Reblog: What Makes A Good LGBTQ* Ally?

Recently, I had the honor of submitting a little something for a friend’s blog post on the topic of LGBTQ* allies, and how important they are to the community. You can read Zuul‘s full post (and I highly recommend that you do), and all the great responses, below. Enjoy! Continue reading “Reblog: What Makes A Good LGBTQ* Ally?”

GLSEN’s Day of Silence 4/15/2016

Hello, my friends. Today, April 15th, is GLSEN’s Day of Silence, a day where we stand up and raise awareness of the bullying, harassment, and cruelty that LGBT youth face every day. A day that I look forward to every year, although bittersweet. Growing up, I knew that I was different. I honestly never struggled much with my sexual identity, was was lucky enough to live in a very liberal, inclusive area, where I was free to be myself. I was fortunate, in that I never had to face any sort of harassment or bullying because of my sexual orientation, and I was able to participate in the Day of Silence every year in high school, and in college, without issue. My high school had a GSA club, as well as a civil rights club, and I was a proud member of both. I’m sure it existed in some form here and there, but I am very proud to say that I never witnessed any sort of discrimination toward any of my fellow LGBT peers during my time in school. Because of this inclusive, accepting upbringing, I am now able to live openly as a pansexual woman.

Unfortunately, that is not the case for many LGBT youth in American today. A staggering 9/10 LGBT youth reported having been physically, or verbally, harassed and bullied, just because of the way they were born, and who they love. That is unacceptable. I try my hardest to participate in the Day of Silence every year, but as I am now living with a toddler, silence just isn’t possible for me this year. However, I am with you all in spirit. You are all so brave, and so strong, and you deserve equality, safety, and love. You have my undying love and support. Thank you to all my fellow LGBT friends, and our amazing allies, for participating in this year’s Day of Silence. Together, we can end the bullying and harassment of LGBT youth, for a brighter future.

To all of my lesbian friends, my gay friends, my trans friends, my non-binary and gender fluid friends, my asexual friends, my bisexual and pansexual friends, my questioning friends, and everyone else on the beautiful spectrum, please know that you are loved. We can do this. We can overcome the bigotry and hate that plagues this world. Together.

Thank you for reading, friends. If you want to learn more about the GLSEN, or about the Day of Silence, you can click here to visit their site.

Jan

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Never Feed the Fucking Trolls

PSA: Just because something is not YOUR problem, does not mean it is not an important problem for others.

WARNING: Strong language.

Hello, friends. I have a general rule for myself when it comes to dealing with internet trolls: DO NOT interact with them. Don’t. Just don’t do it. Lately, I have been having a hard time abiding by this rule. With the current state of politics and the presidential race, as well as the women’s rights movement (International Women’s Day was just a few days ago), various LGBT rights movements, and other pro-equality movements going on, our nation has become a nation divided in the ugliest of ways. I am very upfront with my political and moral views, and most of you know than I am an Agnostic Atheist, who believes in equality for everyone. I am not only an LGBT ally, but also a Pansexual woman, and member of the community. I am also a feminist, and a Liberal. I don’t really care if you dislike me for those reasons, because your close-mindedness does not effect me, and I don’t want you in my life if you choose to judge me based on those facts. For just these reasons alone, I have been judged very critically by complete strangers who know absolutely nothing about me, and who throw wild generalizations at me, and that isn’t fair.

I have been called everything from a libtard, feminazi, fag lover, and so much more… all because I believe in basic, human rights and equality for everyone, which apparently, is an awful thing. Who knew?

For the last several days, I have been engaged in a handful of online comment wars, spanning across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Sometimes, I am guilty of being a bit of an instigator, but more often than not, I simply voiced my appreciation on a topic. I am not a troll. I do not scour the web in search of things that I wholly disagree with with every fiber of my being, just to jump into the comment section and spew ignorance and hatred on the subject. I also rarely skim through comments in search of someone who supports said topic, just to call them names and trash their opinions. I don’t make a habit of fucking attacking people on a personal level just because I disagree with something they say on the internet.

Apparently, I am a minority when it comes to this sort of behavior, because people online are fucking assholes. Shocking, I know!

Recently, an LGBT/equality page that I follow on Facebook posted the following picture:

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This graphic was posted on International Women’s Day, and while it did received a ton of praise from the LGBT community and its allies, it also received a lot of backlash from a lot of people who knew very little on the subject, and really had nothing of value to input other than “Fuck Caitlyn Jenner!” or “Until you’ve had a child you’re not REALLY a woman.”, both of which have nothing to do with what was said. The latter isn’t even a correct statement.

I posted the following two comments beneath the photo:

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Both comments received more positive feedback than negative, but there were a few people that had apparently just had a bad day, and wanted to tear everyone on this page apart for no reason. There were even a few commenters that were clearly fake accounts, created for the sole purpose of trying to hurt other people who disagreed with their views. Others had nothing of value to say other than calling me ridiculous names, or paraphrasing the Bible in all caps, WHICH AS WE ALL KNOW MAKES YOU SOUND SO MUCH MORE INTELLIGENT.

Why? WHY? What could you possibly get out of doing something like that? You are about as unlikely to change my way of thinking as I am to change yours, and that’s why I don’t waste my fucking time.

On a day that was for celebrating ALL women, there were feminists who wanted nothing more than to point out how they felt that trans women weren’t women, and gave them no support at all. There were civil rights activists, and #BlackLivesMatter activists, talking about how trans people, as well as the LGBT community in general, did not deserve rights, let alone to be recognized in a holiday. This lead me into several, one-sided, heated “debates” (I can’t even really call them that, because only one side had anything logical to contribute) across all of my social media platforms, that I let get to me. I couldn’t stop.

I let these trolling, immature, ignorant, terrible people get to me. I broke my own rule. And boy, did it get me fired up.

How can people actually think like that? It is 2016! How can you still have so much hate in your heart that you think it is okay to hurt people like that? I’m not even a member of the trans community, but as a woman who has struggled with her sexual identity for many years, I can certainly tell you how hard it is to KNOW that you one thing, but have everyone around you tell you that you aren’t, for a whole list of bullshit reasons. What if you were black, and people told you that you weren’t black enough, because of your eye or hair color? Telling you that you weren’t what you KNEW you were, what you were meant to be, because you didn’t look like it on the outside? That would hurt. You would be stuck feeling like you don’t belong on either side of the tracks, and it would tear you apart.

No one deserves to feel that way.

There are people who use sources like the Bible to back up their behavior, thinking that they are doing their god’s work in tearing down and hurting these people, because they disagree with how they live their lives, and that is WRONG. But even more wrong are the people who have absolutely no reason to hate these people, and choose to anyway.

Hatred is a choice.
Sexuality, gender dysphoria, and race are not.

If you want equality for women, or African Americans, or Latinos, but not for your brothers and sisters in the LGBT community, then you want privilege. Not equality. Those are not the same thing.

PSA: Just because something is not YOUR problem, does not mean it is not an important problem for others.

I’m so done. Back to my happy place.

Jan

[Just now, as I finish writing this, I am reading the comments beneath Ingrid Nilsen’s latest video on public bathrooms and gender identity, and it is honestly making me want to scream and rip my hair out. I fucking hate people.]