Come Gather, All Ye Gentlequeers: It’s Autostraddle Holigay Meet-Up Season!

Hi, chestnuts roasting over the open fire of our dissolved hopes and dreams! It’s the holigay season once more, which as we all know is my favorite time of year, and thus despite my overwhelming emotional pain in the wake of the election I am determined to find joy and then somehow figure out how to make it contagious in an attempt to heal the world! (Does baking sugar cookies during the darkest holiday season of my young life count as activism? Asking for a friend.) I’m also here to enlist you in said mission by encouraging you all to get into the spirit and host some holigay meet-ups!hashtag-header2

This year, I dare you to find light and love with one another. I dare you to leave your house in the dead of winter to find companionship with your fellow ‘straddlers. I dare you to report directly to a ‘Straddler-filled potluck after SoulCycle. I dare you to make new friends and then make them part of your revolution. But most of all, I dare you to be the meet-up you wanna see in the world and host one your damn self!

We’ve kept warm over the last three holiday seasons using nothing but our immense love for one another as kindling, and it’s been a solid time. We need that kind of togetherness now more than ever—and all it takes are readers like you — yes, you! — willing to open their hearts and make brunch reservations in the name of the common good by hosting holigay meet-ups through the new year.

Hosting a holigay meet-up is better for you than a bottle of vegan eggnog and easier than making pancakes on Christmas morning. The options abound, and you can figure something out to fit any budget or schedule: You could head out to a restaurant and fill it with queers by opening up the invite, buy some popsicle sticks and have people over to make crafts, go to a seasonal festivity with a bunch of strangers, or even go wild and cook dinner for everyone.

Once you’ve decided on an activity and a time to do it, figure out a way for folks to RSVP (aka make a Facebook event) and submit your event details to us via this link right here. We’ll post all the events and push them out on social media and in our link round-ups, so you can be sure nobody will miss out on the fun. (Looking for inspiration? Check out our holigay board on Pinterest!)

If you’re not hosting a meet-up, you can still be part of the revolution! I mean, get in the spirit! Lurk the “holigay meet-up” tag to find events in your area and follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and get hooked on our Tumblr and Insta to keep tabs on the holigay happenings. Oh, and use the #HappyHoligays tag! Please!

Okay, kids. Let’s do this thing. Our hearts need to grow three sizes now more than ever. I’m counting on you!

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. I live in DC and keep hearing about mythical Autostraddle meetups, but have never learned if they’re actually happening. HOOK ME UP, I WILL HELP YOU HOST A THING! :D There will be eggnog! I can make pie!

  2. Oh~ I’m excited. I’ll submit the details later today but Indianapolis already has probably 2 dif events in the works :3

  3. Any Houston-area straddlers? I make some mean chai and spice sugar cookies and I promise to make it worth your while with some.

    • YES! I gave up asking about meetups for southern oregon a while ago cause it seemed like no one was around. but YES!! I’m in Ashland and would love to do something!

      • I see you don’t have an AS account, so I can’t message you about details. If you make one, then we could make plans, or you can find me on Twitter (@bitterbaguettes), I don’t have a facebook.

  4. Is there Michigan holligay meetup out there??? I can’t attend last minute things though, unfortunately.

  5. you prob mean Rochester NY, right not MN? I think I’ll have to go to the twin cities for a meetup, Rochester is so small!

    • Aaaah, yay! It would be so much fun to get a meet-up going in our area! I don’t have a place yet, so I couldn’t host, but my girl and I could come and bring snacks. :) Maybe we could meet at the LGBT community center or something?

  6. look i am too dysfunctional to organise one alone, but if anyone in melbourne (australia – idk if there are other melbournes?????) is down, HMU

  7. I’d volunteer as tribute for Berlin!
    We could have an Adventsbrunch or go to a Weihnachtsmarkt or something.

  8. Would anyone know of a non Facebook way to figure out a way for folks to RSVP?

    B/C I’d love to drag fellows queers into the night to Celebration in the Oaks (pretty holiday light displays in City Park and the Botantical Gardens) but I’m a big chicken when it comes to potential leader things, who wouldn’t want to make anyone travel in the night if they felt unsafe doing so. If I was really boss I’d come up with way stations (a Straddler’s residence) where folks could do a sleep over if they felt the trip home after dark would be risky for them not having a car trying to rely on our wack RTA system.

    Plus the walking intended part of Celebration in the Oaks you need a ticket for, which can be bought ahead of time.

    Non Facebook RSVP method?

    • google has an events thing through google+. from a little searching, it looks like if you set it to public people can add themselves, so that might be an option?

  9. Because everyone deserves a Happy Holligays even if we’re too far for much of a meetup, I give unto all Straddlers my chai and spice sugar cookies recipe.

    (Full disclosure, I found the original recipie after Taylor Swift’s take on it exploded over my tumblr dashboard. I subsequently thought to myself, ‘yeah I can run with this’ and did a couple of other tweaks.)

    Original recipie is here:

    You’re gonna need:

    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp

    1/2 cup vegetable oil

    1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for sugaring tops

    1/2 cup powdered sugar

    1 large egg

    2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    Chai Tea (tea bags or loose leaf)

    Preheat oven to 350. Grease/foil/flour/parchment paper cookie sheets. Beat your butter with a mixer at medium speed (or with determination and muscle power if you’re like me and don’t own one) until it’s one smooth, creamy glob. This will take at least a minute. If your butter isn’t room temperature and you can’t wait around for it to thaw, microwave for approx. 15 seconds. Don’t let it melt! Add your oil and mix it in. Add granulated sugar, powdered sugar, egg, and vanilla one at a time, mixing thoroughly until each is incorporated. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt all at once slowly/on low. ADD THE CHAI! I like my chai to be the bright, bold co-host of my cookie party right along with the sugar, so I use three bags, but everyone is different so you do you. Since there’s a lot of dough to work with, I recommend dumping and mixing in each bag one at a time so you know the chai goodness is disbursed evenly all around. If you’re not a fan of sticky fingers, chill the dough for an hour in the fridge or 15 mins in the freezer before moving on. Otherwise, pour some granulated sugar into a bowl for rolling and get the baking started! Grab your dough in tablespoon size pieces, roll them in your sugar so they look like sparkly cartoon snowballs, and place on your sheet 2 inches apart. Flatten them a little with your fingers or the back of a spoon, then pop those sparkly babes into the oven. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or 12 to 14 if you like your cookies bigger.

    While the cookies bake, it’s icing time! You’ll need 3 tablespoons milk (or eggnog if you wanna get real fancy), 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. I recommend gathering your dry ingredients first and adding your milk/eggnog one tablespoon at a time until it’s your favorite consistency. Let me tell you, it is very hard to backtrack if you go overboard on the milk here.

    Cool your cookies completely before icing. I recommend setting your cooling rack over a big ol’ plate and icing them from there so that 1) your cookies don’t get stuck to anything (or each other) as your spicing hardens, and 2) you can catch all the bits that fall and scrape it off to use on the others. Bonus round: for an extra kick, add an extra sprinkle of spices of your choice to the surface of the cookies as the spicing hardens.

    This recipe makes a LOT of cookies, so eat, share, and keep the holligays merry and bright.

    • Hi yes I live in northern Ontario but I will be in Ottawa in dec for family stuff, would love love love to balance that out with queer hangouts

      • i’m closer to boulder!! maybe southern sun or something like that, somewhere with a big-ish gathering space? i’d make an event if there are any places u think would be good!!

  10. Phoenicians (AZ), there’s a queer bomb brunch brewing for Dec 18th. I’ll reply here with location / time once we pin it down.

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