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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.

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.

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. 

Alexandra
Cummings

CONTRIBUTING WRITER /

Growing up in a family full of naturally artistic people, I never felt like I had an ounce of creative talent. That was until I was putting words together to create a story. When I’m not helping give a voice to underrepresented communities alongside the team here at Ms. Mayhem, I am working for a nonpartisan nonprofit that is fighting to improve women’s representation in our government. From women leading in their communities to individuals breaking barriers to carve a new path for themselves after, I love putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) to help present people with another perspective on societal issues.

Keegan
Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITER & COPY EDITOR /

I am a queer, nonbinary freelance journalist and artist living in Los Angeles (they/them) with a love for all things spooky and a sweet spot for ’90s Eurodance/pop. I have a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and media communications with a minor in sociology from Colorado State University. When I’m not working, I’m probably wearing headphones and bopping around Hollywood or watching a horror movie with my bratty hairless cat in my chaotic, fully collaged studio apartment.