Author: Braedyn Ezra

Yes, Cascadia: Towards A New System

A movement in the Pacific Northwest has been growing for years. It’s called Cascadia, and has been about building a vibrant bioregional and inclusive social and cultural community. While it has succeeded in fostering connections and a sense of place in this particular region of the United States it has the potential to grow even more.

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Full Disclosure: Facebook, Identity, and Human Connectivity

Painted Cakes Do Not Satisfy Hunger –Be Here Now, by Ram Dass In researching the phenomena of Facebook, I came across this article on how it is negatively altering our minds. In it, the author describes the social network as an addiction, ensnaring us in a dopamine loop, diminishing our attention spans, keeping us in a filtered bubble, and ultimately diminishing our sense of self-worth. Facebook is evil, making us stupid, and leading to the demise of humanity. We need to get off of it and pursue things that truly facilitate deep brain and mind development – like books,...

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Full Disclosure: The Second Coming Of Puberty

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” Simone de Beauvoir revolutionized our understanding of the self by detaching sex from an innate and essential way of being. With her lengthy study of the sources of women’s oppression in her book The Second Sex, she laid the foundation for our modern understanding of gender. Feminist theorizing has defined gender as the socially constructed ways in which we are expected to act in relation to our sexual makeup. Our sex is determined by several factors, most notably in the womb when hormones are introduced to the fetus. After we’re...

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Full Disclosure: A Meditation On Queer Feelings

I sometimes write as a form of meditation, one in which I attempt to make sense for myself in a vastly unknown world. I use it to convey ideas to other people about what, why, and how it is that I know what I know. It is a delicate balance of what I’m thinking, and what I am feeling. I collect my thoughts by engaging in some kind of experience with the world. It always produces conscious and subconscious feelings. I put that experience back through a long digestive tract of thought, yak up a few fragmented feels, and...

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Full Disclosure: I Came To Pee In Peace

I’ll never forget that most awkward day in the women’s bathroom at Nordstrom. At the time, I was not yet on hormones but very masculine presenting. I avoided public bathrooms at all costs, opting to hold it even if it caused me an infection. As I squeamishly pushed open the door to walk in, a woman who was drying her hands caught my gaze. She looked horrified. “This is the women’s restroom!” Completely caught off guard by being called out, and feeling full of feminist fire, I shouted back at her while lifting up my shirt to reveal my...

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Full Disclosure: Gender Diversity In Electronic Music

I trace my love affair with women and electronic music back to one definitively haunting and timeless record, Portishead’s Dummy. From there, I developed a passion for abrasive beats, experimental synths, and the pervasive passion of female vocals. As my taste expanded, I began to get down with the underground world of dance music and noticed a lack of females behind the decks. I dug deeper and discovered many women were behind some of the greatest achievements of electronica and dance music. The astonishing life and legacy of British electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram has largely been overlooked for...

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Full Disclosure: My Year In Review

My year began with an overwhelming sense of nausea and a frightening feeling of purposelessness as a result of the pressure from an absurd and amorphous, yet very tangible world. Instead of running away from it into the safety net of society’s roles and realities, I chose to justify my existence through finding meaning for myself. In a series of experiences in which I bared all, both figuratively and literally, I was able to overcome these feelings of disparity and discover a series of working truths that I hope to carry on through the new year. CONNECT WITH EACH...

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Full Disclosure: Setting The Bar

A year ago, I joined the staff of a grungy little alternative bar/theatre/nightclub known as Re-bar. Since it’s inception, it has been a place that has welcomed artists on the fringe of normalcy. It’s a spot where in one evening you can snuggle up and see the surreal stylings of legendary drag performer Dina Martina, catch the hilarious crew of Match Game reading each other to filth, and eventually dance off all that booze during Flammable, the west coast’s longest running house music weekly. For over 25 years, Re-bar has held strong as one of Seattle’s most beloved cultural destinations....

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Full Disclosure: Overcoming The Stigma of HSV

Contracting a sexually transmitted infection is not only taxing on your body, but your mental and social health. Over the summer I was exposed to my first STI, HSV-1, without my knowledge. My partner was a cis-female friend, and our encounter included a lot of mutual mouth and genital contact. When having sex with another person who has a vagina, barriers are difficult, if not awkward to use. I proceed with these kinds of sexual encounters under the assumption that we are safe if we disclose our sexual health status. It wasn’t until I was laying in the emergency...

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Full Disclosure: Stranger In A Strange Land

Tucked between Pike and Pine on Summit Ave lies an unmarked gray building distinguished sharply by it’s vibrant yellow brick facade and yellow door proclaiming ENTER. Behind that door lies Steamworks, a bathhouse for men. “Steamworks is a space where a man can come and be around other men, everyone is in a towel or naked, ready to have sex,” says Chris Peterson, the General Manager for Steamworks Seattle. “You are surrounded by people who have already made the decision to have sex that night. There is not as much negotiation in this setting, everything is more anonymous.” I spoke...

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Full Disclosure: I’ve Never Been Anyone’s Boyfriend

by Braedyn Ezra November 17, 2015 Always the best man, never the groom. Friends, I am genuinely happy to see all of you entering into successful, loving, romantic relationships. I appreciate being the one you turn to in times of need and distress when your mate is unavailable or you just need some perspective. It’s hard not to feel envy or jealousy towards you, though, when I’ve spent the past five years carefully constructing and crafting an identity from ground zero. I have dug deep inside myself for truth and love, only to be left alone night after night wondering...

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Full Disclosure: My Trans Moment of Truth

It seems like, almost since conception, my gender nonconforming behavior was no secret; my brother discovering his clothes missing and finding them stashed away in my room, my father teaching me how to play hockey, soccer, baseball, and basketball with the neighborhood boys, and my mother comforting my fragile self after I’d run home from the bus crying because of the torture and teasing I’d received for wearing baggy clothes. It was also never openly discussed or acknowledged as actually being an important part of me, a cherished expression of my humanity; but rather treated as growing pains, or...

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