“Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day… make a wish and think of me. Make your life spectacular. I know I did.”—Robin Williams 1996 “Jack” (via mariesammy)
“The girls are never supposed to end up together. I watched that movie with Ellen Page and Alia Shawkat, the roller-skating movie, the one where Ellen and Alia are best friends, each other’s only comforts in their podunk town. They need each other, and they hug, and they dance, and they tell each other I Love You, and Ellen meets a skinny boy who plays in a band. It doesn’t even work out with the boy, but that’s almost tangential. The girl was never a real option.
I think that’s why it’s really difficult for girls. For me. We follow narratives and our fingertips trace the contours of the stories we love and we long to escape within the confines of our own lives. Meet your boyfriend in the pouring rain and yank down his mask and kiss him upside down. Run with your boyfriend to the front of the ferry and throw your arms out to the side and scream, “I’m king of the world!” If you are a girl in love with a boy, your possibilities are infinite.
If there is a special girl in your life, you love her as a friend. You love her as a friend, but she becomes less important to you as you grow, and you leave her behind for a boy. She might even stand next to you when you marry the boy, and she might catch the bouquet of flowers that you throw to her. You’re giving her permission to move on, move away from you. It’s a ceremony of separation.
But if you should fall in love with a girl - and loving and falling in love are two very distinct things - the first kiss is the end. You’ve all seen the movie. Or the television show. Or the after-school special, or you’ve read the book that was banned from your school’s library for containing Sexual Content. The point of your story is not to fall in love. The point of your story is to struggle. Your story begins with a lie and climaxes in a truth and ends with a kiss. In the movie of your life, forty-five minutes are devoted to you figuring out how to say that you want to kiss girls, and another half-hour is devoted to people’s objections, and maybe the last fifteen minutes is you kissing the girl. Maybe you don’t even get to kiss the girl. Maybe she tells you that she’s flattered, but she doesn’t bat for your team.
The critics swoon; it’s realistic, they say, so realistic, to depict the struggle of the modern teen, the heartbreak of irresolvable incompatibility. Isn’t that always what celebrities cite in their divorces? “Irreconciliable differences.”
And so you’re lying on the floor of your bathroom, your knees curled to your chest, or you’re on your sofa with a pint of ice cream, or you’re in bed watching your favourite sad movie on Netflix, and the collective weight of all that you consume settles on your shoulders, leans in, and whispers, “You were never meant to fall in love.”
You were never meant to fall in love. Your story ends in tears or it ends in death. Jack Twist was bludgeoned to death with a tire iron and Ennis Del Mar was left alone in his closet to dance with an empty shirt. Alby Grant found Dale Tomasson swinging by a noose in the apartment that had been their safehouse, their respite, and he sank to his knees and cradled Dale’s bare feet and he cried. The Motion Picture Association of America axed Lana Tisdel and Brandon Teena’s sex scenes, but they didn’t have a problem with the extended shot of Lana cradling Brandon’s corpse in her fragile arms and falling asleep next to his body.
Love and intimacy are ours only in death, or so it would seem.
I don’t want to die. Isn’t that a very human experience? Not wanting to die? When does anyone who looks like me get to grow old and raise grandchildren and hold her wife’s hand as the skin wrinkles, turns translucent?
Sometimes my father asks me if I’ll ever date a man. Sometimes he doesn’t ask. “You are attracted to men, and you dream about falling in love with men,” he says, as if he can will his imaginary daughter into existence merely by speaking about her. Or maybe he is just looking out for my safety.
I try not to overwhelm this blog with my music but I’m super excited how this turned out. Despite my name and roots, I’m branching away from folk music and testing the waters of electronic sound. Take a listen if you’re so inclined.
So today I realized I might be pursuing the electronic genre in my music. Feels like destiny, as cliché as that sounds. Which, considering I’ve identified as a folk singer since I was 15, is a really confusing dilemma.
I’m sorry I have to say some things that have really been bothering me. It’s my opinion and no one has to agree. But I’ve gotta say it anyway.
You can be sexist against men. You can be sexist against women. Making assumptions (particularly negative ones) about someone based on their gender is sexist and wrong. Saying my boyfriend has to be the breadwinner in life isn’t fair. Saying I’m required to be the stay-at-home mom and shouldn’t pursue a career of my own is also unfair. Sexism is when a girl is told to “mind her place,” or to respect the “authority” of a man. When she’s scolded for not fitting the mold of what a pretty, prim, and perfect girl should be. Sexism is when a little boy is screamed at for showing emotion and abused because “boys don’t cry” and is henceforth cast into a life of repressed feeling and unhealthy internalized fear. Those smelly perfume magazine ads that illustrate the “perfect man” or “perfect woman” are both bad. They are both negative media influences and they both affect people. And on that note:
Don’t try to pretend you know what it’s like to be someone else. It really grinds my gears when people say “life is so much harder for ____.” or “You can’t possibly know what it’s like to experience x because you’re y.” Let’s take Person A: caucasian cis female, and Person B: latino gay male. I’m sure just by reading those, you have already made assumptions about both. You may think Person A is probably from an affluent family, went to a private school on the East Coast, is loved by all and has never experienced “true” hardship. Person B probably is in a lower income household, likely has family issues with his sexuality and likewise issues at school with friends. Now I’m sure there are people who match those descriptions. In fact, I know people who do. To state, however, that “you don’t know hardship because you’re white, you’re female, male, cis-gender, straight, whatever, is foolish. For all you know, person A may have three younger siblings that she’s had to take care of all her life because her single mother was too busy working to make just enough money to make ends meet. For all you know, she may have an abusive or neglectful parent, had a loved one die recently, has social anxiety that prevents her from making lasting friendships, crippling depression. For all you know, person B may have the an extremely loving and supportive family and assuming the focus of his life is his sexuality could very well be off-putting. TLDR: don’t make assumptions about people.
Attacking someone who doesn’t understand something about you is ludicrous. Maybe she isn’t transphobic. Maybe she has never encountered anyone in life who identified as trans and is really overwhelmed by it. That alone doesn’t make her a bigot, it only means she needs someone to reassure her that it’s alright. Maybe that boy at that recent social gathering who said he didn’t understand certain aspects of feminism was raised in a very negative household where a masculine figure in his life drilled into him a false perception of gender roles. Maybe he isn’t trying to be an ass and really doesn’t understand. If so, screaming at him and telling him he is the scum of the earth is probably only going to fuel the misconception that women are irrational, moody, and overall crazy. If you explain in a calm, non-accusatory tone, he might just give that information a chance. Parallel to this issue, however, is the following: Attacking someone just because you don’t understand something about them is ludicrous. Contrary to some popular belief, human beings are actually really really complex and diverse. Do we have similarities in a biological sense, of course. But culturally, we are all so vastly different. It’s part of what makes humans so amazing. Take, for example, the following: I am agnostic. I have a really hard time with religion because of my own uncertainty but also because I have had a lot of negative experiences in my life with regard to religious people. I’ve been told I’m going to hell for being queer. I’m aware if one side of my family knew about my sexuality, they probably wouldn’t speak to me again. And yet, this doesn’t mean that any and all persons who claim and practice a religion are the enemy. One of my very best friends is Christian and we have never had any issue. I’ve even gone to youth group meetings with her to experience how pleasant religious individuals can be.
When you are hurting, there will always be people who find a way to make it about themselves. If you break your wrist, they’ll complain about a sprained ankle. If you are sad, they’re sadder. If you’re asking for help, they’ll demand more attention.
Here is a fact: I was in a hospital and sobbing into my palms when a woman approached me and asked why I was making so much noise and I managed to stutter that my best friend shot himself in the head and now he was 100% certified dead and she made this little grunt and had the nerve to tell me, “Well now you made me sad.”
When you get angry, there are going to be people who ask you to shut up and sit down, and they’re not going to do it nicely. Theirs are the faces that turn bright red before you have a chance to finish your sentence. They won’t ask you to explain yourself. They’ll be mad that you’re mad and that will be their whole reason alone.
Here is a fact: I was in an alleyway a few weeks ago, stroking my friend’s back as she vomited fourteen tequila shots. “I hate men,” she wheezed as her sides heaved, “I hate all of them.”
I braided her hair so it wouldn’t get caught in the mess. I didn’t correct her and reply that she does in fact love her father and her little brother too, that there are strangers she has yet to meet that will be better for her than any of her shitty ex-boyfriends, that half of our group of friends identifies as male - I could hear each of her bruises in those words and I didn’t ask her to soften the blow when she was trying to buff them out of her skin. She doesn’t hate all men. She never did.
She had the misfortune to be overheard by a drunk guy in an ill-fitting suit, a boy trying to look like a man and leering down my dress as he stormed towards us. “Fuck you, lady,” he said, “Fuck you. Not all men are evil, you know.”
“Thanks,” I told him dryly, pulling on her hand, trying to get her inside again, “See you.”
He followed us. Wouldn’t stop shouting. How dare she get mad. How dare she was hurting. “It’s hard for me too!” he yowled after us. “With fuckers like you, how’s a guy supposed to live?”
Here’s a fact: my father is Cuban and my genes repeat his. Once one of my teachers looked at my heritage and said, “Your skin doesn’t look dirty enough to be a Mexican.”
When my cheeks grew pink and my tongue dried up, someone else in the classroom stood up. “You can’t say that,” he said, “That’s fucking racist. We could report you for that.”
Our teacher turned vicious. “You wanna fail this class? Go ahead. Report me. I was joking. It’s my word against yours. I hate kids like you. You think you’ve got all the power - you don’t. I do.”
Later that kid and I became close friends and we skipped class to do anything else and the two of us were lying on our backs staring up at the sky and as we talked about that moment, he sighed, “I hate white people.” His girlfriend is white and so is his mom. I reached out until my fingers were resting in the warmth of his palm.
He spoke up each time our teacher said something shitty. He failed the class. I stayed silent. I got the A but I wish that I didn’t.
Here is a fact: I think gender is a social construct and people that want to tell others what defines it just haven’t done their homework. I personally happen to have the luck of the draw and am the same gender as my sex, which basically just means society leaves me alone about this one particular thing.
Until I met Alex, who said he hated cis people. My throat closed up. I’m not good at confrontation. I avoided him because I didn’t want to bother him.
One day I was going on a walk and I found him behind our school, bleeding out of the side of his mouth. The only thing I really know is how to patch people up. He winced when the antibacterial cream went across his new wounds. “I hate cis people,” he said weakly.
I looked at him and pushed his hair back from his head. “I understand why you do.”
Here is a fact: anger is a secondary emotion. Anger is how people stop themselves from hurting. Anger is how people stop themselves by empathizing.
It is easy for the drunken man to be mad at my friend. If he says “Hey, fuck you, lady,” he doesn’t have to worry about what’s so wrong about men.
It’s easy for my teacher to fail the kids who speak up. If we’re just smart-ass students, it’s not his fault we fuck up.
It’s easy for me to hate Alex for labeling me as dangerous when I’ve never hurt someone a day in my life. But I’m safe in my skin and his life is at risk just by going to the bathroom. I understand why he says things like that. I finally do.
There’s a difference between the spread of hatred and the frustration of people who are hurting. The thing is, when you are broken, there will always be someone who says “I’m worse, stop talking.” There will always be people who are mad you’re trying to steal the attention. There will always be people who get mad at the same time as you do - they hate being challenged. It changes the rules.
I say I hate all Mondays but my sister was born on one and she’s the greatest joy I have ever known. I say I hate brown but it’s really just the word and how it turns your mouth down - the colour is my hair and my eyes and my favorite sweater. I say I hate pineapple but I still try it again every Easter, just to see if it stings less this year. It’s okay to be sad when you hear someone generalize a group you’re in. But instead of assuming they’re evil and filled with hatred, maybe ask them why they think that way - who knows, you might just end up with a new and kind friend.
”—By telling the oppressed that their anger is unjustified, you allow the oppression to continue. I know it’s hard to stay calm. I know it’s scary. But you’re coming from the safe place and they aren’t. Just please … Try to be more understanding. /// r.i.d (via inkskinned)