Also.Also.Also: Demi Lovato Sang Her Damn Heart Out at the Grammys, Left Mine in Pieces

Hello world! How’s the start to your new week thus far?

OK, this is going to sound completely out-of-nowhere, but may I suggest that you reconsider ginger ale? We don’t have to dig into the details, but I had the stomach flu over the weekend. Anyway it’s over now (thankfully!) – but I have this left over ginger ale in the house. I’m not usually someone who drinks soda. I’m very steadily a water and La Croix type of woman. But I just had a glass of ginger ale while I sat down to write this link round up and I must say: It’s better than I remembered. Crisp, not overly sweet like Coke. It paired well with this mid-afternoon fruit and crackers scenario.

That’s my hot tip of the week! Ginger Ale. Get into it.

And here’s some other stuff that’s happening in the world:

Queer as in F*ck You

EXCUSE ME BUT NOTHING THIS WEEK WILL BE COOLER OR MORE QUEER THAN AUTOSTRADDLE’S VERY OWN ARCHIE BONGIOVANNI BEING PUBLISHED IN THE NEW YORKER!!! It went up yesterday morning and I’m still not over it. Please, please click over and read Times When I Realized That I Was the Only Homosexual in the Room. This has you in the mood to read more Grease Bats, doesn’t it? Give yourself that treat today.

How The Black Trans Travel Fund Is Taking A Creative Approach To Addressing A National Epidemic. This great piece of reporting also reminded me of this piece, published by Abeni Jones for us earlier in the year: Trans Radiance: Sharing Food as an Act of Love.

The Little-Known History of Amelio Robles, a Trans Zapatista Who Fought in Mexico’s Revolution

The Triumphant Queer Legacy of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’

Angelica Ross is the face of Louis Vuitton’s Pre-Fall 2020 Collection, and we couldn’t be more excited for her!

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

(Fun fact: She asked to wear her natural afro for the photo shoot, and the team enthusiastically said yes!)

This epic woodsy wedding is black queer love, personified!

Saw This, Thought of You

“Gigi’s social media presence was sparse (she was only 13 after all), but she was a frequent subject on her famous father’s Instagram. There’s Gigi standing proudly in a jean jacket next to her friend, with perhaps her first cell phone jutting out of her pocket. And there’s Gigi in high heels standing under a basketball hoop looking up at it. The ball is dropping through the net toward her outstretched right hand as her raven hair flies in the wind behind her. And there’s Gigi in a blue-and-gold uniform dribbling the ball down the court before sinking an impossible fadeaway baseline jumper over the outstretched hands of three opponents…. Gigi woke up Sunday morning to go play basketball, like any other day. She had her whole life ahead of her, and she does not deserve to be remembered for the way she died.”

Remembering Gigi Bryant (2006-2020)

Laneia and Riese read this piece about Kobe Bryant and recommend it for your consideration: Two Things Can Be True, but One Is Always Mentioned First. Kobe Bryant was an incredible basketball player; he also admitted to sexual assault.

Whew. OK!! Here’s more to think about:

Strands: What Are Genetics, Exactly, When We Are Adopted?

These Latinas Are Creating Community Through Free Surf Lessons

Elizabeth Wurtzel Understood that Mental Health Is a Crucial Part of Women’s Rights

Autostraddle writers are really making the rounds this week: I Lost Myself Within My Married Household, I Found Myself by Creating My Own by your favorite Carolyn Yates! I bet you didn’t think a piece about home decoration would be so beautiful it could leave you in tears, but here we are.

Marija Frlan,  Concentration Camp Survivor, Turns 100 on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

This next piece is actually a year old, but I just discovered it over the weekend so it is New to ME and I think it’s a really awesome: Unpublished Black History, revealing moments in black history using the unpublished photos from The New York Times’s archives.

The Grammys were last night and this was my favorite performance. Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile doing “Bring My Flowers Now” is not as flashy as what else has gotten headlines and it probably won’t surprise you I don’t always love country music. But last summer Laneia started to sway me, and this kind of tough broads who sing through their pain thing really gets me in the gut:

Demi Lovato also performed a heart-wrenching ballad in her first public return since her near-overdose in 2018, it shouldn’t be missed.

Political Snacks

Thanks, I Hate It So Much! The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to begin implementing new rules making it easier to deny immigrants residency or admission to the United States because they have or might use public-assistance programs. (Also, since we’re here in hell anyway: Trump Moves to Gut Obama Housing Discrimination Rules. The new rules will make it easier to deny loans to people of color.)

Meet The 19th News, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy. They’re aiming to become the nation’s first newsroom committed to making the news — and our democracy — more representative for America’s women. I sincerely wish them the best of luck!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

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 714 articles for us.


  1. I love the links at the bottom of Archie’s comic in the New Yorker that offer


  2. Love the photos from the NYT! Jesse in a leather fringe jacket, that woman in Newark defiantly facing down the National Guard, and Lena Horne, oh my. Did y’all know that Lena Horne desegregated Broadway’s stagehand union? She and Harry Bellafonte were scheduled to star in Harold Arlen’s musical “Jamaica” in 1957, and Horne insisted that backstage had to be as Black as onstage. The lady got what she demanded. It was a major moment for members of Local 1A, the Black stagehand’s union, whose members had been relegated to work Off-Broadway, in jazz clubs, and the like. The other amazing thing she and Bellafonte were doing was working with a man who had been blacklisted in Hollywood (Arlen) for his alleged Communist leanings. They are both giants, not only in the fight for racial justice, but also in the fight for a better labor movement. Two cents done. I’m out.

  3. That haircut panel in Archie’s comic! I left so many salons with so many of those same terrible in-between cuts by so many reluctant straight hairdressers. Thank the lorde for my current queer barber, amen.

  4. OOF that last Archie comment hit me in the gut (in that sort of “this is so relatable BUT AT WHAT COST??” way lol)

  5. Can someone adapt the Amelio Robles into a movie? Or a mini-series? It’s so amazing!

    “I will survive” is the song me and my friends sing when we are drunk and going home. Undoubtedly annoying all of the people who are trying to sleep. Me and one of my friends always messing up the lyrics, my other friend judging us for messing up the lyrics. None of us can really sing. Good times.

  6. Oof. What a good AAA Carmen – your pacing is impeccable. I really needed to listen to both songs after reading the Kobe Bryant piece.

    I’m a survivor and I feel like I’m just drowning in rage right now. And I DON”T WANT TO BE. I really would rather not be triggered by yet another celebrity story. I would rather not be feeling such rage scrolling through my FB feed.

    So thank you for this quote:

    “The balance of holding space for people to grieve someone who inspired them, while believing and supporting fellow survivors who will be triggered by that public grief and celebration is difficult. I’m asking for empathy for myself, survivors of sexual assault, and those grieving”

    Love to all of you in AS land.

  7. On a ginger ale related note. If any of you ever want to make a real treat for yourself. Add a scoop mango sorbet to a glass of ginger ale for a mango ginger ale float. To really make snazzy add some fresh lime juice.

    • That sounds good. My friend about a year ago turned me on to Vernor’s ginger ale, which I prefer vs Canada Dry. Will have to try this at some point.

      • Vernors! I grew up in Michigan and my dad always had a case of Vernors in the garage. I never developed a taste for it thought – it was just one more weird tasting thing that grown-ups liked.

        My big treat for myself is Reed’s Ginger Beer. Much more flavorful than Canada Dry or Swepes.

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