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We’re finally entering the 2010s in LGBTQ+ rights, but still in the 1960s with racism June 29, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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People killed by police, 2015. 550 and counting.

“Deaths by guns, though—the great majority suicides, accidents or domestic violence—have been trending slightly upwards. This year, if the trend continues, they will overtake deaths on the roads.

“If Texas state Rep. Dan Flynn (R) gets his way, teachers will have the right to use deadly force against students in Texas classrooms, in the near future. […] Moreover, civil immunity would be granted to those who use deadly force, meaning they would not be liable for the injury or death of student.”

Study of media coverage on New York stations [PDF] finds that black suspects are disproportionately represented in crime stories. “51% of the people the NYPD arrest for murder, assault, and theft are Black…but 75% of the people local news stations broadcast as responsible for those crimes  are Black.”

Five fires at black churches over six days. Knoxville, June 21; Macon, GA, June 23; Charlotte, NC, June 24: all deliberate arson. Warrenville SC, June 26: cause still undetermined. Tallahassee, FL, June 26: official theory is that it was an electrical fire. We can only hope.

20th Anniversary of the Million Man March, Washington DC 10/10/15. Worth attending.

Monday Roundup, 6/29 June 29, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Art, But I'm A Cat Person, Comics, Fake News, Fic, Madoka Magica, Night Vale.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Fly your rainbow flags high (art | Bianca, Sparrow | worksafe)

Fake News
The Voice of Weird America (art | Jon/”Stephen” | worksafe)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Pickup Lines (comic | Madoka/Sayaka | G)
PMMM Shipping Challenge: Ensemble 5 (art | HitoMado, HitoSaya, MamiNagi, KyouMami, HitoSuke | mildly NSFW)
PMMM Shipping Challenge: MadoSaya (art | MadoSaya| NSFW)

Welcome to Night Vale
Night Vale doodles, season 3 (art | Lauren, Dana/Maureen, Tamika, Cecil, brother, Earl | worksafe)
Always Fine, part 5 (fic | Cecil(/Carlos), Earl | G)
Cecil/Carlos sketchpile (sketches | Cecil/Carlos | NSFW)
Revelation, Part A (4koma | Man in the Tan Jacket, Cecil | G)

Octopus skin pattern (free tiled pattern, worksafe)
Polka dot pattern (free pattern, worksafe)

Good things. #LoveWins, and every win makes the next fight easier. June 27, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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All these rights and protections are open to the whole US now.

So are all these wonderful, loving, affirming scenes. (Every time I think I’m done being emotional about this, someone links to a photo of a together-for-five-decades couple finally being able to tie the knot, and I start tearing up all over again.)

That includes all of us queer cis people, all the queer trans people, and all the straight trans people, whose relationships would have been treated differently from state to state depending on whether they recognized your gender identity.

We got Mexico, too.

And Ireland is removing the requirement to get an outside medical opinion before you can be recognized as trans.

And US federal health plans now have mandatory transition-related coverage.

And we get to keep our healthcare subsidies.

And the White House is lit up in rainbows. (As are all these other buildings.) (And my Facebook feed.)

And you know, here’s a thing: There’s been a ton of political and corporate celebration, including politicians who never really pushed for this talking about what a great victory it is, and companies dressing up their products and logos in rainbows purely because it’s good branding. You can look at all that and think, great, they only care about our rights now that it’s the cool thing to do. Or you can look at all that and think, wow, caring about our rights is the cool thing to do.

None of this was happening in 2004, when Massachusetts became the first state to make same-sex marriage a thing. These politicians and these marketing departments are the weathervanes that show us what direction the winds of social change are blowing. And it’s a good direction.

There are more fights to fight, but the way is so much smoother than it was just 11 years ago. And every victory makes the next one easier.

Support Erin on Patreon: new rewards June 27, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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Patreon reward tiers have been revamped and bulked up! For everyone pledging $10 or more, there are stacking bonus rewards for all the months after your first — and everyone pledging over $10 is guaranteed a free BICP cameo thrown in.

Milestone goals are new too. I’ve decided not to hold off on the Leif & Thorn sneak preview — so look out for that to be posted in a few days. To replace it as the $50/month milestone, I’ll draw a romantic pinup…of whichever two characters patrons vote for. (Will this lead to a crack crossover pairing? Only time will tell.)

If just 5 more people chip in with at least $5/month, we’ll reach this one!

Also new: the promise of a BICP bonus story if we hit $100/month. And of course, there’ll be a new wallpaper available at the turn of the month.

And hey, followers, are there any other rewards you would find particularly…motivating? Comment here and let me know!

Fly your rainbow flags high June 26, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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This is for the lesbian with cancer who needs to be on her partner’s health insurance.

This is for the bi man who needs his partner’s children to be allowed to visit him in the hospital.

This is for the trans woman who won’t be able to keep her house unless she gets spousal benefits after her girlfriend’s death.

This is for the couple who won’t be able to afford a house at all unless they can file as husbands.

This is for the woman who’s going to be deported without a marriage visa from her US-based wife.

This is for the queer person whose parents kicked them out of the house, but would happily swoop in and try to claim their possessions from a grieving widow…and then demand that their friends attend the funeral in birth-sex-conforming clothing.

Sometimes we fall into the trap of acting like marriage is just a symbol, just an excuse to have a party with cake. It’s not. Marriage is a set of substantial rights and recognitions, many of which are most important when your life is at its worst. There’s a reason the fight for same-sex marriage was originally catalyzed by the AIDS crisis. Everyone (even people with loving biological families, but especially people without them) deserves the ability to get legal recognition for their family of choice.


Monday Roundup, 6/22 June 22, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Art, But I'm A Cat Person, Comics, Fake News, Fic, Leif & Thorn, Madoka Magica, Miscellaneous, Night Vale.
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Beyond Belief/Welcome to Night Vale/His Dark Materials
The Amber Martini Glass (comic | Frank/Sadie, Dana, Carlos, Serafina | G)

But I’m A Cat Person
Cold Winter Nights (cover art | Sparrow, Bianca/Emma, Patrick, Reseda, Timothy | worksafe)

Fake News/Marvel/DC/Rescue Me/X-Files/Stargate
Everyone’s Rights (commissioned art | Jim and Barbara Gordon, Steve Rogers, Stephen Colbert, Tommy Gavin, Jack O’Neill, Dana Scully, Matt Murdock | worksafe)

Tippy-Toed (art | Tip | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Team and Family (art | Thorn, Thorn’s team, Thorn’s sister, her family | worksafe)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica
PMMM Shipping Challenge: Ensemble 3 (art | Junko/Kazuko, Nakazawa, Homura/Hitomi, Sayaka/Homura | worksafe)
PMMM Shipping Challenge: NagiMami (art | Nagisa/Mami | mildly NSFW)
PMMM Shipping Challenge: Ensemble 4 (art | Airi/Yuuri, Kyoko/Yuma, Kyoko/Nagisa, Oriko/Kirika | mildly NSFW)
PMMM Shipping Challenge: MamiChar (art | Mami/Charlotte | worksafe)

Welcome to Night Vale
Cecil versus The Sphere (comic | Cecil, the Sphere | T)
Priorities (comic | Carlos | T)
Resolution (comic | Cecil/Carlos | G, spoilers)
A Dragon at the Opera (ficlet | Hiram, scientist | G)

Commission Prices 2015 (price sheet, multiple fandoms, worksafe, commissions are open!)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
A group of our heroes copes with the snow together. Miranda, not so much.

I’d bite too. June 21, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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People killed by police, 2015. 530 and counting.

Sure, there are some looters during anti-racism protest, but you have to remember not to judge an entire group for the actions of a few bad-apple police officers.

“Just how large of a threat do New York City’s cops pose to its citizens—especially those who live in public housing? Large enough that the city’s housing authority ordered its employees to wear bright orange vests on the job, just in case an NYPD officer in a dark project stairwell mistakes a worker for a resident and shoots him dead. ” (No clue how actual residents are supposed to protect themselves.)

“The deputy has [a 13-year-old child] on the ground in a choke hold and tases him as he screams out in agony. Since shocking him once wasn’t enough for the deputy, he tased him again for good measure, according to Johnny Daza, 18, who posted the video to Facebook.” Later, we see this guy complaining about how the kid bit him. If I was being pinned, choked, and electrocuted by an adult man, I’d bite too.

“Right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities, according to a study by Arie Perliger, a professor at the United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center.”

And that was from an editorial released June 16. Kudos to the NYT for giving attention to this situation as a general rule, not just in response to the June 17 terrorist attack in Charleston.

Microsoft is almost literally giving money away. June 11, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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So, hey, here’s a fun thing: Microsoft is so desperate for people to use Bing, they will literally pay you to do it.

It’s called (unsurprisingly) Bing Rewards. Spend a few minutes a day doing searches, earn points, trade them in for rewards. You’re not going to Earn Thousands A Week Working From Home this way, but it’s not useless, either — I’ve been doing it for a couple months, and made $20 so far in Amazon gift cards.

If you’d like to get in on this racket, sign up through this link — so I’ll get bonus points for referring you, the better to take Microsoft’s money with =)

(ETA: unfortunately, it’s region-locked to the US. No idea whether non-residents can get around that with a proxy. Best of luck to anyone who tries it, though!)

Monday-ish Roundup, 6/8 June 9, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Art, Comics, Fic, Madoka Magica, Miscellaneous, Night Vale.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Spring Dresses (wallpaper | Cybele, Kara Lynn, Reseda | worksafe)

Home/Lilo & Stitch
Lilo and Tip (art | Lilo, Tip, Stitch, Oh | worksafe)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica
PMMM Shipping Challenge: Ensemble 1 (art | SayaSuke, MadoMami, KyouMado, HomuMami | worksafe)
PMMM Shipping Challenge: HomuJoan (art | Homura/Joan of Arc | worksafe)
PMMM Shipping Challenge: Ensemble 2 (art | KyouHomu, SayaMami, NagiYuma, HitoSuke | worksafe)
PMMM Shipping Challenge: SayaMadoHomu (comic | Sayaka/Madoka/Homura | T)

Welcome to Night Vale(/His Dark Materials)
Chibi Armadillo (art | Carlos’ daemon | worksafe)
Lessons Learned (comic | Cecil, Kevin | T)
The Woman in the Short Skirt and the Long Jacket (art | Abby, Janice | worksafe)

Seven Lines from Seven Pages (WIP meme, featuring fic snippets from WtNV, fake news, BSSM, and Red Dwarf)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
The snow keeps coming down, and our heroes’ apartment gets a little more crowded.

How I (and Gabrielle, apparently) fell in love with Xena June 8, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Meta, Miscellaneous.
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Me: oh hey, Xena: Warrior Princess is on Netflix, I should watch that.

Me: I mean, landmark series for lesbian subtext, how can you go wrong.

Me: Heard some people say it’s actual text, more than just Platonic Life Partners tropes as interpreted by shippers with their OTP goggles on, but I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up.

Me: After all, we’re talking about the mid-90s, and Buffy could barely get their canon f/f couple to kiss on-screen in 2001, so

Xena, Season 2:




It’s not a fakeout! Or a dream sequence! Or played off as a joke afterward! They’re in this mystical spiritspace because Xena is temporarily dead at the time, but this isn’t Gabrielle’s grief-stricken imagination or anything, either. It’s both actual characters.

Xena’s spirit spends most of the episode riding along with this poor guy, Autolycus, who did not sign up for ghost-hosting. (Played hilariously by a younger and slimmer version of Sam from Burn Notice.) She takes control of his body a few times, and they do a really good job of having the actor imitate Lucy Lawless’s signature moves, expressions, and tone of voice.

So the kiss sequence fades from “Xena and Gabrielle making out in spiritspace” to “Xena-in-Autolycus’-body and Gabrielle making out in reality.” Which I assume is how they got away with it — making as much of the visual as straight-appearing as possible — but it’s not like there’s any question of who’s doing the kissing.

I found this list of shippiest Xena/Gabrielle episodes (by googling “gayest Xena episodes”, because sometimes the direct approach is best) to guide the viewing process. Which is how I ended up at the scene above (from s02e13 The Quest).

But there’s so much good stuff in the show that isn’t just about the romance. For instance: Xena turns out to have a couple of döppelgangers — so far, a sweet and romantic non-warrior princess, and a snarky barmaid. (I wouldn’t put it past the show to throw in more; I’ve just only watched so far.)

If you like Orphan-Black-style identity shenanigans, and would be into a lighter-and-fluffier version, you gotta see this. Xena smiling and looking innocent in a long flowy gown, then punching out ninja assassins, but only being able to do it when “her” not-boyfriend isn’t looking! “Xena” being a jerk to Gabrielle, and Gabrielle being certain it’s part of a plan, just annoyed that Xena isn’t telling her what it is! Good times.

There’s only one complaint I have about the show, and that is that Xena’s signature interrogation technique is “special nerve pinch that cuts off the flow of blood to the brain, so they’ll die a minute later if they don’t answer her question.”

And this is presented as a cool move that always works. When realistically it would lead to her getting a ton of false intelligence, as the panicky victims tell her whatever they think she wants to hear.

So there’s that. But if you can sigh and roll your eyes through those scenes, they get back to the fun stuff soon enough.

One more set of screencaps I’ve gotta share.

The show is so unselfconsciously cheesy, it’s great. There’s an episode where Xena has to go undercover in a beauty pageant, because of course she does. It’s called the Miss Known World pageant, because of course it is.

But there are all these really nice themes in the plot. Like, Xena starts off being dismissive of the “pretty but useless” contestants, then figures out along the way that they’re actual human beings who deserve respect.

Also, one of the contestants is…either a crossdresser or a trans woman, it’s not quite clear. Our heroes refer to her as “a man” at one point, but, you know, that could just be because it’s ancient pseudo-Greece (in-universe) and the mid-’90s (out-of-universe). She doesn’t get specific about how she identifies, and we only ever see her in her femme presentation.

The possibly-trans contestant gets the crown! As with the kissing-Gabrielle scene, there’s just enough appearance-of-masculinity in this situation that the show can get away with doing this:






And the best part of this? Gabrielle’s reaction shot:

“wtf did you just kiss my woman who gave you the right”

(This is s02e13 Here She Comes… Miss Amphipolis, so it’s right before the kiss in The Quest. Gabrielle has been hanging around Xena for a season and a half, and hasn’t gotten any yet, and here this stranger comes along and just goes for it. No wonder she’s mad. It’s okay, Gabrielle, your moment is coming!)

Long story short: this is a great show, still very watchable in spite of being 20 years old, and if y’all get the chance, you should absolutely pick it up.


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