Pausing to Grieve (and book delay)

On Wednesday the 9th, or the 3rd of Sh’vat on the Hebrew calendar which will mark my mourning year, I got a call from my sister in Israel.

I knew before I answered the phone. Had more than half been expecting. Sepsis is a nasty, nasty infection and kills more than it’s share of perfectly healthy people.

Ima hasn’t been healthy in the entire time I’ve known her. Knew her.

She was buried on the 4th of Sh’vat and our week of sitting shiva began. I wasn’t able to keep shiva as fully as I’d have liked. There’s a reason all the mourners are supposed to come together for shiva with a community around them to help them mourn. I wasn’t completely alone, my rabbi was good about staying in touch, and some friends made time to ‘sit’ with me on Discord or by phone.  But I was more alone than I would have liked.

Shiva is over now, and I’m well into the first month of mourning. And… it’s pretty much the rollercoaster I expected.

Of all weeks, Kid chose week of shiva to get serious about taking up Magic the Gathering. In some ways, that’s been good. It’s been a low-pressure thing to spend time one when I can’t do anything but need to do something to stop the bad thoughts. (Not the grieving thoughts, those are healthy and needed. But most folks with mental health problems are familiar with the way healthy sad/angry/hurting thoughts can slide into unhealthy, damaging thoughts. So distraction at the right time can be good.)

In other ways, it’s been rough because he doesn’t always understand when I need to cut short a game, or just start crying randomly.

He never had a chance to know his savta. Neither did Kidling, of course, but she’s young enough this is all going over her head. He knows what death is, we’ve had pets that died. But he hasn’t before seen the kind of deep grief and mourning that comes with this kind of death.

Anyway, I’m babbling on more than I meant to. This post is sort of a heads up.

1st, I’m getting a post up about my Resolutions blog series this week. I don’t know for sure when I’ll start it again, though I hope to get back to it next week.

2nd, After agonizing about it since shiva ended, I’m going to need to push back the publication date for Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous. I just can’t work on it right now. So instead of February 14th (it wasn’t intentional, but I loved the idea of publishing this book on Valentines Day, damn it!) it will be out on March 14th.

3rd, there are probably going to be times over the next few months/year when this blog is going to function as a sort of grieving journal for me.

See you (hopefully) next week.

When I Grow Up I Want to Be HER

I mentioned having an identity goal a few weeks ago. This is it.

For as long as I can remember, I have an image in my head. This image is a mix of real people I have known over the years, characters who struck a chord in me, a few philosophical discussions, and, yes, some stereotypes.

I refer to her as the ‘old woman,’ partly because the majority of the people (real and fictional) who went into making her are/were women. Partly because for most of my life I thought I was a woman.

She is who I want to be when I ‘grow up.’

I don’t think I can encompass an idea I’ve built up over a lifetime in a single blog post, but I can try to hit the highlights.

The Old Woman

The first thing that would strike most people about her is her self assurance. She wears her grey hairs as the badge of life and experience they are. She knows who and what she is and is comfortable with that knowledge.

Her home is a sanctuary she has built, both for herself and others. It rings with music, is frequently filled with the smells of fresh baking, has cozy nooks for someone who needs some space to curl up with one of the many books (bookcases in every room). Outside are flower and herb and vegetable gardens ringing the house.

Her favorite thing is to have her home filled with the sounds of family and friends, but she can be content in herself when everyone is out or gone home. She isn’t very active in the local community, being content to save most physical interaction for family and friends. But she has wide-ranging correspondence with people from all over the world. And without ever leaving her locality she is able to open her young family member’s eyes to some of the true scope of the world around them.

She is one of the center-poles of her family. Organizing family events, ensuring that everyone is up-to-date on the latest changes, and folks who need help are connected with folks who can help. ONE of the center poles because she encouraged and helped others take on these roles also. She knows that if she is the only one the family will lose coherence when she needs to step down from this role.

And Me

After putting a great deal of thought into it, I do think this is someone I can become, or come close to. There is nothing in this characterization that conflicts with who I am. Not like if I, say, wanted to become a world-renowned speaker or a local community leader *shudder*. It embraces things which have always been core to me–family, connecting with and learning from people, taking care of folks I love, music, being a home-body, not liking in-person socializing. But it also challenges me to grow, not into something different, but into a more capable, confident, comfortable version of who I am now.

And since I generally like who I am now, but want to be MORE than I am now, I think that’s a good thing.

Future posts related to this goal will be varied, I’m not sure yet what topics beyond self-care and baking will come up. Just gonna see how it goes, I guess.

Lifetime Resolutions: Jess Mahler’s Bookshelf

When I first started this little series, I planned on discussing the identity-focused resolution first–who I want to become.

But (partly because it’s frigging late), I decided to start with the simplest resolution first.

Jess Mahler’s Bookshelf

It really is that simple, I want ‘Jess Mahler’s Bookshelf’. I want to be able to fill a shelf with books that have my name on the spine. Books that I can be proud to say are mine.

Depending on how you look at it, I’m either being ambitious or low balling. On the one hand, I’ve already written and published more books than 99% of people ever will. On the other hand, a typical shelf holds around 20 or 25 books, and many prolific authors have written over a hundred books.

But to get that kind of output, you need to be writing full time. Being a full-time writer has been an on-again-off-again dream for a while. The truth, though, is that I can’t see myself finding the time, energy, or sanity to write full time. At least, not without sacrificing my ability to achieve my other goals.

So one shelf’s worth of books sounds right. A book every year or two, as it were.

Note, I haven’t said anything about making money from these books, developing a fan base, etc.

One of the hard truths I accepted this year is that marketing is something I struggle with and don’t much like. And I don’t want to make it a focus anymore. I like both me and my writing better when I’m writing for love of it. For me, writing with another end goal in mind (like making money) becomes self-destructive.

I will do some marketing, but it’s going to be a ‘when I have time but if I can’t, I can’t’ kind of thing.

In theory, keeping a blog and talking about my books here and on social media may give me enough reach to get some steady sales. Especially when I get a couple more books out. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the idea.

But that’s not part of the goal, it’s a side benefit.

For more on the Bookshelf

I’ve decided that these resolutions will be the core of this blog going forward. I’ll try to write a blog post a week about my progress a resolution or something related to one of them.

Posts related to this resolution will have tags like ‘polyamory,’ ‘fantasy,’ ‘research,’ ‘werewolves,’ ‘conlang,’ and ‘relationships.’

Lifetime Resolutions

So, it’s the time of year when everyone talks about their plans for the new year, what they are going to change, do better, etc.

I’ve never been much for pinning my goals to a date on my calendar. So this post is an oddity for me. But I did make some big resolutions, so why not share them?
I just didn’t make them for the new year.

Starting Over After Crisis

This summer I had what I suppose you could call a midlife crisis. I just turned 36, so right around the traditional age for it. But it definitely wasn’t the traditional kind of crisis.

What happened was, between abusive relationships, homelessness, and chronic illness/disability, I had spent my life fighting against things. In fact, though I hadn’t realized it, my entire sense of self was based on resistance. It’s why I would always say my favorite quality was my stubbornness.

My role in life was to be the immovable object, standing forever against the irresistible force.

But I escaped the abusive relationships. And got out of homelessness. And started getting treatments to get the various health problems under control.

The truth is, that an immovable object is lost without the irresistible force. What do you do when you wake up one day and realize the struggles that were the basis for everything you are… don’t exist anymore.

It was kind of humbling to realize that my unerring sense of self all these years was really a sense of opposition. That without needing to resist those things which tried to destroy me, I didn’t know who I was.

I’m still working on figuring out who I am, how do I define and identify myself. (My spreadsheets have spreadsheets, YES I want definition and label and all that jazz. 😛 ) But in the meantime, I figured out who I want to become and what I want to do. I’ve got all the stubborn power and endurance of an immovable object. I’m damn well gonna do something with that.

Lifetime Resolutions

I have five goals, five lifetime resolutions if you will. One, as I mentioned is an identity goal. Who I want to be. The others are action goals, things I want to do and achieve.
None of these are small goals, but then I’ve never been knowing for thinking small.

Perhaps ironically, blogging doesn’t fit in with any of those life goals. But the truth is, I’ve missed blogging over the last year+. I’m not ready to blog about polyamory. That burnout went deep and I don’t know if I’ll ever take up those blog topics again. Still, I want to blog.

So to get me started, over the next few weeks I’m going to blog about my lifetime resolutions. And over the next year, and hopefully longer, I’ll occasionally share updates on my process, projects, and process.

I don’t know how much interest there will be in these posts, but all together they are going to cover a wide variety of topics. And I know some folks who followed my writing and work in the past will be interested in them.

Jess Mahler Work in Progress Updates

It’s been a while since I talked about what I’ve got going, so I figure it’s time for an update.

I’ve finally really accepted that when it coming to actual writing, I’m not going to be able to pick a project and stick with it. Once I hit editing stage, I can generally plow through, but until then I’m gonna keep bouncing from project to project. My brain seems to reach a point where it needs some downtime to let ideas stew every once in a while. And when it does, I’ll jump to a different project until I hit overload on that one.

So here’s where I’m at:

Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous is in late editing stage with a tentative publication in late January. I’m really pleased with how it’s coming. It’s getting most of my attention right now.

Planting Life in the City of Death (formerly Building Family) is is nearly at 50,000 words, so about a bit less than half of the way done. (Hoping for a final word count of around 100,000, but gotta leave room for cuts during edits.) Just found a spot where I need to make some major changes to the ending, so we’ll see what happens there. When I have time for fiction, this is the one pull out right now.

Space Werewolves is at 17,000 words and currently on hold while I let things stew and occasionally take a stab at figuring out orbital mechanics. I don’t I’ve mentioned Space Werewolves on here before, since I just started it over the summer. Let’s see. I usually don’t do those analogy things to describe my work, but I think this might work: werewolves + human & transgender ship multi-body cyborg + the Underground Railroad in space.

Polyamory and Kink is in early drafting stage. I’m not actually sure how many words I have, but I’ve got a rough outline/table of contents and about a dozen sections either written or roughed in. Currently on hold.


It’s Time to Tell Men What They Are Doing Right

I want to say a thing to my fellow women and non-men. And I’m probably gonna piss a bunch of you off.

We need to do a better job of acknowledging the good things men do.

Sit on your knee-jerk for a minute and hear me out.

A while ago, I was watching a program for parents and the guy up on stage made the point that in a healthy marriage, people say four good things to each other for each negative thing they say. But many kids here 10 negative things about each themselves for every 1 positive thing they here.

This is an important facet of human interaction. If we don’t tell people what they are doing right and only criticize them for what they are doing wrong, the vast majority of people will stop trying. The message they get is that they can’t do anything right, that you are going to be angry with them no matter what, so what’s the point?

Now, take a look at what gets said about men. I’m not talking implicit stuff like how boys toys are about doing stuff and girls toys about being pretty. I’m talking the clear, explicit statements about men, either individual men or men as a whole, that are all over our social media feeds.

Women and non-men tend to focus on the implicit stuff as needing to be fixed—and that’s fair because the implicit messages we get sent are fucking horrible.

But implicit messages and explicit messages don’t cancel each other out. Men and boys (most especially boys) who hear endless explicit messages about men being rapists aren’t going to magically not be affected by that message because most CEOs are men.

What message are our sons getting?

What are we teaching them about what it means to be a man?

Are they learning what makes a good man? Or are they getting hammered with messages about what makes a bad man/how bad men are?

How can we expect them to grow up to be good men if we don’t give them good models of manhood to follow?

I’m not talking about giving cookies to allies for good behavior. And I’m not talking about ignoring bad shit that men do.

But let me give you an example.

In one of the MCU movies with Captain America (I think it was actually Captain America, but don’t hold me to that). Steve asks someone out, gets turned down, accepts is politely and walks away.

This was a perfect chance for positive reinforcement. We could have had memes, blog posts, videos ‘that’s how you do it’ ‘why Cap’s a real man’, shit like that.

Instead, I only saw one person talking about how important and positive a moment this was in building Cap’s character, and that person was responding to people criticizing Cap for being willing to take no for an answer.

We had a chance to send a message, to men, to boys, and to Hollywood, ‘this is good, give us more of it.’ and we dropped the ball.

I can hear some of the responses I’m going to get already ‘it’s not our job! We already do a disproportionate amount of emotional labor! They need to fix themselves! Why are we responsible!’

This isn’t about fair. It isn’t about right. And it isn’t about equal.

It’s about building something healthy.

You ever been in a relationship with someone who was unintentionally abusive? Someone who wanted to learn better?

In that kind of situation you have two choices: get out or help them while they learn and grow. And if you can’t focus on fair, you can’t focus on fair. You need to do your part.

That doesn’t mean you need to put up with it when they screw up. You tell them, ‘you did X, that’s gaslighting. Stop.’ But it does mean that when you tell them to stop and they do you need to reinforce that, ‘that you for stopping when I told you. I really appreciate the effort you are making.’

The relationship between men and women & non-men has historically been an abusive one. And some of that abuse lingers today. But men have been saying, for close to a hundred years, that they want to do better. If men didn’t want to do better, then women still wouldn’t have the vote.

If we want to ever have a healthy relationship (on a cultural/political level) between men and women & non-men, we need to step up the positive reinforcement. We need to tell men when we something that is right.

Some people can shrug off negative messages and struggle through to stay engaged and do what is right. And the many, many men who have done that, who have stood up for and with women and non-men to call for changes, are amazing and wonderful.

But that doesn’t change what makes for a healthy relationship.

Fight to change the implicit messages. Fight to change the assumption that men make better CEOs or the way women politicians are criticized for their appearance in a way men politicians never are. That is good and important work.

But don’t forget that explicit messages matter. That in terms of explicit messaging, women are constantly getting positive reinforcement through advertisements, social media campaigns, even school programs. And men are constantly getting negative reinforcement with little to no positive reinforcement.

I’m not trying to blame anyone. It’s easier to criticize the bad than to praise the good. That’s human nature too. So it’s understandable that we’ve focused more on criticism than publicly recognizing the good. But we need to make a choice: are we going to dig in and make this relationship work, regardless of ‘fair’. Or are we giving up on the relationship?

If that latter is your choice, there are definitely limits to the ways you can disconnect yourself from men, but there are steps you can take, from only having kids through IVF from a sperm donor, to only reading stuff written by women and non-men, to looking for or starting a business that caters specifically to women and non-men so you don’t need to deal with men at work.

Me? I’ve known some pretty awesome men in my life. One of whom I owe my life to (okay, two, if you count my father). I’ve got two sons. I’m not walking away from them. And that means working to make a world where my sons, and other people’s sons, and all the men who want to do better, hear the positive reinforcement they need (and frankly, deserve) as they continue to grow.

A Deconstruction and Analysis of the Accusations and Evidence of Abuse and Rape by Laurelai Bailey

Feb 23, 2019 Update: Per a comment received last night there are new accusations against Laurelai. Additionally, as I make clear at the end of this post I was not able to evaluate all the evidence I found due to a family emergency that required my time and energy. Nor did I do the kind of indepth search that would turn up all available evidence. I am not updating this post with further analysis because I never intended a complete analysis. What I intended was to remind people to check their facts and not just take the word of random person on the internet. I want YOU, dear reader, to do your own analysis before signing on to one side or the other this or any other divisive issue on the internet. Take this as your starting point and do your own damn research. Because I’ve done all the free labor on behalf of internet strangers (which, tbh, includings Laurelai) that I intend to do.

If you’ve done a similar analysis, you are welcome to link to it in the comments.

Evidence generated through websearch


This is the first I have heard of Lolcow. So I have no preconceptions about how valid the information might be on it. The name is doesn’t lead me to think of it as a factual information source, but that could be misleading.

Main Article

Page: Accessed: 9/5/2018 ~8:00 ET

Page opens with a quote from Laurelai:

“Im going to ruin you Zoey, it was bad enough you lying about me. That i can kinda get, im an asshole. The others? WOOOW thats evil.”

—Laurelai, threatening a woman she had allegedly raped


In this purpoted quote Laurelai is alleging that “Zoey” lied about multiple people and says she can see why “Zoey” might want to lie about her. The caption cites it as evidence of Laurelai threatening her alleged victim. However there is no citation for this quote and it puts us at an impass of allegations: if this “Zoey”’ lied about multiple people including Laurelai, than this is Laurelai-a-victim standing up to her attacker. If this “Zoey” told the truth, than the caption is accurate.

In sum, this quote is chosen to get the reader emotionally engaged. Ignore it.

Summary opens with extensive accusations and no citations. Last paragraph makes reference to “Kiwi Farms” (more on them later) and includes the first citations of the article.

The first citation is titled in the bibliography as “Laurelai’s Twitter – Laurelai harassing people who bring up her crimes”

The link for the citation leads to a Tweet of Lauelai’s where she says “Anyone who is mutuals with ______ tell him to stop spreading lies started by reactionaries of hes gonna wind up getting someone killed.”

While tweets of this sort can result in a person being inundated by the same message and it is better to ask single individuals to make contact to avoid this, it hardly constitutes harassment.

Nor is it a valid citation for the sentence from the summary “She is absolutely willing to dox, threaten, and attempt to attack anyone who makes the mistake of trying to warn others about her.”

There is no doxxing here, no threats, and no attacks unless you count alleging someone is lying as an attack.


The second citation for this same sentence is titled ”Laurelai’s Twitter – More Harassment

It again leads to a saved tweet which reads “Stop fucking trying to destroy my social networks. Im gonna find you fuckers and make you pay for it.”

This does, in fact, constitute a threat. It does not constitute doxxing or harassment. It is also a threat in response to what Laurelai implies in the tweet are repeated attacks.

We can debate the ethics of non-specific threats against people who have attacked you, but frankly, it’s a null point. Worse things than this are said everyday in kindgergarten classrooms across the country.

Moving on.

The very next sentence also has a citation and accuses Laurelai of defending herself by accusing her attackers of being transphobes.

The title of the citation is “Laurelai’s Twitter – My Critics are Transphobes

The link leads to an archive of a twitter thread where Laurelai does, yes, say that she is being attacked by transphobes. She does not attack any specific person and she ties her personal circumstances into the oppression and attacks experienced by all trans women.

Nothing here is evidence that Laurelai is defending against specific accusations with claims the accusers are transphobes. Nothing here that dozens, hundreds, of trans women haven’t said before.

The fourth and last citation from the summary claims that “Even the scam-artists of Trans Lifeline” banned Laurelai from contacting them. The title for this citation is “Laurelai’s Twitter – This is what Exile Looks Like” This is another tweet that, finally, gives evidence for the claim made by the author. Per the picture Laurelai included in this tweet, she HAS been blocked from following or viewing tweets from @Translifeline.

The text of Laurelai’s tweet is “This is what exile looks like.”

We now have evidence that Laurelai has been cut off from resources intended to support trans individuals, with no information for why she was cut off.

The next section is titled “Family Abandonment”

There are no citations, only a link to a main article called “Kari Emails.” More later.

The section itself claims that prior to tranisitioning Laurelia had a wife and children, pimped out her wife, and then neglected them “until they left him”. It also claims that Laurelai has failed to pay alimony or child support and doesn’t acknowledge responsibility to her prior family.

Laurelai’s supposed abandonment of her family is treated then tied into her other alleged offenses as evidence that Laurelai is, in essense though not stated explicitly, a psychopath. “Laurelai, when she hurts people, feels nothing.” “She is acutely aware of her actions and has neither shame nor remorse for what she does to others. She genuinely believes her actions are always justified, and that her victims deserve what they get by virtue of her being Laurelai.”

No evidence is given for these claims.

Until such evidence emerges, these claims are set aside pending later dismissal.

Next section titled “Transience”

It claims that Laurelai is perpetually homeless and reliant on the goodwill of others which she perpetually abuses. Linked Main articles are “Laurelai Testimonials” and “An Open Letter to my Rapist, Laurelai Bailey”. More later.

Next section titled “FBI Sellout.”

According to this section, Laurelai first became notorious in 2011 due to her involvement with the hacker group LulzSec. Cited claims include:

1) her involvement with Lulzsec (citation links to Gizmodo article about FBI raid on Laurelai’s home and has some info about information Laurelai may have given to the Feds. Key sentences:

“Bailey’s conversation with the feds lasted about five hours, during which she told them everything she knew. But Bailey says she knew nothing that anyone couldn’t find out themselves, using leaked chat logs and Google. The feds also asked if she could infiltrate the group.”

Bailey refutes the claim that “she told them everything,” in her Medium article addressing accusations against her.

Regardless of the truth or falsehood of this claim, everyone seems to agree that Laurelai had nothing new to tell the Feds even if she wanted. )

2) Laurelai sold out her associates to the FBI to save herself.

The citation here is a Gawker article from 2011. The article gives evidence that members of Anonymous believed Laurelai was a volunteer with Wikileaks. If so, no evidence is given of her involvement.

In fact, this citation proves the opposite of what is claims to claim. From the end of the article,

“Metric and A5h3r4 also provided us with what they say are the actual identities of Sabu, Kayla, Laurelai, Avunit, Topiary, and other members of the chat. We couldn’t connect the handles to the names provided with any certainty, so we’re not publishing them.

But they say they provided the same information to the FBI. When we called the special agent they gave it to, he replied, “as an agent on that case, I’m not going to discuss ongoing investigative matters” and referred us to a spokesman, who had no immediate comment. Metric and A5h3r4 also say they’ve handed the material to the Department of Defense, but declined to identify to whom.”

So rather than selling out her colleagues, Laurelai was herself sold out.

(Personal note: The author(s) really should have just used the first citation for this line. It at least provides evidence that Laurelai spoke with the FBI, though under duress. Using the citation, which demonstrates the opposite of what the author(s) claim is a sign of either lazy research or citation stuffing.)

3) A claim that Laurelai informed on her colleagues to the Feds in realiation for “not sufficiently kowtowing to her.”

The linked citation is a letter circulated in 2017, but is actually about the already established FBI raid. While it is understandable that an underground anti-Fascist group might choose to disassociate from someone who had cooperated with the FBI in the past, this is not evidence of any new interaction with the FEDs.

Uncited claims include: that Laurelai is not actually a hacker but just a “script-kiddy” trying to make a name for herself. That Laurelai has bragged leaking to NSA’s Stux Net program. That she has “continued to rat out her associates to various government agencies the second it suits her.”

Given that cited claims have thus far been more often false or unproven than accurate, I will from here on dismiss uncited claims out of hand.

Next section it titled “Reddit Activity.

Quote starting the section reads:

“Laurelai went on a rampage with Kayla to try to get “revenge.” At some point somebody was trolling them on IRC using my twitter nick, and they became convinced I was a cancer surgeon in Florida. She openly bragged about going to this man’s place of employment to harass him, and of smearing him publicly (to his neighbors!) as a pedophile.”

—InfinitySnake, on Laurelai Bailey

Again, the quotation is uncited. It alleges that Laurelai engaged in retaliatory doxxing and doxxed the wrong person.

Section claims that Laurelai was very active on Reddit including being moderator for “several” LGBT boards and was driven off because of her behavior.

Citation for this is Laurelai’s resignation from a single LGBT subreddt, which she says is the result of “a phone call from someone reading off our home ip and address claiming intent to burn down our house.”

The letter is very angry and potentially inflammatory, but if the alleged phone call actually happened, is understandable.

Comment threads indicate that Laurelai’s style of moderation was considered overly harsh and abrasive by many users.

This claim can be considered at least partially accurate: Laurelai was “driven off” at least one subreddit for a harsh moderation style. The claim of “terrible behavior” has not been unheld.

Next cited claim is that Laurelai has doxxed and threatened users. Citation is a Reddit thread where Laurelai responded to a question [no included in citation, comments indicate question was about specific subreddits and about transphobia on them] by asking if the questioner was trans, and lashed out at them when they responded by refusing to answer and asking why it was any of her business and talking about how their gender was irrelevant, and finishing up with claiming they don’t know what they are but might be genderqueer.

Laurelai’s response was:

“So you arent [sic] even sure who the fuck you are, and you want me to answer to you on trans issues? Get bent asshole.”

Many would view Laurelai’s response as excessive and out of line. But this citation does not support the claim of doxxing or threats.

The final citations for this section are that Laurelai doxxed a cancer surgeon and called the doctor a pedophile. These citations presumably relate to the section quote.

The first citation has Infinitysnake [presumably the same person from the quote] saying that the initial doxxing was done by someone named Kayla and Laurelai “cheerleaded and promoted the posting”

Some of the technical details on this citation are going over my head, but what is clear is that 1) the doxxing was of someone other than Infinitysnake, 2) she legit believed the doxxing was of Infinitysnake themselves, 3) that in this thread she is not taking responsibility for harm done through this mistake, 4) that Inifinitysnake gave info on “hundreds” of people to law enforcement (the same accusation leveled repeatedly against Laurelai as evidence that she is a horrible person) and this doxxing was in response to that.

Infinitysnake claims that what they did doesn’t count as doxxing because it was all info given ot law enforcement and none of the people they reported on were innocent.

Here finally we have evidence that Laurelai participated in a doxxing, though no evidence that she herself has doxxed anyone. Infinitysnake claims in this thread that the person doxxed was smeared as pedophile and Laurelai does not deny it.

This citation supports the claim that Laurelai is willing to participate in retaliatory doxxing, and is evidence that sometimes she does not take responsibility for harm done by her actions.

The second citation for this claim is also a Reddit thread where Laurelai offers to share info on how to “get a hold of the person” she has been accused of defaming. Details of this supposed defaming aren’t shared, it may be a reference to prior claims of smearing someone as a pedophile, but given problems with prior citations I am not comfortable assuming that.

In the thread Laurelai admits that it looks bad to share someone else’s personal contact info as a way to defend herself “but honestly I dont see any other way here.”

This citation supports the claim that Laurelai has doxxed someone. This doxxing was a limited fashion (sharing contact info to individuals), and so cannot be considered support for the prior claims of widespread public doxxing. Though Laurelai does say that she would share the info on reddit if it wasn’t a rules violation.

The claim that Laurelai has doxxed or participated in doxxing is accurate. But there is no evidence of said doxxing being anywhere near as wide spread as Laurelai claims and no evidence that she has doxxed her personal enemies to get revenge.

The next section is “Involvement in GamerGate”

I’m going to skim over the section, I don’t have the knowledge or spoons to make sense of the many uncited claims. The only cited claim is that Laurelai owned “” and that it was hosted on her hosting provider. The citations are screenshots showing which support this claim. (Relevancy: uncited claims are that this site was in some fashion involved in planting child porn on 8chan).

This section includes mention of Laurelai being a sex worker, putting sex worker in scare quotes and referring to her as a prostitute.

Next section is “Rape Allegations”

Interestingly, this is the shortest section yet.

Links to Zoey Wolfe’s open letter accusing Laurelai of rape (more later) and makes uncited claim that 5 other people accused Laurelai of rape.

Next section is “Laurelai vs The Kiwi Farms”

Section says on “Coming soon. Page was last updated Aug 22, 2018, so it is possible updates will be made in the near future.

Final section “Other Actions Online”

Contains further uncited claims in line with previous claims of harassment and death threats. Also claims involvement in AntiFa and that she has twice been suspended from Twitter. Additional uncited claims, some of which I have personal knowledge of accuracy (ie, pro-communism posts, yes Laurelai has made these), but are irrelevant to substantive accusations and so will not be addressed.

Kari Emails

This Lolcow page purpots to be a record emails between Laurelai (pre-transition) and her former wife. This page is uncited.

The wife repeatedly deadnames Laurelai, who at the time was going by Trinity, talks about Laurelai not being the person she married any more, shames Laurelai for needing financial assistance, and otherwise says she wants something from a spouse she apparently thinks Laurelai was not willing or able to give. There is no indication of abuse, no accusations of “pimping” wife, in nothing to support the claims made on the main page about Laurelai except that Laurelai was not as responsive as her wife wanted.

If these emails are accurate there was apparently some communication issues as both wife and Laurelai mention difficulty reaching the other and not getting responses to messages. In one message Laurelai asks why wife asked help from someone else and didn’t reach out when wife needed something.

Laurelai Testimonials

This page purports to show evidence of Laurelai’s repeated transience, abuse of people who offer her space, and general toxicity.

This page is uncited.

Page has 4 “testimonials”.

Several of these testimonials are disturbing in their similarity. They all contain near identical claims of about Laurelai’s behavior. The all contain some pretty heavy ableism – “we eat out a LOT and she apparently “can’t walk too far anymore” ”, “Now see, in this household we generally eat out a lot (>10x weekly). The reality is she wouldn’t get up and come with us to go eat.”

Many of the claims made in these testimonials are upsetting but not evidence of abuse, toxic behavior, or anything other than potential depression and disability. Staying online at all times, rarely showering, not wanting a “conventional job”, sleeping excessively, not cleaning up after herself… anyone who has dealt with chronic pain and/or mental illness will be familiar with these symptoms and the way they make roommates hate you.

If these uncited claims are accurate, they may be reason not to invite Laurelai (or anyone else fighting chronic illness) to stay with you, but they are not evidence of actual harmful behavior.

Two different testimonials use the phrase “peeking my mouth [in]” to reference opening Laurelai’s door to tell her food was available. It may be this phrase is common in a subcultural I am unfamiliar with, but I have never heard it before and the only seach results for the phrase are about Laurelai Bailey. This extremely unusual phrase being used twice in two different testimonials caught my attention.

So did the fact that these same two testimonials claim they eat out multiple times a week (greater than ten times a week, in one case).

Two of these testimonials mention the writer getting threats due to Laurelai’s actions on Reddit. “She got us death threats from people on reddit IRL until she was forced to step down — true story.” “I know a Reddit administrator who warned me in fact that people were witch-hunting us and threatening to burn our house down”

Two of these testimonials claim Laurelai left immediately after her cell phone turned on “out of nowhere.” “finally left when her cellphone started working again (signalling time to leave I guess… phones don’t turn themselves on you know…)” “Well, her phone started working out of the blue — not even kidding. It just started working again for no apparent reason, being able to make calls and everything.”

Two of these testimonials claim the writer gave Laurelai a laptop. “we even bought a laptop for her for this purpose” “Congratulations me, you got played by a total fucking shitcunt. As for the $1500 macbook we let her keep? (btw, total bill of expenses for her: $4,000, in the grand scheme of things just a pittance)”

Two of these testimonials came when she moved in she was going to work for the writer “She came to our house under the guise she was going to work” “Now, I proposed Laurelai come here and use her many contacts to market a product that was really a front for the other things the company had planned. I should make note of that — she wasn’t doing anything major. She was literally there to be a social networking whore.”

These one testimonial also include several varieties of transphobia “I would like to remark she is not a very good transwoman. Most people who encounter her find her to be a joke of a transwoman.” “she ran off with this one FtM chick from southern Oklahoma.”

I could keep going on the similarities between these two testimonials. Suffice to say, I consider both of them extremely suspect.

This plus the near identical claims about Laurelai’s behavior makes me suspect that at least one of these testimonials was fake.

The third testimonial is from someone Laurelai has accused of raping her. It alleges the symptons of chornic illness or mental illness mentioned previously and the claim that Laurelai living their led to the writer getting doxxed.

I have no reason to doubt the veracity of this testimonial but also nothing to condemn Laurelai for in it except (possibly) being a bad roommate.

The fourth “testimonial” is nothing of the sort. It is summarizes Zoey Wolfe’s rape claims against Laurelai and alleges that Zoey Wolfe purposes waited to accuse Laurelai of rape until Laurelai was in a vulnerable place.

“In January 2015, seeing a vulnerable moment after Laurelai got caught in her notorious failed sting operation on 8chan, Zoey released the bombshell that she had been raped by Laurelai.”

Specifics of Zoey’s claim will be addressed next. This page contains no actual evidence of wrong doing by Laurelai and a great deal of evidence that at least some accusations against her are manufactured.

An Open Letter To My Rapist, Laurelai Bailey

I’ve seen this letter elsewhere, but this time found it through the Lolcow page. Unlike the prior two pages, it has a citation, an archive of the original letter which is identical to the Lolcow page. Of the five people Lolcow alleges Laurelai raped, this is the only one they give any citation for.

The letter is largely what one might expect. A lot of anger against Laurelai, a celebration of Laurelai’s supposed suicide, etc. There is a detailed description of the alleged rape. What jumps out to me is that this is one of those horrific situations when both people can be telling the truth.

“All I remember is you tugging me by the hand as I stumbled up the stairs. I could barely walk or stand. Then I’m on my back. Then nothing but a cold sensation and I feel your body over mine. I feel your cock sliding into me and I scream and pass out. I wake up and there you are grunting over me. I’m going in and out of lucidity. I convince myself that I enjoy it and play along, still struggling to stay conscious. You finish painfully in me and I roll over and I can’t remember anything else from that night.”

If this allegation is true, than Laurelai was either not aware that her sex partner was unconscious for part of the time or ignored it. Both of those possibilities are, to be blunt, shitty. But Zoey herself says that she convinced herself she enjoyed it and “played along.” Thus Laurelai may have no knowledge that Zoey did not want to have sex. If you “play along” and try to make your partner think you are enjoying sex, you cannot later claim that they knowingly violated your consent.

If accurate, Laurelai may have had sex with Zoey in a situation where Laurelai should have recognized that Zoey was unable to consent due to chemical impairment. This would meet the legal definition of rape and many people’s personal definition of rape.

Further allegations are that Laurelai purposely isolated Zoey and engaged in other abusive behaviors.

If these allegations are true than Laurelai committed rape, whether she did so intentionally or not, and behaved in an extremely unhealthy manner in her relationship with Zoey.

I meant to continue deconstructin through everything I found, but personal shit just exploded and I can’t. Here’s a brief summary of the rest of what I have looked at so far:

You can find Laurelai’s response to several accusations here:

While some of her claims are unsubstantiated she is MUCH better at provided accurate citations than Lolcow.

Regarding Zoey, among other things Laurelai says

“Her claim that i raped her is simply based in the fact she had one hit off of a weed pipe before hand, while i was actually very intoxicated.”

If this allegation is true that the situation is not one of rape but of two intoxicated people having sex and one of them not speaking up during the sex to say “stop.” It’s a graphic illustration of the importance of a yes-means-yes approach to consent, but as neither Zoey nor Laurelai provide a time the sex happened, it may well have been before yes-means-yes was well known. (Cali’s passing their yes-means-yes law in 2014 was the first time I was aware of that standard of consent.)

Laurelai also alleges and provides evidence that Zoey herself is a predator.

I won’t go into the rest of Laurelai’s response here, you can read it yourself.


Kiwi Farms, mentioned earlier, based on my quick skim is a transphobic site that repeatedly deadnames Laurelai and has the same general accusations that Lolcow did.

Summary: Everyone shouting about rape and abuse as if it were an open-and-shut case and all accusations against Laurelai were 100% true are just as naive and foolish as I thought. MOST accusations are demonstrably false. Those that aren’t are she said-she said grey areas and/or have extremely limited evidence.

PS, disabled and mentally ill people make bad roommates. We don’t mean to, but we do. If you don’t like it don’t invite us to stay with you.

PPS. I don’t know for a fact that Laurelai is disabled, but those testimonials describe classic life-with-disabled person-who-doesn’t-have-adequate-support. So it’s relevant either way.

Written before I started deconstructing:

I should be working on my book right now.

Instead, I’m writing a lesson on deconstructing internet accusations for the terminally naive, because people can’t be bothered to fucking Google for themselves. Yes, I’m pissed. I do not have the SPOONS for this shit right now and will probably end up having multiple panic attacks about this while my partner is in danger of fucking organ failure. So fuck you all who made me do this work, now, instead of bloody doing it yourself.

I first met Laurelai Bailey on Mastodon sometime in the past year. She seemed a bit abrasive but it’s the kind of abrasive I’ve learned to expect from people who have multiple marginalizations and have been fucked over by the world.

A few months later, I heard the first claims that Laurelai was a rapist. I was somewhat concerned, but no facts were given, just claims that it was “well known.” Laurelai herself shared an article she had written on Medium about the claims and her version of them.

I read that article, and decided that her evidence of false rape accusations was reasonable. Not an open-and-shut case, but enough for me to say “I think this is probably the truth, and so I’m going to move on now.”

Recently the accusations have sprung up again on Mastodon, partly fueled by an Instance Administrator who has claimed that all the allegations of his admin allowing Nazis and shit was made up as a harassment campaign by Laurelai. Well, I saw the Nazi jokes and racist jokes, and shit myself. Whatever your opinion of Laurelai, this was straight up deflection.

But Laurelai started getting hammered anyway. I reached out to her to offer support in private because, as mentioned, I can’t fucking afford this shit right now. But I had two different thoughts niggling in the back of my head. 1) I might be wrong to trust her. 2) If I believe she is innocent and I’m not defending her than that’s a really shitty thing to do.

So I did what I should have done in the first place (just like all of you fuck heads cluttering up my feed with claims of rape) and I Googled. Well, actually I DuckDuckGo’d, some bloody difference.

I went through first pages of search results and found three sites containing allegations. So far I’ve glanced over Lolcow and Kiwifarms. The third’s preview sentence indicates it’s a TERF site and I haven’t opened it yet. These are the sites I will be looking at today.

Echo Chamber or Comfort Zone?

Echo chamber has become a bit of a buzzword over the past few years. The basic idea is a space where everyone is saying and supporting the same ideas. People in an echo chamber are never challenged to think beyond their assumptions, to see a different perspective, or to learn new things that don’t agree with them.

Many people agree that echo chambers are bad. That we need restructure social media  to reduce the echo chamber affect. That it is unhealthy to be in an echo chamber.

I agree with most of the criticisms of echo chambers. But I think it’s time to reframe the idea, because the criticism is also missing some of the benefits of echo chambers.

Benefits? Of echo chambers? Yes, really. Though I don’t blame you for doubting. After all, everything we’ve heard about echo chambers is bad. It’s almost as if we are in an echo chamber–about echo chambers!

Social Comfort Zones

But what if we didn’t say echo chamber? What if, instead, we called is a “social comfort zone”?

Comfort zones are already a familiar idea. From school, to relationships, to work, we sometimes need to “reach outside your comfort zone”. And when we are stressed or sick or worried, we sometimes need to “retreat into your comfort zone.”

The comfort zone isn’t inherently  good or bad. It is a place where we are comfortable. It has all the same features of an echo chamber–it prevents us from growing if we stay there too long, it only holds the things we are comfortable with, it doesn’t challenge us, etc. But it also has good features that we don’t associate with the idea of “echo chambers”. Comfort zones are places we can relax. Comfort zones are low stress. Comfort zones help us heal.

What we call “echo chambers” are really social comfort zones. They have all the negative traits of comfort zones in work or daily life. But also all the positives.

What’s in a name?

Once we acknowledge echo chambers as social comfort zones, we can start having a healthier discussion about them.

One that encourages people to reach outside their comfort zone and expose themselves to other perspectives and ideas. But also one that doesn’t shame people for having and using a comfort zone. One that recognizes that some people live in places or situations where they are constantly exposed to other perspectives and their online or IRL comfort zones are a necessary part of how they manage their stress and care for themselves.

I want to give a shout out to Gargron and for inadvertantly inspiring this post. And a shout out to the Fediverse in general for being a place that not only allows but encourages multiple accounts with lots of options for privacy controls so folks can have a comfort zone and a stretch zone on the same social network.


Did you learn something? Please support my work.

Fantasy Twists Anthology Is Out!

Okay, so the announcement is a bit late, but better late than never, right?

Fantasy Twists anthology, the trope-pretzeling short story collection from Cuil Press, is available as of last Thursday. My own story, One Hell of an STI, is included as well as pieces for six other authors.

If you are looking for creatively written stories inspired by some of your favorite tales as well as diverse characters you should check out Fantasy Twists from Cuil Press

from TheNerdyGirlExpress

I think my favorite part of the anthology is how varied it is.

While all the stories are fantasy, they range from fairy-tale retellings to superheroes. They explore, twist, and recreate, a wide range of fantasy tropes. Some authors took tropes so old they have become cliches and then fallen out of fashion and given them new life. (The scary old person next door) Some authors took tropes that will likely never go out of fashion and took them in a completely different direction. In my case, I took one of the most popular tropes of urban fantasy and turned it inside out.

The characters are varied as well, including werewolves, PoC, superheroes, trans characters, witches, fae, and a character I have been told is loosely based off of the Goblin Kin from Labyrinth. (See if you can spot him.)

Check it out today!

An Interview with Grandmother: Fantasy Twists Blog Tour

I love fairy tales. And I really like well-done new takes on old tales. So I was delighted when Kelseigh N. shared a very different version of “Red Riding Hood” with Cuil Press for our Fantasy Twists anthology.

When Desy starting putting together a Fantasy Twists blog tour, I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I offered to host a stop on the tour and said I’d do a character interview. Kelseigh was good enough to let me “sit down” with Grandmother and learn a bit HER perspective on things. Some of our discussion doesn’t sound much like Red Riding Hood, but that’s because there is a lot more to the story than you ever heard.

I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Hi Grandmother, thanks for joining me today.

Why hello, Jess. How nice of you to take time out of your day to keep an old woman company. Or perhaps not so old as all that, eh?

So, one thing I can’t stop wondering—what’s with the red and blue cloaks? Is there a special meaning there, or are they just for convenience with the villagers?

A good question, that. Indeed there is, although the current villagers don’t know anything about it. Culture changes over time, you understand, and what once had a particular meaning shifts to mean something different. And we three, our cycle, we have been rolling along for a quite a long time.

But not to put too fine a point on it, from what I understand from the records of Grandmothers past and my own feelings that confirm it to be true, red was once considered the colour of youth, where blue was for those who had come of age. For the Girl and I, the division between those two roles isn’t so much dictated by age of course. But it fits well enough don’t you think?

When did you first notice the Girl? Was it something you gradually became aware of or just an instant realization that she was the one you were waiting for?

I would say the former, although it’s a much less clear-cut feeling than you may think. The three of us who make up the cycle, we are essentially the same people as we always are, but in many ways we are entirely new people every time. Memories don’t really carry well from our Wolf stage to the new Girl, but feelings and instinct…those are a much different matter. I had no idea when my Girl would come, only that she would and there were signs to look for. But in the end it was more a feeling that grew, until one day it dawned on me that this Girl out of all girls was the one I’d been waiting for.

Let me tell you, it was a relief!

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about the Wolf?

What can one say about their first love that doesn’t sound foolish to others? That she is a goddess? Perhaps she always was, in my eyes, even in her original form. Certainly she was as beautiful then as she is now, albeit in a different way. One hell of a kisser, too.

But I suppose you’re looking for something a little more objective. She is, at the heart of it, the embodiment and protecter of her entire realm. Both the things we humans would see as good and natural, or frightening and arcane, make her up and she does not judge either. She is the unseen danger that puts an edge on the villagers’ lives, and that too is a thing of value. She, that is the part of the cycle she occupies, has watched over the forest as long as there has been a forest to watch, or perhaps longer. I’ve thought long about it and discussed the matter with her, and neither of us are sure there ever was a beginning to what she is, although we each have our theories. Suffice to say she has effectively always been and always shall be, and so will the forest she guards.

How did you feel when you first became Grandmother?

Sad and happy, all at once. Excited. Terrified. Change is like that.

You must remember what I saw happen to the woman I’d loved for years. The two of us had more chance to be together before that day and I had a better idea what to expect, but it was still shocking. But now, so many years later what sticks with me are the happier thoughts. The sight of her, radiant in power, continuing the noble work of ages. Years of being together after that. Her wise counsel when it truly struck home that I was now responsible, alone, for the safety and welfare of the whole village, and for teaching my own Girl when I finally found her. She guided me through those early fears that I would not do as well as she.

I think it would have been a much harder transition without her there.

Okay. That’s all the questions I have. Thanks again for joining us.

Thank you as well. I’ve quite enjoyed our chat.

Fantasy Twists is available for pre-order on Amazon, B&N, Google, and Kobo. It’ll be out on Thursday. (I have a story in there too!)

If you want to learn more about Kelseigh’s work, check out her Patreon.