Author:Paul Gilmartin

My Gender Doesn’t Fit Into a Box: A Guest Blog by Kasey

[About the author: Kasey is a queer, polyamorous, genderqueer person finding their way in the world. They have a pet hedgehog, and aspire to be a librarian one day. You can read more of their writing, on gender issues, mental health, abuse, and so much more, at Valprehension (http://valprehension.wordpress.com/)]

 

Hi, I’m Kasey, and I’m genderqueer. And yes, that is a new word that bunch of weird (or rather, probably queer) people made up in the last decade or so. But it’s also an important word, at least for me, and for many others who feel the same way. So, I wanted to share with you all what it means, because the more people that know this stuff, the easier life will be for…well, I like to think that it’ll help everybody, really.

 

So, gender is a really complex thing, and it has a whole lot of different facets. Rather than talk for hours, though, I’m just going to show you something, and talk you through the less obvious parts of it. This is the Genderbread Person:

 

Genderbread-2.1

 

This little dude wants you to understand that sometimes our biological sex (or the gender we are assigned at birth by our parents and doctors) doesn’t line up with the gender we feel we actually belong to or have most in common with (this is what’s called a person’s gender identity). This means that not every male-bodied person is actually a man – some people with penises are really women. I think most of us are at least aware that transgender (or Trans*) people exist, so I hope this part is fairly simple to grasp.

 

But there’s another aspect that the Genderbread Person identifies: gender presentation. I think that this is the one that most gender lay-people don’t really think too much about, though it’s extremely important to most Trans* identified people. Gender presentation is all about what we look like to other people, based on our grooming choices and what we wear, as well as how we behave, what our voice sounds like… the list could go on. Trans* people talk about how their genders are “read” by the general public, and when a person decides to change the way they present themselves publicly, there is usually a progression, where they go from being read mostly as their birth-assigned gender, to being read sometimes one way and sometimes the other, until they finish “successfully” transitioning and are pretty consistently read as the gender they identify with.

 

It’s important to note, though, that gender presentation doesn’t have to reflect someone’s gender identity. I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of a butch lesbian. While I want to make it clear here that not all masculine-presenting women are necessarily lesbians, I find this example useful to point out that it is possible to identify as a woman, and to also prefer to put forth a masculine image to the world. And of course, the reverse is also true.

 

The Genderbread Person also includes the facet of sexuality, which isn’t actually all that relevant to gender. But it’s important to include it here, because the point is supposed to be that you can’t assume a person’s sexual preference based on knowing their biological sex or their gender identity (i.e. not everyone is straight), or based on their gender presentation (i.e. not everyone with a non-standard personal presentation is gay, or lesbian, or bisexual). These are four completely separate aspects, with unlimited possible combinations, and isn’t that just so exciting?

 

But yeah, what does any of this mean for me? I already said that I am genderqueer. What this means is that my gender identity is neither as a woman nor as man. I don’t feel comfortable with either category, and I decided I didn’t want to choose, so now I identify as none of the above. For the sake of clarity (though there’s really millions of ways that genderqueer people might fall on the spectra), I’ll help you out by defining myself according to the Genderbread categories:

 

Gender Identity: one of the example people in the image under this category is “genderqueer”, and I feel like it’s important to differentiate between this, and “nongendered” – the point here is that I can identify with some aspects of “woman-ness” (I was raised as female, and share a lot of experiences with women) and other aspects of “man-ness” (I brain sometimes works in ways that are considered to be more masculine) to the point where it makes no sense to me to pick a side. I should also say here: this means that I prefer not be called “he” or “she”. My preferred pronouns are they/them/their.

 

Gender expression: I’m all over the place on this one. I have short hair, and I’ve never worn make-up. I shave under my arms, but not my legs. Most of my clothes for now are pretty solidly feminine, because I don’t have much of a budget to get a new wardrobe, but I can get away with borrowing my (male) partner’s clothes, since we’re the same size). So, some days I just simply present female (which it’s easiest for me to do, as I haven’t been able to afford to get myself a binder for my chest or a packer (i.e. a codpiece designed for Trans-masculine folks)). Sometimes I aim to be read as masculine, though that’s a bit of a crapshoot, and usually most people still look at me and think they see a woman. Mostly I like to be androgynous – I want people to feel unsure, and possibly even uncomfortable, about my gender presentation, because I want to send the message that I can’t be put in those boxes.

 

Biological sex: this is the simple one, for me, though not for everyone. I have a vulva, and all of the parts that are traditionally associated with that. Although I haven’t tested the theory, I’m fairly certain that I am capable of growing a fetus inside me, and giving birth.

 

Attracted to: I’m attracted to people of all kinds of gender identity/expression combinations. I don’t identify as bisexual, because it seems kind of silly for me to identify my sexuality in terms of a gender binary when I’ve rejected the gender binary. I usually just identify as “queer,” because that’s suitably ambiguous for me tastes, but omnisexual might also work.

 

But, all of this is really analytical, and I’d also like to get more personal about this whole thing. The thing is that identifying as genderqueer can be really hard work, and emotionally draining in some ways.

 

In fact, sometimes I even feel like my whole gender identity thing is just really silly. Does it really matter what pronouns people use for me? In practice, it almost kind of doesn’t, since basically all strangers everywhere still use words that match my biological sex to address/talk about me, since I am almost always read as belonging to the ‘corresponding’ gender. The “best” I could aim for in my general interactions with the world at large would be to create a personal presentation that resulted in a healthy mix of masculine and feminine pronouns from different people – but that kind of straddling the line is dangerous and scary.

 

The thing is, I’m not super emotionally affected by whether people remember to use the “right” terms or not. And of course all of the people I’m out to about it are people who would never have judged me based on my gender anyway, or expected me to fit in some sort of gender box in the first place. Because they all are awesome like that. And the whole point that my desire for gender neutral pronouns is kind of intended to make is that the gender boxes our society naturalizes are silly, and constricting, and dumb, and they all pretty much know that.

 

But.

 

Gender fuckery can sometimes give me a really great sense of fulfillment. It makes me feel more centred and myself when I know that I’m with someone who is actively supporting my ongoing effort to reframe the way I conceptualize myself. Because ultimately, I think that’s what it’s about for me. When I think of myself as a woman, I have a sense that I am somehow failing at that – and while there’s all kinds of methods of dealing with this kind of problematized self-image, and lots of people defy gender boxes without changing the words they use to describe themselves (there’s plenty of comfortably female-identified but super butch women out there), this is really just what feels right for me, and what makes me feel most able to just be me. And that’s worth a lot.

 

I also think that a big part of the silliness I sometimes feel comes from a more generalized problem I have with being vulnerable to other people – I almost always feel similarly silly about asking for things I want sexually, for instance. Because I’m asking for something from someone else, and they could turn me down or laugh at me (not that this has ever really happened), and regardless of how legitimate or central to my sexuality the request may be, it always feels trivial in that moment for some reason.

 

So I guess, yeah, I totally acknowledge that every single one of us possesses our own combination of traits that society defines as feminine, and others that are defined as masculine, and I’m not trying to suggest I’m anything special in that regard; I’m really not. But I like the idea of making explicit the fact people don’t actually fit these categories – not least since so many people actually really think there’s something wrong with not fitting in certain ways.

 

My favorite comment I got in response to the various comings out I did last year was this: “…retraining neural pathways on gender & requiring frequent thinking about it seems inherently desirable, really.”

 

Yes. That.

 

0
0

Baron Vaughn’s Fear and Love list

Since I spaced on doing a Fear Off and a Love Off with Baron, I thought I’d have him send his list to me and post it.

 

 

1F. I’m afraid I’m a fraud destined to become a jaded hermit.

1L. I love the smell of bacon on a saturday morning when I was 6.

2F. I have a fear of airplanes crashing through my window. Every time I hear a plane overhead, I pause and wait to see if it’s coming at my building.

2L. I love the sound of the ocean, but the beach can go fuck itself.

3F. I’m afraid that not only is there no getting out of my current financial slump, but I don’t deserve to get out of it.

4L: I love rising to a challenge and digging myself out of a hole just to see that I can do it.

4F: I’m afraid I’ve dulled the tools I need to dig myself out of a hole and am incapable of rising to any challenge anymore.

5L: I love when I find a genuinely good hearted person living their lives with dignity like that bouncer TJ that works at that place in Chicago where the “Comedians You Should Know” show takes place.

5F: I’m afraid that I’m misunderstood by the misunderstood, that I’m too hard for the soft, too soft for the hard, or just plain boring.

6L: I love to question things we’re taught to default value, to rethink, reexamine, read, relearn, and apply.

6F: Sometimes I do those things to a fault, and fear that I have misinterpreted fucking everything.

0
0

Baron Vaughn

The actor/comedian (Conan, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central) talks about his struggle to feel “authentically black” without betraying who he is, the state of comedy in the black community, honing his artistic voice, and his  nerdish, turbulent childhood especially with his alcoholic mother.

0
0

Email of the Day: Listener Ryan on coping with his trauma

Paul

 

I am 40 yrs old. My last memory of feeling normal was at about age 5. That day a neighbor asked me if i wanted to come see his train set, and i naturally obliged. Not until age 26 did i start to remember. Although the actual sexual events by this pedophile remain murky in my mind, the terror or trauma  that seemed to displace my real self is very memorable. Escaping from the situation and then being confronted again and being told by my abuser that he would kill my mom if i told anyone. I still feel the disassociation, murky grey,mind haziness from that day. I believe this was the genesis of at one point disabling depression that would hit me about 5 years later.  From about age 10 onwards i was abused at school, and emotionally “tortured” by a couple of relatives—the perfect storm—at too young an age—the recipe for mental disaster. I was no angel either all the time, but i tried to be good to everyone and please them.  For many years starting in my late teens i read books etc, and worked out daily to relieve this anxiety stress i always felt. Shortly after high school, having no friends, and anxiety, bi polar depression – i though i would end it by taking up smoking and drinking as a life habit as i felt no where, with no hope and no chance for hope, except in substances. Being too prideful to ask for help, i unknowingly, by trying to solve it on my own, became paranoid, defensive, angrier and happy to be my own worst enemy. Putting cigarettes out on my hands felt good. Cutting my face so people at work would ask me what happened made me feel good. Telling myself ugly things about myself felt good. I told myself for years that i am alive because of alcohol-the only thing releasing me from my pain. I eventually worked to what i thought was a more balanced person. Yet, no one would have anything to do with me and if they did, i quickly destroyed it. My depression felt being locked in a steel box, chained to the floor with a pin hole of light i would see maybe once a month or so. I would use positive visualization etc to no avail. The only thing was alcohol. It was my best friend. I have destroyed to date all potential / relationships outside of family-even my extended family does not like me. I didn’t like me.

All this buried stuff i guess came to ahead last year as i suffered the most terrifying experience that made 30 yrs of depression look like a vacation in comparison. I cracked and now heard a voice telling me to do horrific things. Images of demons and faces in my minds eye appearing from no where. Anxiety in full bloom i took to Internet where my fears of being possessed threw me over the edge. No sleep for days, total disassociation. Feeling the same again as that abused little kid.

I have been on klonopin for some time and still drinking. Seroquel also helps to. Progress. I am doing better now after some research and having been in therapy. The biggest help has been to realize that the initial trauma as a boy, launched my brain into rewiring itself. I am not my thoughts, my brain, and certainly not the false self-aka the ego. I didn’t even know i had an ego and how much of a prick it is-wanting to protect but too dumb to help. Since age 5, i have been living as my false self- under total control of ego, one i never knew existed. Since making this realization i would have to say i feel much less depressed and anxious. I now KNOW i have been re-enforcing my brains neurological pathways for some time, and i know it will take time, work, and perhaps more medication, to return to my real state. The only thing real in the universe, is love, i think. How that manifests into we know materially etc – only the source of it knows- and its love. With ocd thoughts, i know they originate from an anxiety ridden brain, from associations of the past. Time to forgive and be grateful and realistic and know that if it doesn’t come from love-its not real, it doesn’t exist.  I know people have been through much more horrific things than i have and have made it thru. Thank you for being an inspiration.

0
0

Giving Up Her Baby – Valerie

Valerie, a listener talks about the painful decision she made to give her only son up for adoption years ago when she was 18 and living with her Catholic, divorced mother.  Recorded via Skype so the audio quality isn’t optimal.  First half of the show is the interview, second half is surveys.

0
0

My Horrifying Intrusive Thoughts: A guest blog by Michelle

I was about to take a bite of pancake when he asked me if I had any past traumas he should know about. I paused, caught off guard. It was a blunt question, but I also didn’t know how to answer it. We’d only been seeing each other for about a month. I don’t like subterfuge or insincerity. But something told me that it wasn’t a great time to dust off the ol’ “I was afraid I wanted to fuck my dad, my brother, and every older male figure in my life for most of my childhood” anecdote. I suddenly didn’t want pancakes anymore.

 

A couple reasons for my hesitation. The obvious one is that you assume the person hearing these thoughts is going to be disgusted and high-tail it promptly after your admission. The other: I questioned if it was even fair for me to consider those moments “traumatic”. As far as I know, unless I suppressed memories of molestation somewhere down the line, these intrusive thoughts came out of nowhere when I was a kid (roughly around 10-12 years old) and have persisted ever since, to varying degrees of severity. How presumptuous of me to wear that word – trauma – as if I earned it. I’m just a fucking freak with a fucked up mind. No one did this to me. I did this to me, somehow. As if it’s a rotting part of me that I can’t control but am still responsible for, like a misbehaving child.

 

And that’s how I’ve begun to think of it. As a child. The first time I did this, I was in my therapist’s office. He was encouraging me to consider the possibility that my brain wasn’t just a vindictive, manipulative piece of shit. He suggested these thoughts and my severe anxiety were – at one time – a defense mechanism for me. An old machine with some faulty, mismatched wires. He encouraged me to personify my anxiety. If I could put a face on the part of my brain producing these thoughts, what would it look like?

 

Out walked 10-year-old me. She came and sat in my lap. She was sort of oblivious that anything was wrong, but she wanted to be held. 23-year-old me started to cry. Is that what this has been all along? That scared little girl never went away? The one that cried in the shower, the vice of anxiety around her chest, begging God to take away these thoughts – that she would do anything if he would take the thoughts away? Is this her way of calling for help? I felt, for a brief moment, like I understood myself.

 

Then two weeks later I watched a violent movie and now I can’t tell if I’m turned on by gore and death or if my brain is idly sending signals to my genitals. Fucking 10-year-old. It doesn’t matter how many articles I read about intrusive sexual thoughts. It doesn’t matter if a doctor explains to me that the brain can produce sensation anywhere in the body if it focuses enough. I suddenly forget what actual arousal feels like. I can’t tell the difference. I’m a monster again. I want people to suffer so I can get off. That’s who I am.

 

By that token, I’m also a pedophile, a homophobe (but I’m also lesbian sometimes, apparently), violently racist, incestuous, I’m into bestiality and necrophilia, and once I was afraid that I might be a holocaust denier. You’d think that was something you would just know about yourself, but that’s the funny thing about intrusive thoughts. In reality, you would know if you were any of those things, with certainty, if they were true. But your brain seeds doubt like it was telling you to breathe. You lose objectivity. So you tell yourself that you need to know if these thoughts are really you. There has to be a way to figure it out.

 

“I know!” you decide. “If I think about these things, and I don’t get aroused, then I’m home free! I’ll just test it.”

 

Remember that thing about the brain producing sensation anywhere it wants? Now you have all the evidence you need. You’re a fucking monster, and you’re sure of it now.

 

Except, that isn’t how it works. Some part of you knows that. Just like 10-year-old version of you is relentlessly hitting the panic button, 25-year-old version of you is helplessly screaming at you that you are not your thoughts, and for god’s sake you know the holocaust happened where the hell did that one come from?

 

Sometimes you win. Sometimes the kid wins. As a general rule, the kid’s victory is always more prolonged. But fuck if I don’t try to be kind to her. I sometimes pretend she’s my daughter, hoping that’ll evoke some sort of motherly instinct of compassion and protection that will quell my anxiety.

 

Trouble is, moms are supposed to love their daughters.

 

0
0

Christian Finnegan

The standup comedian (Comedy Central PresentsChapelle’s ShowBest Week EverCountdown with Keith Olberman) opens up about the tragedy and parental mental illness that shaped his childhood and still affects him today as well as his struggle to trust and feel confident about his future.

0
0

Italy’s View on Female Addicts: A Guest Blog by Violetta Bellocchio

So last year I was at this house party, secretly complaining about how everyone was lamer than advertised and no one got I was all done up as Edie Sedgwick – also, another Edie showed up and she was skinnier than me, totally annihilating the competition without even trying – and Mardi Gras is a bit of a chore when you can’t drink (or get high, or whatever), but at the same time: I had been on (mild) antidepressants for a few days then and I was supposed to buckle up and write a Nonfiction Book about Addiction in Italy, which I was Contractually Obligated to Do, but it still made me feel so dumb and short-limbed and shame-bombed I couldn’t quite bring myself to talk about it. So I smiled, I guess. There was a lot of smiling and non-committing going on.

Meanwhile, a girl dressed as Sookie Stackhouse got so drunk so fast you’d never tell she’d been sober in the first place, EVER. She couldn’t walk anymore, she couldn’t talk anymore.

I looked on, as a guest made a number of calls in the space of maybe five minutes. She needs to leave. She needs to go home, She can’t stay here. He really sprang into action, that guy. He talked the girl into leaving the party; he arranged for a cab to pick her up; he escorted her out, a small, sure hand on her back, and he got her into the cab, made sure the driver had the right address, enough money for the ride.

Later, as I thanked him for taking pity on her, he downplayed it all. He was still pretty worried about The Girl, but at least he did something. He physically extracted her from a situation that could only get worse; he made sure she could Go Home, be safe. Smart guy.

As a female partygoer put it, thus ensuring she’d always be remembered as Female Partygoer, Sookie had «a bit of a habit» with public wastedness; AND, «she’s always super embarrassed about this stuff when she thinks about it».

This is the closest thing I’ve ever seen happening to an intervention on Italian soil.

Before that night, I’d never much cared for the guy – he came off as a loud, overdramatic sort, and once he’d spent thirty straight minutes over dinner extolling the virtues of Thor’s abs, so I stopped hanging out with him, safe in the knowledge I was his female counterpart in the eyes of mutual acquaintances. (Hey: you gotta protect yourself.) After that? He was My Hero for a while.

Also, the person I’ve been calling «the girl» was in her thirties.

A thirty year old woman, getting wasted at one of those things – «a small gathering of friends», i.e. a house party packed full of people who just happened to work in the same field as her. The quickest, surest way to gain some reputation, as professional women around here are supposed – expected – … requested? – you get it: they HAVE to be able to hold their liquor, to know when to stop. How to stop. Stick three fingers down your throat, count the glasses, drink some water, pace yourself. Pacing is very important, my dear. Control yourself. Show some restraint in your lack of fucks to give.

Sookie was – is – a hard-partying lady. All business. Someone who – to the best of my knowledge – has always semi-pitied me for my abstaining ways, but still. A friend of a friend. She was the Best Man at a wedding I got invited to.

I know how it works.

I should know. I was an addict, an alcoholic, a girl who routinely binged on a bit of everything, before figuring out that binge-something was a thing now. That my lack of commitment to a single substance to abuse was par for the course, not yet another sign of my general fail at adulthood.

When I stopped doing everything bad all together, four months after turning 28, I decided my only chance of Not Ruining This For Me was shut up about the person I had been; if I kept silent and worked hard, I’d get a brand new start. I could get everything I wanted.

A few of the things I shut up about:

– being hospitalized at 25 for what my medical record called ebbrezza alcolica, so: not quite alcohol poisoning, but close? The record states, upon being admitted to the hospital, «la paziente appare agitata, disorientata» and «she refuses to speak Italian, choosing to express herself in English and Spanish».

[ – I can’t speak Spanish. At all. So I was either possessed or magically gifted, it’s kind of your call now. ]

– stumbling through very literal woods, pitch black, looking for my way out of a rave and back to a tiny train station, two hours away from Berlin; I can’t tell if a map had been drawn on my hand, but I don’t think it had.

– finding myself in Bologna in the morning, knowing I’d left Milan the previous day to see New Order play in a Turin park, and I’d made a surprising number of drunken decisions, culminating with me following a guy all the way to Bologna just to get a hotel room from 10 to 12 AM; a month later I was staring down a pregnancy test, praying I could get out of this one without giving the guy any say on the abortion I was OBVIOUSLY going to have. (No abortion in the end. Still, it’s the principle of the thing.)

– whoring myself out for the opportunity of raiding a supply closet / medicine cabinet and a 60/40 chance of scoring. (This I was always more willing to go easy on myself for; I’d say, the drugs. I remember it made me feel gritty and realistic at the time.)

– bracing for an inevitable hangover by listening to Stretch Out and Wait 19 times in a row, right before dawn, in my parents’ empty apartment.

I got clean when it crept up on me: before I could die, for real, I had to take ten-fifteen-twenty more years of this.

I lucked into a support group at 28. Didn’t touch a drink ever since. I’m one of the precious few, the lucky ones.

Of course, the way I went about being good was :

a. never admitting out loud I had been That Girl, over and over, despite staircases of evidence to the contrary;

and b. giving myself a fresh new trauma whenever I did remember something about That Girl.

Any time something she’d said and done popped back up into my head, I held my breath, I  shut my eyes. I went no no no no no. It wasn’t you. It never happened.

I used to slap my hand against my head, thwack, whenever holding my breath didn’t cut it.

The price to be paid: panic attacks, anxiety attacks, long- and short-term memory loss – always a pleasure to deal with, especially when you’re writing a book about your own misdemeanors – and what my current therapist summed up as me being haunted by my past self.

Anyway.

I did end up doing that book. Giving the small advance back wasn’t an option. Also, I’d broken down in horrible public tears, in a bar, as I was listening to Muse. (And as I cried I was like, of course, it had to be Muse, can’t think of a way to make this more embarrassing.) And I tried recovering what was left of my memory. (I’d say the process was 90% getting over myself and 10% writing down what came back. Stuff comes back.) I handed it in to a nice editor, who, once again, surprised me by asking if I could «be a tad more specific here and there» – so: get more dirt on myself – rather than politely requesting to tone that shit down. And I did end up including the Sookie Stackhouse bit – Sookie who was most definitely not dressed up as Sookie; nope, she went with something waaaay more hilarious in hindsight, but you do what you do to give other people the illusion of staying anonymous – BUT: I had reasons to do it. To go public about my residual shame, the smoke clinging to my skin all over.

Last year, I didn’t feel I had the moral authority to stage an intervention of my own on The Girl – after all, my social proximity to her has always been of the friend-of-a-friend variety; I didn’t know much about the places she came from, the state she was in.

What I could do: be a stupendous nag about it. Ask about it, in a roundabout way. The Italian way.

The day after the party, I called one of those mutual friends, someone who used to party with Sookie, a good friend. An empowered slut-person right along with Sookie, albeit, MAYBE, with a SMIDGE more sense in choosing who to shack up with on a longish-term basis. (MAYBE.)

So I called That Person up, and I told them what had happened at a party That Person had only put a five-minute cameo in, and then I asked, – does it happen often to her?. (And then I asked, – is it getting worse? – )

– Oh, no – , That Person said. – Last night was an accident.

– Ok.

– She had nothing to eat. She just didn’t pace herself. She was high, too.

– Ok.

– But I don’t really hang out with her anymore.

– Ok.

– Different lifestyles is all.

– Ok.

– How are you holding up these days?

– Eh. Same bullshit anyway.

– I know what you mean.

Then I think we talked about The Dark Knight. But I’m not sure.

I’m not sure anyone ever paid me the same basic human kindness, either. It’s too fun to have a screaming mess of girl shambling around, falling on her face over and over. That’s some quality entetainment right there.

And Italy thrives on that.

Female Partygoer, Wasted.

I guess it happened once – I’d been an obnoxious, fast drunk during a radio livestream. Some guy I barely knew called the station, a little after I’d pass out, and he said, alright, you had your fun, do NOT make a podcast of it. And he was shamed for it by the livestream crowd, I’ll tell you that. They said he was acting like a policeman; they accused him of being the white knight no one had asked for. Still, he could be an intimidating kind of guy, and I was spared a permanent stain on my reputation. One of many.

But that, I never knew. He never took credit for being kind to me.

I found out by accident, a few years down the line. (His ex wife told me.) By then I was already clean.

Last year, I had lunch with That Guy. I said thanks. He was, ah, don’t mention it. But he wanted me to mention it. Kinda like he’d been waiting for It to enter the conversation. And now I could handle it, he figured – he’d done the right thing just because he knew what  addiction does to a person firsthand. He’d lost people he cared about. Girls he cared about.

I still live in a country that denies alcoholism is a thing, at all; a country where binging and/or bulimia are framed as anorexia’s poor, unbecoming cousin, but the general public is more than happy to bitch and moan about the social alarm caused by compulsive drinking between underaged girls. Here, we’re supposed to quit our “bad habits”, our “embarrassing personality traits”, and shut up about it. Or, we can die out after a while, That works, too.

 

In the last 5 years Violetta Bellocchio’s nonfiction writing has been featured on the Italian editions of Rolling Stone, Vice and Grazia Magazine, national newspaper Corriere della Sera and monthly magazine IL mensile; She’s been a columnist on the (now sadly departed) current affairs magazine “E – il mensile di Emergency“, and has  covered gender issues on a weekly basis on Rivista Studio for more than two years ending last May.

 

0
0

Aspergers – Listener Louise

Her childhood marked with social stress, being bullied, aggressiveness and severe digestive issues (including Barrett’s Esophagus a condition involving acid reflux usually only found in adults) Louise was finally diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, also known as high-functioning autism.  She shares on what it’s like to live with it, how it expresses itself in her life and the hurdles society has to overcome in understanding and accepting those with Aspergers.

0
0