Linda Tirado

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Linda Tirado
Occupation(s)Author, photographer, activist

Linda Tirado is an American author, freelance photographer and political activist. Her memoir Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America is about her life as a member of the working class.[1][2] She has also written articles for The Guardian, The Daily Beast and other online periodicals. In 2014, she was included in the BBC's 100 Women.[3]

Tirado first came to public attention in October 2013 when a comment she made about living in poverty on a Gawker Media website, Killer Martinis, went viral; she later expanded it into her book. Shortly afterwards, an article in the Houston Press brought to light that she had come from a comfortable background where she had been a boarding student at the Cranbrook Schools in Michigan and worked as a political campaign consultant between 2004 and 2010. The writer attacked Tirado for purveying poverty porn, describing poverty through negative stereotypes those who have never experienced it would expect to read about.[4] Tirado had disclosed this herself on a GoFundMe page she was running; while she described her essay as "impressionistic" she made public records showing that for several years she and her family had received Medicaid,[5] welfare and WIC.[6][2]

In May 2020, she was injured in her left eye while she was covering the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis–Saint Paul. Tirado believed the injury was caused by a rubber bullet fired by the police, though it was later reported to be a sponge bullet.[7] Following surgery, the prognosis was that she would be blind in that eye. She returned to work the following day.[8][9][10][11] Tirado filed suit against the police around June 14, 2020.[7] On May 26, 2022, in the protest aftermath, the Minneapolis City Council agreed to a $600,000 settlement.[12]

In August 2020, Tirado received the John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award from the National Press Club.[13]

See also[edit]

  • Mackenzie Fierceton, Penn student who withdrew from a Rhodes scholarship over allegations that she had exaggerated her background as a foster child and downplayed her affluent, privately-educated childhood.


  1. ^ Shipler, David K. (26 December 2014). "'Hand to Mouth,' by Linda Tirado". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b Goldberg, Michelle (11 December 2013). "Linda Tirado Is Not a Hoax: The author of "Why I Make Terrible Decisions" discovers the dark side of Internet fame". The Nation. Archived from the original on 31 October 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Who are the 100 Women 2014?". BBC. 26 October 2014.
  4. ^ Leicht, Angelica (29 November 2013). "That Viral 'Poverty Thoughts' Essay Is Totally Ridiculous". Houston Press. Archived from the original on 18 September 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  5. ^ "Medicaid eligibility letter". Amazon Web Services. 27 July 2010. Archived from the original on 11 April 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  6. ^ "Welcome to WIC". Amazon Web Services. 2 July 2010. Archived from the original on 11 April 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Photographer amid Minneapolis unrest sues, says officers blinded her in eye with nonlethal shot". Star Tribune.
  8. ^ Tirado, Linda (29 May 2020). "Hey folks, took a tracer found to the face (I think, given my backpack) and am headed into surgery to see if we can save my left eye". @KillerMartinis. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  9. ^ Tirado, Linda (30 May 2020). "I hat we think happened is I took a rubber bullet to the face". @KillerMartinis. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  10. ^ "A Reporter's Cry on Live TV: 'I'm Getting Shot! I'm Getting Shot!'". The New York Times. 30 May 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  11. ^ Tirado, Linda (30 May 2020). "No worries, I've been back at work for five hours now. My job is to witness and they only got my left eye. My right one is good to go". @KillerMartinis. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  12. ^ Webster, Tony (26 May 2022). "Minneapolis settles lawsuit with Linda Tirado, journalist blinded in one eye during May 2020 unrest". Minnesota Reformer. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  13. ^ "National Press Club Honors Linda Tirado With Press Freedom Award". National Press Club. 20 August 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2021.

External links[edit]