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" Suffrage is not a right afforded to everyone. Rather, voting is a privilege in the United States - and a hard-earned privilege at that. "
" Privacy is not a luxury in America: it is a right - one that we need to defend in the digital realm as much as in the physical realm. "
" On the night of 4 November 2008, Barack Obama was elected on a platform of 'hope' and 'change.' He was hailed as a 'uniter' in an age of 'dividers.' I experienced a political awakening that night. I watched as the hope that President Obama represented was tempered by the shocking passage of Proposition 8 by a majority of voters in California. "
" I came out publicly as transgender and began hormone replacement therapy while in prison. When I was released, however, there was no quantifiable history of me existing as a transwoman. Credit and background checks automatically assumed I was committing fraud. "
" Owning my identity... ties into my value of dignity. "
" The past will always affect me, and I will keep that in mind while remembering that how it played out is only my starting point, not my final destination. "
" Unfortunately, it seems to me that when it comes to issues affecting the trans community, most people who are cisgender - a word describing those people whose gender identity is in alignment with the sex they were assigned at birth - focus too much on the administrative, legal, and medical aspects of trans identity. "
" I sometimes feel less than empty; I feel non-existent. Still, I endure. I refuse to give up. "
" I believe that when the public lacks even the most fundamental access to what its governments and militaries are doing in their names, then they cease to be involved in the act of citizenship. "
" The evidence is overwhelming that it should be deemed as such: solitary confinement in the U.S. is arbitrary, abused, and unnecessary in many situations. It is cruel, degrading, and inhumane and is effectively a 'no touch' torture. "
" Through every struggle that I have been confronted with and have been subjected to - solitary confinement, long legal battles, and physically transitioning to the woman I have always been - I manage not only to survive, but to grow, learn, mature, and thrive as a better, more confident person. "
" There is a difference between a consumer - who passively receives the information that they are spoon fed - and a citizen - who engages with society, asks questions, does research, and works towards making a difference in their neighborhood, city, and country. "
" The one place I never felt at all comfortable in the military was in private circles of conversation. There's a tendency, especially among young men, to objectify and denigrate women behind closed doors. "
" After years of hiding and holding off because of the trial, I finally announced my intent to change my name and transition to living as woman on 22 August 2013 - the day following my sentencing - a personal high point for me, despite my other circumstances. "
" Gender presentation should reflect the person that you are. When you lose control of your gender presentation, you lose an important aspect of your identity and existence. "
" A doctor, a judge, or a piece of paper shouldn't have the power to tell someone who he or she is. We should all have the absolute and inalienable right to define ourselves, in our own terms and in our own languages, and to be able to express our identity and perspectives without fear of consequences and retribution. "
" The fight for justice for the transgender community is largely invisible to our fellow citizens, despite the rampant systematic discrimination of trans people - those whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. "
" The U.S. needs legislation to protect the public's right to free speech and a free press, to protect it from the actions of the executive branch, and to promote the integrity and transparency of the U.S. government. "
" No one knows my gender more than I do. You do not know my gender better than I do. A doctor doesn't know it better than I do. My parents don't know it better than I do. No one experiences my gender in the way that I experience it. "
" Presenting myself and my gender is about my right to exist. "
" As I rebuild my life, I remind myself not to relive the past. "
" You start to forget about the world outside - it's not relevant or relatable anymore. The darkest part of solitary confinement is that you start to forget about cars and jobs and families and weather and politicians - and all the things that make up a society. "
" In my experience, working as an intelligence analyst with my own pool of sources numbering close to 100, by far the most effective forms of human intelligence collection are rapport-building and direct questioning. "
" While universal suffrage remains an ideal yet to be attained, if you're lucky enough to be able to vote, don't let that privilege go to waste. "
" We should all be able to live as human beings - and to be recognized as such by the societies we live in. "