Ultimately, the driving force behind the “power of positive thinking” meme is the word “power.” But what about those whose bodies are not powerful? What about those who are vulnerable? What about those who are tired, isolated, and struggling? What about those who are ill? What about those who lack proper support? How do they make their dreams manifest?
Privilege is a thing that I, as a Black, fat, queer woman focused on social justice, can often forget I possess. Yes, I know what it feels like to be followed through a store simply for being too Black in it, the glare of judgment at the space I take up on a train, or the disgust at the same soft hand of my lovers, but still there are parts of my life where I have had more access and opportunity than generations of my family could have ever imagined.
It’s not as simple as “visibility bad” or “visibility good.” It’s important to celebrate our presence and our courage, and equally important to acknowledge the cautions we take to survive. An out trans woman is a beautiful, powerful force, but she is not any more valuable than her sister in the closet.
My mother is my definition of a warrior because, at every turn of her adult life, she fought for what she believed in—making sure that as many people were as happy as possible. Her warrior mentality, though, may have ultimately turned her into a martyr, representing the good in life that gets tainted and taken for granted until it gets destroyed. Her love was eternal. It was radical. It was inspiring.
Look at those lines around my throat. They look like a multi-strand necklace. Look at them all! They just go on and on. And the facial hair. That’s new. Where did that come from? Menopause? Whenever I look at this photograph, I feel as though I’m looking at my grandmother. How can I be looking at my grandmother? It boggles my mind.
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.
STI shaming is a particular strain of body shaming that keeps going unchecked because most of us who are in a position to oppose it feel silenced by the shaming itself. Talking about STIs can be scary. Coming out as having an STI can be scary. Given this hostile context, well-meaning individuals are prone to perpetuating senseless stereotypes without realizing it, simply because they have not learned otherwise.
One of my favorite axioms in progressive circles is, “The very fact that you can read/hear/access these words in this moment shows that you carry a certain amount of privilege.” If anyone can tell me where this line originated, I will personally buy you an inexpensive beverage. It’s an astute assessment and, no matter how much we may want to play the hero and deny whatever privilege we may have, doing so is only to deny reality.
The biggest lie you have ever been told is that physically larger women are incapable of being comfortable with their bodies. I am not ashamed to reclaim the word. We shouldn’t be offended by a word as simple as fat. Words are not defining points. When you take the sting away, all you’re left with is three letters that hold little actual meaning. A positive mindset about bodies is where the radical shift begins.
How can we in the LGBTQIA+ community help fight misogyny? The sad but necessary truth is that we have to start from within.This comic shows how objectification, oppressive beauty standards, and other forms of misogyny show up in LGBTQIA+ communities. Learn why and how we must unlearn these behaviors to create the safe and welcoming space we hope for.
“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.
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.
Self-care has seemed literally impossible. Yet we all know: It is at these moments when it is the most necessary. When turning inward to fight for yourself seems like the last thing you can do, it is the most essential thing.
Mucha gente se ha preguntado ¿cómo puedes transicionar si no eres ni hombre ni mujer? ¿Hacia qué transicionas? La respuesta es diferente para cada persona no binaria. Todes somos válides en nuestros cuerpos y géneros. La forma en que nos vemos, vestimos y cuidamos a nosotres mismes debería ser la que nos haga felices. Puede ser una lucha, tanto para personas cis como trans, amarnos a nosotres mismes y a nuestros cuerpos
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?