Public spotlight has focused intently on reproductive justice lately: in the campaigns of presidential hopefuls, in the media, and in the procedings of the U.S. legistlature. Debates have culminated this fall in a show-down on Capitol Hill as members of Congress attempt to de-fund Planned Parenthood. The House and Senate both voted to de-fund the organization, which amounts to cutting off Medicaid payouts to the non-profit that millions of low-income people depend on for healthcare.
But wait a second: why are lawmakers making such a stink over Planned Parenthood anyway?
Our societies are chock full of norms and ideals of beauty, and we all run up against them eventually. These norms and expectations often have a hand in shaping how we feel about our own bodies. When you're a teen and trying to sort out how to feel comfortable in your changing body, these messages can be very potent indeed.
So, what can you do - and what shouldn't you do - to help teens feel at home in their own skin?
Mental illness is often a hard thing to talk about even at the best of times. There's still so much stigma attached to it and mental healthcare, and a lot of misconceptions about what someone with a mental illness looks or acts like. It can be doubly scary and intimidating if the person dealing with that illness is your child.
What can you do to create a more supportive environment for a child who may be coping with mental illness?
One of the things that can be hard, when choosing to come out to parents, is the fact that you might feel like you have to educate them about gender issues, both on a general level and in terms of your own identity; this can make a process that might already feel overwhelming or stressful even harder to manage. Letting an organization that's dedicated to this sort of education do some of the work for you can take some of that weight off of your shoulders.