if only with paper

Rick Riordan won a Stonewall award today

for his second Magnus Chase book, due to the inclusion of the character Alex Fierro who is gender fluid. This was the speech he gave, and it really distills why I love this author and his works so much, and why I will always recommend his works to anyone and everyone.

“Thank you for inviting me here today. As I told the Stonewall Award Committee, this is an honor both humbling and unexpected.

So, what is an old cis straight white male doing up here? Where did I get the nerve to write Alex Fierro, a transgender, gender fluid child of Loki in The Hammer of Thor, and why should I get cookies for that?

These are all fair and valid questions, which I have been asking myself a lot.

I think, to support young LGBTQ readers, the most important thing publishing can do is to publish and promote more stories by LGBTQ authors, authentic experiences by authentic voices. We have to keep pushing for this. The Stonewall committee’s work is a critical part of that effort. I can only accept the Stonewall Award in the sense that I accept a call to action – firstly, to do more myself to read and promote books by LGBTQ authors.

But also, it’s a call to do better in my own writing. As one of my genderqueer readers told me recently, “Hey, thanks for Alex. You didn’t do a terrible job!” I thought: Yes! Not doing a terrible job was my goal!

As important as it is to offer authentic voices and empower authors and role models from within LGBTQ community, it’s is also important that LGBTQ kids see themselves reflected and valued in the larger world of mass media, including my books. I know this because my non-heteronormative readers tell me so. They actively lobby to see characters like themselves in my books. They like the universe I’ve created. They want to be part of it. They deserve that opportunity. It’s important that I, as a mainstream author, say, “I see you. You matter. Your life experience may not be like mine, but it is no less valid and no less real. I will do whatever I can to understand and accurately include you in my stories, in my world. I will not erase you.”

People all over the political spectrum often ask me, “Why can’t you just stay silent on these issues? Just don’t include LGBTQ material and everybody will be happy.” This assumes that silence is the natural neutral position. But silence is not neutral. It’s an active choice. Silence is great when you are listening. Silence is not so great when you are using it to ignore or exclude.

But that’s all macro, ‘big picture’ stuff. Yes, I think the principles are important. Yes, in the abstract, I feel an obligation to write the world as I see it: beautiful because of its variations. Where I can’t draw on personal experience, I listen, I read a lot – in particular I want to credit Beyond Magenta and Gender Outlaws for helping me understand more about the perspective of my character Alex Fierro – and I trust that much of the human experience is universal. You can’t go too far wrong if you use empathy as your lens. But the reason I wrote Alex Fierro, or Nico di Angelo, or any of my characters, is much more personal.

I was a teacher for many years, in public and private school, California and Texas. During those years, I taught all kinds of kids. I want them all to know that I see them. They matter. I write characters to honor my students, and to make up for what I wished I could have done for them in the classroom.

I think about my former student Adrian (a pseudonym), back in the 90s in San Francisco. Adrian used the pronouns he and him, so I will call him that, but I suspect Adrian might have had more freedom and more options as to how he self-identified in school were he growing up today. His peers, his teachers, his family all understood that Adrian was female, despite his birth designation. Since kindergarten, he had self-selected to be among the girls – socially, athletically, academically. He was one of our girls. And although he got support and acceptance at the school, I don’t know that I helped him as much as I could, or that I tried to understand his needs and his journey. At that time in my life, I didn’t have the experience, the vocabulary, or frankly the emotional capacity to have that conversation. When we broke into social skills groups, for instance, boys apart from girls, he came into my group with the boys, I think because he felt it was required, but I feel like I missed the opportunity to sit with him and ask him what he wanted. And to assure him it was okay, whichever choice he made. I learned more from Adrian than I taught him. Twenty years later, Alex Fierro is for Adrian.

I think about Jane (pseudonym), another one of my students who was a straight cis-female with two fantastic moms. Again, for LGBTQ families, San Francisco was a pretty good place to live in the 90s, but as we know, prejudice has no geographical border. You cannot build a wall high enough to keep it out. I know Jane got flack about her family. I did what I could to support her, but I don’t think I did enough. I remember the day Jane’s drama class was happening in my classroom. The teacher was new – our first African American male teacher, which we were all really excited about – and this was only his third week. I was sitting at my desk, grading papers, while the teacher did a free association exercise. One of his examples was ‘fruit – gay.’ I think he did it because he thought it would be funny to middle schoolers. After the class, I asked to see the teacher one on one. I asked him to be aware of what he was saying and how that might be hurtful. I know. Me, a white guy, lecturing this Black teacher about hurtful words. He got defensive and quit, because he said he could not promise to not use that language again. At the time, I felt like I needed to do something, to stand up especially for Jane and her family. But did I make things better handling it as I did? I think I missed an opportunity to open a dialogue about how different people experience hurtful labels. Emmie and Josephine and their daughter Georgina, the family I introduce in The Dark Prophecy, are for Jane.

I think about Amy, and Mark, and Nicholas … All former students who have come out as gay since I taught them in middle school. All have gone on to have successful careers and happy families. When I taught them, I knew they were different. Their struggles were greater, their perspectives more divergent than some of my other students. I tried to provide a safe space for them, to model respect, but in retrospect I don’t think I supported them as well as I could have, or reached out as much as they might have needed. I was too busy preparing lessons on Shakespeare or adjectives, and not focusing enough on my students’ emotional health. Adjectives were a lot easier for me to reconcile than feelings. Would they have felt comfortable coming out earlier than college or high school if they had found more support in middle school? Would they have wanted to? I don’t know. But I don’t think they felt it was a safe option, which leaves me thinking that I did not do enough for them at that critical middle school time. I do not want any kid to feel alone, invisible, misunderstood. Nico di Angelo is for Amy, and Mark and Nicholas.

I am trying to do more. Percy Jackson started as a way to empower kids, in particular my son, who had learning differences. As my platform grew, I felt obliged to use it to empower all kids who are struggling through middle school for whatever reason. I don’t always do enough. I don’t always get it right. Good intentions are wonderful things, but at the end of a manuscript, the text has to stand on its own. What I meant ceases to matter. Kids just see what I wrote. But I have to keep trying. My kids are counting on me.

So thank you, above all, to my former students who taught me. Alex Fierro is for you.

To you, I pledge myself to do better – to apologize when I screw up, to learn from my mistakes, to be there for LGBTQ youth and make sure they know that in my books, they are included. They matter. I am going to stop talking now, but I promise you I won’t stop listening.”

Full offence, but if you’re in law enforcement and you shoot into a car with a four year-old child sitting in the backseat because you “feared for your life,” then you’re not only a fucking failure as a police officer, but you’re also a pile of shit human being who isn’t worth the piece of paper your birth certificate is printed on.

Like, not only did Jeronimo Yanez literally murder Philando Castile in coldblood for no good reason other than “I think Black people are scary,” but he also put his well-being (which wasn’t even under threat in the fucking first place) above that of a preschooler. He decided in that moment, based on nothing but a racist pre-judgment, that his life was worth more than that of a little four-year-old girl, and in a world with any justice he would have been locked up for that reason right along with a manslaughter conviction. 

The jury for this case basically just looked this poor, absolutely traumatised little girl in the eye and said “We think you are disposable.” Obviously, they thought the same of Philando Castile. 

There is no non-Black person in this country who should not be wallowing in shame right now; our depravity is a scourge. 

4

tv aesthetic → the office

I’m not superstitious, but… I am a little stitious.

When you get older, you notice your sheets are dirty. Sometimes, you do something about it. And sometimes, you read the front page of the newspaper and sometimes you floss and sometimes you stop biting your nails and sometimes you meet a friend for lunch. You still crave lemonade, but the taste doesn’t satisfy you as much as it used to. You still crave summer, but sometimes you mean summer, 5 years ago. You remember your umbrella, you check up on people to see if they got home, you leave places early to go home and make toast. You stand by the toaster in your underwear and a big t-shirt, wondering if you should just turn in or watch one more hour of television. You laugh at different things. You stop laughing at other things. You think about old loves almost like they are in a museum. The socks, you notice, aren’t organized into pairs and you mentally make a note of it. You cover your mouth when you sneeze, reaching for the box of tissues you bought, contains aloe.

When you get older, you try toner, you experiment with trousers, you experiment with real sexy outfits, you experiment with pin curls and darker hair and orange-toned red lipstick and you date people that look good on paper. You kiss them in public and feel only a little self-conscious. You never like them, although sometimes you really do. you think about safe sex and sometimes, kids. You think about plants, maybe succulents, or maybe even a cat?

When you get older, you try different shampoos. You find one you like. You try sleeping early and spin class and jogging again. You try a book you almost read but couldn’t finish. You wrap yourself in the blankets of: familiar t-shirts, caffe au lait, dim tv light, texts with old friends or new people you really want to like and love you. You lose contact with friends from college, and only sometimes you think about it. When you do, it feels bad and almost bitter. You lose people, and when other people bring them up, you almost pretend like you know what they are doing. You try to stop touching your face and become invested in things like expensive salads and trying parsnips and saving up for a vacation you really want. You keep a spare pen in a drawer. You look at old pictures of yourself and they feel foreign and misleading. You forget things like: purchasing stamps, buying more butter, putting lotion on your elbows, calling your mother back. You learn things like balance: checkbooks, social life, work life, time to work out and time to enjoy yourself.

When you get older, you find things like rejection hurt less and things like nostalgia hurt more. You watch people do things you want to do, and then you do some of those things too. Things start to feel like pins on a map. You watch landmarks pass and almost note them. You eat a taco from a food truck and be careful to dab the corners of your mouth with a napkin. You smooth your shirt down. You think about details, the details of how clean the beer cup is, how you need to put the dishes away, how she smells like a perfume you wore and how his teeth are perfect and aligned. You feel a little less downtrodden by things like routine and security and a little more appreciative of things like doing nothing, finding a friend, stretching on a big couch. You hear old songs and only sometimes do they gut you. You think about your future almost always, in both a thrilling way and a very very panicked way.

When you get older, you find yourself more in control. You find your convictions appealing, you find you like your body more, you learn to take things in stride. You begin to crave respect and comfort and adventure, all at the same time. You lay in your bed, fearing death, just like you did.You pull lint off your shirt. You smile less and feel content more. You think about changing and then often, you do.

When you get older, you barely notice it at all. Then, you are sitting somewhere you’ve been before, staring at the nothingness of the sky, and you feel the wind moving away from you, fast and almost impossible to catch.

—  When You Get Older, thefrenemy

Just some old ghosts on the fridge


My excuse for the 2nd image being black/white is that they printed it on a shitty school computer :p

I really wish we got to see more of Casey, my impression of him was that he mainly hung out with Gregg because he didn’t show up in the longest night supplemental

and probably had a skateboard :v

Based on @paperficwriter‘s Genos headcanon(s)!

somegaytrash  asked:

HEY HEY HEY! Matt and Lance flirting with each other like really hard because they can't help it -they think is funny- BUT SHIRO AND KEITH ARE REALLY PISSED LIKE SHIRO RESTRAINING HIMSELF FROM KILLING LANCE AND KEITH TRYING TO NOT ACT SALTY TOWARDS MATT -cuz he jelly- BUT TOTALLY FAILING! PLUS PIDGE IS VERY PROUD OF HER BROTHER AND HER ALMOST BROTHER! (PLEASEEEEE)

ALRIGHT THIS POST/REQUEST WAS CONSPIRED OVER A DM WITH THE LOVELY @somegaytrash (WHO IS 100% PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MY DECENT INTO SHATT HELL LMAO ILY) 

we decided that it would be absolutely hilarious if matt turned out to be even more of a flirt than lance and then they both jokingly flirt with each other all the time… this leads to very unhappy and jealous shiro/keith and a very proud pidge 😂

pls enjoy 💜

(shipping shiro with both matt and allura is a constant daily struggle for me…….. i really need shatt to be more popular tho because it’s precious but also the ship name makes me laugh every single time)

so apparently at some point when I was a kid I ended up with a bootleg deck of Yu-Gi-Oh cards and I just rediscovered them in my things and they’re??? something to behold I tell you what look at some of these we’ve got the

White Dragon Wiht Blue-eye

A sealed right wrist.So powerful if it’s released. I’m inclined to believe it.

it WILL make you pain

magician-bady 

look this guy’s a sound type that must be a new feature you call on that tjunder god son

anyways

y’all remember cards ab and r, right they’re classics 

I think my favorite so far though has been what is now the best superhero combo name I’ve ever seen

introducing

AND HER TRUSTY SIDEKICK

Odd how a book can tuck galaxies and planets, history and myth, love and hate inside its pages. It’s only paper.