Stop Complaining That I'm Not In Your Political Party

Stop Complaining That I'm Not In Your Political Party

When did bipartisan become the only acceptable answer?

When George Washington stepped down from the presidency all those years ago, he set precedents for those who come after him to follow. Most of us were actually clearly taught this in school growing up. I distinctly remember taking a test in eighth-grade social studies where I had to list a few of them. In today's world, one aged a little worse than the rest.

No political parties.

Maybe George Washington was on to something. Maybe he foresaw the state our nation is currently in. Frankly, we are a bipartisan mess.

Being on the cusp of millennials and Generation Z, I am living in a time where politics is starting to overwhelm social media, which is already overwhelming enough in itself with the amount of control and relevancy it has over young people. Without fail, I can open any one of my accounts on any given day and either see a jab at the conservatives or the liberals, and it's starting to become extremely unsettling. Not because I feel like I am being attacked in any of the posts, but because I am sitting on the outside watching two parties refuse to see value on the other side.

I am sitting on the outside watching two parties pigeonhole a person into a few of their beliefs and assume that because they don't agree with them, they no longer have worth as a human. It's harsh, but it's true.

I am a moderate. I am an independent. I bounce between parties during elections and during casual debates with friends. This shouldn't be a hard thing to say. It shouldn't feel odd to stand up and make my beliefs known without fearing retribution. But it does feel weird to confidently declare that I stand by my ideas.

When last year's election came around, most every conversation began or ended with everyone's elevator pitch as to why their candidate was the best option. The amount of frustration people had toward me for not seeing much of anything to support in either party was striking. Truly, I did not believe either candidate would do the title and job of President the justice it deserves. Both sides would gladly group me with their enemies because I wasn't necessarily their ally. Both sides would refuse to see the credit in anything I was saying because my views were not their own. No matter which way I voted in that election, Democratic or Republican or Third Party, I would be blamed for the outcome.

That's not how democracy is supposed to work.

There are some things, especially with the economy, that I believe need to government-regulated. And then there are some things that I believe shouldn't be the government's choice, especially when it comes to limiting certain people's rights because they don't resemble the people making the decisions. There are some views I am still trying to find my stance on. But this doesn't mean you get to look at me and scoff and tell me I'm wrong. You don't get to look at the opposing party and say that either.

Because if you assume you're right and they're wrong, they are probably just assuming the same thing back.

So what's the crime in me agreeing with you and with them?

It doesn't make me two-faced, it doesn't make me indecisive. I actually think it's freeing. I think that we should be the future, not the people generalizing the opposite party into all morons or all bigots. Obviously, not everyone who affiliates with a party acts this way. But the ones who do are the ones who are driving the political state of this country into the ground.

Stop yelling at me for not picking a party. Stop assuming that because I'm not 100% with you, that I'm 100% against you. I still vote, I still campaign for who I believe in, I still march for what I'm passionate about and I still make my voice heard. I'm trying to find my way like everyone else, and I simply don't think either side is right for me. Maybe if more people were comfortable with accepting this, and maybe if more people accepted that those of us in the middle deserve to have a voice too, things may have gone differently.

There's been a saying passed around philosophers for a while now, so it's hard to give credit where it's due. People like Winston Churchill, Georges Clemenceau, and Francois Guizot have all been cited expressing the idea in some fashion that if you're not liberal in your 20's you have no heart, and if you aren't conservative in your 40's you have no head. Maybe it's time for us all to look for a happy medium, or at least try to understand it.

Cover Image Credit: Roya Ann Miller

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No, I Don't Have To Tell You I'm Trans Before Dating You

Demanding trans people come out to potential partners is transphobic.

In 2014, Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old Filipina woman, was brutally murdered after having sex with a U.S. marine. The marine in question, Joseph Scott Pemberton, strangled her until she was unconscious and then proceeded to drown her in a toilet bowl.

Understandably, this crime triggered a lot of outrage. But while some were outraged over the horrific nature of the crime, many others were outraged by a different detail in the story. That was because Jennifer Laude had done the unspeakable. She was a trans woman and had not disclosed that information before having sex with Pemberton. So in the minds of many cis people, her death was the price she paid for not disclosing her trans status. Here are some of the comments on CNN's Facebook page when the story broke.

As a trans person, I run into this attitude all the time. I constantly hear cis people raging about how a trans person is "lying" if they don't come out to a potential partner before dating them. Pemberton himself claimed that he felt like he was "raped" because Laude did not come out to him. Even cis people that fashion themselves as "allies" tend to feel similar.

Their argument is that they aren't not attracted to trans people, so they should have a right to know if a potential partner is trans before dating them. These people view transness as a mere physical quality that they just aren't attracted to.

The issue with this logic is that the person in question is obviously attracted to trans people, or else they wouldn't be worried about accidentally going out with one. So these people aren't attracted to trans people because of some physical quality, they aren't attracted to trans people because they are disgusted by the very idea of transness.

Disgust towards trans people is ingrained in all of us from a very early age. The gender binary forms the basis of European societies. It establishes that there are men and there are women, and each has a specific role. For the gender binary to have power, it has to be rigid and inflexible. Thus, from the day we are born, we are taught to believe in a very static and strict form of gender. We learn that if you have a penis, you are a man, and if you have a vagina, you are a woman. Trans people are walking refutations of this concept of gender. Our very existence threatens to undermine the gender binary itself. And for that, we are constantly demonized. For example, trans people, mainly women of color, continue to be slaughtered in droves for being trans.

The justification of transphobic oppression is often that transness is inherently disgusting. For example, the "trans panic" defense still exists to this day. This defense involves the defendant asking for a lesser sentence after killing a trans person because they contend that when they found out the victim was trans, they freaked out and couldn't control themselves. This defense is still legal in every state but California.

And our culture constantly reinforces the notion that transness is undesirable. For example, there is the common trope in fictional media in which a male protagonist is "tricked" into sleeping with a trans woman. The character's disgust after finding out is often used as a punchline.

Thus, not being attracted to trans people is deeply transphobic. The entire notion that someone isn't attracted to a group of very physically diverse group of people because they are trans is built on fear and disgust of trans people. None of this means it is transphobic to not be attracted to individual trans people. Nor is it transphobic to not be attracted to specific genitals. But it is transphobic to claim to not be attracted to all trans, people. For example, there is a difference between saying you won't go out with someone for having a penis and saying you won't go out with someone because they're trans.

So when a cis person argues that a trans person has an obligation to come out to someone before dating them, they are saying trans people have an obligation to accommodate their transphobia. Plus, claiming that trans people are obligated to come out reinforces the idea that not being attracted to trans people is reasonable. But as I've pointed out, not being attracted to trans people supports the idea that transness is disgusting which is the basis for transphobic oppression.

The one scenario in which I would say a trans person should disclose their trans status is if they are going to have sex with someone and are unsure if their partner is attracted to whatever genitals they may have. In that case, I think it's courteous for a trans person to come out to avoid any awkwardness during sex. But even then, a trans person isn't "lying" if they don't come out and their partner is certainly not being "raped."

It is easy to look at the story of Jennifer Laude and claim that her death was due to the actions of one bigot. But it's more complicated than that. Pemberton was the product of a society that told him that disgust towards trans people was reasonable and natural. So when he found out that he accidentally slept with a trans woman, he killed her.

Every single cis person that says that trans people have to come out because they aren't attracted to trans people feeds into the system that caused Jennifer Laude's death. And until those cis people acknowledge their complicity in that system, there will only be more like Jennifer Laude.

SEE ALSO: Yes, You Absolutely Need To Tell Someone You're Trans Before Dating

Cover Image Credit: Nats Getty / Instagram

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10 Men That Will Change Your Mind About Hair Loss

It happens to the best of them, but these men look better with a bald head!


Hair loss is such a common thing for men to face as they get older. As a society, I feel as though we typically frown upon it. This is probably the case due to the amount of hair transplants and hair products to stop hair loss and start hair growth. However, there are some men who can make the hair loss turn into a great thing because of how good they look bald. So, I have found the best looking bald men (in my opinion, of course!) and put them all into one list for your viewing pleasure!


1. Will Smith

First of all, I am extremely bias because I believe that Will Smith is the best looking man on this planet (even my boyfriend knows this!). Second, Will Smith is not always bald, but when he is, he tops the list of all bald men. In his role of Deadshot in Suicide Squad, Will was rocking the bald cut and looked absolutely amazing while doing so. 10/10, would recommend.

Will Smith: Deadshot

2. Idris Elba

Once again, another man that is not usually bald but when he is, he sure does kill. Idris Elba is such a great looking man and has an even better sounding voice. What is better than a man with an accent that looks good bald?

Idris Elbaidris-elba-hairstyle

3. Dwayne Johnson

We all know that the Rock is a favorite among women. He is tall, handsome and has the big strong muscles. Not to mention he plays the sweet father role well and has a great sense of humor. But the most impressive part of him is that he can be bald and pull it off VERY well!

Dwayne Johnson

4. Morris Chestnut

Such a beautiful man with an amazing smile. I am not sure how someone could not love the appearance of Morris Chestnut. Did I mention his smile?

Morris Chestnutmorris-chestnut

5. Shemar Moore

Another man with no hair that steals the show with a great smile is Shemar Moore. His bald head stands out in a great way and I think it would be impossible to have this type of list without Shemar on it.

Shemar Moore

6. Kobe Bryant

Not only is the MVP of basketball but he might be the MVM (most valued man) of the bald men out there! Once again, another beautiful smile. Not to mention, he's extremely talented.

Kobe Bryant

7. LL Cool J

A singer and an actor, representing the best of the bald men out there. Such a beautiful smile (are we seeing a trend here?) and an even better looking man. Could not leave LL Cool J off of this list either.

LL Cool J

8. Tyrese Gibson

Another man who can definitely give a positive view on being bald and losing your hair, Tyrese has been doing the look justice for a long time now.

Tyrese Gibson

9. Vin Diesel

We all know him from the Fast and the Furious, but let's recognize that he is a great looking man, rocking the bald head look. We love the movies and we love him. Go you Vin Diesel, keep rocking out and winning over all of our hearts (and eyes!).

Vin Diesel

10. Common

What common lacks in hair on his head he gains in facial hair. I swear he has one of the best beards ever. Also, those freckles? Hello? So cute!


Hopefully, after seeing as these wonderful men absolutely slaying the bald look, you'll think twice about hair loss (whether you're a man or a woman!).

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