A Guide and an Ode to Leaving a Relationship

A week or so after I left him, I experienced something I can only call euphoria.  The few days since I left had been a drumbeat of pain. Yet that golden, late-August afternoon, walking home from another day of brain fog, it descended upon me. I was Peter riding to Damascus; a lightning bolt buoyed…

How Trauma Changes Our Relationships

If you grew up experiencing violence or repression — whether in the home, from the state, or due to poverty — you may have experienced the culture shock of being around people who had more privileged experiences. Similarly, if you’ve had a traumatic experience of some kind as an adult — sexual assault, armed conflict,…

How Resilient People Found Hope in 2020 — And How You Can, Too

Social justice activism made me believe, again, in God. It wasn’t necessarily the God of my childhood church, or the God of my grandmother — though this renewed belief comes with a greater affection for her Italian-American, Roman Catholic rosaries and prayer cards. Instead, it was the simple fact that, as I found myself returning…

Why This Election is Not “Just” Politics

As votes are cast and tallied in all fifty states, the air itself feels thick with tension. With so much at stake — a pandemic revealing our society’s deepest disparities, ongoing racial justice protests, an eviction crisis looming — it’s apparent to most of us that politics isn’t something we can ignore or tune out….

What to Do When You’ve Hurt Your Partner

For the six darkest months of the relationship, there was me, and then there was shadow me. She walked beside me, an image of myself if every action and motivation were filtered through the least flattering lens. Her generosity was self-serving; her love was patronizing; her promises were false. In those months, she trailed me…

These Powerful Pins Honored Suffragists Who Were ‘Jailed for Freedom’

THE FIRST-EVER WHITE HOUSE PICKET was led by women, lasted for more than a year, and was met with violence from both counter-protesters and law enforcement. In November 1917, after 10 months of picketing, the government’s crackdown on protestors reached a new intensity. Dozens of protesters were arrested and incarcerated at the infamous Occoquan Workhouse, where…

Why You Shouldn’t Call the Police When Someone Is Having a Mental Health Crisis

Vinnie Cervantes, Organizing Director of the Denver Alliance for Street Health Response, noticed something strange about Denver’s famous 16th Street Mall. While public officials and police encouraged tourists to “linger” on the street, they often cracked down on unhoused people “loitering” there. “The only distinction between those two things is whether or not people have…

The Pleasure And Peril of Being Sexually Vulnerable

Intimacy is joyful and life-sustaining. It is also inherently vulnerable.  After all, even the most successful of relationships ends. Our lovers leave us, our feelings change, or we choose different paths. If we do stay with a lover our whole lives, death itself will eventually separate us. Intimacy is fraught with vulnerability, because to be…

Why Are Bisexual Women At A Higher Risk Of Substance Abuse?

It took me a decade after coming out to learn that there was a reason I and other bi women were experiencing so much sexual and intimate partner violence. In reality, we are at higher risk of gender-based violence than both straight women and other LGBTQ+ people. That’s not the only increased risk bi women face relative to…

Mental Wellness and the Black Lives Matter Movement

“I felt a little guilty about not being on the front lines,” said Ammie K. Brooks, LSW, a therapist with the Black women-centered Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness. When we spoke, the uprising against racist police violence, sparked by the killing of George Floyd, had been raging for more than a week. Brooks had been…