Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Sikh Student Association Presents: Langar On Campus

HELLOO!!! I'm sad to say this will be my last event I'm attending. I went to one of the earliest events I could on Wednesday so I can spend the rest of my week/weekend preparing for our BFA Photo Show. I better see you all there! 

Anyway, this week, I went to an event hosted by the Sikh Student Association. I was so excited once I saw all the people there and the huge white tent that said "Free Food".

I learned that about 25 million people around the world practice Sikhism, which is the fifth largest religion in the world. The religion originated in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. Sikhs believe that all humans have the opportunity to find God through truth, service, and loving devotion. Sikh gurus preach to improve life on earth and enable a closer relationship to God. It all started with ten gurus, then the religion expanded. Much like the bible, the Sikhs follow The Guru Granth Sahib which is a collection of stories offering direction on living life in a way that is closest to God. 
The Sikhs display commitment to their religion by wearing five articles of clothing that signify their faith and love for humanity. 
1: Kes-Uncut hair covered by men with a turban. Women usually wear a scarf.
2: Kanga-A small comb often hidden in your hair.
3: Kachera-Soldier shorts worn as undergarments.
4: Kirpan-A sword fastened to your body by a soldier strap.
5: Kara-A bracelet on the hand.

You can see some of these garments in the group shot I posted earlier, like the turban. 

So today, the Sikhs are celebrating Vaisakhi, which is a festival that pays respect to the origins of the Sikh faith. They celebrate this with a Lengar which means "Free Kitchen". When arriving, people cover their heads with scarves and turbans, take off their shoes, and enjoy their meal on the floor. 

Here on campus there were not as many turbans, obviously, because the tent was filled mostly with American students learning about their culture. 
The food was really good, and free! Oh, and look who I ran into!!!
Puja 4L

She's such a cute little miner isn't she?!

Anyway, the whole point of celebrating this festival on campus is to represent equality of gender, social class, ethnicity, etc through religion. God loves us all. Since 9-11 occurred, people stereotype all middle eastern people as "terrorists". As I was talking to one of the people running the festival, she informed me that there are still many hate crimes against her religion and ethnicity. A week ago, 5 men in Chicago were shot up and killed for wearing turbans. These things happen all the time, and this festival is a response to the stereotypes and hate crimes. The Sikhs want to spread awareness of God, Love, and equality and show interfaith acceptance. 

This was like the goodbye pizza parties we used to have in grade school on the last day of classes! So sad this class is over. It was a fucking fabulous semester!

And remember: If you don't love in the hell are you gonna love anybody else can I get an Amen up in hurr?!


<3 G.B.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

David Yost: The Blue Power Ranger

Hello Miners!!! This week I dragged my boyfriend with me to mine with me. Say hi!!!

This week, we went to a lecture about the life of David Yost who was the first original blue Power Ranger. This is him below. 

And this is the boy sitting in front of us with his but crack hanging out.

Anyway, David began by telling us about his childhood. He said he always knew he was gay ever since he was little. He had a crush on his neighbor when he was 3. Hi mother walked in on the two little boys playing doctor and feeling each other, and he felt ashamed of being gay. In 2nd grade, his friend Alan was very flamboyant.  At recess, Alan would run around with a cape pretending to be Wonder Woman and kiss boys on the cheek. Alan would get made fun of, and David joined in to hide who he was. In 5th grade, David was at a cookout when his neighbor walked out of his car in a purple shirt. His family all made fun of the man saying how he's a faggot for always wearing purple. He again joined in and mocked his neighbor to hide himself more and deny who he was. In the 80's, Rock Hudson was the first big celebrity to die of AIDS. In 8th grade, a student brought a National Enquirer to class with the story of the man dying of AIDS on the cover. The students all made fun of Rock Hudson saying that's what happens when you're gay. He was confused...would he die if he was gay? 

In high school, David was spit on, threatened, and had his car vandalized because the jocks all thought he seemed gay. He was afraid to go to school at one point. He chose to be silent and not fight back with violence, but rather hide who he was to protect himself. 

After high school, David went to a private college in Iowa. He woke up in bed on October 19th and told himself, "Wow, I'm really gay". He was done begging God to take the gay away from him. He accepted himself and began to date guys, but he couldn't express himself publicly in a private college. He felt a though he was always forced to silence himself. When he graduated, his boyfriend broke up with him and he drove to L.A. crying. He was heartbroken and told God, "I will never be gay again if you just make me a successful actor". He thought his prayers were answered because 3 months later, he landed the Power Rangers. He was filming TV Shows, Movies, and had fans all over the world.

Filming producers started realizing his mannerisms and assumed David was gay. He's hear people make comments and make fun of him every day on set. He went home one night at his whit's end and contemplated suicide. He didn't end up attempting it and decided to push forward through all the rumors. In the 90's he was jeprodisring the show because it wasn't socially acceptable to be gay. He felt a lot of pressure. His Co-star was asked by producers to out David's sexuality behind his back. There were no Human Resources at the time for David to vent to. He felt trapped. He made an oath to himself that next time he heard someone talking about his sexuality, he'd walk out in silence. He did this in the middle of filming one day when the producers murmured something. The production company threatened to sue him. David said "Okay", and never returned back to the show. He begged God to take the gay away again and did everything he could spiritually to pray the gay away. He went to psychics, spiritual healers, and eventually had a nervous breakdown and checked himself into a hospital. He was terrified when his mom was sitting across from him and he didn't even recognize her. His mind was gone. He spent 20 years hating himself and the world thought he was beyond help or an abomination. Laying in bed in the hospital, he felt the medication kicking in and pleaded to God one last time. "If you give me my mind back, I'll be gay". He lost everything going for him numerous times, but continued to accept himself. 

David comes to speak to us in hopes that no matter what you are in the LGBT community, you know you are okay and nothing needs to change. He hopes people learn from his torture that he put himself through and don't do the same to themselves. 

Every day people will try to silence you, but it's up to you to holler back at them. 

Until next time my little miners! 



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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Infusion Presents: Isis King

Hello! What's Miners yours!!!!! This week, my friend Taylor and I went to an event hosted by the LGBT center. Say hi to Taylor!!!

This week, Isis King came to talk to the LGBT community at the university. Isis is a fashion model and designer who competed in the eleventh cycle of Tyra Bank's reality show America's Next Top Model. She was the first transgender woman to compete on the show, one of the most visible transgender people on television, and the most talked about top model contestant ever. 

Before Isis, she was just King.

Isis had a surgery four years ago. Before then, she grew up in Washington D.C. 
In a predominately black area, facing stereotypes growing up was really hard. She always knew she was different. In an area like the one she lived in, she felt as though she couldn't fully explore who she thought she wanted to be. She LOVED to double dutch with the girls, but any chance her mom caught her doing so, she was punished. It wasn't allowed. Even in kindergarten, Isis had a boyfriend. The teacher would tell all of the students to have bathroom buddies. When it was her and her boyfriends turn, they would go to the bathroom stall and kiss. One day, another student walked in on them and told the principle. When Isis' mother picked her up that day, she was completely embarrassed and told her "We will never repeat this story to anybody". Isis says her mother blocked a lot of things out that she didn't want to see. She didn't want to see that her son was gay, but Isis was more than just a little gay boy. She always identified herself as a woman. Developing these thoughts so young, she did not have any intelligence on becoming transgendered. Her mother monitored her computer so she couldn't lookup any information online, and she was always on close watch. The only education she had we're Maury and Jerry Springer episodes of "That's A Man!" which put drag queens and transgendered folk in a bad light. 
She ended up confiding in her aunt because she couldn't go to her mother. In high school, her aunt would let her and her boyfriend stay by her house. Eventually, the aunt made Isis tell her mom. Isis wrote her mother a letter, reminding her of all the signs growing up that she feels transgendered, and that she has a boyfriend. After her mom read the letter, she got upset and wouldn't even let Isis babysit her baby brother alone anymore. Isis was very dependent on her mother, and now with her gone, she needed to grab support somewhere else to be stable. She moved in with her boyfriend, who became very controlling. He made her only wear baggy clothing and her hair would have to be braided. She thought he was only 7 years older than her, but a year later told her he was 14 years older. He entrapped her...all the house, car, and phone bills that they shared were all under her name. She felt stuck, and he became abusive. When she started to get beaten, she called her mom and told her. Her mom, aunt, and grandparents all came to her boyfriend's house when he wasn't home and packed all of her things up. She ran away from him and went to therapy. In therapy is where she realized "I want a sex change". She wanted to stop living for her mother, ex boyfriend, and society, and do what is right for herself. 
She moved to New York and hung out with a lot of drag queens. With them, she felt like she could dress the way she wanted to dress and felt like herself. She decided to start taking hormones to help start the transgender process. This took a lot of her money, and she became broke. Then, she went to an LGBT homeless shelter to survive while still taking hormones. The makers of America's Next Top Model scouted her from there because they were looking for homeless girls to pose in the background of a shoot. Doing this was where her first shine in the spotlight started. Isis was recognized by the producers and asked to compete in the next season of America's Next Top Model. She only made it through a couple of eliminations, but she has made a brand for herself. She is now focusing on fashion design and is wrapping up filming a movie in the Philippines. 

This is Isis today, a beautiful skeleton of a woman. She looks like she's going to fall over and die at any skinny.

She paved the way for a lot of people trying out in future seasons of ANTM, including myself. Tyra Banks found my androgynous modeling on my Instagram and asked me to have a personal audition with her for next season of ANTM Guys VS. Girls. 

This just goes to show...EveryONE and EveryTHING is beautiful. No matter what you are, you can be a superstar. 
Even if you're a dog. 

Until Next Week!!!


<3 G.B.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

A Day With Lucas Brooks

Hello my pretty little miners! Today, my lipgloss is poppin', my lipgloss is cool. All the boys be jockin', they chase me after school!

I went to the LGBT Center on campus this week for an event by Miss Lucas. Lucas is a writer who performs his talent through skits. He is also a sex educator in NYC, and usually does a one man show. He runs a blog on his own as well, "Top To Bottom". Today he held a workshop on internet dating for gays. He didn't talk much about lesbians because there aren't as many options for lesbies...sorry gals! But we'll get to that later. 

Lucas is in the grey.

First, he gave tips on creating online profiles...this was a bit boring for me because it was kind of the average givens. Be completely honest with yourself, don't lie, focus on things you like about yourself...etc. He talked about faking confidence for those who are self-conscious. Also, have a face picture. In the gay scene, especially closet cases, there are a lot of floating headless torsos on the internet. It gets pretty creepy. He made a good point...would you talk to somebody in a bar if they came up to you with a hood over their entire face? No. NEXT!
Think positive, don't write about things you dislike in people. It's rude. Be careful with your "nakey" never know where they'll end up. My case, probably TMZ. When hooking up with someone, always tell a friend where your going in case you go missing. It's more safe to meet in public obviously. And of course, always have safe sex! Oh, and random fact, happy assault awareness month!

The next part of the workshop was more interesting to me. He informed us on all of the different dating sites and smart phone apps out there. I've heard about one or two of them, but never knew there was that many! There is OKCupid, which is gender polarizing. It has a mix of everyone, and is good to meet friends and for dates. Another is called "HowBoutWe"which is more corky and flirty. It asks you questionnaires and asks about what type of dates you want to go on. When people read these profiles, they say "Oh that date sounds fun! Let's do it!" And BAM! A spark. Grindr is one of the most FAMOUS gay smart phone apps so I wasn't surprised when he talked about it. From my personal experience, Grindr is nasty. It's strictly for homosexuals, which already isn't my nitch market seeing that mostly straight men are attracted to me. Also, most of it is full of the floating torsos I mentioned earlier like this.

Blendr is the straight equivalent to Grindr, and by the same makers. Tinder is a different app by a different maker that is for everyone, and is less of a dirty hooking up, but more for dates. This one allows you to like people you think are attractive, and in order for you to be able to converse with them, they have to like you back. Smart idea because it weeds out the creeps. One of the dating sites I found funny was Fetlife. This site is for kinky sex forums and meeting people into really strange fetishes. There must be something out there for everyone! 
Just be safe!
And don't yuck someone else's yum!

Until next week...
-Gino <3

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