ChoiceWords Blog

Posts By: Guest Blogger

#RespectMyHustle: Trans Profiles in the Workplace

Name: Lourdes Ashley Hunter Pronouns: Goddess Queen Sister Career: Academic, Orator, Creator, Producer, Consultant. Executive Director,  Trans Women of Color Collective; B.A. Social Theory, Structure and Change with concentrations in Race, Class and Gender Studies, Executive Masters of Public Administration. What journey did you take to obtaining the job position you have currently? I’m originally from Detroit, Michigan.  My mom worked at Chrysler for about 20 years, and was active in the United Auto Workers Union and the the Black Church.  I grew up in a household that honored ancestors, culture, liberation work, community service, healing and restorative justice.   I can remember going to Union rallies, meetings, marches and protests with my mom as a very small child.  I have actively engaged in grassroots community organizing all of my life.  For about 10… Read more »

#RespectMyHustle: Trans Profiles in the Workplace

Across America we see LGBTQ folks tackling discrimination and expanding diversity in the workplace. Often times, that diversity only represents gays and lesbians, leaving out the trans community. It’s time to shine light on the varied careers of trans women and men who have made a way for themselves and their young counterparts. Public figures like Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, and Tiq Milan are an inspiration to trans folks, who have rarely seen themselves in the media. But we can’t be satisfied with spotlighting only a few successful people from the trans community. There are so many more brilliant trans professionals in everyday career fields who should be visible to trans youth, as well. Trans folks are actively showing resilience and success in business, and young people deserve to see… Read more »

Tackling LGBTQ Homelessness in America

Imagine that being who you are, is the reason you are homeless. Living your truth out loud is your crime and the consequence leaves you abandoned from family and shelter. Well, that sad reality is exactly the case for 40 percent of LGBTQ youth in America. Too often, when LGBTQ youth disclose and announce their sexuality or gender identity to their family members, the next step is being kicked out and becoming homeless. Although the majority of LGBTQ homelessness is tied to family reactions and issues, not all LGBTQ youth become homeless that way; over 20 percent comes from aging out of foster care programs. Not only is this an issue of family abandonment or negligent foster care systems, but LGBTQ homelessness is an attack on human rights and justice…. Read more »

Out on the Steps: Lessons Learned While #WaitingForLyle

The Supreme Court has always been my favorite branch of government. They get to wear cool robes. They’re all really smart. Their work has always seemed quasi-secretive yet life-changingly important. When I was told that part of my URGE intern duties would include waiting for the Whole Women’s Health decision on the steps of SCOTUS, I was thrilled. I was less thrilled when I spent two days on the steps #waitingforlyle in typical Washington, DC summer weather. There were more people there than I’d thought there would be, the majority of whom were anti-choice protestors, and the part of me that hates confrontation demanded to know why I had placed myself in this situation. I stood for a few hours, feeling less anxious as the crowd grew larger. I don’t… Read more »

My Premature Birth and Pro-Choice Activism Are Not at Odds

In my final semester of college, I had to make a film. With my degree in sight and 16 years of academic struggle and achievement behind me, I decided to make it about the people who made it all possible: my parents. I told the story of my parents’ decade-long struggle to have a child to the heads of the television and film department at my school, won a grant, and was on a flight home to surprise my parents in no time, camera in hand. After a few weeks’ work, I had this: I posted my little film online frequently, wanting my parents’ story to be seen, wanting to honor them, wanting to thank them. I imagine that pausing my usual stream of statuses and links about reproductive justice… Read more »

I Didn’t Love My Newborn

I didn’t love my newborn. I had loved him before he was born. Through the pregnancy complications, the month of bed rest, I had loved him. Feeling him kick, seeing my huge stomach sway with his movements whenever my husband spoke. Knowing he was there brought me comfort when I was afraid. I even loved him when he had a foot wedged in my rib, as he often did. But here he was, my baby, finally in my arms, and I didn’t love him. “This is not how I’m supposed to feel.” Nothing about my son’s entrance to the world happened the way I’d hoped. I’d planned for an unmedicated labor, complete with yoga balls and a jacuzzi tub. What I got, thanks to a terrible case of pre-eclampsia, was… Read more »

Let’s Talk About Sex and Disability

Please note this article uses the term “disabled person” rather than the person-first language of “person with a disability” to acknowledge how disabilities are not a result of one’s body, but disabilities are created by structural barriers that make it more difficult for folks with different bodies to navigate the world. Disabled people have sex. Disabled people sometimes have sex with able-bodied partners, sometimes with partners who are also disabled, and sometimes disabled people have sex with themselves. These statements are often shocking to the uninformed because many people do not think of disabled people as being interested in or capable of having sex. Some people’s ability to experience sexual pleasure may be altered by their impairment or disability; however, this is not often the case.  While there has been… Read more »

Abortion Funding is a Blessing

By Alyssah Roth, West Fund Co-Founder and President   “WHAT A BLESSING!” “Thank you so much! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!” “I don’t know what I would have done without you.” These are some of the things patients tell me when I tell them that the West Fund can help them pay for their abortion. I cannot begin to explain how rewarding and fulfilling it is to be able to alleviate the desperation in someone’s voice when they call us asking for help. Sometimes, patients tell me that I am the only person they can talk to about it. But I don’t do this work because it makes me feel good (although it helps) — it’s much bigger than that. I do it because I believe… Read more »

Thirty-eight Years Too Long: The Harm of the Hyde Amendment

By Ashton Brasher I keep consistent contact with a friend from my childhood. Over the past few years, her circumstances have become rather difficult. With a dependent child, a complicated romantic life, and living paycheck to paycheck with government assistance, her days are seldom easy. Recently, she approached me with some fears that she might be pregnant again. She immediately said she would want to explore abortion as an option. She felt her life circumstances simply could not support another child. I was humbled by her ability to make a hard decision not only for herself but for her family. A few moments later, a sad fact occurred to me. I asked her about her health insurance provider. My fears were realized when she told me she currently relies on… Read more »