Monday, January 29, 2018

Independent Projects 2018

(I have all my notes on a google doc so they wont be in my project)
For my independent project I did Transgender Discrimination. I went back and forth between topics for ages, and do to my hospitalization I wasn't able to work in class or ask peoples opinions on my topic. I went from wanting to do my project on aliens, to space, to ghosts, to mental health, but I decided to do it on the topic that I really wanted. To be honest, doing a project on a topic that relates heavily to me was difficult. There were multiple times doing my research faze where I had to stop reading whatever I was reading because of how terrible it was. I remember when I was reading about the transgender military ban and seeing someone say something along the lines of "I don't want these faggots serving our county" and being so disgusted that I couldn't finish the article. Needless to say, I was really nervous to do this topic, but I'm proud of myself for doing it.

What I liked most about my project was the feeling I got after I presented it. I felt like I finally did something for myself even though I was scared to, and the positive reactions I got from everyone made me extremely happy. It made me feel like I was one step closer to being open about myself and helping the people around me understand.
The hardest part of my project was talking about my personal story with coming out and suicide. It was very important to me to share that to spread awareness about how big of a deal suicide attempts in Trans teens ate. I wanted to give a message that yeah, It's been extremely difficult to get where I am today, but that doesn't mean I can't keep going. I think people don't realize the amount of discrimination that goes on, and that its bound to happen to everyone. I wanted to show how this topic related to me. The reason that this was hard is because I was reliving a part in my life that I've tried to forget, and although I tried my best to get through it without crying, I failed. Even so, it was something that needed to be shared and it was.
I think I defiantly improved my time management skills. When I got back to school most everybody was finished with their projects and starting to present where as I hadn't even started (do to being in the hospital and not having access to computers). I think for the first time in my life I didn't procrastinate and big project and instead used my time well.
If I could do my project over again I would be more prepared to present. I feel like I could have practiced what I was going to say more than I did. I remember looking down at my notes while presenting and not being able to read them because my hands were shaking so bad.
I think its important with big projects like this to do a topic that you really want to. Even if you're nervous about the topic you chose, if it means a lot to you, you should do

Overview/ Thesis
  • No one should be denied a job, place to live, or access to public places because of who they are, but that’s exactly what happens to transgender people.


  • 1-5 Transgender people experience employment discrimination
  • In six studies between 1996-2006 57% of transgender people were denied a job, promotion, were harassed, and even fired because they are transgender.
  • Dana Rivers, a high school teacher in Sacramento, Calif., wrote a letter to colleagues in May 1999 explaining that she was undergoing a sex reassignment surgery from male-to-female. Rivers had worked in the school for eight years and was consistently rated by students as one of the best teachers they ever had. She had also developed a program for unmotivated students for which she was awarded an $80,000 grant as well as the school's "Stand and Deliver" award for the teacher who most inspired students. In June of that year, the school board sent a letter to all 1,500 families in the district disclosing Rivers' status. Four parents wrote back in protest. The school board fired Rivers in September based on those parents' complaints.
  • More recent study shows that almost every transgender person in the U.S experiences harassment in the workplace. 25% of those who were surveyed were forced to use the bathroom opposite to the gender they identify with, dress opposite to the gender they identify with, and act and present themselves as a gender different than their own to keep their job. (Use female to male example)
  • 70% of transgender individuals had to hide their gender identity, delay their transition, or quit their job due to fear.

  • Estimated 70,000 trans youth are homeless and living on the streets in the U.S alone
  • 1 in 5 trans people have been denied housing, and 1 in ten have been kicked out of their homes because of their gender identity
  • 20-40% of the homeless population around the world are transgender
  • Unfortunately, housing shelters are known to deny homeless transgender people because of their identity

Murder rate
  • In 2016, at least 27 transgender people were murdered because of their identity
  • Out of these 27, two of them were only 17 years old.
  • The murder rates are only going up, 2017 also had 27 deaths and it is likely that 2018 will have even more
Gwen Araujo
  • In the summer of 2002, transgender girl Gwen Araujo attended a party with friends  Michael Magidson, José Merél, Jaron Nabors, and Jason Cazares. The party was at a house rented by Jose Merel’s brother Paul Merel. During the party, Pauls girlfriend Nicole Brown forcefully stripped Gwen and discovered her to be a Transgender Woman. Once Michael Magidson found out, after puking, he put Gwen in a choke hold. Later, he punched her in the face and choked her again. Jose Merel hit her in the head with a can of food and a frying pan. Thankfully other attendants at the party helped get her attacks to leave. When they came back and saw her sitting on a couch, Magidson kneed her in the face against the living room wall until she was unconscious. After this, she was taken to the garage of the home where she was strangled with a rope and stabbed with a shovel. She was then hog-tied behind a truck and dragged for 4 hours.
Suicide rate
  • 41% of transgender people have tried to commit suicide because of discrimination
  • Suicide attempts are more prevalent in youth ages 18 and below. So kids who haven't even had the chance to live the life they were meant to live.
  • My story with suicide (start with coming out to mom)
  • Talk about Finn
So, is it getting better? Politically, no.
  • In 2017 alone, the new government administration has made 22+ anti-transgender actions, including the Transgender Military Ban. Thankfully he military ban was was blocked by a Judge on October 30th, and on January 1st of 2018 transgender people were allowed to list in the military again.
  • Bathroom ban on students. President Trump has rolled back guidelines protecting transgender students that were made by President Obama, now forcing trans students to use to bathroom opposite of their gender identity.  
  • Bathroom bill- In march of 2017, 40% of Americans voted for a bill that would force Transgender people to use the bathroom of their sex assigned at birth. If that bill was passed (next slide)... it would force him to use the womans restroom, and her to use the mens.

Being transgender isn’t a choice. It’s just the way we were born. I have always been transgender, and I always will be, even after I die. It’s a fact of life. Transgender people will not go away, no matter how much hate gets thrown at us. Discriminating against us won’t make us any less trans. We arent hurting anybody by trying to live the life we were meant to live, yet people still chose to hurt us, just because of who we are. The way to stop discrimination, is with education, and that’s why I chose to do this project. Thank you.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

One Word

I needed my word to be powerful, to make up for my lack thereof. I needed my word to give me hope, yet keep me grounded. Lastly, I needed my word to keep me striving. My word is Fight. Not fight as in punch-that-one-annoying-kid-in-the-face, fight as in fight for my future.

My future used to be clear; I wanted to be a model and live in California and be rich with a loving spouse and family. However, in the last year, my future was dwindling away. In my darkest hours, I wanted to take away my future altogether. I saw myself as a failure, as a burden, as worthless. I saw myself like that so much in fact, that I thought everyone else's future would be better off if I wasn't in it. The will to fight for my future was so little that I gave up on myself all together. I didn't fight to keep myself healthy, I didn't fight to make myself happy, I didn't fight to find hope. I didn't fight to stay alive. I had given up on myself. I believed wholeheartedly that I was a lost cause beyond repair and in that thinking I became weak and bitter. I knew I was the only one who could help myself but I didn't even want to put in the effort to try.  My thinking was simple, "Why try to dress up trash? Even if its covered in gold, garage will always be garbage." I knew if I continued on the path I was going on, it wouldn't take long for my future to be gone altogether. It wouldn't take long for me to be a distant, fickle memory.

It didn't take long for me to realize where my self-hatred and depression was coming from. You would think that once you find the source, curing it should be easy right? That maybe it would give you hope? For me it was the opposite. I thought I hated myself because I wasn't pretty enough, or skinny enough, but it was never that easy. When I looked at myself, looked at my long hair and feminine body, I wanted to rip it apart. It finally clicked one day, all my worries and fears came crashing down so hard that they left mentally shattered. That's the day I made the biggest mistake of my life. That's the day I found out I was transgender, and thats the day I found out what it's like to try and make yourself disappear.

"We live in a world not made for us
Called Freaks
Called Deceptive
Called Kill Yourself
We don't understand what we did wrong
We hide in closets more like coffins
Hope to God
Or something
That we will be able to escape this wooden prison one day but it's not safe out there
Theres too much soil holding us down
And every time we move another splinter enters our body somehow."

The pain buried in the eyes of my family left guilt stronger than anything I have ever felt in my life. I've had to answer difficult questions before, but when my parents asked me "why?' over and over again, It killed me. They looked at me, the IV's coming out of my arm, the heart monitor, the Emergency Room bed, and waited for my answer. They wanted to know why I tried to kill myself.

"We exist on cliffs
Not holding on to enough for all of us to survive
1 in 3 transgender people will attempt suicide by the age of 20."

August 29th, 2017 was the day my family found out how much I had been struggling mentally. It was also the day they found out they had a son instead of a daughter. That night, as I lay silently in the ER bed, I realized my future, the one that was almost taken not even 12 hours ago, was only just beginning.

"But Dear,
Listen to the soft whisper of your heart still beating and remember the complexity of your existence."

This wasn't easy for me to write, but it's something that needs to be shared. I apologize for the length of it, but I wanted to put all of my feelings and emotions into this piece to show how important this is. Hope is there, even in the bleakest of moments, I'm proof of that. Every day is a fight, and everyday I strive for victory, because my story isn't over. Life will throw things at you so fast and so hard that not even the strongest hearts are ready for it, but that shouldn't keep you down. When that happens, you need to fight. Fight so hard that nothing can stop you, and fight until you win. I know people say this often, but never give up.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

DWA Publishing First Quarter

These two pieces are my favorite out of my DWA writing assignments, I hope you enjoy them as well. DWA 9/25/17- What frustrates me? There are a lot of things that frustrate me, too many to count. I guess I would be what you call an easily frustrated person. I really frustrate myself, and I get frustrated at myself for being frustrating and getting frustrated in the first place. There is a lot about myself I wish I could change, and it's frustrating that most of that stuff I can't change; for example, my voice. I hate my voice, but I know I can't really change that aspect of myself. I think frustration can either make you work harder or make you give up quicker. It really depends on how you control that frustration. Like, I get frustrated at myself for my lack of athletic ability, but I use that anger to full myself and push myself into doing better. DWA 9/29/17- My biggest fear is the fear of the unknown. There are so many things that I want to accomplish, and I don't know if I will or will not actually accomplish them. Not living my dreams and not being the person who I want to be really scares me.It's like, If I give my all to achieve a goal I really want but never actually achieve it, that would be one of the worst things that could happen to someone. I'm really scared that's what will happen with me. I also don't know if I'm making the right choices moving forward. I want to know that I will be the psychiatrist I want to be, or go the the collage I want to go to, but I wont know till I'm already there.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Shakespeare Relfection

In our newest unit we learned about Shakespeare. I was a little disappointed, I thought it would be a boring unit and I wasn't really looking forward to it. At first I thought we were going to do research about him, and then make some sort of presentation. Instead we did more entertaining things instead of just reading about him. We did interesting things like learn about the way he spoke and the words he created. When I found out that we were going to read a play script in class, I was kind of bummed because I don't like public speaking of any kind and I considered that to be public speaking. And reciting plays and things in front of people scares me. But when we started I found it enjoyable and as embarrassing as I originally thought it would be. The language and words that Shakespeare used were very different and at sometimes it was comedic reading them. We also had a field trip, so that was a plus.
I was very happy when I found out that we were going to have a field trip at the end of this unit, field trips are the best thing about school in my opinion, and I feel like we learn a lot during them. On our field trip we went to a museum in Iowa City to see one of Shakespeare's original portfolios. His portfolios are extremely rare and there only around 80 originals left in the world. They are important because the are a piece of history from a long time ago. They are the only ones left, and the only ones that we will ever have. I was also really intrigued by the high security system that the portfolio was in.
I feel that it is still very important that people learn about Shakespeare. He added so many words and phrases to the English language. He is a very important person in our history, and he created so many plays and ideas that we use today in movies.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

2016-2017 First Blog Post

Hey! This is my first blog for the 2016-2017 school year. Like every year, i'm going to set a few goals to hopefully accomplish by the end of the year. My academic goal is to do the best I can with the work i'm given. Get good grades, yes, but there's more to it. I want to be able to fully understand and enjoy each assignment. And, of course, learn everything i'm able to.  Next is my personal behavior goal. I'm going to try my best to have a new attitude towards school. Put simply, change my "I hate everything, this is boring, leave me alone, when does this class end" way of thinking to a more positive one. How i'm going to achieve this? Looking at the bright side of each class and project ( and try not get annoyed by annoying students i'm forced to work with....forget I said that ). Now for my improvement goal. There are a lot of things I want to improve on. My writing, for instance. I feel like my writing style is childish and sloppy. I also would like to improve my athletic abilities. Like my endurance. And I also want to include a personal goal. To make this blog feel more....well personal I guess, and less boring. Even though my personal goal isn't very original ( OK It's very original ), I want to expand my musical horizons. And I don't mean listen to different genres of music, I like what I like and I like it that way ( alternative-rock and post-grunge thank you very much ). I have about two main bands that I listen to daily, and I want to increase that number. And my other personal goal is to read more books than last year. Well, thats it. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Westward Expansion Project

For my Westward Expansion project I did the Major Religions in the West. The partner aka the Toad I worked with was Whitney Smith. Even though we "bicker" we are great friends and we work well together. Hopefully you can tell that we put a lot of effort in out Prezi.