When those we love mess up, we have to be willing to let them know so that they can do better. I’m not advising folks to put themselves in spaces or conversations that could put them at risk of physical, verbal, or mental harm. However, I feel that when we don’t address our faves’ problematic behavior or words, we risk them hurting others or us with those same actions. They aren’t perfect and will make mistakes, just like any other human being.
My great-grandparents were the key to my freedom and the end of my love-hate relationship with my hair. My great-grandparents all had different hair textures because they all had different ethnic backgrounds: African, Taino, and Spaniard! Finally, my ancestry explained how I could easily change from straight, to wavy, to wild curls.
Good science tells us that it is better to recognize and respect the ways we are different, because how we’re treated, having good friends, and having access to decent food, a place to play, restful sleep, and medical care make a huge difference in our health and longevity, for all of us, whatever our size.
I’ve started to wonder what the idea of a “new” masculinity would actually entail. Is it so simple to separate people who act in “masculine” ways into categories that lead to a version of masculinity that is “new” and even “better” than the others? Or in talking about “new masculinities,” are we talking about the ways in which masculinity itself is no longer a viable determination of gendered categorization at all, and that we must move toward dismantling the whole concept?
“Coming out” looks like so many things for so many people. It can be the culmination of years of fear and denial, or it can be a sudden epiphany. Sometimes, it’s loud and public, and sometimes, it’s quiet and private. For some it’s a defiant break from a prison cell; for others, a peaceful realization. We need to make sure that all lived experiences are welcome under the Out and Proud banner.
Whether you have a FUPA because of a pregnancy or because you have added some extra pounds throughout the years, love that part of your body. It’s part of you. It’s part of your story, of your journey. No one else in this world has one just like yours. To practice radical self-love, we have to love every single inch of who we are.
If the body positivity movement is seeking to truly be a radical movement that changes the way we think about our bodies and ourselves, then we need to truly be radical and deconstruct and shift the ways that we are currently thinking about bodies. We can’t just modify current beauty standards to include apparently able-bodied, fat, cisgender white women and then think our job is done. There is a lot more work to do.
Honestly, I am tired of it all. The “rules” around these issues are all meant to control women and what society thinks we should look like. Apparently, all of our body parts are just for sex. Nipple “headlights” mean you want sex. Leggings and yoga pants mean you are making men think about sex. Camel toe is just gross because you are showing a sex part.
As I’ve aged, I’ve definitely noticed that my body is changing. It hasn’t been a question of whether or not to love my body. It’s just been an amused acceptance of what’s happening. Luckily, I have a bevy of friends who are equally amused. We laugh about the unexpected grays that seem to be popping up everywhere and hearing bones creak and crack when getting up in the morning.
If that restaurant has a ramp, I am able to function perfectly within that situation. I am able to go in, sit at a table, order my food, eat it, and pay, just like everyone else. My wheelchair is not the problem. The inaccessibility of the restaurant is. Saying that I am disabled more accurately highlights the complex biosocial reality of disability.
Talking to family members about transphobia can be an incredibly difficult task. So often, our family members, who should be pillars of support, are the first to turn away and close their minds and hearts to our identities. This can be incredibly painful emotionally, and can also involve emotional, verbal, or physical abuse or disownment. With these hard truths in mind, how do we talk to our families about transphobia?
It felt amazing to be able to trade my denim and t-shirts for flowy skirts and low-cut blouses. And lipstick quickly became a staple for all of my ensembles. This period marked the first time in a long time that other folks in my life also validated my presentation. It was also around this time that I found an identity that fit me so very well: femme.
Prefiero no jugar. No quiero ser más la “muestra” o esforzarme para ser válida dentro de los espacios etnocéntricos y hetero normales de los blancos. Estos espacios estrechos no me representan a mi o mis valores.
It often seems that cultural appropriation is one of the most defended acts of racism. When someone is called out for cultural appropriation, the response can be a mixture of denial, entitlement, anger, and defensiveness. People become self-justifying in a way that is uncritical and ahistorical.
I was brainwashed by the positivity movement, which took advantage of my unique ability as a victim/survivor of childhood trauma and sexual abuse to see the positive even in the most harmful situations. The depth of my self-deception was so profound that the glass wasn’t even half full. I was able to drink from an empty cup and convince myself that I was consuming the sweetest, most nourishing nectar. I was practicing the art of minimizing.