Emily Perper is a freelance editor and reporter, currently completing a service year in Baltimore with the Episcopal Service Corps.

One reason I admire longform journalism is its ability to tell stories. Some of these stories gain national attention. Some are perfected in an MFA workshop. Some are written on the backs of receipts, after waking in the middle of the night, while in traffic.

Most longform stories are written with love: toward craft and toward subject. These four are no exception. They focus on falling in love with chance encounters and with self-acceptance. They are about a love of career and a love of potential. They are about the struggle-love of family. That is the loyalty of longform: to a love of context.

1. “Owning the Middle.” (Kate Fagan, espnW and ESPN The Magazine, May 2013)

Women’s basketball superstar Brittney Griner makes strides on the court and in LGBTQ athletic culture. Be sure to check the video interview and gorgeous portraits by Cass Bird.

2. “Growing Up With Sailor Moon.” (Soleil Ho, Interrupt Magazine, May 2013)

In the midst of her parents’ emotional divorce, a young Ho discovers and relies upon the subversive gender-empowering message of Sailor Moon.

3. “A Ruckus of Romance.” (Rachel Howard,, February 2013)

They fall in love on the dance floor: Emily Hall Smith plays matchmaker to the artsy, queer women of New York City.

4. “Butch in the Airport.” (Kate, Autostraddle, May 2013)

The seemingly innocuous airport can be place of great anxiety for those whom identify as genderqueer. Here, Kate reflects on such practical and emotional difficulties.


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Photo: Rosa Middleton