Why “I’m just not very political” is an Ignorant Statement 

Few phrases get under my skin as much as, “I’m just not very political” does.

First of all, if you don’t care about politics you’re probably incredibly privileged. If it doesn’t matter who’s in power to you, you’re probably not the one getting your rights taken away, or having to fight to have rights in the first place. Even if the majority of politics “aren’t going to effect you” you should still have an ounce of humanity in you to care about other people, and how politics might affect their lives.

Most people don’t get the choice to not be involved in politics. They have to fight for basic human rights and to continue to have the right’s they’ve already been given. Being complacent isn’t an option. Minorities having been fighting the same fight for hundreds of years, and know that they can’t back down even when they’re tired or its inconvenient.

“I’m not just that political” is such a cop-out statement. As if not caring about politics excludes you from having to care and making decisions that effect other people’s lives. For example, I know a lot of people who refused to vote in the last election because they didn’t like Trump or Hillary. Choosing not to vote does not mean that you aren’t responsible for the outcome. Voting is your civic duty, and if you are able to vote and chose not to, then you are part of the problem.

Many people who claim they “aren’t very political” seem to feel a sense of moral high ground, as if caring about politics is wrong or stupid. I think not caring about politics is wrong and stupid. Attempting to exclude yourself from politics, does not make you a better or more mature person. I would actually argue that it’s incredibly immature to not participate in politics. Hard decisions have to be made, rather you like the candidates or not, and is the last election it should not have been a hard decision. No matter what country you are a citizen of, you should always be actively trying to make it a better place. If you are lucky enough to live in a democracy, then you ought to play a part in politics, and put your ballot where your mouth is. Also, if you chose not to vote, you have no right to complain about politics. You had a chance to better our country, and instead you sat idly by being complacent.

Everyone should vote.

Everyone should care about politics.

Everyone should want to move forward and better our country.

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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

 

Texas Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws

Texas is trying to put a series of anti-LGBTQ+ laws in place that are detrimental to the queer community.

The first one is a “bathroom bill” similar to one passed in  North Carolina. We fought North Carolina, and unfortunately have yet to win that battle. These so called “bathroom bills” are absolutely ridiculous and aren’t protecting anyone. They’re transphobic and only cause more problems. How do you tell someone who presents femininely and identifies as a woman to use the men’s restroom because she was assigned male at birth? That only puts her in danger, and criminalizes her gender. It doesn’t matter if the trans person “passes” or not, they have the right to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender.

Other legislation is being reviewed that lets teachers out students to their parents. This is so harmful! Suicide rates of LGBTQ+ are much higher than those of non-lgbt youth, and students who have unsupportive families only have an even high chance of self-harm and suicide. Many students don’t come out at home because they know it isn’t safe, but they are out as school and see it as a safe haven. Parents don’t get to know every piece of information about their children just because they are the parents. Some people are terrible parents and we should be protecting our  LGBTQ youth.

If you thought those were bad, just wait there’s more! They’re looking into making it legal to refuse service to someone based off their sexual orientation or gender identity and making it legal to refuse marriage licenses based off “religious beliefs.” That is complete and utter bullshit. You can’t break federal law because of religious beliefs. They already did this with Kim Davis and she ended up getting arrested, but with our mess of a government who knows what will happen.  I don’t believe being homophobic is a religious belief, but thats another topic for another time.

I’m hoping and praying that these things don’t pass, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at least a few of them did. Lots of celebrities are standing up against these laws, and I suspect if they pass they will pull their concerts and shows like they did in NC. South by South West is coming up and if people pull out, Texas could potentially lose millions of dollars.  Not only are these laws discriminatory and unconstitutional, but they are also bad for our economy.

Here’s a simple way you can help whether you’re a texan or not!

Go Here and Read the article

Scroll down to the bottom of my page and click on this to send an email to the Texas legislators to oppose these horrible, homophobic and transphobic laws!

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

What Issues are LGBTQ+ Issues?

If you would have asked me this question a year ago I would have answered,

“Trans rights, LGBTQ+ friendly healthcare, marriage equality, anti-discrimintion laws, ect.”

All those things still stand true, but the Queer community also hits so many intersections that make many more issues “LGBTQ Issues.” All queer people aren’t white, middle class, abled, male, and cis… obviously right? This means the issues that affect ethnic minorities, women, the disabled and chronically ill, religions, those in poverty and the homeless, immigration, and many more are also LGBT issues.

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The LGBT community is made up of people from different backgrounds and we should support the issues that affect everyone in our community. If someone is queer and an issue affects them and other queer people, then it’s a queer issue. You can’t say you’re an ally or fight for queer rights if you don’t fight for all queer peoples rights.

When I strongly support a cause that “doesn’t seem to affect me” in other peoples eyes I remember this is something not a lot of people get. On top of my love for my fellow human beings and wanting nothing but peace and happiness for the world, I can recognize that almost all issues affect the LGBT community. I will not sit by idly while my community is harmed, directly or indirectly.

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With all the ugliness that is going on today, it’s hard to stay up to date on everything and know how to respond. I find myself feeling overwhelmed and not knowing how I can help. All I know is doing nothing is not an option. I will continue to do everything in my power that my health allows me to do to fight for my community and others who’s voice isn’t as loud as mine.

Lots of Love,

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

 

Six Days

We are six days into the nightmare that is a Tr*mp presidency.

Here’s some of what has happened:

  1. He began to repeal the ACA which will lead to an estimated 43,000 deaths annually
  2. He overturned the progress Obama made with the Standing Rock pipeline – in other words he doesn’t care about indigenous people or the basic human right of access to clean water
  3. Stated he is not going to release his tax returns
  4. Attacked the National Parks for their tweets and told them to stop tweeting – or censoring what he doesn’t want to hear
  5. Moved forward with his plan to build a wall between the US and Mexico

 

Unfortunately there’s been more and probably will be more before I even post this. My go-to emotion isn’t sadness, but I am sad, so very sad. I’m sad for myself, I’m sad for my family and neighbors, I’m sad for America. Currently I am not proud to be an American, and the terrible thing is, that statement offends more people than anything he has done so far as President or has said/done in the past.

I’m horrified at what our government has done in the days since the inauguration. On the other hand, I am extremely happy to see the response from some of our fellow Americans. The Women’s march was amazing to say the least, and so inspiring. So many celebrities are taking a stance and encouraging others to do the same. I wanted to go so bad, but I had a doctors appointment that took over a month to schedule so I couldn’t miss it. Even here in conservative Texas we had some large marches, which made me so happy. The march obviously wasn’t enough, but it was a good start. It’s okay to be upset, I know I am, but doing nothing is not okay.

You can go here to let your senators know that the secretary of education pick isn’t okay, because someone who has never been to public school and didn’t send her kids to public school, shouldn’t be in charge of our education system. You can call your senators and let them know on the phone or show up in person, which here in Texas, that is making Senator Ted Cruz very angry.

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If you’re scared, angry, or upset, so am I. He’s gonna do some bad things, I mean he’s already done some bad things, but the only response you can control is your own. Be kind and loving to other people. Stand up for not only your rights, but also those who’s voice isn’t as loud as yours. Giving up is not an option; stand strong!

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

P.S. Here are some places you can donate to if you feel so inclined

Planned Parenthood

The Trevor Project

GLSEN

Standing Rock

ACLU

 

Practicing Intersectional Feminism

I consider myself to be an intersectional feminist. I work to look as aspects of feminism from more than my own perspective. For reference I am a teenage, white, middle class, cisgender, chronically ill,  lesbian. I have a lot of privilege, and I try my best to always be aware of it, and use it to help others.

Feminism is for everyone, plain and simple. If you want to hear more about why I identify as a feminist, read this. There is a problem with white women practicing something that has been coined as ,”white feminism.” Essentially white feminism, is believing in feminist values, while only looking through the perspective of being straight, white, female, and cisgender. So  “white feminism” isn’t feminism at all.

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I can pretty easily see the perspective of other queer women, because I am queer woman. I’m aware of the problems our community faces, because not only am I a member, but I also read a lot on LGBTQ+ issues, and try to keep myself informed. I am also chronically ill, so I understand some of the struggles the people face who suffer from chronic illness.  I have people of other genders close to me in my life but I will never fully be able to understand what it is like to be male, trans, or non-binary. I make an effort to understand the problems people of all genders face in society, and do my best to help see aspects of feminism through their eyes.  Being middle class and still dependent on my parents financially, there are a lot of struggles I most likely will never experience. I attempt to examine the problems people who live in low income households face, and fight for their rights to access to better health care, education, and job opportunities. I can only speak for the experiences I have had, but I strive to learn and understand others struggles to the best of my ability.

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Essentially intersectional feminism is all inclusive, and views issues from the standpoint of every race, religion, sex, gender, sexuality, age, ability, and economic status. The term “intersectional feminism” was coined by civil rights advocate Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. I believe intersectional feminism is the only real “type” of feminism. Intersectionality looks at feminism from every view point, and that’s the only way I feel feminism can truly be effective.

Let me know you’re thoughts on intersectionality, and how you attempt to practice it!

 

Lots of Love,

Alyssa