We’ve been telling ourselves COVID-19 is a story with an end point. Thanks to the Delta variant, it’s just how we live.

Kid wearing a mask. Good kid.
Kid wearing a mask. Good kid.
By the time he’s grown up, this is going to seem pretty normal. Photo by Lucia Macedo on Unsplash

I got shredded in quarantine. It’s not something you’d notice, looking at me; I could still be shoved comfortably into most lockers. I am not “fit” by anyone’s standards but my own. Still, at some point in the past year, I decided to make my body a place worth living. I’d spent a lifetime finding ways to dissociate — drinking, reading, binge-watching, scrolling Twitter until I found some way to hurt my own feelings — and I wanted to get back inside my own skin.

I started working out a lot. I cooked a lot of lunches with cauliflower in…

The relentless ‘Ted Lasso’ hype is a quest to find one nice guy to heal the trauma of patriarchy

Jason Sudeikis, a man who should have an Oscar for 2016’s “Colossal.”
Jason Sudeikis, a man who should have an Oscar for 2016’s “Colossal.”
Behold! The one human man who has never sent a death threat online!!!! Photo by Digital Focus on Shutterstock.

Somewhere around the time he promised to lift the spirits of a Nigerian soccer player by “Ni-cheerin’-him up,” I became conscious of a desire to throat-punch Ted Lasso.

I know! I know! Ted Lasso — a fictional soccer coach, played by Jason Sudeikis in the TV show of the same name; please note that, because he does not exist, I cannot hurt him — has become the Internet’s favorite dude. He’s an “an emotional lifeboat amid our culture’s raging sea of discord and unhappiness.” He’s “the antidote to everything wrong with America.” He’s “changed our lives at the darkest time;”…


In a binary world, everyone who looks at me sorts me into “man” or “woman.” Everyone is wrong.

Pictured: Fluid, probably some genders. Photo by Giuseppe Famiani on Unsplash

“You look very much like yourself,” my husband told me. We were in a pool in Virginia, late at night, taking turns dragging each other through water as warm as blood.

I had no idea what he meant. My husband went to grad school to study Wittgenstein, at one point, and he has an academic’s habit of choosing a word located two doors down from the one you’d use in casual conversation. You can sit with his little poems forever without decoding them.

“You’re all sharp and spiny,” he said. “I can always tell exactly what you’re thinking when I…

Buckle up: It’s “Cat Person” season, and once again, we’re litigating what women are allowed to say about men.

This cat and I have the same feeling about all this.
This cat and I have the same feeling about all this.
Oh, no. Photo by Veronika Homchis on Unsplash

You cannot control how other people see you. No matter how hard you work to finesse your image, outsiders will reach conclusions that, once reached, you cannot change. If this is true for you and I, both of us (I’m sure) decent people who are trying our best, then it is particularly impossible to control how people perceive your ex-boyfriend, who dated a high school student when he was thirty-three years of age.

Yes: I’m doing “Cat Person” discourse. I’m sorry. The debate around author Kristen Roupenian’s viral short story, reignited this week by an equally viral personal essay by…

The fracas over Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo’s coming out reveals gatekeepers’ fears of a world where “everyone gets to be queer.”

When you search “bisexual” on Unsplash, you get rainbow flags. When you search “experimenting,” you get two girls kissing. This is a science experiment in the bi colors. You’re welcome.
When you search “bisexual” on Unsplash, you get rainbow flags. When you search “experimenting,” you get two girls kissing. This is a science experiment in the bi colors. You’re welcome.
Pictured: Bisexual experimenting. Photo by Julia Koblitz on Unsplash

Let us now congratulate Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo, daughter of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who came out as bisexual on June 3rd, 2021, and who took only four weeks to complete the holiest bisexual rite of passage: Going viral as an example of a confused “straight woman.”

Kennedy-Cuomo’s coming-out post, on Instagram, clearly identified her as a “bisexual person.” Outlets that reported the announcement, like the Huffington Post and People, used the word “bisexual” in their headlines. Then, a few weeks later, Kennedy-Cuomo used the word “demisexual” in an interview, and all Hell broke loose.

Twitter user Madison Hartman’s screencap…

Britney Spears’ heartbreaking testimony shows the importance of letting mentally ill people speak for themselves.

#FreeBritney protesters. Their signs are very pink.
#FreeBritney protesters. Their signs are very pink.
It takes thousands of people screaming for Britney before Britney herself can be heard at all. Photo from Ringo Chiu on Shutterstock.

At the end of the day, no matter how much I thought I knew about Britney Spears, I couldn’t understand how much pain she was in until I heard her tell her own story.

I’ve been writing about Britney Spears for a long time. My first book, Trainwreck, was about how women are demonized and dehumanized by the media, which sets them up so that we can always have someone to tear down. As you can imagine, Britney was a major part of the book. What I learned about her, back in 2014 and 2015, is what everybody seems to…

The Catholic church is a corrupt organization bent on oppressing women and queer people. Before I came out, I started praying.

The Lord is a sucker for a festive color scheme. Photo by Shot by Cerqueira on Unsplash

In the year before I transitioned, I started sending prayers to the shrine of Saint Jude.

Jude, for those unfamiliar, is the hardest-working of Catholic saints, and the reason for this is that everybody hates him. According to myth, his name is actually Judas — Thaddeus, not Iscariot — and even though he adopted a cool nickname, post-Iscariot-getting-the-boss-crucified, no-one would use it. Of all the saints in Heaven, Jude was the one who never received prayers. Who entrusts their deepest personal problems to a “Judas?” Dependability is not the brand.

Well, Jude was lonely, as anyone would be, but being…

Attacks on critical race theory, “gender ideology,” and basic science betray a desire to forbid children from thinking.

A lot of empty classroom chairs.
A lot of empty classroom chairs.
Pictured: All the young minds being endangered by “gender ideology.” Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I spend a lot of time, these days, with a line by the poet Diane di Prima rattling around in my head. The line comes from her poem “Rant,” and it’s printed in all caps, three times, so you know she meant it:





Di Prima was a committed radical, writing in a time when “war” meant something, and this ethereal-sounding…

Ed and Lorraine Warren were frauds, reactionaries, and alleged sexual predators — why do these movies still portray them as heroes?

A Raggedy Ann doll. We have no way of knowing it’s not haunted.
A Raggedy Ann doll. We have no way of knowing it’s not haunted.
HORROR!!!!! Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

I’m going to tell you a horror story. You won’t recognize it. It’s about a woman who wrote poetry. She was a liberal, an agnostic, hated Nixon. She married a strict conservative Catholic who demanded that she convert. She had a kid, and then another kid, and then, somehow, she had five kids. She stopped writing poetry — no woman with five kids has time to daydream — and left the city for a house in the country that was big and cheap enough to hold them all. Then everything got worse.

Her husband had a terrible temper, and it…

Page is the focal point for everyone currently wrapping their heads around transmasculine bodies. Yikes.

I wish this item of clothing had never been invented. Photo by shane becker on Unsplash

Elliot Page has been publicly out as a trans person for less than six months now, and my psyche has already been permanently scarred by how we talk about his body.

Page’s visibility is inevitable. He’s the first transmasculine movie star. He’s put himself forward as an advocate. Trans guys, historically, suffer from lack of visibility, not an overabundance of it, and Page’s stardom provides a necessary counterweight.

Does this mean that it’s necessary or productive to spend an entire week litigating the same swimsuit photo? I’d argue that it does not. Then again, I’m clearly outvoted. …

Jude Ellison S. Doyle

Author of “Trainwreck” (Melville House, ‘16) and “Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers” (Melville House, ‘19). Columns published far and wide across the Internet.

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