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Freedom Requires Wings FRW The #1 QUILTBAG opinion blog on the web. We aim to open minds and help the queer community. News, blogs, video, worldwide suicide prevention and more. Worldwide

When in Doubt, Reach Out

In the wake of Robin Williams’ passing last week, I’ve seen and heard a lot of discussion about mental health, depression, awareness, and the importance of getting help.

Mental health issues have always been of particular interest to me, both because I was a psychology major, and more importantly, because of my own personal experiences.

There has always been a lot of stigma associated with mental illness, and it is something that is not talked about nearly as much as it needs to be.

Sex is Not a Necessity for a Strong and Lasting Relationship

Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen a lot of articles popping up around the internet about the benefits of sex. These articles mostly have titles along the lines of “Why You Should Have More Sex”, “X Number of Things You Didn’t Know About Why Sex Is Awesome For You”, etc. This is not a new concept. For years, psychologists, therapists, and relationship experts have been saying that sex life is a crucial part of a strong marriage (or any long term romantic relationship). In most cases, where the participants in the relationship are sexual, it’s probably true. But for me, and for other asexuals who are in long term romantic relationships (including marriages), seeing this message constantly drilled into society’s collective mind not only excludes us, but it undermines the validity of our relationships. If society is getting a resounding message that sex is required in order to maintain a strong and lasting relationship, then how can our relationships that may or may not include sex at all fit into that paradigm?

Now For Something Different: Gender Nonconformity

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the car with my husband, on our way to run an errand. He was listening to NPR, as he often does in the car, and a story happened to come on that caught my attention. It was an interview about transgender issues with the editors of a new book, “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves”, which is a collection of stories by and for transgender people about their experiences as transgender people in today’s world. Two of the three people being interviewed were transgender, one male to female, the other female to male. I was captivated and fascinated by the stories they shared on the air, and some of the things they brought up made me look at my own gender experience in a different light. I should clarify before I go on that I am not transgender, nor do I claim to be any kind of expert on the transgender experience or trans issues. I have known several transgender people in various capacities in my life, and that’s pretty much the extent of my knowledge on the subject. So what I have to say here is simply my reactions to the stories I heard these people telling, and maybe a lesson for all of us (myself included) about being open and able to learn about ourselves from sources we wouldn’t normally expect or even consider.

Beyond Marriage Equality

In 1920, the United States passed the 20th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. This was a huge victory for feminism and what was the precursor to the social justice community. Since then, it has been a popular thought that “female oppression is over” and that feminism no longer serves a cohesive purpose. This, of course, is untrue - there are many modern day examples of a societal double standard between men and women. However, this idea that women now are not oppressed persists, and the Amendment is often used as evidence.
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