Inktober Shenanigans

I seem to have been drafted into taking part in this year’s Inktober – a challenge to draw and post a picture every day.

But wait, I hear you say – only one picture? Who are you kidding? It’s getting to stop drawing that’s usually the challenge.

All true, which is why I sound a little bemused, because I usually throw away 80 percent of my doodles, or evolve them into ever-larger canvasses in sketch books so it’s harder to note what’s been done on any given day.

So what I’m trying to do is use the daily prompts to force me out of my comfort zone of drawing grotesques and snarling demons. I’m posting things mostly to my Instagram account, which advertises to Twitter as well, and thence to Facebook.

It’s an intriguing exercise, and one I’m glad I’ve taken on.

Bi the Bi Positivity

A couple of weeks ago you might have noticed an uptick in bisexual awareness and visibility as we had a month of throwing off invisibility cloaks and generally politely reminding people that we exist.

If you didn’t that’s okay, we’re used to being erased and ignored in general conversation and pop culture from both sides of the Kinsey Scale. For my part I began a small experiment, and I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised so far.

I’ve only recently started adding pins to my work lanyard, just to brighten things up, so thought I’d take the plunge and add a bisexuality badge to the mix – just to see what the reaction would be. Yes, there was a degree of mischievousness to it, but it was more prompted by sights and sounds of others standing up.

There was, of course, no grand reaction and certainly no negativity from any of the staff or customers. If anything I had the opposite.

The amount of smiles and softened expressions on a daily basis, from people from all walks and gender identities has been truly heartening. It’s been a great boost at a time when I’m struggling with moods and anxieties.

I’ve had big burly angry customers chill out, stressed mothers and surly teenagers slow down and hear me out, and generally felt my workplace environment feel happier than I’ve noted in a while.

Now, I’m not naive enough to put this down to a button and other people’s attitudes to the exclusion of all else. As I’ve felt more relaxed and certain I’ve no doubt presented a calmer and more, dare I say managerial, face to the world. My physical presence is somewhat solid and liable to block out the sun too – which combines with a close shaved head and calloused knuckles to reportedly be quite intimidating on occasion.

Whether it’s the button helping to soften that image, my own changed demeanor, general amusement by onlookers, or some other combination, my experience of being Out at work has been more positive than I expected – and that’s worth celebrating even now Bisexuality Awareness Month is over.