With all the horrible things going on in this country and in the world in general, I wish more people could learn that hate is not the answer.
We have to make peace with our inner demons and learn to accept ourselves and others.
I am bisexual.
I have been molested.
The rape case makes me angry.
The mass shooting at Pulse makes me angry.
All of the shootings make me angry.
But they don’t make me want to be violent or want to hurt people back. I want to figure out a way to show people that there is good in the world and that they too can be a part of it.
We get so anxious about even switching jobs after only a short time of stability, imagine trying to leave a whole lifestyle, especially to one that you’ve grown to learn was wrong. The shooter was emotionally and sexually confused; he let his anger get the best of him. It seems like if he couldn’t let other people live the life that he wanted to live if he couldn’t. He hated himself which made him hate others.
Nobody should be deprived of basic human needs and that includes love. You cannot truly love and respect other people until you love and respect yourself.
People are blaming his religion. People are blaming guns. People are blaming the victims.
Did the Stanford student bring this on herself just by getting drunk at a party? No, but they really make it seem like she did. Did I ask to be sexually assaulted just by going to my friend’s house? It took me years to open up about it and when I finally did, many of my friends, both men and women, told me similar and worse things that have happened to them. All of us have had to swallow our pride and I and a lot of others have bitten our tongues and kept it a secret until it just couldn't be anymore.
I wasn’t raped, but I was violated and too afraid to say no to what he was doing. I wasn’t even the one who was drinking, but because he was drunk I was even more afraid to say no. I was out of the city and didn’t know the area, so I couldn’t just get on the subway or hop in a taxi. He ended up driving me home after that and ran a red light into oncoming traffic. I remember one car coming so close to us and the horns blaring. Thankfully, nothing happened. The next day he claimed he didn’t remember what he had done. I told one person after it happened. He told me that I should give the guy a break since he was a nice guy and he was probably having an off night. I shut up after that for four years.
When I was in Israel for a Birthright trip, I was violated and to this day I still have problems not blaming myself for the situation. I felt left out while everyone was drinking and partying since I didn’t drink or go to clubs. I was the black sheep of the group and didn’t even click with any of the girls. Everyone else seemed to be fast friends and lovers. I remember how uncomfortable it was when I woke up to my roommate having sex while I was in the room. I was only eighteen, very insecure with every aspect of myself and sexually naive. The boys should have seen this about me and not proceeded to try anything or sneak pictures of my breasts. It’s not like today where we can delete photos. I actually felt bad that they would lose the rest of the pictures on their disposable camera, and after a few minutes that felt like eternity of holding it and deciding what to do, I gave them back the camera and just told them to throw the picture away when they got the photos. I should have broken the camera. I wanted to go home after that, but I didn’t want to cause drama so I didn’t say anything and suffered in silence for the rest of the trip and still to this day.
I had no real sexual education growing up and definitely no classes on the extent consent should reach. Not everyone wants to be touched all the time, sometimes you even have to ask if it’s ok for a hug. We shouldn’t just force kids to hug if they don’t want to. Ask if they can be hugged, because sometimes they don’t want to be touched, just like adults. I don’t like shaking hands because it is a trained behavior. People get weirded out by that or think I am rude, but handshakes are not necessary for an introduction and a firm grip does not mean a person is trustworthy, it means they have practiced it. I like to tell people I need to metaphorically sniff their asses before I touch them. I prefer to bow as a greeting. Touch to me is a form of respect and must be earned, from simple handshakes to anything intimate.
I have intimacy issues. I was terrified and am still nervous to look men in the eyes because I don’t want them to think anything. Too many times just being my silly self would be enough to make them think I wanted something more with them and when they found out I didn’t, they would be mean or just stop talking to me.
It wasn’t until recently that I learned so much about consent and proper communication. During that time, body paint became a form of intimacy for me. I have control over who I let paint me and get to know them a bit first. If I feel uncomfortable at all, I am not afraid to say something. I opened up to a lot of the artists and we worked together to create characters and works of art. It takes trust on both of our parts to bring the pieces to life.
I hope you listen to the words of the song. I wrote it a while ago, but it is very relevant to what is going on in the world right now.
We have to make peace with our inner demons and learn to accept ourselves and others.
Michael Mejia painted this piece based on some of my original songs. They are the inner demons that plague me from the worst of times to the best of times; the anxiety that never leaves, the things that I programmed myself to think versus the things I actually think. We all have inner demons. Will they ever go away? Probably not, but we have to keep fighting to be happy. Sometimes they make us blame other people and sometimes we are tricked into blaming ourselves.
I am showing off my body, but it is just a blank canvas that Michael turned into a work of art set to my own music. We had a terrific time making this painting happen. I rarely get to be painted in the comfort of my own home and Michael was extremely respectful of my body and my space.
After the Skin Wars Premiere Party, Yes, Yes its Blessed came over. I was inspired and the idea struck me to do a little at home burlesque number. I told her what I wanted her to do, cleaned up my space and with a couple of failed first lines, we did it in one magical take. I have been inspired by burlesque lately and how powerful the women are in the performances I've seen; the magnificent feminine energy and the vivid characters that are created in just the span of a song with elaborate costumes and amazing confidence.
To those that are offended Why is this so horrific to some eyes, when if it was a man singing with his shirt off it would be perfectly acceptable? It wasn’t even until the late 1930’s that men were even allowed to be topless. Before that, their swimsuits had to cover the nipple. Why do breasts automatically make things inappropriate? My body is covered…with art.
The Circle of Blame.
It all started somewhere, but we can stop all this nonsense. Stop blaming others and learn to accept people for who they are. Learn to accept yourself along the way, because what you fear might just be the very thing you need. If you don’t like something, maybe you just don’t understand it. Don’t judge right away; learn about whatever it is first. It can take a while before new trends catch on, and accepting something totally out of your norm can be difficult but not impossible.
We all make mistakes and sometime we are the ones to blame. But when we blame others for our mistakes, the lies just pile up until it’s out of control and no one involved can get back down without the possibility of getting hurt somehow. We are not admitting to everything and not learning from our mistakes. Children learn lying at a young age. Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Children claim someone else ate all the cookies when their face is covered in crumbs the same way someone can claim they didn’t rape someone when their DNA is right there.
There is order and chaos in this world. Cause and effect. Make the right causes and better effects can happen for everyone.
I hope you listen to the words as well as look at the beautiful art.
Thank you Arie for lending me that gadget to record the music with and Shelley for hosting the party!
Thank you for watching. Spread love, peace, truth and acceptance, not lies and hate.
And if anyone has any ideas for a video to incorporate all the circles of blame going on in the world right now, I’d love to make it happen.
Body paint by: Michael Mejia http://www.instagram.com/michaelmejiaart