2018 Liebster Award Nomination!

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Does it make me narcissistic for being low key obsessed with reading my blog responses? Even the negative ones? Or maybe that makes me masochistic… Wait – no, not that. There’s no sexual motivation. Anyway, I guess it goes without saying that I do a really good job of reading my blog responses. What I suck at is responding to them. Other things I suck at: 

  • responding to texts
  • responding to emails
  • responding to voicemails
  • responding to snail mail
  • answering my phone at all, ever

Oh crap, I’m noticing a pattern here…

Gonna just chalk it up to having social anxiety. Which my friends don’t believe I actually have, and I know they don’t believe it because when I finally fess up to it, they always say things like “You? No way. You’ve been performing on stage all your life. How do you have social anxiety?”

Thing is, performing on stage is WAY different than, say, giving a champagne toast at your best friend’s wedding. Performing in theatre is like the social anxiety-riddled person’s heaven, because it’s not *me* who’s up there. I’m buried under layers of makeup, costume, maybe using a dialect, inhabiting someone else that’s not at all me. There’s even a ritualistic component called ‘getting into character’ that helps you mentally leave your body and inhabit the character’s. The process is different among actors, but for me, it happens during my makeup application.

Show calls are typically one hour before curtain. So if a performance starts at 8:00 pm, that would mean all actors are required to be in their dressing rooms by 7:00 pm. I always allow myself at least an additional hour before call time, if not longer. And I enjoy taking the full two hours (or longer) to apply my makeup and get into costume, because that’s when I can tune out everything else, run my lines in my head, and watch my face physcially morph into someone else in the mirror before me. Actually, a lot of actors have social anxiety.

At any rate, it’s not every day that you get an award nomination among those blog comments in your email, but this weekend, I did! So, I’m very grateful and very humbled to accept this 2018 Liebster Award nomination, and I want to give a huge shout-out to blogger Benjamin Woolridge of El Paso P.O.V. – A critical look at El Paso and the World with a Black Eye for nominating me for that award! 

I began following his blog after intentionally seeking out writers of color. In my never-ending quest to conquer my own biases, learn more about systemic racism in America, and learn how to use my white, cis/het privilege for the greater good, I was taken by a haiku Woolridge wrote titled A History of Black Angels in America. Check it out. His juxtaposition of graceful language, evoking a jarring image, at once haunted and captured me. 

I freelance write for several media outlets. I often write about polarizing topics (including politics). I realize the value of writing such things, because for me personally, it was in reading polarizing topics that I learned and grew the most as a human. I feel strongly that we need to protect this American right, and preserve and cherish it as an American value. We always overcome and evolve when we’re willing to examine our own flaws and faults within the realm of truth, especially when we’re able to get to that point where we can just sit with the discomfort it may cause, without having to knee-jerk react in an angry way.

So, Benjamin, thank you – for lending your voice, capturing your thoughts and sharing them with the world, and for putting my little blog here in the ranks with great bloggers around the world. Especially at a time when we have the President of the United States calling media outlets and journalists the “enemy of the people.” I can think of nothing more American than putting pen to paper to examine and challenge our systems. While we’re in this steady, gradual free-fall to autocracy, it seems the only folks with an icicle’s chance in forest fire of saving us would be exactly the people 45 labels the enemy. 

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What is the Liebster award?

The Liebster award is an award that exists only on the internet, and is a recognition given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Here is a link to the Global Aussie website for more info. 

If you’ve been given a nomination for the 2018 Liebster award, part of the rules for accepting that nomination is to nominate 5 (or more) other blogs who deserve to be seen and heard. Sure, it might look like the form of a chain mail, but it’s actually a great way to spread the love around to other blogs across the internet, in appreciation of what we all do here. Another part of the rules is that I have to answer the questions I’ve been given by the person who nominated me, and then I must create questions (unique and creative is what the judge is looking for) for my nominees to answer. The winner will be chosen on Dec. 31, 2018. 

The Questions I Was Given:

  1. How important is blogging to you? Extremely. Because otherwise? All these thoughts swirling around in my head, with no outlet, might lead to spontaneous combustion. There’s something about purging them here that I find both necessary and therapeutic. 
  2. What do you want the world to know about you as a blogger? That I am so much more than a blogger. Not that blogging isn’t fun & vital, but it’s just one of many hats I wear. I’m a wife, a mother of three (2 cisgender teens, and 1 trans tween), a writer, an educator, a founder of a program of my local LGBT Center (for trans & gender nonconforming kids ages 12 and under), a secret Facebook group administrator for the online version of my LGBT Center group, an actor/singer with over 35 years experience, an advisory member on The National Network for LGBTQ Family Groups for The Family Equality Council, and an advocate for marginalized communities. 
  3. How have you grown as a blogger? Numerically speaking, I’ve grown by just blogging for handful of family members across the country, to having something I wrote go viral around the world in 2016. Gaining sudden, overnight, worldwide exposure like that came with a realization: if I was going to be handed a platform that I did nothing special to earn, I would have to use that platform responsibly, and for the betterment of society, somehow. Every day I try to do that. 
  4. What other perspectives (if any) have you gained by reading other blogs? Reading other blogs was how I learned what ‘white privilege’ means, which then challeneged me to think of how I can reconcile having a label I don’t want with action other than anger – like, by just acknowledging it and trying to turn it into something useful. The blog-o-sphere is where I got my true education on systemic racism – not the whitewashed one we learned in public school. It’s how I get to hear and even sometimes amplify the voices of trans and gender nonconforming people, and other marginalized communities who aren’t easily given the same opportunities that I’ve taken for granted. 
  5. Do you discuss or debate with those who may not agree with you on certain issues? Oh, I’m always willing to engage, time permitting, and if the other person brings their A-game…

My Nominees Are:

  1. Kira Moore’s Closet
  2. The Liberal Mis·fit
  3. Dandelion Fuzz
  4. Another Spectrum
  5. Because I’m Fabulous

My Questions For The Nominees:

  1. What quote or cliché do people always say that is complete bullsh*t?
  2. Would you rather have a dog with a cat’s personality, or a cat with a dog’s personality?
  3. Etta James, or Nina Simone? Why?
  4. If you had to name your autobiography with a song title, what would it be, and why?
  5. *What do you think would happen if we broke Murphy’s Law?

*This question courtesy my 12 y/o, Charlie. (It’s what they asked me when I said, upon seeing a parking ticket on my car downtown after a show, “Ugh! Murphy’s Law.”)

The Official Rules (if you accept this nomination):

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog (there are new logo designs to choose from this year!)
  • Link to this blog post in your Liebster Award blog post.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions given to you.
  • Nominate 5 other people/blogs (or more than 5, if you’d like).
  • Create 5 questions for your nominees to answer. 
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
  • Comment on this blog post with a link DIRECTLY to your Liebster award. 

Have fun! Aaaand… GO!

Liebster Award 2018 - 4

From The Comments Archive: “Hello, Martie Sirois. I Voted For Trump.”

On one of the places I freelance, I recently published Hey, Trump Supporters: Tolerance of Intolerance Isn’t A Thing.

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I got the following as one of the responses to that piece, which I felt like sharing here. It was certainly not one of the more crass responses I sometimes get, but it’s still a pretty good example of how my experience with Trump supporters continues to be in complete misalignment. Though this person was polite in his critique, he didn’t offer any concrete points, or evidence supporting that he honestly has true understanding of the policies he says he likes. I guess, it seems to me that in his mind, those policies sound good in theory, so they must be just fine, right? I wonder, has he actually read the fine print?  Continue reading

Man Says “I’m Not a Bigot” In Response To Viral Video: Watch & Decide For Yourself

Today in viral video land, we have a perfect, prime example showcasing the insidious commingling of racism & white privilege.

The story is basically that a white man (Whitman) followed a black man (Lovett) to his home after a minor traffic dispute, and stopped in front of Lovett’s driveway after Lovett pulled in. Lovett got out of his car, calmly approached Whitman, and asked if there was a reason why he Whitman had followed him to his house. Whitman responded, “I just want to let you know what a n—– you are.” Continue reading

Welcome To America

Thinking about the fate of the future often worries me. Honestly, the best way to describe the condition (and reputation) of our nation right now is with a pretty outdated, but perfectly accurate term:

Hot Mess.

My generation knows this phrase, despite its evolution in meaning over the years. But for the older folks who might be reading and are unfamliar with “hot mess,” here’s a definition, courtesy Urban Dictionary: Continue reading

Fox News: The Republican & Trump Propaganda Network

Fox News fair and balanced logoFox News. Remember when their slogan was: 

“Fair and Balanced” ?

Seems like yesterday. But when Fox News founder Roger Ailes was fired in 2016, that slogan was fired also (or, shelved as a marketing tool). In its place, a new slogan emerged:

“Most Watched, Most Trusted.”  

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Well, at least the newer slogan is true — halfway true, that is.

While Fox may still be hanging on as the “most watched” TV news right now, others like MSNBC are not far behind. However, Fox is not the most trusted news source. In fact, as of April 2018, Fox News was less trusted than CNN and MSNBC. I guess if you slant Fox’s new slogan so that it reads, Most Watched, Most Trusted (By Those Who Watch It), then it would reflect a more completely accurate statement. Personally, I’d prefer a slogan like “Fox News: The Republican & Trump Propaganda Network.” I mean, let’s call a spade a spade… Well, a girl can wish.  Continue reading

In Defense Of Trans Actors

One way we can all suck a little less at being trans allies: if a trans voice is speaking, listen to that voice. Just listen. Without arguing.

Today on Facebook, a trans female friend shared an article from Themtitled Why Scarlett Johansson — Or Any Cis Actor — Should Never Play Trans Roles. This is the debate du jour. Hollywood golden girl Scarlett Johansson has been cast to play a transgender man, Dante “Tex” Gill, in a new biopic film, Rub and Tug. Of course, it’s worth mentioning up front that the film’s PR team is justifying casting Johansson in this role by claiming that Tex Gill was “a lesbian that preferred to wear men’s clothing.” Continue reading

Enemy Of The People

What Jarrod Ramos, the Capital Gazette shooter, revealed in his Twitter account

hile winding down after a Thursday I thought would never end, I caught the initial news reports releasing the name of the individual who’d allegedly gunned down and killed five people working at the Capital Gazette newspaper earlier that day. My curiosity took over and I went looking online for traces of this monster. I did a quick search on Facebook to see if his name came up. Nothing. But Twitter was a different story.

Jarrod W. Ramos’ Twitter account was listed under his name, exactly as it was reported on the news: Jarrod W. Ramos, but the Twitter handle was @EricHartleyFrnd. Continue reading

Trump And The Cult 45

The end game is that the cult leader becomes the single most defining component of the group, over and above whatever ideology the cult is supposed to represent.

Also published on Medium.

 

 I - capital I, pinterestf - lowercase thick fyou voted for him, are you ready to back down and apologize yet? Can you, even just for a moment, let down your hackles and admit you were wrong — or at least misguided?

If you’re still with him, what more will it take? What is even left to push the outrage threshold any farther? If the leaked audio of crying babies and young children at the southern border, pleading desperately for their parents or relatives whom they were just torn away from didn’t sway you to sanity, what more will it take? Continue reading

Today’s Meme: Feel Free To Trust Parents Of Trans Kids. Please.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve answered the same, tired questions, over and over again, from misinformed people who have no experience with trans people. I mean, I don’t at all mind answering questions that come from a place of good intentions. That’s not always the case, though. Especially online, where there lives an entire community of boring, predictable evil-doers known collectively as “trolls.” They’re easy to spot. They’re the ones who use obvious trigger words and phrases to try and hook their victims readers, and then engage them in never-ending circular arguments that generally spiral into slanderous insults. Trolls deliberately intend to hijack, disrupt, attack, offend, and just generally cause trouble, and their favorite haunt is the comments sections of social media and news sites.  Continue reading