Happy Coming Out Day!

Today is National Coming Out Day. While the holiday doesn’t get a ton of attention, it’s an important reminder that visibility is a large part of acceptance. It’s well documented that those who know someone who is LGBT are more likely to support the fight for LGBT rights.

I’m working with a group called Basic Rights Oregon to spread the word about their new video series highlighting the experiences of LGBT people of color. As a Latina, I was excited to see this bilingual video included in the series:

There is also a video about the Asian Pacific Islander community and the African-American community.


Happy Coming Out Day!

Happy National Coming Out Day!

There is a meme right now on Facebook to post your “Coming Out Anthem” in honor of National Coming Out Day. This isn’t my current anthem, but it was one of the first songs that I heard when I was starting on my coming out path…

It’s important for those of us who are safe and able to be out and proud when we can, because we know it makes things better for those who come after us.

I am out in my writing, online, and in life, mostly because as a gender non-conforming person I might as well have a rainbow tattoed on my forehead.

But that’s a choice I can make because I’m independent and supported by my community.

Not all of us have that choice, which is why we celebrate days like this.

It reminds us that coming out is a privilege, one that we hope will be afforded to everyone, everywhere, one day.

Guest post: Tantric Birth

So I connected with Nekole after seeing a tweet about her workshop at this year’s Sex 2.0 conference where she presented about TantricBirth. Sounded pretty interesting to me! I invited Nekole to write this post about how she defines TantricBirth. Learn more at her website.

Nekole Shapiro synthesizes a lifetime of experience as a body worker and Tantric practitioner, her birthing experiences as a mother and doula and her profound love of science into TantricBirth, a holistic approach to the birthing experience. The TantricBirth system uses interviews, presentations, classes and direct family planning and birth support to enable families to have an empowered birth experience. Nekole is an LMP and holds a BA in Asian Studies and a Premedical certificate from Columbia University.

An Introduction to TantricBirth

Our human experience is deliciously deep.  It is impossible to affect one aspect of ourselves without affecting another.  Our parts are woven together like a tapestry.  When I hold my baby and feel love, my body undergoes a change, my spirit is affected and my mind is altered.  When I am embodied, I am aware of all of this as it happens and can feel it in every cell of my being.  When I am embodied, I feel my power.

Other than during her own birth or death, a birthing woman enters the most altered physiological state of her life.   Because we are an interconnected weave of human experience and expression, this altered physiological state is also an altered emotional, mental and spiritual state.  All of who we are is changing at a rapid pace as we labor and birth our babies, and again as our bodies get used to no longer housing a baby.  In this way, if I can embody the birthing experience, I can access a power greater than any I have felt before.

Continue reading

Univision refuses to run condom radio ads

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (full disclosure: that’s my day job) and Catholics for Choice recently ran two Spanish language radio ads in NYC, scheduled in conjunction with World AIDS Day.

You can listen to the two ads here and here, but here is a summary:

The radio ads appeal to people of faith with one of the 60-second spots noting that: “I’m Catholic and there is nothing more important to me than protecting family and love. That’s why I talked to my grandson about condoms.”

The first ad features a grandmother speaking about her grandson, a gay man, who hears that Catholics are not supposed to use condoms. She tells her grandson, “I took care of you because I love you and if you love that man, you’ll take care of him, too.”

The second ad features a couple and models language that couples can use when discussing the importance of love, faith and condom use in their relationship. The ad concludes, “We are Catholics and people of faith and we know sex is sacred and that we need to take care of each other. And this means using a condom every time we have sex.”

Pretty tame right? Well not according to Univision. They refused to run the ads on three of their radio stations in NYC, despite the fact that these organizations were willing to pay for them. To add insult to injury, Univision recently received an Cable Positive award for their work on HIV prevention with the Kaiser Family Foundation. Apparently HIV prevention is cool, but talking about condoms is a no go? Or maybe it was the queer theme of the first ad that caused the rejection.

Anyways, if you want to send an email to the President and COO of Univision Radio telling him he should run the ads, go here.

Cross-posted at Feministing and Nuestra Vida, Nuestra Voz

Babeland comes to Brooklyn!

I posted about this on feministing already, but I wanted to share my excitement with RD readers! A fabulous feminist sex shop is opening up in Brooklyn this week! Check it out online or in person. I’m been a big fan of this place for years and have serious fantasies about working there (or another feminist sex shop) someday.