11/26/16

4725mag feminist commentary: standing with Planned Parenthood and anyone affected by the 2016 election


Like a lot of people, I was rocked to my core by the outcome of the recent election. A couple of weeks on, I still don't feel normal. But that is ok, I don't want to let go of that. Because if this ever does feel normal, I would've become desensitized to this situation. I would've accepted the madness and stopped caring about what actually makes sense to me in this world. And because of that, I never want to forget that November 9th feeling.

However, I did have to come to terms with the reality that the world did not stop turning that night. And despite the exhaustion, the desire to ignore the news, hibernate for a few years and blank out the world, realize that now is the time we actually have to find the energy, from somewhere, and get to work.


Part of my getting to work process entails a few things. One of which was having these pins made. All sales profits will go to Planned Parenthood, an indispensable, absolutely vital and under threat service in the political climate of today.

My aim here is that with your help I can turn an investment of a few hundred bucks into a couple of thousand bucks for Planned Parenthood. If we do this well, I'd love to do another run of pins with different designs and donate those profits across other pro-women, anti-bigotry, pro-earth and pro-immigrant organizations.

But first things fist, click here to help me make a solid donation to Planned Parenthood this holiday season and buy one (or a few) of these limited run pins.

XOXO,
Gemma.

11/17/16

4725mag travels: Hollywood Hills Hotel, Los Angeles

Join me for a cup of coffee and a story...

I used to hate Los Angeles.

The first time I visited LA, 10 or so years ago, I played in a band that opened up for a couple of much bigger bands at the House of Blues on Sunset Strip. We rolled in, hungover from our show the night before without much time to acclimate before having to soundcheck and quickly play.

The House of Blues has since shut down but I remember vividly it was at that show that I saw my first pair of IRL fake boobs; large, painful, curious looking and jarring to my early twenty-something self. Joel McHale was also at the show. That I was far less jarred by, and he even bought merch.


On the way home from the show, starving and tipsy (again) I needed to eat. I walked down Sunset until I hit a liquor store where I bought some snacks for the room I was sharing with my bandmates, our merch seller (I'm avoiding calling her a "merch girl" purposefully) and a friend of a friend who came to the show.

The merch slinger and said friend of a friend proceeded to loudly hook up with each other on the floor of our small, and over crowded, hotel room.

My outsider perception of people from LA being somewhat self absorbed, from the plastic surgery to the "I don't care if you hear me loudly hooking up with some girl I just met. On YOUR hotel room floor" had been notably fulfilled. It was safe to say I was eager to leave LA. To just get a good night of rest if nothing else.


Fast forward a decade or so and now, I love LA. 

As a M-F, 9-5 working woman, I have a newfound appreciation for the quick dose of escapism LA provides in just a short, cheap flight from OAK to LAX. A weekend of eternal summertime is just an hour away. I also love how insane and detached from reality LA is; simultaneously the birthplace and graveyard of dreaming big. And lastly, but not leastly, because of this absolutely falling apart in the next earthquake yet perfect little hotel nestled right in the Hollywood Hills.

Their pool is overlooked by Yamashiro restaurant - which has an insane history, FYI - with a view of Hollywood and a 600 year old pagoda (again, crazy history). I could spend my life at this secluded, under used pool.


The rooms are more studio apartment-esque. They are incredibly basic and could even be described as dreary, but they are always clean. I like to envision not having to work, yet somehow having the money to live, then buying and remodeling one of these apartments. 

My boyfriend and I would have to get rid of 98% of our stuff to live there, and we'd live this minimal life with tons of plants and I'd fill my days writing and taking photos... but yeah that ain't the case. So we just stay there once or twice a year. 

The balconies there are absolutely my favorite place on earth to have morning coffee. Overlooking DTLA, and looking up into Hollywood Hills feeling the sun on my bones.  


The lighting at this place is perfect. If I'm in LA I'm using these balconies as the back drop for my every IG. I'm obsessed with the sharp angles, shadows and the lines created by the sun hitting this building juxtaposed with the rolling landscape in which this home away from home is nestled. 

So, the point of this story? Yeah, there isn't really one. Just that I guess I'm getting a little older, less prone to snap judgement and I now have a big spot in my heart for LA. 


11/9/16

4725mag feminist commentary: a devastated citizen of planet earth


I have been up much of the night, sick to my stomach. Part awful pizza that was stress scoffed down for dinner, part the gut wrenching reality that Donald Trump has been elected as POTUS. I am British, months on I have still not really processed Brexit and what that taught me about how my home country has changed in the last 10 years that I've lived in the US. I am shocked and disturbed that I'm experiencing this same, stomach knotting disappointment at society twice within just a few months. 
I'm appalled, beyond appalled, that racism, xenophobia, sexism, misogyny, homophobia and a suffocating rejection of inclusion has become the norm for the world in which we live. I am at an impasse that America watched along at the toxic, mentally and emotionally ravaging last 18 months of this presidential campaign and that much of the voting US, the place I now call home, still felt that Trump was the right candidate for this job. It is deeply worrying that those who support Trump are now validated in their decision, united in their hatred and the message this screams out to the world. 

But this is not normal, none of this is. 

I am horrified to witness this mass vitriol and resentment as an adult woman in a way I've never before experienced, in a world that I naively assumed only moved forward, and didn't look back. I am mixed race, I am a woman and never before have I felt that either of these things mattered or held me back in anyway. I have a newly reinforced appreciation for how fortunate that makes me. However, in today's political climate, I am having a moment of weakness because this feels personal. Because this is a vote against people I love; against my mom, my sisters, my nieces, my friends, my friends daughters and my co-workers. It's a vote against women, against people of color and against any and all minorities. This scares me, and I can't deny that. I won't deny that. If I did, it would only down play and desensitize this absolutely unbelievable modern day segregation.

I believed, really believed, that he would be going away today. Off to develop, for personal financial gain, his news network to further whip up fear among those too ill informed, or lacking curiosity, to ever question him. However, that is not the case and I'm in utter shock. 

But, the sun is shining today. Birds are singing outside, flowers are blooming in my garden and life is going on around me. Life goes on and we move forward, away from this. 
So today I allow myself to lick my wounds, process my disbelief, eat saltines (damn pizza) and feel weepy. But, this shall pass. Under my shock and grief, I already feel the fire in my belly burning. Burning hotter than hell to fight the good fight in the best, most positive way I can by being the best example of a Nasty Woman I can be for my friends, my family, my friends kids and to always keep the bigger picture, the bigger vision in the forefront of my mind.

This is an undeniable, devastating set back, but hate will never win and despite how this feels right now, this will not defeat us.