Sunday, March 27, 2016

Transphobia Kills

...sharing a bathroom with a trans person doesn't.

It's Not Just North Carolina...

This week, something completely disturbing happened in this nation. When it happens in one state, it can very well mean that it can happen in so many others. This is not what America is made of:

I don't have to live in NC or in any of these orange states to let this affect me. As trans, this does affect me, and this affects every trans person, no matter where we are. We don't go into a public bathroom based on our genitals. It's based on our heart. And we go just to do our business and leave, like everyone else, it's not as if we want to be in there longer than necessary. 5 minutes tops is the most we spend in there, that we share in this space with others, just 5 minutes, for a lifetime of this pain?The heart of this hate here is not even about bathrooms and who is in it. This is transphobia, a loud, shameless, and cruelest of kind. And this is about these states taking control of a situation that doesn't exist, and worst of all, it's about them using a bill to decide who is human, and who should be treated less than human. I can't believe a person, let alone a whole state, can sleep peacefully at night with a bill like this. It's criminal.

None of this is necessary. And neither is the transphobia.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

"All Lives Matter"

I've shared this image a few times on my Twitter when it comes to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and I keep on sharing once in a while as a reminder of what the movement is about at the core of it:

What I find most interesting is this:

Where were these "all lives matter" people BEFORE black people started caring about their own?

Nobody cared about "all lives matter" until black people and their allies cared about their lives and black lives.

"All lives matter" : let's get real here, it's just a passive aggressive way of somebody saying: "I don't like black people." It's micro-aggressive. Most people, on average, who say "all lives matter" are missing the point, that is if they are even listening to the point, let alone caring about the message.

No one has to agree with it, but to not see the point that is made so loud and clear?

Saying "Black Lives Matter" is not the same as saying "no other lives matter other than black people." This isn't about black supremacy. This is about an issue that is happening RIGHT NOW, that is mostly only happening to black people, and nothing is being done about it to stop the injustice towards this one group of people. We have this movement for a reason. It's not only for our health.

It's because we're still silenced.

That's anyone's choice to not care, to not listen, to not see things as they are, but then...what's the point in taking part in the discussion?  How is saying "all lives matter" conducive to anything? What are the "all lives matter" people actually doing to support this "cause" of theirs about "all lives" mattering? If they truly believe that "all lives matter," then why is it that they're so dismissive about black lives and only want to silence black voices when they're talking about #BlackLivesMatter?

They can't have it both ways.

If "all lives matter," then so do the black lives too. 

Again, let's get real here: people who respond with "all lives matter" are, if not racist (not EVERYONE who says "All lives matter" necessarily are racist), they are ignorant. But more than likely, most of them are racist. "All lives matter" to them. Except for the black ones. And that's that.

Yes, all lives do matter, but...again...THIS IS THE POINT:

Monday, March 14, 2016

No Plan

David Bowie News is one of my favorite David Bowie community pages on Facebook. Not only do they share the latest and greatest David Bowie news, but every day is a trip down David Bowie lane with every post that they share, that's all for the love of David, even more so since his passing.

I'm oh so thankful for them, for sharing this.

I remember this song from Lazarus (one of the three unreleased tracks) as if it was yesterday. Listening to this now, I'm immediately taken back there. At the time, nobody knew what the future would be, even though it was right in front of us. David was telling us right here in this moment too, in this song.

"Here there's no music here
I'm lost in streams of sound
Here. Am I nowhere now?
No plan
Wherever I may go, just where...
Just there, I am all of the things that are my life
My desires, my beliefs, my moods,
Here is my place without a plan

Here, 2nd Avenue, just out of you
Is no traffic here?
No plan
All the things that are my life
My moods, my beliefs, my desires,
Nothing to regret
This is no place
But here I am
This is not quite yet!"

All the unreleased tracks were beautiful, but this one, especially so. It stayed with me long since I heard it live. I was moved by the lyrics, but not knowing what is now.

Now...this just makes me cry. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Sweetest Thing

A complete stranger told me the sweetest thing tonight.

I saw that she needed help putting her groceries in her car, so I helped her while she was telling me about how bad her knees are and that she didn't want to be in a wheelchair ever again. After I put her groceries in her car, she said "Thank you" and looked me straight in the eyes. With so much tenderness, she gently said "I don't know if you are a boy or a girl, but that's what I like about you. You are very different. Please, do not change for anybody."

That blew me away. Negativity rules our world. Most people would sooner be mean and have forgotten how good it feels to be nice. It really does take guts to be gentle and kind these days. I couldn't believe that this person that I do not know, who does not know me either, said something like that. And with such warmth, kindness, and conviction too?

It's every day that people look at me with wonder and confusion, words not spoken, just a look, stare, or raised brow. When somebody in rare occasions does have something to say about the way I look, their words aren't kind. But it is not every day that this happens. This was actually the first time.
I couldn't help it, but when I went back in my car, I wiped tears from my eyes, because that woman truly touched me. That moment in time between us was short, but she created a memory that will last a lifetime.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Wachowski Sisters

Lilly Wachowski of the ridiculously talented film-making Wachowski duo came out today as transgender. Unfortunately, she was threatened to come out or to otherwise be outed by the Daily Mail. Everyone should come out on their own terms, when they are ready. This wasn't right, but...

In more ways than one, Lilly is free!

Alongside with her sister, Lana Wachowski.

The Wachowski sisters are something very special. This is not only cool and unique, but inspiring.

Lilly and Lana are special, cool, unique, and inspiring, just the way they are. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

What Most People See/What I See

The labels are general.

Who we are and our personal experiences gives them layers, depth, and complexities.

There's more to all of us than just the general definition of LGBT. That's why I firmly believe that we need to stop expecting everyone to be the same, and instead be more open and accepting of how everyone defines themselves in their own unique way. No two gay people are the same. No two lesbian people are the same. No two trans people are the same. No two bi people are the same. Not one lesbian, trans, gay, or bisexual person speaks for everyone. Everyone's different. We can only speak for ourselves. But in doing this, it's not only about gaining more self-understanding, but also realizing that as a community, with our similarities, there are our differences, and that in our differences, there are our similarities. Everyone's voices and perspectives are valid, and because they will all be so unique and varied by nature, it's next to impossible for one voice to be THE one.

That's okay. That's beautiful. That's a reflection of our world - and our freedom - smiling back at us.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

LGBT Film Review: Beginners


This absorbing drama follows a graphic artist as he comes to grips with the imminent death of his father, who, at 75, has one last secret: he's gay.

My Review:

One doesn't normally associate a story about a dying father and a son coping with his imminent death as the beginnings of a sweet and charming comedy, but that's Beginners, and it does it with remarkable panache, wit, style, and a whole lot of heart. Ewan McGregor is devastatingly adorable and believable as the instantly likeable Oliver who tries to cope with life as best as he can, before and after his father dying, and finding new love along the way.

It was refreshing how Beginners didn't hinge on Oliver's father being gay, and it didn't have Oliver react to his father being gay with negativity, drama, and bewilderment, but instead with immediate love and acceptance of his father wanting to be out, proud, and even dating a younger man. Along with Oliver's new outlook on life and love, I was also living for how there was some insight into how Oliver's father finds himself at the realization that being gay at 75 is rough and hard, but not even this is explored with doom and gloom. Harsh and cold realities are faced with the comedy in such a nuanced way that we don't often seen in films of this nature. Like the story itself, Beginners is inspiring. It's also engaging with the visuals galore that weave delicately throughout the course of Oliver's life, his father's life, and the many other great cast of characters that make Beginners so alive.

This may be a spoiler alert: love, at the end, conquers fear. But how that happens, how these characters get there, how Beginners shows this is truly poignant, hilarious, smart, and beautiful.

* This is currently on Netflix * 

Iman Is Where The Heart Is

Everybody knows Iman as the first international/mainstream African supermodel and the wife/widow of David Bowie. Not that this is a bad thing, but Iman was and still is more than just her beauty and being "Mrs. Bowie." She's a legendary pioneer for racial inclusivity in the fashion industry that to this day still doesn't accept people of color (not only black people, but all people of color from Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern, mixed races/multi-racial, etc.) as beautiful and "model material." Iman was the first to market a brand of cosmetics for the skin tones of people of color, being the CEO/founder of Iman Cosmetics. She's a firm believer of so many things, most of all: of her African/Somalian background, culture, and heritage and of being a refugee, all which she is so proud of and shines so dearly and humbly. And she's a global ambassador of Keep A Child Alive.

Even beyond all that, Iman's wisdom about her career, racism, privilege, beauty, love and marriage, and life in general, is something truly extraordinary to hear. It's especially amazing to watch.

"I wasn't discovered because I was not lost." 

 "Don't wait for the job to come to you. You create the job."

Here she talks about growing up in Somalia, about politics from the United Nations to the fashion industry, about modeling and acting, the terrible accident that damaged her face and required plastic surgery to repair, and how and why she created Iman Cosmetics after her and David's honeymoon:

I can't stand Wendy Williams, but I loved her interview with Iman!

Iman gives us insight into her business lifestyle and into her 20 years of being married to David, and how they've made their marriage work after all those years at the time:

Like the other interviews, Iman talks openly about the distorted perception of how the world/media first viewed her as an African model and how as an African model, she was given a "free pass" because of how "regal" she is while other black models don't have that same privilege as she does.

"There was a myth behind me...the vision they had in their head was not what they saw."

Iman's sharp intelligence, adorable sense of humor, frank honesty, and empowering positivity still rocks my world and inspires so many. Every time she speaks, it feels like home.

Iman is where the heart is.