personal essays


Confessions of a Reddit 'Karma Whore'

My years-long journey to the top of Reddit's karma leaderboards has only made me feel more alone.


I Was in Cleopatra, One of the UK’s First Black 90s Girl Groups

It's been 20 years since the three Mancunian sisters gave black girls pop role models. Cleo Higgins looks back on her experience of fame at a young age.


Anthony Bourdain Made Us All Proud to Be Line Cooks

After Bourdain, we tried to become better—as cooks, as people—and began to reexamine why it was we punched the clock and one another in the dicks.


My Wedding Feast Gave All of My Loved Ones Salmonella

I spent my first day as a wife transporting my new husband's feces to the hospital.


My Parents Told Me I Was White—Until a DNA Test Uncovered the Truth

Now that I've found out about my real heritage, those closest to me are struggling to accept my blackness.


I Met a Pastor Who Thinks 'Transgenders' Are Deceptive—He Didn’t Know I’m Trans

Pastor Ralph Van Ness, who also works as a high school security guard, has been vocal in his fight to prevent trans people from using the bathroom. I wanted to see what he'd say face-to-face with a trans person.


Why I Don't Like Going to Bars as a Disabled Person

From inaccessible bathrooms to weird looks, drinking with your friends at a pub isn't such a piece of cake.


I’m Not as Unhinged as I Feel

When I am at the bottom of my psychic well, I seem to know how to love myself intuitively.


A Dispatch from the Depths of Anxiety: How Music Helps Me Connect to the Outside World

Ryan Wilson—the black metal mastermind behind The Howling Void and Pneuma Hagion—opens up about his dark battle with mental illness


Twenty Years Later, “Drinking In LA” is Still the Ultimate Existential Slacker Anthem

Bran Van 3000's most famous song is so drunk that someone literally shouts “BEER!” in the second chorus.


Dear Students: A Letter from Your Muslim American Teacher

All the things I should've told my students about being a Muslim and a woman and an American.


My Father Was a Child Molester and I Put Him in Prison

As bad a man as my father is, I still struggle with the guilt of placing the man I loved and admired for so long into a cramped, violent cage.