Who Gets To Decide?

Sitting down to dinner with family friends in Mexico a year ago, sipping piña coladas, we were joined by an ocean breeze. The scenery was something out of a movie, salt and wind in my hair and not a care in the world. Fast forward an hour at that very same dinner table and I was met by a brute remark that pulled me out of paradise. My host, a middle-aged mother, abruptly declared, “Bisexuals don’t exist. They are just confused individuals that need to choose if they’re straight or gay.” This offhanded comment struck me over the head like a dumbbell. And for months afterward, even a year now, I still revisit it.

In her book Gender Trouble (1990), Judith Butler poses the question, who gets to decide if someone is a woman or not? My host’s presumptive statement made me ask, who gets to decide to whom someone else is sexually attracted? Was this woman I had dinner with God, and I had not known?

I’ve been flirting with girls for as long as I can remember. In high school, under the influence, I would make out with my friends for fun. I started seriously considering the idea that I could be attracted to women when I moved to New York, the all holy mecca of sexuality and liberalness. Although up to this point I have only ever been in relationships with men, I have dated several women and have developed feelings for one.

The biphobic sentiments that the woman expressed at dinner were not too far from my Catholic High School community’s thoughts. Although my dad chose a Catholic education for me, I was surprised by his reaction to my attraction to women. Sitting at my kitchen counter, home for Thanksgiving, I told my dad I met a girl and I like her. He was shocked. “But…” he mumbled, “what about my grandkids? I didn’t know you liked girls? Are you sure?” I looked at him, equally shocked and said, “Are you serious? First of all, if I fell in love with a woman and married one, although I’m not looking to get married for AT LEAST 10 years, there’s plenty of options for having kids from in vitro fertilization to adoption. Secondly, my happiness should be the most important thing, end of story.” I marched upstairs. My dad followed and apologized, saying it took him by surprise.

I acknowledge that having family and friends who love me no matter what is a privilege. I do not face the same hateful prejudice many people do. But I do have an understanding, even if slight, of how hurtful it can feel to not be accepted by those you trust most, even if only for a moment.

I always find it part frustrating, part hilarious when straight people assume bi people are you are attracted to them. As a straight person, are you attracted to every person of the opposite gender? No. As a gay person, are you attracted to every one of the same gender? No. Same goes for bi people. I, in fact, am really picky. I think I’m even pickier with my choices in women than men. So no, if we’re friends, it’s not weird if we have a sleepover because I’m not sexually attracted to you. Sorry to burst your bubble. I remember when I was younger, this was an anxiety of mine. Will my straight girlfriends treat me differently if they know I like women? Will their ignorance overpower our friendship? I feel so blessed to say I have an amazing roster of loyal female friends, and my sex life doesn’t get in the way of that.

I do want to take this opportunity to mention that it is annoying when you ask someone who is bi or gay how they have sex. It’s intrusive and uncomfortable. Although, you may be genuinely curious, it comes off like you’re prying. I think you should only discuss someone’s sex life if they bring it up. And to approach it tastefully, don’t say “HOW DO YOU DO IT???!” If you want to know how they do it, there’s tons of resources online. You can even try looking at gay porn, but remember porn is made to entertain, not to educate. It’s unfortunate that our sexual education is so poor that we can’t fathom how sex can function outside of a heterosexual model. But guess what, queer sex not only functions, it’s awesome and no, I don’t want to tell you about it over coffee.

It’s no secret that bisexual people face derision not only from straight people but sometimes also, from the gay community. We are deemed as “confused,” as gay and ashamed, or for women, of doing it to please men and come off as “hot.” I am not confused. And I am most certainly not doing it for anyone but myself. In fact, I barely even talk about it. And up until this point, I’ve always been rather elusive about my sexual identity. Although, I am equally attracted to women and men, I believe that I am who I am, and that it doesn’t matter what I call myself.

I believe in a spectrum of sexual attraction. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, but we put ourselves into a box because that’s what society tells us we must do to be accepted. Sex researcher Dr. Alfred Kinsey argued beyond a heteronormative understanding of sexuality more than half a century ago. He devised a tool called the Kinsey Scale, which was revolutionary not only because it recognized homosexuality as legitimate, but also because it treated sexual orientation as a continuum rather than as a binary. The scale ranges from zero to six, with zero representing only heterosexual attraction and 6 representing only homosexual attraction. It also included an additional point on the scale X, representing asexuality. He and his research team interviewed thousands of subjects about their sexual histories and concluded that significant percentages of both the male and female sample groups landed between 1-5 on the scale meaning they were neither straight nor gay.

If you were a part of the study they wouldn’t just ask who you’ve slept with or dated. They would want to know who you find attractive, who you have crushes on, sexual and romantic fantasies, even dreams. Kinsey’s published studies Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior of the Human Female (1953) are associated with a change in public perception of sexuality and considered some of the most successful and influential scientific books of the 20th century. Since then, researchers such as Fritz Klein have developed hundreds of methods to chart the range of human sexuality.

 Even though the findings showed that many people did not fit into exclusive heterosexual or homosexual categories, six decades later, few people openly identify as bisexual. Since the 50’s things have undoubtedly gotten better for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in America.* Queer activism has made huge strides, but we still live in a heteronormative culture, which doesn’t accept or understand anything other than straight relationships. Bisexuality, understood as attraction to two or more genders, is not just the inverse of heterosexuality, it challenges the categories we cling to… categories some of us might be happy to leave behind all together.

 So what can I pass to you as a young woman living in New York who I guess, if you have to call me something besides Eileen, is bi? Well, be who the fuck you are and love it. If people can’t accept you for your authentic self, then to hell with them. Life is much too short to not enjoy the rainbows that show up every now and then.

 *Transgender activism has also made great strides. I didn’t discuss trans issues here because I am focusing on sexual orientation rather than gender identity/expression.

 To learn more about the Kinsey Institute’s studies of human sexuality check out http://www.indiana.edu/~kinsey/research/ak-data.html

 Try charting yourself on the Klein Sexuality Grid

http://www.americaninstituteofbisexuality.org/thekleingrid/

 

*  Photo by Chadwick Tyler

On My Own Terms

Growing up in a Catholic household with divorced parents sounds oxymoronic. You’d think that because my parents bent religious rules to pursue their individual desires, they would be sympathetic toward causes such as abortion. Despite their anti-abortion stance, I kept my personal beliefs intact and always argued against them. I had an abortion at the age of 17, and I do not regret my decision. The only decision I regret is allowing my personal morals to momentarily waver.

I knew that unprotected sex was risky, and that was the bottom line. My mistake was in trusting someone else’s judgment over my own. My boyfriend and I both lacked the sexual education necessary to make informed decisions about our sex lives. I hadn’t told anyone that I was sexually active because both my parents and my school did not talk about sex openly. Growing up, I only learned that sex was taboo. As a result, I allowed my ex to convince me with fake facts. He used coercive phrases until I caved and agreed to have unprotected sex. One false statistic that he repeated again and again was that the chance of pregnancy after having a year of unprotected sex was less than 1%. Retrospectively, I was naive to take his word, especially since I had the internet at my fingertips. I did not turn to online research until a few weeks into the summer before my senior year of high school, when my then-boyfriend and I were looking up how late a period had to be for us to start worrying about pregnancy.

I’m not sure exactly when I got pregnant. All I know is that after missing my period for over two weeks, I decided to buy a pregnancy test. “Let’s do it together,” my ex had said. I felt close to him, and determining the verdict together felt special–like he cared about us. But where had he been when I was so concerned about this very situation? Pressuring me not to worry about it so that he wouldn’t have to wear a condom.

Even as I walked through the aisles of the supermarket to find the most accurate test, I did not grasp the reality of the situation. I imagined breathing a sigh of relief after seeing the negative sign. We would embrace each other, and our relationship would be stronger than ever. When the pink positive sign burst my hopes, he hurled the test against the bathroom wall and  immediately accused me of cheating on him.

Despite years of hearing anti-abortion sentiments from my family, I knew that it was the right thing to do in my particular situation. I hadn’t graduated from high school yet, and I had big plans for my future—plans that didn’t include a child any time soon. After convincing my ex that there was no way the fetus growing inside me could have been anyone else’s, we headed to the local clinical laboratory to get my blood drawn. This was the next step after taking a home pregnancy test  because blood tests have greater accuracy. I have low blood sugar, so I ended up fainting in the parking lot after getting my blood drawn. I remember my ex carrying me back to the car in his arms. Being as young as I was, I took this as a sign that he was the one. I ignored the obvious warning signs—the coercion and cheating accusations—even as I came to, lying face down in the back of his car.

After my blood tested positive for pregnancy, I was referred to an “abortion specialist.” This was not a clinic where licensed doctors performed abortions, but I had no reason not to trust the clinical laboratory, so I did what they told me was the next step. It turns out that I was referred to an anti-abortion agency! I’m not sure if the lab knew where they were sending me. For all I know, they could have duped as well. Religiously motivated anti-choice activists disguise so called “abortion specialists” and “crisis pregnancy centers” as women’s health clinics. These anti-abortion agencies are not run by healthcare professionals and are notorious for bombarding pregnant women with lies to scare them out of choosing abortion.

I knew none of this when the elderly woman greeted my boyfriend and me at the door and immediately sat us down in a room where bible verses and pictures of wide-eyed infants adorned the walls. She put my boyfriend in a separate room to watch an “educational” video, which he later told me was about how abortions can cause breast cancer, and that there was a 99% chance that I would get the disease later in my life if I went through with the abortion. According to the National Cancer Institute’s website, reliable studies consistently show no association between abortions and breast cancer risk. The studies anti-choice activists cite to argue for the contrary are unreliable because they tend to have small sample sizes and use self-reported data rather than medical records.

While my boyfriend watched the video that spouted blatant lies, the woman asked me whether I was going to keep the baby or not. I was glad to be out of earshot of my boyfriend; I thought this would give me the chance to confide in someone about my boyfriend’s insensitivity since I got pregnant. Before I could get to the relationship issues that were really troubling me, mentioning the mere prospect of abortion derailed any possibility of finding comfort in conversation. The woman looked at me with disdain as tears began to stream down her face. Rather than empathizing with me, she made it abundantly clear she was upset that my plans did not align with her own righteous beliefs. At the end of the session, the woman grabbed both mine and my boyfriend’s hands and formed a prayer circle. Continuing to “weep for my cause,” she repeated alternative solutions to my unplanned pregnancy such as adoption.  She warned me repeatedly that life begins at conception, and that God values all lives. By this point, I understood that the agency must have Christian affiliations.

As I’m sure she intended, I felt a crushing sense of guilt during the entire prayer, like I was about to let down a million people I didn’t even know. I began to see the other side of the argument, the pro-life position that ultimately saw abortion as murder. As if it wasn’t difficult enough to go through with the procedure knowing my family’s stance on abortions, I was suddenly aware of entire communities opposing my decision. At the end of the session, she took down my number. I told her that I would consider my options and tell her my decision when she called me back in a couple of weeks. Despite her efforts to manipulate me, my mind was still set on the abortion. Her religious sentiments did not succeed at breaking my will, but did manage to spark an internal debate on my self worth.

I felt betrayed by the blood testing clinic that referred me to the agency; as a diagnostics laboratory, its only job was to provide accurate test results for its patients. By sending me to a religious agency without any explanation, they had wrongly impressed their personal views on what should have been solely my decision. I cried the entire way home in the passenger seat of my boyfriend’s car as he relentlessly asked me whether I wanted to keep the baby, reminding me that it would ruin his life if I did.

I had assumed that the most difficult part of procuring an abortion would be the actual procedure, but I found it surprisingly easy. Because I had taken a pregnancy test shortly after my first missed period, I was only two weeks pregnant and qualified for a medication abortion (which is commonly referred to as using the “abortion pill”).  According to Planned Parenthood’s website, the abortion pill can be taken up to ten weeks after the first day of your last period. Abortion laws differ by state; luckily, Hawaii’s legal age for procuring an abortion without parental consent was 17. Government officials in Hawaii have since revised the law to allow women of all ages to have an abortion without parental consent.

I went to Planned Parenthood and paid $700 from the money I had saved from work, although the clinic did give us the option of having an additional meeting to discuss finances in case we couldn’t pay upfront. I couldn’t believe how accommodating and understanding they were. For the first time, I felt good about my decision. I gave them my blood test results, and they prescribed to me two pills. The first, which I took in the office, contained mifepristone, which blocks progesterone, the hormone vital to pregnancy. The second, which I took at home two days later, contained misoprostol, which empties the uterus. Even though I have a weak stomach, I didn’t experience any negative side effects they mentioned such as vomiting and headaches. A few days after taking the pill, I went back to confirm that I was no longer pregnant. It was all over.

I no longer live in my hometown, where this all went down, and I’ve lost contact with my ex. It’s been about two years since I terminated the pregnancy, and I have not felt any guilt or shame about my decision. Without the abortion, I would be raising a child in a town that I couldn’t wait to get out of. Now I have the choice to have a child when I want to, in what I believe will is the best setting possible.

The only emotionally scarring part of the process was my experience at the anti-abortion agency. In retrospect, I can see that the woman working there acted on her pro-life stance in a disrespectful, fraudulent, and damaging way. Although she claimed to want to help, she overstepped her boundaries when she pressured her beliefs on a pregnancy that wasn’t hers. I lied to her during a follow-up phone call in which I told her that I’d give up the child for adoption. I don’t feel guilty about lying because I don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why I chose to have an abortion (least of all to that deceitful woman).  

I’ve always thought on my own terms. This led me to diverge from the opinions I heard growing up. At age 17, when I chose to terminate an unplanned pregnancy, I started living on my own terms. After thorough research and confiding in a few close friends after the abortion, I am convinced that the solution I chose was the right one for me; my future child will have so much more than a child that I could have had at 17. I have yet to tell my family, but I do plan on owning my decision when I tell them, and will try to educate my sometimes misinformed loved ones. I am proud to share my story. I hope it can alleviate readers struggling with religious guilt about having an abortion, or help someone avoid the deceitful tactics of “pregnancy crisis centers.”

What to do if you’re in a similar situation:

Firstly, recognizing and avoiding fake women’s health clinics will eliminate unnecessary stress while you decide whether or not you want to terminate the pregnancy. Planned Parenthood offers some good suggestions on how to verify a clinic’s legitimacy that I wish I had known when I got pregnant. I can’t stress the importance of being able to recognize when agencies are frauds because in some cases, the deception can go as far as telling women that they are not pregnant or not far along so that they will miss the window for procuring a safe, legal abortion. If you notice red flags, such as bible verses on the walls or questionable facts and figures, know that you should not believe anything they tell you and that you will need to find a legitimate reproductive health clinic asap.

It must, however, be noted that in some states legitimate medical providers are required by anti-choice legislation to give patients biased information about abortion. According to the Guttmacher Policy Review, “In seven states, they mandate the provision of negative and unscientific information about abortion and its implications. In five other states, they require that the woman be told that the state favors childbirth over abortion.”

You can avoid ending up at a crisis pregnancy center with a bit of online research at Planned Parenthood’s website. If you are searching for an abortion provider, you can be sure the place you are going to is legitimate by doing a quick search on the National Abortion Federation website. Check out how organizations like the Public Leadership Institute are advocating for legislation such as the Crisis Pregnancy Center Fraud Prevention Act.

 

Who to talk to?

Although I decided to keep the situation to myself, I strongly suggest telling someone that you know and trust. I think that in the moment, I really felt like an accidental pregnancy was The Worst Thing Ever, but getting another perspective on it can ease the burden and overall anxiety. I was really scared of people judging me, but I think my close friends would have understood. And seeing as most of them are liberal, they definitely would have made me feel better after the whole pro-life woman ordeal. If telling your parents is out of the question like it was for me, I would definitely consider talking to a trusted friend. Alternatively or in addition, you can check out Exhale, an after-abortion support organization with a talkline where you can work through your feelings or get information about how to support a friend.  

 

Should you tell your parents?

I think that there’s such a gap between our parents’ generations and ours. Especially because I come from an Asian household, I wasn’t raised very liberally. I wouldn’t go as far as to say they would’ve disowned me, but they definitely would have shamed me for it. If you think that like my parents, yours would react with judgement, not telling is fine. (Unless of course you are in the unfortunate predicament of needing an abortion in a state that requires parental permission under a certain age.) As an adult, I keep many things from my parents. I think it’s just a part of becoming my own person.

Some resources we suggest:

 ExhaleAn After-Abortion Support organization 

The Abortion Access Project: Seeks to ensure access to abortion for all women.

Abortion Clinics OnLine (ACOL): Extensive directory of abortion clinics in the U.S.

 

Parenthood, Planned. “Crisis Pregnancy Centers.” How to Avoid These Fake Clinics. N.p., 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.
https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2006/10/misinformed-consent-medical-accuracy-state-developed-abortion-counseling-materials

Save an Uber, Ride a Cowboy: Trip to the Frat House

 

Save an Uber, Ride a Cowboy is a column exploring queer millennial sex culture. The stories presented here are based on true events. Identities have been changed to protect the privacy and reputation of those involved.

 

“Do you want anything?” Fratboy asked Riley.

“Nah, I’m good.”

6AM on New Year’s Day in a McDonald’s somewhere on the Upper East Side with sweaty hair and cum still drying on his torso, Riley tried to process the past few hours as Fratboy ordered his second XL diet coke of the night.

It wasn’t so much the twilight hour or unceremonious post-hookup behavior that needed processing… these were fairly routine for Riley, whose sex life had not quite evolved into the glamorous spectacle Sex and the City had promised — although, it should be noted that Fratboy did have a bed frame, an upgrade from the usual mattress on the floor. Less routine was Fratboy’s supposed heterosexuality, which was only divulged after Fratboy’s first and very premature orgasm.

* * * *

Riley hadn’t been particularly eager to ring in the New Year with a stranger, but after the countdown had finished, the combo of booze and a need for touch made Fratboy’s Tinder profile start to look more promising. The stranger had a cute face and since his bio didn’t read “never been with man,” Riley figured he could do a lot worse.

So he began a (cis male) queer pre-date ritual: selecting a crop top, choosing an earring, and contorting oneself on the bathroom floor to insert an enema — because nothing makes you feel beautiful like flushing your anal cavity before a seduction.

Once Riley felt confidently clean (or as confident as one can feel when ass play is imminent), he did as generations of Brooklynites did before him: hopped on an uptown train in pursuit of getting laid.

As he emerged from the subway station, he was greeted by the January cold and the characteristic silence of the Upper West Side (even the holiday couldn’t shake the affluent neighborhood’s mode of restraint). Like a thrift store rat trapped in Saks Fifth Ave., Riley fiddled with the broken clips of his faux fur jacket while his earring twisted in the breeze.

He walked a few blocks to find Fratboy waiting on the stoop of his apartment building. A lost social nicety that caused Riley to be more nervous than appreciative. Niceties were out  — didn’t Fratboy know? Millennial dating isn’t bogged down by gendered normatives like modesty or chivalry. Instead, today’s dating is a competition of casualness, a game of dodging texts and making plans to “hang.” Mere seconds into meeting, Fratboy had already thrown off the equilibrium.

In hindsight, there had been a lot of clues that Fratboy was straight.

For one, he was a lot fitter in person than his Instagram initially led Riley to believe. Straight men, radical in their lack of fucks given about crafting a social media persona, are not preoccupied with aesthetic and angles. In short, they dare to take front-facing photographs. Oh, and he was also wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt.

“What’s up?” asked Riley.

“Not much, just got back from a Phish concert at Madison Square.”

Straight.

Riley took a moment to recover. “How was it?” Fratboy bobbed his head enthusiastically and replied, “Dope. I’ve actually seen them two nights in a row.”

Flaming hetero.

They went upstairs and began the pre-coital dance. Where are you from? What brings you to the city? Have we mutually decided that we’ve made enough small talk to get on with it? Turns out Fratboy went to school in the Midwest and was being groomed to become the next president of his university’s top (he emphasized this distinction) fraternity, and that was about all Riley could gather before he dived in.

Fratboy was a shit kisser, but there’s an oddball charm to shit kissers, Riley thought, a rhythmic puzzle that, when solved, will reward both parties with a make-out sesh for the books. Plus Fratboy had a taut torso, so Riley tongued on.

Then came the hands. At first clumsy, then awkward, Riley guessed they were more a product of the late hour rather than a reflection of Fratboy’s sexual prowess. But as Riley straddled him, something felt markedly off.

Fratboy was holding his middle, several inches above his hips. Perspective has since supplied Riley with the answers. Fratboy was used to wider, female hips. While they kissed, his arm wrapped dramatically around Riley’s head. Because Fratboy was used to keeping longer, female hair from falling in his face.

Yet the real zinger was the early climax.

Now, reader, there is no inherent shame in a premature ejaculation. In fact, for those whose self-esteem is volatile at best, a premature ejaculation from time to time can serve as a much needed confidence boost. However, there is cumming fast — and then there’s cumming fast. Lips around cock and few bobs up and down was all it took for Fratboy to tense and grunt, signaling that round one had promptly ended. It was then, through the clarity that only comes post-orgasm, that Riley pieced it together. Phish, the fraternity, the uncertain hands…

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but have you ever been with another man before?”

Fratboy shook his head. Round two followed promptly, because nothing is hotter than honesty.

Round two served more as a cultural experiment, a chance for Riley to play out the title of Pornhub video: Fraternity Bro Digs First Gay Blowjob. 15min 24sec. 3/5 stars  — and to see if all those sexual stereotypes about hetero guys in the bedroom were true. 

They were.

With a sense of entitlement only institutional masculinity can breed, Fratboy lied back with his arms behind his head while Riley was at work. During a breather, Riley asked him if there was anything he wanted to try during his first time touching another man. “This,” Fratboy responded after Riley repeated the question three times, finally utilizing those communication skills heterosexual men are so well known for.

They didn’t fuck. Partly because Riley didn’t think Fratboy was entirely ready for the complexities of male-on-male anal sex, but mostly because there was no lube. Not eager to get another hemorrhoid, Riley took a moment to mourn the minutes wasted cleaning his ass then returned to sucking dick.

In a move that broke script with the PornHub mode of operation, Fratboy returned the head. He kept this up for a minute before resorting to a gruff, tensely-fisted handjob.

 

* * * *

 

After Riley’s first and the Phish enthusiast’s second cum, Riley became acutely aware that he was in bed with a straight guy. Afraid that Fratboy, now no longer driven by lust, would be angry with him for initiating him into a new kind of brotherhood, Riley addressed the pussy-loving elephant in the room before Fratboy could.

“But you’ve been with girls and enjoyed it?”

“Yes.”

“And you’ve had sex to completion with girls?”

“Yes.”

“Am I asking too many questions?”

“I’m an open book.”

And he was. In a refreshingly reverse narrative, Fratboy seemed at ease — satisfied even, with no apparent societal guilt weighing on him. He told Riley that while he’s always been attracted to women, he noticed two years ago that maybe his attraction might also extend to his own gender. So he decided to do something about it.

“That’s brave,” said Riley, hugging his knees to his chest.

Maybe for Fratboy getting off was just getting off. Even so, Riley couldn’t help but admire his attitude. How many people have gone their entire lives suppressing sexual desire, opting for normalcy over sexual truth? Not Fratboy, for here he was, in the most intimidating of cities, taking matters into his own hands, clumsy as they were.

Fratboy blinked at the queer boy in pink H&M briefs who was lying in his bed. Riley met his gaze, searching for a change, a shift, or something profound. But that’s not life and that’s not sex. It’s not always out of body experiences or aha moments; sometimes you’re very much in your body, confused and fumbling, and you don’t necessarily come out the other side wiser for it.

“My sister is going to wake up for work soon, but we have a minute to chill,” said Fratboy. Apparently this was her apartment.

“And she doesn’t know anything about you…?”

“No.”

“So I should go.”

“Well, we have a second 

Riley began finding his clothes, not eager to be part of a coming out skit at 5:30 in the morning. Fratboy seemed discouraged, “But I’ll walk out with you. I could go for a diet coke.”

The McDonald’s employees didn’t give the two disheveled boys a second glance as they waltzed into the establishment in the twilight hour. Then again, who is more seasoned in the varieties of humanity than a 24-hour McDonald’s employee?

After they talked for a bit and Fratboy had quenched his thirst, Riley thought it best to begin the return journey to his borough. His presence was due at the restaurant in only a few hours. They walked together to Riley’s train. How does one say goodbye to a straight man? A kiss seems presumptuous, a hug too affectionate. Fratboy settled for a thank you and a stiff wave. He sent Riley a text later in the night, but Riley had already fallen asleep.

At work the next day, Vanilla Ice yelled at Riley. Apparently he had not delivered the celebrity-customer service the 90’s one-hit-wonder thought was appropriate. Riley apologized, but struggled to contain his giggles at the server’s station as he fetched Mr. Ice’s hot coffee. His coworkers asked him what was so funny. Nothing, he told them, it just really was a new year.

 

 

Original artwork by Scott Walker. 

A Letter To Our Readers

Dear Readers,

We are so excited to be back up and live. Our lack of updating might be confusing, seeing as we had been down for months only to recently return. We would like to make it known that the majority of our small team at Killerandasweetthang, will be marching with the thousands of women in Washington DC tomorrow.

Due to this, our week of posting has been slow but we will be right back where we left off early next week. We encourage everyone who reads this site to have some part of activism in tomorrow as it is a monumental moment for not only this country, but everyone all over the world. It is an expression of democracy and protecting human rights. We are marching for EQUALITY: social, economic, and political. We march because we can and we will.

Even if you cannot be present in DC tomorrow, we hope you will follow it across media platforms, share it, march in your cities or towns. This is a much larger issue than you or me, it is for life and the future. So with much love, we will see you soon with reports from the front lines.

Love,

Killerandasweetthang Team

*Illustration by Louisa Cannell for Refinery29 and the Women’s March