ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Categorized: Pride

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 »

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 »

Why Are We Queering Reproductive Justice Anyway?

This is my first Pride Month as an out, bisexual woman of color. I am a year and change into a journey that started as a conversation with my boss about feminism and racial identity and claiming space and movement building and somehow circled around to me…possibly…liking…girls. And while I had confessed to occasional crushes or attractions to a few close friends over the years, it wasn’t until March of 2012 that I actually said these words out loud to someone in the context of who I am and not a temporary feeling or state of mind. The last year has been as exhilarating and terrifying and gratifying and painful as you’d expect. But as I told my friend Sarah over this past weekend, I don’t think I would have… Read more »