This is my third week of the ‘30 Days of Pride‘ challenge, celebrating pride month; links to the previous weeks are available at the bottom of the page!
Day 15: Name a company that is positive force of change for the queer community.
To me, positive force of change for the queer community implies improving the lot in life for all queer peoples in a truly intersectional manner. This is making it very difficult for me to think of a company: my experience of companies, especially corporations, is that they focus almost exclusively on cis, white, able-bodied, and young LG people, completely ignoring the rest of the gender and sexuality alphabet, and amplifying already-existing social privileges.
Disabled people are often completely ignored. Bi people are erased. The most persecuted group amongst us, trans women of colour, see their existence wiped from our history. The poor don’t gain any of the benefits of the gradual assimilation of queer people into the broader community, but suffer the most from the losses.
Ultimately, I don’t think you can be a positive force for the queer community in its entirety as an organisation that generates profits from the labour of others: those profits are stolen wages, and contribute to the perpetuation of economic inequalities that hurt the queer community so strongly.
Day 16: Name one of your best qualities.
I find it really hard to think of good things about myself (thanks depression!), but the quality I hold closest to my heart is kindness. I want to help my community, I want to help people, I want to make everyone happy. Kindness is one of my principal values, and I hope that it’s something that can be recognised in my behaviour.
Day 17: Share something you’d like to improve about yourself.
My mental illness, or coping strategies for it. I have disorders of anxiety, depression and dysphoria, and it very much impacts my life: the past fortnight, for example, I was panicking so much that I couldn’t get to work. I’m working hard to improve that, and hopefully I’ll have a strong enough grip on it soon that I can cope, at least to external observation, as well as a neurotypical person can.
Day 18: Name someone you know who inspires you. Why?
I’ve been thinking on this one for a while. Previously, I have listed scientists I know, such as Mahananda Dasgupta, Tamara Davis, and Ivan Kassal, but I’m not entirely sure that’s true anymore. Now I’m inspired by the fellow members of my queer community here in Queensland, my partner, and my other friends.
Perhaps the friend who inspires me most is Kaitlin Cook (those of you on Twitter may know her as @StarsTooFondly). She’s a final year PhD student, and has done amazing sci-comm work, all while managing to be an amazing and supportive person. There are too many things to say here, some personal and others that should be shouted to the world, but I’ll leave it at this: love you Kaitlin, and hope the future treats you well ❤
Day 19: Share your favourite memory.
I tend to have really, really bad memory recollection, so I can’t think of any big moments in my life, but at the moment my favourite would have to be going to the art gallery with my partner, and sleeping on the grass in front of it with her.
Day 20: Share something you love about one of your significant others.
Okay, I edited the name of this one to be poly-inclusive; even though I only have one partner at the present, I am poly myself. To pick out a single thing I love about Thisby is hard: she’s intelligent, witty, kind, supportive, creative, and loving.
To pick one thing, though, she’s fun. She’ll talk my ear off with conversation, and listen intently when I respond. She’ll take me out for breakfast, just so that we can sit and hold hands while reading. She’ll take me to art galleries, comic book stores and other live events because she thinks that I’ll like them. Most of all, she’ll entertain my childishness and happily reciprocate.
Day 21: How did you meet this significant other?
Pure luck. I was part of the queer collective (QC) at my university, and was fairly active on the group’s Facebook page. One of the people on the page friended me, thought I was interesting enough, and told his flatmate Thisby that she should friend me.
And it might have ended there, because I don’t accept random friend requests, but Thisby had a horribly/artistically distorted display picture, so I mistook her for a member of the QC and accepted her friend request. And from there we started talking, bonding over a mutual love of penguins being tickled, but she was still just a friend’s flatmate to me, albeit an interesting and friendly one.
That changed, however, when we were both invited independently to a mutual friend’s birthday: we met in real life for the first time, found out we only love a few hundred metres from each other, and have seen each other almost daily since.
Day 22: Share a picture of you and your best friend.