Posts Tagged ‘lgbt’

I feel a little bad about it, but it seems I can never go through a cultural competence seminar about LGBTQ folks without getting annoyed at some aspect of it that I feel the presenter has gotten wrong.

A major one is conflating gender identity with gender expression. So many times I’ve had these trainings teach that gender identity is how masculine or feminine one is, or how much a person fits social norms for being a man or a woman.

NO!!!

That’s gender expression. Someone female assigned at birth may be very masculine and always wear men’s clothing while still identifying as a woman. That woman’s gender identity is “woman” but her gender expression is masculine.

Another person female assigned at birth may be trans and identity as a man, his gender identity is “man”, yet he may still have a feminine gender expression.

Essentially, these two thing can come in all combinations.

Gender identity is really nothing more than the gender one identifies as. The end. There are no rules for it, no qualifications one must meet. There is no test that will tell you your correct identification based on clothing, characteristics, or sexual orientation.

For myself, I am a cis women, and tend to be slightly more to the feminine side in terms of gender expression, though I often feel very mixed in terms of it as in many ways I am. I have many characteristics deemed masculine by society, an many deemed feminine. In term of appearance I’m pretty femme though I still sometimes prefer more masculine looks.

When it comes to how I feel about my gender I actually have a lot in common with many gender queer friends who are faab (female assigned at birth). The big difference though is that they identify as gender queer because of the ways they have felt out of place in terms of social norms for women, and for me despite the ways I have felt out of place in terms of social norms for women, I still identify as a woman.

That’s how it works! Gender identity is personal and based simply on what gender(s) you feel describe you best according to your own feelings and preferences. Often this matches up with gender expression, but it does not always an does not need to.

Bisexual Visibility Day

Posted: September 24, 2015 in About Me
Tags: , , , ,

bi pride flag

So yesterday was Bisexual Visibility Day/Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Seeing all the bi pride stuff on social media and hearing bi folks sharing there stories it got me thinking about my own identification. Background for those who don’t know already- I came out (to my friends) as bi my sophomore year of undergrad, and identified as bi for many years after that. Shortly after ending things with my first girlfriend though, which was just a bit over 2 years ago, I started questioning where I fell on the sexuality spectrum. It become more and more apparent that I clearly had a strong preference for women. Even before dating my ex-girlfriend, while I didn’t question my identification as bisexual I decided to stop dating men after a few dates with men where I found myself wishing I were on a date with a woman instead. So then I went through a phase of questioning exactly how much interest and attraction I have for men. A phase I’m not sure I’m really past yet.

What I know right now is that I prefer women, but I certainly have some attraction to men, but not enough to be interested in dating men in general. I could fall for a man I know in some other context, but since I so strongly prefer women, as a rule I do not date men.

Given that I’ve taken to identifying as queer, or gay, or a lesbian, but not bisexual anymore. These feel more accurate when considering that I am not interested in dating men. Yet, when talking about bisexuality it reminds me of how I feel torn between these different identities still. Falling between an even bisexuality and 100% gay, even as I fall closer to the gay side, I feel like in some ways I have one foot in each box. I only date woman which makes me feel pretty gay.

On the other hand, talking about the issues bisexual people, and in particular bisexual women, face, I feel a lot more solidarity there. Especially when it comes to the biphobia from lesbians. Which whether I call myself bisexual, gay, or a lesbian doesn’t matter that much, to many lesbians I am still tainted because I’ve slept with men. Even if identifying as a lesbian did give me a pass with some lesbians who find bisexual women untrustworthy and icky, those are not people I want to be around or associate with regardless. That feeling of exclusion because of not “picking a side”, or fitting neatly into prescribed boxes kind of makes me want to take up the bi label again, and wave a proud bi flag.

I have no conclusion to this, I still don’t know where I fall, but I figured I’d in these thoughts on bisexuality for awareness/visibility/whatever.

9.9affirmationsrun - Copy

Me right after I got home. Feeling terrible. And wearing my “Don’t Judge Just Run” shirt (says “I follow the Fat Girls’ Guide to Running” on the back).

So I went to a running group today at the local lgbtq community center. The group just started last week and I saw it on facebook an hour too late last week. I was already from that point planning to go this week, and it worked out pretty well because Julie choose a social run for the goal this week with The Fat Girls’ Guide To Running Clubhouse. That worked perfectly for me!

Though it was not incredibly social.

Initially I planned to walk there and back since the community center is walking distance from my house, but that plan changed because I was running late and also I wasn’t sure till the last minute what I wanted to carry with me so driving meant I could leave stuff in my car last minute.

So I got to the center right about at the start time, said hi to a volunteer I know, and then met 2 people there. I was incredibly nervous, nervous meeting new people, nervous because I’m not familiar with running groups, nervous because I’m a “bad” runner. Nervous even though the group specifically states it is open to runners and walkers of all abilities, which did make me feel more at ease but not to the point of not being nervous at all. We waited a little bit and just before heading out 3 other people showed up, so there were 6 of us total. The group offers a 3 mile route and a 6 mile route, though this time everyone was doing the 3 mile. The woman who organized it says she is doing just the 3 miles because she already ran once today and was not feeling well. So if 3 miles of running for her second run of the day is what she’s doing because she’s not feeling well, she is definitely way above me in running ability.

I also carried a bag with me with a water bottle which I don’t think I’ve ever done before. I don’t really run long enough usually to need to carry water with me- particularly since I run at night when it’s cooler with no sun on you. But with it being warm out and sunny, and me sweating from the heat before I even started the run, I wanted water to avoid ending up dehydrated (though I was the only one to carry anything with me).

The 3 people who showed up right as we were heading out were planning to walk, the other 2 planning to run, and me hoping to run as much as I could. So I started out at a pace with the other 2 runners but it was only about a block before I was falling behind even at a running pace. I fell far behind the 2 runners, and was still ahead of the 3 walkers, so I did the 3 miles by myself. It really didn’t feel much like being part of a group at all. Though that wasn’t entirely too bad, felt less pressure. Also didn’t have to try and talk which is good because I’m far too busy trying to breath while running to talk lol.

But since I went out planning it to be social, I also had no headphones in for music or an audiobook. So it was a bit boring.

I was a half mile in until I remembered that I forgot to set up runkeeper tracking before I left. It seemed silly to start it half a mile in so I didn’t. I didn’t touch or look at my phone the whole time. Which was also unusual for me, because I had no real measure of how long or far I was walking or running at any point.

I started out kind of bored and uncomfortable. I had several people in cars, yards, or standing on the street say things to me- all friendly. One dude told me “run, lady! run!” I guess that could be taken positively or not, I choose to interpret it as encouragement. Still I’m a bit uncomfortable with people yelling encouraging things at me. Something that happens less at night and if it does happen I can’t hear it because of headphones.

For the first while I did very short running and walking intervals. Was trying to stick with the 60 second rule of slowing to a walk for no more than 60 seconds at a time. Though counting it myself is unreliable. I got better with time at getting myself to run further distances by doing the “run to that fire hydrant/street/sign/tree”  and then changing it to a different object ahead once I got there. Around 1.5 miles in though I gave up on the 60 second rule because I was starting to feel ill and so decided I would walk as long as I needed to. I don’t know what made me feel that way- just bad tolerance for the heat? electrolyte imbalance? I headed out with my 64 ounce bottle of water filled up and it was near empty by the end, so I don’t think I was dehydrated. Or maybe it was the fault of running after a short fasting period? (hadn’t eaten in over 12 hours when I headed out). Though I’ve run before during longer fasting periods with no trouble, but then not in the same conditions (sun and heat).

from 1.5 miles until 2 miles I was still running a fair bit though slowing to a walk when I felt ill and walking till it passed. The last mile I mostly walked, and the last half mile ish was entirely walking at a very slow crawling pace.

By 2 miles in I REALLY had to pee (sorry tmi), so that was the biggest factor for my lack of running at the end. I can’t run when I have to pee. I’ve heard people complain about men who just pull their dick out in public to pee in bushes when they are out running and have to go, during this run I was definitely jealous of the ease with which they can!

Was about an hour and 5 minutes total when I got back to the center and rushed to the bathroom (which btw some group was congregated at the door and when I walked in I heard someone say “can’t someone lock the doors?” The fuck!?! It was over an hour and  a half before the center closes. There was a person leaning against one of the doors and I opened the other one so she wouldn’t fall, no one was leaning against the door I opened. I don’t understand how you wanting to congregate at the doors to the building should mean locking them to other people during hours the center is open. I was more angry about this than normally reasonable because of how badly I needed to pee and thus how bad it would have been for me if they had locked the doors to avoid the inconvenience of someone entering the building while they were congregated at the door.)

I didn’t see either of the runners when I got back to the center, but when I came out from the bathroom the walkers were there so they were not far behind me it seems (no surprise). One of them said “we did it!” and high fived me, we exchanged a small bit of small talk while walking out of the building and that was all. I am worried I didn’t come across as super friendly at that point but I felt so terrible it was hard to focus on anything except how much I wanted to just collapse somewhere.

I was so glad I drove because I felt like I was going to vomit any minute on the drive home.

It wasn’t even that it felt like a grueling workout though. I think it was mostly the heat/sun. Definitely feels different running during the day.

So even though it didn’t really go great, hopefully it keeps going on and I can keep attending 🙂 And I’m also really glad to have gone, met people, and got out of my comfort zone in many ways.

I at least thought about writing this awhile ago and couldn’t remember if I actually did or not, but I tried looking and didn’t see any post about this, so I’m assuming it was one of those things I thought “I should write a blog post about that” and never did.

I’m fat. It would make perfect sense in dating for me to want to date people who have a preference for people with my body type. Yet whenever I come across someone who self-identifies as a “chubby chaser”, or says they want a big girl, a bbw, or whatever else, I tend to avoid pursuing anything with that person. I actually have the same reaction to women who say they are only looking for femmes/lipstick lesbians/girly girls/”a real girl/woman” despite the fact that I am also femme, and the reasons are actually very similar.

Finding Someone Sexually Attractive Does Not Equal Respect

Ok, this probably isn’t really a “reason” so much as a side problem- but it is bizarre to me how many people have a preference for something in a sexual/romantic partner without having respect for people with that characteristic.

I’m starting with this because this post was largely inspired by a woman I met from Tinder not long ago. The fat issue was actually one of the least offensive things during the date, yet it still was offensive.

I met this woman from tinder and almost immediately she starts complaining about how fat her ex was, and how she was so fat because she ate all the time, and she complained about getting fatter, and so she just needed to stop shoving food in her mouth then, and on and on about how fat her ex was as a negative thing. Which was really awkward for me as I’m sitting there quite obviously fat, yet wanting to avoid any confrontation over this because that’s the last thing I want when meeting someone from a dating app. When I meet someone from a dating app/website and things do not go well, I just want to be able to be polite until it’s over and then never talk to you again.

This would have been bad enough, but was actually worse to me given that right toward the end of our meeting she starts telling me how attractive she finds big girls, like me, and has always dated big girls except once she dated a thin girl but did not enjoy it or find her attractive.

… You prefer big girls like me, yet still use fat as an insult after breaking up with your ex? It’s a good thing up until things go bad and then you will have no problem using it as an insult?

This seems to be a not uncommon problem. I suspect coming in part from treating fat women as a fetish, and objectifying us with that, and not seeing us as real, full people because of that.

I said a lot of this applies to me aversion to women who say they only want a femme and the same does apply with that too. Just as some butch women may prefer dating a femme, they still can internalize negative ideas about traditional feminine characteristics.

I’d rather date someone who sees me and respects me as a person first and foremost rather than a sexual object.

They Tend to be Attracted to a Specific Stereotype

I obviously cannot speak for all “chubby chasers” or women who say they only date femmes, I can only speak to my experience with people who identify this way that has caused me to have a negative reaction to people identifying as such.

Also, in both cases my reaction is not to the preference, but the sort of person who states front and center- and there does seem to be a difference (in my experience) between people who just have a preference and are more likely to pursue dating/sexual relationships with people with those characteristics, and those who go out of there way to announce such, typically on a dating profile.

In my experience people who have that strong of a “bbws only!!!!!” or “femmes only!!!!” preference tend to have a very specific stereotype of what that means, and I don’t often fit it, and I don’t want to.

For example, from the times I have dated someone who preferred “big girls” they would often discourage me from working out, because part of the appeal of a “big girl” was being soft, not having hard muscle under the fat. There is nothing wrong with having that preference, but I don’t fit it, and more importantly I don’t want to and I don’t want to be with someone who tries to push me into fitting the stereotype they have of a big girl that they are attracted to.

The same goes for femmes. While I’m certainly more femme than androgynous or butch, I will not always fit the “girly girl” stereotype, I don’t want to always fit that stereotype and I am so incredibly not interested in a queer relationship with strict gender roles around the butch vs the femme in the relationship.

It seems I always run into these strict stereotypes with people who identify as “chubby chasers” or make a big deal about only wanting to date femmes, which is the main reason I tend to avoid wanting to get involved with people who identify that way.

Image of a potato with text saying “I’m offended by this potato”

I am so sick of hearing folks talk about how terrible it is that other people make an effort to be respectful to other people- ie, caring if something they say is offensive. And images like the potato one here being shared around social media as oh so edgy! When did intentionally being an asshole become something to brag about?

This was going to be a facebook post but I feel like this will get too wordy for a facebook status, so blog post it is!

This is actually most recently inspired by conversations I’ve seen around a free pride (alternative to the main pride which many feel is too commercialized) in Glasgow deciding against having any drag performers at the event because some felt it would be offensive to some trans people. They apparently are working on changing this policy btw.

The thing is, looking at discussions about this- I actually saw a lot of really great and thoughtful discussions about this with people talking about the role drag has had in the history of the lgbtq right movement through time, and how it has been important for many cis gay/queer people and trans and genderqueer people in being able to embrace who they are. And some trans folks spoke about why they find drag upsetting, negative experiences with drag performers, and some cis gay/queer folks talked about why they are uncomfortable with drag performances- how many performers draw on misogynistic, classist, and racist caricatures yet it’s given a pass because it’s a performance/comedy/part of queer culture.

And then other folks but in with such insightful commentary as “haha pc police going overboard!”, “the movement to not be offended is imploding on itself!”, “if you are offended by anything ever just never leave your house!” and so on.

The underlying idea behind all that of course is that the thoughtful conversations that I previously mentioned are utterly worthless. Attempting to understand where other people are coming from and find ways to be more respectful to a wide variety of people is stupid. The cool thing apparently is being an asshole just for the sake of being an asshole. If you hurt someone unintentionally and they say so, laugh at them for being a human being who has feelings- what a loser!

The thing is, there is not actually any real movement out there to never be offended. What does exist is a lot of people who have decided “hey, let’s try not to be assholes!” Who actually care to listen to what other people have to say and perhaps make changes if what they are doing is upsetting people.

I don’t think “I’m offended” is or should be the end of the discussion. And the truth is, I don’t think anyone thinks that. That may be the starting point for a larger discussion that hopefully leads to greater understanding and empathy. It is certainly not the end all, be all it is made out to be by the same people who talk about “social justice warriors” as boogie men. (Because when being an asshole is cool, social justice is bad.)

If someone tells me something is offensive to them and why I like to hope that I would consider the point they are making. I would certainly not keep doing/saying the same thing for the sole purpose of hurting them, because I’m not a sociopath. I recognize that other people are human beings with feelings, and I try to be respectful of that. If I have a reason to say something that I feel is important though, I will say it. Take for example “queer”. A lot of people, especially in my experience older people, in the lgbt community find the term offensive. If I know someone who find it offensive I will not purposefully refer to them as queer to upset them, in fact I will do my best to use their preferred identity to refer to them specifically. I won’t stop using queer in general though, because it’s still the term I feel best fits my identification and I’m not ok with being told how I’m allowed to identified. There is actually nuance to these things. And there is a huge difference between using a term because it has important meaning to you, and using a term just to upset other people or because you can’t be bothered to be considerate of the fact that other people exist and have feelings.

In contrast to my use of the word queer, many years back a friend called me out on my usage of the word “retarded” as a generic negative. And while my immediate reaction was actually rather defensive at the time, over the next few days I considered the point she made and realized she was right, and there was really no good reason for me to keep using that word. It took awhile to get out of the habit of using it, but at the end of the day there was no good reason for me to use that word. Whether I agree with people being upset by it or not isn’t even relevant, they are and it’s a word I have no good reason to need to use, so why not make an effort to be respectful? It’s not that hard.

And yet, for some reason instead of recognizing the nuance and purpose behind these discussion, there is a large portion of people who want very much to reduce this all to “haha, you’re a person who has feelings!” and cries about “pc police”.

I’ve actually been thinking a lot recently about being single and my feelings about it.

Now just a quick disclaimer here- first off I am speaking about my own experiences, and that is really all I can speak on. Similarly, because I’m speaking from my own experiences, I’m throwing a bit together here that isn’t all directly defined by being single. Some of this is also specific to living alone, and living alone in a house- I could be single and still not have that experience. But that is part of my experience with being single.

1. I’m comfortable being single

As much as I sometimes want certain benefits of a relationship, I’m also very hesitant of getting involved in one- mainly because there are so many perks to being single! I was talking with someone about this and they suggested it’s normal to be afraid of getting serious when you’ve been hurt before… but that’s not how I feel. I’m not afraid, least of all of being hurt. There was a time when I was hesitant of dating for that reason, right after coming out of two back to back abusive relationships. But now? I’m not afraid to get close to people. I’m not afraid of having my heart broken. And honestly I’m not even afraid of the risk of abuse, because I know I can get out and I can survive any of it.

Damaged people are dangerous, they know they can survive.

Quite the opposite, I’m just not about to give up all the good things of being single quickly or without good reason. And I notice that after spending most of my adult life un-attached, I’m very comfortable in being single right now.

Now part of this is liking the perks of being single, especially living alone- things are my way, I don’t have to share, I don’t have to accommodate someone else, I don’t have to accommodate their schedule, or worry that my dirty clothes all over the house or general clutter will bother them. And I don’t get annoyed because someone moved my [insert thing] and now I can’t find it!

someecards says: “Yes, I’m single. And you’re gonna have to be pretty amazing to change that.”

But there is a deeper level to being comfortable being single as well- I’m comfortable with myself! I’ve seen friends who just can’t be single. They get antsy and uncomfortable spending mere weeks without a significant other. The result being they jump into relationships not because they found someone who they are so into they really want to be with them, but because they just really want to be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. Most people I’ve observed who do this, seem to be rather uncomfortable with themselves alone. Being alone with yourself can lead to some deep reflection on who you are. If that makes you uncomfortable you either have to make some serious changes in yourself… or you just try to avoid being alone with yourself long enough for that to kick in. The latter can be a lot easier! There is also an issue with social acceptance and this ties in with being comfortable with yourself though! I’ve had friends who told me they couldn’t stand being single just because they felt left out among coupled friends, or felt like they were judged for being single. There is this idea people have that being single means you “can’t get someone”. People tend to view being single as something forced on a person rather than something they would choose. This often is not the case, but if your single, you are going to come up against this stereotype. Are you comfortable enough in who you are to not give a damn what people think of you for being single?

By being single for so long, I feel like I’ve had to deal with a lot of these things, and so many more. I have grown and I am a better person for it.

2. I’ve learned I’m capable and I can handle myself

A big motivation for me writing this is actually just the mundane things about living alone that I’ve learned to deal with, or you could say even overcome.

For example, today I removed a dead bird from my backyard, all by myself! That may sound silly, but I’m pretty proud of myself for that!

Now, this was after getting some advice from my family who pointed out the common sense solution- use a shovel! I was a bit horrified thinking I needed to get a glove or plastic baggy and pick it up with my hand. We all have our strengths and weaknesses- I’m learning one of my weaknesses is that I sometimes I overlook the simple, commonsense solutions to basic problems. No shame in admitting I’m not perfect!

But this got me thinking about all the things I’ve had to do myself because- it’s just me! I also think most people could benefit from living alone a least for awhile for these reasons.

It’s funny to me, because there was a time I thought I couldn’t live alone! I thought I would always need roommates at least.This was due largely to a fairly serious phobia of bugs- all bugs. I could not deal with them. I could not kill them because that required getting too close to them.

It’s gotten a lot better over the years, and that is due a lot to simple necessity. I had to get used to it/figure out solutions that work for me (I still can’t get close enough to most bugs to kill them by squishing them with something, I  have to use raid that I can spray from a distance. But I keep home and garden raid on hand now so I can handle it my own way!)

Now, I’m also thankful that I was eased into living alone in a house, because I would not have managed going from living with my family to having my own house well. But rather I went from living with family to a dorm with a roommate and a hall full of other students and an RA. Then I tried that again the next year with a different roommate and ended up with a sociopathic, homophobic rooommate who did everything she could to make my live miserable every second of the day because she was upset at having a “gothic dyke like [me]” for a roommate (and this was actually before I was out!)

That was the push that made me brave living alone. I switched dorm rooms for the rest of that year and had a totally nice roommate, but still I decided to move offcampus and live by myself in a studio apartment the next year. Which gave me plenty of living alone experience, though I never had to deal with outdoor things.

Now I rent a house I live in just me and my cat. Which comes with so many more challenges than an apartment. I have to do yardwork- and venture outside and deal with all the  bugs in the process.

Yet ironically despite my general hatred of being outside with bugs, I like mowing the lawn and don’t mind most of the yard work. Which I’m thankful to learn about myself, I know I can handle things that I do not like- like disposing of the dead bird, or having to kill spiders myself. I also learned that I prefer certain chores that I would have thought I hated, and ones that are generally considered men’s work. I’ve had guy friends over who make comments about doing things like mowing the lawn for me or whatever and I’m just like… why? Yeah I’m a woman, but I can handle it! I live alone, who do you think usually does it?

So I’m glad to know that I can be self-sufficient. And again, I think that’s a big benefit to take with me when I do get into a relationship.

Oh, and to throw in a little bit related to the actual theme of this blog- lifting helps with this stuff too! Makes being a single, self-sufficient woman a lot easier. Today I was doing yardwork and hauled my bag of yard waste to the alley and filled it as much as I could with leaves and branches my neighbors keeping throwing on my part of the alley. So then I tried to drag the bag back to my house, but it was too heavy it didn’t really want to easily slide across the uneven grass. So I said fuck it, and just picked it up and carried back to my house. I’ll need to repeat the when I take it out to the curb for pickup. Certainly makes things easier when you don’t need assistance in lifting or moving the heavy stuff- just saying 🙂

I also suck at making lists- this should probably have more than 2 listed items…. oh well.

For some reason there is something… or somethings… about me some people just really hate. I mean, I never expect to be everyone’s cup of tea. But honestly I am surprised at times the amount of obsessive hate I get directed at me. Particularly the obsessive part. Like the folks who obviously disagree with me and clearly straight up do not like me, yet still apparently read everything I write here and on other websites- and check all my workouts I post online. I mean, I have a blog specifically identified as being about feminism, I expect the random nasty comments. That some people really get so obsessed though that they don’t just say “haha fattie!!!!” (<- real comments I get often) and move on but keep following all my activities across various websites- that was a bit unexpected.

But I guess I should have expected, I’m fat, I’m a woman, and I’m queer a dyke, several characteristics that mean a lot of people are very bothered by my mere existence on the internet. I actually try not to venture too far away from certain safe internet spaces usually (my facebook that is limited to those I have friended, and a few forums that restrict membership and are heavily moderated against hateful or harassing comments). Though I’ve branched out recently. Though I still won’t go on reddit. But I have this blog, and another, I use twitter now and then, and I started posting on instagram a lot and even made my account public, and I’m active on this fitness website called fitocracy.

The latter being the primary source of most issues I run into.

None of this should surprise me. I stayed out of #gamergate and mostly out of #shirtgate but I read about both and I know women who actively posted bout them. I know about the rape threats and misogynistic comments that followed those who did. I know about the doxing and many women who had the harassment go beyond the internet resulting in being stalked and threatened IRL. Women who no longer could feel safe in their own homes all for speaking out on the internet against sexism and in support of other women.

Misogyny on the internet isn’t news to me. But I stayed largely uninvolved in both of those precisely because I have limited energy to deal with bullshit. I have more than enough stress in my life already, and I do research that revolves around violence against women- when I want to relax and get away from that, I don’t want to get away from it by reading a bunch of rape threats.

And it shouldn’t surprise me running into so many issues on a fitness based website, it should be no surprise that a number of men who are interested in lifting feel the need to fuel that interest with misogyny and homophobia. Because it’s all about proving one’s masculinity which apparently means tearing down women and gay men.

And even though this is titled “haters gonna hate”, I wish I could sit here and say that it hasn’t changed anything for me and I just ignore it. I do my best to, but sometimes, it doesn’t work. I’ve deleted a number of workouts after just downright mean comments (not advice, just mean for the sake of being mean.)  I’ve started not tracking a lot of workouts online- not for the reasons I hear others use about just not caring about points anymore, or because they track other places instead, no- for me when I choose not to track something online it’s because I just don’t want to deal with comments from folks about how they are laughing at my workout.

I want to connect and talk to folks who have a similar interest and I want to celebrate progress, but I can’t do that without also opening myself up to all number of rude comments there, and here, and probably soon enough other places as well as a small set of people follow me around from site to site.

Part of my inspiration for this is when I see folks say this doesn’t happen, they don’t see it. Well, you wouldn’t if it’s not directed at you. Many of these exchanges have not happened in the open. I’ve deleted them on other sites, on this site comments need to be approved so if I delete it without approving it no one except me knows it happens. And so that’s part of why I’m writing this. To acknowledge that this happens, even though if you looked through comments here or elsewhere you would find no evidence of it.

And a big part of my inspiration in writing this is just how exhausted I am with it. I’m exhausted at having to put my guard up if I venture over to certain sites. I have to prepare for the backlash if I do something as radical as suggest that folks should maybe not use homophobic slurs. And it’s just fucking exhausting and there are so many times I just want to delete all my accounts, block everyone, and hide from the whole world because of this. Usually I get over that. I get some rest, get my strength back up, but the mental armor back on, and venture back out to deal with it all again. But god damn it blogging, tracking workouts online, and wanting to talk to other people about lifting should have to feel like that.

And it’s on a totally different topic but I am somewhat reminded of this article I read recently about Lena Chen’s experience blogging about sex. There are a number of parallels, plus it’s a great piece and worth reading so I’ll take any excuse to link to it.