ChoiceWords Blog

Posts By: Guest Blogger

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 »

On Being Queer and Pregnant: How the LGBT Community Failed Me

Earlier this year, I shared my abortion story for the first time. Opening up about it felt hard because I had waited ten years — and also, because I’m queer. When I came out to my mom 12 years ago, queer wasn’t a word that we used. The language we use to describe sexual orientation has shifted so much since then, but at the time I identified as bisexual. Similar to now, bisexuality wasn’t perceived to be something that really existed. From a heterosexist perspective, bisexuality meant you were confused or going through a phase that would have a finite end. From a monosexist perspective, being bisexual ostracized you from the gay and lesbian community unless you could somehow prove that you were equally attracted to both sexes, an impossible… Read more »

How Being Queer Impacts my Reproductive Justice Work

People have always told me that I’m a bit weird, silly, or odd. When I was young and before I was out (even to myself), I remember feeling isolated and disconnected from other people. At the time, I couldn’t figure out how or why I was so different. Now, as an out, queer woman, I wear these words as a badge, because, I AM odd. And I know that this self acceptance has a lot to do with me being queer, and vice versa — I’m queird! (thank you Hartbeat for introducing me to that word). To me, being queer is so much more than a sexual identity. I personally identify most with the term queer because it best represents who I am attracted to–men, women, femmes, dykes, genderqueer folks,… Read more »

We Make the Road By Walking: Trans-inclusive Language and Reproductive Justice

When I think about the ways that queer & trans issues intersect with reproductive justice, I don’t even know where to start. To me, one seems an intricate part of the other; the entire time I’ve been doing reproductive justice work, sexual orientation and gender identity issues have been central components. How can we possibly be liberated as LGBTQ folks without reproductive justice? And how can we meaningfully say as a reproductive justice movement that we center the voices of the most marginalized members of our communities if we aren’t taking sexual orientation and gender identity into account? The beauty of the reproductive justice framework is that it makes room for this kind of intersectional advocacy, and now more than ever I’ve seen LGBTQ issues become a part of the… Read more »

What’s So Gay About RJ?

I have a photo of my grandmother on the bulletin board next to my desk. It’s a picture of her, taking a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt. The First Lady is riding in an open-air car, and my grandmother is leaning in, over the hood, for a close up. While we don’t know the story first-hand (because we only found the photo after she had died), we assume she was snapping the picture for the University of Idaho newspaper, where she worked as a reporter while in school. Both of my grandmothers went to college. Neither of my grandfathers did. Feminism, it seems, runs in the family. It’s June and it’s pride month and at Choice USA we are celebrating – highlighting some of the amazing work that our chapters and… Read more »

Queer Representation in Sex Education

“We’re not supposed to do it until marriage, okay?” I repeated. “But what if we’re not allowed to get married? Like me. How long am I supposed to wait?” Chad muttered, “Until the cows come home. Mooo.” I spun around and flipped him the bird. Chad held up his hands defensively. Errasco ignored us and erased the board. “I’m serious, Mrs. Errasco. How does this abstinence theory apply to us? Are we never supposed to have sex? Ever?” She set the eraser in the chalk tray and faced front. The atmosphere in the room shifted. Desks creaked. A pencil broke. Minds? Did they shake loose? Doubtful. “Well, Aimee.” Errasco’s eyes lit on me. “I guess that’s between you and your god”’ (from Julie Anne Peters’ “Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow… Read more »