What You’re Worth

I’m not good with math
Or numbers or change
but here’s an equation
I’ll try to explain
if I start with a positive
and lose any cents
My account becomes negative
make any sense?
I know you don’t get it
Just hear me out
I’ve run out of worth
causing debt and doubt
I don’t take loans
grants or gifts
in the form of cheap thrill
Or fake relationships
so try and keep quiet
don’t fuss or holler
Bc what’s your two cents
Compared to my dollar
You still don’t get it
so let me just say it
I am changing for me
And no opinion can delay it
So in Dollars, cents
pennies or quarters
know your self worth
And stop taking orders
So better yourself
and don’t be ashamed
add up your value
Bc everyone needs change

Racism In The Queer Community

LGBTQ+ representation has grown massively in the last ten years. There is no denying that in today’s’ western society we have come far in terms of agenting love that isn’t traditionally heteronormative. As wonderful as this is, the representation tends to focus on able bodied, cisgender white males. There is a stereotype for gay men that is yet to be challenged in mainstream media. Just like in any group of people, there is more than one type of person living within it which isn’t realised, in many cases, by 21st Century inhabitants.

Queer love shown on TV to bring ‘diversity’ to the shows is so likely to be between two impossibly good looking white men with ripped bodies, one of them playing a more  campy, overdone effeminate ‘gay best friend’ character. The other tends to be a hyper masculine guy with intense muscles, showcasing the two extremes of gay stereotypes. If there is a show or film with a gay character in, they are rarely the main character or play a powerful role, like a CEO or any type of leader. If anything they are a b*tchy personal assistant with pursed lips and high cheekbones, drinking lattes in high fashion outfits. If there is a black gay character, he is once again the sassy gay best friend personality, playing to the stereotypes where, like before, he is in a position where he has no significant power or authority.

As a young queer teen myself, I was constantly looking for shows and films that could validate my feelings. At the time, the Netflix ‘LGBT section’ was somewhat limited and I found myself re watching the same films about white boys falling in love. To contradict myself however, films like Moonlight and the channel 4 series of Cucumber, Tofu and Banana have been big steps in achieving suitable representation that shows off real diversity within the LGBTQ+ body. There IS some representation out there for communities of minorities but work should be done to be more inclusive to the many types of people living within the queer world. It isn’t just ethnicity representation that should be recognised either. Disabled, transgender, bisexual, Muslim, intersexual and many more groups are failing to be represented as their respective communities and the queer folk within them.

The terms ‘no femmes, no Asians, no blacks’ is a phrase that comes up a lot. It is most likely to be found on a Grindr account, or any page looking for gay relationships/hook-ups. There is a line between preference and racism, in my opinion ‘no blacks, no Asians’ no favours the latter. Even as a young female, who is not yet able to join such popular sites, I have seen the term been tossed around far too casually. When you actually dissect the phrase what are they saying? They are eliminating entire races and types of people as if they are too good for them. As if they are not worthy of the likely average sex the likely average guy has to offer. To group whole races and assume they are all the same is outdated and seems reserved for conservative thinkers. Queer people can be mistook for liberals, a believable theory however not always so true. In the last US election, presidential elect Donald Trump boasted that he had LGBT supporters, who turned out to unsurprisingly be made up of a majority of white men. Rich, white men. Men that create racist, sexist, islamophobic statements…whilst claiming to be liberals. Milo Yiannopoulos is the perfect candidate for this title. A far-right, British media personality who, whilst being openly gay, furiously supports the republican party, is a strong opponent for the Black Lives Matter movement but claims that he can’t be racist because of  “the intimate relationships he is easily able to strike with African American individuals”  He also sells hoodies reading ‘feminism is cancer’ titling himself a second wave feminist and calling women ‘common prostitutes’.  The way he peddles hatred and offensive material yet is still a supposed ‘representative’ for the gay community is sad. He represents nothing the community stands for, which is, in my eyes, generally and simply equality and love between all people.

The whole truth is that the LGBTQ+ Community is more than just able bodied white folk. It is a beautifully diverse community full of people from all ethnicities, body abilities, backgrounds, heritage, body types and genders. There are There should be more media focusing on other parts of the community, like Muslim, Latino, Trans and disabled people living within the body. In the first world we have come far in showing women in positions on power in adverts and TV. I can only hope we are not far off doing the same for queer people.

5 Tips for Conquering High School

I’m sure you’ve heard all the boring advice you could possibly hear about High School. I’m not here to tell you all those same, generic points. Instead, I want to give you the real survival guide of what to do and what not to do so that you actually enjoy your high school experience. Think of this as Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide 2.0

  1. Preparing for the Work

This is probably one of the most important parts of high school in terms of academics. There is more work that comes with high school and this means TIME MANAGEMENT. I cannot stress this enough, having good time management skills is so important. I know a lot of kids who hear the words “long term assignment” and just assume they have all the time in the world. Please, whatever you do, don’t just assume you can blow it off until the night before it’s due. It helps to keep an assignment notebook in your backpack or purse so that way you can plan out your time and do a little bit of the project every night. I know you’ve probably heard it a million times but for real it helps to manage your time.

2. AP/Honors!!

Being a part of an honors or AP course is a great experience! The course is a bit harder than your average class though and this means that you need to prepare yourself. Any work that was given to you over the summer for these classes is extremely important. I know no one wants to do summer work but if you don’t do it you’ll only dig a bigger hole for yourself come the start of the new school year. Doing little bits at a time is probably the best solution so you don’t have to do it all the night before school starts. When it comes time for the actual class make sure you have all your materials and that you complete all your work on time. Falling behind in the class will only make it seem harder. This goes for all classes, staying on top of your work or even doing some in advance can be very helpful.

3. Be Active!

No I am not talking about exercise (but that’s important too!) I’m talking about being involved in your school! Trust me if there is one thing I regret in high school it is that I wasn’t involved enough. Go all out for spirit days, go wild at dances, attend sports events! Have the time of your life at these events who cares what everyone else is saying, because in reality they wish they were having as much fun as you. When that Friday night football game rolls around and you can’t decide whether or not you should go always decide to GO! You’ll regret it if you don’t and being around all your friends and cheering on your school is always a fun time!

4. Keep your friends close by

Being a part of the “popular” group is not important, having a group of 4 or 5 close friends is just as fun. The need to “fit in” may seem like the most important thing in the world at the start of high school, but in reality this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The more you try and fit in the farther you become from your true self and there is no use in trying to be someone you’re not because you won’t be your happiest self. Being yourself in high school can definitely be hard but you’ll be happy because it is easy to be yourself but hard to be someone else.

5. New Experiences

High School comes with a lot of new experiences which you may be scared of and that’s ok. From boys, girls and learning about the college process high school is a lot to handle. Keeping an open mind can help get you through all of this, staying positive is another essential part of making high school all that more manageable. What I like to do is use the 5 rule. If something is keeping you down or making you sad just ask yourself “will this matter in 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 months or even 5 years?” if you answer no to these then don’t let whatever it is that’s bringing you down bring you down! Always talk to someone about how you feel whether it be a friend, teacher, sibling etc. Keeping your feelings and emotions bottled up isn’t healthy and won’t help you in the long run.

I hope that these 5 points help you through High School! Remember that high school can be so much fun if you surround yourself with positive people and try your hardest! Have fun in high school and be yourself! Wish you the best of luck. Always remember to take care of yourself and keep yourself healthy.

Photo by Amanda Sandlin on Unsplash