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[personal profile] storyinmypocket
You know, it helps when I use the right journal name in my profile to link to the writing journal. I feel dumb.

Slowly, I'm assembling what I want to say in my profile here, which will probably inform any changes I make to my LJ profile, as well. (Eventually, there will be pretty formatting on this profile as well as on LJ. Huzzah!) And so I might as well post this here, as well as in my profile.

I like making friends. I do. I don't usually get terribly close to people right off, but it does happen.

However: I am not your queer friend. I am not your lesbian friend. I am not your panromantic friend. I am not your kinky friend. I am not your transgendered friend. I am not your cisgendered friend. I am not your female friend. I am not your femme friend or your soft-butch friend. I am not your writer friend. I am not your goth friend. I am not your Hispanic friend. I am not your part-Apache friend. I am not your white friend. I am not your mixed-race friend. I'm not your multiple friend, and if you hold me up as an example of MPD/DID, I will beat you with something, because whatever the structure of my head, MPD/DID is not a condition I meet the diagnostic criteria for. I'm not your clinically depressed/bipolar/BPD friend. I am not your ADD-having friend. I am not your rape/abuse survivor friend. I am not your Texan friend. I am not your Christian friend, your Pagan friend, or your Christopagan friend. I am not your plus-sized friend. I am not your fibromyalgia-having friend, nor am I your able-bodied friend.

You may be confused right now. Allow me to explain: depending on how you define certain terms, I fit some of the criteria for just about everything I've listed above. Not all of them apply with equal degrees of accuracy, and not all of them will apply at the same moment in time (things like 'femme' and 'soft-butch', for instance... I vary wildly there). However, these are all labels that have applied to me at one point or another, whether I was the one to apply them, or someone else was.

However, I make a damn poor representative of any of those groups, and whenever someone refers to someone else as "my ____ friend," they tend to be invalidating the experience of other people in those groups. For instance, "My friend Jaqui is Pagan, and she doesn't have a problem with this!" Because I totally speak for all Pagans everywhere. Riiight.

(In fact, rather than include all the explanations on my profile, I may just link to this post.)

I'd rather be your friend who compulsively picks at scabs, or who can't resist singing along to background music, or who sorts her M&Ms by color. None of these attempt to define me as a representative of any class in particular. If you insist on classifying me as your ____ friend, you may be surprised to discover that I'm not your friend at all, because people I'm friends with don't do that.

This rant brought to you by [personal profile] magistrate, and the fact that se actually had to provide a disclaimer on the subject in one of hir posts.

Fun fact: In Louisiana, people classified me as a white girl with a tan, because I have a generic Anglo-Saxon last name, and there was pretty much one other Latina in my school. In Texas, people would go, "Hey, you're Mexican, right?", and I'd have to correct them with "Ah, no, Cuban on my mother's side." (Thanks to my weird and mixed-up family, I can decipher Cuban and Castilian accents much better than I can Mexican accents. It tends to throw people when I can perfectly understand some varieties of Spanish, and carry on a lengthy conversation with my grandma, then furrow my brow and go, "...what?" when trying to talk to someone with a Mexican accent... Though I've gotten better over the years.) Here in Arizona, where people with Apache blood aren't uncommon, I seem to get read as a white/Apache mix, due to my lack of a Spanish accent when speaking English. (And, hey, that about covers my father's side of things...) I've met people who spent quite a bit of time trying to guess my race. The whole thing was vaguely surreal. But, yeah I get differing amounts of white privilege depending on where I am, what people expect to see, and whether I'm speaking Spanish at the time. I can see a marked difference in how people treat me depending on what they know or guess about my heritage, and the implications are distressing, though not terribly surprising.

Date: 2009-05-30 01:56 am (UTC)
orfiel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] orfiel
Can you be my awesome friend?
From: [personal profile] fifi
I think it's because in the past (the past?) people used God as a brand-name to defend themselves against competing beliefs, morality, whatever. These days we're liberal, open-minded, yadda yadda yadda, so now we have Black Friend and Gay Friend and Trans Friend and whatever.


storyinmypocket: (Default)
Jaqui Lokadottir

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I've got a story in my pocket and a bag full of apples; I'm rewriting this fairy tale whether you like it or not.

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