PRIDE!

Today marks the start of Columbus’ annual Pride Celebration. Every summer, “Pride” is a weekend of festivities bringing the Columbus community together to support our (freaking awesome!) gay community. A parade marches down High St, artists sell their wares in Goodale Park, and people throughout the city join together to say “FCKH8!”

This year’s event is even more important because just last week, on June 10th, 3 gay men were viciously attacked in our city. Each attack was separate from the others. One of the men, Chris Kratavil, was wearing a pink shirt when he was beaten. This sparked a movement in which people were encouraged to wear pink on Friday, June 14th, to show solidarity and support for equality for all of our brothers and sisters, no matter their sexual orientation. (Please see the end of this post for links to news stories)

Columbus Pride 2013’s theme is “Pride Changes Lives.” This theme honors those who have “attended Pride and marched in solidarity to improve funding for AIDS research, to end discriminatory practices like “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” to fight for Marriage Equality, and to raise awareness regarding countless other equity and social justice issues. More importantly, lives have been changed because these same individuals made the conscious decision to live openly and authentically nd chose to create a community celebration where all are supported and nurtured, regardless of where they are in life’s journey.” – Jay M. Poroda, Board President, Stonewall Columbus (2013 Pride Guide)

As I consider this theme and the meaning behind it, I cannot deny that Pride has changed my life in so many ways.

I give you:

25 Ways Pride has Changed My Life

Pride has…

  1. Made me more accepting and loving of others.
  2. Expanded my number of true & loyal friends sevenfold.
  3. Made me a stronger woman by being proud of who I am.
  4. Taught me to be more vocal about what I believe in my heart to be right.
  5. Strengthened my faith in God; I have really had to question how my love of gay people and my love of God can coincide.
  6. Strengthened my relationship with my Godfather Tim and his husband Ken. Because of their presence in my life, I have had many wonderful life experiences and know that I have 100%, constant support.
  7. Made me more fashionable!
  8. Helped me to smile more. Most of my favorite memories include a queer or 7.
  9. Made me a better teacher. My students know they can come to me to talk about LGBT issues and feel accepted and supported. They also know that I refuse to allow hate or ignorance in my classroom, whether it be because of a person’s skin color or who they choose to love.
  10. Expanded my “To-Read” list! Many of the books I want to read, I discovered because they have a gay author or a gay subject matter.
  11. Made me cooler! I don’t support Marriage Equality just because it’s cool, but it is!
  12. More solid in my beliefs of equality. I have had many wonderful discussions with people who are against Marriage Equality, and I have really had to know how I feel and why I feel the way I do, so that I can have a solid, supported argument.
  13. Slightly changed what I look for in a partner. I refuse to date someone who does not share my Equality beliefs.

Okay, so I didn’t make it to 25…crap, I didn’t even come close! Well, 13 is good too! I consider it a lucky number! But the moral of the story is this: When I take just a few minutes to really look at my life and consider what it would be without Pride, I am not really sure I like what comes into my mind. I am proud and blessed to be associated with a city that encourages people to live “openly and authentically,” whatever that means for each individual.

So this weekend, let’s go out, love on & support each other and let the world know that ain’t nobody got time for hate!

ps…don’t let this be just a PRide weekend thing…let’s do it everyday.

pps…check out Allie’s Pride post! It has PINK and Barbie and lovin’ on the gays!

Even Dewey knows hate is stupid! Plus, he looks faaaaahhhbulous in pink!

Wearing PINK today (FRIDAY!) Even Dewey knows hate is stupid! Plus, he looks faaaaahhhbulous in pink!

 

Got my Pride mani!

Got my Pride mani!

Informational Links:

There will be pink: After three gay men were attacked in Columbus in one week, an interesting thing happened. -Columbus  Alive

Three Gay Men Report Attacks – Outlook Columbus

Three gay men attacked in separate incidents in Columbus over past four days – LGBTQ Nation

Columbus’ LGBT community mobilizes after anti-gay attacks – LGBTQ Nation

Seeing red over recent anti-gay attacks, Columbus wears pink – LGBTQ Nation

Wear Pink Friday

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Throwback Thursday, 6.20.13

I found myself at my dad’s house the other night looking for photo frames for a few of my many, MANY Alternative Fashion Mob Glitterati photos. Well, as always happens, I found not only frames, but a slew of other interesting things. I found 2 stuffed manilla folders labeled “Miscellaneous Thoughts” in my mom’s handwriting. I had stumbled across her version of Pinterest. In these folders were poems, articles, inspiring quotes, and other ideas she didn’t want to forget.

Underneath these folders was another folder labeled “Ashley.” This folder had grade cards, pictures I had drawn, a letter from Uncle Art to my mom about how to handle my (then) recent letdown of not making the middle school volleyball team, and a letter I had written to my parents.

Here is what I assume the background information is:

I was in 6th grade and absolutely (but secretly) obsessed with Hanson. They just weren’t the cool band to like, so my friends and I kept our fandom a secret. Anyways…I assume that I had a tons of pictures, posters, and other memorabilia that I wanted to hang up, but had run out of space in my own room. I also gather that I had already asked my parents for more space and been denied. Never (and to this day) taking “No.” for an answer, I did the mature thing, I asked again, providing legitimate reasons my request should be granted. I applaud my mother’s ability to say “No,” and give other ideas. I can pretty much guarantee that this did not go over well, and remember that I never did get the bedroom. The basement though….

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IT’S SUMMERTIME!!

…Time to get shit done!

I’m sorry I have written in a hot second, but I’m back with lots of blog posts in the works! I am in my 3rd (woah! Where does time go?!?) week of summer break and LOVING it! “What are you gonna do with your summer??” you ask??

WHATEVER I WANT TO DO!

The past few summers have been spent tirelessly working on my masters. I don’t usually take classes during the school year because it’s too much for me to balance, so my summertime is spent taking 3-5 classes. But guess what!!! I finished my masters! I’m officially a master educator! So, I am taking this summer to regroup, relax and get shit done.

The first week of my break was spent getting shit done for the 1st Annual Alternative Fashion Show on June 8th. And it was SPECTACULAR! Really, it was amazing. If you live in Columbus and missed it, I would be sure to be there next year. It was:

Ten unique Columbus designers. Ten breathtaking fashion collections.
Hosted by Suede.
Followed by live music from The Girls!.
Then dancing with DJs George Brazil and Dave Espionage.
Red carpet photos all night by We Are Glitterati.
Full bar, serviced by Rehab Tavern.
Basically all the fashion and fabulousness we can squeeze into a
giant warehouse. Also, Columbus’ fashion event of the year.
With an after-party right next door at Rehab Tavern.

I mean, you’re already sad you missed it, right?? You can check out all the fabulousness on our Facebook page and stay up to date with future events on our website.  (Amanda & I actually got to model for 2 designers!)

Modeling Elizabeth Ashleigh Designs (left) and Aaron James (right)

Modeling Elizabeth Ashleigh Designs (left) and Aaron James (right)

Amanda modeling Phyllis & Hazel by ​Madeleine Etter (left) and Label Yourself by Crys Darling (right)

Amanda modeling Phyllis & Hazel by ​Madeleine Etter (left) and Label Yourself by Crys Darling (right)

Makeup done by the fantastic Kaylee Baker!

Makeup done by the fantastic Kaylee Baker!

Alexander got in on the modeling too! Little Bo Creep & her accomplice, The Big Bad Beast!

Alexander got in on the modeling too! Little Bo Creep & her accomplice, The Big Bad Beast!

Amee, Amanda & I!

Amee, Amanda & I!

Ok, now to the part where I talk about being productive!

I don’t want my entire summer to go by without actually getting some stuff checked off my to-do list. Yes, I am relaxing and enjoying life, but I don’t want to be completely lazy and waste my entire summer! So I have decided to “jot down” my Summer 2013 Get Shit Done List. Here it is, in no particular order:

  • READ! Oh my, I never have time to read for fun during the school year! So my goal is to read a book a week! I have read 2 so far, The Paris Wife and The Summer We Read Gatsby. Follow me on Goodreads to keep up with my progress, see what I am currently reading, have read and want to read! Do you have a Goodreads account? Friend me!
  • Blog More!
  • Actually write to people! I have a handful of cards I have bought with the intention of sending to specific people, but have yet to do it.
  • Redecorate reading nook. I have a room in my house that will eventually be a nice little reading nook. I want to put bookshelves and my futon (currently residing at my dad’s house) in there.
  • Maintain workout schedule!
  • Visit my besties Tim in Chicago and Kristen in Pittsburgh.
  • Make a badass gift for my brother and wonderful friend Kelli, who are marrying each other Labor Day weekend!
  • Take Dewey for walks and playdates (anyone wanna meet up??)
  • Get my car detailed. Oi, it’s a mess.
  • And of course, get a fantastic tan poolside!

I feel like there are tons of other things I want to do, but those are the first 10 things on my list. I will keep you up to date on how it all goes! WHat are you doing this summer?? Maybe there’s something I should add to my list that I haven’t even thought of yet!

Happy Summer!

This is the 3rd summer that I have died my hair rainbw colors! I obviously can't do it during the school year, so each summer, Michelle at Phia Salon summers me up! It has been said, "You know it's summer if Ashley has rainbow hair!"

This is the 3rd summer that I have died my hair rainbow colors! I obviously can’t do it during the school year, so each summer, Michelle at Phia Salon summers me up!
It has been said, “You know it’s summer if Ashley has rainbow hair!”