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#DBC: When They Call You a Terrorist

Welcome to Demystified Book Club (#DBC), a new segment where we talk about the books we’ve been reading that we want to share, discuss, and promote. When They Call You a Terrorist has remained vividly in my mind in the weeks that I’ve read it. I’ve struggled to write a piece about it since then, but for awhile I couldn’t figure out how to. Often when I write about books I relate them to my

Demystifying Pettiness

My grandma is what’s known as, in internet lingo,  “a petty legend.” Currently age 90, she has held grudges that have lasted longer than many people’s lives. Someone who gave her a rude look at a wedding in 1947? An enemy to this day. Someone who insulted one of her daughters’ academic performance in 1962? They have “fat ankles,” and when she sees them on the bus, she takes pleasure in acting as coldly towards

Demystified: Finding Healing in the Holidays

My roommates and I decorated our Christmas tree just after Thanksgiving. It’s a real tree, driven down by my roommate Deborah from her family’s farm in New Hampshire, though, weirdly, it doesn’t have that pine smell. We wrapped the tree in strings of colored lights (well, to be honest, my roommates did the wrapping after I draped them over my scooter and took selfies with them garlanded over my head) and all hung the respective

Demystifying Sexual Fluidity

Years ago, a friend told me she’d kissed a girl. My first reaction? “Jealous!!!” Wait, where did that come from? A little personal reflection later, I concluded that having an experience with a woman like she had was something I was quite curious about. I had occasionally fantasized about it since my late teens, but never thought much of it. I had always accepted those thoughts as totally OK, but never contemplated action. Over the

Demystifying Prenatal Depression & Anxiety

I sit in my cozy living room, the sun shining through the windows, the smell of freshly baked birthday cake taking up the whole house, Adele playing in the background, and the round of my pregnant belly gently rising and falling as if in beat to the music. My healthy and happy 3.5 year old daughter and supportive and loving husband are outside enjoying the fresh air in our safe and beautiful neighborhood on this

Demystifying Passing as Straight

Up until the age of nineteen, I navigated the world as a straight tomboy who would not shy away from a dress. Societal influences told me who I should love and how I should dress; and I really came to not only believe it, but also to live in its constrained box.   As a young adolescent I witnessed my gay brother struggle with understanding his identity, coming out, and coming to terms with the