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Category Archives: News

My Fellow Americans

Last night, I watched Barack Obama deliver his farewell speech, ten days before Donald Trump takes office as the new President of the United States of America. I can’t believe I just typed that. The crowd chanted “FOUR MORE YEARS” and I wish it was a possibility. President Obama said:

“Yes, our progress has been uneven. The work of democracy has always been hard. It has been contentious. Sometimes it has been bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.”

He kept things classy; when he said that “in 10 days the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy,” the crowd began to boo. He urged them to stop, saying that the peaceful transfer of power will occur, just as former President Bush did for him eight years ago.

President Obama said that he left the stage even more optimistic than when we started. “Let me tell you, this generation coming up — unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic — I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, and just, and inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, that it’s not something to fear but something to embrace, you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result the future is in good hands.”

President Obama asked us to believe, but not in his ability to bring about change. He asked us to believe in our own ability. “I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written. Yes, we can. Yes, we did.”

Re-reading this amazing speech brings tears to my eyes once again. I am terrified of what is to come once Donald takes office. This is a man who has no idea what he is doing. He is appointing people who want to tear apart all the work that President Obama has done in his years in office. This is a man who is grossly unqualified for the position he is about to fill. Can you imagine Donald delivering the speech that Obama did? Neither can I. He can’t do it.

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I am trying to believe. I am trying to have hope. But it’s difficult to see when we’re losing a fantastic President and replacing him with a bloated orange sack of hot air. Donald got elected because he knew how to rile up a crowd. He could say the right things to incite a riot, and people bought into it. The American citizens elected Hillary Clinton, but the system elected Donald. And now we’re stuck with him for the next four years, unless an impeachment occurs and succeeds.

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I am a woman. I am a minority. I support LGBTQ+ rights, am pro-choice, and am everything Donald hates in a person. This is a punch in the gut to know that we’re going from such a classy President to one who is simply an ass.

Half of the country voted this circus peanut into office, but I hope that they realize their mistake and take President Obama’s advice. We have a voice. We have the power to change things. We don’t have to sit back and try to survive the next four years; we can speak out and take action and do our best to keep this train from derailing. We have to. America won’t survive if we don’t. I’m absolutely terrified, but I have half the country on my side, and together, we can and we will bring about change. In all sincerity, thanks Obama. Your shoes are impossible to fill and you will be missed more than you know.

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Don’t Blame The Undertaker

I was searching Google high and low for all things wrestling in order to get some ideas for Face To Heel, and I came across a strangely titled article. “Father Who Killed Son With Wrestling Move To Serve 30 Years.” According to the report, Alonso Castillo, a 26 year old man, pled guilty to second degree murder this August and was recently sentenced to serve 30 years for killing the 6 month old baby.

 

While caring for his son, Draven, Castillo decided it would be appropriate to wrestle with the infant when he had become a bit fussy. The report says “in a move from his favorite wrestler, The Undertaker, the defendant lifted Draven into the air and slammed him into the ground.” The child suffered a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury, which caused his death two days after the incident. Mother, Paige Hydle, was not present during the time of the injury.

Neighbors stated that after Castillo dropped Draven, he came to their apartment and told them that his son was not breathing. He then “distractedly watched” as they called for help and attempted CPR. The neighbors stated that Castillo kept repeating over and over that he was in trouble due to a trespass warning from apartment management. Apparently Castillo had thrown a chair through a glass window while arguing with Hydle.

 

 

The investigation showed that Draven had “multiple bruises, a fractured arm, and a cut tongue.” Castillo’s original excuse was that he was imitating The Undertaker’s Tombstone Piledriver (though the actual move is not mentioned by name in any news stories). When officers questioned Castillo a second time, he confessed to slamming Draven on the ground because he wouldn’t stop crying.

The media, as they do, latched on to The Undertaker detail and ran with it. The story became less about an irresponsible idiot murdering an innocent baby and more about the fact that imitating Undertaker caused a death. This had nothing to do with wrestling. You can’t physically perform that move with a baby. A preteen, sure, but not a baby. No, this is the story of a man who couldn’t handle himself and threw his child into the ground, then attempted a pitiful cover story when he realized that he had gotten too rough.

It’s typical; something awful happens and the go-to reaction is to find something familiar and easy to blame it on. “Guy pretending to be Undertaker” makes more sense than thinking a father would be so awful to his own child. But it happens, and we need to quit making excuses for these people and allowing them to hide themselves behind public figures, video games, or anything else. Don’t blame the Undertaker. Blame Alonso Castillo. He’s the one spending the next thirty years in jail.

Rape is Rape

Brock Turner was caught in the act, sexually assaulting an unconsious woman outside of a frat party at Stanford University. Two grad students spotted Turner on top of the unnamed woman; they lay next to a dumpster and she was clearly not awake or aware. Turner ran when the men approached, and one was able to chase and tackle him while the other called the police. For his crime, which the victim suffered from immensely, he received six months in jail and 3 years probation. The judge, Aaron Persky, says that the extremely lenient sentence was because he believed Turner when he stated that this woman, who was so drunk that she could not fend off this man, gave consent for sex. He also stated that Turner was remorseful, even though he only admitted remorse about drinking too much and the “dangers of alcohol.”

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I’m going to get more personal than I normally do and share a bit of something that makes me uncomfortable. There was a sad moment in my life where I had to live in  boarding house. During that time, I was assaulted by a crackhead who thought her boyfriend had looked at my housemate and I in a sexual way. She flipped out and my housemate, her baby and I locked ourselves in my room and called the police. She ended up trying to run from the police and got hog-tied. I had to go to the hospital for blood tests because she was using needles, she caused me to bleed when she attacked me, and I had no idea if she had hepatitis or AIDS or what. Thankfully, I was fine.

My housemate was married, and lived right across the hall from me with her husband and baby daughter. We were all friendly and would sometimes share a drink together. We were also friends with a couple who lived down the hall in a larger, more apartment-style unit. One day, my housemate was away with her baby, and the husband was home hanging out with the couple. I was by myself, just finishing a shift waiting tables. I showered and went over to the couple’s place to hang out for a bit. Once they started smoking weed, I decided to go back to my place. The husband followed. I didn’t realize he was following me.

I unlocked my door and as I started to step inside, he hit me from behind and knocked me directly into my bed, which was right inside the door. My cats ran for it and hid in the closet. Thanks, cats. I got up immediately in a panic and asked what the fuck he was doing. He was acting strange; he’d always been respectful and almost reserved, but I had also never encountered him without his wife before. He didn’t answer me, slammed my door behind him and was in my face in breakneck speed. One hand went around my throat and the other started trying to take off my clothes. He was bigger than me, taller and stronger. I screamed as loud as I could possibly scream for him to get his fucking hands off of me, punched him repeatedly in the ribs, and started kicking at his legs. I got in a solid groin shot, which finally got him to release his grip on my throat. He told me that he knows I want him because he saw the way I looked at him. I don’t remember what I grabbed, but I grabbed something off of my nightstand, swung at him, and told him that if he didn’t get the fuck out, I would kill him. He left.

I didn’t get raped by this idiot, but I could have. He didn’t come close to accomplishing his goal, and I still felt incredibly violated. I had a friend come stay with me every day for weeks until I moved out. I started carrying a knife. I couldn’t sleep. I started to question myself; was it my fault? Was I too nice? That was my reaction and I DIDN’T EVEN GET RAPED. So, imagine Brock Turner’s victim, who was raped and then sent to the hospital with debris in her vagina and then told by the legal system that she couldn’t be trusted, that maybe she was flirtacious and asked for it, that it was her fault in part that it happened. She is the victim, and the court system (and many of Turner’s supporters) have instead turned her rapist into the victim and her as the instigator.

Rape isn’t something we should take lightly. “I couldn’t help myself” is not an excuse for violating another person against their will. No means no. If a person cannot give consent, they cannot agree to a sexual act. If I’m passed out drunk and my husband tries to get it on with me while I’m muttering no during my brief moments of clarity, that is rape. It doesn’t matter who, doesn’t matter the situation. Rape is rape and we need to make these people responsible. We need to stop blaming the victim. When we tell women what to do/how to dress/how to act to avoid rape, what we are really saying is “this is what to do to ensure he rapes the other girl and not you.”

My experience is still something I can recall in detail, and it happened back in 2004. Turner’s victim will recall what happened to her for the rest of her life, made worse because it went to court and she had to see her attacker and deal with intrusive question after question about the incident. Brock Turner is not the victim. Brock Turner was 100% in the wrong. Stop shaming rape victims and trying to find the bright side of the rapists. They chose to cross the line, and they should have to live with that choice for the rest of their lives, just as their victim has to. I leave you with the disgusting letter that Turner’s father wrote to the judge.

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Stand With Orlando

I am still having a rough time wrapping my mind around what happened at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. More and more states are legalizing same sex marriages, which gave me so much hope. More and more people are able to transition to the gender they identify with, with the assistance of doctors, family and friends, which is amazing. Businesses who refuse to serve same sex couples are usually greeted with outrage instead of congratulations, which is exactly how we should react. It seemed like we were getting somewhere.

Out of nowhere, on a night where friends, family members, old and young, of various genders and orientations were having fun and enjoying life, one horrible person destroyed everything. Innocent people were murdered, others injured. A former safe place was riddled with bullet holes. The wrong kind of history was made thanks to the death toll.

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Some people want to blame terrorism. This would be a mistake. Idiots like Donald Trump want you to believe that this was an evil Muslim who came to this country with the goal of destroying America. Not the case; the shooter wasn’t attacking America, he was attacking the LGBTQ community. I don’t care if he did it out of self hatred or for religious reasons or because society still doesn’t fully accept certain lifestyles; the point is, he targeted this community out of hatred.

If you don’t care about the shooting at Pulse, you are part of the problem. “But I’m straight and don’t believe in homosexuality, so it doesn’t affect me.” Simply because you don’t believe in someone’s lifestyle doesn’t mean that you should feel justified in ignoring their suffering and silently condoning their slaughter. We’re not savages; we should value every human life regardless of whether or not we agree with their personal choices. We should not get to turn our backs on this type of tragedy, especially one as horrifying as the shooting at Pulse.

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Thanks to the actions of one horrible person, who thankfully is no longer around, people around the country have been afraid to celebrate Pride month. People who I call friends are afraid of their lives. Let me repeat: THEY ARE AFRAID FOR THEIR LIVES. All because of who they prefer to spend their time with. There are not enough of us fighting for the rights of our peers. We need to be more vocal. We need to make it clear that the ones filled with hatred are the ones in the wrong, not our LGBTQ community. We need to do more, and we need to be better. We can’t keep allowing this to happen.

 

 

Make America Make Sense Again

When Donald Trump announced that he was running for President of the United States, we all had a great laugh and went about our business. We laughed and made memes while Trump made people start believing his hype, and we are now faced with the frightening reality that this man could be our next President. Trump was born in Queens in NYC to a stay-at-home mother and a real estate developer father. His mother was born on the Scottish island of Lewis and Harris and his father, born in Queens as well, was the son of German immigrants. A 13-year-old Trump left school due to behavioral issues and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy where he finished out high school. He went on to graduate with a bachelors degree in economics from the University of PA.

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Trump managed to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War thanks to four student deferments and a medical deferment for heel spurs in one or both feet, depending on which day you ask him about it. He began working for his father’s company and eventually found himself in the spotlight when he was accused of violating the Fair Housing Act. Trume settled the charges without admitting any guilt. He was in court again regarding this issue several years later, again admitting no guilt.

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He made a few successful business moves, but ended up bankrupting the Taj Mahal Casino in New Jersey after being unable to make loan payments. The death of his father in 1999 gave Trump a nice financial boost thanks to the division of the estate among Trump and his 3 siblings. As of July 2015, Trump’s income is said to be $362 million. He refuses to release his federal tax returns publicly because of “ongoing audits.”

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Trump owns multiple properties, one of which is Trump Tower in Manhattan. This location houses his primary residence and the headquarters of the Trump Organization. The tower occupies the former site of the Bonwit Teller flagship store. During demolition, valuable sculptures slated to be sent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art were destroyed. Trump also employed illegal Polish immigrant workers for the demolition process, paying them $4-$5 per hour for 12 hour shifts for the rushed demo.

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Donald Trump has never personally filed for bankruptcy, but his businesses have certainly gone under. Trump himself has said that he plays with the bankruptcy laws and they are “very good” for him as a tool for eliminating debt. According to him, this is something that other “great entrepreneurs” often do.  In 1991, Trump Taj Mahal filed, and in 1992, the Trump Plaza Hotel filed. In 2004, Trump Hotel & Casino Resorts filed, and Trump commented that he “figured it was the bank’s problem, not mine. What the hell did I care?” I actually told one bank, you shouldn’t have loaned me that money.” In 2009 and again in 2014, Trump Entertainment Resorts filed, and Trump actually ended up suing the company to get his name removed.

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The Apprentice, Donald Trump’s reality show premiered in 2003 on NBC where people competed for a management position in one of Trump’s enterprises. Trump earned $50,000 per episode for the first season, but that was bumped to a million per episode after the show took off. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007 for his work on the reality series. When Trump announced his Presidental plans, NBC decided to continue the show without him. In June 2015, NBC released a statement saying “due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBC is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” thus severing his ties with the show.

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In 2011, Trump decided to question President Obama’s citizenship. He stated that his grandmother in Kenya said that Obama was born in Kenya and that she was there to witness it. Trump also questioned whether or not President Obama had good enough grades to get into Harvard Law School. He sent a team of private investigators to Hawaii, where Obama was born, and began releasing statements that suggested he had found out that Obama was not in fact a US citizen. His tactics resulted in the President releasing his birth certificate, which still wasn’t enough to shut the man up.

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Trump has been married three times and divorced twice.  His first wife was a Czech model, Ivana, who became a US citizen in 1988. He had an affair with actress Marla Maples which led to the divorce. After the couple split, Trump sued Ivana for not honoring a gag order in their divorce agreement, but claims that now the two are the best of friends. Trump married Maples, formally separated from her after 4 years and finalized the divorce two years later. He then moves on to another model, Melania. In 2006, Melania became a US citizen.

 

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Did you get all of that? Does any of that sound like the person best suited to run our country? Because in my opinion, it sounds like I just summarized the life of a spoiled rich kid with mental issues who hates immigrants, but is one, and thinks they’re okay as long as they look good in a bikini. The horrors that escape this man’s mouth and the way he has treated his own companies are so embarrassingly awful that I’m tempted to feel sorry for him. He is a sexist, racist pig of a person and has no idea what to do with himself, nevermind an entire country filled with real live people. He shouldn’t be trusted to play a game of Sims, as he would likely forget to put doors on the house and watch him Sims slowly starve to death while being distracted by the sound of his own voice. He has no experience that lends itself to the job of POTUS; his resume actually works to prove that he is unqualified for the role due to his irresponsible choices and love of blaming everyone else for his own faults. If you described Trump to someone who was blissfully ignorant of his existence, they would accuse you of lying or commend you on your vivid imagination. If a YouTube comments section came to life, it would be Donald Trump. Trying to reason with Trump is like playing chess with a pigeon; regardless of what you bring to the table, the pigeon will strut around like it has won while shitting all over everything. We have allowed this living meme to gain too much traction and are now faced with the unbelievable reality that he has knocked out almost everyone and can nearly touch the Presidency with his stubby greasy fingers. For the love of all that is holy and good in this world, I beg of all of you to snap out of it and do every single thing in your power to ensure that this pile of horse shit with lips and a toupee is never allowed to set foot in the White House. It’s not too late. Dear god… I hope it’s not too late.
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Flabulous

Amy Schumer was recently called out as a woman who inspires us because she is a plus size female who still loves her body.  Amy Schumer, a female who wears a size 6 to an 8, called plus size.  I have to admit, I’m a little surprised to learn that this means I am also a plus size female, and apparently have been since high school.  Perhaps I need to go on a diet and get myself down to a respectable size 2?

The idea that a size 6 is entering plus size territory is insulting, unfair, and pretty disgusting.  I’m not knocking people who have an issue with their weight and are either obese or unhappy with their extra pounds, I simply find it horrifying that we are teaching women to believe that such a small size is “plus” and not skinny enough or socially acceptable.  I’m appalled that we’re sending a message that unless you’re a twig with a sizeable thigh gap, you’re a fat cow who will never be truly attractive but who can at least be confident “for a big girl.”

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Body image is a serious issue, especially among women, and it’s not difficult to see why.  If we’re honestly being told that a size 6 is a plus size, what is a woman wearing a size 12 to think?  She’s a whale?  What about a woman in a size 18?  Too big to leave the house?  Mind you, these are not uncommon sizes for women in this country, and a size 12 can most certainly be a healthy size for a woman, depending on her body type and build.  I’m one of many women who are built curvy and happen to have wider hips and shoulders than the average woman.  That doesn’t mean I’m “huge” or plus size, it’s just how I was put together.  There isn’t a damn thing wrong with it.

I’m sick and tired of the unreasonable expectations that are thrust upon females to look like a magazine cover 24/7 or risk being torn apart by others.  Even celebrities get shit on when they forgo their makeup as they walk the dog or get photographed at an unfortunate angle.  We’ve all seen the various “ugly celebrity” photo montages online and in magazines, making fun of cellulite or bags under the eyes.  It’s tacky and uncalled for.  Why do we find joy in the destruction of others?  Why can’t we be content with the knowledge that we’re all different and those differences make us uniquely special?

If you consider me plus size when my pant size is in the single digits, you can kindly go fuck yourself.  You are the problem.  You are what’s wrong, not my body.  I am fantastic at my current size and I’d be as fantastic in a size 12 as I’d be in a 2.  We don’t need to conform to anyone else’s standards but our own.  Your definition of perfection is not mine.  If you’re offended by someone’s size, look away.  If you need to mock others to feel better about yourself, go get help.  We need to quit praising women for being “fat but still pretty” and accept the fact that the concept of beauty is different from person to person and no one definition is correct over others.  And for God’s sake, stop calling a size 6 “plus size.”

Make Donald Drumpf Again

“If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. OK, just knock the hell … I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.  I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell ya. I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.” Donald Trump

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When I first heard that Donald Trump was planning to run for President of the United States, I had a good laugh about it.  The thought of that floppy-haired old man running the country instead of telling people they’re fired in between bankruptcies was seriously comical.  I was looking forward to seeing how he was going to campaign because it would be entertaining for us all.  But then, something unexpected began to happen.  People started to take Trump seriously.  Supporters started to emerge from the woodwork and proclaim that Trump was the hero America needed.  That he would indeed make America great again.

John Oliver delivered a masterful piece on Trump, AKA Donald Drumpf. The custom hats are sold out, and the video of Last Week Tonight received over 20 million YouTube views in about 10 days.  Oliver discussed the power of Trump’s name, how it is the cornerstone of his brand, but countered with how his “real” name, Drumpf, is much less magical.  He drove a lot of points home, the key one being that we’re getting far too caught up in the name and the myth of instant success that is associated with Trump.  We’re overlooking the fact that the man is, for lack of a better term, full of shit.

 

Trump’s run for President isn’t funny anymore.  Our modern version of Hitler seems to have successfully brainwashed thousands upon thousands of people, enough to win state after state as he plows his way through the country.  Weak-minded people, mostly white folks in their 40s and higher, are promising to vote for Trump during rallies as their hold their hands high in the air.  His support system grows stronger every time he appears on TV to yell about immigrants or his “meager” beginnings with a million dollars in his pocket.

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This isn’t a matter of not liking a candidate because I disagree with their views, it’s a matter of not liking a candidate because he’s a colossal dipshit who shouldn’t be allowed to manage a game of Sims, nevermind an entire country.  Donald Trump is a confused little boy whose parents told him he could do anything he wanted when he grew up, not knowing that their little boy would take that to the letter as an adult and try to buy a country.  He enjoyed fear mongering.  He’s a racist, and a sexist.  He doesn’t know dick about what it takes to run a country.  Hey, neither do I, which is why I’ll never try to get that particular job.  It isn’t for everyone.

We are a country obsessed with celebrities.  We make nobodies famous through reality television and YouTube.  We created President Trump because we have a fascination with idiots and memes and GIFs, and Trump makes for good entertainment.  We care more about upcoming SNL skits about Trump than we do about the fact that he will likely burn down America within his first week.  We created the Jersey Shore, we are responsible for the dozens upon dozens of Kardashian shows, we ruined MTV, and we continue to obsess over the frivolous while ignoring reality.

Our current reality is that Donald Trump has a damn good chance of becoming President of the United States.  Luckily for us, a good chance is very different than a secured victory.  We still have time to make this right.  We can put a stop to this cartoon world and right the ship before this vulgar human gets anywhere close to swearing in.  We need to save this country from becoming little more than a running joke.  We need to give a damn about more than cat videos and face swapping and actually see how harmful Trump truly is.  Time is running out; this train needs to be derailed immediately.  We need to decide whether we want to live somewhere that we can be proud of or live somewhere resembling a preschool playground.

TRUMP ON WOMEN:  

  • “You know it really doesn’t matter what they write, as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” 
  • “There was blood coming out of her eyes… blood coming out of her… wherever.” 
  • “Women; You have to treat them like shit.”

TRUMP ON THE MILITARY:  “26,000 unreported sexual assults [sic] in the military — only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”

TRUMP ON FORMER PRESIDENTAL CANDIDATE CARLY FIORINA:  “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”

It’s Finally Fabulous Wedding Season

The Supreme Court ruled, in a 5 to 4 vote, that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.  This is something I never expected to see in my lifetime and something that makes me proud of this country.  Marriage should be a union between two consenting adults; there is nothing complex or confusing about it.  I’m excited to see what this monumental ruling brings down the road.

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What doesn’t excite me is the horrible attitudes of people who still strongly oppose same-sex unions.  The reality we live in is full of all types of couples; different races and social standings and genders and religions.  No one has to agree with every union out there.  I don’t happen to agree with an 18-year-old marrying someone old enough to be their grandfather, but I’m not about to parade the streets in protest.  Consenting adults get to marry whoever those consenting adults want.

A marriage of any kind affects the two people who are married, plus any children they have, any pets they keep, and any family members who live with them.  Outside of that, if you are affected by someone’s marriage, it is because you are choosing to insert yourself somewhere that you don’t need to be.  My brother, who was married last year, lives in New York and his marriage didn’t change anything in my world.  Two friends of mine also married last year, and their marriage (which was the best wedding I’ve ever been to) also didn’t affect me past the few pounds I probably gained from their amazing cupcakes.  If you are whining about how you are negatively affected by same-sex marriages, it’s your own damn fault.

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The whole “I don’t want it thrown in my face argument” isn’t valid either.  The people who are shouting this from the rooftops are the same ones who are heavily invested in reality television, who are keeping up with the Kardashians, and who gossip heavily on social media.  You are throwing nonsense in the faces of everyone around you when you drone on about the latest garbage on E! News, discussing the most recent celebrity weddings and hook-ups.  The world isn’t going to censor itself because you’re too fragile to handle it.  If you don’t want things “thrown in your face,” remove yourself from society, stop watching Big Brother, and log off Facebook while the rest of us carry on living our lives and enjoying the little pleasures each day brings.

“But I don’t want to see rainbows everywhere, or two men making out.”  First of all, rainbows are fantastic.  They are bright and colorful and happy.  If you hate the sight of happiness, I don’t know what to tell you.  Second, I can understand not wanting to see two guys making out because, personally, I don’t want to see ANYONE making out.  Excessive displays of public affection are uncomfortable regardless of the couple.  That said, if you are getting up in arms about two women holding hands, you need to take it down a notch and quit being so damn uptight.  PG displays of love are a part of life; so long as it doesn’t cross a line, quit obsessing and leave people alone.

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“But it destroys the sanctity of marriage.”  And straight couples getting married for the 4th or 5th time doesn’t?  Shows like Arranged, The Bachelor/Bachelorette and Married At First Sight aren’t destroying it?  Photographers stalking celebrity weddings and posting photos for greedy fans to devour doesn’t destroy it?  Sorry, guys, but a woman marrying a woman she loves isn’t destroying a single thing.  It’s working to rebuild the institution of marriage by opening the door for many more loving and deserving couples that want to marry in the eyes of God and/or the law.

When it’s all said and done, everyone has the right to their own opinion.  But I have the right to keep my distance from people who are stuck in the dark ages and who refuse to evolve along with the rest of us.  I have already deleted a couple of people from my life due to their ignorant and close-minded views.  I have deleted them because they are insulting, rude, and acting quite childish, not to mention quick to place blame on the so-called cowards who have joined me in dropping them as friends.  People who oppose equality and love don’t earn any space in my life.

Maybe these people will come around, and maybe they won’t.  What matters to me is that the majority is standing tall and proud, cheering this decision along with me.  My child will grow up in a better world than I grew up in.  Things are changing and it can only get better from here.  It’s a waste of time and energy to sulk, hating on people you don’t even know.  Stop hating.  Start embracing.

Call Her Caitlyn

I’ll be honest, I am 100% tired of hearing about Bruce Jenner’s transition to Caitlyn, his new identity now that he is publicly out as a her.  The story was out in the public eye long before Jenner made the official announcement, thanks to the Kardashian’s reality show and fondness for living life like an open wound.  Countless tabloids reported how Bruce was shaving down his Adam’s apple, growing his hair, and taking female hormones in preparation to become a woman.  Photos of him wearing a dress were illegally obtained and briefly posted.  Eventually, he gave a heartfelt interview to tell the world about his transition in his own words and on his own terms.

Now, the Vanity Fair photos have been released in preparation for the July issue that will feature Jenner on the cover with his new name and as a woman.  He has received surgeries, including breast augmentation, and facial reconstruction to appear more feminine.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I was looking at someone who was born a female  Since the photos surfaced, all everyone is talking about is Caitlyn.  People are excited and call her a hero, and people are disgusted and want him to piss off.

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I was born a female and am quite happy being female, so I cannot begin to understand what it must be like for someone to be born in the wrong body.  The positive part of this is that people are talking.  Sadly, the Kardashians are the biggest names out there when it comes to reality TV, so the reach that this story gets is massive.  Caitlyn has forced everyone to acknowledge that transgender individuals can be anyone and can come from anywhere.  It is in our face whether we like it or not, and that is something I am happy about.  The LGBT community isn’t going to vanish, so anything that helps get more people talking and more people exposed is welcomed by me.

That said, I 100% understand why certain people are angry about Jenner being hailed as a hero and talked about as if she is a Goddess.  She is not the first to make this journey and certainly won’t be the last.  She has the money to get the surgeries while others do not.  She gets the glamorous photo shoot while others get ignored.  It’s unfair.  On the other side, people that consider a hero to be something other than a person getting a sex change, I see your point of view as well.  I honestly can’t decide if what Jenner is doing is a brave step towards an honest life or some insane publicity stunt (thanks, Kim).  If living honest is heroic, we all have the capacity to be a hero, so I’m not quite comfortable with that title while also not opposing it.

Here’s the bottom line though; Jenner can do whatever she wants to do and it doesn’t matter one little bit whether you like it or not.  We all have the right to be happy, so long as our happiness doesn’t harm others or break laws.  We have the right to pursue that happiness, and as long as we don’t overstep the obvious boundaries, no one has any room or right to tell us we can’t.  Not all of us are born to fit into the “normal” mold and I think it’s fantastic that we have resources to help us find our true place in life.  I can get fake boobs if I want, and so can Caitlyn.  Jenner isn’t my hero, but I’m glad he decided to publicly become a she.  Now it’s on us to either accept that there are people like this in the world or to choose to remain close-minded and hateful.  I hope everyone chooses wisely.

Boobs

Yesterday, a random woman on Twitter felt the need to educate me on my hypocrisy regarding breastfeeding in public.  According to her, moms should be allowed to do it wherever and however they see fit.  This stemmed from a comment I made earlier in the day on Twitter.  It was not directed at her or hashtagged, so I assume she was just bored and searching for people to annoy.

What I said was “This whole right to breastfeed in public thing drives me nuts thanks to moms who have no respect for others & think they’re entitled.  Yes, you should be able to breastfeed in public, but YES you should cover up your jugs & not be an obnoxious twat about it.”  This was in reaction to a news story about mothers who harassed a business owner after he had requested a mother cover herself in his restaurant while breastfeeding.  The mother in question, according to all accounts, made no effort to hide her bare breast in full view of the patrons.

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There is a big difference between a mother trying to feed her child and a woman using her child to make a point to whoever happens to be watching.  Just because you are still breastfeeding your child doesn’t mean you are entitled to be disrespectful to others.  Having your breast fully exposed in public, especially in places with a captive audience such as a restaurant, is not okay.  I’m not suggesting moms go hide in the restrooms or in their cars to breastfeed, but I do feel they should make an effort to cover up.

My sister-in-law used one of those massive tent-like covers that completely masked everything.  I’ve seen other moms carefully use a blanket to hide certain areas so you can tell what is going on but it’s not in your face.  My issue is with the women who feel that breastfeeding is something that needs to be announced to the world.  A child should not be used as part of some twisted statement.  Even if a business owner wrongly shoos you away while you rightfully feed your child, you should have enough decency to not react by turning your child into a tool for revenge.

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Feeding your child does not make you special.  Providing the most basic of needs doesn’t make you better than anyone else or entitled to receive all sorts of special treatment at the expense of others.  Why should I have to hide my son’s eyes because some woman decides to whip out her breast at Applebee’s?  Why can’t she have respect for those around her and do it discreetly?  Why am I wrong for wanting mothers to make an attempt to not flash their milk jugs to the world?

I’m not a prude, but I’m also not okay with seeing random tits everywhere.  The “it’s natural” argument is lost on me, as a lot of things are “natural” but shouldn’t be blatantly done/performed in public.  If your true goal is to feed your baby in the best possible way, then do it.  But when your breastfeeding becomes not only an inappropriate public display, but a tool to shame mothers who choose formula and a tool to harass businesses, you’ve crossed a line.  Your baby is not a prop.

29th April 2014 PHOTO CREDIT SHOULD READ: MATTHEW PAGE Sports Direct Clumber Street, Nottingham.  Mums held a protest at Sports Direct after a woman was asked to leave the shop for breastfeeding her child.

I suppose I was called a hypocrite by random Twitter lady because I support breastfeeding in public, but I don’t support certain ways it is done.  What needs to exist is a mutual respect for each other by mothers and business owners/patrons/etc.  Mothers need to make an effort to cover so we’re not seeing nipples galore and everyone else needs to be understanding about the fact that babies need to eat on their schedule, not anyone else’s.  Moms should not be forced to hide in a dirty public restroom to breastfeed and I should not have to see nipples and giant engorged bare breasts while shopping at Target.  It’s give and take on both sides.

According to my new Twitter BFF, covering hinders lactation.  So because a small percentage of babies don’t like any type of cover whatsoever, all mothers should be able to skip using it?  I have yet to hear a good argument as to why I shouldn’t demand a bit of modesty from nursing moms.  I have yet to hear a rational reason why this angry group of breastfeeding mothers insists that frontal exposure is not only necessary to properly breastfeed, but is something the rest of us should simply deal with.  I have yet to hear a good reason why breastfeeding has to be an odd political statement instead of an act of providing nourishment to a baby.

Breastfeeding alone does not make you more woman or more mother than anyone else.  You might be the loudest person in the room but volume has nothing to do with your value.  If you want to be a good mother, be a good mother.  If you want to be respected when you feed your child in public, do so in a way that doesn’t also make you a public nuisance.  If you just want to get your knockers out and yell at passerby, no one is going to respect you or listen to a damn thing you say.  There is a way to make this whole thing a nonissue, once people get off their soapboxes, quit using babies as protest signs, stop shaming mothers, and start acting like decent human beings.

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