A collection of writing about queer issues and queer life from the 2 Rules writers.
We Stand with Fran’s House
In May of 2021, the queer residence at Bucknell University was attacked. Campus security officials were complicit in the attack. Adam summarized the story and shared some thoughts.
The AIDS Epidemic: Fortieth Anniversary
June of 1981 saw the first reports of a cluster of cases of pneumocystis pneumonia–the first indicator of the coming AIDS pandemic. Forty years later, in June of 2021, Erika gives a personal history of the AIDS epidemic, drawing on her career as a social worker.
We Dance to the Pulse of 49 Hearts
Five years after the massacre at Pulse in Orlando, Erika’s adopted hometown, Erika recalls that night and the aftermath. What was it like talking about it with her children? What did she learn about her own connection with the queer community? How has the city changed?
Your Love is better than Ice Cream
Chocolate? Vanilla? Why do you have to choose? Ice cream provides a metaphor for exploring bisexuality, and the different metrics that have been created to discuss how sexual orientation works.
Performing at the Cringe Festival: Becoming an Ally
What does it take to unpack your own internalized homophobia? How does someone transform into an ally or an advocate?
The Orange on the Seder Plate
A look at the way the labels we use for ourselves intersect and overlap, and how we find ways to make them work together.
Concluding Reflections on Stonewall
As Pride Month 2021 ends, Erika reflects on her first experience at Pride, and on what it means to her be a part of the queer community.
Finding Myself on the Shelf
How access to queer books helped Erika, when she was young, to understand her own identity.
I’m Queer. Please Pass the Peas?
Being a queer teen in the 80s and 90s was very different than being a queer kid now, but queer kids still need many of the same things they did back then. Erika takes a look at the teen experience then and now and records her hopes for the future.
Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law: Outlawing Openness
Is Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law really about protecting children, or does it do a better job shielding adults from doing the difficult work of confronting their own feelings? Why is it so important to have these difficult conversations with kids?
“Don’t Say Gay” is Bad, Not Just for LGBTQ Kids
With Florida passing a “Don’t Say Gay” law, it’s important to consider how this kind of legislation harms all children, whether they’re LGBTQ+ or not.
Russia and Ukraine: If I had a Rainbow Hammer
Russia has a pretty terrible reputation when it comes to queer people. Ukraine is better, though not much. When Russia invaded Ukraine, what did it mean for LGBTQ+ Ukranians?
Affirming Gender is not a Crime
Gender affirming care for children is life saving. Why did Governor Abbott of Texas declare that gender affirming care is a crime? Politics. Explore what gender affirming care really means, how Gov. Abbott’s declaration protects adults, not children, and what the real motivations are.
Why We Need to “Flaunt” It
As more and more legislation is passed targeting queer people, especially queer youth, Erika reminds us how important visibility is to everyone. Especially kids.
First kisses are memories we hold on to. But they’re more complicated when you’ve always been told that your desires are wrong. Erika recalls the first time she shared a kiss with another girl and what it meant to her.
Pride Means Protest, Now More than Ever
Pride is a celebration. And Pride is a protest. With the impending reversal of the Roe v Wade ruling, the queer community faces serious threats to so many other rights we’ve fought for. It’s tempting to throw in the towel. But in 2022, Pride is more important than ever.
Little Victories in the Fight Against Homophobia
Of course the big victories matter in the fight against homophobia, but the small ones are powerful too. Not only do those small victories help us make progress in our fight against homophobia but they also help us renew our energy and inspire us to keep going. In a year that has seen a devastating number of anti-lgbtq+ legislation there were a few victories that helped us keep going.
Disability and Queerness: Celebrate the Whole Person
Disability has become a bigger part of Erika’s life in the last few years. While it’s easy for her to celebrate so many other things about herself, honoring her disability is still really difficult. Why is it so hard to celebrate that, and what might help future-Erika do better at it?
Coming Out: That Lightbulb Moment
Coming out is a queer right of passage, a shared queer cultural experience. Though we all do it differently, it’s often a way that we connect with other queer people. And it’s something straight people often have questions about, too. Take a trip back in time with Erika as she revisits the experience of coming out to herself, reflects on the coming out experience across a lifetime and tells us what question about coming out she hates being asked.
Queer Pride and Self-Care
Erika has written about queerness, about disability and the intersection of the two. But in a year where the need for queer voices and queer community feels even stronger, what happens when you’re really too sick to celebrate Pride?
Comfortable Dancing: The Importance of Sex Ed
Adam takes a thoughtful look on the vastness of sex ed and how it can help with typical adolescent confusion or worries about sexuality. He revisits some thoughts on allyship and explores the labels people use–including his own.
From Pride 2022 to “Don’t Say Gay”
As Pride 2022 winds down and draconian laws like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” go into effect how do we move forward? Can we keep our focus on the mission? And where will we be a year from now?
Not Just a Phase?
The time between Erika’s first same gender relationship and coming out was confusing. Erika talks about movies and television programs that influenced her understanding of what it meant to be queer.
PrEP Under Threat
PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is one of the most effective tools we have in the fight against HIV. After a federal judge in Texas ruled that religious employers do not have to cover PrEP under their insurance plans, Erika considers the impact this could have on HIV, the influence of homophobia on health care and what this ruling means to the overall picture of preventive care.
Bi+ Visibility is Cause for Celebration
September is a time when bi+ sexuality is celebrated with Bi+ Visibility Month, Bisexual Awareness Week and Celebrate Bisexuality Day all taking place then. As September 2022 winds down, Erika talks about the privilege and challenge of passing, and about fear and frustration with bi+ erasure.
National Coming Out Day: Advice to my Younger Self
For National Coming Out Day 2022, Erika wishes she could go back in time and give herself a hug. Today shares the advice she wishes she could give to her younger self.
After “Don’t Say Gay” and “Stop Woke”
Schools are back in session and students and teachers in Florida are coping with the impact of “Don’t Say Gay” and “Stop Woke.” How are these laws really affecting students and teachers? What does the introduction of a federal “Don’t Say Gay” style law that goes even further than Florida’s mean?
It’s Not Gay Christmas Without Rocky Horror
Living life when you’re afraid to be yourself is tiresome. When you find the right group of people to convince you that it really is okay to be yourself, it’s priceless. Find out how Rocky Horror Picture Show helped Erika learn to have pride in her identity.
Trauma Strikes, the Fight Continues: Club Q
Six years have passed since the Pulse massacre. We’ve had six years of increasing legislative violence against the queer community. Gun violence still plagues the US. As we battle the exhaustion that comes with constant vigilance and interminable fighting, we’re again mourning an act of incredible gun violence directed at the the queer community and supporting a grieving city. Can we keep coping with this kind of grief and survive? How do we keep up the fight for our lives and our rights?
World AIDS Day: A Tale of Two Pandemics
More than forty years into the AIDS epidemic and almost three years into the COVID-19 pandemic Erika honors World AIDS Day with a side by side look at the two experiences
World AIDS Day: Stories
Erika continues her reflections on World AIDS Day by sharing stories about her friend and mentor, Greg who introduced her to the queer community and helped her discover the path to her eventual career.
Hannukah Makes Me Proud to be Queer
A serious illness put Erika in the hospital and then in rehab to recover. While there she learned some important lessons about allyship and finding allies where you don’t expect to.