Hope Amongst the Chaos

I have hope among the chaos.

The American people may have voted for racism, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, and general bigotry, but I still have hope.

I have  hope in those who have responded with civil disobedience, strength and love. I have faith in those who led protests, and marches, and used their voices to speak up against injustice. Together we are strong, but contrary to popular belief you can be strong on your own.

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You can live in a red state, in the south, or in conservative family and still hold your progressive values. You are allowed to speak up amongst family, friends, and peers to let them know their choices have consequences. Those people will never see their wrong-doings if no one points them out. Be kind, loving, and educate rather than reprimand.

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Giving up will not fix anything. This situation may make us feel like the end is near, but it’s only near if we don’t do anything. I will not give up. I will not stop being loud and opinionated. I will not stand by and let myself or my fellow human beings be assaulted with words or violence. Do something, anything, but I beg you please don’t stand still.

I have hope in God that he will lead me to the right opportunities and people to be able to make a difference and help others. I have hope that God will continue to love and accept all people, no matter how his followers respond to others in this world. I think we should look at this as a wake up call rather than a curse. I knew hate and bigotry was alive and well in America,but I had no idea just how many people would be driven by the irrational fear of people who are different from them.

In the words of Michelle Obama, “When they go low, we go high.” Respond to others with love, compassion, and respect. Stand up for yourself and others who are discriminated against. I’m not going to tell you everything is going to be okay or it isn’t going to be that bad, because I don’t know that and definitely wouldn’t assume that, but I still have hope.

Have hope amongst the chaos,

Alyssa

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Femme isn’t Feminist?

I’ve seen some wacky ideas on the internet that people try to label as feminism.

One of them is that women “conforming” to wearing feminine clothing is anti-feminist. This is almost comical to me, because feminism is about supporting all genders in any way they want/feel the need to express themselves. Yes, feminism has made it more socially acceptable for women to dress in a more androgynous or masculine manner, but it isn’t a requirement to claim the title.

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I usually dress pretty femininely. I wear makeup when I go out most of the time, and in the past I’ve had long hair. I shave my legs, and get my eye brows waxed.  None of this discredits me practicing intersectional feminism. It’s quite silly to think that clothing would determine your morals and values. On the days I dress more androgynously I’m not any more/less of a feminist than the days I wear a dress.

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When I think of people believing that women must only wear dresses and skirts, I think of the 1950-1960’s. In my Grandparents church they had problems just this month with the choir director not letting people join if they wore pants. She claimed the Bible says it’s evil for women “to wear men’s clothes,” FYI that’s not in the Bible. How crazy right? Luckily even though the other members are also super conservative, they let her go of that position because they all agreed that kind of attitude wasn’t okay.

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Wear whatever you want, and whatever makes you most comfortable. It doesn’t matter your gender, sexuality, weight, height, ethnicity, etc. you can wear anything you want. There are no rules when it comes to clothing, it’s just another form of self-expression. If you want to wear short-shorts and low cut tops, do it! If you want to cover up, and dress conservatively, do that! Other people shouldn’t be dictating what you can and cannot wear.

Be authentically you and don’t apologize,

Alyssa

 

 

Reflections

This has been a wild year.

A really wild year.

Between my personal life, health issues, school, and the current state of  US politics, things are definitely  different from this time last year. Last New Year’s Day I was on vacation in Seattle and Vancouver, now I’m in my pajamas, ringing in the new year eating cereal.

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As I navigate this weird transitional period from being a child into being an adult, I have learned more about myself, and the world as a whole than I ever have before. I’ve realized my love of social justice and politics, I have become more passionate and outspoken about causes I care about, and  I am more open and comfortable with my sexuality. Things are definitely different.

This year has brought on more doctors visits, more testing, and even a trip to Cincinnati to visit the Children’s hospital there. Cincinnati was one of the worst experiences of my life, but I learned so much from it. I had thought my whole life I would go into medicine, but this experience really made me re-evaluate what I want. I also feel the need to self-advocate for my health more than ever before; I’m not a child anymore, I need to stop relying on my mom to speak for me.

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I’ve also learned that my biggest nightmares can come true, and I’ll still be okay. I was always afraid my health would force me to drop out of school, and it finally did. It was scary, and my future is unknown, but I know I’m going to be fine. It may not feel that way now, but things will change. My “biggest fears” don’t seem as scary now that I’m facing something I feared for so long.

With the election I learned some not so fun lessons. Sure, I knew racist, homophobic, and just generally bigoted people still existed (I live in Texas, hello!), but I never realized how much America was filled with so much hatred for one another. Being gay, this new government makes me scared for my future. Will I still be able to get married? Will I still be able to adopt kids? Will I be a victim of hate crime, like the people in the pulse shooting?  I hope 2017 is a rebuilding year for the states, and that Donald Trump doesn’t do any damage in these years to come. I sincerely hope he does a good job as president, but I’m expecting the worst. This year more than ever I’ve been vocal about my political opinions. I supported Hillary Clinton from the very beginning of her campaign. I got a Hillary shirt in November 2015, wore it on Election Day, and still continue to wear it, despite the ridicule I got at school from both students and teachers. She may not be perfect, but she taught me so much about being a strong woman and perseverance.

My January is filled with more doctors appointments and tests, but hopefully these will lead to the answers I’ve been looking for. I may be starting out my New Year in the same spot medically, but my oh my have I learned so much this year. I hope this time next year I’m healthier, happier, and have learned even more about life. What have you learned/ accomplished in 2016? What do you plan to accomplish in this new year?

Lots of Love and Happy New Year,

Alyssa