Also.Also.Also: Saving Your Tattoos After You’re Dead and Other Stories to Read This Weekend

feature image via shutterstock

Let me tell you something about life. One day you’re puttering along, everything seems cool, whatever. You’ve redecorated your living room, you’re thinking about cleaning off your bulletin board by your desk. You’re gonna vacuum later. Then you go take a shower and the hose connected to the base of your downstairs toilet just detaches, just like that, not unlike the charging cord for this laptop I’m using right now. Just for no apparent reason and without warning and not because you’re a horrible person with unpaid late fees at the library and you sometimes listen to The Eagles. No, this could not have been predicted nor prevented. So while you’re in the shower becoming a clean adult with ambitions, singing along to “Take It To The Limit,” your entire downstairs area is becoming a kiddie pool. Your dogs are asleep on the couch, completely oblivious to the devastation being brought upon your dining room table legs, your bookshelves, the socks you left in the floor, and yes, your sandals. You step out of the shower some 30 minutes later to the sound of rushing water. But wait, you think to yourself, I just turned the water off. Why does the water sound so ON? You wrap a towel around yourself and walk cautiously into the hallway, fully entertaining the idea that Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern have robbed your house and then turned every faucet on full blast before making their getaway in a beat up blue minivan. Your pace quickens as you descend the stairs to find an ankle-deep lagoon in your kitchen. You splash into it to and run like a confused bird to the bathroom where you find water shooting from the wall like a broken fire hydrant, all the while yelling “WHAT THE FUCK SHIT FUCK WHAT THE FUCK WHAT?? SHIT FUCK WHAT?? OH MY FUCKING FUCK HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK.” You throw open the front door because that’s where the main water line is and that is where you will turn the water off, you hope, only to find that the lagoon has also made its way out that door, onto your sidewalk and is flowing out into the parking lot. You pause for the briefest moment to lament “HOLY! FUCK!” before bending down and shutting off the water entirely. You’re proud of yourself for remembering how to turn off the water. It’s at this moment that you remember you are in a towel, and only a towel, cursing loudly outside your flooded house. You remember this because about fifteen yards away, a man in khakis and a polo shirt holding a small stack of mail is closing the door to his truck and looking at you. You shut your front door and splash your way back through your living room, where two dogs have found their way down from the dry sofa they were once resting on and are now standing in your new lagoon, staring up at you as if to say, “what the fuck?” The confused dogs jump onto the other sofa (the one you use, the one they aren’t allowed on) and walk from one end to the other, probably in attempt to find a portal to another universe in which this shit is not happening. You corral the dogs through the lagoon and up the stairs, yelling a variety of half-sentences like, “TOILET HOSE JUST—? NO, UPSTAIRS! UP! WHAT THE— JUST! IT’S EVERYWH— GO UPSTAIRS! GO! JESUS HOLY— MY PHONE— MY COMPUTER OH GOD I— OH MY GOD! NEED TO UNPLUG THE— OH MY GOD” and so on. On your way up the stairs you glance outside the back door to see another lagoon, one filled with potted plants and a small metal statue of a dog that your wife payed too much money for at Goodwill three years ago, and you think, “Is this real life?”

And it is. It is real life. Because the thing about life is that it’s always real, you guys.

You Should Go or Do or Give

+ HEY ARE YOU AN ACTIVIST? Carmen’s looking for you! She’s working on a piece that will feature the revolutionaries among us for her column, Rebel Girls. Fill out this form!

If you’re a member of the Autostraddle community in any capacity (staff, A-Camper, commenter, frequent reader, donor, etc.), I’d like to know about you and the activism you’re doing! That’s what this survey is for. I’m into all kinds of social justice work that spans topics and communities – feminism, LGBTQ liberation, racial justice work, etc. Don’t feel like if it isn’t explicitly oriented around gender or women, you can’t brag about it to me! BRAG AWAY!

Responses are due before or on 7/5. If you have any questions or concerns, email me: carmen [at] autostraddle [dot] com.

+ Support the Free CeCe! Post-Production Campaign!

Queer as in F*ck You

+ Celebrating Gender Diversity Through Art. This here is a profile on Drew Riley and you are going to enjoy it.

+ Mary Emily O’Hara and Here’s What the Law Says About Tennessee’s ‘No Gays Allowed’ Store. HINT: it ain’t pretty.

In Tennessee, just as in 28 other U.S. states, it’s perfectly legal to post a “no gays” sign in the window of a store. It’s legal to tell an LGBT person to get out of a public park, to refuse to serve them a meal in a restaurant, to deny them care at a doctor’s office, or to decline to open a bank account for someone because they are gay or transgender. In those states, it’s all 100 percent legal.

Also legal in 28 states: denying housing to LGBT people. A landlord can legally send an eviction notice that says “you have to leave because you’re a lesbian.” A real estate agent can say, “sorry, but I won’t sell this house to a gay couple.” A broker can blatantly tell you there’s no apartments for rent for transgender folks.

Guess what else is well within the legal rights of residents in 28 U.S. states? Firing an employee because they are LGBT—or simply not hiring them. It’s entirely legal to say, “No thanks. You’re qualified, but we just don’t want your kind working here.”

+ Wow these assholes just will not stop. Arsonist Burns Mural Depicting Queer Love in San Francisco.

+ Speaking of SF, Did Apple Provide Too Much of a Good Thing at Pride Parade?

+ Nation’s First FM Radio Station Dedicated To LGBT Community Launches In Minneapolis.

+ We published a piece in March on this amazing project about the disappearing dyke bar scene, Last Call NOLA. Here’s a mini episode featuring restaurant owner Ellen Rabin about when Pride wasn’t a bunch of corporate bullshit.

+ And then Hear What This 97-Year-Old Lesbian Has to Say About Gay Marriage.

+ In the Goal, and Out of the Closet, at the Women’s World Cup.

+ The Transgender Healthcare Revolution Has Two New Startups.

+ Why I Painted a Rainbow Flag on Israel’s Apartheid Wall.

Doll Parts

+ Exsqueeze me but here are two — count ’em, TWO — feminist zine roundups: 1) Luna Luna Mag’s Roundup and 2) Bitch’s Five Black Zine Lives. Damn what is your day? It is THE GREATEST, that’s what.

+ Teen Vogue publishes essay on embracing feminism? Teen Vogue publishes essay on embracing feminism.

+ CarmenLeah Ascencio has published a super important and inspiring piece on BGD: Six Steps You Can Take to Start Healing From Trauma Right Now. Share it far and wide.

+ Anna Holmes on the Longform Podcast! Speaking truth!

“I think that Jezebel contributed to what I now call ‘outrage culture,’ but outrage culture has no sense of humor. We had a hell of a sense of humor, that’s where it splits off. … The fact that people who are incredibly intelligent and have interesting things to say aren’t given the room to work out their arguments or thoughts because someone will take offense is depressing to me.”

+ On Shia Labeouf and Appropriation: This Is What Happens When Nobody Knows Your Name by DJ Kuttin Kandy. READ THIS AND LEARN THINGS.

+ Black Twitter Clowns Urban Outfitters for Overpriced Hair Accessory Used By Women of Color.

Saw This, Thought of You

+ Bree Newsom Speaks for the First Time After Courageous Act of Civil Disobedience

+ If you work, this will perhaps be of interest/devastation to you: Shocking Numbers Reveal Just How Burnt Out American Workers Are, as well as Americans Lose 12.4 Billion Leisure Hours to Employers Every Year.

+ What It Means To Be Landless: Alaska Native Bill in Congress. Read it read it read it. Read the whole thing.

+ DOJ Report: Police in Ferguson Antagonized Demonstrators and Violated Their Free-Speech Rights.

+ Take some time to appreciate 26-Year-Old Frida Kahlo’s Compassionate Letter to 46-Year-Old Georgia O’Keeffe. :cat with heart eyes emoji:

+ Whole Foods CEOs Apologize For Overcharging Their Customers. Y’all, Whole Foods is on a trip right now. This is like when your mom started going to those meetings and got a new haircut and started giving you $20 for no reason and you were like, would this be a good time to ask about turning the basement into my new bedroom or maybe tickets to the Aerosmith concert? And the answer is yes, kid. Now is that time.

+ What in all the fuck.

+ As Black Churches Burn, Feds Close In On Suspect in CVS Arson.


+ Oh also. ‘Punched in the Gut’: Uncovering the Horrors of American Indian Boarding Schools.

Lajimodiere recalls an incident with her father after she began researching the boarding school experience. “One day, about a year before he died, I brought the documentary In the White Man’s Image for my father to watch. The video spoke of the government’s attempt to stamp out American Indian culture, language, tradition, stories, and ceremonies. It reviewed the background of Captain Richard Pratt and detailed his educational experiment designed to transform the Indian into the white man’s image. Pratt’s first school, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, was profiled, and the second school, in Chemawa, near Salem, Oregon, where my father was sent, was mentioned. The video documented the use of whistles, bells, bugles, and military-style punishment and daily regiment, the building of guard houses on school campuses, kids dying of homesickness, disease, and poor nutrition. The narrator said that boarding schools left a legacy of confused and lonely children.

“Following the video, and after a long silence, with head in hands, he said softly, ‘So that’s what the goddamn hell they were trying to do to us.’ The power and impact of his words slammed into me and I sat trembling, fighting back tears, unable to say a word, unable to comfort him. He had never learned, throughout his entire life, about the government’s assimilation policy, why he was stolen, why his hair was shaved off, why he was beaten for speaking Cree, why he had Christianity forced on him. This was his soul wound,” she wrote in “A Healing Journey.”

+ This happened and everyone collectively lost their shit.

+ Stef saw this and thought of you and really, who in their right mind could blame her? The Art of Preserving Tattooed Skin After Death.

+ Just some more parenting-type advice to completely confuse you and make you feel like a total fuck-up even if you’ve never had a kid! Don’t Call Kids “Smart”: “People labeled smart at a young age don’t deal well with being wrong. Life grows stagnant.” Jesus we are all so fucked.

And Finally

Riese made me obsessed with this tumblr today. So many scissors and eggs, y’all. What are you even cutting??

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

Laneia has written 930 articles for us.


  1. AHHHH…I’m so sorry Laneia. As I was reading this I thought, I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO TURN THE WATER COMPLETELY OFF. I’m going to add this to the list of things I should know for the future.

    Also, internet hugs… a lot of them for you.

  2. I experienced a similar situation like 4 years ago when I was living in a guest house, and I’m glad to know you have reacted in basically the same way I did.

    Although maybe mine’s a little better, because instead of the man in khakis staring I had the hot lesbians from the main house come over to save me.

  3. Oh.My.God. How is it that in the mist of a deep depression, your entire intro made me laugh like a lunatic?! I’m so so sorry that happened, but fuck, it was funny, and thank you for making me laugh.

  4. “And it is. It is real life. Because the thing about life is that it’s always real, you guys.”


    I just wanna say that there were too many apple employees marching at Pride! I do not want to see EIGHT THOUSAND human beings MOST OF WHOM WERE STRAIGHT in white t-shirts walk down the street in front of me that is not a parade a parade is marching bands and floats and small groups of important groups of GAY PEOPLE because seriously apple, tell the straight people not to march and you would have a much more manageable contingent.

    anyhow your flood is much worse than that little bit of the pride parade, but. i wanted to just put this here.

  5. Just for the record I do not want my tattoos preserved. Ew no burn them with the rest of me.

    I don’t know if it’s mentioned in the boarding school article, but Rhymes for Young Ghouls is a terrific First Nations film on the topic, and apparently available through many, many different digital venues.

  6. Seriously. Thank you for highlighting stories about indigenous American peoples. We’re so often forgotten and I love this website a little more every time I see it happen. I mean, I lovelove you anyway, where else would I find food and fanfics and fantastic queer people? Just, yeah, thanks.

    Also, terrible about the flood. You’re a champ. I laughed at the tragedy; I’m very, very sorry.

  7. So many great articles in this roundup!

    About the calling kids smart thing- I went to a conference a few years ago that was all about this topic. It makes sense if you think about it. That article came across as a little judgy though, as do most articles about parenting strategies. You’re not going to traumatize your kid if you call them smart!

  8. first time commenting – unfortunately because that rainbow-on-the-wall article made me feel quite uncomfortable. or more so the link without commentary. because it leads to a site that affirmatively refers to the term “intifada” and uses antisemitic rethorics. the arcticle uses the inappropriate apartheid comparison and the pinkwashing argument – funnily enough to explain an act of appropriating the rainbow flag and its lgbt history for another cause. don’t get me wrong, i like to read more about the prpoblems the palestinian lgbt community faces, but this article is filled with unreflected anti-israeli propaganda.
    and omg laneia, that under water situation! get dry soon!

  9. Laneia – is there anything we can do to help? Replacing anything that got damaged etc.? Sending cake/pizza/dry unicorn onesies?

    Because sometimes the universe just needs to know which gofundme to send help to.

    (and thank you for your amazing writing/work – it’s much appreciated)

  10. Oh Laneia I know how much that sucks.

    Putting stuff in the sun to dry helps.
    Um I don’t know your furniture, but if it’s something wood based that was held together by a glue. You can get it reglued, either with well researched DIY project or by a professional. If it’s metal there’s so many ways to de-rust it just um the ones off the top of my head might take the finish or paint off.

    Area carpets CAN be washed in a washer just check the care instructions if you can and use towels to balance the weight or um you might take the “cannister” or your washer or dryer off it’s “rotation” I’m sorry I don’t have the technical terms right now.

    If you have a carpet carpet there are drying machines you can use to dry it. They’re basically a fancy giant hair dryer in function but look like a silvery steampunk vacuum. You can rent those or get a service to do it for you, depends on your budget.

    If you’re at the point the carpet has gone moldy awful get yourself some goggles, a face mask, gloves, a box cutter and rip that thing out and dispose of it.

    There are ways to purify/reclaim your clothes I’d have to ask someone about that tho, b/c it’s been a decade and I was just a kid assisting in the process back then.

    FEMA advised us to put books in the freezer to “save” them but oh man does that make them fragile, especially paperbacks.

  11. Don’t Call Kids “Smart”: “People labeled smart at a young age don’t deal well with being wrong. Life grows stagnant.”

    It is a good thing I am always right or this article would have crushed me.

    Also, I scrolled through this article & paused only to read the context of all the fucks. There were a lot and I feel like I am onto a quick, even more condensed, way to find the things that are important

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