Bisexuality in the Media.

Yesterday, there was some talk on Twitter around the idea that Steve Rodgers (Captain America) in MCU is definitely not straight and how much some (myself included) would love to see him be bisexual (or some other variation). But, knowing Marvel and mainstream media as a whole, the likelihood that Steve would officially be bi, pan, ace, or the like is unfortunately and sadly really slim.

There are a couple things that I really started to think about after reading these tweets and expressing my own interest in a bisexual Steve Rodgers. The first was the stereotypes that many bisexual people have to deal with on a regular basis. We’re painted as greedy, unable to pick a side, that we’re half straight and half gay, that we’re confused or following a fad. We’re said to be transphobic because of our identity and often the chance to define it is taken from us.

2000px-Bi_flag.svgBut the thing is that bisexuality is a valid and complete identity – we’re not half one identity and half another. Bisexuality is a complete and separate identity, there for those who realize that’s how they feel. Eliel Cruz does an amazing job of saying why he claims bisexuality as an identity and defending the term from harsh stereotypes.

After thinking about all of that, I started to think of different bi characters that exist in movies, television shows, and other forms of media – only to realize that while there are a few bisexual characters out there, there seems to be this fear of characters actually saying and claiming bisexuality. There’s Angela Montenegro on Bones, Piper Chapman on Orange Is The New Black, Annalise Keating from How To Get Away With Murder, Maureen Johnson from the 2005 movie of Rent, Sara Lance from CW’s Arrow, Captain Jack Harkness from the reboot of Doctor Who.

But the thing about these characters (and others that I’m sure I’m missing), I have yet to hear any of them claim the label of bisexual. Hell, I’m not entirely sure I’ve really ever heard bisexual even come up in any major way and it seems for me at least to be a weirdly taboo term that studios shy away from ever acknowledging. Plus, bisexual men seem to be even fewer and far between, with only a really small percentage of bi characters being men.

I think it is important to claim bisexuality more in the media because it’s an identity that does exist in the world. I don’t think it’s important to revolve an entire character’s story around this specific identity nor should it be constantly in your face about it. But there are better ways to acknowledge an identity like bisexuality and actually saying it without being incredibly aggressive as well.

Dean Spade on Hate Crime Legislation.

The fundamental message of hate crime legislation is that if we lock more bad people up, we will be safer. Everything about our current law enforcement systems indicates that this is a false promise, and it’s a false promise that targets people of colour and poor people for caging and death while delivering large profits to white elites. Many might hope that queer and trans people would be unlikely to fall for this trick, since we have deep community histories and contemporary realities of experiencing police violence and violence in prisons and jails, and we know something about not trusting the cops. However, this is same ongoing experience of marginalisation makes some of us deeply crave recognition from systems and people we see as powerful or important.

Dean Spade, Their Laws Will Never Make Us Safer: introduction to AGAINST EQUALITY: Prisons Will Not Protect You

Pushing Back on Privilege – Race.

One of the ways to be and act as an ally is to not only acknowledge but push back against your own privileges and positions within society. And it’s important to recognize that everyone has multiple identities that all intersect – meaning that while one of your identities might be marginalized, another may not. Pushing back and really reflecting will always be uncomfortable and challenging – those with privilege often benefit from the status quo in many ways. Removing that status quo would remove a lot of comfort and would mean that the world we experience with privilege is turned upside down.

I am white, living in a primarily white town in a predominately white state. I grew up with mostly white friends and never thought about race in any other context of “the other”, meaning I never saw myself having a racial identity and saw it as a people of color issue. And so, when I say we in this context, I mean we as white people because I’m just as much as a part of this as any other white person.

Whiteness is seen as the default, the “normal”, the top of the racial hierarchy. I mean, in history, we were the ones that created race as a social construct. We pulled all the stops throughout history to demonize people of color and numerous facets of society, like the media, help to uphold white supremacy.

White-privilegeWhite privilege protects us as white people in an unbelievable amount of ways. If we watch a show or a movie, odds are many of the people there will look like us. Many political figures also share our skin color and many other positions of power are also very likely to be white. We are never seen as the other based on our skin, never experience race related stress, never made to feel ugly or unwelcome because of it.

If we call the police, odds are they won’t kill us within seconds or act in lethal ways, like many officers have continuously done when interacting with people of color (particularly black people!). In fact, it’s very probable that we’d have a generally positive relationship with the police, especially in comparison to the relationship that people of color have with the police.

And that’s not even touching the issue of mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex. I mean, just look at the drug usages versus sentencing – while white people and people of color are using at the same rates, people of color are significantly more likely to be arrested for it. Plus, people of color are more likely to be sentenced to private prisons than white people.

As white people, we have a hell of a lot of privilege to acknowledge and reflect on. We need to realize how the world is built for us and how people demanding accountability and acknowledging white supremacy are not reverse racism or hatred against us.


plannedparenthoodToday, there was a five hour long standoff in a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic that ended with three dead and several others injured. So far, the exact motivations haven’t been discussed but Reuters referenced Vicki Cowart, the president of the Rocky Mountains chapter, talking about how the bitter climate around abortion in the US has really set the stage for violence.

This incident is just one of unfortunately many that have happened against Planned Parenthood clinics and death threats on abortion providers have spiked in the last year. There was a fire at one Planned Parenthood in Washington that was labeled as arson, clinic escorts are necessary because of anti-abortion protesters and their alarming scare tactics, a small bomb exploded outside a Wisconsin Planned Parenthood clinic back in 2012, among so many other incidents in the history of anti-abortion violence. This past summer was particularly awful because of the heavily edited and controversial video released several months ago by the Center for Medical Progress.

There’s so much more to what happened today, like how we should stop naming mass shooters in situations like this and deprive a shooter of any sort of recognition or that . And another big thing has been that the shooter from today was a white man and despite killing three people and injuring even more, the police managed to talk with him and take him alive. His whiteness worked for him to protect him like many other white shooters from the past, despite the fact that white men are the biggest terrorist threat in the US.

There have been plenty of situations in which white people have pointed guns or were violent in some way or actually killed people but were brought in by police alive and well. The Charleston church shooter killed nine people at the Emanuel AME but was arrested with no injuries and the 2012 Aurora shooting at a theater showing The Dark Knight Rises ended with 12 people killed and 70 injuries but even then, the shooter was arrested alive and with no injuries. And those are just some examples, with many others also fitting into this narrative. Even the media participates in this – so much of the mainstream media treats white suspects better than black victims.

But Mike Brown, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner,  Rekia Boyd and so many other black people weren’t given that same privilege. Police brutality has resulted in the unnecessary and extremely unfortunate deaths of so many black people over many, many years. Tamir wasn’t given any sort of a chance and was shot within just a couple seconds, Aiyana was sleeping on a couch when she was shot, Eric repeatedly told the officers he couldn’t breathe while being held in a banned choke hold.

I am here for Planned Parenthood and similar clinics for all the services they provide and even if they only provided abortions, I would still be here and supportive of them. The violence against Planned Parenthood clinics around the nation (whether today was intentionally against the clinic or not) is infuriating and saddening. It’s bullshit that black people are constantly gunned down and killed and that white people are given an enormous amount of leeway. I am here to #SayHerName, to remember the all the lives lost because of police brutality, to acknowledge and call out the white supremacy and privilege that protects people that share my skin.


Over the past few years, I haven’t been as fond of holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas or really even excited about the time between the beginning of November and January 2nd of the new year. A part of that is that I’m vegetarian and usually get headaches/nauseous at the really potent smell of turkey and other holiday meats. Another is that it’s always dark and cold and windy and very rainy in the Pacific Northwest this time of year and that’s never fun to deal with. All of that combined with family drama because of the parents’ semi-recent divorce has really lead to a general indifference to the winter holidays.

CornucopiaThanksgivingI realize though that for some, days like Thanksgiving and Christmas are very important and there are many traditions. There are plenty of Black Friday Sales and Starbucks Red Cups for excited capitalistic consumers. There’s food, decorations and music which seem to go up as early as possible, tree lighting ceremonies, thanksgiving day parades, and many other things. (Okay so I won’t lie – I really love the tree lighting festivities in the St. John’s neighborhood of Portland, OR but it’s all very steampunk and Dickens.)

But there’s so much about Thanksgiving that we as a whole society (and especially we as white people) don’t address, particularly the violent and genocidal ways we (again white people) have continuously treated the native people and tribes of this land. Yes, for some, Thanksgiving is a day of thanks and being around family and friends. But for others, it’s also day of mourning and one to acknowledge the horrors that Native Americans have had to face since the landing of Europeans centuries ago.

There are so many myths that go to this day of thanks that ignore history and larger contexts, like how the Pilgrims and Native Americans were great fast friends (definitely not true). So today and for the future, I challenge many of you (myself included) to rethink many myths we are taught in school and to learn more about the Native American populations within the United States and the history of Native Americans and the many tribes that exist here. Some places to start include:

  • 13 issues facing native people beyond mascots and casinos – Julian Brave NoiseCat
  • 4 ways to honor Native Americans without appropriating our culture – Taté Walker
  • 4 things your history teacher didn’t know about Native Americans but you should – Taté Walker
  • These 4 phenomenal native women will totally make you re-examine your relationship to feminism – Taté Walker
  • We can’t ‘get over it’: 4 ways understanding past wrongs can create better indigenous allies – Taté Walker
  • 8 big lies history books tell about natives – Vincent Schilling
  • Common Native American stereotypes debunked – Shannon Ridgway
  • 8 LGBT Native Americans you should know – Heather Purser
  • Native Americans: We’re not your mascots – Simon Moya-Smith
  • Native American youth: Stop treating our culture like a costume – Rebecca Klein

#4thPrecinctShutDown and #Justice4Jamar

CUbjaDAXAAE9e0xOver the past week and a half, there have been constant protests in Minneapolis demanding information and videos relating to the murder of Jamar Clark, who was killed by a police officer there. People have been rightfully calling for justice and transparency from the police for numerous reasons, especially because Jamar had been handcuffed and on the ground when he was shot.

Reports indicate that police showed up after a call was made regarding a fight that had happened between Jamar and his girlfriend but there should be absolutely no reason for him to be shot while handcuffed and on the ground. And that’s the thing about racism and antiblackness that so rampant in many faucets of the US – as white people, we’re not only given a certain sense of privilege and comfort but we also have this collective fear of black people. We make black people more terrifying than they are – as seen with how Darren Wilson later described Mike Brown.

I’m not trying to condone domestic violence because I do believe that it’s a different issue that needs to be addressed in society as a whole. But I also don’t believe that people should be killed in an extrajudicial manner, especially since that people are incredibly influenced by biases whether they admit or not and more often than not, black people and other people of color are more likely to feel the brunt of extrajudicial violence.

While the organizers of the protests have been incredibly prepared and organized and that the protests have been incredibly peaceful, they have all been met with hostility from the police. Even worse, there was a shooting last night where several white supremacists shot and injured several protesters. Five protesters were shot, luckily all with non life threatening injuries but nonetheless, this peaceful and ongoing protest was yet again met with violence.

The shooters were all white supremacists who had been at the site of the protest before being asked to leave and had threatened protesters. Witnesses also say that police officers took several minutes before coming to the aid of those who had been shot, maced people asking for help or filming what was happening, and police chatter on the scanner had been more worried about crowd control than investigating the shooting.


My own world of depression.

My world right now is undeniably defined by my depression but very few have seen anything into what it’s like. Most of the time, I’m able to slap a fake smile and go about part of the day, leading to the fact that my family has seen a few moments here and there of depression and friends have seen even less. It’s not a world I regularly invite others to experience with me because it’s often a place of intense vulnerability for me.

I sleep a lot and I’m always tired. I fluctuate between feeling too much emotion and feeling nothing at all, with almost no in between. When I’m happy, I cry; when I watch videos of cats and dogs and a mariachi band playing to a beluga, I cry; when something emotional happens on a television show I’m watching, I cry. I could be happy, confused, sad, overwhelmed, underwhelmed, a wide variety of things make me cry. And if it doesn’t make me cry, it’s possible I’ll get irritated.