Also.Also.Also: Coming Out in the Classroom and Other Stories We Missed This Week

Hello, snow owls! Snow owls were my favorite owls growing up, and once I made one for a project in elementary school, like did all the work on creating a beautiful cardboard life-size snow owl bb for this art project, and then my partner who only wrote the accompanying blurb took it home because I had weird hair and didn’t know how to stand up for myself.

Here’s the stories we missed this week.

Fuck Yeah Awkward Black Girl


Now I’m just waiting for them to give B a show of some sort and let me live out my life dream of being in her posse. But I digress.

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes the Inevitable Dissolution of Your Entire Relationship

Republicans caused gay marriage in Minnesota so nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.

It was only 11:57 — three minutes before Minnesota would join Rhode Island as the 12th and 13th states to legalize gay marriage. As the clock struck 12 a.m., the mayor continued: “By the power now finally vested in me, by the laws of the people of Minnesota, we hereby declare Margaret and Cathy legally married.” And with that, Margaret Miles and Cathy ten Broeke became one of the first same sex couples legally married in Minnesota, one of 66 such weddings (46 of them officiated by the mayor) performed at City Hall between midnight and 7 a.m. in a ceremonial blitz. For supporters, the night marked a historic victory years in the making. And it may never have happened were it not for the strong opposition of Minnesota Republicans.

+ In Kentucky, lesbos lose out on spousal privilege – and thus are forced to testify against each other in murder cases. But that’s a very short synopsis.

+ In Alabama, a lesbian mom won parental rights in what shouldn’t be a milestone. Don’t they know that lesbians make the best moms?

In Colorado, the first gay divorce happened.

Virtual Sex: Still A Thing, Period

Doesn’t everyone already know the answer to “why have virtual sex” is “why not.”


Lessons from the Front

Michelle McLeod knows her shit when it comes to LGBT equality – but why wouldn’t she? She’s been in the game for 25 years, and by “in the game” I mean “actively involved in the challenge for her own human rights.”

I served in the Navy during the Reagan Administration, when there were, “nearly as many [servicemembers] discharged — at least 13,236 — as in the entire 17 years of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”, I became an instant activist and advocate the moment I uttered the words, “Are you asking me if I’m gay?” to the U.S. Naval Investigative Service. After a couple of degrading interrogation sessions, and countless required visits to the psychologist on base, I proceeded to negotiate my own general discharge of a General, even as a dishonorable one lingered over my head.

Up until then, I has been just another worried service member. Between being my authentic self and the sailor that the Navy wanted me to be, I felt like an underground criminal on the verge of a meltdown. How could I merge my two lives, and still be a full member of the U.S. armed forces?

I learned, sadly, that it wouldn’t be possible for me. It was time to leave. Because of the humiliation involved (especially seeing bestiality and homosexuality classified in the same sentence on my discharge paperwork), I became an open opponent to any and all policies that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. I was never going back in the “closet,” and I respected anyone who put their neck out in the name of equality.

Sports: Still A Gay Thing

+ Now introducing: the inaugural class of the National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame!

+ The You Can Play campaign to end homophobia in sports is finally gettin’ some laydeez.

Queerer and Otherwise Better Campuses

More and more colleges are asking you about your sexual orientation during the admissions process. It helps relieve my worries that educators will continue getting fired for being openly gay anywhere.

In Canada, Trinity Western University is not gonna just get away with banning gays from entry – explicitly or not. If the students are lucky, though, they might turn it into a gay-friendly campus like all those queer freaks at Georgetown.


(My hope is mostly that all the queer activism on these campuses also leads to more feminist activism so we can finally end the campus rape epidemic. Much like the queers, it isn’t going anywhere. But unlike the queers, it’s not awesome at all.)

The Christine Quinn Question

Does anyone like Christine Quinn? She can’t seem to catch a break.

New York City Mayoral Candidates Attend Political Forum

At Cubbyhole, a popular New York lesbian bar, for every two revelers who praised City Council speaker Christine Quinn in her race to become the city’s first woman and first openly gay mayor, one complained about her style and political policies.

“Just because she’s a lesbian, it doesn’t mean I’ll vote for her,” said Veronica Gonzales, 32, who works for a non-profit organization. “She is not socially liberal enough, and she has this air about her like she is above it all – like she is above us.”

…Quinn is the only woman in the race, and the only openly gay candidate, yet she scored only 30 percent support from women in a survey by Quinnipiac University published on July 29. Polls do not break down voting preferences by sexual orientation.

Give, Give, Give, Until There’s Nothing Left

+ 8 ways you can help Marissa Alexander, NOW.

+ Don’t forget about Toasted Marshmallows!

Apartment Hunting with Natasha Lyonne

I wish Natasha Lyonne was apartment hunting with me so we could have interesting hair together forever.

“Here’s my situation, all right,” says Lyonne, in an accent that’s a cross between a Jewish grandma and Marge Simpson’s hard-smoking twin sisters. “I’m living in a fucking beautiful building in a beautiful apartment the past five years. I have a 40-year-old man I live with and a small animal. The apartment got too small to really make it worth the raise in the rent.” The small animal is an adorable Maltipoo named Root Beer, and the 40-year-old man is her boyfriend of two years, Andrew, a former Times reporter she met at an Angela Davis rally in Washington Square Park during Occupy Wall Street. His pickup line, ironically enough, was about an L.A. sublet they were both looking at and both failed to get. “So instead we just started sleeping together, and now we have a new real estate situation,” says Lyonne. “I thought he was way too sophisticated and intelligent and reasonable to actually be my boyfriend. I thought it was going to be a one-night stand and I was just gonna suck out all his brains in one night,” she says, cackling. “He had a much better vocabulary when we first met.”

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. Wait, AWESOME QUEER CAMPUSES? One, is there a directory of that sort of thing, two, is there a Canadian University version?!

    • Oh, hey, you =P

      As someone traversing to yet another university campus, I’d love for a directory as well.

  2. Um “the 40-year-old man is her boyfriend of two years, Andrew, a former Times reporter she met at an Angela Davis rally in Washington Square Park during Occupy Wall Street.” Is there a better way to meet someone? This has indie-film written all over it.

  3. is it maybe just a little bit funny that TWU has emailed me almost every day in for the last 8 months in order to recruit me? oh, if they only knew…

  4. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh so many gaybies on the Seattle Reign and they are all adorable and perfect to me. Thanks for linking to it.

  5. I can’t with Natasha Lyonne. That entire article is fucking hilarious. I have a feeling if we ever had a real conversation I would die of laughter.

  6. Am I the only queer who’s not a fan of college application forms asking kids what their sexual orientation is? Yeah, I know the question is “optional,” but everyfuckingbody knows that if you answer “decline to state” in response to “Are you gay?” you might as well tattoo “GAYGAYGAYGAY” across your forehead. Surely I’m not the only person who a) had parents who looked at my college application forms and b) was deathly afraid of my parents finding out I was queer. Yes, I could have lied, but I kind of suck at lying and it would have been really stressful. If a potential employer asked this at a job interview, we’d find it wildly inappropriate, so why is it okay for universities to ask potential students?

    I totally support the universities’ stated goal of becoming more aware of the queer presence on campus. (Although honestly, you should assume some of your students are queer whether you have data or not. Because they are.) However, a much better way to do this is through ANONYMOUS surveys for students who are ALREADY ENROLLED. I’m sure you’d get more accurate data, and make fewer students feel uncomfortable. That’s what my university did. (Also, true story: the co-director of my school’s LGBT center, who works with those surveys, told me when they tally up the straight/cis vs. LGBTQ respondents, they officially count “decline to state” as LGBTQ. So that gives you some idea of what kind of assumptions people will make if you choose “decline to state.”)

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