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Interview with a Supervillain
Harvali posted a topic in Short StoriesWrote this a while back, not sure it belongs here since it’s LEGO not Bionicle, but hey, folks need something to read during the pandemic. The Ultra Agents sublime came out during my dark age, but I loved the look of the villains. Sadly the agents felt generic. In fact it always bugged me that the only superheroes in LEGO were licensed, there were original Lego supervillains, but not heroes. And at the time Red Ranger would not be announced for a while yet. So a few years back I wrote this little story about a toxic vigilante. Far warning, as the tag implies there is lgbt+ content, because a lesbian friend of mine has opinions on Toxikita, though I will say there are no burying of gays hereof anything nsfw. Also warning that there are allusions to real life politics, so be aware of that. Also be aware I was in a mood when I wrote it, so this has about as much subtly as a brick. (Get it, because LEGO?) Anyway, it’s something to read, so enjoy. Interview with a Supervillain A short story about a toxic vigilante … A lone minifigure walked the streets of Chood City, she was wearing a long cloak, the hood obscuring her face save for a few glimpses of green. She stepped across the sidewalk, a cracked and chewed up place, the surface uneven and faded in color. Her feet clicked across the ground as she walked, her head sweeping back and forth. She scowled under her hood at the clicking, it was completely out of rhythm, thanks to the lack of repairs to the street. She clutched her head to try blot out the annoying offbeat sound, tapping her head loudly with her hands, trying to keep herself calm with the better more musically sound noise. But then even though her hands she felt a scream echo from a block away. The autistic minifigure sighed, and then she began to sprint across the rough unkept sidewalk. She clenched up at the clicking, but she did not stop running. As she ran her cloak was swept behind her, the hood pulling back to expose her bright green hair and her unnaturally lime green eyes. Her eyes lacked pupils and specks of green covered her body, her lips were a bright green, and she was wearing a shirt with a strange symbol on it, not unlike a fusion of a biohazard symbol and the skull and crossbones of a pirate. She wore a spiky collar, and dangling from her leg was several glass bottles full of a noxious green fluid. The strange woman ducked into an alleyway, taking a shortcut through the city. As she excited she hugged the wall, peering around the edge to look for the source of the scream. She could see armored cars parked outside of the homeless shelter, a place for minifigures who couldn’t afford bricks, had missing parts, or were too clumsy to build with them. She tightened, before sprinting forward towards the cars and the shelter. With a touch she swept her hands against the armored cars, and from her hands cane a toxic fume that made their tires hiss and deflate. She did not stop, just running straight in. She could see the police throwing the homeless minifigures to the ground, disassembling their wheelchairs and crutches, kicking the minifigures as they fell. “Lousy parasites,” one of them spat, right before the green woman tapped his shoulder. He turned only for her to clutch his wrist in her hands. Immediately he tremble as poison spread through his body, before he collapsed to the ground. “Its Toxikita!” A cop shouted, turning around and firing his gun wildly. She ducked behind the poisoned cop before lifting him up as a makeshift shield. She ran at the other cops, reaching for one of her glass bottles dangling on her side. She hurled it at the cops, unleashing a cloud of toxins. The police began to gag and cough as she threw her ‘shield’ at another officer. The two of them fell in a heap, and she ran over, poisoning the one pinned by the poisoned cop. More studs flew the air from their guns, and Toxikita ducked behind a pile of disassembled wheelchairs. She stretched, before reassembling some of the bricks, turning their wheels into a crude shield. Toxikita then sprinted at the police, slamming into them with her shield. As they were staggered she clutched their sleeves, poisoning them too. They went limp, and soon the building was filled with the sound of moaning, from both cop and victims. Toxikita then turned and ran towards some of the injured homeless and the volunteers at the shelter. She grabbed a glass vial and began to work with her power, concocting a paste. She then began to plaster it on their bruises, and they murmured at the touch, even as their yellow bodies began to mend. “Thank you.” “Don’t,” she muttered, looking away as her cheeks blushed green. She moved among the homeless victims, helping their injuries mend. As they recovered she returned her crude shield to the pile of disassembled bricks, before she began to rebuild them into wheelchairs, crutches, and the like. She carried them over to the homeless and disabled, letting them settle back. She suddenly heard a crack, darn it when they broke in they damaged the foundation. She walked out and began to strip down the armored cars, disassembling them into pillars, before planting them inside to secure the building. Finally Toxikita was satisfied and pulled her cloak back over her face and clothes, before beginning to head back outside. “Thank … thank you,” a woman called after her, shivering as she staggered on her crutches, her peg leg still a bit trembling, “it’s … it’s good to have a superhero looking after us.” Toxikita sighed without turning back and stated, “I am not a superhero. Call me a vigilante if you won’t, but don’t kid yourself, I’m not like those kings.” “Not … all of them are wealthy.” “Maybe,” she dismissed, before walking away. She stepped into the street, before walking back to the armored cars. With a twist she pulled off more of the bricks, before assembling them into a crude skateboard. She kicked off and rode across the street, her whole body shaking as the skateboard rattled against the rough ground. She tensed up at the noise, but at least it was better than the clicking. “Me, a superhero?” She laughed bitterly at the thought, turning down another jagged street. Only this side of Chood City was this damaged, the richer parts of town were a lot better maintained, they got new fancy parts to replace the old, even though their oldest parts were only a few years old and still functioned perfectly. And they called their victim’s parasites? The vigilante glared in frustration, before she sighed in an exhausted voice. Toxikita reached under her hood and began to tug at her rubbery green hair, flicking it began so it it would spring back into position. The autistic did this for a few minutes, using the sensation to calm herself down She rolled down the street, kicking periodically to send herself moving forward. Finally she skidded to a halt in front of a sewer hole. She dug the skateboard into the lid, using the board to pry the hole open. The board didn’t even creak or crack, the police had a lot better pieces that the poor of Chood City. It made her want to drop a bomb of Pollutonium on their police station, ruin all of their bricks and force them to feel how the other half lived. But Toxikita didn’t do stuff like that anymore. She hadn’t in about four years. She descended into the sewer, the vigilante was immune to the noxious fumes and fluid that flowed here, and admittedly she liked the sensation of the goopy gunk rubbing against her, felt a bit like moisturizer oozing over her skin. She chucked the skateboard into the gunk, at least she could ruin some of their bricks. Then she began to wade down the sewer, following the toxic burn marks she made made into the walls. Finally she made it to her makeshift home, a small thing cobbled together out of bricks raided from the police and other bullies. She opened the door and walked in, before flopping down on her double p-decker couch. Admittedly she only used the bottom half to sleep and rest, the top she instead used as storage. She did not have the larger amount of space down there. The autistic reached besides her couch, before scooping up some slime. She rubbed the goo against her face, smearing it in as she settled into her home. On the wall was a photo of Adam Acid and Retox from their wedding. Hopefully her old minions were doing well nowadays, it was dangerous for the three of them to interact much, especially since Toxikita was definitely the bigger target. She pulled off her cloak and hood, before folding them nearly on her couch. Then she turned over onto her back, laying flat. She would need to hide for a bit, air until the heat died down. Then when the police began to recover, she would strike again. … Toxikita chopped up an old apple into studs, before picking up a piece and eating it. She went dumpster diving every so often, scavenging bits of food thrown away by restaurants and grocery stories in the richer part of town. The apples weren’t great, but they did their job. As she ate suddenly she became aware of a beeping, one with a horrifically uneven tempo. The autistic vigilante winced at the heat, before recognizing it as her alarm. Someone was trudging through the sewers, and they were close to her home. She stretched and began to head outside, hopefully she wouldn’t have to move her home again, she built it on tractor wheels and a motorcycle, letting her drive it away as needed. Still she hated to move, took weeks for her to figure out exactly where everything was, and it was just stressful in general. She pressed herself around a sewer wall, letting her peer over the edge. Whoever was coming was heading right this way, steadily sounding closer. Dang it did they know where she was? She needed the burn marks to find her way in the sewers, but if someone else had noticed them… Did not sound like a police battalion though, admittedly she was not the best at recognizing people but it sounds like only one set of footsteps. A curious maintained worker? Toxikita sank down, laying down into the goop until she was almost completely submerged. Her body was covered in gunk, letting her blend in. She breathed slowly, her head tilted slightly to look for the source of movement approaching. If it was a maintenance worker, he would be not worth poisoning. But suddenly she was unsure if she remembered to seal the sewer hole behind her, and it was best to be cautious here. As she laid there she spied a flash of pink, a woman was wading through the ooze, her hair was dyed in a mix of pink and blue, and was tied up in a way Toxikita was familiar with. Caila Phoenix. The vigilante tightened, an Ultra Agent, here? But the agency had been disbanded for years? The autistic tried to lay still, though her heart struggled against her chest. Toxikita could take that pencil-pusher no problem, but if the Ultra Agency was still around, and investigating her… It didn’t help matters that Phoenix was admittedly a good martial artists and skilled with a bomb or two. Toxikita had never really had to fight her, she was confident she could take Phoenix, but if the agent could fend her off long enough to contact other agents. As Toxikita looked through the waves of sludge, she realized Phoenix was not wearing an Ultra Agent’s uniform. She was dressed in a brown trench coat, and while she had a gun it was just a pistol, and an old one too. Looked a lot less up to date that the Chood Police Department’s military gear. It could still be a trap, so Toxikita moved slowly, using her hand to drag herself through the gunk gradually. As Phoenix trudged through the sewer her legs created waves in the noxious fluid, which helped mask Toxikita’s movements. Finally Toxikita was right besides Phoenix. With a thrust Toxikita’s hand shot out, grasping Phoenix’s ankle. Phoenix stumbled as the poison traveled up her body, before the woman passed out, going limp in the sewage. Toxikita stood up and flicked her hair, splattering gunk everywhere. She stretched and smirked at the Ultra Agent, before hauling her onto her back. Then the autistic carried her off, headed towards her makeshift home in the sewers. … Caila Phoenix awoke with a groan, her body clammy and covered in sludge. She felt faint, and was propped up against a mismatched wall of bricks. She was sitting on a few bricks too, elevating her body above the gunk that lapped her legs. She started to move only to hear a voice remark, “don’t move around, you need to give time for the antidote to work. Caila looked over to see Toxikita lounging on a double-decker couch, the poisonous villain staring straight at her. “Reinforcements are coming, they will—” “Doubt it, I searched you. You are just a P.I. now,” dismissed Caila, “nice explosives by the way, good to see your skills haven’t dwindled away.” “…” “…What are you going to do with me?” asked Caila, staring up at Toxikita. “Life isn’t all about you, you know,” dismissed Toxikita, “but you know where I am, and you still were hunting for me. Can’t just ignore that.” “So you are gonna corrupt me?” “Yeah let me just turn you as toxic and ruthless as me, how could that go wrong?” “Then what?” “Well it’d be smart if I had just let you die of poison then disassembled you, but I’ve been moving away from that kind of stuff these days. So instead I figure we’ll just talk a bit. It’s not like you Ultra Agents really had a chance to interview one of us before.” “So you just want to villain monologue?” “Something like that,” Toxikita answered, “though I have been moving from that term. First I need to know, did I forgot to seal the manhole?” “Yes.” “Ah click,” sighed Toxikita, “though I’m guessing you were already searching for me?” “You and your henchmen were the only villains to get away. So what’s your plan?” “Ain’t got a plan,” Toxikita stretched, “no scheme, nothing like that. You know it’s funny you left Astor City for me, and not Chood City. This place has been getting worse and worse for ages, would have thought a hero like you would have tried to help the people here.” “Chood has one of the strongest economies, there are new jobs every year…” “And the CEOs pay their workers less and less. There are more people living in poverty than ever, more folks can’t afford homes or even storage crates, and the bulk of minifigures work so many jobs that their parts wear down.” “…Didn’t think a villain would care about that?” “You know, the one time you Ultra Agents caught me and my boys, I didn’t tell you what it was like the day I became Toxikita.” “No, you didn’t.” “First, I’m gonna ask you not to use my old name. I know you Ultra Agents probably figured out my old civilian identity, but it’s not me now. Well, that’s obvious. But if you hadn’t bothered to do any research, I was an environmental scientist, studying the effect pollution had on the planet.” “I know.” “The day AntiMatter sucked me into that vortex, I was having a bad day. I had spent years studying pollution, how it corroded bricks, rubbed off faces, and it was growing. I had estimated we had maybe thirty years before it grew irreversibly out of control. Of course now I know we really had half that back then, but we only figured that out recently. And even then, I could already feel the pressure of a mere thirty year deadline pushing down on me.” “I had spent months trying to get people to begin to transition to cleaner fuels, to pollute less and recycle more. And the average citizen was working as hard on it as they could. But the politicians and CEOs didn’t care, and they caused the most pollution. They could squeeze more money out of the limited fossil fuels in our world, they would rather doom the planet than make slightly less money. After all plenty of them could just flee to Mars if worse came to worse, they wouldn’t be trapped on a dying world like the rest of us.” “I tried fruitlessly to convince them to give a darn, and just I kept getting beaten more and more beaten down. That day I was depressed, defeated, anxious, and hopeless. And that’s when AntiMatter sucked me into that vortex.” “What was it like?” “Despite your agency’s propaganda, it didn’t suddenly make me evil. You can’t just flip a switch and drain someone of ‘good.’ But it did destabilize my body’s chemistry quite a bit. Everything was bleak, no one seemed to give a darn, the world was doomed, and the worst minifigures were going to escape unscathed, I got bitter and self-destructive.” “There was no hope for our world, so I decided to make sure there would be hope for the kings of our world either. I would make them suffer, poison them and our world until all of them were just as sick and corroded as everyone else. Make them regret their apathy and cruelty. I was gonna make every minifigure equal in the face of Armageddon.” “…That’s bad logic, but it … explains some things.” Toxikita nodded, flicking her rubbery hair back, “Oh nowadays I know it was bad logic, I’m not in denial. At the time I was defeated, and wanted to just dump the world in the trash. But I wasn’t just magically turned evil. I take responsibility for my many attempts to poison Astor City.” She reached below her and scooped up some sludge, before massaging it into her face. “When Invizable broke us out, me and my boys skipped town, deciding to lay low for a while. We shared living space here in Chood City, forced Retox and Adam Acid to deal with their unresolved issues. We stuck to the shadows, didn’t pollute anything, kept clean, paid off the cops who saw us, that lasted about a year.” “And then?” “Then one day I was downtown in disguise, doing some shopping, when I stumbled upon a rally being held by Mayor Karup Leeder, then just another CEO in the crumbling city. He was one of those CEOs who had always denied my warnings, called it fake news.” “And at that rally he was … using my image. He was using me as a prop, discrediting my past self’s environmental research because of my villainy, and to spread fear. He used me as evidence that autistics were violent, that people with vibrant hair were freaks and dangerous.” “Yeah, I’ve seen some of that,” Caila nodded. Aside from her dyed hair, she was also autistic too. That I was still loose, and was really the cause of the city crumbling. I hadn’t done anything to the city, that was all his pollution. He rallied Thad City needed stricter laws against undesirables, keep them in their place. He was using me, using my image as just a tool. I hadn’t been tearing down the CEOs and politicians to our level, they were using me to hurt the most vulnerable.” “…I was horrified and ashamed. And I … resolved to not let Karup use me as a pawn like AntiMatter had. That I would stop letting monsters use me to beat down.” “It was too late by then to stop Karup getting elected, and I won’t forget what my misanthropy caused. So I resolved to get healthier, and to stop hurting their victims.” “Just like that?” “Just like that.” “…Then why not get purified? We had the cure—” “It’s not a cure, it’s a regression. I liked being Toxikita, and I did not want to move backwards to be a helpless scientist who couldn’t change the world. I wanted to move forward, and grow. Not be cleansed of the person I had become. And the fact is that the villains who were purified don’t seem all there, they seem hollow, less like a minifigure, more like computers.” “…” “But I made the choice to get better, and the first step was getting some stability. So I studied my toxic powers, you know a lot of medicines are made from poisons, from Ipecacs to anti-venom. I knew chemistry and biology from my helpless past as a scientist, and I was able to synthesize a medication. You see, I had been taking my meds the whole time I had been Toxikita, the only time I didn’t was when you Ultra Agents had me locked up. I wasn’t irresponsible. But my body chemistry had changed, they were no longer that effective on me, my antidepressants didn’t work for one thing.” “… I understand how destabilizing it is to have bad meds. But you know that does not justify what you did as a villain.” “I agree and accept that.” Caila was feeling a bit healthier, but remained sitting down propped against the wall. Finally she said, “I … respect your ownership of your own actions.” Toxikita’s cheeks suddenly blossomed a bright green, and she looked away. “I didn’t do it to impress you agents, you know.” There was a pause before Caila asked, “you have had a number of altercations with the police, every officer has been poisoned by you at least twice. Why?” They are bullies, brutes,” dismissed Toxikita, “you Ultra Agents had thorough training on all you equipment, you were taught never to escalate a fight, and if one of you crossed a line he was fired, just like Lux was. Even as a villain I respected you. But the ChPD, they are barely trained, they use equipment intended for the military or agents that they don’t have experience with, and they use their military gear to respond to everything from loitering to making too much noise. They protect each other too, if a cop disassembled someone for sleeping on a park bench, the rest cover for him, and the cops who try to weed out corruption get thrown off the force. The police are just another gang terrorizing Chood City. “…” “Look at how good the police equipment is, polished bricks, rare parts, flick-fire missiles, solid armor, they are Karup’s private army. Same with the gated communities Karup and his friends live in, not a single brick worn down. Now look at the rest of the city, corroded streets, cracked buildings, shaky foundations, most folks are homeless despite plenty of homes in the rich parts of town. People who had only minor injuries can it afford to replace them, so their bodies just get worse until they break. And just yesterday the police raided the town’s only homeless shelter, disassembled their wheelchairs, taking what little the poor had. There is no justification for that, it’s just evil. A worse evil than I ever was.” Caila breathed slow, trying to betray nothing in her face and said, “they attacked a homeless shelter? Why?” “Doesn’t matter.” “Humor me.” “Look you know as well as I do a lot of folks who are mentally ill or have ‘colorful hair’ end up homeless, especially in Chood City. Few businesses want to hire difficult workers, the ones that have jobs get barely any pay, prevents them from affording housing. Pushes them out to the fringes, the ones who can come here, the ones who can’t sleep on the streets, and then the cops lock them up for loitering and vagrancy. Leaves them with a criminal record, harder to get a job, and gives the minifigures here ‘justification’ to consider all of them crooks at best. All it takes is a excuse and the cops can ravage any shelter they want with little judgement. Just another way the city is oozing with .” Caila coughed at the vulgarity, before saying, “you care a lot about this.” Toxikita blushed again and looked away, before murmuring, “Yeah well, I won’t if they hadn’t used me as a prop. Without permission.” “Of course,” Caila tried not to smile, before settling on another poker face, “but if you are attacking police openly and so often, sending more of them to the hospital every week, that just gives Karup more excuse to call you a monster, and to use you as a prop.” “Yeah well he was doing that when I was just minding my own business,” snapped Toxikita, “He didn’t even have proof I was in the city, just used me as a scapegoat for the corrosion and the grime that coats the streets. If I did nothing he’d keep it up, at least now I am letting the weak know someone gives a darn and I’m costing him and his gang plenty of bricks and money. And any moment they spend searching for me, less chance they can be beaten up the helpless. That’s what they were doing at the homeless shelter, cracking their hands and smudging off their faces.” Caila did not respond to that comment yet, and instead said, “You do sound pretty noble for someone fighting him out of spite.” “Yeah well you’re wrong,” Toxikita looked away, trying not to show her green cheeks, “I just have standards. The world stinks so much that I look better by comparison.” “And why have you told me all this?” “I like to complain about how the world sucks, consider this venting as my therapy.” “Alright. Then what happens now?” “…Still thinking it over,” muttered Toxikita, “can’t risk you telling anyone that I’m down here, I probably should disassemble you.” “Makes sense.” “Agreed.” “You could probably make a poison that would make me corrode to dust.” “Well, no.” “Still I’m sure if you disassemble me and soak me in the sewage my clothes and face will all bleed out, no one could identify me then. Brick me up in the sewer walls, it could be quick.” “That would take too long,” snapped the vigilante. “You are right, what’s your plan then?” “…” Toxikita looked away, her hands clenched. “If I may,” Caila stood up and sat down on the couch besides Toxikita, “I might have a suggestion. If you would be interested.” … Toxikita flicked her rubber hair as Phoenix began to speak. “You know, almost every city has some grime and chewed up bricks, especially the bigger ones. There also tends to be gaps between the poor and the rich, and the police tend to have better equipment that a civilian, getting old equipment from groups like Ultra Agents and the old Mars Mission fleet. But none of them have a gap on the scale of Chood City. It’s possible you could have caused it, you have the power, especially if you have the resources to strengthen your power.” “Humph.” “It doesn’t look like you have the resources to devastate a city, no helicopters or mechs or even henchmen, but you also like the filth, and you could have taken me to a fake lair.” “That what you think?” “No, because I am not an idiot. I did consider it, I have to in my line of work. But there are reasons I came down here alone without alerting the ChPD of my suspicions.” “…Alright.” “I had come to Chood City a few weeks ago, getting evidence. By the time I would get to a crime scene the police had already cleaned everything up, and they aren’t welcome to even a local P.I. Me an outsider with bright hair and my own disabilities, I could feel their contempt for me.” “Yeah they suck.” “Yesterday I got there early, and saw something’s they didn’t want me to see. Cop reinforcements were tearing down the only polished bricks from the shelter, ripping them out. They got violent quick, and well, I’m still pretty good with a fist. After I knocked out most of them, many of them fled, but I caught a rookie. He said you and the gang’s had stolen those bricks from the police, they were just taking what was theirs. They didn’t seem too bothered that tearing it out might collapse the building.” “I know demolitions, so I also know the weaknesses in architecture. I mended the building, and then looked over the homeless there. They were bruised and wounded, but they had already had their wounds treated. Some of them were healthy enough to explain what what you had done for them. They called you their only superhero, if a violent one. And you know, if you were secretly hoarding bricks to corrode the city, it didn’t make sense for you to leave all those parts there, or for you to have reassembled their medical equipment for that matter. And why help treat them, I know they were beaten not poisoned, and either way why would you waste poison on helping them when you could use the stuff to devastate Chood City. The cops’ story didn’t add up, and I trust my eyes and those testimonies to know the truth.” “Great. Bet you were surprised when I poisoned you.” “You only knocked me out.” “Yeah. Still poisoned you.” Phoenix continued, “it was a bit frightening I won’t lie, but since I woke up things have gotten back on track.” “Still might disassemble you.” “Of course. Or, we could also let each other go?” “Pardon?” “You could let me go, move your home too if you feel you need to, and I would just not tell anyone what I heard down here, say this was a false lead, maybe even encourage the newer agencies not to look too much into their affairs.” “You are just gonna let a vigilante loose in this city? Not to mention one who regularly attacks law enforcement? Doesn’t sound like something an Ultra Agent should do. More like Lux.” “You don’t have to keep up the tough girl act constantly you know? I already know you can be dangerous when you want to be.” “I could crush you.” “Of course. But this city is broken, the laws have been twisted to hurt the most vulnerable, and the worst minifigures become cops. It’s like if AntiMatter’s plan had succeeded in Astor City, only there are still plenty of victims to be terrorized. In a place where evil is law, I think … you might just have to have a rule breaker to bring hope to the people.” “…I am not gonna just trust you. That would be stupid.” “I know. But if a former Ultra Agent helps dismiss the claims you are damaging Chood City—” “Won’t work, Karup owns the news stations.” “Yeah in this city. But other cities like Astor City could listen, and they could start to put the pressure on Chood City. Maybe even get some activists to come in to try and help.” “…Yeah well when they see me they’ll call you a liar.” “Let me worry about that. If I can use what power I still have to help, I should.” “…You know if you were a detective I wouldn’t even consider it.” “Lucky I am not then.” “…Well I suppose I could easily hunt you down and crush you if you double-crossed me,” Toxikita muttered, “and even if you rat on me, I can relocate somewhere else and make the cops waste their time looking here. And you are probably too much of a goody two-shoes to lie.” “Card-carrying for the last five years.” “…If you do double-cross me I will smear off her face until you can’t speak or even breathe, got that? No explanation, just smudging off your face.” “Understood. And even if I beat you, your boys would hunt me down and free you anyway.” “Fine then. You heard anything about them?” “Yeah Jack Fury ran into them about two years ago, rubbing a bank. Retox was calling the shots, Jack said he seemed pretty frustrated with Acid, but less vicious.” “Imagine that.” “There is one thing though. Jack detonated a special grenade to purify them. They were caught in the blast, but it didn’t work. They were immune. Now neither of them are smart enough to inoculate themselves against the tech, but you might just be.” “Yeah, I might just be.“ “How did you do it?” “…It was in the first year I was in Chood City. Corrupted a bunch of rats, experimented on them with poisons and then purified them. Gave the boys their powers didn’t I? After long enough I could inoculate the rats, then did it to the boys and then me.” “Appreciate you didn’t experiment on people.” “I was laying low at the time, new super villains, disappearances, or people getting brain damage would only have attracted attention,” Toxikita dismissed, her cheeks still flushed green, “speaking of brain damage, how is that old professor doing?” “Dr. Brainstein is still recovering from being purified,” Phoenix looked away and Toxikita smirked a little, “he’s as smart as ever, but he now struggles to make decisions, even simple ones like what to eat for breakfast or what sock to put on first.” “You can see why I don’t want to go back. Besides I feel a lot better about myself since becoming Toxikita, and not that helpless damsel. Besides the name is much better. And don’t you dare say my name sounds ridiculous, Ms. Phoenix.” “Wasn’t going to,” the P.I. answered, “I know very well what it is to chose your own name. No one is just born Caila Phoenix. But you know, the doctor still does research, groundbreaking too. For the past few years he has been studying other dimensions, worlds of minifigures like us but different. Not aliens like the few surviving Martians or the alien fleet who nearly wiped them out, more like different versions of our world.” “Not sure how that’s groundbreaking or even relevant. Got enough problems here.” “When in one dimension there is a woman called Tox, who looks a lot like you and she also has poisonous abilities. She’s different in some ways, she inherited her poison powers and she was never a super villain, but I could still see bits of you in her. Last we saw her she had become a part of a resistant movement, fighting against an evil warlord who had conquered a great city and ruled by fear. It wasn’t even her city, she just came when the people needed her.” “…Yeah well I’m not like that.” “I think you are.” “Well thanks,” muttered Toxikita, “in how many dimensions am I a remorseless super villain?” “Many,” Phoenix said with a smile that made Toxikita blush at how genuine it was, “Tox doesn’t define you, just shows one way you could be. Like you said being good was your own choice, she just taught us that you could make that choice if you wanted to.” “Yeah well she was never a super villain.” “Doesn’t mean she didn’t grow from when we first watched her.” “Still, like you said she doesn’t define me, I chose to spite Karup and his cronies. Anyway I need to move my house, so I think you should get going.” “Alright,” Phoenix stood back up, before saying, “you know, if you ever need some help, I can do some investigating, help you find weaknesses in Mayor Karup’s reign.” “Don’t trust you like that. But thanks, I guess.” As Phoenix walked to the door Toxikita muttered something. “What was that?” “Just, your hair blends together in the back, looks purple.” “Yeah I think the sewage smeared my hair into a big mess.” “…Purple looks good on you,” Toxikita’s cheeks were a solid green, “Maybe, dye your hair purple more often, Caila.” “Sure, always looking to reinvent myself,” Caila smiled before walking out of the door and back through the sewers, her feet wading through the gunk. Toxikita waited until the door closed, before slapping her cheek. “Easy there,” she muttered, “she’s a former Ultra Agent, you’re a vigilante at best. It wouldn’t work.” She would wait a bit longer, then she should drive her house elsewhere in the sewers. She … she still couldn’t trust Caila, of course she couldn’t. But it … she wasn't great at reading people but it felt like the P.I. might trust her, at least a little. And that idea made the vigilante’s chest squirm. Though it … it wasn’t exactly a bad feeling either.
Kaleidoscope Tekulo posted a blog entry in This is my lawnI just got back home from the movies. I'm normally not a movie person, personally. Movies tend to be about heteronormative romances on the side of some other quirk designed to sell tickets for whatever special effects the industry wants to show off this time. Okay, maybe that's a tad unfair because I'm not a movie person, but that's how I generally view them. And it's not like I dislike every movie. But mostly I stick to Disney movies. That has changed lately as I am now a bus ride or a decent walk away from a movie theater these days. And hey, I actually have an income now, so I can actually justify going out to enjoy my life. I digress. When I first heard that this movie was about a gay romance with a PG-13 rating, I pretty much knew I was going to see it. LGBT movies tend to be too trashy or too heartbreaking or too esoteric for me to notice. Granted I haven't seen too many of them, but in general none of them really quite fit. It's kind of like "even when it's LGBT oriented it still doesn't really pertain to me." Maybe I've just seen the wrong movies. So my experience started when I first entered the theater. I was second in line at the ticket booth. I had gotten there about twenty minutes before the theater opened for the afternoon (they open 15 minutes before the first movie is scheduled to air). After I got a small soda and popcorn, I was the first person in the theater. Now, I live in a more conservative area so I honestly wasn't sure if anyone else was going to show (even though it was opening weekend for Love, Simon). The first group to walk in was this group of teenagers. Not wanting to be a total creep, I didn't make eye contact, something I rarely do with anyone I don't personally know, and I browsed my phone. I couldn't help overhearing them, however. They were talking about whether or not they had come out to their family. Most of them had, but one of them said they hadn't. "My mom thinks I'm confused." One of them said and in response their friend said "Hahaha, it's cute that [she] thinks that." They talked about their orientations "I'm pan." "I'm grey asexual" and so on. One of them made a point to say that none of their group was heterosexual. This struck a chord with me. I had known there were other kids who were out when I was going to school. I decided to remain closeted for a long period of my life. I went through most of my younger days dealing with everything on my own. It was difficult at the time. It made me really happy just to overhear these young adults. Throughout the entire movie they were reacting (just like I was) to the events onscreen. Most of the people who came in after that seemed to be young women. There was one elderly couple. One thing the theater seemed to lack were problematic men. That suited me just fine. After the previews aired, the countdown for the movie started. I honestly didn't realize how excited I was to see this movie until just before it started. I was really optimistic. For the first time ever, t h e... f i r s t... t i m e... e v e r, I felt like I was seeing a movie that was made for someone like me. Even if I wound up not liking the movie, which I knew was a very real possibility, I knew that this was something that I never had before. Going to the movie theater to see a movie about a gay teen as the average joe. I never thought I'd have that experience, so to actually have it... I don't even know what words to use to describe how that felt. As for the movie? Well, without spoiling anything, I have to say I really enjoyed it. I wish I had seen a movie like this one when I was still a questioning teenager. It touches base on a fair amount of issues that I personally related to, even if they weren't exactly the same situations. There was more than one scene where I felt like "Oh, Simon, I feel you, bro" and there was definitely more than one scene that got an emotional reaction out of me. In my opinion this movie doesn't waste a single minute of its screen time. After the movie my head was filled with so many thoughts. This was an incredible experience and all it took was one movie that did a good job representing someone like me. -Tekulo
Why I don't like most shows on television
Kaleidoscope Tekulo posted a blog entry in This is my lawnLately I have noticed that I'm not particularly fond of too many shows on television. By this I'm specifically talking about sitcoms be them Seinfeld, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, and so on. Sitcoms are a type of show that I've watched for most of my life. I've gotten into a few of them, and I've generally enjoyed them over the years. But recently, I've grown tired of seeing one too many episodes of Big Bang Theory and Modern Family and I started to stop and think. It's fun to watch a show when I'm not thinking. I get to experience the jokes and playful humor without a second thought. And hey, the first two to three times watching an episode, things are generally funny. But then I stopped to look at these episodes and I realize something. I feel like these shows were not made for me. Let me try to explain myself a little here. Currently I am a twenty five year old man who has found work off and on as a baker. I define my sexual orientation as demi-homosexual and I define my gender identity as gender queer. I've lived my entire life overweight and my self esteem is generally on the low side. I have suffered from depression and anxiety among other things. I tend to let my emotions get in the way of seeing the world for what it really is at times, and I have to remind myself that I don't even know what this world is like to begin with. I often remind myself that the place I'm currently in, both emotionally and physically is... well, for lack of a better word, weird. I'm not sure there was ever a day beyond fifth grade that I ever felt normal, but I think I've probably mentioned this on my blog more than a few times in various entries. I suppose I could start with the obvious here and point out that while I'm not straight, most sitcoms revolve around straight men. These are characters that pursue relationships without a second thought. Ted Mosby on HIMYM seemed to date a fair number of women while searching for his one true love. Even if I were to ignore the fact that these relationships are heteronormative, this is something I personally find unrelatable. The very idea of me being comfortable enough to pursue even a casual relationship with someone else may as well be a work of fantasy. It's a bit of a strange feeling to be detached from a show's everyman on that level alone. Well then what about a show that actually has two men in a relationship? It is true that Modern Family has this, and these characters Mitchell and Cameron don't seem to have dated as much as say Jerry Seinfeld or Ted Mosby (Or Ross and Joey from Friends). They are two men in a serious relationship from the start with an adoptive daughter starting a family and a life together. Before I start complaining about these two, let me just say that to me this is a significant step forward in media and growing up I honestly never thought I would see anything like this in a television show. Love between men is something very hard to come by from what I've seen, and with anything like this I feel that in a way it's huge without really being anything all that tremendous at all. That being said, I personally don't see myself being represented much in either of these characters. Let me elaborate a little bit. It's true I am not in a relationship, serious or otherwise, and it is true I don't have an adoptive daughter and I am by no means starting a family myself. But let's put all of that aside for now and talk about why I don't relate to two characters on television who are gay, like me. For this I will start with Cameron. Cameron is generally, in my opinion, a walking, talking stereotype of what straight people think all gay people are like. Overly feminine, prone to drama, a love of arts and crafts with a sense of style and body language that is, generally speaking, flamboyant. As a demi-sexual and even gender queer individual (who tends to score as more feminine than masculine on gender identity quizzes) I can't help but watch this character and scream in my head "THIS IS NOT WHAT I'M LIKE." To me personally there is nothing quite so disheartening as to see a gay character on television that does not in any way represent anything that I am or anything that I stand for. For example, Cameron decides to come out to his grandmother (who is a bigot) that he is in love with Mitchell, has a daughter and a family and is going to get married. His grandmother responds with a close minded statement (accusing their identities as gay men to be the cause of a storm of all things) and Cameron's reaction? He's just glad his grandmother ultimately agreed to attend their wedding (in spite of Mitchell pointing out that she is bringing a sign and protesting gay marriage). Cameron shows no remorse that this family member will not accept him. He goes on without a care in the world, and honestly this is the scene that makes my stomach flip every time. I spent most of my life being closeted from my family, I have worried for years about whether or not I would be accepted (and, hey, even though I'm out of the closet I still struggle with this with my parents). This is something that to me is a huge deal. It's something that impacts my relationship with my family to this day and it's something I find utterly disgusting that people like me have to deal with because it is disgusting. This exchange to me feels like something out of a bad fantasy. It strikes me as totally unrealistic and it is why I hate his character for his carefree attitude towards bigotry. Granted his character has been about breaking the mold and not conforming to certain stereotypes, but this scene is something that I personally will never accept. Now then, let's talk about Mitchell. While neither of these characters truly captures what it's like to deal with homophobia in the modern day in my opinion, Mitchell does have his moments. Namely the relationship Mitchell has with his father. He talks about being closeted to his dad up until college when he finally built up enough courage to tell his father Jay that he is gay. According to Mitchell, his father used to call him every week or so when he was away at college to catch up. However, after he came out to Jay, those phone calls stopped. Mitchell is clearly upset about this and honestly this is another scene that sticks out to me. This is the only moment that his character feels real to me. This is the one scene in the entire show where I feel like I can even remotely relate to his character. I've been there. I am there now. Granted my relationship with my parents isn't the same as Mitchell's relationship to his father, but I often feel like my family just doesn't understand what it's like to be in my position. Sometimes they say things without thought and I get hurt because of it. It happens. Despite this one scene, however, I largely feel that these two characters do not relate to me. And that is shame considering, well, I thought they would. Both of them follow designers, be it a white couch or a decorative glass bowl, they seem to be into trendy, upscale material possessions. Meanwhile, I may spend some time planning my outfits, but I'm about as fashionable as a rock, honestly. I don't keep up with trendy things, and unless it's plating a dessert at the end of a five course dinner, I don't have much of an eye for style or the finer things in life. At one point, while their friend Pepper Saltsman plans their wedding, his assistant says at one point that planning a gay wedding is much more difficult than a heteronormative wedding because both grooms have such high standards. And um, again, THAT'S NOT WHAT I'M LIKE. When I'm watching characters like this, characters that are supposed to represent people like me, I can't help but feel that this was not intended to cater to me. This was intended to cater to people who think this is what I'm actually like. It feels isolating and on some level lonelier than I could have ever imagined. Well, this entry has gone on for quite a few paragraphs. While I could go on, I feel like I've at least covered the gist of things. Keep in mind, these are my opinions and my opinions alone. Not every gender queer gay dude thinks the same, and I fully expect there are going to be people to disagree with me. But these are just opinions from someone who never really felt like he fit in to begin with.
A glimpse into my LEGO world
Kaleidoscope Tekulo posted a blog entry in This is my lawnSo I got a shiny new display case for some of my favorite minifigs. This is pretty much just an attempt to organize some of the tragic piles of plastic that have become my LEGO collection over the years. So, I figure I'll try and describe my personal bios for these characters. Most of these are customized figures I've built from random figs and the build your own minifigures from the LEGO store. Starting from the top row from the left and going to the right: Here we have a special minifigure that was a promotional item from the LEGO shop at home site. I like to think of him as a personal assistant to help with the general chaos that is my life. (Having a plastic figure as an assistant is not very practical as all he does is smile and look pretty, but it's an unpaid position so I guess that's fine). Next we have a lovely mermaid. I have given her no backstory, nor a name. She just stands there in limbo, forever living in an existential crisis and longing for an identity. Now here we have Samantha and SAMANTHA. Samantha is an undercover agent for some sort of secret organization. Her specialty is disguise and infiltration. She has a variety of outfits and accessories to blend into the background. Her talents are normally used to gather information. As for what kind of information, idk I did not plan that far into what her organization even does. They don't even have a mission statement. Paired with her is a famous 2x2 LEGO brick whose whereabouts I always enquire about. She's a robot used as a deus ex machina of sorts. The name stands for Some Acronym Meaning A Nano- Tech Hybrid Amalgamation One of my personal favorites, we have Lilura Philyra. Lil is a witch without a voice. Whether she is incapable of speech or whether she simply refuses to speak is a mystery. She lost her family to witch hunts at a young age and studied magic as an apprentice to a capable master of the magical arts. She can often be found playing a melancholy tune on a harp. Next to her we have a Pride figure with no name. I honestly don't have a backstory for this gal here, and that's a shame because I really love her design. And here we have two boyfriends. I know nothing about them other than the fact that they are dating because I crave seeing gay dudes in stories. I did have a weird backstory made for one of them, involving power, betrayal and a convenient amnesia, but that's all very convoluted and will likely be scrapped from my personal canon. And now we have some sort of villain. Once again, no real backstory, but just look at him. He's dressed all fancy and has such a dapper little grin on his face. You just know he's up to no good with that bowler hat. And finally, finishing the top row we have another Shop at Home figure. I got two of the figures from the promotion (the first minifig on the far left) so I tried to see if I could recreate the female minifig found on the Shop at Home site. Now to list off the bottom row of figures starting with the leftmost side. Here we have Miss Cat and her two kittens. To be honest, they only got this spot because they are cats and cats are adorable. Next we have my version of Elsa from Frozen. The only problem I really have with her is that she is wearing gloves. These two are the Star Sisters. They are members of a sinister organization known as Skull Flower. Based in the city, they struggle with the choice of remaining in a criminal organization while trying their best to work towards a normal life. Jack and Megan are the two minifigs I decided to use in my epic, Light and Shadow. I have no clue if I will ever finish it, honestly. These two are from my childhood days way back when. Megan was a superhero with all of the powers of a PowerPuff girl and Jack was an afterthought side character. He's Megan's husband and a firefighter. They're madly in love (unlike in the epic where they're currently just partners in saving the world). Jack originally had no powers of his own. They have a son named Jack Jr who is an intelligent engineer who designed a robotic suit to help him fight crime. Basically Iron Man before I knew what Iron Man even was. Megan was always my protagonist in the LEGO world. I've played with the idea of making her a trans woman. Having her be a member of the LGBT community makes her feel a little closer to me (even though it's a part of the community that I'm not a member of). Next up is this weirdo guy. He's the leader of Skull Flower, a sinister organization whose mission statement is currently unknown. Idk what he's planning, but just look at that gun he has. Why do I even have guns in my LEGO world? Oh geez, I'm scared. I'm not sure how he lost his leg. He'd probably like to know that along with whatever the heck his name is. Nice mowhawk though. Here we have Professor Layton and Luke Triton from the Professor Layton series. I got super into these games and one day I was like OMG I CAN TOTALLY MAKE THESE GUYS OUT OF LEGO. Too bad I don't have Emmy Altava. I can only assume they've been trying to unravel the mysteries of my LEGO collection. Maybe they've found some answers like what it is all these secret organizations want to do and why they even exist in the first place? This is Little Red Riding Hood all grown up because I am a sucker for fairy tales and I will never be free from their icy hold over my life. And finally here we have some random Spartan who is a blindbag Megablocks figure. He crash landed in the LEGO universe and is trying to figure out what the heck is going on and how to return home. Unfortunately he is stuck in my collection forever, an outsider who can never fit in and the worst at disguising himself to blend in. Will he ever find love??? So yeah, these are the zany characters that make up my pride parade LEGO.
Kaleidoscope Tekulo posted a blog entry in This is my lawnI just need to rant for a bit. So, recently Once Upon a Time (finally) introduced a LGBT+ couple into the show. And the writing for it was lack-luster, but I don't think it was because the couple was LGBT+ but more so that the show's writing has been pretty much awful for a while now. Once is a show I watch with my family. We watched it then and no one made any comments. And to be fair, while it was bad writing, the relationship itself was cute enough and harmless. My biggest gripe is that one episode is not enough to develop a true love relationship fully. Now flash forward to today and someone told me there were people who speculated that in Frozen 2, Elsa should have a woman for a love interest. My response? "Hmm, yeah I could see that." My reasoning being I think Elsa's story, namely how she kept a part of her identity hidden (her ice powers) from everyone including her own sister could be considered parallel with being closeted for an LGBT+ person. And that's not really solid for saying Elsa isn't heterosexual, but personally I think it fits and I would be fine if that's the direction the movie went. Anyway, my response was met with a look of disgust and the phrase "No, not everyone is gay." Hah. Well thank you for that brilliant insight. I will truly need to reflect on that. Boy golly I sure learned a bloody lesson today. That put me in my place. Oh, and by the by; NOT EVERYBODY IS HETEROSEXUAL, BUT NOBODY EVER TOLD THAT TO DISNEY! Number of openly LGBT+ characters in Disney: Zero Number of LGBT+ role models I had growing up so I didn't think I was a freak and gave me even the slightest bit of "don't freak out it will be okay" mentality? Zero. No instead I got a giant parade of heterosexuality trapsing around me, and then when I found out I was gay it all turned to a big deal. So big that my closest family members didn't know I was gay until less than a year ago. Heck, I still worry that I'm going to be a victim of a hate crime. It's not like those LGBT+ kids need any form of support. It's not like the kid with two moms needs to see that their family can be represented as normal. It's not like I needed to feel like a regular human being growing up. But hey "why do we need to expose children to that anyway?" Yeah, it's not like that group is being bullied to death in their youth or anything. And as for the LGBT+ ship in Once? "Yeah, that was just too much for me." And it's not like I have anyone in my family to talk about this stuff with, because if it hasn't become apparent by now in this entry, my family just does not understand anything about this area. A list of every LGBT+ member of my family: me So yeah I kinda hate the world right now. Seriously, screw that place.
Crazy Life Update
Kaleidoscope Tekulo posted a blog entry in This is my lawnSo, came out to my parents (kinda sorta. Like, I didn't say it straight out, but they kiiinda put the pieces together that I'm queer at the very least). My dad isn't too thrilled, but he understands the science behind it, and he was actually kinda supportive with my mom. Weird. I really don't think I'm in a good place to start dating just yet anyway, so I don't mind it, really. ^^; At any rate, I think volunteer work will do me some good to keep active, but I'm going to keep working on getting a job first. A fresh start sounds refreshing, because having your life flash before your eyes and then be living at home is... Well, it can be a little overwhelming, to say the least. Speaking of volunteer work, I'm donating my hair this month. It is fabulous; a natural curl and a nice dark brown color. I'm going to include a hand-written note if they'll allow it. ^^; Things at my current job are still weird. I'm even more spacey than usual, and things are getting humid and warm (not great for my lungs with all of the pollen). I've been communicating and tossing ideas around, and it seems like people are acting a little less stressed out around me at least. There are a couple of LGBT+ people at work too, so hopefully they take my advice about the job. Everyone in the kitchen staff during my time there has been more on the artistic and open-minded side of things in general, and we've always been pretty close-knit and had each other's backs. Our issues were almost always completely ignored, though. Not exactly the best situation for someone with anxiety. The food industry is such a weird one. XD I have good contacts, though, and, like, every religious person I've spoken to has been surprisingly accepting and willing to listen. Apparently I can be good at this. XD I mean... the situation still isn't great, mind you, but... I mean, if I ever showed up with a guy someday I think the awkward zone would be managable. (Oh geez, I can picture it now... The looks we'd get just holding hands down the street... XD) My pets have been a huge support too. ^^ I think I have a nice nickname for my future kid; Link. Robin Williams was a huge part of my childhood, and he was a fan of the game series Legend of Zelda. Actually, Ocarina of Time was one of the first video games I really got into, and it helped me bond with my best friend from childhood (like, it was all we would talk about. XD). It's kinda the reason why green became my favorite color (It used to be red). Granted while adopting, it would only be an affectionate term. I think it would be a good reminder while my head is jumping from subject to subject as an adult. ^^; So... maybe in around... five to ten years? Who knows?
Thoughts on Representation
Kaleidoscope Tekulo posted a blog entry in This is my lawnPersonally I like the aspect of a hardened character feeling cheated out of a normal life. I could relate to that on the level of my personal orientation and how it's viewed. Arguably being gay for me is linked to a personal loss in a way. (I am not saying it is this way for every gay person ever, every situation is different, and yes, there are LGBT+ people out there who could have always been comfortable with their orientation and I do not mean to imply otherwise. Tl;dr, please agree to disagree with me on this, I'm trying to speak for myself here, not to speak over anyone else. Sorry if this is annoying, but we're talking about representation here, and arguably I'm not the easiest person to read, and this is a text-based communication which is more or less proven to make people read too much into things, so here we are). Basically, for me, being aware of my orientation and choosing to remain closeted at a young age has put a damper on literally every personal relationship I have ever formed. I'm still not out to my parents, and I love my family (despite me being angsty). I'm more or less convinced at this point that coming out to them would change things. There are loads of people telling people like me stuff like "haters gonna hate" and "don't let them get to you" but when someone problematic is that close to me, honestly, it makes things challenging. And when I don't know how someone will react to my orientation, then this really horrible thing happens: I doubt. My brain goes into overdrive and I think of every potentially horrible thing they could do to hurt me. I will say this again, I love my family. But the truth is, if I told them right now, things would be bad for both them and me, to put it lightly. It gets to the point where I feel the need to map out a battle plan to tell them about a part of my identity. I need to use tact and keep my wits about me just to communicate a part of my identity to my family. And honestly? It's stressful. I find myself wishing my situation could resemble that of a majority; an orientation that was considered normalized. If I were the norm, though (heterosexual) then that would be the equivalent to sacrficing a part of my integrity and personal identity. That isn't an option for me. I'm having such a hard time dealing with all of this that honestly, I don't want to tell my parents to spare them from everything I am dealing with. And there is more to it than just that, there are also selfish reasons, but I'll digress. So, if that was the idea they were going with; a character that put up a stiff upper lip but also longed for a life that was socially considered "normal" then it's true that I could probably relate to that character on some level. The issue with that is, what character representation do I consider I have as a gay man with this in mind? There's Danny Phantom. He kept a secret from his parents who were prejudiced against a part of his identity. I can relate to him to a point on some level. The moment where Jazz told Danny that she was there for him, and that even if he thought she wouldn't understand, he could tell her anything. Take notes people; you never know who is closeted and who needs support (and I need to follow that advice because honestly I kinda suck at this myself). Though, he was shipped with Wes. He was also half ghost and could turn intangible and fly. There's Aang; a protagonist who suffered a personal loss and initially kept his identity as the Avatar a secret. He did it because the airbending kids treated him differently after they knew he was the Avatar. He also valued pacifistic means even when he faced the Big Bad. Respect. Though, he was shipped with Katara. Also he grew up as a monk unlike me, and he was a master airbender by age twelve, was frozen for one hundred years and was besties with a giant two ton floating bison. There's Lewa. He goofed up and messed up time after time. But he also learned and his experience has saved the toa and helped them to better understand their enemies. But he's a biomechanical robot with air powers that can't decide on which dialect to use. There's Korra; a character who struggled and worked through a lot of personal issues (something I'm in the process of doing to seek help). Her orientation has also been confirmed to fit in the LGBT+ spectrum, which I personally find awesome. She also did master all four elements and has a light spirit living inside of her. There's Mulan. She struggles with an inner image and fights for equal treatment and respect. But she's also a war hero that works with a travel-sized-for-her-convenience dragon. There's also Katara who had suffered a personal loss and arguably allowed that loss combined with a betrayed trust to become prejudiced (against Zuko). Katara hated him. You know how Zuko handled it? He asked why and questioned how to fix the problem and did something about it. Even when Aang tried to talk her out of her revenge scheme, he acknowledged that it was a journey that she had to take, but pleaded her to reconsider and forgive the man that took her mother from her. And she never forgave him. But she was still able to move past it and forgave Zuko. And... that's the kind of character I truly admire because I see a lot of myself in that, especially during my life right now. It's like, finally a story was saying it's okay to break down, let it out and then move on. And that it didn't make me any less human to feel like Katara. Though, she is a waterbender and she did get kinda murderous. There's Modern Family with Mitchel and Cameron. Mitchel has a few scenes with his personal relationship with his father, a less than progressive man. There are a few scenes that are way feelsy to me on that level. The fact that Mitchel and his father can coexist even while being on opposed sides is... it's not fantastic, arguably, seeing that my own situation could lead to (and likely will lead to imo) passive aggressive turmoil with my family over something like this, but the fact that there is an area of media that I consume that addresses that issue in a small way is... I don't even have the words for how happy that makes me feel. Cameron also deals with members of his family that are less than tolerant (his grandmother, iirc). But, look at that. I'm a single dude who has never had a relationship and I am also not a father, nor do I plan to have children. These are just the characters that came to mind off the top of my head. I mean, to someone else who doesn't know my situation, this could sound like a whiny complaint. However, only two of these characters are gay men. Am I supposed to be content with the fact that only a handful of the characters I like share my orientation? There's also a flip side to this: A lot of villain characters tend to have tragic backstories where life was unfair and they tried to change things (Like Kuvira. It's also why I personally love how Korra said she saw a lot of herself in Kuvira, and yet Korra considers everyone's best interests when trying to help change the world, unlike Kuvira). I could go on about this, but it's probably an entry for another day. I'm rambling way too much with this one as it is. This all can sound very silly, even borderline stupid and nitpicky, but consider this: I am a person who, from a young age, has felt rejected by a number of things. The religion my parents follow arguably has a dogma against people like me. The opinions and preconceived notions my parents have formed by not supporting LGBT+ rights has lead me to doubt them (and it is a religion I feel they want me to follow, so that can make me feel like I'm simply not enough). The opinions from childhood friends who thought gays were something to be feared lead me to doubt them and myself, and so I cut ties. The bullies that picked on me for being overweight had lead to me doubting that I could ever be happy with my body type. The decision I made when I came out to my brothers has lead me to questioning whether or not they will out me to my parents. Coming out on this site has lead me to worry that I will merely be seen as a pedantic, complaining fool. It has also made me worry there will be people who will say I'm only pretending to be gay in order to reap the rewards of a handful of upvotes. I have worried, feared and stressed and felt a need to validate myself to all of these. And now I feel I have to turn around and do the same pedantics for character representation out of a sense of duty. When talking about fictional works, there is an argument that "We're talking about a fictional story where x shoots y from their z. You are looking too far into this. You cannot relate to this situation because you are a and they are b." Heck, I even remember a bunch of backlash when J.K. Rowling revealed that Dumbledore was gay. Personally I think it's awesome to see a gay character in a popular story. Know who were the ones with the backlash? The people nitpicking like me; what I'm doing right now. This is my life. I see contradiction after contradiction and I feel the only way to move forward is to press on in some way, shape or form. It's exhausting, but if I don't start working on this, then what good am I ever going to be to anyone else? And that's my personal opinion. Not everyone needs to agree with it. But it's mine. I get to decide what I feel, I get to form my own opinions, and that is not an objective stance anyone else gets to decide. And my opinions are going to change with more information I take in. It's a life long process. When talking about representation, I feel the need to use tact whenever I express an opinion on what I do and do not relate with. I already face that in almost every other aspect of my life because of my orientation. But, if I don't automatically fall in love completely with any scrap of representation I'm expected to relate to because of someone else's opinion (You're gay, they're gay, you should be relating, so stop complaining), then I am "whining" and "some people just can't be satisfied" and "oh, that's cute, the peanut gallery is complaining again." A part of me is totally fed up with feeling a need to validate my existence for almost every aspect of my life. But giving up and quitting isn't going to help anyone. Feminism is a movement that is working to fix this. Even if I can't catch a break on some level, it could mean the next kid with a similar situation to mine can be less stressed out over what I am stressing out about. The only way that is going to happen, in my opinion, is with proper communication of the issues. And I guess that's why I'm blogging this entry right now. Am I a feminist? I question that, actually, like I question everything. Still, the more I look into the issues, the more educated I'll become, and the more my opinions will change. It's why I'm looking into LGBT+ literature right now to fill in an educational gap that I should have done the moment I realized my orientation was queer, imo. So, comments on this entry will be allowed. However, I will filter comments on this entry because this is sensitive stuff here. Feel free to disagree and debate in a respectful tone (I actually encourage that), but please do not just get angry that my opinions don't match your own. Feel free to send me personal comments via PM, but just know I have every right to not care that you're upset with me, the same way you have every right to not care that I posted a blog entry.
Kaleidoscope Tekulo posted a blog entry in This is my lawnI honestly never wanted to be gay, and I certainly wasn’t keen on discovering I was nonbinary. I knew there was a stigma and I just wanted to be normal. I could have stayed totally closeted, but that wasn’t really sustainable. I’m out now, but instead of just cashing in on attention, I just want to represent myself properly to other people. I mean, crazy as it sounds, on some level it’s possible I’ve always been a regular human being with the same desires and dreams as anyone. Okay, so maybe I’m different, but honestly what two people are the same? It’s really nothing to glorify or hate. I want more people to recognize and acknowledge that. That’s it.