((hey, persephonesidekick, if you don’t feel comfortable with this post
being up, let me know and I’ll take it down.))
Weirdly, one of the things I’m proudest about from my experience at Camp is
also one of the most upsetting?
I’m not going to go too in depth into the story here, because it gets kind
of complicated, but the gist (well, long gist) of it is this:
There was an event at Camp that was kind of transphobic. Not intentionally,
and I’m sure the actual event would’ve been fine, but on the surface of it
and in the description given, it was pretty actively hostile to any
I was pissed off and complained about it at my lunch table, thinking out
loud that maybe I could find the people in charge of the event and call
them out on it.
That might or might not have come to anything - I might have chickened out
of actually pitching a fit, or never found out who was in charge of the
event, etc etc.
But then the people sitting next to me started cisplaining at me (and if
that’s not a word, it needs to be one) about how it absolutely WASN’T
transphobic and how I was being ridiculous and overly sensitive and just
wouldn’t listen to what I was saying, making me angrier and more upset by
the minute until finally I just burst out crying because I was so angry.
This. uh. kind of threw people, I think. Hysterically outraged crying tends
to do that.
Anyway. I left. Not much later, a friend of mine came up to me asking if we
I told him that if it was about how this thing wasn’t transphobic, then no,
no we could not.
He ignored that and started cisplaining at me anyway. The straw that broke
the camel’s back, so to speak, was the patronizing way he was talking to
me, like I didn’t understand what was going on and was a small child.
I’ve very rarely been so furious with someone. It was like getting hit.
I’m lucky in that persephonesidekick was there and she MADE him stop when
he would have kept going when I told him the conversation was over and that
I couldn’t talk to him anymore, because I think that if it had continued
the damage to our relationship might well have been irreparable.
(protip: if I say I can’t talk about something with you, the correct
response is NOT to keep talking about it at me.)
the rest of that day was awful - I was already upset about the incident
itself, but I could have dealt with that. It meant a lot to me, but it
didn’t personally affect me, and anyway I’m used to dealing with that kind
What I couldn’t handle was how my friend had treated me. I felt betrayed on
the deepest level. Not because he hadn’t understood that the thing in
question was transphobic, or because he’d tried to defend it, but because
he’d treated me like an ignorant child.
(This was especially upsetting because he’s a part of the ageplay scene and
is one of the people I’m probably littlest around. Which had always been
okay because he still treated me like a full person and adult, even when he
was also saying hello back to my stuffed bear and stuff like that.)
Persephonesidekick was the only person around I could have talked to, but
she was having her own reactions to the day and couldn’t help me on top of
that. (Which was perfectly legit and understandable, especially since the
whole thing had a whole lot more to do with her than it ever would with me,
but still kind of left me spinning out all by myself.)
So the rest of the evening was me being angry-sad-upset-hurt-betrayed - so
angry I wanted to hurt myself because I couldn’t stand it.
Eventually though, even this kind of thing passes, and so by the next day
the fury had kind of settled into a cold distant anger.
I’m not good at staying angry at people I care about. I hate it. I hate
fighting with them. Most of the time I end up convincing myself it was my
fault in the first place and end up apologizing to *them*.
This time? I didn’t. I stayed angry. So, so angry.
I’ve let many things go in my life. Forgiven, but not forgotten. This
wasn’t going to be one of them. Something fundamental in our relationship
had been broken and I wasn’t going to try to just paper over the cracks.
Either he apologized, or we were done.
And as the day went on, and I saw him several times, it became more and
more apparent that he wasn’t going to, even though I knew from
conversations with Persephonesidekick that he did understand now how uncool
his behavior had been.
(She kicked some serious fucking ass that day and changed shit for the
better. Respect, yo.)
He did apologize, eventually - he hadn’t realized just how upset and angry
I was, so he hadn’t set it as a priority and had just let me be when I
I didn’t just forgive him, which was another amazing thing. I made sure he
understood just exactly how badly he’d hurt me before accepting his apology.
Then I slowly started to let it go.
I’ve forgiven him now, but it’s only forgiven, not forgotten.
and as horrible as the whole event was, two good things came out of it.
first, on the macro level, persephonesidekick got the organizers to cut
that shit out.
second, on a more personal level, I realized for maybe the first time that
I could be that angry at someone and *could* just not let it go.
And I’m kind of strangely proud of that. As much as I wish it hadn’t
happened, it still feels good (in that painful, growing sort of way) to
feel strong like that. I might have felt like I could shatter at the barest
touch, but there was this cold hard certainty inside me that someone I
cared about had hurt me and that it *was not my fault.*
I’m always making excuses for loved ones and friends when they hurt me. And
they’re important, reasonable things to take into account!
But now I know I *can* have that kind of clarity (even it wavered now and
then) and that. I don’t know. that’s important to me.
I feel like something hardened inside. Which sounds bad, but it isn’t.
It’s like instead of collapsing under pressure for once, I turned as fierce
and hard as a diamond instead.
(think i’m not a goddess? try me. this is a torch song. touch me and you’ll
hashtag camp camp camp
hashtag mkp introspects
hashtag this is probably kind of dumb ngl