MHAW: Silence and Stigma

MHAW: Silence and Stigma

This week has been one of mental health awareness, and in typical Saf fashion I left this post to be written at the last day. In NZ it’s been Mental Health Awareness Week, while elsewhere it’s been Mental Illness Awareness Week. Exactly a year ago I wrote a post about why awareness is important, and a year later it’s still just as vital.

It was maybe a month or two ago that a friend on Twitter opened up about their own struggles with mental illness, which prompted an open discussion among our little community. A lot more of my friends were struggling with mental health than I realized, and I’m sure others felt the same about me.

Despite my personal vows to be open and honest with regards to mental health, I suddenly realized that I am essentially a freezer of feelings—I carefully tuck the bad ones away in a back shelf and leave them to freeze for a few months, until the power breaks down and they begin to thaw. I fully contribute to the lack of awareness, in part because I don’t like to show weakness, and that is a failure of mine.

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Sexuality in Space

Sexuality in Space

Science fiction is the broadening of horizons. It’s the extending of what is real for us, now, into what could (perhaps) be real to us in the future. So many of our realities are echoed in these stories set in the far future — or even a long, long time ago — but not so much for folk who fall under the LGBT umbrella. There seems mostly to be a set sexuality in space: heterosexual.

Star Wars, as anyone who has ever talked to me would know, is hugely important to me. However, there’s one (now non-canon!) character I can identify with, sexuality-wise. One! Out of hundreds! My darling Juhani from Knights of the Old Republic, who is often looked over in favour of Carth or Bastila. She is either lesbian or, because of a bug apparently, bisexual. When I first learnt I could romance her with my lady jedi I literally whooped with joy, and she never left my side from the moment she joined my party.
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