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Autostraddle’s Ultimate Team Holigay Gift Guide 2021: We’ll Tell You What We Want (What We Really Really Want)

It’s never a bad idea to get your holiday shopping done early, but especially given shipping delays and problems in the global supply chain, this year it’s an especially good idea to get that shit done and over with. Whether you’re not sure what you want yourself or not sure what to get for someone in your life, this ultimate 2021 queer gift guide has a little bit of something for everyone. We’ve got LGBTQ+ books for readers, tools and appliances for cooking queers, stuff to make your home sexy and cozy, and so much more. This is basically a grab bag of gift ideas with a range of brands and prices, but if you’re looking for more specific gift guides, check out this one for horror fans, this lush list of aesthetically pleasing sex toys, or this star-guided list of what to buy for every astrological sign. And keep an eye out for more queer gift guides to come over the next week.

Also, using this guide helps us out! Purchasing items through our Affiliate Marketplace is one of many ways to support Autostraddle. There’s no extra cost for you, and it means we get a tiny lil percentage of the purchases you make! So you can support independent queer media while doing your holiday shopping this year! Cute!

Here’s what the Autostraddle team is wishing for this holiday season.


Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Managing Editor

Listen, I am fully leaning into being a Miami Housewife. I juice a lot of citrus by hand (hot!), and I do have the citrus juicer attachment for my KitchenAid for when I need to batch a bunch, but it’s not, like, a JUICER juicer you know. I feel like I could really take my cocktail game to the next level with a for real juicer. But also, I just would really appreciate some lemon-ginger-celery juice in the morning, you know? I have truly reached my final form as a Beach Mom. Which is why I also need these shearling hot pink Ugg slippers. I never would have thought these were something I would want until I tried on a pair my friend got for her birthday, and unfortunately now I can never know peace until I own a pair of my own. As for the wallet, I’ve been using the same — dependable but boring — billfold for the past few years, and I’d like something fresh and cute.


Heather Hogan, Senior Writer + Editor

On Christmas morning in 1985, I received the She-Ra Crystal Castle and an Atari 2600 from Santa Claus. To this day, I remain a nerd who loves adorable things and also women stabbing stuff with swords and shooting terrible men/robot dinosaurs through the eyeballs with a bow and arrow, just as Mommi Christmas (Carol Aird) prophesied lo those many Waterloos ago. Stacy and I got a PS5 for our anniversary and who better to celebrate that triumph with than our girl Aloy? She-Ra is, of course, my other lifetime companion. And I just really love Pokemon stickers, okay? I’m never gonna grow out of it.


Casey Stepaniuk, Contributor

It’s hard to believe but my baby will be needing a proper crib in just a few short months! And these subdued colour sheets look so pretty and will be so soft since they are made of bamboo. Her little baby bod will love them. Let’s be real my baby is going to poop and/or pee in her bed and that crib mattress is gonna need some protection. This one is also made of sustainable bamboo! Having a baby has really upped my life’s encounters with laundry and I would love to have more than one extra set of sheets for my and my partner’s bed. Becky Chambers is one of my favourite science fiction authors and this is her latest book. I love how hopeful and full of cheer her books are. This one is about a nonbinary monk seeking a new profession as a nomadic tea seller. Ownvoices Black sapphic princess romance!! Alyssa Cole is one of my favourite romance writers and this book is her first full length queer story. A long lost princess finds love with the private investigator who has been hired to find her! Melissa Febos’s writing is always so beautiful and quotable. In her latest book she looks at cultural narratives about being a girl and woman. She traces her own encounters with them as well as bringing in academic sources and journalistic reporting.


Ro White, Sex & Dating Editor

In the past two years, I’ve fully embraced my Queer Goth-ish History Nerd identity. At the height of the pandemic, my local cemeteries became one of few safe places in my city where I could walk around unmasked, and even as Chicago’s COVID cases decline, I’ve maintained my habit of strolling among the dead, looking up names on FindAGrave.com and learning about Chicago’s haunted history almost daily. Over the summer, I spent two weeks in Massachusetts, where I encountered cemeteries that were much older and much spookier than any I’d encountered in the Midwest. I clearly need a copy of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die so I can plan my future cemetery-centered travels, and I absolutely must impress the local spirits with an Arcana Obscura ring, which is inspired by 17th century tombstone iconography. My cemetery walks happen rain or shine, and while I love the mood of a cemetery under a stormy sky, I’m tired of getting fully soaked, so I think it’s time to invest in some rain paints.


Natalie , Writer

 

I’ve spent the last few weeks living out of my suitcase while my house undergoes some major renovations. I’m lucky, truly — to have family nearby to stay with and to not have to live in the middle of a construction zone — but, still, I miss being home. I miss having my own space, being surrounded by my own things and knowing exactly where everything is. But even when I’m back in my house, I know it won’t feel like home for a while — not until everything’s unpacked and put in its proper place — so this year’s list is about making my house feel like home again.


Abeni Jones, Contributor

2021 queer gift guide collage: Vitamix Blender, Kitchenaid Immersion Blender, and Solar Light And Charger

1. Solar Light And Charger ($49.95) // 2. Vitamix Blender ($349.95) // 3. Kitchenaid Immersion Blender ($99.99)

I simultaneously want things that make my home life more comfortable – and things that make my outdoors adventure life more comfortable! I drink a smoothie every morning and sometimes for a quick lunch, too. But I have one of those $15 little “personal” blenders that is maybe 16oz and so I often have to basically make the smoothie in two batches? My partner and I also love making soups. My fave is potato leek soup — and I also have to cook and then blend this hot soup in my aforementioned little blender! An immersion blender would make this, and so many other soups, much easier and more convenient to make. It’s extremely difficult to find a portable solar charger that has good reviews. Either they break, don’t hold a charge, have to be pointed meticulously into direct sunlight, or some other reason. This one happens to be both affordable and have decent reviews, so I’d love to try it out. When you’re on a multi-day backpacking trip, and your phone is also your GPS and has maps downloaded to AllTrails, keeping that phone charged up is essential.


Nicole Hall, A+ & Fundraising Director

I’m going to have to go with my sun sign / moon sign twin, Charles Dickens, here and say that the holigays are a time for ghost stories. At the top of my not-yet-owned, yet somehow already to-be-read pile are both Tell Me I’m Worthless by Alison Rumfitt and Dreaming of You: A Novel in Verse by Melissa Lozada-Oliva. Also, keeping with the theme of spooky-all-year, I STILL want these Tomboy X trunks. So, there you have it. Maybe my secret santa will make my reading spooky books in a black sweater and spooky underwear [complete with a warm blanket and vegan hot cocoa] dreams come true.


So much of my time is spent at home these days, and I’m just leaning all the way in with luxurious robes, gorgeous candles, and mesh lingerie that I can occasionally wear under blazers when I cautiously venture out into the world again. And every time I get a new tattoo I learn to love my body a little bit more, so I’m also investing in more ink, with zero regrets.


Drew Gregory, Writer

The past couple years I’ve included a lot of what I’d call elevated practical things — jackets, robes, phones, sex toys. You know, the necessities. This year? It’s just fun shit that I want. I already splurged on myself and got the Rih-Issue of Talk That Talk but if I was rich I would’ve gotten ANTI also and this is a fantasy list so obviously that’s number one. Next up is Casey Plett’s new book which I wish I’d reviewed this summer BUT DIDN’T EVEN READ because I was so busy. Speaking of books, I want this incredible Pedro Almodóvar coffee table book. And while I was looking for that I came across this insane Almodóvar espresso set. If I was rich that is the kind of stupid shit I’d buy and it would make me SO HAPPY. The next overpriced luxury — and, yes, another book — is the A24 Moonlight screenplay book. I also want the Lady Bird one but let’s not get greedy here. And, finally, some literal treats. One of my secrets is that I’m a basic bitch when it comes to autumn. Give me all the pumpkin and maple and cider goodies!!


I am seeking to improve my life in some key ways: I think if I had an always pan that is good for “always” then I would immediately start cooking more and save lots of money, and if I could cut my phone out of my sleep-related activities I could wake up like a serene, blissful prince, having been lulled into unconsciousness by a sound bath and experienced a two-phase alarm for a natural wake-up! Of course even the best laid plans sometimes lay down and die, so I’d have my fave eye gels to keep my secrets in the morning. Furthermore, the only thing I love more than skin care products is a small case of beloved skin care products including new ones I haven’t tried yet, thus the Glossier Skincare Edit. Then a bit of fun: a book about 90s fashion and a jigsaw puzzle devoted to my favorite meal (breakfast.)


Carmen Phillips, Editor-in-Chief

Famously, I’m an insomniac. I say “famously” because so often I’m writing about how I quite literally cannot go the f*ck to sleep. Despite a lot of my best habits, over the last two years that has only gotten worse. I thought long and hard about what I wanted for the holigays and the best I could come up with was “24 hours of uninterrupted sleep,” so I know it’s time to kick my ass back into gear. In my experience a lot of good sleep hygiene is what you do to fall asleep (a firm night routine, an expectation of when you stop eating or drinking caffeine, no screens etc) — but resetting my bed situation is motivating start. Comfy pajamas and a robe I could spend all day in? Check. The Threshold sheets from Target regularly outscore sheets that cost up to more than double their price when you google “best sheets” lists. I’ve never tried a weighted blanket before, but I love that this one from Baloo is not only washable, it’s the perfect size to go from bed to couch and back. My best sleep always comes with a candle bedside. I was gifted this one from Lucky No. Candles over the summer and I still can’t get over how amazing it smells, like cologne but in a comforting citrus and wood-burning way? It also has crystals that appear after the wax melts, which I’m sure is exciting for the more witchy among us. I usually steep old school Sleepytime tea right before bed, but that felt lackluster for a gift guide. I’ve never tried Melatonin (reminder: not a doctor! just a girl! do your own serious research re: vitamins & supplements), but I know a lot of people find it helpful — and c’mon, who doesn’t love Gummy Bears? Simply must try some.


Vanessa Friedman, Community Editor

2021 queer gift guide collage: Boss Bidet Toilet Attachment, Toaster Oven, and 6-piece Knife Block Set

1. Boss Bidet Toilet Attachment ($85.70) // 2. 6-piece Knife Block Set ($99.99) // 3. Toaster Oven ($49.99)

This year I’m leaning into my Capricorn sun/Virgo rising and I’m being practical when it comes to creating a holiday gift wishlist. These are things I need in my home and will absolutely buy myself on January 1 if I don’t receive them for my birthday/the holidays, but if some sweet angel wants to help me dial in my otherwise perfect abode before then, who am I to stop them? I spent so much time this year making my office and my bedroom beautiful and functional, and now it feels like I just have a few more practical details to nail down in the shared spaces in my house: a bidet to make my IBS bathroom experience (and the bathroom experience of all the other queers with IBS who visit my home) cleaner and less stressful, a toaster oven in the kitchen so I can stop accidentally burning toast using the regular oven broiler, and a fancy knife set because somehow every good knife I’ve ever owned I have lost in a breakup or to a housemate who has moved on and taken their fancy kitchen tools with them. Are these gifts super sparkly and glamorous? No. Will they objectively make my life better? Yes. And that’s the energy I’m taking into 2022.


Sarah Sarwar, Design & Marketing Director

This season I’m really just trying to lean into my teen goth girl persona that was never fully realized in high school. I love the Moso Bamboo scent by Voluspa so much that I bought this trash can-sized candle last November, and it’s almost gone! I’m also looking for a very fluffy checkered rug in bright poppy colors to match the rest of my living room aesthetic, and this pink and green checkered rug seems like the perfect one! Lastly, it’s been a couple of years since I rocked a boot and I want to bring this look back in a big way by way of these chunky zip-up Doc’s.



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Kayla

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Miami. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 324 articles for us.

3 Comments

  1. Is there any way y’all would do a registry or something, so readers could give presents to autostraddle folks? I get so much from autostraddle, and I do subscribe to A+, but presents are more fun to give!
    Also, I don’t have the Batwoman omnibus, but I do have Batwoman vol 1-4 (issues 0-24)and Elegy that were gifted to me and I’ve read and would happily mail to Natalie/the Autostraddle office to continue the sharing. (They’re in really good condition.)

    • A rainbow sundial (a clock that tells time by using the sun) is a great idea, there is one you can find online that sits indoors on the windowsill and it makes big bright rainbows in the room when the sun shines on it. Very classy – handmade, personalized and appropriate – and they have gift certificates too, so you don’t have to worry about whether the man who makes them can make it in time for Christmas. I don’t remember what it’s called exactly, but you can find it with a search for rainbow sundial. Check it out, it’s one of the best rainbow gifts I have ever seen!

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