Resistance to Conformity: Balancing Authenticity with Community

I’d like you to please welcome a new writer on the Yopp platform, Eleni Stephanides! She’s here to talk about the complexities of conformity: the damage it can do, and the benefits it can yield when used well.  CN: discussion of the emotional impact of neurodivergence in a neurotypical society, brief mention of theoretical death by plane crash “We could say that Old Survivor was too weird or too difficult to proceed easily toward the …Read More

Choosing Violence: On Allyship and the Legacy of John Brown

Something that hasn’t been explored a lot on this blog is historical figures in the social justice world. There is a lot to be learned in the accomplishments of activists of the past, as well as in the present day reactions to these activists’ legacy. Denny Upkins is back with a look at the historical figure John Brown and the importance of facing oppression head-on, without compromise.  CN: Detailed discussion of racial violence and discrimination, …Read More

Squat and Poop: The Art of Adaptation

CN: bathroom talk The story of how the piece you’re about to read came into my inbox is one of the more serendipitous moments that I’ve experienced. I was listening to Mugabi’s episode of the podcast No End In Sight, a podcast about chronic illness, and I was struck by how unique and compelling his story was. When I learned that he was a writer, I knew I needed to contact him and ask if …Read More

A Tale to Tell: A Cherie Priest Tribute

Just a few months ago I re-published my article, “Creating Social Change One Person at a Time,” in which I talked about how the impact you have on individual people around you can, in itself, be a form of social activism. Denny Upkins is back to demonstrate exactly how this phenomenon can happen and the ripple effect it can create.  CN: general discussion of racism and homophobia An author by the name of J.D. Stroube …Read More

A Gay Man’s Guide To Life: An Interview with Britt East

CN: discussion of racism, homophobia, transphobia, and explicit violence toward the LGBT community– especially transgender folks; mention of abuse, AIDS epidemic, and addiction.  One of the things I love about having Denny Upkins as a guest writer is he has some connections with amazing people and he takes great joy in interviewing them for Yopp! I’ll let Denny introduce today’s interview. Upon Yopp’s return from hiatus, I knew there were a number of intriguing and …Read More

Stonewalled: That Time I Fought the Law and the Law Lost

One of our favorite re-occurring guest-writers, Denny Upkins, is back with this amusing and empowering tale to remind everyone fighting the impacts of marginalization to share and celebrate our wins.  CN: general discussion of dynamics between police and black and LGBT civilians; general discussion of racism; account of police questioning (no violence). A bard by the name of Alan Moore once stated magic is art, and that art, be it music, sculpture or any other …Read More

Everything You Need to Know About Boundaries

The topic of boundaries comes up quite a lot during discussions about trauma and mental health but even therapists can skimp on the details of how to actually formulate, set, and enforce boundaries! It took me many years to learn that a boundary is not a tool to control the actions of others or to prevent harm from ever reaching me. It is an agreement that I make with myself about how I expect to …Read More

We Hold These Truths of the Black Experience To Be Self Evident

White Supremacy is so insidious that even if you’ve spent years working to eliminate anti-black beliefs from your subconscious, there will always be more hiding under the false pretense of reason and logic. Denny Upkins is here to keep us on our toes, make sure we check our biases at the door, and to direct us toward the beliefs we should actively be trying to incorporate into our understanding of the black experience, instead.  CN: …Read More

The Unique Power of Digital Organizing

CN: general discussion of past elections and the pandemic. As someone who deals with chronic pain and chronic illness, many versions of “boots on the ground” activism have not been very accessible to me, and unfortunately, I have intense anxiety around making phone calls, so volunteering for things like phone banking or calling representatives were also out, for me. I also know I am not the only person dedicated to social justice work that is …Read More

Interview with Alice Wong: Engaging with Stories of Disabled People

CN: general discussion of disability, and ableism; brief discussion of racism, chronic illness, the pandemic, and eugenics. Today’s article is a first for Yopp: We have our very first interview! The wonderful Denny Upkins had the opportunity to connect with Alice Wong, an amazing disability activist who I’ve admired from afar for several years, and we are lucky enough to get to read the results of that connection. If you’ve been looking for some disability …Read More