Thursday, March 14, 2013 | By: Brianna Kratz

Guest Post: Claire!

Well isn't this intimidating.

Hey there, blogosphere. Or...Brianna's followers, whoever you might be. Today is the first ever (and possibly last depending on how well I manage this) edition of the GUEST BLOG!!!! (Cue Applause).

My name is Claire, and I have the unique privilege of being a dear friend to our favorite blogger. Which is why, when sitting on my couch this morning, she said, "Claiiiiirrrreeee....., I don't want to write my blog post today. Do it for me." I turned to her, shrugged, and said "why not?" Hope you're cool with that.

First, just because I want to be your friend, and friends tell each other things, I'm gonna do one of these lame about me surveys. I'll try to spice it up a bit for you.

Two names you go by:
1. Claire-Bear
2. Shoupie /Shapooopie (both plays on my last name. Endearing, no?)

Two things you are wearing right now:
1. A kelly green shirt with an Irish Flag. Happy St. Patty's week.
2. Jeans that are so long that I often trip myself. Being short is a problem for me. I can never find jeans that are the right length.


How old are you?
23, but most of the time I feel like I'm still 15. I wonder if this will ever change. 
What are your favorite things to do?
1. Read
2. Go on long drives with the windows down and music blaring. There's nothing better to clear your mind.

What are two things you want very badly at the moment?

1. a full time job, so I can pay off my student loans more quickly, and so I can quit one of my three part time jobs.
2. to fall in love

First thoughts waking up?
Probably "Dear God why am I awake right now," followed closely by, "if I reset my alarm for ten minutes from now, will I still have time to get ready before I have to be at work? Yes? YES." My half asleep brain is very good at convincing me that there is always more time to sleep.

Last song you've listened to?
Misguided Ghosts by Paramore - It's completely unlike most of their music, but it's still hauntingly beautiful and I absolutely love that.

Last movie you watched?
Perks of Being a Wallflower. Just as good as the book and still gives me goosebumps. I've seen it four times.

What were you doing at midnight last night?
Playing World of Warcraft. Yep, I'm one of those people. I can see your judging eyes, internet. But I'm such a nerd, and I've accepted that about myself.

What's a word that you say a lot?
Ooooo. champ, dear, cheese and crackers. 


If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
cerulean
What are you afraid of?
being alone
failure
extreme heights
being rejected by people I love because of being gay
and a whole bunch of other things that are more difficult to sum up in succinct phrases.

Telling people stuff is important. I want you to feel like you can trust me, internet. I want you to understand that I'm not just a bunch of words on a screen or a bunch of pixels mashed together, but I'm a living breathing person. A living breathing person you can trust. Because now I'm gonna talk about some serious shit. Today, I wonder about homophobia. I work with elementary school kids. One of my friends works at the same school that I do, and she was having a bad day. When she was leaving, I shouted after her "I love you," and two of my female students (both third graders) responded by saying "ewwwwww."

  I was astounded. Normally when the kids say things I disagree with, I can either tune them out or find small ways to make them question their own assumptions. Since this statement hit me closer to home, I decided a more direct approach might be helpful. I asked one girl if she loved her best friend.

"Well of course I do. She's my best friend."

"Ms. --------- is my friend too, and I care about her. So tell me, then, why is saying I love her is a bad thing?"

"Well I don't love love my best friend."

"I don't love love my friend either, but that doesn't mean I can't tell her I love her. Do you see what I mean?"

"Oh. I guess. But it's still weird. Because you're a girl and she's a girl. And that's just not okay."

It makes me wonder, internet, why homophobia seems to come so easily, especially to children. It seems to me that kids are supposed to be the ones who can see people without bias, and who can understand love in its purest form without succombing to hate or prejudice. But maybe we're not doing enough. Maybe even by the time they're in third or fourth grade the world has made them believe that loving someone of the same sex is wrong. Things like this still happen. How many little girls are afraid to tell their female friends they love them because they're afraid they'll be called a dyke? And how many more lgbt youth have to suffer through understanding who they are while at the same time suffering through the hate of those around them? I wish I had more answers. I'm just one person. I can help my students question they're own views, but that isn't going to be enough. And I'm still not sure what to do about that.

That's all, internet. Hope to see you crazy kids soon.

-Claire

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