Posts Tagged ‘LGBT’

new beginnings and piercings as self-love

Monday, June 27th, 2022

Every time someone asks about how I picked Lesley University, I have a tendency to joke that I was following my ex-girlfriend. 

On one hand: this isn’t entirely true- the school had plenty of what I was looking for, including both of the majors I wanted, a supportive and queer-friendly environment, and a campus stretching across Cambridge. On the other: I do think going into higher education knowing someone who was both my best friend (at the time) and very dear to me did a lot to boost my confidence. 

I had a built-in friend, a way to start off the first of four years with a sort of social safety net. I had someone to talk to about the hardships of starting the higher-education portion of adulthood and the anxiety of moving into a new place. I had someone to do homework with, late into the night on scratchy dorm room carpeting. I had someone to complain with about the occasionally-questionable dining hall food. I had someone, and that made the nervousness of being in a new place slowly, surely, ebb into the background. This didn’t stop either of us from making friends as we both found our places within our new community, but it got us through the first few months as we began to build up new relationships. 

Having someone around who already knew me, accepted me, and encouraged me to be myself also made it much easier to get comfortable in my own skin- both as a new college student and as a trans and queer person coming of age. Fortunately, my school had plenty of overlap between the two, with a plethora of my freshman class being in a similar literal and physical transition. We were all looking to make homes out of our bodies, and one of the most obvious ways to do that was to get a new piercing.

About a week or two into my college experience at Lesley University, my ex decided she wanted a septum ring. Eager to work towards my own accumulation of piercings and to mark the pivotal shift into freshman year on my body somehow, I decided I would tag along. So, on one fateful student-discount Tuesday, we headed down the red line into Central Square, popping into the Boston Lucky’s for walk-in appointments. After a half-hour of sitting on some really nice leather chairs and admiring the jewelry selection by the cash register, I was escorted into the piercing room. The process itself only lasted a few minutes. A gloved hand ran an alcohol wipe around the center of my nose; a needle and horseshoe-shaped piece of metal followed suit, threaded through the cartilage without much fanfare. 

Little freshman-year-Ness standing on the sidewalk, staring down the tattoo shop. Done in layered green lineart.
Little freshman-year-Ness standing on the sidewalk, staring down the tattoo shop.

An hour after our arrival, we walked out together with our matching piercings. The new hole in my nose was all I’d hoped it would be. It looked great. My parents, however, were not on the same page. 

They called later that night. “It was a waste of money,” my mom chastised. “I don’t even think I want to come visit you on parents’ weekend.” My dad echoed the sentiment, taking the time to text me that he hoped it would get torn out. They warmed up to it as soon as they realized it could be flipped up, but the rift it caused felt emblematic. 

While a little warning might’ve done wonders to prevent any familial unrest, I did what I did for me. I love my family, but part of paving my own path meant not conforming to their standards. Rather, I was setting my own. And it wasn’t just little 2018 Ness who decided to kick off their journey into higher education with a piercing. In a 2006 article from the JAMA Network, one Lester Mayers noted that 51% of university students surveyed had piercings, while 23% had tattoos; with the destigmatization among the workplace and accessibility of body modifications, the number has only gone up (Sequential Survey of Body Piercing..). In Hallie Long’s article from the DePaulia, she interviews freshly-tatted Angie Rainey, who declares that the tattoo she got in college “caught [her].. at such a transformative and new time in.. life” (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15193575/). The body is a temple, and so many people have taken it upon themselves to decorate theirs to reflect burgeoning personal style. By making the decision to kick off college with a piercing, I became one of many new students who made similar choices, a way of making their bodies feel more like a refuge among the turbulence of life. Even in periods of great change, the one thing we can control is ourselves. 

Self-expression through body mods is a fairly common, healthy mechanism for self-discovery.

Another article from the Journal of Adolescent Health deems the reasoning behind piercings to be an act of identity, rather than rebellion (Contemporary College Students and Body Piercing). Between myself and the people I knew, most of us who were modifying our bodies (whether through our piercings, tattoos, or haircuts) were doing so as a way to find a sense of community within an alternative subculture. It was a statement of self, seeking out community and building our own confidence rather than actively trying to disrupt a peace within our immediate families. It was just that now, we had the freedom to find this new place for ourselves.

I started my first year of college nervous. Nervous about my relationship, about school, about the friendships I had yet to find. I was nervous about my parents, about getting homesick, about whether or not we’d see eye-to-eye. I was worried about whether or not the new hole in my body would heal properly. But even in the wake of all the fears about the future, I knew I’d be okay.

And you know what?

I am.

Glow-up of the century.

tl;dr: be nervous if you must, but know you’ll be okay.


Sometimes making the perfect change to your look is the thing that makes you feel your best and most confident, and there’s nothing quite like a fresh cut to help you feel your best… dare I say, nothing feels quite as marvelous! 

For that life-changing, new-kid-on-campus chop, treat yourself to a place that really understands the power of looking and feeling your best, like Marvelous Barber Lounge. With the help of Campus Clipper, you can get 20% off on the ultimate grooming experience- just bring your student ID and your coupon to redeem!


By Ness Curti

Ness Curti is a freshly-graduated illustrator from the Lesley College of Art and Design. A part-time bobarista and full-time New England adventurer, they hope to one day tell stories for a living, whether through art or words. They enjoy doodling, procrastinating, and saying hello to the dogs they pass on the sidewalk.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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From New York to…Brighton

Friday, August 4th, 2017

There are a few cities in the world that those who are a part of the LGBTQA+ community can be fully comfortable in. New York City, I am proud to say, is definitely one of those cities. Another one that lives up to its name in terms of LGBTQA+ life is Brighton in the U.K. Both of these wonderfully colorful and bright seaside cities are perfect for those of all genders and sexual orientations.

https://www.citysightseeingnewyork.com/

https://www.citysightseeingnewyork.com/

httip://bt.com/

httip://bt.com/

Here are just a few LGBTQA+ spaces and activities to enjoy when you’re in either place:

Museums.

Ah, you know me. I love museums, and being queer, I love museums about queer art or history. That’s why one of my favorite places in downtown is the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art next to Grand St. Mainly an art museum, it tells the story of the queer community through erotic and socio-political art and it’s definitely worth an hour or two if you can spare it. In Brighton, there is the LGBT museum trail. Much like the history of the queer community, objects made by queer artists have been hidden in Brighton’s many museums, but a simple map can show you where they are and reveal their true history.

 

Pride Parades.

In New York, the Pride Parade is basically another holiday. 5th Ave. is shut down and the parade lasts the entire day. There is even Pride Fest in the West Village if you need to take a break from standing at the parade. But the Pride Parade isn’t the only parade or march in the city during pride month. The Dyke March has been going on for over 25 years now, and features and invites all women who love women to join in. And of course, there is also the Pride Island concert around the same time of year. Brighton knows how to do Pride right as well. Brighton and Hove Pride is one of the biggest pride parades in the UK. Of course they also have Pride Fest and dozens of concerts annually around the city.

NYC Pride. Taken by Jainita Patel

NYC Pride.
Taken by Jainita Patel

Me and a friend at NYC Pride. Taken by Jainita Patel

Me and a friend at NYC Pride.
Taken by Jainita Patel

Clubs and Bars.

NYC has no shortage of clubs and bars to cater to the queer community. The West Village is the central hub of queer nightlife in New York. The most famous of these, Stonewall, can get pretty crowded at times, but the shows and the history of the place is worth it. If you’re looking for a slightly more low-key place, the CubbyHole is a cute and tiny bar that’s not too far from Stonewall that’s exclusively for women who love women. Henrietta Hudson is also a popular and excellent bar. Ty’s Bar is a great place for men who love men. In Brighton, Legends is a great bar/hotel with a stunning view of the sea, though it only really acts like a club on the weekends. The Marlborough next to the Pavilion is also an excellent bar/theatre for women who love women. If you’re looking for more of a place to dance, Club Revenge is a great gay club with an excellent view of the sea. Charles Street Bar and Envy Club is another awesome option with a great view.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/

http://www.travelandleisure.com/

 

Charles Street Bar and Envy Club http://brightonbearweekend.com/

Charles Street Bar and Envy Club
http://brightonbearweekend.com/

 

Shows and Other Entertainment.

Another great thing about NYC and Brighton queer life is that there are endless forms of queer entertainment. In New York, there are a variety of queer shows on and off Broadway, the current most famous being Kinky Boots. The amount of shows and entertainment move so quickly in this city, it’s hard to recommend a particular show or venue. But it’s no secret that Boots and Saddle in the West Village is known for its incredible drag shows with a host of dazzling queens that are sure to brighten up your night. Brighton also has a long list of gay shows and venues. The Queen’s Arms has amazing drag shows. However, the appeal to Brighton just doesn’t lie in its visual entertainment. Brighton is known for its gay saunas, where you can take a few moments to relax and just be queer. The best of these is the Brighton Sauna.

 

There’s no shortage of activities for your queer needs in either Brighton or New York. If you enjoy NYC for its queer life, then you’ll love Brighton and vice versa. Hopefully you’ll get to visit both one day.

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By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

 

 

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