Monthly Archives: December 2013

(Not so boring) New Year’s goals

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Now that it’s New Year’s eve and I won’t be celebrating at a friend’s house as usual because I’m sick this year, I’ll list my goals for 2014. They’re not boring, I promise. If you have the same goals or want to share your own, feel free to comment below!

1. Get more humanitarian. Okay, bad grammar aside, I want to get involved in social work, i.e. helping out in soup kitchens, advocating women’s rights & LGBTQ rights, as well as little acts of kindness such as picking up change somebody dropped and handing it back to them, or giving up my bus seat to the elderly or those who need it more than I do.

2. Get healthy. This includes physical and emotional health. 2013 has been a bad year for both my health needs, and I can definitely help myself by taking more walks outside if the gym is too far to go to, and go to those counseling sessions. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

3. Don’t be afraid to push yourself. I’m a college student that surprisingly hasn’t pulled an all-nighter yet… perhaps due to good study habits and also due to being unable to stay up past 2AM. I’m kind of proud of my healthy sleeping habits, but I can be more careful when editing my essays and get them done earlier. I can be more assertive in job interviews and even as an introvert, push myself to talk more often in classes and give talks on the importance of mental health, as well as other issues dear to me. I can also practice driving more, as it’s a bit pathetic having to drive around with a parent next to you when you have a license already but not enough practice (so my parents think) to hit the road by myself.

4. Don’t keep everything bottled in. But be aware of who you’re telling your secrets to, so you know you’ll get the right support and advice that’s both meaningful and necessary.

5. Slow down and spend time for yourself. When I was younger, I would always say ‘yes’ to things and still have a tendency to do so. This includes hanging out with friends to accompanying a violinist on the piano even when I have no actual will to do so. Saying ‘no’ is powerful and I will say it more often and put myself first, because sometimes I need to. And no, it’s not selfish if it’s healthy and feels right for myself.

6. Don’t be wasteful. This includes money, food, clothing, whatever. Buy, eat, (insert verb here) what you need and refuse what you don’t need. You can save yourself a few extra dollars that can always come in handy later.

7. Say what you need to say. [I posted about this, and you can read it here: https://classyasfemme.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/listening/ ]

8. Hang out with people you love, separate yourself from those whose presence isn’t beneficial to you for whatever reason. This can be hard, especially when there’s a good friend involved who is doing something shady but is otherwise a good person. I have one (alright, more than one) of those friends. This is also related to saying no, but if that friend continues doing their shady business which might be affecting the friendship, it may be time to reevaluate the friendship. A break from some people in your life is completely normal and healthy. Who knows, maybe the break will be just what the other party needs to realize something they are doing is wrong and they need you back in their life! if not, then you’re probably better off without them.

 

Raise your glasses for that sparkling cider or champagne if you’re of age…here’s to a new year!!! Best wishes & Cheers :]

 

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My Feminism Doesn’t Have to Be Your Feminism by Samantha Heuwagen

As a fellow feminist of color, I concur. There should not be one single definition of feminism, as too often the media and some people I know of, think. Feminism includes women from ALL CULTURES from ALL RACES and obviously, culture is always relevant. Struggles for women’s rights and human’s rights are also unequal depending on ethnicity, race, culture, country, you get the idea.

Matter of Cause

Throughout my life I have struggled with the idea of being a feminist. I was lost in a sea of definitions that I could partially relate to and then some I had no connection to or could barely understand at all. I know I am not alone in this dizzying world of trying to define ourselves through ideas found in the media and even within the classroom. However, I have discovered throughout my time in academia, that one of the ways we can discover who we are is by listening and learning from definitions of  the various theories, ideologies, and theologies that are out there. This is a huge undertaking, but it gives us a start to truly becoming enlightened about the world around us. Once on the path towards self discovery, it is my belief that we must then learn to respect each other and the differences we come…

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Lorde and Asian boyfriend racist backlash

Lorde and Asian boyfriend racist backlash

First of all, it’s kind of late but I finally discovered Lorde is Kiwi. Before you get all smug at me, I only recently started to listen to Lorde, and I happen to reside in the U.S. and have done so for a good ten years. Onto the commentary.

Even in the 21st century, multicultural couples still attract questions and are targets of racists and White supremacists along with multiracial people. This is not surprising, given that racism itself still persists.Until individuals stop discriminating against others because of the color of their skin, different ethnic practices or devaluing somebody else’s culture due to ignorance or intolerance, racism will continue to persist. I highly recommend Martin Luther King Jr.’s book Why we Can’t Wait, which not only addresses the beginnings of the nonviolent civil rights movement, evils of segregation and inequality, but can be applied to injustices in today’s society, color-blindness, unequal representation and pay of people of color in the workplace, government, media (think of the ratio of people of color to Whites in shows like Modern Family, Sex in the City)…just look around, be aware.

As a Chinese third-culture-kid, unfortunately I’ve experienced racist acts and witnessed them in two of the countries I have lived in, New Zealand and the U.S. I’ll talk about my personal experiences with racism in future posts; let me stick to historical events for now.

Here’s a non-comprehensive list of historically racist attitudes of the US towards Asians: Immigration quotas towards Chinese-Americans in 1875, Chinese exclusion act, Angel Island immigration policies, Japanese internment camps, Vincent Chin’s death by two White men in Detroit, Michigan who thought he was part of a rival Japanese auto firm and assumed he was Japanese though he was Chinese in 1982. Here’s an insightful article about it: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/23/opinion/why-vincent-chin-matters.html?_r=0  Forgive me for events I did not list, I’m sure there are many more.

What does this have to do with Lorde? Well, she is currently dating an Asian man and has received racist backlash from celebrities like Justin Bieber, fans of One Direction, but more importantly her fans, the masses which supposedly reflect common people (not saying that all her fans are racist, just the ones that have left racist comments about her boyfriend and are hating on their relationship). I hope Lorde takes the initiative to publicly speak out against discrimination of Asians and the haters. Add racist attitudes towards multicultural relationships. Please tell me if she does, as I don’t have a Twitter and don’t follow her on Facebook, Tumblr…yet. 


2013: The year of the hollow gesture

Amen. Wonderfully put.

Another angry woman

There is a certain fashion now to define a year and What It All Means as a comment piece. And so, in an attempt to be down with the kids, here is what the last year has meant to me.

To me, 2013 has been a year of Big Grand Media Gestures which do absolutely fuck all to change any of the system, as Big Grand Media Gestures are wont to do. Most recently, we saw this with the pardon of Alan Turing. Almost 60 years after the state drove Turing to suicide through their homophobic laws and “experimental” forced hormone administration, they have issued a royal pardon. Alan Turing is forgiven for being gay, to rapturous applause from precisely no-one paying attention.

It is not hard to see the hollowness of this gesture. Alan Turing was but one of the thousands of men persecuted in this fashion in the…

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Listening to Tw…

Listening to Two Suns album by Bat for Lashes [My favorite lyrics from each song]

“Drive my heart drive my heart into the burning heart’s desire, lonely dreams do you hear me calling in my blue dream? a dream of love is a two heart-ed dream” -Sleep Alone

“If I had you here we are here together, I’d be boy and you’d be girl, beautiful” “calling moon on moon shoot the big bad hand that will track me to your door so I don’t see no more” “This wide world is a big bad hand pushing on my back do you understand? …where’s my bear to lick me clean feed my soul milk and honey” -Moon on Moon

“Under our blue skies our movie skies I found a home in your eyes and we’ll never be apart” “When the fires came the smell of cinders and rain perfumed almost everything we laughed and laughed and laughed and in the golden blue the car you took me to and set fire to my heart” -Daniel

“Look at this and look at us wonder all we’re wondering I don’t like to say we’re lost drive my best with needing us build a light into the sky…looking down make me a queen, all the sorrow that I’ve seen” “If I ever come back down find a man who takes me back through the wound and through the war until the time that came before” “Mother father’s childless woe, arrow of light for every boy and girl” “Peace of Mind” -Peace of Mind

“Be proud when you die when you wand’rer glitter your eyes for the town tell every last boy that you’re my man, try not to let you down til the siren come calling driving me evil, evil I’m a heart-breaker loved you the same way I do but I’ve got so much wickedness and sin” -Siren Song

“There’s a place in Moscow there’s a place in Moscow it’s not a place I’ve seen but I’ve been there in a blue dream down the ocean road past a sign that says good love town to a darkness where the stars do drown, where the stars need to be free” -Pearl’s Dream 

“This queen of hearts dancing on her throne but I need sorrow like baby sorrow is my drug if I ever find that place they call good love” -Good Love

“Show me moonlight, on the sunrise, I’ve seen so many planets dancing, I’ve seen too many people hiding, show me sunset and I won’t forget I am one of two planets dancing, I am one of two planets dancing” -Two Planets

“Never fall in love with attention ’cause you can see with your own eye all the pretty faces and sorry words will take away your pride”  -Traveling Woman

 

Bat For Lashes is truly magical in this album. Every song verse sounds like tangible rich imagery from a dream combined with adages and fairy tales. Goodnight world. Remember to be magical.


Smugsexual and the closet: two faces of feminist biphobia

Amazing thoughts on being pan/bisexual among the hetero community and LGBT community

Another angry woman

Over the last few days, I have found myself experiencing a shuddering anxiety which had been at bay for years. I’ve been made to feel ashamed for my queer, poly sexuality. I have been made to feel like maybe I should just shut the hell up and stop being so open about this part of my identity, because it’s bad and wrong and whatever the hell else. I know, in my head, that this is just how heterosexist patriarchy wants me to feel so I will stay in my allocated place. That doesn’t stop it getting to me.

It all started with a complicated situation wherein a feminist blogger started attacking a feminist woman of colour, seemingly inexplicably. The aggressor then wrote a blog to defend her stance, in which she decided to air her grievances with a number of other women. It has been critiqued here, by…

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Home (and out) for the Holidays

So… I was reading a few articles giving advice about how to come out during the Holidays, although personally I’m not sure the Holidays are the right time to come out to family, particularly if there is extended family over. But then that brings another question: When is there a right time to come out of the closet?

I watched a video on a HuffPost article page giving advice about coming out for the holidays:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/26/coming-out-gay-holidays_n_4345755.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

In response: I agree that the lucky queers in a queer relationship should make it clear to each other that due to religious reasons or for not having understanding family, they are going separate ways for the Holidays. To go separate ways and to be vague about it would not respect the relationship!

– I use the word ‘queer’ to reference anyone that identifies as LBGT, to reclaim the word… empowerment, people!

Personally, if I was going to come out during the Holidays  (which is my right to dictate when and to whom if I actually do) I would prefer the one-by-one approach if it was to my parents. I think my mother is already starting to suspect that I also like girls, as she has posed some pretty blatant questions a while ago, though my answers are starting to show a bit of my bisexual side. For instance, today she brought up the subject of dating and mentioned boys. I replied that in my lifetime I wouldn’t get a boyfriend (which is not true, by the way, but just for hinting purposes I decided to say that so ma will start to suspect I also like girls). I do happen to kind of fancy a girl right now, if you must know. Moving on.

Here’s an article which addresses what to expect after coming out, and not just for the holidays:

http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/11/25/how-come-out-closet

My response: I think having support such as a mentor/friends to call or a reassuring line to repeat to disbelieving/unsupportive friends or family to close oneself off emotionally is crucial. Pretty much all of my close friends already know I’m bi already, though I definitely took the one-by-one pulling aside technique (as if this is some guide ha) to tell them, and some friends later than others. I have a feeling that the coming-out will never stop, since you definitely meet new people almost every day. That’s if, one is open about one’s sexuality. I’ve learned the hard way to not assume things about somebody else’s sexual orientation by their appearance. I also try not to assume, since I am a queer lady who dresses feminine most of the time; most queer chicks don’t tend to look my way. A sort of “femme invisibility”, if you will, only I do not identify as “femme” (more on that in the future).

Here’s a touching coming-out story with the perfect title (and yes, I just had to as a fellow kiwi) :’]

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/assignments/how-did-you-come-out/9416502/My-coming-out-gay-holiday

My response, last one, I promise! So I guess this just goes to show you that coming out is a holiday. Just kidding. Coming out is never easy, perhaps because of societal constraints. If you have come out and been accepted easily, then I both applaud and envy you (how did you do it??). Labels are good when you know  and accept that they are a part of who you are. Claim them as a part of you, but be prepared to deal with the unexpected and difficult. Like many big secrets, sometimes you can’t gauge how the beneficiary of your trust will react, which at times can be for the better or for worse.

Anyway, if you’re reading this, good luck if you’re planning to come out to friends, family teachers, mentors etc. for the Holidays or sometime in the future. Thank you to those of you who have come out and continue being an inspiration by sharing your coming-out stories (feel free to post them in the comments below or message me if you’re comfortable).Regardless, know that you’ll always have support from not just little old me but the LGBT communities in your towns, cities, countries and the web.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the new year. Cheers.


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