s.e. smith

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s.e. smith is a National Magazine Award-winning Northern California-based writer who has appeared in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Bitch Magazine, and numerous other fine publications. 


Cover Photo: A black and white sketch of the Order of the White Feather, a group of women in hats and long dresses, confronting a man in a suit and bowler hat with a white feather. The text on the image reads: "Suddenly producing a large white feather, she jabbed it into his waistcoat. And in another tone, fierce and scornful, she added: "You coward! Why don't you enlist?"'
Disability Status Shouldn’t Have a Hierarchy

While someone’s disability may not be evident to you, it still affects their life—and how they’re treated within and outside the disability community.

Nov 30, 2021
Cover Photo: photograph from a protest centered on a person in a wheelchair, with short gray hair and a black and white striped top and blue skirt, to whose wheelchair is attached a sign reading "#NoBodyIsDisposable"
Give Disability Feminism the Respect It Deserves

We speak of the radicalization of disabled people, but so few have that experience. So many never even know us.

Sep 20, 2021
Cover Photo: A close-up photograph of Britney Spears, a white woman with platinum blonde hair, as she stares into camera and dances during a music video.
Britney Spears’s Conservatorship and the Harm of “For Your Own Good”

What’s terrifying about Spears’s situation, for a certain kind of disabled person, is that we are a razor’s edge away from joining her.

Jul 14, 2021
Cover Photo: detail from a 16th-century painting of Jesus Christ healing Jairus's daughter: Christ, in a blue robe, grasps the daughter's hand; she is all in white, lying in a gold bed, surrounded by onlookers
Save Me From the Cure Evangelists

It upsets cure evangelists to see evidence of disability, right there in front of them.

Apr 28, 2021
Cover Photo: An image of a hospital bed
We Don’t Want More Beds, We Want Disability Justice

Beds transmute into a form of policing while simultaneously being promoted as an alternative to policing.

Mar 16, 2021
Cover Photo: A person dipping a pot into water and splashing water onto its surface. The pot is an iridescent white with black crazing and a purple glow.
Why Is There No Place for Serious Mental Illness in Anti-Stigma Campaigns?

In listings for old pottery that was not intended to be crazed, sellers will disclose what they see as damage: ‘Some crazing.’ Sometimes that’s how I feel. Some crazing.

Jan 28, 2021
Cover Photo: A small girl with blonde hair and deep blue eyes frowning tearfully, as if angry or about to cry.
What My Mental Illness Taught Me About Self-Control

There are entire lines of therapy that basically boil down to “learn self-control so you never upset the sane.”

Jan 07, 2021
Cover Photo: Three color-coded and labeled illustrations of cross-sections of the human body, glowing with warm light.
First You Must Know Something Is Wrong

Everyone’s experience of a diagnosis is different. Here is mine: A key opens a lock I didn’t know existed, sending a door swinging wide.

Nov 16, 2020
Cover Photo: A photo of a doll's head—which bears resemblance to Donald Trump—seemingly abandoned on the pavement, surrounded by leaves and dirt and sticks.
How Mental Illness Became a Scapegoat for Trump’s White Supremacy

When you attribute someone’s evil actions to their mental health status rather than their actual root cause—like white supremacy—then that evil is no longer presented as a choice.

Oct 21, 2020
Cover Photo: A close-up of three or four people's hands in the darkness, each holding sparklers that light up the center of the photo.
Disability Sucks Sometimes. Why is it Taboo to Say So?

Disability ruins everything, these stories tell us: disability itself is tragedy. These people’s lives are over, apparently, even though they are palpably still here.

Aug 25, 2020