Hi, I’m Jalestra…or Angi. I’m a stay at home married mom of 5 children that I homeschool. I don’t particularly identify with groupings so well. I can say I’m deaf and a woman and I’m pagan and I’m poor and I’m overweight. I’ve been discriminated as each of those and as a breastfeeding mom and a defenseless child. In order to understand where I come from on many of my opinions it’s good to know I’m from Texas and I was an abused child.
The thing is, being all these things, I probably overlook a lot of what some folk call discrimination. In some cases I do roll my eyes, because I feel that folks take it too far. This is not because I am anti-anything, this is because I was abused. It’s really hard to take offense at many of the insults thrown our way because words have never hurt me the way a fist has. Not that I wasn’t verbally abused, I was. But you know, broken bones have always hurt far more. Insults just meant I wasn’t getting hit. So when someone says something against women or against gays I usually let them be. If they want to feel that way, provided they aren’t with me or in my home, that’s their right. I will try to engage a discussion, but I will not hit them over the head with it. I find that trying to shove things down someone’s throat usually had the opposite affect and I want to be as effective as possible.
It’s no surprise to find that originally fantasy stories were my way of escaping my life. Then came the discovery of table top RPGs. I played D&D for years with a group of guys before it was cool to be a gaming female. It was always cool for the guys. You usually had a bunch of guys who didn’t get a lot of females in their lives, so they always thought I was awesome. It was 10 years before I moved to online MMO’s starting with Redmoon and covering many others until I’ve settled on my 2 fave MMO’s, Guild Wars and City of Heroes/City of Villains, and I’ve been a member of Second Life for 4 years. Actually my biggest problem with any game is not gender or lifestyle but lack of captions! Games have incorporated a lot of speaking parts and many game designers do not run captions for those of us that are deaf. It’s irritating, but I’ve learned to turn my attention to games where it doesn’t matter or where there are captions. Occasionally I may point out a deaf friendly game just because you should know.
While many here are far more active than I am, I’ve learned to work with my environment. In Texas the minds of many folks are pretty set, you have to work to change those minds. So I work on a smaller scale. I’m the one who sits beside the bigots who watch the marches on TV, maybe the other bloggers have been in some of these, and engage a discussion. I don’t argue or yell, there’s plenty of room to point out problems. Not that I don’t want to march or don’t want to do my part, but I take my smaller part because I can’t do those things. Part of my posts may not be gaming specific, but the arguments I encounter when dealing with people. I don’t only want to share the problems that come from living as a deaf pagan female in the state of Texas, but also to share WHY some of these views exist. Why do men treat women as subservient and how to change their minds. Many times the reason behind the behavior isn’t as mean as it seems.
I’m not “feminist” or “gay friendly” or whatever box people would like to shove me in. I’m a human being and I try to treat everyone who is a human being like one. I don’t like associating with groups, because I can’t control them and thus can’t control the values they share. Those values may not be bad, but they may be something I don’t want to be a part of. To me, the things all of us are asking for are simple human things. All of us just want what any other human being has, and a decent human being will grant them that. The right to marry who we love, the right to be treated equally, the right to a chance at life that anyone else has. My beliefs get very complicated because for me life isn’t black and white, but an ever changing shade of gray.
So you may see posts that show an argument I’ve had with someone and my analysis of why they feel this way, you could find facts on overweight discrimination and scientific studies, you will find problems with gaming and deaf/gay/female/etc people, you can find my discoveries of how others live and my own struggles to understand where they are coming from. I want discussion, I want you to challenge my ideas, I want you to ask questions, but I also want you to treat me like a human being, because I will treat you as such.