Two Pictures worth a Decade

It was another one of those Facebook games: paste your first profile picture and your most recent one. The idea being to compare how much you have changed in that time.

My first picture, although not uploaded till 2007, is from my first year of university. It was taken in 2005/2006, with an old Motorola flip phone in the Second Cup on the Ottawa U Campus. I was 18.

Ania in 2005

The second picture is just from a week ago, just before Alyssa’s graduation ceremony. I am 28, turning 29 in just over a month.

Ania 2016

It’s an interesting feeling looking at a decade pass.

Continue reading “Two Pictures worth a Decade”

Two Pictures worth a Decade
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Tans and Deceit

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Look at this young man’s dead eyes. If only to distract you from his unibrow.

Readers we haven’t talked about it before but this photo reminds me: Men attempt to deceive women by using spray tans. This is why women have trust issues. They believe their man is naturally tanned when in reality he’s nothing but a toasted marshmallow. This is why you take them swimming on the first date.

 

Tans and Deceit

Pillows and the Devil

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Folks I am beginning to suspect that emoji pillows are in cahoots with the devil.

Men, we have talked about this. Pillows are NOT for that head.

I worry for today’s generation of men. They see and think it’s perfectly acceptable to do rub pillows on their private parts. How do you sleep at night? I bet not very well since you’ve worn out your pillows.

Pillows and the Devil

Did You Hear the One About the Dumb Polack

CN: Ableist Slur, Xenophobia,

Did you hear the one about the dumb Polack?

  • He thought his wife was trying to kill him because he found Polish Remover.
  • He tried to ask out a Lesbian by asking where in Lesbos she was from.
  • When a plane crashed into a cemetery, he recovered over 4000 bodies.
  • He locked his keys in the car and had to use a coat hanger to get his family out.
  • He crashed his helicopter when he got too cold and turned off the fan.

I’ve been hearing them as long as I can remember. It seems whenever someone finds out I’m Polish I get to hear a new one, or another variation of an old one.

Why don’t they make Ice in Poland? They lost the recipe.

If it’s not jokes about cognitive disability, it’s jokes about alcoholism. When I was staying in France on exchange, my host family couldn’t help themselves but to mention the famous French expression “drunk as a Polack” as soon as they found out my heritage. My father comforted me by telling me that it originated from Napoleonic times, when Polish foot soldiers would drink before battle to take away inhibitions. It made them terrifying in battle he said.

Continue reading “Did You Hear the One About the Dumb Polack”

Did You Hear the One About the Dumb Polack

Dad Jokes

So there’s this new thing that fathers are doing called the Cheerio Challenge and it’s about who can prove who’s the biggest tool  funniest dad.

Ever wonder why there is such a thing as “dad jokes” but not the mom equivalent? Because dads are allowed to be silly. Dads are allowed to do this type of shit and not have people question their parenting ability. It’s why we have goddamn parades for weekend dads but condemn single moms. Seriously, look at any story about a single dad and you’ll get bombarded with comments on how “selfless” and “wonderful” the dad is. Look at stories about single moms and you’ll find comments questioning her ability to parent. They’ll wonder why she’s single. Single dads (or dads in general really) get praised. Single moms get scorned.

It’s why people went gaga over Chris Hemsworth baking a cake for his daughter. Seriously? He baked a cake. Clearly, he’s wasting his talents on acting. Get that man in culinary school!

It’s why we say dads are babysitting their children while mom is away.

Google “dad jokes” and you get this:

dad

Google “mom jokes” and you get this:

mom

So, do we see a difference?
Dad gets to be silly and fun; we wink at each other over how ridiculous dad is but we never say, “hey fattie, stop the jokes and get in the kitchen and feed your kids. Look pretty while you do it, toots”

The mom results are all a bunch of racist, ableist, sexist jokes at the expense of mom.

Getting back to the Cheerio Challenge: Yes, it’s cute and it’s silly, but as a single mom I really wonder what the response would be if this had been started by moms.

I also have to wonder why the fuck you’d risk waking your baby! Parents know that when baby sleeps, we can try to relax. Emphasis on try. This just seems like an incredibly inconsiderate thing to do. Because we also know how labor is usually divided in households with both parents, we can then extrapolate that mom ends up doing most of the emotional and physical labor while dad gets to waste cereal on a challenge to prove how big his dick is  how funny he is.

Fathers, doesn’t the fact that you get praised for doing the bare minimum bother you? Think about it: society is basically saying your mediocrity is just fine. You don’t need to improve; to strive to be a better parent. Doesn’t that offend you? Society doesn’t expect the best from you. It’s much like how rape culture dictates that all men can’t control themselves. We know that isn’t true. So why not do better; be better? Disrupt the narrative that fathers merely babysit their kids. Make people let go of the notion that we shouldn’t expect fathers to be fully involved in their children’s lives.

 

Dad Jokes

No More Unicorn Blood

It’s weird. Usually when I leave the hospital, I feel weak but I feel… better than I did?

I’m not feeling as bad as I did when I went in, but I’m not feeling as much better as I usually do. I’m wishing they left me on the IV steroids longer than they had, instead of switching me straight to oral so quick.

A lot of the “feeling better” in hospitals is artificial. It’s not hard to feel better when they make an immediate medical response to every symptom. Feel nauseated – BAM – IV anti-emetics, feel pain _BAM- sub Q dilaudid.

They bring you food at regular intervals, they keep you to a regular pill schedule, hell, you don’t have to get out of bed to get the medicine you need. There is no effort greater than pushing a button to get from feeling bad to feeling better. The nurses even bring you blankets from a heater if you are feeling cold.

Continue reading “No More Unicorn Blood”

No More Unicorn Blood

My Coming Out Story

CN: homophobia, religious bigotry, Pulse
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The recent shooting at Pulse has me hit me hard. It got me to think about my own queerness and about what it means to be a queer Boricua. I started thinking about my first encounter with Pride and the LGBT community.

I was 11 the first time there was a pride march in my hometown in Puerto Rico. Mami took us. I remember it was treated as a sort of spectacle for cis hets to enjoy.
Anyway, we’re in the car and my older brother is driving. I see this rainbow flag and I asked what it was. My older brother called it “la bandera de los maricones”. I yelled at him for using that slur. He just laughed at me.

We passed by a group of people holding signs with messages like “homosexuales van al infierno”, “Dios te odia”. I asked Mami if that was true. I was taking Sunday school classes and they told me God made us in his image and he didn’t make mistakes. He loved us all. So why was he condemning these people? She didn’t know how to respond. She would just say we weren’t allowed to question God because that meant the devil had taken hold of us.
I don’t remember much from the parade. I know there was a lot of people and everybody looked happy and like they were having fun.

Before that my only encounters with LGBT folks were reruns of Will & Grace and the trans woman who was a regular at the annual town fair. Everybody used she/her pronouns but I was told she “used to be a man”. I vaguely remember hearing she had been attacked and the reaction was that it was wrong because she didn’t bother anybody. No one told me it was wrong becuase transmisogyny is wrong. They basically said she didn’t deserve it becuase she kept to herself. I didn’t question it at the time but looking back the message was that some LGBT folks deserve the attacks.
Mami worked in a hotel near the beach. That was the only part of town LGBT folks felt safe expressing themselves. I would hear stories about “patos” holding hands and there was a lot of “joking” about loose hands. Mami never made those jokes and she always told me it was wrong to hate homosexuals.

It wasn’t until I moved to the states 13 years ago that I saw a gay couple publicly showing affection. My mind was blown. Here were two men holding hands and just genuinely enjoying each others company.

I didn’t come out as pan and non binary until last year. Before then I believed I was straight and cis. I ignored the feelings I’d get for certain girls. I thought “everybody has those feelings. It doesn’t mean anything”.
Growing up I was very much a “tomboy” and my grandmother once asked me if I was “pata”. I was so offended. “No, of course not! Can’t a girl not like girly things without it meaning anything” (It can, of course). My grandfather was worried my Tonka trucks would make me “machua” (butch lesbian)
My abusive boyfriend would constantly question why I had some many queer friends and why I would watch Noah’s Arc. He’d constantly talk about threesomes and ask me to pick the girl and I would ignore him. He’d insist and point out different women and when I would give up and say I found a woman attractive he’d use that as proof that I was a lesbian.

I never felt like I could own my sexuality. Looking back, I think I stuck to cis and straight becuase it was easier. I didn’t pick them, I didn’t have to justify them. They were the norm, they were safe; indeed they were the only labels available. I didn’t know there were other options. That all changed when I met several NB’s and when they would talk about their identity it just made sense to me. I read up on it and I felt this immediate sense of relief. These feelings I had had a name and they were valid.

My mom is supportive even if she doesn’t completely understand. My daughter was unfazed when I explained. “You’re still my mom. That’s what counts. You’re a person”. (From the mouth of babes, huh?)

The shooting at Pulse happened the morning the Puerto Rican Day parade was to take place. I watched the parade on TV and saw so many Puerto Rican flags with the rainbow colors. This was the first year the Parade included queer Boricuas. While my heart was breaking over Orlando, I was also so proud that Puerto Rico is finally (although slowly) moving forward.
I’m fiercely proud of my Puerto Rican heritage. I’m fiercely proud of my femme queerness.
The shooting  scared me and it still does. But that is OK becuase it’s that fear that drives me to speak up; to protect myself and others.

This is why I’m writing this. This, my official coming out story.

 

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Hatred will not silence us. We will not stop fighting. We will mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living.

My Coming Out Story

Am I Queer Enough to Grieve?

I denied being bisexual for a long time. There was always an excuse.

  • I didn’t like women that way, I just appreciated their aesthetic beauty.
  • I wasn’t sexually attracted to boobs, they were just fun. Bouncy and Jiggly all at once.
  • I dismissed the crushes I had on certain friends as just being a particular kind of closeness between two female friends. I appreciated the intimacy we shared, that was all.
  • I made up excuses that the reason reading sex scenes between two women turned me on was because they focused more on the type of pleasure I wanted to experience.

When I finally accepted that there was something more to my attractions and yearnings, I identified as hetero-flexible: still straight, just occasionally intrigued by certain women. I made the cis-sexist observation that for me, it just wasn’t fun without also having a penis involved.

All of these messed up ideas finally dripped away over time and I accepted that I really was bi and that I was attracted to all sorts of genders and bodies and people. It wasn’t about specific genitals, it was about the person, and I was just as likely to love women as I was men.

Looking back, I think even then I saw women as more romantic partners and men as sex partners. My pursuit of men had more to do with what was socially expected of me, but my interest in, my connection with women and non-binary people seemed deeper somehow. Continue reading “Am I Queer Enough to Grieve?”

Am I Queer Enough to Grieve?