O.M. Grey's Blog

August 1, 2014

20140801-144239-52959577.jpgO. M. Grey is dead.


Well. Not really.


Okay. I admit. That was a little overdramatic, but then…consider the source.


The woman behind O. M. Grey is very alive, indeed, but this post officially marks the end of actively promoting and engaging under this pen name. It’s not a decision I make lightly. I’ve been vacillating over this for a few months now, for the following reasons herein, but it’s finally time to execute OMG.


Two weeks ago, before traveling to London, I sat in my local Starbucks enjoying my frothy mocha just before a job interview. “Maybe I’m Amazed” came on over the speakers, and my heart stopped. I haven’t heard that song in years, it seems, and McCartney’s incredible voice shot straight into my soul.


Passion entered my ears as the velvety bittersweet taste of the mocha washed over my tongue. At that moment, I took Vonnegut’s advice and said to myself: “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”


Then tears wet my eyes because I knew it marked the end of O. M. Grey. Finally. At long last.


Perhaps far too late, but it’s now over.


As I sat and listened to this song that has moved me every time I’ve heard it for the past 30 years, I felt that lingering desire to create words that would touch people in such a way.


Two documentaries, eleven books, dozens of stories and poems, scores of paintings and crocheted goodies, and hundreds of blog posts…struggling to be seen, to be read, to be heard…to be valued…


For the past decade-plus, I’ve given it my all, even through devastating assaults and crippling aftermath, I’ve plugged along the best I could.


The time has come, however, to give up…at least give up on the Steampunk Community, and by extension, O. M. Grey. I lost far too much momentum after The Musician’s assault. Afterward, I was devastated to the brink of death by The Rapist. I’ve since become (barely) known for my writings on abuse, assault, and recovery. All of which you can read about through the pages of this blog and the links herein.


I don’t have the energy or desire to start over again.


Besides, I’m weary of producing content so very few read. Although I’m eternally grateful for those who have supported me and my work–every single individual–there aren’t enough of you to pay the bills, especially since this blog gets hundreds of hits a day, but none go on to buy any of my books. I’m tired of struggling to keep my head above water. I’m tired of trying to warn a community against a sexual predator who they continue to reward and celebrate.


I’m done. I’m leaving Steampunk, perhaps even fandom as a whole. I’ve little interest in writing anymore, as I have nothing new to say that I haven’t said over and over again. When I do have something to say in the future, it will be under my real name: Christine Rose. I might have another book in me, perhaps more short stories or poetry…time will tell. If you’re interested in those things, be sure to follow Christine Rose through the links to follow.


I’ve a few existing obligations as O. M. Grey which I will happily fulfill, but after that, I’ll be going down a completely new path. Rest assured, if the handful of Steampunk event organizers or any other geek culture event that doesn’t support The Musician or other rapists want to bring me in as a guest to speak on Sexual Violence, Community Response, or Writing & Publishing, I will happily appear and speak with fervor and conviction, but I won’t hold my breath. Since I won’t be actively promoting O. M. Grey anymore, I’m guessing I will be quickly forgotten in those circles, if I haven’t already been.


Ultimately, this persona is no longer liberating or cathartic for me; it now feels like a toxic, painful prison. It’s served its evolving purpose, and now I’d very much like to be rid of the burden.


Please do not mistake this for me being silenced. I will never be silent again. I just won’t be speaking through this blog or under the moniker Olivia Grey anymore.


I’ll leave this blog up, as it’s helped hundreds of people feel less alone, and continues to do so. Scores have written to me over the years for advice or just to be heard, and we’ve helped and validated each other. I’m grateful to them, and I encourage any new readers to reach out. I will still be here for you as long as there is breath inside me, and I will continue to answer every single (respectful) comment.


It’s become painfully (or perhaps liberatingly) undeniable that fandom isn’t interested in what I have to say, either in fiction or in reality. They’re not interested in my stories, not even on a mid-scale, let alone a large one. That goes for both personas, actually.


Those readers who have found solace or joy in my work, I thank you with all that I am, and I encourage you to keep reading. I have produced so much, and it’s mostly all out there now. The few stories/poems that aren’t will show up on Kindle sooner or later. Keep an eye out for that.


New and existing readers, please find links to my fiction in the right sidebar. The page links to the right will take you to more information about who O. M. Grey is/was, her publications, and more work. Among those links you can also find my Amazon Author Page under O. M. Grey. Look at the most popular posts and follow specific tag words or categories (all linked on the right) to get started on navigating you way around the blog. Even an O. M. Grey walking tour of London map and old podcasts full of pain, hope, love, desire, and fiction…all waiting to be discovered….all linked in the right sidebar. Explore. Learn. Enjoy.


I also encourage you to reach out if you’d like. Several readers have become cherished friends. I welcome more. If you’re interested in continuing to read my words and hear my voice, I urge you to follow me under my real name, Christine Rose, on Twitter (@christinerose), on Facebook, and through my other blog: http://christinerose.wordpress.com. I’ve neglected it since so much was going into this one, so I’m consolidating.


Undoubtedly I will still write about Rape Culture and other such topics, but to a greatly diminished degree. Anything along those lines will likely show up on The Order of the White Feather blog, and quite possibly on the blog above. There, I might write about travel or alternative health or feminism or who knows what else, but it will all be published through Christine Rose from now on. I might even re-release my O. M. Grey books & short stories under CR as well. Yet to be seen. Until then, I encourage you to follow the above two blogs and connect with me on other networks under Christine Rose. The OMG Facebook page will be deleted as soon as I can figure out how to do it without my laptop. I’ve already said my farewells there, and @omgrey on Twitter will soon follow.


Until we meet again, may you find peace.


Farewell.


-_Q


Filed under: Lost in the Aether, Trauma & Recovery Tagged: austin poly rapist, author, conventions, fantasy convention, farewell, geek culture, o.m. grey, olivia grey, rape culture, sexual violence, steampunk, steampunk musician
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Published on August 01, 2014 14:50 • 137 views

July 18, 2014

A UK Law Firm asked me to post this infographic on PTSD. I am happy to do anything that helps raise awareness of this debilitating disorder and the things that cause it.


PTSD Claims Infographic


[Source Blackwater Law]


Contact Blackwater Law to make a PTSD Claim. I’m considering it, especially since The Steampunk Musician lives in the UK. Especially since he refused to even say a few pretty words to start the accountability by apologizing


I got the NYPD police report, btw; and although it is greatly minimized and inaccurate (no surprise there), it clearly states the rape in black and white. “She said no several times, but he managed to pull her panties aside…”


I won’t go into the details of the assault and 5+ hour ordeal again, since I’ve done so here and in more detail (with greater understanding) here.


No win, no fee with Blackwater Law


From their website:


Deciding to make a claim for compensation can be difficult and emotional. If the military fail to give you the protection and support you need during or following a tour of active duty, you may be entitled to make a claim.  Jason Brady has seen claims for snatch land rover compensation and post-traumatic stress disorder rapidly rise over the last few months.


Jason Brady, partner and an expert in this field advises clients on a wide range of military injury compensation claims including cases relating to:



Psychological illness (PTSD)
Defective or unsafe equipment, including Snatch Land Rover accidents
Exposure to harmful substances, diseases, illness
Noise induced hearing loss
Accidents during training or on a military base
Loss of limbs
Head and brain injuries
Paralysis

Jason is a senior litigator with APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers).


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be an extremely debilitating illness with wide ranging long term implications. Serving in the military is one of the most common causes of PTSD claims, with symptoms commonly including:



Becoming irritable towards others
Feeling isolated or guilty
Insomnia and interrupted sleep
Frequently reliving the event
Increased feelings of anxiety and/or anxiety attacks

With the complex nature of post-traumatic stress disorder, you may not begin to experience symptoms associated with the condition until many years after the traumatic event. Whether you experience them after a matter of months or some years, you may still be entitled to make a post-traumatic stress disorder compensation claim.


If you would like to talk to Jason or one of his team to chat through your experiences and assess whether you would like to pursue a military accident claim or a post-traumatic stress disorder claim, call us or complete the online contact form and we will get back to you right away.


We offer specialist advice on a no win no fee basis.


Perhaps I’d have a decent case with Blackwater Law, since I still can’t have sex, still can’t write romance, and still live in near-complete isolation…yes, even three years later…


Filed under: Trauma & Recovery Tagged: author, claim, law suit, lawyer, o.m. grey, olivia grey, ptsd, rape, rape recovery, rape survivor, sexual assault, steampunk musician, uk
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Published on July 18, 2014 13:55 • 56 views

July 8, 2014

omgrey:

I love this article. It’s a must-read for all.


Originally posted on john pavlovitz:


GuysWatchingGirls

Young men, I need to tell you something; something that maybe your fathers, or your coaches, or your uncles, or your buddies never told you, but something that you really need to hear.



Your sex drive? It’s your problem.



I know you’ve been led to believe that it’s the girl’s fault; the way she dresses, the shape of her body, her flirtatious nature, her mixed messages.



I know you’ve grown-up reading and hearing that since guys are really “visual”, that the ladies need to manage all of that by covering-up and keeping it hidden; that they need to drive this whole physical relationship deal, because we’re not capable.



That’s a load of crap.



You and me, we are visual.

We do love the shape of women’s bodies.

We are tempted and aroused by their physicality.



And all of that, is on us, not on them.



You see, we actually live…


View original 468 more words


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Published on July 08, 2014 18:46 • 45 views

July 2, 2014

Edgar & Me

Edgar & Me


For the entire month of July, my visual art and books will be on display in the front window at the Ukiah Corner Gallery under the name of my alter-ego, Christine Rose. I’m ever so excited about this! It’s the first time in my life that my visual art has been on display in public.


There will be a reception for this month’s featured artists, me and one other artist, during the town’s “First Friday” celebration, which actually occurs on the second Friday this month because of Independence Day.


July 11, 2014. 5pm – 8pm.


So far, the response to my work has been overwhelmingly positive. While completing several of the pieces, I’d post them on my Facebook page in progressive images. From the background through the finished work, followers and friends got to see the painting transform in stages.


Due to the great response, I’ll be offering prints to several of the pieces. All of my available art is listed in this public photo album on Facebook, and it will soon be on art sites like Fine Art America and our Etsy page. In this Facebook photo album, examine each piece of art more closely along with its description, medium, and price for the original.


UCG1I’m accepting commissions at the moment, too. Email me if you’d like to see my rendition of your favorite author or musician…or even a cityscape or landscape.


See these paintings close-up in my Facebook photo album entitled Original Art & Prints. Leave a comment here or there and let me know your thoughts! Email or message me directly if you’re interested in a print, and I’ll get a quote to you ASAP. I’m working with photographer and founding member of the Ukiah Corner Gallery Elliot Little to get high quality prints made for those who are interested.


If you’re in northern California, stop on by the Corner Art Galley during the month of July and see them for yourself! Remember, the opening reception is July 11th between 5 and 8pm. Although I will unfortunately be at another scheduled event in Colorado (busy! busy! busy!) during the reception on the 11th, there will be plenty of other artists to speak with.

UCG2UCG3


Filed under: Events & Contests Tagged: acrylic, art, artist, author, corner gallery, dostoyevsky, elliot little, green man, london, mixed media, o.m. grey, olivia grey, painting, poe, shakespeare, ukiah, vonnegut
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Published on July 02, 2014 11:43 • 33 views

June 21, 2014

New Print Cover 4 WebRiverdale Ave Books, the publisher of my novel Avalon Revisited and my short stories “A Kiss in the Rain” and “For the Love of a Book,” are participating in All Romance eBooks 50% Summer Solstice Sale.


For 24 hours, you can get my (five-flamed) Steamy Steampunk romance Avalon Revisited for must $2.99 at All Romance eBooks!


Also available at this great #ARBLAST discount is my Gothic Victorian short story “A Kiss in the Rain” for only $0.50 and Riverdale’s benefit anthology, We Love NY, the only place you can read my short story “For the Love of a Book,” for just $3.49.


But hurry! This offer is only good through today in this HOT HOT HOT Summer Solstice Special!


Filed under: Events & Contests Tagged: author, avalon revisited, bdsm, book, love, o.m. grey, olivia grey, romance, sex, steampunk, victorian
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Published on June 21, 2014 13:46 • 28 views

June 9, 2014

GreyGhostIn the Spring of 2011, author Tee Morris gifted me a few things. First, he asked me to write a short story for Tales of the Archives, Vol. 1, “Dust on the Davenport,” which went on to win the Steampunk Chronicle’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Short Fiction in 2012; and second, he gave me a name for the “M” (and this really cool trading card of me, left).


I chose the pen name O. M. Grey as a feminine version of my husband’s long-lost brother’s adopted name: Oliver Grey. I knew Olivia would be for the O., but I really didn’t have a name for the M. My legal middle name is Marie, so that could be it, but the “M.” was really because the initials OMG were just too fun to pass up.


Enter Mr. Morris. During (what turned out to just be the very beginning of) a difficult period in my life, he pulled me out of a highly traumatized state (in the wake of the assault by The Writer) and got me back on my writerly feet again. Through his friendship and kindness, I had a project. I had a goal. I regained focus and was able to move forward in my healing and in my career. He also added to my Steampunk Persona by dubbing me Olivia Maleficent Grey, The Grey Ghost and Captain of the I.A.S. Blythe Spirit (a known Ministry associate). Unfortunately, since the second assault (by The Steampunk Musician) occurred just a few weeks later, I never took these gifts where they could’ve gone. The lost opportunities and damage to my career are far too painful to think about for very long.


I look at what Tee and his amazing partner Pip have accomplished over those three years, and I feel simultaneously thrilled for them and angry at my situation. Before the first Ministry book was ever released, Avalon Revisited was an Amazon bestseller. I had a NY Literary Agent, and publishers were interested in my writing, commenting favorably on my talent. The future of my career was bright, but after that second assault and discard, not to mention the third (The Auctioneer, aka The Austin Poly Rapist and The Sociopathic Rapist; or, for brevity, The Rapist), I quickly became a romance writer who could no longer write about romance, only about betrayal and violence and assault. My writing became darker and shorter, able to only write short fiction and poetry for years while I recovered from the traumas, but you likely already know that story…


Last week, I saw the film Maleficent, and it was beyond brilliant. The name Tee gave me three years ago took on new meaning because I deeply identified with Jolie’s Maleficent and her experience.


**SPOILER ALERT** Also, **TRIGGER WARNINGS** as I will be talking about the film and sexual violence/rape culture in great detail.


This film is about rape and recovery. This film is about the aftermath of rape and how the rapist robs their victim of their freedom, their reality, their very identity. This film is about rage and betrayal and justice.


I’ve seen articles across cyberspace criticizing the film for this, or minimizing the important social commentary by picking apart petty plot issues, but we must all remember that the original Sleeping Beauty tale is all about rape. In the original, Sleeping Beauty wasn’t awoken by “true love’s kiss,” she was repeatedly raped by a king and bore children, all while she was unconscious. Disney reduced these original assaults to a single kiss by a prince whose purity and grace and love woke her from her slumber, contributing to the social, narcissistic fantasy of perfect love and the damaging belief that one will be rescued by a perfect mate and taken away from all the pain and betrayal to live Happily Ever After. I’m glad to see Disney’s storytelling is changing into something more realistic and empowering.


But that’s another post.



As Maleficent, Angelina Jolie is Magnificent. Utterly Magnificent.


This is a story about a fairy with massive, strong wings that lift her into the clouds and enable her to protect her magical, peaceful home, a faerie realm known as the Moors, from the neighboring kingdom of greedy humans and their reigning, entitled king, Henry.


One day, a young human orphan named Stefan goes into the Moors and steals a precious stone. Maleficent, still a young fairy herself, shows him mercy and uses it as a teaching moment. This begins a lifelong friendship that evolves into love over the next several years, although Stefan’s obsessive ambition and lust for power overshadows his feelings for her. On her sixteenth birthday, he kisses her and tells her it’s “True Love’s Kiss,” but then he leaves and doesn’t return for years upon years….until he wants something.



Here’s the first great life lesson: entitled, powerful narcissists are extremely dangerous and petty.


At this point, there was no ruler in the Moors, for they didn’t need one. It was a place that needed no ruler because all the magical creatures could live together in mutual respect, harmoniously. One day of particular narcissistic boredom, King Henry decides it’s time and wages a full attack. The magical folk in the Moors never threatened or tried to move into the human’s kingdom. Never once, so King Henry’s attack was not a case of defense or safety. No. This was about a solitary man and his childish temper tantrum that someone else had something he didn’t control. King Henry had promised his kingdom that he would conquer and acquire the Moors for no other reason than because he wanted it and no one could tell him he couldn’t have it. Wah.


Maleficent, soaring above the Moors on her glorious wings sees the advancing army and rallies a defense. She’s totally badass, along with her magical allies, and they easily defend their world with much less effort (and much more power) than King Henry has at his disposal. This is important to note because the people of the Moors could’ve demolished Henry’s kingdom at any time, but they had no need or desire to do so. They lived peacefully in their own space.


King Henry is furious, as you might imagine, having suffered such a profound narcissistic injury. As he lay dying from his battle wounds, he claims that whoever defeats Maleficent will be named his heir. (Remember, his fatal wound was caused because he waged war against a peaceful nation who defended themselves. He brought this on himself.)


This, by the way, is “vengeance*,” just so you see the difference later on in the story. (See the notes at the bottom of the post for why I choose to use the terms in this way.)*


So, Stefan, another narcissistic, power-hungry, entitled man, sees his opportunity for advancement, and Stefan has a weapon at his disposal King Henry did not. Love. Stefan returns to the Moors, now in service to King Henry, and calls out to Maleficent. She’s thrilled to see her beloved again after so many years, albeit skeptical. He warns her that she’s to be hunted and killed because of the king’s decree, so she softens because he came to warn her, to ostensibly save her life. Over the next several hours, they catch up, share a drink, and become close. Stefan explains why he stayed away for so long and how much he regrets it, and she finds she still loves him, and he her (Sociopathic Love Bombing). Next thing the audience sees is Maleficent passed out on her stomach, for Stefan had spiked her drink with a fantasy version of Rohypnol. Stefan positions the dagger over her back, about to kill her for his own political benefit, when he finds he can’t do it. I’ve seen articles that say this shows that Stefan has some good in him, but I don’t see that at all. Not even a little bit. It wasn’t goodness that kept Stefan from killing Maleficent, it was cowardice.


What he did to her was far, far worse than killing her would’ve been. Turned out worse for him as well. Good.


While she’s unconscious from his treachery, he cuts off her wings and takes them back to the king to prove he defeated her, thus securing the throne for himself.


The scene where Maleficent wakes the next morning is the most poignant of the film, and Jolie pulled it off flawlessly, displaying all the raw emotion of betrayal and violation in a guttural howl to the heavens. It’s a moment every woman (#YesAllWomen) can relate to, whether or not they’ve survived sexual violence at the level of this powerful metaphor.



Whether it is waking up after being drugged or intoxicated to discover someone you trusted had violated you while you were unconscious–feeling the physical difference in your body–or if it’s the slow, agonizing realization (awakening) over months or years that someone you loved and/or trusted had violated you in a more subtle, socially acceptable (although still assault and no less damaging) way, and all the confusion around that (only 27% of survivors whose assault meets the legal definition of rape think of themselves as rape victims because certain forms of sexual assault have been so minimized and normalized in our rape culture), #YesAllWomen can relate.


In that moment of realization, everything changes and nothing will ever be the same or really okay ever again.


It wasn’t something you chose. It was something done to you. Something stolen from you.


Here the film portrays a visual, powerful metaphor for a rape survivor. Everything changes. Part of your identity has been stolen from you. Your perception of reality–or your actual reality–had been altered, perhaps irrevocably. You stumble away in confusion and dissociation, just like Maleficent did, trying to make sense of this new reality. Trying to process the betrayal, the inherent change in your deepest being.


Maleficent’s raison d’être was ripped from her. Her wings, the part of her that enabled her to soar through life in joy, that gave her life purpose in her community as protector, were violently ripped from her.


For me, it was my ability to write and my sexuality that were stolen from me. My raison d’être. My career. My identity. My most profound ability to experience joy and love in life.


My metaphorical wings had been ripped from me, too.


Maleficent’s bright, beautiful, magical world became dark and dead, full of rage and confusion. The beautiful cinematography and effects showed this visually, and we all felt it viscerally.


Her first goal was to find out “why,” as if it would change anything, but understanding “why” is something inexplicably necessary and almost always elusive. However, with the help of Diaval, a raven she saved from certain death who becomes her shape-shifting confidant and ally, Maleficent found out why: because Stefan’s selfish, entitled, narcissist need for power and control were more important than anything or anyone else.


In fact, that’s pretty much the “why” for most sexual (or any) violence, come to think of it.



She creates huge walls of thorns around the Moors in an attempt to protect herself in a dangerous world she no longer understands, knowing deep down she will never feel safe again. Then she takes a throne of her own to rule the Moors, which is a metaphor for the necessity to feel in control of everything, your entire world, after enduring something so horrific through force. It’s the first thing any rape recovery counselor or sexual assault attorney tells a survivor: you’re in control.


Then, to add even further insult to profound injury, she learns her attacker (her rapist) announces the birth of his daughter in his happy life with his happy wife in their sumptuous castle. This breaks her completely. So many say what she does in response is revenge* or vengeance*, but it’s not, it’s justice*.


Remember, King Henry who brought his injury on himself through his own selfishness and greed? Well, Maleficent’s injury, nay–virtual destruction, wasn’t her choice. It was done to her under the guise of love and trust.


This is justice*. Balancing the scales. Her life was violently taken from her, but her attacker gets to be powerful and adored and happy. He needed to be held accountable for what he had done. He must answer for his crimes and accept the consequences of his choices. Again, as is so very often the case in our own world and communities, no one will step up to ensure the perpetrator answers to his choices, so the burden falls on the traumatized, often causing more trauma; however, doing nothing is worse, so we shout into the darkness until one person listens…and then another…and then another. We keep shouting until we can come back into the light, protected by supporters and other survivors who say: No More.



Some say she could’ve just killed Stefan, but that wouldn’t be justice.* That would be relief. Similar to the way Constance delivers justice in Avalon Revamped, Maleficent ensures that Stefan will also live each day as much confusion and fear as he inflicted upon her with his selfish, violence actions by cursing his daughter.


Granted, the innocent child doesn’t deserve to be the target of Maleficent’s rage, as she did nothing to harm Maleficent or anyone, but this is where another powerful metaphor comes into play. As I mentioned in my “Hmmmm…Would I Accept an Apology? (A Rant)” post, daughters of rapists and other such treacherous, abusive people, are cursed. They are cursed by their father’s actions and by who he is. This is what happens in Maleficent, only through Maleficent’s will, which was itself created by Stefan’s violation and betrayal.


I won’t go into the psychology of brain development and developmental trauma here, but it has been widely observed, generation after generation, that children learn what relationships look like, how to behave, and who to choose in romantic and sexual relationships based on the examples of their caregivers, usually their parents. Before they can even speak, they learn these things. For those raised in abusive and/or dysfunctional situations, this inevitably turns into a constant search for someone with whom they can play out and “fix” childhood issues and trauma, albeit subconsciously. Little girls with scumbag daddies usually end up with scumbag partners, for example. Over and over and over again. Abused children, usually end up in abusive adult relationships, either as the abuser or the victim. Over and over and over again. Victims of assault often find themselves victimized again, not being able to see the warning signs early enough because of previous trauma and nervous system reorganization.


But I digress.


After having her purpose ripped from her, Maleficent must find a new purpose for herself. Over the next sixteen years, we see Maleficent watching over Aurora, even saving her life many times from the incompetent pixies. Perhaps at first it is to ensure Aurora survives long enough to fulfill the curse, but within a few years, as time heals her wounds and quells her justified rage, Maleficent falls in love with the child. Maleficent sees Aurora for the individual she is, not as an extension of her father. Maleficent even tries to remove the curse, but she can’t.


Stefan, on the other hand, under the guise of “protecting” his daughter, sent her away to live in isolation, another metaphor for patriarchal control (and what so often happens to rape survivors, self included). When Aurora learns he’s her father, she rushes back to the castle on her 16th birthday. Stefan, instead of, you know, talking to her about what’s going on, gets angry that she’s a day early and locks her away.


Think, if he had just said, “By the way, Aurora, don’t touch any needles before sunset, okay? If you do, you’ll fall into a deep, deathlike sleep forever. Just a heads up.”


Honestly.


But, no. He has to control his property, so he locks her away. Since she was raised to be an independent woman in the isolation of the forest, and since the curse is driving her to find a needle on which to prick her finger, she escapes and finds the pile of spinning wheels King Stefan had supposedly destroyed sixteen years prior. Before Maleficent can warn her, Aurora pricks her finger (which in the original story was a metaphor for rape) and falls into her deep sleep.


Maleficent weeps and doesn’t ask for forgiveness over Aurora’s sleeping form, for she knows what she’s done to the girl can never be erased by “I’m sorry,” (ahem, my point here). They tried to have the handsome, love-at-first-sight Prince Phillip kiss Aurora, but it wonderfully didn’t work. The very reason Maleficent included the clause of “True Love’s Kiss” is because she has learned, through great personal sacrifice, that no such thing exists, or at least not in the way we’ve been taught to believe.


In her grief and remorse and motherly love, Maleficent kisses Aurora on the forehead. This awakens Sleeping Beauty. The true, unselfish love between two people is perhaps the truest love of them all. Where they love each other for who they are, not what they can get from the other, whether that be sexual gratification or notoriety or arm candy or a possession.


The beautiful simplicity when one soul recognizes the magical divinity of another.



Maleficent’s love returns Aurora to herself, and Aurora’s love enables Maleficent to become whole again. Aurora finds Maleficent’s severed wings, which the narcissist King Stefan kept in a glass case over which to preen or rage or whatever, and realizes what her father had done. She returns the wings to Maleficent just in the nick of time, and they reattach to Maleficent’s body. Whole once again, after sixteen long years, she has regained her power through love and forgiveness and kindness. She’s healed, as much as she can be after losing nearly two decades of her life, and she’s done with this war.


King Stefan, however, doesn’t stop trying to get revenge* for his perceived hurt, and even though Maleficent tries to walk away from him and his life for good, he attacks her while her back is turned, like the coward he is. They tumble off of the turret, but since she has her wings again, she is able to save herself from death. Joyfully, King Stefan isn’t saved. The fall ends his miserable, obsessed life of self-induced torment.


When Aurora becomes queen, she unites the two realms, and they all live in harmony. Prince Phillip returns, and they have a chance to actually get to know each other and make a mutual decision whether or not to be together, as individuals, rather than the stereotypical perfect-happily-ever-after-narcissistic-bullshit-fantasy of love.


To summarize, Maleficent was a loving, trusting, beautiful soul who was horrifically violated during a vulnerable moment by someone she loved. This violation fractured her identity and her very soul. It completely altered the way she saw the world. She then watched her attacker become famous, loved, adored; and she knew there would be no justice (and thereby no healing for her) unless she delivered it herself. In contrast, where she had the clarity of a single, undeniable violent act in one evening, my destruction took three separate, confusing assaults and betrayals over a period of 18 months. Like 73% of rape survivors, I didn’t see them for what they were for a long, long time. Now I do.


Still, this is why I identify with Maleficent. This is why I applaud my gifted name.


May you all find peace.


-_Q


*A note on chosen words.
Although the words “vengeance,” “revenge,” and “justice” are virtually synonymous in definition, the connotation of each in our society is quite different.
Unfortunately, the words “vengeance” and “revenge” carry a strong connotation of petty, exaggerated punishment against an (often) “perceived” hurt. In our rape culture and highly misogynistic society, they’ve almost become inseparable from the concept of “a woman scorned.” Vengeance and revenge are looked down upon by our culture, especially at the hands of a woman. Whereas so recently scores (in fact, hundreds and maybe thousands) of men defended the actions of Elliot Rodger, saying he was justified for going on a rampage against women because ‘the bitches shoulda put out,” an entire nation still remembers the name Lorena Bobbitt for the action she took against her rapist husband for one assault too many (back before marital rape was against the law. In fact, this case it what helped it become against the law). He became a porn star, and she became the butt of a national joke.
All this is why I reserve these highly loaded words for the assailants in this analysis and use the more benign term “justice” for the actions of Maleficent. “Justice” is seen as fairness. It is seen as “justified” “just,” as in all things good, the way it should be, etc.
When someone goes to prison or faces some other punishment for their criminal choices, we don’t say the defendant was out for revenge. We say they got justice.
Maleficent got justice. I’m seeking justice, which is my only hope for justice in a world where only 3% of rapists ever see a single day in jail and where police minimize, dismiss, and make rape victims act out their assaults.
Filed under: News & Reviews, Trauma & Recovery Tagged: angelina jolie, austin poly rapist, author, broken heart, fear, grief, healing, heartbroken, honesty, love, maleficent, misogyny, o.m. grey, olivia grey, rape, rape culture, rape survivor, sexual assault, shattered
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Published on June 09, 2014 07:32 • 66 views

June 5, 2014

20140605-181905-65945829.jpgYesterday, a colleague and friend asked me if I’d accept an apology from The Steampunk Musician (TSM) who chose to sexually assault me three years ago before wooing me into love, which helped me minimize the assault because “he really cared,” only to subsequently discard me when it all become too “real” and inconvenient for him.


I couldn’t put it more succinctly than another friend did:


I can’t even imagine how [he] or anyone could apologize sincerely…”I’m sorry I nearly ruined your life and caused permanent trauma to you and your career?”


Bingo.


The rest of this rant isn’t nearly as brief.



This particular man is a very talented performer. He’s got the self-deprecating, adorably-awkward, impossibly-sweet act down pat. I’m sure he could come up with a very sincere-sounding apology, but my guess is that the motivation behind it is purely selfish, as is everything he does. After three years of silence, it would take a lot more than a few pretty words.


A *decent* start would be owning his choices and the subsequent damage they caused, both publicly and privately, followed by a sincere apology that included an offer for making amends. That would be a decent start, but what follows is what I fully require. This would be a very good start indeed:


1. A sincere, private apology.

2. Public admission to his behavior, coercion, and exploitative treatement. He doesn’t have to use the word “rape” or “sexual assault,” but he can’t deny them either. Ownership of the damage caused to me and my career, followed by a sincere, public apology.

3. A commitment to go into a rehabilitation program for alcohol abuse and sex/porn addiciton, as well as relationship therapy with his life partner for at least a year.

4. A sacrifice that shows his determination and commitment to making amends for the severe damage caused. My suggestion is this: stay out of the USA for a year, so I can have a safe place to rebuild my career in the Steampunk community, and reimburse me for a year of trauma recovery therapy, which is about $3,000.


This amount he earns in a weekend, but it takes me over a year to earn through book sales, thanks to my damaged career.


I’m open to other suggestions, but it can’t be easy for him. I’m asking for a year of self-improvement and introspection and ownership in exchange for the assault, devastion, and three years he stole from me.


All that said, I’m extremely suspect in this sudden interest for an apology–after three fucking years. (My husband even more so.) It might be the #YesAllWomen hashtag opened his eyes, as he wouldn’t be the first, but I think that’s giving him too much credit.


I’m guessing he’s finally feeling a little heat, as he’s lost two shows this year because of his sexual predation. Boo-fucking-hoo. I’m quite convinced whatever inspired him to write to our mutual colleague was much more about recovering a broken business relationship and worming his way back into those shows with manipulation and charm than it ever is about owning his predatory behavior and what it did to damage another human being.


Quite fucking sure.


He simply must do these two shows because, I guess, three Guest of Honor spots over the last 6 months isn’t enough for him, not to mention the countless other shows he’s done as musical guest during that time and over the past three years. He wants back one of the only three steampunk shows *in my own country* I can do because they are the only ones who have banned this rapist.


20140605-181905-65945967.jpgMany, many more know what he did, in detail, by the way, but they choose to turn their heads and close their eyes. After all, what are a few traumatized women where there’s a profit to be made!


Here is part of the email I sent to our mutual colleague earlier today. I’ve redacted names and put in ellipses where I took out some text, mostly because it’s said elsewhere in this post or to protect the recipient who has shown me nothing but kindness and respect, and who I love and respect deeply.


Yesterday, my husband and I were to have our first “date night” in as long as I can remember. Years, likely. Then [TSM] gets introduced back into my consciousness, and I become more consumed with all this than I’d care to admit out of shame, since it has been three years, and it shouldn’t affect me so much anymore. But it does. Certainly on a more subtle level than before, which is why I don’t recognized just how distressed and triggered I am until I find myself checking my messages every 20 minutes and not being able to sleep much. Then when I do, it’s full of nightmares. Our entire date was shadowed by this. My evening was shadowed by this. My night was haunted by this. It has been over two years since we’ve made love, not counting one failed, highly triggering attempt about 7 months ago.


I’ve been on the verge of tears all day, partially because I didn’t sleep well, which has exacerbated this stuff with [TSM], and partially because I’m so confused as to what I feel. I wonder what I would really get out of an apology, even a sincere one. It would be way too little, way too late if it were an apology alone. Without serious amends, namely the four things I’ve stated again and again, it would do nothing for me but cause further distress. First, people would ostracize me even more, which at this point is almost impossible. They wouldn’t understand why a ‘sincere apology’ wasn’t enough…and wasn’t I just overreacting to begin with, after all? He’s such a nice guy, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam, and it hurts my head just to think about going back into that bullshit community response.


… I don’t know what [TSM]‘s motivations or intentions are either, but I can tell you without a doubt they are purely selfish. He cares nothing about me and my well-being, as he’s proven for 3 years now, but I’m not sure you see that. He’s concerned about making his own life easier, not righting a wrong. Not caring for a human being he significantly helped destroy.


I loathe to go down the profound list of what I lost, what [TSM] himself stole from me or for what he acted as a catalyst…all due to his selfish choices, even though I begged him over and over not to choose each of those things throughout that evening and over the next few months.


And here’s another selfish choice…


…Yesterday on the date with my husband, I saw Maleficent. I’m not sure you’ve seen it or want to, but I’ll try not to spoil it for you. Throughout the film, I saw my situation. Something violently ripped from her by someone she trusted and loved, altering her reality and her very identity for years upon years, while her attacker went onto lead a happy, powerful, popular life. He chose to destroy her and benefitted from that destruction, yet Maleficent is considered the villain, the “woman scorned seeking revenge.” What I saw was a woman utterly destroyed by the selfish, cruelty of a man she loved and trusted, seeking justice for what he had taken and trying to piece her life back together despite the desperation and despair. She would never be the same, although she healed over the years and was able to find herself again through the love on a single person. Her life, her power, her identity, her body, her very raison d’être was violently ripped from her by the selfish, cruelty of one man.


She sought justice, not revenge, and I cheered her for it.


I know people have accused me (to you) of a personal vendetta, and I resent that so deeply on so many levels. So very deeply. This isn’t a vendetta; this is accountability. This is seeking justice. I’m not casting a curse on his daughters (he’s doing that himself by the kind of man he is). No. I’m holding onto a level of integrity and accountability necessary to even make a dent in the harm he personally caused or perpetuated until The Sociopathic Rapist could take over and finish the job.


By doing the four things I request, I’d know he was sincere, and so would the world. I know he won’t do them, because he’s a selfish coward who lacks any integrity. The ironic thing is that even though those four things would benefit me by validating me (both personally and in the eyes of the community), helping us financially recover from the exorbitant trauma recovery bills, and offering me a safe place to do events and rebuild my career *in my own country* for a year, they would benefit him, his family, and his career even more.


Through therapy and introspection, he would become a better men, a better partner to [name redacted], and a better father to his daughters. His obviously miserable relationship would have a chance at being healthy and happy. His daughters might learn how to choose good men in another few years, instead of men like daddy, which is the path they’re on right now…

-He would become physically and mentally healthier by giving up his addictions.

-His fans would respect him for his courage and integrity, and he would become not only a brilliant performer who makes people laugh, but he would also become an example of a genuine man who cares for others and takes responsibility for his actions with grace and humility. He would gain popularity for it, not lose it.


Because despite it all, I love him. Once someone is in my heart, they are always there, which is why I suppose this is still so difficult after three fucking years.


So, after this long ramble, I feel a little better. On one hand, I don’t want to turn my back on someone if he’s truly willing to be accountable for his actions and the damage he caused, but I really don’t think that’s where he’s coming from. He’s a self-serving, petty, pathetic man who obviously doesn’t care a thing for me and never did. The only use I was to him was as an unwilling ejaculatory tool and a fantasy lover he briefly used to escape the pain of his reality. Like pot. Like alcohol. Like live porn. When I became too real, he tossed me into the gutter like rubbish and walked away without looking back because it was all too inconvenient for him to do so. He left me destroyed, devastated, and vulnerable to a new, worse predator who finished the job, ensuring my identity, my career, and my sexuality were beyond repair for years, if not forever.


For this, no half-hearted or self-deprecating performance will suffice. For this, it must be all four, otherwise, it might as well be nothing. If you judge me unreasonable for this, then so be it. Please let me know so that I might disappear from Steampunk completely and cut all ties with everyone, starting somewhere else, doing something new where I’ll never hear [his name or stage name] ever again.


Just for clarity, you need not hold my confidence for the contents of this letter away from [TSM] or anyone. I am, and always have been, completely transparent. I have nothing to hide. It is not my shame. It is his and any who choose to support him or any unrepentant rapist like him.


With respect,

~Olivia


The anger has been renewed as well. I’ve vacillated between rage and depression and dissociation all day. It made me remember the letter I wrote on the way to SPWF a few weeks ago. It was a triggering event because it was after that event in 2011 that This Steampunk Musician (TSM) assaulted me.


It was written for me, a way to work through my distress and anger at the time, but now, since I’ve been asked if I would accept “a sincere apology” from TSM, it’s all come to a head again. It’s shattered my peace and consumed me with confusion all while stirring up painful emotions. It wasn’t even his idea to apologize, I understand, and he might not even choose to say those few pretty words (which is fine with me, as they will be meaningless from his lying, manipulative, raping tongue).


He’s a coward. He was a coward three years ago, and he’s a coward now. This is the letter I wrote three weeks ago, and it’s full of all the rage I felt then.


[TSM],


I remember how three years ago I would write to you with so much hope, love, and longing. So much has changed since then. I know I have. I’ve changed irrevocably.


Now, I’m stuck at another airport between home and SPWF, just like three years ago. They asked me there this year to speak on their Consent & Safety Track, and I agreed. It’s only the 2nd event I’ve done in the past two years, as my Steampunk career was robbed from me. I keep hearing you, on the other hand, are doing just fine. Three GOH gigs in the past six months alone, and it makes me beyond sick.


When I met you, I was on the cusp of something great. My book was an Amazon bestseller and I had a feature article in an international newspaper…what you chose to do to me and the way you chose to treat me changed all that, changed my future for good, as I was unable to write for years. Now all I can write about is sexual violence and the treachery of men.


I hate you. Beyond belief. I hate you for assaulting me, for raping me–and it was technically rape. The NYPD thought so, too. I hate you for trapping me in that hotel room. I hate you for courting me afterward, coaxing me to fall in love. I hate you for casting me aside like garbage. I hate you for your continued cowardice. I hate you for my inability to make love anymore. I hate you for my loss of hope. I hate you utterly and completely.


Do you realize how healing it would’ve been had you just admitted your wrongdoing? Admitted the damage caused, offered amends? You make in one weekend what it takes me over a year to earn through book sales now that my career is ruined. Do you realize? You make in one weekend what I’ve spent, scraped together, for just one year of trauma recovery therapy, but like the fucking coward you are, you stay hidden and pretend nothing happened. You don’t speak to it, and you deceive all your fans that you are a good guy because you have the gift of humor.


I hate you. I loathe you beyond articulation.


And here I am, going back to SPWF again, having all this dug up in my heart again…where you still reside, and that’s when I hate me. Knowing how easily I would’ve forgiven you had you only treated me like a human being instead of yesterday’s rubbish. How easily I still would forgive you if you would show the courage of admitting what you did, publicly, and apologizing, both publicly and privately, and making amends. Paying me back for years of therapy. Going to therapy yourself. Taking a hiatus in touring until I felt safe again. How easily I would forgive you.


But more than hating myself, I hate you. You will only understand the depth of the harm your selfish behavior caused when your daughters grow up and love men just like you, and they will. Yes, yes they will…because you showed them how men are supposed to be, at least in their eyes. Watch them be destroyed by men like you, and then you will realize what you did to me. You not only aided in my utter destruction, like the WDMF before and after you, but you caused [your daughter]‘s destruction as well.


Just you wait and see.


Enjoy your success, [TSM], for the future holds nothing but agony for you as you watch your daughters destroyed by men like you. Unlike other creeps, however, you will not be able to deny that it is completely your choices that destroyed them, as they destroyed me and my career.


Fuck you, you utter raping bastard.

Fuck you.


I will never be silent again.


Never. Be. Silent. Again.


If he chose to follow my request and truly show he took ownership of his actions as well as committed to making amends, then he would shift from an example of a sexual predator (about whom I speak loudly and widely, both publicly and especially privately) to an example of a man with integrity and courage, a man who takes ownership for his choices and amends for his wrongs.


He’s proven thus far to be an utter coward. However, I will happily and joyfully be proven wrong if he steps up to the challenge.


In the mean time, I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not shutting up. After all, I quite literally have *nothing* else to lose that anyone has the power to take from me, unless they resort to murder.


My career was raped from me.

My job was raped from me.

My communities were raped from me.

My identity and sexuality were raped from me.

My ability to function in society was raped from me.


I can, however, still have my voice, and I will continue to use it.


My voice is getting stronger and louder.


The longer he waits to make amends, the worse it will be for him, all while my strength and voice continue to grow.


So, fuck you, Steampunk Musician, and your selfish non-gesture. Show some integrity and courage, and then we can talk. After three years, you’ll have to do better than turn on the charm.


A lot fucking better.


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Published on June 05, 2014 18:36 • 30 views

May 29, 2014

OMG & Amber LoveAt the 2014 Steampunk World’s Fair, I had the great pleasure of meeting the amazing Amber Love.


She recorded a portion of my Reading and Q&A there, so you can hear me read “The Clockwork Heart” here, as well as hear Amber’s coverage of the incredible Steampunk World’s Fair. She even covered the excellent panel with Bunny Bennett of Steam Powered Giraffe on Gender Bias in Steampunk.


“The Clockwork Heart” will be appearing in the next issue of Steampunk Trails. Discover this short story and more of my work on my published works page, under free or for purchase stories, and through my Amazon Author Page.


Filed under: Events & Contests, Short Fiction & Poetry Tagged: amber love, amber unmasked, author, bunny bennett, gender bias, o.m. grey, olivia grey, podcast, short story, spwf, steam powered giraffe, steampunk, steampunk worlds fair
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Published on May 29, 2014 08:30 • 43 views

May 24, 2014

Last weekend, I had the absolute pleasure of presenting at the Steampunk World’s Fair both as an author and a speaker. I reconnected with many old colleagues and fans, and I daresay made some new ones as well. It was brilliant to be back out there again. I was able to do this because of their anti-harassment policy, and because they take sexual assault seriously (not just pay lip service to it). Their anti-harassment policy and responsibility to the community kept predators out, making the event safer for the rest of us.


Now, I’m not saying that the 2014 Steampunk World’s Fair (SPWF) was completely devoid of predators, but I know for a fact that several known aggressors were either banned or chose not to attend/participate because of the conventions strict anti-harassment policy.


That’s right.


Some self-selected out because they felt uncomfortable about the new policy, and that’s great news for the rest of us. It was a safer event because of the SAFER track.


As one of the central speakers on the SAFER track, I can tell you first hand numerous people approached me to thank me for the SAFER track and the work of The Order of the White Feather. Several. Survivors and supporters of survivors spoke up on how they felt safer. I felt safer, too.


A particular Steampunk Musician has been banned from the event because of his actions after this event in 2011 and his subsequent failure to take responsibility, apologize, and make amends. The Steampunk World’s Fair message is clear: unrepentant offenders aren’t welcome here.


Something else wonderful happened as well. I had it on good authority from a high-ranking staff member of JME, the organization that puts on the Steampunk World’s Fair and Wicked Faire, among others, that most of those who complained the loudest during the Facebook Maelstrom regarding the anti-harassment policy chose not to come.


Good for the rest of us.


One other person in particular who I’ve never met (nor do I care to) stayed away, too. This person is only known to me because the person he chose to rape confided in me about a year ago about what he chose to do. Apparently, this anti-harassment policy scared him. He’s now concerned some of his more questionable-consent encounters might come back to bite him on the ass. Good. He’s also been openly aggressive and wrathful in the presence of several witnesses across geekdom, and I was extremely glad he chose not to attend. I felt safer without him there.


Although I advocate bystander response and giving the benefit of the doubt to the victim rather than the accused, the SPWF created a safer community just by having a clear, firm anti-harassment policy. Those screaming about the loss of liberty apparently were upset that they wouldn’t be able to get away with drunken assault and harassment. They were crying because they couldn’t cross people’s boundaries without being called out for it, so they stayed away.


For the rest of us who attended, our civil liberties and ability to safely express ourselves in cosplay remained intact because those of us who aren’t predators or jerks know that such a policy is meant to keep people safe, and we applaud those efforts.


I’m not saying the 2014 SPWF was harassment-free, or even assault-free, but I do know that instances were greatly reduced at the very least. I didn’t hear of any incident, personally, but I haven’t gotten an official report from the security team either.


I also know that because of the SAFER track and the SPWF’s clear anti-harassment policy, those targeted for such behavior knew they’d be safe to report and they knew they would be believed, and that’s not nothing. It’s considerably more than the rest of our society offers.


Kudos to JME and the Steampunk World’s Fair. As a survivor who had the bulk of her community stolen, since my celebrity assailant is repeatedly heralded as Guest of Honor (even by those who know what he did and what he’s capable of), I’m beyond grateful that SPWF gave me a sliver of my community back. After all these years, I felt the sunshine on my face once again. Countless emerging authors benefitted from my experience in the publishing and marketing trenches, readers were delighted in my tales of how I merge history and fantasy, and, perhaps most importantly, fellow survivors of sexual and domestic violence felt safe, validated, and heard.


Just think, if a strong harassment policy can have such an effect, bystander response and questioning the accused instead of the victim will have an even larger effect. We can stop sexual violence in our communities by taking this *small* steps. By making our communities unsafe for the predators, by clearly standing our ground that they are not welcome, nor will such behavior be tolerated, we can stop rape.


That’s a huge success.


Filed under: News & Reviews, Steampunk Spotlight, Trauma & Recovery Tagged: accountability, community response, convention, fantasy convention, o.m. grey, olivia grey, predator, rape, rape culture, safety, sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual violence, steampunk worlds fair
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Published on May 24, 2014 13:06 • 35 views

May 15, 2014

20140515-114151.jpgThis weekend, I’ll be appearing as an author and speaker at the Steampunk World’s Fair. It’s a huge step for me, as it was the assault after this very convention in 2011 that sent me into the tailspin of trauma and recovery that has been my life ever since.


Well, that’s not quite true. The Writer, my best friend at the time, assaulted and betrayed me about seven months before SPWF 2011. That’s what really started that horrific time. After several months of barely functioning, and not understanding why I was so upset (as it would be years before I called The Writer’s choice to sexually assault me what it actually was), I was finally seeing the light of the future again.


Then, I met The Musician at the Steampunk World’s Fair 2011. Full of renewed hope and trust, I told him what The Writer did as a deterrent to his continuous sexual pressure, and he assured me that he would never, ever do such horrible things or treat me thus. He asserted: “I’m a gentleman!”


Of course, as you all well know, he did the exact same thing The Writer did and worse. His assault and treatment further traumatized me and paved the way for the subsequent rape and betrayal at the hands of the Auctioneer, which utterly destroyed me for a time. But, I won’t go through all that again. You can read about The Musician on the pages of this blog and in my award-winning poem “New York Rain“, and you can read about The Auctioneer as well, throughout my recovery in 2012 and in the poems “Look Into My Eyes” and “My Heart Still Wants to Believe,” among others.


A mixture of excitement and fear fill my heart as I embark on this weekend journey that will be the end of a long, painful chapter in my life. It will be the end, regardless, but it is yet to be seen if it will be the beginning of something new. Judging from the aggressive, cruel reactions on FB over the SPWF’s Harassment Policy, my guess it that it will just be the end; however, I do hold out a little hope, that extremely dangerous thing. I know through extensive experience not only that most people are generally insensitive assholes, but also that the rare good, compassionate people have a tendency to keep quiet and hidden. I hope they’re out there, in the shadows, and I hope they will come out this weekend wearing their white feathers and speaking words of solidarity.


Speaking of good people, I couldn’t be more grateful to Jeff Mach, his staff, and The Steampunk World’s Fair for their kindness and support. I’m very impressed with their choices to keep known offenders out of their space, as well as their other steps to create a safe convention for their patrons. They’re one of the very few Steampunk conventions in the country* willing to do what it takes to do so, and I applaud them for it. I couldn’t be more honored to be a central part of their Consent & Safety Track.


20140515-113853.jpgOn Saturday evening at 7:30pm, I’m giving a presentation on rape culture and community response called “No Means No: Responding to Sexual Violence in our Community.” I’ve been working on it for weeks. The response to this presentation, as well as the way con goers interact with me (or avoid me) will help me decide if and how I will move forward in speaking publicly about the epidemic of sexual violence and how community response to said violence is perpetuating it. I aim to change the script from which we speak, and give new words to us all that will turn the questions and doubt to the accused perpetrator and away from the traumatized party.


Not a huge step, really. Just a small change in strategy, but you would be amazed (as I continuously am) the intense and angry resistance to this simple request. It perfectly illustrated rape culture with each new conversation I attempt to have on this subject. It’s frustrating and triggering and difficult….and extremely important to keep the conversation going despite the aggression and threats, despite the rape apologia.


I aim to do just that.


Amidst my mixed emotions and anxiety leading up to this weekend, my gratitude for the few good people I know shines through. My gratitude that the aggressive cowards reveal themselves online so I know who to avoid shines through. My gratitude that I can finally (albeit metaphorically) walk through that NYC hotel door, without being blocked by a rapist this time, and lock it behind me three years later shines through. I will walk out onto the streets alone, safe in my solidude, with my voice to carry me onto whatever is next for me.


Bottom line is that if even a few people keep valuing my voice and contribution to the discussion, I’ll keep speaking out. If they ask me to speak at their event, I will do so.


For, as I’ve said before, I will never be silent again.


My complete SPWF Schedule:


SATURDAY, MAY 17

- 10am Order of the White Feather Gathering & Workshop


- 12pm Author O. M. Grey: Reading and Q&A


- 2pm Grand High Tea


- 7:30pm No Means No: Responding to Sexual Violence in Our Community


- 11pm yes…Yes…OH, YES!: Embracing Enthusiastic Consent (18+)


SUNDAY, MAY 18

- 12p SPWF Author Round Up


- 1:30pm Incorporating History into Fantasy


- 3:30pm Respectful Appreciation and Affection: Consent in Convention Spaces


- 5pm Beyond Fiction: Publishing & Marketing Realities for Emerging Authors


If I’m not at one of these workshops or peeking in to hear the sultry and haunting sounds of Unwoman or Eli August, please look for me at my table where I’ll have books and other goodies. Come by to get your book signed or to have a chat.


Follow my thoughts and experiences at the fair via Twitter #SPWF or on my FB Page.


See you at the fair!


-_Q


*one in three, actually. The other two who have stated that a particular known rapist isn’t welcome at their event are AnomalyCon in Denver and Mickey Flint’s Steampunk Shows in Florida. If any other convention would like to join them, I’d be happy to speak at your show as well. For now, places like the now-(happily)-defunct SteamCon and Wild Wild West Con, who knew details of the assault and still honored a known rapist with Guest of Honor status, I’ve got only two words: Fuck You.
Filed under: Events & Contests, Steampunk Spotlight, Trauma & Recovery Tagged: author, convention, misogyny, o.m. grey, olivia grey, order of the white feather, rape, rape survivor, sexual assault, shattered, silver goggles, steampunk, steampunk worlds fair
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Published on May 15, 2014 12:09 • 25 views