When I started Reclaiming Warlock (and its shrieking edgelord of a predecessor "Queer Subversion") things felt very different than they are now. I was able to funnel a lot of energy into things that are in retrospect very little more than just whiny in-community pedantry relating to things like what words Pagan, leftist, queer, and trans people should use for ourselves. And believe me, I'm not saying that you can't be concerned about these things, but I strongly believe we put way too much importance on them, particularly when it comes to policing what language others should be able to use.
So if you came here for classic works that have been linked from Tumblr to Tumblr for the past several years, works like:
- Why You Shouldn't Use An Asterisk In "Trans"
- Why Polyamory and Polygamy Aren't That Different
- Why I Reclaim "Warlock"
- Why Pansexuals Should Lay Off People Who Call Themselves Bi
- Why I Love "FTM" and Hate "AFAB"
- Something Something Heteroromantic Demisexual
That said, you can and should use whatever terms you feel are appropriate for you (while taking a good, long, honest look at whether you're being appropriative), the freedom to name yourself is important. But community terminology is not the Big Issue people make it into, and I no longer want to pump energy into projects that validate people's belief that it is.
A lot of my work is also badly out of date. My opinions changed a lot and I don't care to stumble on pages upon pages of stuff that makes me hard cringe every time I go to my own blog.
In addition, I made a big deal out of super petty concerns. I wrote a full on essay about some dipshit otherkin talking about "transgender privilege" (it was ridiculous but nobody gives a fuck what they think). In retrospect, my blog was a lot of political and social bikeshedding; I was drilling into small issues to avoid confronting bigger issues.
The outsize importance I placed on this had a lot to do with the naive belief that things were going to continue improving, even if they aren't going fast enough for me. But the last year has had such an incredible backslide that my focus on language and on super petty concerns feels ludicrous, like even pondering these things on my own time when literally the only other thing I would've had planned was playing arcade games seems like a monstrous waste of time. Caring whether people hate the term "FTM" or use an asterisk in "trans" feels like total bullshit when friends are frantically trying to acquire passports because your president is actively trying to destroy your livelihood.
The backslide has driven me to a degree of pessimism. I spent a lot of time being in the camp of folks who believed we could totally ~🌸save🌸the🌸world🌸~ if we just acted fast enough, that people who got in the way of our freedoms or who instigated environmental catastrophe were just ~🌸unaware🌸~ and that they just needed to be ~🌸educated🌸~ and I now know that this is bullshit, that a lot of people don't want to ~🌸save🌸the🌸world🌸~ and in many respects it's just too goddamn late to stop catastrophe from happening.
Don't be fooled, though: This is actually really freeing for me. When we spend time dwelling on how to change things that can't be changed or the impossible task of reversing time, we ignore real-world solutions, real-world harm reduction, real-world action because we have wholly unrealistic standards.
I've already taken my time to mourn that the world probably won't turn out the way that I want it to, and I'm ready to move on to things that will make an impact anyway.
Finally, but most importantly, there was the last straw. I was doing research on a news item I was tweeting about when I decided to look into where one of my high school teachers is now. I stumbled on a content aggregation website called MyLife which, predictably, outed me (probably by looking at court records). This isn't uncommon. Content aggregators have been scraping the internet, making connections, and compiling people's information since that technology became available to me. But it and the recent Facebook fiasco has me thinking more about my online presence and just how ridiculous it's gotten, how addictive it is, and how much of my writing out there is being connected to other information about me.
Back when I first encountered a content aggregator, it was about ten years ago and had carved information out of my Twitter to stick alongside my phone number and home address. It took years to get that connection severed. And with the political climate the way it is, that stuff gets more and more fucking scary the more I have to deal with it. If this were a blog my heart were still into, if I felt like I was improving the world by keeping it in existence, things might be different and I might find a way to deal with it otherwise. But things aren't different, my heart isn't here anymore, and with that, I will close.