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the ms. mayhem story /

Ms. Mayhem grew out of a desire for one place to go to discover stories about women in alternative industries, like skateboarding, graffiti and tattooing. I couldn’t find a news outlet that focused on women’s issues beyond abortion or sexual assault. I became frustrated visiting multiple sites and social media platforms, trying to find femme-identifying individuals in each area of my diverse interests, and news coverage that empowered us. So I set out to create the platform I desperately needed in my life. 

Our name may seem familiar to many who were around for the feminist movement in the ‘70s. Ms. Magazine was a major influence on second-wave feminism, as we hope to be on the current wave. As our name suggests, we like disrupting the status quo. In many cases, that will mean we present some uncomfortable arguments or data that clash with your beliefs. As long as it’s truthful, we’ll report it.

I look forward to opening up a dialogue about what it means to be femme, and how current events shape our daily lives. I’ve gathered some of my favorite journalists who represent several intersections of gender identity, sexuality, class, race, ability and solid writing. We aim to bring a fresh perspective on feminism, politics and entertainment to the table, and in the process destroy stigma in our own personal beliefs. And as much as our audience is along for the ride, we’re here for it too. 

 

-Madison Lauterbach 

Yvie Oddly and Jehovah Thickness at Denver PrideFest June 2017. Photo by Ali Mai.

meet our reporters /

Madison
Lauterbach

FOUNDER & EDITOR /

I was born in Denver raised in the surrounding suburbs. I graduated from MSU Denver with a degree in journalism and a minor in political science. I was the news editor of the university’s newspaper The Metropolitan for two years and an intern at The Daily Camera and The Sentinel. I’m that person who argues about politics at the bar, like the time I won a debate with my ex about federal taxes and he keyed both sides of my car. 

Annie
Burky

CO-MANAGING EDITOR /

I am a native Coloradan with a bachelor’s in international affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder. I’ve worked with the Peace Corps as a literacy specialist in Uganda and a language instructor in China. I’ve also recently accepted a fellowship at NYU to receive a master’s in writing. If you have an intramural soccer team who is looking for a player I’m interested!

Esteban
Fernandez

CO-MANAGING EDITOR /

Long commutes with NPR allowed my long-standing love affair with politics, history and science to continue past my undergrad days at CU Boulder. Devouring everything from Radiolab, This American Life, and other podcasts soon made me realize it was what I wanted to do as well. I attended MSU Denver, where I served as editor in chief of The Metropolitan. I’ve written freelance since then, covering topics like the business side of the hemp industry. In my spare time, I regularly prowl Amazon Prime for yet another trashy found footage horror movie and regularly feed my addiction to science fiction.

Ali
Mai

CO-FOUNDER, VISUAL EDITOR  /

I grew up in Colorado and have covered Aurora, Denver and now Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado. I studied journalism at MSU Denver, covering news and feature stories in the Denver Metro area for The Metropolitan, where I served as photo editor from 2017 to 2018 before a year-long run as editor in chief. Before my current roles, I interned and freelanced as a photojournalist for Sentinel Colorado in Aurora. I’m also an acting board member in the SPJ Colorado Pro Chapter, serving as secretary since 2019.

Cassandra
Ballard

CO-FOUNDER & CONTRIBUTING WRITER /

I was born outside of the Denver area and have spent the majority of my adult life living in the city. I spent a few years living on the western side of the Continental Divide, and I yearn to go back. Growing up, I was a competitive ballerina and I would have gone professional, but high school happened. In my early 20s, I lived as a ski bum on the Western Slope. I studied journalism at MSU Denver and worked as the features editor at The Metropolitan.

Polina
Saran

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER /

I was born in Latvia and raised in St. Petersburg and Moscow during the collapse of the Soviet Union. During that time, stores had no food and the Russian mafia fought for power and made the city into the country’s capital of crime. At 18, I went back to Latvia where I earned a bachelor’s in psychology. In 2013, like many other Europeans, I moved to London to learn English and find work. After that, my desire to speak English led me to study more and I moved to Denver, where I earned a second degree in social documentary and video production.

Padideh
Aghanoury

CONTRIBUTING WRITER  /

I was born and raised in Colorado and currently live in Denver. You can find my writing in other local publications like 303 Magazine and OUT FRONT. I tend to write about underground music, and am personally involved in several DIY projects around town. Outside of music, I am deeply passionate about worker’s rights, gender and racial equity and the abolitionism of the police, military and prisons. When I’m not busy writing or reading, I like to paint, garden, make music and ride my bike.

Amelia
Petrini

CONTRIBUTING WRITER /

I’m originally from Asuncion, Paraguay and moved to Texas in 1996, but I’ve called Colorado home since 2011. I have a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from MSU Denver and a minor in social psychology. My biggest passion is figure skating, something I attempt to find the time for most days of the week. In my spare time I like to draw and explore new languages.

Jenna Lee
Thomas

CONTRIBUTING WRITER /

For a decade, I worked as a TV news anchor and investigative reporter. In 2017, I stepped away from the lights and cameras to go through fertility treatments and bring my beautiful twin boys into the world. Now that Abe & Eli are almost three, whining excessively and protesting napping, I’m not sure that was the best move. I feel fortunate to cross paths with Ms. Mayhem. It’s a privilege to write stories focusing on women’s issues. On a personal note, I can’t get by without Diet Coke, dry shampoo, and Craig, my husband. 

Lexi
Reich

CONTRIBUTING WRITER /

As a writer and reader, I believe in the power of words. Outside of freelancing for Ms. Mayhem Magazine, I am a Managing Editor at Jaunt Media Collective, the publishing company behind CO YOGA + Life Magazine and Spoke+Blossom Magazine. Whether I’m in rural Morocco interviewing young women on their sexuality or in the Rocky Mountains learning about Colorado public land, I’m happiest with a paper and pen.