Author Archives: S

Shit Adults Say to Young People

shit adults say to young people

Shit adults say to young people

 

“Cause I Said So!”
How are the lives of young people controlled?
With the viral videos, “Shit… says,” many people have brought to light underlining issues of violence that many people are victims of, and examining those that they we may actually create. Such videos have been broad but enlightening such as, “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls, and Shit Straight Girls Say to Gay Guys.” “Things like “lets go dancing, but not a gay bar,” or “not to sound racist but…” are micro-aggressions that impact the lives of minorities to cause real pain and suffering.
Many of the current examinations of the viral ads are critical to social movements movements and the general population. While we think about how straight people act to queer folks, we must also think about how ageism and
adult-ism pervade in our society and how it marginalizes the tail ends of our community. People experience marginalization by the abuse of power that takes advantage of, and makes decisions of both the young and the elderly. It is one of the only oppressions that everyone experiences, both as victims and as potential perpetrators. Decisions that impact the very livelihoods of these groups have been decided by those who “know better” and who can “take ownership” in the direction of the controlled human beings. This power dynamic dichotomy is evident in common vernacular with things like, “you don’t know better,” or “you are just a kid.” Policy is then crafted to restrict voting, medical decisions, personal autonomy, and employment opportunities based solely on age. Even the educational system creates rules that particularly impact homeless youth or young folks experiencing familial strain. It is all a form of social control by those who “know better.” Your parents financial information is usually required into the consideration in the cost of attendance, even if they do not support you. Why is it that you can be drafted into the military at 18 but you can not enter an establishment that serves alcohol? In particularly with the queer community, many public gathering spaces are very commonly crafted around 21+ establishments ie. queer bars, but with this restriction, where do queer youth go when they want to get to know each other? Not everything can be accomplished on the Internet.

Young people, and increasingly the elderly, have no public spaces to find solidarity, support, and personal connection. Many elderly folks voice that they have to go back into the “closet” as they grow older. Ageism affects the tail ends of society, and adultsm is how adults control, judge, and manipulate the autonomous rights of young people. Such isolation, must end because the everyone should have control of their own body.
We made a list of some of the things we have heard adults say to young people. These are all best read with a little bit of sass and some attitude.
Signed by,
Students at the University of Washington | Q Center

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I am more mature than you. How old are you? Oh my god, when I was your age… You know what would be so fun for you? Cause’ I said so! Oh that probably wouldn’t be fun for you. This is boring adult stuff. We have a youth advisory board, you should totally volunteer for us! You know you should really outreach for us – we really want to get more youth involved with… You just do not appreciate how easy you have it now, thanks to the struggles I had to go through You’re so articulate! You know, I had to wait until I was old enough to go to the bars too. Just get a fake ID… ‘All-Ages?’ why would I want to be somewhere with a bunch of kids! You’re really lucky that I’m your mentor! You are so smart and mature for your age! Oh my, she’s only 13 and she’s already talks about feminism. Oh, they are only 11 and they can sing and dance so well! You don’t understand… You don’t know what your doing.
Cause’ I said so! Why can’t you understand? What do you want to be when you grow up? You still have time to figure it out. I hope this is just a phase. You’re just going through a ‘_______’ phase. You’ll grow out of being a lesbian… What could you possibly be stressed out about at your age? Just wait until you have to pay your own bills! It get’s better! If you work hard enough, you can be ANYTHING you want to be. I wish I had ______________ when I was your age, you should totally ____________ You have it WAY better than when I was your age… It’s so easy being (gay, mixed, etc) these days, not like when I was… Just wait until you have to get a real job. I wish you’d stop growing up so fast! You should appreciate being so young. Cause’ I said so! Why can’t you act your age? You gain maturity with age. If I feed you and clothe you, then no, you don’t get to make your own decisions. You don’t get to make decisions about your own body at this age. That’s cute that you’re already so interested in ___! It’ll be great when you’re older and you can actually make a difference in the world. You kids are so spoiled with your technology these days, you don’t know what it’s like to have to work for anything. High school is the best time of your life! Can you help me (insert tech-related task here)? You shouldn’t be so easily influenced by others people’s opinions. You don’t need to follow what all your friends do. Your friends are a bad influence. Are you in a gang? I know better than you. Cause’ I said so! Your not gay its just a phase. Just don’t have sex. What do you need the pill for? Abstinence is sexy! Grow up! All adults are more mature than you. Do you know what to do with that. If you have sex you’ll get STIs. I pay the bills, you just live here. Ohh not in my house. If you live under my roof you have to follow my rules.
Feel inspired? Email us, and let’s keep the dialogue going!

10 Ways to Procrastinate Post Snowpocalypse

1. Think about vaginas
2. Check out Trans* Conferences!
3. Go stickering.
4. Get your friends together and plan to hit up some awesome local events coming up this month:
“Broken Bodies, PBP” & “Under 1 Nation: Zulu & Krip-Hop”
Sex Fair at UW 2012
ASUW’s 11th Annual “Vagina Monologues”
Annual ASUW Drag Show
5. Listen to a Gendercast podcast.
6. Do a photoshoot and send your pics to marilyn@fatso.com to stand, roll, and tumble against weight bullying.
7. Say the darndest things.
8. Sign up for a Bent class!
9. Deconstruct gender at gender discussion at the Q Center Tuesdays from 3pm-4pm!
10. Listen to Coyote Grace!

Queer Guide to Dawg Daze

queer guide to dawg daze eventsThe UW community welcomes its students back to campus with an annual week-long extravaganza of events, introductions, and workshops called Dawg Daze.  To new students this is an opportunity to embrace all that the campus has to offer- clubs, resources, student groups, academic programs, housing accommodations, and more.  This was how i found the Q center when i first came to campus- during the sexuality, gender, and treats information session- the rest is history.  As a returning student it is an opportunity to share what i have learned with new students and explore the campus in a new light, one with a year’s experience- that of having changed (potential) majors, of having been acquainted with new perspectives and goals, of inhabiting the truths of my true gender identity, and the need rediscover the campus with these changes in mind.  The events are designed as such- for all students.  This said, the Q Center, along side GBLTC, DLP, and CCSL has planned a week full of queer events!  Be sure to check them out for more information on queer resources on campus, how to get involved, and meet new friends!  Don’t be shy, come on by!

For questions, comments, concerns, accessibility accommodations, or more details email uwqcwebmaster@gmail.com






THIS IS YOUR QUEER GUIDE TO DAWG DAZE!
official dawg daze site

*Monday 9/26– Gay Bingo
2pm-3pm Mary Gates Hall 238

Come join the brothers of Delta Lambda Phi for five intense rounds of bingo and compete for fabulous prizes. The only fraternity for gay, bisexual, and progressive men will ensure that you have a good time, with ice breakers and complimentary refreshments. Feel free to come and go as you please, drop-ins are more than welcome.

Hosted By: Delta Lambda Phi

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*Tuesday 9/27– Sexuality, Gender, & Treats! OH MY!
10am-11am, 11am-12pm, 1pm-2pm Q center- 450 Schmitz Hall

Meet new people, get some info, and eat candy at the Q Center- 450 Schmitz Hall!

*Tuesday 9/27– Brown Bag it at the Q
12pm-1pm Q center- 450 Schmitz Hall

BYOF! Bring your lunch and hang out in the Q Center to meet new friends, catch up with old ones, and just generally queer it up! The Q Center is the UW’s gender and sexuality resource center and is located at 450 Schmitz Hall.

*Tuesday 9/27– Queer Social
3pm-5pm Q center- 450 Schmitz Hall

Come hang out at the Q Center- 450 Schmitz for a chance to have fun, play games, and meet other queer students. Treats will be provided!

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*Thursday 9/29– Ask the Sexpert Panel
5pm-6:30pm Mary Gates Hall 389

Brought to you by the Campus Coalition for Sexual Literacy, this is a whole new level up from your high school Sex Ed class! Ask the Sexpert is an open and respectful forum where all your questions about sexuality can be answered. We’ve got some sexuality professors and experts at your disposal. If you’ve got questions (no matter how “strange”) or if you’re interested in sexuality education and activism, check this event out! There will be free condoms!

Hosted By: Campus Coalition for Sexual Literacy

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*Friday 9/30– Welcome Luncheon
11:30am-1pm Walker Ames Room, Kane Hall

Kick of school year with a gathering of queer students, staff, faculty, and allies! A great way to meet people and get information on queer happenings and resources on campus over some free food!

*Friday 9/30– Queer Rollerskating
7pm-9pm IMA Gym A

Come cruise the IMA gym on your roller skates! Skate your way around Gym A to some fabulous roller disco music. Admission is free for currently enrolled students and faculty/staff, and spouse/same sex domestic partner IMA members. There is a $7.00 fee for guests (16 yrs of age or older). All equipment is provided. Skate rentals are free w/Husky Card, faculty/staff ID, or spouse/same sex domestic partner IMA membership card. There is a $1.00 skate rental fee for guests (16 yrs of age or older). Faculty/staff without an IMA membership pay the IMA single use fee of $5.00

Hosted By:
ASUW Gay, Bisexual, Lesbian, Transgender Commission (ASUW GBLTC), the Q Center

fierce bodies

Inclusivity at it’s sexy best!

“fierce bodies is a little company that believes in another way of doing business. we are a cottage industry that makes small, high quality batches of beauty products out of our home. we give you the transparency and input that we expect from all companies, large or small. we make products that are safe and healthy for people and the environment. they fit the needs of people with all body types.”

This local business is queer friendly, MCS friendly, Earth friendly, and body friendly. That’s A LOT OF FRIENDLY! The punchline is the commitment to community and building “positive, sustainable and successful relationships”.

Help them start up by donating!

Queering ASL

the question of happiness

Gender and sexuality are staring you square in the face, one finger in the air, and it’s not a thumbs-up. Don’t get me wrong, i mean no disrespect; i just mean to bring to your attention the big queer elephant standing in the middle of the room. Why must our conversations always be drowned out by sounds of grinding teeth? i lost your love in translation and you misplaced my trust. This was a two way street until we drove head first into each other: this is me and i know you can’t understand it right now, but take a deep breath and believe me when i say: this is where i am happy. That’s all it’s about. That’s all it’s ever been about. Happiness.

Long drives made me happy. Sleepy too. Daddy would look into the rearview mirror to see my face, half asleep, lulled into a semiconscious state of bliss by the perpetually morphing landscape that accompanied an evening drive. Smiling he would ask, “Tum kush toh ho na?” gauging his parenting skills, his paternal worth, on a simple question, “You are happy, aren’t you?” i remember long pauses, absolute psychological dissonance, weighing his fatherhood against my chemical imbalances seemed cruel. Having grown up in the age of obedience, i knew what he wanted to hear and the merit my answer held. “Yeah.”

i never understood how you could expect me to be happy, when every canyon on your brow tells me you are not. Would you have answered in the same breath as i, if i had asked you this question? A lie out of good intension? Seemingly innocent, this question pinches nerves. Especially today.

My happiness, despite its absence then, meant something, intangible, but something. And now, in its purest form, my happiness is a “delusion”, a cross-cultural misconception, “unnatural”, and unreal. Unraveling my every itch, i am finally me, and in this place of self-recognition, i feel like living. But in my life, in my reality, you seem to find no pride in my self-discovery, my greatest accomplishment. My parade beacons only to be drained of its hue because your rods and cones have eyes of their own. Where are your questions now, when i am, for once, ready to answer without fear?

And when i did ask you, “Ma, are you happy?” i heard the same ageless pause, felt the same dissonance, and understood your obligatory response, “Of course.” But that smile- that smile said, “Baby, for you i can try.”

we never capitalized our i’s

a, s, i, wi, we, she, he, they, them, me. sasha for long, and aparajeeta for longer. “Hey you” for short, and a smile for shorter. Growing up, i was never called by my given name, always by sasha. It seemed to fit better than “someone who can’t be defeat,” someone whom i never felt i was. i was too sensitive to declare victory over a life not yet started and too young to accept a gift in namesake, unearned. “sasha” was a name that nicked the heels of a name too long to laugh with and too divine for the monotony that dictated everyday life. “sasha” was not too frilly and not too heavy, the s’s fit my curves and the a’s echoed my art. “sa”-mba my fun, “sh”, i was quiet, but not for long, “a”- bbreviated compassion. sasha’s fluidity ebbed and flowed in sync with my being, supple like gender and free like children. What a coincidence that i would be who i was called.

In school we learned about pronouns: he, she, it, they, them, we. but never in context of choice or identity. Somehow it was a factual truth that John was a “he” and Ashley was a “she”… And “sasha” was just “sasha”. i was always, and still am to many people in our life, a “she”. Dictated by prehistoric grammar laws and narrow-minded orthodoxy, we were shielded from self-declarative free form expressions. i often caught myself oscillating between “she-self” and “he-self”, seeking refuge somewhere between blue and pink. In the confines of my mind, i explored the gender grey shamelessly, interjecting everyday talk with mixed self-references: “i’m a nice guy” and “i’m a Jersey girl” all in the same conversation. As i found solace in these ambiguous mental spaces, and toyed with my gender expression, “sir”s and “he”s became souvenirs, giggles, and smiles and squeals of joy. For me, it seemed like a step closer to the middle path.

My imaginary friend was genderqueer, far before I even knew what that meant. Mai-no: pronounced may-no, literally translated “girl no”. Mai-no transcended pronouns, referred to as “he” on some days, “she” on other days, and “they” every day in between. Gender fucking was their superpower, my favorite thing about them. There was nothing they couldn’t do: keeper of my sentiment and sorter of my Legos, they had no glass gender ceiling that kept them from cars or crayons or anything else.

As i graduated from childhood, Mai-no stuck with me, existing less as an external entity and more as a person i talk to in my head, another part of me. i always tell people, whatever works: he, she, ze, this, that, and the other thing. But i often catch myself referring to myself as “we”, a symbol of the unity, encompassing all of my identities. i don’t expect people to refer to me as “we,” or to understand who “we” is. This said, i recognize that pronouns are used for ourselves too. i could refer to myself as “i”, or “we,” and just as we deconstruct our public pronouns, we must be in touch with our private pronouns.

the “c word”

Mary B is a queer ninja, writer, volgger extraordinaire. She has been a queer idol and a virtual support for me during my early self-realization process. Her eloquence and down to earth humor has attracted over 8,000 subscribers with almost 100 video posts. She steals hearts (i still haven’t gotten mine back), gives advice, shares stories, answers questions, asks questions, make you wonder, and makes you laugh. If you haven’t checked her out yet, you are really missing out!

This past year she brought up the “c word”. Her friend Chazzy was diagnosed with brain cancer. It has been beautiful to watch Mary become an “ally” for Chazzy and contribute so much to her recovery process. A signature aspect of this has been the Chazzy bands that have made their way to the farthest corner to the world. They are available upon request, with a suggested donation of $5.

Here are the details:


Want a CHAZZY BAND?? Tell her to get well and say hi to Mary!
Send to:
Mary B.
4781 Felton St.
San Diego, CA 92116

Don’t forget your return address!!! Suggested donation is $5. All donations go to Chazzy’s treatment. Help beat brain cancer. Together we can! Think SHRINK!!

stuck between a sandwich and a queer place

I was a bender from the start: letting my female playmates choose their imaginary personas first, knowing very well they would hop on the opportunity to clinch the “the girl”, “the mom”, “the damsel in distress”, just so I could subtly flex my inner masculinity. Somebody had to be “the boy”, it might was well be me: the matchbox master, the playdough prince, I knew how to be a gentleman. And looking into mirrors I saw muscles, brawn, bravery, a little superhero, as opposed to the sheepish demeanor and delicacy that my “sex” expected of me. The Clark Kent behind the Superman was a little girl who, like everyone else, grew up bound and beaten by heteronormativity. Barbies were dusty while Legos were worn, and despite my claustrophobia in the tight gender dichotomy, I pinched nerves to squeeze into the mold everyone was telling me I was supposed to fit.

Gently, I lowered trembling toes into the ice bath of femininity, hoping this would cure the natural cognitive dissonance that precedes self-actualization. And all I got was a cold: confusion and frustration. Yes, my body was female, but it wasn’t “female”. Somehow, femininity was one person: white, tall, and skinny. Any deviation from this strict model could hardly be considered “female”. So She was who I had to be and every form of interaction with the world confirmed this. Femininity was the standard I had to meet, according to the TV, according to the books, according to my peers. I quickly realized I there were things I couldn’t change about myself, physical things, no matter how “white” I acted or how tall I stood. Losing weight, on the other hand, seemed simple enough. Eat less. Exercise. Piece of cake.

As the kid who spent recess talking to trees and spiders and clouds, I was no social butterfly: making friends was a kamikaze mission. With the little self-respect I had on the line, I waxed and waned, peaking out of my shell every once in a while, only to feel like a Martian child. I saw my quirky personality and misshapen body as failed prerequisites to the normal and happy lives my peers leading. I knew they were happy, because my body kept them laughing daily, weekly, yearly. Fitting in meant the acknowledgement of my existence, even if that existence wasn’t one I identified with. I became fixated on Femininity, “being like all the other girls”, as it seemed like the only escape from the taunting, and the concurrent self-hatred.

Beginning in innocence, I took up sports in middle school. It was a great way for me to express my true gender in an acceptable way, and, as a side effect, it was way for someone who was legitimately overweight to exercise. My parents were excited for me to have an opportunity to make friends, but friends weren’t made and, given my obsessive nature, exercising became a perpetual preoccupation; it was “all in the name of the sport”. Any free time I got was dedicated to working out. The minute I got home I would make any excuse to go up to my room to pump out 3 sets of 20 push-ups. I spent the hours leading up to soccer practices sprawled out across my bedroom floor stretching muscles I didn’t know I had. And I would make sure to get to practice early and stay late after to run laps. As soon as I got home I would shower and change, only to sweat all over again. Sets had to be done in odd numbers and reps had to be done in multiples of 5 greater than 10, incomplete sets would have to be redone, and the rules were ridged and infinite. It was insanity. I would work out until I cried, and it was never enough.

Before I got into high school I had moved across the country. Having thought I left my sports and obsessive exercising behind, I felt the need to compensate by controlling my food intake. I had no friends to hold me accountable for what I was doing, and I thought nothing of it. Why would skipping lunch be of any concern? I gave myself excuses to justify my behavior: I had homework to do or I needed to study. It wasn’t all bad though; all the time spent not eating was spent writing. It was as an outlet for my mental misconduct. I would spend a lot of lunch periods alone scribbling burning frustrations, angers, and sadness into overused notebooks. This regurgitation of pure emotion was keeping me grounded as I melted into a deep and long episode of depression. I spent many afternoons and evenings after school sleeping or lying in bed staring at the wall, sometimes missing dinner. I was constantly exhausted, and as it took its toll on my energy levels, I found new methods of manipulation. I would chew entire packs of gum, hoping to curb my hunger. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the main ingredient in that chewing gum was a laxative, and it secretly contributed to my obsession. I would negotiate with myself, punishing myself through self-mutilation and self-destruction whenever I broke my self-imposed discipline. My body was a slave to my mind.

When I finally decided to get back into sports, my obsessive exercising became justified again. In fear of fainting on the track, I would take my 100 calorie pack into the bathroom stall right before practice and eat as quietly as I could. I couldn’t stand to eat in front of people, as if eating was a physical projection of the mental view I had of my own body. My wounded self-image continued to lead me astray, and by the time I graduated I had failed a class, gotten caught smoking at school, experimented with drugs, and was dangerously dependent on alcohol. I had gained and lost weight continuously through high school, and no matter what I looked like or how much I weight I still wasn’t happy. My methods of coping only made matters worse.

What began as quest of self-discovery, ended up as a journey through hell. Gender and self-image became my Goliath, and the controlling nature of my lifestyle gave me comfort, falsely reassuring me that the battle could be won through pure determination. When I knew Femininity had no space for my child-like ambitions and my playground creativity, the starving didn’t stop and my self-love was obsolete. Despite my fair share of warning signs over the years, passing out, throwing up, losing and gaining massive amounts of weight, I was unaware of the severity of these issues up until a few months ago. My image of masculinity never included eating disorders, I just couldn’t see the heteronormative booby-traps that were set out on my exploration of body and gender. In this story, there are no superheroes. Reclaiming my body would be a never-ending war waged between me and myself.

if it walks like a man, if it talks like a man, if it smells like a man…

Dear questioner of my vagina’s existence,
It was a fine snowy evening when I walked into the “women’s bathroom” on the second floor of Mary Gates Hall. I had just finished my favorite class, Bioengineering Research, and a 32 oz bottle of Rain Berry Gatorade. Hoping to avoid “spilling my lemonade” on the one hour bus ride home, I booked it “gayly forward” to the closest bathroom I could find. Relieving myself, I reflected on a wonderful week gone by, filled with cute children who like shortbread cookie crisps, an extremely loving fan club composed of the most amazing people in the universe, and no homework. Double checking my fly, I head for the sink, to do my part in the fight against disease, smiling smuggly to myself. It came as no surprise to me, a small voice from across the long, dark, room. I knew I wasn’t alone. But the words you said, caught me off guard, “Is this [the] men’s room?”

It was just you and me: Your confusion and my anger. Your discomfort and my frustration. Your ignorance and my disappointment.

I saw no “culture warrior” behind your need to reiterate the gender specificity of the bathroom we are in because of my appearance. The length of the hair on my head is not an indication of what genitalia I sport, nor does the clothing I wear correlate in any way with my biological sex. I apologize for not apologizing for the confusion; I owe you, a mere bathroom acquaintance, no apology for the way I express my beautiful self. I must have left my penis at home because all I’m carrying with me today is self-respect. Oops!

It’s a shame that public bathrooms are now being used for things other than urination, defecation, and checking oneself out in the mirror. I was unaware of the underground coalition of gender vigilantes, and had someone told me of this strict policing, I would have taken my pee elsewhere… like a bush. Mother Nature has no problem with me, and why should she? I am a human being, original and organic; I am a child of her humbling womb, regardless of what I look like, how I pee, or where I pee.

The biological process of urination is one that is essential to the sustenance of human life. That’s right; I’m a human being, with feelings, who often pees. To deny me the right to pee in “your” bathroom, is to deny my epically full bladder and my humanity. “Public” bathrooms are deemed as such because I have as much right to use it as you or the next cross-dressing, gender variant, vagina wearer. Don’t let the pictures on the signs confuse you. It is not called the “I’m wearing a skirt” bathroom or the “Triangle” bathroom. It has absolutely nothing to do with who or what you look like. It is the public women’s bathroom, meaning 1) as a “member” of the public, I’m allowed to pee there, 2) I have a vagina, a happy one at that, so I’m allowed to pee there, and 3) it’s a bathroom, if you gotta go, you gotta go, and I did, so I peed there! There is no need to guilt me out of the bathroom on the basis that I don’t fit your idea of a “female”. When Whitney said, “I’m every woman” she was talking about me. I should not have to wear a sign that says “legal and official owner of a board certified vagina”.

Regardless, I, a 5’1”, 150lb, teddy bear, pose no threat to you, in a bathroom or otherwise, so why would my genitalia matter? In an effort to create a better world, I will strongly suggest you reassess your definition of diversity and maybe even take safe zone training.

signed,
a vagina in the “vagina” designated bathroom

PS A word of advice for future bathroom encounters: piss more, talk less.