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Womxn

Pride: It’s Not a Parade, It’s a March

by Lindsay Church I came out of the closet in 2003, a few months after I graduated high school. Before coming out, I remember walking the halls of my high school and being taunted by football players who would hurl their favorite nicknames at me that included “butch”, “dyke”, and other creative names they would come up with that reminded me that I was different. As I came out, I was terrified of how my…

How Could I Leave Her?

I lost part of myself today. The biggest part, really, up until I became a mother. The part that defined me; before I was a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a student, a person…I was a Soldier. It was the path I’d chosen for myself when I was just barely 17 and desperate to find something to be proud of and a place to call home. Whole parts of me were made in…

How Anthony Bourdain Got Me Through Post-War Depression

November is a month of mixed feelings. Like September, a month filled with melancholic memories of 9/11, the ominous uptick of pumpkin spice latte ads, Suicide Awareness Month, and my birthday, November provides a lens of reflection for Veterans Day. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t share how Anthony Bourdain’s suicide in June was so personally devastating – especially when he saved me from my own as an Iraq War Veteran. After I…

The Most Honorable Thankless Job

I am a Black Woman veteran that proudly served in the United States Army. I served as a leader of Soldiers, a person of integrity, and committed to accomplishing my mission in peacetime as well as in combat. Most importantly, I served the U.S. Army, my family and my country honorably. When I hear the words, “Thank you for your service”, it usually means more to me than the person offering them as a patriotic…

Decolonize Love: Fighting Colonialism in the Age of Indigenous Renaissance

Decolonize Love: Fighting Colonialism in the Age of Indigenous Renaissance A look back on a 12-hour conversation where love was decolonized between two veterans. When I met Alessandro on our first date, he told me he was born in Genoa, the birthplace of Cristoforo Colombo, or Christopher Columbus as we know him in the United States. My heart sank for a moment, and as much as I tried to hide my disgust over hearing Columbus…

The Historically Traumatic Move from Home: An Indigenous Womxn’s Story of Service

What does it mean to serve as an Indigenous person? It means Columbus Day is a holiday you get off if you’re not on duty. We even get a 4-day weekend. If that isn’t incentive to continue to perpetuate settler colonialism through glorifying Christopher Columbus as some founding hero for Americans, I don’t know what is. Serving before Indigenous Peoples’ Day was a recognized holiday meant questioning my own reasons for joining and feeling like…

Making The Impossible Possible

If you were on an Acela train from Washington DC to New York City on the afternoon of August 24th, 2018, you might have seen a woman wearing earbuds doing a very poor job of not crying in public. That woman was me, and those were tears of joy. When I left the military at the end of 2012, I did not think I could ever identify as a “veteran” given that I fit approximately…

Blazn A New Trail In Seattle

My name is Tramese “Missy” Byrd. I am an African American, LGBTQ, disabled Veteran. At the age of 18 I signed a Division One basketball scholarship to the United States Air Force Academy. The campus felt like home, until I started acting differently and did not know why. During my junior year I began having manic episodes of depression. I would act out with no explanation. I remember yelling, running away, sobbing, and hiding for…

Pride: What A Long Strange Trip Its Been

When I think back to my childhood, I cannot remember a lot and the only feelings that stuck with me were anxiety and shame. I always felt different and less than. I was a nervous kid. Junior and Senior High School was a treacherous minefield. I was a little late on the development scale and I did not know what the hell was going on. I yearned to be popular, but it just was not…

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