Photo credit Adrea Piacqauadio

I knew I had to dump my therapist the day she forgot to light her scented candle before our session. The smell of weed hung in the air between our polite smiles.

This wouldn’t be a dealbreaker, normally. But it was unfortunately just one more sign on a growing list of indicators that Lydia* was no longer the right counselor for me. We’d been circling the drain for weeks, rehashing the same issues with no resolutions. She’d changed her schedule in a way that clashed with mine. She kept promising to email me “homework,” but never did. And now this.

“You can breathe. You can blink. You can cry. Hell, you’re all gonna be doing that.”

From StockSnap on pixabay.

Negan’s pre-baseball-bat-beating line from The Walking Dead hit different for me during a rewatch this week. Something about the on-screen situation was just too real.

As protests against racial injustice continue, I read and hear plenty of comments from non-supporters which are disappointing, but unsurprising. A sentiment that keeps coming up even from supporters, however, creeps coldly under my skin every time I see it:

“I’m all for the protests; just keep it peaceful.”

This statement is often supported by maxims circulated around mostly…

A VI community group changed its name for Pride, and lost 400 members.

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Homophobia in the Caribbean is nothing new, and the U.S. Virgin Islands certainly has its share. When the U.S. Supreme Court was still considering whether to legalize same-sex marriage in all states and territories in 2014, Virgin Islanders marched down the streets of St. Thomas in opposition.

A small contingent of counter-protesters, many of them friends of mine, gathered in front of the courthouse on the route. The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.

It’s been five years since that march, and most island residents have…

Yes; but you may not be ready for a romantic relationship

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Whether you know it or not, whether you feel it or not, you are absolutely worthy of love.

But that doesn’t mean you’re entitled to romance.

Our obsession with romantic relationships is a little scary. We can have rich, full personal lives where we spend lots of time with family and friends who love us dearly, and yet still feel like we fall short simply because we’re single.

It’s as if we rely strictly on romantic relationships to validate our worthiness, and that’s ridiculous. …


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I was depressed for a pretty significant portion of the last decade. Occasionally, I’d manage to swim my way up out of the depths for a bit, float on the surface, and enjoy the sun on my skin. Inevitably, though, the dark waters would reclaim me. Usually when I was alone. Usually at night.

I wasn’t faking it when I smiled for pictures: I really was happy in those moments. Moments with friends and family. Any time I was teaching. Often when I was writing. Climbing into treetops. Dancing. Backyard campfires. Rum and cokes on the beach. …

Why do doctors bring up weight in otherwise healthy patients?

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A friend recently went to the doctor and, for the umpteenth time, was told:

“Everything indicates you’re in perfect health; except you’re overweight.”

When she shared this, my own countless experiences hearing the same line came rushing back. One memory bubbled to the surface: a comedian doing a bit about his doctor saying the same thing, calling the extra weight “cosmetic.”

“Well doc, I’m not here to find out whether I’m cute, I just want to know if I’m healthy, so let’s focus on that,” was the gist of his response.

Why are we being warned about our weight when…

Spoiler alert: it’s because I’m white

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Yes, I’m aware that multiple societies on numerous continents at various periods of history and with skin colors of all shades have worn the hairstyle currently known as “dreadlocks”. Hear me out.

I’m a researcher at heart. I like to get to the bottom of things. After one too many debates on the topic, I decided to dig in and explore my inner cringe surrounding white, non-Rasta people wearing dreadlocks.

Buckle up and get comfy, folks; it’s gonna be a long ride.

Where Did “Dreadlocks” Come From?

While the style of dreadlocks has existed for at least 2000 years, the word “dreadlocks” didn’t appear until…

Figuring out whether we’re “doing life right”

Photo by Pixabay

On a recent trip home, I was having a conversation with my sister when she received a text. A look of relief washed over her face as she read it.

“Thank God, my whole day is saved!” she exclaimed.

“What’s the good news?” I asked.

“There were some dinner plans up in the air tonight. We just finally decided where we are going, and I have a favorite dish there so I know EXACTLY what I’m going to eat and my whole day just came together knowing that it’ll end with that dish.”

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I recently visited my local Planned Parenthood and was surprised to find only men sitting in the waiting room.

While one was clearly a security guard, the others were not.

There are many reasons why men might be in the Planned Parenthood waiting room, of course: they may be there with a partner, friend, or family member, they may be transgender, or they may be one of the increasing number of cisgender men who are utilizing the health organization’s affordable services.

Cisgender: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or…

It’s time to re-think what homelessness looks like and how we help

In 2014, I met up with a friend on St. Thomas, USVI for lunch.

“You look like one of those ‘backpack girls’,” he told me as I arrived and sat across from him, storing my backpack under the table.

“What’s a ‘backpack girl’?” I asked.

He explained that women had been showing up on the island with nothing but a backpack, going to beaches and bars to chat up guys they could go home with and have a place to sleep.


Photo by Rogério Martins via Pexels

I wasn’t a backpack girl, and while I didn’t have any judgement about the new phenomenon, I was…

Shannon Burton

Content writer and sex coach curious about culture, social justice, and human sexuality. Find out more at and

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