Social Media Needs to be Regulated

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

Social media has been a hot-button issue since it initially cropped up and continues to remain so as old platforms die and are replaced with newer ones. However, because of the nature of the beast, it’s hard to even learn from what the older platforms did wrong so the newer ones can learn from their mistakes. They just keep on making the same mistakes over and over, and with our over-reliance on them, and their monetization scheme, there’s little end users can do to influence the way the platform is designed. Topics will get raised or buried in algorithms completely transparently to the humans who use them. Rules and censorship is applied unevenly and for often arbitrary reasons. Some foreign interests have even been shown to have a pretty massive influence on what gets promoted, much of which is targeted at destabilizing communities and spreading propaganda.

Facebook is probably the most notorious for their rules being being arbitrary and applied unevenly. The worst part is when you get in trouble, you’re generally not even allowed to know why. The refusal to even say what was done wrong is so scummy. That shouldn’t ever be an acceptable answer. That’s some secret police fascist kind of nonsense. It rings of “There is no war in Ba Sing Se.” Just disappearing people without a trace, notice, or even an idea as to why. How can you be expected to follow rules that aren’t rules? Also, how do some people end up in Facebook jail or outright banned like that all the time and I’ve only ever gotten a warning once and it was presumably for something stupid? I really don’t understand why they think that’s an acceptable business practice. It isn’t and they said as much when they tell customers “We understand knowing the exact violation causing your account to be suspended would be helpful for you to understand what to avoid doing in the future.” They know it’s bullshit but they don’t care because they’re not forced to care. They’re unregulated and unrestrained and yet we give up so much of our lives to them. This is why a large number of people have been migrating over to Discord as an alternative. It’s way more straightforward and there’s no content algorithm that buries posts under piles of adverts, “suggested pages”, and reposed chain-letter type nonsense.

Then there is the dumpster fires that are Twitter and Reddit. Twitter, now X…kinda, I don’t even really need to explain because everyone pretty much knows how Elon Musk bought it and immediately started running it into the ground with such bad ideas it’s hilarious, but also frustrating. Pretty much every decision he has made since obtaining the platform has been a mistake and it’s just a matter of time before the platform crashes and burns.

And Reddit…well Reddit is a dumpster fire of bad takes, toxicity, and idiocy.

The biggest problem with them though is their monetization schemes. The users aren’t the customers. The users are the product. It’s a social contract we all begrudgingly tolerate simply because we have no choice. Advertising has always been the main way that web-based companies stayed afloat and that only increased with the ways they can harvest private information for profit. They will always tailor their product, you, for their customers, the advert industry, not the other way around.

There’s no easy answers but coming up with those are what we pay our legislatures to do. That’s literally the job they are elected to do after all. Unfortunately congress in the states seem completely disconnected from reality and have no good answers beyond just flirting with banning various platforms entirely for this or that reason. If you ask me, what we really need though is a extremely nuanced, fluid response team for social media not unlike the FCC but more focused and with clearly defined goals. They could set the standards by which the regulations are created and enforced and respond to changes in near real-time. Bad behavior must be punished in a significant way. Google has proven time and time again that It’s perfectly willing to break the law with their system until forced to follow it and fines are rarely ever sufficient. They just get included in the cost/benefit reports to be considered by executives. That should not happen. Breaking the law shouldn’t just be a part of a revenue equation. We need significant jail time for CEOs. We need to hold the board responsible when they drive people to break the law for their financial benefit. And most of all we need these algorithms to be tooled to promote content that upholds our values rather than just whatever clickbait happens to be popular at any given moment. The way that so many people have become so disconnected from reality because of them is a huge warning sign we don’t take seriously enough.

We need strong regulation and we’re not getting it.

Love is the law, love under will.

Frustrated,
Vanessa

The Species Who Eats Itself

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

Recently Facebook has gotten some weird ideas of what it thinks I want to see. Lately it seems to think I want to read business management articles. I don’t know why Facebook got the idea that I want to be shown this kind of stuff but it’s given me a window into a very disturbing lack of humanity. The way these articles talk about people is just plain disgusting. Human lives aren’t just tools to be exploited. How has this species gotten so self-destructive? So self-cannibalizing? We’re a herd species. We’re supposed to be on the same side, struggling as a family for survival, not exploiting people for cheap labor to obtain hoards of useless wealth like a bunch of dragons. If I had so much money I’d be putting it towards improving life for the species as a whole. I’d see to it that nobody ever died of hunger. That nobody would ever go homeless. That nobody would be put in debt for getting sick or trying to become educated. To hell with yachts and fancy gowns. Give me a campfire, the love of friends, good food, and songs long into the night. If more people valued things like that, the world would be a better place.

Every man and every woman is a star. –AL. I. 3

These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men are fools. Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love! –AL. I. 11-12.

Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me. –AL. I. 51.

There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accurséd! Accurséd be it to the aeons! Hell. –AL. I. 41.

Love is the law, love under will.

Windows is Weird and Jank

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

I often get confused responses from tech nerds when I say I’d rather use macOS than Windows despite being primarily a Linux user and enthusiast. The common complains being that Macs are more expensive than PCs, and that macOS is so locked down. Neither of those things are true but that’s a topic for a different day. Anyways, it’s a relatively complicated conversation to have with someone who themselves are more or less happy Windows users because there is no sort answer and I don’t want to waste my time and theirs explaining every minute detail to them for them to understand. Especially since there’s generally workarounds for getting most things done with Windows even if it isn’t an elegant solution. So rather than all that, let me just tell you a short story about something that happened to me earlier today.

I’ve been working on a project recently and I finally finished it and went about putting together the release versions for the GitHub page. The Linux version was pretty straightforward to get working. I developed it on Linux after all. I already had it working so I simply packaged the whole thing up in a .tar.gz as is typical and uploaded it to the releases editor page. No problem. Task done. Then I went to create the Mac version. Third party Mac software is usually distributed in a .dmg fine for the macOS file system but I couldn’t find a quick way to package it up into one on Linux so I pulled out my old MacBook and booted it up. It was slow with how old it was but it was still fully functional. I packed the files for the Mac build I wanted to be created as a dmg into an iso and transferred it over to the MacBook via network. I then used macOS to extract the iso and then create the dmg. No real problems. Task done. Then came time for Windows to have its turn up to bat and hoo boy that was a nightmare and as of this writing it’s still not done. In fact, I had to leave it behind to go to an appointment and haven’t been back home to my laptop. Yet, even getting it to this point was already an ordeal. I figured I might as well type out the whole of it here while it’s fresh so next time someone asks me about it I can point them here to read this instead of trying to explain.

First off, I don’t own a Windows computer. I own an old MacBook and my current laptop from System76. The MacBook runs macOS as you’d expect and the System76 runs on their Pop!_OS Linux distribution. I have no use or desire for a Windows computer so I simply don’t own one.

Recently I’ve had this ongoing project I’ve been working on using primarily Python. It’s a fork of another project but the details aren’t important right now, just that I’m done with the project itself and I’m ready to put out the full release binaries.

Now, I’ve tried compiling Windows code via wine but it’s always breaks so I didn’t waste my time this time trying that. Instead, I put Windows 10 in a VM to compile the Python code and in short it was a nightmare. One error message after the other. I installed Python via the Windows store. You’d think it would be easy but no. Now I’m out of time to mess with it because of a prior obligation and it’s still not done. Despite having to leave, I have the time to write this during the break between activities, but I don’t have access to my computer here to work on it further.

So with my options so limited, I decided the best solution was to throw Windows into a VM and use that to compile the code. You’d think that was the easy route but it you couldn’t be more wrong.

So upon creating the VM and loading up the Windows 10 iso my problems started immediately. Microsoft disabled the option to make a local only account, at least on this version of the iso. It forces you to use a live ID so that was annoying because I use a password manager and had to type that mess in manually to log in. Then when it did, it named my account after my old email address I don’t even use anymore instead of my current or my Outlook one so that’s gross. Then when I finally got to the desktop I had to install the VirtualBox guest additions. That part is normal for a VirtualBox VM like this, even including with Linux, but it was still a step I needed to take, so I figured I’d mention it. Then finally I could use it so I went about installing git…only git isn’t anywhere in the Windows store that I could find so I had to fetch the installer from the website which had all these weird options when you install it that I had to navigate. Instead of just integrating with the existing command prompt or PowerShell, it installed a version of bash on my desktop to use to run git. Easy enough at that point but it’s weird it had to install its own terminal. Apparently neither command prompt nor PowerShell are good enough. Not clear on why exactly but at least bash is something I’m used to using so no issues there for me at least.

Next, I went about cloning the repository but found out Windows home folders are semi-hidden and the link on the taskbar just takes you to a folder called “My Documents” where it expects you to put everything in, not just document files. I don’t know why it isn’t a typical home folder like on other OSs. I remember that from the old versions I used to use years and years ago but I figured they’d have fixed that by now, especially since there actually is a home folder now. Yet oddly you have to get to it by browsing the hard drive. But then you quickly find out that the drive isn’t mounted normally, it’s in “My Computer” which is what Windows has instead of the root directory. Then the drive is only labeled by a capital letter which again I do remember from using Windows years before in my youth but it’s still weird to me that it’s like that. (Plus the drive letters start at C. A & B are reserved as floppy drives as if we still use those these days. Why they haven’t changed this is a mystery to me.) So I had to sort the home folder mess out and create a manual Projects directory in the semi-hidden home directory. (I say semi-hidden because it’s in “C:/Users” rather than just “/home”.) I was able to change the icon though so that was nice at least. I picked one from the list that fit well enough. So then in the fake bash I navigated to newly created Projects directory and used git to clone the repository…except I couldn’t. It wasn’t taking the address despite using copy/paste and it looked correct. It kept saying the https protocol wasn’t supported which makes no sense at all since that’s the normal way git runs. I tried the SSH option from gut hub as well to no avail. Googled why and found it was because Windows copy+paste adds an extra hidden two characters at the front so after you paste it, you have to set the cursor just before the h and backspace twice to delete the hidden characters. Then it finally worked.

Then I installed Python from the Windows store. No problems with that step…until later.

I also installed Visual Studio Code while I was at it. Then I found that for some reason it had added files to the home directory labeled with a dot prefix like hidden files on a Unix system but they weren’t actually marked as hidden in the Windows file system. Mind you, this is Visual Studio Code, the official Microsoft coding IDE, not some ported over thing or something from a third party. It’s like Microsoft forgot what platform they were developing on. It’s a Windows application from the Windows developer on a Windows system. Why in the world are there files named to be hidden on a Unix system but not actually hidden on the Windows filesystem? It makes no sense. I went ahead and hid them in the Windows filesystem as well. No idea what they were thinking with that.

After that, I went to compile the code. I went back to command prompt to do that, except it turns out Windows can’t just build Python from the command line into a Windows binary so I had to install this program using Python’s built-in pip utility to do that for me called pyinstall. (Which is a confusing name since it compiles binaries rather than packages them into installers.)

So I pointed that tool at the .py code file to compile…except command prompt said it didn’t know what pyinstall was. So then after a bit of research I found out I had to manually create a PATH entry for it in the advanced settings. So, following a guide, I opened the applications drawer on the bottom panel and typed in control panel. It came up but I couldn’t even find the option the guide described. After some confused hunting I realized it told me to type in system so I did and a different option came up called system but with the description saying it was the control panel. It said control panel but it wasn’t the same control panel I found before. So apparently Windows has two different control panels with different options on each and no obvious way to tell them apart in the launcher except the one only pops up if you search “system”. So anyways the second one was the one in the instructions and followed them to get to the tool to edit environment variables and added it’s full path which was long and convinced making use of the hidden AppData directory which I had to navigate. (Essentially the same as the .config folder in Linux I guess.)

Finally after all that, I went to compile the code using that python tool so I typed it into command prompt, pointed it at the .py file, and hit enter…and it still didn’t work. It threw an error. That’s when I ran out of time and had to leave. I’ll have to figure it out from there when I get home.

This little ordeal is a prime example of why I don’t like Windows. This is the kind of experience I’ve had every time I’ve tried to use Windows to do things that are normal everyday tasks on a Unix system like Linux or macOS. I don’t understand the structure. It follows nonsense logic without any underlying philosophy. It’s a total mess of patchwork binaries and SysWOW compatibility layers that makes no sense at all why it’s like that or any convenient way to learn it beyond trial and error, googling issues, and memorizing it. I don’t like using it. I hate having to compile it. Everyone who comes to my house with a Windows computer who tries to use the network services I have setup on my home server like printing things out has a hell of a time getting them to work and ultimately a lot of the time I don’t even know how to help them because nothing is there where you’d expect it to be and all the settings are a confusing mess and you can’t even go the route of directly editing the config files because for the most part there aren’t any. It’s all in this horrifying directory tree separate from the filesystem of keys and settings called a “system registry”. It’s like I’m using a computer built by a madman. In short, it’s janky, it sucks, and I hate having to use it.

Update: after coming home and messing with it for awhile I finally got it to compile and finished the project but I had to delete the Python from the Windows store and install a newer version directly from the Python website before it worked. I also learned you don’t have to use git in that bash emulator. You can use it in the regular command line.

Love is the law, love under will.

Fuck Microsoft,
Vanessa

A Love Unbound

For I am divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union. —AL. I. 29.

Do what thou whit shall be the whole of the law.

The idea that you have to pick just one lover is absurd to me. How could I ever be expected to choose? My heart never can be contained to just one person like that. It loves so many and to force it to detach from all but one seems cruel and unjustified. That’s like a mother being asked to choose among her kids. I’m so much happier with myself, my life, my love, and my future when poly compared to when I tried to limit myself based on societal expectations. I can just love freely and openly and it’s ok. For me that’s just so much better. Why should I have to leave one behind to chase another? What good could that possibly serve? This level of happiness, contentment, and excitement simply cannot be achieved when I’m trying to be monogamous. It’s not even just a sex thing I’m describing, it’s just love. Cuddly love. Tender love. Sharing and caring love. The kind of love that can give a kiss on the check and a kiss on the head then turn around and be as lusty as ever and it be ok. There’s a calm in that. There’s a comfort in that seldom felt elsewhere and it’s wonderful. Why would any god, much less a loving god, deny thee for this?

Love is the law, love under will.

Consumed by love,
Vanessa

The GOP is full of denial

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

There are a lot of GOP pundits and Christian pastors who are secretly LGPTQ . I was actually proposed sex by one. Republican getting paid an absurd amount of money by day but liked to hook up with trans women at night. I declined his offer and I told him off for not living authentically. This is far from an isolated phenomena. There’s countless examples where they got caught. So if you see a right wing nut job hating on LGPTQIA people, it’s extremely likely that it’s a case of Jungean shadow projection. To say nothing of all of the prominent GOP figures found to be child predators that have been caught over the years. If the GOP wants to find its groomers, they need to stop looking at LGPTQIA people and look in the mirror.

Love is the law, love under will.

Matter-of-factually,
Vanessa

Related: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW73Y17S8ZU

A Little More on DeWine’s Nightmare Executive Order

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I wrote a massive blog post about it when it first happened and it’s still pinned to the top of the feed on the homepage at the time of this writing and will remain until the danger has passed or there’s new information on the subject to update about. It pretty much covers everything there is to know about it but I felt like it was worth reiterating and expanding on various aspects a little further.

Firstly, it’s not too late to fight back and prevent it from going into effect. Right now it has not gone into effect yet and is open for comments. There’s another post with the relevant information on the situation and how to voice your opposition to it. I was given it from TransOhio when I reached out to them about it. I highly encourage you to voice your opposition to it ASAP. If enough people write in maybe they’ll reverse it or something. We can only hope.

Please send my main topical blog post to everyone you know to get the word out.

I think a lot of people are not doing anything who might otherwise be because because the GOP-slime managed to slip it through under everyone’s noses. They had sent up that transphobic bill taking away youth trans care that DeWine veto’d, then right after that he made this executive order that’s way worse than the bill even was, and it effects adults too, not just youth. I’m pretty sure he did that on purpose as a red hearing, to distract from the executive order. Worse, it seems to have worked, unfortunately. I could only find one news agency that was even talking about it when it happened and it was a small new outlet. None of the big dogs ever published anything on it that I’m aware of. A lot of what little else there was, was just dismissing it as having been vetoed, but that was the bill, not the executive order. Additionally they kept calling it an “administrative rule” rather than “executive order” which I imagine was to further obfuscate it from the masses and keep it from coming to people’s attention.

The vote in the recent election on reproductive rights and weed legalization has proved the state is more blue than it might outwardly appear, but the GOP controlled government isn’t playing fair. They don’t care about being an actual representation of their constituents. They just want to push their regressive agenda through no matter what anyone thinks of it and without regard to the harm it will do. They work to actively keep the people from actually being truly represented. They’ve gerrymandered the hell out of the state to the point that it’s extremely difficult to outright impossible for a Democrat to get elected in so many of the districts. It’s not unlike the Republican infestation situation Texas is famous for. Republicans know they can’t get elected on equal footing because nobody actually believes them anymore but those completely off their rocker. So instead of just having a fair and free election and letting the people decide, they’d rather hold power however they can without regard to anyone. Not only is gerrymandering a huge issue (and one both parties exploit to some degree) but also we see voter suppression in the GOP almost constantly. Pushing for unconstitutional things like voter ID checks and other measures to keep as many people from voting as they can. They know they’re actually the minority and that the majority of their supporters are on the older side. They have nothing better to do on election day and can afford pushing through standing in line in the middle of the day to vote, but not everyone can. A lot of people are stuck at work, busy caring for their kids, or any number of other things of the like. They can’t always afford to go spend an hour in a line just to tick a box. It’s frustrating this still hasn’t been addressed. What we need is to make election day a federal holiday and one with requirements for employers who insist on keeping people on even when it is a holiday to let employees go vote. They deserve to have their voices heard and their votes cast as much as anyone. It’s only fair to give them this. Granted there’s always early voting methods but they don’t exactly make it easy to navigate.

The Ohio legislature is a perfect example of how just how poor actual representation is in this state. It’s so majority Republican that they were able to force the afformentioned youth-focused anti-trans bill through into law anyway, despite the veto. It’s a bill turned law that’s seriously fucked up and going to cause a lot of otherwise preventable deaths. Gender dysphoria, when left untreated, is extremely often fatal. The only treatment that has ever worked to curtail the painful symptoms of gender dysphoria is transition and the quicker the care can start, the better. It’s absolutely essential to get on HRT and the other relevant treatments ASAP when you have it for the prevention of fatality at the hands of the severity of the symptoms. I myself, despite everything, still get passive suicidal thoughts* when my dysphoria level rises. Lately it has been centered on treatment I can’t currently have but desperately need. I am currently being denied certain treatments for largely arbitrary reasons. It’s frustrating and unpleasant to say the least. Having to jump through excessive and needless hoops to get access to long established medically necessary treatment that’s been proven effective for almost a century to resolve a medical issue is absolutely absurd, extremely harmful and downright disgusting. Can you imagine needing a “team” of medical professionals to diagnose you and give you treatment for diabetes? No. Of course not, because that would be absurd. It’s just as absurd in this situation when it comes to gender dysphoria as diabetes. Yet DeWine thinks this is a reasonable requirement to get access to appropriate medical care.

Gender dysphoria is as real and physical a sensation as pain or hunger. Despite this, people want to act like it’s just confusion on our part. Hon, I can assure you it’s not confusion. I’ve known since I was at least 6 years old, maybe earlier. We know who we are and who we’re supposed to be and that’s something only we as individuals can know for certain. It’s our true will. It’s personal; an experience completely unable to be shared. No matter how many hoops, hours of therapy, talks with a psychiatrist, etc you put in our way, we will always know who we are and will not budge on that. That is a fact that has been well established by our history and you’d know that if you ever studied it. Unless there is a direct concern for our safety, we’re forced to go into hiding, or something along those lines, we’re going to continue to seek treatment and demand the right to embody our true selves, even perhaps to the death.

We’ve been this way from birth and no matter what transphobic lies you spread or abusive and ineffective “treatments” you put us through (like so-called “conversation therapy”), it will never change that. We know it is in line with our true will on a visceral level. We know our bodies and what they’re supposed to be. Who are you to presume you could ever know us more than we know ourselves? Fool. We know our dysphoria and it’s as real and physical as anything else. Simply knowing it internally isn’t ever enough to curb the dysphoria and I can’t stress it enough that gender dysphoria needs to be treated with great expediency to prevent a fatal outcome. There’s nothing else to know or do about that. Absolutely no other treatment methods but transition have ever shown to be the least bit effective at fighting gender dysphoria than transition despite excessive and harmful trials and experiments often leading to the death of patients.

The idea that you can pray the trans away is patently absurd. That’s not how reality works. This reality being as it is, is just as true with trans people as it is with type 1 diabetes. To think otherwise is, simply put, foolish and ignorant.

These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men are fools. Liber CCXX I:11.

We are who we are and you can either accept that and be our allies fighting back against the onslaught, or you can get the hell out of the way. ‘Cause either way, we’re going to push back. With the changing of the æon we’re currently in we’ve grown and are here to stay no matter what you do, what you say, what you believe, or how you behave. We are here and there’s nothing you can do about it. We always have been despite the best efforts of our enemies to eliminate us. We will always be here like it or not. Even in ancient Sumer we were there. Even as we lived and sang our laments in the Temple of Inanna, the earliest records known to man, those written by the ones who invented writing, our lives and rights were recorded as ever.

To turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man are yours, Inana. ETCSLtranslation : t.4.07.3 120

All you’re doing if you stand in our way is delaying the inevitable, and you’ll find a lot of collateral damage and innocent blood on your hands that will never wash away. So instead of choosing violence of any form, why not choose love instead? Be better; walk with love and compassion. United as one people we are much stronger than we are divided.

There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accurséd! Accurséd be it to the aeons! Hell. Liber CCXX I:41

Love is the law, love under will.

With righteous indignation,
Vanessa

*None with any active danger of being followed through on though. My SSRIs and existing treatments are working for that aspect at least, so no need to worry.

In Defense of Being Obnoxious

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

Scenario: A female supervisor gives a short presentation during a meeting covering certain topics. Then a male supervisor speaks and needlessly reiterates what was already said as if she hadn’t said anything at all. Then later, the female supervisor mentions something really important and none of the men in the room pay any attention to her.

This is a situation I was told about by someone I know. It was something that happened at their job. I’ve omitted the names and other irrelevant context to focus on the core issue at hand.

People often act like I’m being unreasonable when I’m obnoxious about things but this exact kind of behavior is exactly why I do it. Men are known to often be utterly oblivious to the words, actions, and ideas of women and it is a social mold that persists into the present age despite all our great steps forward. There’s still a ways to go.

Reports of this issue most often is reported to be the case in a corporate environment and of course the ever-present and oft-discussed phenomenon of “mansplaining” is part of that.

I do think it’s worth noting that I do think we shouldn’t just be throwing “mansplaining” around as willy nilly as we sometimes do. When we do it looks bad on all of us and cheapens the term when trivialized. I think a lot of them are well meaning and just don’t realize what they’re doing. After all, in schools we’re taught to reiterate the question before answering it in order to ensure you understood the question correctly. Of course often that’s not even applicable but sometimes it could well be an example of that handled poorly. In any case, beyond that there’s also the autistic tendency to info-dump about the things they’re excited about and this shouldn’t be seen as a character flaw as such. I’m sure there are other valid scenarios too but these are the only two that come to mind. Still, even if justified, it’s a good idea for people to make a conscious effort to reduce such things as much as humanly possible.

In any case, many people for one reason or another won’t pay attention to you until you effectively force them to. It’s something I’ve had develop in my subconscious for my entire life.

Now, I recognize the above given example focuses on misogyny, and that’s absolutely a problem, but so much has been said on the topic elsewhere that I hardly feel like I have anything meaningful to contribute that hasn’t already been said ad nauseam so now I’m going to focus more on the other form of discrimination I’ve noticed that’s far less talked about.

My be-obnoxious-to-be-noticed strategy started as a child due to so often not getting listened to when I had what I considered to be valuable input to contribute. I think it’s probably not an uncommon experience for adults to ignore taking anything seriously that comes out of the mouth of a minor regardless of its merit, but I think that attitude is rather short-sided. Granted, I’ve been guilty of that in the past but I’m trying to change because I recognize when I was a teen I still had good ideas too, yet they often never got listened to purely due to age. It was absurd honestly. I mean, in any given group of random adults I’m usually one of if not the smartest people in the room, and that didn’t just start when I turned 18. If you took a room of 10 random adults and compared their IQs to a “gifted” teen it’s pretty likely that for several of them their IQ would be found to be lower than the minor.*

Even as a teen, I could come up with stuff other people simply can’t and I can formulate it into meaningful feedback with ease. I did so regardless of my gender or age. Pretentiousness has no boundaries.

I hate ageism in both its forms. Ignoring someone’s input simply for age related reasons is ridiculous. I have more than a few elderly friends and you’d better bet I’d stand up for them if called for by the situation and I do so without hesitation. Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you should just be dismissed without a second thought. Granted, I recognize senility is a factor to consider in many cases, but I think people overvalue that excuse and ignore things that otherwise have merit not out of a genuine concern for their failing cognitive abilities but rather out of convenience. It’s the content that matters, not the one presenting it. I mean, that’s essentially the genetic fallacy in action. When I get that old, I hope people will still listen to me when I have valuable input to contribute regardless of my age. I will assuredly try to do the same while I’m still relatively young. Obviously I’m not saying the crazy Christian fundamentalist in the street corner is worth listening to but there’s certainly people that age that are and we should respect and protect that. Some of our best beloved people are elderly and have good things to say and we should do a better job of not just respecting that but accepting it full stop.

Love is the law, love under will.

Determined,
Vanessa

*Yes, I recognize IQ is considered by some to be problematic, but that isn’t relevant to the point I’m trying to make.

Public Comments Opened for Anti-trans Rules

From TransOhio:

Public comments have opened for DeWine’s proposed administrative rules restricting healthcare for trans and nonbinary people—both youth and adults—in Ohio.

ODH & MHA NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU! Send an email to respond to the rules.

To: ODHrules@odh.ohio.gov; MH-SOT-rules@mha.ohio.gov

Subject Line: Comment on Gender Transition Rules

Message: These proposed rules fundamentally change how Ohio systems operate, burdening providers and devastating patients. Governor DeWine publicly stated that medical decisions should be left to patients and families, not the government. These rules are unwanted, unnecessary, and very likely unconstitutional. I oppose both rules, because…

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We forgot to mention that comments are public, so you might want to be careful about including personally identifiable information.

Take “Tranny” Back

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

I think we should take the word “tranny” back the way so many other slurs have like the word “queer.” Being trans is not a bad thing. Being trans shouldn’t be the subject of ridicule. It’s transphobia that certainly should. There’s nothing inherently negative about shortening “trans person” to “tranny” except in the malicious use by those who are our enemies. This is our word and we own it. We always have. Much like so many other reclaimed sluts though, it’s still not ok for cis people to use it.

Love is the law, love under will.

Determined,
Vanessa

Then They Came for Me

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

Once again, trans lives are under attack by the GOP.

DeWine just created new “administrative rules” stripping away trans rights right after vetoing a bill that does the same on a smaller scale. Disturbing and terrifying to see this villainy has come to my home state.

The GOP has already been working to strip trans people of the ability to stand up for themselves.

They have already made it effectively impossible for a trans person to be on the ballot in Ohio unless they out themselves to the general public, which is an act of painting a target on their head. In Montana they’ve already blocked a trans lawmaker from speaking in the face of a bill trying to ban minors from getting medical care for gender dysphoria in the state. A move taken despite studies showing that access to trans medical care is shown to dramatically reduce the mortality rate for gender dysphoria.

Now they’re following it up in Ohio with a new set of “administrative rules” to restrict access to trans medical care for everyone, both children and adults. They want to restrict access to life saving medicine out of a false claim of it being for “protection.” The GOP loves to falsely claim trans healthcare is still “experimental” and “based on very limited, poor-quality research” and falsely claim that a lot of people later regret having gotten care, but that couldn’t be further from to the truth.

Trans medical care is life saving and necessary.

This is the case for both children and adults who are afflicted with gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a physical sensation not unlike pain which can become so intense that suicide can become the only hope of escape. People who are trans are born with it and their brains show as being the gender they identify as in MRI brain scans. Don’t let the conservative propaganda or your own biased assumptions deceive you, access to care is a life and death matter. Transition is the only form of treatment shown to be successful in reducing levels of gender dysphoria found in patients. Everything else has been tried and met with extremely limited to no success. Trans medical treatment is nothing new. It has been around for a very long time and has been extremely successful, and went largely unnoticed until recently where the GOP has started using it as a rallying cry having lost the battle against gay marriage rights. Recently conservative mouthpieces have taken to calling trans people “groomers” and “devils” in public forums despite a utter lack of convicted cases of sexual misconduct by trans people. Meanwhile 1 in 10 young protestant Christians have left their church over sexual abuse. Clearly they need to get their priorities straight.

The suicide rate for trans people is exceptionally high.

The reasons for this are numerous but the biggest factors are discrimination, rejection, and lack of access to treatment for gender dysphoria. There’s a reason that the biggest trans yearly tradition isn’t a parade or a celebration of any kind. It’s “Trans Day of Remembrance.” Every year on November 20th we remember and morn our dead. There is also “Trans Day of Visibility” but that’s something a lot of trans people hate and want nothing to do with as they don’t want to be outed or shown a light on out of the danger of retaliation, discrimination, targeting, death threats, and disrespect.

DeWine added that the rules will require transgender adults to obtain from their providers a “comprehensive care plan” including “lengthy” mental health counseling before they can be considered for any medical interventions.

by Brooke Migdon of The Hill

Gatekeeping is a term used to describe barriers and extra steps added into the process of getting treatment for gender dysphoria. Thanks to DeWine, Ohio is adding more gatekeeping; erecting and expanding restrictions and barriers for access to care greater than anywhere else for both minors and adults alike. It’s seriously fucked up and they will have blood on their hands. None of these added gatekeeping measures are necessary. There is no evidence that any of them are even helpful. Make no mistake, they will absolutely be disastrously harmful and deadly. The claim of fly-by-night providers and clinics is nothing short of a fantasy. These rules will only serve to increase the mortality rate for untreated gender dysphoria.

Left untreated, gender dysphoria worsens. Every delay towards getting care is extremely harmful and increases the likelihood it will prove fatal in much the same way that exposure to the gympie-gympie plant is often fatal. As a result, these new rules are going to lead to more otherwise preventable deaths. I personally had to jump through several hoops to get HRT and I almost didn’t survive. They had eliminated that form of gatekeeping I had to deal with since then, but now these fuckers not only put it back, but made it worse. They’re saying it’s for “protection” but if that’s really the goal they did that exact opposite of what they should have done. This isn’t for protection at all, it’s an discriminatory and prejudiced attack on trans people as a whole out of malice and spite. This is a direct attack on trans people like myself as part of the conservative plan to “eradicate” us.

One of the rules, he said, will require transgender adults seeking access to medications like hormones to retain a multidisciplinary team “including but not limited to an endocrinologist, a bioethicist and a psychiatrist.”

by Brooke Migdon of The Hill

Notice they slipped a “bioethicist” in there. Bioethicist is just GOP dog whistling for having a conservative tell you that you can’t get treatment because they personally think it’s unethical.

DeWine’s proposal is among the nation’s most stringent for transgender adults seeking access to gender-affirming medical care, and it is likely to bottleneck resources and worsen financial strain on people seeking gender-affirming care.

by Brooke Migdon of The Hill

They’re turning Ohio into the anti-trans hellscape they turned Florida into.

The conservatives are already doing this in Florida (our most fucked-up state) to disastrous effect, Worse, they may make me have to do all this extra shit just to remain on my current treatment that I’ve been on for a decade. If that happens, there’s a serious chance it will prove fatal. I can’t be sent back to square one. I do not have the ability to go through that hell again, and I know I’m not the only trans person facing the same thing.

The bill was a red herring.

Yes, it’s true DeWine vetoed the bill restricting access to care for minors. However this new move has been done by circumventing democracy and is much worse and much further reaching. (And for that matter, the GOP is going to force the bill through anyway. That’s bad in and of itself, but that’s not what I’m concerned about at the moment.) I’m talking about the “administrative rules” [executive order] he put in place without democratic involvement. The bill was almost certainly a red herring and an attempt to misdirect and bury the news of the new “administrative rules”; an attempt to hide their horrific actions from the general public. Don’t be fooled. The GOP is anti-American and pro-fascist.

If you have an ounce of morality in your body, fight this.

It’s extremely important our cis allies prove they actually are allies. Get obnoxious. Spread this around to everyone you know and make sure they read the entire thing, even if they’re a conservative. No, especially if they’re a conservative. Attack the GOP; get involved with the Democratic party and push for petitions, lawsuits, whatever you can to defend trans rights. Flood members of the Ohio government with calls, petitions, protests, general strikes, and letters. Make a sizable donation to TransOhio and get involved. Make it your life’s mission to save us from this affront on human rights until trans rights are enshrined in the constitution just like abortion rights were in the recent election. Kick toxic people out of your life, yes even your family, and show no restraint. Ban them from everything if you have to. Make it clear that transphobia of any form will not be tolerated. Even if you don’t live in Ohio there’s things you can be doing to help your local trans community, and you should. Also, if you can, please donate to TransOhio. It’s one of the few organizations in the state fighting for us actively. They also support ya in other ways like providing resources, organizing events, and providing name change assistance. Support them as much as you can and volunteer if you’re able.

Please don’t ignore this.

Please don’t think that just because you don’t hate trans people that that in itself is good enough. It is not. You must fight for us because we’re too vulnerable and too small a minority to fight for ourselves. If you are unwilling to take these steps, then your allyship was merely performative and devoid of substance. You were never a real ally to begin with. Do better.

We’re entirely at the mercy of cis people to prevent this attempt at genocide.

Please help. I am absolutely terrified of the evil Dewine has wrought. I am incapable of fighting this anymore than I already have. I shouldn’t have to face an uphill battle to just be allowed to continue to receive medical treatment for a medical issue, and to just exist as who I really am and stay that way. I’m in fear for my life.

It’s up to you to fight this.

Reject ignorance, hatred, and division and embrace love and compassion.

There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Liber CCXX I:41

Love is the law, love under will.

Exhausted and terrified,
Vanessa

UPDATE: The Ohio Medical Board rejected the rules for applying for adults

Make no mistake, this is a victory. However, the battle is far from over; trans kids deserve access to medical care just as much as adults do. Ultimately what needs to happen is for trans rights to become enshrined in the constitution.