Trans Day of Visibility

Today, March 31st, is Trans Day of Visibility!

This is hosted by Trans Student Educational Resources, and this years theme is Trans Resistance.

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With these statistics it’s clear that today is a very important day!  This year 8 trans women have been murdered:

  • Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow
  • Mesha Caldwell
  • Jojo Striker
  • Jaquarrius Holland
  • Tiara Lashaytheboss Richmond
  • Chyna Doll Dupree
  • Ciarra McElveen
  • Alfonza Watson

All of these women were women of color as well. Last year twenty-seven trans people were murdered, making it the deadliest documented year for trans related murders. Although it is likely that there were even more murders that didn’t make the news or the victims weren’t reported as transgender. Trans day of visibility is described as “not a day for mourning: this is a day of empowerment and getting the recognition we deserve!” by the TSER. I fell like part of that recognition is shedding light on the tragedies this community has faced.

Another part of visibility is recognizing all the talented and outstanding trans people. Laverne Cox, Lea T, Geena Rocero, Chris Mosier, Rhys Ernst, and Sarah McBride are just a few people who are trans and have been incredibly successful in their respective fields. Trans people are all around us and always have been. They’ve been influential in many fields as well as the fight for equality.

Trans people deserve to more than just visible. They deserve respect, adequate health care, resources, and so much more. With laws attempting to prohibit transgender people from being visible in day to day life like HB2 or the laws being considered in Texas, visibility is more important than ever.

If you’re trans, happy trans visibility day! You deserve love and respect, and are going to do great things. You are valid and seen.

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

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True Crime and Tragedy as Entertainment

I found this post from ContagiousQueer really thought provoking. They brought up many good points about how our society turns tragedies into entertainment. Give it a read!

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about using real life pain, tragedy, and abuse as entertainment. A part of this comes from listening to the podcast Missing Richard Simmons, in which one journalist looks into the enthusiastic fitness instructor’s rather sudden retreat from public life a few years ago and the turmoil that the show caused. Listening to that show felt weird at so many moments and Amanda Hess over at the New York Times nailed exactly why it felt so invasive.

There are so many other examples similar to Missing Richard Simmons that are based on that same sort of premise: using and telling someone else’s story in a very public way. Many (but not all) of these productions are about events that are traumatic and violent, making them moments that I’m sure not many would want to constantly relive on a public stage.

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Why are you here?: Chronically Misunderstood

This one is going to be a bit of a back story, but I’ll make it quick. At the time I in high school and it was my freshman year. The school I went to really didn’t like that I was absent a lot and made me jump through a lot of hoops in order to “make up my time.” This had happened for the past two years I was in middle school as well, but their obsession with me being in school makes this story funny to me. Also at this time doctors thought I had abdominal migraines also known as cyclical vomiting syndrome.

I walked into school late and went to check in  before heading to class. Normally I would go to my house office, but the secretary at the front desk stopped me and asked me my name. When I told her who I was she looked me up in the computer system which I thought was odd. I had come into school late a lot and no one ever questioned me. Normally I just went to the office, got a note, and was on my way.

The lady started to look really confused and said, “you aren’t supposed to be here.” I didn’t know what to say to that. Here I am at school, specifically at a school that get’s very angry when I’m absent yet this lady is telling me I’m not supposed to be here? “You’ve been counted absent for the whole day,” she told me. I responded with, “I don’t know why, I didn’t tell anyone I was going to be gone all day.”

She furiously tapped away on the computer and I just stood there throughly confused. She walked away into the main office and came back looking relieved. She exclaims, rather loudly I might add, ” OH YOU’RE STOMACH MIGRAINE GIRL!” I guess I had developed a reputation. “Yeah…” I replied trying not to laugh. For some reason being stomach migraine girl made everything okay and she let me go on my way. I’m still honestly not sure what that situation was all about, but it was funny nonetheless.

Tell me a funny or weird story about your high school experience!

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

Being on Your Own Timeline

In the U.S. and especially in the suburbs there’s a pattern to life that your assumed to follow.

Graduate high school, go straight away to a University, graduate college in four years, get your first job, get married, have kids, etc.

I was raised to believe this is the only way to be successful in life, but after having my life interrupted by chronic illness and having to pave a different path for myself I’ve learned just how wrong that is. Everyone does things at their own pace; some people aren’t mature enough to go to college straight out of high school or can’t financially make ends meet so they have to work before going to school. For other people college just isn’t the right choice for them, or they choose to go back to school later in life.

While I am definitely pro-education and believe, given the opportunity, you should obtain as much education as possible, I can see that there are situations that can make that difficult or near impossible. You don’t have to have life figured out at 22, or even your own life figured out.

While there’s always going to be a lot of external pressure to follow a certain timeline, only you can know what’s best for yourself. Right now it’s best for me to be out of high school while I pursue my GED and get my health on track, to other people the decisions I’ve made may not be what they think is right, but I don’t believe you can speak to experiences you haven’t had.

Every time I meet someone new there’s always a million questions about school and extra curricular’s. I don’t feel the need to tell my sob story to everyone I meet so I often tell them the town I live in and let them make their own assumptions. Occasionally I’ll tell people the things I used to do when I was in school without mentioning I don’t go there anymore, but that’s normally when I’m uncomfortable with all the questions and feel like I’m being judged.

It’s crazy how narrow minded people can be. I try to put myself in other peoples shoes and examine situations from all aspects the best that I can. There isn’t one correct way to live life and I think this plan we’ve created as a society and seem to believe everyone should follow to a T can be really detrimental. You’re not a failure if your life doesn’t look like the majority of your peers, friends, or family members. You also don’t have to have the same dreams and goals as everyone around you.

Be yourself and do things on your own timeline!

Alyssa

When We Rise

When We Rise is a four part mini-series documenting the journey of LGBTQIA+ activists Cleve Jones, Roma Guy, Ken Jones, and Cecilia Chung who were leaders in the civil right’s movement which later turned into the Gay right’s movement.

As someone who is a part of then LGBTQ+ community and is too young to have been alive during the time of many of these historical events I believe it’s very important to educate myself on Queer History and culture. We don’t learn these things in school and they definitely aren’t in our textbooks. Even the biggest events like the Stonewall Riots were never spoken of in any classroom I’ve been in. Our textbooks are white-washed and filled with the the accounts of straight white men, so it’s up to us as individuals to learn about the history that the rest of society actively tries to erase.

When We Rise covers Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the AIDS epidemic, police relations with the queers community, and marriage equality. While none of this was news to me, it was quite heart wrenching to see it played out. I think ABC did a good job showing just how brutal the world was to the LGBTQ+ community during the 1970’s. One critique I have of the series is it is mainly based in New York and San Francisco, which is where the movement took place so it makes sense, but this doesn’t show how much more danger people were in when living in different areas in America.

I thought one thing they did really well was covering the AIDS epidemic. It was incredibly informative and if you had never been told about the governments response ( well lack there of ) then this would be very eye opening. They showed the resilience of the community and how they banned together during this difficult time. We lost nearly an entire generation of queer men and a lot of people don’t realize that.

I would have liked to see LGBTQ+ people play these roles and I’m not sure why the casting directors chose not to cast queer people for the majority of the roles. I looked up pictures of many of the real people in this series to see if they chose actors who looked like them, but that really wasn’t the case. They were great actors and did a good job, but I think queer people should play queer roles in films and on TV.

Overall despite a few things I would change, this was an amazing series and couldn’t have come at a better time. It was raw and didn’t hold back or sugar coat any situation. When We Rise showed the revolution and resilience of the community like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I think everyone, gay or straight, should watch this mini-series and learn about this piece of history that we often don’t shed a light on. We are still living the “LGBT civil rights movement” with things like the bathroom bill in North Carolina being passed, revoking the protection of trans kids in public schools, and the laws in Texas that are being considered right now.

Did you watch When We Rise? What did you think?

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

Daith Piercing Experience

Yesterday I got my first daith piercing!

I had said in my previous post that this place only does this piercing and I was mistaken. The piercer I saw specializes in it, but does all the other typical piercings as well.

The shop was around 25 minutes away from where I live so it wasn’t too far. Living in the suburbs means you’re always driving 20-30 minutes everywhere. After we got there I realized in the parking lot that I didn’t bring my ID. Oops! It honestly hadn’t crossed my mind since I wasn’t driving and I’m still technically a minor. In Texas the law States that both the minor and their parent/guardian have to have a state mandated ID or birth certificate to prove that the adult is their parent and is old enough.

So we drove 25 minutes back home and I got my ID. Luckily we didn’t have an appointment  so we weren’t keeping anyone waiting. About two minutes down the road my mom’s tire popped and we had to turn around and to take her car home and use my sisters instead. She just got these tires on Wednesday too so it kinda sucked. We later found out it had a razor blade stuck in it and she got the tire replaced for free since it was under warranty, so that was good.

Back on the road we made it to our destination with all the proper identification and waited around fifteen minutes. She pierced four other people in that time and was really fast. Before I knew it, it was my turn and I was getting marked up. I couldn’t really see back in my ear, but I assumed it was fine and trusted she knew what she was doing.

FullSizeRenderI liked that she did it really quick and didn’t talk about it a whole lot. The piercer was super friendly and made conversation but didn’t dwell on the piercing for too long before we got started. After she marked my ear, she set the needle up and then told me to get ready for some pressure. It honestly didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it would. I wasn’t nervous until she told me she was setting up the needle, then the nerves kicked in a little. She was so quick though I didn’t really have time to feel nervous!  The most “uncomfortable” part of it all was the popping noise it made. It basically felt like a giant pop with one sharp pain that wasn’t that bad, and then my ear felt really hot for a minute. There was no blood and I was good to go after she cleaned the area. We probably only spent five minutes tops in the piercing room, but she was really attentive and gave me her phone number for if I ever needed anything so I thought that was kind.

In the short time I’ve had it I have only experienced some mild discomfort and general achiness (which definitely isn’t word but we’re just gonna go with it). The piercer told me that day four is the worst so I guess we will see what the healing process is like. The jewelry I have in it now I’m not going to keep once the healing period is up. I didn’t get to choose this but I knew that this would be what they pierced it with going in. What I have in now is a circular barbell and from what I understand, barbells are the best for the healing process with daith piercings.

I’m really happy with it so far and had an awesome experience at this piercing shop. At this point I’m still planning to get the left side done after the four week healing period on my right one. I think it will be really interesting to see what happens as far as migraines go. I haven’t been having them like I have for the past five years lately (like since December). I don’t know if I’m just cycling and on an upswing or what. It’s been weird, but I’m grateful to at least not be dealing with that pain.

I’m going to do another update once I’ve had this one for a while and then once I’ve had both of them done. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try my best to answer them! 🙂

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

Daith Piercing for Migraines?

Whether you have migraines or not you may have seen posts that circulate the internet about daith piercings being cures for migraines. The daith is the inner most piece of cartilage on your ear and it’s supposed to act as an acupressure point.

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As a skeptical person I’m not really buying this as a migraine cure. I get the idea, but I don’t really think it will work. With that being said, my mom has had three co-workers get this done and all of them have had less migraines. I could try to come up for explanations for why they got better after getting the piercing, but I’m not going to. It really worked for them and so I’m going to try it… with no expectations of course.

The worst thing that could happen is that it doesn’t work. This isn’t invasive and I really like the look of them so I would probably keep the piercing either way. The place her co-workers went specializes in this piercing for migraines and is reasonably priced, so I’m going to go there as well. I’m not a huge fan of a lot piercings but I think one or two on the ear (that aren’t the typical lobe) can look cool. Some people look really good with other piercings like their nose or septum, I just don’t think I would be one of this people.  I’ve wanted my helix pierced for around two years now but I’ve been vetoed by my parents.

This place doesn’t do appointments, only walk-ins but I’m planning on going on Saturday. You have to get one side done, wait a month for it to heal some, and then get the other side done if it doesn’t completely relieve your migraines or you get them on both sides. I plan to make an update post once I get it and then again after I’ve had them both for a few months.

Have you ever tried any “internet cures” for your chronic illness? Did they work?

Lots of Love,

Alyssa