Category Archives: Uncategorized

Growing criticism on mainstream rap music

Jaelan Leonard | Contributing Writer

Hip-hop/rap music is a global phenomenon that permeates every facet of our society.

Hip-hop doesn’t just influence the mainstream, it is the mainstream. However, its recent decline in sales and growth in criticism have said otherwise.

In a span of more than 40 years, rap music has evolved to fit the cultural aspects of the changing society.

Many individuals use rap music as a form of expression to explain ongoing problems that they are facing.

The internet has changed the music industry to allow for creative musical expression.

It is also a great tool that allows independent musicians to find a global audience without having to have major labels back them up.

According to RecordingConnection.com, the internet has made music more accessible to the public and has also made it difficult for artists to make money in the process.

Hip-hop began in the 1970s and originated in New York City. Back then, hip-hop gave the black and Latino youth an outlet to express themselves.

The development created a movement that influenced how people dress, speak and socialize with peers. “Gangster rap” quickly followed suit and spread like wildfire in the 1980s.

It was marked as the beginning of a “rough era.”

Kayla Key, a senior from Pittsburgh, said, “In my opinion, I feel like I’ve heard a lot of the same kind of beats, and I feel like there’s not a lot of originality.”

In a poll of African-Americans by The Associated Press and AOL-Black Voices last year, 50 percent of respondents said hip-hop was a negative force in American society.
Despite this poll, many young Americans still idolize these upcoming rappers.

Hip-hop/rap music has been blamed for a variety of social injustices.

Studies have shown that there is an attempted link from rap music to teen drug use and increased sexual activity.

Many people believe that the sole purpose of today’s rap music is to make profit, and that the era of lyricism and storytelling is ending.

Also, there’s a criminal aspect that has been related to rap music.

In the ’70s, groups may have rapped about drug-dealing and street violence, but rap stars weren’t the embodiment of criminals themselves.

In today’s era, the most popular and successful rappers boast about murders, dealing drugs and sexualizing women.

“It all depends on the artists that you listen to,” Gabrielle Snipes, a Hampton alumna, said.

“On the trap side, you are definitely going to get rappers who talk about drugs, living in the trap, etc. Other artists discuss awareness on certain [topics] like mental illness.”

Criticism of hip-hop/rap music is nothing new; it has become a part of the culture.

The question is, will society fuel the progression of horrible music or uplift the ones who are trying to make a breakthrough by returning hip-hop to originality?

Advertisements

Marshall Movie Review

Selena Roberts | Staff Writer

Marshall.png

Courtesy of Dahyo Coleman

This time of year promises new films that will be sure to generate excitement from audiences everywhere. One film that is sure to get Oscar buzz is none other than Marshall. Marshall is a unique biopic that showcases the esteemed judge’s early beginnings as a young lawyer working for the NAACP. The film displays Thurgood Marshall’s career and life before his victorious win in Brown VS. Board of Education, the case responsible for desegregating schools in 1954, and his role as the first African American Supreme Court Justice.

The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall, Sterling K. Brown as Joseph Spell, Josh Gad as Sam Friedman and Kate Hudson as wealthy socialite Eleanor Strubing. The plot centers on Thurgood Marshall’s attempt to clear an innocent black man’s name, Joseph Spell, after he is accused of sexual assault and attempted murder by his white employer Eleanor Strubing. Joseph struggles to prove his innocence, but with Marshall’s guidance, he is given a fighting chance.

The movie shows a different side of Thurgood Marshall that was not often showed to the public. Viewers get to see him as someone who is righteous, but is willing to go above and beyond even if it means breaking the rules in order to get justice for those who deserve it. One poignant line that Boseman’s character stated during the film was, “I only represent innocent people, people accused because of their race…that’s my mission.”

This is not Boseman’s first time playing an influential figure on the big screen. He first starred as Jackie Robinson in 42 in 2013. He then took on the role of James Brown in Get On Up in 2014. Like his previous roles, Boseman’s role in Marshall did not disappoint.

The movie’s plot correlates with society today, as it is released during a time where many are at odds with the Trump administration. Minorities are still facing opposition from the government. Boseman spoke on how timely the film is. He stated, “It’s so unfortunate that it’s so, so relevant at this time period, but at least we have it to shed light and to give people hope, to remind people. There’s the phrase ‘Make America Great Again,’ but how did we make America great? Who did it? It was Thurgood Marshall who did it.”

Steven Tompson, a freshman political science major, said, “As someone who is aspiring to be a lawyer, I think that it is great to have a movie like this. Not only is it inspiring, but I learned more about someone I consider a hero.”

Roseanne is making a rosy return

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Roseanne.png

Courtesy of Dahyo Coleman

The 1990s hit sitcom “Roseanne” is back with an even bigger bang. Actress Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene, proposed the idea to the cast members back in March. Hesitant that the stars wouldn’t be up for it, Gilbert held back on her plans. Once actor John Goodman, who played Dan Conner, had an appearance on The Talk and discussed the show, Gilbert knew the sitcom could have a chance at being a hit once again. When she spoke to Goodman, she was reassured that the show would be highly anticipated. Gilbert will be the executive producer of this revival.

“Roseanne” brought the reality of the working class to television. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gilbert said, “That’s a voice that’s not been spoken for enough in this country and we feel hopefully that we can be a uniting force in that way.” She hopes that members of the working class audience will be able to relate to the show and see the family as a reflection of them.

As for what’s to come in the reboot, the cast and producers want to leave the audience in suspense. One question that was answered concerned the role and well-being of Dan. In the original series finale, Dan Conner died of a heart attack, but in the revival he will be alive and well. Goodman is excited to make his return to the screen as this character. These actors are looking at this reboot as a “magical” experience. People who grew up watching the show are anticipating its comeback. Fans have expressed their excitement on social media, some saying that their “TV mom” is back, and others saying it was the best show for them while growing up.

You can expect to see many familiar faces along with some new ones, as the storyline has been altered. Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), John Goodman (Dan), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Lecy Goranson (Becky) and Michael Fishman (DJ) will be back in 2018. Shameless’ Emma Kenney will make her way to the show. We don’t know what to expect besides tons of comedic relief throughout the season. The cast and production team are hopeful that Roseanne will have a successful revival and that the audience will still love it.

The cast has been uploading behind the scenes pictures that can be found on the Roseanne ABC Instagram page and ABC.com.

The eight-episode reboot was announced back in May and the production began in October. Roseanne will return to television screens in 2018 on ABC.

 

 

Lost in translation in a “united” nation

Randall Williams | Sports Editor

IMG_4513

ESPN

Colin Kaepernick’s name over the past year has remained a frequent subject of discussion when it comes to the NFL. His protest over the racial inequality and social injustice has heard plenty of praise but also a significant amount of disapproval as well.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback aimed to spread awareness of the topics by kneeling during the national anthem last season.

“Kaepernick [was] not trying to disrespect fallen soldiers that have fought to protect the country for what it is today,” Hampton University sophomore Preston Randolph said this week. “He only wants equality and fairness.”

A week after the media frenzy began, Kaepernick’s jersey sales skyrocketed to the top, making him at the time the No. 1-selling jersey in the NFL. Time passed, and talk of protesting the league until he stood began.

The ratings of NFL games dropped 8 percent in January, according to Rolling Stone magazine. Many owners across the league believed this was due to the protests started by the onetime Super Bowl quarterback.

Kaepernick was released in March, and he has yet to be signed. The word “blackball” was mentioned often. Celebrities such as rapper and producer J. Cole, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley are just a few notable names in a sea full of people who say NFL owners have ostracized Kaepernick. Others believe that since his former team has not been producing, there is no reason to sign him.

President Donald Trump in March gave his own explanation on why Kaepernick remained unsigned. Trump’s reasoning was that “NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet.”

Six months later, the president’s attack was more personal than ever. Trump attended an Alabama rally in support of Luther Strange on Sept. 23 and said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of [an expletive] off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

The comment was extremely unexpected. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was one of the first to respond the following day, saying, “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.” From there, an array of responses occurred from players and celebrities.

This was Saturday, though, and when Sunday came, the whole world waited to see how NFL teams would react as organizations. Division was the result. Teams kneeled together. Teams locked arms. Three teams stayed in the locker room. Some teams were split in between standing and taking a knee. Trump, however, did not back down, and instead sent another load of tweets reiterating his point that everyone should stand.

A day passed, and then the Dallas Cowboys were the center of attention. Jerry Jones, owner of “America’s Team,” was also a point of focus. This was due to his avid support of Trump over the past two years in his run as a politician, even donating $1 million. The team knelt and locked arms, all while being booed by the crowd.

People who did not agree with protests during the anthem began using the hashtag “I Stand” on social media and also discussed boycotting the NFL until the players stand. The NFL was already being boycotted by some American citizens for Kaepernick’s unemployment.

So two sides who oppose each other are now doing the same thing to try to cripple the nation’s most popular sport.

“I feel because of Trump’s comments towards the NFL [that] people are now missing the point of why the knee was taken in the first place,” Hampton student Kevin Monday said.

Has America become lost in Trump’s comments? Is the U.S. forgetting the purpose of the original protest? Although there are individual players such as Bennett, Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and more who have remained kneeling for the original cause, there is a discrepancy.

Since teams in Week 3 took a knee following Trump’s comments, the impression was conveyed that they are kneeling out of humiliation by the president.

A humiliation that was met without a response would have been an embarrassment. To avoid this, the league responded accordingly.

 

Styling tips from Hampton University student hairstylists

Sierra Armstrong | Contributing Writer

When it comes to hair in college, things can get tricky. You aren’t sure if you should wear your real hair, get a weave, or rock braids. The thought of doing your own hair every day seems tiring, trying to find a new hairstylist in college is terrifying, and weaves and braids might break your bank account. So what do you do? Paris Stallworth and Deneara Worthy, student hairstylists, are here to solve some of your hair troubles with a few styling tips.

Paris Stallworth is a sophomore pre-law criminal justice major from Los Angeles, California. She specializes in braids, weaves, wigs, and natural hair. “With my mom being a professional stylist, I was born in the hair salon. My experience is what makes me special,” says Stallworth.

Deneara Worthy is a junior education major, biology minor from Durham, North Carolina. She specializes in sewing weaves, doing natural hair, and braiding. Worthy says, “What makes me special as a hairstylist is [that] I’m versatile and a fast learner. You can come to me with a style I have never done and I will pick up on it and do it for you.”

Protective styling is crucial in college. A protective style is any style where your hair is completely covered or tucked away to reduce daily damage of manipulating your hair. These styles include box braids, feed-in braids, weaves, and wigs.

When it comes to protective styling, Paris and Deneara recommend braids for college students. “When wearing braids your hair is fully protected. This allows it to grow and keeps it from breaking off,” says Stallworth. The best part about a protective style is being able to freely experiment with weaves and braids without damaging your own hair.

Now, what happens when you wake up and don’t have any clue of how to style your protective style or your natural hair? For weave-wearers, Deneara suggested trying a slick ponytail or bun because they are sleek and stylish, yet simple.

For natural hair, a quick puff is always an easy style; but if you want a different look, Paris says to give flexi rods a try. For box braids, Deneara’s go-to style is a half up bun, half down look.

Those days when your hair just will not cooperate and it turns into a complete bad hair day, what do you do? Paris recommends to stock up on head wraps. Head wraps can be worn in a low bun, high bun, or wrapped however you want while completely covering your bad hair day and creating a cute style.

Another tip from Paris is to try two braids. “Two braids are my go-to. You can pull them back, pull them into a bun, braid down the front and leave the back out. You can never go wrong with two braids,” says Stallworth.

Girls may not know where to start when it comes to buying hair products for these styles. Stores have thousands of hair products, but which ones are the best? For the weave-wearers, Deneara’s preferred list of products are edge control, a flat iron, a toothbrush for your edges, and a comb. Paris suggests the brand “Chi” for girls who put heat on their hair.

For natural hair, Deneara and Paris both love Mielle Organics. Worthy also says, “Cantu has a really good product line for natural hair. Eco-styler gel is also a necessity for natural hair.”

To contact Deneara Worthy, her hair Instagram is @worthy_looks, and her personal Instagram is @denearaeshon. If you want to reach Paris Stallworth, her hair Instagram is @lahandz and her personal Instagram is @parisjimmera.

 

Nu2u Fashion announces closure; leaves HU students wondering

Chelsea Harrison | Contributing Writer

Nu2u Fashion, the go-to convenience store for Hampton University students for more than five years will be closed by the end of March, according to co-owner Leilo Jones.

Students say they are heartbroken to lose their beloved “corner store” at The Harbour Shops with its trendy fashions and quick snacks, right next to The Hampton Harbours Apartments, and an easy walk from the main campus.

“Nu2u is like a Hampton heirloom. No replacement will ever be able to fill its shoes,” said Eric Dockery, a sophomore HU student who visits the store at least once every day.

Jones said the store would close after its lease was not renewed.

The Jones’ created a petition to highlight the large amount of support from HU students and Hampton residents. So far, it has accumulated over 700 signatures.

Store owners are encouraging all supporters to come sign it and help spread the word.   

The store is known for the informal warm counseling provided by founder Regina Jones, Leilo’s mother, she said.

“This is a “home away from home for all who comes through its doors,” Regina Jones said. “Everybody knows they can come in and talk to me about everything whether it’s school, work, relationships, anything.”

Jones opened Nu2u in 2011 as a small and affordable boutique.

“But once I began to hear about the things students said they needed, I started taking notes and slowly started to add those things to my store,” she said. “Now, almost everything in here, the students asked for.”

Jones offers everything from formal attire to honeybuns.

“What other place do you know that provides food, drinks, hair supplies, blouses, and a warm atmosphere? Nu2u is truly one of a kind,” said Serena Rudisel, an HU senior and frequent Nu2u customer.

Many students credit the quick shop for helping them get through their freshman year with ease, especially those without  a car like sophomore Janae January, who needed her “cram-session” snack..

“There were time when Mrs. Jones would leave the store open a little bit longer just so that I could grab a bite to eat,” January said.

The hashtag #RIPNu2u immediately spread through social media sites like Twitter and Instagram as students expressed deep sadness and disbelief at the store’s closing.

Andrew Williams, a senior pharmacy student tweeted, “I had a feeling Nu2u was [going to] close. Just didn’t think so soon. #RIPNu2u.”

 

The return of the Oakland Raiders

Aug 12, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio and quarterback Derek Carr (4) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 12, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio and quarterback Derek Carr (4) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

William Ricks | Staff Writer

This NFL regular season has been full of surprises. Powerhouse teams struggling and teams you’d expect to be terrible are in the thick of the playoff hunt. Then there are the Cleveland Browns, who have fell short everyone’s low expectations and are winless at this part of the season. One of the surprising teams this season are the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are 9-2 and are 2nd in the AFC standings. They are riding the hot arm of Derek Carr and all the other young talent on their team to make themselves a legit Super Bowl contender at this point in the season.

The Raiders return was due, but nobody expected it in this fashion. At 9-2 they have clinched their first winning season since 2002. They are hoping to clinch their first playoff berth in over a decade. That is certainly a long time, but it seems like those times are behind them. With the help of the NFL Draft and free agency, Reggie McKenzie, Raiders general manager, has helped the Raiders have built title contender team.

With the young core of Derek Carr, Khalil Mack, and Amari Cooper the silver and black now are poised for sustained success. Derek Carr is having a sensational season, completing 66 percent of his passes, throwing for 22 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Carr is a MVP candidate and rightfully so, leading his team to 5 fourth quarter comebacks this season.

Derek Carr was overlooked in his draft year but I’m sure many GMs are wishing they chose this young superstar QB. His teammates love his leadership and his guts, finishing his most recent win against the Panthers with a dislocate pinkie finger on his throwing hand.

The Raiders defense is the true definition of the bend but don’t break. Having their many flaws this season, when the defense needs a stop to clinch the game, they come through. Khalil Mack, who started off the season slow, has picked up the intensity and has wreaked havoc all over opposing offenses. Mack is a defensive player of the year candidate, showing that he is a force in this league for many years to come.

Bruce Irvin on the other side is doing his part keeping the opposing quarterbacks running for their lives. The defense isn’t a great defense by any means, but when the game is on the line, they get the job done.

What has also helped Oakland in the rise to success was a change in culture. The Oakland Raiders we all remember from in the day were hard-nosed, physical and almost a bully ball type of team. With Coach Jack Del Rio at the head he has revived that mold. He wanted to bring back that Raider football we all knew and loved, and that is just what they needed. With their offensive line that is one of the best in the league, the Raiders now are physical and will hit you in the mouth and it shows throughout their play.

The same from their defensive line That comes with a consequence, as the Raiders back in the day were penalized frequently, and just this year the Raiders set the NFL record for most accepted penalties in a game. Seeing the results from the revival of the physical culture I’m sure they’ll be ok with that.

What has always hurt the Raiders in the past is that they couldn’t finish games. With the wins they’ve had to fight for this year, you can safely say that that trend is over. Oakland is now a team that if the going gets tough they won’t crumble and give the game away. Coach Jack Del Rio said this was a main point of emphasis if they wanted to get to the next level. With them focusing on how to close out games the Raiders now can seal the deal in crunch time, propelling them to that next level.

It’s not about how you start it’s how you finish and Oakland is now finding ways to finish games. The Oakland Raiders seem to be back and better than ever. Time will tell as we will see how they end this season and how they perform in the playoff. Raiders fans can now come out of hiding and believe in the silver and black once again.

The Curious Case of Josh Gordon

(The Comeback)

(The Comeback)

Camron Miller | Contributor

It is almost the end of November and, as we approach the end of the 2016 NFL season, it is worth noting two important things: the Cleveland Browns have yet to win a game (0-11) and that may be due in part to the fact that they are still without Josh Gordon.

The troubled 25-year-old Cleveland Browns receiver was released from a rehabilitation facility on October 30 a month after beginning treatment for his various substance issues. The question, immediately upon his release, became: “What are the Cleveland Browns executives going to do with him, since they missed the trade deadline on November 1?”

For those teams still interested in Gordon as a player, he has an upside because his performance on the field is outstanding. Gordon’s numbers in 2013 were amazing. He posted 1,646 yards with 87 receptions and 9 touchdowns in a career year any receiver would be proud of.

Gordon has a history of drug problems, he received a two-game suspension in 2013 for a failed drug test, and was let go from the Baylor football team in 2011 after he tested positive for marijuana while in school. He plead guilty to a DUI charge in September of 2014, failing an alcohol test last January, he violated his no-alcohol restriction triggering the indefinite suspension. These problems have caused him to lose $1.4 million in the year he was suspended.

Gordon was conditionally reinstated in July with a four-game suspension to start the season for previously being suspended from the entire 2015 season for multiple violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policies. He would have been eligible to play against the Patriots Oct. 9 had he abided by his treatment program.

Instead, he checked himself into rehab on September 29 tweeting that he was: “Under some pressure & stress recently, had to take a time out for myself. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for you. Thank u @nfl @Browns.” -Flash Gordon (@JOSH_GORDONXII).

Rumors have floated around that Head Coach Hue Jackson and Browns executives have “moved on from Gordon.” The Browns planned for the future with the uncertainty of his return drafting four receivers and giving ex-quarterback Terrelle Pryor a full look at the position. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted on September 29: “Hope is that Josh Gordon gets the help he needs. Hard to imagine him playing for the Browns again.” -@ Adam Schefter.

Gordon is not the only person at the center of the Browns’ woes, as the Johnny Manziel saga closed at the end of this past summer. Manziel was drafted in 2014 with the Browns first-round draft pick to be the quarterback the Browns needed to turn their franchise around.

Gordon and Manziel succumbed to the pressures of stardom and playing in a professional league, trying to live up to their college success. Hopefully, Gordon can turn things around before it’s too late, and he ends up like his friend “Johnny Football,” who is currently a free agent after being released by the Browns in March.

The Search for a new face

(shcjc)

(shsjc)

Timia Whitsey | Contributing Writer

It was an exciting and memorable afternoon for the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications on Thursday, September 24th. The WHOV-TV News crew went on the hunt to find the new faces of the channel, and several eager students rose to the challenge.

Over 40 Hamptonians auditioned to prove how qualified they are for the position of anchor. Auditions were highly competitive with each individual bringing their A-game and unique talent to the table.

Stress levels and nerves were through the roof as each person anxiously awaited their chance to be on the big screen.

The crowd of candidates was very diverse, however, the class of 2019, Quintessence 10, made up a majority of the population.

One freshman in particular, Miss Arianna Coles had plenty to say about her unforgettable WHOV-TV audition experience. “There were so many other students auditioning, the set was much larger than high school, and I was not expecting a crowd during my auditions. I was on the verge of breaking down and throwing the towel in”, Coles admitted.

However, after hearing a couple of encouraging words, Arianna pushed herself to give a great performance. “Because of the WHOV-TV [anchor] auditions, I am now more confident, and I will never let an opportunity pass me by because I am scared” she proudly stated.

While a position will not be available for everyone that auditioned, the tremendous turnout does symbolize the growth of the wonderful journalism and communications department here on campus.

The number of incoming Scripps Howard students is expected to increase each semester simply due to the fact that the program “emphasizes excellence and innovation while adhering to the core standards and ethical principles of the industry.”

The drive and desire for success within the Scripps building is not only inspirational, but also motivational. That positive presence felt throughout the entire audition process was powerful enough to uplift those that had fear in their hearts and re-assure others that the long nights spent studying the scripts had paid off.

Scripps majors and minors are very fortunate to have such experienced and knowledgeable professors in the program. These professors aim to educate and mold America’s next generation of PR’s, anchors, producers, writers, and other leaders in the media world.

Since there are so many passionate students ready to involve themselves in mass communication related activities, WHOV will be giving all those interested a chance to work behind the scenes on the news crew and with the WHOV 88.1 FM radio station.

These opportunities are not only enjoyable, but also an opportunity to make lifelong connections and build an outstanding resume. All in all, according to crewmember, Desmond Smalley, “the auditions went exceptionally well, and the team is excited for the upcoming school year.”

For future reference, all students are encouraged to attend the next audition regardless of major. In the meantime, Hamptonians should be on the lookout for new faces, voices, and ideas quickly coming their way.

All This Alvis: Jenner or Gender ?

usmagazine

usmagazine

Justin Alvis | Columnist

On the morning of June 1, 2015 Caitlyn Jenner came out of hiding. 

She, along with her tight abs and abnormally large breasts, graced the cover of Vanity Fair in a full spread about her new life as a woman.

Caitlyn, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, is a courageous Olympic Gold Medalist setting a world record not beaten until 1980. Jenner became “an American hero” by winning an event long dominated by Soviet Union athletes during the Cold War.

She was the father of four beautiful kids, and the loving, caring, husband of Kris Jenner. Bruce was the people’s favorite on the E! reality show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” as the quiet and adorable father who always made time for his children and was supportive of everyone’s dreams and aspirations, including his wife’s. 

However, once Caitlyn announced her transition, her loyal friends became her worst enemy.

People took to their Twitter accounts to display their anger, shock, excitement, support and disappointment. Her Twitter account reached one million followers in just four hours and she was the talk of all of the blogs.

Now, keep in mind, Bruce went on air with Diane Sawyer weeks before to announce his transition; but no one actually thought he was serious.

The social media world became divided. There were the people who could not understand why someone would want to change genders. People called him selfish for starting a new life and seemingly abandoning his family.

Then there are the people who refuse to even acknowledge her transition, insinuating that Caitlyn is just a confused, gay man.

Gender and sexuality are two different things. Caitlyn is a woman who is still attracted to other women, therefore, society labels her a lesbian.

Caitlyn’s transition officially sparked the real conversation on gender issues in America.

Despite the overwhelming support from her family and friends, America decided to spew their hate on her happiness.

Caitlyn’s transition completely erased all of her accomplishments, amazing personality traits, and favorite hobbies. Her existence has been diluted to her gender, when that is such a small part of her existence.

According to the American Psychological Association, In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association added gender identity dysphoria to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). a diagnosis of gender dysphoria ensures that more services for transgender people will be covered by health insurers.

However, Caitlyn does not think she suffers from “gender identity dysphoria.” She knows herself as a beautiful, blonde woman who was trapped in a man’s body for a very, very long time.

Gender and sexuality differ from person to person; everyone identifies differently. There is no one “man”, “woman”, “gay”, or “lesbian”.

Who are you to tell someone they can’t identify as a woman? Who are you to completely disregard someone’s presence because they do not fit into your religious and social beliefs?

The irony is that people develop serious mental illnesses and even resort to suicide because they are denied their presence due to sexual or gender preference.

To diagnose her gender identity as a mental illness is America’s way of labeling something they cannot understand. And that is the real problem.

It is the reason why millions of Americans are afraid to properly identify their gender and or sexuality like they can identify their favorite ice cream flavor. Both of them you are born with, it just takes exploring and time to determine. It is the reason why some major publications have a “LGBTQ” sections and “gay” clubs are a category of nightlife. It is the reason why eventually “gender identity dysphoria” becomes “schizophrenia” or “bipolar” disorder.

Imagine living life as a social experiment and/or topic all of your life for something that is biologically a part of your existence.

Your job is to love, support, and understand.

So the next time you meet someone that is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer, understand that is not their existence and they probably do not want to talk about it.