I, for one, am quite pleased to see this rise in cancel culture. Every facet of our society is inundated with shit people taking advantage of others and it’s about damn time we did something about it. Americans want to believe that capitalism rewards people for doing good business and that we should leave it at that. But that is literally only true in an economic sense. Money cannot know virtues, only humans can; if the money is not reflecting the virtues we want to see in the world, it’s our responsibility to re-allocate.

Cancel culture is a logical evolution…


Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

Last month I received a letter from the Dutch government. Due to no longer being enrolled in school here, I am no longer authorized to live in the Netherlands. I need to either file an appeal proving that I am still in school or be prepared to leave the country in 4 weeks.

I’m not doing either of those things. I happen to be caught in a paperwork hell loop. My husband and I decided on Amsterdam in 2019. Returning to school was one of the few routes we were looking at when we started the process. …


Was it rape? Yes. Do I think that means it shouldn’t have been used? Nope. I know that depicting heinous acts on screen can retraumatize people that have experienced them and to that end I would likely advise folks to approach the series with an abundance of caution. But there is so much to be learned from that scene and giving it valid screen time is extremely important.

First, the asshole reason why I am in favor of using this scene. I have watched women be raped on screen more times than I can count. It is, in fact, the…


I sit in my fourth grade classroom. An officer from the local force stands in front of us. He wants us to know he’s not scary. He’s a friend. He just wants to make sure we don’t get hurt. He jokes, tells us fun stories, this officer will be here periodically throughout the year. He’ll get to know us and teach us how to be safe. Towards the end of the year he got us all signed photos from the Philadelphia Phantoms bench, where he was a backup goalie in his spare time. He was adored by my classmates.

Skits…


I’ve never taken a non-queer to MY gay bar. When my straight friends want to go out, we go to the other gay bar. Or at least we did, back when there was another gay bar. My gay bar is the most dingy, dive-y, backwoods cabin bar you can imagine. It’s not far outside of town, but it is isolated. The interior is almost maze-like. The more time you spend there, the more weird tricks you learn. You share these with no one. That is now your secret entrance. Your secret bathroom. Your secret parking lot.

The best part of…


I probably have autism. I feel both stupid and relieved for having written that down. I suspect my ADHD is partially fueled by my autism. When I think about expanding on the reasons why I think I am autistic, I feel completely trapped. I don’t think my autism is a medical problem. I don’t think my autism needs to be treated. I think my autism is a personal journey of self discovery that no medical professional could possibly understand.

I am biased here. As a trans man, I have experienced a lot of harm from the medical community. I have…


I am a confirmed Roman Catholic. I have a Jesuit University degree. I am a transgender man. If the church can accept that the man born Jorge Mario Bergoglio that took vows of the Jesuit brotherhood is now Pope Francis, then the church and its officials can accept that trans people exist and treat them with the same respect they treat the pope. Either your rules exist for a reason or they don’t. Picking and choosing the rules that suit you is hypocritical and immoral.

To understand my point, let’s get into a little background about what distinguishes a Jesuit…


It’s important to let people hurt you. It’s important to feel the pain, recognize the hurt, and then separate yourself until you heal. You may never get back what you lost, but you will feel at peace with your decisions. Fear prevents most of us from taking risks. Fear of rejection, fear of pain, fear of loss. Interacting with other human beings always opens yourself to the possibility of hurt.

It’s imperative to me that I maintain a trust in humanity. Trusting humanity means believing that most people are not trying to hurt you intentionally. It means making yourself vulnerable…


Yes, my genetic lineage is predominantly Polish and Irish. Yes, I look like a fresh steamed lobster after a bad day at the beach. Yes, I have an illogical preference for potatoes over most starch. But when push comes to shove I will choose Not White over White every single time.

The people of Haiti have actually done this. All citizens of Haiti are default black, their word for man derives from their word for black as a result. I don’t have a reason to become a citizen of Haiti, and doing so to make a point is probably not…


The Europeans are having a small fit right now over translating Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb.” More than one translator has been asked to do the work and then had the request rescinded. When I first heard this a week ago it made sense to me, the Black American experience is unique. There are words and turns of phrases unique to their communities and experiences. It’s not enough to translate a work, we have lost so much of the artistry of many works in their translations. …

Samuel Smurlo

I mostly write for me and on the off chance that someone can gain something from my thoughts I publish them here.

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