Here's the deal, comment and I'll give you five words. Write one paragraph on each.
Mine are: activism, X-Men, books, motherhood, fandom
Activism: When I was younger, I was a very active activist. Now, I'm still interested in activism but alas, I'm less active about it. I used to volunteer on an AIDS crisis line; was a founding member and then cochair of a large gay and lesbian parents group, doing a lot of activism around gay and lesbian parenting rights; was a fairly active lactivist; got involved in electoral politics at all sorts of levels, including school board. Now I find my life isn't as conducive to those activities. But I still feel like I'm doing something. I'm very civic-minded and do a variety of projects in the community; I work in public health, so consider myself to have an activist job; I never miss an election; I make my political views known and try to influence others where I can. I also feel that being an out lesbian living a mainstream life and doing a mainstream job has probably always - even in my most active years - been the most influential thing I've done to promote civil rights. And I'm still doing that.
X-Men: I read X-Men comics when I was a kid. They were my favorite. Teenage superheroes in a special school for "gifted" youth, the X-Men were "mutants," a subgroup of humanity hated and feared by the rest of the human race. That school and those kids felt very real to me, and the stories they told in the comic books were a jumping-off point for myriad stories in my head. I realize now that reading those comics and weaving those fantasies captured and supported my preadolescent feelings that there was something different about me, long before I knew the “something” was that I was a lesbian, not a mutant superhero. I lost interest in comics along the way, but my fascination with the X-Men came back full force with the first X-Men movie. And I found that those stories in my head could have an audience. I never looked back.
Books: I'm a reader, always have been. My older brother taught me to read to assuage my misery when he went off to school and left me behind (Thanks, Joel) and I've been reading since. I have really eclectic tastes in books. I love a lot of the classics (often the same ones as my main character English teacher, funny that) but I'm also a nut about mysteries, hard science fiction, children's literature and a bunch of other kinds of genre fiction. And I read a lot of non-fiction, too: political books and history and humor and essays. I think I read about 50 books a year. This year I'm keeping track.
Motherhood: Parenting is pretty central to my life and has been for the past almost 21 years. For a few years before that infertility was pretty central to my life. I'm finding post-divorce parenting challenging in a number of ways. It's not what I wanted, but it was necessary and I'm trying to do right by my kids. I think some of my best memories and some of my most harrowing experiences are as a mother. I do feel that having kids changes you forever, and mostly for the better.
Fandom: I discovered fandom in general, and slash fandom in particular, in connection with the
X-Men movie, so I came to it later than most. I love fandom. I think fanfic - writing, reading, beta-ing, reviewing, writing and reading meta - is the best hobby I've ever had. It's creative, fun, has been the instrument by which I've gained and refined all manner of skills, is social, fits in to a busy schedule because you can do it in small increments and at any time, and it doesn't cost anything. Well, it certainly can and I wish I had the money for cons and fan memorabilia and such, but at base it's a free activity. And I just love the sense of community and belonging that comes from sharing this admittedly slightly offbeat hobby with others and adore how it can be such a good vehicle for meeting wonderful people.
So, those are mine. Who wants to play?