For my late grandfather

This year, Pride means wanting an apology that I am never going to get.

Pride means early mornings when I can’t sleep, remembering the last conversation we had, will have, when you told me that not even God could love me.

Who were you to limit the love of God?


Will we change marriage or will marriage change us?

When my new wife and I went to the bank to add her to my accounts, we arrived separately. I walked in first, told the greeter that I was here for my appointment. “Will your husband be joining you?” she asked. “Wife,” I said. …


From the progressive down the street

To my Neighbors,

You don’t know me. We don’t talk. Perhaps it’s because you spotted my bumper stickers when I moved in, or because I spotted your yard signs. Or perhaps it is because we both work, and no one is as good about knowing their neighbors as they used…


I spent years afraid to see a doctor, but eventually, I needed to know what the tests would say about my cancer risk

My life began with an unexpected mass.

Though my parents had been trying to have a child, it wasn’t until my mother took a routine pregnancy test before a surgery to remove ovarian cysts that she found out she was pregnant. …


How Unbelievable indicts our criminal justice system

It’s the initial recounting that’s the hardest. It’s the phone calls you make after leaving his house, or the party, or the place that you ended up that you don’t remember ending up in. It’s the way you pretend that it wasn’t a…


From Tila Tequila to Are You the One?

In the Fall 2007, I could be found inside my dorm room, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila playing on my hidden computer screen. I’d left home about a month and a half earlier, a copy of Curve rolled up in my backpack and a pirated season of The…


Book clubs and beyond

When I first moved back to Nashville four years ago, I had very few friends. Having spent the last eight years living in New York, I had maintained very little community in my hometown. …


“Hustlers” and how women get ahead

When Wall Street crashed, I was living in an apartment in Brooklyn, later condemned. The stairs creaked dangerously when you walked up them. Holes in the walls let in bedbugs and rats and every other kind of creature known to man. The windows had gaps between the wall and the…


The problem of both sides in the classroom

At the beginning of every school year, I tell my community college freshman that it is okay to disagree with me. I tell them that it is okay to disagree with the readings and with each other. …


The difference between courage and survival

Imagine you’re walking in the woods when, suddenly, you come up on a black bear. In the back of your mind, there are a million different survival strategies, but you only have a few seconds to decide: fight or flight. You remember reading somewhere that you should make yourself look…

Amber Stewart

Queer writer, essayist, educator, native Nashvillian, poet. She/Her/Hers.

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