12 of Our Favorite Longreads from a Very Long Year

Revisiting the stories that got us through the chaos of 2018.

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Dec 10 2018, 5:54pm

After a year that has felt more like a decade, it's easy to have forgotten some of the most intriguing things you read in 2018. Whether they were a distraction from the chaos, an attempt to understand the chaos, or something else entirely, it's nice to revisit the stories that saw you through the year, and the ones you may have missed too.

As writers, editors, and readers ourselves—as caught up in the news cycle as anyone—we too can forget the pieces that we took a special interest in, which is why it was nice to revisit our work from the past year, and, now, to share some of it (once again) with you.

Below are some—not all—of our favorite features from the past year, in the order they were published.

In this piece, Broadly's assistant editor Leila Ettachfini interviews the founders of self-described feminist fashion brand Namilia, Emilia Pfohl and Nan Li, to see how the brand reconciles its radical feminist ethos with its position as a for-profit business that doesn't entirely practice what it preaches.

Writer Lauren Sharkey explains the ways fitness apps can facilitate eating disorders, becoming hubs for ED sufferers to share and compare dangerous fasting, eating, and exercise habits. Sharkey talks to fitness app users who believe these apps have made their eating disorders worse, the founder of a fitness app, and a psychologist to help understand how this form of technology can enable harmful ED behaviors.

Writer Dianca Potts delves deep into the life and poetry of Pat Parker in this piece for Women's History Month. "An unsung hero of the Black Arts Movement and inspiration for Audre Lorde, her words are a salve for times like these," writes Potts. This piece is a beautiful tribute to a woman who helped pave the way for both LGBTQ people and people of color in poetry, all the while fighting for the rights and protections of these communities.

In her column, Myth Understood, Christobel Hastings teaches us that there's more to the classic tales we thought we knew. Here, she revisits one of mythology's coolest reptilian anti-heroines, Medusa, examining a less-recognized part of her story.

This profile of Jazz Jennings was a beautiful reminder about how important strong, supportive relationships are in helping transgender young people to succeed. In this piece by staff writer Diana Tourjée, we come to understand Jazz's relationship with her mother as an incredibly inspiring model for parents and trans youth.

This piece by writer Sarah Yahr Tucker addresses an epidemic that is widespread, but rarely discussed: the trauma of obstetric violence. After publishing this story, Broadly received an outpouring of responses from women who have endured violence at the hands of their caregivers and doctors during labor.

In September, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford spoke before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing all too similar to that of Anita Hill in the early 90s. We watched alongside the country as history was made, again. Broadly staff writer Marie Solis delves deep into what American women took away from Ford's testimony.

One year after the #MeToo movement took off, exposing massive numbers of sexual assault and harassment allegations, writer Moira Donegan tries to make sense of what the movement has accomplished. She asks the questions, What happens now? And is it still worth coming forward if abusers aren't held accountable?

This comprehensive and authentic guide by staff writer Diana Tourjée, written for transfeminine people specifically but with an eye toward transitions of all types, addresses questions like, "What is hormone replacement therapy like?" and, "How do I tell people I’m transgender?" Though the topic of gender transition is and should be taken very seriously, we love this piece because it also captures the everyday aspects of transition, like getting to try out new fashion styles.

For this ongoing project in collaboration with producer and artist Zackary Drucker, Broadly had the pleasure of meeting some of modern history's most accomplished and important transgender pioneers, who shared with us both beautiful and painful anecdotes from their lives. It was really important to not only celebrate the lives of these incredible people, but to give them credit for paving the way for trans people to exist publicly and unapologetically today.

Online parenting network Mumsnet started out as a one-stop shop for mothers in the UK, but has since become a hub for anti-trans sentiment. Writer Eve Livingston explores how a site about parenting became a place for transphobic people to organize against trans inclusion and acceptance. This piece shows us exactly how even online spaces meant for support can turn ugly.

In this piece, which appears in VICE Magazine's Burnout and Escapism Issue, staff writer Marie Solis explores the harmful repercussions of activist burnout for both organizers and their movements. "The effects of activist burnout can be especially acute for marginalized groups," writes Solis. "Often, sexism and racism pervades activists’ own ranks, compounding the stress and anxiety women and activists of color may already be experiencing as a result of their work." This piece reminds us that even when fighting the most crucial fights of our times, we must take the time to take care of ourselves first.