This is my nephew. Just in case it escaped your attention, he is dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
Yesterday I was out for lunch with some of my family, including my nephew who I hadn’t seen for a few months. He was very excited to see me and I was him.
As soon as we sat in the restaurant, he started pulling out some princess figurines (which he had amusingly named Rihanna and Gaga), and he was explaining to me how beautiful they were. He told me he wished he could be as beautiful as them even though he was a boy.
This kind of comment was nothing new for him.
After we all started eating, I noticed he was facing away from us. He turned around with a tear rolling down his cheek and refused to say what was wrong. This was very out of character for him. He was usually so attention seeking and theatrical, and incredibly intelligent for his age.
After a while he put his head into his arms on the table and started crying a lot more. I leaned into him and asked what was wrong again.
He whispered really quietly to me “I don’t want to be weird.”
I responded to him saying “Weird? I’m weird. Weird is good, weird is different!”
"But I don’t want to be different, it’s wrong," he replied through tear-stained fingers.
Angry, I started “Let me tell you what’s wrong. You are five years old and people are already telling you what you should and shouldn’t say. Or what you should and shouldn’t wear. You’re crying because somebody decided what boys are supposed to do and what girls are supposed to do, and nobody should differ from that. Well, let me tell you a little something about normal…
It used to be normal to laugh at people because they had different coloured skin. It used to be normal to bully somebody if they were a boy and they loved another boy, or a girl who loved another girl. It used to be normal to pick on someone for being too fat or too skinny. It used to be normal to pick on different, and the worst part is that a lot of that stuff is still going on.
Why would you want to be normal, you’re extraordinary! If anybody tells you that you can’t be a beautiful princess, you put on that fucking dress because you are beautiful and you are a little weird, but nobody normal ever made a fucking bit of difference in the world. You wear whatever the hell you want, and like whatever the hell you like, because it’s people like you that are going to make a real, lasting change.
The world needs a lot more weird and a lot less normal.”
And he understood exactly what I meant. He lunged in for a hug and kissed me on the cheek before uttering under his breath “What does ‘fucking’ mean?”
I love that kid more than I’ve ever loved anything. Don’t make his generation fight our battles.
Shaming of every variety needs to end now, we should be celebrating different, not condemning it. Not just for society as it is now, but for society as it will be.
How many more tears do we need our children to cry?
“Don’t make his generation fight our battles.”
To catch you up on current events, the House Republicans are currently lying on the floor, holding their breath, and turning blue, in a last ditch effort to get someone to make the Affordable Care Act (A/K/A Obamacare) go away. What terrifies them is not the idea that the program will fail, but that, in fact, it will succeed. And the thought of working people, children, and the poor having health coverage makes them panicky for some reason.
To that end, the Tea Party noise machine has done everything it can to spread misinformation about the law, prevent it from being implemented, and block the government from providing basic information about how the Affordable Care Act works. This is a familiar tactic from other recent political battles: frantically cut the legs out from under the law at the legislative level, then scream that it obviously doesn’t work, and try to have it eliminated.
Here are the facts the hissy-fit crew don’t want you to know:
If you have insurance, you keep it. Nothing changes.
If you apply for insurance, and you have a preexisting condition, most insurers can no longer deny you coverage.
If you can’t afford insurance, the government will help you pay.
Your insurance coverage, whatever it is - whether it is supplied by your employer, or you go and get it yourself in the new health insurance marketplaces - will help pay for everything from preventative care, to doctor’s visits, to prescriptions. Because working people shouldn’t be one accident or illness away from bankruptcy. This is a simple matter of decency and social fairness. I am confused why anyone thinks otherwise.
Some people worry if they don’t get insurance, they will go to jail. This is a falsehood. However, in 2014, if you do not have health insurance, you have to get some, or pay a fee. And you say: but why do I need health insurance?? I’m not sick and I don’t need medical care! But if you get hit by a drunk driver, you will need care. Or if you slip on the ice. Or if you’re diagnosed with a malignant tumor. Everyone is in the health care market… ill health is an inevitable part of the human existence.
Don’t worry signing up will be hard! Help finding a plan is available.
The ACA means your insurer cannot drop you just because you get sick. It also means insurers cannot set arbitrary limits on how much they will spend on your care each year. Need more care? Get more money.
The ACA protects your choice of doctors, and makes sure your children can stay on your health plan until they’re 26. It guarantees your right to appeal if your insurer tries to dick you out of your fair coverage.
Guess what else? The money you’re spending on insurance? The insurance companies now face an 80/20 requirement, meaning that they have to spend 80% of what they make on health care, not on marketing, or administration, or other happy-crappy. Now they have to do less selling, more doing.
There’s a lot more to learn, if you want - all the facts are right here - but there is no reason to be afraid of the law. The goal is to protect families from the worst: the debilitating illness that wipes them out financially and closes the door to opportunity.
For creative people, the ACA is probably the best thing to happen in decades. I can’t tell you how many comic book creators are one sickness from having everything swept away. The creative class has been one of the great engines of the American economy, and in that way, the Republican attack on the Affordable Care Act is an attack on what America does best: invent and create.
Again: all the information you need, including how to sign up, is right here. Take a few minutes and get some facts for yourself. You won’t need more than a few minutes - this is simple, not hard, and a positive, not a negative.
By all means, reblog this post. It’s important for people to get good information. You can help by passing along the essential facts.
Popular representation of “LGBT,” to scale.
900 lines of code trying to find out why someone couldn’t register on a site hosted on my server.
I had an answer to this one previously, but the answer has changed. The new answer is I will be helping out at Day of Hope at Bartlesville First Assembly of God in Bartlesville, OK on Aughust 18th, 2012.
Real life heros like emergency response personnel.
Possibly performers who do a good job, but that largely is subjective :)
Sorry, but I couldn’t care less what celebrities wear, and don’t care enough about outfits in general to bother voting for one that wasn’t designed by a friend or family member.
Ask me questions about Anything http://www.formspring.me/joeyteel
If you haven’t gotten this yet, Tumblr is erroneously calling Missing E a hack, when it’s just a browser plugin, and Tumblr is trying to force everyone to uninstall ME or waive their ability to contact customer support should anything go wrong with their account. Which is pretty shitty. I mean,…
Wel, dang, I got the request again. I didn’t bother to switch to a ME-less browser to click uninstall, but still, clicking on it didn’t actually uninstall it.
As someone pointed out, they got the request while using Tumblr on an iPad, so obviously Tumblr doesn’t actually know if you’re using ME or not.
I don’t want Tumblr to be douchey. I’ve been having a good time here.
I can actually top the iPad: I was testing a theme on another blog to see if it degrades gracefully in the Lynx Web Browser and got that message. I tried to get a screenshot of it, but sadly my ssh client crashed due to a network error not long after so I didn’t have a chance.