Culture

Learning to Live with Durians Again

Was my rejection of the durian, Southeast Asia’s King of Fruits, a betrayal of my cultural identity, of my life in Singapore?

Oct 18, 2021
Longing for the Netherlands, Stroopwafels, and the Real Thing

We don’t crave the things we’re close to, even if they’ve shaped us into who we are.

Oct 14, 2021
Confessions of a Little Mermaid

The taste of silence and salt heavy on my tongue.

I Can’t Go Home, So I Go to the Indian Grocery

Each time I contend with the reality of another month—season, year—apart from extended family, I drive my ennui to Namaste Plaza.

Oct 12, 2021
‘Persona 5 Royal’ and the Case for Suffering

Their choice is between what is unearned and what’s been hard-won. What would you choose?

Oct 06, 2021
Matthew Shepard Bought an Engagement Ring

I knew about Matt’s legacy, but I didn’t know much about his life.

Oct 05, 2021
What Would It Mean to Live in the Clouds?

If one can dream up a better future for humanity or for whatever species humans evolve into, why replicate the past?

Oct 05, 2021
I Refuse to Feel Guilt for My Guilty Pleasures

The invisible fence that divides highbrow and lowbrow is largely imposed by money, those we admire, and our own social conditioning.

Seeking Culinary Guidance from God, My Mom, and Kelly Ripa

My first unkosher months weren’t especially guilt-ridden; if anything, it was the closest I had felt to coming of age.

Aug 30, 2021
Tiny Stitches for Big Feelings

It’s difficult to enter an anxiety spiral while cross-stitching. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Aug 24, 2021
Prison Visitation Isn’t Like the Movies

When my dad was incarcerated, I began noticing specific tropes that reinforce a cultural narrative about prison all around me.

Aug 11, 2021
‘Dorohedoro’ Helped Me Through—and Reconsider—Isolation in the Pandemic

In Q Hayashida’s wild, imaginative artwork, I found the freedom to see beyond my surroundings, all on my own.

Jul 27, 2021
Strange Lessons in Sex and Power from ‘Saved By the Bell’

As a preteen, I’d absorbed this dynamic—a teen girl dating adult men—as totally normal because it was embedded in the show’s wholesome package.

Jul 13, 2021
What Tina Turner Taught Me

In a theater, I am freed by the voices that shake the rafters, the dancing, the lights, and the colors. Musicals are my form of catharsis.

Jul 06, 2021
The Real Villain in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ is Toxic Work Culture

Fifteen years after it premiered, ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ continues to teach ambitious young people that exploitation is the price you must pay for success.

The Radical Possibilities of Virtual Theater

When stage shows went virtual, traditional directors declared that the form was “dead.” They are extremely wrong.

Jun 23, 2021
Coming Out, as Told by Florida Wildlife

Can you still hear us? We’re drowning the state in our chirps tonight if you’d care to sing along.

Jun 22, 2021
Our Hair: How I Found Community and Coconut Oil in France

Across the thousands of miles, and the hundreds of years of historical and cultural distance, Albertine and I had our hair in common.

Jun 21, 2021
How Writing My Young Adult Novel Helped Me Reclaim the Queer Girlhood I Lost

The years I suppressed my queerness are a loss that I'm exploring and grieving—if only through fiction.

Jun 17, 2021