Out Of My Comfort Zone And Into The OutCenter

Out Of My Comfort Zone And Into The OutCenter

A few things I learned from the research and experience of being an ally to the LGBT community.

Raised in a relatively liberal household, my parents both taught me to love everyone no matter how they look or sound, and to always get to know a person before I make a judgement on them. I was taught that there were very hateful people in the world and that stereotypes would follow us everywhere, but not to fall into the trap of the societal pressure of judging someone based on something they can’t control. As I got older, I started to experience the hate and the cruelty of the people in my town, especially against the LGBT community. I’ve always considered myself an ally to the LGBT community, and this year pushed me beyond my comfort zone, plunging me into the growing world of the OutCenter.

Being an ally is much more than simply accepting everyone for who they are; it’s pushing yourself to places you don’t see yourself being, and indulging in the community itself. Personally, if it weren’t for my senior service project, I would have never gotten involved in the OutCenter -- a non-profit organization that “ensures lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons and their families are welcome, respected, valued, understood, and afforded the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else” -- or met the influential and inspiring people I have (outcenter.org). Holding a concert to raise money for a local “Pride Prom” organized by the OutCenter is truly what pushed me into more and more research and knowledge about the reality of the LGBT community not only in the nation, but right here in my hometown.

From my research on hate-crimes, I’ve found that people don’t get involved unless something detrimental happens or if they are required to. I am a prime example of this. Sure, I considered myself an ally, but none of these people knew I existed and I never went to any events held for the LGBT community and their allies. So why do we wait for this? Why is it the societal standard to wait until someone is murdered or someone kills themselves to push us to raise awareness? With this, I’m not denying the importance of raising awareness once someone has passed away, but these things should be happening before something horrendous happens to someone. People should be honored every day for the amazing, life-changing things that they do within their communities and the world. Even if someone changes one person’s life, that is influential and should be being done worldwide.

Another thing found from not only my research but from the concert itself, none of these people knew we existed. And they also didn’t know all of these other allies existed. We made it known that the concert would be a safe-zone, a place where every single person no matter gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. was welcome and ensured safety and entertainment. So once the people started to come in, it was interesting to see how many allies were truly here in Berrien County. Along with that, I truly believe that not every ally of the community showed up, and that hundreds more are present in our area.

Being an ally and supporting the people in your community is much more than liking a status on Facebook, or saying hi to someone; it’s about directly putting yourself in their environment and their activities– getting to know them, going to see things they’re in, going to things held by the local organization. If you’re worried about being judged for going to a Gay-Straight Alliance meeting or going to a Pride event, swallow your pride. Going to the Pride Prom encouraged me to get to know new people and learn their stories, and it truly was the best time I’ve had in a long time. Don’t be scared to go out of your comfort zone and become a stronger ally to the communities near you, and always honor someone for doing something influential. Societal standards will follow you everywhere, but if you take a stand and in the wise words of Jack Black in "School of Rock," “Stick it to the man.” You will be that person making a difference in someone’s life. You will be the one making a change and potentially saving someone’s life in the process.

Cover Image Credit: outcenter.org

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Basics – How to Shave Beard?- Tips for Guys

Clean Face

Young adolescent boys enjoy youthfulness. They like to wear new costumes, and do different haircuts. However, they grow ultra thin moustache and beard on their faces. Bushy beard and dense moustache are not attractive. Sweethearts like well-shaven face without wild beard. Therefore, they should abide by few important tips how to shave beard fantastically.

DIY Beard Shaving Tips

See, professional barbers reshape rough beard and disheveled hair. They are professional with little passion to assist customers who are not matured. At home, try to trim the unwanted beard to smoothen up the facial skin dynamically. DIY beard shaving methods are cost effective to economical guys. For rookies, it will be difficult to wipe out strong hairs of the beard efficiently. So, they must have guide from experts or seniors. For example, watching seniors to remove grey beard hairs fluently, they are competent to clean the face. Besides, online demos and slide shows with step-wise guidance how to shave beard are helpful to beginners.

Basics of Beard Shaving Toolkit

  • Arrange a curvy gripe safe ergonomic sharp razor which is hand-driven
  • Shaving cream with a brush for skin exfoliation
  • A cup of lukewarm water to disinfect shaving tools
  • A bottle of black cumin seeds tincture for healing up wounds and bleeding
  • A small scissor for beard trimming
  • Cotton balls or clean clothes
  • A small wall mountable glass/large mirror to see
  • First of all, observe your face before driving your razor
  • Check whether your face has also zits, or pimples
  • Avoid the infected areas when you start removing beard with sharpened razor.
  • It is better to trim dense beard hair to make it easy for you
  • Then hold your razor carefully to steer clear of bleeding and cut
  • Drench your face in water and then apply shaving cream to brush up both sides of cheeks including chin using a soft brush.
  • Start straight from the top.
  • Slow but steadfast razor moving is beneficial to teenager
  • Beard on cheeks should be cut slowly without leaving deep dent
  • When you let your razor drive down to drill on chin, you must safeguard throat. Mobility in razor controlling is necessary.
  • Manage your tension
  • Go for complete beard shaving.
  • If you receive mild injury, you must not forget to apply topical anti-bacterial oil or spray on the wound. Don’t scratch or do hard rubbing. It will make the wounds severe.

1 Minute Guide to Shave Beard-Steps

Usually, dudes are interested to do double beard shaving to enhance the skin fairness. There should not be anything left incomplete on your face. For this reason, you must rub your face with fingers to measure the degree of smoothness. Finally, in the case of skin infection, pre-existing inflammation and allergies, guys have to use biodegradable antibiotic lotion/gel and cream to take care of the face. Modern guys must become handsome to entice women. They should learn techniques to shave wild beard for physical aesthete.

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7 Tips To Being The Best Leader You Can Be

Make sure you're being the type of leader that you wouldn't mind following.

There are a lot of examples of bad leadership... like, too many examples. It's incredibly hard to find people who are good leaders and good people, instead of one or the other. Many of us will find ourselves leading people, so we better make sure that we do it right!

1. Introduce yourself, and lay your ground rules

Your first impression as a leader isn't necessarily the most important, but laying ground rules for your team will help them be on the same page as you and will also keep you honest. Introducing rules earlier on will also lead to a lot of accountability within your team. That being said, make sure to...

2. Be consistent

Both with yourself and with your team. If you say being 15 minutes tardy without prior warning will expel you from practice (or a meeting, or rehearsal) for the night, make sure you keep yourself to that. Consistency also means consistency between members of your team. No matter how you feel personally about whoever is on your team, they should not receive any different treatment. That being said, they should receive equitable treatment. Which means...

3. F*ck Nepotism (and cronyism)

If it were up to me, I would say nepotism is the most toxic thing that could happen to a team. Whether it be playing favorites, or giving special power to the people on the team you are closest with. Any nepotistic behavior will instantly cause a rift between your team. You are not Moses, and your team is not the Red Sea. Squash any nepotistic inkling inside of you.

4. Be approachable

To everyone, early and often. Make it a point every meeting to interact with every member present. If you can help it, for an equitable amount of time. If someone is struggling, it's okay to give them more of your attention than people who may not be.

5. Don't fall for the 'bad boys' or the 'kiss-ups'

I've seen a lot of team captains play favorites to people who show them little respect because something about the opposition gives them a power trip. Same thing with kiss-ups, where the ego filling trumps every other emotion. Don't do that.

6. Not too Machiavellian, not too Barney

Machiavelli says in his book The Prince that it is better to be feared than loved, Barney says that it is more important to be loved than anything. In leadership, both of these are wrong. It is better to be respected and appreciated above all. Love is nice, but should not be your primary goal. And finally...

7. Be self-aware

Are you someone that you'd like to follow? Can you see uneasiness on your team? Check in with yourself, constantly. Make sure you are always adjusting and readjusting to be the leader you would like your team to be proud of. Think of some of your favorite, and most effective leaders. See what they did right, and what they did wrong.

Everyone will have to follow a leader someday. Make sure you're being the type of leader that you wouldn't mind following. The tricky thing about leading is that, mentally, you must equalize yourself to your team. Emotionally, you must be aware of all of your words and actions, but overall, everything you do will be interpreted differently. You must write your own narrative.

Cover Image Credit: Loulou Batta

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