Tag Archives: life

Unlearning

Sometimes I forget that unlearning all the internalized oppressive crap that has been instilled in me is an ongoing process. Sometimes I get to a point where I feel like “yep, I’ve unlearned it all, I’m good to go.” And the next thing I know a thought will pop into my head or I’ll do something without thinking and afterwards I pause and go “hey wait a minute, that was really messed up… I guess I haven’t unlearned it all…” And that’s kind of a disheartening thought, realizing just how entrenched all of these messed up values are in me is really distressing. At the same time, it’s an invaluable reminder of the fact that I will never be done unlearning. I live in a society where these horrible ideas are all around me, therefore it is a constant battle to say “no, that’s not right.” But it’s a worthwhile battle because all of the racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, sexist, etc. crap that we are bombarded with on a daily basis is not ok. And I’m not just going to give in to it just because it’s hard to recognize it and unlearn it.

At the same time, I struggle with remembering that others are working on unlearning it too and it’s not my place to judge their process. It’s really important for me to remember that I hate the system that puts these ideas in place, I don’t hate the people that the ideas have been instilled in. Hating people instead of hating the system is a distraction, it is an obstacle in the way of real change. We are all struggling to unlearn the idea that we do not deserve good things and neither do others, for whatever reason. We are all worthy of love. We are all worthy of respect.

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[insert “new beginning” cliche here]

So, my last post was about feeling hopeful about the New Year, and thinking about all the things that may or may not happen this year. A few days after writing that post, I read Virgie Tovar’s post about feeling good about not having any new year’s resolutions. As it’s only the 7th day of the New Year, I’ve of course been bombarded with ads, articles, and people’s statuses/posts about their new year’s resolutions or lack thereof. While I do admit that starting a New Year does feel like [insert “new beginning” cliché here], I can also see the ridiculousness of New Year’s resolutions. I feel like they are mainly driven by capitalist-consumer culture. Particularly because I work in retail, it’s been easy to see how the way the store is set up, and the ads put on prominent display are geared toward customers with new year’s resolutions, i.e. the “active” section was moved to the front of the store, “healthy” cook-books were moved to the “impulse buy” section, the organizational (cabinet dividers, containers, etc.) section has expanded… and I can’t help but feel that it’s all so forced. Not only are oppressive lifestyle standards being reinforced, the sustainability of these resolutions is called into questions. It just seems to me that permanent and meaningful change is not affected by the date, it’s affected by personality, conviction, necessity etc. Now, maybe someone has reached the point in their life where they are ready to commit to a huge lifestyle change and that just happens to fall on the 1st of the year, but let’s wake up and smell the capitalist rhetoric behind mass new year’s resolutions!!

In other news, I’m getting ready to apply to grad school! When I graduated from undergrad, I was very much of never-going-to-grad-school mindset. However, since the undergrad bubble burst, I have been realizing that it’s going to be pretty hard for me to get involved in social justice, community-based, advocacy type work without a masters degree… at least I’m hoping that will be the key. So, with that as my motivation, I will be applying for grad school and hopefully starting in the fall! Here’s to working to achieve life goals.

That’s all for now, Until next time…

New Year, Familiar Thoughts

As the New Year draws ever closer, I am inevitably reminded of time passing and, as cliché as it may sound, I find myself reflecting on my goals, hopes, and dreams. I often feel like my life is sort of in pause mode and I am waiting to hit play… waiting for the medical/bureaucratic aspects of my transition to start, or waiting for a job that I actually want to be doing, or waiting for grad school, or waiting to feel more settled in home life and relationships… I am trying to find ways to live in the here and now, ways to remind myself that I don’t have a pause and a play button, it’s now or never. I know it’s kind of silly, but the New Year feels like a chance for a fresh start, a new chapter; I find myself making commitments or hoping for things like, this will be the year I start testosterone, or this will be the year I legally change my name, or this will be the year I officially come out to my family, or this will be the year I propose to my partner (more later on this), or this will be the year I start grad school, or this will be the year I lay out plans for/finish researching/find partners for my dream of starting a grassroots, community-based, social justice advocacy non-profit, or this will be the year I get hired for a job I love… Who knows if any of these things will come true, but it’s nice to dream and feel hopeful about them.

I’ve been thinking about marriage a lot lately. The concept of marriage and I have had a very unstable relationship. I used to not even question the idea I would get married, and then my parents got divorced and I kind of dismissed it as something that would never happen to me, but then as it sank in and marinated a little bit I realized I was terrified of a failed marriage and vowed to never get married, this vow was strengthened as I continued on in my educational career and learned about things like heteronormativity, homonormativity, and privilege and oppression, and then I started thinking about what if my partner or I was ever in the hospital and the hospital staff wouldn’t let the other in because we weren’t officially married, or what about if we ever wanted to have kids, how would that work? In a system that is stacked against us, it might be nice to take an ideological stand and never officially wed, but if doing so means facing fewer bureaucratic difficulties than we would otherwise, it may be a luxury our self/couple care can’t afford. While I was trying to sort out these thoughts, I stumbled upon this article about the privilege that allows someone to make the choice to not get married, and I started thinking, “yea, it’s possible to have a queer marriage, choosing to get married doesn’t make us the poster children for homonormativity.” So then I started thinking, maybe marriage wasn’t a horrible idea… I mean if I love my partner and we want to have a party with our friends and family to celebrate that fact, and it might make navigating bureaucratic situations a little bit easier – why not, right? There’s still the part about me being misgendered when/if we do have an official marriage, but the system is going to misgender me whether or not I’m married, so why should that be the deciding factor?

Anyway, besides all of those ruminations, there’s a new puppy in our lives. Baby Emma is bringing joy to me and my partner as well as her big sister, Xochìtl. Her other big sister, Frida the cat, is not so sure, but we think she’ll come around. There’s no feeling quite like having a sleeping puppy in your arms, and we know Emma is going to make a great playmate for Xochitl. Plus, my partner and I get the chance to further refine our parenting skills, bonus! We just gotta watch out for those teeth and potty accidents.

That’s all for now, until next time…