Things I Read That I Love #161: The Body Becomes A Small Refinery

HELLO and welcome to the 161st installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can read them too and we can all know more about diabetes! This “column” is less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.

The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.


Why These Tweets Are Called My Back, by Shaadi Devereaux for The New Inquiry, December 2014

“Toxic Twitter” is largely made up of Afro-indigenous, Black, and NDN women using technology to discuss our lives. The established media sees us as angry and impossible to please, waiting to rip people apart like a pack of Audre Lorde were-feminists. But we cannot look at the presence of marginalized women in digital spaces without considering our oppression. What some are truly afraid of are the layers that begin to unfold if we take a more careful look at how women are using Twitter to engage with a movement they previously had trouble connecting to because of disability, interpersonal violence that limited their movement, marginalized motherhood with little support, transphobia and class. When our voices come to the fore, mainstream organizations and anti-violence movements have to come to terms with the fact that we might have a different vision.”

The Honeyed Siphon, by Evan Calder Williams for The New Inquiry, December 2014

This is an incredibly thorough essay about diabetes and the whole world vis a vis diabetes. The author has Type 1. So does my girlfriend, which means I have a special interest in the topic, and this really dives into it: the history, the evolution of medical science’s understanding of it, the culture, the philosophical, the present-day intersections with government and capitalism, the social forces, all of it, in specific and illuminating prose.

Live From The Front Lines Of College Party USA, by Allison P Davis for The Cut, October 2014

This reminded me of everything I hated about college!

The Dignity of Risk, by Stephanie McCrummen for The Washington Post, December 2014

On a new effort in North Carolina to allow adults with serious mental illnesses try independent living. Which is, of course, a bit harder than imagined.

Selma and the American-ness of the Academy, by Iquo B. Essien for Gawker, December 2014

“As we wound down, a rather tall, elderly gentleman tapped me on the shoulder. He had gotten up from the dinner table to introduce himself, he said, because everyone at his table kept telling him what an amazing job I’d done in the film. I gave him a puzzled stare, throwing my glance back toward the table where his friends grinned eagerly at me. But what was this man talking about?

I do not look anything like anyone in the film, although, by virtue of our dreadlocks, I could be said to bear a passing resemblance to Ava. That said, it would have been obvious, given my conspicuous absence from the Q&A, that I was not in the film. And of course there was the problem of my dress, a pair of jeans, while Carmen, in a ball gown, and the rest of the cast were in their Sunday best. I simply did not now what this man could possibly be thinking, other than all the black and brown faces in the room were the creative help.

“I wasn’t in the movie,” I replied, with a kind, almost apologetic smile.

His eyebrows knit together as he squinted, examining me, his face gradually relaxing into a smile. “Well then, what brings you here?” he asked, extending a hand.”

“I wasn’t in the movie,” I replied, with a kind, almost apologetic smile

Paper Birds, by Liz Greenhill for The Rumpus, December 2014

“And what came later in my life—all the trouble and isolation, the drugs and running away, the aching loneliness—that wouldn’t have happened, because I would have known love. I would have had this memory of being safely in your arms, since this one click in time, instead of stumbling into each other’s lives at thirty-six and forty-two. If we could have found each other then I might have loved someone, truly and sweetly, with all the musk and magic and invention of the young.”

A Night Without End, by Flinder Boyd for SB Nation, August 2014

35-year-old basketball player Kimani Ffriend, who was from Jamaica and had been playing basketball all over the world since he was a teenager, never finding a team to really call home for a long time, was drunk when he hit and killed an (also drunk) young Serbian woman who was married to a local pop star and the accident may or may not have been his fault and this is that story.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3211 articles for us.


  1. I was recently diagnosed T1 (though early enough that I don’t need medication yet, my pancreas is limping along for the indeterminate future), that was by far the most interesting thing I’ve read on the topic. The very first thing I discovered when I started reading forums was the overwhelming sense of shame. I think being queer has made it easier to avoid that so far, I was already well used to living with something that some people think I should be ashamed of and used to giving no fucks.

    The other thing I’ve noticed, that she didn’t touch on, was the almost anti-vaxxer level of distrust of the food pyramid, carbs and dieticians who recommend still eating (low-GI, wholegrain) carbohydrates. It is pretty terrifying knowing that the consequences of not ‘doing it right’ can be blindness and amputation, and knowing that the health industry is as deep in capitalism as any other. I’ve chosen to ignore the internet and follow the advice of my specialists, but it was an interesting experience having to decide what to trust when long-term quality of life is literally on the line.

  2. The Dignity Of Risk was so interesting. Great read. I’ve been interested in reading articles about the different ways in which mental illness is treated and dealt with lately. The differences are striking when you compare mental illness/addiction in wealthy families versus poor families. The articles on TIRTIL never fail to make me think and feel.

  3. The Twitter article was super-interesting (well, they all were). I follow a lot of philosophy-themed accounts, and I’ve started keeping track of male/female/hetero/queer representation. It’s almost all male/hetero, and, needless to say, white. That includes the philosophers who are being tweeted as quotes or who are being satirically represented as well as the students/teachers/apparent laypeople. Clearly, I need a hobby, but I’ve gotten really interested in this. I’m tracking how various accounts respond to various replies: all of them are philosophy-themed, but I’m choosing philosophers who fall outside this spectrum to reply. It usually gets ignored or shot down.

    The whole concept of Twitter dialogues is intriguing to me. It’s really a much more exclusive platform than it makes itself out to be.

  4. Thank you so much for posting the article on diabetes: The Honeyed Siphon. Having lived most of my life somewhat closeted, it’s second nature to hide those aspects of me that I feel some shame about. So here it is: I’m queer, diabetic and alcoholic. And all I can do is deal with it day by day.

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