Columns

Sex, Lies, and “Closer”: Lying to Survive as a Queer Kid, as Taught by Natalie Portman

Coming into one’s sexuality, Natalie Portman had taught me, goes hand in hand with learning how to deceive as a means of survival.

Jan 15, 2019
After Divorce and Postpartum Depression, Work (and Bees) Brought Me Back to Life

It is no wonder that I am so in love with my bees. They fight for their lives.

Jan 08, 2019
Tteokguk for a New Year and a New Start

When I was younger, I didn’t understand the restorative, purifying effect of tteokguk. Maybe I didn’t even feel like I deserved it. This year, I welcome it.

Jan 08, 2019
For Parents and Children with Psychiatric Disabilities, the Stigma Creates an Extra Fight We Don’t Need

So many people have suggested I stop taking medication for my bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and panic attacks. The stigma is strong.

Jan 07, 2019
The Case Against Making a City “Beautiful”

On finding beauty in Houston amidst the ugliness, and what the city stands to lose from increasing gentrification.

Dec 17, 2018
My Year with Julian of Norwich

In the midst of terrible isolation, reading Julian’s feverish words about her visions helped me feel sane. Here was another woman, enclosed.

Dec 12, 2018
In ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding,’ I Found My Gay Role Model: Julia Roberts

There are two gay men in “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” There’s Rupert Everett, then there’s the gay man I wanted to be—Julia Roberts’ character, Julianne Potter.

Dec 11, 2018
Confronting the Violence of Gentrification in Your Hometown

Moving home to Newark has been a surreal experience because I have had to mourn places that once were, but are no longer.

Dec 04, 2018
I’ll Fight Anyone Who Says You Shouldn’t Put Cheese on Your Ramyun

Ramen is comfort food, a thing to soak up your regrets and get you through a rough day. But my favorite way to enjoy it has courted great controversy among my friends and family.

Dec 03, 2018
When People See Your Blindness as Superhuman, They Stop Seeing You as Human

The sixth sense, second sight, third eye. We are supposed to have both extra-accurate hearing and perfect pitch, more numerous and more acute taste buds, a finer touch, a bloodhound’s sense of smell.

Nov 29, 2018
When You’re a Mom with Anxiety Disorder, You Know the Monsters Are Real

I have such immense anxiety. It sweeps me up into its furious winds. And my kids are at the middle of the storm.

Nov 26, 2018
How I Learned to Tell Signal from Noise and Appreciate Calm

It can be easy to confuse real emotion with the shiny drama enfolding it. Sometimes grand gestures are signs of grand feeling—sometimes they’re not.

Nov 19, 2018
“The Fifth Element” Was Made For Straight Boys—The Gay Ones Made It For Themselves

My family enjoyed “The Fifth Element” without seeing how queer it was. Did that mean they could not see how queer I was?

Nov 13, 2018
Why Canterbury Tales Is the Ultimate Road Trip Story

How do we pass the time while traveling from Point A to Point B? What stories do we tell one another, and how do those stories connect?

Oct 30, 2018
Why You Should Be Watching Maangchi, the Korean Cooking YouTube Star

I used to imagine having a Korean mother, someone rich in stories and jokes about Korean food and culture. My Korean mom would, ideally, be Maangchi.

Oct 29, 2018
How Disney’s Animated Movies Awakened My Queer Imagination

Animation can teach a kid a lot about themselves and the world around them. Disney movies taught me about my queer desires.

Oct 23, 2018
The Beauty of Spaces Created For and By Disabled People

It is very rare, as a disabled person, that I have an intense sense of belonging, of being not just tolerated or included in a space, but actively owning it.

Oct 22, 2018
Finding a World Big Enough for My Twice-Exceptional Kids

Every day, when my kids come home from school, the first thing I ask them—like most parents do—is about school. But unlike most parents, I do not expect my kids to say that school was fine.

Oct 17, 2018
Montrose, the Neighborhood That Gave Us Everything

Montrose was unofficially codified as the nexus of queer life in Houston. If you held a map to the wall, I could tell you how we came to be on those streets.

Oct 16, 2018
Parting the Sea, and Why the White Cane is a Symbol of Power, Not Helplessness

I felt that whipping out the white cane would irrevocably launch me into the kingdom of the blind, and, for many years, I did not want to go there.

Oct 15, 2018