History Has Its Eyes on You

Thomas. 20. Trans boy. Bi. Had a description but decided I didn't like it. Ask me about my ex that tried to make a literal tumblr callout post about me!

Last update
2021-06-14 04:59:37

    “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) is a 1991 piece by Felix Gonzalez-Torres in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. It’s a spilled pile of candy. 

    The pile of candy consists of commercially available, shiny wrapped confections. The physical form of the work changes depending on the way it is installed. The work ideally weighs 175 pounds (161 kg) at installation, which is the average body weight of an adult male. “Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) represents a specific body, that of Ross Laycock, Gonzalez-Torres’ partner who died of AIDS in 1991. This piece of art serves as an “allegorical portrait,” of Laycock’s life.

    Visitors are invited to take a piece of candy from the work. Gonzalez-Torres grew up Roman Catholic and taking candy is a symbolic act of communion, but instead of taking a piece of Christ, the participant partakes of the “sweetness” of Ross. As the patrons take candy, they are participants in the art. Each piece of candy consumed is like the illness that ate away at Ross’s body.  

    Multiple art museums around the world have installed this piece.


    Per Gonzalez-Torres’ parameters, it is up to the museum how often the pile is restocked, or whether it is restocked at all. Whether, instead, it is permitted to deplete to nothing. If the pile is replenished, it is metaphorically granting perpetual life to Ross.


    In 1991, public funding of the arts and public funding for AIDS research were both hot issues. HIV-positive male artists were being targeted for censorship. Part of the logic of “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) is you can’t censor free candy without looking ridiculous, and the ease of replicability of the piece in other museums makes it virtually indestructible.


    6.8.21. Minnesota

    A DHS/CBP pilot illegally intimidates protestors by flying a helicopter feet above protestors to create a dust storm and fear of collision. CBP in collaboration with Minnesota law enforcement are fighting protestors against Line 3 on behalf of the Canadian corporation Enbridge. Enbridge, with the support of U.S. armed forces, is attempting to build an oil pipeline through Anishinaabe/Ojibwe treaty land.

    Global capital is in collaboration with capitalist governments to exploit Indigenous people and land. This is not limited to the U.S. or Canada nor recent decades.


    This is it. This is what the pan label did to bisexual people.

    No matter how hard you all try to change the meaning of pansexuality, it will always stem out of misunderstanding bisexuality. It will always be the result of transphobia and a false belief that bisexuality is about being attracted to cis men and cis women. I hate this and I hate you all for forcing us to be ashamed of our identity.


    LGBT circles that are exclusively online and the mogai community were a damn mistake lmao. Amazing how an entire generation was set back by misinformation and ahistorical takes, 50 years of bisexual activism who?


    consider: teenagers aren’t apathetic about everything they’re just used to you shitting all over whatever they show excitement about


    Teen: *gets a job*

    “I GOT THE JOB!”

    Parents: Well, when I was your age, I already had 5 jobs and was supporting my family


    Teen: *gets all A’s*

    “I worked really hard!”

    Parents: Well, of course you did, this is the expectation, not a celebration.


    probably why so many teens take to social media where they can enthusiastically share their interests and achievements and get positive feedback that their parents never gave




    This hit hard


    I remember once, when I was in my early 20s, I was an afternoon supervisor at my job, and I worked with mostly teenagers, and the one day this one kid, who was like 15, was bored so I suggested he could clean out the fridge. He did and when he was done I said he did a good job.

    After that, this kid was cleaning out the fridge at least once a week, and I was like, “why are you always cleaning the fridge?” Like, I didn’t mind, but it seemed odd. And he said, “one time I cleaned the fridge and you said I did a good job. I wanted to make you proud of me again.”

    Literally, I changed the entire way I interacted with teenagers after that. I actually got a package of glitter stars and I would stick them on their nametags when they did a good job, and they loved it.

    My manager had commented on how hard these kids work and I said, “they’re starved for positive feedback. They go to school all day then come to work all evening and no one appreciates it because it’s expected of them, but they’re still kids. They need positive feedback from adults in their lives.”

    Like, everyone likes feeling appreciated. Everyone likes being complimented and having their efforts be noticed. Another coworker (who was a mother of teenage children), hated that I did this, and said they were too old to be rewarded with stickers, but like… it wasn’t about the stickers. The stickers were just a symbol that their effort was noticed and appreciated. I was just lucky that I learned this at a time when I was still young enough to remember what it was like to be a teenager. I was only 2 years out of highschool at that point and highschool is fucking hard. People forget this as they get older, but ask anyone and almost no one would ever want to go back and do it again, but they expect kids to suck it up because they’re young so they should be able to do school full time, plus homework, and work, and maintain a healthy social life, and sleep, and spend time with family, and do chores and help out at home, and worry about college and relationships and everything else, and then just get shit on all the time and treated like they’re lazy and entitled. And then they wonder why teenagers are apathetic.


    For a german exam I had to argue against an article that was essentially „kids these days, they don’t care about anything and are constantly on their phones“ and really it was the easiest essay I‘ve ever written.

    Teens don’t talk to adults bc adults only ask „so, how‘s school“ to then interrupt them two sentences in. And because they can’t engage in a conversation about buying houses and working in a bank. I would’ve loved to talk about philosophy and politics and history with family the way I did with friends and in class but because I was young no one took what I had to say seriously.

    And no, teens aren’t always on their phone. They’re on their phone when they’re bored. You think I‘m on social media when I‘m with my friends? When I‘m talking about something I‘m interested in?

    Maybe the reason kids are so distant and always on their phone during family parties and the like is because you‘re failing to engage and include them.


    Whoop there it is


    When you respect kids, they really respond and learn from you. But if you treat kids like “theyre just a kid, what do they know??” then you’ll never find out.


    As a Disneyland Cast Member, I’ll add my own experience onto this –

    Very frequently, when I first speak to a child while I’m at work, they’ll kind of withdraw and act uncomfortable and shy. Their parents will then rather frequently tell them to not be shy and try to coax them to talk to me – whenever that happens, I always, without fail, politely dissuade the parents from pressuring them.

    “I’m a stranger,” I’ll tell the kid’s parents. “I don’t blame them for not talking to me – if they were anywhere else, they’d have the right idea, to not immediately trust me.”

    I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen that same kid – simply after hearing their initial reaction being validated, instead of reproached – immediately open up to me after that. I also cannot tell you how many times that child and I would go on to start a friggin’ marathon conversation, and I got to hear all about how great their day was or what their favorite Disney movies were or what rides they liked and didn’t like or how much they like a certain Disney character or song…all from me validating that initial feeling and showing genuine interest in what they had to say.

    This isn’t just young children, either. I will always remember being positioned outside the Animation Academy one day and starting up a conversation with a young lady, perhaps 12 or 13, who joined the line with her father a full 25 minutes before the class was supposed to start. Now keep in mind, we do a drawing class every 30 minutes: there was no one else in line at that point, and no one else joined the girl and her father in line for a full fifteen minutes. So I could tell pretty quickly that this girl was very emotionally invested in getting a good spot for the drawing class: a conclusion all the more bolstered by the fact that she had a notebook under her arm. I asked her if she was an artist – she said yes, but seemed uncomfortable at the question, so I skipped even asking her if I could see her work, instead admitting that I myself wasn’t very good at art, but that I’m trying to get better and that I love the history of Disney animation. On the screens around us was video footage of different Disney concept art and animation reels, so I pointed one of them out (for Snow White) and asked if she knew the story behind the making of the movie. Upon confirming that she didn’t, I proceeded to get down on the floor so I could sit next to her and her father and dramatically tell the whole story of how “Uncle Walt” created the first full-length animated motion picture, even though everyone and their mother thought he was an idiot for even trying, and how the film ended up becoming the first Hollywood blockbuster. After the story was over, the girl’s father said that his daughter really wanted to be an animator when she grew up, and she finally felt comfortable enough to open her notebook and show me some of her artwork. It was wonderful! Every sketch had such character and you could tell how much work she put into it! And I could tell how much telling her that – and sharing that moment with her, where we got to connect over something we both really enjoyed – had meant. And after the class was over, she sought me out to show me what she and her father had drawn – and sure enough, hers was great! (Her father’s was too, really. XD)

    People, kids and teens included, love sharing what they love and how they feel with others. You just have to give them the chance to show it.




    I feel like I am obliged to add one more thing: don’t ever think that the kids wont feel your unspoken judgements cause they do!

    I felt always like a ‘problem’ in my family, until I was about sixteen, I got this teacher who was litterally the first to tell I was worthy. He changed my life up till this day.

    Also how do grown ups imagine how ‘we’ will ever learn to engage in conversations with adults properly if you don’t teach us?


    This post is



    I told one of my new coworkers (who is 26) that he was doing really well and that I was proud of him and his progress. I thought he was going to start crying for how quietly he said “really?”. 

    Positive feedback makes the biggest difference to everything.