A letter to my curly hair

Poetry On Odyssey: A Letter To My Lions Mane

It was only fit that a Leo be crowned with a mane


My hair has always formed a huge part of my identity. It has allowed me to gain confidence and feel beautiful. Curly hair may not be easy to manage but it is definitely worth all of the hassle. Thank you for the tangles and the beauty, my mane!

A Letter To My Lions Mane

Dear Curly Hair,

The lion's mane you bestow upon my mornings is a blessing and a curse

Some days you decide to look like perfection

Others it looks like a birds nest

But regardless of how you dress up, you look perfect to me

Natural beauty has always been your preference

There have been a multitude of products that I put in you to make you look breathtaking

Whilst I forgot that your natural state was already captivating

The hoops that adorn my ears give you a touch of gold that no other earring does

Anything other earring gets lost inside of your coils or gets tangled in your mane

It was only fit that a Leo be crowned with a mane

My zodiac was more than a testament to my birth but rather to your presence

Your beauty has crossed language barriers

Nicknames have originated from your beauty, whether it be "curly" or "china"

People ask to touch you constantly, some more aggressively than others

They take you away from me with straighteners and relaxers

But you never stay away for too long, thank you for that

Summer is the best of both worlds

My head is like a stove-top where curly fries are made

But when I emerge from the water of oceans,

Mother nature makes saltwater look like a beauty product

You are also a maze of tangles, everywhere you turn

It is as if though there are Latin dancers intertwining on my scalp

Winter reminds me of your uniqueness

No snowflake is alike and every coil that stems from my roots isn't either

I adore you for the confidence you give me and I treasure your style

Hairstyles are much easier with you because of your beauty

I thank my mother every day for having the patience to nurture you in my childhood

You have been the origin of all of my fashion changes

You were with me through it all, from bows to bandannas, beanies to headbands

I cannot wait for what our next big thing will be

You may be a lions mane, but you give me the confidence to roar


The lion under the mane

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How Nazis Destroyed The Early LGBTQ+ Movement

Berlin was once the center for the LGBTQ+ movement. Was.


Many people are unaware of the LGBTQ+ movement before Stonewall. Broad accusations of queer identities becoming "trendy" are often debated without an in-depth discussion of life before the nuclear family.

There is a reason for this lack of contextual factors. And it's not a happy one. Simon LeVay, neuroscience known for his work with gay men, claims that "America was not the birthplace of the gay-rights movement." Berlin was. Was.

The erasure of LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender people, has been amplified through historical revisionism and censorship throughout the years. An example? The Berlin book burning.

The Berlin book burnings occurred in May 1993, by German university students. This was the largest of the orchestrated burnings, but many occurred throughout the nation. These burnings targeted literature that did not fit within Nazi standards or had "un-German spirit." Many of these works were written and published by Jewish authors. The propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, claimed: "The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism has come to an end."

Magnus Hirschfield, a sexologist, was one of the many authors who would see the flames of censorship seize his work. Hirschfield formed the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, dedicated to the social recognition of LGBTQ+ individuals. It was the first queer advocacy group, ever.

Hirshcfield, along with Arnold Kronfeld, also ran the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, or loosely translated, Institute of Sexology. Hirschfield pioneered the term "transsexualism," and many transgender people were both clients and employees of the Institute, and presented at conferences. The Institute also provided gender-affirming surgeries -- The "Danish Girl," Lili Elbe, underwent surgery here.

In early Berlin, LGBTQ+ magazines existed. LGBTQ+ bars, bookstores, and travel guides existed. Berlin was the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ movement, and many individuals thrived despite laws against homosexuality.

But this all changed when the Nazis came into power.

On May 6, students broke into The Institute and stole the archives of the library, including 12,000+ books. Only four days later, they were destroyed in the burning.

After Nazism took full reign in Germany, life changed completely for LGBTQ+ individuals. An estimated 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality under Nazi Germany. Up to 15,000 of these men ended up in concentration camps.

We have lost countless, irreplaceable research due to Nazism. We have lost countless, irreplaceable lives due to Nazism.

And we can't let this happen again. With the rise of the far-right, with the passage of laws targeting LGBTQ+ people under the Trump administration, we are losing the progress we've made over the past several years.

So educate yourself on LGBTQ+ history. Speak out against bigotry.

The more education we provide, the less power bigotry will have.

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