Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How Get Out Made Me Hilariously Paranoid

Get Out is a surprise box office hit by Jordan Peele, that has grossed over $100 million dollars. If you have not seen the movie, STOP. DO NOT READ THIS POST. Go watch it first, then come back to this blog and any other blogs that reveal all of the Easter eggs in the movie. Then go watch it again. Since I saw the movie, certain things in pop culture seem suspicious to me now. Things that made perfect sense before, no longer add up. I feel as paranoid as a conspiracy theorist now.

Men In Black

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones starred in this sci-fi comedy along with appearances by Tony Shalhoub (Monk) and Vincent D'Onofrio. The basic premise is that aliens are hijacking human bodies and are walking around Earth in disguise. The MIB have to capture these "illegal aliens". Sometimes, humans see the MIB doing their job. In this case, the MIB use a pen-like device that flashes and clears the human's memory. Their memories are later reprogrammed to remember whatever the MIB planted into the person's head.

If you've seen Get Out, this almost seems like a foreshadowing. Strange people, take over the bodies of black people. However in this case, the flash of light doesn't make the inhabited person forget anything, it helps them remember. Still, they are hypnotized just the same. At which point, any requested thoughts or behaviors are transplanted into the victim's brain.


Spill the tea

This phrase is most commonly used to request more juicy gossip. But what if all this time, the black person being asked to spill the tea was in fact receiving a warning from another black person who was already victimized by those evil body snatchers?





Tea shops

Have you ever noticed how much white people LOVE tea? Like, they love it more than the people who made it in the first place. There are even stand alone tea shops that are as popular as Starbucks. They take a traditional herbal tea from a particular ethnic group or indigenous region and totally revamp it into something no one can resist. There is definitely something suspicious there.

And lets not ignore the fact that they invented tea parties. They had so many, they have to have special China to serve it with. There's an entire etiquette designed around tea, when to drink it, how many times to stir it, tapping the spoon before putting it on your saucer. Perhaps these are instructions for hypnotism.



Skeleton Key

Someone sort of ruined the movie Get Out for me by telling me it was just like a reverse Skeleton Key. Of course this was black people occupying white people with hoodoo, but the premise was basically the same. At the time Kate Hudson starred in the Skeleton Key, black people were still attempting to assimilate to white standards. Our skin prevented complete assimilation, so the idea of a black person becoming a white person against their will was particularly terrifying for a white person. With Get Out the tables were turned. White people wanted to become black people. Perhaps this movie was trying to tell us something.



Kardashians

No one is more guilty of robbing black people of their culture like any one of the Kardashian / Jenner Klan. (The "K" in "Klan" was intentional). Each time a Kardashian couples with a black man, they behave more black, having fully absorbed our culture. However, the black man they were once with, is left to become nothing more than a shell of himself. Lamar Odom wound up in a coma. Perhaps his transplant didn't take. With each new black man, their butts get bigger, their skin gets darker, they start cooking soul food, they have black babies. The Kardashians may be hiding in plain sight. This is not a drill.



Master Race

Show me a post about any set of twins where one is black and the other is white, and I'll show you a comment from a reader that says, "the only way to erase racism is to make more mixed kids." It's the creepiest thing I've ever heard. White people who choose a black mate for the sole purpose of genetic engineering may as well have been a scene in the Get Out movie. If no one can fully claim black or white, no one can be labeled inferior or superior. Which was the focus behind the body snatching in the movie.


This entire post is merely a joke I came up with when a Hotep friend of mine got melodramatic about the movie. Just in case he's right about any of this, I want you all to know that you can count on me to be a friend like Rod. I hope you enjoyed my geeky sense of humor. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Woman Work by Maya Angelou

Woman Work

I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The cane to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
'Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You're all that I can call my own.

Xfinity vs. AT&T Uverse

Last Friday I made the switch from AT&T Uverse 300 to Xfinity Double Play. There were two reasons why I left AT&T after over 10 years as a customer. The first was realizing that paying over $200 to watch tv, have a phone I never use, and to surf the internet was an act of insanity. The second reason was the substandard customer service. After surveying my friends, the consensus became clear, Xfinity had better rates, better customer service, and faster internet. I was apprehensive about switching companies. I am a person who doesn't like to change once I've made myself comfortable. Yet, I was no longer comfortable with my provider. I had to remind myself that I don't owe loyalty to a company. That is a privilege reserved for humans. If a company has high rates and poor service, I should find another as quickly as possible. So I made the call to Xfinity. 

Customer Service

As I said before, customer service is one of only two reasons I left AT&T Uverse. I live in California. The call center hours changed from 6am-10pm, to 7am-8pm, to 8am-6pm. The wait to speak to a representative averaged 8 minutes per call. I tracked my hold times. This was an unintentional practice that I started once my husband began working as a call center supervisor for a health exchange. At one point I was able to speak to a representative located in the United States. I should state for the record that I am xenophobic in the sense that I don't like strange people but not in the sense that I dislike foreigners. I truly don't care where a representative is, or what type of accent he or she has, so long as we can understand each other and my concern is resolved. This was not the case for AT&T Uverse. All of my calls were routed outside of the country to people who could not understand what I was saying. I understood their accents. They did not understand my California accent. The first 5-7 minutes of every call involved me repeating the pronunciation of my name several times, along with my account number, Uverse phone number, the last 4 digits of my social security number and my 4 digit passcode. Bear in mind, all of this information had already been entered into the automated system. Almost every call resulted in a statement credit due to representative error or flat out rudeness. I was yelled at, cursed at, and hung up on several times. Imagine my frustration having to call back and speak to a voice activated system, only to be routed to the wrong department before finally being transferred to the right place. 

Xfinity customer service was the polar opposite. The first thing I noticed was that I could schedule a call back. There's no waiting on hold. There also isn't an annoying voice activated system that refused to allow me to key in my responses. There was a human, available at a convenient time, who understood what I said the first time and never once mispronounced my name. 

Installation

Uverse installation was free the first time I had it. However, when I moved into my new house, I had to pay $99. The technician was scheduled to arrive from 1pm to 4pm. At 6:42pm he had not arrived, nor had he called to inform me that he was running late. I had to go through the customer service, voice activated maze to reach a representative. She flatly responded, "Your technician has until 8pm to arrive." That was it. No explanation, no offer to locate the technician, no apology, no credit for the time I had to sit there. The technician arrived at 8pm on the dot and didn't leave until 9:30pm. I had already been up since 5am that morning. In the end, he needed to schedule a second appointment to complete the installation because he couldn't see what he was doing in the dark. After one month of technician appointments, my phone, internet and cable finally worked properly. I was given a one month statement credit due to being without services for a month. 

Xfinity installation was $89. Unlike Uverse, I was allowed to break up the cost over my billing cycles. My technician arrival time was between 1-4pm as well. If he was late, I would receive a $20 credit. My technician arrived at 2pm and left my house by 3pm. My services have worked flawlessly. 

Cost and Quality of Service

I found that both Xfinity and Uverse were equal in prices. Xfinity offered less channels for the same price. I also had to drop the home phone to keep my monthly rates as close to $100 as possible. With Uverse, I could have phone internet and cable for about $150. My Xfinity Double Play is about $120. Having a home phone wasn't worth the extra $30. It should be stated for the record that the Uverse price is only with a special discount. The actual price would be about $190 a month, $213 with tax, for what I received in the Xfinity Double Play. But again, I would have more channels. 

Let's talk about those channels. The channels I lost were channels I didn't even know I had. So I don't miss them. I do however miss having Cartoon Network West and AMC West. Having Cartoon Network West means that my children can watch a cartoon that normally comes on while they're at school, just before leaving for school in the morning. This is because the channel is on eastern standard time. I am a die hard fan of The Walking Dead. I don't like waiting until 9pm pst to watch. With AMC West, I watched at 6pm with the east coast. I don't have that option with Xfinity Double Play. Majority of my channels are sports channels I will never watch until football season. So, not only am I getting less channels for the price, but also, the channels I have are channels I don't watch. There is a balance to this. Shows that were not available to me on Uverse On Demand are available on Xfinity. I didn't need the apps I downloaded to watch past episodes of Underground or Supernatural because they were all On Demand, unlike on Uverse. This makes up for the fact that there is absolutely nothing to watch in my Xfinity channel line up. Still, I may downgrade to just internet only this summer. 

Then there's the quality. The first thing I noticed about my cable was that it made my eyes hurt. The first time I got an HD tv, my eyes hurt becuase I wasn't used to the high resolution. That happened again with my Xfinity HD channels. Shows I had seen at least 5 times each episode, looked almost like they were in 3D. I was paying an extra $10 per month for lower quality HD channels with Uverse. After the first day or so, my eyes adjusted to the higher quality Xfinity HD channels. Almost every channel I had was in HD. This was not the case with Uverse.  

Even the Xfinity equipment is of a higher quality. I love being able to talk to my remote. It is larger than the Uverse remote but also simpler. Xfinity turned my smart tv into an even smarter tv. Everything is streamlined. When I needed start over with programming my DVR since all of my recordings left with my Uverse DVR, all I had to do was speak the name of the show and press "ok". This was such a time saver. Also, my children are less likely to alter a setting on the tv by pressing the wrong buttons, which happened frequently with my Uverse remote. My 6 year old can record her PowerPuff Girls without waking me up in the morning. 

Conclusion

There are only 3 downsides to Xfinity. The first, I can't preview the shows in the guide. I have to change the channel first to see if the show is on a commercial break or to see if this is a channel I am even subscribed to. Uverse allows a preview of what's on the channel before you click "ok". Tis keeps you from channel hopping because every choice you make lands you on a commercial break or an unsubscribed channel. The second, wifi that is supposed to be available outside of the home, isn't really available in my area. When it is available, the signal is so weak it's pointless to try. The third is that I am getting fewer channels for the same price. 

None of those issues are enough to send me back to Uverse. They offer stellar customer service, streamlined technology, higher quality HD channels and internet speeds. For an example of the frustrations I faced as a UVerse customer, follow me on Twitter, and see for yourself the tweets I posted while enthralled in poor customer service. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

3 Reasons I'm Grateful for Donald Trump's Presidential Candidacy

Like many Americans, I have experienced an ebb and flow of emotions in reaction to Donald Trump's Presidential candidacy. My initial response can be deemed a knee-jerk comical reaction. I felt the same way when I learned of his candidacy as I did when porn stars announced their candidacies for the California Gubernatorial race years ago. I was entertained, and on some level I welcomed the minstrel show. I considered our government a laughable disgrace. The fact that such unlikely candidates were on the ballot was both a protest and a passive aggressive attack. After all the laughter subsided, I truly expected Donald Trump's candidacy to disappear with it. It didn't.

I have always been one to support the underdog. Naturally, I threw my support in the direction of any unlikely candidate on the ballot. I'm an Independent voter who considered Carly Fiorina, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Ben Carson and Donald Trump. Basically, anyone but Bush, because my bush is still the only one I trust. But as time went on, the curtains of the sideshow act began to catch fire. There were the Planned Parenthood videos, emails, bridge scandals, potential lawsuits over pensions, and assimilation in the time of Black Lives Matter. Viable candidates began to burn up with the stage. I was left with only serious candidates. You can imagine my confusion when the smoke cleared and Donald Trump was still there. This was no longer entertaining.

I am a realist who teeters dangerously close to becoming an optimist on a daily basis. I try to find something salvageable in every disaster. As November hovers above the horizon, I must come to terms with the terrifying reality that Donald Trump may actually be my next Commander in Chief. I tried to find something good about the possibility. I did my best to seek desirable qualities that were strong enough to mold the useless parts of him into something valuable. I found three, unfortunately, none of these will make me feel better about him as the next President. Still, I am grateful his three greatest accomplishments this election year.

1. He ended the denial of the existence of racism.

People of color know all too well that the denial of the existence of racism is one of our most frustrating hurdles to abound. When Native Americans fought against appropriation of their images as sports team mascots and the term Redskins, White America resisted. They claimed Redskins wasn't a racist term. It was a term of endearment, like the n-word. It is a show of pride and honor. Racism didn't exist anymore and all those rich casino Indians needed to just get over it. Black Americans shouted Black Lives Matter and were told All Lives Matter. They were accused of creating racism where there was none before.

Then along came Donald Trump in all his Seig Heil glory. He attacked Mexicans, then Native Americans and Black Americans. Somewhere in his racial cleansing campaign he even included the Chinese in his xenophobic rhetoric. White America was elated that someone was finally saying what they had been holding in for years. They could be finally be free, free to be their racist selves. Just like that, White America lost the ability to deny the existence of racism. Once they could no longer deny it, White allies began to emerge from places we never expected. There were White Americans in every industry, every state, every religion and political party who could no longer consciously deny the existence of racism. The Black Lives Matter Movement grew stronger. People of Color began to unify and organize to take action. And when a Facebook or Twitter troll attempted to blame people of color for "inventing racism", people of color simply had to point to White America's Presidential candidate and the argument was over.

2. He became the catalyst for the reconstruction of the GOP. 

History tells us that people who are Democrats today, would have been Republican in early America. Somewhere down the line, Republican became synonymous with anti-mercy, anti-womanhood, and pro-racism. Many conservative Democrats were left to choose between embarrassing themselves by joining the Republican party, or suppressing some of their values to accept the Democratic party as a consolation. There were those of us who refused to choose between the lesser of two evils. We became Independents, the most powerful voters this election year.

Now that Donald Trump has presented himself as an ignorant, racist, con artist, anyone who proudly and openly supports him is placed in that same demographic. Donald Trump represents the Republican party, even though most of them can't bring themselves to vote for him. He came in like virus, infecting the entire party and ultimately causing the demise of the GOP. Now, it can be reconstructed in a way that reconciles conservative values with the original mission and core structure of the Republican party. If they succeed in doing so, the result could be the drafting of many conservative Independents and Democrats. It could even result in the construction of a separate political party altogether, further breaking down the antiquated bi-partisan system.

3. He destroyed his own empire. 

During his campaign, Donald Trump went out of his way to suppress and subsequently defend his frequent out of court settlements with disgruntled people. The general public learned of the failed business ventures he hid so well. There was Trump University, steaks, casinos, real estate scams, you name it, there was a scandal and a payoff for it. Win or lose, when this election is over, no one in their right mind will do business with him again. He has been exposed as a broke con artist with multiple bankruptcy court filings. Win or lose, Donald Trump is bad for business, including his own.

Donald Trump is not a great man. Should he become President of the United States, it will be his singular triumph. And as Napoleon Bonaparte once said, "Never interfere with an enemy while he is in the process of destroying himself." Or in this case, his entire political party.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Signs of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Anemia is a lack of hemoglobin. The most common cause is an iron deficiency. I have been an iron deficiency anemic my whole life. The simplest solution is to increase your intake of iron through dietary changes or to take iron supplements. The cause of this iron deficiency varies. It can be due to: menstrual bleeding, ulcers, the use of NSAIDS like aspirin or ibuprofen, childbirth, breastfeeding, blood donation, endurance training, caffeine and poor diet. Unfortunately, the symptoms for iron anemia can be categorized for at least two other conditions each. Over the years, I have come to isolate which symptoms usually pan out to be an iron deficiency for me.

  • Extreme fatigue - If I take a 2-4 hour nap and I still feel exhausted, or if I sleep through the night and am still sleepy, I classify that as extremely fatigued.

  • Pale skin - As a woman of color, this may present itself differently. I find that I get dark circles under my eyes that are not cured by water or sleep. Also, If I get a pimple or mosquito bite, there is immediately a black mark left behind, even if I don't pick at it. I also seem to bruise easily.

  • Weakness- During roller derby practice I find that I can't skate nearly as many laps as I could when I am not anemic. Unfortunately, the endurance training I go through in practice is also lowering my iron levels.

  • Shortness of breath - Just walking two blocks to my child's school can wear me out.

  • Headache - These headaches feel like migraines for me. They can literally knock me out.

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness - This isn't just when I stand or sit. This is simply turning my head really fast, once, from left to right. I also notice vision changes. Television and other moving images become blurry.

  • Cold hands and feet - No matter how hot it is, I get the chills. This is usually my first sign.

  • Fast heartbeat - This can sometimes feel like a panic attack or having too many espresso shots in my coffee.

  • Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch - I'm all but obsessed with ice when I'm anemic. I know it's reached a dangerous level when I am eating the ice and not drinking the liquid.

  • Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anemia - I tend to lose weight when I am anemic because I don't have an appetite anymore. All I want is ice. When I do eat, it's red meat but usually only one serving a week. This is usually when I take an iron supplement. or go see the doctor.


  • If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see a doctor right away. These could also be symptoms of even more serious illnesses than anemia. Anemia itself is pretty serious. You may wind up needing a blood transfusion after childbirth or during a simple surgical procedure that normally wouldn't call for it. Better to get in front of it now than to put it off.

    3 Simple Ways to Combat Mansplaining in the Workplace

    Mansplaining is a portmanteau of the words man and explaining. It is when a man explains something to a woman in a condescending or patronizing manner.

    Most incidents of mansplaining takes place at work. This is particularly frustrating due to the codes of conduct most companies have in place. When mansplaining happens at a social gathering, a woman is free to speak her mind without fear of losing her income or feeling the glass ceiling fall even lower than it was before. To put it simply, a woman can clapback at a mansplainer at the family barbeque but not at the office. Here are three simple ways to clapback without backlash at your job.

    1. "Don't interrupt me. It's unprofessional."

    This is one has been the most successful for me. It has resulted in me being treated more like a supervisor than a subordinate, by my own supervisor. The reason is the buzzword "unprofessional". No one, especially not a misogynist, wants to be called unprofessional. A chauvinistic male operates under the belief that he is inherently more professional and intelligent than his female equal. To infer that he is being unprofessional immediately puts an end to their interruption, mid sentence in fact. This also effects those around you. People will become more respectful about interrupting someone because they don't want to be the unprofessional one. Sometimes interruptions are necessary, but there is a polite way to do it. People will realize that because of you, and your workplace will improve in respect to mansplaining.

    2. Remove emotions from the situation.

    Male chauvinists believe that women are too emotional. They think that we take everything personally. Any disagreement with them must be an emotional outburst, as far as they are concerned. So let's dumb it down for them. Instead of saying words like rude, disrespectful, or inconsiderate, use words like unprofessional for the reasons stated above. A phrase that often works for me is, "Your behavior is inconducive to our company's core values".  This is highly effective because the person must stop what he is doing to evaluate your statement. What are the company's core values? Which ones am I violating? Imaging the impact this statement has when members of your corporate departments are present. What image is he creating for the company or organization by being rude and disrespectful? Essentially, you're telling the person they are being rude and disrespectful without using those exact words. Why do we need to avoid those words? It's simple, emotion.

    The determination of someone's rudeness is based upon your opinion. Opinion involves emotion. For you to ascertain that someone is rude, you would have to feel insulted or offended. This also involves emotion. Telling a male chauvinist that he is rude or disrespectful will cause him to dismiss anything you say as a gusher of emotion not worth his time or acknowledgment. So, keep your objections emotionless, factual, and refer to the company's mission statement and core values for support.

    3. Womansplain

    Yes, womansplaining is a thing, but what man would bravely admit to it? It is essentially the same as mansplaining with a mere gender role reversal. Once at a business meeting a man interrupted me to mansplain. I was feeling petty so I responded, "Woa, someone didn't make par at the golf course this weekend." It was rude, disrespectful, and condescending. Everyone in the room laughed. Immediately this man had to make a decision. Would he become the overly sensitive person he once accused me of being and complain about my comment? Or would he call me out on my behavior in one of the other two ways I have previously suggested? He chose to become emotional. He went on about how great his golf game was and attempted to get back to his mansplaining. But as I said before, I was feeling petty. So I womansplained him again. "Easy there. There's no need to be so emotional. Calm down." He was livid. He called a meeting with my supervisor for sexual harassment. There was only one problem, He had done the same thing unchecked almost every single day to every woman in the office. So, my supervisor informed him that he would pursue a vigorous investigation and ensure that everyone who was found in violation of the policy would be disciplined. He opted out of the complaint and a truce was called in that meeting. He had a more difficult time changing his behavior. I, on the other hand, became Wonder Woman at the office.

    Male or Female, no one likes to be interrupted. No one likes to be disrespected or stereotyped for any reason, including gender. So don't assume that all men are sexist and that woman are not at all sexist. Standing up for yourself is quite effective, as is standing up for others. This includes a person of the opposite gender. If each one of us makes an effort to create an environment of respect, we will all spend less time dreading our work days.

    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Transgender Hysteria

    Before Bruce Jenner became Caitlynn, before orange became the new black, and before people started caring about who was in which bathroom, I married a man with waist-length hair. He was, and still is, a gloriously handsome man with hair straighter than the ruler we used to measure it. Never once had he been mistaken for a woman. Years later, I had a son with that man. In keeping with his father's tradition, we allowed his hair to grow long. Even as an infant, no one mistook my son for a girl. Perhaps it was the clothing. He was usually donning the finest three-piece suit since they were cheap for his infant size. But over the past 24 months, all of that changed.

    No one questions my husband about being a woman or a man. He is clearly a man. But there isn't any inquisition as to whether or not he was born that way. However, since the debate over whether or not to have transgender bathrooms emerged, we experienced a new problem. You see, I also have a daughter. My spunky little Mini-Me is notorious for saying she doesn't have to go potty 150,000 times before we leave the house. The moment we arrive at our destination, she has to potty, whether there is a potty or not. This made Mother's day particularly difficult.

    My five year old daughter has no income or a driver's license. Therefore, when the time came to purchase a mother's day gift for me, she had to tagalong with her father, and point to her gift choice. Like clockwork, she walked into the store and demanded to be escorted to the potty. I should also state that she refuses to use public restrooms unchaperoned. That's not a complaint. We always have to go into the stall with her because the loud sudden flushes terrify her. So there they were, father and daughter faced with the decision of choosing the men's or women's restrooms.

    "I wasn't going to take her to the men's restroom because of the urinals. Besides, she will take one look at the men in the room and will hold it until her bladder explodes." he explained.

    So he decided to take her to the bathroom with which she was most comfortable, the women's. Being the boss that she is, she staked her claim on the handicap stall and pulled her father by the hand towards it. He was swiftly intercepted by a middle aged woman in the restroom.

    "What the Hell do you think you're doing?!" she shouted, startling my daughter.

    "I'm taking my daughter to the potty."

    "This is the LADIES room, you know. Being a little bold aren't you?"

    "I'm not taking my daughter to a men's room with penises swinging like a tree vines, if that's alright with you."

    "But you're a man!"

    "Look lady, don't flatter yourself or anyone else in here. I have no desire to see what ANY of you have going on. I'm here to let her pee. It seems to me, you're done. So why are you still here?"

    Naturally, when my husband shared this story with me, I was ready to find this meddling woman and go off on her for scaring my baby girl. But I chose to listen to him share his experience instead.

    "It's ridiculous." he told me. "We go to the bathroom to piss, shit, and wash our hands. Why do we need a bathroom monitor? My baby girl almost had an accident at a different store because a man stood outside the bathroom refusing to let me take her in. He said his mother was in there washing her hands. Really??"

    He was angry and frustrated. So was I, but there is nothing we could do about it. Prior to the whole bathroom debate, no one would say two words to us about taking our children to the bathroom with which they were most comfortable. Now, we have several near misses a week due to the pee-pee dance and bathroom monitors. How is this fair to us? We're not perverts trying to film under the stall doors for the latest edition of Girls Gone Wild. We're not transgender people seeking to relieve ourselves without facing discrimination. We're parents, trying to get our children and their tiny bladders to the nearest toilet on time. But we have been caught up in the transgender hysteria.

    There is also the issue of my son's hair. As I said before, my son has long hair, the same as his father. It's waist-length and wavy. When he was younger he was never mistaken for a girl. But then something interesting happened. He passed to the 3rd grade, which meant clothing style preferences and video games. It also meant the start of bullying. My son is an African-Native American in a predominantly white school. So when he wears two braids, he is made fun of for looking "like a girl". So my son chooses more masculine attire in hopes in appearing more like a boy than a girl. Its not that it's an insult to him to be feminine, but it's not who he is. My son was able to deal with the bullying thanks to the zero tolerance policy and his father sharing his childhood experiences.

    The same could not be said for rude people on the street.

    "Your daughters are beautiful."

    "Thank you, but this one's a boy." I'd say, gesturing to my son, who is practically my height. He's in the fourth grade now.

    "Well he looks like a girl because of his hair."

    "Lot's of men have long hair." My husband interjected.

    When my son started third grade, that would have been the end of it. The person would look at my husband and then at my son and realize their mistake. They would typically apologize and make some remark about his facial hair growing in someday and all would be well. But now my son is passing from fourth grade to fifth grade, right in the middle of transgender hysteria. The conversations begin the same way, but not they end like this one with a female Trump lookalike.

    "She looks like a girl."

    "Well HE'S not. So I would appreciate it if you would respect that."

    "Just because you want her to be a boy, doesn't mean SHE will ever be one."

    I had an Ally McBeal moment, envisioning slapping her across her orange face and shoving her down on her knees before my son shouting, "That's a factory original penis!" But that would likely involve trauma and Child Protective services. So I dismissed this woman as an idiot a split second before I heard my son speak.

    "I was born with a penis lady. Not that it's any of your business, you perverted bigot."

    Was that my son? Mama was proud. Orange Face, dropped her jaw and stuttered through an apology. There had been a few people nearby waiting on their coffee orders who seemed to have overheard the interaction. They applauded and she quickly ran off leaving her coffee and croissant on the counter.

    This seems to happen exponentially more frequently now that the country is openly transphobic. My son now feels the need to overcompensate, not to prove his masculinity, but to try to divert any accusations that he is a girl "pretending" to be a boy. I have always understood when people have said that they felt like they were born in the wrong body. I've been referred to as an ally. I never anticipated, however, my son feeling the need to go out of his way to prove he is not transgender. Again, he wasn't offended that they thought he was transgender. He was offended that they couldn't see him for who is.

    Now, I'm a helicopter mom. I will probably still be accompanying my son to the restroom when he is 18 years old. I trust no one around my children. So when my son heads to the men's room to potty, (he hates when I say that), I go with him. I could care less about a man copping an attitude. I'm going in with my son to protect him. If the men's room is full or filthy, I escort him to the women's restroom. And yes, I stand guard there too. I will break a cougar's neck if she comes at my baby. That's just me.

    Something interesting happens when I go to the men's room with my son. And by that I mean, nothing happens! The men do a double take and literally continue their "business". No one cares. Do you know why? Because they are there to "piss, shit, and wash their hands". My husband says the only issue he notices is that there is always that one man who hangs around until they leave, to make sure nothing is happening to my daughter in the stall that shouldn't be. My husband actually appreciates that. As do I. In the women's room, however, there is so much nosiness and meddling. I don't understand this hysteria. If I had it my way, all bathrooms would be gender neutral like at the local gas station or porta potty...only cleaner. All bathrooms should have baby changing stations, and urinals should have privacy walls. If I had it my way, people would mind their business while doing their business. I mean seriously, piss or get off the pot. Don't be a self-appointed bathroom monitor either. The last thing I would want to do is regulate a bathroom knowing full well, someone is about to take a shit and stink the place up. I'm afraid of the funk and filth of public restrooms, not the gender assignment of its patrons.

    It's interesting how people are discriminating against my family and labeling my son as transgender, all in an attempt to discriminate against actual transgender people. They are attacking and victimizing the very people they are claiming to "protect". Although frustrating, these experiences are not making my son bitter. In fact, he is learning through incorrect assumptions about him, the kinds of struggles transgender people experience. In an ironic twist, transphobic bigots have created another LGBTQ ally.