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.]

Daily Prompt 1/10/2016 | Modern Families

Daily Prompt 1/10/2016 | Modern Families

“If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?”

I think the most shocking thing for someone coming back from the dead to experience is culture shock, especially if it is occurring in the country that they were born and raised. Technology is always changing, and I feel like if I were to introduce my great-great-great-great-auntie to a television, or a computer, or a phone… they would be more accepting of the new technology. The existence of new technology is easy to explain, as I’m sure there were new breakthroughs in science, medicine, and technology happening in whatever time period they are from.

No, I think the biggest shock, at least regarding my family (and, well, a good chunk of the population), is how liberal we are.

And we are liberal.

I’m not talking politics, per se, but more our lifestyle, beliefs, and values. It’s pretty well-known that back in the day, people weren’t so accepting of people who chose to live outside the norm, those who diverted from the path that most people considered righteous and moral. Many are still very unaccepting…

But we’ve come a long way.

Women wear pants now. They have big, important jobs, that take them away from their children. Women are more independent, and are fighting for their rights to equality. And we’ve come such a long way, but are still facing issues that plagued women over 60 years ago.

Our country is filled with beautiful diversity, where people of different races, cultures, and religions can be found in just about every town on the map.

And speaking of religion… people aren’t being burned for not believing, or believing differently than the norm anymore. That was a thing! Sure, we still have our issues regarding religion, but choosing what you want to believe, or not believe, is more widely accepted now. People are more free thinking.

Same-sex couples (and couples of differing ethnicity!) are now able to legally marry in every state in the United States, and in many countries in the world. Despite this being a wonderful thing, many people still frown upon this topic (for whatever reason), but the fact that over 62% of the United States are pro-equality and same-sex marriage, says a lot about how far we’ve come.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

I think my ancestor would be shocked that I chose to have a baby with a man to whom I was not married. They may also be shocked that my household chooses not to believe in any particular religion. I’m sure things like this won’t go over well at the dinner table… I mean, just look at how people are still reacting today to these issues. Heck, me grandmother disowned me in 2005 at 15 when I casually brought up being Agnostic. It is still a big deal to some.

Why my family and I do believe in is equality, acceptance, and love.

There have been many religions since ancient times, but quite a few haven’t really evolved to fit modern society, despite the fact that the human race has evolved immensely. I’m not saying religion is wrong or bad, but the fact that so much of what goes on in our society, and what is deemed as good and bad, revolves around writings in ancient books, and it shouldn’t be that way. It is an issue, and it has set us back as a country, and as a planet. Things that should be progressing (science and medicine, etc.), aren’t progressing like they could be, because people are clinging onto certain things that are no longer relevant in today’s world. We could have already colonized other planets by now, or reversed the damage done to this planet, thus saving future generations from having to wear hazmat suits when they go outdoors! You never know!

I also think modern politicians, selfish corporations, and disgustingly low wages would also come as quite a shock.

But anyway. Yeah. Culture shock.

I can sit my ancestor down at the computer, and show her the internet, and all that it connects us to, at every corner of the world, and all the amazing things that have come into existence in recent years, and she will be amazed… until she sees a photo of two men kissing. *shrug*

That’s my two cents on the topic.

Thanks for reading!

Jan