It's Best To Assume Inclusivity

It’s Best To Accept Inclusivity-An Edit To My Former Opinion

"there is no harm in actively using and participating in gender neutral or gender inclusive language - it can only help people."

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In the past few days, I've gotten a lot of backlash for my gender neutrality article - and rightly so. As the author of that article, I apologize if I made you feel invalidated, uncomfortable, or angry. It was a poorly written, uninformed opinion. It was my opinion in its most undeveloped and empty form, and in the past few days, I've bolstered it with factual information and diverse perspective.

I do not support transphobia or hate of any kind in the LGBTQ+ community, or any community for that matter. I never meant for what I wrote to be transphobic or disrespectful in any way, and I certainly did not intend to cause harm or rally up transphobic people. But only after my article was read by the people that it was actually referring to was I able to see that my words could be twisted into hate speech. My uninformed outsider opinion did not convey what I was trying to say without also expressing entitlement and bigotry. What I was trying to say was nothing close to what it was interpreted as. I did not want to cause or spread harm, and for that, I apologize to anybody hurt by my words. SDSU is actually "among the best schools in the nation for LGBTQ students"(collegechoice.net), and I am so embarrassed to have taken that away from people. I would never want anybody to feel unsafe while on campus and I sincerely apologize if my article did just that.

I have always internalized the idea of inclusivity and being respectful to everybody, but thinking that it's best not to offend people with gender neutral or gender inclusive words completely unravels that internalization. I originally thought that it would be similar to misgendering someone by using they/them instead of using the pronoun that most people can fairly assume based off of physical looks and behavior. But, there is no harm in actively using and participating in gender neutral or gender inclusive language - it can only help people. It creates a safe space and lets the other person know that whichever pronouns they prefer that they will be respected and utilized. It doesn't hurt anybody to be inclusive. I have empathy for those who are misgendered and mistreated every day. I believe in treating everybody with the respect and inclusion that they deserve.

If you yourself want to continue considering yourself "open-minded" and "supportive of everybody", I suggest you heed these two pieces of advice:

1. You should aim to have meaningful interaction with the group of people that you claim you are supportive of. I have always considered myself supportive of anyone's choice to identify as whatever/whomever they want. I am happy to use the terms and pronouns that you prefer, and I would never think lesser of someone based on their identity. But after the backlash started and I had people calling me transphobic left and right, I had to step back and consider what it really meant to be an ally of this community.

Clearly, these people did not see me as an ally, they saw me as another bigot causing harm. Someone pointed out to me that in order to really be an ally of this community, you need to constantly take the time and energy to be gender inclusive and/or gender neutral. Simply not being against the community is not enough. We, as allies, need to be actively supportive and inclusive. I am not close to anybody who considers themselves part of this community. But I'm glad that I took the time to have a conversation with some of these people over the Internet. At first, most people just called me trash and transphobic and wanted to hate on me. But after they saw that I was reaching out to them not only to apologize but also to learn from them, some of them took the time to be helpful and educate me.

2. Unless you can be absolutely sure you've done your research, it probably isn't a good idea to express opinions on groups that you are not part of. I get annoyed when I see opinions published by Chinese people about Chinese topics and I myself am Chinese. So, I can't imagine how angry these people must have felt to see me expressing ill opinions about their community. And even if you have done your research, tread lightly. There's always going to be someone somewhere upset with something you've said. But at least you will be informed and learned about the opinions that you are expressing.

For more content, check out my up and coming lifestyle/travel blog: A Living Purpose :)

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20 Rules Of A Southern Belle

It is more than just biscuits and grits.
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These unwritten rules separate the people that move to the South and were born and raised in the South. If you were born and raised in a small southern town, you either are a southern belle or hope you get to marry one. Their southern charm is hard to dislike and impossible to be taught.

1. Adults are to be answered with "Yes ma’am" and "Yes sir."

Whether it’s your parents, grandparents, or the person that checks you out at the grocery store, always say yes ma’am.

2. Always write a thank you note.

For any and everything. No gesture is too small.

3. Expect a gentleman to hold the door open and pull out your chair.

Chivalry is not dead; you just need to find the right guy.

4. All tea is sweet.

Below the Mason-Dixon Line, tea is made no other way.

5. Don’t be afraid to cook with butter.

I’ve never met a good cook that didn’t giggle a little.

6. “Coke” refers to all sodas.

Here in the south, this means all types of sodas.

7. Pearls go with anything — literally anything

And every southern belle is bound to have at least one good set.

8. "If it’s not moving, monogram it."

9. Pastels are always in fashion.

And they look good on almost everyone.

10. And so is Lilly Pulitzer.

11. Curls, curls and more curls.

The bigger the hair, the closer to Jesus.

12. If you are wearing sandals, your toenails should be done.

13. Never ever ever wear white shoes, pants, dresses, or purses after Labor Day or before Easter.

Brides are the only exception. Yes we actually do follow this rule.

14. Never leave the house without lipstick.

A little mascara and lipstick can work miracles.

15. Always wear white when you walk down the aisle.

Weddings are taken very seriously here in the South, and they should be nothing but traditional.

16. Southern weddings should always be big.

The more bridesmaids the better.

17. Saturdays in the fall are reserved for college football.

Whether you spend it tailgating in that college town or watching the big game from your living room. You can guarantee that all southerner’s eyes will be glued to the game.

18. Sunday is for Jesus and resting.

19. Learn how to take compliments curiously.

20. Have class, always.

Cover Image Credit: Daily Mail

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It's 2019, And I Can Confirm One Size Does Not Fit All, At All

I'll take feeling good over meeting your standards. Thank you.

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We live in a society where being yourself and expressing who you truly are is something that is becoming more and more accepted and is actually trendy. Left and right, people are coming forward and declaring who they are and want to be in life and there is a crowd of people there to cheer them on.

There is also always that small percent sitting in the corner, ready to throw derogatory comments and taint the self-love, respect, and acceptance that's flowing.

Every single time this happens, the internet breaks and feuds form in the comment sections. How many times does this fight have to be had before people just mind their own business? How someone looks is frankly none of your concern. Whether you think the person is too fat, too skinny, too girly, too rough, too whatever, it's none of your business.

I'm a firm believer that one should focus on their own life instead of living to tear others down. You should be more concerned with feeling good in your own body than wasting your energy trying to make people ashamed of theirs. It's not your place to comment on someone's appearance.

We should work on building up confidence and feeling good in our skin. Exercising, working on your mental health, and surrounding yourself with good energy will improve your life exponentially. DO NOT do this to achieve an aesthetic or try to look like an Instagram model. Only do it to feel good about yourself internally. What you look like on the outside should only matter to you.

I would be lying if I said I didn't fall victim to countless beautiful women who post their swimsuit photos looking like they stepped out of Vogue magazine. I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle with my own body image and have to remind myself daily that it's okay to not fit their mold. I won't lie to you. We live in a world that feels the need to comment on every inch of our skin rather than focus on more important issues. Shut off the noise and ignore the words that are given in hate. You have better things to do than focus on their negativity.

Make your own mold.

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