Category Archives: News

From the Editors: Perpetual Ennui Edition

Since it’s been more than a month since we’ve released anything, I’d like to take a moment to discuss what has been happening and what plans are in the works. The month of April has been stressful for both duckie and myself. We’ve both been struggling with poverty and financial issues. Because of that, neither of us had time to prepare a large topic to discuss. That said, things are looking slightly better for the near future at least so we may be able to start producing content again.

I really want to start focusing on the resources section. This has been something we’ve promised from the outset and haven’t delivered on. For the next quarter my focus may shift from writing articles to collating and curating helpful links as well as creating resources pages.

That said, I do want to start soliciting more discussion topics from the community. If you have any leads, pitches, or resources you wish to see on the website, you can send them to my email [email protected] or send me a DM on twitter @FluffyPira.

Lastly, in terms of our finances, Inatri is nowhere near sustainable yet. You can donate to Inatri via PayPal or to our Patreon. I have my own PayPal and my own Patreon if you wish to make a personal donation. As always, if you like what you’ve read here please retweet, reblog, or link to us. Thank you so much for your continued support

From the Editors: Happy New Year

Well that was a hell of a month. Honestly, this is the first time the holidays have ever worn me out in this way, I was totally unprepared. I had planned on writing something for Inatri about my own struggles with unemployment and my impending financial doom, but the season took it’s toll and I didn’t have the strength to deal with writing about something so personal. Because of this, Inatri released no articles in December; we went completely dark.

That’s not like us, honestly. We have been pretty good about releasing even a small thing. Ah well, c’est la vie. Because of my own guilt regarding the silence, and my own inability to produce anything remotely legible without breaking down, I want to discuss both some of what happened and some of the plans we have for the new year.

Holiday Blues

As I alluded to before, December was a tough time for the Inatri staff. I succumbed to my own debilitating depression but didn’t really tell anyone. Instead, I decided to work harder at a hobby job that I picked up in November. This meant I was sleeping, at most, 5 hours a day, while eating barely anything and totally being unresponsive on Twitter and Skype. I find it hard to notice these destructive personality traits until it’s taken its toll and I find myself constantly hungry and having mid day naps. Coupled with the holidays themselves, my mental health was pretty garbage.

Since being laid off I’ve made barely any money. In all honesty, I don’t even pay myself for writing. I naively expected we’d be making some money at this point or I would have found another job. I’ve had some interviews and some interest in my resume but being as awkwardly and visibly trans as I am makes it hard to pass the first interview stage. I don’t interview well to begin with so having that extra little pressure of presenting as femme and knowing you’re being judged on your appearance completely fucks me over. I honestly didn’t care about this until my Employment Insurance ran out in late November, ever since then it’s been cycles of depression and panic. I will probably expand upon this in an upcoming piece.

As for duckie, they’ve been having health issues, however, I don’t feel like it’s appropriate for me to discuss their problems publicly.

New Year, New Site

Even though we were having issues, that didn’t inhibit our ambitions. First off, expect a site redesign before the end of the month. Neither of us are too pleased with the current look and layout of the site. WordPress is also a total nuisance sometimes in the most annoying of ways. Hell, we can’t even get scheduled posts to work, that’s how completely borked it is.

As for articles, we’re looking for freelance writers. I have gotten 3 pitches, and I am pursuing all of them, while duckie is pursuing a couple others. The topics covered are diverse from accessibility to mental health to human sexuality. That said, if you have a pitch for an article please send it to [email protected].

In terms of what I want to write, I’d love to do a direct follow up to my article on masturbation since it was so heavily focused on CAMAB penis havers. I’m a bit shy when it comes to finding interview subjects so I pulled from a pool of people I know and posted to my twitter, which means I got respondents that are very similar to me. Even if I never do a direct follow up with CAFAB folks or CAMAB individuals with neo-vaginas, I’d love to do similar interview pieces. There’s a lot of discussion to be had about the intersection of identity and sexuality, and thus I’d love to interview some non-trans, individuals who don’t present as cis. Particularly fembois, cis-identified crossdressers, and CAMAB individuals who identify as sissy. That said, I don’t want to limit myself to just those ideas. If you know anyone who would like to be interviewed to discuss their sexuality, or their identity, drop me a line.

Finally, I plan on either continuing or rewriting my piece about being trans and unemployed as it will become increasingly relevant in the coming months. I’m hemorrhaging money from my savings and that’s incredibly scary to me, so it’ll be cathartic at least to write a piece about the rollercoaster of emotions I’m currently experiencing.

Looking forward to 2015 2016

Inatri has been on the web for a year. We have a lot to show for it in terms of content, but not as much as I hoped would be there by the end of 2015. Provided we’re still able to, we’re going to be pushing harder this year. Hopefully with some more finance, some more support, and a few good freelance writers, we can make 2016 the year 2015 was supposed to be for Inatri.

From the Editors: Broadening Our Scope

I’ve wanted to make a post like this for a while. I’ve always enjoyed old editorial style so I want to start a “Letters from the Editor” style blog. Whether it be written monthly, weekly, or sporadically, I want an area for the staff to discuss the “inside baseball” of Inatri. I want a place to discuss our direction, new hires, and various topics related to our project.

As was discussed in our first posts the purpose of Inatri is to document and discuss issues surrounding the complex interaction between groups and individuals. While we plan to continue writing about those topics, we’ve begun to notice a trend in our writing. Having a publication created by, staffed by, and featuring writing from mostly trans writers, means that a lot of our previous discussion intersected with the trans experience in a substantial way. Because of this we want to create a section of Inatri to discuss trans topics.

This means that our topics will expand out of our focus on group interaction into more esoteric topics. Creating discussions will continue to be our central motive, and we will try not to shy away from unpopular opinions and abstract notions. For instance, I personally wish to discuss representation, portrayal, and, identity formation. The first two will be similar to what Inatri has discussed before, however, the third topic is something more personal and will discuss my own identity more personally.

This section would also allow for some creativity in writing and I’m hoping that it would engage the community at large and attract more freelance pitches to Inatri. I’d love to publish more discussions on the source of our identities. I’d love to hire individuals to write about plurality, to talk about otherkin experiences, to discuss medical topics. Basically I’d love to read and publish writing related to sub-communities related to the trans community; I want this section to be a soapbox for the disaffected.

I know my ambitions are a bit lofty, but hopefully the staff at Inatri can make this new section a success and garner a lot of discussion and response from the community. As for these “Letter from the Editor” style posts, I hope to continue writing these . They offer a platform to better explain the staff’s goals and plans for Inatri as well as introduce new hires and upcoming pieces. They may be a little dense, and a little boring, but it’s just another way Inatri wants to bring the community into the discussion.

Continuance

An audio version of this article is available on SoundCloud.

As is our style, I would like to write a short follow up to the article Genesis by Marie Markwell. It may seem a bit redundant for the staff to expand upon an introduction article, however I believe there are a few things to be said and I wanted to take the first feedback article as an opportunity to say them.

Intentions

First of all, thank you so much for your support and feedback. Projects like this are difficult to gauge initially, so your continued support and interest has only strengthened our resolve and given us an indicator that there is a space, and an audience, for writing about the complex nature of human/company interaction. Obviously this subject is not everyone’s cup of tea, but given how often we rant about these issues, we do have a passion and interest in presenting long-form writing on these topics and others. That said, the staff would like to apologize for the clumsiness of the launch and continued delays.

As stated in Genesis, we plan on releasing Audio versions of the articles alongside the text version. This was the source of the first delay, as the article was ready on Monday, however, it was not complete without that audio version and hence it was delayed until Audacity decided to co-operate. I understand that to some people this may be an insignificant problem to delay the launch of website and the publication of an article, but we believe the audio version to be of equal importance to the text version. I assure you that as we get into the groove of things, things will get smoother and the quality issues with the audio version will be ironed out.

That said, I would like to reiterate our intentions. Genesis was about explaining high-level ideas and giving a general overview of what we intend to be. As alluded to previously, the purpose of this publication is to provide a place for discussion of the (often) problematic business interactions and provide potential solutions to these problems. These interactions may be public interactions such as business-customer relationships, issues of governance, and issues of internal politics and policies that may affect the perception and health of an organization. Hence, we want to lead by example, experimenting in both an alternative governance structure and different mediums to express our ideas.

Governance

I also wanted to expand upon the discussion of our governance model and how Inatri actually functions as an organization. Building on the lessons learned by Gratipay, ATUnit and other projects, Inatri will operate as a worker owned co-op. We expect this method of governance to be fluid and dynamic, changing with the needs of the organization as well as feedback gathered. The short-term goal is to create the simplest, workable co-op set-up possible and then iterate upon that model continuously. We plan on actively soliciting feedback from staff, readers, and contract-based contributors, and this will have an effect on the governance of the organization.

Exploration of Alternative Mediums

The medium of audio was discussed above briefly, however, this is not the only medium we wish to experiment with. Audio versions of the text articles are only one of the ways we wish to utilize audio. We have plans of running a podcast that would sum up the week’s discussion and perhaps provide a jumping off point for further discussion. One of my more ambitious plans is to create a podcast for a round-table format discussion, similar to what you’d see if you watched The Agenda, however, that would require much more time and resources than we have currently. We also have plans to integrate other mediums in order to further our discussions. As some of articles deal specifically with software and website interaction, there are plans to experiment with those mediums in order to provide examples as to how a problem could be solved elegantly and quickly.

Genesis

An audio version of this article is available on SoundCloud.

Inatri is a publication centered on the problems marginalized groups face when interacting with companies. This is about the technological problems and constraints faced when those who don’t fit society’s definition of “common enough to worry about” try to use websites, interact with customer support representatives, or even get a fucking job.

This is about customer support switching to using “sir” to address me, after they look up my account information.

This is about systems that ask for your gender but really just want to know what pronouns they should use.

This is about the online and paper forms that actually want to ask about your gender, but present “male” and “female” as if they were the only two options.

This is about informing the world about these kinds problems and how we can handle them.

These obstacles often permeate all levels within a company—websites, support-call scripts, customer–employee interactions, and employee–employee interactions.

Sometimes it isn’t just individual interactions that are broken — it’s that your entire governance model is problematic.

Working with Authors, Handling Copyright, and Paying Contributors

A very small group of people are doing a lot of the initial writing and editing without payment. This is very explicitly not going to be the case moving forward, and I will be paying people for writing and editing articles as soon as it’s possible—no exceptions. And when I have the funds to do so, I will retroactively pay those who I couldn’t pay initially. Once I can pay people for their contributions and I’ve sorted out all the legal details, I’ll be looking to bring on more authors and editors.

People will be paid for their work. They’ll retain the copyrights to their work, and they’ll solely be giving us permission to publish it.

Articles will be written by those affected by the subjects at hand. Information on contributing—including any ongoing themes, as well as information on payment rates—will be on the contributing page.

Planning Ahead

Articles will be published every Monday and Friday afternoon (Eastern Time). We currently have articles planned through the end of February. If you would like to write an article once funding is resolved, please visit our page about contributing. Audio versions of each article will be made available alongside their text versions.

Currently planned articles will open with discussing the state of funding platforms, including an update on ATUnit (an open-source funding platform with diversity as its organizing principle) and my thoughts on how I would like to see the project move forward. Posts following that will continue our discussion of how openness and transparency can be thought of as tools rather than end goals (an issue that was first raised on Model View Culture). We’ll also delve into some of the problems that transgender and non-binary people commonly face when they use online services.

You can support Inatri on Patreon.