This past weekend, I was in a small town in northern Michigan. The residents of this town are primarily gracefully aging conservative Christians, but driving through town - I saw so many businesses flying rainbow flags. This made my heart so happy and so sad at the same time.
This country has come such a long way on the road to equality, but anyone who thinks we live in a society where all are treated equally... is walking around with rose colored glasses. I live in a world where I make less in my position than a man does in the same position, in a world where two men are looked down upon for simply holding hands in public, in a world where the color of one's skin still has meaning beyond the amount of melanin in their system, and in a world where there are people living in constant fear simply because of who they are. I don't like this world.
Growing up, I was taught to love equally and love hard. When I was young, I remember being confused by mistreatment. Don't get me wrong - I definitely had the classic kid syndrome of staring a little too long at someone who looked different from me. But I can honestly say - it was because I was curious! I wanted to learn. I wanted to soak in the world around me - why is that stranger in a wheelchair? What in life has brought them to that place? How can I help? Can they pop a wheel in that thing? Why does that person have darker skin than me? Where are they from? Can I tell them I think their skin is beautiful? Fortunately, I was raised by people who taught me that it is okay to be different and that it is better to ask questions about something you do not understand than to judge the differences around you. I am not perfect - I make mistakes, but I would rather make mistakes on my journey to a better world than to sit back on my heels complacent.
This is why seeing rainbow flags flying made me equally happy and sad. I have always been an ally in the LGBTQ world. I grew up around gay people and I have many friends who identify as LGBTQ (not to mention the whole gay ex-husband thing). I believe that being gay is not a sin, it is not wrong, and most importantly, it is not a choice. Therefore, seeing safe places identified with rainbow flags is so incredibly heart warming - everyone should have a place where they feel safe. The sadness is that we need flags in the first place. I want to live in a world where flags are not necessary to identify allies. I want to live in a world where every storefront, church, hospital, and the like... are warm, welcoming, and safe places.
Is this a fantasy world I'm describing? Sure is! But I will continue to speak up against injustice, ask questions, and make mistakes in order for our society to inch ever closer to equality.
Alright friends, I haven’t written in a while and it is mostly because I’ve truly been having a BLAST since the warm weather has come out to play. While writing is a form of therapy, so is being in the sun…with my friends…and a drink in my hand!
However, something has recently come to the front of my mind. I was shopping online attempting to find something to wear to an upcoming Gala and there was one GLARING problem with this activity: I am an “in betweener.” Let me elaborate!
It has taken me a loooooooong time to reach body acceptance and positivity. I have a handful of chronic illness that require a handful of daily medications…so this causes my weight to yo-yo frequently. (I am overall very healthy…don’t get me wrong) However, I have recently come to the conclusion that I am HOTT! And yes…TWO Ts HOTT. Okay okay, we all have our “ugly” days, but overall…I am becoming more and more confident with my body. With that being said, I need to stick up for my other “in betweeners!” Here is what I mean: In my wardrobe I have clothes that I wear frequently ranging in sizes from 10-14 and M-XL. Meaning, I do not fall entirely within the “normal” sizing OR the “plus” sizing. Here is where this gets frustrating…Let me lay out a situation for you:
Macy’s Associate: “Hello, Maam! Are you finding everything okay?”
Me: “Yes, but I would love this dress in a size 14.”
MA: “That dress doesn’t come in a 14, but I can show you to our plus size section.”
Me: “Okay, thanks!”
…..a little while later….
MA: “Are you finding things better over here?”
Me: “Yes, I love this dress…but it would really fit me better in a 12. Does it come in a 12?”
MA: “The smallest size it comes in is a 0X”
AHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGG. GUYS. Seriously….. I truly don’t understand why we can’t have ONE women’s section with sizes ranging from 00-26W. I mean, REALLY?? Why do we need different styles for “plus sized” women? Different styles of clothing fit women differently, which is why I range so much in my sizing…and why “in betweeners” can struggle to find properly fitting clothes. I should be able to wear, and buy, the SAME shirt as someone who is a size 2 AND as someone who is a size 22…because WE ARE ALL WOMEN and WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL.
SO… to all my other “in betweeners” who ride the line between regular sizing and plus sizing… HANG IN THERE. I am hopeful that there will come a day where “plus” sized no longer holds any semblance of a negative connotation and where “regular” sizing encompasses all shapes and sizes.