Meet the New Girls: Allow Me to Introduce Autostraddle’s Recent Recruits

Hey have you noticed all the new faces and places on this fine internet establishment that we call Autostraddle dot com? In addition to ASS (Autostraddle Social! Get on it! Or under or around it or in the bathroom with Marina HEY LOOK it’s a conversation about books!!), we’ve added several new writers and otherwise-busied people of interest to The Team! Sometimes we kick off an Autostraddle tenure with an introductory post of some kind (like this or this or this) but sometimes we don’t, and so today seemed like a good time for you to get better acquainted with these sparkly souls. Were you aware that one of our diligent writers enjoys dino nugget quesadillas? Do you know which of the Graces has conflicting feelings about Transformers and which has similar feelings about the Oxford comma? Who’s married? Who wears red dresses? Who’s probably eating a bowl of cereal right now, this very minute? You’ll just have to read all the words underneath these words to find out!  

BRITTANI

Bio: I’m very well groomed for a crazy person. I love playing and watching sports (especially basketball and rugby). I’m an aspiring television writer. This is mainly because I watch a lot of TV and need to justify this somehow. I’m allergic to cats and dogs but believe I can overcome this with sheer will power. My friends find it entertaining to have me list things I like because I’m picky about everything. With that said, I like Autostraddle and most famously, dino nugget quesadillas.

Interesting Fact: Coming up with interesting facts is the bane of my existence. Why is it so hard? It’s never anything good. My most concrete life goal is to have an empty Netflix queue. It’s never gonna happen though.

Where are you from?

I was born on the west side of Chicago but lived just south of the city most of my life.

What do you like to write about?

Sports, television, music, and things that bother me. I also like making fun of people because that’s how I show affection.

How did you find Autostraddle?

I think I came across it while googling something. Or maybe Tinkerbell came to me in a dream. The world may never know.

When did you know you were gay?

When I kissed a girl and then kissed another one and so on and so forth.

You may have seen her around:

2011 Women’s Soccer World Cup OPEN THREAD Nervous Excitement and Feelings

His Girl has a Girlfriend: On Bisexuality in Hip-Hop

Check out her ASS.

CHLOE

Bio: I graduated with a BA in International Affairs, which has prepared me for petty bureaucracy or terrorism. Career ambitions include Latin American dictator, eurotrashtic international party girl, or feminist pornographer. For now I write for a NOLA music magazine.

Interesting Fact: My dream vacation is riding the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Where are you from?

New Orleans.

What do you like to write about?

Dating, sex, relationships, feminism.

How did you find Autostraddle?

Jezebel.

When did you know you were gay?

When I was 20. I felt instantly attracted to a really gay looking girl and then hated her.

You may have seen her around:

So You’re Gay and Your Friends Are Straight, Now What?

Mary Gray Knows What it Feels Like For Gay Kids in Rural America

Check out her ASS.

CAROLYN

Bio: Carolyn is really into the contents of her Google Reader, having literary crushes, and typography. She lives in Montreal, is looking for a job of the editing/writing/getting paid variety, and has 20 books in her to-read pile. Far too much of her life is based around being lactose-intolerant.

Interesting Fact: Carolyn used to be able to recite most of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. She has since discovered the outside world.

 

Where are you from?

Aurora, Ontario.

What do you like to write about?

Anything gay, but especially deconstructing news, books, and the patriarchy.

How did you find Autostraddle?

I googled Bette Porter at some point in mid-2009 and it was love.

When did you know you were gay?

When I was reading a (then-closeted) friend’s “anonymous” blog, and I started thinking I was gay, and then I started thinking, “I’m not gay, I just want to be gay because I have a crush on her.” The lightbulb moment happened a little while later.

You may have seen her around:

Read a F*cking Book, Lesbo: This Summer’s Newest Bestest Books

Listling Without Commentary: Rejected Liveblog Topics From My Personal Life

Check out her ASS.

M. J.

Bio: I write like a maniac by day and then at night I go out dancing where the gay people are. I also never stop thinking about New York City and live my life according to the number 3. I don’t know what else.

Interesting Fact: M.J. is apparently SO interesting she couldn’t tell us, maybe she’ll tell you.

Where are you from?

All over the country, but high school was in the midwest. Now New York City.

What do you like to write about?

Parties, cities, books, music, people who are doing interesting and creative things, my weird life.

How did you find Autostraddle?

Someone told me about it. We were sitting on a bed in a dorm room.

When did you know you were gay?

Hit me hard around 12-13 thanks to the cute dreadlocked Midwest-hippie girls at my middle school, didn’t know what “gay” was; hit me hard all over again at 18 thanks to the cute NYC train wreck girls, by then had heard of “gay,” was relieved/afraid.

You may have seen her around:

Where the Bois Are: Bklyn Boihood is the Future

Everything You Should Know About CREEP

Check out her ASS.

CARMEN RIOS

Bio: I’m a full-time student at American University and to keep myself busy I also run our campus women’s group. I didn’t intend to major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies… but it happened. Instead of having a puppy, I spend my time on the Internet. I like to watch Sex and the City and the Darjeeling Limited. My favorite things are girls on sailboats, cuddling, Drake, and pizza. I call myself the baddest bitch. These are the projects I have worked with and want you to love: THE LINE / Hollaback / SPARK

Interesting Fact: I rap / wear red dresses / sign post-its / label my things in the fridge as Lil C.

Where are you from?

I’ve been wreaking havoc on Washington, DC via New Jersey.

What do you like to write about?

Feelings, feminism, and Eileen Myles.

How did you find Autostraddle?

Katrina Casino

When did you know you were gay?

Long after everyone else.

You may have seen her around:

Pure Poetry #6: Staceyann Chin

+ The Museum of Broken Hearts

LGBTQ News Roundup: The Kids Weren’t Alright, and Neither Were All of The Adults

Check out her ASS.

GRACE

Bio: I spend much of my time reading and writing and talking about politics and political theory. I bike a lot. I have seen all the Transformers movies and cannot figure out if Michael Bay is the worst director ever or an insane genius. I think he might be both, and this really confuses me. I like beer and bourbon.

Interesting Fact: With the right outfit, a wig, prosthetic makeup, and poor lighting, Grace could be mistaken for Shane.

Where are you from?

Originally from the southern U.S.

What do you like to write about?

Politics, theory, bikes, probably other stuff too, just haven’t done it yet, so don’t know.

How did you find Autostraddle?

Googled “lesbian party in my pants” (I don’t remember).

When did you know you were gay?

In college or thereabouts.

You may have seen her around:

What the Heck is Going On With DOMA? Let Me Explain.

DoJ Likely to Appeal DADT Injunction, Isn’t That Fun?!

Check out her ASS.

LIZZ

Bio: The best way to describe myself is to give you a snap shot of my life. Right now, I am sitting in my living room having just come home from a children’s theater group where I’m doing the costumes for Grease. I’m putting off working on my med school applications to eat a bowl of cereal. I’m super distracted while I’m eating because I keep thinking I should take a picture for that lesbians eating cereal tumblr. Unfortunately I’m wearing pajamas/too lazy. This is my whole life.

Interesting Fact: Liz once won a bet that she could dress like the 50s for a month.

Where are you from?

Amherst, MA, but I live in Boston now.

What do you like to write about?

Fashion and TV.

How did you find Autostraddle?

I went to college with Rachel K, Autostraddle’s Senior News Editor.

When did you know you were gay?

When I was in elementary school watching The Craft in my friend’s basement.

You may have seen her around:

I’ll Have What She’s Wearing Returns with Jessie, a Cute Tomboy from Atlanta

TOMS Guy Speaks at Anti-Gay Group Focus on the Family’s Event, Apparently Regrets That Now

Check out her ASS.

ROSE

Bio: Hi, I’m Rose and I’m a new contributing editor at Autostraddle. While I love writing, my main passion is composing music – I’m majoring in composition at a music school, and hope to write operas someday. I also really love history, reading, politics, movies, trivia and many other things.

Interesting Fact: Rose was an extra in the movie Youth in Revolt.

Where are you from?

I grew up in the Detroit area, but currently live in Baltimore.

What do you like to write about?

I love writing in general, but particularly about music, politics, history, literature and pop culture, as well as how any of them intersect.

How did you find Autostraddle?

I was linked to it on AfterEllen back when I was a regular commenter over there, and it didn’t take long before I was hooked!

When did you know you were bi?

I saw The L Word as part of a college class in my sophomore year, and it clarified a lot of things for me.

You may have seen her around:

Michele Bachmann is the Bellatrix Lestrange of the GOP Presidential Candidates

Rhode Island Passes Civil Unions and Nobody’s Happy About It

Check out her ASS.

MEREDYDD

Bio: In my day job I am a digital/social strategist and consumer insight ‘expert’ working to solve interesting problems for clients big and small. I spend my days finding patterns in the Internet and then figuring out what they mean so we can sell people stuff. In other words: I read blogs all day. I am helping AutoStraddle define their brand and understand their readers better.

Interesting Fact: Meredydd is like a human wikipedia but only for useless trivia about B-List TV stars from the early 90s.

Where are you from?

Toronto, Ontario

What do you like to write about?

Social media. Mobile. The future.

How did you find Autostraddle?

Through a linked article somewhere.

When did you know you were gay?

When watching movies as a kid, I only wanted to see ones with girls in them. I thought it was because I wanted to be them – I didn’t realize I wanted to date them.

INTERN BREN (laneia’s intern)

Bio: I’m a civil engineer by day. I sit in a cubicle and design water, wastewater and stormwater management systems. Riveting! But every other Wednesday night or so I drive 2 hours to the closest “big city” to do stand-up. The pinnacle of my career / claim to fame so far is I opened for Vickie Shaw last month at a fund raising event for our local Pride. I totally didn’t get paid and our Pride was mysteriously canceled the next week, but the flyer from that show is still on my fridge and still makes me smile. And I pretty much do whatever Laneia tells me to do. I’m her bitch.

Interesting Fact: I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my fingers.

Where are you from?

Originally? Hueytown, Alabama.

What do you like to write about?

Ice cubes, puppy breath and Dora the Explorer. I have some serious feelings about Dora the Explorer.

How did you find Autostraddle?

I witnessed its virtual birth. Riese used to recap The L Word, the one that wasn’t “real” and knew it. So I was there when that evolved into this.

When did you know you were gay?

When her lips met mine, so about 16 years ago in August.

You may have seen her around:

Bookstore Customers Say the Darndest Things

Some Weird and Not So Weird Habits of Famous Authors

Check out her ASS.

LAURA

Bio: I am originally from Chicago, but currently live in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne with my wife of 2 years and a dachshund named Silas. Before graduating from American University I spent two years with Americorps and attended the University of Oregon, thus hitting up both number one and two on the AS gay-friendly university list. As a job-seeking museum specialist I currently dabble in freelance research, volunteer work and renovating old houses.

Interesting Fact: Laura excels at killing mosquitos, but gets depressed at ending a tiny bloodsucking life.

Where are you from?

Chicago

What do you like to write about?

Food, fonts, comics, scientific studies and podcasts.

How did you find Autostraddle?

I was a longtime Autowin reader and also read Laneia’s past blog.

When did you know you were gay?

Dana Scully. In seriousness, I wasn’t interested in dating anybody in high school and when I got to college tried out a boy for one date, then saw an episode of The L Word and quickly realized that girls were amazing.

You may have seen her around:

NPR Appreciation Post: Top 10 Gayest This American Life Episodes

Check out her ASS.

INTERN GRACE (riese’s intern)

Bio: I am currently a student of journalism and theater and Autostraddle, not necessarily in that order. I like graphic design, “that’s what she said” jokes, roller coasters, names that start with vowels, threatening to punch people in the face, hot chocolate and cuddling, not necessarily in that order. I have mixed feelings about the Oxford comma. I’m Riese’s bitch. It’s as awesome as you would think.

Interesting Fact: Even with the right outfit, a wig, prosthetic makeup, and poor lighting, Intern Grace could never be mistaken for Shane.

Where are you from?

I was raised in Sandusky, Ohio, but I go to Ohio State in Columbus.

What do you like to write about?

Theater, geeky things, whatever they tell me to write about. Mostly Harry Potter, though.

How did you find Autostraddle?

Taylor Swift. I’m sorry.

When did you know you were gay?

I was a Very Gay Child, but I didn’t figure it out until the instant I stepped into the tawdry world of university life.

You may have seen her around:

Rejection 101: A Lesbian’s Guide To Getting Turned Down, Keeping Your Head UpPOTTERMORE is Harry Potter Forever

Check out her ASS.

INTERN JULIA (rachel’s intern)

Bio: I’m a 19 year-old feminist, poet, and queer culture enthusiast. I enjoy alphabetic order, bad puns, cats, the internet, public transportation, slang, sweater weather, and turning pants into jorts. When it isn’t summer, I attend St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where I’m involved in our campus’s feminist organization and regularly adhere to the ultra-liberal college student cliché by doing laundry sporadically, not wearing shoes, and making out with my friends. I hope to pursue a student-designed major that incorporates my interests in creative writing, education, intersections of ability, class, gender, race, and sex, and other systems of oppression, with the ultimate goal of graduating and eventually moving out of my parents’ house. For now, I’m interning for Autostraddle and Tumbl’n about cats from the comfort of my childhood bedroom, where there is floral wallpaper and Babar bedding.

Interesting Fact: I am ‘selectively ambidextrous’– I write my right hand, play pool with my left hand, use eating utensils and play ball-in-the cup with both hands, etc.

Where are you from?

DC Metro area.

What do you like to write about?

Poetry, prose, and feelings.

How did you find Autostraddle?

I somehow came across the Taylor Swift infograph in early 2010, and promptly fell in love with the entire Autostraddle site.

When did you know you were gay?

I’m queer-identified, but I became aware of my interest in girls sometime between liking fresh kicks a little too much in elementary school and drunkenly kissing girls in high school.

Check out her ASS.     So say hello to your newest Autostraddlers and shake the hand of the person sitting on your left and always keep some spare change and matches in your pockets because you never know, you know?

Profile photo of Laneia Nicole

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and she thinks you're fucking rad. She's 33, has two kids, two dogs, one Megan, some personal essays and a lot of emails in her inbox.

Laneia Nicole has written 352 articles for us.

81 Comments

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      yeahh me too sometimes, esp when I know they don’t realize I’m gay so they ignore me. bitches. Also Also this post has inspired like 3 people to fb message me OMG I DIDNT KNOW YOU WROTE FOR AUTOSTRADDLE. weird. so weird.

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    “Interesting Fact: I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my fingers”
    Im in love with this! ha! … She’s a keeper Laneia!

    Looking forward to reading more posts from all of you lovely ladies ;)

    .. Oh and all the ASSes were fun to ogle

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      I was in several scenes, but the one where I know you can see me is one early on where Nick and Vijay are walking down the hall between classes, talking (I think they’re discussing their plans to invade Sheeni’s French boarding school) – I walk right past them, I’m wearing a blue and green floral shirt and I have short brown hair.

      I was actually originally cast for the French school scenes; basically, they contacted a bunch of high schools in the Detroit area (where most of the movie was filmed) to find students/recent grads who could speak French and were at least 18 (since it’s an R-rated movie). But I couldn’t make that day, so they re-cast me for some of the regular high school scenes.

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      wait! i took that class! i don’t remember watching the l word though. in fact i only clearly remember discussing santorum, eiffel towers, golden showers, oh and i guess judith butler occasionally…

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        It might be different depending on who you take it with and when – I took it with Aaron Goodfellow in Fall 2009 and we had a part at the end where we read The Queer Politics of Television by Sam Chambers and watched a bunch of TV shows including The L Word.

        We did also read Judith Butler, though. And Freud and Carol Gilligan and Foucault.

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    “When I was reading a (then-closeted) friend’s “anonymous” blog, and I started thinking I was gay, and then I started thinking, “I’m not gay, I just want to be gay because I have a crush on her.” The lightbulb moment happened a little while later.”

    This is my fave thing of the week! So sweet…

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    I’ve really enjoyed the contributions of the new writers, it’s nice get an introduction and learn a bit about them. And I applaud Carolyn for being able to recite most of HHGTTG, that is an admirable feat (and super hot).

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      My feelings are way more intense than are appropriate for the comments, probs.

      But basically I feel like Dora is not as good a role model as others would like parents to believe. Sure she teaches about multiculturalism, gives spanish lessons, etc.

      BUT Map is always telling her to go through places like Rattle Snake Gulch and she DOES without pausing for one second to consider that Rattle Snake Gulch is possibly a gulch full of rattle snakes.

      AND every time Swiper Fox tries to steal something she stops him by saying “Swiper, no swiping.” What the hell is that? Try that with a real mugger and see what happens.

      These are not good life skills is all I’m saying.

      Sorry, I told you they were serious feelings.

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    “I have mixed feelings about the Oxford comma.”

    WHAT ARE THESE MIXED FEELINGS? PLEASE TELL. I love Oxford commas but nobody uses them. This makes me sad. Also, out of curiosity, I looked up “Oxford comma” on Wikipedia and it says “In American English, the serial comma is standard usage in most non-journalistic writing” and I think that’s bullshit. Or, at least in the Midwest it’s bullshit. Maybe things are different in the rest of the country.

    I have strong feelings about this very important issue.

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      Ok, my feelings are this: I am a journalism major and a copy editor, so I’m used to taking them out of writing and making fun of journalists who use them. (The idea behind not using them is that, at least in AP Style, anything to conserve space is desired [in most cases].) That being said, I think there are plenty of instances where Oxford commas make it easier to understand the writing, which should be the goal in the first place. I usually leave them for any regular English writing I do, but you’re simply not allowed to in standard American journalism. The result is a very inconsistent use of serial commas, but it makes sense to me, so whateva.

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        Ooo, uk copy editor fun fact in England they call them the Harvard comma and you can’t use them anywhere. I have so many feelings about them, as I spend most of my time editing phds and removing them even when they help the sentence. I should have made finding out all the random differences between UK and American english my interesting fact.

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        I see. I could understand how you would have mixed feelings about oxford commas working in journalism. Personally, I find that usually oxford commas add to the clarity of a statement for me. Maybe that’s why I like them so much and use them whenever I can. I just think they make sense and they really clarify how a list of things should be read. Also, when people don’t use oxford commas I almost always read what they write incorrectly and then have to think about it and thinking is hard so I don’t like that. :D

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        That was really cool! I spent a lot of time on that website the other day reading about race and genetics and all that good stuff! There is so much that surprised me on that site that really shouldn’t have surprised me.

        For example: “If a catastrophe wiped out everyone except people in Asia, how much of the total genetic variation in our species would be left?”

        The answer (spoiler, sorry) is 94%! They say: “If only the Hmong or Hakka people survived, we would still retain about 85% of all human genetic variation. That’s because most variation is within rather than between human ‘races’. On average, any local population contains 85% of all human genetic variation, and any continent contains 94%…Two random Swedes, for example, are likely to be as genetically different as a Swede and a Senegalese.” SO COOL.

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    What are you doing to reach out to your queer women of color population, Autostraddle?

    Good question! I definitely agree that our team isn’t racially diverse enough and that’s an issue we are consistently attempting to rectify, but I don’t think we should stop hiring people who are a good match for Autostraddle just because it will mess up the ratio of women of color to white women. Similarly, it’s not like we’re gonna take a writer on just because they’re a woman of color, you know? These are full whole entire people, not photographs of faces and it feels tacky to “tally” our persons in this manner.

    I also want to say that I really love the writers we do have and point out that none of them were brought on for their skin color, which is absurd.

    It is frustrating for us and we’re definitely open to suggestions on how to better serve everyone in our community.

    – For starters, since this seems to be desired information, the following women of color are already writing regularly for Autostraddle:
    + Brittani (writer)
    + Carmen (contributing editor)
    + Gabrielle (writer)
    + Katrina (writer)
    + Emily (contributing editor)
    + Becky (editor)

    Also Alex, our design director.
    Past writers of color include Karmen, Glennisha, Vashti, Nat, Zahra, Tirnah, Megha & Jessica.

    – we have explicitly stated on our submissions page that we’re looking especially for stories from women of color.

    – We’ve been lucky enough that brooklyn boihood has let us re-publish a number of their posts, which has been great and brought a well-needed perspective and conversation to the site.

    – I would say that ‘all we have to deal with is who applies’ but I realize that’s not true, that when we don’t get submissions from WOC that it’s on us to go out and look. I’ve personally scoured the internet for queer women of color writers that would be a good fit for AS and often found and then approached people that way.

    – We do make an effort to cover issues pertaining to queer women of color regardless of who’s writing the pieces.

    – We try to present diverse imagery in our articles and in our Calendar Girls — for the 2011 calendar, 7 of the 12 girls were women of color. Any post which includes a lot of photos of random girls will include women of varying ethnicities.

    – also i cannot possibly stress the importance of this: “there is a lot more diversity to humans that isn’t skin-visible. That’s important to consider, too.”

    – I’m definitely open to suggestions, though. I can tell you that already I follow like 10 WOC-specific tumblrs, and the sites I already read regularly include Gaysi, Living Out Loud with Darian, Bklyn Boihood, Pams House Blend, Sisters Talk Radio, racialicous, The Root, Clutch Magazine, xQsi, Womanist Musings, Jasmyne Cannick, TransGriot, Giant, Remodel Minority, etc — basically this is just to be on the lookout for writers who would be a good fit for us.

    We already do have a pretty racially diverse readership, though, it bears mentioning. As many of our regular readers could (hopefully) attest, regardless of the ethnic background of our writers, we try to create and constantly improve an environment that feels open and welcome to everyone.

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