On Educating On Important Issues, or I’m Trying To Figure Out How To Not Alienate People By Being Too Passionate And Stuff

On Educating On Important Issues, or I’m Trying To Figure Out How To Not Alienate People By Being Too Passionate And Stuff

I’m the first to admit I’m an acquired taste.

When you first meet me, I’m painfully shy and have a difficult time carrying a conversation (especially if I don’t find you particularly interesting…shhhhhh…)

And once I warm up, I’m a passionate flailing-muppet-arm word-vomity mess.  Without a filter.  I overshare.  I’m brutally open and honest to a fault.  Some may even call me abrasive or obnoxious.

Especially when you get me going on issues I’m passionate about.

This has been something that has become painfully clear to me over this past year on my path to a deeper sense of self awareness.

And so, here I am, with a whole lot to say about things that directly affect me and the people I care about, trying to figure out how to speak about them and gently educate people who may not be aware of them and/or strongly disagree with them.

There’s a fine line to walk and, over the past election season especially, I have witnessed all sorts of variations of communication and debate.

Continue reading “On Educating On Important Issues, or I’m Trying To Figure Out How To Not Alienate People By Being Too Passionate And Stuff”

On Podcasts, or How I Spend 40-70 Hours A Week Entertaining and Educating Myself

On Podcasts, or How I Spend 40-70 Hours A Week Entertaining and Educating Myself

This March, a lot of the podcasts I listen to are pushing the “#trypod” movement to share favorite shows with friends who have never listened to one before.  I always try to do that, but I decided to organize my favorites into a comprehensive list to direct anyone who will possibly listen to this one place!

I listen to a lot of podcasts.  On my commute, at work, doing the dishes, that’s usually what I’m up to.  I’ve kissed a lot of podcast-frogs but I found some princes(ses) among them.  Here are the shows that I listen to on a regular basis and can wholeheartedly recommend to you, broken down roughly into some semblance of topics!  (Buckle up…I wasn’t kidding when I said A. LOT. OF. PODCASTS.  And these are just the ones that made the cut!)

Continue reading “On Podcasts, or How I Spend 40-70 Hours A Week Entertaining and Educating Myself”

On The Women’s March or How My Faith In The World Has Been Restored (and how Janelle Monáe is a goddess, which I already knew but White Feminsm apparently still trumps all with all focus on Madonna’s speech because she added some swears)

On The Women’s March or How My Faith In The World Has Been Restored (and how Janelle Monáe is a goddess, which I already knew but White Feminsm apparently still trumps all with all focus on Madonna’s speech because she added some swears)
trump
If this is you or you know who this is, please let me know so I can credit appropriately!

If you read my most recent post, you’ll know that I’ve been struggling with how to balance activism and staying informed about the current state of events in our country with my own mental health.

I struggle with whether or not I’m just using it as a crutch or an excuse.  I struggle with guilt in not participating in ways others are.

As the Women’s March approached, I wrestled in my mind with it.  While I now live less than 100 miles from Washington D.C., I am nowhere near my amazing, strong feminist friends.  And I have pretty crippling anxiety regarding crowds and loud places.  So the idea of going to one of these events, let alone by myself, seemed impossible.  There were some smaller events locally, but even the idea of going to one of those stressed me out.

And so I stayed home, glued to social media.  I was inspired and energized and filled with love and hope, witnessing literally HUNDREDS of my friends attending these events all over the country and even world.

Continue reading “On The Women’s March or How My Faith In The World Has Been Restored (and how Janelle Monáe is a goddess, which I already knew but White Feminsm apparently still trumps all with all focus on Madonna’s speech because she added some swears)”

On IUDs, or How No Matter What Happens In The White House, I’m 99.9% Guaranteed Baby Free For The Next Ten Years

On IUDs, or How No Matter What Happens In The White House, I’m 99.9% Guaranteed Baby Free For The Next Ten Years

DISCLAIMER:  This post is about my own experiences researching and getting an IUD.  I am definitely not a medical professional and this isn’t medical advice.  But hopefully this can help you decide if IUDs are a worthwhile birth control method to speak with your doctor about, and what to expect if you choose to get one.

Due to the outcome of this U.S. presidential election, people with uteruses are asking a lot of unanswerable questions about what may happen to their bodies over the next four years.

Many of my friends have birth control through “Obamacare”/the Affordable Care Act and, the way our President Elect has been talking, he intends to do away with this.

There have recently been some articles circulating that he recently met with Obama and “wants to keep parts of Obamacare”. The two aspects he mentioned are barring insurance companies from rejecting people for pre-existing conditions and allowing people to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26.

Unfortunately, that leaves countless people with uteruses (I say it this way because some transmen have uteruses as well) wondering if they will still have easy and affordable access to birth control options within the next year.

The IUD or “Intrauterine Device” has been the buzz amongst my friends this past week.

Based upon which type you get, once installed, it is good for 3-10 years! This means that, for many people, they could have worry-free birth control that could last them until this hopefully blows over.

I had an IUD installed this spring, the copper Paragard version, and I have been planning to write about my experience and my choice for a while. But now it is more pertinent than ever. I have been talking with several friends individually about it, so I thought it was now the time for me to write this thing!

Continue reading “On IUDs, or How No Matter What Happens In The White House, I’m 99.9% Guaranteed Baby Free For The Next Ten Years”

The Election, Or How To Be An Advocate and Ally Without Alienating People

The Election, Or How To Be An Advocate and Ally Without Alienating People
This ill-fitting blazer was the closest thing to a pantsuit this “Nasty Woman” wore to vote!

CW: Trans murder rate, murders of POC, this damn election

I don’t even know where to start. It’s not hyperbolic when I tell you that I am deeply grieving for My America right now. The America that was just beginning to acknowledge people like me as worthy of rights like marriage, adoption, protection from being fired because of my identity, and other things that so many people take for granted.

I could fill this page with empassioned wailings about how concerned I am for the safety of myself as a queer woman and my other LGBQ friends, my trans friends, my friends who are people of color, Muslim, immigrants, disabled, lower income, single mothers, people with uteruses, women…

Yes, these concerns exist and are so visceral I feel it seething out of my body, feel myself getting hives, unable to eat, bawling all day at work, and feeling like a tightly coiled spring.

Continue reading “The Election, Or How To Be An Advocate and Ally Without Alienating People”

On My Journey to Being A Bleeding-Heart-Liberal, or How My Christian College Made Me This Way

On My Journey to Being A Bleeding-Heart-Liberal, or How My Christian College Made Me This Way

CW:  Homophobic slurs, gay bashing, hate speech against people of color

I was born into one of those nuclear families, with two parents who were still together, one slightly younger sister, and various dogs, cats, bunnies, lizards and an ill-fated hedgehog.

spaanstra-family
Our church photo from the early 1990s.  My sister and I were wearing dresses my mom made for us.
We went to church every Sunday, and lived in a conservative area in the Midwest, surrounded by the homogeneity of other blonde haired, blue eyed people of predominantly Dutch heritage.

Continue reading “On My Journey to Being A Bleeding-Heart-Liberal, or How My Christian College Made Me This Way”

On Comparing and Contrasting Dating Men and Women, or Men are Assholes and Women Are Crazy

On Comparing and Contrasting Dating Men and Women, or Men are Assholes and Women Are Crazy

I’ll couch this post in several warnings/qualifiers:
In this post, I’m going to discuss my experiences and observations regarding dating men and women. I’m going to limit it to cisgender (a person whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex) partners. Experiences with my transgender partner are unique and outside the general scope of this post. (I’ve spoken with my ex and he’s given me permission to write about our relationship more in depth at some point. Stay tuned for that!)

Furthermore, since I only have experience with dating one woman (and marrying her and subsequently divorcing) my experience may be a bit limited in that. Though I have the experiences of friends to corroborate my stories and feelings.  

So really what I’m saying is I’m just gonna tell you about how I feel. Which is what I always do here so why would now be any different?

Get ready for a ping-pong match of compare and contrast stream-of-consciousness wordvomit on this general subject. I make no guarantees where this will end up!

Continue reading “On Comparing and Contrasting Dating Men and Women, or Men are Assholes and Women Are Crazy”