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

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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)

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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. …


If QAnon Actually Cared About Children, They Would Demand CPS Reform

Photo of author’s childhood elementary school, now boarded up with an abandoned circle of desks discarded beneath a tree

*Trigger warning

Last Wednesday, QAnon flags waved in the winter D.C. wind as followers stormed Congress. Watching the siege unfold, I thought of the irony of QAnon followers’ violence and their dubious claim to care so much about trafficked children. Afterall, 2016’s Pizzagate is when QAnon entered the public’s consciousness.

A week after the siege, I finally received a call back from a Child Protective Services (CPS) case worker. I had been waiting for this call since November 26 when I found out that CPS had placed my 3 month old niece with my father, a man who molested me…


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Illustration courtesy of Radiolab

What does it mean when many of the cadavers used for biomedical research are the bodies of people who never could have afforded the treatments they helped develop for those with wealthier bodies?

In the throes of grieving a loved one, many families discover cadaver donation companies when they have to seek alternative ways to cover funeral expenses. Although for-profit whole body donation companies do not track the income or socioeconomic data of donors, public reviews online and my own experience working as a coordinator suggest that a large majority choose to donate their bodies to science out of economic…


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Photo of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her 20s, courtesy of NYT

Grieving RBG and Democracy in America

The night of the 2016 election, I heard gunshots and neighbors sobbing four stories below my apartment. The morning after the election, I walked into the OB/Gyn clinic that I worked at. Normally our workday started with cracking jokes and offers for coffee runs. But on that morning four years ago, it was somber and silent. Everyone, including patients in the waiting room looked like they were on the verge of vomiting or crying. Before I even sat down at my desk the phone rang.

A woman’s voice: “Hello, I need an IUD. The kind that lasts 5 years.” Normally…


Photo of author’s childhood elementary school, now boarded up with an abandoned circle of desks discarded beneath a tree

I call myself a child trafficking survivor because “trafficking” is more succinct than explaining how my dad pimped me until age 10. But the term that once offered me solace with its linguistic distance from the more graphic realities of my childhood has been co-opted. The word I could use to explain my fear of men in white trucks has been hijacked by QAnon conspiracy theorists. In recent years, the word “trafficking” has been rendered meaningless and sensationalized through the political commodification of real survivors’ trauma. And this is harmful to us all.

The “Q” in QAnon is allegedly a…


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Everytime (2003) music video

The capitalization and cannibalization of childhood

The austere tinny echo of a music box punctures the melody of Britney Spears’s 2003 song Everytime. It won the Teen Choice Award for best love song that year. But for all the early aughts imagery of a platinum blonde Ophelia leaving Las Vegas, Everytime is not a love song. It is is a penthouse bathtub siren’s warning about the repeated offenses of controlling men. It is a codependent lullaby with a hauntingly accurate music video portraying what Britney Spears’s life would look like in 5 short years. Everytime is a premonition, but we didn’t know that in 2003.

And…


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Spice Girls, photo courtesy of Cheer Daily

Why am I so surprised when I rediscover that misogyny exists? Is it because I am friends with cis men who aren’t jerks? Is it because I want to believe that everyone has good intentions, even though history has taught me this is very untrue? Is it because I am not a troll?

During the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine, we have all been driven to extremely online social lives. Humans are social creatures, and in the face of not being able to hang out safely, we have all been spending too much time on social media for our physical safety from…


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The SPD is not our ally in fighting sex trafficking. Investigative journalists, funds for housing, healthcare, foster care, and education are our allies in the fight against human trafficking. But for short, let’s just call it Defund the Police.

On Friday July 31, the Seattle Times published an op-ed stating the “SPD is our ally in fighting sex trafficking”. As a survivor of child sex trafficking, I know that is not true. As a formerly homeless teenager whose taxes paid the salary of the police officer who beat me while I was sleeping, I know that is not true.

In a city whose officers spray our neighbors with chemical weapons banned in warfare by the Geneva Convention and continue performing sweeps on homeless camps in the midst of a pandemic killing thousands each week, I cannot call the Seattle…


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Courtesy of US Capitol Tours

In 1998 I was 12 years old. Every news channel and radio station chattered repetitively about Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, the Oval Office, cigars and blue dresses. My mom, my younger siblings and I were crashing at my aunt and uncle’s house outside Sacramento, California after two tumultuous years of homelessness. We had run away from my dad after he threatened to kill us, so we lived in hiding all over the west coast as my parents’ divorce dragged on. I was grateful to live indoors again with a bathroom, washer, dryer and kitchen, but my aunt and uncle’s guest…

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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