This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture


May-June 2019

Get Naked and Spell

Strip Spelling Bees Make the Cerebral Sexy

Sherwin Tija

“Do earrings count as clothing?” asked a brunette contestant, decked out in multiple sweaters. “They’re not on the list.” It was the very first Strip Spelling Bee I’d organized and we were already running into problems. “And,” she continued coyly, “if so, do they count as two items?” She tapped the dangling emerald drops, and the […]

A Thank-You Note to the Strangers Who Cared

Crowdfunders come together to support a church's inclusive messages

Alexa Gilmour

Dear Anonymous Crowdfunders, Until the sign vanished from our front lawn last May, I use to have “spiritual exercises of the week” there, which some of you saw on your daily commute—timely calls to action, such as: “Black History is our history. Take time to learn a new story”; or “Hold someone who grieves this […]

Black Daddies Club

How barbershop meet-ups and hikes are helping Black men reclaim fatherhood

Angelyn Francis

I can’t count how many of my childhood Saturdays included a trip to the barbershop, so my brother could get a haircut. Each trip included a long wait and a whole lot of people locked in Patois-filled debate. So I get why Brandon Hay chose barbershops early on as a venue for the organization he […]

Tinder is Messing With My Mental Health

This doesn't feel like romance at all

Rebecca Tucker

SUNDAY, 8:01 P.M. For five days, I revisited—with rapidly increasing frequency— the WhatsApp “last-seen” status of a man I’d met on an online-dating app. I had taken note of it at first because it was, as timestamps go, significant: Sunday, 8:01 p.m. was the exact time our most recent date had begun. At first, I […]


Waiting for Miracles: A post-op trans girl on sex and love

Gwen Benaway

“I’ve turned all my sorrow into glass It don’t leave no shadow”             —Robyn, “Missing U”   A boy is driving me home from a poetry reading. I have a crush on him. We’ve been talking and hanging out for five months now, gradually learning each other’s lives and sharing small moments of softness. My […]