Dealbreaker: He's the Only Gay Boy I Know, the story of the boy A.M. Bowen pursed because there was no one else.
"You know the idea that the distance provided in killing someone with a gun facilitates violence? You don't have to see someone die, so you worry less about killing them. Instant Messenger came out when I was in the sixth grade or so, and I noticed almost immediately that people would say brutal things to each other via IM that they would never say in person. Internet communication fostered cruelty. This was a bad trend; it became especially dangerous when wielded by middle schoolers.
I've been suspicious of airing dirty laundry on the internet ever since. But I thought there was value in telling this story: It spoke to the confusion of growing up queer. In the 'It Gets Better' era, I know these kinds of stories matter to queer youth. So I figured I'd try to do the whole internet-overshare thing as an exercise in empathy. I tracked subjects of my piece down on Facebook, wrote them messages, spoke on the phone for a while to one of them. I sent them drafts of the piece. They didn't tell me it was cruel—which meant I hadn't been as mean to them as I thought, or they were nicer to me than they should have been. In any case, we all got to reflect on the weirdness of being teenagers, being closeted, aiming for whatever dudes you could meet, and being much smarter about those things now that we're in our mid-20s. It was an unexpectedly rich experience, talking to these boys again. There's something fun about subverting the nastiness-enabling qualities of the internet."