ChoiceWords Blog

Caitlin

Age: 20 (21 Oct 31)
School: Texas State University
Major: Journalism, minor in Sociology
Hometown: El Paso, TX
Favorite writer: Chuck Palahniuk and Jodi Picoult
Favorite sex scene from a movie/TV/book: My favorite sex scene would have to be from the film Blue Valentine when Ryan Gosling performs cunnilangus on Michelle Williams. It was the first film I saw where a male character willingly and happily pleasured a woman like that.
Hidden talent: Always having tacos and lipstick in my bag.

Posts By: Caitlin

Gender, Just Like Sexuality, is a Spectrum

Last week I wrote about sexuality and how contrary to what we have been raised to believe, sexuality exists on a fluid spectrum. This week I’m going to talk about gender and how it too exists on a spectrum. In Western culture we were raised to understand that gender exists on a binary, male and female. It was explained that whatever genitals we have at birth are what determines our gender for the rest of our lives. However, I’ve come to learn that gender itself is a social construct and isn’t determined by our genitals but rather by our minds. Cisgender is the term given to those of us who identify mentally with the gender we were assigned at birth. Slowly our society has begun to become more accepting of… Read more »

The Importance of Acknowledging the Spectrum of Sexuality

Something that’s often hard for me to navigate as a queer person is the own intersections of my identity. When I was taught, or rather researched on my own, the different sexualities one could possess I came across an extremely binary interpretation of sexuality. Gay, bisexual, and straight were the three orientations that I understood to exist when I was initially doing my own self discovery, so naturally because I knew I was attracted to women I figured that meant I was gay. I figured that the physical attraction I had had for men in the past was merely me mimicking the sexualities of my friends in order to appear straight and fit into our heteronormative society. But now that I’ve grown in my knowledge I’ve learned that sexuality does not… Read more »

Take Back the Night at Texas State

This week I attended my first Take Back the Night event at my university. For those who aren’t familiar Take Back the Night is a national organization that serves to create safe communities and respectful relationships. They seek to end sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, sexual abuse. The way my university organized was with a march through campus that culminated with a spoken word open mic at our outside amphitheater. I got a couple of my friends together and we met up with the other organizations that were sponsoring it and decided to march. It was a little nerve-wracking just because it was the first time that I openly marched for anything on campus. I’m an anxious person so I usually choose to show my activism in different ways, but this… Read more »

The Bechdel Test for Music

You might be familiar with something used to critique the film industry called The Bechdel Test. In 1985 it was created by a cartoonist named Alison Bechdel as a way to measure female representation in films. The test has three easy parts, A film has to have at least two women in it They have to talk to each other They have to talk about something other than a man Seems simple enough? Amazingly however today still about half of films don’t pass the test. As the test remains a good starting point for critiquing our film consumption I wondered if the test could be applied to other fields as well, like television or music. Then I found an article written for Pitchfork by Paul de Revere that adopts the Bechdel Test… Read more »

Self Care Isn’t Only Bubble Baths and Hot Tea, Sometimes It’s Simpler

Self-care is a necessary part of life in order for people to stay healthy, rested, and well. Sometimes life can just get too hectic and it’s important to remember to take a step back and take care of ourselves. Especially in activist spaces we tend to be so focused on others that our own well being can easily get pushed aside. Luckily however there exists the concept of self-care. Before I was even introduced to the terminology a year or so ago that notion has always existed. And it can look a variety of different ways for different people. Self-care can look like taking quiet time to read a favorite book, taking a long warm shower,  or splurging on desert or a new piece of clothing. As the concept of… Read more »

The problem with Franco’s conversation between his “two sexualities”

Earlier this week I stumbled across an interesting interview with James Franco entitled “The straight James Franco talks to the gay James Franco.”  The title alone was enough to get me to click on the article and after reading the piece I was left with a lot of frustration to say the least. Franco was asked to do the interview by a relatively new magazine called FourTwoNine which according to the Kickstarter campaign that helped fund it in 2013, is magazine that covers “the latest news and innovations in technology, entertainment, design, media and politics, and showcases how LGBT people are living in the context of the larger world.” Sounds promising enough, but being that Franco’s article was the first I’d ever heard of the publication and considering how dissatisfied it left me I’m not feeling too… Read more »

5 Things I Learned From Lobbying at the Capitol

Yesterday I did something I wouldn’t have expected myself to do in a million years. I went to my Texas State Capitol and lobbied for a package of reproductive healthcare bills under the ‘Trust. Respect. Access.’ campaign. We had bills that addressed the need for comprehensive sex education in schools, to bills that addressed  the state-mandated 24-hour waiting period for abortions. But all the bills really simply fit into the platform of ‘Trust. Respect. Access.’ which means that we: Trust Texans to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions Respect the knowledge of healthcare professionals and their medical and ethical judgement about the care each patient needs. guarantee that everyone in Texas, if so chooses, gets Access to a safe, compassionate, and timely abortion. I learned so much from the training before… Read more »

Texas’ First Same-Sex Marriage: What Will Come Next?

Yesterday was a milestone day for Texans as the first same-sex marriage was performed in the Lone-Star State. It caused a lot of commotion (and rightfully so), however this does not mean that same-sex marriage is now legal in Texas. Seems a bit confusing right? Well it is, but let me break it down for you. Last February a U.S. district judge Orlando Garcia, ruled that the Texas ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. However, that was all that was ruled. Knowing his ruling would be appealed,  Garcia imposed a hold that prevented gays from immediately getting married until the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals would hear oral arguments. The 5th Circuit met on January 5, 2015 and heard from a 3-judge panel, but a decision is still yet to be… Read more »

Creating Change 2015 Reflections

Creating Change, the national conference on LGBTQ equality, had its 27th annual session last weekend in Denver, Colorado which I attended. It was the first time I had attended a conference of that magnitude and to say it was a little overwhelming would be an understatement. In three short days I was pushed in ways that I didn’t think were possible and I walked away with a new and refreshed outlook on not just the state of LGBTQ equality but also on the state of racial and reproductive justice in the United States. Hosted by the National LGBTQ Task Force the conference featured over 4000 activists, organizers, leaders, and students from all across the U.S. joined together for a four-day weekend of intense learning, growing, and networking. In addition to… Read more »