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, with credits in publications like The Guardian, Bitch Magazine, AlterNet, Jezebel, Salon, the Sundance Channel blog, Longshot Magazine, Global Comment, Thought Catalog, Think Progress, xoJane, Truthout, and Reproductive Health Reality Check. In 2013, I appeared in two anthologies on social justice subjects.
A cofounder of FWD/Forward: Feminists with disabilities for a way forward, I continue to contribute to feminist discussion at Tiger Beatdown and am a member of the Guardian Comment Network. 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 serve as the Social Justice Editor at xoJane, and am the Editor in Chief of Disability Intersections, an intersectional disability magazine.
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 Berkeley, California and a small town in Northern California (I remember when they put in the second stoplight) with an easily-riled pair of cats and a herd of marauding deer that seem to be under the mistaken impression they are allowed in my garden.