this is the work

this is the work

A few years ago I wrote a rough, raw little comic called “Research in Pain.” It was so popular it was reprinted in a book called Through the Lens of Cultural Anthropology. Today I got an email from the editor from someone who read the comic and found hope there.

They wrote:

“I hope this email finds you well! You may not remember me, but my name is *** and I’m the one who needed your help figuring out if I was trans, back in January. I’ve since figured it out and have been medically and socially transitioning for the past couple months, and I know that none of it would’ve happened without your advice. I’ve been meaning to write this email to express my gratitude for weeks now, but I could never find the right way to word it so I kept putting it off. But while I trying to cope with the news of Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death, I once again found myself thinking about that comic in your textbook, “Research in Pain”, and felt that now would be a good a time as any to write one. 

In the past few months, I’ve often thought back to that comic because it helps calm down the anxiety I feel towards the future (which, these days, tends to be a lot). And every time I do, I come to appreciate more and more how much you’ve helped me understand the world and come to terms with things, even to this day.”

In the midst of the pandemic, the coldest September in years, our descent into fascism, environmental collapse and global despair, I am reminded that words of hope and love have power, still.



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