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7 Essays To Read This Week: Gay America, Black Church, And God

This week, Nyasha Junior recalled a childhood spent inside an AME church. Read that and other essays from the New York Times, Slate, The New Republic, and more.

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1. "Future Queer: Where Is Gay America Going Next?" — The New Republic

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Alexander Chee ponders where gay America is heading next and reflects on how much has changed in a New Republic piece. "The future I can’t imagine, but want to imagine, is one where we’re all at peace, working toward something else," he writes. Read it here.

2. "Jennicet Gutiérrez and the Politics of Pride" — Slate

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Jennicet Gutiérrez may not have shown the best manners when she interrupted President Obama at a pride event this week, but she's much more than just a "heckler." In a Slate essay, J. Bryan Lowder explains why the activist was right in cutting Obama off. "Queer activism must, by its very nature, be disruptive," he writes. "I can guarantee you that more people are talking and thinking about trans immigrants today than were before Gutiérrez took her stand." Read it at Slate.

3. "Black Church Taught Me How to Be Black" — BuzzFeed Ideas

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For Nyasha Junior, black church is not only a place of worship but also a part of her home and family. In an essay for BuzzFeed Ideas, Junior remembers a childhood spent inside an AME church, where she first realized that black lives matter. Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.

4. "The Terror" — The New York Times Magazine

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Junot Díaz recalls getting jumped in middle school and the terror he felt for years after the beatdown. "Before that attack, I had felt fear plenty of times — which poor immigrant kid hasn’t? — but after my beating, I became afraid. And at any age, that is a dismal place to be," he writes in a New York Times Magazine piece. Read the entire essay here.

5. "Of Course Dylann Roof Thinks Asians Are Racist. The Media Has Been Perpetrating That Myth for Years." — The Washington Post

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To quash Dylann Roof's notion that Asian-Americans are inherently racist, Jeff Chang retraces the long history of oppression of Asian-Americans in the United States. In an essay for the Washington Post, he explains the dark side of the "model minority" myth — and how Roof's idea that Asians would join his cause is but a mere delusion. Read it at the Washington Post.

6. "Why Women Apologize and Should Stop" — The New York Times

Emily Flake / Via nytimes.com

Sloane Crosley proposes a theory for why women are constantly apologizing. For the New York Times, she breaks down what "I'm sorry" really means, how the expression is more assertive than regretful, and why women ought not to apologize but be more direct. Read her piece at the New York Times.

7. "How I’m Learning I Don’t Always Have to Be in Control" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Illustration by James O'Brien for BuzzFeed

For most of her life, Amanda Bast felt like she needed to be perfect. After a string of tragedies, however, she learned that sometimes God has other plans. Read her essay at BuzzFeed Ideas.

Want to read more? Here are some other essays BuzzFeed published this week.

Erin Chack dedicated a tearjerking essay to her boyfriend of 10 years, recounting the 10 times she knew she loved him. Laura Silver walked us through what online dating feels like for a thirtysomething. Matthew Kassel wrote about the revolting truth of dating anxiety — it causes him to puke on dates. Judd Apatow explained why he chose comedy. Anne Helen Petersen wrote about Mark Wahlberg's very old-fashioned playbook. Sarah Hepola asked some tough questions — namely "Are You An Alcoholic?" Tabatha Leggett got in touch with those who abused her online and asked why. Adam Serwer explained why we're finally taking down Confederate flags. A group of trans men and queer women discussed whether it's time to retire words like "butch" and "femme." And finally, for Father's Day, Liam Lowery wrote about coming out to his parents and staying close to his dad, Adam Vary wrote about the surprising emotional challenges of becoming a gay dad, Tom Chivers pondered the many ways his relationship with his dad changed after having kids, and 11 transgender parents shared their paths to parenthood.

Susan Cheng is an editorial assistant for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Susan Cheng at susan.cheng@buzzfeed.com.

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