Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Not One Step Back, No Way

February 14th was easily the best day of 2015 so far.

What's the greatest way to spend Valentines Day? With your significant other being all cute and stuff? Wrong. How about marching through your city demanding justice and equal rights? That's more like it.
Yesterday marked the day of Moral March 2015 for the state of North Carolina. So naturally, a group of my friends and I headed downtown at 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning to be apart of this incredible event. We marched with the organization Planned Parenthood in the name of equal rights for women. Of course I would've gladly marched with any other groups that were there but the reason we were all there was because of our school's Young Feminists club.

It started out with Planned Parenthood giving out pink beanies, stickers, and Keith Haring print condoms to everyone marching with them. Then the president of the organization was introduced by a nice lady dressed up as birth control. 

 My friend Matt looking very excited to be there.

Then everyone there gathered in front of the Memorial Auditorium and we listened to a bunch of speakers including a lady from the NAACP, the president of the "Raging Grannies", some local musicians, and finally the brother of Deah Barakat. That last one really got to a lot of us. Incase you don't know, Deah Barakat was one of three Muslim students who were shot to death a few days ago in Chapel Hill. Deah was a graduate of my high school, so it's been quite a big deal here. 

We spent a couple Young Fems meetings making really rad posters. I'm pretty happy with how they came out. Everyone there loved the vagina poster. 

I did plenty of other things during my Valentine's Day but this was such a big highlight. I've never been a part of anything like this but it was so life changing for me. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Queen of Hearts

This past weekend was my school's big winter formal, also known as the Queen of Hearts dance. It is easily the most overly hyped thing that gets put on every year. It comes in four parts:

  1. The assembly
  2. The dinner 
  3. The dance
  4. The after party
The assembly and the dance are the only ones that the school itself actually does. The dinner and after party are customary though. I also apologize in advance for the watermarks on most of the pictures. I got them off of the photographers website.

So number one: The Assembly.
The reason we have an entire two hour assembly for a dumb high school dance is because we also have what is known as a "Queen of Hearts court". A certain number of girls from each grade level is voted onto the court by the student body and then during the assembly they are each presented to the school. It's kind of like that thing where you get "presented to society". I'm not sure if that's actually a thing people do, but I saw it on Gossip Girl. Along with the girls on court, there is the 'queen of hearts' (hence the dance's name) and her maid of honor. Every girl walks down a red carpet in a floor length gown, holding a bouquet of flowers, with a male escort on their arm. Then the Queen of Hearts comes out and everybody rises in her honor. THEN, everyone on court (plus the maid of honor and the queen) have to waltz with their escorts in front of everyone. How obvious is it that the whole thing is run by two older, southern, white ladies? It's made much less painful by different students performing during the assembly. My choral group performed a medley of songs by the band Fun. and a bunch of other people sang solos or duets. A couple dance teams did some stuff too, which was really cool. The only truly lame part is the skit they put on to go with the theme. I was holding out for the skit this year because the theme was Alice in Wonderland (!!!!!) but of course every time they have to throw in jokes to make the skit "hip and cool". The phrases "bae", "selfie", and "throwback thursday" were used way too often. The assembly this year was a particularly good one though, because four of my best friends got voted onto the court! Not only does this make me happy, but that means it is the first year in my high school's history that we had a gay woman AND a trans woman on court. I love being able to say that. One of my friends who was on court is also an extremely talented beatboxer. So as a surprise, there was a part during a dance teams performance where the music stopped and she jumped up from her court seat and started hardcore beatboxing in the middle of the gymnasium. Seeing her intensely beatboxing in her gown and white gloves made me ecstatic.

Number two: The Dinner
The dinner before the dance was probably the highlight of the whole night honestly. Unfortunately the boyfriend got grounded literally the night before, so I had to negotiate a deal with his mom. The deal ended up being he could go to the dance, but no dinner or after party. Despite having no date to dinner, just being with friends was great. There were supposed to be six of us total, but a friend of ours and her date ended up crashing our dinner reservation and there ended up being eight of us. We sat in the corner of a lovely local Italian restaurant and listened to my best friends date tell puns for about two hours straight. It was wonderful. I also applaud my friend Crystal for ordering nothing but dessert. You go girl. The main reason dinner was so great came as a big surprise.
We were all sitting and enjoying our meal when this older man approached our table. He started talking to us about how proud of us he was that we all looked so nice and were acting so maturely. He told us about how he still remembers going with his friends to his school dances and that we should remember life is short but these memories will stick with us for a long time. We thanked him for such kind words and he told us to have a nice night and left the restaurant. A bit later we were getting ready to pay when the owner of the place informed us that the man was a regular there. He comes in every Saturday night and she said even if he's out of town that night he calls in to tell them. Then she told us he had paid for our entire meal. THAT NICE OLD MAN HAD PAID FOR OUR ENTIRE DINNER. We were all shocked into silence. Once we processed that a bit better, we all agreed to buy him flowers and a thank you card. I mean that was ridiculously nice. I still can't believe he did that. It's really people like that man that make this world a better place.

Number 3: The Dance
I wish I had more to say about the dance honestly. I'll get all the negative stuff out of the way first. I got there an hour late because my boyfriend's mom wanted to take pictures beforehand, then the first thing my friends say to me when I walk in is "This dance sucks lets leave."I managed to convince them to stay a bit longer, but the band they hired this year was terrible and my feet kept getting stepped on and I was just so frustrated. Alright now to positive things. Some of my friends and teachers told me I looked gorgeous, I got to dance to "You're the One That I Want" with the boyfriend (my ultimate goal is to actually dress up in costume and lip synch to it but hey, baby steps), and the friends who didn't want to leave yet made great company.

Number 4: The After Party
I wouldn't say it was much of a party. It was a group of my friends and some of their dates snacking, lounging, and listening to music. We were all much too tired by that point to do much. To be fair, it was around midnight. My beatboxing friend did some of her DJing stuff for us, which was rad as always. I wish it had been more of a party but I liked what I got regardless.

So that was my school dance experience. There's also some exciting stuff coming up on Saturday that I can't wait to write about. You'll have to sit tight for that though. I hope everyone is having a lovely week.

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