Obamacare is working, except the Republicans and Republican control media don’t want you to know that. Media outlets such as Fox continue to censor all positive stories about how Obamacare is working and helping millions of Americans.
Nearly 365,000 people in the country has already bought private health insurance plans through the Marketplace and more than 800,000 people are able to finally get health insurance through the Medicaid expansion in the states. And thousands of Americans are signing up for healthcare insurance everyday. (WhiteHouse)
Because of the healthcare law, up to 105 million Americans can’t be subject to lifetime caps. And up to 17 million children with pre-existing conditions can’t be denied coverage or charged more. Specifically, in Iowa the healthcare law has allowed over 800,000 Iowans to receive at least one preventive service at no out of pocket cost. (WhiteHouse)
In addition, the healthcare law adds protections for the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) community by prohibiting insurance companies from denying LGBTQIA people coverage. The healthcare.gov website has even been designed to help consumers find the health insurances that cover domestic partners. Obamacare also provides access to evidence-based interventions addressing tobacco control, obesity prevention, HIV-related health disparities, better nutrition and physical activity.
As I continue to report, I have Cystinosis and because of living with this terminal illness I visit lots of doctors and hospitals. Thus, I rack up tons of medical bills. I also recently, had a living donor kidney transplant at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. However, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) insurance companies cannot deny me coverage because of my pre-existing illness and they cannot deny me coverage because of a lifetime cap. In addition, because of the healthcare law my premiums and co-pays are lower and preventive services such as flu shots were free of charge.
Obamacare is working and is saving lives. The Republicans and conservatives don’t want you to know this because they don’t want to admit that they are wrong and their plans will only hurt the American people but vastly benefit corporations and their CEOs.
I recommend that if you don’t have health insurance or you do but the plan is too costly, then go to the health insurance Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov and sign up. If you qualify for subsidies or Medicaid it will help you get those.
26, the number of mass-shootings since Sandy Hook which took the lives of 20 children and 6 teachers. The FBI defines a mass-murder as the killing of four or more people without an extended period of “cooling-off” by the perpetrator.
Yesterday, marked the 1 year anniversary of the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. With that said, Congress has yet to pass universal background checks (Senate failed to pass the bill by 3 votes), assault weapons and high-capacity magazines ban, or pass a bill making gun trafficking a federal crime.
Many of these measures are supported by the vast majority of Americans and yet the NRA and the Republicans continue to filibuster and block all of the measures. While, in the U.S., about 40% of gun transfers happen without a licensed dealer, using the loopholes of online and gun shows. Which means about, 6.6 million guns are sold without background checks. This means that even people who are prohibited from buying a gun can do so by using these loopholes.
Locally, we have seen our own school shooting at Millard South High School (where I graduated from the year before), and yet, the local Republicans refused to allow any discussion of local measures to help stop gun violence. For this local shooting, I believe a way that could have helped prevent the shooting would be adequate help for all students instead of just expelling or suspending them. Work with the students, don’t just label them and leave them for the wolves.
I stand with President Obama and the families of Newtown in calling on Congress to pass gun violence prevention measures including universal background checks, assault weapons and high-capacity magazines ban, or pass a bill making gun trafficking a federal crime, and adequate mental healthcare funding.
Go here to contact your U.S. House Rep and U.S. Senators (Iowa, Nebraska): Contact Info
Please take a couple minutes of silence for all the victims of gun violence locally and nationally.
In today’s edition of the "Good Stuff," a hand of applause for kindergartner Claire Koch, who shows the so-called sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial how it’s done. And she’s only five.
In the video above, she's signing for a very important reason; both of her parents are deaf.
She did it as a surprise so her folks could enjoy her Christmas concert-- and, boy, were they surprised.
At age ten months, I became very ill and was rushed into the emergency room (ER). The doctors diagnosed me with dehydration and failure to thrive. In the following months, I went through many tests including bone marrow taken from my hip. The doctors concluded from these tests that I had Nephropathic Cystinosis. This was a very scary moment for my family, they had no idea what Cystinosis was.
I owe my life to Dr. William Gahl from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). I began seeing him in 1992. Dr. Gahl shortly before meeting me he discovered that Cystagon and some other medications are successful in treating Cystinosis. I started the Cystagon treatment in 1992, during my first visit to the NIH. It is because of his research and those medication that I am still living. The first group of doctors, I saw at the University of Nebraska Medical Center were useless, they told my parents that they did not believe I would live to be six years old because they didn’t wish to go out of their way to really figure out what was wrong with me. Nevertheless, they were right, if I would not have started the Cystagon I would have died.
Cystinosis has become part of my life. Cystinosis had done many great things for me. I look at Cystinosis as some sort of tool. I have been able to educate myself on many things that most people do not understand because of this illness. I understand most if not all of what many of my medications do and how they work. I understand what Cystinosis does and what Cystinosis is; I know the many different functions of the body especially the kidneys and what levels should be. I am able to travel to many different places. For instance, I go to the NIH once every other year, which is located in Bethesda, Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C. It has given me the opportunity to travel to California where I took part in a psychology study in San Diego. Cystinosis has also made me become more mature then many people my age and thus, I look at the world much differently.
Nonetheless, there are many negative aspects of living with Cystinosis, such as I have been to so many hospitals that I have lost count of them. The hands of so many medical professionals have touched me, which has led to me trying to tell them what to do, when they draw blood and start IVs. I have had so many different scans and X-rays that now, I have been exposed to more radiation then an average Iowan. I also take many different medication, which have many different side effects. Some of those side effects including vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and bad breathe. Thus, the medications are another negative aspect of Cystinosis. But, I guess the most negative aspect of living with Cystinosis is that it will eventually kill me.
Today, living with Cystinosis is much easier because I finally after 3 years of waiting and the first transplant center refusing to do the transplant after scheduling it twice in the same year, I got my kidney transplant. I am doing much better and continue to improve. I owe that to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Dr. Reed who did my kidney transplant. Oh and I guess Jon the donor. But, he didn’t have a huge roll in it, he only had to lay on a table and give up his kidney. Thanks Jon!
The following are graphs of my blood levels post kidney transplant.
As you all know by now, I am a 22 year old living with Cystinosis and I had a kidney transplant on May 30, 2013 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). Because of living with Cystinosis I visit many hospitals and doctor’s offices, thus, I rack up medical bills quickly. However, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), insurance companies cannot place a lifetime cap on my coverage and cannot deny me medical coverage because of having a pre-existing condition. In addition, my copays and premiums are lower this year because of Obamacare and preventive services such as flu shots were available to me free of charge.
The healthcare law (ACA) aka Obamacare adds protections for the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) community by prohibiting insurance companies from denying LGBTQIA people coverage. The healthcare.gov website has been designed to help consumers find the health insurances that cover domestic partners. Obamcare also provides access to evidence-based interventions addressing tobacco control, obesity prevention, HIV-related health disparities, better nutrition and physical activity.
There are some additional ways the ACA or Obamacare is helping Americans:
- Up to 105 million Americans now can’t be subject to lifetime caps, and I am glad to be part of that number.
- Up to 17 million children with pre-existing conditions can’t be denied coverage or charged more and beginning next year.
- Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions can’t be charged more or denied coverage.
- Over 801,000 Iowans have already received at least one preventive service at no out of pocket cost, and I am happy to be part of that number.
Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress wish to defund and repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), they refuse to help young adults such as myself to get the lifesaving healthcare services because they wish to give insurance companies the ability to put lifetime caps on insurance and deny people like me insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Repeal of the ACA (Obamacare) would mean that over 100 million Americans could lose access to medical and preventive services.
Obama’s election to the presidency in 2008 was because he promised healthcare reform. The president spoke to the majority of Americans whom agree with him that we need healthcare reform. The world economy failed in 2008, most nations have been struggling to stay afloat. In America, we have watched as Healthcare costs have become unmanageable for many Americans. Many Americans no longer have regular checkups. Instead, they would see a doctor in emergency room visits. The nation lost preventive care. Nevertheless, Republicans in the nation believe that the Democrats plan for healthcare reform will not work. While, on the other hand Democrats believe that, the Republicans plan for Healthcare reform will not work. During 2010, our nation had Democratic control of the Executive and the Legislative branches of the government. Thus, our legislative body passed a Healthcare reform bill.
In reality, the healthcare reform law does many things, for instance,“insurers will have-to cover everyone, regardless of preexisting conditions.” This was a major winning point for the Democrats. Another is, “you can live away from the folks and even be married (as long as you’re under 26) and still be on their health-care plan.” The last big winner for the Democrats was that under the new law, “as long as you pay your premiums, it’s illegal for insurers to drop you if you become suddenly, expensively sick” (“Reform School”). With the new rules that healthcare insurances and providers must obey by, “Medicaid coverage will be expanded in 2014 to individuals with incomes at 33 percent of the federal poverty level” (Kim, Majka, Sussman 57).
The new law did get the approval of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which is a nonpartisan agency that calculates the official cost of legislation for Congress, speaks in the polite language of actuarial tables, refuses to reliably please either party, and is the closest thing American politics has to an umpire. One major reason it received approval is for the inclusion of about $500 billion I cuts and reforms to Medicare, and similar amount in new taxes (Klein). Even though the CBO has given its approval of the Healthcare law, Republicans still want to throw out the law.
Some of the reasons why the nation’s Republicans want to repeal the new Healthcare law include, “provisions will require each of us (with minor exceptions) to maintain a minimum level of health insurance, beginning in 2014.” The individual mandate is a huge reason for supporting repeal, for the Republican party whom believes that it should be the individual’s choice whether they want to or not. If individuals do not buy health insurance then “a penalty imposed by the tax code, payable with annual tax returns” (Becker). In addition, by 2014, employers with 50 or more employees will be required to provide coverage on the exchange and receives a subsidy (Pudlowski 40). Republicans believe that this mandate is going to be very harmful to small businesses.
Republicans in the House of Representatives that happen to be physicians also have teamed up to repeal the new healthcare law because of the new cuts, “ in reimbursement rates to Medicare and Medicaid providers; fees or excise taxes on pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufactures and health insurers; reductions of hospital bad debt; and quality initiatives” (Pudlowski 37). Thus, they are displaying a conflict of interest and only reason they wish to repeal the law is so that their friends can continue to make a profit off of their patients.
Most Democrats believe that these provisions in the healthcare law, for instance the individual mandate, employer mandate, and the cuts to Medicaid and Medicare are necessary for reform. The Democrats believe that the positive effects, the coverage regardless of preexisting conditions, children being able to stay on their parent’s healthcare plan, and expanding Medicaid coverage will out-weigh the negative effects. This 1,000-page law may not be perfect but it does many great things. In 2014, if the law has not been repealed there will be an additional 47 percent of Americans will be insured. More lives will be saved by preventive care, less emergency room visits, and less bad hospital debt.
Thus, I personally support President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act ‘Obamacare,’ because not only will it help reduce the cost of healthcare in the United States it will cover more people and save lives. Nonetheless, I am still a huge proponent for universal healthcare by the passage of H.R. 676, the expand and improve Medicare for all bill. H.R. 676 would institute a single payer healthcare system by expanding and greatly improving Medicare to everyone residing in the United States. H.R. 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental (including oral surgery, periodontics, endodontics), mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including substance abuse), vision and correction, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable medical equipment, palliative care, podiatric care, and long term care. H.R. 676 ends deductibles and co-pays. H.R. 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and the profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.
For more information on H.R. 676 please visit: H.R. 676
Yesterday, December 4, 2013, I went to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) for my six month post kidney transplant check up. Kidney-wise, I am doing great!
The following are my most recent labs:
- Sirolimus level – 11.7
- BUN – 8
- Creatinine – 0.9
- Potassium – 3.7
- Hemoglobin – 13.9
- WBC – 5.2
- Platelet Count – 233
- CO2 – 25
These lab results indicate that I am doing great.
My UIHC transplant team has decided that I can stop taking sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (Bactrim) which I use to take every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Bactrim is an anti-bacterial drug. In addition, the UIHC transplant team decided that I do not need to have labs every week. Thus, I will have labs once every two weeks until February when I start having labs once a month. This means that I get to have much more freedom. I can travel and stay away from home for longer periods of time and now I have less medications to take. Finally, my next visit to UIHC will be in June of next year at my one year anniversary of the kidney transplant or as I like to call it kidney adoption day.
- Cysteamine Bitartrate: 50mg cap, 11 caps 4x daily
- Levocarnitine: 100mg/ml solution, 2ml 4x dayily
- Mycophenolate Mofetil: 500mg tab, 1 tab 2x daily
- Cysteamine HCI BAC: Eye solution 1 drop each eye every hour while awake
- Sirolimus: 1mg tab, 4 tabs 1x daily
- Prednisone: 5mg tab 1 tab 1x daily
- Sodium & Potassium Phosphates: 250mg tab 1 tab 2x daily
- Docustate: 100mg cap 1 cap 3x daily as needed
- Sennosides: 8.6mg tab 1 tab 2x daily as needed
- Sertraline: 50mg tab 1 tab 1x daily
- Ondansetron: 4mg tab 1 tab every 8 hours as needed
- Acetaminophen: 325mg tab 2 tabs every 6 hours as needed
- Sumatriptan: 100mg tab 1 tab as needed
Nevertheless, I also ended up getting very sick yesterday with acute nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, blood pressure 147/103 with a pulse of 109 and temperature of 98.9. Thus, I went to the emergency room (ER) at Alegent Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa. At the ER they started IV fluids and gave me zofran. They then performed serveral tests including urinalysis & culture, CBC with differential, comprehensive metabolic panel, fecal hemoccult, abdomen complete 2v, culture stool, fecal WBC, and giardia/cyrpto screen. The medial team there diagnosed me with a gastrointestinal infection and put me on the following medications ciprofloxacin 500mg tablet and prochlorperazine 10mg tablet. This is in addition, to the acute sinusitis I was diagnosed with on Tuesday which my primary care physician prescribed me cefdinir 300mg capsule.
Overall, I am doing pretty well for a post kidney transplant cystinotic (cystinosis) patient of 22 years old. My kidney function is awesome and I am gaining back all of my strength. The kidney is saving my life. My current vitals include temperature 97.6, blood pressure 126/86, pulse 102, and wight 102.8. thus, I am doing good. But, my friend Paige is not.
Paige Orlinski needs a kidney to survive, she is only 12 years old. If you are willing to be tested to see if you are a match for Paige, please contact the transplant team at Egleston in Atlanta, Georgia by calling (404) 785-1405 and ask for Debbie. Tell them you wish to donate your kidney to Paige Orlinski. For more information on Paige and kidney donation please visit my post on Paige, “Save Paige’s Life and Get Tested.”
I was in second grade when I noticed a boy in my class. We would go to his house, play games, and at school, we played a lot together during our lunchtime recess. I really liked him. He always stood up for me against the big bad bullies that made fun of me because of my bad breath at times. He would hug me and tell me, “Don’t cry, I won’t let ’em hurt ya.” At that age, I did not know what being gay was, I didn’t think that I was different or that there was anything wrong. I was just being me and he was my best friend that is all that I saw back then. Not too long later, I moved to Wahoo, and I never talked to him again.
The following year, when I was in third grade, I started hearing the word ‘gay.’ I did not understand, I was too busy playing and being a kid to worry about it. Kids called me gay because I was weak and I did not like what most of the boys liked. I was a bit girly. Nevertheless, I started having these feelings about boys, and just thought that they were normal so I didn’t pay much attention to them. I was not having any sexual thoughts, just friendship, but strong attachment. One day, around the end of the school year, someone called me a fagot. I cried and cried that day after school. I didn’t understand what it meant, but it hurt that people would call me these names. I didn’t have my friend to protect me anymore. I started to feel like I was different but I didn’t know what they thought was bad or wrong about me.
In fourth grade, I discovered what gay was. I started having sexual thoughts about boys in my class. I started to push the feelings away and told myself, “No, it’s wrong to think like that.” I started thinking I was ill, and began to get depressed and didn’t know what to do. I wanted to go back to second grade and be with my friend; he would make the bad things stop, I thought. I started pretending I was sick all the time, so I didn’t have to go to school or so I could leave early to get away from the bullying.
I started fifth grade, my last year of elementary school, at the new school in Wahoo. I was so happy when school started. Everything was so new. I was excited to have a chance to start over. I could lose those feelings; I’d been having for boys. I was hopeful. Unfortunately, as much as I tried not to be me, I could no longer hide it. Somehow, they knew. The bullying became worse. I looked to the teachers to help which they were very reluctant to do. I must be sick, I constantly told myself.
My sophomore year was the worse and best year in Wahoo. I decided I could be ‘normal,’ I worked hard to open up to people and put myself out there. I just wanted to be normal, like everyone else. I decided to try to find a girlfriend. My cousin had a friend who, I also knew and had some things in common. I decided to ask my cousin’s friend to go to homecoming with me at my high school, along with my cousin. We would go as a group. It felt like a safe way to try to belong.
At the dance, we sat the entire night talking about how we thought many of the other students looked so stupid. My cousin and her friend were from Omaha. They went to school at Millard South High School (MSHS). Therefore, I thought they were cool and sophisticated. I thought they would understand someone being gay or bisexual, and thought that maybe it would be safe for me to come out to them.
That same year, on New Year’s Eve, I was with my sister, cousin, and her friend, while we drank that evening, celebrating the promise of the New Year. I told them that I was bisexual and that there was a guy I really liked but thought he would never like me. My cousin and sister said, “Yeah, we know.” My cousin’s friend said nothing but as the evening continued, it became clear that they were all okay with me, despite my declaration. They poked fun a bit, in a loving way, and we continued chatting as we always had. I finally felt like I could be me.
The following day was a new year and I decided to live openly. I began to experience how to live openly and began to understand the pain of being gay in a high school in the United States of America and especially in Nebraska where it was legal to bully a fellow student based on their sexual orientation. To this day, there is no state law banning bullying or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. As an openly ‘gay’ student, I began to experience bullying and harassment in a different way, but I decided I would just have to live with what was thrown at me. At the same time, I was beginning to feel the hurt manifesting from the fact that I really like the boy I told my sister and cousin about. I knew the feelings I had for him would not be returned. I thought he was too perfect. I began to know that gay and bisexual people do not get ‘perfect,’ and knew they never would.
At that point, I decided that I needed to leave the small town that I grew up in. I could no longer deal with the constant harassment and bullying. I became very depressed and didn’t know why. I just came out and learned from my research that I should be feeling better. Coming out always makes things better. Nevertheless, I didn’t feel any better. I was not happy most of my days. I constantly, felt that I would be more comfortable dressing more girly and really liked the idea of panting my nails. I soon began to wear skinny jeans and black nail polish. I knew guys weren’t ‘supposed’ to wear girly cloths or nail polish. However, I wanted to wear those things; they made me feel more comfortable. They also really scared me. I started having problems sleeping and thinking. I became interested in other things, like choir, activism, and acting. In drama class, I learned that I really like to do make up, and act and read the plays. My drama teacher taught me it’s okay to be gay. Since I couldn’t sleep, I started staying up all night practicing for speech competition, reading the poems aloud, allowing the words to connect with my own emotions.
My family and I left Wahoo in 2007, and lived most of that summer in a small subdivision of Omaha. When school started, I moved in with my cousin and her family. I was able to attend school with her at Millard South High School. There I met so many new people. Many people there were accepting of my gender expression. I even met other openly LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual). MSHS was a safer environment for me; I began to open up and became the person who I truly was. MSHS offered so many more learning opportunities than the small town schools I had attended. I was so excited to be able to take part in the German program and really was able to thrive there. I became confident in myself. I even, became somewhat popular, thought I attribute that to the fact that I was openly queer and ‘different.’ Although, there different was good. I might not be ‘normal,’ but I was accepted for what and who I was.
Sadly, as I became more confident and popular, it seemed that my cousin and I began to grow apart. She seemed at times to be a bit upset that I was making many friends in a short time and she had been there for two additional years than me since I only transferred there.
At Millard South High School, students and teachers actually thought something of me; they believed that I was going to do some awesome things in my future. I had a couple teachers who believed in me even when I did not believe in myself. They kept giving me encouragement. They told me to keep fighting for what is right. They encouraged me to go into politics and maybe run for office someday. They believed in me when I really needed someone. I will never forget all that they did for me and I hope I can repay them.
Junior year at Millard Sough High School just flew bye and the next thing I knew I was a senior. I was so scared of what will be in my future but quite excited. I could not wait for the end of the year. I really wanted to move on to college.
During my senior year, I wanted to reintroduce a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) club. The last one fell apart a couple years before I transferred to MSHS. After I mentioned my intentions the year before to Mr. Byer, the Activities Director at MSHS, he told me that I had a long process to go through before I could get the club off the ground. Thus, when I decided later that year, after speaking with some other students and several supportive teachers, I went back to Mr. Byer’s office and told him that I wanted to go through the process. That is when he became reluctant to let me start his so-called process. Nevertheless, I was quite persistent, and I he finally caved and told me that I needed to gather at least 50 students names who were interested in joining the club. Instead, I collected almost 300 student’s signatures and about ten teachers to sign a petition asking for Dr. Case, MSHS Principle and Mr. Byer to let me form the GSA club.
About a week later, after I brought the petition to Mr. Byer and Dr. Case, Mr. Byer then requested I provide a sample mission statement, constitution, and by-laws. My next period, I went directly to the computer lab and wrote them all up for him. I went back to Mr. Byer’s office and handed them to him. Of course, he now decided that I needed to fill out an application (which I believed was the only thing I needed to fill out in the first place) and he would have to give it to the school board for their review and approval of the application, he said it could take up to a month for their approval.
Two weeks went by, and I went to his office to see if ‘they’ decided yet. Obviously, they hadn’t and told me that he thought they might not since it is a controversial group. Thus, I decided to agree to wait another week or so and get back with him. Therefore, I went and began my research into what laws protected students and if we had the right to form a club. I found the GSA Network in California, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Iowa Pride Network. They helped educate me on the federal Equal Access Act (EAA). According to the EAA, the school cannot deny the formation of my club because the school already has other non-curricular related clubs. MSHS would need to treat the GSA club the same as the Anime or Diversity clubs.
Thus, I brought the law to the attention of Mr. Byer and Dr. Case. Nevertheless, MSHS was not going to follow the EAA; they claimed that I did not understand and tried to explain to me what the EAA ‘said.’ They told me that the law only gives me the right to meet on campus as a club but not give the club the right to use school computers, printers, or make announcements like other clubs. Further, Mr. Byer informed me that I could not form the club but that I could try again next year. Thus, that summer, I contacted the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) of Nebraska.
The ACLU documented my complaint and the fact that the school was violating my first amendment rights and the federal Equal Access Act. They told me that they could send the school a letter directing them to allow the formation of the GSA club. They included information regarding the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the federal Equal Access Act. The school responded to them, stating, that they had every intention to let me form the GSA club and that there must be a misunderstanding. Thus, my senior year, I was able to form the GSA. Had Dr. Case and Mr. Byer allowed the formation of the GSA when I first requested, I might never had taken it upon myself to do all of the research to learn about my rights and the EAA. Going through that process, I learned that I was not only okay, but that I had a right to be me. My senior year at MSHS was one of my best and worst years of my life.
My new pride and confidence in myself did not help me at home. My mother and her boyfriend acted as if they hated me. She not only didn’t understand who I was, she seemed not interested in trying to learn. Her boyfriend, who had been living with us since we lived in Wahoo, just wanted me to die. He hated me then and always will. He never told me why and I will never care. They both thought I needed to see a psychologist. On that particular issue, they were right. I was aware; I needed to see someone who could help me understand myself. I had known for years that I was different and my time at MSHS allowed me to develop and embrace certain parts of myself. I knew there were more. I could not figure out why I still felt that a part of me was incomplete.
I began to see a psychologist that year at Boys Town. She was very nice and LGBTQIA friendly. I talked with her about my research on LGBTQIA matters and laws that affected them. I spoke with her about my Advanced Placement Psychology course (which my mother did not help pay for), and the honors German 3 class that I was taking, in addition to my issues at home. She understood that the problems at home were because of my mother and her boyfriend. She understood the problems I was facing related to being queer. The sessions with her, caused me to accept a fact about myself that I had previously been unable to come to terms with. I was finally able to come out as transgender. I had become able to identify the roots of some many of the problems and discovered more about my identity. I learned that I should begin facing those issues. I learned that they only way to overcome the feelings of injustice I had was to continue to fight for my rights, as I had done in high school, the year before.
I finally came out to my mother at one of my sessions I had with her and my psychologist. I remember yelling at her, saying, “well, I am fucking sick of listening to you cry about your problems! We are here about me! I am fucking transgender!” From that day forward, I began coming out to people that I was transgender. That same year, on October 11, 2009, I told the store manager at J.C. Penney where I worked, that I was transgender and from that moment on identify as a female, use female pronouns, and I would appreciate to be addressed as Mika. I also began the process of coming out at school and requesting my teachers to address me the same.
Coming out, as transgender was the hardest task I will ever have to do. It was so difficult because I was so scared; I knew my family didn’t like me because they thought I was queer. I was worried about how my friends at school and work would treat me. I fully expected to be fired from my job. Now, I just wonder why I did not notice that I was transgender sooner. Coming out actually opened my own mind to new possibilities, it helped me finish accepting myself and I was able to improve my work beyond what I thought I could.
This Thanksgiving Day, many retailers will be open. This means that millions of workers will forgo their holiday for capitalism. These are just some of the retailers that are choosing capitalism over people, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Kmart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, and Toys R Us.
Some of these companies claim that their employees are "excited" to work on holidays.