Culture

I Tried to Buy Self-Worth and All I Got Was Credit Card Debt

I dug my hole trying to keep up with a social calendar I couldn’t afford, which is often what happens when you feel like you don’t belong on the social calendar to begin with.

Jan 28, 2021
On Skinship

An ode to bathtubs, ‘PEN15,’ and the women in my life.

Jan 27, 2021
How to Love in English

If one loved in the Indian provinces, one could only love in English, with “I love you.”

Jan 14, 2021
What ‘Poetic Justice’ Can Teach Us About Black Art Beyond Trauma

Can Black writing be seen as more than a product of our death and pain?

Dec 17, 2020
Jewish Comedy as a Love Language

It’s hard to say what about it is more charming to me, the hilarity of it or the inescapable Jewishness of it. Mel Brooks could be any man in my family.

Dec 15, 2020
How to Come Out in French

Before I was queer, I was French.

Dec 10, 2020
My Bicultural Comfort Food is the Spicy McChicken Sandwich

Both the sandwich and I were ‘made in China’ but with an undeniable Americanness.

Dec 09, 2020
Right Now I Will Jump to That Spot Over There

Christina Bartson on improvisation, shutting out fear, and trusting her movement during the pandemic.

Dec 07, 2020
Listening to Kelis Taught Me to Embrace Anger

Her anger had made its way to her music; my anger couldn’t find a home outside my own head.

Dec 03, 2020
How Queer Sex Liberated Me

Leaving my cishet marriage was hard, but it set us both free to find more satisfying relationships.

Sex, Lies, and Vampires: Rethinking ‘Twilight’ and Purity Rings

Without anywhere to talk about sex or process it, ‘Twilight’ offered an alternative space to unravel my own private desire.

Nov 12, 2020
My Father, Montaigne, and the Art of Living

When my father died in 2012, I inherited his well-read copy of Montaigne’s ‘Essais.’

Oct 29, 2020
On Preserving Taiwanese Through Romanization

But was there a better way to put these pronunciations on the page?

Oct 22, 2020
What Kind of Sonnets Will Computers Write?

If poetry is an act of discovery for a writer, then even a computational poem has to uncover something new.

Oct 21, 2020
How Saunf (or Mukhwas, or Fennel Candy) Built Me a Home

To these writers, saunf occurred in the world as a curiosity, but not as an inevitability.

Oct 20, 2020
An Ode to the Great Undead Novella

Where I lived and grew up, the novella was never endangered.

Oct 19, 2020
How ‘Drag Race’ Helped Me See My Non-Binary Identity

When I look at my personal aesthetic (if I could call it that), I see something that gives me room to move through binaries.

Oct 15, 2020
In Praise of Spoon and Fork

Could I really not keep anything from the unbearable whiteness of being?

How Legend of Korra Gave a Big Black Girl Permission to Be Broken

Though she lives, some part of Korra—the flame throwing hothead, insistent on taking up space—does not survive.

On Sex Work and Risk During a Pandemic

I couldn't afford to live on academic wages, so I became a dominatrix. But after Covid-19, the risks became too great.

Oct 08, 2020