I don’t know all the reasons why I like dark things, and I don’t think I need to know them all, but… I was just looking at the blog of that person who said I “dehumanize and fetishize” gay men, and I saw that he was quite young (15) and his blog was all full of pastel colors and references to his mental illness and something dawned on me that I hadn’t thought about in a Tumblr context at all.

Part of my PTSD is about experiences I had in hospitals, and because of that one of my triggers is… not pastels, all by themselves, but like… have you ever stayed in a hospital as a kid? And everything is covered in soothing soft colors and all the nurses wear scrubs with like… cute animal drawings on them and everyone talks in a sing-song voice and reassures you things won’t hurt when they OBVIOUSLY will and you’d rather they tell the truth, accept that you have good reasons to be scared, and get it the hell overwith?

Yeah, I think I just figured out why those kids’ blogs give me a weird tingly feeling of creeping dread.

And I think I figured out, also, where my intense leeriness of “safe spaces” and trigger warnings comes from too–even though as a person with PTSD I’m supposed to want them.

It’s because in my experience, people who were trying to make me feel safe were LYING. They were lying because it was in their interest–in mine, too, but in theirs–for me to feel calm and soothed. For me not to feel despair, or anger, or blind screaming rage.

…Is it any wonder I like the stories where the people with the knives and the cruel smiles and the mind games are blatant about it? Or that I might want a few knives of my own, even though I have no desire to hurt anyone who isn’t going to get off on it?

I don’t want those kids to not need safety.

I want them to stop pretending safety looks the same for everyone.

Yes, this.

When people tell me “You’re safe,” I don’t think of Helpful Adult saving me from the monsters under the bed. I think of my teachers, saying the people who hurt me would never do such a thing, and I should stop lying because I was perfectly safe. I think of the people who used to hug me until my lungs wouldn’t fill and my ribs creaked, and got away without a whisper of a reprimand. Because they were pretty and soft, and I was cold and harsh.

That’s not safe, to me. That’s the most dangerous place in the world, because the people who live there will do anything- anything at all- if it means they don’t have to acknowledge how nasty their walled garden has really gotten. Because if I defend myself, they can’t pretend anymore. And they sure as hell won’t defend me.


The Cult of Nice evolves, and it hides some scary things under the fluffy cuteness.

Undesirable: Toxic Romantic Dreams, Disability, Sexuality and Relationships

I ran across this on Twitter the other day, and ouch. I still can’t comment much, but it was good to see someone addressing this particular version of horribleness around disability and sexuality which very rarely seems to come up.

Also, a little too good a summary from Autistic Hoya: Undesireability and sexual mockery (from autism meetups to high schools):

In my lifetime, I never really got the message that I was expected to be nonsexual and desexualized because I am autistic. (I know many other autistic people do get those messages – especially if they are nonspeaking and/or have multiple other apparent disabilities.) Instead, I got a series of messages that I was in fact a sexual being, but anything to do with my sexuality was gross and an object of mockery, or, to be used only for really fucked up fetishes for which I could become a fantasy object (but that was much later). I’m willing to bet money that I am not the only autistic person of any gender or sexuality or asexuality to have had this kind of sexual harassment happen to them. It seems particularly targeted to people who are neurodivergent in pretty specific ways, and like it particularly emerged in adolescence – in high school – though I’m sure it could and has happened to autistic adults of younger and older ages too.

Just in case I wasn’t clear, this kind of behavior and sexual interrogation is ableist sexual harassment and ableist bullying, and can probably amount to ableist sexual abuse depending on the circumstances. I can probably think of even more ways in which my a/sexuality was targeted by some or another person or group to be dragged into the open and mocked, but honestly, I’d prefer not to go trawling through memories that it seems like I’ve blocked out at least some of. My point is that many of us have had extremely varied experiences with all types of sexual harassment and sexual abuse, both the type of abuse that desexualizes disabled people, and the type of abuse that hyper-sexualizes and/or mocks or pities, and some of it can be incredibly disability-specific.

I will add that this abusive behavior can also be devastating in some slighly different ways if the person has absolutely no clue why they are really getting targeted. Which very rarely has much if anything to do, in reality, with any of the stated reasons for people feeling a need to go totally out of their way to keep informing you of what a uniquely repulsive freak you are. (Plus do whatever other horrible things occur to them, yeah.)

I know that helped push me over into a full-on eating disorder in middle school, among some other lasting effects. When the real problem was never actually my looks, but a gross stew of -isms.

I also wish I were surprised that the author of the first piece almost immediately started getting a stream of particularly badly applied platitudes in response. (That Twitter thread.) A lot of it variations on the exact same kinds of shit I got to hear anytime I tried to discuss anything related to this, much less the effects on my wellbeing, when it was still actively happening. Including from some adults who very much should have known better.

As she put it in that thread: “Platitudes in my opinion are never useful but when they pop up in direct response to narratives of oppression they are active erasure”

That type of response is the opposite of helpful to anyone but the person avoiding engaging with the actual issues involved, by shutting down and turning things around on anyone who tries to talk about them. My tolerance for that behavior is basically nil by now, around a number of topics.

Undesirable: Toxic Romantic Dreams, Disability, Sexuality and Relationships




This is true regardless of gender of partner, though.

When I thought I had to have a girlfriend to be a Real Gay I dated an abusive jerk.

When I dated a woman because I liked her and I wanted to, I had a loving, fulfilling relationship that lasted a couple of years and changed my life for the better.

I’m not saying heteronormativity doesn’t say some really weird ass things to women who like men. It totally does. (And it says different destructive weird things to men who like women, btw.)

But the relevant point is not so much “women don’t need men” as it is that relationships should be about genuinely liking someone and wanting them in your life, not about desperately needing any kind of interaction.

This goes for friendships too, btw.

Same –

When I thought I had to prove that I was “actually bi” and that I didn’t “hate women” because I was transitioning… I ended up staying with a woman who made me almost constantly afraid and tried to pressure me into doing things I didn’t want.  Once I started standing up to cultural bullshit and just being with people because I genuinely loved being with them, the relationships I’ve had have been much more full of joy.



“Bisexuals don’t belong in the LGBT community” ohhh ok I guess the B stands for ‘bitch’ and that’s where you fit in, gotcha

I was explaining bi and trans erasure/phobia in the gay community to my mum and she was outraged and burst out “WHAT DO THEY THINK IT STANDS FOR? LESBIANS, GAYS, BICYCLES AND TRICYCLES?!” and I don’t think I’ll forget that until my dying day.