Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Categorized: Kayla

Las Mujeres de Oaxaca

  Hospitals in Oaxaca, Mexico have received a lot of attention recently, and for all the wrong reasons. When local stations and photographers captured an image of an indigenous woman giving birth on the front lawn of a hospital that had turned her away they revealed what seems to be a persisting issue for the indigenous population of Mexico. According to activists in southern, rural Mexico this was not an isolated incident, with twenty reported cases, most occurring in Oaxaca.

The Non-Issue of “White Face”

A few days ago, singer, songwriter, and actor Nick Cannon took to Instagram to promote his upcoming album “White People Party Music” by donning a white persona he calls Conner Smallnut. While some fans thought Cannon’s impersonation was on point, others took to their keyboards in protest, claiming that Cannon’s actions were ignorant, racist, and hypocritical. As a black person I have to admit that I occasionally forget how easy white people seem to get their panties in a bunch over fear that they are being victimized by racism. It continues to boggle my mind that this is a true worry for many white people, because it’s so clear that these people do not grasp the concept of racism.

Body Shaming One Ad at a Time

While much of the country is still covered in snow and ice, here in the Sunshine State the temperatures are slowly on the rise. And with summer already looming in the distance, there is excitement as well as nervousness in the air. As people push the idea of “summer beach bodies,” a lot of heavier people, like myself, are much more keen to slip on t-shirt before we go swimming. I understand the fear. The fear of showing your body because you aren’t comfortable with it sometimes overshadows our desire to have fun doing things we enjoy. And we allow ourselves to become slaves of a mindset that tells us that only certain body types can wear this or that, and only certain body types are good enough to be… Read more »

2 Things I Learned About Sexism While in a Mental Hospital

In 2013, I had the very interesting experience of spending five days in a mental institution. I’ll be really upfront and say that it extremely different from what movies and TV make it out to be like. I mean, there wasn’t even a Native American trope to rip a sink out of the wall. But I did learn some really interesting things while in that hospital. I learned a lot about myself, and the causes I fight for. I learned a lot about how people see women in conjunction with mental wellness. And I learned that even though a bunch of people are in a mental hospital, some will still find time to be sexist dickbags. 2.) It’s Really Subtle (And It’s Everywhere) I was one of the younger patients…. Read more »

An Open Letter to White Queer People

In 1969, in the early hours of June 28th, in a small corner of New York City, police raided Stonewall Inn. It’s been close to fifty years since that day and a lot has been lost and convoluted to fit the more dominant discourse of queer activism. Now, I am not claiming to be an expert on the Stonewall riots in any way. But let me be clear about what I do know. I do know that a budding concept of trans* identities were coming to fruition in the late 1950s and 60s. And that a lot of these people, men, women, and non-binary, began their transitions through drag. And I do know that on June 28, 1969, it was a black drag queen that picked up the first brick and… Read more »

3 Things I Learned About My Vagina from Anti-Choice Politicians

The vagina, no matter whose body it’s attached to, is an impressive piece of technology. It’s sleek. Durable. Self-cleaning. Organic. It’s nature’s own pocket! But there is also so much more, so much that we don’t know. I mean vaginas are the real final frontier. They’re illusive and tricky little creatures. I mean, some fedora-wearing nice guys have never even seen one before. Crazy, right?

Creating Change: The Importance of Belonging

This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend Creating Change 2014, a conference hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in Houston, Texas. I must admit, I entered the conference with certain expectations created and based off of my experience with previous conferences. But my expectations were completely blown out of the water. Creating Change was more than I could have ever hoped for. It was a safe space. It was a place for activism. It was place to see people like myself and those different from me come together and embrace our similarities and celebrate our differences. Never in my life had I been able to be surrounded by other queer identifying people who looked like me. For someone in that position, seeing so many queer… Read more »

Make Roe Real: The Story of Gerri Santoro and Others

In 1964, an image of a young woman named Geraldine Santoro made history. Gerri, as she liked to be called, lived in Connecticut with her two children, recently separated from an abusive husband. After her separation she’d met a man named Clyde Dixon and began their extramarital affair in secret and eventually became pregnant by him. Gerri’s husband, Sam, had plans of visiting their daughters, and fearing for her life Gerri made a decision to terminate the pregnancy by any means possible. On June 8th in 1964, Gerri and Clyde checked into a hotel in Connecticut with the intention of doing the procedure themselves. When Clyde realized that Gerri was beginning to hemorrhage he fled, leaving Gerri to die alone, bloody, and in agony. Gerri’s body was found the next… Read more »

New Year, New Florida: Domestic Partnership on the Horizon

Over the past few years, the movement for LGBTQ equality has made some tremendous progress throughout the country. With the number of states that allow same-sex marriage nearly doubling in 2013, and the landmark decision of Windsor v. the United States this past summer, it’s hard to believe that the movement is still barreling forward with the same speed and determination. Before Christmas, State House Representative Linda Stewart introduced a state domestic partnership registry bill. This is huge! In Florida, where no protection for queer people exists on the state level, it’s been hard to watch such successes create waves throughout the country that continue to not touch me. But with this Stewart’s bill gaining support from other pro-equality politicians as well as the public, Florida’s disposition toward the queer… Read more »

Overweight Women Stuck with the Hope and Pray Contraceptive

It was just earlier this year that the emergency contraceptive Plan-B One Step became available for sale without a prescription. Commonly referred to as ‘The Morning After Pill’, Plan-B serves as a very important tool in empowering young people in their own sexual discourse. And as someone who has used Plan-B myself, it allows the user to feel comfortable and assured in themselves. Imagine my surprise, however, when two weeks ago I read that Norlevo, the European equivalent of Plan-B, has been found ineffective in women over 176 lbs. To say that I was upset is an understatement. The American Plan-B pill is chemically identical to Norvelo meaning that the pill I, myself, have used may not have been effective. I may have just gotten extremely lucky. Which isn’t something you… Read more »