I write about diversity and inclusion, pop culture fandom and identity
“Confessions of an Adjacent Geek”– (Uncanny Magazine, December 2019)
When I think about the current rules of engagement/consumption for fandom and what they’ve evolved into, I do sometimes wonder if there’s a room for the person I am now: a “lightly geeky,” casually interested fan with a history of being more highly engaged. It can feel disingenuous to be a “true-but-casual” fan, the kind of fan that drops in and checks out at one’s leisure, but still makes time to occasionally socialize and be present in public fandom spaces, but it especially stands out in spaces that make assumptions about the validity of your fandom and don’t necessarily make room for people like you in the first place.
The Empowered Stan (Fansplaining, September 2019)
We are currently in an online pop culture environment where this kind of behavior has been normalized. Celebrities and their social media management teams can both identify and communicate directly with Twitter fanbases, while also having the power to mobilize them against critique. That makes publicly expressing a critical opinion about an artist’s work more complicated than ever before.
What It Feels Like for a Fangirl in the Age of Late Capitalism (Uncanny, April 2019)
I never would have imagined the embrace of fan culture on the level that we’re currently seeing, with media companies reporting about fan campaigns and trending topics in tones that used to only be reserved for politics and sports. Critics in the 90s and early 2000s (including myself) argued that media companies and creators didn’t take enough time to listen to the concerns of fans, and rather, saw fandom as a pesky annoyance. Today, there’s no way any content creator can ignore the input and influence of fandom for a second.
Modern culture, particularly in the U.S., doesn’t socialize people to normalize chronic illness and disability. We’re taught to either push our way through illness or disability to not appear “disruptive” to others, or conversely we make illness or disability the focus of a person’s identity. One is either self–sufficient or totally helpless, always ill or a fighter who has “beaten” illness. There’s little room for what’s in between, which includes a lot of people living daily with chronic illness or disability.
Projecting a Spectacle – Candystations Deborah Johnson Creates Electrifying Concert Experiences
Working with a team of production designers, artists, and programmers, her approach is collaborative by nature, but never overly polished or “art by committee.” Instead, Johnson approaches her visual style as “the highest of the lo-fi, using these really sophisticated programming languages and tools — but it doesn’t look like Pixar; it looks like a child did it.”
In Memoriam: Frankie Knuckles, 1955-2014
“He was born in 1955 in The Bronx as Francis Nicholls, but in so many ways Frankie Knuckles belonged to Chicago.”
Sister Outsider Headbanger
(Bitch Magazine, 6/1/2001)
I’m not sure exactly when or how it happened, but at some point in my childhood I began to think I was a white guy trapped in the body of a black girl.