I’m a Millennial and Fuck You

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Cover of TIME Magazine featuring a white, feminine-presenting, read-headed person laying on their stomach taking a selfie. The issue is titled, “The Me Me Me Generation: Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents: Why they’ll save us

Hi, I’m one of those so called “privileged,” “over-sensitive,” and “lazy” millennials, who refuses to find gainful employment, sits around watching Netflix all day, only cares about internet memes, spends all my time looking at my phone, has a five-second attention span, and is essentially illiterate. And I am so damn sick of people from previous generations shit-talking millennials for having to make the best of shitty situations they contributed to and/or created in the first place!

Millennials are constantly hearing things like, “millennials don’t work hard enough,” or “millennials want to live at home so they can sit around all day and do nothing,” or “millennials are so entitled; they never want to earn anything.” Yeah, us millennials simply lack the ambition to get good, high-paying jobs. Our low wages have nothing to do with baby boomers voting in politicians who completely deregulated the economy, causing college tuition and the cost of living to rise exponentially while wages simultaneous stagnate. And we love having to live at home well into our twenties, or even thirties. It’s just great living with our out-of-touch parents who still treat us like children even thought we do work full time, pay our bills, pay taxes, volunteer, have relationships, have kids, and host of other adult things going on in our lives. Also, how dare we feel entitled to things like a livable wage, health insurance, paid maternity leave, and a couple weeks of paid time off every year when we work forty plus hours every week. How dare we think because we provide quality, full time labor to our employers (who profit from our labor) we should “just be handed” money, health insurance, and a short vacation once a year… It’s not like we’re earning any of that by working… oh, wait.

Even if we’re not entitled, lazy little leeches, we’re still over-sensitive little cry-babies who can’t function in the real world. We’re just a bunch of sissies who need ‘safe spaces’ and ‘trigger warnings.’ Unlike our parents and grandparents, we don’t understand that the world is a rough place. Back in their day, they could say all kinds of racial slurs and call “the gays” f*gg*ts and none of their cis/het, white friends or family would get upset. Hell, they could even racially segregate public spaces to keep those so-not-over-sensitive white feelings in tact. Why do we millennials have to take bigotry and discrimination so personally? What wimps! Creating safe spaces where we can take a short break from racism and queerphobia? Asking  trigger warning be included in classroom content that is likely to trigger PTSD episodes for those who have suffered various forms of trauma? Pussies!

But, let’s not talk about how the same people bitching and whining about us weakling millennials demand every stranger tells them “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays,” or freak out because Starbucks Red Cups don’t have little pictures of Baby Jesus on them, or can’t handle being called “white,” or think “cis/het” is a slur. Really people? How the hell are millennials the over-sensitive ones when you can’t even handle being called white? Like… you are white; you are cis/het. Seriously, what’s your issue?

So, excuse me for being shitty at people who condescendingly explain why I should shut up and accept the colossal mess they helped create. Excuse me for feeling cheated after spending almost $200,000 on a university degree, yet still being unable to land a well-paying job. Not because I’m unmotivated, but because those jobs simply don’t exist. Excuse me for feeling “entitled” to be able to pay the rent on my one bedroom apartment, buy groceries and gas, and have health insurance while working forty plus hours a week. Excuse me for believing I don’t deserve to be abused by bosses even though I do my job extremely well.

And on top of all that, I spend some of my free time trying to make the world a slightly less terrible place and being more socially aware, so excuse me if I binge some Netflix shows every once in a while to unwind. Only to then be made fun of for caring about social/ political/ economic/ environmental problems by the very people who helped create and perpetuate those problems.

“Stupid Millennials” are the most highly educated, yet most underpaid generation. Oh, and we also tend to be more socially conscious, have more diverse circles of friends and family, and donate a higher percentage of our measly income than older generations. So, yeah, fuck you!

/end rant

How to Protect your Privacy under Trump Regime

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Image Description: a digital image of light blue padlock with wires or lines spreading off of both left and right sides on a darker blue background.

U.S. law enforcement officials and politicians have been vocal about wanting more access to U.S. residents’ phones, social media, email, and other private digital communications and information. Fourth Amendment rights are being undermined when it comes to our private digital information, and our new Supreme Leader, The Orange One, has been very clear about his intentions to expand government surveillance even farther.

However, digital communication and social media are essential tools in resisting a modern fascist regime. So, we need to beef up our digital security. Here are some steps to take to help protect yourself:

  • To a large degree, you’re in control of what personal information you disseminate. Be smart about what personal/private information you share, who you share it with, and how you share it. Some basic things you can do are:
    1. Give out as little personal information to as few people as possible. Don’t hand out your phone number, address, or email to just anyone. Don’t offer additional information to law enforcement, government officials, banks, employers, websites like Google or Facebook, or private companies you do business with. If someone does not ask for it, don’t give it. And avoid revealing personal details about yourself, like your sexuality, your political affiliations, ethnic/national background, etc., when you are at work or otherwise outside your trusted group of family and friends.
    2. Keep your social media privacy settings tight. Don’t automatically set all of your Facebook posts to public, don’t use your last name in your Twitter handle, that sort of thing. There’s no need to make it easy for people to Google you and see what you’re up to.
    3. Don’t post online about protests or rallies you plan on attending. Tell family and friends privately about your plans instead, or use encrypted communication to communicate with other protest-goers.
    4. Don’t advertise where exactly you live or work. If you live or work in a smaller suberb of a large city, just say your live/work in that city.
  • White People: Be mindful what you say online or in public. The NSA and other surveillance programs use computer programs to comb for suspicious words and phrases. If something you say ends up being flagged and investigated further, not only will you be monitored by the government, so will your friends and family.  So, if you make a joke about doing some sort of harm to a certain tiny-handed individual, you might just bring attention to your non-white family and friends. And while your own white privilege will likely protect you, the same cannot be said  for your non-white family and friends. Please keep this in mind.
  • Phone (including texting) and email communication is not automatically secure. If you want to tighten up your phone and email security, you’ll want end-to-end encrypted communication. This means that only the sender and receiver will be able to see the un-encrypted message, and the email or phone company can only see the encrypted version as it is transmitted through their systems.
    Two apps to use for end-to-end encrypted phone communication are WhatsApp and Signal.
    And for email, Tutanota and ProtonMail are good choices. Both use end-to-end encryption and they are based in Germany and Switzerland, respectively, both of which have good privacy laws. Please be aware, however, that if you send an email to to someone not using an end-to-end encrypted email provider that email is no longer secure.
  • It’s also important to avoid being tracked, both online and in person. Keep your GPS on your phone turned off, and turn off the location history so Google, Safari, or whatever browser you use cannot learn or transmit your daily activities.
    There are several things you can do to avoid be tracked online. One, install a browser extension that blocks websites from tracking your visits (some options are uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger). Two, prevent others from knowing your internet search history by using browsers like DuckDuckGo. Unlike Chrome, FireFox, or Safari, this browser doesn’t record your searches; it also works well with Google. And three, consider encrypting all of your online activity by setting up virtual private network (VPN).

Most of these tips are from Timothy Summers’ article, “Protect your privacy during Trump’s Reign: A hacker’s guide to being cyber-safe,” published on Salon.com on December, 11, 2016. Click the link above (on the article’s title) to read all of his advice.

Processing Trump’s Impending Presidency

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Image Description: A photo of Donald Trump, a white man, from the shoulders up. The photo is tinted orange and the background is a fire-y wasteland with thunderclouds looming above.

I have been feeling so many things after November 8th. My head is spinning, I have no idea what I should do, I don’t even know if there is anything I can do, and I’m scared. Writing about it is really the only way I can process my emotions. So, how am I feeling?

I feel simultaneously guilty and betrayed.

I feel guilty that white America did this to Black Americans, immigrants, Muslim Americans, Latin Americans, and Native Americans and Indigenous people. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t personally vote for Trump, or even that my state’s electoral votes went to Secretary Clinton. I know some of my white family and friends probably voted for Trump. While it is conceited to think I can solve racism myself, as a white person, I am partially responsible for maintaining our white supremacist society that allowed someone like Trump to be elected. I didn’t do enough to combat racism. I also realize my whiteness affords me even more protection and privilege than it did a few days ago.

But I also feel betrayed. I feel betrayed as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I feel betrayed as a feminine of center person, and I feel betrayed as a young person who will have to live the majority of their life in a post President Trump world cleaning up this shit. I look around me at the people I know and I can’t help but wonder which of them voted for Trump. Which of them hate people like me and my Black girlfriend enough to elect Toddler Hitler-lite? Which of them have secretly been bigoted toward me? Which of them am I not safe around? I know none of them filled out their ballots specifically thinking about how they were finally getting to stick it to me personally, but that doesn’t really make a difference. I know those in my life who voted for Trump, one of the most obviously racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, queerphobic, sexual predators that have run for public office in my lifetime, hate me.

I feel terrified.

I know I should remain calm and focus on the good things in my life, but I am paralyzed by fear right now. I have this dreadful feeling that my country is turning into a nightmare for people like me. I have a feeling my only options are to fight or flee, and I don’t know if I have it in me to fight.

I feel like I must either become a die hard activist, or move to another country. Honestly, moving to Canada is a feasible option for me, and it’s looking pretty good right now. Otherwise, I feel like I have no choice but to dedicate my entire life to activism. I just don’t know if I’m the kind of person who can make that sacrifice. People lose their jobs for being political activists… People go to jail for being activists… People are killed for being activists.

I know it’s selfish of me to want to take my girlfriend and move to Canada. I know the moral high ground is in the fray with the other activists, protesting, writing, speaking out, and hiding undocumented folx in our attics. But just the thought of such a long, uphill fight for civil rights exhausts me. The self-centered, scared-shitless part of me just wants to run away.

And it’s not just the thought of a Trump presidency that scares me, but the shear number of hateful, bigoted people who evidently live and vote in this country. I don’t want to live in the same county as them; I don’t want to have anything to do with them.

I feel angry.

I’m angry at the people who voted for Trump. I’m angry at the politicians and public figures who endorsed him. I’m angry the media gave him a platform. I’m angry at third party voters and those who chose not to vote (not those who couldn’t vote) for throwing their votes away instead of voting for a woman. (Let’s not pretend sexism wasn’t a major factor in this election.) I’m angry at the men who supported for Trump because he made them feel better about their own sexism and rape-y tendencies.  I’m angry at the white women who supported Trump because they’d rather maintain their white privilege than vote in line with their own interests. I’m angry at the immense selfishness of the [predominately white and/or male] American voter. I’m angry that so many people in this country do not care about disadvantaged minorities, or outright hate them.

And I feel deflated. 

A big part of me just wants to give up. I hate people, and I don’t know where to go from here.

Coming Out as Bi: How do I explain bisexuality to vehemently anti-gay parents? 

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Image Description: a bisexual pride flag: pink top stripe, purple middle stripe, and blue bottom stripe. With pink text overlaid that reads “keep calm I’m bisexual.”

I’m having dinner with my dad tonight, and I’m a bit anxious. We don’t really get along; he wasn’t a very good father. I don’t particularly want to elaborate, but there was some definite abuse in my house growing up. I know that’s why I can never feel close to my dad. I even tried confronting him about it, but… he was abusive then too.

I don’t want to come off as bitter. My dad isn’t all bad; I get my sense of humor and my intelligence from him. But it’s difficult to get close to someone who has repeatedly hurt you so deeply – especially when that person is supposed to protect and care for you. However, there’s another reason I can never have a close relationship with my dad: He doesn’t know I’m bi… But that’s about to change.

Pretty much everyone in my life (a least everyone important) already knows, except for my parents. I never really came out, I just never bothered hiding it once I got to college. (I didn’t really hide it as a kid either because I didn’t figure out I was bi until college. Hell, I didn’t even know the term “bisexual” before college.) Unfortunately, my parents have always been openly and aggressively homophobic. They believe gays and lesbians are godless perverts who are going straight to hell. They opposed same-sex marriage and advocate for legalized discrimination of gay and lesbian people. They’re those people who think God sends natural disasters to punish America for allowing gay people to simply exist. So, you can imagine why, as a queer bisexual, I might feel just a tad bit alienated by my parents. It’s impossible to feel loved by, or build any semblance of a meaningful relationship with, parents like mine.

But I think it’s time to buck up and come out to the parents. I’ve moved in with my girlfriend, and we keep talking about the future. We go on vacation together. We’re planning on flying back to the Midwest to spend the holidays with her family. And anyone who knows me understands how huge this is for me. I’m a major commitment-phobe, which is one reason why I’ve never felt the need to come out to my parents. I don’t bring dates home for dinner, and I don’t want to spend holidays with whoever I’m seeing at the moment… Well, I never used to. If I’m serious about my girlfriend, if we’re living together, traveling together, and spending all our holidays together, my parents are going to find out sooner or later. And I figure they should probably find out from me because that way I’ll get to decide how it happens.

My problem, however, is how the hell do I explain bisexuality to people who can’t even grasp that it’s perfectly normal and lovely for someone to be gay? (And I don’t think I can begin to explain that I’m gender-queer.) I can’t just say that I have a girlfriend because they’ll assume I’m lesbian. If I tell them I’m bisexual and am currently dating a girl they’ll think I’m “going through a phase” (probably just to spite them). If I correct them and say, “no, I really love this girl, this is serious,” they’ll go back to assuming I’m lesbian. My friends are trying to be optimistic and supportive, but I know there’s no chance of my parents understanding bisexuality, let along accepting it. And I just don’t see a way to convey how committed my girlfriend and I are to each other while still respecting myself and honoring my bisexuality.

My plan of attack is to divide and conquer, come out to my dad first, and then later, my mom. But I have absolutely no idea how to do this. I guess I’m just going to have to suck it up and get through dinner tonight, and then probably consume a lot of alcohol.

 

A Note on Saying What You Mean:

We [humans] often use inaccurate euphemisms, circumlocutions, or other substitutes in our conversations. Sometimes, we [humans] just find it really difficult to say what we mean. But I’d like to point out how problematic that can be when talking about specific groups of marginalized people and their struggles.

Using vague substitutes to describe a particular social group or problem can cause more harm than good because it invalidates or erases unique identities and/or struggles. For example, using the term “people of colour” to refer specifically to Black folx is problematic because it leads to the assumption that all PoC are Black, OR that all people of colour face the same issues. This ends up erasing the unique identity and unique struggles suffered by Black folx.

So, please just say what you mean. If you’re talking about Black folx, say so. If you’re talking about women, don’t say “people with vaginas,” because some trans men have vaginas. Instead, just say women. And so on. Thank you.

Renovation Notice:

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Looking Back on 2013

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IMAGE DESCRIPTION: An animated picture of a wooden signpost in grass against a blue sky. There are two arrows, the top one pointing right which says “2014,” and the bottom one pointing left which says, “2013.”

It’s a new year, and maybe things will get better. Honestly, I have hope that things will improve this year even though I’m not a very optimistic person. Why have I suddenly turned into an optimist you might wonder? Actually, I haven’t. Frankly, things are so far gone that they can only get better from here. Let’s review some of last year’s political and social highlights shall we?

Best worst news headlines from 2013 (if the news told the truth):

Cayman islands close… Millions of Republicans now part of the 47%

Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston, who said school kids receiving free lunches should be forced to clean the cafeteria, is now being asked to clean the toilets of his constituents

Many Americans shocked to learn not all brown people are illegal immigrants or terrorists

Republicans claim Obama broke Muslim beliefs to celebrate Christmas and promote his socialist agenda

Megyn Kelly quits Faux News to work for white Santa. Quits when she realizes Rudolph is brown

Megyn Kelly heartbroken after learning Santa isn’t white… or real

Speaker John Boehner signs up for food stamps after learning President Obama signed up for the ACA. Sinks into depression when he learns it doesn’t cover his sunless tanner

George Zimmerman lands book deal, becomes poster boy for Stand Your Ground, hands out Skittles and AriZona Tea at local book signing

Michigan woman finally stops laughing when she realizes the whole “rape insurance” thing wasn’t actually a joke

America grateful Al Jazeera covered too many rape stories from India, leaving no space for U.S. rapes to be acknowledged in the news

America grateful to Russia for being even bigger assholes regarding human rights

Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart send congratulatory gift basket to FOX news, and concede that, when it comes to comedy, FOX takes the cake

Pat Robertson predicts, “the end times are nigh!” (again) after hearing 40 and 60 watt incandescent light bulbs will no longer be sold or manufactured in the U.S.

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