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Letter sent on Feb 2

What a beautiful beast you are!

Kelley (my dear comrade and co-founder) and I have a running joke.

I’m in a band (we’re performing at a house party in Berkeley like the ‘90s-loving bitches we are this Saturday if you wanna come!) and every time I am leaving to go to practice she says in her best fan-girl voice,

“Katie you’re in a band?!”

Anyway. One of the songs we cover is She by Green Day and this week I am feeling those whining white boys thrumming in my heart-meat.

“She, she’s figured out, all her doubts were someone
else’s point of view…
Are you locked up in a world that’s been
planned out for you?
Are you feeling like a social tool without a use?”

In truth, I have been screaming these lyrics since I was in sixth grade; Dookie was the first CD that I ever got — along with a boombox. (Which, to be clear, I only gave away five years ago. ANALOG TECHNOLOGY FOREVER.)

But in February of 2018 I have found myself feeling the same sense of claustrophobia that has haunted me since my fledgling adolescent rage first reared its freckled, flat-chested self in 1994.

I’ve been feeling like a tool, rusting. I feel other people’s stares, their questions and criticisms and cowardly shit boring their eyes into me and weakening my resolve to be the wonderful, smelly, showtune-warbling human that I am.

This morning I realized I was carrying around this smelly old coat — a tattered thing of thick, sodden wool — alternatively itchy and comforting (because sorrow can be so familiar and darkly cozy).

I was carrying around fear; I was carrying around self-doubt, shame, exhaustion, a profound desire to be loved by someone who made it feel — from time to time — that I was difficult to love.

And maybe I am! But right now I am feeling more than worth that. My teeth and lolling tongue and gleaming fur and claws, claws, claws house a huge humming heart worth wrestling yourself into.

What coat are you carrying? What beautiful beast is hiding underneath?

With love + rage,
Katie Tandy
Co-founder | Creative Director

CALLING ALL ARTIST HUMANS!

‘Love Needs…’

Open Call For Art Submissions!

One design will be chosen as the Official Est. Love T-shirt…

SUBMIT YOUR WORK RIGHT THE HELL HERE!

How My Poet-Refugee Mother Became A Trump Supporter

By Ari Honarvar

My mother wasn’t a hardline Democrat — she was wary of Hillary, and left the presidential box unchecked when she voted — but she’d also never been a Trump supporter. How did she, an Iranian American poet-refugee, come to support a man who defies everything she would seemingly stand for?

I was stunned — and curious. Was my mother alone in this view? Or was she expressing something more widespread? Intrigued, I started doing research, and discovered other Iranian Americans openly touting Trump’s foreign policy. Then I reached out to two of my mother’s Iranian American friends via email, asking them what they thought.

#MeToo Has Made Me See Anyone Is Capable Of Sexual Abuse — Including Me

By Suzannah Weiss

Only now, as I’m writing this, am I thinking back to the time my current partner said he was too tired for sex, and then I touched his penis until he changed his mind — but did he really change his mind, or did he just want to appease me?

Yes, I see myself in Grace. But I also see myself in Aziz.

When the conversation around the #MeToo hashtag moved from morally unambiguous sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein to self-described feminists like Aziz Ansari, some took the opportunity to discuss how rape culture is so ever-present, nearly every woman has been violated, and even “good men” have violated women.

But more and more, I’m realizing it goes even further than that: Nearly everyone of every gender has the potential to be both the violator and the violated.

The Incredible Evolution Of Periods

By Jackie Grimm

Humans — along with old world primates and certain types of bats — are one of the few species on Earth that menstruate. In these species, a drop in the levels of the hormone progesterone triggers the breakdown of the inner lining of the uterus. What follows is an extraordinary process of scar-free wound healing. The uterus can break down and regenerate every month, hundreds of times in a lifetime — all without ever leaving a scar.

This incredible process is practically unheard of in adult tissues, but, as many of us know, periods can also be debilitating. So biologists have been puzzled as to why this phenomenon should have evolved. And, more specifically, why did it only evolve in humans, old world primates, and certain bats?

Don’t Judge A Girl For What’s Between Her Legs

By Ana Valens

Let me start off by making something clear: Gender reassignment surgery is absolutely necessary for many trans people. For them, GRS is literally a life-saving surgery. So if you need surgery, go do it. If you want surgery, go consider it. If you’re simply curious about getting GRS, then be curious.

Your body, your rules.

But not all trans people need nor want surgery. And for me, gender dysphoria — or the incongruency a transgender person feels between their gender identity and their gender assigned at birth — doesn’t start and end with whatever happens to be between my legs. Gender dysphoria is something that I experience beyond my junk. It’s about my body in its entirety, not just its genitals.

Working As An Escort Helped My PTSD

By Laura LeMoon

I started as a teenager in New York City, working for the Latin Kings gang in Washington Heights and the Bronx. Even after I escaped the gang, however, my exploitation did not end. Several years later, I was pimped out by my then- fiance, who worked for the Sinaloa Cartel, the most powerful and feared of all the Mexican cartels.

Living with my fiance, I remember being raped every day — being strangled with towels and old clothes, being kicked, punched, body slammed, and assaulted with weapons.

I’ve experienced a lifetime of violence from men who were supposed to love me — a lifetime of alienation from “legitimate” economies, because I have Bipolar Disorder, because I’m an addict and alcoholic, and because I have complex PTSD, which makes it hard for me to work a job where I have to have a boss telling me what to do.

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