R. Eric Thomas didn’t know he was different until the world told him so. Everywhere he went—whether it was his rich and mostly white suburban high school, his conservative black church, or his Ivy League college in a big city—he found himself on the outside looking in. Thomas joins us at Town Hall to offer essays, by turns hysterical and heartfelt, drawn from his book Here for It: Or, How To Save Your Soul in America.
Aiming to redefine what it means to be an “other” through the lens of his own life experience, Thomas steps forward with humility and empathy to recalls his struggles—the endeavor to reconcile his Christian identity with his sexuality, the exhaustion of code-switching in college, accidentally getting famous on the internet (for the wrong reason), and the surreal experience of covering the 2016 election. By re-envisioning what “normal” means, Thomas grapples with questions of building identity, maintaining hope in the face of an unpredictable future, and putting ourselves at the center of our own stories. Listen in for Thomas’ deeply personal journey calibrated towards life on the margins, struggles with self-acceptance, and the desire to shine more brightly in a dark world.
R. Eric Thomas is a senior staff writer at Elle online where he has written the daily pop culture and politics humor column “Eric Reads the News” since 2016. His work has appeared in the New York Times, among many other publications. He also is the long-running host of The Moth StorySlams in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.