Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fierce Fat [F]ilosophy, in first person

I live in a culture that is at war with my body. This war is ingrained in every cell of me, has been in every bite of food, every article of clothing, every interaction with another person since as far back as I can remember. I was indoctrinated into it by my parents, teachers, the people on TV, radio, the computer, my friends, and every adult and child I met growing up. I helped to enforce it. Sometimes it still gets the best of me.

I am fat. I have always been fat, and I may always be fat. Every day that I am alive, I encounter cultural messages that tell me that my fat body is ugly, offensive, gross, unhealthy, wrong, a thing that needs corrected. A type of objectification, for sure, though not the typical kind. I -- that is my body -- is an object of fear, disgust, and disdain.

I am told that I must be this way because I over-eat, or eat the wrong food, that I'm lazy, that I don't love myself, or care enough about my health, and that maybe I even hate myself or abuse my body and intentionally mistreat it. I relate this cultural message to a similar one that comes from conservative and Evangelical Christianity about queerness: that being gay is somehow "wrong" and that it needs correcting. That homosexuals need fixed, that it is their deep self-loathing that drives them into such a depraved lifestyle choice. If only they found the "Love of God" and were instilled with self-esteem, they could change their ways. I'm told my body is wrong, that it is not beautiful, not valid, worthless of desire -- and it is imperative for my health, social status, and worth as a person to lose weight and become thin. Weight-loss culture is the conversion therapy of the war on the body, the war on fat bodies.

This war, though it is aimed at fat bodies, effects every body. We are taught to fear and hate fat so intensely and to strive, desire, yearn for, objectify, and idealize thin so completely that nearly everyone is constantly at odds with their body, longing to "perfect" it. It effects how we use language and perceive and frame our thoughts on what is "healthy" and what is "beautiful." A good example is the word "fit." It currently describes a specific thin and lithely muscled body shape, without recognizing different types of "fitness," and that one can be cardiovascular fit AND fat. It gives us false and misleading medical care where our fatness is constantly treated as a disease and the cause of all our ails and illness, rather than the real causes for our medical problems.

It has created a multi-billion dollar private diet industry that pumps out advertising and propaganda to fuel the war, which fills the industry's pockets, further impacting medical science with regards to funding research that questions the current paradigm, as many pharmaceutical companies have their hands deeply in the diet industry directly and indirectly. Without good research, most medical schools are teaching in the paradigm of weight-loss and fat-phobia. And doctors are treating patients for a fake disease called obesity.

It impacts art on all fronts, from film and theatre, to fine art, to dance, fashion, the whole gamut where display of "beautiful bodies" are concerned. It impacts job hiring, advancement and workplace treatment, dating, finding sexual intimacy and relationships, making friends. The message is "fat = failure as a person." It's safe to say that fat people are discriminated against as a class of people. The message is a constant stream and built into everything. And the world is, more and more, not built for fat people. That's called marginalization -- being pushed to the edges. Being told that we are invalid is an attempt to take our power from us -- prescribed diets and other weight-loss regimes until we "get it right," and denied societal validation until we do.

With so much cultural oppression and marginalization, you can imagine that the mental health of fat people is stressed. Here I'd like to advance another idea. Much like the statistics of queer youth being depressed and having low self-esteem is related to societal pressures around sexuality and gender expression (which include institutionalized oppression as well as bullying and harassment), so too is fat oppression correlated to the mental health of people of size. For me, it's like this poison I drank when I was a child, that has worked its way through every part of me, and every day I must fight its effects. If I could just have the strength of will to lose weight, all my problems would dissolve, I believed. That's what I was told, in many ways by many cultural entities and medical authorities. And that I wasn't thin was that I did not have a will.

The message, the constant barrage of "failure" has seeped into every pore of my body, and sometimes I feel like it does make me ugly, worthless, invalid. That I'm going to be without intimacy because of the way I'm shaped (and how people perceive that shape) and that anyone who expresses desire for me is having a lapse of judgment that they'll regret (or even pretend didn't happen/cover up) later, or is deluded and it's only a matter of time before they come to their senses. Not only do I fear this lack of sexual/romantic/companionship, this separation, I undercut it when it approaches me for fear that it's not "real."

Being a gay man, I identify among my communities the "bear" subculture, and (somewhat conflicted as a fat activist) having a "skinny fetish," have dated and had sex with many "chubby chasers." But chub-and-chaser relationships are very confusing, not just with regards to the objectification and fetishization of the fat body that happens, but the dynamic of fear and loneliness that many fat-bodied gay men buy into, much as I relate above. The complexities are numerous, and I'll sort them out later.

Sometimes I do find myself reminiscing over my dating experiences in Ohio, before I was aware of "bears," dating men who did not identify as "chasers" and navigating the queerverse as just another homosexual, though a fat one who got little play. The experience there was that I was always attractive "in-spite-of" my size. I'm terribly amused by that turn of phrase now, where often my essence and personality are irrelevant in sexual encounters and it is my size that is the turn-on for the other person. But I'm a big weirdo, and I work hard at not letting that be forgot.

There is a deep longing in me, and I suspect many fat people, for not just acceptance but also to be desired as they are, as whole persons -- not as body parts, disembodied personalities, or an empty slot to fill. To not be told that their bodies are wrong and need to be reformed, but to be honored as right, sacred, beautiful, another set of shapes and textures that have their own ways of moving in the diversity of human form and function. Recognition that we come in all sizes, and that my size is good, right and okay.

I work so hard just to love myself as I am, to love my body as it is, and to realize I don't need fixing. I pray that all fat people can know the peace of self that I am seeking, because it really does open me to more experience of love and intimacy with others. I can stop sabotaging genuine attractions, and I have more energy to fight the real institutionalized fat oppression our culture is rife with advocacy and education.

Look, a well-adjusting fattie!

A List of Helpful Links for Fatties, Familiars, and Allies:

Monday, July 26, 2010


Lily and I have been introducing Rowan to the Elements of Life, the principle substances that coalesce to bring into being the living cosmos, the four states of matter/energy of which the world is composed, and which we as Witches demarcate as Earth, Air, Fire, Water. A fifth substance is recognized, Aether, which is the underlying energy which takes on these states to manifest.

Each of the Elements works as a symbol, representing a variety of qualities and energies. To quote Gabriel Carrillo: "When we speak about Fire, Water, Air and Earth, we are not speaking about the composition of chemicals, but of how our inner self understands the psychic qualities of the Elements. The Elements are used in magic to create alchemical changes produced by studying, defining, comprehending and embodying them. Clarifying and balancing the Elements internally transforms and greatly enlarges our sense of awareness of ourselves and of the world around us."

This week I have been focusing on Water, which is the liquid state of matter and whose power is Fluidity. In the body, Water manifests in the lymphatic and circulatory systems, and in the mind it manifests as adaptability. These heady associative principles are not something Rowan is going to understand right now, and I needed to appeal to his Fetch, or animal-soul, using touch.

I decided that introducing him to Water in the shower would be the best bet -- it's about the only time he really interacts directly with that Element. I often have Lily hand him to me when I'm in the shower so I can give him a good wash, since he hates baths. I usually spritz him with water quickly and then use a washcloth with baby shampoo on it to scrub him gently, then rinse him off again quickly. But today we took our time.

When Lily passed him off, I put him under the showerstream and cradled him against me, so that it was running down the back of his head and making sure it wasn't spraying him in the face, which he clearly dislikes. I let the falling water create a little pool in the hallow of his body nestled up next to mine, and dipped his hands in it, then lifted a small amount in my palm to trickle down his front. He liked it and laughed, so we did that game a few times.

Then I began rocking him while the water was running over us, and I began to invoke the Element of Water, "seeing" the water from the showerstream begin to glow a soft blue, (its principle color association), falling down over us, cleansing us.

Water is very much associated with cleansing and purity in Feri, mainly in a ritual we call Kala, a water rite that unbinds knoted up power within our energy bodies and physical form. A ritual bath is very much the same thing as Kala.

I began to sing a chant that the spirits gave me some years ago:

Mama wash over me, Mama wash over me;
White waves cresting, in the deep blue sea,
breaking over my beautiful body,
Mama wash me clean.

He liked the song, and began to vocalize softly and smile while I was singing it. I then thanked the spirits of Water, and as I was doing so, I could feel Rowan's emotional centers begin to get a little intense, and he began swinging back and forth between laughing and fussing.

It was time to pass him back to Mommy. When we did the handoff, he began to cry, and Lily took him in a towel to dry him off, get him grounded again, and centered.

It was a good adventure, a good introduction to an element that is very "shifty," but next time I'll make sure I have some better grounding going on.

It will be great to see how he develops as a little Witchboy, having a clear relationships with the Elements and the spirits associated with them. So precious!

Io Evhoe!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Returning to the Blogosphere

So here I am, a proud new papa. Rowan's six months old now, and I've decided to return from a blogging hiatus.

It's been quite the transition, though nothing we could have really prepared for. Rowan changes weekly now -- preferences, routines, mood. He's mostly a mellow baby, though he does have his daily meltdowns around napping and sleep -- he's super hard to get down for nap or bedtime.

I've been busy with work, both as the Squawk sitter and doing Bear-Oh! (Tarot) readings at bear events in the City and the East Bay, and am making some good money at it. We're also working hard on an event at Wolf Creek that has been my dream for some time -- the F(a)eri(e) Magick Gathering ( I'm really hoping it will come together and happen in the right way, Gods willing.

I've found that I have a lot of sexual currency in the bear/chub community, something that both amuses and delights me, and it's been quite nice, and has really helped my self-esteem. I'm trying hard not to give a shit, though, about that opiate known as external validation, which has been one of my most baneful demons.

I've been making some new friends, people who are more like myself, who care and are shining lights in the darkness for so many lost souls. They are verily Bad Ass.

I feel like there's so much that's happened, I'll never be able to blog about it all. I've yet again become another person, a still more true version of myself. I've been embodying what it means to be a "responsible adult," as Corby from our birth class put it awesomely: "I think a big part of becoming a parent is letting go of self absorption and selfishness and allowing someone else to have it." Parenting is, in many way, about sacrifice -- giving up those little things for the bigger, whole vision, and making it holy.

I value the time I have to myself, which is precious and little, and I try not to waste any of it anymore. Suffice to say I don't get bored and I choose who I spend it with very carefully.

I am so in love with my son, he's so amazing and smart and adorable. I could never have imagined how deeply I could love someone, and with such an almost instant bond.

In the next few days, I'll be doing a guest blog on Lily's Witch Mom (, about introducing Rowan to the element of Water -- in the shower!

Until then!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gender schmender -- in dealing with my demons and a touch of magic.

I've been in a creative rut the past few months, not to mention being horrendously busy.

I went up to Wolf Creek with a crew of folks (we rented a van) at the end of October, and it ended up being a very mixed bag. It was nice to get away for a weekend, but Lily was unhappy and uncomfortable (the Land isn't very accommodating to preggos), and I was distracted by something I'll be blogging about later.

When we returned, there was some discomfort with our houseguest and PanFeri Samhain was happening. I put in a tremendous amount of work for that ritual, and thankfully I got my energy's worth from it.

Since Samhain we've been focusing mainly on prepping for baby Rowan. We received good news that the previa is gone and that we can go foward with trying for our VBAC at the Birthing Center. Yay! (now we just have to come up with the $$ for it!)

So, I wanted to write a little about some personal demons I've been struggling with, demons I didn't even know I had, and which are a direct result of prepping for Rowan's arrival.

A few weeks ago we brought up all of the 0-6 months clothes from the basement. We've an entire year's worth of clothes, both donations/hand-me-downs and gifts, and we -- with the help of my friend J -- rearranged the bedroom to accommodate the co-sleeper and a small dresser for Rowan's clothes. We were going through the clothes we'd been collecting for the last six months, before we knew what the baby was packing between his legs, and a good handful of what we had are what some would call "girl" clothes. Several pink things, a skirt, some sparkly shirts, etc.

Now, both Lily and I are queer -- in our sexuality and also in our gender. Lily has a history organizing with Queer Nation in Boston and we both were involved in some form of queer/trans politicking, and I majored in (essentially) queer theory in college. We'd made a decision earlier this year that we were going to raise the kid in a Faerie-as-a-gender context and let the kid make their own decisions about gender and presentation. They'd get to decide and change their mind every day. Fuck the rules. But as we were sorting those clothes, I noticed, deep down inside me, this really fucked up reaction to keeping the "girl clothes," and knowing that (at least Lily) was going to dress Rowan in them. And I was shocked that this reaction was a part of me. I was talking with our doula (a female-bodied, long-time Radical Faerie and Feri student) about it later, and she nodded sagely, and reminded me that a lot of our early socialization remains buried deeply within us, and it is only through diligent, compassionate confrontation with these hidden parts that we can begin integrate them into our Whole. And I knew this, but the shock was strong and that advice did little to dampen it.

I never expected that this was a part of me after all the work I've done since I came out, went to college, organized, found Feri and Faerie, grew. But it is. I've struggled lifelong with body image issues, not just as a queer man, but as a fattie. All those voices of my father urging his bookworm (read: sissy) firstborn to play football and to dress conservatively, to be a real man. All the messages of the monoculture that expect a fat man to hide himself under big, plain clothes -- my size is hard to find, and a lot of the cute things I want to wear just aren't made that big. All the unspoken messages in body language, facial expression, behavior from gay men (and even Faeries) that let me know I'm not sexy or deserving of attention, so why would I dress with flare and call attention to that which is an anathema? And even the messages in the Bear community that have a hypermasculinized aesthetic, where deviation tends to be censured. Word of honor, I thank you that this is not my truth!

This wasn't just gender trouble -- this was a demon around expression that deviates from social norms, expressions that aren't "safe." So I made a commitment to what I believe in -- that we were going to raise Rowan in a Faerie context, and that meant that I needed to work through these issues now. (I'd like to note that my views on gender are complex, so I won't be getting into their subtleties here, but if any readers of this blog are really that curious, I'm down for a real-time conversation.)

I spent the evening after clothes-sorting in contemplation, feeling that uncomfortableness wriggling around inside me. I made Kala and aligned and decided that I needed to turn to my shaman's toolkit for some help; I decided to cast a spell.

Now, my approach to spell casting stems from nearly ten years working in the Feri Tradition. My teacher taught magic as a suppressed dimension of the human being and the world, magic as a mode of perception and relation -- not so much as a fix-it, but as journey of transformation.

I got some inspiration from my Godsoul, and I went into the bathroom cabinet and rooted around until I found what I was looking for: nail polish.

It was just right -- a few months ago I bought a sparkly saffron-colored nail polish at the Emery Bay mall called Note to Self. I lit the Star Goddess Candle and cast the Feri Circle and sat on my bed, painting my nails. I did three coats, and I was breathing mana into the polish as it dried between coats.

When I was done, I stripped off my clothes and stood in front of my bedroom door and looked at myself. I let my eyes travel over my body, with its masculine features, until I reached my hands, and flashed the sparkly orange nails in the mirror. I let my hands glide over my face and body, through my chest hair and down my tummy, and wrapped my hands around my genitals and then looked myself straight (haha) in the eye and said, "How fabulous you look, darling!" bringing my hands to my face, the color bright against the backdrop of my dark beard. And I laughed. My spell had been cast. The polish did look pretty good on my nails, being my favorite color and all, and I set my intention to not hide my hands in public, and not react to the reactions I might get from strangers or acquaintances.

I wore the polish for three days, even going to our childbirth class with it on, where we're not explicitly "out" as a queer couple. I went shopping, applied to a couple of jobs, and took the car to a mechanic for an oil change. Most people didn't notice, but when they did, the reactions were diverse.I tried not to pay attention to any of them. This was me, a reflection of Beauty, a part of me, a part of my queer, Faerie-gendered soul. So Mote It Be.

When I took the polish off, I set the intention that I'd do this more often and that I should spend more time adorning myself with beautiful things, spend more time dressing in ways that make me feel good about myself, not conforming to any social ideas of what I should look like. I'm going to rock my own aesthetic. To quote Joseph Campbell: follow your bliss.

Walk in beauty, run in freedom.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fae Brunch, and some heavy stuff

I started the weekend off with a relief, after arriving to the FAEposium, with a lot of joy at being in Rad Fae space. It had been a while since I'd been around so many Faeries, and I was really anticipating that space, and the connection I had felt at Wolf Creek returning. And at first it did.

A lot of my anticipation was in the looking forward to the genuine affection that Faeries have with one another, the real connection they attempt, subject-SUBJECT interaction; and especially interaction that does not deny the sexual (and places the sexual in the category of SACRED), yet attempts to not objectify others. I have a lot of fear and anxiety around being in sexualized space with gay men stemming from a history of low-self esteem, introversion and being on the receiving side of both cultural (re: subliminal) and personal (re: direct) fat-phobia. Despite this, I was also really looking forward to being in a queer space that wasn't the Bear culture (or other bar-based gay cultures in San Francisco) that I have been immersing myself within over the last few months -- a culture that I see as somewhat problematic with regards to objectification, excess, and disconnection (re: not making honest, loving/supportive connections, lack of real communication, rampant gossip and back-biting, and a heavy culture of superficiality). Rad Fae culture revels in real communion, which I greatly appreciate.

The longer I spent at the conference, the more that feeling evaporated, and the more I was wishing I were just at Bearracuda or hanging out at the Lonestar, where even if I wasn't being hit on, I wasn't invisible or seen as an anathema to the sexual atmosphere. Now, I did have some interesting personal connections, and when I was engaged in workshops, I felt vibrantly a part of the experience. Only when I was hanging out in social space did I feel pretty ignored, mostly by men under 35.

I have this observation that I find very interesting, and in a lot of ways I'm still chewing it over, seeing if it fits. I wrote about going to the No Men Us fishbowl, and the powerful conversations I witnessed there. It's been my experience that a lot of the voices opposing female-identified/assigned people in Faerie space have come from the first 2 or 3 generations of Radical Faeries, generally men in their 40s and up, today. But these same men have done a lot of work, especially early on in the movement, with gay sexuality, body-acceptance, fear of aging, and creating loving-supportive space for gay men regardless of lookisms. It's my experience that a great many younger Faeries (under 35 today) have not done as much work in these arenas. And it's a mind-fuck, being a younger Faerie and going through a lot of the fat-phobia stuff, yet identifying with the more "Faerie-as-a-gender" punk/anarchist queers of the newest generations.

Even SM, the presenter of "No Men Us: Voices of Female Faeries," brought up how the typical Faerie looks (re: slender) and how being fat and a Faerie makes you invisible and de-sexualized. There is a strong aesthetic-preference in Faerie culture for slenderness, a skinny-fetish if you will. And this is what I want to speak to and relate my experience, as it weighs heavily on my heart.

Today I attended the last part of the conference, a Faerie Brunch held at Grand Central, a Fae space in the Castro. Today was also the Castro Street Fair, and as part of the Brunch those in attendance planned to go parade through the fair, causing Faerie glee, glitter and chaos. And we did.

I picked up my new out-of-towner friends in West Oakland and we drove in. I was meeting J, my best friend (who does not identify as a Faerie) there. We were a bit late, and J had already arrived before us. J was talking to this cute cubby guy (he has a preference for Bears and husky guys) when I walked in, and had already recieved a handful of introductions, being a slender, fit guy himself (he's considered pretty attractive by conventional gay standards). My new friends, C and L, had also made a lot of acquaintances during the main two days of the conference, and were new to Faerie. Part of it was the "fresh meat" thing, but they are also young and slender gay men, and therefore very appealing to that Faerie aesthetic.

At first I thought I was projecting it, maybe it was coming from a reaction to my introversion, or was it me getting wrapped up in my pattern of low self-esteem. But, really, I was being treated as if I weren't really there by a lot of the men at the brunch. At one point I re-connected in a big warm hug with O (who almost shares my name) and several older Faerie men gave me warm reception. But as I was conversing with J, the cute guy he was flirting with earlier came over and started feeding him bites from his fork and flirting. Shortly thereafter, J introduced me to P, and P seemed somewhat bored at the interruption to their flirting, then went on to ignore me. Later on, a Faerie who lives at the house came over to say hi to C and L, and totally ignored me, even as I stood between the two, and made his introduction to J. He failed to even look at me, however though we'd never formally been introduced. He later, when another (older) Faerie (who had spoken to me and made eye contact) was about to introduce him to this group of my friends yet again, said he'd already met and spoken to all of us, and it seemed comical that I appeared to be ignored again, almost directly and with purpose.

Again and again, throughout the afternoon, I experienced myself being ignored by Faeries of my generation, often talking to the friends I was engaged in conversation with, but it appeared as if they did not even see me there. It became nearly comical, despite the wounding effect on my self-esteem, when it happened, and I even called it out to J and C a few times with slowly nodding agreement on their part. At one point, a young Faerie walked up to J to talk to him and flirt, knocking me aside to do so, and not even turning to look at me even after he finished and walked away. I was somewhat surprised none of my friends called it out -- it was so much a part of the atmosphere -- and if I'd felt more at ease, I may have started making jokes to people about it when they did it.

I think the subject-SUBJECT sexual interaction has a long way to go with the Faerie culture as it stands today. I felt like I was objectified -- not as a sexual object, but as a non-sexual object (you push furniture out of the way, not people). I felt invisible. For me, sexuality is the linchpin of our humanity, and denying someone as a sexual being is denying an essential part of their humanity. And the air was rife with sexuality, most of the younger Faeries engaged in making out in the space all afternoon, but I received not even eye contact from most of them.

There is a deep truth that I know in my bones, from my working of sex and spirit, from the sexual magic I learned in the Feri Tradition from my teacher. It is that ALL bodies are not just beautiful, but all bodies are sexy. Each of us is fucking sexy, ALL of us is -- body, spirit, and even all the damage we carry around like baggage. And it is our job, as sexual mystics and shamans, to retrieve the divine parts of ourselves that remember (and re-member) this truth. We must give ourselves permission and allow the experience of everyone as a sexy, beautiful, god-ensouled creature of Holy Creation to wash over us, to soak into our skin and saturate our irises, so that it shines out into the world, a beacon for connection, love and communion.

And it is my intent to chronicle this experience not as a means of garnering sympathy (though I hope that in my telling, relation to this suffering can happen and learning may come from it), but as a way to sort out my thoughts around this and figure out what steps I can take to help change this dynamic in Faerie culture and gathering space. I resent feeling unwelcome this weekend, and I am doing Kala around it. And I am finding that part of my work, and maybe why He Who Dresses Her Hair bade me go immerse myself in Rad Fae, is to further the subject-SUBJECT dynamic in a more real, enacted and embodied way. To remind Faeries that we are all sexy queens, even us fatties, and to challenge non-inclusive aesthetics. This, I suspect, will help me in my personal evolution around allowing myself to be a sexual being with other queer men, especially in a social/group context.

By way of this, I also noticed that there are some very accepted and celebrated fat queens in Faerie, but the way they seem to get attention is by being very loud and acting out -- slender queens need not resort to this if they so choose (though the typical Radical Faerie is rather flamboyant). It's a direct import from mainstream culture, where the fatboy cultivates the costume as a funny guy for acceptance, or the fatgirl is the witty, snappy friend who you can go to tell your problems (the fag hag, as SM put it in her workshop -- and yet I even had a strange experience with her today, where she was hugging and kissing Faeries during our parade through the street fair, yet I was the lone only-a-hug, and there was a distance in her eyes when we made contact -- it is all so internalized by those who engage in this culture).

Yet none of us were raised in Faerie space. We were all enculturated in the mainstream, and we bring a lot of that conditioning with us. Radical Faerie is not known for discipline, and while a lot of Faeries seem to take steps to analyze the self to the point of taking on an identity outside that of even gay culture, most do not seem to go beyond that, and deconstruct that identity to achieve a greater wholeness of self -- identities cut us up and ultimately do not serve our personal/spiritual evolution with their limitations. Is it that there is such a strong celebration of the Faerie as a lithe, slender elfin creature that a fat, hairy man cannot suffice to fill a role of otherworldly male desire? These things I will endeavor to explore and find my answers to.

I eventually decided to not return to the CSC for the heart circle after the parade through the street fair. I had begun to feel very bitter about the weekend, even after posting last night about my excitement for raising my child in Faerie culture. I will not raise my child with limited ideals of beauty. Beauty is boundless. So I left instead of continuing to feel resentment.

I have some very mixed feelings about the weekend, yet I'm looking forward to Samhain on the Land. I hope to have worked through some of the hurt and confusion by then, and I will be able to respond positively to future scenarios, to teach and learn and love and commune.

Walk in beauty, run in freedom.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


This weekend I spent most of my time at the FAEposium, a Radical Faerie conference, urban gathering and performance in San Francisco. Some new friends are in from out of town for the month, and we provided their first entrance into the Radical Faerie world.

Today my partner went with me to the conference. We attended a workshop in the afternoon entitled No Men Us: Women Voices in Radical Faerie. It was set up as a fishbowl, a circle within a circle, with men holding space and women conversing. It was fierce.

There were only two women there to begin with, the presenter and my partner. The presenter was very bummed, and eventually two other women came in near the half-way point. It was amazing hearing the conversations of voices that have been marginalized within Radical Faerie culture. As my partner reminded me this evening, gay men would not be doing the work of Spirit if it were not for women -- historically, it was women's work that gay men took on being lumped in with.

During the workshop, the pregnancy came up, and my partner let the cat out of the bag that we had conceived the child-to-be on the Wolf Creek Land, during this past Beltaine, as an intentional act. There was a big reaction, and a palpable wave moved through the room. I do not know what the repercussions of letting this secret out may be, but I pray that positive can come from it. I'm only just now beginning to see the magical repercussions of what we did are -- being that the fetus is a homunculus, a Moonchild, specifically an avatar for a Queer divinity that we invoked into the ritual act of conception, and that any such act occuring on Nomenus land did so with the blessing of the Ancestors of that land (or else it would not have come to pass). Lily talked about how she wanted the child to be raised in Faerie culture. I couldn't agree more. We do not know if this is the first time a child was conceived on the Land, and few children have been raised in Faerie.

It was also powerful to hear similar narratives about being, in a lot of ways, invisible in Faerie community -- as a fatty, I feel much the same way. There is a lot of lookism and fatphobia in the Faerie culture, and subject-SUBJECT sexuality is a myth when it comes to the reality of its enactment in many ways. I think a lot of my work in Rad Fae is to bring this up, to encourage queens to look at their stuff, and to heal this. I have a lot of work, myself, around being able to feel sexually safe with gay men in a sacred context, and not an anathema to sex in that space. Tonight I witnessed a beautiful performance that called to me in a sexual way, that re-spawned the desire to connect with men in a sacred-sexual context. I desire it to the point of terror.

This tribe of misfits is Home and I look forward to raising my child among these beautiful freaky faeries.

So mote it be.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I suppose I should make my introductions.

Pronunciation: \ˈbig\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian dial. bugge important man
Date: 14th century
2 a : large or great in dimensions, bulk, or extent ; also : large or great in quantity, number, or amount b : operating on a large scale c : capital 1
3 a : pregnant; especially : nearly ready to give birth b : full to bursting : swelling c of the voice : full and resonant

Pronunciation: \ˈfer-ē\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English fairie fairyland, enchantment, from Anglo-French faerie, from fee fairy, from Latin Fata, goddess of fate, from fatum fate
Date: 14th century
: a mythical being of folklore and romance usually having diminutive human form and magic powers
usually disparaging : a male homosexual

Pronunciation: \ˈda-dē\
Function: noun
Date: 15th century
1 : father 1a

My name is Oberyn. (Yes, there is a reference there to Oberon, King of the Fairies, in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, whoever he was.) I live in Oakland, California with my partner, Lily, 12 years my senior, and the subject of what she is currently carrying will be the purpose of this blog; she's pregnant.

We're a little weird, a little queer. We conceived on Beltaine, a holy day for Witches (the importance of which shall later become apparent), while at the Wolf Creek Radical Faerie Sanctuary for the celebration. We think it's a boy -- ultrasound pictures seem to indicate this. And I'm, well, gay. Oh, and yes, we planned this.

There are some complications with the pregnancy. To date -- Lily has a complete anterior placenta previa. We were hoping to deliver VBAC, as Lily has PTSD from a former birth experience in 1989. We are using a birthing center and midwives in San Francisco, but it looks like we'll be having a planned c-section a month before the due date, to ensure Lily does not hemorrhage. We're hoping no bleeding at all during the 3rd trimester, so to avoid bed-rest and possible hospitalization.

For now, that is our main focus. Updates and thoughts to come!