VIDEO: Autostraddle Behind-the-Scenes #4 – Team Meeting

Time for another installment of Autostraddle: Behind the Scenes! Today we bring you “AfterTess” or “Team Meeting” (alternate title to avoid Tess freaking out about being in the title). In this episode; Autostraddle CEO Riese, Design Director A;ex, COO Brooke and our friend actress Haviland Stillwell, along with our friends Rocco and Rachel of Wingspan Pictures, finally meet Tess, our web developer/manager/programmer/leader person. Because she lives in Chicago and we live in New York, we all ended up in Los Angeles. That doesn’t make much sense you know, but it’s okay!

Alex sexually harasses Tess

Skip this part describing the Behind the Scenes project if you’ve read it already:

See, our friends Rocco and Rachel own a production company and thought it would be neat to film us while we were in Los Angeles. Riese and Tess both objected vehemently to the idea of being on video ever/all the time, so as much as “Autostraddle Behind the Scenes” is about what happens “behind the scenes” of Autostraddle, it’s also about what happens when you keep filming people who hate being filmed [Riese sidenote: if this confuses you b/c of the R&H Vlogs, she’ll be happy to explain to you why that’s different, and also how that ended up happening in the first place]. It’s like the opposite of Gimme Sugar!

So are you ready to hear why Tess got fired from Hooters and see Haviland in some cute plaid shorts? YEAH YOU ARE! [Also special note for The Feds: everything we say that might be scandalous is actually just us jk’ing.]

If you’ve missed the first three episodes, you should begin with the very first one — Autostraddle Behind the Scenes #1: TRACK STOP.

You can watch all our Behind-the-Scenes Videos here on Autostraddle.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3197 articles for us.


  1. ill say the same thing that i said on youtube…

    is Tess actually Ellen Page? Is she like Hannah Montana? Tess by day, Ellen Page by night?

  2. Hi Tess! You guys look like you are having loads of fun. And Look! Its Haviland. I just saw her on my TV!

  3. OMGDJEEWTFCOMMONGUYS Alex, Haviland and Tess BUCKLE THE F UP, please.
    If you three die in a carcrash Autostraddle and the world will be lost and explode.
    Look at Brooke. If she can do it..

    omgomgomg, Tess you’re cute!

    “…but don’t be overwhelmed!” haha hilarious. I love Haviland.

  4. HA! love that Tesstory. Do Christian boys oft go to Hooters? hmm. Also, cute shorts, Haviland. Also, one of those filmmakers has a sexy voice. Also, I love your D.A.R.E. shirt, Alex. Also, you guys are cute.

    • Thanks! I’m only now realizing the incredible irony of discussing the contents of a pill bottle and wearing that shirt.

      • Well it’s not like you were selling them to kids on the side of the street or anything. I’m pretty sure you can counter this minor indiscretion by waring a “Hugs Not Drugs” t-shirt, saving a puppy, or saying three “Adam Lambert’s” and two “Lady Gaga’s”.

          • I’m fine with them being real, but just in case the government is being super spy-ish and Dick Cheney is up autostraddle’s bottom parts, I totally support/believe/recognize and would testify in front of the FBI-ers that they were not serious at all in any way cross my heart and hope not to die soon without one more beverage, one more episode of 30 rock, and one more.. um.. happy private lady to lady time.

        • i thought that said a “hugs for drugs” tee-shirt. and i was like, i have one of those! um, oops.

  5. i’m going to go to Hooters & ask them to write on me w/ a sharpie & when they say, “no, i’m sorry, i just can’t do that. it’s against company policy,” i’ll say YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT IT IS, BITCH.

  6. “Sweet Home Alabama” was on the radio in the car.Funny with the accent and stuff.
    No? Is it just me? Ok, you’re right, I need sleep.

  7. I wish there were a Canadian version of Tess and that our paths would fortuitously cross on a day when I was being especially adorkable so Canadian Tess would like me. (‘Cause srsly, Riese, where do you find all these crush-worthy gay girls? Do you have a rule that only hot people can work on autostraddle? I feel like you must, there’s no other explanation.)

          • So who is the token equal opportunity team member/intern? It’s ok… you can tell me. I won’t tell. It’s Hot Laura isn’t it? I knew she was too hot to be true. She’s made out of cardboard isn’t she? Or maybe a;lex and her stylish wardrobe is fueled by foreign children in sweatshops? She’s paying you in sexual favors isn’t she? Damn. I need to find a way to spruce up my resume.

          • Omg i hate it when I don’t get a joke that I think might be very clever, and I don’t get your joke sapphicsass, explain! what’s an equal opportunity team member/intern?

            ENDA = Employee Non-Discrimination Act

  8. I love that an autostraddle founder was responsible for a world-wide policy change at hooters.
    I also love that in the states hooters advertises itself as a family restarant.

    These two things kill me on so many levels.

  9. i’m lying in bed watching this video and my dog [named tess] just heard her name and came running and jumped on top of my face to watch with me. even animals love autostraddle.

  10. Dear Riese,

    I said “equal opportunity” in reference to you being an equal opportunity employer. You said ENDA implying that you don’t discriminate against non-sexy, un-funny people as potential employees. You give them all an “equal opportunity”. So I was asking which one of the interns/team members breaks the pattern of funny sexy employees. Which one of them proves that you DO hire people who maybe aren’t so funny or not so cute. It’s ok, it wasn’t that funny, but you issued a challenge, and I thought… ask not what Autostraddle can do for you, but what you can do for Autostraddle… so I answered the call. I failed and now I’m just going to go sit in the corner with cardboard Hot Laura.

    • OOOHHH I think the confusing part was how hot Hot Laura is, but I totally see now that Hot Laura’s hotness was actually PART OF THE JOKE.

      Funny however; I have known Tess on the internet since 2007 and obvs now in 2009 we’ve known her and spoken to her frequently BUT before the very moment you witnessed on this exact videotape, the only visual representation we’d ever seen of Tess was her high school senior photo in the high school tumblr post. But we kinda knew she was gonna be cute, we had a feeling.

  11. I met Tess irl a few weeks ago. She really is that cute, you guys! Her gf is a cutie too, of course.

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