The Best You

I want nothing more than to live in a world where people don’t feel like they need to go under serious acts of medical adjustment to become who they want to be. This goes from people getting cosmetic plastic surgery, to people feeling as though they need to remove body parts to fit into societies boxes easier. Sometimes, we are born with something that we look at on our body as a tumor. As something that never was supposed to be there. In instances like that the medical world becomes a god send. For a little girl who was born and grew up thinking of herself as nothing but a boy in the wrong skin, the fact that the modern world of science can make the adjustments that will make them the person that they were always meant to be, that is truly beautiful.

Trends can make people do some very stupid, often permanent adjustments to their bodies. How many times have you seen a ridiculously ugly tattoo or a haircut on someone who should have just left well and good alone? A boob job that simply was way too much, a face lift that looks like absolute hell? We all search for acceptance. To either blend in with a community or to be the highlight of one. We are a generation that is constantly connected. We bond over inside jokes whose origins exist on Tumblrs and blogs. I look around and see myself surrounded by highly educated young folk. Most of us see falling in love and getting married as something our parents did. We instead crave education, we live for a constant influx of knowing. Many of us are on a constant hunt for getting to the core of who we actually are. Of challenging the rules we all grew up being told we had to follow. So why is it that we still find such a hard time with individuality. Why in communities that are supposed to be more understanding and accepting than any other are people ostracized for their sexuality or gender preference?

There are certain letters of the LGBT that are on a much higher podium than the others. I will exclude the G for right now because I’m not highly versed on the life of gay men (go figure). So let us focus on the LB and T. So. The way I see it, the L is quite separate from the B and T. The B has always had to go through some serious shit from the L and T. The gay community treats bisexuals like lepers. For as many “horrible bisexuals” that I’ve met I’ve encountered about ten more “lesbian pieces of shit”. Your sexual orientation doesn’t negate what kind of person you are, that is all on you. If you lack a sense commitment it doesn’t matter who you’re fucking. So moving on. I think because of the serious scrutiny many a bisexual person has had to face many (those who spend more time in the gay world than the straight one) have taken to the much more accepted term: queer. Being bisexual makes you undateable being queer on the other hand shows that you are in touch, that you have taken a gender studies class. That you’re “in”.

On the same side of that coin, trans people have often been the victims of hate from both the hetero and homo community. Straight people who have not been educated about the trans world simply don’t get it. While lesbians don’t accept trans men because they are after all men and a man entering an all feminine space is after all an intruder.

I hear you. I hear you right now after reading that line. You’re saying THAT IS NOT TRUE. I love trans men. And I’m going to say no, YOU love the gender fuck out at the bar who presents as a trans person BUT has absolutely no commitment to actually transitioning. In fact if we revisit that person in 5 years they very well may have grown their hair back and *gasp* may have started wearing women’s clothing again.

Now to say that there aren’t queer female bodied folks out there who do indeed love and date trans men would be a lie. I know many. But. I do also know a bevy of women who date gender queer indiviuals who because it is trendy like to call themselves trans. But well. Aren’t.

It takes an extreme amount of courage for someone to come out to the world as trans. It shows an amazing sense of “this is who I am and whether or not you accept me is not going to make or break me”. That is why it angers me that non trans folk seem to think its cool to say that they are. It isn’t. Actually, it’s kind of disrespectful. Expecially when you take into account all of the shit trans people have to go through day to day. If you dress one way when you go out to the bars knowing it will get you laid and another way when you go to the office. Well. My respect for you has lowered.

So either you’ve gotten to this point and want to high five me or shoot me. I’m sorry if you disagree and I’d like to know how you feel. But this is how I feel. So allow me to continue.

Society has decided to put us all into boxes. Girl. Boy. Gay. Straight. Lesbian. Trans. What society does not allow for are those who may kinda sorta fit into a box but also fit into another. Often if we want to live a life that allows for us to have friends and to fall in line we have to pick a box and roll with it. Of course there are a handful of truly wonderful people who live for constant expression and change. Who thrive on being able to constantly evolve and learn about others transitions. And then there are those who swear their creating change, yet are really just going along with what the majority is doing. And you know what? Sometimes that is a ok, but it’s not ok when you are following a very confused majority.

It has taken me years to figure out that I exist as gender queer. I have read and read and read. I have reached into myself.

Who the fuck am I? I stand naked in front of the mirror now and laugh. All day, everyone has referred to me using male pronouns. I look back at my reflection and what do I see? I see a tattoo’d gender fuck. I have breasts and a pussy. I’ll get dressed, sometimes with a pack, sometimes not. I will go back out into society and those who don’t know me will say: “Have a nice day, sir.” “Kid how old are you?” etc etc. And you know what? 90% of the time, I fucking love it. I am whoever the fuck I want to be at any moment.

We all have the Internet. If I want Xanax, I go online and determine what symptoms I need to tell a psychiatrist and boom. I have Xanax. If I have always been a tomboy, and start hanging out with a bunch of queermos in Brooklyn, girls who are calling themselves trans. I may start to see myself that way as well. I will see how girls respond to me. I will think that being trans is what I have always missed about myself. I will start trying to figure out how I can start going on this drug everyone keeps talking about – T. I will tell my liberal parents and together we will go down the road to my transitioning. The T will kick in and I will start dealing with all of the emotions that go along with it, and then I will realize. Shit. I didn’t want this.

Do you hear what I’m saying? You need to get in touch with you for the good of you to figure out what makes YOU happy. You do not need to use medical tools to be a person who will simply fit in better. YOU are better than that.

Humans grow, as time goes by we have no choice. We will meet a million people, that will impact our lives in a trillion different ways. We will look in the mirror sometimes and want to punch ourselves in the face. We will blame our parents for our genes. We will compare ourselves to our friends, to celebrities, and go to bed hoping for something different; for anything but this. What you have to realize is the same cliche bull shit you have always heard the older generations in our lives say. You are the most beautiful you. Some of us were truly born in the wrong body. Some of us do have certain physical or mental conditions that we will always have to carry with us. There is always a quick way out. There is always space for a rash decision to be made. And you know why? Because to make a rash decision it actually requires no space at all. With my Iphone in my hand I have the capacity to literally do anything. I can buy a plane ticket, I can rent an apartment, I can make a million doctors appointments, I can destroy someone on Twitter or Facebook.
We have so much power, and sometimes I feel like it overwhelms us. Actually, I know it does. You live this life once and you must live it to the fullest. Whatever the fuck that means for you. IF you are living this life while asking yourself constantly: what will _____ think? You my friend are living this life wrong.

You may wake up one morning and want to be a kangaroo only to wake up the next day resounding that you are actually the reincarnation of Biggie Smalls. That is the gorgeous thing about life. For the past few years I have been comfortable dressing as a man. Who is to say that in a year from now I may decide to rock a more feminine ensemble. WHO FUCKING CARES? Society may. But you know what? You shouldn’t. Easier said than done? Absolutely. Possible? You better believe it.

Don’t make any changes that you can’t one day reverse. And if you do make damn sure that 20 years from now you’ll still be just as happy as the day you did it.

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Ilene This is Everything You Did Wrong

Ilene Chaiken you created the most legendary lesbian show of all time. The L Word is permanently cemented in all of our minds. Sometimes I go through my phone wanting to text Alice something and then remember…that she’s not real. But lez all be really honest here. The writing on The L Word kind of umm…sucked. The story lines were cray. The characters were unbelievable though we chose to believe they could actually be very real people (thank god Tina does not exist in my life). But what else has there ever been on t.v. that was written by us and was for us? The L Word was monumental. It still is. But Ilene it’s time someone told you. There are some things you really. Seriously. Fucked. Up.

1. Killing someone everyone already hated aka Jenny fucking Schector. I have actually never been happier.

2. Making a dick fuck like Shane seem like every lesbians dream & worst nightmare at the same time. Cut to now and every masculine lesbian having to hear time and time again: You’re like a total Shane right? Basically making being emotionally available…not a thing. And people being ok with it…yet constantly bitching about it…because well don’t we lesbians like to bitch? xo

3. KILLING DANA
This is probably actually totally thoroughly the worst thing that has ever happened on tv. EVER. I can’t even forgive you. Illene imma let you finish but everyone knows Alice and Dana had the best cable t.v. love story of all time.

4. Making me watch Tina have sex. Girl. You so wrong.

5. Making me watch Kit and Papi have sex. Girl. You dumb wrong.

6. Max.
The shitty as FUCK way you showed Max going through transitioning.
The fact that you got Max preggo with the worst homo alive’s baby.
The fact that you fucked up every single one of Max’s relationships.
The fact that UGH I COULD GO ON AND ON AND ON.
Way to bring a trans person onto t.v. and royally fuck it up. Royally.

7. Carmen never coming back.
Sarah Shahi is like Christmas. She must appear once a year.

8. Not tying up any lose ends. You can not just end a show where viewers essentially see the cast as family and then just. Poof. No. Sorry.

9. Shane fucking every hot woman on the planet, do every drug under the sun, turn tricks on Santa Monica Blvd for gay dudes…and yet not have any STD’s.

10. Shenny. Seriously? Shane + Jenny? Twat? I thought watching Jenny and Carmen pee together was the worst moment in the history of all things lesbionic…and then…Shane and Jenny kissed.

11. The fact that everyone had magic money. No one ever seemed to be struggling. Helena for like a month and a half buh like really. Shane literally never had a job for longer then 3 months yet she somehow was a successful business owner? And how did she become a celebrity hair stylist? WHERE DID SHE EVEN LEARN TO CUT HAIR? Seems kind of similar to The Real L Word no? O shit. Went. There.

12. Tina with a dude.

13. Everyone cheated on everyone. Every season. Great example to set there. Wonder why most lesbians can’t fucking commit.

14. Alice dating Lara. Uhm. What? Seriously.

15. The entire last season. All of it. Every single minute of it.

But. Look. They still hangout! It’s like The Real Real L Word.

Mind. Blown.

Gay Pride vs. Team Pride and What Happens When They Collide

I’ve been having a really hard time liking my favorite football team, for the past few months now. That team would be the New York Jets, and my struggle with them began with their acquiring of Tim Tebow. I despise Tim Tebow. He is the poster child of a movement that I hate. The movement of privileged white men who oppose gay marriage and abortion rights. Who use the Bible as leverage to support these ideals and want nothing more then to appear as Americas darlings.

So Tebow has come to New York and you know what? The hype surrounding him could be, in all respects Should be so much bigger. Which is strange for a city who so heavily promotes their teams. A walk through the subway’s here in New York, shows a cities boastful showing off of The Brooklyn Nets. Every summer brings a huge influx of everything tennis related. US Open ads are literally everywhere. This city breathes sports. New York is synonymous with amazing sports moments. It is not A city where athletes play it is the city of legends. The city of Babe Ruth, of Walt Frazier, a town where even our minor league baseball team sells out all of their games. Our most favorite players here surpass normal celebrity, they are heroes. Some would even say gods.

So why is it that a young quarterback has come to this huge stage and not seen nearly the amount of attention as say Stoudemaire did when he came to the Knicks? Tebow has definitely seen his fair share of attention. But it hasn’t been worship like. The Jets have always been a team fighting to step out of the Giants shadow. Forced to play in a stadium that didn’t even bear their name season after season the Jets finally have their equal field rights at Met Life stadium. And now they have a celebrity quarterback. Except, where is the cities contagious excitement?

New York is a liberal beacon. Our mayor is one of the strongest voices in the fight for gay marriage equality. Our council woman Christine Quinn just married her partner. Nuptials that the city of New York were invited to take part in seen in ads run by the MTA on our subways. We are a city that supports equal rights. We have one of the biggest gay pride parades in the world. So maybe just maybe it is safe to assume, safe to make the correlation, that someone who would bring the status of a superstar to any other city, here has gone overlooked due to their views on something most of us accept and uphold.

I haven’t heard anyone directly come out and say that they don’t give a shit about Tebow coming here due to him being a flagrant showboat and bible thumping homophobic. Except one doesn’t hear too many New Yorkers gushing about him. On the sports pages yes, Tebow is of course being talked about, but even there he isn’t being hailed.

As a sports fan you have to get used to favorite player leaving your team (see Jeremy Lin) and players who you’ve hated for years magically sporting your favorite teams uniform. Sports franchises are financial bull dogs more than anything else. A few years ago my Yankees took on Johnny Damon. A former Boston Red Sox player who I had spent years hating. He came to New York with a shaved face and new attitude. And you know what? I almost kind of sort of liked him. Us sports fans are fickle lovers, we have to be. A players relationship with a sports team can end faster then a relationship with a Kardashin. The players with hero power will inevitably stay put. Derek Jeter will no doubt die in a Yankees uniform.

The sports world has never been known as an accepting place for LGBT folk; whether it be fans screaming homophobic slurs at players and officials to athletes themselves muttering them to each other on the court, In recent years there has been a massive shift in players stepping up and coming out in support of gay equality. The yin to Tim Tebow’s yang is Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, whose tweets often demand gay rights and that this country move towards acceptance to all. He won’t back down or be silenced either. In a recent letter he was asked by Maryland politicians to silence his stance on the issue of gay marriage. Citing that they were “appalled” by his strong views on the matter. Essentially they told him to shut up, which he thankfully has promised not to do.

Seeing a straight male athlete come out so strongly for gay marriage and equality gives so much hope to the future evolution of athletes opinions on gays. Kids and adults alike look up to sports giants. They live vicariously through them. Sports give fans a feelings of hope, they offer an escape from the mundane. Athletes can do the unimaginable, they spend their careers trying to break records, trying to stay relevant, trying (most of them anyway) to stay loved by their fans. So, what if athletes start playing to more and more openly gay fans? Without fans sports franchises are nothing. The athletes will have to stay on their biggest supporters good sides. They will have to face the reality that society is moving towards total acceptance of the gay community. It simply will not be ok for a player like Tebow to say he doesn’t approve of gay marriage. His fans simply won’t stand for it. Not with players like Ayanbadejo around advocating for his gay fans. Tebow couldn’t step into a press conference and say that he won’t throw passes to his black teammates. Sixty years ago? Yes. Today? Absolutely not. There is not question in my mind that 60 years from today a player like Tim Tebow will not be able to exist in the sports world touting his Christian elitist and homophobic views. But, we do not have time machines. We must get through the Tebow’s the same way we got through Brown vs. The Board of Education and Roe vs. Wade. Change takes time. Here in New York our views are rapidly more futuristic then in other parts of the country. Hopefully this football season will be quick. Tebow will let the Jets down, and be traded off to a team in the Midwest where he will be welcomed with open arms. Either that or he can retire from the game all together, he would I’m sure be at home in the one other space where where one can be both extremely successful and be a massive bigot: politics.

What’s In a Name

It has been said that when you name your child you’re choosing their life path. How and where they’ll fit in, whether they’ll be a leader or a quite follower. Aside from how you actually look, your name is the first thing that people have to judge you off of. It’s clear that nowadays parents have lost their damn minds.

Seriously.

My name literally means girl in Spanish, and if you know me…well I’m not the girliest. I channel more of a gay man, skater boy, thing. I’m me. Let me explain the best way I can, through prose:

I am gender
I am everything
I am Adam and I am Eve
I’m neither F or M I’m in between
I was the little girl who played with trucks
The boy who played with dolls
I fit where I find the warmth
Cold is nothing new
This is true
But I am
I see no point in pointing stress on when or where or if I’ll ever wear a dress
Or why a stranger on the street can’t just see inside and take me for me
I am who I am and that’s always been me
Boy meets girl
Inside my head
Girl meets girl inside my bed
I am the reasoning on the tip of genders tongue
Because for me its come undone
And I tear it up and rip it apart
Your words they hit but they fall to dark
The spotlights always on
On my state
On the clothes I wear
I’m who you hate
Well smile
Because I’m smiling back
Because I won’t censor myself
Or ever look back
So call on your soldiers
Fire off all your guns
Shoot me a thousand times
But for me
The war has already been won

I can only stay true to myself. When I look in the mirror now I see a very different person than who I once did. We all grow up, our faces change, our attitudes change; I don’t wear the same clothes I did as an infant, so why should my name stay the same?

Nina. Meet. Ryley.

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