Category Archives: News

COVID-19 and Our New Reality

This past week has been hectic. The news of COVID-19 has been non-stop. The panic is all around. I’m good though. No need to panic. I am fortunate to not be out of work. Schools across the country have shut down. Businesses are closing or reducing their hours. Restaurants are changing to delivery and take out service. Conventions have been cancelled. TV shows and movies have halted production. The world has essentially stopped.

There is good reason for all these changes though. Trying to stop the spread of COVID-19 is a top priority, as it should be. Unfortunately, many people still aren’t taking this seriously. Even though I am not panicked, I am taking appropriate precautions. Whatever happens going forward, we have reached a new reality. COVID-19 has already changed life as we know it and will continue to.

 

50 Years of Pride

On June 28, 1969, LGBTQ people were fed up. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera among other LGBTQ individuals fought back against the NYPD who had been terrorizing their community for far too long. From the first brick thrown to today, LGBTQ people have fought hard for their place in the world. Marriage equality, the striking down of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and many other wins have been the most notable highlights. Unfortunately, housing and job discrimination still persist, the life expectancy of Black Trans women is only 35 years old, LGBTQ teens have higher rates of suicide than their heterosexual peers. LGBTQ individuals are negatively affected by homelessness. Although there has been much progress, there is still work to be done.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. There have been Pride celebrations throughout the world all month.

The LGBTQ community has come a long way since 1969, but the fight is not over. More must be done to ensure everyone in the LGBTQ community has the same opportunites and rights as one another. Many LGBTQ individuals live at the intersection of various identities, so the fight becomes two-fold, but the fight must go on.

Happy Pride Month! Keep Fighting! 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈

When ‘I Don’t Know’ is the Best Answer

Tiffany Haddish has become a shining star in Hollywood. Her role in Girl’s Trip catapulted her to fame. Since then she has been collecting checks and awards. From her hosting gig on SNL, to her new movie Night School with Kevin Hart, Tiffany is everywhere.

Last week, she won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, for her hosting on SNL. After the ceremony, a report asked her a question about diversity. The reporter said: “The opening was great with all the talks of diversity and how its the most diverse group of nominees ever. But Twitter right now kind of seems to have a backlash about how there have only been white winners tonight, and how we still have so far to go, and how we have so many wonderful actors and writers in the categories that were nominated,” she added. “Do you have thoughts of how we could kind of get to that next hurdle?”

Tiffany’s answer set the internet ablaze, she said:

“Girl, no. I don’t know how to do that, and I didn’t go to college for that.” “I didn’t go to college at all, nor do I know how to solve problems like that. If you was asking me how to structure a joke, I could help you with that part.”

“But what you talking about now, I don’t know,” she added. “I don’t know. All I know is how to do my job. That’s somebody else’s job. I don’t know that. Can’t answer that for you, but I won.”

Her response was called ghetto, ignorant, and inappropriate. All because she said she did not know the answer.

To respond, ‘I don’t know’, to any question is seen as ignorant because we as a society have it drilled in us that we have to know everything and if we do not know, we have to pretend we do. By society’s standard, answering a question with ‘I don’t know’ makes you look bad, and we all know appearance means everything in this world.

I couldn’t even tell you how Hollywood, a century old institution, could fix their diversity problem. In all honesty, people have already told Hollywood how they could fix this problem, but Hollywood has not listened. So what can Tiffany Haddish add to the conversation? Not much, which is what she said. Yet, people got all up in arms about it.

Answering a question with ‘I don’t know’ is valid especially if you genuinely do not know something. I don’t know astrophysics, so I cannot answer a question about it. I am not a fortune teller, so I cannot tell you what will happen 5 years from now. It may sound good to answer every question posed to you, but if that is not your expertise, then you will look more foolish giving some long drawn out answer, when you could have saved yourself the trouble and just said ‘I don’t know.’

So be more like Tiffany and answer with a solid ‘I don’t know.’ If you don’t know, then you don’t know. No need to beat yourself up or have everyone else beat you up by answering with that.

Parts Unknown: Anthony Bourdain and Me

I am 26 years old today. I woke up at 8 am EST, to get ready for work. I turned on the television and a breaking news segment appeared. Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s face filled the screen. The words came out too quick, Bourdain had died by apparent suicide in a Paris hotel. He was 61 years old. This just three days after fashion designer Kate Spade died by suicide. The Center for Disease Control also released a report this past week saying that suicide rates have increased more than 30% between 1999 to 2016. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and is one of just three leading causes that are on the rise. Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade were just two celebrities who have died by suicide in recent years. The list includes Chester Bennington, Dave Mira, Robin Williams, Lee Thompson Young, Don Cornelius, and Chris Lighty. It goes to show fame does not make one immune to suicide or mental health issues.

I am 26 years old today and I did not think I’d be here. Suicide has been a persistent thought for the past few years. When I started this blog back in 2013 I had just come out of a dark period. I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life and felt pressured to make a decision that everyone would be happy with. I felt as if I was just going through the motions and not really living. Seeking treatment had crossed my mind at the time, but the stigma surrounding mental health and worry about how others would feel, kept me silent. I poured my heart into my journal and on here, put a brave face on for the world, and kept going. I was not even happy, I just plastered on a smile and tried to make sure everyone else was happy even though I was miserable. By 2015, I had a plan for how I was going to die. Things had been up and down to that point and I was tired. I felt alone and that no one cared or understood. I could not talk to my family and I did not want to burden my friends with how I was feeling. I did not go through with my plan.

I am 26 years old today and I woke up to the news that Anthony Bourdain died by suicide. It is 2018, and people are still dying by suicide. People are still worried about how they will be treated once they disclose that they struggle with suicidal thoughts and depression. There is still stigma and fear. I am 26 years old today and I have come a long way, but I know I still have far to go. May the families of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain find some peace. If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741-741 to reach Crisis Text Line.