FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: I’m Not at A-Camp Either, Come Thru

Hello, barking dogs who can’t decide how they feel about each other! Welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread, our weekly bitch sesh about the world. Oh, and source of everlasting joy! Let’s all gather today and for the rest of days honestly and talk to one another openly and honestly about our lives. Sounds fun and not hard at all, amirite?


This week I come to you not from the great midwest, where many of my BFFs and many other adorable queers who haven’t become my BFFs yet because we haven’t met are spending some quality time on a campsite together, but instead from the Best Coast, where I am running away from reality in the bay. It’s cold! Update: LA summer is rough but jacket weather is rougher, especially when you left all your cold weather clothes in New Jersey in an attempt to build a new life for yourself. (Yes, this is my way of verbalizing a need/desire to shop once more til I drop. No, you can’t stop me this time.)

I’m assuming you’re also here in these parts because you’re not at A-Camp, which is fun since I hate feeling alone in the world. So let’s hang! Come gather round the virtual campfire kindled by my deep and unassuming love for you and tell me everything!

I’m here waiting expectantly for updates. I wanna know how things went with that girl, why you didn’t text me back, and what weirdo shit you’ve been through this week. How was school? How was work? How was your friend from college’s Instagram that you lurked last night? How was the food at that museum you finally checked out? Honestly, how’s the weather, I don’t really mind if that’s all you’ve got because all I have in this life are a handful of tweet drafts I’ve already told Keely about but will otherwise take to the grave without posting and some photos of Eli asleep in the backseat.

Come at me. I hope you’re doing well, bruh. TELL ME YOUR LIFE ALREADY.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. I’m from the UK. The weather is discussable. It’s sort of the law that we have to talk about it.

    It’s rained, it’s been sunny, currently it’s sunny with massive black rain clouds, taunting us. It’s the best weather for conversation.

    I came out to the third person (earlier than I intended, but she was great about it).

    I’m going to sleep, read and eat all weekend. This is a massive win.

    • Yay for coming out to the third person! :-) Congratulations! I’m glad she was great about it!

      I wanted to tell you this already last week: Your profile pic is so adorable! Is it a character from a book or something or just a cute, smart and friendly animal/being? :) (If you’d rather not answer this question and keep it mysterious, that’s totally fine, too, of course! :-) )

      • Ha! Thank you! It is indeed! But to tell you what book does sort of reveal my secret identity. Not only am I not a badger, but that badger would possibly inadvertently out me to the wider world, if I outed the badger’s origins. I am so very new here, so this may be a silly question – but is there a way of privately messaging someone? Then I can at least tell you the illustrator.

        And yes, she was lovely. I was building up courage to tell her but then we were messaging and with the subject matter it was getting to the point I would have been directly lying to continue without saying anything about it so I took the plunge and told her. I MAY have used the phrase Plot Twist! and have decided I may use this method again in the distant future.

        • “Plot twist,” excellent.

          To send a PM to someone, click on their username, then click “Private Message.” :-D

        • Oh – I understand! :-) Than it’s definitely the best, to keep its identity a secret! That’s not a silly question at all – I’m relatively new here, too (I’ve read for years before I made an account) and haven’t used the private message function until now…but there is one, and I just wrote you. :) You should see it, if you open your account/profile…?

          That coming out situation sounds really lovely… I’ve been in that situation, too, where you would have to lie actively or come out… it’s always a bit exciting/nervewrecking to me, but it always felt so good, to have one person more, with whom I can be honest and open… I wish you all the best for potential future coming outs!

    • There has been a lot of weather today.

      Congratulations on coming out a third time and so happy for you that you got a great reaction!

      Also that sounds like a perfect weekend!

      • That is the best thing about weather happening here. You don’t even HAVE to describe it. You can just say ‘goodness, the weather today!’ The other person can say ‘bonkers, isn’t it?’ and then you can go back to avoiding eye contact or talking about your feelings.

        The British way.

    • yay! 3rd person! and many mooooooooooooooooore!

      I’ve been watching that show very british problems and they complain about how much brits talk about the weather. it seems charming tho, I like talking about cloud formations.

    • What is with the weather huh? I just want it to pick one thing to be for more than a few hours so I can dress appropriately for it. Silly UK. Yay 3rdy. Have a great weekend.

      • Layers. My adult life has been built around ensuring I have adequate and varied layers. And never having an umbrella when it rains. The latter is not deliberate, and yet seemingly unavoidable.

        You too!

  2. Last night, in the middle of the night, I woke up cold and decided it was time for a warmer/thicker blanket. This morning, I put a sweater on my dog. It’s fall, y’all!!

    In equally exciting news, the job I started less than a month ago, which was a part time job, is now a full-time job. At least, my supervisor offered me a full-time position. I said yes; I just need to fill out the paperwork and become full time. HEALTH INSURANCE!!!!!!!!!!

    I will be venturing to the parental unit for Rosh Hashanah tomorrow with my sister and dog (and her sweater). If the Jewish holidays are a thing you do, l’shanah tovah!!! A sweet new year! xoxo

  3. I’m in the middle of applying to grad school and totally overwhelmed by a combination of an insane amount of work and paralyzed by potential failure, WHICH IS SUPER COOL

    So instead of editing my personal statement or refreshing my email inbox for a reply from my advisor for the 47th time, I’m just hanging out with my cat, Olive, and eating a stale bagel

  4. F*ck it. I give up. Ollie’s glamour shot will not post. Any interested parties may view her on my twitter, @maddyquark.

  5. I have had a wonderful, fantastic week! I got hella gay married on Sunday, and it was gorgeous, and she was beautiful, and our friends and family were so happy and supportive and it was just the best day of my whole damn life.

    In other news, the editor of a Star Wars news/opinion site asked me to write some guest articles, and I’m going to be writing about queer women and our (lack of) representation in the galaxy far, far away (among other things) and he’s super excited about that, and I think maybe I’ve reached peak queer nerd.

    I also got the following messages this morning from someone I don’t know and I’m sorry they’re lonely but also I’m laughing my goddamn ass off. Do I text this person back? Social anxiety says no but dabbing Squidward says yes.

  6. So I just got a relatively sweet job as a line cook at a nice restaurant, but I’ve been intermittently forced to stay with my parents who live over an hour away. Basically I have to wake up at 5am to catch the one bus out of town, then wait around for hours for my shift to start at 9. I don’t mind waiting around in this hipster cafe because it’s cute and I can stay in the bathroom a long time without being disturbed (yay Crohn’s disease! Try being an aspiring chef with an ironic disease and no car).

    I kind of had to break up with my gf the other day. She gets really mean when she feels insecure. It breaks my heart bc I’m really in love with her but I guess she can’t feel it? I don’t get it. I’m not perfect by any means, I know, but for example she kept saying she doesn’t understand why I love her so I painted a mason jar and put 53 (I counted) reasons why I loved her and even color-coded the sexy/cute ones and the more serious ones, and she doesn’t even look at it. She says we never go out so I suggest all these different affordabe activities, many of them in safe queer spaces (she’s trans and I’m cis) and she never wants to go.But somehow this is my fault and I’m holding her back. I’m so lonely. To make matters worse, I need a ride to get my first Remicade infusion, which is kind of like chemo, but everyone is “too busy.” They feel bad but they’re still too busy. Always. I know I’m no saint but I try really hard for the people I love and always go way out of my way even though I’m poorer than most of the people I know.

    And while we’re on the subject of fuckery, if I have to deal with one more homophobic microaggression from my family, like when they do the “gay” voice or only invite my straight siblings’ significant others to dinner (despite my relationship being years longer), I am going to pop!

    Thanks for being my outlet wonderful people <3. I have to go to work now. I hope my fucked up life is at least entertaining. In happy queer news, I finally bought my own electric razor to spruce up my undercut and it looks good! Love and strength to you all!

    • Ok you should know that putting 53 love-reasons in a jar is a truly special and wonderful thing you did. It can be really really hard with a partner who seems to be dealing with something and doesn’t know how to communicate what she needs to the people who care most about her. And when it comes down to it, you can’t make someone talk to you — and it seems like you have tried your very best to be loving and supportive. So I hope you know that you are doing things as well as you can right now, even though it feels tough. Keep looking for your spaces and your people! And so so so many congrats on the job. I love food, and find it such a beautiful thing when other people feed people for a living.

      Also your undercut looks AWESOME today.

      • I agree with Maree. Sadly, you can’t heal someone’s insecurity no matter how thoughtful and supportive of a partner you try be – as I also found out the hard way. Wishing you both better times ahead.

    • The 53 love reasons thing is so special and thoughtful and must have taken you so much time and I APPRECIATE IT EVEN THOUGH THE REASONS ARE NOT FOR ME. That’s also totally something I would do but have never had anyone do for me, so welcome to this exclusive club. PS the undercut is on point.

    • E-hugs for you (if you’re an e-hug person of course, otherwise non-touching sympathy). That sounds like a really tough situation, but I think you made the right choice – you sound like a super sweet person and she sounds like she unfortunately has some issues she needs to sort out without you. Congrats on the job and the undercut though! :)

      • It posted before I could finish. I feel you on not being disturbed in the bathroom, specially at work. Worse is when someone wants to start a convo while you just want to read.

    • Sorry about your breakup. Being lonely together with a partner who won’t let you be enough for them sucks. BUT you’re going to make new friends and go out and do things and start feeling so much better (and also with the Crohn’s meds!). Hooray for buying your own haircutting stuff! I’m thinking of doing the same but not sure if I can manage it.

    • You all don’t even know how much your kind words made my day .<

      Cyber hugs/ friendly thoughts to you too :)))

    • Most of my comment got cut off for some reason but basically I said that appreciate the support and also I found a good house and am going to get a cat!!!

  7. I started college a month ago and haven’t been homesick really at all–except the day before yesterday, when I was in the elliptical listening to a girl power Spotify playlist and crying about how much I miss my cat.

    The best part is that I didn’t even realize how queer that is until a friend (who, like me, is bi) pointed it out.

    • Not sure if that beats my other Queerest Moment Ever, which was driving down the mountain after A-Camp 7, wearing a feminism tshirt, listening to Tegan and Sara, and crying about how much I love camp.

    • Yep, I feel you. When I first moved to another province at 17, I remember calling my mom from a payphone in a snowstorm because I missed my cat. There was so much unintelligible sobbing…like in Anchorman when Ron is in the phone booth crying about his dog. LOLOLOL

  8. I lost my voice at the National Book Festival last weekend, which is probably the most metal thing ever said about the National Book Festival. Nerds are hard-core!

    I signed up for a volunteer shift thinking it would be fun to run book tables or lines or something for a few hours. Instead I got the inglorious task of shepherding people through the security lines for 8 hours. It was actually pretty fun, but I totally forgot to use my stage manager voice and speak from the diaphragm for the first few hours and my throat got destroyed.

    I did get to see Diane Rehm and Noelle Stevenson after my shifts were over! Both of them were great, but the interviewers were not. Especially the Noelle Stevenson interviewer seemed really full of himself and didn’t push on the issues I wanted to hear more about. They also only talked about Nimona, not Lumberjanes at all. This might be sacrilege, but I don’t love Nimona! I LOVE Lumberjanes.

    In other news, I finally got my living space back in order (yay!) and I’m reading a really good history of the Great Migration, The Warmth of Other Suns. I kind of romanticize the South cause I loved growing up in Chapel Hill, but I should not do that. We sucked and in areas continue to suck.

    • Awesome! I can’t believe the interviewer didnt mention Lumberjanes. Crazy! Some day I’m going to build a whole vacation around attending the National Book Festival ?

      • They didnt talk about the Lumberjanes books, they did briefly talk about the film adaptations. Apparently Stevenson has some input on Nimona, but none on Lumberjanes. I want to know if they’re going to straightwash it! But I couldn’t ask cause the question lone was all little kids and I wanted them to get their chance.

  9. I am sorry you are in the Bay Area for Northern California’s first cold weekend in . . . I don’t even know how long. I am no good at cold weather. I lived in England for 8 years and I don’t know how I survived it.

    My best friend from high school (currently in the Air Force and stationed in Germany) made a surprise trip home to tell everyone she is pregnant. I am so excited! I hadn’t seen her in about 7 years, but as it always is with best friends, it was like no time had passed.

    I finished season 9 of Grey’s Anatomy. That feels like a HUGE accomplishment. 3 seasons to go.

    And, lastly, when I came into work this morning there was a big sign on the back door: “USE OTHER DOOR, RATTLESNAKE IN THE BUILDING!” This is not the first time, and it will not be the last time. Gotta love living in the California foothills.

    • Lol, I was going to say, Carmen, I’m so glad you got to be in the Bay Area for some cold weather!

      But then, I’m just tired of the hot. Always and forever. It is never cold enough for me.

      Happy Friday! Don’t step on any rattlesnakes!

      • Over the winter I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake that was sleeping in the same doorway. The babies somehow squeeze under the door and curl up in a tiny little venomous ball to sleep. If you’re not looking you would never notice them.

        I don’t do cold at all. The air conditioning is on in the office now and I’m in my hoodie contemplating turning on my heater. I’m a little icicle!

        Happy Friday to you too!

    • Woah! Snakes are great. Just last week we caught a python in our yard. Had it relocated, it was a beauty. Btw i just watched ‘The Conjuring 2 ‘ with my sister at like 2 a.m.
      I know its kinda old now but ive been waiting for her to get free. It was great . Wasn’t as scary as the first one. Though wont be going to the kitchen after midnight for a few days. ;)

      • A python??? OH lord no. Baby rattlesnakes are pretty cute, but I don’t want to see anything bigger than that! Especially not somewhere I could step on one. No thank you.

        I didn’t think the first Conjuring was all that scary, especially with the cheesy ending. I haven’t seen the second one yet. Actually, I haven’t seen any scary movies lately. Partly because I am in a Grey’s Anatomy black hole, and partly because living alone and watching a scary movie at night is not the brightest idea.

        Did you watch episode 3 of AHS yet? There were a couple more creepy kids for you ;)

        • Oh yeah, i just watched AHS. I wanted more from those crazy wild children screaming Croatan.I cant stand Grey’s Anatomy, dont hate me! I hate Meredith and whats his face, who is now dead i think, is he?
          But don’t you think you should try it once. Watch a horror movie all alone, at night. I tried it once, i slept at dawn.

          • We probably haven’t seen the last of those creepy feral children, so there is time for more creepy! Now that it’s Halloween time, I will get back to watching scary movies, but probably not right before bed :P There is a reality show over here called Ghost Adventures, and usually it’s silly, but sometimes the ghost voices creep me out and I have to stay up for a little while before I turn out the light. At least my house is new (well, sort of new), so I don’t think it’s haunted! My parents house is totally haunted, it was built in 1880. A neighbor’s house is haunted, too. They even had some ghost hunter type people come in to investigate. Actually the whole town is pretty haunted…

            Haha, I don’t hate you! I don’t actually like Meredith or Derek either, they are my least favorite characters on the whole show. It’s just really easy to watch, and completely addicting after a while.

        • That is so cool! You have a haunted house! And a haunted neighborhood! Ive never been to a haunted place you know.W hat happens? Do they move stuff? Or do you hear moving furniture sounds, i don’t really know what happens in haunted places.I would totally try to be on ghost adventures if i was there :p
          do you turn on the notification by email. I always forget.

          • Luckily my parent’s house isn’t scary haunted, just some weird sensations and my mom saw something in a doorway once. The neighbors, though, have a very active ghost. He’ll move stuff and has turned the oven off. Also you’ll smell cigar smoke occasionally. Again, though, it’s not scary, you just know you’re not alone!

            I never click the email notify button because it would go straight to my junk mail and I wouldn’t see it for days. Even if it didn’t go to junk my phone doesn’t always tell me I have a new email, so chances are I wouldn’t see it until I got home from work. I just have to remember to check the posts I commented on. Luckily I haven’t posted much, so it isn’t difficult ;)

  10. Carmen, you have a more-than-perfect excuse to go jacket shopping. Take it. Take the excuse.

    I can’t say I know how the weather is currently because I haven’t gone outside yet today (yay Home Office Friday) also because all of my windows look directly at a wall. But, I am wearing wool socks, so.

    This week I discovered that when I hang wet sheets on a certain door in my apartment they dry with this sad smudgy mark on them that looks like I spilled coffee in my bed (this is definitely something I do) but this time I did not! Think I can get it out with stain remover? All advice welcome.

    • Bicarb Soda (Natron auf Deutsch – you’re based in Berlin, right?) is a miracle worker for stains… have started putting a scoop it in almost all my light loads because it just makes the whites seem so much whiter!
      I haven’t found the same big boxes of it in Germany as I could buy in Australia, but I find it in sachets in the baking section of Rewe and Penny here in Frankfurt.
      Fun trivia, you can also use it to give your teeth a really thorough clean… although its not very tasty! ;)

      • Yeah, definitely recommend Bicarb Soda, but that doesn’t work maybe try a product like OxiClean or pre-treat with some hydrogen peroxide.

    • The other thing I’ve been really impressed by is White Wizard. Don’t know if you can get it in Germany but it’s available on Fishpond. It’s a USA special so perhaps you know it already. Totally new to me in Australia, but well worth the international order. It’s saved my carpet, my best silk shirt and heaps of other stuff.

  11. Hello everyone!
    Thank you so much, Carmen, for your kind, welcoming words! :-) This week was a pretty good one for me. I was still a bit sick and to weak to go to work. But I was finally able to unpack a few boxes after moving (2 weeks ago). I unpacked some books and Dvds, which is nice, because I still have only limited Internet Access (for two more weeks). Yesterday I assembled my bed together with one of my best friends – I am sooo happy to not sleep on a matrace on the floor anymore. :-)

    Apart from that I have continued my Gender exploration… :-) I picked a “male” name I like very much and asked my two best friends to use it (+”male” pronouns) for the next couple of weeks… just to test out, how it feels. So far it feels pretty good. I am so grateful to have such awesome friends, who were -without any hesitation – willing to switch name and pronouns… :-) Also I experimented with a tiny mascara-based moustache, which was surprising fun and not as weird as I would have guessed.

    And I decided today on a Halloween costume and am so much looking forward to making it: a Unicorn out of a white hoodie with all the colours I want in its mane! :-) I found some fun DIY-Instructions for this online… At a point in m life, where I don’t know which Gender I am/feel the closest to (genderneutral? Demiboy? NB?) it is incredibly comforting and gives me so much hope (and a big smile) to know one thing for sure: I want to be a Unicorn! :-) Also: I would love love love to go to A-Camp! :) So if there’s ever a discussion, if an A-Camp in Europe would be a good idea…. I would be soo happy to go! (Just putting it out there into the universe…. ;-) )

    I love you all very much and wish you a happy weekend!

  12. I’m loving the cooler weather that has hit northern Europe soooooo much more than someone who grew up in a warm climate probably should! The park smells like Autumn… I can layer my clothes… make goulash and soup again… drink red wine and eat dark chocolate snuggled in front of the TV…. ahhhhhh winter!!!
    When I came home a short while ago I even got inspired to put my favourite Christmas CD on – am currently dreaming of big coats and glühwein and skiing and getting super excited that my parents and siblings from Australia are coming over for a big Family Christmas with our German side of the family this year!!

  13. I mean, I am going to harvest rice this weekend, so that is going to be an Interesting Experience!
    (I also can’t get the articles about queer farmers taking over out of my head when I imagine it haha)

    And on Monday I’m kinda being assessed at work, but I’m mainly excited because one of the lessons involves me drawing a cat playing baseball, so how could that go wrong?!

  14. I finally got my activation email to send, so now I can post rather than just lurk!

    The British weather cooling down has made me happy, Autumn is the greatest and I can finally bring back all the flannel, sweaters, and scarves to my wardrobe. Also, I went back to work on Monday after a four day weekend to find I’d got a pay rise, so I’m going to treat myself to some Halloween goodies this weekend to celebrate.

    Some of my friends have had a tough week, and I’m kinda sad I can’t bundle them all in a giant blanket of love and safety until they feel better. I’ve been settling for sending them pics of their favourite people, cute animals, and multiple emojis. I mean a pitbull in a rain mac, always helps, right?!

    • WELCOME ALI! Congrats on the pay raise and YES I love Autumn and look forward to when we actually get to see it here in Cali!

    • Welcome! You sound like such an awesome friend! :) Congrats on your pay rise… Enjoy all your Halloween goodies and continue to be such a good friend – your plans to make them happy are really solid, I’d say! :)

  15. Love these comments and love the opportunity to feel part of all your lives!

    My counsellor is back from a 5 week holiday and having seen her again I’m feeling so. Much. Better.

    Running girl scout pantomime rehearsals tonight, then my sister’s birthday party tomorrow and I’ve got a first date on Monday – we’re gonna go life drawing!:D

  16. Friends, today I mailed out the paper work to update my birth certificate to match my name and gender identity. It should be the final legal document I need to update. I hope to hear back soon, and then celebrate!

  17. Hi friends I need advice on how to break up with my therapist without feeling like I jerk.

    I just don’t think they’re the right person for me, but it’s been a couple of years, and I realize it’s a business relationship but I am just terrible at this kind of thing. EVEN JUST IN THERAPIST-PATIENT RELATIONSHIPS I TEND TO GHOST A BIT BECAUSE I SUCK AT CLEAR COMMUNICATION.

    Can someone here please yell at me and tell me to woman up and do this? And what the right, kind and appropriate words are?

    Note: I haven’t thought they were the right therapist for me for some time, and still saw them for a year and a half more because I am a ridiculous human being.

    • I’m also terrible at this kind of thing so I immediately thought of a way to sidestep it, which may not be what you’re looking for, but it’s an option! Do you absolutely need/feel the need to tell them that you don’t think they’re the right person for you? Or can you explain having to stop seeing them in another way, like by saying you’re moving out of town or something?

      • Hehehe wow, that would be some grade-a ghosting!

        Naah, we have a small queer community here, I’ll continue to see them at every event.

    • Talk to your therapist about it.
      They’re there to examine your patterns and help you untangle them, so maybe avoid a lot of “you” sentences and instead use the hardy and trusted “I feel” phrases and if they’re a good therapist they ought to help you voice your concern and even help you find a new one.
      It could be something like,”I knew it’s hard to find a right match in a therapist, and I never had the courage to tell you this, because this is actually one of my issues, but I feel, that we were never the kind of match I imagined to work on some of my issues with. I do hope that this does not betray the trust we’ve built over the years, because I am rather grateful for the way you have helped me through such a lot/walked with me through life these past few years..”
      That said, I totally ghosted my therapist, cause my insurance fell through one day to the other and I was too ashamed to say anything and was in too much of a rough spot to just call
      Everyone probably thought I’d killed myself, until I coincidentally ended up teaching a cpr/emergency management course at my old clinical psychiatrist’s (her co-worker) new office a couple of years later.
      He was the man who I toed that very thin suicidal line with while in the hospital.
      And he was also the man I ended up teaching how to literally save lives.
      It was very emotional, but neither one of us was able to say anything since there were about 20 people and what I’m trying to say is, don’t ghost your therapist.

      • Yeah. Wow @ that story! I definitely don’t want to ghost them.

        I wouldn’t dream of telling them, like, ways in which they don’t measure up. The truth is I’ve just never trusted them enough to let them help me untangle my patterns, which they know. But since I haven’t been able to cross that bridge, and they don’t bill insurance (although they are seeing me at a very reasonable rate), I just feel like I am spinning my wheels and wasting money. I’ve never been honest enough or vulnerable enough to let them help me, which they also know. :-) Lol.

        I mean, I am okay. But I have never been able to relax or trust in therapy, and I’ve never found a therapist I didn’t just stay with for a period of time out of guilt around dropping them.

        • Hey Queer Girl! Woman up and do this thing!!! I agree with Amidola on talking it over. I think that does a few things. First, just the simple act of talking it over is an act of trust and ultimately reaching that point could be the catalyst for some really beneficial therapy in the future (opening up your next therapeutic relationship with, “Hey, I have issues breaking up with therapists” and examining that! Second, they may be able to help you find someone that fits better that is also able to give you a similar rate.

          Side note, love your comments on this site! I think you’re very brave – definitely brave enough for this conversation!

          • Aw, thanks Lauren! I am internet brave. Maybe I need internet therapy ;-)

            But you are right – the best session I ever had with this person was the day I was finally able to tell them, “I’m really uncomfortable with x y and z!” Which I hadn’t done before because it felt so rude, but then when they asked “why?” I was like “well it reminds me of my dad,” and we all know how THOSE conversations go. :-D (I mean, well, it went well.)

          • I hear you! Real life brave is very different XD Have you ever read any Brene Brown (or heard her Ted Talk)? I love what she says about vulnerability and bravery! If you haven’t… I highly recommend it!

        • This whole thing sounds like my dating history.
          Are you sure you’re only talking about patterns you’re employing with therapists?:-D

    • Maybe something like – you feel that they really helped you in X way and you’re thankful for that, but you’ve reached a plateau with them and would like to try a new therapist with a different perspective/approach? If they’re a decent and professional therapist at all they should fully agree that it’s more helpful to talk to more than one person.

    • I am going against all the comments here ;) I saw a T for FIVE YEARS, and really, never felt very comfortable with her. I spent the first year trying not to puke before each session…and pretty much was ALWAYS nervous before each session. For five years. I thought this was normal, because I am anxiety prone, and dislike feelings.

      I eventually decided that I just couldn’t handle the run around we were doing. I wasn’t speaking of a lot of things (of which she knew), but couldn’t get myself to talk about it. Even though she was always professional, and even kind (gave me a hug after FORTY FIVE MINUTES it took me to tell her my poppa (grandfather) died), I was always scared that she judged me and was mad at me.

      BLAH BLAH BLAH. I am a coward. I e-mailed her that I thought that I was done, and did not want to come in for any more sessions. To be fair, we had spaced them out to once a month. She responded that it would be nice if I could come in for one more “closure” session, but I knew I wouldn’t be honest.

      So for me….I used email to end our 5 year relationship. I felt guilty about it for a long time, until I met my current T who is so different, and I knew on day one that we’d get along better. I know that if something happens that I really feel like I have to quit (and we’ve talked about my ambvialence many times), that I would at least try and talk it out with her first.

      Sooo….all that being said, it depends on how you feel about your therapist. If you’eve never really felt that comfortable with him/her…eh. The therapist might feel different, maybe mine did…but besides that one e-mail, she left me alone. If you think you have a deeper connection, I would encourage you to try and bring it up.

      I am terrible with actual speaking face to face about hard things. I’ve written things down on post-it notes for my (current) therapist, and even THAT has been hard. BUT, i’ve done it…and we’ve been able to talk about it. IF you can write an e-mail or write something for her to read, maybe that will help? I know I write much better than I can speak. (Much more openly, really)

  18. Is it weird that I write out what I am going to post for Friday Open-Thread in a separate word doc as a draft before committing to posting?

    It’s finally fall, babies! It has been cool and rainy for not quite a week now here in the ORV (Ohio River Valley) and early this morning I awoke realizing I need more than just a quilt on my bed because it was COLD. It is finally time to start hiking again and being outdoors. I need to build a compost pile that I’ve been putting off for a long time because it has been too hot. I can no longer use the weather as an excuse to not leave the house. Let’s wear sweaters and drink cider and eat chili and leave our homes! (I’ve done three of the four things this week!)

    Last weekend I went to a huge book sale and purchased four books and then this week I went to a bargain shop and purchased another book. I’ve been really caught up in reading sort of self-help titles that my therapist has recommended that I feel like I’m getting behind on my regular reading. I decided to take a break from nonfic and started reading In a Dark, Dark Wood and it is just the book I wanted to read; creepy, fall-ish, mysterious, all of those things.

    This weekend I’m going to an Oktoberfest of sorts and then I have a family reunion in the country. My family reunions are always awkward because no one drinks (Southern Baptist, y’all) and I’m the only person in my family that is of child-bearing age that has bore no children, thus I have nothing in common with them. At least the food is good and I have an aunt who likes to gossip.

    Lastly, I finally made the leap and became an A+ member and I’m really pumped about it. I’ve been wanting to for a little while and I finally decided now was the time. This is such a special community and although I’ve only been reading for a short time, it has become so important to me and my journey of coming out.

    Much love to you all! Have a lovely weekend!

    • that’s so not weird i draft everything i am so glad you draft your comment i deeply respect your process and you’re great

    • I do the Word doc draft thing also. Welcome to A+ and happy composting*!

      *My autocorrect first changed that to “composing” which also totally fits with your post. So happy composing too!

  19. I got to see Our Lady and Savior Michelle Obama speak at Pitt on Wednesday. I got to breathe the same air as her! I will never be over it. A girl literally fainted, probably just from being in the presence of the FLOTUS.

    Afterwards both my phone and my friend’s phone died so we ended up walking from Schenley Heights to North Oakland to CMU before catching a bus back to campus, BUT. It was so worth it to see Michelle and just bask in her presence. (Also, she totally destroyed Trump without even deigning to say his name. It. Was. Awesome.)

  20. On one hand I’m super excited about all the new responsibilities I’ve been given at my grad school field placement (i’m mastering in social work), but I’ve also been really overwhelmed over stress, mental health, job, and family drama stuff. Which means I have lots of dirty dishes, my cats are crabby, and I keep spending my only day off sleeping and watching Murder She Wrote.

    How do I turn things around and clean my goddamn bathroom and stop cancelling plans with friends?

    • Katie, did you read this?

      ^ Rachel posted that article in the last “Helping You Help Yourself”! I absolutely loved it and think it is definitely relevant in your situation. Hahaha cleaning your bathroom and hanging with friends may be exactly the self help you need right now, even if it doesn’t feel like it :D

      Also, I have a question for you! How are you liking your MSW so far? I have been in this year long limbo of “Do I?” or “Don’t I?” of going back to school to potentially get my MSW and LCSW. But it feels like such an intimidating leap from where I am currently!

      • As someone who is currently working as a social worker and who recently graduated a few years ago, I will say avoid getting an MSW at all costs! I wish someone had told me this. I have worked in the social work field for many years before getting my MSW. It does depend which part of the field you work in, but in many of them the vicarious trauma and the overwhelming amount of stress make it way too much to live a regular life. Also of course I was not expecting to make a lot of money but It is impossible to make even a living wage in so many MSW positions. Just don’t do it!

  21. I just this week found Annameekee Hesik’s second You Know Who Girls novel, which is fun as heck, but it also makes me sit down and try to work out how this social situation would go if they made better choices(or basically, if these poor crazy kids were dumb college students instead of dumb high school ones)

  22. For me, a translesbian, who for several reasons, cannot be in a girl to girl loving relationship, I find a wonderful emotional connection here, to all of you as you talk about your lives. Thank you all so much!

  23. As usual my first week of classes was hectic/too much/exhausting. I’m probably going to be very busy this term, more than usual, and ironically I’m taking the least amount of credits I’ve ever done. Also starting to figure out my grad school application now too. YIKES! I would say I’m glad it’s the weekend but I have so much work to get done that it’s hardly a relief.
    Also have you ever tried to do simple math to help someone out, and you just mess it up, so you try to correct it and you just keep trying but they’ve moved on and you are just completely embarrassed? Yeah I was trying way too hard to get one of my professors to like me…..
    I think I need to sleep for a solid day.

  24. My ex gf from 5 years ago found my.current gf on fb and it makes me so uncomfortable. I am not on fb and there is no way she could know that me and my gf are together because we dont move in any of the same social circles….im probably completelt overracting but i am so uncomfortable. My ex was a shitty person and the thought of her back in my life sends waves of anxiety through me. Sorry for the rant….it helps to write it out sometimes.

    • Are your current GF’s FB posts set to friends only? If she hasn’t friended her (and why would your current GF friend her), she should only be able to see her profile pic and a couple other things…

  25. I have this dress I bought more than 2 years ago and have not had a fancy event in cold weather to wear it to since. Next week I finally have an occasion, but in the interim I’ve stopped wearing dresses and I’m going to wear it anyway because it is nice after all and this situation seems absurd. It’ll be okay.

    That girl and I have been hanging out and it’s cool and low-key which is what I need and maybe we’re going to make out one of these days.

    My jerk cat has escaped at least three times this week and I can’t hold him accountable because he’s adorable, but trying to leave the house with my bike is getting real frustrating. And it is very nice biking weather!

    I’m looking for a new apartment for November and have only come across a couple barely-viable options and I’m really worried I’m going to have to move into a temporary place and move like three more times, but I’m trying not to think about it too much and believe my friends who are inexplicably confident it’s going to work out super well.

  26. My life feels pretty split right now, because one one hand I am super excited about Fall/Halloween, but also my landlord has fallen behind on house repairs and there is DRAMA. But I am planning to go as genderless plague doctor for Halloween, so there’s that.

  27. As my stand-alone day off, of course I spent the morning of this sunny fall day sleeping in til 10. The sad part about that is there was probably fog and I missed out :/ The rest of the day I’ll read, wander around, internet, and finish catching up on WNBA post-season games I missed cuz job/commute. Good times!

  28. I am on day 9 of my new life in Hungary which has been an interesting experience!

    the good: I am basically living for free in exchange for a very small amount of easy manual labour; September is 200% sunnier here than in England; I have met some cool people from all over the world

    the bad: I am supposed to be here to learn hungarian but I’m scared to tell anyone I have a girlfriend cos homophobia, and I’m out of practice at being closeted so my alternative motive story of why I’m here was a bit off and now I can’t tell anyone I’m learning hungarian… so I am learning it on my own with books and my computer instead of talking to people which is possibly the Stupidest Thing Ever

    but I am moving somewhere new on Sunday so I can start over with some better truth/lies I hope!

    • Jealous of Hungarian September!
      Maybe you can take Hungarian classes at CEU? I’m not sure if non-degree students can or not, but it’s a slightly more queer-friendly environment, and at least some of your classmates will be gender studies students, who will all be queer

      • Oooh thanks! The language course wouldn’t quite fit into my schedule but it’s great to know where the international queers are at

  29. It’s been a big day – finally changing my ‘long-time lurker’ status to ‘actual poster’ and came out to someone for the first time in 10+ years and got the best, most supportive reaction (work colleague so extra scary)! BIG thank you to AS and it’s community for giving me the confidence to do this even though you didn’t know it. It feels amazing to be honest about who I am.

    On a more frivolous note – another Brit here thoroughly welcoming the onset of Autumn and the cooling weather. So excited for jumpers, stews, tramping through piles of leaves and an excuse to curl up an knit some new hats……….and scarves……..and gloves!

    *this message was typed approximately 20 times before being posted*


      Man I wish the weather were cool enough for sweaters and stews here! At least I can wear pants to work without basically sweating through them now.

      • Thank you.

        I don’t know how anyone copes with that level of heat! Does it ever cool down? Definitely an Autumn/Winter girl.

    • Ellie – so happy for you!!! I’ve recently started a new job and I definitely understand the fear behind sharing that news with a colleague :) And after 10+ years? That is so very brave. I feel like being honest about who you are is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

      Go you!!!

      • Thank you and congratulations on the new job, I hope it’s going well! I’m lucky to work in a small, close knit team but it was a leap of faith none the less.

        Honesty all the way!

  30. I’ve been back at work for the past few days and been SO jetlagged, that all I’ve wished for has been for it to be Friday evening, and for me to be sitting on my Couch and watch Netflix.
    And now, here I am.
    Bundled up in a blanket with a hot cup of tea, switching in between “How to get Away with Murder”(I only started that yesterday), Carmilla, and maybe Luke Cage, later, and with a bag of Candy Corn M&Ms which are just the right kind of disgusting for this particular time of the month.
    I’ll go and make myself another cup and switch to the vampiric shenanigans and wish you all a very pleasant and relaxed evening!

  31. I had planned to go to A-camp, but it fell through for me, so now I just have two days of vacation time…

    But I’m also in the early stages of a sweet new relationship, so it’s been really nice to have a couple of extra days to fully indulge in that instead of having to think about work. I’m nervous about going back on Monday but trying to just enjoy myself until then! @_@

    • That’s cute! New relationship feelings are just so much! I’m glad you’ve got a bit of extra time to just feel them.

    • Yay for your new relationship! It just makes me so happy when people find other people and pair up, gives me hope :D

  32. Well it’s good to know I’m not the only queer in SoCal not at A-Camp or camping in Riverside. I am doing well, but desire to get the best deal/cleanest used product had me scouring ebay, amazon, other places all week for a replacement phone. I think I found the right seller? I dunno I need to be just say f it and buy it.

    My weeks alright, but I got banned from using a particular queer dating app(not OKC) for not being trans passing enough? Like agender and gednerqueer are an option, but I think what the mean is for afab people and that trans queers like I, need to be femme/female/andro passing before using the app. I made it clear I am trans woman aligned and mostly looking for more queer friends. I am in that weird grey area on dating and friends meeting apps. I say this, because other apps incorrectly put me with the wrong gender(and they ignore my help to correct it). It leads to awkward convos like, the straight lady looking for masculine energy to compliment her feminine energy. That feminine energy goes well with masculine energy, which I pretty much gather as she thinks in a queer relation one person is assumes the masculine role and the other the feminine roll. She also said the masculine person asks for the ladies number, which I replied I’m neither. Long story short I have a meet up with this woman tomorrow night. On the plus side she said she will try use my pronouns(they/them/their). Any tips on dating a straight woman while queer trans woman aligned? She also happens to be legally deaf, but can talk, so I am nervous not to say something ablest.

    Last Sunday it was 100+ in the valley when I picked up my cousin for a hike in Malibu Creek, where it was 85. I didn’t take that many pics as we took the long to the pond. Two hands were pretty much needs, to climb up and down from rocks.
    Dry, hot, but beautiful.

    Made in the shade

    Start of the stream trail, where along the way people were rock climbing.

    Had so much forgot to take pics of the crowded pond.

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

    • Honestly Al, I wouldn’t be going on the date. :(

      She already doesn’t sound like someone I’d invest my time in as a friend, let alone opening myself up for more.

      I know people suck and everyone trans should be able to go out the door every day no matter what stage they are or aren’t in transition, be loved and welcomed, and feel positive about themselves. I wish that was reality, but just because it isn’t you don’t need to go on a date with someone who will “try” to use the correct pronouns and wants to assign you masculinity… and who identifies as straight!

      I wish we lived closer so I could go out for coffee with you. :P

      Just, please don’t settle, sweetie. *hugs*

      • I’ll be honest, her identifying as straight is what I find weirdest about this. I mean I know levels aren’t for everyone, and like change is hard but not even identifying as questioning or straight with exceptions? It just feels like a big red flag.

        • I know, but when I’m getting banned from dating apps, for not being the right kind of trans(I’ve read it happed to a few other trans women before) and the only way to fix it would be to email them a copy of my drivers license, which I feel very iffy about. So, I am either stuck with OKC, which is it’s own mess, and the people who want to date trans are either fetishist dudes(and not for me), or women who want someone afab(had a person ask me this). And I’ve had weird luck with tumblr, where I made a great friend on there, but that’s it.

      • Thank you for that. I needed to hear something like this. Yeah, I am too queer for her. There is a cute Jewish lady I know, but I rather have her as a friend than ruin things with her.

  33. I have a new pet peeve:
    When I say “My wife…”, and the other person says “Your partner…”.

    I know, very first world problem.

    May your weekends be full of love and licorice, lusciousness and light!*

    *licorice optional.

    • I have this friend who, similarly, even after I refer to my various partners’ pronouns, always calls them “they.”

      I’ll be like “I’ve been dating Jane for three months, she’s great!”

      And this friend will say “oh nice! What do they do?”

    • oh how awkward!

      I think it’s interesting how licorice/fennel smell so similar, and I don’t love the smell, but it’s interesting….

  34. Y’all! I need to vent about something/seek guidance!

    I get so frustrated by the lack of Drag Kings in my city. There are all of 3 gay bars where I live (which I am sure is good compared to some cities), but I get down about the fact that there is a drag show every night and it is so rare for a king to be featured. Don’t get me wrong… I love the queens, but sometimes I just want to see a king!!

    What can be done about this? I love my supportive gay male friends, but I wish I had a stronger connection to the lesbian community. I’ve been dating my wonderful girlfriend for over a year and I really wish we had a group of lesbian couples to hang out with. Sometimes I feel like I’m on an island here.


      • Where!?! Once I put a call out there for Straddlers in Mobile, AL and I don’t event think they exist. They are like the rare and illusive unicorn!

        • Aw man. I thought maybe in a town with three gay bars there would be something!

          We have 1/2 a queer bar. It’s queer half the time ;-)

          • Hahaha a fair enough assumption! Honestly, there has to be some kind of networking/meet up here! I need to do a little more digging.

            I know it really is impressive that we have 3. Though most of the time the clientele seems to be gay men and straight people that want to see a drag show (don’t get me wrong I’m all for allies, but it did make talking to a girl at the bar more intimidating when I was first coming out)!

    • …my initiall thought on the drag king dilemma was: Become one! ;) But if you want to see a drag king on stage (and not have a mirror included…) thats not a solution I guess… :) But maybe nevertheless an intersting option…?

      (On a similiar note/a rant on the topic at hand: Where I live, there´s gonna be a drag king workshop soon – exactly on the day, I am way out of town because of my mothers 60th birthday. I´m so sad, because I would have been so very curious, what it would feel like to be a drag king for a couple of hours… (I´m very much questioning if I´m trans (ftm or non-binary) at the moment – so that would have been an awesome opportunity to play around with masculity and see how it feels in that context…)

      • I’ve thought about it. There is an amateur night at the gay bar here and I have a loose promise to do drag if my good friend Zach does it as well! BUT… I have no training and feel like I will be ridiculous… mostly because I very much identify as femme, but there is something I find really fascinating about drag. “We’re born naked and the rest is drag,” right? Haha

        Anyways on your rant – bummer you’re going to miss it! And I wish you all the best in your questioning!!

        • Thank you for your kind wishes! :) It helps a lot to feel your support. :)

          I totally get your hesitation to do it. Just because its a very couragious thing to do, especially without any (show business related ;) ) training. I´d have to gather all my courage to try it, but I´m fascinated by it, too. I´d also say I´m at least androgynous, if not a bit leaning towards feminine. On the other hand I think your “real life identity” does not need to be a certain way to be able to be a drag king. :) And… there are so many different ways of being a man, I think its awesome if this diversity is represented among drag kings, too. :) For example there are so many cute and strong femme/effeminate boys/men out there… ;) (In case I end up identifying as a boy/demi-boy, I´d definitely not be the most (sterotypically) “masculine” one.)

          A couple of days ago I read about the journey of a drag king, which I found really interesting. I add the link in case you´d like to read it, too:

          Have a nice sunday! :)

  35. Is it ok if I just wander in here and vent? God, I hope so.

    I woke up this morning to a text from a close disabled friend, who had to be taken to the hopsital because their mother was hurting them (hospital staff even had to have her removed from the ER becuase being in public was not enough of a deterrant to stop her from hitting her own child. One of my partners is depressed and confused about their gender, other friends are having mental health problems I can’t assist with from far away.

    As a through-and-through femme I’m so accustomed to doing the emotional labor to keep everyone happy, harmonious and loved… but the realization that I can’t magically heal everyone’s wounds is crushing. I just want to become a magic fairy who can make all the pain go away for every tenderqueer on Earth.

    The one bright side is I had to borrow some clothes today from a guy to rush to see my friend in the hospital (laundry day has come and gone), and ended up looking very soft-butch in an attractive way I’m not accustomed to? I looked in the mirror and realized, I look exactly like the kind of person who would give me weak knees in a bar, so I’m a bit proud.

    • All the feels. I totally understand. *hugs* You vent away!

      You may not be able to magically make it all better, but I have to believe everyone recognizes your love and efforts (even if not right away) and deeply appreciates you. They’re all very fortunate to have someone like you!

  36. Today its rainy outside in NYC and Im home sick and working from home! It is not very fun and am overcome with all the pressures of being sick and still working and making mistakes but am excited for the weekend and getting dinner with my girlfriend later!

    I also saw a picture of a bunny in a teacup and that was pretty uplifting!

  37. Oh, how I love campfires! I do not however, like camping so much. I suppose I can settle for virtual fires, or the electronic fireplace I rock in my living room. I really thought about going to the Midwest A-Camp (considering it’s finally so close!) but there was a little too much going on in my life. *sigh*

    On a good note, fall is here, and I can start layering my wardrobe again!

  38. I have not had a good week, y’all. I definitely overdid it on my kayaking trip to WV and my body has been punishing me since Sunday after I got off the river (thank GOODNESS I rode down with a friend because there’s no way in hell I could be driving anywhere with the way I’ve been feeling). I haven’t been able to really leave the couch at all, and chronic pain is just so damn frustrating–I’ve been taking max doses of the pain meds I’ve got which help a bit but mostly turn me into a drunk-feeling zombie that struggles to put sentences togehter and can barely follow the plot of anything on Netflix. I can’t even focus enough to look through and edit all of the footage I’ve got from the kayaking trip, which is what I had planned on doing when I got back. And I’ve got no idea how the heck I’m supposed to focus on grad school applications because yeah no, not capable of that right now.

    There is one upside–it sounds like I really have a good chance at getting an internship in Norway this winter, so long as I can work out the details and my health cooperates!! Which should be exciting but I’m in too much pain to actually be excited or feel like that is an actual posibility in my life.

    Hopefully my body will stop being a jerk at me soon, I guess. Or like maybe the capsule endoscopy I’ve got in two weeks will give me some clue as to what the fuck is actually wrong with me so there can be some sort of treatment plan instead of just taking drugs for the pain :/.

    • I wish you all the luck in finding out what’s wrong! Uncooperative bodies are the worst. And I hope you get the internship as well, Norway is just unbelievably beautiful, although I’ve only been there in the summer.

  39. I wanted to go to the camp but it just wasn’t in cards. Kinda glad I didn’t.

    I started school again this year after working for awhile. Back in class as a first year student and feeling wicked old compared to the 18 year olds surrounding me. I love the learning but am less keen about the social environment as I didn’t realize how white, straight, religious and isolated the community at this campus was.. its just 30 mins outside of Downtown Toronto but like a world away compared to the environment and people I’m used to. I effectively have just been going to class and leaving immediately to hang out with friends, my cat.. anything but hanging out there. Our go-to entertainment is fast becoming dinner out (Ethiopian is always my vote) and a night of (queer or feminist) comedy – so much good it balances out the bad.

    Well, at least it did for the first few weeks but…

    earlier this week my cat died. He escaped while I was out and others were watching him. They didn’t know, he was found 3 hours later. When he got inside he hid. By the time I got home the next day he was crashing, hard. I brought him to an emergency vet, he underwent surgery for a body wall tear. Everything looked ok, they released him (early b/c he was super cranky and stressed there) and I took him home. Stayed awake all night taking care of him, giving food, medicine and monitoring his progress. The next day he started having trouble breathing. I rushed him back thinking he might have aspirated but no.. congestive heart failure. He was such a unique cat with a big personality, fiercely loyal to me and not all that friendly to anyone else. Kind of like my Patronus. So its been hard.

    I stayed in bed for most of yesterday. It was cool, grey and rainy outside which fit my mood. (over) Indulged in some retail therapy which was diverting if nothing else. Bought my first pair of raw jeans from Naked and Famous and a couple of awesome shirts from All Riot. One of the shirts is a polo with “Police the Police” on the pocket. For sure something I can get behind. I’m looking forward to wearing it to my next politics class – I know it will grate some of the (seemingly) alt-right kids, and that’s always a good thing. <_<

    I'm going out tomorrow night but tonight, I'm just going to hide. Cook an elaborate comfort food meal for myself, watch some comfort shows like Voyager or something and have a few glasses of wine. Exciting, I know. ;)

    • I´m so so sorry for your loss. I had to smile at “fiercely loyal to me and not all that friendly to anyone else”. :) Really sounds like an amazing cat with a big personality. Make sure you take good care of yourself and do what feels best for you right now. (Your plan for tonight sounds so cosy!) Sending you an internet hug! (of course only if you want one!)

      • Hey! Thanks so much for your kind words and internet hugs. :) It certainly brought a smile to my face. I will def do some self care. Important!

        I read your post too, seems like you’ve had a pretty busy time yourself. Trying out names and pronouns can be really exciting and freeing, whatever you decide. There can also be lots of other frustrating stuff, again, no matter what you decide. Would love to hear how its going – I’m about 10 years into going by a different name and ambivalence vis a vis pronouns.


        • …yeah, I´ve had a pretty busy time as well… Thats so cool, to here from someone who has also gone through going by a new name and trying out different sets of pronouns! It really feels (kind of surprisingly) freeing and exciting to try out a new name (the pronouns haven´t come up that much yet, because I´m mostly talking on the phone with the friends who are trying this out with me). But I´m really glad, that this step feels so exciting, because me questioning my gender has been kind of overwhelming and a bit frightening and just… a lot. So having something about it, that actually is exciting and fun makes it a lot easier to be hopeful regarding the next possible steps on this journey. :) At this point I´m pretty sure I´m not `fully` male (demi boy+/ non-binary is what feels best at the moment), so its a bit funny/maybe weird to try out a male name and male pronouns. But my language doesn´t really know a gender neutral pronoun and I didn´t find a gender neutral name I liked. So I picked a (pretty soft and “round” sounding) new name, which I really like, and its “male”. :) Since I feel right now, that I´d rather be (wrongly) perceived as male, than (wrongly) perceived as female, that feels kind of fitting.

          May I ask, how your experience was trying out new pronouns (I hope I got that right, that you did that?) Im curious how long it took you, to “get used” to a new kind of pronouns? As in: Not thinking “Oh right, thats funny, these are my pronouns now!”…? (In case that ever happened. If you´d rather not answer this question since its pretty personal, I totally get it! :)…) I´m planning on at least giving it 2-3 months with my friends, which is going to be a bit strange, since everyone else is still using my old name.

          On a related note: My first binder arrived yesterday in the mail (after 4 weeks…finally!) and I´ve been so so happy ever since! :) I anticipated it would feel awesome, to finally wear it and still its even better than I thought. :)

          Sorry, I´m bad at keeping it short… ;-) So many feelings at the moment…)
          Have a nice sunday!
          Cheers :)

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your kitty. That’s rough.
      Also I’m a mature student in a program where I’m surrounded by white straight religious people. I feel like I’m the only queer person in my class, can relate.

    • So sorry about your cat. My kitty got out several times this week and luckily just went around the corner but I freak out every time. Your cat sounds like such a good friend.

      Ethiopian food and queer comedy seems like a dream night, do you need more cat-loving dinner friends? I am moving there so soon!

      • Thanks, yeah it was hard. Kitties getting out is always super stressful.

        Always happy to welcome more friends! We welcome all. :)

  40. Hey friends, I’m not at camp. That’s sad. But I am sitting at a library after rugby training and hanging out with you guys. And that’s not sad at all!

    This week I went to an lgbtq knitting group run by my uni and it was great and low key and exactly what I want to help grow my queer network in this new city.

    • Hooray for rugby training. Hope you had decent weather. I need to get my head round knitting, I have tension issues and the more cross I get at myself the worse it is haha. Scarf starts out about 10 inches across ends up about 5. May I propose the term knitworking…

      • Oh tight knitting is so hard! I forgot and relearnt how to knit about once a year from ages 5-18 when it finally stuck and somewhere along the line I developed a style where I kind of tug the needle before I take off the old stitch and it makes it quite loose. However there was a period of about five years where I could only knit triangles because no matter how much I concentrated I’d add stiches and it just got wider and wider and wider. My mum told me to accept it so I made a lot of odd shapes scarves.

  41. I’ve been sick with a cold for four weeks now. I’ve been able to do work and social stuff for a few days every now and then, but now it’s gotten worse again and I’ve got sinus infection and some weird new asthma symptoms. I feel like my life is on hold, and I’m not good at staying still or staying at home. I can watch TV for two days but that’s my limit. And I know that there’s no point in getting stressed over all the stuff I’m getting behind on, but I can’t really help it! FRUSTRATION.

    If anyone has any good/weird/ ANY tips on getting rid of sinusitis, BRING THEM ON!!! I’ve got antibiotics and all kinds of medicine stuff, but I’m at the point where I will try any voodoo/ slavic vodka-sock-remedies that come recommended.

    There’s been some good stuff as well. A girl/ex-friend that I had a really messed-up on/off-thing with contacted me and we’re gonna meet to see if we can make co-existing with our mutual friends a little less awkward. I’m not super thrilled of seeing her per se, since she treated me badly and I don’t need that kinds of people in my life, but I’m glad that this hasn’t stirred any un-wanted feelings in me! Maybe I’m finally getting over her, YAY!

    I’ve also been able to channel a lot of anger and anxiety into music. I’ve been taking a small break from work with my actual solo album (can’t really sing with this flu anyways…) and writing shitty soft-punk songs instead. So cathartic!

  42. hello, beauties!

    It’s been a sunny fall week! Last week I was at a trauma therapy training all weekend (inTENSE) and today is my admin day, but it’s half over, but it’ll be fine.
    I’m meeting my friend at a bar tonight called the cozy nut, I’m gonna make some tea and do my paperwork bajazz, and I’m wearing my scissoring sweatshirt. I’m exhausted, it’s fine.

    Also I took my schedule back and stopped booking appointments after 7pm at my office, so I can go HOME and feel like a person! Taking back my time! Woo!

    It’s a lovely sunny cold fall day, and I’m so glad it’s not 80 degree anymore (GROSS) and I wrote a thing:

    annnnnnnnnd happy weekend everybody! xoxo

    • I really enjoyed your article! And that was a good point about relentless positivity being used as a tool to shut down conversation.

      I think I am also going to change into my scissoring sweatshirt and make some tea. Hope you have a restful weekend.

  43. I keep being attracted to psychology ladies. Seriously! as friends and more than friends.

    It’s really weird because I made this rule for myself that I wasn’t going to date counselors or people in psych anymore because in the past I felt they were secretly analyzing me on dates.

    Well actually one date ran a test on me for sure, with a strategically placed drier sheet stuck to her black sweater after visiting the cafe restroom (I mean there’s no way she couldn’t have noticed it right there on her chest if she had at all looked in the mirror, it was fishy) but I’m sure it was a test to see what I would do… lol I failed I said um I think you have a bounce sheet on your shirt. btw no second date.

    and that being said, women in social studies are almost exclusively the people I fancy! lol So I’ll probably do away with this rule and hop on the processing train to integrationville.

    • In my experience saying “I am never going to date someone in [x profession/x discipline/born x month] again” is a sure-fire way to make sure you only fall for people who meet that description

  44. My coworkers let me think it was Thursday all day today. Thet hid all the calendars too. It was a very confusing day. But i had a good laugh.

    • We have everything from ‘I moved to Hungary’ to ‘weather’s took a turn this week’ and I love it.

    • I was just thinking that :) Everyone is so chatty and kind and I feel so lucky to have found this community.

      It’s a giant Care Bear Stare. Rainbows fabulously included.

  45. So whilst I only married my brilliant missus in May, yesterday we celebrated 10 years of us-ness. Which is awesome. We are still disgustingly in love. Also I received the Ghostbusters expansion for Lego dimensions today, as an anniversary gift, and ran around as Lego Holtzmann for a couple of hours having a gay old time. So post work and shopping for essentials (I ripped the arse out of my grey jeans the other week so they need replacing-*sigh*) tomorrow I will be doing more of that. So much fun.
    The less said about the dayjob the better at the moment. Eh.
    Have great weekends folks! If you are working, or partially working like me I wish you fortitude and the life sustaining beverage of your choice.

    • Yay for being disgustingly in love ten years in! That gives me some hope that there’s a person out there for me, so glad you shared this

  46. I wish I had something positive to contribute this week, but I just… don’t. Ended up in the ER with a mystery pain (related to my Mystery Condition) on Tuesday, then when I saw a specialist about the condition yesterday she flat-out told me “You’ll probably never know what’s causing this.” Then refused to investigate further. I should have known better than to get my hopes up that she’d have an answer, but I did, so now I’m pretty crushed. And back to square one.

    So, yeah. Not been a good week. I could use a hug.

    • Hugs!!! Oh that comment from the specialist just sounds so callous I am so sorry you went through that. And I really hope you’re able to get some answers!! Ugh, just hugs again. I know you said you could use A hug so if that’s all you need then consider my offer only one, but in case you could use more, you are welcome to take more than one.

    • Ugh, sorry about the ER and that doctor and that nobody cares that much about women’s health. I hope you can find a doctor who doesn’t suck!
      In the meantime – pet photos? Sending kitty purrs!

    • Thats the worst. I’m sorry you faced such a difficult time and continue to. It sounds like a very frustrating, draining place to be. Directing my good-feels at you.

    • If I went to this doctor about a Mystery pain related to a Mystery condition I had and she specialist gave me that Mystery diagnosis, I would pay her with Mystery Money. Then go home and get a dog named Oscar, I know:
      And have him give her this look! And then give her a chomp!?

  47. Hi everyone!

    My week has been a huge rollercoaster and I don’t know when it’ll settle down. I’ve basically been saying that since March. I feel like I’m making progress generally but then the black hole that is grief and ptsd tends to pull me back in when I least expect it. Not to mention that I can never fully escape trauma-related reminders.

    In other news, now that it has cooled off, I have been knitting quite a bit and I’m working on such an awesome sweater right now I can’t wait to finish it!

    I hope everyone has a great day and weekend and next week.

    • oooh show knitting! I have knit all my friends things and I have nearly committed to knitting someone a blanket….but every year for their birthday finding not-ugly mustard colored yarn is a hassle. and finding it in bulk! ugh.

      • I understand that struggle! There really is such a small window on that spectrum where the mustard yellow is a nice-looking color.

        Also, hopefully this work to showcase the knitting!

  48. I’m still adjusting to living away from home for the first time. Homesickness is weird. I’m super grateful to get to study abroad in high school, but my emotions aren’t lined up with my thoughts. I go from “IM SO EXCITED TO BE HERE DO ALL THE THINGS TRY ALL THE BOOZE YAY” to “oh god only want to sleep and cry and eat carbs” in the space of like, an hour. Also Spanish is fucking hard.

    Been getting really into Belle and Sebastian and also Guided by voices. Music is gr8

    I have gooey crushy feelings for this girl, but I’m a lil sad bc I have no clue if she’s queer (though like maybe? She asked me if I was queer) she has a bleached pixie cut and also gauges. Anyways shes great. I’m also a lil sad bc I have no clue if my supervisors would be ok with me dating a girl? Or actually with me dating at all. Ugh. Even then, it would be super bad if we dated and then broke up because this town has like five ppl in it and my host parents are her parents best friends, and also all of my friends so far are really close with her. Feelings are hard. Also I have pimples.

  49. I am currently in a meeting, reading every one’s post. I have had a very good week at work, hope it continues. My brother and my friend are both in the meeting and we are making each other laugh with interesting texts. I don’t have any plans for tonight, so Luke Cage here I come. Don’t know if I should loose any sleep to watch? Should I? I am going to make my favorite tea “spice of life” tonight. Can’t wait!

    I met this lady at the courthouse today, she is 58 years old and just received her first ticket. She told me she got it in aventura and guess what? Got mine doing the same left turn at a right only parking lot exit. What are the odds?! Anyway, she said she was from Bolivia and she had to come all the way from Tampa to Miami for this. It felt so good to just talk to a stranger about everything going on in my life. I even told her about the solar panels we just installed on the roof of my house in the island. I showed her pictures and everything. She told me she is a masseuse. I still can’t believe we spoke about so much in such a little amount of time. She told me I was pretty and not to get married too young. I should have answered, if I meet my future wife, I may not have any say….

    I am waiting for trial date for my ticket, hope it gets dismissed. Maybe we will have the same trial date and we will see each other again. Life is so random ?

  50. Hardest summer of my life. I can see a lot of similarities in these comments.. my heart goes out to everyone struggling right now. It’s especially difficult when your life feels derailed/put on pause by health conditions, as mine has been.

    But I keep thinking about Acamp and how important it was to me to have gone. How I felt on the mountain is how I would like to feel all the time. Maybe it was the freedom or how easy it was to connect with people. Things were clearer and more colorful. And somehow I was able to reach a part of myself I hadn’t ever before; joy I hadn’t experienced before. And now even though it’s in the past, it’s still in my possession. Within all the hospital visits and the slow days, the doubt and the isolation.. I remind myself, “I’m more than this.”

  51. To the queer gal working at Magers & Quinn in Minneapolis, thank you for great customer service and saying hi to my dog. Betty loves new friends.

    Sorry I was mildly weird about your girlfriend having a bird for a pet. I realize not everyone can be a dog person. I still hold the ranking system of Dogs, People, Cats, then everything else, but I’m sure she is wonderful in spite of the parrot.

  52. Hi… So this is my first time posting a comment on Autostraddle after reading all of yours for the last couple of years. It seems like it’s time to join the conversation, as I’ve been feeling extra lonely and depressed lately. Short version of my recent story: Three weeks ago I came back to Cambodia (where I’ve lived for the past 7 years) after spending the best summer of my life visiting my hometown in Washington. Last spring I had big plans for opening a business once I got back here this September, but plans change. Over the summer I unexpectantly, shockingly got together with my best friend who I’ve been head over heels in love with for the last ten years. It was amazing. But we’re in different places in our lives right now. And she maintains that she’s straight… Right. So I’m heartbroken, and just want to jump on a plane and fly back to be with her right now, but I’m not sure I could handle it if I did. I really need to find a job so I have something to do other than drink and cry and watch Netflix but I just have no motivation at all. That’s all for now. Thanks for listening!

  53. Haven’t read any of the comments yet. For a very sunny city (Cville, VA), ITS BEEN RAINING FOR THREE DAYS. Also, seems like it will tomorrow too :( I actually don’t mind rainy weather as I grew up in the North East, but being a teacher of toddlers makes us all a bit crazy when cooped up for so long. UGH.

    Other than that, I am sad my therapist cancelled our appointment on Monday. I almost like Mondays because it means i get to go to therapy after. It also uses up an hour of my evening, because I have no life.

    My therapist once again brought up going to 12 step meetings. I think she’s nuts because 1–I do not identify myself as an addict (alcohol). and 2–I’ve read parts of the “big book” and did not identify at all. She is not judging, and said she’d be there either way–but I feel like I am screwed because if I don’t find extra support, I probably will always feel this sense of isolation and sadness despite having a job, doing a sport (roller derby), and seeing a therapist. I mean, FUCK, what hte fuck else do I need to do?!

    Sorry…a bit of a rant.

  54. I wish I could say I did something exciting! I had a very stressful week so my wife and I spent the entire weekend playing the new DLC for Destiny on Xbox one. No regrets!

  55. College is exhausting. Law school applications are exhausting. Being the Token Trans Person in any room I’m in is exhausting. Mediating trans student group drama is exhausting. I’m drunk off my ass on Skittle-vodka right now and I’m just going to sleep for like 20 hours okay i love you all <3

  56. At first, I was feeling grumpy because I am very much in the Midwest, but I started a new job this spring and haven’t accrued enough vacation to take the time off for Midwest A-Camp.



  57. I just moved to a new city this weekend (Omaha) and start a new job on Monday! So I’ve been running around trying to get my new apartment all set up, but I’m really excited about this move. Plus I’m excited to get to know the LGBT+ community here and hopefully make some new amazing friends! I’ll also be able to get a cat here, so I’m PUMPED about that, even though I miss my two kitties from back home.

    Also, it’s Saturday, so I’m listening to the Husker game on the radio since I don’t have cable or Internet set up here yet. GBR!!

    • I wish you a good start in your new city! :) I moved to my new appartment in a new city 2 weeks ago and just nodded and smiled along all points you made (except the kitties back home and the Husker game on the radio). :)

  58. I’m a bit late to the party. I’m from Wisconsin and was intensely disappointed that the ONE weekend I’m not at home is the weekend there’s A-camp there. So, I really hope you guys do it again here next year!

    Anyway, since you mentioned food in museums… I went to the new Museum of African-American Heritage and Culture in DC, and was blown away by how well done it was. I think anyone you talk to who has seen it can attest that it is amazing. But one thing that I haven’t heard mentioned is how well done the cafe there was. I’ve been to some really disappointing museum cafes, and this one wasn’t it. They had a wide variety of food with deep cultural histories, and it was really delicious, well-made food as well. Pricy as hell, but so worth it.

    So that’s my two cents. If you are in DC, try to get (free) tix to go see it. I think it’s possible to get same-day tickets (they’re booked through November). So worth it.

  59. I’m getting my brows waxed for the first time ever, for a wedding I want to dress up for. I don’t even tweeze. It’s like a forest up there. Suddenly I am apprehensive. Wish me luck.

  60. It rained yesterday and today here in NorCal!!! I hope it keeps up because we gotta beat this drought!

    This weekend I went to Lake Tahoe where it was very beautiful but very windy. I also bought/downloaded Animal Crossing: New Lead which is so, so cute! If any of ya’ll play it, message me your friend codes so I can maybe figure out how the heck to visit your towns!

    • Sorry, I’m totally being a stalker because you said “NorCal” *ahem* Anyway, My cat completely freaked out when it started raining yesterday. I think she forgot what rain sounded like.

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