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Image created by Riley Smith. Image description: A red square with black text overlay that reads “SEX WORKERS ARE PEOPLE” (end image description).

Originally published on on June 30, 2018.

Metro US is the country’s largest free newsletter, distributed at most public transportation stations and claiming to reach an audience of “18 million readers in more than 100 major cities in 23 countries”. It is a moderately interesting read with tabloid headlines and quick news bites that can get you caught up on your morning commute. However, it is not considered the most tactful piece of media as evidenced in the July 24th issue. Amidst topics of electric scooters, security breaches in the White House, and a boycott on Faneuil Hall, Metro…

Our environment is affecting our health in more ways than we realize.

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Photo by Nick Bolton on Unsplash. Image description: A movie theater billboard for a Paramount theater that reads: “STG PRESENTS THIS IS JUST INTERMISSION WE’LL SEE YOU SOON” [end image description]

We are experiencing a global trauma, unlike any in recent history. COVID-19 affects everyone (though its racial disparities cannot be ignored)*, and the reactions to the virus are similarly impacting our physical and mental health. Americans are faced with a particularly damaging collective mental stress, and we can only guess at the long-term ramifications of this crisis. It is very likely that thousands, if not millions, of Americans, will come out of this collective trauma with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD).

C-PTSD Defined

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is understood as a result of surviving a traumatic event. Most people think…

(Submitted to Boston City Council on 9/7/2020)

Members of the Boston City Council,

I am writing to express my concerns around the Boston Policeman’s Patrol Association’s current contract terms as they relate to overtime. Many incredible Black and Brown community leaders are providing invaluable testimony that highlights all the reasons why the current standard is ineffective, unreasonably costly, and dangerous to Black and Brown communities in Boston. I will not belabor points that are better explained by my community members, as it is imperative to listen to the most impacted individuals over people who look like me. …

interview originally conducted for and published on June 1, 2018

In recent years, several towns around the country and the state of California have started using their political power to make massively impactful change. The city of Cambridge, MA (home to Harvard University) collectively agreed to reach 80% less waste by 2050. Two initiatives have been implemented in the past two years. In March of 2016, Cambridge’s Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance took affect, which bans the distribution of plastic bags in stores and requires a minimum $0.10 charge on any reusable, paper, or compost bags provided by a…

originally published on on July 14th, 2018

Recently, many major cities have brought forth ideas for limiting waste in seemingly simple ways. A very popular suggestion has been a plastic straw ban. The UK, New York, Vancouver, and others are all proposing or pushing through legislation to ban plastic straws. Plastic straws are a focus because they cannot be recycled, they are *everywhere*, they are often given without a second thought, and for many, they are completely unnecessary.

However, these ban conversations have left out a significant portion of the population — people with disabilities that necessitate using straws…

originally published on on June 29, 2018

I am writing this two hours after I got into the worst bike accident I have been in since I started riding my bike around Boston. It is my third accident this year (also the third of my life), and the second one happened just yesterday.

The number of bikers on the roads in Boston have skyrocketed since 2007, according to the Boston Globe. With more bikes on the road, and several terrible casualties hitting the news, Boston has been trying to make the roads safer for all of us. Harvard published…

The Disposable Sex Worker trope is one that should be familiar to anyone who has seen an episode of a crime drama.

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Photo by Larry Farr on Unsplash

This article was written by a person incarcerated in the Mark W. Stiles Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. They remain anonymous for safety from retaliation.

Everyone knows the old adage, “if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Well, apparently the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has adapted that adage to its prisoners: If a potentially fatal disease has an outbreak on a unit of criminals and no one chooses to acknowledge it, who really cares? That is the threat looming over the Mark W…

No one prepares you for the death of a family member you were estranged from.

They keep dying.

I thought I grieved them when I decided for my own health and happiness that I would no longer interact with them.

Unfortunately, there were only a few key people who I needed to separate from and then all the secondary people who were too involved to safely maintain contact with.

There’s always the feeling that maybe someday things will get better and maybe you’ll be able to fix things. Even when you know that isn’t true. Even when you’ve moved on…

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Photo Credit: Riley Smith

For 18 years, bikers all over the globe have participated in the Annual World Naked Bike Ride. The World Naked Bike Ride is exactly what its name implies — an international event where people bike naked. WNBR is a form of direct action with three goals: to protest unsafe biking conditions by making bikers a spectacle to be noticed by vehicles and pedestrians, to bring attention to biking as an alternative to using nonrenewable energy sources, and to create space for people to comfortably free their bodies and destigmatize and desexualize nudity. …

Riley Smith

A nonbinary, queer, mentally ill, intersectional feminist who is angry at everything and yet loves everyone. Their hair changes color every month.

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