Why Tara Maclay is My Role Model *updated Jan. 11, 2014*


“It is  hard to find positive role models today. Especially ones that you can relate too.” Erik R. Voshel

Tara doesn’t fit the same overt BAMF mold most of my favorite characters fit, but I love her! I just want to give her lots of hugs and love! She is another character that reminds me of myself, but unlike Olivia Dunham, I loved Tara from the beginning!

Tara was afraid of herself. She never really fit in. She thought she was a demon, to save other people she stayed in the background, but she persevered.

Tara_Afraid

She feels useless. I mention this because I feel the same way. While feeling useless is not good, someone who feels bad about themselves, but makes progress, is a worthy role model.

Tara_surprised

…but she totally isn’t! Tara is wiccan.

Tara_magic

Tara has style! Considering this is her first BtVS scene, her style is the first thing I noticed!

She is shy, but cute about it. Also, she overcomes her stutter. Shyness isn’t good or bad, but sometimes it is debilitating. I’m shy to, shy enough that it interferes with adaptive expression of needs/wants. Unlike below, I’m not freaking adorable about it!

Tara is kind. She embodies non-judgmental, unconditional love. She teaches the Scooby Gang how to be wise and self-compassionate.

tumblr_m02lhq0TcU1r8gsqgo3_250Tara_role model Tara_it is ok to be worried

While Tara is kind and respectful, woe unto anyone who threatens the people she loves!

tara_go through me

Her loyalty is undying. (I’m sensing a submissive vibe. 😉 Look who is on top in the second to last picture!)

She is self-sacrificing. Tara lets Glory crush her hand and destroy her mind to save Dawn.

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Tara sticks to her morals, even when it hurts.

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She beat the messages of her childhood and became an amazing woman.

… It makes me proud. It makes me love you more.”

Plus, Tara is the first positive lesbian character I remember. She and Willow helped make it okay to love who I wanted…And make an amazing lesbian couple you did, Amber Benson…

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I wish I was her. I’m still afraid of myself. I still hear “monster” reverberating in my mind. I don’t know if I can overcome the messages my family instilled about sexuality, intimacy, and self-worth.

The only difference is that I wasn’t lied to my whole life. She thinks she has a legitimate reason to fear herself, but she doesn’t. I do… Nonetheless, showing her deal with the messages of her childhood is powerful!

I don’t have her strength yet. I wonder if she is like me, nice because she feels she has nothing more to offer. The most common thing people say about me is that I’m “nice”, “kind”, “sweet”, “flexible”, “not argumentative”, “easy-going”. I pride myself on these attributes, but sometimes I think I’m just nice and laid back because I’m afraid no one will like me, if they see me. Tara and Nicciare the two fictional characters I identify with the most. I wish I knew more about their character development from Joss and Goodkind. Plus, I wish magic, the type of magic that makes an immediate clear impact on the physical world, existed.

*edit* How could I forget?! Amber Benson is (was?) body positive! I know there were silly haters about her body, but I think she was and is gorgeous at any size. I think her body appeared average on BtVS. By average, I do not mean average beauty; I mean average size when compared to the sickly thin, eating disordered Hollywood ideal.

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Unconditional Love, Coming Out, and Communication


I have no doubt my parents love me unconditionally. I know no matter what I do, they will always love me. God knows I’ve tested that theory enough! Although I knew this for years, for some reason I remembered the realization last night.

I also know my mom loves her brother very much. They are pretty close; they talk a lot. I know she never disowned my uncle. Unlike my grandpa, she accepted him right away. She is more than capable of looking past a moral or political disagreement and loving someone.

My grandpa reconciling with my uncle shows he is also capable of looking past moral or political disagreements and loving someone. In fact, even though it took him a few years to make peace, he showed the most love! He came from the strictest background of any of us. He was a farm boy in the rural Midwest in the 1920s. Do you remember my view of religion? I tend to see all the paths to damnation. He grew up in the hellfire and brimstone era of protestant religion in this region. He probably views the world with more fear than I do!!! He came from a very tightknit, extremely religious family. Furthermore, he grew up in an intolerant time period. Yet, he overcame all this, he wrestled with beliefs he honestly held as part of his personal hope of eternal salvation for at least half a century, and he accepted my uncle. His actions were not out of spite! I believe even while he shunned my uncle, he loved him dearly. I believe my grandpa tried to help my uncle! He believed (believes?) homosexuality is a sin and if a person is not remorseful for their sins, they will be tortured for all time in the afterlife. Therefore, I think he shunned my uncle to try to coerce my uncle into stopping all homosexual behavior. I do not think it was out of anger. I think it was out of love and extreme fear. He believes sexuality is a choice. We may be attracted to one gender or both, but we can choose to focus our attraction toward the opposite gender. Since he believes my uncle has a choice and he believes choosing homosexuality would damn my uncle for eternity, my grandpa refused to talk to him for years, in an effort to encourage him to make the choice my grandpa thought meant everlasting bliss in the afterlife. In time, Grandpa realized my uncle would not change his behavior, even if Grandpa refused to acknowledge him for the rest of his life. Realizing this, I think he decided to salvage his relationship with his son on Earth, despite believing his actions would damn him in the afterlife. In a way, he overcame the most and displayed the deepest love because he had to look past or alter beliefs he held for over 50 years!

All these thoughts came after seeing this picture on Humans of New York:

“At this time in my life, there’s nothing I really value more than interaction with my children, and they’ve just grown so busy that there’s not much of it. All I can really do is trust that they care, even if they don’t communicate it, and reflect on all the times that I didn’t reply to my mother when she sent me things.”

The picture caption made me sad because I know my mom and grandparents all feel this way. As my grandparents approach their 90s, the feeling becomes stronger because they know the time they have left to spend with their children and grandchildren is dwindling. I feel guilty for not spending more of my free time with them either going out for a bite to eat or just calling for a quick chat. Sometimes I’m even mad at my brother for not calling them more because I know it hurts them and they feel unimportant or unloved, like out of sight, out of mind. I also worry in a few years, my brother will regret not picking up the phone once a month. They call him, but they often do not get a response and interpret that as either their calls are unwanted or bothersome. Therefore, they no longer leave messages; instead they wait for a call that never comes.

However, then I realized part of the problem may be he too is hiding a large part of himself from them. While it might be easy to chat about work or the weather, maybe it is painful or awkward to censor himself all the time. Perhaps that is part of why he does not return calls or call on his own. Vulnerability leads to stronger, deeper bonds. He is too afraid to let any of them see the real him, preventing a better relationship.

Although I feel much closer to all three because I live in town, I am guilty of the same thing. I realized we are not giving them the chance to love us for us. They have already proven they can do it with my uncle! It may be painful at first, but in the end, I believe it is best if all of us come out. We have to trust the people who love us and raised us to love us, even when we don’t fit the dreams they had for us. If we don’t trust them, but we underestimated them, we are robbing them and ourselves of truer, more open, real, trusting, close relationships.

Therefore, I am going to come out about BDSM and bisexuality. I hope my brother and sister-in-law come out as well.

That said I am not going to do it until I am financially independent because I do not want the rug pulled out from under me. Acceptance may take time and I am prepared for that, but tuition must be paid. I hope my grandparents are alive to reap the benefits. If they do not, I may regret not risking a few thousand dollars extra in student loans, but in the meantime, I am going to do my best to call or see them more often and talk about school and the weather.

The Positive Coming Out Experience


Sometimes Vulnerability is Good. After admitting my bisexuality to my sister-in-law, my brother, sister-in-law, and I ended up talking for 2 hours and there were a few mutual comings out. Here are some things I learned…

1. My big brother is kinky and knew it at age 7.

Sawyer surprised

I’m not alone! I always thought I was weird because I had masochistic fantasies from such a young age, whereas according to research and anecdotal evidence, most people don’t realize they are kinky until they are older. It worried me; I felt something must be wrong with me. Knowing my brother is similar lifts a huge burden. As usual, I can accept things as good or fine for others, but not in myself. I’ve always looked up to him. So, knowing his truth and knowing how normal and good he is, normalizes me.

2. Whether or not masochism is sick for me is a tough question, how do you know if someone drinks a lot or is an alcoholic? The difference is whether their drinking interferes with their life. Perhaps that is a good way to think about this.

3. Lesbian relationships question – Is it “ok” to purposefully ignore same-sex attraction because homosexual relationships are still tough societally? There is no right answer, it isn’t wrong to ignore female attraction for fear of reprisal, especially now (I am financially dependent on my parents). However, obviously it would mean I miss out on potentially wonderful relationships. It is about happiness maximization.

That was Anti-Climactic (coming out)


My brother and sister-in-law are here! My sister-in-law saw one of my Sapphic GIFs and asked me about it when we were alone for a moment. So, I told her.

How I felt before:

How she reacted:

How I felt after:

No one else knows. I’m sure she’ll tell my brother, but that is okay. I told her I was scared to tell my uncle, in case my mom and uncle fight, but she said he was a safe person to tell secrets.

Coming Out or Chickening Out?


I planned on telling my gay uncle about my bisexuality because I know he understands. However, as soon as my mom got home last night, she ranted about my uncle refusing to attend church on Christmas Eve and refusing to let anyone talk about politics or religion. She said she isn’t going to let his sensitivities prevent her from talking about her personal views. I can see it now… She says something that offends him, he gets red and starts yelling and in anger, tells her my secret! 😦

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Bondage and Love

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It is mutual Myka! After all, many of H.G.’s lovers were women. 😉 love

Best. Couple. EVER.

Tara I am you know Tara_YoursI will always find youonce more with feeling

Reasons for NOT coming out…


1. Once you tell someone, not in the lifestyle, you are a masochist, it becomes a joke. For example, while baking 2 days ago, one item needed to be rolled in powdered sugar right after it came out of the oven. My mom said, “Ok, we need the masochist!” *she laughs*

Now, that is not especially hurtful or rude, but would it be socially acceptable to say, “Ok, we need the lesbian!” No, I think not. I don’t know, I’m probably being overly sensitive.

2. Once you tell someone, it becomes okay to randomly hurt you. For example, After someone pinches me hard enough to break skin, I say, “What are you doing?” They reply, “What? You shouldn’t care; you’re a masochist.”

Um…That is not how it works…   LotS_Cara's WTF face

That Bisexual BDSM chick…not so fast


No self-harm urges right now! I’m feeling wonderful. I wish I could freeze time and give myself more hours to study, but c’est la vie.

I had a wonderful, uplifting conversation with the woman who runs this hilarious blog! Conclusion? I’m 95% sure I’m bisexual and that is fricking okay! 🙂 She shared this awesome The West Wing clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1-ip47WYWc

I need to let myself explore. It isn’t wrong.

I’m not coming out anytime soon offline. The day after we had that awkward conversation about BDSM, my mom told me homosexuality would be a lot worse and she was glad my problem was BDSM, not homosexuality.

Cara rolling eyes

Plus, my family didn’t react kindly when my uncle came out. My grandpa wanted to disinherit him and they didn’t speak for years. I know my mom thinks it is wrong. At least, everyone is on speaking terms now.

Since my family is not accepting and exams are looming, it may seem weird that I feel happy. However, I had some realizations during my conversation with Deej and I’m one step closer to accepting part of my sexuality. That is a wonderful thing! Now if only I could hold on to this good feeling tomorrow morning.