FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: I’m Trapped in My Living Room. Send Help. Bring Food.

feature image via Shutterstock

Hello and welcome to Friday Open Thread, a place for us all to chill and hang out together, which this week is actually in my living room on my sofa. I saved you a seat right here next to me and made you a hot beverage and I’d love to hear all about your life, your favorite crockpot recipes, the funny thing your dog/cat did, your feelings on the great pumpkin spice debate, your girlfriend/boifriend problems, whatever!

I am coming to you from the depths of new queer parenthood, week six, and wow it’s a trip!

Baby stuff is literally everywhere. I’m really leaning in to living in the living room. Up until a few days ago, I was even sleeping on the living room couch at night while the baby slept in her Pack ‘n Play. Waffle had to go back to work, so I’ve been home alone with Baby T. Rex during the afternoons and evening for the last four weeks. I feel like I watch a ton of TV and don’t do anything productive, but I also feel like I don’t have time to do anything. All my hours are spent taking care of this little human baby leech. Thank goodness she’s cute.

making baby bird face

making baby bird face

Still, it’s a full-time job and a lot of it is spent just sitting on the couch or in the living room. It’s incredible how much time is allocated to just holding, feeding, changing, and caring for her. The other night, while Waffle was holding Remi, the cat found his way to my lap for cuddles and I involuntarily started crying when I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I’d held or pet the cat.

Overall, Remi is great and we’re exhausted.


I’d heard that newborns sleep a lot and don’t do much else besides eat and poo. It wasn’t untrue. Newborns need a ton of sleep. Unfortunately, I didn’t get one of those newborns who loves to doze and can barely keep their eyes open. Remi is incredibly alert and doesn’t want to miss anything at all. She’d stay up all day if we let her and frequently takes super short 15-minute naps (a.k.a. Crap Naps).

She also hit her super fussy period (a.k.a. monster terror baby) during the last couple weeks, which means she was awake a lot of the time and screaming most of the time she was awake. The silver lining is that she seems to be coming out of the extreme fussiness stage and into regular baby fussiness in the last few days. Thank god. We were starting to regret our life decisions. I’ve become a black-belt master at forcing a baby-who-is-actually-tired-but-thinks-she-can-stay-awake-forever-if-she-just-tries-hard-enough to sleep. White noise, dude, white noise is the key.

FINALLY asleep, taken a week ago in the height of a fussy evening

FINALLY asleep, taken a week ago in the height of a fussy evening

Other new skills I’ve developed include: making a sandwich with one hand, making a bottle with one hand, peeing while holding or wearing a baby, and swaddling a squirmy screaming T. Rex in under thirty seconds.

So, uh, that’s about it for me! I have literally been living in a baby bubble for the past six weeks. I could show you a million more baby pics or bore you with more parenting stories. Otherwise, I have nothing new and exciting to share with you. I’d love to hear what’s new and exciting with you! I’m starved for interaction with other non-baby humans! Tell me anything and everything about your life!

What’s new at school or work? What did you think of Season Three of Transparent? Do you have any recommendations for movies or TV shows to binge while I’m stuck on the couch? What’s your favorite autumnal hot beverage? What’re your plans for the weekend? Do you dress up your pets for Halloween (pictures or it didn’t happen)? Have you been listening to Solange’s incredible new album? What did you eat for breakfast? Have you read any good books lately? Anything! Let’s hang out like grown-ups do!

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KaeLyn is a 40-year-old hard femme bisexual dino mom. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, over-caffeinating herself, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Upstate NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a scaredy cat, an elderly betta fish, and two rascally rabbits. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 230 articles for us.


  1. Glad to see the Tiny Rex today. Shark week started for me this morning, but not only did it let me know before I left for work, but the serious business cramps held off until I got back, AND BONUS! I got into what *could* have been a huge fight at work without yelling at anyone(my product is frozen, all I want is to get it back into the freezer still frozen)

    But you’re kickin my ass on the Adulting scale, I hope the mythical time of a baby that sleeps at night comes for you soon!

    • Sorry about Shark Week, @zeetwentysix. Or yay for Shark Week! Depending on how you feel about menstruation… I personally vacillate between loving and loathing that time o’ the month, depending on my mood. I won’t assume I know how you feel about it, but glad it worked around your work schedule! I hope you got to put on comfy clothes and relax after work! Also hope you won your work fight!


      • YESS. Perfect show to binge while you’re trapped in a living room lookinf after a baby. Short episodes, not too heavy on mythology so no need to concentrate too hard, and also it’s just generally fantastic. God speed.

  2. Wow, this all brought back memories of having newborns! When we had Kid A we asked our friends whose baby was a month older when we would feel like we had a clue and they said 4-5 weeks in. So you are doing great!We always got thrown by the growth spurts and were like “why is she so unhappy?” Turns out she was just starving. We remembered for Kid B and it was much better.

    But I just wanted to say, you’re doing great! Nice work!

    • 4-5 weeks in?! I still don’t know if I feel like I have a clue, @lucyhallowell! The growth spurts are challenging. Like, especially because I’m really unsure about when to keep feeding her and when to stop!

      For context, we’ve had some trouble figuring out how much to feed her. Which seems like it should be easy, but my milk was slow to come in plus she was in special care at first and started on formula. So she was on formula, then my pediatrician said we could switch to exclusive breastfeeding. That seemed to be going ok, but she wasn’t gaining enough weight, so then we were instructed to supplement with formula. That also seemed to be going alright, but then she gained way too much weight because we were overfeeding her. Just finally this week we had a good weigh in, doing a combo of breastmilk and formula. I admittedly felt like an idiot that I couldn’t figure out how to feed my freakin’ kid. Like, it should not be so hard!

      Aaaaanyway, I can’t weight for the newborn stage to be over! I’m sure I’ll look back on it fondly later, but right now I’d love for this kiddo to be able to tell me what she wants and needs!

      • Oh, I totally understand.

        Kid A refused to breastfeed for the first two weeks so she ended up being a formula and breastfed and then formula and pumped (when I went back to work). It felt so stressful! When she was 2, then 4 weeks and then 2 months the growth spurts were like “wait! What happened to our routine?!”

        It all feels like you *should* know how to do it but honestly, I don’t think anyone does. Try to give yourself a break about it. We were so worked up about so many things the first time around and with the second kid we were like “meh, no biggie” Some of that is part of being a new parent, I think, but your kid is happy, healthy and growing. So you are doing so well.

        They do get easier (and then harder again) as they grow but being able to tell you what they need is huge. We taught our girls like 4 or 5 signs (milk, more, all done, and eat/hungry) and it made a big difference.

        Everyone will tell you to enjoy the newborn stage and yeah there are some things that are amazing (like happy baby sleep smiles and the way they smell) but everyone has hormone amnesia for the lack of sleep, the frustration, and the utter loss of control. You’re doing great! Don’t forget that!

        • I will just keep reminding myself it gets easier eventually! :)

          Seriously, everyone says, “Enjoy it [the newborn age] while you can” and I am having a hard time enjoying it. I appreciate your frankness. People really do have hormone amnesia. LOL. There are wonderful moments, but also moments I don’t think I can take a second more of crying. Most days are good, but it’s an exhausting age!

          I’m definitely going to teach her some signs. Glad to hear it was helpful for you and helped them communicate their needs.

          Thanks for all the support and the tips! Being a parent is pretty neat!

  3. HI REMI you sure are a smart little person! You are perfect and you have a whole group of kind auntie-Straddlers who think that you are totally adorable! And someday, your parents will talk fondly about the month of your babyhood when you just wouldn’t. stop. screaming.

    HI KAELYN! You are a great mom. Someday soon you will get to feel like a whole complete person again too, I promise!

    It’s raining here! Some benevolent spirit tipped over their watering can and drops of actual water are falling from the sky. I caught a little bit on my tongue. I don’t care if it’s dirty. I needed this.

    Love you all!

  4. Hi KaeLyn! My week was rudely interrupted by a sprained ankle incurred whilst innocently stepping off a curb. It immediately became huge and purple and I collapsed onto the curb while ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS called out “Oh wow I hope you’re okay!” and then left. They didn’t even stop! I was on the ground! What! Thankfully friends were called and ice was brought and I did not pass out or vomit although both seemed like good options at the time. Best part of the experience was finding out that my new California insurance gets me x-rays, a boot and crutches for only $25! A+ on that. The rest of the week has been self-care and cat cuddling:

    • Hahaha those people are lowkey the WORST XD I’m very curious as to how that interaction went on! In my head it was very cartoon-like and comical, but also not because it was your real life…

      Also, that CAT! So. Cute.

      • I was! I could not walk! But, I got into a kind of sitting position on the curb with my leg propped up on my backpack so maybe it looked like I was just lounging in the middle of a goddamn sidewalk? Luckily my friends were nearby!

        More photos of Naomi the queen:

        [instagram url=]

        [instagram url=]

    • OH NO, @jcallz. I hope you’re feeling better soon, but yay for health insurance!

      I can’t believe those people saw you, acknowledged you, and then walked away! Like, if I was going to NOT STOP and help someone who clearly needed help, I’d probably just pretend I didn’t see them. What assholes!

  5. It’s raining. We’re supposed to get 12 inches of rain over the next 3 days. I am not a happy camper! I know California needs it, but rain is not my favorite thing. I am hoping, however, that this storm is big enough to cause a power outage at work and that we will have to go home. It actually happened once, so it could happen again!

    Work is slow and boring right now. I haven’t done anything this week. Literally nothing. It will pick up eventually and I will be dreaming about these last few months of slow time, but right now it’s slowly killing my willpower to not quit.

    I bought my cat a baby blanket last week because she is my child. I can’t wait to go home and snuggle with my kitty under our respective blankets. I will try to post a picture… let’s see if it works!

      • Oh no! I was skeptical of my ability to do so but I just went to my Facebook and right-clicked a pic and hit “copy image address” and then pasted it into this:
        (delete the quotes and the fake http address in there and insert the one you just copied! (Though maybe this is what you already did and the gremlins are just messing with you)

        Hope you can weather the storm okay! (see what I did there…)

        • oh boy just pasting the code didn’t work that time! i inserted spaces here so maybe that will work–

        • I’m at work, so I can’t get onto facebook. I tried uploading to the suggested imgur place, copied the link to the format above and failed :(

    • Dont snuggle separately! Thats cold! Use your cat to cover a portion of your limbs. I used to wear my cat around my neck, until she tried to claw my eye out. I think she wanted to make a point about personal boundaries, about which there is an article on AS today.

      • I do wear my cat like a scarf! It is her preferred mode of transportation. If I could post a damn picture I would show you. It’s as adorable as it sounds.

        • Wow, your cat is very civil. Do our pets reflect our personalities? I never inspire good behavior in my pets.

          • My cat is far from civil! But she does ask to be picked up. She will stand up on her back legs with her front legs on my knees and I have to pick her up and toss her over my shoulder. Also, if I’m bending down to feed her, or something, she tends to jump onto my back. I think it’s more to do with height than affection, but I’ll take it!

    • Oooh Caitlin! I wish the picture of your kitty would upload! I can’t wait to spend the weekend with mine. I plan to read a lot, knit some, and take cat naps with them. Sorry you don’t like the rain. It’s my favorite weather. And we really do need it!

        • Tell me how you find Girl on the train, i want to watch it but have been deterred by negative reviews. And your cat is a dog, i dont know many cats that like to be picked up. Mine hated it, but maybe it was me, or the way i did it. Grocery shopping and laundry are the worst. Best to kill your soul for a few hours and be done with it.

          • I’ll let you know. I loved the book, so am always skeptical of book-to-movie, but I also love Emily Blundt, so that could make the entire film worth it.

            Callie is very particular about when I can hold her. It’s best to pick her up when she is sleepy and doesn’t know what is happening. If she’s in crazy cat mode, though, watch out! I learned the hard way when I can and can’t pick her up.

    • I’m in the same situation re: work. It suuuucks to be tethered to this desk until quitting time with nothing to do. I (slightly) prefer it to being inundated with way too much at once, but I wish there were a happy medium!

      • I used to have a job that was non-stop work/too much work to get done in one day. I dreamed of a job that wasn’t so busy. Now I have it and I hate it lol. Not the job, just the slowness. It will get busier, and there is mandatory overtime coming soon, but the busy period seems too short and when there is nothing to do there really is NOTHING to do. But, it means being paid to waste time on Autostraddle, so it’s not all bad ;)

    • I tried to fix your pic, but the imgr url you used doesn’t point to a picture? I don’t know! This URL took me to a broken link page:

      Either way, your kitty is very cute and very regal looking! Our cat owns everything in our house and he has several blankets that are just his (that we couldn’t use if we wanted to because they’re absolutely covered in cat hair. I hope your kit-kat enjoys snuggling under the blankets!

      • I figured it out, FINALLY! I’ll have more confidence to post pics after this :)

        My cat loves my fuzzy blanket, so I thought I would get a mini version that is all her’s. I’m not sure she is in love with it, but it’s damn cute!

  6. I’m over in Cbus and god if the weather hasn’t just whipped from the ass end of hot summer to early winter. Or is this just me being super oversensitive to the cold?

    …both, it’s both…

    • I had to google “Cbus” because I’m not hip.

      We have similar weather in upstate NY. It was in the 80’s just a week ago and now in the 40’s/50’s. I like the cooler weather, so I’m not too upset. It is a reminder that snow is just around the corner, though. Meh.

  7. Oh my goodness, look at that little peanut. How amazingly sweet.

    Work has been tough but good–in scramble mode because we are very short staffed. Sounds crazy that an art gallery could be so hectic, but it is!

    I’ve been watching haunted house movies! Particularly indie flicks. Here are some I’ve been liking!

    Innkeepers: Kind of a hot mess, but fun and spooky. Old hotel closing down, small cast.
    We Are Still Here: 70’s aesthetic, gory as HELL, lots of jump scares. Nice and short.
    Housebound: A horror/comedy, my favorite! Trouble Girl On House Arrest.
    House of the Devil: Slow build, but then it goes balls to the wall, dude.

    I’ve also been watching Stranger Things, along with the entire earth.

    If you like video games, I’d suggest giving Kentucky Route Zero a shot. It’s a little point-and-click, but super spooky and kind of irreverent. Think Night Vale, the video game.

    Give the nugget a little snug for me!

    • I really liked Cabin in the Woods (produced by Joss Whedon); it may still be on Netflix instant. A unique and creative scary movie.

    • I loved Stranger Things! I am typically a huge scaredy cat, though, so like how scary are those movies on a scale of 1-10? Stranger Things was, like, a 7 for me. The Ring was like a 10+ (would not watch again).

      • Hmm, Innkeepers and Housebound were like, 8.5, just a little scarier than Stranger Things. Totally skip this others though, lmao.

  8. Hi little critter! Baby bird face is so good!

    Happy Friday! It’s stormy here in Seattle and I am in a coffee shop reading that new Sarah Schumann book (conflict is not abuse) which is heavy but interesting. Gonna go see a friendo and making soup and savory galettes tonight because I’ve been too busy to cook the last few days. I roasted a bunch of squash and leeks last night and everything in our small humid house smells oniony.

    Otherwise, dunno, I started doing this trauma reprocessing thing with clients this week and it makes me really tired! Turns out three sessions a week of that is maybe too many! Whew!

    Otherwise it’s queer film festival here, and I need to decide what things to go see! Gay movies are so fun!

    Honestly I’m just a worn out cookie and girlfriend has been like “you are sort of the grumpiest” which it’s true, I am, like she is just an interrupting starfish of a girlfriend, even though none of it is super annoying, she’s like “listen to me talk about my day” and “watch this video with me of a panda befriending a different kind of animal” or like “your phone is ringing” and I’m like GOD SHUT UP.

    This is actually super useful to think out loud about and realize that she is not being heinous I am just maybe maxed out right now. Interesting.

    Alright, well, I’m literally gonna go process that right now in therapy, and I’m looking forward to a stormy weekend with hopefully a minimum of chaos and property damage. Love to everybody! Happy weekend! Go take a nap instead of getting super irritated at your girlfriend! (Myself included)

    • It’s queer film festival where I am, too! What a coincidence! Sounds like a good way to indulge in some self-care after a tiring week at work. I snuck out of the house to see @b‘s movie, Suicide Kale, and it was SO GOOD. If it’s playing at your fest, you should go!

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t stand it when my partner tries to force me to watch youtube videos or whatever. I don’t know why it annoys me so. The vidoes are almost always cute/funny. I don’t like the assumption that I’ll drop whatever I’m doing to watch the dumb video whenever Waffle wants my attention. Though I suppose it’s…not that big of a deal. Hmm…

      • My issue with being asked to watch youtube clips or other things on line is the question of their relevance to my life. Then when I ask my wife to listen to things about my day (which in my mind have more relevance than random internet things) sometimes it feels like they rank lower than the on line thing in her opinion, but higher in my opinion. It can get tricky. But positive intent. We all mean well.

        • yeah totally. We don’t get into super hairy trouble re: talking about our days vs internet videos, but sometimes I tune out and sometimes her feelings get hurt bc she’s like “you weren’t listening” and I’m like “you’ve told me iterations of this story every day for the last two weeks and I’m looking for a parking spot. I love you. Right now I am able to make active listening noises at appropriate intervals. That is the best I can do.”

          dunno, I think that’s just it, you do your best and it evens out eventually.

      • I’m planning on seeing it! yay!

        no, for sure, it’s not the video itself so much as the interruption. and like, most days i can like “in a minute” or “not right now” and today is a NO HOW DARE YOU day, which I’m pretty sure means I need to give myself a time out.

      • I hate watching online videos, I don’t care if they’re cute, nobody has ever told me I “need to watch” anything I actually needed to watch and I only care slightly more if the person telling me is cute. I am so glad others feel the same way.

  9. Hi, KaeLyn! I’m glad everything’s going well (or as well as can be) with y’all and the baby. That picture of the Three of you is absolutely adorable.

    I did run through your questions list real quick:

    What’s new at school or work?

    One of my co-workers is in a really loud argument with his wife. I can hear him, even with his office door closed.

    What did you think of Season Three of Transparent?

    I haven’t seen it.

    Do you have any recommendations for movies or TV shows to binge while I’m stuck on the couch?

    Transparent! Lol. All seriousness aside, Supergirl is awesome. I love that show.

    What’s your favorite autumnal hot beverage?

    Does coffee count? Or hot chocolate?

    What’re your plans for the weekend?

    I’m running in a half-marathon and then going to a Fall Festival.

    Do you dress up your pets for Halloween (pictures or it didn’t happen)?

    I only have a hamster, and I don’t think he’d like that. I could up something in his cage, but he’d probably chew it up. =)

    Have you been listening to Solange’s incredible new album?

    Nope, I have not heard it.

    What did you eat for breakfast?

    Apple-cinnamon oatmeal and scrambled eggs.

    Have you read any good books lately?

    Lol, not recently. I’ve never been much into reading books, and it’s been a long time since I’ve read one, to be honest.

    The other day, I watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” which I haven’t seen since I was a kid. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s kinda disturbing how cruel not only some of the other kids are to Charlie Brown, but also the adults as well. Seriously, giving the poor kid rocks for Trick-or-Treating when you give the other kids candy? I get that it’s supposed to be humorous and all, but still. Maybe I missed the point of it.

    • Whenever I watch a Charlie Brown thing, I think about how fucked up that poor kid must be as an adult. Like, that kid needs real therapy. He’s definitely dealing with anxiety if not depression and no one is supporting him except his anthropomorphic dog who is also kind of insensitive! Poor Charlie Brown…

      I’m just leaving this here:

  10. I’m still working on my midwifery dissertation (should have submitted it in July but I’ve gotten every extension I can due to having a terrible few months in my life), and I need to finish it before I can take up my job as a newly qualified midwife. Then I can get paid to hang out with babies as cute as Remi ;)

    My own (cat) baby is asleep on my plaid flannel bedding and I feel very much the queer stereotype as I type that.

    • Woo! Early congrats on finishing your midwifery qualifications, @juniordrumkit! That’s awesome! We had midwives for our prenatal care and delivery and it made a huge difference in how comfortable we felt throughout! Yay for midwives!

  11. KaeLyn, loving the update on baby Remi! She is absolutely beautiful :)

    I really love when dialogue comes from these FOTs so I have a question for you and all the Straddlers out there. How do you deal with people who judge your relationships on the principle of religion? Do you still come in contact with these people? Are they unicorns?

    It could be that I live in the south in a city that is very Catholic/Christian but also a little progressive… idk it’s weird. I still don’t feel entirely safe/comfortable coming out. A lot of people that ran in my friend circle in high school hold the belief that it is ok to be gay… just don’t act on it.

    It eats me up to be in this loving relationship that I don’t feel fully free to talk about it. It also eats me up to not always present the way I want for fear of judgement. Don’t get me wrong… a good chunk of my friends are 100% supportive, but the questions from my family and offhanded comments from some friends on how “it’s none of their business, but they can’t help worry about the gays over there living in sin” really get to me.

    • “How do you deal with people who judge your relationships on the principle of religion? Do you still come in contact with these people? Are they unicorns?”

      Yup. One of them is my mom, and another is my step-dad. Two more are my sister and her husband. The only way I’ve found to really deal with it is to have as little contact with them as necessary, as sad or harsh or whatever that may seem.

      Beyond that, I am not really good at giving advice, but I do wanna say that I can at least completely understand your feelings and am sorry you have to put up with such situations.

    • I just ignore it. I politely tell others that what I do is my business. They are sinners just as much as I am and I know that no one can judge me. I grew up in a very religious house hold (daily bible study and lots of church time) so I actually know a fair amount of the text used against me. I also took a biblical heritage class in college and learned about where the old testament came from, the similarities found in other mythologies, and the cultural influences found within the bible. So I know I can argue a very good point if the conversation about my sexuality ever gets hostle. If nothing works I simply leave the conversation with this statement, “I forgive you.” Everytime I say it, they just look at me like I slapped their mothers.

      • Hahaha please elaborate on some of these points! I have a few in my back pocket, but always appreciate new support for the argument.

        • Rule 1: Remember to use logical arguments when using bible verses to fight bible verses.

          Rule 2: Acknowledge opposing arguments to calm the situation and prevent emotional high jacking. This lets them know you are aware of their views and gives you time to find logical errors if any are present.

          Rule 3: Know when to walk away. Research any verses that might be emotional triggers so you can stop the conversation. Believe me, this helps you look good, calm and collected. It might even make you more credible in any future arguments.

          Rule 4: Tell yourself there is nothing wrong with you. No matter how good you present your argument, words hurt and this helps me so much.

          So, if you want to avoid confrontation and possible beating, stay away from historical stuff. I try to stick to verses that talk about what love is. Example 1: “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love…. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:8 and 4:16b, NIV) Basically, explain how love between to people is because of god, especially since it goes beyond the physical body of the person you love. God loves us, our soul or spiritual being, not our physical bodies, and that transcends into how we show love to each other. If you have hatred in your heart, you do not know God and, therefore, you cannot know what love fully is. If you want to attack their sense of “I am holier than thou” attitude, throw this into the mix: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35, ESV). The key word is “if”. Since there is a possibility of someone saying god hates gays, ( god is love so keep stressing it) you have to use this to show that they still have no authority to display hateful actions or use hateful words. To do so is not a way to show love to one another and that means they are not recognized as a “disciple”. You can use that same verse to show that you are one because you are showing love.

          Oh and look up Agape love. Agape is the term that defines God’s immeasurable,incomparable love for humankind.God gives this love without condition, unreservedly to those who are undeserving and inferior to himself.

          I have more stuff but I try not to argue as much. I no longer feel like I have to validate who I am or justify my love for another person. I try to focus on making others view me as a person rather than a sinner. The bible can be interpreted in many ways so there will always be a chance that you are completely wrong and that is okay because there is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with any of us. Message me if you have any questions.

          Also, I am not promoting religion or any anti-religious thinking. I don’t mean to offend anyone. I just don’t like seeing others treated badly in the name of any religion.

          • @avawn Has the blueprint i picked up in high school.

            Using the bible doesn’t always help–but at least it sort of sets a stage of “we’re feeding from the same table, here”, which I found oddly stimmies little temper tantrums because you’re ignoring gods words or something.

      • Oh my goodness. “I forgive you,” is brilliant response. Putting that in my back pocket for the next time someone tries to “save me.”

        I really don’t believe that being LGBTQ is incongruent with being religious. I mean, it definitely isn’t. I may live in a bubble, though, where many of the Protestant churches around me are openly welcoming to LGBTQ people. I know that’s not the case everywhere.

        Unfortunately, I don’t think you can change people’s minds if they believe deeply that it’s a sin. And, like, that passive-aggressive “love the sinner” stuff is still homophobia. It still stings. I’m sorry you have to deal with that negativity. <3

  12. AWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!! You are going to be surprised at how fast time will fly. Soon you will be looking at your kid wondering where did all that time go. I am just an aunt and it hits me every time my fiance and I visit my nieces and nephews. It makes me sad. I always wish I have more time with them.

    Sooooooooo, my fiance and I finally set a date to get married. It is approaching fast. It is on Halloween. She is really happy and excited just like my entire family. Everyone at my job is happy for me and they can’t wait throw me a party for my “prison sentence”. Everyone at my future wife’s job is pretty much gushing over it. For the past week and a half, my fiance has been showering me with affection. She even bought me an executive office chair to motivate me to reach my goals and show her support while I am at school….I have a strange feeling that I am the only one that is nervous and not as excited. I love her and I do want to marry her. I don’t know why I feel scared to. Did I mention that I also have an exam that day too? Yeah, I can’t even enjoy my own wedding day….Someone slap me.

    On a more positive note, we finally picked out a couch for the living room. My mid-term grades are all great! Soon we will be getting a new car and I paid off some loans! *sigh* The support from my fiance is what keeps me going and enables me to achieve this kind of stuff. Any ideas on how to make her feel more appreciated? I am an ass. I need to start this thing right.

    Happy Friday guys!

    • Maybe she’s nervous too, and showering you with extra affection and support is the way she’s coping with/responding to feeling like that?

      Regardless, you’re definitely not an ass for feeling nervous, especially when everyone around you is making a huge excited deal about it.

    • I’m so happy for you both, Avawn. Nervousness is normal. As to make her feel appreciated… I always like just coming out and saying what my wife means to me. :)

    • Um wow that’s soon! I don’t think there’s anything unusual or wrong with feeling nervous. There’s a lot of hype around a wedding day–a lot of expectations. I’d say…just ride out that feeling and don’t overthink it. The wedding day will be here and over faster than you can blink and it will be amazing and you will feel so loved! It’s exhausting preparing for it, though, and the day-of is tiring in its own way. Even if it’s a low-key wedding, it’s somewhat of a public performance. It’s super normal to feel nervous!

      I bet your fiance knows just how much you love her already. I think even just saying to her what you wrote here about what she means to you could be HUGE. I know I don’t remember to thank my partner/spouse as often as I should for all the ways I appreciate him. A little note of thanks might be all it takes. Maybe with a small gift or a meal or whatever kind of thing is very-you to do for a loved one.

      Happy Halloween Nuptial Day!

  13. The baby bird face photo is the cutest baby picture I think I have ever seen in my life. ADORABLE.

    I just had a huge, important meeting at work where I impressed the socks off of everyone in the room by doing one large Excel spreadsheet. So that felt really awesome, especially when the head person in the room called the head of my company to tell them what a great job I did. I’ve never had work spotlight before so I’m very happy about it.

    Also I’ve been hearing a lot about something new on Netflix called the 13th? Has anyone else heard of this? I’m intrigued and might watch this soon. Especially with my favorite fall beverage, which happens to be Twinnings Winter Spice Tea. Heat some water up, add two lumps of sugar and…bliss. (Seriously you have to try it).

    I’m on call for work this weekend so no real plans. Recently went and took a local adult-ed art class where I sculpted a female torso out of clay. 10/10 would recommend, especially hearing the instructor talk about the shape of boobs so much.

    It’s cuffing season? and I have a wonderful new relationship that I adore and we are still in that brand-new, puppy-love, giddy, new relationship-energy stage, which I am sure makes everyone around us roll their eyes. It’s really good right now and it looks like its gonna be good for a long long time. She’s great.

    What else is new everyone??

    • What is the 13th? I have no idea about this. Will have to check it out.

      Congrats on killing it at work! A well-executed Excel sheet is no small feat. It baffled me how many people have no idea how to use Excel and I only have a very basic knowledge! Now, if I knew how to use Access, that would be extra impressive.

      I hope you enjoy lots of snuggles with your new love interest! Just in time for cuffing season! And perfect with a hot cup of tea and a warm blanket!

      • Hey! I just wanted to jump in and add that I’ve heard nothing but excellent things about 13th. It’s the next film I’ll be watching, I just want to set aside time to devote all of my senses and processing space to it.

        Kaelyn, it’s a documentary by Ava Duvernay about racial inequality in the US with a focus on the disproportionate imprisonment of African Americans.

        • Also, I meant KaeLyn and DuVernay. My phone doesn’t appreciate capital letters mid-word apparently.

  14. All this talk about babies is making me miss the pet rats my ex kept after the break up (but not my ex y’all). Those rats were so precious. The grey one was called Agnes (because of Anne Bronte) and the brown one was called Dorothy. So much love to your family KaeLyn, Waffle and Remi both sound amazing.

    • I LOVE RATS, @twoshoes! We have parented 5 ratties over the course of our relationship. If Remi ever desires a small pet of her own, it’s probably going to be a rat. They are the best! And I’ve had hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits. Rats are just wonderful, loving little wee beasties, with so much personality. You should adopt your own rats! :)

  15. I am totally exhausted doing electoral organizing in New Hampshire right now. Counting down 25 days until naptime. I do love organizing but my election anxiety is just bouncing off the walls.

    A couple weekends ago my friends welcomed a tiny little human named Oliver into the world! They’re the first of my close friends to have a baby & I’ve never really thought of myself as a big baby person but Oliver was just such a little nugget of joy and I think I get it now—deciding if I want to be a parent feels like a long way off but it was so nice to celebrate that with other people

    Me with Oliver:

      • OH WOW. What a peanut!

        Thanks for pounding the pavement for this election. I dunno who you’re working for, but as long as it’s not in the interest of advancing Trump, you’re doing the right thing! I’ve spent countless hours door-to-door canvassing and phonebanking for candidates. This is maybe the first major election I haven’t logged any volunteer hours for, due to baby life. And this year is so important! Thanks for being on the front lines in NH! Everything re: the election is terrifying right now…

        • Yes this! Thanks for fighting the good fight! (I also don’t know who you’re working for, but I feel like the fact you’re posting on Autostraddle means they’re probably not Trump and I think all civil engagement is laudable)

  16. KaeLyn, I’ve spent months as a creepy lurker reading and rereading and crying on the train/at work about your process and partnership and tiny human lump and so thank you for posting pictures and updates. You’re all so magical.

    My week has been full of Jewish Repentance Processing and Working Too Hard and Actively Engaging in Self Love Practice and Pursuing Queer Friendships and all of these things are great and good and important, but I am TIRED. So now I want to curl up and read my face off and also watch Carmilla (because I stopped in Season 2 because waiting was stressful) and also like knit a blanket (if I still know how to knit?!) and all the things. But I have very few books identified for face-reading-off time, if anyone has recommendations. I wanna take time out from being me and go be someone who lives in a book.

    • for face off reading, I highly suggest Girl Mans Up by M.E. Girard which is about a teen butch girl, As I Descended by Robin Talley which is a queer retelling of Macbeth set at a haunted boarding school and I mean COME ON, And Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake which isn’t queer but is about triplet girls who were born to be queen, but at age 16 must fight to the death until only one is left to rule the TOTALLY matriarchal society. It is rad as fuck.
      *disclaimer: all books are YA because that’s how I roll*

    • Well now you’re a not-creepy interactor with me, so it’s cool!

      I don’t know how you feel about dystopic fiction, but I’d highly recommend Maraget Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy. I’m hoping to read her new work, Hag-Seed, soon!

  17. Howdy, all. It’s been a strange week. I’ve sort of, kind of, stayed on top of my crap this week. I submitted a proposal to a national conference I hope to go to, so that’s good. I didn’t have any absurd reactions to medication this week, so that’s a huge improvement over last week! My skin is clearing up with topical stuff alone and so I am never taking the Devil Pills (a certain tetracycline antibiotic) ever again. I didn’t like the idea of staying on an antibiotic long-term anyway. I already know my little gut-bugs are messed up…I want to fix that ecosystem, not make it worse! But I digress.

    I have a little coffee shop I go to, a local concern, that is sort of like my Sitcom Place, if that makes any sense. I have become one among a cast of wacky regulars. It’s a bit odd, because I don’t think I’ve felt like I had a place like that since my coed fraternity house in college. We were a strange crew as well, including all of the various folks who wandered through our place even when they didn’t join and/or weren’t students. It adds some variety to my day, that’s for damn sure. Support your local businesses, I guess?

    My birthday is on Monday, and I’ve already made plans for the weekend and the actual day. Saturday my mate is off work so we’re going to do couple stuff to celebrate. Monday I’m going to hang with my bad self and go to the retro gaming place and spend all day in glorious SNES and arcade cabinet heaven. I hope they have the Ninja Turtle game. I’m over 30 but honestly I still kind of hope I get something with Ninja Turtles for my birthday. Yesterday at the coffee shop, there was a sad teenager, so I drew her a quick sketch of Raphael looking menacing and asking whose ass needed to be kicked. I left it in B&W and suggested she color it with the shop’s crayons. She was overjoyed. I’m telling you guys, there is magic in TMNT.

    I’m also gearing up to head north for a trip I’m really excited about. I’m going to my college’s Homecoming, the tenth since I’ve graduated. It’s really close to Halloween, so I’m going in costume, and guys, guys…Wolverine is a woman now. So instead of doing classic Blue and Yellow Wolvie or my Logan drag, as I’ve done many a previous year, I’m making THIS as my costume.


    I am so stoked to go back up to my favorite place in the country. Now, if I can just get a job up in New England!

    • So excited for your costume, @iamthekat!

      That story about the sketch just hit me in the heart place. What a kind way to show some love to a young person. You’re so sweet!

      I was in a coed fraternity in college, too! Are you, by some chance, a member of APO?! There’s only so many coed fraternities, so I thought there might be a chance we’re brothers!

      • Hey @kaelynrich (oh look, you just showed me how to use tags on AS, thank you), that’s a great question. We are not bros, sadly. My coed frat is a so-called “local”, meaning there is only one chapter and it exists at my college. All three of the coeds at my old school are “local”, as are three of the sororities and I think a few of the non-coed frats too (in addition to the national frats and sororities we have like SAE and KKG). One of the things I’m going to be doing over my trip back for Homecoming, actually, is attending our frat’s annual Corp meeting so we can have a vote for Corp president, etc., which are all alumni positions, so we can continue to exist. However, I have heard of APO, and it’s a great organization. One of my good buddies is a member of the Rutgers chapter of APO circa 2005-07. APO is a service frat, yes? See, you organized around helping people. We have a service requirement, but our house is mostly about playing a crapton of video and tabletop games.

        Let me just say, your family is gorgeous, and I wish you all the best of luck with your new journey as a parent. I have a bunch of friends who are all newly-babied these days, some the very first one, some not, but I know it’s such a ton of work, no matter how rewarding it is. You take care of yourself and your awesome clan. I love that you recognized that even the cat has needs, just like the older sib who’s suddenly overshadowed by the new arrival, hahahaha. I don’t have any kids myself (unless you count the cat daughter), but I feel a lot of benevolence and protectiveness towards other people’s kids. Seeing all these good folks bringing cute little bundles into the world keeps me from totally turning inward and going full misanthrope. Welcome to the world, little T.Rex! Somewhere out there on the Intartubes, a nerdy old Kat smiles upon you.

        • Yup, APO is a service frat. It’s affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America which is pretty awkward because my chapter was almost all queer and trans and mostly women and very feminist. We called ourselves “GayPO” chapter and the national staff called us the “vegan lesbian feminist chapter.” Well, it was like that when I was there 2005-ish. Now that same chapter is like a whole different thing. Still really nerdy, but HUGE and lots of very normal-looking cis straight people.

          I was very anti-Greek before I pledged, but I’ve made some of my best lifelong friends through APO. I’m not active with the chapter as much anymore. It’s awesome that you’re still involved with your frat as an alumni member!


  18. Hi baby Remi! You’re so sweet! <333
    Hi KaeLyn! I went to see my friend on Monday who also has a newborn (she gave birth in late August) so you are not the only one struggling! I think things start to get better around 3 months when they start sleeping for longer periods of time.

    The only thing going on with me is it's raining this weekend (yay!) and I am waiting for next Saturday when I will fly to Charleston to spend a week with my friend and her husband. I was afraid that the hurricane was going to cancel my plans but it seems like SC was spared from lots of damage, compared to NC, anyway.

    Also, in "UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH" news, an aunt of mine posted the video where Drumpf apologized for the pussy grabbing thing and it was like “SHARE IF YOU ACCEPT TRUMP’S APOLOGY!” And she was like “Yes let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” And then I took a long walk off a short pier.
    Thank God Thanksgiving and Christmas take place after the election.

    • UGH YOUR AUNT. How any woman (or reasonable human person) can still support him is beyond me. Like, just HOW?!

      Have a safe flight and a fun trip!

  19. Hi, open thread. I’m Kay. I don’t know if this kind of thing is appropriate to post here but it’s kinda all I’ve got right now.

    I’ve been living in Seattle over a year now. Been to the wildrose a bunch, been to the queer lady club nights, been on a lot of awkward first dates that go nowhere. And really, that’s about it. If there are places where queer women get together to spend time in a quieter, more conversational way, I sure don’t know about them. Reading this site, it feels like everyone knows bunches of queer women who all know each other. They talk about spending time together, going out, staying in, but all that feels so far away for me. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. And feeling so isolated is doing awful things to my mental and emotional health.

    Some of you must live around here, right? How do you meet people in this town?

      • I looked at those, but all the AS social groups here are inactive, and nobody responded when i requested to join the facebook group. :(

    • Hi Kay! I lived in Seattle for a year. It was before I was out so I don’t know about specific queer stuff but one thing I had a ton of fun with was joining the French Choir at the Alliance Francaise. You don’t have to know much French or be able to read music to join, and the women in the choir were all ages and a lot of fun to get to know.

    • Kay, there’s some peeps who live in Seattle who are posting in this thread. Maybe you can reach out to them? :)

    • Hi, Kay. I don’t live anywhere remotely close to Seattle, but as someone who also struggles with feelings of isolation, I hope you feel better soon. :)

    • Making friends is hard as an adult. It’s not like when you’re in school and surrounded by peers every day. I feel like you have to put a lot of effort into making grown-up friends. I don’t live in Seattle or have any idea what there is to do there, but I do have experience trying to find people to hang out with in a new city.

      For me, joining or creating a space to meet like-minded folks helps the most. I’d suggest just joining something new, as daunting as that may seem, whether it’s a club or a volunteer program or a sports team or really anything where there are people who might share your interests. And once you find someone who is interesting to you or who you click with, friendship court them. It’s kind of like dating, but for friends. Like you’re going to have to invite them to come over and play games or whatever and it’ll be awkward at first but hopefully you’ll continue to enjoy each other’s company and then you have a new queer bestie! It isn’t easy, especially if you’re not feeling up to going out and meeting people, but it’s kind of the only way? Good luck and I’m sorry you’re feeling isolated.

    • I’m also in Seattle and realizing that over a year of living here and I still have yet to really meet folks or make friends. Not sure how to best connect, but I’d be down for some coffee and conversation if you’re interested!

    • I (kind of) live in Seattle (about a week a month) with my wife. I would love to hang out the weeks I’m there.

  20. My past few weeks have been doctors appointments and feeling terrible and maybe it’s this and maybe it’s that, and then finally my friend said, “ummm, that sounds like how I felt before I figured out I was Gluten Intolerant.” And then I remembered that my dad is celiac and I stopped eating gluten and immediately felt better but now I’m looking at a life without Ann Sather’s cinnamon buns and pouting like a toddler.

    In other news I saw Hamilton in Chicago and it was everything and that’s happy.

    • On the bright side, it’s never been easier to be celiac. There’s so many awesome recipes out there. Even if the fads about gluten end, you’ll still be able to make a lot of awesome foods.

      • Also, not implying your medical problems are a fad! That’s why I made a distinction between the social gluten awareness and celiac. *hug*

    • Yay for figuring out what’s making you feel ill. Sad about cinnamon buns, though I’m sure there are decent gluten free cinnamon buns out there.

      I recently found out that nightshade veggies (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant) are a trigger food for me for a chronic health condition I have. SUPER BUMMER. I lived on hot sauce before I figured this out. So I relate to your mourning over gluten!

      I can’t wait to see Hamilton when it tours. I couldn’t get a ticket in NYC because I’m not god.

  21. I just came out to my parents like 20 minutes ago. It was fine, and they were supportive, and they didn’t even ask me any of the questions I was dreading like “how on earth did you make it to your mid 20s before you realised you like women?”. But now I’m having a weird emotional response. I thought I would feel, I don’t know, elated I guess? But I’m just sitting here with low level anxiety and nothing else.

    • I don’t know how long you were working up to coming out to them, but sometimes after doing a thing you’ve been planning and/or dreading for a while, there’s a deflation period during which you kind of have to adjust to the aftermath and get your head around the idea that you don’t have to be anxious about the what-ifs anymore. So basically it doesn’t sound like a weird emotional response to me! It just sounds like you’re mentally and emotionally getting used to the new circumstances.

    • aw I hope you go celebrate anyway! it’s a big accomplishment. Maybe it will feel more real when you start experiencing moments where you benefit from being out to your parents, like not having to edit your conversation topics / behavior (not saying you did that, but just as a general example).

    • Hi Madelaine! I had kind of the same reaction with mine. I had all this anxiety and nervousness inside me about it and when I finally said it they were just like “Yeah…ok…we kind of knew already? Can we watch this movie now? What? Yes of course we still love you.” I was just…shocked? And still having all these nervous/anxious feelings. I think it’s totally normal. Also, congrats on coming out to your parents! <3

    • Wow, good for you! I also remember having an anti-climactic response and not knowing what to do with all the energy I’d been working up back when I came out. My mom and I followed up the not-bad conversation with a full year of not talking about it but now, five years later, she asks me about my dates and we talk about queer and trans issues and everything is great! So I think your response is totally normal and I hope you can sit with the feeling of support and acceptance :) and/or maybe go run around the block or eat a bunch of ice cream or something to help with the residual anxiety!

    • Thanks team. Validation and support have stopped the spiral. A run would be excellent if it weren’t currently raining with gale force winds. The ice cream idea has real merit though.

      • Happy for you, Madelaine. How about some candles, a blanket, ice cream, and some Netflix? That should help ya! :)

      • Yay! Glad you’re feeling on-the-up. I think it’s super normal, as everyone else already said.

        Congratulations on making this step forward. So happy for you!

  22. KaeLyn, good to see you back here! Can you eat vegetables again yet? Your baby is super cute. How do you pronounce Remi- like the French way?

    I’m moving in two weeks (or maybe three) and I found a place to live that I can afford and I get to paint my room! To celebrate not going into debt I am going right now to get my hair cut (by another person, for money, for the first time in more than ten years), and going for beers with a bunch of rad people I used to work with and then I have a date so life is pretty good.

    • I can eat broccoli again! Rejoice! I was really nervous the first time I took a bite, but it’s been smooth sailing so far.

      We pronounce it like the French way, but with a harsh American accent, so like REH-MEE

      You have quite a night planned! Have a really good time and congrats on finding a place!

  23. Remi is so sweet and precious! I’m not generally the kind of person that wants to hold babies, but this is a stormy Friday and everyone is being rude and all the systems are down and my managers just don’t even seem to care. Sitting on a couch holding a sleeping baby is a soothing thought. Plus, reminding myself that tiny little humans are being raised by rad people is one of the things giving me hope lately.

    All the support staff are here at work, but over half of the people we are here to support didn’t actually show up today. This storm isn’t as bad as everyone was saying (although it’s supposed to be worse tomorrow)and I’m glad trees aren’t blowing across roads and stuff, but if the power at work wants to go off so I can go home and stop dealing with impatient men I would be so happy. (Seriously. I don’t care that you are late for your meeting. I am doing everything thing I can to get you past security but you forgot your ID and my system is breaking and my phone isn’t working and I cannot make this process faster. Chill.)

    But! I am wearing a new sweater and it is super comfy, and drinking tasty tea, and yesterday I found out that I got a new position/promotion and next week I won’t have to deal with any of this. I’ll have to deal with other things and I have a feeling it’s the kind of position where I’ll be expected to be the sacrificial goat (because management is…less than great), but not this.

    And this weekend I am making beef bourguignon which is my all time favorite thing to cook. And also eat.

    • Well look at you, Julia Child, with your beef bourguignon! That is definitely one of those things that is, like, way too time-consuming for me to ever even attempt, so hats off to you!

      Congrats on the promotion! I hope it sucks less.

      Anytime you want to hold this crying monster, you are more than welcome to.

  24. First of all what an adorable family, Remi is just too cute for words I’m sure you’re doing an amazing job. Secondly, I’m new, I’m an expert lurker mainly because I’m cursed with chronic shyness. So I’ve decided after 30 erm something  years enough is enough I’m gonna actually people, actual real people!

    Here i am, i actually also have a 6 week old, i too spend most days on the sofa wondering where the day goes when i actually don’t do much apart from take care of my little man. I’m sure my partner thinks i just binge watch tv all day, ‘cos i wouldn’t do that at all… plans for the weekend? Catching up on sleep, it’s my partner’s turn for the night shift feeds hahaha ;-) and i might go and talk to random people on the street ‘cos i am now a talker!  erm maybe I’ll start with posting a tweet, small steps, small steps.

    Have a good one all.

    • Welcome into the sun, @sammy33! Glad you’re here and being social and all! Especially with a 6 week old at home. I’m looking forward to going back to work so I can get back to, like, being myself and not a 24/7 food machine and poop processor.

      Congrats on your little bundle o’ awesome, btw!

  25. Hello KaeLyn! Your family picture is so nice!! Y’all are lovely people and Baby Remi is tops!
    So listening to Solange’s song Don’t touch my hair and she has a soft voice I’m gonna listen to more of this.

    I’m reading Dragonoak The Complete History of Kastelir upon a recommendation I read here at A/S. Lovin it so far and it’s got me into liking medieval stuff and a Dragonoak woodshop page on fb that makes witchy stuff. I’m also really digging gorgeous gemstone images and the real ones. Full moon and trees. The leaves where I live are so many different colours. Yellows and where the staghorn sumac is hanging on the leaves are showing a bright red, and where the leaves are gone the beautiful structure of the trees is revealed. Others are showing oranges all so different. Forest bathing.

    In other news I’m doing some assignments for Strategic and Financial planning for Property Managers. :)

    I’m dating a couple folks online and wanting to get it offline…ya know or meet someone else :).

    My kitty started bringing a ball back to me when I throw it for him. It is quite amazing! he started doing it on his own and woah I love that he does this so much, he’s such a Mojo.

    • Thanks, @sarahk1! Good luck with the dating. It is cuffing season, after all!

      I’m very, very impressed that your cat can and will play fetch!

  26. I’m writing this comment with one hand because this guy fell asleep in the other one! Solidarity!

    (Also first pic in comments, I hope it works)

  27. Our photographer was pretty awesome. We felt really silly in some of the positions she suggested, like we were posing for a prom picture, but the results were really beautiful. Remi stayed asleep for exactly 20 minutes and then was a beast for the rest of the photo shoot. LOL.

    OK, so I have never watched Buffy and one of my best friends is obsessed with it. I guess I should start. It just seems like such an undertaking because there are SO many episodes! Like when I watched the X-Files and Xena all the way through. It took months for Xena and YEARS for the X-Files! I should watch Buffy, though. I have a feeling I’d like it…

  28. My mom died this week. I think it’s kind of fitting the Friday Open Thread is all about babies and life. Your family is beautiful, KaeLyn. Thank you.

    I find myself alternating between sobbing and relief. How does one mourn for an abuser? Someone that was horribly bigoted, violent, and caused such physical, emotional, and psychological harm? Memories of the terrible things intermingle with memories of warmth and happiness.

    When the roles were reversed and I nearly died, the first thing she did when she visited me in the hospital was to insult my looks. That was right before I came out. And of course she thought all LGBT people were demonic servants of Satan who should be put in camps and/or put to death. I’m glad she’s gone, but I’m still struck with sorrow and anger. Anger, I think, that now there’s no chance for her to ever amend. She’ll never be able to accept my being queer or my family. She’ll never be able to apologize. It’s just over. There was abuse and she’s gone and it’s just history. I think the tears are for the delusions of hope that just maybe someday she might actually love me for me.

    I’d already let her go to protect myself, but I guess I never let go of that sliver of delusional hope.

    • I’m sorry to hear you’re going through that ♥ Just know that everything you’re feeling is completely valid, even if it’s not what you think you “”should”” be feeling. {{hugs}}

    • Hi Joanna,

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having to deal with both the loss and the complicated feelings surrounding it. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a webcomic called Sister Claire, but one of the creators, Ash, recently lost her father as well, and it was a similar circumstance – he was abusive and just a horrendous person in general, and she was trying to work through it. Her family was giving her a bunch of grief for not being appropriately sad at his death, etc. etc. Her tumblr is Summerlightning and she posted some of her thoughts on the matter about a month ago. I don’t know if you would want to reach out to her or anything to have someone to talk to about it, but based on my experiences from some of her livewrites Ash is incredibly friendly even if she has no idea who the heck you are.

      Wishing you all the best with this crap situation of loss.

    • I’m so sorry for what you’re going through, Joanna.

      And this is totally unsolicited, but as someone who has gone through (at least from your brief description), similar circumstances, the main thing I had to keep reminding myself was that it’s okay to process feelings like lost hope, no matter how delusional they seem. because it’s reasonable and understandable and even expected for people to hope for things like that and be disappointed when they don’t become a reality — no matter how unlikely they may have seemed on paper. When I was going through something similar I just wished someone would’ve reminded me of that, so I wanted to do that while on the opposite side.

      Sending you all the best wishes and hugs (if you want them).

    • Just want to thank you for sharing this with us. It sounds incredibly complicated and your feelings in this situation are totally valid. I hope you give yourself permission to cope however you must and that you can lean on your loved ones for support in doing so. You don’t owe anyone anything.


    • I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and the abuse that preceded it. Pop psychology discourages us from believing abusers will change, but I think it is natural and human to hold out hope for someone to change, right until the end. Your hope that she might love you the way you deserve to be loved was an act of generosity toward her. I hope that you will remember in the coming days and weeks to be generous to yourself too, even if your emotions surprise or frustrate you.

      I also hope that you take the time to reflect on everything you’ve managed to achieve for yourself despite her abuse, and that you feel proud, because you should. I don’t know you personally, and we are all flawed, but your comments suggest that overall you’re an empathetic and thoughtful and a person of integrity. You made that happen even without a healthy model. You have my admiration and respect and I hope you are being given the support you need.

    • I’m so sorry Joanna. It must be very upsetting, despite your mother’s past behavior. Wishing you comfort and peace.

    • I can only imagine how conflicted you must feel. On the plus side you have partners with you to be with you. I am here if you need someone to talk to friend.

  29. So yesterday didn’t happen. Like I just didn’t get out of bed or acknowledge the world.
    I’m trying to concentrate on that being okay, as long as I don’t do it again.
    It’s been a weird old week, friends. I’m trying to list good things but they’re just coming out as things, like neither good not bad.
    I’m explaining this badly. I don’t really feel connected to the things I’m doing. Like a passive person trying super hard to be active, but like, trying is really hard.
    Oh whatever. This is a proper old ramble. There’s nothing wrong. And I did good today by pushing through and doing the things that needed doing.
    Also two of my friends came to hang out with me for lunch, and good on them, they did good at making me feel present.
    It’s been a weird week.

    • I don’t think you’re explaining that badly. Or at least, you’re explaining it in a way that reflects experiences I had. Keep going. Those days that don’t happen are okay sometimes. I think about it in terms of remembering that I need to shut down my computer sometimes. Nothing is meant to run continuously. Hang in there.

    • It makes perfect sense. Keep taking it day by day. You’re doing the best you can and that’s all you can do.

    • I just wanted to send you a hug (of course only if you feel like it)! Brx and KaeLyn have already put into words everything else I could have thought of as a reply to your comment… :)

  30. Oh, my, Remi is so cute and beautiful! ❤️ You two parents can catch up on your sleep …..after she graduates from *college*…..I think.
    Here are some butterfly photos. I wish I could have shown all 23 Monarchs that were in my flower garden just now to Remi !

    • Ooh, I love these! I particularly like the upward-looking angle on the last one. I don’t know what it is about butterflies. They just bring a smile to one’s face. I was sitting out on the porch a couple of days ago and, apropos of nothing, a butterfly just plopped right down on my chest. It hung out with me for a little bit before going on its way.

  31. Also, Kaelyn, you have the most beautiful baby t rex I have ever seen. I’m very glad you are sharing your family with us today.

  32. Ahhhh I’m glad to see your post, KaeLyn! I just want to hear All The Things about how you guys are doing. Also: Remi is adorable!!!

    So this is a little bit belated, but I went to QC last week to basically do a “trial run” at the agency I’ll be working for. I’m *really* glad I did. I was worried that it was going to be too much like your standard office job and I’d end up feeling like just another robot, but it wasn’t really like that at all. For one thing, everyone there is pretty young, so the environment was fairly casual (I can wear jeans to work!). For another, everyone’s pretty sociable and friendly. My project manager actually ran to catch up with me after work so she could walk me partway to my hotel, and I was added to the office Skype chat about someone’s birthday. Little things like that make a huge difference! I’m not saying it’s going to be all sunshine and roses, but I feel much more at peace with my decision to pack up my life and move for this job.

    Unrelated: the Sunless Sea Zubmariner expansion came out on Tuesday, and I’ve been holding off on playing until the weekend because I tend to get utterly consumed by games. Except now I have a wicked head cold, and something tells me that a Lovecraft-inspired game isn’t the wisest idea when you’re chugging NyQuil like water. The last thing I need is to start hallucinating sentient shipwrecks…

  33. The photo of your family is awesome! Reading the post gives me nervous/excited butterflies because my wife wants to start trying to have a baby next year.I guess I should enjoy sleep while I still can.

    In other news after a lifetime of long hair, I finilly got the courage to get my first fauxhawk. I.Love.It. I may never have long hair again! If anyone out there has wanted short hair but put it off, just do it. I never knew a hair cut could feel so liberating and empowering. No regrets! Though I wish someone would’ve warned me about how drafty my neck would feel. This weekend mission: scarf shopping.

    • Short hair for the first time is so amazing! Sometimes I want to let my hair grow really long again just so I can re-experience that.

      I’ve had short hair for nearly 5 years and it wasn’t until reading your comment that I realized why I also suddenly started wearing scarves 5 years ago when I never wore them before in the winter…

    • I miss my short hair! That breeze on your neck feeling is lovely.

      And good luck when and if you decide to start growing your fam!

  34. Baby Remi is soo cute and I’m sure they will grow up to be awesome like the parents. What kind of food can I send you? My plans last Sunday for a anti-Columbus day pumpkin baking party was rescheduled for hopefully this Sunday. I had such a hankering for pumpkin still that I spent part of my Sunday grocery shopping, and baking pumpkin based foods. Well really all I made was a pumpkin crust pizza, with a pumpkin-tomato pizza sauce, and pumpkin salsa glazed soyrizo topping, capped off with a bottle of two buck chuck. I was in vegan pumpkin glory. I’m still in a pretty big pumpkin baking mood, so I could bake you some pumpkin pizza crust, or maybe get you pumpkin chips with a homemade avocado-pumpkin dip, or really anything you like friend.

    The rest of my week was pretty regular, though I did have the dilemma of which side to sit and shul on Wednesday. I didn’t want to start anything so I just sat next to my father. It reminds me, that maybe I should start going to queer/lgbtq shuls in my area. Would be better for me as a trans person.

    I did last Saturday go to a great queer housewarming party. Which reminds me, why can’t more parties be queer parties? Like pronouns are respected, queers everywhere, and barely a trace of straight people.

    In a fun haze I took this image Saturday night of the stars. Not bad for the city.

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

  35. Hi KaeLyn! It’s so good to see you on Friday Open Thread! I hope you are getting to enjoy conversing with adults and the Remi isn’t too fussy this evening. Babies- so much work! But they are cute!

    My week has been pretty good. On Monday I visited with a friend from A-Camp, so that was nice. Then on Tuesday my wife and I attended out 7th out of 9 classes for foster care. We will see how it goes. Today at work a co-worker who did foster care for several years was talking about all of the stressors and difficulties, so we’ll see. I at least want to try it out and see if they’ll license us.

    I’m enjoying the fall weather. My 6 month old niece has been spending the night two nights a week so her parents can sleep. I’m looking forward to taking her for a walk this evening and enjoying the beauty of fall!

    • She’s a little fussy and very demanding, but making up for it by making adorable almost-laughing faces when I play with her legs.

      Glad for the update on the foster care process. Excited for you! I have some friends who are foster parents and they love it. They’ve adopted through fostering, too.

      Hope you had a great evening with your niece!

  36. The big news in my life this week is that my daughter has come home from hospital (she was born 11 weeks early and was in hospital for 8 weeks). I’m enjoying all the baby stuff so much. She pissed on me twice and I even loved that. She also does that bird face a lot but we like to say she’s pulling a Kenneth Williams face.

    • This is the most British comment I’ve ever seen in a FOT and I love it. Congratulations on your slightly larger family, I’m so happy that your daughter is doing so well.

    • Congratulations! Congratulations! I’m so happy for you that she’s home, @rose_! I can’t imagine. Remi was in the Special Care Unit for 5 days and it was awful for us.

      I’m so glad she’s healthy and home with you.

      • As difficult as it has been, she has got better and come home and so we have just focused on that. Honestly I feel like we are very lucky and the support we got in the hospital was incredible.
        I really like all the people with babies commenting too, it makes me feel like we’re breeding an army, well an army of awesome, thoughtful, strong, kind humans.
        Also, I realise it’s no longer Friday but the whole website wouldn’t load for me when I tried to do this post-feed in the night.

  37. Awwww all your beautiful photos made me cry! A million congratulations <3<3<3.

    I just got an email about a possible match for settlement mentoring, and I'm really happy at the idea of helping someone to feel at home here. I had a lot of unexpected help when I immigrated here, and it made such a difference to my experience. I would really love to pay that forward and make someone else's transition easier.

    Have to run – but have a great weekend all!

    • That is really cool that you’re called to help other folks who are immigrating here! I hope it’s a good experience. I’m sure it’ll be super valuable to the person you’re paired with that you have empathy for the challenges of immigrating to a different culture.

  38. I’m so happy to hear that everything is going relatively well for you all :) she is so adorable and I really enjoy your stories.

    Our twins are due in Jan sometime, unless they decide to come early. I am still having a hard time believing they’re real even though I feel them rolling all the time. I can’t shake the “I’m so freaked out I hope we made the right decision and I hope I am a good mom” feeling, but it’s comforting to know that my wife is so positive and so sure about everything.

    If you need a good day of tv, I suggest the JoBenet and Amanda Knox docs that just came out if you like crime tv. They are riviting. I hope everything keeps going well for you all :)

    • So excited for you, @ruthabelle! I didn’t totally feel like it was real until I saw that baby for the first time. I hope your delivery goes well and that your babies are here healthy and happy! They’re going to be here so soon!

      I absolutely don’t know what I’m doing, but what other parents say is true. You figure it out and you do your best and that’s all you can expect of yourself.

      Sending wishes for a successful arrival of your two little ones!

      • Thank you! Best wishes to your family as well, I look forward to hearing how Remi and mama’s progress :) ps: that head of hair!!! I love it!!!

  39. Hello everyone! First time posting in Friday open thread.

    Everything is going okay for me. Working on losing weight and figuring out how to start moving towards being vegan. I am also working on making it through my classes but I find myself struggling at times to get motivated to do the homework. It’s pretty frustrating. I also plan on moving next year which is something to look forward to. Other than that not much going on in my life. XD

    P.S. Remi is really adorable.

    • Welcome to FOT, @rhodestowonders! Glad you’re here!

      I’m not vegan anymore, but I was for over a decade. When I was transitioning from vegetarian to vegan, I found setting a date for when I was officially going to start helpful. Good luck!

    • i joined team vegan a year ago. one thing that worked for me was, instead of trying to switch everything all at once, I substituted one non-vegan item at a time in my meal plans. So, switch to soy milk or whatever and see how you like it, first for one meal, and then for every meal, and see what works and what doesn’t. It helped it be more manageable for me, not to mention gave my body time to adjust.

  40. I’m sitting at work wondering if my power will still be on when I get home, we are having some crazy typhoon fueled weather here in Vancouver. I am hoping my power stays on for the rest of the weekend, I am having a movie marathon with some new friends that I have met through a queer book club which I am pretty excited for.

  41. I’m dating now! You may remember ‘woman I was sitting next to and very focused on’ from our brunch… that was our second date. We are Facebook official now (because Facebook is real life… and both of us thought it was corny but cute to go official)and pretending we know what we are doing (we don’t, what is dating, I don’t even know).

    Tonight is an after dark event at a local museum (I’m sure you know the one) and we are headed that way shortly. I am having fun and going for a nice androgynous/masculine look. Theme is ‘speakeasy’ and I was able to scrounge together a 20’s-ish outfit for under $15. Not a period piece by a long shot but enough to make people think “olden times”… I hope. Should be fun!

    I got her flowers and chocolates, which feels corny as hell but I never get to date and I want to do all the corny shit, damn it.

  42. Hi everyone!!

    So for those of you who weighed in on my whole “to get the name of my biological father or not get the name”, after quite a bit of introspection and recognizing how much I love my chosen families and I am happy with the identity I’ve come into, I got the name. And with the first Google search, the first relevant result was a story about a man pulled over for, well officially called, indecent exposure while driving. So that ends my curiosity! Haha

    So yeah, super thankful for chosen families!!!

    I hope everyone has a great weekend and I’m sending good vibes to all of you going through hard times. And great times. Everyone gets good energy.

    • Indecent Exposure probably tops Confederate Flag Bottomed Girls uncle-maybe. Yikes!

      But I’m glad you had the chance to process and decide what you wanted to do/what was best for you. The nice thing is, you can always revisit if you want to later. I’m with you, though, chosen families are the best.

  43. 1. Thanks for this community guys. It helps so much to come here and see people’s good and bad and cute and get some perspective on things. Thanks especially for the cute, Remi is precious.
    2. I do not want to really process right now. Suffice it to say that it’s been a tough week to slog through, and I’m behind on a lot of important things. Wish me the best!
    3. Although I saw girl again, it is no clearer whether we are dating or friends. At least we’ve been consistently texting about books? \_(ツ)_/¯

    • so i misread that as “consistently texting about boobs” and was like ok dude, i think it’s clear where that falls on the flirting scale. books are good too, tho. books are really nice.

      • I am pretty romantically oblivious, but I think even I could tell when the conversation turns to boobs you are probably getting lucky. Although I had a tightknit group of friends in college that were really into lingerie sewing and midwifery, so we talked about boobs in a non-flirty context a lot!

  44. Aw squishy still very new small human!
    Aw poor parents of new squishy human. xD
    Did you get the thing I said about laundry?
    Consider nut bars. You can eat them 1 handed and they have protein and some of them fruit too.
    My life:
    It’s cookie weekend (Sicilian-American side of the family reunion) so I’m on a road trip. With dogs, parents and stubborn elderly hearing impaired woman we all love no matter how much she drives us up the walls

    Oh I got a new phone and joined Instagram about an hour ago (doggy pictures in your future FOT). My course work looks fab and I might be able to graduate in spring after all.

    • Cookie weekend! Mmm. My dad’s side of the family is half-Sicilian and 100% Italian. Italian cookies are THE BEST. I hope you have a great trip, @gunna-see-the-light!

      Luckily, Waffle is taking care of pretty much all the housework including laundry and dishes. I totally have a little snack stash next to me on the couch on a little table. Granola bars are very good. Anything that can be noshed without utensils and with one hand, really.!

      • @kaelynrich
        I some need to apologize for not being responsive, recommend the animated Justice League series from the 00’s and Justice League Unlimited.

        The cooking making chatting was great, but the driving parts were nuts. Imma laugh hard about it later but the whackness is too fresh right now.

        Waffle did good getting many clothes for the youngling, food stash and clean laundry stash is how to survive the hairy claustrophic parts of parenting an infant.
        Or at least that is the wisdom passed down to me that makes much sense.

  45. So I’ve had kind of a weird/terrible week.

    1. For those of you following the saga of my relationship status, I had a chat with that person about the butt-touching. Well, I’m not sure if it counts as a conversation if I said words and the other person answered with a very awkward drum solo on top of my car before grabbing my hand and escorting me to the driver’s seat in hopes I would leave so they wouldn’t have to come up with a response. And they’ve been pretending like that conversation never happened over text since then, so okay, that’s where things stand.

    2. The endoscopy showed that everything looks normal with my insides. I really wanted something to show up on some test finally so we could get to the “fixing/treating the problem” stage of things, but nope and the gastroenterologist has basically gone “NOT MY PROBLEM” at me, so cool. Not sure where to go from here.

    3. Fasting for that long for the capsule endoscopy was even worse than I feared, and has left me feeling pretty shitty, even 3 days of no fasting later.

    4. One of my friends has shingles and while not great in and of itself, I’m very nervous that I could have been exposed to it and I’m fairly sure I never got the chicken pox booster so I could be vulnerable to getting the chicken pox and/or shingles, and with my immune system being a mess from the rest of my health problems this wouldn’t be good. (Yes, I know it’s not very contagious and is really only the pus, but before she was diagnosed I took a look at the rash/pustules because no fewer than 3 of my friends got shingles in college so I kinda know what it looks like. And then I realized that getting that close of a look was probably a Bad Idea but that was after I looked at the pustules all up close and personal in my face.)

    5. While driving up to the last paddle festival of the year, a friend called me to tell me that a mutual friend had passed away due to cancer. It was not unexpected because he had not been doing well the entire time this cancer had resurfaced, but it’s still a blow. This man was one of my mentors when I started boating again and taught me to roll and is definitely one of the reasons I actually am boating today. I also feel very guilty because I found out a couple months ago that he wasn’t doing well and had been meaning to call or visit, but got so caught up in my own health problems that that never happened and I really, really regret that and that now I never will be able to see him again. But it feels fitting to be at a paddling festival, with friends, and boating as the best way to honor his memory. There’s been a lot of ugly crying in my car though, too.

    • Hey friend!

      1. Well, it wasn’t a direct answer, which I guess is kind of an answer that they weren’t sure either or didn’t want to say? To be continued…?

      2. Ugh. Sorry you don’t have answers yet.

      3. <3

      4. Hope you’ll be ok!

      5. I’m so, so sorry to hear about your loss. Don’t beat yourself up about not going to see him. You have so much of your own stuff going on. I’m sure he knew how much he meant to you. I’m glad you have good memories to reflect on as you grieve. I’m so, so, so sorry. :(

  46. Is anyone else going to Grace Hopper Celebration next week? I’m stressing out over it while trying not to. Job searching is hard. Oh, and my mother started chemo this week. My life is made of stress right now. My weekend is going entirely to resume tuning, rehearsing my elevator pitch, maybe interview practice, packing, family stuff, and probably yoga (I will need it).

    I hope your new-baby time isn’t too terrible! I apparently had colic and never slept at all when I was a baby.

    I’ve been watching Narcos lately. I’m enjoying it despite its flaws. There was obviously a lot going on in Colombia at the time that it glosses over.

    I’ve been rereading Amanda Downum’s The Bone Palace and Marie Castle’s Hell’s Belle and enjoying both of them. I’ve also been reading some very embarrassing Lexa/Clarke fanfiction, as well as some less embarrassing Carmilla, Skyrim, and Scully fanfiction.

    • Hope you had a productive weekend and are feeling a little less stressed, hopefully at least more prepared! <3

  47. Your baby photos are adorable and I love how you describe your darling screaming T Rex night owl child.

    I am now going to go and look for happy posts throughout this because my week was quiet as hell…

    And then I found out my darling older cat (ONLY 6) has Kidney disease, maybe cancer, and I thought he was just taking a longer recovery from the cross country move… so I’m gonna mark myself down as inconsolable for the weekend.

    • Oh no. I’m so sorry. My elderly 16 yo cat has kidney disease and that’s hard enough. Sending internet hugs if you want them.

      • Thank you! I’m hoping the food helps enough to stabilize him–and that the “high calcium which could be cancer” ends up just being a fluke or something. Logically I know my feelings are marred in my phd coursework (when it was just the two of us) but doesn’t make it better, really.

        I hope you’re cat is doing well! No matter the age, its no fun.

    • I’m so sorry about your cat. Our last kitty had chronic kidney disease. The food helped her, as well as medication and she lived almost two years past her diagnosis. It was hard, though. Really hard. I hope you have support. You definitely have support from your AS family. Sending you lots of love and I hope you got lots of cuddles with your furbabies this weekend.

  48. Your photos are beautiful. I’m ridiculously happy to see them. And you’re all doing really, really well.

    I went to a queer book group tonight. We talked about Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie and it was such a fun discussion. I’d already read the whole trilogy and I was SO excited to have people to discuss it with. It’s not as obviously queer as some of the books we’ve read but it was really interesting – it’s space opera set in a human culture with no concept of gender – the narrator refers to everyone as “she,” even though she occasionally notes that someone is male.

    • I’m down for the “universal she” and everything about a “space opera set in a human culture with no concept of gender” sounds pretty rad.

  49. On a lighter note–things I like to watch on Netflix that I highly recommend:
    –leverage (it is about a found family of thieves; tag line “People like that, corporations like that, they have all the money, they have all the power, and they use it to make people like you go away. Right now you’re suffering under an enormous weight. We provide…*Leverage*.”)
    –Star Trek (because seriously it’s all there. My favorite by a considerable margin is DS9, and while the first season is a little slow, it is fantastic once you get into things! It has all the character development of Voyager (and more!) but without the lack of consequences and explores moral gray areas and their ethics more than other treks tend to do. Plus like canon queer lady (I mean like…depending on how you view Trills’ concept of gender we could have a canon queer genderfluid character folks), and multiple WoG confirmed queer characters that unfortunately the network was Not Down With so the subtextual gay had to be toned down (also some network enforced really bad bi stereotyping :/ but I also won’t say more bc *spoilers*). There is a lot to love about DS9.)
    –Supergirl (I’m only about halfway through but dang, do I really like this show!!)

    I would put more things on this list but like…that’s really all I watch, especially since lately my brain isn’t doing the brain thing so well and I can’t follow new material well at all. But like serious I love Leverage a lot and it absolutely is my go-to comfort Netflix show and I think everyone should watch it because I think pretty much everyone would like it.

    • Supergirl is awesome! My wife and I were pleasantly surprised by this little show. I have high hopes for it in the future.

    • I’ve been meaning to do the Star Trek thing for a while now. It’s just SO MUCH to watch and catch up on, though!

      Any specific episodes to watch to start, @hollisb? Or should I just start from the beginning?

      • HMMMM…I did a lot of research into this (by googling “ds9 best episodes). There are a lot of common episodes that the lists agreed on, and I find myself agreeing that many of them are the “best” (though that doesn’t mean that all of them are easy to watch). But honestly? DS9 has less episodic episodes and longer arcs that make picking out a few episodes that are the best to watch. I was going to give you my favorite characters, but I started typing them all out and it was 75% of the main and supporting cast, so I’d say to just start watching them–also, DS9 is not a bad place to start watching imo? I had seen some of Voyager and various isolated episodes of TNG and 0 episodes of TOS, and DS9 works well by itself without needing a ton of Star Trek knowledge to get what’s going on. It also helps that there’s very few “”bad”” episodes of DS9, especially compared to Voyager or TNG (I am currently struggling through TNG. It has some good episodes! But also quite a few very not-good episodes. Hence the struggle.)

        If you want to piecemeal through something, Voyager is decent for that because it has some just…flat-out bad episodes. I won’t give a list here because Voyager is considerably less fresh in my memory, but I know that there are a few watching guides floating around on the internet.

  50. speaking of spending weeks alone with a cranky baby, i just finished another chapter of my cranky dissertation. i can’t wait until this shizzle is finished and i can end this forced isolation and return to civilization. in the mean time, thank you for being my internet friends and providing precious socialization during my solitary confinement.

    • One chapter at a tiiiiiiiiime! Keep it up and it’ll be over…eventually. Then you just have to defend. :)

  51. Hello everyone!
    I wasn´t planing on writing anything here this week, because I´ve been so overwhelmed with anxiety (mostly regarding my future possible non-binary (maybe ftm) transition and my feelings of weakness). But I´m feeling a bit better since yesterday and you guys are like a family (in the best possible way) to me, so I felt like at least writing something short. Even more so since you, KaeLyn, are hosting this week! I am so happy for you and your family and wish you all the best! I´ve enjoyed the journey you have let us be a part of so much, and your beautiful writing and the things you shared made me cry happy tears more than once. So: Thank you so much! Also: Remi is so so adorable! :) It´s awesome to know, that this world has a cute little smiling, crying and growing Remi in it and that you and Waffle take such amazing care of her! :) (Also: I´m obsessed with dino-covered things now, thanks to you… :-) )

    Right now I am focussing on enjoying the things I can, which is mostly good food, warm showers and talking to friends on the phone and try not to think too much about my gender exploration (because I just would get owerwhelmed again). Right now its going okay, and I try to tell myself, that I can be proud of that in itself. I had a really good conversation with my ex-partner yesterday and now I feel more hopeful again, regarding the next steps and my ability to go on and do what is best for me. I also found out that (at first without me noticing) he had already deliberately stopped using my female name in text messages (I´m trying out a “male” one right now with a couple of friends, to see how it feels, which he knows about). That was something that I was planing on asking him to do as a staging post to later on at some point using the male one (that would be really hard for him at this point, which I understand, only a few weeks after our break up. Also its not like my “old”/female name is making me very uncomfortable… it just feels a bit… weird. But since we are talking relatively often and are doing our best to become/stay friends, I felt like it would be helpful to me, if he took a first step.). We talked about this and that he did this on his own without me even having to ask for it, is a small thing that makes me really happy.

    Also I have a crush on a really cute girl and I think we are flirting a bit (cautiously but still kind of clearly)…? I´m never really sure what´s flirting and whats just really friendly conversation… :) But either way it makes me happy and nervous and a bit excited. :)

    I love you all very much and wish you a good weekend! (…and I guess I´m really not good at keeping it short…)

    • If you think it’s flirting, there’s a very good chance it’s flirting. That’s my experience with “really friendly conversation,” at least. Whether it’s appropriate or not to be flirting, it probably is. I hope you continue to have fun chatting with this girl and maybe even confirm the flirting is real in the near future. :)

      I’m sorry you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s a big life decision and big life decisions can be overwhelming, for sure. Sending you lots of <3 as you figure it all out.

      • Thank you for your kind words and the <3 – that feels so good! (I hadn´t seen your reply last weekend). Yeah – I´m kind of thinking the same about the "flirting or no flirting" question… At least if someone else describes a situation to me. If you´re unsure, it probably is flirting. :) But when I am the person who flirts (or doesn´t), than I´m suddenly unsure, if my rule applies. Maybe because I want to protect myself and my feelings in order to not be disappointed, in case there was no flirting… ;) Thank you again for your kind wishes! <3

  52. KaeLyn, I don’t think I ever commented much on your “Baby T-Rex” series but it meant a whole lot to me. I don’t ever plan to have kids, but it’s still a huge deal for me to see other queer people making their own families. I think it helps undo a lot of the hetero pressure I felt as a kid (and, sometimes, still do!) to have a certain kind of family and only do it in a certain kind of way. Also your conversation with Waffle about what it was like to be the non-gestating parent was honest and cute and funny and tender and just… gah. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us! :D

    In other news I am planning to see Rocky Horror for the first time ever (in a theater! I hear there might be toast?) and I am looking forward to this queer rite of passage.

    • Erica! That means so much. It was a fun column to write and cathartic to me to share and dialogue with other queer folks.

      Rocky Horror is my problematic fave! I’ve watched it hundreds of times and have an embarrassingly expansive hoard of fan memorabilia. I hope you had a blast!

  53. Ahh! Congrats KaeLyn and Waffle! Your family is beautiful :) And I agree with Erica – I don’t know if I want kids but it’s wonderful to see other queer couples (especially one like yours) start their own families. I hope everything goes well and that you enjoy the time with Remi :)

    One of my girlfriend’s coworkers also recently had a baby — she’s called us the baby’s aunties for a while now and we haven’t even met her yet. But when we do we have plans to get her baby a rainbow onesie of some kind haha.

    Speaking of my girlfriend, we’re officially closing the distance and I am so so thrilled yet so so terrified. I have lived in Wisconsin my entire life and although I’m only moving a state away to the Twin Cities, it’s still scaring me a bit. My last day at my current job is the day before Thanksgiving and I’m moving soon after that. Eee! (If anyone has any advice about how to adjust after closing the distance, it would be much much appreciated. Thank you!)

    Have a good weekend everyone!

    • Thanks so much, @cmcasarez! Remi took a 3 hour nap today and it was a-fucking-mazing!

      When you get around to visiting your friend’s baby, bring them dinner. Take out, pizza, whatever. I promise they’ll appreciate it!

      Congrats on moving in with your girlfriend! Yay!

      • Haha that’s awesome! That’s good advice – we were thinking their favorite kind of alcohol too haha. And thank you! :D

  54. Your family photos brought me great joy this weekend, Kaelyn. All that love just radiates. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

  55. I literally never respond to the hangout threads even though they literally always seem adorable and grand, but because I have so many good friends who are parents, the craving-adult-contact vibe speaks to me on a deeply personal level.

    My immediate life: I’m doing some road trip traveling before I go and work with a friend in the PNW mountains all winter! I tried to check out downtown Portland for the first time, was so overwhelmed by downtown Portland that I left immediately, and proceeded to spend the rest of my Portland experience taking care of my friends’ kids in the suburbs and installing insulation on some houses (which sounds cool but mostly looked like me holding things, passing things, accidentally fucking up a staple gun, and feeling a lot like Zhu Li from Legend of Korra) and processing hella tomatoes for canning. And working on my first embroidery project ever, which is p much just me doodling a rainbow design that I won’t know what to do with when I’m done / dreaming of my next project which is just gonna be an ornate patch w ‘QUEER’ on it in big letters (to put on my hoodie). I’m so ready.

    I also came out publically on the internet (after eight solid years of just hoping everyone would know without my saying anything) when I woke up and remembered national coming out day was a thing.

    Here’s a classy excerpt: “I’ve spent a lot of years operating under the false assumption that if I were patient enough, some crazy unimaginable shift in my mollecular structure would occur and I would suddenly start showing up on the Great Gaydar in the Sky.”

    Other my-life things: I have gotten so into geocaching on this road trip, oh my god, I can’t even talk to you about it because I would regale you w/ its glory for five years but wow, geocaching, I love it. // I just got some really beautiful juggling props and I’m so excited that I kind of feel like I’ve adopted the inanimate equivalent of a puppy, or even a BUNDLE of puppies // I’m riding through Oregon’s doomsday storm rn, an That Shit Cray // I’m about to go spend two straight weeks in the woods with other queerz, and it is going to be ~*magical*~, and I feel a lil bad for not being able to tell everyone in this thread where that’s going on and to come immediately.

    Movie rec: An incredibly cute humyn recently told me, “Electrick Children is one of my favorite movies and it’s weird as fuck and none of my friends will watch it,” and I was like “girl u put that shit on 4 me right in the actual now” and I paid rapt attention and for that reason I can confirm that it is, in fact, weird as fuck. It was also amazing, tho??? Maybe you’ll like it?? She also showed me Gone Girl, which I realize is old, but it kind of blew my mind, too??? And I can’t tell whether I have an ‘a-person-I-like-showed-me-these’ bias or whether they are really quality films that I can confidently suggest to others


    apologies if my formatting is whack I am typing on a phone

    • I forgot to say that I adore all of yr t-rex photos and tales and would totally read an infinite number of them, js

    • I just so happen to like weird movies and cult films, so thanks for the recommendation. I’ve never heard of it! I just looked it up and it looks good in that way a movie about immaculate conception and possible incest looks good. Putting it on my list to watch when I’m in the mood for such things or if I can find it for free somewhere.

      Can’t wait to see your QUEER patch (if you decide to post in FOT again!)

      And like…congrats, I guess, on officially coming out. Sounds like it was a “stating the obvious” thing, but it’s still a thing!

      Have a magical and lovely time in the woods with your fellow humans!

  56. Thank you for the pctures andd congratulatons.I had been irrtated this weekend already by biphobia from some ignorant lesbians. I’m tired of beng told that bisexuals have t easier. Being bullied by both Straght and some LGTQ s not easy

    • Ugh. I can’t stand biphobic lesbians. It’s somehow more hurtful than when it comes from straight folks. Sorry you had to deal with that.

  57. OMGLOB. I am so late to the party but baby remi is THE CUTEST TINY CREATURE EVER! If I knew you irl I would be round your house all the time. In a super-supportive-friend-and-not-at-all-creepy way.

  58. For all of you who want to know about ” being transgender”

    A Wonderful Book All About “being transgender”
    The Gendered Self: Further Commentary on the Transexual Phenomenon

    by Anne M. Vitale, PhD

    This is a great book for transgender people like myself to read, but it is also a wonderful book for all the cis people who want to learn all about what “ being transgender” is , which is a feeling they have never had and therefore is a stumbling block for them in understanding we who are transgendered!

  59. Wow omg so I’m super late to this living room party but it’s because I’ve been spending the last nine weeks taking care of my own new tiny human roommate and camping out in my own living room–I finally worked my way through lots of autostraddle articles and most of oh joy sex toy, and now just found this in the “archive”.

    I’ve been going back and forth so much between feeling like I’m starting to figure this out and then everything falling apart again–like last night when baby Bea decided to cry from 8pm-6:30am for no goddamn reason (growth spurt? colic? who the fuck knows), so tonight I’m obviously holding her and bouncing on the yoga ball ALL NIGHT to avoid that. Jk, if/when she finally settles I’m totally crashing.

    Anyway, it’s always rad to check in with other new queer parents–I wish there were better ways to connect in person, as nice as all the straight and lesbian moms are at baby group it is NOT THE SAME.

    Unfortunately I have moved past middle of the night Netflix binges because my baby is now too distractable, but if you’re looking for a short binge I got pretty into Lilies, a BBC show from 2008 I think by some of the same people who make Call the Midwife. Its about these three sisters in Liverpool right after WWI who are all pretty rad…one of them is training to swim in the olympics…it’s a hidden gem I think.

    We’re still not done with season 3 of transparent, we have to save it for when the baby is super asleep and we won’t be interrupted so we can have all the feelings.

    Whew–I think that took me long enough to type one handed while bouncing/holding that I can put her down–wish me luck!

    • Hi, Caitlin! Congrats congrats congrats!!!!!!!!! So good to hear from you!

      I’m so sorry your little one is keeping you up all hours of the night. I hope it’s a short-term thing. Is it possible she has her days and nights mixed up? Or one of the gazillion other reasons babies do what they do.

      I wish they could communicate beyond crying! I’ve figured out what her essential cries mean–hungry, sleepy, frustrated, uncomfortable. Then there’s just the crying that can’t be diagnosed because she’s just upset and can’t tell me why.

      I have to say that we’re at 3 months (13 weeks) now and it’s gotten a lot easier. She still needs a LOT of attention, but we can at least put her down for 10-15 minutes at a time when she’s in a good mood. Those minutes help!

      Thanks for the tv recommendation! It still helps! I’m back at work now, so less time for TV, but sometimes I do still get stuck on the couch at night.

      Solidarity on the yoga ball thing. My thighs have never seen so much daily exercise before. My parent and in-laws think the yoga ball thing is amusing and weird–must be a newer parenting fad, but if it works it works!

      Sending queer parent love to you! I agree that the types of moms (lesbian and straight) who go to “mom group” are typically nice, but not the sort of folks I want to make meaningful friendships with. Thank goodness for the internet!

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