Trumps Latest Attack on Trans Rights

I would like to say I was surprised to wake up yesterday morning and find the tweets about banning trans people from the military, but honestly nothing he does shocks me anymore.

This however did seem out of the blue to me. No conversation, only a declaration. While technically nothing is set in stone or law yet, even stating these kinds of hatful things is harmful. This is the slow way to eventually ban trans people from existing. If they can’t go to the bathroom and can’t in the military, where can trans people exist then?

I wouldn’t say that I personally support the military in all of its endeavors, but being pro-military or not isn’t what this is about. Your gender shouldn’t determine what you can and can’t do or what you can and can’t be in life. If your willing to put your life on the line, you should be welcomed with open arms and allowed to live an authentic life.

Trump claims trans people are a “burden” due to their medical costs. The US military has quite the track record of not taking care of their veterans, or active duty member for that matter when it comes to health care of any kind. Not to mention not all trans people medically transition, and you shouldn’t assume they will or want to.

There are also over 15,000 trans people currently serving in our military. What’s going to happen to them? He acts like he’s stopping trans people from joining the armed forces, but no trans people are already serving.  You cannot end sometimes career because of their gender identity. Are you going to discharge them like they did back when “don’t ask don’t tell” was a law? We’re going backwards on the progress we’ve made.

I believe this is just the beginning of an attack on the LGBTQIA+ community. He’s gone after trans people multiple times now, and it isn’t going to stop unless there is enough backlash. Even then it may not end. Gaby Dunn made a video about this, and she believes that Trump is going after trans people first, because they don’t always get the support that other members of the LGBTQIA+ members receive. I completely agree, and since that’s probably true everyone in the community, and everyone who is a decent human being, should show up and support trans people.

The LGBTQIA+ community is resilient and we will not let him get away with this.

Queer-Baiting and Representation

We’ve all been there, a “hit television show” brings in a queer character or reveals one of their characters is queer and we start binge watching the show solely for the LGBTQIA+ representation.

All too often the characters are either killed, written out of the show, or declare being queer a phase and “go back” to dating the opposite sex as if bisexuality isn’t a thing. Most recently the shows that have made headlines for doing this are The 100 and Supergirl. These are two examples of blatant queer-baiting, but many shows queer-bait in a less obvious way. They make two girls/guys have a flirty relationship that’s implied but not explicitly stated, then once the ratings go up from queer people flocking to the little representation we have, they kill one of them off. TV shows shouldn’t be using the LGBTQIA+ community for views only to get rid of the queer characters the first chance they get.

While we have way more representation now then we did even three or four years ago, a lot of it still has problems. I’d like to see LGBT people in healthy relationships just living life every once in a while. Maybe that isn’t “good TV” but it’d be nice to see. It seems like big problems arise in most characters situations or sexuality is the premise of their character. Why can’t they be gay without it being a big deal or being one big stereotype?

The killing of LGBT characters specifically queer women is what’s most alarming to me. It happens so often that it isn’t a coincidence at this point. I feel that it sends a very clear message that Hollywood does not value LGBT lives or at least sees them as expendable. Some people may think that conclusion is dramatic, but these repetitive actions seem very straightforward. LGBT lives are disposable and unworthy; They are deserving of physical harm, death, or to be cast aside when Hollywood is done using them. Sending these messages is incredibly dangerous to the community, specifically young people who are looking for guidance and an image of what their future may be like.

Most representation is good, but accurate and diverse representation in more important. I’m happy to see more LGBTQ+ characters on TV and in films, but I’d like to see more diverse stories. The tale of a cis-white-middle class gay person isn’t the narrative of many people in the Queer community or even most. There also isn’t a lot of representation for non-binary, intersex, or asexual people. What’s up with that?

I think we should be a little more picky about the TV shows we choose to support. We shouldn’t just accept any representation, but rather demand the diverse and accurate representation we deserve!

– Alyssa

It Could Be Worse

I hate this saying.

I see it a lot from abled-bodied people in response to those who are disabled/ chronically ill. It’s also something I struggle with internally. I tell myself that I shouldn’t complain or voice my experience because there are people who are more sick than I am or have a harder situation in life. Being undiagnosed I tell myself ” at least it isn’t _, I have it a lot better than them and should be more grateful!”

Yes it could be worse, it could always be worse. No one has had the end all be all of terrible situations; even when life sucks, it could suck even more. This statement only invalidates others struggles. How is telling someone that their situation could be worse going to help them?

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While I do have periods of time where I find it hard to bear and I begin to wallow in my own struggles, they are few and far between. Some level of depression or just general unhappiness comes with the territory of chronic illness. For some it’s all the time and for others it’s episodic, but even the most positive people have times where it all feels like too much.  In the times where it feels like life couldn’t be worse hearing that it could be isn’t going to help. Life isn’t a competition especially when it comes to hardships. Who wants to win for losing?

I can see why some people might think this is supposed to be uplifting and positive. While staying positive is a good thing when going through something difficult, telling someone “it could be worse so get over it” only silences them. Disabled and chronically ill people are already a people group who get silenced all the time or just left out of the conversation all together. There are so many things you could say to be helpful instead. For example….

  1. Is there anything I can do to help?
  2. I will pray for you (only if the person is religious/ is okay with you offering prayer) or sends positive thoughts
  3. That must be really hard, if you need someone to talk to, I’m always here.

Most of the time when people are going through something challenging they need someone to talk to or someone to sympathize with them. Very rarely is a reality check going to be a good option; chances are they understand the reality of their situation a lot better than you do. Also going through something tough and having someone else tell you all the ways it could be worse  only leads to the you thinking about how other things could go wrong.

Even if you don’t understand someones situation try to be sympathetic. There are a lot of things in life I will never be able to understand due to my privilege:  being white, middle class, living in America, but that doesn’t mean I can’t sympathize will people who are struggling with something different than I am. No two situations will ever be same, so let’s build each other up and be there for one another instead of invalidating others experiences.

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

Why do we have to fight this stuff?

The laws Obama put in place to protect transgender kids were abolished yesterday.

It makes me so sad that we have to fight for trans people to use the restroom the corresponds with their gender. These laws were made to protect trans students, and the White House sent a very clear message that they are okay with putting these students lives in danger, because they don’t support trans rights. This is beyond ridiculous.

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These are the same people who make fun of safe spaces, and this is exactly why we need safe spaces! Kids shouldn’t be forced to use the wrong bathroom at school or to go by the wrong pronouns. They shouldn’t be afraid to change in the locker room or scared they might get attacked by a classmate. Abolishing these laws tells bullies what they’re doing is acceptable. 41% of transgender people will attempt to commit suicide in their lifetime; bullying and intolerance play a huge role in that statistic. Those statistics are even higher for ethnic minorities, those in poverty, and people who don’t finish high school.

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These kids need protection and love when going through the already difficult experience of middle school and high school. Why are we letting our government out an even bigger target on their back? When I was still going to high school there was a guy I knew who was trans and had gone to elementary school with me. I only knew he was trans because the news spread like wildfire. Everything from supportive comments to transphobic slurs filled the halls. For reference I went to a HUGE school, so it seemed weird that anyone cared, but this is Texas after all. Luckily my school let him use the boys locker room and bathroom, but people weren’t always very nice and he had to deal with the gossip and being misgendered daily.

I don’t have any great advice or solution to the issue, besides telling transphobic people to get their heads out of their asses, but I don’t think that’ll help. Continuing to support organizations that fight for LGBTQ+ rights like the Trevor Project, GLSEN, Trans Lifeline, and The Human Right’s Campaign is important. If you have someone who is transgender in your life let them know how much you love and support them. If you are trans know this cis gay girl may not be able to understand your struggles, but she loves you and supports you 100%!

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

Oh Valentines…

So tomorrow’s valentines day.

I personally don’t have any strong negative or positive feelings toward the 14th of February. I find it both funny and odd that people make such a big deal over one day. Lot’s of people in relationships make a huge fuss over it, and try to make valentines the “perfect day” chasing unneeded anxiety and stress. On the other hand about a week before  the 14th, all my social media gets filled with single people complaining about how sad being single is and how they hope they get in a relationship before Valentine’s Day rolls around.

Can’t we all just go back to giving each other cards and decorating heart shaped cookies?

Coming from the point of view of a seventeen year old who’s never been in a relationship- I have no problem with being single. In fact I find it humorous that anyone my age would worry about being single. It’s not that I wouldn’t be interested in being in a relationship if I found someone I liked, I just don’t think it’s the most important thing in your teenage years – and definitely not in this chronically ill hell that is my “teenage years.”

My older sister is 22 and has only dated one person. It was a very short relationship and was long distance so they didn’t get to do much together after they started dating. She talks about “being forever alone” a lot and I always tell her “YOU”RE 22!” I find it funny that I’m the younger sister yet I’m often the voice of reason in our relationship. She goes to a university that puts a big emphasis on getting engaged before graduation. I don’t think there’s anything wrong necessarily with getting engaged at 22, but that’s so young and I don’t think it’s the best idea for most people. Over Christmas break six of her friends got engaged. Six. And I got to hear about it every single time, lucky me.

Everyone is on their own journey and there is no right or wrong time line to do things. Valentines day can still be fun if you’re single, because celebrating all kinds of love is important. While my inner pessimist doesn’t hate this day so much as to say “it’s a Hallmark holiday,” I do think unrealistic expectations are set by the media. Having a candle-lit dinner at home can be just as lovely as going out to nice restaurant. Your Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be life-changing and picture-perfect; a good memory or two should suffice. An expensive gift doesn’t needed to be bought, you’re time can be the gift to one another. There’s nothing wrong with nice dinners and expensive gifts, butt hey aren’t necessary to make great memories or have a good time.

Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day,

Alyssa

There’s a Person Behind Your Politics

There is a person behind your politics,

or rather people.

Every decision you make and law you put into place affects the happiness, well-being, and prosperity of others. You can’t take the people out of politics and only think about policy, because every decision thats made affects someone else’s day to day life.

Reproductive rights, gun laws, immigration laws, LGBTQ+ rights, health care, all these things not only affect peoples happiness, but are also the difference between life and death. There is no other way to look at it in my eyes. This horrific “Muslim Ban” is tearing apart families, and will be the cause of death for many. The federal judge may have put a hold on this, but people are still being detained and treated like criminals. How can we turn our backs on our fellow human beings, cover their mouths, and let them suffer?

I’m tired of seeing white, middle class Americans having a “I got mine, but I don’t want anyone else to get there’s” mentality. Selfishness rules this country. Just take a look at the laws we put in place. We legalize weed, because people want to have the right to get high, but on other “progressive issues” the same people vote against them. People vote against marriage equality, and against reproductive rights. They want to give themselves the most rights, while restricting everyone else.

I think the problem with a lot of politicians is that they don’t think about the people they’re affecting. Immigrants and refugees are just another bullet point on a piece of paper to them. I’m happy to see so many people going out to airports to protest. Americans are riled up and angry as we should be. I will not stand behind anyone who would let another human being suffer due to their religion or ethnicity.

I believe you shouldn’t restrict others rights based off any beliefs you have. If you are anti-abortion, then don’t get an abortion, but don’t make it illegal for other people to have control over their bodies. If you’re against marriage equality, guess what, you don’t have to marry someone of the same gender, but don’t revoke the basic human right of marriage from another person.

Think about real human beings when you make decisions that will affect others lives. I want to live in a world where we treat one another with love, and compassion. I want to celebrate our different cultures, and the things that make us unique. If you’re an immigrant, practice Islam, or have family and friends in any of the countries that are now “banned” just know you are loved and wanted here.

Lots of Love,

Alyssa