Columns

Why My Father Could Not Embrace His Name

From his youth until late in life he was able to “pass,” his heritage all but invisible until he mentioned his name.

Feb 18, 2020
There Are Things No One Can Tell You About How to Live

I had a sense, unvoiced, that living well and loving steadfastly were one and the same. I translated that sense into certainty: Marriage would make me Good.

The Wildness of Maurice Sendak

Just as Sendak inverts a stereotypical association of white with youthful ingenuousness, Max inverts the expectations of many a children’s morality tale, for he is allowed to be wild.

Feb 12, 2020
The Case Against Italicizing “Foreign” Words

Italicization too often bolsters a sense of superiority when it comes to the unitalicized, reinforcing a thick patina of whiteness or other cultural dominance.

The Headache Diaries

The diary was how I organized a life suddenly thrown into chaos. This is what the human mind does; it looks for a narrative, for meaning.

Feb 07, 2020
‘Star Trek’ Failed to Reckon with Our Greatest Threat: Climate Change

Humanity appears to have succeeded at solving the climate crisis and eliminating capitalism. But how? And at what cost?

Feb 06, 2020
Why the Label of ‘Gifted Kid’ Isn’t Always a Gift

Here’s a thing about being labeled “smart” as a kid: When there’s a thing you’re not good at, people assume it is because you are lazy.

Feb 05, 2020
Finding the Right Face for Charlotte in ‘Charlotte’s Web’

In insisting on an anatomically correct Charlotte, E. B. White was playing with fire: People hate real spiders.

Feb 04, 2020
You’re in Good Virtual Hands: On ASMR, Anxiety, Relaxation in the Side-Hustle Economy, and Being Baby

In this strange territory of dorkiness, role-playing, and absurd props, there is something like real magic, and it makes me shiver.

Jan 30, 2020
In Discovering Perfume, I Discovered Who I Am

Before I transitioned, perfume was the only thing I felt safe to experiment with. It worked in the realm of the invisible, the as-yet-unsayable.

Jan 29, 2020
Hiring a Chief Diversity Officer Won’t Fix Your Racist Company Culture

Racial equity must be a top priority for everyone, incorporated into how a company hires, makes decisions, and approaches all of its objectives.

Jan 28, 2020
Breaking Up with Your Best American Girl

Since voicing my intention to transition, I’ve been revisiting my favorite love-as-a-woman songs and reorienting myself within them.

Jan 28, 2020
Prenatal Nightmares

I try to focus on this. What is my anxiety telling me? What can I say in response?

On the Nature of Legacies and Joanna Newsom’s “Sapokanikan”

Who will remember me when I am gone? Will my stories exist beyond my life? And what about the things we already forgot?

Jan 24, 2020
Seeking Sacred Spaces in Vietnamese New Orleans

Here, Vietnamese people hold the distinction of having been refugees twice over—first from Vietnam, second from Hurricane Katrina.

Jan 23, 2020
The Pioneer Woman and the Fairy Tale of Country Cooking

What does the word “country” mean? Does it mean anything on its own or does it just color in Americans’ fuzzy sense of what constitutes Americana?

Jan 22, 2020
Living in Paris, I’m Just Another American—and the French Don’t Seem to Mind

My life as an American in Paris is a far cry from what the glamorous direct-to-DVD movies make it out to be. Still, that’s the story I tell.

Jan 15, 2020
On Delilah and the Villains We Make of Women Who Seek Power

Succubus, siren, gold-digger, temptress: There are so many words for a woman with money in her hands.

Jan 14, 2020
The Grammar of Time Travel

There is a comfort in believing that all our ancestors’ understandings of time and space, however met with destruction, live on.

“Here Comes the Sun” Was an Anthem of Hope, Now It’s a Reminder of Climate Change

Every day, as news reports about climate change become more threatening, I grow more nostalgic for the places and objects of my childhood that feel increasingly imperiled.

Jan 09, 2020