and we’re back

The internet is a scary place. It’s vast, endless, and forever.

With one picture, video, or tweet an average every day person can become an overnight internet sensation. You can be out living your life when some random lady starts screaming at you while a by stander records it on their phone and an hour later, both you and your screamer have gone viral. You could be on a plane chatting with the person sitting next to you while a couple behind you documents the entire thing and the next day you have hoards of people searching the internet to identify and locate you. You could be unknown one minute, and recognized by millions the next.

That. is. terrifying.

I never use to think of myself as a private person. I grew up as social media did so the transition from myspace pages to facebook profiles to twitter and instagram feeds came naturally to me, as did the progress of how much I shared online. I still remember AOL chat rooms and knowing to lie when I was asked for my A/S/L, meeting strangers from the internet was considered extremely dangerous and everyone behind a keyboard was a kidnapper waiting to lure you in. Every username was random and you never gave out your full real name or where you lived. Until gradually that started to change. You could start checking in to every place you visited, tagging everyone in a photo and suddenly our real life was so wrapped up with our internet one that there became to be no distinction between the two. The people behind the keyboard were no longer strangers waiting to do me harm, they were my friends, family, coworkers and anyone I found interesting enough to keep up with. My entire life was on the internet from my emo teenage thoughts, pictures from every big life event, archives of conversations with friends, comments on every big news story and plenty of small moments in between.

And I hated it.

It struck me almost out of nowhere. My entire life was view-able to anyone willing enough to sift through. I got so many notifications to view what I was posting a year ago, two years ago, six years ago and not all those moments were of happier times. I scrolled through all my profiles thinking, how much would someone learn about me through this? Does this reflect who I am? Do I care? Do I want my younger self frozen in time on the internet like this? It weighed on me.

So, I cleansed. I downloaded every personal photo and video I had onto a drive and deleted almost all my social media profiles while changing the names or setting everything to private on the rest. It was freeing in a way, to be in more control of my internet life, not weighed down by past opinions or friends or embarrassing pictures, but it also stifled me a little. I was so scared of what was out there about myself that I archived this blog as well. The place I went to write down my thoughts, reflect on past memories and share what ever else I wanted to write about. In the middle of doing a writing challenge with my friend Rubi, I put everything on lock down. At first, I didn’t regret it. The pressure to write was gone, the worry of the people I shared this with judging my thoughts was no longer there and I could move on with life. But then I realized I wanted to write again. It’s been about two months since I went on the internet lock down and I realized I missed this blog. Even with my messy writing, spelling mistakes and grammar problems, I missed it.

So we’re back. I know my chances of becoming an overnight viral internet celebrity are slim but even if I do I feel more in control and comfortable with what the hoards will find. Which will include this blog, because it’s not going anywhere.

We’re just trying to have a good time, college parties edition.

“Yeah, yall are going to have to move.”

I was JUST about to throw down some cards to get a game going when this dude came up to the group of girls I was with and shooed us away. We all sighed, picked up our drinks and shuffled against the wall trying to dodge the crowd in the hallway. The entire walk the dude was close on our heels making sure we cleared the area. It was Saturday night and I was at one of the worst parties I’d ever been to but in about an hour, that would change.

Back in college, my roommates and I were kind of known for how great our parties were. We had the trash can punch recipe down, the hue lights for decor and playlists and games ready to go. We would pool our money together to supply the party with alcohol, because you know broke college kids never brought their own, even if we clearly stated in the Facebook event to bring some. Our friend group was large thanks to the student org we were in but when other people threw parties, they never really measured up. We took pride in our parties, even if the night was drama filled or we ran out of alcohol, no one could tell us they didn’t have a good time.

So safe to say I was not impressed with the situation I found myself in on this Saturday night.

I don’t know what this guys problem was but he was on a mission to be the biggest douche bag in the room. He never stopped herding people into one small room, stopping any games from happening and giving glares at everyone with a drink in their hand. W were only there for about an hour when you could start to feel the annoyance vibrating through the house. So an executive decision was made. The party we were at happened to be in the same complex as mine so my roommates and I came to an agreement, we were hijacking this party and moving it to our house.

We spread the word to our friends to leave in groups every ten minutes or so, we didn’t want to seem like total assholes, and head on over to our place. It was time to turn the night around.

Once back inside our house we turned up the music, poured some shots and got the party started. As more people drifted over from the first party to ours I was determined for everyone to have a good time. As if I was Willy Wonka taking the kids through our chocolate factory, I was passing out drinks, facilitating body shots and checking to make sure the vibe was ten times better than what we experienced earlier.

Looking back I enjoyed this party so much because I was so happy and confident in my ability to turn people’s night around. We had been treated like shit for no reason at this one house and it just pissed me off enough to make sure everyone was going to have a good time at mine. Taking on the role of life of the party isn’t something I’d likely do these days but that night? I was living for it.

I miss the vibe of college parties. When we would throw ones just because we could, select a theme, make a Facebook event and invite everyone we knew. Sure there were some parties that ended in tears and drama but for the most part I always felt happy and in control at the parties we threw. Now that I’m in my mid twenties I know those type of last minute parties aren’t likely to happen ever again. It takes planning weeks in advance to meet up with close friends, and no one has the energy for cleaning up a house after a party that ended at 4 am. But I’m glad I have so many good party memories to look back on.

Especially this party, when I was carefree, confident and in control.


This has been the first post in a series I’m doing with my friend Rubi were we take one topic and both write about it. We’ll be both posting every Sunday so make sure to check out her blog along with mine to see our take on different prompts. This week’s theme was favorite college parties and you can read her post HERE.

 

Oh wait, I might have feelings for you. Coming Out – Part One.

We were sitting side by side on her small dorm bed watching Netflix. We had just gotten back from a house party where we knew no one and had left just as the cops showed up, a typical Saturday night for us. We were drunk and giggly and at some point had started holding hands. You know it wasn’t entirely unusual thing for us, we were both touchy affectionate drunks, always cuddling up with whoever was near and yet this time was different. I can’t remember what we were saying or even watching but I can see her face and feel her hand in mine when I lifted it up and rested it on my leg and thought, “Oh. Oh no.”

It was this moment that I finally admitted to myself that I had feelings for one of my best friends, and that maybe, I wasn’t as straight as I always claimed to be.

Claimed… but didn’t always believe but okay let’s rewind.

Before I was there, a freshman in college with a huge crush on her new best friend, I was a teen who buried any thought of liking girls. The knowing and the feelings would often hit me out of nowhere. A friend brushes her hands through my hair and I like it a little too much, or I learn of someone’s aunt or cousin that had come out and I think “Oh, I wish that were me.” Before I’d shake myself out of it and tell myself, “come on Kendyl you don’t like girls stop thinking you do” as if I could somehow control it.

I remember a time in middle school when I was at a friends house with a bunch of girls for a sleepover, we were playing truth or dare when one girl turned to our friend and said, “Sara*, I dare you to kiss Kendyl.” The feeling that went through me can only be called gay panic. Why were they choosing ME, could they tell? Could they see it on me, did I say or do anything that may have hinted it? Luckily, Sara mumbled something about not knowing me well enough and everyone laughed and moved on while I sat there in panicked silence.

Looking back at all the times I realized I was gay* and immediately shut it down makes me sad for young Kendyl. I wasn’t raised in a homophobic household, I had friends and family who had come out and yet the fear of liking girls was so strong that it took me until I was in college to finally take the first steps to accepting who I was.

So back to the dorm room. I had realized I had feelings for my friend but was in no way prepared to deal with those feelings. She was straight, as far as I knew, and I hadn’t even uttered the word “gay or bi” to myself yet. So I did what I had always done, bury the feelings and try to not let them show. The rest of my friendship with this girl was amazing at times, and extremely hurtful and confusing at others. I never admitted my feelings for her, instead was content for drunk hand holding or kisses until the time came for us to grow a part.

I wish I could say that after I realized my feelings for her that I happily came out of the closet but in reality that’s not what happened. I still had to have certain experiences and relationships before I could be comfortable with who I was but this crush? This crush was a step, and I’m thankful for it.

Happy Pride Month friends, I’ve been wanting to write about coming out for awhile now but haven’t figured out how so I decided to start here. This might be part one in a series or I might chicken out and never write about coming out again but I doubt that. 

*Name changed because who knows what people from middle school may be reading this

*I use gay, queer, and bi interchangeably some people may not agree but all three identities feel right and comfortable to me 

 

 

Hey remember those Russian lesbian singers? Well now you will.

I wish I could go back and tell baby closeted Kendyl that hey it’s okay for you to watch that one music video of the girls kissing in the rain. You don’t have to run away embarrassed every time you see it. (This goes the same for that one scene in the movie thirteen when Nicki Reed and Evan Rachel Wood kiss. I’ve watched that scene through fingers covered eyes so many times.) Yet at the the time I wasn’t ready to admit I liked girls so seeing women be affectionate with each other always embarrassed and scandalized me.

WELL TIMES HAVE CHANGED MY FRIEND.

That one music video with the girls in the rain? You might know what I’m talking about if you were raised in the 2000s  but that video was the Russian girl duo t.a.T.u. and man did I miss out on this wonderfully gay music when I was a kid. Luckily, I had a friend bring the band back in to my life and the past couple of days I’ve had a crash course in t.a.T.u.’s discography and there are some AMAZING bops in there.

Such as my current favorite song Stars.

This song is insane. The first time I heard it I texted my friend freaking out.

And then there’s Loves Me Not, a BI ANTHEM. There are so little songs that refer to loving both a guy and a girl so when I first heard this one I almost jumped out of my chair. The lyrics “he loves me, she loves me not” continued to play in my head the rest of the day and wow am I just thankful for this song coming into my life.

My last recommendation is Malchik Gay which is SUCH a catchy song, like seriously be warned if you listen to this it will get stuck in your head the rest of the day. The lyrics are basically about a girl falling for a gay boy. Something I’ve never heard in a pop song before. Of course, I love it.

t.a.T.u. really does not shy away from embracing the music’s queerness. Their music videos follow the plot line of their lyrics with the singers, Lena and Julia, in a relationship, showing them together kissing, holding hands, fighting to be together and also murdering people?. Their music videos are a RIDE please go watch them if you haven’t already. This story line crossed over to their live performances as well. If it’s an older show, they most likely kiss at some point on stage and act very affectionate towards each other, but later in their career together they end up only holding hands occasionally.

So I’ll be the first to say that I love them. The songs, the videos, the performances, they’re great to watch and make my little bisexual heart sing and yet…Lena and Julia were never actually together in real life. The whole lesbian act was just that, an act. Which not going to lie, bothers me. It’s common for men to see two women kissing and think oh that’s hot and that they’re doing it for them and not for themselves. It misrepresents queer women and instead of being great lesbian representation t.a.t.u.’s dynamic becomes a shock performance for people to ogle at, and that….really sucks.

And yet maybe that’s why it’s a good thing I’m rediscovering them now when they are long done performing together and putting on an act that they are lovers. I can suspend my knowledge of them as singers and focus on the character of them and the lyrics of the songs. With queer women still being widely unrepresented in pop music I’ll continue to bop along to All the things she said and be thankful that I no longer have to run away from watching a music video of two girls kissing in the rain, and look out for real queer representation along the way.

SPEAKING OF I’d like to give a special shout out to Hayley Kiyoko, or lesbian jesus as the internet is calling her, who is an out and loud girl lover making unapologeticly gay pop music. I’m glad representation has taken a huge step forward from pretend lesbians to real ones and her debut album is out now and its filled with pop songs about girls loving girls.

Thanks for the gift A Wrinkle in Time

I took my sibling to see A Wrinkle in Time the other weekend and it was a gorgeous, funny, inspiring movie. (Spoiler alert) By far my favorite quote is from Reese Witherspoon’s character Mrs. What’s It when she tells Meg (played by Storm Reid) “To you, I give you the gift of your faults.”

That quote has been bouncing around in my head since we left the theater.

I just love the use of the word “faults” we often see lessons like what makes you different makes you beautiful! But we don’t talk about the things in you that might not be seen as beautiful or nice or pretty or whatever, we rarely get told to embrace the uglier sides of us.

Meg is smart, she’s sarcastic, she’s insecure and she’s angry. Even when everyone else around her tries to get her to give up on her father, give in to conforming, and squash her anger, she doesn’t let it go. And in the end she learns that she doesn’t have to. It’s that anger and the refusal to give up on her family that has her defeating evil and reuniting with her dad and brother in the end. She uses her faults and is better for it.

I feel like this movie gave me the gift of my faults as well. It made me look inside and try to figure out what my faults actually are and how I should lean into them instead of pushing them down hoping they’d go away.

I’m an over sharer, loud at times, withdrawn in others (a classic Gemini) I’m stubborn and argumentative, and quick to have my feelings hurt and yet I don’t hate these things about myself. I’ve learned to recognize them, use them and not turn away from who I am.

What about you?

Make sure to go see A Wrinkle in Time in theaters and support a wonderful heartfelt movie and if anything else go just to see Oprah amazing jewel eyebrows and glitter lipstick as Mrs. Which.

Listen just leave my resting bitch face alone

I was waiting in line to go through airport security when the TSA agent held my drivers license up to my face and said “Now the girl in this picture is smiling you’re not going to smile for me? I’m sure I’m better than the DMV.”

If you know me at all, you know my reaction to that statement. I stared back at him with the blankest look on my face until he awkwardly laughed while handing my ID and boarding pass back. Some people, especially my mother, would say I was being rude. He was just telling you to smile what’s the big deal?

Another day, I was getting in the elevator at my office building. I was reading a book on my phone when an older dude gets on the elevator and loudly proclaims, “Everyone’s on the phone these days, there’s no communication!” I could feel his eyes on me as I brought my phone directly to my face and continued reading.

Years ago, sitting on hot bleachers saving seats before a college football game. A guy turns to me, “Hey why don’t you smile?” I put on my sunglasses and give him the finger.

Years before that, I’m twelve walking home from school. A truck drives by and honks, I don’t turn. They roll down their window and yell “HEY GIRL!” I walk faster.

Around the same time, my mom and I are in the car. A car full of guys pulls up next to us and starts honking and yelling. We speed away hoping they don’t follow us.

My entire life men have been demanding my attention. Demanding I smile, look nice and docile so they can use me for a minute of entertainment. It doesn’t matter where you are, or who you are with, or even how old you are. Men constantly demand women’s attention as if they are owed it and I refuse to play. There are so many stories of women getting cat called, followed, killed all because men think they own women’s attention. We are taught to say no, taught to politely decline unwanted attention and yet it still happens over and over and over again.

And you know I refuse to be polite, I refuse to participate in a broader culture of placating men who think they’re entitled to my time and attention.

So stop telling me to smile because I promise you I won’t.

Fan art and Korean music – Too Much Media #2

Happy Friday!

I just got back from my Seattle vacation and am sick as a dog. I’m holed up in my room with a box of tissues and water bottles trying to get better. So instead of a well thought out blog post this week, here are some various things that have made me happy the past couple of weeks.

1. Fanart Zines!

Okay so what is a zine? WELL a zine is basically a self made magazine, or in this case art book. They can center on a specific topic, or fandom, or whatever really, zines don’t have specific rules. There are a lot of zines out in the world, and I wish I could buy them all up but in the past week I have purchased two.

rise+bundle

The first is a studio ghibli fanart zine called Spirit. I follow A LOT of artists on twitter and one of them contributed to this art book and I when I looked at the previews I knew I had to get it. I mean come ON studio ghibli art in general is BEAUTIFUL but then when artists put their own twist on it? LOVE. Plus some of the proceeds are going towards environmental charities so getting beautiful art and contributing to a good cause? SOLD.

Order the Spirit, a ghibli zine: HERE or follow their TWITTER

loveandyouthzine

The other zine I bought was a BTS fan art zine. If you are not aware, BTS is a korean boy group with a HUGE fanbase named ARMY. Honestly, go educate yourself on BTS because they are about to take over the American music scene. You’re welcome. Anyways some fans got together to make this Love & Youth zine where the proceeds are going towards the UNICEF Love Yourself campaign, a campaign that UNICEF and BTS collaborated on to #endviolence.

Order the Love & Youth zine: HERE or follow their TWITTER

2. Dead by Daylight

deadbydaylight

Let me tell you right now, I DO NOT like scary things. I hate horror movies, scary games, haunted houses. Just nope nope nope AND YET I’ve been playing this horror survival games with my friends the past couple of weeks and it is SO much fun.

It’s a multiplayer survival game where you can play as the killer or survivor. The goal as the survivor is to fix enough generators to unlock a gate in order to escape while evading the killer. It’s basically like all of the good things from Call of Duty Zombies but without the nonsense. It’s a game that definitely gets my heart racing but the teamwork aspect and simplicity of the concept makes for a great game to play with my friends.

3. Instagram by Dean

Dean is a Korean R&B artist and he recently came out with this song instagram.  The song has a super mellow vibe and I’ve had it on repeat the past couple of days. I LOVE Dean’s voice and if you put English captions on the video you’ll be able to see the English translation for the lyrics.

My favorite line is “There’s a hole in my heart nothing can fill it up, I’m sinking right now inside a square ocean”

I know listening to music in another language isn’t for everyone but before you shrug it off you should give it a try. You’ll open up a whole new world when you realize that music can transcend language.