On the short film— In a Heartbeat

They say a picture is worth a thousand words… What about a video?

Yesterday I was taking a break from bio studying to scroll through Facebook, as distracting as that can be, and I came upon a video that seems to be taking the internet by storm. Anyone heard of In a Heartbeat?gaelle-marcel-189753

Well if you haven’t, you’re about to.

On Monday, Beth David and Esteban Bravo, two students from Ringling College of Art and Design, posted the largely anticipated film as their a senior thesis. In summary, it is about “a closeted boy runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams.” With its own page on Tumblr and full funding through Kickstarter within the first 3 hours of the films inception, just 4 days after its posting the four-minute film has amassed over 15 million views on YouTube.

Talk about pay off.

Now this film has no dialogue at all; just a soundtrack (by Arturo Cardelús and available on Spotify), two main characters, and a whole lot of feels. But when I saw the short, it became clear to me how much a little really can go a long way.

On a larger scale, this film deals with something that is very important when it comes to entertainment: underrepresentation. From the LGBT community to those of racial minorities, as time goes by we see more and more portrayal of the people who truly make up our everyday lives. In minority cases, people often speak of breaking the glass ceiling, or surpassing barriers that stand in the way of certain equalities. As one of the hopes the filmmakers had for this project, I think film has reached farther than they can imagine and, in the very least, added another crack to that ceiling. 

eric-patnoudes-46029Finally, on a relatable level to so many of us in the world, the truth behind this film lies in one thing: A crush. The innocence, lightheartedness, and wonderful animation of the short, all tie into something that I appreciated finding in the end of this busy week. I wanted to share it with you all.

So without further ado, here is the link to the animated short film In a Heartbeat. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/2REkk9SCRn0

 

 

What it means to have Pride

Welcome to June, the month I finally get to begin my (short) summer, the weather really starts heating up, and the world gets to celebrate something very important.

Welcome to Pride Month.laura-ockel-197421.jpg

If you’ve been on Google today you might have seen the rainbow colors on their doodle for the day, that is something special. Those colors represent the birthday of Gilbert Baker, the man who designed what is now known as the flag that represents LGBTQ+. Though he passed away just this year in March, his activism and his flag, has spread through this world in a way that is very much alive.

That’s what this month is about.

For those of you who do not know, Pride month itself and the celebration of its essence began back in 1969 with the Stonewall Riots: a stand against police harassment towards a group of gay customers in Greenwich Village, New York. At the time, most states had laws passed against the group gathering of LGBTQ+ people, gay bars, and public homosexuality. This riot began in protest of discrimination in the Stonewall Inn, and as people shouted “gay power”, standing up up for their own human rights, they stated something they never saw coming.  

Protests lasted for days with even 1,000 people attending at once. Ultimately, this led to the Gay Liberation Movement and Christopher Street Liberation Day which happened on June 28, 1970; the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with as well as the first Gay Pride march in U.S. history. It covered an entire 51 blocks through to Central Park.
F3FH5XYZY0Known as the “Mother of Pride” for her help in organizing the march, Brenda Howard originated the celebrations  and festivities held every June and also coined what we now know as the term
Pride.

From there the movement spread, as all movements do, to San Francisco and LA, then Boston and Dallas, and so many more places before the culture behind it had shifted completely into something global. Something stronger. Here in the United States, it took us until our 42nd President, Bill Clinton, to recognize Pride on June 2, 2000. Since then, both Clinton and Obama acknowledged this month, however, President Trump could have been the first Republican President to do so. The future of that possibility is yet to be seen.

Around the world, we celebrate the people who make up the 7.4 billion population we are surrounded by. Among those who have passed away, many of the most incredible people were also a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Have you ever heard of Bessie Smith, Empress of the Blues, and one of the highest paid black entertainers of all time? Maybe you know of, Tennesee Williams, writer of the Glass Menagerie? Or how about Sally Ride, the first woman in space? Each of them were a part of LGBTQ+ history, a part of what this world has now come to celebrate, and major contributors to the music, entertainment, and accomplishments of the United States.

We cannot celebrate our history without recognizing all the pieces of it. Just like Black History Month or Women’s History Month,

sorasak-217807 (1)we celebrate Pride as more than a month, but an appreciation for every person it applies to. Because no matter what a person identifies with or what defines who they are, they just might change the world someday. I know some LGBTQ+ people who have already changed mine.

Before Baker’s flag emerged in 1978, the symbol of gay pride was a pink triangle— Hitler made homosexuals wear them as a tag during World War Two. We have come a long way, legalizing gay marriage two years ago, but there is still a long road ahead as the world around us becomes more accepting of what being an “American” really means. From accepting that racism is still an issue to coming to terms with the status of our Earth’s climate, things have changed a lot since I was born, but not as much as I believe they will in the future.

One way or another, an easy way to bring change is with education— today, I hope you learned a little bit more about what Pride Month really means. Whether you identify with, support, or simply understand the community, know that like any other identity in this world, it deserves to be respected at the very least. If you join in on the celebration this year, at a Pride parade or anywhere else, it’s important to know the boundaries not to cross— how to appreciate without accidentally discriminating. Like Gilbert Baker believed when creating the flag, “We needed something beautiful, something from us. The rainbow is so perfect because it really fits our diversity in terms of race, gender, ages, all of those things.”

Not only did he create a beautiful flag, he created a safe space for more equality, brought people together, and probably changed so many lives in the process. Because thdimitar-belchev-235925at is the beauty change in this world and the ability people have to come together in communities. In a world of 7.4 billion people and 12 months to celebrate each of every one of us, this one is for LGBTQ+. And that is the beauty of Pride.

P.S. If you want to learn any more, click on all those blue words and it’ll take you right to the info!

Autism Awareness Month

Welcome to April, one of my favorite months of the year for many reasons— Spring, a month closer to summer, my birthday… More than that though, the month of April means a lot of things to a lot of people, including National Poetry Month, Autism Awareness Month, and for all students on the quarter system, it’s the first week in the new quarter.

Since I spend many of my blog posts sorasak-217807updating you on life here at Cal Poly, today I’m going to focus on the two other things this month is about: Autism and Poetry. And I am going to combine them both.

Just like every month holds recognition for something different, from last month being Women’s History Month to June coming up as pride month, this one is for Autism Awareness. Autism now affects one in every sixty-eight children in America, on a spectrum as a complex developmental disability. This is considered a spectrum due to the way it affects people differently from one another, each in varying degrees of the disorder. As of 2016, the rates of autism have nearly increased from 2004, from 1 in 125 to 1 in 68. With the increasing rates of those affected, I think it’s important that we all increase our awareness of those with the disorder too.

Why? Well, even though we are supposed to be a nation built on equality and acceptance, we are only beginning to get there now in the 21st century. Things are changing and with each month of appreciation, I am hoping that we can be more attuned to the world around us and the beauty of every person in it.

Even if we do not understand what a person is going through, we can still try to be accepting of who they are.

Considering that this month is both for autism and poetry, I came across a poem on YouTube of spoken word by Verb Kulture called “Carly Finally”. In this joshua-k-jackson-203200poem, the narrator portrays an autistic person trying to live their everyday life, trying to be heard. The way she portrays her character, from her words to her mannerisms, connects to a lot of people including those with autism and those who care for others with ASD. From the words of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Take a look at this poem and feel the words within it; walk around in the character we see for a few minutes.

From the words of Kulture, we can scratch the surface of understanding the difficulty that many autistic people go through in their daily lives. Forming just one sentence can be a challenge, one that many do not take this time to listen to, not because they don’t want to but oftentimes, because they don’t understand. At a little over a minute into the poem, we hear the words “you can’t understand my language, a barrier between your world and mine…”

It’s like we’re separated between worlds with no connection between the two, no way to find a middle ground.

But that’s the thing about poetry, this spoken word poem, and about art as a whole— it connects us all no matter what disorders may plague us or the issues that we feel define us. Through art we can reach the ultimate understanding of one another not just through our own eyes, but theirs too.

felix-russell-saw-188381This is the month of April, in which we celebrate Autism Awareness, Poetry, and so much more. For the rest of the month, I will post a poem on Poetry Place in my own celebration of the written word and appreciation for my new writing as well. Today I shared with you Carly Finally, a spoken word poem by Verb Kulture to hopefully give you a chance to see a new perspective. If you haven’t yet, take a look at the poem here (click that link) and have a wonderful, possibly rainy, Friday.

And I can’t wait to share this month of poetry with you.

This One is For The Women

brooke-cagle-52214It seems that with every month comes something new to discover and a new idea to think about. With March comes Daylight Savings time, the beauty of Spring, and last but never the least, Women’s History Month. Welcome to the celebration of some of the most amazing people I have ever met and the history of the women this nation is built on.

Back in January, I had a small post on the Women’s March, speaking on the Beauty of Standing Up. Just in case you haven’t read it and want to check that out, go ahead and click that link. Last month I told you all about black history, whether it was through poetry, experience, or the help of another perspective. This month, I don’t think I need to tell you all about the importance of Women’s History and how far we’ve come, from the wage battle to the fallacy of equality.

I don’t need to tell you how important women are to each of our lives, both those born female and those not— just take a look at your mother, your sister, your girlfriend, your best friend…

Women are an integral part of this world, I don’t know where I would be without the incredible ladies I am blessed to have in my life.

So here’s to each and every one of them.

Did you know that Women’s History Month aaron-burden-185993.jpgstarted off as just a week in 1978, designated by the the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission in order to educate more people? Fast forward eight years and by then, 14 states had made March Women’s History Month… A year later, in 1987, Congress declared the month nationally


If the history of women in our nation was important enough to go through Congress to add to the monthly celebrations of who we all are, then why are we still struggling to pay attention?

Just like I said that black history is more than a month, and so is Women’s History. There is a wide array of ethnicities, cultures, and people who make up this world that we live in— we ought to be celebrating every single one of them.

Though the definition of a “woman” may be changing to incorporate the circumstances of every person’s life in the 21st century, it does not take away from the incredible potential each woman here in America has. Considering that Wednesday, the 8th, was International Women’s Day, should we still have to fight for the equality that it seems this world knows we deserve to have?

Barely sixty years ago, as a woman, I would not have been admitted to Cal Poly. As a black woman, I may have been hired as cooking staff… Maybe. You noah-hinton-172343see, we’ve come quite a ways from where we used to be in regards to our inclusion as part of society, however, we are still so far behind men that baby steps don’t seem to be enough anymore. Though the genetic difference comes down to a single Y chromosome, apparently it makes all the difference when it comes to wages, career outlook, and even perceived positions of power. 

Women deserve more.

By more, I mean equality in not only the way we work or what we get for working, but in the way we are treated every single day. Stereotypically, women are seen as less intelligent, more emotional, and weak. It still surprises me that people believe women aren’t as strong or capable as men are— have you met my mother? From the woman whom I owe my life (and half my genes) to, to so many others who have changed my life, the this month is a celebration of everything each of us can be. So why not talk about it?

It’s one thing to have a month designated to celebrate a certain group of people, and it’s another thing to actually celebrate it. I feel like there is a tendency to assume we all already know what we need to know, whether it’s the meaning behind this month or the knowledge that comes with it. Let’s be honest, many people believe in the idea that “ignorance is bliss”. Depending on your opinions, sometimes this is true.

When it comes to Women’s History Month, or any culture/group appreciation in general, ignorance is simply just ignorance. Educate yourself. Considering we are in the 21st century, with access to Google and far too much information at the tips of our fingers, there is no longer any excuse as to why we do not know who people james-douglas-730.jpglike Helen Keller and Dr. Sally Ride are. These months are more than a label, the titles are more than suggestions, and these women…

They make up 3.4 billion of the world population.

This is a call for action, to understand why we have this month designated to 3.4 billion people. This is a month where I want to say thank you to each and every woman who has impacted my life, from my teachers to my best friends. This is a time for women empowerment.

May it forever be more than just a month.