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Letter sent on Aug 4, 2017

Go Ahead, Tell Yourself You’re Amazing



F(emme)bot: Gender(ing) Technology.
An arts and activism panel on the wild and wooly world of AI, VR, bio-ethics, and of course, why the hell Siri has to be a woman . . .

Mallory Ortborg (founder of the beloved Toast!)
founders of io9, Annalee Newitz + Charlie Jane Anders
artist Chelley Sherman, Gray Area Arts Foundation 
author Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Inexplicably, I’ve been very gentle with myself this week. My friends often hear me say that my mind isn’t very good company.

I learned from a young age that when alone, my mind quickly wanted to talk about all the dogs currently beaten right now — probably like 1,000 at least! — and/or my mother’s rotting face in her grave.

It’s not pretty in there, so I developed a voracious reading habit and cultivated a joy in other people’s company; together those two activities guarantee I spend very, very little time alone. (Even when I’m sleeping.)

While reading Anne Lamott’s very charming if a little god-laden book on writing, Bird by Bird, this struck me:

“If you are not careful, station KFKD will play in your head twenty-four hours a day, nonstop, in stereo…out of the left speaker will be the rap songs of self-loathing, the lists of all the things one doesn’t do well, of all the mistakes one has made today and over an entire lifetime, the doubt, the assertion that everything that one touches turns to shit, that one doesn’t do relationships well, that one is in every way a fraud, incapable of selfless love, that one has no talent or insight and on and on and on…”

We must “learn to be more compassionate company…”

She reminds us that if a close friend was trying to do something — anything! — and felt scared and shitty, we probably wouldn’t roll our eyes, make a gagging noise, or point a finger-gun at our own heads. We’d probably say something encouraging and remind them how great they are and tell anyone who says otherwise to drop dead.

This week I was able to cultivate that kind of patience and love for myself. Every time I heard that voice start telling me what a lazy, spoiled, rotten, fuck-up [insert horrible moniker here] I am, I yelled over it. I yelled, “you’re doing it and doing it and doing it well!” (Sung to the melody of LL Cool J’s “Doin’ It”).

Find your fuck-that-noise mantra and bellow it out over all your self-doubt. It feels amazing. Tell yourself you’re amazing, because it’s true.

With love + rage,

Katie Tandy
Co-founder | Creative Director




Dear Black Men: If You Want Long Hair, Have Long Hair

By Jermey Winslow

As a Black man, you are to be physically adroit, rugged, tall, thuggish, and stoic; anything outside these strict parameters makes you less Black. Because society continues to insist on associating long hair with femininity, this leads to a crude calculation: the longer the hair, the less acceptably Black the man.

Why Are People Into Shame?!

By Tina Horn

“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.”

Apply this definition to sex, and it becomes clear why shame drives so many erotic lives. Our sexual desires and identities are the things we are told most constantly make us filthy, tainted — even unlovable.

Shame is a ghost that will just keep haunting you if you don’t make a sincere effort to purge it. And wild hot deviant sex is the best kind of exorcism I know.

The Emotional Toll Of Covering Trump’s Military Trans Ban

By Katelyn Burns

Editors who had ignored my pitches for months were suddenly changing their tune and seeking out my work on the ban. I felt like their token. I’ve struggled with being labeled “the trans writer” for awhile now.

Even now, I’m aware of the fact that editors are much more likely to say yes to me if my pitch is about a trans issue. I’m painfully aware of my typecasting, and was reminded of my place in the media landscape once again as the requests for work came pouring in on Wednesday.

Dirty Talk For Grammar Nerds

By Nikki Gloudeman

Assonance: Feeling of exaltation when she tells you she loves it that way.

Direct Speech: “I want to have sex with you.”

Indirect Speech: “Would you like to come up for a drink?”

I Can’t Stop Thinking About Sex And Death

By Katie Tandy

Sometimes it’s like devouring. My jaw aches with the possibility. Have you ever bit something as hard as you can? So hard you could feel those tiny quivering muscles — some slender as wires, some balled like tiny fists — bulge and thrum at the edges of your cheeks? You can hear them sing in your ears, protesting the strain against the unfortunate flesh poised between your teeth?

The skin snaps, the tissue and muscle and sometimes even the bone gives way. There is gristle and hair and your moans are almost inaudible because you’ve taken so much into your mouth. Into your hands and body.

Let’s partner, shall we?

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