Hello there. My name is Kate Alexandria. I'm an organizer, former-child-prodigy-turned-chaotic-hot-mess, feminist killjoy, and survivor of many series of unfortunate events. I believe that honesty and authenticity are incredible storytelling tools for personal, political, and social liberation. I write about my own experiences, share commentary on pop culture, TV, and books, and report on the struggles, triumphs, and trials of others. This is where you'll find a collection of some of my recent writing work, organizing efforts, and other various antics.

A UCLA Surgeon Almost Killed Me, but I Can’t Sue

Early in the morning of December 16, 2021, I arrived at Specialty Surgical Center of Encino for an hour-long hand and elbow procedure. After I checked in, I had to sign a pretreatment arbitration agreement and an acknowledgement that my surgeon may have an ownership interest in the surgical center. A week before, after months of exclusively being seen in the UCLA system, I was suddenly informed that my procedure would be performed at a private clinic. I agonized over the red flags in the days before the procedure. Despite my concerns, I chose to go through with it for uniquely American reasons. It was the end of the year, I’d have the chance to recover over the holidays without missing work, and my deductible was about to reset, meaning the surgery would be much more expensive if I waited. I rationalized my uneasiness because it wasn’t just some random clinic or some random surgeon...

How Getting an ADHD Diagnosis at Age 23 Improved My Mental Health

I’m navigating the aftershocks of getting an adult ADHD diagnosis after it was missed during my childhood, and I know I’m not alone. Over the past few years, many women and fem-presenting people with ADHD have started sharing their stories, which is helping to break decades of predominant discourse that over-centers ADHD in boys and leads to other cases being misdiagnosed or missed altogether. Getting an ADHD diagnosis can be life-changing — I know it was for me when I was diagnosed at age 23. Here are some of the unexpected ways that my ADHD diagnosis (and subsequent treatment) have impacted my mental health and well-being.

3 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Doctors and Medical Gaslighting

Chronically ill or medically complex patients face all kinds of discrimination and uncooperative attitudes from our medical system. This especially goes for women, queer individuals, and BIPOC, who deal with institutional oppression, gaslighting, and medical bias that ranges from infuriating to deadly. If you’re just starting out on the journey of being chronically ill or managing a disability, it can be incredibly daunting and demoralizing to see how uncooperative medical systems are.

The System Didn’t Give Me Justice After My Assault. I Did That Myself.

When I think about the times I’ve reported, I not only don’t think of justice: I think of active harm done to me for my trouble. I think of the time that a police officer threatened to have me arrested and sent to juvenile hall for the night when I was sitting in a hospital bed with bloody underwear. These are not unique anecdotes. Survivors are harassed by police, investigators, and lawyers. Many of these interactions happen in back-room settings, a tactic that certainly seems to enable people to get away with doing bad shit to survivors and not having to publicly account for it. Survivors are tasked with making an impossible choice. We have to choose something so consequential in a system of bad options. It is an imminent and pressing question for us to develop alternative ways of seeking “justice” and fundamentally reshaping our cultural discussions about it.

Working from Home with a Disability: 5 Essential Strategies & Tips

Work-from-home policies are not a blanket solution for the financial and institutional pressures that disabled people face. Working from home is still working and comes with its own unique stressors. It is not a solution that will work for everybody in our community, and we shouldn’t stop striving for an equitable safety net, including modernized SSDI guidelines to protect disabled people when they can’t work. But if you’re considering working from home as a disabled person, you might be curious about how you can set yourself up for success, reduce stress and burnout, and find balance and stability.

It’s Made Up Until Isn’t: Dysautonomia and Medical Misogyny

The medical sexism dysautonomia patients face is a well-documented source of frustration and harm in the community. Many of us have spent years being dismissed at every turn while our symptoms worsened. I’m not mad about the new attention and funding directed at dysautonomia; we need it desperately. But we’ve needed it for decades. When the problem was pervasive but mostly impacting young women, it was apparently not worth attention, funding, or validation. Now that it is a literally contagious issue — now that our suffering can be caught by men — it is a revolutionary priority in the medical and public health fields.

Ahsoka Tano Is a Star Wars Hero for a Generation of Dissenters

Earlier this summer, the buzz for the upcoming show Ahsoka was palpable at the Star Wars Convention in Anaheim. Due to be released in 2023, the show has been teased as a critical piece that will lay the groundwork for a major crossover event among the Star Wars shows that Disney+ currently streams. The excitement for the show marks a radical new chapter for the titular character, Ahsoka Tano. Now more than ever, Ahsoka’s journey — and the evolution of the public’s perception of her — offers a blueprint for young women who seek to do good and be honest in their resistance and activism amid increasingly chaotic, violent, and corrupt times.

Disabled Women Face Sexualized Fallout From Visibility

One in 13 people in the United States are developing long COVID-19 that ranges in severity from inconvenient to outright debilitating. What’s more, women are 22% more likely to wind up with long COVID than men are. The community of young women who speak out about life with a disability — increasingly on TikTok, but also through Facebook, Instagram, and the hashtag #NEISVoid on Twitter — has provided a sense of support and strength to people on many different disability journeys, including long COVID patients. It can be transformative and empowering to pass on wisdom and hear collective experiences. But for young women and femmes of all identities, visibility of any kind frequently comes with a unique type of sexual harassment, and that has been true in this community as well.

This Ghost Story Is a Cutting Commentary on Rape Culture - Women’s Media Center

“There is a big difference between things being fair and things being set right.” So says Galaxy “Alex” Stern, the protagonist in beloved fantasy author Leigh Bardugo’s novel Ninth House. Bardugo, a well-known writer whose Shadow and Bone trilogy was adapted into a hit Netflix show, presents a supposedly formulaic ghost story that ends up revealing a cutting commentary about rape culture and a metacriticism of the male-dominated fantasy genre.

Fawn Or Fight: The Debate Community’s Disdain For #MeToo Is Worse Than You’ve Heard.

Last week, the Huffington Post ran an expose about the prevalence of sexual misconduct in competitive debate, with a specific emphasis on high school students who are fighting for protections and reforms. The world of high school debate is rife with abuse, some of it committed by high school competitors but a disturbing amount of it inflicted on minors by the adults who are supposedly in charge of them...

I dropped my lawsuit against the California Democratic Party so I could write this.

I currently serve as Digital Director at the California Democratic Party. Up until last Friday, I was also one of three plaintiffs participating in a sexual harassment & retaliation lawsuit against the Party. But last Friday, I dropped out of the lawsuit (which, if you haven’t already, you should look up and read in its entirety, or the excerpts published on Twitter.) I didn’t drop out because any of the allegations I made (or the allegations that my co-plaintiffs made) are untrue. In fact, I vigorously defend every allegation that has been made in that case against the Party.

Their Only Power Is Pretending You Don’t Have Any: How Speaking About My Secrets As a Survivor Set Me Free - Women’s Media Center

Their Only Power Is Pretending You Don’t Have Any: How Speaking About My Secrets As a Survivor Set Me Free In early October, the Huffington Post published an exposé about pervasive sexual violence in the elite high school debate community. After reading it and watching it make the rounds on social media, I decided it was time to tell my complete story so that other survivors wouldn’t be trapped with their abusers for no other reason than that they feel alone and fear they won’t be believed. So

What It Was Like To Unexpectedly Get Open Heart Surgery At 21

In late May 2018, about two weeks after my 21st birthday, I got news that changed my life: I urgently needed open heart surgery. On July 2nd, I woke up in the ICU on a ventilator with a broken sternum, my aortic aneurysm grafted in plastic, a titanium valve clicking away in place of my bicuspid aortic valve. Now, nearly three years later, I’m just beginning to accept the impact that July 2nd, 2018 had on me — the gifts, the curses, the blessings, the frustrations, and the ever-present sound of my mechanical heartbeat.

We Care About You, Now Be A Good Girl And Shut Up: On Resigning From The CDP’s Sexual Misconduct…

"Refusing to investigate past incidents — especially those that are only two years old — is an abdication of moral and political responsibility. It is a policy that flies in the face of being “trauma-informed,” and it guarantees that more incidents will be covered up or brushed aside whenever they’re “in the past.” I cannot participate in a Working Group that promotes a process so out of touch with the reality of trauma."