The title of this post, which is also the description for my website now, is a quote from Audre Lorde’s The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action. We read her speech in my women’s and gender studies class and that particular quote really stuck with me.
I’m pretty shy…sometimes I’m too shy that I get overlooked and/or left behind but her speech really inspired me to stop shying away from speaking up, or “unzipping my lips.”
“You’re silence will not protect you” means that whether or not you say something, we’re all going to die anyway. She says, “we fear the visibility without which we cannot truly live…And that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength. Because the machine will try to grind you into dust anyway”
You don’t understand my love for this speech, it gives me shivers. If you want to read it (you really should), click here!
Anyway, I decided to change the description of my website to Lorde’s quote because I think “speaking my mind” (my original description) is a given. The title of my website is “Unzip These Lips” so of course I’m going to be speaking my mind…but why am I speaking my mind? How is yapping about my problems and my life beneficial to me or to anyone else?
I find writing therapeutic, like most writers, and by sharing my life sometimes I connect with other writers and create friendships. But the therapy and friends isn’t solely why I write. I also write because keeping my mouth shut about issues that are bothering me isn’t going to make them go away. I write because I believe that my voice should be heard. Not everyone will actually listen, but no one can say that I didn’t say anything, because by writing I am saying something.
I put all my cards on the table to my ex…I still love her, I still care about her, I still want her in my life although she treated me like a steaming hot pile of shit. But at the end of the day, I won’t be mad or upset forever. I will have moved on because I know I deserve better and everyone deserves compassion. If she doesn’t want to reach out to me ever again, if she doesn’t want to be friends or even acquaintances, then fine. It’s her fucking lost because I’m funny, kind…hell, I was a great fucking girlfriend she’d be lucky to have me in her life, even in a small way. But at least I said something instead of wallowing in self-pity and hoping she’ll come around. I gave her the opportunity to give me some clarity on what happened with us and I invited her to come back into my life. If she doesn’t want to give me clarity and/or be part of my life anymore, then that’s her decision. Too bad it makes her seem like an asshole for not giving me a response by remaining silent instead. Silence doesn’t protect you…you’re going to die whether you speak up or not and sometimes if you don’t speak up, you just seem like a shithead.
I can go on and on with how I’ve “unzipped my lips” because “silence will not protect me” but I can also go on and on about how I have kept silent about things.
Being open and honest, and unafraid to speak my mind is something that I’m working on. I’ve been working on it for awhile now, and I’ll probably always be working on it. But when I get my diploma in four years (hopefully) I hope that I will have come out of my shell a lot more than I am now.
Anyway, that’s my little schpiel for tonight. I’ll post my interview outfit pics tomorrow…I’m thinking to make a little schedule for these pics so I’m not positing outfits daily…maybe every Wednesday and Sunday I’ll post…I’ll see.
Okay, goodnight guys, gals, and everyone else! Hope you all had a great Tuesday!
If you have a question, comment, or want to chat, please feel free to comment. I love comments and I’ll reply. Besides, your silence will not protect you.
Things have been crazy lately. There has been a lot of lectures from my parents as they struggle to understand and accept my “no-label” sexuality, tears, stress and anxiety, tension, and lack of sleep.
It’s funny how I thought my mom was going to take my sexuality well…she said I threw a bomb onto the house and she has been waking me up in the early mornings, hounding me with questions about my sexuality, giving me lectures about AIDS, expressing her distaste in my lack of religious beliefs and her disappointment in me, how she thinks I’ve been brainwashed…she has offended me many times.
Conversely, my dad, who also feels disappointed, is not acting that way toward me as much, and I thought he would be the parent that would take this news the hardest. He works a lot so he’s not around much…but when he is around things are generally okay with him.
However, I’m scared to be alone with my mom in fear that we’re going to get into an argument like we did yesterday. With my dad, I don’t think he’s randomly going to bring up my sexuality.
Anyway, things have been rough in my household lately. I’ve been fighting a lot and crying…I haven’t been this distressed with my parents since my sophomore year of high school. It’s kinda weird…I’ve been thinking about how and why we stopped fighting so much…it was because I stopped “rebelling” and started doing what they wanted me to do. Except the problem now isn’t with what I’m doing, it’s with who I am. Although they hated that I am dating Janice*.
This is a reflective essay I wrote for my English class. Thought I should post it on my blog…
Growing up as a Christian has drastically influenced my self-discovery and self-acceptance process. Up until freshman year, I attended church every Sunday, was involved in four youth groups, attended the VBS programs and when I was too old to attend, I volunteered at them. My first concert was even at a church featuring a famous Christian band. I loved the morals and values that Christianity upholds and I also loved the Christian community. However, I never felt as if I truly belonged in it. The conflicts that I felt within myself caused me to feel miserable and disconnected to God. Christianity did little to offer support and acceptance for what I was feeling; in fact, Christianity led me to hate myself.
I just got back from a Board of Ed meeting. It was terrible. They kept going around in circles with their discussion. It was a waste of an hour.
Even all principals/administrators in the district were bored. Many were texting or sleeping or zoning out. It was pretty funny.
We were simply discussing Macbeth. Then the discussion transformed into sex changes and…some foul-mouthed girl shouted her offensive opinion as seen above, which quickly led my english teacher to change the subject.
I bit my tongue, refraining from saying something in retaliation. I wanted to say something along the lines of “that is offensive and inappropriate”…but when my teacher changed the subject and everyone moved on….I felt like it was too late.
But it wasn’t. If the girl can attack transgender individuals, then I can defend them.
I really should have said something. I told my little sister about it after school, who I consider to be a HUGE LGBTQ advocate and supporter, and she agreed that I should have said something right then and there. But she also suggested that I should not let it go and that I speak with my teacher about how the remark was ignored tomorrow. (my little sister is wiser beyond her years).
Yeah, my teacher didn’t say something horribly disgusting like what the girl said, but by ignoring the statement, my teacher is not stopping discrimination either. My teacher’s opinion on transgender individuals is irrelevant. She should have said that what the girl said is offensive and inappropriate, regardless of her opinion.
This is not the first time the girl has had an outburst of slurs. She has made racial slurs as well.
Tomorrow I plan on talking to my teacher about this…we have these neon green posters in all the classrooms that say “in this class we do not discriminate others based on their religion, sexuality…etc etc” and the girl’s remark broke that code. My teacher broke that code by not standing up. I broke that code by not standing up.
Being a bystander to hate and discrimination is no better than being the bully.
Although it would have been better if I had said something then, I will say something tomorrow so when the girl makes a slur again (which I’m sure she will), hopefully my teacher will think twice before simply ignoring it.
My sister, Alex, did something really brave yesterday, and I thought I would share her story. Especially because tomorrow is Spirit Day.
I was walking with Brad* to my Spanish class and just before we went our separate ways, we say “Ciao” and he blows me a kiss. There were some guys behind us snickering, and when Brad left, I tuned in on their conversation. One guy said, “Did you hear the way that guy said ‘Ciao’, he’s totally gay.” Another guy replied, “Yeah, he definitely gets it up the a**”.
Well I spun around on these guys and said, “Excuse me?”
The guy that made the “a**” comment basically shit his pants ran away, so I confronted his friends.
“Are you friends with that guy?”
“No, we have never spoken to him before in our lives,” they replied.
Obviously they were embarrassed by their friend’s comment.
“Tell your friend that that was disgusting and that he should respect others.”
Then I stormed off to class and talked to my friend about what had happened, since I was fuming. We later spoke with the assistant principle who informed us that that comment can be considered bullying, so I filed a report against that guy.
Later I called Brad and told him that if he got called down to the principal’s office, it would be because I filed a report regarding a derogatory comment some idiot guy made. Brad wanted to know what happened so I told him, and then he said he appreciated that I stood up for him.
But I wasn’t just standing up for him. No one should ever be spoken about in such a disgusting way, regardless of their sexuality.
Needless to say, I am glad that I had said something. All I want is that kid to not say something like that again.
I’m really proud she had said something to support her friend.
I have been in situations when my friends are being insulted behind their backs for various things, and I don’t say anything. I know that speaking up is a really hard thing to do sometimes, especially when you’re outnumbered. But at the same time, it isn’t..at least it isn’t physically. You just have to open your mouth and speak your mind. It’s fearing the retaliation that gets to me, and I’m sure it is what gets to other people as well.
If someone is being talked about behind their back and you don’t like what they’re saying, or if someone is being directly bullied/harassed and you are there, it is important to say something.
Stop Bullying. Don’t Be A Bystander.
*name has been changed, mostly because I’m unsure how to spell his actual name
Trying to keep my head straight…it’s been a rough day…so Kate Nash is my pill.
I’m a feminist…started being open about it about two months ago. I’ve written three feminist blogs, one of which is on here. For the most part, I’m still exploring it and and discovering who I am.
I know there is a lot of hate toward feminism…there’s hate towards everything though….but anyway…
I’ve never been on the receiving end of hatred, and today I…well I basically was. It sucked. I’m not surprised. I didn’t become an open feminist believing that I would not receive any backlash. I’m not ignorant.
I’ve heard stories and read things about the downsides of being an open feminist, but although I was expecting this to happen eventually, it didn’t hurt any less.
«originally posted to Opuss. Not modified. Image from http://images.nationalgeographic.com»
So…I completed one college application today.
It’s a really nice school, has good academics…is in NYC. And there was no application fee, which was really nice. Applying to colleges can cost a few hundred bucks.
The only downside of this school is that it’s a Catholic university, and I loathe Catholicism.