I’ve always been a little cautious about putting full identity statements in profiles. It tends to make people want to argue it and it can make profiles overly long. On the other side, people often want to know for other reasons, such as putting together lists, finding people from certain groups to interview, or just knowing where I’m coming from when I talk about issues.
This page is my compromise. I’m not going to attempt to squish this into my social media profiles, but I will list the stuff out here. I’ve ordered them alphabetically, so order isn’t related to importance.
Class: I was born into a working class family and grew up on a council estate. I attended a state school.
- I’m dyslexic. I’m also dyscalculic, but this wasn’t handled as a separate thing when I was younger, so I usually just say I’m dyslexic.
- I’ve had tinnitus since birth and have some difficulties hearing.
- I’m nocturnal. This means my natural sleeping cycle is going to sleep around dawn (give or take a few hours) and waking up in the afternoon. Trying to sleep on a diurnal cycle means insomnia, disrupted sleep, and general sleepiness when awake. It’s difficult (if not impossible) for me to sleep in the evening/night, so I spent most of my early life permanently sleep deprived. My health improved considerably once I could switch to a nocturnal cycle. This is also called delayed sleep phase syndrome / delayed sleep phase disorder.
- I have sensory processing disorder. I’m hypersensitive to most sensory input and sometimes hyposensitive to pain caused by injury. This also frequently leads to motion sickness.
- It would be fair to say I don’t process everything in ways deemed neurotypical, but I don’t have any neat label that ties that together (outside of a general non-neurotypical label).
Gender: I’m androgynous. This is a non-binary gender.
If you need to refer to me, these are my preferences:
Pronouns: I avoid them where possible (you’ll note I put bios in first person whenever I can). Where they’re unavoidable, I often use she or they, but it’s fine to use he or other neutral pronouns (zir, em, etc.)
Formal Address: My real preference is just to call me Polenth and ditch the formality. But if you have to be formal, I prefer to be called by my full name: Polenth Blake. For titled address: Mx Blake. Please don’t use Mr, Miss, Mrs or Ms. I only use these in official situations where I can’t use my prefered title.
Handedness: I’m ambidextrous. I was initially trained to use my right hand exclusively, but after I left school, I reverted to using both hands. This means I naturally write, draw and paint using both hands.
Nationality: English (British).
Race / Ethnicity: I identify as non-white and mixed race, due to my appearance and the resulting treatment in society. Most of my family identify as white, but I have light brown skin with dark hair and eyes. My race and country of origin are always questioned.
I don’t know anything for certain about my ancestry. The things I do know can’t be proven. This has meant I’ve been careful when it comes to talking about it, but the downside is people then made their own guesses. Those guesses were almost always very unlikely. So, I’ve decided to talk about it, but I’ll note I don’t have all the facts. What I know could change in the future. Some of my ancestors are definitely white, which is the provable part. Of the rest, I am Romani on one side and my best guess for the other side is Mediterranean ancestry. I don’t have any remaining cultural connections. It wouldn’t be appropriate to use me as a representative of those groups over someone who is culturally connected.
Religion: Pagan Christian. My beliefs are a mix of Christian and traditional British, separate from any organised church (I sometimes say I’m a non-denominational Christian in reference to this part).
Sexuality: Asexual and aromantic.
Species: I’m transspecies. By this I mean I don’t perceive my own body shape as human. I have phantom limb/body sensations and it can cause difficulties with some movements (it’s harder to judge movement when perceived body proportions are different from actual body proportions).