23 Extra-Special Things You Wanted Us To Know About You On Our Autostraddle Grown-Ups Survey

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.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, 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! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3213 articles for us.


  1. … Get Baked isn’t just about baking?!? Fuck.

    I was so sad that High Femme was gone! Where did it go?

    • High Femme went to After Ellen. I miss Chelsea but we got Heather Hogan in that trade and a couple of first round draft picks.

  2. Menudo was the best boy band ever. And I had a crush on Ricky Martin. Later I developed a crush on Jonathan Knight from NKOTB so I guess you can say little Carmen’s gaydar was very accurate

  3. #20 just changed all of my life goals
    now it is to be the wisest lesbian librarian

    thank you, #20

  4. Well, I cannot imagine who at all out of this list I’d want to be best friends with, NUMBER EIGHTEEN.

  5. I laughed so hard at #8, I almost had an accident. I am sorry, but I dunno why I found that one to be funny. Maybe it’s because I am from California and seen some statistics on the city?

    Also, I’m curious to know what Christmas play includes Tonya Harding.

    • I guess that the Tonya Harding Christmas Pageant story involves Tonya as one of the Three Wise Men, masquerading as a generous Mafia Don with a christening present, and a guarantee to offer protection to, and keep Jesus, safe. And if they fail to pay Tonya’s fee for services, they’ve got an ice skate boot and enraged US ex skater coming after them…

  6. I don’t remember what I wrote, but I would believe you if you told me I put numbers 13 and 23.

  7. Xena: Warrior Princess was the BOMB.

    The world of famdom was never the same after Xena and Gabrielle, at least for lesbians. The influence this show had on how we see and show female action heroes it’s also amazing.

    Thank you #11, I’m gonna go and binge-watch all the DVD’s I have.

    • 11 and this, tho I would say it was maintext/canon by the time it finished, with the soulmates thingy, true love’s kiss in the Norse part, the “giving water” kiss in the final, the creators and actors confirming it afterwards, especially compared to how Korrasami is canon/seen as maintext now. Both being made to hold back because of homophobia. I feel Xena: Warrior Princess doesn’t get given enough credit but I maybe a wee bit biased.

  8. 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.

    Ohhhh my heart

  9. I feel a lot of solidarity with #23.

    Also, can I put in a request with staff for more vapid fluff articles? K, thnx. Bye.

  10. I need a whole column about people’s #20 person — that person who made them realize that life as a gay person could be okay, and maybe even super-foxy-awesome-hot. For me they were a lesbian couple in the same (decidedly anti-gay) denomination as me, and a super awesome gay male friend.

    Also, NUMBER TWENTY-THREE. So much disappointment. I never, ever learn.

  11. Where the hell are they AT #5?
    (Okay, it would help if I wasn’t an introverted super geeky nerd who finds nightclubs nightmarish and never goes out I suppose…)

    • There’s a couple FB groups (Queerbomb Phx and AS Phx) that are semi-active and also a MeetUp group; I can pm the links to whomever is interested.

      • Alas, for a variety of reasons (starting with ‘loss of productivity’ and moving onto ‘fierce privacy concerns’) I don’t do social media. It took me a full year to work up to AS. *laughs*

        But if they’re public and won’t require me to sign up, PM ’em. (if they aren’t, which I totally understand is likely the case, no worries!)

  12. Don’t feel bad 23, don’t feel bad. Many of us have been there and are still there.
    Could there ever be a brief queer themed baking column someday? Banter on various pride flag coloured cupcake ideas and rainbow everything?
    I just want to queer the ever loving biscuit mix outta baking so hard. >_>

  13. #20! Me too! I came out because of a similar human in my own life. It’s important to have examples of how we want to be humans in the world.

    • This is one of the things that help push me/makes me want to be out in my small town.

  14. I know this is meant to be funny and all but I think you went a bit far with number 9.
    Well, excuuuuuuuuuuse the hell out of you! Ellen and I have been going steady in my imagination since Hard Candy.
    “Find her her soulmate” I am sitting. RIGHT. HERE!

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