Friday, 02.09.2018 - 8:18 pm.
I had a very nice day today, in part thanks to a misunderstanding. My friend Eric and I signed up for a seminar with the word "Queering" in the title; there wasn't much information on what it was truly about (research methods), but the word lead us on. It had nothing to do with LGBTQ issues at all.
It's my first time falling for queer bait, haha. It was a rather weird, not entirely appropriate use of the word in the context of that not-queer-at-all seminar, but Eric and I stayed for the first section of it. The talks were interesting but, again, a bit misleading and also somewhat disorganized. At least I got coffee and danish pastries before the seminar began. We left during the lunch break.
We had pizza at a pub inside a park, with the view of a tiny lagoon in the center of the park. We hadn't gone out in a while, Eric and I, so it was cool to catch up, just the two of us. I told him that yesterday I had a long chat with the bloke I mentioned in my last entry, one who started in the PhD at the same time I did. He's gay but horribly right-wing and with an exhausting, dare-I-say pathological personality. We've had a fallout (can't tell if he sees it the same way) due to those characteristics, and I've been scared of him since then, because of the way he aims to assert his supposed intellectual superiority over you. I was scared he'd go off at me in the Psych Departmental conference this upcoming May. He just jumps at you with long-winded questions that attempt to be logical but are just dumb ("so if you, according to your philosophy(?!), can change gender, why can't you change your age?").
Suffice to say he's textbook-quality transphobic, and one of those people who think that "the gay movement" has already achieved all it had to achieve; he's doing fine himself, as a gay man, so everything else must be fine and people just get so offended so easily these days. I've been avoiding engaging with him, online and in person, but yesterday he showed up in the office kitchen. Andrew and I were finishing our lunch, he came up to us in a seemingly friendly manner, and we started a friendly conversation about something else. That's the thing with him, you can have a nasty Facebook spat with him and the next day he approaches you like nothing happened. I decided to get on board.
We spoke for two hours, and I was proud of myself afterwards. I didn't even think it was a waste of time, for me it was like training, a workshop on academic speaking with the very type of people I wish to influence one day (and which makes me wonder if it's actually possible to reduce their prejudice). He made his questions, some of them stupid, some of them understandable, and I answered to the best of my knowledge. I didn't lose my temper, and I knew when to accept that he was not going to change. He may still aim to destroy me at the conference, unconvinced than a trans woman is a woman, but I'm not scared of that anymore. I held my ground, and I will do it again.
Anyway! It felt good to talk about this with Eric, himself gay and also an LGBT academic and activist, who knows the work is far from done and that we shouldn't take anything for granted in that regard. We had our lovely lunch and afterwards we walked to the Psych Department to get some work done. He also gave me a book of women cartoonists he got in London. He's such a sweetheart, I feel so lucky for having him in my life.
Speaking of finding people who are a treasure, today Andrew handed me a booklet. It contained information on how to support bisexual people, and he'd printed it (it was very neatly printed, looked like an original) when I came out to him. He read it then, more than a year ago I'd guess, and he was just giving it to me in case I found something useful, or I could throw it away. I've felt like crying every time I look at that booklet today. He really went and educated himself about who I am and what that meant. Andrew is a wonderful man, I love him so much.
One last note before I sign off: I feel a bit bitter about my comic strips. No, not about my comic strips per se, I think they're great. What makes me bitter is that no one else seems to think so. No likes, no comments, no shares, no feedback at all. The one I published today seemed very important to me. I know how weird this sounds but these cartoon characters are my family, my safe place to vent and explore. They deserve to be loved.
I'll keep doing my cartoons and writing, though. As I said last week, I'm not good at selling myself and conducting business, and anyway, I've always written for myself. It's always been me talking to myself, so in a way I'm not surprised that no one else talks back. I know I should get my work "out there" if I'm looking for that sort of validation, but I don't know where or who "out there" is, and I don't think I could make a business out of my amateur skills. Still, it's something I often think about.
Also, I've been reviewing and re-editing my novel. Ugh, no wonder it didn't win, and I actually do hope it reached no one at the contest I submitted it to. Chronological and emotional distance are making me look at it differently now. I still like it, but I understand it's not a big deal. I wish it were. How I wish it were.
Anyway, no point on ending with a sour note, right? Let's acknowledge that today was a very nice day, not just because it was cold, windy and sunny, but mostly thanks to my amazing best friend, and thanks to my wonderful husband.
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