ChoiceWords Blog

Posts By: Guest Blogger

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 »

How to Be an LGBTQ Ally (Without Being a Jerk)

As the month of June comes to an end, I took a moment to think about what I did this month to celebrate Pride, a month dedicated to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, and I did what allies to the LGBTQ community sometimes fail to do: I took a seat. Pride Month was established in 1995 as a month to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, which was a tipping point in the Gay Liberation Movement. It’s a time where friends, families, organizations and institutions nationwide take a moment to recognize the impact that LGBTQ individuals have had on our history. It is not however an opportunity for straight people to hook-up, contrary to what thoughtless and offensive articles might say. Earlier this month, the website Brightest Young Things… Read more »

Dating Violence, LGBTQ Youth, & Reproductive Justice

Responding to dating violence among LGBTQ youth should be a reproductive justice priority. Not only do LGBTQ young people experience higher rates of relationship violence than their peers, they also face unique obstacles in trying to get help. These realities put young people’s sexual and reproductive health at risk. In standing up for youth health and rights, we need demand prevention efforts—including comprehensive sex education—that are LGBTQ-inclusive, respect young people’s relationships, and empower them with the information they need to make healthy and responsible decisions.

Celebrating Resistance and Diversity

I kicked off my pride celebration early in Washington, DC during Memorial Day Weekend. It was DC’s annual Black Pride weekend and I had a great time being in the company of so many other people who identified as black, queer, and female. But even in the relative isolation of those parties and events, our existence was not homogeneous. With the Defense of Marriage Act defeated last year, and states across the country challenging their same-sex marriage bans in a domino effect it’s safe to say that there is definitely a culture shift happening in the United States when it comes to same-sex couples. But many of us know that marriage is not the sole issue facing our community. While movements are carrying on across the country for racial justice,… Read more »

My Journey To Reproductive Rights, Freedom and Justice

I am a bit of a unicorn. Let me explain what I mean by that. I am a 22-year-old multi-racial, Army National Guard veteran, college student, social justice policy nerd and advocate who is a moderate Democrat from a working class background in a fairly red state in the south: North Carolina. A state becoming more and more infamous by the minute for a legislator continuing to try to roll back the clock and time on reproductive rights and freedoms. I am also queer, someone who identifies as Tranmasculine and whose gender can best be summed up with the term “boi” (although I don’t think there is one word that can truly sum up my gender). Additionally I am Catholic, and my faith is something that is important to me… Read more »

Sexual Harassment in the Lives of Working Students

by Moira Bowman, Deputy Director, Forward Together I saved up money to go to college by working in restaurants–and continued working at restaurants my first year of school. Some days I sat fancy people at fancy tables and served them fancy food and cocktails. Other days, I slung what felt like hundreds of plates of deep fried fish cozied up to big steak fries and counted the hours till I could shower off the coat of grease from my face and arms. I haven’t thought back on those experiences for many years–but recently my organization, Forward Together, began working on a research project in collaboration with Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) to look at experiences of sexual harassment and assault in the restaurant industry.  And I’ve been taken off guard at… Read more »