Lately, I find myself paralyzed by the realization that you can look in the mirror, recognize your person standing before you, but not actually see your body as it is.

A mirror is a piece of glass, buffed until it reflects everything your mind is capable of seeing through a combination of cones and light and filters and marks left on your waistline from where your jeans spent all day pressing against your belly button, reminding you that you exist — and that there are consequences to existing.

I’ve felt this way before, when I was much younger. My first…


Paris Hilton wearing a tank top that reads “Stop Being Poor.”
Paris Hilton wearing a tank top that reads “Stop Being Poor.”

It’s a beautiful May afternoon. I’m fresh off a grueling week of final exams and last-minute efforts to round out my second year of law school. On Instagram, my friends and classmates are enjoying the sunshine, sipping brunch cocktails and taking panorama photographs of the sunsets dipping behind the water at the family lake house. I am strapping on my backpack, lacing up my tennis shoes, and opening the DoorDash app for an afternoon of work.

I cruise around my neighborhood for more than an hour. No deliveries are coming in, so I open the Postmates and UberEats apps as…


An image of two hands holding each other, with a rainbow light falling across them.
An image of two hands holding each other, with a rainbow light falling across them.

From 2017–2019 I was a member of the International Socialist Organization. The organization had its (many) flaws, but helped me find a home for my activism and my political education unlike anything I had previously experienced as a young person with a lot of hope for making the world a better place. Through the ISO, I met others who were committed to issues like prison abolition and reproductive justice, while also being some of the kindest and most down-to-earth people I had ever met. Like many, I was left confused and heartbroken when the organization dissolved in 2019 as a…


TW: Suicide, self-harm, mental illness

I was up late on Friday night, struggling to fall asleep in the sticky heat of my childhood bedroom. My mindless scrolling was stopped short when I saw a photograph of a familiar, smiling face and the caption “please don’t let this be true.” Suddenly even more awake, I clicked through and read a headline I could not have predicted in a million years: Hana Kimura had taken her own life.

Kimura had been a regular presence in my life for the better part of the last year. As a devoted Terrace House fan, I…


For years, writer and artist Chanel Miller was known to the world only as “Emily Doe.” She was the faceless victim of Brock Turner, the Stanford prepstep who in 2015 was convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault, yet ended up serving just three months in jail due to what the judge perceived as Turner’s “potential” (apparently he was really good at swimming or some such bullshit).

In September 2019, just a few months after Turner’s release, Miller abandoned her anonymity via the publication of her memoir, Know My Name, which chronicles Miller’s personal and legal battles stemming from…


My Torbilund-based residence, of which I am very proud.

The past week hasn’t been the easiest. After nearly a month in isolation, the positive effects of being homebound have started to wear off, leaving room for anxious thoughts and habits to take hold. …


I don’t want to live in a world without sweaters.

It’s February 24th, 2020 and the Mr. Softee ice cream trucks have already made their seasonal debut. When I emerged from the subway at 181st Street this afternoon, the truck’s jingle was afloat over the usual buzz of St. Nicholas Ave. In that moment, hearing a familiar song had never felt more strange. The lilting song filled me with a sudden waft of pink sunsets and sticky July nights, but I was quickly reminded of the reality that I was sweating through a wool coat and wet socks. The high…


Every day for the last 21 years, Rodney Reed has woken up in a Texas correctional facility. On May 28, 1989, the state sentenced him to life in prison for a crime he did not commit: the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites.

In 13 days, Reed, a Black man, is sentenced to be executed. He will wake up in a maximum security prison cell 13 more times before systemic corruption ends his life in the most slow and painful way imaginable: a life behind bars, from which escape eludes you utterly. A literal nightmare.

Reed has maintained his innocence for…


Image via Shutterstock

TW: This article contains discussion of suicide.

Today, it was announced that Choi Jin-ri, known by the stage name “Sulli,” had taken her own life at the age of 25. I knew Sulli as a member of the Korean pop group f(x), a now-defunct quartet whose songs like “Four Walls” and “Red Light” brought a unique, mature, and even androgynous perspective to the heavily feminized genre. Unlike many other K-pop groups, particularly those with female members, f(x) was known for their involvement in writing their music and directing their visuals.

In 2014, Sulli went on hiatus from f(x) due to…


Image via Reddit

While protests of historic proportions rage on in Hong Kong, I sit on my couch and play Overwatch.

As tragic as this is to admit, I’ve played Overwatch nearly every day of my life for the last two years. It’s a supremely fun game, with compelling characters, immersive battle mechanics, and just enough infuriating setbacks to make you say “okay, I’ll play for ten more minutes and then I’m done — for real this time.”

And while one might think it would take loss of limb to keep me from the game that motivated me to write fanfiction for the…

Katie Fustich

pro sad girl. katiefustich.com

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