The Truth About Texas

Texas is the butt of many jokes, specifically about how conservative it is.

While it may be a red state, Texas isn’t always the hell it’s been made out to be.

I’ve lived half my life in South Texas – San Antonio, and the other half in North Texas – Dallas. I’ve always lived in the suburbs so my experience stems from that. Cities like Dallas, Austin, and Houston are all incredibly progressive and you’ll find more democrats than republicans there. San Antonio is a little different. There’s a heavy catholic influence so people tend to lean more conservative, but there re still more progressive people in the city than other places in Texas.

The high school I went to was predominately white, but also had a sizable asian population. While there was the occasional super republican kid who spit out all the bigoted phases they heard at home, most people were pretty chill. I came out to a few of my friends at the time, and while they were shocked, it wasn’t a big deal. There were LGBTQ+ kids who were out and dating and most people didn’t care or at least didn’t care enough to say anything.

You will see protesters outside planned parenthood or standing on an overpass with their open carried guns, but those kind of people are everywhere. Even in the most liberal areas in the US there are still conservative people. I think most people would be surprised how many progressive and moderate people live here.

My narrative may be different from someone who grew up in a small town. The small town conservative mentality reaches much farther than the South though. Being LGBTQ+ in Texas isn’t always the death sentence its made out to be. While I would never want to erase the struggles of people who have experienced abuse for being LGBT in Texas, I think it’s important for people to know that isn’t everyones narrative. There are happy LGBTQ+ people who live in the South and people who come from religious families who have positive coming out stories.

Do I daydream about living in San Fransisco where most people identify with being LGBTQIA+in some way or another? Yes of course, but for now i’m pretty happy right where I am. I want to see the Texas legislature be reformed and more sane people go into power. These past few weeks a lot of bigoted laws have been put into place, and that has to change. I don’t think running to leave Texas the first chance I get is going to help anyone, and for now I want to stick around and do my part to make Texas a place where everyone is respected and receives the equity they deserve.

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

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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

 

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

 

Yes I’m in the Room: Chronically Misunderstood

For a while now I’ve been trying to come up with some sort of title for a series of stories that have to do with misunderstandings, awkward moments, and chronic illness. This is the best title my brain can come up with for now: Chronically Misunderstood

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Yes I’m in the Room:

First off you’re gonna need to know a bit of the back-story. In the seventh grade (2012) I had my gallbladder and appendix removed. The healing process was long and my pain only got worse from there. I had some complications and vomited bile, all day, everyday or over a week. It was the beginning of missing a lot of school and church, because I felt awful.

This incident happened at a church I used to attend but left a little over a year ago. We spent a total of around six years there and I’ve mentioned before that it had a lot of problems. At this point we had been there for around three years and were pretty engaged. It was a huge church, and it became very easy to slip through the cracks.

One day at the end of Sunday school the main teacher makes an announcement. She tells the class that I had been sick, had surgery, and had been in the hospital. She then proceeds to ask the class to donate items for a care package for me. Now this was a nice gesture and the woman who had the idea was very kind, but there was just one problem. I was in the room.

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She obviously didn’t know what I looked like or who I was, because I was there. Mortified and wishing I wasn’t, but I was there. Someone told her afterwords that I was in the room and she came up to me and told me how happy she was that I was doing better. She completely ignored how awkward the situation was.

The room was full of around 5o kids who were in my grade, plus all the other teachers. Everyone who knew me or at least knew who I was turned and looked at me as she spoke about “how sad” my situation was. My friends couldn’t stop laughing and I was just siting there unsure of how to respond. AHHHHH!

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Now I think it’s hilarious, and I hope you found it funny too. The funniest part to me is that they never “took up items” for me. All that and nothing came from it. I definitely didn’t want anything and didn’t expect anything, but I found it kinda odd to make such a scene and then do nothing. Oh well, all you can do is laugh!

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

 

 

Snowing in Texas!?

Ahh it’s snowing here in TEXAS!

This hasn’t happened in a long time and I’m so excited! It started out as just a few flurries, but it’s starting to stick a little bit.

 

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The front yard
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The loungers!

We probably won’t get very much, and it most likely won’t stay around for long, but it’s still fun! Little unexpected positive things mean a lot when you’re stuck at home all day. Is it snowing where you live? Does it snow every year? Let me know!

Lots of Love,

A very excited Alyssa

Where is the love?

I’m tired of seeing hate and bigotry all over the news.

I’m tired of seeing hate crimes, and racial targeting.

I’m tired of seeing innocent lives being taken, and then justice not being served.

This morning I saw a video of an altercation between a white cop and a black woman in Fort Worth, Texas. The woman had called the police after her white neighbor choked her seven year old son, because the boy didn’t pick up his trash when the neighbor told him to. The situation escalated quickly after the cop questioned why it was wrong for the man to choke her son, then he put the woman and her daughter in hand cuffs, and threw the mom on the ground. Let that sink in. This cop looked a mother in her eyes and asked why is was wrong for her child to be choked, and then put her in handcuffs. While in the end (as far as I’ve seen) the cop didn’t shoot or injure anyone, unlike many cases of police brutality that have taken place this year, he still sent a clear message to not only this family, but all of America, that black lives don’t matter, and white people are allowed to terrorize and abuse minorities.

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Now these incidents of police brutality aren’t new; the news is only now beginning  to cover these stories. Every week, if not everyday, there is a new hate crime being committed by officers and every day people towards minorities in America. I don’t think all law enforcement is bad, but this past year I have seen more harm than good.  Police officers are power hungry, and their go to emotions are often hatred and hostility. Every experience I’ve ever had with a cop as a white woman in America has been negative. We aren’t adequately training our officers, and they are becoming “trigger happy,” and killing innocent black people left and right, and then not being indicted. How are police officers supposed to “keep us safe” if they are a huge part of the problem?

I will never know what it is like to be black in America, but I do know I am terrified every time I see a cop car, and I can’t imagine the kind of anxiety minorities must feel. Police officers are afraid of black people, due to their own racism and bigotry, and in return black people are often afraid of police officers because cops are killing their friends, family members, and neighbors unjustly. Black lives matter. I will never understand how someone can respond to that statement with, “no, all lives matter!” Saying black lives matter does not negate the fact that everyone’s life has value. It simply states that black lives do matter, are important (especially right now), and it is a movement for racial equality.

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Where is the love? And why are we letting our fellow Americans get murdered? We are all human, and race, sex, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, class, or age shouldn’t change how we treat one another. The amount of racism in America shakes me to my core, and I will never understand the hatred in some peoples hearts. Everyone deserves love, respect, and equality.  As cheesy as it may be, I really love the Black Eyed Peas song, “Where is the love?”

“But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate, yeah”

Why has it been okay to discriminate against one another? Since our new President is being inaugurated soon, I believe the American people need to band together for the greater good, instead of continuing this great divide. Fighting one another will only cause more harm, and so far it’s getting us no where. Every life has value, and black people deserve to be treated justly and have the same rights as every white man. I want to live in a world where we are all equal, and bigotry isn’t tolerated

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Love your neighbor as yourself, and treat everyone with respect. Do no harm, and fight for others rights. I want to see more white people calling out injustices, and less innocent people being killed.  We may say “liberty and justice for all,” but I have yet to see a society in which that is true.

Lots of Love to Everyone,

Alyssa

 

P.S. This somehow got deleted and I had to write it again. It was better the first time, but I hope you still enjoy it.

Happy Holigays?

I live in Texas, which I feel like I’ve made that abundantly clear, but if you didn’t know, now you do. Unfortunately this means the majority of my family is super conservative, and I’m going to have to see them at Christmas.

We normally spend two days at my Grandmother’s house on Christmas, but now that both my parents work full time, we will only be going on Christmas morning and leaving that afternoon. I love my family, but I don’t have a lot in common with them, and my extended family doesn’t know I’m gay.

It’s not that I’m too scared to tell them or don’t want them to know, I just don’t want to hear their responses. I think most of them would be too shocked to say anything, but at least one of my uncles would probably be rude about it. All my “coming out” experiences have been positive so far, and I really don’t want that to change. I know that at some point I’m going to have someone reprimand me for my sexuality, or a random person on the street yell at me when I hold a girls hand, but for now I’ve only experienced love and kindness.

Of course I won’t wait till I get engaged and then drop the bomb on them, but I have no plans to do it anytime soon. They probably wouldn’t come to my future wedding anyway.  I’ve told my mom that she can tell whoever she wants, but I don’t think she feels ready to tell other people herself. The only bad thing about not telling them is I feel like I can’t be myself around any of them, and it’s exhausting.

At Thanksgiving it took all of ten minutes for my least favorite uncle to say something racist. Ten Minutes. I am very opinionated and have a spit-fire attitude a lot of the time, so being around them is hard for me. It isn’t only the fact that I’m gay, its also that I am WAY more progressive than all of them, identify as a feminist, and generally can’t stand their bigotry. I mostly just don’t speak a whole lot at family functions , or I ask other people about their lives. Every single time either one of my aunts or my Grandmother will ask me if I  have a boyfriend. No, and I never will.

My immediate family is so supportive, and for that I will forever be grateful. Many people have terrible coming out experiences, and I cannot imagine the pain that must come with that. This holiday season, spend time with the people you love, and those who love you back. Just because someone is related to you, doesn’t mean you owe them anything. Family can have so many different definitions, and if those people aren’t the same people as your biological family, thats okay. Holidays can be hard when your relationship with your family is rough, but know there are other people like me out there who will love and accept you.

Lots of Love This Holiday Season,

Alyssa