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    Community Voices

    Do not interact with me if you believe that equality movements are “no longer needed” | TW mentions of racism, sexism, sexual assault, transphobia

    Also TW for some caps and swearing
    Some a-hole on a Fandom page claims that equality movements such as Black Lives Matter and MeToo are “no longer needed since it’s popular in Western society”.

    …Excuse me?!

    Black trans women are still being murdered to this day. Many women are still getting raped to this day. And DO NOT SAY “but men get raped too” as an excuse! Yes, it’s sad and it should never happen to ANYONE, but saying that as a combat is just an attempt to excuse the situation or make it seem little. It’s sickening and gross.

    Black folks are still being targeted for racism especially by the authorities. Black churches are burning. Asians were JUST compared to the virus not that long ago and still are today (please don’t say the virus name, it haunts me). Non-white folks and LGBTQ+ folks are still facing unfair challenges such as pay gaps, unequal healthcare, sexist/racist/queerphobic remarks on a day to fucking day basis. Non-binary and genderqueer folks are STILL often ignored in our society.

    Just because they are fucking popular sayings or beliefs DOESN’T MEAN that there are little issues or that they’re “no longer needed”. That is such a horrible, disgusting, pig-ish way to even look at this. These are still big fucking issues that we deal with not just here, but in this world as well. They still exist on a daily basis and it’s hurting many of us, and to say that bullcrap is just so fucking selfish! 😡😡😡

    #blacklivesmatter #Feminism #stopAAIPhate #unfair #triggerwarning #Sexism #Racism #Racism #MeToo #ignorance #anger

    1 person is talking about this
    Community Voices

    4 Designs I created using Experimental Typography

    <p>4 Designs I created using Experimental Typography</p>
    17 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    I'm so tired. The evil in this world is exhausting. Depression is exhausting. Experiencing racism is exhausting. Crying is exhausting. Scrambled brain and thoughts are exhausting. Awaiting approval for disability benefits is exhausting. During this waiting period I guess they hope that you get better or you get worse and decide to leave this world so they won't have to pay. I've worked over 30 years and the reality is even on medications my depression has gotten worse. I stopped driving and leaving the house because my brain feels like it's in a fog. I'm desperately trying to hang in there.

    7 people are talking about this

    Stop Shaming Lizzo for Being a Proud, Fat, Black Woman

    Ever since Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” was featured in Netflix’s film, “Someone Great,” and the 2017 song reached the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100, Lizzo herself has been regularly centered in social media discourse across a variety of platforms. As exemplified in her 2021 song “Rumours” (featuring Cardi B), Lizzo has had every aspect of her identity picked apart and criticized for clicks and clout under the guise of concerns surrounding health, morality, children’s internet safety, and the publics assigned title of “role model.” Celebrities are no stranger to the public enforcing the role model title on them as a way to shove them into a box of respectability, but Black celebrities, especially multi-marginalized ones like Black, fat women, get it especially. Regardless of what Lizzo does or wears, she is heavily scrutinized and shamed. One could say this comes with the territory of celebrity, but stardom alone doesn’t account for the cruel treatment she faces. It’s fatphobia. Fat Black women have a trope that they are expected to follow. From TV shows, to movies, to cartoons, to comics, fat Black women are characterized as the comedy relief, the emotional support, the Mammy. They are to be loud, but quiet when it comes to their confidence and appearance and serve as the backup to a skinnier character, rarely ever the main character that’s cast in a truly good light. When Lizzo stepped onto the scene, she made it clear that she wasn’t about any of that. She pushes self-love and being yourself even when everyone else doesn’t want you to. She doesn’t exist to serve as a gauge of your moral standing or as a role model for you or your children to follow every step of the way. She’s a human being who simply exists, and due to being a celebrity, her existence is spread across social media platforms making people think that they somehow know enough about her to hold her to their arbitrary standards. Whether she gains or loses weight, has her ass out and who she’s possibly in a relationship with, is no one’s business. Every aspect of her life doesn’t require a veiled think piece or academic critique. From TikTok to Instagram to Twitter, just her posting pictures of herself alone is enough to relight the fires of whatever discourse surrounded her the week before. I imagine it has to be exhausting being picked apart like a seventh-grade science class anatomy project. She’s constantly accused of “promoting an unhealthy lifestyle” (which is just a veiled attempt at hiding fatphobia behind faux health concerns) despite her talking about exercise and eating differently. Since she’s aiming to better herself while also pushing back against weight loss being the goal, that’s ignored since it doesn’t fit the ongoing narrative. Fatness and healthiness can’t coexist in the eyes of a public who can’t even acknowledge that skinniness doesn’t automatically equate to having good health. Lizzo is frequently stripped of her humanity for doing the same exact things that skinnier celebrities do while getting three times the vitriol. Can y’all just let her live?

    Maya Lorde

    Living While Black With Mental Illness and Threats to Your Safety

    I opened my Sunday edition of my local paper and it read “10 Dead in Buffalo Hate Crime Shooting.” The last thing I needed to wake up to on a Sunday morning. I am Black, lesbian, and disabled, and there is nowhere safe for me. I cannot even wander into a grocery store to casually shop for groceries with out fear for my life. To heighten this fear, my Governor just signed a bill into law that makes it legal to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. I am clear he is thinking of his white Republican comrades when he pushed his bill. I am sure not considering Black people may now move to lawfully arm themselves. We are being hunted in the streets like animals. News of this shooting lands me depressed and scared. I already deal with depression and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). I already am generally fearful of violence and ending up in a situation where I can be attacked. I wonder how Blacks in the early 20th century felt about the Klu Klux Klan and the Jim Crow laws. I just know they were scared and fearful of leaving their homes and of being lynched. That is how I feel. For now, I see my home as my only sanctuary. I have become more and more reclusive as time has gone on and wonder when I will be too trapped to even leave my home. When you live with a trauma history and mental illness, you spend a lot of time in your head. You wonder if the world will ever be safe enough for you to be active in it. Violence against Black people by white extremist is endemic in our society. When you are Black and live with a mental illness and PTSD, you can never find a place in your mind where you feel safe. Violence like this past weekend reminds me that I am considered a threat and nowhere is safe for me. Others wonder why we take to the streets to protest. It is because we have nowhere else to go. The people who are responsible are allowed to engage in society without consequences, and I go about my life living in fear. All these things keep me up at night. This does not help my mental health, only exacerbating my mental illnesses. The impact of racial trauma Racial trauma refers to the mental and emotional injury caused by encounters with racial bias and ethnic discrimination, racism, and hate crimes, all makes me feel scared, angry, indignant, vulnerable, hurt and in pain. I feel out of control and certain that no one is working to help me survive. I have reoccurring stress and tension about being a target of microaggressions, overt racism, and covert racism. How to deal with racial trauma when it is seemingly everywhere and claim your own power again I have got to find a way to exist in this world as it is, since there is no change on the horizon. The problem is that I do not have any easy answers. The answer surely is not go do some yoga or meditation to deal with the stress and try to heal. The answer is more complex than that when you have limited power. You cannot do it all on your own, but you can take action. I was telling my therapist that I was in despair and concerned that my personal power and safety was drifting away; rapidly she reminded me that I could do positive action within my small locus of control. She encouraged me to make my own difference in the world. To for instance write articles about how I was feeling and to help my reader see themselves and find some hope and to know they are not alone. To help a fellow community member pay a bill or lend a positive word to someone who was struggling. This way I do not feel so overwhelmed and helpless in the broader since. I could make a difference and change outcomes for those around me. I also know that I right now have one vote that I can cast. I can influence others to vote. The reality is however that right to vote is in significant jeopardy. The country has become so extreme that I wonder when that time we spend in the voter’s box will be obsolete when the minority voice will rule through disinformation and brain washing. I have in the past worked on the voter’s hotline to help other voters have access to the vote. This helps me have power to influence change in a small but meaningful way. (I did not even need to leave home to do it.) You too can find your power and make changes in your small part of the world to make life better for you and other people. You do not have to do it all to fix racism. Collectively we can move the needle and push out those who wish us harm. Please know that taking a nap and disconnecting is also an act of resistance. You still have power, and you are not helpless and change is not hopeless. Take a Mighty stab at making a difference. I have confidence you can do it.

    Brittany Johnson

    To Black People Struggling with their Mental Health Due to Racism

    To the Black folk who can’t turn on the news without being reminded of how little the world loves them… I know it hurts.You don’t have to tell or convince me. You don’t have to fight to be seen or heard here. This space is an eternal moment where as long as you’re on this page, you can set down the hundreds of years of baggage and trauma that’s been non-consensually passed down from parent to child throughout the generations. You don’t have to make a joke out of the reality of living with your existence as a means of coping. Here you don’t have to be resilient. Right now, in this second, you can just breathe and be, allowing yourself to sit with the grief, weight, and trauma that can come with being a child of the African diaspora. It never seems to end, does it? You think back to all the years that our parents, their parents, and the ones who came before them fought tooth and nail to afford us the rights and lives we have today. I’m sitting here writing this story today because my ancestors decided to keep going, living, and loving even when the oppressors around them did everything in their power to stop that. I’m a writer and an avid reader, something my ancestors were held back from and condemned for doing. They had the hope and optimism to keep going through every new law that came and went, dictating how we were allowed to live, love, shop, dance, look — the list goes on. They did all that, and yet still we turn on the TV or log onto social media to see our faces posted in memorandum. We see manifestos circulating with hate and vitriol spewed about our race. To them, our existence in and of itself is a crime punishable by death. Regardless of what the world may tell you, you are deserving of everything beautiful that that world has to offer you. With the rates of Black people’s death by suicide skyrocketing, with numerous high profile Black deaths by suicide trending in the news, and in places like California rates doubling for Black youths since 2014, we are already in a mental health crisis for Black Americans. (Source: EdSource story) Systemic barriers that gate keep opportunity, defund our communities and infrastructures, and promote racial infighting continue to serve as negative contributors to Black folk’s mental health. We leave the house while living with severe anxiety and trauma, knowing we’re one negative interaction with the law away from meeting our ancestors. We’re trapped in a systemic maze that no matter how far we venture, we’re still stuck in a vicious quagmire with no real end in sight. That’s our reality, as much as it pains me to type. So, Black folk, I challenge you to find your peace today. Turn off the TV, put away your phone, and find your center. Beyond that, dare to chase joy and light, even in your darkest moments. Honor those emotions – the fear, anxiety, trauma, and pain that seems to be baked into our DNA, but please don’t let it obscure what you are still owed and entitled to in life. Regardless of what the world may tell you, you are deserving of everything beautiful that that world has to offer you. Your purpose isn’t to be resilient or strong , it’s simply to exist. It’s to love and be loved, shine brightly, dance, sing, laugh, and feel the grass beneath your feet knowing that you do belong here. People want us dead. That’s a fact, not an opinion, but those of us that are still here are still here with a life to live. Honor those who are no longer with us and who were forced to leave us before their time by promoting your well-being , putting your mental health first, and carving out those spaces in the world where you can just be you without having to look over your shoulder. I don’t have to tell you your life matters for it to matter, but I do want to remind you of not just that, but you belong here with us and life has wonderful things in store. Get the help you need, but also remember that. You’re not alone. You’re loved. If no one else has us, we got us. Never forget that.

    Community Voices

    What’s in an age?

    I’ll be 60 this year!😀 #Ageism runs rampant in our society. Other than life insurance ads, prescription & otc med ads, etc etc—oh! let’s not forget cell phone plans for seniors (I guess we’re ALL struggling financially with no one to talk to), we seniors are praised or condemned if we “look” or “act” “young”. I’m trying to reconcile me being me while society sees me differently. Ha! One of the positives of living with chronic mental illness is learning hard earned lessons in taking care of myself, emotionally, spiritually, physically; knowing the value in keeping my head & heart open to teachable moments; savoring the priceless gift of wisdom gained. There’s no time limit on any of this! Dark days still feel horrendous but I know I must hang onto knowing light will reappear! I am THRILLED to still fight the good fight, everyday! #Bipolar1 #GAD #Depression #ADD #ADHD #emotionalspousalabuse #psychologicalspousalabuse #physicakabuse #PTSD #Loneliness #Ageism #Racism

    5 people are talking about this
    Kris McElroy

    Processing My Trauma as a Black, Biracial, Autistic, Transgender Dad

    As I write this, it is Black History Month 2022. As I looked in the mirror this morning, I felt plagued by the fullness in my body holding the conscious awareness of my own trauma and racial issues as an autistic, biracial Black transman and what this means for me as a dad raising a daughter who is Black and biracial. Prior to this year, I interacted with Black History Month through disconnecting and dissociating because of the anger and pain it brought up for me. I often found myself triggered and thrown into memories of the house I grew up in full of trauma, colorism, and high racial tensions which mixed with being bullied due to my race and disabilities across my childhood and young adulthood. Being a dad has challenged me over the past year to look inward, to seek support for my dissociation and trauma, and to look at the racial issues I have due to this trauma. I didn’t want to unintentionally pass on my own issues to my daughter. I want to have the skills to be able to help her develop a healthy sense of identity in the wholeness of who she is and who she will develop to be. But, I wondered, what the hell does this all look like? How can I, someone who felt like a fraud most of my life and like I was an unworthy mistake, show my daughter authenticity? How can I, someone who was told and shown repeatedly by family and the community that I was not a real part of the Black community, show my daughter that “all shades of Black are beautiful”? How can I, someone who spent my late teens and 20s cycling through psychiatric wards and trauma units dealing with anxiety, addiction, mental illness, suicide attempts, and dissociation struggling to grasp onto anything to hold on to and desperately seeking help — show my daughter stability, writing one’s own story, and being proud of who you are and how far you’ve come? My past is a part of my story. I acknowledge that and I feel it living in my bones. I know as a trauma survivor and from the trauma work that I have done over the years that my past does not have to define me or my future. It is a part of who I am and it does impact who I am today, yesterday, and tomorrow. I am living through my trauma. I am a husband through my trauma. I am learning how to parent through my trauma. I am learning how to do every aspect of life through my trauma. So, I keep coming back to the question that circles daily in my mind: How can I be the best dad I can be in all of my Black, biracial, autistic, trans, disabled beauty? I can honor who I am. I can honor my story. I can continue to write and live out my story. I can do the best I can. I can continue to seek help and support. I can be present. I can celebrate all of who I am. I can strive to be my best, authentic self. I can love. I can hope. I can use my voice. I can be there every step of the way to make sure she feels she has the space, the tools, the safety, and the support to grow into and be her amazing self — celebrating all of who she is. Together we can forge a new path on what it means to each of us to celebrate Black History Month, and to celebrate what it means to each of us to be Black.

    Community Voices

    Black Lives Matter Should Not Be A Trend To White People

    <p>Black Lives Matter Should Not Be A Trend To White People</p>
    1 person is talking about this
    Laurie Rose
    Laurie Rose @lrfinn

    Why DEI Initiatives Are Often Just Performative Allyship

    October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The theme for NDEAM 2021 is America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is the newest trend through which businesses and organizations can engage in what often amounts to performative allyship. After suddenly finding room in their budgets to pay the incredibly high salaries of new DEI directors, organizations are proudly lauding their commitment to creating more inclusive workplaces by publishing the CVs of these new hires. A common theme is quickly emerging: many of these new directors are privileged, able-bodied professionals with prestigious degrees from selectively competitive higher education institutions. Many have several publications in their names, the result of decades spent studying and contemplating various ways organizations can accommodate people with diverse backgrounds and needs. Each time I see another announcement of a local organization’s newly hired DEI director, the thought that immediately comes to mind is: nothing about us without us. This phrase refers to the importance of including people with diverse backgrounds and needs in all stages of the change process, rather than making decisions without their input and lived experience. I can’t help but wonder if the money for these DEI Directors’ salaries might have been put to better use by soliciting the opinions and experiences of the populations these organizations are attempting to reach and include, or perhaps through a comprehensive evaluation of organizational systems and structures at every level to identify obstacles and barriers to meaningful inclusion. Merely hiring one new executive or administrator is not indicative of an authentic commitment to creating more inclusive workplaces. Meaningful inclusion is not simply providing employees accommodations that allow them to conform to the status quo of the current organizational systems and structures that hinder them, or offering safety nets to employees in times of crisis (for which employees may or may not receive approval). Organizations that are interested in creating purposefully inclusive workplaces must commit to organizational change by carefully analyzing barriers and obstacles related to organizational structure, hiring practices, workplace culture, systems of support, and others. Interested in creating a meaningfully inclusive workplace? Here are some questions to consider: 1. Do our current job offerings allow people from all walks of life to access meaningful employment opportunities within our organization? This should include full-time and part-time positions, positions with flexible shifts and hours, opportunities to work from home, partnerships with local supported employment organizations, paid leave policies, and others. 2. Does our current organizational structure value and celebrate the unique work styles of all employees? This should include employee evaluation methods, supervision structures, systems of support, and a commitment to valuing each individual employee’s strengths and needs. 3. Are we offering opportunities to all employees to not only learn about important DEI topics, but opportunities to engage in growth and discourse with peers? Many organizations offer trainings and seminars for employees on topics related to DEI, such as micro-aggressions, ableism, workplace culture, and others. Organizations could offer Restorative Justice circles for employees to work together to repair harm caused by interpersonal interactions and organizational structures and systems. Organizations could also create advisory groups or panels to assist with all stages of the change process at all levels within the organization. 4. Are we offering adequate systems of support for all employees, regardless of ability or need? Rather than simply providing contact information for outsourced Employee Assistance Programs through which employees can obtain short-term counseling support, consider expanding HR departments to offer ongoing support to all employees utilizing a case management structure. All employees could have a dedicated case manager checking in regularly to offer additional supports, as necessary, and advocate on behalf of the employee.