she is such a beautiful human being

As I’ve mentioned before, I was raised in a strict Christian household. It was full of love, but it was also a house that didn’t like Ellen DeGeneres or Rosie O'Donnell simply because they were gay. A house that would turn off the tv when the lesbian episodes of Friends were on (while I ran to the tv in my room and pressed “mute” to see it). One that would roll their eyes at the idea of gay marriage. Parents that meant well and just went by what they were taught, wanting us to grow up with something to believe. I remember sobbing in high school, thinking they would absolutely kill me. Things slowly started changing when I was 16+.

My Mom was the one who asked if I was gay. She was my biggest supporter, my secret keeper, and the one I told everything to. My Dad? He went from not wanting me to come out, to protect me, to telling everyone he knows if they ask if I’m “dating any new guys” - because that’s simply who I am. In his words “why hide it? Who cares?”. My Mom came to me about Carol on her own, wanting to watch it to see the love story. When gay marriage was legalized, I called my Mom sobbing. She was sobbing with me, after yelling “YES! THANK GOD” in front of all of her friends.

After being raised to hate who I was, not even allowing it to be an option - to now, my Mother texting me just now saying “Do you have any more Human Rights Campaign stickers like you have on your car? I want one on mine”

Change is a beautiful thing. Believe in it and believe in people.

THAT’S parenting.

things some girls do that are cute

-scrunch up their nose when they smile/laugh

-long hair: put in ponytails. bonus if the ponytail bounces

-curly hair: just cute no matter what ?? 

-short hair: b e d h e a d

-running a hand through their hair absentmindedly when they’re thinking

-also having short hair but it’s kind of grown out past its shape so their hairs just really floppy

-wear clothes that are too big and the sleeves go over their hands

-flannel shirts

- b l u s h i n g

-get really excited about things they like and their whole face lights up when you mention it

-being happy

-love their pets a lot

-squint when doing makeup like it’s the most complicated thing ever because tbh it is

-sing/hum under their breath thinking no one can hear

-love their friends a lot

- ;) 

girls are such a blessing oh my g o d

It’s so sad to think that that pig took 5 years of Kesha’s life, half of her twenties, but she has risen and she’s back and she is a shining example of the tenacity of the human spirit. She has a fan for life in me and I am just overjoyed that she is back and making the music that she wants to. She is beautiful inside and out and I’m elated that she gets to DO HER JOB without being in the presence of an abuser. She has made history and she is hopefully an example for others in the music industry. Hats off to you Kesha Rose, we love you!!! Praying is an artistic achievement and highlight in her career and I can’t wait for Rainbow.

Who the signs are to you:

ARIES:

  • Aries: the person you don’t really know well, but you’re always having a great time going out together 
  • Taurus: that weirdo at work you just can’t get along with without any apparent reason 
  • Gemini: that from-time-to-time sex partner 
  • Cancer: your little sister you always have to protect from everyone 
  • Leo: shopping buddy 
  • Virgo: that one bitchy, arrogant chick you couldn’t stand at the first sight
  • Libra: future wife/husband 
  • Scorpio: that one ex you’ll always feel attracted to, even though it will never work out 
  • Sagittarius: crush 
  • Capricorn: that weird nerdy neighbour that looks quite lovely but you never spoke a word to them 
  • Aquarius: that one person that gets everything you want so much
  • Pisces: just a random useless person

TAURUS 

  • Aries: an annoying guy at work who gets all the credits you deserve
  • Taurus: your first love you’ll never forget
  • Gemini: that two-faced bitch you’re a little jealous of
  • Cancer: that person you’re not really best friends with but to whom you can always turn when you feel down
  • Leo: that hot guy you secretly crave
  • Virgo: a childhood friend that helped you become who you are now
  • Libra: your boss
  • Scorpio: your boyfriend/girlfriend
  • Sagittarius: crazy, odd creep that entertains you when you’re sad
  • Capricorn: bff!
  • Aquarius: your loving grandmother
  • Pisces: that one pervert you know who always makes you laugh 

GEMINI 

  • Aries: a huge crush you can’t get over no matter what you do
  • Taurus: high school desk neighbour
  • Gemini: the person you laugh the most with
  • Cancer: your one & only real love
  • Leo: drinking buddy
  • Virgo: that one annoying person that always sees through you not buying your lies like others do
  • Libra: that girl intriguing all the time
  • Scorpio: that bitch with a few kilogrammes makeup on you just can’t stand
  • Sagittarius: best travel partner you’ll ever have
  • Capricorn: your older brother
  • Aquarius: the person you know has a crush on, but you can’t relate, even though you’re enjoying this fact
  • Pisces: the one who does all your homework 

CANCER

  • Aries: you wish you had their confidence
  • Taurus: childhood neighbour
  • Gemini: your job partner who does all the work
  • Cancer: your opposite gender best friend, the prove that girl & boy can be just friends
  • Leo: they’re so beautiful, I wish I had a little of their beauty
  • Virgo: that person that tries to make you believe in how amazing you are
  • Libra: that weird person who never talks but you somehow still hang out with them
  • Scorpio: that one person who talks so sarcastically that you can’t understand if they’re being serious or not
  • Sagittarius: that annoying bitch bullying you all the time
  • Capricorn: that one person you will always like even though it doesn’t work out between you
  • Aquarius: how can you be so arrogant?
  • Pisces: best friend 

LEO 

  • Aries: slaying together!
  • Taurus: that one friend you’re trying to make more social, ‘cause they’re actually pretty cool, but they just prefer to Netflix & chill at home
  • Gemini: that one sarcastic but charming guy you like, but they keep making fun of your attitude
  • Cancer: your spiritually obsessed uncle
  • Leo: your wingman who always steals your girls in the end
  • Virgo: that silent friend who gets crazy as hell when drunk
  • Libra: your personal clown, basically entertaining you through life
  • Scorpio: the only person that knows how to handle your ego, but you can’t trust them, ‘cause they have some kind of power over you
  • Sagittarius: cooking partner
  • Capricorn: your older, smarter sister, but you’re always beating her in being popular & hot
  • Aquarius: the only person you will fall in love with for real
  • Pisces: your boss who’s way too easy to manipulate

VIRGO 

  • Aries: that one guy who gets all the girls you like because they’re hot & charming, but you’re just a shy potato 
  • Taurus: an actual friend
  • Gemini: that one person you feel kind of alike with but you still just don’t like them 
  • Cancer: your boo
  • Leo: that girl you thought was your best friend but she has like 5 other best friends and so you feel somehow friendship wise heartbroken
  • Virgo: that fling you had on a holiday but it was so good you won’t ever forget them
  • Libra: I wish I was as creative & adorable as they are
  • Scorpio: your wife who’s gonna leave you in the end ‘cause she will realise how different you are after 10 years of marriage
  • Sagittarius: that hot girl you totally have a crush on but she’s out of your league, ‘cause well, you’re still a potato
  • Capricorn: the only friend who actually knows how to deal with your weirdnesses and phobias
  • Aquarius: your psychologist 
  • Pisces: a girl you get perfectly along with, but can’t really understand why, because you’re so different

LIBRA

  • Aries: partner in crime
  • Taurus: your beauty idol you always try to copy
  • Gemini: only you can understand both of their faces
  • Cancer: that lovely person having so much bad luck that you always feel sorry for them
  • Leo: that flowers obsessed relative
  • Virgo: your neighbour 
  • Libra: that one boring person that always asks you to go out. You know it’s gonna be boring but can’t say no, 'cause they are actually really nice
  • Scorpio: that person you’re inhumanly attracted to 
  • Sagittarius: fiancé(e) that’s gonna leave you at the altar 
  • Capricorn: fiancé(e) that’s gonna marry you
  • Aquarius: long lost half sister who turns out to be really cool 
  • Pisces: the shoulder to cry on from time to time

SCORPIO 

  • Aries: a huge crush who doesn’t really like you back but you keep trying, even though you know it’s gonna hurt
  • Taurus: your favourite singer
  • Gemini: the best person to have late night conversations with
  • Cancer: a lovely family member you will always support
  • Leo: that bitch needing attention all the time but you’re too busy being self-absorbed
  • Virgo: the sign that 90% of your crushes are
  • Libra: your best freaking sex partner ever 
  • Scorpio: childhood love that never really faded
  • Sagittarius: that one cheater boyfriend you somehow forgive over and over again 
  • Capricorn: your daughter you can act like best friends with
  • Aquarius: unexplainably undesirable person 
  • Pisces: best friend you never dare getting in a romantic relationship with because you know you’ll hurt them

SAGITTARIUS 

  • Aries: your modelling partner 
  • Taurus: that stubborn little shit always trying to ruin your life
  • Gemini: you don’t know it yet but they’re the love of your life 
  • Cancer: that person with an amazing taste in music so you can’t stop admiring it
  • Leo: drinking buddy
  • Virgo: your favourite actor  
  • Libra: your make up artist
  • Scorpio: your witch neighbour, you don’t believe she actually is one but she scares you anyway somehow
  • Sagittarius: best travel buddy 
  • Capricorn: that gloomy person, you never what they are actually thinking 
  • Aquarius: on/off relationship 
  • Pisces: that one person always trying to joke but has an awful sense of humour

CAPRICORN 

  • Aries: your female friend that is amazingly beautiful & kind but just doesn’t believe it and all you do is trying to build up a little confidence in her
  • Taurus: your gay best friend
  • Gemini: lovely & interesting person to spend time with without any real trust
  • Cancer: that one adorable human being you will always wonder about like: how can you be so lovely & innocent?
  • Leo: that one bitch always trying to ruin your life, making drama around you now and then
  • Virgo: that person you get along with perfectly, you understand each other without words, you absolutely love them, but you’ll always stay friends because there’s a lack of physical attraction 
  • Libra: they want you.
  • Scorpio: a fling
  • Sagittarius: that person you like somehow but it never comes to a real relationship, they seem not to notice you the right way
  • Capricorn: YOUR ONE AND ONLY SOULMATE
  • Aquarius: that annoying relative always judging you
  • Pisces: that one fake ass ex you’ll never forgive yourself dating

AQUARIUS 

  • Aries: a friend that always manages to cheer you up
  • Taurus: that lovely person you always wanted to get to know, but you have no idea how to start a conversation
  • Gemini: just… bae
  • Cancer: head up, your crown is falling. Oh wait, which crown?
  • Leo: your most beautiful friend. she’s the only one allowed to be more beautiful than you are
  • Virgo: your long-lost child
  • Libra: that one friend that lives on the other side of the world but you stay friends no matter what
  • Scorpio: a person that life always puts as an interference to you, so you end up hating them
  • Sagittarius: that one relative you never meet ‘cause they’re always travelling
  • Capricorn: that one friend that seems completely heartless to you
  • Aquarius: a bitch you’re always competing with 
  • Pisces: you fell in love with their kindness

PISCES 

  • Aries: wait… who? 
  • Taurus: that one person who protects you in difficult situations every time
  • Gemini: they seem so lovely why can’t they stop bullying me?
  • Cancer: cry buddy
  • Leo: that person with a huge heart, it isn’t obvious at first sight but you can trust them with anything
  • Virgo: future husband you will finally feel secure with 
  • Libra: they are so beautiful you can’t help falling in love with them 
  • Scorpio: gossip girl friend 
  • Sagittarius: stupid high school buddy 
  • Capricorn: your long-term love that you can’t forget 
  • Aquarius: that married guy you can’t stop wanting
  • Pisces: bestie

mlaynelawson: Throwback to one of my (many) favorite photos from the TRP shoot in #Toronto a couple of weeks ago. I don’t think this was planned – the silent shutter was enabled on my camera and we were just talking. #inbetweentakes  [x]

Some Thoughts: Storm in the Room

With the reactions post-Storm in the Room, I feel that Steven doesn’t get enough credit. Going to Rose’s Room, searching for answers, and comfort even though he didn’t know that yet, Steven wasn’t setting out to create a perfect mother or project himself the ideal version of Rose. He starts, the moment he enters the room, by saying he knew it wasn’t real.

Everything Steven did with Cloud Rose, everything that happened between them, were reasonable assumptions we could make of Rose. And this is because the Rose we saw was from Steven’s expectations of what she would be like. And Steven was wary about idealising Rose the way the Crystal Gems did. He says this explicitly several times. Also, Steven’s view of Rose was tempered early on by Greg’s stories of her. 

So the Rose we see isn’t a sad Steven’s attempt at finding the perfect mother figure. Steven’s attempt at a reasonable and believable portrayal of Rose deserves to be acknowledged. Had it not been the case, the Rose we saw could not have evoked the feelings she did. It’s because of the depth Steven introduced to her from all his memories of her that it was made possible.

And what I want to talk about in this post, is how the images of Rose reflect which narratives he’s channeling as he tries to piece together, quite literally, the image of Rose.

The first appearance of Cloud Rose shows her with messy hair, parts of it stick up and around her. Her facial expressions are often wiggly, for lack of better word, and she shows her thighs a lot more than in the succeeding scenes, either in cross-sitting or running. 

This Rose is goofy and funny and casual. And it’s the Rose whom Greg’s stories have constructed in Steven’s memories. 

The same scenes we see Rose hitch up her dress in the same way (such as when she’s reading books with Greg on the bed) or similarly goofy, like stopping a ferris wheel with her bare hands, she’s with Greg. 

Even the line Steven takes from her video in Lion 3: Straight to Video, about “every X being unique and beautiful” is shot in Greg’s presence. Without realising it, Steven is remembering this image of Rose.

And she cares about Steven. She engages in his interests. It’s not so far a stretch because some episodes back, Bismuth was willing to do the same thing. Rose was a fun person. There’s a running joke that she would have loved cheesy and corny jokes. She probably told a few in her day. 

She probably wasn’t always as poised as presented in her portrait. Greg remembers the Rose he changed, when she was starting to understand human beings in earnest and come to terms with how they could exist with gems on the same level. 

Rose at that point still didn’t want to talk about her past, and Greg never made her. So Greg and Rose made new memories and didn’t dwell on the old. And those memories were filled with fun and laughter and love.

The moment sobers when it is Rose not Steven, who gestures the latter to sit down and stare at the expanse of clouds.

And we should know that what we’re about to see means something has changed. The first hint is that Rose’s body language changes. She sits perfectly straight, even though she’s cross-sitting the way she was earlier. And we don’t see her legs anymore. Her hair neatens and her expression calms.

What’s more, her hands assume the position Garnet did in Here Comes A Thought in Mindful Education. And that emphasises the kind of role Rose plays in this moment. Steven felt Rose taught Garnet how to manage her feelings, because it was a motherly thing to do. In a very Steven Universe fashion, the music changes from the bright xylophone to a quiet piano music, which is the mark of another Crystal Gem, Pearl. 

And when we go back to the senior Crystal Gems and their image of Rose, it is exactly the way she’s presented.

Cloud Rose is a huge presence, with Steven a small child by her side. She speaks deliberately, every word is one of wisdom. She is magnanimous and comforting at the same time. 

She tells him, “But we’ve been together the entire time.” And it brings back the idea of how our parents are always with us, and a part of us, because one way or another they’ve left a mark on us.

At the same time though, the similarities of the scenes between this moment and the one at Rose’s Fountain in An Indirect Kiss, lead to the same end.

Rose is viewed as a godly icon, very distant from Steven. She’s not sitting beside him, playing with him, kneeling on the ground anymore. He looks up to her, and he can’t reach her.

In both times, he realises she’s not really there. That he talked to the statue of Rose in the fountain, confided his deepest insecurities about how he didn’t know how to feel about her when everyone else did, parallels the empty image on his phone.

And it segues into the next scene perfectly.

Because Steven doesn’t know how to feel about Rose. Now, he’s more certain than ever that he doesn’t even know who she is. The Rose we see at the end has a blank face, because Steven can’t project anything on it. He’s thinking of Pink Diamond’s shattering, Bismuth, and the Rebellion, and all the people hurt by them.

When he sees Rose, he can no longer see himself, which is why her eyes, one of the facial features most like Steven’s, (next to his nose) are nowhere to be seen.

And this Rose is distant, because there’s no mitigating narrative linking him to her. In the other scenes, the room remained the same, because these stories he was told of Rose and who she was firmly rooted the first two Roses as part of the real Rose’s identity.

This Rose is foreign, because nowhere in those narratives did Steven think it possible to for her to do the things he learned she did.

And in that moment he begins to doubt. 

Because he can no longer see the image of his mother, he doesn’t know where he himself stands. A huge part of his identity is being Rose’s son. What happens when the “Rose” part becomes fuzzy, blurry, and unintelligible?

What happens to the Steven?

Notice that this Rose is silent. She offers no response to the accusations Steven hurls at her, about all the people she hurt and her act of leaving them all behind. 

At this point, we see the part of Steven that understands Rose is gone. That he’s never going to get these answers and there won’t be an explanation coming from her.

There are some things he’ll never get to hear about, some memories he’ll never know, some experiences he’ll never share with her.

And it’s sad and disheartening and lonely. In losing his idea of Rose, Steven loses a part of his identity. Such that he felt it would be better if he denounced Rose, cutting off the part of himself he didn’t want to think about: That he was created just to fix her mistakes.

It’s then that we see Rose’s face for the first time since we’ve entered the paradigm of Rose-through-Steven’s eyes. Not Greg’s, not the Crystal Gem’s. Because these new things he’s learned about Rose are things the others would never have known without him. How else would they have heard the Diamond’s song of mourning? How would they have known Bismuth was there all along?

And the things Rose said in the tape were meant for Steven, in a space only Steven could find.

The Rose speaking to Steven at the end is the Rose who’s already spoken to Steven directly before, through the tape.

A lot of negative reaction has been given to this moment, because it feels as though the tape absolves Rose of everything she’s done. It doesn’t and I don’t feel that was the point.

The point of her saying that, was to reaffirm Steven’s belief in Steven. To show that it wasn’t about Rose anymore, that Steven’s birth wasn’t about Rose but about him.

And it’s striking that’s the only time we see her face again. Because immediately after, Steven hugs her, and her face is obscured. 

That’s Steven’s recognition that he’s never going to hear any other words straight from his mother for him. He understands and he realises that nonetheless, Rose is exerting a presence in his life. He really is always with her and never alone. 

The past few episodes and everything leading up to them were about Steven’s realising his mother was still an individual, one who could made mistakes and rash, selfish decisions. 

He was afraid that upon realising his mother could be a selfish individual, could do huge selfish things that affected thousands of lives, he feared the act of his birth, the most personal thing about him, was meant to serve her self-interests alone too. He needed a concrete and tangible answer, which was what prompted him to go to the room. 

At the end of the episode, he didn’t think that anymore. He knows he has a lot of work ahead in figuring out Rose’s place in his life, but the lingering doubt of the very foundation of his existence is gone.

And because of that, he finally feels comfortable letting her go.

signs you love her

1. you think she is beautiful even when she has acne all over her face and hair tied in a messy bun. you think she looks hot when she tries to be mad at you for being too hard on your self. you think she looks better than most of the human population and you think she looks best when she’s in your arms professing her love for you between sips of that bitter vodka you bought her.

2. you can’t stop thinking about her brown eyes, short black straight hair and freckled pointed nose. you can’t stop thinking of how her lips would feel against yours right this instance. you can’t stop thinking about how perfect her breasts feel in your hands. you can’t stop thinking about the late night conversation you had with her. you just can’t stop thinking about her even when you’re sipping coffee at starbucks, even when you’re watching a horror movie, even when you’re in class studying discrete math.

3. you know when she is angry, or when she is pissed at you for talking about other girls. you know what she likes to eat when she is on her period. you know when she is upset about that paper that she turned in late to her professor. you know she likes to be the centre of your attention always. you know she smiles when you hold her hand firmly in public. you know she bites her nails when she’s stressed out. you know her inside out.

4. you smile like a crazy man when you see her. you smile when someone says her name. you smile when you see a text message from her. you smile when you’re around her. you smile when people say you look good together. you smile when someone tells you she looks beautiful, like its a compliment for you and not her. you smile when she tells you she loves you. you smile when she tells you she loves to be your girl. you smile all day like an idiot and you smile until someone tells you to stop smiling because she’s not even around.

5. you talk about her to everyone, to your mom, to your bestfriend, to your room mate. you tell them everything about her. you tell them about how you read this tumblr post and it made you think of her. you tell them she’s perfect, not because of how she looks, or how smart she is, or how well she writes but because she’s yours. and only yours. you tell them how you don’t date a nine, but always a fucking ten, so yeah you tell everyone how and why she is a perfect ten.

[For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write ‘love letters’ to the LGBTQ community. Below, Brendon Urie, frontman of Panic! at The Disco and star of Kinky Boots on Broadway, shares his.]

Love is beautiful. I know this because of my fans. They have shown me countless times what it means to accept someone for who they are. That is pure love. The last tour we just finished was the most inspiring I’ve ever been a part of.

During “Girls/Girls/Boys” fans would hold up brightly colored paper hearts against their phone lights to show their support of a community they may or may not have even been a part of. But this showed me that we ARE a part of the same community: Human beings.

I recently received a letter from one fan in particular named Vivian. She professed her gratitude for the concert and especially this incredible moment of love. It had given her the courage to be herself and admit to her parents who she felt she was. I can think of no greater gifts than love and acceptance.

So I want to say thank you. Thank you to all of you for being who you are. You’re beautiful and I love you. (x)

Todrick Hall speaks out about Taylor Swift video backlash

Yahoo Music: So when some people saw you dancing in “Look What You Made Me Do,” they were not pleased, to put it mildly. What exactly happened?

Todrick Hall: They saw a clip, just a few seconds, that featured Taylor Swift standing in a line of dancers, and they started forming all types of conclusions. I was just very confused by that, because I knew that there was nothing “Formation”-esque or Lemonade-esque about the video. Artistically, I didn’t feel that was the case. I’m a humongous Beyoncé fan. I’ve worked with Beyoncé. I’ve choreographed for Beyoncé. And I would never intentionally be a part of art that I felt was ripping off my favorite artist of all time. But I felt like these were two completely different lanes.

“Sellout” was one of the common names you were called.

Yes, one of the main things that people said was, “He wanted to make his money. Well, good for him, he got paid. And I guess payment is enough for you to sell out your family, your people, your community.” But this had nothing to do with money. I didn’t do this Taylor Swift video for money. I did it because she’s my friend, and she was very excited about it. And she wanted people to be there who she could trust, because it was a very big undertaking. I was proud to be there, but money was not a factor for me. I don’t do things for money.

But there are people online who have a problem with the fact in general that you and Taylor are friends?

Yes, I have gotten comments from people who are upset and have literally said the fact that I am friends with a white person is a problem, because white people don’t possess the ability to love or ever truly care about black people. And I find that very disheartening. I’ve grown up in a neighborhood where I went to church with and lived with and went to school with beautiful black people; when I look at them, I see myself. But then I was also in a peculiar situation, because I danced in a dance group where I was the only black person in the dance studio. In some cases, I was the only black cheerleader in my school. I did theater where I was the only black person, the “token black person.” And working at Disney, oftentimes I was the only black person in the show at Disney World or Disneyland on any given day. And I also did tours where I was the only black singer; I did a cruise ship where I was the only black person in the cast. So I’ve been used to being in situations where I’ve had to find friendships and find love and find similarities. My whole brand, everything that I stand for and everything I’ve always stood for, is equality and love. So it’s just really difficult for me to understand why it is an issue for people, a legitimate issue, that I have white friends, and that Taylor Swift happens to be one of my many white friends.

Apparently there’s a thing called the “cookout,” which is like your invitation to be a part of the black community. Some people have, like, deemed themselves the Woke Police, and they decide to strip you online of your invitation to attend the “cookout.” It boggles my mind that people are deciding whether or not I’m down enough, black enough, or woke enough to be “invited.” If I have to hate people and judge people based on their race, sexual orientation, or religion, then sorry, but I’d rather order pizza.

What is Taylor really like? Describe your bond.

What people are mostly forgetting is that Taylor Swift really is my friend. Sometimes because she is a celebrity of such a huge status, inarguably one of the biggest stars of our generation, people forget that there is a human side to her, that she has real friends that she calls and talks to about her real problems. And I call her, and I have cried on her shoulder about my own relationship issues and family issues and career issues. We are friends, and so when she asked me to do this video, I said absolutely. It wasn’t a question for me. I trust her, and I had no problem doing the video. And I just think that it’s really sad and shocking that me doing four eight-counts of choreography is enough to make people feel the need to question my “blackness” or “wokeness.”

Taylor came to see me in Kinky Boots and she stayed after the show for two hours and met every single person in that cast — took pictures, signed stuff, met every usher, every custodian, every orchestra member, every producer and their kids. And then she went outside and met fans outside the theater afterwards, stayed there for over two and a half hours after the show and wouldn’t leave until every single person had been met. There are just very few celebrities in the world who would do something like that. She didn’t have to do that. She could’ve come to the show, said hi to me, and left. That’s just what type of person she is, and what type of person she’s always been. Her parents raised her so well, and when you’re in the room with them, you can feel that energy.

It just is shocking to me that people will see an image of her and hear stories online about her, or arguments with other celebrities who she did not ask to be involved with, who recorded her against her will without her knowing and then decided to release six-second clips of a conversation that happened to paint her to be this evil person that I don’t believe that she is. Come on, we’ve watched millions of episodes of Law & Order or seen Judge Judy a million times; how are they not able to conclude that there is something missing from this? If you feel the need to record someone on video with people there, the intentions may not have been the most pure.

Some of the criticism Taylor has received recently has to do with the fact that she has not been politically outspoken in past years, like some of her peers Katy Perry or Lady Gaga.

Yeah, many people have been tweeting me, “She supports Trump! She probably voted for Trump!” They’re making this huge assumption, when Taylor has never to my knowledge come out and said anything about her being pro-Trump. But people would still rather believe that she is the one who is pushing Trump’s agenda. That was one of the major things that was tweeted at me, and I’m like, “So you are mad that you think she might support Donald Trump? But you’re not mad that Kanye has been very openly pro-Trump?” I don’t understand that.

Look, I’m not Taylor Swift, so I can’t speak for her and why she does or does not choose to speak or not speak about any specific subject matter. All I know is that she has been nothing but a great person to me. Her family has welcomed me into their home and treated me like I was a member of the family. They’ve welcomed every single person I’ve ever brought around them. I’ve never felt like there was ever a moment that I couldn’t be myself, and talk about the fact that I’m gay or whatever. At Thanksgiving, we all sat around and talked about it, and there was another one of her friends there who was African-American, and we all sat down and talked about racism and watched 13th on Netflix and talked about how important it was. It was one of the most beautiful conversations I’ve ever had, because sometimes as an African-American person I feel like I can’t voice my opinion about how difficult it is to be not just an African-American person in the entertainment industry, but how scary it is to be black in America, in even 2017.

When it comes to Taylor, all I know is that she has been a sweet, amazing human being to me. When she calls me, it’s hardly ever to talk about her accomplishments or things that she’s going through. She calls me and says, “How’s your heart? Are you OK?” I’ve been around her an awful lot, and if it were some type of crazy, fake façade, I think I would have figured it out by now. I feel like it’s a genuine part of who she is, and she’s a human being. Has she made mistakes? Yes. Will she make mistakes again? Yes. But let the person in America who has not made mistakes raise their hand.

I think that I’m on my own journey; every artist is on their own journey. Maybe one day, Taylor will start being super-political, and using her voice to do thing that people think that she should be doing. But even then, she will probably be ridiculed for not being vocal enough, or not being on the right side. I don’t think that there is a way to win in this industry, so every person has to take their own journey at their own pace, at their own time, and do what they feel like is right. All I know is that Taylor has been nothing but sweet to me since day one, and if she asks me to do a video, I’m absolutely going be there.

I’m not apologizing for being a part of the video and doing four eight-counts of choreography in it. I thought it was a great piece of art. I thought it was awesome. It’s broken so many records and I’m proud to be a part of it. I don’t think I’ve sold out my race or my community — the gay community, the black community. I think that I was just in a piece of art that my friend made. I’m not issuing a statement to people about it to explain myself, because there’s nothing to explain. I’m not sorry that I did it, and I don’t think that it was a mistake. If I had a do-over, I would absolutely be there for another eight hours, in heels, dancing with her.

Is Taylor aware of the heat you’ve gotten for being in her video?

I have talked to her about it, and she has been very uplifting and given me a lot of information about how when you’re doing big things, there will always be people who have something to say about it. But I think that Beyoncé gave me the best advice when I met her. She said, “Don’t scroll down. Don’t go down and look at comments, and when you do something as an artist, make a decision and stick to it. You don’t need to apologize for things that you’ve done.” I use that all the time.

You have gotten this sort of criticism before.

Yeah. In the beginning, it was because I did videos based on stereotypes of a particular group that put people in a negative light. And so I took those notes, because I consider myself to be a humble person, and I tried to apply them, and tried to do less work on my YouTube channel that stereotyped people, less work that stereotyped my race as being “ghetto” or “ratchet,” because I did understand the argument. I think it’s a really difficult thing when you toe the line with comedy, because there are certain things that some people are going to think is funny, but then some people are always going to be offended. The political climate has changed so much over the past months since Donald Trump became president, and it has just been a very scary place to create content online. So I tried to do whatever I can to create content that everyone can love and that is inclusive of everybody.

It’s just something that I deal with every day. I wrote an album about my life [Straight Outta Oz], about how I fell in love at 19 years old with a boy who was British and who just happened to be white. I wrote a song called “Color,” and in the song I say the line, “You’re my favorite hue.” What I meant by that when I wrote the song was it’s supposed to be a direct relation to the 1939 Wizard of Oz film, and then everything turns to color when Dorothy gets to Oz. I felt like my whole world was black and white before I met this person. But people took that as that white was my favorite color, and that was what I preferred. People have assumed that am the type of person that refuses to date people of my own race or associate with people of my own race. Which, I don’t feel the need to prove to them that I have in fact dated multiple black men and Puerto Rican, Latino men. I’m an equal opportunist when it comes to love. I think everyone is beautiful. You fall in love with a person, not the outer layer of skin.

It’s really frustrating because I don’t think that people realize that when I got to L.A., I lived in not a great neighborhood. A policeman drove up onto a sidewalk, got out of the car, pushed my face on the ground, put my hands on my back, pulled a gun out on me. I have never felt so scared in my entire life. I have witnessed so many things like that. It’s very difficult for me to go and spend time in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood without the cops being called on me, because people don’t know why I’m there and they think I look suspicious. I have had a lot of issues and dealt with racism in the same capacity as a lot of other people. I have written so many songs, even on Straight Outta Oz, about the Black Lives Matter movement, because it’s something that I’m very passionate about. It’s something that I definitely use my voice and my platform to speak out against. So it’s frustrating that people who have never met me in person like to make huge, incorrect assumptions about me and go and scream them and yell them from the rooftops online.

I just strongly feel that if we can’t get along within our own race, and have to point fingers and yell at people who we think don’t have our back when we don’t know anything about them — we haven’t listened to the facts, we haven’t seen the footage, there are no receipts to show that this person is not a proud African-American person who isn’t down to fight for equality for everyone’s sake — if we fight with each other so much that we’re tearing down our own race and our own community, how does that make us any better than the people in Charlottesville, carrying the tiki torches? How are we any better than those people, and how are we ever going to meet in the middle and finally be able to say, “Let’s be one unified group of people”? I just don’t understand how it’s possible, and that what makes me so upset.

Online outrage is at an all-time high right now, for sure. Everyone is on edge.

I think that we’ve got to figure out a way within our own community to stop tearing people down and stop making assumptions and looking for reasons to be mad. I don’t know what is happening in the world right now, but now is a scary time. People are looking for someone to blame and someone to point fingers at. I don’t think that Taylor Swift is the problem with America right now. People can try to make that be the issue, but there is a much bigger issue here in our country that we need to look at and recognize, and figure out what we can do to be a part of making the world a better place, to be nice and sweet and kind to each other, and to realize that racism is a huge horrible thing that has kept a lot of people down.

But I think it’s going to take every race, every minority, every gay person, every trans person, every straight person, waking up and realizing that we can’t do this alone. We can’t divide into our own little sections and decide that we’re going to secretly hate each other and be mad if one person goes over and shakes the hand of somebody on the other team. We all need to be one team. We all have to go out and extend an olive branch to each other and try to help each other out and try to build one another up. That’s the only way that we can be successful. That’s the only way that we can make this world the beautiful place that God created it to be. Spread love, and love each other. That’s what I try to do.

Did you engage with any of your online critics about this video?

I gave no negative tweets, didn’t argue with people on social media, had nothing to say to them. But I even went so far as to give somebody my phone number online so they could call me and said, “If you feel I’ve done something that’s offended you, or if you could shed some light on as to how me being involved with this video or being friends with Taylor Swift — other than the fact that she is white and you feel that she is the epitome of white privilege, the poster child for white privilege … If there’s anything you can do to shed some light to me as to how I can be a better example for young African-American kids growing up, then I would love to talk to you on the phone.” And I meant it. And I talked to them, and I felt like we came to a good place. I’m a humble person; I’m not opposed to taking constructive criticism.

There was a time two years ago where I would’ve damn near gotten carpal tunnel because I would’ve stayed up all night trying to argue back and forth [on Twitter], thinking, “What would Regina George do?” Now I’m adopting the policy, “What would Beyoncé do?” So I’m going to kill all these people with kindness. I’m going to be nice to them, and I’m just going to prove to them, one by one when they meet me, what type of person I am. Support my friends, be nice to people, and do what I have to do to be a good human being and play my part in society and in this crazy political climate.

Obviously I’m not diminishing the horrible things that have happened to get us to this point, but at this point we have a choice to either band together and fight and talk about the real issues and the real problems, and Taylor Swift is not the problem. If we can all accept the fact that there is a bigger problem and start having dialogue and talking to each other — not just with the people that it’s comfortable for us to talk to, our own people and people who look like us, but to people who might not understand where we’re coming from or what we’ve been through — then we might get closer to making this world a unified place, the way that Michael Jackson sang about in his songs and in his music. While I know that is not the theme of “Look What You Made Me Do,” I do believe that is the theme of Taylor Swift’s heart and the person that she truly is on a personal level.

(x)

Thank you, Dany.
—  can we talk about how freaking PERSONAL that was?! I really don’t remember ANYONE who would speak to Dany with such straightforwardness and gentleness!
Khal Drogo always called her either ‘Khaleesi’ or ‘Moon of his Life’, Jorah or Daario - ‘Khaleesi’ or ‘Your Grace’. They all treated her like a Queen (who she obviously is).
And here we have Jon Snow. A man who loved once but has tragically lost his beloved. He knows the feeling of loss better than anyone and now he sees this powerful woman going through something heartbreaking. He feels responsible for it and wants to comfort her. Not because he has to.
He may know Dany for a short amount of time but already feels emotionally attached to her (and vice versa ;) ).
Jon sees more than just the Heir to the Iron Throne.
He sees a human being with the surface of a strong and beautiful woman.

“don’t kill flowers growing inside of you for someone who doesn’t appreciate  the way you bloom.”  iambrillyant

“How strong you are, to go through Hell on Earth, and still smile and carry yourself like you’re in Heaven.”   Maxwell Diawuoh 

“Now, let me be, let me not want for another. Let me fall in love with the curves and edges of my own body and soul. Let me plant a garden in my heart, and let it spring forth in a blanket of décor.” @prolixen

“I’m not going to let anyone steal or destroy who I’m meant become.” @riffatmatinpoetry

“she was a single drop of the ocean, but she moved with the force of a
tsunami” @a-pen-and-some-words

“You are damaged and broken and unhinged. But so are shooting stars and comets.” —  Shooting Stars and Comets | Nikita Gill

“some people are artists. some, themselves are art.” @ever-blooming

“ And don’t you ever feel like you are a summary of other people’s opinions. If anything, you’re an unfinished book, and you decide who you let co-write.” —  k.h. 1.04 am @evolvement

“Even all the grandest things in life were once something lesser than what they are today.” —  It’s okay to start with rubble, castles were built on less / A.G @abasnails

“be softer with you. you are a breathing thing. a memory to someone. a home to a life” —  Nayyirah Waheed

“ People who only wish to stifle your bloom, do not belong in your garden.” —  Upile. @odetopablo

“We will always be something. Because Darling, we were never nothing.” —  Sarn @sarncobin

“The real beauty of being human is knowing that whether something destroys or strengthens you is completely your choice.” @i-wrotethisforme 

“She stopped being your Icarus. And she became her own sun.” —  cynthia go // Sun [85/365]

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” —  Rumi @wearefearfullyandwonderfullymade

“ i was not made with fire in my belly so i could be put out i was not made with lightness on my tongue so i could be easy to follow” —  from Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

“some women fear the fire some women simply become it…”—  r.h. sin

“The body changes over time, becoming a gallery of scars, a canvas of experience, a testament to life and one’s capacity to endure it.”—  Janet Fitch, Paint It Black

“And for me, you are the best piece of art of this collection called humans.” —  NALK @notalostkid 

“Your roots do not determine the beauty of your blossom.”—  Sage S. 

- Afterword

This is for all the rainy days. they are not necessarily quotes from artist or famous people (actually most of them are from the spilled ink section of tumblr), but they are words that had made me feel better. I hope this helps + please check out the poet’s blogs! Those people are amazing and deserve so much recognition for what they do. (please tell me if anyone want their poem taken down !!!)

LGBTQ+ Movies of 2016: Part 1

First Girl I Loved

Seventeen-year-old Anne just fell in love with Sasha, the most popular girl at her LA public high school. But when Anne tells her best friend Clifton - who has always harbored a secret crush - he does his best to get in the way.

Heartstone (Hjartasteinn)

A remote fishing village in Iceland. Teenage boys Thor and Christian experience a turbulent summer as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend. When summer ends and the harsh nature of Iceland takes back its rights, it’s time to leave the playground and face adulthood.

Teenage Kicks

Seventeen year old Miklós Varga’s plans to escape his migrant family and run away with his best friend Dan are crushed by the accidental death of his older brother Tomi. Only Mik knows the events that led to this tragedy, and he is suddenly forced to navigate his guilt and explosive sexuality to find the man he can become.

The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi)

1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, a new girl (Sookee) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress (Hideko) who lives a secluded life on a large countryside estate with her domineering Uncle (Kouzuki). But the maid has a secret. She is a pickpocket recruited by a swindler posing as a Japanese Count to help him seduce the Lady to elope with him, rob her of her fortune, and lock her up in a madhouse. The plan seems to proceed according to plan until Sookee and Hideko discover some unexpected emotions.

Being 17 (Quand on a 17 ans)

Damien lives with his mother Marianne, a doctor, while his father is on a tour of duty abroad. He is bullied by Thomas, whose mother is ill. The boys find themselves living together when Marianne invites Thomas to come and stay with them.

Don’t Call Me Son (Mãe Só Há Uma)

After discovering the truth about being stolen by the woman he thought was his mother as a child, Pierre (AKA Felipe) must deal with the consequences of his mother’s actions and must try to cope with his biological family.

I Love Her

A young street musician girl must conquer her own fears and ghosts from the past, including the social influences of Ukraine, where she has grown up, in order to admit her feelings for a beautiful deaf-mute girl.

Moonlight

A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5