I surrounded myself with pieces of paper organized by titles. “Things I want.” “Things I need.” “Things to buy.” “Things to throw- away.” “Things to do.” “Things to fix.” The first thing on my list was “Me” and the second thing was “The United States of America.”
I looked less and less like my mother— the image of womanhood I grew up with — and I was scared. Was she disappointed that I wasn’t like her? Did my femininity disappoint her? At the same time, I worried about being too masculine: people would know I wasn’t straight. I was angry: my mother taught me to be proud of who I was, but what if who I was becoming wasn’t good enough?
She has boxes of recipe cards; mostly I know their stories and not their flavors. She needs to know what I cook for dinner regularly; she eats a dinner of nibbles and stolen bites. She tells me that sugar is toxic and will cause irreparable harm to my body; she sends me a box of Christmas cookies. Scrumptious little crystals that can tear at my blood vessels from the inside.
In 2014, after learning how to care for a person on the edge between life and death, I went on the bike ride that would, ultimately, return me to myself.
Lilith after all has become a sign of every socially unacceptable aspect of women, including and especially our sexuality.
“I always went the extra mile for you and did so gladly because I loved being around you. You never returned these more concrete gestures, which should’ve been the first sign that things were not reciprocal between us, but I was oblivious and idealistic. I genuinely believed I had found love.”
The first time someone described Casey as having “stalkerish” tendencies, I defended her. For the most part though, I didn’t talk about it.
A reader requested a roundtable where Autostraddle’s fat staff talk about how fatness, diet culture, and body positivity, relate to our queerness, identity, and gender. We aim to please, so here we are!
“We don’t talk about our roots as they relate to the heaviness of humid air recycled through our generations on swampy plantations. My family has never talked about it with me, at least. It feels like a small betrayal, choosing to go south when we were given a new chance in the West.”
“Last week I found one of those butter-coloured strands on my dress, and wondered. Then I realised it was one of my own, greying hairs. Ten years have passed, and she’s straight now, living with the boyfriend I introduced her to nine and a half years ago.”
I found a different self slowly, learned to exist as if with many different goggles on at once. Always speaking from my mother’s kitchen in the Silicon Valley and, at the same time, my grandmother’s crowded living room in Punjab. In these years, I would feel the sharpness of many kinds of difference, marginalization. But when I looked down at myself for signs of why I felt so other, all I would find was the color of my hands.
I feel nothing and everything when I’m with her and I want that more than I want to protect myself. I know this will hurt me, but pain is part of my life, so I allow it in bursts I think I can control.
“As a kid, a lack of role models made me believe people like me just didn’t grow up — or at the very least, didn’t grow up to be happy and open. But now I see that being bisexual actually allowed me to form my own version of what happiness and the future look like.”
“When her body shook I was filled with a fullness that almost made me cry. For me, in that moment, Dan wasn’t even in the room.”
The same people who published the unnecessary and homophobic Nashville Statement last year are at it again, this time with the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel. Here’s a blackout poem that’ll let you know how Christians who don’t have a skewed understanding of our faith feel about social justice and the gospel.
Why did we all want to share this thing? What made some videos so appealing? Why…are we like this?
Is it cold to ignore or avoid someone from your past when you cross paths? Maybe! Does it also often feel a whole lot better than engaging? Hell yeah!
In the pool hall, my sweetheart and a close friend tease me one night: “unimpressive,” “pure luck,” “you aren’t that good.” They were trying to get my ire up so that an hour later when I told them to stare into each other’s eyes as I fucked my sweetheart’s body, I would mean it with a snarky competitive vengeance, I would mean it with power and control, I would be pushed to take what I want.
“It seemed at the time to be exactly what life was about, and only just barely staying alive, curling up in corners of lonely, unclean rooms in shaking fits of sadness too raw to keep inside my head, screaming into my bent knees.”
“As soon as we met Tara and Tony, our lives morphed to make room for them. Instead of drinking Carol’s parents’ liquor on Friday nights, we went to their apartment in Hillcrest to smoke pot from a bong filled with Midori and play with Tara’s snake.”