Category Archives: August 2012

On Daily Posts and Closets

No, not that closet.

I’m amazed that so soon after I received the honour of being Freshly Pressed, I’ve also been featured on the Daily Post. I really want to extend my thanks to the WordPress community again, because I’m so glad to have become involved with such a warm community of blogs and people in my first month of being here.

I wish the young writer wrote much more about the difficult situation of gays all around the world, to make us know the problems they face everyday and to enable us to really be part of their life. How can each of us really help? We shouldn’t say “they” or “their”, but only “we” or “us”. Just human beings.

San Fermo

This was one of the comments I read on the Daily Press blog, and it got me to thinking. Now, whatever your opinion on sexuality, being gay is undoubtedly something that affects my life. It does cause me problems. But I don’t like to moan or even think too much about the “disadvantages” that come with my being gay. If I did, then I’d also have to start worrying about the fact that I’m gay, black, teenage and female (if I was Jewish and disabled, I think I’d tick all the disadvantage boxes). I will always face people judging me on these aspects of my person no matter where I go.

I’m in the closet. For the conceivable future, I will be there until I live independently. Why? Because I belong to a deeply Christian family who wouldn’t tolerate me being gay. And even if a few members of my immediate family did, my extended family would not. This is my problem alone. It can’t be helped. If I get frustrated, I blog or I write. Perhaps it’s not the best way of solving things, but it gets me by.

Is this a problem that can be rectified? Yes, and no. No, because society always needs an “other” to put down. It was the Jews, then the Christians, at the moment it’s the Muslims and gays. Problems like this will always be around. And yes, because being in the closet can drive a person mad. It used to drive me mad, but I’m looking forward to university in two years where I won’t have to hide myself. And before that, the most you can do to help someone in the closet is to give them someone to talk to. I don’t talk to my friends about being gay (only one of them knows), but I can talk to them about other things. If I get stressed, I can relieve this stress through conversation. Yes, there is the occasional awkward moment when I have to tread lightly (discussions about “crushes”, jokes about marriage and children), but for the most part talking is enough to help someone through a situation like mine. And while I can’t speak for all the closeted people in the world, I can ask you to speak to them.

Heck, speak to everyone. You never know who might be gay, especially in high school. I was talking to a friend once, and we were discussing how our lives might be like at a school reunion in the future. She mentioned that one girl might be gay, and when I laughed (at the irony, I can’t help myself sometimes) she said that I should keep an open mind. Any hope of her having one was dashed as soon as she added that she would be creeped out if she had to talk to a lesbian (cue more laughter, by the way). You just never know. So keep an open mind, and just talk to people. 😉

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110 followers! Wow! Thanks, guys! I’m so happy, I’ve just murdered my sense of good grammar and used an excessive amount of exclamation marks! 😀

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The Sensual Blogging Award

Much thanks to Managua Gunn for nominating me for this award! 😀

The Rules

When nominated for the Sensual Blogging Award the blogger must*:

  • mention the blogger that nominated them
  • nominate a dozen other bloggers
  • answer seven sensual questions, and
  • use the nominating blog’s url to link from the award logo when pasting.

D.L. Aiden’s Nominees: blogs which have touched me or with which I can deeply empathise.

The Seven Sensual Questions

  1. Most romantic memory: A dark night under the stars
  2. Most sensual music: This version of Cosmic Love by Florence + the Machine
  3. Most sensual season: Summer
  4. Favourite flower: Tiger-lily
  5. Favourite fruit: Apple (boring, I know 😉 )
  6. Best gift received: A soft toy cow, believe it or not. It’s the story behind it.
  7. Love is: a river that ebbs, and also flows.

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*Feel free to ask/drop me an email if you need any more clarification.

Do We Live In The Matrix?

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I do apologise for not blogging for the past few days. Exam results and the drug known in many social circles as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have served to distract me for the majority of the week. Anyway, on to the question above: do we live in the Matrix? While this question is about thirteen years too late, I’m returning to the idea as a result of: 1) watching the Matrix trilogy for the first time last week, and 2) my brother asking me how would I live my life if I was a solipsist. The latter is the question I really want to pose to all of you:

If you were a solipsist, what would be your reason for living? If every person and thing around you was a mental construct, what would motivate you? (If you don’t want to read my ramblings–YOU DON’T–feel free to skip straight to the comment section and answer).

My own answer: I told my brother that even if I realised that “reality” was my own mental construct, I would like to keep on living as I always had. I also told him that I thought this would be true if I were in say, Neo’s situation, and I was some brain/body in a vat somewhere. However. If I were in Neo’s exact situation, and I was offered the choice of the red or blue pill, I would probably have taken the blue pill. I’d argue that everyone, or nigh everyone, would have taken the blue pill out of sheer curiosity.

If you think about it, the laws and rules of life are just mental constructs. The most concrete thing about everyone’s life is themselves, by which I mean their physical self. How people react to it, how you react to it or the world around you is defined by thoughts and ideas. These ideas exist because they are practical to the majority, or at least impractical to a body of people who stay silent. In a crude example: when you’re little, you pee as you please. When you’re a little older, it’s ideal that you do it only in a nappy, a few years on and you’re instructed to do it in a potty or toilet. Peeing on yourself becomes impractical for others at that life stage of yours, and this idea is ingrained in you until you believe it is impractical for you. Whenever nature calls you rush to find a toilet; your mind discourages you from peeing on yourself by mentally manifesting the crossing of the rule as embarrassment. Returning to my original point, this whole thing is a mental construct. A matrix/normal person lives their life according to ideas and mental constructs, and a solipsist would technically do the same thing, if the world around them is a reflection of their ideas then they are arguably living in accordance with their own mental constructs as well. Ergo, there is little difference between a “real” life, a “virtual” life or a “mental” life. It’s nearly twelve in the morning here, and I don’t think all of those should have been in quotes. But I think I made my point. Or some sort of point. God, I’m tired.

The Invisible Games?

“Wheelchair access. Bullshit.”

That was the reaction of my summer camp mentor while, as we hiked through a forest, we discovered that the path we’d been told had wheelchair access for our disabled team-mate did, in fact, not. As a result we spent two hours lost in a forest, with six tired teens taking turns to push a wheelchair through knee-high mud in an attempt to find a good path. When we got back we complained to the hiking organisers, and they didn’t give a damn. They just didn’t care.

And as you probably saw in the title, I believe that the exact same attitude is going on in the London 2012 Paralympics. The BBC (the British Broadcasting Corporation) has wrapped up their celebration of the London Games with the full-bodied Olympians; the government decided to hand over the rights to airing the Paralympics in the UK to another TV station, Channel 4. Not that 4 isn’t fairly respected, but when the British government passes on giving coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics to the national TV station, their decision seems only to reek of apathy.

The Paralympics had a small relay of the Paralympic torch through London to Stoke Mandeville, in huge contrast to the Olympic torch’s passage through 1019 different locations across Britain. We’ve already had Boyle’s fantastic opening ceremony and the not-so-fabulous closing ceremony held for the Olympics alone, instead of putting a closing ceremony at the end of all the Games to include the Paralympics too. Gold-winning Olympians had individual postage stamps printed in their honour, yet the Paralympians had to fight for the honour. It feels like the disabled are being treated like second-class citizens: everything is smaller and quieter and almost invisible in regards to them.

Granted, I don’t expect the British government to splash out ridiculously like they did for the Olympics, but I do expect them to adequately encourage their tagline for the 2012 London Games: “inspire a generation.” What better way to inspire my generation than by showing the courage and sheer perseverance that athletes have displayed in spite of disability? Instead these Games are toned down, held right at the end when everyone is going back to work and school, and not even recognised with the same national coverage as the full-bodied Games? At the very least, tickets to the Paralympics have been eagerly snatched up this year, restoring my faith in the British public. Because I am rather disappointed in my government.

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Feel free to strongly disagree. Got rather ranty in this post.

The Problem With Teen Writers

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No, this post will not be a long complaint about how poor teenage writing irrevocably is. Though as a teenager, I can honestly say that a lot of it sucks. I’ve seen it. I’ve edited it. I’ve been there, though I can confidently say that I’ve moved on from that.

No, this post is about how the world sees teenage writers. In my previous posts, a great number of people reacted with surprise when they learnt that I was a sixteen-year-old girl.  I’m sure some people really think I’m some balding forty-year-old guy somewhere. Because people weren’t only shocked at my approach to the subject matter, they were shocked at the grammar, punctuation, and intelligence with which I wrote. I’m no super-genius, I await my GCSE results on Thursday with bated breath. So why is it so rare to find a teenager who can write well, and write intelligibly? Why is such a thing a shock to the masses? Why is it such a shock to me?

The answer is: I don’t know.

Teenagers aren’t stupid. The times may have changed, but we haven’t actively regressed in our intelligence. Even the advent of chat-speak hasn’t significantly impaired our ability to use the English language, because some of the smartest people in my school spL lyk dis and get A*s without a problem (then again, our grading system is suspect at the best of times). Yet if a ten-year-old starts to write a novel, and you compare their writing to the average nineteen-year-old’s, you would not be able to tell the difference. That isn’t a joke, I see this everyday. You’ve probably noticed it here on WordPress–many teenage bloggers do not have the faintest idea of how to construct a sentence in regards to proper grammar and punctuation. And you’ve probably noticed the same trend amongst some bloggers in their early twenties, who have left school and even gotten through university without learning to correct this problem.

So what do we do? Let me tell you.

The biggest insult you can give a writer is that they write like a teenage girl (or Stephanie Meyer, but then that’s the same thing). Yet good teenage writers do exist, like S.E. Hinton, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Helen Oyeyemi, and some people would add Christopher Paolini, though I personally don’t think that he is. Admittedly, these people seem to be the exception to the rule, and there still exists the stigma that all teenage writers are bad, which I discourages many young people from even trying to be better. But. There are blogs. And there are talented teenager bloggers out there, and websites dedicated to helping aspiring youth writers. There are even a few competitions for us to get involved in if one looks hard enough. So I suppose what I’m really trying to say is: next time you see a good teen blogger, give ’em a pat on the back or a word of encouragement. If you meet a kid who says they’d like to be an author one day, don’t laugh and suggest something more “practical” (God I hate that). Point them to a forum, or a to competition they can enter. And try not to strangle them when they say: “Thx, LOL!”

The Thank You Post

A hug for everyone, courtesy of Pooh and friends. ;)

And I truly mean it. Thank you, all of you who have taken the time to read and comment on my Freshly Pressed post. Both those who agree and those who disagree with me, and especially the latter for commenting with the respect each human is due another. Because of the subject matter, I was worried that a feature would mean many negative or even downright abusive comments, or that the whole comments section would descend into a gay-Christian bashing war. I’m glad to say that the WordPress community has proven me wrong on both accounts.

There are so many comments that my Gmail and WordPress apps have both crashed multiple times with the notifications. 😉 I watched my daily views shoot up from a max of 16 to a whopping 1,583 and counting. Numerous people have liked my post, or shown their support, or at the very least wished me luck in my spiritual journey and life.  Many have resolved to pray for me, and regardless of our disagreements I thank you too, because this is only an extension of love. I never imagined my post or thoughts could attract attention like this, and I’m touched from all the people telling me that I’d made a difference to them with my maturity and refreshing ideas. I’m glad I could make that difference with this little expression of thought.

I am a woman, I am sixteen, and I am a Christian. I might be critical of the flawed idea that is religion, but my faith in Jesus Christ is a conviction for which I do not need to fall back on religion. I have certain ideas about Christianity, and whether or not I or you believe homosexuality is a sin is irrelevant to gays and Christians living together peacefully. My post was made to say that re-conciliation is possible, not to push my views down your throat. I have my own personal relationship with God, He understands me and I try my best to understand Him. Some people say my understanding is wrong, but that understanding is still my own and is no greater or lesser than another’s understanding of God.

A big hug to all my new followers, likers and commenters, thank you for giving time out of your day for me. 😀 I’m sorry I haven’t answered everyone’s comments yet, with the influx of comments if you have any personal queries you want quickly and directly answered it would be best to send me an email. Thank you all and God Bless!

Mind the Gap: I’m Gay and Christian

This is the 21st century in the free Western world, yessir.

Yes, I’m wading into this whole debate. Well, not wading, more like already stuck in the middle and trying to be as quiet as possible. GAY-BASHING CHRISTIANS, the papers and protesters say. GOD HATES FAGS, the Christians say. And I’m there, sitting right in the overlap: I’m Christian, and I’m gay.

All this means is that 1) I happen to believe in Jesus: I follow his commandment to love God and my neighbour, upon which all other rules of the faith hinge, and 2) I also happen to be interested exclusively in women. The media doesn’t show us a lot, they like to show the two extreme views in the gay-Christian debate.

In the media: Christians aren’t fans of gays.

All the Christians in the headlines talk about is stoning the gays, how sinful being gay is, and how much God hates the gays. They mention how people like me pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe, so that we can justify our wicked ways. As usual, they neglect to mention that every Christian does that. After all, I’m not sure I know a Christian who observes the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur, a festival which must be observed according to the book of Leviticus, which is also the book of the Bible admonishing gay sex between men. Neither do I know of any good folk who stoned their child to death for (inevitably) speaking back to them–can’t have your kids disrespecting you now, as the Bible said.

In the media: Gays aren’t fans of Christians.

I have a few friends, formerly of faith, who abandoned it once they came to terms with the fact that they were gay. Because they believed the two were incompatible. And many gay rights activists dismiss the homophobic Christians by making light of their faith, by equating a belief in God to a belief in fairies. For people who preach about equal rights for all, they don’t do a very good job of expressing that belief, and they alienate a potential support base in gay Christians (we do exist!) or Christians who are straight but support equal rights.

Both opinions are stupid.

Well, in my humble opinion. Both sides are so busy shouting at each other, they don’t even try to look for a way forward. They could, should, find a level playing field by getting to understand the mindset of gay Christians. The activists could attempt to understand the convictions of our faith, the Christians could attempt to see why we believe we are God’s gay children. If either side could, for one moment, believe what we believe, maybe we could end this war. Instead we are dismissed as self-hating by gays, and as false Christians by those of faith. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Anyway, next time another such a debate kicks off (next week, probably), I just wonder if someone’ll say: hold up, let’s stop shouting and talk. If we can’t be friends, we don’t have to be enemies. There are people who have reconciliated their sexuality with their faith, and maybe we can do the same.

Or maybe not.

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A follow-up article: The Thank You Post