PSA: ‘Transgender’ Is Not A Sexual Orientation

Letter T - Magnolia Boxwelve minutes had passed. As I sat in the waiting room with the electronic intake forms (conveniently located on an iPad, inside of what appeared to be a dog-proof case), I began sinking further into the corner of the comfy leather couch. I yawned. It was too warm in this doctor’s office, and I was feeling sleepier by the second. I glanced at my phone. 8:45 a.m.

“I’ve been completing forms for 15 minutes,” I thought. “There’s nothing else left to cover.” 

As I continued straining to remember which family member — paternal grandmother, paternal grandfather, maternal grandmother, maternal grandfather — had which type of heart condition, cancer, or cholesterol, or thyroid problems, my name was finally called, as always, last name mispronounced.  Continue reading

Gun Violence: Blame Toxic Masculinity

Also published here at Medium. 

It’s not a “mental health” issue. It’s toxic masculinity. 

Friday, May 18, 2018, another school shooting happened – this time in Santa Fe, Texas, just three months after the Parkland, FL massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The death toll at Santa Fe High School in Texas was 10, with 10 others wounded. One of the most compelling moments in the wake of this tragedy was, for me at least, a statement made by this student at the 1:13 mark that was captured during interview:

The interviewer asks Paige Curry, a student at Santa Fe High School, “Was there a part of you that was like, this isn’t real; this would not happen in my school?” Without hesitation, she replies, “no, there wasn’t.” When asked “why so?” Paige simply answers, “its been happening everywhere. I’ve always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here, too… so, I don’t know. I wasn’t surprised, I was just scared.” 

I wasn’t surprised.

Let that sink in. Continue reading

That Time Trump Scared The Children And An Easter Bunny Mirrored All Of America

Image result for white house bunny 2018 with trump

Today, in a very bizarre speech before invited guests and media, Trump opened the FLOTUS’ annual White House Easter Egg Roll event by – once again – going rogue with his thoughts. Snarky commentary served up by yours truly… the effect of not having had coffee yet, and it being too early in the morning for my first day of spring break. Bonus: that White House Easter Bunny was a mirror, reflecting back the majority of Americans over the past 1 year, 72 days, 5 hours, 37 minutes, and  34 seconds…

The Torture Of College Application Season: Is It Worth It??

The college application process ain’t what it used to be. At least, it’s not what it was when I was first applying back in 1991. I knew this going in to the process with my oldest child applying last fall, but I didn’t realize exactly how competitive and how much of a cheating game it had become. I’ve been paying enough attention to know that colleges had been getting more and more competitive over the past five to eight years. But I quickly found out that even more recently, as more research has been released and more books on the subject published, many colleges have buckled down even more harshly with regard to admissions, to almost ridiculous proportions, prompting many current college and high school students to ask, “is it even worth it?”  Continue reading

Changing Our Social Landscape: The “New” Faces Of Trans & Genderqueer People

Also published at Medium

No, they’re not new per se. What’s new is how we’re seeing their faces more broadly, as symbolic sledgehammers of society, breaking down walls that have for decades stood in the way of authenticity.

Jacob TobiaJeffrey MarshHarry James HansonHunter SchaferCJCharlie. Get to know these (and hundreds more like them) as the lovely human beings they are. These gifted souls are Continue reading

Mr. Trump, Please Don’t Arm Our Teachers

Feb. 22, 2018 

As a proposed solution to the most recent mass shooting with an assault weapon obtained by a high school student, Trump has proposed that our teachers carry guns in school, and also thinks teachers should get a “bit of a bonus” to carry them. 

Mr. President. You think arming our teachers with guns is the solution. This is the most asinine argument ever. Have you actually spoken with any public school teachers about this? I don’t have a single teacher friend, ex-military/experienced shooter or not, who thinks this is even remotely close to being a good idea. 

Where I live, in my county alone, as of last year there were Continue reading

If I Hear The Circular Argument “Guns Don’t Kill People; People Kill People” One More Time, I’m Going To Get Sick

Originally published at Medium

Y - Calligraphy letter Y

 

all. Please stop debating whether guns kill people, or people kill people. The two are not mutually exclusive. Here’s the reality: People with guns kill people. We can’t just simply separate the two. The fact that this debate is still going on is like banging your head against the wall. Will common sense ever filter into this discussion? Your fellow Americans are grieving in overwhelming proportions of unimaginable pain, which most of us — God willing — may never know. Do we really need to argue semantics and philosophy here?  Continue reading

DeVos, Severino, And The “Religious Freedom” That Will Harm Our Most Vulnerable

A later version of this story published on Medium

Meet Mimi Lemay, an amazing Mom, trans youth advocate, and someone I’m proud to know through the wonders of technology. Mimi did this MSNBC interview in May, 2016, after the Obama era guidance was issued regarding transgender students in public schools. That guidance clarified how to best support transgender students in schools across the nation, in light of more trans students being “out.” Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student’s sex, including a student’s transgender status. The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released in 2016, under President Obama, joint guidance to help provide educators with the information they needed to ensure that all students could attend school in an environment free from sex discrimination, and that in no uncertain terms included transgender students.  Continue reading

There’s No ‘Right’ Way To Be Trans: 5 Things Parents Need To Know

“Insistent, persistent, and consistent.”

Parents of trans kids are typically familiar with this trinity of words; they’ve been considered the guiding principals in determining whether a child is actually transgender, or just going through some sort of phase. When parents rush to the internet, often frantically, searching for resources because their child is showing or telling them that they are different from their sex assigned at birth, the “insistent, persistent, and consistent” mantra shows up more often than not. Those words are the foremost, foundational concept that research regarding trans youth has built upon (considering not much research on trans youth – specifically, the Gender Affirmative Model – really became more available until around 2013). Continue reading

Holiday Letter 2017

Another Christmas has come and gone – this one so quick I’m left dizzy in its aftermath. Didn’t finish the Christmas baking. Didn’t finish the cleaning and reorganizing I’d hoped to accomplish. Didn’t do any writing, as planned, with a solid week off from work. But now, I’m taking a moment to sit down and attempt to catch up at least a little, before I take my daughter to the threshold of hell the mall to spend her Christmas gift cards. Continue reading