That night on the George Washington Bridge will stay with me forever and has taught me that we all have times when we feel life is against us. Here was a person who wanted to die, but I helped him live. I may have changed this man's life, but I wonder if he knows that he changed my life too.
It’s never been easy for me to find my place in the world- I think my bout with drug addiction has made that poignantly clear. As a gay man, I always knew that finding my way would be challenging because I never really felt like I had a support system. I felt lonely for most of my life. Coming into recovery broken, homeless, and alone compounded that feeling of loneliness. Serendipitously, I stumbled across a unique support group on Facebook called Gay & Sober Men.
Now is not a time to get overwhelmed and retreat into our bubble of comfort or privilege. Speak up. Be strong. Don't stop. Educate yourself. Run for government positions. Petition your representatives. Stay informed. Continue the dialogue. Act. Resist. Fight. History won't forgive you if you don't. I'm awake now, along with some of my brightest friends, and we are angry, we are watching, we outnumber those who want to repeat history, we are strong, we remember, and at the end of the day, we will win.
Society is really confusing, and self destructive in so many ways. Yesterday I was having a frustrating conversation with a coworker and then rehashed it with a good friend last night, and the topic just ate at me all night...so I just wanted to share my experience and hopefully something will stick or at least cause a moment of pause in situations moving forward. I feel this is very important to bring to the surface
I’m voting for Nikkita Oliver because all I want for my daughter is to grow up during the Oliver Administration, the way I feel privileged to have worked for the Obama Administration.
WARNING: This article will make you queasy, uncomfortable, and induce you to reach for any distraction. These will include but not be limited to: your Instagram feed, the news (which at this point is the same quality as your personal social media feed- and no, that’s not a compliment), your pet, or staring at the same text box of the guy or girl you have a crush on but you’re not sure what witty thing to say next to get their attention.
Fame is a powerful, intoxicating force. It can strip away any notion of personal privacy, leaving the famous individual exposed to judgment and ridicule. One of the tantamount tenants of recovery is the notion of anonymity; a safe, private concept that facilities an individual’s opportunity to break free from addiction without public judgement. So much of the public perception of addiction is laced with stigma. As we enter into a new era, where more celebrities are speaking openly about their struggles with substance abuse, it is possible that fame could be a useful tool to combat the deadly stigma surrounding chemical dependency.
Alabama is the latest state to put forth policies protecting religious-based discrimination in child welfare, though they are by no means the first. Michigan, Virginia, South Dakota, and North Dakota have similar policies protecting the faith-based child placement decision-making of such social service agencies
Chechnya isn’t the first country to be known for their hatred of homosexuals. Most Muslim countries discourage gay men from visiting, and would recommend not displaying affection in public with the same sex. Even America three decades back was not the easiest time for the gay community, and acceptance still hasn’t been fully achieved. For thousands of years, the homosexual culture has mainly been hushed. The death penalty is currently still active in seven countries
Despite the fact my generation is being handed a broken country, I assume the responsibility it entails. I forgive my father’s transgressions. I forgive my country’s mistakes. And I, of my own volition, compelled by moral duty, seek a life in politics.
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore”
The good news is you don’t have to. Our country is stepping up to protest the madness of the Trump administration. There are several ways to get involved, take action and be heard. You don’t even have to leave the house! Here are some of our favorites
Even with how bad I felt after that, and knowing I had a serious issue, I kept up my partying and using and drinking. I just didn’t care. I was aware I had a problem, but I felt I could live with it. I believed this was how I was supposed to be living. My only role model encouraged this behavior from me, but I didn’t feel good on the inside or out.
January 21st was the day as a nation we stood against the government. We stood in solidarity with women of all sexualities, colors, and upbringings. I marched with the one woman who never left my side: my mom.
The hard part is going to be what comes next, when showing up means contacting your representatives and attending local government meetings. I’m sore from walking all day but I know that was easy compared to the individual action I must keep taking. But for right now I am going to bask in the joy of what we did. Imagine if even half of the people who attended marches on Saturday sent letters to their representatives. That is a thrilling thought, and completely possible. Keep taking back your civic spaces and participating in your democracy. We can do this.
Millennials have been labeled the loneliest and most depressed generation that has ever lived. Members of this generation are increasingly living alone, moving to new cities, working more, and spending less time face to face with friends and more time on social media.
By Andrew Mayzak
So don’t tell me “it will be OK” or “not to panic” or “I’m sorry for your experience, but my own needs are important, too” because, with all due respect, you literally do not know what you are talking about.
By Chris Heide
The outcome of this election has solidified the belief that LGBTQ people are second class citizens. That women have a right to be touched without consent. That your protest vote is more important that my rights. That is privilege and it’s nauseating. If you are angry or afraid, let it fuel you. Allow yourself to become an agent of hope, education and change. Don’t let anyone tell you your pain is not real or that your reactions are too dramatic.
By Jessye Sedergren
No one wants to be a drug addict. No one. We don't choose it. If you love an addict, good. Set boundaries, and protect your heart. Know that you can love someone and not be physically present in their life. But please do not confuse setting boundaries with shaming someone. I speak from experience when I tell you that they are not doing any of the things they are doing in order to hurt anyone. They are not using to escape. They are using to overcome a craving beyond their mental control.
By Ethan Joseph
I do not believe that I have ever felt closer to my Judaism than I have since I came out as gay to my family and community. While there were obviously more conservative elements who do not approve, I have been so blessed with a community that accepts me as I am and does not reject me because of an inherent, Heaven-ordained genetic trait.
By Casey Allen
All addictions, at least initially, exist for the same reason: the pleasure they bring their suitors. This pleasure may come in many forms, and is often disguised, but is always present in some way or another. Addictions are nothing more than habits, and a fair part of one’s serenity—nay sanity—is dependant on such repetition. Why then is the term “addictive” so often synonymous with “vindictive?”
By Robert Williams
If you don't know already, we are in the midst of a deadly Meningitis outbreak in Los Angeles and public health officials are urging gay and bisexual men, especially those with HIV, to get meningitis vaccinations.
By Charlotte Hollingsworth
I’ve never been much for patriotism. Nationality is a trick of birth. You have no control over it and so it seems so strange to take pride in it. Often enough, as someone on the wrong side of discrimination, there are more reasons to be upset with this country. Right now, however, while watching this huge crowd of people cheer on this woman that I have been watching my whole life, I am so proud to call myself an American.
By Ryan Douglas
Many of you don’t know what it’s like to spin around and scan your surroundings before grabbing the hand of your significant other or giving them a kiss in public. Many of you don’t understand the mental calculus that goes into deciding to bring a antiseptic wipe and bandage outside to help the neighbor kid who scraped his knee because who knows how it would look to his parents if he went inside the house of the gay guys next door (and how does it look that I'm touching him at all?). And you don't know what it's like to be concerned that someone who doesn't know you wants to poison you, burn you alive, beat you to a pulp, or mow you down in a hail of gunfire simply because of who you are and who you love.
By Mica Lemire
Every day of the week, my brothers and sisters have been killed by every kind of person, under banners of all nations, reading pages from all kinds of scriptures. Today, a part of the community was killed off by someone of Islamic faith. Tomorrow, it may be an atheist or a Christian or a Buddhist. Remember, however, that solidarity between our gigantic intersection of communities has shaped this country tremendously since 1969, and it can only continue to do so if we recognize Islam as a victim of the same struggle against the forces that want to keep us down.
By Nina Clevinger
Something needs to change. I’m only 19-years old. Nineteen. Nineteen, and I’ve been physically and sexually assaulted by men who I do not know on two separate occasions. Not once, but twice. I was still recovering from the first time when the second time happened.
By Charlotte Hollingsworth
These women are fiercely strong, independent, and remarkably strong role models for young women who don’t want to take any guff, and yet simultaneously they reinforce the idea that strong women are not friends with other women. That old familiar phrase, “girls cause so much drama” is played out over and over in these situations. The idea that if one woman succeeds it takes away from the success of another woman. Basically the opposite of Shine Theory.
By Aric Markl
I was diagnosed with a type of mood disorder known as cyclothymia three years ago and since middle school I’ve been treated for ADHD. I had struggled in school for most of my life, but after developing cyclothymia at the age of 20 things became a lot more difficult. I began finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, I would have mood swings going from hypomanic (feeling like I could do everything, taking on extra work and responsibilities) to hypodepressive (waking up in the morning and spending an hour and a half convincing myself that I could get out of bed that day). My grades suffered, I started losing friends, and this only fed the cycle. By the time the end of the semester had rolled around, I had missed about 25% of all of my classes and it was only thanks to two very forgiving professors that I even passed.
By Michael Ryan Blackwood
I support Bernie Sanders because I'm a progressive.
Hearing Sanders speak at Safeco field inspired me, because he speaks in a wholly new way for mainstream politicians. His ideology resonates with millions of disillusioned voters who have grown tired of—or entirely given up on—the political process. But merely speaking in a new way isn't such a new thing. I may have been tempted to offer the same praise to Obama in 2008, because candidates make promises. They are politicians who fight to win. However, when Bernie Sanders outlines his platform, he has earned the right to do so. No, he is not a God. But I have to admit, he is somewhat of a unicorn. We have rarely seen a politician with such a consistent record of upholding their values.
By Andrew Mayzak
During the presidential primary in 2008, I remember remarking to my family how “masculine” I thought Hillary Clinton had become. She had cut her hair short, spoke in a monotone voice, and was exclusively wearing dark suits instead of a skirt and heels. I used this to justify why I wouldn’t vote for her: I didn’t want a woman playing at a “man’s job”… I wanted a woman who looked and acted like a woman. My sister in law eloquently countered with a simple phrase that has stuck with me: “Maybe she wears suits because she doesn’t feel like showing off her legs anymore.”
By Christopher Heide
Rape is a powerful word that connotes an often traumatic event. It is often thrown around laisse-faire, with a lack of understanding of what the word truly symbolizes. In the early months of 2016, rape culture reached a boiling point. This fever-pitch of sexual violation is often misunderstood and misappropriated. Rape is often about power, fear and control. Condoning rape culture perpetuates the persistence of fear.
By Aaron Michael
As a young child I was blind to the fact that my upbringing wasn’t traditional, or that the circumstances in regards to my family dynamic was always a little off. It wasn’t until I was forcefully separated from my family at the age of twelve that I had any other sort of living situation to compare it to. I grew up fairly isolated and sheltered from the outside world, and deep inside I knew I yearned for something but wasn’t sure what it was or what was missing.
By Mica Lemire
There is a significant problem with the way the public looks at obesity, especially as it relates to health. There are many reading this article, possibly even you, who may hold that obesity is necessarily damaging to a person’s health. But how could you not? Modern medicine operates within a similar weight-pathology mindset, that obesity is a disease– a narrative that propagates out of the hospital and into the public’s rolodex of health axioms. In addition, it’s almost ubiquitously understood that obesity is associated with many diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, and cancer.
A Chosen Magazine Bulletin
One in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. While women do account for 85% of victims, men also account for 15% of domestic violence and abuse victims.
By Dillon Turman
It was the eve of November when I was asked to travel to Washington D.C. to showcase my knowledge and respects for mytribe as a Cherokee Nation representative at the 2014 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Associations’ first ever tribal youth conference. Though I have been to Washington D.C. many times before, this was the first time that I truly felt as if I were going purposefully.
By Christa Brennan
And as I sat there surrounded by strangers who were willing to be vulnerable and share the hurt and broken parts with me, I struggled to fight back my own tears. Something shifted for me in that moment, it finally clicked. I realized these aren’t strangers anymore. These people are just like me. I came to understand that people abuse substances for many different reasons and that there’s more to recovery than just sobriety.
By Christopher Heide
I am three years old and my dad is attempting to punish me for misbehaving. I must have been holding my spoon incorrectly or something. As I storm the stairs to my room, I turn around and say “God damn you, Rod Heide”. I like to call him Rod. He doesn’t like that. He prefers Dad. I don’t.
By Steven Griffith
I was raised in a conservative Mormon family. My first introduction to the LGBT community was through drugs. I was about 19 years old and found a particular drug called Tina (AKA Meth). The day that I started to use Tina was the day I started to give everything in my life over to it. The shame and guilt of being gay was too much for me and I had to find an escape. I found that with meth.
By Jordan Heide
Recall a time when you encountered your greatest fear. Now imagine reliving that experience daily, hourly, terror pulsating through your veins, dread throttling your heart, despair materializing in tremors and trickles of glacial sweat. Oxygen escapes from your body in frantic dash, the shock of which antagonizes the belligerent thumping of your heart. Myopia freezes your functionality, paralyzing your psyche with suspicions of gruesome nightmares materializing into horrific actualities. Frightened and exasperated, you flock to comfort, to safety, to familiarity. However, your fear is not so forgiving; it confronts you suddenly, uninhibitedly, and panoramically seizes your agency. Immobilized in a blazing inferno, the unrelenting grasp of horror consumes every laborious breath, propelling you into a delusory realm of persistent cataclysm. Terror menacingly unravels rationality, suspending existence under the immensity of paranoia; each successive moment contracts a greater degree of uncertainty, such that you nearly cease to exist amongst the soothing tranquility of realism.
A Chosen Magazine Bulletin
Entropy is the inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society. Modern society is rife with unspeakable misfortune and violence, events that frequently question the morality of humanity. It is easy to become pessimistic and self centered when faced with such calamity. However, as seen in many recent national tragedies, people often tend to band together in times of adversity. A remarkable sense of empathy and compassion seems to be rooted in our DNA. The ability to be of service to others is a privilage of the human condition. This week, the opportunity for selflessness hits close to home.
By Jordan Heide
“We help you safely get the truth out.” Boldly printed across its homepage, this proclamation summarizes the intentions of WikiLeaks, the infamous database currently under immense scrutiny for disclosing classified documents of multiple political institutions around the world. What founder Julian Assange fails to mention is that once the truth is out, safety can no longer be assured.
By Jordan Heide
President Barack Obama’s campaign cannot be discussed without mention of his ubiquitous pledge to political reform in the resonant manner of “Change we can believe in” through the better part of 2008. The assumption upon casting a ballot for Obama was that radical reconstruction would occur moments after inauguration. American citizens believed Obama would revolutionize socio-economic structure and truly represent the ideas of the public, as opposed to vying for reelection through corrupt political schemes that would ultimately leave social, economic, and political climates stagnant. Needless to say, Obama captures the American people’s vote through his idealistic insight in to the nature of contemporary politics.
By Jordan Heide
Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone has been actively involved in United States politics for more than four decades, the better half of which have been spent in the state of California. Elected as Mayor of Sunnyvale in 1979, Stone’s political career has since proliferated, encouraging him to become an active voice in the California Democratic Party. Stone has been reelected to the office of County Assessor four times, where he presides over 1.75 million residents; most impressively, his constituency is larger than that of thirteen state governors. I recently spoke with Mr. Stone about the state of California politics. His insights acknowledged the floundering condition of the domestic budget and offered probable resolutions to restore California as a liberal beacon of political success.
By Christopher Heide
Forced sterilization, while not as widely publicized as abortion, is a highly controversial practice that seems intent on permeating itself throughout our society. Alison Thorpe, a London mother, petitioned to have her severely disabled daughter's womb removed, in order to prevent the girl from experiencing the pain of menstruation.
By Jordan Heide
Indeed, many have referred to it as the incarnation of bliss; however, it’s more commonly known as the island of Maui, one of five belonging to the state of Hawaii. Known for its picturesque scenery and care-free culture, it’s no wonder that Maui attracts close to 2.7 million tourists each year.
By Jordan Heide
“The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” have revolutionized political media since their respective debuts on Comedy Central. However, their legitimacy as credible sources for unbiased political information is significantly more ambiguous, according to leading researchers. “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” fall under a category known among political gurus as “soft news,” which is politically oriented news that is portrayed in a satirical and amusing manner.