ChoiceWords Blog

Posts By: Guest Blogger

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 »

What it means to be a “Man of Strength”

“Pray not for easy lives, pray to be stronger men.” President John F. Kennedy once said these famous words while the United States sat on the edge of nuclear war. Of course, at the time he was referring to strength in reference to national resolve and fortitude. In his gendered statement he was expressing desire for Americans to hold strong to national values of freedom and peaceful compromise. Our modern world is sitting on the edge of a very different type of abyss. This is one formed not by nuclear bombs, but by a culture that has been systematically damaging the way men and women interact for decades. This culture is one that is too tolerant of objectification and dehumanization of women. Evidence of this tolerance can be seen everywhere… Read more »

Making Reproductive Justice Truly Intersectional: Takeaways from #solidarityisforwhitewomen

Like many a Twitter addict, I spent a good part of last week tweeting about intersectionality (or the lack thereof) in feminist movement. The #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag started by the fabulous Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) has garnered outstanding coverage, including a great piece written by Kendall for The Guardian. #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen Creator, Mikki Kendal, Speaks About Women Of Color, Feminism (VIDEO) http://t.co/tkG447o03c — HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) August 13, 2013

19 Anti-Choice Stars and Counting: The Heartbeat Bill and the Duggar Family

What does the Heartbeat Bill of Ohio and the family of 19 Kids and Counting have in common? Recently, the parents of the family, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, were keynote speakers at a banquet for Faith2Action, a conservative, anti-choice group to help announce the Heartbeat bill. People have been surprised, asking: Why that family from 19 Kids and Counting? What most people don’t realize is that the stars of the hit reality TLC show 19 Kids and Counting are anti-choice stars. In fact, their entire show is almost entirely fueled by their anti-choice politics. Every aspect of their PR is created to perpetuate their message, making them stars in the conservative arena.

Huffington Post: Proudly Advocating for Love and Freedom

“Marriage and so many issues come down to the most basic freedoms: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Both of our movements seek to define, build, and celebrate a diversity of families. This includes the right to control what you do with your body, the agency to choose whom to love and be intimate with, the ability to decide how and when to build a family, and the power to build a community that reflects and protects these values. These are the building blocks of the LGBTQ movement, but also of the reproductive justice movement. Both of our movements hold true that those most personal decisions of love and sex and family should not be intruded upon by politics.” -Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian… Read more »

Queer Rights Are Reproductive Right Because Queer Folks Have Reproductive Systems

While interviewing for an internship at an LGBT non-profit last summer, I was asked, “I can tell that you’re very active in your community but you’ve mostly been working on abortion and women’s issues. So why do you want to work here?” I gave my interviewer the benefit of the doubt, but underwritten in his question was the idea that LGBT issues and reproductive justice issues are mutually exclusive, and that working on one set of issues would not qualify me to work on the other. I am fortunate in that I now work for an LGBT organization that understands the value of reproductive justice and my activism within that community. That interview was not the first or the last time I would be asked why LGBT folks should care… Read more »