Nowhere to Go: Shutting Out Syrian Refugees

Today is World Refugee Day: How do we respond to Syrian refugees?

In recognition of World Refugee Day, Brave New Films and Amnesty International have released a short film on the crisis of Syrian refugees attempting to flee war.

“Give me your tired, your poor” doesn’t end with “except Muslims” or any other blanket xenophobic prohibition.

... Read More

The Way We Were: Life Before the Orlando Shooting

By Lesléa Newman

It was a lifetime ago. The 1980s. All week long, we waited for Saturday night. All week long, we smiled and nodded and typed letters for bosses who didn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re” and “its” and “it’s” and didn’t appreciate having their mistakes corrected. All week long we ate lunch with “the girls” and when they asked if we had any plans for the weekend, we shrugged and said, “Nothing special.” All week long we walked home with our heads down, ignoring the whistles and leers and “Hi Baby’s” thrown our way. All week long we hid who we were. All week long we lied. …

... Read More

My Brief Life as a Poll Worker

The California Presidential Primary: An Imperfect Process

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

“Congratulations!” the letter from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters began, and it continued with confirmation of my appointment as a touch screen inspector for last Tuesday’s Presidential Primary Election in California. “Touch screen,” I read again, as in technology.

“Are you nuts?” I bellowed through my office window to the hummingbirds, who were sucking down nectar as fast as my fanny was puckering up to my earlobes. Anything to do with computer stuff is a “thingy” in my world. …

... Read More

Beyond the Cuba Bloqueo

Visiting Cuba: 1905, 2014 and 2016

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Before the thawing of U.S.-Cuban relations went public, I made a trip to Cuba. It was 2014. Before diplomatic relations bloomed anew and flags unfurled over re-opened embassies. Before the two nations swapped prisoners, revered as national heroes by one, reviled as spies by the other, and vice versa. Before President Barack Obama and his family paid the first state visit to Cuba since President Calvin Coolidge won Pan-American hearts with his “ingratiating” grin and dined at “a colorful love feast with the delegates of the Latin-American nations”—or so the Chicago Daily Tribune reported on January 17, 1928.

... Read More

Writers Read: Parenting a Transgender Child

Writers Read at Fallbrook Library, Tuesday, June 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Hillary Whittington is a San Diego County resident and author of Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached (William Morrow, February 23, 2016). Part memoir, part instructive lessons, Raising Ryland tells her family’s story of her son’s transition from female to male.

... Read More

What a life

By Scott Gressitt

What have I done to deserve all this pleasure?

I am still an angry curmudgeon, an impatient father, an impulsive observer, and a distracted friend.

I can’t stay focused, I forget to call you, I live in my head (a beautiful but sometimes treacherous place), and I fart in public.

... Read More

Fruit of Thy Womb

An excerpt from Mi Amor: a Memoir

By Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin

I was born on the tenth of September,
nineteen hundred and seventeen.
Tucson, Arizona.
My baptism name is Elizabeth Carrasco Luna.
At nineteen years of age
I eloped with Elias Rodríguez Aparicio.
We were married by a justice of the peace in Arizona.
Five children lived. One baby boy died from my toxemia.

... Read More

Interview with Re Jane author Patricia Park

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

When novelist Patricia Park set out to write Re Jane, she wanted to re-write Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë’s classic. The latter’s Jane was published in Victorian 1847 and set in the Georgian era. Neither time period offered women many options other than marriage. Park’s Jane was first published in 2015, when women had a multitude of options, if not equality.

... Read More