International Human Rights Day

Hello everyone!

This will be my last blog post for the semester, but starting in January, I’ll be back with more feminism topics.

Since today is International Human Rights Day and Thursday, I thought I would do a throw back Thursday to the first piece I wrote for OutWords magazine. Ironically enough, it was about International Human Rights Day.

“December 10, 2014 is National Human Rights Day. As I was scrolling through my social media, I realized that with recent events I’ve been swallowed up by such as the non-indictment of Michael Browns in Ferguson Mo., among other race related hate crimes by police in the United States of America, a lesbian couple being targeted through Google maps to have their home say “faggots live here,” to in our own city of Winnipeg a young aboriginal girl was severally beaten and raped and now is the face of change for the Aboriginal community, to a black transgender woman who was murdered in the United States; I thought, “How can today be a day of celebration of how far we have come to promote equality when equality is the farthest thing away from many people’s mind?”

I also realize that I am privileged and that without basic human rights I wouldn’t be able to sit and write about this. So, there are thanks to be given to those of the past for making this world better than it was and I don’t want to diminish these people and places for giving me and you this opportunity to question, learn, reject, understand and change things that are still corrupt and unjust. But for me, today isn’t a day of celebration. Today is a day that I realize that for the rest of my life I will have to fight for equality for myself, people around me and for our future generations.

In the last few weeks, the only good news I’ve read, and maybe it’s just because I’ve been focusing on the negatives, was that parents of a transgender boy who reissued his birth in their city’s newspaper. This gave me hope and enlightened me that change is being made in households and if that change continues to grow, it will soon be impossible to ignore the change that needs to happen on a political and global level.

As I read and learn things about our world that utterly disturbs and disgusts me, the same events surprise and inspire me because these events, for example the non-indictment of Michael Brown’s murderer in Ferguson, have sparked protests not only in Ferguson, but across the globe in support of them. Along with this protest, we see protests in Mexico about the missing school children, Thailand wanting a new democratic government because theirs is currently corrupt, France protesting the murder of a French activist, and the list goes on! It is absolutely astonishing the power behind the people, and maybe some countries are more fortunate than others and their protests will make political change where others will only result in more killing and less solutions.

Some people are skeptical towards these protests because protests this big have been done in the past, for example the Stonewall Riots for gay rights or the Occupy Wall Street protest to stop capitalism. But in my opinion, the world needs to listen to people now because these kinds of numbers in protests are enormous. People all over the world are fighting for the better and I don’t know about you but every time, good always trumps evil.”

Ps. On a sidenote, I feel like my grammar has improved. Yay CreComm!


Personal Brand

This week in Ad class, we had to write about our personal brand and create a Prezi.

Here is my Prezi and how I feel about my brand.

  1. Brand personality:
  • Savannah Kelly – “I’d say warm, easy going, ambitious, feminist badass, and extreme cat lover.”
  • Arlee Velasco – “Gentle, laid-back, genuine.’
  • Joy Balmana – “ Sexy, passionate, feminism, cats, determined.”
  • James Doroshuk – “Advocate, big heart”
  • DJ Sawchuk – “fucking hilarious driver, good-hearted”
  • Courtney Frenette – “ genuine, selfless, dedicated, open-minded, fluid, natural”

Hearing all these positive attributes and people being sincere about them, brought tears to my eyes. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point in my personal brand, and I’m happy people see me for who I am. I agree with them, not to sound vain, but this is who I am and want to be. I am surprised nobody said queer or gay. Those words don’t define me, but they are a part of me.

  1. Brand differentiation:

My personal brand sticks out because I’ve learnt that being authentic and true to myself is the best and fullest way to live my life. I’ve experienced a lot to be where and who I am today. Brands take time to develop and my brand is on a trajectory that keeps improving each day. Each day, I wake up and face a new challenge or have a new discussion or chose to be vulnerable or chose to follow my heart instead of my head.

My feminism grounds me and is one of the most important aspects of my brand. Once you open your eyes, heart, soul and mind to the world and people around you your perspectives change. My love for cats brings me to tears and I think it’s what I love most about myself.

Not everyone likes feminists or queer people, and it’s something I deal with daily. This aspect of my brand is what can keep me back, but if someone doesn’t appreciate or accepts who I am, I’m better off not being a part of their life.

My brand competes in the market with other feminists and queer people. In my opinion, queer feminist are a small portion of the population and we do all have our own way of being feminists, but people aren’t always aware of that. Bringing my feminism and queerness to their attention is a possible solution.

3. Brand Values:

My core values are equality, acceptance, open-mindedness, honesty, vulnerability, love, and authenticity. I value the things that not everyone values me for. It’s important to be open to everyone in life and be aware of how you affect society. Knowing where you sit in the hierarchy of oppression can help with all of the latter, and that is something I will always hold in the core of my values.

  1. Brand Promise:

I can promise to always be honest with people and open to people who may not see the world through my perspective. I want people to feel empathetic to people who aren’t like them. I want people to have that feeling of realization that the world and society are bigger then we know, and it’s our job as human beings to fix the things that are wrong in them.

  1. Brand Vision:

I want to be famous for having the most cats and being an advocate for feminism and queer issues. I want to write about stories that go unreported and help queer people feel safe in society. I want to aspire to change society to be accepting to queer people. I want queer people to never feel like ending their lives is the only way to fix things.

  1. Brand Name:

People mostly mispronounce my name and call me Danielle. The first thing that comes to people’s minds is feminist. That’s my brand name.

  1. Brand Image:

All colours match my brand because people come in all colours and every colour represents someone, somewhere. Positive, safe, moving pictures that evoke thought and emotions from people are key to my brand. Any type of music that can literally make someone get up and move or bring tears to their eyes is my brand. Cats. Any kind of cats.

  1. Brand Logo:

Cats, feminism, queer.

  1. Brand Story:

When I was in grade 5, I had my first girlfriend. At the time I had no idea that’s what was going on, but nobody else was carrying around their best friend in their arms. I would also kiss girls on their cheeks if they asked me to, but every time I did, they would make fun of me. When I was in grade 8, my then best friend and I would kiss for fun.

When I was 21, I came out because I had my first real adult girl crush. It didn’t go very far but that’s when I found myself. I had a whole new queer group of friends and I had never felt so at home. I learnt what the word feminism means and had intense in-depth conversations with people that changed my life.

Later that year, I met the love of my life. Being in a queer relationship scared me because I didn’t know how labels work. I’ve never identified as a lesbian because women are only part of who I find attractive.

A year and a half into my relationship, my partner told me they were questioning their gender. A whole new level of feminism, transgender issues, queer as an umbrellas term, and how fucked up society is when it comes to its constructed gender norms, came into my life.

I am queer, because I don’t fit into a box or a label, but I am certainly not straight. I am a feminist, because the people closest to me are reasons I fight for equality every day. My story isn’t over, it’s still progressing, but I’ve never been so sure of who I am in my life.