Also.Also.Also: A Queer Timeline of ”The Baby-Sitters Club,” Annotated

Hey y’all, I’ve missed you! This news roundup column has been inconsistent in August for a variety of reasons, including (though not limited to) that I’ve been away plotting and then helping execute our A League of Their Own coverage and there’s just only so many awake hours in a day.

But our two-week A League of Their Own sprint wraps tomorrow (for now) and I’m slowly dipping my toe back into this regular beat. Let’s see what we missed!


Queer as in F*ck You

A Queer History of the Baby-Sitters Club. “We all know that Kristy Thomas is and has always been a lesbian.” I know that’s right!! This is just a casual reminder that all the baby-sitters are gay (I’m serious, I believe this) and none more gay than Kristy Thomas, including a timeline of fan reactions and adaptations dating back to 1985. My two favorite parts are a link to a list I somehow missed of all 131 BSC books ranked by gayness and also quotes from both myself (what!?) and our very own Senior Editor Heather Hogan! So a little full circle loop there. The baby-sitters, they are all gay. GAY.

How Legacy Media Leverage Transphobia To Sell Clicks, Not Journalism

Every day I pray for this. Every day. Russia Optimistic on US Prisoner Swap Including WNBA Star Griner.

This Queer-Led Edible Brand Creates the Most Joyful Products. “Infused Pop Rocks and birthday cake flavors are just the beginning.”

The Right Is Misusing the Word “Grooming,” and It Can Have Serious Consequences

Speaking of which, Children’s Hospitals Harassed Over Transgender Care Programs. I super f*cking hate this!

From Sally: Looks like someone has adapted a lesbian romance novel into an IRL story. The Coworkers Who Fell in Love When They Shared a Hotel Room

And to wrap us up, how about our always brilliant Autostraddle Managing Editor Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya with some in-depth entertainment reporting for Refinery29? Including interviews a lot of actors that I happen to know you enjoy, Is It Ever Okay For Straight Actors To Play Queer Roles?


Saw This, Thought of You

YouTube Videos Are Helping Reunite Loved Ones Separated by the India-Pakistan Border. “Two Pakistani friends make videos in which those who lived through India’s 1947 Partition describe loved ones they lost at the time. With viewers’ help, siblings and others are reunited after decades.” Monday was the 75th Anniversary of Independence and Partition on the South Asian Subcontinent, and Himani recommended this piece to me, it was excellent and you should read it!

OnlyFans Bribed Meta to Put Thousands of Adult Entertainers on Terrorist Watch List, Lawsuits Allege. “Three lawsuits claim that OnlyFans paid Meta to shadow-ban users who promoted its competitors.”

“I remember feeling like the guys behind bars looked like people down my block… They just looked like people I knew. That stuck with me.” The Artists Taking on Mass Incarceration

How I’m Reclaiming Summer as a Fat Brown Babe


Political Snacks

Critics Call Dems’ Climate Bill a “Devil’s Bargain” on Climate. Here’s What the Devil Is Getting. “Evaluating the ugly parts of the historic legislation.”

Despite Donations, Abortion Funds Still Struggle to Survive. “At least eight Texas abortion funds have been forced to pause operations, causing a ripple effect for out-of-state groups now struggling to support a rising tide of patients.”

I found this chart really helpful, and I hope you’ll take one its recommendations for your late summer reading:


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Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 497 articles for us.

8 Comments

  1. While I agree that queer roles should be offered to queer actors first… we’ve literally been reading for weeks about A League of their Own on this site, with gushing and swooning and fainting about D’Arcy Carden as Greta. Did I miss something…? Is she queer? If not, then there’s a bit of a double standard here. Sometimes a role fits a person, and Carden is excellent as Greta. She got the role because of her relationship with Abbi Jacobsen, which, fine. I have no issue with it. Also, they’re smokin’ together, so. I think trans representation is a bit different, as the article says.

    • Totally agree. Trans roles should never be played by cis actors, but, as long as chemistry is considered, I don’t have a problem with straight actors playing gay or bi roles.
      I will say though, I get excited when queer roles are played by queer actors! But I’m not mad about it being a straight actor unless the portrayal isn’t convincing.

  2. i really loved this round up! i think that the conversation around who can play which roles is a) evolving and b) nuanced; trying to find a one-size-fits-all answer is a dangerous game. in my real world work i have this conversation around disability a lot: yes, disabled actors should play disabled roles, but how specific do you need to get? does the character with CP need to be played by an actor with CP, or someone with a similar mobility disability fair game? i don’t know the answer but i think it’s an important conversation

  3. Personally, I do not mind straight actors in queer roles. Queer actors would still be overlooked if they were not out. And it would feel pretty gross if someone felt pressured into coming out just to get a part. No one is winning in that situation. Besides, I don’t think the actors are the problem. I think this is less of an issue if there were more queer show runners, writers, casting directors, and producers. Queer or not no one Bette Porters better than Jennifer Beals.

    Also, abolishing the police is so incredibly dangerous that I’m surprised people actually entertain the idea. People have proven to be unreliable when it comes to policing themselves.

  4. From the article about whether it’s okay to cast straight people in queer roles….”This goes to show that the issue is nuanced and complex: Just because a project does cast some queer actors in queer roles and has a queer person at the helm (Murphy is openly gay), that doesn’t mean it’s exempt from criticism or controversy.”

    I 100% agree with this statement.

    I also think that not all criticism or perceived/projected controversy is valid just because it comes from someone within a particular group.

  5. I absolutely think trans parts should always be played by trans actors but it is different for gay roles.Cis actors playing trans just adds to the BS idea of it being “dress up” and there are so few opportunities for trans actors. With playing gay, some are closeted and publicly straight doesn’t actually mean straight, you know? People have played gay and only come out later on. I don’t think anyone should be pressured to come out and I think it is fine for straight actors to play gay if they are good actors. Obviously I think gay actors should be given more opportunities and shouldn’t have to remain closeted to be leading men and women in mainstream film. And there should be LGBT characters in mainstream film that aren’t there for two seconds, but that is another issue!

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