Queer POC: Why Should You Care?

Queer POC: Why Should You Care?

The LGBTQ movement has had massive strides in 2015, especially with the federal legalization of Gay Marriage. While this is definitely an accomplishment to celebrate, this is not enough. We cannot just sit back and believe we have accomplished our goals. We still have to fight!

There is still a plethora of inequality and injustice against LGBTQ persons, but I want to specifically focus on Queer People of Color. I am going to refer to all LGBTQIA+ persons as Queer POC for the purpose of this article.

So, as a cisgendered, heterosexual, white person, Why Should You Care?

As a White person of any sexuality or gender, Why Should You Care?

I think that we tend to get comfortable in the ethnic, cultural, racial, and general community that we most frequently associate with. As such, we forget about the struggles that members of our nation are facing on a daily basis. Struggles that instill fear, trauma, and difficulties with being able to enjoy the same luxuries as the majority of the privileged citizens of the U.S.

Let me begin by saying that just because your are LGBTQIA+ or even an ally doesn’t mean you can be racist. Take for instance the media whom tends to represent the LGBTQIA+ movement with cisgendered gay men. While it’s great to represent them as one facet of the movement, this is not an accurate representation of the movement as they are among the more privileged members of the community.

Another example is the raising of awareness of trans* people by using Caitlyn Jenner as an example. While we are all happy that she has pursued her true self, she is not an accurate repcaitlyn-jenner-july-2015-vf-02resentation of the trans* struggle. Not only is she white, but she is financially able to go out and had all the surgeries necessary to transform her body in to what matched her mental image of herself.

I absolutely agree that having such an important and popular public figure go through such a massive transition does begin to shed light on the topic, but we need more. We cannot allow the general public to think that if someone “decides to become a woman” that they can just walk in to their local doctors office and request the appropriate surgeries.

Off the top of my head, the only significant Queer POC that I c22-laverne-cox-chatroom-silo.w190.h190.2xan think of is Laverne Cox. Orange is the New Black helped put her in th
e lime light and help to bring more awareness to the issues. What I find to be a
complete tragedy is that Cox is such an important and wonderful role model, and she does not even receive half of the media attention that Jenner has received. This is what we say when we mention White Privilege. Why is it that this amazing, Black Transwoman receives less recognition than Jenner? Is it because Jenner began as a privileged white male in America and was able to bring the media attention to herself when she came out?

But lets stop looking at celebrities and focus more on the real Queer POC struggle. So again, I ask, Why Should You Care?

You should care because Queer POC are dying. Queer POC are being murdered just because they are Queer, POC, or both. This is a national tragedy that is being swept under the rug.

With the anti-LGBTQIA+ movement within religious, conservative, and otherwise privileged communities, there has been a sort of witch-trial. It reminds me of the Civil Rights movement. Murders, discrimination, inequality.

Queer POC are almost twice as likely to experience physical violence as Queer white’s.

Why? If they’re both Queer, why does a POC receive more hate than their white counter-parts? If they are both Queer, shouldn’t they be treated equally? You’d think so.

Black People are dying. Queer People are dying. This is a national crisis. As of April 2015, there have been 14 LGBTQ related homicides, half of which were Trans* POC. There is a record number of reported LGBTQIA+ related homicides in 2015. With the federal legalization of Gay Marriage, can we expect to see those numbers rise?

What I find even more tragic is that even within the black and POC community, there is hatred towards the Queer community. Can we not band together to protect the liberation and equality of all people?

“Being black and being a female and being gays is just, like, a triple negative in the US, it really is. I mean, I’m a third class citizen”

So I repeat, Why Should You Care? Because it’s the right thing to do. Apart from every other community and affiliation we belong to, we belong to the biggest one of all. Humanity. These are our brothers and sisters, being outright murdered for who they are. That’s wrong. That’s a tragedy. That’s a crisis.

Tell me what you think in the comments below. What experiences have you had?

Related Posts:
What is GenderQueer

On Being GenderQueer

 

Top 3 Fashion Ideas for GenderQueer afab

Lets be honest here. For us afab’s who are short in stature, clothing options are pretty limited. If we’re wanting to go masculine, we can try to squeeze our hips in to junior boy clothes, or we can go for the more homeless look of Wal-Mart’s boring jeans and roll up the pant legs and just really look like we’re desperate “to look like a man”.

No, I refuse to adhere to that. I have the convenience of a girlfriend who is pretty killer with a sewing machine. For those of you who don’t own one of these or aren’t crafty with a needle and thread, I would advise you to find someone who can adjust pant legs and take some pride in the way you dress!

Without further ado, here are my Top 10 choices for bitching fashion ideas for GenderQueer afab’s:

1. Military Jacket with print T and jeans

Get The Look

mjacket_grande

Like what you see? Good, because this is an outfit you can wear to any chill occasion. Don’t go to your local salvation army and get a massive military jacket from decades ago, look in to one that is more slimming, like the above. That’s they key, guys.

Fitted clothing. Baggy clothing wasn’t attractive in the 90’s, and it’s not now.

2. Boots are IN

Get The Look

men-work-outfits-with-boots-14

Lets take a moment to appreciate that this dude looks really comfortable. And while looking comfortable, he also looks really stylish. Long sleeve shirt that is just a hair too big, but it is totally fine because he’s got some skinny jeans. No, not the kind you have to paint on, but the kind that are juuuust baggy enough to be comfortable. A nice pair of boots and voi la! Complete this outfit with a slouch beanie, a fitted leather jacket and an infinity scarf and you’re set to go for winter.

3. Get that Slouch Beanie on!

Get The Look Here

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Regular beanies look kinda bland. Slouch beanies add that depth of “cool” to your outfit and really help set it off.

Fashion changes from time to time, but these three items are sure to set you off on looking great and will be a time honoured fad for some time.

What are your favourite queer fashion trends? Tell us in the comments below!

 

Reward System to help your kids LISTEN

Rewards System to help your kids listen

Are you a parent? Then you completely understand the struggles of getting a kid to do what they’re asked to do. We got tired of constantly being angry and frustrated when the girls didn’t clean their room or bathroom, so we tried a different approach. INCENTIVES.

Lately, Sophia has been obsessed with Shopkins and Veronica has been obsessed with The Ugglys Pet Shop, so they earn tokens collect them.

how to earn tokens

They don’t turn in tokens as soon as they earn them. We have a schedule for redeeming tokens, too.

Redeem tokens for prizes

However, just as they can earn tokens, they can also LOSE them.

reward system to help your kids listen

Great Shopkins Deal. We have it for Sophia!

The Uggly’s Pet Shop toys. Veronica loves them!

 

Holiday Blues: 5 Tips for a better Holiday Season

holiday

Lets be honest, while the holidays can be a fun and exciting time, they are also a time of year that provoke depression and anxiety for most people. Whether you are part of the LGBTQ community, struggling with a Mental or Physical Illness, have a totally different religious or political opinion than your entire family, or some other thing that makes Uncle Kevin mumble complaints under his breath at the dinner table, it doesn’t matter. We all share similar struggles.

All too often we let the negativity of others influence how we feel about ourselves. So here’s 5 things you can do to combat those Holiday Blues.

1. Cheer-Lead Yourself

If you’re going to be spending the holidays with your family, or alone, use Cheer Leading statements to help boost your self confidence for the day. Stand in the mirror and compliment how you look. Compliment the successes you’ve had this year. Prepare yourself to possible negative comments and combat them. Why are they not true? And why are you so rad?!

2. Be Reasonable with your Time and Money

Every single friend, family member, neighbour, and coworker are throwing holiday parties. Make a list of your priorities and don’t commit to go to every party. That’s unreasonable and exhausting. Choose the most important ones and go to them. Make sure to leave time for Me time and, if you have little ones, enough time to hang out at home and spend time as just you guys.

If your participating in a Secret Santa, buying gifts for non-immediate family members, friends, and coworkers, set a reasonable price limit. You don’t need to buy friends and family super expensive gifts. A DIY gift or a little token of gratitude is perfectly acceptable. No one’s expecting you to buy a $50 wine basket for everyone.

3. Try not to Over-Indulge

The holidays are a really easy time to over-indulge in both food and alcohol. Indulging is fine. I know I’m guilty of putting a bit too much on my plate at Christmas dinner. However, eating (or drinking) to the point of complete discomfort can only contribute to feelings of low self worth, especially if you are sensitive about your weight.

Don’t let the holidays be a reason to drink, either. Having a few glasses of wine with friends and family is fine. Having a bottle to yourself to fight feelings of depression is a bit on the extreme side. Moderation is key!

4. Take a Break

Like I mentioned in #2, make sure you set aside time in the busy holiday schedule for yourself. Go hiking, take a long hot bath, do yoga, paint, take photographs, play with your kids, watch a movie. Whatever you like to do to relax, make sure you set aside to do these things throughout the holidays.

Trying to fill up all your time with family obligations and party preparation is draining and will surely perpetuate depression. Do things you love!

5. Let the Negativity Roll off your Shoulders

I know with my family, that “those comments” flow more freely than the wine. Political comments. When will I be going back to church? When am I going to start “dressing like a girl”. Parenting criticism. We all know what comments really push our buttons.

We probably spend the rest of the year ignoring our critical friends and family’s negative comments, so what stops us now? Sure, it’s hard to ignore Aunt Suzie when she is going off on a homophobic rant, or Grandma Sally when she’s talking about how back in her day people just pulled themselves up by their boot straps.

There’s tricks to help ignore it. Either become proficient at day dreaming during the drama, or try to gently guide the conversation in another direction. If the criticism continues, make up an excuse and leave the party. There’s no shame in it. If you can feel your anxiety and/or anger building, it’s best to excuse yourself and go to a safe spot to ground yourself.

What tips do you have? What helps you through the holidays? Comment below!

 

Special Needs Children: You will never have all the answers

Today has definitely been a rough day. It’s days like this that really make me sit down and wonder if I’m doing the right things, saying the right things, and getting her the help she needs.

Our 7 year old daughter, Veronica, is currently in a Partial Hospitalization Program at a local psychiatric facility. She was hospitalized about a month ago due to a full psychotic break, which was a first for her. Prior to that we were wondering if she was on the autism spectrum, but after the break all the “professionals” were leaning towards schizophrenia.

Now at her new treatment program, they are finally going to refer us to get her the full autism testing to see if she falls on the spectrum. I think she does as she shows an incredible amount of signs.

Either way, whatever she needs we will provide to the best of our ability. Right now we are in a place where we have a lot more questions than we do answers. We know she needs help and have finally gotten her in to a program that we are praying will help both her and us.

She came to a point where she was completely non-functional both at school and home, so this is where we are now.

For now, though, it doesn’t make things any easier. Thankfully I have a background in psychiatric treatment so I am able to put skills I learned for myself in to calming her anxiety attacks and trying to get her to listen and understand.

I tend to have mixed results, but it’s a lot better than where we were.

Today, though, I’m just glad it’s bed time. She’s been doing fairly well for most of the day. Typical issues of having to remind her a few times to do things and asking her repeatedly to please not lock the toddlers in the dog crate, but over all not a horrible day.

Until there was a loud knock at the door.

Our downstairs neighbour had run up the stairs to alert me that Veronica was standing in the window, in just her panties, leaning on the screen and half-way out the window. I quickly thanked her for telling me and ran to get my daughter.

The thing is, this isn’t the first time she’s stood in the window. And I always tell her to get down. Getting her to put clothes on when the windows are open is another daily fight. In my panic, I yelled. I hate yelling, but I was scared to death. We live on the 3rd floor. That’s quite a fall to the ground.

But all she heard was my yelling, and immediately she thought that I hated her. We both took a breather and I came back to her to explain to her that it wasn’t right that I yelled and asked if she understood why I yelled and was so upset. She thought it was because she hadn’t asked permission to open the window.

I had to explain to her that it’s fine to look out the window, but those screens are not meant to hold her weight and are not meant to be leaned against. I explained that she can fall through that window and get seriously hurt. I had to keep redirecting the conversation because she kept getting distracted by my beauty marks (my freckles, her latest obsession). I kept telling her that this is very serious and she needs to listen. I think I finally got her to understand, because she told me, “I will never lean out the window again. I could fall and get hurt!”

I feel, though, that the hazards are all-too constant in our house. We finally got her to stop messing with the cats, and now are having to get her to not hang out windows.

I’m terrified that one day she is going to get seriously injured by her impulsivity.

Related Articles:
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What is GenderQueer?

There is a general misconception about what sex, gender, and sexuality are. What is genderqueer? If you look like a boy but consider yourself a transwoman, aren’t you just confused?

Over at It’s Pronounced Metrosexual, the internet has been blessed with a pretty goo edugraphic of “the genderbread person” to help explain it all to us.

Genderbread-Person-3.3

Gender Identity: As with all others, this is a spectrum. It does not refer to the goods you’ve got in between your legs! Gender Identity is in your mind (no, not as an illness or fantasy). Take a transwoman, for instance. She was assigned male at birth (meaning she was born with dangly bits), but her brain does not connect to her assigned sex. Sex and Gender are different. Can you imagine waking up as the opposite sex one day and not being able to understand that the body in the mirror is yours? Imagine this being your life.

However, cisgender (meaning that you identify with your sex) and transgender aren’t the only two options. You can be agender (you don’t identify with any gender), genderqueer (identify with both genders to some degree. Doesn’t mean you identify 50% male and 50% female. It just means that, to some degree, you identify as both). There is also two-spirit which is a term coined by Native Americans.

Gender Expression: Gender Expression and Gender Identity are two completely different things. You can be a transman and dress feminine, be a transwoman and be masculine, be agender and dress aligned to the social stereotypes of your sex, or any other combination you can think of.

I am GenderQueer. I tend to dress masculine most of the time. Every once in a while I do dress more feminine. This does not mean I am “making up my mind” or anything else like that. It honestly probably just means I really like these skinny jeans and felt like wearing a bit of make up.

Other terms and variations on the spectrum include androgynous (for example, you ever seen a person you couldn’t tell was male or female? They may have been androgynous.) Androgynous is NOT the same thing as trans*. A person can consider themselves fully female and look male. This does not mean that they are confused about their gender identity. Gender Expression is how you present yourself to the world, not how you feel about yourself. Butch/Femme are terms common to lesbians. Butch lesbians are generally more masculine in their outfits, Femme’s are often much more feminine in their outfits. There is also Gender Neutral and Gender Fluid, meaning they flow back and forth comfortably in how they present themselves to the world.

Biological Sex: Biological Sex is what is assigned to you at birth and you develop through puberty. As the image above states, it includes genitalia, voice tone, body hair, body shape, etc.

Once again, Sex and Gender are NOT the same thing. 

Within the spectrum of Sex is intersex. People whom are intersex used to be called hermaphrodites, but that term is offensive and should not be used.

And finally,

Sexual/Romantic Attraction: Sexual Attraction and Romantic Attraction are also two separate entities. Sexual Attraction is as it states. People whom you are sexually attracted to. You wanna do the dirty with these folk. They get your juices flowing.

Romantic Attraction is emotional rather than sexual. They can be completely in love with a person and have no desire to have sex with them.

Also, a person can be sexually attracted to a certain gender(s) and romantically attracted to other gender(s). Equally so, you can be neither sexually nor romantically attracted to anyone. This is known as asexual.

There is no A or B, black or white, to the genderbread person. Everything is a spectrum and there can be a thousand combinations.

I can tell you what I am:
Gender Identity: GenderQueer
Gender Expression: Androgynous/Masculine
Biological Sex: Female
Sexual/Romantic Attraction: Female for both.

While I can only say that I am only sexually and romantically attracted to females, I have never been faced with a potential relationship with someone who wasn’t either male or female, so I cannot honestly give an opinion one way or another for any other gender.

What are your thoughts?