Society Needs To Better Address The Problem Of Loneliness

   Is it me, or is loneliness something that most people don’t want to talk about? To be honest, I think the latter is often more true these days. It does seem to be a subject most people seem to want to avoid. But guess what? When you refuse to discuss it, those of us who are dealing with loneliness often feel that much more lonely.
   I think as a society we can and should do much better on this issue.
   Most everyone feels lonely from time to time. It’s part of life. But for some people, loneliness is much more intense and/or lasts for far, far longer. It can be terribly painful, heartbreaking, and even debilitating. As to why loneliness occurs in the first place, well, that’s something that can be quite complicated and a subject books could be written about.
   There isn’t room here to go into all of the causes of loneliness but here are a few factors that I think commonly come into play. Consider an individual who feels different from other people around them for one reason or another. It could be due to physical appearance, sexuality, gender identity, age, personality, the list goes on. Now think about how that individual feels when those around this person treat them as different, like they don’t fit in. Intolerance and prejudice can play major roles in this type of scenario making the individual feel terribly isolated and lonely. Things like depression, social anxiety, bipolar disorder, and others also can be factors as to why a person feels lonely. With regards to depression, the adage of which came first, the chicken or the egg, can be an apt analogy. This is because in some cases, depression may be a significant reason why a person feels lonely in the first place while in other scenarios, the loneliness is leading to the depression. And it can be a combination of both.
   The potential causes of loneliness are clearly wide and varied. Whatever the cause, it can feel heart-wrenching and brutal at times while being compounded by the fact that so many people in society don’t want to talk about it.
   So let’s change this. Society needs to acknowledge and address the problem of loneliness and the fact that it is much more common than most people want to admit. This in turn would help lonely people feel a little less lonely and realize that they are not alone in their struggles. It might encourage more people (both those dealing with loneliness and those who are not) to look at themselves to see how they could do better. It could also help motivate individuals to seek out help when they need it. And if more people would be willing to reach out to others showing kindness and friendship, that too would help alleviate the problem.
  So please think about this. Recognize the issue of loneliness whether it’s something that you have to deal with yourself or not. Try to be kind to others and more willing to consider offering your hand in friendship to another. They may need it more than you know.
  

Undemocratic, Closeminded Efforts By Republicans Threaten US Democracy

October 30, 2022
   I’m going to begin this by telling you that I’m an Independent politically. I don’t belong to any political party.  That said, I’m also going to tell you that this country cannot afford Republican control over governments at any level. Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you.
   In many ways, the Republican Party is now the party of Trump, a party that is willingly following a narcissistic, lying authoritarian figure. Despite the fact that overwhelming evidence shows the 2020 election was fair and that Joe Biden legitimately won, the majority of Republicans believe Trump’s lies instead. And a significant percentage are actively promoting those lies. Many Republicans have gone so far as to push for laws and policies that are clearly undemocratic. Want some examples? Here you go: In several states, Republicans have proposed bills that would allow state legislatures to overturn election results and allot electoral votes themselves, literally ignoring the will of the voters. There are also proposals by Republicans that would make it very difficult for election officials to deal with partisan poll watchers who are intimidating and interfering with voters and election workers. Republicans in numerous states are also trying to get Trump following election deniers into positions (like secretary of state) where they would oversee future elections, thus increasing their ability to interfere with (and possibly overturn) legitimate election results they don’t like. These are not exaggerations. Republicans around the nation are also trying to make voting more difficult because they are afraid high voter turnout may increase the chances of Democrats winning. Tactics include things like making voter registration much more difficult, enacting stricter voter ID laws, and trying to limit or eliminate early voting as well as mail in voting. What’s especially disturbing is how these efforts are particularly targeting people (such as African Americans) who are more likely to vote for Democrats. Again, I’m not exaggerating here. I wish I was, but I’m not. This is really happening.
   Also consider this. The Jan 6th, 2021 assault on the US Capitol Building was a terrible event that was caused by outrageous, dangerous, false rhetoric being spread by numerous people. Whatever one’s political beliefs, understanding what happened and why it happened is vitally important. Yet most Republicans oppose Congress investigating the events and are continuing to blindly follow the dangerous rhetoric that led to the assault in the first place.
   Want some more examples of why we can’t afford Republican control over governments these days? Here you go. Republicans are actively attacking female reproductive rights despite the fact that most Americans are pro choice. Some Republicans even want to ban abortion nationwide. Around the country, Republicans are also pushing for very anti-LGBTQ policies and laws that blatantly discriminate against Queer people. The “don’t say gay” laws being promoted in states around the country are examples of this. Such laws are targeting LGBTQ youth, individuals who already have to deal with far too much intolerance and prejudice from others. Many LGBTQ minors live in homes where they face discrimination from their own parents. This is why it’s common for many Queer students to turn to teachers and school counselors for support and help. But this important resource is being taken away from many due to “don’t say gay” laws. With these laws, many teachers and counselors will be unable or too afraid to help. This in turn will increase the suicide rates of LGBTQ youth.
   The behavior of much of the Republican Party is the sort of thing that leads to authoritarianism and even full blown dictatorships. History is full of examples. Look at what happened in Germany during the 1920s and 30s when people chose to ignore facts, evidence, and even decency in order to blindly follow a brutal, narcissistic dictator instead.
   Whatever your political beliefs or party affiliation, people need to speak out against the lies spread by Trump and others. It’s time to stand up for democracy, honesty, decency, tolerance, kindness, open-mindedness, and the United States Constitution. We must vote in elected officials who do the same because if people don’t, future historians may look back on this time as the beginning of the end of American democracy.

JK Rowling’s Transphobic Comments And Positions Hurt Many People

9-26-22
   I think it’s way past time to move on from Harry Potter because JK Rowling’s numerous transphobic comments have been, and continue to be, extremely hurtful to the transgender community. And the thing that makes it worse is that she continues to double down on her transphobic positions instead of opening her mind and trying to become more supportive to the transgender community.
   Transgender people are hurting these days because of intolerant, ignorant, and prejudiced attitudes coming from so much of society. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 29% of transgender adults live in poverty in the United States, and 22% are lacking health care insurance. 54% have been the victims of domestic violence, yet only 30% of women’s shelters are willing to house transgender women. 47% of transgender people have been sexually assaulted, and during the years 2014 and 2015, 1 in 10 were physically assaulted.
   So it’s clear that the transgender community needs support and understanding from society. This is why JK Rowling’s ongoing transphobic comments and positions are so deeply hurtful and damaging. There are examples of celebrities who have made troubling, intolerant comments who later made genuine efforts to educate themselves, open their minds, recognize what they had said was hurtful, and try to become supportive allies. But Rowling has not done this. Instead, she has doubled down on her transphobic comments and positions despite the fact that doing so hurts innocent people.
   So it’s time that we put Harry Potter in the past because I don’t think JK Rowling deserves any more of our money. Like it or not, supporting Harry Potter (such as buying the books, movies, or other merchandise) is also supporting JK Rowling because she created the series and is still intricately connected with the franchise. She has become extremely wealthy from Harry Potter, so much so that her current net worth is estimated at around 1 billion dollars. She doesn’t need any more money, and frankly, because of her ongoing transphobic behavior, I don’t think she deserves any more. A clear way to send a message to someone like JK Rowling is to stop supporting the thing that has made them wealthy and famous, and in this case, that is Harry Potter. I’m not going to buy her books or watch her movies. I don’t want her to get a penny of my money. We can also make our voices heard with companies that profit from Harry Potter such as HBO. There have been rumors that HBO is considering a Harry Potter series. We should contact HBO and tell them we are categorically against such a move due to JK Rowling’s transphobic behavior. As a matter of fact, I’ve already sent HBO several messages about this. Remember, when you speak up, be thoughtful and considerate in what you say and be sure you can back up your positions with facts. Don’t spew out hurtful, personal attacks because doing so is wrong and also backfires since people will tune you out and ignore you.
   Together, we can make a difference in creating positive change. So let’s make that happen.

https://www.hrc.org/resources/understanding-the-transgender-community

Alan Cumming, A Great Actor Who’s Bisexual+

   Alan Cumming a great actor who has had a successful, prolific career with roles on stage, television, and the big screen. You might recognize him from the series The Good Wife or from his role as Nightcrawler in the movie X2. For theatre fans, he’s played the role of Emcee in Broadway versions of the musical Cabaret. As a matter of fact, I saw him in that role in New York myself, and he was amazing! It was like he was born for the part.
   He’s also bisexual+.
   Why is that a big deal? It’s because there is still far too much intolerance, prejudice, and lack of understanding with regards to the bi+ community. And by the way, bi+/bisexual+ are umbrella terms for anyone who can be attracted to more than one gender whatever label(s) they prefer (bisexual, pansexual, queer, etc).
   Too many bi+ suffer in the closet afraid of what would happen if their sexuality was discovered. For those who are out, many find dating brutally difficult to near impossible because of the way so much of the population believe unfair stereotypes that are not true for most bi+ individuals. Bluntly put, bi+ are not a bunch confused, lying sex maniacs, and many are hoping to find happy, monogamous relationships.
   So when a celebrity like Alan Cumming is open about being bisexual+, it’s a big deal because it gives a positive human face to the bi+ community that many people can relate to and like. It helps open people’s minds and hopefully encourage them to take a closer look at their own attitudes towards the bi+ community.
   In other words, positive representation matters. And hopefully with time, as more people come out as bi+, society’s attitude towards the bi+ community will improve, which in turn will make the lives of many so much better.
  

Still Too Many People Facing Intolerance And Lack Of Understanding

   I’m bisexual+ and genderfluid, and as such, I’ve learned from first hand experience how much intolerance, prejudice, and lack of understanding there is against individuals who are bisexual+, genderfluid, genderqueer, nonbinary, transgender, asexual, intersex, and so on (BTNIA for short) from both inside and outside the LGBTQ Community. Unfortunately, experiencing intolerance from cisgender, straight people is not a surprise despite the fact it’s the 21st century. But having to deal with it from fellow members of the LGBTQ Community can be even more painful since we wanted to believe that we’d at least find acceptance from other LGBTQs. But acceptance even here is not always the case. And let me tell you, it really hurts and can adversely affect innocent people’s lives.
   Why is there still so much intolerance against BTNIA individuals? Lack of understanding is a big factor I would say. People often fear, are intolerant towards, and shun what they see as too different and don’t understand. They are more likely to listen to unfair stereotypes and jump to premature conclusions that they then base future behavior on. This is compounded by the problem of how so many individuals only seek out people, groups, information sites, etc that agree with them and shun or ignore those that don’t. This sort of behavior reinforces close-mindedness and ends up seriously hurting innocent people (in this case, BTNIA individuals) who are seen as too different.
   The result is many of us who are BTNIA feel isolated and alone without a sense of community, and trust me when I say that this can be brutally hard. Human beings are social creatures as a species, so feeling like we don’t belong anywhere usually goes against our nature. A great number of BTNIA people suffer in the closet as a consequence, afraid of what might happen if their secret was discovered. Others who are out often find dating extremely difficult (sometimes near impossible) so that it’s common to find BTNIA individuals grappling with the very strong likelihood that we’ll never find someone special and that we’ll always be alone. Establishing close, genuine friendships can be terribly difficult too since we are often seen as at least a bit too different.
   It’s way past time for people to open their minds and educate themselves. To push outside their comfort zones and learn about other people who are different from themselves. They should seek out information from a variety of different sources, not just from those that agree with them. And they need to stop automatically believing stereotypes that are frequently unfair and not true for many BTNIA individuals.
   If more people would open their minds, it would help BTNIA individuals live happier, more fulfilling lives, and it would also help those individuals who are opening their minds to live better lives themselves.

Why Do We Subject Ourselves To The Confusing, Frustrating Dating World?

   The dating world….
   It’s a mysterious world involving happiness, joy, consternation, pain, sorrow, heartbreak, you name it. For some, finding people to go on dates with is easy while for others it is a grinding, ongoing battle that keeps resulting in rejection, disappointment, heartbreak, and pain. And for many, it’s probably a combination.
   So why do so many of us keep subjecting ourselves to the war that trying to find someone to date often entails?
   The reasons can be certainly vary from person to person. But a big one for many of us is that we don’t want to spend our lives alone. It can get old having no one to come home to after a long, busy day. No one else is there to tell a funny story to about something that happened at work or to commiserate with about some frustrating event that occurred. No one to snuggle with while watching a good movie at night, no one to laugh or cry with, and no one to cuddle with in that lonely bed. When this state of affairs goes on day after day, night after night for weeks, months, or years, it can be terribly painful. It’s something many people fear.
   So we wade into the strange, uncertain world of dating. And how that works out varies from person to person. Some people have an easier time finding dates than others. Over 10 years ago, at the place where I worked at the time, was a fellow employee who had gotten out of a bad relationship. After taking a break from the romantic world, she decided to try a dating site. She was a straight, nice, attractive young woman, and I figured a lot of people would be interested in her. At the time, I had already been on dating sites for several years without success (dates were rare and went nowhere). In less than a month, she had met a guy she really liked. They ended up getting married, and all these years later, they’re still together with several kids. Whereas, despite being on multiple dating sites and Meetup groups, I still haven’t found anyone. Dates continue to be rare and go nowhere.
   Numerous factors come into play when it comes to the dating world and trying to find someone special. Personality, physical appearance, interests, how people see you, location, and so on. Some people are quite popular in the dating world while others are not. The truth is that I am in the latter category. I’m one of those individuals whom people see as too different. I’m not into watching sports and have never been into drinking. My being bisexual+ turns most people off very quickly despite the fact I’d be faithful and monogamous. The result is that I haven’t had much success in the dating world and will likely always be alone.
   While finding someone special is something most people want, not everyone will succeed in this quest. That is the cold, hard reality. And for those who do find someone special, it won’t be perfect and will require work. You may be lucky with your relationship lasting the rest of your days, or it may be good for a while but end in separation and/or divorce. Whatever the situation, people need to keep their chin up. There are many facets to life, and you can have a productive, satisfying life even if you don’t find romantic love (or you lose it). Remember the things that bring you joy. On your own, you can still enjoy a good movie or read a fun, interesting book. You can take that trip to some amazing place without a significant other. Perhaps you have friends to interact and connect with. The point is that whether you have success in the dating world or not, don’t let it totally consume you. Whether you find someone or not, you can still have a good life.

Too Many Movies Use Unfair, Negative Tropes About Bisexual+ Individuals

   I’m bisexual+ and genderfluid. And you know what: I’m sick of unfair, negative stereotypes that are still so pervasive these days. It’s got to stop.
   I was watching a movie about 2 female best friends, one straight and one gay, who are extremely close and in each other’s lives all the time. Texting, hanging out, laughing, telling each other everything, you get the picture. Their relationship changes when the straight one gets in a serious relationship with a man. She doesn’t have as much time for her best friend. So far, good story with a very relatable plot and sympathetic characters. Things change with time, especially when people get into serious, long term relationships. It affects other relationships in both partners’ lives.
   My problem with the movie comes when the gay friend is dumped by a woman (whom she’s been dating). The girlfriend in question is leaving her for a man and because of this, she is treated as confused, possibly a cheater, etc. The gay friend tells her straight friend that she’ll be more careful in the future to date women who are more sure of their being gay (I’m paraphrasing but that was the message). I stopped watching it at this point because it’s unfair, negative tropes like this that contribute to the ignorance and intolerance so many people hold with regards to bi+ individuals. Bisexual+ people can be just as faithful as anyone else. But too many straight and gay people think of us bi+ as a bunch of confused, lying cheaters. And that’s not fair. Straight and gay individuals can be lying cheaters, but people don’t automatically assume that all of them are, whereas, far too many people assume such unfair notions when they realize a person is bi+. It’s not right. It’s why so many bi+ suffer in the closet afraid of what will happen if their secret sexuality is discovered. It’s also why many of us bi+ find dating brutally hard. It’s a significant factor in why I’m still alone with dates being extremely rare (and going nowhere when they occur).
   Things need to change. People need to open their minds. Bisexual+ people are not a bunch of confused, lying cheaters. Are there some who cheat? Sure there are, just like there are straight and gay individuals who cheat. But that does not mean the entire community is a bunch of cheaters. Bisexual+ people can be just as faithful as anyone else. It’s time society accepts that.

Republicans Have Gone Too Far.

July 3, 2022
   Republicans have gone too far. This fact is plain as day.
   Look at what they’re doing. I mean take a good, hard look. They are taking away female reproductive rights from millions of women, are pushing anti-LGBTQ laws in numerous states (which will increase the number of LGBTQ suicides, especially among LGBTQ youth), have gutted the EPA’s ability to properly regulate power plant pollution (which will in turn worsen Human Caused Climate Change), and are literally undermining American democracy by promoting Trump’s lies about the 2020 election and pushing new voter laws that make it more difficult for millions of Americans to vote (especially those who are likely to vote for Democrats).
   Think about what I’ve just said. It’s all true. Republicans are literally doing this. And what’s even scarier is that they are not done. Despite the fact that the majority of Americans support same gender marriage (recent polls show support at over 70%), there is a serious risk that Republicans are going to try overturn the Obergefell vs Hodges ruling to allow Republican states to ban same gender marriage. This would create a situation where some states would ban same gender marriage while others would support it. First and foremost, consenting adults should be able to marry other consenting adults whatever their gender. Banning same gender marriage is morally and ethically wrong. In addition, having same gender marriage banned in some the states would create all sorts of confusion in terms of taxes, insurance coverage, hospital stays/medical decisions (as to who is considered family), and more.
   Look at what is happening in terms of abortion rights with Roe vs Wade being overturned. We are quickly heading towards a situation where abortion will be banned (or severely limited) in roughly half the states while allowed in the other half. Many of the bans won’t even allow an early abortion in cases of rape. Think about this last part. A woman who has been brutally raped isn’t even allowed to have a morning after pill just in case. And these abortion bans in Republican states will particularly hit minorities and the poor very hard because many will not have the time and resources to travel to a state where abortion is legal. And what’s even scarier is that despite the fact that polls show that most Americans are in favor of a woman’s right to choose, there is a very strong chance that Republicans will ban abortion nationwide if they gain enough control over both Chambers of Congress and the White House.
   Republicans have gone too far. They are trying to legislate their own personal beliefs (that are often coming from their personal religious beliefs) upon the entire population even when the majority of that population disagrees with them. Think about that. For example, conservative Republicans’ hatred of women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights are prime examples because they see these things as sinful. In other words, socially conservative Republicans are essentially trying to pass laws based on the their own personal religious beliefs that affect the entire population. This is made even more disturbing when you consider that most Americans disagree with conservatives on these issues. Some Republicans even want to restrict access to contraceptives! Think about that one.
   The brutal reality is that we can’t afford Republican control over governments these days (local, state, or federal) because they are going too far as they try to legislate things (many of which come from their personal religious beliefs) upon the entire population even when the majority disagrees with them. They are literally attacking the rights of millions upon millions of people (such as with anti-LGBTQ laws and abortion bans) that will increase the suffering of many and will lead to a significantly increased number of tragic, unnecessary deaths (like from suicide of LGBTQ youth).
   People need to speak up and stand against what Republicans are trying to do right now. And even more importantly, people need to vote! Vote in overwhelming numbers against Republicans because we can’t afford Republican control over governments these days.

Too Many People Are Hurting Due To A Lack Of Acceptance From Much Of Society.

   Hey there folks. I’d like to talk about something that’s very important which many people don’t realize. The fact is that there are a great number of LGBTQ people who are hurting, isolated, and alone because too many members of the Straight and Gay / Lesbian Communities don’t fully accept us. And this needs to change. It’s the 21st century for crying out loud.
   Who am I talking about you may wonder. It’s actually a lot more people than you may think. Bisexual+, Genderfluid, Genderqueer, Nonbinary, Transgender, Asexual, Intersex, and others (BTIA+ for short) often feel like we’re not fully accepted by most of society so that far too often, we end up very isolated and alone.
   Many people fear, and even ostracize, individuals whom they see as too different. Often, they assume the worst. That somehow we must be confused and untrustworthy. Or that we’re just plain too weird. The result is that they don’t fully accept us.
   The consequences are that too many BTIA+ people end up feeling like we don’t belong anywhere and that people don’t want us. It makes finding true friends incredibly difficult and often dating becomes virtually impossible, despite the fact that we can be just as faithful and monogamous as anyone else and that we want love too. Unfortunately, too many of us are having to face the brutal reality that we are probably going to be alone for the rest of our lives.
   Things need to change.
   The Straight and Gay / Lesbian Communities as a whole need to open their minds and their hearts. BTIA+ people deserve acceptance and a chance. Don’t automatically reject us because of who we are. Try to open your minds and get to know us. We also enjoy the same interests and activities that you do, whether it’s movies, TV shows, and art or good food, travel, and the outdoors. Plus, diversity should be celebrated, not feared.
   We are people too.
   We have hopes and dreams.
   We want to have happy productive lives like everyone else.
   All we are asking for is a chance.
   If everyone strove to be kind, considerate, tolerant, open-minded, and accepting, imagine how wonderful and magical the world could be for everyone.

Why Is There So Much Prejudice Against The LGBTQ Community? Why?

   Why is there still so much prejudice against the LGBTQ (Queer) Community?
   Why?
   LGBTQ people have been around for the entire history of humanity, and LGBTQ behavior is also seen in other animal species.
   So where did all this prejudice and hate come from?
   The answer isn’t simple.
   Numerous factors are involved in creating intolerance and prejudice because I don’t think people are born that way.
    Lack of understanding is a big one. Many people don’t understand what it means to be LGBTQ. They don’t know the challenges and pain many LGBTQs face on a regular basis. They don’t seem to grasp that being Queer is part of who a person is and cannot just be switched off (and shouldn’t be switched off). There is nothing wrong with being LGBTQ. Being LGBTQ can and should be a wonderful thing.
   Now, add on influences from people, organizations, schools, churches, leaders, family, and friends. If many of those  surrounding influences are prejudiced themselves, that can affect a person’s thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors, especially if the individual already has a lack of understanding about the LGBTQ Community. Think about it. Imagine an individual who doesn’t really understand the LGBTQ Community and may have some insecurities and misconceptions about the subject. Now, picture a scenario where many of the important people in this person’s life don’t get the Queer Community either and often make derogatory jokes at the expense of LGBTQs. This often encourages and can worsen the individual’s intolerant views and behaviors.
   Something else to keep in mind is how intolerance and prejudice can be insidious so that individuals frequently don’t recognize that they are prejudiced themselves. Of course, there are other people who know they themselves are but have so much hate that they don’t care. Either way, they are harming innocent people.
   Such hurt can manifest in many ways. It can occur when people make fun of someone just because that person is LGBTQ. Or when an organization refuses to help because those in need are Queer.  Another example is how many people categorically refuse to date someone they would be interested in otherwise just because that person is LGBTQ (Bisexual+, Non-binary, and Transgender individuals are frequently the victims of this).
   In early 2020, Tennessee signed into law new regulations that allow religious based adoption agencies to automatically reject prospective parents just because they are LGBTQ.  This is legalized discrimination. And now there are multiple “don’t say gay” laws as well as other legislation targeting the Transgender Community being pushed in states around the country.
   All this prejudice against the LGBTQ Community needs to change.
   Everyone should take a good hard look at themselves, their views, and the factors driving those views. All should educate themselves to better understand other people, including those who are different.
  It’s the 21st Century! Time for people to open their minds and let go of the intolerance and prejudice pervading society these days.
  It’s time…

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/most-lgbtq-americans-experience-harassment-discrimination-harvard-study-finds-n823876 https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/12/19/anti-lgbt-discrimination-has-huge-human-toll-research-proves-it/ https://www.thedailybeast.com/are-bisexuals-shut-out-of-the-lgbt-club