I’m s.e. smith, and I’m passionate about making things; I particularly enjoy the experience of making things come alive in text, whatever they may be. Thomas Paine once said the pen is mightier than the sword, and that’s an idea I can get behind. There’s something mystical, powerful, and intensely exciting about the written word, and the ability it has to transcend boundaries to create lasting change, to speak to readers in unexpected ways, and to have a profound impact on social attitudes.
My focus as an essayist, journalist, and activist is on social issues like reproductive justice, disability rights, class issues, LGBQT subjects, race, and politics, with credits in publications like The Guardian, Bitch Magazine, AlterNet, Yes! Magazine, Jezebel, Salon, the Sundance Channel blog, Longshot Magazine, Think Progress, xoJane, Truthout, Teen Vogue, Time, Nerve, VICE, The Week, In These Times, Vox, Bustle, the Daily Dot, Rolling Stone, Mic, and Rewire. I’ve also appeared in numerous anthologies, including 2013’s Get Out of My Crotch!, 2015’s Feminist Utopia Project, and the forthcoming (Don’t) Call Me Crazy (Algonquin Young Readers) and Letters for the Rest of Us (Columbia University Press).
Additionally, I maintain a personal website, this ain’t livin’, with regular posts on a spectrum of topics from Chinese-American history to environmental justice. I tweet at @realsesmith, can be found on Instagram under @realsesmith, and am on Facebook as well.
Occasionally, conferences and other events are unwary enough to invite me to speak on the handling of social issues in media, pop culture, and social justice movements (sometimes they even invite me back!). I’m also a periodic guest on the radio, where I love discussing current issues and responses to them in progressive communities, as well as delving into the role of the media in society. The framing of social issues in media spaces can have a significant effect on how they are understood and interacted with by the general public.
I split my time between various points around the world and a small town in Northern California (I remember when they put in the second stoplight) with a troublemaking cat and a herd of marauding deer that seem to be under the mistaken impression that they are allowed in my garden.