Strong and Beautiful (and Exploited?): Female Athletes on Magazine Covers

This post, from one of my favorite websites (www.adventure-journal.com), unwittingly became a kind of lighting rod for a discussion on whether female athletes/models are being used for their looks to sell magazines.

You know: I have to say that, YES. Outside Magazine is using these women for their attractive qualities, rather than focusing on their athletic ability.

Any serious athlete is more likely to have a tight, muscled physique than most—so why focus on that? Why not shoot a cover with those women actually doing what it is they are good at? Why do we have to relegate EVERYONE to a freakin' sexual object? And this goes for male athletes as well.


Woman as Artist

I've been working on another site with my ninetofiver, and I wanted to share the work of one fabulous photographer with you all:

Rebekka Gu├░leifsdóttir.

Her work is phenomenal, and her process is inspiring. I urge you to take a look at what she can create with just the things around her and her beautiful mind.


Living Bi in a Straight World

To come out, or not to come out: That can be a huge question, especially for those of us that consider ourselves "mostly" straight.

Something I have learned as I grow (older, if not wiser) is that life is full of gray areas. Often, we seek answers to questions that have none, and this is an uncomfortable place to exist for most people. We like our world nice and structured. Paper or plastic. Truth or dare. God or no god. Gay or straight. This or that. This doesn't allow for a lot of room for where most of us fall, which is usually somewhere in between: The dreaded gray area.

There has been a lot of attention in the gay community lately about coming out, sparked by the recent string of tragic suicides, many of which are related to being bullied because of one's sexuality. It is so sad to me that being closeted is still extremely common, but it is easy to see why many members of the gay community continue to live in the closet. There is pressure on both sides of the fence: Don't come out because of the inevitable judgement; or come out because of the pressure to be supportive. I like to call this: The dreaded gay area.

As I mentioned in my It Gets Better Post, I am bisexual. I've never felt like I was missing out on living my true life because I wasn't "out" to many of my friends and family. This is because I'm mostly straight. I've had a few short-lived relationships with women, but my "serious" relationship have always been with men.

So what does it mean for the many of us that are Mostly Straight? It is important for us to come out to support our gay brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and friends? Is it productive? Would it start a true conversation?

These are perfect examples of those gray areas. Most likely, there is no right answer. Most definitely, this is a choice that each individual must make for themselves.

But I ask this: Is it important? And why?



It Gets Better!

I wish our society was at a point where I could look at my bio dad—who was gay, but in the closet—and tell him: Look at all of these people who support who you are, Dad. But things weren't like that for him, growing up as a gay man in the 60s and 70s. He was closeted his entire life to most everyone that knew him, other than the men he was involved with.

The reason I say this is because I struggled as a young girl with my own sexuality, but in a different way: I was attracted to men, but I was also attracted to women. It wasn't until college that I was able to admit my bisexuality, and even then, most people I know don't know that I'm bi.

But I don't have the same struggle that so many LGBT kids do. And that is why this project—The Trevor Project—is so important.

If you know someone struggling with their sexuality, being bullied for the sexuality, or just struggling with life in general, direct them to this YouTube channel; the It Gets Better channel. It is full of support from people who have "been there" for those trying to get past the negative crap and just live their happy, gay little lives.

Please go to this page and support it by watching the videos. Many had me in tears, and laughter, sometimes both at once. It is a big ol' hug for your heart.

Update: Here's Tim Gun, whom I can't help but love.