What Gay Rights Mean to Me

I haven’t been posting as nearly as much as I would have liked, but since starting Spring term, I’ve had my hands full with things that take precedence over this blog.  Trust me, though, writing a post for y’all has been niggling at the back of my mind for the past two months or so. But here’s something I need to get off my chest.

When you hear the term “equal rights” you probably think “ah, gay marriage, yes, okay, that’s cool.” Because that’s all it consists of, right? Is two dudes being able to marry each other? Maybe adopt someday in the far future? Not much more to state there, and we’ve mostly got equal rights everywhere in the United States! Hell, Ireland has legalized gay marriage as a whole country. Humans are certainly making progress into the future!

Now lemme tell you the story of a person who only gave gay rights a passing thought, and it didn’t bother this person whatsoever, until something happened, that opened their eyes.

Growing up, I can only describe the area I grew up in as out-of-the-way, quiet, and red-neck as heck. I knew one gay person up until I entered high school, and that was my cousin Tom. He’s a cool guy, nice, my mom’s partner-in-crime when they were growing up. For a long time, I didn’t really understand what gay meant, and I didn’t really care – it wasn’t something that affected me. That’s how I felt when I learned anything to do with sexuality that didn’t pertain to heterosexuality.

At least, that’s what I told myself.

I think the first time I truly had an inkling that I was not straight, was in 7th or 8th grade. I found myself sexually attracted to a female classmate, and I can remember telling myself, “Nah, you just wanna know what another person’s boobs look like, that’s all – you’re not gay, you’re not gay, you are not gay, do you hear me, you cannot be gay.”

And I can remember thinking that every ‘crush’ I had on a guy, felt a little forced, and a little weird. I mean, there were some that I had a crush on, and I knew I liked, but I never really understood the hurt that comes with liking someone you couldn’t have – Mitch got a new girlfriend? Eh, whatever. Brandon didn’t like me? I don’t care.

That’s what it was like through middle and high school; I kept myself in the dark and anytime I felt myself looking a girl as anything more than aesthetically pretty, I’d shut myself down. “No,” I said, “you’re not gay.”

I think it can be chocked up to living in a tiny, redneck town – diversity was not something that happened. We had one kid who was of Indian descent, and a black kid who moved to town in my sophomore year of high school. We were like the San Francisco of diversity in this town. Because, trust me, Mexicans and Orthodox Russians did not count as diverse. And to top it all off? There were like two openly gay kids in the entire school. Both male, so the idea of a gay woman was more like a novelty and only found in pornography.

So I suppressed it. That’s all I could do – I had no one to talk about this to, I had no idea how to deal with my feelings, I didn’t even know if it was normal or not. I’ve realized that this is probably a large part of why I felt like an outcast during high school.

I’ve never understood how people just know they like men or women or two genders or if they don’t like sex at all. Like, how did you figure that shit out? Especially when you were, like, five.

But you know what really takes the cake? What should have sent up red flags to me?

All the goddamn lesbian porn I watched as a teenager. I literally justified this fact as nothing more than simple curiosity – but at some point, it’s no longer just curiosity.

Yet, a year or so out of high school, I finally realized: I am NOT heterosexual. But I’m not homosexual either, I’m something… else. Something more than a mix of the two, and while I know I have a preference for women and feminine non-binaries, I do like the idea of being with a guy. In fact, I realized, I would probably be okay being romantically and sexually involved with someone, as long as I loved them, no matter their genitalia.

This realization, this coming out to myself, it was like an explosion went off, and everything that had been blocking me in that part of my life disappeared. It’s liberating, because no longer do I have to fight myself on how I feel, and that’s so important. Whether I call myself pansexual, polysexual, or demisexual, I don’t care – I’m queer, I’m here, and I’m gonna kick ass.

So what do gay rights mean to me?

They mean being able to be open to your own feelings, and not feeling like you have to shove them down, because you don’t understand them. It means not feeling like you’re gross, because you don’t know what’s wrong with you. It means being able to tell your parents and not feeling like they’re going to disown you – because some will, and some won’t. Gay rights mean so much more than just marriage. It means giving hope to girls and boys and non-binary kids that they aren’t weird, that there’s nothing wrong with them, or that they are sick and twisted.

It means being able to be yourself to yourself.

That’s what gay rights mean to me.

Word(s) of the Day: Sweet Dreams vs Terrifying Nightmares

While you read this, you should totally listen to Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics or Beyonce, because those are the songs that have been playing in my head as I think about this post.

I am no psychologist, and I don’t pretend to know what dreams mean, yet, dreams fascinate me. Particularly, my own dreams. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had no issues recalling parts of dreams I’ve had; something, I have come to understand, is not exactly common. I wish I could say this was obviously the beginning of a modern day fantasy novel, but there might be some questions about my sanity.

So, what exactly is the definition of a dream? Or a nightmare?

  • Dreama succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.
  • Nightmarea terrifying dream in which the dreamer experiences feelings of helplessness, extreme anxiety, sorrow, etc.

Apparently, the difference here is the feeling we experience while dreaming – but what if you have a dream where you can obviously feel it’s horrifying, but it’s not a nightmare?

I’m guessing that’s where we delve into different types of dreams, like wet/sex dreams, dreams where you’re chased, etc, etc. Here’s some great info about dreams, as well as a link to a site where apparently you can keep a dream journal! Pretty cool!

Yet, my true question is: why do I remember so easily? Some of these dreams I’ve had, I don’t want to remember, and yet I can recall them incredibly well. It’s come to the point where I’ve neglected my own dream journal. (What’s the point of having a dream journal if you don’t use it? I don’t know.)

What kind of dreams you remember? Do you keep a dream journal? Do you enjoy dreaming?

The Struggle Is Real

There’s something oddly reassuring when you can make up your mind; when you can say “yes, this is exactly what I want to do!” and feeling the strength from the decision flow through your body.

Then there’s the black cloud that comes from the future itself. It seems like I’m always going on about the future, but it’s there. The future is never going away. I have tried to run away from it all as best I could, but I can’t escape it.

Since I can’t escape it, I’m facing it as best I can, and it seems that the stress from… well, everything, is just piling up.

Part of my struggle is getting rid of a certain mindset. Going from my usually negative attitude towards a more positive, and hopeful one. To fully understand why, you should probably know that I have, for the past ten or so years, have dealt with a very serious mental illness: depression.

Being on medication helps; having a steady support system helps; I have literally changed my life for the better in just over a year and I am so far from the person who I was, it’s amazing.

Yet I can’t help but fear that I’m never going to be good enough; that my future is going to go down the drain in the matter of minutes; that I’m going to go back into that dark state.

Few people know this, but I’ll be honest – I literally just quit going to school in 2013, I was so far in that pit of despair. I hated everything, everyone. So what was my reaction to continuing school?

Saying fuck it. I didn’t try. I hated being in a classroom so much and I could feel my spirit leak away with each passing day. I had no plan, I had no gumption, I had to no reason to fully commit myself to college.

Then, back in December (2014!), one of my closest friends suggested going back to school for something that has always, always been a large part of my life – video games.

First off, yes, I’m a nerd. Second off, I do not want to live in my parents’ basement.

At first, I laughed it off, because for real, could someone like me, who has never had a plan, who has never felt that I have a talent, could I truly go into the gaming industry?

Then I started researching it. I started thinking about it. I started remembering all the different game ideas my brother and I threw around and what we wanted to bring to the masses of the world.

It was then I realized – I’m gonna be a fucking nerd. I’m gonna be the person who helps design games, because that sounds fun. I had found something I was truly, truly interested in and didn’t feel half-assed about!

To help get an idea of what I’d be doing, I signed up for a 3D modeling class (community, so not a full term) and Thursday, the 12th, was the first class.

I have been so nervous about going into this field, about figuring out what I’m doing, about the different classes, and the grades, and homework, and the financial aspect – oh, god, the financial aspect – that I have felt it killing me. Even now, my shoulders are tense. But going into that class, learning how to use SketchUp, I stopped worrying.

I felt anxious for about the first fifteen minutes of class, and for about five minutes during a break, but… I was so excited about making a stupid 3D rectangle. All I could think to myself, THIS IS SO COOL. I WANT TO START BUILDING A GAME, RIGHT. NOW.

And it felt so good. I’m so excited to go back to school; I’m excited to take art, science, psychology, speech, and sociology to get my associates degree – hell, I’m even kinda excited to go back into math. I hate math.

I’m still worried about affording college; that’s not gonna go away anytime soon. I worry about literally everything – but I’m excited, too. I’m pushing forward, and saying “Fuck you, depression, I will not let you keep me down; I cannot let you keep me down.”

Though I will admit that I’m anxious. As an introvert with social anxiety… people are not my strong suit. But that’s another thing for another time. 😉

 

Looking For: Prompts

Since I’m an incredibly boring person, I’m looking for anything to talk about – recommend a topic! It can be a non-fiction topic or a fictitious prompt, I don’t care.

News, politics, music, books, games, holiday bashing, history, anything.

Tweet it at me, comment here, or yell at me on facebook. I’m looking forward to what I get told to write about.

2015 New Years Resolutions

I don’t normally give a flying rat’s ass about my New Years resolutions; it’s not something I’m interested in – usually. But to be honest, a lot has changed over the past year. I’m a little more interested in making some and attempting to keep them than not making any for this coming year.

So here’s a list, which I may or may not keep (hopefully I will; root for me, I need all the support I can get):

  1. Write – at least a paragraph, hopefully more. Keep those gears oiled.
  2. Read as much as possible; read new genres and new books – seriously, new books. You can do it, self, you can read new books. They cannot hurt you; it’s exciting to read something new.
  3. Continue Feathered – even if you don’t publish it, you can at least finish it. Prepare for NaNoWriMo.
  4. Be a lot more diligent about my health. This could mean losing weight, eating better, going to the doctor. For real, self, this is as good a year as any to be healthy. Doooooo iiiiiit.
  5. Forget about what other people think. If I want to dye my hair bright pink, I’m gonna damn well do it.
  6. As I’ve said before, continue to update this blog. I’m not letting its third year disappear with less than ten posts.

That’s literally all I can think of at the moment. As the night progresses, I fear I’m getting more sleepy. My brain is slowly shutting down – I’m sorry there’s not two thousand and fifteen resolutions for you to read!

On Creating A GoFundMe Campaign

One of the things I dislike doing is asking for money. It makes me uncomfortable. My parents would probably disagree, but it’s true.

So deciding to create a GoFundMe campaign (found here, 😉😉) was/is nerve-wracking – I am literally asking people I know as well as people I don’t know to give me money. Aren’t I supposed to be a capable adult by now? Shouldn’t I be able to afford this trip myself? Why would anyone give me money?

It’s for a good cause, I swear! I get to see at least one person who I am close to; hopefully I can guilt some others to show up… Even if it’s not precisely for New Years – let’s face, tomorrow is New Years Eve. I probably have a better chance to go on the weekend, in like, two weeks or something, but it’s worth a shot!

Yet instead of being absolutely negative about it (I’m a pessimist disguised as an optimist, okay), I’ve decided to look at it like this: while the general idea behind my first campaign is pretty goofy and cheesy, it could actually help me fund my way through college.

Do you know how much anxiety and stress I’ve built up over the past month thinking about paying for college? I think I have grey hairs. Grey. Hairs. But I’ve known that at some point in my life, I’d have to rely on something and someone other than the savings account my parents set up years ago to be able to continue my higher education. And the FAFSA? Gonna apply for it every year, probably still only be offered loans.

This is actually a huge relief. I’ve learned in the past few hours alone that there’s more than one way to afford to college. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Scholarships are the pinnacle you aim for, but don’t think they’re the only way to better your life through education.

I feel so… light… so free… Maybe I don’t have to take out that loan quite yet…

Also, for all of you who read my blog and are friends with me on Facebook, I’ve decided to relink to my Facebook account. Don’t make me regret this.