One of the coolest things about being yourself? Your openness may invite others to confide in you their stories.
Transgender feelings followed me around since an early age. As I came out, I read autobiographies like Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness. That didn’t make me a PhD in gender identity struggles! I still had a lot to learn.
But because I was now visibly trans and a listener type, I was in for some casual education. Friends, family, and strangers on the web honored me with their gender-related confessions.
I learned just how diverse our experiences of gender are.
Many people feel an uneasiness around the death of animals for meat — it’s not just vegans and vegetarians. I recently read this eloquent story by a proud Greek-Italian meat lover, who still had difficulty watching slaughterhouse footage.
Still, in our culture it’s easy to feel absurd for caring about the death of animals. Eating meat is so widespread, and has been for so long, that most people simply view it as inevitable.
A common argument vegetarians and vegans run into is that avoiding meat goes against nature. After all, animals eat other animals. Why shouldn’t we? For some reason…
Last night I was feeling the tension. Okay, so that kind of tension too… but I’m talking about the tension between wanting to accept myself as a perfectly imperfect creation—and wanting to be realistic if there’s a Phoenix Huber design flaw I’d honestly be SO much better without.
I believe in sex-positivity, don’t I? Since we are sexual beings (most of us), we might as well have Pride. We ought to love our kinks, see beauty in our quirky tastes, and appreciate our unique styles of lavishing affection on others. I grew up with the idea sexuality was a terrible…
We should help those who are suffering.
Yeah, but which ones? Countless beings are in pain, everywhere. Must I give time to every sufferer who comes to my attention?
Let’s face it. “Turning away from suffering” is something we all have to do. I could type comments to every Facebook friend who is depressed or lost a loved one. But I turn away. Feeds give me a headache. Plus, I want to focus on other activities that could make a bigger impact than scrolling Facebook.
When does suffering require a response? Opinions differ. …
By confronting abuse—showing we won’t tolerate it—#MeToo spells a sex-positive future. Imagine everyone is free from the threat of unwanted contact. Picture us each enjoying a lifetime of happy, consenting relationships only!
But I had a difficulty with MeToo that may be familiar to you… it’s triggering. Much of the content I consumed left me feeling distant from that far-off sex-positive land. I was sad for survivors’ open wounds and delayed closure. Meanwhile, public controversies made me focus too much on the abusers. I despaired the bad paths they’d gone down, and their seeming lack of hope for redemption.
I often focus my human justice critiques on gender—since I have struggled in that area myself. I wrote Intersectional Feminism Rocks, BUT Here are 8 Points it Often Leaves Out: The secret essay this trans girl wrote when she felt suffociated by social justice.
Race is harder. Since I’m white and have silently benefited from it, how can I tell if my thoughts on race are rational?
Fragility and guilt could bias me to downplay how bad racism is. To not talk about it as often. …
There should come a day when abuse in relationships is rare, or nonexistent. Please, help me write something today that helps.
A friend recently reached out about a MeToo scandal in a community I’ve been a part of. Our community has been shaken by far too many MeToo tragedies, and it’s really upsetting. Fortunately, this friend is doing things to help, and they’re someone I’ve felt comfortable opening up to about my complex thoughts on social justice issues. In my email replies, I shared with the friend some of my MeToo movement confessions:
I always hope I could help others feel more normal by sharing my mental health confessions.
After all, normalization is exactly what I needed as a younger transgender girl. The stigma ran deep against my gender identity and the ways I wanted to express myself.
Before the transgender tipping point, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable writing this. Like being queer, trans identity was once classified as a mental disorder. I didn’t want to reinforce that association by talking about all the other, loosely related ways I’ve struggled inside.
I’ve often thought of animal species in a symbolic way. Probably from when I was 5 and I wished to be “fast as a cheetah” as I blew out those candles on my cake. In grade school, I had a phase of wanting everyone to call me Moose. Moose were introverted, like me, and impressive—like I pretended to be when I did leaps around the playground before falling on my bum.
It makes sense why people view nonhuman animals as being symbols. Most of them we glimpse but as mysteries from afar. That flock of geese in flight seem all…
Let’s imagine the English language was like Finnish. If it were, all of our pronouns would be gender-neutral. We would call everybody “they/them,” regardless of their sex or how they identify.
Example: Josephine loves birds. They are often rescuing injured pigeons. Raul, on the other hand, fosters puppies. At the moment they have a poodle named Flower.
Suppose one day Raul—who is particularly manly—says, “You know what? Don’t call me they/them anymore. Call me he/him. Being a guy is a core part of me. I’d like for that to be conveyed in my pronouns.”
But people think Raul is being…