Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year

2012 has been a great year! I want to take a few moments to look back at it. Here are some things I experienced this year:

  • In spring semester, two classes (Psychology as a Science and Profession, and LGBT Studies) influenced me to change my direction with school and my career. I decided that going all the way for a Ph.D. in Pyschology might not be the best plan for me. I may end up doing that, but right now I'm just focusing on a Bachelor's of Psychology AND a Bachelor's in Gender Studies. I might go for a Master's after that, but I'm taking it one step at a time. I am SO excited to study gender studies; I know it's a great fit for me.
  • Allan and I celebrated our first-year anniversary this year! We had a rough patch at the beginning of the year, lived through him going to the hospital which strengthened our bond, yelled at each other for the first time (for only two minutes, and promptly apologized), had a great anniversary celebration, talked about our future, and became best friends. I love you, Allan, you're one of the best parts of my year. (:
  • Some exciting changes happened for some of my friends this year. Emilee, Robbie, and Adrienne moved to California and have their own place and are creating their family within military life. Matt and Aleesha got married! Otto and Alicia got engaged. Santi and Mandy had their first baby, Mathias. Harrison went on his mission. It's been so cool to witness these changes.
  • I, unfortunately, have lost touch with a few (aka most) of my friends this year. But I have also grown closer to new friends, specifically Steven and Sydney. And, even though Emilee moved, we actually talk more than we used to. (: I've also gotten to know some of Allan's friends.
  • This bullet is for something that changed this year that I don't want to tell the world about. It has given me a peace of mind and freedom, and it has been a good change.
  • I turned 19, tried hookah for the first time (with my super cool aunt Michelle!) and didn't really like it.
  • I voted for the first time! This year I got to witness an openly gay senator be elected, an ally President get re-elected, and many states legalize same-sex marriage, among other triumphs! (: It has been a beautiful year in the fight for equality!
  • This year I worked at Chick-fil-A (don't want to talk about it), worked for the second summer at OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center - super awesome job that I love! - and then started working at DesignerLines which has had its pros and cons but right now I like it. I am so grateful that I've had these great opportunities. (:
  • I started stretching my ears (again) and Allan and I are at 4g right now! It's been fun to do it with him. I also got a second piercing on my right earlobe, so yeah I'm pretty badass.
  • I got to watch my sister Cassie turn seventeen, finally get her driver's license, start her senior year, and get voted as an S.B.O.! She also started a very healthy relationship with this semi-cool Kris Kringle-look alike (aka Steven). We (Steven and I) have gotten in a few arguments this year... but are still friends. (:
  • I got to watch my brother Daniel turn fifteen, get his permit (I may or may not have taken him driving for his first time! :O ), start high school at NUAMES (an early college school for smart/motivated kids), and grow into a more social and healthier young man. (:
  • My dad dealt with a lot of changes at work this year, which resulted in him going to D.C. for five days every month. My mom worked part time for a while, was restless, found two new part-time jobs, and I think is still finding her niche. My parents have been great this year and I am very grateful for them. (:
  • I volunteered during the summer at the Utah Pride Center, which was so cool. I also volunteered a bit at a senior center for one of my classes and it was a good experience.
  • This year, I experienced the best class of my life, Social Health and Diversity. It opened my eyes to the different groups of people that are oppressed, and what can be done to fight for social justice and equality. From it I have a strengthened passion for equality, social justice, community, unity, and love. Ugh, I can't even describe the beautiful change my soul went through because of this class. (:
  • Lately I feel like my soul has taken a little bit of a break from growing, comparatively. Maybe it's just part of being older. I feel like I know and love myself, I know what I want in life (kinda), and I am relatively mature when it comes to communication and emotion. But learning and growing is my purpose and fulfillment in life, so I know this stagnation won't last long. I feel pretty comfortable with my life, which makes me uneasy! I think I feel more alive when I'm hurting and changing and learning and growing. I'm not always a huge fan of change, but I guess what I'm saying is that I hope next year brings more growth and learning.

I am looking forward to a new year of experiences! Here are some resolutions I have for 2013:
  • I resolve to not get married and not get pregnant this year.
  • I resolve to graduate from Salt Lake Community College with my Associates in Sociology, then move on to the University of Utah to pursue bachelor's degrees in Gender Studies and Psychology.
  • I resolve to continue learning how to communicate with and love people, especially my family, friends, and boyfriend.
  • I resolve to expand my mind, build neuron connections, break down walls and assumptions, and learn about the world around me.
  • I resolve to continue to grow and learn about myself.
  • I resolve to continue learning español!
  • I resolve to continue to fight for equality (specifically for LGBTQAQA people) and learn about oppression and how we can fix it.
This has been such a long post. Even though I write these firstly for myself, thank you so much for reading them. (:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Month of Thanks

I have a stye in my eye, and it sucks; I can't wear contacts or makeup for a few days. My left eyelid is swollen and pink and tender. But, I am very thankful that I don't have anything going on this weekend; I'm thankful this didn't happen last weekend! This situation has also made me thankful that I have my eyesight, even though it isn't perfect.

I complain about not getting enough hours at my workplace, but I am really very thankful for the hours that I do have. I get to wear sweats to work, it's a casual and calm environment, I get free clothes from it, and I get paid more per hour than I think I ought to. 

I am extremely thankful that I have the opportunity to learn. I am thankful that I live in a country that allows me, as a female, to go to school. I am thankful that I have a tuition waiver. I am thankful for my great professors. I am thankful that I am able to have enough time to do homework and relax. I am thankful for one of my favorite classes ever, Social Health and Diversity (in which I am thankful for my open-minded classmates, fun and reliable groupmates, and brilliant, funny, and honest professor). I am thankful for my brain.

I am thankful that I get to vote. I am thankful that I live in a country that at least attempts to involve its citizens in governing. I am thankful that I live in a relatively safe and well-off country. 

I am immensely thankful that I am able to live at home right now. I am thankful that I have a good relationship with my parents and siblings, so that living at home is a good situation. I am thankful that my parents allow me to continue to live in their home, without paying rent. I am thankful that I still get to be on their insurances, and I'm thankful that my parents buy me groceries and other things. I am thankful that I live in a safe area.

I am thankful that I have my car! I am thankful that my dad picked it out and spent time and money on it so that I can drive it safely and without worrying about it breaking down. I am thankful that it gets decent mpg. I am thankful that it is mine and I don't owe anything on it. I am thankful that I pay for its gas, insurance, and upkeep, and that I have the ability to do so. I am thankful for its stereo system and that I get to enjoy listening and singing along to music whenever I'm in my car. I'm thankful that I don't have to rely on public transportation to get places.

I am thankful for my family. I am thankful that I get to watch my siblings become wonderful young adults, and are both smart, healthy, peaceful, and ambitious people. I am thankful that my parents are healthy, fun, good communicators, loving, and caring. I am thankful that I get to hang out with my extended family about every month and that we care about each other. I am thankful that I know that I always have people I can rely on.

I am thankful for my best friend and boyfriend, Allan. I am thankful that he is always there for me. I am thankful that I am not lonely. I am thankful that I get to learn about his culture and language. I am thankful that he is patient, respectful, considerate, and affectionate. 

I am thankful for clean water. I am thankful for having an abundance of food. I am thankful for having an abundance of clothing. I am thankful for shelter, and even shelter for my car. I am thankful for TV shows. I am thankful for the beauty of the world! I am thankful for facebook. I am thankful for good health care and insurance. I am thankful for the ability to work and go to school. I am thankful for my laptop. I am thankful for cell phones. I am thankful for alarm clocks. I am thankful for sleep. I am thankful for laughter. I am thankful that Thanksgiving is coming up and I get to spend time with family, eat good food, and celebrate the birth of a new family member! I have so much to be thankful for!

Comment below and tell me what you are thankful for!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Today in my Social Health and Diversity class we talked about transgenderism. I loved the discussion and it affirmed my desire to study Gender Studies next year at the U. On my drive home I was thinking about what we had learned and discussed today, and it strengthened my desire to break down gender boxes. I want to teach people, especially future generations, that we don't have to place people in only one of two boxes. I am committing that, if I have kids, I will not put them in gender boxes. I will name my hypothetical future children gender ambiguous names. I will encourage choice and freedom when it comes to dress and appearance. (There are some things I struggle with though. If my infant should wear formal attire for an occasion, what do I put hir in? A tuxedo? A dress? How can I choose if I don't really know yet what this person is like?) In class we talked about how gender identity forms at as young as age three or four in all people. I want my hypothetical future children to be free to be who they are. I want them to make decisions about themselves, and not be told by society what they should wear and how they should act. Honestly, I would love to be a parent to a queer (transgender, gay, etc) person.

In America, society places people into two gender boxes: women and men. There are other cultures in the world, currently and historically, that have three and even five genders. The Diné and Navajo tribes recognize "two-spirit" people who are spiritually gifted, because they have an understanding of males and females, and are therefore highly revered. A subculture of America is the transgender. Transgender includes intersex people, transsexual people, and genderqueer (genderless) people. I think American society still denies the possibility of ambiguity when it comes to gender and sex. I want to work to change that.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Diversity and Christen - An Introduction to Understanding and Discussion

*A disclaimer (that applies to any other post as well): you, the reader, and I, the author, have different values, norms, cultures, experiences, worldviews, backgrounds, etc. We probably aren't going to understand each other completely, or at all. That is perfectly okay! I think it's beautiful, in fact. If you would like to voice your disagreement, questions, curiousity, etc, I welcome it. All I ask is that you consider treating me and others with respect while discussing, and have ownership of your personal opinions.*

I started learning about and appreciating diversity a while ago, at least four years ago. I don't exactly remember when it all started. I'm assuming it was a class, maybe psychology in 10th grade? The mysterious origin of this way of viewing the world kinda adds to its beauty.

So ever since I was 15, if not before then, I have been passionate about learning about other cultures and ways of life and surrounding myself with different people. I think a lot of this has to do with growing up in Utah. Utah, and especially Davis County, is very white. It is also very Mormon; there are many LDS people and the LDS church is very involved in Utah government. Other stereotypes and majorities about Utah include: Republican, modest, kind, happy, traditional (which to some also means closed-minded), structured, etc. The main point of this is that Utah is NOT very diverse. *I would like to point out that Salt Lake City is much more diverse than the rest of Utah. But I have only lived there three months in my lifetime as a newborn, so it didn't affect my upbringing and worldview as much as Davis County has.* Although I have mainly grown up in Davis County, Utah, I also lived in Maryland from late-1999 to mid-2001. I was 7 and 8 at the time. Maryland is much more diverse than Utah! I think seeing this different view of the world also contributed to my appreciation for diversity.

I am currently taking an amazing class called Social Health and Diversity. (So far,) This class focuses on dominant and subordinate groups, the power difference between them, and what we can do to make things more equal. Dominant groups are groups that tend to have unearned privilege in society, not because of anything they do or don't do, but simply because of a part of who they are of how they are perceived to be. Dominant groups in America include white people, men, heterosexual people, non-disabled people, middle aged people, English speakers, native borns and citizens, Christians, thin/average weighted people, wealthy people, formally educated people (college), etc. Subordinate groups are groups that tend to have less privilege in society, not because of anything they do or don't do, but simply because of a part of who they are or how they are perceived to be. Subordinate groups in America include people of color, women and transgender people, non-heterosexual/LGBTQ/queer people, disabled people, children and elderly people, ESL/accented/non-English speakers, immigrants and non-citizens, non-Christians, overweight people, poor people, informally educated people (not college, not high school), etc. (I might explain more in later posts as I learn about this whole concept, but I think that's all I will explain for now. If you have any questions, ask! Please, don't freak out or feel bad before you have a better understanding of this concept. It's a tough one to swallow and grasp.)

So, with that explanation, I will rephrase my earlier statement. For a long time, at least since I was 15, I've been interested in learning about people in the subordinate groups. Although it may be subconscious, I have surrounded myself with people who are part of these subordinate groups. At the extreme, I have even at times not wanted to belong to the dominant groups. I want my future family to be multicultural, multiracial, multilingual, free thinkers, and to travel the world and see all different kinds of people and ways of living, and appreciate them all.

I've attempted to give insight to someone about this concept with this little analogy before: Most of my life I've been in a field of daisies. Daises are beautiful flowers. As I've had more experiences, I've seen sunflowers, and roses, and birds of paradise, etc. I want to be surrounded by all different kinds of flowers. There is nothing wrong with daises, and I still want to see them, but I also want to see other kinds of flowers.

Because of this passion and worldview, I describe myself as an "open-minded person," and living up to this is important to me. Recently, a friend told me that I am judgmental. This hit me pretty hard. I didn't want to hear it. But I am going to be honest here, I am not perfect. I am human, therefore I judge. Lately I've realized that, since I consider myself to be open-minded, sometimes I can't understand people who I perceive to be closed-minded, or at least who don't value diversity and respect in the same way that I do. I am admitting that it is difficult for me to understand people who make racist/sexist/homophobic/etc comments. I judge them. I want them to be more like me (because the way I am is correct, right? haha). But guess what, newsflash! People are different. People have different experiences, worldviews, flaws and talents, values, etc. No matter what, we are all valueable human beings who deserve respect. And although I'd like to change everyone (including myself) into non-judgmental, equality-loving, perfect people, it is just not going to happen. However, working on my own issues, expanding my own viewpoint, and learning about myself and others is something that I believe I can do to make the world a better place. I need to be reminded over and over again to let others be and focus on self-improvement. (Not to say that I'll ignore the growth and well-being of others; I just need to accept that ultimately it is out of my hands.) *At this point, I would like to apologize to anyone who has felt judged by me. I really do value you as an equal and worthy person, and I'm sorry that has not shown.*

I feel like this post is kind of a rambling of all the thoughts I've had for the past weeks, and even months and years, about this topic. I might edit it as I reread it and learn more. If you have any questions for clarification or bigger-picture understanding, please ask! Either on here or a more personal setting. Thanks for reading (:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Today is "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" as brought about by Mike Huckabee. It is a really difficult day for me.

The point of this day is to appreciate the donations made by CfA's CEOs to anti-gay (or "pro-traditional marriage") organizations.

I have gone back and forth today - and for a while - about whether or not I should support and work for CfA. I am super passionate about LGBTQ rights. I've also loved CfA since I was a little girl (it is tasty!). I made the decision to work for CfA Sugarhouse last November fully aware that CfA is founded and run by Christian people and Christian viewpoints, which include the support of "traditional marriage." But the past few weeks the media aobut this has gotten out of control. Pro-queer people have decided to boycott CfA. In turn, pro-traditional marriage people have made a decision to spend money and eat at CfA today in their support of CfA's controversial donations. Here in America we have the freedom to do these sorts of things. It is acceptable.

Here's what's not acceptable. The media claims that CfA has donated money to Exodus International. Exodus International is an organization that strives to change gay people to straight, sometimes using reparative therapy. Reparative therapy is harmful and can cause long-term damage to clients' self-esteem and even their sexual health! (Without getting too graphic, it can permanently damage the function of sexual organs. That is effed up.) There has been no concrete, researched evidence that reparative therapy works, either. I do not believe that CfA's donations to Exodus International, and other similar organizations, is acceptable.

Although I do believe that some people are "on the right side of history" on this issue and others are "on the wrong side of history," I still believe that everyone is entitled to their opinions. But here is another thing that is not acceptable: bashing people on either side for their beliefs. A reason why I'm so passionate about LGBTQ rights is because I value love and equality/anti-discrimination above anything. It's obviously too optimistic, but I wish we could disagree on this issue and not hate each other for it. My parents are good examples of Christians who support "traditional marriage" but still show love to their daughters' LGBTQ friends and support their ally daughter. It is possible to respectfully disagree. Do I want to punch people who make ignorant anti-gay remarks? Uh yeah! But I choose to pity them and focus my energy on positive actions to express my LGBTQ support.

I almost feel guilty for working at CfA though. How can I work for a company that supports exactly the opposite of something I'm so passionate about? Something that comes to mind as I try to reconcile this is that CfA Sugarhouse has an out gay employee! There are also plenty of allies there. My individual workplace does not discriminate. (I haven't been there for a few months due to my summer job, so I guess things could be different now, but this is how it was a few months ago.) Should I ignore what Dan Cathy decides to do with CfA's money? I feel like that's what I have been doing. But now I feel like I shouldn't do that.

I feel like I'm in the middle of a fight between a friend and a significant other. I value and support my significant other (LGBTQ-ness) very much. My friend (Chick-fil-A) does not like my significant other and even donates money against hir*. But I don't want to just hate my friend. It's complicated. I'm sure many of you reading this won't understand my struggle. And that's okay. I can hardly grasp it.

Ultimately, we have the freedom to boycott or support Chick-fil-A. Just like we have the freedom to boycott or support JC Penny (for being pro-LGBTQ). I guess I have the freedom to be torn and not make a decision right now. (: But please please please please! just try to think twice before you say things and make sure they're respectful, no matter what "side of history" you are on.

I do want to make it clear that I absolutely do not support this day. If I was actively working at CfA Sugarhouse I would refuse to work today. It would make me sad for society.

*"Hir" (pronounced like "here") is a non-gender-specific term that can be used in replace of "her" or "him." "Ze" can be used instead of "she" or "he."

***UPDATE: I chose to quit working at Chick-fil-A, partly because of this, and partly because I got a job opportunity that was honestly better than working fast food. Overall I do not regret my decision.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I just officially finished my English 2850 GLBT Studies class at Salt Lake Community College. It was the best class I've taken so far. It caused me to realize the depth of my passion for LGBTQ rights and support. I've been raised in a conservative home, not really knowing much about queer people, but hearing that it was a sin. As I reached my teenage years I decided that I did not believe that homosexuality was wrong, and my support grow stronger throughout the years, especially when my close friend came out to me. But this class made me realize how much I love learning about queerness! I know many people nowadays would say that if they lived in the 60s, they would've Marched on Washington with MLK. In fifty years when same-sex marriages are normal and the gender binary system is broken down, I don't want to look back and regret not marching. Treating people like second-class citizens simply based on who they love is ridiculously wrong. It's just as wrong as segregation. 

Sometimes I wonder, in twenty years when queer people have their rights and no longer need activists, what will I do? I mean, could I really make a life-long career out of being passionate about equality? The answer is yes, I can. There are thousands of other people out there who are being discriminated against and treated unequally. Gay rights are the hot topic right now, but queers will get their rights and a new group of people will rise up and fight. 

I just have to throw my two cents in about religion vs. queer. (And this is probably/hopefully all I'll say about it because it gets messy and offensive.) Christians eat shellfish. Christians wear clothing made out of two different materials. Christians get tattoos. Why can't Christians love? (Yes, there is a double meaning in that.) I don't intend to hate or offend. I just ask you to stop and ask yourself, What Would Jesus Do?

I could write about this forever - and I probably will - so expect further, deeper blogs about this in the future.

A few things:
-LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer. Ally, Pansexual, Asexual, and Questioning could all be added to that as well (feel free to ask about of any of these, although I'll probably blog about them in the future). (:
-I realize that the fight for civil rights in the 60s is not exactly the same thing as the fight for queer equality right now. But it seems similar enough to me to make a decent comparison.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Is it possible to love fully without expecting anything in return? (unconditional love?) Is is possible to love fully without receiving anything in return?

How can one work on treating others perfectly? How can one learn to ignore one's own emotions and consistently show love and respect to others? How can we show love when the people we love make us mad?

Being a good friend and having good relationships are some of the most difficult things in life. They are also the most important and most rewarding.

Humans are not perfect. And sometimes we don't treat each other perfectly. And it sucks. It really sucks. As much as we try to treat others perfectly, we fail. I guess that's why forgiveness is so important in relationships. 

trust forgiveness respect honor spontaneity honesty understanding commitment empathy consistency
hugs crying laughter smiles

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sometimes I try to do homework, then end up journaling

Where I’m at with life and such as of Thursday, February 22, 2012:

                I’ve known for years that I wanted to study psychology in college. I love learning about psychology, which made me come to the conclusion that I should do research, and even be a professor – making learning about psychology a life-long endeavor. In order to achieve this, I need a Ph.D. in psychology. I am currently taking a class called Psychology as a Science and Profession. Because of this class, I am realizing that I am not cut out for graduate school. It costs a lot of time, money, and stress (which includes a lack of social life, the near impossibility of having a family at the time, not being able to work outside of school, etc), and I don’t feel like I am willing to sacrifice that.
                So the question is, What next?
                Plan B: Get a bachelor’s degree in something related to psychology (aka something that I am still passionate about) that allows me to get a decent job/career without further schooling. (although Plan C or D or E etc could possibly be getting a master’s.) I’m tossing around ideas for majors such as Sociology or Gender Studies (but I, again, have no idea what careers I could make out of those degrees). I love learning about human behavior, how society functions, different cultures, gender, LGBT studies, etc.
                Whatever I end up doing, the following are the things I value most in life. Helping people, enjoying every day, and continually learning and teaching are three very important criteria that must be met in my future career. I want to have a family; I think I want to start having kids in probably my late twenties (=I want to have a job that is flexible so that I can be a good parent). Along those lines, I want to make enough money to (help) support my family and give my kids a good life. I personally need a perfect balance of productiveness and down time. I can’t be busy all the time, it overwhelms me and completely stresses me out and I don’t feel like I can enjoy life that way.
                I feel like I am at a point in my life where I am still discovering who I am and what I want to do with life. The prospect of choosing what I want to study and do for the rest of my life is overwhelming. Right now, my goal is to move out within the next two years. I don’t see myself being able to do that and pay for school ($5,000 a year at the U, plus books). I don’t want to know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. (Is that unrealistic at my age?)
                I had a crazy idea today. What if after this semester I started working full-time as a receptionist or something similar (side note: I could see myself being a receptionist for a living and not necessarily be passionate about it but I don’t think I’d be unhappy in that job.), maybe going to school part-time if possible, and just saving up money and eventually moving out? Is that unrealistic? (still wanting to live without too much stress, and not living paycheck-to-paycheck) P.S. I came to this idea because lately I have been stressed with school/homework and unexcited about my current job and stressed about money.
                There are so many variables. I am at a turning point in my life. It’s overwhelming. And also exciting.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Body Image

I am sick of the media telling me how I should look in order to feel beautiful.

I also hear people say that eating right and exercising should be done - yes, to have a nice and healthy body - but moreso to make you feel good. I fully believe in that, but I also know that sitting on a couch watching a comedy or eating a Chocolate Volcano from Thai Foon also makes me feel good!
I have disproportionately thick legs (which my boyfriend loves) and I don't have a flat stomache, but I have nice curves and frankly, I think I'm sexy. My stretch marks remind me of a gallant zebra. I think I'm beautiful, and that's all that matters.

I realize that not being in the habit of exercising will probably come back to haunt me as I grow older. I may be naive. But I am comfortable with my lifestyle and comfortable in my own skin.

Friday, January 20, 2012

That Awkward Moment When You Treat Your Blog as a Diary

Emotion is what makes the human experience so valuable, deep, and worthwile. There are moments when I have wished I couldn't feel emotion, because the emotion I was feeling was less than desireable. Lately I've noticed myself being apathetic. I used to find happiness in little things, and take a moment each day to appreciate the world's beauty. Such things occur rarely now. I ask myself why this is so, and what I can do to fix it. But on the other hand, I realize that this apathy is an emotion equally as important to experience as all the others; maybe I should just wait it out.

I feel like this has been more therapeutic than insightful or "brilliant." So thanks for listening for a moment; we could all use a little therapy sometimes.