Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Everyone is gonna love me now. . .

This blog post is dedicated to the memory of Jeanine Tuivaiki #beautifuljeanine

If you like to watch the videos that I attach to the blog post there are a couple of things you should know about today's video, 1) if you don't mind the preamble where the singer/songwriter talks about how the song was written and just enjoy the general chit chat of being there live, then watch from the beginning, 2) if you would like to cut straight to the song, start watching from 2:15.

Stars are lighting up the parking lot
It came to me the second I forgot
You gotta let me go

If you're Samoan then chances are you are probably not a fan of the Samoan Observer right now.  They made the poor decision to print an image of a young transgender woman who died in tragic circumstances in a church hall in Samoa.  It is unclear why she chose to leave this earth, but one thing is clear; her human rights were violated when the newspaper decided to print a photograph of her lifeless body on the front page of their newspaper.  Despite an apology (and we shall use that word loosely today, because it is just as loose as their explanation for choosing to print the image) the damage has been done.  What family who is grieving for the loss of a loved one, needs to see that final image of their beautiful daughter plastered all over the news in this senseless and demeaning way?

If I knew the way to less alone 

Then it wouldn't sink me like a stone
Find the words to save
I wasn't born to fade 

Suicide is never the right answer to a tragic situation. no matter how bad it may seem, but we forget that some people may not think in this way.  In fact, they see no way out other than to take their own lives because they truly believe that the world is better off without them.  I think we lose sight of the fact that we were not born to fade.  We need to tell each other all the time that we care deeply, embrace widely and think highly of everyone we come into contact with.  We need to never have those thoughts leave our minds and cause us to think that we need to fade away.

Maybe I can go away
Where everyone is gonna love me now

I had a conversation with a friend the other day and I said to her - if I'm the harmony of the universe, then I need to surround myself with the right harmony.  This is what I think about when you think of how your heart has to sing in whatever you do, in whatever you need to do to make sure that you are living the destiny that you are on.  Despite the tragic circumstance of Jeanine's death that has been revealed, I think her death will not be vain.  I think her death will help to bring life and awareness to transgender issues in Samoa and around the world, how they are accepted by their communities (or not) and what we can do collectively to love others, like how we wish to be loved.

I was never right but never wrong

Everybody thought I'd finish strong
But I can get there soon
If you push me to the moon

Nobody can be wrong if they set out to do things that don't deliberately harm others.  I had a chat tonight with some university students who reminded me a lot of how I felt when I first started university.  They talked about issues of overthinking - being accused of it because they don't want to compromise their personal integrity or hide their voices when they are trying to participate in a tutorial, so they choose to remain silent.  I told them that sadly that doesn't really change when you become an adult.  I said I'm about 20 years older than you guys and I am in contact with lots of adults who struggle to filter their voices or want to conform with what the status quo is because they are scared of what other people might think.  I told them the best thing they could do is just to trust themselves.  I also told them, what you are feeling right now at age 18 is very natural, you are starting to learn what it means to be an independent thinker.  This is what university is supposed to teach us - to give us space to think and critique everything that comes across our path and think about how we can make a difference.  Are you surrounded by the right harmony to push you further to the moon?

Maybe I can go away

Where everyone is gonna love me now
Maybe I can go away
Where everyone is gonna love me now

I hope that Jeanine finds the peace that she has been seeking, that she could not find in this world.
If you are going through some dark valleys in your life that may tempt you to meet your death, I hope that you find people you can confide in who can be there to listen to you and help you figure things out.  I hope that people will be able to find what they are searching for and that they can rely on those who have told them they are there for them no matter what.  I have never turned away anyone who has asked for help or come to me with a problem.  First of all, it is a privilege to be asked and secondly, if it is in my power to help then I will or I will at least help push you to the moon.

Where everyone is gonna love me now. . . 

Rest in peace Jeanine Tuivaiki.  Know that everyone loves you now.  Even when you may not have thought so.