Being Valid


  

To be honest, I’m terrible around the LGBTQ community (I’m not going to speak about the I – Intersex part of the community because I’m not intersex).


At first I always put it down as me being awkward around people. Until I realised that I could actually interact with people who were cis or non-heterosexual with ease. I could also interact with people whose gender identity or sexual orientation I was not aware of.


But put me in a room of LGBTQ people and I freeze. I feel awkward. 


Did I look up to them? after all, they were people who came out. I’m out too for the most part, but I would automatically assume that these people came out before me. So maybe I saw them as my heroes, but after spending time with them I would be able to calm down.


That never happened.


I tried joining my local LGBTQI group but I just could never interact. I didn’t contribute with my opinion on issues I could contribute on. So what was going on? 


I didn’t feel *gay* enough. I didn’t feel *queer* enough. And I feared their judgement. 


Was this way of thinking my fault, or theirs? I would say both.


It’s my fault that I feel like I’m not a valid member of the community. I need to learn that the way I feel and express myself are good ways, so long as I’m myself. I need to learn that just because I don’t identify as trans* it doesn’t mean that I’m not non-binary. 


But it’s also the community’s fault for being so aggressive. I can understand the need to fight for one’s rights, to have to justify one’s emotions because the *normal* people can’t get it. But it’s this aggressiveness which makes it so hard for someone to join that community, to say ‘here I am, in all my glory’.


It’s also the community’s fault for not fighting against the stereotypes which they themselves can perpetuate. Am I expected to look and act gay? and is there a point where I become *too* gay or queer to be accepted?


I’ve realised that I could never be part of the queer or pansexual community, and I’ve accepted that. But it’s still a very difficult thing to accept, after all, we’re all looking for our place in this world. 

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Mental Health Awareness Week

So it’s Mental Health Awareness Week until Sunday, and since I’ve been quite ‘off the radar’ I thought, what better time to come back than this week?

You see, the reason I’ve been AWOL is because I’ve been battling my anxiety for the past few months.

I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember. Probably even before then. I started self medicating from a young age. To spare you the messy details there was alcohol, smoking, drugs, self harm and suicidal ideation involved. But back then I had no idea that it was because of my anxiety, I just enjoyed the feeling of relief, those few moments when I managed to get out of my head.

Those moments were short lived, and so I started medicating more frequently, until I realised that I was going too far. Ok, I didn’t realise it by myself, I met someone who made me realise that self medication wasn’t the way to go.

So instead I immersed myself in meditation, spirituality, philosophy and learning. And that gave me temporary relief, but it was enough to get by. I still had no name for the emotions I was feeling.

It was only last year that I finally realised that what I was feeling wasn’t regular stress, but actual anxiety. I started having fainting spells because of all the stress and anxiety I was under, I stopped being able to sleep, my mind was making me see horrors in the dark. I became paranoid about the slightest thing. However, thankfully those moments would pass, and I would forget all about them. I figured that I was only experiencing the ‘normal’ amount of anxiety, and that once I did what had to be done, then the anxiety would go away. I still had no idea that what I had wasn’t ‘normal’ but an ‘extreme’.

Then from November till January I was under a lot of stress due to University work. I was constantly on the go. If I was on the bus I was working, when I got to work and I had nothing to do, I would be working on University things, or on work related to the student organization I was a member of. I was constantly on the go. And even though that gave me a lot of pleasure, I was constantly running on a high. It was as though I was running away from something. I lost touch with myself in the process.

After many restless nights, when the horror movies in my head became too much to handle, nights when I literally felt as though I was dying, I started to research. I realised that I definitely was not having a normal reaction to anxiety. It turned out I was having a normal reaction to anxiety, but it was my anxiety which was not normal.

I had a mental health issue.

But I didn’t accept it.

Yes, I could tell myself that I’m anxious, but I refused to seek help. I would handle it the way I always did. I started drinking again. I would tell myself that it helped me focus on my assignments, it was just a method to relax.

But the anxiety didn’t go away. Months started passing, and sometimes it would calm down, and I could sleep, and I wouldn’t keep checking over my shoulder to see if someone was following me.

But then it would just flare up again.

And finally, after about three nights in a row where I felt I was going to die, when my chest hurt and I would cry without control, and I finally admitted that yes, I needed help. I sent an email and made an appointment at the counselling unit the very next day.

Best decision of my life.

I’m still in therapy, but I already feel better. I still have anxiety, therapy doesn’t automatically take away the anxiety, take away that fear. But I’m starting to learn more about myself. I thought I was a very self aware person, but now I’m realising that the self medication was stopping me from being in touch with myself. And now I’m learning about myself, the good, the bad and the ugly. And I’m learning how to live with my anxiety, instead of expecting it to magically disappear.

So what’s my point? My point is that mental health is an important thing. One of the most important things we have. And it’s ok to have a mental health problem. It’s actually more common than you think. According to recent statistics, 1 in 4 of us have Anxiety, and 1 in 3 will have depression. So if you think of all the people you’ve met recently, you’ve definitely met someone who had anxiety, and another who had depression.

So during this week, please try find out as much as you can about mental health, particularly how you can help someone with a mental health problem. How to be there for someone. And if you have a mental health issue, then seek help. Find a friend you can confide in, or make an appointment at your nearest counselling unit. It’s actually not as scary as you think it is.

Anti-gay preacher accuses LGBTQI community

Al Haddad, an anti-gay preacher, sits on the board of the Islamic Shariah Council, and in “Standing up against Homosexuality”, he wrote on the “the scourge of homosexuality”, calling it a “criminal act”.

He responded to calls for him to be banned from speaking at the University of Westminster, saying: “This is a completely misplaced campaign. The event has nothing to do with Islam’s position on homosexuality yet this is the focus of their complaint. There is a clear attempt being made to almost criminalise certain aspects of being a Muslim. In the religion of Islam it is clear-cut that homosexual acts are a sin and are unlawful in the Shariah. Trying to censor lawful speech does not change this fact.”

“I do not believe the views I hold are much different to those of orthodox Christian or Jewish religious leaders. I have only ever engaged in lawful speech and have never been prosecuted for hate speech or inciting hatred. I would remind those who initiated this campaign that this country is supposed to be based on freedom of religious belief and expression. I am a strong believer in dialogue, regrettably the LGBTI society wants to shut it down.”

via Anti-gay preacher: The LGBT community is trying to ‘shut down’ my ‘dialogue’ · PinkNews.

 

Now I’m all for freedom of speech. However, i disagree with him calling it a ‘dialogue’. When you speak out AGAINST something with such fervour, that’s not dialogue. That’s spreading hatred.

Second, honestly I don’t care what your religion tells you. It’s your religion, not necessarily mine.  We need to stop making laws based on religion and instead focus on laws which are relevant to the human person. Will criminalising the ‘homosexual act’ help anyone? Let’s face it, no, it wont. I don’t like clowns, but doesn’t mean they should be made illegal just cause they make me uncomfortable.

Are two adults in a consenting relationship wrong? anyone with a braincell will tell you no.

So should it be illegal? no, it shouldn’t.

That’s the dialogue. Not ‘my hold book says this’ or ‘my morals and beliefs say this’. Guys, start talking facts.

 

 

What is ‘Non-binary’ Anyway?

ImageWell, most people (and you were probably also raised to think this way) believe that gender is either male or female. 2 genders. Therefore, binary. However, gender is more complex than that.

First off, gender and sexuality have nothing to do with one another. Sexuality is who you would be attracted to, and gender is who you ARE. Then you also have gender expression, which is how one chooses to express their gender, this may or may not be in the traditional way. For example, I may identify as female, but I express my female-ness through strength. Note how I didn’t say ‘femininity’. Femininity and masculinity are cultural concepts. What is feminine in one culture would not be feminine in another.

Anyway, second: Gender is a spectrum. A simplified explanation of this can be found in the image above. This means that gender isn’t just black or white, male or female. There are varying degrees of ‘male’or ‘female’. And where you fall on this spectrum is your binary gender.

Some people however (including myself) do not fall anywhere on this spectrum. We feel non-binary. There isn’t really a way to explain how this feels, but just as someone may feel and identify with male, or female, I identify as non-binary. It’s what makes sense to me, and makes me feel at ease.

Non-binary is an umbrella term, with various other identities, such as third gender (a gender other than male or female).

Ultimately, your gender is your own, and it’s such a complex thing that labels will not always fit perfectly. It’s like wearing a shirt which is a size or two too big for you. It fits, you can go around with it, but you know its too loose. Still, a shirt which is too big is way better than a shirt which is way too small for you and you just feel constrained.

Children of a Lesser God

Marlee Matlin. Nuff said.

I have never shipped someone so hard…until Karmy OBVZ

Before this exquisite creature was Bette’s sexy girlfriend on the L Word, Ms. Matlin played a deaf woman in ‘Children of a Lesser God‘ for which she won an oscar for best female in a leading role. It was her debut performance! She was on par with Julie Andrews! She was (and STILL is) the youngest woman to win an oscar for a leading role – at the age of 21…and what are you doing?

Isn’t she the cutest? Ps. That’s the sign for ‘I love you’

Anyway, this film deals with James, a speech language teacher with a lot of energy. He starts to teach at a deaf school where Sarah (Marlee Matlin) is the cleaner, despite being the brightest student that school has ever seen. When James isn’t teaching deaf children how to sing ‘Boomarangrang’ he’s following Sarah around, trying to make sense of her.

Sarah’s got moves y’all

Sarah, on the other hand, is a very angry deaf person in a hearing world (sounds familiar my non-binary darlings?). She is tired of reading lips and therefore refuses to do so, causing James to have to sign to her for her to communicate back.

James cannot understand why she won’t speak. And let’s face it, he’s a speech language teacher for a reason. He wants Sarah to start speaking, to aim higher than her cleaning job at the school. She angrily signs to him ‘I will not do anything I can’t do well’. 

After investigating Sarah’s past, he starts to make sense of her situation and her anger.

They fall in love, but their differences in values: hers of being independent without having someone speak for her, and his of pushing her to speak like everyone else, causes a huge rift between them.

‘together, united as one’

This movie is pure gold. There isn’t closed captions however you can always understand what is going on either from movement or from the others. For example James would say what Sarah is saying out loud. He says his signing is rusty so this could be his way of understanding what she is saying. Whatever, either way, don’t worry this movie is very understandable.

Another note, the sound. When James is alone, the music is loud. He plays classical music on his LP player, there’s the sound of footsteps, of doors, of things happening outside. When there’s Sarah, you only hear the bare minimum. A footfall, maybe a door opening or shutting. But most of the time it is silent. I found this very powerful to try understand the differences between them.

Final verdict: WATCH THIS MOVIE NOW

New Header

So it’s a sunday here, which is traditionally referred to as ‘lazy sunday’ or ‘sunday funday’… So since I had some time on my hands (which is a very rare occurrence trust me) I decided to stay playing around with some graphics to create a new header.

nonbinaryplasma
VOILAAAAAAAA

If you’re an avid follower of this blog (and let’s face it, why wouldn’t you be) … first off, I love you guys, and second, you’d probably have realised that I’m continuously changing the style and colours. I like changing things up once in a while, but I kinda like how it’s looking right now so I think it will remain this way for a while.

As always, if there’s something that annoys you just let me know. I love constructive criticism…while I drown my sorrows in pizza. I think I hear the doorbell………

Faking It (Season 1)

If you haven’t heard of faking it, then sit your ass in front of your computer screen [oh right you’re already doing that…] and download the entire series!

But first, some backstory: Amy (played by the gorgeous Rita Volk) and Karma (played by the equally gorgeous Katie Stevens) are best friends. Like, utter best friends. Like, the kind of best friends you wish you could have but never will cause you’re not Rita nor Katie.

Anywayyy  

Amy and Karma aren’t that popular [read: at all] – which is strange cause…look at them. But Karma desperately wants to be popular, so she drags Amy to a huge party. At the party, Shane (Michael J. Willet) – who is probably the most fabulous gay man on television right now – mistakes Amy and Karma for lesbian lovers. I mean, they’re always together, they’re quiet, and Amy’s got a real butch style going on…so really, who could blame him. So what does this fabulous gay boy do?  He publicly outs them, in the hope of helping them come to terms with their sexuality.

Instantly people rejoice. Probably important to note here that this school is like, super gay friendly. It’s the ‘cool thing’ to be out and proud here. Homophobia is like, so a millenium ago.

damn you KARMY

Karma embraces her newfound popularity, especially since it helped her catch the eye of Liam Booker (read: booger), played by Gregg Sulkin, who apparently is the high school heartbreaker. So she begs Amy to pretend to be her lesbian lover. At first Amy just doesn’t want to go along with the lie, it’s too much of a drag…until she kisses Karma at the school assembly…fireworks go off, signalling the start of one of the best love triangles ever.

Shane you little cutie

Still not hooked? Watch the trailer here: