rolling on ahead

So, I started this blog for academic purposes. If you’ve seen it or if you’re seeing it now than I’m sure you were aware of that, to some level. But all that is over now. Well….in a week. Exactly one week. Between now and next Friday at 2pm I intend to:

  • finish my thesis
  • expand the theoretical framework of my thesis into a 25 page contemporary theory analysis
  • create a zine about best practices for organizing a collective

After that I will proceed to…

  • clean my bathroom
  • replace all the dead lightbulbs in my apartment
  • cook all the things
  • christen my new StickyFingers bakingbook
  • donate 3/4 of my clothes
  • pack everything.
  • graduate. graduate. graduate.

Now, if you’re anything like my dear father, you’ll be asking yourself a very important question about now…”How does any of this affect me?” How lovely that you should ask! It affects you because I’m going to start writing about whatever I want. I’m going to start writing about my life and my love life and moving to Seattle (You guyz I’m moving to Seattle) and my toenails and sex and edible things and non edible things and other things. And you are going to start reading it. #BAM. Don’t worry, I expect that because it’s coming out of my mind, it will still be fairly queer and convoluted. Toodles.

xMaggie


I grew around around you

saw a picture of you. saw something you posted, something you liked, something you said. or was that a picture of me? something i posted, something i like, something i said? impression management theory states that we monitor the behaviors and actions of people we encounter and attempt to see through what we perceive as false while simultaneously trying to project a constructed identity that fit’s others’ expectation of us and desires for self-perception. self-perception. but isn’t my perception of your perception of me just another construct of my mind? online? i didn’t know i could be femme one moment and butch the next until i saw you wearing nail polish and hairy pits. legit! but is my glam-bodyhair-crunchy-femmish-butch any less real because it wasn’t an original contribution to the field? i used you to piece myself together. whether—or not that’s impression management, it’s real shit. and my theory—see—is that you’re inside me like a wire fence inside a great big tree. i grew around you.


Concluding…for the moment.

Reading about queer online space has been really interesting for me. There’s a lot written out there about how—mostly about lgb folks but sometimes trans* folks—use the internet to build community. There’s been some stuff said about how you could create online communities that could translate into offline communities. You could make friends online and then you could transfer those over into what people tend to refer to as “real life relationships.” The thing that I don’t see, or that I have come across, is an academic analysis of ways in which the internet helps you create your identity. I definitely did not come into this research with a full understanding of the process I was going through, nor did I realize how personal my research would become to me. But, like it or not, I got to know people, through the internet. I know everything about them. I know about their struggles; I know about their successes; I know about their likes and dislikes; I know about their relationships. In fact, they probably know about mine if they’re following me. I’ve gotten to know all these people in a very unique way and I’ve taken things from them that I feel have been incorporated into my identity. That is something I certainly haven’t seen explored in an academic setting.

My conclusions for this project are as follows: Queer online space is a radical, fabulous fucking space that deserves attention and deserves excitement. I don’t really know who it deserves to get those things from, because the people involved in the space know how valuable it is. They are the ones who make it valuable. So the question becomes, do I really want academia to care about this? I don’t know. In a way, I feel like maybe they would ruin it. There is so much more to be explored in terms of identity and the intersections of race and class, gender, sexuality, ability, and many other things. I’m definitely not done looking. I’m not done searching. I’m not done absorbing. I’m not done learning. I’m not done enjoying…and I certainly have a lot left to learn. Thank you for reading.


ugly is something you learn

i have the power to show you what i want you to see. of me. of myself of us of my life of our differences and similarities are just parodies of things i think might possibly be true. but i know they are—looking at me and what they see is what i can’t—really hide what i think is ugly of myself. most of the time i don’t catch it unless it’s through someone else’s eyes. and even then i get used to the blur, the deafening purr of overheating—im retreating into my own mind behind my body is liberating. what im creating is ice that keeps its shape in the microwave. identity that spits in the wind only to be baptized by its own saliva. just hit customize appearance. strong and weak, powerful and oppressed—why do i have to choose? my emotions are news—worthy so i publish them myself. and if you can read them—you’re on the inside of my life and the outside of my world. what does it mean to be gritty? but it doesn’t matter. because you think im pretty. and ugly is something you learn.


perception

the idea of you is part of my mind/can we please/be one/in your shadow/one hundred yards from the lights/ what exactly are you supposed to be?/we grew up together/subsisting only on my perception/so i guess im sorta/ trying to put my life back together/ i dreamed you/ call me whatever you like.


flat little box

flat little box. you were thin enough that maybe—not a whole lot could fit inside. you were familiar enough that maybe—i knew all there was to know about you. whirring, humming, warm little piece of responsibility. cold little piece of cash lost. glowing little piece of sleep deprivation. the relationship we have is complicated. our statuses are public but my feelings about you are private. torrid, hauntingly delicious secrets that you and i share about the truths in my mind? those are password protected.

when i was broken i climbed inside you and discovered a world where i could cry, but no one would hear me unless i hit record. i melted into your nooks and crannies and collected in a glistening pool of confusion and eager anticipation at the feet of your greatest master—the internet.

who am i when i’m alone in my room with millions of people? what does my face look like when the only person who can see it is my mind? what is my name when i are free to choose the way my breath sounds, the direction of my steps, the words others use to describe me?

i took a moment, to create myself. i took a moment to ask my body what my brain should do. i took a second to question all the shit i had been told—about my life. about my words. about my gender.

and then i stepped onto a platform that was open on all sides. i rooted my feet into a ground that wasn’t sold. from where i stood—i paged through hours of their bodies. i scanned over days of their thoughts and absorbed weeks of their insecurities and strengths.  i took a bite out of something dirty. something your grandmother told you would fill your mouth with soap and your soul with the devil—and when it bit me back, i discovered i could use the drops of blood from my tongue to paint a picture of myself that looked more like me than my reflection. and is tasted good.

and then i saw that all the others had done the same. and that our blood had fallen in patterns and colors we could never have predicted. and they were me but they were nothing like me. i felt the vibrations when their fingers hit the keyboard in the very core of my body—in a dark, wet, place where creation meets conception and desire is the title of purity. what am i? a shapeless gray face passing judgment and begging for connection behind a dim lit screen in the corner of my bedroom? am i a jilted academic turning my face to a room full of hopefuls and signing my name under the truths that other people have written with the ink of their own inspiration? or am i a small figure in the upper left hand corner of a page, tearing open my chest and spilling my answers into a box filled with my questions. mixing them up with a quivering hand and declaring there is no way to tell the difference. lies are the truth—and sometimes it’s way more fun to stay aware in the darkness of that tunnel than it is to follow the light.

i don’t want things to make sense. my queer body. my queer being. that beautiful, horrible, bloody handprint on the fitted sheet. understanding the blur as it’s own unique brand of clarity. watching yourself, creating yourself, tasting yourself get carried away into your own mind where there is no such thing as veracity or falsehood. speckled with fantasy, littered with reality. don’t i crave deceit? or was that authenticity? only you and i know the names i call myself—along with the rest of the world.


Analyze This

So, what does online queer space give you? It gives you solidarity. It gives you a liberating sexual space. It gives you a place to record your thoughts without the fear of being judged and on the off chance that you are judged—because, the truth is, you probably will be because it’s public—it gives you a community base of people who will defend you. A group of people that you can trust will respect your opinions even if they don’t agree with them. It gives you a place to experiment with identities, expressions, pronouns, that you might not yet be comfortable with in your day-to-day life or that you might never be comfortable using in your day-to-day life. Regardless, it gives you a place to exercise that total freedom of being able to say and do and wear and be whatever you are. Or whatever you feel that day. It gives you a network, a community, a family of sorts. It gives you an emotional and a mental place to go–somewhere to go that could be a protective space or an empowering space or both. It could be an escape or it could be someplace that you consciously decide to go because it feels liberating to you.

Over the past couple of months I have scoured the internet for sources to post here to meet the parameters of a particular class assignment. I’ve analyzed theoretical and academic sources, news articles, blogs, video projects, and sex-ed material. I’ve told you the facts and I’ve told you opinions. This post brings my academic exploration to a temporary conclusion, but the questions I’ve presented to myself and to you have no conclusion. That’s what’s so great about them. Keep asking, keep answering, keep checking back. Meaning is evolutionary, and this is just the beginning of my evolution.