Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Gay is the New Orange

This morning, my old college professor, Susan Stryker,  posted these questions on her Facebook to solicit the help of her friends because she's being interviewed by Time Magazine about Orange is the New Black regarding trans portrayal.

I wish I saw this post 14 hours ago, before her conversation with a Time Reporter, but I'd still like to try and answer. After all, what else am I gonna do with my Gender Studies degree aside from correcting angry feminists?

Mainstream Hollywood has been killing off/criminalizing "others" before it was cool. "Others" in reference to people who don't fit the norms of the "white, white collar, suburban family".



This is pop culture gender studies 101. To name a few, Jack Twist from "Brokeback Mountain", the old dude from American Beauty, the villain from the latest Bond film, "Skyfall", and yada yada yada.

Orange is the New Black tries to give each character a back story aside from their criminal stereotypes and humanizes them. This creates a plethora of extremely interesting and watch-worthy characters. Including Nicky the lesbian, Morello the bi-curious bride-to-be, "gay is the new black" chic, Park Slope dwelling Piper, cancer patient mama Rosa, credit-card swiping trans Sophia, and international drug dealing Alex, to name a few.




If you notice, none of these women are your White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestants, and they are all criminals. Even though the writers and directors portray these women has humans with great back stories. But when it comes down to it, these women are still criminals. Which I think the writers do a good job of reminding people, especially near the end of season 1. 

These answers will be lengthy, so I'll try to insert pretty pictures to go with it.

1. Do you think the portrayal of transgender people in TV/film/media has been accurate or fair. Why or why not?

In my limited knowledge of transpeople being portrayed in media, I only know of two. First is the character on Nip/Tuck, that seduced a teen. And the other is Sophia on Orange is the New Black.

Let's start with Nip/Tuck. 

I don't completely remember the story, but something along the lines of, "Older woman seduces teen. Teen sleeps with older woman, teen finds out older woman was, at one point, old man. Teen beats the shit out of older woman." There's probably a murderous storyline in there somewhere in between, while showcasing that the trans person actually has a really sad story. 



Sophia, the trans character from Orange is well portrayed, with all that she sacrificed for her skin to fit her soul, along with all the heartbreak from her wife, her son, and the drama she faces with prison cutting her pills. It creates a really interesting story, but Mainstream Media is still demonizing her, as a criminal, thief. Jodie Foster, who directed the episode, did some really great subtle filmography to foreshadow Sophia's story. It is definitely an interesting story to watch and reveal. 


"These tits are heavier than the fire gear I used to wear. And I tend to keep it that way."

2. How do we fix thieving trannies?

The thing about Mainstream Media, is that, no one wants to watch successful, undramatic people of any variety. When was the last time you voluntarily watched a show about rich white collar business people live their lives making a ton of money and not kill anyone? 

Do these shows exist? Probably not. 

So how do we accurately portray marginalized people effectively and actually get people to watch? There's only one way.

Write a show like the Jersey Shore, and stick a tranny in it and be the moral guidance/voice of reason. Would this happen? I don't know. Would anyone watch it? Probably not.




3. What do I think about Cis characters playing trans characters?

A little clarification, Cis- are people who identify their biological sex with their gender identity. While a trans person, does not identify their biological sex with their gender identity.

A comment I read earlier, "We don't have murderers play serial killers, so why not?" (I'm looking at you, Michael C. Hall.)

As long as the role is portrayed the way the writer/director desires, it does not matter. The issue here is the script, not the actor. Any actor worth their weight in gold, and any direct who's worth their weight in gold, would be able to direct and portray the trans character.

4. Do I think Sophia's success in Orange is progress for our community in terms of representation for recognizing and understanding of trans-characters?

Yes. There's definitely visibility and progress, but c'mon guys. She's still a felon. But I do like that the writers decide to stay away from cliche trans tropes and dialogues, and made the show less PSA-like, and more realistic.




5. How much has popular culture reflected the social progress being made by trans people in reality?

None. Trans people are still being stigmatized and talked about behind their backs. I think we can only take baby steps, now that gays are mostly accepted, next will be trans. But I read a study that parents of transpeople are more likely to accept them than gays. Or I can be completely making that up. Because parents thinks being gay is a choice, but being the opposite sex is not. Though my mom does think I want to be a dude, just because I like girls. Trust me, I'm perfectly fine with my biology, mom. 

6. Do you think portrayals of trans characters in pop culture help or hinder the social causes of transgender people?

When I was 15-6, and trying to figure out my sexuality and desire and whether or not should I take Calculus or Stats, I turned to the media. Which I think helped and hindered me in coming to terms with my sexuality. It helped me feel less like a freak. Gay movies told me that it was okay to be gay and one day I'll have a hot girlfriend. But it also created this sugar-coated idea of the world that I'd be accepted everywhere I go. 

Some teen watching Orange and probably already knows that he or she wants to transition, and see how the inmates and also Pornstache welcomes transpeople so welcomingly might actually want to come out prematurely. And then become the subject of attack from multiple sides. What if one day, said teen decides that it was just a phase? And now he or she faces the obstacle of going back into the closet. Which I think is actually harder than coming out.

7. How can the transgender community capitalize on Laverne's performance?

Erm. Hire her for other gigs? Hire other trans people for other gigs? 

8. How can popular culture influence politics and vice versa in the trans community?

In my opinion, pop culture brings a voice to those without one. In my mind, a little gay girl who's living amid-st churches and corn fields may not have a positive gay role model in her life. But pop culture becomes her gay-fairy-god-mother. Again, it could go either way; she could be positively influenced by queer pop culture, or not. She may grow up (she did. I did.) with others who were suppressed by her corn fields, but as a strong and independent woman, taking on people who are trying to silence her and the like. 




Monday, April 30, 2012

Musing... because I don't want to do my final.

In the summer of 2008, I was my friend's bridesmaid. She got married after dating this guy in secret for about a year? I'm not quite sure. Well, I was extremely happy for her, except I know nothing about this guy, and my friend keeps pretty private to herself.

Anyways, the biggest shock to me was that she was marrying a guy who didn't speak Cantonese. My friend was born and raised in Hong Kong, though her parents are Fuzhounese* influence, her parents always spoke Cantonese to her.

*Fuzhounese people are people from the region of Fu Jian province that speak a specific dialect of Ming-language.

(We're like Part 3)


This guy, his parents was also Fuzhounese. But he got to the US when he was so young that he barely speaks it. If he were to speak to his parents, it would be mandarin.

By now, you guys probably came to the conclusion that since they were both living in the US, they probably spoke English. And you'd be right.

So pardon me here.

I grew up in a family in which my parents STRONGLY believed that both my brother and I should marry/date with those who are Fuzhounese. It's like how Jewish parents always insisted that their children marry Jewish. And how white parents insist that their children don't marry black.

So here's the tricky part: the only differentiation between a Fuzhounese person and a non-Fuzhounese Chinese is the language they speak.

It's not like there's a skin color difference. It's not like they dress differently. Fuzhounese people don't smell differently. They don't act differently... It's not like there's a "background" difference. (Fuzhounese people cannot be generalized to be strictly restaurant owners, though they are, but not always, my girlfriend proved to me that they are everywhere).

So here's the query: Why do my parents care so much about if my brother or I marry a Fuzhounese person??

Then I realized: they want to know the family that we're marrying. Then I thought about it again... Isn't this kinda incestuous that my parents want our gene pool to be super small?

ANYWAYS. Meanwhile back at the ranch:

The point I was getting to was that, ever since I was a child, I was conditioned to understand that you have to marry someone who speaks the same language as you. Right? This was what I understand based on my understanding of my parents and Fuzhounese people.

So when my friend got married to someone who didn't speak Cantonese... I was so distraught. I was so confused. You know what they say about lesbians; "If they're not the same height, they won't work out." And for me, it was like, "If they don't speak the same language, they won't work out."

Alright, so my friend getting married to a dude that didn't speak Cantonese was the BIGGEST rock every thrown in my schema. The bride's sister married a guy who spoke Cantonese, my brother's wife speaks Fuzhounese, my parents clearly spoke Fuzhounese*2...

*2 - Actually, come to think of my, my grandpa's second wife was definitely not a Fuzhounese speaker, because she spoke with an accent and people made fun of her. (sad).

There's a guy I know, *no names*, Fuzhounese, dated a girl who was Chinese-Malaysian. And, oh, believe me, his parents DID NOT have it. She spoke Mandarin and everything... I don't really understand that whole ordeal. It breaks my heart listening to his story...

Phew. So this is how it works back to how I am involved: following my parent's advice and my own vagina, I started dating my ex. Literally, the first thing that came to my mind was, "She speaks Fuzhounese as well... and she's not fugly... and I think she's kinda into me... I think this'll work out."

And every time I fought with her, the utmost important thing in my head was, "When will I ever find another girl who speaks Fuzhounese and gay!?" And I remained in that harmful and acidic relationship because... this is the best of worst. My parents would be okay with this just slightly more JUST because she's Fuzhounese. Just as they've always wanted.

But she wasn't what I wanted.

So when I got into a new relationship, with a person of a different ethnicity than mine, she also speaks a different native language. It was scary for me, knowing what I've known all my life.

With her ex being of the same ethnicity, I constantly feel like I have to "top" or be better, or stronger, or faster, or stronger than her ex. And I always felt like she had an "one up" because I always thought language was such a special and powerful bond.

*STRESS*

Tonight, I sat down, and thought about all of this... and honestly, love is pervasive beyond languages.

There are couples that came together from different religious background, political leanings, and cultures as well. What stops them from loving each other? Probably their parents, but really, nothing else.






Thursday, July 21, 2011

Asian girls as an commodity.



I don't know why, but people frequently come up to me and ask, "can you hook me up with a hot Asian girl?"


And of course, my typical response is "wait in line". Just bc I scored myself a hot Asian doesn't mean everyone has what it takes to be me.

Mostly these people are friends and they are joking. (I hope). But it really worries me when they are strangers and acquaintances. What do I look like, an Asian pimp?!

So most recently, this chick added me on fb, and I'm trying to be as polite as possible, so I asked, "Do I know you?"

"No, but I'm looking for some gay Asian pussy and I'm from australia."

Yeah, because I am gay myself meaning I know ALL the gay Asian ladies. To be completely honest, the only Asian ladies that I know are conveniently the ones I've dated/been dating. Aside from them, they are the only gay ladies I know as well.

So I don't understand, what is it about Gaysians that everyone (including Asians) wants a piece of?

Of course, I proceeded to inform to miss australia that I am not an Asian pussy agency and unfriended her.

Don't get me wrong, I completely believe that having an attraction towards asians is the same way someone would be attracted towards girls with blonde hair, or blue eyes, or red hair. But anyone who solely seeks to date only one "kind" of women is... Creepy. I personally am an equal opportunity vendor. It's all about the chemistry.

So I understand that Asian women have an exotic look to them, raises great children, and is thought to be submissive.

Oh trust me, honey, I grew up with a Asian lady, and I can tell you right now that there's nothing submissive about my Asian mother. I turned out gay! How good of a mother can an Asian mother be if she raises a gay child! (please realize my tone of sarcasm) And exotic look? More like "all look the same"! When you drop your woman at the nail salon, you might just take the wrong one home!

I'm completely kidding.

Anywho, it is still quite unnerving for me to know that there are people out there who is actively seeking to date Asian girls.

I understand that people have their preferences and I shan't judge others sexual excursions, but please keep me out of it.

How much of a turn off would it be if I told my gf that the only reason why I'm dating her is bc she's Asian? She would punch me in the boob. I obviously date her bc she has an iPad 2.

Remember kids, I just act like a pimp, I'm actually not one. :/

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cheatos, anyone?

So the number one reason why people are in relationships is the sense of security, don't quote me on this. Most people want someone else to be there to share the joy and happiness in life. And the knowledge of that someone always being there gives a sense of security. I must say, there are people who take that "someone always being there" for granted and... you know, cheats.

The thing is, I'm not one to pass judgement on cheating, as I've been on all 3 sides of the argument (Cheater, cheatee, and the cheated).

  • In my first relationship, I was young and inexperienced... I held onto someone for longer than I should have (a whole month). She inevitably found someone she didn't find as a noob, and conversationally better. I mean, I've shown you guys my 14 y/o pics... I was 16. An ugly duckling doesn't turn into a swan THAT fast. I deserved to be cheated on a dumped. The worst part is, I dropped the "L" bomb after she dumped me... hoping she would take me back. Whhhhhyyy?
  • -Good: I learned to be a 'girlfriend'
  • -bad: I got a speeding ticket going to see her.
  • -ugly: the other girl(s) she cheated on me with
  • In between my 1st and 2nd relationship, I was in between someone else's relationship. I'm not gonna elaborate upon this, but I was deservingly heart-broken. And I don't speak to either party anymore. :( But you know, if I learnt nothing, it should at least be that "don't be THAT girl". It's not worth it, and there's plenty-o-fish in the sea. (Pun intended) Honestly, at this point, I want my friendship back (that may just be the snarky me talking because I'm currently in an incredulously happy relationship). Nothing physical happened between us, but I felt an incredible emotional bond. I guess that depends on each person's dictionary as "cheating" or not.
  • -Good: I was emotionally occupied for a while... preventing me from STDs (they were still called STD's back then) for good while.
  • -Bad: Torn up my friendship with two wonderful people
  • -Ugly: My own heart.
  • So when I was in my previous relationship, I was the cheater. Twice. Of course it's heartbreaking for both parties. I felt ultimately the most guilty about things... until I didn't cared. And that's also when I broke off the relationship. This is when I learned to not date the same person twice (regardless of how much she or I begs). When I didn't care that I was hurting her, that's when I realized that I no longer want to be in this relationship, regardless of how many strings are attached. It was rough, I'm sure... and I am an asshole, for sure... but who was I hurting more to be in a relationship that I didn't care about anymore?
  • -Good: We are both back in our lives where things are good for us.
  • -Bad: Messy break up.
  • -Ugly: things that were said to one another in the relationship.
I always felt like I had a little growth spurt with each heartbreak.

Now the point: Cheating. It's inevitable. It's always gonna be hard. And it's gonna happen to everyone. Let's just say there are 3 things in life that are unavoidable: Death, Taxes, and cheating.

I'm not saying that EVERY relationship is gonna end (or not end) in cheating, but it really will happen in one's life. I think it's part of growing up. And once you've experienced one, or all three, of the cheating phases, you're ready to fall in love for realsies.

Gather what you want out of this post, I guess I just wanted to share some of my personal cheating experience.

But what I'm gonna do is list a few things that I personally consider as cheating. *ahem, girlfriend* :P

  • Kissing - unless you have a good ass reason, it's pretty hurtful (good reasons include, but not limited to: CPR, Tongue wrestling to settle an argument of who's tongue is stronger, or, "I've never kissed a guy/girl before! I wanted to know what it's like!"(please do NOT replace 'guy/girl' with pets)
  • -BUT! these are bad excuses: "I've never kissed him/her before, I just wanted to know what it's like!", "I wanted to taste her new lip gloss!", or "She/he was tongue tied, I just wanted to help him/her out."
  • Fucking - that's... yeah.
  • Emotionally cheating - it hurts more than those two above combined. No, I'm not saying that as humans, we're not allowed to "like" other people/pillows while we're in a relationship. But to be in a relationship, you sign over all rights to romantically care for someone else. Sorry buddy, didn't you see that in the fine print?
  • Oral sex - I don't know about you, but genitals touching someone's mouth is... intimate.
  • Sexting - Oh please, don't tell me your thumbs were "bored". It takes emotions to sext. Unless you're a serial killer. Then you really shouldn't be dating him/her anyways.
  • "Hanging out" - Okay, now don't look at me like I'm a lunatic. Hanging out is totally fine. Hanging out means you guys are gonna have a few beers, watch a movie, and talk. But "hanging out" means you guys are having wayyy too much to drink, watching porn, cuddling and "talking", is not cool.
  • Which reminds me -- Cuddling - Is not cool unless: you're related, you're unrealistically older/younger than the cuddler, or the cuddler is a mythical creature (yetis, dragons, asians with large boobs, sphinxes, and etc)
  • Grinding - What part of "no cuddling" do you not understand?? And NO, you can't go from grinding without cuddling. That'd be like tonguing without making out.
What do you think are somethings on your "cheating" list?

Monday, April 25, 2011

ZOMG DEGRASSI!

So, 2 posts ago, I wrote a modified hate letter to multiple organizations to stop advertising for the MTV show, Degrassi.

As my gf pointed out, an organization such as Florida Family, they probably filter through all the "letters" they receive and send only the ones that support their cause. You know, for obvious reasons: spamming, hate letters, syphilis, whining children, whining parents, people like me, and etc.

BUT.

Florida Family's webmaster OBVIOUSLY did not look out for people like me, or there's probably some legislations against filtration and lobbying...

Well, regardless, I got THIS email back from Disney.


Score~~~ My letter got through.

DRAG ME DOWN. If you dare.

To show what I've actually accomplished in the 3 months that I've been "pretty busy", I have a short documentary for you guys. No, I haven't been dicking around or been having too much sex or spending every waking moment being mushy and lovey-dovey. I've been doing "work" and taking "classes".

This is what I call -- Drag Me Down.

I know, I know, the title sounds SUPER negative, but I think it's empowering. I feel it's a "What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger" effect. Drag me down, but I get back up. Na mean? Also, "drag" as in "dress"... "Dress me down". Drag me down.

Okay, maybe it only makes sense to me.

here it is!


Well, lemme know what you think about, be completely honest, that's the only way we can grow~~ :D

Okay, this doc only took like 2 weeks to complete... so WHAT have I been doing for the rest of 2.5 months that I've been hibernating? Maybe you guys were right about me dicking around, having too much sex, and being mushy. :P


TAKE ACTION! I did.

Sooooo... I'm catching up on my gay news for the first time in, literally, 3 months. What have I been doing in the past 3 months, you ask?

Madly in love.

Cheesy? Indeed. I'm not too worried, I probably lost all my followers anyways... >< So I guess I'll have to pick up new ones. PLEZ FOLLOW ME!

Okay, so I was up on AfterEllen, and I found a few things:

First, a brief review of a lesbian mafia short film that was actually done by a dood that goes to IU with me. I haven't watched it yet, but it's about 11 minutes long. I'm waiting to watch it with my girl.

Second, I stumbled upon this petition to Florida Family. Yeah, I did laugh a little at the ridiculousness of this "default" letter, so I'm writing modified version to send to "this company".

It is very inspiring that your company would knowingly advertise during a television show that condones and promotes transgender lifestyles to an audience that is almost exclusively watched by young teens and children.

MTV is airing through their Teen Nick channel for kids episodes of the show called DeGrassi which affirms and promotes the transgender lifestyle to an audience of millions of young teens and children.

The Chasing Pavements II episode of DeGrassi contains graphic intimate relations between the female to male transgender character Adam and bi-sexual, lesbian character Fiona. In one scene Fiona kisses Adam, pulls up Adam’s shirt and rubs her hand slightly above Adam’s groin. Click here to see clips from this episode and numerous clips from other episodes showing Adam and Fiona kissing. I'm not gonna lie, the video is quite cheesy, and made by amateur fans of the show, it shows a pretty sweet montage of the moments Adam and Fiona shares during the show.

The My Body is a Cage I and II episodes of DeGrassi contains Adam’s official announcement that she is a male trapped in a female body. How powerful is this message to teens who could possibly be struggling with their own sexuality! Many teens and young children may have similar sentiments that they now have the vocabulary to express.

You would think by the number of episodes that MTV devotes to including the relationship between a female to male transgender high school student and a bi-sexual lesbian student that such relationships are a common occurrence in America’s high schools.

The odds of this bizarre relationship occurring in high schools are extremely rare. Yet, MTV feeds into the needs of educating the leaders of tomorrow with tolerance and acceptance of people with different gender identifications.

MTV airs a free promo for PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) on DeGrassi which directs kids to an organization that will encourage our youth to embrace a different sexual identity that may stay with them for life.

Please continue to advertise on this forward-moving, educational show.


Here is where I sent my revised letter to... seems like a lot of important people.

Thats all for today! Thanks for reading!!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Anonymous Guest Blogger: It's Eating Away at Me.

So this post is a story from a good friend of mine, who suffers from bulimia. Look, I know, I know, there are a lot of people who suffer from self-image problems, so why do I have to bother and read about this?

The thing is, there ARE a lot of people out there with Bulimia/Anorexia. And that's an even better reason to not ignore it.

here is her story.

This month, IU Bloomington held its annual Body Image Week. And it got me to thinking, maybe all the skinny little girls who tried to pep-talk me in HPER should see what the face of real body issues looks like. My name isn’t important. What IS significant is my age: twenty. Because I have had bulimia for the last twelve years. You can do the math.

I can still remember that day in the second grade when Nikki – a Pop Warner cheerleader and popular even then with the boys – brought up weight at the after-school program we attended. Just a wisp of a thing, she announced that SHE didn’t have a weight problem… insinuating that I did.

For the record, Nikki remained a size zero for the rest of our days in school. Had anyone warned me about heredity, bone size, height or BMI, maybe my sick way of life could have been halted. What the hell is wrong with our educational system?

That night I went home to my favorite main course of fried chicken, and there was chocolate ice cream for dessert. And for the first time, I was ashamed to have eaten. In an attempt to prevent worsening my “weight problem”, I went outside to our circle driveway, surrounded by the tall hedges and walnut trees, and ran until I vomited.

In less than three hours, my life had changed forever. I just didn’t know it yet.

***

While I was an entirely normal-sized child at the outset, by the time I was eleven I was obsessed – with eating, with not eating, with disorders and calories. My little habit disappeared for two short summers, as I struggled instead to avoid consuming food for as long as I could stand it each day. By evening, I was famished, and would wolf down everything I could hold.

That was the beginning of my REAL weight problem.

I should inform you that I was not some girl who came from a home with no love, or failed at anything. I was an only child, Supreme Overachiever, eventually beautiful and always near the top of my class. People with Type A personalities traditionally go the anorexia route.

I guess that means starvation was the one thing I ever failed at in those days. Go figure.

At the age of thirteen, I was also a size thirteen. And I became obsessed with the number 135 – the number on the scale. I flinched if it budged one millimeter past, and as I was weighing myself up to six times daily, I was perpetually twitching. I was ashamed of my appearance, despite the fact that my jeans were the latest from Tommy Hilfiger. What did it matter, if I was a size Huge?

Fourteen brought with it exercise bulimia – and the first heart palpitations. Tae-Bo became my religion, and Billy Blanks was my prophet. (I still think he’s a badass.) At first I lost weight – success! – but as I was pleased with my results, I rewarded with food. The usual self-loathing always ensued. And thus, I stood in front of the bathroom sink and willed it to return as my sacrifice to the porcelain gods.

I should note what I defined as “eating too much” back then: one half of a plain turkey sandwich and a granola bar. How much punishment for such a transgression, you ask? Between four and ten times after every meal. It really depended on whether I’d also poured a serving of Cheez-Its as a side dish.

***

Amidst the turmoil of my dirty little secret, I had pride. I never had to stick a single thing down my throat to induce this. No toothbrush, no finger. Sheer concentration. When I announced this during a discussion with my physician recently, I knew my face betrayed my lack of shame in this accomplishment – because I saw the horror on hers.

Moving on with the story.

A couple other life-changing moments came about that year. The first was the controversy surround the Terry Schiavo case. She had been a vegetable for nearly a decade, most likely attributable to her own bulimia. At the same time, my heart experienced its first palpitations.

For the first time, I was scared. And I decided to quit.

During those weeks, rumors were circulating around my high school that I was making myself puke, even during class hours. They were entirely true, but as far as I was concerned also behind the times. I was reported to school officials. Over my protestations that I was healing, I was informed that they were calling my mother. Assholes. I mean, I appreciated the concern, but really? Now? As you can imagine, the conversation was oh-so-pleasant that night at dinner.

I joined color guard during my fifteenth summer, and lost fifteen pounds, below even the magic 135. For much of the next two years, vomiting and I had a casual relationship. I reverted on bad days. But I looked good, and was popular, so I did not hear the siren call of the sink’s edge quite as often.

***

One good thing came of my obsession: I could recognize it in others. One girl in the guard with me, Amy, sought my advice at a sleepover for the girls when I was a junior. But she didn’t want to know how to quit. She wanted to know how to do it quickly and quietly, with control. Listening to her eagerness gave me the chills. Was I truly that proficient? (Apparently so, as my mother had no idea it was still a problem until last week.) I begged Amy to not damage herself, to be happy with how gorgeous she already was. All I received by way of a reply was a stubborn look I had seen before - in the mirror.

At the age of eighteen, I graduated and relocated to college. This was the period when I discovered laxatives. You see, an unfortunate side effect of my habit is poor digestion. But this was one addiction I was afraid to develop. I did my best to use them sparingly, as they were stimulant variety. My attitude would later change.

***

During my sophomore year, I fell out of love with my then-boyfriend and in love with a man who hated the pain I caused him. When he decided he had had enough of my indecision, he cut off all contact with me – and thus I ran to my frenemy, food. I had never binged before. Purged constantly, but never truly binged. Now I gorged as if trying to take in all the food I had previously expelled. After every single bottle of Coke and package of Bagel Bites, I wallowed in self-hated. And then I puked my goddamn guts out, with just as much violence as I had years earlier.

I made a couple half-hearted attempts at therapy. I convinced myself that it was pointless, so I dropped it.

In those worst six months, I gained ten pounds. When I finally went home for the summer, I lost some of the weight naturally, and was happy. It was also the period when my physician told me about Miralax. All natural, no side effects. She said she didn’t care if I drank the stuff twice daily. So I took her at face value, and began abusing it on my “fat days”.

That fall, it finally caught up with me. I had had occasional heart palpitations for years; hell, half the time it was the only thing that could scare me straight. But that time was different. It went on not for a few minutes, but for over an hour. I couldn’t breathe. My roommate drove me to the hospital, and despite the EKG, blood and urine tests, they diagnosed nothing.

***

After that, I would attempt my usual runs, and every time I STOPPED the treadmill I felt instantly ill. Not before, not during, just after my workouts. Gagging, nausea, lightheadedness, and palpitations all became common. Once everything before my eyes went black and I begged my mother to keep speaking so that I wouldn’t hit my head on the concrete floor. I stopped exercising altogether, except for a couple games of racquetball each week. I have put on twenty pounds in the past year, and I am deeply unhappy about it, especially in the last month.

I fought the eat-everything-in-sight-then-get-rid-of-it urge for as long as I could. Everyone’s resistance gives out in the end, I suppose. Mine certainly has.

I have been out of the bulimia closet for six years. It has made no difference. I am fully aware that I need help. Last week, I sought it. I told the truth. Immediately I was EKG’d again, had multiple blood pressure and pulse readings taken, and was scheduled for a treadmill stress test the following morning along with an ultrasound. The technicians refused to spell out my results. Apparently, that’s my doctor’s job. I am currently awaiting her call.

Psychiatry or plain old Overeaters Anonymous meetings are in my future. The doctor also mentioned that I will probably get to wear an event (heart) monitor for a little while. I can’t wait to explain THAT to my boy the first time I take off my shirt and the thing is strapped to my chest. He’s one of the few people close to me who are unaware.

***

I am hoping against hope that this is not something I have done to myself. I pray that this is some disorder entirely unrelated to my internal mutilation. If I’m truly lucky, they’ll come back and say it’s all in my head. But it’s not.

No one should know such misery at their own hands. I am no better than cutters, burners, anorexics. If you have never had an eating disorder, then you do not get to talk about positive body image. You’ve never known a negative one.

I am a bulimic. Not for much longer.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Let's be Natural.

Today's a shitty day. But I'm not gonna let the circumstances get to me. Today's gonna be a good day. Despite the rain.

So I'm sitting there in G310, everything flying over my head, but there's one thing that caught my attention: "swimming is natural."

What the fuck dropped on your head?

"Swimming is natural"???? Yeah, I can seep in waters for hours without pruning up, or have the natural mechanisms such as webbed-feet or flippers to facilitate the act of "moving in water". Most importantly, I HAVE LUNGS.

I was awoken from my rainy-day slumber by that comment so I decided to follow up on what was actually partaking in class.

Turns out, we were talking about techniques of movement by the body. How men walk a certain way, while women are expected to conform to a certain gait. Or even how men throws balls, contrasted with a woman with a softball.

One student argued that repeated motions make the body conform. Like how we don't squat. But if we did, our legs would be formed a certain way to show that we squatted. Due to the stress we put on our legs. Western civilization created "chairs" that position our body a certain way that we have no need to squat. And the lack of squatting creates "straight legs".

So this go back to my initial outrage: nature.

It's "natural" to sit and let your body rest. It's "natural" how people walk.

Hmm?

The number one thing that Lisa Yang gets harassed about is her gait. Look, I have a medium arch on my feet, if I walk "normally" for too long, my feet would hurt. I have calluses on the sides of my big toes because of my medium-arch. I roll my feet in when I travel long distances because that's how my feet carries me.

To me, that's completely natural. I don't wear "special shoes" or inserts (though I really should) to help my feet adjust to the weight of my body on it all day.But here's the paradox: I walk like a dude.

I make a conscious effort to walk to a human being by "nature's standards", meaning I don't walk on my knees or hands or any other part of my body; other than my feet. I use my feet to carry myself places I want to go. My feet aren't perfect, but they "conform to societal norms". But that's NOT good enough! Because of how my feet is built, I walk a certain way, naturally (for me at least). But since the way I walk is comfortable for me, but deemed masculine by others, therefore, I am judged.

But again, this is the world we live in where processed foods cost 1/10th of "natural, organic" foods.

Also we live in a world where women spent HOURS everyday caking on make-up to appear an "artificial beauty" that is acclaimed by the general public! Men spent hours trying to create an image of, "I am scruffy and haven't showered in 3 days. Sexy."

Now, my readers know how I feel about 'feminism' so this is not about 2nd or 3rd wave anything. This is about being "natural".

"Natural" is a loaded word. There is no standard set of anything. Don't get me started on gay equality and "naturality".

If I was "meant" to be any certain way, created by a Greater Power, I wouldn't be the societal outcast with my "deformities". I embrace my gait, my feet, my body, my mind, my there-lack-of-soul.

It's quite ironic how "organic" is equated to "different" or "special" when it's supposed to be "natural".