Standing Up

1/9/2019

Recently, I’ve been stressed. Okay, I’m always stressed, but this stress is new, something I’ve never dealt with. This stress comes from fighting (peacefully) for equality. Yeah, I did just type that. That is still a thing that has to happen. Sad, right?

A student was transferred into my science class a couple of months ago, and to put things bluntly, he has expressed anti-feminist, homophobic, and transphobic beliefs. Now, I see right through this kid and I can tell that he’s just repeating things he’s heard at home or from friends and he really has no original ideas or beliefs. I’ve unfortunately come across someone who is a mere product of a toxic and unaccepting environment.

Now normally, I’m the kind of person to shut my mouth and wait until whoever it is realizes that nobody is listening and they aren’t getting attention that way and for the most part, the person will usually move on and try something else. But not this kid. He will go on and on about these beliefs.

And I can handle the anti-feminist jokes and quietly ignore him, even the general homophobic comments because my friend in the class (who happens to be quite an amazing LGBTQ+ activist) will take care of him. But then, when all else fails to get him the attention he seeks,  he starts making direct attacks. Specifically about the transgender kids in our school.

I’m only good friends with one of them, and he is one of my closest friends. I know how much he’s been through and I cannot let anybody ever say things like that about someone I hold so close to my heart. So, I started not to stand for it and challenge his comments.

It is exhausting, but what kind of friend would I be if I let this kid stomp all over my friend and I didn’t defend him? What kind of feminist would I be if I didn’t at least try to assert myself?

I’ve realized that things are only going to change for the better if we make them change. Sometimes, no it isn’t worth wasting your breath on someone who sees nothing wrong with their actions. But I won’t let some guy talk over me just because he thinks that girls will always shut up for him to say whatever he wants.

I will correct you when you try to spread false things about people. I will tell you to shut your mouth when you call a girl a “whore” the second she leaves the room. And when you try to tell me that my friend is “confused”, “attention-seeking”, and that their identity “doesn’t exist”, I will fight back.

It’s tiring, even more so because I like to hope that people are better than that. But I won’t stop

I’d love to raise my children in a world that is accepting of them, whoever they may be. If that’s going to happen, I have to be part of the movement that makes it happen.

Whether or not I ever get through to this kid doesn’t matter. It’s the principle. Part of my ideal “take no shit” attitude. Nobody deserves to feel that they aren’t accepted for being themselves, nobody. I encourage you to do your part, educate others about things you’re passionate about. Fight for the changes that this world needs to see.

Thank you for reading.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/

 

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On Realizing You Aren’t Who You Thought You’d Be

1/8/19

Happy New Year! I haven’t posted in a month, sorry.

In the time I’ve been away, I’ve had a realization that I’d like to share. This blog has become somewhat of an open diary. A place where I can let you inside my head to experience things with me.

When I was a little kid, my life seemed to be lied out in front of me very simply. I’d go to school, make friends, get good grades, have a boyfriend, etc. The typical life of a teenager. Or so I thought.

I’ve since learned that there is no such thing as “typical” but that’s another discussion for another day.

When my life wasn’t going that way, I figured it would just sort itself out and eventually lead back to the path I thought it would take. But the longer that this has gone on, the more I realize that that won’t be my life. Maybe it never would’ve been.

I thought I knew exactly who I would be as a teenager. I thought that I’d have amazing friendships and perfect grades. I thought I’d be tall and pretty and attend the highschool I’d always driven past with my family. The one my dad went to.

And now, I sit here reflecting. I’m sixteen now. I haven’t had the party I thought I would’ve. The one I really wanted. My friendships are awkward and unsteady. I find myself over-sharing and regretting it later. I’m unable to communicate when I’m uncomfortable with something, when I don’t want to talk about something.

I always thought I’d be strong and confident in myself. I’d know what to say and would never let anyone walk all over me. But I lack that confidence and strength. And the more time I spend with some people, the more they talk about things I don’t want to, the more they hug me, touch me, lean on me, when I want to be left alone, the worse I feel.

I end up overwhelmed and unable to cope so I bottle it all up until I get home, where I’m comfortable. And every night I promise myself I’ll say something tomorrow, end this cycle tomorrow. But I can never bring myself to do it.

I don’t find myself pretty, it’s quite the opposite. And don’t even get me started on boys.

But most of all, I’m not going to that highschool. Not experiencing what I want to be. On a certain level that’s okay because it’s what I need right now but really, it bothers me. Hurts me even. I remember being excited for freshman year because I would get home first and have the house to myself. I never got that.

I know who I wish I was. I know what she looks like, the way she acts and how she talks. I spend many nights when I’m unable to sleep thinking about what she’d do. I idolize her. I love her. Long for her. But I’m not her. She has the life I thought I’d have. And realizing I’m not her, the person I always thought I’d be, hurts.

Maybe I can make myself her, I don’t know. It would take time and a lot of work. But I want to be as close to her as I can be. She is the picture of beauty and strength and confidence. She says what needs saying but also knows when to hold her tongue. She goes to that school and she smiles and bounces through the halls powered by her own happiness and enjoyment of life.

She’s not completely out of reach. But it will take me a while to get to her. I trust that she’ll wait for me. I trust that I will get to her. It’s just a matter of time and work.

-Dani

(^^)/