Why all the Hate?

This whole thing with Caitlyn Jenner is really bringing out ugliness in people. I’ve seen posts depicting soldiers in war scenes, stating that these guys are the true heroes. I’ve seen posts making note of Caitlyn’s “choice” to be transgender and how her “choice” will bring her profit. Well, here’s what I think. I think those soldiers fought for our freedom. Freedom from oppression and fear. Freedom to worship any god we choose or none at all. To speak our minds. To live the life we all deserve to live. Who are we to say that being transgender or gay or any other way of living other than heterosexual is a choice? It is no more a choice than it is for us to decide the color of our skin or eyes. To have people stand on their shiny, smug soapboxes called Faith and the Bible, I see it as Hate. The Bible teaches love, have you read it? Or have you chosen to twist the lessons therein to fit your own hateful agenda? Soldiers died so we can choose to hate those who want the same rights we all so callously take for granted each day; to live, to love and be loved, to be happy. I choose to celebrate with Caitlyn. She is a hero to those who believe you should fight for what is right. What is right is that everyone should have the chance for happiness.

I believe she deserved the ESPY award for the COURAGE she portrayed. People disagree because they don’t see her choice to be the person she wanted to be as courage. I say there are two types of courage in the world. Wounded veterans and patients, the type of courage these people have is Courage in the face of doubt. They were probably told several times that they couldn’t do all of the things they wanted to do. But why not? They said “Fuck you” and did it anyway. That shows a lot of strength from them, they showed all of those nonbelievers that they could do what they were told they couldn’t. Sure, this is courage, I’m not saying it’s not.

The kind of courage Caitlyn Jenner portrayed is courage in the face of society. You all know how society hangs over the world like a big, dark, scary cloud, ready to strike on anybody who doesn’t conform. Not only did Caitlyn do something that has, until recently, not been a very explored subject in all of society, but she put herself out there and she didn’t try to hide it. You can see the negativity of it everywhere. On the internet, in your own family, at your workplace. And it’s brought up so many issues that people have so far been afraid to talk about, so instead of facing it and saying “Bring it on” they hide behind their religion and throw bible quotes at people as their offensive move. But sooner or later people are going to stop listening and you’ll be just another biased voice in a sea of judgment and disapproval. While I’ll be partying in the acceptance tent with all of these happy people and there will rainbows and positive energy and shit.

Whether or not you agree is your choice.

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Being an Optimist/How to Be a Better Optimist

What if it doesn’t all work out?

That’s the question that keeps you up at night, causes panic, and inspires major anxiety about what’s to come. Perhaps you’re an athlete and you have a game tomorrow that could cost you the championship. Or you’re a musician and tomorrow’s performance could be your ticket to go big or go home. Despite your misgivings, however, some part of you clings tenaciously to the notion that regardless of past and utterly damning evidence, it – you – will be OK in the end. Whether it comes naturally or through sheer stubbornness, for better or worse, you’re stuck with the persistent condition that poets and psychiatrists alike refer to as optimism. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade – even if you have to spike it with vodka.

The cliches mount in defiance against the setbacks you face on both a large scale, like world peace, and a smaller more personal one, such as a bad hair day. The good news is you’re not alone. Most of us are just trying to get through the day, hoping for the best. There are several studies concluding that the more outgoing, relaxed and open people are – which are all traits of an optimist – the more likely they are to encounter new opportunities and to recognize them when they do.

While looking on the bright side may lack the material impact promised in self-help books such as “The Power of Now” or “The Secret” – both incredible reads – one thing is for sure: contentment is a very important marker for longevity in healthy populations, and is as beneficial for you as smoking is detrimental. At the very least, remaining upbeat helps ensure you’re around to see it all play out to the, perhaps bitter, end.

I have some advice for those of you that wish to live on the brighter side. Given that you have a lengthy future ahead of you, how can you maximize your proverbial bowl of cherries? According to an article in Psychological Science, it’s important to remember that life is still relatively short. Those who are reminded that a pleasant experience will end soon are more motivated to enjoy it and participate more wholeheartedly. And what better place to revel in the transitory pleasures of experience than in your own personal journal?

Whether you wish to record past triumphs, plan future victories, or simply sketch out the small things that make you smile, you now have a private spot for your treasured Pollyanna poetics that can’t be dampened by others’ pessimism.

Why get a journal? I’m glad you asked. Writing about important personal experiences in an emotional way brings about improvements in mental and physical health. Benefits that have been proven of this include better stress management, strengthened immune systems, fewer doctor visits, and improvement in chronic illnesses such as asthma.

It isn’t perfectly clear how journaling accomplishes all this. Catharsis is involved, but many also point to the value of organizing experiences into a cohesive narrative. Some experts believe that journaling, and I quote “forces us to transform the rumination cluttering our minds into coherent stories.” I personally own a notebook that I write in every day. My inner thoughts, fleeting sentences I find inspirational or thought-provoking. I’ve even attempted poetry.

To get the most out of your journaling, here are some helpful tips (what am I, a guru?). Try to write quasi-daily, for at least 5 minutes if not more. If you find yourself unable to muster even a single cheerful sentiment, don’t stress. Instead just look up the plethora of cheerful quotes floating around the internet and find one to use as a jumping-off point for observations and explorations. Don’t critique your writing, just spew. Nobody is going to be reading it, so it doesn’t matter if you’re an incredible writer or an amateur one. Last but not least, find a safe home for your journal in which no others can find it.

The great poet Robert Frost once said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life – It goes on.” Take it from the man who managed not only to get his poetry published but became a legend doing so, sometimes things really do work out. Before you know it, your sunny disposition will surface naturally, without prompting, all by itself. Now go forth and find something to look forward to!

5 Things Cis People Can Actually Do For Trans People (Now That You Care About Us)

The (Trans)cendental Tourist

It’s been a weird year for trans people.

Allow me to be more specific: It’s been a heated, daring, tumultuous, graphic, specularizing, aggressive, pointed,contentious, highlyfatal, and really, really complicated year for trans people.

Here are a few examples: Kristina Gomez Reinwald, Ty Underwood, Lamia Beard, and many othertranswomen of color have been brutally murdered at the hands of lovers, family members, and strangers.Meanwhile,Laverne Cox and Janet Mock have come to fame and exhibited incrediblefeats of grace, articulation, and poignancy under the gaze ofan eager media. Blake Brockington, Leelah Alcorn, Taylor Alesana, and many other transgender youth have committed suicide afterenduring endless bullying and systematic brutality. Meanwhile, Jazz Jennings became the new face of Clean & Clear and published a children’s picture book about her life, and teen trans couple Arin Andrews and KatieHill (best known for “Can You Even Believe They’re Trans?!” types of headlines) wrote and published individual books…

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Love Letter Day

So my first post isn’t “Hello I’m Alana”. Whatever.

I recently discovered that the 10th day of every month is supposedly love letter day. You’re supposed to bare your soul for your significant other and pour out your feelings into a handwritten letter to them. Well this is as close to handwritten as I can get. I guess I don’t really have a significant other to write a love letter to anymore though, do I? I’m not bitter about it, of course not, I really hope they’re not either. If they hadn’t called it off first, I probably would have eventually. Or maybe not because I’m a wuss.

Well I’m gonna write this love letter anyway because I do love this person.

Whoops it’s now 12:03 AM, the 11th. I’m just gonna pretend I didn’t see that though.

Just because it’s now platonic, it doesn’t mean I’ve just magically stopped having feelings for this person, how could I? I have so much love for them it’s ridiculous and I don’t know what to do with my heart at this point. I don’t know if I can let go just yet.

Anyway I’m gonna write the stupid letter now. Bear with me.

Dear Bex,

It’s been three days since we officially ended our short-lived relationship. I cried a lot more than I let on because I knew you would think that you hurt me more than you wanted to. The truth is you didn’t hurt me, it had to be done. That doesn’t mean that I wanted it to end, I never wanted that for us. I just know that the reasons behind why we couldn’t continue romantically were blatantly obvious. For one, we don’t live near each other. I’ve heard of tons of LDRs that people get through and never break up, but those people are usually much more prepared in their life to deal with things. We’re just teenagers. We cry over spilled milk and can’t even control our own emotions. And second, we’re going into college. There are tons of opportunities in college and I think the biggest issue we’re having is that we’re scared that these opportunities will lead us to hurting each other somehow. Which is always a possibility, I’m not denying it.

I’ve always heard that in order to love someone else, you must first love yourself. But is that always true? Maybe the only way to feel self-love is through the magic touch of another person making you feel as though you are loveable. I adore you in more ways than you can fathom. I love you as a person, I love you as a friend, and I love you as everything you are. Even if we never can get onto a romantic level again, I won’t stop loving you.

The biggest question here is: Did I fall in love too much too quickly? Probably. Do I regret letting my heart go that far? Hell no. I don’t think I could have stopped falling if I had a bungee cord and a parachute. Perhaps you felt as if you were leading me on, and I understand why you would end it in that case. It’s not fair to me or to you.

Most of the time when I cry over us, it’s because I know that everything sucks. And I know that the possibility of us being together is slim. But I don’t think you understand how happy I am when you’re happy. And how upset I get when you’re upset. I want to be the one to make you happy like that all the time. I don’t want anybody else to be that person. Maybe that’s selfish but I’m not going to deny it.

Did you know that the 9th would have been one month together? I keep thinking about that. Why did things get so tense? What happened? It used to be so easy… well as easy as it could be. Maybe we were trying too hard to not push each others’ buttons, maybe what we really needed was a fight to let some of that crap out. I don’t know.

I love you so much Bex. At this point you know it has to be because of your personality because I haven’t even met you in person so there isn’t much else for me to go on. But what else does there have to be? Though you are really flipping beautiful and sexy.

I would love to lay out under the stars with you and hold you in my arms and whisper to you. Or take a walk and admire scenery and shit, or go on a real date. I want to go places with you and do all of these wonderful things, I want to give you everything and more.

I know we agreed that if we end up actually not liking literally anybody else in the world, we would make it work. I’m just going to hold on to that for now.

I’m sitting here falling asleep now and maybe this wasn’t the best love letter and there is so much more I want to say but I’m gonna space it out a little better instead of trying to jam pack it into one post……

Love,

Lana