How an idea is no joke when it’s held by those in power

Imaged borrowed from The World Economic Forum/Reuters/Darren Ornitz

Engaging in any online civil rights discourse in the last few years, you’ve likely come across All Lives Matter. This response is generally from someone who thinks it’s an incredibly intelligent retort, but it’s a smokescreen. On the surface, all lives matter is an innocuous statement. Of course lives have an inherent value. The issue is what it’s being used as a response to.

Black Americans make up around 13% of the population, yet are killed by police at twice the rate of white Americans. …


When instant deplatforming silences already marginalised voices

Photo by Jordan McDonald on Unsplash

I f you’ve spent any time around progressive areas of the internet, I’m sure you’ve witnessed discussions of cancel culture. You may even have seen it in action. It’s an extension of the concept of deplatforming. When someone wishes to debate in the ‘free marketplace of ideas’ with bad faith, they may be signalling to white supremacists, queerphobes, or some other group that wishes to remove the rights of others, or they may be explicitly calling for violence.

Deplatforming is founded on the principle that by taking away the megaphone, the spread of these destructive, insidious views will be diminished…


And when harmless compliments can be anything but.

Photo by Joseph Gruenthal on Unsplash

It was just before 10am in Victoria Station, London. The crowd was waning at the tail end of rush hour, yet still thronging. I was making my way across the concourse, strapped up with my rucksack of stationery and electronics, my duffle bag of clothes, and my sling of broken arm, mentally preparing for a 4-hour coach journey northwards that I didn’t want to take.

For me, I wasn’t dressed particularly ostentatiously — I was traveling, after all. Black Doctor Martens with yellow laces, washed-out blue skinny jeans, a white, chunky-knit cardigan, a blue and silver paisley scarf, thigh-length camel…


When band-aids are needed for minor scrapes

Photo by analuisa gamboa on Unsplash

This part of a series of articles that I am writing to explore my recently diagnosed PTSD. The experience has been bizarre, but I know I’m not the only one. I want to speak up, as I’ve hidden my depression for as long as I am able, and it has been tiring. By working through my life, my therapy, and associated literature, I hope to heal through writing and create work that connects with other survivors while giving everyone a window into some trials and tribulations.

Content warning: Due to the topics I cover in this series, the articles contain…


Working hard isn’t enough when support is lacking

Photo by Akshar Dave on Unsplash

This part of a series of articles that I am writing to explore my recently diagnosed PTSD. The experience has been bizarre, but I know I’m not the only one. I want to speak up, as I’ve hidden my depression for as long as I am able, and it has been tiring. By working through my life, my therapy, and associated literature, I hope to heal through writing and create work that connects with other survivors while giving everyone a window into some trials and tribulations.

Content warning: Due to the topics I cover in this series, the articles contain…


A mental framework for increasing trust and safety with all partners

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Content warning: Mentions of sexual assault.

You’ve had a lovely evening with them. It’s been really fun, and you can feel your pulse racing. They ask if you want to come back to theirs for more drinks/snacks/a movie. You’d love to. Really, you would. But there’s been something you can’t put your finger on. Some small action, some microexpression that made you very uncomfortable. Are they really safe to go home with?

This is a problem I’m sure you’re familiar with, no matter your sex, gender identity, or sexuality. You would hope a prospective partner, or even a one-night stand…


When you’re finally out in the world, but your mind isn’t yet

A young, pudgy me, circa 2012, hoping things might improve.

Content warning — brief discussion of abuse.

When I came across Rosie Leizerowice’s This is What Loneliness Feels Like, It resonated with me instantly. I know what loneliness feels like. Only I hadn’t realised the extent of what it had done to me.

Some of this realisation came from a close friend. They handed me their phone and asked me what I thought of people they’d matched with on Tinder. For some reason, I could only recognise things that put me off these matches — I was looking for things to hate.

“50% of what comes out of your mouth…


How we can begin to explore our subconscious through the work of others

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Content warning : Mild description of gore, discussion of mental health

That crunching sound — it’s familiar. It chills me. But it’s supposed to, right? It’s only there because it’s unsettling. It’ there to upset me intentionally. I’m sure that’s the only reason. Let me take a step back to explain.

A couple of years ago, while single and crawling to the end of my BSc, I developed a heavy addiction to YouTube. In retrospect, this was just a way to fill time and stop my thoughts from spiralling out of control. Fortunately, I managed to steer this boat so…


The difficulty of becoming passionate without a template

Photo by Adrian Dascal on Unsplash

We live in a world shaped by people who are passionate about what they do. They strive to build their knowledge and skills to a point where they can make a difference. They love what they do so much that they reach the edge of what there is to know in a field, then push that little more until they create new advances in the area or shed new perspectives on existing knowledge. Either way, these people change things. They have passion. They have drive. …


When undoing old habits becomes vital, positive leadership makes a vital difference

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Academics are a strange group of people. Many will go through little-to-no formal training to reach where they are, and will always worry whether they’re doing things the ‘right’ way. No wonder anxiety is such a rampant problem in academia.

So many higher academics will reach positions of leadership in a rapidly changing field never having led or been taught to lead before. Making mistakes and learning from them is a certainty in academia, but what if the careers of many lie in your hands?

I’ve wanted to reach that point, and now it finally feels I’m on my way…

Will Bowers

A bioinformatician and self-proclaimed Queer style icon trying to digest the world and share packets of understanding.

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