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Dear Reader,

It is my privilege to welcome you to MVMENT Magazine’s fourth issue! It has been longer than usual between our third and fourth issues, but during the past six weeks, we’ve been hard at work. In the third issue’s letter, I talked about some exciting developments, and I am very excited to unveil our progress on those changes.

From the start, the intent behind MVMENT has been to not only be an empowering and educational platform but, as with any good publication, to be one that people continue to engage with. We have seen steady growth in our readership from our first issue to our second and our third. While your feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, we realize that there are always improvements to be made to the way that we release content. As mentioned in our third issue’s letter, we want to produce more content to diversify to include more journalistic and guided pieces. Utilizing our liaison networks to get targeted content (eg. a current events piece or specific opinion piece) had proven to be very challenging, as does any project with an extra two layers of communication. Therefore, last issue we announced our Staff Writer initiative and we’ve been very pleased to have over 15 Staff Writers working closely with our Executive Editors to come up with content that is more focused as well. But more than anything, the core of MVMENT still lies within the submissions we receive from students. But Staff Writers are simply an addition to all the survivor stories, opinion pieces and visual artworks many students have been submitting to us. We still NEED your pieces! We’re still looking for talented and passionate individuals to join our board, so if you’re interested in getting more involved or have any questions, please email me directly at vkurup@mvmentmag.com.

Due to an influx of growth in the past few months, we are now in a position where we will be publishing content in addition to our monthly issues! I am thrilled to officially launch the “MVMENT Blog.” A newly designed platform that we will be updating weekly with new written pieces, artworks, stories and more. Like our issues, the Blogs have been designed from the ground up with you, the user in mind. They look equally great on mobile as on desktop, and with a clean, easy to use interface, we think it’ll allow you to engage with the MVMENT content that you love and the content you will grow to love as well. Our issues will continue to be published monthly, containing a curated list of pieces that we feel are especially important and powerful together. The MVMENT Blog is now live, and it’s first few pieces are up, so be sure to check-in regularly where we’ll be updating it with new content additional to our issues!

With the launch of the Blog, we’ve replaced our Past Works page with an Issues page, so it’s easier to find and engage with our monthly issues. We’re also working on adding the ability to comment and share individual pieces, so you can engage with our work more directly. As always if you have any feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to vkurup@mvmentmag.com.

In Issue 4, we’re excited to have our first pioneers piece. Alex Myers, the first openly transgender student at Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard College, prolific public speaker and author of Revolutionary, sat down with our own Grace Carroll to talk about his experience as a transgender teacher and student, his work as an author and his thoughts on changing school culture. Much thanks to him for his time and support, and we look forward to highlighting more Pioneers in our future issues as well!

Finally, one last surprise that we think will allow us to add a whole new realm of expression to our issues. We have added music! For many, songwriting and singing, whether alone or in conjunction with other mediums, is a powerful method of expression. In Issue 4, our very own Margot Becker and Pepper Pieroni have collaborated on Life and the Search for Normal, a piece highlighting Margot’s struggles as a closeted transgender female. To accompany Margot’s words, Pepper has not only illustrated each distinctly powerful vignette but also recorded original, accompanying music. The music, which plays in the background of the text, allows for a transcendent experience. Very shortly, we will also be accepting audio through our submit platform, so stay tuned for more details.

I encourage you to take your time with this Issue and our Blogs page, the team has been hard at work to bring you our most diverse batch of content yet!

Read. Engage. Discuss. The culture we live in can only survive in silence.


Vinayak Kurup
Editor In Chief

Trigger Warning

The writing, imagery, and other forms of expression below may contain explicit descriptions of rape, sexual assault, relationship abuse and other forms of personal violation.

Issue Includes Audio

I Wish

lit. art

by Rebecca Clemmons

I wish I were a man and not a girl
I wish this more than anything in the world
I wish I were not shorter
or weaker
I wish those didn’t mean inferior
I wish

I wish I weren’t a “pretty, little fool”
that at first glance, that’s all I am, and that’s a rule
I wish I weren’t expected,
but respected
without feeling rejected
I wish

I wish I wouldn’t have to tell my girl
To hide herself, in this man’s world
I wish I wouldn’t have to tell her not to walk alone
through a dark street at half past one;
to hide her keys inside her hand
use it if she meets a dangerous man
Don’t be too dumb, too smart, too in between
too thin, too fat, too in between,
too covered, too open
too quiet, outspoken

I wish I didn’t have to wish I were a man
I wish I were just accepted as I stand
Shorter, weaker, but not inferior
A woman - proud, not ashamed to be her.
Not a pretty, little fool
But equal.

I wish.


Press play and scroll down to read.

I’d like to think that I wake up like everyone else, but I know that’s not true. I’m instantly conscious that something is wrong with my body, my mind, my pajamas. I worked so hard to make my room feminine. My sheets always have big blue flowers or cute polka dots on them. I have a picture of myself wearing makeup on my shelf. I’m growing flowers. That helps me feel a little bit more like… me. But still, I get up and have to face my body in all its wrongness. I don’t like taking my pajamas off, and once they’re off I scramble to put underwear on so that if I accidentally look down I won’t be anxious all day. I bought trans underwear a few months ago. That helps. It flattens the front of my body so I can wear slightly tighter pants to make myself feel more feminine. Picking clothes, however, is still a balancing act, one of deciding what will make me feel okay enough to get through the day but won’t out me to everyone. So it’s skinny jeans and a shirt. Every day. And yet, it still somehow takes me fifteen minutes of rifling through things I could wear but won’t because they make me look too feminine, too masculine, too whatever. There have been so many days that I just want to put on a dress and tell everyone—but I’m not there yet. And then I question why I’m not there yet. Is it me? Is it everyone else? Is it my family? Is it my school? That’s a hole you can tumble down and still never seem to find the bottom. One of many holes that I find in countless moments through my day. Simple acts make me question my whole existence. Simple acts I once took for granted now dictate my ability to function.

Being Me in Secret

Press play and scroll down to read.

I once read somewhere that trans women have to learn to be “less assertive” than our previous selves. This is because we’re so used to getting everything we want as men that seeming too entitled can out us (or, at least, make us seem like assholes). We’re supposed to seem more like “real women,” and apparently “real women” are expected to be less assertive. It’s fucked and it’s against everything the feminist movement has worked so hard to fight for, but there’s a tiny grain of truth within that statement. I worry about whether people will see my masculine body construction and general loudness and put two and two together. I’m not sure how the idea worked its way into my head, but when you must make yourself invisible to fit in, every little thing about gender seems so important. So, I spend every class period trying to strike the balance between talking enough to earn my teacher’s respect, and keeping quiet enough to maintain the awful notion of being a “real woman.” It’s absurd. Then I feel like I’m making it all up; I doubt my actuality as a woman; I feel like a fraud. I love who I am…at least, I try to. But walking through my day and hiding who I am, and still pretending to be someone I’m not makes self-love ten times harder.

Clearly Inscrutable Signage

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It used to be so easy for me to walk into a bathroom. All I had to do was pop open the door and that was that. No concerns, no anxiety—just a door with a stick figure on it that wore pants instead of a skirt. I wish that were still true. I walk up to a bathroom now and all I see is “you are a man.” I walk inside and see urinals and hear guys talking shit about women’s looks through clouds of Juul vapor. Get me out of here. I don’t belong here. This is wrong. I get out as fast as I can every time. People tell me to use unisex bathrooms—and I’d love to, but for some reason they’re remarkably hard to find in most buildings. Many don’t even have a unisex bathroom. Honestly, walking into a unisex bathroom just makes me feel different. It accentuates the feeling of wrongness—the feeling that I’m too different, too unnatural to go into the bathrooms that everyone else uses. It’s a catch-22, right? Can’t use the men’s, can’t use the women’s yet, can’t use the unisex. Fuck. I just don’t belong anywhere.

Mirroring Me

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Hot showers are great. Don’t you love coming in from the winter chill and hopping in a scalding, steamy shower? Or exercising really hard and rewarding yourself by washing off all the sweat? That’s all great—I just wish it were great for me. These days I find myself waiting as long as I can between showers because everything about them makes me feel wrong. Bathrooms typically have mirrors. Huge ones. Just one more thing to remind me of how wrong I am. I look into the mirror expecting to see a girl. Maybe a 5’9," long-haired and curvy girl with breasts, soft features, slight shoulders, and sharp collar bones. But I don’t see her. I’m 6’2," with hair that’s just started to grow out. I have a flat chest, sharp features and collar bones that blend into my massive shoulders. I turn on the shower so that it’s so hot the fan can’t keep up and the mirrors coat in steam. I don’t want to have to look. Looking in the mirrors is revolting but somehow also perversely intoxicating. I want to look away, but I can’t and I don’t know why. I force myself under the scalding jets, away from the peculiar attraction of the mirror. I’m faced with a different reality in the shower, though. A concrete, physical one rather than just a reflection. My anxiety makes it impossible for me to be dirty so I must clean myself. I’d rather ten minutes of acute, awful dysphoria than a whole day with the paranoid feeling that everybody thinks I smell disgusting. So I need to put my hands on a body that isn’t mine—a body that revolts me. I look over my self inflicted scars from the time before I figured out who I was. There are so many. Maybe they wouldn’t notice just a couple more. The blood used to help me think so clearly. I stop myself now. If anyone found out I’d be shipped straight back to the mental hospital. Now, I have to shave my legs, arms, chest. My whole body. Too much hair will create more dysphoria later. But shaving means that I have to examine my body in great detail. I’ve gotten damn good at it—it now takes me roughly seven minutes to shave everything—but every second I hope that I’ll slip just a little bit, that the blood will spill out and save me. I step out of the steam feeling more dirty than clean.

Chasing Peace in Dreams

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When I was a little girl I used to lie in bed for hours before I could fall asleep. I would run into wild corners of my imagination, fabricate brilliant schemes and futures—finally breaking through the walls of my conscious and falling into dreams. It’s much less enjoyable now. I worry and overthink until I finally slip out of reality. Living is exhausting when everything in life is focused on its own wrongness. Every little moment of my day is connected to my gender identity whether I want it to be or not. It’s exhausting. By the end of every day all I want to do is stop. I hope that sleep will bring me to a new day where I feel just a little bit more comfortable, and sometimes it does. Most days, though, I just wake up feeling replenished enough to trudge through to the next time I’ll be able to sleep. I know it must sound hopeless and awful. In many ways it is; I wouldn’t wish this life on anyone. But on those rare nights when I’m just okay, I can break through the hopelessness, through the sadness, into my hopes, my dreams, my future. I can see a realized version of me. The version I expect to see in the mirror whenever I go to look, the version that I wish I could dress for in the morning, the version that can walk into the women’s bathroom without heads turning, the version that isn’t afraid to talk in class because she can be strong and a woman and real in her identity all at the same time. I spend so much time reading these sad stories about trans people who are depressed and upset and scared all the time. I understand exactly why there are so many. When I let my mind drift, everything is sad and scary, dark and grim. I know other trans people think the same way. But, it’s not all scary and sad and dark. It seems dim at the end of each day when all I can feel is exhausted and don’t understand how I’ll go on, but I know that everything will be so much easier when I step out once and for all into the light.

Creating His Movement: An Interview with Alex Myers


by Grace Carroll & Paul James

Alex Myers


Alex Myers, born and raised as a girl in a small town in Maine is now an advocate, writer and teacher. Myers was the first openly transgender student at two of the country’s leading educational institutions, Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University, where he advocated for LGBTQ+ rights. In addition to helping students in his role as a teacher, Myers also had a hand in opening up the Harvard non-discrimination policy to include transgender students and is a constant voice for improvement at Phillips Exeter. He is currently an English Instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. He also authored the historical fiction book Revolutionary about Deborah Sampson, a determined woman who dressed as a man to fight in the army. His track record of activism through personal interactions and community discussions (including a TEDx Talk) makes Alex Myers a pioneer in the movement for gender and sexual equality, especially on high school and college campuses. We are grateful for Myers’ work and the opportunity to interview him.

Q: Tell me about yourself and your career.

A: I arrived [as a student] at Exeter in the fall of 1992, coming from a small town in Western Maine. It was my first experience at a private boarding school, and I arrived there having been born and raised as a girl, understanding myself as a tomboy and a jock and figuring out pretty quickly within my prep year that I was not like the girls in my dorm. My high school experience was, I think, similar to many kids, trying to figure out where I belong. Who am I? Who am I not? And eventually I landed, by my senior year, coming out as transgender, working with the school—both Exeter and Harvard, in the next year—to ask, what is it like to be a student who in transgender on these campuses? So fast forward to the next two decades of my life, I found myself as an English teacher at a variety of schools, gradually, increasingly doing work with LGBT students on those campuses, trying to say, where is your place? Where is your home? Do you feel like you belong here? What’s going on in the school culture that makes you feel marginalized or excluded or included? And then, coming back to Exeter three years ago, and taking on that work more whole cloth at a school that felt ready, willing and able to make some changes.

Q: Do you think that trans student or gender nonconforming students coming into institutions like Exeter now are going to have a marginally different experience that you had? Do you think it’s improved at all?

A: Yeah, it has improved. And it’s improved a lot in the last five years. [Students] are going to come into a school that’s not going to make them dress according to the binary. That’s big. They’re gonna come into a school that’s going to say, you can live in a dorm that’s not according to your sex at birth, or not even according to the gender binary. That’s huge. And if they choose to come out to their advisor or faculty, those faculty members will be able to point them to a fairly robust set of resources both on campus and in the area.

Q: What are the kinds of institutional changes that you’d like to see in the next five?

A: The areas that I most want to see us discuss is: what does difficult civil discourse look like, and are we educating all of our students about social justice and cultural competency? For instance, in the [Phillips Exeter] English department, are we not just teaching books by writers of color, but are we teaching our students how to talk about race? Do we as an institution show that we care about and want to include marginalized communities, not just by having them represented on campus, but by teaching people who aren’t members of those communities about those communities; making it required, making it graded, making it part of the curriculum. That pertains to different religions, sexual orientations, races; this is not just about gender, but that’s definitely part of it.

Phillips Exeter Academy library

Phillips Exeter Academy library where Myers attended high school and currently teaches.


Q: What kinds of conversations about gender do you see in your classroom today?

A: I don’t see a ton of them. I think I have to be pretty deliberate about the texts I put in front of my students if I want to get that conversation. For instance, a couple of years ago, when I taught 11th graders I put a short story in front of them by Lauren Groff called “Delicate Edible Birds.” It’s tough—it focuses around a group of men conspiring to get a woman to give herself over sexually to a man, so that the man will give them what they want. And I told the students when I handed it to then, “This is going to be tough for some of you to read. This is going to be tough for some of you to talk about, but we’re going to talk about sexual manipulation, coercion, the way that women are conditioned, and we’re not just going to talk about the beautiful language, we’re going to get into the topics.” But I think I have to approach it like that, and sometimes I have to even teach the terminology and concepts around, how women are socially conditioned, how men are socially conditioned, what’s the current thinking on that, before students feel like they have access to a good discussion on the literary text.

Q: Do you think your gender identity has driven your career? How?

A: Absolutely. Being transgender, especially coming out in 1995, meant that I constantly had to explain what that word meant—and I still do. It kind of made me a master of the self-elevator pitch: who are you? What does that word mean? And in 23 years of being out as transgender, I’ve gotten pretty rehearsed at explaining what gender identity is, what gender expression is, what transgender is. And there’s absolutely no question, if I weren’t trans I would not have that skill and have gone into this line of education.

Q: Does it ever feel like your identity is driving people’s idea of what kind of educator you have to be?

A: Yeah. I think what’s great is that I’m an english teacher—if I were a gender educator at Exeter I think it would get old really quickly. I feel that I talk as much with my colleagues about literature and writing as I do about gender. I also know that sometimes I go into the dining hall, and I sit down at lunch, and the teacher next to me goes, “oh hey, I have this trans student in my class, and I’m just wondering…” and I’m gonna have a lunch that’s dominated by that topic, by virtue of who I am. I don’t mind that, but every now and then I just wanna say, I’m just not interested in talking about this today.

Q: What are some of the issues you come across in explaining gender identity, especially to people who have never heard the term transgender before?

A: I find at Exeter that most teachers kind of get transgender, what I have a lot of conversations about is people who are non-binary and non-conforming, or gender fluid. Teachers will ask me, “why can’t they make up their minds?” That conversation is one I’ve repeated again and again. When I go and visit other schools, the conversation can be in wildly different places. I will go to schools where people are openly like, “I’m not sure being transgender is a legitimate thing, I think it’s a mental illness that needs treatment and that student needs to be out of school and given time…”

Alex Myers and his wife

Alex Myers and his wife.


Q: What are some of the questions you get most often?

A: Everyone wants to talk about bathrooms. That’s the big one. They’re really worried about bathrooms, locker rooms, and dorms. The biggest topic—and this has to do with gender, not just transgender issues—people really think that students are made safe by keeping boys and girls seperate. And the biggest conversation I have with schools is trying to open that up and ask, what are the assumptions you’re making about that? After that, it’s the subterranean school culture: on the surface, students and teachers are fine with it. But there’ll be people who don’t agree with the dominant acceptance of LGBTQ who kind of go underground. And those opinions exists, those opinions are fed, the hostility comes out, it’s just not on the surface of the school. So how do you get to that underlying school culture?

Q: How do you change culture, especially when we’re talking about something as pervasive as sex and gender at boarding schools?

A: If you want to change culture, you have to look at structures of power within the school. Who has power? Who wields social power? Who are the popular kids and what kind of influence do they have? And then you systematically have to take out those centers of power and reconstruct them. At many smaller boarding schools that I visit, there will only be two boys dorms on campus. And it will often be ninth and tenth grade boys, and then eleventh and twelfth grade boys. Well that’s where 100% of your boy culture is coming from, right? It’s being taught behind closed doors, student to student, handed down boy to boy and there’s gonna be a whole bunch of codes and expectations there. And if you don’t like a culture you see in your boys, if you see a lot of bullying, harassment, low-level insults, if you see them being aggressive or coercive towards girls, then you have to go in a take apart those dorms. You have to be willing to say, this is where it’s located. It’s located in our locker rooms, in our teams, in the way our male faculty talk to our female faculty. You have to look at the power structures as they are and then you have to be willing to completely demolish them.

Q: Have you seen a lot of resistance within school communities when these kinds of changes are being implemented?

A: Absolutely. You get a knee jerk, “well, we’ve always been this way, and it’s been fine,” and when you start to dig through that, people will put up statements like, “alumni won’t give money if we change that tradition.” And I’ve heard it at Exeter and I’ve heard it at almost every other school that I’ve visited.

Cover of Alex Myers' novel, Revolutionary

Cover of Alex Myers’ novel, Revolutionary


Q: Can we talk a little bit about your novel, Revolutionary?

A: Absolutely! It’s a piece of historical fiction, based on the story of my ancestor, who was a real life woman named Deborah Sampson. Deborah was born in 1760 into a family of seven kids, and her dad abandoned her family. Her mom couldn’t afford to keep her, so she sold her. Deborah was an indentured servant until she turned 18, and from that point on, once she was free she led a really radical life. She joined a fringe religious group, she refused to get married, and eventually she ran away, disguised herself as a man, and joined the army. She served for a year and a half, was given an honorable discharge, and was forced to return home and resume life as a woman. That’s the story Revolutionary tells, it goes back and asks, “what would it have been like to live this marginalized, radically, adventurous, scary life?”

Q: In what ways does Deborah’s own narrative resonate with you and your life?

A: Oh, a ton. My grandmother used to love telling me family stories, and when I was little I used to love that story. And I knew I probably didn’t want become a soldier and run away from home, but I also knew, “oh, wow, you can do that, that’s possible, so I should be able to figure this out now.”

You can find Alex Myers’ book Revolutionary here. You can watch his TedX talk titled “Beyond Boy or Girl: How Labels Save Lives” here. He’s also on social media: Twitter and Facebook.



by Ally Satterfield

Dream World


I was born into a secretly gay girl’s dream. My mom and dad had been advocating for gay rights since before I was born. I knew gay and lesbian couples from all around our town, and since the day I was born my parents made it clear that I was welcome to live my truest life, whatever that meant for me. As it turned out, my coming-out process was still impossibly hard.

The summer after my freshman year of high school, I went to the same summer program I had been to for several years in a row. Most of my closest friends went; I had known everyone there since I was a young girl, and it was the part of the summer that I looked forward to most every year.

That year I was the only girl who got to sleep in a single, and one night as I was falling asleep, one of the staff—a young woman named Emily—came in for what I thought was a lights-out check. “You headed to sleep?” she asked, leaning on the doorknob and flicking off the light. I turned over my shoulder to look at her, nodded and mumbled a yes, and laid my head back on the pillow. She stood at the door for too long. I was confused but didn’t think much of it, until it had been about 45 seconds. I looked back up to see her closing the door behind her as she stepped into my room. She didn’t respond when I asked what she was doing. When I kept asking, she told me to shut up because it was past 10 p.m. I was so embarrassed to think that my peers in the room next to mine would hear that I stopped talking and started crying. Before I knew it she had pulled the covers off, pulled off my underwear, and was pressing her hand against my face, using her hands and the hairbrush from my desk to assault me. The only thing I can bear to remember from the rest of the night was when she used her elbows to push my legs farther apart, looked at me and said, “You’re so lucky I’m a girl, I can’t go soft.”

I cried all night after she left and didn’t leave my room the next day. Since then, the queer girl’s dream world has crumbled. The one or two times I’ve let myself get close to another girl, I’ve felt repulsed almost immediately—equating either myself or the other girl with my abuser. I keep thinking of her and thinking that love between two girls can’t be anything but painful and scary and unsafe. The belonging and liberation that LGBT+ friends talk about discovering within queer communities is entirely foreign to me. Despite therapy sessions every other week and a brief time with a sexual assault support group, the hurt persists more deeply and profoundly than I can describe.

Even worse, when I tried to come to terms with my assault and my sexuality, I often have to pick between being honest about one or the other. About a year ago, an acquaintance of mine hosted an event where survivors read poems and stories. I approached her to ask if I could participate and wrote my poem thinking I was preparing myself to share my story out loud for the first time. We met up the next day and she said to me, “I really want to support you, I promise, and maybe there’s another place to tell this story. To be honest, though, I’m a little bit worried about you reading this and people getting the wrong idea about…I don’t know, lesbians or girls or something. Like it kind of takes away from the real issues.” It’s taken me a long time to realize she was wrong. In a way, I was scared of unwittingly providing a counter-story for people to use when sexual assault was presented as a gendered issue. I’m still scared of that—that my story will stop people from acknowledging the ugly realities about toxic masculinity and rape culture, but I owe it to myself to recognize the truth in my own story. My vulnerability as a young queer girl is reflected in so many other survivors’ stories, even if my assaulter is not.

I am still learning how to reclaim my sexuality. I suspect it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Believe survivors when we say that sexual assault can feel endless. Almost two years down the road, I still feel bile rise when cars drive too slowly behind me while I walk, when a teacher’s hand stays on my shoulder too long, when I see a meme about rape. It didn’t end that night when she left, and it hasn’t ended yet. I’m still waiting for the day that I can steal back the identity stolen from me.

Illustration by Brooke Ripley

Recognizing Misogynistic Language

proper conduct

by Heather Cook

Nowadays, it’s very common to hear the phrase, “That’s so misogynistic!” People are recognizing misogynistic language more than ever and most want to do something about it. Still, many people justify the use of such language by framing it as a difference of opinion or a valid viewpoint. Normalizing such speech, however, only promotes sexist ideals that a vast majority have agreed are out of date and inherently unjust.

So, what ​_is_ misogynistic language, and why is it so hurtful? A commonly accepted definition of misogynistic language is speech that undermines and demeans women, in any sort of fashion. Misogyny can sometimes be shockingly blatant, as Averi, a 15 year old girl we spoke with knows first hand. “My first experience happened when I was 4 or 5 I believe. My father is a very traditional man, so it’s common for him to believe that all women are helpless,” Averi said. “I remember him saying things like ‘I wish you were born a boy’ or ‘you’re so helpless, Averi.’ It’s somewhat understandable, because all of his family is men, but he even believes that his two sisters, myself and his mother are helpless.” This type of overwhelmingly misogynistic language is clearly problematic due to its vast (and quite frankly, false) assumptions about women’s inherent value and abilities. And while the fact that someone could say such a thing may come off as shocking to many of you, you may not realize just how often that same sentiment is echoed in everyday language. When it comes down to it, most misogynistic language is not quite so easy to pick out. This is because most of the misogynistic language we hear has been normalized in contemporary society.

Misogyny is most dangerous when it is normalized. Most private and public environments have some misogynistic underpinnings, but most of the time this goes unnoticed. This is because contemporary misogyny is subtle, and usually reveals itself as a gendered statement that seems acceptable, but actually has harmful traces of the pre-turn of the century sexism where women were heavily oppressed. It takes the form of expressions such as, “girls don’t do that in this house” when a girl asks for legos instead of Barbie dolls or asking questions like, “are you on your period?” when a woman is perceived as moody. The first example enforces the idea that women’s abilities and talents should be restricted while the latter punished women for expressing emotion; both are harmful expressions and yet fly under the radar. Harmful language can go unrecognized and unchallenged because it often sounds innocent — it’s “just” discipling a child or questioning one’s emotional state. But it’s not. It’s more than that. It is subtly enforcing age-old gender stereotypes and recognizing this is the first stop in putting a stop to it.

The normalization of misogyny can happen anywhere — in the office, in school hallways, or even at the dinner table. Gender-influenced language extends all the way from the home to the workplace. According to the BBC, “In performance reviews, women tend to receive feedback that’s more vague (‘you had a great year’ for example), while men get clearer feedback about specific skills related to actual job performance.” Furthermore, email language often contains phrases such as “you guys,” which seems to apply to all genders in the plural form but literally addresses only the males. Business tactics and affectionate labels are often things such as “quarterback,” “man-on-man,” “poster boy,” “right-hand man,” whereas negative phrases contain female elements: “prima donna,” “drama queen,” “feminazi,” “throws/runs/hits like a girl” and so forth.

Hateful language is not innate; it is taught and its ideas planted throughout development. When reinforced at a young age, sexism and misogyny are particularly dangerous because they have dramatic and long-lasting impacts, shaping the ideas of children and adolescents before they can educate themselves. The internalization of misogyny is especially common when a family member or role model reinforces gender stereotypes. Along with the teachings of our parents comes the formation of our inner speech and thoughts.

“I used to attend a private elementary school. The school offered mannerism classes, teaching things like etiquette, but they would only let girls take the class. They would bring boys in sometimes, if the parents really persisted, but all they would make them do was pull out the chair for the girls and things of that nature,” Chyna, an 18 year old woman, recalled. “It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, because I did learn proper manners, but from a young age, I felt like I was put into this box where I was lesser than the boys in my life and that they had to control me. That seems like a lot for a ten year old to think, but I was genuinely upset that I would never get to do what the boys do.”

Misogynistic language has been used to make women seem as lesser, usually to the advantage of men employing misogynistic language or practices. According to Dove, a prominent and successful soap company with extensive research and campaigns into beauty standards and societal structures, more than half of women globally agree that when it comes to how they looks, they are their own harshest beauty critic. Self-criticism often builds from external criticisms that are later internalized. Criticizing things such as attitude, personality and appearance based on misogynistic standards makes it impossible to feel insecure because the point of misogyny is to belittle women.

​Though it seems as if misogynistic hidden agendas are everywhere, pointing it out is important. The impacts of misogynistic language are detrimental to women and those perceived as possessing feminine qualities, whether intentional or not. To my male readers in particular, try asking a woman you know about their experiences, and you’ll be surprised with the answer. Going forward, think about why someone would say something misogynistic in your conversation. Call them out for it when they do. Is that joke you are about to say really that funny? So funny it’s worth you reinforcing a system that belittles your sisters, mothers, and wives?

Change is an especially hard thing to accept, at any stage. But the women around you, the women you see and meet, need it. Not because they are helpless or weak, but because it is simply unethical. As men, we are in a position of privilege and our voices impact those around us. Something needs to change about the way we speak about women. The way someone talks can shape the way they think, and when hateful and undermining phrases and attitudes are frequent, women suffer. Moving forward, reexamine your own experiences with misogynistic language, point it out to others and refrain from using it yourself.

In My Defense

lit. art

by Rayanne Nowak

Growing up as a girl
You’re told tips and tricks:
Wear Band-Aids to avoid blisters;
Keep a back-up pad in your purse;
Always carry pepper spray and a fistful of keys.
I thought my mother’s wisdom
Was practiced paranoia:
Double check the locked door;
Never put down your drink.
Survival is a long list of strategies
And the evasion of vulnerability.
But there aren’t enough Band-Aids
That can prevent the chafing I feel
When I walk home alone at night
Without enough keys.

Illustration by Pepper Pieroni

Dear God,


I always seem to come back to you. I imagine talking to you like I did when I was a child. I used to sit on my knees at the edge of the wall with my small, soft hand pressed against my chest. Did you ever hear me? I would talk to you as if you were a pink diary I won at an arcade, with a little key that would always go missing hours after acquiring it.

I have never been to church. The best I could do was my friend’s youth group in seventh grade. But, somehow, I always come back to this same place, asking for the same thing.

You make me nervous. I can barely keep my black-ink pen firm in hand. Every time I come to you it seems I have done something wrong.

I feel like I am trapping myself, confining myself to my sleepless bed; chains wrapped around my bloody, bruised wrists, the rope tied around my hungry waist. They all lead me to you. Lead me to replay that night. To change the story.

Maybe if I change the story so many times, I could alter the reality. Then, maybe, things will be easier.

God, have you met Rape? They like to prey. They like to discourage. They like to destroy people like me: apologetic people who become attached to unapologetic people. They like to slide their way into parts of me I have yet to discover. They like to cut me open and drain the stars and dreams from my blood, and they like to make me watch.

Why didn’t you tell him to stop, God? Because I did.

I can’t look at myself. The shower is my enemy because my body is not mine anymore. I am not mine anymore. No matter what clothes I put on it, it does not feel like me. I do not feel like me.

Is this like a wound that I can cover with a bandage, with one of those Barbie bandaids they used to sell at the front counter of CVS pharmacies? If I ask you to put it on my heart, like my mother used to do when my favorite movie character died, will my innocence return?

God, I want to be pure. I want to be my own. I want to get over it, just like I’m told I should. But they won’t let me.

Dear Rape,

You are hurting me.

You make me hurt.


That Girl

Illustration by Anya Mohindra-Green

Polaroid from Hell and Back


Her nails were five different colors. Her pinky was blue like the cap of a plastic Aquafina water bottle. Her ring finger was yellow like that Bill Evans Jazz vinyl that sits in the corner of my brother’s messy bedroom. Her middle finger was red like the color of the lollipop crammed between her bleached teeth. Her index finger was green like the color of the houseplant that died in my apartment last week. Her thumb was orange like the color of the flower painted on the mug I drank my coffee in this morning. Scattered, broken, half­-assed rainbows on her fingers holding together a clean white polaroid camera, ready to take my picture.


I felt lifeless, and not the kind of lifeless you feel after taking a standardized test. I felt a lifelessness that was all-consuming. For so long I have denied any confrontation with this lifelessness, acknowledging it but never dealing with it.

Yet right then I knew it was time to be honest with myself. I needed to be honest with myself. I was jealous that I couldn’t be the girl with the different colored nails holding that Urban Outfitters polaroid camera. Watching her lightweight smile reminded me of who I was before I was with him.

It was easier to memorize her fingernails than it was to confront that I was completely envious that I couldn’t be the one taking the picture with a cherry lollipop stuck between my effortless smile. It was easier to look at her smile than it was to look at his. He was right there next to me with one of his hands wrapped around my neck and the other holding my waist. Pick one, I want to say to him. Pick one: You cannot choose to treat me as yours to have while flirting with me, publicly holding my hand. It is hard to fight back when you have been taught for so long not to speak. So, I stood there. At a party I did not want to be at, in an uncomfortable outfit, in a constant look of reminding myself of how gross my fake smile was, and fixating on fucking ROY G BIV on some girl’s hands.

I could write about what happened before the photo, but what is more valuable to know is what happened after. And, frankly, the attention deserves to be on me rather than those who hurt me, as selfish as that might sound.

Becoming someone weak is scary. Especially when it is not welcomed or when you don’t have control. For so long, I could feel his warm hand on my neck every moment of the day. I could feel him controlling my breathing when I would walk, sleep or shower. I could even feel it pressing on my throat when I would be hooking up with someone else.

I stayed lifeless. I was controlled by his hands that choked my past and kept me from living my future. I did not understand how someone could be living and lifeless at the same time until I could vividly feel his imprints on my neck as I fasten on my good luck necklace every morning before school. My life was taken by someone undeserving. He can always find a way to tear my life away from my heart. And I let him. At least, it feels like I did. I can no longer live a life controlled by someone who deserves it. It takes time and so much hurt to rip off his hands that clutch my neck. It proves to me that there is still something left inside me, that I am not lifeless. It proves that even with the scars he left on me, I can still be beautiful like that girl with the colorful nails.

Photograph by Kathryn Phillips


lit. art

by Gabriella Margarino

“kiss me” you said.
I refuse

With tears burning in my breath
I will not be “her” anymore
I will not let your lips suck my bones out of my body
I will not become your nameless skin
I will not give you my tongue my legs my ass my face

Not again.
I am mine now
And I am not sorry.

She needs to rest
In her own arms.

It feels good
To smile without you.
To have the hands of others on my skin
and their desire for me hanging in every breath.
To watch them spin around me like moons
desperate to attract my eyes.
It feels good
to know I am wanted
by more than just you.

Not a Good Morning


Illustration by Brooke Ripley

This is not a story about a brutal attack. This is not a story about knowingly having my dignity stripped from me or being physically overpowered. It wasn’t like that. Instead, this is a story about a toxic battle between fear, infatuation, and longing. About how I unknowingly walked into my own hell, and the guilt that comes with realizing you’ve been emotionally and physically manipulated for someone else’s pleasure. This is a story about rape, but perhaps not the one that comes to mind when you hear that word.

I was just a kid when I first saw him. Only nine years old.

He was a new instructor, I was a student. I knew him in the way you know your speed on the freeway: mostly in passing. Fast forward eight years and now I am a instructor too. I am 16, he is 22. I am still a kid, but now I have braces, acne, insecurity, and a desperate need to prove myself. He is the notoriously “cool” instructor at the top of our delicate social hierarchy, so when he starts to take a liking to me I’m proud. I’m cool by association. None of his flirty jokes about me being “just a baby” mattered, because he was inviting me to eat with the “cool coaches” after work, he was driving me home in his truck, and I was laughing at sex jokes I didn’t understand.

So when he invites me to his house for a kickback with friends from work, I can’t resist. I lie to my dad for the first time about where I’m going and swallow my guilt in the passenger seat of his car. I’m nervous, but before I know it there is a drink in my hand. And then another drink. And another.

And it was great. Hell, I’d never been drunk before and it was marvelous how easily the nervousness was carried away as the alcohol slipped down my throat. With inebriated ease, I soaked up the sweet thrill he radiated. As the night wound down and the laughter of friends subsided, I laid on the couch and let sleep overpower me.

But instead of sleep, I found skin. A hand reached into my shorts. His lips pressed on mine and mine silently followed suit because it felt good to be wanted, to be paid attention to by someone as magnetic as him. But I didn’t say anything when it escalated from there. I never opened my eyes. I didn’t know whether I wanted it or not, but my clothes were leaving my body so fast and the pull of sleep and alcohol agreed with him when he whispered, “it’s fine…it’s fine.” I didn’t fight it. I didn’t fight it when it was more than just his hand inside me. I didn’t even comprehend what had happened until it was over. I never opened my eyes.

When I did open my eyes again, the numbness of the alcohol he had given me was gone. I laid there, trying to process what had happened, unsure of how to handle the rush of emotion. I was proud he had wanted me, proud I had proved I wasn’t just the baby, proud I had lost my virginity. But I was also nervous and embarrassed and didn’t want to be lying next to him feeling so exposed. I was uncomfortable but I didn’t know why, and I didn’t know what to listen to or how to feel. All I knew for sure was that I could feel his penis resting on me, burning a hole in my thigh. It kept getting hotter and hotter. He was setting my skin was on fire and the burn started to course up my leg. Soon my whole body would be searing. I need to do something. I cannot stay like this. I don’t want to lay here like this. So I began searching for my underwear, careful not to wake him. If I put my underwear on, it will be over. They were just out of reach. After minutes of nervous stillness, I held my breath and reach my arm towards my final defense. But I was not fast enough. My saving grace became my greatest sin because as my fingers pulled the black fabric into my hand, he woke up. I returned to my position.

But then, he looked at me and whispered “good morning” through a smile. Suddenly, my uneasiness melted. Suddenly, I believed him. The morning was good because he said so. I remembered all the times he offered to drive me home, the way he playfully teased me at work, the way he made me feel mature and desired. I realize now this was all nothing but grooming. But at the time, it served as concrete proof that he liked me and that my discomfort was unjustified. He kissed my nose and convinced me that everything really was fine, that my fear was irrational, that this was just what sex is like.

And then he kissed my cheek, my lips, my neck. He rolled on top of me, and I tried to remind myself that the morning is good, but I felt the pit in my stomach forming. I knew what was going to happen and that I didn’t want it to, but when I opened my mouth to speak, nothing came out. Fear had its talons wrapped around my throat, and I sank into suffocated passivity. He liked me; I couldn’t say no. How could I deny the person who had done so much for me, anyways? He was 22. He knew what he was doing and he was so nice. You have to prove you aren’t the baby, you should want this. You should want this. So I said nothing as he burrowed his hand in between my hips and dug for the gold only boys I love are supposed to find. My eyes were wide open this time. I ignored the churning in my stomach as he thrust himself into me minutes later. I told myself that sex was supposed to feel empty. I was supposed to feel hollow. I rocked my hips the way I knew I was supposed to, and as he came inside me I released my clenched fist, letting the black fabric of my underwear spill out with my innocence. My eyes were wide open.

By the time morning came, I had twelve dark hickies below my chin and bruises were blooming like rotten flowers where my thighs met. But it was fine. I was being a rebellious teenager like I was supposed to. These are marks of passion, I told myself. Even while covered in bruises, victimhood was out of the question. Even with a physical manifestation of his crimes sewn into my skin, I couldn’t face the truth. This is good. He likes me. I am no longer the baby. Everything is fine.

But everything was not fine. Hiding hickies the color and size of plums was not easy, and my mom is not stupid. She was crying, and so was I, but I protected him. I begged her not to go to the police. She kept saying he had taken advantage of me, but that couldn’t be true. I had wanted this, remember? He was my friend, he liked me, he said the morning was good. He couldn’t have done what she said. People know when they are raped. People have to know.

And I suppose I was right. Because I know now. But at the time, I couldn’t comprehend that to him I was nothing but a body. Instead of hating him, I hated myself.

For days, I ate barely anything; I couldn’t leave my room, I wasn’t allowed to talk to my friends, I was forced to quit my job as an instructor, and was shunned by my family. I was utterly alone in my own misery, my own guilt.

I had disappointed everyone in my life, so I hated myself more than anything for reasons I couldn’t fully articulate. But as time went on, it got easier to deal with. I began to be able to think about something other than him the moment I woke up, and I could smile again. Things went back to normal and I buried that night under denial, ignorance, and fear. I had successfully passed it off to myself as a wild night and good morning where I had simply failed at being the “rebellious teenager” I longed to be.

It wasn’t until almost eight months later when I stumbled across a Facebook article during Spanish class, that my conception began to unravel. The headline read, “Is it Rape if You Say Yes? 5 Types of Sexual Coercion, Explained.” As I read, I felt the blood drain from my face and my world start to close in because it was all so familiar. That cold, winter night came flooding back with a vengeance. I was desperately grasping for the denial that was slipping from my fingertips when a single line shattered it entirely. It read: “many women who have been sexually coerced might not even be aware that what happened to them qualifies as sexual assault, and may instead blame themselves for their trauma.”

I couldn’t deny it anymore. I had been sexually coerced, emotionally manipulated, raped, and the shame and guilt of victimhood began all over again. I was angry and confused and disgusted with myself. He had robbed me of my innocence, my virginity, my dignity, and my pride. Still, I protected him. I let it happen. I let this man take advantage of me. I held his hand as he did it.

The guilt will haunt me for the rest of my life and the rest of my relationships. It took another three months after reading that article for me to finally stop telling myself I was just playing the victim; I was just “crying” rape. Six more for me to say it out loud to myself. Over a year for me to tell someone else. It was so hard to admit to myself that I let him take advantage of me.

Sometimes, it still is hard to admit. I still have a difficult time saying the word “rape” out loud. He never forced me down against my will. He never threatened me. He never attacked me. He even told me the morning was good. Am I sure I was raped? Did he really mean to take advantage of you? He was so nice, remember? But even when I convince myself I am just playing the victim, there is always one question I can never get past.

If it wasn’t rape, why does that morning still haunt me?

I was 16 and he was 22. He knew I was young and scared. He got me drunk. He came on to me while I was sleeping. He never asked if I was okay. He never asked if I was enjoying myself. He didn’t care what I was feeling. He manipulated me into complacency, into making me think I owed this to him. He left bruises and marks all over my body. He never spoke to me again.

These are the facts. And now I know this is rape.

In the years following, I had multiple poor relationships with boys who reinforced the idea that I was an object whose purpose was to make them feel good. This was the behavior I began to expect and accommodate. However, since beginning my third year of college, I’ve been lucky enough to have genuinely good men in my life who helped rebuild my perception of what sexual encounters should be like. I cannot thank them enough, for they gave me the freedom to discover the power within myself. They taught me that sex should not be scary. I should not be afraid. I should not be uncomfortable or anxious or worried about what will happen if I say stop. If they are not trying to take advantage of me, the person I am with will respect my wishes and boundaries. They will want me to be comfortable. They will ask, “Are you good? We can stop if you want, don’t worry,” and they will listen to my answer.

Asking for consent should be expected; yet, every time I hear words like this, I am overcome with relief. Every time I hear those words, I am reminded that there are good people in this world and that I am allowed to be the one who makes decisions for my own body. These words are important. Be the one to say them. Be the one to ask them back in return. The absence of no does not mean yes. Let my story attest to this.

Heart of Gold & Innocence Lost


by Brooke Ripley

Sometimes I wonder where I left my innocence. I don’t remember when I left it, but I did not lose it. The word “lost” has such a negative connotation. In fact, with such negative implications, why do we attach it to something that can be positive? Is it because, as a society, we are taught that innocence is to be treasured? Why treasure something that births naivety? Who said that we have to remain innocent? Even without my innocence, I still have a heart of gold.

Letter to My Father



I wish I could say that I love you unconditionally, as flesh and blood should, but I don’t. Lines have been crossed, and we can never go back.

After you found out I was assaulted, did you really think the right reaction was to send me a note? Or to constantly bring up the #MeToo movement, in hopes that seeming supportive would redeem you?

It didn’t. When we were on the phone that night, you said that the state of our relationship was my fault, that I owed you the truth about what had happened to me this summer, that you couldn’t understand why I would not tell you.

So I told you exactly how I felt, not because I owed it to you, but because I owed it to myself. I told you that I didn’t trust you, that I didn’t feel safe around you. And you couldn’t see why. I said that it was because of the way you talk about people who are different from yourself. I’ve heard you call women ‘slut’ and ‘whore,’ and refer to transgender people as ‘it,’ and you can’t seem to keep homophobic slurs out of your mouth, even after I came out to you as queer. You ask, “What was she wearing?” You are the person that refers to Donald Trump’s accusers as attention-seekers and liars, dismisses that “Grab them by the pussy” line as “just talk,” and you, the father of four daughters, gave him your vote. Politics should not ruin relationships, or get personal, but I still can’t help feeling betrayed—like you can dismiss sexual assault as a non issue in comparison to your own financial gain. You’re just unkind and unable to empathize. Every time I go home, I’m terrified and miserable, because I can’t hold a conversation with you without you getting angry or taunting me about my beliefs.

So I told you these things on the phone that night. And you said I had always been too sensitive. You kept pushing, saying that you deserved to know what happened to me, and I was crying, couldn’t even get a word out, and you kept pushing, calling me secretive and ungrateful, finally saying that if you were unsupportive, I was to blame because I hadn’t said anything to you, and that my PTSD diagnosis was my fault because I refused to talk about my trauma.

And you kept asking, and I had never been that angry in my life so I snapped. I yelled, “I got fucking raped, so leave me the fuck alone,” and hung up. I stood outside in the dark, crying and yelling at nothing.

And you had the audacity to send me an email the next day.

And we didn’t speak for weeks.

I’m still afraid of you. Afraid that you think that my rape was my fault. Afraid that you wonder if I had been drinking, or what I had been wearing, or if I’m somehow a slut. Because that’s the way you talk about other women. And I’ll never stop being afraid and counting down the days until my eighteenth birthday. You’ve said and done things that I could never hope to understand, and your motivations will always remain unclear, because above all, you’re unable to talk, to share your feelings.

I’m still not sure whether I want you to be a part of my life. I don’t hate you, but I don’t love you either. You were not a presence in my life until you decided to belittle me, taunt me, and make me doubt myself and my actions. But I refuse to let anyone treat me that way. I no longer doubt myself, because I know that though I don’t often feel it, I hold much more strength than you ever will, and you cannot accept that. You refuse to let me grow up, to have my own beliefs and my own burdens that you won’t always be a part of. Though I don’t truly love you, or respect your actions, I would not be who I am if you had not raised me this way.

However, if I am who I am because of you, and you can’t accept that person, doesn’t that reflect on you and not on me? You’ve always said you wanted to raise your daughters to be strong and independent women, so why can’t you love the strong woman that I am, with or without your help?

Illustration by Brooke Ripley

This is Not the End: A Rebellion

lit. art

by Juno Williams*

Illustration by Pepper Pieroni

I spent a couple of weeks in limbo.

In a void not entirely here but,

not anywhere else either.

I scooped out all the emotion from the inside of my chest, a blue, whimpering ball of things I was too afraid to admit into the light.

I scooped out all the emotion from the inside of my chest, a red, snarling mass of fear and the reminder that I had no control of the future.

I spent a couple of weeks in limbo.

It took a while (a couple of weeks, a couple of months) and it took several therapy sessions (a couple with my therapist, a couple with God) to realize that I was not as comfortable in my own skin as I thought.

I was (and still am) comfortable with my identity. That was never the issue. What was getting to me was the fact that other people can choose whether or not they wanted to be comfortable with my identity.

I spent a couple of months in limbo.

In which I was a mass of blood and stuttering motivation. A sheet of satisfaction hammered over piles of veins starving for love, and acceptance, and peace, and a moment of silence. I gorged myself on little bits of appreciation from my friends around me. But my stomach was much too empty to be sustained for long.

I was surrounded by friends and all the support systems anyone could want. But I felt myself slipping, all the things I loved in reach, but my hands too sweaty, my thoughts too paranoid, my tongue too heavy to hold onto them.

I was a shadow, with a monstrous maw that had so many words and nowhere to put them, until I was a shivering flame, with too many empty spaces and no words to fill them.

In other words, I was fucked up.

It takes a lot to become, and it takes even more to sustain. This I knew then and still know, but now I understand.

There is no better teacher than experience.

I spent a couple months in limbo.

First I let it bleed into my being. A trickle of panic down my spine until I was filled to the brim with it. I changed all my passwords. I put all my photos in folders and those had passwords on them too. Made sure my electronics were closed before I left them anywhere. Then I didn’t leave them anywhere. Triple checked that I didn’t accidently pick up a call from my mother and she wasn’t listening in on a conversation.

I stopped bringing my phone places.

I always thought one, two, three steps ahead.

How long until she realized my friend group was 83% not straight? Where would she think I fell? I stopped talking about my friends.

What if she came up to campus on a whim? Didn’t bother to let me know. Walked into my room to see the rainbow flag taped next to my window. Could I pass it off as my roommate’s? Should I let my roomate know I would be condemning her to Hell in my mother’s eyes if she decided to help me?

I took the flag down each time I left the room.

I ordered a shirt from the H&M Pride collection. A simple yellow t-shirt. No mentions of pride or being gay or anything abnormal on it. I feared that it would come in a box with rainbows spilling from the UPS van to my porch.

I forced myself not to cancel the order.

This was the first thing that didn’t taste like fear.

And with that, a drunkenness. A recklessness. A rebirth.

I call my friend, “my wife”, lovingly in front of people who don’t know to keep it a secret. I take her plants, our “children”, for the summer and promise not to kill them, as incompetent as I am.

I kiss another friend on the forehead. My mother is behind me. I do not linger but I do not hide.

My advisor tells me goodbye, her wife hugging me before I go. I wonder if they, with all the stories I told them on calm Tuesday nights and tired Friday evenings, see a monster in my mother’s place. I wonder if my mother, with all her stereotypes about lesbians and WLW relationships, can tell they are together even when they stand so far apart.

I wonder if she knows. If I left something out. If I forgot to give the flag, or the t-shirt, or my voice to my friend, if I forgot to put it in storage.

I come back home, and the fear does too.

This is not an ending.

I hold on to my fear because I can, because it is mine, because I can change it when I want to. But I am not the same as I once was and I can no longer be scared of things I used to.

My story will not end with fear. When I choose to come out, I will no longer fear retribution.

Coming home after coming out feels like something close to a rebellion.

This is not an ending.