Sleep Smart

Explore these 16 articles discussing various factors that impact what might be the most important hours of anyone’s day: the time we spend asleep. The research serves as a great introduction to the topic, as well as fleshes out our understanding of exactly how restful sleep benefits us, from how sleep enables the brain to expel toxins, to promoting more grey matter and higher emotional intelligence.

Read more here.

Anxious

Photographer Katie Joy Crawford recently released twelve self portraits that make painfully apparent what life with an anxiety disorder feels like. Haunting photos make real for the viewer the experience of feeling one’s voice strangled by anxiety, their mind clouded, and even what it is to actually feel an absence with you wherever you go.

““Anxiety bars the sufferer from the risk of discovery, the desire to explore new ideas, and the possibility of exiting a comfort zone,” she writes in the description of her project, ‘My Anxious Heart.’ “It makes sure that it will never be alone. It finds you when you’re in the midst of joy, or alone in your own mind. It is quiet and steady, reminding you of your past failures, and fabricating your future outcomes.””

See them here.

Dangerous Curves

Pinup Girl Clothing released their new line of sexy pinup fashion specifically for sisters of size. The models and clothes and photography and makeup and hair… all of it…are absolutely gorgeous… I couldn’t stop looking!!

See the Beautifully Breathtaking Lookbook here.

“Groundbreaking, glamorous, and most of all, gorgeous are only a few of the words that come to mind with the Beautifully Breathtaking Lookbook. Featuring women ranging from sizes XL to 4X in clothing from Laura Byrnes California, Deadly Dames by Micheline Pitt, and Pinup Couture, this Lookbook celebrates curves, body positivity, and our belief that Every Body deserves clothing that captures how truly beautiful they are. Starring models Kelsey Olsen, Rosie Mercado, English Cleveland, Rhapsody Artajo and photographed to perfection by our gifted guest photographer Lars Kommienezuspadt at the Melrose Umbrella Co. in Los Angeles, we are honored to present this remarkable Lookbook to you all!”

Fashionably Genderish

Increased media visibility means increased capital investment – meaning new and better products for Trans and gender non-conforming folks. Hooray for fabulous fashion! Ivette Feliciano reports on fashion and gender in America today.

Watch the video, or read the transcript here: The Right to be Handsome

(it is a tad trans-masculine focused – hoping for a similar story looking at women’s clothing soon!)

gender news the gracious mind

Affirming Others

It takes a lot to go onstage. Standing under bright lights while a group of people sit and stare at you is, to put it mildly, an incredibly vulnerable position, and it can be doubly so for those who have experienced marginalization and oppression throughout their lives. Last night I watched fifteen performers pour their hearts out at the Glitterbomb Queer Variety Show, and I watched a packed audience respond with so much love and support and overwhelming positivity, it blew my mind.

So today I’m reflecting on what it means to affirm someone.  More than just tolerating or accepting a person – truly lifting them up and celebrating who they are.

I think that’s my favorite thing about DFW’s queer performance art scene – the ways in which the audience’s cheers and hugs and dollar bills speak so loudly of affirmation.  All those things mean the audience is saying more than just “I see you.” When they give such enormous affirmation, they’re saying “I see you, and I celebrate you!

And isn’t that what we all need, to be seen and celebrated?  Not put on a pedestal, not idealized, not depersonalized, but actually seen, and actually celebrated.

It’s a skill I wish I could see more of in my communities. Because I move among lots of people who belong to marginalized groups, I am around a LOT of folks who are rendered invisible on a systemic level. I’m talking about Queer and Trans folks, those with chronic pain and other physical differences, Brown, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC), and many, many more. It’s my hope that I can make myself a better friend and ally by being deliberate about my own affirmations of others’ identities.

I’m inspired (as always) by the performers and the audience from last night’s show, and I am thinking hard on ways to be more actively affirming for those around me.  Here are some of my thoughts, feel free to add your own!

Ways to Affirm Others

  • make eye contact
  • smile often
  • offer a genuine compliment
  • ask about preferred pronouns, and use them
  • make sure I’m knowledgeable about cultures other than my own
  • mirror language (using the same words the person used to describe themselves)
  • a quick Facebook message when I see someone having a hard day
  • in-the-moment self-correcting things I say wrong
  • give offer a hug, pat on the back, or hand squeeze
  • offer a quick check-in when I sense something might be wrong
  • stand up for others in the moment
  • challenge oppressive language
  • tell people when they do a good job
  • own my personal privilege and set it down whenever possible
  • know when to be quiet
  • be willing to hear feedback
  • encourage self care
  • check/ask for gender-neutral bathrooms
  • share my belongings, time, knowledge, and energy

Big Bang for Your Buck

An important announcement – hoping to see diverse genders/cultures/abilities in their incoming class!

“Starting this week, Big Bang Theory and The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation have established The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment—valued at $4 million dollars.

The endowment will go directly to 20 low-income students entering the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at UCLA this year and then benefit five new students each academic year in perpetuity. The inaugural class will be announced this fall at the show’s set in Burbank, CA with cast and crew in attendance.”

Read the whole article here, including a list of donors.

Popova Reviews Oliver Sacks

I love this exploration of the life of Dr. Oliver Sacks, who has been influential in my life in so many ways, both personally and professionally. Maria Popova offers a compelling look inside his life and work in her excellent and thorough book review, “Love, Lunacy, and a Life Fully Lived.”

“The book is not so much an autobiography in the strict sense as a dialogue with time on the simultaneous scales of the personal (going from world-champion weightlifter to world-renowned neurologist), the cultural (being a gay man looking for true love in the 1960s was nothing like it is in our post-DOMA, beTindered present), and the civilizational (watching horseshoe crabs mate on the beaches of City Island exactly as they did 400 million years ago on the shores of Earth’s primordial seas). This record of time pouring through the unclenched fingers of the mind’s most magnanimous patron saint has become one of the most rewarding reading experiences of my life — one I came to with deep reverence for Dr. Sacks’s intellectual footprint and left with deep love for his soul.”

Read the whole article here.