Columns

Confessions of a Covert Stutterer

I’d become so successfully covert that the idea that I stuttered sounded more like an unfounded opinion than an incontestable truth.

Apr 15, 2021
The Women Who Don’t Bend in ‘Bend It Like Beckham’

The film contains a pantheon of archetypes, all of them represented in these Indian Panjabi women.

Apr 12, 2021
“Passing” as Straight at Work Didn’t Protect Me from Homophobia

I privately couldn’t get over the fact that she’d even felt comfortable speaking to me that way.

Apr 07, 2021
Janet Jackson Helped Me Find My Voice as a Writer

All I knew was that here was this woman who looked like the community I loved and interacted with.

Apr 01, 2021
Don’t Break the Peel

Halmoni didn’t tell me she loved me. Her love could be seen in the work of her hands.

Mar 31, 2021
Rediscovering Chekhov’s Plays in the Pandemic

The play asked suddenly familiar questions: Why all this suffering? Is life really beautiful? How are we supposed to go on like this?

Can a Bird and Its Nest Really Bring Bad Luck?

Some think good luck or bad luck is with us from birth—though our luck might change if a winged creature steals a strand of our hair.

Mar 24, 2021
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
Dear IU, Our Bodies Are Fine

I knew my body wasn’t ‘right’; it didn’t look like the bodies of the K-pop idols and Korean actresses I grew up admiring.

Mar 11, 2021
Belting Jewish Prayers in German Nightclubs

Months later, when people ask me to briefly describe my experiences in Berlin, I tell them I felt Jewish during the day and queer at night.

Mar 09, 2021
How Did Chop Suey Become a Staple of Chinese American Cuisine?

The authenticity of chop suey was always the authenticity of survival, of adaptation. And so, like generations of Chinese Americans, chop suey stayed.

Mar 03, 2021
My Stutter Scared Me—Until I Found My Community

After each meeting I felt lighter, looser, having spent two hours listening only to disfluent speech—to voices that sounded like mine.

Mar 01, 2021
I Can’t Defeat My Grief, But I’m Learning to Carry It

In video games, dead parent storylines give a character depth. Their grief becomes a plot point, something to overcome.

Feb 22, 2021
Say “Bread and Butter” and Stick Together

If a pair, walking together, is forced to pass on opposite sides of some obstacle, they should say “bread and butter” or risk a permanent separation.

Feb 22, 2021
Surviving Karen Medicine

How do you navigate a healthcare system that wasn't designed for you?

Feb 18, 2021
Why Teeth Like to Touch

When it’s bad enough, a tooth’s quest for touch is suicidal. Imagine asking your teeth to stay six feet apart.

Feb 17, 2021
Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel, and Me

I’m still drawn to stories about teenage girls’ lives, real or fantastical, and a part of it is trying to glimpse a world I never fully got to walk in.

Feb 16, 2021
We Are All Still Children

A lot of my fears have been made real by the last year. And somehow, some way, I have returned to an insatiable appetite for things that scare me.

Feb 10, 2021
How My Grandma Reclaimed Her Femininity and I Shed Mine

While I am shedding my femme clothes, I’m reminded of how my grandmother reclaimed her femininity, stolen from her by the Nazis, with a new dress.

Feb 10, 2021
My Call Center Job’s No-Uniform Policy Was a Dream, But for Who?

Though the person in the skirt and I weren’t the same, when I saw them, I felt something I never had before at work: like I could be totally, completely myself.

Feb 09, 2021