Who The Hell Are You? – What The Autostraddle Reader Survey Told Us About You

A long long time ago, we did the First Ever Autostraddle Audience Survey to figure out who the f-ck you are and what the hell you want and how/if, exactly, we can monetize your existence in order to maintain our existence! It went really well — over 3,000 of you responded within the first few days, which our Special Marketing Consultant Meredydd said was an unprecedentedly spectacular result.

Anyhow, so then we got the results, and you wanted us to make a post about it, and so we had all the numbers and we gave them to a new designer person, but then that fell through, and Alex was super busy, and then someone else was supposed to do it but wasn’t able to do it either and THEN, finally, HERE WE ARE, ten billion lifetimes later, with the most visually inconsistent post of all time. Just little bits and pieces of what everybody was able to do. I mean seriously, if you’re a designer or something, you probably shouldn’t even read this, your head might explode.

Anyhow, I’ll be writing our second  State of the Autostraddle Union any minute now, in which we’ll talk about some of the things you want from Autostraddle as revealed on this survey. Also, we shared some of the results with you already — namely, the “words you used to describe Autostraddle.”

Lez do it, homos!

 

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WHO ARE YOU?

60.9% are between the ages of 18-24
27.8% are between 25-34
6.5% are under 18
6% are over 35

When I told our den mother, Vikki, in August that there were just as many 35+ readers as there were 18-or-less readers at Autostraddle, she was surprised: “I literally thought it was just me,” she said. [Interestingly enough, in the section asking for what you'd like to see more of on Autostraddle, equal numbers of readers requested "older writers" and "younger writers."] I was surprised too — but I thought there would be more 35+ers. And Meredydd thought there would be more under-18ers. Anyhow, to all ye children under the age of 35, I hope you’ll still need us and feed us when we’re 34, because that’s precisely how old Laneia and I will be before you know it!

We conducted this survey in June, and we suspect some things have changed since then, like maybe we have more transgender readers.

Also hot damn you aspirational humans – firstly, none of y’all dropped out of high school, apparently (the number of readers who haven’t finished high school is equal to the number of readers under 18, so), and most went on to complete at least some college stuff. Nationally, about 9% of the population over 25 has a masters/professional degree, but 20% of Autostraddlers are getting there. You’re a very studious bunch.

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60.2% identify with the term “lesbian”
42.% with the term “queer” and 19.3% with “bisexual”

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Letting you pick multiple labels for your sexual orientation and gender identity probably eradicated any meaningful deductions from this, but I’m wondering how many people picked “queer” on top of another label and how many picked it as their only label, aren’t you? I wish I could eat statistics for breakfast.

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Oh and — where do you live?

Shit You Like to Do

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What you like to Read About Online:

LGBT Issues – 96.8%

 General News – 64%

Arts/Entertainment – 32%

Food – 23%

Tech – 21%

Fashion – 19%

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Other Blogs/Magazines You Visit Regularly:

AfterEllen

Jezebel

Feministing

Bitch

The Advocate

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Another interesting result was how many of you participate in some kind of philanthropic activity. (I think donating to Autostraddle counts, doesn’t it?) In any event, 77% of Autostraddle Readers participate in some kind of philanthropic activity. That’s so many!!

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Oh Right And Also… You Sure Do Like to Drink!

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When it comes to visual entertainment…

83% enjoy LGBT-themed movies, 74% like indie films and 68% like documentaries

… and 30% of you watch Educational TV programs regularly, 28% watch Sci-Fi, 26% watch Reality TV and 23% Watch Cooking Shows

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How You Feel About Us

49.3% of Autostraddle readers never comment

22% comment weekly or monthly

6% comment every day

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How Did You Get Here?

38% found Autostraddle by a link from another website or blog

12.4% found Autostraddle via Riese’s blogs/recaps

16% were told about Autostraddle by a friend

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Some of my favorite write-in responses to “how did you get here”:

1. “Someone handed me an Autostraddle business card on the subway in NYC. I thought it was porn and was creeped out (straddle?!), but thankfully I was wrong!”

2. “Googled ‘lesbian sex’”

3. “Seriously I just googled dyke haircuts”

4. “My girlfriend’s Professor suggested it in one of her online media courses”

5. “I was high, but I do remember link hopping around other sites until I came upon Autostraddle.”

6. “Looking for other cooch-smoochers south of Northampton.”

7. “My mom suggested it (yes, really)”

8. “Someone tweeted about ‘catching up on Autostraddle’”

9. “One time Snarker tweeted something about the girls over at autostraddle’s heads exploding over something”

10. “Your Tegan & Sara Sainthood review… Well this is off to an embarrassing start.”

And there you have it. So basically most of you are super-smart, often drunk and quite compassionate/charitable. We hope our readership will get more diverse as we go on, and we embrace all members of all demographics with open arms! Go get a new t-shirt! Onward Ho!

this seemed like a funny picture to put here

Avatar of Riese

Riese is the 32-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1721 articles for us.

325 Comments

  1. Thumb up 0

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    I would like to know who the 4.1% of Autostraddlers who don’t like to surf the web are, and what the 3.2% of people who don’t like to read about LGBT issues are doing here.

    Also Boston in the top cities YESSS.

    But is anyone from Western Mass?

  2. Thumb up 0

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    My extensive knowledge of statistics and marketing tells me that from these results, the Autostraddle mission statement should be: “Entertaining intelligent but easily addicted and drunken women-who-love-women since aaaaages ago.”

  3. Thumb up 0

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    55% of Autostraddlers are single?! You know what this calls for-a giant AS singles mixer/speed dating event, im just saying, you know im right! Also, thanks for compiling all this info, it’s very interesting.

  4. Thumb up 0

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    “I wish I could eat statistics for breakfast.” YES, YES I DO TOO.

    Also, re: the identity section — can’t you tell who put down two or more labels? If you separate them out then you have a multiple label category, plus everyone else who has a single label.

    I was about to ask a bunch of other questions, but really my question is: what does the raw data look like and how is it coded?? Did all of the questions just pool without being associated with a respondent? Like you don’t know how person A answered Question 1?

    Sorry, I can’t actually remember how the survey looked and I got super excited. I will just simmer down and say: THANKS FOR THIS. Very interesting!

  5. Thumb up 0

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    I think the next survey should have questions about illegal(ish) drugs, i’m interested to see how many of us smoke pot vs. pop pills vs. use E etc, etc. Lesbians have reputations as stoners, I want to see if that’s statistically true

    Also, almost 10% of us are genderqueer? that’s pretty sweet!

  6. Thumb up 0

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    you guys, i really love you, but light-years are a measure of distance, not time.

    i just broke my own rule of never starting a sentence with “i love you, but…” so let me add for good measure that this DOES NOT MAKE ME LOVE YOU ANY LESS.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE

    but seriously. a light-year is distance.

  7. Thumb up 0

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    AS doesnt dumb down its articles. I have to reread a couple of them but I love You guys you’re awesome that way. I was curious as to how you figured out that some of your readers are addicts. I thought we all were and hopefully we’ll all be here till we are 65 or older!

  8. Thumb up 0

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    I’m surprised there aren’t more readers under 18. This place is pretty much my haven and whenever I’m feeling down I fantasize about this awesome lesbian college paradise where everyone has all the sex toys in NSFW Sunday and I have a super hot girlfriend who reads a lot. But I guess by staying a committed reader, once I hit 18 in March I’ll actually be making your reader pool less diverse. You’re welcome?

  9. Thumb up 0

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    I am in your over 50 age group if you have one. I have been out forever and I love your intelligence, your irreverence and wit!
    but where does the name ‘Autostraddle’ come from?

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        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6LXlw_T-wc

        yes Dina is right!

        the former was the l word recap blog i set up in 2006, where i recapped the show before my recaps got picked up by the l word online, theroadbeststraddled dot blogspot dot com. it was called that because at the time i was writing a book and that was the title of the book i was writing, so my agent and i had figured that if i used the title in the URL, then when ppl saw a book by that name in the store, they’d have positive feelings towards it. and that title was a spin on ‘the road less traveled’ book which was a spin on ‘the road not taken’poem. the idea being that you come to a fork in the woods but instead of choosing one or the other, you straddle like 56 different identities at one time. because i had been so many different people, and at the time hadn’t picked a road yet, and most of the people i knew were like that too. like it wasn’t a book about fluidity or stasis, it was a book about paradox.

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          AHHH today I was driving down this narrow country road to get to my rotation, and there were potholes everywhere, so I ended up just driving down the middle. And I was like GASP. THE ROAD LESS STRADDLED. I AM STRADDLING THE ROAD. AUTOSTRADDLE.

  10. Thumb up 0

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    I don’t think any of the “how I got here stories” compare to mine: I was sixteen and one of the autostraddle writers popped up on chatroulette. She said she didn’t like boys, and I was like OMG ME NEITHER! WHAT DO I DO?!?? And she sent me here.

  11. Thumb up 0

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    Hey, I forget how I found AS but I did like yesterday and love it!

    I’m a transgal and into girls. I’ve been super nervous about what I guess you could call my reception amongst the lesbian community. And I’m really sensitive to transphobic kinds of comments and such and have just been gingerly toe-stepping and trying to maybe find a place where I feel I belong and yadda yadda.

    Anyhow, according to the numbers looks like I’m right in there with ya, and um, also, the comments! It just made me so happy to see so much acceptance on this site for people who identify across the gender spectrum and what-have-you.

    Looking forward to hanging out!

    • Thumb up 0

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      I said this in a previous post but it bears repeating.

      “the community here on AS is the most inclusive and frankly well educated about queer issues all across the LGBTQIAAPADDYOURLETTERHERE spectrum. Certainly they do a better job than any other gay website that I visit, some of which I don’t even read the comments for because I know they’re going to throw me into fits of rage at the exclusivity.”

      Which is to say welcome :D

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      Not gonna lie, we can be as ignorant as the rest when it comes to trans-issues, but the mothership does and awesome job of beaming us down articles and people to lobotomize us full of knowledge and understanding so that we too can — this is going nowhere.

      My point is: I hope you can ignore that occasional trolls or ignorant comments (we’re learning too! Help us learn!!!) and will stick around to see all the awesome things AS and the community have to offer! WELCOME FRIEND! WE COME IN PEACE!!!

      BEAR HUG!

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      Welcome! I will echo what has already been said and agree that Autostraddle is, at least in my experience, by far the most inclusive LGBTQ site. My first girlfriend (who’s still one of my best friends, and one of the most amazing girls I’ve ever met) is trans, and because of that I’m also very sensitive to transphobia. Of course, Autostraddle has its share of ignorant comments, but generally people try to educate each other, not tear each other down.

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    I remember when I found AS though some a play list I found on google and I was still very very closeted and I was like !!!!! because it was a LESBIAN WEBSITE and so I immediately went back to google. After that I would sneak back glances at AS like it was somehow a dirty thing to be doing, and it was oddly thrilling like peeking at porn when you’re going through puberty. When I fiiiinnnnally admitted to myself that I’m here and queer I signed up for an AS membership like some rite of passage.

  13. Thumb up 0

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    despite the storm of different kinds of infographics, reading this made my statistic-happy sociology brain just squeal with glee.

    I think i reside squarely in the reads daily/comments rarely demographic. But i do love it here.

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    I started the day playing with power tools and building some awesome crates (on wheels! with handles!) for my record collection, while listening to Brandi Carlile.
    I then moved on to drag-queen-hosted bingo at a gay bar.
    I’m ending the day drinking whisky and reading about other Autostraddle readers.
    Gayest. Day. Ever.

  15. Thumb up 0

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    This was crazy interesting. And I mean that to include the informational aspect of the post as well, not just the visual one (JK, AS, ILU).

    Business idea: Autostraddle brand, statistics-themed cereal. Working name: ‘Studious Bunches of Organic Soybeans.’ Slogan: Something simple but crass (may involve the words ‘eat’ ‘mean’ ‘breakfast’ and/or ‘champions’). Projection: times (and money loss) will be great.

    Also, I’d like to think that Autostraddle found me (#awwdorable #profound).

  16. Thumb up 0

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    Been here since day one (Autowin). Loved reading Riese over on lwordonline in 200…..7? 6? Tried to be a regular donor but paypal was a bad idea for me…
    Turned 60 last year.
    Gad.
    Hey how do you enable the little + like button thingy?

  17. Thumb up 0

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    I love this so much. I love how much effort you put into this, and I’m super happy to be part of this statistic. I also love every single graph and every single picture that is in this post. -^ ^-

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      AnnieMac – the Vancouver lesbian/queer lady scene is awesome. Seriously. Melbourne is amazing too, but from one Van ladyqueer to you, welcome!! You are going to love it. Let me know if you want any recommendations for cool places to hang out, places to meet girls, dance, drink or play gaysports. We have LOTS of gay sports.

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    De-lurking myself, cause I never ever read comments on blogs (they get so long, and rambly, and irrelevant, and less well thought out than the original entry), but I LOVE THE COMMENTS ON THIS POST. I want to be your collective friend.

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    20 year old beer-loving lurkin’ lesbian! Hurray, I’m so typical! Except that I’m from Tennessee, somehow I don’t think that was too high on the list of concentrated autostraddling locations, alas. Are any of y’all from Nashville? Anyone?

  20. Thumb up 1

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    i found out about autostraddle the same day i basically outed myself to my alma mater’s school newspaper. a few months after i graduated from cornell, they published this piece of dumb shit advice to a girl asking if she’s obligated to come out to her sorority sisters. the advice girl responded omgabsolutelyyesyouchangeinfrontofthem and gave the most idiotic, homophobic advice. one of my friends works at the paper and was like, “hey you’re gay, have you heard of autostraddle? those ladies are MAAAAD at us.” i hadnt heard of autostraddle, but i found my way over, saw someone here had gotten their hands on said advice column, and i fell in love.

    i then proceeded to write an angry letter to the editor, and gave the poor queer sorority girl my advice. the editor in chief who i kinda knew replied “oh word, you’re gay? can you help us out with this one. i don’t know who let that girl publish that, because it sure wasn’t me.” and then i helped them compile a bunch of resources to give in response to the terrible advice.

    it was quite an adventure, but a successful one, because it ended in autostraddle.

  21. Thumb up 0

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    Wow, y’all actually finished this post! I liked it. :)

    While reading through the comments, it reminded me to vote for Autostraddle again for the 2012 Bloggies –> http://2012.bloggi.es/

    I think if y’all push for it, you’ll get nominated and get lots of hits and new queers running who may greatly need this site!

    Also the Bloggies introduced me to Effing Dykes which introduced me to Autostraddle so I’m just trying to pay it forward.

    ^_^

  22. Thumb up 0

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    Not ragging on anyone at all but, you guys….

    AS is sooooo much more than a blog. Now that it’s been called that twice in these comments I feel I must say something.

    AS is a daily LGBTQxyz newspaper y’all! I just don’t think “blog” adequately describes this place. It may have started as such or as offspring of a blog, but it’s wayyyy more than that now. At least to me. ;-) And no, I don’t work at AS or even personally know any of the ladies/trans/queermos folks responsible for this palace of homogayness.

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      yeah i think that term gets thrown around a lot even though if you look through anything where we describe ourselves to others — media kit, “about us”, etc — we never self-identify as a blog. EVERYONE IS LABELING US WITHOUT OUR CONSENT WE SELF-IDENTIFY AS AN ONLINE MAGAZINE

      no but for real — when it comes to content specifically, we operate like an online magazine which also has a daily news blog and an active community, i think. about half our stories are magazine-style, and all our features are magazine-style feature articles. obvs a long time ago i wanted to run a magazine one day, so this is the closest we can get.

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    Where are all these New Yorkers? I want to do some sort of “New York Represent” thing by raising my hand and scissor high-fiving, but I think that would just be a peace sign.

    And I found out about AS through my voice teacher, who tends to be a bit famous around AS and lesboland.

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    No joke, I found you guys through Krista’s links on EffingDykes. She was my Queerness 101 go to blog. Pretty sure my gayness exploded overnight when I found out that there was something beyond her, something a little grander in scale. One big site run by a bunch of awesome queermo ladies covering all sorts of topics.

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    Glad to see that there are more 35+ than just me. I found AS right when I was struggling to come out of the closet. My life was totally sucking and I was desperate to change it. AS was one of the little pushes that helped me. I have since met a wonderful group of professional gay women in Atlanta, GA that have made my life even better. AND I met my wonderful girlfriend through that group.

    So thanks AS for giving me the positive influence I needed to change my life!!!

  26. Thumb up 0

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    The perfect washout: 53.6 excercize and 53.6 like cooking

    Minus Chicago, Minneapolis and Houston I see there were no defaults to other flyover cities and from this independent, Eastern Establishment, New England bread girl I am quite pleased…oh except I am among the 6% of “grandmothers” over 35. So I suppose thirty five is now the new fifty?!?!?!?

  27. Thumb up 0

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    I can’t remember what article it was that brought me to Autostraddle… I just remember it was around the time of marriage equality in New York and I was sitting on the living room couch trying not to melt in the summer heat.

  28. Thumb up 0

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    I finally joined AS a few days ago but I’ve been lurking for months. I found AS through a girl’s tumblr who I actually followed through AfterEllen when I had no friends lol I think I’m an average user, I’m 23…I’m online a lot (close to being addicted probably), I drink BUT I haven’t been hungover since that informative post about hangover cures. Small victories like that thanks to AS. I’m in grad school (that might change soon) but I was hoping to see Atlanta on that list ^_^ There has to be some cool AS users here, right lol

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    TWO THINGS:
    1. I don’t know stuff about math and stats and stuff but maybe next time you could have two separate questions for “how do you identify?” The first could be choose-one-only and ask for your preferred ID. And then the second could be “choose all other terms with which you identify.” It would make me sad to lose the ability to pick multiple IDs because I really like that, but I can see how when all the data gets thrown together there’s no way to make connections. ANYWAY!

    2. YOU GUYS I AM THE 49.3%. I mean obviously I comment every once in a while but it’s definitely less than monthly. More like 4x/year. YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD CHANGE THIS? COMMENT REPLY NOTIFICATIONS. FOR REAL. It’s impossible for me to have a conversation if I don’t know when someone has replied to something I’ve said and just have to keep checking until the end of time and THAT person also has to keep checking until the end of time to know that I’VE continued the conversation. And if my comment isn’t going to turn into a conversation, why leave it at all? It is very very very infrequent that I have a thought re: an article that feels SO IMPORTANT that I just need to tack it on as, like, an addendum to the article, whether or not it will generate conversation. And on those occasions I comment. Like now. Because this feels like important feedback. But it’s also the 198th comment, so I don’t even know if anyone will see it. You see what I mean? Okay that’s all.

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        I always check that & I never once have received a notification. But then I think your server hates my email address, period, because I can not sign up. I contacted Tess about this months ago but it was never resolved.
        Some techno things don’t work right here.

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        Same as Rachel (er… red-hat-Rachel who replied to you, not you-Rachel to whom I am replying!), when I do that it just sends me an email every time someone leaves any new comment at all. This includes comments on the article, replies to me, and replies to other people. I’ve done it a couple of times just to keep tabs on a conversation but got a little overwhelmed after doing so for the article about IFC screwing over Autostraddle. 193 emails later…!

  30. Thumb up 0

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    Hey London straddlers, holler up! It’d be awesome to meet you all some time so I can flail about the awesome with people who aren’t my straight friends who only read Autostraddle for the Gleecaps.

    Also if we’re on the subject of article subjects, I miss the poetry! Can someone do a post about Carol Ann Duffy so we can bask in her awesome?

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    Pretty sure I found you through random googling, or possibly a strange chain of link-clicking. Like you do.

    I have to admit, I’m encouraged to find there’s a pretty high proportion of bisexuals and such. It’s nice and it makes me feel more welcome. Of course no website can compete with the sheer bi concentration on Tumblr, but there are more adults here, which is just fine by me.

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    This was pretty awesome, and not as aesthetically painful as we were warned it would be. On another note, I def need to get more of my friends in The Netherlands to come here. It’s depressing we don’t show up on that list *le sigh*

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    This is very informative. Sometimes (Okay, almost all the time) it feels like the world is full of crazy people, which makes me think maybe I am the crazy one. Autostraddle as a whole makes me feel sane, and I could never ever thank you enough for that!

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    Hmm last summer? I must have just missed this survey then because I found AS sometime during the summer. And I’ve never turned back. I don’t comment much but I can change that. :)

    From Texas, living in Italy. Military straddlers represent! (UGH I am a huge geek)

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        I see you face plant and I raise you with a Most Embarassing Moment Ever.

        I was on the train today, and I needed to pee desperately, but the floor of the train toilet was flooded. Against my better judgement, I went in anyway, hopping and skipping in a desperate attempt not to get my shoes wet. So finally, I am sitting on the toilet, feet from the floor, pants on my ankles, and guess what ? Besides a clogged drain, apparently the toilet had a busted lock too. So when the train runs over a bump in the tracks, the toilet door flies open and the entire train compartment looks at me in my Cirque du Soleil ‘Let’s not get wet’-position.

        I just tell you this to make you feel better. And welcome.

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      That’d be a tricky one to calculate, because many countries categorise race differently. I’m at least 2 or 3 different races around the world depending on who you ask. Besides, I don’t think it’s quite as relevant as the other questions in terms of figuring out what sort of people read A/S – an Asian person in Singapore is going to have a far different experience of queerness than an Asian person in the US, for example.

      I’d think for stuff that you’d use the race question for (like being ostracised for being a minority) you’d probably be much better off asking specific life-experience questions.

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    I can’t tell you how excited I am that Melbourne, Australia ranks in your top 10 readers! Maybe you guys should look into getting an Aussie contributor and reporting about awesome/enraging stuff that happens in the Queer community here! Cause we totes have political homo drama down here and we make bitchin queer movies and generally we’re kind of awesome, talented and sexy. Just FYI.

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