I Will No Longer Be Silent About My Stance On Transgenders

I Will No Longer Be Silent About My Stance On Transgenders

My rant about one man's ignorant post.
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I have to start off with this: I don't normally get political. I keep my views to myself as a safety feature since I know how heated and brutal those conversations can get. The fact that I've even thought of writing this should say how strongly I feel about the ignorance I've seen. If anyone's feelings are "hurt" from this, well, get your facts straight and I won't have to speak up.

The situation that I encountered early the other morning was a Facebook status that a friend had shared from their friend saying this, "ALERT! DANGER! Union county NC parents. Your school system is requiring 3rd graders to read books about transgenderism. These books are designed to not just inform but recruit. Be Who You Are and The Gender Fairy are two titles. Get to your school and let them know your opinion." That, my friends, is a direct quote and all of the status this man gave.

Now, I am not mad he doesn't like transgender people. I am not irritated that he wants parents from my county, in the school system I grew up in, to say how much they don't agree in educating their children about these people and maybe even themselves. I appreciate he used the word "inform" rather than brain wash like most do. What I disagree with, what is misinformation, what made me rage enough to write this was that this man thinks you can recruit someone to be transgender. Being transgender isn't something you just decided one day to spend thousands of dollars to become. First of all, you know that you don't feel comfortable in your own gender for a long while. I have friends who have known since before they even knew what the concept of being transgender was. They were not recruited, it is how they feel and what they already knew before. This is not a new subject, this is not a fad, these are people who all have rights to be happy. Maybe, if you took the time to ask someone who was going through this, or tried to see their side, you would know this is not something they can help. Just like you can't help putting things out on the internet without having all the facts.

Facts like there's nothing out there about the actual implementation of these books in the school systems, and you know the media would have a ball with this. I found things about a Michigan teacher reading to her class about cross dressing, the bathrooms in Charlotte-Mecklenberg schools going against the unjust law put in place. I found suicides because of bullying, but nothing about what this person has said. From his comments, his daughter told him they were doing this at her elementary school. One elementary school out of at least 21 in solely Union County, NC. Instead of causing a panic in the people of your homophobic society, you should take it up with your daughter's school and teacher first and make sure it's not just one person who is teaching your daughter to be accepting of all and have the facts you seem to be missing about a sensitive subject for all communities.

Now for my opinion on the subject straight out. I am a cis, white, heterosexual female. I have seen all sides of this argument and kept mostly to myself till now. I have been yelled at on the internet for not being queer or bisexual, or trans because people on both sides are so angry at what they cannot accept. I have friends who are transgender, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, gay, lesbian, queer, and non-binary. I don't give two shits what you like as long as you're a good person. If you're not a good person, I would never use your sexuality to hurt you. If you respect me, I'll respect you. Simple. I've never understood why it matters to other people what changes they decide to make to their lives. I've never understood the need to shove them into the square we live in when that person is a triangle. We are all people, we all are living with hearts beating. Why is this so hard for you to believe? Why would they need to recruit people to be like them? Are they starting an army??? I just don't understand the intolerance when it has no effect on you. You don't want to understand? Fine, but why do your children have to suffer losing friends because they simply are different? Why? My grandmother didn't like black people, but that didn't stop my father from accepting them.

This rant was never meant to leave my head, but after seeing that post, I knew I had to have my opinion heard somehow.

For the intolerant people: Please tell me why? If it comes down to the Bible, then why does it matter to you if they go to Hell? Are you worried you'll see them there?

For my LGBTQ+ and Allies: Keep going. Get your word out. My silence has been broken, and together with our words and actions, there will be less intolerance one day like there is less racism now. Fight.


Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Please, If You're Somehow Still Using The 'R Word'— Leave That Habit In 2018

Come on guys, its 2018. Google a new word.

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Maybe it was because I witnessed two boys get in trouble in elementary school for using this word as an insult.

Maybe it's because I fell in love with a thing called Camp Able. Maybe it's because one of my best friends is a special ed major. Or maybe it's because I try to be a decent human being. I do not use the R word.

Until this past semester, I hadn't really heard anyone use it often despite one encounter in 6th grade. Most of my best friends I have met while serving at places like Camp Able or Camp Bratton Green where summers are dedicated to people with diverse-abilities. I think having been surrounded with like-minded people for so long made me forget that some people still use it as an expression.

Let me tell you, it's annoying.

The word itself has been brushed off even in a "scientific" sense. It means to be slowed down, but it has stretched far beyond that meaning and has turned into an insult.

It's an insult of comparison.

Like any word, the power behind it is given by the user and most times, the user uses it to demean another person. It's like when you hear someone say "that's gay."

Like, what? Why is that term being used in a derogatory sense?

Why is someone's sexuality an insult? Hearing someone use the R-word physically makes me cringe and tense up. It makes me wonder what truly goes on in someone's mind. People will argue back that it's "just a word" and to "chill out," but if it was just a word, why not use something else?

There is a whole world full of vocabulary waiting to be used and you're using something that offends a whole community. Just because you don't care, it does not mean it shouldn't matter. Just use a different word and avoid hurting a person's feeling, it really is just that simple.

There is not a good enough reason to use it.

I volunteer at two summer camps: Camp Bratton Green and Camp Able. If you know me, I talk nonstop about the two. More realistically, if you know me, it's probably because I met you through one of the two. Even before I was introduced to the love at Camp Able, I still knew that this was a word not to use and it never crossed my mind to think of it.

The history behind the R-word goes back to describe people with disabilities but because of the quick slang pick up it was sort of demoted from the psychology world. Comparing someone or something that is negative to a word that you could easily avoid speaks volumes about who you are as a person.

The word is a word, but it is subjective in its meaning and in its background.

Just stop using it.

A List of Objective Words/Phrases to Use:

Fool/Foolish

Blockhead

Nincompoop

Silly

Ludicrous

Dim-witted

Trivial

Naive

"A few beads short on the rosary"

"On crack or something"

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No, Victoria's Secret Is Not Obliged To Use Plus-Size Or Transgender Models

After Victoria's Secret Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek made it clear the models walking the runway for the lingerie line would not be changing anytime soon, critics decided it was time for the company to adopt a more progressive mindset and encourage inclusivity of every kind of woman.

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On November 8, 2018, as the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion show was set to film and backstage its most recognized models, including Sui He, Candice Swanepoel, Adriana Lima, and Romee Strijd, prepped and interviewed, their Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek's interview with Vogue.com was going viral.

It's no secret the lingerie company is exclusive in the models it hires to represent the brand. Even its most diverse models, spanning from Asian to Black and Brazilian, mirror typically white features, and the models make no effort to hide the months of physical training and dietary rules they keep to achieve their slim runway bodies. The last time the show even attempted to include "plus-size" models was in 2000, which Ed Razek himself dubbed a failure.

However, most critics drew the line after Ed Razak's comments to Vogue were released prior to filming that Thursday in which he essentially stated that transgender and larger-sized models would not be seen on Victoria's Secret runway anytime soon, even though he made it clear they have considered their inclusion in the past. The remarks sparked an outrage online and several models responded with social media postings expressing their support for the transgender community.

The question here is, should Victoria's Secret feel obligated to incorporate transgender and plus-sized models into their shows to represent "all women?" Or are they at liberty to determine who and what their brand represents, and the specific women who will don their lingerie on the runway?

Like any brand, Victoria's Secret is just that: a brand, with a targeted consumer, a determined aesthetic, and deliberate marketing strategy to draw that consumer in and keep them as life-long buyers. More than that, Victoria's Secret, with its internationally televised annual fashion show (that draws in nearly 1.6 billion viewers in 190 countries), has transformed into a label filled with superstar models backed by a devoted fan base. The company extends beyond its retail shops. It's a source of entertainment and as Ed Razek puts it, "a fantasy."

To force Victoria's Secret, or any brand or company for that matter, to alter who represents their product for the sake of political correctness is misguided.

If you don't approve of the models who walk in their shows, don't buy their clothing.

Further, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is comparable to the Superbowl of modeling. The sixty models selected to walk are chosen from hundreds of models who, in addition, beat out thousands of other models to simply land that audition. They work incredibly hard to become physically fit for the runway, to the point that several high-fashion brands refuse to allow them to walk in their shows, deeming them too fat. To belittle their work and efforts in the name of "inclusion" is what's genuinely shameful.

Yes, it may be disappointing to the plus-size or transgender models who dream of walking for Victoria's Secret or the customers who don't see themselves represented in their marketing that the company refuses to reassess its image, but several other brands including ThirdLove or Savage X Fenty exclusively market to these women. Like any fashion line or clothing company, not every consumer will feel inclined to buy their products, so they choose another store to shop at. However, that does not determine the preferences of other consumers, and many women around the world, like me, are fond of the Victoria's Secret brand and what their models represent.

To me, they're fit, beautiful, and empowering women who faithfully back the people and company they represent.

If you don't agree, that's OK; but don't slander the models who spend years with Victoria's Secret as the end goal of their career in mind or the women who feel empowered and beautiful in their clothing is unjust and really, quite ironic. If your intention as one of these critics is to see the support and acceptance of all women, that must include those who work tirelessly to achieve the bodies and careers that you're shaming for being too "perfect."

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