Five Things I’m Afraid to Write About

The Daily Post’s Topic #274: Make a list of 5 things you’re afraid to write about

While I was brainstorming for this post, I couldn’t think of a whole lot of topics — I’ve published over three hundred posts, and I’ve covered a fairly wide range of topics. As I was writing it, however, I kept thinking of new things that I’ve found myself avoiding. I may end up making another post titled “Five Additional Things About Which I’m Afraid to Write” (yes, ending the title with a preposition bothers me a little, although it’s clearly not stopping me). 

1. Sex. For one, my parents read my blog. Two, once you put something on the internet, it’s there for good. Three, my parents read my blog! (Yes, I know I’m repeating myself, but it’s a pretty good point.) Occasionally, I’ll write something about polyamory, or kink (well, I don’t think I’ve posted yet), or sex work (that post has been mostly finished for months). More often, I’ll post about queerness or sexuality in a broader sense. But anything involving sex, porn, toys, or even attraction (that isn’t predominantly theoretical/political) is out of the question. I have to have some boundaries, after all. Also, I am, in some senses, an intensely private person, despite my tendencies to share my innermost thoughts via my blog and to unload basically anything in my mind into emails and messages with certain friends. And I was raised Catholic — sex is just not something I generally talk about.

2. Religion. I’ve been fairly open about the fact that I was raised Catholic (twelve years of Catholic school), and I am no longer Catholic. But beyond that, it gets a bit complicated. I still have at least one family member that is a devout Catholic. I feel a little weird sharing my beliefs on God, gods, religion, and the rest.

3. Friends. One of the things that most stresses me about my blog is the worry that it’ll cause unwanted attention for people I know. It’s why I virtually never add photos of people other than myself; it’s why I rarely mention people I know by name; it’s why I don’t promote all of the awesome stuff my friends do very often. One of my biggest rules for myself with my blog is that I try not to add to what can be found in friends’ Google searches — if I mention someone by name, I generally only add things that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Maybe they wouldn’t mind, but as the saying goes, once something is added to the internet, it’s there forever. There’s also the question of whether they’d want to be associated with my blog (a fair amount of it veers pretty far from the mainstream). I just don’t want to mess things up for people I care about.

4. Being a girl. I was one for a long time, you know. And now I’m trans, and that’s fabulous. And for the most part, I’m fairly comfortable with who I am and am not, but there’s still a part of me that worries that the more some people know about my non-trans past (because I really don’t have a trans childhood narrative), the less seriously they’ll take me now. While I generally claim to not care, I obviously do care a little, or else I wouldn’t be so hesitant to photos and such of my previous years.

5. Politics and current events/news stories. I worry that I’m not informed enough and that I’ve missed something crucial. I worry that I’ve bought into mainstream media’s spin on whatever is going on — that I haven’t brought enough critical analysis (and an abolitionist framework) to the table. I can almost feel my emotions getting manipulated, and my ability to step back and comment on the larger picture slips away.

*Bonus 6th topic: Trans issues and prison abolition. I imagine this seems counter-intuitive: these are topics near and dear to my heart, and I’ve written about them or referred to them numerous times. And every single time, it’s scary. I want to do my topics justice. I want to get it right. I want people to understand my message (I want to understand my message). I’ve never quite sure whether I’m communicating what I intend and whether what I intend is actually what I want to be saying. Most of all, I want the people who have been influential in my life regarding prison abolition and being trans to be proud of me — or at the very least, not disappointed.

One response to “Five Things I’m Afraid to Write About

  1. Ryan, Its great that you actually reflect this hard on what you avoid, and frankly, I think you do a great job with the blog. As far as writing about people you know, you could always just have them vett the post before you publish it (or ask them if they would mind you talking about this or that). Some people might have a problem, but they would let you know, and then you wouldnt publish. Otherwise, Im sure some folks would be proud to be on your blog. Sex, religion and politics seem to be the topics you are avoiding (at least, the nitty gritty of them). Most of us have heard that polite conversation should not include sex, religion or politics. This is because people feel strongly about those areas, and so contention might break out, causing interpersonal unpleasantness. So you dont write about those things as much because you dont want to potentially alienate friends and family. I think thats a perfectly valid reason not to. And if you arent sure of your facts or of whether you wrote clearly enough, thats another good reason to wait on posting about something. But, keep in mind that no matter how innocuous the topic, sometimes people will find a bone to pick. Its ok! Everyone doesn’t have to agree with your point of view, and that is fine. You do a great job of not attacking other positions in a condescending or rude way, so expressing your own opinion isn’t a bad thing. This is, after all, YOUR blog. I dont think you should worry too much about what you choose not to post here-privacy is important and you share a lot with all of us already! Keep up the good posts, I enjoy reading them:)

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