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NEW VIDEO: “Stonewall: The Story of Resistance- today marks 48 years since the Stonewall riots, a resistance that many consider to be the start of the LGBTQ+ rights movement. i never learned our history in school, & for most queer kids, our history is still self-taught. that’s why i made today’s video.

to commemorate today’s anniversary, i’d love if you reblogged & spread the story of what happened 48 years ago & how it sparked a revolution.

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We’re highlighting these women in honor of Women’s History Month! 

Number 8 is Al-Khatahtbeh, a young Muslim writer from New Jersey, who has been working to ensure that Muslim women’s voices are heard. In 2009, Al-Khatahtbeh founded MuslimGirl.com, a site whose mission is “normalizing the word ‘Muslim’ for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.” In 2016, Al-Khatahtbeh published her own memoir, Muslim Girl. Read more

When trans students are told that they cannot use public facilities, it doesn’t only block them from the toilet — it also blocks them from public life. It tells them with every sneer, every blocked door, that we do not want to see them, that they should go hide and that ultimately they do not belong. When schools become hostile environments, students cannot turn to them. Instead they are pushed out. And without an education, it makes it that much more difficult to find a job, and support themselves and survive. That is the situation the Trump administration is creating. Despite the culture of fear, ignorance and intolerance that permeates our country right now, I am here to tell each and every student that you belong, and that nothing — absolutely nothing — is wrong with you.
—  Young People Get Trans Rights. It’s Adults Who Don’t. | Janet Mock for the New York Times

Gavin is the cherubic face of a reductive, dirty debate about trans people’s right to exist in public spaces without hostility, harassment and violence. His case, which remains ongoing in Virginia, has implications that extend far beyond bathrooms. It’s about a greater sense of belonging for us all—at school, at home and in our neighborhoods and places of work and worship. So many are made to feel as if they should hide, pretend or perish. Gavin’s refusal to be treated unjustly is an enduring reminder that we will not be stalled.

ICYMI: Transgender teenager Gavin Grimm is on this year’s TIME 100 list of the most influential people. Read Janet Mock’s full statement on the impact he’s made. 

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People rallied on- and offline Thursday night to send the Trump administration a decisive message about keeping trans youth safe

“I was a trans student. I know how vital it is to feel safe, welcomed & affirmed. Equal access enabled me to attend, stay & thrive in school,” tweeted activist and author Janet Mock. “To young trans folk: Remember this is your school too. You deserve equal access, affirmation & education. You belong. Nothing is wrong w you.” And the statements of support and outrage kept pouring in.

Gifs: @transalike

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An Ode To My Teens & Welcoming My Twenties

Currently sitting in the living room of my girlfriends’ dorm suite like any other nights, as I convince myself: this is also like any other birthdays. But it isn’t. In half an hour, when the date turns to December 5, not only will it mark my 20th birthday, but also my first full year as the person I envied growing up, never imagining it could realistically happen.

I’m looking at the picture above– the longest I have ever my had my hair– in a french braid, with a striking batik kimono, a gold tank top, and black suede bootie heels. To think: my own self progress brought my ideal picture perfect girl to life, and for once, this actually inspires me. To think this transition was as easy as putting these clothes on, but also to think it was way more than that.

I’m too scared to grow up.

Seventeen out of soon-to-be-twenty years of my life was out of my own hands before I could tell them my pronouns, before I could pick out my own wardrobe. My own voice. My own words. My own labels. My own.

But I was never mad. I just existed.

I was happy, though. I enjoyed going to school. At thirteen I wore my polo converse shoes everyday– ones that my mom and I bought together, knowing dad would disprove.

I saw the systems of conformity as a righteous way to navigate. At fourteen I expressed my femininity by doing masculinity wrong. I expressed my womanhood by slowly detaching myself from maleness, although I had no idea there were words to describe how I felt, other than sleepless nights and not speaking during family dinners.

I smiled through the systems, said I’m better than that. At fifteen I held on to singing as one of the only ways I could use my voice, through ambiguous lyrics, expressing myself in a way only I could understand.

Eventually I started to pick up the hints, although they were vague and only dizzied me further. It was challenging for people to get me down, but that was because I did not know what I should be down for. I was emotionally incapable to unbox and dissect all of my internalized trauma of femininity, and I used the unknown as a way to shield myself from pain.

College liberated me from pressure, and through patience, disarrangement, and agony, I stumbled upon the picture perfect girl that I thought I saw in other women. In truth, I had to use the most of my resources to make this picture perfect girl on my own.

And I did it.

(Oh shit!! I’m twenty now!!!)

Smiling became easier. So many burdens are placed on teenagers, and sometimes smiling was the most defying yet healing thing to do.

Beauty became easier, too. At eighteen I started medically transitioning– and although my beauty is victimized by cisnormative beauty ideals, I felt pretty. I felt pretty under the expectations of what girlhood meant, and embracing my prettiness and transness in the same hands was my way of rebelling. It still is.

Thrifting became my favorite way of shopping. Something about giving old things new purposes meant powerfully to me. The ways I had to redefine my truth as a person involved giving somebody’s old clothes new meaning as well, and I felt an adamant allyship within my own clothing.

Nineteen was by far one of the most strenuous yet lucrative years of my life. I took myself less seriously, but never neglecting myself when necessary.

I found the strongest solidarity in holding other trans women. Alive and surviving, too.

I was low on myself more times than I want to admit… mostly because I’m clumsy and I fall easily (example above). Sometimes I’m reminded that being a woman was never always an available option for me– let alone a tangible possibility. Sometimes I would forget to refill my hormones on time. Sometimes he didn’t text me unless he needed my body.  Sometimes I’m unable to focus on school work or even show up to class.

But I remembered to smile.

And when I wasn’t smiling, I was fighting for a reason to smile, something as little as protesting and as big as getting heard.

To my teen years, 

I treasure you. Not like the way I treasured away my girlhood way before I was a teenager. But a non-traumatic, and more euphoric way. I feel infinitely more colossal to have survived you, for in the midst of survival I forgot that time was inevitable and that soon enough you would end. 

To my twenties,

My skin still bleeds. I still get tired. But the sun still shines, and the moon’s got its back, always replying.

So please,

have my back.

What’s difficult about being from Hawaii is that everyone has a postcard view of your home. Hawaii lives vividly in people’s minds as nothing more than a weeklong vacation – a space of escape, fantasy and paradise. But Hawaii is much more than a tropical destination or a pretty movie backdrop — just as Aloha is way more than a greeting.

The ongoing appropriation and commercialization of all things Hawaiian only makes it clearer as to why it is inappropriate for those with no ties to Hawaii, its language, culture and people to invoke the Hawaiian language. This is uniquely true for aloha – a term that has been bastardized and diminished with its continual use.

Most who invoke the term aloha do not know its true meaning. Aloha actually comes from two Hawaiian words: Alo – which means the front of a person, the part of our bodies that we share and take in people. And Ha, which is our breath. When we are in each other’s presence with the front of our bodies, we are exchanging the breath of life. That’s Aloha.

—  Janet Mock

Initially, I was embraced by the stakeholders of the mainstream LGBT movement. I quickly noticed that despite the unifying acronym, the people at the table often did not reflect me or my community. These spaces and conversations were dominated by men, specifically upper-middle-class white cis gay men. Women, people of color, trans folks, and especially folks who carried multiple identities were all but absent. I was grateful for the invitation but unfilled by the company. This was my political awakening.


I was tasked with speaking out about these glaring disparities, about how those with the most access within the movement set the agenda, contribute to the skewed media portrait, and overwhelmingly fail at funneling resources to those most marginalized. My awakening pushed me to be more vocal about these issues, prompting uncomfortable but necessary conversations about the movement privileging middle- and upper-class cis gay and lesbian rights over the daily access issues plaguing low-income LGBT youth and LGBT people of color, communities that carry interlocking identities that are not mutually exclusive, that make them all the more vulnerable to poverty, homelessness, unemployment, HIV/AIDS, hyper-criminalization, violence, and so much more.

—  Janet Mock, Redefining Realness