The Cost of Being Myself: Cosmetics and Gender-Affirming Care

For Alice, a young transgender woman, navigating out of homelessness, a $40 bottle of foundation is lifesaving. She regularly purchases it, despite the steep price, because it’s the only product that properly covers the shadow of her facial hair. Doing so ensures that she is not identified and targeted as trans in public.

From physical safety to job security, how your present yourself to the world is critical. To transgender and other LGBTQ+ youth—in particular those that are unhoused, at risk or street involved—beauty products like makeup or haircare are neither optional nor frivolous expenses.

Front and Center: With Guaranteed Income, ‘Life Feels Brighter and the Future Feels Brighter’

Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust (MMT) is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“Once I have my degree, I’m planning to take out a business loan to open up a daycare center for the community. … I’m moved to do this because I have my own children and because I know what it’s like to be without a parent and to be without the things a family needs. Sometimes parents have a difficult time supporting their kids because of work or other life events. I want to help be a support system for families.”

What Angela Alsobrooks’ Primary Win Means for Black Women in Politics

We currently have zero Black women governors and only one Black woman in the Senate. But that could soon change.

This week, exciting news came out of Maryland’s Democratic primary race: U.S. Senate candidate Angela Alsobrooks won big despite being outspent 10 to 1 by her opponent, Rep. David Trone, a wealthy businessman who threw more than $60 million of his own money into his campaign. Alsobrooks is the county executive for Maryland’s second-largest county, and this win means she, along with Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, could become the United States’ fourth and fifth Black women to ever serve in the U.S. Senate.

‘Life and Death Decisions in Post-Roe America’: The Ms. Q&A with Shefali Luthra

Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022. But according to Shefali Luthra, author of Undue Burden: Life and Death Decisions in Post-Roe America, “it had been on the verge of collapse for decades.” After all, most Medicaid recipients had lost insurance coverage for the procedure in 1977 and a plethora of restrictions—from parental consent and notification requirements for minors, to mandated counseling sessions to dissuade people from ending their pregnancies—had long kept procedural abortion out of reach for large segments of the population.

Undue Burden digs into this lack of preparedness by introducing diverse people who have been directly impacted by the decision—people who have had to travel hundreds of miles to have an abortion, people whose highly-anticipated pregnancies became untenable, a trans man who became pregnant shortly after beginning his transition, and a young couple who lacked the emotional and financial resources to welcome a second child, among them. Their stories are juxtaposed with those of overwrought clinicians as well as staff at abortion funds. The result is a poignant and dramatic look at the stakes of losing Roe and a compassionate assessment of the human toll wrought by Dobbs.

Meet the Anti-Feminist Women’s Group Leveraging Their ‘Independence’ to Convince Americans to Vote Republican

The anti-feminist Independent Women’s Voice/Forum (IWF/V), backed by billionaires and anti-abortion zealots, is poised to use its leaders’ identities as women to convince voters that the GOP will protect Americans’ rights and freedoms, like access to birth control and the ability to choose if and when to have children. IWF/V’s past positions, the known agendas of their funders and their membership to Project 2025 belie their true intentions. 

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Celebrating the Women Who Raised Us; ‘Mother of Juneteenth’ Opal Lee Receives Medal of Freedom

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: Join RepresentWomen as we thank our mothers on Mother’s Day. Discover El’ona Kearny, aspiring to become Washington State’s first Black woman governor, and civil rights icon Opal Lee hailed as “The Mother of Juneteenth.” Explore the benefits of ranked-choice voting and how it can enhance presidential primary elections, and delve into the challenges facing our public schools as First Lady Jill Biden honors teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week. Finally, we celebrate the success of our “Breaking Barriers for Black Women Candidates” virtual roundtable discussion, where we heard invaluable insights from brilliant Black women about their political journeys and how we can offer more Black women support when running for office.

I Used to Work Two Jobs and Made $1400 a Month. With Guaranteed Income, I Can Spend More Time With My Kids.

Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust (MMT) is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“Before the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, I was making about $680 every two weeks. Rent was my biggest monthly expense. … I had to work a lot of overtime before I started receiving MMT. Now I get to spend more time with my kids.”