December was a whirlwind of school projects, what with the end of the first semester quickly approaching. The biggest school project has to be the installation I did for my art class. My installation was a performance piece titled Split Self. Long story short, I taped myself to a wall in the name of non-binary awareness. It's easier to show than explain. Pictures under the cut.
The focus of this installation is to illustrate the internal conflict of non-binary individuals (people who do not identify as strictly ‘girl’ or ‘boy’) when finding a sense of self. While our chromosomes determine our physical self, gender is a social construct. Our society and culture has created the gender binary of ‘boy’ and girl,’ as well as specific gender roles enforced as the proper behaviour for these genders. Gender is not a solid, inflexible binary, as we are taught growing up. Gender is a full, fluid spectrum. Non-binary individuals face an incredible struggle when searching for a sense of self and finding a place to fit into our binary culture. We are trapped by the binary, trapped by others’ assumptions and perceptions of us, and trapped by the culture that created those perceptions. It can be very easy to fall into feeling like a monster, a mismatched mess of parts, and begin to question not “Who am I,” but “What am I?” There can be a heavy feeling of ‘outsider,’ of ‘other.’ For some non-binary folks, this feeling is something they have pride in, but before they can feel pride, they experience the fear and the struggle. It is this fear and this struggle that I aim to explore.That was during the last week of school before winter break, on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014. I taped myself to a wall. I stood standing in that exact position for about twenty-five minutes before I lost all feeling in my left arm. I got major head rush ripping myself off of the wall from the sudden rush of blood. As you can guess, I got a pretty good mark on this assignment!
The next exciting thing in line is Christmas! My Christmas was very nice. I got some neato shit and spent some good time with family! I fell kind of bad about this, but in all honesty, I don't recall much of Christmas. It was... Christmas. I got some cool stuff from family and friends. Nothing Sims related this time, though. I'm pretty satisfied with my Sims stuff right now. I refuse to purchase Sims 4, and all of the Sims 3 expansions I don't have are ones I don't want.
And that brings us to the final event of 2014, New Year's Eve. Rose came to my family's New Year's Eve party this year, happy and healthy. My brother got a WiiU and Super Smash Bros for Christmas, along with a couple of other games, so my brother, my cousins, Rose and I all passed controllers around and played Smash all evening. It was really great! The clock struck midnight and I was so, so happy. So my aunt was playing games and decided not to talk to the family, and her kids, my cousins, were all off in other places. I miss them, but the rest of the crew was still there, and so was Rose, and I couldn't have been happier.
Next up is January. There are two things battling for most exciting event in January. The first thing was my psychology ISU (independent student unit). The ISU assignment for my psychology class was to pick a disorder from a list of mental health issues, read the case study associated with it, and make a presentation for the class about that illness, including places and programs to get help. When I looked at that list, the first thing that popped out was that there was something wrong, as if the "one of these things is not like the others" song should have started playing. On that list was gender identity disorder, which was removed from the DSM in 2013 with the release of the DSM 5 (it was replaced with gender dysphoria, which still shouldn't be there, but that's beside the point). I picked gender identity disorder because I was pissed that it was even there, and didn't want it to fall in the wrong hands. I talked to my teacher, and she was totally cool with me doing my project on what it was, why it was removed, what transgender really means, and things we can all do to help transgender people's mental health. I worked my fucking ass off, and was rewarded with a shiny mark of 100 on my ISU.
The other event battling for first is that I performed my installation at an art show! My school, as well as the three other high schools in the area, was offered a ten day gallery in our local cultural centre. The two schools from the catholic board got a ten day show mid-January, and my school and the other public school got a show from January 21-January 30. On opening night, after opening remarks, I got changed and all dolled up and re-taped myself up. I couldn't tape myself to the actual walls, since the duct tape would remove paint, so I squeezed myself, my sign, and my atrist's statement on three pieces of foamcore taped together and stood for a full forty minutes in that position. It was a little easier than the first time because my 'wall' was mobile and I got to shuffle around a little to keep my circulation flowing.
The week after the art show's opening night was exam week. I'm super proud of my marks. I finished with an 80 in photography, an 84 in art, and a 92 in psychology.
The day before the beginning of semester two, Rose came over and dyed my hair. I dyed it dark blue with a pot of Manic Panic's After Midnight. It took exactly one pot of dye to cover all my long hair (we didn't do the short side). I have one more pot. If anyone wants it, it's yours.
I don't plan on redying my hair. It looked amazing when it was first dyed, but half of the dye washed out when I showered for the first time. Since I didn't use bleach, present day, two months after dying it, it's a weird kind of yellow-ish green-ish blue-ish colour. I've been washing my hair twice every time I shower to try and get all the dye out as fast as possible. It was an experiment, and it failed, what can I say. Now I know.
On the first day of semester two, I started my last three high school courses: English, film studies, and writer's craft. They're all going pretty well right now! That's all there is to say about that, really. I'll talk more about high school things later, but let's move on to university.
On February 11th, I had my portfolio interview at my top choice university, for their Bachelor of Fine Arts Studio Art program. Aaaaand... I got early acceptance! They gave me a letter of acceptance right on the spot. I accepted the offer as soon as it registered in their systems. I'm so goddamn pumped! I'm going to my dream school come September.
Now we come to more recent times, March. In film studies, we got our first film assignment: a one-minute film. My film was about gender stereotypes and their crushing effect on women. My actor was in tableaus of stereotypical situations, and then I showed her killing herself with the props involved. A women cooking, then bringing the knife to her neck; a woman doing laundry, then drinking bleach; a woman in a sexual pose, then strangling herself with a measuring tape. I did the filming for it over the March Break, and handed it in last week. I haven't seen my mark yet, though.
Another thing I did over March Break was watch every episode of Steven Universe in three days. What a fuckin' great show. For those who don't know, Steven Universe is a Cartoon Network show that's really hard to explain without spoilers so I'm just going to grab something from Wikipedia.
In Steven Universe, the world is protected from evil by the Crystal Gems, a group of intergalactic warriors who draw their power from special magic gem stones. The four gems are Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, and Steven. Steven is a boy who inherited his gemstone from his mother, a Crystal Gem named Rose Quartz. As Steven tries to figure out the secrets of his gem, he spends his days in Beach City doing activities with the other Crystal Gems, whether it's helping them save the universe or just hanging out.That's a pretty good description, yep. It's a fabulous show, it has space lesbians and non-binary people and it's body positive and it's super hella! New episodes come out every Thursday.
And now that brings us to the most recent event of note, which is unfortunately a very bittersweet one. On March 29th, Rose and I stopped dating. I don't like to say that we 'broke up' per se, because we're still friends and we're still talking up a storm and hanging out and stuff, but we're no longer dating. What we needed from the relationship changed over time, and we were no longer able to meet those needs. Of course it's more complicated than that, but that's the shortened explanation. Yesterday after school we hung out and played Animal Crossing before walking home together, and then we stayed talking about Equity Council things for an extra five minutes in front of Rose's house. It's going to take some time to adjust, but things are going well. There was too much good to just give up on everything. We just don't work in a romantic relationship any more, but we're still best friends.
Oh right, health update. My stomach bullshit is still happening, but it's been slowly, slowly getting better over the months. My appetite has been yoyo-ing all over the place lately. I'm eating good amounts of food, though. It's a hell of a lot better than it was in November.
Holy shit, ain't that an update. That is four fucking months in one fucking post. God damn. I have no idea what's been going on in the Sims community lately, but I'm just going to toss this out there and see what happens.
As for future things, my 18th birthday is fast approaching, as is the date that would have been Rose and I's two year anniversary. The 11th is my family party, the 13th is my birthday, the 15th would have been our anniversary, and the 17th is my party with friends. The same week as all those events is also the school's Rainbow Week, which reminds me I have to do a whole bunch of prep stuff for that this weekend (finding a trans support group that can come in and speak at a table in the foyer, getting songs together for our morning rush song playlist, make the stamps for Purple Day, find flag pictures for the pins, and when I get back to school on Tuesday I have to ask some kids in my film studies class if they want to take pictures in front of the banner for Purple Day). And all that's on top of school work. I have a busy two weeks coming up. I'll make my usual post on my birthday and update you with how stuff's going then, and hopefully I'll remember to post something when the shitstorm is over, too.
Wish me luck, guys.