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About Deviant Member Evan27/Male/United States Group :iconindispute: inDISPUTE
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EternalGeekExposed
Evan
United States
Lived, learned, and loved.

This is a second account where I feel safe being involved in the LGBT community. My main account is :iconeternalgeek:. However, I ask you to please, PLEASE not discuss LGBT topics there or link anything on that account back to this one. This is my alias where I can be safe in who I am. Thank you for your understanding.
  • Mood: Compassion
Hi!  So, I'm scaling down my presence on Deviant Art for now... not that I'm on all that much anyway.  For the moment, that mostly just means I am no longer following most groups and probably won't post a lot of new content.  However, I still come on here to hang out in the chats from time to time while I'm doing my homework or research or grading and I may still upload things when I feel up to it.  I will try to also post on my journal ever so often for those lovely friends I've made here that follow up on my infrequent posts.  So... not huge changes for most of you.  Have a great day!

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Captain Cassidy has been writing a series on Excommunications[1] about compromise. The entire thing is splendid, and I highly recommend it (or any of her other posts, for that matter). In a recent post[2], she defined compromise as “coming to an awareness of what our real goals are and then finding different ways of reaching those goals if necessary so we can have peaceful relationships with others.” This is an excellent definition, and it exposes one of the greatest challenges to meaningful compromise: people must be honest about their goals and motives.

I have a lot of experience with believers attempting to convert me back to their religion and sexual/gender ethics. Here’s the thing: people who think that they are going to lead you on a long, twisted, and heroic journey to redemption are some of the most dishonest people about their motives. It gets easier to spot once you’re savvy to the game, but if you’re still in the disorienting realm between “I feel guilty always telling them no” and “they are my friends/family/loved ones… they surely would never be dishonest with me” it can be soul-sucking. I’m going to outline a few typical tactics here and expose the underlying dishonesty involved. If you are experiencing this and you are losing your mind trying to figure out how to compromise with your friends or loved ones please know that you are not the problem. The game is rigged. It is designed to have only one outcome, and that outcome is not in your favor. It is okay to just refuse to play.

(1) Aggressive helpfulness

Believers may attempt to frame their goals in terms of your happiness and benefit. Maybe you’ve heard “I saw this article and I just thought you’d probably find it really interesting!” Or “I really get where you’re coming from, but I think this book might have a lot of answers for you… it really blessed me when I felt like you do.” Or “Can we just have a discussion about this? I know you don’t want to, but it will feel so good for you to get it off of your heart.” Or “I know things have been really rough with the family lately… I know a counselor you can speak to; I’ll even pay for it!”

But the goal is never actually about your comfort or benefit or happiness (at least not as you’d define those things). It’s about “fixing” you. The article will always* be some horrifying AFA editorial about a (totally not fake) lesbian whose mother paid to have her raped but now, through the power of Jesus, she wants to reconcile and be straight. The book will always* be about how it is impossible to live a happy and fulfilled life without X brand of Jesus. The discussion will always* be an attempt to prove to you that you’ve not done enough research and praying and bible reading to actually reject that particular piece of doctrine. The counselor will always* be unlicensed, Christian, anti-gay, and has already heard the “real” story about you from your family. It will never be good. You can say no.

*Okay it might not be those specific things depending on your situation, but I promise, it will be something equally as unpleasant.

(2) Unsolicited bribes

Similar to the aggressive helper, is the unsolicited bribe. The believer may attempt to buy your compliance. This might put a positive mask on their tactics but, again, the motives are never honest. The gift is not being offered for your benefit and enjoyment, but primarily to win an opportunity to convert you. At times, these can get pretty bizarre. You might get abrupt offers for things you never even asked for (but that the believer knows you secretly really want) with a stipulation tacked onto the end. How about “you’re welcome to talk to me about anything and then, in return, I’ll share my testimony with you!” Or “I’d really love if you could go to the amusement park with me… but that’s not going to work out if you do (insert completely unrelated heathenish thing here).”

These bribes can take an even darker and more dishonest turn when the believer does not inform you beforehand that there are expectations included in the offer. Maybe they offer to pay for a doctor’s visit or offer you a loan and then, down the road, hold that over you as a way to manipulate you into compliance. Remember that you never accepted any terms when you accepted their gift and you are in no way obligated to fall into line because of it. However, if at all possible, it is probably best to avoid accepting any sort of assistance or offers from someone who may have conversion motives, just to save yourself the headache.

(3) The Negative Reinforcement Compromise (NRC)

Another common “compromise” is what I’d call the Negative Reinforcement Compromise… where they believer will agree to stop some sort of hurtful behavior in exchange for a favor. Again, the purported motive is rarely honest: they may claim that they are compromising in order to “maintain a good relationship.” However, the only relationship they are probably interested in maintaining is a relationship with the former believer/straight/cis version of yourself and they are just trying to gain compliance until they can convert you. This becomes obvious if you accept their compromise and, when you don’t convert, they refuse to uphold their end of the bargain. Examples may include “Alright, I’ll stop harassing you about this if you’ll just read this book and talk to this pastor and pray this much.” Or maybe “Okay, we can stop talking about your sin, but in exchange, you should never mention your partner in our presence.” My personal favorite (the one that actually made me laugh at the absurdity) is “Okay, we won’t refer to you by your birth name if you don’t refer to yourself by your new name.”

The believer in these cases fails to recognize that no compromise is reasonable if their behavior is hurting you and you’ve asked them to stop. The only correct response is for them to stop, no strings attached. The NRC probably galls me the most, because it preys on the victim’s desperation to ease the pain or discomfort that they are being put through, often leading them to accept the unreasonable terms. When, at a later time, they decide that the agreement was unreasonable and they want to change the terms of the deal, they will be exposed to the full brunt of the believer’s disdain, disgust, and anger. This will often be used by the believer to justify any further dishonesty or abuse with the statement “but you agreed to X and later you went back on that, so you have no right to complain” ignoring the fact that the “compromise” was made under duress (and the motives stated for the deal were dishonest in the first place).

This is not to say that it’s impossible to find healthy compromises between people with radically different beliefs, ideas, or values. However, the people involved have to approach this with honesty. If a believer is honestly interested in improving their relationship with you, they will be willing to consider actions and options that you state are healthy for you. And you, in turn, can find actions and options that are healthy for them too. Both people must be approaching each other from a place of mutual respect. If the believer thinks that he/she knows what is good for you better than you do, they don’t respect you. Back off, reset, and refuse to engage until and if they are willing to approach the table as your equal instead of as your “designated adult”.

If anyone has their own experiences or tactics to share, I’d love to hear it!

[1] www.patheos.com/blogs/excommun…
[2] www.patheos.com/blogs/excommun…
Dishonest motives: when believers want to fix you
Note: when I talk about "believers" here, I'm specifically referring to people who insist on attempting to convert people to their opinions/religion/ethics, especially using dishonest means.  Be nice in the comments or I will ban you.  I ain't got time for long, offensive online arguments.
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Dear Mama and Daddy,
First of all, in reply to your email, Daddy.  I guess it shouldn't surprise me at all that you didn't want anything to do with me after I came out as transgender.  I feel like that flipped a final switch for you.  You were never the most conciliatory party, and maybe you gave up long before then.  But I'm certain that, at that point, you just didn't give a fuck anymore.  There was no concern, no interest, no attempt at understanding when I came out to you.  There was only dismissal and... was it irritation?  Annoyance?  Yeah, I'm such a pain in the ass, existing as myself.  How irritating that your child isn't who you want them to be.

You're not the best at expressing your feelings, especially not in the moment, so I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt.  But your email confirmed it.  You were never interested in having a relationship with me as a transgender person, even while agreeing to disagree on the morality of my identity and choices.  You were perfectly content to never see me or speak to me again after I had "gone into a far country" or whatever the fuck you call it.  Do I make you uncomfortable?  Embarrassed?  What is it about me that is so intolerable?  Is it just to put me in my place?  Who the fuck knows.  All I know is that you don't give a fuck about me anymore.

Oh, and fuck off with your "you are deceived about us" bullshit.  Who is deceiving me?  Satan?  The World?  Or maybe I'm just reacting naturally to the signals that YOU are giving me.  If YOU feel that your intentions and feelings are misunderstood, maybe YOU should clarify them instead of throwing your hands up and surrendering to the supernatural forces that "deceive" me.

I know you think I'm deceived about my gender too, although why the fuck Satan would choose "hey, don't you feel like you're the wrong gender?" as his method of leading me astray is beyond me.  He's clearly not a very smart guy.  It would have been much easier to try to tempt me with something that I was much less scared of, something that I was more open to.  Do you have any idea how HARD it is to admit that you're transgender or even gay?  Do you have any idea how HARD I tried to fight it?  Do you have any idea how many times I cried and prayed and begged it to go away?  Do you have any idea how scared I was, even once I no longer felt it was a sin?  Do you know how much I shook and doubted and questioned and feared embracing this, even without moral concerns?

No, of course you don't, because you never tried to hear my side of the story at all.  You just imagined up your own narrative where being transgender and loving a woman was an easy, wide path, paved with rainbows and sparkles, full of open doors and encouragement from The World.  Well, guess what?  It's not.  It has been full of fear and struggles and pain and I knew that it would be from the start.  I, unlike you, am not a faith-blinded idiot.  I actually live in fucking REALITY.  And in fucking REALITY it's tough to lose your family, turn your back on your upbringing, and reject societal cultural norms, risk discrimination and harassment, and undergo medical procedures in order to live authentically as yourself.   So no, this isn't something that I got suckered into because it just looked like so much FUN.  You are fucking crazy if you think so.

Oh and as far as me being "separated from... all that we are"?  Cry me a river.  I AM NOT OBLIGATED TO BE A FUCKING CARBON COPY OF YOU.  Who cares if I've separated myself from some of the things you believe?  That's called being a NORMAL TWENTY-FUCKING-SEVEN YEAR OLD ADULT.  Most parents can handle the fact that their adult children don't agree with them about everything and they are still willing to talk to them.  The fact that you seem to think that a relationship with you is contingent on my agreeing with you about my own fucking body and my own fucking beliefs just proves that you are the one with the serious problem with tolerating disagreement.  And just to remind you, I NEVER fucking asked you to agree with me about ANYTHING I've done... I only asked that you treat me with the most basic human respect of using my name and not treating me like shit (and you made a point of refusing to honor either of those requests in your last email I might add.  Classy.)

---

Okay, I have to say a few words to you, Mama.  I've already unloaded a lot of things at you over the phone, but I want to make sure a few things sank in.  First, you act like an immature, whiny, tantrum-throwing 3-year-old.  Seriously.  Get a fucking counselor (a real one, not some bible-based bullshit) and work through some of your issues.  Have someone teach you how to fucking communicate, because you SUCK at it.  Either that, or you just love being an asshole to people and then playing the misunderstood martyr whenever you get called out for it.  It's not fucking cute.  It's not even cute on a 3 year old.  You're over fifty.  GROW THE FUCK UP.

Second, stop it with this "I just wanted to share my heart" bullshit.  Sharing your heart doesn't automatically make what you're saying okay.  In fact, if I said half of the things that were "on my heart" I probably wouldn't have any friends.  Just because you feel it doesn't mean it's appropriate to say.  HOW HAVE YOU NOT LEARNED THIS YET?  Some thoughts should remain thoughts and some feelings should be kept to yourself.  Phrases like "overshare", "too soon", "TMI", "not right now", "that's rude", "that's inappropriate", "not here", and countless others are dedicated expressly to setting these boundaries.  I suggest you study them.

Oh, and "I thought we were just having a conversation" is just as idiotic of an appeal when I tell you were being offensive.  Yes.  Yes, we were having a conversation.  That does not mean that you get to abandon all rules of politeness and respect.  Where the fuck did you come up with that leap of logic?

Finally, let me give you one last crash-course on boundaries and how they go both ways.  You were happy to set your own rules, but every time I attempted to set a boundary you'd start crying or whining about how cruel and unfair it is for me to make requests about how I am treated.  And then you'd promptly disregard them because "surely it doesn't apply right now" or "I didn't think it would really matter."  Here's the thing: IF I BOTHERED TO ASK YOU NOT TO DO SOMETHING IT MEANS IT FUCKING MATTERS TO ME.  You might not understand why (although if you ever took a moment to even attempt to empathize, you probably would) but that does NOT mean that you get to fucking disregard it.  It amazes me that you have absolutely no concept of respect for me whatsoever.  You seem to think that I am a possession of yours that is misbehaving by doing things you don't want.  You feel entitled to my obedience (remember I'm 27!!!), you feel that I should defer to you in all things, you feel personally betrayed if I don't share parts of my personal life with you, you feel owed the right to dictate every aspect of our relationship according to your desires and comfort level, you feel personally insulted if I make requests about how I am treated, you get angry if I show any sort of independent thought or action... you treat me like a fucking OBJECT.  This is not how you treat another human being!  That's how you treat your computer when it has a virus and is acting up.  I am a fucking PERSON with my own personality, thoughts, feelings, needs, wants, goals, and beliefs.  YOU FUCKING RESPECT THAT.

---
And finally, to both of you, you are selfish.  Pathetically selfish, entitled, and self-absorbed.  Never have you considered how your actions might impact me... or if you did, you clearly didn't give a shit.  It doesn't matter to you that I'm trying to get through a semester in my PhD program, that I might have a lot to deal with, or that being fucking disowned by my parents in the middle of all of this might be harmful to my grades and my health.  I asked you not to contact me, and right at the beginning of my semester, what do you do?  You write me an email just to fucking bitch at me.  You KNOW that any form of communication tends to be emotionally fraught, but did that matter?  Nope.  Who the fuck cares?  You had FEELINGS that you wanted to share, and that takes precedence over my requests, over my boundaries, over my schooling, over my feelings, over my time, over my needs.  It has never, ever been about me.  It's always about you, you, you.  Your "sincere beliefs" and your desire to shove them in my face and maybe bash my nose in with them are more important than ANYTHING.  Well guess what?  I have a fucking life.  I have a family to spend time with and a shit-ton of school work to do because I'm fucking going places (aren't you proud?) and I can't be bothered with your bullshit in my life.  You might think that sabotaging my semester and emotionally abusing me is no big deal, but you're only showing off how self-centered and ugly you are.  You are my parents.  Normal parents support their kids when they are working hard, going places, getting degrees, etc.  Normal parents don't carelessly try to derail their son in the middle of his semester just out of spite!

Fuck you.  I deserve better than you.  Fortunately, I'm tough enough to get by all the same.  Yes, you fucked up my semester and my grades have tanked, but I'm already working on bringing them back up.  Yes, you've emotionally scarred me, but I've learned how to put myself back together and deal with it.  Yes, you made me lose my temper, but maybe it's about time that I did.  Yes, you abandoned me and treated me like garbage, but I'm better than you and I will keep going and live a great life and make a positive difference in the world and raise my children with love and respect and be everything for them that you weren't for me... a supportive, empathetic, respectful, conscientious parent.  And I'm sure I'll fuck up.  But I'll listen to my child and I'll learn and, most importantly, I will never, ever abandon them.  Because that's what being a parent should look like, and I sure as hell will be a better one than you.

Your son, Evan
On being disowned...
I will probably move this to scraps or delete it eventually.  I just wanted this off my chest.
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Integrus Jacksonium! by EternalGeekExposed
Integrus Jacksonium!
This was the solution that I finally settled on for one of my Jackson Electrodynamics problems.  Wizards!
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Integrus Jacksonium! by EternalGeekExposed
Integrus Jacksonium!
New profile picture.  This was the solution that I settled for on one of my Jackson Electrodynamics problems.  Wizards!
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  • Mood: Compassion
Hi!  So, I'm scaling down my presence on Deviant Art for now... not that I'm on all that much anyway.  For the moment, that mostly just means I am no longer following most groups and probably won't post a lot of new content.  However, I still come on here to hang out in the chats from time to time while I'm doing my homework or research or grading and I may still upload things when I feel up to it.  I will try to also post on my journal ever so often for those lovely friends I've made here that follow up on my infrequent posts.  So... not huge changes for most of you.  Have a great day!

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:iconslateman:
slateman Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Are you a boy or a girl?
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014
I'm a man.  ... why do you ask?
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:iconslateman:
slateman Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Your other account says Anna, Female. I was confused.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014
Ah, I see.  I am transgender.  I wrote about it a little here  eternalgeekexposed.deviantart.…
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AngelasArtArea Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Professional General Artist
Hug Just because.... 
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014
Aww, thank you!  :blush:
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:iconotterwillow:
Otterwillow Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I really love your articles on feminism and gay rights, 
I found them informative and very well written Hug 
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014
Thank you!  I'm glad you found them useful!
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:iconherheart107:
HerHeart107 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014  Student General Artist
amazing art work :D
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014
Aww, thank you!
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