ideas we pass to our children

PLEASE INCLUDE DISABLED PEOPLE IN YOUR ACTIVISM.

(note: I’m not gonna talk about Trump mocking Serge Kovaleski primarily b/c Kovaleski does not ID as disabled and does not want to be used as a political talking point. Which is fair.  yes, it was awful. no, you don’t get brownie points for agreeing with me that it was awful. Disabled people have evolved to have thick skin, and a politician mocking us is not new or unsurprising. this list will deal with policy and specific issues facing the broader disability, autistic, d/Deaf//HoH, and neurodivergent communities.)

(other note: I generally use adjective-first language but I probably also used person-first language in here somewhere. I personally prefer to use the former for myself but I respect that other people in this community use different language.)

-the federal site for IDEA has been taken down

-all mentions of disability rights have been deleted from the website

-betsy devos had no idea what the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act was when asked and stated that standards for accommodations in education should be left up to the state (this is a TERRIBLE idea)

-if Obamacare is repealed, we have the most to lose. Most of us will not be able to afford medical expertise or treatment to maintain a basic quality of life. Some of us will die.

-he called one of his books Crippled America. Unironically. Ugh. 

-the january 2017 unemployment rate for nondisabled civilians was 4.9. For disabled civilians, it was 11.0. These numbers do not reflect the number of disabled individuals who work inadequate part time jobs, who are institutionalized, or have given up looking for work.

-the US still has not signed the UN documents about the rights of People with Disabilities. 

-Justices like Justice Kennedy have historically been swing votes on cases involving disabilities. Justices like Scalia have not. Potential Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch has a very ugly disability rights record, which includes defending a college that fired a professor undergoing chemo when she requested to give her lectures over skype (there was a flu going around on campus and being there would put the staff member in danger due to her suppressed immune system)

-By the time he was elected, Donald Trump had already dealt with at least eight lawsuits concerning lack of basic accessibility (ramps, braille) on his properties

-the Supreme Court case legalizing the sterilization of potentially disabled people without their consent (Buck v. Bell) has never been overturned and has been cited as a legal precedence in a lower court as recently as 2001.

-the Judge Rotenburg Center is still using painful electric shocks on disabled students as punishment, despite the FDA advising them to stop more than two years ago.

-similarly, many disabled people are not  paid federal minimum wage b/c section 14c of the “Fair Labor Standards Act” is still on the books and so hundreds of thousands of disabled peoples’ wages are “proportional” to their productivity (compared to an abled worker). Goodwill is one of the most famous companies that exploits this loophole.

-the already gutted SSDI program is even more at risk-Trump has spoken about emulating the British reforms for their disability program. Off the top of my head, I can think of nine or ten different people who died as a result of the recent “fit to work” assessments and bedroom requirements in the UK.

-disabled people depend on the Department of Justice’s civil rights division to enforce the ADA and protect us from blatant discrimination. Trump has already proven that he does not care about the funding or effectiveness of the department, and is willing to destabilize it to forward his political goals. 

-Donald Trump is anti-vax and is complacent to that movement’s violent and intolerable rhetoric surrounding autistic and other neurodivergent individuals

-Sessions called disabled children protected by federal laws (like IDEA) “the single most irritating problem for teachers throughout America today”. In this same statement, he stated that he did not “remember hearing of gun shootings prior to 1975 when Congress began telling ten percent of our students [they] are not responsible” (the IDEA was passed in 1975, improving the way disabled children were treated at public schools)

-the new administration’s refusal to address fatal police brutality is also an issue of disability rights, given that around half of victims shot by police officers are disabled or neurodivergent. (like eric garner, who had asthma) 


In case this list didn’t clue you in: the disabled community is scared. We don’t know what to expect from the next four years, we still haven’t come close to equality, and we are usually left to fight our battles alone. That’s why I’m asking whoever reads this to stand with the disability community against ableism and against policies that will kill us. People have done a great job in the past few weeks of expressing solidarity with muslims, immigrants, refugees, latinx people, LGBT people, and black people. And, honestly, that’s great. Thank you and please keep doing it. But also be aware that disabled people are one of the most vulnerable demographics right now, and be aware that we’re also one of the most ignored. We are made invisible by the media and by society too easily. Please, you have to see us and you have to stand with us. 

Looking back on history, it’s impossible not to notice that people with disabilities don’t fare well in authoritarian regimes. Please help us make this time different.

Take your bad days with your good

 Requested by @ daisygonzalezmexican :  Hi ☺ Captain Boomerang imagine, after leaving Belle Reve, meets a girl (reader) and after a while he falls in love with her and decides to be a better person for her, she feels the same for him even though he knows who he really is but she does not judge him. Please and thanks ☺😊

 Pairing: Captain Boomerang (George Harkness) X Reader

 Word count: 866


 “Do not move, luv.” A low voice whispers in your hear while pulling you into an alley.

 With your heart pounding against your chest, you try to set free from his hands, but it’s useless. A dozen of police cars passes by, making him hold you tighter.

 “Please, just let me go.” You mutter as the man slowly lets go of you, keeping you close by grabbing your arm.

 “Don’t even try to run. I won’t hurt ya.”

 When you turn around to face him, you gasp. Captain Boomerang is well known in this city and you’ve heard a lot about him in the last few days. He just escaped from Belle Reve. Pushing his chest violently, you struggle to get away from him. Again, it’s useless.

 “Take me to ya place, would you?”

 “What? No!” You take a deep breath, planning to scream, but you feel a cold metal against your throat. “No! Please. I’ll take you there. You can hide for one night and then…”

 “Deal.” He barks, pulling you with him as he leaves the alley, looking around. “Tell me where to go.”


 You sit on your couch, drying your hair and pretending Captain Boomerang isn’t using your shower. He made you close all your windows and lock them. At least he gave you his bloody money to order something to eat. When you hear his footsteps, your heart beat increases. Only God knows what’s going through his head. Boomerang sits by your side, relaxing and focusing on the TV.

 “You’ll be leaving by mor…”

 “Shut up. I’m watching TV.” He gestures to the TV, making you raise your eyebrows.

 “My TV. Now you shut…” You lose your voice when you look at him. The bastard is shirtless, his muscular chest moving as be breathes, making you have dirty thoughts.

 “Ya were saying?” Boomerang smirks at you, his blue eyes locked on yours.

 You jump when someone knocks, Boomerang giving you an angry look that means you better not try anything. Sighing, you take the pizza and close the door softly. You run to the kitchen in order to take the bigger slice. When you’re about to cut it, Boomerang comes running, wrapping his hand around your waist and you can’t help but burst into laugh.

 “Ya’re ticklish, huh? Now I have somethin’ to use against ya.” He keeps tickling you, forcing you to lay down on the floor, his body pressing against yours. “Will ya share our pizza equally, luv?”

 “Yes! Yes! Stop it! Please!” Yelling at him, you can see that he’s smiling too.

 You suddenly think about how his life has been. Boomerang is a villain and everything, but still, years locked up and being chased like a rat would damage anyone. There’s this felling in your heart. Something you’ve never felt. What if you could change his life? Make him feel better, happy, even though all this chaos?

 “That’s fine then.” He stops tickling you but doesn’t move, pinning you to the floor.

 “You have a beautiful smile.” You whisper, noticing how Boomerang’s eyes are kind. “I like it.”

 “I wanna stay for a while.” His low voice sends shivers down your spine a brings a smile to your lips.

“That’s fine by me.”


 You hear someone downstairs and sit up straight. Boomerang isn’t on his place on your bed.

 After a few weeks, when winter finally came, you were thankful to have his warm arms around you at night. It soon became a routine.

 But this is the worse part of it. You run downstairs, almost tripping on the last step.

 “(Y/N)?” He calls your name, his voice making you jump, both hands covering your mouth.

 “Holy shit, Boomy.” Sighing, you hug his waist as he drops all the three backpacks he was holding. “Where did you go this time?”

 “Sorry, luv.” George lifts you from the ground, his tight grip taking your breath away. “I can’t help it.”

 When George finally told you his real name and told you everything about his story, he also promised to slow down on his villain life. But you never asked for that. On these past months, you slowly fell in love with him. With the man and with the villain.

 “I know. I told you I’d take your bad days with you good. I don’t want you to go back to prison.” Cupping his cheek, you peck his lips. “Just be careful. I don’t give a damn if you like stealing. I… I want you to stay free.”

 “Does that means ya don’t hate me anymore?”

 “No.” You sigh when the police cars pass by your street. “I want to be with you. Being a villain or not.”

 “I think we should move then.”

 “I bet we can with all the money you took.”

 “We move so ya can be my woman.” Pulling you close, you feel his erection. “I wanna five children at least.”

 “Only five?” You giggle, taking a look at those backpacks he brought home. “Let’s have sex first. Then we can choose where to go and think about our kid’s names.”

 “Great idea, luv.”

.

Hamilton Star: Michelle Obama Gave Me ‘the Best Compliment I Have Ever Received’ (Time):

[…] I had anticipated that the First Lady might come, one day, when we made it to Broadway, but downtown—at the Public Theater? It wasn’t until after the show ended that they said, “Michelle Obama’s here!” At the time I shared a dressing room with Jasmine Cephas Jones and Reneé Elise Goldsberry, my Schuyler sisters. We hurriedly got out of costume to say hello. Giddy with excitement, we made our way to the greenroom. There she stood. So poised and beautiful. She said hello to each and every one of us. I will never forget what Mrs. Obama said, “This is the best piece of art that I’ve ever seen.” I was floored. She has seen so much art in her life. Coming from her, our First Lady, the modern-day Schuyler sister incarnate, and one of the most inspirational women of our time, it was the best compliment I have ever received.

Hamilton is, of course, closely tied to the Obamas because Lin first performed the opening number at a White House poetry jam. I didn’t know anything about Eliza when I first got the call about Hamilton. Tommy Kail, the director, asked me if I wanted to be a part of it. I knew what he was talking about because I’d seen the video of Lin performing it at the White House for Barack and Michelle Obama. I specifically remember a friend showing me that YouTube clip while I was a student in drama school. Cut to five or six years later when Tommy calls me and asks me to be a part of a December reading of Act II of what was then called “Hamilton Mixtape.” I did what most people do when they don’t know something, I googled Eliza. I saw that she was his wife but there wasn’t a lot more. I just chalked it up to me being a lazy researcher. I thought, Okay. I’ll do digging later. I’ll go and see what this project is and enjoy the experience. Hearing the music for the first time was incredible. It had such an instant cool factor. But it wasn’t until I got into the room with Lin, Alex, and Tommy (I would end up working with Andy a few months later) that I truly discovered what the “Hamilton Mixtape” really was. I thought: These artists and creators that I’m working with … this story … is going to change the world. And I get to be in this room. And it changed me, too. I just didn’t know it yet.

In December of 2013, the end of the play still hadn’t been written. It actually wasn’t until that workshop in January, a day before our presentation, that Lin gave me the last song. In the moment at the end of Hamilton when Eliza steps out and you see her, most people tell me they are so taken aback. “Oh my gosh! She’s the one who is telling us this story, like we’re learning this story because of her.” That was the way that I felt getting that last song. A moment of: Really? And you want me to finish the play? I mean I’d love to but …

Lin went on to explain that in the song you look and see everything that she did after Hamilton died. I was just as surprised and awestruck by the beauty of this woman’s legacy that not many people know about, and how beautiful this moment was that we’re giving her, a voice and a place in history for the first time. It’s huge.

[…]

When Eliza says, “I took myself out of the narrative,” in reference to guarding her privacy after Hamilton’s cheating is revealed, her situation feels stunningly contemporary. It took me a while to understand this particular moment in Eliza’s journey. In discovering how to play Eliza, I first asked myself, “What is the difference between the common woman then and the common woman now?” But that proved to be less useful. I was only separating myself from Eliza. So I started to ask the question, “What do all women, past and present have in common?” The answer: survival. Women have struggled a great deal, yes. But it has been their ability to overcome, the way women have chosen to deal with their struggles. Not only survive, but flourish through their achievements. The struggle is real, the struggle has always been real and will continue to be real. It’s just a matter of how you choose to find your way through whatever challenges you face. Eliza is empowered by taking herself out of the narrative. I think that’s why forgiveness is such a huge part of the play.

People seem confused when Eliza forgives Hamilton. I suppose it is because we have more options now. It’s easy to opt to avoid someone, avoid forgiveness, avoid conflict, or avoid complicated feelings, love and disgust, that coexist. But ultimately it doesn’t matter how many options we have; it is a miracle that we choose to survive.

[…]

In his last letter to Eliza, Hamilton calls her “the best of wives and the best of women.” If I’m trying to get into Hamilton’s brain, he was saying “best of wives” like “best of who you are to me” and “best of women,” meaning who you are to the world. The letter used to be in the show. I used to read it. I still remember every line:

This letter, my very dear Eliza, will not be delivered to you, unless I shall first have terminated my earthly career to begin, as I humbly hope from redeeming grace and divine mercy, a happy immortality.

If it had been possible for me to have avoided the interview, my love for you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive. But it was not possible, without sacrifices which would have rendered me unworthy of your esteem. I need not tell you of the pangs I feel, from the idea of quitting you and exposing you to the anguish which I know you would feel. Nor could I dwell on the topic lest it should unman me.

The consolations of Religion, my beloved, can alone support you and these you have a right to enjoy. Fly to the bosom of your God and be comforted. With my last idea I shall cherish the sweet hope of meeting you in a better world.

Adieu best of wives and best of Women. Embrace all my darling Children for me.

Ever yours

I used to read it, and I don’t anymore. I think we cut it out for time’s sake, but the idea of the letter still lives. It’s chilling. It gives me chills.

I’m a total believer in the universe and the over soul. Somehow the energy that our Founding Mothers put into our history has lasted and has traversed centuries and found its way to me. Eventually, it will leave me and find its way to somebody else. It does feel like ages have passed by the end of the three-hour play so I definitely use that. Because Hamilton has had such a universal voice, it’s brought some of the most amazing women into my life. Women who are politicians, who are actors, who are writers, who are my family members that I respect so much, strangers—mothers and daughters who have lost their loved ones, all of these women, choosing to survive. And to be able to share it with them in this way, I feel like it’s paying homage to them, it’s paying homage to Eliza, and to all the other versions of Eliza that have existed throughout history and will exist for ages to come.

From “The Best Wives and Best of Women” by Phillipa Soo as published in The Meaning of Michelle edited by Veronica Chambers. 

read Phillipa’s full beautiful essay

I Know I Shouldn't (Part 1)

Loki x OC

Warnings: language, violence



I have a thing for the trickster god.

I shouldn’t, I knew better, but I’d never had much self control. That had always been my downfall, my father had told me that.

Keep reading

BTS React to you wanting 10 kids

(I feel like this reaction is based more on the gifs than the description; if you want it redone, let me know.)

Seokjin: “Ten? Isn’t that a little much? How would we feed that many!?”

Originally posted by suga-com

Yoongi: “THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SWAG TO GO AROUND FOR TEN KIDS”

Originally posted by sugagifs

Jungkook: *screams* “TOO MANY I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE MYSELF.” *hyperventilates*  *Passes out*

Originally posted by jeonsshi

(Just ignore the fact that he is being used as a human mattress ok)

Jimin: “Too much- children- don’t know how to handle-” *nervous laughs* *brain is shorting out*

Originally posted by jimins-bootae

Namjoon: “Do you want the world to be destroyed!? That’s what you’ll get with 10 spawns of me.”

Originally posted by jung-koook

(Hoseok terrified of the idea of mini Namjoons running around)

Taehyung: “The more the merrier! I’M READY! Bring on the babies!”

Originally posted by hellosarang

Hoseok: “We will start our own dance team and I will choreograph everything aside from our numerous girl group cover dances, I’ve been preparing.” *pulls out dance uniform* 

Originally posted by hoesoks

~*~*~*~*~*~

I debated going many ways with this request. Hope you enjoyed! 

~BangtanBunnie <3

Bats and Barbie Heads - snowbaz

ok honestly this was kind of a hard one rip me. carry on countdown: christmas shopping! and already i must dive into a new fic. what day are we even on. have entered the twilight zone yet.

Fluff

No warnings.

If you can’t Christmas shop for your boyfriend, Christmas shop with your boyfriend.


A list of gift ideas for Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch III (by Simon Snow):

1. A shorter fucking name.

2. Sheet music to that one song we both fell in love with in that one movie.

3. Clothes that I can steal.

4. The Entire Works of Edgar Allen Poe (aka, if Baz’s soul was a book).

5. Fairy lights because he needs to lighten the fuck up.

6. Better morning attitude.

Oh boy.

+++

A list of Christmas gift ideas for Simon (by Baz):

1. I don’t know.

2. A pair of jeans that isn’t ripped.

3. Not a dog. Not allowed.

4. A bucket of sour cherry scones (not sure what he’d be more stoked with: the scones, or the bucket).

5. A t-shirt with my face on it.

6. I don’t know.

Fuck.

+++

“All right, Simon,” I confess as we sit in the car, gearing up to go to the shopping centre. “I give up, I’m shit at gifts. What do I get you for Christmas?”

Simon rolls his head on the seat and gives me a degrading smile. “How about boyfriend who actually has some idea of what to get me?” He teases. I make a face and try to slap his hand. “I’m kidding! I’m kidding.”

“You’re a dick, you know.”

“I know. I take it back though - it would be hypocritical of me to dump you over getting a crap Christmas present.”

“You’re stuck too?”

“Let’s just go shopping.”

+++

So, to make all fair, we end up in a shopping centre, with Simon sitting in a trolley from who-knows-where, and myself pushing him around the toy stores as we tease each other on what crappy gifts we’ll buy each other. So far, he’s threatened to buy me and army  of life-size (surely demonic) Barbie doll heads to place strategically around the flat, and I’m dead serious about buying him seven variations of the same shirt, so he can stain them on separate days of the week. So far, we haven’t actually bought anything.

“I’m telling you, I’m easy to buy for!” Simon insists. I give him an offended, confused look. ‘How so?’ “I don’t own anything! You could literally buy me a cookbook and I’d be chuffed.”

“Would you cook, though?” I point out.

His voice lowers as he leans up to my ear. “Only for you. I don’t mind testing my cooking on you.”

“How sweet. You don’t mind poisoning me.” (I kiss him anyway.)

It’s when we pass yet another children’s toy shop (that we obviously swerve into) that Simon lands on the 'perfect’ gift idea. It is also, incidentally, the most risky task we endure today.

I’m holding the trolley still as my ever-intuitive boyfriend stands in it’s basket, reaching for a top-shelf toy that we really should have asked a shop assistant to fetch. Alas, I’m doubling as the look-out on this mission. We’re probably scaring children off with our dastardly teenage antics, but as much as I acknowledge that that could be the case, I really do not care.

“Got it!” Simon yelps as he sits back down again, embraced in possibly the largest (cutest) soft-toy-bat I have ever seen. I try desperately to hide my smile.

“What is that?” I chuckle.

“A bat. Duh. You’re a vampire, you need a bat.”

And then, in a lower, giddy voice, I lean in and whisper: “You are a fucking wanker, you know that?”

He mirrors me, making fun of my face before he kisses my lips. “You get to name it. On Christmas. No sooner, no later.”

With a shake of my head and a theatrical groan, I sigh. “Oh you are definitely getting Barbie heads now.”

Why Did Balin Go to Moria?

Gloin actually explains this a bit during the Council of Elrond. 

`It is now many years ago,’ said Glóin, `that a shadow of disquiet fell upon our people. Whence it came we did not at first perceive. Words began to be whispered in secret: it was said that we were hemmed in a narrow place, and that greater wealth and splendour would be found in a wider world. Some spoke of Moria: the mighty works of our fathers that are called in our tongue Khazad-dum; and they declared that now at least we had the power and numbers to return.’

Gloin sighed. ‘Moria! Moria! Wonder of the Northern world! Too deep we delved there, and woke the nameless fear. Long have its vast mansions lain empty since the children of Durin fled. But now we spoke of it again with longing, and yet with dread; for no dwarf has dared to pass the doors of Khazad-dum for many lives of kings, save Thror only, and he perished. At last, however, Balin listened to the whispers, and resolved to go; and though Dain did not give leave willingly, he took with him Ori and Oin and many of our folk, and they went away south.’

So, from this, we can get at least a general idea of what happened. A “shadow of disquiet” (probably originating somehow with Sauron) fell on the dwarves of Erebor - fresh enough from their victory over Smaug to feel confident, but far enough afterwards for them to be comfortable in their home and eager for new victories. The dwarves have a long and complicated relationship with Moria (which you can read about here), so the idea of reclaiming Moria would have carried heavy cultural significance.

As for Balin specifically - there’s no mention of a special reason, other than the basic desire to reclaim his people’s ancestral homeland. Gloin’s mention of “at last” implies that Balin did wrestle with the decision for a long time, so it’s not like he just woke up one morning and decided to go. Was it a smart decision? Probably not. But plenty of “wise” people in Middle Earth have done much less wise things, so don’t judge the poor guy too harshly. 

(By the way, for the other side of this topic, check out “Why Not Retake Moria?”)

SOURCES: LOTR

We are the people of the book. We love our books. We fill our houses with books. We treasure books we inherit from our parents, and we cherish the idea of passing those books on to our children. Indeed, how many of us started reading with a beloved book that belonged to one of our parents? We force worthy books on our friends, and we insist that they read them. We even feel a weird kinship for the people we see on buses or airplanes reading our books, the books that we claim. If anyone tries to take away our books—some oppressive government, some censor gone off the rails—we would defend them with everything that we have. We know our tribespeople when we visit their homes because every wall is lined with books. There are teetering piles of books beside the bed and on the floor; there are masses of swollen paperbacks in the bathroom. Our books are us. They are our outboard memory banks and they contain the moral, intellectual, and imaginative influences that make us the people we are today.
Beltane 2017 With My Kids

This year was my first year celebrating Beltane. Since I did not celebrate Easter, I decided to put a lot of excitement on Beltane for my children. We celebrated the fertility of the earth and expressed our gratitude for all that she does, and will give us. Our Neighbor and her child also came over to celebrate with us. This made it even more exciting. 

The first thing we did was put together our flower crowns. At least for this year, we opted to make ours with fake flowers. First of all, it has been flooding for a week, so there is not too much to choose from. Secondly, it was windy and freezing outside. I myself am battling the sinus beast and did not feel making it worse was a good idea. Lastly, I wanted my children to enjoy their first crowns for weeks to come. 

The second thing we did was make fairy viewing wands. This was thanks in large part to @saltwaterwitchery ! She passed this beautiful tradition to me and my little witchlings from her own grandmother. While the power behind it is pure imagination, I think it is a magic all it’s own. The kiddos enjoyed running and playing through the house finding their fairies. Still this morning my daughter was practicing before she left for school. This allowed me to talk with and teach the little ones about magic around us. 

We continued this to our next craft. My now the kiddos were a little bit tired. My youngest laid down for a nap, while the eldest watched Thumbelina. This left us adults to craft their fairy garden. It was nice to sit down and listen to the beautiful music that I had playing. These were super easy to make and were a lot of fun. We did, however, create a much bigger mess than I had anticipated. Easily cleaned up though!

The last thing we did was a little more intimate. I waited till right before bedtime with my kids only. We sat down and talked about the power of wishes. Although it was hard to resonate with my three-year-old understandably. My daughter very much began to grasp the concept. We talked about how Mother Earth gives us things to aid in our wish making. Also, how we can strengthen it ourselves. Then we completed a wish spell jar that was very simple and easy to understand. 

Well, that is all we did for Beltane. I am aware there is so much more we could have done. Like, the mayday pole and jumping over a little tea light. However, this was plenty for my little family, and we enjoyed every second of it! 

XOXO

-Aquari!

Matt Bomer interview for Elle Italy (Sept 2015)

—– This is a GOOGLE TRANSLATION of this interview. Please take that into consideration while reading. ——– 


It is one of the most fascinating young actors in Hollywood . Talk with Matt Bomer, who is 37 years old and in Magic Mike XXL steals the screen to Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello, is always interesting. 

The elegant Matt, who had conquered the audience in The Normal Heart and is preparing to bring to the screen the life of Montgomery Clift in a biopic already much discussed, is married to publicist Simon Halls. They have adopted and are growing “with maximum happiness and commitment” three beautiful children,  six year twins and the eldest of eight.

In Hollywood puritanical and hypocritical politically correct, Matt did coming out with serene courage, years ago, without fear of losing roles as loving and manly characters.

“I have a beautiful family,” he says,  "A work that I built with dedication and commitment, I believe in the integrity of my work and my private. We live years of apparent freedom and rights won, but I am the first to admit that it is not easy to convince many of a relationship defined “different”.  Reject the lies, the compromises and limitations of the role.  The talent, the passion for acting, adherence to roles have nothing to do with foolish and gossip are far away, or so it seems, the years when Rock Hudson had to hide his true identity. “

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9

Kick-Ass Chicks: Illustrator, @biancaxunise

“It is better to keep your head down and keep mastering your craft than to compare yourself to other’s success.”

Impactful words spoken by the strong and talented Chicago-based illustrator, Bianca Xunise. In a world fueled by “likes” and “followers,” it’s hard not to compare yourself to others. But when you’ve got a humble head on your shoulders, and a heart hungry for growth like Bianca, there’s no reason to dig yourself into a hole of self-doubt. Our admiration for the young aritst first sprung after becoming entirely consumed with her comics on Hello Giggles. Over the years, that admiration has greatly surpassed into obsession as we watched her grow, and her illustrations mature with relatable female-centered themes. Recently, we caught up with Bianca to chat more about her struggles of growing in an “instant gratification” industry, and honing her craft in the form of secret comics. 

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A Letter from My Mom
Being a mom with a transgender child has been empowering as well as challenging.  The challenging part has been not taking any of the choices my child has been and is making,  personally. I now realize I did not raise him to be gay or make him want to change his sex from female to male. That was just the way he was born. I do have to admit,  the most painful part of his changes has been his name change. I understand his reasons and if I was in his place,  I’d probably do the same. He’s left his female life behind and it’s entirely graspable that for his new identity,  that his name also fit.  In my heart,  I know his sexual orientation and gender do not define him. He’s still the same person as he was before,  has the same heart and the same kick ass personality. I love him unconditionally and love him with my actions and not just my words. I am so proud to be the mother of the bravest person I have ever known. Going against societies term of a “normal” lifestyle is not easy nor any way comfortable. And I admire others who go aganist the norm.  One thing that had really pleased me and so warmed my heart is how accepting the rest of our family has been. Their love for him has not changed and no one “disowned” him. I’m not saying any of them are 100% comfortable with it,  nevertheless,  they do all support him and want him to be happy.  I know I’m going to keep messing up by calling him her and she and use his old name. I’m working on it and practicing. Lately when I’m asked about my children,  I say I have two sons and a daughter. The other day I participated in a group activity with a lot of people I did not know from my new job. And one of the things we did was to say a value we passed along to our children. I shared my child’s gender change and I felt I passed along the value of social/equality justice. Others came up to me and stated how courageous my child is and said I must of done a great job at raising him.  Lastly,  I hope one day I can become as secure and unafraid to just be me and live life on my terms as he is doing.  Sincerely,   A mother who would not change a thing  (Note: These letters are to provide a little bit of hope and to give others an idea of what a person experiences with a family member who is transitioning. I think it’s important to understand their narrative in order to help our own.) 
independent.co.uk
This man's suicide exposes the monstrous cruelty of the DWP | Harriet Williamson

Yesterday, Britain made history, and not because the story of Dave Hameron supposedly porking a dead pig’s head broke on the Daily Mail website at 11pm. We made history, because in our affluent, highly developed nation, it came to light that for the first time, a coroner has determined that a man died due to being found ‘fit for work’.

Michael O’Sullivan was a 60-year-old father from north London, and he hanged himself after his disability benefits were stopped. The government’s DWP assessors found him ‘fit for work’, despite the opinion of three doctors that his recurrent depression was very serious. Mr O’Sullivan’s GP had certified him unable to work, but the ruling of his doctor, a trained medical professional, was not apparently good enough for the Department of Work and Pensions.

Benefit sanctions and the outcomes of work capability assessments (WCAs) have been long linked to cases of suicide, and figures released last month show that nearly 90 people have died every month between 2011 and 2014 after being found ‘fit for work’. These statistics in themselves are shocking, but the fact that a coroner has roundly deposited blame for Mr O’Sullivan’s tragic suicide at the door of the DWP is almost more so.

Mary Hassell, senior coroner for inner north London, wrote that “the trigger for Mr O’Sullivan’s suicide was his recent assessment by a DWP doctor as being fit for work… In my opinion, there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken”. There is nothing ambiguous about her statement and no wriggle room for ministers to put a political spin on Michael O’Sullivan’s death. He was a person and a father and obviously, demonstrably unwell, and now he’s dead.

The current government’s rhetoric about ‘helping people who help themselves’ has been exposed to be as hollow and disingenuous as I always suspected it to be. The DWP must be aware that their culture of sanctions isn’t working – lest we forget, they were forced to fabricate case studies of people ‘helped’ by having their benefits stopped, presumably because they couldn’t find any real people who would attest to this.

The Conservative administration is both completely out of touch with the reality of people’s lives (hardly surprising when the cabinet is filled with white, wealthy, male Etonians) and demonstrative of a level of political cruelty that makes Thatcher look almost cuddly in comparison. Government sanctions that push vulnerable citizens to take their own lives are beyond monstrous. There aren’t words strong enough to condemn the actions of the DWP; I feel sickened to even have to write this, not just as someone who struggles with their mental health or as someone on a low income, but as a human being.

Budding authors of dystopian fiction will need to wrack their brains particularly hard for fresh material, as David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith are eagerly putting all the best ideas into practice. A Britain that shows such distain for the poor, the disabled, the mentally ill, and the young, is not a country I can be proud of. It’s not a Britain I want to pass on to any future children I may have.

Michael O’Sullivan is dead and he cannot tell us about his despair at finding out that the DWP overruled the decision of his doctor. For his sake, and for the sake of so many others, we need to raise our voices and challenge this nightmare circus of inhuman bureaucracy. Sanctions cause deaths. The message is loud and clear.

Why I’m not a fan of ‘Colorblind’ Family Members

Facebook is one of those places where I hate engaging with relatives because most of my white relatives believe in Colorblindness. If they don’t see race, then what’s the problem?  The problem is your colorblindness keeps you from listening to your nonwhite friends and relatives when they describe their lived experiences. You want to brush it off as ‘some folks are just jerks’ when we experience racism daily.

Not prepared

Your colorblindness did not prepare me for the realities that people of color face. When I was no longer protected by the insulation of white relatives, I experienced blatant racism for the First Time. I did not know what to do. I had no idea how to deal with it, handle the person/people, or how to react.

I was verbally assaulted daily because of my perceived race. Being a mixed kid looking very ambiguous  really showed me how folks in my town, folks in the city I went to college the first time, folks I interacted with when my white parents weren’t around felt about people like me. I was, and am, treated like a perpetual foreigner in my own country. People are amazed I’m educated. Folks expect me to be dirt poor and be interested in white men because they’re “the best provider” whatever that means.  For the first time I heard horrible stereotypes about various races, ethnicites, and cultures. Although they were aimed at me, I know that I can avoid it to some degree the second I mention I’m mixed with White and Korean. Boom—folks apologize for thinking I’m ‘one of those people’. You know, people who look like me.

Stereotypes can be scary

I have been targeted by fetishizers. This has put me in some scary situations where men would say “I could do anything I wanted because no one is going to care about what happens.”  You know what? They’re right. I’m a woman of color. If they actually did something to me (thank god they didn’t!), I’d immediately be sexualized by law enforcement due to my perceived race.  I’ve gotten the “Spicy Latina” stereotype “The Exotic Native American” stereotype, the “Submissive Asian” stereotype, and the “You should be happy a white man is interested in you because you’re brown” BS thrown at me. When I complained to on campus enforcement, I was told “What do you expect? Aren’t all of you looking for attention?”

Having white family not prepare me for the above as well as “Go home to your country!” “Do you speak English” “Stop taking American Jobs”. This made navigating reality much harder than it needed to be. The reason I do as well as I do currently is thanks to other people of color and the fact I have economic privilege over most of the white people who do these terrible things to me and other people of color.

Losing the insulation of white family was terrifying. I was thrust into a reality they do not perceive. Their reality is fair. People are treated as individuals who gain a neutral level or respect just by existing.  My family, for the most part, are good people. Unfortunately they are totally clueless. They had no idea that they needed to prepare their non white kids about our reality. We don’t get the “Be careful of people who reduce you to stereotypes” talks. We don’t get “How you manage the stress from daily microaggressions” I don’t get the validation of “What you experienced is real, terrible, and this is how to deal with it”  talk.

My conversation with my kids

My children are very young, but this is a conversation I have with them daily. What to look out for. How to navigate the world. How to use the fact they are white passing to assist others because the truth is people of color are often not listened to.  A good part of this is to tell my kids to look out for people who are only seem to be interested in them because of their mix or how ‘exotic’ their home life is. To be aware of folks who don’t treat them like individuals or who use them to belittle darker POC. This happens A LOT, even among elementary school kids. I want my kids to be aware of what’s going on and to not participate in it.

I want to give my kids tools so they can assert themselves and navigate reality rather than what we’d like the world to be. Colorblindness isn’t going to help them. Acknowledging and embracing their race and where others come from is how they are going to better than I did at their age.

*I’m a transracial adoptee so I didn’t have many relatives to talk to about this when I was a kid. I relied on friends, community members, and more experienced coworkers for help in these matters.