I debated again what to share; I'm thinking next week I'm going to share one of Happy's blog posts that may or may not end up in the finished book. This week, I decided to share a snippet of Happy and Ziba chatting. While it may not seem sexy in a standard way, to me with my noetisexual orientation, it is the ultimate of arousal. So a humor, horror for the authors here- Ziba and Mairead are in Amsterdam and Dublin, respectively, Happy in Bangor, Maine, and Iovita in Georgia- I have notes to myself about fixing time zone stuff in the rewrite.
"That must be interesting, to have such a large urban area from which to choose where you will eat."
"Yes, that is nice. I am Dutch and Indonesian by birth and so I'm able to mix and match my food choices in a way that respects my ancestry and upbringing. So we were led off on the tangent of our time difference. We talked some about polyamory. Have you read much about non-binary genders from the links I gave you? Do you feel compelled to settle on a specific identity?"
"Bigender would seem to best encapsulate how I feel about my own gender. I definitely do not feel without gender, as in being agender. I keep falling back on the fact that I was assigned male at birth and it seems that in identifying as non-binary that I am trying to appropriate someone else's oppression."
"Did you by chance end up on some feminist sites from what I shared with you? Because I have to be honest- your gender presentation in the picture on your website does not show a conventional male. I would question how much access you have to any systemic privilege based on your assigned gender."
"You caught me. Certainly in the community I have lived so far, gender roles were far from as obvious as they are in mainstream US society. It was not even questioned when at fifteen that I wanted to be called Happy instead of the name my parents gave me at birth; I'm not sure... maybe that I was content to stay with he/his/him pronouns made it easier? I have been trying to remember if anyone behaved in a non-binary way, even without the label."
"And I will respond with some truth-telling of my own; please let me know if I need to define any terms for you, although I'm going to define some terms as I go. A fatwa is an Islamic religious ruling. While there are fatwas about binary transgender people, there are no fatwas that specifically deal with non-binary people as the concept has solidified currently. While that could be dealt with Muslim scholars considering the Qur'an and issuing a fatwa, I am not sure I would accept it. Too many Muslims have come to a place of rigidity where they forget that Islam is supposed to be of the current time. So all of that is to explain why I do not refuse to interact with you, being a non-binary person, as many conservative Muslims would."
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So at 11:45pm EST I realized I hadn't signed up yet LOL. I quickly remedied that and came over to my blog creator to actually create the post :D . Camp Nano sucks bad; although I'm hoping to again have a Camp Nano update vlog up so I can share the link in the #WipItUpWedneday post like last week. Depression, life stresses, bad period have largely been at fault this week. But the story progresses, even if very slowly so I wonder if I'll actually complete Camp even with the smaller goal of 40K words in a month.
I decided to skip ahead to the first few moments of Bea (woman in the wheelchair) and Teal (the narrating I of my story) talking in Teal's living room; Tiny is Teal's cat.
"Hello?" A deep, melodic called out from the other side of the screen door.
Tiny struggled out of my arms before jumping onto the back of the sofa.
I turned from the belly up to see Bea standing in the black oval outline of the screen door. My heart lurched up into my throat. "Come in." My hands pushed into my thighs; I needed to learn so much more ASL vocabulary.
Bea smiled as she used the handle to open the screen door. "I'm hearing if you were worried about your sentence. I'm fluent in ASL because my parents are both Deaf; that was my dad you saw signing to me. However your sentence would have been easily signed." She made fists of her hands, just the index fingers out, the palms up, and moved her fingers in a 'come here' gesture. Then she held her left hand like a C and stuck her right hand into it.
Repeating the gestures, I returned Bea's smile. "I'm sad to say that I only know a tiny bit of ASL so far."
"Maybe I can help. It seems the bank is desperate to sell that house so you may have me as a neighbor."
"A neighbor?" I echoed and then clapped my hands over my suddenly hot cheeks.
"I like your flag."
"Why were you using a wheelchair?" I closed my eyes, my foot solidly if metaphorically shoved into my fool mouth.
"Sh," Bea soothed as she sat on the little sofa beside me. "So guessing that the bi Pride flag is yours, I'm also going to guess that you are still rather average." She took my hand between her hands and brushed her thumb over my knuckles. "While I didn't inherit my parents' deafness, I did just recently receive a diagnosis of Meniere's Disease, explaining a few years' worth of ringing in my ears and balance problems."
"I'm sorry I was so insensitive to ask about the wheelchair."
"Might I ask if my guess was correct? Are you bisexual?"
"Um, yes. Is your dad still here?"
She laughed. "My dad went to take my mom out. So let me match your intrusive question about my wheelchair by asking if you are single, married, monogamous, polyamorous?"
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My 6 lines are not from a book or a book recommendation, but thoughts about books featuring bisexual+ characters. Thoughts encouraged by a friend's post and bisexual erasure I've experienced over the years...
Do bisexual characters have to prove themselves, been queer enough, like flesh-and-blood bisexuals?
Can a bisexual character still be considered bisexual if they finish the book being patterned monogamously with personal of another gender?
Do bisexual males exist in fiction? Or are they as seemingly rare as they are in non-fiction life?
Are bisexual characters held to stereotypes about bisexuals, whether or not the author acknowledges the stereotypes in their fictional world?
Can a bisexual character exist in a book not erotic in nature?
Over 5/3 and 5/4, people will be sharing links to their 6 lines of LGBTQ+ fiction at https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/
⚧ That's one symbol missing from the above picture. I find it ironic as the short poem I'm sharing, my first post for Rainbow Snippets, is about nonbinary gender and my "gender symbols" picture is missing any of the symbols that nonbinary people use for themselves. I'm still reeling from something transphobic someone said in my name. This poem came from my feelings about that.
My genderqueer friend--hir gender isn't a role
Ze is genderqueer at hir core--gender assignment doesn't asked the assigned
It's not for me-cisgender- to understand--just for me to respect
Enby exist--just for me to respect
I once thought just men and women existed--this isn't about me
Cores are to be respected--nonbinary
And just so you know :D if you click on Rainbow Snippets above or on this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/ , you'll go to the public group on Facebook where you can find more links to more LGBTQIA+/queer fiction and book reviews.