Autostraddle Grown-Ups Mini-Survey: If You’re 29 Or Older, You’ve Gotta Take This Survey For Us

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I was putting together the introduction and infographic for our first roundtable about what it means to be a queer grown-up these days when it occurred to me: why am I spending days tracking down statistics from Gallup and Pew when I could just, you know… ask y’all!

So, that’s what I’m doing right now. This survey is for female or otherwise-identified (not male) readers over the age of 29. This isn’t meant to be a formal sociological or marketing survey, it’s just me asking you some questions! Answer ’em!

I know our surveys tend to be kinda long so I made this one as short as possible.

If you only answer the required questions, it shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes, but if you’ve got time for the optional questions, please do!

Fill it out now!

Baby, it's you!

Baby, it’s you!

 

Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," 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. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2646 articles for us.

120 Comments

  1. Heya, on the second page (for marrieds), if you don’t put anything at all for the question “if you don’t have kids how would you like to?”, it loops you back to the first page when you click Next rather than moving you to the next page. I ended up just putting something in “other”, even though I already have kids, to force the quiz to move on.

  2. so, am I the only immature one who’s like “but if I fill out the survey I’m admitting I’m old!”

    …even though it’s not as if I want to be mistaken for a young’un, either. basically…: ???

  3. Thanks for this! Submitted. Also, I’m in the weird early-30s flux where I’m not ready to be a real “adult,” yet I’m infinitely relieved that I never have to revisit my 20s.

    This survey also sent me down a 90s Nickelodeon-nostalgia rabbithole…I mean, Double Dare? Legends of the Hidden Temple? That was some quality programming.

  4. I feel only a little awkward and very happy to associate with people younger than me: and when you’re trans it can make a big difference, in terms of community.

    I know 35 used to seem “adult” but it’s really not all that different once you’re there: mostly you’ve fought battles and have the knowledge that you’ve tested yourself; existential angst is less of a thing. Also your body is giving you hints about how difficult simple, physical things that you take for granted will be in the future. And the wheel of society turning against you is apparent, if you’re looking to change careers. You remain the same clueless, joyful, sad and angry about life dork-at-heart though.

    Oversharing about growing older? A twisted pleasure.

      • I’m in my 40s and am still waiting for all this great stuff about getting older to kick in. I am very, very patient, though. Also my knees and back hurt all the time now so I’m not exactly running toward any answers.

        • I’m with you on that one. I just turned 40 a few days ago, and, after all the shit that happened to me in the last year (my grandmother killed herself, my mother is dying, and my adorable teenage daughter just spent 5 weeks in a psychiatric hospital because she’s cutting herself and has black thoughts after being molested by her %$&?& boyfriend last year. It’s not good to be a woman around me.)

          So I kind of feel like punching the next person who tells me it’s “wonderful to be in your 40s”, except, just like your knees, my wrists feel so weak now I reckon I would actually be the one who would break first.

  5. Also, you want to know a Tonyanecdote?

    Many months ago, I had a book of essays on the whole Tonya/Nancy thing on my bedside table, and my ladyperson did a double-take when she spotted the name of the woman that had edited the book. It turns out she knew the editor and had knitted her a sweater right before she (ladyperson) came to the UK!

    Fate is Real and Tonya is The Truth.

  6. Okay, am I being completely stupid? I’m not actually old enough to take the survey, but wanted a nose at the questions. But where is the link?? I’ve scrolled up and down this page 12 times and can’t find the survey. Does this mean I’m actually too old to take the survey and am actually 97?

  7. Old enough to drink, vote and drive, but not to attend the Autostraddle Survey Event.

    In my head, behind that magical link-door, illuminated by the attractive blue glow of my screen, there’s a bunch of ‘old’ people sitting in comfortable chairs, watching re-runs of The L Word or Orange is The New Black, talking about ‘the old days’, taking turns with the therapy cat/dog and really Not Giving Any Fucks.

    (…IT SOUNDS AMAZING…)

    • Behind the magical link door are also a bunch of people who have no idea how to get to the hallowed ‘adulthood’ level of life and still dont really know how to get health insurance, dont know what they want to be when they grow up, cant figure out how they accidentally got a side mullet haircut (OR how to fix it) and cannot be trusted with a tax form.

      But you’re right in that we will always talk about the good old days when Xena and Buffy were on our actual TV screens. Also; ‘not giving any fucks’ is something that gets bestowed on your 29th birthday when you suddenly realise pajamas+netflix > beer+regretful nights out that only end at 5am

      • So much truth.

        And we did think we’d be able to magically start doing everything in the first paragraph. And yet our true talents definitely involve Netflix and knowing the best times to go to the grocery store to beat the crowds.

  8. Thanks for this! I fucking love being 42. In my 30s I stopped giving a fuck, but now that I’m in my 40s I keep forgetting that I was ever supposed to. One thing I wish someone had told me when I was in my 20s is that pimples and crows’ feet can and do coexist, because they don’t give a fuck either. Sorry.

  9. Wait, why is everyone saying they are Team Tonya? Is this really a thing? I mean, how could anyone be Team Tonya?

    (This is not a rhetorical question; I am really curious. I mean, I’ve always been under the impression that Nancy deserves 100% support, but now I feel like maybe there’s new information that I’m missing?)

      • I’m team tanya because we skated at the same rink, clackamas town center, although i never met her. from her story, she made mistakes but the ppl around her like her mom were reported to be shady characters who were just using her for her talent. i admire that she was tough enough to go through all that and then reinvent herself as an actress and boxer. somehow kerrigan lost my sympathy with her ‘why meeeeeee’ even though i might have responded the same way after working so hard to get to the olympics.

        kerrigan, idk. i relate to tonya more, a scrubby southeast portland kid who worked hard and had a mix of bad and good luck and just fought so hard to get out of her own way and her circumstances in order to make a good life, failed, but still didn’t give up. kerrigan just played it pretty and pity imo, nothing personal. maybe i have a lot of their stories wrong, but this is what i took away from it. finally, it’s ok to have compassion for tonya even if she’s the villain. it doesn’t undermine justice for kerrigan.

  10. So I filled out the survey last night while my Mom and my daughter shopped for a dress for daughter to wear to the prom that she (to my surprise) agreed to go to with the boy who’s been crushing on her since the sixth grade, even though she’s currently happily dating a nice trans boy and strongly prefers to dress masculine of center most of the time. I busied myself with the survey to distract myself from my own prom memories, which are of the profound disappointment of having my invitation turned down by the girl I’d been crushing on since the sixth grade – which was baffling at the time but makes much more sense now, given that at the time I didn’t know she was gay and neither of us knew I was a girl.

    I’m not over-sharing here, am I?

  11. hm, re-thinking my answer to out celebrity/public figure (I answered Ellen and Freddie Mercury),but my first known person actually might be Martina Navratilova but I have no idea when she came out publicly…

      • me too! cross out Ellen and put down Martina!

        the thing is: I remember watching tennis with my folks and recall that everyone admired Martina but we’re also a bit creeped out by her. she wasn’t feminine enough… *sigh* another subtle, unintentional micro-message to little me that who I was wasn’t ok.
        yay 1980’s!

    • I had the same problem; I couldn’t figure out who was when. I could think of people (but, like you guys, I’m thinking all sorts of people I forgot), but I really didn’t have any sort of timeline.

      The REALLY weird one for me was Joan Jett, the only one I Googled because I was that sure she would have been the first. The answer I ended up finding was that she’s never made any sort of official statement re her sexuality (Wikipedia cites “friendships” and “close relationship” sorts of stuff, which I guess is the technical language for “gal pals”). That actually really threw me off– even at this point, I honestly didn’t realize that.

  12. Filled it out! Something I’d really like to see is more stuff coming from a place where something (whether that’s gender identity, sexuality, health issues etc) has been part of your life for decades. It’s not new stuff to you; you’re not having big revelations about your identity but it’s just there in the background, humming away quietly.

    Since turning 30, I’ve felt really grounded and secure in my queer, genderqueer, Brown identity. It’s a really good feeling, but also makes it apparent that a lot of spaces I move in professionally aren’t really set up for me. If I was younger I’d probably have a lot of self-doubt about whether that made my identity invalid or whether I was being too difficult, but now I’m more

    (first comment, hi!)

  13. Something I’d like to see more of is focus on those of us who have been out for like, forever, are secure in our identities, what we want and need in relationships,etc.

    It’s completely understandable that there would be more focus on folks who are just figuring things out, but that focus kind of leaves the rest of us out in the cold sometimes. I’ve been totally out since age 14- that means 2 decades for me. But, it doesn’t mean I don’t still have issues due to society’s general homophobia, and I’m sure others do as well.

    I’d also like to see some more stuff on allo/ace relationships. I am a VERY sexual allosexual person, and there was a thread awhile back where the talk turned to asexuality that got very interesting indeed. So, that’s something of interest to me, so I can educate myself and be sensitive to the needs of potential partners.

  14. About to turn 35 – appreciate this angle! Though I have to say I think you’re already doing a great job for the early thirty somethings (see I’m clinging to that…) but I can see that perhaps there’s a gap to be filled beyond that!
    The 80s /90s tv show references always bring joy!
    xxx

  15. Hi, all,
    Interesting survey – I am a statistical outlier at age 55. I have been out since 1977. Since then, in & out of the closet – mostly in for my physical & financial safety. Mostly out when I was partnered and felt reasonably (mostly financially) safe.
    There was a time when I could have never imagined a world/society that did more than (barely) tolerate ‘gay ghettos.’
    Very different socio – political climate back then. I have been witness to many changes.
    Starting to feel like an autostraddle grand ma – ma.
    I have a 17 yo & 14 yo daughter – their view of the world & possibilities for themselves seem so much more open. I also have 30 yo+ nieces and nephew. Sadly, none of whom, to my knowledge, are queer.
    My brother was gay, died in 1989 of AIDS at the age of 24. Also, very interesting time – personally and politically.
    It is very odd to be my age & witness ‘later in life lesbians’ coming out. I’m not sure what point I am getting to, but, it seems that, due, in part, to my having always been ‘in the helping professions’ I feel so supportive of folks who are actively trying to grow, change & accept themselves, at every phase of their lives.
    A venue like autostraddle is so necessary and appreciated. Kudos to you all, writers, commentors, contributors, & props to all for continuing to carry the torch.

    • Super, super interesting post/reflection. You really have a good way of tying in different attitudes/cultural perceptions with personal experience to give a frame of reference. I’m not explaining what I mean well, but you just gave essentially a very brief, fairly personal, but also very culturally aware capsule of your experience. I really enjoyed reading it.

      My own awareness kicks in about 1985; I was young, but I was in school and old enough to be at least semi-aware of the news (if not old enough to really understand exactly what was going on).

  16. thanks for this! i’m turning 30 next month, and one important topic that has been hitting home more as i age is the idea of “passive” familial homophobia. a lot of us so-called adults (are we adults now?!) have probably been out for years, and we know who we are and we’ve gotten past the initial “big” conversation… but society often overlooks the multitude of other conversations that we have to have over time. whether they be about family vacations, in-laws, children and the weird crap parents do to “shield” them from us, acknowledgment of pronouns or name changes, or just the basic ostracization of us through the language our family members use…

    especially as i more seriously start to think about a future where i have a significant other and a child, there are soooo many dynamics to think about and address in regards to my parents, siblings, etc.

    not sure how much sense all of that made, but i tried haha.
    in summary (bc tldr): the shift in focus from finding yourself and coming out to dealing with the daily micro-aggressions.

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