FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: All the Queermos Who Are Independent, Comment Here

Hello, tiny dancers, and welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread! This is a weekly space in which we divulge the secrets of our star-crossed youths and commiserate about kids these days. JK! It’s a place where I beg you for a hint of affection and offer photos of my dog in return, so close but not the same. And this week, our virtual group hug falls on one of my favorite weeks of the year: Week De Independence, AKA it was Canada Day on Wednesday and now it’s Fourth of July weekend! Wheee! Let’s drink beer out of red, white, and blue cans and forget the faults of our founding fathers! Or something.


I love Independence Day because I like fireworks, Lana Del Rey, classic rock, and denim, not necessarily in that order. I also love going outside and having BBQs, which I feel is what this holiday is made of. But I also love the idea of celebrating not only our shitty countries, but our own individual independence — the things we’re free from or free to do, the people we’ve chosen to live out and proud as, etc. That’s worth, like, a veggie dog or two if you ask me, and go ahead and toss some ‘slaw on the side ’cause you deserve it, bae.

I’m going to spend this weekend thinking about getting free. Coincidentally, I’m doing it from my home-home, New Jersey, where I once lived and thus am destined to forever identify myself with until I die. It’s gonna be a great moment to sort of pause, take stock of my entire life, and make a plan for the future. Right? That’s totally what happens when I go home. I don’t get drunk and watch cable at all.

Either way, I think we all deserve a second or two to think about getting free in our lives. Let’s do that this weekend, when we can also listen to Bruce Springsteen without shame or reservation and everyone’s okay with it. Mostly because doing some reflection to the tune of “Jersey Girl” has worked out for me a lot in the past.

So, dear readers, my question to you is this: What independence of yours are you celebrating this weekend? (It’s okay if you say the right to libate.) How are you gonna let loose and get free for a day or two? Are you grilling? Are you snuggling? Are you around to watch my dog, JK I found someone at the last minute. And really, even if you don’t wanna talk about any of this sh*t at all, that’s fine, go ahead and tell me about your girlfriend or your crush or the cat you just adopted or your friend or the fight you’re having with your friend about the cat you just adopted or something. I wanna see, know, and talk about it all. You’re pretty precious to me, in case you didn’t know yet. I just wanna love you and hold you in my arms, but virtually. I hope you will consent to this but if you don’t we can just talk it out anyway.

Okay, poodles and noodles! Let ‘er rip. Spill the beans. Fire up the grill! DISHHHHHH.

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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’m in DC and this is my life right now

    I’m searching for my life too. Got so much going on in my head, glad I’m out of the Bronx.

  2. I’m celebrating independence from reality. Tomorrow night (before the fireworks #devastated) I’m getting on a plane back to Australia. I get in late Monday night, and start what could be the last semester of my degree in Tuesday (unless I decide to be a masochist and do honours). So I’m reflecting on the past three weeks I’ve enjoyed Stateside and thinking ahead to the hectic study times facing me.

  3. This week has been amazing. Seriously I’m not always an optimist, I’m often a cynic ridden with anxiety, but things are looking up. Making progress with physical and mental health. Progress!

    First, marriage equality. I didn’t expect it to affect me like it did. I don’t want to ever get married, but the overwhelmingly positive response by most of my friends made me feel more normal, accepted. Gosh, how things have changed from being a kid in the 90s in a little Baptist church…

    Also, I had brunch with another Seattle straddler! And went kayaking with my mom at lake Union. And learned about mindfulness with my therapist.

    And I wore a bathing suit for the first time since… 2007 I think. My first year of college. Its not that I don’t go in the water… Oh no I love the water! I just wear my clothes in. It’s mainly my arms that make me uncomfortable. Too skinny, and with scars from a bad time years ago that seems far away. But I’ve been in a “not giving a fuck” mood lately, and the cool sea breeze and warm sun felt so good! I walked to an area away from the crowds beyond the park boundary to an old dilapidated staircase hanging off the hillside. And now my body has a gradient of pale and tan and pink. Ah, it felt good!

    Also!!! I’m seriously thinking about hosting a Seattle autostraddle beach picnic thanks to the recent thread about meet ups. (Thanks, Carmen!) This is totally out of my comfort zone but it is getting more comfortable the more I push myself socially.

    So this week felt very freeing in many ways. :D

    • If I lived nearby (which I don’t…), then I would totally come to an autostraddle beach picnic! But even though I can’t come, I imagine plenty of people will be really pleased if you were to organise it. Hope you enjoy it!

    • I am newly independent in that my internship this summer is both part-time and completely open hours, so I am currently looking at a three-week stretch where I don’t even have to check in with my boss. Which is awesome since it means I can take days off whenever and stuff like that provided I get all the hours in! But is also not awesome because turns out that my (really good!!) self-discipline only really exists when I’m so busy I’m just in a flat-out sprint all the time. So this has been harder than expected. But I’ll figure it out!

      Also, I found a website called Rabbit ( that provides a platform that multiple people can video-call into, as well as a virtual computer within the platform that one person controls and everyone can see. So basically you can watch Netflix or YouTube or Hulu or search the depths of the Internet with someone who’s far away from you!!! Or, for me, I can watch stupid cat videos, Carmilla, and Disney movies with my best friend (also roommate during the school year), who is currently 3,000 miles away from me. So that’s nice. We tried the website out for the first time yesterday and both ended up crying because it reminded us of how much we miss each other.

      And, I get to see my cousins tomorrow for 4th of July! We’re going to a swimming hole and then grilling. I’m 19, the older of them is 16 and the younger is 13, so it’s kind of killing me to go to school across the country from them since I feel like I’m missing the most important part of their lives. I’m trying to spend a lot of time with them this summer to make up for that. So cheers to this weekend and lots of family time, whether that’s the family you’re born with or the family you surround yourself with (or both)!

        • no problem, I’ve done the same thing. I’ve never heard of rabbit, but watching cat videos and carmilla with a far away friend sounds lovely.

    • first of all, you look great in that bathing suit

      second of all, yes yes yes to all of this and especially the meet-up! host a meet-up! i’m super extroverted, true, but i’m also really awkward and shy when i first meet people sometimes, and i promise once you get over the hump of being kind of uncomfortable things will totally click. plus, everyone’s gonna love you, so.

      so glad things are going well! yay! <3

      • Thanks! I’m not an introvert in all situations – I actually really like public speaking and group therapy. I can be a big talker if I have something planned to talk about. But I do tend to be a loner, gravitating toward solitary situations, and I find myself socially inept in a lot of group settings. Making friends doesn’t really come naturally or automatically to me. But then when I DO make a new friend, it feels really good! So it’s just one of those “pushing yourself to step out of your comfort zone because you know it’ll be rewarding” things.

        Thanks for all the encouraging words, you’re too kind. :D

    • Hey, I just wanted to let you know your progress is sounding fantastic! I’m in the exact same situation as you, right down to swimsuit experience (last month!) and the Baptist church in the 90s. Host the fuck out of that meetup!

      I’m going to my first pride parade this month, and seeing I founded the SD meetup group, I might try to get something going too. Best of luck to you in everything. <3

      • Thanks for the encouragement. It sounds like you have some awesome stuff planned! Best of luck to you also. *high five*

    • YEEEEE
      This is great news! I am so glad to hear that things are looking up for you. High five for getting out and enjoying the beach!
      I am on the same boat when it comes to social stuff. I’m feeling more confident and try to push myself socially, too. I never go beyond my limit, though, and I think that’s okay!
      Have a positively fantastic weekend!

      • You always have such nice things to say, Dante. I think there’s a balance of pushing yourself enough beyond your comfort zone so that you’re not trapped by your fears, but not so far beyond your comfort zone that you panic. At least, that’s the way it works for me (not just in social stuff, but anxiety-inducing stuff in general). I have a fairly high level of anxiety, and it’s easy for me to get into a “safe” routine which ends up being very rigid and isolated. So a little push is good, and then the pushes get a little bigger each time. I think it’s all a process of growing and developing. Hope your weekend is fantastic too!

    • Thank you everyone! I did it! I submitted the beach party/picnic meet up using the nifty autostraddle event hosting tool! :D

    • i always love reading your comments on friday :)

      they’re so soothing! that part about finding a quiet spot to swim… i xan picture it :)

  4. I think that I am celebrating the end of being entirely independent i.e. the beginning of a new career where I don’t get to pick my own hours. It’s a GOOD THING and I don’t even mind that I have to spend the weekend catching up on uni work that I missed this week. (It’s too hot to go outdoors anyway.)

  5. Freedom to garden for all. Anybody need some yellow squash? I ate five this week, and the bounty will continue unless the pests descend. (Are there squash vine borers in this garden?)

    Also, to rant, when I say the dog isn’t friendly, recall and leash your dog. Seriously, even if she looks calm. Because I worked for that calm, and ending up in the middle of 180 pounds of snarling because I’m the one with the leashes is not cool.

    • wait, teach me to garden. it’s like, i missed cee and abby’s gardening workshop at camp but ever since knowing it happened i can’t stop thinking about growing my own food, so i’m very into this. i will take those yellow squash, yes.

      sorry about the pups – sending you good puppy vibes!

    • Oh gosh I love garden squash! Actually I love all the fruits and veggies of summer. Please share some virtual squash.

  6. I am newly independent in that my internship this summer is both part-time and completely open hours, so I am currently looking at a three-week stretch where I don’t even have to check in with my boss. Which is awesome since it means I can take days off whenever and stuff like that provided I get all the hours in! But is also not awesome because turns out that my (really good!!) self-discipline only really exists when I’m so busy I’m just in a flat-out sprint all the time. So this has been harder than expected. But I’ll figure it out!

    Also, I found a website called Rabbit ( that provides a platform that multiple people can video-call into, as well as a virtual computer within the platform that one person controls and everyone can see. So basically you can watch Netflix or YouTube or Hulu or search the depths of the Internet with someone who’s far away from you!!! Or, for me, I can watch stupid cat videos, Carmilla, and Disney movies with my best friend (also roommate during the school year), who is currently 3,000 miles away from me. So that’s nice. We tried the website out for the first time yesterday and both ended up crying because it reminded us of how much we miss each other.

    And, I get to see my cousins tomorrow for 4th of July! We’re going to a swimming hole and then grilling. I’m 19, the older of them is 16 and the younger is 13, so it’s kind of killing me to go to school across the country from them since I feel like I’m missing the most important part of their lives. I’m trying to spend a lot of time with them this summer to make up for that. So cheers to this weekend and lots of family time, whether that’s the family you’re born with or the family you surround yourself with (or both)!

    • oh my god you just called it a swimming hole and i’m so into it

      i should use that website to watch movies with geneva! thank you for telling us about it, i think you’re about to change some lives.

      re: the job, this is all i can think about:

      (i’m sorry, i watched this movie so many times in my younger years. i’m aware that that makes me a piece of human garbage or whatever, it’s ok. i’m okay with myself. i’m living my fucking truths.)

      • Hahaha I did indeed call it a swimming hole!

        And I hope I change lives with that website. It’s been a godsend. Seriously, I just used it to get like three different people hooked on my TV shows. Life is GREAT.

        I seriously appreciate that gif though! Needed to hear that. :)

  7. I moved house on Wednesday! That said, I’m still nowhere near attempting to properly unpack thanks to the heat… I’ve got the basics as well as dog beds, a couple of chairs, most of my kitchen stuff, a PS4, TV, and sofa set up though so I’m golden for now.

    As for photos, have a couple of my cute dogs from said moving day! c:

    • Ah, congrats on a successful move! Good luck unpacking in this heat. :D


      • Thanks! Thus far All I’ve done is showcase my mad procrastination skills wrt unpacking in the heat but I’m hoping to finally get started tomorrow. Probably. Maybe?

        And they know it, haha! ;)

    • Your dog is adorable! Good luck on the moving stuff – I know how disorganized it can feel (and how middle-of-summer-heat can drain all moving energy…)

      • Thank you! :) I really overestimated my ability to cope with a move this time of year but I’m sure I’ll work up the will to get everything sorted soon!

  8. My weekend: work, date, work. I’m okay with this.

    I’m really excited because I sent an email to the artistic director of a theatre company I love, and he emailed me back THREE MINUTES LATER!

    I’m so tired, but I need to be an adult and not sleep until 2 pm. Although lying in bed with my dog until 2 pm isn’t much better…at least I’m awake?

    I’m reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It’s so good! I’m about 100 pages in, and she hasn’t gotten really depressed yet, but it’s gonna happen soon, I know it.

    • oh my god when people actually reply to emails at light speed it feels like everything is okay in the world.

  9. My girlfriend broke up with me this week. So, I’m working really hard to be happy for an opportunity to focus on myself and to figure out who I am as a lesbian (we got together approximately 3 months after I realized I’m almost exclusively into the ladies), but I’m also, really, really sad.

    This means that I have a ton of things I should be doing this weekend (cleaning out my house and garage, mowing the lawn, my dissertation, some research) and there are zero things I actually want to do.

    Plus. I hate fireworks.

    I could use some encouragement.

    • ugh, kara. i know exactly how rough this is. here’s my message from the future:

      you will figure yourself out. you will clean out the house and the garage when it feels right to clean out the house and the garage. grass was put on earth to grow. the inspiration to write your dissertation will come.

      you deserve a day off. you deserve a lot of days off.

      fuck the fireworks.

      you’re gonna make it! i promise. you just gotta wait it out.

      • Thank you for the encouragement! I’m taking this day. It always helps to know that it’s okay to do that.

    • Kara! I think I have commented once in two years of reading AS, but I just had to.
      Good on you for wanting to get happy and work on yourself. But. You have had a significantly sad thing happen in the past seven days. It is totally ok to be really, really, really sad right now. You don’t NEED to be doing anything apart from being kind to yourself and giving yourself time to get your head around what it means for the little how-my-day-runs type things.
      There is no timeline for feeling better, and there is no recipe for how to do it. I spent six months thinking I was doing just great, only to suddenly have four days where I couldn’t stop crying and refused to leave the house. And on the fifth day I woke up and realized that everything was new. Including me.
      Such a total ramble, sorry. You are going to be all good, in time. 4th July fireworks in 2015 might not be the most super fun. But 2016? Could be spectacular.

      • Elvee, thank you. I am really, really, really sad. And it’s important to take the time I need to feel that feel. I hope that you’ve had some spectacular days after that fifth day.

        • I have! I started feeling so much more like myself and open to the world. And a spectacular friend who had reappeared in my life has become a spectacular more-than-friend and I had forgotten how happy I could be. Life does that sometimes.

    • Feel better! Can’t offer any relationship advice, just encouragement and sympathy and hugs if you want them. And I’m with you on the fireworks (there’s enough danger of wildfires already…)

    • You’re going to be okay, Kara!! I also came to that realization (I call it 90/10, with 90% of my dating energy dedicated to women and 10% dedicated to men, haha), and my dad gave me some really basic advice that I’d like to pass on: “Free yourself from everything/everyone else and just make yourself happy. Be happy.”

      Hope that helps, even in a super marginal way. You’re wonderful and you can make yourself happy, even if it takes a little time. <3

  10. I’ll deffo be missing the U.S. tomorrow. Here on fieldwork in the Andes in Peru I’ll be celebrating at an agricultural fair, hopefully with red, white, and blue potatoes. Like some of these beauties~!

    I may also hike around some Inca ruins, or even likelier around potato fields. What kinds of produce are you all tasting or harvesting? Enjoy the summer, Northern Hemisphere dwellers!

  11. I’ll deffo be missing the U.S. tomorrow. Here on fieldwork in the Andes in Peru I’ll be celebrating at an agricultural fair, hopefully with red, white, and blue potatoes. Like some of these beauties~!

    I may also hike around some Inca ruins, or even likelier around potato fields. What kinds of produce are you all tasting or harvesting? Enjoy the summer, Northern Hemisphere dwellers!

    • oooooh what an amazing view of those potatoes and also the surrounding landscape but also the potatoes

  12. My family and I are watching Selma for the first time right now, so I think we’re celebrating being alive long enough to tell our own stories.

    I help out with Words Dance and I made this post especially in regards to Independence Day:

    and I’m really nervous about it but I’m glad I did it, so that’s something.

    I think I might be seeing family which is the last thing about when I think of freedom, but people have been sending me lovely messages, and I got hugs from people I really care about, and people stand close to me like they don’t think I’ll monster out of control and that’s really healing for me, that’s really freeing for me.

    On a sunnier side (?) one of the girls in my group left abruptly for another group out of state and she couldn’t have internet for a while but I posted something on her wall like a month and a half ago and she responded and I miss her a lot but it’s nice cause she seems to miss me too.

    I hope you’re all doing well!

    • I was trying to figure out what to do on July 4th. Reading & watching through your post seems like a good thing. Thank you for making it, especially the church bulletin format because I don’t have a faith community where I am.

    • “But I can tell you this: we are not meant to just stare at the horrible. We are called to act. And that comes in many forms: talking, listening, healing, creating.”

      this is beautiful! thank you for sharing <3

      • thank you so much, wow this made my weekend like ninety thousand times better, thank you for reading!

  13. I’m going back to Montpellier for a week tomorrow for a Seminar. I’m going to get sunburn, covered in mosquitoes, and hella drunk with my thesis advisor. It’s gonna be fun :D

    Yesterday I signed the lease for an apartment here in the UK. I’m all settled down, I’ve got a month of work down and am still loving it. Yay to new beginnings! Soon I’ll have worked up the courage to get back on the dating scene.

    To everybody in the US; have fun this weekend :)

    • Hey you, sorry for being so out of the blue, but I’m going to stop over in Montpellier for a couple of days in August and I was wondering, actually I am humbly asking, if you could give me a few tipps regarding where to go,eat and what to see?
      Or something practical, like what tramstop is the best beach at?
      Is there a Gay Bar in Montpellier?
      I managed to rope a friend of mine into passively supporting my fear of flying, so now we’re traveling to Barcelona from Berlin by train :-)

      • Yay I’m so excited for you :)
        There’s no lesbian bar but there IS a gay bar (the UP). Otherwise everything in the summer’s at the beach (private gay beaches I think). For lady stuff you want to contact these amazing girls :

        it’s a queer/feminist group and they organise tons of parties/movie nights/art shows for other ladies :). I advise you to contact them and ask them for advice, they’ll know to show you a good time!

        Montpellier isn’t actually by the beach. you have to catch the tram 4 direction “Pérols/Latte”. At the last stop, a bus awaits and takes you to all the beaches (my favorite is “le grand travers”, there’s only sand and no buildings it’s really nice :) ).

        In terms of what to see, if you only have a couple of days i’ll advise you to stick to the centre of town (pedestrian-restricted) as the buildings are tall and close to each other : you’re always in the shade and can stop for refreshments at any café!

        Also if you’re there on a friday night DO swing by the Estivales (try hitting it at 6pm when it’s not too crowded) : you get a wine glass + three fillings for 5 euros… and the wine is all regional so you can discover the local flavors

        i’m running out of ideas but DON’T hesitate to message me later in the month. I spent 5 and a half years there and love the city SO MUCH.

        • Oh thank you SO much!
          I liked the collectif MartinE immediately on FB and will hit them up!
          We booked an air BnB apartment smack in the center of town,so we’ll be all set on the sightseeing front,then!
          If you’re ever in Berlin, or planning to go, let me know, and I’ll return the favor!I’m a native with a deeply founded knowledge of the best Dönerplaces in town!

    • Ooooohhhhh…you lived in pays Cathare!

      One of my favourite memories is sitting on Montsegur castle ramparts at dawn, watching the sun rise clockwise over the mountains, with eagles circling. <3 <3

      Have a safe trip and a wonderful time! Congratulations on your new apartment – you're creating a fabulous summer.

      • no Montpellier is bit more to the East :) It’s in Languedoc.
        but I looove the Pays Cathare and i have very found memories of Montsegur myself (did a brilliant 5 day hike involving it once).

  14. I’m having a cookout on the beach tomorrow, because even though I’m not in the states, George Washington’s ghost told the universe I needed a cookout on the Nicaraguan Pacific coast. I’m gonna feel very free to drink dollar beer and wear my butchest swimsuit and confuse all my friends from salsa class about sexuality and gender. Probably grill an eggplant. So ready. So #free.

  15. I have been struggling something bad with my old tiger, depression, these past few weeks.
    Whenever life calms down, I get thrown into the ring and it’s a go from there.
    Slip back into a full blown episode or come out on top and skeedattle on from there until the next match.
    I knew this was going to happen when I quit my high velocity job a while back.
    I must admit, though, that I was rather underprepared for it to hit me so hard and so sideways so many months later.
    One lawsuit, one cancer in the family on top and suddenly, that heavy, black satin blanket descended and it was a legitimate effort to move.
    Get dressed, get a shower, get excited about something.
    Two weeks is the cutoff, and I was counting the days for getting myself admitted.
    But the two weeks didn’t add up, the sun started shining and I began moving again.
    So yesterday, I went to the library to do some research for the Ph.D. thing, I found some great articles and I got excited about it again.
    I have a great topic and and realized, that I want to do this, actually.
    Not because I have to, or because it is expected of me:
    I’m doing this because I want to.Nobody else does.
    Then on my way home, I stumbled across some incapacitated, drunk, homeless guy some people were calling the ambulance for, and I realized that I was ready to go back to work, that, actually, I was eager to go back to work.
    The great Love of my Life is my job and it really broke my heart that it burned me out and hurt me so much, almost to the point of my demise, that I considered not going back to it in my heart of hearts.
    Also, I really wrestled with the fact that I am in my mid thirties, childless, relationshipless, painfully lonely, these past few months, and to be very honest, that is a very, very high price to pay for anything.
    You know, I rolled my eyes when I reluctantly parked my bike next to a not quite unconscious guy, who lay on a park bench next to a few bottles of near empty booze.
    But then I noticed the restaurant style sugar dispenser next to the bottles, noticed the hour glass fingernails, and suddenly, I felt alive.
    I felt more alive than I have in the past few months.
    Maybe it is time to claim independece from old dreams and expectations (I really meant to be a good Lesbian with a wife and three kids) and just, you know, roll with the punches.
    There will always be punches, and I will always, always have to care for it, so they won’t pull me under, but you know, this round is over for now, so skeedattle on and bring the fireworks.

    • “Also, I really wrestled with the fact that I am in my mid thirties, childless, relationshipless, painfully lonely, these past few months, and to be very honest, that is a very, very high price to pay for anything.”

      Oh, hello. Are you me?

    • I feel you so hard on this. I was milling along just fine on my path of recovery, and suddenly none of it mattered anymore, just like that, just as if it hadn’t saved my life. I wore apathy like that shirt you wear every day when you’re depressed and think nobody will notice that you haven’t changed in eons. I don’t know when this immutable quality interrupted my life, but it seems to be leaving just as suddenly. Like a queef. “That was uncomfortable,” is sort of my response now that the worst seems over. Thank gawd.

      I’m glad you’re saying things like “roll with the punches” and seem ready to deal with letting go of some of those expectations you had of yourself. This ain’t theatre, honey, your value isn’t based on your performance. ;) I’m just really happy with all the things in this post. Being well enough to recognize when you need support is the best, and you’re so good at it. It’s a skill, you know? But it’s like tying a cherry stem in your mouth while making out with a pie. Like, what is this? How can I tell what I’m feeling? Is this right? So to identify your cut off is really cool. I don’t do it well at all. I have been well past the point of needing help before realizing I was that badly off, and that’s why I don’t trust my judgement, and it’s why my leash is so snug.

      Also, living your sadness and finding the quality in it is as important as the happiness, I think. And I’m SO glad you’re doing better. Internet high five! <3

  16. Well I probably will be celebrating my independence tonight with some friends(including the always friendly Mary Jane) at a queer ladies night event. I will be wearing a nice purple shade of lipstick living free and queer! I don’t have to go to work tomorrow so that will be spent sleeping probably in the morning not sure about the rest of the day. I may go hiking.

    On another note, a new acquaintances said something that could be taken the wrong way, but queer friend says just chalk it up as a positive as they now know a genderqueer trans person and see that trans people are just regular people. Made me feel more positive I may have changed a persons opinion on trans. Sadly I think she might be straight?

    Saw this image this week. I think it’s a new addition.

    Thank you for viewing and reading.

    • Oh, and also I listen to Bruce Springsteen on the regular, and not just his tracks like Born In the USA, but stuff from his first album, or his classic Ghost of Tom Joad.

      • You are too kind, I just work with what I have and see. You just made this queer blush. Thank you

    • You, friend, have a knack for performimg open heart surgery to spread to love of trans knowledge, and that is a delicious transfusion (see what I did there?)

      Purple lipstick is making the rounds now, look at you being all trend setting and stuff. A hike sounds amazing. Maybe I’ll do that on Lauren Day instead of staying home. :) Do you have any traditional 4th of July stuff you do?

      • I guess it would to go to the beach to see fireworks show, But, yeah you should go hiking if you can, maybe see a lake.

  17. I’m gonna celebrate being independent from my usual 4AM saturday shift, and make big plans with myself to go out, then get tired at 7pm anyway and not do it. But tonight it’s an option.

    • Early morning solidarity! I’m celebrating being independent of my 5:30 am Saturday shift. But my brain will probably still wake up at 4:25, right on schedule.

  18. I’ve been feeling really depressed, or like boxed in by all the rules that have kept me sane. So I fucked the rules on Canada Day. I didn’t drink, but I ended my day with a bang. Double entendre intended.

    • Hey you,
      I was just thinking about you and this very issue today!
      It’s like 38°C here out of nowhere, and everything is VERY relaxed all of a sudden.
      I have this super stringent schedule worked out, canceled all of my social plans for this month, made plans for the gym/biking every day, to take care of stuff, etc., but these past couple of days I have just been making my own time, because it’s just too hot to like, concentrate for hours straight, for example.
      Also, I took the bike to the library in the epicenter of town yesterday..and I didn’t know how to get home anymore, because, well, it was so hot the air didn’t even carry enough oxygen anymore with the houses and the tar streets heating up like bricks.
      ( I ended up getting stuck in an outdoor garden furniture exhibition of a Danish mattress reseller. Obviously, I live the glorious life.)
      Physical exercise, now,too, is benched until further notice.
      But I’ve been productive, somehow, somewhat, even though I don’t keep to a tight schedule anymore.
      I was thinking about how liberating it was, this breaking out and owning the structures that were beginning to feel like they owned me, even though I implemented them myself.
      And I was thinking about you, how you have been doing this for so long and I was wondering whether or not it was making you feel trapped sometimes.
      People are not just their diseases, (I still stand by that, even though it came to bite me in the ass) maybe it’s time to heal up in some places and start breaking out sometimes, to see how the boundaries bend and form to fit the new self?
      Maybe it’s time to loosen the leash? Carefully?
      By that I don’t mean that falling back into old structures is a good idea, but see what works for you and honestly judge what doesn’t and find a healthy way to deal with things*?
      What I’m trying to say: I hope you’re not feeling bad about breaking that vow of celibacy, even though your chances of being accepted by a nun’s order has now been severely diminished.
      Or augmented.
      I don’t know how this works with the nuns, anyway.

      *This excludes drinking.Drinking is a 100% no, and kudos for not slipping back into that.

      • “(I ended up getting stuck in an outdoor garden furniture exhibition of a Danish mattress reseller. Obviously, I live the glorious life.)”

        Pretty spectacular discovery, in my opinion. Who else knows that their local Danish mattress seller also hocks garden furniture? Nobody. So NOW when your friends are moaning about their need for garden furniture sold by some Dane (I’m assuming the mattress reseller is Danish? Or are the mattresses Danish?) YOU are their connection! I feel like this could happen, because your life is a sitcom.

        ANYWAY. To respond more properly. OMG GET OUTTA MY HEAD. YES! Yes, I have been finding it restrictive, and every time I have walked in the sun because “it’s free vitamin D” I begrudge it, and every time I sit down to meditate I resent the length, and every time I go to work out I do not feel the joy I was feeling. I feel almost like I’ve been my own custodian, a person in a conservatorship where working out and AA meetings and Dharma study have been the things to guide me and keep me out of trouble. I’m starting to get it, though. I’ve thankfully been restored to some sanity, and now I realize that I will fuck up sometimes because I’m human, not because it’s some grave sign of my mental illness returning full strength. I’ve been working with this group for Pride, and I’m learning a lot about myself, and I’m figuring out that actually I’m very blunt and a bit difficult to work with, that I don’t take shit from people, and that I am really capable of getting things done. I’m sort of getting to know myself because I’m doing something outside of myself. These things go together because I’m learning to just trust my judgement. So no, I don’t regret breaking my abstinence, but I do wish I had some frozen peas, because it’s been a while. :P I haven’t been going to the gym, either, I’ve been enjoying the outdoors and going to the pool. And, I’ve been doing fewer meetings and more living. And I am starting to feel really great. Scared, tip toeing, but great. :D

      • I will add….. I don’t know when I crossed off friends and hiking and cups of tea and the occasional screw as okay things to do to deal with stuff. But I feel like moderation is the thing I need. I thought of this when replying, but forgot. :P. This is how I feel!

        • I’m trying very desperately not to joke about the frozen peas situation, just so you know and appreciate my restraint :-D
          You know, I guess life isn’t this thing where you’re going “Whoa, guess what I got it all figured out, I’ve got myself completely turned around!I GOT IT!”
          I’m honestly afraid all of these movies have lied to us all of these years.
          It’s more of a:”Guess what? New week, new game!”
          This has been insinuated to me before, but we do keep growing and learning past the tender age of twenty two, thirty two and eighty two.
          Maybe we’re like trees that way.
          Maybe trees have very interesting lives, too?
          Who even knows?
          Have a good week, and do take care of yourself while enjoying all the good things.
          And by that I mean sunscreen and lube.
          Sorry, I really tried.

  19. For those of you still into “Once Upon a Time”, here’s the first look at Dark Emma.

    • With the leather coat, the naughty leather high heeled boots and the severe make up, this reminds me uncannily of this one FF where Emma ended up dancing on a pole for Regina in a private setting to the NIN’s “Closer”.

      Someone please call me, on my phone, day or night, if this actually happens.
      In that case I might start watching the show again.

        • I’m sorry, this was forever ago and I spent the last hour looking for it and couldn’t find it.
          One of the reasons I stepped out of the Swanqueen ff fandom was because of how overly graphic things got.
          That opinion was now firmly reestablished in the last hour.
          Wow, I mean, I’m no prude, but just wow.

  20. I celebrated winning some kind of award yesterday, today I’m celebrating my hangover. Best part about yesterday was that I got to go and have fancy diner with a possible future employer. Worst part, I was just about to make some great great jokes and impress someone when I had to leave.

    • That’s the best “worst part” I’ve ever heard. Comparable example: I went to city Hall to watch my sister get married. Best part: we had raspberry and nutella stuffed crepes for breakfast afterward. Worst part: I wore a pencil dress that was so tight I had to safety pin between the buttons, which meant rolling it up to go pee, and pulling down my body spanx, exposing my entire self. I thought the bathroom door was locked. It was not.


    hey hi helloooooooo there creatures & features,

    my week was fine! I had a full-time workin’ week, mostly in the hospital, and have reached the point of wedding planning where we’re like “NO TOO MANY COUSINS NO STAY HOME WHY CAN’T YOU BE MORE HOMOPHOBIC OR LIVE FURTHER AWAY GO AWAY WE HAVE FRIENDS TOO.”

    and like, I bought a dress on modcloth that I’ve been obsessed with for >year that is now in my size THANKS MODCLOTH.( here

    I’ve been reading lots of fluff, mostly my brain functions better when cushioned with lots of reading but my usual heavy-subjects novels have been a lot lately. mostly this last couple weeks I read “Where’d you go, Bernadette” and “Mr Penumbra’s 24 hour bookstore” and they were both fluffy opportunities things for my brain to cruise through. starting ‘the post-birthday world’. lots less queer content in the stuff I’ve been recommended lately, but mostly not super objectionable either.

    otherwise! I’ve been feeling frustrated by my immediate and extended family, (they are really taking me planning a wedding as license to make it all about themselves in myriad big and small ways)

    and I guess concretely I feel really grounded in my own independence of managing how I’m feeling in such a way that it doesn’t ruin my day/knowing what stuff is mine and what stuff is theirs/trying not to get super defensive but also crabbing about them on the drive home. So, freedom to disengage with other people’s nonsense. I am feeling that lately.

    But also, fuck other people’s whining. I’m not having it.

    • yes to disengaging with the bullshit. that’s the route to eternal happiness i heard so good on you! here’s to better days of wedding planning and how fly you’ll look in that dress <3

      • ‘s cute, right? I’ve been waiting for them to carry it in thick sizes for a sweet while!

    • That dress is beautiful! It sounds too like what you’re trying to say is, “that is a you problem, not a me problem; this wedding is a me problem, not a you problem. See?”

  22. I’m celebrating my new independence as an actual real-life adult! I graduated this May and have managed to land a great job at the wonderful nonprofit I interned with last summer and a badass studio apartment in downtown Des Moines. I’ll be heading to the lake with family and friends this weekend to day-drink and bbq in honor of my non-suckage at adulting and the hopeful continuation of said non-suckage.

  23. Guys, this week has been a crazy freaking week I basically the best possible way.
    My mom had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and this week she had a double mastectomy and it went perfectly. She’s recovering really fast and our fridge is filled with love in casserole form from our friends and family. We’re hoping she doesn’t have to do radiation or chemo since the cancer was caught so early, but I’m just happy she’s doing so well.
    YOU GUYS. I’m officially out of the closet!!!! *insert ridiculous confetti cannon* It has taken me literal years to get the courage to do this, coming out was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. The absolute best part is that I’ve only gotten love, support, and encouragement from everyone, not a single negative comment in sight. I nearly cried from happiness, never in a million years did I think coming out would be this great.
    Now I’m ready to celebrate the 4th of July covered in rainbow colored confetti and prancing around like the happy little gay that I am.
    Have a safe weekend y’all!

  24. I just got my first big paycheck from my first real job, so I signed up for A+ and I’m trying to read every. single. thing. It’s been delightful so far.

    I also went to a Independence Day-themed drag show at the local bar yesterday and it exceeded my expectations in every way. I’m very much here for drag kings in star-spangled underwear.

  25. Hey fire crackers!! It’s the 4th! Holiday pay! Woohoo! How are you all doing? I’m still having withdrawals from A CAMP. I miss all your faces! I wish I had more plans than to work tomorrow. I’m currently helping out my sister with dog sitting and such. It’s been pretty good. Brody and Penny are good dogs. A Yorkie and Chihuahua respectively. I don’t think I have pics of them though. AWW. Penny’s birthday is on July 5 and my nieces said I need to sing Happy Birthday to her and give her an extra treat.

    This was last weekend. My co workers and I went to the beach, ate the pier and enjoyed having no sun. The water was warm and look at this kelp thing we found!!

    Look at Andy you guys!! He loves the tree and to climb!! Those leg stripes though!!!

    And Jessy. MILK FOREVER.

    • I love your photos; beaches and cats are pretty much my favorite things and guaranteed to reduce stress. That is a massive piece of seaweed! And your cats are adorable; Andy looks so self-assured.

  26. I’m celebrating being single. Like, really celebrating. I only sometimes get the urge to hit up OKCupid or Tinder or whatever, but I quickly talk myself out of it, because my summer of singleness is important and it feels so good to not have to worry about making someone else like me.
    However, I’m adopting a dog next weekend, and my commitment-phobic self is freaking out about it. I love dogs, I’ve fostered them for four years, but fostering takes zero commitment. It’s down to a husky x or a short, squat thing that only understands Spanish (her previous humans were deported to Argentina. My heart). I’m the least decisive person I know, so I’m hoping one of them gets adopted by next weekend so I don’t have to choose between them. I’m leaning toward the husky x, because she’s bigger and I LOVE big dogs, for both practical and unpractical reasons. Also, if I get the Argentinian dog, my ex will inevitably find out and be livid. And call me angrily. She had adopted a beagle/corgi a few months into our relationship with zero input from me, and while I love his bratty self, I definitely acknowledged that he was smaller than I like in dogs. Ms. Argentina is only a tad bigger than him. Ay.
    We shall see. My Amazon list of dog-related items is growing daily and getting out of hand.
    But another reason I’m glad I’m single, is I’m in the middle of a heap of sleep studies and neurology appointments. My boss (a neuropsychologist) was the one who ended up making the initial neurology appointment, because she noticed things about me I hadn’t. My ex used to get on me all the time for how lazy and unhelpful I was, but I haven’t had all that much energy…ever. I can sleep for days. It’s always been attributed to my depression, but my new doctor and my boss are convinced it’s more than that. I confess I’d like it to be more than that—if it really is just depression, I’m screwed. But sleep studies suck. Anyway, I want to get that all sorted out before I bring another person into my life. Also, I’ve also lost twenty pounds so far, and I want to get down more before I hit the dating scene.
    All that to say, I’m really digging being single.

    • Fuck toxic exes, block her number or just ignore her attempts at contact.

      If you want that pup, adopt that pup.

      Ven is a come command, it’s pronounced like ben or bang depending on the accent/dialect

      Siéntate is a sit command and it’s pronounced see en tah tae.

  27. I’ll be working for most of my waking hours this weekend because grad school, but I’ll be setting aside some time tomorrow to stop by a friends party and then again on Sunday night to watch the World Cups finals.

    I don’t even mind working all weekend because I am pre-emptively working so I won’t have to do anything when I go on VACATION next week! I’m heading to the West Coast and I haven’t been there since middle school and I’m visiting my roommate from undergrad and then going to a wedding and exploring Portland and San Francisco and its going to be a great five days.

  28. I’m going to celebrate the realization that I don’t have to feel stuck in my current job any longer than I want to. It’s been almost three years, and I’ve stayed out of the fear that I won’t be able to find another job that will pay my bills, but I know now that it’s just because I’m too afraid of change sometimes. It feels great to know that I don’t have to work all days, all nights, all weekends, and every holiday forever. Also, I’m going to celebrate with some watermelon beer by the pool with my friends, texting the girl I met in the nacho line at A-Camp. We’ve been texting for a couple weeks and I now know what her favorite album is, that she prefers pie over cake, and have a general idea of what things make her blush. It’s fun! I’m having fun. I love fun.

    • Damn I’m glad something good came out of that nacho line bc the store-bought guac was some nonsense.

      Though it didn’t have peas in it, at least.

      • tbh though like what percentage of the food we consumed WASN’T nonsense. other than the myriad of muffins, those were delicious

  29. I don’t really have any specific independence-related thing to celebrate this weekend…So I’ll celebrate the fact that I am independent in the sense that I live in an apartment by myself and I can walk around in shorts and a bra if I want to, and the only one who can object is my dog. But I will definitely partake in the Independence Day foods. I am ready to eat all of the fried chicken and pasta salad and corn on the cob that I can get my hands on. I also may or may not have worn a food-themed sweatshirt to work yesterday to celebrate the food I am planning on consuming this weekend…

    Speaking of Watson, he went to the vet today. He got shots and got his nails trimmed and he’s not happy. He started giving me the “I’m not happy with you right now” face in the car (pictured below). Now he’s laying next to me, pouting. He’s really adorable when he pouts.

    Watson is also the destroyer of toys. I bought the toy that’s in shreds in the photo below less than a week ago. It now looks like a string factory exploded in my apartment. There are bits of colorful string everywhere. EVERYWHERE. But whatever. He’s adorable and he’s destroying his toys and not my shoes. So I’ll take it.

    • Is it wrong that I look forward to Friday threads just for Watson updates? Super not creepy, right?

      • Nah, not creepy at all. I mean, he’s pretty cute. I get it. :)

        In fact, here. Have another photo. He was trying to jump up on the couch the other day, but couldn’t make it. He settled on staring at me instead.

        • I am smitten with this dog and your adorable relationship with him. Smitten, I say!

        • omg. thank you. struggling so much right now, and this adorable face makes it a tiny bit better.

    • I’ve never actually commented on anything in spite of how often I read stuff on this website, but I had to create an account and comment for the first time because HOLY CRAP I’M SQUEEING OVER WATSON’S EARS. HE LOOKS LIKE A PRECIOUS LITTLE BAT.

      • If you can’t handle these photos, then you would definitely not be able to handle the snapchat videos I send. Like the one of him chasing his non-existent tail until he falls over.

  30. I had an intense, serious therapy session today where my therapist laid down the law and told me that I show all the signs of clinical depression, and that really, I should go on medication. I have a major aversion to thinking I have it, but this week has been super awful, hard for me to ignore.

    I also admitted to her (and ONLY because she asked) that I self-harm. OMG. This is a secret I’ve kept for many, many years and can’t believe I told her. Well really, I nodded my head “yes” at her, and then wrote down specifically what I do for her to read after.

    UGH. I am so so exhausted and this is going to be a lonnggggggg and painful weekend.

      • Thank you. I am having a REALLY hard time right now, like wanting to jump out of my skin to be rid of myself, you know? How can I make it another 2 days by myself? I’m not so sure.

        • i am sending you all the good vibes and love rays and puppy kisses that i have on hand here in my little bubble in this world and i hope it gets to you asap and i am so excited for you to make it through another two days. love love love.

        • I used to self harm as well and feeling like my skin didn’t fit me/ wanting to jump out of it is SO relevant.

          Be kind to yourself. Healing takes time and that session with your therapist is a major step forward.

  31. I’ve been enjoying having the house to myself this past week. Mostly catching up on my shows (OITNB, Orphan Black, Penny Dreadful) and re-acclimating to home life after four weeks on the road. But also some good social times.

    I had been feeling a little deprived bc I was out of town for Pride, but then somebody organized a mass Marriage Equality celebration — blocked off a couple of blocks of street, thousands in attendance, many couples wed — and that was a LOT of fun for this newbie queer.

    Trying to be really intentional and deliberate about keeping my social activity up, and succeeding so far. In past years, I’ve tended to hide at home and get isolated, but now it’s getting easier to get myself out there socially. Something about having figured out who the Real Me is, prolly.

  32. I guess I will celebrate the fact that I just opened a checking account! I feel more independent already. It’s awesome cuz now I can now buy gay stuff online and I don’t have to ask my parents for their card…haha. This also opens up the possibility of me getting an A+ membership sometime this year! Or maybe next year. It sorta depends how drowned I’ll be in college, since I’m rarely on AS during semesters. I want to use the membership to its fullest…ya feel.
    I think I’ll cut my post short this time, so I wish you all a homotastic weekend.

    • Yay for the checking account! And college! So much exciting stuff in your life. Best of luck with everything, and enjoy your holiday.

    • and a very homotastic weekend to you, too! may a scissoring tank top be in your future.

    • ok so originally I was (1) being overwhelmed and confused by the world and (2) celebrating the good weather we’re getting this weekend (and how tall my tomato plants are getting!) but also, I sort of came out on my blog a few days ago? and it didn’t even occur to me that my relatives would see it, but I just got off the phone with my uncle (who is like realllllyyy not the reaching-out type) who called to say how he always knew and how proud my aunt (who died last fall) would have been. soo now I’m sitting here in tears because I never would have expected that, and never realized how much that support could mean to me. I’m a giant puddle of feelings, y’all.

  33. I just got back from seeing a really great film as part of Pride in my city – I’ll be missing most of the celebrations as I’m off on hols with my family next week but it was just THE nicest thing. It was ‘In The Turn’ (which I think was covered on here a while ago?) and it was absolutely incredible, it was all about roller derby and being queer and a 10-year old trans girl called Crystal and now I’m definitely going to start skating after months of saying I’d love to. ALSO I’ve recently discovered what an absolute joy it is to go to the cinema alone?? It makes me feel really at home, there’s something so lovely and comforting about it.

    The film was beautiful and it just made me want to cry on the walk home and I couldn’t quite pinpoint why, then I realised it’s because I just can’t quite believe how amazing it feels to get to be part of this? Like, not only do queer people exist, but I actually get to BE one too?! Sitting in a dark room full of lesbians for a couple of hours is truly restorative tbh.

    Other news: I came out at work today (a solid 9 months in to my 10 month contract, but baby steps, eh) and everything was fine! I dunno, I’m still getting used to coming out to people who aren’t actual close friends etc and it feels weird but good.

    • How did you come out at work? Ugh, I want to come out at work so badly. I’m out to the 3 people I have an after work drinks group with because they wanted to be Facebook friends, but they’re all young and progressive. My CEO is awesome, and I know I’d be backed if anyone tried to mess with me or my job, but I’m stumped on finding a way to bring it up that doesn’t seem weird. Halp.

      • It’s so tricky! I’d also been wanting to for ages and in the end I was just v lucky – I work in quite a small, informal office and on Friday afternoon everyone was chatting about weekend plans and someone mentioned they had a date and then someone asked me what my dating situation was which was the ideal opportunity really! I was v glad to get it over with really. Good luck!

  34. I got roped into this thread by the Lana Del Rey pic – YES I LOVE YOU, LANA!!! It terms of the independence theme, I’m being very independent lately with planning overseas travel. Also of interest, I had such a queer wkend last week, with a queer uni group party, US marriage equality news, writing to my queer inmate pen pal, attending a trans rights rally, and going to a queer picnic! So I’m still feeling rainbows, hehe. So many Autostraddle articles to catch up on this weekend!

  35. This beautiful banner went up at the school opposite our home, and seems especially appropriate for this week…

    Love to you all!

  36. Came out on Facebook in the post SCOTUS decision bliss, hundreds of likes, tens of supportive comments. That would not have been a thing 5 years ago, so I feel validated and respected. My summer class, which has caused me to have this terrible 7 day a week work schedule for the last month, is OVER! I also get to spend the holiday weekend with my beautiful lady, who I normally only get to see a few hours a week. Basically I’m riding high on life right now!

    • Ooh I feel it! I came out on Facebook post-SCOTUS decision as well and I’m still on cloud nine from all of the positive responses!
      Congrats on your successful coming out! I’m so happy that the tides are finally changing regarding LGBT acceptance

  37. Celebrating the independence that comes with…coming out!

    The “baby dyke” labeling…The “but wait, are you really a lesbian if you’ve slept with men?” comments…The struggle to find my place…The feeling of being very much alone…it’s all a drag. But ultimately, identifying as queer has given me hope, comfort and a gradual but blossoming sense of community. Every day I become stronger. I’m gay and here to stay, my dears!


  38. I’m in Australia and we have no such values about freedom, so I’m going to shackle myself in chains for the weekend…
    Kidding, it’s too cold, I’ll probably stay in bed.

  39. Oh man. I’m Australian, so the first time I celebrated 4th of July was just last year! Camping in Washington state. Setting off some ridiculous fireworks, which are all illegal here. Drinking. Finally ‘wooing’ the cute girl I’d been road tripping with. Ugh. I’d give anything to be back there. Someone adopt me?

  40. I get to spend my weekend hanging with friends, baking sugary foods, and enjoying the fact that with them I am able to be my gay little self and actually be able to talk about it (which I don’t get at my very religious work place or home)

  41. I just came out, I’m in my thirties, and I’m just learning my type. Now that I’m allowing myself to look, there are ladies everywhere, and they’re lovely.

    • ahah I remember this when realising I was gay

      “you’re beautiful! and you! and YOU! WOMEN ARE AMAZING SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME A BUCKET OF WATER”

  42. So I’m pretty freaking pumped that my name change went through and now I just need to pay for that to show up in the one paper, then go back to the county clerk to make everything official and start the long process of updating literally everything in my life to my actual name.

    I’m also celebrating freedom in choosing who I call family. Because yeah, my bio fam consists of a lot of people who are less-than-great, who are doing a lot of shitty things right now, and who are pretending either I’m not queer or that I don’t exist, and that’s them being nice because they don’t want to upset my 95-year old grandma because she’s not doing great. BUT–I got to see the like 2 cousins I’m related to I actually like; I got to spend time with my brother-by-choice and his girlfriend and my sister-by-choice; I’m spending time with my boater fam tomorrow, which has made dealing with the rest of my fam bearable and all of these humans love me in a similar fashion to how I love them. Realizing that I don’t have to call my blood-relations who are terrible family or give them the time of day is freedom in itself. Realizing that I can call this motley crew of humans who are the most supportive and awesome and caring and trustworthy people family is such a good feeling because yo this is what a family should be; this is what a family is and family means.

    • I just want to say that you’re awesome and I am so happy to hear the positive news on your name change/affirmation!
      Are you going to go kayaking to celebrate?!

  43. Hiya! As I mentioned in my comment about the adorable Watson, I’ve been reading stuff on this website and admiring the insights of you fabulous people since forever, but before said comment, I’ve never actually interacted… so hi! As far as independence/freedom themed doodads are concerned, I’ve been trying to come out of my shell more this summer. I tend to be very reserved and very cautious around new people for various reasons, and I’ve attempted to pull myself out of my comfort zone and be more social as this habit has resulted in my queermo self being somewhat lonely. For the actual eagles-crapping-glitter holiday, I’ll be laying around in the air conditioning reading Your Inner Fish, and perhaps watching fireworks when it’s finally dark out (because Phoenix. And swamp-ass. And mosquitoes). Hope everyone’s weekend is lovely!

  44. POODLES AND NOODLES Carmen you’re the best

    I updated my phone OS and now I have to peck at my phone to type, like a chicken. And because my nails have gotten long, I make lots of tapping noises now, instead of no noise because swiping. Like tiny tap dance shoes, my fingers.

    On Thursday I got to hang out with my friend Zack. We ate ice cream in the mall and sat there for hours talking and laughing and stuff. Then we went to Starbucks to laugh over the important birds tumblr. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt and felt sick. It’s such an absurd tumblr. It’s hilarious.

    I’ve also recently begun reading Tipping the Velvet, aaaaaaand it is killing me slowly. I skipped ahead because I knew something bad was coming but I didn’t expect it to be thAT BAD. I literally felt like crying and had to text a friend I was so distressed. Now I’m reading it warily, waiting for MORE TERRIBLE UPSETTING THINGS, so it keeps making me feel kinda anxious lmao im ridiculous. So I drew myself my own fluffy little super gay comic to feel better. So many hands, though. So difficult to draw, especially when the only one around for drawing from is your non-dominant hand and you have to twist your wrist around funny. Hehe.

    I’m still stressing over whether or not my therapist and i are a good fit. She says things that feel invalidating to me, but I can’t get the guts to tell her so. I still feel confused over it and everything. It’s a constant worry and stressor. Blah.

    • I just want to say, go with your gut. I stayed with a therapist for about 5 years, and it was about 4.5 years too long. She was fine, but i never could open up to her, and never could tell her when i felt something was off in the therapy room. never, never.

      It never felt quite right, but i also didn’t know how it really should feel, and it was a constant battle. I just started seeing a new therapist, and by the 4th session, i somehow admitted to her i self-harm, which was a secret kept for a very long time, including with my last therapist. i am terrified because she works so differently than any other therapist i’ve seen, and i have a feeling that she will actually make me “feel my feelings” so to speak. Logically, i know that this is a good thing. Emotionally, not so much.

      I would try and talk to your therapist about what you’re feeling, but don’t beat yourself up over it like I did. My current therapist said that if i never felt that therapy was a safe space, there was no way i was bringing up hard stuff to my last therapist. that is the #1 priority.

  45. It’s no longer friday, hope I’m not too late! I am excited to be going swimming at a lake by my families house tomorrow (today…?) with all the cousins, aunts, uncles, ect. I am very much not excited about the possibility of hearing my racist, misogynistic, transphobic, idiotic, Fox-watching uncle spew more bullshit from his mouth. I didn’t see his true colors until he got drunk at my cousins 21 run and decided to pick a fight with me about anything from Caitlin Jenner’s coming out to his idea that reports of rape are usually false. Now that I’ve heard what he really thinks, I can’t even look at him without becoming upset. The 4th of July has always been fun family time, but now I’m dreading any time I have to be around him. It’s so hard to see the thing you hate so much in the people you love.

  46. I am celebrating financial independence! After years of financial turmoil caused by a perfect storm of a new physical disability, devastating recession, and grad school, I finally have a job that allows me to breathe a little easier. I’m not living the high life, but at least now I don’t have a panic attack when I take my wife out to dinner. I don’t need to beg my parents to help me buy groceries and if I want that new book in the my bookstore, dammit I can just buy it!

  47. ok so originally I was (1) being overwhelmed and confused by the world and (2) celebrating the good weather we’re getting this weekend (and how tall my tomato plants are getting!) but also, I sort of came out on my blog a few days ago? and it didn’t even occur to me that my relatives would see it, but I just got off the phone with my uncle (who is like realllllyyy not the reaching-out type) who called to say how he always knew and how proud my aunt (who died last fall) would have been. soo now I’m sitting here in tears because I never would have expected that, and never realized how much that support could mean to me. I’m a giant puddle of feelings, y’all.

  48. I survived my family’s 4th of July cook out. It’s hell. They are all fundies, and there’s a lot of dysfunction going on. Couple that with the fact that my mother is one of the most critical people ever who tears me down at every turn,and well…let’s just say I am really glad to be back at my apartment with my cat and no one else.

    I’m moving to Portland, Oregon when this lease is up. They are currently none the wiser. I am thinking of changing my last name so I can’t be tracked. Right now, I am about to get very drunk and pass out.

  49. Rather than be mopey with memories of July and longing for people that are gone I’ve kept busy working on Black Widow inspired merchandise concepts while listening to old Russian waltzes.
    I’m not celebrating anything, I’m just living which I guess is celebration enough.

    The grandfathers that were in my life as a kid had a big impact on me. The one I lost in July of 2005 was my father’s step-dad, more of dad than his birth father. He was Filipino and that was part that was hardly acknowledged in life when I knew him with the exception of the how the mortician did a horrid job with the post mortem make up. Clearly did not know how to deal with a person of colour’s skin tone and just ugh it was bad. Like cheap water down pasty chocolate that had begin to seize.

    I’ve been able to connect with and remember him with clothes like he used to wear, a necklace he gave that was from his last international trip, WWII vessels and sea shanties, but until Laura’s list I no food to connect with.
    His ashes were spread in the lake, but he wanted to be spread in open sea. So Post-K I’d have a laugh with myself about how stubborn he was and if he couldn’t make it to sea the sea was damn gunna make it to him. And also that he was just ya know hanging out in people’s living rooms ect.

    My mother edited my mourning and I’m trying to make up for it now I guess. Take back what was denied me. All Saints Day is going to be a busy day this year.

    The grandfather I lost this December always made a big to do for Independence Day. One of the main events was giving each grandkid a flag to carry and have a parade from one end of the property to the other to Anchors Aweigh. It made all the kids feel valued and a part of things which was not so with Christmas and Easter.

    He had long illness so it had been years since we’d done it so I should be chill about, but he’s really gone this year. It kinda stings rather dully aches.

    The other thing July brings up is an attack that happened to a childhood friend of mine a couple years ago, I’ll never forget her scream as long as I live.
    She got away without those fuckers getting what they wanted, but she’ll have those scars forever and I think I remind her of what happened.
    I want to know if she’s coping, doing ok or something, but she doesn’t want anything to do with me and I’m not gunna push.
    Mostly I’m just helplessly angry with sex offenders.

    Sleepy kittens anyone?

  50. I feel SO lucky to be independent enough to have just officially made the decision to apply to PhD programs for the fall of 2016. I’m already thinking that I’m going to be flat-out rejected by every program I apply to, but that’s just my wonderfully optimistic mindset at work. When I think about it logically, I’m pretty confident in my abilities as a student and I just hope I follow through with this, since I’ve been daydreaming about the day that I can add “Dr.” in front of my name since I was 6. Still, it’s scary!

    Yay education!!!!!!

  51. Im gonna spend Independence day with my loved ones while watching Independence day movie hahaha! Isnt great?. squash washington dc Its a story about disparate groups of people who converge in the Nevada desert in the aftermath of a worldwide attack by an extraterrestrial race of unknown origin. Along with the rest of the world, they launch a last-ditch counterattack on July 4 – Independence Day in the United States.
    Emmerich came up with the idea for the film when fielding a question about his own belief in the existence of alien life. He and Dean Devlin decided to incorporate a large-scale attack having noticed that aliens in most invasion films travel long distances in outer space only to remain hidden when reaching Earth. Shooting began in July 1995 in New York City, and the film was officially completed on June 20, 1996.

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