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On passing…

I pass. Or, if you want the truth, I’m invisible in several ways. Most people look at me and see “white,” when I’m not. Even the government does, when in reality I’m anthropologically closer to someone of Asian descent by being Hispanic. (Yes, it’s true. There are three ancestral categories for people according to Anthropology’s standards, Mongoloid, Negroid, and Caucasoid. My bone structure marks me as undeniably Mongoloid, because of my Hispanic ancestry. But most people only see my pale skin.)

This invisibility sometimes makes it so I hear things, conversations and the like, between people about immigration, racist remarks, and general comments that are frustrating and hard to sit by and hear. It makes me want to wave my arms and yell “I’m right fucking here! Hello!” A lot of people, even within my extended family, are surprised to learn I’m Hispanic. It hurts in a different way than overt rejection or ignorance by someone.

Friends who know me well won’t be too surprised about the next way I’m often not seen. And even though this is the internet, and fairly easy to stay anonymous, it’s still difficult. I’ve already said goodbye to the Broom Closet as far as my social life is concerned, so here’s another closet to finish up saying goodbye to. I’m queer. (No, “queer” does not specifically denote “gay,” it’s a much more inclusive term now. For me, it just means I’m not straight.) I’ve been pretty open about finding certain women attractive for a long while. And I’ve not had a relationship with anyone other than cis straight males, despite how comfortable they may have been with their femininity. But I’ve only really started admitting the desire to myself recently. I feel that I fall in love with a person, and not their gender or gender identity. I find many aspects of people beautiful, and hardly any of those physical features are restricted to specific sexes, let alone the personality features I find attractive. So, no, I’m not bi, if that’s what you’re thinking. To me, gender is not binary. I find quite a lot of genderqueer people to be incredibly good looking, as well as the possibility of seeing someone who is trans being attractive. That’s why queer, or pansexual, is the reality of my sexuality.

Honestly, my sexuality is just as unseen as my ethnicity. Part of this is even evident in the LGBTQI community, especially for certain groups like femmes. If you’re not obviously non-heteronormative you may be looked upon with suspicion, or even ridicule, which I find disturbing considering everything the community has had to and continues to fight for. This is why I haven’t told my older sister, despite her being an out lesbian. She and her wife are of that kind. I’m not sure why I’m holding back on telling my mother. I don’t really know. But a few friends have been very good to me in listening and showing me it’s not a big deal to them. And my little sister, who’s really not that little anymore, has been a great outlet and sounding board for my insecurities. I’m hope I’m doing the same amount of good for her. (Love you, betch!)

Now, I have started to become less invisible as someone who cleaves to a non-Abrahamic religion. Through winter, because of the weather, it was much less so since my necklace tended to stay inside my shirt. But with the onset of warmer weather I’ve had one bad reaction by a person (not horrible, just sudden silence and air of disapproval from my cashier at the grocery store,) and two nice comments/questions. Most people just don’t react. Yeah, the being in Southern California may be one of the reasons for that, but it’s still a surprise and a relief.

How many people see you for who you really are?

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and revelations about mine. I seem to be having those this past year. Not really in the way “Oh! I didn’t know this about myself!” More along the lines of “I’ve grown up enough to be comfortable about this aspect of me and want to let the people I care about know these things.”

Now, since I finally started classes in February, I’m beginning to have a semblance of a social life I have had to explain about my newly comfortable-with sexuality. I’m pansexual. Basically, I don’t care if you’re male, female, MtF trans, FtM trans, genderqueer, intersex, non-gendered, or any variation thereof. I don’t believe people fall in love with what’s in someone’s pants. (Though you can be enthusiastic about it for sure.) You fall in love with a person. You have relationships with people. So I am interested in the individual, and though I may prefer certain looks, they’re not essential like the preferences on someone’s nature. You get it?

For almost three years I’ve not been interested in forming a relationship with a guy. (There’s one exception, but I’ve liked him for almost six years. New guys? Not one has caught my eye for three years.) Now I find myself having to explain to guys who approach me that though I don’t look queer, I am. And I’m emphatically not interested in anything beyond friendship. I had to explain this to one classmate, he took it as I’m a lesbian, but whatever. He got the point. Now, I’ve been hanging out with another classmate who’s been cool enough to actually get to know me first, but the other day asked me to dinner at his family’s place. I’ve been feeling like I should explain to him, and quick, but I wanted to do that in person and haven’t had the privacy to. (Movie theatres, in class, and at Borders are not the place I discuss my sexuality.) So now I have to call, and I hate doing that to people. Especially people who go through the effort to become friends.

Fuck.

(PS: got my music back!)

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I lost everything (including 25g of music that is going to be a BITCH to find and download again.) I had to get a new hard drive, and a new usb port strip, and the threw in a topper for the keyboard, too, since there was a little crack in it. All under warranty, thankfully. I don’t know what I would have done had it not been.

Now I’m wandering the interwebs searching for everything that I can reclaim. Personal pictures are pretty much out, except the ones on myspace, bme, and facebook. Most of my documents have been emailed to me by me or someone else. (It’s what you do when you don’t have a printer of your own.) Mostly, it’s the music I worry about. Some of the rare tracks aren’t easy to find, and well, that’s why they’re called RARE tracks. *sigh*

Hope you have it better, I wouldn’t want anyone to have it worse.

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The dreaming place…

I’ve been casting more often in my dreams now. Last night (or this morning, really. I’m a night owl.) I called the quarters, which isn’t my usual in life format for magic. Previously in dreams it’s been palms to earth and call power sort, the sort I visualize when I set out offerings and talk to Father Oak. (I’m not in a comfortable position yet with one side of the neighbors as far as acting out my thoughts for ceremony is concerned. Still stepping out of the broom closet as it were.) This might be because Spring is coming, and as far as Southern California is concerned the rains are here and everything is bursting forth with green. My hind brain may just be picking up on all that shifting of life and using my dreams as a platform that I’m comfortable with. Or I could be completely wrong. I’ll have to experiment a bit.

Tomorrow morning I’m off to visit my Aunt again, and see my Mother while she’s there for court stuff (oh, Family Drama.) Praise be to Asphalta who keeps me safe on the roads!

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Small Talk

Elizabeth
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Celebici Judgment. The judgment quoted the 1958 ICRC commentary on the Fourth Geneva Convention: Every person in enemy hands must be either a prisoner of war and, as such, be covered by the Third Convention; or a civilian covered by the Fourth Convention. Furthermore, “There is no intermediate status; nobody in enemy hands can be outside the law,” because in the opinion of the ICRC, “If civilians directly engage in hostilities, they are considered ‘unlawful’ or ‘unprivileged’ combatants or belligerents (the treaties of humanitarian law do not expressly contain these terms). They may be prosecuted under the domestic law of the detaining state for such action”.
“unlawful combatants” cannot be tried by the military and must be tried in a civilian court, apparently.

Robert
is UCMJ not considered a domestic law?

Elizabeth
UCMJ?
ah
google, yay.

Robert
Uniform Code of Military Justice

Elizabeth
nope, applies to all uniformed services, minus the CG, but including NOAA.

Robert
does that statement prevent the military from trying UCs?

Elizabeth
unless the Coast Guard is operating in conjunction with the Navy

Robert
define domestic, please

Elizabeth
one sec

Robert
lets say domestic means civil.

Elizabeth
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/10/usc_sec_10_00000802—-000-.html
POWs, yes. but then that brings it all in a circle.
unless, I guess, they’re part of any treaty we’ve previously signed, such as child soldiers.

Robert
In that case, an UC would be charged under US law with sedition, aiding and abetting the enemy. the proscribed punishment is death.

Elizabeth
convoluted! So, since we signed the Geneva Conventions they’re considered a part of municipal law, in accordance with the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution of the United States. In addition the US Supreme Court validated this premise, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, by ruling that Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions applies to detainees in the War on Terror, and that the Military Tribunals used to try these suspects were in violation of US and international law
*facepalm* I’m so glad I’m not a lawyer

Robert
how is what I said convoluted? I said tried in civil court, you cited a court decision that military trials are not to be used. Apples and oranges
and US law only applies to American citizens and/or soil
hence the problem with trying them to begin with

Elizabeth
no, this whole thing is.
in Boumediene v. Bush, that Guantanamo Bay captives were entitled to access the US justice system. not all of them were captured on US soil.

Robert
that court decision is contrary to us law
why would the laws of the US apply to citizens of foreign nations on foreign soil?

Elizabeth
The Court applied the Insular Cases, by the fact that the United States, by virtue of its complete jurisdiction and control, mantains “de facto” sovereignty over this territory, while Cuba retained ultimate sovereignty over the territory, to hold that the aliens detained as enemy combatants on that territory were entitled to the protection of the writ of habeas corpus
because we control that soil, basically.
as well as it violating US and International law regarding prisoners

Robert
I was not speaking of Gitmo, which is sovereign US soil, I am referring to the foreign soil they were captured on
how so?

Elizabeth
They’re being held on what is basically our soil, and going to be tried by our military, therefor they’re supposed to be given the rights that that situation accords them

Robert
you already stated there is little legal precedence for such great numbers of UCs, so how could it violate laws that dont cover it?

Elizabeth
the status of UC isn’t in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. It’s only a legal status within the Military Commissions Act, which in turn was overruled by the Supreme Court in Boumediene v. Bush. So we must either give them the rights of a POW and try them in a military court, or they are civilians and must be tried in municipal court. they can’t be held as they are.
the Geneva Conventions are considered to be a part of municipal law in accordance with the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution. So, either way we’re supposed to abide by the Geneva Conventions which do not allow for the status of “UC”
by giving the status of UC we’re violating our own Constitution

Robert
how so? just because they do not enumerate them, that doesn’t mean they do not exist. If there is a such thing as a lawful combatant, there must be in turn an unlawful combatant. Spies for example, are the primary precedent

Elizabeth
spies are tried in a municipal court, such as the 1942 Quirin case

Robert
and trying them for sedition, which is something we have not done, is the proper course of action, which I already stated

Elizabeth
which, coincidentally, is the case that started the whole UC thing.
well, I have to go do the dishes.

Robert
I think we agree that the whole thing doesn’t make any goddamn sense

Elizabeth
no, it doesn’t
which is probably why we’re just treating them as POWs now. easier that way.

A bit of my conversation tonight with an old high school classmate. Yes, these are the kinds of debates I thrive on. Though I do have the usual weird and/or mundane types. I’m just much less likely to post them here.

‘Night all.

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Dreams

I have lately been having very vivid ones, complete with a coherent plot. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been listening to music while sleeping, or if it’s the music choice. (May well be the latter. Tonight I might experiment with that.) Or even the time in which I go to sleep. I have no idea.

But some things are recurring themes now. I’ve started to do magic in my dreams. And not the movie kind, the kind I think of doing when coming up with ritual. Palms to earth and gather power kind. I also dream of vengeance. This isn’t too surprising, considering my personality. I don’t take kindly to people harming others for their own gain. So I dream.

I usually don’t remember them beyond the general feeling, or snapshots. The one from this morning is like that now, and I should have written it down before going back to sleep. Ah, well.

When you dream, what do they contain?

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Naming

Reading the latest post at Pagan Godspell triggered something in me. Ruby Sara is correct in that we are a culture obsessed with naming. Everything must have it’s label and it’s place. But that doesn’t cut to the core of what something truly is. And that is the reason for this post.

Do you, dear reader, know the Name of Fire? Any single word cannot suffice, nor even a string of them. A clinical description of the chemical process of combustion would be too cold and unfeeling, if accurate as far as science is concerned. But that is not it’s Name.

Do you know the word for Tree? The all encompassing word that tells you it’s life, from seed and seedling, to strong trunk and branches, to fallen monarch rotting to feed the earth beneath? Do you Know? I feel it within me, my animal hindbrain says “Yes, but it is secret,” and there is no way to push it past my vocal chords. No way to tell of it.

I have no idea if anyone else feels words like I do. No, not really words, that’s not right. They are truly Names. There isn’t one for “computer,” or “phone,” or “money.” Nothing frivolous. There are Names for Life, and Freedom, and Family or Friend. There the Names of the individuals you know, and each animal or plant. And then there are the overall names of groups. Like Human. You know what it is to be Human, but there is no way to tell someone of it. There is the Name, though, that I feel and cannot say.

It is like taking the cycle of life of a species (or planet, or galaxy, etc) and showing it in a single utterance. Anything and everything that specific can be, or do is shown within that sound. That, dear readers, is the best way I can illustrate what a Name is. It is the core, the root, the heart, and every possible variation or example at once. The entirety.

Maybe this is what we are trying to find again with each name that we give something, each different language gets closer and further, never hitting upon the mark our sleeping mind has set for us. Perhaps we are speaking with the wrong voice…

Goodnight, and good ponderings.

(This is something which the book The Name of the Wind was based around, I think. The human urge to name what we Know and Feel, but cannot speak. It’s why I love the story so. Kvothe is much like me in his ravenous curiosity.)

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