Thursday, September 19, 2019

DAYLIGHT

Oooooft. It's been A Week. I saw that a new Netflix show had dropped, it's called Hello, Privilege, It's Me, Chelsea, a documentary by Chelsea Handler. When I saw the title, I was apprehensive because this is a white woman who's made it in the comedy world, making a documentary about white privilege. How many ways could this go wrong? Oh, so many. I watched it waiting for it to go wrong, I thought "oh no, she's going to profit off of her own privilege of the ability to make this documentary and she either doesn't realize it or is conscientiously doing so!!!" She starts by interviewing a room full of people of color in college/school, and the good thing is, they were not afraid to call her out on it, on all the things that could also go wrong. I think they made her feel rightly uncomfortable, they didn't hold back, so that was a good tone to set for the rest of the show. She goes on to interview black men, a table of Republican white women (who, of course, true to form, did not see any privilege), she goes to Oktoberfest and calls out other white people, yadda yadda yadda. I thought it was a documentary done very well, even as a person of color who anticipated all the ways it could have gone wrong. She interviews an ex-boyfriend, highlights the fact that when she was in her late teens dating a black guy, when they were caught doing drugs or breaking any law, she always got to slide under the radar and the boy always got punished, and he did 14 years in jail, in total. The only difference between them was obviously? Their skin. The message from the documentary is it no longer is about people of color holding the conversation and justifying their pain, their disenfranchisement, their disadvantages in society. White people have to have the conversations, and they have to be comfortable with making other white people uncomfortable. I do think this documentary should be viewed by all white people, but if you are a white person who doesn't already believe white privilege exists, and that every white person benefits from it (regardless of the class of society you are from: white trash vs upper echelons), I doubt you would be here, reading this? I hope everyone I know would certainly be aware of the privileges they hold.

Two days ago, Lush Singapore had its staff party, and I got ready at Lucas' place, while he was at work. One of his housemates, Sonia, is battling breast cancer, and she's on hospitalization leave, so that was the first time I got to properly talk to her. I told her I'd seen my mom go through her battle with breast cancer too, and we compared notes on family and whatnot. Sonia went to graduate school in London, and she told me the best place for fish and chips is Poppie's in Camden Town. Not that I have any plans to travel to Europe anytime soon, I'm going to be a broke student for at least the next four years. We shared our love for tea, and she loves Disney, so she lent me her seashell-shaped Tarte makeup palette for me to bring as an accessory to the staff party, 'cos I was going as Ariel. I had a very chill time bonding with Sonia, and I look forward to becoming proper friends with her.




I had lots of fun at the party. I was in the lip-sync battle, and I "swam on the floor", and even though I can't do splits, I did a death drop, just to make my RuPaul's Drag Race-watching friends in my team proud. If you'd followed my Instastories, you'd have seen all my awkward moves, but lots of people replied saying I was cute and I'm so glad these people love me!!!!!! It's all worth the bruises I have on my knees from the death drop (also documented on Instastories)! I made a major booboo on that night, though.

So firstly, because I'm in Singapore and because a majority of Singaporeans wouldn't know, I gotta say that cisgender people are people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, according to their sexual organs. For example, I identify as female, which aligns with the female sex organs I was born with, so I am cisgender. After the lip-sync battle, after I'd taken off my Ariel wig and swam and rolled and done the split, I was panting and I looked at the other representatives of the other teams. My first response was "oh my god I'm the only girl here", and the girl next to me, she's not cisgender (meaning she's transgender) but she identifies as female and for as long as I've known her, she's identified as female. She said "and what's that supposed to mean?" and then I knew I'd fucked up, so I apologized and I've apologized again since then, and I think she's forgiven me, but I'm not sure.

Today, Lucas sent me an article with a photo of Justin Trudeau in blackface for a college party twenty years ago. He was supposed to be Aladdin. I can't speak on behalf of Justin Trudeau and what his thoughts on it now are, he's been interviewed by Hasan Minhaj on Patriot Act and sometimes it does seem Trudeau is yet another lip-service kinda guy, and he doesn't really follow-through with his policies, so I can't vouch for his character. The photo was from two decades ago, though, and social stigmas change, so I don't think it's fair to hold him accountable unless he truly doesn't show remorse for it. I always think it's shady when political opponents bring up events from beyond a decade ago, because we've all made mistakes, and we've all changed and moved on from things we used to believe and do. I used to believe in God and sins and I felt guilt at premarital sex, and now I'm a completely different person in three years, so I'd say twenty years is a long enough window for someone to have educated themselves and moved past their old mistakes. I do, however, believe that when you've fucked up, you should just own up to it and believe you've fucked up and are changing to do better, and then commit to that. I'm saying this because I know I fucked up with my "I'm the only girl here" comment, and it was wrong and I was in the wrong.

I really want to attend a Patriot Act live taping session. I'd love to meet Hasan Minhaj. My four favorite people in the world are all in New York: Hasan Minhaj, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Taylor Swift. I'm not there yet, but I will be soon enough.

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