Tarotscope: Open Your Mind (Introduction, May 4-17)

Welcome, everyone, to my new bi-weekly feature for The Real MainStream: Tarotscope for the Collective! Every two weeks, I’ll be coming to you with a new tarot reading intended for the good of us all. A tarotscope? You mean like a horoscope? Yes and no. A horoscope offers insight and advice for the upcoming month according to astrological signs. A tarotscope is a tarot reading for the community as a whole. It’s a way to speak to folks on both a small and large scale. While everyone gets something different…

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The pagan holiday of Beltane holds meaning for everyone

In this time of coronavirus, money can be tight. More than ever, as a modern world, we are focusing on the things we purchase, collect and forage (can you say toilet paper) to fulfill our own personal needs and desires. But amid this frenzy, we can still find rituals that help us recognize things like the hope in the busy work of the bees, the budding trees, and the songs of the birds.  Paganism and wicca are filled with these kinds of rituals, that guide us to honor the Earth…

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Honor 50th annual Earth Day online this year

Today is the 50th celebration of Earth Day, and as I researched through the cancelled events, I felt a sadness that this historic day could not be celebrated in the way it deserves. But even though we are sheltering in place and can’t get together for Earth Day, this is a great chance to reflect on how we as individuals can reduce harm on the planet.  What are you doing from inside your own home to push for change this Earth Day? What will you to do to ensure clean…

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Shadowloss: a new understanding of loss and grief

As COVID-19 sweeps across the globe, we are faced with the very sudden and very real concept of loss. Loss, as it is associated with illness, often revolves around the idea of death. And while the thought of losing loved ones to the virus is without a doubt in the forefront of many people’s minds, it is not my intention to discuss that kind of loss.  Instead I want to talk about a different kind of loss: a type of loss that, until recently, did not even have a name.…

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Climate change effects are far-reaching in Iowa

Iowa is far from the coasts, and far from the polar ice caps. But it is not far from the effects of climate change. Climate change affects Iowa in a very real way, affecting our crops and our personal health.  “Greenhouse gases are warming the atmosphere and the oceans, which means more evaporation.” says David Osterberg, a professor of environmental health at the University of Iowa and the founding director of the Iowa Policy Project. Even an increase of just one degree has a dramatic effect, he explained. That heightened…

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Why newspapers matter

The suspicion of media among LGBTQ people and people of color runs deep. So deep, that even a lesbian reporter writing a supportive piece about the LGBTQ community, for an LGBTQ-identified paper or column, can find herself getting verbally slapped in the face. When you’re trying to write regularly about both LGBTQ issues and those relevant to people of color, it can feel like a minefield. Case in point: I once wrote about an endeavor to bring a transgender health conference to Iowa City. With the death toll against transgender…

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Your Words: “He”

Due to popular demand, we are adding a new feature in The Real MainStream: “Your Words,” featuring poetry and prose submitted by our readers. Our debut poet: Coralville resident Katie James, pictured here with her son Ro. “Basically, I am a gay mom who is also raising a 13-year-old trans guy. Being the parent of a trans kid is a unique experience, but seeing your child bloom into exactly the person they were meant to be is one of the most rewarding things any parent can witness. There are so…

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Coming out after age 40 today brings unique challenges

Coming out is a long and individual process at any age. When you’re coming out after the age of 40, you have a unique set of challenges. You may have a history of being in a heterosexual marriage. You grew up and discovered your sexuality under oppressive policies like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or the “Defense of Marriage Act.” (which I’ll explain later for you younger readers). Older LGBTQ people of color have it the worst. They face discrimination both as a queer person and someone who isn’t white, and…

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