I’m Not Sure If This Is Badly Funny Or Just Pitiful

Last night, my grandfather stayed home from work because he was drunk. Fourth time, I think. I really wish he had gone to work because I wouldn’t have heard the nonsense I’m about to tell you.

I won’t repeat it all here, but basically, he spent a good half hour on the phone expressing some homophobic and transphobic crap. The things he said were just disgusting. I’m not sure if his friend agreed or not because I could only hear him, but it seemed like his friend disagreed.

Apparently, they were talking about the transgender six-year-old whose parents sued the school for not letting her use the girls’ bathroom. Now, admittedly, I think that’s a bit much, but as for the child being transgender and considering herself to be a girl instead of a boy as she was physically born? I say there’s nothing wrong with that.

Really, what’s the issue? The kid feels like she should’ve been born female and not male. A lot of people say six is too young to know something like that, but I disagree. Sometimes, you just know early on. Maybe you don’t realize it or have the word for it yet, but you just know a certain thing about you. When I was a kid, I often said I liked girls. I only meant I would rather be friends with girls, but I do remember thinking I would rather marry a girl because boys were too rough or mean. What’s my sexuality? Exactly. I think I knew back then, but just didn’t realize it until my teen years.

I get that my grandfather’s from a very different generation, but I don’t think that’s an excuse because I’ve met people his age and older who weren’t bigots. He simply decides that anything he doesn’t like is wrong, whether or not it actually is. He said allowing this child to be transgender is child abuse – that the parents were forcing her – and she should be taken away. No. The parents made too big a scene, I think, but it’s not child abuse for them to allow their male-to-female transgender child to be who she is. He went so far as to say kids like that grow up confused and shoot up places because of it. No, if they shoot up places, it’s because of bigots like him. Not that I think anybody, even bigots, deserve to be killed, but that kind of nonsense can push someone over the edge and if not homicide, it’ll be suicide. Tragedy either way.

My feelings on this whole thing can really be summed up in these few words: Can’t we just act like decent human beings, love each other and shut the heck up?!

Obviously, no, but it’s a thought.

Coy Mathis

What a cute little girl!

Appearance Is Everything, Self-Worth Is Nothing

I’m going down south for the weekend. I’d rather not since I don’t really know anyone down there, but I don’t exactly have a choice. That alone is bad enough. What’s worse is I have to get my hair done.

Yes, I have to get my hair done for a ONE-day trip to see people I don’t even know.

My grandfather initially wanted me to get hair extensions done. Uh, no. Hair extensions take too much time and are a pain to take out. No way was I getting extensions in my hair for one weekend. Too much work and too much money. The compromise was I go to the salon to simply have my hair straightened. But what’s upset me is something my grandfather said today.

“You’ve got to start going [to the beauty parlor] again, so you may as well start now.”

No. No! NO!

This isn’t anything new. Almost my whole family has an obsession with appearance. Specifically, my appearance. The idea of a girl who actually likes how she looks and doesn’t feel the need to run to the salon every week is a foreign concept.

In other words, my self-esteem means nothing.

Forget the fact that I have low self-esteem to begin with. Apparently, being short-haired, wanting to stay that way and wanting to do your own hair is an issue. If this were a wedding (which I also hate), I could understand, but this is nothing but a trip. Nothing special at all. Just a trip. Even my uncle doesn’t want to go. But I’ve got to be dolled up, for some unfathomable reason (forget the fact that my nails are already done).

Like I said, this is nothing new. My own mother’s definition of pretty was having your hair done for $70. I was getting weave in my hair at the age of seven. Why does a seven-year-old need hair extensions?!?!? I hated it. Hated being in that chair, hated my aching head and I hated the notion that I wasn’t pretty without all this. I was bullied at school and being called ugly was the most common insult. It really doesn’t feel good to be told you’re ugly in school by your classmates, only to come home and basically hear the same from your own mother! This is the person who’s supposed to be helping me grow as a person, not make me feel small!

When I think about it, however, the real bully was my mother. Sure, my classmates (most of them, not all) picked on me, but never as much as she did. High school was when the school bullying began to stop, but my mother didn’t. I can recall her screaming at me (when I was 15), “People talking about you!” No, she was. Nobody was picking on me but her. And even if it were true, why did she care? When you have children, shouldn’t their opinion matter more than someone else’s? So what someone else thinks of me is more important to my mother than what I think of me?

I guess so.

Back to the original topic, this situation going on just makes me more anxious for the day I can finally move out and get the heck away from everyone. If I’m happy with myself (usually), why can’t everyone else be? I’ve got nothing against going to the beauty parlor. I just don’t want it. As long as I look neat (and I always do), there shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, if I’ve got to do anything, it’s learn to take care of myself and that does not mean running to the salon every month.

I’ve been considering estranging myself from my family when I’m finally able to be on my own. That’s a drastic step, but I can’t have my mind being broken all the time. I’ve got issues as it is and being around here is not helping. Maybe that’s why I usually feel more loved/liked by my friends and even my camp (yes, that counselor and I are back on good terms now). They see more to me than just my appearance. And that’s how I prefer to be seen.

I’m Different? Hooray!

As a child, I was often picked on. Most of it consisted of being called ugly everyday, but it was more than that. I would be hated and targeted for no reason other than I was there. At elementary school, in middle school (transferred), in every summer camp I went to. Almost nothing but bullying. This continued all the way up until high school, where it finally began to tone down and now, it has entirely stopped.

Because those experiences were highly unpleasant, I don’t like reflecting on them. However, after a lot of growing and developing, I think I realize why those kids picked on me, besides the fact that they were spoiled brats who weren’t taught respect. The reason? I was different.

Don’t ask me how because I don’t know how. I don’t know what about me separated me from them. What I do know is I have never been part of the “in” crowd. Never liked much of what everyone else like, never had much to say, never was interested in gossip. High school, my second one, seems to have changed this and I’ve been accepted as an individual, which I’m extremely grateful for.

However, I’m still not the same as them. I’ve discovered I have a lot of things about me that society as a whole would hate me for, if I were to reveal them. A nice little site I frequent has come up with a name for people who don’t fit stereotypes: a cultural rebel. The site defines it as “an individual who has a major preference or hobby outside of what is culturally expected of him or her.” While I’m not exactly “rebelling” against anything (and not trying to), I have to admit I like that tag. No, I would not want to be referred to as such in person, but I like being different and that I am going outside the norm of what culture and society expects.

Also, I’ve always hated being the same. This is why having to wear uniform in school bugs me so much, even though I understand it’s an attempt to keep focus on learning and not clothing. My school has also inadvertently thrown out their ability to enforce the idea of tolerance (seriously, how can they tell students to be tolerant of each other’s differences when they’ve got everyone looking like clones of each other? They can’t!).

Here are the things about me that put me out of society’s normal standards:

  • Atheism
  • Pacifism
  • Introversion
  • Analytical
  • Bisexual/Asexual
  • Childfree

Rather than go into detail about those things here, I’m going to create a page about it. I do know that once I am out in the “real world” on my own and these things come to light, there is going to be a lot of pressure and I want to remember that I am happy to have these things about myself, even if others may not like them. In a way, I have already dealt with that pressure due to issue with certain staff at my school, but that’s nothing compared to what I may face when I am on my own.

I would like to remind and encourage everybody who goes against society’s standards that there is nothing wrong with you. You are fine. Remember, long ago, society’s standards were actually quite different from what they are now. Imagine how we would be living if there weren’t people back then who went against society’s “normal” standards and just sucked it up. My personal belief is that everyone should be free to live their life how they want, as long as their lifestyle does not negatively affect anyone.