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here comes the sun.

Five years ago today, I moved out of my parents’ house.

This sounds relatively mundane — until you get to the part where I left because my father was quite possibly homicidal and evidently attempted to murder my mother. Or the part where my mother saw nothing wrong with the fact her own husband might be trying to off her, but thought that I was possessed by Satan and also compared me quite earnestly to Hitler. Or the part about the fires in the walls.

(Or the part where I would have had to cut ties even if they had been relatively sane, as they were painfully close-minded — and pansexual little me was moving in with her then-girlfriend.)

Or, my particular favourite — the part where my own parents promptly called the cops on me! For moving out! At age twenty-two! After having left them a letter explaining that I was leaving of my own volition, and why!

(Coming out to my parents via the West Virginian police was a close second favourite, though. That was fun.)
 
 
Five years later, and my strongest memory of that day is still the fact that I didn’t cry, not until Here Comes the Sun came on in the car.
 
 
Five years later, and I’m still not in contact with my parents, and have no plans to be. People talk about the importance of family, imply that one day I will realise this and “come to my senses” and so play the prodigal daughter card.

But if there is one thing I have learned in these past years, it’s this:

Family is the most important thing, but “family” goes beyond fucking genetics. (In the wise words of Bobby Singer, “Family don’t end with blood, boy.”)

Family is not limited to whose blood flows through you, and it most certainly is not who would shed your own blood, or the blood of the people that you love.

Family is who you would shed blood for.

Family is a foundation, not something that should tear you down.

And I left because I do value the ideal of family, and don’t care to see it defiled in that way.
 
 
On that front, I have absolutely no regrets.
 
 
And if there’s another thing I’ve learned in these five years, it’s that the other most important thing is Story. Sure, I may have gone through a completely traumatic experience — but who else can say that they came out to their parents via the West Virginian police? That their own mother confused them with Hitler? This isn’t something that’s going to break me. It’s something that I can use as fodder, to build a foundation all my own.

And the stories I’ve gotten since have been pretty damn beautiful, too. I’ve met people since who have been beautiful stories in and of themselves, and who have made beautiful stories with me.

So I suppose that, all in all, I might just have to count myself lucky.

And I do.
 
 
It’s been a long cold lonely winter, indeed.

But hopefully, here comes the sun.

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From character-writing, to zombies, to men who love animals, to angry cats. ♥

If I made a list of things of things that I am not naturally inclined towards, in terms of media/entertainment, that list would most likely consist of zombies, graphic novels, and general television.

That’s not to say I automatically dislike any of these things; just that if a zombie-story or a graphic novel or a TV show is going to really get my attention, it’s got to be damn good.

If there’s one thing I am naturally inclined towards, however, it’s people. Characters.

I’m a character-writer. Plot and setting mean nothing to me if the characters inhabiting that story can’t make me care about it first. And, of course, that transfers over into the stories I consume as a reader/watcher myself.

(For example, let’s take a quick look at Wuthering Heights. Was absolutely blown away by the language, by the prose. Adored the general atmosphere. Wanted, so badly, to love the book itself; it could easily have been one of my all-time favourites. And yet I hated the characters themselves so much that, even despite everything else the book had going for it, I could not care. I wanted to love it, but I was entirely too busy wanting to spew profanity at Heathcliff and Catherine and then beat my own head against the wall. I can easily see why other people love it, but with my character-bias, I cannot. And I’m still disappointed about that one, by the way.)

Give me characters that I love, that I find fascinating, and I will love whatever story or world you throw them in, without question.

Say, for example, you had a television show, based off a series of graphic novels, about zombies. I would not instanteously leap on and love all over this, because nothing about it would be really my ‘thing’.

But if you made me care about the characters, then I would.

Yep. Cue Jacey’s epic love for The Walking Dead. ♥

That show has, in all honesty, some of the best character development I have ever seen. Ever. In any medium. And, of course, I fell in love…even if I probably shouldn’t have.

As I was telling my best friend earlier, in an attempt to sell him on the show as well…

This show made Jacey, Jacey who was raised in Appalachia next-door to neighbours literally called ‘Big Bub’ and ‘Lil Bub’ (no, I am not making this up) and who pointedly escaped to an actual city (ie, ‘not just a bunch of houses scattered around Walmart’) because she is a giant hippie with no patience for that sort of close-minded atmosphere, not only fall in love with but acquire a giant ladyboner for a character who started out the absolute embodiment of Deep-South Trash. Dirty. Classless. Hunter. Acts an epic asshole, in that special sort of way that only Deep-South Trash can be. Everything I ripped my life apart to escape from, essentially.

And yet I adore Daryl Dixon anyway.

The writing and acting in this show are that bloody good.

And if that is not a ringing endorsement, or a testament to my own inclination towards characters above everything else, I do not know what is.

To be fair, however, Norman Reedus, the actor who plays Daryl Dixon, would probably make it easier to love on pretty much anything. The man is awesome, and even spoke out recently against animal-testing!
 
 

“Scores of countries around the world are beating the U.S. to become cruelty-free by banning cosmetics tests on animals,” he writes. “Nobody wants rabbits or guinea-pigs to suffer for our vanity, least of all the animals. Let’s stop their suffering right here, right now. Join me in supporting the Cruelty Free International call to Congress and the FDA to bring an end to animal testing for cosmetics in the U.S.”

 
 
Seriously, if the man is awesome enough to help make even me adore a character who starts off as nothing but Deep-South Trash, listen to him. Check out the website. Take a few seconds out of your day to sign their pledge. It won’t hurt anything, and maybe it can help to stop a lot of other hurt.

And this is maybe the cutest quote I’ve read all week, also courtesy of that article:
 
 

“I’m driving back to Manhattan with a cat in my lap right now,” he told the magazine. “It’s just this fat, black alley cat. My son wanted a black kitten when he was a kid, and I found it in the East Village in some rescue shelter, but it was born in a box and the guy that was getting rid of it was like, ‘You don’t want this cat. This cat’s never gonna love anyone.’ And the first time I saw it, it was like just hissing and scratching everything it saw and now it’s like this big, fat, chill cat.”

 
 
:)

And then there’s the fact that he wants romance between Daryl and another male character.

Thumbs up, sir.

See? I told you he was awesome.
 
 
And the point of this post?

Characters trump everything for me, nothing is sexier than a man who loves animals, and even if you’re also not typically into the whole zombie thing you should really watch The Walking Dead.

(And I may or may not still be bitter that the characters totally ruined Wuthering Heights for me. Ahem.)
 
 
Who are some of your favourite fictional characters?

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Love. Just love. (Translation: DOMA is done!)


 
 
DOMA is done.

Everyone, go love each other. And show everyone your love, because you can.

That’s the only thing that matters right now.

It doesn’t matter what your personal orientation or beliefs are. It doesn’t matter how much further we still have to go. It doesn’t matter whether or not you, personally, are or will be married.

What matters is love, and the fact that love is a goddamn given human right, and one that more people, finally, are being allowed.

That’s all. ♥
 
 
PS: To everyone who’s been horrified at this turn of events? Calm down. I promise you, love is not going to destroy this nation.

If America survived the Seventies, it’ll survive just fine without DOMA, too.
 
 
:)

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Help get the It Gets Better book in schools and libraries across America!

You can’t always change the world.

You can’t open the eyes and heart of every bigot out there. You can’t make every LGBTQ kid feel loved and accepted and wanted and safe. You can’t see to it that every LGBTQ kid, all the world over, will be free to grow up and legally marry whoever the hell they fancy.

There’s no sparkly, proverbial magic wand that you can wave.

But sometimes, all you need to spark some magic, to spark some change, is a single book.

And to that end, the It Gets Better Project has come up with a fantastic idea:

Donate $25, and they send a copy of the It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living book to a school library of your choosing. (Or they can select a school for you, if you prefer!)

You can’t go out there and hug every one of these kids. You can’t look every one of them in the eye and tell them that you are proud to be looking them in the eye, that you are proud of them, that they deserve to be truly seen and wanted for who they are.

But you can tell them it gets better. You can show them that people out there do care.

And you can give them the kind of validation that only comes from picking a book up off the shelf and suddenly realising This book is relevant to me; this book is mine; I am holding my own life inside these pages because someone thought it important enough to write down.

You can give them hope in a tangible form. You can give them something to literally hold onto.

It’s only $25. It’s ‘only’ a book.

But the right book, in the right hands, really is maybe the closest thing to magic that this world has.

It does get better, and this is a damn good start.
 
 

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Election 2012: Excuse me whilst I extricate myself from this binder!

I never really thought that I would talk about politics here, because

a. I don’t really talk about politics period
b. Even if I did talk about politics, here would not really be the place to do it, as it has nothing to do with my writing, and
c. Even if I did talk about politics, and even if this was the place to do it, there’s not much sense in my talking about American politics when my ultimate goal is to permanently relocate myself across the pond.

But you know what?

Last night, I could not stop smiling.

And maybe the world doesn’t need more politics, or more discussion of politics, but the world does need more of this:

Hope.

A black man has just been elected, for the second time, as the most powerful man in the world. A black man, who defends the rights of women and LGBT and minorities and the poor.

An openly gay woman has just been elected, for the first time, into the United States Senate.

‘Legitimate rape’, however, does not have a place in the Senate, and has been ousted instead by another woman.

Gay couples in Maine and Maryland have just been given the right to marry. Marriage equality has been upheld and expanded.

Big Bird no longer has to go.

Maybe you don’t agree with President Obama, or all of his policies. That’s okay, and you don’t have to. The man isn’t perfect; he has made mistakes, and it is inevitable that he will make more. He is a man, and not a superhero.

Right now, that isn’t what’s important. What’s important right now is the fact that, no matter how you look at it, last night progress for equality was made. ♥

Last night, whether or not your choice for President made it into the White House, millions of people had their own identities, their own existences, reaffirmed. Last night, millions of people were given hope.

And it is hope, first and foremost, that America — and the entire rest of the world — needs.
 
 
Now, excuse me whilst I extricate myself from this binder.