Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Today's The Day

I apologize to all six of you who actually follow this blog.  It has been a busy month as things at school have gotten going.  I planned on writing this quite some time ago, but better late than never, right?
Well, here we go.  In honor of national coming out day, I am gay.  Phew.  I am all tingly having actually said it.  Most people probably already knew, or had a “hunch,” but I have never cared much about what other people think.  This was for my benefit.  I made the decision to do this on my blog because I have always been most comfortable in my writing.
I think I have avoided this moment for a long time because I didn’t want to have to face people after it was made official.  I have always been on the side of equality, which means this shouldn’t be a big deal.  It should be normal for this to happen, but, unfortunately, it will probably be a problem for some people.  I don’t really like those people much.
This is not a decision someone just “makes.” For as long as I can remember I have been confused over what I should be and what I am.  People will always be biased now.  They will always use the word “gay” to describe me now, despite the fact that I don’t go, “Oh, have you met Bill?  He is this guy I know from school.  By the way, did you know that he is straight?”  I have learned before now that some people do use that exact line to describe someone who is gay.
Maybe I have struggled with this just because I have been too scared to admit it, but I also know that it has a lot to do with the language people use.  Whenever someone does something “stupid” or does something they don’t agree with, the people in my community would say, “Well, that’s gay.”  So for me to actually say it and become it, I think it made me feel that I was wrong or defective in some way.
I have tried to hide it, but as many of many of my current friends will tell you, I have not done well in this endeavor.  So there it is.  I am out.  And for the people out there using words like “faggot” or “gay” in a distasteful way, please understand the impact you may be having on someone around you.  Coming out is hard enough without the influence of other people.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The First Days of College

As the last few free days of my summer come to a close, I have mixed feelings about my beginnings as a college student.  Probably as cliché as any other, but they are still there nonetheless.  Over the past few years, I had to teach myself to find happiness where there was little to be found.  And it took me awhile to get to a place where I knew who I was and what it is I wanted to do.
I have never been a particularly exciting person, but preparing a speech, reading a new book, or writing a short story have been exciting enough.  In the small community where I grew up, there was little in the excitement department.  So I found my own excitement.  While others decided to live the “party” lifestyle, I went in a different route.  So far, it has served me well.
Getting to college has been a bit more challenging than I first expected, however.  I was not at all afraid of being on my own, but rather trying to work into the much more upbeat lifestyle.  I have only found comfort in the workroom of the college speech team, but even then, I have had a feeling of being out of place (which almost never happens on a speech team).  I know this feeling will pass as I get to know everyone, but it has opened my eyes a bit.
There is a huge gap between high school and college.  Many college students get away and feel free for the first time.  Free to do whatever they want.  It doesn’t necessarily need to be this way.  If rules in high school were slightly more relaxed, this would be less of an issue with college freshmen.  Now, I am not saying every high school senior should live in an apartment for a year before college as I did, or should be able to come and go as they please, but they should each be put in a position to feel both the pressures and excitements of the real world.
I can oftentimes remember when, for a speech, I would have to cut out material that may be too “inappropriate” or risqué for some.  So over the past three years this was my mindset: “Oh! There is a cussword! We can’t have that, can we?”  But I get to college and I am frowned at for my lack “inappropriateness.”
My only regret coming out of high school was that I was not exposed to more of this lifestyle because I never had the chance to accept or deny it.  Now I know it is not a path I want to choose, even though I have never experienced it.  Even as I finish this short entry, I question whether or not I believe what I am saying.  This transition has caused me to question myself early on, but there are a few things that I am certain of:  I like learning; I find giving a speech both nerve wracking and exciting.  You can have your parties, drink your drinks, socialize with everyone on the campus, or do whatever it is you think you should be doing at college, and I will stay home and read a good book, as I imagine the other nerds will.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hail to the "V"

            So recently I was watching television and was incredibly unhappy to find that I could no longer skip the commercials (I like to pause the TV. and come back later so that I don’t have to watch them).  So for the rest of the show, I was forced to watch the ads about medicine that cause more illnesses than they cure, the ads from law firms telling you to sue medication companies, and fast-food ads.  One ad in particular came up that was particularly disturbing, however.  Maybe "awkward" is a better word.
            As a guy, I do not enjoy hearing about feminine products or the issues they tackle.  I really don’t want to hear about it.  So you can imagine my elation when a commercial for a woman’s cleansing wash came across the screen.  It was Summer’s Eve’s “Hail to the V” commercial (I will post the link at the bottom of the page to the YouTube video).  Not only do I find this commercial gross for its subject matter, but also I find it very awkward.
            The ad shows multiple men fighting across the ages and in different countries, all for the same purpose – a woman.  However, the ad never refers to the fight as a fight for a woman, but as a fight for a woman’s vagina.  Now, I have never been one to fight for women’s rights (I prefer to go for equality as a whole), but I would have to say this commercial is pretty darn sexist.  Did I mention that the end of the ad tells women to keep themselves clean (they say “show it some love”) because so many have fought for it?  As if to say “we don’t want to damage that reputation, so make sure you use our product to keep your lady parts clean.”
            And this is not the first disturbing commercial I have seen in the past month.  Before this one, I could not stand to see that commercial for the women’s razor where the bushes are all unkempt and as the woman runs by them, they are magically trimmed in the shape of a triangle or a rectangle.  I was watching this with my grandma.  It is as if the marketing execs just want to make my life as awkward as possible.
            As bad as I think this is for me to watch, I think of the parents who are sitting and watching television with their children as commercials such as these appear.  As a kid I could remember asking my mother what Vagisil was for when I saw it on TV.  Thinking back, I know she must have been terribly uncomfortable.  So what is a parent to do when a child asks a question about a feminine wash?  Are they to say, “Well, Billy, sometimes momma’s vagina isn’t so fresh, so she has to wash it with that stuff you just saw on TV?”  I highly doubt that would be appropriate.
            So what do we do to solve this problem?  Some may say that there is no problem (although I am sure many guys would agree with me on this topic).  In my ideal world we do away with all commercials, as I really do hate them, but I don’t see this happening anytime soon.  So for now, I guess, I will just have to make sure that I have enough saved time to skip all of the commercials and hopefully avoid the next ad for a feminine itch and odor solution.

Summer’s Eve – “Hail to the V” 

Schick Quattro Trim Style

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Over this past summer, my grandparents, my grandma’s mother, and myself have all attempted to live within the same house together.  Without me even saying anything, I’m sure you could imagine how much fun it has been.  I am 18 and my great-grandmother is 92.  It is quite the age difference.  All I am saying is I have found rocks in the yard younger than she is.  I feel guilty complaining about any of them, however, because they let me live with them free of charge.  So I will complain about them in minimal amounts (for now).
This has been a great learning experience for everyone involved, I think.  She has told me stories of times I only read about in my school history books.  I find it fascinating to actually speak with someone who has been there, and experienced what I was tested over in classrooms.
With that being said, there is also a HUGE cultural gap.  It is to be expected.  She grew up in a time when it was widely accepted that a white man was better than a black man.  I get the feeling she knows that this has been abandoned as time went on, but she also has trouble hiding what she was taught to believe.  One night a movie came on that had Queen Latifah among the cast.  She said she loves her and would like to watch it too.  As she gets up to move to where she can see the movie, she asks, “Is it an all black movie?  I like some, but not movies with all blacks.”
To say the least, I was a bit shocked to hear the words uttered from her mouth!  I was always taught equality.  I actually ignored her question and let her find out for herself.  As it turns out, she loved the movie!  I wanted to rub her nose in it, but thought it best to stay quiet.
I learned from this moment that her racism is not totally her fault.  As I said, she grew up in a time when this was socially acceptable; I grew up in a time when it was not.  I knew she would not change now, and neither will I on that subject.
Unfortunately, she is also a republican, as is most of my family.  I am a democrat.  When I announced my dislike for many of the republican politicians, the reaction was as if I had told them I murdered someone.  They take a conservative approach while I think that cutting the budget is okay, just not from programs we need (such as education perhaps?).
While I am on the subject of politics, let me give a brief explanation of what I think.  First, I do not like the way the government is going.  At one time, a political career was unheard of.  This is why term limits were imposed upon the Presidents.  It was believed that any one man serving for longer than his term risks becoming a ruler or a tyrant.  What changed?  Somehow it was decided that a person could be in the political world forever.  The whole idea of our government is to represent the people and what they want.  As it stands now, politicians like to do what they want and what will further their careers.  They like to vote as their party votes, just so the opposite side won’t “win.”  I would love to see some new faces come in and shake things up, but I also don’t foresee that happening anytime soon.
Anyway, I now like to take the opportunity to shove the democratic world in her face, just for fun.  For example, when she hears that a republican wants to make cuts to something that she doesn’t think should be cut, I say something like, “well the democrats would never do something like that!”  She doesn’t find it nearly as funny as I do.
It was tough at times, living with three others who were at least triple my age.  I realized, though, that we all come from different places and times.  We all were raised in different ways and it is not my place to tell anyone he or she is wrong simply because it doesn’t coincide with what I believe.  My 92 year-old grandmother gave birth to my family and has most definitely earned the right to speak her mind.  When others ask why she says what she says or does what she does, I explain it as simply as I know how – “she is old.”

Monday, August 8, 2011

With Open Arms

I have contemplated creating a blog for a while now.  I guess what was holding me back was my belief that I would be judged harshly for what I write here.  But then in the same moment I thought, “well that doesn’t sound like me at all!”  I have a voice and I have an opinion.  In this country, at least for the time being, I have the right to voice my opinions.  And as this task gets harder and harder every day; I was left with the options of either becoming the next radical public speaker (which, by the way, does sound like fun) or writing a blog.  So I went with the option that allowed me to sit on my lazy butt and still anger my family and friends with my skewed opinions.
            As I said before, I am writing this as an outlet to voice my opinions and beliefs.  Whether others agree with me or not, I do not care.  Everyone is entitled to say what they please, and I shall not hinder my own rights.  What makes someone else’s opinion any more important than my own?  What entitles someone else to tell me that I am wrong?  So for my first entry, I thought I would come out, guns blazing and just make everyone mad.  Enjoy!
            A friend of mine introduced me to a website some time ago that really summed up my religious beliefs to the letter.  It showed pictures of what was to be God and a message above and below his (excuse me, “His”) picture.  Mainly, the messages were just spouting off ironic or inconsistent parts of the Bible.  And I immediately loved this site.
            For most of my life, I have not been able to decide whether or not I believe in God.  I have come to the realization that I was only holding on to the “yes, I do believe,” because I was scared of the repercussions I may see from family members who do believe.  But now, I am not going to hide behind my fear anymore.  I find that there are too many inconsistencies within religion to firmly believe that there is a god.  I see evidence for evolution, and I see evidence for many things religions discredit.  However, I have never been given evidence to the truths supposedly seen in the Bible.
            I may find it hard to believe in the greatness of Jesus (which, don’t worry, I will get to) or the presence of an almighty god, but I will not attack those who do believe.  And this is where I find a huge difference between believers and non-believers.  Those who do, they find it necessary to tell me, or perhaps warn me, that Hell is the only place a person who does not believe in His greatness will go.  However, I do not go door to door telling people that they are ignorant bigots who still hold fast to ideals kept by people over 2000 years ago.  I do not force my beliefs on anyone because it is their right to believe what they want.  Hell or no, it is every person’s right to believe as he or she so chooses.  With that being said, let me tell you what I think about Jesus Christ.
            I always hear that Jesus died for my sins and is a man I should devote my life to loving.  Well I like to look at the facts.  When we see on a news report of a cult being brainwashed by a crazed fanatic who desperately believes in what he is saying, we all think he is evil.  He told people to do as he said and do as he did.  And what we find most saddening about the whole report is that he actually convinced people to follow his command.  Now I ask you to think back to our friend Jesus.  He told people to do as he did and believe what he said.  In a way, he also brainwashed his early followers to believe his every word.  To me, he was just one of the first cult leaders.  Now I know that sounds harsh and evil, but if you do not even stop to think about it for a moment, you only further prove this to me.  For if you are so consumed by his story, perhaps you are no better off than the cult followers we just felt bad for on that news report.
            With that out of the way, I hope I haven’t lost too many readers after this first post.  I am a realist.  I believe what can be proven to me and what I can see in front of my own two eyes.  My opinions everywhere from political world to food and I also like to poke fun at a few up and coming pop stars, such as Justin Bieber (wow, do I hate her!).  Anyway, I would like to say I hope you enjoyed my first entry, but I feel that won’t be the case with many of you.  So if you take anything away from my first entry as a blogger, just learn to accept the beliefs of others.  I know it is not always an easy task and is often easier said than done (believe me, I know! I still can’t wrap my head around some of the ideas of the republicans!), but if we can do this, we can prevent a few conflicts, or possibly even another war based upon this same intolerance for beliefs.