Where is the 2022 Year in Review?

I started a tradition years ago that I would do a year in review every year I still blog. 2022 is the year that royally kicked my ass. I was let go more times than I like admitting, I saw many of my personal relationships deteriorate and my mental health take a dive in ways that I hadn’t felt since before I returned to being medicated. 

Needless to say, I struggled with even posting on my blog. The truth is that after being canceled by a guinea pig fanatic and her mob, it was hard for me to return to blogging. Every notification felt like another shoe about to drop. I lost motivation and was incredibly burned out between my day job, podcasts and other obligations. 

But I’m doing my best to return to this blog and return to writing regularly. My goal is at least twice a month for now and keep that rhythm for a little while. Look for another post soon that will be a little different than others. We’ll be playing a fun game as a way to get to know me and get me used to seeing blog notifications as nothing to fear and something to look forward to. 

Thank you all for your patience and thank you for sticking with me! 

I’m a Slytherin…What Do I Do Now?

The author of Harry Potter is a TERF. A TERF is a trans exclusionary radical feminist. She denies the existence of trans women. She thinks trans women are just men in dresses that wish to do harm to cisgender women. She thinks that trans men are lost sisters. She is an active threat to trans people across the UK and the world. 

She is also the creator of something I hold close to my heart. Closer than my religion on the best of days. 

There have been murmurs about what to do with Harry Potter for at least a decade. There had always been rumblings that Auntie Jo Rowling had some unsavory thoughts about trans people. And for the most part, the fandom was content to just remove her from the fandom. IHarry Potter is a phenomena and was always more than the author. By the 2010s when these conversations were brewing, there was fanfic, entire AUs, fan art, roleplays and more that were in places better done than the original work itself. Knowing what Hogwarts House you were in was needed and entire friendships and relationships were made and broken over House placement. Entire personalities were based on House placement. There was merch, cosplay, and midnight theater showings. 

And all in the background was a conversation about “Death of the Author”. A conversation I was happy to indulge in. It was the easiest path to take that meant I could distance myself from Rowling’s inflammatory nonsense and still enjoy the one source of remaining serotonin in my life. 

I can’t ethically do that anymore. 

Hate crimes against trans people have risen exponentially in the UK. Hate crimes and anti-trans litigation are also on the rise in the US. All of this can be linked to Rowling’s very approachable form of anti-trans hate. She brings up “valid points” about how inclusionary language is harmful. That she’s just a good feminist for not trusting men in women’s spaces. That she’s a victim of past sexual abuse and that she’s “rightfully worried” about men parading around as women like wolves in sheep’s clothing. Those are all points that if you’ve never met a trans person before all seem like valid concerns to have. It creates a simple pipeline from concern to bigotry. 

Canceling Rowling in theory is easy but not supporting her financially has been hard. On one end, there were folks who immediately destroyed their books and merch, vowed to never give her another cent, had tattoos removed and said they’d never show the Wizarding World to their children in an effort to stop hate. 

There were the middle ground folks, which for the most part included me, that said they would provide no new financial support but found too much meaning in the franchise to entirely cut it off. For many, Hogwarts was a home away from home that kept those with mental illness, trauma and addiction safe from their own less than savory realities. Harry Potter was most importantly about community and leaving that behind…putting up our wands and cloaks…that felt too hard to do. 

There were others that felt that there’s no ethical consumption under capitalism and took immense comfort in knowing that Warner Brothers had cut off some of her profits from the Fantastic Beasts franchise and the upcoming Harry Potter video game that everyone thinks is fantastic. I understand where these folks were coming from. For every dozen of us willing to pack it in, there were others that had no concerns about Rowling’s rhetoric and harm and would still consume this product anyways. 

Then the slippery slope came in: do you denounce everyone who agreed with her? Ray Fienes was one of the hardest (especially considering how brilliant I thought he was in The King’s Man) and Robbie Coltrane (who passed away in 2022) also sided with Rowling and he was the most comforting and accepting presence anyone could ask for. The main case almost unilaterally disagrees with Rowling. Danield, Emma, Rupert, Tom…all of them have openly come out to say they disagree with her views but you can’t deny they still profit off of their work decades ago. 

I was willing to stay in the middle lane until visiting The Wizarding World at Universal Japan. I don’t want to talk about how much money I spent but I felt alive. I felt like I was at home. Like I had finally gotten my Hogwarts letter at 32 and I could run around with a wand, casting spells with wands my friends and I picked based on our personalities. I felt powerful going through the motions of spells and getting each one correct much to my friends’ amazement. I felt alive. 

And then the guilt set in. 

I had promised to remain in the middle path, not giving Jo Rowling anymore money in exchange for blissful ignorance about the active harm she’s doing. 

I am a Slytherin. I’m proud of my house despite its fascist implications. I have always prided myself on my cunning, ambition and charm. 

And now, here I am. I am surrounded by Slytherin merch that has defined me for over a decade. I am unsure of what to do or how to feel. I obviously despise Jo Rowling and her rhetoric. I stand firmly with my trans brothers and sisters and those that are somewhere in between. I am horrified by the rise in anti-trans litigation and sickened by the increase in violence against trans people across the world. 

But I don’t have a straightforward answer as to what to do with my merch. For now, I am phasing out of displaying it publicly. I won’t be part of something that is clearly anti-trans. But I also am incredibly sympathetic to those that still associate heavily with Harry Potter and their Hogwarts House. 

For now, I won’t be creating a bonfire of all my Slytherin merch. But my relationship to all the money I have spent supporting a TERF has certainly changed. 

My Morbid Cringe Addiction

“At least I’m not Steven Assanti.” 

I remember telling that to my best friend, Carlos, during my most recent period of unemployment. I had gone back to watch the “star” of My 600 lb Life saga from episode one after seeing a few clips on TikTok as more people became aware of general Assanti madness. It’s a spectacle, it’s easy to see why people would get caught up in the drama and insanity of the Assanti family. 

We’ve discussed my feelings on the show that features people that are morbidly obese and enabled by family and abandoned by society and the incredibly blunt Dr. Now. These people are filmed as grotesque social outcasts, languishing in food, abusing their families and their bodies are subjected to a leering camera and production crew that seems to take sick pleasure in making these individuals bathe and be nude on camera. 

But recently, my feelings on the show have changed. I have not watched entire seasons, mostly empathetically and occasionally repulsed and disgusted. No, now I’m watching only a few key episodes all with patients that are objectively failures. James King, Cindy Vela and anything Assanti. I don’t want to admit how many times I’ve replayed each of these episodes, sneering with smug glee at these people whine, cry and complain about how much their bodies hurt and how bad hospital food tastes. 

I relished in my superiority over these people struggling with trauma, food addiction, mental health issues and more all the while being at my heaviest, still suffering from depression and anxiety and eating like absolute trash. The emperor had no clothes and yet, he felt superior. This felt particularly cruel considering that I was unemployed at the time and while a job and income do not define a person, I had no high ground to stand on morally or physically if I wanted to try and place my candle anywhere near the participants of this show. 

And yet I felt superior enough to savor watching these individuals fail. I felt better about myself knowing that despite my weight, I could still fit in my shower and that despite my mental health issues I could still podcast and write and do all the things that I thought defined me in the place of gainful employment. I could tie my shoes and pick up my own fast food and at my lowest points, that made me feel superior. 


Morbid cringe: a nearly terminal spiral of watching cringe content and taking intense relish in it. ContraPoints talked about it during her video on the topic of cringe and I always thought I was too good for morbid cringe. I wasn’t a Christorian, I wasn’t an anti-SJW; surely, I cannot be someone who takes such pleasure in watching people at their absolute worst. I’ve watched hours of car crashes, Karen videos and even previously My 600 lb Life and felt compassionate cringe or even empathy, lamenting for the othering the morbidly obese face as my own mother was morbidly obese. But there’s been something about this recent layoff that turned my heart from kindness and optimism turned cold and cruel. I’ve always relished in schadenfreude, the savoring of other people’s demise or misfortune, but this; this has been entirely different, entirely new. I have become a worse version of myself: someone actively throwing tomatoes at the person in the stocks rather than simply being in the crowd. 

And I hate that person I have become. 

Unplugging has helped. Not sinking back into those circles where I’ll sit and binge this media for hours at a time. Realization helps as well; there’s nothing like looking in the mirror to see that you are in fact no longer Jekyll but Hyde. And having the humility to admit I’m wrong does not come easy; it’s bitter work but needed to save whatever is left of me. Because I should be aware of how precariously I dangle towards being a person others are mocking.