Kin Aesthetics // Love, Communication, and Relationship as Responses to the Church of Social Justice

Kin Aesthetics // Love, Communication, and Relationship as Responses to the Church of Social Justice

I recently released a personal essay on my experiences being within American leftist activist culture that went viral, reaching over half a million people worldwide. In it, I expanded upon the ways in which social justice culture, with its rich and enduring legacy of resistance to oppression, has largely devolved into operating on dogmatic terms. After I wrote it, I almost did not publish it or share it within my circles. I felt preemptively queasy when considering the backlash that inevitably comes after voicing an unpopular view or pushing back on the status quo in leftist spaces. How could I disrupt knee-jerk hypercriticality by placing myself squarely in front of its firing squad? Wouldn’t that be a social suicide mission? But based on the overwhelming, emotional responses from readers about the essay’s resonance, this internal struggle appears to be a widespread issue in leftist and progressive communities that desperately needs be addressed.

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Debunking Bigotry // What the End of DACA Means for 800,000 Americans

Debunking Bigotry // What the End of DACA Means for 800,000 Americans

As I currently watch my city of Portland engulfed in smoke and ash from the Eagle Creek Fires and observe the Harvey death toll rise, I am reminded that we still have the most menacing man in office, as he declares an end to a program dedicated for children of immigrants. He truly just wants to watch the world burn. He throws DACA into the mix like gasoline, and we are left to figure out the rest.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a program initiated by the Obama administration, which started in 2012. It grants a renewable two year protection from deportation and gives a work permit to anyone who entered the U.S. as a minor (called Dreamers.) Usually we hear some alt-facts, some fear tactics, and a weird justification thrown into the mix for one of Trump's usual antics, but this time, it's almost as if they have nothing to say. 

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Debunking Bigotry // Trump's Response to Events in Charlottesville and What Really Happened

Debunking Bigotry // Trump's Response to Events in Charlottesville and What Really Happened

Trump's Tuesday press conference demonstrated not only complacency in white supremacy, but also support of these acts. I sat in horror and disbelief as I watched the president of the United States condemn the "alt-left," a made-up term for those fighting for human rights and against white supremacy. I watched him talk over reporters, shout at people, and go completely off teleprompter. But really, were any of us surprised?

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Debunking Bigotry // The Trans Military Ban

Debunking Bigotry // The Trans Military Ban

Besides waking up on Wednesday to the news that our five-time draft dodger and commander-in-chief cowardly went to Twitter to announce his position to ban transgender individuals from the military, a lot of us also woke up to gross misinformation from our colleagues, friends, and family. I decided to debunk some of the claims that have been made in defense of Trump’s decision in hopes that the next time you or someone you love is confronted with these excuses you will be able to shut them down.

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Kin Aesthetics // Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice

Kin Aesthetics // Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice

There is a particularly aggressive strand of social justice activism weaving in and out of my Seattle community that has troubled me, silenced my loved ones, and turned away potential allies. I believe in justice. I believe in liberation. I believe it is our duty to obliterate white supremacy, anti-blackness, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, and imperialism. And I also believe there should be openness around the tactics we use and ways our commitments are manifested. Beliefs and actions are too often conflated with each other, yet questioning the latter does not renege the former. As a Cultural Studies scholar, I am interested in the ways that culture does the work of power. What then, is the culture of activism, and in what ways are activists restrained by it? To be clear, I’m only one person who doesn’t know everything, and I’m open to revisions and learning. But as someone who has spent the last decade recovering from a forced conversion to evangelical Christianity, I’m seeing a disturbing parallel between religion and activism in the presence of dogma:

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The Bridechilla Podcast // Catalyst Wedding Magazine

The Bridechilla Podcast // Catalyst Wedding Magazine

The Bridechilla Podcast is hosted by comedian, author, and your virtual bridesmaid, Aleisha McCormack. Each week, Aleisha shares her tell-it-like-it-is view and unique take on wedding wisdom to help Bridechillas and Groomchillas ditch the pressures and obligations that we sometimes feel during the journey and have fun planning this awesome day. Interviewing the leading wedding bloggers, planners, and experts, The Bridechilla Podcast is all about empowering couples to plan the wedding that they want.

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5 Reasons Beyoncé’s Pregnancy is Good for America

5 Reasons Beyoncé’s Pregnancy is Good for America

It gets lonely at the top so Beyoncé announced today that she’s gifting herself with not one but two tiny infants to keep her company alongside Blue Ivy and Jay. Congratulations Beyoncé, but more importantly, congratulations America. Here’s why Beyoncé’s pregnancy will help Americans cope with their crumbling nation-state.

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A Glimpse into Standing Rock by Ash Carr

A Glimpse into Standing Rock by Ash Carr

We've just pulled out onto main roads leaving camp. It took me the first three days to get a media pass; they had run out of the physical passes and needed to wait for more to arrive. It was nice to have that time to adjust to the space and get our camp situated. However, those were the three non-blizzard days! Regardless I made a few images that I'd love to share with you. I had a real personal struggle makings images in the space; the elders had agreed to allow media to photograph front line actions but any other photography on camp required permission from any individual, and absolutely no community structures, prayers, or ceremony could be photographed. I witnessed so many of the vets and other media arriving on tight deadlines and entirely disregarding this request of respect, photographing the water ceremonies, stalking indigenous people, and photographing inside the kitchens. It echoed the entire resistance — the lack of respect for their unceded treaty land — and was a direct act of violence and colonization by non-indigenous people in my opinion, so I had a hard time aligning with the other media. Instead, I ended up putting my head down and building winterized structures and washing dishes to support the camp instead.

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A Letter from Liz: Catalyst is All of Ours

A Letter from Liz: Catalyst is All of Ours

Today we are reflecting on the roots of Catalyst. Catalyst is truly an example of putting an intention out into the world and watching it blossom due to the care and love of a community. Carly and I started with a simple idea. We wanted to build and engage an existing community of nontraditional wedding lovers. After we met so many awesome fempreneurs at {un}convention, we wondered: what's next? On a whim, Carly said to me "why don't you quit your job and start a magazine with me?" I said, "Okay." And I did. On Monday, I gave my two weeks' notice, and Carly and I got to work. I'm not usually so impulsive, but there was something about this project that tugged on me, and I needed to see it through. What better way to reach a national (even global) community of diverse, progressive creatives, who love weddings but can't get behind all the traditional trappings of the industry? We knew very little about print media, but we knew lots of talented people. Have you ever looked around you and thought, man I bet my friends could build something awesome. This was one of those times.

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