Author: Sam Stocker

Celts, Customs, and Costumes: Halloween’s History

Celts, Customs, and Costumes: Halloween’s History

It’s Halloween, the time when ghosts, apparitions, spirits, other-worldly beings come out to play. They scare us, mystify us, and keep us in the dark. Almost everyone knows what they are and while not many have had experiences with them, at least 18% have. Or, at least, say they have. So, who’s to say they are – or are not- real?

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Fear Fest: Top 5 Horror Movies to Watch This Halloween

Fear Fest: Top 5 Horror Movies to Watch This Halloween

If you’re a movie nerd like me, you probably love a good horror flick. It can be about werewolves, vampires, zombies or even ghosts! Just give me something that makes me afraid to walk to the bathroom alone in the middle of the night. Luckily for you, I’ve done all the hard work and taken my top five favorite Netflix horror movies and given you a handy list. I did my best to choose cult-classic, probably aired on SyFy only once, B movies. You know, the ones you’ve never heard of before.

Caution, there may be spiders, *erm* I mean spoilers, ahead…

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I’ll Smile When I Feel Like It

I’ll Smile When I Feel Like It

Please note that this post contains descriptions of abuse and physical attacks.

“Hey pretty lady, you should smile more!” You probably just cringed. We hear this all the time, and it’s not just “You should smile,” it’s so much more than that. It’s taking up the entire seat on the bus, it’s catcalling, it’s hitting on me when I’m with my girl-friends but keeping clear when I’m hanging out with my guy friends. They say it’s meant to be a compliment, something friendly, but for women everywhere it is a pathetic and scary attempt at over-sexualizing us and our bodies.

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Queer Representation in Media

Queer Representation in Media

In this article, the author has chosen to use ‘queer’ as an umbrella term for folks within the LGBTQ community.

Let’s talk about queer representation in our media for a second. Not too many examples come to mind, huh? According to GLAAD’s (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) annual study of LGBTQ characters in media, of 895 series aired on broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, the CW, FOX, and NBC) only 43 characters were portrayed as LGBTQ in the 2016-2017 season. Surprisingly, this is a higher number than the year before, where they counted only 35 LGBTQ characters. In short, we make up a measly 4.8%.

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Meet Sam

Meet Sam

I hate writing any type of ‘about me’ page. Like the raw, give you all the facts, quintessentially me, ‘about me’ posts. I never know how to start them or what to say in them. Imagine me trying to write a bio on Tinder (ironically where I met the love of my life) or even just a witty caption on Instagram. I feel like if I had to tell you about myself I may try to just sell you who I am. I’m not an object for someone’s bookshelf. I’m a person with so many aspects to my personality that I can’t pick just one thing.

I’m a romantic at heart. Nothing gets me going quite like a dramatic love story with a happy ending. I believe we all have soulmates and people we’re meant to find. I believe everything happens for a reason and everyone you meet has a story that you can learn from. People are not put on Earth by accident, there is a reason why you encounter the people that you do. I believe that life is too short and valuable to just be a big coincidence.

I’m a survivor, a fighter buried under a protected heart and soft eyes. I’ve dealt with pains in my life that most people don’t have to deal with. I’ve had to fight for myself and for others. I’ve had to let go of people in my life who should have fought for me, but instead fought against me. I’ve had to learn what it means to be abused and what addiction in a parent looks like, and I’ve had to leave home because of it. I had to survive being on my own before I knew what that even entailed.

I’m an independent woman “who don’t need no man.” I’ve been navigating on my own since I was 18. I left home at 16 to live with other family members. When I turned 18, I thought I could do things on my own and essentially ran away from the one place where I could grow and be safe. After burning that bridge, I was in and out of friend’s homes and a youth shelter by the beach. I lived with my on-and-off-again girlfriend who ended up kicking me out with no place to go. I got my own place when I turned 20 and learned to fix the bridges I burned, and have been growing my home ever since.

At this point you either feel bad for me or love me, and this is exactly what I meant when I wrote that I was scared I would end up selling you who I am. The truth is, I am so much more than just a few characteristics or situations I’ve been in. I’ve never allowed one thing to define me and I wouldn’t start now. Yes, I’ve been through hell and back, and that has made me stronger. I have lost family and friends and that has made me softer and more appreciative of life. I have had to make it on my own and that has made me smarter, but I have also learned that I would never want to navigate this world alone.

I love animals and people alike, fully believing we all have a purpose for our time on earth. I am a ball of anxiety wrapped in a go-with-the-flow attitude. I am pancakes on Sunday morning and forgetting to brush your teeth on a Tuesday because you’re running late for work. I idolize those who are structured and organized, but find comfort in my disorganized ways. I am a hard worker with so many ideas in my head they can’t be kept straight. I am a queer woman of Hispanic descent who can’t speak Spanish but would kill someone over the last arepa.

I’m wholly and unapologetically me. I seek out new adventures and things to learn every day, traveling all over in search of museums, art fairs, and exhibits. I want to learn everything and anything I can. I let my anxiety get the best of me and then I remember it’s just a chemical imbalance in my brain, and I kick it in the ass. I am not afraid to be emotional and I genuinely believe it is one of the strongest things you can do. Being open and vulnerable for others to see, being strong enough to share your desires and feelings with someone, is such a scary and exhilarating experience. But I would rather be vulnerable and open and learn from it than not be, and regret it.

I am tattoos and piercings, green eyes and unkempt brown hair. I am a person who struggles with gender, some days I would give anything to be a boy and fully embrace my masculinity while other days I want to be a feminine woman who wears dresses and does her makeup each morning. I am a writer and activist attempting to navigate the politics of today’s topsy-turvy world. I am five whole feet of whoop-ass. I am strong; strong willed, strongly opinionated, strong in my beliefs and strong in my love of life.