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 on how transphobic employment discrimination is tre…
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 eagerness to address issues like stigma and struggles …
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), but which they're convinced is the first step i…
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 interference in medical practice, bodily autonomy for …
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 organization is making numerous changes to the media…
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 to work. They started political advocacy organizat…
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 vital services, cut key provisions of the Affordable C…
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 and legalize forced genetic testing in the workpl…
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 facilities. Claiming that the Obama-era guidance failed to …
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 groups, my heart sank. For a lot of reasons — like t…
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 Republicans like punishing women by any means necessary. The…
By s.e. smith

"Disability Issues" Everyone Should Care About

Disability has been cropping up in the news lately, thanks to Republican threats to the Affordable Care Act, which could devastate the disability community, as Jody Allard noted at VICE. Given how rarely we appear in the news, it's a bit startling to…
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 heater still? Are all the lights turned off? I cir…
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 spectrum — nearly one-third of respondents identified as…
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 misogyny, anti-immigrant sentiment, antisemitism, Islamo…
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, really — of warnings that America was turning into an i…
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 show acceptable government ID — which varies by sta…
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 deeper than the names at the top of the ticket, a…
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 bill that would require, among other things, condom…
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 myself "politically aware" and being on top of what wa…
By s.e. smith