I walked away from my senior-level 9 to 5 job a few years ago — a seven-year-long career predicated by my immigrant parents’ high expectations, two expensive degrees, and a drive to win a respectable livelihood through work.

Prior, I grew up in New Hampshire by way of two Haitian-born…

This past spring, I did something really cool and I may have been the world’s first to create such an experience for myself and a global academic community.

My drag persona, Juhnay Arabesque (phonetically pronounced “JUH-NAY”), was the Emcee of the 114th Commencement Ceremony at San Francisco’s California College of…

Mother’s Day: [silence]

Father’s Day: [more silence]

[annual cycle repeats]

Each year, as I get older, wiser, and more liberated, these holidays become easier to deconstruct, reconstruct, and digest — to make sense of such a layered holiday that’s trapped in outdated American ideals, gender binaries, and antiquated feminist values.

It’s roughly 2:30 pm on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. I had just got out of the shower — my first productive event of the day. This is a huge victory for me, especially after sleeping in most of the day following my birthday. …

I’m an introvert by default. I restore my energy in solitude. Quarantine for the foreseeable future? Sure. Work from home? Easy! Or so I thought. As someone who has mastered the art of being alone, from only child to international solo traveler, I’ve never felt so lonely in my life.


February 23, 2020: Ahmaud Arbery
March 13, 2020: Breonna Taylor
May 25, 2020: George Floyd


January 1, 2009: Oscar Grant
February 26, 2012: Trayvon Martin
August 9, 2014: Michael Brown
July 13, 2015: Sandra Bland


July 5, 2016: Alton Sterling
July 6, 2016: Philando Castile
July 2016: Black Lives…

During my first year at Boston University, I completed an introductory writing research course titled, “African American Voices,” and learned a distinction that edified my racial identity and affirmed a sentiment on which I’ve been ruminating since childhood: There is a distinct application between using the terms, “African American” and…

Paul Renolis

San Francisco-based queer performing artist, creative, and writer that explores black joy. prenolis.com

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