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Author Topic: In which I post an essay I wrote about discovering myself
Kawani3792
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This is sort of an essay...there are Harry Potter references, by the way. If you've seen the second movie you can probably get a couple of them, if you saw the first part of Deathly Hallows (aka, the newest movie released so far) as well as the second movie, then you'll get everything. If you actually read the books, you'll understand everything as well.

So, here's this. I might post this as a way of coming out...I think it's one of my favorite things I've ever written, and that includes my various poems and fiction.

I wrote the word "Mudblood" on my left arm yesterday.
I don't think I really thought about it-it was Harry Potter related, which I liked, and the premise of the entire event was to honor/remember people being hurt, physically, mentally or emotionally, because people thought/think they're different, which I liked. So I dug through temporary tattoos, and tattoo markers, and wrote the "M,D,L,O" with marker. The "U,B, second O, and D" were all tattoo letters. I wore a jacket all day, but I knew it was there.
The interesting thing is that I started to like it. It felt like this affected me. It felt empowering. I spent a little while before I realized why.
In the days of the civil rights movement, imagine a movie came out where a character was bullied and ostracized. The gender and skin color doesn't matter. Let's say the bullies scrawl, I don't know, "freak" across this character's forehead, and the character is ashamed, and it hurts them.
Then someone realizes that the idea of someone being bullied and ostracized is sort of relevant. And this person starts a movement for people to wear the word "freak" somewhere on themselves. They are honoring this character-it doesn't matter if the movie is fictional, if it touched people-but they're also remembering the people in real life who are made to wear the secondhand clothes, people who hear words that aren't "freak" but have the same meaning: You don't belong, you never will. We don't want you around. And now people are proud to be freaks. They're reclaiming that word. And freak stands placeholder for worse words, words that cut, and maybe they're starting to reclaim those words too.
So yesterday, I realized that as lesbians, two of my best friends and I face discrimination, much like what the fictional Hermione experiences. We are dirty and disgusting. People don't want to get too close, lest we rub off on them. There are those who will refuse to let us babysit or visit, lest children get the idea that loving anyone they want is okay. We are hated, ridiculed, and tormented, for who we are. And when I wrote the last letter on my left forearm, it felt like I was reclaiming a word, like this is me: a mudblood, a person doomed or privileged by some act of nature or God to be stared at and denied jobs, a wedding, the Valentine's Day special at Applebee's, because I don't quite fit. A girl who'll be mocked and ridiculed until humans become a little more human.
And it fits. Because, as sad as it is, couldn't you see someone taking Draco Malfoy's line and hissing that "Nobody asked your opinion, you filthy little lesbian?"


I wrote this in my writing-camp composition book (coincidentally, one of the teaching authors at this writing camp is my state's only openly gay senator, which gives me so much hope. She's trying to get legislation passed so that sexual orientation ranks up there with race, gender and religion on the list of things that can't be discriminated against.) on Wednesday night. If you search "To Write Mudblood On Her Arms" you can probably find some information about the original event on the fifteenth, right after Valentine's.

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Atonement
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Great Topic! And, Ironically, very similar to something I was thinking about this morning.

I grew up with the Harry Potter series (started reading at age 10, and still reread regularly at 20. I recently read them together with my little sister, and it was a great experience!)

In addition to being an extremely entertaining story, I can honestly say that the racism/sexism/homophobia/ any other "ism" you can think of metaphor that was made with the whole "mudblood" storyline entirely helped shape a lot of my life views, and definitely made me into the huge proponent for acceptance that I am today.

The other day my brother and I were talking about use of derogatory names, and I got to thinking about what a powerful statement it makes when a person can take a term that was originally meant to be hurtful, and turn it into an emblem of pride.

It also reminds me of this quote from the Deathly Hallows book, which I don't believe made it into the movie, where Hermione refers to herself as a mudblood, and Ron tells her she shouldn't call herself that, and she says "Why shouldn't ? Mudblood, and proud of it!"

I'd never heard of the movement, but it makes me happy that people are using my very favorite story to help make a difference!

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Kawani3792
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I started reading at 10, but am only 18...I didn't start until the third book was out. I feel I grew up with them too...they, along with the amazing annual Harry Potter trivia contest at the library, created a love of reading in me.

I'd forgotten that quote. No, it didn't make it into the movie, not the first one at least, but that's exactly it.

And that's how I felt when I heard of it. I like when people use stories to help things in real life...using my favorite series that I've loved since I was ten to help make a change for good made me so, so happy.

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Kawani3792
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I know this is an old post, and this is sort of grave-digging, but I wanted to mention this-

with a few edits, I used this as my college admissions essay. I'm not very good at writing on demand, or coming up with a theme, especially when I want the college to get an idea of who I am. I was wandering through my old notebooks and found the original draft of this essay, and realized that I really liked it. And yeah, the subject is somewhat controversial, but it's about me...so if they don't like the subject of an essay, they probably won't like me either.

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Saffron Raymie
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Wow, Kawani!

I've only ever seen The Deathly Hallows (part one) but I really, really liked this. You're a great writer.

Good on you for being brave and using this as your admissions essay! That way you know you'll get into a nice, accepting college. [Smile]

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Kawani3792
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it also gave me a decent litmus test/way to come out to a couple of friends. I asked some kids from my writing camp to critique it. Three offered to. One never messaged back after I sent it. One, I think, either didn't read it or is ignoring it, because I emailed it to her and we're still chatting on Facebook, but she hasn't mentioned it at all.

And my favorite response-the third person replied to my original message saying that she loved it and if she were the person in charge of admissions, she'd let me in.
After I messaged back, saying thanks, she replied again. 'Oh, you're a lesbian? I didn't know that.'
Just took it in stride, didn't skip a beat. Like I had just said I was dating someone. THAT is my ideal response when i come out fully...that it's no big deal.

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Saffron Raymie
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And now you've found out who's the best of the three to be buddies with. [Smile]

Love this: this is me: a mudblood, a person doomed or privileged by some act of nature or God to be stared at and denied jobs, a wedding, the Valentine's Day special at Applebee's, because I don't quite fit.

So sad, and so sweet. <3

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Kawani3792
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At the time I wrote this, it was the day after Valentine's and that was sort of hitting pretty hard, and a friend of mine was running a sticky note campaign to get the state senate to actually call for a vote on adding the words "Sexual orientation and gender identity" to the anti-discrimination policy, because at that point (and still) it is legal in that state to fire or not hire someone based on simply the suspicion that they are LGBT.
I don't know about sweet, but it certainly made me sad, and still does. I've moved, but I've got friends back there who will be affected by this.

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