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Chances are I have a migraine. My spirit guides are Voltaire & Bierce. Considering making SJW into a religion. Genealogist

When you write memoir-based pieces, it feels like it’s all kinda already out there, but…

My probation officer ID reveals how incongruent I appear for the part. Forgive my stealth around my identity. I am using the Jordan Bray pen name as a courtesy to my family so I need to obscure my actual name.


Right-wing media poisoned family relationships

“broken pot near mirror” by Daniel Tafjord on Unsplash

One figure stands out in my miserable youth of fundamentalist evangelical repression as the epitome of feminism, modernity, and humanism. My aunt, Nicky. She was actually named after her father. They stuck an “ita” at the end of his masculine name and thought that would do. It just made for an ugly name. Since she hated it, too, she always went by Nicky.

She was the first woman deputy sheriff in my hometown county, Black Hawk County, Iowa. She let me hold her gun once when I was young. My parents were not into guns, so this was a big…


A Pseudo-Poem About Home from a Non-Poet

Canoeing is a popular past-time alongside camping (Photo: Jordan Bray)

Folks sing a song about the hills where I’m from
It’s an exquisite tune with ideal words to strum

Written by a guest to these parts
She knew about how we don’t like

To make our problems other people’s concerns
So, I sang the line over and over

To scream its truth
To break the silence

It’s blissfully green come summer and spring.
Enough to shut my mouth about the humidity thing.

How many of us have detasseled corn?
I got the skin on my arms torn


Accountability for abusive behavior

“woman sitting on bed while holding mug” by Asdrubal luna on Unsplash

Facts have emerged about Brett Kavanaugh’s early life and environment which show a guilty culture, if not the guilty act. We learn that he spent time with boys in high school who consumed far too much alcohol. We learn that Republican women on CNN will describe this behavior as “typical” and “common.”

We can…


Eating disorders don’t automatically go away after bariatric surgery

Look ma, no chin, I look like the rest of the family now

See ma, no chin

Cuz now I’m thin

Watched a show yesterday

Women and girls on display

Woke up with chocolate

on the pillow

It joined caramel on my shirt

and in my hair

But I am all better

Nothing I saw affected me

Focused on fat so weighty

I handled it all fine

My feels will fall in line

I was just tired last night

Lots of people would, right?

Just like me with a mouthful

Exhausted to sleep with a handful

But I am all better

This poem came following my reaction to the documentary, Embrace, on Netflix


By Encouraging Proto-Thinking, He’s Dumbing Us Down

William Shatner speaking at the 2018 Phoenix Comic Fest in Phoenix, Arizona. ©Gage Skidmore Wikimedia

Five-year old Jordan Bray had two heroes. Laura Ingalls Wilder and Captain James T. Kirk. I was glued to the television to watch both of them. It sort of figures they would both die in the same Tweet thread.

First, I was alerted that William Shatner had sent out a tweet about Laura Ingalls Wilder losing her literary award named in her honor.


The accusation of crying wolf is the opposite of the problem we have

Photo by Marek Szturc on Unsplash

Today, on Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, along with their chattering class, tried to tell liberals how wrong they are, again. Not that it isn’t a daily occurrence, but today was particularly galling. The thesis was that we have been crying wolf about authoritarianism in Nixon, Reagan, and Bush, Jr, so everyone got numb to it and became Nazis.

What they said was stupid, of course. What actually happened is that too many Americans looked at the authoritarianism that started with Nixon, and said, “Of, that’s fine.” Joe Scarborough watched Ronald Reagan preach about black welfare queens over…


From the Internet to my Husband

I don’t know how to illustrate this, so this is my view right now. I had to write this on my phone, because my computer is dead. I miss it.

You were raised to believe you are always right. You are given the most time to speak in every room — always allowed to dominate conversations. This is perhaps why you won’t let it go when I use the word Orthodoxy to describe old-guard conservatives or traditionalists in the United States. You have to tell me, “No, you are using that word incorrectly.”

Even as I write this essay, you are still lecturing me on the connotations and denotations of Orthodoxy, prattling in my ear. I’m such a foolish girl. Those people aren’t “right” or “correct” so they can’t be…


I admit it’s also a personal request

My tattoo has five maple leaves. One for each of my brothers and my sister. I got it on the one-year anniversary of my brother’s suicide. (Sorry about the sock marks, I was basically never going to be without them due to cold feet from frostbite as a child)

I made a sacrifice. I wanted to save the children I love more than anything from the abuse I was experiencing. It may have all been for nothing.

By taking over the parenting from my mother, I didn’t prevent my younger brothers and sister from experiencing trauma nearly as much as I hoped.

My sister was taken from my mother when she was a breastfeeding infant. You may have recently heard about this happening again. I was ten and the oldest so it didn’t affect me as severely. I have another brother who took his own life, so I would…


A Product of Corrupt Times

Photo by 贝莉儿 NG on Unsplash

I saw a tweet that said, “If there is an afterlife, I will demand an apology from God.”

I immediately understood. Perhaps I am not like many others. But I dread the idea of dying and “waking up” alive somewhere else. I am not eager to run into all of my dead relatives. My relatives were always good church people, so they were headed to heaven, but they didn’t give us the time of day. As a result, I don’t have images of heaven as an idyllic place.

People are most influenced in their beliefs about what happens after death…

Jordan Bray

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