Teen Pregnancy for the Millionth Time

I am going to lose so many followers and readers for this, and I honestly can’t wait.

I have talked so many times about teen pregnancy in the past that it is probably a topic I have just about worn out. But in a time when men politicians are trying to decide what people with vaginas should be able to do with their bodies, I figure it’s time I jump back to this topic and wear it out some more.

Ironically, a lot of my early followers actually followed me because of a video I posted on one of my earlier channels about teen pregnancy and how ignorant (to put it more bluntly) I find people.

So let’s jump right in shall we.

The first time I talked about this, I put a disclaimer on it saying that I am not advising teenagers to get pregnant or even have sex. However this time, I won’t say that. If they are having protected sex, good for them. One of the big problems that leads to this topic to start with is sex shaming and you will not find that here. Sorry, I am sure you can find a blogger out there who promotes absence only if that’s what you are looking for. I however, promote safe sex and sex education. And this article itself will reek of sex positivity and shaming the way sex education has failed us.

News Flash: Teen pregnancy is your fault. And you aren’t going to stop teens from having sex.

Do I have your attention now?

Ok, so it’s not fully your fault. But let’s take time to talk about what are some of the causes of teen pregnancy. And we are even going to touch on abortions.

High school is such an interesting time. Even middle school for that matter. We are maturing, we are hitting puberty, and we are figuring out who we are. And sexuality is a huge part of figuring out who we are and exploring individuality. Yet, we aren’t learning basic things.

I was doing a YouNow one night and offered to answer teen questions, and a girl actually asked me how long she could wear a tampon and what the dangers were. This blew my mind. Are we not teaching young girls important things about their bodies and hygiene? No, we leave it up to the parents, who I will get to soon, even though they aren’t fully equipped to teach them.

Honestly, I think everyone is aware of how inadequate our sex education is. Some schools might be getting it right, they may be teaching the things we actually NEED to know. Good for them. But most schools are lacking.

There is so much that schools aren’t teaching us (insert the song here). And that includes things about safe sex. There are girls who believe that they can’t get pregnant when they are on their period or that certain positions prevent pregnancies. People believe that the pull out method works perfectly! And there are guys who don’t know anything about how vagina baring people’s reproductive parts work other than if you cum in it a baby comes out, and if you don’t the vagina baring person will bleed once a month.

And then these men grow up to make laws against vagina baring people’s health. Epic face palm and eye roll please.

So what happens when these teens don’t learn these things? They try them. Don’t get me wrong, there is a decent number of articles and resources to help educate teens. How many are reading them though? I remember once, an article came up on my newsfeed about how peeing before sex was not preventative of a UTI. While I wanted to read it, I didn’t because of fear of a parent walking in.

Which brings me to parents.

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

Ok, I got that off my chest. Seriously though, why are you not talking openly about sex with your kids.

We don’t want to ask you questions because we are embarrassed and scared. Deep down, we crave to know. It’s no easier for us to ask than it is for you to start the conversation. However, it is an extremely important conversation. I won’t lecture you on that though.

Instead, let’s talk about you giving your kids access to the things they need to have protected sex. That’s right, get your kids on birth control. Give your kids condoms.

Honestly though, I am going to back off a bit. Some of you are doing a great job at teaching your kids about their bodies, and it should include sex ed and hygiene. Talk to them, teach them, and understand that they need you to for their health and well being.

Last time I talked about teen moms, I talked about how some of the teen moms I know are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. But I have realized, it is completely irrelevant. Whether or not they become amazing people after having kids doesn’t matter. It doesn’t really mean anything other than some teen moms are amazing moms and people. But that has nothing to do with whether or not being educated about their reproductive system and having access to birth-control and condoms would have affected them becoming teen moms.

And I have talked about abortions being something some people choose because they feel it is best for them at the time. Which got me attacked by a lot of pro-life people. Here’s the thing, you aren’t pro-life. If you were, you would support the teen mothers after they have given birth and need it the most. When their world is falling apart, when they are broke, they are needing help so they can finish school. But you don’t. Because you care for that thirty minutes that the person is getting an abortion and then forget them. You only care when that person makes the hard decision they feel they need to make, then you turn your back on them.

What does that have to do with teen pregnancy?

“Pro-lifers need to start handing out condoms and birth control instead of hate if they want me to believe they want to stop abortions.” – Stevie Boebi

Yeah basically that.

Let’s sum up this long rant.

  • Teen pregnancy, while preventable, is going to continue if we continue to neglect teaching our teens about their bodies, reproductive systems, and sex.
  • Parents, talk to your kids and give them access to contraceptives.
  • You aren’t prolife unless you are pro supporting teen moms just trying to get by.
  • MEN ARE MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT WHAT IS OK TO DO WITH OUR PARTS WHEN THEY BARELY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT OUR REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEMS.

 

 

Continue Reading

Safety Pins: How I Feel About Them Now

As things have evolved, or should I really say devolved, some of you may be surprised to know that my thoughts and feelings on the safety pin movement has changed.

 

If you haven’t read my previous post on the subject of the safety pin movement, you may want to. I will be referencing it quite a bit in this update. To give you a very basic summary, I feel like if you are truly an ally then wearing the safety pin may actually help someone. However, if you aren’t willing to get uncomfortable and messy, you should use them to fix your clothes instead of as a statement of your support for people you aren’t really ready to support.

That part of my opinion hasn’t really changed. If you aren’t willing to call out your best friend when they are racists, come to the aid of a trans person being attacked, or in general outwardly help a minority or a person of a marginalized identity, then fuck off.

Don’t outwardly make a statement of solidarity, if your solidarity will only be done through a computer screen or behind closed doors where you are safe from the repercussions of truly caring. Or those of you who feel like you can sign an online petition and your job be done.

Did I push a button? Did I hit you in a way that hurt with that one? Good. That means you are probably guilty of doing just that. Hopefully this is a wake up call. Let it hurt, reevaluate your feminism or liberal views or simply your compassion for others, and work on it.

But let’s get back to the safety pin.

Here’s the thing that has really changed for me; so many people wore them and didn’t mean shit by them. I saw people wear a safety pin and got hope. Until I scrolled through the person’s Facebook or Twitter and saw them sharing racist memes or being “so glad Donald won”.

I talked about that before; don’t wear it for fake reasons. But to watch these people pretending to be something they aren’t (I felt so catfished) made me realize something; wearing a safety won’t make me feel safe with you.

And in my previous article I talked about how not everyone will trust your safety pin because it wasn’t enough. It didn’t show us you’d be there for us, it showed us you would wear a safety pin. That is about it.

At the time though, it gave me hope. Something I quickly lost when there was no action to backup your safety pin. I grew to personally stop trusting it.

Allyship is about learning, and learned that the best way to support someone is with action. Wearing a safety pin isn’t action. It’s simply putting on a pin and feeling “woke”, just to then close your eyes and continue through your day the same you always have.

It became a trend, and I watched that trend fade away as so many do.And as it faded away, so did so many of these fake allies.

We need so much more than people wearing safety pins to show “solidarity” or “support” or to claim they are a “safe place”. All our fears from the election are starting to come true. Now more than ever we need to be fighting. And we need you beside us. IF you are willing to truly be beside us.

Walking beside us in a march doesn’t mean you are beside us, supporting us. But that may be a talk for another day.

What gives me hope these days? Protests at airports when Donald Trump signed the Muslim Ban. Lawyers who volunteered to help these people. The women’s march. The people I follow on Twitter who call out bullshit daily. My friends on Facebook all over the world who are doing REAL things to show support.

Those are things that are giving me hope. I hung up my safety pin, and began to pay more attention to those around me, their actions, and who would really be a safe place for me. I guess if PTSD has taught me anything, it’s the how to watch everyone around me.

But I will still make the same pledge I made before. I will always try to be a safe place for anyone who needs it. And I will show it with my actions, not just some safety pin hanging from my shirt. Can you still make that pledge?

Continue Reading

Yes, We Will Record Hate Crimes And We Will Take To Social Media

Never in my life time did I think I would feel the need to write about this.

 

For some reason, people seem to think it is outrageous that people record themselves being victimized and discriminated against. Ironically, those same people who think it is outrageous then want some form of proof when someone claims that they have been discriminated against. Sounds to me like they just don’t want to believe these things happen. They will do anything to live in their fantasy world of peace and rainbows.

Let me pop your bubble for you.

According to the FBI, there were 5,818 single-bias hate crimes reported in 2015 involving 7,121. And 59. 2% of those were hate crimes based on race/ethnicity, 19.7 were based on religion, 17.7 were because of sexual orientation, and 1.7 were based on being trans+. Another 1.2 percent were because of disability and 0.4 % were gender related. 31.5% of these hate crimes happened with the victim being in or close to their homes. There were also another 6,885 “related offenses” that were motivated by hate or prejudice against people for their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, status as a trans person, and gender.

And keep in mind, those are only the reported cases.

Yet, when we tell people these things are happening, we are met with “No it’s not stop crying wolf” or “I won’t take your word for it because I didn’t see it happen so I don’t believe you.”

Do you really wonder why we record it when these things happen if you won’t listen us when we tell you it is happening?

The other day, I saw something on twitter that truly chilled me to my bones. A person was claiming to be the victim of a hate crime, and someone said that the reason that it was a false claim was because the person took to social media to talk about it and recorded some of it. I would link the tweet but as I started to write this, after debating with myself for awhile, I couldn’t find the tweet (she deleted it I believe). Some of you may know the instance that I am talking about, and I want to make it clear this isn’t about his claims or whether they were real. Honestly, I simply don’t have enough proof one way or the other.

But, I was appalled to see someone saying the reason it wasn’t real was simply because the person took to social media and recorded some of it.

As I said before, the same people who try to disprove someone this way, would request video proof or the person to talk about it while it was going on. You simply can’t please some people. Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

Growing up in the age of social media, it has become a norm to me to share things. Things that not everyone thinks should be shared. I probably share too much about my relationships, I know I am way too blunt with sharing my opinion, and I share stories about crazy things that happen to me. After all, I wrote about being harassed in the women’s restroom.

And having grown up used to sharing these things online, it bogles my mind that people would expect hate crimes and harassment to be any different.

“You should be more concerned about calling the cops.” Yes, but having video proof of it would go over amazingly in court when you have to prove to the judge with more than just he said she said.

“How do you have time to post this while it’s happening,” because this is my public cry for someone to check on me in an hour to make sure I have survived. Besides, I have to wait for the cops.

Viral videos, such as the one of a white woman harassing black employees in a Michaels, helps to bring awareness to these things as well. Yes, we are going to record them. Because recording them helps us when we have to prove it happened. And yes, we will post the videos and rants about it on social media. Because it is an amazing way to show the world these things are still happening.

Until someone dies or a video goes viral on Facebook, the mainstream media doesn’t care.

Even then, how accurately do they really report these things when they do happen?

So how do we get these things out into the world? How do we fight these things? We prove they are still happening. We video tape it. And we post them online. Because that’s the best way to reach a wide audience these days.

How many of you have seen a viral video of a hate crime or harassment?

I think you all just raised your hand.

Continue Reading

How Will We Survive The Next 4-8 Years

The conversation I keep having lately echoes just how minorities feel right now; “How will we survive?”

We are scared, we are worried, and so many of us are wondering if we have the fight left in us to fight for our lives let alone our rights. I won’t lie and pretend like I am ready for what is coming. I’m not. I am utterly terrified for my friends, for myself, for my partner, for my family, and for the country.

And today is the day that I have to watch this fear truly manifest; Donald Trump is being sworn in as president of the United States.

So once again, the conversation that I have been having over and over leading up to today is coming into mind. How will we survive.

 

Many of us are avoiding the internet today, and I don’t blame you. To be completely honest, I am too. This blog post was actually scheduled because I sat down Thursday night to write it just so that I wouldn’t have to log in to my computer on Friday. To be blunt, I simply can not cope with how incredibly disappointed in this country I am or how scared I am. And therefore, I will probably spend my day wrapped in a blanket, watching Netflix, and eating ice cream, because fuck.

But I do want to talk about what I plan to do in the coming 4 years, and possibly 8 if this somehow happens again next election (let’s be real, it probably will.)

I am going to protest.

Even the smallest of protests can have an effect. I used to be like so many others and felt like my voice didn’t matter and there was nothing I could do. And maybe alone there isn’t. I can keep typing on this keyboard and sharing to my few thousand blog readers, but what does that really do?

More than you think. Because one voice can be powerful, especially when it joins other voices who are saying the same thing. The louder we are, the easier we are to hear.

Am I going to guarantee results? No. But every fight had to start somewhere. Every great resistance started with people saying this isn’t ok.

I will educate myself as much as I can.

Too often we watch acts of racism and say nothing because we don’t realize that the things being said has roots in racism. For the past few years I have been trying to educate myself on the things such as racism, sexism, and bigotry in all forms, so that I can see these things in my day to day interactions and call them out.

At a time like this, taking the time to educate ourselves on the issues is the only way we can fight them. But I don’t just mean the political issues. Listen to the voices of others to see what you may not be seeing because it doesn’t affect you.

I am owning my privilege.

I am a white person, and therefore I have white privilege. I am educated, even if I didn’t go to college. My family and I live comfortably and don’t have to struggle too much to do so. While I am disabled and at times can’t walk, there are times that I am an able bodied person. And so much more.

Take time to learn about privilege and how it may affect your day to day life. I am still learning of various privileges I have. Because I know that in order to hear the voice of someone else and understand what they are going through, I need to understand the privileges I have that they do not.

I am focusing on love.

Honestly, I can’t imagine how my mental health will be sacrificed in the coming years. But to prepare, I am going to focus on love. Love for my partner, especially since I am getting married this year. Love for my family, and reminding them of that love as they continue to support me which puts them at risk.  And love for those around me I know are struggling.

Hate won’t always win, even if it did this time.

And I will be as truly me as I can.

Because my best weapon is my ability to not fit in! And when I was younger, I confidently did so. Hopefully that confidence will reappear because I plan to be as true to myself as I can, and standing out in a society that tells me my existence is wrong. I won’t let them keep me from my happiness, and I will show the world how much happier I am to be me.

I would love to know your plans for getting through these coming years! Let me know in the comments below because I might add your ideas to my game plan of survival and fighting back!

Continue Reading

Supporting Marginalized Artists and Activists

For some reason it seems our culture frowns against becoming a fan of someone (ie. an actor/actress or singer, or celebrity of any form) simply for their LGBT+ identity, their race, their nationality, their views, or their activism. Weird huh?

I guess by now you are probably expecting me to say something about Meryl Streep‘s speech at the

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 08: Actress Meryl Streep, recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award, poses in the press room during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Golden Globes? Well you were right, though that’s only a portion of what this is about. But to get it out the way, GO ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF MERYL! Her speech put me in tears. I’ve never once watched the Golden Globes to be honest. I didn’t even watch it last night (1/8/17). But my Twitter feed was filled with tweets about it, so when I found a video of her speech, I couldn’t help but watch in awe.

I’ll be honest again, I have seen a lot of works she was in. It’s Complicated immediately comes to mind, as well as Sophie’s Choice. But I was never a huge fan. She’s talented don’t get me wrong. I have loved her in everything I have seen her in. However, she’s never been one of those people I just had to go to the movie theaters to see despite whether or not I had genuine interest in the movie.

Even now, I am not her biggest fan and won’t pretend to be. But my respect for her and her work has grown as I have watched her be a voice. Her abortion activism being one of the things I have admired her for.

But, and back to the real reason for writing this today, I have noticed a trend.

People seem genuinely butt hurt when a celebrity gains fans due to their activism, race, nationality, or identity as an LGBTQIA person.

It absolutely blows my mind that people are shocked that being an activist or LGBT could be a reason for someone to gain fans. It’s as if supporting an actress, actor, singer, ect. for speaking out on a cause we support or being brave enough to be out as LGBTQIA in some way, means that we don’t value them as a person. So let’s start with activism.

If an artist is an activist for something I believe in, they have my attention.

Honestly, it is so much easier for me to support someone as an artist if I can support their views. I am 10x more likely to watch their movie, their music video, or whatever it is they do. There are times when I watch a movie and point out to my partner, “Hey that’s soandso they are an activist for soandso” or “That’s the actor that stood up to soandso.” For example, we were watching The Percy Jackson movies the other night and I mentioned the author of the books, Rick Riordan, had “turned down an invite to be honored by TX state legislature as a Texas author” because of transphobic nonsense.

Why do I care?

Because, as for anyone, it is so much easier for me to get behind someone who is like minded.

I feel guilty watching, listening, or some how supporting someone who spews hate and ignorance. For instance, Jennifer Lawrence lost so much of my respect for her with her rubbing her butt on sacred rocks story.

As for someone being LGBTQIA or any marginalized group, we have our reasons.

Seeing someone being out in today’s world earns my respect a lot. Even more so when it is someone who is famous. Why? The backlash they put up with to be happy. The fight.

But most importantly, seeing famous LGBTQIA people gives us hope.

Any marginalized group is going to be happy to see people like them represented in the media.

I find it ridiculous to see people criticizing others for being a fan of someone because they are gay or bi, or trans. Why does it even matter why we are a fan? That’s like me saying you are only a fan of a certain sports team because you went to that school? Why does it matter?!

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

For instance, I have always loved Holland Taylor. But I had no ever clue who Sarah Paulson was (sorry AHS fans). And as I talked to some friends last night and earlier today, they gushed over how cute her girlfriend (Holland) was because she always talks so sweetly about Sarah on Twitter. As the conversation continued they admitted they were only a fan of Holland because she was dating a girl.

It got me to thinking about the number of people I am a fan of for similar reasons. Some of my favorite YouTubers are gay, and I only knew of their existence because of a relationship with another Youtuber.

That being said, I am very proud of the fact that I support LGBTQ+ artists. Why shouldn’t I?

Especially artists who wear their intersectionality with pride, because it’s inspiring to so many people.

Oh that’s right, because it is biased. At least according to people who think being of a marginalized identity or group is bullshit. “It’s not fair you only like ___ because they are gay.” And you only like ____ because they are pretty? What is your point please?

Artists who are marginalized and activist? Hell yeah they get even more of my support. You inspire me and so many others on a day to day basis. Wanda Sykes was a huge part of the reason I ever came out as bi. Her “that’s so gay” commercials gave me hope that world is changing and people like me will be safe one day.

In conclusion, fuck what people say. If you want to support someone because of their activism or because they are of a marginalized group, do it! We have to support each other.   

Continue Reading

Safety Pins and Allyship

Since the election of Donald Trump in the United States, we have taken a note from Brexit and wearing safety pins. If you have been living under a rock and not heard about this, the thought is that a wearing a safety pin is supposed to show that you are approachable for people of marginalized identities. I have been asked a lot about my opinion on this safety pin movement and my opinion is pretty complex.

 

When I first heard about the safety pin movement, I was stoked. In my eyes, it was a way for allies to label themselves as such in a small way that gave marginalized identities the opportunity to feel safe. It was a statement of, “I do not agree with the hate being spread in this country and I will come to your aid if you need it. You can feel safe with me.”

And while I still feel like this small gesture to make such a big statement is great, I have quickly seen it go downhill.

The first thing we need to talk about when beginning to talk about wearing safety pins, is why you are wearing it and what allyship really is.

Allyship isn’t an identity and wearing a safety pin won’t suddenly make you a good ally to marginalized identities. In reality, allyship is messy. It’s about learning and listening to minorities, coming to the aid of them when they need it, it’s about calling out your racist aunt, fighting for the rights of those people. It is getting in the trenches and actually doing work to help.

If you are wearing a safety pin so that it looks like you are a nice person who cares about people; don’t.

If you are wearing it to look good because your friends are wearing one; don’t.

But if you are wearing it because you are willing to go to the bathroom with a trans person, stand up for a Muslim, fight racism when it stares you in the face, and you are genuinely going to be a safe place for us; then by all means wear your safety pin with pride.

However, understand that just because you wear a safety pin doesn’t mean marginalized identities will feel safe around you or even recognize you as an ally. You have to understand that our guards are up. Too many times have people told us they were there to help us when they really weren’t.

If you aren’t willing to get uncomfortable, to call out the racism of the people in your daily lives, to point out the homophobia, and to stand by us when we fight for our rights; you aren’t an ally.

And if you aren’t really here to help us, don’t waste our time. So many people are wearing it because of white guilt. But when they see someone being harassed, they aren’t willing to step up and speak up.

Next thing I want to touch is that you are all so unprepared. I have seen it so much, with or without your safety pin; you are unprepared to deal with any situation where someone may be getting harassed.

This article wonderfully explains what you should do to be prepared.

Last thing I want to say is that your allyship should be a day to day lifestyle for you. With out without a safety pin, you should be willing to go to bat for us.

If you aren’t willing to be a safe place for us daily, don’t offer to be one when you feel like it.

While seeing people in my own area wearing safety pins has made me feel a little safer, I don’t think safety pins are for everyone. It is a statement that needs to be made by someone truly willing to help, and I have seen so many people who aren’t willing to get down and dirty wearing it, that I feel it’s losing meaning fast.

However, I will still wear my safety pin. And I will always try be a safe place. Can you make that same pledge?

Continue Reading

Deleting People Off Facebook And Why I Don’t

As I am sure you can all imagine, because I feel our Facebook feeds are probably all filled with it in one way or another, every time I click on to Facebook I am greeted by messages of sexism, homophobia, transphobia, racism, and Islamophobia.

Often I will post about various posts I see on my Facebook feed and I will rant with friends. Even commenting on people’s post, I am often met with messages of “just delete me then” or “why the fuck we friends then bitch”. Nearly daily I see people posting about deleting long term friends over these things. Since the election, my feed is nearly always filled with posts that anger me and make me anxious at the same time.

But, I never delete the people posting these infuriating things. And I have a lot of reasons why.

Firstly, I would like to note that I am not at all against the delete button. A lot of my marginalized friends have become best friends with the delete button because it is what they need for their mental health, and I find it admirable that they make the decision to love themselves and realize they need to take care of themselves.

Even I have nearly deleted people because they caused my anxiety to grow so deeply it nearly took roots in my day to day life online. 

“There are no safe spaces for us. I can’t unfollow people who don’t like black people in real life.”- Jasmine Banks at BlogHer 16

This one statement had such a huge impact on me and why I started avoiding the delete button and actually addressing the issue. Because deleting people doesn’t mean that the hate doesn’t exist, it only gives you the advantage of pretending it isn’t real. You can pretend that it doesn’t happen or that the people you know would never be that way.

 

And I think especially for cishet white people it can be the easy solution because you get the ease of deleting people and continuing on with your life. But we don’t have the privilege of walking away every time those post become real people harassing us.

Having people who post homophobic, transphobic, racist, and sexist things lets me be aware of what these people think.

I know that it may seem pointless, but over the past two months as the election really heated up, I have become so much more aware of who my true friends. Some people that I deeply valued in my life have posted about LGBTQ rights in such disgusting ways, that I realized they could never have true respect for me. And it was something I would never have known if it wasn’t for social media being an outlet for people to express their opinions. I guess that is both a good and bad thing.

But even more so, not deleting people who are posting these things has helped warn me of who in my area has malicious feelings towards people like me. It is like they are taping a “I am an asshole” sign to their foreheads. That statement is fully about the people who are downright and deeply homophobic, sexist, racist, and so forth. Those people who find every opportunity to tell marginalized people that they are scum.

It’s like a beacon.

The best outcome from avoiding the delete button, has been the conversations on these posts. Because of some of these conversations, I have created a little group of people I feel safe with in my area. It allows me to see the people who will speak up and against the assholes.

I am learning tolerance.

While I have always considered myself a rather tolerant person, and I encourage opinions to be shared; I get extremely heated if those opinions hurt a group of people. And my top will fly right off. I am outspoken, and the world around me has truly made me scared for being this way.

But keeping these people as friends on facebook and engaging in peaceful (at least on my side) conversation has truly helped me find the middle ground between attacking the attacker and working to educate in a productive way that doesn’t include wasting my time. I am finding conversations on topics I am passionate on aren’t as one sided as they were when I was simply having them with my fiance and best friend. Now, these conversations are happening in a place they need to; a place I have a chance to make a difference.

I don’t post often on my personal account. I leave the SWJ stuff for my Facebook Page. But even so, I have had young friends reach out that something I posted changed their view slightly. And in that, I feel successful as an activist and advocate.

Now that being said, I don’t give trolls my time of day. People who are repeatedly ignorant and unwilling to learn, I simply ignore while understanding that I won’t reach everyone. Sometimes I will comment, not to interact with them, but with someone else who is advocating for the side on which my opinion and feelings lay. To help them with their argument, show them I support them, or to even just comment on them pointing something out I hadn’t thought of.

Building community in a time like this, I feel is super important. And I feel that showing support to those expressing their feelings is really important. Especially when they are trying to fight for rights and respect. 

“Shout out to everyone in my local area that I grew up with not giving a shit about LGBT rights. I now know exactly how you feel about my existence and couldn’t careless. 🖕🏼” – Me

To sum it up, if you can delete someone from Facebook and completely forget their racism, homophobia, ect., you have privilege. And it’s one not all of us have. So in a time when you could possibly make just a small impact whether it’s changing someone’s opinion or supporting someone who is trying to fight for rights and respect; do it.

However, I am not saying that you in any way need to keep people on Facebook who are harassing you, harming you in any way (emotionally being the big one I can think of), or in general is raising your anxiety. Especially if you are a person of color, trans, LGB, or any other marginalized identities. Because safety and self care are really important.

Just think about it next time you scroll over the delete person. And keep in mind that it is a privilege to delete someone and not deal with the hate and discrimination in person. Not all of us can avoid it that way.

You do what you feel you need to. But for me, and my activism, staying friends on Facebook with people who are complete asshats is a way to acknowledge my privilege and know who some of the people who are likely to harass me in my face to face life are.

 

 

Continue Reading

If You Really Care, Just Listen To Marginalized Identities

This week has been a long, exhausting, and emotional week for so many of us after learning that despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, Donald Trump will be the president of the United States. And like so many of us regularly do, people have taken to social media to express their feelings about the election. Now many of you may know my feelings on it, but I did take the time to write about it as I anxiously waited to see who would win.

However, today I want to talk about something that I am extremely tired of seeing on social media (specifically Facebook.) Minorities speaking out and expressing fear, while everyone else speaks over them.

Everyday I see people posting and discussing their lives as minorities and marginalized groups, and everyday it is the same old thing; people decide that someone expressing their feelings about oppression is just people being “too sensitive and ungrateful.” That’s coming from the people who threw a hissy fit last year when Starbucks gave them a red cup.

But right now more than ever, I have to say it. Shut the fuck up.

I know, it may seem like I am “oppressing you” right now by telling you to shut the fuck up, but I promise you that it no where compares to what you are doing to every single one of us who are willing to express our genuine fear right now.

When someone posts that they are scared for their friends and family, for the marginalized groups of people, for the minorities, and for the country; it is not up for political debate. They are not sitting their telling you that Trump is satan. So many of us will even tell you it isn’t just Trump that we are fearful of but the hate that he has told people it is ok to outwardly express. It’s the fuel he added to a already lit fire. And it’s the man he picked as Vice President.

But more than anything, what upsets me the most about the fuel you are further adding to the fire when you try to tell us to “suck your thumb you little babies” is you are someone we have called a friend, a family member, or someone we thought we once knew.

I even posted this on Facebook after reading so many posts and arguments defending homophobia, racism, sexism, and so many other forms of hate. “Shout out to everyone in my local area that I grew up with, not giving a shit about LGBT rights. I now know exactly how you feel about my existence and couldn’t careless.” This statement for me was a “I see who you are and how you truly feel about me” type of statement so that maybe people could remember the friends and family they are talking about when they are spreading the hate.

What upsets me the most, is the hate from people we never saw that hate from. It’s the people I have called friends for years who suddenly are very open about despising the existence of people like me.

When we post about being afraid, being uncomfortable, and worrying about our loved ones, we aren’t opening the floor for a debate. To be frank, no one is in the debate mood when they are concerned for their lives. No, we are simply expressing a fear that you are too privileged to understand. Because frankly, if I tell you I am afraid to walk the street and your response is nothing has changed; I can tell how blind you are to homophobia and transphobia because these are things you don’t face in your daily lives.

And the same goes for a person of color, a Muslim, or anyone who is of a marginalized identity. When they tell you they are fearful of the world around them, it is not an opportunity for you to tell them they have nothing to fear if they simply do nothing wrong. You will only show how blind you are while you wear your privilege.

It is, however, a chance for you to educate yourself, for you to tell your friends and family that they are loved and you will stand with them. No matter your political association, you can be an ally to minorities; you can be a friend.

And friends don’t tell friends to stop over reacting to something they have never personally faced. No, friends listen and try to understand to the best of their abilities what they can do to help.

I have been commenting on posts as I see fit, and expressing my own fear. And each time I watch people speak over what I am saying without ever listening. They try to argue that they do care about minorities but in that same very comment, by ignoring what I or others of marginalized identities are saying, they have proven that they don’t care.

When a minority speaks up and expressing their terror for a situation, it’s not up for debate. You can not possibly tell someone else how to feel because of your privilege, and expect them to have the same opinion and feelings as you.

That saying about walking a mile in our shoes is correct. If you were ever to walk a mile in our shoes, or simply open your eyes to the world around you, you would have a better understanding of what we are talking about.

So when we speak up, sit back and shut up. You have no place to tell us how to feel, and if you truly care about us, you will simply offer your assistance as we need it. But you will not tell us how to feel.

Next time someone tells you they are afraid, realize you need to bite your tongue and listen.

Continue Reading