The Art of Passing

By Olivia Comstock

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A comic about the notion of passing
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Another comic about passing

Passing is about performance. Passing is about presentation. Passing is about appearance and external markers of identity. Because most of the world only knows each of us through how we look, and we never get to explain our inner nuances to them, then they only see us for what we are the outside. They make assumptions for what our outward selves signify for our inner selves. Our identity and beliefs are assumed from a quick glance. Usually people think of gender or race with the topic of passing, but passing can involve a huge range of personal characteristics, including race, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexuality, religion, disability or ability, job occupation, level of education, intelligence, economic class, and social status. Passing can signify any personal characteristic of identity.

Continue reading “The Art of Passing”

I am a Supportive Feminist

by Kali Nelson

red code for a computer that says end patriarchy.
A sign written in code.

My lipstick, I pick it out carefully every morning.

All the shades of red and pink remind me that

I am the decedent of warriors.

My mother was a warrior

And her mother before her.

They did not use lipstick to armor up.

They used a little pink ribbon.

But my lipstick is my armor.

Without it I feel naked, defenseless.

My feminism is a lot like my lipstick,

I sometimes water it down as to not offend.

From blood red to pastel pink

I know I shouldn’t but I do.

I am most offensive in my head.

Always set to my darkest red.

I do not control my thoughts in my head, but I censor myself when in crowds.

But do not think I do this for you. I do this for me,

Because I do not want to fight today

My feminism is ready to combat all the stereotypes.

Don’t tell me I cannot,

If you do, get ready to watch me do it.

Oh dad,

Thank you for telling me I could be whatever I wanted

You’ve raised an ambitious woman.

But did you have to say you think it’d take me five years to graduate?

Because now dad,

I have to do it in four. Continue reading “I am a Supportive Feminist”

A Discussion of Language and Inclusion with Activist Madeline Scyphers

Last week I had the privilege to meet with Madeline Scyphers, an activist for the queer community. I had a lot of questions about her community, and Madeline had a lot of answers. I started out by asking Madeline what her identities are so I could get an idea of where she is coming from. She has many, and her response was, “I identify as trans. I identify somewhere between a transwoman and someone who identifies as nonbinary transfeminine. What that means to me is I do feel like the binary gender system of being a man or a woman does not necessarily fit me as a descriptor all the time. I never identify as someone who is a man  or a boy, and I really hate it when someone does gender me that way.”

That’s just one aspect of her identity. When I asked her about her sexual orientation, she responded, “The best word I use is queer. I do and have always primarily dated women, but I’m attracted to most people, at least some of the time, but not all people all of the time. Bi and pan don’t really encompass that; only if you explain it to someone. Since I have to explain it to someone anyways, because it’s [the terms bi and pan] implying things that I don’t want it to imply, why don’t you just use the term queer, which is purposefully vague? I can use it, and you don’t make assumptions about what it means.” There’s more to Madeline than her sexual orientation and gender identity. Madeline said, “I also identify as an activist, I am a math student, and that’s really important to me, and it plays into a larger identity of feeling like kind of a nerd.” Continue reading “A Discussion of Language and Inclusion with Activist Madeline Scyphers”

Closing the Healthcare Gap for LGBTQ Patients

2290120626_0c9d955dae_zSo far, this column has been geared mostly toward women’s health. But lately, I’ve been seeing more and more articles in the media about LGBTQ health. We all know that seeing your doctor for whatever reason can be a bit of a pain. But for members of the LGBTQ community, it is more than just a hassle. It is apparent that America’s health care system is desperately subpar when it comes to serving queer, transgender, and gender nonconforming people.

America has made some recent positive strides with regard to LGBTQ rights. There are now a number of laws protecting people from discrimination in the workplace and other places because of their sexual orientation or gender. Also, 15 states now afford queer couples a few of the same rights as heterosexual couples. Despite the legal progress, though, America still lacks adequate provision of comprehensive healthcare for members of the LGBTQ community. Continue reading “Closing the Healthcare Gap for LGBTQ Patients”

Book Review: Parrotfish

By Shanda Glover

I would definitely call myself a bookworm.

Parrotfish book coverI am always on the lookout for new and exciting books to read into the late hours of the night. When I say new and exciting, I mean novels that are not about the same (white) damsel-in-distress waiting for her prince, or another teen angst book complaining about life. These books seem to be so popular, compared to the underrepresented African American, Asian American, or Latin American protagonist, and let’s not even mention the lack of representation of lesbian, gay, or transgendered characters. Go to any bookstore and you can find a multitude of books on elves, vampires, and witches, but trying to find a book on transgendered teens is nearly impossible.

However, if you search hard enough, you can find gold.
Continue reading “Book Review: Parrotfish”

Tips for being an Ally to Transgender Individuals

By Lauren Anthony

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Support. Love. Trust. Strength. These four words hold so much more than just what we say or use them for in our day-to-day lives. Sharing these words with one another helps bring us closer, but also establishes a new form of communication. We will examine these words while focusing on being an ally  for those who identify as transgender.

I am no expert when it comes to being the best ally after someone comes to you and opens up as transgender. Honestly, no one is going to have the best or only answer for a topic such as this. Instead, I am going to offer some advice and tips that I have found helpful. Through sharing my own experiences my intention is that it will help others who read this article feel comfortable around a touchy topic.

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Losing my Vagina Monologues V-Card

By Madison Griffin 

The UI Women's Center presents The Vagina Monologues

As the Vagina Monologues celebrates its 20th birthday in 2016, many people are asking—is the play still relevant to women today?

The Women’s Center at the University of Idaho will be performing its 14th annual production of the Vagina Monologues this year. The show caps off our Body Positive Week—running from Thursday through Saturday at the Kenworthy Theater downtown. Tickets can be purchased at the door or (for a little less) in advance at the Women’s Center or at Eclectica—in the Safari Pearl Comic Shop on 3rd and Jefferson. The money raised from ticket purchases will go to benefit Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, which works to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Latah and Whitman Counties.

Check out the show February 18th-20th at 7 pm.

Whether you’re a “Vagina Monologues-Virgin” like myself, or a Vagina Monologues-Veteran, the show still has something to offer. It acts as a rite of passage for many women in college, it benefits a local nonprofit, it brings awareness to the worldwide problem of sexual violence, and it unites women globally through campaigns such as One Billion Rising.

Continue reading “Losing my Vagina Monologues V-Card”