She’s A Republican And I Support Her, Because This Was Never About Politics

Republished at HuffPost

Ana Navarro is a Republican strategist. Though she’s no stranger to political commentary on the news, she’s one of a a few handfuls of bold voices in the media who are willing to speak truth to power right now, regardless of potential consequences. Navarro voicing her dislike of Trump is nothing new, but the clip of her talking with Wolf Blitzer, where she accurately describes Trump and his Twitter Tantrums, was exactly what everyone in America was thinking that day when Trump’s latest Twitter diversion pulled attention from the actual newsworthy events of the day.

On June 29th we should’ve been Continue reading

Are Trans Women Really Women? Why Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Answer Matters

Ah, semantics. If ever there was a case for the importance of words and their intended, assumed, or literal meanings, it is this story. In case you haven’t yet heard, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a world-renowned, award-winning Nigerian author and feminist, was recently interviewed by Cathy Newman for the UK’s Channel 4 News and asked if she thought trans women were really women. Specifically, Ms. Newman asked, “…does it matter how you’ve arrived at being a woman – I mean, for example, if you’re a trans woman who grew up identifying as a man, who grew up enjoying the privileges of being a man, does that take away from becoming a woman? Are you any less of a real woman?” In short, Adichie’s answer was, “My feeling is trans women are trans women.”

Notice she didn’t say, “trans women are women.” (If you want to hear just the quote in question, skip to approx. the 2:44 mark).

Adichie went on to explain how if you’ve lived Continue reading

Misogyny: Do Americans Really Hate Women?

About two years ago, Target stores decided to make a radical, positive change in the way they marketed their toys, home, and entertainment departments. A news release announced they were “ditching” gender labels. They were going to accomplish this by doing away with gender suggestions on signs, as those seemed to be antiquated relics in a society that is ever growing upwards in its quest to understand, empathize with, and embrace the non-binary construct of gender. Continue reading

Make America Great Again: The Trouble With Rose Tinted Glasses

Some people are really good at remembering history accurately, with all of its scars and ugliness. Take middle school, for example. Most of us remember it well enough to know that we wouldn’t care to revisit that part of our lives ever again.

Some people are not so good at remembering the ugliness. Instead, some people are really good at romanticizing the past. This psychological phenomenon is a cognitive bias sometimes referred to as “rosy retrospection.” And actually, more of us than not are Continue reading

‘Gender Creative’ is Not the New ‘Hipster’

Republished at The Huffington Post

They’re everywhere. Gender non-conforming, gender diverse, gender variant people. From cisgender men wearing “man buns” to cisgender women dressing “dapper,” gender ambiguity seems to be the hipster thing now – especially among the Hollywood elite. Hipster culture via gender expression may have been living outwardly on the fringe for quite some time, but it wasn’t until about 2013 or so when gorgeous cis, hetero men my age like Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix became one with the love-it-or-hate-it “man bun” hairdo. Continue reading

Dear White People, Let’s Talk About Combating Racism

Republished at The Huffington Post

Dear White People,

I’ve debated for a while whether or not to even write what I’ve learned so far on racism, out of fear of taking up space in the racial justice movement when that space could’ve been better occupied by a person of color who actually lives the experience and is way better versed than someone like me. I don’t want to just be another white ally putting herself in the spotlight.

But the fact of the matter is I am a white person, I am a writer and educator, I have a small audience, and my white privilege was the major catalyst that has gotten me to this place. So that’s where I’m writing from – that place of privilege that has afforded me opportunities that other people don’t have, like being a contributor for Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Spoke/Red Tricycle, and Scary Mommy, to name a few. Make no mistake, people of color have been fighting to be heard for a long time. The experiences leading up to my getting published were because of white privilege, but my success in getting published happened overnight because Continue reading

Fishing in a Sea of Grief

A version of this was republished at The Huffington Post under the title: How I Chased My Gender Creative Child’s Bullies Away

I know there are people who don’t understand why, or don’t agree with the fact that my family is out & proud, advocating publicly for our youngest, gender creative child. That’s okay. They don’t need to understand or agree with us because it’s our family, and it’s what’s right for us, right now. But we know there are people who don’t understand (though they might, if they cared to simply ask us). And we know there are people who disagree (though they’re judging only what they can see on the surface, and are all too happy to tell us).

There could be many reasons. Maybe they don’t know that my son Charlie encouraged me to write more publicly about him, something beyond my little blog with 2 subscribers. I’d been keeping journals my entire life. I always loved writing, and called it my brain-purging; my therapy. My youngest child actually wanted his story told. Before I ever went public, he heard Continue reading

I Vow Not to Fill Social Media with Puppies and Kittens

The gauntlet has been thrown down: choruses of people on social media are writing that they can’t handle the negativity following this week’s election, and are requesting that their feeds only be filled with pictures of cute puppies and kittens.

Like Trump, I want to make a contract for my fellow Americans:

1.) I vow that I will not be filling Facebook with pictures of puppies and kittens – at least not anytime soon. Likewise, I vow that I will not post kumbaya statements talking about how Trump really does have America’s best interests at heart and how everyone should now come together and unite, despite the fact that he’s been tearing us apart for well over a year. 

2.) I vow that I will not normalize abuse. Ever. Everywhere I turn it seems people are normalizing a man who has spewed hatred, intolerance, bigotry, and fear, fear that is legitimate because the man literally bragged about committing sexual assault, how he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and still get elected, and stated he would break families apart. Continue reading

A Privileged White Person Saying Something

(originally published on The Huffington Post)

I am a privileged white woman. I know I’m going to make some people angry with my words. But I have to say something. In a world of finger pointing, a world where we need to be angry that black lives are being mercilessly taken every day, it’s time to acknowledge our white privilege and educate our kids about it. Several people have been anger ranting, or pleading with heavyhearted sorrow on social media. My friend Jessica Rotenberg summed the problem up best when she said, “for the record, police officers are lovely. This isn’t a police problem, teacher problem, or any other problem. It’s a human problem.” Continue reading