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!
Baby, it’s you!
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Riese is the 40-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com 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 California. 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 3036 articles for us.
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.
Or alternately I misclicked and hit Prev when I thought I hit next, and if that is the case then eep don’t mind me.
has this happened to anyone else? i don’t see any errors in the survey design
When I was filling out the survey, as I pressed Done, I got looped back to the start. Once I got to the end I noticed there was an extra question that wasn’t there earlier. Perhaps the loopback is because the survey was being worked on while we were filling it out?
“Perhaps the loopback is because the survey was being worked on while we were filling it out?”
yup, i think that’s exactly what happened.
i got looped back after hitting done and now a lot of the fields i completed are blank again? that probably means i need to fill it out again huh? if i didnt get a “yay you did it!” confirmation?
Mine worked fine. Maybe whatever the issue was has been fixed now?
Mine went smoothly.
Done and done. Yay old people content! :)
What’s that? Speak up! Youngsters today. Mumble mumble. Remember when this was all fields/mars bars cost a penny/public phone boxes etc.
Thanks Riese for caring about our opinions too.
Public Phone boxes? I actually took a picture of one the other day because I was AMAZED they were still around. And yes, I did pick up the phone and heard a dial-tone. And then I remembered how dirty those things are.
Those damn whippersnappers don’t even remember when Ellen first came out!
Nice! The survey I don’t even know I was waiting for all this time.
I turn 26 in a few weeks, and I am SO RELIEVED to find out that I don’ have to be an adult for another three years. Thank god. Here’s hoping I get my shit figured out by then.
Ha – same here! (25 for me). Definitely don’t feel ready to enter my 30’s.
Unrelated – a random stranger asked me “are you a kid?” as I passed her on the sidewalk, and then told me I’d make an “awesome cougar” when I told her my age. Uh, thanks?
I’m 22 and I got carded at the movies on Valentine’s Day. Does it ever stop?
I’m almost 23 and was assumed to be fifteen or younger by the tram captain the other day. She was beside herself when I told her how old I was.
I mean, I have dimples and a giant head which are both baby traits but STILL.
No. I get carded for booze (drinking age here is 18) and I’m 32.
Got carded at Waitrose last summer; thanks, I’m told, to my “style” (go Team Queer! I guess). I had no ID, but I was so clearly elated that he let me keep the bottle after some blase persuasion.
I can at least promise that you’re likely to get to the point that you wish it didn’t: take it as a good opportunity to show some self-confidence!
That, or something like it back in the dark ages,used to happen to me too. Now I’m past 60. I just thought that I’d let you know that we, women, become generally invisible after 35ish definitely after 40.
Although I had a very strange experience the other week when a guy in his late 30’s tried to chat me up only to be horrified when I told him I was eligible for a pension.
lol when I read 29 I was like, oh… I guess I’m an adult now? I still don’t have my shit together yet.
I’m 32 and I still don’t have my shit together, so…
Allison, good luck with figuring shit out by the ripe old age of 30. I didn’t, so I ended up going through a major crisis. At 35, I now feel like I finally got my shit together, but boy do I wish I let myself take the time I needed rather than pushing myself hard to have all the answers on account of being 30+.
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…: ???
I kind of have that feeling all the time. I deal with it by yelling “get off my lawn!” at will. It’s my personal primal scream.
Whew – JUST made the 29-31 box.
Me too… *high five*
thanks for this! submitted.
There was no option for “32-35, going on a very cynical and early to bed 94”. Color me disappointed. ;)
It’s a bit of a relief to think Autostraddle isn’t only for young kids.
Yes! We are actively trying to give readers over 30 what you all (we all) want to read so suggestions are always welcome.
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.
The last ti me that happened to me, Top Ten Nickelodeon Shows We Remember Things About was born into the world
I am sick in bed, and far-far down that rabbit hole: a re-watch of “My So-Called Life” is on the cards. I had to be merciless narrowing down that list.
oh man! forgot about those shows! ALl I could think of was the very first seasons of Real World and Road Rules.
As long as I can survey and eat my dinner at the same time, consider it done!
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.
“existential angst is less of a thing.”
Yes yes yes! I wouldn’t go back if I could.
I tell people in their 20s that it gets better and people in their 40s tell me the same thing.
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 pretty sure I’ve blocked out most of the difficulties of being younger, I just remember occasionally because I have tweens.
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.
I didn’t understand the question until it was too late… But I’m firmly Team Tonya. For the record.
Thank you for this additional data
Oh I just got it! I’m undecided. Back then, I was definitely Team Nancy, but I’m reading more about Tonya right this moment and I might be swayed…
Same. Well I mean I already submitted but now I’m reading Wikipedia and feeling badly for Tonya. And wondering if that land speed record thing is real or not?
I know I was so Team Nancy at the time but now I’m Team Tonya
I’ve done a lot of reading on the topic
Omg I just realized! Is this ice skating related? Bahahaha. I need to read up, how is anyone Team Tonya?
Nancy was just kind of there, a no-personality blah . . . okay, I’m trying to explain why I like the defendant here. This may be difficult.
Sex tape, CourtTV, Jurassic Park, great hair, boxing.
Nancy would have been on Touched by an Angel. Tonya was Springer all the way.
OH, NOW I GET IT. Definitely Team Nancy, because Tonya is a crazy lady. I watched that interview they did with them not too long ago, and Tonya definitely lives in her own land, though i will say she had a tough life.
Team Michelle Kwan
I’m obvs Team Tonya, but can we also spare a moment to remember Katarina Witt’s great Robin Hood-style outfit and routine at the 94 Olympics?
Katarina Witt was a hottie… what sticks out in my mind is red lipstick…
YES YES ONE OF MY MANY ROOTS
Yeah, I totally missed what the question was about (even though something in the back of my head was screaming “figure skating,” I still didn’t figure it out). I was totally team Nancy at the time.
I’m from Vancouver, WA, same blue collar area, and my friend worked at the Starbucks that Tonya frequented so I gotta be Team Tonya. It’s like in my life contract.
my sister went to high school with Tonya.
Same here! I feel so stupid now that it didn’t comprehend in my mind. That was some intense stuff. Actually I thought that, due to Nancy’s reaction, that Tonya had stabbed her with her skates. After watching NBC’s documentary about the event during the last olympics I certainly feel bad for Tonya. Now it seems a little bit overblown.
Filled out and all. Excellent questions– you’re getting my hopes up! (good thing)
I’m actually pretty disappointed that I can’t fill out the survey :( Oh well. #2moreyears
I’m with you. We can keep each other company at the kid-table.
So excited for more adults adulting
. . . or trying. But officially being the age where we didn’t get an award for trying. ::shuffles off to McDonald’s for morning senior coffee::
I said Team Nancy because violence but I do feel for Tonya. I think Tonya could have beaten her fairly, which is the saddest part.
Right? It was all about the triple axel
This survey makes me feel like a very special snowflake.
Or maybe just an old ice crystal, sprayed up from the crash-landing of a fallen figure skater.
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.
WAIT WAIT WAIT. There is a whole book of essays on Tonya and Nancy? More information pls.
Women On Ice: Feminist Responses to the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan Spectacle
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?
Just above the woman on the left, it says ‘Fill it out now!’ – that’s the link.
Oh mine doesn’t. There’s just am exclamation mark that’s unclickable. Maybe it’s because I’m using firefox?
Doesn’t matter anyway, I just interested.
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.
“And yet our true talents definitely involve Netflix and knowing the best times to go to the grocery store to beat the crowds.”
It’s like one mind. TWINS!
Yer right, it’s actually pretty great. I ran out of most of my fucks a long time ago so use them sparingly now and there are 2 couches in my house so I am always comfy.
WHAT I ALSO HAVE TWO COUCHES
2 couches for 2 people in a house is the best idea ever… Hey Tay which couch do you want? Ok, I’ll take the other one.
Just a couple weeks shy of my 29th birthday, so I’m gonna count myself among the grownups and take the survey ;)
I feel very accomplished and grown up after taking this survey. <3
I LOVE surveys! All the surveys! More surveys!
Me too! I hope we get to see the results? I love data.
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.
Been there! “WHY IS THERE ACNE IN MY WRINKLES?” Well, nobody ever told there wouldn’t be.
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 with you, I feel like I must be missing some critical information that has people Team Tonya. And now instead of working I want to spend my time researching this.
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.
I’d recommend the ESPN documentary “The Price of Gold” (I’m pretty sure it streams on Netflix). It changed all of my perspectives on the issue.
Thanks for your perspectives! I feel like I have some series documentary watching & researching ahead of me.
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?
Makes perfect sense and it’s a hopeful story.
Love seems to know us better than we do sometimes, I guess.
Also, isn’t it weird how that tender part in us that is responsible for being in love with someone, however unrequited, endures through the years?
I wish you a pleasant evening with a very good glass of wine, or hot chocolate, and lot’s of non digital pictures.
I think it’s a neat little story: Hope it goes well for them!
I’m sure they will have a lovely time. Daughter is delighted to be going, middle-school friend is a good-hearted and gracious young person, and, as a bonus, daughter and her grandmother are bonding over outfit-shopping in a way that I haven’t seen them do for several years. As far as my own piece of the story, sixth-grade friend and I actually had reconnected a couple of weeks ago, and FB-chatted for a couple of hours as if we were picking up from where we had left off 35+ years ago. It was sweet.
i loved this story! no such thing as oversharing. oversharing is a patriarchal construct.
“oversharing is a patriarchal construct.”
THIS IS MY NEW MANTRA
Oh this balance is a tough one for me…But I do find that line hilarious
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…
Damn, forgot about Martina and BJK
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.
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.
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!)
your suggestion is actually one of the themes that kept coming up when we had a meeting about this earlier in the month, so this is awesome, i feel like we’re really on the right path here.
thanks for filling out the survey!
Thank you! I’m really interested in seeing where this goes – it’s a great idea.
If we are turning 29 this year but are not there yet, do you want us to fill it out?
I think if you feel it fill it out
i’m turning 29 tomorrow i’m just gonna go ahead and do it because it makes me feel better about getting old lol
Well this is an apt thing to find on autostraddle on my 30th birthday!
Happy Birthday Casey, I loved my thirties, great years for contentment with your identity and being at peace in your heart. Have a great time.
I’m turning 29 in 3 months, can I fill it? :D
Survey filled out! Thanks for this. I’ll be 34 on March 11, and I often feel like the oldest person here, and like a lot of it just doesn’t apply.
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.
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!
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).
FYI, there is a Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding MUSEUM opening soon in Brooklyn. This is urgent. http://gothamist.com/2015/03/02/tonya_harding_kerrigan_museum.php
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.
I am having all the Nancy Vs. Tonya feelings right now. The only thing I am missing is the non-fashionable leggings and giant scrunchies.