Ania Onion Cebulla
Ania is a disabled, queer, wibbly-wobbly gendery-wendery, social justice activist who is pro-choice, pro-sex work, and manages to say all that in one breath. She writes about a variety of issues including atheism, sex and sexology, psychology, social justice, and her own struggles with body and health issues.
She has completed a book, Young, Sick, andInvisible: A Skeptic’s Journey With Chronic Illness, detailing her experiences with arthritis, Crohn’s and the medical establishment. She is using her disability to skeptically explore areas such as morality, religion, sex, accessibility culture, alternative medicine, and more. The book was crowd funded, and though the fundraiser is finished, she is still accepting donations through the blog.
She started her education in biomedical sciences with intentions of going into medicine. A well-intentioned, but poorly informed, doctor led her to believe that with her medications and disability, she wouldn’t be able to go to med school. Having taken English as a minor, and quite enjoying the classes, she changed her major after 3 years of studying science. She was now a literature student. In the last semester of her final year of university, she took a psychology of human sexual behaviour class and fell in love. Here finally was a subject she could sink her teeth into. She came back with a new psychology minor. Over the course of her study, she also found out that the doctor was wrong. Medical school was still an option. She decided to go back for the few classes she needed to try her hand at getting in. Her goal is to do a double specialization in Gynecology and Psychiatry, and become a practicing Sexologist.
Disability got in the way, creating a state of poverty that as of now is preventing her from taking the classes she needs. She spent more than six months on sick leave, trying to get her Crohn’s under control enough to go back to a normal life.
Ania made her speaking debut giving a talk at Eschaton 2012, about how patriarchy is directly responsible for the subjugation of men as well as women by creating false dichotomies and binaries (Why men need feminism too). She gave another talk at Ottawa Skepticamp 2013, addressing sex myths. She is currently listed in the Secular Women speaker’s bureau.
She has started several blogs in the past including a sex advice blog, a project meant as a support network for victims of sexual assault called the “It’s Not Your Fault Project”, and others. She also write for a rarely updated food blog called The Twisted Ladle.
Someday, she plans to take over the world.
Alyssa is a Hispanic-American biology Ph.D. student at the University of Ottawa in Canada. She came to the Great White North from Miami because being a snowbird is no fun without some snow. Adding her Cuban/Puerto Rican background to Ottawa’s rich cultural tapestry has been an entertaining process and one that continues to produce food for thought. Alyssa is an atheist, scientist, materialist, feminist, progressive, and social justice advocate, and that makes her everything her parents routinely vote against in their swing-state home. The joke’s on them, though—not only does Alyssa now reside in a far more sensible part of the world, but 2013’s gerrymander put her parents’ house in a new Democratic district.
When Alyssa isn’t in a blind panic regarding their upcoming Ph.D., she’s reading about one or more of her numerous interests. Alyssa reads about the many weird and wonderful animals and plants of this world, especially those she might be able to care for as pets someday. Alyssa reads about ethnographic history all over the world and how cultural identifiers shape world events. Alyssa reads about philosophy, science, and art. Basically, Alyssa spends entirely too much time in bouts of SIWOTI and Wikipedia freefall and wants to share that joy with the world.
So, Alyssa writes about science, philosophy, geography, social justice, and anything else that has a special place in her heart.
Some biographical posts:
Why I am an Atheist: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Confessions of a Bag Lady: Five Things I Learned Collecting Beer Cans for Money. Part 1, Part 2.
Hispanic, Atheist, American, Me
Salsa Fuerte, Vergüenza Profunda
For Alyssa’s philosophical approach:
Possibilianism, or How I Learned to Stop Thinking about Hard Questions
Vladimir and Ayn Walk into a Bodega
On atheism, religion, and science:
“Where does your hatred come from?”
On atheism and politics:
The Moral and Intellectual Bankruptcy of Libertarianism
The Sochi Olympics, 1864 and Today
Priorities, CFI-Ottawa, and How the Atheist Movement Failed Me
Four Thoughts on Abortion: Women’s Rights and Personhood, Expendable Zygotes, And Now for $24.99 You Too Can Have Your Own Pet Uterus!, Yams for All
You should also check out her pages, where Alex collects similarly-themed posts:
- Animal Form and Function: Eight sets of images, videos, and anecdotes Alyssa uses as instructional aids during a lab course she teaches every winter. She takes this time to introduce her students to the weird and wonderful animals that populate each group they encounter during the course.
- Apocalypse of the Week: Various groups, religious and otherwise, around the world have quarter-baked ideas about how the world will end, and they are usually pricelessly funny. Alyssa lampoons twelve of them in this series.
- Shifty Lines: Many world conflicts are at least partially caused by post-colonial borders failing to reflect the on-the-ground reality of which people see themselves as a distinct group from which other people, with their own national identity. This series explores various world conflicts through this lens, and imagines what the world might look like if a serious effort were made to solve them with this in mind.
- Quotidian Science: Alyssa occasionally writes about science in a way that tries to bring the specialist’s thinking to people outside of specialized fields. Whether it’s evolutionary biology, aquarium keeping, pest control, or non-Euclidian geometry, those posts are here.
Alyssa would like to thank Melynn Rose for her Gravatar image, and points you all to her Facebook page for all of your sketching and line-art needs that you think Ania cannot fulfill.
Ania and Alyssa have been dating since August 13, 2010, when they became partners in Gatineau Park during a meteor shower.
They live together with cats named Agora and Watson, dogs named Tsuki and CJ, three turtles A’Tuin, Cipactli, and Nanabush, a growing guppy-breeding project, and 55-gallon tropical aquarium.