You can add up the parts, but you won’t have the sum.

It makes me kinda sad, honestly, seeing all the celebration that happens every time there’s some legal victory towards what gets laughingly called “equality.”

Like, look… yeah, white cis* middle- and upper-class gay folks can assimilate into the dominant power structures, woo-hoo! More “Nuclear Families” with two-point-five children to fit the existing capitalist dream, to buy a cozy apartment and fill it with stuff! They can have a wedding, and more money goes to photographers and bakers and wedding planners and whatnot — I see that argument used to support this “marriage equality” thing pretty often: see, letting gays marry is good for capitalism, therefore you shouldn’t oppose it!

And honestly I’m left wondering how this is “equality” when there are trans* women being killed so often, especially trans* women of color, when

According to the [2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey], respondents were nearly four times more likely to live in extreme poverty, with household incomes of less than $10,000. Respondents were twice as likely to be unemployed, and one in four reported being fired over their gender identity or expression. Half said they had experienced harassment or other mistreatment in the workplace. One in five respondents experienced homelessness because of their gender identity or expression, and 19% said they had been refused a home or apartment. Some 19% also reported being refused health care, and 31% reported harassment or bullying by teachers.”

So forgive me if I’m not jumping for joy at the fact that Ireland voted to let more people get married than could get married before. Forgive me if I’m not avidly following what’s up with the US Supreme Court and whatever cases are coming up with them about marriage. I get that being married is important to a lot of folks out there — because being married is the primary way that people get acknowledged as full citizens with way more rights than not being married, and since the “Relationship Escalator” is seen as the right way (and often the only way) to do things, and getting married is the top of the escalator, I understand why people want to get married.

I just think that there was a serious wrong turn somewhere between “WE’RE HERE! WE’RE QUEER! GET USED TO IT!” and “Hey, we’re just like you, no need to worry, no need to fear us just because we’re gay! Love is love!” The wide acceptance for some queer folks getting married is because they’re no longer seen as a threat to the status quo, because — as mentioned above — it’s just more people willingly taking part in the same fucked-up broken money-making system. And those who won’t — or can’t — assimilate… well, we’re being murdered. We’re living on the streets. We’re unemployed. We’re here, we’re queer, you’re trying to make us disappear.

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Keep me dreaming in pale blues and greens

So often in the moments when I’ve been awake too long
When mental power’s fading and I’m slipping off to sleep
I find that longing feeling drifting in and through my heart

In shades of blue that don’t exist in any conscious state
The echoes of a need I cannot name and can’t define
But still I know the call of a familiar unknown thing

I wish myself surrounded by an endless sheet of flames
And covered by a never-ending sea at the same time
If water and inferno could exist atop themselves

I cannot have the things that mind and body claim as needs
I substitute mere shadows of their ultimate demands
A light in blue, and digital effects of ocean roar

To very few these words will, I suspect, convey my mood
Those few, indeed, who know the call of ultra-blue exist
We only linger here for but a moment… and then, home.

So may I introduce to you the act you’ve known for all these years:

Today, someone whose work I am in awe of — work in curating bizarre and beautiful things in several corners of the internet (some slightly less obscure than others) — made a point of sending their followers to take a look at some of my curatorial efforts (in The Old Reader, in this case.) More than that, they called me a “good friend” — which really made my day. There’s still that cognitive dissonance when somebody “internet famous” knows who I am, before I manage to acknowledge that, actually, my name is known in a handful of places too!

Anyway, if you’re interested in finding more of me, check out the following:

https://instagram.com/sophia_not_loren
http://www.inoreader.com/u/sophianotloren
http://www.last.fm/user/SophiaNOTLoren/tracks
https://sophia-not-loren.tumblr.com

Say my name, say my name!

I tried calling my mom on her cell earlier to remind her to stop by the bank. The call connected, but I couldn’t hear anything on her end, so I hung up and tried calling back.

My dad answered, and I could hear him but he couldn’t hear my end. After a “hello? hello?” or two on each side, he tried addressing me… by a name that is no longer mine.

I had forgotten just how fucking much it hurts to hear that sound. Twice, like a stab to the gut. That syllable repeated, an echo of a little boy I used to be, a firm reminder of the little boy he still sees. He started to say something else — I figured he was going to let me know that my mom was driving, which I already had assumed since that’s the only reason someone else would answer her phone.

I sent a text saying why I had been calling, with a little silly note about technology being unreliable. I pretended I hadn’t felt anything. Hours and hours later, I’m awake in the middle of the night and it all hits me again.

I want to shout at them — especially him — “My name is Sophia. My name is Sophia! MY NAME IS SOPHIA!” I want to show them how much it hurts. The angry part of me wants to hurt them back, to make them know my pain. The compassionate rest of me — the part I listen to because they taught me to trust that compassionate voice, taught me that love is so much stronger than anger — wants to hold them close and look them deep in the eyes and show them how much it means when I speak my full name, first, middle, last. I want so very, very much to hear them speak my name back to me, to know that they see me; that they understand who I am.

I can’t be who or what they wanted me to be. I can only be who I am, and I am who I must be. And I don’t know how to help them see that. I wish, but wishing never made it so. I hope, but hope seems to fail me. I try to show them love, but I need their love in return because I can’t keep endlessly giving away that love if it never comes back to me.

It hurts. It hurts so, so much.

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