In the mirror, I saw a scrawny, hollow-eyed girl dressed in ill-fitting boys’ clothes, a parody of a parody of masculinity. But in the screen, I saw myself made strong, confident, fearless, perfect.
“Towards the end of the night you fall and tear the skin on your knee. But you pop back up and keep skating. You’re relieved. Now that you’ve fallen once you know you’ll be okay.”
Middle school is weird. It was awkward as hell when I was a hormonal, monstrous, uncertain twelve-year-old, and only slightly less so when I went back to teach English. So when I found myself, a 23-year-old rookie teacher, standing in a cafeteria fielding a question about how lesbian sex works from a seventh grader, I can’t say I had any right to be surprised.
For when wiping the slate completely clean isn’t really an option.
“I wanted to be single so I could explore my sexuality. Instead I was exploring other people’s.”
This cold-pressed, organic, lacto-fermented, natural, biodynamic, raw juice is the answer to all my problems, surely.
Emily Dickinson sent her girlfriend, Nellie, her recipe for Black Cake that was so staggering (two pounds of flour, 19 eggs, etc) that it reads like one of her curiously queer poems. It seems impossible, but suggests the potential for a delicious celebration.
17 years of birthday diary entries.
It’s like bullet journaling except not at all!
If you are seeking wise, wholesome advice about heartbreak, this is admittedly not the right place to find it today.
“Maybe I could teach you how to do that and you could teach me a couple of things I’ve been wonderin’,” I told her. She shook my hand. It was a deal.
Transitioning is stigmatized as betraying our assigned gender. Sometimes, though, it takes two betrayals to get where we need to be.
“Why would I be gentle with myself when I was very clearly doing this thing — like so many other things in my life — wrong? No, I didn’t need gentleness. I needed more self-discipline, more conviction, more toughness. I needed to get my fucking shit together.”
While recovering from being cheated on, you’re honestly best off bingeing unscripted cooking series or documentaries about serial killers or just not watching TV at all and instead playing The Sims, where you can create your own fantastical world where nobody cheats and where if they do there are immediate consequences.
I was only pregnant for seven and a half weeks before my miscarriage. There was no body, no breath; there was no measurable part of a lifetime spent together. I’d only known there was life inside my body for three and half weeks, and yet the experience seems to still have a heartbeat.
How many cups of tea does it take to get to the center of what’s really wrong? A lot.
We published so much good work this year, and here is a fraction of it we think you will particularly enjoy reading back through!
Bear with me here.
“We’re in Lancaster County at Erin’s family’s house, surrounded by plastic Bible quiz trophies adorned with gold crosses and family portraits taken at national parks. My bewildered partner comes to me, face slack, and tells me I need to call my mother.”
“I never could explain why my heart pounded when her soft hands reached out for mine. Why it felt like I was the only girl in the world, singing with her at the top of my lungs. The way my eyes would nervously glance down at her chest in that purple lace bra and white tank top. Until I could.”