FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Home Is Where the Gal Pal Is

Hello, spaceships and flying saucers! Welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread, in which we divulge the conspiracy theories we secretly believe in after blocking our IP addresses. JK, this is our weekly hangout in which we divulge everything going on in our lives while signed into our badass Autostraddle accounts! (Or not. Life is full of choices.)

Basically. (via wikipedia)

Basically. (via wikipedia)

I have spent the last few days settling into my new place in Los Angeles (!!!), which is exciting and also gives me a chance to re-evaluate a lot of my long-held beliefs about furniture and also decorating a room. It’s also giving me a chance to finally catch up on the whole world wide web thing, since I just spent about two weeks far away from any signs of my actual life and having a lot of feelings. And it feels really really good to be back! I missed your shiny avatars and your insightful, delightful chatter. The world is a warmer and more amazing place with you in it.

I’m having a lot of emotions about the idea of “home” lately, and plus, I feel like I have used that word to describe at least a million places in the last two weeks. Hotels are home. My mom’s house is home. My grandma’s house is home. My old house is home. My old city is home. And now, when I say, “let’s go home I ate too many nachos and am so sleepy,” I’m talking about this new place in a big new city.

Dear reader, come feel these feelings with me! Tell me all about your home – what makes it your special place you go back to at the end of the night, or what you’re still looking for in order to build one. Is it the city you live in, or is it the specific space you sleep in at night, or is it just sort of a general concept? Is home wherever I’m with you, because if it is, that’s okay. Is home where the heart is, or the cat is, or the gal pal is? That’s even better, since I’m not a cat.

And if you don’t have a lot to tell me about home, or your city is a shithole, or you’re just kind of not into the idea of emoting in my general direction, that’s okay, too! Come on down and fill me in on what I missed in your beautiful queermo lives this week and last week and forever and ever! I want all the gossip. I want your deepest, darkest secrets and your tiny office victories and the triumphs and challenges inherit in your daily commute. I WANT IT ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL BUT ALSO I’LL SETTLE FOR WHATEVER YOU WANNA SHARE WITH ME BECAUSE FRIENDSHIP IS ABOUT RESPECTING SOMEONE’S BOUNDARIES.

Sound good? Good. Now get crackin’ on a comment while I clean this green armchair and dust off my souvenirs. Don’t forget to comment on someone else’s comment today in this very thread to give Eli a bone! And, as always, please send pics of your pets as often as possible.


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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 921 articles for us.

101 Comments

  1. HTGWM Spoilers

    Please share your feelings with me about Viola Davis making out with Jean Grey. BECAUSE I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS. Shondaland is clearly dedicated to bi awareness week, because lemme tell you, I was pretty damn aware of my bisexuality during that scene.

    • YES and for the longest time I was telling everyone that Bonnie had a crush on Annalise and people were like, “Well it wouldn’t matter cause Annalise doesn’t swing that way” aND HERE WE ARE WITH ME not even being able to scream I told you so cause I’m already screaming about that kiss and how this needs to happen all the time forever after the end

    • I was already so IN with this show. But damn Shonda know how to pull me in further.

      I loved this reveal. It was nuanced and not at all for show. It was honest and god damn, Hollywood take note. This is how you do bisexuality, like it’s no big deal because IT’S NO BIG DEAL.

  2. Welcome (to your new) home! I have been realizing lately just how vital a clean, clear, uncluttered home is to my well-being. I’ve made the bed every day for a week and I can honestly say it’s helped me feel more peaceful and content!

    Bed…my bed…my amazing bed…

    The problem is when my bedroom is that inviting, I just kind of want to be in it. A nap would be AMAZING right about now.

  3. Well.
    I finally got my home back after a friend kind of invited herself to stay at my place and kind of took over?
    Home is the place where I close the door and don’t have to talk to anyone, be funny, entertaining, or even social.
    That’s what I found out, because that shit was stressing me out to no end.
    On another note:
    Yesterday, I got a job offer.
    Not only a job offer, but potential employers outright fawning over me.
    I would get the decent work hours, the perfect training, good pay, everything, the only downside is, that the hospital is literally in the middle of a forest.
    A forest four hours away from the big city I grew up in.
    I’m a big city girl,and the notion of living in a ridiculously small town on the outskirts of nowhere, where I’d probably have to drive,too, really, really scares me.
    On the other hand, I could probably still keep my place in the city and come back a couple of days a week.
    It would be perfect if I were coupled up and had kids (they’d even make sure my partner got a job and that the kid’s be stashed away during the day) but I don’t.
    I just don’t know, this sounds very,very lonely.
    Is anyone of you commuting larger distances? Living the hermit’s life throughout the week?
    Anyone planning a Yoga in the Woods column that I should be aware of?

  4. I’m not sure where ‘home’ is. I was never very attached to my home town and almost all the people I know from there have moved to other places – going back is weird. I guess I’d say that Britain as a whole is ‘home’ for me, but I’ve been living abroad for several years. Spain has never been my long term plan and I don’t expect it to ever feel like home.

    I’m hoping that ‘home’ might work the same way as ‘love’ – that I don’t necessarily need to deliberately look for it but when I find it, I’ll know.

  5. I’m a big fan of my apartment home with my partner. It’s the first place I’ve lived in where I’m actually interested in hanging things on the wall and making it extra cozy and all that jazz. To me that’s what makes it more of a home feeling for me. Like I’ll stay awhile. Other places I’ve lived I never bothered because I knew I’d be moving in a year or less once my lease was up. They were just temporary residences. Now it’s different. I want to stay put for awhile.

    That and my landlord here in Minneapolis rented out one of the garage spaces to my partner and one to me (cuz no one else in our fourplex wanted them??) and one of them is now The Clubhouse. I LOVE IT. A hangout space for chill gatherings made up of donated or curbside findings or old high school/childhood favorites. My high school 5 CD changer stereo is still going strong. Nerf guns, mini, wall basketball hoop, dart board, comfy seats. New favorite place to be. :)

  6. I have lived in the same house with my family in Seattle for my whole life, so this has always been my home. I am very close with my family (brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, cousins, cousins babies, aunts, uncles.) We are a very tight-knit bunch. This has always been an amazing thing. I always know my family is there for me and will accept me no matter what. I have a sense of security that I know a lot of people (especially in the queer/trans community) may not always have. Over the past 4 months, however, my family has started to feel more like a burden. Practically no one in my family moves away from where we grew up (2 cousins live in LA). I just graduated and am trying to figure out my life, but feel as though this place I call home is holding me back. I want to move away and explore and find more queer friends. All the people in my home, community, and city, have known me for the last 22 years and see me in a certain way. I am ready to figure out who I want to be in this world, as independent from my family. This is the first time I am writing these feelings down, making this concrete. Maybe this will be the first step in figuring out what it is I want!

    Carmen, your journey to your new home has been giving me hope and inspiring me to begin my own adventures! Thank you for sharing with us :)

    • I get this. Sort of. Maybe. It feels familiar. Like, I’ve always wanted to move away from where I grew up. I’m also really close with my family here which is pretty big and full of cousins and aunts and uncles. Most of them have lived temporarily somewhere else and then come back and picked here. And I guess I’m sort of afraid that I will also pick here. I’m afraid of that because I’ve never wanted to pick here. I don’t think I feel like I belong to here in the same way they do. So yeah, I’m also a recent graduate trying to figure out “what now?” and “how do I finally move away from here?”.

    • I sort of get what you mean..living with your fam and growing up together..being very close etc. Then when we get older/more mature it’s like WHOA. I need to be away from these people for some reason I can’t explain? Like don’t get me wrong I LOVE MY PARENTS you know but I feel like moving out is going to be such a big deal and it’s almost as if you’re asking for permission.

      Hope we can all figure out our lives!! And yes Carmen, you’re such an inspiration!!

  7. yeah, dude!

    also if you ever wanna read “Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold” it’s a seminal oral history about lesbian bars in Buffalo NY in like the 40s-60s. It’s pretty good! And it will also make your head explode with all the street names of where-there-used-to-so-many-gay-bars.

    The olde historicale district in Seattle is called Pioneer Square, and I worked down there for a few years and until I read a gay history of Seattle I didn’t realize how there used to be HELLA gay bars. I keep saying someday I’m going to get all the information organized and start a gay history walking tour.

  8. At the moment, I’m in the therapy waiting lounge and I’d say it’s one of the closest feelings to home I’ve ever had. Even though this office moved a couple of months ago, I always want to move in where this place is. And we also moved about a month ago and it’s my favorite house yet, so it’s nice cause most of the time I feel like I’m going from one home to the other! Which is something I’ve never felt and it’s so lovely this rime around.

    My week has been interesting I think. My psych added a new med cause my depression has been scary worse since she’s known me and it’s helped me get shit done which is nice but I’m running out soon and that’s giving me a bit of anxiety. Also nightmares PTSD and a bit a bit of seeing/hearing things, so all that’s worrisome but I feel pretty okay at the moment!

    I’m about to see my best friend, we’re meeting for lunch/catching up and I’m pretty excited about that! I have no idea how I’m getting home but I’m trying to be like “fun surprise!” instead of ignition for a panic attack.

    I have bit of work to do for a class I love and have work tomorrow and got paid today! So it’s a pretty good day I think. I’m kind of dissociating and stuff but that’ll be a problem for another day I think.

    I hope you’re all doing well and have a fantastic weekend!

    SPOILERS MOSTLY KIND OF SORT OF FOR EMPIRE AND HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER

    CAN SOMEONE TALK TO ME ABOUT TARAJI P HENSON AND VIOLA DAVIS THIS WEEK. Not just the Emmys cause that already was giving me goodness, but the possibility in both their premiere episodes that their sexuality could lean towards women oH MY GOODNESS I still can’t realyl calm down about it I AM SO HYPED and that’s also adding to my better mood, I mean how can’t you be happy when black women are gonna be about loving other women AMAZING

    • I haven’t gotten around to HTGAWM,yet, but empire made my jaw drop.
      “I thought I told you to sleep with her.”
      “I did.”
      had me rolling on the floor.
      Hands down best moment of the show, they need to put these two into more scenes together.
      Dude, get better, I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping your mind will pull itself together, or at least stay put.
      Take Care!

      • Your fingers crossed def is helping cause I’ve been pretty solid even though I had a rude customer at work and I’m pretty sure time somehow made itself go extra slow today, so thanks!

        AND YES I didn’t think I’d ever want to see them together cause Anika was just so all over Lucious but this is the best turn around and it’s only been one episode, ahh I’m just so excited for this season! Minus Jamal cause he’s like forgetting how Cookie fought tooth and nail for him, but still excited! Hope you’re having a good weekend!

  9. FRIDAY!!!!!! It’s Friday!! How is everyone doing? I’m doing okay. I had my two upper wisdom teeth taken out on 9/22. Here’s me 12 hours later. I look like a chipmunk!!


    the pain has gone away somewhat. I find that I can’t really lift or hold something kinda heavy for an extended period of time. -.- I really miss running and the gym already..

    So during this time off because teeth extraction I managed to complete my 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of the last supper. I’ll post a better picture once I have it framed and everything.

    Home is a lot of places for me also. I can’t really say it’s one place. I know that even if I move out I can still call my parents’ place home. My sister’s place is also home to me. The Philippines is also my home. I lived there for 8 years during my high school and college. It’s grown a lot on me and I would go there every other month if I could. I really love it.

    And of course home is where the love of my life and our furbabies are.


    I also made thisMass Effect metal earth thingy. It’s the Alliance Cruiser. It fits in my palm!!

    ALSO WELCOME TO LOS ANGELES!!! I should bring you cheese rolls from PORTOS!!! <3

  10. When you spend 6 months of your 16th year being completely housebound, home becomes a tricky concept. I don’t want to get too attached to a home as a means of safety and comfort, as I have a pattern of retreating. There was a time when I couldn’t visit my parents’ house because it was the house where I was agoraphobic, and I felt uncomfortable being in that space. I still rarely go, but I was just there this week and last for the Jewish High Holidays, and I’m starting to be kind of okay there.

    I move a lot, but the constant is always New York City and my dog. NYC is my home. My dog is my family. I say we’re “two peas in a dysfunctional pod”.

  11. hellooooooo, cumulus clouds and cirrus whisps of the big gay sky!

    home is where I’m allowed to walk in the door and immediately walk into the kitchen to see what there is to eat.

    mostly this is my house and in some ways my mom’s house- this is the most I’m-at-my-mom’s-house thing I do since I have tried to swear off getting into really childish altercations with my brothers.

    At my own house, it is always a mess, and we try pretty hard to keep it livable, and it is some combination of small living space + “I put that down there and then forgot about it”, and the dog is a million years old and sometimes has indoor accidents, but it is also my house, and it smells like whatever is in the crock pot and we sit on the couch and watch birds and people walking their dogs go by. My knitting is always stuffed into the right side of the couch between cushions and the detritus of the week is scattered on the floor and on the coffee table. This week, we got a sun shower because for awhile the hot water was busted and we borrowed one from gf’s parents.

    We live right next to the woods, it’s pretty quiet, especially since for some reason the teenagers that used to throw parties have found someplace else to do it (It was always really annoying mostly bc I know teenagers need a place to party, but they always left their trash behind!) And sometimes the crows get into fights with the hawks or owls. Just a minute ago all the crows were all yelling. Crows are jerks.

  12. Home…totally about where the gal pal is. Sickening I know. I also favour my mattress over all others and my dog is kinda awesome. Those could be anywhere and it’d be home.
    Guys it’s been such a great week for queer music, a new LP track, a new Allison Weiss video and the Julia Nunes album! I feel spoilt. Vanderjesus bless us all.

  13. My definition of home is a morphing, malleable thing, an evolving idea. Right now, home is my one bedroom apartment – where my stuff lives, where I sleep and seek out peace and solitude.

    In a bigger sense…home is NH, where I’ve lived my entire 31 years, where 95% of my friends and family are within an hour. Simply put, home is here, where my whole life has taken place. I love it, though home is starting to feel quite small. My future idea of home is this: a peaceful, quiet place with some land, animals, and somebody who loves me as much as I love them.

    Onward!

  14. My permanent address has been in the same city in suburban Ohio my entire life, but I’m seriously considering moving next summer. I live in the cutest/cheapest apartment ever, but I am really longing to live in a “real” city where I don’t need to own a car. I always said I would move away immediately after high school, but I had all these excuses about needing to save up money or whatever…and nothing ever happened. So, basically it’s now or never. I’ve started working on my resume and researching teaching jobs outside of Ohio, which is bizarre because I have no idea where to begin. I made an appointment with the career center at my old university to look over my applications, which I imagine is going to be every bit as awkward as it sounds.

    To be honest, the only place I’ve ever really felt like home is my summer camp job, working with people I’ve known for over a decade. Wherever I end up next summer, I can assure you all that I will not be moving until after the camp season is over because camp feels more like home than any place I’ve ever been.

  15. Home for me is a boat ride
    With my father 21 years ago, and ive never been home since then. That moment with him made me feel the safest, made me feel like no one can hurt me because i know he was right there for me. I wish i can go home again………

  16. Well I went to my first Twentysomethings Group at the community LGBT Center last night. It was very cool and very chill and everyone was adorable. I hope to make many friends and have many adventures with some adorable queer babies. I wish I would have gone sooner!

    Home is napping in my comfy bed with my cat nearby and the fan going. And maybe it’s raining outside (except rain is totally fake hahaha rain doesn’t exist in California).

  17. I haven’t found (or built) my “true” home yet, but I have known a few spaces that feel closer to a home than most. These are often the places where I have access to my coffee equipment and some good beans. I believe my true home will be a place where my SO and coffee stuffs coexist. Home is who/where/what you return to and find solace and peace. Still working on mine. But at least I have some great coffee in the interim!

    • wait tell me about your coffee! i love coffee. i actually just bought a cheap-o coffeemaker to use in my new place and oh my god yes, did it make it feel like home. and i have this coffee, from new mexico, it’s basically my everything. i’m very sad i didn’t buy a whole pound on the trip. basically, i’m saying let’s be coffee friends. ARE YOU IN.

  18. I have so many feelings about home.

    It’s been a few years since I’ve felt like I have a home to go to. My parents’ house has gone from “home” to feeling like a warzone where only some parts of me were allowed entry, to now the more neutral “parents’ house” where I am welcome (mostly) but as a guest. My college never felt like home, but it came close a lot of times.

    And then I moved out and graduated in May and have been existing as a nomad since then. It agrees with me, mostly, though I worry about the winter. My home is my car, driving down the highway singing loudly to music from my phone to drown out the hum and snap of the straps that tie down my kayaks on top of the car. My home is a campsite (any campsite) with other boaters, eating food, drinking beer, being merry. My home is the middle of the Moose river, in the calm stretch of water between the rapids Funnel and Knife’s Edge. My home is my hammock stretched between two trees in the Adirondacks or Maine or Pennsylvania or West Virginia knowing I’m going boating tomorrow, watching the weather to see if I need that rainfly and if I need the second sleeping bag because it’s getting cold at night.

    My home is less a physical place than a presence in a community who was let me in and adopted me just as I have adopted them as my family.

  19. I’m actually moving tomorrow! I’m off to university for the first time, so for the first time I will have two ‘homes’ – semester-time, and holidays. I’m excited to move because I will be out from the off, while at my parents’ house I only came out in July and have had many a stressful day there figuring out my identity. I hope that my uni home this year will be somewhere I can explore everything that needs exploring – and who knows, I might even meet my future first girlfriend!!

  20. I currently live in L.A. with my parents and sibling, I don’t mind it as it’s a comfortable place. The house was built pre-WWII & there were some very interesting things when we bought it. Like next to the kitchen was a shower, where the shower head was like a few centimeters away from touching the wall, and it looked fit for a person under 5ft tall. There was also one bedroom with space for only a bed and that’s pretty much it. I have a suspicion people living in the 1920’s were small, cause that shower and bedroom were not useable. We also had a avocado tree, that slowly is dying that produced some quality avocados.

    You’re in L.A. now so you know how the weather is. Pair that with being in Downtown & broken air conditioning and you have one queer who is melting. How is everyone’s week? I’ve had a few women give me their numbers via the internet, but I get the feeling they are straight, which is unfortunate cause I did make it clear in my profile I use they/them/their pronouns. I don’t want to lie to them, but at the same time not sure how to tell them I am genderqueer, without making coming off too weird?

    This one is across the street from my work. It’s just really good artwork, imho.

    Good thing to keep in mind.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my posts. Have a positive weekend.

  21. Home. So many places with different connotations

    Home for me can be giggling at the back of the second violins in my local symphony

    It can be in my campervan with my fur baby wagging her tail beside me.

    It can be lying on our freshly mown lawn or sweaty and grass stained

    It can be snuggled in a wife toddler little lad dog sandwich sofa watching Star Wars.

    The warm snug book-lined walls of a library feel like home.

    It’s a feeling for me. Something the Danes call hygge.

  22. After two years living away from “home” (aka where I grew up/where my family still live), I just recently moved to a new city and it’s always amazing to me how much it feels like home after so little time, especially as my old city didn’t ever feel that way.
    So it’s sort of just a feeling that I can’t describe, somewhere I can feel content and happy and uplifted.

    But the area I grew up in will always be home too, because it houses some of the people (and dog!) I care most about.

    Does anyone else ever get really homesick for a place they’ve only ever briefly travelled to, though? I’ve visited Paris four times (mainly over a long weekend, but once for three weeks during the summer) and it always, always feels like home.

    Like sometimes I feel as though I can never truly be “home” because my heart belongs to so many places.

    I feel the same way about Japan (and I only visited for two weeks). Today I went to a Japanese restaurant with a friend and it felt like home as soon as we walked in.
    I mean, even a bowl of good ramen can feel like home to me.
    (Slightly off tangent, I’ve never been to Seattle before, but the IDEA of Seattle has felt like home to me for almost a decade. How can I even describe that one, hahaha)

    I DUNNO, I feel like I have so many feelings about the concept of home and I’m interested to hear who feels the same way!

    • i enjoy your feelings about home a lot!

      re: being homesick for places i’ve travelled through, YEP. i go to cities with geneva, my long-distance girlfriend, so a lot of times i come back and am super overwhelmed with how much i enjoyed a stay in a place, or i really fall in love with one. i was also telling her recently how i feel like i’m always, always, traveling and thinking “I COULD LIVE HERE.” like, every time i go to a place i think “yeah ok i could do this.” is that weird? who knows.

      also, having just moved somewhere that called to me like it sounds like seattle calls to you, just know nothing is weird. do what feels right. home is where the heart is, right? so follow it! you gotta visit seattle, my friend. you gotta.

  23. Home is a second hand armchair I’ll get re-upholstered one day and an excess of dog hair.

    Things toasting on a cast iron griddle, and the electric kettle coming to a boil while the sun rises through the windows.

    The shadows of the hills. The overflowing creeks in March running dry in August.

  24. Home is a transient place for me. I’m my mother’s daughter, in that I have this insatiable desire to move across the world, and also because I’m not overly sentimental and attached to the idea of a permanent home. I love Melbourne (Australia) and it will always be my first home, and I used to think that I’d always want to return to it once I’d done a spell living overseas. But as I get older I get less and less sure of this. I’m just trying to chill and see where life takes me. I’m open to possibility.

    In other news, I had surgery two weeks ago and at my follow up appointment on Tuesday I found out two things. First that I 100% needed the surgery (before the surgeon was leaning towards yes but said I didn’t have to). Turned out not only did I fracture my ankle, but I also ripped a hole in my cartiledge. It’s a family trait, when we have an accident or get sick, we don’t do it halfway. The second thing is that I’m recovering well and after a hellish 10 day bed rest period where I was only allowed out of bed for 15 minutes per day, I’m now allowed to crutch around. And on the weekend I can start to test out walking and putting weight on my ankle. Very excited to be mobile again.

    Happy moving LA times Carmen. Hope it’s sunny and happy making.

  25. I’m not really sure where home is anymore. I’m in a PhD program, so most people move long distances and everyone is transient/going to move away when they graduate. I don’t particularly like the town I’m living in, I’ve already had numerous groups of friends here come and go due to them graduating, and I know that if I wait ~5-6 years and visit here again I won’t know a single soul in this town.

    My parents’ house is nice but I have more siblings than bedrooms there so I lost my bedroom like a month after I went to college. It’s nice to visit but after about two nights of sleeping on the pull-out couch I want to sleep in a real bed.

    My undergrad apartment definitely felt like home but we all scattered across the country after graduation.

  26. For me, home is where my blankets are. Mostly because I can burrito myself in them and make everything else disappear. Also being warm means being comfortable, and home also means comfort to me.

    Home is also where this ball of fur is:

    Speaking of Watson, he’s definitely entering his rebellions pre-teen puppy phase. He keeps getting into trouble, then looking at me like “what?” anytime I yell at him. He’s still a funny little guy though.

  27. I have a place I live now, but I haven’t really considered anything home since the fencing studio at my college. It was where I met my favorite people. It was something we all loved and fought for. Every year was an uphill battle, yet every year we still emerged victorious despite confused squirls, skunks and the athletic department. And I think my favorite thing about the fencing studio was that you could know it was yours and also know simultaneously that it belonged to everyone else on the team’s too. So I guess home is where your sword is and where the people you hit with your sword are.

  28. I call a lot of places home. I’ve lived my whole life in the border area of the Southwest, so any border city with lots of Latinos is home. The desert is home. My childhood home in rural southern New Mexico, where you can see all the stars out at nights, is home. Currently, home is the little family I’ve formed with my partner, pets, my best friend of 10 years, and my friends’ children who I also think of as my own. I also think of the SF Bay Area as my home because my mama grew up there and we visit often. Toasted almond ice cream from the Fenton’s Creamery in Piedmont tastes like home.

  29. Hey welcome to LA! I moved to LA about a year ago. Take deep breaths, it can feel overwhelming– the sprawl is all-encompassing. But when you find a place to be, it’s a really, really good feeling, and the city is magnificent when you figure it out.

    I don’t know what home is. Arizona is my physical home, since I was born and raised there. But I always felt like such an outsider, I could never call it home. And yet, when I’m on a plane landing in Phoenix for the first time in months, my eyes fill with tears looking at the desert landscape I know so well. I think “home” for me right now is the west coast. When I’m on the west coast, I feel like I belong.

    Good luck Carmen. Take deep breaths, be safe, engage in self-care.

    • oh my god, confession, it feels totally overwhelming. i don’t know how i’m ever gonna figure out how to get around this place! but i guess that’s how i felt a long time ago when i moved to dc, too, although figuring out a five-track metro system is a lot easier than figuring out a 500-square-mile city.

      thank you for the well wishes, though! hopefully we meet again at a meet-up or something <3

  30. In the matters of my personal domicile my bed is my home. Sure someone’s body with mine can feel like home, but it is not home. That is my bed with all it’s layers and those limp pillows I’ve had since I was seven. They might be older than me those pillows actually.

    Post-Katrina rebuild time my bed was a mattress on the floor between bed I got when I was 7 and a sturdy bureau that was one of my MawMaw’s castaways. She grew up the youngest of six siblings during the Great Depression it left her with this complex I guess. Anything she has more that say oh 3 to 5 years give or take is “no good” and must be gotten rid of. She’ll put perfectly good furniture out with the trash, it drives my mom nuts. You have to pay attention to her when she starts talking about how shabby or nice something is or you’ll miss the chance to save stuff.
    Pretty much all her nieces and their kids even have something she was gunna throw out. She has good taste and always picks really solid good stuff that could go well in a bedroom, a little apartment or any room in a full sized house.

    This had a point but my family’s idiosyncrasies are interesting I can’t help myself. We’re like Everybody Love Raymond meets the Seinfeld sometimes with the same amount of yelling/loud talking. Seinfeld tho is sometimes the exact intensity of my mom and dad’s fighting and it makes me feel like I’m going to have a stroke. Not the same topics mind you but the same intensity.

    Yeah so Mm bed is my safe place(home) and has been since I was 14 and lovingly surrounded by familiar furniture in a strange time. Nothing bad has ever happened to me in a bed that was mine. I’m lucky in that.
    Even if I paid for the hotel room that I was assaulted in, that bed was still not mine. It was too crisp and the pillows to fluffy. I’ve always hated white sheets and well made beds. Having a messy bed is like some sort of territory marking with me, I was here and it is mine.
    As for white sheets they’re like a white shirt a bit of anxiety that I’ll ruin them and a bit of I WANT to ruin them. So blah, so bland, so sterile I want to “fix” them.

    Okay even though I’m late to FOT I’m going to try to ask again:

    Doing striptease in I guess what is drag ending in a harness situation with a soft packer instead of a thong like most striptease does.

    Wonderful idea or horribly disrespectful somehow?

    3 people gave it a thumbs up last week, but no one had the “gonads” to respond.
    Anybody got the courage to give an opinion?

    • “We’re like Everybody Love Raymond meets the Seinfeld sometimes with the same amount of yelling/loud talking.”

      i love that you just referenced these two sitcoms at once like i feel a million times less alone in this world HALLELU DO THE STRIPTEASE AND LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE

      • But should I wiggle those synthetic genitals at people?

        Even if I’m in drag and had a maybe noticeable bulge in my pants the whole time, should I still do that?
        Or is it nasty possible insult to those with the factory standard organic version of those genitals?

  31. The gal pal and I just hung the first painting (…ok a canvas print we got at ikea) on the wall of our apartment tonight. Operation: make a home is well underway over here.
    I’ve moved in and out of some kind of temporary housing situation every year since I was 16, mostly for school-related reasons. One year in high school the sewer backed up at my place a few weeks before the end of semester and I ended up briefly living in my high music music teacher’s rec room.
    when I was a kid I used to always picture myself living in a vw pop up van on the road. Everything in my life seems to come back to transience.

  32. Home is so undetermined for me right now.
    My “home” my parents house is not a space where I feel like home or comfortable in anymore. visiting them is hard and even harder now that my abusive older brother has moved back in with them. I don’t want to go “home” there, I don’t want that to be home anymore. So I guess I need to find a more solid family for my home where I am, in my own apartment quite a few hours drive from my family. I need a queer family. I need a home that feels safe.

  33. Moving to the UK, I’ve learned that this country works quite hard to make it not feel like home for American expats.
    That being said, I am soaking in this lack of home, lack of safety. It’s isolating but also quite refreshing to feel like a floating being, like I could be anyone, like I am malleable!

  34. Home is definitely my girlfriend. You know that feeling when you’re a kid and you just really want to go home? I still get that feeling, even when I’m lying in my own bed, usually when I’m feeling anxious or sad. But I never get it when I’m somewhere I feel safe with her. My house, her parents’ house, her new apartment which is very far away but thank god it’s only for a year… They’re all home if she’s there. So I guess my home is a person more than a place.

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