Don't Label Me Based On Your Assumptions

Don't Label Me Based On Your Assumptions

Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
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We've all heard the assumptions, and we are all guilty of making assumptions at least once in our life. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” - Wendy Mass. It is true. You only know what individual is showing to the world; they have a whole portion of their life that nobody knows anything about. Assumptions are based off what is being shown or how the individual is acting, but, they are not true (most of the time). Next time you want to make an assumption, think of what that person may be going through, think of who they truly are as a person, and if you gave the chance to get to know them, maybe you'd understand just a little more.

Assumption: They're such a b***h.

Truth: They're straightforward.

The person that is always straightforward, is most likely seen as a b***h. I've been there, plenty of times. They do not hide the truth or beat around the bushes, they tell it how it is. They're blunt and honest, and sometimes what they say hurts, but they wouldn't lie to you. I'm here to tell you, they may seem rude and hurtful, but these are some of the most real people you'll ever meet. Once you get to know them, you realize how amazing they are because what you see is what you get, and they wouldn't hide a single thing from you.

Assumption: They're so lame, they never want to go out.

Truth: They're exhausted from school and work, they wants to relax.

Being a full-time student in any major is exhausting, especially if they work a job on top of being a student. Being a student does not just involve going to class; it involves studying and homework and projects and essays and so much more. If a student is involved with organizations on campus, it is essentially comparable to taking another course; having to plan events and fundraisers and merchandise and the whole nine yards. Working just takes time out of studies, but it's necessary to pay tuition and bills. Personally, the last thing I want to do after coming home from a whole school and work day is getting all dolled up to go out; give me a glass of wine, some Netflix, and my bed and I am set for the night.

Assumption: They're so intimidating.

Truth: They're strong and powerful.

Strong is intimidating, plain and simple. When someone knows their worth and what they bring to the table, they aren't afraid, and others find it intimidating. It ties back in with being straightforward; somebody who knows what they want and isn't afraid to say it is terrifying in today's' world. People for some odd reason do not do well with bluntness and power; they're seen as cocky or arrogant sometimes, which, they could be. But having someone say they are intimidated by you simply means you know your worth and are not afraid to show it to the world.

Assumption: They're so stand-offish and unapproachable.

Truth: They're protecting themselves.

Anyone who has gone through some bad times in their life knows how hard it is to open up again. The person that seems unapproachable is protecting themselves from harm and pain. They're nervous. They've gone through so many bad times that good times seem almost unreal. They're scared of getting close to anyone because anyone they got close to left them. Give them time and be a friend, I promise they will open up to you once they get to know you.

Assumption: They're so weird.

Truth: Their passions do not align with yours.

"Weird" should not even be a word to describe another human being. Their passions do not align with yours. Maybe someone prefers playing video games and old-fashioned Nintendo in their free time but you prefer playing football or listening to music. Maybe they dyed their hair a different color and yours is natural. Maybe their fashion sense is different than yours. It is not weird. Everyone has their own passions, interests, and hobbies that vary from another person. It's what makes us human and it is what makes us unique.

Assumption: They've changed, they haven't been acting like themselves.

Truth: They're going through a hard time.

Hard times change a person. Maybe it's a death in the family or a financial battle. Everyone is fighting a battle, not everyone shares that battle with the public. If someone is not acting like themselves, do not make a scene about it or say they've changed. Think that maybe they're going through a hard time and just need a friend to hang out with to take their mind off things. Think how you act when you go through a hard time; you aren't the same person you were when everything in life seemed great. Things happen, but give it time and they will return back to themselves, until then, just be a friend to them.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Your Disability Label Is Not Your Weakness

A fight with a loved one gave me a new perspective on my autism diagnosis.
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A crutch is something you use to walk when you are unable to do so in the conventional, two-footed way.

Last week, my autism diagnosis was called a "crutch" by somebody very close to me.

It hurt.

A crutch is something to lean on when a part of your body is unable to work as society deems "normal." It is something you can use to explain why you take forever to get to class, something you can use to explain why you can't take a ton of stairs. "Sorry, I'm on crutches," you say, and you are taken to the nearest elevator.

If a crutch helps you get around, why was the word used as an insult?

I had abstained from talking to the offender for a day because I only saw them in times they typically liked silence. They were angry that I didn't recognize this, I explained I had autism, and they shot back that it was my "crutch."

The message being conveyed was, "you're using your diagnosis to excuse your failed interpretation of social norms that come off as rude." Yes, that's how autism works. It comes with social disability (note: the term Asperger's syndrome was redacted by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013 and is generally considered outdated). Explaining myself helps people understand why I can't do certain things like make eye contact or wait my turn in the conversation. It's not because I'm lazy or a jerk, it's because my neurotype doesn't find these things as easy as yours does.

Think about crutches in a literal sense: "You're on crutches to excuse the fact that you can't walk because of your broken ankle." Yes, that's how crutches work. You use a crutch because your ankle can't work the way most ankles do. Without the signs that your ankle doesn't function normally, people would really wonder why you were trapped on the first floor of the elevator-less student union for hours.

Maybe my label is a crutch, but not in the insulting way my family member meant it. I use my diagnosis to explain why I act the way I do. When you see somebody with crutches, there is a visible cue that the person will struggle with stairs, and you don't judge them for it. My saying I have autism is an explanation of why, through no weakness of my own, I cannot act in more convenient, socially acceptable ways.

By no means am I likening autism to something as inconvenient as breaking a bone. Believe me, it has so many benefits, too -- hyper-focus, synesthesia in some cases, intense joy that comes with special interests. It also should not be "cured" with time or medicine like a broken bone can. But the connection here is that labels are typically used as explanations, not excuses.

After all, when you use real crutches to help you get around, people assume that you need them. They don't think that you're weak for taking care of yourself, right?

Cover Image Credit: Sharon McCutcheon

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6 Shows That Have Fabulous LGBT Representation

We all need a little rainbow sometimes.
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In today's society, the LGBT community has way more representation than we would've ever thought possible a few decades ago! Here are my top six shows that have fabulous LGBT representation.

1. "Pretty Little Liars"

One of the main characters in this show comes out in the first season whenever she ends up falling for the new girl. It shows the struggle she had coming out and the difficulty her mom had accepting it at first. It handles the situation very well and very accurate, in my opinion. Throughout the show, there are many more characters to represent the LGBT community—including one girl who shows that sexuality can be fluid by never actually labeling herself.

2. "Orange Is The New Black"

Anyone who's seen this show knows it's probably one of the gayest things ever. It really does show every part of the rainbow, though! There's tons of lesbian characters, one who may possibly identify as bisexual, a male guard who's gay, and a transgender woman. They even mention the Kinsey Scale, which is basically something that shows there are grey areas of sexuality. It's not just you're either this or that.

3. "RuPaul's Drag Race"

For anyone who expects a show about cars racing...well, I guess you'll be getting a big ol' surprise. This show is a competition for drag queens for who will become the next drag superstar. So as you might've guessed, it's pretty darn gay. I love the art and entertainment of drag, though! It's a way for these people to explore and show their individuality and creativity. There are even a few transgender queens to represent the T in LGBT!

4. "Grey's Anatomy"

Calzona represents the lesbian and the bisexual communities! On top of having a lesbian couple in the show, they get married and have a baby, too! It shows that gay couple is just as normal as other couples. They have the right to be married and have a family just like anyone else.

5. "The L Word"

It's all in the title, honestly. This show has lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender representation...lots of it. There are gay families, a family with a transgender father, and a few other quirky couples.

6. "Shameless"

The main character in this show is gay, and there are a few others! There's one guy who's a "manly man" who happens to be gay, which shows that masculinity has nothing to do with sexuality. There's transgender characters in later seasons, too!

Have fun binge watching!

Cover Image Credit: Instagram/@abercrombie

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