Post-Two Week Hiatus

After two straight months of daily content, I took a much-needed break from posting. But I’m BAAAAAAAAAAACK

I’ve been thinking a lot about what type of content I’ll share moving forward. Here’s what I have in mind:

  1. Definitely keep an eye out for more collaborative posts.  There’s no way in hell I’m stopping those. But asking others to be vulnerable and share their words is a delicate process. It takes time. I’m always open for submissions, though! Feel free to contact me at any of the links above if you’re interested. I’ll definitely be sharing guest-written posts randomly here and there, but as for another month-long project, that will take more time.
  2. Back to more inspired-in-the-moment content. I used to write about what I was currently listening to, daily experiences that really stuck with me, and emotions I felt were worth sharing. I’m goin’ back to more of that fo’ sho’.
  3. New stuff too!!!!!! I want this blog to become a cross between activism-driven collaboration, and an insight into my life. From texts that made me laugh, to memes I can’t get enough of. Pictures of weekly experiences, and whatever is on my mind. I’m going to start sharing it.
  4. A new navigation toolbar is in the works. So whatever you come to this blog for, whether it’s the LGBTQ+ content, mental health related posts, guest-written articles, or my random words, you’ll be able to find it and you won’t be stuck skimming through the other shit you don’t care about.

With that said, here’s my favorite text exchange this week. Hopefully it brightens up your Friday:

 

Pride Month: The End

I want to start this post with a video. This month, content creator and YouTube star, Tyler Oakley,  released a pride-related video series called Chosen Family: Stories of Queer Resilience. I highly suggest watching the entire series, because each piece is unique and powerful, but there was one video that really resonated with me.

I was lucky enough to spend not one but two days during NYC’s Pride Weekend at Stonewall. After watching this video, something just clicked for me.

This month has meant so much to me and I have so many amazing people to shower in endless thank you’s for that. Emily, Tierney, Nick, Jocelyn, Josh, Kevin, Nick, Collin, Alex, Carrie, LJ, Chrissy, and Bia – without you, this month would not have been possible. To say all of your words have been inspiring is an understatement beyond belief. You guys have become more than just a piece on my blog, you have genuinely influenced me to be more myself than ever before.

Spending Pride Weekend at Stonewall made me realize how grateful I am for this month, this blog experience, and all of the people that took the time to read these words every day.

We really have come such a long way since the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Although we still have a lot left to fight for, I just wanted to take a minute to appreciate where we are now.

As cliche as it is, growing up, I would have never been able to find a blog filled with a month’s worth of LGBTQ+ related stories and experiences. On a personal note, even a few years ago I wouldn’t have had the balls to want to create LGBTQ+ content like this either. We/I have come so far and for that, I am so proud.

In all seriousness though, this blog has been so empowering/therapeutic for me these past couple months, but it has grown to become something so much more than that. I am so beyond appreciative for every single person who has been willing to open themselves up for the sake of helping others. I am so thankful for everyone who has read these words, reached out to these writers, and shared this content. Without all of you, my little passion project would be meaningless.

I want to end with a reminder – each of you reading this have stories and words worth sharing. Your feelings and valid and your experiences are meaningful. Content like this needs to be shared. Content like this is raw and real and relatable. Content like this really, truly helps people.

Thank you so much for making my second month of collaborative content one I will never forget.

New content coming soon!

x

Pride Month: LJ

Today I am extremely happy to share a post written by the very talented, Lawn aka LJ. I met LJ freshman year of college, and I remember feeling like she was just immediately one of the most friendly, outgoing, and accepting people I had met thus far. 

Freshman year of college is weird AF, you’re trying to get to know people, find your niche, and feel comfortable in a foreign place. I was lucky to have been introduced to LJ through another friend of mine, Kara, and our friendship just felt natural. I’m pretty sure the first time we hung out she literally let me drag her along to a concert hours away from our school, for an artist she had never heard of, and even welcomed us to sleep at her house afterward too. 

Anyway, the reason I asked her to write has nothing to do with that (lol), I just wanted to give a funny little backstory. I asked LJ to write because I think her ideas are extremely important. I’ve been following her on Twitter for years now,  and I just feel like there is so much substance and importance to the things LJ tweets and retweets. I just had this feeling that if I reached out to her, she’d have something unique and valuable to share. 

To be honest, LJ’s piece surpasses what I even expected. I know this month is about “Pride”, but like I have said before, “Pride”, and the meaning behind it, encompasses so much more than just positive experiences. Her words aren’t necessarily about a coming out story or a supportive moment, quite the opposite actually, and I think that is what makes them powerful. I don’t want to give too much away with my summary, so just check it out here:

I’m gay, but don’t tell my coworkers

June. The month many LGBTQA members of our society are looking forward to every year. Why? Well, because it’s the month corporate America so generously gives to the LGBTQA community as a chance to be unapologetically proud of who we are and who we love.

For starters, I am a cisgender gay woman and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am out to pretty much everyone: my parents, my friends, and even the random girls I meet around midnight in bars while I’m in line for the bathroom.

However, there is one group of people to which I have never uttered the words, “I’m gay” — my coworkers. While many of them probably assume my identity because I never bring a date to our staff parties and can rock a pantsuit better than Ellen, they never bring it up.

Kenji Yoshino best describes this term in his book, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights. In Laymen’s terms, to cover is to tone down a disfavored identity to fit the mainstream. It’s not a new term and it isn’t solely attributed to the LGBTQA community. There is also racial covering and sex-based covering, but this post focuses on LGBTQA covering.

People cover for many reasons. I cover for fear that my homosexual identity will undermine the quality of work that I produce. I don’t want to be known at work for my sexual orientation because I don’t want to give anyone a reason to dislike me for something that is irrelevant to my work performance.

Is this thought process messed up? You bet. It’s hard going to work every day feeling like I have to censor my true self to cater to the bias and comfort levels of other people.

But covering doesn’t make me feel safe and “in control.” Instead, I feel ashamed and dishonest. I’m ashamed that I care so much of what current and future colleagues may think of me and I feel a dishonesty that is so privileged because I can pass as straight.

It’s also discouraging to think that people I work so closely with every day might suddenly shift their opinions of me because of who I have feelings for.

I guess I have to decide what’s more important to me, the comfort of others or how beautiful my girlfriend will look at our next holiday party.

Pride Month: Me

I wrote this post a couple of months ago for a friend’s zine (check out Jvmp The Gun and Orenda Lou…it was their zine). These were feelings and emotions I have wanted to share for a long time, but as I began to write, I realized it was more difficult than I thought to find the right words for the ideas I wanted to convey.

It’s weird to say that though. You would think it would be simple to write a piece about yourself. Who knows you better than you, ya know? But when it comes down to it, it’s more difficult than it sounds to sum yourself up in a combination of words. 

After I wrote this, I literally panicked about actually sharing it. Not so much for fear of judgment, but for fear that I didn’t fit the way I defined myself enough. I think at the root of it, that’s always been my biggest concern. I’ve never felt like I actually fit in any one box. I never felt extremely feminine or extremely masculine or extremely straight or extremely gay. But then to say I’m somewhere in the middle scared me too. What if I wasn’t in the middle enough? What if people see me differently than I see myself? 

I think that’s a big part of why I wanted to do this collaborative project though. Because at the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter what box you fit into or where you fall along the spectrum. If you identify a certain way, others should respect and accept that. You are exactly who you feel like you are, and no one should tell you otherwise. There is an infinite amount of people in this world that identify an infinite amount of different ways. No one way is more right or more wrong than another. 

With that said, here is my piece:

Dear Younger Self,

Right now, you see the world as black and white, this or that, good or bad. In all honesty, the simplicity is beautiful, but within that beauty, you will also realize great flaws. You will grow to learn that life is so much more than just one or the other.

I can’t blame you that right now you dream of fitting in. Kids are harsh, man. I feel your pain. You spend countless nights picturing what it would be like if the kids at school stopped picking on you. You literally have dreams of what it would feel like if the boys had crushes on you. Nothing seems to matter more than feeling like you’re accepted. I get that, you’re not wrong. I mean damn, right now you can’t stop begging your mom to buy a minivan and join the neighborhood social circle of stay-at-home moms. You’re just clinging to any “normal” ideals that you can think of, and it’s okay. I know you think that you would do anything to look like that girl in the denim miniskirt that you see in the hallway every morning because she always has the boyfriends. You are dying to be more feminine, more generic, more binary.

Just to calm your nerves, I’ll tell you now: You make those friends, you buy those clothes, and you attract a lot of those boys. But I’ll let you in on a little secret, too: You lose yourself in the process.

I can’t wait until you’re older and someone calls you “fluid” for the first time. I can’t put into words how understood you’ll feel.

If I could give you any bit of advice, I’d actually tell you not to do anything differently. You need those experiences, those friends, those fights, the kisses, the late nights, the drunk memories, the tears, the beautiful joy, and the gut-wrenching pain. You need it all to get to where you are now.

You need to feel as generic and accepted as possible to realize it’s not what you want or who you are. Don’t beat yourself up when you’re 21, 22, 23 years old and still figuring everything out. You are doing it all exactly right.

When you learn what fluidity is you’ll feel afraid to let your guard down. You’re going to spend a lot of time denying that you could possibly identify with such a term. At first, you’re going to still wish you were hyper-feminine. Once you let that idea go, you’ll beat yourself up for not fitting the term enough. You’ll still feel misunderstood, even by a word that is so all-encompassing.

Let me remind you now, so you can remind yourself a hundred times over as you grow: It is all just a spectrum. You are part of the spectrum and you will find so much pride in that.

I know you feel confused. How could you have spent two decades trying to perfect yourself only to realize everything you grew into is the opposite of who you are? You will search for so many answers within strangers because you will feel too lost to even ask your friends.

But hey, stupid, guess what? Your friends know you better than you think they do, and they accept you wholeheartedly. I know you’re just scared, but how could you ever doubt that? They will call you fluid before you even say it yourself.

There is so much beauty in the in-betweens. There is so much relief in all the grey.

You may not always feel true to it, but you are fluid in every sense of the word. The more you embrace it, the more confidence will bloom inside of you.

Life will ebb and flow. You will feel just as masculine as feminine some days. You will realize that love knows no gender. Sometimes you will feel so painfully low that you won’t leave the house, and so flawlessly high that the world seems technicolor.

Wear that fluidity like a badge of honor. Let yourself dance along the spectrum. Feel and love and experience all of the changes. Allow yourself to be a new version of who you are every day. Let it drive you, inspire you, and teach you. Experiment. Let go of the fear. Connect with yourself. Realize that your differences radiate like beautiful bouquets from within you.

I know you won’t always feel unapologetically confident. No one does. You will still hide behind a lot of facades. Just don’t let yourself feel like you’re taking steps forward just to take those same steps back. You are progressing, even when it’s not linear. Cut yourself a break and embrace the grey of it all.

MHAM Post #3: One of Many Who Inspire Me – Kelsey Darragh

After a weekend spent feeling unusually low, I wanted to get the ball rolling this week with a little inspiration from someone I have admired for quite some time now.

Kelsey Darragh, if you don’t know her, now you know. Female comedian, internet content creator, and Buzzfeed producer who, for some time now, has been generating some pretty dope and hilarious videos, and a lot of seriously relatable shit too.

The video above isn’t the only one floating around Buzzfeed’s many Youtube pages that features her discussing her mental health, but it’s definitely one of my personal favorites.

I know I say it all the time, but progress isn’t always linear, you guys!! Not with anything in life, but especially not with mental health. Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’re running in place. Don’t give up if it seems like you’re taking three steps forward just to take four steps back. Change will come. There are people, medications, therapies, resources, out there that will help you. It make take time to find the right combination that works perfectly for you, but don’t stop now.

If you want to check out more of Kelsey Darragh’s stuff you can find her here:


Twitter: @kelseydarragh
Instagram: @kelseydarraghcomedy

And tomorrowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…..keep an eye out for the first of
many pieces about mental health written by a friend of mine !!!

KEWL HUH? YOU GET TO HEAR FROM SOMEONE OTHER THAN ME FOR A
CHANGE.

K HAPPY MONDAY n shit xo

MHAM Post #2: Doing Things A Little Differently

So I’ve decided I’m going to do things a little differently this month… I’m going to start sharing mental health related content created by other people too. I know this blog is called “Krump Writes”, ya ya ya wutever ok, bear with me. 

The whole purpose of this blog is to raise awareness about concepts and ideas that I feel are being stigmatized, right? Mental Health, Sexuality, etcetc. When I started, my whole thought process behind this blog was just to share experiences with the abyss that is the internet in hopes that some people would see it and understand that this shyt ain’t nothin’ to ashamed of. Literally should that be my tag line??? THIS SHYT AIN’T NOTHIN’ TO BE ASHAMED OF OK.

No, but in all seriousness. This blog obviously started with posts just written by me, hence the name, but I don’t think it needs to stay that way, at least not this month. 

SO I’ve reached out to some friends and I’ve asked if they could share some of their experiences related to their mental health for the month of May. I got resounding yes’s across the board (thnx guys!!!!), so hopefully this works out and I have some cool shit written by some even cooler peeps to share over the course of this month. 

Along with that, I’m going to try to share some videos and other content that I think is relevant…….because ya know I’m not the only one dealing with these things, le duh!! 

I feel a LITTLE like this is a cop out so that I don’t have to challenge myself to write a lot this month……ha, so I’m still going to be sharing my own thoughts and experiences too.

**Also, If you happen to be reading this and want to share your own experiences via this blog, feel free to email me: alexkrumpholz@gmail.com (or click the icon that looks like an envelope in my header), or message me by clicking the button on the top right corner of the screen . You can also request that your post remain anonymous!!**

Woot woot Cinco De Mayo let’s all get drunk k bye

Feeling Stagnant

I have been avoiding writing for so long because I feel like
nothing I can say will have as much weight as my previous post.

I’m usually pretty hard on myself about writing too. I’m not
the most eloquent or the most creative or the most unique, so why would I write
publicly if my words don’t have meaning to anyone aside from myself? What’s the
point of creating content if it’s not influential or moving?

It is so easy to get lost in that mindset. And it’s
especially easy for me to take that doubt and insecurity and let it manifest
into laziness.

Also, for lack of a better euphemism, I feel like I have
just been existing recently, and I don’t find that worth expressing. Living in
New York City can be such a liberating experience, but recently I think I have
taken that for granted.  

As silly as it may sound, I came to the realization that I have been in this rut after watching the last few episodes of Girls. That show
always ignited this sense of passion within me. It made me excited about my 20′s
and spending that time in Manhattan with best friends and new adventures and
romance and heartbreak and passion and wonder and love. I know that may sound
dumb, but I always had these high hopes for my time spent here.

Don’t get me wrong, living in Manhattan has been so worthwhile
thus far, but it’s just much too easy for me to get stuck in routines, lose
track of aspirations, and become bland.

Throughout high school and college I immersed myself in
people. I collected friends like trading cards and I used these friendships as
a protective blanket. I loved those times in my life. I loved those people I
met and the experiences I had. But this is the first time in almost 10 years
that I’ve felt devoid of this safety blanket and I’m still learning to navigate
without it. I think we all need to be reminded once in a while that loneliness
can be constructive though.  

My point in this is that not every experience in life will
be a liberating high or a thought provoking low. Yes, it is much more moving to
express those two extremes, but the in-between can have just as much weight
too. Overlooking the in-betweens leads to immobility. That’s where I am at
right now. 

This is What Two Years in Jail Looks Like:

image

Earlier today I tried to write a really lengthy post about this….and my computer crashed right before I posted it. L O L was that a sign? I’m not sure!! But here I am writing it again!! I can’t guarantee this will be as interesting because my brain is still mostly consumed with my anger towards Tumblr for not automatically saving drafts of my posts every couple minutes incase of potential computer crashes!!!! But anyways, 

I’ve tried to sit down and write about this so many times and I’ve never been able to find the right words. Are there even words that can be correctly strung together to formulate sentences to explain what it’s like to have a dad that’s been in jail for two years? I’m not sure. Probably, but I haven’t found them yet. 

In a lot of senses, I think its difficult to explain because my problems with my dad began well before he was in jail. In a way, two years ago was not the beginning of my problems, it was the beginning of my freedom. 

Two years ago was the first time I was able to separate myself from my dad. It was the first time in years that I wasn’t consistently feeling responsible for him. I didn’t have to be the parent anymore. But at the same time, it was the first time my problems were exposed to the world. It was the first time I couldn’t just pretend things were normal or perfect or easy. Two years ago I was forced to start learning to let go of my fear of judgments and outsiders’ opinions. 

A lot of losses are easy to understand. With a death or a divorce, most people can fairly easily interpret the pain you’re feeling and appropriately comfort you. With incarceration, no one ever knows what to think or say. In my opinion, so much of that lack of appropriate support comes from confusion. 

To start, it’s extremely difficult to explain the complexity of the flaws within the criminal justice system. On top of that, it’s even more difficult to understand what it feels like to be trapped within that system (whether guilty or innocent). And then to be an outsider looking in, watching a loved one suffer without any ability to help or control the situation is another demon entirely.

Two birthdays. Two Christmases. Two summers that would have been spent at the beach or by the pool. Two years of missed calls. Two years filled with hand written letters. Two years without my childhood home. 730 times that I could have processed my feelings. 730 days to pick up the phone and say “hello”. 730 days to write you back.  

The best thing I’ve learned over these past two years is that change does not happen overnight and progress is not linear. Sometimes I go weeks without crying once. There are periods of time where my life feels flawless. Then there are periods of time where my entire day is filled with shame and anger and pity. Sometimes I feel proud. Other days I feel beyond weak. 

I used to think that was wrong though. I used to think that time just healed wounds. But healing also takes work. And just because you’re healing doesn’t mean it always happens in a sequential order. Sometimes you’ll take 3 steps forward and then 5 steps back. Sometimes you’ll take 10 steps forward and only 1 back. 

I’ve learned that the whispers behind your back are sometimes unavoidable. I’ve learned that the silence after sharing the truth is okay. This situation is just as new for me as it is for everyone else. Judgments and criticisms directly stem from confusion. 

I’ve learned that people can be both good and bad simultaneously, and that doesn’t mean you were ever wrong for loving them.

I also learned that I’m allowed to love the parts of my dad that I see within myself. Just because I am made up of parts of him, doesn’t mean I am him.

My dad showed me a lot of beauty but he also showed me a lot of darkness. 

These past two years have been filled with growth and acceptance. 

Incarceration. Is. A. Loss. Too. 

Maybe it’s not as conventional as other losses, but it’s a loss. For the past two years I’ve felt, more or less, unable to openly share what I’ve been going through. I’m not going to let my shame control me anymore. I am proud of the person I have become. 

My dad is in jail but my life wasn’t perfect before that either. It has been two years, but I am the happiest I think I’ve ever been.

Something I’ve Learned Recently About Confidence

I’ve been thinking a lot about confidence lately. For the longest time I thought there was a direct correlation between confidence and perfection. I thought the more flawless a person was, the more self-assured they must be. 

Confident.
People.
Can.
Be.
Broken.
People.

Broken is beautiful. Flaws are beautiful. Flaws are POWERFUL

I sure as hell am not perfect. I have a lot of inner demons I still have to conquer. But I have such a drastically different appreciation for myself and those demons now than I ever had before. 

Life is too fucking short to spend time pitying yourself for your imperfections and shortcomings.

Love. Yourself. First. and release your inner power/strength/beauty and never apologize for it.

Feminism

I just would quickly like to put this out into the world as a reminder for anyone who happens to read this. The definition of feminism is below: 

fem·i·nism /’feməˌnizəm/ noun: the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

I literally cannot understand why so many people are sharing and supporting that girl’s “article” on The Odyssey where she discusses that she’s a woman but she’s “over feminism”. 

To start, I can never understand why anyone shares anything written on The Odyssey as if it’s a well-written, reliable source. They are all opinion pieces by college kids that, more often than not, are also very poorly written!!!

Also, it just is very hard for me to fathom why any educated, upper-middle class woman (aka the majority of my female Facebook friends) could possibly say they do not support feminism. I mean, it is hard for me to fathom why ANYONE regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status, etc is against the idea of feminism, but that’s a whole other can of worms. 

It just doesn’t make sense to me, personally, why another female would be against the idea that women and men should be treated equally.

Feminism doesn’t mean that women are better than men. Feminists don’t want women to have more respect/power/advantages/etc than men. Feminism is just about equality

Ideally, in a world where everyone was feminist, we would all just be given the options to do whatever we please without fear of discrimination, inequality, lack of safety, etc. 

In the girl’s “article” on The Odyssey she explains that she doesn’t support ideas like televising women’s sports, women paying for the check on dates, etc. But my big rebuttal to her is that no one says you need to support those things! That’s not what feminism is. Feminism is just giving everyone the opportunity to be able to support/practice those ideas if/when they want to without judgement. 

So hey, if you don’t want to be the first girl in the NFL, or the breadwinner of your household, or a working woman in general, etc etc etc, you don’t have to be!! But some women want those things, and those women should be allowed all of the opportunities they ever dream of having, with just as equal of an opportunity to have them as men! 

The reason women are so “okay” now in 2016 is because many, many bad-ass women fought their asses off for the rights that you and I have today. That is why I fight to support equal rights. Because yes, many of us are “okay”, but we didn’t get here by being quiet. Just because we’ve gained some rights, doesn’t mean I will now stay complacent. There is so much work left to be done.

Also uhhhhhhh just a little side note, many of the people who believe we have it “so good” already are people (at least from what i’ve noticed) that are currently living and/or were raised in fairly well-off, fairly open-minded areas. You have no idea the struggles other people (women, minorities, etc) around this country face every second of every day. If you don’t want to fight for your own rights maybe at least consider fighting for theirs! 

My point is, I’m not trying to preach. I understand that we all have different opinions/political views/values/etc. But in terms of feminism, it just seems like many people have been missing the real meaning of the term (and the movement in general). You don’t have to believe everything I do. In fact, most people don’t. But I just hope more people learn to take the time to educate themselves on topics being widely discussed before they chime in with their own opinions. 

~I gottttta stop posting about politics and go back to posting blogs where I wallow in self pity~