Zayn Malik on One Direction: “It’s a Part of Me”

One fateful day in 2010, Zayn Malik auditioned for X-Factor — and the rest is history. it’s been six years since he first joined One Direction, and while the fact is that he left the band in 2015, it’s a bittersweet split. We still have all of the 1D glory days, and, of course, he’s gone on to create Mind of Mine, and singles like “Pillowtalk.” For Zayn, this is just the beginning.

And while many people often like to pit the singer against his former bandmates, it turns out he’s super grateful for the opportunity the band gave them. Teen Vogue has an exclusive excerpt from his new book, Zayn, and Directioners — get your Kleenex ready. This will make you want to happy-cry, because while he may have grown and matured out of his first gig, he’s still got a space in his heart for 1D.

“I got to meet amazing fans, and I can never thank all of them enough for the love and support they gave me during the good times, and the bad,“ Zayn writes about his experience in one of the biggest boy bands the world has ever seen.

"I can honestly say I’m proud of a lot of stuff from the One Direction days. I’m not sure people realize that, but I am. I’ve got the memorabilia – the platinum discs we received with every album – all over my house. I have a wall dedicated to displaying them. One Direction was an incredible experience in its own right, and it’s a part of me, an integral part of my history, and I’m never going to deny that aspect of my life.”

Where exactly do these accolades live, do you ask? We have an exclusive look at the wall, and it’s one major tribute to everything 1D has accomplished in the group’s first four years together. So basically like our shrines to our favorite group, but infinitely cooler. (


Hamilton adjacent content: Leslie Odom, Jr. sings a song written by Sara Bareilles, envisioning President Obama’s thoughts on the election, from This American Life. 

Open today! Experience a century of immersive cinema and art in Dreamlands. Featuring installations, drawing, sculpture, performance, painting, and new media, the exhibition surveys the work of artists who have pushed the material and conceptual boundaries of cinema. Dreamlands is the most technologically complex project mounted in the Whitney’s new building to date, and fills the 18,000-square-foot fifth-floor galleries, as well as includes a film series in the theater. 

[Hito Steyerl (b. 1966), Factory of the Sun, 2015. High-definition video, color, sound; 22:56 min., looped; with environment, dimensions variable. Installation view: Invisible Adversaries, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, 2016. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; Marieluise Hessel Collection. Image courtesy of the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photograph by Sarah Wilmer]

This feels seasonally appropriate.

So Gallery Nucleus is hosting a 10th Anniversary of Laika Show and it opens tomorrow!

I contributed three multimedia pieces and this is the first.

The idea behind the series was to celebrate the craftsmanship and tangible beauty of all the Laika films! The trick was doing this while at the same time working digitally. In the spirit of the animators, I combined aspects from both worlds! So the main artwork is digital but I sewed on real buttons onto the print! The hands are digital and start to fade away as I wanted their presence to be part of the image as well (cause I’ve always loved this scene).

Anyway, the show details are all over here and happy Friday!

My Son Wants to Be a Princess for Halloween!

“My 6-year-old son wants to be a princess this Halloween. I’m fine with it (he dresses up like a princess at home all the time!) but I’m a little worried about handling potential pushback from neighbors and friends at school. Do you have ideas on the best way to go about it?”

Question Submitted Anonymously
Answered by Katie Hadjolian

Katie Says:

What a joy to know that you and your son have fun with dress-up play! It’s unfortunate that many folks see fit to impose gender-based limits on the scope of the imagination, and on clothing in general. Congratulations to you on your desire to appropriately respond to any remarks these folks may make.

Since both you and your son already have positive feelings about him dressing up like a princess, your primary focus can be on maintaining—and effectively communicating—those positive feelings. Simply expressing your opinion of how your son makes a fantastic princess will cover a tremendous number of bases. When confronted with negativity, asking open-ended “What makes you think that?” or “Why not?” questions can either give you an escape route as they consider their answer and you move on, or make them consider why they have made the statement in the first place. If a little sarcasm seems called for, “Um, it’s a costume,” will probably do the trick (no pun intended).

If you think your son is unaware that people could react negatively to what he’s wearing, it may help to coach him through some responses both positive and negative in order to frame it as a social-skills exercise instead of a worst-case prep session.

Comment: “Hey, I love your princess dress!”  
Response: “Thank you! I love it too!”  

Comment: “Why are you wearing a dress? That looks silly.”
Response: “I like this and I think it looks great.”

My own son was several years older than yours when we first encountered resistance to his enjoyment of a found piece of “girl’s’” clothing. He has yet to share with me what anyone said, and I honestly don’t know if anyone said anything negative directly to him or not; I did, however, have what amounted to a silent staredown with a child care provider. It was not particularly pleasant for either one of us and if I had it to do again, I would have prepared as you are preparing now, including ensuring that my son was comfortable sticking up for himself.

Interestingly enough, when one thinks of kids and Halloween costumes, having folks try to figure out the identity of the costumed person is normally a significant part of a Halloween-themed event. So for those who simply cannot abide the thought of a boy dressing as a princess, pointing out to them that a costume is normally worn in order to make the person unrecognizable may be enough to have them stand down. There’s much behind that statement, of course, but there’s certainly no need to enlighten anyone in a single sidewalk or party-table encounter.

Remember that any negative reactions you may experience do not have to do personally with you or your son, but with others’ general discomfort with the idea of challenging gender norms. In fact, it’s very likely some of them may even be envious of your support of your son’s ability to dress up however he wants to. I have found to my pleasant surprise that with each passing year, people are generally more accepting and supportive than before. May that be the case for you and your son this year.

Finally, I recommend you pick up a copy of Laurin Mayeno’s (another writer here at My Kid Is Gay!) new children’s book One of a Kind Like Me/Único Como Yo, which tells the story of a little boy who likes to dress up as a princess, too!

Enjoy the holiday!
140 characters, plus a few thousand more, on the Twitter hubbub | Chelsea Cain: NYT Bestseller

Chelsea Cain written about why she left twitter.

Uh, hi.  So some of you may have noticed that I recently deactivated my Twitter account.   (Apparently that’s a news story?)  I wanted to clarify what happened.  I write (wrote) an 8-issue comic series for Marvel, called MOCKINGBIRD.   During the life of that series, the tenor on my Twitter feed changed.   Comics readers are 99% the best people you’d ever want to meet.  The other 1% can be really mean.  Perhaps that statistic holds up across humans, in general, but in my experience, this is a different kind of mean.  It’s misogynist and dismissive and obsessive and it thrives off taking down other people.  I’ve blocked 8 people in my many years on Twitter; 7 were on Wednesday.  The first person I blocked, several months ago, had this to say:

“Thanks, @chelseacain for ruining my favorite character with your feminist crap.”

I engage with a lot of people on Twitter, even those with criticism.  But that tweet is not looking for a discussion.  It’s not brutal or sexually threatening.  It’s just a quick elbow to the gut. 

While I agree that the tweet in question is a plain “you suck”*, if that’s her example of a mean tweet, I congratulate her for pretty mild internet experience.

But know that I did not leave Twitter because of rape threats or because someone had posted my address, or any of the truly vile tactics you hear about.  I left Twitter because of the ordinary daily abuse that I decided I didn’t want to live with anymore. The base level of casual crassness and sexism. 

The only given example of casual crassness and sexism doesn’t really fire up my imagination. But it is worth to note that media written about harassment of Chelsea Cain without contacting her in the first place about what happened. I guess they didn’t know how to do it without her twitter.

Sure, by the time I deactivated my account on Thursday morning, the whole thing had imploded.  And I bet that some of the thousands of posts on my feed were really really vicious.  But I don’t know.  Because you know what?  I didn’t read them.  That’s the power we have, right?  If a stranger yells at you on the street?  You walk away.

Let me be clear: I did not leave Twitter because I was trolled; I was trolled because I said I was going to leave Twitter.  

I left Twitter because, in the end, all the good stuff about Twitter didn’t make up for all the bad stuff.

Kudos to you for clearing things up and having rational mindset while dealing with the internet. Numerously situations like those were used as a pr ploy, regardless of how little there was anything vile in mentions of people claiming victimhood. I saw it myself couple of times. Glad that you are honest about how you experienced what happened.

*Though the only thing required to make it a legit complaint was to point out that Mockingbird wasn’t “I AM A FEEEEEEEEEMINIST RAAAARRRRR” mouthpiece before Chelsea Cain decided to turn her into one. Sorry, but if you use established character to push your politics and push your tweeter friends, you are going to face some backlash. Pop culture entertainment is about entertaining the most of people, regardless of politics. Politics, by nature, alienate people with different opinions. If you want to make your work political, you better be so good at it that it will convince others to your politics. Otherwise it will be unconvincing, and those who remain unconvinced will tell you that your work is crap.

Regarding quality of your Mockingbird, was there any followup to the plotline of a mutant girl that killed like three people in, I think, issue #3? What was one of her victim’s name, Dick Profit? Did his death lead to any ramifications for the girl, or was he just a one-dimensional character to kill and forgot - a giveaway for a hack writer that should better stay at a simple entertainment, instead of making political crap? The issue in question ended in a really confusing way, without telling readers what happened to the mutant girl. I thought that Mockingbird got caught in the bobble and was put in her dream world, but I didn’t bother with the series further.

to writers, especially fic writers:

there’s a lot of posts going around that tell you all kinds of things about how to write. don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of value to learning conventional techniques, but that’s not all there is to writing. if all you do is write to conventional techniques like it’s a checklist you’re gonna have a bad time. and that’s not fair! you should have fun with your writing.

so i suggest this: ignore literally any conventional technique if you want to for whatever you want to try out, or even just because it sounds like fun. you will be surprised by how much readers can follow, as were jose saramago, e.e. cummings, james joyce, virginia woolf, gertrude stein, f.t. marinetti, so on, so on. even if what’s fun for you includes all the ‘never dos’ you see on lists about fanfics, do it, because i promise you: anything you can think of that people say are ‘never dos’ are things that have been done with amazing effect in the right context. yes, even not using paragraphs, or speech marks, or proper punctuation.

there is a place for learning conventional techniques, and there is a place for experimentation, and those places are wherever the fuck you feel like.

please, have fun. write whatever you want however you want. don’t feel obligated to write to other people’s standards, because i promise, you’ll always lose. write to your standards. and always remember: you don’t owe anybody shit. so have fun and write whatever the hell you want.

“We used to work for the same organisation, it’s where we met. We talked for ages on why Somalis in Manchester had a lack of positive Somali role models. Even though many Somalis working for that organisation, it seemed that the frustration was confided to us. The familiar media representation in Manchester is of young Somalis in prison, in gangs and engaging in drug crime.  Our generation struggles a lot, and the negative media influence will affect them one way or another. They will grow up in a world that tells them that you are not enough and be labelled with a stereotype.  How do you empower these young Somalis when there is a lack of proper representation?  We decided to bring together and capture, using our mobile phones, the interaction between young Somali children and their mentors. Create a platform where people that speak like them, look like them and have similar background can showcase their talents and inspire them. There have been many challenges, some didn’t get the concept, but that didn’t deter us. It’s time for the Somalis in Manchester to get rid of the imposed box.”

(Manchester, United Kingdom)

“Waxaanu u wada shaqayn jirnay shirkad, hadana waxaanu muddo ka wada hadli jirnay, sidee u dhacday in Soomaalida ku nool magaalada Maanjestar aysan lahayn dad Soomaaliyeed oo lagaga daydo dhanka wanaagga. Inkastoo Soomaali badan u shaqayso shirkada hadana waxay u muuqaday in dhibaatada anaga kali na gaartay. Soomaalida waxaa u galay saxafada in dhalinyarada Soomaaliyeed jeelasha ku jiraan, noqdeen kuwo burcad ah iyo qaar ka shaqaysta daroogada. Jiilkeena waxay la tacalayaan dhibaato badan, saamaynta xun ee saxaafadda ku yeelatay waa mid si uun u samaynaysa qofkasta. Waxay ku korayaan adduun ku oranaya ma tihid qof dhamaystiran isla markaana ugu yeeraya magacyo iyo waxyaabo naloo hafray. Sidee u dhiirigelisaan dhalinyaradda Soomaaliyeed hadii cid matesha aysan jirin? Waxaan go’aansanay in aan isku keeno isla markaana anagoo isticmaalayna aalada moobilada. Wada hadalada dhexmara dhalinyarada Soomaalida iyo kuwa ay ku daydaan. Waa in lasameeyo goob dadku kulmaan ku sheekaystaan, ku haboon iyaga isla markaana kusoo bandhigaan kartidooda iyo curintooda, si u helaan dhiirigelin. Waxaa jiray caqabado badan, dadka qarkood ma aysan fahmin, laakiin taasi nama joojin. Waxaa la jooga wakhtigii Soomaalida ku nool Maanjestar ka takhalusi lahayeen dhibaatooyinka ay u geestaan kuwa kale.”

(Maanjestar, Boqortooyada Ingiriiska)