Also.Also.Also: It’s Never Too Late to Be Your Queer Self and Other Stories for the Week

feature image via shutterstock

Happy blazing Monday! I hope it’s nice enough to open the windows where you live and breathe in some fresh air, and maybe stick your face in some sunshine for a minute!


Queer as in F*ck You

+ Woman Comes Out at 44, Proving It’s Never Too Late to Be Yourself. Welcome to the party! So much hummus. Also hey just for the record, I realize that while the headline of this Also.Also.Also alludes to this link about a 44-year-old woman coming out, the feature image depicts two women who seem to be much younger than 44, which feels slightly weird and wrong. But here’s the thing: while I was searching for a cool feature image, 75% of the results for “lesbian” were skinny white 20-something women pretending to eat each other’s underwear, and I became so ragey that all I wanted to do was highlight an image where two women of color weren’t eating each other’s clothes and in fact seemed totally normal and just like us, actually. So that’s that.

+ Oh but also: On Being A First Time Lesbian And Feeling Like You Aren’t Gay Enough.

+ Carol, though.

+ Film Aimed to Help Families Prevent LGBT Youth Suicides.

+ North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Bill Prompts Film and Television Studio Boycotts, More Than 100 Major Corporations Take a Stand.

+ Man Accused of Murdering a Trans Woman Says He Was ‘Tricked by a Transgender’ because this man is a pile of actual fucking garbage.


Doll Parts

+ Cara Delevingne Opens Up About Her Depression.

+ A Creative Idea That Might Actually Help Close Tech’s Gender Gap: Librarians.

+ Here Are Some Women Directors Whose Beautiful Work Deserves More Love.

+ A Letter to Young Muthas will probably make you cry if you’re a mom or maybe even if you aren’t! Wheeeeee!

+ Lumberjanes Is Moving to the Classroom!

+ How An Art Piece About Female Vulnerability Became A Perfume Ad.

+ Kesha Says She Was Offered Freedom From Label in Exchange for Public Apology. Christ almighty.

+ Ah yes another uplifting piece on men who are the fucking worst, as men tend to be: The Music Industry Men Who Got Away with Exploiting Female Pop Stars.

+ Johnson & Johnson Has a Baby Powder Problem and it’s causing some women to have a cancer problem. So!

+ ‘Food Tech’ Is Just Men Rebranding What Women Have Done for Decades.


Saw This, Thought of You

+ How Sex Education Fails People of Color in the United States.

+ Here are some Descent-Into-Madness Films that you can watch. I don’t know your life.

+ The Long Life (and Slow Death?) of the Prank Phone Call.

+ Can an Outsider Ever Truly Become Amish? Ask myself this every day.

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here.

Laneia has written 919 articles for us.

44 Comments

  1. That “food tech” article!!!

    I remember when a tech-obsessed male friend got very excited telling us about how he planned to do Soylent and, aside from the 3000 reasons I thought replacing all your meals with one product was stupid AF, I kept thinking “I wonder how it compares to SlimFast?”

    That article is spot-on.

  2. “I write this, even though I feel dumb, because I have felt a desperation for community, for belonging, for validation. Even writing this, I don’t feel empowered, I feel a double nervousness of coming out, and not being lesbian enough. So I have turned to the internet.” – On Being A First Time Lesbian And Feeling Like You Aren’t Gay Enough.

    I feel this way all the time. I still feel like I am not lesbian enough, so I’ve stopped trying to be that way. There is only so much hummus I can eat, u-hauling jokes I can hear, and flannel shirts I can buy. It’s easier to be the token lesbian in a group of straight friends, than to be another lesbian in a large sea of other lesbians that want to belong. Good article I can relate to. I give it a lesbian rating of 4.25 flannel shirts.

    • I may be the only lesbian/mostly lesbian who had mostly straight friends all my life. At least, it feels that way because everyone says that all their friends came out after high school.

      But yeah, I don’t know what “gay enough” is.

      • I feel like judgmental is an understatement in my experience with other gay women. I get more acceptance from “bi-curious” straight women. In my first year of college I was accepted by other lesbians, until I told them my taste in music, books and that I could care less about Tegan and Sara. Apparently those are “fighting words” for college lesbians. Sometimes I felt like I am trying to prove I am more lesbian than they were. Considering I managed to do the things they couldn’t, I won. I know not all lesbians are bitchy and judgmental. I think we try to hard to feel accepted in the culture that we may not really fit into.

        I get along great with gay men too. So well that my first and only boyfriend is gay. Terrible kisser. I even kissed his boyfriend on a dare. Two gay guys and a lesbian kissing. That’s pretty damn gay. And I am not sure if it is something to brag about :/

        • In Stone Butch Blues she touches on this: the lengths women went to to fit into the community, especially on the butch side. If they weren’t into femmes, they were ostracized; if they were “saturday night butches” (assuming soft-butch women who ‘pass’ during the week) they were looked down upon…

          I really want AS to do an article about the pressure to fit in to the community. Heck, I’d do it. But the idea that all lesbians have the same music tastes (T&S are not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay) is just ridiculous. You shouldn’t come out of the closet just to have to hide parts of yourself in another closet (aaaaand now I’m imagining dismemberment… this metaphor didn’t work as well as I hoped…)

  3. That article about coming out later in life ! I can relate to the need to “put your identity in a box”. We talk about labels often, and we hear about people being “over them”, but they felt SO important to me when I came out to myself, and reassuring, and helping me find a community. I think labels are easier to shrug off once you feel more confident in who you are. Like now I’m happy to sometimes label myself as queer or even sometimes I wonder if maybe I have attraction towards some men ? Maybe I might be bi (now or someday) or pan ? but that thought doesn’t scare me AT ALL anymore, whereas 2 years ago it was terrifying (aka am I not a lesbian then what am I is this all in my head?)

    • Right, letting go of “lesbian or bust” mentality makes identity a lot easier to handle. It might shift over time but if you don’t let yourself just be you’ll forever be in one closet or another. Hooray for confidence in oneself!

  4. As my town’s pridefest weekend approaches I’ve been agonizing more and more about my “deservingness” of any queer label. My head knows I deserve whatever label I want, but my heart feels…inadequate. That ‘grieving for my straight self’ bit hit home. It hadn’t occurred to me that I might need to do that.

    It’s so complicated, y’all. Well, really, it isn’t – I’m still letting it be that way.
    Arg.

      • You blew my mind a little. I never even stopped to CONSIDER how someone gay might feel about being “the gayest”, since people sometimes brag to cover up insecurities (so when they brag about being gold stars or coming out young, maybe some of them are wishing they were more flexible with their orientation all along!).

        I’m betting a lot of people in the community feel the same way, Lolly. We’re all supposed to be “good gays” full of pride, but you’re right: in some sense we’re not really supposed to talk about our insecurities and shame.

  5. Isn’t the point of SlimFast that you’re on it temporarily/it’s only part of your diet and that you lose weight? And isn’t the point of Soylent that you don’t lose weight you just don’t eat food anymore?

    I mean, sure they’re both slurries of goop that you consume instead of traditional food substances, but they don’t seem to be quite the same concept. A replacement of your diet with something else to maintain weight and a replacement of a meal to help you lose weight are not the same (neither in concept nor nutritionally). The sexism seems to be that stuff made for women is meant to make you smaller/more visually acceptable whilst the stuff for men is meant to make you more efficient and therefore more awesome. Honestly Soylent is a fairly high-calorie affair so if you’re using SlimFast currently for it’s intended purpose I wouldn’t recommend a switch.

    • I thought something similar when I read that article! Comparing the nutrition facts for Soylent and Slim Fast, they are very similar in terms of sodium, potassium, and protein content. But Soylent has almost 3 times as much fat and does have 6 times as many carbs as Slim Fast (Slim Fast basically just has fiber whereas Soylent has additional carbs). Slim Fast has more vitamins and minerals (% DV) than Soylent. Slim Fast is designed based on an Atkin’s diet type of idea, being that if you decrease your carb intake you will lose weight. I didn’t look too closely at the ingredients lists on either. Both of them use soy as their main source of protein. From a cursory glance at their websites, it seems like Soylent is designed with the source of the ingredients in mind. They’re selective about which chemical they are using as a source of sugar, for example. Slim Fast, on the other hand, appears to use common and cheap ingredients found in many foods – whatever works to give them the nutritional breakdown they’re after. Also, Soylent is designed to be able to replace any and all of your meals if you want it to. Slim Fast, on the other hand, is only recommended as a meal replacement for two meals a day, supplemented with snacks. (Looking at the “how to use” sections on both websites.)

      All of which is to say that I agree with you. Soylent and Slim Fast are both nutritional drinks, but their design, actual nutritional value, and ingredients are different.

      And yes, it is worth looking into the sexism behind the design of those products. Why is the drink designed for weight less targeted towards women?

      I hadn’t looked to closely at Soylent before. It actually seems really cool!

    • I think the real point of soylent is actually to make food cost less(I think they are aiming for under $10 a day for 3 meals), while getting the proper daily nutrients one needs. From everything I have read and seen about it, I didn’t get the vibe it was being marketed towards men. Nor did I get the vibe slimfast was being marketed towards women(though my judgment could be clouded cause my 9th grade history teacher, RIP, would have slimfast for lunch to help him loose weight).

      Soylent has(had?) some issues in California. http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/18/9171521/soylent-prop-65-labeling-unsafe-chemicals

      • I think because of the high calorie content most women would need to not consume the recommended daily dose of Soylent thereby making it pretty tricky. This was a problem of couple friends of mine had – it was fine for him, difficult for her because there’s not enough nutrients unless you have the whole amount I think?
        So in that sense it’s pretty explicitly made for dudes. But if you consume a lot of calories it could be appropriate regardless of gender.

        • I haven’t seen anything about the product not keeping women in mind, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that was the case. I know Soylent has been changing it’s formula to make it better, and even more vegan friendly(replaces the fish oil with something vegan friendly). Last I heard Soylent was on version 3 now(and I think cost less too), so maybe this one is different that what your friends had?

  6. “I do not feel good enough for entrance into the amorphous Lesbian Community. This Association of Lesbians, in my mind, sit around the Lesbian Round Table with a large stack of Lesbian applicants, idly chatting and casting Yea or Nay votes upon young, eager Lesbian wannabes. My application falls lightly to the ground, trampled and forgotten.”

    I seriously needed this from the First Time Lesbian article. I’ve been beating myself up lately and feeling too nervous to talk to girls because I think I’m shitty at being a lesbian. I’m worried that they’ll judge me when they realize how shy I am despite dressing like a butch, or hate me when they find out my best friend is a cis straight male who passes for white and is a veteran. It’s probably a silly thing, but I really do think I fail at being the right kind of Lesbian.

    • I have been a nervous wreck for the last 3 years since coming out, about girls. I knew how to be attractive to guys (long hair, low-cut shirt, femme all over) but I feel like I had to go through a second puberty that was just embarrassing when I came out, while other women had been out for literally decades and had the whole being queer thing down pat.

      You also don’t need to only associate with minorities or demonize cis white straight men. Some of my best friends and allies are cis white straight men, and I don’t know what I’d do without them. Who cares about the people who tell you that someone with that much privilege is a horrible person, because everyone has their problems and also it’s not like less privilege means better person or better friend.

      You’re all sorts of good enough.

    • You sound like the right kind of lesbian. I have more courage talking to girls after about 8 years of being out the closet. Took me a while, so it might take you a while to not be as shy. There is nothing wrong with being a shy lesbian. Being shy makes you more mysterious.

      • Thank you. :) But yeah, because of the way I dress and my more masculine interests, I’ve always felt this pressure to be more dominant, outgoing, or speak with a deeper voice. The trans man and butch lesbian at my college seem to do this well, while I’m the less talkative one who sits in corners reading mangas. Doesn’t help that I naturally have a high pitched voice as well and occasionally squeak when surprised (which can be really embrassing. A lot of people can’t even comprehend how it is humanly possible that I can make such a squeak.)

  7. The comments on this have been so validating, regarding not being gay enough.

    I just wanted to tell all the people who think they aren’t gay enough: maybe I saw you at a gay bar one day and thought I’d never get *your* acceptance, that *you guys* probably came off as the “gay enough” gays while I was just like ugh, confused baby queer. But maybe you thought I was the “gay enough” gay while you weren’t. The moral is: we don’t know everyone’s stories, a lot of people are trying to prove themselves, and so let’s just all be chill about it and dance and be merry, identity be damned.

    • ugh thank you , tam. i totally needed to read this.

      even being the nyc and i still dont feel ‘gay enough.’ it’s a struggle, but you’re totally right. we dont’t know everyone’s story.

  8. These articles and the comments are more comforting than a month of therapy!
    I would take any pill or have any surgery no matter the side effects to be bi or straight. I am in deep mourning. As long as I’m not alone I know there’s hope. The worst is when people (family) say maybe you feel so upset with being a lesbian because your bi. I’m like no!!! It’s because I can’t be even a little bi. It’s because I’m having to make peace with the fact that my identity is so extreme and I dont feel like I fit into that world at all. So many people don’t get it.

  9. Good God I love AS so fucking much right now. Like getting really nicely edited curated news and then landing on an article that triggers ALL THE FEELS and commenting on it in a safe space and having so many other people relate <3.

    • OMG I just read this article and it is AMAZING. I could have written all of it, from leaving the dresses in the closet to not having a relationship in your teens / early twenty (well except I still don’t have a girlfriend, but that’ll come!).

  10. ““The Cage” was all about the vulnerability of the woman, the flesh of the woman, and how something so beautiful, like a rose or the female body, can be destroyed so easily.”

    The female body can be destroyed so easily by exposure to toxic chemicals like perfume. Such irony.

  11. You guys, I needed those first two articles like I need water and air. I came out to myself much later than most and in the midst of an almost-decade long marriage to a man (with whom I have two children). And I’m in the process of mourning the loss of my pretty well established straight self while trying to feel comfortable adopting any way of expressing my newly-discovered being and feeling terribly inadequate and flailing about it all. This site HELPS. Reading the comments of baby gays and established gays HELPS. Seeing that my struggle with this is normal HELPS.

    Here are some pita chips for the hummus.

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