The Hard Stuff

The day I came out (God, I still hate that phrase) was the same day I jumped in front of a car.

To be fair, the car was a close friend’s in the parking lot at school. It was, on my part, (supposedly) a joke. She was going really slow, and I just kinda bumped into it. Also, I guess I had technically came out to that same friend two days earlier – though it was an accident.

At the time, coming out and jumping in front of a car seemed worlds apart. It’s looking back now that I realize how connected the two things were.

Since coming out, I’ve been very open about my bisexuality – even when I was warned that talking about it so much would become what everyone knew me for. I didn’t and don’t care. If just one person had told me being bisexual was a thing and was okay before I turned 19, my life could have been very different. For starters, I probably wouldn’t have jumped in front of a car – no matter how slow moving it was.

Coming to terms with my sexuality is not something I discuss very openly. Even before posting this, I debated whether I wanted to share or not, but ultimately the theme of this blog is exposing myself.

I talk about what it means to be bisexual, representation, stereotypes, and everything since I came out, but I don’t talk about how I got there.

I don’t talk about the overwhelming fear I felt on and off since grade 8 that someone would mistake me for a lesbian even though I really like boys. I don’t talk about overcompensating by saying I was so straight it wasn’t even funny. I don’t talk about what it was like to think I might have been in love with a best friend at some point, or how much easier life could have been if she was a boy and I could actually like her. I don’t talk about the quick Google searches in incognito mode so I could figure out what bisexual meant and how to determine that I was one. I don’t talk about how I wished I was a lesbian because at least people “get” that. I don’t talk about the suicidal thoughts I had, or how I thought it’d be so much easier if I just ceased to exist. I don’t talk about how I had a mental break down at a Christmas dinner and to this day my whole family thinks I was just rude and not in the middle of a massive identity crisis. I don’t talk about how even though it’s gotten easier to say offhandedly “I’m bi”, I still cried and forgot all words when I told my parents. I don’t talk about the struggles or hardships, or the very real reality that for a while jumping in front of a car seemed like the preferable option than coming out.

 

I went to my first Pride this past weekend. It was amazing.

I was so nervous before going but it was honestly the most love and support I had ever felt. Everyone was authentically themselves. My best friend came with me and told me she loved her bi best friend.

Between dancing, laughing, and cheering my head off, I didn’t think of the emotional aspect. Not until I saw the group of parent supporters march past me. I don’t even remember any of the signs, or what sent me over the edge. I remember saying (or hearing) “Oh, it’s the parents!” I remember that huge rush of fear from my closeted days surging forward. And then I remember turning to my best friend and asking her why I was crying. I’m still not sure of the answer. I think it was from relief and happiness and an overwhelming sense of love.

The weekend was way more than I could ever imagine and I want to send out a huge thank you to everyone in the community, everyone who made Pride happen and who made me and my friends feel welcome. You made me forget about the hard stuff while I was there, and then gave me the oppourtunity to reflect back on it and appreciate it for getting me here. Thank you.

-Red Hot

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Have a Magical Day

magickingdom

I spent the past week in Orlando, Florida. We did all 4 Disney World parks and both Universal parks in 5 days. It was exhausting, but oh so amazing!

The one thing you need to know about me is that I am a HUGE Disney fan. I was easily the most excited person in at least 3 character meet-and-greet lines. Little kids have nothing on me when it comes to meeting Buzz Lightyear – I watched Toy Story so much as a kid that I ruined our VHS.

It wasn’t my first time at Disney, and 3 months ago I wrote an essay which analyzed Disney’s parks, merchandise and movies through Umberto Eco’s theories of hyperrealism. So I thought I was prepared. I thought I was immune to Disney’s ability to overwhelm your senses and erase all memories of reality. I thought I’d get some new cute photos with some Disney characters, enjoy the rides, and try really hard not to check on all my school assignments while waiting in lines. But no. I was severely mistaken.

The magic is real, guys.

In theory, as a 21 year old, I know that all the characters I met were people my age in really great costumes. I know that. but try telling that to me when I’m waiting in a half hour line to meet Moana, crying and shaking because oh my god, it’s really her!

I was not prepared to be swept up in Disney’s magic as an adult, yet it happened and I am so glad it did. I am not glad about being back in Canada (no matter how “warm” our weather is right now), nor am I happy about being back in school.

For a week, I completely forgot about everything that was happening in my life. I forgot about upcoming doctor’s appointments, assignments that needed to be finished (read – started), job and school applications that I was waiting for responses on, that pesky guy who won’t take a hint and leave my DMs alone.

I forgot about it all.

For one glorious week I wasn’t stressed. I didn’t get super tanned, but my skin cleared up (both acne scars and eczema). My hair was curlier and bouncier than it has been in months! I could wear shorts! I went swimming nearly every day.

It was perfect. It was the grad trip I’ve been dreaming of for two years. It went better than I expected it going. It didn’t cost me as much as I expected it to. I spent 168 hours with two of my best friends since high school.

It was nothing short of magical.

-Red Hot

P.S shout out to the frat boys who made the line for the King Kong ride 100% more fun. I hope you’re out there partying it up and still chanting Kong! Kong! Kong!

Vacay time!

Sometimes you get a whole lot done and feel super productive.

Other days you lay on your bare bed while you should be packing or cleaning or something.

Today is one of those days.

I’m heading away for a week (my first grown up trip!) for a trip that my friends have been planning for TWO YEARS!! To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I honestly cannot believe that we leave in 12 hours!

Anyways, it means that I won’t be posting next week – but worry not! I will have two guest bloggers writing next week that I am really excited for. I hope you pop by to say hello to them. They have some really interesting stories to share with you.

Goodbye cruel winter! I will not miss my daily slips on icy sidewalks.

See ya in a week!

-Red Hot

New Year; Old Grudges

For as long as I can remember, I have hated New Year’s Eve with a burning passion.

At this point, I don’t even truly remember all the reasons why, but it’s just common knowledge. Em loves the beach, has a Phineas and Ferb tattoo, and hates New Year’s. Simple as that.

It wasn’t until this year that I realized my hatred for New Year’s doesn’t really stem from the holiday itself (I think it did at one point), but more from grudges I have against people and events that I associate with New Year’s.

I hold grudges for a long time.

I have some ex-things (because that’s the easiest way to describe my past “relationships”) who have birthdays on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Boo, thanks for the reminder that it didn’t work out.

Last year, I went to a club on New Year’s Eve. It was a small club, it was packed to the limits, and oh hey, I’m incredibly claustrophobic. The night ended with me having a panic attack at 10:30, crying in a club, and my mom promising me that she would pick me up at 12:15 – but not a moment sooner. Now I flashback to that public display of weakness whenever I pass said club, or when someone brings up New Year’s.

My final and longest grudge against this holiday, comes from 7 years ago when I got the first of many visits from Mother Nature. I originally blamed the cramps and stomach pains on the Chinese food we had the night before (Editors note – Em still holds a grudge against Chinese food too). So now, when you all count down to the New Year and make drunken resolutions and promises, I raise a glass to my anniversary of adult-womanhood. Fuck you.

Happy New Year; may 2017 bring you fortune and good health; insert joke about writing 2016 on everything for the next two weeks; so happy to be done with this sorry excuse for a year, yada yada. Can I go to bed yet?

-Red Hot

P.S – I don’t care who the fuck you are, there is literally NEVER a reason to drink & drive. Please find a taxi, uber, or sober friend tonight. Be safe, and see you in the New Year.

 

Merry Christmas, Messes!

I originally had a different post about Christmas.

I don’t know if I was trying too hard to be funny and relatable, or if I just didn’t want to be another millennial complaining about having to see family over the holidays, or being broke, or needing a glass of wine.

That’s not me.

The truth is, I love Christmas! It’s my third favourite day of the year – right after my birthday and Halloween of course 😉

I love the Christmas music (I’ve been slowly building my own playlist and I listen to it every chance I get). I love Christmas shopping – giving gifts to my friends and family is actually my favourite part of the holiday.

The holidays get a bad reputation. I understand it though – we all get so stressed, whether with finishing up a term at school, having to visit family you’ve avoided for a year, trying to make your money stretch a little further than it can, or just from the societal expectations that we’re supposed to be happy 100% of the time during Christmas.

It’s not realistic, and I can tell you for sure that my own seasonal depression is especially bad for the last half of November and first half of December, but there’s something about the Christmas spirit that never fails to cheer me up.

Maybe it’s the chocolate calendars that I still get at 21 to help with the countdown.

Or maybe it’s going downstairs every morning and seeing my tree lit up.

Maybe it’s trying to get my dog to sit still for 30 seconds so I can put a Santa hat on him and take a picture.

Maybe it’s the nostalgia of when I used to write Christmas plays and my siblings wanted to act them out with me (something that hasn’t happened in years).

I’m not sure what it is, but I can tell you that once we get past the stress and hustle-bustle of the Christmas season, Christmas is really quite a magical time.

Merry Christmas (and happy holidays to those who celebrate one of the other hundreds of holidays this time of year). I hope you all take a moment to breath and enjoy this festive time before we say goodbye to 2016.
-Red Hot