Don’t forget about Earth Hour!

I’m super-busy right now, combining studying for a test with working on a big project I’ll be announcing as soon as it’s ready for launch.
So busy in fact, that I almost forgot about Earth Hour!
I doubt there are people out there who aren’t aware of it by now, moreover, there are countries that have already gone beyond it! But for those of us who are still hours away: Remember to turn your lights and electric appliances off for an hour (or more) at 8:30pm (that’s 20.30 for us Europeans!).

It might not seem like much conservation: doing this for one hour once a year. But imagine how MUCH power is conserved worldwide in that hour?
The event alone is enough to make you more aware of conserving electricity, and how much of a difference we can make together.
It’s such an easy thing to do as well; just flip a switch. And you can do it every day. Turn off your electric appliances properly rather than putting them in stand-by mode, don’t leave a room without turning off the lights.

Besides, isn’t it nice to be without electricity for a while? Boardgames with the family, or a romantic dinner with candle lights? Or how about just turning your lights off and going for a walk to pass the time?
It doesn’t have to be boring to turn the lights off.

Man, I tend to get real cheesy when I talk about these things, don’t I? Even if it’s stuff I really care about…. I blame it on my scatter-brain tendencies @_@
Augh, I’m so tired. Maybe I should just turn the lights off at 8.30 and go straight to bed (笑)

Ps. This is going into the Maaya says category, since it’s the kind of thing he burns for. I’m sure he and Aki will have some fun as well with the lights turned off~ ^_~ In a totally PG-way of course~

Advertisements

Bittersweet birthday

Life goes on, that’s how it is. Even in the center of disaster, people are living their lives as best they can, despite what goes on around them.
Personally, I find it hard to focus on anything but the situation in Japan, and the nuclear reactors these days. Yet, I too notice how everything keeps rolling: today I had a presentation for my class, and I had to break loose from the news to focus on that. At the same time, today’s Maaya’s birthday.
And although he’s a fictional character, it became an image of how things are: people celebrate birthdays, go to school, go through their everyday routine, no matter what. I think it’s good that things don’t stop up completely. Even if it’s hard to swallow sometimes.

Administering his facebook-profile today was bittersweet. Even if he’s fictional (and that goes for the others as well), I’m kind of touched at how everyone’s wishing him a happy birthday. Replying in a happy manner becomes more difficult. Another question that is raised is how much I should let the character-profiles respond to current events – after all, their universe is set before 2011. ^^’
In the end, I think it’s okay that they break canon once in a while to talk about important things – but it’s also okay for them to be “unaware” of things, and let go a little.

Somehow this turned into a ramble again. But it’s hard to know what to say. I wanted to make a post on his birthday no matter what, but originally I was planning on amusing myself with the fact that X Japan’s new single “Jade” was supposed to be released today.
Incredibly fitting isn’t it? On Maaya’s birthday and everything!
But it seems sort of trivial at this point – hence the ramble.

Fictional or not, regardless of what timeline he follows, Maaya would probably want one thing for his birthday:
Hope for those affected by the disaster, and any help you can offer.

Maaya says: SIAD

Self-injury awareness Day, March 1st.   I’d say it’s a pretty good way to start off the new month.
I say that because the first day of the week, of the month, or of the year..It’s all a fresh start. And it’s never too late for a fresh start, is it?

Prejudice, judgement. People face these things for various reasons each day. It stigmatizes things we should focus on and talk about instead.
Self-injury is more than what most people think. My personal experience is that a fair amount of people have this image that people who self-injure are doing it as a cry for attention, to follow a disturbing new trend, to fit in somewhere.
The fact is, yes, there are those who do that, but that’s rather the exception than the rule. Those who judge based on this idea are also likely to give off a very harmful vibe.  Notions like this, accusations, thoughtless outbursts and judgement only brings one thing: shame.

It’s not helping anyone.  For this post, I have no statistics, no straight out facts that I can document. All I have is my personal experience, people I know, things I’ve read… Self-injury can be a way of dealing with many things, for example related to the psyche (anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder etc). It can be a way of expressing internal pain or dealing with things “nobody” understand. It’s not a good solution. However, it’s more and more common, especially among young people. Perhaps it’s because people are afraid to talk, or don’t feel like they can talk to others about their problems, but need to get them out somehow.

It doesn’t have to be a suicide attempt. It can be a cry for help, for  someone to take action and help the person in question out.
In most cases, the person is seriously struggling, don’t brush it off as a phase, or an ’emo-thing’, which seems to be a popular label.

Self-injury is probably one of the most difficult things to talk about, because of the judgement the person risks facing. Nobody wants to spill their soul to someone only to be told to ‘get themselves together’ or ‘stop scaring us’. It doesn’t help making the person feel worse or even guilty. Chances are things will be kept even more bottled up and the consequences might get far worse.

Everyone knows someone who self-injures, I’m sure of that, even if we’re not aware of it. Self-injury doesn’t have to be visible. I won’t list ways of self-injuring here, because it might work against it’s cause. But there are many ways to hurt oneself in ‘invisible’ ways. 

That’s why we need to break the barrier and spread the awareness. We need to get rid of the taboo, and talk about this illness that’s eating at so many, to increase understanding, and to increase the chances of getting better. The more we talk, the less scary it will be.

I also want to stress that people should think twice before speaking their mind. Jokes about self-injury aren’t funny. You never know who might be listening.
Please be a little cautious.

For more information: FirstSigns

We’re dreaming of a white Christmas

Hello everyone~♥
It’s been a while! I’ve been so incredibly busy all of December, and I’m lookig forward to at least getting out of school tomorrow! I haven’t had much time to write or do anything relaxing at all really, it’s mostly just been preparations and school and wonderful times spent with awesome people. The way December should be.

But yes, that’s what I wanted to talk about, and I think it’s also something that the boys of SNOW are passionate about.  Fictional characters as they may be, they have strong opinions, and experiences that all come from reality.
I, along with them, would like to take this moment to talk about something that goes on in Norway at the moment. It’s a campaign sponsored by Juba, Juvente and 1OGT; organizations that share the common divider that they’re all focused on alcohol and substance abuse, and the reduction and prevention of these, among other things.
The campaign is called ‘Hvit Jul’ (‘White Christmas’), and has been created for the sake of spreading awareness and giving support to the thousands of children that are exposed to alcoholism, or even more moderate cases of drinking.

In Norway, over 12 000 children live in homes where alcohol is being abused. And the numbers rise even higher when one adds the amount of children in relatively moderate households where festivities are celebrated with alcohol.
I, myself am completely against drinking. That’s how I’ve always felt. And I might be a bit of an extremeist. I have come to realize that I can’t force my beliefs onto other people, but I still feel like I have the right to spread awareness and make people think a little.

This won’t be a morally charged entry though. I want to stay focused on the matter at hand.
Children should never have to be exposed to the uncertainty and fear that might come with experiencing the adults around them taking a few drinks and then changing in behaviour. It doesn’t have to be change in a violent or otherwise frightening manner, but children are sensitive. They will notice easily if a person has changed over a short period of time. Even if this change is one that is happy and jubilant, the child might still be frightened, because it’s not a behaviour they recognize.

‘Hvit Jul’ asks you to think about this, and sign the petition they have on their website, to promise to stay alcohol-free during the holidays.
I realize that most of my readers are young, and without children, or perhaps not of legal age to be drinking anyway. But even so, I want to spread the word, because it’s such an important matter.

I could talk about peer pressure, and doing something you might not want to, or feel ready for just to be accepted.
I could talk about taking a stand against this kind of thing, only to be picked on, looked down on and treated as a freak.
I could talk about the damage alcohol can inflict on a person’s body, and relations for that matter.

But I won’t. Not in this entry.
But I am asking people to think about this, perhaps share it with people who have children, and a custom of bringing stronger beverages into the holiday celebration.
Whether you drink a little, a lot or not at all, be reasonable and aware of your actions and those around you.

Christmas should be a happy season, it should be a season for family.
It’s the Children’s holiday in many ways, so let’s all participate in making it a safer one.

For Norwegians, make sure to check out Hvitjul.no and sign the petition.
For the rest of you, check around where you live, and try to see if there are any arrangements or similar campaigns going on. This is an issue that’s just as important no matter where in the world you are. Sadly, it’s also something that’s very common all around the world, so take a stand against it.

Of course, these are things that should be considered all year around, not just during Christmas and other holiday seasons.

Wishing for a white Christmas,

Caroline, Maaya & Aki.

Awareness-drabble!

Excruciatingly slowly the young man removes his clothes. Garment after garment drops to the floor, pooling around his naked feet.
The room is chilly, but they’ll manage. Heat is already radiating between their bodies.
His own shirt is lifted over his head and tossed aside, a smirk playing on the other’s lips as he leans close so their lips can meet with each other.
The kiss is hard, deep.
Hands fumble with his belt buckle, opening it. The dark haired male waits in anticipation, his hands continuing to slide down his partner’s side, while he’s being undressed.
They move across the floor, towards the bed, still embracing, kissing.
The room is dark, but their steps are confident.

Another kiss deepens and takes them both over.
They more or less fall onto the bed – landing on top of each other;
Smiling.
More kisses. Curious hands. Soft groans.

And in the midst of it all, when it’s building towards the brink, and it’s hard to hold back anymore, one of them interrupts it.
He breaks the lip lock and asks in a raspy whisper; “Protection?”
“Of course,” the other reaches for the nightstand, and grabs for something. “I’m not stupid.”
“Didn’t think so.” a smirk crosses his face, barely visible in the darkness.

*****

Happy 1st of December everyone! ^_^ And Happy World AIDS day!
I tend to more or less forget doing something for this day every year, since I’m dead from November, and stressed about the holidays. But this year I was prepared (as we should all be!)

I’ve purposely chosen not to mention who these characters are, but I’ll let you know that yes, they do exist in the SNOW/Jaded universe. ^^
And I wrote this, because it’s better than writing a long, boring factual text that nobody would bother reading.
I saw a Tweet yesterday, regarding this matter, it said “It’s bad enough that 2 million people die from AIDS every year. Don’t die from stupidity!”
This is so true.
When talking about sexual transmission, condoms are the only way to prevent diseases, such as HIV, which in turn can develop into AIDS. It’s such a simple precaution to take, and it saves lives. So use it!

For more information about World Aids Day, facts and statistics, go to their website.

I’m about to finish getting ready before going Christmas shopping with a friend, even though it’s freezing outside. ^^’ But I wanted to get this out first.
Well then, enjoy the start of December, and be safe people!

Maaya says: Remember..

This post is barely on time, with only 34 minutes left until midnight over here, but in some places there’s still several hours left of November 20th, which is also known as
International Transgender Day of Remembrance 

We posted about it last year as well, but it’s too important to be left unmentioned this year anyway.
ITDoR is held all over the world, so make sure to check if there are any events near you that you can partake in, if you want to show your support.
If there isn’t, or if November 20th has passed where you live, then why not light a candle, or take a moment to think about, or make some sort of tribute, in form of art or writing..

ITDOR, for those who are unaware of it still, is a memorial for all the transgendered individuals that have in some way been punished, discriminated against, abused or even killed because of who and what they are. It’s a day where one puts focus on what it means to be transgendered, and that it’s not something that anyone is in control over, and that there’s nothing wrong with it. We should be understanding and accepting.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; we’re just people, all of us.

Since this day last year, there has been at least 30 known murders of transpersons, the youngest only 16 months old. Roy Antonio Jones III was only  a toddler when he was killed by strikes to the head, so he ‘would act like a little boy instead of a girl’

This is absolutely unbelieveable. How can the world still be this way at this day and age?
It terrible. But at the same time it’s good to know that there are people in this world who make events like this, so that we won’t forget, so that we can keep fighting for what is nothing more than human rights.
For more (and porbably way more accurate) information about this day, and the events and history around it, please visit Transgenderdor.org

Thanks for your time,

Maaya.

Wear purple on the 20th!

Morning!

I want to take a moment to talk about the string of events that has been going on lately, which Coming Out Day was a part of.
We can’t keep up with everything that goes on in the world ever day, and every day there is someone struggling for their rights in one way or another, or someone who is taking initiative to do something. I want to try and shed some light on the ones I have the chance to, and that I know about.

In Norway, the battle for equality, and the case the LGBT-community has been fighting for is 60 years old, Finnmark got their first parade .
Debates are raging in the media, many people seem to be not only deeply offended, but also threatened by Matty and Bobby.
It’s frightening to see that messages of love and acceptance are met with fear, disdain and even hatred.
Belgrade’s pride parade was hardly a parade, and hardly a walk in the park, with more demonstrants and police forces heavily guarding the whole thing, than actual parade atendees. To me, it looked more like a riot than a parade.
Gay serbians are being openly threatened on their life based on their orientation. And Officials are sitting there saying that they don’t want ‘this kind of people’ in their country. 

Although I wish that they could’ve had their parade in a more peaceful fashion, and that the demonstrants could try to look further than their own beliefs, I’m so happy that they were able to go against the forces trying to bring them down.

Because of all of these things, and so much more, I think that this:

is all the more important.
Lately, there has been focus on recent suicides among gay teens. Teens who were bullied and picked on at their schools because of their sexualities. Teenagers that in the end saw no other way out than to take their own lives.
This event urges you to take a stand against this; to show that we don’t tolerate the kind of behavior that leads to these kinds of tragedies. It urges us to remember and honor those who have passed.  It represents spirit.
This event  puts the most focus the recent gay suicides that we’ve all read about, but this kind of thing happens everywhere in the world, every day.
So please, click on the image above and join the event. Wear purple on Wednesday the 20th!
Why not put on your AiconX-2 shirts?  That’s what I’ll do, in lack of other purple garments. ^^
Something so little can mean so much. So click on the link and spread the word~ n_n

Maaya says: Come out~!

Evening!
The day is almost over, but we’re making a short note on here anyway. ^^

Today (and tomorrow in the UK)  is National Coming Out Day. A day that’s all about awareness.
I know alot of these posts have that subject, but that’s kind of what I’m all about.
I think that’s it’s okay to keep putting focus on all kinds of awareness days, because the more ‘common’ and out there we make it, the more ‘normal’ it becomes.

Although in reality, normal doesn’t really exist does it? What is normal?
To put it in a different way: who you are is normal. Your sexuality is normal.
In that sense, I suppose a homophobe, or a sexist, racist whatever…they can also say ‘this is normal for me’ but that’s different because then they’re interfering with basic human rights. Right?
Being gay, bisexual, transgendered or asexual doesn’t hurt anyone. W’e’re people, like everyone else.

And even though that’s the truth and a fact, we’re still different.
We keep presenting ourselves to the world, standing up against a default. It shouldn’t be necessary to have to explain over and over again every time you meet someone new or you’re questioned in some way or other; “I’m gay.” or “I’m bisexual.”
It has nothing to do with who you are, and at the same time it has everything to do with it.
Coming out might in that sense end up feeling like a chore, like something you have to do over and over to explain yourself.

But coming out isn’t a bad thing. It’s good; being true to yourself, daring to be who you are and love who you love.
In an ideal world we wouldn’t have to do this. In an ideal world people wouldn’t ask you if you had a girl/boyfriend. You’d tell them what it’s like if the question came up, and it’d be accepted.

But by coming out, standing proud and meeting understanding we’re stepping towards a world where this could somehow be possible. I like to think so anyway.
There will always be those who are negative, but by allowing ourselves to be opressed, hanging our heads, that just empowers them.

To me, that’s what today is about: being proud of who I am, and that maybe I’m setting an example for someone by not letting myself be bothered by the mean and narrowminded things people say.
I also think that we should remember that people tend to be affected by what they see around them. Sometimes you’re automatically labelled by the people around you. For many it’s a given that you’re straight if you hang out with straight people, which in turn might breed an insecurity towards coming out. In the same way, Atsushi wants to stress how people in his situation sometimes feels like they have to come out in a reversed fashion, because to some it’s not obvious that friendships cross borders based on sexualities.
That might sound a little strange, and besides the point, but I’d say it also proves my point: we’re all the same. There is no general norm, not in reality.
We’re all out in one way or another, we all come out in one way or another.
I might have lost my point here, but maybe at least someone got what I was trying to say? ¨

 And I digress.

..Of course, everyone shouldn’t come out today just because it’s ‘Coming out day’, it’s something you have to be sure of and emotionally ready for. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Remember that~
Any time is a good time, I’d say.

It’s a bit silly, but we’d like to borrow this space to come out to the world once more, just for the case.

Love,

Maaya; homosexual.
Aki; homosexual.
Atsushi; very heterosexual.

We watched history happen!

How many of you caught Matty and Bobby breaking the world record for World’s Longest Kiss yesterday? 
With the exception of the first hour, and getting some sleep in the middle there, we had it on the entire time in this house!
There was much cheering for them, and intense worrying that they’d pass out, or trip or something. But they did so well, and there was loud cheering and clapping in our apartment in the middle of night when they broke the record of 32 hours, 7 minutes and 14 seconds. And even more when they broke apart after 32 and a half hours.
While there was only 30 more minutes until they would’ve reached the goal of 33 hours, there is no complaints from me. Not in the slightest.

Although I don’t know them, I feel so incredibly proud of these two for making it. I feel thankful towards them for doing this for such a great cause. 
And I’m touched by how something as simple as a kiss (although it seemed anything but easy after so many hours) can mean so much to so many and give hope to so many people all over the world. 

They’ve stated on their facebook page , “We’re not thru yet, check back tomorrow for what’s to come :)”
So I’m waiting (im)patiently for whatever is to come today.
if you haven’t done it yet, please go to Facebook, and send them your love, support and congratulations.

Matty and Bobby made history yesterday, and we watched it happen.
They’ve inspired people all over the world, and hopefully their efforts will help make a difference where it’s needed.

We’re proud, it was amazing to watch. Thanks for letting the world take part in this moment. ♥

ps: There’ll be another blog either later tonight or tomorrow morning, full of win! >w<

Maaya says: Happy Pride! ^-^

Yet another belated post. Sorry about that. I was suddenly caught in papermill-Hell again, and this week is pretty busy overall, so I haven’t had much time on my hands.
On Saturday Trondheim kicked off ‘Homouka’, which is our week of PRIDE. I was finally able to attend a parade, and I was proud to walk in it with everyone!
Next year there’s talk of having all of SNOWcrew attending~

Anyway, while we were standing on the square listening to the opening speeches, it struck me how priveliged Norwegians and LGBT-people of nations like Norway are, there were alot of things being said that made me think. For instance, they stressed how important it was to not forget that even though we have almost complete equality in this country, the fight isn’t over. They stressed that it was important that we didn’t let the fight lay latent.
I couldn’t agree more. It’s the 60th Anniversary for the Norwegian fight for equality between sexualities (Homokampen)

We, the younger generation are lucky, for many of us, coming out and being accepted isn’t difficult at all. And to many, it’s perhaps something that they fear, but then find out wasn’t difficult at all. Of course there is still tons of work to be done, because everyone deserves this experience; being able to be oneself and proud of it without having to be afraid of what others think. Everyone has the right to be accepted.

But what I really wanted to say here is that I’m thankful. And honored.
I want to say that to all of those who started the fight; those who stood up against and fought the norms. To everyone who has pushed on, tearing down closets and going against the current; Thank you. Thanks for leading the way and getting us here.

And for the younger amongst us: We have a job as well; we need to continue the fight, to keep what  they aquired for us. It’s our job to help spread awareness and show everyone that we’re not dangerous in any way. It’s up to us to open people’s eyes.
Though the more openminded countries and their acceptance – the less fortunate will benefit.

This is getting sort of high and mighty, isn’t it? And I haven’t even let Maaya speak this time around…
But he and I share the same opinions here.

PRIDE means acceptance. It means to have fun and be yourself. To those who oppose to it for playing on stereotypes I say ‘lighten up!’, it’s an arrangement that once a year allows people to loosen up a little and mess around. That’s not so bad.
But let’s not forget that PRIDE also means to celebrate those who laid the road out before us, and to keep building what they started.
I’ts about “Playing seriously”, like a certain musician would say~

That said, Maaya and I are wishing everyone in Trondheim a happy Pride from here on! ^-^
Have a nice week everyone~

PS:  I think all Norwegians should go here, and vote to help Finnmark get their own Parade! ^__^

Since I was in the parade myself I didn’t get many good pictures, so I borrowed this one from Gaysir‘s article. ^.^’