blogging

Am I a private person? I can’t even tell anymore

[This post is for the December 2016 Carnival of Aces, hosted by the A³ blog, on the topic of “Asexuality and Privacy“]

I have a… very strange and contradictory relationship to my personal privacy. On the one hand, I have been blogging pretty regularly, for almost four years now(!), about all kinds of extremely ‘private’ thoughts and feelings, around my gender, sexuality, and all kinds of other things.

I have also been systematically pulling my blogging persona and my general IRL persona closer together as the years have passed. When I started Valprehension, ‘Kasey’ was a pseudonym, but now it’s my legal name. I post links to my professional writing here sometimes, so y’all pretty much know where I work now. I haven’t explicitly linked anything in my professional persona back to here, but anyone who cared enough to do some digging would find this blog pretty easily.

On the other hand, I have always been weird about discussing my personal life with anyone but my closest friends. I’m queer, and non-monogamous; I am non-binary and have a non-binary partner; I am on the asexual spectrum. I don’t hide any of these things, but I also often just avoid topics directly or indirectly related to them because I just don’t feel like getting into these things. Back at my old retail job, even after I’d been there for over a year – and at the time I wore a wedding ring every day, for the record – people were still regularly surprised when they realized I was married. I just never really mentioned my spouse, because… um, it didn’t come up?

I think that in general, I want people  to know these things about me, but I don’t want to deal with their immediate reactions to them. This is why I find it easier to be open in online contexts than in-person ones, regardless of whether the people I am interacting with know me in real life.

…Or, maybe not ‘regardless’. I am always a little bit reluctant to connect with work colleagues on facebook, for instance, though I’d be hard-pressed to really articulate why. I think I just fear the moment-of-truth transition where people go from not knowing to knowing this sort of potentially relationship-complicating stuff about me, even though I’m happier once it’s over with, generally.

My ace-spectrum status in particular is one that most people are unlikely to ever know about me. Basically unless you read this blog, it’s not likely something that’s going to come up. In part this is because my relationship status pretty heavily obscures and misdirects people from even the possibility that I am ace (largely because of misconceptions about asexuality), and makes it even more unlikely that it will come up.

I can see it coming up if someone were curious about my dating habits as a non-monogamous human (since, as I’ve written about here, here, and here, my demisexuality is highly relevant in that context), but at the same time I prefer to do my coming-out about things implicitly, rather than by explicitly stating my identities: my queerness can be outed by the pronouns (and other gender-marked words) I use for partners (at least, when I’m dating people whose pronouns aren’t the ones that make people assume I’m straight); people may realize I’m non-monogamous if, for instance, they notice that I sometimes refer to a spouse, and sometimes to a boyfriend, or if they realize over time that the things I say about “my partner” at various times can’t possibly always be referring to the same person, etc.

I don’t think there’s any instances where me just talking about my day-to-day life would tip my hand about being demisexual, though, so ultimately this aspect of my identity is more private than many others, even though that’s not by design.

I’m not really sure what my conclusion here is, to be honest. But I do wonder whether some of this will resonate with other people, and I look forward to seeing the other submissions to this month’s carnival!

 

Blog Notes: New Series Page

I’ve added a shiny new tab to the menu: Blog Series!
From here you can get to a listing of my (past and current) blogging series. There’s also a separate sub-page for each series.

I don’t really know why this gets a whole post about, but whatever. It was a lot of work no my part, so!

In any case, this will make some stuff easier to find or refer back to if any of y’all ever want to(!?!?!?)

This is the sort of stuff I do when I feel bad about not writing as much as I’d like, tbh. But anyway:

made-a-thing

Just Keep Writing, 300 times over!

Y’all this is post #300 on Valprehension! How even?

Spongebob and Patrick (Spongebob's starfish friend) are floating in the upper portion of the image, against a background gradient from black (at the top) to white (at the bottom). Yellow text reads "300th *@%!# Post!"

I honestly wasn’t sure whether I wanted to acknowledge this one, or just wait for the big 500, but whatever, every hundred posts takes just as much work as the previous one, so I’m just gonna keep up with the centennial celebrations :)

The last hundred posts actually came out more quickly than the previous ones, with my recent tri-weekly posting blitz powering it through – I wasn’t going to commit to this yet, but with the end of my Genderqueer Challenge adventure looming large, I plan to find more blogging challenges to do in the future. It really keeps me in the habit of writing better than my other self-imposed schedules have managed to do.

Yay! *Spirit-fingers*

anigif_enhanced-8156-1438974226-2

Little rewards mean so much sometimes

For the most part, this blog exists for me. I find writing to be a really useful practice for helping me understand myself, and sort out my thoughts and feelings on all kinds of things.

I don’t put a whole lot of work into self-promotion, and my social media presence is minimal for the most part – I’m most active on my personal facebook, where I almost never link to this blog.

But sometimes I get a little glimmer that the work I’ve put into this little corner of the internet is helping other people. Someone will comment to let me know they relate to my feelings about gender, or that they’d never heard of demisexuality before, and that knowing it exists makes them feel less lost or broken.

Sometimes, though, the message is quieter than that. Less direct. Every now and then, I get a sudden flurry of views, (usually either from facebook or various email hosts), leading to my Genderqueer/Non-Binary 101 page. This happened again on (surprise surprise) National Coming Out Day last week.

And it warms my heart, always, to know that something I’ve written is helping other people be more open to the people in their lives, and (hopefully) move toward a more comfortable existence in their own gender.

It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that!

Dating while feminist

Relevant to some of y’all’s interests!

For those that enjoy my various and sundry social justice-y thoughts on dating, and especially online dating, check out datingwhilefeminist, which is written by past (and hopefully future) Valprehension guest blogger Spice.

You can also follow her general awesomeness on the Twitter @thepurplecoffee

Keep Calm and Just Keep Writing

Ever since WordPress added the “Insights” tab to the stats page, I have been fascinated with the pating activity calendar. I find it really satisfying to see my posting schedule line up in a regualar way. I also find it intersting to see the places where it doesn’t; it’s sort of interesting graphical depiction of my life, in some ways. Here’s what my last year looks like as of this writing (August 12):

Screenshot 2016-08-12 15.44.10

For reference, it was last August that my ex-spouse and I actually decided that we would stop living together once the lease on our apartment was up. I was also dealing with another break-up on top of that. I was posting on my regular schedule at the time, for the most part, though. In September I was also mostly unemployed (I had a gig on Sundays only), which made it easier to find time to write. In October though, I went back to my old retail gig, which involved a lot of twelve-hour days, so between that and obviously dealing with a lot of emotional stuff, my posting dropped off dramatically (there’s usually a two- to three-week delay between things happening and my posting schedule showing it because when things are running smoothly, I usually have posts scheduled that far in advance.

Somehow I managed to get my shit together for a bit in the new year, but then by March (the month we actually moved out) I gave myself another break.

Since then, though, I have been this awesome power house. There’s definitely a few things contributing to that.

For one thing, April is when I started my new job, which is great and energizing, and also (significantly) very part-time. So I have lots of both the time and energy required for writing!

Deciding to the the Genderqueer Challenge has also been helpful for keeping me writing – I will not be keeping up with a three-post/week schedule once its done, though; I’ll be back to my regular standard of “Every Wednesday for sure, and Mondays when I have other things to say that don’t feel like they deserve a Wednesday slot/when I’m so far ahead of schedule that I’m comfortable with an increased post frequency.” But the challenge has inspired some of the non-challenge posts I’ve written in the meantime, helping me keep my regular writing flowing.

But even given all that, I am doing remarkably well with producing content lately (I keep thinking I’m going to hit a week where I at least skip the Monday post, but I keep finding things I have to say that I can slot in there), and to be honest, it is partially a coping mechanism. There are some extemely important aspects of my overall life goals and plan that are massively out of control right now, and that’s giving me a lot of anxiety attacks. And it’s also making it more important to me to keep solid control over the things that I can. It helps abate those feelings of powerlessness that I am otherwise dealing with. I can look at this graph whenever I want be like “see? I do have shit together.”

Which is overall yet another way that keeping up with this blog is quasi-therapeutic for me. So for the time being, here’s me:

justkeepwriting

Blog notes: Get to know Valprehension all over again!

Those of you who pay serious attention to this page may have noticed this already, but a few weeks ago I put together a “Best of” for this blog, highlighting some of the most well-loved, read, and commented-on posts I’ve ever published. Feel free to check it out – maybe you’ll find a great post you missed the first time around, or one from before you ever came upon my little corner of the internet.

Also let me know if there’s something I’ve written that’s always stuck in your head and that I should have included but didn’t.

Here it is, the Best of Valprehension!