Essays

Why I Limp

I don’t know what it is. When I was younger, I was made to believe it was polio, and then I met survivors of that disease and it put doubts in me. Now, I think maybe it’s clubfoot. I could ask my mother, but then, I don’t have the urge to find out. I don’t […]

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Stories That Talk

Late last year, my therapist told me I was bipolar. We had talked about my personal history, and I’d always had phases of depression and mania, though the former had lately been a deeper, more life-altering issue. Depression for me is melancholy, feeling I’m sinking deeper into a hole, and compounded guilt over missing deadlines […]

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Design a Spaceship

Design a spaceship. Or a space station, if you prefer. Imagine an artificial planet, or a galaxy. But start with a spaceship. Start from nothing except the vacuum of space. Sketch it with a freshly sharpened pencil across the blue-green lines of graph paper, or model it in three dimensions, dragging your mouse to shape […]

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We Are Not Your Backstories

(Content Note for discussion of self-harm and suicide.) The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley taught me that gangly, self-conscious girls could become heroes; not damsels, but knights and dragon slayers. Robert Heinlein’s Friday introduced me to pansexuality, sex without shame, and the joy of multiple partners. Like most, I discovered myself through the […]

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Now I Survive

“This visa is expired. Please step to the side.” This could have been the opening to a spy thriller or a rollicking cyberpunk novel, full of chase scenes and neon lights. It certainly felt cyberpunk, being hustled back through the airport to a waiting taxi, surrounded by over-enthusiastic grifters and uncaring security guards. I cried […]

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