Tag Archives: courage

Facebook, Grammar, and Caitlyn Jenner

By yesterday afternoon, my Facebook and Twitter feeds were full of posts about the lovely and courageous Caitlyn Jenner. Mostly using words that mirrored my own thoughts — lovely, courageous, brave, beautiful, strong, etc.

All screen captures from FB -- names removed for privacy when necessary.
All screen captures from FB — names removed for privacy when necessary.

But there were a couple that did not. A couple that were derogatory, bigoted, hateful.

(Those I will absolutely not repeat nor re-post. Not here. Not anywhere else.)

Besides the general attitude of the posts, I noticed another difference that really stuck out to me — the grammar. The grammar was 100% better 100% of the time in the positive posts.

Is my feed biased? Oh, totes ma-goats. It’s bound to be chock-full of over-educated, grammar-enthused, open-minded nerds. It’s normal to cluster amongst like-minded people, I think. It was just something interesting that I noticed. That somehow misuse of their/they’re/there and its/it’s and except/accept, etc, tended to cluster with the posts full of anger and disgust and a basic disrespect for the humanity of one very famous woman who has made a brave and difficult choice to show the public who she really is.

I get that’s it’s Facebook. And I get that even on my own blog, my own feed, my own space, I am rarely grammatically perfect. But the one thing I strive to never be, in any of these spaces, is close-minded. And why is that? Why do I have that going for me? Should I be thanking my parents? My education? My privilege in general?

I don’t know. Kind of a big question. And as much as I’d love to explore it, I’m not really sure where to go. Or how best to respond to instances in which I note disrespect, injustice, and the like.

So I fall back on something I latched onto a while ago: Promote what you love rather than bashing what you hate.

I love open-mindedness. Acceptance. The freedom of individuals to express their gender anywhere on the continuum, without conforming to the societal dichotomy of male (rawr!) and female (meow…)

I love celebration of courage and bravery. I love when people share their stories, their struggles. I love watching a family love and accept each other no matter their differences.

I love that we live in a time and place that allows a transgender woman like Caitlyn Jenner to be open and honest. Where a show like Transparent can be not just aired, but also adored. (Have you seen it? A-ma-zing.) Where this powerful message of courage and hope can be transmitted times a million via news media and social media and word of mouth to thousands and millions of other transgender individuals that currently live in fear or confusion. And perhaps even more importantly, to their friends and families who really just want to love them, for the person they are, male, female, or anywhere in between.


Yes, this world is a hard place too. There is fear and hate and anger. There are bad things. Bad things that happen to good people and some genuinely bad apples looking for trouble. But, you guys, what I saw yesterday… so… much… love! And so much progress! Even just in my relatively short lifetime. (I said relatively!) It’s a good, good thing. It’s hard not to be moved by the type of courage Caitlyn Jenner has shown us all. Or Jeffrey Tambor. Or even sweet Leelah Alcorn, rest her soul. Each in their own way.


PS: One of the best things I read yesterday was an article in which GLAAD provided tips for the media on transgender terminology — it was so enlightening and definitely worth the read. (I was definitely misusing the -ed ending!!) If you happen to notices any mistakes in the language I used above, please rest assured that 1) it is not intentional and 2) if you point it out to me, I will gladly change it. Or should I say GLAADly???

Oy. Bad pun. Can’t help myself.

Blog milestone… let’s celebrate!

Have you seen the movie Little Shop of Horrors?  It’s an excellent musical comedy that makes some very important points about accepting others as they are… and the dangers of feeding carnivorous plants. And don’t forget about the dentist.  This dentist:

{Image Source}
{Image Source}

But really, isn’t the job of any dentist to inflict pain?  All I had this morning was a cleaning and my mouth and ego are still sore!  My mouth because of all the scrippity scraping (ugh, hate that part) my ego because despite brushing, flossing, and mouthwashing religiously (more than religiously even– I only go to church once a week, after all) I still get chastised for not doing well enough.  Do you think a dentist has ever said to anyone, “great job! keep up the good work, pearly whites!”?

Doubt it.

And please don’t tell me that your dentist does.  I can’t handle the jealousy right now.

But seriously, criticism always kind of hurts and for a long, long time, I have had a notoriously thin skin.



Last week I reached a major blog milestone: first criticism!  (Out loud and to me, anyway, who knows what else has been floating around out there?)

A friend of mine (and really, a friend, I’m not being sarcastic this time) gave me my first dose of criticism.

He had two issues with my blog: 1) tapestries are for women and 2) I am spending far too much time writing far too many words when there are clearly better things I could do with my time.

Fortunately, my response to the two-fold critique was a pleasant surprise, especially to me!  Let me demonstrate.

My response circa 2005 (assuming I would have screwed up the courage to start a blog in 2005– ha!):  Dang it!  I picked such a lady name!  Tapestries are totally for women and I turned off half the population by making it something so girly!  And all of my posts are way too girly too… who wants to hear about women’s issues anymore?  What is wrong with me?!  And why am I spending so much time on this thing?!  No one reads it, no one likes it, no one likes me, and I should just give up.

Sigh… that person was annoying.

My response circa 2013 (because I did screw up the courage to start a blog in 2013– ha ha!): Really?  Tapestries are for women?!  What does that even mean???  And perhaps I should mention the fact that it was a man who brought the under the tapestry analogy to my attention in the first place!  And don’t even get me started on the fact that the things that are “women’s issues” are really just issues that affect women and should matter to everyone.  And the choice to spend time writing this blog is just that– a choice made by me, for me, on how to spend my time.  I enjoy it, it’s cathartic, and it’s fun for me and my friends!  Don’t like it?  Don’t read it.

Granted, what I actually said to my critic was a bit more toned down.  I talk a big game here, not so much in real life.  Also, all that may have been considered unprofessional 😉

Notice the difference in the tone?!  Ahhhh… that. feels. good.

The things is, what other people think of me is really none of my business.  And although it’s cliche, the negative things that other people say to me, or about me, really say a lot more about them than they do about me.  Perhaps my critic has misconceptions about gender roles and related insecurities.  Perhaps he also has some very strict ideas about how time outside of work is best spent.  Whatever it is– those things are not my problems.  What a relief!

So, congrats to me on surviving… and THRIVING… despite the criticism!

Although, I have to admit, I am a good flosser, and my feelings do still hurt a bit about that…


Later gators!