SOUP: Can I Get a Witness?

A low-simmer column about queerness, identity, and growing the fuck up 

By Jen Harris
Photos by Justina Kellner

When I was a child, there was no such thing as choice.

I know you don’t believe me. I know you want to argue with me right off the bat. Perfect. Hi. Hello. Welcome. I’m Jen. I’m queer. A nonbinary womxn. A lesbian. I’m 35AF, and I know saying that proves it. This is my first time here, so I figured a proper introduction would be… qualifying. It’s like when someone writes a letter to a celebrity (in this case, you are the celebrity) and they (I) start it with, “I have never written a letter like this before in my life.”

Often, that’s true.

It’s true for me, now. I’ve never been 35 before. I’ve never written a column about the queer experience. I don’t feel proficient for this task. For one thing, I bought a television a month ago, and it’s still leaning against the wall. I don’t know who’s popular or what matters to the masses. I don’t know any vacation hot spots, and I certainly don’t have the 411 on lesbian engagement dating apps. I’m taking a break from s-e-x… sooooo……

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The battle of my Christian faith and my newly found sexuality

By Emily Park
Illustrations by Katelyn Betz

Content Warning: Emotional abuse from religious sexism. Bible study text depicting shame included.

Thirteen-year-old me would be absolutely ashamed and horrified, I instantly thought while holding my broken phone case in my hands. Confusing, I know, so let me rewind a little bit.

As I sleepily rolled over to turn off my morning alarm a few Mondays ago, I picked up my phone and realized something was … off. Upon closer inspection, I saw the back of my phone case had completely fallen off leaving just the perimeter of the case on my phone.

The culprit? Last night’s sexual encounter. As my boyfriend and I were passionately grinding against one another, we realized about halfway through that my phone was underneath us.

A normal person probably would have laughed it off, thinking something along the lines of, “Well, if my favorite phone case has to go, that’s definitely the way to do it.” But not me.

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Welcome to My Vagina

By Maddie Womack

My name is Maddie, and I have a vagina. I am the CEO/Founder of Barrier Babes,  and I also work at a sexual health clinic as my day job. This sexual health clinic has a microscope. So, naturally, I swabbed my vaginal walls and applied the swab onto a slide under said microscope.

Well, ok. First, I accidentally swabbed my urethra. (It’s right above the vaginal opening—don’t judge). That hurt. Like, really hurt. But the second time around I figured it out.

Before swabbing my vagina, I didn’t even know what a vaginal cell looked like. What even is a vagina cell? Are they just floating around in vaginas? What’s their purpose? Do they have friends? Thanks to my swabbed slide, I can explain all of this to you. Feel free to zoom in, my cells don’t bite 😉.

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