Words have power. Banned words have consequences.

bannedI have tried for the past 24 hours — and failed — to put my swirling thoughts into words for a blog post. I’m trying again now because my mind can’t rest until I get this out there.

It’s the 21st century. What kind of country are we living in where top public health experts can be banned from using words in official documents?

More specifically, what kind of country are we living in where words that define HUMAN BEINGS can be banned?

Beginning with “fetus,” the very definition of life. This new list of banned words would have us do away with this term as though it were dirty or dangerous. If anyone cared, they’d realize it was science-based. Oh, wait…

And moving on to include “diversity,” “vulnerable,” and the one that hit me hardest: “transgender.”

So we should no longer use the word “transgender.” We should pretend as though it doesn’t exist. As though it has no worth, value, or meaning.

It was bad enough when government websites removed information relating to the LGBT community when someone (I’m banning his name) took office. Now the very term is banned?

What does this mean? Are those who are trans suddenly invisible? You ban the word and, POOF!, they cease to exist?

Reading the list of banned words for the first time, I started off appalled, then shocked. Today, I am beyond outraged. My emotions regarding this “list” are all over the place. I’m sickened, saddened, and heartbroken that in the greatest country in the world — supposedly based on the principle of free speech — we have a list of words that are verboten. That the list includes words that describe very real, very human, people I know and care about is beyond my comprehension.

The vice president of Planned Parenthood called the list “reckless” and “unimaginably dangerous.”

You must be able to acknowledge the humanity of transgender people in order to address their health care needs. You cannot erase health inequities of people of color simply by forbidding the use of the words “vulnerable” or “diversity.” — Dana Singiser

I’m still sorting this all out (as you can tell), but in the meantime, I want to leave you with something I read on Facebook that was beautifully written. I don’t know the author, Elena Sands, but I hope she won’t mind me including it here. It was so apt.

The evidence- and science-based facts are that you are wrong. Free speech is our entitlement and diversity is our strength. You will not oppress my transgender family without consequences. You are so desperate to save a fetus against a woman’s wishes, yet fail miserably to help needy children once they’re born. The only vulnerable thing here is your propaganda. You cannot silence us.

We are worthy. Every one of us. Our diversity makes us stronger, and that includes the transgender community, those who are LGBT, and those who are marginalized in any way.

We are all vulnerable right now. God help us.

#iAMPROUD of you!

Today’s guest post comes from Charlotte Summers, who is behind a global movement to be proud of gender and sexuality. While writing blog posts for thatswhatlynnsaid, more than once I’ve been disheartened by the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community. From bullying to suicide, homelessness to violence, and helplessness to hopelessness, I have wished I could do more than just shed some light on the pain this group endures.

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 3.58.52 PMThen I heard about Charlotte’s efforts with #iAMPROUD, and I asked her to let me share this project with you in hopes of giving it more visibility and giving a stronger voice to those who identify as LGBT.

You can learn more about #iAMPROUD through Charlotte’s words below. And in case I haven’t told you lately, #iAMPROUD to be an ally!


Understanding your sexuality or gender is a long and scary journey.

How will my family perceive me?  Will all of my friends turn against me? What will everyone say about me?

Many valid questions whizz around your head & it all gets too much. When you finally come out, you could get mixed reactions. You see, some get it easy, others don’t. But that’s part of life.

Many of us for years are ashamed of our sexuality/gender as the stigma attached is too much to handle. But this needs to stop, we need to be proud of who we are. No matter sexuality, gender, race, religion and so on. We should all stand proud.

We want to showcase how amazing LGBTQ+ individuals are & we are going to share the worldwide.

The #iAMPROUD project highlights how amazing we all are. From discrimination, hate crimes and daily judgement we still stand proud as ever.

For the younger generations and those struggling with their gender,  they will see us unashamed and owning our sexuality/gender.

And this is what they need. With increasing percentages of young children being bullied at school for their sexuality, they need us to stand up for them and say ‘ We are LGBTQ+ and proud.’

To help us achieve this, there are two ways you can join the movement. 

1. Take a picture of yourself with the hashtag ‘iAMPROUD’ with your sexuality, gender or identity.

Then follow the simple rules below:

  1. Tag us on Instagram at @iamproudd
  2. Use the hashtag #iAMPROUD

(For example: ‘Bisexual & Proud’ with #iAMPROUD below)

That’s it! You will be featured on our gallery as well as on Instagram!

2. Email us your coming out story.  Share your story to the world & show us all how proud you are to identify within the LGBTQ+ community. Our email is Uniteuk1@gmail.com

I hope you join us on our journey in being proud of who we are.

Learn more at https://prouduk.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/get-involved/