'Desert Oracle' Is the Spooky Exploration of the Southwest We Need

In late August, smoke from the California wildfires made it difficult for Ken Layne to step outside his home in Joshua Tree, California. But that didn’t stop the writer and producer from doing what he does every week: recording Desert Oracle, a radio program that airs each Friday evening on California’s KCDZ 107.7 FM and also as a podcast. “I have no doubt the climate situation will be fixed by the same species that got us here: humans,” he told his listeners in a nasally voice backed by eerie s

How to Be an Ally When You're Exhausted and Overwhelmed

Being an ally is an open-ended responsibility. This means learning how to continue our allyship while taking care of ourselves and our loved ones throughout various life circumstances (such as global pandemics). Initially, this post was going to be solely about white allyship. But Pride Month just ended, and I believe strongly in intersectional feminism. We are not going to make the progress we really need to make if we speak up about one type of injustice while ignoring the rest. And many of u

How to Be a Straight Ally at Work

A 2014 study by the Human Rights Campaign found that 53 percent of LGBT individuals remain closeted at work. According to Audrey Gallien, Director of Marketing for Catalyst, a workplace inclusion advocacy organization, even when businesses attempt to provide an inclusive environment, individuals “still must face the inter-personal risk of ‘bringing their full self’ to work”—in other words, they risk their relationship with their manager, team members, or clients changing for the worse. Accordin

Figure Modeling

The moment I disrobe and step up naked on a platform where anywhere from two to a dozen pairs of eyes are staring at me has never bothered me. I don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. Before I started figure modeling, I’d enjoyed other public nudity experiences which led me to believe I’d be a good candidate for the gig. There were other reasons I started modeling. As a broke graduate student, it is a way of supporting the arts without the ability to buy much. It’s also physically challenging, and

I desperately wanted to be a stepmom

The times when I most yearned for the title of stepmom were when it mattered the least: speaking to coworkers or other women — usually much older than me — about their teenage daughters. When one mom lamented her daughter's growing reclusiveness, I felt a smug sense of pride about the chatty, unguarded girl in my life. Another showed me her daughter's prom pictures, and I reciprocated by bringing up images of Miranda in her golden gown on Facebook. But when I talked about Miranda, I'd have to sa

After Bomb Threats Against Jewish Centers, Chicago Faith Groups Show Up for Neighbors

Jarell Wilson moved to Chicago in 2016. A recent seminary graduate, Wilson relocated to serve with a local congregation and pursue ordination in the United Methodist Church. But he soon discovered he missed reading Scripture in Hebrew. When Rabbi Craig Marantz, Wilson's friend and head rabbi at Emanuel Congregation in Edgewater, invited Wilson to a reading group, Wilson jumped at the chance. He began coming to the synagogue to read the Torah, and soon, Marantz and Wilson were part of each other'
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