Queer People Face Adversity On A Daily Basis, And You Should Admire Them For Their Strength

Queer People Face Adversity On A Daily Basis, And You Should Admire Them For Their Strength

What you should see are survivors, people who dare to be themselves in a world that discourages otherwise.


I'm convinced that Ryan Murphy will never make something that I don't like. "Pose," his newest TV show, just premiered on June 3rd and I already know I'm hooked. His tribute to Ball culture, alongside the seamless integration of the 1980s' social and literary scenes, allows the show to flow like a queer mix of "Sex and the City" and "America's Next Top Model," with more glam, dancing, and better modeling skills, of course.

Aside from the breathtaking visuals and electrifying splashes of music and art, I found myself most enraptured by Murphy's emphasis on community and finding a home among other "outsiders." The raw depiction of alienation and confusion did much to highlight the harsh reality of young queer people, who glaringly stick out in a society that aims to make them invisible. In fact, I continued to ruminate over this theme long after I turned off the TV.

Ball culture, established in the 1920s in New York City, was one of the many ways in which members of the LGBT community worked together to defy social norms and create their own spaces where they were free to be themselves. If we take a look back in history, we see this isn't the only instance: literary clubs like "The Violet Quill" and festivals like Dinah Shore Weekend are other examples of LGBT members celebrating themselves and culture amidst a discriminatory and intolerant society.

It's quite inspiring, actually, how throughout history they've been able to take each shitty experience and gross perpetuation of gender and sexual orientation-based discrimination, and use them to create something beautiful and truly unique. Not only did they cultivate and exemplify their own culture, they've made contributions to and influenced the "global" culture.

The majority of the slang words we use today ("realness," "spilling tea," "work," "hunty," and who could forget about "yass, queen!"?) were coined by drag queens, while much of the trends in fashion and makeup were first introduced (or made famous by) queer people. Their influence is truly fascinating, as they're not accepted by society, but have somehow managed to create culture that others indulge in and idolize. They have a way of prospering and adding flair to whatever it is they do, even amongst all of the obstacles that are set in place.

Perhaps they're born with it, or perhaps it is the result of being cast out and turned away, left with no other option but to glorify, appreciate, and accept yourself because the vast majority of other people won't. You'd be surprised at the wonderful things people can create and inspire out of their pain and trauma. And you'd also be surprised at how far a sense of community and understanding can take people.

Marginalized people are survival experts. They come into this world already targeted and spend their whole lives learning how to overcome. It's a hard and unfair game, but with the support from each other, we make it work. It's easy to look at an eccentric, effeminate gay man or a transgender woman and see a caricature, to dismiss them based on a system of heteronormativity and outdated gender norms. But what you should see are survivors, people who dare to be themselves in a world that discourages otherwise.

Cover Image Credit:

poseonfx / Instagram

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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