A few months back we put together a survey for “Grown-Ups,” which we defined as readers 29 years or older, and over 4,000 Straddlers filled it out! Although we’re proud of all the work we do for younger ‘Straddlers and will continue to do so forevermore, a lot of us are getting older and want (at least some of) the site to grow up with us. We shared some of the data from the survey in our roundtable about what it means to be a queer adult, and I’m assembling the rest for some more posts this week and next. But in the meantime, I discovered a treasure trove in the “Any other comments or things you would like us to know?” section and it would be awful for me not to share these wise words of wisdom with you.
1. I like cats. Like, a lot. Kind of obsessive, actually.
2. I first realized I was not straight thanks to super-young Hilary Swank in The Next Karate Kid. Thanks Hilary!
3. Chinese food containers can be unfolded and used as plates.
4. The woman I just started seeing came out last year and is my age. She has been married twice. She was reading your guide to lesbian sex for the first time when I talked to her last. I’ll let you know how that works out.
5. There are many gay women in our 30s in Phoenix. I know many. I went on a date with Laneia once.
6. The Midwest is not a bunch of intolerant country bumpkins.
7. I don’t like how television waters down what it is like to be a lesbian. There are no hot babes like that in real life.
8. I was born and raised in Stockton, California, which has twice had the distinction of being named “America’s Most Miserable City” by Forbes.
9. Aren’t you guys DYING to see Ellen Page dating someone cute?? I want to find her her soul mate.
10. Um yeah keep existing because thank you. I love you. Even though I love my best friend the most of all and just want everyone to know that because she’s amazing and I’m in love. Um bye.
11. Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor’s open and vocal support of the LGBT community during Xena really helped me when I later came out. I would read and listen to their interviews in LGBT media and I had a lot of exposure to positive representations of us before I realized I was gay. They get a lot of heat because Xena was all subtext but they have always been supportive and they spoke out at the same time that Ellen was being blacklisted. I dunno… I just feel like they get overlooked sometimes. They still support us, the 20th and final Xena con was last weekend and they were there. This could be totally not what you were talking about but oh well.
12. I am secretly in love with Riese and Heather Hogan <3
13. I like dogs more than people.
14. This was not a fun survey. You should have disclosure at the top saying “this will make you feel worse about your life than you did at the beginning…”
15. My dad let me watch “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” when I was 11. The first queer character I knew was Bonanza Jellybean and I’ve been chasing skirt ever since.
16. I’m pretty happy at 62.
17. oh my god I’m so glad I never have to be in my twenties again
18. I played Tonya Harding an an elementary school Christmas play once!
19. Sex changes with age… it gets better!
20. My first job after university at 22 was working in a library with an older lesbian who had a long term partner and two kids. Knowing her and talking to her about stuff for four years when I was a young person was actually incredibly affirming and helpful cus I’d never had a real life older lesbian role model before. Just knowing that she had some kids, home schooled them, had a parter, still participated in the queer scene, wrote short stories and poetry, and generally kept on being a grown up without losing her queer identity was important. I hope other young queers find someone like that. I remember her saying on the bus home once that she felt sorry for straight women sometimes in that their lives were so mapped out and it was hard to break away from the husband/house/kids pattern, whereas queers didn’t have a choice in not following that path which could be incredibly freeing, even if you ended up choosing a traditional life path it was still an active choice. That kind of made me feel more positive about being queer than anything else before it.
21. Take That was the best boyband ever and yet Nick Carter was the only boy I ever lusted after (probably because he looked like a girl and – hormones), but then Christina Aguilera happened and the rest is herstory.
22. I come to this website everyday. I am closeted as all hell in my daily life. I’m probably going to implode. Is that the kind of thing you want to know?
23. I am always tricked into clicking on the Get Baked column thinking it’s not about baking. I never learn.