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    Deciding To Come Out

    coming out

    ( Author’s Note: This website is for women empowerment. Men and Women can be feminist, therefore there are some males in this article.
    bri xx )

    Coming Out

    Coming out and discovering your sexuality is a really touchy subject and not everyone is comfortable with talking about their experiences. Although, it is a sensitive subject I know people (especially those who aren’t out yet) like to hear other LGBTQ+ coming out stories. Everyone’s story, of course, will be different! Some were accepted while others maybe weren’t. I had an okay experience which made me very curious about what other LGBTQ+ peoples’ experiences were. This led me to interview a few people with different cultural backgrounds to see how their experience went. I asked them all the same four questions.

    Here are their responses:

    Hayden Robinson
    Current Age: N/A
    Age You Came Out: 15
    Gender: Male
    Sexuality: Gay

    When did you discover you were apart of the LGBTQ+ community?

    During middle school, it felt kind of awkward walking through the underwear aisles. He started to realize when he had a crush on rapper Flo Rida.

    When and Why did you decide to come out?

    It all was a bit of a process, the first person he told was already a part of the LGBTQ+ community. He told them over Instagram demos, but then told them to delete their conversation. Then in November, he told his sister. The next month, he told his mom, and the month after that, his father. Soon, he told his stepmother on Valentine’s Day. Eventually, he told his close friends, but he still wasn’t out to everyone which affected his mental health. So, one Friday afternoon, he made a Snapchat story saying he was gay.

    What were your responses from friends, family, teachers, etc?

    Most of them knew already. Sister thought it was awesome that they could talk about boys together. Mom took it hard and was scared. Dad was kind of quiet and didn’t ask many questions besides how long did he know he was a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Stepmom didn’t think it was a big deal.
    Friends were excited and pretty much already knew it.

    Looking back, are you happy with your decisions on coming out?

    He is very happy about it! He would not be where he is today if he hadn’t come out. His family and friends are also still very supportive.

    Linus
    Current Age: 16
    Age You Came Out: 14
    Gender: Female
    Sexuality: Queer / Doesn’t really like labels though.

    When did you discover you were apart of the LGBTQ+ community?

    Younger, people would say a lot of homophobic things and she would take up for the LGBTQ+ community, not really realizing she was just standing up for herself.

    When and Why did you decide to come out?

    It wasn’t really formal, she just kind of talked about a crush who was apart of the LGBTQ+ community.

    What were your responses from friends, family, teachers, etc?

    Overall, friends acted normally while one “friend” tried to fully push her out of the closet which resulted in her cutting them off.

    Looking back, are you happy with your decisions on coming out?

    She’s only out to friends, but is happy about making that decision. She plans on coming out to family when ready.

    Carter

    Current Age: 15 turning 16
    Age You Came Out At: 12
    Gender: Transgender Male
    Sexuality: Bisexual

    When did you discover you were apart of the LGBTQ+ community?

    The first time was when he was in a hospital and met people a part of that community. During that time, he was given a chest binder and a packer and decided to try it.

    When and Why did you decide to come out?

    He came out as bisexual when he was twelve around thanksgiving time. He came out as transgender at fourteen.

    What were your responses from friends, family, teachers, etc?

    Friends weren’t accepting at all and didn’t really understand it.
    Mom was giving him the talk when he came out as bisexual and was okay with it. Dad didn’t really care, but questioned if he was really sure he was bisexual. When coming out as transgender, his mom was confused and not accepting. She thought he was too young to make that decision. Four years later, Mom has accepted it but doesn’t want him to make rash decisions.
    Parents told teachers to call him a different name but didn’t tell them that he is transgender.

    Looking back, are you happy with your decisions on coming out?

    Yes and No, he’s still battling with a couple of different things. Wishes he hadn’t told friends, but glad he came out to his family otherwise he would still be confused about things.

    Jamiah
    Current Age: 16
    Age You Came Out At: 15
    Gender: Female
    Sexuality: Lesbian

    When did you discover you were apart of the LGBTQ+ community

    In seventh grade. The first year at a new school and decided that she wasn’t attracted to guys anymore.

    When and Why did you decide to come out?

    Made the decision to come out because she didn’t want to hide anymore and just wanted to be honest with herself.

    What were your responses from friends, family, teachers, etc?

    Mom and Brothers already knew and did not care nor treat her differently. Dad doesn’t know and is not gonna tell him because she feels he just won’t understand. Friends were really happy and weren’t really shocked.

    Looking back, are you happy with your decisions on coming out?

    Yes, Very Happy. She was just tired of hiding it and finally happy she can be open about her relationships.

    Talking with these individuals opened my eyes a lot.

    You always hear stories about people’s coming out experiences. Some are like a happy fairy tale ending. Some are not so happy and end with people taking their own lives. Not everyone is gonna be accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, but every individual has a right to express themselves and not be treated differently or less than anyone else in this world. Coming out is not the easiest to do so wait until you’re ready and are comfortable with sharing it to friends, family or anyone. Don’t let anyone force you to do anything you don’t want to do. If you are not comfortable with coming out, it’s perfectly fine, no pressure, but know that, even if it doesn’t feel like it, there are many people out there who love and support you.

    If you do come out and you start to experience verbal, physical, emotional abuse or any form of bullying, tell someone. Don’t let other people’s stupidity make you feel bad about being yourself. Hopefully, reading other people’s stories helped or educated you a little bit on how different everyone’s reactions and how it changed or didn’t change their lives.

    much love,
    bri xx

    Everyone deserves to feel comfortable being themself, gay, straight, bi, trans, whatever! Check out some tips on being comfortable in your own skin.

    If you are thinking about coming out but don’t know how to, or have more questions than you can count, look at the Human Right’s Campaign’s Coming Out Resource Guide.

  • Environment, Lifestyle, Local, Misc, Social, Tips

    Pride Month Safety

    Pride Month

    Some Tips on How to Stay Safe During Pride Events.

    As many of you may know PRIDE month is right around the corner. For those who don’t know what pride month is here’s a definition: The month of June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. As a result, many pride events are held during this month to recognize the impact LGBT people have had in the world. ( Wikipedia ) But in my words basically a celebration for the LGBTQ+ community!

    If you are planning on attending any PRIDE events, parades, parties, etc. Here are some safety tips you could use just in case.

    1. Stay with a friend or a group of friends: Often, when attacks have occurred the victim are usually alone leaving a party, at a party by themselves, or simply just walking home by themselves. If happen to find yourself alone stay as open in the public as you can and always check your surroundings. (even if you are just going to a bathroom)

    2. Drinking: If you’re an ADULT please drink responsibly!! And if you have had too much to drink please do NOT drive, have a friend take you home. ( I don’t advise taking an uber or lyft in that state of mind because you do not know the driver.)

    3. Have protection: I do not recommend any type of weapons on any occasion but if you are considering getting one: mace, taser, pepper spray, etc. Anything to protect yourself if an attacker approached you.

    4. Clubs: If you are planning on attending any type of club or public function check if there is security and if weapons are or aren’t allowed in the building. Also, be aware of emergency exits!!

    5. Last but not least… HAVE FUN!!!!: Pride Month is a month of celebration for being who you are! If you are looking for events to attend you can ask a friend you trust or look up events in your area. If you plan to attend one, BRING A FRIEND OR FRIENDS.

    If you are a teen in the Birmingham area, MCAC (Magic City Acceptance Center, http://www.magiccityacceptancecenter.org) has many great events coming up.

    If you are in the LGBTQ+ community and you are not out yet, I understand. Coming out isn’t easy, wait for when it’s perfect for you!!

    Happy Pride Month my loves, bri xx

  • Environment

    A Plastic Sea: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

    A Plastic Sea: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

    Plastic is everywhere.

    From the plastic bottles, we drink water from to the medical equipment doctors use. Plastic use is ubiquitous. However, what happens to this plastic when it isn’t taken care of properly? A responsible citizen disposes of plastic properly via recycling bins. What happens to the plastic that gets thrown into public waterways and rivers and oceans? The meeting point for plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean is known as the “convergence zone.” This zone, kilometers from Hawaii, is where warm water from the South Pacific convenes with cooler water from the Arctic.

    This zone is a highway for marine debris and surrounds by four currents going in four directions: north, south, east, and west. As a result, plastic debris remains in the center of these cross-cutting motions. It gives rise to large patches of plastic floating for miles upon miles. One example is a patch known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” or as my history teacher affectionately called it, the “Great Pacific Garbage Dump.”

    Now, you might be thinking that this garbage patch is made up of plastic bottles and debris that are still intact in shape and consistency.

    However, the truth is far from what the name of this garbage patch may conjure up. The garbage patch looks like a sea of tiny bits of plastic known as “microplastics.” As a result, when plastic sits on the surface of the ocean, light from the sun starts breaking it down. This process is known as “photodegradation.”

    Although tiny bits of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean may not concern anyone greatly, don’t let the term “microplastic” fool you.

    These tiny bits of plastic are dangerous for wildlife and us as well. Microplastics take the place of algae and plankton at the surface of the ocean. Therefore, they compete for space when populations of algae and plankton, other organisms that rely on algae and plankton for sustenance become affected. This starts a cascade of harmful effects that go up the food chain.
    Additionally, wildlife that consumes these microplastics can ingest the toxic chemical compounds that are in plastic like BPA (bisphenol-A). These are linked to a plethora of environmental and health problems. Microplastics also can end up in the seafood that reaches the dinner table, adversely affecting our health.

    Since the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is far away from any major country’s coastline, no one country has taken up the responsibility for cleaning up this crisis.

    As plastic debris continues to increase, patches like the Great Pacific will increase in size and number. Slowly but surely the effects of our negligence to clean up this disaster early will come back to haunt us, whether it be in the seafood that we consume or the extinction of the marine wildlife species we treasure.

    Works Cited
    “How Big Is the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”? Science vs. Myth.” NOAA. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 June 2017.

    Society, National Geographic. “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” National Geographic Society. N.p., 09 Oct. 2012. Web. 19 June 2017.