LGBTQ · Rant

Bi+ Exclusion in the LGBTQ Community

Note: I have used the term “Bi+” before, but for my new readers, bi+ is inclusive of all sexual orientations that aren’t straight, gay, or asexual (sexual orientations that are considered in bi+ include bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, fluid sexuality, etc.).

Bi+ people have unique challenges with our sexual orientation. We get hate from both sides; many gay people don’t like us as well as many straight people not liking us. We’re not gay enough or straight enough. We have straight-passing privilege. People assume we’re either gay or straight when we are holding hands with our significant others. People don’t believe bisexuality is real. Bi erasure happens so much, an example being Freddie Mercury, who was very much in love with a woman before he was in a relationship with the man he loved until he died. Some people have even been told to not come back to LGBTQ groups because they are bisexual. There are gay people who don’t want to date us because we’re wrongly stereotyped to be cheaters or will leave them for someone who’s a different gender than they are.

Then there’s the issue of bisexuals being viewed as transphobic because people wrongly believe we only like cisgender women and cisgender men. To me, trans men are still men and trans women are still women. Some people define bisexual as liking your own gender and a gender different from your own. While I also identify as queer, I feel like bisexuals should not force themselves to call themselves “queer” or “pansexual” in order to not be called transphobic.

Well us bi+ people have had enough. The B in LGBTQ stands for Bisexual. LGBTQ means Lesbian, Gay, BISEXUAL, Transgender, and Queer (or questioning). Let us into these spaces. Date us. Represent us in the media. Some bi+ people have left the community because LGBTQ feels like it’s LGTQ.

You will not block my entrance into Pride events. I will be going to my very first Pride event and I am empowered to wave my bisexual pride flag and work a shift at a table with other people from my Unitarian Universalist church. I was afraid to go to Pride because of how bisexuals are treated, but I will no longer be afraid. I WILL be there Saturday.

DiaryofSelf Marries in 2020 · Rant

Stop Proposal Shaming! Rant and a Recommendation for Proposing

Another edition of “DiaryOfSelf needs to stop going on Reddit because she’s become way too sensitive to any wedding-related things she did or didn’t do”…

It is now apparently a bad thing to to a proposal in front of people. People say proposals are SUPPOSED to be private, and this is an opinion shared by the sheep who go on Reddit AND some people in an online group when I announced how my proposal happened. I had to tell the online group that the way the proposal happened is how I WANTED IT!

I’m somewhat of a narcissist so I WANTED at least my parents there since I wanted someone to take pictures and video. I wonder why everything I’m doing is wrong in the eyes of the internet. Is it because I’m staying traditional and everyone else is running away from and actively avoiding tradition? Is it because I’m somewhat of a narcissist and NEEDED an audience (although it ended up being a small audience)? Why do people feel entitled to be sheep and parrot the same wedding-related bullshit? Just stop, internet. Just stop.

I was proposed to at the beginning of kickboxing class. There were a little more people there than usual for the summer (for some reason, there would barely be many people this past summer compared to my first kickboxing summer), one of the coaches who was recovering from hernia repair surgery was there, and I knew the proposal was about to happen when I saw my parents show up with my brother (I was surprised my brother was there). Like I said, I wanted my parents to be there and I have wanted that aspect since I was with my previous ex.

This leads to my recommendation on proposals. You and your significant other should TALK about how you or your significant other want to be proposed to. Do you want a private proposal? TALK ABOUT IT! Do you want only a small handful of people around? TALK ABOUT IT! Want to be proposed to in front of a lot of people? TALK ABOUT IT! Talk about it during the same time you have the pre-proposal talk when you talk about what you want in the future (like if you want to get married or if you want to have kids). As people say in varying ways, “The proposal shouldn’t be a surprised, but when and how should be a surprise.”

DiaryofSelf Marries in 2020 · Rant

Enough with the Budget Shaming! Another Wedding Rant

I’m going to do my best to not commit budget-shaming myself, but I’m writing this rant for a reason.

Remember when it was seen as a bad thing to not attend college? Now people who go into the trades shame college students for getting a degree and feel like trades give people a real future. Now, when it was thought to be weird to have a small wedding budget, now it’s seen as a bad thing to have a budget larger than $10,000 and sometimes you even get shamed for having a budget larger than $5,000.

And I hear the same unoriginal rhetoric of “We’d rather put the money towards a house” because people don’t have original thoughts anymore or don’t know how to form their own opinions. I hear it from people who were already married! I get it. Not everyone is/was able to afford the wedding they want. It doesn’t mean you have to take out your jealousy on those who want a more expensive wedding.

I first saw the budget-shaming against higher budgets on Reddit. It’s one reason why I don’t really visit the wedding planning subreddit anymore, though they’re more anti-traditional than anti-higher budgets. However, that subreddit seems to attract a huge majority of people whose entire wedding budgets are under $10,000 even though there’s already a subreddit for that. Not only do people on the internet have to budget-shame, people at my job budget-shame too! One person used the unoriginal rhetoric while another person said everyone they knew with weddings $20,000 or more ended up divorcing. So by other people’s logic, Franklin and I will be divorced because we’re not having a small wedding. It got to the point one time that I actually told off some people at work for the budget-shaming. You know, just like I called out sexism on a project I got kicked off of. Luckily the most vocal budget-shamers WILL NOT be invited to my wedding.

Look, I’m not going to spend $60,000 on my wedding that Franklin and I are paying for ourselves, and I’m not going to spend 5-figure amounts of money on a dress. However, we’re definitely going to be spending more than $10,000 on our wedding. I can afford it, and I’ve shared some ways to save money that I learned with Franklin. I don’t tell my brother that I’m having a real wedding while he just went to the courthouse. I don’t tell family members that they’re poor because they had a wedding at their house (I have been to three family weddings held at someone’s house). So why do the people who spent less on their wedding have the right to be openly judgmental on MY wedding or anyone else’s more expensive wedding?

All in all, stop budget-shaming people who want to spend a lot of money on their wedding.

Rant

Rant: Why I’m No Longer Participating in the Light the Night Charity Walk

Let’s start with a timeline.

February 23, 2018. The man who should have been my future father-in-law lost his brief battle with lymphoma (but the death certificate says leukemia).

April 2018. I was looking up the awareness ribbon color for lymphoma out of curiosity. I encountered the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society webpage and read stories. I then encountered information about Light the Night charity walk. I saw the nearest walk was about 30 minutes away from me. I had been turning anger into advocacy that year, so why not turn Franklin’s family’s anger into advocacy?

May 2018. I struggled to tell anyone about my idea, although I knew that I will need plenty of time to collect money. I also worried about how Franklin would feel about this.

End of July 2018. I knew I wouldn’t get enough money to even do the charity walk, so I told Franklin about what I wanted to do, but would no longer be able to do. Franklin thought it was thoughtful and still wanted to do it.

September 2018. We get our wedding email set up due to advice from many wedding forums. I saw something from Light the Night and saw a team was created. What I didn’t know is that this would be my only idea that was put in place. I saw Franklin was made team captain. I was angry. This was MY idea! I was the one who found out about this! Why is a white man once again taking charge of something that a woman, especially a woman of color, started? This was when I first considered not doing the walk. I later found out that the person who creates the team page is automatically made captain. I eventually created a page and added myself to the team.

October 2018. Franklin posts the team page to social media to get us donations. He’s asking for the donations as a good birthday gift for me. I discover we are getting donations on our team page, but to my anger, all the donations were going to Franklin. The original plan wasn’t to do it for the money, but you’d be angry too if one person was getting all the donations and no one else was. Nowhere on the pages does it say that it was my idea. White men never give women, or women of color, credit for anything. White men always want to lead everything. I’ve had enough. I’m no longer walking. I will find a way to remove myself from the team. Franklin is starting to become like my ex. Why is this happening after I get the ring? Is he changing to his true self now that I’m “locked in” with him?

Fuck white men.

DiaryofSelf Marries in 2020 · 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.

 

Rant

Picky Eaters Aren’t Childish!

So as I was looking up blog posts about picky eaters, I got so enraged that I was almost in tears. When I saw a post on Reddit about this, I was made to feel childish. As I may have mentioned in more than one blog post, I’m a picky eater. I already feel bad about being a picky eater. Being called “childish” and “a deal breaker for dating” makes me feel worse. I can’t help it that I’m a picky eater. I don’t want to be a picky eater. I don’t want to have to look at restaurant menus to see if there is anything I can even eat. You all are failing to even consider the many (but not all) reasons why someone’s picky.

  • Food allergies and intolerances. My niece is allergic to peanuts, my best friend from university is allergic to mushrooms, and a cousin has Celiac Disease. While my best friend’s food trigger can be avoided more easily, it’s not very easy to avoid things made of peanut products or gluten (though there are more gluten-free options than when my cousin was diagnosed). You know what would happen if they weren’t picky about what they ate? They’d get sick. My niece and best friend will break out in hives and my cousin will end up with intestinal damage.
  • Mental health and neurodiversity. Many people with autism do not have many foods that they will eat without having a meltdown. Based on stories I have read, some people with autism have so few foods that they will eat that I can count with one hand. With other stories, I can use both hands. OCD can be a factor too, when it comes to foods touching, texture, color, etc. Now don’t go self-diagnosing yourself as OCD because of this.
  • In some cases, it’s a disorder. There are many conditions, besides the aforementioned autism, that is a factor in having what is called a “feeding disorder”. Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), formerly known as Selective Eating Disorder is one of them. ARFID is very selective eating that is not attributed to lack of available food, a medical condition, or mental health issue. Learn more about it here. I eat a lot of different foods in comparison to the people whose stories are on that site’s guestbook.
  • Food restrictions based on religion. Some religions prohibit the consumption of certain foods. A majority of people who follow the Hindu faith are vegetarians. Hindu practitioners who aren’t vegetarians still avoid beef. Muslims and certain sects of Judaism prohibit pork. I used to work with a woman who is vegetarian because she is Hindu. The barber in the hair salon I go to is Muslim. This is non-negotiable. They cannot eat your pulled pork sandwiches.
  • They’re vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, or anything else that means they don’t eat animal products and/or meat. With the exception of pescetarians who go to a seafood restaurant, there aren’t many options at restaurants for those who don’t eat meat. Yes, there are restaurants that only serve vegetarian or vegan meals, but how far do you have to go to find that if you don’t live in the city? I’m not a vegetarian, but the nearest vegetarian-only restaurant that I know of is about 26 miles away.

I am less picky than I used to be, but I’m still picky. My pickiness is largely based on how food looks. I’m also worried that if I order a new food at a restaurant, I won’t like it and I will have wasted money. I’m not picky based on texture, but I have liked certain foods or snacks because of its texture. Sometimes, me trying new foods would be a result of not having any choice. One time, Red Lobster ran out of chicken tenders on Mother’s Day, so I had to have a chicken caesar salad. I wanted to try the caesar salad, though, so I guess it wasn’t that bad of an experience. I also had to try beef stew one time at my ex-boyfriend’s family dinners to celebrate someone’s birthday. There was way too much wine in it. I’m sensitive with overpowering tastes, which is why I don’t like chocolate.

However, I have discovered foods that I like because of trying new things. I love sushi now, after trying it in March 2016. My boyfriend’s father’s cousin made the best French toast I ever had (I first tried it at my childhood friend Samantha’s 13th birthday sleepover). Franklin, honey, if you see this blog post, tell Ms. Linda to invite us over for brunch again. Maybe for Christmas? I first tried miso soup in 2014 when a moderator group I was a part of went out for Japanese food. Very delicious. I always get miso soup with my sushi.

So shame on you if you want to stigmatize people for something that it turns out they can’t control. Trust me, we don’t want to be picky eaters either.

Rant

Don’t Moon the Photographer! A Guest Perspective of a 2016 Wedding

For my friends whose first language isn’t English: Mooning someone means to show someone your bare butt by bending over and pulling down your pants and underwear.

I’m going to be vague on a few things and change some names because I don’t want anyone from the wedding knowing exactly who is doing this guest perspective. This blog post is in the rant category because this will mostly be a complaint about the wedding.

In 2016, my parents, my boyfriend at the time, and I attended my childhood friend’s wedding. She was still in elementary school when we met, so I am still saying childhood friend. My friend Maxine married Josh (names changed). I didn’t want to be there because I wasn’t asked to be in the wedding (we all thought I was going to be in it. Even her family members thought I was going to be in the wedding). I was already in a bad mood because my then-boyfriend left his phone at JcPenney the night before when he was trying on clothes for the wedding. We didn’t realize it until after the store closed. When we went back the next morning, they didn’t have the phone claimed. I think a worker found it, but chose to not turn it in.

The ceremony:

  • Started late. Didn’t really care about that since I heard someone say that it’s bad luck to start a wedding on time. The reason why the wedding started late was because only a few people on Josh’s side were here. Many minutes later, a giant group of people from Josh’s side arrived. I guess they got a bus from a hotel and it was running late
  • Way too much prayer! One prayer is fine, but four or five? Way too much! I’m an atheist so this was a big problem for me. I swear there was a prayer between each part in the ceremony. I think I even rolled my eyes and quietly huffed after prayer number 3. This is why my wedding will be 100% secular.
  • The processional was sad. What I mean is the bridesmaids looked sad. I seriously wonder who died. I am likely to be a bridesmaid at my cousin’s wedding in April 2019 (my cousin’s fiancee told me I’m in the planning committee and her sister will text everyone next year) so I hope the wedding party looks happy. Side note: I am very excited about my cousin getting married.
  • The flower girls, who were 1 and 3, were going anywhere but down the aisle. From what I read, if a flower girl or ring bearer is under the age of 7, they may not walk down the aisle perfectly, even if there is a wedding rehearsal. The three-year-old eventually walked down the aisle properly, but I think Maxine’s stepmom should have picked up the one-year-old and carried her down the aisle (the flower girls were Maxine’s half-sisters). I think their delay in going down the aisle caused my friend to miss her musical cue. I have a strong feeling of when she was supposed to walk down the aisle with her dad.

After the recessional, the photographer told us to make a half moon around the wedding party for the group picture before the wedding party photos. Dad asked me if we can moon the photographer. I told him no. This is where the title of this blog post came from. Dad also asked this when we stepped into the reception area, after the officiant blessed the food, and while we were eating.

Reception:

  • I don’t remember if the salad was served before or after the wedding party walked into the reception area. I didn’t put dressing on my salad because I didn’t know if the dressing was ranch. I have a food sensitivity to something in ranch and I will feel nauseous if I eat or kiss someone who ate ranch. Found out later it was Italian dressing. The caterers should have actually said what it was.
  • When Maxine and Josh walked into the reception area, not everyone stood up. I think a table and a half on the other side stayed seated. Guess who was singled out by the “aunt” (who is actually Maxine’s dad’s friend who probably is still attracted to the bride’s dad)? That’s right, me. I was in a bad mood already. Lay off, you alcoholic swine.
  • The dances happened after the dinner, which surprised me. I expected the dances to happen right after the bride and groom walked in. I expected the following to happen: wedding party walks in, the newlyweds walk in, first dance by the newlyweds, father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, eat food.
  • I thought it was decent that Maxine’s dad walked onto the dance floor from being a bit hidden for the father-daughter dance, but I would want my dad to already be on the dance floor when it’s time for us to dance.
  • It was a buffet dinner, which I prefer instead of plated meals. This is mainly because I have some family members who may not be able to have a regular meal (niece is allergic to peanuts and beets while a cousin has Celiac Disease). There were a lot of food options. The alcoholic “aunt” commented that she loves black weddings because they serve fried chicken. I knew she was already drunk at this point. The food was good, though.
  • Mom complained about the music during dinner. I think she said the music sounded too “old”. I reminded her that this was Disney music by Randy Newman. All of the music on the CD on the tables were from Disney. Maxine wanted a Tinkerbell wedding, but Josh luckily said no. She got married shortly before her 23rd birthday, so yeah. Too old for Tinkerbell.
  • No one seemed to pay attention to the cake cutting. I’m not sure if the cake cutting was announced. If it was, no one cared. As someone who strongly craves attention, I would be openly pissed about it.
  • Here’s the part that caused me to almost start a brawl: the bouquet toss and the garter toss. Long story short, the garter was passed to the best man and the bouquet was passed to the best man’s girlfriend. On top of my then-boyfriend’s phone being stolen and way too much prayer, I snapped. I was livid. I’m flipping out at people and my dad couldn’t even calm me down. We had to leave during the groomsmen dance performance of “Sexy and I Know It” because I was in kill mode. The only reason why I didn’t start attacking people was because the bride was my reference for my security clearance investigation. Maxine, if you read this, you are damn lucky.

So to my fellow brides-to-be, grooms-to-be, and non-binary spouses-to-be, I have some tips for you based on this wedding (and a few other weddings, but mainly this one)”

  • Not everyone is Christian. Don’t assume and respect those who aren’t Christian
  • Limit people’s alcohol consumption at the wedding. Of course, alcoholics will have already had some drinks before heading to the ceremony
  • People walking down the aisle should pretend to be happy that the couple is getting married. I know the real reason why Josh proposed to Maxine (no, she wasn’t pregnant despite what I originally thought), but this is the perfect time to be fake
  • Don’t have flower girls that are too young. Four or five years old is a good minimum age
  • Make sure people use clear language so people don’t misinterpret things. Not only for people who want to joke at a solemn event, but for people whose language may not be English