Month: May 2014

Our Voices blog

The Loss of Family

I was sad all day yesterday. It was only in the moment of hearing the news of Dr. Maya Angelou’s death that I realized how much her living had meant to me. I never met Dr. Angelou, but like so many of us, when we heard this news, I felt like I had lost a beloved sister, aunt, neighbor, or mentor. I was 13 when I read “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” I was in 8th grade in Ogden, Utah. I was white and Mormon in my overwhelmingly white and Mormon public school. I had nothing in...


Maggie, Michael, Marriage, Memory, and Where Our Movement Goes Next

The column was not exactly as advertised. This week, I finally got around to reading the blog posted on May 1 by ardent same-sex marriage foe Maggie Gallagher. A number of sources had described the blog variously as her abandoning the fight or conceding failure, noting this passage: “Hiding or pretending is not going to help us, now. We have to face the truth. And we have to find the love at its heart. And we will have to do new things, not simply do what failed, over and over again, harder.”...


The Women of Texas: Part 1 of a Series

Later this week, I’m traveling to my home state of Texas, inspired in part by a report detailing the harsh realities facing Latinas in the Lower Rio Grande Valley: Nuestra Voz, Nuestra Salud Nuestro Texas: The Fight for Women’s Reproductive Health in the Rio Grande Valley. Written by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the report details the shocking human rights abuses suffered daily by women in the Rio Grande Valley. From...


Michael Sam is Achieving Greatness

The news that Michael Sam had been drafted by the St. Louis Rams late on Saturday, becoming the first openly gay athlete in the NFL, was met with two very different reactions in my house. While I was overcome with pride and emotion at this historic moment, my two sixteen-year-old daughters—one a rock climber and one a water polo player—simply yelled, “Yes!” when they heard, and moved on to the rest of their day. Our two very different reactions are possibly the most perfect metaphor for the...


Michael Sam Makes NFL History

Michael Sam made history today by becoming the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team. Standing in front of ESPN news cameras, Sam, an All-American defensive lineman from the University of Missouri, broke down in tears, hugging and kissing his boyfriend after hearing from St. Louis Rams’ coach Jeff Fisher: “You are a Ram. The wait is finally over.” In addition to adding some more talent to their roster, the Rams’ selection of Sam marks a turning point in the...


Title IX Protection of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students

On April 29, 2014, the United States Department of Education (DOE) released guidance that will have a significant impact on ongoing efforts to protect transgender and gender nonconforming students. The guidance, which focused on schools’ obligations to combat sexual assault on campus, explicitly recognized Title IX protects transgender students from discrimination. This is a great development that provides much-needed clarity around the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming students....


STD Awareness for LGBTQ Youth

April is National STD Awareness Month! STD, short for “sexually transmitted disease,” actually refers to a whole spectrum of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Unfortunately, there are quite a few myths about STDs, especially concerning how vulnerable the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) community is to contracting them. Three of the most dangerous myths are addressed below: Myth #1: Only gay men get HIV/AIDS. While HIV/AIDS has historically been more prevalent...


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