terms of what I can do to build my piece of the net. I actually didn’t expect WordPress, for a free service, to have this many options – I was happy with pages, to be honest. But drop-down menus with direct links? LOVE.) So I’ve spent a day building custom menus, finding better ways to arrange my links and getting rid of extra pages I don’t need because I can directly link. I also properly categorised everything (LJ doesn’t have categories so I didn’t know how to use those, either). Now I just have to link the older posts on their respective pages (I still want those because I think the summaries might be useful if one doesn’t read the whole blog, although those people who come in and read ten or twelve posts at a shot make my fucking day) so people can find them. Voila, I might have an organised quasi-professional blog where things are easy to find!
(I want to apologise for the lack of cuts. I didn’t realise how fucking annoying the lack made navigating long-form writing until I was scrolling back through the posts looking for posts that weren’t categorised – my thinking was that because everything is automatically cut on Reader, I didn’t have to do it, right? No. Wrong. I realise I could have done that checking far more easily from the posts menu because WordPress actually has useful backend – this is how used I am to working without backend – but my ridiculous scrolling taught me that my blog was a fucking pain to read if one doesn’t intend to read it sequentially. I’ve now fixed this, and I’m sorry for not doing this sooner.)
So please enjoy, I hope, an easier-to-read blog.
I realised in all this that I write a lot about creativity, these days. Or creativity as it relates to other things. That makes sense: I’m a creative. I didn’t quite realise how much I was writing about it, though, until I started categorising those posts. It’s interesting in the sense that until a year or so ago I’m quite sure I had next to no opinions on creativity as it intersects with representation, personal growth and one’s minority status, and now it’s apparently all I think about.
Two things to promote, today.
One: I posted a new Port Carmila short story, For Your Own Safety, Lock the Door. This is a story I’m excited about because I get to introduce Valentine Browning, a sexy, outgoing, super-confident trans man. I feel this important to state, because this is the main reason I wrote him the way he is: he’s not sexy because he’s cis-passing. (He often doesn’t.) He’s not sexy because of his trans status; he’s not sexy not despite it. He’s just sexy and he knows it. I’m tired of trans people being depicted as comparing themselves to cis notions of beauty and feeling like failures; I’m tired of trans people being rescued/built up by cis people in order to learn a lesson about their own attractiveness. We get to see more Valentine in Whatever Great-Aunty Lizzie Says (where he rescues cis people from their anxieties) but even getting to write a little bit about him – a man so confident he can talk sex without caring what people think about him or his partners – is quite liberating.
I also get to show Steve’s first steps into gender fluidity by having him walk about Port Carmila and Abe’s house in a pair of platform sandals. Steve is quite confident about it – he knows Swanston is going to give him shit, but that’s not going to stop him – but the best thing I like about the whole scene is that Abe is also cool with it. I want stories where one partner comes out as trans/non-binary/gender-non-conforming and the other just nods and goes with it because they didn’t fall in love with a cis boy or girl: they fell in love with their partner, no matter their gender/sex/presentation. I know this doesn’t happen as often as it should in real life. I know people who have suffered through the loss of relationships this way. I know that, especially for monosexual people whose identities are strongly caught up in being het/gay/lesbian, this can be quite a confronting process. That is why, though, I want this depiction in fiction. Escapist idealism? Sure. Don’t we deserve that?
(Abe has many reasons to be uncomfortable in the relationship, but Steve expressing all the sides of his gender isn’t one of them.)
Two: my friend and now boss Emanuel Cachia is less than a week out from doing something so very exciting: starting a new business. Pro GamerS is the one-stop geek shop for Melbourne’s Western Suburbs, and we’re opening on the 19th! This is going to be my new employment home for, hopefully, a good long while, so if you’re at all local, please consider coming along and giving us some support. We’d love to see this thing take off and be a huge success. There’s not too many bosses that hire an openly-crazy queer who suffers chronic pain, so please, for me, do what you can to support this venture, right?
(And sorry, Emanuel, for writing the name of your business three different ways when posting. Yikes.)