Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I’ve been nominated for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” by a lovely blogger named alesbianspeaks! Thanks so much for the nomination. I love being nominated for awards 😛 .  It makes me happy to think that my little blog may be inspiring people. She’s a great blogger, so you make sure you go and visit her blog!

Rules for accepting the Very Inspiring Blogger Award:
1- Thank the amazing blogger who nominated you, with a link back to their blog.
2- List the rules and display the award on your blog.
3- Share seven facts about yourself.
4- Nominate other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they’ve been nominated.

Seven facts about myself:
1. I’ve been wanting to get into body boarding properly and see it as a sport rather than a hobby, so I’ve started to practise a bit more strictly.
2. I love rainy days.
3. All my socks have colourful stripes.
4. The comic shop that sparked my liking for manga (obsession, better said?) closed down a couple years later, and I often dream that I’ll meet the shop owner someday and thank him for what he’s done for me. I don’t remember his face.
5. I faint a lot. I’ve gotten into the habit of telling people not to worry too much if I suddenly collapse in the middle of the street on a sunny day.
6. We used to have a cat when I lived in NZ. It hated me and I hated it back; we often got into fights. But I think I might be the person in my family that misses it the most.
7. I love coconut.

Bloggers I want to nominate:
There are so many blogs that I love and follow, so I had a hard time making this list. I tried not to nominate those who already have this award though.
1- From Fandom to Family: Sharing my many thoughts
2- More Than A Headache
3- Ally Loves
4- Janitorqueer
5- lgbTJ
6- Musings of a Life in Transience
7- Apparently I Don’t Exist
8- 3kids2cats1divorce
9- The Notes Which Do Not Fit

Blogging Against Disablism (Four Months Late)

(I accidently ruined the layout of my blog, and can’t seem to find the theme I used to use, so I’m afraid it’ll have to stay like this.)

I once read a book about a girl in a wheelchair. A different Life by Lois Keith, if you’re interested. After finishing the book I felt like I knew everything there possibly is to know about people with disabilities, as if the character of that book acted as a spokesperson of her whole community, and every other person in a wheelchair felt exactly like she did.

But really the only thing I learnt was to not stare if somebody who has a disability passed by. I learnt to treat them as people, and not as people in wheelchairs. I learnt to not think of them as incapable human beings who can do nothing but rely constantly on others as they go through life (though there are some people who have disabilities that leave them no other option than to rely on others, I learnt that not *every* person with disabilities has to live with somebody who will look after them). I learnt to talk to them just like I’d talk to anybody else. I learnt to not be afraid of them.

But I shouldn’t have needed to learn any of that. I should’ve already known it; I should’ve taken for granted that a person would want to be treated just like I treat any other person, and not have me looking at them nervously before walking off and looking for something else to do that would make me less stressed. I thought that this way of acting was valid because I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable around them. And I was sure that they wouldn’t mind too much since everyone else pretty much did the same.

Why is it that I’m so blinded by my able-bodied privilege that I couldn’t even see that my behaviour could hurt other people? Why is it that I had to wait until I read a book written from the perspective of a person with a disability to be able to realise and change this behaviour? What if I hadn’t read that book? Would I still walk around keeping a distance from blind people, people in wheelchairs or people without arms? Would I still be scared to talk to them in case I offended them, not realising that I’d be offending them more by avoiding them? What about everyone else who hasn’t read a book?

We are taught that bodies with any kind of disability are inferior to bodies that don’t have any, instead of acknowledging simply that they are different kinds of bodies; neither inferior nor superior. And this is a big problem. Actually, thinking that any kind of body is inferior to another is what causes many of the problems nowadays in (first-world) society. People need to fight to make sure everybody knows that women aren’t inferior to men, that black people aren’t inferior to white people, that trans people aren’t inferior to cisgender people, that people who are skinnier or fatter than society’s image of an ideal body are not ugly (always keeping in mind that anorexia/bulimia and overweight are problems that should be addressed).

I want to see all of this represented everywhere. I don’t want people running away from these problems, saying that they aren’t important enough or ignoring them completely. I don’t want to have to wait until people read a book about a girl in a wheelchair to start treating people with disabilities properly.

I haven’t ever talked about this kind of topic before, but yesterday I found out that every May bloggers unite to talk against disablism, ableism and disability discrimination. I’ll be looking forward to May!

Modernization

Ladies, gentlemen and (moving) between thereof: I have stepped into the modern world. How, you ask? Well, up until now I had stuck to understanding computers, televisions, radios, electric stoves and mostly anything technology related that I could get my hands on, all items which I manage well enough and am mostly quite fond of (especially computers), but you might have realised something missing from the list that is really very used and important. Mobiles. Or I think some of you might call them cell phones. From today on I have a portable telephone in my power and will soon proceed to become obsessed with it, pretty much like every other teenager who has one. And it’s not one of those flip-phones or a flat screen with buttons as numbers, but a tactile one. It looks all smart with the black flat surface (not an iphone though, just a Samsung mini). That also means it has anything you could possibly imagine. It even tells you what time it is in Japan.

I broke it the first day, so then I had to go and give it back. I somehow convinced the people at the shop that the insurance had to cover the cost, since it was technically not my fault, so they assured me I’d have it back in fifteen days time. Fifteen days passed very slowly, but it finally returned safely home into my hands.

The reason I haven’t been around lately is because I haven’t touched my computer during the four days since I got my phone (record!). I’ve been downloading a whole lot of apps and programmes to enjoy myself with my phone. My sister says the memory card will be full very soon if I keep on going, but I’ll deal with that when the time comes. I actually just finished downloading a thing called What’sApp (lovely word joke there), which allows me to talk with all my friends without having to log on to facebook. I’ve also arrived to level 7 on a game called Temple Run, which is me virtually jumping rocks and ducking under logs as I run away from a monster that wants to kill me. Apparently the monster is the guardian of a treasure I just stole.

I think I’m more or less over the “new relationship fever” and will be back to the blogosphere any time soon. Just please let me get to level 10 first, okay?

Mine is very similar to the white one!

Mine is very similar to the white one!

The Song Project: Lady Gaga – G.U.Y.

(I’m guessing you know the nature of Lady Gaga’s music videos, so I don’t recommend you watch this in front of little kids.)

I used to have mixed feelings about Lady Gaga. She is very sexual so I didn’t really feel comfortable with her songs or videos. She is also a gay icon, meaning that her songs are directed towards a male homosexual audience, which I didn’t belong to even though I am LGBTQ+. But these feelings changed once I heard her say “don’t be a drag, just be a queen”, which captivated greatly my attention. That’s why I decided I’d start off The Song Project with one of her songs.

The initials G.U.Y. from the song stand for “Girl Under You”, which give it a masculine and feminine version of the song at the same time.

I think this video is important so people can see that being a top/bottom is independent to being submissive/dominant and you can therefore have whichever combination you wish. Lady Gaga isn’t submissive; she knows what she wants and she will get it. She is, however, a bottom. Her subjects of desire are at her mercy and do what she asks for. She also gives the message that being underneath isn’t something you should feel guilty about. It isn’t something that takes away your pride or power; it doesn’t have to be humiliating, like many think. And that females can be dominant too.

I like to believe it’s some sort of anthem for the BDSM community since it includes many kinky tendencies (“I know you’ll wear my make-up well” / “I’m going to own you”), but always showing the importance of consent and knowing that you can stop any time if you don’t feel comfortable (“Please retreat” / “I want the power to leave you”). It’s also ok to switch positions or change roles (“I’ll lay face up this time”).

She also has her harem of sexy males, as always, so you could see some sort of polyamory there if you wish.

In her video she includes both men and women (maybe even non-binaries, that can’t be spotted with the bare eye) from different skin colours (though she could add a few more darker skinned people), and I also like how she mentioned the Greek God Hemeros, which sparked my interest for mythology again.

The one thing I didn’t like about this song is the verse “I’m in charge like a G.U.Y.”, which may seem as if the male –or the person playing a masculine role in a relationship- is the one who has to be in charge.

It always surprises me how Lady Gaga manages to get rid of more and more clothes in each video and we still haven’t seen her fully naked.

Now that I’ve mentioned BDSM, just to note that “50 Shades of Grey” will soon have a movie, which is coming out sometime soon enough. The trailer’s out anyway. I don’t like it. “50 Shades of Grey” is not an example of BDSM, which is a community that puts consent, safety and trust as priorities in, especially this kind of, relationships. A sadist from the community won’t torture or humiliate someone that doesn’t want to be tortured or humiliated by them, unlike popular belief. This movie and its books are covering up something that’s assault and rape with the excuse of ‘love’ and romance, as well as trying to make us believe that it’s all fine because, you know, that’s what sado-masochism is clearly about.

The Song Project

My sister asked me the other day what I feel when I listen to music. She was referring to the amount of allosexuality represented in pretty much every song and themes that I as an asexual can’t really identify with. The best answer I could come up with was “Pse, nothing. What is there to identify with?” so I apologize to her for such an un-thoughtful and vague answer to a question she had probably been thinking about for a while (she reads my blog sometimes, so I’m guessing she’ll read this?).

I do identify with some songs. I usually try to squeeze out the romanticism and sexuality of many so that I can relate to them, which is actually kind of interesting and fun, but sometimes very difficult. If not, many songs that are supposed to be romantic don’t really have to be about a partner; they can be about a friend, a family member or anyone you happen to be fond of.

Anyway, in honour to that question I came up with an idea. I clearly have feelings when I listen to music, whether I like or identify with the song or not. Moreover, I constantly criticise songs that appear on the radio. I don’t know whether this is good or bad, but I do it all the time; every single song that I hear or every video that I see, I feel an imperative need to say “Well, I think this could change” or “I don’t agree with this” or “I do/don’t like the message of this song”. So every now and then I’ll be publishing a post about a song that I have strong feelings about, whether they be positive or negative feelings. I hope you all enjoy it!

Being made a victim

binI haven’t been around much these past weeks, since I started a web design course. You’d think summer is a good time to do everything you don’t have time to do during the year, so I’m up and down all day long. Anyway, the classes are just about finished, so I’ll be back soon enough. To make it up for you I’ve written a long post today.

A few weeks ago my class was asked whether bullying in our school is a thing. Everyone immediately shook their heads; bullying? What were they talking about? Bullying doesn’t take place here! The worst part is that they actually believed these statements.

I’ve never talked about my bullying experiences before but, the truth is, I have been bullied my whole life. Well, compared to what you see in movies and the mental image I have of American schools, I can assure you nothing that bad has ever happened. I’m not sure how the education system works where you live, so I’ll assign age groups to what I’ll call school (until 12), high school (12-16), college (16-18) and University (18+).

I finished school as an innocent little kid. Too innocent, really. I still had swordfights with the other kids during playtime, ran around and climbed… whatever I could climb, which wasn’t much. Playgrounds in Catalonia could be better. I had screaming competitions with my friends and made chewing gum balls which I later froze. All of this was taken away from me when I came face to face with the high school kids.

I was very nervous during my first day of high school. I could nearly call it a success if only I hadn’t had a boy tell me I was very ugly when I was about to go home with an air of relief. The second day I was introduced to a new set of words I must use in order to be “cool”, all of which were swearwords and ruder versions of saying vagina. I had been educated to not swear, so you could say I earned my first badge from the victim team fairly soon. I didn’t realize then, but the first week of high school is when everyone is sorted out into those who laugh and those who will be laughed at. The teens from second year walked around making this classification. They did so with a great number of methods; judging your reaction when they told you to high-five them, when they called your name from the other side of the school, when they bumped into you, how you presented yourself, what your name was… I think I failed all these tests. But what wiped out my competition to the title of Loser was defending those who were being laughed at.

I remember my friends and I were talking to a girl who suddenly found herself up against a wall, surrounded by mean people insulting her, about to cry. I thought she was nice, so I stood next to her with my head high during the fifteen minutes their laughs lasted, only to realise that my friends had quietly left and were making signals to me, telling me to get out of there before they turned on me. They couldn’t possibly think I was just going to leave her there could they?

The first two years were hell. I was called any name you could think of: lesbian, ugly, marimacho (Spanish version of tomboy, but with negative connotations), giraffe (I’m tall), fake goth (I was trying to be emo, actually), ugly, bulimic/anorexic, pimple-face…

People came up to me and asked whether I wanted a sex change, if I could understand Spanish or if I was scared that I wouldn’t ever find somebody who loved me. They told me that I had to look prettier. I had people pour water onto my food. More than once they wrote my name on the blackboard and changed a few letters to make a rude word joke out of it. They threw basketballs and pinecones to my head if it occurred to me to go outside during lunchtime. Scratched on a table in any classroom you could find my name alongside another girl’s name with a heart around them. I couldn’t walk down the hall without being laughed at. I was locked in the bathroom by a boy who broke off the handle. They threw eggs to me from a window when I thought I was finally out of the danger zone. I am thankful I wasn’t assigned male at birth or they would’ve beaten me up.

The third year was ok enough if you don’t count the kid that pretended to fall in love with me and then humiliated me in front of everyone. It was my femme year after all. I had adopted the girliest position I have ever had and tied my hair back in a ponytail, drawing the attention of many boys (and girl(s), actually). I even dressed in female assigned clothes. They decided to leave me alone for a while.

The fourth and last year of high school started out rough and then progressed smoothly until I discovered the difference between sex and gender. Then I started fighting my inner battles.

After that I can’t really say much bullying happened to me. Apart from a bunch of fourteen year olds that thought it would be fun to criticise my gender expression but, you know, they were fourteen. I was over that.

My older sister was studying mediation as an extracurricular, so she helped me through the toughest situations. My father and younger sister were oblivious so, unfortunately, I can’t really say I could depend much on them during those times. They thought it would pass soon enough and that it wasn’t too serious (of course they didn’t know the details).

My mother told me a few things every now and then to try and keep me strong, mostly that they were jealous of me. The thing is they weren’t laughing at me because they were jealous. They were laughing at me because I was uncool, because they hated me, because making fun of me would increase their position on the social ladder. I was everything somebody wasn’t supposed to be, not at that age at least.

I thought once or twice about suicide, but I mostly just wished the bus would explode or something so that it would look like an accident. Sorry to the bus driver. You might be wondering what got me through all of this then. It was manga. Mostly Naruto. I’m not embarrassed to say that comics made me stronger, despite the laughs that that might provoke. I sometimes still picture one of my favourite ninjas standing back up after being defeated in a battle and telling the opposition that he will never give up, that this is the path he has to follow. For good and for bad, I’ve learnt a great amount of morals and attitudes from comics, which have shaped me into the person I am today.

Next year I’ll be starting University. I hope it’s not high school all over again.

I guess the moral of the story is “stay strong, ignore people and they’ll probably get over it”. Sometimes. At least I got something out of all of it; insults bounce right off me and I know a lot about manga.

 

Bisexuality and Pansexuality

I know I posted something yesterday, but I had to write this. I don’t really understand why some people are confused by the difference between the terms bisexual and pansexual, but it seems that some are having a hard time to pin down the definitions. So I’d like to try and shed some light on the subject, though I may just be making it harder for some who already know the difference or those who don’t have a vast knowledge on queer identities.

Depending on whom you ask, each person will give you a different definition to the word bisexual. This is probably because the three most known sexualities are heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual, so bisexuality kind of becomes a catch-all term for anything that doesn’t fit into the other two categories. However, knowing what somebody means when they use the word can easily be solved by simply asking the person in question how they define bisexuality.

There is really no debate that pansexual means “sexual attraction towards all genders”. Bisexual, however, causes more confusion because of the prefix “bi-” which, as you probably know, literally means “two”.

This could basically be interpreted in the following ways:

– Sexual attraction towards the same gender as oneself and genders different to that of oneself

– Sexual attraction towards –only- men and women

– Sexual attraction towards two genders (these can be any two genders, not just man and woman)

Many people think the second one is absolute, and therefore is the difference between bisexual and pansexual, but that would exclude the other two options, which are also widely accepted and used by many bisexuals.

The first is easily confused with pansexual, since it is really also an attraction towards all genders, but I’d say the main difference in this case is the preference; preference for one term or the other and preference for one or more genders over others. Pansexuals, though they may enjoy having a sexual relationship with one gender more than another, usually don’t care much about their partner’s gender. Of course it is an important part of the person, but it isn’t a decisive factor when it comes to choosing a sexual partner. Bisexuals, however, tend to feel sexual attraction towards one gender more than others.

Let’s take as an example a lady, Jane, who happens to be bisexual and defines her sexuality according to the first interpretation. She may feel sexual attraction towards any gender, but usually tends to fall for other ladies 80% of the time. Craig, however, is pansexual, and may feel sexual attraction towards any gender, in equal percentages. Kyle also has no preference for a gender in particular, but still identifies as bisexual because she likes the word better.

The third interpretation also somehow causes lots of confusion due to the idea that “man and woman are the real two genders”, and therefore “all sexualities must include them to be valid”. I have no idea where this came from, but I’ve seen it mentioned, though not that bluntly, in many places where bisexuality/pansexuality are concerned.

Who cares what the difference is, you ask? Not making this difference is erasing the identity of any bisexual and pansexual who has a preference for one word or the other, as well as invalidating the genders of all those out of the binary that would not be included in the “bi” from bisexual in the second interpretation.

How do you define bisexuality and pansexuality?