Latest Event Updates

What It’s Like To Be Gay In Trump’s America

Posted on Updated on

I’ve been putting this off for quite a while, I’ll be honest. I’ve wanted to avoid speaking about this as long as possible because this blog isn’t really about me.

It’s about politics and factual truth. Yes, my views are a major part of the blog, but I’m not the focus; the politics are.

While that’s not changing, I feel it’s important to speak up on who I am, for context’s sake. My second post was a deeply personal letter that I published here because I felt it was important to share.

I’ve been up front about things when they come, but I’ve never really addressed this particular side of me on the blog, for reasons I didn’t really know about until just recently:

The moment I say this, every single word I say will be completely disregarded by a portion of people.

They will be completely blind to everything else I say because of who I am.

The message that I’m trying to get out, the facts, the points, everything will be completely thrown out because I’m simply “using identity politics”* to make a point and not looking at things objectively, even when that’s the majority of what I do here. That’s what I’m setting out to do, anyway.

*More on this in a later post.

It’s like whenever you say anything on the internet and someone who doesn’t know who you are comments and you reply with something that’s logical or pushing against them or even just presenting new facts they didn’t know; the immediate reaction from them is “oh, you’re one of them” or something to that effect.

Except…for members of the LGBTQ+ community, this transfers over to real life as well.

People aren’t stereotypes; they’re individuals. While there may be a correlation, that doesn’t always hold true, in either direction.

Prior to the election, people, strangers I should say, would assume I was straight, mostly out of, I believe, politeness or some pseudo-equivalent in their minds; just a quiet way of pushing my existence back into hiding.

Guys (and I use that term for everyone), I know what my voice sounds like. I know what it sounds like when I speak, how I move, how I interact with people I don’t know.

I’m not “traditionally masculine”; I’m a geeky gay guy with glasses and dyed hair who wears flip-flops all year round and carries around a book bag and kind of acts like a “strong female character”.

I don’t know, I’m trying to make it easy to show who I am outside of the written word and…I’m basically Piper Halliwell from Charmed meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Rachel Morgan from The Hollows by Kim Harrison meets Yuna from Final Fantasy X/X-2 meets Gin from Elemental Assassin by Jennifer Estep. Throw some Sora from Kingdom Hearts in there and you’ve got me almost completely.

I’m not a bro-y, tough guy, sports fanatic with a deep voice and disregard for general appearance. (I’m not saying that all straight guys are like this or anything, just pointing out the stereotype.)

I’m not flamboyantly bouncy either. (I’ve got masculinity issues from bullying.)

I’m just kinda…me; someone who’s kind of in the middle and watched way too much Charmed. Seriously. I’m like 80% Piper.

Anyway…

Before the election, people kinda left me alone. I’d sometimes get the side-eye from some people (read: men), but for the most part, I faded into the background, discounting the looks I got from my blue/purple/teal hair.

And, yes, I can tell when I was being looked at because of my hair and my sexuality. It’s…a different feeling.

With my hair, the looks always give off the feeling of “that dude’s hair is blue/purple/teal”; with my sexuality, the looks always give the feeling of “how disgusting”. It’s easy to tell the difference.

For one, people at large aren’t as good at controlling their facial expressions as they would like to believe. For another, those feelings you get of people watching you, those instincts built up throughout evolution and growing up, they’re telling. Very telling.

More and more often since November 9th, I’ve been getting those “how disgusting” looks. And it’s terrifying.

It’s terrifying because some of those looks from some of those people, sometimes the feeling they put off very clearly says “I would hurt you, even kill you, if you were alone and I got the chance”. I’m not saying it’s common, but it’s not rare anymore. Before, I’d only felt like that twice. Before, most of the looks were just disgusted, irritated that I existed. Now…

Now, whenever I go out in public, I’m scared. I won’t go anywhere alone, unless it’s somewhere I know will have a lot of people or has a big enough public view where other people could see. I won’t wait outside of the bathroom at the mall for my boyfriend to finish using it when I notice that people are looking my way, giving me those looks, or when it gets too quiet. I won’t walk through the grocery store to grab something alone unless the store’s populated enough.

Some of these I don’t even do consciously and I only just realized I did them as I was typing that out. It’s just an instinct that I’ve somehow obtained or cultivated without realizing. Just noticing how many people are in the store through sound or not walking anywhere I know won’t be in easy view of other people.

Realizing that is almost as terrifying as living it.

I just kinda stopped for a couple of minutes. I feel the need to point that out.

This past summer, I went to a small town bar with my mother, aunt, uncles, and a few cousins, on vacation. The entire time, I felt people watching me; judging me; being disgusted with me; appalled that I had the gall to exist, to even step foot in their bar.

At one point, I got pushed, just a bit, it could’ve been unintentional drunken imbalance, but it wasn’t. At another, I got felt up; not overtly, not super intrusive, but still. That person proceeded to watch me the rest of the time we were there.

(This is what women go through every day. But, sure, men and women are totally equal. Go read this thing I wrote on feminism.)

I avoided the bathroom all night. Until I saw my big huge uncle go in there; then I went. He noticed me in the mirror and started talking to me. I went to the bathroom. That dude that had felt me up and was staring at me came in. My uncle stayed in until I was done. I know he did; I could tell.

Imagine that feeling, take it and ratchet it up even more; now apply that to every single day.

That’s what it’s like now. That’s what every day that I leave my house is like.

I leave my house and I’m terrified, sometimes even just walking outside. I don’t let it keep me from living my life; that’d be letting them win. But…

I’m constantly hyper-vigilant, scared for my safety. Luckily, I’m also incredibly perceptive and it just fades into the background until it’s necessary to notice.

(I’ve probably mentioned this, because I’m a super braggy person about it and it’s a decent-ish way to push back against the rampant idiocy, but I have an IQ of 156; I’m an actual genius.

Let me be clear: IQ is not how smart you are; it’s how easily you process information, how high your capabilities are, even how you process information.

I learn at a phenomenally fast rate and process information faster than I can usually comprehend unless I’m really focusing.

When I tell you that I’m incredibly perceptive, that I can take things apart, that I can see threads and connections where most people wouldn’t until it was obvious, know that I mean it.)

That’s what life is now. Add in the fact that there’s that niggling feeling that’s reminiscent of history lessons of WWII and more and more throwbacks to that time…

It’s terrifying to be gay in this country right now.

Advertisements

Tolerating Intolerance Is Intolerant

Posted on Updated on

Accepting actions that are intolerant is not okay unless that intolerance is going against intolerance.

Let me parse that because it’s a little confusing.

Everyone should be able to live peacefully without interference from others, but some people will do just that; when that occurs, we should speak out. One shouldn’t turn a blind eye towards hatred; speaking out is the right action.

However, often, the people who are interfering with others’ ability to live their lives will tout the line ‘you’re being intolerant of my intolerance’ as an effort to derail the conversation.

Their line of thinking is that because you believe we should live peacefully, we should leave me alone to hate; but, like I said, they’re the ones who started it by interfering with others’ lives.

They are the ones who are being intolerant; and you do not have to accept that.

That’s not being a hypocrite; that’s a) being capable of critical thinking, b) taking context into account, and c) applying them both. This is something that those who are intolerant, who are largely on the right, are consistently unable to do.

They don’t understand nuance; they dislike anything complex; they believe everything is black and white. I spoke about this a few days ago while talking about the subjectivity of morality.

Getting back to the main point, if you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll have noticed that my big thing, my sole credence is that we should be able to live together peacefully.

“Treat others how you want to be treated.”

“Aheb li akheek ma tuhibu li nafsik.” which translates to “Wish for your brother, what you wish for yourself.” – Sayings of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” – Luke 6:31

“Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.” – Confucius

“An it harm none, do what ye will.” – Wiccan Rede

“Don’t be a dick.” – Wheaton’s Law, Wil Wheaton

These sayings, this belief, is at the heart of most, if not all, large and small, new and ancient, religions, creeds, personal rules, etc.

Yet, Republicans and those on the right, who consistently claim to be the morally superior side, ignore this; they ignore the religious values they claim to hold so dear and use to their advantage.

It’s our job to speak out against them when they do this.

It’s our job to stand against the injustices and intolerance.

Maybe one day, if we work for it, we’ll all be able to live peacefully.

Is it likely? No. We, as humans, are just each too different in such huge ways; there’s just too much strife between us. There will always be those that oppose X people because Y.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

Our best way of trying, our best way of even reaching towards the goal of living peacefully, is speaking out against those that incite conflict and spread hatred.

We should all strive towards this goal of peace.

We should always try to get rid of the bad we can, even as we realize that there’s always going to be bad in the world.

That’s just life.

 

 

What Unity Truly Means

Posted on Updated on

I’d like to expand on a Twitter thread I made last week about…well, if you read it, it went all over the place, but, at its heart it was about unity within the Democratic Party, progressives, liberals, etc. so on and so forth. (Yes, they are all different; there’s some overlap, true, but they’re still different.)

I’m just going to quickly summarize the thread and expand on those points:

  • Each and every issue that we’ve been fighting or that comes up is important and we should focus on every single one of them.

Russia, which those on the actual left consistently throw under the bus as unimportant, is important. We have multiple officials of the Trump Administration, including Trump himself, who have lied about speaking with Russian officials during the 2016 Presidential Campaign. To dismiss that out of hand simply because it’s not focusing on what you deem as unimportant is exactly what those on the right do about everything.

Russia is important.

DAPL, the Dakota Access Pipeline, where the fight against water pollution has reached a head, at least for now, is important. The corporate-owned mainstream media* has given barely any focus to this because of, like almost all issues to do with political dissonance, money.

  • *(Which is not fake; pointing out that they’re mainstream and owned by big corporations is not the same as disregarding their legitimacy.)

DAPL is important.

Trump, incompetent, immoral, man-child idiot that he is, unfortunately, is important. He is the face of our nation, the one who is supposed to be leader. That he’s failing is important, even as each and every controversy and scandal serves as a distraction for the Republicans to push harmful legislature through.

Trump is important.

Immigration, Sessions, DeVos, Bannon, Perry, getting money out of politics, etc… They are all important.

  • We need to stop fighting with each other. We need to let go of this Bernie vs. Hillary fight, and we need to acknowledge that it’s still happening.

That part of the fight is over. No more of these “Bernie would have won” or “Bernie’s not even a Democrat; Hillary was the candidate” arguments or talking points. That’s derailing the actual fight. We need to stop attacking Hillary, stop attacking Bernie, stop defending both of them, etc. so on and so forth.

American politics, indeed, America itself, is like a baseball game: you have the players, the coaches, the equipment, the umpires and the commentators, and the audience.

  1. Players:
    1. The players are the respective parties and, as their name says, political players; the politicians.
  2. Coaches:
    1. The coaches are the ones that guide the players, the politicians; they’re the minds behind the policies…currently, the coaches are the donors.
  3. Equipment:
    1. The equipment is the policies and game itself, the process; the bat is the opposite party’s obstruction; the ball is the policy/decision and ideals themselves; it’s how the game is played, how things are manipulated.
  4. The umpires and commentators:
    1. The umpires are the ones who keep the players, and the game, in check; in the case of this analogy, it’s the news media, the ones who watch every moment of the game and players to keep them from doing something that’s against the rules.
    2. The commentators are also the news media, and also political pundits; their jobs are different from the umpires in that they don’t keep the game/players in check, but keep the audience informed of what’s going on.
  5. The audience:
    1. The audience is us; the American people; those that will be affected by the game, the players actions, etc. We expect everyone else, everything else, to do the heavy lifting for us so we can just go on and enjoy the show.

We need to focus on the Republicans. They are the ball. We need to stop focusing on the obstacles on our own team (Hillary vs. Bernie, media, etc.) and focus on them. You can’t win the game if you don’t hit the ball.

When the Democrats say “we need to focus on unity”, what they’re saying is that we need to keep our eye on the ball, which is everything.

I’m not saying that the corporate Democrats aren’t a problem (the people who dismissed Bernie and the progressives to try to get more moderate Republican voters); I’m not saying that Bernie didn’t divide the party (he brought out the more progressive side, the people who stayed on the left while the Democratic Party hightailed it to the right, which did divide the party).

No. What I’m saying is that we need to focus on both of those issues, but not to the degree that we are right now. We need to push it to the back burner for the moment. We need to focus on the RepublicansThey are the ones who are hurting people and destroying this country.

At the very least, we need to split our focus to all of those things. Equally.

To quote myself: Yes, it’s a division of resources. Yes, it’s harder. But that’s not important now. We have the numbers and the willpower. What we need is the focus.

We need to keep our eye on the ball. We need to unite.

Apologies…

Posted on

Sorry about the lack of a post today (technically yesterday, but…the day doesn’t change for me until I go to sleep, so it’s still today until 5am even though it’s actually yesterday); my internet was shut off and I couldn’t access the site to write a post.

 

Mental Illness In Those In Positions Of Power

Posted on Updated on

So, this past weekend, our ‘leader’, the one who refuses to take responsibility for his decisions, the deaths of the soldiers under him, the people he grifted, the ones he refused to pay for doing the job he hired them for…where was I going?

I could spend days just ranting about all of the horrible things this so-called ‘man’ has done, but then I’d never get anything done. Sound familiar?

Anyway, our ‘leader’ tweeted out unsubstantiated claims that Former-President Barack Obama wiretapped the building he lived in while staying in New York City prior to the inauguration.

Ignoring the fact that wiretaps cannot be ordered by the president, a restriction placed to keep authoritarian dictators with delusions of grandeur and extreme self-importance from spying on whoever they want…where was I going?

Oh, right! Former-President Barack Obama could not (legally, anyway) order a wiretap on anyone.

Wiretaps are ordered only when illegal activity of a certain caliber is suspected by the FISA Court, the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, part of the Judiciary branch of the US Government, which the Executive branch, the President, has zero control over.

If, indeed, there were wiretaps, it would be because a) Former-President Barack Obama broke the law and placed the wiretaps himself; b) there was just cause for those wiretaps to be ordered; or c) there were no wiretaps.

Moving on from this, these tweets exhibit, in my amateur opinion (though I am fairly accurate when I assess things), paranoid delusions (Paranoid Personality Disorder) and a compulsive need to be the constant center of attention (Histrionic Personality Disorder).

I’ve linked the descriptions to those two disorders for a reason: read them yourself and make your own conclusions; don’t just take my word on it.

“But why hasn’t anyone else, any experts, said this before?”

Good question.

One, they have, however, due to the American Psychiatric Association’s ethics code, specifically what is informally known as the Goldwater Rule, “armchair diagnoses” are deemed unethical.

As a whole, I do understand this, and, to a point, agree with it. What’s to stop any professional from just going out and publicly attaching a diagnosis on any individual?

Two, because of this rule, psychiatrists are at risk of losing their licenses, the thing they went to school for years for, their careers and livelihoods, if they break this rule.

On the flip side, when does that end? How far are we supposed to let things get before we can speak out against it? Obviously, we shouldn’t be ‘triggered’, but…we shouldn’t stick our heads in the sand and ignore the bad things either.

And why is it that we go to experts, people who have studied their field for years, who practically breathe the subject of which they have an expertise on, why is it that we go to them for everything, climate change, economics, politics, history, mathematics, literature, etc. so on and so forth, but not for this?

Why is there that double standard? Is it because of the stigma attached to mental health issues? Is it because of the Goldwater Rule?

Why is it that we can ask a climate science expert what they think on a certain political figure’s policy on climate science, which is most often also their personal view, but we can’t do the same for mental health experts?

You would think that we would trust the experts’ opinions on their expertise; we do for everything else. Why not this?

I realize that I’m asking the same thing over and over, but that’s due to my inability to understand why things are the way they are when it seems so obvious that they should be another way. It’s just logical. More than that, it’s smart.

To get a bit personal for a moment, I have clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I have, in the past, had panic attacks due to my GAD. I also have hypertension (high blood pressure). You can imagine my terror when my heart rate started rising randomly and pumping hard; I thought I’d been having a heart attack.

I’ve been on medication for my hypertension for years now; I’m 22. Last year, I lost my job and my depression returned in full force, this time accompanied with heightened GAD symptoms.

I had, for a few years prior, had anxiety, but never really noticed; it had been background noise, mostly. However, upon losing my job, it became worse; much worse. What used to be rare, ‘minor’ panic attacks became frequent panic attacks that scared me.

It scared me so much that I went to my doctor and told him what was going on, that I thought I’d been having issues with my hypertension or my heart. He left the room for a moment and came back with a prescription for anti-anxiety medication.

It helped, but not enough, so I went back a month or so later and got a higher dosage.

I have since switched from that to something that helped more, and from that to something that had less side effects that was also for my, yet again, returning depression, following the election.

I didn’t just ignore what was right in front of me; I consulted an expert; and because of that, I feel better than I have in years.

Despite my rising stress levels due to this administration and the fears it brings each and every day.

That’s part of why I’m doing this blog: as a way to cope; and also, as a way to educate those who may not know what’s going on or why it’s even important.

So many people didn’t have proper, factual knowledge this past election, and because of that, we’re where we are now: with a president who is mentally unfit to lead.

And we’re stuck, at least for the moment, because those that have the knowledge and expertise to say this are inhibited by fear of losing what they’ve worked for their entire lives. For doing their duty as American citizens to uphold the values of this country.

And that is, wholly, un-American.

As is having a leader who is unfit to lead due to the mental incapabilities to do so.

“America is great because America is good.” Those are the words of a very wise woman; an expert in her field, the field that is American Politics.

No one is going to be perfect. No one is going to 100% agree with you. Everyone is going to have flaws.

But someone who is mentally fit is always, always, better than someone who is notespecially when the latter has cognitive deficits that inhibit their ability to understand the world at large.

And we need to speak about this. We need to let our experts spread information on their expertise in a clear way.

The Goldwater Rule doesn’t prohibit the experts of their field from speaking on the issues, but it does prohibit those experts from connecting those same issues with those they have not personally interacted with.

While it is a good standard, when it comes to someone who has such a huge impact on millions, of people, I believe it should be suspended.

When it comes to someone who is very much in the public eye, I believe it should be suspended.

When it comes to someone who very clearly has mental deficits, I believe it should be suspended.

When all three of those apply, of course it should be suspended.

My Political Views, An Overview

Posted on Updated on

Yesterday, I posted a quick preview on my political views. Today, I’m going to go a bit deeper by tackling each major issue and providing a sentence or two on where I stand.

Me:

political-compass-4-personal-views

Context:

political-compass-6

Obviously, I’ve shared my in-depth views on previous posts, but here’s where I’m going to just broadly speak on all the issues.

I’m going to keep each issue short and sweet, and keep this post updated as I see the need to.

Let’s get started!

  • Women’s rights:
    • Pro-choice;
      • Also truly pro-life. (More on this later.)
    • For closing the wage gap between women and men (AKA equal pay);
    • For freedoms on women’s healthcare.
  • LGBT+ rights (more on this in a later post):
    • Pro-marriage equality;
    • For gay adoption rights (this comes into play in a true pro-life stance);
    • For anti-discrimination laws and protections;
    • Pro-transgender equality.
  • Racial equality (more on all of this in a later post):
    • Pro-racial equality;
      • We need to treat each other as human beings, and truly do away with the idea of ‘separate, but equal’.
    • Pro-Black Lives Matter;
    • For ending systemic racism and discrimination.
  • Justice/Law:
    • Pro-Justice system and law, but…;
    • For criminal justice reform
      • I recognize that our system has its failings and needs some reform in regards to some issues and outdated laws.
    • Against capital punishment, in all cases (more on this in a later post);
    • For prisoner rights.
      • We need to treat our prisoners like humans.
  • First Amendment rights:
    • Pro-Freedom of Speech, but there does need to be some limit;
    • For Freedom of Religious Exercise, not Establishment;
      • Practice what you like, but…
      • Don’t make laws on it.
        • Meaning no ‘religious freedom’ laws.
          • Religious freedom is already constitutional.
            • Those are extra rights.
              • Not LGBT+ rights.
            • Also, ‘religious freedom’ is code for ‘I want to discriminate based on my religion’.
    • For Freedom of the Press;
    • For Freedom of Assembly;
    • For Freedom to Petition
  • Second Amendment rights:
    • abhor guns, though I recognize the necessity. (Similar to my views on the military.)
      • I fully realize that guns, in today’s world, are an unfortunate consequence to our progress.
      • I do not want to take anyone’s guns away.
      • I do not want people to be unable to defend themselves or others.
        • However, guns exist solely to kill. They do not have any other purpose. And I find that wholly unnecessary to humanity and disgusting.
        • But, they exist; we can’t, and shouldn’t, go backwards.
          • We should find a way to live together peacefully, but I fully understand that’s next to impossible.
      • Basically, *shrug*.
  • Monetary issues:
    • Everything that’s a necessity to life today should be free. Notably:
      • Food; (Obvious.)
      • Water; (Again, obvious.)
      • Healthcare; (Again, obvious.)
      • A place to live; (Yet again, obvious.)
      • Electricity;
        • Here’s where it gets a bit iffy, but I believe electricity, in today’s world, is necessary to life; it goes into that whole ‘food/healthcare/place to live triad.
      • Internet;
        • Now, this one is possibly the easiest to argue against, but, combined with the next one, it’s twofold. I believe that, again, in today’s world, internet is a necessity. It’s how we get the majority of our information [It does have the entire world’s history and the entire sum of human knowledge on it…], our entertainment, it’s a major convenience that I don’t believe anyone should be without.
      • At least one form of entertainment, though that’s easily arguably covered with internet.
        • This is notably the most iffy; my argument for this is that we, as humans, become depressed when we aren’t happy. Entertainment is the easiest way to accomplish that.
    • do believe, however, that we should work for things we want that are not covered in the seven categories above.
    • In addition to that, I believe that money, in and of itself, is a wholly unnecessary human invention that’s used as a means to put some people above others.
      • We should work for what we want, not for something to get the thing we want. (Does that make sense?)
    • In other words, I’m an anti-capitalist.

Those are the biggest issues I can come up with at the moment, though I will be updating this post semi-regularly with new big issues, or even just small issues, as they come up.

Before I let you go, here’s another image, just to show a bit more context:

political-compass-5

As you can see, I fall right on the line of Anarcho-Communism and Anarcho-Syndicalism/Collectivist Anarchism.

After doing a bit of research on these, I fall more on the side of Anarcho-Communism.

(More on this later.)

My Political Views, A Preview

Posted on Updated on

I’m going to be a bit lazy because I’m getting to writing this late because I spent the day with my boyfriend, relaxed for a while, then got distracted while researching for this post, which was originally going to be My Political Views, An Overview, which will be coming at you later, either later today or in addition to tomorrow’s post.

(In addition, my back’s killing me, I’ve had a horrible tension headache all day, and I’m going to sleep in 15 minutes because I need to get back on my schedule.)

For now, enjoy this little preview into what the overview is going to be about.

For context:

political-compass-6

Take this quiz here!

Sorry for the lazy post! Hope you enjoy the break from extremely wordy, in-depth analyses on politics. I’ll have My Political Views, An Overview, coming to you within the next 24 hours.