My Life In Neon

Sci Fi / Fantasy writer Autumn Nicole Bradley – Dream in digital, live in neon

Archive for the category “Miscellaneous”

Girls With Slingshots

Anyone else seeing something familiar about the new girl in Girls With Slingshots?

Lydia Neon in Girls With Slingshots

A curiously familiar face…

Maybe this will help…


Lydia Neon

Player 2 Shirts Now On Sale

Show your support for Player 2 by picking up an “I deserve” shirt, based on the “I deserve all that and more.” passage in the game. You can order any of the tops Zazzle has in stock, not just the one in the image:


This is the back of the shirt:

Player 2 Shirt Back - Click to Enlarge

Player 2 Shirt Back – Click to Enlarge


Player 2: A game by Lydia Neon

Play Player 2

Play Player 2

Player 2 is a game about resolving conflicts with others that involves the real experiences of the player as an experiment into exoludic games.

Player 2 was created for the “Your Enemies Don’t Have To Die For You To Win” #CreativeConflictJam


Play Player 2 here


Update 8/30/13: Player 2 shirts are now available!


My Experience at CONvergence 2012

Quick review of my experience at CONvergence 2012:

1) I’m not used to being misgendered so frequently and so readily. The number of men in costume as female characters made it so that not only did I not stand out for gender bending, but I was assumed to be in costume. Which. . . so much side-eye. . .

2) Due to phone battery issues I had to find crash space at the Con the first night, and all I had to do was say the word to a fellow trans woman I met and she found yet another trans woman who had space. The sisterhood is strong.

3) The con itself had some amazing safety protocols in place. The Bridge dance/party/hangout room was a “Safe Space(station)”, a space-themed safe space right next to the center where attendees could report to volunteers any incidents that made them feel unsafe or unwelcome. They had numerous signs up saying things like “Costume is not Consent”.

4) I spent most of the con meeting other trans people and talking trans stuff. On the last day, there was an impromptu gathering of trans and gq people who met and squatted in a conference room. Informal plans were made to get a party room next year aimed at providing a trans-positive space and education for cis people coming through.

5) Partied in the Skepchicks/Freethoughtblogs rooms and hung out with their queer bloggers talking shop. Spent quite a bit of time talking with Benny which was a blast. Never felt unsafe, but I did feel put on the spot about a few things by some cis folks once a bout of misgendering forced me to come out to deal with it. I can chalk up indelicately asked questions to alcohol; I got indelicately asked questions about non-trans stuff too. 😛

6) Met with Rachel Gold for dinner and spent 4 hours talking about the split in the lesbian community, trans children, her book, her (overwhelmingly) positive experiences with trans women and how they taught her about empowered femininity.

7) I caught up with an old friend from college, and we joked about how we were both too shy to talk to each other before but I’m not that different, just happier.

8) Someone recognized me from my transition timeline montage photos on r/trans, which always makes me feel good that I’ve paid forward the benefit I got from seeing someone else’s timeline a year and a half ago (holy shit, it’s been that long…). The lovely and kind trans woman I spent the weekend hanging out with even had someone come up to her to directly state they were inspired by her. So awesome! (Also, we have the same birthday and we started HRT the same day. Eerie)

9) Finally, an androgyny win moment: “Someone said they met someone partying [in the Skepchicks room] with bright pigtails but they couldn’t tell what sex they were, just that they had the most amazing cheekbones.” I feel like I have achieved my goals when someone says “I don’t know what I’m looking at, I just know I like it.” 😀 I think it’s hard to explain why this was such a cool moment, but this was exactly the “spot” I transitioned to be in. I plan to keep going to the female side medically, so that I can more safely come back to where I am now.

10) Most of the panels were kinda bland. Comic universe reboots panel didn’t want to touch the idea of rebooting a universe to address current social justice issues because that’s too politically charged. So instead they redirected to style and storytelling and wiping away retconning. You know, cis white male problems. The strong female characters panel kept equating female strength with violence, and it was the only male member of the panel who consistently addressed other forms of strength as being just as legitimate. Catherine Lundhoff did a great job of bringing up the idea of protagonists with atypical body types, which led me to bringing up how viewing Charlize Therons’ character as an ideal trans portrayal was a fan headcanon that made the movie Prometheus far better. My point was that it informed all of her character choices and relationships without ever being addressed or questioned. One of the panelists thanked me for that afterward. Then a guy quipped about chainmail bikinis that they are more effective for “mobility and heat management”. Cue collective facepalm. Diversity in steampunk was still very white, very western, just not British Empire. Definitely not the most provocative conversations.

TL;DR: Very trans welcoming environment.


I’m rebuilding the site after WordPress’s latest update entirely broke it. You know, they say to use child themes so that doesn’t happen, but they so radically changed the underlying architecture that it still screwed it all up.

You may have noticed I haven’t written much here lately, and much of that has had to do with making time to fix the site itself. I’ve been preoccupied with other blogging efforts focused on my transition, and this entire year has distracted me from my writing in a big way.

With much of the transition stuff out of the way, I hope to focus on other things again.

I have an article up at

Larry King is why L, G, B, and T are together.

I often hear the question asked, “Why does T belong with LGB?” It’s usually followed with the logic “LGB all refer to sexuality, while T is about sex/gender.” Larry King is why we belong together.

During the pretrial and trial we learned that Larry King was gay. The media coverage focused significant attention on that fact: this was a gay murder trial, not just a murder trial. But between the crossdressing and the potential name change to Leticia, there was also compelling evidence that King was in the process of discovering they were trans, and that I and many others are remiss in not using female pronouns. (Sadly, King was killed before they could say one way or another so I will keep the pronouns neuter.)

Read the whole thing at


I got called a faggot to my face today.

Nevermind that I am not the first to have this epithet hurled at me; nevermind that this is hardly the worst thing that I have been called or the worst thing done to me; nevermind that it is not even accurate. I know these things, and they change nothing about what I have to say, or how threatened I felt.

Allow me to set the scene:

Right now, as a mid-transition trans woman, I have obvious breasts that my t-shirt almost hides and are just shy of needing a bra. I have longer hair which naturally curls out, and I have a womanly sway to my walk.

It started at Wal-mart dropping off my progesterone prescription, where I had just gotten done explaining “Yes, that is really me, and yes, my doctor is prescribing progesterone for me.” I return to my car. I check my pocket for my keys and realize only my phone is there. I had locked my keys in my car.

I am only about a mile down the road, and I did a hell of a lot more walking in Chicago, so that is no problem. I figure it is a great excuse to walk a couple miles now instead of later in the evening. Things go fine at first.

A car rounds the corner up ahead. There is no sidewalk, so I am walking down the shoulder of a four lane road. My other option is to walk through the unkempt field, and I’ve walked and jogged down the road a thousand times. There’s plenty of room on the shoulder, so I don’t think anything of it when the car doesn’t move over to the middle lane.

I’m only a block from my home.

Then the car slows down. Strange, but they might be turning so I think nothing of it. First a head, then shoulders, then an entire torso emerges from the passenger window as it comes toward me. A young man, late teens, early twenties hangs out of the car and makes eye contact with me. Whatever this is, it is about me. I can’t see if he’s holding anything, I can barely see his face with the silhouette. As he passes, he shouts “Faggot!”

I can hear the laughing as the car accelerates away, but I don’t turn around. I’m too startled to even look back for the license plate.

I reach my house, and I close my door. I get my spare keys. I know I need to go back out there and walk down that very same road. Toward Wal-mart where my car is, but also the largest concentration of people who think “faggot” is just what “those queers” are called. I just stand there with the door closed behind me.

Now, I know what you are thinking; I thought the same thing myself:

Was this just some kid who was probably going to say that to anyone who was walking down the street? Yes. They had committed to hanging out the window well before they could tell who I was or see any distinguishing features.

Was this completely harmless and juvenile? Yes.*

*This time.

And there is the problem: the asterisk. It was harmless this time.

Anti-transgender hate crimes account for 1 in every 1000 murders per year.

This list comes to mind.

Or more recently, the beating of Chrissy Lee Polis.

This didn’t happen on the internet. This wasn’t some 12 year old on XBox Live. This was live and in person.

When you are visibly gender variant, and someone shouts “Faggot” at you from a moving vehicle, it doesn’t matter that it’s totally the wrong slur for the moment. It doesn’t matter that for the people in the car, it was just a cheap laugh. It doesn’t matter that slurs are rarely coupled with violence in practice.

When the slur gets hurled at you by a complete stranger, presumably based on your appearance, and you’re alone, what can possibly cross your mind in that instant other than, “Is this time my time to be the target of hate violence?”

I suffer from Patulous Eustachian Tube

This post was originally marked private by mistake. So some of this has changed.

I suffer from a Patulous Eustachian tube. It’s an ear disorder where my Eustachian tubes pop open and so when I speak, it sounds as though I am shouting into my own ears (it’s called autophony). I’ve had this problem since 6th or 7th grade, but I never knew what it was called until today. I’ve seen a number of doctors about it, even to the point of surgery, but it was never properly diagnosed.

I used to sing and act.

Yes, that’s past tense. In high school I was in 4 choirs, and I was always in rehearsal for a play at the local theatre. It’s part of why I went to college for film and theatre. I wanted to perform and I wanted to direct performers.

But toward the end of high school, the problems with my ears started to get worse. Projecting my voice became difficult because even speaking at a normal volume is the equivalent of shouting when the tubes are open. So I started seeing doctors and specialists about it. They diagnosed me with having a deviated septum in my nose, the result of having broken it as a toddler and the tissues healed side-by-side instead of along the broken edges. That deviated septum was causing constant blockages in my sinuses. Now, those blockages may have changed the pressure levels in my nose to the point that my Eustachian tubes were popping open, and I will say my sinuses are amazingly clear since. But it didn’t solve the real problem.

So when I got to college, I ended up dropping out of choir. I took fewer acting roles and refused to practice outside of rehearsal. There was a “cap” on how much volume I could muster because as I took a deep breath to ready myself, the tubes would pop open. I started breathing more shallowly, using more muscle and less air for speaking, developing a hoarseness to my voice that made singing difficult. I also have severe stiffness in my neck from holding my head in a position that doesn’t let the tubes pop open.

The only time I can speak at a normal volume is when my head is upside down.

This has bled into every aspect of my life. I don’t sing anymore, I don’t act. I avoid speaking whenever possible. I avoid speaking for extended periods. I have a weird facial tic where I am flexing my muscles oddly in order to keep the tube closed. I have a sharp sniffing habit from trying to force it closed by air pressure, which is very dangerous to the ears themselves, but it’s all I can do.

In the past two months, it has gotten significantly worse. Now, my right tube is always partially or fully open. My left tube pops open fully fairly regularly. I became fully aware of how bad it had gotten during exercise walks with my mom. I would find myself unable to speak after a short time because of this. It also came up due to the physical work I am doing for transition: making a conscious effort to relax my neck and shoulders, voice retraining, posture. All these things make it harder to hold a pose that keeps the tubes shut, and it has made me very conscious of why I have been so stiff all these years. When I relax, the tubes open. Cause and effect.

But now I am looking into solutions. It’s been 15 years, so my situation is very advanced relative to those who find help from home remedies like herbal teas and cutting caffeine. The other home remedies are: cut chocolate, cut sodium, cut exercise, gain weight. Seriously. Those are the home solutions.

My ADHD meds would normally make this situation worse, but it was so bad already that there wasn’t much damage they could have done.

At this point, I am probably looking at surgery. I will be trying to schedule a specialist visit next week to take care of this once and for all.

I cannot express how much relief I feel just by knowing that this problem has a name, and there are possible treatments for it at last. Finally, there is hope.

I want my music back. I want my acting back. I want to be able to speak to people without worrying how long I’ll be able to keep talking. I want to be able to relax again.

Screen Name Blasphemy follow-up

So, after a bit more Google searching of PsychicToaster, I have actually found several instances of others using my screen name. (Gasp!)

There’s at least one other blogger, and someone snagged the Steam ID on the new “custom URL” feature. The most bizarre one was the League of Legends post I came across since it actually sounds like something I might write if I were in the same position. It even kinda reads like my forum postings.

Eventually, I even came across someone using FileFront all the way back in 2001 that sullied my name with posts featuring some atrocious spelling (“betta” instead of “better”, “pole” instead of “poll”, no capitalization, no punctuation, euch!). I know it was 10 years ago, but I have never bought into the notion that typing on the Internet excuses poor grammar. That, and I didn’t even know about FileFront until at least 2006-ish when we were using it to distribute build files for a mod.

Amazingly, In my searching I found something extremely useful. I had “favorited” a slide show I had seen on SlideShare a while back. I had been searching for that slide show for at least the last year, but all I had been able to find was a similar one from a conference lecture. This one had a particular driving theme to it that really resonated with me as a designer and when I tried to reinvent the concept from what I remembered, I found I couldn’t quite capture the nuance that made their proposed model functional.

For the curious, here it is:

Post Navigation