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Indi Latrani
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Glowy Postfurry Techie Genderqueer Coyote-Otter Rave Toy
Glowy Postfurry Techie Genderqueer Coyote-Otter Rave Toy

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For many people, gender identity is more complex than just "male" or "female."  Starting today, I'm proud to announce that Google+ will support an infinite number of ways to express gender identity, by giving you the option to customize the way your gender is represented on your profile. 

Previously, we provided options for “Male,” “Female,” and “Other,” to encompass both those who don't fit into the traditional gender labels and those who don't want to declare their gender to the world at large. Now, the gender field on your profile will contain four entries, “Male,” “Female,” “Decline to state,” and “Custom.”  When “Custom” is selected, a freeform text field and a pronoun field will appear. You can still limit who can see your gender, just like you can now. We’ll be rolling this feature out for all users over the next few days.

Many thanks to the people and groups who gave us advice on the best ways to do this. Your input has been really valuable to us, and we hope you like the result!
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I wrote a thing about summer camp!

(It is actually not about summer camp at all)
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The Non-Binary Bathroom Conundrum

(Minor TMI: bathroom stuff, hopefully somewhat humorous)

I used the women's bathroom for the first time, just now. Nothing blew up. But it did make me think a bit about how I came to this point.

One of the many ironies of HRT (The lowering-testosterone, raising estrogen sort) is the fact that it tends to make you urinate a lot more often. Just when you may not want to be thinking much about that area, or be forced into going into specifically-gendered public spaces. So that's fun. Mostly I've been handling this by trying to avoid using public bathrooms. But I also have in the back of my mind a few bright points on the map, the occasional public 'unisex' bathrooms in the local area. Mostly, this works.

The big place where it doesn't, of course, is work. Big corporate office, not a non-gendered bathroom to be seen. And I'm there eight hours a day. Funny thing is, for some reason I initially thought this would be fine. In fact, when I was crafting my coming out email at work, I briefly considered calling out that non-change specifically, until I came to my senses. Still, at that time (less than 4 months ago), I had the specific thought "I won't need to change bathrooms at work in the foreseeable future"

So what changed? Well, a few things:

1. My presentation has changed quite a bit even in that short of an amount of time. Body shape changes, new haircut, clothes I like more. Catching sight of myself in the bathroom mirror, I definitely started to feel out of place.

2. It eventually occurred to me that, unlike in a random bathroom, I'd be very likely to see people I know, as I went in and out and so forth. And there's me, standing next to that sign that says 'men'. Not really reinforcing the 'Please stop gendering me male' message I'd been trying to get across when I came out to everyone here.

3. How do I put this delicately... Look, I sit down to pee, okay? Do you know how unnecessarily long most guys seem to take when they're sitting down? Not to mention the fact that this is a tech company, so there's more guys to begin with. There have been times I've had to walk up 3 floors to find a free spot.

I'm not totally sold on this. It's not as if I specifically want to be seen as female. Believe me, if they ever put in a non-gendered bathroom here, I'd happily go up more than 3 floors to use it. I'm still worried about having to explain myself, getting odd looks, etc etc. The conclusion I came to, though, was that the looks I can probably get used to. And, given my goals, I'll probably end up feeling less out of place in that one than the other one, if only marginally. Ultimately, it occurred to me that I'm uncomfortable either way, right now, but the awkward feelings involved with continuing to use the men's would only grow, while the awkwardness with using the women's would probably get better as I keep at it.

And on that note, the spiro is telling me it's time to try again. We'll see how it goes from here on out.
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Hey it's really cool to see this is a group. ^.^ Might share some of my old commissions and such by way of introduction if that would be okay. :)

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Suddenly I'm feeling weirdly evangelical about getting folks back on here. I hope this does not go badly for me...
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When we launched Google+ over three years ago, we had a lot of restrictions on what name you could use on your profile. This helped create a community made up of real people, but it also excluded a number of people who wanted to be part of it without using their real names. 

Over the years, as Google+ grew and its community became established, we steadily opened up this policy, from allowing +Page owners to use any name of their choosing to letting YouTube users bring their usernames into Google+. Today, we are taking the last step: there are no more restrictions on what name you can use. 

We know you've been calling for this change for a while. We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users. For this we apologize, and we hope that today's change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be. Thank you for expressing your opinions so passionately, and thanks for continuing to make Google+ the thoughtful community that it is.
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Indi Latrani commented on a post on Blogger.
I'm very fortunate to have a group of friends who seem to be able to take any roleplaying game system in the world, and wring an intense character-driven story out of it. I've seen it happen in Shadowrun, and I've known of it happening in GURPS of all things. The fact that we all came together via freeform online RP helps this, I'm sure. :)

It was actually in the freeform online RP (admittedly not a 'game' per se) that I came up with what was intended to be a fun setting-exploration character, which then proceeded to turn around, slip in the back of my head, and essentially become a primary real-world aspiration/identity for me.

As far as games themselves, I went into the aforementioned Shadowrun game with this goal; I had just moved to a promising new situation IRL, and I had some lingering baggage (family-of-origin issues, etc) that I wanted to work harder at discarding. I came up with a character who was deal with similar issues (though stronger and more genre-specific), and tried to use ver as an inspiration to get through my own.  It feels like a slightly cliched background to me now, but it undeniably worked; the character has become very important to me, one of my favorites, and ve's forged a new family among the other characters in the game just as I've felt more and more a part of the community (which includes all the other players in the game, which I'm sure helps!)
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Oh hey and just to prove that bit in there about "Gee you grumble about gender stuff a lot lately": 

For fuck's sake, when did G+ change the third gender option from just "Other" to "Other or Decline to State"?  Thanks, it really needed to be MORE general, and I'm sure it really would've been an awful lot of trouble to add that as a separate option. 9.9
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Hi G+, I haven't posted here in ages, but I do still read from time to time.  And I wrote something lately about how my life's been developing that I'd like to share with as many folks who know me as possible, and also to anyone else who might be interested, so I figure this would be a good place for that too!
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