Caitlyn Jenner: Opposing the conversation

Caitlyn Jenner

caitlynjenner
(Vanity Fair)

As we all know, Caitlyn Jenner made her first appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. She was dressed in a corset, wearing make-up, and had her hair done: she is a woman. Caitlyn has caught many people’s attention due to the fact that she, in fact, used to be Bruce Jenner. While people are entitled to enter the conversation, people are not entitled to be crude for no apparent reason.

Since most of the feedback and articles I have read about Caitlyn so far are written by uneducated, biased, and bigoted people, I think it’s first important to explain the very basis of this conversation. Being transgender means that one’s gender identity or gender expression does not match their assigned sex. Gender and sex are not related. This can be a full on discussion in its own, but that’s not my point here. My point is that if you’re uneducated and only operate on the binary system (people have to be male or female), then there is no point in trying to make you understand; you just don’t get it. What you are all forgetting is that Caitlyn Jenner is a person, not another object to exploit. Over 40% of people who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming commit suicide-do you really want to be another factor in making someone else’s life terrible?

trans(Huffington Post)

There is one reoccurring sentence I am continually seeing referring to Caitlyn Jenner: Bruce Jenner decided to dress himself up in girl clothes and pose for a magazine cover. Ummm, really? There are a number of things wrong with this sentence. Caitlyn Jenner is Caitlyn Jenner, not Bruce. Caitlyn goes by feminine pronouns like she and her, so he did not dress himself, she dressed herself. And yes, she posed for a magazine, not as a costume, as herself. Caitlyn Jenner is a human being and deserves to be referred to by her preferred pronouns which are feminine.

The whole religious debate surrounding Caitlyn Jenner is just ludicrous. If God created people as male or female and he makes perfect decisions and never messes up, what do you have to say about the other roughly 2-5% of the population in the U.S. that identify as transgender? Did God mess up that many times or do ALL of these people just want attention? It seems to me that people minimize the transgender person to an act of rebellion against God and/or society, when in reality they are a person who doesn’t identify with the sex they were given at birth.

Furthermore, to minimize all of the steps society has taken towards accepting people of the LGBTQ community to an era called the progressive era is idiotic at best. And on that topic, since when has being progressive turned into a bad thing? Accepting people for who they are is something that should be in human nature, not something to be moving towards. Unfortunately, society has taught us that the binary system is the only way and anyone who tampers with that is scary, disgusting, and should not be accepted. The fact that Caitlyn Jenner wears make-up and seems to have undergone plastic surgery is also among debate. Plastic surgery and make-up are among debate when non-trans peoples do it, as well. All there is to be said about that is if they have the money and they want to alter the way they look, let them. It’s not your body and it’s not your choice.

Although one problem I do see with the Caitlyn Jenner story is the publicity, I don’t think it has to be a bad thing. Doing anything under the eyes of everyone in the country is a hard thing, something Caitlyn knew she was getting into, but it doesn’t mean she even really has a choice. Caitlyn Jenner has bee on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” for years, so do you really think anything she does from now on is going to happen without the eyes of every citizen watching her? A problem with this is that Caitlyn has an enormous amount of resources and support, something contrast to most transgendered peoples. It’s not easy to be accepted or get the money to change into the new identity you have always felt you are supposed to be. Caitlyn’s effortless change is not the norm for most transgendered peoples lives. That being said, Caitlyn can also be seen as a hero and courageous because she did what some people cannot do; she embraced the identity she truly believes she is.

What shocks me is the enormous amount of uneducated people in this world when it comes to the LGBTQ community. There are countless documentaries on transgendered peoples that recount real-life experiences of people who are, in fact, transgender. In an article by Matt Walsh, he states “Identity is not in the eye of the beholder… you don’t get to have a “new” self or another self or a different self or a self 2.0.” Well, Matt, hate to break it to you but Caitlyn didn’t create a “self 2.0” as you call it and she definitely does get to choose her own identity. If someone doesn’t feel they have been themselves for their entire life, you better bet they’re allowed to change into someone they’ve always felt they were: a woman. The very idea that people don’t get to choose who they are is just completely backwards and downright horrific. Do you mean to tell me, Matt, that if you felt like a woman trapped inside a man’s body you wouldn’t do something to change that? You wouldn’t change into someone you felt like you truly were? I challenge you to seriously put yourself in a transgendered person’s shoes and tell me that you wouldn’t challenge the binary system as well. And I’ll directly quote you, Matt, here:

Last question for the people — particularly straight men — who claim there is no real distinction between a “transgender” woman and a real woman: Would you marry a woman who used to be a man? Would you look at this “former” man and think, “I want to make him my wife?”

Answer: No. You wouldn’t. You won’t. And you know it. Instinctively, when it comes down to it, where your life and love are concerned, you recognize the difference between a biological woman in all her glory, and a castrated man in all his derangement. I’m spending thousands of words convincing you of something you know. And I know you know it. And everyone knows that everyone knows it. So why are we still having this conversation?”

I think you just gave me the answer I was looking for: all you care about is the binary, heteronormative society that you so neatly grew up in. Why only ask straight men how they feel about “transgender” and “real” women? Are they the only ones to be attracted to women? Are they the only ones to marry women? And honestly, maybe if you came out of your little tight box every now and then, you’d realize there are a lot more open minded people in the world that think the complete opposite of you. People are people and not everyone believes a transgendered person is less than that.

And last but not least, if you rally think this is really a publicity act, think again. No one would go through this amount of torture, pain, and risk losing friends and family just for attention. Bruce Jenner is now Caitlyn Jenner and we all need to accept it and move on. After all, you’re just giving her more publicity by making this into a political conversation.

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College targets: An Uprising

The reason I’m choosing to write on this [controversial] topic is because the latest target college is less than 20 minutes from my house. Even if it wasn’t, this is [just] a tragic topic. 

It’s just not fair.

May 25, 2014: (UCSB) Santa Barbara, California

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He [Elliot Rodger, 22] fatally stabbed three men in his residence, shot two women to death in front of a sorority house, shot a man to death inside a deli, exchanged gunfire twice with police and injured 13 people as he drove from block to block, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office said Saturday night. (Source)

Watch the horrifying film he posted warning people before the shooting here: Watch

Titles for news on this shooting:

My problem with this title is that it gives him fame. His name is pointless. Even though he’s dead now, often killers love the fame they receive from the media. My problem is that the victims deserve to be recognized, not the killer. He’s useless. He’s useless to the media because he did no good. Why doesn’t it say Santa Barbara shooter killed six sorority girls named ___? They deserve more recognition than the killer.

His father, Peter Rodger, works in the film industry and was the second unit assistant director on the first “The Hunger Games” film, according to a spokeswoman for Lionsgate. (Source)

More fame for this horrific shooter.

My problem with this title is that it’s true. What is this nation coming to? Sure there are still many, many amazing people here.. but it’s become the norm to hear about killings in the media and on the news. Not to bash the media because you know, it IS their job to report what’s going on, but should they have so many shootings to report? Our nation is scaring me…

June 5, 2014: (SPU) Seattle, Washington

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At least three people were shot on the Seattle Pacific University campus Thursday afternoon, police said.  The school was put in lockdown and one suspect was taken into custody, police added. (Source)

Police sources told Q13 FOX News that an “agitated” man with a shotgun told two people to remain still. When one moved, the gunman shot him. The second person sprayed Mace at the gunman, who then shot the second person in the face, police said. (Source)

There aren’t many news articles about this shooting yet because it was only about 2.5 hours ago. It just baffles me that someone would go to a young college town and shoot whoever they see, because they were “agitated.” I mean, I’m agitated sometimes but I take it out doing yoga, eating ice cream, or running. Not with killing people. [This is not to say there weren’t other factors, i.e. mental disease, because I don’t know yet].

The suspect was an SPU student.

Recap: My fear is that these College shootings are becoming a trend. People see that this Santa Barbara shooter “went down with fame,” and they want to copy him. There have also been a number of robberies in the Seattle area, that aren’t exactly related in such a close way as these two shootings, but still along the same lines. For some reason people like to outdo others, and I feel that maybe the College shootings are going to keep occurring at different locations, for other people to “prove their worth” [or so they think]. Hopefully I’m wrong.

-College towns are easy targets because young adults are away from their protective parents for the first times. Why not go and shoot them or steal from them? If you ask me, that’s as low as you can get. Targeting someone when they’re already struggling is just terrible.

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I’ve been around the block… a few times

As I always say (and many other people say) traveling is the best form of education! If you have the funds to get out there, do it! You will not regret it. And if you don’t have the funds to get out there, then just go find out as much as you can about the place you live! There are new spots and new facts I learn about Seattle every day! Really, it’s worth it.

My family of 6 and I travel a lot, and I want to share some of my favorite places and some of my best pictures with you! Enjoy!

salzburg

Saltzburg, Austria 2009

vienna

Vienna, Austria 2010

viennaaaa

Vienna, Austria 2010

wien

Vienna, Austria 2010

Freedombridgehungary

Freedom Bridge: Budapest, Hungary 2010

hunary

Budapest, Hungary 2010

hungary

Budapest, Hungary 2010

hungaryyyy

Budapest, Hungary 2010

londonbridge

London Bridge: London, England 2010

prague

Prague, Czech Republic 2010

pragueeee

Prague, Czech Republic 2010

pragueeeeeeeeee

Prague, Czech Republic 2010

puntacana

North Shore, Hawaii 2011

hawaii

Waikiki, Hawaii 2011

hawaiiii

Waikiki, Hawaii 2011

hawaiiiiiiii

North Shore, Hawaii 2011

cabooo

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 2011

Frankfurt

Frankfurt, Germany 2012

kassel

Kassel, Germany 2012

kassell

Hercules Castle: Kassel, Germany 2012

munchen

Munich, Germany 2012

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein, Germany 2012

santodomingo

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 2012

dominican

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 2012

dominicannnn

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 2012

dominicanrepublic

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 2012

dominicanrepublicc

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 2012

 CABBBOO

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 2013

Cabo

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 2013

caboo

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 2013

cabooooohehe

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 2013

cabosan

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 2013

Gorge

Gorge, Washington 2013

gorgeeee

Gorge, Washington 2013

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Don’t just be you.

Don’t just be you.

Being “yourself” takes a lot more than just posting a status on FaceBook saying you’re original, getting “be yourself” tattooed on your wrist, or doing things that are abnormal. To tell you the truth: everyone does things that are abnormal. It makes me so upset seeing young people emulate others so much, to the point where they lose themselves. Being yourself is so important, because you’re the only you there is. I guess I ended up writing a little list of things that are wrong with not being you.

beyouuu

1. Trying so hard to be someone else gets tiring, doesn’t it?
I’m talking about little things as much as big things. Something as simple as what music you listen to, what your hobbies are, what clothes you actually like, etc. Just choose what you truly like because remembering all these little lies will become stressful and unnerving, and eventually (embarrassingly) catch up to you. Having your real thoughts in the back of your mind as you’re speaking these fake thoughts just seems like too hard of a job. I promise it is much, much easier to just speak the truth and the right people will love you for it.

2. No one can actually like you, because you don’t even like you.
It’s extremely hard to be around someone who doesn’t like themselves. This may sound vain, but if you don’t even like you, then what the heck am I doing trying to like you? People give off certain vibes, and if you don’t like yourself, you bet your butt we can all tell! It’s a certain negative energy that comes off that isn’t very attractive. It’s hard to force yourself to like someone when all they are is negative. If you enjoy yourself, you are outwardly positive, happy, and lively. That’s the person we want to see and like!

3. The “you” people like isn’t actually you.
If you pretend to be something you’re not, you’re going to attract the people that like that thing that you’re pretending to like/be. Just as the old saying: like hangs out with like. So, if you don’t put your true self out there, you’re going to be hanging around people who don’t actually know you or actually care for anything that you do. Why would you do that to yourself?

4. Not being happy with yourself leads to bad relationships.
Just love yourself. Love yourself because you deserve to be loved! Don’t stress out over trying to obsess over the cool new things. Love what you love and love yourself. Then people who love you will TRULY love you and be worth hanging around. This will lead to healthy relationships with friends and significant others.

5. Your real self is a beautiful person too, we deserve to see THAT you!
Shaming yourself to the point where you are emulating another person isn’t healthy for yourself. You deserve to be yourself, and people who judge that person don’t deserve you! I want you to understand that the real you is extremely important and that person doesn’t deserve to be changed for anyone. You need to be you, it’s crucial.

6. We can see that you are lying, and it makes us sad.
I kid you not, it’s completely obvious when people pretend to be someone they’re not. Maybe I have a 6th sense, but I can always tell! And instead of judging or calling them out, I just feel extreme sadness. It makes me sad that someone would feel the need to completely change themselves in order to fit in or attract a certain person. These fake choices, emotions, actions might make you happy for a day, a week, maybe even a couple years, but being your true self will make you happy for a lifetime.

beyou

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12 common things Vegetarians hear on a daily basis

12 (sadly) common things Vegetarians hear on a daily basis

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1. What do you eat then!?
Well, to write that list could take up an entire dictionary, plus more. I have a HUGE variety of foods that I eat, and I’m always adding onto that. For you to ask me that is a little bit personal as well, it’s none of your business. Now I don’t care at all, but I mean imagine how weird/random it would be if I just said “so what do you eat?” How long would it take you to answer that? Probably as long, if not longer as it would for me. I eat like any normal person, just without the meat.

2. All vegetarians are healthy
Seriously? I mean, thank you for the compliment, I really do appreciate it! But I could list vegetarian foods on here for hours that aren’t even close to being healthy. Hell, I could live off Dorito chips and not touch anything relating to meat my entire life, but is that healthy? Definitely not. The reason I choose to get angry at this is because it still takes work to be healthy. I don’t just choose to be Vegetarian because it’s healthy and easy. I still have to stay away from the cakes, the ice cream, the cookies, the candy, etc. I just choose not to eat meat. Also, I know a hell of a lot of unhealthy vegetarians out there….. Some people don’t just use the vegetarian eating habits for a “diet.” It truly is a lifestyle for me, and my reason is because I love animals and can’t imagine eating them. Not because it’s my sole purpose in being healthy.

3. “Is all you eat grass?”
Yes, actually. I go and search out farms with the best grass and just tear it up and eat it right off the root! So delicious. Jeez. That’s almost as idiotic as me asking you as a meat eater is all you eat chicken talons? No! Everyone has variety, and to tell you the truth the only time I have eaten grass is in those Jamba Juice orders that have shots of grass in them.. and I don’t even know if that is truly grass! But hey, I do love salad.

4. All vegetarians are skinny
I promise you they’re not. And if all vegetarians were skinny, in this day and age, where everyone wants to be skinny, I guarantee there would be a lot more vegetarians out there then. As I said in #1, choosing the vegetarian lifestyle doesn’t exactly equate to being skinny. I will say though, that cutting red meat out of your diet will help you lose weight since it’s really not all that great for you. But seriously? There are skinny, average, and overweight people in all walks of life. Don’t stereotype.

5. “You’re going to hate me because I eat meat.”
Do you hate me because I don’t eat meat? Don’t be dumb. Not all vegetarians stereotype carnivores just like not all carnivores stereotype vegetarians. I may not agree with your way of life but I would never hate you for it, just as I expect the same respect.

6. All vegetarians push their beliefs on others
Anyone who has a belief may tend to “push” it on others. I certainly would never sit there and try to convince you of cutting meat out of your diet, simply because if you had the want/will to do it, you would do it on your own. If you ask me about it, of course I would tell you the benefits and the reasons why I am but I would never sit there and push being a vegetarian on you, just as I would demand the respect of you not doing that to me either.

7. All vegetarians talk about is being vegetarian
I could say this about anyone. Do you know how many times I hear “Oh I could just go for a big, fat, juicy steak right now” or “mmm that piece of chicken looks so crunchy but greasy at the same time” or “I’m so hungry I could eat a cow!” I don’t want to judge, but if you ask me, I hear carnivores talk about eating meat way more than I talk about eating vegetarian food.

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And just to make this clear, I hate when people bring up the fact that I’m a vegetarian. Read about another author who hates this topic as well here. I mostly hate talking about being Vegetarian because Vegetarians have gotten a bad rep. It’s become the new “hipster” thing to do and I hate that about it. I get uncomfortable with all of your questions about why I became “this way” why I am “this way” what else I eat when I’m “this way.” I’m just like you, I just don’t eat meat.

8. “So you don’t eat dairy or bread then?”
I said I’m a vegetarian, not a vegan. How is this such a common misconception? Do your research before you ask questions……..

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9. The reason you’re so skinny is because you’re a vegetarian.
As I said in #3, no. Being a vegetarian may be a factor in my body weight, but it is not the sole reason I am a vegetarian. People like to put down positive things in other people’s lives (the reason for that, I will never know), so it is easy to put my body to shame and say there is one sole reason for it and that reason is stupid. But no, being a vegetarian is a choice I made because I love animals. And heck, I made it when I wasn’t even 10 years old. So that’s 11 years of my life now that I could have gained weight some other way…. I’m not thin solely because I am a vegetarian.

10. “Here, just try this piece of meat, I won’t tell anyone.”
Alright, now you just went and pissed me off! Why should I care if you tell anyone that I ate a piece of meat? It’s how I feel that would matter to me. I would feel guilty beyond belief if I ate meat! Because my belief is that animals are living creatures, and should not die for us to eat. I live off of things that aren’t living. I don’t give a crap who you are going to tell what I ate! It has nothing to do with you, and I won’t participate in your silly game, thank you!

11. You need more protein.
You may be right. And trust me, I have suffered from a few things as being a vegetarian. But that’s why I do it the smart way. I take my iron supplements, I get my protein from other sources (beans, high protein vegetables, etc.), I’m smart about it. I’ve been doing it for over 11 years… I think I’d be dead now if it were that life threatening. Also, your ribs aren’t the only source of protein for me so get them out of my face.

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or there’s my personal favorite….

12. “Vegetarians are just lousy hunters.”
I could be a lousy hunter, but truly I don’t know if I am one because I’ve never been hunting. I don’t choose to kill animals as a “sport” (if you can even call it that, how much energy are you really exerting while hunting???????). Anywho, I choose not to judge you for what you enjoy doing! Just don’t judge me for not wanting to hunt.

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