Writing Portfolio

Features

gift cards_atlantic

Where Do All the Unused Gift Cards Go? 
The Atlantic, August 27, 2019

“Much of that money is then directed into government general funds, where states use it to patch up holes in their budgets—a strange and little-noticed chain of monetary custody in which cash intended for a Colorado Office Depot can wind up paying for infrastructure hundreds of miles away.”

No One Really Knows What to Do With All of America’s Unclaimed Corpses
The Atlantic, February 12, 2019

The Funeral Directors Deployed to America’s Deadliest Disasters
Gizmodo, February 5, 2019

“Vigil is one of 186 funeral directors who, when a disaster strikes, becomes an intermittent employee of a little-known division of HHS: the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, or DMORT.”

How Hurricane Michael Revealed the Forgotten Victims of Climate Change
Gizmodo, November 20, 2018

“In recent years, a spate of mishandled hurricanes has exposed the failures of the U.S. prison system to account for those it incarcerates during natural disasters.”

How Prisons Are Poisoning Their Inmates
The Outline, July 23, 2018

“A week after Richard Mosley arrived as an inmate at Pennsylvania’s maximum-security SCI Fayette prison in 2008, he started getting sick.”

The Million-Dollar Balloon Lobby

The Outline, April 26, 2018

“In May 2008, when California was considering an outright ban on the sale of foil balloons, the Balloon Council sprung into action.”

Life and Death Online
Hazlitt, March 5, 2018

“This is the nature of grieving a friend you have never, or rarely, met: everything becomes internal. Simply accepting and expressing remorse becomes its own struggle, because the typical rituals—funerals, communication with loved ones of the deceased—are so often inaccessible.”

How Instagram’s Beauty Boys Are Rewriting Our Ideas About Gender
them., February 28, 2018

“Anyone who has seen the famous portrait of King Louis XIV of France posing in high heels, a curly wig, and tight stockings knows that our ideas of masculinity and femininity are ever-changing. But maybe the rise of beauty boys represents something more than another change in gender norms.”

Economics

vox smart diapers

The Smart Diaper is Coming. Who Actually Wants It?
Vox, May 2, 2019

“Over the past several years, a patchwork of tech and personal care companies have plunged millions of dollars into a race to control the baby product of the future: smartphone-enabled diapers.” [Audio version on NPR’s Marketplace.]

The McDonalds of Death Care
Washington Monthly, July 23, 2019

“Market consolidation isn’t the only reason some funeral homes have been able to rip off America’s bereaved. It’s the very business model these companies have adopted.”

So You Bought A Ghost Town
The Outline, July 30, 2018

“The first thing John Voight (not the actor) wanted me to know about his home of Sunrise, Wyoming was that it is ‘not your regular ghost town.'”

History

born this way buzzfeed

The “Born This Way” Myth
Buzzfeed Reader, June 11, 2019

“Too often the belief in stable sexuality has pressured people to ‘prove’ that they really are queer — a demand that has often marginalized the least-acknowledged communities within the LGBT umbrella.”

The Stonewall of the South That History Forgot
Smithsonian Magazine, June 25, 2019

“Around 15 minutes into the film, Drue heard a whistle. Police officers rushed in through the aisles, shining flashlights into the audience.”

The Strange History of Accidental Gay Marriage
Lapham’s Quarterly, June 24, 2019

“When Yolanda Daniel and Jo Ann Martinez marched into the Merced County courthouse asking for a marriage license on the morning of January 16, 1976, local bureaucrats had no idea what to do.”

The Tumblr Bloggers Building a Canon of Asexual History
The Outline, June 25, 2018

“Even as queer history continues to seep into the mainstream, asexuality — despite also falling under the queer umbrella — is continually excluded from academic discourse.”

How Clothing Made From Milk Became the Height of Fashion in Mussolini’s Italy
Atlas Obscura, July 28, 2017

The 19th-Century Lithuanians Who Smuggled Books to Save Their Language 
Atlas Obscura, July 19, 2017

The Librarian Who Guarded the Manhattan Project’s Secrets 
Atlas Obscura, June 23, 2017

The Drag Queen Who Changed American Politics 
Atlas Oscura, November 26, 2016

What We Lose When We Don’t Teach LGBTQ History in Schools 
The Establishment, October 7, 2016

(Read many more here and here.)

Essays

carly rae_boy problems.jpeg

Carly Rae Jepsen’s Queer Renaissance
Electric Literature, May 2, 2018

“[Jepsen’s] odes to emotion — not to romance, not to relationships, but simply to the primacy of feeling — offered something I couldn’t find elsewhere. Long before I was in a place to share my sexuality, much less have a relationship with another boy, ‘This Kiss’ and then ‘Gimmie Love’ and ‘Let’s Get Lost’ on E•MO•TION reveled in the beauty of an attraction I knew only to hate.”

Dashboard Confessional 
Slate, March 2, 2018

“I don’t know what I would have done without that little corner of the internet, populated by people like Laura who became the first to see, and love, all of me—even at a distance.”

Makeup Is a Language of Resistance 
Hazlitt, March 28, 2017

“I used my first Snapchat makeup filter in secret, on the bottom floor of my high school library, behind a bookshelf where I knew no one would see.”

Who Even Knows

chicken diapers

The Booming Business of Luxury Chicken Diapers
The Outline, July 30, 2018

“Julie Baker never intended to become a figurehead of the luxury chicken-diaper industry.”

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You can also read my articles for Barnes & Noble (including my YA Open Mic series), Teen Vogue, Out, and Lambda Literary.

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