What Being Gay Has to do with the Winter Olympics

Absolutely nothing. The Winter Olympics has been about camaraderie, unity, competition, pressure, support, peace, empowerment, and solidarity. I think Google said it best: “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –Olympic Charter . As the Black Eyed Peas would say, where is the love?

Despite Russia’s own internal political struggle, you can check out the streaming of the events here, but the Opening Ceremony which is taking place tonight (Friday 02/07/14), will not be available for Live Streaming, at least according to Yahoo.

I’m looking forward to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and I think everyone else should be too. Although I think it still casts shadows of privilege on folks that can afford to gather around their televisions under a warm roof to watch the opening ceremonies and activities, it is amazing to see these individuals perform their talents and artistic ability under high-pressured circumstances, especially when we see people of color entering the ring (or should I say rink?). They trained their whole life to be part of these competitions and for that, I applaud them.

Also, just take a look at the 12 new sporting events that are taking place this year in Sochi! How does this not make your heart pound with anticipation (or palpitations? Whichever you prefer!)?

At least I know there are other countries (and companies) that are in support of homosexuality and our queer (and quite fabulous) lifestyles. And Canada, Oh Canada, you have some audacity to post an ad like the one you did. I am equally grateful and even excited (in the less PG-13 sense) to have such huge support for gay individuals, and more specifically, gay athletes. Now, if only we had more representation on the media of gay people of color (that don’t act like a spokesperson for me and my community), that would be a great accomplishment. It would be just as nice to have support from other countries and within our states to take action for LGBTQ rights without having an International event be the lead catalyst for all of this lovin’. Just some thoughts.

I hope I am not offending others by trivializing the support and progress that the LGBTQ movement has produced thus far, but we are ways away from equal representation and treatment. I am extremely grateful to have figures in the media willing to represent their identity and who they are because without them, the world would be way less understanding and accepting. However, like I said, we still got some work to do.

In a nutshell, I guess the being gay has way more to do with the Winter Olympics than we realized. It’s another moment in history where underrepresented individuals are ridiculed and scorned. So, forgive me, for saying that being gay has nothing to do with the Olympics. It DOES. And it always will. I’m just waiting for the day where it doesn’t have to become an issue of awareness or acceptance. Hopefully by then, we can all just be the competitive BAMFs watching the real BAMFs duke it out for an honor of a lifetime.

Lastly, to end off on another note of positive sexual identity and the struggles that come with it, please check out my own YouTube video and Spoken Word Performance regarding what it’s like (for me) being a queer student of color in an academic setting. Enjoy!

A Home Unlike Any Home

RIP Eshleman

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/acordova/5409501758/

Article: http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2013/07/02/eshleman-hall-rip/?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer0c231&utm_medium=twitter

Eshleman Hall was a home for many students — ASUC Senators in the Senate Chambers on Wednesday nights, undergrads spending all day and night in the Reading/Studying Library on the 7th floor, bridges and Pilipino community organizers and leaders preparing for events on the 5th floor, and so many other students and organizations seeking refuge in its earthquake-prone walls.

It’s a little sad to see so much hystory and love physically gone from the campus. Of course, the memories and stories will be passed down through the oral traditions of recent and past alumni, but there are so many “inside jokes” that may get lost in translation. Eshleman Hall was a landmark for students and student organizations. Housing the numerous student groups and dedicated UC Berkeley staff, Eshleman Hall was the center of behind-the-scene activities and social movements. It was the “go-to” spot that allowed multicultural groups to plan, coordinate, and execute their recruitment and retention events. It was the getaway building to catch a breath of (semi) fresh air from the balcony. It was the place to be on those nights where Beat the Clock would leave you yearning for an accessible bathroom. I only hope these stories and recollections of Eshleman Hall do not become a mere whisper amongst future Cal students.

I also hope the memory of Grace Asuncion is remembered and recognized. As a member of the Pilipino community (in which I belong to as well), we send our love and prayers to the life that was taken from this campus and her family, but also recognize the need for establishing improved safety measures across the university — the emergency blue lights to be exact.

It is with great sadness to see such a significant building (particularly in my undergraduate career at UC Berkeley) leave us. But I hope, and have great confidence, that the future students of the number one public university, will demand and receive a newer building that is not only safe, but adequately caters towards the needs and voices of the diverse, multi-facted, and ever-thriving student organizations.

A new Eshleman Hall will be constructed in time — a new Eshleman with new struggles, a bright future, and a rich hystory. Farewell, friend.

Thank You, Wendy Davis

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57590966/texas-senator-wendy-davis-filibusters-against-abortion-bill/

Senator Wendy Davis is a truly inspiring and courageous womyn. I have so much respect and appreciation for individuals who know when and how to “stick it to the man”. What would you do in this situation? A bill that’s attempting to get passed in Texas that does not allow abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Would you stand up with raised voices and fists in the air demanding that a bill like this does not get passed? Would you speak for 13 hours, filibustering a bill, if you had the power to do so? Would you be able to rock pink tennis shoes on the floor, unable to do anything, but rally behind, support, and educate others in the room about abortion? I think this is a true test of faith, patience, hope, and courage. I hope Senator Davis succeeds in her mission. I hope Texas realizes what a mistake it is to ignorantly shoot down the rights of womyn. I can’t speak on behalf of womyn, nor can I relate to their experiences of having rights and privileges denied from them, but I do support Senator Davis’ cause and I’m trying, as a male, to understand what repercussions a bill like this would have on womyn in the state. Please feel free to click the link at the top of this post to read the article about what Senator Davis is doing for the state of Texas.