Gratitude-October (20/21)

Gratitude:
-I was able to see my friend in an incredible performance from a beautiful play he wrote about transitioning, called To T, or not To T? It’s playing at the Los Angeles LGBT -Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Arts Center. D’Lo and I hadn’t seen each other in the physical in over a decade but we’ve been friends for 24 years now and I’m just amazed at the people we’ve become. So dang proud.

A brown guy wearing a backwards baseball cap, grey/black baseball shirt, a thin gold chain, holding up a peace sign, smiling with his arm around a shorter brown guy wearing a black beanie, glasses, bluetooth headphones around his neck. He is smiling with his head resting on his friend's shoulder.
D’Lo and Evan

-Guitar practice.
-Glee Cast Radio on Pandora
-For feeling productive and at ease.
-For the feeling of hope.
-For actually pressing “publish” for my gratitude entry from last week. Was surprised it was in the drafts. So funny.
-For the inspiring message that a stranger sent me this morning. Helped with motivation for sure.

Gratitude-October (22)

Gratitude:
-Felicia for the job leads.

-Brett for being generous with his career advice and for calling an uber for me to get back to Los Feliz.

-For the adventures of going to places I’ve never been before via public transit. I took the metro (subway) to the end of the purple line (North Hollywood) then had to figure out how to get to the 901 bus. Which actually ended up being like a shuttle on the orange line. Or is the orange line. I don’t know really. The transit center was confusing. I ended up having to ask security. I actually needed to cross the street and then I found myself on the wrong side of the pickup. Thanks to everyone who I asked for help who actually helped me find what I needed to make it where I needed to go.

-For decisions made. For major life changes.

-For A. Moon who has been a champion in my life the 15 months I’ve been fortunate to know her.

-For myself for practicing drawing today. Started with a blind contour drawing of my hand sanitizer. Then ended up doing some freestyle moon phase drawings. Good times.

-For all the people all over the world who are fighting for Trans Rights, human rights. Special shot out to people, friends, family, celebrities, television networks, organizations, who have been very vocal the past two days in media. Thank you.

Thanks to all the people who reached out to me personally to offer words of solidarity, encouragement, hope. Much love ❤

Feel free to share anything you’re grateful for in the comments below 🙂

Ta

Queer (Q)uestions/(A)nswered

Q: Why do you talk about gay* stuff all the time?
A: Why don’t you?
 
Q: Why do you talk about gay stuff so much?
A: Because most everything is super gay from my perspective. I mean I’ve been non-straight since I was a kid. So..you know everything I see is through that lens.
 
Q: Did you ever want to be straight?
A: Once. During a really bad break up. And only because I knew I wouldn’t care as much.
 
Q: Do you ever wish you were straight?
A: 😂😂😂😂😂😂
I mean not that there’s anything wrong with that. Some of my good friends are straight. And most of my family is straight.
 
Q: Why do you push your ‘gay agenda’ on people?
A: I just live my life and love. I love who I love and I love what I want. And I like to share what I love. Don’t yuck my yum. Why do you push your straight agenda on people?
 
Q: Why are there so many gay things on tv now?
A: Because gay people exist. Not everyone is straight.
 
Q: Why is there so much gay shit on tv? I don’t want my kids to see that.
A: Because gay people exist. Not everyone is straight. Stop assuming people are straight. Especially your kids. Our gaybies need love and protection. And just what is the fear about kids seeing gay people in media, in real life? I mean for all of us who have been inundated with images of non-gay relationships all our lives, we still turned out perfectly *queer.
**Are all straight people subject to losing their sexual preference simply because they’ve been exposed to images of people who don’t fit on a linear heteronormative binary?
 
Q: Why do you talk about being trans?
A. Because I love myself and I love being trans. And I love us so very much. As a whole, I think we are Beautiful and Brave. What I don’t love is the bs from other people that comes along with it.
Also.. if I waited for someone cisgender (not trans) to affirm my existence I’d be waiting for..uh..no. No thank you. No trans person I’ve ever met is like any other trans person I’ve met and no cis person can ever know what any trans person goes through.
Who knows my experiences better than I?
Also, being somewhat open and out helps me meet and connect with so many of my siblings.
 
Q: Do you ever wish you weren’t trans?
A: No.
 
Q: Did you ever wish you were’t trans?
A: Yes. But only because I didn’t think I could live in this world. Yes. but only because I didn’t think I could live in this world and be loved for who I am, as I am. Yes. But only because I thought I couldn’t live in this world without my body being violated, mutilated, killed. Yes. But only because I didn’t think I could live in this world and provide for myself. Yes. But only because I was afraid of being homeless. Yes. But only because I didn’t want to lose people in my life. Special shot out to my parents: Mom and Dad, Fuck ya’ll. Yes. But only because I didn’t want to be a statistic. Yes. But mainly because I was terrified.
 
Q: Do you ever wish you were just born a boy?
A: No. I’d still be trans. I don’t identify as man or woman. I am neither. Plus..I liked kissing and humping with boys so much that if I were born a boy I’d have been a little queer black boy growing up in the 80s. Joy! 🙄 I’m glad I got to skip that. I experienced many privileges growing up/being raised as a girl. Especially in my family.
 
Q: Why do you care so much about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, asexual, representation in television, films, music.etc?
A: Because media shapes culture. When we see ourselves, we can be ourselves. And maybe one day the dominant culture will see us as fellow human beings, equally deserving of good health, love, joy, happiness..and so on.
 
Q: Why do you have to talk about gay this, gay that? We get it ffs!
A: Because I love gay stuff 😍 Don’t yuck my yum.
 
Q: Why is everything so gay?
A: Because gay is happiness. Gay is good. Every single thing you see today or touch today someone on the queer spectrum had a part in it. You’re welcome.
 
Q: Why do you post so many things about being queer? I don’t want to see all that. Imma pray for you.
 
A: Fam, how often do you talk about or post about lgbtqia issues? How often do you talk about homosexuality in a positive way? If I didn’t speak/post about queer stuff, if we didn’t speak on it, who would? Would you? Seriously, gtfo Unfollow me. But hey, thanks for those prayers. Lift me up. Remind me of the meaning of my chosen name: God js gracious. Remember that my chosen name rhymes with Heaven. .🎤remember, remember, remember…🎤
 
Q: Do you spit or swallow?
A: I swallow. Yum. How about you?
 
*gay/queer used as umbrella terms
 
 

LGBT Pride Month: The Fight To Be Seen As Human Beings

Maybe because I’ve been that suicidal teenager/adult. Maybe because I mentor lgbtq youth and adults who deal with rejection, self loathing, self harm, abusive parents, and suicide ideation. I deal with people who live their lives as “straight” but are scared to come out. It’s okay if they don’t. That’s up to them. I know what they have to lose. I also know what they will gain but everyone decides for themselves. I recognize the judgmental and hypocritical culture we live in. I recognize that we, as human beings judge and behave in hypocritical ways. I recognize that we all are all full of contradictions.
I don’t post every youth we lose to suicide because of bullying about their sexual orientation or gender expression. I don’t post every time a trans person is murdered. I don’t post when parents shoot their children and their loved ones in the head or when people throw boiling water on a gay couple to teach them a lesson. I don’t post about places in the world where it’s illegal to be gay. Where we are stoned to death or thrown off high buildings. I don’t post about the “corrective” rape used against men, women, people, to “fix” them and make them heterosexual.
Partially I don’t post these things every time it happens because everyday there’s something. Partially it’s to spare people the reality of how many of us live. It’s depressing and distressing. I care so much but I am afraid that you don’t. Or you’ll think I’m exaggerating. Or that I should just focus on something else.
Maybe because friends of mine, highs school teacher, counselors, strangers, and many lgbtq people reach out to me for advice and support. We all have our fights and ways we contribute to society. We all have our issues we care about. This is one of mine.
I’ll speak on human rights for as long as there are people being persecuted, oppressed, discriminated, beaten up, set on fire, acid thrown in their face, bodies disregarded and left in dumpsters, alley ways, abandoned buildings, placed in de-gaying camps. facilities, mental hospitals, kicked out on the street to fend for themselves because of who they are and who they love.
Dramatic as it may seem, It is a life or death thing for me.
It is a life or death thing for many. It is about being a compassionate, aware human being thing for me. I wake up this way. A mixture of gratitude mixed with anger and righteousness, laced with hope. Always hope.
It is the siren song of my blood.
It seems I am always fighting. And even if you are not a QUILTBAG person, I know some of you understand what I’m talking about. You are always fighting for your lives. To better your life or those you love. Always fighting and we know the exhaustion that comes from that. I’ve been at it so long, recently I’ve been looking to fight. Preemptively defensive. I don’t particularly like this development but I recognize this is where I am right now.

Pridecolos_katieBarnes

Image by Katie Barnes