This is Friday Letters, by Melissa Gira Grant (me), the author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work and a journalist covering gender, sexuality, law, and power, as a senior staff reporter at The Appeal and a contributing writer for the Village Voice, Pacific Standard, and Valleywag (RIP). You may have read my feature reporting at BuzzFeed News and the Guardian, or my commentary in the Washington Post and the New York Times, or my criticism in Bookforum and the New York Review of Books. Or maybe you’ve followed some of my more far-flung projects, like Terrific City or w4m.club or What Price Love? or Coming & Crying. Or you were on LiveJournal in the summer of 2000, too.
Each Friday, I look at the present state of my desk and my work, take stock, and share some of it with you.
I wouldn’t be a writer without the internet, even if the first thing I wrote and the thing I’ve most consistently kept is a journal, on paper, lugged across the country and back, outweighing any hard drive. But this isn’t a diary. My journal is just my way of making a first recording of true and present events, whether they were happening to me or not. That’s a kind of journalism, but this isn’t journalism, either. This is a space adjacent to my reporting, but apart from it.
If you want to know what I’m reading, what I’m recording, what I’m still working out, this is for you.
Friday Letters was first on TinyLetter without an archive, then here on Substack with a subscription-only archive (were you a paying subscriber? And wondering why your subscription ended this week? Thank you — and that’s why. With the change of format, I wanted to give you a chance to re-subscribe only if you want), and now… still here, but as a totally free letter.
That’s because I want to write to more of you, more often, and to just keep subscriptions as more of a tip jar, really. Down the line, there may be a subscription-only special thing, but we’ll get there, if we get there. For now, welcome and welcome back.