I was 13 years old, on a camping trip with my parents to Niagara Falls. This was the summer that I started to realize that I didn’t like dressing in girls clothes, I slowly started to wear my hair up instead of down, wearing t-shirts instead of dresses. I chose “boy” colors for my braces because pink made me uncomfortable. My parents both constantly questioned me the entire trip. “Why are you so quiet?” “Why are you so sad?” & I never had an answer until now. Looking back at these photos I remember how self conscious I felt about myself. I hated my body, my face, my voice, my hair. Everything. I thought I was unattractive & overweight. I didn’t understand that self-love could come from different places other than fitting into whatever the societal stereotype of that time was. But now I see that boy that was inside me all along when I see these photos, the one who so secretly wanted to be seen but didn’t know how. • Today I’m 21 years old & I’m proud to be him today. I’m proud that I’ve followed my heart to become who I’ve always wanted to be, even if I didn’t know it at the time. I’m proud to be living authentically the way I always should have. • I’m proud of all of you who have followed your hearts to be who you are. It’s one of the hardest things in the world to do, to be true to yourself in the face of judgement in a world that sometimes doesn’t understand us, but that’s okay because it’s their loss. Trans people are some of the bravest, strongest & most compassionate people I’ve ever met & I’m so proud to be a voice for my community ⚡️

Just a reminder that the Jewish people believe that ALL human beings are created in the Image of God INCLUDING Transgender and gender non-comforming folks.  We all have the same human rights, and all deserve to serve in our countries.

anonymous asked:

Do you think the homophobic slant to louis' marketing strategy ties in with his working class roots? 'Chav from Donny' is about as far from proud gay man as you can be in the eyes of the public. And the way he has been closeted has always had very ugly homophobic undertones.

I had a very strong reaction to this anon and to explain why I think I need to tell a story I’ve told before.  In 2014, the NZ Labour Party had an election for leader.  The candidates were all pretty terrible and much of a muchness from my point of view, although in Wellington a lot of people supported Grant Robertson, who is gay.  Supporters of the other main candidate - Andrew Little (who ended up winning) - would say things like “I’ve got no problem with Grant, but is the electorate ready for this?” A friend of mine argued, absolutely correctly, that this was as homophobic position as ‘I don’t want Grant to be leader because he’s gay”.

I don’t have a lot of time for people who put forward a deeply offensive idea and then suggest that they’re worried about that because of the eyes of the public.  I think it’s a dishonest way of promoting that hateful idea.  

And this anon is promoting an idea that I think is deeply hateful - that somehow football loving, tracksuit wearing, working-class man from up North is the opposite from a gay man (I’m not going to even go into what the word ‘proud’ is doing in that sentence - it upsets me too much).

You’re not alone anon - that idea is the subtext of so much of Larrie fans’ discussion of Louis and class and has been bubbling along especially vigorously as he does promo. 

The idea that “'Chav from Donny’ is about as far from proud gay man as you can be” is a dichotomy that fundamentally denies the humanity of working-class people and gay men. 

It’s also just flat out wrong - just so so wrong. Yes huge numbers of gay men have migrated to big cities for safety - but large parts of big city gay culture was working-class - it was the docks as much as it was Oscar Wilde.  And also large numbers of gay men stayed put.  Go look at Doncaster Pride. Working-class men have always had sex with each other. Read about ‘R’ - a gay man from Sheffield - and how he negotiated class and sexuality (everything Helen Smith has to say about this subject is fascinating).  

Class-hatred and homophobia have worked together to try and hide that history and that present - to pretend that gayness is not part of working-class culture and working-class culture is incompatible with gay men.  And every day again and again this fandom does that work of erasure to frantically fight against any way Louis portrays himself as working-class, as if that’s the only way to continue believe Louis is gay.

How about an understanding of class and sexuality based on ‘and’ rather than ‘or’? One that didn’t tell teenagers that they had to drop the culture of their youth and their friends because they want to have sex with other men.

I don’t know how Louis makes sense of all this - his life and identity are clearly very complex.  But I hope (and I think have reason to believe) that he doesn’t feel he has to choose.  That he can be proud of his hometown, his class background and sexuality. That he has integrated these things, even though many people who call themselves his fans refuse to.