SKEW+A with Shannon Dingle
The SKEW team just released our first issue yesterday, but we have one more staff member to introduce you to. Keep reading–you just might discover your new pop culture obsession, or your new favorite writer.
Managing Editor / LUPITA FANGIRL
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
So tell us your story! How did you become who you are today?
I’ve loved writing ever since I learned how. I am an activist in my own lane and amplifier of voices from other lanes. I live with PTSD and physical disabilities as a result of childhood abuse, so I’m most often using my own voices in those areas.
As the mother of three black children, two white children, and one Asian child – several with disabilities, one with HIV, and one who identifies as gender creative – I speak out on racial awareness and privilege to white audiences, HIV education to those without HIV, and gender expansiveness to those who are more accustomed to binary gender definitions. I grew up in the Tampa area, went to college at UNC-Chapel Hill, taught middle school special education with Teach For America in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, and now live and write from Raleigh, North Carolina.
I’ve been with my husband Lee since our freshman year of college, married for almost 13 years now. In addition to our six kids, we have three dogs, one cat, three chinchillas, and two bearded dragons.
What are you passionate about? What’s your goal—either now or for your whole life?
I’m passionate about being generous and telling the truth, I grew up in a home of secrets, and I adopted prejudices from the environment in which I was raised. As I raise my children with more empathy and openness than I ever knew, I’m also learning to assume that everyone is doing the best they can and find that I’m more generous with others when I live that way. More than anything else, I’m passionately in love with my husband Lee, who has taught me through the years that men can be trusted, vulnerability can be worth it, and sex is beautiful.
What excites you about writing for SKEW? What do you envision for this magazine, and what goals do you have?
In a world full of division, we need to find common language to learn how to talk to each other and bring about heart change. Pop culture can be serious or silly or so many other things, but it can also be shared language to bring us together so we can begin to truly see and know one another. I see SKEW as a vehicle toward that end, as stories shared around pop culture can teach us how to come to the table together. Once we’ve connected there, we can ultimately do the work of truth-telling and repentance and healing to make peace instead of simply keeping peace by avoiding hard stories.
Pop culture is so much more than frivolous escape or mindless entertainment. It can be shared joy and grief and celebration and loss and comedy and tragedy and drama, among audiences who share little in common ideologically. My hope for SKEW is that the art of story and stories of art can create brave spaces for needed conversations.
Pop culture guilty pleasure?
Quirky reality shows, especially those involving polygamous families.
Shemar Moore and nearly every character, male or female, in Black Panther.
What are your words to live by?
Be kind and curious. My husband and I say that our aim in parenting is to raise our kids to love Jesus and not be assholes; if we can only get one, then we’ll take the latter over the former.
Who inspires you?
My kids. I’m an activist to make the world a better place for them, I work through my issues in therapy so they can see the value of personal growth, and I’m hopeful for the future because I know they’ll lead it.