FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Happy Holigay Meet-up Season!

Hello my darling Straddlers, and welcome to another Friday Open Thread!

This week we’ve got two surprises for you!

Surprise #1: We’ve fixed and simplified the way you post a video in the comment section! You may remember last week Reneice hosted a very steamy video queue party in the Friday Open Thread, but we were all having trouble getting our videos to post. Well, we took the issue to Cee, and they fixed it right away! Not only that, but they made it WAY easier – you don’t have to deal with an embed code at all anymore! All you have to do is post a YouTube link on its own line in the comment and boom! The video will appear. MAGIC.

Surprise #2: THIS IS A VIRTUAL HOLIGAY MEET-UP, WELCOME! Yes, it’s true – we know not all of you will be able to attend an IRL Autostraddle Holigay Meet-Up, so we’re having a virtual one right here, right now. I brought Nutella stuffed brown butter salted chocolate chip cookies, I’m in my most festive holigay outfit (black dress / black shoes / black cape / red lips, duh), and I’m ready to hear all about your lives. Is it snowing where you are? How are your finals going? What did you buy your cousin who is hard to shop for this year? Any big changes in your life? Go on any cute dates recently? Did you attend an AS Holigay Meet-Up? How was it? Do you know how good your hair looks today? Your hair looks so good today.

Grab a cup of eggnog and a cookie and enjoy yourself in the comments section. Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating, and Happy Holigays to all – I’m so glad we’re all here together.

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…
code it in to your comment like so:

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more about posting photos, check out A. E.’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

Find a video on YouTube, copy the URL, and paste the link on its own separate line in your comment. You no longer need to use the “embed” code!

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Vanessa is a writer, a teacher, and the community editor at Autostraddle. Very hot, very fun, very weird. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 404 articles for us.


  1. This weekend I’m gonna be in a special on the Food Network about gingerbread so you should all watch it! Its called Gingerbread Giants and it airs Sunday 9pm EST!! Support ur local lez!You will know which one I am cuz I am the youngest one lol

  2. Hey, Happy Chanukkah to you Vanessa. Right now I am home with a cold/flu, as I haven’t been 100% all week. My knees are kind of week, feel tired, and been sneezing all week at work. On the plus side it’s been like 80 all way during the day and 60 at night. Medicine really as me out of it right now. I also found out my car needs transmission work done, and that going to cost some heavy money(one place quoted me half the value of the car for the repair). It’s cause some tension between my father and I. Ugh

    Two weeks ago was the Cuties Holigay meet up, which was great. Then last Sunday I hosted a Holigay meet-up at Echo Park. A few people showed up and it was great. I was a bit worried people wouldn’t come due to the fire, and traffic. It was cool cause a regular was there, as was a some new folks, including a Jewish woman, which is always nice to meet more LGBTQ Jews. I also trying to organize an lbtq Jewish dinner, for Christmas weekend, after talking to a trans Jew on the OKC(she’s straight, sadly), who knows a few LBTQ Jews.

    Sunset from my Holigay Meet-up in Echo Park. It was beautiful.

    Thank you for reading and viewing my post. Have a positive weekend, & a happy holidays!

    • Al, i always enjoy your posts so much — thank you for sharing!

      i’m sorry to hear about your cold and car repair woes. i just dealt with a lot of car stuff and it was awful so i feel you there. i wish you lots of rest and fluids, and that your car repairs are as smooth and inexpensive as possible!

      on the flip side — i am SO STOKED to hear your meet-ups are going so well! thank you so much for hosting them. if you take any photos there and wouldn’t mind them being shared on social media, plz feel free to share them with us — you can email me directly at vanessa [at] autostraddle [dot] com. it warms my heart so much to imagine straddlers hanging out together!! and yes wow, that photo is so beautiful.

      happy friday, happy hanukkah, and get well soon! <3

      • Thank you! Most of my images are of sunsets, ducks, and surprisingly a goats(someone has goats in the LA). Also, been drinking water LaCroix tangerine all morning.

    • I was at the Cuties meetup as well…it was real lovely! Happy Channukah and speedy recovery from the cold/flu.

      • If you ever see some at cuties with both the autostraddle, and the cuties they/them pin, feel free to say hi to me!

        • I definitely will! I came up from San Diego for the day, but Cuties is indeed super cute, so I know I’ll be back.

  3. It IS snowing where I am

    I hope it keeps snowing

    One of my students was supposed to stay home with his Dad today, but his mom brought him in because “Daddy’s in the doghouse and not getting to spend time with [child] is his punishment”, and she said this while laughing, and I said “oh, wow, ok”, but I am hoping that my facial expression said “your marriage sounds terrible and you are using your child as a pawn and i hate everything about everything you just said”

    • wow wow wow.

      that is…uh…wow. what a thing to say! truly. when i was an overnight summer camp counselor we had a lot of divorced parents show up on visitor’s day and be really nasty to each other in front of their children/say really inappropriate stuff to us, the staff, and it was just so upsetting and not cool at all and i wonder how and why adults think that is a chill thing to do to their kids. i hope your student has a nice day but i feel really sad for them right now :(

      on the bright side i am rly glad you are experiencing snow! i feel envious!

  4. Y’ALL. This has been such a week. I told my vaguely abusive boyf that I’m leaving. So we are broken up finally, finally after me sticking it out for 4 years. I already have a new apartment w roommates for January 1st. As if that wasn’t enough, I’ve also started hanging out/sleeping with/cuddling with this new nb person who I’ve had a crush on forever and we’re gonna start going on dates officially! They are so cute. And now I realize that I actually am queer. I feel incredibly free, and SO happy. I had no idea I could be this happy.

    Anyways, I was kinda waiting until this thread all week bc I knew you all would appreciate this hella big life change ?

    Oh also I had final critiques for grad school and I completely rocked mine and everyone said so many nice things, ok I’m done w my good news now!

  5. I’m halfway done with finals! Currently taking a break and counting down until I can start reading the new Machado book + catch up on all the Also.Also.Also posts without even a tinge of guilt.

  6. Hi friends! Hi Vanessa! I was walking back to my office from an errand, and it started snowing! Which is wonderful but also not wonderful because I don’t have my snow boots at work, and my dog is going to hate her walk tonight. Oh well, we’re both strong independent women who will survive.

    I might go on a maybe-date tonight. You know one of those things where you can’t tell if you’re hanging out as friends or if it’s a date. I guess I’m bad at flirting or just being forward? I dunno.

    I accidentally watched Carol again last night. Whoops.

    Happy Chanukah to anyone celebrating!!! And happy holigays to all!

  7. It’s snowing! Thanks for asking! It’s that soft fat and fluffy snowflake type of snow, so pretty! I come to work in the dark and leave in the almost dark, so I take a few minutes at a time throughout the day to stand in front of the window with my coffee mug and just stare outside (go away winter SAD!). But now I’m back in my cubicle, away from the windows, and have zero desire to do any work.
    I’ve been thinking about creative projects I can do at work (there are literally entire days where I just watch Netflix, shh don’t tell them I’m not always busy), but am drawing a blank. If anyone has any suggestions for things I can do to keep myself busy and my mind engaged that are of a creative bent, feel free to pass them along!

  8. It was snowing this morning but now it’s sort of raining? Which is lame. If water is going to come down from the sky in winter it should be snow.

    I started listening to this podcast called Big Strong Yes which I am loving even though it’s not queer, which I think says something because my resolution for 2017 was to be as queer as humanly possible.

    I’ve started planning a ritual for the Solstice and beginning all my reflecting/vision boarding/intentions etc for next year which I love and also makes me nostalgic for something I never had at the same time even though I can’t pinpoint exactly what that is.

    I’m in a melancholy mood, maybe, is what I’m trying to say.
    Happy Hanukkah! Happy Solstice! Merry Holigays of all kinds!

  9. Hi! Happy Friday! I am so bummed I missed the irl portland holiday meetup. Deadlines y’all! I have been working straight through most days on my watercolor pet portraits. Mostly purchased by all of you lovely Straddlers. Thanks!

    Also, I am really felling pumped about having seen star wars last night! Don’t worry, no spoilers. I am just pretty much head over heals for all the female characters, esp Admiral Holdo <3

  10. CW: diet talk, bmi, racism, homophobes, all the triggers

    I have had a terrible 24 hours when it comes to healthcare professionals.

    I went to physical therapy last night- i have arthritis in one knee- and my therapist asked me if my multi-colored striped socks were “statement socks.” I said that they were just socks, but if he’s asking what i think he’s asking, I guess it applies. (I’m a queer white cis-woman.) He then starts asking me about the colors and what they represent and then suggests that a white stripe be added to represent the “white, normal guys.” I tell him that white guys have their own flags and when he asks what that is, i say the USA flag. He loses it and says that Trump is my president, why do i want him to fail, we don’t need division, etc etc. After I begin to cry, he follows me around telling me how he has gay friends, etc etc for the duration of my visit. I’m being wholly ignored by the other people who work there and their clients. It was awful. I went home and after talking with my brother and partner, i decided that I would go back, if only to calmly explain why I was crying and to give him a kernel of my opinion before I report him. I also ordered the queerest t-shirts from the autostraddle store and am looking for some badass rainbow leggings. All I wanted to do was do my physical therapy, which I already feel vulnerable about and I got a speech about Trump and how I should essentially fall in line. Blergh.

    • I left out the fun talk I had with my university provided “health coach” about my bmi. I let her know my feelings about bmi as an indicator of health. Harrumph.

      • Okay that entire PT incident sounds like a waking nightmare. I’m sorry that happened. You do not have to go back there and try to reason with a person who thinks its reasonable to yell at people about there political beliefs/basic existence at a job that involves physical contact between strangers. That is not a person who possesses empathy. I would definitely put that shit on Yelp so other marginalized folks know to avoid.

      • I’m not from the US but in my country all health care professionals must be registered by the national health registration board. This board also has a complaints board. There is bound to be something similar in either your state or federally. This practitioner’s behaviour was completely unprofessional and uncalled for. You deserve better and behaviour like his goes to question his professional judgement. Please make a formal complaint. I’m very sorry that you were put through this, it’s so very, very wrong.

    • I am so sorry, this sounds awful :( I also feel super vulnerable about physical therapy in general, so I really feel for you about this. I really admire you for your plan to go back, share your feedback with him, and report him – it’s great that you’re advocating for yourself! I hope you are able to find a better physical therapist who can respect your needs and create a safer space for healing <3

    • My go-to for awesome leg wear doesn’t carry these leggings I remember any more but they do have rainbow fishnet stockings as well as thigh high socks in more than one kind of rainbow and then there’s these

      Comes in pansexual, bisexual, asexual, trans, non-binary and genderqueer pride flag colors as well as the Gilbert Baker rainbow flag design colors.

    • Oh, fuck him! I’m so sorry you had to experience that, PT is hard enough without Judgy McFuckwad making it harder.


    • My dog that I jokingly call my little otter face was very intrigued by the sounds of this video. She is scared of water, but swims very well.
      I’m not a monster who dropped my hydrophobic dog into the water btw, she’s the one who decided her humans needed to come back to shore and it was up to her to make it happen.
      Herding dog instincts in action. *vana white pose*

  11. Super groggy today, chronic illness + flossing = tension headache last night, overslept this morning, didn’t take meds on time, slept most of day, still so sleepy…

    On the bright side, I went to an awesome creative journaling group thing yesterday where we did some collage, it was so much fun!

    Planning to see from friends this weekend, planning a ritual for the solstice, so feeling optimistic about good things to come this week.

  12. Two things:
    1.I’m in South Florida all by my lonesome self and am now cultivating the long lost art of reading a book while having dinner/lunch/breakfast. Unfortunately, I brought “The Sound and the Fury” for some light reading. It’s splendid, though. Quentin and I are going to be having Margaritas with dinner tonight.He doesn’t know it yet.
    2.Can somebody please talk to me about Mr.Robot?
    I finally caught up on the last two episodes of season 3 and…am flailing!
    Mr.Robot was the one non gay show I was watching and loving and
    Now it’s not!
    I kind of registered that Dom wasn’t altogether straight, but I really didn’t realize she was gaygaygay!
    And!None of the gay/bisexual women died on the finale even though it was slaughterville! And there’s drama and kisses and I can’t wait for season 4! I ship it so hard!

  13. Hey pals, it’s been sooooo long since I’ve dropped in for FOT. Just wanted to share my joy over my exams being finished. Honestly I didn’t feel much relief, and the stress is leaving my body super slowly, but i feel much better than i did 8 hours ago.

    Anyone ever arrived late to their exam because they just got the wrong time? Ahh well, i answered the questions, just about.

    Now I get to start Christmas. And like, plan my life!

    Happy Friday everybody!!

  14. I JUST FINISHED MY FIRST QUARTER OF GRAD SCHOOL TODAY!!! (I will say that I literally wrote “please take pity on me” on a question on my biochemistry final exam today). BUT I’M DONE!! Now I am lying in bed, watching This is Us and eating chocolate and oranges to recover from the hell-hole that’s been this quarter.

    Tomorrow I fly back home to the midwest for 3 weeks. If there are any pittsburgh/chicago meetups planned, let me know! HAPPY HOLIGAYS!

  15. Babes, we had SUCH A TIME at our Sydney Holigay Pool Party! It was great to get serious amount of quality time with all the queers and picnic food and people sewing their own bowties. This last year has been an emotionally exhausting experience re: plebeshite and general impending doom, and it was so cathartic to spend time in a protective straddle bubble and low key celebrate marriage equality finally being signed into law by the Governor General.

    P.s we had some adorable newbies join us and that always brings me so much joy :)

    P.p.s if anyone still wants to contribute things for our fundraising efforts for the Twenty10 holiday hampers this is the link

  16. Happy Holigays! My finals are starting tomorrow, and I’m planning on keeping myself mostly locked up in my room to focus on studying for the next few days.

    Things have been rough, gay. I’m getting ghosted/ignored by this girl who seemed really, really into me, and I’m trying to focus on studying and not taking it personally.

    I really like the way my hair looks today, so thank you! I got the big ChopTM (pixie/boycut) a few weeks ago, and I’m going in on Tuesday to get it trimmed again before I go home for the holidays. Less gay there. I’m a little worried about how my family will react, but I’m really happy with it, and other people seem to like it a lot too. I’ll be okay.

    Happy Holigays everyone! I hope your holigays are as okay as they can be. To students going home for break to maybe not-super-accepting parents or back into the closet, I feel for you. Things will be better one day. I’m gonna be an overly-accepting-to-the-point-of-being-annoying parent, and thinking about that really helps me. :)

  17. Hey guys.

    Sorry to be a bummer, but I know Oscar had some fans here so I figured I should let you know that he crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Wednesday. He was almost 20, and very tired. He will be missed more than words can say.

    FOT also feels like a giant rainbow hug, so I’m glad to be here (albeit a bit late). The virtual hot chocolate and cookies are also much appreciated.

    • I’m sorry to hear about Oscar. It’s always sad to say goodbye even and especially if you’ve had lots of time together. Sending lots of rainbow hugs from far away.

    • I know how heart broken you are, but it also warms my heart to see a senior dog get so much love for his final years. Thank you for sharing so many sweet pictures of him and more importantly for sharing so much love with the little guy.

  18. hey y’all! i got an A on a paper i was not expecting an A on! and this long quarter is finally, finally over so i am relaxing on my parents’ couch. i got new tires on my truck and read an entire book for pleasure today. work isn’t entirely gone, though, so i’m slowly but surely working through my Social/Behavioral Research With Human Subjects certification. it’s the most boring thing i’ve ever done in my 20 years on this earth. life is going mostly very good.
    i’m dropping my absolute favorite holiday song here for y’all because it never fails to crack me up.
    have wonderful holidays/holigays if you’re celebrating!

  19. It snowed where I live last weekend. It’s all gone and 50 degrees now. We probably won’t have anymore this winter. My dog is like the post office. Rain, sleet, or snow she needs her walk. I have a fenced in back-yard she runs around. But in addition, she likes to walk on trails. So, every day we walk at least 5 miles. This weekend when I was walking her at one of the local places it occurred to me that only other people with hunting dogs were out there in the snow. I’m 49 years old, had dogs all my life, usually multiple dogs at once, and I just now made the connection. But ya’ll, it’s all good because she is so freaking sweet and good for me.

    I made croissants and a Marjolaine cake this week. I made some cookies and bread too. I ended up burning out one of the gears. I had to take my mixer in for emergency repair. There’s only one repair shop in my area that repairs Kitchen Aids. Fortunately, it took less than 48 hours to repair and get it back so that dark abyss that was gathering dissipated. That is not hyperbole either. Baking bread and pastries is my form of meditation. I was feeling so good about having my mixer back that I shamelessly flirted with the bank teller yesterday. I’m pretty sure I’m twice her age. I’m just trying to be a good mentor.

    That’s about it for me. Christmas is really not a big deal in my family. We don’t bother getting together. Sure it’s because we can’t stand each other but there’s something to be said for recognizing your biological family is toxic and spending time with your chosen family instead. Of course, my sister is both biological and chosen. And non-toxic. Anyway, I don’t have to buy a bunch of gifts or travel. I just cook stuff for my friends and I’m done. Well, my sweet dog is looking at me like she can’t believe we’re not in bed yet.

    • Love cooking too though not so much with cakes. Though, I’ll have to sort out a wedding type one to make for us in a few months. Have a good time with your friends and non toxic family. My partner and I will be on our own too but fortunately that’s mostly how we like it.
      Keep flirting with the next generation, hopefully they’ll enjoy it and realise it’s not to frighten them.

  20. Testing the video posting with some shameless self promotion (I’d say “like and subscribe” but I don’t post on any regular kind of schedule):

    It’s not snowing here because it’s summer here and the heatwave just hasn’t stopped since it got here from Aus a month ago. My change is that I’ve started rehearsing a devised show about different cultural experiences in New Zealand and what it means to be Kiwi, which is challenging and awesome, but hit my already pretty packed schedule so hard that I had almost three weeks straight with something on every night and I am so tired. Thankfully a lot of the other commitments during that period were one offs or are now over, so the rest of the rehearsal period won’t be like that, but I am very much looking forward to a couple of weeks off everything.

    Happy holigays, whānau! Don we now our gay apparel.

  21. Oh yeah! Game developer Naughty Dog teased the fandom with a holiday card of Chloe/Nadine from Uncharted: The Lost Legacy:

  22. I never thought this first semester of grad school would end! BUT IT DID! It’s over!!! and I think I did just fine, I just am soo tired. I can’t believe all the shit that has happened in the last few months. At least in the last few weeks there have been some positive things and I’m feeling better. Like the portland meetup! That was so fun! Thank you for hosting that Vanessa, it was lovely!
    Yeah grad school + a depressive episode was SO much to deal with! I could sleep for a year probably.

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