FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: I’m Leaving Autostraddle, Let’s Talk About Our Favorite Autostraddle Things

Hey family! I know that in the last open thread I said I was going to stop being the Trans Editor but still working here, and I’m sorry to say that it’s time for that to end too. Working at Autostraddle has been my dream job and it’s been my dream community, but it’s time for the next phase in my life, so I need to say goodbye.

But I’ll still be around. You can follow me on twitter and instagram, and I’ll be putting up some writing on my patreon if you want to find a new way to support me. You’ll also see my writing in other places around the internet and in print soon. I’ve got good things coming up. By the way, that feature image is because I am the Glee of Autostraddle staffers.

At my first A-camp with Hansen, Yvonne, Somer and Brittani

My favorite thing about being a part of the Autostraddle family has been you guys, the readers who have become my family. When I joined Autostraddle I had been out for less than a year and had just lost my church family when I came out.

I know it’s schmaltzy to say that you guys are my favorite part of Autostraddle, so let’s pick a few other things. Obviously anything that Riese (especially this essay) has written is my favorite, as is anything written by Heather and Gabby Rivera. I love all the essays by incredible trans women we’ve published. God I love this essay by Rachel. I love love love love love love love this Anonymous Sex Toy Review of the Njoy Pure Plug and I think about it and the ways it changed my life at least once a week. I loved watching Kaelyn’s Countdown to Baby T. rex and I love her now as a mother. I loved my Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Art Awards. I love everything ever read at one of the A-Camp staff readings. I love the friends I made and the family I built.

I remember on the shuttle on the way to my first A-Camp when Hansen put her head on my shoulder and slept. I remember meeting Laverne Cox and hearing her gush about how much she loves Autostraddle. I remember Riese paying for me to get my name legally changed. I remember meeting my future girlfriend at an Autostraddle meetup at ClexaCon. I remember every time one of you has come up to me anywhere and said anything about my writing meaning something to you. I remember all the wonderful ways the editors, my co-workers, and you readers have supported, encouraged, and loved me.

I want to know, what are some of your all-time favorite Autostraddle memories? Is there an article you loved or a meetup that changed your life? Did you discover a new passion through AS? Let’s share some love for this website before I leave.


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Mey Valdivia Rude is a bisexual Latina trans woman living in Los Angeles. She's a writer, comic consultant and a trans activist. She's a bruja, a femme, a pop princess and she loves comic books, witches, dinosaurs and crying. She has a cat named Sawyer and a very successful twitter.

Mey has written 575 articles for us.

111 Comments

  1. Meyyyy! I want all the good things for you! I hope we see you around the comments! Thank you, truly, for all you’ve done here! Your writing introduced me to Lumberjanes AND an old article of yours actually introduced me to fat positivity (or the potential for it) and I am so thankful!

  2. OMG Mey I’ll miss you! I remember you in that picture as it was my first camp as well and I was scared but seeing you there welcoming everybody made me feel so much more at home.

    Thank you for everything you’ve brought to AS, and I hope your life is filled with all the awesomeness!

  3. Mey! I have loved getting to know you and loved everything you’ve written and loved that so many of us ex-fundie folks have found each other through this community. You are magic and I know you will kill it wherever you go.

    Autostraddle was here for me when I came out, and it is always here for me when I’m having a bad day, and it also helped me learn how to sex a girl way back when! So. Lots to be thankful for!

  4. Mey! I’ve enjoyed reading your writing at AutoStraddle. Best of luck to you.

    You helped make one of my favorite aunt moments possible. Thanks to your review of Witch Boy, I gave it to my 9yo gender creative nephew for Christmas – once he opened it, he started reading and actually stopped opening his remaining presents.

    As for my favorite parts of AS – I really love the bi coverage and bi rep at AutoStraddle.

    • AHHH I LOVE THAT WITCH BOY STORY

      and oh, man, i’m so glad I found AS, it’s been a journey for me coming out as bi and if i worked at any other website i don’t think i would’ve been able to explore my bi identity like i did

  5. Your work will be missed here. Thank you for everything you have done. My favorite thing about AS is the community and how friendly & accepting it is. Because of AS and the AS locals I have become a more informed and less alone queer. To know that I am not alone in my experiences and that there is a support system of sorts because of this site is just great. Plus, we are a good looking community on here.

    How has everyone week been going? Mines has been solid. I skipped LA pride and instead spent my Sunday in Malibu admiring the views and driving my favorite twisting road in the first car I am paying for a new SUV. In some ways it was better for me cause I was visible in nature and the beach vs at pride with other lgbtq folks. That and I wish pride was less cop and corporate oriented. So, it was just nice to treat myself alone and drive how I want to with music blasting. Might do it again this Sunday too, hiking and driving the coast. I also probably be going to trans pride to see the LA Trans Chorus sing Saturday night.

    Is anyone or has anyone paid for OkCpuid? I am thinking about paying for one month just to see all the people who like me, but I am not really sure it’s worth the price, but curious to see all the people who like me. It may make the site less depressing for me? Thought a friend this week did cheer me up with some kind words so I am thankful for her kind words. Was thinking about doing it for tinder, also for a month, but I am not giving that agist company my money. One should not be paying twice as much because they are 30 years or older. Ugh

    I went on top of rock formation that had small caves in it to enjoy the view and relax.

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

  6. I’ll miss your writing, Mey!!
    Honestly, your Drawn to Comics series has been very important to me . . . I’ve been both queer and nerdy/geeky for as long as I can remember, but always felt like those two identities didn’t mesh well together? Like, I had queer friends and nerdy friends, but few that understood both of those parts of me . . . I can’t understate how much it means to read articles by folks in the Autostraddle community who also share my nerdy interests. It makes me feel more welcome in this space. Thank you.

  7. I really enjoy your writing, Mey! I’m sorry to see you go, but I’ll definitely follow you elsewhere.

    I started occasionally reading (but not commenting) Autostraddle before even coming out to myself. I had to work so hard to justify being here. “Minority issues have always been important to me.” “It’s important to experience a diversity of opinions and world views.” “I care about gender issues and gender expression.” “It’s not weird, I’m a really open and accepting heterosexual, I mean, after all, I used to be convinced I was a lesbian.”

    After I came out to myself, Autostraddle was really this super-important safe haven where people had decent opinions of bisexuals.

    It was also super important because it was my only online “bisexual” space that wasn’t overrun with hypersexual blokes and/or unquestioning heteronormativity.

    Lastly, Autostraddles sex articles and sex toy reviews have been really important to me personally. I really struggled to free my sexuality from the male gaze and experience, and Autostraddle really modelled female sexuality for women’s sake for me.

  8. Mey, I love your writing so much, I’m excited to see what you do next! Your essay about the power of names really impacted me, especially hearing you read it at camp. Thank you for everything!

    I have so many favorite AS moments! But lately I’ve been thinking about one of the first moments a lot. When I first found Autostraddle back in high school, I spent one weekend just reading EVERYTHING in the archives. It was like I fell into the best rabbit hole in the world and I’ve never wanted to go back out. I will always cherish those couple of days when I was just following link after link and reading all the goofy, smart, sexy, loving writing and then saw that the comments section was actually really nice and supportive. At that point in my life, I was REALLY isolated and finding AS showed me a community I wanted to be a part of. Lately, I’ve been reflected on that because a lot of my real life support and community right now has come from AS and A Camp. I never could have imagined that. I thought I would always be on the side, alone, looking up to and reading about all the great community stuff, I didn’t think I could be a part of it.

  9. Mey, thank you for all you’ve given to this website. Reading some of your witchery-related content has helped me start on the journey of embracing my own inner witch, and I’m so grateful to you for that.

    Other favorite things about Autostraddle: The community, and the way that the writers and editors have cultivated this community. The columns. The broad range of perspectives and experiences represented. The personal essays. The care put into responding to readers’ questions, and comments, and requests for advice. The humor. The opportunity to feel connected with other queers, even when I’m stuck at home sick much of the time. The encouragement we offer each other. The love we offer each other.

  10. Wishing you all the best in your new chapter. Enjoyed reading your articles especially on the music section.

    The major thing I love about Autostraddle is that it keeps me up to date with every female queer thing that is happening. And the team is very dedicated in reporting and also very hilarious. It is also a place where you can freely talk gay things and everyone understands how you feel.

    In other news, I watched and rewatched (about 3 times) the movie “I Can’t Think Straight” and it is possibly now my favorite lesbian movie ever. I’m not a movie person compared to TV but from all the lesbian movies I have watched, this one was undoubtedly my favorite. I also love how there was no gloom and doom and we had the happiest of endings possible. #SayNoToUnhappyEndingsInLesbianMovies

  11. Gasp.

    Oh Mey, it physically hurts to see you go. How attached I’ve become, you sneaky Bruja ! You’ve introduced me to so much life experience. I have only good thoughts for you and your future, wherever it may lead – and it will be wild and glorious of that I’m sure. But argh, the sorrow.

    Autostraddle is such a distinctive mix I’ve never met anywhere else : a lively, playful, thoughtful, super-sexy Gestalt, in fact we may be a new life-form entirely. No I haven’t been drinking but I have been so amazingly influenced and transformed by this site and all those who give of themselves to make it happen.

  12. Wishing You the best Mey! ‘Drawn to Comics’is one of my favourite columns and while I always used it for new recommendations, some of my fave moments were when you covered comics I loved already like ‘Backstagers’, ‘Always Human’ and ‘ This Not Fiction’

  13. Mey, I really appreciate the Latinx, trans, and witchy perspective(s) you brought to Autostraddle; the importance and horror (in equal measure) of the “Trans People Murdered in 20XX” lists; and your fucking incredible piece about sitting in the movie theater with your mother watching “Coco.” Stay sexy and don’t forget AS.

  14. Hey Mey,
    I don’t know if you remember me, but we met at the autostraddle meet up at last year‘s Clexa Con, and it was such a pleasure!
    You gave me a witchy gemstone that I kept safe in my wallet and forgot to take out when I got back home.
    Anyway, so a few months after Clexa Con, it fell out of my wallet at the bakery and right underneath the ice cream freezer, which then had to be unplugged and moved and still crawled halfway under to retrieve it.
    I‘ve meant to tell you this story for almost a year, because you never know how far little, random gestures reach, and while I forgot what the stone is, or what it stood for (success I think?) it meant to me, that someone wishes me well, and I‘ve cherished it for that reason.
    So thanks, Mey, for wishing people well. Never stop doing that, if you can.
    And good luck on your further endeavors!

  15. Mey I love you and all of the words you’ve written for this website. I feel like comics have gotten VERY QUEER in the past two years, and I 100% give you all the credit for that.

    Also remember witch hunt?! That was a beautiful thing. You’re beautiful. Good luck with what comes next. <3

  16. Hi Mey:
    I found Autostraddle via your review of Kate Beaton’s “Ducks.” I started reading Lumberjanes because of your recommendation. I read more and more comics, and I loved them so much. Now I’m writing my dissertation on comics. My first chapter was on Kate Beaton, and this week I started a chapter on Emily Carroll.
    This is all to say I love your writing. It’s meant so much to me. It’s brought so much into my life. I can’t wait to read you in new places, and I’ll miss your columns here. Thank you for bringing so many beautiful comics into my life and into the lives of others.

  17. We’re going to miss you Mey! Thank you for being an awesome camp counselor (long live the Dark Arts) and for contributing so much to this site.

    One of my favorite things about Autostraddle is all of the new things that it’s introduced me to. Articles on here have convinced me to try so many new things that I might not have tried/experienced otherwise.

    For example, one of your articles actually convinced me to watch Coco, which has led to so many interesting conversations amongst my family and friends. Thank you very much for that.

  18. Mey,
    I will never forget the emotional gut punch from your article where you detailed your experience with toxic masculinity in high school. Reading your words was so visceral and powerful. When writing is that impactful, that raw and real, it transcends the artform and leaves you with nothing but humanity and love. Seriously impressive. I will be anxiously awaiting your next work and wish you all the best!!

  19. Mey, your writing and presence here helped draw me to AS when I first came out and transitioned. I can’t overstate how grateful I am for your writing and contributions to this community! I always keep an eye out for your articles, and the Drawn to Comics series specifically rekindled my love of that art form. I’m also *so* thankful that we met at A-Camp 8.0 – and that I could be present for your reading on trans motherhood at the staff reading night.

    Here’s wishing you all the best wherever you take your career from here ❤️

    As for my favorite things about Autostraddle, it’s 100% the people – all of you fellow commenters, those of you I see at camp, and, of course, the staff and other writers! This community means the world to me, and my life is so much better for knowing y’all.

  20. I was rewatching some parts of “GLOW” in preparation of season two, and I noticed something. When Sam has the vision of Debbie and Ruth wrestling, it’s set to Journey’s “Separate Ways”. It’s a love song about two people breaking up, but one of them is ready to accept the other back.

  21. Mey, I can’t really express how much you’ve helped and inspired me. I don’t think I could even list all the things that are a part of my life now because of your influence. It’s not going to be the same around here without you, but I wish you the very best as you move forward.

    I’d say more but it’s REALLY hard to cry and type, okay? *hugs* <3

  22. I wish you all the best as you move forward and seek out a new path for yourself. I am rather new to the AS community, but I have really enjoyed your coverage on wlw happenings in the world of comics. Thank you for your work and I will keep an eye out for your future work on twitter 🙂

  23. Mey,
    Your writing is lovely and powerful. I have bookmarked many of your essays to share with students and with a friend raising a transgender girl (with lots of love and acceptance!). Thank you; you make a difference. Best wishes for the future.

    AS editors,
    Could there maybe be a page kept updated with links to former AS writers’ later writings? Or heck, current AS writers’ writings for other places? ‘Cause it would be cool to be like, hey, I miss Mey, I wonder what she has been writing lately, oh wait, that’s easy to see…and it would give your writers a little boost too. Mey is hardly the only one whose other work I would totally read even if (gasp) it weren’t on AS.

  24. I love being able to read your posts especially your Drawn to Comics section (which is at least ninety percent of my comic collection/why I have any idea of what to do in a comic book store), why I watched (and loved!) Blockers, stayed up to date on Hayley Kiyoko happenings, (and even though I’m not leaning into it as hard anymore) looked into how my blackness and spirtuality connect especially through magic!, and knew to have the Steven Universe Vol 1 Soundtrack ready to pull me out of a depressive episode. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MEY and I hope things only get better and brighter and fuller from here, you truly deserve every blessing and I’m gonna miss you so much!!

    I literally was looking at my bookshelf and some of your articles and I was like…..half of my library is because of Mey thaNK YOU!!!

  25. “Say my name, Mey’s my name” is one of my favorite pieces ever written on Autostraddle. Then on top of that I had the pleasure of seeing you read it aloud at A camp in 2016. I was floored. The feeling of love in that room was amazing but your bravery in those moments makes me tear up whenever I think about it. You are a phenomenal woman, Mey, and I can’t wait to see all your amazing work in the future. All the best to you! <3

  26. Hey Mey! Carmen here. I’m a dominican, longtime autostraddle fan. I wanna thank you for so much. One of them is for being my first lesbian trans (adjectives in languages are weird, is that the order?) crush. I wanna think I’ve always been “woke” but you reached to me like I know you don’t know. The crush came from the comics side but stayed for the rest of what you gave us. I hope you’re moving to better things. If you ever come to the DR let me know, I’ll gladly take an idol around.

  27. Oh I’m in tears, going to miss your presence here so much. But I’m grown up to understand life and people are not static, change is natural and healthy.

    Dixie Chicks- Wide Open Spaces

    Some of my favourite articles have been yours (culturally catholic queer witchiness represent), but a favourite by The Team is def In Which We Accused Of Being “Cosmo For Queers” it’s also a favourite community memory because everyone came together and basically said in varying versions “fuck that, who does that woman thing she is, and we need things that are happy,if every moment is about the battle we’ll expire”.

    Every time I see the vapid fluff tag I smile for this place is a life raft of love, tender and silly things that keep us afloat in a raging storm of a world.

    Um a favourite memory that’s maybe a little weird is once or twice giving some lingerie advice that people found helpful. It was a queer sisterhood (even tho I don’t ID as a woman) moment for me. Even tho I’m AFAB I didn’t feel “safe” exploring my feminine side and lingerie until I was in my 20’s and had to learn ALL the things on my own with research and no mother to guide me so given what I learned to another gave me a real big feeling of belonging and worth.
    Because I’ve cried in a dressing room because nothing but the undershirts fit my harder than bras were designed for body and if I helped prevent someone from feeling unfit and unworthy, helped them feel glorious instead well fuck yeah that’s what queer fam is for.

    Less soap box-y and melodramatic:
    Food fights in the comment section of the Comment Awards

    Melodramatic again:
    Silly pictures and supportive stuff on the Holigay Open Thread when my Christmas Eve was literally a funeral and my bio family hurt me. I tried my hardest to be appropriate but that did not help at all.

    That’s all I can wring out at the moment, but yeah this place has been a life raft as my life has become difficult and sometimes I can’t word only read stuff.

    La Virgen está contigo y San Cristóbal proteja tu camino Mey Rude.

  28. Mey!! Thank you for all the time and work you’ve put into making Autostraddle such a safe, inclusive, and supportive space. Thank you for teaching me so much about self love and self care. Thank you for writing about Buffering when it was just starting; it has honestly changed my life (I’d love to hear you on another episode!). It’s been a pleasure reading your work these past years and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. You are incredible. Take care and stay awesome!

  29. I’m forever indebted to you, Mey, for introducing me to Our Lord and Savior, Lesbian Jesus Hayley Kiyoko. You’ll be missed around these parts, but I look forward to seeing what kickass stuff you come up with next wherever it can be found on the interwebz.

  30. Oh Mey you have been such an amazing part of AS!!! I have loved your writing, your open heart surgery of sharing, every photo of you with glasses, with capes, with style off the charts!! Every comic/ graphic novel review that has passionately introduced me to stories we need.

    Thank you thank you thank you…and I hope the next chapter for you is as glorious as you are.

  31. As a trans woman, as a comics nerd, as a budding babywitch, I don’t know how to express my gratitude strongly enough for everything you did on this website. The work you did in trying to accurately report the murders of trans women heartbreaking and invaluable and I am beyond grateful for it. You were my favorite part of autostraddle and I’m as sad to see you go as I am glad that you’re taking whatever next step in your life is right for you. Thank you for everything

  32. I know I’m far from the first to say as much, but you were the reason I came to love Lumberjanes, and indeed, came to know of the (rather too many, but they’ve finally found their rhythm) Steven Universe series as well, and quite a few more. ^_^; Needless to say, I’m very sad to be having to say goodbye. Perhaps you might look into Mastodon as a non-Facebookian/Hellbird option for staying in touch?

    Other than all your comics writing – and FSM knows, I really hope AS won’t let that slide, as with Notes from a Queer Engineer – I’ll especially prize your recounting of your missed quinceañera. True, even if I’d known myself in time, it wasn’t at all known in my neck of the woods, but regardless, the tradition just seems like such a wonderful celebration (assuming you’re not quietly FTM, of course) – as Sessi’s column notes, there’s such a lot we’ve missed, but, can now start to catch up on, as you’ve demonstrated. ^_^

  33. sad to lose you here! i used to visit autostraddle only from time to time, but when i moved to a remote community in northern quebec i started to rely on it for feeling connected to city queer culture. i really came to depend on mey’s reviews for new comics as well. there was no library nearby so i had to buy everything and trust i would like it. when we would go down to montreal a day’s drive away for city things, i would run around drawn and quarterly exclaiming, “ooh, mey said this one was really good” and my partner would nod and then ask, “wait, who’s mey again?” thanks for being that really great book friend my partner could never remember meeting! bags and bags of comics were stockpiled in the north on your recommendation. best of luck on your next endeavour!

  34. Mey, I’m sad that we won’t see your byline on Autostraddle but I can’t wait to see what’s next for you. Whatever it is, know that a whole lot of us will be cheering you on.

    Thank you for all you’ve brought to this space, from keeping us up-to-date on all things Hayley Kiyoko to comics to sharing your culture with us in all it’s different forms (your “Coco” review remains one of my favorite AS posts ever). Also, thank you for doing the hard work of reporting the deaths of trans women…I imagine doing that came with quite an emotional toll for you personally and yet, you persisted…so that those women would be forever memorialized here. We are all better for knowing their stories and knowing their names. Thank you.

  35. So sad to see you go but excited for what you do next. One of my fave things ever on AS was your Princesstårta post. And if it wasn’t the Sue in the comments, please don’t tell me.

    Oh, also a post you did on what to wear for a winter wedding. I low-key hate weddings but I just loved it.

  36. Mey!
    HOW AM I GOING TO FIND ABOUT NEW COMICS NOW?!!! In all seriousness thanks so much for all your comic recommendations from Bitch Planet to Tea Dragon Soicety. I have read around 80% or more of your comic recs! I have rec and gifted them to many others. I wish you the best of luck! You rock!

  37. Mey, I raise my glass of vodka water to you!

    Thank you for being tender and real and hilarious. Everything I know about current pop music I learned from you and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Whatever you do, I know it’ll be great, because you are.

  38. I’m late to the party but I just wanted to say how much I love you and how nice you were about me falling asleep on you without even realizing it or asking permission first! I LOVE that picture of us standing at the podium welcoming campers together. You’re such a huge part of my camp experience and I’m grateful for all you’ve taught me. Can’t wait to see what adventures you’re off to.

  39. I have loved your writing at Autostraddle, Mey. Especially the ‘Drawn to Comics’ column; you’ve introduced me to so many of my favourite books and series! I hope someone else will be continuing the column.

  40. You have always been a trusted source of recommendations for me and for that I can’t thank you enough for how much joy I’ve gotten out of the titles you’ve curated here. As someone who enjoys making art I always looked forward to your reviews and what new inspiration I could pull from the numerous artists you’ve supported (Especially Witchy by Ariel Ries!)- and now I look forward to seeing what you’ll do next! Best of luck Mey!

  41. i am 5 days late but i started crying when i read the title of this open thread

    during the dance at A Camp 2017 i ran out to find a bathroom and found a buncha people on couches and I got very distracted and started telling stories about my roommate, who is a parrot, because of fucking course i did, and i just felt very good, and very happy

    that is my favorite autostraddle memory

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