#5 simple Tips for Binary Options Trading 2019 // 3rd is ...
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Finding the Best Advice For Binary Options Trading
If you are along in the midst of most binary options traders, you see for advice that will pro you make as much of a profit as attainable, but the source of that advice may or may not be beneficial to you. This is because in many cases, the advice you'a propos live thing genuine is benefiting somebody else even more. The biggest error made by most traders is believing that all of the advice unchangeable by the broker they are effective subsequent to is intended to pro the trader. How Brokers Make Their Money At the outlook of the hours of day, the broker you are working when has to make keep. That's why they exist. The misfortune is that brokers make most of their part subsequent to traders lose. This can lead to a lot of advice that may appear hermetic, but afterward might not profit you the promised results. You see, the money that you put into trades doesn't actually become portion of the larger money market, ie it is not 'pumped' into the markets. Instead, it is managed by the broker. Winnings come not from the manage to pay for, but from the losses of supplement traders. The offer single-handedly serves as a type of measuring tool. Of course brokers compulsion you to win often ample to save going, therefore not all their advice is bad or intended to cause you to lose maintenance. If every one anyone in the binary options trading market did was lose, it wouldn't yet be in addition to hint to, would it? The realize is that you can make money subsequent to binary options trading, but you have to be cautious very more or less where you are getting your advice. Binary Options Experts There are people out there who have been trading binary options successfully for years who not on your own continue to incline a profit as soon as suggestion to the puff, but who have moreover begun to teach others re speaking how to obtain the related. By finding binary options experts who know the assist and have themselves made a make a get your hands on of, you can confidently be of the same opinion advice from them even though knowing that they will not directly gain from your gains or losses. When looking for binary options experts, authorize grow primordial to research their archives and check into any credentials they may have. But be ware, because of the popularity of the binary options trading proclaim, there are people out there who are claiming to be experts even even while they in strive for of fact aren't. Following their advise could cause you to retrieve financial cause problems. Another important note is that even experts who have been trading binary options successfully for years are human and can yet make mistakes. Plus, they may have a to your liking arrangement of the relieve, but the shout from the rooftops is always changing which means there's no mannerism for anybody to predict as soon as 100% accuracy Binary Options Trading which supervision the make available will perspective. Develop Your Own Strategy By staying informed gone reference to current puff trends and learning anything you can from binary options experts and third-party websites, you can begin to build your own strategy for trading binary options. Although at the coming on it may be more beneficial to you to once-door-door to follow the supervision of various industry experts, as you learn and ensue in your abilities, it's important that you become more confident in your trading skills and begin to trust your instincts more. When developing your own strategy, remember that you sensitive to build a strategy that is easy, easy-to-endure, and variable to any impinge on. While many broker websites may lay out unspecified strategies for you to follow, the best strategies are lighthearted and available to use. Overly complicating strategies can actually lead to bad decisions past trading binary options is fairly understandable. It is along with important to be obdurate that your strategy is gymnastic, consequently that you can alter it as the abet changes and create adjustments as needed to huge it for you. Remember that the market can be volatile, therefore even the best strategy is going to lose now and subsequently. What is more important is that you arbitrate one that allows you to win consistently. Conclusion When learning binary options and bothersome to figure out the best quirk for you to make money, make favorable that you don't go to the front yourself too skinny. When it comes to binary options, there are a number of every second trades that you can make depending in the mood for expiry time and what you are trading whether it's commodities, currency pairs, assets, or stocks. Find something that works for you and secure following it. Different expiry time and options require strange strategies, in view of that it's best to pick just a few things and operate taking into account those. One of the reasons to fasten considering a degrade number of trading options is that you can more easily produce a outcome-battle research regarding that unorthodox and watch it more contiguously. Effective binary options traders usually focus unaccompanied a propos one or two assets and they make known you will to know them in object of fact dexterously. In upgrade, by focusing upon a single asset it is much easier to follow news stories and present an opinion relevant to the asset, Eventually you'll learn to use current events and changes in the global economy to predict where your particular asset is headed. Choosing a sound source for your binary options trading advice is the first and, arguably, the most important step in monster affluent subsequent to it comes to binary options trading.
I need advice. I was scammed by binary options website 1 year ago. Could I use paypal to refund my money?
Disclaimer:I am sorry, turns out I haven't used paypal to transfer money to this broker. At the time there was a limit in my credit card so I tried but haven't been able to.(I transferred with bank account) Now I remember. Since people asked this:the name of the broker is traderush. The amount of scamming they do is mind blowing. I will explain in more details in comments. I heard people getting refunded on paypal over small things. One binary company completely fuck** me over and tried to do it again later. They do not disclose full rules of their offers, than talk you into placing trades, than they say that you have to sign this and that and then it turns into casino gambling bonuses. I am in college and I know I am pretty stupid. It caused me depression since it was the money my family gave me to start my own life and I only searched for ways to make more out of it. Now I have to lie every time I get asked about the money because my family is getting divorced and I don't want to burden them with even more problems. I even told this to the person who talked me into the scam. I can't believe such freaking heartless bastards exist in the world. What would happen if I would try to refund part of the money with paypal? Would I get sued? I can't fight these big companies I won't even try. edit: grammar, also updated a bit.
Trial Results: Should we suspend the Simple Questions rule?
tl;dr: probably not, no.
On July 28th, 2020, MFA_Nay asked openly for feedback on the "Simple Questions Rule" and how we as moderators handle content curation on the sub. We were responding feedback of many users who were concerned that the sub was stale and/or they were unable to "ask for advice" on the front page. It's been a while since we've considered test-running the counterfactual to our norm, so it seemed appropriate to give it a shot. On July 31st, 2020, we officially suspended the rule. We were originally considering doing a month-long trial, but came to the conclusion (based on rapid and strong feedback from many regulars, combined with exasperation on our end) that a week would be quite sufficient. On August 7th, 2020, we wrapped up the trial and solicited feedback in both comment and survey form. I don't intend to put too many personal takes up here, and will add them down below as a top level comment, but I did promise you some data and figures, so I will deliver those here. When evaluating the questionnaire, the goal was to find patterns that would pass reasonable muster. The data are too small and perhaps too biased* for any real power (*though there's a case to be made that the respondents are sufficiently representative of the population we wanted the most feedback from; never underestimate the convenience sample). Looking at respondents' primary reasons for being on MFA, it seems like most people are here to lurk. I'm surprised by how many people said their reason here is "To Give Advice", and wonder if the question should have instead been split into a binary by combining "To Lurk" and "To Get Advice". Looking at respondents' time on MFA, the mean/median/mode have been here a couple of years (2-4), and barely 15% report being here less than a year. Most respondents preferred heavier curation (mean 7.3), and their curation preferences were not associated with their tenure here. Looking beyond the survey at comment and post frequency, you can see that the volume of posts is driven almost entirely by questions and the comment volume is slowly decreasing but steady. What does this mean? Well, probably not much. Allowing simple questions does not drastically change the traffic, nor does it seem to make regulars (read: the content creators here) very happy. Multiple have expressed in comments and messages that that they are less inclined to create content, and on a 5-option Likert scale question asking "Did allowing Simple Questions on the frontpage make you more or less likely to create content?", half said "Much less likely", less than 10% said "Somewhat more likely", and I didn't even realize there was a fifth option until I was rereading the question and typing this post, because no one put "Much more likely".
Edit - Its been a few days since I posted so I wont be checking in to answer new questions here. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to be through my stream. This guide should still be relevant to patch 10.17 but I'd recommend QuickSilver > GA due to Titans resolve nerfs. Hello, I'm Atornyo and I first hit challenger in NA as a mech one-trick last patch and achieved as high as rank 18 in patch 10.16. I really enjoy mech as I mostly played reroll mech to hit diamond last set and think it is the most interesting composition in the game. I will be referring to mech pilots with a focus on Viktor carry as Viktor Mech. My lolchess: https://lolchess.gg/profile/na/atornyo Ideal Viktor Mech Level 8: https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=f6e3df00de7c11ea85825783e5dd3235 (legendaries can replace units with similar traits if you find a 2 star version of them or find a legendary before 2 starring the unit they replace: Lulu>Cass gp 1star > ziggs if you have an extra defensive item to give gp Ekko>shaco) Level 9:https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=1c8af8c0de7d11ea8f93e91782b06499 Items that can be used in Mech Viktor: For the Mech - Titan’s Resolve - If your mech has one of Hand of Justice or Guardian Angel or both I recommend building this item, without either of these items you won’t see much value from Titan’s Resolve until you have a level 5 or 6 mech which means you have 2 star annie rumble and fizz. This item has the potential to be the single strongest item that your mech can use and is worth playing for every game. The downside to this item is that there is zero value in slamming the item early game as it will never hit 50 stacks until you have a mech online. The only time you are looking to potentially not have this item on your mech is if there are many people contesting (a 4+ mech lobby) the reason for this is because this item greatly increases in value the higher level your mech is. Once it hits 50 stacks your mech will 1v9 especially when coupled with a Hand of Justice or Guardian Angel. Hand of Justice - This item is so good worth slamming every game as it works well on early game carries and is really solid on mech. Guardian Angel - Solid item but ONLY place this on your mech if you are certain there will be a Hand of Justice or a Titan’s Resolve with it. Works well with Titan’s because your mech doesn’t lose its Titan’s stacks after its first death and can slap around the enemy team after reviving. Works well with Hand of Justice as it can heal a significant amount of HP post mortem. This item also works really well with rumble as he will oftentimes cast after coming out of the mech and his spell doesn’t go away while reviving. Quicksilver - This item is BiS for mech IF you are unable to complete the trifecta mentioned above. In lobbies with many zephyrs this item can result in insane value, however, with optimal scouting you can sacrifice Ziggs and Cass to the Zephyr gods. The reason I believe this item isn’t as godly as many others make it out to be is the fact that it does absolutely nothing in a number of matchups other than provide 20% dodge. The problem with this item is that it is NOT slammable until you have a mech online. Bramble Vest - One of the strongest items to slam early game. If you take an armor off the starting carousel and are blessed enough to find another by 2-1 you are building this item. TrapClaw - This item is mostly just a 20% dodge stat boost. This item isn’t very slammable early personally, only build if I feel I don’t have any other options. Shroud of Stillness - This item is a 20% dodge stat boost that can turn a fight with optimal positioning. If you build this item you need to scout EVERY round. Relatively slammable early but not on the same tier as bramble. ZZ’rot - You are building this item because you want to win streak early. Neat thing with this item is that you get two voidlings over the course of the fight. Warmog’s Armor - Probably the single strongest early game item in the game, give a protector this item and go afk until stage 4. Ionic Spark - Another very slamable item, if you have a rod and a cloak at any point before krugs it is worth slamming as this item will save you infinite HP. Thieve’s Gloves - This item is a bait on mech. In the past I would play Thief’s Gloves mech as a transition unit while I pivot to a non mech composition. Nowadays I only play mech so don’t recommend giving the mech this item. Not a bad shaco item and once you replace shaco with Ekko he loves it. Itemizing Viktor - Viktor wants a morellonomicon in order to nuke the enemy team’s healing potential along with blue buff or Spear of shojin as viktor should be able to kill the backline in 2-3 spells. If you're considering playing mech here is what you should look to do in each stage: Stage 1: look to grab Armor>Tear>Crit Glove on first carousel units holding these specific items such as armor Malphite/Illaoi or tear Ziggs can be free tickets to winstreaking early. After carousel I try to hold brawlers rebels and infiltrators as I believe it is the strongest opener for mech, however if it is clear that a stronger board is available, such as a 2 star poppy or jarvan while you only have 1 star Illaoi/Malphite, it is worth pivoting to that. On the round that Kayn appears (1-4) I will prelevel which means I buy experience in order to achieve a level 4 shop on 2-1. This is very important as a unit like rumble/shaco/neeko with a belt can win streak the entirety of stage 2. I try to hold on to any Annie I find as I like to hold one whenever possible but it is worth selling her in order to pick up any brawlerebel/infiltrator or to ensure that you can pre level. Stage 2: I attempt to win streak through stage 2 every single game, Viktor Mech and Mech infiltrators are not very item dependent and you can switch between the two depending on what items the game gives you. If you have any of Bramble Vest, Hand of Justice, Guardian Angel, Ionic Spark, Warmogs,blue buff, morellonomicon, or ZZ'rot Portal it is best to slam the item as the Mech can hold any of those items other than bluebuff and morellonomicon and those last 2 items are vital for viktor, Illaoi is a great holder for Mech items and Ziggs/ahri are great holders for Viktor items. On 2-1 play whatever your strongest board is as with any non-hyperroll compositions. On 2-3 before the stage 2 carousel I will prelevel in order to get a level 5 shop on 2-5 post carousel, this is extremely strong for Mech Pilot compositions as it gives you the opportunity to hit a full Mech on stage 2 or other strong early game units like rumble gnar wukong and fizz. In the case that you are on a 2 or 3 loss streak after the stage 2 carousel it is best to attempt a full loss streak in order to maximize early gold, this is the ONLY time that I would ever consider attempting to lose a round. If you are running infiltrators in your early game composition it is extra important to scout EVERY round as the difference between an infiltrator hitting a Ziggs or a 2 star frontliner is winning or losing a fight. Stage 3: This is where a lot of decision making enters the game. If I am winstreaking with a streak of 3 or greater and I will have more than 10 gold after leveling I will level on 3-1. otherwise I will level on 3-2. If I have fizz and rumble by 3-2 and am level 6 I am willing to roll down to 10gold in order to hit an annie. If you roll down this early into the game it is vital that you do not tunnel only on units that go in your final composition, you are not rolling solely to hit a Mech you are rolling to maintain win streak this means that you will look to complete any pairs or to add unit upgrades to your current board. If you roll down and do not upgrade your board at all you will be in a very bad place so it is important to keep a very open mind on what can be thrown in to improve your composition. If I don't roll down on 3-2 I usually do not roll at all unless I am taking a large amount of damage every round in which case it can be a good idea to level to 7 post stage 3 carousel (3-5) and roll some gold to stabilize. If you are rolling it is important to not roll below 10 in stage 3 unless you have a great reason to, such as winstreaking and holding 4-6 pairs while knowing there are opponents that can beat you if you don't hit those upgrades. What to do if you hit early Mech: Mech in stage 3 can be played in many different ways. Most of the time you will sell your frontline and be looking to play Mech + whatever your strongest backliners are which are usually the level 2 units you already had. Ideally you want to have a ziggs and infiltrator or be running 4 sorcs + Mech but it is not vital in stage 3. Stage 4: This is where the decision between Viktor Mech and Mech infiltrators is made. If you are bleeding out and approaching death <40hp 4-1 it is worth leveling to 7 and rolling down to stabilize. Which means you are playing the level 8 board minus ziggs if by some miracle you hit aurelion sol feel free to play zed/ziggs/asol instead of the mystic units. However, in the majority of games you will level to 8 on 4-3 and roll for your board. The 4-3 rolldown (Viktor Mech) - While rolling you are looking to hit this board https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=f6e3df00de7c11ea85825783e5dd3235 it is discussed earlier when to replace units with legendaries. Also I value cass and Karma over Soraka as before the mech dies other units tend to take very little to 0 damage. If you run into a GP Mercenary upgrade in this roll down it is only worth purchasing double strike as they are so expensive. You can stop rolling once you hit the units in the composition and have a level 6 mech (2 star annie rumble and fizz), a 2 star legendary or 2 star Viktor. If you hit any of those requirements with more than 20 gold and are somewhat healthy you can usually go to level 9 later in the game in order to increase your chances at first place. If you hit a 2 star asol and do not have blue buff Asol can replace Viktor at levels 8 and 9. If you hit it is very likely that you will win streak through stage 4 and into stage 5. Stage 5: If you rolled down at level 7 on 4-1 you are leveling to 8 and rolling on 5-1 in a last ditch effort to survive. This rolldown is the same as the standard 4-3 one. If you were able to stop rolling early and have hoarded a large amount of gold, look to go level 9. Only go level 9 if you have at least 30 gold to roll or have more than 15 gold and already hold 1 or more legendary pairs. If you are about to die feel free to roll on 8 in order to complete vital 2 stars which are any mech pilot unit +viktor and shaco. The winconditions for Mech Viktor are good mech items +perfect item 2 star Viktor or Level 9 with 2 star legendaries. The optimal level 9 composition looks like this https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=1c8af8c0de7d11ea8f93e91782b06499 with the option to replace Viktor with urgot 2 and giving the bluebuff to urgot and the morellos to Asol. While it is situational it is almost always better to run a 2 star unit over a 1 star legendary. In the case that you were fortunate enough to find an infiltrator spatula play it on either viktor or gangplank and instead of running Asol play 4 infiltrator level 9: https://lolchess.gg/buildeset3.5?deck=7aa7b960de8511ea9ce08d2f4408daad If you hit either of these level 9 boards with 2 star units it is a 1st unless an opponent has a 3 star 4 cost unit or out positions you really badly. General advice when playing Mech Viktor:
It is optimal to run GA>QSS if you have titan resolve or Hand of justice but you have to scout every round to ensure your mech doesn't get zephyr'd
It is better to have your mech on either side versus the front
Cass and Ziggs should be placed where zephyrs will land, it doesn't matter if they are frontlined because if your mech gets zephyr'd your chances of winning the round are much lower.
When aiming infiltrators make it so Shaco is jumping straight at a carry, for Ekko you want him jumping on the same side that your mech is to ensure that he casts.
Early game focus on itemizing mech and viktor
Late game focuses on grabbing items for your 2 star legendaries. Best in Slot (BiS) for GP - GA, Dcap, Ionic spark (only if mech doesn't have one) Ekko - statikk shiv, rfc, shojin, hoj, runanns. Asol - All damage focused AP items and Hand of Justice.
Always put mech items on rumble as his spell costs the least so he is most likely to cast and get value after the mech has died
Differences between Galaxies Dwarf Planet - Mech is so busted on this galaxy, I have seen Mech compositions hold hands 1-5 multiple times in challenger elo games. Look for titans resolve as if it procs your Mech will hit the backline. Infiltrators are weaker on this map so keep that in mind when building early game boards. Gangplank is also OMEGABUSTED on this galaxy. Neekoverse - I just wanted to thank riot for removing this Galaxy Superdense - I tend to run 4 infiltrator instead of ziggs at level 8. Also if winstreaking you might roll more in stage 3 as any round you win it is likely you're doing an extra 2 damage which puts a lot of pressure on a lobby. Trade Sector - Greatly dislike this galaxy for Mech but never miss the chance to level if you can afford it while winstreaking. Going level 7 right after stage 3 carousel can be the difference between hitting an early legendary or hitting important mech units. Treasure Trove - Not a great galaxy for Mech as you have 4 units in your composition that do not benefit greatly from items (Mystic units and annie/fizz) Also Mech doesn't benefit too greatly by having perfect items so the benefit that other compositions get is much greater. Galactic Armory - Great for pushing early winstreaks. Always look to slam 2 full items before any pvp rounds even begin. Binary Star - Look to take glove or tear on the first carousel. NEED to win streak as mech isn't as strong later in the game. Not as bad for mech as people make it seem but you usually need 2 dodge items (QSS, HOJ, Trapclaw, and shroud of stillness) in order to make your mech survive versus the 4 cyber players in the lobby. Need perfect Viktor items as another issue mech has in this galaxy is the fact that mystic units along with other mech units can't utilize items well. Plunder Planet - Always push levels and try to bully other players around. Anytime you can prevent another player from killing any of your units you are denying them 2-3 gold which is a huge early game. Most of the time you will level to 8 on 4-1 and be 9 in late stage 4 or early stage 5. Can also decide to roll down on 3-5 after stage 5 carousel at level 7 in order to get as much gold as possible off the galaxy and prevent other players from killing units. Everyone spikes really hard in stage 4 on this galaxy. Salvage world - I'm still unsure of this galaxy, I have only played 5 games on this galaxy but in 2 of them I opened with a redbuff ludens lucian with blaster buff that felt really strong. Not as important to run an early game composition that can utilize mech items well. I'm sure I missed some stuff within this guide and will try to answer any questions in the comments over the next few days.
UPDATE (Child wrote letter to us (parents) about being transgender)
(For reasons explained below, I will be referring to my son with male pronouns) So, a couple of days ago I posted a question about my son writing a letter about wanting "to get surgery to become a girl." (His words). I received a ton of feedback so thank you for your excellent advice. I also discussed the matter with a few friends of mine active in the LGBTQ community. The note was discovered by my wife before he actually gave it to us to read. Upon advice from others, I gave him a day or so to work up the courage to tell us before I would say anything. The other night, we talked and he told me everything. He cried and told me his reasons for wanting to transition. It's a rather long story, but in short, he is kind of a weird little nerdy kid. (I say this affectionately since I was the same way.) He is bullied at school a lot and as he articulated to me, he says all the boys pick on him and in his observations the girls don't get picked on. His cousin, my niece, who he is very close with, suggested the surgery option after watching the video of a youtuber who transitioned. (He couldn't remember the name.) He is the only boy cousin in his generation and thus can feel left out at times, as well. (First boy born in the wider family in over 20 years.) I told him I love him and support him no matter what. If he wants to transition, I will be there with him. He had never heard the words "trans." I told him a bit about what I had learned. I asked him if he wanted to start using she/her pronouns, he said no. I asked if he wanted me to get him some new clothes, no again. We talked at length. I said this will not be a quick process. It will involve a lot of doctors and therapy, but no matter what if that is the direction he wants to go in, I will respect that. So, at least for the time being I am going to default to his stated preference for pronouns. Is he actually trans? Not sure. Is he non-binary? Is he just struggling with his identity? Not sure. After consulting with a few people and professionals, at the very least he needs to see a therapist to sort this out. If it turns out that is the path to take, we'll support him. However, at this time it is inconclusive. As a side note, I didn't share it with him but my wife and I discussed it later. As I am sure y'all know, girls get picked on just as much if not more. I would expect it would be even more so for a child transitioning. So... there is a lot to unpack there certainly. Again, big THANK YOU to everyone who answered my question with advice and guidance. I will probably continue to lurk around to educate myself. I really appreciate the guidance. I am not sure what the future holds, but thank you all.
I’m in the middle of filling out grad school applications and I’m currently filling out one that asks what I identify as and I’m so happy because they provide SO many options and it just feel really inclusive. But I just feel hesitant to put non-binary or gender queer because I don’t know if I really nonbinary. I’ve never really known how I’ve felt about gender in general, especially my own. I’ve just been apathetic towards it so recently (within the past year or so) I’ve been slowly thinking of myself as non-binary. I’m AFAB and I’m going by she/they but I honestly also wouldn’t really care if people used “he” either. But I don’t necessarily reject the idea of being a girl? I’m not against it but I just don’t care about it? Sorry if this seems all over the place I’m just confused I guess. I just don’t want to be a cis person invading the space of enby folks and appropriating terms that don’t apply to me. Any advice or opinions would be really appreciated.
An excessively detailed guide on how to start shaving, and doing so discretely, based on my personal experience.
Hey dudes and dudettes, I'm an 18-year-old kinda non-binary but mostly just confused male and I recently started shaving my legs and didn't want my parents to know. I thought seeing as though there are always so many questions from people about shaving and doing stuff discretely that I'd go through EVERYTHING of note that I learnt/discovered, so that you can do it too! This is pretty excessively detailed, so I'd recommend reading over it a few times so you get a vibe for what to do and what not to do and then just do it whatever way you figure out to work for you. If anyone has questions, or any other tips they wanna add (or you just wanna point out a spelling mistake), feel free to leave a comment! If it's really personal feel free to DM me but don't DM me your dick or a request for pics, soz.
Stuff you'll NEED:
An electric implement which can be used for trimming your leg hair, e.g. hair clipper, beard trimmer. I used the thing I use on my face.
A razor (can be a men's razor, not only are they fine to use, many women prefer them because they apparently shave closer and smoother. But yeah don't fret) [I used a men's Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide and would recommend it, don't get the higher tier ones unless you want a powered one cause they're the same handle in a different colour with different blades included, but you can use any Fusion5 branded blade with any Fusion5 branded handle] EDIT: I have now used a base Fusion5 blade, and there's almost no difference really. The ProGlide blades are a touch smoother and apparently the one up from that is better for your skin, but really, the cheapest one definitely gets the job done. I believe, however, that the base Fusion5 HANDLE isn't as good as the ProGlide. I would recommend getting the ProGlide handle (everything above that handle is the same in different colours until you get to powered razors).
Moisturiser, or something VERY usable as moisturiser. Normal soap won't do the trick, this is a really important thing to get right as you'll end up with horrible red polka-dot torture victim legs if you fuck it up. It can be a little weird feeling buying moisturiser as a teen male considering what we usually use it for, but hey. I used Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser at first EDIT: After a few more shaves, I would now definitely say Cetaphil isn't enough, I'm now trying Aloe Vera.
Stuff that you should really have but isn't essential:
Shaving cream, or something usable as shaving cream. Not as important to get right as moisturiser, many women use body wash and conditioner and stuff like that. I think the furthest you could go is something like shampoo, but conditioner would be better. You can use men's shaving cream but you'd need a lot compared to what you use on your face and you'll smell all male afterwards which is whatever. EDIT: if you get red spots and irritation after your first few shaves and you're not using something decent as shaving cream, USE A SHAVING CREAM.
probably other stuff if your skin has a history of being particularly sensitive
This probably shouldn't be the only thing you look at regarding how to shave. There's a whole bunch of stuff, like exfoliating and stuff like that, which I completely didn't do, which worked for me but might not for you. I'm not an expert, don't get mad at me if I say something technically not perfect. I'm trying to give practical advice to help you peeps out.
the initial clipping
If you're anything like me, your legs will be insanely hairy. You obviously can't just run a razor over hair as long as men's leg hair gets and expect it to shave anything, so you're first going to have to trim it. Girls will suggest you use scissors if your hair is too long, this is ridiculous advice, I think they just don't realise how god damn long men's leg hair is. Scissors work when you have neat little pricks, not when you have a small rainforest. You're gonna want to use something powered, like a beard trimmer, or hair clippers, or a circular saw, or I actually used a trimmer bit thing which is part of the electric razor I use on my face, and although it's small, it did the trick. You can work with what you have here. You're hopefully only going to need to do this bit once or twice, so don't worry too much about damaging the device. Depending on what you're using, you'll probably need to make sure your legs are sufficiently soaked with warm water first. I'm not quite sure if this is necessary at this point but I did it just in case, as the trimmer I used is pretty exposed, so it was cutting pretty close. If you're using something like a hair clipper with a guide on then you probably don't need to do this bit wet but it's better safe than sorry. The point of shaving wet is that it softens your hair slightly and opens your pores and some other things I forget, but if you shave real close while dry then you could get razor burn and similar ailments, which as I'll explain later are a pain in the butt (especially if that's we're you're shaving gotem). Now if you're using something as exposed as the trimmer I used then make sure you don't press too hard. The thing to remember is that electric shavers, and in fact even manual razors if used correctly, are fucking sharp, and they're going to cut whatever comes around, regardless of how much force you put into it. You might need to go over the same bit a few times, but pressing harder isn't going to help you, instead it'll leave behind slightly inflamed red marks for days, which don't hurt that much but they're obviously not good, and can probably get infected or something. You won't really feel when you give yourself one of these, and you'll only notice them come up a few minutes later, so just be careful. Once you're finished, I recommend moisturising just for good measure. Now, when you're done and you've dried off by patting your legs dry (do not scrub them, pat them, this is how you will always dry your legs from now on), there will be a lot of hair to clean up. Like so much fucking hair. There'll be hair on the floor and the walls and the shower screen and fucking everywhere. To clean up the bulk of it will take like ten minutes on its own, but if like me you're a bit paranoid and don't want your parents to find out, I would say it'd take like 30 minutes or more, so I'd make sure you have about an hour of time to clean up. Also, something which I didn't consider until after doing it is that running a hot shower will leave condensation on the mirror and everything and make it obvious that you showered, so while it's not that conspicuous, you might wanna also have that hour buffer to let that all go away so that they don't pick up on the fact that you're having a shower whenever you're alone (or in my case going against my normal schedule of having a shower at night). You can also wipe the bathroom mirror or whatevs with a towel if you're worried but make sure it's not a towel you mopped your hair up with like the one my idiot ass used. Anyway, after you've trimmed, you'll probably (read: definitely) have missed a few spots. It's hard to see if you've missed a bit when you're dealing with so much hair and it's all wet and sticking to your body. I would dry off and wait a day or so, checking your legs out for missed spots, then go again. Eventually you'll have prickly cactus legs but they're manageable, and it's a base that you can use a razor with. If you have limited alone time and you don't have any discrete way of shaving (e.g. by using a manual non-electric razor in your normal showers) then you can leave your legs just trimmed as they are for a while (a week and a bit, I would think) before you go back in the danger zone and do the next step, so feel free to take a break here.
Oh hell yeah we're up to actually shaving. You'll need any razor. Literally any. Men's, women's, manual, electric, whatever, it'll work great. I personally would recommend going for something not powered which therefore doesn't make noise, as you can then shave in your normal showers without outing yourself. Also as I mentioned before, many women prefer to use men's razors so don't worry. If you want, just use the thing you use on your face, cause that's the least suspicious thing to do. I actually went a bit cheeky and used my Mum's at first before quickly buying my own Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide (men's razor so wasn't very intimidating to buy), which seems to do pretty darn well. Anyway so get in a warm shower. You're meant to leave it for like 15 minutes to get an absolutely perfect shave, but you can get perfect over time, for now just make sure you're decently warm before you start shaving. If you have it, you should put shaving cream on your legs now (or conditioner apparently works pretty well too so that's actually what I used initially EDIT:, but I found that it wasn't quite enough and I still ended up with the red spots of doom, so maybe try something a bit better). It doesn't matter too much seeing as though you're already wet and warm, but it'll make your razor's job easier and depending on what you use it'll make your job easier by showing you where you've already done. It'll also reduce the risk of irritating your pores and blah blah. Start at your ankles and work going against the grain in short, 6cmish (2 and a bit inches I think) strokes, applying basically no pressure. If you get a huge amount of irritation after this then try going with the grain next time, but going against it is obviously more convenient to do standing in the shower, and will give a closer shave. I recommend working in a circle around the circumference of your leg and then moving up a bit but do whatever works. Over time you'll develop a less robotic technique, but this is a great way to start. I know some girls that do big strokes all the way from their ankles up to their thighs and while that might work with more consistently shaved hair, you probably can't do it on your first shave. Definitely try to overlap slightly, like as you go up the leg start your strokes lower than where you're up to so that half of each stroke is covering the area you've already shaved or something like that. It's pretty hard to see hairs when you're in a shower and bending over awkwardly to reach your legs so try and keep track. I find that feeling for prickly areas is the best way to find where you've missed. Your knees and ankles will be the easiest areas to cut yourself on so watch out with them. Don't forget to do the back of your legs, especially the inner of your knee. Other easy spots to miss include your knees, inner thighs, and if you're a bit lean like myself, the valley between the bone and back muscle on the inside edge of your shins (hard to explain but you'll get it if you get it). There's nothing wrong with taking it slow so take as long as you need. Once you've done both legs, apply moisturiser (if you wanna be extra good then apply one which you can put on dry after you've gotten out of the shower). EDIT: there's no such thing as too much moisturiser, and if you start having issues like red dots and shit then not moisturising properly is a decent culprit. END EDIT. When you dry your legs remember to just pat them down. After shaving you'll find a few things. One is that you probably will have gotten a bit too eager and cut yourself in a few places. It won't hurt, and you probably won't notice until a while after you've done it or even not until you're out of the shower, but holy shit some areas will bleed like mad. I got a cut on my knee that just pissed blood for like 45 minutes. Now, you could bandaid these areas, and that's not a bad idea, but I was worried that would lead to scabbing, so I lightly patted the blood off of them every now and again. You'll adjust to the ideal force and cutting angle over time, so don't worry, cuts will become rare. For me it took about three shaves to get to something decent, the first time I over-did it and cut myself a heap, the second time I under-did it and ended up doing effectively nothing, and the third time I got it just about right, and then I upgraded razor and cut myself again oops. I think it's one of those things where your brain adjusts over time without you even thinking about it. Anyway, as well as cutting yourself, you'll likely find that you've missed a bunch of areas. For me I found that some areas, like on my shins and around my ankles, there were like about half a dozen scattered hairs which the razor missed in an otherwise smooth area. These I found easy to just pluck out with a pair of tweezers. This sounds like it'd be painful, but weirdly I found that especially after a warm shower, it didn't really hurt at all, and I could actually remove hairs by pulling really slowly and they came out with almost no pain. I also used this on the few little hairs that have grown on my feet. This might be different for your hair though so YMMV. There'll be other areas where there are a lot of quite long hairs, and for these areas you can choose whether you cut them with scissors or whatever or run over them again with whatever powered thing you used for the initial shave. Finally, if you're like me, you won't get as happy about having shaved legs as you'd think you would. I found that while I didn't get super gushy about them after the initial few minutes, I found that looking at them made me go "yep those are my legs" instead of making me feel uncomfortable or as though they were ugly or didn't belong to me. I definitely don't regret it, it's just I'm not ecstatically euphoric, just no longer dysphoric (which I guess counts as being euphoric but whatever). I also found that it made me want more (or less, in terms of hair). I spent a touch over half an hour manually tending to the hair on my feet using the tweezers and scissors of a Swiss Army Knife, but then I looked at myself naked and realised that I also wanted to shave my butt and dick hair, which is a separate exercise I haven't gotten to yet (although I'm probably just going to repeat a similar process to what I suggested here albeit a bit more gingerly around my privates). The fact is though that I feel better about myself, and that's great. The big bit for me is done; the part of my bottom half that people will see now represents me in the way that I want it to. But now it's more about how I want to see myself, and that's kind of comforting in a way, cause it shows I'm not faking this shit for attention or anything. Anyway yeah, now just shave your legs with a razor every now and then and you'll be good! Don't shave every day, at absolute most shave every second day. Try and leave it for a few days though if you can. I definitely shaved every second day for a little bit when I first started just so I could hone in on the little missed spots and stuff like that, but once you get going don't feel like you have to have ultra smooth legs every second of every day. Even if you go around wearing shorts/a skirt every day people probably won't notice two or three days of stubble unless they get creepily close for strangers. And if they're your friends and they're complaining about three day stubble then you should probably try and get better friends especially considering how big of a deal it is to do this stuff in the first place as men. Just remember that you're looking way closer than anyone else is going to, so if you can see lots of tiny little black stubbly dots then that doesn't mean other people are going to. It doesn't always need to be as close a shave as your face cause people get way closer to your face than your legs. I think some people on this sub need to realise that they don't need to be 100% perfect with everything to look 100% perfect. Anyway yeah that's my immensely detailed guide to shaving your legs as a man living at home. Hope it helps some people. EDIT: If you get red spots of badness, here are some suggestions. Also if you wanna be real careful, do these things regardless, at worst it'll be a better shave. - start using shaving cream if you aren't already - use better moisturiser if you're using something a bit dodge for moisturising. - exfoliate your legs before shaving them, this means get a loofah/facewasher and shove some soap on and then scrub your legs. And if that still doesn't work then here are some more inconvenient methods that might work - moisturise your legs regularly - shave with the grain instead of against the grain (this won't be as close a shave but it's better for avoiding ingrown hairs) In the case you do get the horrible rednesses, moisturise moisturise moisturise. It'll make it sting less, it'll make it look better, and it'll reduce the potential damage. I recommend doing it after drying off at the end of an unsuccesful shave in the shower but any time is a good time. A further edit: You might be wondering about other options, like waxing, using an epilator, and hair removal cream. While these are all great options which could get you a far better shave which lasts longer and is easier to do, there are a couple of problems to consider. First off, none of the methods I just listed are easy to do in secret. By contrast, not only is owning a razor is a perfectly normal thing for a man, you probably already have everything you need in your house, and even if you are hiding everything to do with it, it won't take up much space or be particularly conspicuous, because even the creams associated with shaving are used for a vast variety of non-gendered purposes. Also, shaving with a manual razor is basically silent in the shower, and you can easily ditch half-way through a shave. Shaving is also relatively speaking very quick, it obviously will add a bit of time to your showers, but it's not like an hour long process. Another good thing about shaving is that it's basically the default, and most women either shave or have shaved in the past, so you can easily find advice online or ask your girl friends if you need a hand. It's also fairly affordable, even if it isn't the cheapest option out there. You have options, definitely, but I personally think that shaving is the most realistic hair removal option to do discretely, and that arguably outweighs the difficulty and occasional frustration that comes with it.
Krieg Digistruct Peak Guide (OP 10, No Grog, Norfleet, Harold, Bee, etc. required)
Hello there, I hope you are all doing well today! I am here to present a Krieg guide for taking down Digistruct peak (through OP 10) that requires no Norfleet, Sham, Grog, Bee-Hawk, DPUH, and so on. Important to note that I used this build on the Unofficial Community Patch but the advice, gear, and build translate seamlessly to the vanilla game for Krieg. Gameplay + Commentary for those of you uninterested in reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w70qsmcuqik Note: As a quick note, I do understand that this build isn't exactly "groundbreaking" for Krieg and there are multiple videos of people speedrunning the Peak with this build or at least a similar one. The intent isn't to showcase some new original build but rather to explain it. I've seen people run through with a similar build but I have yet to see any commentary or explanation of their gear, skill build, playstyle, etc. so I thought this might be helpful! Section 1: Build Green/Bloodlust Tree:
Blood Filled Guns (5/5): 2.5% Mag size per stack of our bloodlust is really nice. There are very easy ways to stack bloodlust (which I will cover) and a 250% magazine size increase at 100 stacks is substantial. This allows us to fire our guns pretty much endlessly, dramatically increasing the DPS of Krieg.
Blood Twitch (5/5): 1.5% weapon swap speed per stack of bloodlust = 150% weapon swap speed at max. Those of you that have read my guides before know that I am a bit of a sucker for weapon swap speed. It dramatically increases your DPS guys! This means you can instantly swap away from your slag weapon and go back to DPSing. Also, you may need to swap to a Moxxi weapon or a launcher in a tight situation and the speed will save you.
Blood Bath (5/5): This skill is honestly just stupid how strong it is. This is an absolute must-have on any Krieg build. 2.5% weapon damage per stack after we get a kill with a grenade or explosion and also gives a 75% chance of dropping a grenade. 250% weapon damage at max stacks and it is doubled to 500% weapon damage with the COM we will be using (Leg. Reaper). Absolutely insane damage and we can spam grenades rather liberally. Easy for Krieg to activate this skill as well because many of his best weapons are grenade/explosive weapons.
Boiling Blood (5/5): Increases the time before bloodlust starts to decay by 2.5 seconds. Having high bloodlust stacks is a massive increase to our DPS. The longer we have high stacks the better.
Nervous Blood (5/5): Kill skill that gives us 1.5% reload speed per stack. 150% reload speed at max bloodlust is phenomenal. Another massive increase to our DPS. Take it!
Bloodsplosion (1/1): Everybody knows of bloodsplosion and its shenanigans. We aren't really reliant on the bloodsplosion overkill damage chains but there isn't really a good reason to skip it. There will be multiple instances where the nova damage deals significant damage to nearby enemies or flat out kills them. Worth the point!
Feed the Meat (5/5): 50% max health is pretty substantial for a character that relies on face-tanking enemies. The shield delay isn't super important since we will primarily use the Rough Rider. Helpful for scenarios where we use the Easy Mode shield.
Embrace the Pain (5/5): Really nice skill that gives substantial fire rate and shield recharge delay. In this case, we really just want it for the fire rate DPS boost.
Thrill of the Kill (1/5): Our com boosts this skill to 6 but even if it didn't a value point is worth it for this skill. With 1 point (no boost from com) we get 50% of our health back from overkill damage... something Krieg excels at. Dramatic survivability increase, no reason to skip this.
Strip the Flesh (5/5): 15% flat explosive damage and boosted to 30% in FFYL. This is great for Krieg, we will be using explosive weapons plenty. That extra 15% boost is no joke in FFYL and will likely save you more than once.
Redeem the Soul (1/1): Pretty cool co-op skill that allows you to instantly revive teammates. However, the 50% FFYL time increase is what we really care about. It's really significant and basically guarantees you will get up.
Fuel the Fire (5/5): Kill skill. 35% chance to set yourself from a fire attack is cool and all but really the 200% elemental effect chance is what we are after. Makes it very easy to apply slag, DoTs, and the more DoT and elemental effects we have going the higher likelihood of catching ourselves on fire (which means more damage and survivability).
Numbed Nerves (5/5): 50% damage reduction (+ Rough Rider's 20%) while you are on fire is massive. Fuel the Fire and our gear choices will make it very easy to set ourselves on fire so it is certainly worth the point.
Pain is Power (5/5): Flat 25% Weapon and Melee damage buff (except snipers, doesn't matter though) that gets doubled when we are on fire. It does lower our crit damage by 25% but that really doesn't matter. We don't need crits anyway, we blow stuff up. Huge DPS increase and is absolutely worth it.
Elemental Elation (5/5): When we are dealing elemental status effects to enemies (fuel the fire makes this easy), we gain stacks (up to 20) that increase our fire rate by 3% and mag size by 5%. It is very easy to apply elemental effects and we will often be at max stacks with this skill. Dramatically increases our DPS.
Delusional Damage (1/1): All elemental status effects can catch us on fire with this skill and the chance is determined by our Fuel the Fire skill (and Burn, Baby, Burn). This is fantastic! We don't have to rely on fire weapons (which do not work properly in the peak) to get the awesome benefits from our hellborn tree.
Fire Fiend (5/5): 50% Weapon accuracy and 35% reload speed when we are on fire. Another great boost to our DPS and that accuracy actually helps more than you would think. You can level Flame Flare instead of this skill if you prefer (or whatever) but I don't have any issues staying on fire. Therefore, Flame Flare is a bit redundant.
Elemental Empathy (5/5): Burn status effects heal you for 25% of the damage dealt. Honestly, we won't be using a ton of fire weapons but the capstone of this tree naturally produces fire DoTs for us. Raving Retribution plus this skill gives you some nice sustain. Can skip if you feel that the survivability doesn't help.
Raving Retribution (1/1): When Krieg is on fire and damaged homing fireballs will seek out the enemies and explode on them. It deals pretty solid damage and gives us nice sustain with Elemental Empathy.
Weapon 1 (slag): Slagga is one of the premier slagging options on any character. Krieg is no exception here! Florentine is not too bad on Krieg either because of his very high elemental chances but I prefer the Slagga. Whatever works best for you though.
Weapon 2 (DPS): We have multiple options here but the highest DPS option is easily the Peak Opener. If you don't want to farm for one, the alternatives I would consider are as follows: Kerblaster, Ogre, DPUH, Swordsplosion/Unicornsplosion, Carnage, Hail, Kitten, and many more of course. Every single weapon here can proc blood bath very consistently (except the Kitten) and we really need a weapon that can do that. Blood Bath is the bread and butter of this build and having a weapon like the Peak Opener, that can not only proc blood bath but it also takes significant advantage of the skill. You can pretty much run through the entire peak with this thing in your hand.
Weapon 3 (SurveyoLoader Weapon): I pretty much just leave the conference call in my inventory the entire time in this slot. It can deal with loaders, shreds Saturn, helps with Surveyors, and is just a generally strong weapon. You could roll a corrosive Pimpernel (still good despite Pain is Power), Butcher, or Interfacer here as well. This slot just gives us some extra versatility and high DPS for loaders and surveyors.
Weapon 4 (Utility/FFYL): This is the slot that you could tinker with the most. I typically hold onto the Hive, Flakker, Badaboom, or any other strong launcher for this slot. Launchers, in general, are amazing with Strip the Flesh and all the reload speed, mag size, fire rate, etc. that Krieg receives. I like the Hive because it can proc all our elemental skills, deal significant damage, and is also amazing for Surveyors. Pop a shot or two into the air and it will do the rest. The Flakker can be weapon swapped rapidly back and forth while firing (hard to explain but demonstrated on Dukino's mom and OMGWTH) to deal massive DPS. I use it to deal with Dukino's mom and the Binary Boss. Not necessary but very powerful and pretty funny.
Shield: Rough Rider and the Easy Mode. We will pretty much always stick with the RR because of Krieg's benefits of not having a shield plus the awesome tankiness it gives us. Krieg can stack a ton of health and DR with this shield active. The Easy Mode is not at all necessary but helps speed up kills of certain mini-bosses. I really only use it for Scorch and the Queens. You'll notice I used it on Saturn but it did nothing, RR would have been better.
Class Mod: Legendary Reaper. Extra kill skill duration and a +5 to Blood Bath. That is literally all we care about. Gives us more uptime and more damage from Blood Bath. It is insane how much this COM will boost your DPS. This is the only piece of gear that I would say is absolutely required.
Grenade: For this build, we will be using the Pandemic. This is debatably the best bloodlust stacking grenade in the game and that's really all we need. It is also deals a ton of DoT which procs our hellborn skill tree. Perfect! Alternatively, the Storm Front/Electric Chair, a low-level Crossfire/Bouncing Bonny, the Leech, are all good stacking options as well. Whatever you feel is best suited to your playstyle.
Relic: Blood of the Ancients. Specifically, we want the one that boosts Assualt Rifle and Shotgun max ammo. The Peak Opener and Conference call absolutely churn through ammo so it is a needed addition. If you can't get one that has both prioritize ones that give you AR ammo because we will be using that the most. The max health from the relic is of course welcome as well.
Section 3: General Tips
Generally, I advise caution and calculated approaches to the Peak. You still want to think about how you will approach certain mini-bosses but you can't really be cautious with Krieg. Embrace the chaos and get in the fray. As soon as you have Blood Bath going you're going to churn through everything. Activate it with your weapon of choice and then go to town. This is super important for mini-bosses!! For example, If you get the Dukino's Mom spawn where the midgets spawn with her, use this to your advantage. Kill the midgets with the peak opener to proc BB and then switch to the Flakker, Harold, Conference Call, whatever. The same thing applies to Saturn! Kill his turrets with grenade/explosive damage and then pull out the Conference Call, Butcher, Interfacer, etc. This will seriously make the run a lot easier. Another tip, you can proc BB on the Binary Boss by blowing up his head first. Prioritize this and then let BB do the work.
Prioritize corrosive weapons (when not using explosive). For some reason, in the Peak flesh enemies do not actually take bonus damage from fire. They are considered "non-flesh" and take neutral damage. This means that fire is not totally useless but no longer retains a distinct advantage to flesh enemies. However, corrosive is not resisted by anything (other than some weird interactions with spider ants, use shock for them) and still deals bonus damage to loaders. Corrosive DoT also tends to do more and stick longer on enemies. Making it the more versatile choice for the peak. Link to the thread explaining this more in-depth: https://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/t/digistruct-peak-enemy-typing-issue-and-why-your-fire-guns-suck-there/1119745
Thanks for checking the post out! Please let me know if you have any questions. I will link the UCP changelog below if anyone is interested in the differences.
The mayor of Bozeman, Chris Mhel, is accused of being overly aggressive by multiple people. This is a copy of an email I received in regards to that.
September 7, 2020 Labor Day Members of the Bozeman City Commission, Because I cannot remain silent if I deserve to have any claim to continue to care about the rights, safety, equitable and fair treatment of women to advance gender and all equity in our community, I will do this as an individual and not on behalf of any organization. Preparing and sharing this Statement does not give me any pleasure and I hated to have to go through the pain of these records and memories again in order to respond. These statements of harmful and harassing treatment toward Bozeman City employees by our Mayor strongly influenced me that we who have suffered or witnessed this must step forward. I strongly urge everyone who is reading or listening to this - PLEASE review ALL the attached Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) documents from our current and former City Employees – many from women, but not all – to understand this: those leaders appearing to be women-supporting, liberal or even progressive men who are in power can and in this case with the Mayor, have profoundly harmed our City’s workforce including the 1st and only women City Manager, many have said was our most successful ever. And most employees who all want the Mayor removed. From the Bozeman City Commission Agenda for September 8, 2020, the FOIA Documents – open to read all 3 sections plus those from Commissioner Cunningham (total of 4): Discussion of Documents Related to Public Records Requests (Sullivan) I am writing and speaking about my experiences with Chris Mehl, from and since April 19, 2018. This date is when a leader of a local women’s business organization and I had a meeting with then Deputy Mayor Mehl (DM) to share and exchange around our City for CEDAW women’s human rights campaign to create safe, equitable and fair employment and living conditions in our community. Our meeting goal, quite simply in the same manner of our successful Equal Pay for Equal Work Resolution adopted by the City three years earlier, was to meet with each City Commissioner for an opportunity to educate, exchange around and get their advice about our proposed policy to advance women’s human rights in the workplace, schools, and our overall community through adoption of an Ordinance or Resolution. Over 70 Cities large and small throughout the U.S. have done this. Because at that time Mayor Andrus chose not to meet with any representatives of our campaign, the DM indicated he would stand in for the Mayor and learn more himself. I also indicated to the DM that there would be another representative from the local women’s business organization - a part of our City for CEDAW Leadership team who would join me. In our thorough preparation to meet with the DM – as with every Commission and community leader - we reached out to other current and former City leaders about how to approach and what best to say. At that time, I was warned by several of them that the DM “had a temper” and then I also shared that with this leader accompanying me, having no idea what that information could truly mean to each of us and our lives following. We spent an hour on April 19, 2018 from 4:00-5:00 pm at Sola Café, at the request of the DM, with several other customers nearby in the back section. While we had a carefully prepared outline of talking points of why we are requesting this now and how a policy to advance the human rights of all women and girls could benefit the City of Bozeman, we of course wanted to hear and address the DM’s questions and concerns. This meeting began by the DM with heated accusations made in anger and outrage to us in a shouting communication style about the fact that we dared to ask for this policy and goal – especially since the DM stated the Mayor already said she wouldn’t meet with our Campaign and didn’t we already have an Equal Pay Resolution. He then moved into accusatory rapid talking points ranging from how adopting a women’s human rights ordinance would cost at least $500,000 to conduct a City needs assessment to identify and address evidence of measurable gender and other discrimination and how could we waste the City’s tax dollars that way…..and the fact that children in our City have food insecurity and why should we fund a study instead of feeding the children? In trying to even answer or explore options we couldn’t get a word in for the first 30-45 minutes of his berating, bulling, belittlement and harassing “leadership style” that appeared to communicate his job was to intimidate and diminish us to the point that we would never return to the Mayor or City nor continue to educate and advance for any further women’s human rights. As we tried to both indicate that such a study was important to identify evidence of where gender and other discrimination existed in the institutions and sectors of our City and also recommend best practices to eradicate them – as recently well demonstrated by the Bozeman United for Racial Justice which only required 2 Marches of thousands of Bozeman residents and we congratulate them! – would cost from $10-20K and we already planned to ask other organizations for their support including MSU, Women’s Foundations, donors and more! In addition, if there was great urgency about Bozeman children’s food security, our Campaign’s issue as well - the results of our study was intended to strategically focus scarce tax dollars on which of our children and families needed assistance. And from lived experience - we know many of them were likely from single parent, underpaid, women-headed households. And that a gender analysis that included race/ethnicity, income, age and more would benefit all city policies, strategic planning, budgeting and employee workplace conditions beyond pay equity disparities to include prevention of sexual, racial harassment and other corrosive and harmful behaviors. But the DM couldn’t or wouldn’t listen until the final few minutes of this torturous hour when we calmed him down and pointed out some of the less costly or free policies other 70 Cities for CEDAW in the US have used to further women’s safety and economic security in their communities. Meanwhile those Sola Café customers and staff also witnessed the DM “leadership style” and more. After he left, we were asked,” who was that?” We said, “that’s your upcoming Mayor.” After the DM left, the volunteer leader and I tried to debrief this experience because this was so shocking - this was way more than a “Temper” issue - and appeared to be a pattern if we needed to be forewarned before meeting with the DM. In preparation for this Statement to the Commission, I needed to review and decided I will share my notes exchanged with my colleague from that DM meeting - written a day later, April 20, 2018: Quite honestly I did not expect the level to which I felt he [DM] was bullying, belittling and setting up so much opposition that he really didn't want to know any answers to the questions; he simply wanted to use them as a chance to humiliate us. I'm very, very angry and very unhappy about what he did; it was totally unnecessary and it was not fitting for a Deputy Mayor and future Mayor of our community. I'm going to be meeting with [another leader] today about their liaison with the School Board and I'm going to let them know some of what happened and get advice. I am drafting a letter this morning to Chris that follows up with Cyndy's email and why the over 20 people that were consulted about this Campaign did not see it as he did, because I don't think again he read this information very carefully. I'm going to ask you to look at it if you don't mind and share it with [ ] when I meet her with her tomorrow before I send it out. I don't want to do anything in anger. So I'm venting a little but you were wonderful and honestly we didn't need to come in with a bargaining position. We were there to learn what concerns he and the other Commissioners have: - I had asked Chris specifically in other emails if "you are able to generally support it", or "what exactly can you support" and that was what I thought the basis of the meeting was going to be about.
And I am feeling at this moment including in the follow-up email that summarizes our meeting content the question of:
Since you have so many objections to Our proposed [Bozeman for CEDAW] Ordinance as a model to achieve gender equity in our city, what is a process or framework that can allow the city to stand for gender equity and the health, dignity and safety of women and girls that is of substance and can be acceptable to the city? The ball is in his court or their court if he's really representing Cyndy Andrus as well. But she would not behave this way - that is for sure. You were great and I couldn't have done it; I couldn't have stood it without you. I honestly did not know that this is what his "temper" is about and it's bad for the City of Bozeman. Thank you again and so sorry we both had to put up with this and quite frankly it's why we need a city ordinance when you have leadership or bosses who treat women like this. It's called gender-based verbal violence and sexual harassment and we are Me Too. This is what happened, and now I’d like to add why this matters and why our City leadership and community should care and act. Even though I and the other leader have had to handle other very sexist and sexual harassing situations as well as gender-based violence over our lives, much like every woman – including death threats when I co-founded a program and shelter to address gender-based violence now called The HAVEN – the harsh impacts of DM’s verbal abuse was compounded because of his power as the DM and as incoming Bozeman Mayor. Having never received any apology or clarification about his “leadership style” or any follow up whatsoever from the DM, we drafted several versions of our own follow-up letter to the DM. This letter became so diplomatic to save our women’s rights cause and thus did not adequately address his abuse of power in order to avoid retaliation. Finally we resolved to focus our goal to create and institutionalize policies advancing women’s rights and safety and, now ironically, we decided not to send our letter to the DM. We never even thought this opportunity would occur to address what we now know is a long-standing pattern of the DM’s verbal form of gender-based violence. Instead, what I did is reach out to other leaders in our community to get their advice and felt afterwards that we were not taken seriously and always, in many ways spoken or by inaction, were told the DM’s contributions were more important than his “temper.” But we also learned from other discussions that we were not the only women affected by this pattern of abuse and fear of retaliation. When Mayor Andrus did reach out to me to schedule a meeting in June, 2018, about our City for CEDAW women’s human rights campaign following a City Commission meeting presentation earlier in May with over 100 supporters and nearly 1,000 signatures on our Petition, she wanted the DM to be present. I refused and told her why (correspondence in the other documents) and, upon request, followed up with Mayor Andrus in a lengthy phone call to provide specific examples and details from the meeting with the DM on April 19th. We were grateful she didn’t include him in that meeting. Another result both of us decided for ourselves and the Cities for CEDAW campaign after this April 19th meeting was either to not ever work or meet with the DM or at least always have 3-5 people present to prevent his harmful behavior from bullying and attempting to intimidate us again. Sadly, I also substantially reduced my and our expectations of what could be achieved for the creation of an Ordinance or Resolution to advance women’s human rights as Bozeman policy since that meeting. And as the DM moved into the role of Mayor, this was another way to prevent his attacks. Again, at the painful expense of the most vulnerable women we wanted this human rights policy, education and research to serve. The other volunteer leader quit working with the Equal Pay Resolution and this organization in order to not have to work with Mayor Mehl. She has shared her own story to this effect. Our lived experience as women, men and non-binary people of sexual, racial and/or other harassment and related violence in paid or volunteer workplaces and community leadership - along with the emerging research which is so badly needed here for the City and other workplaces - is now becoming more understood about its breadth and depth. We also know from the #ME TOO Movement that liberal White men – especially when holding the most prominent positions - can present as supporters of women and progressive causes, but do NOT walk their talk. After reading – and I so strong urge everyone who is reading or listening to this, PLEASE review ALL the attached the FOIA documents from our current and former City Employees – many from women, but not all – to understand this: those leaders appearing to be women-supporting, liberal or even progressive leaders who are in power can, and in this case, the Mayor has profoundly harmed our City’s workforce including the 1st and only women City Manager, who many have said was our most successful top Administrator ever. And this “leadership style” has been experienced by other current and previous Commissioners, members of Citizen Advisory Boards, business owners and many more we will never hear from who are also afraid to come forward because if the Mayor is not removed, they will be afraid of retaliation as am I and my colleague. Thinking about future City policies that advance gender and other equity, diversity and inclusion in our community and its workplace, how can anyone feel secure, much less “welcome” in their desire to contribute to our City, as a volunteer or employee, when they learn about this fully documented, unprofessional behavior of our Mayor in violation of the City’s own policies - carefully demonstrated over 2 years with extensive evidence in the FOIA documents by former City Managers Andrea Surratt and Dennis Taylor - if then no substantive action is taken? Now my colleague and I know – the Mayor’s "leadership style" as he defines this – was never only targeted at us, but directed widely, impacting a lot of women at all levels of employment and in our community, including current and former Commissioners, with all harmed in some way. I truly regret that we did not send our fully detailed letter of DM’s bullying, abusive and gender-based harassing treatment to the Mayor and other City leaders two years ago, or had been encouraged to file an Ethics Board complaint, but we believed it would probably be used against us and the organizations we cared about. I ask the City Commissioners on behalf of all who have suffered, been diminished, been humiliated, been afraid and been denied their ability to work in safety and dignity, to change our City’s elected Mayoral leadership now. Thank you, Jan Strout (she/hers) Bozeman, MT
What to do when players won't learn the rules to play?
Currently playing through LMoP with a group of four. We are nearing the climax and I've already invested in the next module to play with them. My problem is that these players (who REALLY enjoy roleplaying) have a barely passable understanding of the game, and rely on me as DM for pretty much every mechanic. This extends to the group asking for my advice in some situations because the literally don't know what to do. It gets very grating when I have to remind them multiple times how to use proficiency and ability modifiers (and also that the mod is the SMALL number and not the 18 in that ability). Or how a core class ability works. I've given up trying to use hit dice on short rests (we now recover 1/2 lost HP). Ditto with getting the Wizard or other caster to pick what spells to memorize out of their list (Wizard wants all the spells and says he just has his book to hand all day), the Cleric just has a static list because he doesn't want to choose from spells he doesn't know. I am the only one with a copy of the PHB - I should add. At this point, they won't want to spend any money, and won't spend the time looking online for free resources. Between kids and jobs, it is rare that we can all sit down and catch up, and using DnD as our hobby ensures we can all commit to seeing each other and having fun. That last sentence is the most important one. Time is a rare resource, but we all love sitting down and doing RPG stuff. So I've considered options and pontificated for a long time over what to do. I'm putting those options down in writing now to see how you guys weigh them, or suggest anything else. Note: I'm a huge advocate of 'talk to the players about your pain' but the fact is - they like DnD because I make it easy for them (because I know the rules). If they were faced with spending the time to learn the rules, or give up playing - it could go either way. Second note: From the moment I started experiencing this glorious game in 2018, I've been hoovering up different systems and seeing how rules might interact with rules from other systems. I'm fine with putting in a bit of extra effort if it elevates the game experience for my friends. That's why I love to DM after all. So, options:
switch to a rules-lite system like Dungeon World (which I love the look of). But the big caveat is - could I run a module like Descent into Avernus with DW rules?
Import some features from a rules-lite game into DnD. Has the benefit of automatically being compatible with DnD modules. I particularly like the character sheets of DW and having moves which have semi-pass/failure and not just a binary ability check.
Use homebrew/variant rules to see if they stick in the players' heads better. I was wondering if having a die roll for proficiency might make proficiency feel more tactile and make them remember it more. I was also considering removing skills and just saying 'Rogues are proficient in Dexterity, Wizards in Intelligence etc.' These are suggestions in the DMG, but would still require home-made character sheets to omit the skills.
In some ways, it's annoying that DnD is so finely balanced - because all of the little complexities are co-dependent. I can't introduce anything like DW's 'moves' without also gutting combat entirely. I know there's a strong argument to just play a simpler system - but I'm suffering from the Sunken Cost Fallacy and I don't want to give up on my precious shiny DiA module.
Salam, I'm Nonbinary, as my username shows, and I been trying to navigate how I can practice Islam, and learn it. The thing is, the sources for people like me, on Islam, that isn't binary in its writings (it interpretations that are only about "this is what women do", "this is what men do", never "this is what nonbinary people do" (or for that matter "ace or aro people do" but that's a whole other thing to navigate)) Anyway, because of this i find myself wondering, as someone who is nonbinary (afab) who everyone around me sees me as a woman, even though I don't identify that way, who is mostly closeted but im also not(hard to explain, i have people that know but my family knows and pretend I'm not me etc so in a sense I'm closeted in the Muslim community yet I'm open about it with strangers if certain people aren't around), anyway coming from that situation, I find my self wondering things. Like: How do I pray? With who? (if a masjid existed that accepted trans people) and do i use a Hijab? Or something else to cover that isn't exactly a hijab but isn't a man thing either? If theres something that isnt a gendered item, what that look like? how would work? I've looked at the concept of Hijab in Islam, the info on man and woman arwa(spelling idk?) And how they differ and the reason behind it and the varying views and options among hijab etc. But honestly I think the problem comes, that people are all interpreting everything with their binary ideals in mind and can't look past the concept of man/women. Its like they pretend we don't exist. Or that everyone nonbinary has to be physically different to be nonbianry or that we have to be "fixed" to fit into one category they choose. (The classic concept of "force a trans person to be" or "force intersex people to be" without actually learning what that person identifies as.) And people wants to put us in neat little boxes and can't stand it when we break out of the box and be different etc. So they cant stand it when people like me exist. Anyway not trying to rant. I'm just frustrated because I want guidance but there is no info out there for people like me that I can find, and access. As someone that can't speak or read Arabic, as someone that is all on my own with learning progressive Islam, as someone who is closeted about being a progressive Muslim in my community among other forms of being closeted, and not by choice in most cases, and as someone that sincerely believes in Islam, that there is a guide out there for me, but feels hopeless to find it in the face of all that is my life, I am worried. How can I keep going like this? I want so badly, to really study Islam, its my passion, my love, and I can't even do that with my life how it is. I keep trying. To be independent, to be free. So I can get away from my controlling abusive family, to be in a place where I'm accepted and not closeted. So I can be open and honest and communicate and further my Islam and knowledge. So I can find marriage and have a family and live my life according to an Islam that accepts me and helps me through my life, guides and comforts me more than it already has. So lately. Its been bugging me. My most pressing thing, how do I pray? As time goes by I'm missing more and more, and I need it. I need to be able to perform it. Its like my heart is slowly dying. And I wanna cry because I just want answers so I can finally find a way to pray without feeling dysphoric and judged and i want to be able to go to the masjid without worrying about these things and feeling dysphoric, again because of how the masjid is set up, in a binary way because, men and women have their own spaces and i feel i don't fit anywhere and i cant stand it, lacking community, lacking connections to other muslims, being invisible among them. Put in a box by them. And all the while they are walking around oblivious to how they affect me as they go about things. I wish they could understand, I wish they knew, and yet knowing isnt enough because most of them would get angry. Tell me off for being there. Call me a kafir, or a jinni, or other forms of abuse. Things that likely could cause more harm than I already have experienced, make my depression worse, make my life more miserable, perhaps make me cry or worse. Theres just so much that goes into being in that space and such. That goes into being Nonbinary and Muslim. That its exhausting. And sometimes you just wish things were better. I miss the Masjid. I miss going there for Eid Prayer, for Ramadan meals. For Friday. For Islamic groups. I miss having debates with other Muslism. I miss learning and talking in a civilized way, not in a arguing or trying to prove a point way. I need help, idk where or how. Or from what. Any advice. Anything. Positive feedback. Words fo wisdom. Idk. I just dont want to be so stuck. I don't want to keep suffering, in my mind and in my life. I want peace. Serenity. (Something I have in small moments, miracles, in my "conversations"(not literal im not meaning actual conversations lol) with Allah, something I had in prayer and cant seem to have beyond my dua right now. Because how do I pray? 😭 ) Also, I have chronic fatigue, major depression (which is made worse by family etc), aspergers, walk with a cane, cant always get up off the floor (so sadly I can't pray like I used to as a kid) (even then sitting with my legs under me isnt possible because my knees, and my thighs arent able to lay against my kafs where the back of my knees bends(does that make sense idk how to explain, so I couldt really sit that way anyway when it as younger, also my feet/toes would cramp up) ) Personally I find hijab Dysphoric, as it is associated with women. And I don't identify as one. So I cant wear one in general, its not an option. I just cant. I made peace with it. Regardless of what people may say, because Allah knows me best, he knows what I'm going through and why, and people are outsiders they can't know or understand it. But Allah can. And Allah says. Islam isn't mean to be a hardship on you. Yet people try to make it so. Pressuring people to fit a certain mold, be a certain kind fo way, a certain kind of Muslim. Saying "this is a muslim" this isnt. When really. Only Allah knows who is Muslim and who isn't. Only Allah can judge people. Peopel can't know what is in other peoples hearts and minds. We aren't Psychic. We aren't all knowing. We can't read minds. We cant seee their soul. People need to stop judging and stop call people things, things like kafir. They can't know. They will never know. They need to stop. They need to accept they can't know. They cant judge. And move on. If it isnt a hardship. Then there has to be answers out there. That will ease my mind and give me the guidance and serenity I need. To live and survive this world. Please. Someone. If you read this. Idk what im asking but whatever it may be. Please do it. Do something. Say something idk. Change something? Idk. My brain is just kind of just raising to fast so idk what I am trying to say anymore i got lost inside my rant? Maybe. Its not a very organized post? Idk. I tried to edit it and make sure I didn't have bad typos. Sorry if I missed anything. Its hard for me to read much right now. (With that in mind if you comment please make well spaced balanced paragraph or something so its easier to read. )
EDIT: I figured it out already. Thanks for letting me post, it genuinely helped. I want to leave this up in case anyone else can relate to it. /edit Hi, everyone. I've been having an identity crisis over the past week or two and it's been affecting my health. Talking out my thoughts with others seems to be helping, so I would like to share my thoughts and am hoping some of you with more experience could offer some advice, or just help me talk through this. For context, I'm 35, came out 6 years ago at age 29, first identified as FTM and soon afterwards non-binary trans-masculine. I socially transitioned with pushback/little support and changed my name. I've felt like I'm not a girl and questioned whether I was a boy since I was 4 or 5 years old. I live in the US. When I first came out as FTM, I was blissful. Everything clicked into place, but I felt more alive and more grounded than I'd ever felt in my life. It shook me that I'd never felt this joyful until I was about 30. I wanted it to last forever. I felt another definite "click" when I read up on butch lesbians a few weeks ago. So I've been thinking I could be a late-blooming lesbian with some serious repression and internalized homophobia to work through. I've been bi this whole time but recently realized I was still very afraid of seriously dating a woman. I grew up in a homophobic, very conservative, and traumatizing household. I'm not sure why I'm now so distressed that I can't eat or sleep. I think I know myself better than I used to, and that should be a good thing. I might not need surgery or T after all, which is a relief from the seesaw I've been on. Sometimes, I'm still pretty freaked out by how squeaky my voice is and how round my face is, so the option to temporarily go on T until my voice breaks is enticing. Non-binary people have done that. But I'm worried about the other effects it will have on my body. My hormones are already getting out of whack due to age. I'm also a singer and am playing roulette with the future of my music. I've also been extremely pissed off at, not the entire trans community because it has some genuinely good and helpful people, but some part of it. Maybe this is where most of the distress is coming from. I called it a "cult" before I knew other people did. I know it's not really a cult, but I feel like I've been duped by people with ulterior motives. I thought I was smarter than that; I prided myself on being skeptical. I'm pissed that I was led on but also embarrassed for being so stupid...everyone keeps going on about how they're converting "the kids" and I'm far from a kid. "You don't know if you have internalized transphobia stopping you from transitioning. You could have it and not know. You should just transition." This taught me not to trust myself, because I can't know myself. "We all doubted ourselves in the beginning, too, but transitioning worked for us. So you should just transition." This taught me not to trust my intuition. Doubt was unreliable, and possibly transphobic. "Anyone who disagrees with us is transphobic or old-fashioned, don't listen to them!" This taught me that during my research, anything that didn't match what the "good people" said was from the "bad people" or simply outdated, and not to be trusted. Of course nobody wants to cause harm to others or play for the wrong team, so I listened. "In the past, we had to memorize scripts and lie to get the hormones and surgery we needed because the medical community is so transphobic that they want to oppress us!" I learned that I was hated and feared by an oppressive majority, and anybody who spoke contrary to what I told by the right and proper side was not to be trusted. "Cis people don't question their gender. Cis women like being women, even if they don't like gender stereotypes associated with it." Fucking allies supported this statement. Because I have always questioned my gender, the only logical outcome of this was that I must be trans. When J.K. Rowling shared her essay and that she more or less hated being a woman but was still a woman, my whole foundation broke apart. Before Rowling, the seed of doubt was planted when I got censored and reprimanded on a forum for sharing a link to a detransition site even though it was exactly what the asker had requested. How dare I share information from terfs! Didn't I know they were the enemy? Didn't I know detransition made us look bad to the conservatives who were taking our rights away? So now that I'm here, I feel awful, like the people I once related to think I'm evil and don't deserve to live. I always felt that pressure to not wind up being "actually cis" too, or I'd be viewed as an oppressive traitor. You know, how they say "it's ok if you decide you're actually just cis" but it didn't really feel like it was ok. And I don't think I'm "cis." As I've slowly unpacked all this BS and shed the distress that came with it, I've just gotten so angry. I've questioned whether I really am trans in the end, because I don't know who or what to trust anymore. I legit shortened this as much as I could and it's still a novel. Thanks for reading, and please let me know your thoughts if you have any.
Hello. This has been on my mind for a while and I made a new account just to post and get some outside perspective. The tl;dr is that I am an afab person in a long-erm relationship with a trans woman, now starting to question my own gender identity and unsure how to broach this. I have been with my partner for 6 years, and we are both in our mid-30s. We are both bisexual. She is a trans woman, and one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. For the whole time we’ve been together (and my entire life before that!), I have identified as a cis woman, but I am more and more questioning that. I’ve been increasingly thinking of myself as genderquee non-binary and I would like to explore this, but every time I think about talking to my gf about it I clam up. I think there are two main things stopping me talking to her: Firstly, I’m worried about appropriating something that isn’t mine. I wouldn’t describe myself as trans, and I’m not sure what being out as GQ/NB might look like or what I want from other people. I’m also really aware that even if I do go down the route of being more out, I won’t ever face what she has had to – she transitioned before we got together but during our relationship she’s been bullied out of a job and physically attacked because of who she is. She works in a very ‘conservative’ field and I am currently a full-time grad student so I have things easier on that front as well. Secondly, I have a worry that if I talk to her about my feelings she might push me to take steps such as coming out to my family or exclusively using ‘they’ pronouns (internally I am using a mixture of she and they to refer to myself, which feels right). Again, she’s had to fight so hard to be seen for who she truly is and I feel uneasy saying to her that I’m not sure who I am and want to explore some different options. What if I present as NB for a while but then go back to being more femme/ decide not to describe myself in that way any more? I love her and I think that when I do actually talk to her she will be loving and supportive, but my own head keeps tripping me up! Has anyone been in a similar situation or has any advice?
Hey guys, sorry I’m on the late side sharing the results. With almost 1000 participants, here are the results: How do you identify? Female- 44.9% Male- 45.5% Non binary/other- 5.9% Trans- 3.7% How did you find this? polls - 7.5 samplesize - 84.1 Both- 7.0 Other- Do women face sexism (globally)? Yes- 98.2% No- 1.2% Idk- 0.6% Do women face sexism (in your country)? Yes- 90.1% No- 7.6% Idk- 2.3% Do men face sexism (globally)? Yes- 61.7% No- 25.0% Idk- 13.3% Do men face sexism (in your country)? Yes- 61.3% No- 29.7% Idk- 9.0% Globally, who is more discriminated against? Where 1 is men are way more discriminated against, 5 is both are discriminated against equally, and 10 is women are way more discriminated against; the average was 8.77 In your country, who is more discriminated against? Where 1 is men are way more discriminated against, 5 is both are discriminated against equally, and 10 is women are way more discriminated against; the average was 7.74 Select the statement you agree with most: The pay gap between men and women does not exist in my country- 6.5% The pay gap exists in my country because men and women choose different jobs- 34.4 The pay gap exists in my country, women are paid less- 58.9% The pay gap exists in my country, men are paid less- 0.2% After posting the survey, I got lots of feedback: about including trans male and trans female as a separate option, on my phrasing of asking about home country, and about the options provided for my last question. In the future, if I do another survey, I will take all the advice given into consideration! I didn’t want to make changes to the survey once it was shared because I didn’t want to make changes that would’ve changed previous responses. Thanks for participating :)
Day 6: The Tools You Think You Need, and Altar Talk
Originally I looked up a few big ol' lists of "essentials" for witches. I looked at lists of altar necessities and Wicca specific tools, and you get the idea... it was a lot. Mostly it was a lot of "dicks and wombs," but we'll get to that. I had originally planned to go through a list of tools one by one and talk about correspondences and substitutes, but the more I went down that road, the more WRONG it felt. When I first started this project, I asked a group of experienced witches what they wish they had known when they first started and what they'd like new witches to know. About 150 witches responded and there were 2 things that came up more than anything else:
You don't need to buy ANYTHING
Your path is YOURS
The third thing was to protect yourself from scammers and predatory people, and we already covered that. I will have entire days dedicated to certain tools and practices later in the month. This is just the briefest overview of some tools and altars. While you don't NEED to buy anything for your altar, and you don't NEED an altar at all, you might WANT to. If you look up the correspondences for most common altar items you will find a lot of things that are considered to be "masculine" or "feminine." Typically, feminine is associated with darkness, passiveness, quiet, home, and CONTAINERS. (Circles and triangles often represent containers. Containers = womb.) Typically, masculine is associated with light, activity, exploration, and pointy things. (Because pointy = penis.) Just remember that you are allowed and encouraged to create your own associations. You do not have to subscribe to this binary. I reject it passionately, but I don't have a problem with anyone who enjoys it. There can be a sense of empowerment that comes from it. Your path is yours, and if it involves a bunch of dicks and wombs, I support your decision. I just don't want anyone stumbling into a bunch of dicks and wombs because they learned it was the "right way" to do things. (I'm officially done saying "dicks and wombs" now.) Even though you are the only tool you need, you may WANT some. In my opinion there are 3 main types of magical tools. Functional, mood setting, and religious. There are hybrids and exceptions and other ways to classify them, but that's how I'll be doing it here today. Also, I'm talking about non-consumable items that are meant to be reused often. Most functional tools (chalice, cauldron, mortar and pestle, boline) have very simple substitutes. (Chalice = cup, cauldron = cooking pot or bowl, mortar and pestle = spice or coffee grinder, boline = knife. A boline is a hybrid of religious and functional. If you follow the religion, you will probably want to follow the recommendations. However, since that religion is Wicca, it's usually okay if you don't/can't.) Tools that exist for purely magical reasons (like a wand, athame, and scrying tools) are completely unnecessary, but they can be helpful to get in the mood and they can also be a lot of fun if you love shopping or if you're the crafty type. I have made many wands, and I'm planning to make another one soon. One of the first, when I was probably 15 or 16, that I used for about 4 years and probably still have somewhere, is one that i made from a bone and a quartz point that fir perfectly into one of the joint ends. I used a leather cord around it and made a velvet lined box stuffed with herbs to store it in. Most recently, I used a bamboo toothpick. I may use the stem of white or purple sage to create a new wand soon. I have one of each on my wall right now and something about the fragility of them is really calling to me right now. Of course, the job of a wand is to point, and most of us do that pretty easily without a specialty tool. An athame is also a Wiccan tool, and purely religious. It is not used for physically cutting anything and often does the same job as a wand. Scrying tools may seem necessary, but these are also among the easiest to replace. My black mirror has never been a specialty made mirror. It does technically cost more, but that's because I use the easy to clean, shiny, deep black surface of my phone. There is literally nothing more connected to me. It holds all of my secrets and connects me to the world. With either the phone completely off or the screen off, it has always been useful to me. We will cover and try a few methods of scrying next week, so I will give you quite a few options then. Some things, like tarot cards, can't be replaced. If you want to do tarot readings, you need tarot cards. If you want to do card readings, you can use cards other than tarot. You can use oracle cards or a deck of playing cards (my favorite.) Honestly you can use anything, but these three options will give you a strong starting point without forcing you to create an entire system on your own. My general advice for tools is this- you don't need it. If you want it, buy it. If you want it and can't afford it right now- find a substitute. If you aren't sure if you want it- practice with a substitute first. Think about what it's for, what it means, and what it means to you, before you buy it. (If impulse buying benefits your life and doesn't harm your finances- go bananas! I'm not here to steal anyone's joy, just offering practical tips for the people who feel pressured into spending.) Your assignment is this: Look up a general list of tools and really think about the tools you want. (Remember that you don't need them and that it is perfectly okay to have things because you want them.) Make a note of the things you don't need and don't want, For today's part 2 we are going to talk about altars. I posted a picture of mine in here sometime recently, so you can see what my current setup looks like. There is no standard or correct altar. I'll probably repeat this on Day 8, but do be a little wary if you choose to post pictures of your altar. For some witches, this is akin to posting a picture of your driver's license. It can be an intensely personal space and there is an idea that someone can hex you using that information. I don't have a problem posting mine because a huge part of its function it to just be pretty and feel witchy. I do still cover, remove, or replace certain things when I take photos, so I do somewhat believe this idea. Also, make sure that you don't have any identifying information (like your actual drivers license) in the photo/s. If you want to know if it’s okay to have or not have something on your altar, the answer is yes. If you want to know if a certain size, shape, or orientation is okay for your altar, the answer is yes. Anyone who tells you you’re wrong will NEVER reach the levels you will, because they choose to sabotage themselves. They are restricting themselves. Even in deity work. While some people do choose to worship a deity and then start researching to find the deity that fits them, a lot people are called to serve or work with a particular deity. A LITERAL GOD who is calling you does not care what’s in your hand when you answer. They just don’t. The moon doesn’t care, the earth doesn’t care, your ancestors don't care, the fae don't care, nothing and no one that will lend you its energy gives a single fuck what you are pointing with. The energy responds to how you relate to energy. So your altar should include the things that help you do that. If that means a deck of cards and joint- great. If it means a glittering collections of crystals and candles set atop a gorgeous hand-painted tapestry- also great. If it means you put your tools in a box that you stash under your bed and you open it up for an instant altar- awesome. If it's a repurposed mint tin with a crystal, a candle, and a pinch of herbs- adorable. Again, if you follow a certain religion, you may want to follow the conventions of that religion. If what drew you to witchcraft was largely the aesthetic, make your space as beautiful as you want. If you really don't want an altar and you'd rather just store things in places where they won't turn into cat toys, be swallowed by toddlers, or collect dust- do it. If you want your altar to hold your tools nearby so you know where to find them- EXCELLENT. Are you noticing a trend? When I started out, my altar was on a nightstand in the north corner of my room with a black crushed panne velvet altar cloth, and dark EVERYTHING. I had pewter pendants, a black plastic chalice with dragons or something on it, I had pentagrams on things, I had my tarot cards in the dark green crushed panne velvet bag I made. I had my wand in it's box, and I had my Book of Shadows. I had incense. SO MUCH INCENSE. And herbs. So many herbs in baggies and bowls and just chilling out in my multiple mortars and pestles. I used to put offerings on my altar- something I don't think I even have room for now. I went through a long period with no altar at all, and a stint of an "altar in a box." If you look for the picture post, I describe my current setup there. My life and my values have changed. Sometimes I do miss the dark vibes and the heaviness of the smell of bags of powder incense and the wax drippings and the very "ready for ritual" feeling I got. Now I see my altar and I'm "ready for work." I don't Like everything else in magic, it will change with you. And like everything else, it should be in tune with your values. Tomorrow we will look into those, and try some automatic writing. Don't worry, it probably won't hurt.... So tell me (if and as much as you are comfortable...)
What tools are you giving yourself permission to not have? What are you giving yourself permission to buy (if/when you can?)
Has your idea of your perfect altar changed at all?
How is meditation going?
Again, we'll revisit most of these things through the month, I just wanted to throw something a little lighter at you today and reinforce that you don't need to buy anything, before I start recommending a bunch of "things." See you tomorrow!
All information presented is copyrighted material, you may not reproduce any part in any way except as permitted by US Copyright law. For info about reproduction permission, DM me. My current goal is to turn this into a book, and perhaps repeat this type of "course" in the future. I truly believe there is no cost of admission to witchcraft and I will never ask you to buy anything (from me or otherwise.) If you wouldlikeand are comfortablyableto leave a tip, I do have CashApp, Venmo, and Paypal. (Starving artist is a lifestyle choice, but not-starving artist is great too. And no, I'm not actually starving, but I am looking at paying some money to get this project turned into a book and I've got my eye on this tarot deck...)
Note: if you arent ok about what i say in the post ect. Disagree or want to say something like "just be a woman" etc. Then don't comment. Please. Only respectful positive comments please. You don't have to agree about this, this is my experience, not yours. So I dont care what you think, just keep your thoughts to your self please. Thanks. Salam, I'm Nonbinary, as my username shows, and I been trying to navigate how I can practice Islam, and learn it. The thing is, the sources for people like me, on Islam, that isn't binary in its writings (it interpretations that are only about "this is what women do", "this is what men do", never "this is what nonbinary people do" (or for that matter "ace or aro people do" but that's a whole other thing to navigate)) Anyway, because of this i find myself wondering, as someone who is nonbinary (afab) who everyone around me sees me as a woman, even though I don't identify that way, who is mostly closeted but im also not(hard to explain, i have people that know but my family knows and pretend I'm not me etc so in a sense I'm closeted in the Muslim community yet I'm open about it with strangers if certain people aren't around), anyway coming from that situation, I find my self wondering things. Like: How do I pray? With who? (if a masjid existed that accepted trans people) and do i use a Hijab? Or something else to cover that isn't exactly a hijab but isn't a man thing either? If theres something that isnt a gendered item, what that look like? how would work? I've looked at the concept of Hijab in Islam, the info on man and woman arwa(spelling idk?) And how they differ and the reason behind it and the varying views and options among hijab etc. But honestly I think the problem comes, that people are all interpreting everything with their binary ideals in mind and can't look past the concept of man/women. Its like they pretend we don't exist. Or that everyone nonbinary has to be physically different to be nonbianry or that we have to be "fixed" to fit into one category they choose. (The classic concept of "force a trans person to be" or "force intersex people to be" without actually learning what that person identifies as.) And people wants to put us in neat little boxes and can't stand it when we break out of the box and be different etc. So they cant stand it when people like me exist. Anyway not trying to rant. I'm just frustrated because I want guidance but there is no info out there for people like me that I can find, and access. As someone that can't speak or read Arabic, as someone that is all on my own with learning progressive Islam, as someone who is closeted about being a progressive Muslim in my community among other forms of being closeted, and not by choice in most cases, and as someone that sincerely believes in Islam, that there is a guide out there for me, but feels hopeless to find it in the face of all that is my life, I am worried. How can I keep going like this? I want so badly, to really study Islam, its my passion, my love, and I can't even do that with my life how it is. I keep trying. To be independent, to be free. So I can get away from my controlling abusive family, to be in a place where I'm accepted and not closeted. So I can be open and honest and communicate and further my Islam and knowledge. So I can find marriage and have a family and live my life according to an Islam that accepts me and helps me through my life, guides and comforts me more than it already has. So lately. Its been bugging me. My most pressing thing, how do I pray? As time goes by I'm missing more and more, and I need it. I need to be able to perform it. Its like my heart is slowly dying. And I wanna cry because I just want answers so I can finally find a way to pray without feeling dysphoric and judged and i want to be able to go to the masjid without worrying about these things and feeling dysphoric, again because of how the masjid is set up, in a binary way because, men and women have their own spaces and i feel i don't fit anywhere and i cant stand it, lacking community, lacking connections to other muslims, being invisible among them. Put in a box by them. And all the while they are walking around oblivious to how they affect me as they go about things. I wish they could understand, I wish they knew, and yet knowing isnt enough because most of them would get angry. Tell me off for being there. Call me a kafir, or a jinni, or other forms of abuse. Things that likely could cause more harm than I already have experienced, make my depression worse, make my life more miserable, perhaps make me cry or worse. Theres just so much that goes into being in that space and such. That goes into being Nonbinary and Muslim. That its exhausting. And sometimes you just wish things were better. I miss the Masjid. I miss going there for Eid Prayer, for Ramadan meals. For Friday. For Islamic groups. I miss having debates with other Muslism. I miss learning and talking in a civilized way, not in a arguing or trying to prove a point way. I need help, idk where or how. Or from what. Any advice. Anything. Positive feedback. Words fo wisdom. Idk. I just dont want to be so stuck. I don't want to keep suffering, in my mind and in my life. I want peace. Serenity. (Something I have in small moments, miracles, in my "conversations"(not literal im not meaning actual conversations lol) with Allah, something I had in prayer and cant seem to have beyond my dua right now. Because how do I pray? 😭 ) Also, I have chronic fatigue, major depression (which is made worse by family etc), aspergers, walk with a cane, cant always get up off the floor (so sadly I can't pray like I used to as a kid) (even then sitting with my legs under me isnt possible because my knees, and my thighs arent able to lay against my kafs where the back of my knees bends(does that make sense idk how to explain, so I couldt really sit that way anyway when it as younger, also my feet/toes would cramp up) ) Personally I find hijab Dysphoric, as it is associated with women. And I don't identify as one. So I cant wear one in general, its not an option. I just cant. I made peace with it. Regardless of what people may say, because Allah knows me best, he knows what I'm going through and why, and people are outsiders they can't know or understand it. But Allah can. And Allah says. Islam isn't mean to be a hardship on you. Yet people try to make it so. Pressuring people to fit a certain mold, be a certain kind fo way, a certain kind of Muslim. Saying "this is a muslim" this isnt. When really. Only Allah knows who is Muslim and who isn't. Only Allah can judge people. Peopel can't know what is in other peoples hearts and minds. We aren't Psychic. We aren't all knowing. We can't read minds. We cant seee their soul. People need to stop judging and stop call people things, things like kafir. They can't know. They will never know. They need to stop. They need to accept they can't know. They cant judge. And move on. If it isnt a hardship. Then there has to be answers out there. That will ease my mind and give me the guidance and serenity I need. To live and survive this world. Please. Someone. If you read this. Idk what im asking but whatever it may be. Please do it. Do something. Say something idk. Change something? Idk. My brain is just kind of just raising to fast so idk what I am trying to say anymore i got lost inside my rant? Maybe. Its not a very organized post? Idk. I tried to edit it and make sure I didn't have bad typos. Sorry if I missed anything. Its hard for me to read much right now. (With that in mind if you comment please make well spaced balanced paragraph or something so its easier to read. )
I really enjoyed m4nz's recent post: Getting into DevOps as a beginner is tricky - My 50 cents to help with it and wanted to do my own version of it, in hopes that it might help beginners as well. I agree with most of their advice and recommend folks check it out if you haven't yet, but I wanted to provide more of a simple list of things to learn and tools to use to compliment their solid advice.
While I went to college and got a degree, it wasn't in computer science. I simply developed an interest in Linux and Free & Open Source Software as a hobby. I set up a home server and home theater PC before smart TV's and Roku were really a thing simply because I thought it was cool and interesting and enjoyed the novelty of it. Fast forward a few years and basically I was just tired of being poor lol. I had heard on the now defunct Linux Action Show podcast about linuxacademy.com and how people had had success with getting Linux jobs despite not having a degree by taking the courses there and acquiring certifications. I took a course, got the basic LPI Linux Essentials Certification, then got lucky by landing literally the first Linux job I applied for at a consulting firm as a junior sysadmin. Without a CS degree, any real experience, and 1 measly certification, I figured I had to level up my skills as quickly as possible and this is where I really started to get into DevOps tools and methodologies. I now have 5 years experience in the IT world, most of it doing DevOps/SRE work.
People have varying opinions on the relevance and worth of certifications. If you already have a CS degree or experience then they're probably not needed unless their structure and challenge would be a good motivation for you to learn more. Without experience or a CS degree, you'll probably need a few to break into the IT world unless you know someone or have something else to prove your skills, like a github profile with lots of open source contributions, or a non-profit you built a website for or something like that. Regardless of their efficacy at judging a candidate's ability to actually do DevOps/sysadmin work, they can absolutely help you get hired in my experience. Right now, these are the certs I would recommend beginners pursue. You don't necessarily need all of them to get a job (I got started with just the first one on this list), and any real world experience you can get will be worth more than any number of certs imo (both in terms of knowledge gained and in increasing your prospects of getting hired), but this is a good starting place to help you plan out what certs you want to pursue. Some hiring managers and DevOps professionals don't care at all about certs, some folks will place way too much emphasis on them ... it all depends on the company and the person interviewing you. In my experience I feel that they absolutely helped me advance my career. If you feel you don't need them, that's cool too ... they're a lot of work so skip them if you can of course lol.
LPI Linux Essentials - basic multiple choice test on Linux basics. Fairly easy especially if you have nix experience, otherwise I'd recommend a taking a course like I did. linuxacademy worked for me, but there are other sites out there that can help. For this one, you can probably get by just searching youtube for the topics covered on the test.
Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator - This one is a hands on test which is great, you do a screen share with a proctor and ssh into their server; then you have a list of objectives to accomplish on the server pretty much however you see fit. Write a big bash script to do it all, do like 100 mv commands manually, write a small program in python lol, whatever you want so long as you accomplish the goals in time.
Amazon Web Services certs - I would go for the all 3 associate level certs if you can: Solutions Architect, SysOps Administrator, Developer. These are quite tedious to study for as they can be more a certification that you know which AWS products to get your client to use than they are a test of your cloud knowledge at times. For better or worse, AWS is the top cloud provider at the moment so showing you have knowledge there opens you up to the most jobs. If you know you want to work with another cloud provider then the Google certs can be swapped out here, for example. I know that with the AWS certs, I get offers all the time for companies that use GCP even though I have no real experience there. Folks with the google certs: is the reverse true for you? (genuinely asking, it would be useful for beginners to know).
Certified Kubernetes Administrator - I don't actually have this cert since at this point in my career I have real Kubernetes experience on my resume so it's kind of not needed, but if you wanted learn Kubernetes and prove it to prospective employers it can help.
Tools and Experimentation
While certs can help you get hired, they won't make you a good DevOps Engineer or Site Reliability Engineer. The only way to get good, just like with anything else, is to practice. There are a lot of sub-areas in the DevOps world to specialize in ... though in my experience, especially at smaller companies, you'll be asked to do a little (or a lot) of all of them. Though definitely not exhaustive, here's a list of tools you'll want to gain experience with both as points on a resume and as trusty tools in your tool belt you can call on to solve problems. While there is plenty of "resume driven development" in the DevOps world, these tools are solving real problems that people encounter and struggle with all the time, i.e., you're not just learning them because they are cool and flashy, but because not knowing and using them is a giant pain!
Linux! - Unless you want to only work with Windows for some reason, Linux is the most important thing you can learn to become a good DevOps professional in my view. Install it on your personal laptop, try a bunch of different distributions, develop an opinion on systemd vs. other init systems ;), get a few cloud servers on DigitalOcean or AWS to mess around with, set up a home server, try different desktop environments and window managers, master a cli text editor, break your install and try to fix it, customize your desktop until it's unrecognizable lol. Just get as much experience with Linux as possible!
git - Aside from general Linux knowledge, git is one of the most important tool for DevOps/SREs to know in my view. A good DevOps team will usually practice "git ops," i.e., making changes to your CI/CD pipeline, infrastructure, or server provisioning will involve making a pull request against the appropriate git repo.
terraform - terraform is the de facto "infrastructure as code" tool in the DevOps world. Personally, I love it despite it's pain points. It's a great place to start once you have a good Linux and cloud knowledge foundation as it will allow you to easily and quickly bring up infrastructure to practice with the other tools on this list.
packer - While not hugely popular or widely used, it's such a simple and useful tool that I recommend you check it out. Packer lets you build "immutable server images" with all of the tools and configuration you need baked in, so that your servers come online ready to start working immediately without any further provisioning needed. Combined with terraform, you can bring up Kubernetes clusters with a single command, or any other fancy DevOps tools you want to play with.
ansible - With the advent of Kubernetes and container orchestration, "configuration management" has become somewhat less relevant ... or at least less of a flashy and popular topic. It is still something you should be familiar with and it absolutely is in wide use at many companies. Personally, I love the combination of ansible + packer + terraform and find it very useful. Chef and Puppet are nice too, but Ansible is the most popular last I checked so unless you have a preference (or already know Ruby) then I'd go with that.
jenkins - despite it's many, many flaws and pain points lol, Jenkins is still incredibly useful and widely used as a CI/CD solution and it's fairly easy to get started with. EDIT: Upon further consideration, Jenkins may not be the best choice for beginners to learn. At this point, you’re probably better off with something like GitLab: it’s a more powerful and useful tool, you’ll learn YAML for its config, and it’s less of a pain to use. If you know Jenkins that’s great and it will help you get a job probably, but then you might implement Jenkins since it’s what you know ... but if you have the chance, choose another tool.
postgres - Knowledge of SQL databases is very useful, both from a DBA standpoint and the operations side of things. You might be helping developers develop a new service and helping with setting up schema (or doing so yourself for an internal tool), or you might be spinning up an instance for devs to access, or even pinpointing that a SQL query is the bottleneck in an app's performance. I put Postgres here because that's what I personally use and have seen a lot in the industry, but experience with any SQL database will be useful.
nginx - nginx is commonly used an http server for simple services or as an ingress option for kubernetes. Learn the basic config options, how to do TLS, etc.
docker - Ah, the buzzword of yesteryear. Docker and containerization is still incredibly dominant as a paradigm in the DevOps world right now and it is paramount that you learn it and master it. Be comfortable writing Dockerfiles, troubleshooting docker networking, the fundamentals of how linux containers work ... and definitely get familiar with Alpine Linux as it will most likely be the base image for most of your company's docker images.
kubernetes - At many companies, DevOps EngineeSite Reliability Engineer effectively translates to "Kubernetes Babysitter," especially if you're new on the job. Container orchestration, while no longer truly "cutting edge" is still fairly new and there is high demand for people with knowledge and experience with it. Work through Kubernetes The Hard Way to bring up a cluster manually. Learn and know the various "primitives" like pods and replicasets. Learn about ingress and how to expose services.
There are many, many other DevOps tools I left out that are worthwhile (I didn't even touch the tools in the kubernetes space like helm and spinnaker). Definitely don't stop at this list! A good DevOps engineer is always looking to add useful tools to their tool belt. This industry changes so quickly, it's hard to keep up. That's why it's important to also learn the "why" of each of these tools, so that you can determine which tool would best solve a particular problem. Nearly everything on this list could be swapped for another tool to accomplish the same goals. The ones I listed are simply the most common/popular and so are a good place to start for beginners.
Any language you learn will be useful and make you a better sysadmin/DevOps Eng/SRE, but these are the 3 I would recommend that beginners target first.
Bash - It's right there in your terminal and for better or worse, a scarily large amount of the world's IT infrastructure depends on ill-conceived and poorly commented bash scripts. It's bash scripts all the way down. I joke, but bash is an incredibly powerful tool and a great place to start learning programming basics like control flow and variables.
Python - It has a beautiful syntax, it's easy to learn, and the python shell makes it quick to learn the basics. Many companies have large repos of python scripts used by operations for automating all sorts of things. Also, many older DevOps tools (like ansible) are written in python.
Go - Go makes for a great first "systems language" in that it's quite powerful and gives you access to some low level functionality, but the syntax is simple, explicit and easy to understand. It's also fast, compiles to static binaries, has a strong type system and it's easier to learn than C or C++ or Rust. Also, most modern DevOps tools are written in Go. If the documentation isn't answering your question and the logs aren't clear enough, nothing beats being able to go to the source code of a tool for troubleshooting.
Expanding your knowledge
As m4nz correctly pointed out in their post, while knowledge of and experience with popular DevOps tools is important; nothing beats in-depth knowledge of the underlying systems. The more you can learn about Linux, operating system design, distributed systems, git concepts, language design, networking (it's always DNS ;) the better. Yes, all the tools listed above are extremely useful and will help you do your job, but it helps to know why we use those tools in the first place. What problems are they solving? The solutions to many production problems have already been automated away for the most part: kubernetes will restart a failed service automatically, automated testing catches many common bugs, etc. ... but that means that sometimes the solution to the issue you're troubleshooting will be quite esoteric. Occam's razor still applies, and it's usually the simplest explanation that works; but sometimes the problem really is at the kernel level. The biggest innovations in the IT world are generally ones of abstractions: config management abstracts away tedious server provisioning, cloud providers abstract away the data center, containers abstract away the OS level, container orchestration abstracts away the node and cluster level, etc. Understanding what it happening beneath each layer of abstraction is crucial. It gives you a "big picture" of how everything fits together and why things are the way they are; and it allows you to place new tools and information into the big picture so you'll know why they'd be useful or whether or not they'd work for your company and team before you've even looked in-depth at them. Anyway, I hope that helps. I'll be happy to answer any beginnegetting started questions that folks have! I don't care to argue about this or that point in my post, but if you have a better suggestion or additional advice then please just add it here in the comments or in your own post! A good DevOps Eng/SRE freely shares their knowledge so that we can all improve.
Maybe what I’ve always thought was gender dysphoria is actually internalized sexism? (24F)
EDIT: Thank you all SO MUCH for your perspectives and advice! You’ve all given me a LOT to think about. I have a lot of self-work to do but you’ve all encouraged me so much, I feel like I can do this. I will take your advice and do what I can to find a good therapist that specializes in gender issues. I will learn to be ok with uncertainty and reject labels... and most importantly find out what makes ME happy and what I want out of life. I didn’t think I would get so many great and loving responses. I’m very very grateful for all of you and for this experience. I’m feeling much better now. Thank you all so very much ❤️ I’ve been having a hard time dealing with this and I am exhausted. If I don’t explain something coherently please let me know and I will try to do better. Some important background: I was raised in Puerto Rico in an independent fundamental baptist cult, specifically the Bob Jones University kind, so I was not only subjected to horrible teachings about gender roles from toddler age until my junior year of college, I was incredibly isolated from any other kinds of people, ideas, and ways of life. My earliest thoughts on gender started when I was eight and found myself wishing that there was something I could be other than a man or a woman. Something in-between. I think I might have been frustrated, as my little tomboy self usually was, over the unfairness of always having to wear skirts and dresses and having to put up with playing Princesses or Tea Party with my sisters instead of Knights and Dragons like I wanted to. From the wife training classes I was made to take at 13, to always having my physical boundaries disrespected, to being taught that everything bad that happens in the world happens because a woman made a decision for herself, to watching independent women be called Jezebels, to having older men asking my father to “court” me (as a minor) and my parents seeing no issue with it aside from the fact they didn’t want me to “court” anybody regardless of age until halfway through Bible college, to being encouraged by my Bible college professors to adopt anti-feminist ideology, and not to mention the trauma from sexual abuse... It’s no wonder I’ve had issues with my femininity. Once I left Bible college and the cult and started educating myself on feminism, I started to feel much worse about myself. I hated my body. Seeing myself naked and being reminded that I have a “feminine” figure with breasts made me sick. Male attention made me uncomfortable. Seeing women sexualized in any and every context made me mad, despite being attracted to women myself. I still experience these things now but I’ve gotten a little better at stuffing them away. But no matter what I’ve done, the depersonalization and hatred of my body and the agony of being seen as a woman have continued to haunt me. I’ve cut my hair, I started binding and wearing men’s clothes, and for a while I told everyone I was genderfluid. It helped for a little bit but I then realized that my “dysphoria” wasn’t as bad as what real trans people go through and I stopped. There are also things about being a woman that I like now. I love having breasts in a sexual context, I love being feminine in the bedroom, I learned to love wearing dresses and makeup, and I really want to be a wife and mom someday. I feel like I couldn’t have these things if I was trans. Maybe that’s internalized transphobia, maybe not. I don’t know, and I don’t really care. Being trans isn’t an option for me. With the way that trans people are treated in our society, specifically non-binary trans people who choose not to undergo HRT or gender affirmation surgery, why would I make my life harder than it has to be? But the feelings I’ve named “dysphoria” for so long still haven’t gone away. Women being sexualized or sexualizing themselves still makes me uncomfortable. Being referred to as a woman still seems fundamentally wrong to me. I still hate my body for the most part. I’ve never felt I belonged in groups of women and I don’t have any friends who are cis women. I can’t tell if these feelings are because I may still subconsciously believe that to be a woman is bad, or if I’m simply not a woman at all. And I don’t know how to find that out. I’m just tired of feeling this way. Has anyone else experienced this? Is this even gender dysphoria? How do I become comfortable in my womanhood? Thanks for reading this. Even if there’s no solid solution, it’s a relief to just vent and get this out here and see people’s responses to it. TL;DR: I was raised with toxic gender roles and suffered sexual abuse, now I have what appears to be gender dysphoria but might just be internalized sexism. Which is it? How do I get rid of it?
I (22 AMAB) have accepted myself as Non-Binary/Agender for a while now, but I've still only come out to two people IRL - my spouse and my brother. I wanted to come out at my new job as a school teacher, but this has been a complete disaster. I still don't know anyone where I'm working beyond a surface level, have little to no support for basic job responsibilities - let alone complex issues like gender acceptance, am in the southeast US where people are more aggressive with gendered language than most places, and am working with a population of students with disabilities who still are struggling to remember my name after a month, let alone my language preferences. One thing that I noticed myself doing after having every basic request - such as repeatedly asking not to be called mister or sir - ignored or shot down, I've been feeling defeated and have just started referring to myself with male gendered language to my students and colleagues for the sake of consistency. I feel sick to my stomach every time that I do this, but I'm also tired of the pain that I feel when my requests are blatantly ignored or misunderstood. I want to change things and I would love to come out, but as I said, I can't even get people to stop calling me mister or sir no matter how many times I ask, so asking for a change that involves adding new language rather than just ommitting some seems completely far-fetched. I'm looking to change positions and districts next year to somewhere more accepting, but I still don't know when I'll get to work up the courage to come out with who I am and to confidently demand that people respect me by using neutral language. I don't know if it's best to do it up front or when I'm comfortable with people. I feel like the latter definitely isn't the option because I feel like I'm digging myself a hole in my current position by allowing other people to define me rather than defining myself. Idk if I even want advice or if I just wanted to vent, I just know that this situation sucks and you all would probably be able to relate more than anyone else.
Zero Waste Statistics talk a lot about waste, but what are the statistics about people practicing zero waste?
Hi there! I'm a graphic design student currently working on a design project to help aid people in making more sustainable options while shopping (I'd love to chat about it more if you're interested), and I'm in the beginning research stages of my project right now. While doing some research on my audience (that's wonderful people like all of you!) I had a hard time figuring out what demographic is making these choices to transition to a more sustainable outlook on life. So I figured I'd ask: who are all of you? Are you female/male/non-binary? Are you in a lower income or a higher one? What age range are you in? What choices led you to this lifestyle? (obviously, only answer the questions you are comfortable answering. Also, know that I appreciate everyone who does volunteer their time to help me out.) One of the things that I love about this subreddit so much is how knowledgable all of you are and how you put in the time to make the best decisions you can. If I'm allowed, I'd like to continue asking for advice here as I work on my project. Although my final output of this semester won't be made into an actual functioning product (right now I think I'll be making an app), I will be putting it into my portfolio and submitting it for design awards. I'm hoping that I can bring more awareness to the zero waste movement and inspire people to change. By putting this project in my portfolio, I hope to position myself in jobs where I can do more for the environment through my work. Once again, thanks for being such a wonderful community and for helping me out!
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