On Educating On Important Issues, or I’m Trying To Figure Out How To Not Alienate People By Being Too Passionate And Stuff

On Educating On Important Issues, or I’m Trying To Figure Out How To Not Alienate People By Being Too Passionate And Stuff

I’m the first to admit I’m an acquired taste.

When you first meet me, I’m painfully shy and have a difficult time carrying a conversation (especially if I don’t find you particularly interesting…shhhhhh…)

And once I warm up, I’m a passionate flailing-muppet-arm word-vomity mess.  Without a filter.  I overshare.  I’m brutally open and honest to a fault.  Some may even call me abrasive or obnoxious.

Especially when you get me going on issues I’m passionate about.

This has been something that has become painfully clear to me over this past year on my path to a deeper sense of self awareness.

And so, here I am, with a whole lot to say about things that directly affect me and the people I care about, trying to figure out how to speak about them and gently educate people who may not be aware of them and/or strongly disagree with them.

There’s a fine line to walk and, over the past election season especially, I have witnessed all sorts of variations of communication and debate.

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The Election, Or How To Be An Advocate and Ally Without Alienating People

The Election, Or How To Be An Advocate and Ally Without Alienating People
This ill-fitting blazer was the closest thing to a pantsuit this “Nasty Woman” wore to vote!

CW: Trans murder rate, murders of POC, this damn election

I don’t even know where to start. It’s not hyperbolic when I tell you that I am deeply grieving for My America right now. The America that was just beginning to acknowledge people like me as worthy of rights like marriage, adoption, protection from being fired because of my identity, and other things that so many people take for granted.

I could fill this page with empassioned wailings about how concerned I am for the safety of myself as a queer woman and my other LGBQ friends, my trans friends, my friends who are people of color, Muslim, immigrants, disabled, lower income, single mothers, people with uteruses, women…

Yes, these concerns exist and are so visceral I feel it seething out of my body, feel myself getting hives, unable to eat, bawling all day at work, and feeling like a tightly coiled spring.

Continue reading “The Election, Or How To Be An Advocate and Ally Without Alienating People”

On My Journey to Being A Bleeding-Heart-Liberal, or How My Christian College Made Me This Way

On My Journey to Being A Bleeding-Heart-Liberal, or How My Christian College Made Me This Way

CW:  Homophobic slurs, gay bashing, hate speech against people of color

I was born into one of those nuclear families, with two parents who were still together, one slightly younger sister, and various dogs, cats, bunnies, lizards and an ill-fated hedgehog.

spaanstra-family
Our church photo from the early 1990s.  My sister and I were wearing dresses my mom made for us.
We went to church every Sunday, and lived in a conservative area in the Midwest, surrounded by the homogeneity of other blonde haired, blue eyed people of predominantly Dutch heritage.

Continue reading “On My Journey to Being A Bleeding-Heart-Liberal, or How My Christian College Made Me This Way”

On Transgender Issues or Yesterday I Helped Pay For A Stranger’s Cremation Because No One Else Would

On Transgender Issues or Yesterday I Helped Pay For A Stranger’s Cremation Because No One Else Would

CW: violence against transgender individuals, trans suicide rates

This country is becoming more terrifying by the day. 

Especially for a community I care about deeply and tertiarily am a part of: the trans community. 

I will begin by adding a disclaimer: I try my hardest to keep up with the changing appropriate terminology, but please let me know if anything I say is wrong. I also cannot speak for members of this community, other than one of a vaguely genderqueer but mostly female identified person like myself.  

Seven years ago, I was completely uninformed about this topic. I knew it was a thing, but didn’t understand it at all. And I will admit that I probably cracked some jokes on behalf of transpeople at some point, for which I am eternally ashamed.  

But as I became more entrenched in “researching” the LGBT community as I begin to identify my own pansexuality/queerness, I educated myself about transgender issues.  

I began to develop the inklings of understanding about what it must be like to know from your earliest memories who you are, but be told you are irrevocably someone different.  

Continue reading “On Transgender Issues or Yesterday I Helped Pay For A Stranger’s Cremation Because No One Else Would”