Maybe you haven’t noticed the dramatic uptick of rainbow memorabilia and decorations hanging off store shelves this month, or maybe you did and thought nothing of it. Regardless, it’s nothing new for companies to profit from a month dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community, even if they notoriously discourage such identities in their workplace.

Despite the progressive nature of America today, LGBTQ+ youths still face significant barriers, discrimination, and stereotypes. They remain an at-risk population for homelessness, suicide, and mental illnesses, oftentimes at the hands of disapproving parents. …

In early 2020 and after many conversations with my therapist, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder at the ripe age of 24. When I began explaining this diagnosis to friends, most of them would furrow their brows in confusion or mistake this mental illness with Bipolar Disorder. When someone asks how it might feel to live inside my skull, I tell them “fun”, because how else are you supposed to make light of an unfortunate diagnosis without making the conversation totally awkward? In reality, it’s a heavy weight to carry.

Truthfully, because less than 2% of the population is…

You’d imagine that the first time they learned it wasn’t working, they’d stay divorced.

I had the picture-perfect childhood for years: nice house on the corner of the street, loving parents, surrounded by friends, junk food for dinner on Friday nights. The stuff you see in every Hallmark family movie. So, when my mother and father sat me down at our living room table when I was 11, both holding my hands as they explained to me in the simplest terms, “sometimes mommies and daddies need time apart”, I really couldn’t comprehend the weight of that statement until later on.

Now, more than ever, long-distance relationships have become increasingly popular. Television shows such as, “Catfish: The TV Show” and the many variations of, “90 Day Fiancé” capitalize on this fact.

I have been in a variety of long-distance and in-person relationships, and have discovered that many of the success factors remained consistent across both, but some tweaks needed to be made. After all, both of us were over a thousand miles apart on opposite sides of the U.S, and therefore, time zones. As always, I hope my experience and insight can help someone else.

My experience was unique because both…

It’s 2am and I’m sitting in the bathroom against the wall, holding onto myself. In four hours, I need to be awake for my commute to work.

Why am I in the bathroom?

An hour earlier, I was jerked awake by one of my infrequent, yet terrifying nightmares. If I am fortunate, I wake from them because my fiancée is also awakened by my twitching and moaning. Other times, I will wake up absolutely drenched in sweat, heart pounding, fingers digging into the sheets just to bring myself back to reality. This was one of those times.

My fiancée was…

The exhausting debate surrounding abortion has been ongoing for years, and sometimes I can’t help but feel as though the voices we so frequently hear speaking about abortion are those who have no experience with it. There seems to be this widely generalized, yet popular depiction of what abortion is like, with no thanks to animated adult television and its crude humor.

None of these things equipped me for the raw experience of having an abortion.

My goal is to be as upfront, honest, and gruesomely transparent about what I endured. I have been told multiple times that I should…

chelsea echols

young graduate student, higher education administrative professional, mother to three ferrets & sushi connoisseur.

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