(BTW check out my super hot extra short haircut!!)
Facebook memories reminded me that I officially came out as bisexual (now pansexual) two years ago today.
I’ve never regretted coming out as LGBT and supporting equality, even though I’ve dealt with a lot of judgment and abandonment for it, and society can be a very scary place for us sometimes.
I’m so much happier now that I can just be myself, without feeling terrified that these feelings for people other than men somehow made me “broken” or “disgusting” or unworthy of being treated with respect and admiration. I used to be so scared and humiliated to even admit these feelings to myself because I thought they made me a bad person. I also had the fear of Hell when I was religious.
Trying to convince myself that I was “normal” resulted in even more anxiety and depression. Coming out of the closet, and getting involved in a community that adores and respects me just as I am, has helped me SO much.
Although I still have anxiety and depression, it’s getting better every day, and I know that being able to openly be myself has been a huge part of it. So thank you to everyone who has supported me as LGBTQ, and who has supported LGBTQ equality, because you guys have helped me a lot these past couple years. I needed your support and acceptance while I was figuring myself out and healing from life traumas, and you came through for me.
I’m still quite stressed about some money stuff, but even that is getting better and my anxiety has been manageable despite it. Some days I feel almost giddy because my cheerful happy creative self is back, and I’m slowly regaining my physical strength as well.
2017 is going to be a fantastic year. I have decided. It shall be full of music, art, kinky shenanigans, geeky everything, and hopefully healthy friendships and relationships. And lots of kitty snuggles. And probably copious amounts of chocolate.
Compliments that put down other women aren’t the kind that I want to receive.
“You’re not like other girls.” Why is this a good thing? Why are other girls so unworthy of your attention?
“You’re so much prettier than most other girls.” Are you saying they are all ugly? Why should I respect you for that comment?
“I don’t like basic girls, they’re so boring and bad in bed. You’re interesting.” Um…
“Most girls look bad in makeup and wear too much of it, but you make it look good.” Ahhh!!! No!!!
“I’m so glad you’re not like other girls that dress like a (insert “prude” or “immodest worldly woman” comment here).” How a woman dresses does not determine her self-respect, morality, or ability to be good in bed.
Why do we think that putting other girls down is a good way to build up someone else? It’s not, and yet people on both ends of the modesty/body exposure spectrum do it to us all the time. Either we are called prudes for covering up, or we are shamed for showing off our body when we finally overcome our body image issues enough to be proud of how we look.
All women have beauty. All women are worthy of love and respect, no matter what we wear or how pretty we are or how “basic” we are.
So if your compliments involve putting down other women to make your partner feel good, then may I suggest that perhaps there is a level of disrespect and judgment towards women in your mindset? And perhaps, just maybe, it’s ok to compliment the women in your life while still acknowledging the value of other women?
I’d like to hear compliments that DON’T involve comparison. Things like:
“You look so beautiful in that dress, I just want to look at you all day.”
“I love that you are just as beautiful whether you wear makeup or not.”
“I’m amazed by your compassion and intelligence.”
“Your commitment to personal growth is so admirable.”
“You worked really hard today. Thank you.”
“Damn girl, your ass is looking FINE today. I’d tap that. With your consent, of course.”
“I’m so glad that our personal values and interests are compatible. Thank you for being someone I can relate to and confide in.”
Do you see the difference? Instead of putting other girls down for not being like your girl, or for not being a good match for you, why not just focus on what makes her amazing to you personally?
Note: This also applies to other genders, not just women.
I got this ear cuff from Hot Topic and I LOVE IT. Especially when my hair is shaved or buzzed on the side. I’ve worn it with a corset, casual tank top, punk ish outfits involving a leather vest, and I’m excited to play around with more fashion combinations. I like how one piece of jewelry can be used in so many ways.
We need society to accept LGBTQ people as normal. Not because we care about what other people think about us, or because we want others to become gay or to give up their beliefs, but because we are abused and mistreated and shot down in cold blood because so many people see us as immoral, disgusting, and deviant. Being treated as abnormal and immoral is not only hurtful and emotionally damaging, it is dangerous.
When you say there is something wrong with us or that we are abominations, remember Orlando.
When you say gay marriage or gender non-conformity will ruin our nation, remember Orlando.
When you oppose our equal rights and are silent when we are bullied and oppressed, remember Orlando.
Remember that hurtful and violent people will listen to what you say about us, and and they will always take it much farther than you intend. Your words against us are not harmless, even if your intentions are good. Are you encouraging them to love us, or fear us? Accept us as equals, or see us as threats to their way of life?
Silence only benefits the people hurting us. Silence encourages their awful actions against us even more. How much violence and harm could be avoided if more people stood up for us when people put us down or mistreat us?
It’s a shame that it takes a mass shooting for people to take the rampant oppression and violence against the LGBTQ community seriously. How many more of us have to suffer or die before people will put aside their judgements of our personal lives and stand by us as human beings?
It frustrates me that women are often chided for being less trusting of men. We’re told “not all men are like that! Why are you so closed off to men? Why do you ignore messages from male strangers but not female strangers? Why would you consider playing with a female you met online but not a man?”
Because countless men have proven themselves to be threatening to me, and women have not.
If someone gets bitten by a dog, no one is surprised if they are a bit more wary of other dogs afterwards. If you’re bitten by multiple dogs, the fear is even more understandable. But this is what it’s like to be a woman:
We grow up around dogs that like to chase us, even when we are very young. Sometimes it’s just playful, but often it’s scary even if they don’t actually bite us because they are bigger and stronger. Then at some point we do get bit- sometimes very badly, sometimes more than once. We start to become more wary of dogs in general. We notice every time that one of them looks at us with an aggressive snarl, or follows us down the street. We hear every time they bark at us in a non-friendly way; and they do it a lot. After a while, we learn that even the nicest looking dogs can become very mean if you don’t give them what they want. A year ago I was chased by a very large black dog that was aggressive and territorial. That was a first for me. I’m not generally scared of dogs, I love dogs, but after that I learned to be less trusting around dogs I don’t know.
Fear grows- a fear founded in tragic reality. We start viewing most dogs with suspicion and even fear until we know for sure that they are safe. Then our friend gets a new dog and is annoyed when we are wary of him. “What’s wrong with you? Not all dogs are bad! You’re being paranoid and judgmental. You don’t even know this dog yet. He’s so nice.”
(Note: This is not meant to demean men by comparing them to dogs. It’s just the best analogy I could think of that most people can relate to.)
We are judged for not trusting men, even though we have learned that so many of them cannot be trusted and we can’t always tell which ones are which. We are called bitches or cunts when we refuse a man’s advances, and we are also judged for being snappy and “rude” when we call out yet another man who assumes he has a right to our body, our attention, or our trust and comfort. Why do I snap at men who are pushy or act entitled? It’s equal parts pent-up frustration and self-preservation. If I don’t put them in their place, I have learned that they will not leave me alone. And if they comment publicly and I don’t call them out publicly, then other men learn that it’s ok to treat me that way too.
But when a woman says no or is blunt, she is labeled rude or a bitch. We are supposed to be sweet and accommodating to any man’s desires, whether we want it or not. If we must turn him down, we are expected to do it in such a way that we don’t bruise his ego. “I can’t do that for you, I’m dating someone else.” Or, “I’m not playing with anyone right now, it’s not just you.” Or, “You’re a nice guy but I’ve got too much going on in my personal life right now.” While these things may often be true, sometimes they’re not but we feel pressured to say them anyways. To tell a man no because we don’t like him or don’t trust him can result in a verbal tirade or guilt trips or, in some in-person cases, even violence. We are expected to take the blame for their desired interaction not working out so they don’t have to feel personally rejected. Many men do not handle personal rejection very well, and we often bear the brunt of their displeasure.
Most good men never see the extent of what we deal with because these asshole men often don’t act this way when we have male friends or partners with us. They respect other men and see us as your “property”, so they usually leave us alone when we’re with you. This is why I’ll wear more revealing clothing if I’m with a group of friends, but I wear leggings under my mini skirt and cover up my cleavage when I’m alone at night or in sketchier parts of town. This is not done out of modesty, but out of concern for my safety and to avoid unwanted attention.
This is also why many women will wear a fake wedding ring or say they have a boyfriend- often the easiest way to get a man to stop making unwanted advances is to say that we already “belong” to another man. They won’t respect us, but they don’t want to deal with another man. The man who assaulted me wouldn’t stop texting me afterwards, wanting to do it again. I was too scared to tell him I didn’t have a good time, he knew where I lived and I was in a very rural area alone most nights, so I felt safest telling him that I’d started dating someone and wasn’t looking for casual sex anymore. But even that didn’t stop him indefinitely. I blocked him and made a new OkCupid profile, but he found it a month after and assumed I was no longer dating the guy, and he texted me again. He wouldn’t leave me alone until I got rude with him, and I only felt safe doing that because I was moving to Vancouver and he didn’t know where I’d be living. I literally had to move to another country and change my phone number before I felt safe from him.
The men in my life also didn’t see the creepy advances I received online from middle aged men when I was barely 14, or the way older guys looked at me when I was even younger. We are prey to them- and not in a fun BDSM primal play kind of way. They want to possess us whether we’re willing or not, whether we’re adults or children. Women learn to watch for dangerous men from a very early age.
I love men, don’t get me wrong. I trust certain men very deeply. There are countless wonderful men who are unfortunately negatively impacted by the actions of other unscrupulous men. But I can’t help how I’ve been treated, or how society currently treats women. Good men and mistreated women are both affected by this patriarchal rape culture fuckery. If you’re a good man, you’ll have a lot of extra hurdles to overcome when seeking a woman. It’s not your fault how women are treated by other men, but please don’t blame us for how we have learned to protect ourselves. As frustrating as this is for you, it’s far worse for us. I don’t like being mistrusting of people, but I also have to be safe. For me to trust you, I have to see that you are safe. A random message on the internet or a brief conversation in person doesn’t even come close to proving that you are a good guy and not a bad guy.
“That’s what happens,” she said. “You let people in and they destroy you.”
(Random quote seen on Pinterest.)
This is my biggest fear right now: The fear of letting people in.
What happens if I let people in past my walls and they reject me or hurt me?
What if they get to know me and don’t like what they see in me?
What if life gets complicated and I become an inconvenience or disposable to them?
What if I go through changes and they stop loving or respecting me?
What if I confide in them and they laugh at me or berate me for my choices?
What if I’m kind to them and they hurt me or use me in return?
I fear these things because I’ve experienced them- and not just once or twice. I’ve also seen it happen to so many people I care about.
When I start to see patterns or attitudes in people that remind me of how I’ve been treated before, I want to either run and hide far away from them, or I feel the urge to forcefully push them away before they can hurt me? Sometimes those fears are legitimate and I should listen to my intuition; other times I’m just reading too much into things and am letting my insecurities get in the way. But after a while of being hurt and seeing others get hurt by those they trusted, I start to feel like I can hardly trust or open up to anyone. And not just with intimate or romantic relationships, but also with friendships and other platonic connections. Even family. Maybe especially with family.
Some days the thought of taking risks in opening up to people I’m not sure about is overwhelming. The “what if’s” never end. At times our intuition protects us from people who are not good for us. Other times we misjudge a good person because we’re afraid or have unrealistic expectations. How do we figure out when we should trust and when we should keep our distance? I’m still trying to figure that out. I have a feeling it’ll be a lifetime learning curve.
We shouldn’t live in fear. We can’t shut out the whole world- at least not for long. Not without destroying ourselves in the process, which defeats the purpose of shutting everyone else out to protect ourselves. Life comes with risks. If I never let anyone in, then I’ll never open myself up to the opportunity for beautiful, meaningful connections. For everyone out there who is hurtful or would throw me away with little thought, there’s someone else who would respect me and even treasure me if given the opportunity. Fear robs us of the chance to grow and experience life to the fullest. I try to conquer my fears because I don’t want them to rule my life.
But damn it’s fucking scary.