ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: identity

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 »

Can A Buzzfeed Quiz Really Determine Your Privilege?

“I consider myself to be physically attractive.” “I’ve always had cable.” “I have never been a victim of violence because of my race.” These questions are from a Buzzfeed quiz called “How Privileged are You?” The quiz asks you a series of questions related to your gender, race, income, and sexual orientation, and then rates whether you are “not very privilege” or “privileged.”  And I think that it’s complete bullshit. There’s no “quiz” you can take to determine your privilege or oppressions. Understanding who you are and your access to privilege, spaces, and resources is complex.

Masculinity and Queerness

The thing about “ideal masculinity” is that we will always fall short. I didn’t even stand a chance growing up, playing with my sisters’ Barbie dolls and gossiping with the girls during recess. I was also sexually attracted to other men, and although I wouldn’t claim the word gay until the age of 18, I knew that my attraction didn’t fit what a man should be. This tension between my masculinity and sexuality became the centerfold of a very arbitrary process concerning what I could and couldn’t do. I could think about men, I reasoned, as long as I didn’t date one or admit it out loud. Just as I could watch Disney movies, but not wear the color pink. Internalizing this impossible standard of masculinity, I didn’t have the… Read more »

NQAPIA: The Foreign Concept of Home

The biggest parts of my identity consist of being API, queer, and a sweet southern gentleman. Never in my life did I think these three communities could possibly come together. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA Southern Summit launched its first of five regional leadership conferences this weekend! Being from red states and located in the Bible belt, it was important to hear about the political momentum necessary to overcome being such a small community. For the first and only time in my life, I felt at home. Everyone says y’all and complains about the weather just the same and southern hospitality has never been more comforting than warm fried rice and catered Indian cuisine.

The Politics of Being a Tall Woman

My height is political. It has taken me too long to write that sentence. I am 5’11”, cisgender woman.  The “average” female in the US over 20 years old is 5’4”, while for males it’s 5’9 ½”. Therefore, I am a solid 7 inches taller than your average female. I also have big hands. Like, really big hands. I get comments literally all the time about them. They’re bigger than every boy I dated in high school’s hands. They’re almost as big as my dad’s, and he’s 6’4”.  I don’t know how to hide them. I remember when I was 14, I was a fan of those hoodies with holes in the sleeves, because I wanted to hide my hands so badly. Man hands is a phrase that was all… Read more »

Bodily Autonomy and Red Lipstick: On Being Femme, and Reclaiming our Bodies

I own 13 shades of lipstick. I also have, according to my latest tally, 20 dresses, 16 skirts, 5 pairs of heels, and 18 pairs of earrings (and counting). I hardly ever wear sweats to class (minus finals week), I follow a number of fashion and beauty blogs, I rock a pretty rad wingtip on occasion, and I own maybe too much of various shades of pink. A fairly high feminine aesthetic, all around. I’m also super queer. Oh, and super feminist. And a dedicated reproductive justice advocate. And that’s highly tied to—not in spite of—my femme identity. Femme, if you’re not sure, is a queer gender performance that embraces much of what has been called “traditionally feminine”. Mascara, high heels, floral prints, and on, and on. Often femme women… 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 »

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: Uncomfortable in an Awesome Way

I don’t want to waste your time telling you all the logistics and happenings that went on during Creating Change 2013 – I want to share with you all about what it did for me and my journey. I want to give a huge shout out to Task Force for putting together such an amazing and inclusive gathering. Every time I attend a social justice conference I experience a level of personal, academic and spiritual growth. I believe that Creating Change took it to the next level. I have never been so uncomfortable and fulfilled at the same time. It’s hard to explain these feelings to members of a non-activist community because it’s a unique and challenging experience. It’s challenging because even with the best intentions it’s all too easy… Read more »