Monday, February 13, 2012

In honor of the new bill for gay marriage being signed today: A story of coming out and so much more…

Defining Sexuality

“I think you are too young to know this,” he shifted in his chair, 2763 miles away. “It would be best if you saw a counselor.”

“No, this is a part of me.” The words dragged visibly on the computer screen, lagging slightly. My throat tightened. “I’m attracted to girls,” I asserted in sign language.

Webcam communication was far from ideal, but my father lived on the other side of the country. He moved away when I was ten and rarely visited; he didn’t know me. Furthermore, my old school Asian parents were hearing-impaired conservative baby-boomers. They didn’t approve; the Great Wall of generation gaps and traditional culture stood in the way.

And here I was, their uncomfortably self-aware, first generation Asian-American daughter who had just spent the day immersing herself in an environment alive with optimism and acceptance: Seattle’s Gay Pride Festival.

That day, I explored a new facet of myself that I welcomed with curiosity and fascination. After a three-mile trek and an hour crammed on a sweaty bus, I arrived. The Seattle Center was a breath of new found liberty and immediate comfort. The feeling resonated with me. Whatever hesitation I felt washed away as I stood by the central fountain. I christened myself as a part of the community, and we celebrated.

However liberated I felt at Pride, I understood that it wasn’t something I could magically shape into anything my parents could understand. We were the old and the new, separated by religious values and varying degrees of education. I wanted them to know, to love me regardless of my sexuality. I didn’t understand why I had to convince them otherwise or why I had to hide this incredible part of myself from the rest of my family. This is who I am. I trusted my feelings. I knew, but I couldn’t explain it; the words were too slippery to describe.

Here I am now. Define sexuality?

My sexuality is a revolution. It is a dinner table conversation. By coming out, I surrendered who I was, to the person I always was.

I am far greater than a definition. I am multi-dimensional. I strive to transcend the social ideals. I’ll never wait to be old enough to know better. Here I am. My sexuality is a revolution. 

Teen Link wants to recognize all the courageous youth who are coming out and finding pride in being who they are in a world that isn't always accepting. 
We wanted to let you know that we are behind you. 
Teen Link in open every night from 6-10pm if you ever want a safe place to talk. 

Also, below we have included a list of other helpful resources for LBGTQ youth:
  1. Camp for queer youth or youth coming from queer families/gay parents-
  2. LBGTQ Youth Center on Capitol Hill-
  3. Ingersoll Gender Center for Trans Youth/Adults- 
  4. Seattle Counseling Services for Sexual Minorities:
 For more information visit our website:

LASTLY but definitely not least: 
For more information on the new Equal Marriage Bill that was just signed today see:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Experience the power of music

Music and People.
5 Reasons Why We Love Music:  
 1. Mood management

This is rated people's most important reason for listening to music: making our good moods even better. It entertains us, relaxes us and sets the right emotional tone. Listening to music causes the brain to release dopamine, a feel-good chemical.

When we're in a bad mood, music can help us deal with it. When your mood is low, there is something cathartic about listening to sad music. Somehow it helps to know that you're not alone. We use music to relieve tension, express our feelings and escape the realities of everyday life. Music helps people get through this stressful and anxious time (e.g. Good et al., 2002).

2. Diversion/Distraction

Also coming in at number two is diversion. Music relieves the boredom of the commute, or of a lazy Sunday afternoon. It's something to do when we don't know what else to do. Music is a distraction and this research done by Cassidy & MacDonald (2007) found that the most distracting type is depressing music.

3. Interpersonal relationships
The fourth most important function of music is its social dimension. Music is a point of conversation. We listen to it while we're with other people and we talk to them about it. It's a way of making a connection.

4. Personal identity
The type of music we like expresses something about ourselves. Even the broadest genres like rock, classical and blues begin to give us a picture of a person. We also seem to discover ourselves through music: it can teach is who we are and where we belong. Through music we can build up and project an image of ourselves.

5. To learn about others and the world

Music tells us stories about other people and places and it gives us access to new experiences. Music can teach us how other people think and even suggest how we might live.

You can learn more at:

We have all heard music, but have you ever seen it?
Let Yourself Feel is visual representation of how music
not only looks, but feels. This mesmerizing animation by Argentinian motion graphics designer Esteban Di├ícono, visualizing “Slowly” by composer ├ôlafur Arnalds in spellbinding colorful smoke.

Often times we do not have the words to express how we feel or who we are. What if music was all that we really had?

Music speaks where words fail
Guang by Quek Shio Chuan is a beautiful video about the power of music and the different role it plays in people's lives. It also brings to light the
idea that music helps us to communicate in ways that words can not.
BMW Shorties 2011 Top 10 Finalist. Also nominated for Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Editing and Best Sound Design.

Hope you have a musical weekend.
~Teen Link~

Teen Link is open every night from 6-10pm. We are here to support you wherever you are at and however you are feeling. We are anonymous, confidential and Most importantly, non-judgmental. And, we are teenagers too… we get it. We know what it’s like to feel like no one gets us, or to have family/friend stuff, or to feel overwhelmed by everything. We are just here to support each other and to listen. So, give us a call.
1866-TEENLINK (833-6546) or visit our chat service at

Friday, February 3, 2012


Boredom Busters
We all have those days – you know the ones.  You have nothing you want to do and can’t bear the thought of doing anything productive.  Well here are a few websites to check out.  Go on and get inspired.  Then get back to work. (All images from respective websites.)
People send pictures their kid’s drawings to this guy, and he magically transforms them into something comprehensible.  A few are plain weird though, before and after. 
This website is full of interesting letters written by a multitude of people.  Some are funny, some are heartbreaking, but all are worth reading. 
“The Laughing Heart” by Charles Bukowski is a beautiful poem about living life fully.  Sometimes it’s hard to do this because of whatever’s going on in our lives, but when we have the chance, we might try to live by these words.
From the man who brought you 1000 Awesome Things, Neil Pasricha gives a TED talk on his own life and attitude.  It’s a fascinating video to watch when you have time.
Here’s an easy DIY that doesn’t cost much (maybe nothing) and is actually useful.  I could see myself using one of these, unlike some of the DIYs out there.  It would make a nice surprise gift for a family member or a friend.
Sometimes you make an impressive CD for someone and then realize you’re out of jewel cases.  There’s always the folded up paper case, but this website one-ups that by letting you print out a foldable paper case with the song tracks and a title printed on the front in whatever font you want. It will also print out the fronts and backs of jewel cases in case you do have them around and don’t feel up to writing things by hand.
Handcrafted mixes with easy browsing through tags.  You can find a playlist for every mood.  Some random titles: Love a good drop, A Cure from Sadness, I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good. 
Similar to 8tracks, but you get to DJ in real time with 3-4 other DJs for real people.  There are rooms specific to whatever genre of music you want to play or listen to.  Examples include: DJ Wooooo's House/Dance/Electro, Indie While You Work, 90s Alternative, Chillout Mixer, The 99% Anything Goes, and Top 40.  Highly addictive. 
A tumblr dedicated to corgis.  Really.  Just as cute as you’re imagining right now.
A tumblr dedicated to lonely Cheetos.

A tumblr dedicated to zoomed-in pictures of halved chocolate bars.  As you might have noticed, tumblr is a great way to waste time and beat boredom. 
Here’s a tumblr that doesn’t have to do with animals or food.  This blog is about photojournalism.  It posts a bunch of different photos every weekday and focuses on the work of one photographer every weekend.   
Maybe you’re just looking for some hugs?  Here you go.
Now go and do something,
Teen Link