Personal

When did I know I was gay?

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In honor of pride month, I wanted to talk about a topic I’m very curious about. Back in college, I wrote an essay for my creative nonfiction class, where I mentioned my sexuality. My professor was unhappy with me leaving out a big detail regarding the topic. During workshop, she asked, “When did you know you were gay?” and requested that my answer be added to my revised essay.

I wanna preface this by saying that I’m using gay as an umbrella term. I identify as pansexual. I’ve seen many debates about the legitimacy of pansexuality as an identity separate from bisexuality. I’m not here to make a statement about my identity. I’m pansexual, and that’s it.

Now back to my class. My professor asked a very pointed question about a topic that I wasn’t very used to discussing. When I told one of my queer friend about it, she rolled her eyes and said, “You should have asked her: when did you know you were straight?” And we just laughed it off.

Recently, I’ve been seeing tweets about queer people sharing stories about the moment when they knew they were gay (or not straight). I don’t really know what to do with all of these stories, because I’ve never given much thought to a specific time when something clicked in me and I thought, “Hey, I’m not actually straight. I think I like everyone!” My journey to coming out was a bit different.

What I’m trying to say is, there is no one specific moment when everything changed for me. It happened gradually. Mostly because I’m clueless to most things, including myself. As a kid, I found my girl friends attractive. I never paid much attention to it, though, because I found boys just as attractive, and that was all that mattered. As I got older, I found myself getting all sorts of “girl crushes,” which I believed to be totally normal for a straight girl.

And then came the day I watched Black Swan. If you’ve seen the movie, maybe you’ll remember the scene between Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman having sex. I certainly do. The moment I saw it, I was very, very shocked. I had never seen two women getting it on, and let me tell you, it was doing funny things to me. I remember being unable to stop thinking about it for days. I kept bringing it up with my friends, but pretending I’d hated that part of the movie. I wanted to know their thoughts on it, but they were clearly not as fazed by it as I was.

I guess if I wanted to pinpoint a pivotal moment in my coming-out journey, it would have to be seeing Black Swan. But it was until many years later that I finally accepted my sexuality, and wholly embraced it.

In high school, I had come to the conclusion that I could probably fall in love with anyone, regardless of their gender. Because gender didn’t seem to factor in my ability to fall for people. But I still didn’t consider myself anything but straight. I figured every straight person in the world felt the same way as I did. See what I mean about being clueless?

I was in college when I had my first crush on a girl who wasn’t a celebrity. In other words, a real girl. It started out slowly. I was so confused as to why I was so drawn to her until the day I came out to her, after knowing she was queer too, and realized I liked her. After that moment, I just kept coming out to people. Because, why not?

I didn’t know that pansexual was a term, but Nicole brought it to my attention. After a lot of reading up on it, I grew attached to the term. Now I don’t know what I would do without it. I feel comfortable using that label. It feels right. It fits me.

So, to answer the title of this post: I guess I always knew I was gay. It just took me a while to figure it out. I used to feel bad about not having a specific moment when things clicked and I just knew. But I don’t care anymore. I’m pansexual. I’m gay. I’m happy to be part of the LGBT+ community. I’m here and I’m queer.

Do you guys have a specific moment when you knew you were gay, or is that a silly question? Let me know! I’d love to hear your stories.

Happy Pride!

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Book Reviews

Anything Could Happen by Will Walton – Book Review

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“There’s sickness, and there’s sadness. But the thing is, there’s love, too. I try never to forget that.”

This book was a rollercoaster of emotions, but it was the kind of rollercoaster I’m not too afraid to ride because it doesn’t have those scary loops. What I’m trying to say is, I really enjoyed this book.

The story follows Tretch Farm, a fifteen year old boy who’s in love with his straight best friend, Matt. I’d be lying if I said I was new to this type of story. I don’t know how many lgbt stories I’ve read where this is the premise, but it’s a lot. Usually, every story ends the same way. But I appreciated the way this book didn’t follow in that same direction. It completely took me by surprise.

One of my favorite aspects of this book was the music. There was mention of a lot of pop music, especially Ellie Goulding, and her magnificent Halcyon album. That album meant the world to me when it came out, and I listened to it nonstop. It came to my life when I needed it the most. So it was a bit nostalgic getting to read about this teenage boy living his life to the beat of that same album. It was such a great experience. Also, I loved that Tretch was a dancer. I love dancers.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see how much of Tretch’s family was incorporated into the story. Not just his family, but also Matt’s. We get to see Matt’s two dads interacting with each other in the loveliest, most domestic scenarios. It was incredible. I loved their inclusion. And Tretch’s parents and grandparents and his brother were all so interesting. Their love for each other flew off the pages.

I loved the friendship between Tretch and Matt the most. It was sweet, selfless, and true. Despite his feelings for Matt, Tretch only wanted the best for his friend, even if it meant seeing him dating a girl. What I loved even more was that Tretch built close relationships to Amy, the girl Matt was dating, and to Lana, the girl who had a crush on Tretch. I thought Tretch was a kind character. He had his flaws, but he was beautiful overall.

I had a lot of fun with this book. I’m so glad I read it.

3,5 stars

Book Reviews

Seeking Perfect by Jeri Bronson – Book Review

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This book deals with a lot of heavy issues, but it has the perfect balance of fluff to make up for it. Seeking Perfect is a romance novel following Jesse, a girl on her senior year of high school. Her home life is a daily struggle, with a drunk, neglectful mother who steals all her money, and her mom’s awful boyfriends tagging along. Jesse is set on going to college and leaving her life behind, and she wants nothing to get in the way, but then she meets Derek.

I went into this book expecting a lot of terrible scenes with Jesse’s mom, but I was surprised by the amount of great people Jesse had in her life. Jesse worked at a bookstore, whose owner, Charlotte, was like a mom to her. She got to have a home away from home, and it made her life a little easier. Not only did she have Charlotte, but also Russ, Charlotte’s husband, and Jeremy, Charlotte’s son. These were all wonderfully sweet characters who offered Jesse nothing but love and support, and I was so grateful for them.

Derek was also really nice. I had a few issues with him wanting to “fix” Jesse. I didn’t like the way he kept saying that. He said the same thing about his ex-girlfriend, Missy. He was always upset about not being able to “fix” Missy, making her a better person. I don’t think it’s ever a guy’s job to fix a girl. I also didn’t like the way Missy’s character was very stereotypical and mean. I understand she was the villain of the story, but a villain should be complex. Those were my main issues.

The romance was sweet. I thought the bond between Jesse and Derek was believable, if a bit too rushed. I was happy with the way things wrapped up, and the epilogue was great. I should mention trigger warnings for attempted rape and violence. Those were big things that suddenly happened and had me kind of queasy.

If you’re into contemporary romance with warm characters, you should definitely check this one out.

3,5 stars

Book Reviews

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi – Book Review

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“Why did I think I’d be capable of running an entire continent? How did I allow myself to imagine that a supernatural ability to kill things with my skin would suddenly grant me a comprehensive understanding of political science?”


My love for Warner is still strong. That much has stayed consistent throughout the series. But, of course, Restore Me is about many, many other things besides Warner — unfortunately.

I devoured the first three Shatter Me books when they were only a trilogy. I read them all over a weekend, and then re-read them recently with Nicole. She reviewed all three of them before, but now it’s my turn.

Restore Me picks up about sixteen days after the end of Ignite Me, which continues to be my favorite book in the series. We follow Juliette and Warner in the aftermath of taking over The Reestablishment. There were a lot of loose ends to begin with, and some of them were covered, but many were not. I’ll break this down.

The characters: Anyone who’s read this series is well aware that it’s very character driven. The characters make the series worth reading. We still have Juliette, though her character development is doubtful. I still don’t know what to make of her, especially after the ending. I definitely do not trust her to run a nation. My personal favorite, Warner, is still a sweet boy (who’d hate me for calling him that). He claims he never changed, but there’s an obvious change to him, both outside and inside. Aside from the haircut, Warner is learning to be less selfless, and trusting of other people outside of Juliette. We have Kenji, possibly the greatest character ever written. Kenji is everything that’s good with the world, and more. He’s comic relief at its finest, and we finally learn more about his past.

I loved some of the new characters, but I feel like there wasn’t a lot of them outside of Nazeera, who was fantastic. I was grateful for such a wonderful female character, who Juliette actually got along with. I liked seeing more of Adam and James, but other than them, the other characters faded to the background. I found myself missing them, and overall just wanting more.

The plot: I was very intrigued by the sudden world-building drawn out. There was a lot of explanation about the world, and the leaders of the different continents. However, there wasn’t much expansion of some pressing issues because the romantic drama kept getting in the way. Then I realized what series I was reading, and I wasn’t angry about it. Basically, there were a lot of plot holes, but Warner’s hot, so all is forgiven.

The romance: The love I have for Warner runs deep. Juliette is okay. I fear that the roles have switched between him and Juliette. I thought it was natural the way he closed off from her. There was a big reason for that. I didn’t think Juliette fought enough to get inside Warner’s head, though. My problem with Juliette is her selfishness. She doesn’t realize how awful she tends to be, and Warner sees her as a perfect woman. There are so many issues with their relationship, but I gotta say, I’m still rooting for Warner’s happiness.

Representation: The anxiety rep was amazing. Suffering from anxiety myself, I can’t explain how incredible it felt to see myself in this book. My anxiety tends to make me feel like a burden sometimes, but seeing it represented so well here made me hopeful. I want the stigmas to be removed, and I think it’s important to incorporate this into stories. There was a trans character, but she was outed without consent by a transphobic character, so heads up for that. Aside from that, there were characters from different countries who spoke different languages, but again, they were far from the focus of the story. I feel like I hardly learned anything about them.

There are trigger warnings for panic attacks, depression, mention of suicidal thoughts, and transphobia.

I still haven’t gathered my thoughts completely. That ending left me breathless. I don’t know what to make of it, but I know that I cannot wait for book five. Or maybe a novella in between? We’ll see.

This weekend we’ll have a spoiler review of Restore Me on our podcast, so look out for that.

4,5 stars

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Princess Kindness Khumalo by Catherine Amandla Clark, Ed. D. – Book Review and Giveaway

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Princess Kindness Khumalo is a children’s book surrounding African history. Kindness is a young girl who is very curious, and throughout the book asks her Mother Khumalo many questions. All the while, Mother Khumalo teaches Kindness about her African culture. There are four stories, and each one has a different message.

The book is full of images of dolls to represent all of the characters, as well as the dolls that belong to the characters. There’s an explanation of the words in different languages. I really liked how much African culture was interwoven into a story of a smart little girl who wants to learn about the world. Kindness wants to be kind, and she wants to be well educated in her culture and the moon and the universe. I thought it was a very sweet book that deserves to be read. It has a strong message of love and acceptance that I think is very important.

Buy it on Amazon.

4 stars

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If you’re interested in reading this, we’re having a giveaway starting today. If you want to be entered, all you have to do is comment on this post saying you’d like to be entered into the giveaway. We will pick one winner on 3/20/2018 at 10pm CT. So you have until then to enter. Good luck, everyone!

Personal, Uncategorized

Getting Through the Rough Times

I’ve heard people say, “This book/movie/show got me through a rough time.” I’ve never understood that saying. I am currently going through a lot of depression myself. A lot. I mean, I sleep all afternoon, I refuse to see my friends or leave my house. I don’t have any energy. I don’t even know how I’m writing this down because writing is the last thing I want to do. I’ve tried reading books, but I can’t get into them. Not even Restore Me, and The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, which were two of my most anticipated releases of this year. I can’t read anything. I just can’t.

Same for TV shows. I’ve stopped watching all of my shows. All I do is play The Office (which I’ve seen at least twenty times) in the background as I fall asleep. I don’t want to see any movies. I’m in that state where nothing, absolutely nothing, makes me happy. And thinking back on it, I don’t think I’ve ever had something I can look back to and say “This thing got me through a rough time.” Nothing at all. When I’m down like this, nothing helps. It’s something I have to deal with until it eventually diminishes, or I die.

I just find it interesting to see so many people getting through rough times when they find something they love. I don’t think I’ve loved anything in a long time. So long, in fact, I can’t remember the feeling. I can’t remember what it felt when I was obsessed with Supernatural and all I wanted to do was live within the fandom. I can’t remember the love I felt for Misha Collins, all those times I met him. I can’t remember how it felt to have a crush — on anyone. I feel completely numb.

Recently, I finished Queer Eye on Netflix. The show was beautiful, and it was something I was clinging to for dear life. I spread out the episodes over a week, so I would have something to come back to. I felt myself getting worse, so I needed that lifeline. But as soon as I finished the season, I was gone. There was no bringing me back to the world of the living. I was a zombie, basically. That’s where I am right now. I don’t count Queer Eye as one of the things that got me through a rough time, because it felt more like it threw me into the rough time. I made myself dependent on some show, and when it ended, I felt lost.

I keep wondering, where are these incredible, magical things that can get me through the rough times? Do they even exist? Or are they just another lie?

Book Tag, Uncategorized

Oscar Book Tag

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Best picture: Favorite book series

Isis: The Penryn & The End of Days series was amazing. I loved the first book, Angelfall, and I loved the conclusion to the trilogy. Angels and badass characters. What’s not to love?

Nicole: The Assassin’s Curse duology by Cassandra Rose Clarke is a new favorite. It has pirates and magic, and is simply perfect.

Best foreign film: Favorite diverse book

Isis: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Gay Mexican boys. Read it.

Nicole: Iron Cast by Destiny Soria. A bunch of diversity set in a magic world.

Best documentary: Favorite nonfiction book

Isis: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Nicole: The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonseo Lee.

Best actress: Favorite female protagonist 

Isis: Penryn from Angelfall. Again, she kicked butt.

Nicole: Skybright from Serpentine by Cindy Pon. Smart and kickass and loyal.

Best actor: Favorite male protagonist 

Isis: Warner from the Shatter Me series. I cannot wait for Restore Me.

Nicole: Memphis from the Diviners series. I’ve only read the first book so that could change, but I love how he is in that.

Best supporting actress: Favorite female supporting character 

Isis: Lua from At the Edge of the Universe. Although Lua sometimes uses female pronouns, Lua is gender-fluid, but that’s not an option in this tag unfortunately.

Nicole: Samirah Al-Abbas from the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan. She’s always smart and kickass and loyal. I might have a type.

Best supporting actor: Favorite male supporting character

Isis: Prince Robot IV from Saga. Is he a supporting character? I guess he is since he’s a “villain.”

Nicole: Wendell from the Dragonbreath series. He’s so cute and I have a soft spot for anyone with anxiety.

Best screenplay: Favorite standalone book

Isis: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Nicole: I have to say Iron Cast by Destiny Soria.

Best director: Favorite author

Isis: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Nicole: I feel like I don’t have one to be honest, but I’ll go with Victoria Schwab.

Best cinematography: Best worldbuilding

Isis: I don’t read a lot of fantasy. I guess I’ll have to go with the Harry Potter world.

Nicole: The world in Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is amazing. 

Best costuming: Best cast of characters

Isis: The Shatter Me characters give me so many feelings. I adore them.

Nicole: The Magnus Chase series. I love all of them

Tag people 

Everyone!