Month: August 2017

23 Aug

Great Conference Experience

I believe in promoting activism to help spur along important causes, whatever yours may be. I have mine. It takes a village as they say and a multitude of interested parties. I work hard to voice my opinion and concerns; hence I started this blog. Thank you for joining me as an advocate for my concerns. Knowledge is power in this digital world so let’s use all the social media possible, and other forms of communication, to pass the word. Get up and get active is one of my mottos. I made it up!

It is important to feel you can make a difference as fulfilling a role is vital. Without our beliefs, we are mere robots going about our routine daily lives. I look for opportunities and they are ever present. Recently, I attended a national civil rights inference at which I met the most amazing people of like mind. I treasure these experiences and learn so much. I didn’t want to miss a single minute. There were early morning breakfasts followed by lectures, panel discussions, and seminars. Featured speakers drew my attention as did the Q and A sessions. It was time to be heard. At most such conferences, it is designed so that you can ask questions and speak your mind. The afternoon and evening social events make it all that much more meaningful. They often extended well into the night, causing me to go to bed late.

Upon arrival, I read the agenda for the next several days and was immediately worried that I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of everything offered. In that so many occurred right after breakfast, I wanted to be sure I arose in plenty of time. I always used to bring a portable collapsible alarm, but hated the jarring noise. I knew in those days that there had to be something better, and I found it. I bought a small but powerful device, one of the best wake up light models available. I love it enough to share the news with readers. If you travel for business or pleasure, be sure to take one along. You won’t miss anything and will be in a better mood as well. As a result of arriving to all the meetings on time, it was a great conference experience.

By the way, these wake up lights make a perfect gift for anyone who is on the road. Sometimes I add small keychain lights. If you are wracking your brain for ideas, you can make up a packet for a bon voyage party and include powdered soap, miniature tubes of toothpaste, a small fold-up umbrella, and small vials of mouthwash. Forget the shampoo and conditioner as they are provided in every hotel. If the friend is going abroad, a kit of electrical adaptors is a godsend. I like plastic ponchos and rain hats. But I guarantee that among all these products, the wake up light alarm will be the best gift.

20 Aug

“It Gets Better”

This is a common refrain that you hear. “It Gets Better.” I do think that it’s important to tell people this. A lot of people have a hard time even going on if they think that it’s never going to get better for them when their lives are going downhill. A lot of people struggle when it comes to motivating themselves to fight oppression if they think that nothing that they do will ever make a difference of any kind.

However, you can’t just tell people that it gets better. You can’t just say that it’s true. You have to actually find a way to bring about a world where it gets better as an activist.

Saying that it’s true does help. There are plenty of LGBT people and members of oppressed groups who manage to live very happy lives in spite of the difficulties that they face. Things also have gotten better in a real way.

The It Gets Better Project was actually founded in 2010. It has become a staple of pop culture since then. Things really have gotten better since 2010. Gay marriage is now legal. There are more high-profile trans women in the media now and more trans celebrities and characters.

However, the horrific hate crimes that have occurred throughout the last several years, including the major attack at the Pulse Nightclub, have shown us that the battle is far from over. Hate crimes against LGBT people are still going on. Trans people are getting threatened by bathroom bills that seem to target them personally, and that largely are just about pure expressions of transphobia.

Allies and activists have to work to change this world. We have to make it clear that the world does get better because we made it better. Telling LGBT youth that it gets better in the 1970’s would have been a weak statement to make. It’s not a coincidence that a project like this started in 2010, after decades of LGBT rights progress had been made.

Bullying within a school environment is often uniquely awful. Adults who bullied each other like that would get charged with assault, even though there are plenty of adults who get cleared of assault charges. Many LGBT kids who graduated still did find that things got better for them specifically because the school environment has a way of concentrating prejudice against LGBT people.

Adults need to conquer this sort of prejudice on a societal level and within schools. It should not just get better. LGBT kids should have the same experience as privileged kids. We can tell them that it gets better. We can try to give them strength. We can talk about the fact that some of the issues that they are experiencing now will disappear as they reach adulthood. However, they should not have to rely on their personal strength and they should not have to settle for the progress that we have already made.