I just wanted to show the internet a few photos from the pride parade 2015 in Dublin. I won’t write about it, just enjoy the pictures.
Monthly Archives: June 2015
I went to my first pride parade when I was 15. It was in Munich and they called it “Christopher Street Day”.
My mom took me there back then. She told me that it is fun to see all the people so happy and dressed up in a big parade. She was right actually. I remember seeing a fun parcour-race-thing through our window, where some cross-dressers were running on high heels. Very fun and entertaining.
But I realised relatively quick that day that I enjoyed being there for more than just entertainment.
Well at 15 it wasn’t clear to me why I connected so well to the people in the parade and why it made me so extraordinarily happy to be there.
I went again the next year and then didn’t make it for the following few years. Only in recent years I have the time and the means to go again.
I have never been a big activist although I always held strong opinions. I just feel like I personally accomplish more for myself if I am simply true to myself. That is something that I only understood slowly and the full bandwidth of what that means is becoming more and more clear to me. It is not easy to be true to myself in every day life.
The Pride Parades all over the world stand exactly for that in my eyes.
They are about:
- Being true to yourself.
- Being honest to others.
- Educating society
- Equality for everybody
- Showing that people who are not sexually and gender conform are still people
In every day life it is so difficult sometimes. People are used to stereo types. It just helps them understand the world. And if you are not the stereo type, people find it weird and difficult to deal with. They are unequipped to deal with a person that is not like the rest.
So what do people like me do on a daily basis?
Keep quiet, put on the “conformity mask”, and be our true self only at home behind closed doors. We tend to push aside the fact how much this can hurt us deep inside. We tend to push aside the fact that society should just accept people for who and what they are. It is difficult.
I am bisexual.
This is something that most people at least kinda get. For being bisexual, I am not a complete weirdo. Somehow I am “normal” but I also like girls. Somehow I am conform enough for people to not start asking silly questions. Sometimes I am being seen as the person that just can’t decide whether to be gay or straight but I am fine with that. Porn, the media, and the fact that girls sometimes randomly complement each other, did their job well in society.
I am gender queer.
This is something I need to hide. Every day when I leave my flat I gotta put on a mask. Yes, people know that I like odd things for a girl. But they, of course, do not understand that my whole brain is just not female. And no, “tomboy” does really not fit my profile. If I’d be myself outside my home, people would have a problem with my behaviour. It is not conform at all. There are a few outlets and the fact that at home, with my husband, I can be myself.
I do not behave lady like and being treated like a woman is very odd to me. I understand the good intention, after all I do look very female. But it feels weird.
Behind my closed doors, when I am with my husband or with very close friends, I will have too many male treats and that confuses people.
My behaviour sometimes seems contradicting, when, for example, I play with a nice knife and half an hour later do my nails. But that is me.
Pride Parades give me the hope that one day, people like me will be accepted fully and as a complete person, not just as what the eye meets.
I want to be able to:
- go to work with a “man shirt” and a vest without being looked at weirdly.
- talk about what I want and the way I want outside my home
- talk technical details about stuff at a shop instead of the fact that I can buy this item in different colours
- sit with open legs instead of having to close or cross them just because I look like a woman
- address some of my interests without being told that this is for girls or for guys
- walk through a clothing store without feeling odd because I wanna try on “men clothing”
- the list could go on and on
It is ridiculous how deep the gender norms go and how much they influence every day life when you have to hide who you are most of the time. People make so many assumptions about you and this is one of the things I would love to see gone from society. But it probably won’t happen, not in my lifetime and likely never.
The examples above look like small issues that aren’t worth complaining about. And yes, if it were only one or two things, I wouldn’t feel the need to say anything. But knowing that this is just a fragment of all the tiny things that add up over time, it is worth to address the issue as a whole.
Society needs to become more accepting towards people who do not fit into these neat boxes:
- Vagina = Female = Behaviour xyz = Look xyz
- Penis = Male = Behaviour xyz = Look xyz
Here is the thing.
We all tend to claim that we are open minded and have no prejudice. But the reality is, we see a person and automatically put them in a box. We are doing that because it kept us alive during evolution and probably still does in many situations.
But people should not be boxed and shelved in a binary system for sex and gender.
There are countries that officially recognize more than two genders independent from what sex someone was born with.
There are lots of things going very positive, especially in recent years.
- Germany added a third option for sex on birth certificates
- Ireland voted gay marriage into the constitution
- More and more countries accept that there are other orientations, not only straight
- Countries who treat lgbt people lower or unequal to the rest of the people are being more and more frowned upon
- There are children’s books about equality
So yes, change is happening and it is a good thing.
And because change is happening, we cannot stop educating and being open. We cannot stop marching once a year. We need to stay open and friendly so society loses it’s fear and feels safe to ask questions and learn more.
A few points that I want to address because I read and hear these arguments so much. These are just the arguments that I see most frequent and that is why I address those:
- “Why do you even need a pride parade? Can’t you keep that at home?”
No we cannot keep that at home. The parades are to show people that we are normal, fun, and open. We want to give society the chance, once a year, to just have fun with us and to approach us with all the questions and critiques. These parades are more educational than you might think and they have done a great job in the past. Let’s continue.
- “Our children should not see this!”
Why not? Promoting equality to your children is a good thing. Promoting love and acceptance to your children is a good thing. Educating your child that, no matter how they turn out, they will be valued for who they are is a good thing. These events are positive and good for all age groups.
- “You chose this life style!”
Yes, I chose my life style BUT my sexuality and my gender identification are not my life style. I was born this way. I cannot chose to be straight and I cannot chose to become a woman or a man. I can chose to hide, but it is unhealthy and hurts.
If you want to prove me wrong: Go ahead, be gay for a year and while you are at it, also change your gender for that time. Should be easy.
- “You are not behaving natural!”
I would like to see your scientific proof for that. Fact is that homosexuality has been observed across species on earth. From apes to cats to swans to even guinea pigs. Why those behaved the way they did, no one knows. But you personally are not the one deciding factor as to what is natural and what is not.
- “All religions forbid this behaviour. That must have a good reason!”
First of all, it is not true that all religions forbid non-straight and/or gender queer behaviour. Second, religions are a construct that humans put in place conform to their norms and rules at the time the religion has been constructed. Especially anything about sex and gender roles has always been a big thing in religions. But the fact that they have always been a big thing doesn’t mean that religions are right about the teachings concerning these issues.
- “I don’t agree with homosexuality!”
You don’t have to. It is ok to disagree. But you not agreeing with someone else’s sexual preferences will neither change them nor do society or yourself any good. Just deal with the fact that not everybody is the same. This is a learning process and it takes time. So take all the time you need and please ask questions if you have any.
Just be nice, be kind, have fun, and enjoy your life.
Accept each other and if you disagree with someone, be mature about it.
A year has passed and once again the pride parade is knocking at my door.
Recently I read something about pride parades not being there because we want to march but because there is a need for society to acknowledge and accept people the way they are, no matter who they love and as what gender they identify.
Every year around this time, I think back at my journey. How I found my sexuality and how I started accepting myself the way I am. How I started to understand that it is okay to be me the way I am.
It was a bumpy road but it was worth walking this bumpy road.
I identify as a bisexual, gender queer person. I do not like to address myself as woman or man because I am neither. I am this weird thing somewhere in-between. If I like a girl, I will be a perfect gentleman. If I am with men, I can do the perfect “guy talk” without seeming weird. But if I am talking to women, I can have this discussion about dieting, motherhood, and hair dye. There might be more guy in me than there is girl but I feel good the way I am, especially since I started accepting myself.
Until society everywhere on the planet treats lgbt people just like everybody else, we shall keep marching every year!
I hope everybody is having a great June and at some point a great pride parade!
At my current place of employment, a big website, I mainly work on things that get reported by the user. There are different filters in place so you can always work a certain type of report.
One of those is for everything self-harm and depression related. That’s a good thing because that way I can give special attention to people who actually need real help.
The problem here is that the majority of cases I check are 12 year old girls who think that cutting themselves is an acceptable form of “dealing” with the normal issues of growing up and being a teenager.
Anybody remember “cut for bieber”? There are lots of incentives like that.
The fact that parents aren’t there for there kids as much as they should be any-more because of all the distractions of life, doesn’t help. When a child has a problem, the first place for them to turn to should be the family or friends.
When the family is more interested in Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix, then there is a big problem.
When the friends are so lose friends that you cannot really talk to them about your worries and troubles, at some point you sit there and have no idea how to deal.
I do understand that growing up is a bitch! I grew up too. Everything changes. Your body, your thinking, your environment. Your interest in relationships starts, you have to get more and more ready for adulthood. Nowadays the internet plays a huge role in our lives. So bullying attacks as well as self-promotion on the net are a big part of the lives of kids nowadays. Then comes school being more and more pressuring. It all mounts up to something that current adults did not have to deal with when they were teenagers.
So yes, I actually understand what kids are going through.
The problem comes in when I have to treat “real self-harm” and “kiddie self-harm” equally when they are not equal.
Let’s take cutting because it is the most known form of self-harm:
I see a lot of arms that are full of little cuts, not too deep but visible. Kids like to make a photo and post it wherever they get attention. I get it, you need your problems addressed, but cutting into your skin is not the way to do that. What people will react to is the fact that the skin is cut and not why it has been done.
But the other type I see, are the real cuts. The ones that stem from a soul that has been deeply hurt and the only way to silence this psychological pain is to inflict physical pain to overwrite what is happening in the mind. It is to shut up the voices and to stop the thoughts. Even if it is only for 2 minutes of piece, it will be done. Those cuts are very deep, they need medical attention and stitches.
Somehow cutting your skin and saying you are depressed has become a very accepted form of dealing with the problems of life and me being a former self-harmer and highly depressed person find it appalling to see how “I am cutting but I don’t want attention” is just fine and dandy.
Before I met my husband, I cannot remember a time when I was not depressed. I grew up with deep depression and I had enough good reasons for it. There were more and more very valid reasons added throughout the years until at some point, the depression became so unbearable that I had to find ways to free my mind even if it was only for seconds. I became quite good in finding new ways to shut my brain up for a little.
<removed a paragraph>
Originally I had a very descriptive paragraph here where I described the things I used to do in order to stop my brain. In order to stop circular thoughts that kept me awake. In order to turn off memories that I did not want to remember. In order to just have my damn mind shut up for just a minute.
I removed this list because I don’t want to give the kids ideas.
I did a lot of things that were very harmful for my health and those things helped short term but they did not help long term.
At some point I broke down in tears in front of my boss because I was unable to deal any longer and I was sent to the doctor. My GP sent me straight to the psychosomatic clinic to be checked there.
The doctor there had me fill out a questionnaire and after talking to me, she was determined to put me on the closed psych-ward because I was suicidal at that point. I agreed to go to the day clinic instead.
I actually took the help that was offered to me instead of laughing it off and saying that no one will stop me from doing what I did. I did not WANT to harm myself and the second someone offered to help me I was there ready to heal and ready to learn dealing with my problems in a healthy way.
Once I had worked out my traumata, the self-harm stopped as well. It is all connected. Nowadays I am not the happiest person alive but I know how to deal with my problems, with memories I don’t want to have, and with everything in-between. I still have the tendency to get depressed, simply because my brain is wired that way, after all I grew up depressed and my brain adjusted physically. But the good thing is, I learnt to identify when I am getting there and I can stop it.
If you do have troubles other than the normal stuff about growing up, you should seek professional help instead of jumping into this trend of “I am cutting because Tim broke up with me”.
As I said, I know growing up is a bitch. Puberty is a bitch, School is very stressful. The other kids are mean. First love and first breakup are really shitty. The body and mind changing is scary. Knowing that you have to prepare for being an adult is scary.
All of this is normal and what you need is > talk to your parents, a trusted teacher, a good friend.
When I had no one to talk to, I found people on the internet who, on the long run, turned out to be very good real friends and I talked to them.
Here another tip: A good friend is not defined by “we can cry together”. A good friend listens to your problems without judging you and without telling you what to do. A good friend is just there for you if you need them.
At all the parents: Shame on you if you are unavailable for you kids. Don’t be surprised when they start doing stupid things if you never taught them any better! Do you think that your kids will be able to function in live if you miss educating them during the most important years of their lives? Shame on you!
This is for the ones who need to talk but have no one:
I am offering my ear/eye and a virtual hug, if you need someone to talk to and you have no one else. If you need someone, you can always comment or send me a mail to clos3rlook at gmail dot com
I promise I will read it and if you want, I will answer as well. Just don’t do something that hurts your body in order to deal with your mental pain.
A viewer who watches the Atheist Experience, sent some questions to the show. The hosts decided to publish the questions in order to get this person as much input as possible.
Here is mine:
1. Someone I know told me that the Old Testament doesn’t apply to us, not only because there is a new covenant, but also because God made those laws for a specific purpose, for example, selling off your daughter to her Rapist only applied to the people at the time. What should I say to that?
This is textbook cherry picking. If someone is a Christian, the bible is the foundation of their belief system. The bible has two testaments. If the old testament doesn’t apply because it was another time, then the same applies for the new testament.
2. He says evolution is discredited by the amount of genetic mutations that are negative instead of positive. I replied with the mutation that allows some people to drink milk is positive because it helped people back when food was scarce and also how most mutations don’t do anything, they’re neutral. Was that a good reply and how is his argument true or false?
I am unsure as to what exactly he meant. But evolution is just a huge line of genetic mutations. Some of those mutations got whole species extinct because they didn’t work out. Not sure how any type of mutation could discredit evolution. I am also not sure how you’d make a distinction between a positive and a negative one.
3. People claim the bible is scientific but the story of Noah’s ark is in there? What other stories show that the bible is as scientific as Harry Potter.
* Jonah and the big fish (oh don’t you dare talking about a whale 😀 )
* Virgin Mary or not depending on the gospel
* The resurrection being told in different ways depending on the gospel
* Original sin (talking snake with legs, hello?)
* A woman being made out of the rib of a man
* Making wine from water
…. etc ….
The bible is full of these treasures
4. How do I explain to those who don’t understand about how “information” cannot exceed the speed of light and how DNA isn’t a written set of instruction that the way most would think of it?
We do not know if there is a way to exceed the speed of light. Just because science hasn’t seen or found it yet, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I would never make a claim like that.
DNA > Take some lego blocks and build a tiny tower. Then explain how this is like DNA having certain components that fit together. If more explanation is needed, you can totally dive into biology, take out a 5th graders textbook and check it out with that person.
5. Why is Theistic Evolution wrong or unreasonable? I may have gotten the name wrong but a friend of mine says theistic evolution is evolution but with divine intervention behind it all.
Theistic Evolution starts with the assumption that “God did it” and as a reasonable person, this should never be the first assumpion. They only do theistic evolution anyway because there is too much evidence supporting evolution to keep telling people that it is not true. The fact that we do not know what exactly made evolution start etc doesn’t mean that this knowledge gab needs to be filled with “God did it”. It should be filled with curiousity instead.
6. My friend crashed in a plane recently and he was unscathed. Now all the uber christian kids at my school keep saying Jesus saved him, but for me I ask why he didn’t prevent the crash in the first place. Then they say Jesus doesn’t check planes before they take off. I know this is a subject that hits the emotions, but how do I convince the crash wasn’t divine but instead was a lucky crash?
So how was this divine for those who got injured or died in the crash. How was it divine for the owner of the plane who lost a lot of money and reputation there? How was it divine for everybody surviving the crash, who will now probably have to deal with trauma? It is a great thing that the friend survived, but that does not mean that a higher being hand picked him. It simply means he survived. It would be a morally very misguided Jesus, who preaches in the bible to love everybody, but then let’s a crash happen, causing a lot of pain just to hand pick one person. Could he not just given one of those signs, enlightenments, etc without the whole drama?
7. Would finding how life forms can arise from inanimate organisms not just disprove but destroy any religious claims to creation? Also what would you think the response to new extraterrestrial life being discovered? Hement Mehta believes this would be a huge blow to organized religion.
There are forms of belief based on “Extraterestrials have visited earth so and so long ago. They were Gods and then they left earth…”
You can find that on History Channel a lot. So that part is not a good argumetn against religion or gods.
If a scientist would be able to create life from inanimate parts, then the next step would be that the scientific community retests this over and over again. If it really worked, it would not disprove a god though. It would probably be a great argument for a believer that someone in the beginning must have done something like that. The fact that there are strong forces in the galaxy that can probably do that, wouldn’t count anymore at that point.
8. Many creationists claim that the odds of humanity coming to be is so improbable. I was thinking before I slept the other day about a new idea(which probably was thought of already because it’s simple). I call it the argument from hindsight. Is this a thing(argument from hindsight)? Is easy to say it must be hard to get to where we are now, but that because we’re looking back. How many Martians are saying this? None because there isn’t anyone to look back at what needs to occur for life.
It is very improbably indeed but it turned out this way anyway. Humanity had billions of years to arise from simple one-celled life forms into more and more complex beings. At some point something humanoid came out of it and it kept evolving to what we are nowadays. This stuff doesn’t happen within 20 years or any timespan that one single person could observe. The time frame is too big so we rely on fossil records and such things. Those records that we rely on, to understand how humanity came to be, are pretty clear.
I am not a scientist, just a normal freethinking person that tries to help out.
If you actually got to read this and wanna keep talking, feel free to drop me a comment.