Also.Also.Also: Sesame Street Started a Revolution and Other Stories You Need Today

Well hello you gorgeous creatures of light and darkness. I took a picture of myself and posted it on Instagram! I never do that! If I can do that, just imagine what YOU can do today. You could probably discover a new dinosaur or write that thank you card or do that thing at the coffee shop where you pay for the person’s order behind you. You could rule the world today! I’m so excited for you.

You Should Go or Do or Give

+ Support Girls Engineering Change!

+ Get LGBTQ Youth to the White House Tech Summit!

Queer as in F*ck You

+ The Joy of Gay Cooking: Of Cozy Lesbians, Colonialist Bros, and the Missing Gay Chefs.

+ Irish Lawmakers Approve Transgender Rights Bill.

+ Queer People of Tech: Chloe Stevens. Oh I’m sorry is that THE Chloe Stevens? The same Chloe Stevens who works here at Autostraddle dot com? Oh you’re damn right it is!

+ Meet Krashlyn, the fantasy romance that has soccer fans obsessed.

+ Love Is A Limited Resource: On Trauma and Queer Utopias by Clementine Morrigan.

+ Women Transform Into Drag Kings:

Doll Parts

+ This new First Time Podcast is a podcast ABOUT PERIODS. Just all about periods! Period sex, period hacks (???!), periods periods PERIODS. It’s by Dear Kates and Emma Willmann and I haven’t listened to it yet because Carmen just shared it with me and I came immediately to this space to share it with you! #bleedoneverything

+ Abortion Is A Necessary Social Good; Edited Videos and False Accusations Don’t Change That by Andrea Grimes.

+ Human Trafficking Will Become One of the Top Three Crimes Against Native Women.

+ Should Women Be Able To Treat Bladder Infections Themselves?

+ Kristin Russo interviews Sophia Wallace for her First Person series and it’s all about the importance of being cliterate! Uggggh I love Sophia Wallace so much.

+ The Women Who Rule Pluto. “The New Horizons team may include more women staffers than any other NASA project in history.”

+ A New Film Tells the Story of Women Who Were Imprisoned for Killing Their Abusers by Grace Manger.

+ Will ‘Free the Nipple’ Lead to Gender Equality? An Expert Weighs In.

+ Haley goes maternity clothes shopping! Raise your hand if you could watch videos of Haley and Simone all day. That’s what I thought.

Saw This, Thought of You

+ A new Natasha Lyonne/Jamie Babbit situation: Addicted to Fresno

+ Instagram Has Banned “Curvy” As A Search Term what the hell.

+ Just Let’s Not Call These ‘Productivity Tips’ by your fave and mine, Beth Maiden.

+ Bill Clinton Admits He Made One Huge Mistake During His Presidency. Just one, though? I’M KIDDING WHATEVER.

+ Edibles: A Primer. Bless.

+ The Difference Between Routine and Ritual: How to Master the Balancing Act of Controlling Chaos and Finding Magic in the Mundane. What would your life be like without Brian Pickings? I don’t want to know.

+ No, I believe you are crying into the top of your pet’s head because your children are still away on their summer vacation and you haven’t seen them in six weeks. Ahem. Parental Closeness: Why I Always Hold Hands With My Children by Vikki Reich.

+ New Study Shows That Nearly 40% of African-American Children Live In Poverty.

+ Children’s TV — Left Behind. “A 1969 article in The Atlantic is a reminder of how Sesame Street started a revolution—and how it failed to change America’s educational status quo.”

+ This Doctor Has Mirror-Touch Synesthesia and I cannot even.

And Finally

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?

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. If there’s not a Krashlyn video with “Crash Into Me” playing in the background, those shippers have failed.

  2. Maria Popova (Brain Pickings) is a national treasure. But not as much of a treasure as you are, Laneia.

  3. Oh my god, someone please write a novel/scifi story/horror story about someone developing mirror-touch synesthesia!

    • I am working on a sci-fi queer romance story/novella/something about a world where EVERYONE has some version of it! And now that I’ve said it, maybe I should go…work on it…

    • I read a fanfic AGES AGES AGESSSSS ago that involved two characters in the HP verse grown up (I want to say Neville but I might be wrong) who use a spell to create that effect during sex.

      • Oh my. In my head, no one in HP ever has sex. They just cuddle in turtleneck sweaters knitted by Mrs. Weasley and magick their children into existence.

        • This is the best thing I have heard all week
          but the question is are there Mrs. Weasley sweaters knitted specifically for that reason or do all Mrs. Weasley sweaters hold that power

          • You just know Mrs. Wesley would knit them pure of heart but also adding in a little spice, all like “one wants grandchildren while one’s still young enough to pick them up!”

  4. I don’t like using the name “Krashlyn” cause I feel weird shipping real people. But they are a fantasy couple only in as much as they haven’t given an interview and stated it for the record. Anyone who spends a few minutes looking at the enormous amount of pics of them together can see they’re a couple.

    • You have summed up my feelings on this matter completely! It feels super weird to “ship” real people. But wow, relationship goals if you take a look at the pictures of them together.

    • and the comments on the daily dot article are so sanctimonious and weird! they need some stef schwartz vapid fluff in their lives, bless their hearts.

      • Lezbe honest here. Who doesn’t need some stef schwartz vapid fluff in their lives?

    • Yeah, fanfic about real, contemporary people is just kind of…odd. Especially when it’s first person.

    • I have no idea what’s going on but Krashlyn sounds like a wonderful roller derby name.

  5. A friend of mine and I stumbled across the whole Krashlyn thing after the world cup. It’s a little hilarious and a little scary?
    I just sent her this link to make her day.
    If I ever get married, I want a fanvid, btw.
    And the mirror synethesia? What if you touch someone as they die? A newborn?
    Just how confused would you get during a threesome?

    • The article describes how the guy feels when a patient dies in his care (he’s a doctor)! It says “his body starts to feel vacant — empty, like a limp balloon.”

      That’s what makes me think it could make an amazing horror story.

      • Also another person with this condition is a masseuse and she BENEFITS FROM HER OWN MASSAGES.

  6. the mirror touch synaesthesia article just totally fucked up my whole day when i read it yesterday. just flew totally off the rails.

  7. I want to break into Ashlyn Harris’ house and steal all her clothes… or just beg her to teach me her style-ways~ (I mean have you seen her Athena tattoo? *swoons*)

  8. I’m not even a soccer fan and I’m obsessed with this whole Krashlyn situation now.

    Also, how you gonna have mirror-touch synesthesia and not answer your friends’ questions about pornography?! I mean, COME ON.

  9. I met the LGBTQ kids fundraising to get to the White House! They’re super smart and passionate and pretty awesome :)


      • i have ordinal linguistic personification and number form synesthesia and it’s actually really great. i wish i could give it to eli because i think it’s the only way i could understand mathematics growing up. BUT ANYWAY. mirror-touch synesthesia sounds like a fucking nightmare.

        • It can be really awful when I’m watching like Grey’s Anatomy and someone starts cutting into another person. I also experiencing REALLY viscerally when someone *describes* a situation. A friend will be telling me about how they got their hand smashed in a car door and I literally have to go OW OW OKAY STOP IT I GET IT because I can feel pain shooting through me. Strangely enough, I’m incredibly tolerant to pain when I experience it myself? Idk my body is just an ever evolving mystery to me

          • aaaaaaaah! does it happen the same way with pleasurable things? like if someone’s talking about a really amazing yoga session and how the stretches felt, could you feel that too? when anyone talks about head or spinal injuries i can feel it in my head/spine, but i think that’s just me being a baby.

          • For some reason there isn’t a button to respond to your comment once we’re this deep in a thread?

            Anyway, YES, the same is absolutely true for pleasurable things, which is awesome. It’s why I love ASMR videos, I can watch massages and feel them on my shoulders or arm scratches on my arms or have a girl wiggle her fingers around in front of the camera and feel them caressing my face. it’s pretty wild. It’s all about tuning into and focusing on the good things happening around you, which is probably a good spiritual exercise or whatever. It also makes live music awesome because I can really feel it happening in/on my body? In the end, I like having the extra sensitivity.

            and yes, it’s really beneficial sexually as well

          • ok good i’m glad you brought up sex bc i was like, trying to stay out of your private life and everything bc i love and respect you monique, but i really did want to know.


            Whenever people around me start talking medical stuff I’m all STOP STOP PLEASE

            and I can’t watch shows like House for this reason

      • YES

        it’s kinda annoying because certain kinds of media and conversations are off-limits to me because URGH VISCERAL

        I also can hear touch and see music! And sometimes I can hear some music when it comes to direction, which makes Simon Says games kinda fun

    • Samesies! I feel like a lot of people have it or at least experience it mildly but don’t realize it’s a thing.

      • omg this is all so fascinating everyone talk about this forever thanks. BRAINS, YOU GUYS.

        the olp stuff, laneia! whoa. do numbers have personalities? because people do attach feelings to numbers that is a thing people do so I can see how it might feel but only kinda?

        just fascinated over here.

        • If you want to learn more about synesthesia, I’d recommend the book Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens. I picked it up from the psychology section of my local library just because I was like OMG WHAT I WANT A CHARTREUSE KITTEN and then it ended up being a book about synesthesia and I learned a lot! There are a lot of personal accounts in there about what it’s like to be a synesthete, it’s really fascinating, especially the bits about bilingual people and how their synesthesia moves across language barriers and the composers who compose music that sounds like different colors. One of my friends is a synesthete musician and it’s so cool to talk about music with him because he has such a personal experience with it.

        • Yes, thanks for sharing you guys! Brains are so cool, my brother is studying neuro and I’m secretly jealous in an I-don’t-actually-want-to-go-to-med-school kind of way.

  11. I really enjoyed that buzzfeed video. As a butch it was super fun to watch. Would love to have a professional work their magic on me haha. :)

    Loved Beth’s Not-Productivity-Tips Tips. I find that getting excited about your project is super vital! It’s harder to do with school/work/etc…but it is definitely possible to fool yourself. I gotta do a lot of that this coming semester.

    The Brain Pickings link was very refreshing. I needed a friendly reminder like that. Looking at life as a magical thing is…empowering? Calming? All I know is that it’s similar to how I viewed life as a kid. And I try not to lose that part of me.


  12. I am even more fascinated/appalled by brains after reading the mirror-synesthesia article.

  13. Denny’s social media presence is WILD. Like, whoever thought them up/whichever intern is assigned to update them is a gem and deserves free Grand Slams for life.

    Also, Chloe Stevens you are so perfect and adorable and what a great interview (I always love when I can read something about something I’m not that into myself and be like, woah, that’s so cool they’re so cool how come I didn’t know this was cool!)

    Also, I love that piece on edibles.

    Also, I love Sesame Street and want to raise my children on Sesame Street and nothing else and never have them go to school and have their spirits ruined ughhhh

    • “I love Sesame Street and want to raise my children on Sesame Street and nothing else and never have them go to school and have their spirits ruined ughhhh”


  14. YO YOU GUYS The Crimson Wave is an AMAZING Canadian podcast ALL ABOUT periods, lady-identifying bodies, feminism, comedy, queerness, women, love, AND MORE. Jess Beaulieu and Natalie Norman ROCK MY WORLD. Check them out ASAP!!

  15. Chloe is lucky that she hasn’t faced homophobia in tech, but her generalization isn’t correct. She’s worked for Google and a University – places where diversity is usually accepted. I’ve worked as a queer woman in tech (not out) and faced gay jokes (and sexist jokes) nearly every day on the job. I really think it depends on the geographic location of your job and the type of company you work for. If sexism is a huge problem in tech, then homophobia and racism are not far behind.

    On a positive note, she sounds very content and safe in her job and I hope we can all have that.

    • hey! you’re totally right, I come at the issue with a very silicon valley-centric perspective, and I didn’t mean to imply that tech is homophobia-free at all. I was trying to make the point that, from my experience, sexism, racism, and transphobia are much more pressing issues. Thank you for sharing your experience, and I really hope that things improve for you, either at your current job or in the future.

  16. The human brain is so amazing. If I were to do it over, i’d get my degree in neuroscience. I actually have synesthesia, but it is far more mundane than the mirror-touch variety described. (For me, it’s numbers and letters with paired with colors, aka grapheme synesthesia). I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be a person with mirror-touch synesthesia – to feel so much overwhelming empathy.

    Also, I really love the Queer Mama videos by Haley and Simone, and the Everyone is Gay videos and First Person videos by Kristen and/or Danielle, so this is a doubly good also.also.also post! :D

  17. I don’t know what to say. I absolutely love Drag Kings. This is just *above and beyond*, Laneia. Thank you so much.

    (Also the description accompanying the Bill Clinton article, ACTUAL LOLE.)

  18. Dude, I am so fucking depressed by this whole FreetheNipple situation. I agree completely with the aims of the movement, but Murnen is right in that we can’t divorce the cultural reality of the way womens’ bodies are depicted from the action we take. And this is being borne out in the way it’s been presented in high-profile spaces. It’s being co-opted by cis-males who want to see more tits, basically, and has featured mainly women who are considered attractive by prevailing societal standards. Like, yeah, of course people are going to be onboard with Chrissy Teigen or Miley Cyrus freeing the nipple, but what would the steam behind this movement be if more woc or fat women or trans women or women who don’t shave or have nipple hair or moles or whatever the case may be started freeing the nipple? Idk…just been thinking about this a lot lately. I think it’s just more complicated than it’s made out be by a lot of people. /rant and such.

  19. Loved the synthasesia article, plus I now want to do drag so bad! But urg, that Free the Nipple article pissed me off.

  20. Whoah Chloe Stevens we have a lot in common except I’m still at the intern level :)

    … and currently applying for Out for Undergrad which has deadlines extended till July 31 for tech and marketing so good luck people who should apply!

  21. That mirror touch synesthesia article. I’m sitting at my desk crying because I just realized that 99% of people do NOT feel physical pain in their own bodies when they witness it. I always knew I’m more emphatic and sensitive than most people, but I didn’t know it might be a neurological condition??

    I googled stories about people with MTS and can relate to so many things they tell. Giving great massages. Being a vegetarian because of the whole cutting-into-flesh thing. Strangers and acquaintances coming up to you to share their very personal stories. Not being able to watch any horror movies, or even Funniest Home Videos. Self-soothing behaviors as a child. A relative of mine died of bulbar ALS and I had an uneasy feeling in my throat for months. Like Dr Salinas, I’ve been told I have a calming presence. Etc.


  22. I’m SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT PODCAST because I just started loving podcasts but am having a hard time finding podcasts I love and I LOVE PERIODS. OH MY GOSH GOODNESS I’M SO EXCITED TO LISTEN TO PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT BLEEDING

  23. Wait, so the hyperempathy of Octavia Butler’s Parable series is real? It sounds remarkably similar to the description of mirror-touch synesthesia.

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