Culture

How Rewatching ‘Charmed’ Helped Me Separate Magic From Mania

When palm trees swing in the soft breeze, I remind myself that my body is not an orchestra, and the trees are not dancing for me.

On Horror Movies and What It Means to Rewrite the Dead Girl

She is the page on which the story is written. Her body is a crime scene, and the victim of the crime, and the perpetrator of a crime, all at once.

Growing Mushrooms at the End of the World

A mastery of mushrooms and their uses could help me survive in a post-apocalyptic world—a world that didn’t feel all that far away.

Oct 15, 2019
Home Is Where the Taro Buns Are

How a small bakery in the Midwest gave me the Asian community I'd been searching for

Oct 10, 2019
Finding My Mother—and Me—in the Women of ‘Girl, Interrupted’

Living with mental illness is a constant cycle of wellness and illness, and each recovery is impermanent.

Oct 03, 2019
When Chronic Pain Dulls My Senses, Perfume Helps Me Reclaim Them

I learned that kind of hard-won glamour; that we should have beauty, however much the world wants to keep it from us.

Sep 30, 2019
How Learning to Dress Myself Helped Me Understand My Trans Identity

There’s a part of me that is overwhelmed by the possibilities, by the fact that I finally look the way I used to only imagine I might.

Sep 26, 2019
How My Community Showed Me I Could Be Both Muslim and Queer

“It was this Islam, the Islam of authenticity, community, justice, and love, that showed me how to be a truer version of myself.”

Sep 18, 2019
How My Grandmother Took Me from Dollar Store to Dior

Gramsie wasn’t being a snob. Or, she wasn’t just being a snob. She was trying to school me.

Sep 17, 2019
What an Over-the-Top, Teen Cable Drama Taught Me About My Sexuality

I didn’t know—or think I knew—any visibly queer women, and watching these fictional women half-existing seemed both comforting and lonely.

Why Your Grandma’s Housecoat is the Perfect Work-From-Home Outfit

We fall prey to letting writing become a passion, cooking a hobby, teaching a service. We must rethink how we value labor.

Wearing Wigs Gave Me Freedom From the Shame of Mental Illness

And then there were the wigs: exercises in risk-taking, rejections of my boring and shame-consumed past self.

Sep 05, 2019
In Defense of the Low Bar: An Ode to Everclear

Kurt Cobain would not approve, but privately I wondered if there wasn’t space for a beloved burnished thing in my new and improved pop pantheon.

Aug 29, 2019
‘Camelot,’ the Hollywood Failure That Taught Me to Live Again

I think now, what is life if not a rather ridiculous, fumbling, histrionic, financially ruinous, unwieldy thing?

Aug 21, 2019
What Vin Diesel Taught Me About Singing and Sincerity

Vin closes his eyes and bares his soul, meaning each word of the song, and isn’t that the point? Vin never claimed to be a good singer.

Aug 20, 2019
How Fanny Mendelssohn’s “Hiob Cantata” Inspired Me to Become a Screenwriter

This film is an opportunity to help rescue Fanny Mendelssohn from near-obscurity; and to do the same for me.

Aug 06, 2019
For Black Women, Love Is a Dangerous Thing—“Bitter” Showed Me How to Do It Anyway

I imagine she wrote it for women like me. Women who wear their hearts on their sleeves but hold their hands over their mouths.

Aug 01, 2019
Love, Peace, and Taco Grease: How I Left My Abusive Husband and Found Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri allowed me to ask: who do I fear noise and brightness for? Who do I fear food for? And he gave me the answer: I fear it for myself.

Jul 29, 2019
Redrawing the Lines: How Anime Helped Shape My Nonbinary Identity

At the time, I didn’t know I could be anything but a girl, a quiet Chinese American girl, cute and easy to ignore, but Kurama hinted at other possibilities.

Jul 25, 2019
How a Picasso Painting Helped Me Move Past Numbness After Trauma

I had not been erased by the violence I’d suffered, but was changed by it. A new, difficult layer had been added to my life.