My gender story as a non-binary queer woman

I was different because the body that was developing wasn’t the body I identified with. But, as a teenager in the late 90s and early 2000s, I didn’t have the words to articulate my feelings. I didn’t even have the skills to acknowledge my feelings. I just knew that I felt uncomfortable, that something was “wrong,” but I didn’t know what or why. It wasn’t until my first year of college when I began to find more words for my strong discomfort.

Trusting Your Own Authority & Intuition

Not only do we need to change the structures outside of ourselves and outward oppression, but also inward oppression, the unhealthy and unsupportive thoughts and beliefs we have latched onto about ourselves that aren’t actually a part of who we truly are. The more we hold onto internalized oppressive beliefs, the less we truly are ourselves, and therefore the less connected we are to our intuition.

How Internalized Oppression Plays A Big Role In Our "Core" & "Limiting" Beliefs

The personal growth world tells us that we have “core” beliefs or “limiting” beliefs that hold us back from being ourselves and doing what we want in life, and that these beliefs come from ourselves. They might tell us that we have learned some of these beliefs from our parents or families growing up, but, they fail to recognize another root cause of our negative “core/limiting” beliefs, which is societal oppression. This is called internalized oppression.

We Need To Include Sex Workers In Feminism

We talk about intersectionality including race, disability, sexuality, gender, class, and what about sex workers who fit into these intersections of oppression? Why are sex workers left out of the conversation around feminism and the fight for social justice?

Sex workers have been and are invisibilized. If we truly want to be intersectional and inclusive, we must undo this stigma, and fight for the rights of sex workers as part of our feminism.

How To Not Go Back To Business As Usual

What I mean by “back to business as usual” includes businesses (big, small, and individual, self-employed folks) continuing to sell themselves without acknowledging the dire political climate that we’re in, as well as folks “moving on” with their lives as if everything is going to be okay or they’re not affected by this mess. Everyone is affected by this mess, and some people have more privilege than others that will help them in certain ways. For the most privileged, going back to business as usual may seem like the most natural thing because they’re not as worried about their livelihood being affected. However, some or many of their clients, customers, friends, family, neighbors, co-workers (in other words, fellow citizens) might be, and already ARE, really affected by what is going on politically, and that needs to be addressed.

Make Her Whole: 3 Tips on Crafting Women in Romance Writing

I’ll just put it out there: I love creating women characters.  If there’s one thing I like more than writing strong & bold women, it’s reading about them. From Janie Crawford to Isadora Wing, I marvel at them.  I’ve walked away from books by my favorite authors - Erica Jong, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, and Judy Blume among them – feeling fuller for having followed the pages of their journey.

Masculinity, Divorce and Loving Yourself

Men are expected to be stoic and thick skinned, that's not me. I cry watching a rom com or an anime. Hell, I cry because it's Tuesday. All my life I have been told that a fundamental part of my character and personality was a flaw. It's always been strange to me that the problem was me caring too much, not that they didn't care at all. A lot of my thoughts on being an emotional man go back to one undeniable truth

My Year of Living Nomadically: Following My Intuition & Trusting The Unknown

I’ve been on a big adventure since I packed up my car to the rim with my stuff and left my home in the Bay Area and my fitness career behind at the beginning of 2016. It’s something I’ve been quiet about online (only friends and family have known), but I want to open up about how I’ve been living in order to tell my story, and in case it will be of help to you in any way. 

While I chose to live nomadically, I did it randomly without any kind of plan or savings or income to support me. At first sight, it seemed as though I had stumbled upon it, but upon further reflection, it was something that I had been creating for years.

Ways Feminists Can Give During The Holidays

When you’re give to others, your brain actually acts in a similar way to when you’re eating chocolate or having sex. In this study, they found that human brains are actually built to be more generous than selfish. Humans often feel better when they give in a way that feels good to them. As feminists, it’s important that we truly give from our hearts and with what’s in alignment with our values. It’s important that we put our money where our mouth is, and support marginalized folks. It’s essential that we give to ourselves during the holidays as well. This post will help you give in non-traditional ways that are in alignment with your feminist values.

Support POC Podcasts!

In the aftermath of the United States’ 2016 presidential election, many white Americans are asking how a candidate so inexorably tied to white supremacy was able to secure a seat as the leader of the free world.

People of color in the United States, however, are somewhat less surprised. We’ve seen, felt, and suffered under white supremacy as long as we’ve been alive.

Discussions examining the conditions resulting in the President-elect’s ascension have largely been variations on a limited set of themes, and are often confined to the world of political machinery. Was it the relative political weakness of his opponent? The failure of mainstream media to do its job?

 

The Complexity Women Have With Their Body Hair

Women’s relationship to their body hair is complex. 

Women have been taught that it’s more acceptable to shave, and at the very least trim, their body hair whether it’s armpit hair, leg hair, pussy hair, nipple hair, or facial hair. These gender expectations run deep, and it’s no simple matter. From a young age, girls are taught to shave their pits and legs, and if they don’t, then they're usually subject to being made fun and feeling like they don’t fit in. Boys are told that their body hair is acceptable the way it is, and that it’s unacceptable for them to shave their pits and legs. Girls and boys are taught to expect girls and women to be practically free of body hair making it a norm that’s difficult to undo. But, is undoing this expectation in every woman’s interest?

Saying No Without Apology and Explanation

I’ll admit, I hate hearing the word “No,” but I respect it because it’s a big part of taking care of ourselves and owning our life. Our society teaches us to not say no, especially women. Women are taught to please and give to others, and to ask for things in the nicest way possible. We aren’t taught to get clear on what we want and need and ask for it without hesitation, apology, or explanation. Saying “No” is unfavorable, even taboo. But what if we just said “No” without any apology and expectation? It would probably bring most of us out of our comfort zone, but it would be refreshing and change the negative connotation around the word “No.”

Unapologetically Childfree & The Taboo Of Women Who Don't Like Children

You know when you’re a little kid and the sight of a baby gets you excited and the whole world stops? Yeah, me neither. I never had that experience growing up and I don’t have it as an adult. While my childhood friends would melt all over babies, raving about their cuteness and excited to babysit these little aliens, I was running far far away from anything goo goo ga ga. I wanted nothing to do with babies. Yes, I did play with baby dolls as a little kid, but the real babies freaked me out. They were All. Too. Real. And that reality never peaked my interest.

Why I Changed My Name

It seems that almost every time I tell someone I changed my name, the person I tell reveals to me that they never felt liked their given or that it fit them, which is why I'm writing this post. I'm also writing this post in order to challenge the patriarchal line, which conditions us to take a man's last name (whether it's our father's or our husband's).

How American Ninja Warrior Is Feminist

By now, you’ve probably seen the video of Jessie Graff become the first woman to complete stage one in the national Las Vegas finals. This was a long time coming as the show has been on for eight seasons, and it was nothing short of emotional. Graff’s run was a historical defeat for crushing gender stereotypes and revealing women’s strength, power, and capability. She’s become our new superhero! But, it’s important to note that she’s not superhuman

The Best Feminist Moments of the Rio Olympics

The Rio Olympics was an exciting one for women full of feminist moments. Unfortunately, there were plenty of anti-feminist moments where sexism was perpetuated and women's gender were being policed. But, women kicked ass, made history, and were just plain awesome! In case you missed any of the Olympic coverage, here's a recap of my favorite feminist moments.

Mira Joleigh, Life Coach & Social Justice Advocate on Being a Drag Queen, Radical Honesty, & How Being Your Complete Self is Good For Business

You can't ignore the hard things that are going on. It's, in fact, you're responsibility to talk about them, to raise awareness. So, the more I step into that, the more I feel empowered to share those things and break the silence because a lot of white people don't talk about race. We're programmed not to.

Actions White People Can Take To Confront Racism & Be In Greater Solidarity

Below is a list of actions we, as White folks, can take, and resources to use. Please share these with your friends, family, and peers so we can be in greater solidarity.

Get Educated And Educate

It is not the job of people of color to educate White people about racism just like it is not the job of women to educate men about sexism, so on and so forth. We need to educate ourselves and other White folks.

Pansexual Visibility & Undoing Heteronormativity

Pride was bittersweet this year. We are still devastated and grieving over the Orlando shooting of 50 people at Pulse, a LGBTQ night club, AND we continue to proudly celebrate who we are. The celebration of LGBTQ feels even more important with the violence that recently happened. Though greater strides have been made towards the acceptance of gay and queer people, we still have a long way towards changing perceptions, beliefs, and the safety of LGBTQ people. I want to acknowledge the intersections like race, gender, and disability that many gay or queer people experience. Thus, the fight towards more acceptance and safety of being queer or gay is also a fight to end all social oppressions.