The One With the Podcasts

In which discovering a podcast (on Wikipedia, no less!) helped a blogger put their own identity issues to rest. (…yes, the title is a Friends reference, although I don’t watch much of that show in the first place.)

I was reading about feminist translation – as one does in a post-grad course about translation – and I got back to thinking, “Who am I? Do my experiences, or lack thereof, make me broken?”

Sidenote: They call it “feminist” because it’s trying to include women and, sometimes, other genders. However, I’ve found sometimes by trying to be inclusive, they exclude the people who don’t conform to the gender binary altogether. They do things like go “he or she” when third-person “they” would suffice.

That led me to this podcast, which got me thinking…

Podcasting and blogging are two of a kind because they let people into what’s essentially a private space and lets them become spectators to the stuff inside people’s brains. You might not know the real name – or heck, even online name of the person who’s giving you this little ladder to crawl into their brainspace – but through the audio and text formats, you can understand more about a person’s thought process through what they put out.

Then rinse and repeat if you have a team of contributors – not just “oh, here’s our web dev guy”. Web dev guy’s gotta have a spot at the table for this to work. Having a group of people doing a podcast is like having a bunch of friends – having permission to sit in the (virtual) room and be in on the action with them. Sometimes you just want to do that and that’s okay. (Notably, a lot of the same could be said about radio shows, but then radio shows have a live element to them that breaks the entire point of my argument, haha.)

It doesn’t matter what the blog or podcast is about. Blogs, in particular, have a reputation of being about anything – I don’t know about podcasts, but they generally fall into pigeonholes like “true crime” or “comedy” for easy categorisation.

…oh, speaking of which, you know what? The day I write this post (the 2nd of January 2022), I’ve finally found a way to settle all that weird “who am I?” business that’s been kicked up by my readings, experiences and whatnot I’ve been recounting in several of the previous blog posts once and for all (see, for example, my lack of enjoyment of Horimiya in this post). Take this as my coming out, if you will:

I am (cis female straight) asexual, demiromantic and sex-averse, who originally used gender-neutral pronouns for anonymity reasons but came to realise I don’t mind being referred to as such either – I’ll only take umbrage if you assume I’m male, as Astral did at one point, or something else I’m not.

However, I have also decided these labels are troublesome and I acknowledge sexuality can change as you come to understand yourself, so if you think that’s too much to get your head around, it’s fine if you think of me as just “straight female who never needs to come out of the closet in the first place”, like you might have been thinking of me after I swapped my main WordPress alias to be “Aria”. I can be like that if you want – I don’t identify with the LGBTIQ+ community at large because they can stuff with ideas of things like “canon”, and even “reality”, in ways that don’t help anyone.

However, for people who want to shove me into their little boxes, these are the words they use. I spent ages (over the span of about 2 years, to be precise) wandering around in my own head and doing research to figure out what boundaries I had – these are the conclusions I came to, thanks to transcripts of episode 87, episode 171 and episode 7 for the podcast I linked above. (If you want to know more about these words, I’ll send you there.)

I am an ally of the LGBTIQ+ community at large – it wouldn’t make sense to spend hours Doing the Research if I didn’t – but I feel if I took on that label so proudly I’d go to pride marches, fling the labels at people and whatnot like you’d expect most of the other LGBTIQ+ identities to, there are certain people who would ostracise me for doing so (I don’t remember if I’ve touched on this before on the Spellbook, but my dad is the main suspect). The part of me that I believed “was broken” – the part of me that sends me on this journey to find vocabulary to fit the concepts people have about others already – is one that won’t be involved in most conversations anyway.

Originally, this post was called “Podcasts and Blogging are Two of a Kind“, but…somehow the central idea of this post got eclipsed by my confession? Haha *sweatdrops*…

Sorry if you’ve read this far and all these personal posts I’ve done lately are bugging you. You’re not here for that – I did say that in the update post (linked above where I mention Horimiya) that the Spellbook wouldn’t be like that. It’s just that…well, if it keeps coming up in my blog posts, there must be some resolution to the saga, right?

So…uh, happy new year. Next time, we’ll go back to the regularly scheduled programming.

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