Em-URGE-ing Voices


Age: 21

School: University of Kansas—Rock Chalk Jayhawk, y’all.

Major: English, Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, and Russian Minor

Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas

Favorite writer: Oh god this is too hard. I’ll do a top five. Brian Friel, Cristina Garcia, Chaim Potok, Gloria Anzaldua, Neil Gaiman, Harriet Mullen, Margaret Edson, Emily Bronte, Susan Stryker, Laurie Penny. Okay, so it’s a top ten, but what did you expect? Top five is too hard.

Favorite sex scene from a movie/TV/book: When Ayla and Jondalar get it on for the first time in The Valley of the Horses. Not only is it an enormous, late Stone Age adventure/empowering, romance lead by a badass female character with literally hundreds of pages of sexual tension oozing out the pages, but Ayla never’s gotten pleasure from sex before—so Jondalar makes it his mission to focus entirely on her having awesome orgasms. And it is AWESOME.

Hidden talent: I have an 85% accuracy rating when it comes to guessing where people bought their clothes. It’s been tested. By science.

Posts By: Katherine

Creating Change: Finally Feeling “Queer Enough”

The language I use to describe how I identify my space within the LGBT community changes day to day. Sometimes I call myself bi, sometimes queer, sometimes fluid (and sometimes, after some free Planned Parenthood Suite Cocktails at Creating Change, Queer Princess). However, a constant is that my identity is a non-monosexual one—meaning I’m not just attracted to one sex and/or gender.  And for a long time, in fact ever since I first got into queer politics and communities, I’ve often felt that I’m just not “queer enough.” Now, trust me—I am real queer here. Not that I should need to legitimize my queerness, but I’ve been attracted to/dated/slept with all kinds of people with kinds of bodies with all kinds of identities attached to their bodies: trans women, trans… Read more »

Creating Change 2014: We Need our Differences to Build Solidarity

I’m writing this post as I wait for my flight to take me back to Kansas City and away from Houston, Texas where I’ve just spent the last few days with a couple thousand other queermos, at the largest LGBT annual conference in the country. It’s only been a few days, but it’s been days full of non-stop policy appraisals, organizing, outfit planning, strategizing, educating, waiting in 15 deep Starbucks lines, challenging, affirming, networking, (and maybe the tiniest bit of having-a-good-time-ing). I’m beyond exhausted. But I’m also sad to be leaving. Being around 4,000 individuals dedicated to so many of your own progressive core values, especially as a Midwest gal stuck in bleeding red state, is thrilling. And especially as a super queer Midwest gal who spent nearly 19 of… Read more »

Kansas Legislators: Stop Playing Doctor and Start Growing Up

Kansas isn’t new the notion of politicians saying and doing ridiculous and inappropriate things when it concerns reproductive rights. Hell, just in the past few weeks since the new legislative session opened, we’ve already had our governor equate abortion to slavery and another representative claiming women over 50 don’t need gynecological services. But, last Wednesday, on the anniversary of Roe v Wade, Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook might have taken the cake when she orchestrated a sonogram during a meeting of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. Sen. Pilcher-Cook claimed that she was trying to “give committee members a science education on life within the womb,” but really what she was trying to was try to use an outlandish stunt to disrupt the proceedings for the day—as well as shame anyone… Read more »

Make Roe Real: Buffer Zones, and Drawing the Line Between Freedom of Speech and Violence

In the summer of 2012, I attended the Youth Organizing Policy Institute (YOPI) hosted by Planned Parenthood.  It was the first reproductive policy conference (or hell, first conference of ANY kind) I’d ever attended. I was excited and energized to get started on meeting other young people passionate about the same issues I was.  The conference itself was being held in Denver, inside the facilities of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains—a Planned Parenthood clinic that’s known for the anti-choice protesters that hang around outside it. The hotel where most conference goers stayed was right across the street from the clinic, so we were informed of how easy it’d be to walk to over to the conference. We were also warned about the anti-choice protesters we might encounter outside the… Read more »

Having the Reproductive Justice Talk with Your Parents

Most of my activist friends, myself included, have developed political values leaning far left than those of their parents possess and raised them with.   And, particularly when considering reproductive justice activism, this can cause rifts between you and your parents. I know it’s been a struggle for my red-state residing, devoutly Catholic parents, ever since I announced I was a big ol’ pro-choice queer feminist. Many of friends with not-so progressive parents just tend to shut that aspect of their life out in order to order tension and strife.  Unfortunately, depending on your parents, or your dependence on them, sometimes this might be necessary. However, I also think, while it’s hard, it’s also necessary to push those boundaries a bit and reside in uncomfortable spaces.

An Infectious Silence: Stigma and the Persistence of HIV Among Young People

Yesterday was World AIDS Day, and there were a great deal of new coverage documenting it—reports of how we’ve progressed since AIDS became a full-fledged epidemic in the 80s, how we’re still at risk, and how young people are still incredibly at risk. Forty percent of all global HIV transmissions are spread by those between the ages of 15 to 24, according the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and while some parts of the world are seeing decreases in the number of HIV infections every year, others are actually seeing an increase.

Some Words for the Man Who Told Me I Should Be Ashamed

The summer of 2012, I was a public affairs intern at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. I’d  just finished my freshman year, and two months before the plan had been to get a job as a barista back home, to live yearning endlessly for my college town, where even if it’s not perfect, is at least a place where the pro-choice bumper stickers don’t get scraped off my car. But somehow in my feminist awakening

Drinking, My Campus, and Sexual Assault: Or Why (Some) Men Don’t Care

A little over a week ago, an article by Al Jazeera featuring students from the University of Kansas—my campus—caused an uproar with my fellow student body members. Mostly because it features some dude-bros admitting that they actively eschew the notion of consent and use alcohol as an excuse to cover up assault. I could rehash the article, or link to the video that originally was featured with the article (and is now, apparently, gone from the website. Somebody has a wealthy lawyer in the family). But, I think I might just take the words right out of the bros’ mouths. A couple choice quotes: “There’s nights where we go out and we wake up and we are with a girl and we don’t remember anything from the night before, like,… Read more »

3 Ways to Improve Sex Positive Activism

I’m a pretty big fan of Sex Positivity, mostly because I’m a fan of people being able to have all the consensual sex they want to have, if they want to have it, and not be made to feel gross about it. Because unfortunately we’re caught in a strange tug-of-war, where we see sex tossed about in the media like glitter on a Lisa Frank folder, but in action, we shame individuals constantly for their sexual identities and desires. And even when we see sex constantly, few of those images of sex are particularly healthy ones. AND even if you do see a healthy navigation of sex in mass media, it’s probably between two white, able-bodied, straight cis people.

The Politics of Finding Yourself on the Page

The Toast did a lovely piece this week that filled my stomach with butterflies upon dizzying butterflies called “Annie on My Mind and the Books that Made us Gasp.” It’s one of those small gathering of words that quickens your breath a bit because you know these words somehow, even though this is the first time you’ve seen them in this particular order, by this particular author, on this particular day. It’s about finding your you-ness, in part or in whole, in the media, and the validation that comes with knowing you’re not alone. Or to quote the author and lovely editor —“where something said helplessly inside your chest ‘Oh, that’s me. That’s us, that’s us, that’s me, thank God, that’s us.’