What It's Like Being LGBT+ With Trump In Office

What It's Like Being LGBT+ With Trump In Office

Why it's hard to be a member of the LGBT+ community during Trump's Presidency
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I used to be very spoiled. Not from my parents or anything, but from MY President-Barack Obama. Obama was elected when I was 12 years old. This was right around when I could start understanding politics and the world I lived in. I had the pleasure of having Obama as MY President for 8 years after that. He was in office when I started high school, graduated, and when I entered college. He was also in office when I came out.

Yes, I had some internal struggles when I was coming to terms with my sexuality. But so far, I’ve been pretty lucky while being a part of the LGBT+ community. When I came out, I received a tremendous amount of love and acceptance from my close family and friends. I did not feel like an outcast in my community and I especially did not feel rejected by my government because of my sexuality.

About a year after I was out, Barack Hussein Obama called the Supreme Court ruling requiring states to recognize same-sex marriage. MY President did that for ME! I remember that day like it just happened. I felt so loved, accepted, and safe.

Fast forward a couple of years later to the 2016 election. My heart is heavy and my anxiety is racing. I was intensely Feeling the Bern, but unfortunately my man Bernie did not make the cut and I put all my hope into Hillary. Hate and lies spewed from Trump’s mouth every time he opened it and I’ll be honest, I really did not think that this country would elect a talking orange. But in the span of a couple months, I saw the place I call home turn into something unrecognizable.

I woke up on November 9th feeling colder than the day before. I was scared to go to school that day. I’ve always felt safe on my college campus but that day, I felt like the sun could fall out of the sky. I saw republicans, conservatives, and bigots on social media celebrating their victory. Celebrating hate. My heart hurt and in the span of 24 hours, I suddenly felt rejected by my government.

And now life is hard. I no longer feel protected by my government. My diversity is no longer celebrated or recognized by the government. I now take an extra second to think about if I should hold my girlfriend’s hand in public. Hate speech is now common. I now have to check and double check my surroundings to make sure I am safe.

Transgendered people are not allowed to fight for their country and they can’t even use the bathroom they wish to in certain places. I now have to play the “what are the odds..” game when making plans to go to Pride or any LGBT+ themed event or place. Hate crimes are happening more and more all over the country and 9 times out of 10, Trump is not strongly condoning the actions of his supporters.

The person in charge of this country seems to be in favor of hate. And now all of his followers see that there really isn’t any punishment for hate crimes. So I urge you to do what the government isn't-be an ally and stand up for the oppressed.

Protect your Black, Muslim, and Hispanic brothers and sisters, don’t let hateful comments slide under the rug, respect minorities and advocate for their human rights, CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH (cause’ Trump couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge that this past year), educate yourself, use your privilege-if you have any-for good and not evil, and don’t let your silence put you on the wrong side of history.

Cover Image Credit: QZ

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20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.
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Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

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Arab-American Heritage Month Is Not A Well Known Celebration And I'm Pissed About It

I'm an Arab-American and didn't even know this was a thing... That's sad.

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The month of April is special for a lot of reasons but this one hits home for me. This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the culture, history and amazing people who have helped bring something to this country. So many Arab-Americans have contributed a lot to society yet they don't get the recognition they deserve for it.

In today's society, the Arab community is always being looked down on and degraded. The lack of understanding from those around makes Arab-Americans feel like outsiders in a place they should be able to call home. The inaccurate images and stereotypes that inhabit the word "Arab" are sickening.

It's time to raise awareness. It's time to look beyond the media's portrayal. It's time to see a neighbor, a teacher, a doctor, a scientist, an artist, an athlete, a parent, a child, but most importantly, a human being, NOT a monster.

Arab-Americans encounter and fight racism every day. As a society, we should be better than that. We should want everyone in this country to feel wanted, needed and appreciated. Together, we should use this month as a time to shine light and celebrate the many Arab-Americans who have, and continue making this country great.

While you read this list of just a few famous Arab-Americans keep in mind how much they want this country to be amazing, just as much as anyone else does.

Dr. Michael DeBakey, invented the heart pump

Dr. Elias Corey, Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry in 1990 

Dr. Ahmed H. Zewail, Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry in 1999

Lucie Salhany, first woman to head a tv network 

Ralph Johns, an active participant in the civil rights movement and encouraged the famous Woolworth sit-in 

Ernest Hamwi, invented the ice cream cone

Pvt. Nathan Badeen, died fighting in the Revolutionary War

Leila Ahmed, the first women's studies professor at Harvard Divinity School 

We should recognize and celebrate these achievements. There are so many things you can learn when you step inside another culture instead of turning your back to it. This April, take time to indulge in the Arab-American heritage.

Instead of pushing away the things you don't understand, dive into diversity and expand your knowledge of the unknown. Together we can raise awareness. #IAmArabAmerican

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