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Why Gay Rights?

As someone who happens to be gay himself, I obviously have a good reason to want my rights respected and recognized. But let’s go back to you. You may not happen to be gay (it’s cool if you are) but why don’t you imagine a world where all straight people are just gay and all gay people are just straight? Confusing right? By this, I just want you to imagine being in the minority for once, when it comes to sexual orientation/gender identity that is, and having to fight for your rights to be recognized. You may be a straight Atheist, Christian, Muslim, and being gay might be against your religion, but the point is that you wouldn’t like it either if your right to express yourself, beliefs, and identity was suppressed — at least not if you’re in any sense human that is. That’s how we feel every day as individuals who live in the less tolerant “flyover” states here in America, and probably moreso at other places like the Caribbean, Asia, or Africa! “Traditional values”, to us, don’t matter when we have to fight to even our deaths just to make sure that those like us will finally be recognized as human beings and not the “sinners” or “demons” that rightist ultra-conservative groups like to label us as being.


For us, this is our civil rights movement, our anti-apartheid movement, our Arab Spring, our suffrage movement, our Civil War! And it is so important that we have our straight allies and allies within our own possibly oppressed and ostracized communities. And yes, we are gaining a lot of traction, a hella lot, more than many of us could’ve thought of and more than I could’ve ever dreamed back when I was in the closet just a few years ago! But still, we need more work, a larger effort, and more allies. We need YOU! Whether you’re gay or straight, cis or trans, man or woman, or whoever you are, we need you as an ally for our rights, EVERYWHERE! Why? Well, why gay rights…. because we are the new movement for the American ideals of “liberty and justice for all”! When you support us, we won’t forget, why else do you think conservatives always talk about there being a “gay lobby”? We do have economic power, not only for ourselves but also because of our many allies who refuse to buy from homophobic businesses.


Even so, the main reason why we need our allies is to change the establishment. I don’t mean antidisestablishmentarianism by most means, but I do refer to the fact that many religious organizations whose mission is supposedly to “love all of God’s creation” or something similar still see homosexuality as “sin” or “disease” instead of the simple polytypic difference that it is. The evidence that such groups have to apparently justify this position is often marked by cherry-picking their holy texts and a lack of understanding of the message as a whole. Think about it, in the Bible claims that the greatest commanding is to “love one another” while most right-wing groups use it to refer to the few texts that can be misunderstood as evidence for a criticism of homosexuality. No where in the Bible does it say to “hate homosexuals”! Still, we will face religious discrimination just because of the fact that we dare to think outside of the norm. And thus, we need people like you to stand up for us and all other discriminated and disadvantaged groups, in order to change these norms and accept differences to the reasonable amount of love and tolerance necessary!


We need you, because you can help, may be willing to help, and possibly WILL help! If that’s the case, thank you.

(NOTE: This article was previously published here by the same author)

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Why Body Image? The Importance of Awareness & Acceptance.

We’re well aware of the fact that we live in a society where looks matter. Despite how much you try to change the perceptions of others, and even your own, you’ll still find that you (and the rest of the world) judge others based on the way they look.

But it really is no wonder that we do this, we’re bombarded with this idea all the time! You know, the one where someone is ALWAYS supposed to look like this or else they aren’t even worth noting. We see it (most obviously) in advertising where the idealized member of a target group can be found promoting a product, and so the end result is that any insecurity that’s festered up inside makes you buy it (or at least feel enticed to do so). It’s found online, not only for the ads that screw up our visual stimulation but also for the fact that the “trends” we find are often related to how people look. (#selfies anyone?) Finally, take a look at your friends’ faces. The people you interact with are most likely those who you feel comfortable with, one factor determining this probably being the way they look. Unless you share EVERY single interest with another person, chances are that if they look “better” than you do (of determination by society) or the other way around, because of various expectations/stereotypes, a relationship will probably not be formed unless you see each other way too often that it’s impossible not to. You might think that’s a high school thought, but really, ask yourself this — and be glad that you have friends despite how they look!

But really, some of us don’t exactly have friends, don’t share selfies, and will never be on advertisements since unless society stops idealizing its own members (never gonna happen), we won’t fit the mold to even be considered average. Body image matters people and it needs to be positive! That’s not just a theme for a song by Lady GaGa or something that you should only read about on Twitter with some random person trying to gain sympathy from the anonymous masses, it’s something that’s actually important, here’s why:

  1. We can’t all agree on who or what made us or specifically, who or what makes us human. But we can all say that we are human, so why do polytypic differences and traits matter? You won’t like everyone, but at least give them the decency to see them for more than their appearance.
  2. Life sucks. Why make it suck more? When you criticize someone like me for looking like they’re aliens, well, you alienate them and dehumanize them. As tempting as it is to tell someone how surprisingly __________ they look, ask yourself, does it really matter that they look this way? How are they as individuals, and why are they like that?
  3. That leads me to this next one: If you’re asking why a socially “ugly” individual has a bad attitude, let me tell you why. They’ve become misanthropes. Know how I know? Because to some degree, I’ve become one myself. Despite my humanitarian tendencies and visions, I can’t help but scream sometimes when a**holes stare at me like I’m some kind of monster. I’ve even heard a little girl point at me one time and calling me a monster just for the way I look! (By the way, it’s against everything about me to call a little girl an a**hole — but you get the point) No further elaboration needed right? It doesn’t get simpler than I’m an a**hole because you were!
  4. Related to the last two points is this: the fact that life already sucks and yet you’re willing to criticize someone for the way they look and still wonder why they have such a bad attitude about it really begs the question of why we accept these standards anyway. Why do we? What social good is it that we make “better looking” babies or that we “weed” the population of people who are unwanted just because they look different from your ideals?
  5. Finally, after you ask yourself those questions, do the same with this last one: Why can’t we just accept others for their unique qualities, physical, psychological, mental, emotional, or whatever?

But then again, maybe the reason we can’t is because as a society, we’re all too insecure. Why else would we feel the need to fit in or be like everyone else? According to anthropology, the reason why humans tend to group is because there’s safety in numbers. And when someone is different from the general group think, we tend to exclude them. It’s a vicious cycle really, someone is booted from one group, meets others like themselves who were booted, then boots someone else who seems different, et cetera, et cetera…. but it is what it is: reality.

Still, maybe it’s time to make groups more inclusive? As great as it seems to be elitist by labeling someone different as not being good enough, we really just waste potentially great friends, neighbors, acquaintances, teachers, and so on, and so forth…. all because we didn’t like them for the way they look? I mean, really, you can apply this for other things people are judged upon like sexual orientation or even the way they think, and still you will find that it’s all so ridiculous how petty differences influence how perceptions on who may be “good” and who may be “bad”. It’s something that even I’m guilty of, but at least I acknowledge it and do my best to hinder such leanings.

If you’ve read this far, you probably have noticed that I’ve gone with a lot of social commentary on this piece. But if you really need to ask “why body image?”, you are right to do so, since we have human rights, war, famine, political corruption, public health, and so many other very much pressing issues to talk about. But on behalf of myself, this is the last reason: it’s just that important to me. I know, it might be extremely biased, but in a cruel world of misunderstanding and uncertainty, I just want to help shed a little bit of light on one of the issues I personally face, which does happen to be a low amount of self-esteem due in part to a negative body image. And really, when you’re positive about the way you look and accept that you’re flawed, you feel positive, take care of yourself both emotionally and physically (also mentally), and become the bright shining star you were meant to be! We need more light in the world right?

(NOTE:  This article was published earlier here by the same author)

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Rising like a Phoenix from the Fire

For months (even years), I’ve been trying to cope with the events that have been haunting me for much longer than what’s necessary.  It all starts out with my parents’ refusal to let me have any sense of individuality and ends up with a strange mess of things I call my life.

 

So years ago, I was struggling with many things, most of all, the fact that I could be gay (and hadn’t fully accepted it partly since my family all turned against me) and the other, how eroded my faith had become.  I went to a private Baptist middle school for three years before transitioning on to a public high school.  Let me tell you, that was a culture shock!  But let me not, since it’s out of my train of thought for now.  But anyway, I was gay, I couldn’t accept it, and therefore, could never be proud of it because my parents tried to hide it in every manner possible.  Sad thing was, it’s my inevitable outcome, I’d have to live my life as a gay man, and with my mindset, a disgrace.  And to this day, the rest of my family and friends have barely a clue about it, call me a good actor or just not that gay (I don’t actually fit the stereotype at all so I’d think about it).

 

But add on to the repression I got at home being gay, there’s an economic disaster that brewed before my freshmen year of high school, that’s the reason why my parents could no longer afford to pay for a private education for me (it ultimately would be a good thing though – I finally adopted a real sense of ideals that weren’t misguided).  Unfortunately, this also meant that I couldn’t enjoy a normal life and my brother, at one time, even blamed our family business’ collapse on account that I’m gay!  Financial stipulations also resulted in a lack of educational resources for me.   I remember my freshmen year, I couldn’t do my homework for a Pre-AP Geometry class (yeah, I always foolishly challenged myself mentally since like forever) because I didn’t have the right calculator.  I tell my parents I needed to buy one, but my dad had other things in mind for the $120 that I needed to get that thing.  Fortunately, my mom put things into perspective and he let me get that calculator.  To this day, I still have that thing, a reminder of the days when I used to enjoy math and the fact that my parents ultimately care about my well-being (also, the last time I used it was around 4 months ago for my Stats final that I bombed -_-).

 

Still, the effects of the recession has done MUCH more than just make it hard for me to focus on my education, its consequences on my family meant that I couldn’t go to college.  You see, this financial collapse meant that my parents lost our family business, so we had no income and had accrued a load of debt on top of that.  They eventually had to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy, so our debt was forgiven to a degree, but now their credit was negatively affected.  What does that have to do with my college admissions?  It means that because I had no credit on my own (when a family’s broke and I’m not allowed to drive because I have no car or license because we couldn’t afford to get one there’s not much I could do about a job – did I forget to mention I have a weird problem that makes me unable to ride a bike) and my parents had bad credit, when I was looking for a loan, I had no co-signer and therefore, no money for college and so I had no chance to go to college.  

 

Now I’m 19 years old, no job, no car, pretty much no life, and if you look at it a certain way, I have no hope.  But if you look at it another way, I haven’t told you everything about me.  Despite all of my issues, I ended up having great talent in the arts, I excel in the social sciences, I unfortunately have a big ass heart of gold, and I have enough interest to place myself in the fields of politics and finance, as well as the compassion and drive for activism.  So yes, I guess you can say I’m blessed despite my circumstances, but have I risen from disaster?  Not even close.  On the brighter side of things: I have gotten my certificate to learn how to drive (I kind of have a fear of driving), my dad knows a lot about financial crap (though not necessarily common sense with it) so he’ll be helping me out when it comes to building my credit, and oh yeah, a family friend says that he can get me a full-tuition scholarship at a top-ranked university since he knows the Dean or something.  

 

Maybe my life is becoming a little brighter but I still have a few hindrances left (of course).  I’ve recently found out that I have many of the symptoms of dyspraxia, as well as ADHD and some other cognitive disorders, and so I’m going to get myself checked about that while I also get my acne medicine this next visit (I forgot to mention horrible acne was the main reason why I couldn’t be comfortable with myself).  But whatever happens with me, I can now be comfortable with the fact that I am an individual, despite how my parents try to limit me, I’m still my own person and thus, cannot be limited except with spending money (I don’t necessarily admire the “finer things” in life).  So will I rise?  Hell yeah!  😉

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My Personal Rebirth

After much thought, I decided to use this site again since I already had my established username as a part of it.

Back when I first created this site, I was a feeble-minded 13 year-old who only cared about Pokemon who slowly gained the voice of a conservative bigot as influenced by his parents.  Now I’m a 19 year-old who cares about others, takes on a liberal philosophy, but still has the heart of that kid, just a more refined one.  So as you can imagine, I went through a total transformation from those days.

Throughout my childhood and just until recently, I always had the desire to belong and always compromised myself in order to attempt to “fit in”.  My policy was this: try something new so that you can become popular and if that doesn’t work, try something else.  I had the right idea, but the wrong ulterior motives.  For so long, my focus was so concentrated in other people liking me that I never tried to see who I really was other than the kid who tried to please everybody.  I could always be described as being “nice” and indeed it is in my nature to be that word, but why?  And with that thought questioned, why am I like this in the first place?

 

Recently, I’ve realized the answer to my own pressing questions.  Thing is, the reason why I chose to be someone else’s embodiment of the “perfect student” and failed, the “perfect Christian” and fell out, and the “perfect son” but turned out as expected through an unwanted manner is all because I never learned to think for my own self, I always neglected myself, from my health to my needs, it seems like to me, I am the most insignificant person on earth.  What never helped is that I could never make many good friends and so it’s not like my self-esteem would’ve been off the charts.  Knowing that barely anyone could’ve cared about me and my needs or desires, I would only want someone’s attention and made decisions based on what I sensed other people wanted of me instead of who I already perfectly was, myself!

 

But no more!  I realized just recently that I was perfect the way I am.  Despite the fact that I’m gay, I’m still a human being with talents, dreams, and family, and I am not hesitant to put people out of my life who will only put me down!  Despite the fact that I’m Asian I’m not taking the conventional scientific path that many of us were blessed to have the minds to comprehend, though I was given a beautiful mind that works easily with creative and philosophical subjects and media.  Despite the fact that I have dyspraxia, that didn’t stop me from making the grade or graduating with honors, I mean, I only found out and realized that I had this developmental abnormality near my 19th birthday!  Despite the fact that I am who I am, I will become the person I want to be and know that I can reach those goals!

 

So this blog, what does this blog have to do with my “impending success”?  Well, this is where I’ll be chronicling my personal life, from trials and tribulations to happiness and success, anyone who’s willing is invited to view how things go with me.  Thanks for reading but keep on reading!

Be yourself and stay great!

– Chris  ^_^