Living in the Now

I made it! I made it through twenty-nine hours of travel. I made it through figuring out how to use my phone internationally. I made it through the car ride and the flights and the standing escalator thingies and a cab ride.

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I made it all the way to my hotel in Bangkok.   It’s 1:38am (14 hours ahead of California time) as I write this, and I’ve slept about 4 hours in the past 30.   I didn’t pay to get wifi in my room so I probably won’t post this until tomorrow morning (my tomorrow morning; this time zone business is gonna get confusing), but I just wanted to pop in an say hi.

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So far, everyone I’ve encountered has been incredibly helpful. Granted, the only people I’ve met so far are the cab driver and the people at my hotel, but still. I’ll take it. On the drive from the airport to my hotel, I had my cab driver teach me how to say a few key phrases in Thai. I have down “hi” (sa wad dee ka), “thank you” (kob khun ka), “my name is…” (chan-chue), and “how are you?” (khun-sa-bai-dee-mai-ka). I should probably try to learn more practical phrases like “where’s the bathroom?”, “how much?”, and “feed me now,” but oh well. I have an app for that.

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Honestly, this whole experience is still feeling completely surreal. You’d think actually being in Thailand would make my trip to Thailand feel real, but nope… Not yet. I’m definitely missing home like crazy and it’s overwhelming to think that I’ll be gone for 7 weeks. But at San Francisco airport yesterday, I decided to focus on the immediate. If I had thought about being gone for close to two months, I probably would have lost it in the airport and been put on some kind of No Fly List (i.e., don’t let this crazy bitch on a plane). Instead, I had to focus on getting through security. Then getting to my gate. Then getting to Tokyo, and then to Bangkok, and then to my hotel.   Tomorrow, I’m going to focus on eating good food and seeing some temples. The day after that? No fucking clue. I’m focusing on The Now, simply because it’s way more manageable and will help me prevent a psychological breakdown. Always a good thing.

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A nice Buddha quote seemed appropriate, on account of the whole being in Thailand thing

Taking things a day (or an hour) at a time is a good lesson for life. It’s crazy to try to figure out everything. It’s impossible to look at your life and know where you’ll be a year from now, or five years, or ten. Rather, I just need to focus on living NOW… Not a week from now, not a month from now, not a year from now.  Just now.

Alright, I’m off to go sleep.  Talk soon!

To Thailand

Hey everyone.   It’s almost 11pm on Sunday night right now, which means I have approximately eight hours until I leave my house to embark on my journey to Thailand.  I’m nervous (did I pack everything I need?  will I be able to find a cab to my hotel once I land?  what if I’m sitting next to a weirdo on the plane? and sad (I don’t wanna leave everyone!), but mostly excited (OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG).  I’ll hopefully be blogging a few times per week, but I’m not sure how often I’ll have access to WiFi, so we’ll see.

My travel schedule tomorrow looks a little like this:

Leave my house at 6:30am.  Drive the 3 hours (rush hour, ugh) to San Francisco Airport.

Fly from San Francisco to Tokyo.  10.5 hours.

4 hour layover.

Fly from Tokyo to Bangkok.  6.5 hours.  Land at 11pm Bangkok time on July 22nd. 

Get a cab to the hotel (<< nervous about taking a cab, alone, late at night, in a new city…) and pass the fuck out.

I don’t have much else to say tonight and I should probably try to get some sleep (lol yeah right)… Please send me good travel vibes.  I’ll miss you all!  Next time we talk, I’ll probably be in Thailand (!!!).

Bye for now… <3.

P.S. Follow me on Instagram for airport/travel updates!

The Scale

Let’s talk about the scale.

WAIT NO DON’T LEAVE!  COME BACK!  COME BACK!  I promise you’ll want to stick around for this discussion (okay, I can’t actually promise that.  But still, you should stay.)

We all know how much the scale sucks.  It lies!  It doesn’t measure beauty or brains or compassion or general bootyliciousness!  Don’t listen to it!  Throw it away!  Kill it with fire!

But here’s the thing: the scale doesn’t lie.  The scale is just a thing.

We’re the ones who lie.  We’re the ones who convince ourselves that life will be better once the scale shows us a smaller number.  We’re the ones who long for the time when we were “soo much skinnier” than we are now.  We’re the ones who obsessively search BMIs and celebrities’ weights, trying to compare our bodies to somebody else’s.  We’re the ones who give the scale power…Power that it shouldn’t have.

And in the process of giving the scale power, we’re taking that power away from ourselves.  That is simultaneously immensely comforting and insanely terrifying.  It’s comforting because life is crazy and scary and complicated; if we can pin our woes on a number on the scale, it takes some of the responsibility off of us.  On the other hand, it’s terrifying because we’re giving power (of our moods, our happiness, our self-worth) to an inanimate object.  (And not even a cool, high-tech inanimate object, like an iPhone.)  It’s dumb.  Real dumb.

A couple weeks ago, I put on a bathing suit to go lay out by the pool (and then got really sunburned).  It was the same bathing suit I had worn in Hawaii a few years back.  I remember seeing the pictures from that trip and feeling huge.  I remember weighing myself during that trip and seeing my highest number ever.  I remember being devastated.

So a took a picture of my present-day self (which is now my 3-weeks-ago self) and put ‘em side-by-side.

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Here were my initial thoughts about these two pictures:

- I weighed 20+ pounds less in the left picture.

- I felt insanely self-conscious in the left picture.  Much less so in the right picture.

- I miss that tan.

- I miss Hawaii.

- I think my body looks fine (great…hot) in both pictures.

- I think I look more or less the same in both pictures, despite over 3 years and 20-someodd pounds of difference.

Now here’s the important stuff:

In the time span between these photographs…

I started college.

I maintained my relationship for another 3 years, for a total of 5.5.

I fell in love with so many wonderful, beautiful friends.

I traveled to Italy and Costa Rica, and ate an unbelievable amount of gelato and drank and unbelievable amount of frozen rum drinks, respectively.

I probably ate the equivalent of 22 wheels of Brie.

I definitely ate at least 30 pizzas.

I gained weight.  I lost weight.  I maintained weight.  I gained more weight (see above).  I was okay with it.  I am okay with it.

I fell into the kale fad and drank lots of green smoothies.

I got an iPhone.

I started a blog and met a whole lot of wonderful people.

I sweated a lot.  30% of the time it was because of a workout.  70% of the time was because I’m a sweaty human and it’s hot (#globalwarming).

I graduated college.

I started the daunting process of figuring out what I want to do and who I want to become.

I watched waaay too much Netflix.

I cried and laughed and snorted.

I learned a little about a lot.

I found passions and lost friends.

I loved and I hated.

How beautiful is all of that?!  

Yes, in 3 years I gained the equivalent of a fairly chubby house cat, but I also did a lot and learned a lot and saw some amazing things.  My life is so much more than a number on the scale.  I refuse to give the scale the power to take away the magic of three years.  I refuse to look that those two pictures and see “20+ pound gain.”  I want to look at those pictures and see how much happier and more fulfilled I am today.  I want to appreciate how much I’ve grown (metaphorically, hah).  I refuse to allow the number on the scale to make me forget all of the important things that have transpired between those pictures.

The scale only has power if you give it power.

Don’t.

Life Lately

Hey everyone.  It’s been a while since I’ve stopped by for catch-up post and I feel like it’s about time.

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(So many sunset pics.  Sorry in advance.)

First, I kind of want to talk about my involvement in the “blog world.”  I’ve been posting a whole lot less, commenting on approximately zero blogs per week, and replying to comments as the pace of a snail driving my 2002 Nissan that desperately needs oil and shakes when I drive too fast (read: very slowly).  As always, I want you all to know that I read every single comment and they make me really happy.  Honestly, pulling away from the blog world has been good for me, simply because it took up an insane amount of time, but I do miss being a part of this little community.  I’m still here, even if you don’t see me.  I’m like Santa.  Or a stalker.  (<< Is there really a difference between the two?)

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Now let’s talk about my next three weeks.  Technically 19 days, but whatever.  Okay, so it’s July 3rd.   As you’re reading this, I’m probably moving out of my apartment in Davis due to the whole graduation/moving back home to be a stay-at-home-daughter thing.  On July 10th, I take the GRE, which is the standardized test for graduate school (more on this later… I’m still figuring it out). I’ve been studying like crazy.  It’s fun (as in not).  Then on July 12, I’m heading down to L.A. for a few days to see Jake because on July 21st, I leave for Thailand!  For seven weeks!  As in I won’t be home until September 8th!!  Shiiit.  In a span of less than three weeks, I need to move out of my apartment, move back into my old room, finish studying for the GRE, take the GRE, go see Jake, say bye for now to all of my friends, pack for Thailand, and be ready to leave.

I need a nap.

Just kidding.  I’m on summer vacation so what I really need is to stop whining.

Honestly, I’m really excited to get the GRE over with, see Jake, and spend seven weeks on a beautiful tropical island.  In fact, it’s all fucking amazing.  I’m planning on posting 2-3 times per week while in Thailand, partly because I’ll miss all of you and partly because it’ll act as my journal to look back on.  We’ll see if I can figure out the WiFi sitch over there before I make any promises, though.

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My mental state lately ranges from “calm and content” to “existential criss, you need help.”  I’m okay with it.  Every stressful confusing day gives way to one where things start to work themselves out.  Life is good.

Other than that I’ve just been gettin’ my tan on, swimming, reading, eating home-cooked meals, and spending time with people I love.   Not bad.  Not bad at all.

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A Little Rant

Same-sex marriage. Let’s talk about it.

I’ve heard every dumb argument (sorry) opposing. I’ve heard every good and bad argument in favor:

  • It isn’t a choice!
  • Evidence shows that sexuality is biologically based!
  • Everyone should have the legal benefits of marriage!
  • There are so many kids who need to be adopted - same-sex parents could provide a loving home to those kids!
  • It won’t affect your life at all!

Wait… Hold on… Let me say that one again… It won’t affect your life at all.

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It’s a pretty common argument in favor of same-sex marriage. I’ve heard it a lot and I’ve probably said it before: “It has no influence on your life whatsoever. If same sex marriage is legalized, how will it change the way you choose to live? It won’t!”

But here’s the thing: It should. I hope it does. 

I hope that the legalization of same-sex marriage will make you more understanding and open-hearted.

I hope it will make future generations more loving – I want those kids to look back and think, “WHAT?! People weren’t allowed to marry whom (<< the leaders of tomorrow have great grammar) they wanted to marry? WHAT?! You all were dumbasses…”

I hope it makes you a little bit prouder of this country and its government.

I want it to bring more love into our communities. I want you to feel more love and see more love (was gonna say taste more love but it felt inappropriate).

It should change the issues we focus on. Why, in 2014, are we still fighting over issues of equality?! People are people, for fuck’s sake. Let’s make it official and move on to bigger and more important things like mental health or poverty or equitable education.

When (not “if”) marriage is legal all over the country for any two consenting adults, regardless of sex or sexuality, I hope your life is different.  I hope it has an impact on your life.  I hope it affects you.

Really truly, I do.

So there.

Stupid Weight Loss Tips

Tip #1:

Cut up carrots and celery and keep them in your fridge.  Easy access = better choices.

Trust me: a Tupperware filled with veggies isn’t that appealing, even if it is grab-and-go.  The fact that you have bitter green sticks of death sitting in your fridge doesn’t make that (entire) block of sharp cheddar any less appealing.

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Tip #2:

Don’t eat after x O’clock. 

But what if I get hungry?  I’m just supposed to go to bed with an empty stomach, then wake up ravenous and eat 4 slices of leftover pizza (<< lol, leftover pizza… what’s that?) for breakfast because I was so hungry I literally couldn’t think straight enough to make a normal breakfast?  Not that pizza for breakfast is a bad thing, but still…

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Tip #3:

Don’t keep any junk food in your house! 

I kind of get this, but a) you can overeat “healthy” things too and b) god forbid I start PMSing and all I have to eat is stupid pre-cut vegetables. Seriously, for the sake of those around me, god forbid.

Tip #4:

Don’t order salads at restaurants, they have omg soo many calories.  

Yeah well guess what?  I bet the burger, the pizza (or “baked flatbread”, if you’re somewhere fancy) and French fries do too.  Order whatever the hell sounds good, even if that’s a salad with creamy (read: delicious) dressing on top of it.  Eat until you’re full.  Or hell, eat the whole damn thing and then dessert.  Whatever.

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Tip #5:

Park at the back of the parking lot and take the stairs. 

This is a really nice idea in theory, but most people are freaking busy and are constantly running from place to place.  Who has time to park as far away as possible and then mosey on in?  Instead, find something active you enjoy, and then do it.  Imagine that.

Tip #6:

Drink water.

Drinking water is important and wonderful.  But I used to mask my hunger by chugging water bottles until I felt sick, which isn’t wonderful.  Don’t do that.

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Tip #7:

Chew gum.

Ugh, don’t chew gum so you can trick yourself into thinking you’re eating. The only time you’re allowed to use gum to replace meal is if it’s Willy Wonka meal gum, although if you remember how Violet Beauregard ended up, you’ll know that that’s probably a really ineffective way to slim down. (“Violet!  You’re turning violet, Violet!)

IN THE COMMENTS:

Which common weight loss tips drive you the most crazy?  

Things I’ve Learned

Saying “I’m sorry” is incredibly hard. Even if you do manage to get those two words out, it’s even harder to stop yourself from adding on the “…but you were being an asshole” justification. Fight the urge, friends. Fight it.

The generic brand tastes exactly the same 85% of the time. The other 15% of the time includes Oreos, sugary cereal, and ice cream.   And yes, I’m sort of inadvertently implying that 15% of my diet consists of Oreos, sugary cereal, and ice cream.

Forgiveness is easy when someone else did something wrong. Forgiveness is hard when you did something wrong and someone called you out on your shit.

Serving sizes are bullshit, especially when it comes to tortilla chips. Who the hell stops at 8 tortilla chips?!

Kale > spinach

Muddy buddies > almost anything else in life

Cheese > literally anything else in life

Sometimes, other people are gonna do shitty things to you. That’s okay. Forgive them and move on.

Sometimes, you’re gonna do shitty things to other people. That’s okay. Apologize and move on.

Your mom always knows how to do everything. And even if she doesn’t, she still kind of does. SORCERY!

You can’t get everything from one person or one relationship. That’s why we have significant others AND friends AND family AND the delivery guy from Dominos.

The really bad moods will pass. They’ll also come back eventually. Roll with it.

Bragging and competing only makes you look petty.

Just because you wear a size “large” doesn’t mean you look large. You probably look hot.

Baby doll shirts are really bad if you have huge boobs. Really bad. Unless you’re going for the maternity look, in which case they’re totally perfect.

Choose friends whom you admire.   And friends who make you laugh until you just about piss yourself.  Or until you actually piss yourself.

Exit out of iMessage on your computer before asking a professor to look over a word document. Because it’s likely (if your friends are anything like mine) that you’ll receive a highly inappropriate text message that’ll pop up on your laptop screen.

Carefully check the “send to” box before you send an angry text/email.

Snapchat is the most delightful timesuck.

Candy bars are very meh.

Frozen candy bars are heaven.

Waking up early enough to see the sunrise is really nice, but staying up late enough to see the sunrise is way better.

Gurls rule boys drool. Just kidding. I drool a lot, mostly when I’m sleeping.

Always have eyedrops and Chapstick and a tampon and a snack on hand.  You’ll never want for nothin’.

Things tend work themselves out.

At least 32% of the fun of a vacation is planning it.

People are never as put together as they seem on social media, but they’re usually a whole lot more wonderful and hilarious in person.

You can’t keep in touch with every amazing person you meet. Some people are just meant to be in and out… of your LIFE, you perv.

A “small square of dark chocolate” at the end of the day isn’t a “splurge.” It’s a small square of dark chocolate for fuck’s sake.

Treat others as you’d like to be treated.

Treat yourself as you’d treat your best friend.

Vegetables don’t taste like pasta, even if they’re “spiralized.”

Given the choice of being kind or being right, choose kindness.

It’s really hard to practice what you preach (see above).

Cleanliness is next to SHUT THE HELL UP IT’S MY ROOM AND I’LL CLEAN IT WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT.

Fancy, inky, smooth pens are the best.

Sporks work at adequate spoons and really shitty forks.

Things taste better through a straw.

Things taste better when eaten with chopsticks.

The word “diet” sucks unless it’s followed by the word Snapple.  Not sorry.

Geography is hard.

Math is hard.

[Insert #twss joke about hard penises]

Real therapy is great.  But snack therapy tastes better.

You do you, boo boo.

“Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy.” –Cynthia Nelms

If you’re thinking something nice about someone, say it.

If you’re thinking something shitty about someone, bite your damn tongue.  It isn’t worth the hassle.

Travel.  All over.

Life is much more manageable after a good night’s sleep.

Do what you love.  Love what (and whom…) you do.

The end (for now).

IN THE COMMENTS:

What have you learned?  Your favorite life lesson?  Add to the list!

This Summer

Summer has always been a weird time of year for me.  It’s filled with bikinis and short shorts and tons of barbecues and potlucks.  All fun things, right?

Nope.  Those were all terrifying things to me.  Summer was the constant struggle of trying to slip out of my towel and get into the pool without showing my stomach.  Summer was binging on watermelon and hamburgers until I felt too sick to move.  Summer was  skipping breakfast and sometimes lunch so that my abs would be extra flat in my bikini.  Summer was falling out of my beloved routine of eating nothing and working out 3+ hours per day.  Summer was scary.  Summer was apologizing for my body.

Not literally apologizing, but covertly, through my actions.  By hiding and covering and only sitting a certain way, I was apologizing to other people for the way that I looked.  WHY?!  Why do we do that?  Because we’re ashamed of our bodies.  Because we feel the need to cover up for other people.  Because we’re sorry that we look the way we do.

Well fuck that.  I’m sick of it.

I look how I look.  I weigh what I weigh.  I jiggle where I jiggle and yeah, sometimes my hips (or muffin top, if you’re feeling less kind) spill over my bikini bottoms.

SO WHAT?!

This summer, I’m DGAFing hard.

This summer, I’m not comparing myself to other people.

This summer, I’m gonna wear my bikini without shame.

This summer, I’m eating froyo and watermelon and smoothies and hopefully some nachos cooked on the BBQ.  Maybe all in one day.  Maybe in that order.  Froyo for breakfast… I can dig it.

This summer, I’m baring my moon-white stomach and if it scares you, well that’s too damn bad.  Get some sunglasses to help cut the glare.

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This summer, this is how I look. I’m gonna rock it. You should, too.

This might be my last “real” summer vacation before I have adult responsibilities (gross).  I’m graduated!  I’m going to Thailand!  I’m embarking on some really new, really scary stuff!  I’m not going to waste the summer worrying whether my cellulite looks good in lycra.   I have better things to worry about (like the GRE and getting my visa for Thailand and what the hell I’m doing once I get back).

So please, please, please… Stop talking ish about your bikini body.  Be nice to yourself.  Take a breath.  Eat the damn cheeseburger and enjoy your summer.

I’m a Graduate!

On June 13, 2014, I officially graduated with honors from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development… in just three years!

(And now I’m doing nothing with my life and it’s really scary and boring and I wish someone would tell me what to do.)

Oops.  Did I say that out loud?

Anyway.  It’s time for a grad-jee-aye-shun photo explosion.  Ya ready?

Well, it all started with some grad pics the day before the Big Day.  Apparently this is a thing.  I was unaware until my friends so kindly forced me to take fancy pictures on campus.  I’m glad I did.  They’re cute.

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After the grad pics were done, we started celebrating.  And by “celebrating” I mean “pushing drinks into Carly’s mouth.”  It happens,  ya know?  My friends are just too good to me — they had balloons, champagne, and surprise dinner reservations with a homemade congratulations sign over our table.  WHAT?!  I know.  I cried.  They’re incredible.  It was hilarious and fun and amazing.

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After a good night’s sleep (read: four hours with insane nausea), I woke up, chugged some water, ate a plain toasted bagel to settle my hungover stomach, and started getting ready.  I was up and ready by about 7:45am, when my parents picked Jake and I up and my apartment in Davis and we took some pictures before heading to the school.

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Check out those shoes!  I’m paying the price today… Blisters to the MAX!

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The ceremony had only a fraction of the graduating students so it went by super quickly — an easy 2 hours!  Plus I had my phone with me so that was entertaining at least.  Post ceremony, we took more picture (duh) then attended an awards ceremony specifically for my major (but not before we ate).

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After the second ceremony, we drove the hour-long drive from Davis back to El Dorado Hills.  Around 6pm, we had an insanely delicious barbecue for all of the people who have been so supportive and loving these past few years.  Again, I partied a little too hard and I’m paying the price today, but it was so so worth it.

You guys…

…I DID IT!

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Now… Who’s hiring?

A Comment on Parenting {Things We Really Shouldn’t Talk About}

I rarely make comments about parenting, because I’m not a parent (not even close).  I don’t feel like it’s okay to judge people for their parenting choices, especially when I don’t have children myself.  But today, I’m breaking that rule because it’s my blog and I’m feeling sassy and this is the “Things We Really Shouldn’t Talk About” series after all.  There’s one thing that irks me every time I see and hear it.

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Parents will talk about their babies/kids – female or male – and that child’s future “husband” or “wife” or “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.”  Parents will brag about how their little boys are going to grow up to be “ladies’ men” or lament the fact that Dad is going to have to beat away boys with a stick from their sweet little girl.  Friends will jokingly plan for their opposite sex babies to get married one day.  It creates an expectation, from very early on, that the child will grow up liking the opposite sex.  But guess what?  Not every child grows up to be heterosexual.

WHAT?!  I know.  Crazy.

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Can you imagine being a little kid and hearing over and over again about your future partner (of the opposite sex, of course) when you think or know that you might like people of your same sex?  No child wants to let a parent down.  How can we expect kids to be true to themselves, to celebrate every part of themselves, to love themselves unconditionally, if we (parents, society, teachers, friends…) make assumptions about a huge part of their personal identity?

Homosexual, bisexual, asexual, transgendered, and questioning children and teens face so much external pressure.  They have to create their own rules rather than following the ones that society lays down.  They face ridicule from peers.  They have to hide.  They have to try to change.  They read stories about princes and princesses and wonder, what’s wrong with me?  They hear stories of people like them getting beat up at school. Some feel like outcasts.  They are four times more likely to attempt suicide.

Is it worth it?  Is upholding those traditional values worth all of that possible confusion for your child?

I know that some people believe that heterosexuality is the only way to live a pure and full life.  Although I think this is complete and total bullshit, I understand.  We’re all products of our environments, and I understand that not everybody thinks like I do.  But think about it… Heterosexual couples are poppin’ out LGBTQIA* kids on the daily.  Whether or not you agree with the lifestyle, you could have a child who identifies as something other than heterosexual.  Do you want your child growing up feeling guilty, ashamed, and less-than?

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Sure, most heterosexual (and homosexual) parents will raise heterosexual children, and none of this will even matter.  But what if they don’t, and it does?

All I’m saying is that we should all take a look at how we interact with others, especially children.

Be conscious of the things you say.  Be mindful of the expectations you lay down for your children.  Give them space to explore and grow and figure it all out.  Give them unconditional love.  Open them up to different lifestyles – I promise, teaching your child about nontraditional relationships wont turn him or her gay.

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You can’t control other people; you can’t control the media; you can’t control what teachers and peers say; but you can control what kind of environment you create for your kid.  You can make your home and your family a place of acceptance, unconditional love, open-mindedness, and trust.  People from the LGBTQIA community are stigmatized enough already; let’s not bring that stigma into our homes.

And who knows?  Maybe if individual families start adopting a more mindful and tolerant view of sexuality, the culture of our entire society will change as well.

*LGBTQIA = lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersexual, asexual

IN THE COMMENTS:

Share your thoughts!  Opposing viewpoints are very welcome, as long as you’re respectful!

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