Trans Support

Nov 12th – Nov 19th was Trans Awareness Week.trans-rights-are-human-rights-rugs

It’s important to note that I am a cis female (meaning that I identify with the gender that I was assigned to at birth), and while I am also a trans ally and supporter, I cannot speak from personal experience. I do, however, have a very close friend who identifies as non-binary, and have done plenty of research on the topic. I find it significant to be well versed in many areas of the LGBTQ community, as I want to give my support in a variety of ways, including understanding.

Think about a time where you had to wear something that made you uncomfortable. Growing up, I was never very girly, and I hated anything pink or glittery. Wearing something that is bright bubblegum pink with dazzling sparkles was, and is still, one of my worst nightmares. Being forced to wear something like that would absolutely make my skin crawl. I’m sure everyone has something like that, where they wouldn’t be caught dead in it in a million years. Maybe it’s a dress, a suit, something strapless, etc – something that when you put it on makes you go, “this is really not me.” I imagine that this is the feeling that someone has every single day, if they are not living as their authentic self.

My friend who is non-binary uses the pronouns they/them, and doesn’t feel that they fit into a box of either male or female. They were born female, and are currently taking steps to be exactly who they want to be through support of those around them and possibly a top-surgery in the future.

One of the most important and noteworthy things that I have learned through this friendship is that every single person goes on a journey that is entirely different and their own. Each individual who identifies as trans has unique perspectives, desires, and goals. Some may feel that they were born biologically into the wrong gender, while others do not feel that they fit into either category. Just like sexuality, I believe that gender comes on a spectrum, and all of us fall somewhere on this arch. Rather than just checking one box or the other, people are able to fall somewhere in the middle and not be constrained by what is inside of each box.

I subscribe to different outlets for affecting change in various ways in an effort to support the issues that I care about. Planned Parenthood is on this list, and I receive news alerts and updates depending on what is going on during that time. I was prompted via text to take a quiz on my knowledge of trans info and rights, so I decided to give it a go. Here are the questions and information that was shared:*

trans flagTrue or False: The first American to be credited with successfully having sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) was Christina Jorgensen
Answer: True! Jorgensen was drafted by the U.S. Army for WWII. Shortly after, she traveled to Denmark and received special permission for SRS.

trans flagAccording to the 2015 Trans Health Survey, how many self-identified transgender people were there in the U.S.? A: <50k B: 100k to 249k C: 250k to 750k D: > 1 million
Answer: D! Based on a 2015 survey, there are over 1.5 million trans folks who self-identify as trans in the U.S.

trans flagTrue or False: The Affordable Care Act prohibits sex discrimination including transgender discrimination by most health providers and insurance companies.
Answer: True! A guide and other resources on Trans Patient Rights from Natl Center for Trans Equality can be found HERE.

trans flagTrue or False: Our government is trying to block trans people from civil rights protections by defining gender as only male or female based on the genitals you’re born with.
Answer: Sad but true. It erases our trans identities, and people of all gender identities deserve civil and human rights. Trans and gender nonconforming people #WontBeErased.trans heartstrans equality

Please be aware of which politicians are supportive of what you believe in, and who is fighting for basic human rights. Support the LGBTQ community as a whole and ensure that absolutely no one is erased.

Thanks for reading.

*Quiz by Planned Parenthood

For more information and references,
visit https://transequality.org/.

 

CO$T Projects

COST

One of my best friends has a cousin who started designing a modern and unique clothing brand after a college project took off via Instagram. What started out as an assignment was developed into a street-wear brand that highlights individuality and uniqueness.

For 150 days, CO$T launched Project one/one, which involved auctioning off hoodies and shirts via Instagram. Each design was entirely unique, featuring portraits of cultural icons printed on a variety of colors that were dyed on by hand. The icons included artists, musicians, comedians and more. No design was ever repeated, making every single item a one of a kind. The piece was posted on Instagram, and followers were then able to comment their bid. At midnight, the highest bidder would win the item to receive via mail.

Truthfully, it wasn’t easy to win. I got close several times on some pieces that I really, really, really wanted to cop, but I was out bid within literal seconds of the midnight deadline. I was outbid by 32 seconds on a Snoop Dogg release, and I was unfortunately in Vegas for an amazing Marilyn Monroe release and wasn’t able to be on my phone at the right time. Other pieces I wanted but missed out on included Cardi B, Fetty Wop, John Lennon, and more. My friend Rachel was able to cop a John Mayer TShirt! They also did a dope SuperBowl series when the Eagles played the Patriots, a tribute series to Mac Miller, and they’ve been involved in many charity projects as well.

On Valentine’s Day, CO$T did a special release where they dropped a set of twin hoodies that were dyed in IMG-2299.pngValentine’s Day style. If my memory services me correctly, this was done via their Insta story, and there was a static price that they made for each hoodie. The first to claim either of the pair would immediately get it. I was able to cop the second of the set, which was extremely exciting since this was my first CO$T win. It was very simple to exchange information with them via Instagram in order to get this delivered, and it was very timely. So on top of the dope designs, the solid customer service was also there.

IMG-2446

IMG-2858After the one/one project had ended, CO$T did a series of 7 sweatshirts of CO$T x Matchbox. These sweatshirts were really my style, since I’m a huge fan of a good crewneck, and they were really unique. Each sweatshirt was a pairing of two bold colors, one of them taking up the entirely of a sleeve with a $ design accenting the other. Once I saw the release with my college colors, maroon and gold (hey Kutztown) I definitely wanted make that mine. Since I had already known how to play the game by this point, I was able to cop it.

IMG-2019

Even though there are no more one/one releases, CO$T still will do time-sensitive releases from time to time on their Instagram. There are also some promotional items here and there, and that’s when I was able to get my latest cop – the Starry Night sweatshirt. It’s another crew neck so naturally it caught my attention – but I also loved the splatter pattern and the gold highlights. It was on sale and promotes on their Insta, so I was able to cop it immediately once seeing the post. Since I’m a friend of the family and I’m assuming Cole knows who I am, he sent me a really sweet personal note with my package thanking me for supporting the brand (it’s the little things).

IMG-2300To cop some of CO$T Project’s dope pieces, go straight to their website at costprojects.com and head to “projects”. Since they are always creating and releasing new things, and sometimes still do auctions / promotions via Instagram, I highly recommend following them @cost_projects. When they are working on new releases, you can sometimes see the process via their insta story, and links to any pieces you see are available in their feed as well. Highly recommending heading over and checking them out ASAP.

 

 

The Bisexual (TV Show)

NEW SHOW TO WATCH ASAP!! STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND START BINGING!!bisexual 3Hulu recently released a new British TV series from Channel 4 called The Bisexual. 6 episodes were released in October, each about 30 minutes in length.

The main character of the show (Leila) is ending a 10 year relationship with a woman and begins to explore relationship with men. She struggles with her identity and how to label herself, as she isn’t comfortable with the term “bisexual.”

The main goal of the show is to break through the stereotypes of bisexuality in hopes of moving forward.

As a bisexual, I found this show incredibly relatable. I’m continuously being seen one way or the other depending on who I am with – appearing straight with men but gay with women. It’s hard to truly be seen as a bisexual, and even when we are seen, we are incredibly oversexualized. It’s difficult to point out bisexuals in the media, and sometimes this is seen as a phase or something we will grow out of. Straight people may see me as gay while the gay community may see me as straight. Bisexuality is not always recognized and not always taken seriously.

These are the ideas that this show explored for me.

There were two specific scenes within this amazing set of episodes that really hit home to me on a personal level: one as a bisexual, and the other simply as a human.

The first scene deals with some of the connotations surrounding the word bisexual and what associations the main character makes when she hears the word:

Gabe: Do you think that maybe, you’re a bisexual?

Leila: I don’t like that word.

Gabe: Why not?

Leila: When you hear “bisexual”, you think like, Tila Tequila. And you think, Anne Heche.

Gabe: Who?

Leila: Exactly. There’s nobody. There’s no precedence. When I hear “bisexual” I think, “lame slut.” It’s tacky. It’s gauche. It makes you seem disingenuous – like your genitals have no allegiance. You know? Like you have no criteria for people. It’s there’s just an open door policy. It’s not a nice thing to be, it’s not a cool thing to be, and it makes my fucking skin crawl.

HA. And there it is. All the wonderful stereotypes that come along with bisexuality wrapped up in one wonderful paragraph. We are considered promiscuous and indecisive attention-seekers with a lack of heart and no commitment to anything. Hearing all of these things said out loud was freeing to me. It made me laugh, and it made me proud. And it made me excited to tear it all down.

The other scene that hit home to me was regarding intimacy and experiences with other people:

Jon-Cris: How many people have you been this intimate with?

Leila: Like had sex with?

Jon-Cris: No, no, how many people have you laid in bed with all day and held hands with, talked about your childhood with, how many like five? More than five?

Leila: I don’t know.

Jon-Cris: More than ten?

Leila: Why does it matter?

Jon-Cris: Because you can’t just open someone up and make then feel safe and then change your mind the next day. It makes your intimacy worth shit. You are an emotional intimacy whore.

Damn. I felt that shit waaaay too hard. I’ve found a lot of meaning in my relationships, even if I’m not a fan of what a standard serious relationship might look like. I’ve bonded with people on so many levels and in so many different ways that all hold significance to me. Hearing these words and thinking about what my answer might have been definitely made me think – am I also an emotional intimacy whore? Is it wrong that I have the ability to connect deeply with someone, even if its temporary?bisexual 2I recorded these two scenes on my phone and played them for myself over and over, hearing each word and how they made me feel. Overall, it made me feel proudly misunderstood. People of all communities seem to forget that the B in LGBTQ hold substance, and there are a large amount of people who identify with this word. We are curious people of course, but we are also so many other things.

the bisexual

Most importantly, we are individuals. And all of our journeys are different in their own way.

So yeah, please go watch this show. It holds a lot of significance to me, and I hope to other bisexuals as well.

Thanks for reading.

Election Diversity!!

rainbow waveFor the first time in a long time, I am feeling hopeful about the future and inspired by much of the election results. There is so much to be celebrated, and there are many “firsts” in office. There are a record number of women holding seats in the House and more than 100 LGBTQ candidates that emerged victorious as of Wednesday afternoon.* I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER ABOUT IT. Let’s celebrate these accomplishments and keep this momentum going!!

  • Abby Finkenauer and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest women elected to congress.
  • Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland became the first navtive american women elected to congress, and Sharice is also a member of the LGBTQ community as well.
  • Ilhan Omar and Fashida Tlaib became the first Muslim women elected to congress, and Ilhan will be the first to wear a hijab.
  • Jared Polis became the first openly gay man elected governor in the US.
  • Kate Brown, previously became the first openly bisexual woman elected governor in 2016, was reelected.
  • MANY OPENLY LGBTQ MEMBERS WERE ELECTED INTO CONGRESS, including Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis, David Cicilline, Sean Patrick Malony, Krysten Sinema, Mark Pocan, Mark Takano
  • Other LGBTQ members of the house include Angie Craig, Chris Pappas, and more.

election

These faces give me hope that the best of times are still ahead of us.

#Wave

Thanks for reading.

Images from instagram @refinery29 @glaad @nowthisnews
Woman and LGBTQ members in office, according to *NBCnews.com

VOTE! (The Midterms)

The past two years has been overwhelming, chaotic, and created a clear divide in our country. If we can look at any silver linings of current events, it’s that the issues that still exist in our country are being brought to the public’s attention. So now, it’s our time to act on it.

The 2014 midterm election had the lowest turn out in over 72 years. The last time voter turnout was this low was during WWII in 1942, when only 33.9% of voters cast ballots. In 2014, only 36.4% of eligible voters showed up at the polls.* And what happened as a result? We ended up with two people on the ballot that a large majority of the country did not want to support. The chaos of the 2016 election was largely due to the fact that nobody was getting involved until it was too late to do anything besides choose your lesser of two evils. However, the turnout for the midterms can large affect the outcome of the general election that will happen in 2020.

As a result of the current administration, more and more activists are getting involved in advocacy to raise awareness on issues such as women’s rights, gun reform, immigration, and more. And with recent events, the LGBT community is standing strong to keep rights as well. Change is happening, and we can see it and feel it everywhere, but it won’t make a difference unless we show up to vote.

If you are feeling overwhelmed because you don’t feel informed, there are so many easy ways to quickly gain the insight you need. By visiting Vote411.org, you can type in your address and get information about who and what is going to be on your ballot. You will get a breakdown of each candidate and what they support, as well as provided with the location of your polling place. Polls are open from 7AM to 8PM today, so there’s still plenty of time to get out there!

You’ve heard it on the news. You’ve heard it on social media. You’ve heard it from your local representatives. You’ve heard it from your friends, family, coworkers, teachers, and everyone else. VOTE. Not just in 2020, vote TODAY. Make sure you have a say. Make sure your voice is heard. Make sure you exercise your right that so many others do not have.vote2So again, I ask – did you vote today?

Thanks for reading.

National Trend 1789-Present

*Only 36.4% of eligible voters voted in [the 2014] midterm elections,
down from 40.9% who voted in 2010. The last time voter turnout was 
that low was 1942, when only 33.9% of voters cast ballots,
according to the United States Elections Project - TIME

Game Shows

One of my favorite things about Hulu is that it allows you to go back and binge on recently released seasons of shows. I’m a HUGE fan of game shows, and there were several networks that decided to revive old shows or create new ones to put contestants and celebrities to the test. Many of these shows were released this summer and are still available on Hulu, and new episodes of some will be released coming up around the holidays. Here’s a list of all the good ones you are able to find:

To Tell The TruthTo Tell The Truth
Hosted by Anthony Anderson, this show involves a celebrity guest panel and hilarious commentary from Anthony’s mother. Each episode, a new panel of celebrities will be faced with three individuals who all claim a title or talent, but only one of them is telling the truth. The panel must correctly identify which two are imposters, and the one who is least successful must endure an embarrassing punishment.

Match GameMatch Game
Another celebrity guest panel based show, this game involves six icons who will give answers in hopes of helping two contestants who are competing for a monetary prize. Host Alec Baldwin will read a joke, but one word will be missing from the punch line. The contestant will have to give their answer for the missing word in hopes of matching with the most celebrities, who have written their answers down on slips of paper. The contestant with the most matches will then go on to play more word matching games in attempts to multiply the prize money.

Celebrity Family FuedCelebrity Family Feud
Just like regular Family Feud, but with the added hilarity of embarrassing celebs and their families. The premise of the show is the same – polls are conducted to find the most popular answers to silly questions. The contestants must then attempt to name all the popular answers to the question that are listed on the board. The winning team goes on to play ‘Fast Money’, where two contestants from the team must name what they think is the top answer to 5 questions in rapid fire for a chance to win all the money.

100000 Pyramid$100,000 Pyramid
“Paper, snow, a ghost!” If you’ve seen that episode of Friends, then you already know. If not, this is now hosted by Michael Strahan and involves two celebrity guests each teaming up with a contestant to get to the winner’s circle. The teams take turns picking a category, and they then have to get their partner to name the seven things listed for them in that category one at a time. The most points makes it to the winner’s circle, where they then name items within a theme to get their partner to guess the category. I’m sure you can guess the prize at the end.

Hollywood Game NightHollywood Game Night
There are so many games within this game show that I would never be able to describe them all. Jane Lynch invites celebrity guests over to her “Hollywood Mansion”, where they team up with “regular people” to create two teams. They go through a variety of silly games to find a winning team, who then goes on to win money by playing the Celebrity Name Game. Celebrity contestants are always changing and always highly entertaining.

Ellens Game of GameEllen’s Game of Games
Who doesn’t need more Ellen in their life?! Ellen never fails to deliver the best, goofiest, hilarious entertainment. She chooses studio audience members to compete in several silly games for a chance to play “Know or Go” – where they are asked questions for a chance to win the grand prize. The games are always changing, always fun, and always full of laughs.

Beat ShazamBeat Shazam
Pretty simple concept here – name that song as fast as you can! Contestants have to be faster not only than Shazam, but also faster than the other contestants. (For those who don’t already know, Shazam is an app that shows you the title and artist of a song based on audio that is playing.) Jamie Foxx is the host and has the help of his daughter, Corinne as the DJ.

Love ConnectionLove Connection
YAAAS ANDY COHEN! He is so perfect for the host of this show to get all the juicy details. This show attempts to find love between contestants. They set up one individual on three dates with three different people prior to the show, and then they talk about how it went with Andy. They rate each other based on first impressions, show clips and selfies taken, and find out what went wrong, of course. After getting the dish from all three, one of them is chosen to go on a second date. The only twist is that in the beginning, the audience chooses one of the three options, and if the contestant picks the same person, they win a monetary prize. Love and money!

Thanks for reading!

Music Videos

music-videosI saw this homemade music video once that a group of celebrities had made, and I got the idea that I could recreate what they did. Their music video was simple – it was just themselves joking around in several different rooms, cutting the video up and piecing it together so that it jumps around but still coincides with the music. It looked like they had recorded themselves in about 3 different rooms, so it didn’t seem super complicated. The first time I tried this out was with my sister and my cousin while we were in a hotel room in Italy, and I had way too much fun with it. Since then, I have created a few different music videos both alone and with friends. For your viewing pleasure, the links can be found here:

Live While We’re Young – One Direction
Featuring my sister and my cousin while we were in a hotel room in Italy
July 2013

We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus
The result of a lot of alcohol and some friends locked together in a college house
November 2013

The Nicest Thing – Kate Nash
Made by myself when I was feeling weird
December 2013

Pop Danthology – Daniel Kim
Made with a group of girls that I probably won’t ever talk to again
February 2014

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
The end of a party with the people who were willing to do this with us
September 2014

All Night Longer – Sammy Adams
Another group of girls locked together overnight with alcohol
October 2014

Across The Ocean – Zircon
Made after taking a road trip across the country with my two best friends
August 2015

Desperado – Rihanna
Created when I was alone and feeling weirdly emotional
May 2017

Right Round – Flo Rida
Made for a bachelorette party to celebrate our awesome trip to Vegas!
June 2018

Thanks for reading!