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Decoding Male Fragility

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The conundrum that is male toxicity and his narcissistic cousin fragility, do the most in destroying lives. The notorious duo symbolizes deep hurt and pain for others. For people embedded with the duo traits skewed wiring allows them to inflict abuse without remorse. Personality disorders and mental health are things we need to address. I don’t claim to know it all, but as a writer and social scientist, I see trends and patterns, and a deep need for dialogue and prevention.

Male Toxicity and Fragility Are Destroyers of Spirits and Lives

What I know to be fact, is that anyone can be victimized by male toxicity and fragility. Men with these issues do their best work when preying on women and children. When male toxicity and fragility hang out together, the goal is getting what they what, when they want it. If that means choking a woman out, so be it. When they’re on the scene women can count on being called out of their name, leered at, the recipient of unwanted advances including invitations to be sexed down, being raped if she’s not ”with it”, and general disrespect. If she chooses to ignore the signs she may end up a willing participant in a game of inter-partner violence and fighting for her life.

Inequality Is Real Deal Stuff

That’s real. Don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for your troubles either. The general consensus can come from men and women alike, who believe that the transgression, whatever it is, happened because of something a woman did or didn’t do. The way patriarchy is set up, men stick together on some tired ass notion that they rule. They think inequality is fine, and anyone pushing outside those restraints is the enemy.

They imagine that women should be doing something different, bigger and better perhaps, to keep him happy at all costs. If you disagree, you hate men. Even if you didn’t sweat a toxic male about the big things, small things, or anything at all, he’d still come for you. His ego is fed when he controls you. Resist that mess. Even when they say, he’s just being a man, after all. Male toxicity and fragility are currently the cause of death for half of Black women.

Women are Literally Dying At The Hands Of Male Toxicity

On June 21, 2017, report the Center for Prevention and Disease Control (CDC), shared information that states,“half of all female homicide victims experienced intimate partner violence, and that Black women die from that alone cause more than others. There are a lot of women killed by angry men.  Intimate partner violence reduces women to punching bags and a living hell where their survival eventually depends on eating abuse, in order to feed the egos of their abusers until they can flee.

How Many People Do You Know Caught Up In Abuse?

That scenario is between cis women and men, but know, that it can and does play out in queer communities as well. We know how married the queer community is to labels. With those labels come expectations which circle back, looking very hetero in nature. Part of male toxicity requires abusers to make it clear who is most dominant in the relationship. Somewhere scripture that requires men to be leaders of their households gets misinterpreted. The problem is not all men are willing or able to lead in fairness, and with respect. Hence the reasons for womanism and feminism. We’re equal baby, or we’re nothing at all.

The Fallout From Abuse Can Become Cyclical Affecting Generations

If male toxicity and fragility are responsible for the murders of queer and cis women, then all women need to know about self-worth, self-love, and self-defense. Children who see their mother’s being physically, emotionally, and verbally abused, often become victims of abuse later in life. Just as bad, they may become adults who abuse.  

Take Care Of Your Mental Health

I’m very concerned about and dedicated to raising awareness around mental health. When you experience abuse as most queers will at some point, it’s important to be aware of how living with the stress of being queer in a hetero world can wear on mental health. Trust when I tell you, being Black, Queer and Woman is becoming more dangerous every day as the current administration allows for all types of fuckery from people who dislike my whole person, and have never even met me.

Queering Straight Spaces – Bump The Haters!

I get eaten alive in comments on social media from men who measure my worth, deciding I have none when I proclaim my queerness.  They can’t fathom why I don’t have a man. As if my desire to work on me, instead of dating right now is somehow selfish. These men seem to think that they are God’s gift to the world, and maybe they could touch the hem of that realm if they’d lose the arrogance and learn how to engage women.

Trans women Face The Most Discrimination In Today’s Dating World

For trans women trying to date, the subject of late is disclosure. Should they disclose? Are they obligated to do so and at what stage of dating should they spill all? On July 23, 2016, Dwayna Hickerson, 21, fatally stabbed De Whigham, 25, 119 times when he learned she was not born a girl. He’s looking at 40 years without parole and another 15 years for going into Whigham’s purse and lifting her cell phone. Compliments of the Jacksonville, Mississippi legal system and his inability to simply walk away.

When Is It Safe For Trans women To Disclose?

I believe everyone has a right to know who they’re dealing with if sex is going to be involved. But, because male toxicity and fragility are so prevalent, it begs the question, when is a safe time for trans women to reveal she wasn’t born a girl? A fragile person is likely to react violently, regardless of when they’re told. There is a percentage of men in my social media circles who categorically say they would fuck a trans girl up for leading them on. They add if sex occurred she could expect to be choked out.

Other men said simply that it, “ain’t cool.” I think as a woman that the conversation bears more consideration. Women. Are. Dying.  Queer and Str8. That’s the realness of this twisted scenario that lets men think they have the right to control and diminish a woman, at their whim.  

Ladies, Protect Your Energy

It’s imperative that all women know how to protect their minds, hearts, and bodies from fragile ass male egos and men who hate them.  It’s up to women to do the work to figure out just who it is “you be”. Seriously, until you do, you will invite energy that includes the likes of male toxicity and his east side cousin, fragility. For trans girls who are finding your way, get yourself a good mentor. One who is compassionate, consistent, and cares about your well being. Use social media to connect with like minds. Take a break from it as needed, sometimes you need to escape the pure madness floating down your timeline.

Words For Toxic and Fragile Men

To the toxic and fragile men of the world, I hope that you deal with your demons. To live without compassion and respect for all that is woman is to be a soulless spirit. I’m sorry for your past hurts and wish you Godspeed in finding your way back. I prefer not to deal with that energy, but if I have to (we do live in a white supremacist world), I take aim with anyone who threatens my survival.

Words for Trans women

Trans women do need to understand that cis Black women have long suffered at the whims of cis men of all races. We have been dying. Find a gun class for women, by women, get a stun gun, take a self-defense class, do what you need to do to be as safe as possible. Sage advice, and what women do.

In order for allied relationships to form and work between trans, lesbian, and cis women, trans women should be at the table as women, but should come gracefully. Leave that, “I’ll take your man.” ish for the movies and House song lyrics.  For cis women, it’s enough to understand your story, without the switch being flipped and you entering with male privilege slipping through. Let’s be real, in a fair fight (without weapons) some trans women can hold their own against cis males if need be. So check your male privilege that still exists and will peep through as an embedded survival technique.

Words for Cis and Lesbian Women

At the same time, cis women you know the world is ever changing. Trans women love what you represent. The essence of woman is the sweetest and most wonderful thing on the planet. We’re warriors, every one of us. Trans sisters feel that energy, maybe get to know some new folk or at least become educated before throwing people under the bridge. For the haters know this, only someone with a fragile ego grounded in male or female toxicity (yes, some women are evil), is so wounded they can’t lovingly embrace the idea of women and what we bring to the world.  

Travel Advisory Issued

That women cis, lesbian, and trans face threats of violence on a daily, both from intimate partners and strangers in the street is abhorrent. So much so, that the Missouri NAACP  has issued a first ever travel advisory for Blacks, Queers, Women and other minorities.

Read: Anyone other than cis white men is at risk traveling to the “show me” state.  I take that as notice to be on alert wherever we are.

The bottom line is that we have to learn to co exist. Male toxicity and fragility have to be addressed with doable solutions so that murders of women stop and people are held accountable. Transphobia in our communities is a very real thing to those facing it. We can all do much better. Communication is key!

Originally posted 2017-08-11 12:26:33.

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Travel On A Budget

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It seems to me like people are taking shorter vacations or opting for trips closer to home, for a variety of reasons. Maybe you work a job that doesn’t pay as well as you’d hope, or maybe you’re a millennial (like me) who’s allegedly spent way too much on avocados and can’t afford a vacation (or a house).

Whatever the reason, this new trend of “I want to travel cheaply so I can buy groceries when I get back” is more popular than ever. But how does one manage this? Vacations seem to be expensive no matter what we do or where we go. And it’s true. Vacations always cost money, but there are ways to drastically reduce your expenses while away.

Off season for the win

Why get sucked into the tourist trap every single year when you can hit up the same spots a week before their tourist season begins? This can be tough depending on the area since some tourist seasons are dependent on weather. But you know what places don’t change much from week to week, whether it’s April or August? You guessed it: the beach. Most vacation spots will have dates for their busy season listed online. Once you have the dates, go a week (or two) early. Prices will be lower and hotels will be less packed.

Hostels and B&B’s

Speaking of hotels, don’t go near them. I’m serious. Go anywhere else. They’re expensive and boring, and bed-n-breakfasts are the hip new thing (unlike someone who still says “hip”). Not only are they cozier, they often have decent prices and are more laid back than hotels.

If you’re in Europe, hostels aren’t what the horror movies make them out to be. They’re actually quite comfortable, right in the middle of the city, and way more affordable than a hotel. If you’re in your late teens or early twenties, youth hostels are an even better choice. They’re more youth-friendly and you’ll be surrounded by people closer to your own age. Make friends while you make great financial choices!

ATM vs. traveler’s check

Traveler’s checks were great when ATMs weren’t a thing, and they can still be useful if there’s no ATM in sight and you happen to know where the closest bank is. But more and more, ATMs are the best option on vacation. You don’t want to carry all of your spending money all at once at the start of the trip, so when you get low on cash, find an ATM. Because there might be fees, take out larger amounts at a time, to limit the number of withdrawals while away. To save money, set yourself a spending/withdrawal limit. It’s tempting to treat yo’self while vacationing, but remember that once you get home, bills and food are still a necessity.

Guidebooks!

You are a strong, independent woman/person/man who don’t need no help. If you’re traveling somewhere unfamiliar, skip the travel agency/service. They’re a rip-off. A good guidebook sells for about $20 and will have all the same information you’d get from a travel agent, without the hassle.

Blend in, eat local

If you ignored my hotel advice, then at least listen to this. If the front desk or concierge recommend a great restaurant right down the street, go anywhere else! Chances are they tell literally every guest to go to that one restaurant, and it will be packed (and not that great). You might end up having to go a little farther from your hotel for a bite, but finding local places are a far more interesting experience than the chain places. And are often cheaper, as they’re not targeting visitors and tourists.

Shop big

A couple of months ago I went to Hawaii with my sister and parents. Before leaving, we’d all promised various friends and family that we would return with souvenirs for everyone. A local in Kailua-Kona was kind enough to warn us away from the touristy “ABC Stores” that seem to be taking over the islands. He said that if we wanted good, cheap souvenirs, we should go to Walmart (I know, I was surprised too).

Local shops are nice, too, of course, and it’s good to support small businesses (and not evil Walmart) but for large quantities of souvenirs, going the cheaper route goes a long way in not breaking the bank.

Free activities will free you

This one is easy. Go to the beach and find free parking. Sit in the sand and catch some sun. Splash in the surf to your heart’s content. Go hiking and find hidden waterfalls and creeks to play in. Anything free is your best bet (and gets you some fresh air).

Vacations mean spending some money, but it doesn’t have to empty your wallet. If you follow these tips and stay aware of what you’re spending, you’ll still have money left over for when you get home (and can buy all the avocados you want, maybe).

Originally posted 2017-09-06 11:10:28.


Also published on Medium.

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Love It, Leave It: The Boston Edition

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This little firecracker of a city is one that gives me the warm and fuzzies. It’s known as the quintessential college town, with 35 packed into a city that clocks in with less than 675,000 residents. More specifically though, it’s my college town. This is where my exorbitant student loan checks go every month…heartwarming. Alas, it’s a city where I came into my own — I read a few books, made some friends, stumbled into love and played a little rugby (what a lesbian). Oh, and I ticked off tons of restaurants in the process; I strived for the sophomore, junior and senior 15.

With several visits on my calendar each year, I make a point to pop into long-standing favorites while leaving time to sample some new joints. P.S. I’ll confess something now that I’ll most likely deny later; even though I’m a diehard New York Yankees fan, catching a Red Sox game at Fenway Park is a must-do…just don’t wear a jersey of the aforementioned team unless you enjoy some expletive-laden Bahston heckling.

Love It: The North End

Fuhgeddaboudit. I think there’s an actual official way people phonetically spell this out, but I went with my gut. If you’re a fan of Little Italy in New York City, you’re going to figuratively (not literally) lose your marbles — unless you have a shaky hand and typically travel with loose marbles — over the North End.

This was the OG neighborhood of Boston, settled by English Puritans in the 1600s. I don’t mean to be rude, but you’re gettin’ up there, North End. You can practically feel the rich history seeping through your Frye boots as you saunter down the intimate cobblestone streets; feel free to pause and give a quick shout out to that famous guy Paul Revere who once lived here. After you’ve eyed up some of that Freedom Trail everyone’s always going on about, it’s time for the main event. Head to one of the North End Italian institutions, kiss a large man named Tony (there will be a Tony, trust me) on both cheeks, tuck your napkin in your shirt, and start twirling some spaghetti. There are plenty of cozy, casual, and cash-only joints like Giacomo’s on Hanover Street (aka the main drag), where the menu is written on the wall, portions are anything but small, and you feel like you’re sitting in a Nonna’s dining room. Elevated dining experiences at high-end restaurants can also be found with little effort; spots like Mamma Maria exude elegance and romance with dimly lit, cozy nooks and plate riffs on typical Italian staples–rabbit pappardelle anyone?

Dessert is another hotly debated topic in the North End. You’re either a Mike’s Pastry or a Modern Pastry person (gasp, I’m into both). Grab a cannoli at either spot and maybe some napkins to wipe the powder off of your goofy, satisfied smile.

Leave It: Faneuil Hall’

Historically speaking, this is also a place you should swipe right to. Quincy Market has been in existence since 1826, slowly creeping up on its 200 year anniversary. The Mayor of Boston — Josiah, you guessed it, Quincy — thought the overflowing marketplace, full of wooden stalls hawking seafood and vegetables, in Faneuil Hall had become what we today would calleth a “hot mess.” Thus, the market was born. Today, the Faneuil Hall area is jam-packed with parents donning cheesy souvenir store t-shirts, with family in tow, heading to the kitschiest of chain restaurants; yes, including the likes of Cheers and Dick’s Last Resort. Plenty of smaller vendors like the Boston Chowda Co. line the market’s walls, but this is more for the 9-5 downtown work crowd that needs to pick up something for a fast bite. It’s not the place to head for memorable Boston grub. Pro tip: if you are looking for some quick eats, head to the Boston Public Market just a few minutes down the way; it showcases tons of local purveyors and has stands that sell everything from ramen to doughnuts.

Originally posted 2017-09-05 17:00:46.

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8 Homophobic Brands to Avoid

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Here at TravelPRIDE, our goal is total inclusivity and acceptance. Bigotry of all kinds is all too common, and we like to promote a message of love as much as possible. If you’re looking to do the same, knowing where not to spend your money is a great place to start. There are plenty of gay-friendly companies, but there are also plenty of homophobic ones. Boycotting these companies (not giving them your support/money) is the perfect start to ending hate.

Chick-fil-A

Plenty of LGBTQ people already avoid Chick-fil-A already (partly because the food is not great, but that’s my opinion) because of company president Dan Cathy’s open homophobia. According to Huffington Post, a report was published saying that as of 2010 the company had donated almost $2 million to anti-gay groups across the country. So if you want a chicken sandwich, I suggest going somewhere that’s open on Sundays.

Urban Outfitters

People are getting whiplash from Urban Outfitters’ stance on marriage equality. With a conservative chairman and recent push back for pulling a pro-gay-marriage shirt from its shelves, Urban Outfitters reportedly, according to an article from SFist, “donates 100 percent of its ‘Marriage Equality’ t-shirt sales to EQCA and NCLR,” which are two group leading the charge against the recent Supreme Court challenge on legalizing same-sex marriage.

With its history of flip-flopping on the gay marriage issue, it’s best to stay aware of Urban Outfitters’ current stance. They seem to be supportive now, but this could change as homophobia remains present across the United States.

Barilla

My little gay heart has been overjoyed at seeing gay couples featured in various advertisements. But according to Barilla’s chairman, you’ll never see this from the pasta company. In an interview with LGBTQNation, he went even further in his attack on the LGBTQ community, saying “I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose.”

So much for gaining more customers, Barilla. I think I’ll be buying generic from now on.

Exxon

This one will have you taking the bus to work from now on. With a history of eliminating domestic-partner benefits for same sex couples, according to an article on Queerty, you might want to reconsider that gas-guzzling car as your go-to mode of transportation. Taking the bus will not only take money away from big oil’s profits and homophobic practices, you’ll help the environment too.

Salvation Army (according to the same article from Queerty)

Between Salvation Army’s open homophobia and Goodwill’s exploitation of differently-abled employees, as revealed by Huffington Post, I’m at a loss as to where to donate my stuff. That being said, knowing that Salvation Army actively fights pro-gay-marriage legislation, I think I’ll be holding a lot more garage sales in the future, and you should too if you’re part of the LGBTQ community.

Purina

On the same Huffington Post list as Exxon and Salvation army, the Fancy Feast company refuses to provide benefits to same-sex couples. While they haven’t confessed anything more openly homophobic than this, partner benefits are still a huge deal and spending your dollars on other pet food brands might be a wise choice.

Boy Scouts of America

Surprise, surprise. A male-dominated group not supporting same-sex couples? Astonishing. This isn’t a company, per se, but the BSA relies on donations, and you can decide to support a better, more gay-friendly organization. While the Boy Scouts do allow openly gay males to join, it’s still taboo to be an openly-gay leader. It’s progress, but not nearly enough. If I were you, I’d donate to a worthier cause, such as the Girl Scouts of the USA, a group that is openly pro-gay and pro-choice

Cracker Barrell

While not at all shocking that a southern-themed restaurant wouldn’t support the LGBTQ community, it’s not exactly funny. In another Huffington Post article, it was reported that “In 1991, 11 employees were fired for not displaying ‘normal heterosexual values,’ as was prescribed by an intra-company memo.” The same article reports the company has been known to segregate its customers in restaurants. So add racism into the mix, and you get a company not looking good for any minority. So if you’re craving grits and biscuits, I’d recommend finding your favorite southern dishes elsewhere.

I think we all know that this list is far from complete. It would take weeks or maybe months to find and list every single company with anti-gay practices. If you want to help out your fellow readers, let us know in the comments what other companies you boycott because of their homophobic policies. We’d love your participation in adding to this list, so we can continue to fight hate wherever it appears.

Originally posted 2017-09-05 13:55:21.


Also published on Medium.

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