Posted in Personal Blogging

Things I learnt After I Shaved My Head

If you’re new here, this is what I look like now:

Yeah, my hair grows ridiculously fast, I know. You can see the difference, and if I had put up a picture of what I looked like the first day you’d get a better idea… but I’m lazy and I already posted one.

I shaved my hair (a buzz cut) the first week of November, now we’re in December and I have like 1 1/2 fingers of length (I don’t know how you measure hair, so that’ll have to do).

I already shared some of my reasons to shave my head (like the fact that I had been thinking about it for a while) and how I felt after I did it. This post is a sort of update on the how-I-look kind of post, but instead of a trip down memory lane, I’m going to tell you a couple of things I’ve learnt or been made aware of due to my new hair style.

1. People will try to measure your femininity through the length of your hair.

It’s ridiculous, I know but it will happen.

When I first cut my hair off the first comments my family made were: “Oh, but you are so pretty!”, “I guess we’re going to miss your Instagram selfies.”, “Did you lose a bet?”, “Oh, you want to look like a boy.” and my personal favorite “Are you sure, because you’ll look ugly.”

Now, not all of those comments were exactly targeted toward my femininity, but they were all supposed to make me reconsider. Like I am pretty because of my hair kind of deal, and I was having none of that.

One time, a man leaned toward my face on the street to speak directly to my nose  “Is this a girl or a boy? I can’t tell.”

I mean, I was wearing a dress but little make up so…. I don’t know, I still found it incredibly disgusting and aggressive.

Oh, someone also asked me whether shaving my head was my way to come out as a lesbian (implying that lesbians are not feminine, which is bullshit…. also I’ve been out as a pansexual girl for a while now).

2.- Suddenly, the only thing you can wear are dresses and flowy things to remind the world that “holy shit you’re a girl!”

Okay, so this is not really a new thing in my family but it got more annoying with time.

I am usually told that I “look pretty in dresses” and that my aunts prefer it when I wear pretty clothes rather than jeans and plaid shirts.

I have been told before (by the asshole uncle Dean) that I dress like a raped boy, which, you know, kind of just makes you hate Dean even more than before. He also calls me a faggot sometimes… but you know, he’s just joking, right?! (fuck him).

Now if I wear anything remotely “not for girls” it’s like everyone loses their shit because “people will think you’re a boy!” and I honestly don’t give a shit? I can wear both, I can wear whatever makes me comfortable.

3.- People expect you to wear more make up to make up for you lack of hair, which is stupid.

Sometimes I wear make up, sometimes I don’t wear make up… sometimes I just wear lipstick or a bit of BB-cream. And that’s fine! make up is not for everyone. Wearing it doesn’t make you prettier or better than anyone. Not wearing it doesn’t make you prettier or better than anyone.

Make up is just make up, you know.

You do you.

A nice comment I got was from Bee who told me that now I had an excuse to do really dramatic eye makeup. Which, yeah… but there’s one problem Bee didn’t take into account… I can’t actually do my make up…. I suck at it.

Foundation + concealer + lipstick is pretty much all I do.

Do I look like a ghost? Hell, yeah I do.

Should I contour, maybe? Probably.

Do my eyes get lost and my eyelashes look weird? Pretty much, yes.

But that is how I live my life.

Disclaimer: I do sometimes attempt to do a more elaborated thing… and I fail.

4.- The “I shaved my head because the weather was too hot” thing, is a lie.

A filthy lie.

I got heatstroke from going outside on a super sunny day, without a hat.

You never know how much your scalp can burn under the sun (and this is coming from someone who actually burnt her scalp during Lollapalooza) until you have a shaved head and no one informed you that you need to wear hats. It’s not about accessorizing y’all. The pain is real.

So if someone ever tells you they shaved their head because of that, well yeah, their neck is a lot less hot, but now they gotta vampire their way around the world.

Not nice.

5.- Hats don’t slide off or slowly move from their position now.

The tiny, tiny sharp hairs in your very vulnerable scalp hold onto everything.

That means that if you’re like me (meaning that you push your hats/headbands to the weirdest positions so that they’ll slowly slide to the part of your head where you actually want them) you will end up wearing shit the wrong way.

Hats? pushed all the way to the end.

Hairbands? Uncomfortably close to your gigantic forehead and constantly colliding with all glasses.

6.- Playing with your tiny spikes stops being fun after a couple of days, a week tops (for me).

All I mean by this is that when you first shave your head, the spikes in you head are very stiff and it feels nice to pet your own head?

Oh, and other people pet your head too.

It’s nice… but also annoying after a while.

7.- I’m super vain.

Yeah, remember that person saying  I wouldn’t post more selfies on Instagram.

They were wrong.

I have a lot of feelings and thoughts about selfies and selfie culture and being shamed for it. I have decided that, fuck it, I’m gonna do whatever makes me happy and if anyone has a problem with that… well, sucks to be them.

I have sooooo many pictures of my face. 2014 me would grimace at the sheer amount of silly/ugly pictures I take from time to time.

But you know what? I like it.

I like my face.

And maybe some people would think this is weird of maybe they’ll try to shame me for it, but I spent a big part of my life not liking myself. So I’m just going to enjoy it now.

7.- My hair is so stiff and straight it won’t settle.

So, apparently my dad has a similar problem (whyyyy did I only get the bad stuff from him ie. mental hair, horrible dad jokes, and oily skin) and according to him, until I have longer hair (like two fingers of length) it just won’t lie down.

I don’t really mind it. But it does make me look weird.

8.- I will constantly miss all the versions I’ve been.

Now, this is not only about shaving my head. This was still true when I died it red and then did the ombre thing, then when I cut it off, bleached it, dyed it brown, bleached it again, etc.

Strangely, I don’t really miss my brown hair. I don’t think it’s because it’s a boring color (I love my brown hair and eyes) but because I don’t associate good times to that color. I wa still very shy when I had brown hair. Dyeing it red was the most adventurous thing I’d done and it felt amazing.

Then the next time I dyed it brown coincided with the program that killed everything I am (but taught me many things about myself), so I couldn’t really look back to those days fondly.

As I said, at the beginning of the year I would look at old pictures of myself and see how happy I looked and I’d feel like shit.

Now I can see that I didn’t look happy at all in pictures of that time. But I still miss that version of myself. I wish I had been kinder to her.

I just feel a lot of nostalgia.

I guess it’s because I am so used to holding onto things (ideas, jewelry, papers, you name it) that whenever I change something about myself it feels like the end of an era, like I will never, ever be that person again. It might be ridiculous, but in a way it helps me from time to time.

Bleaching my hair the second time around (more carefully this time) meant that I was done with the Teaching Program and I could just leave all of that behind. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

And now, when I shaved my head it was even more than that because I was doing something I had wanted to do for ages but had lacked the courage to do. I guess it mean that I was finally ready to step away from things I had been lugging with me for years. I could accept myself and just move forward into the unknown.

Or, I’m just over-analyzing this like usual. Who know.

-L.

 

 

 

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Posted in Poetry

Thoughts on ‘Keys’

I. It is not often that you wonder about what you do not have. You do not have a home, you do not own a car. Your hands have never hold a key in a way that wasn’t transitory.

II. Homes are not for those who wander, and you have never done anything but. There are times in which you wonder how your feet can carry you miles and oceans away when there are still pieces of your body that linger and stay.

III. The first time you held a key it was a sign to move forward. You did not have a choice. Keys were rust and metal sticking to the back of your throat. Transit meant fear and blood, rooms and cars, bullets and wounds. It was here that you learnt the true meaning of oxygen and water.

IV. The last time you held a key you could not breathe. Your lungs were made of saltwater and smoke. Sand ran through your veins like the careless passing of an indifferent clock. Time moved backwards and then forward. You lost hours upon hours, upon hours counting back the salt you never wanted to give back to the ocean in your chest.

V. It is not often that you wonder about what you cannot have. You cannot have a home, cannot own a name or a place. Your hands, so used to touch and let go are being taught that sometimes to linger means to hold, and sometimes you need to hold to let go.

VI. Names are for people who stay, and your body is so used to running it seems to slip a bit further away with every word you say. There are times in which you wonder how your body can stay afloat when the ocean in your chest is filled with rocks and corpses.

VII. The first time you hold a key is as an afterthought. You are an afterthought, only barely there and almost unrecognizable under the right light. Transit still makes your bones ache and your blood ask for something you cannot give it anymore.

VIII. The next time you hold a key it has a weight, a meaning, a taste other than copper and stale tears. You do not run anymore. Your scars and wounds have taught you that you can endure, that you are a rock and weathered canvas.

IX. It is not often that you think about what you have and what you are. You are a key in someone else’s hand, a choice, a sign. You are home, when houses and cars have never been anything other than transit.

X. You are home. Oceans and sandless clocks can never dictate your future, because you held hands with someone who gave you a key and invited you over. You are not afraid of the salt you’ve yet to give back to the world, because now your wounds are protected, covered. You are not afraid of a body that wanders far because you have a heart that stays and belongs.

You can stay and belong, that is what keys are for.

-L.

Posted in Personal Blogging

Family Celebration

Hi there!

So I guess this is one of those posts that I’d promised I’d post someday and then I didn’t and then something happened and the post ended up being something it wasn’t supposed to be.

I am not here to share a funny story as I often do. I’m here to vent.

I know the chances of anyone actually reading this are very slim, but that comforts me. This is not here for the benefit other people. This is here because there were words in my head that needed to not be in my head. At least for a little while.

So if you’re here, for any reason, looking for a funny story… don’t read this.

Continue reading “Family Celebration”

Posted in On the Table

Podcast Rec List

So I mentioned somewhere in Twitter that I was thinking about writing a list with the podcasts that I’d recommend people to listen to and why, but that I’d fear it wouldn’t make any sense.

I am not an expert in this topic, just a fan, and I haven’t listened to a lot of podcasts just the ones I’ve stumbled upon.

But here’s my less than comprehensive list of preferred podcasts and why/to whom I’d recommend them.

1. Welcome to Night Vale is a must for those who are into conspiracy theories, like long, drawn out stories, and are into things like magical realism.

The show is about a small desert community where there are shady (literally) entities in charge of the government, the phones at tapped, everyone is being observed by “the Sheriff’s Secret Police” and dragons are real. Everything in Night Vale is strange and mind blowing but Cecil Palmer, radio host, tells it all like it is no big deal and completely normal.

This is a relatively long show (we’re about to have episode 100) and the secrets of the town and its inhabitants are revealed little by little.

The show has a large fan base and very talented people working on it, so you’d definitely enjoy it.

Oh, and a definite plus to it is that the weather section of the radio show are in fact songs. So many beautiful and strange songs came into my life because of this show, trust me, you will love them.

2. Limetown is a show that those of you who like conspiracy theories, mystery and tales about people disappearing without a trace will definitely enjoy.

Limetown tells the story of a scientific community whose inhabitants all went missing one day all of a sudden. The story is told by a journalist who is documenting all her findings on a radio show.

This podcast is very similar in narrative style to a thriller. Lia Haddock, our intrepid journalist searches for clues, finds witnesses and people who can clarify what happened the night Limetown became a site of mystery and tragedy, and gets tangled in something that goes beyond what she had expected.

The show is amazing, well paced, and with interesting characters and narratives. Trust me when I tell you that it will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. It only has seven episodes and there are no concrete plans of having a second season. Instead, the writers of the show have informed the fans that there is a prequel novel on the making and maybe even talks of a TV show.

3.- Alice Isn’t Dead from the creators of Welcome to Night Vale, who definitely know what they’re doing and how to hook you from the very beginning.

As you may have read before in my “On the Table” post I adore Alice Isn’t Dead. This show came to us in a moment in which the “queer women die in fiction” trope was killing us all. You cannot imagine how thrilled we were about this show where the main character, who I shall not name since you do not know her name till the end, is searching for her wife.

If you are a fan of the horror genre, suspense, women loving women, thrillers, love stories and intrigue, then you have hit the motherload with this.

The MC will walk you (or drive you) through her life and steps as she searches for her thought to be dead, but actually just missing wife, who is tangled up in something awful. The format of the show are radio broadcasts that Chipmunk -as the MC is affectionately called by Alice- does in the hopes that her wife is listening and hears her talk about them. These transmissions not only talk about the places she visits -in beautiful, poignant and very detailed descriptions of landscapes and the people she meets- but also offer insights into her life before all this.

You will get to feel so much about the narrator who is, by the way, a black woman suffering from anxiety and who tells us that being afraid is not bad, that anxiety is not the end of you, that you are more than you think.

I am in love with this show. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me fall in love with a woman desperately looking for her home, and for the home that ran away. It has beautiful quotes that will haunt you for days, like:

“There is a fine line between disappearing from view and disappearing altogether. How far could I run? How much could I change before there was nothing left of me to hide? Before all that was left was the disguise?”

and

“It’s one of my favorite memories of you, actually. Us with almost nothing. And still we had everything.”

Believe me whatever it is you love, Alice Isn’t Dead has it in its 12 episode length.

4.- The Message.

Do you love aliens? Are you a believer that the government (whichever government) is hiding the truth from us and that aliens have made contact with earth?

Me too, buddy. Me too.

Which is why you will love The Message!

This particular podcast follows linguistics graduate Nicky Tomalin who has been granted the opportunity of a life time: To work with her all time heroes, and recognized authorities in the field of cryptology.

Nicky is allowed to tail a group of cryptologists who have been contacted by the US military to decode a message that had been received back in 1945 in station Hypo. The Message (or transmission 7-21-45) is believed to have extraterrestrial origins and several teams of people have tried to crack its code and content for the last decades without much luck. The team leaders have reservations about it because it is believed that the message is cursed and it kills all who listen to it.

The 12 episode show develops the story in a masterful way in which you get to follow a trail of crumbs that slowly but surely lead you toward the truth. The characters don’t shy away from dramatics and you will love every single one of them.

The ending is amazing and perfect for its genre.

Trust me, if you like alien conspiracy theories, you will love The Message.

6.- Within the Wires is another show by Night Vale Presents and one of my personal favorites. If you thought I was in love with Alice Isn’t Dead that’s because you have never heard me talk about Within the Wires.

Now, full disclosure. The first time I listened to Within the Wires was when Alice Isn’t Dead uploaded the first episode sampe of it on their podcast page. I listened to it thinking that “well, it’s from Night Vale Presents. It has to be like Welcome to Night Vale and Alice Isn’t Dead.”

It wasn’t.

And for the briefest of moments I was so bewildered by this thing I was listening, so alien and different, that I didn’t like it. It took me a while to warm up to it. But to do that I had to let go of all other preconceptions I had of what a fiction podcast was like. And then, I fell head over heels.

Within the Wires is nothing like what you expect.

Within the Wires is an experience. It goes beyond anything you might think it is.

The story is framed in the format of Relaxation Cassettes that a patient in an undisclosed medical facility listens to. The tapes contain different visualization exercises and “relaxation prompts” that you, as the listened, are compelled to envision and maybe even follow. All throughout the tapes there are little details of narration, about the person walking you through the exercises and the patient listening to the tapes.

Trust me, the way in which the story is unveiled, comment by comment, through a cracking voice and pieces of puzzles that you have to pick up, is beautiful.

I’d say that Within the Wires is for those in love with language. If you’re a poet, a linguist, a literate, then you will adore this story because the use of language is masterful and passionate. It is incredible how the world is shaped, stories unveiled, and characters recreated by the combination of phrases and expressions, and of course Jeanine Mathewson’s beautiful voice. It is very hard to be able to get this effect, to make people care and fall in love with your characters when the style you are using is so experimental. But holy damn it works just fine in Within the Wires.

If you don’t finish episode 12 hopelessly heart broken and in love, then I don’t know what to tell you.

Other people who might enjoy this are: Artists (the descriptions of people and art are amazing), people into thrillers and scifi, and just anyone who is willing to give this format a chance.

7.- The Black Tapes is a podcast that took me a while to finish, not because it was boring or dense but because you need time to listen to it.

The Black Tapes demand a lot of your attention and time because you need to pay attention to it. There are so many details and hints in every episode that are of vital importance for the story as it develops.

This is, in my opinion, perfect for people who love the paranormal, the occult, mystery, horror, and chronicles. The Black Tapes in its two seasons offers all of these things in spades, trust me on that.

The show follows reporter Alex Reagan as she chronicles her search for truth regarding the occult and paranormal. What started as a simple report about people’s careers and life styles, takes a turn for the unexpected when Alex, Nic and their team stumble upon Dr. Richard Strand, a man who has dedicated his life to disproof any evidence of the paranormal.

The show is very long, but very interesting, and even if sometimes they talk about things that might go over your head (like musical and mathematical technical terms that I honestly have no idea about), everything ties up with everything in the end.

If you are inclined to believe in ghosts, demons, and the like, maybe Dr. Strand will annoy you from time to time. But hold on, and keep listening because it is worth it.

8.- The Bridge is a show I only started to listen to recently, one of those shows that are recommended to you because “you liked [this] and [that]” and I did enjoy it.

The Bridge has a bit of ingenuity in its execution and story telling. After listening to so many other elaborated and complicated shows, it was refreshing to stumble upon something that had such a warm tone to it, even when the story is anything but. The characters are well rounded and amazingly familiar, you cannot avoid forming an attachment to them.

I think this show will also appeal to people who like the supernatural. If you’re into Lovecraft and urban legends (fans of the Creepy Pasta, I’m looking at you) then you are in for a treat with this. It has all the elements that make all of those creepy stories on No Sleep and Sixpenceee so possible and believable.

Horror is best executed in the familiar.

The story follows a team of people working on a light house in the -get this- Transcontinental Brigde (after you hear the show you will never be able to read that in a voice that is not The Welcome Brigade), a link between America and Europe, who hide a secret within the watchtower’s walls.

The thing about this transcontinental bridge is that… it’s not a good idea, you know? No one really uses it anymore. So while Etta, our watchtower 10 radio host in charge of traffic updates, should be doing her job, most of the time she is actually relaying folk stories about the monsters and ghosts that can be encountered in the bridge.

Because when something used to be bustling with life but then suddenly doesn’t, the only thing inhabiting the place are ghosts.

Actually there’s an awesome quote from the first episode to illustrate that:

“The distinction between lived-in and deserted – where whispers on the wind can carry welcomes or warnings – seems to be a pretty common theme out here. When night sets in, you can’t tell if that ship on the horizon harbors a single living soul – or if the silver glint bouncing off of its sails is more than just moonlight.”

I love how when you read this, it reads like one of those other podcasts the ones that are telling you something. It’s a narration. But when the characters speak, when the actual story happens, it’s like something that would happen to you, in your life. There’s a juxtaposition between the elaborated style of a prepared narration and the way things actually happen when they advance the story: distorted, out of place and order, chaotic.

I love that, and I think that if you’re looking for something new in the genre, maybe you will love it too.

9.- Ars Paradoxica is the show I am listening to as of right now. I haven’t really finished it yet, but soon. I think this show would appeal to people who are interested in Science Fiction, time travel, paradoxes and conspiracies.

Ars Paradoxica narrates the misadventures of Sally Grissom, a scientist from 20[redacted] who accidentally traveled back in time to 1943 after a mishap with one of her experiments. After this little accident she is found by the US military who, upon discovering she had semi-successfully created a time machine, take her to a secluded scientist town where other professionals are working on secret projects to tilt the scales on their favor during the war.

While in the past, Sally will meet people, discover secrets and create paradoxes, all the while exploring human greed and the ripples every action causes.

The show is very well elaborated and executed, and all the characters are very real and appealing. Trust me, you won’t expect to hear a group of scientists involved in warfare to argue about who’s better The Flash or Superman, but you will. (I was assured that a lot of investigation went into the elaboration of that scene).

This show is funny, complex, frustrating and lovable.

10.- The Bright Sessions is my newest favorite show and the source of many of my tears and frustrations. Honestly, I love every single one of the characters in this and the story is so interesting and revealed so slow that you just can’t wait to hear the rest.

This show is currently still being updated, the latest episode came out last week, actually.

The story is presented through recordings of therapy sessions between Dr. Bright and several of her patients, all of which are considered “Atypicals” because they have supernatural abilities.

The characters (and my children, btw) are: Sam (a time traveling girl with anxiety), Chloe (a mind reader and artist), Caleb (an empath with a bleeding heart, and my main son), Damien (whose power allows him to make people want what he wants, and who likes to victimize himself) and some other characters that because of plot I shall not talk about.

At first I didn’t trust Dr. Bright all that much (because I don’t trust therapists in general, which means this is really well researched. Dr. Bright has all of those annoying traits therapists have when they’re trying to get you to open up without revealing things about themselves) but after a couple of episodes I actually warmed up to her. I guess that it’s the same thing that happened to certain characters. It didn’t seem like she cared much about them at the beginning.

It took me a while to see that she did care, and that she cared a lot about Caleb -my son- so I began to trust her.

Because of her background and story, Dr. Bright comes off as aloof and even cold but that’s because she has many things to hide, things that come out as the time goes by.

All the characters have very unique voices and story lines. This might be about the superpowers people have and how some people might try to use them, but their lives go beyond that. Everyone has their own problems and wishes.

Sam has a very relatable problem with anxiety and overthinking things.

Chloe gets overwhelmed in large groups, but wants to get better at managing her powers to help people.

Caleb is by far my favorite (I love everyone, but there’s just something about his story line and powers that makes me more protective of him) that has to constantly deal with the exacerbated feelings of everyone at school and struggles to differentiate his own feelings from others’.

At times the style changes if we’re listening to Dr. Bright’s clear and clinical recordings, or if it’s a voicemail, or maybe Caleb or Sam recording something of their own.

The show is never what you expect, but every story is so endearing, so carefully put together before it is presented to you. You can feel the love of everyone involved in the production which just makes you feel more and more like you have the privilege of listening to it.

I recommend this show to people who love superpowers, who like tales about superheroes in their every day lives, to people who just like stories. If you like comedy and drama, and slice of life, or to hear other people’s secrets, this is for you.

Oh, the show is also very diverse in representation and I love it 1000000000 times more for that.

And there you have it!

This is my short and messy list about all the podcasts that I love at the moment and why I would recommend them.

I didn’t screw up as much as I thought I would so I’m proud about that 😀

I hope you enjoyed it.

If anyone reading this has any suggestions or questions, please let me know.

Enjoy your weekend!

-L.

Posted in Personal Blogging

Life Update: Academics.

Hello, I am a shitty person and always forget what I’ve promised to do with the blog.

So here’s a new life update that I was supposed to write in November!!! Yay!!

So as whoever reads this might already know, I started to study a major back in 2012 and finished it in 2015. I also entered a teaching program in my university but crashed and burnt soon after, because of reasons that were already disclosed in another post.

That program took a lot out of me and made me question many things about myself and who I am and what I wanted to do. Basically it destroyed me as a person and it took a while for me to get back on my feet and into a frame of mind in which I could actually think about my future.

It’s been a while since that and I have used all this time to make sure the next step I take is the step to take.

Of course that I’ve second guessed absolutely everything about this.

  • Do I want to do this?
  • Can I do this?
  • Am I sure this is the right thing to do?
  • Am I even good enough for this?

The answer to all these questions were not always yes, but lately I’ve started to feel a lot more comfortable picturing this new future.

I am not always 100% confident about my writing skills, my talent, my intelligence or really anything at all. But I want this.

I want this as much as I wanted my major that first time. It’s not a want like other people want things. It’s not about being completely confident all the time, but the certainty that no matter what I will always want to do this. As I said, if I struggle, if I suffer, if I start to hesitate, it will not be in vain. Whatever happens, it will all be worth it. It will be for something important, something I love.

So, what am I exactly going to do with my future?

Well, I am going to apply to the University of Sussex. More specifically I will apply to two Masters.

Why 2?

Because you should always have more than one option when thinking about your future, and because both are things that I truly, really adore. Oh, and apparently the university gives me the option of “combining” them no matter which one I get into.

The programs are Creative and Critical Writing, and Sexual Dissidence.

Creative and Critical Writing is a program where apart from learning about the basics of writing (both in academic and creative settings) students are allowed to explore other areas like history, psychoanalysis, queer theory and others. I like that kind of challenge and freedom that the program offers. And I really, really want to challenge myself like this and explore other areas of my writing that might have been neglected. I remember enjoying writing about history and different influences in writing.

I already explored varied options in the years I spent studying English Linguistics and Literature. I was allowed to take so many different classes that taught us different theories and approaches and allowed us to shape out own writing and way of thinking. I will never forget my presentation about “On Naive and Sentimental Poetry” back in Literary Theory, or the different ways in which we studied the waves of Feminism.

So I’m really looking forward to be able to deepen this knowledge and apply to my experiences and writing.

This would lead me into an academic path.

Sexual Dissidence, on the other hand, is more personal. This does have something to do with my academic experience and expectations. I, after all, chose to write my graduation seminar about Identity (specifically gender identity) in the book Kiss of the Fur Queen written by Tomson Highway, and I loved -and holy shit suffered so much- working on it. I think the perks and downside of choosing to work on this is how personal it is, how visceral the whole experience is.

Sexual Dissidence goes beyond any academic prospect I might ever have. This is not about a future in Academics, this is about my life. This is about who I am and who I was and who I will be. This is about people like me, and the way we’ve lived our life. This whole program is about exploring dimensions of my persona and how it is reflected or how it differs  from others.

I’m as excited as I am afraid of working on this, because it demands an understanding and exploration that we usually try to avoid. I don’t know about you but I have never really met myself, only the version I’ve devised for the consumption of other people. Meeting my true self, with all her defects and struggles and maybe even good things, it terrifies me.

I’m also scared of how such a study would affect me. And by scared I mean I’m excited to have something new and important to defend. I want to work on something meaningful, something that’ll help others and that can be extrapolated not only from theories and studies but also myself. I want to know how my personal experience (you know, coming from an extremely catholic family and having had to struggle with the ally/actually-queer-person thing, and then coming out to my parents in such a way that they thought I was joking, so I kind of have to come out every couple of days).

I want to talk about why the song Heaven makes me cry. I want to understand why. I want to know if other people feel the same way.

I want to talk about self-harm and what it did to me. How it hindered me but also helped me get by so much.

I need this in a way that goes beyond education. And I am afraid of how much I actually want it.

This, I believe, would lead me into a more social destination.

I want both of this options so much, and for different reasons. They both are part of me, an important part. One is me as a writer, and the other one is just me.

I will apply to Creative and Critical Writing as my first option because I love writing and I know you can reach people through it (Hello We Need More Diverse Books). But I will also apply to Sexual Dissidence because I just can’t ignore that other side of myself.

Now, to do all this I need to do several things:

  • Get a certificate that I actually graduated from something already.
  • Ask for a certificate with all my grades.
  • Write a personal statement (this is kind of my rehearsal).
  • Get two recommendation letters for each program.
  • Have a decent CV.
  • Send samples of writing.
  • Get a passport.
  • Get a Visa.
  • Apply for a scholarship.
  • Certify that I have a good level of English (I have my IELTS test on January 7).

I am working on doing all this right now, like step by step because I don’t want to get overwhelmed and then just second guess everything I do.

Oh, during all the investigation and tears that came with it, my friends and I met a representative from the University of Sussex who has been a God sent in all this. For real.

I mean, this person not only is awesome at their job, they also have incredible social skills. They made us feel so welcome and appreciated. They advised us on all things academic and even shared a bit about the kind of activities and life we’d have once we got in. Not once did he ever act like we wouldn’t get in, which made us all feel incredibly confident about the whole thing.

We honestly fell in love with this person, who even offered to proofread our Personal Statements to make sure we wouldn’t do what most Latin American people do, which is to be too humble about everything.

WHAT AN AWESOME PERSON AM I RIGHT?!

So yeah. If someone deserves a raise in this world is this person.

Seriously.

By the way, when I say “My friends and I” I mean that some friends are considering the same university as me but they’re both 100% fixated on studying Sexual Dissidence. Both of them are some of the most talented and passionate people I have ever met and I am more than certain that they’ll make it.

They are aware of the emotional demands of the major, and since they both have had radically different experiences from my own and their own struggles, they know what it would entail. But that’s the thing: They are amazingly brave and beautiful and they are willing to go through it all to do something meaningful. They want to help people, to understand and be understood beyond the academic world. They want to do this program because they have plans to use it to help others, to change the way organizations (which have a lot of problems in Latin America and Chile) work and see sexuality and gender.

I am so proud of them and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do with this.

Now, because all of us want Sussex we are planning on living together. We won’t be living in dorms or other accommodation in campus, but renting a house in Brighton.

This is another area where our newest love and representative of Sussex is helping us. They told us how life is in Brighton, told us about the cultural environment and about the festivities, and of course Pride!

This person is, yet again, going above and beyond with all this because they are going to help us look for a house! Since the university has already options available of people who take in students and are trustworthy.

I think living with people I already know and love will make all this 100 times better and less stressful. As I said, Sexual Dissidence is a very personal topic for all of us so having that emotional support from someone who understand how deep this interest runs and why it is so vital to us is incredibly relieving.

The friends that are going with me are Bee (who you may remember from my Halloween post) and a friend that I’ll call Henry who suffered through the Teaching program with me and who has been a huge emotional support for me. Oh, and I think one of Bee’s friends will go with us. He’s one of those close friends that I only just met last year but I already love, we’ll call him Zack, who matches all three of us and hopefully won’t go mad sharing a house with us.

So, yeah. This was the much promised Academic update.

I will try to keep you posted about it all as things progress.

-L.