Also.Also.Also: Queer Singer-Songwriter and Poet Jamila Woods on Letting Go of Fear

feature image photo by Bennett Raglin / Stringer via Getty Images

Tomorrow is Friday the 13th, and in the month of October no less! I’m planning a viewing of the original movie with pals, complete with themed snacks and bevs.


Queer as in F*ck You

What Water Taught Jamila Woods About Letting Go. For Them, my pal Mary Retta wrote this hybrid review of Jamila Woods’ new album Water Made Us and interview with Woods! The lede is so lovely:

“The cover of Jamila Woods’ latest album shows her floating ethereally underwater, arms outstretched to touch her reflection hovering above the surface. Though it appears effortless, capturing the picture was an arduous process because the Chicago-based artist was not a confident swimmer. As a child, she developed a fear of the water, in part from the embarrassment of being the only one in a group who couldn’t swim. Once, a life guard had to rescue her at a pool party. But a week’s worth of swimming lessons as an adult helped Woods feel comfortable enough to pose for the cover, and taught her a deeper lesson about releasing her fear. The more she tried to fight the water, she found, the harder it was to stay afloat; they were only able to capture the picture once she trusted herself enough to relax. The same principle applied to the record, her most intimate to date.”

Read the piece to hear some of Woods own words about the album, which officially releases tomorrow. Reading this, I was also reminded of the excellent 2020 interview between Fatimah Asghar and Woods in Interview. It’s worth going back and revisiting!

The 19th Explains: The Groundwork for a Supreme Court Case on Gender-Affirming Care Is Being Laid Now.

Book Bans Are a Conservative Plot to Destroy Public Schools, Says Randi Weingarten.

Speaking of books, I’m so excited to read the new Justin Torres novel. Justin Torres Explores the Queer History We’re Not Talking About in Novel ‘Blackouts.’


Saw This, Thought of You

Zadie Smith and Dev Hynes Grapple With the Eternal “Why.” What an interview!!!!

How Latinas in Film Have Fought To Tell Coming-of-Age Stories.

And now, a string of 19th News pieces on abortion and reproductive justice that together paint a pretty expansive picture of where the U.S. currently stands in terms of abortion access in our post-Roe world. Be warned! A lot of these are depressing as fuck! Hell, I get depressed every time I have to say or type “post-Roe.”


Political Snacks

Some voters rights fuckery went down in my home state: Virginia Democrats Push for DOJ Investigation After Voters Were Wrongfully Removed.


One More Thing

This Ada Limón poem is an all-time favorite:

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 863 articles for us.

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