lgbt

Still Bisexual: Being Engaged to a Man Does NOT Make Me Straight

This blog post is inspired by two things: the lyrics to “The Story of OJ” by Jay-Z and a misconception about bisexuals. Also, today is Bi Visibility Day so I sure as shit will make myself visible.

Light n*a, dark n*a, faux n*a, real n*a
Rich n*a, poor n*a, house n*a, field n*a
Still n*a, still n*a

-The Story of OJ

The misconception about bisexuals is that once we marry, we ultimately chose what gender to be attracted to. No. People still think that bisexuals are greedy whores who need to pick men or women. I can’t control which gender a person I’m attracted to is. I can’t choose my sexual orientation. I can’t choose or force myself to be gay. I can’t choose or force myself to be straight. I hate that biphobia comes from gay people and straight people.

I was only in relationships with men (realized my sexuality late in life and I don’t feel safe coming out to family). I’m still bisexual.

I may pass as straight on the streets, but I’m still bisexual.

I have liked more guys than girls. Yep, still bisexual.

I’m engaged to a man. I’M STILL BISEXUAL!

Well, this was shorter than I expected. Biphobic, homophobic, and transphobic comments will be deleted.

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Rant

Wedding Planning Rant: Not Every Bride Needs to Lose Weight for their Wedding!

This is my announcement that on the evening of August 15, 2018 at the beginning of kickboxing class, Franklin proposed to me. We are now engaged. I was going to do a blog post about it, but it would be too short for my tastes. But my brother surprised me by being there, so that was a highlight.

So far, we put down a deposit on the venue (they will take care of catering and reception as well) and will research officiants and the DJ the rest of this year. Our wedding isn’t until 2020. We still feel like looking at vendors and one way to find wedding vendors is to go to a bridal expo! Tip: Make sure you make a separate wedding e-mail address and use that at expos. You WILL get emails from the vendors who were there and I heard stories about getting spam from companies that may have been sold your information.

The expo was held on a farm. It was raining and everyone had to park in the grass. A team of guys had to help everyone out of the parking lot since so many people were getting stuck in the mud. I was able to wash my socks when I could finally do laundry (my laundry schedule is messed up due to grad school) and who knows if I can wash the mud off my Cosmopolitan-brand ballet flats. No vendors popped out at me as a “I must have them!” vendor, and the bridal fashion show lacked diversity.

But that’s not why I’m ranting today! Today I’m ranting about society’s beauty expectations and how society plus weddings make an already vulnerable population even more vulnerable!

It seems like every wedding planning journal I read about on the Disboards and many posts on different wedding forums has a bride trying to lose weight for the wedding. Even the skinny women say they need to lose weight! It makes me the odd one out because even though my wedding is 21 months away, I don’t want to lose weight for the wedding. This expectation to lose weight for your wedding was perpetuated by the tables that featured gyms and health products to help and encourage people to lose weight.

Why is it that brides NEED to lose weight for their wedding? Why don’t men have the same expectations to get in shape for their wedding? Why have we become a fitness-obsessed culture? Can we not foster the possibility of more women developing disordered eating and exercise habits? Can I not be pressured to go to an unreasonable size? And can we stop fucking promoting the keto diet? People can’t think for themselves anymore, and it’s a diet that’s preached to “work” because everyone is doing it. Carbs aren’t bad for you. CARBS AREN’T FUCKING BAD FOR YOU!!!

Look, women, if you are going to lose weight, do it for you. Don’t do it for a special occasion and don’t do it to please men. What happens once the wedding is over? Are you seriously going to stick to your diet and exercise plan? What happens if that man leaves you or does not return your romantic or sexual feelings? There went your motivation. I’ve seen it happen before.

Expect some more rants and blog posts relating to my 2020 wedding.

 

Uncategorized

Finding Empowerment Through Weightlifting: How I Built Confidence When All Else Failed

Fun fact about me: I have used weight machines and picked up some dumbbells before. I had two-pound weights when I was little. I touched my first weight machine in 8th grade during a physical education unit where my class was in the fitness lab and we were required to use both the weight machines and cardio machines. I didn’t touch weights again until 10th grade when we would sometimes be in the weight room when the weather was too bad to do fitness walking. Again, we had to use both cardio and weights. Then I didn’t touch weights again until years later when my best friend and I would work out after we got out class on Tuesdays. After graduating, I would occasionally touch dad’s weights (three pounds from his physical therapy and eight pounds that he only used once or twice) and didn’t fully go back to lifting weights until earlier this year.

So what got me touching the weights again? My kickboxing gym has a multipurpose machine and some weights. While my fiance (eep!) was finishing up with lifting weights in the beginning of March, I wanted to use my one-time silly card and try to feel how heavy one of the ez-curl bars was (I’m the serious one in the relationship and he’s the silly one). It wasn’t that heavy, but the other ez-curl bar was heavy. This led me to using the ez-curl bar. I later added dumbbells and other machines, and eventually added the Smith machine bench press and also a regular bench press at the gym on-base where I work.

Within a few weeks of returning to the weights, I felt more empowered. I still can’t tell you in words what empowerment feels like, but lifting weights did what other confidence-promising activities failed to do. My fiance’s my workout buddy with the weights. He shows me some things at the on-base gym whenever I ask. However, my parents are sexist so I don’t tell them about how I started lifting weights.

But unfortunately, as much as I like to lift the weights, I don’t have as much time now that I’m back in school. I’ll be spending lots of time studying so I will be back at the on-base gym during Thanksgiving break and I still lift weights at the kickboxing gym, but I am now only able to go to kickboxing on Saturdays and school breaks. Thanksgiving break, get over here!

Try Something New 2018

Try Something New: New Thing in August

In this blog, I pledged to try one new thing each month in 2018. The new thing could be trying a new food, doing a new activity, or going someplace new. I have asked my fellow readers and my boyfriend to hold me accountable. At the end of each month, I will tell you all what new thing or things I have tried. I will also discuss the barriers that caused me to not try it before.

I didn’t do many new things in August. I’ve been busy preparing for grad school (my math class was an undergraduate course), but still made time to do one new thing. Expect the rest of this year to not have many new things that I try thanks to grad school and the beginning stages of wedding planning.

So the new thing I did this month was going to a new restaurant.

Barrier to going to new restaurants: I think we went over this many times on this blog, but for my new readers, I am a picky eater. Due to society’s negative views on adult picky eaters, I am trying to become less picky. However, I have a fear of going to new restaurants because there is a possibility that there won’t be anything on the menu that I can eat. This has happened before (but with a familiar restaurant) when they ran out of my only “safe” food, and it was horrible.

Why I decided to try this new restaurant: Franklin and I have started a tradition that whenever we go to church, if it’s not a potluck day (which is only from October to June), we will go out to lunch after service. This restaurant was nearby, so we went there. It is a requirement that we go somewhere nearby because I don’t want to leave my car in the church parking lot for too long. I don’t trust any cop to not tow my car if no other car is at church.

My thoughts on the restaurant:

  • It’s the only place where a veggie burger isn’t obscenely spicy (earlier this year, I had a veggie burger so spicy that I could only finish it once it’s been chilled in a refrigerator)
  • I’d go here again (yeah, not much to say about this place)
Mental Health · Self-Discovery · Self-Reflection

I Am A Highly-Sensitive Person

This blog post can also be titled “DiaryofSelf learns something major about herself after originally looking at self-soothing techniques” or “DiaryofSelf couldn’t be in the lab at work so she ended up looking at Psychology Today articles” or “I keep getting distracted by jazz music” or “Can I not accidentally blind myself with my engagement ring?” (Yes, I am now engaged to Franklin as of August 15, 2018. More on that in a later blog post)

Hey, it’s been awhile. After math class ended, I was busy catching up in kickboxing and giving myself time to recover before going back to school for the fall semester. I will try to post as much as I can before August 27th, but I can’t make any promises. I’ll have classes three times a week during the fall semester.

So this blog was created over a year ago to document my journey of discovering who I am because most people figure out who they are before the age of 24 (the age I was when I started this blog) and I thought it was high time to actively start figuring out who I am. A year into blogging, I felt like I made no progress towards figuring out who I am. I feel like I unlocked a big key towards figuring myself out on August 14, 2018. I went to Google to search “self-soothing” and while reading stuff on Psychology Today, I found an article called 14 Things Highly Sensitive People Need to be Happy. I read the article and another article linked inside the article and realized one thing:

Hi, I’m DiaryofSelf, and I’m a highly-sensitive person.

Now I didn’t always think I was a highly-sensitive person. When I first read about it awhile ago when I heard about the book “Raising a Highly-Sensitive Child,” I didn’t think it described me very much. But now it does. Your personal identity can change over time. For example, some transgender men identify as lesbians at first. Janelle Monae identified as bisexual until she read more about pansexuality and felt like she identified more as pansexual.

So what is a highly-sensitive person? It is a high sensitivity to external stimuli (like social or environmental stimuli) or internal stimuli (like your thoughts). My high sensitivity mainly comes from external stimuli, especially if it’s things that are racist and sexist. It’s why I had to stay away from people’s Tumblr blogs.

My high sensitivity is why I get extremely angry over social injustices. It’s why I have such a hard time adjusting to change. It’s why I worry so much about what people think of me. It’s why I pick up people’s emotions and absorb them as my own. It’s a part of why I have an anxiety disorder (fact: Highly-sensitive people are more likely to have issues with anxiety). It’s why I can’t stand criticism at all. It’s why I shut down if I am given multiple tasks in a short time. It’s why I desperately NEED to find out who I am and what my purpose in life is.

Now that I know more about myself, I am taking the time to educate myself and my parents on what makes a highly-sensitive person and what I need in terms of support. I cannot be treated like someone with a regular or low amount of sensitivity. I am going to ask for a book that helps highly-sensitive people overcome their anxiety issues. I’m glad to be taking active steps to improve myself again.

Self-Reflection · Try Something New 2018

Try Something New: New Things in July

In this blog, I pledged to try one new thing each month in 2018. The new thing could be trying a new food, doing a new activity, or going someplace new. I have asked my fellow readers and my boyfriend to hold me accountable. At the end of each month, I will tell you all what new thing or things I have tried. I will also discuss the barriers that caused me to not try it before.

I did a lot in the first week, so I had to make sure not to do too many new things. We still have five months left to go this year! I’m going to format this a little differently than I have in the past so it won’t be too long.

First, I went to the gym on the military base where I work.

Barrier to going to the on-base gym: Before starting grad school, I was doing kickboxing three times per week. I felt like if I went to the gym as well, I’d be overtraining and overtraining increases your risk of injuries.

Why I went to the on-base gym: I was off from work and school on July 4th and I knew that no one was going to be opening up the kickboxing gym that day. Since I knew it wouldn’t be crowded at the on-base gym (it is crowded at the beginning of each week and I know this based on seeing the parking lot when I’d go to the on-base library to study), I wanted to try it out with my boyfriend.

My thoughts on the on-base gym:

  • They have many different rooms for exercise.
    • There’s a gymnasium with a few pieces of equipment and some stationary and recumbent bicycles
    • There’s a room for free weights (I’m in that area most often. I want to get stronger)
    • There’s a room for the Nautilus weight machines (some of the machines are made differently than the Precor weight machines I am used to at my undergraduate university)
    • There’s a big open area for cardio equipment
    • There’s a smaller room with some cardio equipment, some kettlebells, a sit-up bench and a lower back extension bench
  • I like having more options for exercise machines and weights compared to the small selection in the kickboxing gym
  • I now like using the barbell for bench pressing more than using the smith machine at the kickboxing gym (got to work on lowering both arms at once. Sometimes one arm goes lower than the other)
  • I need a spotter to help me get the barbell on and off the squat rack
  • No, I have never bench pressed or barbell squatted before. Yes, I liked doing those.

I also went some place new (and ate a new food there too)! I went to a Korean restaurant for lunch one day.

Barriers to eating at a Korean restaurant: I’ve mentioned this many times, but I’m a picky eater. Also, I thought there weren’t any Korean restaurants nearby. The nearest place I was aware of is nearly an hour away from me.

Why I decided to go to a Korean restaurant: Some co-workers from my new job invited me to join them.

Note: This is a very big deal because I did not have access to a computer at work at the time so I didn’t get a chance to look at the menu ahead of time. I always, and I mean ALWAYS, look at the menu ahead of time before going to any restaurant. I even look at the menu if I’ve been to the restaurant before because there have been times when a safe menu option was removed from the menu.

My thoughts on the Korean restaurant:

  • We waited a long time in line to even place our order at the counter and no one was in front of us (and I think I know why… come on, it’s 2018…)
  • Mandu is delicious! (The menu says “mandoo”, but it seems like Google changes it to mandu)
  • I liked how the menu (which is on the wall) has a picture of each food item which made it so much easier for me to choose

Oops, we did a lot this month, but it’s not even over yet! Now for the unplanned parts of this month since I didn’t want to do too much. This past Sunday, I went to a different church. Wait, Diary of Self, didn’t you mention at least once that you’re an atheist? (Wait, did I mention that?) Yes, but it was a Unitarian Universalist church, where anyone is welcome regardless of beliefs.

Barrier to going to a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church: I wanted to try out this church three years ago, but I became an atheist after finding out that dad needed a hip replacement surgery. Mom prayed for that to not happen, which made me realize that prayer is ineffective and any God that exists wouldn’t let bad things happen. Please do not try to make me not be an atheist. Any comments with a religious debate or attempts to convert WILL BE DELETED.

Why I wanted to try out a UU church: There is serious talks about Franklin and I getting married. He picked up the ring earlier this month. Despite my non-religious views, I felt like Franklin viewed going to church as an important thing for married couples to do. We are an interracial couple so Franklin would stick out like a sore thumb being the only white person in the black churches I go to. I didn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb being the only black person in an all-white church. UU churches are also welcoming inclusive churches, so I knew we’d feel welcome as an interracial couple and I’d feel welcome as a bisexual black woman.

My thoughts about the UU church:

  • Many people greeted us both before and after service
  • There was no mentions of God, so people won’t feel weird if they are not Christian
  • There was coffee, tea, and light foods after service. From October through June, the second Sunday will have a potluck
  • The covers for each program (they call it Order of Service) are separate from that week’s program since the covers are reused
  • I liked today’s service. I’d want to go a few more times before I make my decision
  • This isn’t exactly about the church, but I felt very comfortable not having to go to church wearing a dress. I will wear a dress if I absolutely have to, but it doesn’t feel truly “me”

And for my last unexpected new thing, I went to a jazz concert. The jazz concert is a part of a summer concert series in the next town over.

Barrier to going to the summer concert series: There was nothing of interest for the concerts. I usually see bluegrass being performed for the concert series.

Why I decided to go to the jazz concert: Someone at church told Franklin and I about the jazz concert after service and Franklin remembered that I said I wanted to go to a jazz event (awww, he remembered. His memory is getting better).

My thoughts on the jazz concert:

  • Out of everyone there including the band, I was the only person there who isn’t white. It made me so uncomfortable that I don’t want to go to another summer concert series (though I know that town is 95% white when I checked years ago).
    • I was getting a lot of stares too
  • Most of the people in attendance were middle-aged or elderly
    • Probably explains all the stares. Back in their time, interracial relationships were a no-no
  • I seriously couldn’t get past the first bullet point. I’ve become very aware of social injustices so what made me feel fine in the past makes me feel scared of my existence now.

So since I did so many new things (even stuff that I briefly mentioned in bullet points), let’s do a count of the new things I did!

New places I’ve been to: 3

New foods I tried: 1

New activities: 3 (I’m counting the new exercises at the gym as new activities)

Try Something New 2018

Try Something New: New Things in June

In this blog, I pledged to try one new thing each month in 2018. The new thing could be trying a new food, doing a new activity, or going someplace new. I have asked my fellow readers and my boyfriend to hold me accountable. At the end of each month, I will tell you all what new thing or things I have tried. I will also discuss the barriers that caused me to not try it before.

One thing I did was to try a new activity. I went to a dessert show!

Barrier to going to a dessert show in the past: I didn’t know dessert shows were a thing. I keep calling them dessert parties.

Why I wanted to go to a dessert show: It’s dessert!

My thoughts on the dessert show:

I also tried a new food too. Seaweed salad.

Barrier to eating seaweed salad: I don’t really know. Before a couple of years ago, the only time I heard of seaweed salad is in that one song from Rent.

Why I wanted to try seaweed salad: It came with my delicious ahi tuna.

My thoughts on the seaweed salad:

  • Pretty good
  • It’s crunchier than I expected, though
    • That’s why I gave some seaweed salad to Franklin

Last, I tried a new thing this month. Bench pressing with a Smith machine (yes, I know Smith machines are bad, but it’s what the kickboxing gym has. It’s a Smith machine with a chest fly machine and some pulley attachments).

Barrier to bench pressing: I’m not a serious weightlifter. Only athletes, weightlifters (including powerlifters), and bodybuilders bench press.

Why I wanted to try it: Well, I was lifting weights with another kickboxer and he had me try it.

My thoughts on the Smith machine bench press:

  • I liked it, but I don’t want to do it every time I go to kickboxing
  • Definitely good for a beginner if they feel nervous about using a barbell to bench press.