Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

“I don’t care who says that vaccine is safe. I’m not getting it. There’s no way I’m going to put foreign entities in my body.” These were the words of one of my oldest friends. A Black woman whom I’ve known for more than 25 years.

I listened to her words intently and without judgement. She went on: “These people have no idea what the long-term effects of this vaccine are. They don’t know if the vaccine will prevent us from getting COVID. They just don’t know.” “I agree”, I finally responded. “They don’t know what the long-term impact of…

Covid-19 has robbed many immigrant families of the right to be buried in a way consistent with their values and traditions

A darkish image of a cobblestone path to a graveyard.
Photo: Echo Grid/Unsplash

I was about nine years old when my grandmother first took me to her burial plot. She and my grandfather had scraped together enough money to buy one of the last remaining plots in the cemetery in our town in the Dominican Republic. Soon thereafter, that cemetery ran out of plots, and the dead were taken to another town for burial. But my grandmother was fortunate. With the help of her adult children, she had secured a final resting place for herself and my grandfather.

The plot was large enough that two other members of our family would also rest…

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I don’t feel anger towards you. Not anymore that is. Time has healed my pain, though it has not been as merciful to our child. I was naive for certain when we decided to bring a child into the world. Nonetheless, the obstacles I experienced parenting him taught me life’s hardest lessons. While I wish I had been able to learn these lessons in a gentler way, ultimately learning how harsh this world can be has made me more resilient. Damaged to be sure. But resilient, nonetheless.

So it isn’t anger that comes to mind first when I think of…

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I’ll never forget the time my son told me that he didn’t want to be black anymore. He was 6 years old and in first grade.

“Why”? I asked, surprised. “Because some people don’t like Black people” he said, sadly. My body filled first with dread and then with anger. “ Who told you that?” I asked, trying to keep my voice calm. “I tried to sit next to this boy at school and he wouldn’t let me because he doesn’t like black people.” I was horrified. My son went on,” He said, that he doesn’t understand why black people…

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I have always been the queen of overachieving. I get a high from it. I chase that high. I’m addicted to it. And while I never liked failure much, I embraced it when we met. Why? Because failure offered me another opportunity to overachieve. To the outside observer, this philosophy has served me pretty well in life. I’m well educated, have a successful career, a beautiful family. Most would miss the havoc that my addiction has created in me. I certainly did. Until now that is.

The thing with my type of addiction is that it depletes your emotional reserves…

Our Dominican culture conflates love with touch, but I want my daughter to feel like she has a choice

Photo: Fran Polito/Getty Images

I recently had a difficult conversation with my aunt, whom I love dearly. The topic? My three-year-old daughter’s bodily autonomy.

My wife and I lead very child-centric lives. We pride ourselves on raising our child to know that her voice matters. We try to offer her some control over her life by listening to her wants and making an honest attempt at taking those wants into consideration. In theory, this feels like the exact message I want my daughter to grow up with: I want her to know that she can express her dislikes and that she should expect others…

Since I gave birth to my daughter, people think I’m her biological mother — I’m not.

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“I saw a picture of your daughter today. She is so cute. I can’t get over how much she looks like you.”

I hear this all the time.

I heard it first within hours of my daughter’s birth.

I know people say this because they care about our family. I know they say this with the best of intentions. But here’s the thing: Many straight people don’t understand what it’s like to have a child with someone you love and not both share a biological connection to that child.

Given current medical limitations, a relationship that includes two female-bodied people…

Having two babies at very different times in my life has shown me firsthand how racism and poverty affect new parents

Photo: FatCamera/Getty Images

Three months after my second child was born, I was scheduled to attend an academic conference. This conference did not require me to travel out of state, but I did have to leave my baby for upward of eight hours, during which time I would have few opportunities or spaces to pump my breast milk.

The night before the conference, I organized and inventoried everything I would need. I had my work bag and laptop, plus a second bag with my breast pump, electric cords, and tubing; a hands-free pumping bra; empty bottles to pump into; and ice packs and…

Katie Acosta

I am a queer, woman of color, scholar-activist. writing about parenting, loving, forgiving and struggle

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