FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: It’s Flash Friday For Our Fundraiser, Let’s Talk About PERKS

SWEET BABY ANGELS, WELCOME TO THE LAST FRIDAY OPEN THREAD OF JULY 2019, CAN YOU BELIEVE THE WEEK WE’VE HAD?!?!?! This time last week we were on Day 2 of our largest fundraiser to date, Valerie Anne was talking to us about the best songs for a Big Gay Road Trip, and we had no idea you were going to help us raise $90,000 in SIX GODDAMN DAYS!!!!!!!!! OH MY ACTUAL GODDESS, SHOULD WE ALL JUST LIE DOWN AND ACCLIMATE TO THE NEW WORLD YOU’VE HELPED US CREATE FOR A MOMENT?!?!?!

Okay but seriously, I need you to know how fucking magical the past week has felt at Autostraddle Headquarters (which, to be clear, is a Slack Channel On The Internet). I think it’s fair to say that everyone at Autostraddle loves the work we do here, otherwise we would not be here, but damn, sometimes it’s hard to stay optimistic and engaged when things seem so bleak. The media landscape in 2019 is so bleak. But then! BUT THEN Y’ALL! YOU HAPPENED. YES, YOU!!!! Launching our biggest fundraiser to date and meeting our goal in LESS THAN ONE WEEK has buoyed our spirits and our dreams and our commitment to do right by you x 1000000. The “office” has felt like a happier place. We’re inspired! We’re overjoyed! We’re ready to work! We’re ready to live in this brave new world you’re literally helping us create! We’re grateful.

As a way to show our gratitude and also as a way to keep our fundraiser (which continues through July 31 and is right now in Phase I of our exciting Stretch Goals!) fun and engaging, we’ve launched a Flash Friday Sale today! What is a Flash Friday Sale, you ask? Well as a team we brainstormed some weird and personal stuff that might be of interest to our community and we’re flash selling it off! Only one of each perk exists, we’re putting each one up individually quick quick quick all day today, and once it’s snapped up we’ll move on to the next! Have you been playing along already on social media? It’s wild! Rachel’s gonna talk to you about [redacted]! Archie’s gonna send you a [redacted]! Reneice is gonna send you personalized [redacted]! I had to keep writing [redacted] because these are all surprises until we post them! WHAT A TIME TO BE GAY AND ALIVE, AM I RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!

Anyway I thought it would be cute and fun and wonderful if we could use our time in the Friday Open Thread today to FREAK OUT ABOUT THE FUNDRAISER and specifically FEEL EXCITED ABOUT THE FLASH FRIDAY PERKS!!! I want to hear which fundraising perk has been your favorite, I want us to guess which perks the team might release today (I’ve got a few up my sleeve!), I want to know your ultimate dream perk, and of course, because you are the actual beating heart and lungs and soul behind this operation, I wanna know what perk you would offer if someone said to you, “Hey, we’re having a Flash Friday Sale for our Fundraiser, can you offer up a weird and quirky thing that is specific to you?” What would you offer? What’s your super power? What’s your secret talent? What would you like to share with the world?

And of course y’all, I’m also available to hear anything you wanna share. Tell me about your week, your crush, your pets, your thirst traps, your summer plans, your hopes, your dreams…I’m here for it all. I fucking love you for forever. Thank you for everything, truly. Thank you.


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Vanessa is a queer feminist writer and photographer currently based in New York. She really misses Portland. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 286 articles for us.

97 Comments

  1. AS Team, I am SO freakin’ excited about you all hitting your target fundraising goal and then some!!! <3

    My perk would probably be resume writing or education counseling. I know that's not the most exciting thing to offer, but it's what I feel like I'm really good at doing.

    I cannot wait to see what amazing things AS can do this upcoming year.

    • ruth, THANK YOU! we are SO FREAKING EXCITED ABOUT IT TOO! I CAN PRETTY MUCH ONLY TALK IN ALL CAPS TODAY, IT RULES!!!!!!

      also that is an amazing perk? resume writing is so hard, and education counseling is so niche and specific. i would 100% buy your perks.

      thank you again. just gonna keep saying it to all of you all damn day, for forever. <3 <3 <3

  2. I’m so excited for AS! Watching the flash sale is super fun, I want every perk! What if one of Archie’s perks was being a guest character in Grease Bats?!
    My perk would probably be care package of your favorite cookies freshed baked by me! Or your favorite pizza right out of my oven if you lived close by.
    My week has been hectic and kinda rough. I finished moving/cleaning my old place. My cat Sweetums and I are settling into our new very cute apartment and loving it a lot. But physically it took a lot out of me and I’m having a hard time finding a routine that works for me. Job searching is the wooorst and continues to really bum me out! I hate rejection. I’m getting my last 2 wisdom teeth out later today and not looking forward to it, except the eventual relief of constant pain. And I have so many crush feelings its wild. How dare someone be so cute and so kind and considerate? It’s uncalled for!

    • JAY!

      first of all you win a prize for thinking up the best perk we didn’t make?!?! i wonder if we can somehow add this perk?!?! jfc, THE BRAINS IN THIS COMMUNITY. i love.

      i’m sorry you’re having a hectic and rough week. that all sounds like a LOT. job hunting is truly the worst but i have every confidence that you will find something good for you, and i hope it is sooner than later! and sending you so much love and care for your wisdom teeth removal later today! that is definitely not fun but the relief of constant pain will be worth it!

      also omg, “How dare someone be so cute and so kind and considerate?” – I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE CRUSHING ON SOMEONE WORTHY OF YOUR TIME!!!!!!! at the very least. but yes i agree that’s extremely rude, HOW DARE THEY. 😉

      i love you babe. thanks for loving autostraddle! <3

      • Why not more amazing perks right?! The limit does not exist!

        Thank you <3 I'm really hoping I do find something good for me, I need something stable and safe and ideally mildly enjoyable.

        Very, extremely worthy of my time! And makes me feel like I'm worthy of theirs, and that there will never be as much time in the day/week/ever to compare to how much I could spend with them. So that's cool and totally completely chill! 😂🥰

    • These are such cute ideas!!! I am currently in a CAB to see my GIRLFRIEND who lives ACROSS THE COUNTRY. it’s been two months and I cannot wait to see her omggggg. Yay!!!!!!!

      I’m so jealous of these flash perks they are such an amazing idea!!! I’ve been avidly following the fundraiser and I’m so so so happy u guys are getting raises!!! I hope u guys get hot n peace n stability n fancy ice cream all August.

      My flash perk might be a museum tour?? I’m a museum educator/want to be and I would love to take you on a themed museum tour. I’d also love to write a personalized card based on what three people you love say about you, or maybe a lil watercolor of a landscape you love.

      Also on the plane I’m hoping to finish an essay I really wanna submit for the travel essay — it’s getting to the hard part and I have been avoiding it because it’s hard to put myself back in that embarrassing middle school headspace. Any advice??

      • AHHHHH ENJOY YOUR TIME WITH YOUR GF!!!!!!! I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU BOTH!!!!!

        thank you for the sweet well wishes. we are so excited about the fundraiser. it really changes the whole game, doesn’t it?!?!?! cheers to abundance for us all, amen.

        LOVE your perk ideas. a personal museum tour sounds like a dream and omg, a personalized card BASED ON WHAT THREE PEOPLE YOU *LOVE* SAY ABOUT YOU?!?!?! good grief i am overwhelmed with my love of this idea. bless it all.

        this is such a real issue. one of my favorite writing teacher’s once gave us an assignment to write about the thing around which we felt most shame. OOOOOF. 500 words, go deep, write the thing you’ve been avoiding writing for years, go. it was HARD. there was no way around it except to fucking do it. i threw out like 6 drafts before settling on the one i turned in. and that 2 page piece is one of the strongest things i’ve written in years and is going to be a crucial turning point in my book. which isn’t really great advice, because basically what i’m saying is YOU JUST GOTTA DO IT, but know that i’m thinking of you and sending writerly support your way! you got this. <3

  3. I would have loved to buy a ticket to Heather’s Bitches Brew, but I don’t live in New York. She’s inspired me to keep a look-out for women’s beers, though! And tomorrow I’m going to make Reneice’s summer blueberry galette that she wrote about last year for a pool party — that’s just one of many ‘perks” I’ve gotten from Autostraddle over the years.

    • YES I LOVE THIS!!!

      i think i heard a rumor that heather may take bitches brew on the road if things continue going well with the fundraiser…i will try to get some confirmation on this but omg, can you imagine?!?!

      in any case, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE AND SUPPORTING US and also holy shit, yum. enjoy the galette! xoxo

  4. I work as an intimacy coordinator, so my flash would be you have a half hour where you can ask me any questions about how sex and nudity is filmed in tv, and do a trial session where I walk you through how I talk to actors to prep for a sex scene. Obviously, I would also give you all the hollywood gossip I know and them some about who is lowkey been in long term (or short term) gay relationships. Not Always Who You Think!

  5. My perk would be that I’d get some info about the person’s likes, wishes, dreams etc. and then write them a personalized mini story with them as the protagonist 😀

    I love this community so much. I love that we are proving you can build a THRIVING success on mutual support, respect and inclusion rather than the ususal soulless cutthroat bottom-line business practices. I LOVE THAT THE SENIOR EDITORS CAN DO THIS AND STILL GIVE THEMSELVES A RAISE!!! I HOPE THEY GET ENOUGH TO MAKE IT DOUBLE!!!

  6. And in my own news of the week, I found out last week that one of my favourite tattoo artists (who opens her books like once every two years and immediately books up) was going to be at a convention nearby, and despite being in a bit of financial straits right now I knew this was maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I drove out there and staked out for 7 hours and got this flash piece done! AND she said she’d be interested in doing a larger piece I have in mind in the future!!

  7. I am very excited that the site met their fundraising goal, cause I am not sure where I would be without this community. It really has helped me out a lot! Speaking of which, anyone here have an X or the related on their state ID? I am thinking about getting an X on my new drivers license, which I need due to new federal laws(and mines expiring next year. I am worried I could become a target, or cause problem when traveling, even just out of state. I am also kind of sure I want to start micro-dosing E paired with that hair shampoo that partially helps with hair loss.

    How’s everyone’s week going? Mines has been kind of long. To keep a long story short I had to just through some extra hoops just to get my computer, which is under warranty, replaced with a new device instead of another refurb(which is standard policy in the US). Refurb replacement is simple, but new replacement, requires the purchase receipt, which I lost, & warranty receipt doesn’t count. Now to wait for an answer. Hot tip for major tech purchases have your receipt emailed to you, less likely to loose it. It’s also usually humid, but on the plus side no dry skin burns. I also felt a wide range of emotions this week and none of them were happy and relaxed emotion, ugh. On the plus side going to a party hosted by two elder piano bar singing gays my bff introduced me to the other month. So, I am excited for a garden-ish party.

    I spend my Sunday sadly not in nature so nothing nature related to share. Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive Sunday!

  8. These are such cute ideas!!! I am currently in a CAB to see my GIRLFRIEND who lives ACROSS THE COUNTRY. it’s been two months and I cannot wait to see her omggggg. Yay!!!!!!!

    I’m so jealous of these flash perks they are such an amazing idea!!! I’ve been avidly following the fundraiser and I’m so so so happy u guys are getting raises!!! I hope u guys get hot n peace n stability n fancy ice cream all August.

    My flash perk might be a museum tour?? I’m a museum educator/want to be and I would love to take you on a themed museum tour. I’d also love to write a personalized card based on what three people you love say about you, or maybe a lil watercolor of a landscape you love.

    Also on the plane I’m hoping to finish an essay I really wanna submit for the travel issue — it’s getting to the hard part and I have been avoiding it because it’s hard to put myself back in that embarrassing middle school headspace. Any advice??

    • oh oops @ebwhite i responded to your comment in a thread above but am gonna post it here incase you miss it up there!

      AHHHHH ENJOY YOUR TIME WITH YOUR GF!!!!!!! I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU BOTH!!!!!

      thank you for the sweet well wishes. we are so excited about the fundraiser. it really changes the whole game, doesn’t it?!?!?! cheers to abundance for us all, amen.

      LOVE your perk ideas. a personal museum tour sounds like a dream and omg, a personalized card BASED ON WHAT THREE PEOPLE YOU *LOVE* SAY ABOUT YOU?!?!?! good grief i am overwhelmed with my love of this idea. bless it all.

      this is such a real issue. one of my favorite writing teacher’s once gave us an assignment to write about the thing around which we felt most shame. OOOOOF. 500 words, go deep, write the thing you’ve been avoiding writing for years, go. it was HARD. there was no way around it except to fucking do it. i threw out like 6 drafts before settling on the one i turned in. and that 2 page piece is one of the strongest things i’ve written in years and is going to be a crucial turning point in my book. which isn’t really great advice, because basically what i’m saying is YOU JUST GOTTA DO IT, but know that i’m thinking of you and sending writerly support your way! you got this. <3

    • Grounding rituals or objects help me. I like lighting a candle or drinking fragrant or playing with a worry stone. Really anything to remind you that you’re not that middle school kid now.

      And maybe try timed writing periods to get the first draft out.

      Good luck.

  9. My flash prize would be art that I’ve made. Or a hand made greeting card.

    Here’s some of my sculpture.
    https://www.behance.net/gallery/35109969/Figurative-Sculpture

    So excited for the fundraising. Hoping to be able to contribute to the stretch goal. My freelance contract was recently extended until the end of Aug so I’m feeling pretty flush right now.

    I’ve already been there over ninety days which is long enough to enroll in healthcare through the temp agency. I currently have medical but not vision so this means I might be able to get new glasses. Woo hoo.

  10. Argh! Usually I’m happily oblivious to social media and beyond content to get my exposure through vapid fluff posts. But today I realize sometimes there are consequences. A Find Your Fit session that doesn’t require me putting photos online? I have missed out. 🤦🏻‍♂️

    • awww this is a very sweet and pure comment! <3 <3 <3

      i hope that at some point in life this opportunity comes up for you again! i feel like it could! this week has me feeling like ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE so we shall see! but also you should totally submit to find your fit anyway! that’s my hot take 😉

      • THIS IS MAKING ME EMOTIONAL!

        also mika way to be on top of things, i was going to DM you about this but hadn’t gotten to it yet! EVERYONE IS RLY ON TOP OF EVERYTHING TODAY AND I LOVE IT.

  11. Honestly this place is a replenishing fountain of beauty and awesomeness. Just when I think we’ve reached peak Straddleverse, everyone comes along and offers these PERKS !

    No wonder that I’ve been dreaming of wild horses and even wilder storms at sea this past week.

    My flash perk would be one of my awesome hugs.

    Or, for those who live far away, I could perk you a Tarot reading. LOL I’d do it in French too.

    • ohhhh these are such good perks! i wanted to offer a tarot reading but tbh i do not feel confident enough in my skills and didn’t think it was fair to ask someone to pay $$ to hear from a beginner who doesn’t feel confident in her skills, lol. but i ALWAYS want a tarot reading so this perk is very appealing to me. also always want awesome hugs. in short YES this perk package rules.

      so glad you’re loving the perks, we had a really good time brainstorming them! thank you for being so supportive and present in the comments and in the straddleverse! <3

  12. I used to read Autostraddle in secret, clearing my browsing history afterwards even though it was my own personal computer, because you never know. And every word built me up, taught me something, helped me to grow in my own skin. Then I came out and stopped clearing my history. I started tentatively sharing things that I had read here with my friends, because my world was built through Autostraddle and if they wanted to know me, then they definitely had to know what queer TV shows I was watching and how hilarious the recaps were and how important this space felt.

    Then those friends pooled their money and sent me to A-Camp. I got to experience a queer community (in person!) that I had never had before. I met incredible people and attended workshops and had the time of my life. I have a video chat thread with my cabin-mates that I watch every day, and we discuss queerness and friendship and pop-culture and everything under the sun and my world is so much bigger and brighter with them in it.

    Some of those camp friends just pooled together to surprise me with one of the perks from today’s flash sale and holy smokes am I grateful! Autostraddle has been the foundation for so much of the growth that I’ve experienced in my life and I am so, so glad that this fundraiser has been so successful. I can’t wait to see what this means for the future.

  13. I would create a shared social calendar for you and your friends, find great events for you that takes into consideration the specific social dynamics and desires of your group, and color-code it for different types of events.

  14. Y’all, I just found out that my ten year old kitty has a very aggressive cancer and likely only has a couple of months before I’ll have to put him down. He’s the goodest, sweetest, most beautiful fluffy boy and my heart is broken. Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of my mom’s death and I also found out my dog needs knee surgery in the next few months too. I am overwhelmed with sadness and feeling like the universe hates me.

  15. My perks would be a session of writing coaching/revision assistance, public speaking coaching/prep, basic statistics tutorial because who doesn’t dream of doing THAT on a Friday night, or a bracelet or necklace designed and made for you with your input.

    This week I finished my surprise-to-myself Spiderman fanfic, speaking of things that brought me unexpected joy and that wouldn’t exist without AS. It’s from MJ’s perspective, she and Peter are both bi, it’s feminist and as queer as I could make it while trying to stay true to how they were portrayed in Far From Home.

    Ooo, a teeny tiny perk I will for-real offer in return for donations of any size, teeny tiny definitely included ($ to AS not to me): I was gonna post the fic today, but I’ll hold off a week, except if you reply to this comment to tell me about ANY donation you make to AS for this purpose, I’ll send it to you early. Anyone? (Lookit me trying to use my teeny tiny superpowers for good!)

  16. I’m soooo excited for the new stuff that’s about to come up. Personally , I had a rough couple of weeks cause I stopped going to therapy. But I’m back on it and trying to rebuild my life, moving for the 3rd time in 3 months though. Hopefully, fo the last time however since I’m signing a year long lease

  17. I’m a lil shattered all of these perks dropped while I was asleep, so my perk would be offering these perks at a reasonable hour to all the (sometimes) isolated babes living down under.
    In saying that, y’all are truly the greatest and I’m so glad I was able to chip in to help you out – you deserve all of this and I can’t wait to watch you thrive <3
    My week's been kinda stressful and i wasn't gonna share this but AS feels like a safe space. I have started applying for law clerkships that are a prerequisite for grad positions; so if I get one this year I would need to finish my degree by end of 2020 to start work in 2021…this is super competitive though and I think my chances of getting a clerkship are low, so I thought I would just apply this year to check out the process, get rejected, and try again next year…which allows me to spread out my degree a bit more and finish end of 2021.
    BUT then what if I do get something this year, I have to finish by the end of next year (instead of 2021) or if not, ask to defer the grad offer a year, and I don't think I have the privilege to do this. I don't know if i want to rush my degree and start work straightaway though…due to my circumstances it is going to be v hard to find a job but also I want to live my life a bit and maybe study or intern overseas and get my life experience etc etc and I don't know if I've fucked up my whole career trajectory by applying early.

    Anyway, thank you for reading – stay amazing! <3

  18. Ugh I went copy and paste style back up my post, accidentally hit submit just as my login timed out and LOST everything because the last thing in the clipboard was a word I was spellchecking.

    My feasible perks would/could be:

    Basic Bitch Survival Cooking tm-
    I love to cook, have executive dysfunction and some chronic health issues so I think I have unique, potentially helpful and humorous approach to cooking. Better at breaking stuff down and explaining why we DON’T do the thing.
    “The go-go gremlin is lying; that’s not a shortcut hon, that’s the fast track to learning how to scrap things off the ceiling”

    “What canned or frozen stuff is both tasty and your friend or can be smashed until it fits in friend slot.”

    Rant or Retell Some Historical [Noun] To the Best of My Degrees-less Ability ft. cussing out or straight up mocking various historical figures with perhaps some cackling about their ironic and gruesome deaths-
    Basically sober version of drunk history sans reenactments, but I talk with my hands sometimes very vigorously and they’re nice lookin hands

    Less Feasible:

    Teach Wire Wrapping Found Objects- because somethings I would feel the need to physically be there for safety reasons.

    Mixing spices by scent- because it’s my superpower I can neither transfer nor explain it to other people

    How to Put a Boudoir Outfit Together or Accessorize for Nudes- too individual a thing and generalities I don’t think would cut it

    Oh yeah uh from a broke and not getting any less broke person to y’all less broke folk, thank you so much for pouring money into this queer lighthouse during these stormy times.

    ——

    Personal life…I’m helplessly pissed at my older brother because his golden child hit the same phase of adult height, thick with no-waist but woah hips indeed and fluffy hair that I did after having been a much more aesthetically to him “slender” child with flatter hair.
    Some things my nephew(daddy’s little parrot) said at dinner this evening to his sister have my dander right the fuck up because I remember very well how shitty my brother(who was nearly 30 and married) said and did to me when I was the same age and physical phase.

    I cried like baby reading about communities resisting ICE by forming a human wall of protection and various other things.
    All I could do in the physical state I am now is provide bilingual ACLU links about what the rights are for various types of residents for a friend in hopes of helping his father who lived under some of the worst of Castro’s totalitarianism find some calm.
    Pretty sure calm was not found.

    • Lex, wow.

      About the Lex-perks :

      It’s a toss-up for me between “Basic Bitch Survival Cooking™” or “How to Put a Boudoir Outfit Together”, the latter being slightly more intriguing because I haven’t got a single clue about boudoir outfits other than granny underpants and worn-out tshirts.

      But in fact all the perks you offer are golden.

      I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some clipboard managers that saved my bacon a few times :
      On the Windows side : Ditto, free (donation?) ware
      On the Mac side : Collective, 1,99$ in the Canadian App Store, probs cheaper in USA store.

      And, I must say, families can really be appalling. And watching the younger gen broadcast all the stupidity of the older generations, ugh. I witnessed that too and frankly couldn’t handle it, I broke off all ties.

      • The cooking is something I do have a rough outline of a lesson plan for and have considered for hot second doing a youtube channel+patreon before remembering how much I dislike being recorded ect and how much security management being an aesthetically pleasing AFAB human could involve

        Boudoir sounds way fancy, but I didn’t know a better way to phrase outfit you briefly wear as a form of foreplay or for “thirst traps” that makes you feel sexy as fuck 😛

        My nephew’s too young to understand WHY what he said was a nasty just that it’s sharp enough to score a hit against a bigger stronger opponent that’s the de facto boss of him when mom and dad aren’t there.
        I can’t break ties in the same way first responders don’t leave during a hurricane.

        Clipboard wise my usual SOP is to have a word doc to paste into as a safety net but all the running about I’ve been skipping steps all over the place in multiple categories >_>

  19. Ahhhh I forgot something:

    Me, A Humble NB Bisexual Modeling A Surprising Amount of Gay Hats Similar to Those 25 Heather Hogan Ranked

    Just thought of something:

    A tribute to that time slouchy recently ex-ballerina young teen me was told to close my legs/sit like a lady by a prissy peer and instead spread my legs as far as humanly possible(which is still ridiculously far) while wearing “deeply practical men’s jeans” but doing what I wanted to do but didn’t as teachers were present and that is give the bird from my crotch with both hands
    Somewhere on the picture or pictures in a delicate script “Sit Like A Lady”

  20. I don’t know what my perk would be (maybe cuddling with your cat while you’re away bc everything is awful right now and my own is ignoring me?) but I finally have some money in my bank account and donated!

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