Dear readers, when was the last time you hand-wrote a letter? It may be decades ago when you jotted a letter to your penpal, or back in university when you wrote a letter to your parents, but do you remember how it felt? I do, because I regularly engage in the quaint, almost vintage, activity of snail mail. As sending and receiving snail mail turned out to have immense psychological, emotional and physical benefits for me, with this “open letter,” that was originally written for BWQ, I hope to inspire you to give it a try as well – because snailmail makes me happy.
Tag: robyn ochs
For “UP”, the publication of the Dutch organization Lister, I wrote this piece on autism and identity, in which I discuss forming an identity and expectations, prejudices about autism, and having an “autistic identity”. The Dutch (slightly shorter) version can be read here. All comments are very welcome.
“PING!” beeps my computer as it announces a new email, sent by Robyn. Her call for writing is like a storytelling guide, with many interlinked questions: “How has aging transformed you?” “What have been the most significant moments or transitions in your life?” “What do you imagine your future holds?” Pondering these prompts, for a short moment, I feel like I am in a movie, at the point where someone (almost) dies and we—the audience—see a life flash by. My brain replays some film-like memories, scary ones of the nagging children on the schoolyard and my homophobic ex-boyfriend, but also happy ones, of the first European Bisexual Conference. And I realise that Robyn cannot know how she and her work have affected my transformation. So, time to …
The theme for BWQ’s Spring issue is “Firsts” and I wrote a personal essay – with soundtrack! – about two of my first experiences: the first time I felt rejected, judged and excluded as a bi-romantic misfit, and the first time I felt how I could claim my place in space.
Two and a half years ago, my partner and I went to EuroBicon, the European Bisexual Conference in Amsterdam. There, I presented a paper about queer mermaids, hosted a workshop on the bisexual mermaid, played games both analog and digital, went to an awesome 80-90’s disco, had fabulous food and… met Robyn Ochs. As an academic cum activist, Robyn immediately made an indelible impression on me. Therefore, I am very happy that she invited me to write for her grassroots publication Bi Women Quarterly – aka BWQ – and that my writing even made it to the front page. Thank you so much, Robyn! With her permission, I publish the integral essay in this website.