Courtesy Pop-Up Magazine

Essays & Radio Stories

Selected, by topic. 

For a full, chronological list of clips, click here.

Madness & Mental Health Care

It's Not Just Britney – The Cut 

In the wake of Britney Spears speaking out against her conservatorship, an essay on the reduced civil rights faced by some deemed 'mentally ill' — and the broader implications of our coercive psychiatric paradigm 

The Kirkbride Plan – 99% Invisible 

A deep dive audio feature on the forgotten history of America's robust 19th century mental health care infrastructure 

Out of the Maze – Guernica 

An essay that touches on my own efforts to understand the broader situation regarding the truth of "madness". Also tells the story of the amazing painting featured on the cover of the paperback of AKOMP.

'That's So Crazy'– Gay Magazine

An essay discussing the prejudices revealed by our thoughtless use of words like "insane" and "crazy"

Media Errors in Covering 'Mental Health' – Mad in America

A lengthy essay reflecting upon my own coverage of 'mental health' to date, for better and for worse. Intended as advice and warning to fellow media professionals seeking to comment in this space 

This toxic lie about gun violence hurts society's most vulnerable - CNN Opinion 

An Op-Ed about the GOP and NRA's long and reprehensible effort to scapegoat gun violence on those who've been psychiatrically diagnosed.

Hearing Voices - Pop-Up Magazine

A live reported piece about one person's life before and after finding a Hearing Voices Network support group. Performed eight times in five cities.

"The Trials of Teresa Sheehan" - BuzzFeed News

In 2008, San Francisco police were called to transport a woman diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder to a hospital. Instead, they shot her seven times. I reported on the awful aftermath for both Teresa and her family. (See: my Mad In America follow-up to this piece.)


Ohni Lisle for them.


Where Do We Go From Here? – 99% Invisible

Introducing a crew of awesome, queer architects and activists who are designing the gender-inclusive bathrooms of the future

Dear Brands: Consider Selling Me Stuff – them.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, I wondered: Where are nonbinary people supposed to buy products like socks, razors or hiking boots?

A Farewell to Boobs – them.

Navigating uncertainty and doubt about getting top surgery

My Gmail Won't Stop Deadnaming Me – them.

The first of my "Between the Binary" column for them., in which I ranted about tech companies like Spotify and Google making it damn near impossible to change your name 

How Marie Kondo Helped Me Sort Out My Gender – them.

Her book, ostensibly about cleaning, ended up sparking a much deeper kind of joy

The Challenge of Book-Tour Travel as a Non-Binary Author – Lit Hub

An essay about coming out as my first book also did. 


Tallulah Fontaine for them.


See also: My newsletter, What's Helping Today

How Yoga Helped Me Learn to Love My Body — and Myself – them.

Reflecting upon how my self-loathing has shifted, both since getting top surgery, and since learning to not hate yoga 

My Friendsgiving Isn't a Trend. It's a Lifeline. – Bon Appétit's Healthyish  

A reflection on the power of sharing food and community, especially for those of us who must make our own families  

I Run to Silence My Demons – Bon Appétit's Healthyish

A personal essay about how a simple exercise, repeated, nudged me from the abyss

How Pie Keeps Me Steady - BuzzFeed Books

An essay that reflects on my lifelong love of pie baking, but also about what writing a book about schizophrenia has taught me about how to live in my own head. 

Kati Szilágyi for BuzzFeed News

Christopher Testani for BuzzFeed News


How Simple Is That?: At Home with Ina Garten - BuzzFeed News 

An unprecedentedly intimate profile of"The Barefoot Contessa" star and cookbook mogul. 

"My Giantess: The Sad, Strange, True Story of Sandy Allen, the Tallest Woman in the World" - BuzzFeed News

After realizing I shared a name with the former tallest woman alive, I sought to tell her remarkable story. 

Notable Selection Best American Essays 2015 

"Tig Notaro And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Yet Somehow Completely Amazing Year" – BuzzFeed News

A profile of the comedian one year after her career-changing "I have cancer" set at the Largo. 


"I Was the Best Fake Attorney in America" - BuzzFeed News 

In 2005, I won the High School Mock Trial National Championships, a victory that was both huge and, to most people, meaningless. Ten years later, I returned to nationals to try to make sense of what that victory meant — and what this competitive celebration of our legal system even is. ​

"Apocalypse Noir: How Climate Change Will End Wine as We Know It" - BuzzFeed News 

Hotter and less predictable temperatures mean that much of the world’s premium wine regions are now under threat and new ones are emerging. How the wine industry is — and isn't — reacting says a lot about the future of agriculture.

Notable Selection Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015  

Named by ProPublica as one of the year's best stories about climate change 

"Why I Still Love RENT" - BuzzFeed News

The 1996 musical about AIDS-afflicted artists scandalized and inspired my romantic teenage self. Figuring out what Rent got totally wrong about adult life — and right.

"Bowie Eye" - Wag's Revue

An essay about nearly losing an eyeball, and unrequited love

John Gara for BuzzFeed News

Visit this page for links to the work I edited.

Visit this site to learn about my book.