The All-American Soup We Swim In– POC Passenger Talks Systemic Racism in the U.S.

I pick Marco* up on K Street— a bustling block of downtown Sacramento populated by pumping night clubs and bars with basketball hoops and mermaid tanks. He comes in holding a pizza box, having just left work as a server at Pizza Rock.  When I ask him how his night is going, he responds withContinue reading “The All-American Soup We Swim In– POC Passenger Talks Systemic Racism in the U.S.”

Bigger Passenger Story: Exploring addictive processes with a former gambling addict in Reno, Nevada

“There’s this program where you put your name on their list, and then if they see you in their casino they’ll kick you out and take all your money,” says Janet* the woman passenger I’ve just picked up outside a cafe in midtown Reno. “My gambling problem led me to enroll in it.” Her wordsContinue reading “Bigger Passenger Story: Exploring addictive processes with a former gambling addict in Reno, Nevada”

First Impressions Overturned, Part 3: A Pristine Formerly Homeless Woman on the Homeless as Members of our Human Family

*This is the final entry in the First Impressions Overturned series. ~~ Many of us carry in our heads an ingrained idea of what a homeless person looks like and how they present themself: dirty clothes. Rambling speech. Someone whose mind is not quite there, or who perhaps leads us to feeling both unsafe andContinue reading “First Impressions Overturned, Part 3: A Pristine Formerly Homeless Woman on the Homeless as Members of our Human Family”

Pride Month Stories #5: A Transgender Passenger on Trans Inclusion and Acceptance

*Names and certain details have been changed to protect confidentiality ~~ “It’s not like I’d want to fight in the military, even if I could. But that’s not the point. Some members of my community might. That could be their dream. So the point is, fuck Trump.” It’s July 2017 and Passenger Bailey* is sharing hisContinue reading “Pride Month Stories #5: A Transgender Passenger on Trans Inclusion and Acceptance”

Pride Month Stories #4: Older Butch Talks 1960s Lesbian Dating

I love hearing lesbian couples’ meeting stories—especially from the days before dating apps existed, when avenues for doing so were far more limited—and it’s not every day that the opportunity to talk to a queer woman from an older generation presents itself. When Rita* gets into my car though, I’m in for the treat ofContinue reading “Pride Month Stories #4: Older Butch Talks 1960s Lesbian Dating”

Pride Month Stories #3: Demisexual Passenger on ‘Bi Men Are Real’

*Name and certain details have been changed for confidentiality ~~ How many times in your life have you met a bisexual guy? Did you believe that he was actually bisexual? Or did you privately think that he was probably gay and just hadn’t fully come to terms with his sexual orientation yet? More on thisContinue reading “Pride Month Stories #3: Demisexual Passenger on ‘Bi Men Are Real’”

Guerneville Gay Bear Talks Gender Roles in Queer Relationships

*This is entry #2 in a series on LGBT passengers, put together in honor of Pride month ~~~ Exploring the city Located along the Russian River in northern California’s Sonoma County, Guerneville has a funky, free-spirited vibe that SF Gate describes as being “as much a constant as the towering redwoods that surround the town.”Continue reading “Guerneville Gay Bear Talks Gender Roles in Queer Relationships”

LGBT Pride Month Passenger #1: QPOC on Parental Homophobia

*This is Part 1 in a special series I’ve put together for the month of June (Gay Pride month), that features in-depth stories on LGBT-identified passengers. Check back over the next couple of weeks for more pride-themed stories! **Passenger granted me permission to share her story, but names and some identifying details have still beenContinue reading “LGBT Pride Month Passenger #1: QPOC on Parental Homophobia”

Passenger Story: The Ellen Meme, Punching Down, and Personal Sensitivities

I’m pulled over in front of Delta of Venus– a hippie, LGBT-friendly cafe I spent much of my time at as an under-grad at UC Davis, inside of which funky music plays, vibrant paintings hang from multi-colored walls, and Queer Student Union dance parties occasionally infuse the space with life. While waiting for passenger Chase*Continue reading “Passenger Story: The Ellen Meme, Punching Down, and Personal Sensitivities”