positive representation matters

✨Stay afraid but do it anyway.✨

And perhaps I’m a little touchy on the subject and maybe I hold Carrie a little too dear to my heart, but the reason I do is because Carrie Fisher helped me realize I was mentally ill.

Oh I knew I was crazy, in the same vague way you worry that you’ve left the stove on at home, despite not having cooked yourself a meal in weeks because you’re too depressed to eat a proper meal. (Except you don’t call it that, you call it “laziness” and maybe try and convince yourself it’s a new diet called “whatever requires the least amount of effort to put calories into my face”.)

Something was “off” inside my head, but no one seemed to care about it too much. Even when they threw me into eating rehab for a perceived eating disorder—despite lacking several of the vital criteria on the checklist to have typical eating disordered behavior—no one gave too much of a shit. I was just a girl who was “too nervous”, “too in touch with my emotions”, “too fragile”, I was “attention seeking”. And their remedy to this was ignore me and wonder why I crashed and burned at regular intervals, blame me for being selfish, then go back to not giving a fuck until it inconvenienced their life again.

I was crazy. But maybe I wasn’t. Maybe if I just tried harder…so I learned to cope. I became the one who Coped. I was There For Everyone. I became Reliable and above all else, I learned to be Funny and make It funny.

My mother still hates that. She thinks it’s crass for women to be funny. Personally I think I’m fucking hysterical, but then what do I know, I’m fucking nuts.

Later, now with hindsight and being able to look at my life from a safe(-r) mindset surrounded by people who care and want to help, I realize that what I was going through was (and is) untreated PTSD. Whether or not the PTSD caused the other issues, like the depression, the anxiety, the compulsive behaviors or the ADHD I think I might have, I don’t know. I likely will never know, because the Thing happened and shot my still developing child brain into a million tiny fragmented pieces of unparalleled terror and poor coping mechanisms. It doesn’t really matter at this point, all that matters is dealing with all of it as best as I can, however I can. But there’s a very real chance I might never have gotten to this stage if I hadn’t found out that Princess Leia, my childhood icon who helped me feel brave and strong while my world was ending, had written a book about living with mental health issues.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from it to be honest. I knew vaguely, that Carrie Fisher had issues. The word “junkie” had been used by my father—while unironically taking a drink from his self-medicating poison of choice and my mother tutted and tisked about how some people just ought to pull themselves together

Ten, maybe twelve minutes into the book locked away in my room, I can’t even tell you anymore whether I was crying because I was laughing so hard or if I was laughing because I was crying my heart out, but I was having a fucking revelation.

This was me, holy shit this was me, this was me, this was me, an unboken mantra in my head pounding to the beat of my heart, this was me, this is me—I do exist.

That’s a weird thought to have, right? I do exist. 

It wasn’t, “I’m normal”, because normal is not this. It’s not feeling like your mind is running a million miles a second in circles while simultaneously wading uphill through treacle and juggling chainsaws while trying to keep all your Life Plates spinning and oh gods someone just handed you a kitten to look after. What it is however, is fairly common, and suffered with varying degrees of severity by a rather sizable chunk of the world’s population. I mean, who knew? I sure as shit didn’t. I thought it was all in my head.

You know what I mean.

I’m told some people get up in the mornings and go through their entire day without once having an intrusive thought or struggling to do basic shit like take a shower and manage to remember to feed themselves. I know, seems fake right? It certainly does to me.

And here was Carrie, my Princess Leia, laying out her issues past, present and probable future, in what remains one of the funniest, most brutal attempts at self-lobotomy on paper I have ever had the privilege to read. I consumed that book in mere hours, I devoured her words and breathed them in like inhaling steam in a sauna and breathing out fire in their wake and moved onto her next book, then her next, then her next, and by then there was this blessed thing called Twitter and it should be impossible to be hilarious and poignant through 140 emojis or less, but that was the kind of brilliant she was. And this was me, this was someone like me. And she was witty and brilliant and funny and yes, things were difficult for her and yes, some parts of her life were an absolute clusterfuck of mistakes, addiction and general all round fuckery leading up to that point…but she was still there, y’know? She was still there.

And it breaks my heart a little every day, knowing that I’ll never be able to tell her how important that was to me. And to thank her for it.

So instead I try to pay it forward. Every day, from one day to the next, I try to be a little kinder, a little brighter—a little more like Our Lady Carrie—and throw two loving sparkly middle fingers up at the world that tries to stamp out and demonize the notion that mentally ill people like me, like you, exist. 

And we deserve to exist, and more than that, we deserve to be treated with human fucking decency.

And if you are of a mind that the latest news surrounding Carrie’s death means that she was any lesser of a vital energy force in this world, that she mattered less, that her words were less important or that she “deserved” to die because they found drugs in her autopsy report, it is with my profound and heartfelt best wishes, that I invite you to cordially:

✨🖕✨🖕✨🖕✨ Go Fuck Yourself ✨🖕✨🖕✨🖕✨

Don’t bother to RSVP.

Fact: Bisexual people have always been here, and not only that, but we have thrived. We have been poets, playwrights, rock stars, millionaires, artists, emperors, mythic heroes, activists, even revered as gods. 

(I’m not kidding! As one of example of each: Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Freddie Mercury, Angelina Jolie, Frida Kahlo, Alexander the Great, Hercules, Brenda Howard, Zeus.)

A lot of people dont seem to understand how important representation is. How important it is for people to see themselves in characters and situations portrayed in fiction. How it can save their lives. When i was about 12 and first realizing i was a trans guy, i would cry in the shower every night, thinking about how i could never be a “””real guy”””. I hated myself so so so much, because in every movie and ever show, all the men were tall and muscular and heterosexual and had booming deep voices and facial hair and really masculine interests and attributes. i wanted so badly to be like them, to be perfectly male in all ways. then i started watching Glee, and the character Kurt held the screen. I saw kurt, a guy with a feminine build and a high-pitched voice and typically feminine interests who joked about getting his period and being gay and i saw myself in him. i got more confident, seeing a guy like kurt, a guy like me, portrayed as cool and desireable and interesting and, most importantly, as a guy. i learned to love myself and who i am through loving kurt, and while kurt is not trans canonically, seeing him made me feel like i could find a place in the world someday, like there was hope for me. representation basically saved my life, and i know i’m not the only one with a story like this. that’s how important diversity is in fiction.

anonymous asked:

Today at c2e2 I got a chance to tell Iain just how much he meant to me. I have nerve damage & was diagnosed with a learning disability at age 22. His portrayal of season 2 Fitz had a lot of the same traits and symptoms that I do and I told him how much it meant to me that he was such a badass despite his disabilities. I ended up crying and he held me in his arms and told me that I was a real badass and a superhero. Just wanted share how genuinely pure and good this man is. A true treasure

Aww, that’s so sweet! I always love hearing stories like this, it’s amazing that representation can be so powerful and when the actors are so great about it <3 <3 Iain is fab and I’m glad you had such a great and moving experience!!

thoughts on ursula, representation, and fat positivity

the other day i was thinking about how few positive fat characters exist in fiction, particularly fat female characters. as a young fat girl growing up in the late 90s/early 00s, the only fat women i can remember having as role models in media were roseanne barr, queen latifah (particularly her role in chicago), and ursula from the little mermaid.

it’s ursula in particular i wanna talk about here, and why she means to much to me.

it’s true that fat characters, particularly fat women, are always villains/antagonists/negative characters. in this, ursula unfortunately follows suit. she’s a villain, she’s a bad person, she’s evil.

but she’s not evil BECAUSE she’s fat. and there are none (that i can remember) of the usual negative fat stereotypes: eats constantly, lazy, greedy, stupid, dirty/messy, desexualised. on the contrary, she’s active, and ambitious, uses sexual innuendo and is aware of sexual appeal (ie, telling ariel to use ~body language~ while moving suggestively). she’s loud and unapologetic, and never tries to shrink herself, she has an Iconic Disney Villain Song.

it only just occurred to me the other day another level to her that i feel explains further why i was so attached to her (in addition to her being a villain; i have always been attached to fictional villains, esp female villains). there’s a line in “poor unfortunate souls”: “…this one longing to be thinner, that one wants to get the girl, and do i help them? yes indeed.” this shows that ursula has the power to make herself thinner, and she doesn’t. she could make herself thin if she wanted to, and she chooses to be fat anyway.

she does have a thin, stereotypically pretty alter ego, vanessa, but being vanessa isn’t her goal. being vanessa is just a means to an end. she uses the vanessa character just to fuck with ariel.

so we’re shown that ursula 1) has the power to actually make herself thinner, and 2) has the power to appear and live as a thin woman for her life. she doesn’t do either.

the idea that a fat woman can live her life as she is, and not have to change into a thin women even if she could, is really really powerful messaging, especially for a young fat girl being programmed to hate herself and change herself into a thin person at all costs.

fat positive representation matters.

trans representation matter so much y'all??? do you know how amazing it’d be if trans characters and actors were portrayed in the media? do you know how much that’d matter to kids? seeing someone like them on screen? how much that’d matter to adults, who didn’t get to grow up with that kind of representation and be able to see it? do you know how much that’d mean to literally anyone who is trans or is questioning themselves? try and tell me that that wouldn’t be amazing

Dear child, you are beautiful.
Your skin is home to rich, plentiful melanin that radiates warmth. You are a product of the sun’s loving kisses. Your nose, lips, and eyes were passed down to you by queens of past, and should be praised as such. And when the magazines fail to show you anything other than pale and porcelain, I will tug your curls and remind you that just because your beauty is not mass-produced, does not mean it does not fill every space you enter.
 
Dear child, you matter.
Generations before you believed you were worth fighting for. They held signs in their hands and hope in their eyes and said, “we will march for them. They are the future.” You hold as much life in you as there ever was, and deserve to discover all that your life can be. And when you hear of yet another injustice and find me with tears running down your cheeks, I will kiss your nose and remind you of the love and strength you came from. I will march for you. You are the future.
—  “what every little black girl needs to hear.” // dionne sims

I haven’t fallen off. But I DID miss out on the squat bar because a pregnant lady wanted to use it to DEADLIFT as part of her power sets. As irritated as I was by the inconvenience. I tipped my invisible hat to her because she was PREGNANT doing deadlifts and power sets. Like do you know how hardcore that is!!! 💪💪💪💪

I have a confession to make..

Hi everybody, I’m a lesbian.

A lesbian who didn’t take Trans issues really seriously. 

The type of lesbian who would get kinda miffed at critiques of Kate Mckinnon’s trans-ignorant and phobic skits of the past, things she’s said, etc.

A lesbian who has a major crush on Wayhaught and watches loads of Supercorp videos in her free time.

A lesbian who’s added a lot of issues to my activism list: environmental action, money in politics, BLM, and yet not trans issues? like wtf?

Anyway what I want to say, is that I’ve been able to see how foolish and hurtful that lack of getting up in arms about trans rights, concerns, and hopes has been in my life and I want to attribute this change in me (and I hope, others) to a few things relating to representation because my god, it matters so. much. 

Things in the recent past that have made me reconsider my lack of gravitas towards trans issues #1, That Sense 8 Scene with Nomi and Amanita: 

This. Scene. It is just. SO. BEAUTIFUL!  I’m not going to explain it in depth, just go see it if you haven’t yet. God, positive representation matters so much. 

Item # 2 that totally shifted my mindset: The Degenderettes at San Francisco Pride. See clip below:

A post shared by Erika Lygren (@erikalygren) on Jun 26, 2017 at 10:34am PDT

I watched this over and over 10 times. Something about their visibility and marching just broke me. I teared at the “Trans Dykes are Good and Pure” sign, realizing the truth of that statement. These are kind, gentle people with feelings that get hurt just like other people, and all. the. time. thanks to the stupid transphobic and ignorant bullshit in the gay community and so much further discrimination from the straight community. We have so much to learn, and I should have gotten here earlier, but I’m glad I’m here now. 

What I want to say to all the trans dykes out there, from one lesbian to another, (you may already know this, but just incase you didn’t) is that just by existing, by being visible, fighting for people to see who you are, advocating for better representation, writing blog posts, or just plain living your daily life, I know for a fact that you are changing the world.  you’ve changed me. I know you’re changing others. Thank you. Thank YOU!

That. and sorry. I’m sorry we’ve not made you feel welcome in our community, in our spaces. I don’t expect this to change just with my one blog post, but I see a future in which you will not feel alienated and invisible in the very spaces you should be a part of! One! Day!

For the cis lesbian folks reading this, I just want to say: Trans issues are just as important as all the other issues people are fighting for in the world.  Their concerns and critiques are valid and REAL.  They are not trying to ruin our lesbian culture or the stereotypes we like to joke so often about, or anything like that. What they’ve been telling us for so long is that some things that we do and say, it hurts them. It really honestly hurts them. And we should listen. Because we sure as hell know what it’s like to not be understood. ;)

Love,

A sapphic chic. (reblog if you agree! thx)

#BoostAceVoices #BoostAroVoices

OKAY so it’s time! With all this a-spec confusion and hatred going around, I think it’s time to boost our voices so that more people can hear our stories about how we experience the world. This will hopefully help people to understand us better and will certainly increase our general representation on Tumblr, and perhaps elsewhere?

Please consider this a general request post asking for submissions/asks/links and anything else that I can share/publish on my blog under the hashtags #BoostAceVoices &/or #BoostAroVoices. Hopefully this will become a bit of a movement and maybe even go viral and we can finally get our stories out there.

PLEASE BOOST!!!! 

Feel free to tag any and all a-spec-friendly folks you know too! Let’s get the word out!!

Questions!!

Hey guys, sorry I’ve been MIA lately- I’ve been working on pre-production for my web series down in L.A. the past few days. I’ve got about half of my entire PLL post done at this point but in the meantime I have a few questions I’d love for you guys to answer if you could…

1. What is the LGBTQ+ community searching for in terms of media?

2. What key words do you use when searching for this content?