“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” — Oscar Wilde

The morning Jeff Bezos launched into space, a homeless woman with a walker was assaulted by a group of men on the border of the Seattle Amazon headquarters. Within the pristine confines of the company’s territory, you will find no homeless people in spite of Seattle’s teeming housing crisis. A stealth army of security guards dressed in stiff polo shirts, the same bright shade of Blue Origin’s logo, patrol the invisible boundaries of the Amazon headquarters at all times. They whisper into radios and cast keen glares at anyone who looks out of place. I always feel out of place…

“Are you from around here?”

Like a scene straight out of an Octavia Butler horror story, in a panel discussion about Charter Amendment 29, former Seattle City Attorney Mark Sidran urged Seattlietes to consider: “If you expand housing of various kinds […] it may well produce a migratory effect.” (49:00) Sidran went on to describe how he and Mayor Durkan suspect that many unhoused Seattlites are not from around here. Danny Westneat, the panel’s moderator, interjected: “Two thirds of Seattle are also not from Seattle, including me. …

Author’s childhood Power Wheels commercial

Britney Spears is a former child entertainer who has been rendered the legal equivalent of a child under her father’s control. Although Spears is an adult, exploitation of child entertainers by their parents is commonplace. I should know. Before I was a homeless teenager, I was a child actor in the 90s with parents who circumvented child labor laws, the Coogan Act, and SAG-AFTRA union regulations. …

Danny Westneat recently discussed debates about homelessness in Port Angeles, Washington and Seattle. In the column, he says that he has asked people living under bridges where they are from. But as someone who was homeless as a teenager in Port Angeles, and later in Seattle where I hoped to find a way off the streets and enroll in college, it does not matter where anyone is from when the housing crisis can be found everywhere. …

Kate Winslet in Mare of Easttown

“Does that van belong to you?” Mare of Easttown asks in the fifth episode of a series seeking to solve the murder of a young mother. A windowless blue work van sits parked in the foreground as the camera pans over a quiet residential street.

I shrieked when I saw the paneled van in the show. It looked exactly like the van that dropped me off each morning where I was relentlessly teased for arriving at middle school in a child molester van. After my father threatened to kill us and my mom’s colleagues, after he stalked my frightened therapist…

Our legal system treats children like we’re living in a Monty Python sketch about the Middle Ages

Art by courtroom sketch artist, Marylin Church

At its core, Allen v. Farrow is about how children only have as many legal rights as the adults around them are willing to bestow. As Dylan Farrow says at the beginning of the HBO documentary’s third episode, “What I remember is that after the attic, things started changing really rapidly. I said this thing, and it started this nightmare of lawyers, and the phone ringing, and everything changed.” In 1992, Woody Allen was investigated for child sex abuse charges. That same year, I was a six-year-old child actor 3,000 miles away on the west coast, being sexually abused by…

I joined AmeriCorps out of desperation when I graduated during the 2008 recession. I hope Gen Z doesn’t make the same mistake I did during the COVID pandemic’s dismal job market.

AmeriWhore logo
AmeriWhore logo

It’s AmeriCorps Week! Every year in March, a cheerful email celebrating AmeriCorps Week drops into my inbox, and I am reminded of how I became homeless 6 months into my term of service. Earning about $3 per hour from my AmeriCorps living stipend, I think about the hypocrisy of a government-funded program paying people less than minimum wage as the debate rages on over raising the federal minimum wage, student loan forgiveness, and the legality and ethics of unpaid internships. I remember AmeriCorps Orientation Day, when everyone seated in the North Seattle hotel conference room gasped as we were taught…

My journey down the rabbit hole of trying to understand how someone who also grew up homeless could possibly vote against raising the minimum wage

Comic of Sinema curtsying with a thumbs down to vote against minimum wage increase, wearing a mask that reads “Fuck the Poor”
Comic of Sinema curtsying with a thumbs down to vote against minimum wage increase, wearing a mask that reads “Fuck the Poor”

Kyrsten Sinema’s 2018 senate race campaign was a joke. No, really. I mean it literally. Two hundred years ago, the idiom about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps was a joke about how ridiculous it would be for a man to pull himself out of a swamp or over a fence by grabbing hold of the bootstraps on his shoes. And yet, what was originally meant as a joke when Andrew Jackson was president, is today a socially acceptable way to scold poor people for being poor.

No one who has ever lived in the Pacific Northwest should be surprised that a QAnon mayor took over the town of Sequim

Washington coast beach at sunset

Dungeness crab. You find it on restaurant menus from New York to Seattle. And you find it stumbling over rocks in the Salish Sea’s quiet bays and estuaries, all along the coast near Sequim, Washington (pronounced “skwim” in the Klallam language). Windswept bluffs rise above the famous crustacean’s namesake, Dungeness Bay, so named by Captain George Vancouver on April 30, 1792, when he decided that it looked like the English coast of Kent. Captain Vancouver’s own name is also plastered over the communities of what we now call Vancouver, B.C., Vancouver Island, and Vancouver, Washington. When my little sister was…

How can we effectively reform CPS, an agency that is complicit in child abuse and endangerment?

Trigger Warning (child abuse and CPS negligence)

Cholla Cactus with many thorns against a clear blue sky

Last night, Kellyanne Conway posted nude photos of her daughter on Twitter. Less than a week ago, the night before Biden and Harris’s inauguration, Twitter was outraged by leaked videos of Kellyanne Conway threatening her daughter with: “You’re lucky your mom’s pro-life!” Tweets that CPS needed to be called popped up across the timeline. Many people who barely survived their own abusive parents gently replied, explaining that it is naive to think that CPS (Child Protective Services) will investigate a powerful, wealthy white mother. …

Sabra Boyd

Sabra is a child trafficking survivor who is seeking an agent for her true crime memoir | The Glass Castle x The Godfather | sabraboyd.com

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