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.]

15 (More) Facts About Me!

Hello, friends! I had so much fun thinking of random facts about myself on Twitter (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here to read my previous post), that I decided to write a second post with more fun facts! The tweet that I posted on Twitter got a grand total of 23 likes! I wrote out 15 facts in the last post, so I’ll be writing about the 8 facts that I put up on Twitter, as well as 7 bonus facts!

Not that I am important, or interesting… but this is really fun for me. I had to really think about myself to come up with things to list, haha. So here we go!

Jan Fact #16: I desperately need to have a yard sale.
I have been meaning to do a yard sale for the last 2 years, but kept putting it off. Now it is winter again, so I have to wait until spring. I have so much crap! We have two massive boxes of misc. decor and clothes just sitting in Kyle’s mom’s garage, and now we have four trash bags of JUST baby clothes, some more adult clothes, and some other baby items to sell. So. Much. Stuff.

Jan Fact #17: I love Spelunker World.
We recently got a PS4, but the only game I’ve been playing on it is Spelunker World, which is super fun. We have other games, like GTA V, NBA 2k16, COD: AW, and a few others… but Kyle mostly plays those. I make sure to log in daily to get my rewards, but I only get to play for a little bit each day, usually during nap time. It is addicting though. And so infuriating. It is free, so if you have a PS4 (I dunno if it is available for PS3 or not), you should play it. You can play online with other people, too… but they are mostly 10 year olds. So, yeah.

Jan Fact #18: I’m openly Pansexual.
I’ve known that I was bisexual since I was 12 years old, and came out at 13 to my mom. The only thing she had to say was, “Gross.” but it never came up after that. She and I never talked about relationships and such anyway, so it was fine. I never really came out to people, I just lived out. I was always open about my sexuality. Luckily, I lived in a town that was pretty accepting of people. If I liked a girl, I told her. If someone asked if I liked girls, I was honest. Last year, I was told to look up the term “pansexual”, as my friend wanted to know if I could relate. I did. And shortly after realizing that this term described me, I came out on Twitter.

Jan Fact #19: My favorite color is green!
All the lovely shades of green. Green is such a happy color.

Jan Fact #20: I have siblings. Kind of.
I am my mother’s only child, but have an assortment of step/half siblings in my life. I’m not in contact with any of them. I have an older half-brother (26) named Dustin, who has two sons named Phoenix (2) and Ryker (1). I also have two younger half-sisters (11 and 4) named Desiree and Makaela. Although my mom never married her boyfriend, they have been together for 16 or 17 years (or more), and I consider his son, Lawrence (25) to be my step-brother.
Here is where things get complicated. Desiree and Makaela are my dad’s daughters, making them my half-sisters, but they were taken away from him and his girlfriend, Anthena. Desiree was taken away, along with Anthena’s other two daughters, whose names USED to be Miranda and Brianna. All 3 girls were adopted by a woman named Amy, and her husband, Sean. In the adoption, the two older girls changed their names to Jayla and Jamie, respectively. I consider both of these girls, now 19 and 17, to be my sisters, although I haven’t seen them in years.
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This picture was taken in 2008, the last time I saw the girls. This was at Desiree’s 4th birthday, a few weeks before I left for college. That is my grandmother. We won’t talk about her, but she is the main reason I haven’t seen the girls. I went back to Maine a few years ago, and had planned to see them, but she told me that Desiree wouldn’t understand who I was, despite being 8 years old. She said she didn’t understand adoption, or something, and it would confuse her. Yet, my grandmother was able to see her with no issue… whatever. So, yeah. I don’t talk to any of my family.

Jan Fact #21: I almost never wear matching socks.
I don’t know why. I don’t do it to be “cool”, or whatever. I think I am just too lazy to match them up. I wore matching socks yesterday though, and it felt weird.

Jan Fact #22: I refuse to wear pajama pants outside.
I don’t know if it is because I feel self-conscious, or if I just don’t like looking like a total bum, but I honestly don’t know if I ever have worn pajama pants outdoors. Certainly never to the store, or any other destination. Only yoga pants or jeans (maaaybe a skirt) for this girl.

Jan Fact #23: Liam was planned.
Despite what people seem to think, Liam was a planned baby. We never TRIED to have a baby (as in, we didn’t worry about positions, and ovulation, etc.), but we stopped trying to prevent one. When we started this journey, we were financially stable, and things were great. It wasn’t until after I got pregnant that everything went to hell, and we ran into money problems. So when people say things like, “Don’t have a kid if you can’t afford one.” it makes me want to scream. You don’t know what will happen. You just don’t. So shut up. It took over 10 months to get pregnant. According to my doctor, he was conceived on my birthday… haha. Best decision I’ve ever made.

*BONUS*
Jan Fact #24: I’ve always felt weird calling myself a “gamer”.
I love games. I love playing games. However, I don’t really play them anymore. I grew up with my N64 (which I still have), my XBox, and my PS2/3, and played a whole assortment of things on them… but, I don’t know. I feel like, for some reason, when I think of the term “gamer”, I think of games like Call of Duty, Halo, and such. I preferred games like The Sims, DDR, and Legend of Zelda. It is silly, I know. Gamers play games. All sorts of games. And those ARE games! I mean, I played World of Warcraft for 10 years, but even then, I didn’t feel like a gamer. And now, I get all of my enjoyment from watching other people (like Markiplier, Jacksepticeye, PewDiePie, and others) play games that I wish I could play. Meh.

Jan Fact #25: I love spicy food.
I have memories of my grandmother giving me jalapeno peppers off of her sub whenever she got Subway when I was really little, and now I love them. I add Tabasco sauce or Sriracha to everything I eat. Pasta, rice, soup, vegetables… I love it. Pepperjack is my favorite cheese. I need my salsa super hot. The Diablo and Ghost Pepper sauces at Taco Bell are a complete joke and are not hot!

Jan Fact #26: I love pickles.
I think it is the salt. I love dill pickles (get out of here with your nasty sweet pickles). I also love olives! All olives. When I was pregnant, and still working at Target, I used to buy jars of baby pickles and eat almost a whole jar on my lunch break… and it wasn’t because I was pregnant. I just used that as an excuse.

Jan Fact #27: I am an Atheist.
I don’t care what religion you practice, I really don’t. I won’t judge you, unless you are hurting people. Respect my (lack of) belief, and I will respect yours. I have my reasons for not believing in a deity, and you have your reasons for your beliefs. Do not try to convince or convert me. Do not get into a debate with me, or insult me. I’ve heard it all, and I don’t care. 🙂

Jan Fact #28: I want a daughter.
If my next child is a boy, I won’t be upset, but I might be a bit sad. We agreed to stop at two kids (we’ll see…), but I want three. I would love to have a daughter.

Jan Fact #29: I am secretly sort of girly.
My mouse is a very colorful owl, and my mouse pad is teal/white chevron. My wardrobe contains mostly black, but I do love color. I like boots, makeup, scarves,and jewelry… I’m just too broke/scared to wear any of it. Shh.

Jan Fact #30: I love tattoos and piercings.
I really, really do. I’ve had my ears pierced since I was an infant, and got my eyebrow pierced when I was 15. I had to take my eyebrow ring out a year later, due to infection, but re-pierced it when I was 19, and took it out just this year, due to grabby baby hands. Kyle and I both have several tattoos planned out, but no funds to get them. I also would like to get a few more piercings, once Liam is out of his grabby stage. I am very vanilla on the outside.

So, there you go! Hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me. I am pretty open and honest about all aspects of my life, so if you ever want to ask me something, or talk about anything, please feel free!

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan