s.e. smith is a writer, agitator, and commentator based in Northern California, with a journalistic focus on social issues, particularly gender, prison reform, disability rights, environmental justice, queerness, class, and the intersections thereof, with a special interest in rural subjects. International publication credits include work for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Dot, xoJane, The Guardian, Salon, and AlterNet, among many other news outlets and magazines. Assisted by cats Loki and Leila, smith lives in Northern California.

Latest Articles

Is Being Trans A Disability Rights Issue?

A challenging case that connects transgender rights with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is making its way through the courts right now — and while its outcome could have a profound impact o...
By s.e. smith

Some Policies That Claim To Help The Mentally Ill Are Actually Harmful

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and every year, as the month marches along, our culture temporarily experiences an increased awareness of mental health issues — which typically come with an eage...
By s.e. smith

The AHCA Could Destroy American Mental Health Care

Today, the House GOP passed the American Health Care Act — a "health reform" bill that, according to reports, many Republican representatives didn't even like (see how your representatives voted here...
By s.e. smith

Outlawing Wrongful Birth Lawsuits Hurts The Disability Community

In Texas, a bill that would eliminate "wrongful birth" as a cause of action in malpractice suits is making headlines. The debate over the bill is bringing up important questions about legislative inte...
By s.e. smith

Why I'm Not Impressed The AP Approved Singular "They"

The Associated Press stylebook is being updated, and one of the major changes is the adoption of singular "they," as announced at the American Copy Editors Society conference last Friday. While the or...
By s.e. smith

How Do We Stay Focused In Today's Political Climate?

In the aftermath of November's election, a strange thing happened in America. Many liberals were disheartened and frustrated and furious on November 9, but on November 10, they got out of bed and got ...
By s.e. smith

AHCA Changes Could Hurt Trans Coverage — And I'm Scared

On Thursday night, members of Congress meet to vote on the American Health Care Act, the Republicans' answer to the Affordable Care Act. Their version of health care reform would slash funding to vita...
By s.e. smith

Why You Shouldn't Panic About "Garbage Bills"

This week, a little something called H.R. 1313 propelled itself into the news, with a number of scaremongering headlines about how the bill would let bosses "demand" that employees get genetic testing...
By s.e. smith

Fight Anti-Trans Bathroom Bills In Your Town

This week, the Trump administration rescinded a 2016 guidance mandating that U.S. schools provide trans students with access to gender-appropriate restrooms, locker rooms, and other gendered facilitie...
By s.e. smith

Why Jeff Sessions Poses A Threat To Trans People

When the Senate voted to confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, despite major outcry from many members of the public, protest from the Democrats, and grave concern from a number of civil rights gr...
By s.e. smith

The Global Gag Rule Isn't Just About Abortion

It wasn't a surprise to me to see President Donald Trump reinstating the so-called "Global Gag Rule" while Vice-President Mike Pence benevolently looked on, but it was a sharp reminder that Republican...
By s.e. smith

All These Celebrity Deaths Make Me Think Of My Dad

On Wednesday night, Debbie Reynolds died, just one day after her fabulous firecracker of a daughter, actress Carrie Fisher. 2016 is not going out without a fight, death doesn't take a holiday, and thi...
By s.e. smith

My OCD Isn't Cute, Quirky, Or Fun

Before I leave the house, I have to brush each of the knobs on the stove. Is it off? Does the stove smell like gas? Maybe I should double back and check. Is the thermostat off, my clanking, grumbling ...
By s.e. smith

How Trans Rights Go Way Beyond Bathrooms

On Thursday morning, the National Center for Transgender Equality released the U.S. Trans Survey, perhaps the most comprehensive look ever at the state of things for Americans across the gender spectr...
By s.e. smith

Why We Need To Stop Calling It "The Alt-Right"

Until pretty recently, you might not have heard the term "alt-right," which is used to cozily refer to a specific brand of conservative extremism characterized by extreme racism along with with misogy...
By s.e. smith

Dear Privileged Voters — Why Are You Surprised?

Last night, privileged American liberals — white, nondisabled, middle class to wealthy, straight, cis, highly educated liberal voters — got an incredibly painful wakeup call. Months — and years, reall...
By s.e. smith

34,000 Trans People Might Not Be Able To Vote

A new report from the Williams Institute estimates that up to 34,000 transgender Americans could be disenfranchised by voter ID laws this year, primarily in "strict ID" states that require people to s...
By s.e. smith

Election Day May Decide The Future Of Trans Rights

It's easy to get caught up in the headliners this election, reducing the stakes of Nov. 8 to Clinton versus Trump, broken glass ceiling versus apocalypse. But there's a lot at stake here that runs far...
By s.e. smith

What Do Porn Creators Think Of CA's "Condom Bill"?

This election season, Californians are facing a veritable forest of state propositions, and they're deciding on everything from the death penalty to marijuana to... condoms? Proposition 60 — a state b...
By s.e. smith

Don't Forget To Vote In Local Elections!

About a year ago, as my town was in the midst of a considerable controversy over a proposed ordinance, I decided to start attending every city council meeting. I realized that despite considering myse...
By s.e. smith

3 Things to Know on Clinton's Disability Platform

On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton appeared before a crowd in Florida to make a policy speech on a subject that rarely gets this level of dedicated attention: Economic empowerment for the disability commun...
By s.e. smith

5 Rules For Talking About the Paralympics

If you're still mourning the end of the Olympics in Rio, you should know that you have another set of games you could be watching: the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio are happening right now. Unfortunate...
By s.e. smith

Being Vengeful Towards Turner Misses The Point

As predicted, convicted felon and soon-to-be registered sex offender Brock Turner got out of jail Friday, after serving three months of his six-month sentence. His case, in which he received a radical...
By s.e. smith

This Attack On Trans Rights Should Scare Everyone

Last week, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose office was unable to respond to Bustle's request for comment as of press time, filed suit in district court, asserting that health care providers sh...
By s.e. smith

How I Felt Watching The DNC As A Disabled Person

Thanks to the efforts of #CripTheVote, RespectAbility, RevUp, and other disability advocacy movements
By s.e. smith

Mike Pence Could Set LGBQT Rights Back Decades

Update: On Friday via one simple tweet, Donald Trump confirmed Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is his vice presidential running mate. Earlier: After much speculation, the veepstakes are over, and the results ...
By s.e. smith

What The Military's Decision Means To Me

After a year of careful study — because the Department of Defense never does anything quickly — the Pentagon has finally announced that it will be allowing transgender service members to serve openly,...
By s.e. smith

Chris Mosier And Passing Privilege

While reading the feature on Chris Mosier in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue (out July 8), I was consumed with inner conflict and a sense of guilt over being unable to unreservedly celebrate his inclus...
By s.e. smith

What Anti-Choice Activists Might Try Next

The Supreme Court just struck a blow for abortion rights with Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt, and everyone pro-choice is partying. But as Jessica Mason Pieklo of Rewire News tells Bustle, before ...
By s.e. smith

7 LGBQT Rights Issues That Marriage Hasn't Fixed

We're coming up on the one-year anniversary of Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark Supreme Court case that established the right of same gender couples to marry. In the time since, same gender marriage...
By s.e. smith

LGBQT People Are Not The Dangerous Ones

When I woke up on Sunday morning with an uneasy feeling and checked Twitter to discover that over a hundred people had been killed or injured in a shooting at an Orlando gay club, I was horrified. But...
By s.e. smith