the 2010s

I’ll open this post with an admission: I’ve been torn on how I’ve wanted to go about writing this. The last few days have seen me writing, rewriting, scrapping and coming back to this space, trying to figure out the best way to talk about this past decade. There were a lot of great things that happened to me. There was also so much more terrible shit that went down. Things that have changed me, and not for the better. Making me want to be less of an “approachable” person, more of a recluse who doesn’t like to share their feelings. Because, for all of the great relationships I’ve made in this time, there’s still that part of me that knows how I came in to the 2010s as a relatively care-free dude making video game gif’s on Tumblr in an attempt at drawing a crowd towards the short stories and music reviews I was writing, and I came out of the 2010 a bitter trans person that everyone hates, and I hate twice as much. There are days and sometimes even weeks where I would love to drop everything and disappear into a fucking cave. And yes, I know it seems silly and maybe even hypocritical that I would make a post opening up about myself after making a big spectacle over never wanting to open myself again, but I feel like I can make an exception this one time.

I had dreams once. I had goals. I was idealistic. The desire to make things that people care about; to make my mark in a world that told me I would never amount to anything. Now? Now I just make shit because I’m too stubborn to quit now.

Let me go way back to the early 2010s for a moment. I had just left my shitty job with the weird hours that kept me from having any kind of social life. I had gotten back in touch with my old high school friends, several of whom were playing in bands. So for a good couple years or so, I would go to their shows, we would hang out, get drunk, and have a good time. Then I got the bright idea to write about the shows that I went to. Not just as music reviews, but as pieces of non-fiction about the things that went on at these venues. The people I met, the things I saw, or whatever was on display at the small art museum next to the concert hall. That’s when things started to change. I was no longer an old friend, but looked at as someone who would write glowing reviews to help make them more popular. And when I wouldn’t do that, my phone stopped ringing, and my calls were no longer answered. I was no longer useful, so I was cut out. My entire social network more or less evaporated immediately. My Bipolar diagnosis came shortly after this, so I was not in a good place around this time. One day, I stopped feeling angry and sorry for myself, and swore that I would never find myself in a position where my friendship was something to be exploited.

Then I met Zoe Quinn. And I think you all know how that particular story ended. I found myself in the same spot I swore I would never be in again. I’ll be carrying that particular guilt over being manipulated and used for a long time to come, I think.

Though, there is at least one thing that keeps me from completely losing it: unlike your Zoe’s, or Randi’s, or anyone else who thought it would be a good idea to exploit me and my friends for a few bucks, my name is not built upon pity. See, the thing about all of them, is that no matter they do, there will always be that specter of being “the Gamergate Girl” following them around. When people buy or support anything that do, it’s because they feel sorry for all of them. It’s why Goddess Mode’s sales dropped 53% in one month. My name is built on respect. When people support me, they do it because they actually like me as a person, or they think what I do is actually really fucking good. Nobody looks at my art, or plays my games, or watches my streams, or listens to my podcasts, or wears my shirt designs because they feel sorry for me. I will never rely on trying to sell my shit by saying “hey ya’ll! Play my game and trigger the alt-right today!”

It’s not much, but it is at least enough to hang my hat on.

The last five years alone have been an endless shitshow, the memories of which still plague me right fucking now. Nobody believes in anything. For all the grief that South Park (rightfully) gets for its “caring about things is stupid” message, there sure are a lot of people out there that have no problem with using it as their core belief. The people who will adopt socialist or communist language and ideologies in a cynical attempt at capitalist brand-building. People who will claim to be allies, but instead give $200 to some C-List celebrity to mumble out “uhh trans rights” on Cameo while ignoring the dozens of GoFundMe’s being shared around the internet on a daily basis. The same ones who will make empty platitudes about standing up for you, but then turn around and call Chelsea Manning a “monster” because she went to a couple of parties to try and dox Charlie Kirk. Or they stick up for Wil Wheaton after his bigoted ass got rightfully driven off of Mastodon. The same ones who will use their platforms to tell their audience to “shut the fuck up about Gamergate” and “pay attention to the real issues” while 8chan and Milo Yiannopolous are in the middle of targeting every trans women they can find en masse.

You got people who will yell, scream and carry on about sticking up for sex workers, and that SESTA/FOSTA was bad. These are the same people who gleefully turned their collective back on Alison Rapp, because she might have done some escort work in the past. Escort work, the “gross” kind of sex work; the kind that’s a bit more complicated than closing the PornHub tab after you’re done jerking off.

People who will demand that you put a content warning on a picture of your lunch, but will think nothing of sharing an uncensored video of a child getting his skull caved in by the butt of an M16, commenting, “this is like, bad, and stuff.” YOU THINK? Now, maybe I’m too old. Maybe I’m some outdated fuddy duddy who doesn’t know shit about how things work anymore, but I feel as though war crimes and police brutality are a little more distressing to look at than the grilled cheese sandwich you had today.

How about a recent thing that happened? How about having to watch a bunch of people that you care about panicking and freaking out after putting themselves on the line to try and expose Ben Judd and all the bullshit he was pulling off with Dangen Entertainment? How about seeing a bunch of notable names in the games industry immediately shit on it and say who fucking cares? We need to talk about Vinny Vinesauce! You know, because I guess doing a funny Super Mario voice in your apartment at two in the morning while playing The Legend Of Zelda is so much worse for marginalized people than abusing your position of power to expose your dick to women half your age.

Believe victims, except for these select victims, because some guy at Amazon none of them have talked to in about four fucking years said “Allyzone” once, and that’s enough to ensure that they should never be believed or supported for the rest of lives and beyond. Class solidarity, ya’ll…unless your podcast is funny or popular enough, in which case it’s totally cool to hassle retail employees on Christmas Eve; we all know that marketing and executive decisions are made by the miserable guy behind the counter. Corporations aren’t your friend, which is why we all need to strike back in the most radical of ways: buying a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 as soon as possible. Sure, the working conditions on that game were toxic and abusive as fuck, with all the profits immediately pocketed by its execs, BUT THE COYOTE PHYSICS ARE PROBABLY DOPE! And if you aren’t talking about every issue plaguing the world right fucking now, a bunch of rich white girls in the Bay Area will call you “privileged” before going back to dilating the pussies their dads bought for them and referring to anyone who transitioned in or after their 30s as “men in dresses.”

The decade is coming to a close, and I’m fucking exhausted. Ten years- ten years of being fucked over, used, treated like shit by abusive assholes, having my name and reputation dragged through the mud over things I’ve literally never said or done. Doesn’t matter if you’re a shitty pop-punk band in Denver, or a shitty game developer who’s biggest talent is dating the worst men, fuck you. I’m using this space to finally get all that anger out once and for all. And my goal for the next decade is this:

I just want to be left the fuck alone.

That’s it. Aside from a couple of exceptions, you probably noticed I wasn’t naming a whole lot of names in this post. This is because I don’t care about fighting anymore. I just don’t care. I simply wish to exist and continue making cool shit. You don’t like me? You think I’m an asshole? Great, I don’t care. All I ask is that you leave me alone. Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, don’t even think about me, and I’ll be more than happy to extend the same courtesy to you. I spent so many years waiting for an apology that would never come, and I don’t need the headache anymore.

All I ever wanted was a place where I could feel like I belonged; despite my web site’s title, being alone isn’t such a great thing. I have that now. I have my friends. I have my partner(s). I have the small communities I’m a part of. I have Black Dresses. I have Tsuchinoko Radio. I have Tekken 7. I have Bitsy. I have AEW. I have a sick new computer that runs Gamecube ROMs. I still have my creative spirit (Slimegirl Adventures 2020). I don’t need anything else. I definitely don’t need the constant bickering, or the performative bullshit, or the constant hypocrisy that gets people hurt. I don’t need the fighting, and the discourse. I don’t need the memories of the past haunting me anymore. I know I’ve said “time to move on” like a million times, but if there was ever a time to repeat it, it would be now. Will the world still be a shitty, festering hellhole? Yeah, it will. Can I do anything to change that? No, not really. I can’t be Superman, but I can at least try to do my part by being Ramona.

To everyone who has stuck by me all these years, thank you. I’m going to make 2020 and beyond my time.

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