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Why does Taylor Swift choose to surround herself with mostly white male indie musicians? Can we talk about that appropriative toxic male drag king situation in “The Man” music video? Swift cannot seem to step away from persistent reclamation since reputation that borders on obsession. While Swift is a notable and talented songwriter, she cannot construct a narrative and language separate from her critics and enemies.

It is necessary to rewind to her previous albums to excavate her feminist pop anthems when she decided to become political. She was beyond fashionably late to this party. Her reclamation bops began in…


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Before the sea of Ariana Grande fans comes after me, I want to make it clear that I would elect Ariana Grande, with my mail-in voting ballot, as pop queen president. Last night my girlfriend and I watched “positions” from our bed, which prompted a ten-minute examination of heteronormative undertones that hold women to different standards than men. It’s worth asking, is this a song a straight man would ever sing? I am weary of the rhetoric of empowerment that marries women to a never-ending to-do list and certain requirements of being in a heterosexual relationship.

As a queer woman…


The opportunity for marginalized people to control the narrative of history

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We live in a particularly lush queer literary landscape in 2020. All of these voices are unapologetic, fierce, hopeful and ready to share nitty-gritty details of their lives. Many people in the LGBTQ community lived their stories behind closed doors, were whispered into a lover’s ear or kept out of the spotlight.

“Memoirs are the backstairs of history.” — George Meredith

Memoirs are the opportunity for marginalized people to control the narrative of history. To sprinkle and add an unexpected flavour you didn’t know was missing. …


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Did anyone notice the way Meghan blinked furiously after Oprah brought up specific details pertaining to slanderous British media? Or the way Meghan cradled her pregnant belly protectively as if she was in a situation that was threatening? Well, I did, and I wonder if Meghan was asked by Oprah if she felt okay in her body or if it was possible for her to continue. Times have changed since Oprah’s show in the aughts. Interviewers have a responsibility to be cognizant of the whole picture of a person’s life experience and reactions that certain statements may elicit. Oprah would…


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I read 28,459 pages of books and 94 books in total. I don’t know if I will ever have a reading year like this again. At one point in the pandemic, I was reading two to three books a week. Books and bath’s, acting as a dynamic duo, kept me mildly placated. I knew that amidst the last two terms of my creative writing degree I needed to give myself over to the whims of other creators. Reading this year was my grounding exercise, something that kept me tethered to solid stories, not tainted by the pandemic.

To be honest…


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I used to believe that growing out my leg hair was a symptom of ‘letting myself go’ and not taking personal responsibility for my hygiene. The lack of body hair became equated with cleanliness and how much self-respect I had. If it was long, that meant I did not love myself. It is a train of thought that launches you off the cliff into patriarchal notions. Modern, western world shaving practices are the love child of capitalism and branding practices that trick the consumer into thinking a preference is essential.

The phrase, ‘letting myself go’ implies rule-breaking or a slow…


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Our inner child may have many illogical and deep-rooted fears that require gentleness. We all deal with anxieties around abandonment, worthiness, rejection and shame. As children, we could not discern if our primary caretakers were upset because of us or an external situation. Since a child’s sense of self is still intrinsically tied to the caregiver at a young age, we believe that everything that happens around us is a direct reflection of us.

If a parent is volatile and unpredictable, we carry a deep belief into adulthood that if someone around us is angry then we must have contributed…


Look before you leap.

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It is normal to wonder if the grass is greener on the other side. We go through multiple versions of ourselves in our early twenties and want our surroundings to mesh with our identity and beliefs. Before you decide to choose a permanent scenery change I would like to share a few tips. Please don’t be afraid to slow down and think about the bigger picture.

Halfway through my undergrad degree, I decided to transfer to another university since I was becoming bored and wanted to explore my new queer identity. My wanderlust smitten soul threw caution to the wind…


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Young Adult Fiction is the one section of your bookstore where you can see LGBTQ romances, transgender main characters, BIPOC lead characters and cast.

These stories challenge the white-centric concept of being “literary.” One of the possible reasons for this is because YA markets itself towards teenagers, which means that authors don’t need to impress anyone with flowery language or use tropes that would glorify them into canonical status. The biggest hope an author has is that their book gets in the hands of someone who has not yet seen themselves between the pages.

Young adult contemporary fiction is about…


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One of the first questions, among many, when I came out was “do I even want to wear a dress?” Many people in the LGBTQ+ community feel the need to scream to the world that they are gay through their choice of shoes. It can be a daunting task to fit into this community. There is not much of a difference between squeezing yourself into cisgender, straight passing rules and abiding by the gay ones. Many people feel they are going through second adolescence because every aspect of your identity is up for debate and alteration.

I will chronicle my…

Amanda Kelly

lifestyle blogger| LGBTQ+ community | self-help| books

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