Poem Version of What I Want to Write

Your Facebook posts are really beginning to piss me off.

I mean seriously.

First, you don’t even follow sports and the NFL protests bother you?

Aside from the fact that your white privilege is showing (again),

Why do you even care?

Why is that the thing that upsets you?

I don’t get it.

Because, the 21st transperson has been murdered so far this year,

And, yet, you say nothing.

How dare you rage at the NFL protest.

Men and women have fought and died for their right to protest.

For their right to take a knee,

For the police brutality,

For the racism inherent in a broken system,

For the lives lost due to hate,

For the injustice.

 

And second, you are retweeting organizations who support him,

Who are actively trying to take health care from children,

Who are trying to make it so that a restaurant can turn me away,

Who are going to stand by and let the gun violence carnage continue.

Some of those people you retweet, believe I am “Satan’s plan”,

Simply for me being me.

And you retweet their thoughts, mocking transpeople, mocking me.

And, it just sucks.

And, it hurts because I thought you had my back.

I thought I could count on you.

 

And, third, when you text me,

Text me and pretend that everything is alright,

Like everything is okay,

I can promise you, it is not.

Advertisements

I Went To A Concert And All I Got Was This Lousy Blog Post . . . Also Condoms

Before seeing Against Me in concert, my concert experience was fairly limited, which may have explained a lot.

For instance, my attire, while probably upsetting to some, did not necessarily fit in with the punk rock crowd. Solar system funky socks. Black plaid Converse low-tops. Black skinny jeans. Human Rights Campaign #Resist t-shirt. Purple unbuttoned short-sleeve shirt.

While this was definitely my kind of look, it did not blend into a crowd with gravestones on their skirts and enough fishnets to stock a bait and tackle shack.

Originally, when I saw a post about the concert on Facebook, I hadn’t planned to go. While I had enjoyed the few songs from the band I had heard and had listen to a WTF with Marc Maron episode featuring the lead singer Laura Grace Jane discussing her music and transition, a podcast listened to with my ex as we drove back to New Mexico after coming out to my parents and brother, a concert still was not my usual scene.

But, on Monday, the night before the concert, still mulling over whether or not I might go, a friend texted me a screenshot of her phone showing me that she was listening to their album Transgender Dysphoria Blues and letting me know she and her daughter would be attending the concert and to check them out.

A few brief exchanges later, filled with self-deprecating responses, I decided to go and purchased my ticket.

While I say I have limited experiences with concerts, that is only true if referring to ticket-requiring concerts. Because, much of my childhood was filled with summer evening at Tulsa’s Utica Square where I and my mom and brother would split Taco Bell, sushi, and/or a flourless chocolate cake from the nearby bakery as various cover bands played through the hits of the 70s, 80s, and those of Jimmy Buffet. While wasting away again on the blanket covered parking lot and listening to live music does qualify as a concert experience, I don’t necessarily think of those nights as a real concert experience. Nor do I consider a high school garage band playing at prom when I attended my freshman year, a real concert experience.

I am also choosing to ignore a few country and western concerts because a) I was dragged mentally kicking and screaming and b) that would mean that I see country and western as actual music.

For real concert experiences, I have only a Beach Boys tribute band, The Format, Electric Six, and fun.

When The Beach Boys tribute concert in my childhood was, I couldn’t say, but I remember hitting a giant beach ball back and forth on the blue and white metal stadium seating at the now defunct Drillers stadium, near the Tulsa fairgrounds.

The Format was an opening band for Guster at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. I’d never heard of Guster before, but I really liked the song “Time Bomb” from The Format and took this as an opportunity to go to a concert of my choosing. After an opening act by comedian Demetri Martin, The Format launched into their hits, and it was then that I realized how weird concerts are as the audience sang along with each and every tune played. My date and I did not stay for Guster, and I still don’t even know what a Guster song sounds like.

Electric Six followed a few years later with fun. following after that.

Seeing as how my real concert experiences have been limited, I was not sure if being handed a condom when walking into the venue was a concert norm.

And as the opening bands for Against Me played, I texted my friend my concert thoughts as I waited for her to arrive.

8:22 PM – I am here. What have I gotten myself into?

8:23 PM – Concerts are weird.

8:29 PM – Based on lyrics, I think the last song was “You’re Always High”, but if I had to guess it was “UR ALWAYS HIGH”.

8:33 PM – Do you usually receive condoms at a concert? Just asking. I mean I know the answer, but asking for a friend.

8:35 PM – This is not my element. My element is binging Star Trek.

8:57 PM – Why was the lead singer crawling on the stage? Missing contact?

9:05 PM – The crowd here is very different than at a Beach Boys tribute concert. Just saying.

9:21 PM – The intro to this song reminds me the 80s, but I bet we are about to get to some screaminess.

9:30 PM – The woman who lost her contact not only sings but guitars and drums. Quite talented.

9:31 PM – Openers have finished. I assume. I think that is how openers work.

As Against Me began and an unfamiliar song blared throughout the theater, I felt a lot of things. Things about previous concerts, about being transgender, and about what the music being played meant to the various concert goers.

I leaned against the black chain length fence and listened as the concert went on into the night.

Fear and Loathing on Twitter, Part 2: The Hypocrisies of the Old Party

Well, now with those opening Twitter thoughts out of the way, it’s time to cruz on over to talk about porn.

Here’s the thing.

I am not going to bash Ted Cruz for liking porn on Twitter.

But, really, who watches porn on Twitter?

Before Cruz’s “like”, I didn’t even know there was porn on Twitter.

Now, unfortunately, I know two things I didn’t need to know, 1) there is porn on Twitter and 2) someone with access to Ted Cruz’s Twitter account “liked” it.

Perhaps sometime I will delve into my views of Republicans, in general, but for now, let’s just stick with Senator Cruz.

Because, I have very specific feelings regarding this individual.

Days before I came out to my family, I disappointed my father by refusing to attend a Ted Cruz for President rally being held nearby.

I had no intention of attending this rally. There was not a single platform of his that I agreed with, and I feared that if Cruz verbally attacked LGBT people, as he was wont to do, it was unlikely that I would have been able to control myself. But aside from that, I did not want to be associated with attending a Ted Cruz rally, and I found it deeply distressing that my father was so excited to be on the Ted train.

I slept in on the morning of the rally. When I did get out of bed, I found that information regarding the rally had been slid under my door. This act would prompt me to spend the next hour or so browsing the internet to remind myself of all the hateful rhetoric the senator had spread and to better understand his platform.

I remember only feeling a mix of sadness and disappointment.

There’s a lot of that those days leading up to and after that I wish I wrote down more of in the immediate aftermath of those days. Because even though I wrote a lot of notes about those days then, I still find myself forgetting some of the nuances to my memories.

When my brother, grandfather, and father return from the Ted Cruz Rally, my brother comments about how surprised he is that my grandfather was not as much of a diehard supporter as he had thought. But, I can’t remember when that conversation took place or where.

When on Christmas night, out on the porch, my grandfather and father and uncle begin to joke about Caitlyn Jenner’s transition. I abruptly leave my whiskey sour behind, fight back tears, and slide down the wall to the floor as my ex-fiancée texts words of encouragement that it won’t be as bad as I am afraid it will. But, I can’t remember how the conversation on the patio started or what happened after I left the bathroom.

But, I can tell that I am not ready to write about all of that, my coming out and the family sit down that followed, not yet, because just drifting into nearby memories has almost completely soured my day and evening.

Yet, those memories only grapple at the surface of Ted Cruz, a staunch supporter of the hate group, the Family Research Council and about as bad as it gets when it comes to LGBT rights and equality.

And, now, to his porn “like”.

With a reminder that Ted Cruz has fought against the sale of sex toys and believes solely in the Biblical laws of marriage and masturbation, whatever that means, that Ted Cruz “liked” porn.

Which to me, is about as hypocritical as being told all your life about the vileness of pornography, only to find that parent’s porn stash.

That’s how I equate it.

As hypocritical as the many Republican politicians with anti-LGBT agendas that as truth comes to the surface only reveals their own homosexuality.

And, here’s the thing, if you “like” a post on accident, you simply “unlike” and go about your merry way.

And, porn does not just show up on your Twitter feed for no reason.

It was searched for.

That is how Twitter works.

So, I have to ask.

Why can’t politicians just be honest?

Why can’t people just tell the truth?

It ain’t easy.

But, it is freeing.

And, being honest about yourself to others, reveals as many truths about them as it does about you.

 

2016: Republican Facts – Ted Cruz: Not a Fan of Pride Parades

https://www.hrc.org/2016RepublicanFacts/ted-cruz

Southern Poverty Law Center on The Family Research Council

https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/family-research-council

Ted Cruz Talks About Twitter Porn Incident And Sex Toys

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ted-cruz-twitter-porn-sex-toys_us_59b9dbcfe4b02da0e13f1d59?utm_hp_ref=ted-cruz

19 Republican Politicians Brought Down By Big Gay Sex Scandals

http://www.newnownext.com/19-republican-politicians-brought-down-by-big-gay-sex-scandals/12/2016/

Fear and Loathing on Twitter, Part 1: He Retweeted What?!? . . . Forget 140 Characters, I Need At Least Two Posts To Cover This

As I scrolled through Twitter, a new tweet from the Human Rights Campaign popped up to state, “Derricka Banner, a transgender woman, was killed Tuesday morning, marking the 20th trans person murdered this year.”

I closed out of app.

It’s posts like these, realities like these, that make staying aware of what is going on difficult.

The more petitions and surveys and emails I send out to support a cause or sound an alarm, the more emails I receive asking me to support another cause and sound another alarm.

It’s exhausting, but I also feel like it is not enough.

Because, while some view it is as perfectly acceptable to discriminate, as of August, thirty-three LGBT people have been murdered in the United States, a number, that when excluding the Pulse Night Club terrorist attack, has already broken the record setting twenty-eight hate-fueled LGBT homicides of 2016.

It is because of facts and realities like this that I feel obligated to stay aware.

One avenue of information continues to be Twitter.

But, it is still relatively new for me.

I signed onto this platform as 45 implemented his, now highly litigated, Muslim ban, which would prove to be only the beginning of 45’s reign as the modern and unabashed white supremacist in chief. As the hours after the implementation of the ban seemed to prompt protest after protest, Twitter was the quickest way to follow what was going on.

It provided immediate updates to the degradations of our Constitution and rule of law. It was heartbreaking, but I couldn’t look away. Fortunately, a friend would drag me away from real world horrors to play a game of Ticket to Ride and a meal of eggplant parmesan.

But, that entry into Twitter opened up a world, in which I never knew existed.

It can be a hateful place, full of bigotry and racism and xenophobia and other nomenclatures found in a bag of deplorables.

But, it can also be an amazing place, filled with hope and cleverness and art and people unafraid to stand up for what is right. I have come across the kindness of strangers, and I found one of my favorite prints through Twitter, which I find it so amazingly cool that I could find a French artist through Twitter and order her print.

If you like nerdy and cool art, she is worth checking out. I love my Women’s March print. I began following her on Twitter after I came across her reaction to 45’s Muslim ban, which featured Muslim-American teen superhero, Ms. Marvel, crying on her bed as an illustrated Trump screams through the TV in the shadow of a Captain Marvel and an Avengers poster. It is an image that I think about often and is heartbreaking every time that I do.

I had originally planned to just write about Ted Cruz’s hardcore porn “like”, but alas, after 45 retweeted a gif of him golfing and hitting Hillary Clinton in the back of the head, well, I feel as if a blog post about Twitter would not be complete without at least referencing it.

So, to 45 and his post, I just want to say, “thank you”. Thank you for proving once again that you are unfit to serve in the office in which you hold. Thank you for every time you spread lies, hate, misogyny, and encourage violence you prove how much of a terrible and immoral individual you are. And, thank you for continuing to prove the kind of person you are because as your base weakens and Republicans continue to prove themselves spineless, you and your Twitter help to reveal the lack of humanity and morality of you and each and every one of your supporters.

So, thank you.

 

HRC Mourns Derricka Banner, a Transgender Woman Murdered in Charlotte

http://www.hrc.org/blog/hrc-mourns-derricka-banner-a-transgender-woman-murdered-in-charlotte

This Report Says More LGBT People Were Killed So Far in 2017 Than In All Of 2016

https://www.buzzfeed.com/nidhiprakash/lgbt-deaths-mid-2017?utm_term=.ckqd9BkaPl#.beMLXmGKQP

Maryne. Art

http://society6.com/maryne

@MaryneeLahaye Tweet, “I can’t even find something to say. #Muslim Ban

https://mobile.twitter.com/maryneelahaye/status/825458968424230914

Trump retweets GIF of him hitting Clinton with a golf ball

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/17/politics/trump-tweet-clinton/index.html

People Who Wear Crazy Socks

I woke up a morning this week to find a new post on my Facebook wall. Tagged by a friend, it was a short video stating, “People Who Wear Crazy Socks Are More Brilliant and Successful”.

In it, the video goes on to say how very few people choose to wear unusual socks and how people see funky sock wearers as “more brilliant, creative, and successful” and how these sock wearers are not trying to fit in.

I’d like to say that I started wearing crazy socks for these reasons.

But, I’ve known a few who wear funky socks. It never seemed that out of the norm.

And, I rarely, if ever, feel brilliant, creative, and successful. I feel helpless to make things better and the unsuccess grows in an exponential weight.

And, I tried to fit in for a long time. I tried to ignore and hide what makes me different in a sea of the same.

But, I failed.

Yet, there is a reason behind my penchant for funky sock wearing.

It is because in the midst of being told I am corrupted by society and being told that I need to respect my family and being told that it is like I had died and being told my sickness was the work of the demons and the devils, I was also told to just try wearing some funky socks.

In their own way, each of those comments stung as painfully, and they remain etched in my memory.

As much as I wish I could, I cannot unhear them.

I cannot unfeel them.

I cannot forget them.

And, so, I wear funky socks.

Spoiler alert, still trans.

To Consider It

Sure.

I would consider it.

But, I need one thing first.

Okay, it is more like two things.

I need you to tell me how you feel about him.

And, I need you to tell me what you feel about the statement.

Tell me, how you felt when he called Mexicans rapist.

Tell me, how it is okay to brag about grabbing women “by the pussy”.

Tell me, how you feel when he lies again and again.

Tell me.

Tell me, your opinion on Adam and Eve.

Tell me, your opinion of “a homosexual or transgender self-conception”.

Tell me, what you believe.

Tell me.

And, I will consider it.

Because, the next time I see you,

I want to know exactly, precisely the person you are.

OPINION, NOT TWISTING FACTS TO BLAME TRUMP

This blog will not become a commentary-on-dumb-things-people-post-on-Facebook-blog. The dark-endless-nothingness-void-of-eternal-unending knows that I post plenty of inane musings of my own. Case in point, a caption reading, “A little rain didn’t stop me from trying out my new grill. It works amazingly well!” for the picture of my newly assembled grill inside my apartment with a Chipotle to-go bag.

See, dumb.

But when I come across a post that begins: “Okay. Here we go. I want to say this: WE DO NOT NEED THE OPINION FROM ANY NEW YORKER OR CALIFORNIAN OR ANYONE ELSE WHO WANTS TO TWIST THIS HURRICANE INTO BEING PRESIDENT TRUMPS FAULT . . .” My snowflake heart can’t help itself.

Because here’s the thing, and I am going to ignore the rest of the poster’s meandering and heartfelt response, to just say this. No one, and I do mean no one credible, is saying the hurricane is 45’s fault.

Hades, I would love to blame it on a man who defends white supremacy, but I can’t because that is just plain dumb.

Dumb.

Dumb.

Dumb.

Wait for it . . .

. . .

. . .

not yet

. . .

Dumb.

In the grand scope of all things dumb, it falls very close to an actual human being arguing that it is more credible to blame the Hurricane Harvey on Houston electing a lesbian mayor than climate change.

I follow the news very closely, in all likelihood too closely, and nowhere have I seen anyone credible blame the hurricane on a man who brags about sexual assaulting women.

But, here is what will be and is 45’s fault.

Rolling back flood protections to account for climate change.

Gutting the EPA by putting a man in charge who spent his Oklahoma career suing the EPA.

Endorsing concentration camps and racism with his pardon of Joe Arpaio.

Banning transgender service members from the military.

. . . Okay, this got away from me for a minute. I was going to stick with just the tip of the environmental iceberg, but since they are melting, I delved into other territory.

This post has certainly gotten away from me at this point.

I guess I am just tired of it.

I am tired of people defending the indefensible. (Joe Arpaio, exhibit 1)

I am tired of the hate and ignorance. (Trans-related healthcare less than 10 million, removing trans-military personnel estimated $960 million, exhibit 1)

I am tired of the constant corruption and lies with no accountability. (Russia, Emoluments clause, Russia, moral failings, Russia, exhibits . . . ugh, just see the link below)

Everyday is another setback.

Everyday is another obstacle.

Everyday is another opportunity.

An opportunity to do right.

An opportunity to stand up.

An opportunity to resist.

So, to reel this post back in, no, 45 is not to blame for the hurricane. No one person is to blame. Hurricanes happens.

But, we do know that this hurricane was more devastating than normal. And there are many reasons why, ranging from unregulated urban sprawl to climate change.

Denying facts don’t make them go away.

 

“Lesbian Ex-Mayor Has Perfect Response To Ann Coulter’s Hurricane Nonsense”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/annise-parker-ann-coulter-hurricane-harvey_us_59acca52e4b0dfaafcf12afc

“Trump Signs Order Ruling Back Environmental Rules on Infrastructure”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/climate/flooding-infrastructure-climate-change-trump-obama.html

“Scott Pruitt is leaving a toxic trail at the EPA after only six months on the job”

https://thinkprogress.org/scott-pruitt-toxic-trail-9a99031d594f/

“It’s Impossible to Overstate How Truly Vile Joe Arpaio Is”

https://www.gq.com/story/joe-arpaio-history

“Banning Transgender Troops Could Cost U.S. $960 Million Report Says”

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/banning-transgender-troops-could-cost-us-960-million-report-says-n792466

“The 88 reasons Trump is unfit to serve as President, according to an official Democrats resolution”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world-0/us-politics/donald-trump-house-democrats-president-impeach-no-confidence-resolution-a7850006.html

“Why Houston’s flooding got so bad, according to storm experts”

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/8/29/16216568/hurricane-havery-houston-flooding-experts

“Hurricane Harvey and Climate Change”

http://www.factcheck.org/2017/08/hurricane-harvey-climate-change/

#Resist

I had always been under the impression that you stand up for what you believe in, you show empathy to those less fortunate than yourself, and you do the right thing even if you are standing alone. I had thought I was raised to believe and live by these principles and values, but maybe, I was wrong.

All I know is that as a person who values the diverse landscape of the human experience, I cannot stand idly by and watch hatred rise in this country that I always thought would be my home.

My very core of who I am prevents me from allowing a government to attack the freedoms I hold dear. I will not remain silent as a government threatens the freedom of religion with a “Muslim Ban”. I will not remain silent as facts are decried as “fake news”. I will not remain silent as the Justice Department works to undo civil rights for LGBTQ+ Americans. I will not remain silent as public lands are opened up to oil and gas companies, climate change is censured, and the Clean Water Act is gutted.

Those are, unfortunately, only a small fraction of the things I will not remain silent on. Because, amazingly enough, this list doesn’t take into account the rise of bigotry and other Neo-Nazi sentiments. It does not take into account the oligarchic administration that emphasizes loyalty to a figurehead in place of loyalty to the Constitution and rule of law. It does not take into account the widespread attempt to legitimize lies and white supremacy.

Rhetoric spewed forth by entities like Alex Jones’s Infowars and Steve Bannon’s Breitbart and others are an affront to truth, justice, and democracy. When did honesty get replaced by deceit and conspiracy theories? When did our basic human values become perverted in such a way that America was so easily duped by a conman? When did the fear of the unknown and unfamiliar overtake decency, kindness, and love?

At the end of the day, you have to live with your decisions. You have to wake up, look at yourself in the mirror, and know you will be able to sleep at night. It is not always an easy thing to do. I know I have struggled with doing what is right, at times, because the right thing to do was too hard to accept or too difficult to understand or too scary to contemplate. What is right is rarely easy.

Now, I don’t know what you believe, or even if you have read this far, but I do believe this. I believe that “arch of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”. I believe that how we act and what we say speaks volumes, which reverberate beyond our singular life. I believe we are all inherently good, but somewhere along the way, we lose sight of what really matters.

So, I will not apologize for standing up for what is right. I will not apologize for speaking out against racism or sexism or any of the many other ideals currently embraced by too many Americans. I will only say that I will continue to try to be the best version of myself everyday that I can.

God, your conscience, or whatever else guides you and your life decisions have led you to here, to this moment. To a moment where you have to decide if you are okay with what is going on. To a moment where you can either do something or continue in silence.

Enough is enough. Because, I am no longer willing to subject myself to people who claim their love by trying to break me down or want me to hide who I am. I am no longer willing to subject myself to the company of others who approve of and go along with the moral collapse of this country and its values.

No one should have to live in this rising climate of fear. Fear of reporting assault and being deported. Fear of serving this country and being told you are unworthy because of your identity. Fear of going to sleep and wondering if it will be your turn next.

Do understand that the threats to our way of life and our democracy are very real and the actions being taken now will have lasting consequences. How we respond to today will, one way or another, reveal the very depths of our character.

Equality was a founding doctrine of America. And, while we may have not always followed the path of equality for every person on American soil, we have continued to, slowly but surely, make things better. But, things don’t just get better by themselves. Action is needed.

Resistance is not futile. Resistance is required. Resistance is hope.

On Facebook, Now

Fast forward to now.

Why the return to the realm of social media?

Because in the gap between my last Facebook post with my original profile and the first post with my new profile, I only prowled around on Goodreads, a book rating and tracking social media service.

Why return?

Simple.

Because at the end of January, the 45th president began implementing his attacks on America by pushing forward with his administration’s Muslim ban.

That night as protesters stormed U.S. airports and news pundits stood flabbergasted that the president was trying to deliver on his promise for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States.

It was chaos.

And, I cried.

I cried knowing that this was only the beginning, and what made it evens worse was knowing many of my family supported and voted for the 45th president.

This was a policy they, in casting their vote, wanted to see occur.

It was wrong.

And, that night, as chaos reigned across the country, I followed it all with a newly created Twitter account. I could follow it in real-time, no longer waiting for a news website to update a story.

I livestreamed CNN from my iPad and constantly refreshed my Twitter page obsessively.

Days before, I had felt hope walking the streets of downtown Albuquerque as part of the nationwide Women’s March. Thousands of people gathered together to protest against the xenophobia, racism, corruption, and so much else that the 45th president and his administration campaigned on and would soon begin to implement.

As I watched the ACLU lawyers begin their legal proceedings to put a halt to this biased attack, I felt hopeless again.

And, I knew that I had to do more.

When I returned to work on  Monday after the ACLU successfully blocked the ban, a coworker announced during the “what-are-you-thankful-for-minutes-of-sharing” that children she volunteered with asked to go to the airport to protest the ban after a local protest organized through Facebook and began at the Albuquerque airport.

I had missed this.

With no Facebook, I missed a chance to do something about something fundamentally wrong.

It wouldn’t happen again.

In the next month, I made a new Facebook profile.

I made a new Facebook profile because I wanted a blank slate, and I was fundamentally aware that my parents did not want any of my extended family or their friends to find out what they wanted kept back in the closet. A new account allowed me a chance to enter into a social network with people I hoped had my back.

I wrote my post “To Whom It May Concern” and sent it to my parents and brother.

Backlash.

I videoed a reading of that post and posted it to my new Facebook profile and to my Twitter feed.

Support.

And over the following months, I would be informed that my mom would not Facebook friend me because she did not want to “hurt” my sisters, and I would inform a family member that while I have a Facebook profile, it would probably be in their best interest not to friend me.

The impending storm of disgust, prejudice, and shock always thundering in the background.

And, so to now.

Now, when my mom posted pictures from her and her parents trip to visit me, I added a friendly comment to her post.

Now, when I think to a time on my high school yearbook staff, I refriended someone, who I had not spoken to in years.

Now, when a friend posts an article in support of the transgender military ban from a blatantly conservative website, blatantly conservative because its is literally called the Conservative Tribune, I commented back with my personal point of view and evidence to support it.

Now, when I go back and forth with this person, I have to decide when enough is enough because neither of us will come to a consensus on this.

I don’t understand her point of view.

The bottom lines is this.

It is discrimination.

It is wrong.

 

Things are only going to get worse before they get better, and with a presidential administration in perpetual chaos, Facebook is still there.

It is there to “like” a picture of the Sandia Mountains.

It is there to hope for social justice.

It is there to celebrate a friend trying the build-your-own sushi shack.

It is there to resist.

 

“Gaga Attacks Trump Trans Ban, Then Has Bad Encounter With Iraq Vet”

http://conservativetribune.com/gaga-attacks-trans-ban-iraq-vet/

 

“Here’s What Actual Trans Military Voices Have To Say About Trump’s Ban.”

http://www.upworthy.com/amp/heres-what-actual-trans-military-voices-have-to-say-about-trumps-ban

“Assessing the Implications of Allowing Transgender Personnel to Serve Openly”

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1530.html

“Trump: I consulted the military about the transgender ban. Military: no, you didn’t.”

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/7/27/16051892/trump-transgender-ban-army-chief-staff

On Facebook, Then

On this blog, I have mentioned my, how should I put it, my tenuous relationship with social media, more specifically with Facebook.

There’s something about social media that is inherently intriguing.

Why post this?

Why not that?

Why “like” this post?

Why not that one?

I have only rejoined the Facebook world since last February, a little over six months. But, I had had an account before. I had a profile and friends on Facebook, but that profile of who I was is now lost into the nether regions of a dormant side of the web.

I found and still do find Facebook fascinating.

In college, when I had my original (non-trans) profile, I wrote two college papers about Facebook. One was for my Modern Monsters class, which I took my freshman year after I was exempt from taking basic college English when I passed on of my high school AP exams.

I honestly don’t remember which one I passed. I took both AP Language and AP Literature on the same day during my senior year of high school. I had wanted to take one during my junior year when I was in that specific AP class, but when I had expressed interest in taking the exam, no one took me seriously because so few people actually took the AP exams, which is why I ended up having to take both exams my senior year.

Concerning the Facebook paper I wrote for Modern Monsters, I honestly have little idea what it was about. Sometime around my sophomore or junior year of college, my college Dell crashed, and I lost a lot of my essays, pictures, and music I had collected over the years. Perhaps, the tagline for Dell computers should have been, “Dude, you’re getting a Dell . . . which is unlikely to survive through the entirety of your four year program . . . and also all the cool people will have Apple and you will instantly regret your decision to have a Dell the moment you step on campus . . .” Alas, that was not their marketing strategy, which is why I no longer have much of an idea of what that essay was about.

Here’s what I know. The class was about monsters in all of their forms. We read Frankenstein, studied the Holocaust, read about fast food culture and its impact with Fast Food Nation, and dived into the American counterculture of the 1970s and the rise of the horror film genre. The last topic of the class was about technology as a monster, and I chose to write about Facebook and walked away with a B in the class, a first in over four years. That B was fairly devastating, and I, for the first time ever, felt inadequate at school. I felt surrounded by people who were smarter than me, and it was clear to everyone that they were smarter than me.  

It was about as Twilight Zone-feeling as walking onto the campus and thinking I would quickly meet friends and have a picturesque Central Perk hangout spot as I worked my way through college in an amusing sitcom manner, but alas, I discovered my own naivete.

The second paper about Facebook was written for my autobiographical writing class and was entitled, “Nick’s Five Gnarly Facebook Rules,” which is a very cringeworthy title, not just because of the unpreferred “Nick” but also the use of the word “Gnarly”.

Not cool past self.

Not cool.

But also, reading back through it, I was reminded that the paper was just an excuse to write about asking my then girlfriend on a date via Facebook.

What’s worse, I began my essay with “Oy vey! Do you remember a time when technology didn’t dominate our measly little lives?”, which is about the lamest way to start an essay, but I did it anyway.

Look, I was in college, from a small town, I didn’t know any better.

But, I did my best to type out a written version of the old dial-up modem sound. This was the best I could come up with, “errrrrr-ba-duba-duba-duba-errrrrr-ba-dubba-dubba-dubba”. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

The rules I developed were as follows:

  1. Don’t Post Anything You Wouldn’t Want Your Mother to See.
  2. Avoid Excessive Foul Language and Poor Grammar.
  3. Know the Difference Between a Wall Post and a Message.
  4. Don’t Breakup with Someone Via Facebook.
  5. Never Ask Anyone Out on a Date Using Facebook.

Oy vey, this paper was rough. And, as I stated, this paper was pretty much a veiled to write about my then girlfriend.  

But, my tenure with Facebook would soon be coming to an abrupt end. I began my original Facebook profile in 2006 when I was first admitted to college, when only college students could have an account. It felt like such a privilege then. Something critical to achieve in the modern age. Then, as the website began to open up to high school students and more and more people began to join, it felt more and more like Facebook was creating a fictionalized mirror of the real world.

It felt fake and staged.

Where once I was eager to write a status update and post a new profile picture, I suddenly began to use it less and less, then rarely at all.

I left Facebook because I was just tired of it. I was.

But, there was another reason I left.

A reason I could never say out loud.

Sometime, most likely in 2013, Facebook announced that gender options beyond male and female would soon be available.

They were implemented in early 2014.

Facebook was becoming a mirror of the real world, only superficially so.

A version of yourself you wanted to be and show off to the world.

The mere knowledge that gender options on Facebook would soon be available made me deeply uncomfortable, and I deleted my first Facebook profile and pushed the thought of gender variations out of my mind.

I was hopeful these gender discomforts would vanish.

I was wrong.

 

Also, can I just point out how lame, again, how terrible that second Facebook paper was. I ended with a terrible allusion to a line from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, jesting that my five Facebook rules were more like guidelines.

Sometimes, I really don’t know how I made it through college.