6 Ways to Have a More Trans-Inclusive Wedding

6 Ways to Have a More Trans-Inclusive Wedding

Trans people have always existed and will always exist regardless of official documentation. Full stop. So what can you do to make your wedding more welcoming to your trans and gender nonconforming guests?

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4 Tactics For Keeping the Family Peace at Your Interpolitical Wedding

4 Tactics For Keeping the Family Peace at Your Interpolitical Wedding

Whether we want to admit it or not, we have family with all kinds of political stripes and strife. How do you plan an event with them in mind? Welcome to your official guide on planning an interpolitical wedding!

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Et tu, Aziz?

Et tu, Aziz?

When men are socialized from a very young age to seek sex from women and to be the sexual pursuers and initiators, while women are socialized to withhold sex, to flirt, and to read and react to others’ desires, this is a recipe for a rape culture. Make no mistake, based on the woman’s account Aziz was without a doubt sexually coercive, and we believe her and stand with her. But my point here is that a degree of sexual coercion is highly normalized in our culture as romantic, flirtatious, and even a form of foreplay.

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Tulle & Fury // Deteriorating Mental Health and Entrepeneurship

Tulle & Fury // Deteriorating Mental Health and Entrepeneurship

Three months ago I started to feel depressed; you know the kind of slow dread that works its ways into your bones? That was me. I finally recognized the culprits, so I stopped checking the headlines first thing in the morning, I took Facebook and other social media apps off of my phone, and something spectacular happened because of it. I felt better. I liked getting up in the morning. I didn’t feel the creeping anxiety of wondering who else was going to lose rights, livelihoods, or lives that day. Ignorance was freaking bliss. The world didn’t stop. Shitty things kept happening, but I stopped finding out about them.

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Adapting to the Ordinary // For Better or Worse: The Reality of America’s Safety Net Programs for Married Couples with Disabilities

Adapting to the Ordinary // For Better or Worse: The Reality of America’s Safety Net Programs for Married Couples with Disabilities

The marriage penalty also affects non-disabled couples too. If you or a spouse become disabled while married, a couple must spend-down their assets in order to have the government provide basic needs indefinitely. Financial situations can be so dire, couples pursue divorce just to qualify, allowing the abled-bodied spouse to keep some of their assets. Divorce is a reality that no one should have to face because they got injured or sick.

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Tulle & Fury // Should Wedding Professionals Consider Active Shooter Training?

Tulle & Fury // Should Wedding Professionals Consider Active Shooter Training?

I’m sure a morbid game of Six Degrees of Trigger Separation could be played by every person in this country. How close have we been to death? How close have we been to being in that congregation, or at that concert, or in the sights of a killer? We mourn for a few news cycles. We run stories about the shooter and his family. We scrutinize the details of the day. We ask how this could happen in a year in which it’s already happened 376 other times. We watch analysts and pundits debate every point except the one that matters. We hold vigils instead of being vigilant about preventing another tragedy. It doesn’t have to happen but it does and it will.

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Kin Aesthetics // Love, Communication, and Relationship as Responses to the Church of Social Justice

Kin Aesthetics // Love, Communication, and Relationship as Responses to the Church of Social Justice

I recently released a personal essay on my experiences being within American leftist activist culture that went viral, reaching over half a million people worldwide. In it, I expanded upon the ways in which social justice culture, with its rich and enduring legacy of resistance to oppression, has largely devolved into operating on dogmatic terms. After I wrote it, I almost did not publish it or share it within my circles. I felt preemptively queasy when considering the backlash that inevitably comes after voicing an unpopular view or pushing back on the status quo in leftist spaces. How could I disrupt knee-jerk hypercriticality by placing myself squarely in front of its firing squad? Wouldn’t that be a social suicide mission? But based on the overwhelming, emotional responses from readers about the essay’s resonance, this internal struggle appears to be a widespread issue in leftist and progressive communities that desperately needs be addressed.

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Debunking Bigotry // What the End of DACA Means for 800,000 Americans

Debunking Bigotry // What the End of DACA Means for 800,000 Americans

As I currently watch my city of Portland engulfed in smoke and ash from the Eagle Creek Fires and observe the Harvey death toll rise, I am reminded that we still have the most menacing man in office, as he declares an end to a program dedicated for children of immigrants. He truly just wants to watch the world burn. He throws DACA into the mix like gasoline, and we are left to figure out the rest.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a program initiated by the Obama administration, which started in 2012. It grants a renewable two year protection from deportation and gives a work permit to anyone who entered the U.S. as a minor (called Dreamers.) Usually we hear some alt-facts, some fear tactics, and a weird justification thrown into the mix for one of Trump's usual antics, but this time, it's almost as if they have nothing to say. 

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Debunking Bigotry // Trump's Response to Events in Charlottesville and What Really Happened

Debunking Bigotry // Trump's Response to Events in Charlottesville and What Really Happened

Trump's Tuesday press conference demonstrated not only complacency in white supremacy, but also support of these acts. I sat in horror and disbelief as I watched the president of the United States condemn the "alt-left," a made-up term for those fighting for human rights and against white supremacy. I watched him talk over reporters, shout at people, and go completely off teleprompter. But really, were any of us surprised?

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Debunking Bigotry // The Trans Military Ban

Debunking Bigotry // The Trans Military Ban

Besides waking up on Wednesday to the news that our five-time draft dodger and commander-in-chief cowardly went to Twitter to announce his position to ban transgender individuals from the military, a lot of us also woke up to gross misinformation from our colleagues, friends, and family. I decided to debunk some of the claims that have been made in defense of Trump’s decision in hopes that the next time you or someone you love is confronted with these excuses you will be able to shut them down.

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Kin Aesthetics // Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice

Kin Aesthetics // Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice

There is a particularly aggressive strand of social justice activism weaving in and out of my Seattle community that has troubled me, silenced my loved ones, and turned away potential allies. I believe in justice. I believe in liberation. I believe it is our duty to obliterate white supremacy, anti-blackness, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, and imperialism. And I also believe there should be openness around the tactics we use and ways our commitments are manifested. Beliefs and actions are too often conflated with each other, yet questioning the latter does not renege the former. As a Cultural Studies scholar, I am interested in the ways that culture does the work of power. What then, is the culture of activism, and in what ways are activists restrained by it? To be clear, I’m only one person who doesn’t know everything, and I’m open to revisions and learning. But as someone who has spent the last decade recovering from a forced conversion to evangelical Christianity, I’m seeing a disturbing parallel between religion and activism in the presence of dogma:

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Autostraddle Stories // Self-Care is Political Warfare

Autostraddle Stories // Self-Care is Political Warfare

Just over a year ago, I finished a senior undergraduate honors thesis about self-care as an anti-capitalist act. As part of my thesis, I created and released a zine version of my outlined arguments, written in first person, with stories of my own experiences with depression as an activist. Ever since then, friends and acquaintances have looked to me as some sort of self-care expert, as though I must have it all figured out—after all, I spent a year spending about 50% of my waking hours thinking about self-care, didn’t I? Unfortunately, one of the (ironic) results of releasing this zine was that I now have difficulty being as honest about my mental health as I was before.

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The Elephant in the Room: Why Is No One Talking about How Hot Jon Ossoff Is?

The Elephant in the Room: Why Is No One Talking about How Hot Jon Ossoff Is?

Everybody is talking about buzzy, young, upstart Jonathan Ossoff. The 30-year-old Democrat narrowly missed winning in a Republican-dominated Atlanta district Wednesday and will take on Republican Karen Handel in a June face-off.

But there’s an elephant in the room. A big one. A sexy one. A big, sexy elephant. And nobody is saying it so I will: 

Everybody is talking about buzzy, young, upstart Jonathan Ossoff. The 30-year-old Democrat narrowly missed winning in a Republican-dominated Atlanta district Wednesday and will take on Republican Karen Handel in a June face-off.

But there’s an elephant in the room. A big one. A sexy one. A big, sexy elephant. And nobody is saying it so I will: Jon Ossoff is smoking hot.

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Let Me Ruin This For You // How PepsiCo Failed to Properly Exploit a Movement for Money

Let Me Ruin This For You // How PepsiCo Failed to Properly Exploit a Movement for Money

There’s probably a Pepsi executive out there right now, shaking his head over a half-full decanter, wondering how such a dependable method of advertising failed him. Maybe he’s sitting in a dark room, projecting a YouTube compilation of the 2017 Super Bowl commercials onto the wall, thinking to himself, “What about Budweiser’s pro-immigration commercial? What about Coke’s anti-wall spot? Have we not made it clear that we too stand with the youths? We also believe in music and conversations and hijabs!”

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Kin Aesthetics // Queer Kinship in a Trump Dystopia

Kin Aesthetics // Queer Kinship in a Trump Dystopia

When I began identifying publicly as queer and entered the local queer community, my dream of having an instant family never quite materialized. I pushed myself to go out to house parties, bars, poetry readings, marches, workshops, all geared towards LGBTQ folks. In those spaces and in every interaction, I learned so much about the culture of queerness and the specific politics that define queerness beyond sexuality or gender.

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No Ban No Wall Protest in Manhattan: Zig Metzler

No Ban No Wall Protest in Manhattan: Zig Metzler

This protest was diverse. People of all ages and nationalities were in attendance: lots of families, a pleasant amount of dogs, and one wonderful woman offering free coffee from several jugs donated from cafes all around the city. One thing I can say is that in contrast to the Women's March where it felt like people gearing up to show our numbers to one another, is that people are getting angrier. Not towards one another, as I saw so many strangers smiling, talking, and happily sharing their Sunday together. But towards what is happening. 

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The Women's March on Washington: Kanayo Adibe

The Women's March on Washington: Kanayo Adibe

Kanayo Adibe is a DC photographer who attended the Women's March this past weekend, and this is the march through his eyes: "How do I explain this experience? 3-hour long queues for metro passes, delayed trains, full parking lots and garages, streets packed with people like sardines, but most importantly UNITY. It was an overwhelming experience; to see sooo many people come together for a single cause was mind-blowing. We should do this more often; the world would be a better place. Here are a few highlights of the day from my eyes."

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The Official Bachelor Blog of Trump's America: Week Four

The Official Bachelor Blog of Trump's America: Week Four

Welcome back to The Bachelor, the show that takes place in the United States of America and definitely not in a country where each year 30 children are asked to murder each other for The People’s entertainment until only one is left standing. That being said, Happy Belated Day of Patriotic Devotion. I hope you all spent it immersed in a bathtub full of vodka listening to your favorite acapella version of God Bless America on repeat.  

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