first person

My New Year's Resolution Is To Start Using My Voice Because, Staying Silent Is Making Me Sick

I was raised in the Midwest, where outdated gender norms are deeply ingrained. I was taught to be quiet, to defer to men, to be agreeable. In my family, I learned to fly under the radar, to apologize often, and take up as little space as possible. An…
By Brandi Neal

I Have Face Blindness, & It’s Just As Terrifying As It Sounds

It was pitch black outside at around 7 p.m. one evening, and a drunk man was banging on the outside of my house. When he was unable to break through my fence into my backyard, he headed down the alley between my house and the empty one next to it and…
By James Loke Hale

I Had An Online Psychic Reading Done & It Gave Me The Roadmap For My Life

While I believe in astrology, I'm pretty skeptical of psychic readings, in large part because they have rarely been accurate for me. So, when an intuitive reached out to me and offered an online tarot card reading, I had zero expectations about what …
By Brandi Neal

Trans People Are Sick of Talking About Bathrooms, Too

Since Obergefell v. Hodges decided the issue of marriage equality once and for all, no other LGBTQ rights issue seems to have occupied so much of the political zeitgeist as where transgender people void their bladders and change their clothes. For th…
By Mari Brighe

The GOP Has Just Made It Clear That They Want Me Dead

On Thursday, the Republican party made one thing clear: they don't care much about the lives of people like me. Between President Trump's new "religious liberty" executive order, which opens the door to increased legalized discrimination against wome…
By Mari Brighe

I Fell In Love With A Narcissist In Grad School

A narcissist slipped me a note in the library. We were both graduate students studying literature, and in the summer of 2013, I was spending most of my days at the university library, a tranquil, sunlit space, where I enjoyed coolness and clarity for…
By Hallie Gide

This Is What A 25-Year-Old Virgin Looks Like

I'm 25 years old, and life isn’t too shabby. I have a good job in digital marketing, a good group of friends, I’ve travelled to some amazing places, volunteered, and climbed Kilimanjaro for charity. But I’ve never had sex. I’m not waiting for marria…
By Alice Elizabeth Riley

Things Men Have Mansplained To Me

There's nothing quite as infuriating as encountering a mansplainer. This person, usually a man, likes to explain your experience to you in a condescending or patronizing manner because clearly you are incapable, as a woman, of understanding it yourse…
By Brandi Neal

On Being Fat, Trans & Anorexic

For most of my senior year of high school, I only ate solid food a few days a week. I don't think I intended to do that — not at first, at least. I was just always so busy with school and a million after school activities that eating tended to slip m…
By Mari Brighe

How I Finally Embraced The "V Word"

When I decided to go vegan over seven years ago, I was simply curious. I had a bunch of friends who had been living on a diet without animal products, and I wanted to see if I could do it too. I was curious about a vegan diet's health benefits and ha…
By Jessica Mahler

I'm A Black Woman Who Doesn't Want Kids

A few weeks ago, I found myself engaged in an interesting conversation with a friend of mine. We were talking about children and, after I mentioned that I don’t want any, there was a notable shift in his tone. “How could you, a beautiful Black woman,…
By Char Adams

How It Feels To Be Trans In The Ladies Room

I'm going to let you all in on the big secret of what exactly trans women are doing when we "invade" the women's bathroom ... or at least, what I'm doing. Are you ready? Because it's downright shocking. First, I quietly enter and find a clean stall. …
By Mari Brighe

How Going Vegan Healed My Relationship With Food

In my early- and mid-20s, I was stuck in a cycle that will be familiar to many women living in a world where we are told skinnier is better. I had gained some weight and suffered from constant bloating, and, at the time, I deemed this change to my bo…
By Rachel Krantz

Here's What Happens When You Invite A Refugee Home

This time last year, my freshman composition students and I were looking for a service-learning project for our class. The course, built around Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, could have pursued any number of worthwhile causes, taking as its focu…
By Nicole Plyler Fisk

15 People On The First Time They Heard Hate Speech

Editor's Note: While we're aware that seeing these offensive slurs in full may be triggering for some readers, we are using the spelling and phrasing each contributor used in their response verbatim, which is why you will see some slurs partially-cen…
By Paige Tutt

How A Refugee Ban Will Hurt My Classroom

A lot has been said in the past few days about refugee admittance into the United States, especially as President Trump's executive order suspends entry for those who might be “detrimental to the interest of the country.” This is largely a hypothetic…
By Laura Marie

Don't Blame WOC For "Dividing" The Movement

Dozens of amazing photos came out of the Women’s March on Washington. But my favorite showed activist Angela Peoples nonchalantly sucking on a lollipop while holding a sign that read, “Don’t Forget: White Women Voted for Trump.” Fifty-one percent of …
By Char Adams

Seeking Asylum In The U.S. May Have Saved My Life

I left Iran for American University on August 10, 2010. Though I was 24 years old, I had never left my home country before. American U. had given me a full scholarship to obtain a second law degree, so I accepted the invite and came to the states on …
By Anahita Avestaei

I'm An Iranian Asylum Seeker In The U.S.

As a soon-to-be immigration lawyer (I've passed the bar but haven't sworn in), I work with refugees on a daily basis. I, myself, am an Iranian asylee here in the U.S., which means I hold a green card. I sought asylum in 2012, after the Iranian Minist…
By Anahita Avestaei

As A Jewish Woman, I Can't Stay Silent Now

Last Friday, President Trump signed an executive action barring refugees from various Middle Eastern countries, including Syria, from entering America — and he did so on Holocaust Remembrance Day. To many of us, the timing of this feels especially si…
By Miriam Finder