Sultryminxzoe's Blog

“Nobody is talking about”…discrimination in Geek and Gaming Culture June 23, 2014

Filed under: Geek Rant,Personal — sultryminxzoe @ 8:02 am
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I spend a LOT of time discussing discrimination and equality in geek and gaming culture (more so; this past weekend amid conversations of sexism in fandom and the lack of playable females or characters of differing race or ethnicity in gaming). I have been hearing the same statement again and again: “Nobody is talking about…”

1.)    Please do not say this TO ME. As a bi-racial woman, these are issues I deal with in every aspect of my life. I am having these conversations on a daily basis.

2.)    Ask yourself, honestly: are making yourself aware of the conversation? Each of us is surrounded by people of a different gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, capacity, and/or religious background. I assure you these issues are being discussed.

3.)    If you are not hearing the discussion, START THE CONVERSATION YOURSELF! If you are not willing to stand up, neither can you expect anyone else to do so. No one wants to be met with confrontation, derision or be dismissed off hand. It takes a certain amount of strength and courage to raise your voice amid silence.

4.) REMEMBER, SILENCE HAS POWER. To paraphrase an audience member in a panel on which I participated at Arisia this year, “everyone hears silence differently.” You may remain silent out due to a fear of opposition or because you feel it isn’t your place to speak up. Silence communicates no intention and can often be seen as acquiescence or an excuse to marginalize the need for social progress – if people do not voice opposition, it must not be an issue of concern.

While discrimination exists in our society, there is no excuse for anyone to say they are not aware. If you are feeling underrepresented, misrepresented, especially if you are feeling discriminated against, RAISE YOUR VOICE! Do not allow your silence to lend credence to the belief that no problem exists. As the saying goes, “if you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”


Deciding to Be Brave January 24, 2013

Filed under: Personal — sultryminxzoe @ 2:27 am
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Some of you know that I sing – not often and never in public. You see, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and have a crippling fear of failure. The problem with that mindset is you can never be good enough and you limit your potential to enhance any skill. Despite the fear, I have aspirations. In order to reach any goal, I need to get out of my own way. So, here we are…a new adventure. It’s a strange thing to think comfort can be found among strangers, but there it is, the great truth of the internet.

Support it, hate it, it’s not about you. It’s about making the decision to be brave and step out of my comfort zone.

*Disclaimer: I am classically trained, but starting with the mainstream…for now. I’m a work in progress trying to find my voice.
“The Story” by Brandi Carlisle
“You Don’t Know Me” by Eddy Arnold

What value do I add? January 22, 2013

Filed under: Personal — sultryminxzoe @ 1:14 am

Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed by the amount of requests I have received from people who consider themselves, and whom I would consider friends, asking me to go out of my way to get or do something for them – use some leverage or connection I have developed to assist them (I am not talking about co-workers or my fellow geek community members). I have no problem with these requests for the most part. However, in the past few weeks it seems like more and more of these requests are coming from friends that I haven’t had regular contact with in quite some time. People have lives and life often gets in the way. I understand and accept these facts. The situations I refer to are those requests being presented without any of the pleasantries a friendship affords and the prompt disappearance shortly after the other person has gained whatever favor they asked.

“Does no one love me for myself alone?”

Admittedly, there is more to the story and to my current mindset. Unfortunately, I cannot address all of these issues at once. So let’s stick to the problem at hand.

I work hard to learn new skills and, thankfully, am blessed with an inquisitive mind and a major drive to be the best at what I do. Having been there before, I can appreciate how difficult it can be to find answers and master certain skill sets, Therefore, I am very glad to help friends and strangers alike, whenever possible. I try to be active in multiple forums and often offer assistance to others. However, I am faced with others who feel my assistance or influence is in some way owed to them. In some instances, they feel I should put my reputation on the line to assist them in furthering their goals. Sadly, I have been burned in the past by such situation. I doubt I am alone in that. The goal here is to limit the damage. For me, that means a hard look at who I consider a friend. Let the culling begin.

The blame is not entirely on the other person. I recognize I am full of faults and shortcomings of my own. Seriously, I read these words as I type them. I know how it sounds. As 2013 is my year to work through issues which limit my potential and encroach on my sanity, I am going beyond taking a serious look at the people I surround myself with. I am evaluating my own contributions to my relationships – asking myself “what value do I add?” In cases where my contribution is found wanting asking a question that is arguably more important – “do I wish to change for the sake of this relationship?” I will be honest, I have maintained relationships strictly for the sake of being polite. Who does that help? Relationships aren’t about quantity, they are truly about quality. If I have no vested interest in you and what is happening in your life, nor you in me and mine, why are we wasting one another’s time and energy – time and energy which could be better applied in other, more meaningful, relationships?


Sometimes it is the lies we tell ourselves that hurt the most January 1, 2013

Filed under: Personal — sultryminxzoe @ 1:10 pm

Most of those who follow me (used to follow me, I know I don’t post anywhere near regularly – a resolution for the New Year), do not know much about me. We may actually know one another in real life and have done so for years. We may have shared good times and sad times and even wiped away a few tears together. Alas, there are few who truly know me – all of me. That previous statement applies to no one more than myself.

It is New Year’s Day as I write this post. While the rest of the world nurses a hangover or makes that first trip to the gym, I sit alone with only the stark white glare of my laptop to comfort me. I was invited to a slew of parties last night, parties I should have attended. Truth be told, I was a terrible friend in 2012, among my many other failings.

New Year’s Eve is a time for taking stock – of your life, or your deeds, of the deeds done unto you. It is a chance to acknowledge our faults and make plans to be better. It is also a time for hope. When the clock strikes twelve and a new year begins, it brings with it the hope that the future is wide open, that all our greatest hopes and dreams are attainable – “the world is my oyster!” This year I will drop those 15 pounds. This year I will find a new job. This year I will find the love of my life. I do not wish to belittle these resolutions should they be among yours and I must admit, I would welcome any of them; however, my resolution for 2013 is this…to leave some of my baggage behind.

2012 was not my best year. Nonetheless, I have always prided myself on a sense of strength. Safely behind my own fortress of solitude, carefully constructed year after year against the constant bombardment of life’s strife, I carry on. That is not to say I do not feel emotions, but rather that I keep them to myself. It is how I was raised. Alone with my thoughts and doubts and insecurities, I process; I deal; I move on. Or so one thinks. There are those that would argue my desire to take on the world alone is at the expense of my relationships. I can neither confirm nor deny this belief. For those that would choose a place beside me, trust is hard-won. However, once attained, it is most sacred to me.

It has taken years to get to a place where I can truly believe I am worthwhile and even of some value – to believe I am awesome. As Jen Friel would say, “I’m not special, I’m just awesome!” I believe with every ounce of my being that I was there. No matter what life threw my way, this was an infallible truth. Of course there are things I could do better, more I wanted to learn, experiences I yearned to have, but as a whole, I could say I was happy with who I had become – strong, confident, secure.

Then, something happens – nothing earth-shattering, in fact it can be something quite inconsequential; however, it changes everything. It makes you question that sense of yourself you fought so hardly for and reintroduces insecurities you thought long laid to rest. Sadly, this is where I begin 2013, with a renewed sense of anxiety and fear, left to wonder how one who was once so self-assured gets back to solid ground. I do not know what it will take to work through my issues, but I am taking a stand here and now. I resolve to spend 2013 learning to cope so that I can finally move on with the rest of my life and release that which continues to hold me back. I will learn to channel my emotions rather than confine them to a dark corner within my mind. Use that which threatens me so to become a better, stronger person. I resolve to leave the negative fallout behind.