Awareness

Time to Educate: How to Choose the Right Birth Control for You

So as a feminist, I believe that feminists should educate people. Since healthcare is a part of feminism that got me started with being a feminist (but not the main thing to make me become a feminist), I thought I should provide some education on choosing the right birth control for you. This blog post is inspired by a recent IUD string check.

Disclaimer: Diaryofself is not a medical professional. She is a software developer. Please have a discussion with your healthcare provider to determine the birth control that is right for you.

When determining what kind of birth control is right for you, there are some questions that may be helpful when making your decision. Here are some questions that I have come up with that you can answer:

  • Do you want to eventually have kids? If that answer is yes, then you want a temporary form of birth control. If that answer is no, there are a few permanent options for birth control
  • Do you want hormonal or non-hormonal? If you want hormonal, you have many options. If you want non-hormonal, there are not many options
  • Would you forget to take a pill at the same time each day? If so, choose something other than a pill. You can take it as soon as you remember, but you may ovulate if you take it even six hours later than usual (according to my 9th grade health teacher)
  • Would you be in circumstances where taking a pill the same time every day would not be possible? For example, you are a wedding attendant a wedding. Wedding attendants have to start getting ready for the wedding many hours before guests even start to arrive. Of course, all personal belongings will be locked in a room. Will you need to grab a pill to take it on time if the wedding ceremony or reception is still going on when it’s pill time?
  • Are you able to see a doctor every few months for shots? Working a job may make appointments difficult. So is traveling abroad. Will you be able to go to any doctor for a shot? Seriously, do you? I never did shots for birth control.

There may be other factors you may have of choosing the right birth control, but these were questions I came up with when helping someone online with choosing what birth control they want to use. A few questions were questions I answered before deciding that I want to get an IUD.

So I won’t risk making this blog post too long, if you want to know what birth control options exist, Planned Parenthood’s website is an excellent resource to use. Not only do they tell you what options exist, but they mention the pros and cons as well as the effectiveness of the birth control.

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Awareness

Veterans Day: What Does It Mean?

So today is Veterans Day. It’s a day where people honor military veterans. But do people know where this day originated? Because I’m a milso (military significant other) whose boyfriend is a veteran, I’m probably required by the milso community to make a post about today. So I will, with a little education taught to me by the project manager of my previous project. But before I do that, let me recognize the veterans in my life:

  • Some people I used to work with (army veterans, navy veterans, and air force veterans)
  • My grandfather (Korean War army veteran)
  • My Godfather (Army veteran)
  • My kickboxing coach (Marine Corps veteran)
  • Franklin (Army veteran, currently in Army National Guard)

Who in your life is a veteran? You can tell me in the comments if you’d like.

But what are the origins of Veterans Day? Believe it or not? November 11th wasn’t originally to celebrate veterans. It was originally Armistice Day, a day to celebrate the signing of the armistice between the Allied nations and Germany during World War One. The armistice was signed on November 11th at 11 AM (Source). In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed that Armistice Day will be commemorated to honor those who fought in WWI. It wasn’t until 1954 when November 11th became Veterans Day, a day to celebrate Veterans of all wars.

Because of people who were or are in the military, we have the freedom to protest what we want to protest. Football players have the freedom to take a knee or stay in the locker room during the locker room. People have the freedom to boycott the NFL this weekend. Sure, I’ll think you’re a whiny nationalist who needs to stop seeing veterans lives as more valuable as black lives, but you have the freedom to boycott things.

My boyfriend loves free food, so he wants to have a free meal today. I’m surprised that some restaurants that are participating in giving free food to veterans and active duty military will accept a picture of someone in uniform as their proof of service. Guess we can use the picture of my boyfriend wearing eclipse glasses when he was at his Captain’s Career Course. Thank a veteran for their service, but only if you’re sincere about it. Don’t thank someone because you think you have to; it makes the thanks seem fake.

Awareness · lgbt

Bi Visibility Day

Bi Visibility Day, also known as Celebrate Bisexuality Day or Bisexual Awareness Day. What is this day about? It is a day to recognize bisexuals who are family members, friends, significant others, historic figures, and people in the general community. It is also a day to raise awareness that bisexuals exist.

Did you know?:

  • Freddie Mercury is bisexual. He was very much in love with Mary Austin and they remained close friends from the time of their breakup in 1976 to the day of his death. People only know of his relationship with Jim Hutton.
  • Bisexuals are marginalized by the straight community and LGBT community. This is why Bi Visibility Day exists.
  • Bi Visibility Day would not exist without Wendy Curry, Michael Page, and Gigi Raven Wilbur. These three people are bisexual rights activists.
  • Bi Visibility Day is in September because Freddie Mercury was born in that month. I just learned this fact. The bisexual rights activists mentioned in the previous fact love Freddie Mercury.
  • There is a strong lack of representation for bisexuals. Try finding an LGBT book. Not too hard with Google, right? Now find a book about bisexuals. Good luck. Look at the TV shows that have a gay person or a lesbian in it. They’re becoming more prevalent. Now find one with a bisexual character. Hard. Now find a bisexual character that is not a damaging stereotype. Likely doesn’t exist.
  • Bisexual originally meant having two sexes in one being. If you mentioned bisexuals in the 19th century, people would think “hermaphrodite”. Note: A hermaphrodite is a being with both male and female COMPLETE sex organs. Since this is not possible with humans, intersex is the term for a person with variations in sex characteristics.
  • Some bisexual celebrities (besides the aforementioned Freddie Mercury) include Angelina Jolie, Billie Joe Armstrong (from Green Day), Andy Dick, and Carrie Brownstein (from Portlandia). Of course, this is not an exclusive list, so don’t complain if I didn’t include your favorite bisexual celebrity.

Of course, those are not all the facts relating to bisexuality. There are also some statistics about bisexuals, but I will not post them here since some statistics may be triggering. In honor of bi visibility day, I am going to say something that I don’t tell most people. I understand if I lose followers from this:

My name is diaryofself, and I am bisexual.

Awareness · Rant

Where are the Black Voices?

Warning: White people might be offended at this blog post. I don’t care. Either read this and be offended or don’t read this blog post. I’m not holding a gun against your head to force you to read this.

We all know what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. We see firsthand what happens when white supremacists use their power to make it dangerous for me, a black person, to live in America. The white supremacists aren’t even hiding anymore. I can no longer travel south of Maryland due to fear of being attacked because the color of my skin is wrong. Another white supremacy rally was allowed in Boston. Fuck Boston. I heard the sports fans are racist there too.

On Sunday, August 13th, there were rallies around the country. There was even one in my county! I wanted to go, but I didn’t want to bring my white friend with me due to my fear that he’d be harassed. That wouldn’t have happened, and it was a good thing I didn’t go anyways. The next day, mom saw images of the rallies around the country. There were mostly white people in attendance.

Tonight, I saw news reports of confederate statues being taken down. Guess what race did all the talking about racism? White people. Whites will NEVER be the targets of racism!

In these two cases, there was a strong lack of black people, the race that is the most affected by these scary spikes in racism that started occurring with Ferguson. Where are the black voices, the voices that matter the most? Yes, I know that white people marched with black people during the civil rights era, but these marches and protests didn’t consist almost entirely of white people. Black people have the power to change the world they live in, but they can’t do that when white people once again try to take the spotlight and silence us. Enough is enough.

White people, please do not speak on my behalf. I am alive. I am the oppressed one. I can speak for myself.

Awareness

I Want to Be An Organ Donor. Now What?

Today is the last day of ECHO. Thanks for reading along! This blog post is good for any time of the year.

You decide to be an organ donor. Thank you, thank you, thank you! It doesn’t matter what your motivation is to become an organ donor, but you’re doing something great for your community! You’re probably wondering how you can register as an organ donor. Actually, there are multiple ways to do it!

  1. Register when you take your learner’s permit knowledge test, when you get your new license, or when you renew your license. This is how I registered to be an organ donor. When I was giving my information before taking my permit test, I was asked if I wanted to be an organ donor. When I said yes, the woman behind the counter asked my dad if it was okay (when you’re under 18 and want to be an organ donor, you must get consent from your parents). Even when you say yes, they will ask you every time you go to your DMV for license-related stuff.
  2. Register online with your state’s organ donor registry. Just find your state’s registry and register there!
  3. Sign a donor card. Some places have donor cards which will say that you want to donate your organs and you can specify which organs you want to donate if you can’t donate all possible organs that can be donated. I know if you live in the UK, NHS has donor cards.

After you register to be an organ donor, let your loved ones know of your wishes. This is suggested in case they need to provide consent after death.

Thank you for joining me for ECHO these past few weeks! I hope I have raised awareness about how everyone has the power to make a difference in this world.

Awareness

Donate Life ECHO Post 4: Hear My Uncles’ Donation Stories

Both of my mom’s brothers were organ donors. They’re the reason why I registered to be an organ donor when I went to take my test to get my learner’s permit. I’d like to tell you about their lives while they were alive.

Let’s first talk about one of my uncles. He was an athlete, with his preferred sport being baseball. He was the youngest of three siblings. He was a graduate of Coppin State University and was one of the best freshmen baseball player to ever exist at his university. In early 2003, he found out he was going to be a father. He was very excited. A few days after the baby shower, in October 2003, he died from a severe asthma attack. His organs and corneas were donated. Thanks to him, someone has the ability to see.

My mom’s other brother, the middle child, had hydrocephalus and was autistic (mostly non-verbal, but knew some words). He loved to dance and his siblings were rightfully very protective of him. My grandparents refused to institutionalize him, which was a typical fate for people with cognitive disabilities back in the 1970s. He had a tooth pulled at the dentist office, and that’s when health problems started. He died of pneumonia in January 2007, a week after his birthday. I don’t know what organs were donated, but due to his pneumonia, his lungs could not be donated (what organs can be donated depends on cause of death).

Although my uncles walked two different paths of life, they still helped to save and enhance lives. You don’t have to be a celebrity or a well-known activist to make a difference in the world.

Awareness

Donate Life ECHO Post 3: What Percentage of People Need A Transplant?

In a previous blog post, I mentioned that 58% of people waiting for a new organ are people of color (a broad term for people who are not white). How did I get this percentage? Did I pull it out of my butt? No. The following image is based on statistics from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network as of April 14, 2017.

A doughnut chart with different sections in green and blue with the percentages of people waiting for a transplant based on ethnicity.
Image description: A doughnut chart with different sections broken down to represent what percentage of people from the transplant waiting list are of a specific ethnicity.

100 minus 42 equals 58. 42% of people on the transplant list are white. 30% are African-American/Black. 19% are Hispanic/Latinx (Latinx is an inclusive term for Latino/Latina and is used to be inclusive of people who identify as gender non-binary). 8% are Asian or Pacific Islander. 1% of waiting recipients are Native American or Alaska Native. Finally, less than 1% of people waiting for a new organ belong to two or more races.

So why am I raising awareness for multicultural communities to donate? Here’s an answer from Donate Life’s FAQ page on why it’s important to become a donor.

Although donation and transplantation can take place successfully between individuals from different racial or ethnic groups, transplant success is often better when organs are matched between people of the same racial or ethnic background.

People of African American/Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native and multiracial descent currently make up nearly 58% of individuals on the national organ transplant waiting list. These communities are in great need of more organ and tissue donors.