Introducing..Caitlyn Jenner (with a C not K ;)

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/06/caitlyn-jenner-bruce-cover-annie-leibovitz?mbid=social_facebook

I’m reposting this article from This months Vanity Fair. It introduces the former Bruce Jenner as Caitlyn Jenner …and she looks amazing!

EDIT ok so I’m a slacker & just now getting back to this. Aug 1, 2015..my bad.

Anyways by now EVERYONE has seen and gotten acquainted with Ms. Caitlyn Jenner. Although I consider myself an educated and aware person, I admit to being morbidly curious as to what Bruce turned Caitlyn would look like, hence my response to the Vanity Fair cover. She did look great, but I do hope in the enthusiasm to declare herself as woman, Caitlyn doesn’t uphold stereotypes that women work so hard to knock down. The VF post was of course beautiful but quite er, sexy too. I don’t think someone needs to be ultra feminine, sexual & made up in order to declare themselves a woman, but to each their own. I commend Caityln for being brave, showing herself to the world and using her fame to help others such as speaking at the ESPYs, meeting with trans parents on her new show etc. One actress recently stated they felt Caitlyn wasn’t acquainted enough with LGBT scene to be such a voice but I guess my straight self disagrees. I do see the point that she may not know each issue & be as steeped into the LGBT community as others yet but shes working with what she knows & using the momentum of newfound fame as Caitlyn to help people. That certainly is a worthy goal no matter what.

Hillary Clinton for President!…Or Bernie Sanders

The Democratic party has seen an exciting past few weeks between Hillary Clinton announcing her candidacy for President, followed by Bernie Sanders. I wont lie, I would be very excited to see a woman in office. I think it is long past due and Hillary probably has the best shot of anyone right now. She is a go-getter, shes an experienced Senator, cabinet member of our current President, not to mention shes BEEN IN The White House. She has firsthand observations from inside the White House as well as direct secondhand observations that no other candidate can compete with. She also has a spouse with more than enough experience at the same gig. Win win! Other than his philandering ways, I really liked Bill.

Now Bernie…I really like Bernie too. I love his views and the issues he supports but I will vote for whomever wins the primary because the current frontrunners from the GOP are terrifying (not that I would vote for any of them in all likelihood anyways). I say “whomever wins the primary” with optimism here. The GOP has a history of banding together to push out one major candidate. Whereas us more liberal minded folks can splinter among candidates when there’s not one clear frontrunner…ie the 2000 elections between Bush, Gore & Nader. (*without getting into the ballot controversy) I do not want to see liberal votes split between Sanders & Clinton, leaving a majority of conservatives to vote for their one guy (and lets face it, it will be a male candidate in all likelihood. Sarah Palins VP run was a PR ply. John McCann didn’t pick her for her smarts lets say. There ARE however plenty of smart articulate women in the GOP & I hope they consider running too.

Cross fingers! And lets see where this goes…..

#BringBackOurGirls…update

Just yesterday I was horrified to read that hundreds of bodies had been found in Nigeria. These were thought to be those of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram . Today there is a silver lining with a news piece that more than 700 women and children have been released by Boko Haram. Its not known whether any of them are from the group of schoolgirls that were kidnapped last year, but …heres hoping. Either way its a good thing for those women and children. But, stay tuned….

#BlackLivesMatter pt. 2

On that same note..no I’m not a black person. NO I dont know what the every day experience is for black people in this country. But I see what has been happening all over the country each time a person of color is killed. It would be a disservice to simplify this issue with a blanket cause or solution. There are many reasons people of color feel uncared for in this country: Poverty, racism, classism, less opportunity…so many reasons I dont even know probably.

Author Jonathon Kozol writes a lot of books on the topic of gentrification, as well as how poverty & areas where the poor live can and do affect one’s opportunity in life. IN neighborhoods where theres a single parent or two parents working to make ends meet, there’s not parents banding together in a PTA to raise money for new school supplies, a new playground, etc. Wher=eas in other more affluent neighborhoods, theres community support, fundraisers and access to a variety of resources made possible by extra money that comes in to the neighborhood school. If a child goes to a school lacking in supplies, where classrooms are in need of repair, where they dont feel safe or supported..that child may not last long at said school. Or even if they do, how will they access information to colleges & universities if there arent school counselors, extracurricular opportunities, AP Classes and things that an give kids a better chance to attend college?

But I am getting sidetracked.

I have seen people all over the internet invent countering hashtags to the effect of “all people matter,.” Yes they do. However, that is not the issue being called attention to with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. .People who rush to dismiss #BlackLIvesMatter with something else are not hearing the call to be heard. As humans we should care for each other. We should care if another group of fellow Americans is feeling alienated. We should care to work together to find solutions. I’m not a person of color but if those that dismiss them choose to not seek further information or to seek out answers, if I’m the only person that cares to explain even if the most generic terms my white self can give I will try to do that, for the sake of hoping to develop understanding To one person I gave the example, “if you brought up an issue in which you felt women were being treated unfairly and a man replied by stating men have issues too, then went on a tangent about men’s issues…and never once stopped to give you space to explain the topic YOU brought up -women’s issues – you would be saying “womensLivesMatter and theyd bne the ones saying AllLIvesMatter or MensLIvesMatter, which, while valid, is dismissive of the issue at hand…and you’d be left feeling rather unheard too.  . People want to be acknowledged. They want their needs and voices heard. I cant speak from a place of authenticity because its not my place or experience, however what I am trying to convey, is understanding. . I’m sorry if I am overstepping & this isnt my intent. I try to use simplified examples to try to convey what is being said & I know since my experience is direct that I dont have a whole picture

Freddie Grey..more questions, few answers

So forgive me kind readers…I’m still searching for answers to this case & these events.

Let me review what I have learned so far. The police arrested for Freddie Grey for reasons they haven’t disclosed. Freddie ran from police prior to that. In some peoples minds this shows guilt or suspicion. However, the reality is, it can also show fear. Eith so little information to go on, it would be impossible to draw an informed conclusion. If Baltimore PD is known for being corrupt (*not saying they are*) and Freddie was being pursued for no valid reason (*not saying this is the case*) it’d be reasonable to think he would run. I’m not saying this is the case or that that’s a good idea, but it would be understandable & explain why if he was not being arrested for any wrongdoing. Unfortunately Baltimore PD is not forthcoming with details. In any case where there is an ongoing investigation its procedure not to give away sensitive information but to not give any information when someone has died, when there’s rioting (which clearly shows a population that is angry & distrustful of police, in my opinion) Unfortunately the lack of real information feeds the distrust and discord and fuels speculation. I’m disheartened I cannot find information on this case, There’s rioting, looting, endless news coverage…and few facts. I implore Baltimore PD to be forthcoming & transparent as quickly as they can. Godspeed Baltimore.

Kinky Boots teaching us to walk in others shoes

Last month I went to San Francisco to see the stage production of the musical “Kinky Boots.” I’ve listened to the soundtrack for years and have been waiting to see the stage production.  Prior to attending the stage version of “Kinky Boots” I knew the story through the songs. I would say the story is genius as well, but it actually is based on a true story…one that still rings true, almost more so, today.  The musical tells of a struggling British shoe factory’s owner Charlie, who forms an unlikely partnership with Lola, a drag queen, to save the business. Charlie, the storys main charachter, had gone off to London to live an artists life leaving his father and his fathers company, the aptly named,  “Price and Son” behind.  When his father dies, Charlie is forced home and takes over the shoe factory but struggles to be the person his father was (and the person his father wanted him to be). Charlie develops a plan to produce custom foot wear for drag queens, rather than the men’s dress shoes that his firm is known for, and in the process, he and Lola discover that they are not so different after all. We could learn a lot from the examples of Charlie and Lola. In one song, “Not My Fathers Son,” a duet between Charlie and Lola, both sing about a longing for approval to be who they are.

(LOLA)

When I was just a kid
everything I did, was to be like him
under my skin
My father always thought,
if I was strong and fought
not like some albatross, I’d begin
to fit in

Look at me powerless and holding my breath
trying hard to repress what scared him to death
It was never easy to be his type of man
to breathe freely was not in his plan
and the best part of me
is what he wouldn’t see

I’m not my fathers son
I’m not the image of what he dreamed of
With the strength of Sparta and the patience of Job,
still couldn’t be the one
to echo what he’d done
and mirror what was not in me

So I jumped in my dreams and found an escape
maybe I went to extremes of leather and lace,
but the world seems brighter six inches off the ground
and the air seemed lighter
I was profound and I felt so proud
just to live out loud

I’m not my fathers son
I’m not the image of what he dreamed of
With the strength of Sparta and the patience of Job,
still couldn’t be the one
to echo what he’d done
and mirror what was not in me

The endless story of expectations swirling inside my mind
wore me down
I came to a realization and I finally turned around
to see

that I could just be me

(Charlie)
I’m not my fathers son
I’m not the image of what he dreamed of

(Lola)
With the strength of Sparta and the patience of Job,

(Charlie/Lola)
still couldn’t be the one
to echo what he’d done
and mirror what was not in me

(Lola)
We’re the same, Charlie boy,
you and me.

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg, rapper, actor, entertainer is also a criminal. As a teen and young man, Mark committed many heinous, racially motivated crimes that nowadays we refer to as “hate crimes.” These are serious things that strem from some very serious feelings and ideas. Mark now wants the state of Massachusetts to pardon him for this slew of crimes committed because now hes a good person. I have no doubt he is. However I do not believe Mark Wahlberg should be pardoned. He did not commit one offense. He committed MANY. racially charged offenses. These are not the act of a foolish kid who didn’t know better. These acts-throwing rocks and chasing schoolkids, beating up a man and shouting racial epithets-are an increasing pattern of racial violence. These should be a part of his permanent record, That is a consequence of his actions.

I would understand better if Mark had committed one act as a kid who didn’t know better. If Mark had gone on to take classes in conflict resolution, or learned how to deal with others in a diverse population, then that would be different. But Mark hasnt done anything that outstanding beyond what others who learn from experiences do. He got out of jail. HE got a successful career. He got married and had kids. Good for him. But he doesnt deserve a pardon for that. As a responsible adult who wants to take responsibility for these actions, Mark should accept this with understanding.