Tag Archives: lgbtq

October social life and Halloween costume planning (update)

Life is pretty decent at the moment, except when I’m faced with Edexcel Geography, the bane of my existence. Most of my happiest days coincide when I’m with my friends or when I’m up north – London is overrated, fight me. 😛

Anyway my friendship groups seem stable now, or maybe stagnant. I now think that drifting from my former closest friend was actually good for me. When one door closes, another opens, as they say.

A friend of a friend added me on Facebook a while ago but now we like each other’s posts/dank memes. I seem to have a knack for encountering LGBTQ+ people or maybe vice versa. Our mutual friend actually got us to talk to each other recently. I’m learning some surprising and exciting things.

So October has been an unusually social month for me, hence this post. Don’t worry, I’m getting to the Halloween part. My friend, let’s call her L (not to be confused with L Lawliet), invited me as her plus-one to the Halloween party this week. credit-l-lawliet-smile

This is awesome for me because a) this household doesn’t celebrate Halloween – my only (distant) memories of past Halloweens involve me having chicken pox and our front door getting egged, b) I don’t get invited to parties, yeah I know, what a surprise and c) I get to spend more time with my friends. (Also it’s weird how massive Halloween seems in America. Or is that just in the movies about those rich suburban families? Either way, I feel like I’m missing out.)

Okay, moving on. I planned my outfit within a day or two and I might post pictures. It’s going to be inspired by the one and only Carmilla Karnstein, except I’m not going to wear fangs or fake blood or a 19th century dress. I’m going as the webseries one:carmilla-s1

Season 3 completely exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait for the movie. Here is how I would describe it:


I told N from one of my classes about the party and she kindly shared some party wisdom which was: don’t be awkward or that’s what people remember you as at the next party and that it’s good to have at least two friends there so it’s easier to talk to new people…wish me luck.

On the weekend, I went up for a uni open day and revisited a lecture. I spent more time shopping in town than on campus but oh well…I got most of the components for my outfit, including a pair of Doc Martens. I swear everyone I’ve seen with those are either relatable or really cool. The lady in the shop told me to say ‘yes I’m a student’ so I did and I got 10% off! And on the way home I saw a girl with yellow laced ones and she had a tote bag with a satanic star on it which reminded me of Black Butler.

So how is everyone spending Halloween?

Notes: featured image and other pics not mine

I went through all my blog posts and added a link to the song suggestions. Not sure if anyone takes notice of this lil aspect of my blog but music is love, music is life 😀

Song: mOBSCENE by Marilyn Manson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdwZV4Y95Nw) – a slightly different choice to usual but I tried listening to a bit of Manson since my friend likes him, so. He scares me a little though…


Head Full, Mouth Empty

In one of my Sociology lessons, a class discussion activity was to give reasons why given acts/things should be legalised or criminalised.

(Side note: in the UK in 2013 a guy now nicknamed the “Naked Rambler” was jailed for 11 months for defying the order which stipulated covering up in public. Meanwhile in the US, Brock Turner only served 3 months for raping an unconscious woman. Not directly comparable I know, and I’m not totally against public nudity because it’s all natural, but I think we ought to get our priorities straight…)

Anyway, back to the main topic, the one that amused me was ‘why heterosexuality should be banned’. My teacher said that if homosexuality can be banned, why can’t that? As the Interactionist perspective is that crime is simply a social construction (we’re doing the Crime and Deviance unit). Sorry not sorry for posting a lot about LGBTQ+.

It’s just reassuring to know my class and teacher seem open-minded.

So the suggestions were as follows:

Although, I didn’t actually contribute to the discussion – it’s very rare for me to voluntarily; either I’m worried my answer is going to sound stupid or I am too shy to say anything. And I have a lot of thoughts and opinions which is one of the reasons why I took this subject, so I need to work on that.

Notes: featured image not mine.

For further reading I suggest Gillian Dunne’s study of the division of labour as it provides some insight.

I’d love to hear about anything interesting you’ve learned or any thought-provoking discussions you’ve had recently. 🙂

I had the same problem as last time posting this, so here is a repost.

Also thank you everyone who has been commenting and liking and following or even just taking the time read. I’ve noticed the poems seem the most popular type of post on my blog so if you’ve followed for those you might be disappointed by ‘normal’ posts (apologies) although I’ve had a lack of inspiration and I’m really busy with my A-levels at the moment. So I posted again this week because I felt bad. I will endeavour to post more poems though! And I have two stories I’m thinking of writing and posting in chapters.

Song: Crosses by José González (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcKnlhL97rs)

Coming out this summer: me

So you’ve probably guessed due to the title – I came out today (to my parents).

I like writing about things that matter to me, like most people like writing and reading stuff that matters to them. And that’s enough reason for this post to exist. If you want to talk, the door is always open 🙂 Hope this post means something to someone.

5 things I’ve learned are:

  • There is never a “perfect time” to come out (if you want to) and it’s never a one time thing
  • IT’S OKAY TO BE GAY or whatever, unapologetically
  • Your past experiences don’t define your sexuality/gender identity
  • Sexuality/gender identity can fluctuate and there is a spectrum; you don’t have to put yourself in the box that is labels
  • It’s not a choice – why would you choose to be a target of prejudice and discrimination?


Hearing other people’s experiences and thoughts on LGBTQ+ has been really reassuring. And I feel like people like me sometimes gravitate towards each other coincidentally somehow. It’s even easier with the internet existing, it’s there for when you don’t feel like you can talk to people you know in real life.

Everyone figures themselves or at different rates. I’m stunned by individuals who knew themselves really young, I sort of wish I did too. That, or just be obliviously straight. Sexuality seems like a taboo even in modern British education. I’m still not 100% sure of what category I fall into but I’m 100% sure that that category is not the straight one.

Around Janurary 2015 was when I was seriously thinking “hey, maybe I’m not a heterosexual.” One person had asked if I was bisexual and one person called me a lesbian out of spite leading up to this but I had sort of dismissed both. I hate lying so to the former, I simply said “I don’t know, I’m too young to know!” because I was so caught off guard and flustered over their random question.

That year I was busy preparing for my GCSEs and long story short, the issue of my possible sexuality caused me a great deal of extra anxiety and stress.

By the end of my exams I was pretty sure. I came out to that friend via text on the 21st June, not long before prom which was the first time I felt like I was being me. Even though I wore a dress. I hate wearing those.

She gave me the confidence to come out to my guy best friend one or two days later. I was more worried that time because sometimes guys fetishize girls who like girls. But he was also amazing and dorky. And recommended gay icons to me.

It was months later until I came it to anybody else. Most people are judgmental as heck in school, but college has been pretty neat. I haven’t had any negative reactions yet, thankfully. The first people I came out to there was kind of by accident. My friend and her friend joined me at the table I was at. Somehow the conversation steered to boys. Then I ended up getting asked “are you gay?” then I blushed profusely after shrugging. Her friend was awesome though because she understands that it’s not a comfortable topic. It’s funny because I thought my friend would assume it without asking because on the field trip we went on, where she asked what type of guys I like, I answered “none” (half jokingly).

I’ve only come out to two other friends since. I don’t want to be potentially treated differently.

I still wasn’t ready to declare myself to my parents though.

From the beginning of this year probably, I have planned to come out during the summer holidays because that gave my parents the most time to adjust before I resumed college. And it means it’s only a year since I first came out – I felt guilty about not telling them even though sexuality shouldn’t be a big deal.

But finally, today, as I caught up on some chapters of a queer fanfiction, I was inspired and motivated to come out. Fiction gave me the push I needed. My logic was this: if that character can come out to their deeply religious and openly homophobic mother and then be okay, then so can I. My parents can’t be that bad.

So it’s the 8th September 2016, here I am. I went to my mum’s room, said I wanted to talk. Sat down on her bed. Said “I’m attracted to girls”. Then I cried. I was scared because she repeated it which made it sound like she was going to reject me. But she was just a bit unsure she had heard right.

Today (technically yesterday now it’s past midnight) I learned that I have a gay brother who the entire family knew about apart from me and that my parents love me no matter what. Also that she had thought about it since I get on well with guys and never seemed to have a crush on any.

I mentioned that I had gauged their possible reactions by bringing up the legalisation of gay marriage, etc.

My dad was funny because he joked about not having to be as worried about me and that it wouldn’t stop him from making dad jokes.

It’s a huge weight off my shoulders and I’m so happy it’s all alright. I know I’m very lucky to have accepting parents and hope other people get the love and acceptance they deserve. After all, love is love.

Notes: Featured image is not mine.

Song: Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlVBg7_08n0) because obviously it fits this post perfectly and I love it.

Bible-basher bashing

If you’ve been following my blog (thanks by the way 🙂 ) you’ll know I strongly support LGBTQ+ rights and I thought discussing aspects of that and gender inequality would be a good way to exemplify my opinions here.

To some extent, I’m inclined to believe that the Bible (and other scriptures of other religions I’m much less familiar with) is like poetry; the ambiguity of teachings means we can’t know the intended meanings without asking the authors who are now long deceased. In addition, the teachings can be used to support a wide range of ideas which oppose each other, adding to the confusion. The many denominations of a single religion may further muddy the waters of morality. As if it isn’t perplexing enough, everyone has their own unique views within those denominations – they may be devout, or simply be informed by the fundamentals.

I’ve actually found quite a few quotes that are useful reminders. But since scriptures were written ages ago, it makes sense that some of the teachings are dated and not so agreeable… For example:

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

I think we can safely assume that’s a tad patriarchal.

And according to http://www.plainsimplefaith.com/2013/06/the-bible-doesnt-say-love-the-sinner-hate-the-sinner-the-defense-series/ the Bible teaches people to love sinners while hating their sin. The problem I have with that is what constitutes as a “sin”. I would say there are several homophobic references such as:

Leviticus 20:13 (KJV)

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

Romans 1:25-27 (NKJV)

“who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of women, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”

(The quotes from the Bible I used were from the website  http://www.biblegateway.com/)

It says on http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_homosexuality.htm that the Bible does not specifically say anything about homosexuality and only condemns homosexual acts. However, by condemning any expression of homosexuality they are basically condemning gay people in my opinion. I honestly don’t see what is so scandalous about loving the same sex, it’s a sad state of affairs.

Anyway my mother has always taught how love is so important and Jesus’ main teachings seem to be about love and forgiveness – here are some quotes that I think support equality:

Mark 12:28-31 (NIV)

“Love your neighbour as yourself.”

Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Matthew 7:1 (NIV)

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

Here are two maps which show how deeply religious countries tend to coincide with few or no gay rights (sources: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/and-you-thought-uganda-was-bad-map-shows-where-in-world-it-is-worst-to-be-gay-9152558.html and https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/world/gay-rights/):

religion by country map

illegal to be gay by country map

However there is a slight plottwist to this post. It’s not all negative, I did say it would also be on happiness!

When I was doing some research for this post I learned that there was a 2013 study which found “patients who are being treated for mental-health issues such as depression or anxiety responded better to treatment if they believed in God” – go to http://www.livescience.com/52197-religion-health-brain.html for more studies. So being religious can be quite a benefit in some cases.

Despite this, there is a much smaller proportion of religious people in some regions than there used to be. I was quite surprised that the 2011 UK census showed 59% of the population was Christian with 25% saying they had no religion (source: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/ethnicity/articles/2011censusanalysisethnicityandreligionofthenonukbornpopulationinenglandandwales/2015-06-18#religion). I thought there would be a lower percentage of Christians.

5 ways to be happy (excluding religion):

  • Worry less, don’t overthink – I’m guilty of worrying a lot so I’m still working on it. Being organised and doing your best in all your pursuits you can hopefully counter any reaosn to be worried. And remember that people don’t notice every little thing you notice about yourself if you’re self-conscious like I am
  • Just DO something! – I recently stumbled across the deceptively simple advice that is linked to the physics law “Things in motion stay in motion”. If you lie in bed all day feeling sad you’ll feel the same at the end of the day. If you get up and brush your teeth, have a shower you will feel fresher first of all, and may have gained enough momentum so that you’re not stuck in the dumps. Anything productive is a step in the right direction, be it reading a book, tidying the house, brushing the dog, weeding the garden, go on a walk, see your friends/make friends, make one page of revision notes. Today I went into town and saw a man busking, and his voice and guitar playing was beautiful. Keeping busy means you don’t have too much time to mope. A book I started skimming through (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie) outlines stuff like that
  • Exercise regularly, eat healthy “A sound soul dwells within a sound mind and a sound body.” There is scientific evidence that supports that these lifestyle choices help improve your mood, reduce stress etc. Find something that works for you. It’s win-win
  • Give back to the community – even Jesus taught this; Luke 6:38 (NIV) “Give, and it will be given to you.” As http://www.christianbiblereference.org/jneighbr.htm says, “Service to others brings meaning and fulfilment to our lives in a way that wealth, power, possessions and self-centred pursuits can never match”
  • Remember that happiness is like life; it’s about the journey not the destination – if you’ve read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald you’ll know even the wealthiest are dissatisfied about something

Notes: I was just trying to come up with a snappy title, I’m pretty indifferent about whether someone is religious or not. This post is going to be my opinions on religion/atheism and happiness. Feel free to comment your opinions. Featured image and infographics are not mine.

Song: Piano Fire by Sparkhorse (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6Gzly1HGeo) because it never ceases to give me good vibes.

(Also I was actually a vaguely practicing Christian until about seven years ago. I don’t think being religious, atheist or otherwise makes any difference to how good of a person you are, it’s what you do that matters.)

What got me into Gothic novellas – Review of Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Carmilla (the novella) was first published in 1872, shockingly, twenty-five years before Dracula! That’s right, Carmilla is a female vampire novel.  First of all, I think it’s so refreshing to have a female perspective for this era, but that’s certainly not the only reason why you should read Carmilla.

I have to admit, I watched the web series before I read the novella but I think this is an acceptable order because the two have similar fundamental aspects but other than that, are very different. I think that this is beneficial because in a way, the web series kind of adds to the charm of the novella and further brings it to life. You can put a face to the characters and perhaps better understand them after seeing them in the familiar (albeit with supernatural aspects) modern world.

Although I had a little trouble with some of the language, I found it fairly accessible compared to other Gothic works such as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (which had more specific terms that I needed to check to fully understand the story). I am also enjoying the latter so far, and will review that all in good time.

Laura is just nineteen at the time the incident took place and she is also the narrator; eight years later, she recounts the grim events which have left such an awful impression.

I feel Carmilla has all the markers of a Gothic novella. It is set at castle – typical – located somewhere in Styria, Austria. There’s a ‘damsel in distress’, and presumably countless others who are not mentioned, that were plagued by Carmilla/Millarca over the years. (These are simply anagrams of her original name, Mircalla – aka Countess Karnstein.) And I suppose if there is a ‘hero’, it would be the person who puts an end to the curse which is intrinsic to Carmilla’s existence. There’s even a touch of romance amongst the horror. I think there’s definitely suspense, not so much mystery as other stories but nevertheless enjoyable.

In addition, Carmilla gives an insight into what life was like for a young woman living in a remote location in the late nineteenth century. Carmilla has made me want to read more stories from this time period because it’s just so different and exciting to me. Not to mention the fact people used to describe furniture as “rude”. I find that amusing.

On the back of the copy I have (pictured below), there are three words that I could not agree more with, which describe this story: “menacing, sensual and spellbinding”.

Now let’s talk about Carmilla, the Canadian web series! Laura Hollis (Elise Bauman) is attending Silas University and  there are strange goings-on which she is determined to investigate; Laura’s roommate (Betty) inexplicably goes missing and it seems she’s not the first one. Guess who Laura’s new roommate is.

Yep, Carmilla (Natasha Negovanlis).

Not only is the show great for LGBTQ+ representation, it also normalises LGBTQ+ people, as uncovering the secrets and dealing with the dramas at Silas remains the focus. As well as this, the cast has amazing chemistry and the majority are (kick-ass) women which is pretty nice for a change, right? This makes Carmilla an awesome show to watch. In fact, I love it so much that I have one of Valentine M. Smith’s spectacular artworks of Karnstein herself as my phone lockscreen.

So far, Season 1, Season 2 and Season 0 are available on KindaTV’s channel on YouTube. Season 3 should be coming soon, and sadly it will be the last one, but I can’t wait to see how everything pans out. You have plenty of time to catch up because each episode is usually only 2-5 minutes long and that means you’re in the lucky position where you can binge-watch Carmilla…

Notes: illustration by D. H. Friston. Also this review may contain spoilers as I hint at things. Wrote this in advance as I’m in London all day today for my A-level English coursework! (But I got about 3 hours sleep…)

Song pick naturally had to be Love Will Have Its Sacrifices by Soles (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrOTSFx6p6w) – it is after all, the official theme song of the web series Carmilla which is based on the novella.