According to a recent report from The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), titled Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2012, trans women encounter disproportionate amounts of violence relative to cisgender women: “53.8% of  anti-LGBTQ homicide victims in 2012 were transgender women and 73.1% were people of color.”
To attain its ultimate goal of an equal rights amendment, the women’s movement must rise from a coalition of diverse communities. It must include and accept all women, cis and trans gender, to achieve endgame. So far, the victories won with the help of transgender women are extraordinarily impressive, especially for such a marginalized community.
rock on, ladies.
You go girls :)
You are an amazing human. There is nothing that will ever happen to you or that you can do to ever change that- ever. You are considerate, thoughtful and utterly perfect. Don’t let anyone, yourself included, tell you any different.
I just had to get that off my chest, first.
The truth is, having herpes can suck- and in the beginning, just the knowing, in and of itself, SUCKS. More than the symptoms, more than an actual expression, the knowing and the over-thinking is absolutely handsdown the worst part of the diagnoses. The feelings you are feeling? They are important and common and the mourning and sense of loss often needs to occur, but don’t let it linger.
Please read more here about Shame and Herpes and don’t just think of the bad things you bring to the table, think of all the amazing things that you have to offer. You are not a diagnosis, a series of letters attached irrevocably to your name. You are a complete, amazing and wonderful human with a fuckton to offer and anyone who can’t see past HSV simply isn’t meant to be with you.
As far as HSV goes, for some it can actually be a kind blessing in disguise, it sounds utterly counter-intuitive but hidden-albatross (one of many amazing herpes blogs on tumblr!) says it perfectly here:
- I take into consideration my daily activities and how it affects my health. As the saying goes, what you do everyday means a lot more than what you do once in awhile. Because herpes slightly suppresses one’s immune system and the likelihood of an expression increases when one is stressed, it is really important to keep in mind how I treat my body. What I eat, how much I exercise, how stressed out I am, etc. Before herpes, I never really paid much attention to my body; know I am a lot more aware of what is going on.
- My dating life is more well thought of. Usually when someone becomes diagnosed, their first consideration is the fact that no one will ever love them. That is not true. Definitely not true. If someone really loves you, they’ll accept you 100%. If it wasn’t for the herpes, I would have gladly stepped into a relationship even if I knew the guy was either bad for me or was a complete douche-bag. However now having herpes, I have to take into consideration someone else’s health. If this person is a good person, is logical when it comes to arguments and whether or not they’ll accept me after the fact.
- Herpes allowed me to accept the ideals that I thought were wrong. Before I was diagnosed, I had thought that only sluts/whores (which are terrible sexist terms by the way) had/got herpes. Of course, that is not true. The herpes simplex virus can be transmitted via physical touch, not just being intimate with an individual. It also allowed me to re-evaluate sexism in society and the lack of proper (health) education that individuals have. Herpes made me realize how inconsiderate and closed minded I was. Now, I am definitely a lot more accepting of others and willing to understand the irrational victim-blaming syndrome.
Now I’m not stating herpes is amazing and that everyone should get it just ‘cause. But I just wanted others to understand that herpes isn’t so bad. It really is all about acceptance, understanding and patience with one self.
Earthwindandherpes goes on to echo that sentiment and I’m here to tell you personally that past the initial devastation? Past the countless hours tracking the #herpes tag on tumblr and sobbing, or becoming enraged with every new ‘I hope you get herpes’ adage, I pressed on to become a happier healthier human and you will too.
Herpes makes you take better care of yourself and be more picky. It weeds out those who just want to fuck and fuck with you, for whom anyone would do, to those who truly love you as a whole and complete human and are willing to take that risk because you are 110% worth it.
For me and I think many others out there in tumblrland, HSV was the catalyst which initiated my love for safer sex and sex positivity for everyone. It can make you empathetic and hyper-aware of the devastating lack of good information out there and the misinformation floating around everywhere. Other people are talking about HSV for you, speaking from a place of fear or ignorance or a history of being lied to. You don’t have to let them speak for you.
There are so many myths about herpes.
One myth includes one of my favorites- lil baby things. And guess what? You can definitely have kids with an HSV diagnosis!
The fact is:
Many people living with herpes give birth to healthy babies. However, if you have herpes it is important for you to let your healthcare provider know so he or she can monitor you for symptoms. If at the time of your labor you have any sores on your cervix, vagina, or the skin around your vagina, or if you’re experiencing symptoms like tingling or burning, your provider will recommend a caesarean section to prevent transmission of the virus to your baby. If you don’t have any symptoms, you can safely have a vaginal delivery.
As far as medication goes.
I personally took a holistic/alternative medicine approach, but Planned Parenthood is AMAZING as well for anything from treatment to lydocaine shots to incredibly important emotional support as well.
Planned Parenthood Upper Hudson:
I’m under 18 and I don’t have insurance. Will I have to pay for my visit?
Most uninsured minors, and many students over 18, can use our health centers for free, either by qualifying for a no-pay rate on our fee-scale or by signing up for a free health insurance program here in our office. (Click here to read more about the program.) We can’t guarantee all services will be free in all cases, but we will do everything we can to make sure you can get the services you need.
I have insurance, but it’s through my parents. Will they find out about my visit?
Different insurance companies have different policies, but many send home an explanation of benefits (EOB) that list visit details. The best way to know for sure is to call the customer services number on the back of your insurance card and ask.
If your insurance company does send out an EOB, and confidentiality is an issue, UHPP can often help you sign up for free, confidential coverage in our health center. Click here to learn about the programs, coverage, and eligibility, or call (518) 434-5678.
As for slut-shaming?
It happens. But your sexuality is no one’s business but your own, and anyone who tries to oppress or suppress the fact that you are a beautiful, sexual human being (much like we all are) is speaking from a place of shame, ignorance or displaced morality that has absolutely nothing to do with you. Anything anyone has to say about things that don’t affect them? It’s typically them reciting the dialogue they tell themselves, it’s sad, but don’t be scared of them.
Understand that they’re just scared. Scared of how strong and awesome you are to express your sexuality despite having to deal with more than they might have to. Scared of your ability to possibly see through them. Scared that your existence might change them. Scared that your ability to get past whatever shame they hold onto somehow speaks volumes about them, but it doesn’t.
Don’t concern yourself with the shame of others. Work on you, be in the moment. Take care of yourself shamelessly. Love yourself without limit, even when you don’t feel worthy, even when other people might tell you you don’t deserve it. Even when it seems selfish and self-centered and absolutely uncomfortable.
You can think in the future about this amazing child, that exists only in your mind’s, future and health, but put yourself first. Realize how caring and thoughtful you are, but how detrimental and draining it truly is to worry.
And your parents?
They can know when the time is right. Which will be exactly when you’ve told yourself you can handle it or when you truly need the support. Parents can be an great asset and addition to your team and if you believe that they will be, by all means let them, but if it is better for your health to not stress yourself out then it is not your responsibility to tell them.
If you choose to inform them, tell them that you were diagnosed with HSV and it sucks and you can understand if they need time to digest it for awhile but you are dealing with it as best you can and you are looking to be at peace. Anything they have to add to your quest to love yourself again is much welcome, but you have already tore yourself apart enough and you have no more room for anyone else’s shame.
Do it somewhere private with an easy escape route and, if you think that they are going to explode or cause you further pain- end the conversation.
It is not your responsibility to justify yourself as a being worthy of unconditional love to them, and furthermore, it’s not your responsibility to enlighten them. You know them best and as you’ve said they are closed-minded, be open to the idea of them astonishing you with love and acceptance, but be prepared to shut the door on any shame they want to pile on.
Herpes attacks often when you are stressed out, when your body cannot take anymore assaults to your immune system. Remember that always. That unnecessary stress, more than you need or can handle, it simply is no longer worth it. Herpes gave me this beautiful gift of a zen attitude because I know my body cannot handle my affinity for self-loathing and taking on too much.
Invest in yourself.
Learn the Secrets of Self Loving and quiet your mind to thoughts of everyone else’s feelings and needs and think about yourself. Put on your own oxygen mask first, because you need it, because you’re worth it.
#1 You’re scared. Your partner’s behavior scares you. You’re afraid to ask for things or tell them something because you just don’t know how they would react.
#2 Incessant lectures. Your partner constantly tells you how you’re so flawed and how you still need to improve in so many ways. But instead of trying to help you, they point your flaws out and behave like you’re a lost cause who can’t be helped because you’re too weak or dumb. [Read: The power of words and how it can make or break your relationship]
#3 Painful comparisons. Your partner constantly compares you, either with your more prettier or successful friends, and tells you how much better than you they are. Your partner may even be subtle and point out to celebrities and tell you how they’re so much more attractive than you.
#4 Constant confusions. Your partner yells at you often. But when you try to argue back or prove that you’re right, they may even get down on their knees or humiliate themselves just to apologize to you and win your affection back.
#5 You get blamed for no fault. Your partner blames you for no fault of yours. They blame you for your friend’s behavior, for the way the kids are, your friend’s divorce, or just about anything else. Sometimes, your partner may even hear about something on the television and yell at you because they’re pissed off!
#6 Possessive jealousy. Your partner always has something negative to say about your friends, especially if they’re of the opposite sex. Your partner hates it when you get phone calls from your friends and sometimes even asks you to hang up the phone. They just don’t like it when you have an active social life. [Read: 15 subtle and shocking signs of a controlling boyfriend]
#7 Your self esteem is crippled. Your partner constantly tells you how bad or worthless you are, and gets angry with you because you’re always relying on them. But even when you try to do something yourself, they tell you you’re not capable of making decisions and make you feel dumb all the time.
#8 Two faced personality. Your partner’s behavior and attitude confuses you. At times, they may be extremely loving and caring. And at other times, they’re really mean and hurtful. You just can’t predict how they’ll react to anything you do.
#9 The sadist inside. Your partner feels better about themselves when they point out your flaws or criticize you. They may be more jovial or happy on days when you’re overworking or stressed because of your own mistakes.
#10 The humiliation. Your partner humiliates you or makes nasty remarks, especially around your friends or people who admire you.
#11 Big demands. They set unreasonable expectations and make big demands from you, secretly hoping you’d fail so they can say ‘I told you so!’ [Read: 18 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship]
#12 Sexual manipulation. Your partner emotionally manipulates you into sexual activities you don’t like. They may even emotionally armtwist you by saying things like “Other girls/guys do it! Why can’t you?”
#13 Big confessions. Your partner shares their problems with everyone who listens. But if you confess any of your problems, especially about the relationship, to your friends or family, your partner would get very upset with you.
#14 Turning everyone against you. This is a sneaky trick that emotionally abusive partners use to gain advantage and leave you feeling helpless. Your partner may constantly crib about how difficult or dumb you are to everyone, including your friends, your family and even your kids. Your partner may even give biased examples just to convince everyone else and turn them against you so no one would take your side against theirs.
#15 The silent treatment. If you stand up for something or try to take control of the situation, your partner may walk away in a huff and give you the silent treatment. An emotionally abusive partner works on guilt, and they hate giving power away in a relationship. Your partner may just ignore you until you apologize for opposing their decision! [Read: How to perfect the silent treatment in a relationship]
#16 Physically abusive. Sometimes, your partner may resort to physical abuse like a slap, a painful pinch or even a threatening gesture just to scare you into submission when you oppose them for anything.
#17 You’re not allowed to think. Emotionally abusive lovers take pleasure in taking full control of the relationship. They’d manipulate you one step at a time until you lose all confidence in your judgment. You convince yourself that you are not capable of taking any decisions yourself, without your partner’s guidance. [Read: 25 memorable life lessons to perfect your life]
#18 Isolation and dependence. Initially, your partner may tell you they don’t like your friends or a particular family member. Soon, they may tell you to avoid that particular person. And before you realize it, your partner may carefully isolate you from everyone who was once close to you. And one fine day, you’d see that the only person you can go to for help or depend on is your partner.
#19 Emotional memories. Your partner constantly reminds you of all the times you’ve screwed up each time there’s an argument or a discussion. They constantly bring up your failures or the mistakes you’ve made in your life to reinforce the idea that you depend on your partner and can’t survive by yourself without their help and guidance in life. [Read: A guide to fighting fair in a relationship]
#20 Your achievements don’t matter. Your partner glorifies even the smallest of their achievements and proudly brags about it. But on the other hand, no matter what you achieve or do, your partner always mocks your achievements and makes you feel silly for celebrating it.
#21 Denial. Even when you point out their emotionally abusive ways, your partner doesn’t accept their emotionally abusive ways as a flaw. Instead, they convince themselves and try to convince you that they’re doing all this only to help you become a better person and stand on your own feet. [Read: How to fall out of love when you see no future with your partner]
From the Department of Education:
- Black students accounted for 18 percent of the country’s pre-K enrollment, but made up 48 percent of preschoolers with multiple out-of-school suspensions.
- Black students were expelled at three times the rate of white students.
- American Indian and Native-Alaskan students represented less than 1 percent of students, but 3 percent of expulsions.
- Black girls were suspended at higher rates than all other girls and most boys.
- American Indian and Native-Alaskan girls were suspended at higher rates than white boys or girls.
- Nearly one in four boys of color, excepting Latino and Asian American students, with disabilities received an out-of-school suspension.
- One in five girls of color with disabilities received an out-of-school suspension.
- A quarter of the schools with the highest percentage of black and Latino students did not offer Algebra II.
- A third of these schools did not offer chemistry.
- Less than half of American Indian and Native-Alaskan high school students had access to the full range of math and science courses, which consists of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, calculus, biology, chemistry and physics.
- Black and Latino students accounted for 40 percent of enrollment at schools with gifted programs, but only represented 26 percent of students in such programs.
- Black, Latino and Native American students attended schools with higher concentrations of first-year teachers (3 to 4 percent) than white students (1 percent).
- Black students were more than three times as likely to attend schools where fewer than 60 percent of teachers meet all state certification and licensure requirements.
- Latino students were twice as likely to attend such schools.
(h/t The Nation)
Quinn Rosenberg, on the problems with many narratives about trans people written by cis people.
via Mary Magdala
a shortie about what I think should be improved when it comes to Pride festivals… visibility for everyone sure would be nice!
Anonymous asked: I've been out of an abusive relationship for a month now and have been working really hard to stay healthy and stay away from him. Thank you for your post about signs of abuse! I will read it every time He says something that makes me doubt my feelings and sanity or makes me consider being with him again
I’m so happy for you and getting yourself out of the situation. It ca be hard and will most likely keep being hard for some time. You are amazing and strong and have all the tools you need to take care of yourself.
Best of luck and thank you for sharing.
Reblogging because Important
Anonymous asked: I think I might be in an abusive relationship. What are some signs of emotional abuse? Sexual abuse? Does coercion and manipulation into having sex count as sexual abuse?
Hey hun, I just want to say, it sucks being in a situation that makes you question the healthiness of your relationship and I’m sorry. I just want to tell you how awesome it is that you are asking these questions and taking steps to try and take care of yourself.
There are a few key signs of emotional/psychological abuse. No single one is indicative of abuse in and of itself (sometimes people have unhealthy ways of relating to each other), but what’s important is: How you feel after an interaction and how frequently do these occur? How willing is your partner to discuss the behavior and do you even feel safe and supported bringing it up?
Signs of an abusive Relationship:
- Codependency: Do you feel like you’re the only person/support your partner has? Do they respect your time, with your friends, to be alone, to be away from them? Do they function as their own autonomous being or do they see themselves as an extension of you (or see you as an extension of them)? Do they expect you to be their caregiver or expect to be your caregiver? Do you find yourself taking care of them instead of yourself, or having them ‘do what they think is best for you’? Do you find that time with them is exhausting?
- The Silent Treatment, Emotional Distancing/Isolation: Is love withheld from you as a form of punishment? Do you fear bringing up an argument because they won’t talk to you/sleep with you/might leave? Do they withdraw from you when there is any sort of conflict (until you apologize or change the subject or simply concede etc)? [x]
- Do you feel like a reoccuring character on their TV show? [Everything is about them, they are always the victim, everything (including you) are an inconvenience, they are hapless victims of circumstance in their own lives who constantly need consoling, everything is a catastrophe, everything is unfair] Do you find yourself taking too much responsibility in the relationship because they refuse to be accountable for anything on their own? Do they listen to you, do they seem interested in you? Or are you just an audience to their ongoing drama? Do they derail real conversations about bad behavior by becoming defensive or do they put that aside to work on their bad behavior? Are you ever afraid to bring up something that hurts you because you know it would cause a scene?
- Humiliation, degradation, discounting, negating judging, criticizing: Do they make fun of you or put you down in front of others? Do they tease you, use sarcasm as a way to put you down or degrade you? When you complain do they say that “it was just a joke” and that you are too sensitive? Do they tell you that your opinion or feelings are “wrong?” Does anyone regularly ridicule, dismiss, disregard your opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and feelings? Do you constantly question yourself? Do interactions with them make you feel crazy? [x]
- Dominating, control, and shame: Do you feel that the person treats you like a child? Do you feel like they want to be treated like a child? Do they constantly correct or chastise you and make you feel badly about your clothing/behavior/choices/friends? Do you feel you must “get permission” before going somewhere or before making even small decisions? Do they control your spending or what you wear, how you talk? Do you find yourself editing your behavior to please them even when they no longer ask you to? Do they treat you as though you are inferior to them? Do you feel like they resent you? Do they make you feel as though they are always right? Do they remind you of your shortcomings? [x] Do they keep a running tally of everything you’ve ever said wrong, do they keep a scoreboard in the relationship of every fuck-up? Do they belittle your accomplishments, your aspirations, your plans or even who you are? Do you feel guilty or ashamed about something you were once happy about? Do they give disapproving, dismissive, contemptuous, or condescending looks, comments, and behavior? Do they have ‘talks’ with you about how you disappointed them in front of their friends/bosses/family etc?
- Accusing and blaming, trivial and unreasonable demands or expectations, denies own shortcomings: Do they accuse you of situations or ideas that they’ve made up? Do they constantly think you’re out to humiliate or embarrass them, cheating on them, going to leave them? Do they use these situations to justify punishing you? Are they unable to laugh at themselves? Are they extremely sensitive when it comes to others making fun of them or making any kind of comment that seems to show a lack of respect? Do they have trouble apologizing? Do their apologies feel empty? [An apology is not just words. It is 3 parts: I am sorry, I am responsible, I am taking ____ action to never do this again/How can I fix this?] Do they constantly find your negative emotions ‘unreasonable’? Do they make excuses for their behavior or tend to blame others or circumstances for their mistakes? Do they call you names or label you, even ones that seem innocuous at first that have negative connotations or leave a bad taste in your mouth? Do they blame you for their problems or unhappiness? Do they continually have “boundary violations” and disrespect your valid requests? [x]
- Do you find yourself defending your partner a lot in conversations with other people? Do you find yourself rationalizing their behavior using your partner’s rhetoric? Do you seem to be losing friends? Do they try and control who you communicate with?
Coercion, guilt-tripping and manipulation are dominating behavior that seeks to control you, they fit into a pattern of abuse and definitely are signs of a sexually abusive relationship as well. Anything you feel bullied into sexually, anything short of your consent, anything that makes you feel sick, confused or sad afterwards and you feel you can’t discuss with your partner? These are all things you should seriously consider before engaging in sex with them again.
I don’t believe people seek to be abusive, but it does not make it less traumatizing or unhealthy. The important thing to realize is that sometimes intent doesn’t matter. This person hurt you, this person currently does not know how not to hurt you and it is important for you to do whatever you can to keep yourself safe, sane and happy. It takes two healthy people or two people actively seeking to be healthy to be in a healthy relationship. A person stuck in a pattern of abuse is not currently able to be in a healthy relationship. That means that until an abuser is fully ready to confront their behavior and work in measurable ways to stop it without hurting you they cannot be in a healthy relationship with you. And it’s not your responsibility to make them treat you well, or make them healthy- you are only responsible for you. You should be treated well by virtue of your own existence.
I hope you find a way to stay safe and out of harms way, feel free to message me anytime. Remember: Your partner’s behavior is not a reflection of you, nor is your being with them. Take care of yourself and don’t forget to put on your own oxygen mask first