Page 1

t wo

fall 2018 edition

director’s note two marks our fifth semester as an organization and first time publishing over 50 copies for Passion Project. We are so thrilled you’ve picked up a copy of our limited edition publication for Fall 2018.

This publication is always changing and developing, just like the culture around us. It’s hard to keep up and fall perfectly into the molds that the people around you want you to fit into. Passion Project is a multimedia platform that wants to convey stories in the most compelling way for you, and we interpret that as photos, videos, podcasts and written word. Passion Project’s main goal is to share diverse stories with the idea that unity happens through the acceptance of individuality. Our stories tend to represent the less-heard and that’s what we hope you will find in the pages of this magazine. Like others, Passion Project’s semester began with a summer of planning and high hopes. Video chats, proposals, budgets — everything that would make you feel productive and like nothing could go wrong. Who were we kidding? For people so organized and on top of everything, our executive board forgot to account for one thing: Life. Members come and go, budget requests get denied and classes tend to get the best of you, no matter how many times you remind yourself to post on the Sakai forum. But, the initial struggle started to subside with the help of new leadership: An Editorial Director with newspaper experience, a Creative Director with a love for graphic design and a Senior Podcast Producer to keep on top of our contributors. With a proper structure being built for the editorial department, our podcast sector began to shine. This fall we introduced four new audio shows that showcase a range of identities and niches that call Ithaca home (and a part of the problem). And of course, our Wellness Wednesday girl, Chloe Hart-Kindelberger, who made hump-day feel less like slump-day. Our next goal is to find visual artists outside of photography to take us to the next level. In the future we want to interact with you: To see you in the comments, to come say hi at our meetings, to volunteer to model in a photo shoot (we all need those profile pictures, hun). Our arms are wide open and ears are ready to listen. Enjoy the unmolded, big, beautiful mess that is Passion Project. Welcome to two . With nothing but love, Kylee C. Roberts and the Passion Project team

table of contents 4

- In Between


- Are You Kidding Me?


- Album Insights: “I Broke It” by Isaiah_Raps


- Guided


- Loosely Defined


- I’m a plus size, POC cosplayer. Here’s How to Deal with Internet Trolls


- How Not Eating or Drinking for 7 Weeks Changed My Relationship With Food


- Kinks


- How to Dress Like a Lesbian


- Inked


- The Transgender Community Fights Back


When we originally began recording In Between last spring, we had no idea what we would name the podcast. In fact, we didn’t really even know what exactly the podcast would be about. All we knew is that we wanted to interview a variety of people different from ourselves and, in these interviews, explore identity and our ever-changing world. As college students today, we constantly deal with both frustration and exhaustion. With all the injustice and division happening throughout the country, it is becoming harder and harder to find and build real, authentic relationships. And often it can be hard to have hope. We just wanted a space where we could provoke real, heartfelt conversations; where we could break down barriers that often prevent us from seeing all the beauty and humanity in the world, and in other people. With this in mind, we began our interviews. Soon, the podcast became so much more than we ever expected. Not only did we explore aspects of identity and our world with some amazing guests, but we learned more from them (and built greater connections with them) than we ever thought was possible. This podcast was proving to be a true space of connection and hope. But, we still didn’t have a name. How could we come up with a title that could encompass all of the amazing revelations and conversations we were having? During a Facetime conversation over the summer, we tried to figure it out. How could we briefly summarize all of these aspects of these


people and their worlds that fall in between the cracks? here it was: In Between. In every episode, we focus on a specific aspect of someone’s identity — whether it be an aspect of their culture, religion, practice, or personality. Our world is so focused on division, that we really wanted to bring people together through focusing on the aspects of identity that often go unnoticed or unexplained. We wanted to inspire l isteners to recognize others’ humanity. So far, we have covered a wide variety of topics including mindfulness, herbalism, witchcraft, traveling, and POC representation. In each of our episodes, we invite guests to come and unpack how their passions and characteristics impact their identity and how this impacts how they take up space in our world. In a special bonus episode, we interviewed students Alisar Awaad and Sara Gutierrez about their experience as the director and lead of IC’s first ever all POC show; a production of A Bicycle Country. We discussed what this means for them and the primary themes of the show: including immigration and love. These are just a few of the stories that we have helped share so far. As we continue on with our podcast, we hope to share these stories as widely as possible and bring understanding to parts of people’s identities that often fall between the cracks. 5

EMMA BELTRANDI This year IC Women in Communications partnered with Passion Project to bring you the newest podcast, “Are You Kidding Me?” The idea for this came from our candid, blunt and funny everyday conversations. We talk about body positivity, femme issues and perceptions in the media. The last wednesday of every month we release an episode with genuine and straight to the point conversation and selfdeprecating humor. We have been involved in IC WIC since our freshman year of college and are both 2017 New York Women in Communications scholarship recipients. WIC is about more than just having a perfect resume and nailing an interview. It’s about being confident in your abilities and having the courage to pursue your goals while also supporting those around you. This can be hard to accomplish when we see so many fake narratives on social media. We both find it frustrating to open instagram to the same, curated, aesthetically pleasing posts that don’t portray real life. Over and over again over the years we have discussed the struggle of wanting to post what makes us inspires, laugh, think, reflect, etc. but also not wanting to share every aspect of our lives with the entire world. It’s such a conflict between critiquing social media but also feeding into it, but we can start to change the dynamic when we create conversations around topics such as bodypositivty, dating, sex, puberty, and other things we, especially women, are told not to speak about. We knew other women could benefit from us talking about issues most are scared to such as puberty, body positivity, the importance of not hating yourself and dating in a

LEXY WHITE digital world. This is our first time doing a podcast but so far we have found success in telling stories that are genuine and many people can relate to. We’ve definitely gotten a lot of positive feedback which has been incredibly empowering. We didn’t start this endeavor to become famous or produce the world’s greatest and most perfect podcast, we did it to give people a space to be seen, heard, and included. Most of our feedback stems around people who laugh because we’re so candid, which is what we wanted to happen. We knew that we had to create this space for people because in a world where we can carve a false reality for ourselves online, we rarely get to see the ugly, lonely, and unsure. This podcast shows the ugly, lonely, and unsure and it’s refreshing for our listeners to hear two women saying whatever the fuck they want. These topics are at the center of our lives and deserve to be talked about openly and honestly with each other. We hope that in the future these conversations can continue to happen and help every woman reach her full potential.


photography by Bailey Belcher | 7

ALBUM INSIGHTS: “I BROKE IT” BY ISAIAH_RAPS by Edward Willshire (originally published pre-album release)

Ithaca and Harlem-based rapper and producer Isaiah Horton, stage name Isaiah_Raps, will be releasing his latest album, “I Broke It,” on November 23. He initially conceptualized the project over a year ago. “I just got an idea one day,” the 21-year-old artist and Ithaca College senior explained of his process, which began in October of 2017. “Most the songs were conceptualized in that month,” he continued. And as the year went by, collaboration became a key ingredient in making the album come together. The 14-song album features over five additional credited artists and groups — all of whom come from a variety of musical backgrounds. From singers like NyathePapaya, who Isaiah has known since high school, to Ithaca funk bands Butter and The Sunshine Group, to Isaiah’s own brother, Louis Major, the album is an incredibly diverse musical soundscape. The first track introduces listeners to the concept of the album, which Isaiah wants to keep secret until its release. Titled, “Oh Shit (intro),” this 30-second skit features the voices of Isaiah_Raps along with saxophone player, Matthew Badalucco, and Sunshine of The Sunshine Group. “It was actually the first thing I thought of,” Isaiah laughed. “It was very improvised, but we just knew at the end of this skit, ‘X’ had to happen.” Isaiah said he wants the album’s concept to speak for itself. It’s clear Isaiah has a love for his craft and a passion for the story his music is telling, in bringing this all together. Rather than stressing over the challenge of combining so many disparate styles of music, Isaiah said he took it as more of a treat.


“A lot of those people are my friends, I’ve known them for a long time,” he explained. “They do music in different facets and we’ve been trying to do things together... I’ve just always wanted to collaborate with these kinds of artists.”

“A lot of those people are my friends ... I’ve just always wanted to collaborate with these kinds of artists.” Building the album from the ground-up was no simple task, and by producing the entire project Isaiah displays his dedication. It takes a lot of work to do what Isaiah has done on top of being a full-time student with a job. With consistent live performances alongside working with collaborators on the album, Isaiah spends most of his free time on music, so he’s made his production space a comfortable one. His dorm room setup is “half-music, half-gaming.” Wires for his keyboard, computer, monitor, PlayStation 4 and speakers are woven down the back of his desk. His laptop rests on an extended drawer atop a pile of loose papers. The larger monitor screen displays clips from Naruto or gameplay from Dark Souls, serving as a visual aid, either for inspiration or simply as a background image to occasionally shift focus to after long mixing sessions.

Isaiah’s own versatility is on full display on I Broke It as well. Despite introing the song “Lows” by saying he can’t sing, Isaiah actually delivers an impressive and unique vocal performance on the entire album. He jumps between multiple characters and perspectives, including his alien persona Mastah Gildahide, who fans of his previous mixtape may be familiar with. “The other voices are kind of just expressions,” he says, and each of these vocal shifts adds to the emotion that flows through the project. His cool, laid back performance of the hook on “Swimming Hole” invites listeners to relax and groove while hearing the intensity of tracks like “Lean” will get your blood pumping. “I feel like in our music both of us are very expressive,” Badalucco described about working with Isaiah, “It’s like a feelings-oriented music. Especially with the sound of the saxophone: it’s very similar to the human voice.”

“I feel like in our music both of us are very expressive, It’s like a feelings-oriented music. ... It’s very similar to the human voice.” — Matthew Badalucco

Isaiah recently began streaming video games on YouTube, so he’s adapted his setup for webcam recording as well. Handy little wire hooks keep everything under control on top of the desk, but the drawer full of wires it leads back to is organized chaos that only Isaiah could sort through. When he opens up Logic Pro X to make his music he has everything he needs in front of him to begin recording.

And it’s quite clear through his production that Isaiah wants his talent and that of his collaborators to shine through. Despite every song being very layered and purposefully crafted, there’s a focus to the project that never gets lost. Ambient sounds of the forest can be heard in almost every track, either more clearly over pieces of spoken word or as part of the beat. The funk and boom-bap sounds that mostly dominate the first half of the album transition into more modern spacey vibes by the end.

“I just do the damn thing man, I like to do it, so I do the damn thing. That’s all I see it as,” he says, justifying why he doesn’t worry about the balance of work and pleasure. “Sometimes shit is annoying,” but at the end of the day it isn’t just a job for him, “when it’s not fun, I wouldn’t do it.”

This is all concludes in the final track of the album which hits very hard with powerful drums and memorable features from Badalucco on saxophone and rapper Danny Phantom. Isaiah has cited Mac Miller, MF Doom, Tyler the Creator, Danny Brown and Isaiah Rashad as some of his


rapper A Boogie wit da Hoodie performed at Ithaca College, Isaiah_Raps was given the opportunity to open. While Isaiah has already performed numerous times in his career, this larger stage presented a unique set of challenges. “With far-field speakers and stuff like that, it’s kinda hard to get the perspective and like keep your performance tight, especially with a band and other people,” he said. This experience helped Isaiah develop some of the songs which were only rough cuts at the time of the A Boogie show, and since then he’s performed a good chunk of the album live over the passed year.

favorite rappers of all time, and there is a clear influence from many of these artists in his sound. The album’s focus can in part be credited to the evolution of Isaiah’s creative process. In his previous projects, which you can find on SoundCloud and DatPiff, he was a lot less experienced in music production. “I didn’t really make as many instrumentals myself,” he said. “It was kind of like sourcing. ‘Scrounging,’ I like to call it. You know, going through YouTube, going through SoundCloud. Trying to figure it out, trying to get someone to send you a beat.” This entire process is very different from what happened with I Broke It, in which Isaiah conceptualized the entire soundscape, “if it’s not my production itself, it’s my arrangement or my brother’s.” Several of the songs on I Broke It have already been performed live. Last spring when Billboard charting


Isaiah will be opening up for another Billboard charting artist, Shwayze, at The Haunt in Ithaca on November 30. This will be a full week after the release of I Broke It on November 23, so you can listen to the album and then get the full experience seeing some it live. For those of you who haven’t noticed yet, the release date is Black Friday, the insane day of sales that takes place after Thanksgiving. While Isaiah choose this date for a reason, you’ll have to listen to the album to find out what that is.

SARAH KANE & SIERRA BAKER We’re just two tour guides who made a pun and turned it into a podcast. With absolutely no set agenda, we discuss the essence of being a college student and conceptualize the overall college experience. After surviving job training and having learned the ropes, we began to think more about the positions we’re in and the influence we have on students. It was just a normal day on the job, talking and cracking jokes with our boss when Sierra mentioned her desire to start a podcast related to touring. Both having similar interests, we began to introduce podcast topics and themes to our boss. Although we were interrupting her free time, we couldn’t help the instant rush of ideas. Soon after, we began to discuss how not one student is alike, in fact, all have very different college decision processes and experiences. So, we thought, why not create another outlet for people to share their stories and show their differences. Guided was chosen as the name for our podcast because it encompasses the overarching theme of our content— providing informative conversation to help enhance all student’s college experience. Each episode is created from a distinct question or topic and features both guests and students, who contribute their knowledge and experience to the said topic. With hopes of introducing students to new resources, opportunities, guests and overall queries, we want to help guide future and current students through college, in some way or another. This type of medium will encourage a different form of interaction between students and college, allowing them to directly communicate and contribute to the topics of conversation. As tour guides, we’ve learned that we often present students with valuable information even though it’s not all of what they want to hear. We’ve recognized that students are not only wanting information that will help them determine between a school fit for them, but they also want information that will provide them with a better understanding of college in general and or why it has been morphed into society. Tour guides provide a lot of information and are required to be knowledgeable about even more, so why not provide students with another outlet for it. Understanding that there is always more to learn and that just coming to college doesn’t suffice is the base of our foundation. Join us, as we continue our insightful journey of questioning every decision we’ve ever made, including our own decisions to “sign-up” for four years of complete confusion.




EDWARD WILLSHIRE SEGARO “BO” BOZART Loosely Defined is both the title, and the mantra for the show. We try to keep our episodes free flowing with as little structure as we can.

conversation about the media. The beauty of Loosely Defined is the flexibility it allows us as content creators, without feeling like anything is too off-brand.

Obviously, we put a plan together and come in with a good idea of how we want to structure the episode, but if someone goes on a tangent, we go on the tangent with them. We want the show to feel like a fun conversation our listeners want to be a part of.

Loosely Defined is fun, first and foremost. Before we started the podcast, it was just two guys talking about the nerdy stuff they were into. We wanted to keep that vibe while opening up the conversation. Loosely Defined is constantly changing, but our love for our favorite games, movies, and music keeps the show focused.

The name “Loosely Defined” came about as organically as it can. Bo and Ed were cramming to come up with a name the day of the pitch meeting after brainstorming for weeks. So with the pressure on we considered pretty much every possible option. We wanted the title to say a little about the show without ever pigeonholing us to a particular theme or style. While we knew this show would be centered around pop culture, we couldn’t come up with a fitting name that also expressed the, for lack of a better term, loose structure we wanted to maintain. So going back and forth saying anything that came to our heads, Ed just said, “Loosely Defined?” and immediately we knew we had something. We continued to toy around with other names, but the more we said Loosely Defined out-loud, the more we knew we had found our title. We try to change things up every episode. It not only keeps things fun for us, but it gives the audience a reason to keep coming back to listen. One week it’s a bracket, one week it’s a pitch show, one week it’s a serious

We’re both college seniors, so the “college student” label will dissolve pretty soon, but the last four years have been the perfect balance of freedom and responsibilities. While we’re still defining who we are as adults we have the freedom to change as much as we want and try new things. Before we enter the workforce we wanted to embrace the things that make us smile, laugh, and release all the dopamine into our little-weirdo brains. Loosely Defined started as a bi-weekly conversation between two best friends and a guest in its first season. But hwas now grown this semester into a weekly conversation, competition, game, and roundtable for two best friends and a bevy of fun and informed guests including other Passion Project Podcasters like the KINKS team, as well as Ithaca College professor, Edd Schneider. Our show is a culmination of all of our favorite things and we hope everyone else has as much fun as we do. 17


by Avery Alexander


henever I try to explain what cosplay is, I always get a flurry of mixed responses: Isn’t cosplay really inappropriate? You must be so immature! You probably have no friends, etc.

cosplay community have always been an issue. I’ve faced it myself, with plenty of people taking to my page to tell me I’m too fat or too dark to be in my costumes. I’ve learned over time to ignore it all, but it still hurt. There are tons of cosplayers like me, who don’t fit into the “standard,” who are To get all of the misconceptions out of the way, receiving the exact same abuse. let’s start with what cosplay actually is. Cosplaying is the art of dressing up as a fictional character According to the Pew Research Center, black from a movie, TV show, book, webcomic or people are 22 percent more likely to be a victim of video game. Cosplayers aren’t inherently sexual, online harassment than white people, while those childish or anti-social. The cosplay community who identify as Hispanic are seven percent more is a massive network, full of interesting people likely. The study also shows that only 31 percent who work to support each other. Although the of black people feel comfortable speaking their majority of cosplayers are great, caring, sweet minds online compared to 48 percent of white people, there are bad apples, just like in every people. group of people. Instagram cosplayer of color @krischillin_cosplay Unfortunately, racism and body shaming in the is a friend of mine and has been cosplaying


since 2016. He’s known online for cosplaying from franchises like “Naruto” and “Dragonball Z.” Throughout his years of cosplaying, krischillin_ cosplay has encountered the best and the worst of the cosplay community.

of comments praising our choices. It was amazing seeing all of the support. “It’s harder for POC, plus sized, and less financed cosplayers to get recognized,” said lani_cosplays. “Media tends to cater to white people so it’s easier for them to seamlessly cosplay things and gain popularity as well.”

“Funimation posted my picture on their Instagram page,” said krischillin_cosplay. “I went to check it out and there were so many black jokes. Personally, I can easily ignore stuff like that, Unlike krischillin_cosplay, lani_cosplays hasn’t but what made my day was seeing my friends found as much support from the POC cosplay already defending me.” community as she would like.

“They try to blame it on the characters we cosplay when in reality, they just don’t like our skin color in general.” “People act the same towards POC cosplayers as they do people of color in society in general,” krischillin_cosplay, added. “They try to blame it on the characters we cosplay when in reality, they just don’t like our skin color in general.”

“On Instagram we try to lift each other up,” said lani_cosplays, “But I feel like the more popular POC cosplayers get so overwhelmed with it all that they don’t really have the time or resources for that.” Instagram cosplayer and woman of color, @ unproducktive, started getting serious about cosplay four years ago. She said she hasn’t found the kind of support from other cosplayers of color that she expected either. Unproducktive

krischillin_cosplay said that he has found other cosplayers of color to band together with to defend against discrimination. Another Instagram cosplayer, @lani_cosplays, got her start in the cosplay community five years ago in 2013. Her cosplays consist of a broad range of franchises, from Disney to “Steven Universe” to “Voltron: Legendary Defender.” As a personal friend of mine, lani_cosplays and I have worked together to help ease tensions surrounding discrimination in the community. Just recently, we cosplayed Powerpuff Girls as plus sized women of color. We had a great time breaking convention, and I was elated when the responses we got were so positive. We attended an anime convention this past summer and had so many people stopping us, complimenting us and asking for pictures. When we posted our cosplay online, we received tons 19

said she notices that a lot of cosplayers of color me feel more comfortable. I was holding myself tend to look down on those “below” them and back. It wasn’t until I finally started sharing my ignore others to get to the top. cosplays online when I realized that I was limiting myself. “Since cosplay fame-dom became a thing because of social media, I feel like it’s become a When I first looked to Tumblr, I saw a wide, group of crabs in a barrel,” added unproducktive. beautiful land of cosplayers with all different skin tones and body types. In the early stages of my Sometimes the only way to help the situation is to time as a social media cosplayer, I was wide-eyed give advice to new cosplayers about what to do with wonder at all of the diversity. I never even when inevitably encountering unfair treatment noticed the abuse that POC received. I suppose while cosplaying. Unproducktive advises not being able to see how unfair it all was allowed cosplayers not to rely too heavily on outside me time to build up my confidence and grow a opinions. tougher skin. By the time I actually encountered discrimination, I simply brushed it off. Although “I have gotten tough skin through cosplay and I didn’t take the many insults personally, finally learned a lot about myself,” She said. “I just encountering it made me want to work even remind myself that their opinion is invalid and harder so that I could show everyone that they do not mean much. You cosplay for YOU! cosplayers of color are just as good as other You must remember that.” cosplayers. Another way to help out is to speak up about the discrimination if you see it happening to someone. “Raise awareness if you can, but also get support,” lani_cosplays said. “You’re more than the troubles you face, and haters don’t make your cosplay any less valuable.” My personal words of wisdom as a cosplayer of nearly six years, is to just do what you want. It seems pretty straight forward, but the moment you make the decision to stop worrying how you’ll be perceived and start not caring, is the moment you find freedom in the cosplay community. I started cosplaying in seventh grade and it’s been a huge part of my life since then. My first cosplay was terrible, I knew it was, but I felt great. Before cosplay, I was entirely lacking confidence. I was bullied in elementary school and middle school, but after finding cosplay, I noticed a massive change in myself. It was like this whole new world opened up to me. Even so, it took a while for my confidence to grow. I used to be terrified to wear crop tops in cosplay, but now I willingly do it. I used to only cosplay characters with unnatural skin tones, so that I could paint myself with body paint, and it made 20

Now, I actively cosplay white characters and I feel great. All of my success and self-discovery with cosplay has come from me gaining confidence and finding empowerment in cosplaying for me and for helping others. There will always be the people who don’t think I shouldn’t be cosplaying Cinderella, or wearing a small top, but I know I look great, so why should I worry?

“It’s harder for POC, plus sized, and less financed cosplayers to get recognized. Media tends to cater to white people so it’s easier for them to seamlessly cosplay things and gain popularity as well.” Photos Courtesy of Avery Alexander

Summer Beat with Kylee Roberts Muscian: Suzannah Belle Photographer: Aly Kula

How not eating or

drinking for 7 Weeks

changed my relationship with


22 | Photos Courtesty of Stephanie Philo

“Food is something to be loved, not scorned. Not eating for seven weeks made that more obvious to me than ever.” by Stephanie Philo


or just over 7 weeks, I did not eat or drink. No food, no water. Just IV fluids.

The very last thing I expected from one gynecologist check-up in November 2015 was the eventual diagnosis of two very rare life-threatening conditions: Moyamoya and Midaortic syndrome. No kid is truly as invincible as they feel, but after that fated routine blood pressure check at a mundane doctor’s appointment, my invincibility vanished in mere seconds. With a systolic blood pressure far above 170, it was a miracle I hadn’t had a stroke yet. I was an asymptomatic ticking time bomb that had somehow managed to never go off. Once we realized my blood pressure was not just a fluke resulting from some sort of heightened anxiety, I checked in to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, the closest children’s hospital to my family. There, they discovered the mid-aortic syndrome, a very rare condition when the aorta, the heart’s largest blood vessel, becomes too narrow. Because midaortic syndrome is so rare, only certain hospitals were fit to treat me. I had to be flown to Boston. In Boston, a series of tests were done to prep me for surgery. That was when the Moyamoya was found. Moyamoya means “puff of smoke” in Japanese, which refers to the wispy appearance of the blood vessels near the brain. The Moyamoya surgery, which occurred in midMarch, 2016, rerouted the healthy blood vessels on my scalp to my brain, decreasing my risk of stroke and increasing the efficiency of blood flow. The recovery for this particular surgery was surprisingly miraculous; the left side of my head was shaved and cut into, and within less than two weeks I was out in the world again, awkwardly wearing baseball caps that put too much pressure on the fresh stitches. The success of the Moyamoya surgery made it all the more obvious to me that I was due for another disaster. Surgery #2, I thought, was bound to go awfully, awfully wrong. Spoiler alert — I was right.

In January 2017, a graft was placed near my heart to create a new path for blood flow, and my kidneys were moved to a new, frontal location in my body. These two surgeries are known as bypass graft surgery and auto-transplantation surgery. The recovery process of this combined surgery is typically 3 to 5 weeks. My recovery lasted 9. The first food I tried to eat after my second surgery was waffles without syrup. I vomited almost immediately. In previous hospital stays my parents and I had determined that the best hospital meal was the egg white, cheddar, and avocado breakfast sandwich from Au Bon Pain, a café chain that has become synonymous with sickness to me. Any visit to Boston Children’s would go amiss without that sandwich, but for my first meal post-op, the fatty avocado seemed too risky. Waffles, we thought, were a safe bet. The avocado didn’t even end up mattering. Everything I ate came right back up, no matter how plain it was. Even ice chips were too much. As it would turn out, the reason why I couldn’t keep any food down was because my pancreas had been punctured in surgery. Not only was my pancreas leaking fluids that were pushing down on my stomach, causing an excruciating amount of abdominal pain, it was also unable to perform its primary function of digestion. So you don’t eat — you can’t eat — until the pancreas is fully healed. This is where the IV fluids come in. If your body cannot perform digestion, it has to get nutrients from somewhere else. Sustenance is injected right into your bloodstream, thus cutting out the middleman that is eating. You aren’t ever hungry when you have a steady stream of energy injected into you multiple times a day. Being hungry, however, is different than having cravings. Man, did I have cravings. 23

“At 13, I was counting calories, longing to become even thinner than I already was. Now, there is nothing more disheartening to me than hearing a friend say, ‘I can’t eat that.’ I remember the day my favorite nurse, Desh, told me I was a “foodie.” She was a night nurse, and on this particular night, I was catching her up on everything in my life through pictures on my phone. Amidst group pictures of my high school friends and videos of my dog, there were many, many photos of food. Yes, I’ve been known to photograph my food. Yes, I make sure to get it from every angle before I take a bite. Yes, I meticulously look for the right Snapchat sticker to accompany the image. There is no shame in that. I enthusiastically showed Desh these photos. I showed her all the crepes, the tacos, the sushi, the ice cream, the cheeseburgers and the ramen I had eaten (and deemed worthy of a picture) over the past year or so. When Desh called me a “foodie,” I scoffed. I thought the word was reserved for uppity vegans that have a Wordpress blog. Upon second thought, I realized that Desh might have been right. One of the worst parts of being in the hospital was not being able to eat. Every now and then I would peruse the menus of local restaurants, fantasizing about what it would be like to have the ability to eat anything at all. I wanted a burrito, a poké bowl, chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese. Not being able to eat started to feel like a form of torture. Being trapped in one room in one building sucked, of course, but not being able to eat was on a whole new level of painful. When people have near death experiences, they sometimes vow to branch out in their life. They decide to travel, or do things they never would have done before. For me, this new outlook on life 24

was channeled into food. Since regaining the ability to eat, I’ve promised myself to not turn down the opportunity to try new foods. Growing up, I was always a picky eater. Why try new foods when you have tried and true favorites? Pasta is great. Chicken fingers are great. Why branch out? However, there’s a whole universe of food outside of what is offered at any local diner. Sticking to the food I’ve eaten my whole life would be an injustice to the human experience. With a limited time on Earth, why waste it eating food within narrow confines? So far, the best new food I’ve tried is oysters. Oysters are incredible. It’s not just new foods I love. Past Stephanie would be reluctant to say, “Screw it. I’m ordering a small order of Medium Buffalo Wild Wings instead of the snack size. And if no one wants to share fried pickles, I’m going to order fried pickles all for myself.” Throughout middle school, I obsessed over food. At 13, I was counting calories, longing to become even thinner than I already was. I was not overweight by any means, but that doesn’t stop a young girl from believing her body is somehow wrong. Remember when wanting a thigh gap was a thing? I wanted a thigh gap. I know that feeling compelled to eat healthy constantly, even when you wish you could treat yourself to something different, isn’t always a conscious choice. The reason I feel so horrified is that it hurts me to think that people I love so much would have such negative associations with food. So much of our life is spent eating that it is truly disheartening to think about how many people struggle with their relationship to food. It is even more disheartening to consider the circumstances in our society that make this negative relationship fester, such as the all-too-powerful emphasis placed on achieving the “perfect body.” Food is something to be loved, not scorned. Not eating for seven weeks made that more obvious to me than ever. In the words of one of my closest friends, “Stephanie’s the Antoni of the group, because have you ever met someone more passionate about avocado toast?”

Summer Beat with Kylee Roberts Muscian: Nicky Young Photographer: Aly Kula

KINKS APRIL CARROLL CANDACE CROSS KYLEE C. ROBERTS In May the three of us got together at Cinemapolis and brainstormed what this show could be.

were decided from the beginning; every time someone brought up an issue or question to answer, there was a unanimous “mmmhhhhmmmm” from the other two ladies.

The show’s name came to us almost instantly. KINKS mean a lot of different things to various people, and at the end of the day we may all be black women but we have such different experiences. Our hometowns, childhoods and college education have been largely different, but being black women at a predominately white institution keeps us coming back to recording. Upon entering Ithaca College in 2015, the three of us experienced the POC @ IC movement as innocent first-year students. Students of color came together to voice their stance — that they were here and being ignored by the administration. In February 2017 we got a woman of color in leadership at the college. Even with the US presidential election upset and, “surprise! America is still, indeed, racist,” memo from the fall, people thought the new representation for the school meant something had changed inside its walls. In fact, as the women who run this podcast realized that was not the case.

What we didn’t expect, was how often topics we pitched would intertwine into episodes — relationships, politics, childhood — it’s all relevant to the bigger picture. The cultural appropriation episode was one we did not plan. “Not Your Costume” was a mix of preparation for Halloween and a response to ignorant rhetoric that had been displayed by a politically conservative group on campus. By far, it was the show we prepared for the most, because of how ‘hot’ of a topic it was at the moment. In turn, we kept reminding ourselves and listeners that we are not the end-all-beall when it comes to topics that affect black women. At the moment we’re excited about the final episode of this season: The Black Excellence Awards. Inspired by celebrities, professors and classmates, this show is a happy ending to the first leg of this podcast’s life. When all is said and done, KINKS is about our lives as black women at Ithaca College: Although we do not represent all people of color at private, predominately white institutions, we hope we open up the conversation for those who need to hear it.

For the most part, our episode topics





Step 1: You must own a flannel shirt. Multiple if possible. Red and black are preferred. It has

to be plaid for it to count. It’s the basic lesbian must-have. All other assumptions of lesbianism are made off of this.

Step 2: On days when your various flannels are in the wash, wear a button up. You must

button it up to the collar or it also won’t count.

Step 3: Own some sort of neck-related clothing. Bowtie. Regular tie. Ascot if you want, but that’s

really more of a gay guy thing. Note: if attempting to go above and beyond, wear with suspenders to accentuate neckwear.

Step 4: The hair. The hair is special. Short. If you don’t want to go to the typical pixie cut, at

least keep it short on the sides and long in the middle. Your bangs must flop over your forehead in just the right manner. Just enough for some cute girl to sweep them away. It’s not a necessary step, but the secret lesbian cults may waitlist your membership without it.

Step 5: Step 5: You have to own something rainbow. The most discreet, also the cheapest, is

the rainbow rubber bracelet. However, other rainbow substitutes are acceptable. For instance, rainbow ties, rainbow shoelaces, and rainbow capes.

When I first started assembling my gay wardrobe, I went a bit out of order. I started with step three: ties. I suppose I could’ve started by owning a flannel, but the thing is, some straight girls still wear flannels, even in this day and age where it is clearly an item for lesbians. The tie, however, is strictly men and lesbians. I wanted to be as out, loud, and proud as possible back then, because I needed to prove that I belonged in the LGBT+ community. Little known fact, if you don’t prove yourself, they will not give you the Official Gay ID Card. Having to prove yourself to a group that prides itself on inclusivity may sound ridiculous, but this unspoken rule still exists when a person has to prove themselves in order to achieve membership. If you’re a girl who doesn’t play softball, a boy who doesn’t say “YAS QUEEN” at least three times a day, or you’ve never faced discrimination before, then are you really a part of the community?

“I would show up in a nice blazer, some black pants, a button up shirt, and a tie. I looked amazing, by the way. But the thing is, I never felt amazing.” It’s why terms like “Gold Star Lesbian” (a lesbian who has never had sex with a man) or “Gold Star Gay” (a gay man who has never had sex with a woman) exist — they imply that one person can be “better” at being gay than another. It’s why television is rife with worried lesbians afraid that, because their partner is bisexual, she might go off and cheat with a man because she misses that sweet, sweet dick. If you can’t check enough “queer boxes” there’s always this lack of belief that follows you. 29

So, there I was. Me and my collection of ties. Obviously, I couldn’t wear them very much as a high schooler, but on dress up days they came flying off of my hanger. I would show up in a nice blazer, some black pants, a button up shirt, and a tie. I looked amazing, by the way. But the thing is, I never felt amazing. The problem had to do with what they don’t tell you about the lesbian wardrobe. There are things you must wear and things you must not:

those clothes, but I also grew to resent them. On one hand, I desperately wanted to look like a lesbian. I wanted to make it known that I was part of the LGBT+ community (and that, ladies, I was on the market,) but on the other hand it felt uncomfortable and far too loud. But, this is the price you pay to be gay. It’s like the offertory at church: You can choose to not put money in the dish, but everybody will give you the side eye if you don’t.

Must-Not 1: Dresses. They’re just not butch This forced idea of what a lesbian looks like

enough. They’re a bit too feminine and femininity, doesn’t fall on just one person or one group’s shoulders. It is perpetuated by everyone. like long hair, is for straight girls. Hollywood seems somehow physically incapable Must-Not 2: Heels of any sort. Once again, it’s of creating more complex and nuanced LGBT+ a bit too femme. Plus, they don’t go particularly characters who look different, and media reflect well with our trusty tool belts and Home Depot it as well. In a Buzzfeed article asking: “What Does a Queer Pop Star Look Like in 2016,” they membership cards. try to categorize singer Halsey as someone on the “straighter end of the Kinsey scale” or Must-Not 3: Necklaces. First, they conflict with “classic Lez-Bro, masculine leaning” because the necessary bowtie/regular tie/ascot look that one look, one attitude, is considered ‘gayer’ than we’ve established as a must. Second, didn’t you the other. Straight people who are not part of see High School Musical when Troy Bolton gave the community and don’t yet understand every Gabriella that necklace with a ‘T’ on it? Necklaces nuance, tend to base their gaydar on a series of: are for straight men to give to straight women short hair, tattoo, butch. And, of course, people when they don’t know what else to buy them. This within the community support it too. would be heterosexual cultural appropriation. So I’d walk into school, making absolutely sure I wasn’t commit any of these faux-pas. But my shoulders were hunched and my head down, hiding my tie and the way my blazer fit well, because all I really wanted to wear was a pretty dress, some high heels, and a necklace to match. But if I was going to prove my gayness, that wasn’t an option. So I took a deep breath and kept walking into school every dress up day in my blazer and tie (or button down and snapback on casual days) because that would prove to everyone I was “gay enough.” Throughout my high school career, I owned about 10 ties, two snapbacks, two (very extra) rainbow dresses, several plaid shirts, about five button-ups, and a unicorn onesie (because, I didn’t mention this before, but the unicorn is definitely a gay symbol too. I did love some of 30

“On one hand, I desperately wanted to look like a lesbian. I wanted to make it known that I was part of the LGBT+ community (and that, ladies, I was on the market,) but on the other hand it felt uncomfortable and far too loud.” Plenty of women absolutely love the Lesbian Wardrobe™, and that’s wonderful. More power to you! It can’t be expected that women loving women just stop dressing a certain way because, as disempowering as it was to me, it’s so empowering to others. Sometimes, stereotypes come into being because they’re applicable to a large proportion of said group, but despite how helpful they are for some, they can be harmful for others. If you’re sitting down and feeling hopelessly helpless, never fear! The problem is solvable.

Forget the stereotypes. Forget the check boxes. The gay agenda is long. There isn’t any time to be hurting ourselves by enforcing this need to check enough “queer boxes.” So, I’m fixing my article.

HOW TO DRESS LIKE A LESBIAN, AMENDED* Step 1: Wear whatever makes you feel like the confident woman loving woman you are, whether that

means kitten heels or snapbacks. Because the real way to look like a lesbian, is to look and feel like the confident badass you are. 31

Maya Lewis


I’ve always been fascinated with tattoos and how they can encapsulate someone’s personality or beliefs. In this photo series I decided to follow this fascination of mine, by taking intimate portraits of people and their tattoos. By doing this, I attempt to showcase how the different symbols, that we willing choose to have on our bodies, shape the who we are.








*Some names have been changed to protect identity


any transgender people are infuriated and afraid for the present and the future as a leaked memo from the Trump Administration revealed tentative plans to redefine gender as strictly male or female. The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, unchanging condition determined by genitalia at birth, in a move that would decrease recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law. The Obama administration previously loosened the legal definition of gender for federal programs purposes, but now this work could be reversed, based on an internal memo from the Department of Health and Human Services and obtained by the New York Times last month.


Now, the Trump administration is trying to define gender based on the Title IX legal language. Title IX laws are supposed to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs or activities. However, using this definition, the Health Department wants to define sex as “a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.� In other words, the administration plans on identifying any given person by the genitals that they were born with, and nothing else. Alyx Clark is a fourteen-year-old from St. Paul, Minnesota. They said via Twitter DM that while growing up, they thought they had to look just like their mother. However, Clark said they eventually learned that they would rather look a little different, preferring a flat chest and narrower hips. While Clark wondered what it would be like to look different, they found that being a transgender person was a possibility through their Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) club

at school. This alliance provides support and acts as safe haven to students of different sexual orientations or gender identities. Clark joined the alliance in middle school and realized that gender didn’t need to be so black and white — the brain may develop a person’s sexual orientation differently regardless of what the body physically represents. This inspired Clark to research the LGBTQ community more in-depth, especially the transgender community. They then decided to classify themself as nonbinary, meaning that they don’t identify with either female or male. Clark asks others to use the pronouns they/them when referring to them. There are distinctions between transgender and non-binary. The term transgender encompasses many gender identities that don’t specifically identify with the sex in which someone was assigned with at birth. Non-binary is considered to be the same, being used as an umbrella term for all genders. But not all non-binary people identify as trans and transgender people don’t all identify as non-binary. The Trump Administration memo could change Clark’s world and their way of life devastatingly, as well as many others like Clark. People may not have the opportunity to define their gender as freely as they were before, silencing their desire to express themselves in ways or forms that they truly wish to. It would essentially legally erase transgender people. Cyra Kingsley, a 26-year-old from Scranton, PA, identifies as transgender and disagrees with the memo. They said they strongly believe that it’s important to vote, and contact representatives in Washington D.C. in order to have voices heard. Kingsley said officials need to be aware that if they don’t serve their constituents, they will be voted out of office. One of these issues could be their refusal to protect the transgender community’s rights. Kingsley said that anyone that is associated with the community and would like to see it be protected needs to speak up.

“It’s infuriating and it’s scary.There’s already so little legislation to protect us. One of the things that we need to do is band together. People who say that they support us need to prove it. Do anything that you can to help. If you accept us, now is the time to prove it.” “It’s infuriating and it’s scary,” Kingsley said. “There’s already so little legislation to protect us. One of the things that we need to do is band together. People who say that they support us need to prove it. Do anything that you can to help. If you accept us, now is the time to prove it.” Kingsley’s voice can be heard throughout the transgender community, many agreeing with them, using social media like Twitter, with hashtags such as #TransAwarenessWeek and #TransRightsAreHumanRights. While people can still exercise their right to vote, the National Center for Transgender Equality records say that the government has already committed to removing legislation that protects non-binary and transgender people. This includes restricting their access to healthcare, limiting their ability to update identity documents such as licenses and birth certificates and restricting their access to bathrooms and single-sex restrooms. Another human and civil rights group, The Leadership Conference, cites that the administration has already failed to protect Title IX, along with Title VII which prohibits employment discrimination as well. The Trump administration has repealed 37

some Obama Administration protections, such as allowing trans people to serve in the military and lifting restrictions that forced trans people to use public facilities that corresponded with their physical gender identity.

aware of the fact that you can’t know someone’s pronouns unless you ask.” Still, many transgender students and people are afraid about how the government will dictate their lives in the future.

But as of today, universities are pushing back against the Trump Administration’s work to limit “I’ve had people invalidate and tell me I was transgender rights. Instead, they are working to trying to be special, that I was making things up protect the rights of the LGBTQ community so about my identity,” Kingsley said. that students can feel safe and accepted. Kingsley advises other young people struggling In 2017, Campus Pride ranked Ithaca College to find their communities and seek support. as a top 25 university for protecting the rights of transgender people. The college has gender “I’m still struggling, but the best way to heal is neutral bathrooms so that transgender and non- to find your flock, find people who understand binary people don’t have to be afraid of choosing and will lift you up and hold your hand along a binary restroom. College advocates say they the way. This is a terrifying time for us, truly. But are aware that transgender people are often one thing that we can’t do is back down. The targeted and harassed through the intentional trans community has overcome so much. We’re and repetitive use of the wrong pronouns. On Oct. strong. We’re going to make it. We just need to 17, the college celebrated its first International keep fighting.” Pronoun Day, a day in which encouraged others to respect someone’s personal pronoun. “Using the right pronouns is a critical step in acknowledging the humanity of transgender people,” the organizer of the holiday, Luca Maurer said. Maurer is also the director of LGBTQ education at Ithaca College. “Using the right pronouns is a critical step in acknowledging the humanity of transgender people.” The holiday had several events that focused on normalizing the asking and sharing of a person’s personal pronouns. Alex Gray, a student at Ithaca College, identifies as a non-binary man, asking others to refer to him as he/him or with they/ them pronouns. Gray participated in the event because he said he is supportive of the actions being taken to normalize pronoun usage.


“The pronoun day did help, but while trans people are accepted a lot on this campus, and pronouns are asked in classrooms sometimes, there’s still an assumption about pronouns based on appearances,” Gray said. “I think pronoun day was effective in a way that made more people

thank you to all the photographers, writers and subjects for your time - you’ve helped this issue come to life.

t wo

two: Passion Project's Fall 2018 Edition  

In between - 4 Are you kidding me? - 6 Album insights: “i Broke it” by Isaiah_raps - 7 GUIDED - 14 LOOSELY DEFINED - 16 I’m a plus s...

two: Passion Project's Fall 2018 Edition  

In between - 4 Are you kidding me? - 6 Album insights: “i Broke it” by Isaiah_raps - 7 GUIDED - 14 LOOSELY DEFINED - 16 I’m a plus s...