Thoughts About RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12

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If you are a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, you will be very aware that quite a lot has come out recently regarding contestants participating in season 12 of the show which began airing just over two weeks ago. The season had previously been billed and expected to be the ‘nice queen’ season and the series of ‘RuPaul’s Best Friend Race’. Well that really went tits up, didn’t it?

Firstly, Sherry Pie has been disqualified from the season with rumours that she allegedly made the final, after statements made by several men saying she sexually harrassed them came to light. Using the fake name of Alison Mossey (apparently a top name in the acting business), Sherry tricked many men (nine at the last count) into believing they were going to land a huge part if they took steroids and were filmed engaging in sexual behavior such as masturbation. As her real name Joey she was encouraging them to trust in the fictious Allison Mossey with the aim being to saisify her own sexual pleasure via using their dreams to make a better life for themselves.

Secondly, an identified man has told how he was sexually assaulted by Brita Filter after a night out. The man was Brita’s drag daughter at the time and much like Sherry Pie’s victims was trying to make a better life for himself. Brita has not been disqualified because Sherry admitted to the claims and Brita has denied the man’s story.

In addition to all of this, contestants Dahlia Sin and Aiden Zhane have been embroiled in controversy following transphobic social media posts they made in the past. Though these situations are obviously very serious, they are obviously not in the same league of terribleness as the two previous situations discussed. However I think it is important to put the spotlight on how wrong and problematic their words were as well. Dahlia has never apologized for her opinions on this matter. However Aiden has apologized and has spoken about how she has changed and grown since that time and for that I commend her. It’s not an easy thing to do. It’s something many people never do and I applaud her courage and fairness to do that. While I am the first person who will call out dodgy opinions, I am also the first person who doesn’t believe in holding grudges against people when they truly appear like that is no longer who they are or how they think. If someone is being a better version of themselves than their past self then kudos to them and I wish Aiden all the best and thank her for her kindness to do so and to publicly state that she was wrong and she sees things differently now. I know many people will appreciate that.

But now back to the two situations involving Sherry and Brita. I think the producers of Drag Race firstly were very responsible in their handling of the Sherry Pie situation. She was very promptly disqualified and will not appear at the finale. With the news breaking so late, I have a lot of sympathy for them in the regard of editing because it is difficult to edit a whole season I would imagine which is already in the can. I don’t think it’s going to happen but personally I wouldn’t mind them delaying the season for a bit and editing it. However I won’t hold it against them regardless of what they decide because it must be a nightmare situation for a producer and I would not like to be in their shoes right now. I think (and all of the elimination order is unconfirmed) that Brita did not make the final so there was probably no need to disqualify her. However, I believe she will be appearing at the finale and that’s problematic in and of itself. Even if you were to take the statement as false, it’s still plobematic with that being out there and the possibility that it could be true swimming about.

My stance is with the people who are the victims in these two situations. Before I get into my thoughts on this, I want to give you all a little background on myself and the way I think with these situations as we are dealing with extremely serious issues here. Anyone who knows me knows I do not instantly take that stance. I don’t take a stance instantly with the accused either for that matter. I’m not a person who thinks I’m a terrible person because I don’t instantly take a victim’s allegations at face value and I equally do not say everyone is jumping on the bandwagon of the Me Too movement either. And I acknowledge a million per cent that more often than not most victims from statistics are telling the truth. However I am a writer and I also like to be fair to both sides before I form my opinion (and then it’s very hard to change my mind but that’s another story). So the writer in me done my research on these two cases to the best of my ability because obviously I don’t know the people involved on either side of either of the situations. I have also being a victim of an incident where I was touched in a sexual way and I think it’s important that I speak about that in a future blog because this sort of predatory behavior is rampant in every area of life. But just to be clear here, I have took a stance with people who have been accused of things like this who I didn’t believe did it too so my experience does not cloud my judgment in these issues.

But in these two cases, I believe these men who have come forward. My heart breaks for them that they went through these situations and I admire their courage to speak out with all the fears that must have been attached to doing so. It’s a truly frightening, violating thing to go through in any of it’s many forms and I respect their courage in telling these stories that they probably wish they could just bury deep in the ground and pretend didn’t happen. The fact that they know they will probably have to repeat these stories over and over or be asked to in any case must be incredibly draining. It must feel like partially reliving a trauma that you just wish you could leave behind. Don’t get me wrong, the platform they have to highlight this behavior is great and hopefully it helps many people but you kind of want to talk about very bad memories like this in your life on your own terms and in a way that I would imagine gets a bit took away and that can be scary. You don’t know who to trust. Are they using it for sensation or are they truly interested in highlighting the issue? I hope they have some good people around them.

I have to applaud the support these men have got from so many people. Whether that’s queens who have been on the show previously, the wider queer community or the wider community of people in general. People have been outraged and while that’s to be expected, people have been very vocal in comdemning that this type of behavior is not acceptable. I will say that it could be a bit more vocal about Brita but I appreciate that for a lot of people they might be nervous to say something about that because Brita has denied the allegations and in short, it’s a more frightening situation for many people to comment on because of that regardless of their own personal feelings on it. But to that man, thank you for sharing your story and know that a lot of people including me believe you for what that’s worth.

To make another point, I know a lot of people are worried about how this is going to reflect our queer community to people outside it. And sure a lot of bigoted people will take this as fodder to store away in their press of why it’s wrong to be queer. But the person who touched me inappropriately was not a member of the queer community. My point is not that people outside the community are always but that the actions of particular people in or out of the community do not reflect the majority of people in or out of the community. Most of us humans would find this kind of behavior deplorable and thank god for that.

I would like to say one thing and I want to preface this by saying this excuses nothing in either Sherry or Brita’s situations but be careful because you are still dealing with people. Over this side of the water, we have recently seen presenter Caroline Flack take her own life due to negative press attention and online trolls. Though Caroline’s situation is immensely different from what we are discussing here, the same humanity rules apply. By all means, have your freedom of speech. I am completely in favour of that. But sending hate and death threats to a person is not what I mean when I say that. If you find yourself in a bar and you’re hanging out with either of them and you want to debate it, go right ahead. You’re one person against one person and sure be passionate but don’t be cruel. But the internet is one person against thousands, millions. Think before you type or in particular tag someone with something very vicious because the mind is very fragile and if you are any kind of person you do not want someone’s death on your hands or to tremendously add to making someone have bad mental health issues. Comdemn by all means but be mindful of how you do so. Don’t lose the run of yourself. There is a human at the other end of that communication with insecurities like us all and please don’t forget that. I reiterate that by saying this I don’t condone the behavior. In fact I’m disgusted by it. I’m only saying be careful because even though I deplore their behavior and I don’t like them, I don’t want anything to happen to happen to anyone.

I also want to say that there is queens in this season who are kind, good and this is their big opportunity to show the world their talent. I feel so terrible for them and hope that the events which have happened will not overshadow their moment to the extent that no one will notice the output of wonderfulness they put out there. Let’s put the spotlight on their achievements too and not let this overshadow how brilliant they are. I wish them all the best. It is hard watching certain people in the cast for sure but let that not take away from the amazing queens who are simply trying to get on, spread great messages and entertain us.

I stand with the people who are victims of these situations. I hope that they find some closure and peace even though I know you never find true closure and peace when you have been in a situation like this. As a victim of this sort of thing, I thank you all for speaking out but just as a person in general I thank you all for speaking out. You are all amazing for doing so and even more amazing for doing so because you all probably don’t think you are amazing for doing so. But there is a lot of us out here who are so glad you did because it highlights what a lot of us have went through and have to deal with, forget, achieve and pretend like the thought of that moment or for others moments in time doesn’t affect us when we think about it. For all those who speak out, thank you. For all those who don’t, don’t for one second think I don’t (for what it’s worth) think you are also amazing because you fight through it too and that is amazing whether you ever say it out or not. Situations are different and I’m very well aware of that. But thank you to these men because you are speaking out for a lot of us, making us feel less alone and for what it’s worth I totally believe you and I hope you all get the justice you deserve and you can somehow move on from all of this and be successful and utterly fabulous.

My Sister & I Attend Dublin Pride 2019!


Yesterday me and my sister Sharon attended our first Pride in Dublin. It was a really wonderful day out for both of us.

We were on the train and some other people on the train were going to the parade. At one point, I did hear one of them saying when talking about someone who was bisexual that bisexuality meant to them to quote being a ‘greedy bastard’ so yeah, lovely support there from the community. I dread to think what this person would think of a pansexual. But I didn’t care. I was sitting happy and proud with my pansexual pin which I was happy arrived from Amazon in time for the parade.

Thankfully after that, there was no further jerks we encountered as the day went on. As we arrived in Dublin, I spotted a grand spot we could go watch the parade at through the train windows and it was where we ended up and it was a fantastic spot. We had this rainbow flag which we were holding between us and I had my rainbow bag and pansexual pin and we were wearing some of the rainbow colours.

There was brilliant colour, great music and just an all-round community atmosphere of pride, equality and fun. We seen several dogs which for a person who loves dogs, I couldn’t stop awing at them in their little coats, flags, scarves, ribbons, etc … or without. There was a little terrier with a mini rainbow scarf tied to the back of them, a sausage dog with a flag who found a paper bag on the ground and was trying to find food in it, a pug all dressed in a mini rainbow t-shirt, a dog up on a float and several other darlings that just took my heart.

We got took in a photograph. I’m still trying to find it but I’d love to see the picture. There was someone going around taking photographs. The sausage dog was took as well. Still haven’t found that photograph either but I would love to see it too.

We didn’t see all the floats but we seen most of them and I’ll list here who we seen. Amazon were there with Abba’s Gimme, Gimme, Gimme playing. As a regular customer of Amazon, it seemed apt that their choice of Abba song was my favourite Abba song. We seen the float by The George which was fun. The Dublin Bus we seen too. We got free flags from them so that was nice. It was a great float and it was nice to see Panti Bliss. We also seen floats by many of the political parties like Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein. The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and health minister Simon Harris were there marching with Fine Gael. We seen Aer Lingus’ float with all the fake planes which was cool. The Army was there playing some music. The GAA was there. Katherine Lynch, Brian Kennedy and Valerie Mulchy were marching with them. RTE was there and Bryan Murray and Una Crawford O’ Brien were marching with them. We also seen Citi, Indeed, Coilite, Twitter, Google, RAHM, LinkedIn, Dropbox, AXA, Aviva, An Post, Sporting Pride, Emerald Warriors, Leinster Rugby and Bank of Ireland (who did a little of rugby for the crowd), Dublin Devils FC, Frontrunners, Wet and Wild, Flaming Feathers Badminton Club, Out2Tennis, Pink ladies Hockey, Out and About Hiking Club, Sky, Macra Na Feirme (with a rainbow tractor), Groupon with Soar, Salesforce, Mastercard, RNLI, Paypal, Grant Thornton, Bord Gais, The Outing, Fre Now (My Taxi), Asana, Qualtrics, Dell EMC, Adobe Customer Solutions, Workday, Accenture, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Cognizant Technology, Airbnb, Autodesk, RSA, Ikea, AIB, ESB, Nestle, Primark, Fidelity, Irish Life, KPMG, Ulster Bank, Websumit, HubSpot, Oracle, Deutche Bank, Irving/Top Oil, Press Up, Symantec, Workhuman, Wix Online Platforms Ltd, Intel, ViaSat, Alexion, Argos, Barclays, Bayer Limited, Bearing Point, Bristol Myers Squibb, Brown Brothers Harriman, Cartrawler, Demonware, Disney, Docusign, Expedia, Fenargo, HSBC, IBM, ISS, LogMeIn Ireland Ltd, Majorel, Mercer, New Relic, Northern Trust Hedge Fund, P&G, Pinterest, PWC, Seimens, Sunlife, Telnyx, Twillo, Verison, Volt, WeWork, Zendesk, Garda Marching Band, G Force, Public Service, Coast Guard, HSE, Prison Services, Facebook, Ebay and Microsoft. The latter I think we got a free colour stamp of the rainbow colours from. If I’m being honest I thought the little stamp thing was a Tic Tac machine so when the person asked me where I wanted it put I decided on the front of my hand but thankfully they didn’t take me as thick and it was a nice freebie. I’ll just have to keep that in mind for next year! Someone also high-fived me which was cool. I didn’t catch what float they were from though.

There was great music at the event. I liked a lot of the tunes but it is definitely my sister’s playlist which we were joking about because most of them are some of her favourites. We had Abba hits like Dancing Queen and Gimme, Gimme, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, Madonna’s Vogue, YMCA by The Village People, a Disney track, a bit of Girls Aloud and The Spice Girls, I’m Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65 and Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen among the tracks. Freddie Mercury’s voice sounded as wonderful as ever. There was wonderful samba music and great drum-playing too.

I won’t mention what float it was but there was someone blowing kisses specifically to me from one of the floats. It was very flattering. Don’t think I knew how to react in the moment. I’m awkward and introverted after all but yeah, it was nice. Surreal but nice. And yeah, I found them very good-looking too! 🙂

When we got back home, we were in Supervalu where we had a chat with one of the people that worked there who was asking us if we had been to the parade. Supervalu have actually been great about Pride this year. There is flags up and some of the staff members have been wearing the rainbow colours.

I would have loved to have seen Bi+ Ireland, TENI, Irish Cancer Society, Amnesty International and the Humanist Association of Ireland because I do love the work of these organisations so maybe I’ll see them and all the other organisations, etc … we missed at some stage in the future.

So my sister and I are no longer Pride virgins! It was a fantastic day! 🙂

The following is a great photo album by a photographer called William Murphy from the day:

DUBLIN LGBTQ PRIDE PARADE 2019 [NEAR MOSS STREET - TALBOT BRIDGE]-153936

Banter – A Non-Malicious Two-Way Street

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You probably hear the word banter bandied around often and in so many cases that you lose count of, it doesn’t seem to be banter. Banter is a non-malicious two-way street. Often we see this isn’t incorporated into situations where one friend is in a particular minority group and the other friend is from a particular majority group. This blog post is not about people who have a non-pc, close to the bone sense of humour and banter. It’s about people who make jokes about a certain aspect of someone and that aspect of themselves they can’t take the piss out of. For example if a girl and a guy are mates it is banter and meant in a fun, non-malicious way when the guy says, ‘The woman’s place is in the home and with all life’s gentle stuff’ if they can equally joke about themself being a ‘guy who works because being a man I’m emotionally repressed.’ And if she is joking about herself as a woman and him as a man then it’s humour. It’s not humour if it’s a one-way street under any circumstances. Ever.

 

I have heard both sides of this debate and I fall more in the middle with my thoughts on it. Sometimes I have a bit of non-pc humour and then certain relationships you have kind of demand you to step it up in that regard because the other person would have that humour. But for the most part it isn’t really a huge part of my humour or my banter. I’d be more a mimic but I don’t mind mimicing myself either or others mimicing me. It’s all in fun. But on one side of this debate, you have people who say under no circumstances should certain things be joked about. I disagree with that because if it’s genuinely meant in humour, it’s not meant to hurt anybody. It also shows up the stupidness of the comments themselves. Kind of like good satire. And also when someone takes the piss out of you a lot, it’s generally because they like you and they feel comfortable with you. The other side of the debate is that people are too sensitive and don’t know how to take a joke. I also disagree with this. This is very often said by people in majority groups who don’t like jokes being made in that aspect about themselves. They may or may not mind people making jokes about them in other aspects but they think that aspect of themselves is protected from the humour mill. Like for example two mates going to a gay bar, one straight lad, one gay lad. The straight lad says, ‘I’ll have to watch my arse with all you gay lads here tonight.’ and the gay lad says, ‘All the lesbians will have to watch their arses with you around.’ and the straight lad replies with no hint of a smile, ‘I’m not a pervert.’ Now in a situation like that, one would have to wonder if the straight lad meant his own first sentence as a joke which was apparently a joke in the first place. If the straight lad takes the gay lad’s joke as a joke then it’s all mutual banter between the two of them.

 

I think that is the problem at the heart of all this. It’s not necessarily the things that are said but the intention behind them. But the intention becomes questionable when someone gets defensive about a joke being made the opposite way around.

 

Obviously there are exceptions to this with non-pc jokes or any jokes really. If someone has had a bad experience with certain words or situations such as being bullied in the past about who they were in whatever aspect it is, a good friend won’t open that wound in a person. After all, however hard they try they might not see the person saying it now but the person or people who said these things in the past and who said them from a very different perspective. Often it is people who are in minority groups who have had bad experiences like this but it can occasionally happen the other way as well. A good friend would respect this and would know a joke isn’t worth bringing up very hurtful memories to a person over. We all have scars and if someone isn’t comfortable with you scratching at those scars, it’s not really cool to do so.

 

 

Michael D. Higgins Gets Second Term As Irish President & Blasphemy Is Voted Out Of The Constitution

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On Friday I went to vote in the election and referendum taking place here in the Republic of Ireland.

 

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I voted for Michael D. Higgins in the election who historically became the second President to be voted in as President for a second term via election in the Republic of Ireland. I’m very pleased for him as I find that he seems to b a very nice man, filled with fairness and equality and if fantastic for the arts too. Congratulations Michael D., here’s to seven more years of your Presidency! We love you! 🙂

 

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I also voted Yes in the blasphemy referendum which was to remove blasphemy as an offence from the Irish Constitution because I believe anyone should be allowed say what they feel. By all means when people disagree with anything, voice it, debate it but I don’t think legally anyone should be stopped from saying what is in their head in the first place. If someone wants to debate it then that’s there’s freedom of speech to do so. That sounds fair to me. But thankfully blasphemy was voted out of our laws in this referendum. 🙂

 

So it’s been a busy time voting-wise for us over here in the run-up to Halloween. And in my opinion they were two excellent results which I’m chuffed about. Once again, so proud of my country and the continuing road towards freedom, fairness and equality and our further steps into a future vision of a completely modern Republic of Ireland. 🙂

Woman Racially Abused On Ryanair Flight By Man

 

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I was utterly disgusted by the conduct of passenger David Mesher recently on a Ryanair flight when he racially abused fellow passenger Delsie Gayle just before a flight from Barcelona for Stansted Airport on October 19th.

 

In the vile rant, Mesher, who is white, called Gayle, who is a person of color, “an ugly black bastard” as he was disgruntled that she didn’t move fast enough for him to pass into his seat. He also rambled in his rant by saying,

“Don’t talk to me in a foreign language, you stupid cow. If you don’t go to another seat, I’ll put you in another seat.”

The ugly incident was filmed by fellow passenger David Lawrence. The footage shows Gayle’s daughter Carol Gayle defending her mother and showed another fellow passenger intervening and saying to Mesher that there was no need for his racial conduct.

In the aftermath of the incident, the police in Spain and England have investigated the incident and have spoken to Mesher. He has also said,

“I probably lost my temper a bit and ordered her to get up. I’m not a racist person by any means and it’s just a fit of temper at the time, I think. I apologise for all the distress you’ve had there and since.”

But Gayle has refused his apology saying,

“It’s going to take a long time for me to accept his apology and everything, because I feel very low and degraded for him to call me those names. It’s going to take a long time for me to get over it. I didn’t look at it (the interview on This Morning) because I was crying.”

Her daughter said,

“I’m not going to say anything at the moment because we’ve only just seen ‘This Morning’ – it’s still a lot to take in.”

 

It is awful to see the abuse that Delsie Gayle has went through. I’m just very glad it was caught on camera because otherwise there would be no proof of the incident and nothing would probably be done. I think it’s a disgrace that he was left on the flight. He should have been removed. It is terrible that this discrimination and abuse is still going on and Mesher’s apology is pretty pathetic. When losing your temper, race doesn’t even come into it unless you are racist and he was extremely aggressive too. It is the easiest thing in the world to say you aren’t racist after displaying racist conduct. If you truly aren’t racist, or at the very least certain things in your make-up aren’t or currently aren’t from a racist place, you wouldn’t act in a racist way.

I find it very heartbreaking hearing the pain this incident has caused to Delsie Gayle and it is important to remember that our words can hurt people. Is that the kind of people we are? Do we really want to go out of our way to hurt other people?

 

 

Advice For People Who Love Someone Who Is Suffering From Depression

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It is one of most difficult experiences to go through seeing someone you love in pain. I have experienced seeing two people I love suffering from depression. Because neither of these people would like the fact they suffered from depression being known, for this reason I will not be using their names in this piece.

 

The thing you feel most is helpless. You want to do something to make them be happy and yet you know you can’t. Depression is a very difficult journey and watching from the outside, the best thing you can do is listen and understand how they feel from what they are telling you. The worse thing you can do is be judgmental and try to make out you understand how the person feels more than they do themselves.

 

Depression is a deep sadness but it is more than that. It includes insecurity and a sense of numbness. There is a lack of interest in the events going on in their life and a feeling often of “Why be productive because it doesn’t matter?” because a person already feels no matter what they do they aren’t worthwhile and their life and everything they do is meaningless. And instead of living, people who are depressed often feel they are surviving.

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There is too much of the idea that people who are depressed can “just snap out of it” or that they are “attention-seeking”. Depression in people is something that is a natural feeling and not something that someone can stop feeling like turning on and off a tap. Sometimes it’s caused by an event or events, sometimes not and sometimes a combination of the two. One of the people I knew suffered from depression all their lives, the other for a period of time. It was a daily severe sadness in both cases which affected their daily lives and made daily life a struggle. The person who struggled for years kept their depression back and was able for many years to function every day without people knowing that they felt depressed but then they had a bout of depression where they couldn’t get out of bed and where they were nervous going out in public in case they ran into people they knew. This person was actually a very outgoing person but in their worse bout of depression meeting those they knew and having to engage in conversation was difficult. It was partly because of their inner pain and partly because they were scared that the person talking to them would know they were depressed and know they had been in a psychiatric hospital. The other person had a bad bout of depression where they couldn’t function the way they usually did for the time they were depressed.

 

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Sometimes people who are depressed can get very anxious. They desperately want to be not depressed and sometimes can rush into things. The person who I knew who went into a psychiatric hospital would go in and would want to leave, go back in and want to leave again. They were looking for a quick fix and eventually they realised that wasn’t going to happen. Their diet went downhill as they began eating much junk and greasy food and they weren’t exercising enough. In the earlier stages of their depression they were incredibly healthy-living. The other person was phoning helplines, went to a counselling session and went to a psychiatric hospital but didn’t admit themself in the end. All of these things are not in themselves bad ways to help with a person’s depression but this person was hoping they would get a quick fix from these situations and things don’t quite work like that. It’s more gradual. And when the quick fix doesn’t come a person hoping for one can feel worse in themselves.

 

Depression makes people feel very nervous and unsure of themselves. Many people who are depressed have a lot of talents and gifts to offer the world and when many depressed people allow themselves to shine the world benefits but many people who are depressed often don’t allow themselves to. It can be a lot of pressure trying to cope with their depression and the added pressure of putting forward their talents can be sometimes too much especially in a world where not everyone is understanding of depression or compassionate enough to care. We live in a fast-paced world where profit is major and if someone needed time off work for their depression not every employer is understanding. While a lot of employers might not be alright with someone taking time off for any reason, there is even more of a problem for people who are depressed because many employers don’t see depression as a valid reason for time off as opposed to a physical illness. In addition many depressed people often don’t want to admit they are depressed to their employers with the stigma which often still surrounds mental illness.

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The two people I know/knew both didn’t want people to know they were depressed because of the stigma surrounding mental illness in society. They both felt that people would think they were “mad” or “dangerous”. And at one stage someone they knew in their presence called the psychiatric hospital “the madhouse” knowing too that one of them was depressed and had attended the psychiatric hospital in the past. They went back on it but it showed what they were thinking. And it is that kind of attitude which prevents many people from seeking help when they suffer from depression. They worry that people they know years will see them differently and feel very ashamed of being depressed. The ignorance/prejudice of others only serves to heighten that sense of shame.

 

While there is still a lot of prejudice in society, things have become better. There is much more open discussion about depression and many more people speaking about their experiences including both high-profile people and people not in high-profile positions. Their bravery in telling their stories despite the prejudice in society can not be underestimated. The two people I know/knew were helped from the visibility of people suffering from depression because it made them feel they weren’t alone. A lot of people who are depressed feel they are the only ones going through this and therefore think there is “something wrong” with them and seeing other people being so open is immensely helpful in raising their confidence in themselves that it’s a completely normal way of feeling.

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So if someone in your life is depressed the best you can do is show them that you love them and you are there for them. In the same way that you being not depressed is just an aspect of you, someone being depressed is just an aspect of them. Never get into that evil way of thinking that you not being depressed makes you better than them. Some people simply are and some people simply aren’t. I also firmly believe that anyone can become depressed at any stage in their life and the idea that some people are immune is ridiculous. To be honest we live in an often cruel world that to be depressed is a natural reaction to it. Be kind, be understanding and listen. You can’t get them out of the way they are feeling, that’s down to them and it’s a gradual, slow process. Sometimes peoples’ way of feeling does change and sometimes their way of feeling doesn’t but they may or may not become better able to cope with their depression and often people who are supported by those they love have a better chance of learning to cope better because they know they aren’t alone. But we need whatever the situation to just be there and be supportive. Don’t treat the person differently to how you would if they hadn’t depression. They are still the same person and you should never put them in the category of “the depressed one” and forget all the other qualities that make them who they are. Don’t treat them like a burden. They aren’t, just going through some stuff and if you love them you’ll be there for them. Don’t be ashamed of them. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. In short, be respectful.

Being Cynical of The Freedom of Speech Campaign

 

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There’s a campaign that we often hear about in this modern world of the fight for freedom of speech. And to be quite honest as the title of this post suggests I’m cynical of it.

 

That isn’t to say I don’t believe in it. Because I strongly do. But I can’t help thinking that it’s a ploy to return the world to a place of prejudice at every corner towards people in minority groups. When exactly have any of the people campaigning for freedom of speech ever said for example, “If you believe people of the same race getting together is wrong you should have the right to say it” or “If you believe cis people are not their gender you should have the right to say it”. They seem to be campaigning from my perspective for negative things to be said about people in minority groups and in minority situations and never about majority groups and in majority situations. This is why I find it often very difficult to support the campaign because at heart, I don’t believe it is freedom of speech they are fighting for.

 

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I’m a kind of a person who believes that everyone in both minority and majority groups is valid but if somebody believed either way that that wasn’t the case I would completely fight for their freedom to say that. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t challenge them on those views. It doesn’t mean I have to like them for those views. I’m noticing a slight trend lately towards the “keep your mouth shut and be polite” even if someone is speaking about having prejudiced views or you know that they do. It can be very suffocating if you’re a person like me who is passionate about their views. Often you are on your own in being ok with bringing up the issue. There may be one or two people like you but often there isn’t. Why? Because a lot of people like to stay neutral in social situations. They see it as conflict and trouble.

 

A lot of us live in a democracy. If two people with opposing views can’t sit down and have a calm debate on issues they feel passionate about, then where does that leave humankind? What often results from a situation that could have been two people getting their point across and then having a cup of tea together after becomes carnage. If you dare even utter the sentence “I think you’re prejudiced” it turns into a mess of “you shouldn’t have said that”, “ah, they don’t mean it in a prejudiced way”, “you can’t call people that”. And maybe it’s just me but isn’t that an attempt to take away my freedom of speech? I don’t actually let out my views very often in social situations for that reason. I’ve seen a lot of people who have honest views even in a calm way be isolated for daring to speak their truth including by people in groups that they are actually standing up for which is incredibly ironic.

 

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There is also this idea that you are trying to change people when you disagree with their view. First of all, I have enough respect for the person I would be debating with to not think they would be weak-headed enough to change their views because of me. The people that say that clearly think they must be. Secondly I don’t exactly think I have that much influence over people! And lastly if I was out to change someone’s views I would go about it a lot more diplomatically than just being honest about what I think. People are more inclined after all to change views with a soft-softy approach than an honest approach. All I want in a situation like that is to put my own point across but it seems to be very hard for people to believe that’s all a person wants to do. Discourse is great. And uncensored discourse is brilliant. As long as both parties are calm, I don’t believe it’s right to tell people how they should speak in any discourse situation.

 

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But I’m cynical of the motives of those involved in campaigning for freedom of speech. If it was genuinely a movement for freedom of speech, all types of freedom of speech would be included not just the middle ground like my views which are positive about both minority and majority groups and the views of people who feel negative about minority groups but also those who feel negative about majority groups and those who feel negative about both. When they don’t say that I don’t believe them and I don’t believe their motives. If their tactics were different and they were sincere with those tactics my feelings would be completely different. The question for me is not between freedom of speech and the feelings of people in minority groups when faced with prejudices about who they are as is often the debate put across. For me, it’s more about not singling out minority groups to be spoken of freely in a negative way by people in majority groups but rather allowing both minority and majority groups to speak freely in a negative way about each other and campaigning for both minority and majority groups’ right to do so. Are majority groups that special that they can’t be spoken about negatively like everyone else?