Voting While Trans

Voting While Trans

< Return to The Proud Path Blog How is voting different for trans voters? This coming midterm election is undoubtedly one of the most politically charged that I have seen in my lifetime. Whichever side of the aisle you’re on, you must admit that since the presidential election “business as usual” has changed dramatically, and many unprecedented behaviors and policy decisions have occurred. In my life as an American one thing has been made clear to me: the ability to vote is undeniably tethered to American citizenship and is to be taken seriously. Now, what if I told you that isn’t true for transgender people? “Do you know about voter literacy tests?”    Let’s start from a place of history and fact: voting while Black and/or poor has always been under attack. For those who would shy away from that, do you know about voter literacy tests? Until 1965, Black voters were subject to a “literacy test” to make certain they were informed and intelligent enough to vote. Do yourself a favor and click here to see what one such test looked like in Louisiana. These “tests” were stacked against the Black voter; they were a series of impossible to answer logic based questions with many different correct answers. This was of course only after the centuries of slavery and being considered ⅗ of a person, unable to vote but able to be counted in slave states. And today still there are states that create strict ID laws to “combat voter fraud” (voter fraud is virtually nonexistent) and for some inexplicable reason polling places in Black and poor neighborhoods...
El Orgullo en la Ciudad de Mexico

El Orgullo en la Ciudad de Mexico

< Return to The Proud Path Blog Celebrating Pride in another country First of all, this post is LONG overdue! I’m sorry for the delay in getting it typed up. To be honest, after having such an amazing Gay Pride experience in Mexico City, only to return to the US where families are still facing the separation of their children for seeking asylum… I just needed a minute. Here we go… “I mention this because out of the AIDS crisis, the Gay Men’s Chorus was born” Okay, for starters, it is important to remember why June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month. You can learn all about it at my former blog post here. It is then really important to know about the AIDS crisis that affected queer communities as well as communities of color since the 80’s and still continues to plague both American and African communities. This plague was a very multifaceted pandemic. Of course, first and foremost, millions have died, and many of those millions were leaders in the queer community of the 80’s and 90’s, leaving my generation at a deficit for role models and mentors. Beyond that we’ve been stigmatized, both from the outside and from within, as carriers of this plague that disproportionately affected us. I mean… we still can’t even freely donate blood. Seriously. I mention this because out of the AIDS crisis, the Gay Men’s Chorus was born. It might sound crazy to say that a choir of queer men and women fought the good fight against the epidemic, but it’s totally true. Gay men’s choruses began popping up across the nation in...
It’s Never Been About a Wedding Cake

It’s Never Been About a Wedding Cake

< Return to The Proud Path Blog It’s never been about a wedding cake.   So as you may or may not have heard, the Supreme Court found in a 7-2 split ruling that the baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple was unfairly criticized by a state agency for his values as a Christian, and as such, they ruled in his favor. I’ve read and heard all the sides of this: conservative Christians rejoice at the fact that a conservative Christian “won his right” to discriminate; legal scholars say that this case does almost nothing to address this issue as the ruling was incredibly narrow and didn’t set any real precedent; and even some queer people have said, “well I wouldn’t want to be forced to do something in service of the Trump campaign… so maybe I agree with this in a way.” All of these points are valid, and this case can be dissected a million different ways to say whatever the pundit wants. One thing is absolute through all of it: queer people exist, so just stop it. “Do you remember slavery? Yeah… the Bible “condones” slavery.”    I come from a conservative Christian community. I spent many of my Sundays in church growing up (and Wednesdays and Thursdays and Saturday mornings), so I know well the tether that people have to their Bible-supported beliefs. This is not one of them. There is no verse in the Bible regarding a wedding cake. There is no verse in the bible saying that making a cake for something is condoning the act. This...
It’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month or Fascism

It’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month or Fascism

< Return to The Proud Path Blog This is what fascism looks like.     I know I know… fascism is a terrifying word. In America we tend to think of fascism in broad strokes: the Holocaust, Cuba, Arab Spring. But it isn’t like one day everyone woke up and said, “Wow… we live in a fascist country. That’s not great.” It was a slow, whittling away of rights, of visibility and the balance of power. And to see it plain as day in the United States of America, you have no further to look than June. Since the 70’s, June has unofficially been the month for LGBTQ+ Pride (especially here in NYC), and during his administration, Barack Obama put a ring on it and made it official. What does this have to do with fascism? Well the Trump Administration has done the worst thing you can do to a marginalized population: ignore it.   This is the second year in a row that Trump’s administration has made zero reference to June being LGBTQ+ Pride month. And I know, there are plenty out there that would say it’s a shallow thing to be concerned about and is purely superficial. We should be grateful for marriage equality, hop on our unicorns and ride back home to the land of drag queens and YAASSS. But the reality, especially for those least visible in our community, is not so fab. “We should be grateful for marriage equality, hop on our unicorns and ride back home to the land of drag queens and YAASSS.” As a quick refresher, June was selected as LGBTQ+ Pride...
Yes, You Can Fire Me For Being Gay

Yes, You Can Fire Me For Being Gay

< Return to The Proud Path Blog Yes, you can fire me for being gay…    Seriously, in 29 states right now, in 2018, if an employee chooses to come out at work (ya know, like even just mentions being their partner’s name) they can be fired on the spot and the state does absolutely nothing to protect them. The passage of marriage equality actually has had a bizarre and negative effect on LGBTQ+ people living in these states. There has been more than one case of a person getting married over the weekend, coming back to work on Monday, mentioning that they got married over the weekend, and fired the same day. This has been particularly common in religious institutions like Catholic school. So why is this a problem? “…it doesn’t pass because of a lack of support, or what I assume to be some kind of “House of Cards”-like persuasion.”      Well, first of all… it’s a problem because it’s blatant discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the first document in America to specifically protect certain classes from discrimination. That Act protected: race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Since the early 70’s there have been bills brought before Congress to add sexual orientation to that hallmark Act. As a matter of fact, it has been passed and subsequently passed over in Congress nearly every single year since 1996. Inevitably it doesn’t pass because of a lack of support, or what I assume to be some kind of “House of Cards”-like persuasion. Regardless of the reasoning, the elected officials in our nation have not...
What’s the deal with conversion therapy?

What’s the deal with conversion therapy?

< Return to The Proud Path Blog Is conversion therapy really therapeutic?      First, let’s talk about what conversion “therapy” is. Conversion therapy is a practice born out of the Christian conservative population to assist LGBTQ identified people to “convert” back to being straight and cisgender (non-transgender). It is more often used on young men to convince them that they aren’t homosexual, that those desires are of the devil, and that it’s likely because of a distant relationship with the father in the home or an overbearing mother (Freud much?). Almost all conversion therapy practitioners require patients to sign a non-disclosure agreement, making it nearly impossible for the young people who have experienced it to discuss it publicly. This tactic has worked to keep the inner workings of conversion therapy out of the public sphere. However, we only need to look at the data to get a clear idea of the “practice.” As a gay man who was raised in a Christian conservative community in southern Ohio, this touches very close to home. I mean, my upbringing inspired me to create The Proud Path, a business built on the idea that adults with queer youth in their lives need to do everything they can to help them learn more about themselves and their community. Sadly, that was not my experience; that was not many people’s experience. “…to assist LGBTQ identified people to “convert” back to being straight and cisgender.”      The American Psychological Association’s Relations Director said that conversion therapy leads to “depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, and risky sexual behaviors, and harm self-esteem.” A recent New...
The Proud Path helps with Parenting an LGBTQ+ Child

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