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From the Teens of Washington County, MD
Updated: 52 min 15 sec ago

Here, Queer, & Someone Else’s Problem

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 18:00

An Exploration of Central Conflict and Queer Representation in Popular Visual Media

by Spencer Thomas, Staff Writer

    The past decade has entailed many triumphs for the queer community, including the legalization of same sex marriage in the United States and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” legislation affecting queer individuals who wish to serve in the military. Also among these triumphs is the increased presence of positive queer representation in mainstream television and film. While the impact of this may seem superficial, this newfound representation is vital, as it provides queer people with someone on the screen to relate to and can offer much needed validation to those struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity. However, even despite the benefits, the unfortunate truth about mainstream media featuring prominent queer characters is that much of the conflict revolves entirely around their queer identity. Whether it be the hardship of coming out or the presence of some homophobic antagonist, the constant portrayal of the negative experiences plaguing the queer community denies it the sense of escapism associated with much of the fictional media consumed by the masses. Plots that closely reflect real life have, of course, always been a feature of television and film, but so have aspects of fantasy and idealism. Is it so much to ask for the same sense of unwavering fairytale romance that on screen cisgender heterosexual couples have received since the dawn of silent film?

    The dawn of mainstream queer media came at a time when the mortality as well as morality of being queer was threatened.  From the 1993 cinematic landmark Philadelphia, to the 2005 adaption of the musical Rent, films centered around the AIDS crisis have presented a cast of characters who are written as queer for the express purpose of being sick. This made sense an era where the call was less for queer people to be portrayed as only fully rounded humans, rather than vessels to promote awareness of the disease. But, as the widespread panic surrounding AIDS was separated from the popular conscious, the disease itself was separated from queer characters living outside a historical narrative, paving way for stories not only featuring queer characters defined by traits other than their health, but with an ever increasing emphasis on the mental rather than physiomedical fallout surrounding homophobia.

    One example of a successful modern queer narrative is the 2018 film Love, Simon. Although the plot deviates slightly from that of the young adult novel on which it was based, the overall premise remains the same. “Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year-old Simon Spier… it’s a bit complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online,” explains the official plot synopsis from 20th Century Fox’s website. That is not to discredit the film’s artistic merit. Visually the film is wonderful, and it’s soundtrack thoroughly danceable in its own right. However, as the synopsis makes apparent, it’s no typical story of falling for the mystery boy. Simon and his love interest spend a majority of the film terrified by the implications of coming out, and their fear isn’t exactly helped when paired with scenes of the school’s only openly gay student being bullied and harassed for his sexuality. The main issue wasn’t Simon finding his true love through the fog of anonymity, but finding both himself and his love through a fog comprised of  bigotry. Simon’s life takes a detour through a living hell, with pit stops made to be blackmailed and brutally outed along the way, and only at the end is he granted an ounce of happiness in the form of a single intimate scene at the film’s conclusion.

    Another recent successful work, the 2016 anime series Yuri On Ice, paved its own way for tackling queer romance. While Japanese media is no stranger to queer representation, the show departed from the conventions of yaoi or “boy’s love”, a niche genre familiar to the west which usually depicts a more sexually charged form of male on male love, in order to showcase a more honest relationship. The show’s main conflict is firmly rooted in the competitive world of professional figure skating, while the two male protagonists fall for eachother unimpeded by homophobia (although their relationship is not without self-doubt, as the title character struggles with nearly every element of himself but his sexuality). Even so, what little of their relationship is explored can prove at times underwhelmingly subtle. Displays of affection are either obscured, as in the case of a pivotal kiss scene, or up to interpretation as to whether they were truly meant to be queer romantic gestures or mere zealous bromance.

    Perhaps the biggest roadblock on the path to a queer fairytale is that, in a sense, many of the narratives featuring queer characters are already employing the tropes. It has been argued that every story that can be told, already has been. Indeed, queer narratives have their dragons and damsels in distress; however, instead of being literal dragons, homophobia (internal, external, and otherwise), runs amok. And, if a true love’s kiss can’t break any spell, those elements certainly should not make every queer narrative. Is that to say these kinds of stories should be moved past entirely? Not at all. The argument could even be made that, as familiar as these concepts are to queer media, stories may not even be recognizable as explicitly queer enough in their absence. Even if that is true, it’s time for creators to branch out and take risks. Give queer people literal dragons to slay, and they have the opportunity to rise triumphant not only in any number of tales, but at the box-office as well.

Evolution, Human Dignity, and the “Last Man”

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 17:20

by Jay Trovato, Librarian and Guest Contributor

How do we know that human life has value?  Intuitively, we know that it does, but how is it that we come to that conclusion?  I’ll tell you one thing: you will never get a straight answer to that question from the culture we currently live in.

 

First, let us consider the point of view of evolution, which is the official secular explanation for how we all got here.  One concept embedded within evolution is called “survival of the fittest,” which says that only the strongest members of a species survive the violent competition called life. We are not endowed with any special dignity other than the chance fact that we somehow got to the top of the food chain through natural selection (that is, the strong outlive the weak and pass on their strong genetic material to their offspring).  From a strictly evolutionary point of view, the idea of human worth does not really exist; it’s just a random trait that helped humans survive and evolve over time.

 

At the same time, however, we constantly see individuals and groups arguing against this concept by saying that every human life has value. We stand up against the abuse of others.  We create laws that protect weak and marginalized classes of people. We believe in things like fairness, justice, and peace. But, if the earth is just an arena where the species fight it out for survival and ascendancy, why would we bother to speak out in favor of protecting the vulnerable? Shouldn’t we just let the evolutionary forces do their thing and get rid of the weaker individuals to improve the genetic code passed down to the next generation?  We, as a society, have accepted evolution as an ontological assumption (that is, as an explanation for how we got here), but it seems that we are not willing to admit the implications in terms of the negative effect that it would necessarily have on the value of human life.

 

Therefore, as a culture, we are living in a contradiction.  Evolution tells us that there is no objective source of meaning for our lives, yet society and morality tells us that every person has value that is worth defending. The contradictory position I’ve just described is something the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche called “The Last Man.” In an existence with no clear origin and no ultimate goal, the Last Man only seeks comfort, peace, and security for himself as he waits for humanity to give up its illusion of dignity. The Last Man is a weak, cowardly being with no aims other than to be baselessly and passively happy.

 

I don’t know how you will escape this depressing condition. All I can tell you is how I avoid it. I believe in the God of the Bible, who created all men and women in His own image. The idea that we are created in God’s image – regardless of the human categories by which we might be categorized or judged – gives an enormous amount of value to each and every person.  Furthermore, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ died on the cross so that each person who believes in Him can be forgiven of sin and begin a relationship with God. As a result, I owe God my life twice: He created me (which means He has rights over my life) and He sacrificed His life for me (which means He is willing to go to infinite lengths to save me).

 

My position is a matter of faith, yes. But it certainly beats the alternatives!  I’m not a blind product of natural selection. I don’t blindly subscribe to the idea of human value – I know where my value comes from. I’m not a gutless, useless Last Man. I was created for a purpose, I live a life of grateful joy, and I have hope for the future based on the character of God as revealed in the Bible.
So, let me leave you with the question I asked at the beginning of this article: How do we know that human life has value?  Or, more importantly, how do you know that your life has value?

Shelved

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 18:52

by Isabella Hendershot

 

What’s it like being taken away from your safe place,

A place you love and cherish?

Do you feel upset and lost,

Like your one source of happiness has been taken?

Or do you feel numb?

Do you go on about your normal day,

Or does your world stop?

Do you long for the moment when your reconnected,

Back in your safe place?

The fear may not be present and nerves show.

Maybe it’s just waiting to rear its ugly face.

 

Or will it sink in and become your life?

Good and Bad Things About Social Media

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 18:44

There are two things we should learn about social media: it helps us get more information about what is going on in our lives, yet it also gives us more difficulty in understanding each other. In this article I’d like to describe what I consider to be the positive and negative aspects of social media.

Social media connects people to each other, allowing them to communicate easily over long distances. For example, how many of us have used social media to connect with old friends from other schools? Businesses can also use social media to advertise, find out what customers like and dislike about their products and services, and connect to other professionals in their field. Social media gives everyone an equal voice, regardless of how much money or education they have. It can also be a harmless way to get some amusement if there’s nothing to do.

Not everything about social media is good, however. It can reduce our productivity by taking our full attention off of work or school. Social media can also become addictive.  When people post things online, it can attract negative, judgmental attention from others, which in turn can make us feel upset. Sometimes people use social media for cyberbullying, which can lead to destructive consequences for everyone involved.  Parents, school staff, and other adults in the community can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, creating a safe school environment, and creating a community-wide bullying prevention strategy.

We need other people to truly thrive. Social media has the power to connect us with people we may never meet in person, yet we’re still able to form relationships with them that are just as strong (and, I’ve found, in many cases even stronger) as our relationships with people we know in person. The tool of social media must be used wisely in order to take advantage of its benefits and avoid its problems.

Grey Beauty

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 17:33

by Isabella Hendershot, Staff Writer

The clouds come in,

Cover the sky,

Cry and weep,

Bring cold and beauty all around.

 

The world turns grey,

The clouds weep,

Sorrow is felt by everyone.

 

The cold that seeps through my skin and bones,

Makes me feel warm and cozy inside,

Makes me feel happy.

 

I appreciate the grey beauty,

It’s a beauty not many understand,

But I do.

 

I understand how she wants to be loved,

How she wants others to wish for her,

Hope that she lives again.

 

I understand this grey beauty,

All the pain she has went through,

All that she lets out,

Through the cold and icy rain.

 

I understand what others don’t,

Understand that she is different,

All in her own way,

Different by how she expresses herself.

 

The grey beauty lives on,

Lives when she is not seen,

She lives on inside of me,

The one who understands what it’s like.

 

She lives on inside of me,

All for how I love her,

Notice her and cherish her,

Believe in her.

 

I notice that she is more than grey,

More than sorrow and sadness,

More than a cold entity,

More than anyone can understand.

 

She is not grey or black and white,

She is a grey beauty in my heart,

One beauty that I notice,

Love so dearly that no one can understand.

 

She is a grey beauty,

One I love and cherish,

One I understand and notice,

One who lives and breathes inside of my heart,

One I wish I can see to live another day once she leaves.

The clouds come in,

Cover the sky,

Cry and weep,

Bring cold and beauty all around.

 

The world turns grey,

The clouds weep,

Sorrow is felt by everyone.

 

The cold that seeps through my skin and bones,

Makes me feel warm and cozy inside,

Makes me feel happy.

 

I appreciate the grey beauty,

It’s a beauty not many understand,

But I do.

 

I understand how she wants to be loved,

How she wants others to wish for her,

Hope that she lives again.

 

I understand this grey beauty,

All the pain she has went through,

All that she lets out,

Through the cold and icy rain.

 

I understand what others don’t,

Understand that she is different,

All in her own way,

Different by how she expresses herself.

 

The grey beauty lives on,

Lives when she is not seen,

She lives on inside of me,

The one who understands what it’s like.

 

She lives on inside of me,

All for how I love her,

Notice her and cherish her,

Believe in her.

 

I notice that she is more than grey,

More than sorrow and sadness,

More than a cold entity,

More than anyone can understand.

 

She is not grey or black and white,

She is a grey beauty in my heart,

One beauty that I notice,

Love so dearly that no one can understand.

 

She is a grey beauty,

One I love and cherish,

One I understand and notice,

One who lives and breathes inside of my heart,

One I wish I can see to live another day once she leaves.

Slipping Away & Breaking Apart

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 18:32

by Isabella Hendershot, Staff Writer

It falls as a steady stream,

It kisses my skin smoothly,

It falls through my fingers,

It breaks apart,

Left with millions of pieces.

 

The relaxed feeling,

The stress melted away,

My heart filling with love and joy.

 

Though I feel it slipping away from me,

I long for this feeling to last forever,

Never wanting to let go.

 

I feel my happiness slipping away,

Slipping through my fingers,

Breaking as it falls down.

 

I’m left with sorrow,

No joy left in my body,

Just emptiness.

 

I stand still as I watch,

Watching it slip away from me,

While it leaves me feeling empty,

Alone and hallow and depressed.

 

My joy and happiness,

It has come and gone,

As it leaves I wait,

Wait for joy and love.

 

I wait for the feeling of love and joy,

To fill my soul and heart,

For a smile to appear on my face.

 

I wait as I watch it all slip,

Slip through my fingers,

Break away into billions of particles,

Millions of pieces.

The Great American Menstruation Crisis

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 18:10

by M. K. Powell, Staff Writer

I have a question: Why don’t we talk about our periods?

Once a month, females ranging from pubescent emos to pre-menopausal grand dames bleed for one week straight with no tagging out and no rest for the wicked clots exiting our uterus, and we don’t breathe a word of it. To be in fact, we’re embarrassed of it, along most of the world.

Around the world, there is a rather Victorian gentlemanly mindset regarding the female body; we admire figures (“Mmm, yes, Thaddeus, look at her…. 15-inch circumference…. I hear she had at least two ribs removed and that gets me…. hot under the pantaloons….”). We, for the most part, have no problem nitpicking various waist sizes, but when it comes to what’s happening under the petticoats? It’s an indignation to simply mention the existence of a woman’s nether regions. We act like our uterus’ are monsters under the bed (or, rather, under the petticoats).

Well, allow me to put the stigma of the vagina forth in as eloquent a manner it is befitting: dumb. It’s very dumb.

The vag stigma has become dumb to our own detriment, however. While touring the sanitary aisle in my local market to buy my extra-large-super-absorbent-mega-triple-grande pads I noticed the price. I may be stingy, and my pads may be size, well, see above, but twenty dollars? Pads aren’t a luxury item, ladies and gentlemen. The United Nations declared sanitation, which includes menstruation products,  a basic human right, which I’m buying for twenty bucks, keeping in mind I buy the cheap, knock-off, store brand ones and the regulars aren’t that much cheaper. Now, twenty bucks might not seem like alot to some members of my audience, but for the same amount a single mother could buy menstruation supplies she could buy her family four full gallons of milk depending on where she was shopping. And there are families around the world that have to make a decision between buying food and a basic human right.

Menstruation is a big business around the world and since we keep our old-timey mindsets about sanitation, they can charge whatever they want. But the stigma doesn’t just affect our grocery aisles. Schools give out condoms for free but not menstruation products, and even in certain women’s bathrooms the archaic change-for-tampons dispensers are missing.

So why don’t we talk about periods? The answer, my friends, is that we haven’t grown up. We’ve thrown the issue into a soundproof basement and ignored it for hundreds of years and allowed it to become a crisis in which silence is the standard. I, personally, am tired of this. Ladies: we need to stop treating men like they’re delicate little flowers who can’t handle the monthly functions of our uterus. Fellas: You gotta handle the monthly functions of our uterus’. Everyone: let’s talk about blood.

The Rush

Tue, 01/29/2019 - 13:22

by Antoinette, Staff Writer

The entire day was a bur. I rush through all of my classes faster than lightning. I couldn’t help, but feel the buzz of opening night. As I take my seat in Bio my bored classmates all fade into the dull background of the classroom leaving me to nothing, but my thoughts. Finally, the bell rings, and I’m quickly swept away into the hustle and bustle of my high school hallway. I make my way through the hall as stealthy as a ninja, trying to make my movements quick and precise, not wanting to waste any time. I smile as I run to my dorm, practically kicking the door down and rushing upstairs. I finally reach my room, and I can feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins. It is at this moment the world around me begins to warp and eventually disappear. No one else in the whole universe exists besides my script and I. I  carefully shimmy my way down the stairwell filled with girls just getting back to the dorm and sprint out through the door. I then make my way to the theater almost unable to contain my overflowing enthusiasm. The moment I reach the steps there’s some type of energy that pulls me in, and I’m immediately thrown into the dressing room. The air smells of hairspray and broken spirits. Girls running to and fro chanting their pre-theater rituals and finishing their makeup.

“FIVE MINUTES TILL CURTAIN!!” I hear our A.D. announce, ”THANK YOU FIVE!!” the girls around me reply. But not me, at that moment I get dizzy as I hear the crowd. I urge myself to stay calm as I make my way up the stairs and take my place on stage. Tension fills the atmosphere like an over looming dark cloud as I hold my breath. It’s hard to believe that no matter how many times I have to sing a song, it always seems hardest on opening night. I stand there absolutely panic-stricken and wait for the curtains to be drawn back. As they do, I’m met with what seems to be a crowd of a thousand eyes. The music begins to swell as I sing. More and more familiar face begin to fill the stage as we perform what seems to us an and over-practiced ritual. But within a blink of an eye, the show is over, and we’re lining up for bows. People say that theater has no real taste, but  they’re not wrong. The taste of theater as an actress I can get is the taste of Victory: knowing that I made it through the production and that I’m able to see the satisfied faces of the crowd as they greet me in the lobby.

Starvation

Tue, 01/29/2019 - 13:15

by Kevin Lin, Staff Writer

A knight came across a little girl in the forest. She reminds him of his daughter back at home after decades of war. The girl is very slim like a walking human stick. Bare feet with mud stained her leg and torn cloth filled with patches. The knight decided to take the little girl with him and out of the forest. He carried the girl on his arm and helped her up on his horse. Suddenly, two muggers appeared. The knight took out his lance and easily finished off the two muggers. Starvation has turned people into starving beasts and made them bewildered like “starving animals.”

The knight told the little girl “don’t be afraid.”

The knight pet the girl’s hair and the little girl asked, “Why didn’t you eat them?”

The knight was surprised by her question. “Why should I eat them?”  the knight asked surprisingly.

The little girl blinked her eyes and replied:

“Daddy had eaten mommy.”

“Brother had eaten daddy.”

“And I had eaten my brother.”

After theses words, the knight felt terrible. He hugged the little girl and promised that he would protect this girl who just experienced something that a child should never have to go through.

The knight looked at the girl and asked, “How did you escaped?”

“I didn’t,” the girl replied. “I came out right after I had eaten my brother.”

An Ode to Terry Crews

Wed, 01/23/2019 - 17:00

by Maysa Haj-Mabrouk

it was shocking to see terry crews come to the frontlines of the men-speaking-out-against-sexual-harassment movement, and that is absolutely at no fault of his. it’s not that terry crews himself was a surprising, controversial figure at all, it was more-so the question of how could someone like terry go through that?

his words were spoken with tenderness and strength. he spoke with his heart and his head. he, with a figure as large as his, literally and figuratively, was vulnerable in a court that does not sympathize with both women and men alike in instances of sexual harassment and humiliation. women, who are left in the dust for the integrity of men, and men, who are expected to fight back and reinstate the men=aggressive rhetoric; crews addresses both sides by saying that men, in general, must be held accountable for their actions not only towards women, but towards other men as well.

his words resonated with me; this wasn’t just a product of feminist theory and liberal politics, this was a statement of human integrity, dignity, humiliation, feeling smaller than another, and being subject to the abuse by the authority of another who had the upper hand in that very moment. why was the predominant opposing response to his testimony about him not fighting back? why was this an issue, and why was this the expected response? was this testimony not about dismantling that toxic masculinity that is so prevalent in the opposing response? it pains me to think that there is such a gap in understanding between even men themselves, let alone men and women.

i cannot fathom not understanding and practicing basic human decency. maybe this was a political statement. maybe this was more complicated than just human individualism. maybe i’m missing something. but yet, the nature of the issue still transcends politics. this isn’t a democratic situation, or a republican issue. this is so much more than that, or better yet, so much simpler!

i applaud terry crews. though his reaction should be the norm, i applaud him for the work he has done speaking against not only his own experience, but also taking responsibility for educating and stopping other men from doing the same wrongdoing he so passionately talks about. his testimony was not just an opposition to traditional feminist argument, the entire “well, men are abused too!” assertion, rather, he takes its point not as a counter but rather an additional drive to the fight, another statement to scream out to be heard, another sentiment to be felt. he does all of this in the optimal way.

i cannot even begin to explain my admiration for terry crews. this piece was not meant to prove anything, or educate, or be formatted in any particular powerful method. i felt the need to reflect and share.

this was inspired by the recent gillette commercial that has recently be released. the commercial has been faced with a lot of controversy- though it’s better for one to see for themselves.

Skin

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 17:45

By Kayak

A bruise is just a bruise:

It does not bloom

Nor is it a symbol

For healing to come.

 

It is an exposure

The nearing of bone

Tamper of protection

A warning sign

 

A bruise is a play titled ruin

Starring: nails, cursed genes,

Bad habits, adrenaline

Come see a betrayal of thy self

 

Discover

Blues and blacks

Red and purples

Always pink under brown

 

It’s just skin

But if a craving

Bites its own hand

Why would you offer your own?

 

Confirmation Bias and You

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 17:39

By Jay Trovato, Librarian and Guest Contributor

There is a hidden presence haunting public discourse today.  There’s no way to avoid it, either. It’s simply there, and it colors everything we think, write, and say.  We intuitively know that it exists by talking to (and sometimes arguing with) others, but it is hardest to see within ourselves.  I am speaking about a phenomenon called “confirmation bias.” I began reading about this aspect of human thought recently, and as I thought more about it, a lot of things suddenly began making sense.

First of all, it is important to understand that every person has a point of view based on their life experience, their thinking, and a thousand other factors too complex to fully describe.  It is a set of beliefs that a person has accepted as true. This point of view can also be called a paradigm or a worldview.  It is a mindset so fundamental that we see and interpret everything else through it.  Concepts of right and wrong that our parents instilled in us, our spiritual or religious commitments (or lack thereof), and our political orientation are all examples of deeply held beliefs that can form part of our worldview.

Our worldview exerts a tremendously strong influence on us.  It drives our thoughts, our words, our actions, and our plans for the future.  It is at the very core of who we are.

We also know, however, that not everyone has the same point of view.  There are aspects of my worldview that will undoubtedly clash with the worldview of someone else.  So, what happens when I receive information that conflicts with the beliefs inherent in my worldview?

This is where confirmation bias comes in.  If someone tells me something that doesn’t agree with my worldview, the reflex action of my mind will be to reject the information without really evaluating whether or not the information is true.  The opposite is also true: if I receive information that agrees with my worldview, I will tend to accept the information without thinking critically about it.

The problem with confirmation bias is that it stops us from considering a valid truth claim, or else encourages us to believe a false claim that happens to correspond with our worldview.  For example, there are people who believe that horoscopes give accurate information about the future.  Others have a deeply held belief that the government has secret technology that implants thoughts into people’s minds against their will.  There is an entire holiday devoted to the idea that a magical figure named Santa Claus – who all year long constantly keeps track of whether children are being bad or good – flies all around the world on the night of December 24th in order to give the good children presents that he and his elves made at the North Pole.

All the foregoing ideas are believed or known by almost everyone to be false.  However, think for a moment about a child who believes in Santa Claus.  He or she sees Santa Claus at malls and Christmas events, hears songs and watches movies about him, and (perhaps most importantly) has parents who teach the child about Santa.  The child’s worldview is then inclined to believe in the existence of Santa, so his or her confirmation bias will screen out information that suggests that Santa is not real.  Usually, the “magic” will not be broken until the child’s parents tell the child that Santa is just pretend.  The strength of the parents’ word tilts the child’s confirmation bias in the other direction, probably confirming a truth that the child had been suspecting but not willing to see.  Now, when the child’s younger friends and family members talk about Santa, he or she will not be re-persuaded to believe.

Television, websites, and social media are overflowing with truth claims that we are given to evaluate.  We must be careful not to allow our confirmation bias to sway our reasoning when we consider the information we are being offered as “truth.”  If we blindly and repeatedly believe a certain source because it happens to line up with our existing worldview, we cease to be thinking persons.  Unless we are willing to stand up to confirmation bias – both our own and that of others – we are doomed to become mindless mouthpieces for the 24-hour propaganda machine.

 

New Labels

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 17:32

By Isabella Hendershot, Staff Writer

Does anyone think it odd how gay men don’t have their own specific term in the LGBTQIA+ community? You have to think about it a bit before you really notice, but really think about it. Gay can define any gender that is part of the community or those who have partners of the same sex. But if you go into it women who only prefer partners of the same sex are labeled as lesbian, people who choose partners of either sex are labeled as bisexual and under bisexual there is pansexual. Then you have transgender men and women who, sadly, a lot of people don’t care to understand what it means. You also then have people who are questioning themselves and who people label or identify as queer. You have the “I” standing for intersex and then finally people labeled as asexual or it can stand for our many allies. But there is not a specific, special term for a gay man.

I think that should change. The term gay does branch out for all genders but there are other specific terms just for them, such as lesbian or bisexual. So my question is, why don’t men have a specific term for themselves? Don’t they deserve their own term? Aren’t they just as important and just as deserving as others under the LGBTQIA acronym?

It can also be argued that it’s sexist for gay men to only be called “gay.” If you really start to think about it it’s as if they are above us with their label because it also stands for anyone who is part of the community. By claiming the gay label they are almost owning the entire gay scene, making them more authentically gay than all others.

So what you think? Should there be a new name for gay men? If so, what came should be given? How do we decide? How many of you think we should make a new name?

 

We make up names and words all the time, so let’s make a new name. We can make it anything we want, put the word out to everyone of the new name, and what it means to identify as it.

It can get confusing, however, for people to hear what all the labels we have mean. What if we take away the labels instead? We can just say “I’m me, I am who I am and I’m not going to label myself.” If we don’t label ourselves, we just say we are who we are. Could there be a negative reaction to it?

I think that it can help many people if labels are thrown away, but it can also confuse many people who are trying to discover who they are and what they like and what they want to do in life. Would it be such a terrible thing to let everyone figure out that they can, and should, say that they are who they are and no one can change or control it?

Midnight at the Hospital

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 17:26

By Kevin Lin, Staff Writer

It’s just before midnight. A doctor has just finished responding to an emergency and is ready to pack up and go home. While waiting for the elevator to arrive, a nurse also arrives at the elevator. They both ride the same elevator to the first floor. But the elevator doesn’t stop at the first floor and keeps going to the basement. The elevator stops at B3. The door opens. A mysterious girl with a red ribbon tied around her wrist stands in front of the doorway with her head facing down, asking to ride the elevator with them. The doctor panics and closes the elevator door quickly. The nurse curiously asks, ‘Why didn’t you let her in?’ The doctor replies, ‘This is B3 – it’s where all the corpses are stored and frozen after a patient passes away. Every corpse has a red ribbon tied to its right arm.’ After hearing what the doctor has just said, the nurse raises her right arm and asks in a deep chuckling voice, ‘Is this the red ribbon you’re talking about?’

Dear Mother

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 17:17

by Chrystelle Angie Binga, Staff Writer

Dear mother,

I wish wherever you are, you find peace, the happiness, the love, the strength that you needed your entire life. Life isn’t easy for anybody, mother, you know, and now it is harder for me because you are not part of my world anymore. You´re gone, without telling me goodbye, telling me you love me, hugging me or kissing me. I wish life was more easy for you, I wish I was by your side every moment to protect you and love you. But I didn’t have the opportunity. I was selfish, arrogant, and stubborn, and I’m sorry I said hurtful things. Mother, I never meant it, I love you deep inside my heart, you are the woman who gave me life, and I promise to cherish you for the rest of my life. I promise I will make you proud where you are, watching me. I promise I will become someone successful and important who will have a brilliant future. I promise I will take care of my little brothers. But I am scared to deceive you and not succeed because the pain it’s so deep that I spend my time crying you. Mom, i miss you. I love you. Why you are gone, why did you leave me?  I miss you.

Robot

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 17:12

by Alex Lucas, Staff Writer

When I try my hardest

Is when your insults seem the sharpest

I open up my mouth to defend myself

But then you shoot back “Focus on your studies not on yourself!”

I abandon all hope

Wash my mouth out with soap

So I go back to trying

With no fear of dying

My heart and mind tell me to stop

But they’re too late I have been turned into a robot

Enemy to Friend

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 18:20

by Angie, Ornella, Ornelle, and Jordana, Staff Writers

We all at some point go to a school without knowing a single person, whether it is the first day of kindergarten, middle school, high school, or college. The first day of school is the day you meet new people or new friends and make new connections. You won’t always like people around you, maybe because maybe you don’t get along with them for some reason. But the more you talk with them, the more you connect. School is like a home, where all students meet and most relationships happen. For example, my group of friends met each other the first day of school. Now it has been two years of friendship. We really didn’t like each other at first, but the more we got to talk, we became friends and then best friends.

It wasn’t easy at first because we all came from different countries. We had different backgrounds, we had different points of views, styles, and attitudes, but we all spoke the same language. Months passed and we started to get along and understand each other and our weaknesses and problems.

Everybody has something in common, whether it’s your skin color, the love you have for others, or the fact that we’re all human beings.

randomness