Passover Reflections

This year, for the first time in the three years since my partner and I have been together, I observed Passover with him. It has taken me a month to put to words what this experience meant to me.

Passover is my partner’s favorite Jewish holiday. He loves the symbolism, the message and most importantly the gathering of family and friends. Last year we hosted our first seder and it was amazing to watch him lead our group of Jewish and non-Jewish friends and family through the rituals. His passion for his faith and culture are one of the many reasons I fell in love with him in the first place.

This year since we are planning our wedding, we decided not to host. Although I had known for a long time that I would be spending the rest of my life with him, getting engaged made me think even more about our future and what it truly means to be in an interfaith relationship. While reading The New Jewish Wedding, we came upon the chapter on creating a Jewish home and quickly realized we had already done that. We keep a fairly kosher kitchen, we have mezuzot on door frames and our kiddush cup makes an appearance on the dining room table on Fridays (when we can). But with Passover approaching this year, our first as an engaged couple and our last before we’re married, I started to think more about what it means to create a Jewish life for us and for our future children.

I decided to observe Passover this year for several reasons. I wanted to stand in solidarity with my partner. To him, Passover is more that just a week of eating matzah, it’s a week to reflect on the excesses in our lives. I wanted to experience being mindful of what I eat, when on the daily I have the privilege of not having to. I also wanted to be able to share with our future children that just because Mami isn’t Jewish doesn’t mean she can’t be a part of everything they experience as Jews.

It wasn’t an easy week. Meal planning was crucial and I definitely ate more fruits and nuts than I ever thought I would. I made it though the week. And that slice of pizza and first sip of beer after it was all over was truly amazing. In the end Passover wasn’t about giving anything up. It was about gaining a new perspective of what my life will be like going forward. And just one more reminder that I made the right decision when choosing my life partner.

A Girl and Her Mat

Today marks my one year yogaversary. I had taken a few yoga classes here and there throughout my adult life, but last April I decided to make a commitment to my body and my mind. I had always been intimidated by yoga, the twisty seemingly gravity defying moves and also the appearance of yoga as a pastime for the wealthy and thin. Yes, some yogis are more experienced and can crow like nobody’s business. And yes, some of my fellow yogis are thin and probably wealthy (studio is located in Back Bay after all) but it is not the exclusive club I once thought it was.


I was surprised to see that first day, and every day since, many other newcomers. I was also pleasantly surprised to notice women and men of all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds. I know that not all studios reflect this level of diversity but I feel lucky to have found one that does. The instructors that I have had the pleasure of practicing with have always made me feel good about what I could do and helped me modify what I cannot. I have also found a community of yogis online with bodies like mine and socially conscious approaches to the practice.

As an activist I am constantly trying to change the world. Changing the world takes a LOT of time — the patriarchy is no joke ya’ll. As many activists know, finding time for yourself can be difficult. Making a commitment to yoga has meant making a commitment to me time. A time to reflect on my body, my mind. A moment to just breathe (which I forget to do sometimes). A space to let my body do what it can, no judgement.

I still fall out of poses sometimes and occasionally my mind wanders to the sounds on Boylston Street. But it’s only been a year. Who knows what my body will be able to do a year from now? I can’t wait to find out.

Doin’ Thangs

It’s been three months since my last post. The new year hit and away I went. For the past three months I have been quite busy. With each new adventure I vowed to blog about it and yet here we are three months later and zero posts to show for it. So in order to wipe the slate clean I’m giving you a good old fashioned roundup.


  • I attended my very first Con, Arisia. Arisia is said to be “New England’s largest and most diverse science fiction and fantasy convention.” Now since I have never been to a Con, I can’t say whether this is the most diverse in the area. But if it is, that’s not saying much. Don’t get me wrong, although that was disappointing I did attend some amazing panels. I attended panels on zombies, vampires and Hunger Games-some of my favorite things. A few others that I really enjoyed were shame on slut-shaming and race and Identity in fandom. The feminism panel let much to be desired since it consisted of 3 white women and a white male, none of whom knew who Kimberle Crenshaw is (I reminded them from the audience). My favorite panel was on respectability politics. Not only did I get introduced to Daniel Jose Older, but I got to meet Mikki Kendall in person!!! All in all it was a pretty cool three days. I got to let all my nerd hang out and I was left thinking: how do I get on a panel next year?
  • I became an abortion doula. I first heard about abortion doula work in 2007 while living in NY. I knew immediately it was something I wanted to be a part of. I have been a reproductive justice activist for many years. Being an abortion doula seemed to be an important and much needed way to put my activism into direct action. Several months ago at the New England Women’s Center Conference during a self care workshop, the facilitator mentioned that she was starting the Boston Doula Project and I knew immediately this was my chance to get involved. The training was great. It gave me an opportunity to meet a wonderful group of people who felt as strongly about issues of reproductive justice as I did. The organizers made the distinction between reproductive rights, reproductive health and reproductive justice. This was a really important distinction that set the framework for the remainder of the training. I feel lucky to be a part of this organization from the ground up. I look forward to helping people and doing outreach in Boston about this work as part of the Public Programs team.


  • I found my dress. I won’t go into too many details since my fiance will likely read this. It was a pretty easy process in that I had a clear vision of what I wanted. Some stores were better than others (nicer than others) but I refused to be swayed from my vision. In the end I found the one and it gave me the feeling I was waiting for. The moment I saw myself in the mirror I burst into tears because it was exactly how I want to look on my wedding day. It may be more traditional than one would expect from a feminist (yes, it’s white), however it is 100% me and that’s all that matters.


  • I attended the Five College Queer Gender and Sexuality Conference. I attended this conference as a presenter, co-leading a workshop as part of the Hollaback! Boston team. It was a fantastic weekend. There were many engaging speaking including Tristan Taormino and Jiz Lee. The panels were really engaging. My two favorites were Queering Pregnancy and Media Representations of Queer Women of Color. Although the whole weekend was great, hands down the best part was the performance given by Darkmatter. Their slam poetry made me laugh and cry. I managed to grab a clip for you.

Needless to say I have been quite a busy bee. What have you all been up to in 2014?


ICYMI: My Interview with The Marriage Project

My friend Chanel runs a blog called The Marriage Project where she investigates, “a decision that is deeply personal and deeply political.” I have been reading her interviews for a while and once I became engaged, knew this was something I wanted to be a part of. My interview with Chanel is Reflection 118: “I will NEVER be Mrs. anything.”

Feminist Says Yes!-Step One: Find A Venue

For many couples I’m sure choosing a wedding venue is purely a fun and exciting time. But for a couple that is also funding the wedding on their own (mostly), with a very large guest list, it can be a very daunting task. Don’t get me wrong, it is super cool to have a vision of the day and try to find a space that fits that. At the same time it can be exhausting and disappointing, REAL TALK!

We visited one venue where the male wedding planner didn’t look at Jake when speaking to US. Oh and did I mention he also made an inappropriate gay comment, probably should’ve told him my fiance has two dads, at least maybe then he would have faked decency.

I have no doubt we will find a great space. We still have plenty of places to look at. We have also met some lovely people along the way. In the meantime I’m not going to front like it’s all rainbows and glitter. Make no mistake, the wedding industrial complex is real. I have to hike up my feminist panties and dive in fists a blazin’.

Feminist Says Yes!

Almost two weeks ago, my partner Jake proposed. As a feminist I am aware of the history of marriage, what it meant for women in this country and the ways in which it continues to be used to create second class citizens. I do not agree that it should be the primary, legal form of relationships. However, I know with every ounce of my being that I have chosen the right partner for me. I know the history of the institution I am about to become a part of and I couldn’t be happier because I am entering it with full knowledge of what it is and how to make it mine.

The proposal was everything I could have hoped for. I was surprised at a coffee shop in my hometown with family and friends. He then proceeded to sing a song he had written for me that led into the “will you marry me?” It was perfect. 1385040_833742770745_543538592_n

The ring, a purple (my favorite color) sapphire in white gold, was more than just a beautiful symbolic gesture, The ring was purchased at Laura Preshong. Laura Preshong is a jeweler in Boston that makes eco friendly, socially responsible and conflict free pieces. By purchasing the ring there Jake chose something that symbolizes not only who we are as a couple but the kind of future and life we want to have together.

Now the planning begins. A Jewish wedding for Jake’s background with a Latino flair to honor mine. But also a feminist wedding. We will try our best to make it as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible. So listen up friends, for the next year this blog will be semi-hijacked by my wedding plans. Why? Because other feminists fall in love and want to enter into this problematic yet wonderful institution known as marriage and I want to throw my two cents into the ring of how to create a feminist wedding. It won’t be easy but here we go….

Inspiration in the Form of HOLLA::Revolution

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Sisterhood as a form of resistance~ Nefertiti Martin

On July 25th I attended HOLLA::Revolution. It’s been a month since the event and I am still filled with inspiration and motivation. HollaRev was Hollaback’s first international conference to end street harassment. It featured Hollaback! site leaders, feminists, activists and academics from around the world. To see a rundown of the amazing speakers, see my last post with my twitter timeline recap. It was not only a day I’ll never forget but a day I needed.

Sometimes being a feminist, especially a feminist of color, can be isolating and exhausting. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one thinking about these issues or nitpicking at the latest sexist commercial. Having an online community certainly helps. Being able to read my daily feminist blog updates or check twitter is definitely a reminder that I’m not alone in this fight. However, that human contact, that direct sisterhood cannot be matched. The feeling of empowerment I feel when I walk into a room full of women who care about the issues I care about and aren’t afraid to shout about it, is incredible. And this is exactly how I felt walking into HollaRev.

Although each speaker was great and brought something unique and powerful to the table, there are a few I need to highlight. This hilarious video by comedian Sasheer Zamata was shown:

It proved yet again that feminists do have a sense of humor.

I then had the pleasure to hear Jennifer Pozner‘s presentation on Media Representations of Street Harassment. As a long time admirer of Jennifer’s work I was totally geeked out. She did not disappoint. I spend much of my time deconstructing media and pop culture (damn you women’s studies). It is a topic I enjoy delving into. Jennifer’s presentation was not only entertaining but informative. How had I never realized how creepy The Way You Make Me Feel video is?!

Ana ‘Rokafella’ Garcia hip hop dancer/choreographer from NYC took the stage. She talked about the misogyny in hip hop and creating a space for women in the music and dance spheres that she loves so much. She spoke specifically about the sexist language often heard in reggaeton music. As a Puerto Rican woman, I have heard many a disgusting reggaeton track. She then performed a reggaeton song of her own, making her voice heard in the genre. Check out her awesomeness:

I couldn’t leave this post without mentioning the one and only Samhita Mukhopadhyay. Samhita is the executive editor at Feministing and a digital strategist at Purpose. She spoke on the importance of online movement building. As I mentioned, this is an important topic to me because often it feels as though online is where I feel my feminist community the most. She made sure to note, however, that online activism can and should be taken off the web. Her presentation was wonderful and really legitimizes the work I do both on and offline.

Change does not happen overnight. But in the 19 (!) years that I’ve been an activist, I have seen progress. As important, I have made my voice heard. Silence is the goal of the oppressor. As Julie Lalonde from Hollaback! Ottawa said, “To be a feminist is to be surrounded by haters.” This conference was another reminder to keep fighting and that the fight matters. Last week I became the Outreach Coordinator for Hollaback! Boston. Now it is guaranteed that I will continue to HOLLA!!

Holla::Revolution–Hollaback! First International Conference

In just two days I will be attending this:


The description for the event is as follows, “ Hollaback! will provide the platform for leading feminist thinkers, activists and performers, including our very own Hollaback! site leaders from around the world, to give inspiring and empowering multimedia talks, performances and readings on subjects including ending street harassment, the future of feminism, online organizing, movement building and more!” It’s basically a feminist’s dream. I had absolutely no choice but to take a day off from work.

I first heard about Hollaback! several years ago when I had the pleasure of hearing Emily May, co-founder, speak at a feminist conference in NYC. Immediately it seemed like something I should be involved in but it never happened. Recently I attended a Hollaback! workshop here in Boston and immediately clicked with Site Director Britni. It is finally time for me to step up. I’m helping with some cool upcoming events that I’ll be sure to post more about soon.

I couldn’t be more excited to return to NYC on Thursday for a day of feminism and speaking truth to power. I look forward to updating everyone on the day of awesomeness that will be Holla::Revolution.