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Welcome to my psyche. Please excuse the mess:

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a suspense thriller?
Like everyone else is fake, and all circumstances are positioned just to make tomorrow barely tolerable, for you alone?
Except everyone is having this exact same experience in their own tailored hell.
Everyone except content creators with perfect houses and TikTok knowledge.
I keep watching videos of “life hacks” that will never change my life because to use them, I’d have to be in the circumstances that require them. Those people are not like me, they’re alien.

Or maybe I’m the alien.

We doom scroll because at least we can control the horror on our screens.
At least we can keep scrolling by as our lives do the same.
If we’re watching our screens, we don’t have to see the horrors outside OR inside ourselves.

And then I meet up with friends once in a while who remind me how I’m human.
We bitch about the same shit, on replay.
But at least we laugh.
At least we cry.
At least we make art and bask in the sunlight.

I honestly don’t know what’s real anymore.
None of it seems to really matter.
All the pain I feel for myself, for others, for the state of the world.
It feels like it’s wasted on me.
I can only do what I can.
And it’s never enough.
And the world keeps turning and burning.

A psychiatrist finally put me on some nightmare medication.
It drops my blood pressure so my brain can’t freak out.
Vet approved and all.
And though medications help me, I can’t help but wonder if they’re breaking me.
What if they’re making me forget I’m human more than I normally would?
What if the pain of fiery nerves and nightmares are what keep me alive?
OR
What if they’re dulling my human pain to the point where my psychic pain takes hold of me?
Where I wake up to the point of higher consciousness and see what is instead of what I want things to be?
Sometimes I wish I could go back.
Things were simpler then.

Even now my joy feels wasted on me.
It’s important to know that joy will always be some kind of fleeting.
That’s only natural in a world such as this.
This uncanny existence.
Still, I let myself feel it. Even when it overwhelms me to have it leave over and over.

What am I? A ghost?

Time is a trap.
Where do people find the time to work AND make art AND have family AND feed themselves AND have pets AND relax AND?
I’m trapped.

I’m trapped in a time loop.
And each iteration degrades into a worse version of the last.
More kinks and twists and turns.
More struggle and amnesia so the struggle is fresh.

My brain forgets but my body remembers.

My body is stuck in linear time.
My brain is stuck as a time traveler.

Same as it ever was.

Featured Image Description: the Disability Pride Flag, featuring a lightning bolt shape of blue, yellow, white, red, and green lines combined overlaying a black background. You can find its symbolism here.

It’s been Disability Pride Month all July and I have something I’d love to share, finally! (My demand-avoidance does not like having to write themed posts within the correct time period, go figure.)

Bella, the Goldendoodle. She has light golden hair with a white chest and white around the tip of her brown nose and atop her paws. Her eyes are hazel green and she’s wearing a very large open-mouthed grin. A happy pup.

This is Bella, my mom’s dog. Mom kind of acquired Bella by accident. Granted, Mom was looking for a puppy, but the litter that she was hoping to get one from had already all been claimed. However, just before Christmas, the breeder called my mom up and told her that someone had returned a puppy, and wondered if Mom would be interested in purchasing her. Naturally, Mom said yes.

Now, while I don’t agree with the existence of breeders per-se, and I think Mom should have gotten an older dog from a shelter, period, I am very grateful for Bella in my life. She’s a lot to handle, as Goldendoodles aren’t exactly even keeled, especially this one as she’s more Golden than Poodle—she’s a doozy. Even so, she’s more than not a delight and brings a lot of joy to our lives.

You might be wondering why I am writing about her for Disability Pride Month though. Well, I’ll tell you: it’s because we share the same connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Hypermobile type III, or hEDS). Granted, Bella has never been diagnosed officially, but I know what my disease looks like, and dogs can and do have autoimmune/connective tissue disorders. 

Here’s a list of some symptoms, just so you can see it too:

  • Incredibly lax and stretchy skin (it’s absurd how far I can pull her fur away from her body)
  • Hypermobility (like SUPER hypermobile, she can turn herself into a ball where her head is far overlapping her rear end; I swear she could be an owl with how far she can turn her head too)
  • She’s ridiculously clumsy (like, no proprioception—the body’s ability to sense movement, action, and location—at all)
  • Chronic illness of others sorts such as bad allergies, upset stomach, and UTIs
  • Beyond sensitive skin (we think she’s allergic to metal or something, but she’s constantly needing medication)
  • She braces herself when she sits (has to do with hypermobility, where one must find external support, move around a lot, or hold oneself awkwardly, as the joints do not hold themselves together properly)
  • She can’t play for more than 5 minutes at a time; she stops to either eat grass because of her stomach or to catch her breath (I’m assuming she’s usually in some kind of pain)
  • Her gums are super sensitive and it takes next to nothing to cause them to bleed

SO yeah, Bella has been incredibly expensive to take care of due to illness and I’m glad she’s my mom’s dog and not mine. That being said, I love the ever living crap out of her. It’s been a wild time reliving some of my medical and social trauma through loving and taking care of Bella, but it’s also been healing. 

There was one time where I came home to find Bella unable to move well at all. She had overexerted herself playing with some new doggy friends at the park earlier that day, and when I came into the room, she tried her best to hobble over to me, but it was a tragic attempt. Seeing her like that shocked my system. It was in that moment that I knew without a doubt we shared the same connective tissue disorder. I crumpled to the ground, with sobs racking my body as I hugged her close. I knew the pain she was in, and the strength that it took her to want to move at all towards me. I saw how pure her love was at that moment too—to want to be close to me and still feel excitement through the pain. Quite the trooper.

Seeing that shared lived experience in an entity that’s other than human just…I don’t quite know how to describe what it’s done for me. Like of course it’s great to relate to other humans and learn from their experiences and heal together in our sharing, or sometimes just commiserate without healing, but I don’t know…there’s just something about relating wordlessly with an animal. I honestly attribute the phenomenon to my autism, as it’s an indescribable experience. My words truly fail me here. (One stereotypical trait of autistic individuals is to relate better/be more comfortable with animals than people.)

As beautiful as that experience was, it is, however, hard to deal with Bella’s health on and off. It makes me confront the not-so-far-off past of not having answers for most of my life about why I am the way I am. (I frequently have to disengage as memories flood my mind about how much I’ve been dismissed and discriminated against for the symptoms I’ve endured.) The vet keeps treating her symptoms, but it appears there’s a lack of understanding of why she is the way she is. I’m grateful they keep trying to find better food for her though, and they have meds for her allergies too. 

The good of our relationship though? She teaches me how to rest, how to be proud of my strength and love, how to stay and live in the present moment. She grounds me to the earth and to my body. She is my friend.   

Here we see Bella assisting (read: distracting) me from writing this very article. And you can see how she uses my as a backrest because it’s hard for her to sit up right, just as I have a hard time holding myself up because of hEDS. Kindred spirits, her and I. I consider myself very lucky.

So, all this to say: Happy Disability Pride Month. It’s things like this relationship I have with Bella that I seek, to bring me joy and peace amidst the chaos and pain of chronic illness. Thanks for reading!

cw: explicit language

The English language is an incredible beast. What makes it difficult to learn is also what makes it incredibly malleable and amazing. Not to get too vulgar right off the bat, but have you ever considered how many different ways we can use the word “fuck” to convey all sorts of emotions and meanings? Here, watch this real quick and you’ll see what I mean (cw: sexual violence, death; it’s from the show The Wire)😉😅

I shit you not, I only know about that scene because one of my linguistics professors showed it to us in class! But even without the video, you can see how a lot of our swearwords alone can be used in different contexts and mean different things. Okay, I guess we didn’t need to use swearwords as the example for this linguistic phenomenon (called lexical flexibility), but I like diving into taboo any chance I get. That being said, let’s get to the actual topic I want to discuss today: the word “queer” and its appropriate contexts of use.

“Queer not as being about who you are having sex with, that can be a dimension of it, but queer as being about the self that is at odds with everything around it and has to invent and create and find a place to speak and to thrive and to live.” – bell hooks

I’ve used this quote before in my writing, as it pertains to who I am at my very core. The identities I hold most dear are the identities that are most at odds with my surroundings (outside of being in the environment I’ve curated specifically to be safe for my queerness).

This may be controversial to say, but as a former linguistics student and continuous advocate for inclusivity, the word “queer” does not need to be exclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community. As history tells us, the word “queer” has already undergone several iterations. In the 1500s, the Scotts used it as an adjective to mean “strange, peculiar, eccentric, odd” which is still in use today. By 1740, it came to mean “open to suspicion”, and even slang for counterfeit money in the early to mid 1800s. It wasn’t until 1922 that “queer” came to be officially used to describe “homosexual”, but wasn’t a noun for the same until 1935. As a verb it was used to mean “to spoil or ruin” in 1812. Before that it was often used to mean “to puzzle, ridicule, deride, cheat”. And finally, Queer Theory/Studies was born in the 1990s. All of this information was found at etymonline.com.

What wasn’t mentioned on that website is how “queer” has been reclaimed since the 1990s as an identity marker by the LGBTQIA+ community itself, though on second thought, it should be implied to be an implicit part of Queer Theory/Studies.

“I see it as you can be neuroqueer, or genderqueer, or various flavors of queer. Isn’t the whole point of queer theory that being queer is an intentional subversion of cultural normativity?”

– a friend and fellow autism advocate, David Gray-Hammond of Emergent Divergence: Addiction, Mental Health, and The Autistic Experience

Not everyone agrees with this reclamation, mind you. Old school members of the community, and those who have experienced discrimination and harm from its use (young and old), wholeheartedly still consider it a harmful slur. In fact just the other day I was accused of being homophobic by a Facebook stranger, who appeared to be my age, because my blog is named “Queer Cult”. Clearly they’re missing the point of the name I chose, but it was an interesting experience to say the least.

When it comes to my membership of the LGBTQIA+ community, reclaiming “queer” as my own has been a very empowering experience. I’ve always been the weird kid, and as I’ve already discussed, “queer” is an easy descriptor for the peculiar. So when I finally figured out my sexuality and, ultimately, my gender identity, using “queer” was the simplest, most accessible way to communicate to others who I am. It just made sense, and felt safe to use because it described me even outside of my LGBTQIA+ identities.

That being said, listing all my identities within the community is cumbersome to say the least, and they don’t even fit all that well to begin with. While labels are liberatory and often connect people to each other, they are also limiting at a certain point. I only use “nonbinary” because that is the simplest, most accessible way to communicate that I don’t identify with being a man or woman, but it doesn’t exactly describe who I am either. To describe my gender would take pages, and all of those pages would be filled with nearly nonsensical metaphors. “I am stardust. I am galaxies. I am water flowing with salmon swimming upstream,” that kind of stuff. “Queer” allows me to communicate that I am different, period. It’s vague enough to allow my identities breathing room, to stay fluid, to stay “me”.

Also the featured image on this post, it says: People seem to believe that allowing polyamorous people to use “coming out” admits them into the queer community. That’s a debate for another time, but I think a polyamorous person can use the term without being regarded as inherently queer.

According to hooks’ definition of “queer”, I am queer in multiple ways: I am multiply queer within the LGBTQIA + community, I am dynamically disabled, I am autistic/ADHD, and I am polyamorous. I’ve had to “come out” several times for all of these identities, and I will continue to “come out” as I meet more people for the rest of my life. This will be reality for most of us who don’t fit the status-quo until the status-quo shifts from a white, cis-heteronormative existence to one that is post gender, race, sexuality, etc. We will continue to be subject to “coming out” until our labels don’t actually matter outside of connecting to each other, where mainstream media is so diversified that all identities are just considered “normal” and laws accommodate for all differences—where all lives are considered worthy of dignity and respect.

So yes, I agree with Poly Philia that using the phrase “coming out” does not make polyamorous people inherently a part of the queer community, meaning the LGBTQIA+ community. But I don’t agree that being polyamorous can’t make you another kind of queer. I operate out of bell hooks’ definition of queer, and I do believe that my polyamory is a part of my queer identity, but that doesn’t mean it’s a part of my queer identity within the LGBTQIA+ community. We’re discussing two versions of “queer” here.

That’s the beauty of language. We can have phrases and words that mean one thing in one context, and another thing in another context. Of course it’s important to recognize people’s desires and boundaries for certain uses. For example, the shortening of “polyamorous” to “poly” has been strongly discouraged by the Polynesian population that uses “#poly” to connect to each other online and for advocacy. Polyamorous people who aren’t Polynesian use that term and flood social medias, disrupting that connection for Polynesian people. We should respect racially marginalized groups and their desires. Instead, we use “polyam”.

But just as women have reclaimed “slut” and “bitch”, and the Black community has reclaimed the n-word, queer people reclaiming “queer” is not inappropriate. And I think it’s okay, if not absolutely appropriate, to extrapolate that reclamation to other identities that make us queer, in light of hooks’ definition of “queer”.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.


Need support exploring your identities? I’m your guy! You can schedule with me here (read package information and scroll to the bottom to fill out a Calendly appointment time slot). Looking forward to supporting you!

The featured image is of the Neurodivergence Pride Infinity symbol, in rainbow gradient, on top of a yellow background.

I’m terrified, but I needed to do it. If I didn’t tell her, then I’d have to tip-toe around communicating about certain responses, thought processes, and coping strategies, and that’s too much masking to do during a freaking therapy session that’s supposed to have all my energy dedicated to healing trauma. So, here’s what I wrote in the “need to know” box of the intake form:

I don’t take my self-identification as autistic lightly. I’ve done extensive reading and have also found a community that I feel wholly seen in. I was misdiagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in 2019 when I was half off my rocker coming off of Cymbalta incorrectly. It did, however, get me to the proper therapy for me at the time, which was DBT. DBT actually gave me tools and skills to build for effective communication and emotional regulation, especially for handling crises. Once the pandemic hit, I had the opportunity to actually slow down and realize why I had been in harsh burnout since early 2019–I have been autistic in crisis all my life. (I have been entirely dependent on my mother for money since then until just this past month, which in transition is a struggle on its own. This, along with physical disability, is also why I’ve never really been able to hold down a job consistently…I believe I am in the PDA profile of autism which hasn’t helped.) Now that I’ve embraced that knowledge, I have a much better time accommodating and advocating for my needs, building and sticking to boundaries, and living authentically while connecting to others, though I’m still learning. I embrace my stims, my “happy hands”, my narrative noises, my weirdness, and after processing a lot, I’ve learned to use masking more as a tool/superpower than let it define me. I have less meltdowns now that I understand why they happen, which has been life changing as well. I will, however, probably always struggle with gauging my volume and dealing with loud noises/severely overstimulating environments, among other things. I’ve been on this self-discovery path for two years now officially, and am so grateful to finally be learning to love myself the right way and to be making friends who will (hopefully) last. 

Fingers crossed she takes me seriously and doesn’t condescend or discourage me from my own understanding of who I am.


If you’re in need of peer support for living a neurodivergent life, among other things, I’m your guy! You can schedule with me here (read package information and scroll to the bottom to fill out a Calendly appointment time slot). Looking forward to supporting you!

Image description: a bald human is cringing in pain and effort with their hands at their temples, presumably rubbing them. A forcefield radiates out in rings from their forehead. The caption reads: Me trying to remember what I heard or said just moments ago.

Cw: ADHD management and healthcare story/rant

So today was the 4th time within 3 weeks that I’ve fucked up in bigger ways because of ADHD brain. Here’s the storyline, and then I’ll get into specific issues with healthcare:

It all started 3 weeks ago when, after basically fighting with my PCP, I had the opportunity to drug test for controlled substances so that I could start my ADHD treatment early (I’m seeing an actual psychiatrist at the end of this month). Because I had the immediate opportunity to jumpstart treatment, I accidentally bypassed the appointment I had that day for my TMD treatment. I realized 5 minutes too late to make it, had to call in all embarrassed, and reschedule. All was fine, but it’s just really frustrating and ironic that I was getting screened for ADHD medication while missing an appointment because of my ADHD (in two ways). 

That rescheduled appointment was then scheduled for a time I forgot I was going to be out of town during, and had to again reschedule that last minute as well.  

Then later in the week, I almost missed my re-rescheduled appointment, EVEN THOUGH I KNEW IT WAS IN MY CALENDAR, because I was out from other obligations and thought in the moment that it would be convenient to go grocery shopping since I was near the store. Half way through filling my cart I realized I had to be at the other appointment, rushed to put everything back, and made it out to where I needed to be with no time to spare. FINALLY I made it to my appointment that I’ve been waiting for, for almost a month. 

Cool, some fumbling around and embarrassment, but nothing major (which, I’ve definitely missed major things in the past) because all turned out fine. 

Then today, after weeks of planning with my mom for me to watch her dog while she’s away, I realized that I have a very important psych appointment Tuesday this week (for ADHD treatment). I’m supposed to watch Bella (the dog) down near the Finger Lakes, which is an hour and half away from where I live. Mom and I arranged for me to stay there all week, which would have meant that I’d need to leave Bella in her crate for several hours Tuesday. Thankfully Mom isn’t leaving until Tuesday morning anyway, so she can stay with Bella back home (not at the lake). Now I can stay home until my appointment and then take Bella after. But Mom went out of her way to make sure she borrowed a car to take the dog to the lake today, and she was counting on me to also water the flowers. Once again I leave people at a disadvantage because my brain can’t even keep its shit together for a day.

“You need a system, Jae.”

Yes Mom, that’s why we’re even having this conversation right now, because I have a system and it caught my mistake TODAY instead of DAY OF. But I can’t be hypervigilant and take in my schedule for the whole month every day. I can barely make it happen for a week at a time. That’s so much anxiety. That’s so much juggling of too many things, even though it’s all written down, when my processing and capacity are already at a low. I often can’t get shit done if I’m stuck in a mode other than “one day at a time”. 

“I need you to be here at 10AM”, demands Mom. “You know I have an appointment to be at! Let me make sure I can do that,” I answer. “You already told me what time it’s at!” she barks back. “Yes! And I don’t remember!” This is seriously how my brain is nearly 100% of the time. I can’t remember things that I just uttered 2 seconds ago much of the time. It’s a stressful existence, to say the least.

Who the fuck cares, right? I’m privileged that this hasn’t had a huge impact on my life, as a lot of this is “first world problems” kind of stuff. But shit adds up. My healthcare was almost jeopardized several times, and I’ve caused people I love a lot of stress and undue inconvenience. This is why I need ADHD treatment, not just to aid me in getting my shit together for my own life (career and self-care wise), but to make sure I inconvenience others less with my mistakes. 

Mental health wise, I don’t think people realize how much ADHD can wreak havoc. There is more than memory dysfunction. Not only does it make my relationships difficult to maintain through fuck ups like this, but there’s no relationship degradation either. So when I don’t see or talk to people for months, much of the time I feel like we should just pick up where we left off because to me, nothing’s changed. But to them, that time period of not interacting with each other means they’re no longer important to me. Thankfully most of my people now are also neurodivergent (ND) and know what this is like, so we don’t hold each other to neurotypical (NT) standards, but it still sucks. Even then, the fear of that degradation happening is there. 

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) is also a thing for many ADHD folk. RSD makes it so perceived AND actual rejection takes a genuine attack on the psyche, where often it catastrophizes into “everyone hates me” and “I’m only a fuck up” kind of thinking. Can you imagine having that on loop in your head almost every day? It’s really hard to rise above that and feel like a competent human being who is worthy of love and other good things. It’s intrusive, a compulsion: you have to constantly redirect your focus, which takes a lot of energy–energy that you are not infinitely made up of, especially in the face of many daily adversities.

And then you have the very real impact of big fuck ups, like missing an important appointment. Not only can you be penalized by the entity that you were supposed to meet with, but the shame that comes with that kind of fuck up HURTS. It is actually physically painful a lot of the time (because of how I’m wired). And it only reminds you of all the other times you’ve repeated the same behavior that you also physically can’t prevent. I can, and do, set multiple alarms, have multiple lists, have multiple calendar events (often set at least 15 min before the actual start of the event)—all to keep me on track, and these mistakes JUST KEEP HAPPENING. 

I genuinely don’t think NT people or maybe OCD/high anxiety ND types can grasp this kind of lived experience, and it’s super frustrating to feel added judgment because of that. This is not a “woe is me” post. This is a call for awareness that a lot of us try so freaking hard and still fall short. This is to ask people to stop judging others because they’re consistently inconsistent. As hard as I try to fit into the systems that be, I simply DO NOT FIT. So many of us ND folk live in this kind of existence, day in, day out. It’s exhausting. It can be incredibly debilitating. 

“Jae is a wonderful student, they just need to work on consistency.”

– A college professor of mine.

I’ve been working on being consistent my whole fucking life. Gods how I WISH I could just gain and keep those skills, after all this time “working” on it. 

And to end, a rant on medical care:

I had to argue and prove my medical history to my PCP for him to take me seriously about ADHD treatment. First off, he doesn’t even believe adults can have ADHD. Like, what happens to children with ADHD who grow up? Their neurology just changes at the age of 18, like a flip of a switch? You can’t be “cured” out of it, it’s a friggin neurotype! Which, it doesn’t even need curing, it needs specific accommodations, just like any other neurotype. So not only did I have to feel invalidated and judged for needing medical treatment for something my doctor doesn’t even believe in, but he kept pushing medication (that I hadn’t remembered at the time that I’d already tried which put me in the hospital). He kept pushing Strattera because it’s not a “controlled substance”, when Adderall literally was the only thing that worked for me before, even though I was on too high/frequent a dose (and it also almost put me in the hospital). I am a firm believer that I can make my life better, more consistent, if I have control of my ADHD treatment. If I get to decide how much and when I need to take a stimulant, then I may be better suited to managing the days of capitalist, ableist society.   

I finally got to take a drug test, after confirming that having THC (weed, or better, cannibis) in my system would not fail me (though I only got verbal confirmation, and I wish I had gotten it in writing). And after all the to-do about not wanting to fail for having THC in my system, the test comes back negative for everything including THC. It was surprising and we ordered another test which I took the following week. Finally THC shows positive, but then my doctor goes out of town without sending my script in for Adderall. The “fill-in” doctor tells me that he can’t do anything because he needs to defer to my PCP’s judgment about the THC, making me wait yet another week for treatment. So now, instead of going into my psych appointment with a few weeks of treatment under my belt, I won’t even have a few days which defeats the whole purpose of going through this entire process with my PCP to begin with. This whole time I’ve felt like I’m being trapped into something that reflects poorly on me. I have a lot of medical trauma and misjudgments in my chart, and I feel like this whole experience is just adding to that. Either way, receiving proper treatment for ADHD as an adult apparently isn’t as easy as folk make it out to be, and it’s incredibly frustrating. It’s probable that if I had been able to start treatment when I was supposed to have started, I wouldn’t even be writing this post right now about all the fuck ups of the last few weeks.  

Update: literally as I’m writing this, I got a text from my pharmacy that my script is now filled. For the wrong mg. Well, at least I get a day to try it out I guess? Ugh.

Anyway, something-something our healthcare sucks, stigma sucks, ADHD sucks (often, but not always). And I’m Tired™. End rant.

What are the solutions though? How do we find ourselves better healthcare professionals who believe patients when they talk about their lived experience? How do we break down stigma and treat each other with dignity and respect? The best I’ve come up with so far is to speak out, and loudly, about our experiences. If you’d like to join in on the conversation, I’d love to hear about your experience too! And I encourage you to post and share in your own social groups of the same. We only have so much reach when we solely speak to each other, to people who already understand our similar plights. Much love to you! 💜🌈


Need to rant about this stuff too? I’m your guy! You can schedule with me here (read package information and scroll to the bottom to fill out a Calendly appointment time slot). Looking forward to supporting you!

Hi friends! I hope to get back to writing regular articles soon, but in the meantime I have some events coming up that you might be interested in!

TONIGHT we have our Polyamory Panel Series session on Disability and Polyamory. This will be a fishbowl discussion to explore the dynamics of living a polyamorous life as a disabled person. From Covid, to boundaries and needs outside of the pandemic, to marriage equality, this topic is sure to have a lot of meat to chew on! Tonight, Monday April 18th at 7-8:30pm EST. Zoom link here! *this will be recorded and livestreamed*

Sunday April 24th at 2-5pm EST we have Queer^ Grief: Honoring the Beauty of Letting Go, Jam & Open Mic!

made with inShot and FlyerMaker apps

Queer^ grief is the grief we hold for having to live in a world that does not always accept, respect, or celebrate us for who we are as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The caret (^) is for those who are additionally queer because of any other marginalized identity that is at odds with normative culture (race/ethnicity, neurodivergence, ability status, etc.).

This is a two-part event. The first 45 min will be a brave space for us to name the pain we have been carrying and find solace in one another as we share in breakout rooms. After a 15 minute break, we will be welcomed back to the space with a grounding exercise. An open format for sharing art and creative expression will follow. People will be able to share whatever form of expression their grief has produced, or that has helped them process their grief (painting/drawing, music, poetry, short story, even comedy, etc.). In this way, not only will we be able to connect over grief and set resilience down, but also be able to connect over the beauty that is free expression, that comes from that pain. More details and registration here!

*this event is free with a suggested donation of $5-35 for either segment, or $10-50 for both; registration required*

Looking forward to being in community with you!

Featured Image Caption: 1 year ago on March 9, 2021, a Facebook post by me, Jaesic Feathers: Welp, it’s official. The geneticist diagnosed me with hEDS without testing. As it stands, hEDS doesn’t have a genetic marker. My history is consistent enough with his experience with hEDS patients that I now have a diagnosis. Neat. I’m looking forward to when I don’t feel so empty inside about this. 20 years. It took 20 years for me to get here.

Since this day last year, I have been on an incredible journey of self-discovery and community building. Because of this diagnosis, I’ve been able to start healing my relationship with my body, a relationship where I actively love myself through my pain, seek out accommodations and better routine, and allow myself more grace when things go haywire. It’s been really hard, but I’m getting better at this, and I’m so grateful to finally not hate the vessel that allows me to interact with this plane of existence. It’s sad that it’s taken me this long to get a diagnosis, and even more sad to only just now be on my way to a healthier relationship with my body only AFTER I’ve been medically validated (because being gaslit, patronized, condescended to, dismissed, antagonized, etc. for over 2 straight decades really does do a number on your self-efficacy and esteem; an all too common experience for AFAB people in medical treatment).

FINALLY I am medically valid enough to have medical professionals who take me seriously and work with me to manage my pain and body’s ability. Fucking life changing. Also life changing? Finding people who know what this dynamic disabled life is like. I am beyond grateful for the connecting capabilities of the internet and to my fellow zebras who have offered their own stories and support over the past year. Finally I feel seen and valid and not alone in my health journey.

Being human is hard enough, and then we add medical discrimination because of biases and prejudice, both in medical and personal life. PLEASE listen to people when they talk about their bodies! 9/10 times they are NOT hypochondriacs! And even if that 1 person is, what else is going on that is causing their brains to be so hypervigilant about their health?? What support is not yet present in their life?

Listen. BELIEVE. Stop judging. Respect. Support. We all deserve to feel seen, heard, and valid. And we all deserve the support we need!

If you’re a fellow zebra, I would love to connect with you over your personal journey and to stand in solidarity with you. Please leave me a comment or shoot me a message through the contact tab on my website’s menu! Sending you so much love 💜🌈💜


A learning opportunity: we no longer use “invisible disability” but instead use “dynamic disability”. Please see the images below to understand why! (This term is also applied to autism, and other forms of neurodivergence.) Thank you 🥰

First image: Created by Asiatu Lawoyin, the Intersectional Autist. Reach them at asiatucoach.com or @asiatu.coach on socials. Image says: “Invisible Disability”: Disabilities are only “invisible” out of ignorance. Invisible is centered within the outside perception & decenters the disabled as well as ignores our internal realities. Also, disabled behaviors rarely are truly invisible.


Second image: What is a Dynamic Disability? A disability which tends to fluctuate in severity (pain, energy, etc.) in a difficult to predict manner. Those with a dynamic disability are able to do certain tasks at one time but unable to complete those tasks at another time. Created by @joannanobanana on socials.


Third image: Autism is a “dynamic disability”. What this means is capacity & functioning are not concrete & may fluctuate dependent on factors such as environment, cognition, executive function, processing capacity, interoception/exteroception, neuro-fatigue, anxiety, communication differences, burnout & sensory overwhelm. This means Autistics may be capable of a task one day, but unable to perform the task at another. Made by Neurodiversally Unbroken 2021.

Feature image: Found on a dear friend’s timeline, which is text that says, “Dear little me, You took so much on that was not yours to carry. We can set it down now, whenever you are ready. Love, Me.” Photo credit unknown.

cw: inner child discussion, spirituality, religion

Last night’s Intersections talk (on Queer Cult) dipped into this a bit and I’d like to share my thoughts. We were discussing queer spiritualities: what it means to be queer and spiritual, how those identities intersect and dissect and influence, etc. Within this discussion, I described my spiritual journey that took place because I realigned to my queer identities. Coming out was the door I needed to have opened to find my humanity again, something my conservative Christian upbringing took from me.

On a Full Moon last Fall, I held a special ceremony for myself where I wrote a letter to my parents on one side of the page, and a letter to myself on the other. I lit a candle under a tree that was shrouded in moonlight and burned the letter. Letting go of the pain my parents caused me throughout my life was holding me back from accessing my inner child and healing that relationship; it was keeping me from living in the present as my full authentic self. As adults we have the responsibility to be our own parents, and that can be a rocky relationship if we don’t have anything to model it after.

I wept and wept under that tree, as a vision of me holding my younger self took over my mind once the burning was done. Finally I could see Little Me, confused and scared and hurt. I could see what she needed: she needed to be told she wasn’t wrong for being who she is, she wasn’t wrong for knowing she’s different and for knowing there is a better love and life waiting for her.

That night I got to witness just how neglected my inner child had been my whole life. I neglected her because I was scared of how mad she’d be at me. But because of the added neglect on my part, she made her anger known in ways that disrupted my life in really impactful ways. Impulsivity, selfish behavior, angry yelling, emotional meltdowns that could have been avoided, etc.—all of these and more because I didn’t want to look my inner child in the face…I couldn’t bear the shame of not taking care of her all this time either.

And part of me in the present was still mad at HER because I had the wrong perspective. Instead of loving her because she was an innocent child, I held grief over her (and me in the now at the time) for not being “normal”, for having specific needs, for “fucking up” over and over (because I didn’t have the tools to effectively communicate or self-regulate properly).

Because of what happened within that ceremony, after the added benefit and privilege of proper therapy, I’m now on my way to repairing the relationship I should have with my inner child, and because of this, I am feeling more wholly myself everyday. I’m finally ready to set down that pain, see my parents for who they are WHERE they are, and stop hurting myself trying to change them or make our relationship something it isn’t. I get to be my own parent and love my inner child so wholly that they get to be imaginative and feel nothing but freedom—freedom of shame, restriction, judgment; freedom to BE; freedom in knowing they are unequivocally enough, who always has and always will be. Coming back to my inner child is starting to mean coming back to the queerest version of myself; the most authentic version of who I am to my core—a free spirit, a ball of light made of love, courage, and a desire to make a difference.


It’s wild to see what growth looks like, and how nonlinear it really is. I’m grateful to be where I am now, even as I had to go through the rough stuff to get here. If you’re struggling, just know you’re not alone, and you are so so strong because you’ve already been through a lot and you’re still here reading this. My inbox is always open if you need someone to talk to: I offer peer support sessions on a sliding scale (and pro bono), just click here to schedule. 💜🌈💜

Hi friends! I know I haven’t written much lately, but at least it’s for a good reason—I’ve been super busy networking and getting things running! I’ve updated my events tab, but here’s a flyer for this week’s events. I hope to see you there!

Transcription:

This week at Queer Cult: Tuesday, Feb. 8th @ 5:30pm EST is Talks with the Neurodivergent Rebel! This will be on identity-first language, functioning labels, pathology, and grief.

Also on Tuesday, Feb. 8th @ 7:15pm EST is Intersections of the Naked Space. This will be on spirituality and the Magical Playground of the Inner Child. Both events on this Tuesday will be livestreamed to Facebook @thequeercult

On Saturday, Feb. 12th @ 1:30pm EST I have an interview with Aucademy, based in the UK. I will be sharing my autistic and queer self-discovery journey and its intersections of religion, relationships, and grief. This will be livestreamed to Facebook @aucademy.

Image description: two images are divided by a white border. On the left is an image of Jae at their high school graduation. They are wearing a floral, knee length dress with tank-top sleeps. A medal of honor hangs from their neck. They have shoulder length blonde hair, and they are smiling with a blue graduation cap atop their head. The image on the right is of Jae from this past year. They are wearing an opened black vest with no shirt underneath, black dress pants, and a black and silver medallion. Their hair is bleach blonde and cut so it’s shorter on top and shaved on the sides. They hold a smirk on their face and a mug in their right hand that reads: World’s Greatest Me.

cw: mentions su*c*de and abusive relationships

There’s a trend going around where people are posting a picture of themselves from 2012 next to a picture of themselves from this year, 2022. So, I thought it’d be a fun reflection if I did this challenge today, on my birthday.

On the left I see a child in a graduation cap. I see someone who doesn’t know who she is and is tired of faking happy all the time. Sure, I had moments when I was truly happy. But nothing seemed to fit right. Not my clothes, not my body, not my friends, not my education, not my family, nothing. In fact the only things that made sense were music, nature, and animals because I truly didn’t know myself. Things would make sense one moment, and then come crashing down the next. I often wanted to unalive myself, even though I was so excited to start a new adventure off in Michigan for college. But college brought more strife, and I couldn’t make sense of why nothing was easy. Not one thing. Everything took so much effort; I was sick all the time, people abandoned me or stabbed me in the back, work was hell, classes were hell. Again, not saying that there weren’t good moments. But overall I was a lost child in a big, scary world, without much healthy guidance, self-awareness, or boundaries. That girl there had convictions, yes, but was constantly fawning to appease those around her and making foolish decisions. She got stuck in abusive relationship after abusive relationship. She got wrapped up in who people were telling her to be, instead of unapologetically existing in her full authenticity and finding the people who empower her to do just that.

That girl on the left had a lot of self-discovery to do, and a lot of self-compassion to develop. And then 10 years passed us by.

When I look to the right, I see a human who confidently embraces all that they are. I see someone who sees the possibilities life has to offer and isn’t afraid to reach out and receive what the universe is bringing to them. I see someone who knows they are inherently the world’s greatest “them” because they are the only one who can be them. I see someone who values their unique voice, quirks and all, and values when others share theirs. I see someone who knows life is a journey of growth and constant evolution, where it’s okay to make mistakes so long as you stay accountable and choose to do better.

I am grateful for the challenges and hardships I’ve had to endure these past 10 years to get to where I am now. Without them, I wouldn’t be this compassionate for myself and others. I wouldn’t pursue my passions with the fervor that I have now. I wouldn’t be the fierce advocate that I am now. I wouldn’t have the most amazing queer, dance, disabled, kink, polyamorous, and neurodivergent communities that I have now. I wouldn’t be in the healthy, stable, life-giving relationships that I’m in now.

Finally, I know myself. I know that I am transmasc nonbinary, pansexual, polyamorous, autistic, an ADHDer, disabled, and spiritual without religion. Finally I know, accept, and love these things about myself. No, I treasure these things. And finally I know that it is no one’s right or in anyone’s power to take the knowledge of who I am from me, or cover it up with their own toxicity. These past 10 years have taught me that knowing and loving myself is just as important, if not more important, than gracefully receiving and reciprocating love from others.

So here’s to growth, love, and the inclusive, equitable, compassion-first future ahead of us. If the last decade was setting the stage, I am so ready to take to that stage now and play my part in creating this future dream. Thanks for being here for the show and playing your own part too. 💜🌈💜


To everyone who has believed in me and seen me through these last 10 years, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I truly would not be here in the form that I am now without your patience, compassion, and support. It really does take a village…


I am shamelessly posting my gofundme here for continued growth through community support. Thank you 💜