FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Gaga for Our Gal Pals

tea party (just image)

image by rory midhani

Hello Rainbow Sprites and welcome to Friday Open Thread, where we save the universe from plunging into eternal night with our magical color belt and the power of goodness and unicorns.

Gal Pal Week has been the best, hasn’t it? I laughed. I cried. I called my gal pals and told them all about it. We spend so much time as community obsessing over relationships and sex. It’s nice to recognize the queer BFFs who hold our hands and let us cry on their shoulder or give us tips while we are processing our most recent lady love. Our BFFs can be just as or even more important to us than our significant others.

significant_otters

My best gal pal is about to move across the U.S. for a job, like literally in a couple weeks. We have one of those friendships where we just take each other as we are, the good and the… challenging. We forgive each other easily and we just generally treat each other with kindness. We can go for a whole month without seeing each other and then pick up right where we left off. We’ve seen each other through jobs and weddings and friend drama and lots and lots of marathon coffee sessions. And there’s never been anything romantic between us and I doubt there ever will be. We’re just two gal pals in friend love.

This is us at the zoo circa 2008. Just gal pal'ing around.

This is us at the zoo circa 2008. Just gal pal’ing around.

It’s going to be hard not having her around the corner. She’s one of the few people I can just randomly text if I feel like getting ice cream or coffee or need a mid-day lunch break escape. We met when I was working at Planned Parenthood and organizing a V-Day Community Campaign in 2007. It was a totally different time in our lives and we basically grew up into queer feminist adulthood together over the past eight years. We went from discussing getting our first feminist jobs to being the feminist supervisors at those jobs. When I was out of town for work, she went with my partner on short notice to help put an offer in on our house because she’d gone through the house-buying process and we hadn’t. We are both ambitious go-getters that are always looking ahead to the next big thing and we love processing the what-ifs with each other. I have a lot of friends, but not a lot of very close friends and she’s my gal pal main squeeze. I’m going to miss her a lot!

What about you? I know this week has got you thinking about your besties. Who are your gal pals (actual gal pals, not “gal pals”) and what makes them the best? How did you meet? If you were a famous gal pal duo, who would you be? What is your favorite and/or most embarrassing story about your gal pal-ship? How does their hair smell? You know…gal pal stuff. I want your gal pal stories and pics!

These three cuties are real-life best friends at an animal shelter in Georgia. (Photo: Noah's Ark)

These three cuties are real-life best friends at an animal shelter in Georgia. (Photo: Noah’s Ark)

Or just tell me what you’re up to this week, how your babies and furbabies are doing, what you are eating, if you got my Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer reference earlier in the post, etc. Let it all out.

Pals who are gals, saving the world. (Photo: RainbowBriteUK

Pals who are gals, saving the world. (Photo: RainbowBriteUK


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KaeLyn is a 35-year-old (femme)nist activist, word nerd, and queer mama. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, over-caffeinating herself, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, eating carbs, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 201 articles for us.

141 Comments

  1. This week was intense !
    I don’t have gal pals here in the UK so I’m trying to make some, hoping Tinder would help me meet the queer ones.

    I also did yoga for the first time (“oh, it’s kinda like stretching” / “oh he’s going too fast!” / “omg he’s going too slow!!!”). I’m excited to go back, it’s very relaxing and spiritual, I liked it !

    I’m currently house sitting / cat-sitting for a couple of friends. Free cat hugs for two weeks 😀 (and free whisky). They’re great people I met through couchsurfing, both bisexual, and their first kid is in the process of coming out as agender/genderqueer, so we’ve been having super interesting conversations. It’s just great to be able to have those conversations so openly with them on gender and sexuality :).

    I also joined the University’s LGBT+ staff support group. We’re planning interesting stuff to expose the University staff to LGBT issues, and we’re gonna try to focus on trans people(there have been issues being 100% welcoming to trans people in the past), bisexuality and asexuals !

    Also Also Also I have this crush on a girl from Tinder, she’s amazing and we’ve been texting everyday for a week buuut we still haven’t talked about meeting. How do I do that ??? We’re not in the same town, so I’m waiting for her to be like “take the train and come visit, I’ll take you through a tour of the city” (her city is more interesting than mine).

    Anyway. I’ve super enjoyed reading about everybody’s bff on here, it’s def. made me realise that I’m missing out and should start to make some queer friends ASAP.

    • What a week! Your bisexual parent friends sound awesome, as does their spawn.

      Awesome that you are making change at your university!

      I think maybe you should just ask the Tinder friend to meet up. Just put it on the table without too much pressure. “I’d love to meet in person.” See what she says. Whether you meet at your place or her place or somewhere in-between. She might be waiting for you to make the first move, too, and well…someone has to bring it up! Might as well be you!

      <3

      • I looked. It’s only for iphones. I don’t understand that type of marketing strategy :(. Surely there are not a lot of queer women+single+looking for online dating, they’ve restricted it to iphone users as well ? 🙁

    • I relate to so much of what you said! I also have no local gal-pals. I realized a few weeks ago that every single one of my queer friends is long distance and most of them are in Florida (I’m in Michigan). It’s SO frustrating.

      Also! I am currently dog sitting. For an ex, actually. Which is slightly different than someone I can converse with about gender and sexuality (although I can talk to her about those things). We just broke up a little over a month ago and since then I’ve realized I’m not sure monogamy is for me, but she and I still love each other, but she’s super monogamous, so we’ve been having a lot of conversations about that.

      Also! I also joined Tinder, but I was hoping to meet people for the more amorous sort of gal-palling. So, I have two dates set up for this weekend. Although one of them might be rescheduling? I dunno. However, in terms of how to set something up, find a fun activity that relates to something you’ve talked about or that you enjoy and want to share with somebody and ask her to join! One of my dates randomly asked me if I like baseball and then invited me out. The other one just asked if I’d like to hang out some time. So, my advice is to just jump in. If you’re having good conversations with someone you met on Tinder, they were there to meet people, too! Good luck!

      Also, the work that you’re doing at the University sounds really exciting!

    • Girls have told me they like when i take charge. You can ask her to show you around. If she’s talking to you she probably wants you to ask. makes sense, You want her to ask don’t you…

  2. hi cute-boodles,

    Yknow a funny thing is that I have felt a real tension in navigating between I-am-a-person-who-has-a-queer-lady-social-network and I-have-a-queer-lady-best-friend-and-it-is-us-against-the-world. I’ve had lots of the former and less of the latter. And like, the people I share all my worst secrets with are a couple, and I have been third-wheeling with them for like 10 years now. It’s GREAT. They move all the time so I have really seen the country in all my travails of visiting them. I met the one of them working at a girl scout camp in 2003, and her gf was this kind of mean girl who didn’t want anyone to know they were dating, and then I drove a friend out to Mt Holyoke a year or two later and when I got there I realized I knew like 20 people, and called them all on the phone and so this friend and I spent the day wandering around MH campus, and she found me sort of bewilderingly friendly. And THEN we all moved back to Seattle, and we had a very polite coffee, and I made them dinner but it was apparently really bad so they agreed to just keep inviting me over for dinner so that we could make friends but they wouldn’t have to eat my cooking! (they only just admitted this recently, like 8 years later, and now I am a totally good cook)

    and actually we were all pretty sad at the time bc life/being broke/my whole life was a maelstrom at the time, and I pretty much forgot how to eat except when I would shuffle over to their house and they would feed me stuff from the moosewood cookbook (like I lost 60 pounds from being sad all the time and forgetting to eat) and they would be like “your girlfriend is mean, break up with her, let’s watch practical magic again”

    and anyway, they moved to LA, and then a bunch of other places, and now LA again, I have visited them all over, and for a long time I would visit and be like “Guuuuuuuys my liiiiiiiiiiiiiiife” and they would read my tarot cards and tell me to stop dating jerks and I would send them packages with socks and weird pieces of art and 70s lesbian cookbooks).

    And our lives are different and we are all a lot more stable, and they are still some of the closest to my heart.

    otherwise, life stuff/work stuff is going ok!I have been working basically 12 hour days for the last week (not strenous work, just back to back jobs) this week and I am ready to conk out over the weekend. I’m sure there’s a bunch of shit I need to deal with, but I’ll sleep in lateish and have some friend plans. And will try to make quality time with gf, I have been crabby lately because working all the time plus when I have a job that is constantly interrupting me I have limited capacity when I get home for interruptions even if they are my gf being like “should I wear this necklace when we get married” or “look a video of puppies wearing hats”.

    In short, I like my friends! I like my girlfriend! I need to go to sleep!

      • I can’t remember the names of them right now but since VICE ran that feature on the Bloodroot Collective (feminist restaurant started in ’72 I think in Conneticut?) I went and bought a bunch of their cookbooks which were on sale for like 50 cents.

        They were all very similar to the moosewood cookbooks- vegetarian, unnecessarily featuring TVP, and often very lovingly hand-written and illustrated, often with lots of naked women. some unnecessary bullshit like drawing pagodas next to the recipe with tofu, which is racist, but also par for the course re: a lot of 70s lesbian kitsch.

        • Hahahahahahaha.

          “unnecessarily featuring TVP

          “unneccesary bullshit like drawing pagodas next to the…tofu”

          So 70’s lesbian cookbook!

          Your friends sound amazing and I want to come hang out and eat moosewood recipes and watch practical magic with ya’ll. Sounds like so much love.

          • you would be so welcome! practical magic is not my favorite, but my appreciation has increased over time. the island it was filmed on is not far from where I live, and that is sort of charming. they are now gluten free and vegan and don’t drink so they keep pretty different habits than I do but it has made me more mindful cook and better at making things that are good but also very restricted-diet-accessible. and learned things like buckwheat is from the rhubarb family and is gluten free, etc, various things like that.

  3. Y’ALL I have a brand new bff and she is a 10 week old Bernese Mountain Puppy who is living with me for the weekend and I am in so much love with her. She watched the debate with me last night and she snuffled with disdain at all the right times and then we snuggled in bed and she only peed on me once. I am never giving her back! This morning she woke me up by chewing on my toes. Also when I take her out I am the most popular person in the world and all the cute girls want to come say hi. Galpals for life! Or at least until Sunday.

  4. I’ve had a few gal pals, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I’m getting closer with my dude friends more. Maybe it’s because I’ve had some bad experiences with a so-called best friend who ended up saying some not-so-kind things to me and I was sick of being her punching bag.

    Anyway! I’ve been keeping you fine Straddlers updated with my adventures in dating (I guess that’s what we’re doing) my best guy friend’s ex-girlfriend. So, we go out to a burlesque show at a gay bar and we continue to not keep our hands off of each other. Playful flirting and random make out sessions happen in between DEEP conversation that I don’t think I’ve ever done with a person before. Her and I can reveal things to each other so naturally, it’s honestly quite scary to me. So, the club closes and I’m sober and she’s not-quite-sober and things get HOT in my car. Now comes the “M. Night Shamalama” PLOT TWIST in the Queer Rom Com that is currently my life. I ask her, “When was the last time a woman has…you know…gone down…” And she laughs and shakes her head and says, “Actually, never. I lied about hooking up with girls in college, I thought you wouldn’t want to pursue me if you knew the truth.” We kiss more and a light just goes off in my head, and I pull back and I said, “I’m not going to let your first time with a woman be in my car like we’re teenagers drinking Boones Farm. I respect you and our friendship too much for that. I don’t want to pressure you and you don’t have to say yes, just because I want this.”

    She touched my cheek and I couldn’t describe the look she had on her face (and I’m a writer!), she said softly, “I’m floored with how amazing you are…You have no idea how good of a person you are.” I kiss her cheek and I put my car in drive and her hand holds mine the entire 30 minute ride back to her house. We’re seeing each other again this weekend.

      • I am screenwriter and I’m totally considering turning my current experience into a script! The best part is, everyone involved would be totally down for it. We are all just great friends, in fact, my best guy friend laid the ground work for myself and his ex during a July 4th get together. They dated EONS ago. I said she was cute, he told me she told him she thought I was cute and that was that. I don’t want to start anything on paper yet, just because I think it’s too premature in our relationship. Her and I are not serious, and she’s just exploring this new side of her sexuality. She’s a college professor and told me, “I want to be a student for a change.” Yeah, how hot is that?! I feel like my life is a fanfic some deeply closeted 15-year-old writes late at night under the covers! She went to a wedding in Portland two weeks ago, and her old Jewish grandmother (Who is on her ass about getting a husband) asked if she has met anyone. She said, “Yeah, I’m seeing someone right now!” She left out the part that she’s seeing a half-shiksa who made her question her sexuality. 😛

    • Good job. I didn’t sleep with my gf in the car the 1st time either. mostly because the security guard broke it up. Cheers to next week. Chica-bow-super-awesome-respect-sex-wow!

  5. You guys I am doing something that is so out of character for me!!!! Tonight a gal pal and I are going to the Pink and White 10th Anniversary party in SF (we got tickets thru a gofundme contribution) but I am so new to sex-positive culture and I am going to be so shy and I’m gonna feel like such a dork!!! Socially this is soooo far out of my comfort zone! How will I get through it?! I’m already sure my outfit’s wrong…

    • Your outfit is perfect. And you’re going with a pal. I know that on the occasions when I’ve ventured way outside my comfort zone, just having a friendly person along for the ride has made all the difference. And my guess is that anything associated with P&W is going to be a pretty damned welcoming space. So, I’m pretty sure you’ve got this. Have a great time (and report back)!

    • I went! And it was weird and awesome and awkward and fun.

      But ok so I spent 24 hours surrounded by queer people, queer culture, queer vocabularies. Then I reentered the regular world. Now I totally have whiplash. This is something I haven’t experienced before — this feeling of sitting kind of in between two worlds. Neither world seems to make sense to each other, but we must spend time in both. Is that super weird for anybody else? I think I need to write on it and reflect…

  6. For the last few months, I’ve been trying to drop subtle hints about my having a gal pal, to my mother. I don’t think its working. Like, buying things with rainbows on it (I have more rainbow socks than I’d admit to), mentioning how pretty ladies are, watching soccer. The usual stuff.”Oh, I’m not looking for a boyfriend, mom.I don’t need men in my life right now.”

  7. All week I’ve been basking in the glow of a brunch + shopping extravaganza I enjoyed last Saturday with the three women who have become my best gal-pals. It was a day of firsts for me (First time never being addressed as “Sir” by a waitperson or clerk! First professional bra fitting! First serious handbag purchase!); and there was certainly an element of remedial coursework in what another pal used to call “Girl Indoctrination School”; but mostly it was just a relaxed afternoon spent in the company of smart and supportive women. As I say, I’m still in an elevated mood, nearly a week later. (And I get to see them again tonight to celebrate the birthday of one of them!) (So many exclamation points!)

    Looking ahead, this is kind of the end-of-summer for me. My kid gets back for their last year of high school on Tuesday, to be joined shortly thereafter by my parents — which means a shift from family-of-choice focus to family-of-origin focus. Not a bad thing, just different. Gotta say, though: I’ve really enjoyed these summer months.

  8. I don’t really have any gal pals. To be honest, I’m not close friends with anyone at the moment. I’m fairly close to my family, but I don’t really have anyone I could really call a “bestie” or someone I could totally confide in. I guess I’m just kinda a loner? Growing up, it seemed like everyone had a “best” friend, but I never did. And also all my friends had crushes and boyfriends (real or imaginary!) and I could never relate to that, though at the time I didn’t know why. I never felt like I totally fit in socially as a kid, and as an adult I still tend to not make close friends easily.

    But… I’m trying to push myself. At 25, I’m finally overcoming my anxiety disorders and starting to accept my own queer identity. After lurking online, I’ve met with some straddlers in real life. And I’m hosting a meetup on Sunday so hopefully I’ll meet some gal pals there, too!

    This week: I WENT PARASAILING! It was amazing. It wasn’t really as scary or adrenaline-inducing as I had expected. It felt very still up there. Very serene, quiet, with views of Commencement Bay and Mt. Rainier. You didn’t feel like you were zooming through the air, just suspended in space, tethered to a 1000-ft rope to a tiny boat below. It was a birthday present, and my family came along for the boat ride. It’s something I had been wanting to do for over a year.

    PHOTOS!

    The boat and the rope that’s keeping me alive

    The parachute

    My attempt at parasail-selfie

    SEATTLE PEOPLE! Alki beach meetup/picnic on Sunday! So if you’re in the area, sign up! 😀

    http://www.autostraddle.com/seattle-2015-08-09-alki-beach-partypicnicmeetup/

  9. Um the only gal pal thing I can think of at present is the moment I realised my bestie was gay back when we were 12 as she was chewing me out for saying something less than positive about her current “favorite actress” the way one would chew somebody out for bad mouthing a crush and it just clicked y’all.
    I was kinda peeved at her fer bitchin at me (I don’t like it when people get in my face) and could have shouted “Oh my god you are so fucking gay” the thoughtless and mean way 12 year olds can be, but I didn’t because I was a trope aware kid ect. and did not want send someone I called a friend on the path of spending years trying to prove her not-gayness.
    So I had a moment of gay panic and very quickly sucked it up and lying liar’d the best fake apology of my life because there was no way she was ready to know just how very gay she was for a lot of reasons.

    Many years later when she was beginning to realise the room she was in might be a closet and had some questions I answered them without prying or mother henning and when she was ready bought her a lesbian sex pamphlet.

    She now very comfortably out the closet, sexually leveled up the first time with a prison guard and on her second big gay hair cut.
    Her mother might not proud, might even still be grieving a bit for that Catholic white wedding that’ll never happen, but I’m proud of her like a momma and she knows it.
    My little baby gay friend spread her gay wings and soared.

    @tritia and anybody else that tried to help me like 2 weeks ago I’m sorry I did not respond back. My computer crashed and the laptop’s power cord went wacko, it was suppose to deliver 20 volts but was only sending 9. New cord yay.

    What I was trying to get at with button up shirts is how narrow the cut of every thing is these days. And if there’s any way special trick or code word of how the hell somebody finds things in a wider cut.
    I’m feeling some comradery with Steve Rogers with the cut of modern fashion and it’s awkward for…reasons.
    One being I’m not built like a tank; I’m built Syd Blakovich, a classic Venus and Furiousa combined in a blender or maybe made into a collage so a Captain America comparison is silly
    The other being go to wide cut, go too 40’s or 30’s and things wind up in [email protected] territory and that is not a place/space I belong. Also mafia jokes are not funny.

    • Aww, that is a cute story. Yay for you and yay for your friend!

      Button ups are not a thing I know anything about, other than they don’t fit on my body, so I hope someone else does!

        • I feel like a big whiny baby because I’ve barely got nice soft parts and the way clothes are cut now have no room or toleration for them compared to 7 years-ish ago and my pudding cups have way less volume now than they did then.

          Also everything is longer…fellow short waisted people how do live in this world?

          *wallows*

          • I’m short-waisted and I ruche the sides of a lot of tops with small safety pins. But again, that’s totally a “girl” thing. Prolly wouldn’t work on a nice tailored button-up.

  10. I have a few good gal pals but only really remember the “how did you meet” story for one of them. This particular gal pal is someone I met on my year abroad in Germany. We became friends for real after the night we went to a Halloween party at a house that belonged to a semi-religious brotherhood (where a mutual friend of ours was living). I was probably the only sober person there, she had a bit too much to drink, I tried to help her get outside for fresh air and she threw up on my shoes. I have no idea how that resulted in a firm friendship, but it did. We’re going on holiday to Brighton next week; we have dubbed this our Big Gay Adventure.

    One of the reasons my gal pals are indispensable is because I find I use the phrases “does that make sense?” and “do you know what I mean?” a lot less often with them than I do with people in general.

    • SO TRUE. I know my gal pals are real when I can just talk about nothing for hours. Or sit in silence and not feel weird. Because we just get each other.

      Have fun on your Big Gay Adventure! I hope your shoes stay vomit-free.

  11. This past week was my last week at my job of 1.5 years and my first week and 2 new jobs. Most of my friends are gal pals, often queer gal pals, but I’ve realized I have a good friend from the job I just left who’s a straight guy. It’s funny that my gal pal is a cis straight white man. I’m going to miss my male gal pal (he would kill me if I called him that to his face).

    I’m at one of my new jobs right now. I’m an adult! I wake up at 7 am and get to work at 9 am and get out of work at 6 pm(ish). My old job started at 6 pm, and I generally didn’t get home until after midnight. I have nights! Whaaaaaat?!! Between the 2 jobs, I’m going to be working 7 days a week, and I’m functioning on little sleep (my body is adjusting), so I may crash.

    Speaking of sleep, does anyone have recommendations for falling & staying asleep? I take melatonin, which doesn’t seem to do much. I’ll take any suggestions. Thanks!

    • Yay to new jobs and fun changes. And good luck with the sleep shift change. In my personal experience, it takes my body about two full weeks to get used to a radically different sleep pattern. I don’t have great advice, though. Everytime I’ve had to navigate this, I have just leaned heavily on caffeine pills… Prolly not the healthiest choice.

  12. Hey human, I know how tough it is to watch one of your fav gal pals move far away to pursue her dreams or life or whatever. Your gal pal relationship sounds really great. Before I write anything, hugs!

    About a year ago one of my closest gal pals moved away to start grad school. We still stay in touch, but I miss having her around for cuddles and drinky times and all the reasons that she is fabulous. I was friends with her partner before I knew her, and sometime after their relationship started he dropped us both off at a book store together so we could get acquainted. We wandered around and looked at art books and talked about sci-fi stuff. It was really awkward, however, we came to the realization that we have the same taste in fan fiction and we both love yarn. We have been gal pals ever since. It’s been hard to fill that void in my life, but we still get to visit for cuddles on occasion.

    My other epic gal pal stories in no particular order:

    – Day one freshmen orientation at college. I was in the elevator with a group of kids and a girl asks everyone, “Who likes Prince of Persia?” Coincidentally, that my favorite video game at the time. I am going to be in her wedding in a month, holy shit!

    – Day one at a new middle school, someone sees my fan art for Sonic Adventure Battle 2 in my sketchbook, then introduces me to this other girl who also draws fan art for the game. We talk every day for the rest of forever.

    – I was including in the interview process a new team lead 2 years ago. One lady applies. She has bright pink streaks in her hair, she’s dressed to the 9’s, and she loves Marvel movies. She is the best mentor, and one of my closest friends.

    This next bit is just life stuff, not gal pal stuff. I have an interview for a new job in 2 hours! I just landed another interview for a different job next week! It’s so exciting. I am trying to keep my anxiety and stress levels in check but it’s hard.

    • Good luck on the interview! How’d it go?!

      What great gal pal stories! It sounds like you’ve had a lot of great friendships.

      I’m sad, but also super happy for her that she’s accepted a job she is going to love. And she is moving relatively close to Camp, so I know I’ll visit at least once/year. Plus maybe I can wrangle her into going to A-Camp with me next year!

      • I was super super nervous during the interview. I honestly don’t know how it went. I blanked on a few questions, but hopefully the recoveries were acceptable.

        Thanks, I think I’ve been pretty lucky. Doing A-Camp with your best gal pal sounds like an awesome time, I hope it works out!

  13. One of my besties is not a gal, but is a stand up pal I’ve know him since 1999/2000 our first year in High School. We shared the bond of our enjoyment of professional wrestling in high school and the fact we both are Jews(which lead to quoting Curb Your Enthusiasm randomly). We’ve probably been to at least 40 concerts, seeing at least 150 bands live together, and shared many nights just playing video games. Hell, he even gave me a job as on a research project he was on at CSUN. I’m grateful for it as I’ve been to place like Puerto Rico and Hawaii for psychology conferences, where we spent most of the time in the water or drinking. Now I’m trying to help him be better ally to me as a trans queer, but that’s a harder challenge than I thought it would be. I probably wouldn’t change it for the world.

    Speaking of which, on Sunday I was in Imperial Beach, in San Diego county hanging with my gal pal, who I met over a year ago at a local Autostraddle event(she lives by me, but was house sitting down there). We walked near the wetlands by the Tijuana border, partook in some smoking, had good Mexican food, and quietly-ish watched tv. I even took a power nap, while watching tv.

    On related note, I was in an accident, no one was hurt, but it turns out getting a mid-level Audi repaired is going to cost an arm and a leg. It a $46k car not a $100k+ roadster so I am no sure how a front bumper and one headlight cost up to $8K. I guess I will be waiting a wile longer to move out & start transitioning. At least it didn’t really ruin the good day I had.

    From my day on Sunday near the boarder with Mexico. To the right is Tijuana.

    This was a block west of my work. Pretty sure they were filming Scandal; since the moment I crossed the street they told me to stop as film started to roller and Kerry Washington got out of a car and said some words.

    Thank you for viewing & reading my posts as always. Have a positive weekend.

    • Hope your car situation works out. Ugh. That’s the worst. I’m glad you’re OK, though!

      15 years of BFF-ship is a looooooooong time. I hope your friend comes around. It sounds like he is worth the effort!

      Gorgeous pics, as always! Thanks for sharing them with us. 🙂

  14. My BFF gal pal lives several states and time zones away from me these days and I miss her all the time! We fade in and out a little as we get caught up in regular life things, but when we are in a high-communication phase it’s pretty intense… when my phone starts blowing up with texts, my girlfriend just goes “say hi to [BFF] for me” because she’s learned how we are together haha.

    • That’s a cute story! This sounds a lot like my friend and me. I feel like we will stay in touch, but probably go through periods of being out of touch and catching up and then having a 6-hour phone conversation out of the blue. It’s kind of how we are here and we live in the same city, so I think we’ll adjust. Haha.

  15. Aghh, thank you for sharing your gal pal story with us! Love those masks.

    I haven’t updated here in a couple weeks. (I’ve been busy with college preparations)

    This sounds depressing, but Gal Pal Week made me realize I don’t really have a close gal pal?? There is this one girl, but I don’t think we’re on BFF level yet.
    I do have a dear non-binary pal, I’ve known them since 1st grade. Similar to some of y’all, we have the sort of relationship where we don’t talk much for weeks, but then we suddenly have a “catch-up” session. Which includes a lot of intersectional feminist rants, haha. I am moving away to Santa Cruz in a month, but I know my pal is great with long-distance relationships, so I don’t worry.
    Speaking of Santa Cruz!! I went to my freshman orientation for my college, last week and. Wow. What a fantastic time. I could write a novel honestly… Long story short, I am going to love Santa Cruz. I have already made a friend! Hopefully I’ll get plenty of gal pals in the fall. 😀

  16. I don’t really have a close gal pal. I mean, I’m still pretty close with a couple people from college and there’s the women in my weird boater clan/family who are awesome, but they’re def more like older sister/young aunt than gal pal. My besties are a pair of dudes named Alex who have never met but are some of the best humans and I’m so glad they’re in my life, and I literally can’t imagine my life without them, especially the one I’ve known/been best friends with for 19 years now.

  17. I have a wide circle of gal pals, and none of us knew we were all queer when we met! I have six close friends from high school (including myself), and I came out to them at the end of my senior year of high school. In the couple years since we’ve been out in the world (and have thankfully stayed close), we’ve discovered that only two people in that group are straight. These are the girls I became an adult with, the girls who know all my embarrassing stories, the girls who held me up when the former seventh member of our group (who was my childhood best friend) decided I was no longer worth her time, so it’s great that we share this radical understanding of each other’s queerness as well, having been in each other’s lives for many years now.

    • OMG THAT IS ADORABLE. I love that you all came of age and came into queerness together. It’s so cute. It’s like the Babysitter’s Club story that I really wanted growing up.

      There were a bunch of queers in my high school friend group, but most of them came out later and we lost touch for quite a few years. I love that you have all stayed friends!

  18. My gal pals are all in Kansas City. We’re all accounting students or graduates of the same accounting program. I’m on the lookout for some new pals in Houston.

    Speaking of: In the span of 9 days, I finished my Masters degree, cleaned a 2- bedroom apartment top to bottom, drove 14 hours to Houston, and took a new apartment. I am tired. My cats hate me, though the older one is happily snoozing on the air mattress right now.

    My dad drove down with me, went to Target, the pet store, and HEB with me, and is supposed to help me find furniture before he leaves tomorrow. He also made me listen to the GOP debate on the radio. Ugh.

    My furniture gets in sometime next week (I hope). And I start my new job on the 17th. (Same company, new role.)

  19. Gal Pal week has been such an intense week for me. Reading all of the stories of gal pals simultaneously reminded me of my best friend and made me happy and also made me incredibly sad that I really have no local queer network. On the other hand, I’ve recently reconnected with basically all of my queer friends (including a fwb, which is exciting) and it makes me so happy to have people I can talk to about gender and sexuality and women and dating and non monogamy and all the queer things. But I also really wish I could just drop by somebody’s house sometimes and be able to vent about my ex. I do have some gay lady neighbors that I really want to be friends with, but I haven’t been home enough lately to connect with them. Anyway, those are my thoughts about Gal Pal week. Here is a picture of my puppy with the ex’s dog that I’m dog sitting.

    • Awwwwwwwww. Such cute pups!

      Make friends with your lesbian neighbors! We always meant to make friends with our lesbian neighbors, but we didn’t. And they got married and moved away last month.

      Also, gal pals can be long distance! Some of the best ones I know are!

      <3

      • I definitely have long distance gal pals and I love them dearly, but I also think I’m gonna drop by my neighbors’ with a bottle of wine because neighborly friends would be great!

  20. I went up to my new university this week for transfer orientation and it was AMAZING. it was the first time I’d even been in the state, let alone seattle, and I was super impressed. it’s so different from any city I’ve been in before. also the public transit, which I’ve never used before (having lived in rural MS), was like. so wild??? most off-campus students don’t even need a car to get to school?? what??

    still trying to find a room for under $600 (not including utilities hahaha… ha..) that’s not a sublet. I have to move in september & it’s hard to pin down a place when you don’t live there. BUT I’m hopeful. I took today off from messaging people. it’s exhausting.

    also flying sucks majorly. the end.

    • Seattle sounds amazing! I love using public transportation when I visit big cities. Also a small town gay and I love the anonymity of public transportation and that you can read a book while you ride. We have buses in my medium-size city, but they are pretty not-great for getting anywhere in under and hour.

      Good luck with the apartment search!

  21. Hello all you overfed long & short-haired leaping gnomes!!!

    I’m checking in on laundry day.

    Jim and i folding laundry

    We did 4 whole loads of laundry today. We did real good.

    what’s left of my laundry

    Last week was really hard but this week was pretty great. I’ve been working really really hard. I spent a whole afternoon swimming in the ocean and trained 4 days this week.

    tired dead face…HOT

    I got roughed up. On Monday i hypertened my right elbow and bruised up my left arm but i’ll be okay.

    my bruise

    I got the job! It was rough. My boss gave me a hard time but pulled some strings and offered me a great job. The official offer will come next week. I’ll soon be a trucking supervisor.

    which means i get to keep the hat! GO Trucking!!!

    I’m going to save most of the money from this promotion but I do want to take Jane on a real deal vacation. I think we will go to Sedona in October. Sedona is one of my favorite places. It’s so beautiful and Jane’s never been. It’s fun to plan. I already wrote our itinerary.

    I don’t have what I would call a best gal pal. My best friend is queer. My gal pal happens to be a gay dude. I came to know Calvin 15 years ago during a high school production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. We sat next to each other in the therapy session scenes. Calvin loves men romantically but socially prefers the company of lesbians. Calvin is a dyke tike.

    Calvin group photo

    Calvin making punch at the OC Autostraddle Facebook New Years eve party.

    Calvin and i on Halloween several years ago

    Calvin at his coronation slash 30th birthday party

    Our gal pal duo is Chris Stafford and Lea DeLaria from edge of seventeen.

    Our best and most embarrassing story is of the time Calvin accidentally attempted to murder me. He felt bad, bought me a Tazoberry slushie from Starbucks afterward.

    His hair smells like gay dude.

    He’s a lifelong friend. he’s family.

    Until next time…

  22. My best gal pal and I became friends three years ago when I was in the depths of tumblr. She lives in England and I live in the US so there’s quite a lot of saving up cash so we can visit each other soon. It started off as this kinda awkward “haha your blogs great and you seem great we should talk!” thing and turned into frequent 8 hour skype calls where we would talk about literally everything together. I’ve met her family, her boyfriend, her pets, her friends, all through skype and we’ve watched the sun set in my area and rise for her a few hours later. Although it’s kinda weird to have to confess that your best friend is an internet friend who lives literal thousands of miles away and you have never met said friend in person, she definitely has been there for me for everything. She talked me through my sexual identity crisis in high school, all my feelings about coming out, she is a beautiful panda and I wouldn’t trade our friendship for anything.

    • That friendship sounds more real and magical than most–on so many levels. Nothing weird about it being remote, that’s just the lovely magic of new possibilities with better tech. Hope you get to visit each other soon!!

  23. Guys, this week has been ruff. Not rough. Ruff. Because I can.

    I finished my fearless and searching moral inventory. I had a moment where I came very close to relapse, and I triggered all kinds of feelings of depression and self harm. I guess it’s been walking in front of me the whole time – anxiety – and I’ve been looking at everything like Slimer, from Ghostbusters, is right ahead of me. All blurry and a little green. So, I had to read my step 4 out loud, which is step 5. You have to digest all these feelings about self and life and others to another person. And then this happened:

    Or I guess it’s happening is more like it. Like is coming together for me, one day at a time.

    SO, about my bestie. Her name begins with B, for Babe, and she is my soul mate! We are just like peas and carrots, and our lives just gently tumble together, like rocks in a riverbed, rolling next to each other at the same rate, around the same time, reacting similarly to similar pressures, and it’s divine. I mean that in the celestial sense that some sort of Heavenly order was dispensed that we should meet and be together as life partners, despite the fact that we’re completely platonic and have no romantic feelings. It’s so much deeper than that.

    And this is us being silly

    We met working at a call centre 8 years ago, and since then we’ve been through break ups, make ups, mental health lapses, multiple hospitalizations for health reasons, births, deaths, job loss, job gain, two back to school careers, and co-parenting her beautiful children. My life, in many ways, is a success because I already have a life partner, just because our lives have gone hand in hand so effortlessly and so satisfyingly. So my romantic affairs don’t have the pressure of requiring eternity, because I already know I’m going to spend it with her in forever-friendship. 🙂

  24. I was blessed to meet and befriend so many amazing queer women who I am lucky to still love and respect, though life has taken many of them to different places geographically. Except for my lovely and very dear Katie.
    Atlanta Pride, 2011
    We’ve traveled together, lived together, gotten into so much trouble together, and I feel so blessed to have her in my life. We have wing woman-ed for each other and even had a schtick when meeting new people about being “Kate and Katie, and yes we live together, too!” which was pretty much as obnoxious as it sounds but a cheesy enough icebreaker. Once we talked so seriously about quitting our jobs to follow Thao & Mirah’s tour bus (named Oprah).
    Though she is not currently involved with a woman, she was for years and helped me to face that gnawing part of me that was sure I really needed to be with women. I’m happy to say she’s one of my dearest friends and family and I really can’t imagine what my life would look like without her in it.
    Thank you for Gal Pal week! Real friendships between women are just the most amazing thing in the world.

  25. YOU GUYS I FINALLY MADE IT TO FRIDAY OMG I LITERALLY FEEL LIKE CRYING. These past few weeks at work have been so hectic I don’t even feel like working!! It’s been bad you guys. But enough about me! What about you!! What kind of excellent hair do you have today?! Did you do anything exciting?!

    Positives out of this week include sorting through the pictures Christine and I have because I am going to file paperwork for her to get here!! AAAHH!! Wedding plans! The end is so near I CAN TASTE IT. Looking at things for our wedding makes me happy and nervous all at the same time and makes me worry/panic also so. I really think I need a drink right now people. Someone pass me a corona or something! *CHEERS TO ALL THE GAL PALS* I also love everyone on here.

    I never thought that I could plan for a wedding actually so doing it gives me a great sense of achievement and also makes me realize how real it is that we’re not only going to be together but also getting married! We already have our guest list sort of….I’m already prepping her for unhappy relatives that aren’t going to be invited.

    I’m kinda sad I missed last week’s open thread I’m not entirely sure what happened. WAIT. I got to be at the Special Olympics here in LA! It was really really amazing you guys. Best part was being able to see the Philippine Soccer team win against American Samoa!!! YAY PHILIPPINES! We also got to see USA vs GERMANY in volleyball. Man, those Olympians were SOOOO GOOD. Germany won though 2-0 but their game was at least an hour of intensity.

    Sorting our pictures by year/visit

    Andy talking Christine into getting extra treats

    A pic with the Philippine Soccer team at the Special Olympics!

  26. My gal (and guy) pals are my actual heroes this week, because they convinced me to go back to the ER for the 3rd time and if they hadn’t I would have died.

    My appendix ruptured Wednesday night, and despite the worst pain I have ever felt, I didn’t want to go back because I had been in twice before, sitting in extreme discomfort for hours only to be sent home without any answers and told my body would heal whatever “minor” infection was present.

    After surgery, the surgeon told me it was one of the worst cases he had ever seen and I was very lucky to have survived.

    Lesson learned: when your guts (pun intended) are telling you something is seriously wrong, do not let anyone, even a doctor, brush it off. Insist on further tests.

    I’m now in hospital for maybe a week on a diet of antibiotics, painkillers and broth until the infection is fully cleared, and had to cancel the 23 km backcountry cabin trip in memory of my brother that I was meant to leave for today – but, you know, instead of being bitter I’m going to be grateful to be here and to have the option to choose how to feel. Yay life, etc.

    • Oh Chandra….I am so so grateful for your friends too – so grateful you’re here to tell this story.

      Sending you every healing wish. I’m sure your feelings are very intertwined with thoughts of your brother too right now. Even though this is a very different kind of difficult path than you were anticipating, it is part of you, and thank you for undertaking it. For listening to your friends. For keeping on going and having that courage. You are amazing, and you carry your brother within you too – you are honoring him by being here, and holding on and finding all that is beautiful and best in this world.

      And really, you win for best illustration of the power of friendship this week!

    • Wow, this stunned me. Yay, life, indeed. <3 Amazing that we sometimes listen to our friends when we'll deny even our own pain. There's no denying their concern! I'm so glad you have these friends, and that you are alive and safe. Drink lots of water!

  27. I was born in 92 so I’m a little too young for Rainbow Brite but my mom’s friends (who had kids a bit earlier) gave her tons of rainbow brite dolls and videos when I was born and I was obsessed. (the dolls may still be in the attic of my parents’ house…and I may own a few Rainbow Brite socks and T-shirts). I loved everything rainbow, I even loved rainbow flags before I knew what they even stood for.
    I just got out of the hospital today! I was in for a week after having my tonsils out, I live in Germany so insurance pays for everything and everyone thought it was perfectly normal to stay in for a week, whereas in the US I think you’d be lucky to stay the night. It actually turned out to be a good thing because I had a thought of pain and a minor complication. The nurses took care of everything, I didn’t have to talk with anyone and food was brought to me. It still hurts but better than before. The downside was that it’s over 100 degrees right now where I am and not even the hospital had AC and since I spent the whole week in bed I got stuck wearing those compression stockings. I was sweating just sitting in bed. And I got a doctor’s note to stay home for another week, even though I’m a student assistant/translator working part-time my work gives me paid sick leave and my parents come for a 10 day visit on Wednesday so I get time to do all the last minute preparations.
    Happy weekend!

  28. I’ve been pals with my bestie Nicole (Nikki) since we were 15. We met towards the end of grade 9, but were only casual friends for about a year. We didn’t really cement our friendship until we went to our first comic book convention together during the summer between grade 10/11. We were supposed to go as a trio with another friend, but she ended up flaking out on us. But it gave us a chance to get to know each other better. We gradually became closer through our discovery of East Coast ’90s rock in grade 11. We ended up seeing Sloan 5 times in one year. We also bonded because of similar upbringings – she’s Polish, and I’m Ukrainian. We’re both creatively inclined, as well. We’re just both kind of oddballs. We weren’t total outcasts in school. We were just never concerned with fitting in.

    University kind of ended up putting the brakes on our friendship for a while. We went to different schools, and I became closer with other people. We barely saw each other. While I became best friends with another girl for a few years, my friendship with that girl probably wasn’t the best for me in the long run. She’s VERY Type A, and I always felt as though she never regarded me as a complete equal. I always felt like the sidekick, and that the only reason people liked me was because I was her friend. Nonetheless, she was always a very loyal and supportive person. When I was assaulted at 22, she’s the one who took me to the police station in a blizzard to file a report. When things were bad at home, she’s the one who’d pick me up at night and we’d go to Starbucks, grab some tea, and just go driving. Her family was so accommodating: the Christmas dinners and Thanksgiving dinners I never had with my family I had with her family.

    But I learned recently that people (shock!) actually did like me for me. I’ve slowly started to branch out on my own and develop my friendships independently of her. I’m sure that she and I will always be close friends, but perhaps a best friendship isn’t the best for us. We’d find that we’d kind of sink into this bitchy shtick when we were with other people, like we needed to provide the comic relief. And I think it was unhealthy in the long run, for both of us.

    My friendship with Nikki has since gotten stronger, because I’ve realized that while we don’t spend every weekend together, I’m definitely spiritually closer to her than I’ve ever been with another person. I get to see her tomorrow, actually! We’re gonna go hang out on the waterfront.

  29. Oh wow, well hi there- this is my first Friday open thread but I’ve been a way avid reader for a long time now. I just had to pop in to share one of the most amazing stories that happened this week to bring a smile to more queer folks faces and hearts.

    I’ve been running a costume shop for a theatre in upstate NY this summer, generally having a blast with a shop almost entirely full of queer ladies (they are my real galpals and I love them to pieces- more on that in another post sometime). At the end of the summer, we hold a camp for 55 kids (!) to introduce them to theatre and at the end they all put on a play. We’ve had pretty smooth sailing so far- the show is set in the 1950s so all the chicklets are in very gendered poodle skirts and greaser boy combos. I’m not a kid person in any sense of the word but when they’re all on stage, they’re pretty cute.

    One of our boys in the show, John, quietly came to our costume designer a few days before the show opened to speak with her about his costume and told her that he prefers to wear feminine clothing (John prefers male pronouns). Our designer came to me and asked me to help find him clothing that would make him happy and we immediately scrapped his suit jacket and began the hunt to get him into a costume just as pretty as all of the other girl chorus members.

    I found a pink circle skirt and lacy blouse and we were able to hold a fitting with him that same afternoon, the second he was out of rehearsal. Y’all. The moment he came out of the dressing room, he was BEAMING. He twirled around and his smile lit up the room and he said, ‘I feel so much more comfortable now’. I was sitting at the table trying to keep it together but I definitely leaked a tear or two with just how incredibly happy he was.

    John wanted to stay in the boys dressing room and when all of them began changing, John stepped into his new outfit behind the cutting table and then walked out proudly. Several of us were standing around, watching the kids but I kept close because I was worried John’s new look might cause a stir since kids are jerks. When he walked out, some of the other boys were very confused and asked why John was wearing a skirt. John was smiling proudly said because I can, and that was the end of it, all the boys dropped the subject and said they liked his costume. John has been lighting up the stage now twirling around in his skirt and tells me he likes my dresses, lipstick, and my fauxhawk pretty much every day.

    I just cannot get over this amazing kid and it gives me such hope to see this generation so accepting and John so fully confident in himself and I just had to share with other people who would get how absolutely incredible this is.

    Also I’m moving to NYC Tuesday and have bonded so hard with my new roommate who is also a fabulous queer theatre lady and I’m so excited I can’t stand it. Our friendship started over a bottle of wine in a tiny NY hotel and it’s the beginning of true galpaldom I can just tell.

    Everything is beautiful.

  30. So, my longest running and best gal pal that I have has been in my life for 27 years! We met at a summer camp and have only ever lived in the same city for less than 6 months out of our entire lives. We became fast friends at camp and then continued to build our friendship by being pen pals, something we still do today. We have an intuitive space with one another, we always get in touch when we magically seem to know that something really great or really tough is going on with the other.
    But the best part is why we even became friends at camp, so here’s that story:

    First night of camp, getting ready for dinner. I was hanging out will my old buddies Nick and Derek and discussing our plans for stargazing and swimming in the lake the next day. (in retrospect, it was a pond, but I grew up in Arizona, so we thought it was a lake) My counselor came and informed me that we would be lining up for dinner as a cabin, so i had to stop being such an awkward weirdo and interact with the girls. (My counselor was rad, and in hindsight I think she was very intuitive and understanding of my genderqueerness/lack of comfort being in an all girls cabin, in spite of it being the 80s and that vocab not existing in our little bubble of a world.) So, I go to line up with my cabin, and the counselors get all excited, because they have a surprise for us!! They’re going to tie us all together at the wrists in cabin groups so that we immediately get to learn how to work together! YAY! So, I shuffled towards the back of our cabin line, asking if there were any other lefties. My soon to be gal-pal-for-life was the only other one, so I volunteered to have her be at the very end, which meant that her left hand was connected to my right hand, so she could eat without any complications…and my left hand was attached to a right handed person, so i spent my meal having both my arms move up and down like I was waving for attention but actually aiding the feeding of my cabinmates, while occasionally getting the chance to put food in my own mouth through the cooperation of my right handed neighbor.
    And that’s how it began. Our forever friendship. And now we’re 3,000+miles away from one another and she’s getting ready to have a baby and i’m so excited to be an auncle!!
    Thanks for putting this together @kaelynrich

  31. I’ve been friends with my main Gal Pal for about a decade now, and just having another human who I don’t have to explain anything to because she’s been there through it all is amazing. Also who else can I have emo nostalgia nights with?!

    We don’t see each other as much nowadays (living in different cities) but whenever we do meet up (like today!!) it’s just like old times and I’m so glad she exists and we made it through our angsty teenage years, haha.

  32. Hi yall 🙂

    I’ve never posted on Autostraddle before. I love this site and get too caught up in reading to write myself. I feel like it’s necessary for me to comment on this post however, because I have a queer bff that I owe a crazy amount to.

    My best queero has been by my side for a little over a year now. It may sound like a short time, but for me it feels like years. We have been through tidal waves together. I have learned so much from her it hurts when I think about it. Having her support through an extremely difficult year has literally kept me going. I am a better person, a better queer, a healthier being having known her. I am capable of much healthier self care. I am a million times better at checking my privilege, and also realize how my own culture has roots in who and how I am. I am able to express my sexuality and gender in a stronger, more confident way due to the comfortable, safe space she has held for me. She has such an open heart I feel like I can see it in her face every time she walks in the room. She’s never afraid to cry, to ask for support, to lend her own shoulder. She speaks so beautifully it often makes me want to cry myself. When I feel the overwhelming anxiety that often engulfs me these days, I know I can call her/see her/message her and feel a bit of calm in a truly fucked up storm.

    I don’t know how to thank her for the light she’s brought into my life. I hope this is a start. And I hope we continue to have each other’s backs through an excruciating time that seems endless. She has opened a lot of doors in my life. It is more life-saving for me than I think she’ll ever know.

    Thank you M. I love you endlessly. I’m always here for you, just as you are for me.
    -L

  33. So it’s no longer Friday… but I just had to send this to my best friend, because I have to miss their wedding, and my heart is in pieces.

    Hey Babe,
    As you may have noticed… I’m not in Cuba with you… and I won’t be. Because of my mental health, Uni has been such an uphill battle the last few years, and I really have to make sure that I invest all that I have in terms of energy this semester, so I can’t take time out during semester to come to Cuba, because the future I am trying to build for myself is rapidly falling out from under me. It is breaking my heart not to celebrate with you, I want so much to wrap you in a huge cuddle, and to meet Jen, and to sob my eyes out at how adorable you both are. If I were writing a book you would be way up there in the thank you section, your patience and love have been such a gift to my life, and I remain humbled by the true kindness of your soul. I am so sorry that I can’t be there with you.

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