Posts in personal
How to Be an Ally: Seven Steps to Stand Up for Marginalized Communities

I witnessed a local organization fail to be an ally to the queer community this winter–and then fail to take responsibility for the fallout for several months. I thought I'd write it, then I just didn't want to relive the drama...and then, last month in Portland, I saw an organization totally take ownership for their actions and publicly commit to doing better, and it was so inspiring.

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Remembering Matthew Shepard 20 Years Later

I was so young when Matthew Shephard was brutally murdered, but we were all so young then.

Matthew’s murder made me feel how vulnerable it was to be different. To be queer.

I was in the closet when he died, and I wouldn’t come out for another year. But on some soul level, I knew I was gay, too. I knew it could happen to me, in another place, in another time.

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Dread, Fatigue, Anxiety, Exhaustion, and Escape Dreams or How I'm Dealing With This Bullshit

It started as an off feeling: Sluggish digestion. A morning fatigue that wouldn’t lift. And intense, crazy dreams whose themes—running to catch a train that didn’t stop at my station—suggested anxiety. Was this the expected tiredness that so often comes with a shift in season? My brain’s response to the dull, gray weather and shorter days?

I brushed off my feelings at first. I’d been working on the weekends and taking care of home maintenance needs. Of course I was tired and stressed. That was all…or was it? 

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How to Get Out of the Comparison Trap and Celebrate the Success of Other Writers

My neighbors had a tree service out today. All morning, it was chain saws and tree grinders droning on. That’s annoying, yes, when you work at home. You can’t really polish an essay before submission when your idle thinking time is interrupted by the grinder plowing through another load of leafy branches.

Then when you start comparing your productivity to theirs, it all derails.

They’ve taken down a century old tree while you’re still trying to muddle through one measly blog post.

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Do you have a writing plan for the holidays?

The holiday season is a whirlwind and it’s really easy to get off track with your writing. As we count down to the end of the year, many writers beat themselves up because they haven’t written in a couple of weeks, they didn’t meet their word count goals, or they haven’t accomplished everything they wanted to in the course of the year. January starts, and they’re full of doubt over whether they’re good enough—not inspired to set writing intentions to succeed in the year ahead.

I don’t want that to happen this year to any of you, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite ways to stay connected to my writing when I’m super busy.

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How to Cope With the Stress of Being in the Closet

In a couple years I’ll be in college and out from under my parents’ thumb. Can’t I wait until then to let my rainbow freak flag fly?

My character’s words came to mind when I received a lesbian dating advice question from an Indian college student who felt trapped between a friend’s suspicion of her sexuality and her deep desire to remain in the closet through the rest of college. This woman was 20, and desperate to keep her secret hidden; I assumed this was because homosexuality is still criminalized in India and out gays and lesbians face widespread discrimination.

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