FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Not Today, Satan. Not Today.

Welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread, y’all. It’s my first time hosting the Friday Open Thread as an Autostraddle staffer and it feels a bit like the first time my parents gave me the keys to their car. It’s both really exciting and slightly anxiety inducing at the same time. But we got through another week together, so this should be a piece of cake, right?

This week was a bit of a rollercoaster wasn’t it? It started out so great, with the unveiling of the Obamas’ portraits at the National Portrait Gallery. Watching Michelle Obama get a verklempt over the fact that her portrait — a portrait of a little black girl from the South Side of Chicago — would adorn the walls of that majestic space was just too perfect. And then, watching President Obama unveil his portrait…and all he could do at that historic moment is stare at Amy Sherald’s amazing portrait of his beloved…it warmed my heart. Despite having lived with their leadership for eight years, the new ways that the Obamas continue to expand the American imagination continues to astound me.

Michelle Obama, as captured by Amy Sherald

But then the rollercoaster took a steep, steep nosedive. I swear, it’s been over a year and I’m still astounded by the ways in which this administration continues to lower the bar on common decency. This week, we were reminded that this White House does not care about women and coddles abusers. This week we learned that there are 120+ people that work in this White House that don’t have necessary clearances. This week we were reminded that this White House (and its Department of Education) hate trans students. Oh, and that $130k check to Stormy Daniels a month before the election? It was from 45’s lawyer?!

Then we hit Wednesday and the rollercoaster rebounded. It was Valentine’s Day and there was just so much love being shared. Even for a cynic like me, it’s hard not to be touched by all the beautiful displays of love.

But later that day comes news out of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. 17 people went to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, full of the hope and promise that only Valentine’s Day can bring, and didn’t come home to their friends and families. Their names are Carmen, Aaron, Martin, Scott, Nicholas, Gina, Alyssa, Luke, Meadow, Alex, Helena, Peter, Chris, Jaime, Joaquin, Alaina and Cara.

We’re just seven weeks into the New Year and this is the eighth deadly school shooting. EIGHT IN SEVEN WEEKS. Now we begin the cycle:

Step 1. Send your thoughts and prayers to the victims’ families.
Step 2. Shut down any talk of gun control by suggesting that people are politicizing the deaths.
Step 3. After sufficient time has past, talk about how we need mental health care reform, not more gun laws.
Step 4. Do nothing about gun control or mental health care reform.
Step 5. Rinse and repeat.

Having this space, after something like that happens…I feel like I should say something profound…but the words elude me. I don’t know why we live in a society that thinks that the blood of those kids is an acceptable price so someone can walk around with an assault weapon. I just don’t know.

What I do know, though, is that we’ve made it to the weekend. As crazy as this week was, we made it and that’s something worth celebrating. So let’s do it, let’s celebrate that we’re still here.

Black Panther is finally hitting theaters this weekend and I’m thrilled. I’ve been looking forward to this movie for the better part of a year and I’ve got my opening night tickets, my Moviepass card for additional showings and a big purse to sneak in snacks like Penelope from One Day at a Time. I’m so excited to see this unapologetic celebration of blackness and all its multitudes and, even moreso, to see it all through the eyes of my nephews. I want them to see themselves as heroes, if only for a few hours.

What are your plans to celebrate this weekend? Did you opt to avoid the Valentine’s Day crowds and decide to push your lovefest back until the weekend? What have you got planned? Whatever it is, do me a favor and just enjoy it. This week was a rollercoaster, next week probably will be too, so just take whatever moments of joy life offers you and savor it. You’re amazing and you deserve it.

And should the someone pop up and try to steal your joy, just quote the wise words of Bianca Del Rio from RuPaul’s Drag Race: “Not today Satan, not today.”

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…
code it in to your comment like so:

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more about posting photos, check out A. E.’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

Find a video on YouTube, copy the URL, and paste the link on its own separate line in your comment. You no longer need to use the “embed” code!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


A black biracial, bisexual girl raised in the South, working hard to restore North Carolina's good name. Lover of sports, politics, good TV and Sonia Sotomayor. You can follow her latest rants on Twitter.

Natalie has written 409 articles for us.


  1. What a week it was! I worked late nearly every night this week (and those nights I didn’t work, I had plans/got home late anyway), so the earliest I got home was after 10 pm (and I start work at 9 am). Today, I’m working from home, and it’s well deserved, if I may say so myself.

    I’m thinking of creating a web series, and I’d love to hear from some Straddlers about your favorite web series. Also, are web series out of date, or are they still a ‘thing’? My idea is a scripted musical web series about mental health. I’m trained as a musical theatre writer, and I’d really like to dive into film/tv for the interwebs, while incorporating my musical theatre background.

  2. I just popped in to say, Congrats on your first Friday Open Thread! I am sure you are going to rock it!

  3. Started off the weekend by watching the midnight showing of Black Panther. It was amazing, and exactly what I needed after such a rollercoaster of a week.

    *also* the women of Black Panther gave me some serious hairspiration, so guess whose getting a haircut soon

    • @heyitssam, I went to a showing last night and then went again today during an extended lunch with some co-workers. I can’t wait for @c-p‘s review so we can talk about it in earnest.

      And YAAASSSS to the hairspiration. I’m not sure I can pull off the look of the Dora Milaje but seeing Angela Bassett’s gorgeous locks definitely has me thinking about getting them (I’d been debating it for a long, long time).

      • Her locks were beautiful!! I’m thinking more of Shuri’s undercut -it was so intricate, so here’s to hoping I can find a barber to do a similar style.

        • Popping in again to say: I am IN LOVE WITH SHURI’S UNDERCUT!!!!! Sam, you should definitely do this thing.

    • LISTEN, @princessarcasm.

      I saw the video this morning and I nearly died. Then it was shared on with the team on Slack and Heather nearly died.

      Like, is the glass closet being shattered? Is that where we are?

      (Sidenote: I read that it was part of the previews for some Black Panther showings. Did anyone see it?)

    • I just now watched it and immediately (well, okay, I did rewatch like 12 times first) jumped here to look for that comment. THEY ARE CANON. A NEW EMOTION PICTURE. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I FEEL BUT I FEEL IT IN ALL CAPS.

  4. Congratulations on your first open thread! I really don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day as the origins are cis-het Christian based(he’s the Saint of Fertility & baby making, promoting men and women make a baby together on that day), and as Jewish queer person that isn’t for me. I will market the hell of out the day because an extra up-tick in sales never hurts.

    How’s everyone doing? My plans for the weekend hopefully are to meet a new tinder friend(the one I mentioned last week only uses snapchat) at the the local Her app party(it’s L.A. so I don’t think I will be banned like I was on the app). Then Sunday I am going to Cuties Coffee(The Planet) for their second queer donut party of the month; yay! Always, have a good time at their events. The week has been up and down as you mentioned. Last Friday I went to a flirt event, but everyone was at least a decade younger than(I’m in my early 30s). Sunday, I was suppose to hang with a friend, but the person was more interested in getting in bed with her ex wife. So, I was just home all day watching Netflix and eating salad and chips.

    Dating is a mess for me as I match with people on tinder and they like never reply, not consistent, or not sure where I stand. Is there any words people have for me so I don’t feel so hopeless and lost? Thank you.

    Since I didn’t go out Sunday, I will leave you with this message, that some might not agree with.

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

    • i agree with that message! thank you for posting it <3

      as for dating – i am sorry you’re having a hard time right now, friend. something i used to remind myself when i was single and feeling kind of bad about it, is that A. i am wonderful on my own, and being alone is a special skill, and having the time to do everything i want 100% of the tim is kind of wonderful and B. all it takes is one good date to find a date/hookup bud/partner/etc. i know that sounds kind of cheesy, but it really used to make me feel better – i’m monogamous, so i wasn’t looking for 10 good dates – i just wanted one person i connected with. so going on 50+ bad dates sucked, but then the one good one popped up and that was that!

      i’m not sure if that’s helpful – i know i used to feel sort of irritated when partnered people gave me “chin up!” style dating advice while i was single, so i apologize if this isn’t what you want or need. i just love your comments on autostraddle and i always look forward to your photos and words on the open thread and i hope my words make you feel a tiny bit better. i think you’re wonderful <3

      • Thank you, you are too kind and I always look forward to your posts and advice friend. I did have one good(3 actually) date(cute queer Jewish girl), but the person is in the Mitten state now. I also don’t fit the definition of hot girl or queer which makes dating in LA harder.

        I like being alone. for the most part. But, seeing all these happy queers all around and relatives forcing this idea that you cant be alone to be happy can get to a person. I also think tv shows like Golden Girls, Seinfeld, and How I Met your Mother have kind of messed with my idea of friendship and relationship. Like who has time to almost daily hang out with friends and do nothing. Sounds great, but I dunno.

    • @needlesandpin, Thanks for the congratulations and thanks for chiming in…I always appreciate the perspective you bring to AS.

      With regard to Valentine’s Day…at this point, the best thing about that day for me is that the day after, all the candy goes on-sale for half price. I’m totally that person that’s hanging out at CVS stocking up on Linder’s Truffles today.

      I definitely want to echo Vanessa’s comments–she’s absolutely right–but here’s the thing I’d add: you’re not hopeless. Your weekend plans are filled with so many activities show that you haven’t given up. You still outchea as the kids say (I watched grown-ish this week and they told me so). You’re still doing the work to meet someone new and that’s great. The discouragement you feel is temporary but your hope is clearly permanent. I know there’s someone, somewhere, who is going to be drawn to that light.

      Best of luck!

      (Also I love that picture and kinda want that exact design on a t-shirt.)

      • Thank you for the reply. I haven’t seen this weeks Grown-ish yet(will probably tonight, along with the Portlanida episode I missed). That kind of reminds me of a Depeche Mode line, “and somewhere, there’s someone who cases. With a heart of gold. To have and to hold.”

        I saw that next to my work on the clothing store windows. They might have that shirt, I didn’t check, but yes it would be a good one to have. I also wouldn’t mind having a version that says Less cops more donuts.

    • Re: Christian holidays, I come from a long line of secular Jews. They immigrated to the States early and were involved in the reform movement, and they were very committed to assimilation. My family took pride in their Christmas parties, which apparently were huge blowout parties attended by other Jews. In my generation we have gotten involved in Jewish institutions (my sibs and I all go to services and all of our kids, including my own, are going to Jewish schools and daycares). If you grew up in this environment you know all about the weird feelings around belonging/being Jewish enough. Of course I don’t ever feel Jewish enough because I was raised secular and I never really learned Hebrew etc.

      I’m digressing a bit but I was hoping that the background would inform this. I was embarrassed for a long time to talk about my really secular family that celebrated Christmas “because it is an American holiday.” I felt it hurt my ability to fit in. But I kind of came to terms with this and I feel like embracing this mentality is actually kind of subversive. Secularizing and recognizing that a lot of these saints/holidays are actually Pagan and come from something much more ancient than Christianity, and also just taking them lightly in general, feels a bit subversive to me, and I love it. Does that make sense? I might be coming from a really different place, since a lot of the Jews I know have families whose opinions of Christian popular culture are REALLY different than the opinions I was raised with.

      • Yeah it does make sense to some extent. I get that it may come from Pagans, but I dunno still doesn’t feel like it’s for me as Jew. Plus we had that holiday in the summer that is about love, forget the name, but went to a Jewish event that was about celebrating it(this when I was repressing my queer feelings).

        • That totally makes sense. I think this has everything to do with how I was brought up. They don’t recognize Valentine’s Day, etc. at my kid’s school for the same reason.

  5. This week I came home to my pups after a long trip, and cuddling their little furry faces really filled my heart.

    Then on Valentine’s Day I took my friend to dinner and she took me to Hamilton and OMG, it was totally amazing!!! I know the original-cast recording by heart but also in sound only, so it was a thrill to see the musical happening on stage. It was also interesting to hear new actors in the roles, and the different energy and personality they brought to each part. The performers who played Eliza and John Laurens/Philip Hamilton were standouts, both with such sweet and clear voices.

    Then I went on a date and was kindly let down afterwards, which I appreciated, but also, ouch. Getting back into the dating pool (after a long, long time) is rough. Good thing I have my taxes to focus on this weekend, hah!

    • @kguay Well, your Valentine’s Day sounds like it was awesome. I’m so, so jealous.

      I haven’t seen Hamilton yet–much to my chagrin–but the US Tour is coming to North Carolina later this year and I’ve been debating going. I’ve been worried that Renée Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo and Jasmine Cephas-Jones’ voices are so indelibly printed on my mind that I won’t be able to enjoy them. How’d you find it?

      • It was a little strange hearing the new casts’ voices when I’m so used to the original cast! Overall still very enjoyable, though. My friend remarked that the tone was more lighthearted when compared to the original recording. I’d definitely recommend seeing it if you’re able — the choreography and costumes are incredible, too!

  6. I’m probably dead and in some kind of wonderful afterlife, as the past and future week or two are a little too wonderful. ^_^; Getting started on a dream job, which will bring me back to where I most belong anywhere in the world, and indeed, may soon be headed back for a week or two next week. And I finally had my wildlife photography lens repaired, and exercised that today, capturing a few more moments of wild lives, at their tolerance. When wild rabbits are comfortable with one’s presence, you know you’re welcome.

    • @porsupah, I’m going to take your comment as signs that things can and will get better for everyone. Thanks for offering us a dash of hope.

      Congratulations on the dream job which, it sounds like, will take you to the dream location. Sounds perfect.

  7. I’ve got nothing but hurt feelings here… My Wife has been working towards admitting she’s an Asexual for years.. And after having a great Valentine’s Day for the most part… I hit a wall. She finally came out about it, and it still hurts me. I’ve been expecting it for years, have respected her boundaries, and have no intention of dumping her since I’m polyamouros. Just because she cant fulfill all my needs doesn’t mean I want to dump her, or hurt her… I’m trans and she’s been nothing but supportive… It just… Still hurts… When she said it, it hurt like hell. I just wish she had been more open about it. It wouldn’t be so bad except I’m more of a slut… Touch, sex is an important bonding thing for me. I guess I just need to talk it out. Can’t talk to my straight friends… Because they won’t get it… And I’ve only started regaining community. Which is why I’m on here. Sorry if this is all confusion because I don’t really know how to process this fully. Just poly transbian in love with an Asexual blues. That and I’m still new on hormones which adds extra emotionally to everything. Still want her to be part of my family.

    • @Tanaria, I’m glad to hear that you and your wife are talking things out…open and honest communication is definitely the best solution to this, particularly since there’s clearly so much love left between you. Best of luck to y’all as you navigate this new dynamic.

      Also, I’m glad you’ve come to Autostraddle to help build community around you. I hope you find comfort, solace and plenty of laughter here.

      • @Natalie Thank you very much. Sorry for the slow reply… Diabetes drug interfering with spiro. We’re a lot closer now, thank you. Just got to keep talking.

    • @Tanaria A lot of this sounds familiar! I identified as asexual for quite a few years before meeting my wife, who is also poly and trans*. We’ve been together for 6 years and have worked on negotiating our differences. She has had several boyfriends and girlfriends over the years, with much more of a kinky interest, and generally it works.

  8. This sure has been a week…

    My family has to put one of our dogs down tomorrow. Charlie is 8yrs old, but he’s had bad hip dysplasia since he was little and he’s had liver problems for a while now too. It’s incredibly sad, but it’s best for him at this point. We have three other pups at home, so I’ll be snuggling them like crazy. If you have a pet, give them some love this weekend :)

    • @bethmaczko I’m so sorry that you’re having to put Charlie down. It might be the best thing for him, especially if it frees him from the pain, but that certainly doesn’t make it easier.

      All the best to you and your family.

      PS: Is it too much to ask for a pic of Charlie and your other pups? I can’t have a dog (and desperately want one), so I have to live vicariously through other folks.

    • Oh and hey, Feb 16th was Chinese New Year, it’s the Year of the Dog ! I know there are many many meanings to this, but I’m going to take it at (furry) face value. Let’s celebrate puppies everywhere ! In earlier and later heaven.

  9. This week has been hard. So hard it felt hard to breathe sometimes. And then Black Panther arrived, full and regal, an afrofuturistic dream that made me cry and smile and laugh and filled with me with such hope and delight. It’s brilliant. My black ass is beyond ecstatic. I have been well and truly fed. Back to watch it all over again tomorrow and I shall keep going back every weekend until a wrinkle in time arrives and I shall add that to my weekly movie watch. I sound just a tad obsessive don’t I? ?

  10. Congrats on your first Friday Open Thread.

    Honestly, I love roller coasters, but this week of a one sucked! Between the Department of Ed giving trans kids the finger, the House passing the despicable ADA “reform” act (H.R. 620), and yet another school shooting it felt like one week of crap after another. It was a little hard not to be reminded that I check almost all of the boxes on the “Reasons Conservative Americans Hate You” BINGO card. I know it’s not quite that gloom and doom, but sometimes knowing the haters are just loud, not necessarily the majority, doesn’t change the decisions of those in power.

    On the other hand, my partner an I are having inner with a friend tonight, it’s the weekend, and we’re playing games with another friend and her kids tomorrow.

    • @rachmelia, it’s definitely hard to not get overwhelmed by the doom and gloom, but I’m glad that you’ve got plans this weekend to invest your energy in people who adore you. Hopefully, it’ll help you refresh and prepare for the fight ahead (though I’m hopeful that 620 is dead on arrival in the Senate).

  11. I went to see Black Panther this evening, because I love the MCU and wow, it was brilliant! I’m a totally white English girl and I teared up at a lot of stuff – such as the first waterfall scene (trying not to be spoilery here!) If that is your first time seeing your people represented like that, I can barely comprehend how amazing and empowering that would be. Loved the kickass women in it – Shuri is like some brilliant version of Q in the James Bond films, but a million times cooler!

    I did wonder how Martin Freeman felt at being more or less the token white person in it!

    • @admiralandrea I loved the women of Black Panther…Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Lupita Nyong’o…they were all spectacular.

      (Also, I’m going to stop here because I don’t want to spoil anything.)

    • I listened to an interview with Martin Freeman about THIS VERY SUBJECT a few weeks ago and I am here to tell you: he said he had the time of his life!

  12. The W-League just ended and NWSL season is just around the corner.

    How do I volunteer as tribute to write a vapid fluff piece about all the queer soccer women people.

    No pay requested, I just need this content./would contribute and help pay Stef to write this piece.

    I spend too much time on instagram for this to not happen.

  13. roller derby all weekend long!!! season opening party tonight, handing out flyers and watching a game tomorrow with friends, and a jammer clinic on Sunday. safe to say I’ll be all derbied out by monday.

    • Sounds awesome, @jackhv. Our local roller derby team (Carolina Rollergirls) has their first games of the new year (a double header) tomorrow too.

      Best of luck to you!

  14. You’re a fabulous host Natalie ~ thank you!

    I am so excited to go to these amazing performers tonight!!! In their own words, Virago Nation “are a collective of aboriginal artists creating performance, workshops, and community networks rematriating indigenous sexuality.

    Founded in May 2016, Virago Nation is on a mission to reclaim indigenous sexuality from the toxic effects of colonization. We believe that all people, especially indigenous women, deserve a healthy, fun relationship with their bodies and we work to promote that expression. This is our reconciliation.”

    • @pecola @creatrixtiara @needlesandpin

      Update….it was FANTASTIC! I loved all of it..their opening number powwow-a-go-go was such an amazingly choreographed blend of dance, with inspired handfan and fringe work. And the spoken word artist Taran Hootenkayoo was fantastic too (and had the BEST shirt…on the left in the photo), their performance of what they would do if their superpower was white privilege was powerfully amazing. Also the level of love and inclusiveness, inviting the audience to love their bodies and bellies was beautiful. Yes to Aboriginal expression and empowerment!!!

      Photo below taken after show when invited to do so. With gratitude, and in acknowledgment that this event was performed in traditional Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and Musqueam territories, and that I am an uninvited guest in this land.

        • @snaelle I’m so glad that you had such a great time. I found a few videos of their performances from the Calgary International Burlesque Festival online and they were really compelling…like a really unique blend of educational, self-affirming and really, really fun (especially the one set to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love”).

          Also? White privilege as a superpower?! My mind is blown just thinking about that.

  15. My week started out pretty great, I found out that I will be getting an 11% raise this year and next year and spent Valentine’s day having a drink with a co-worker and playing with their new kitten.

  16. So all in this past week I went on an awesome date with an awesome girl who then two days later asked me to be her valentine and then two days later her girlfriend because by Lesbian Decree after four dates we’re basically life partners. We have the same awful sense of humor; nothing but puns and Dad (or maybe Mommi?)Jokes and she is basically me in a smaller package which is weird because I’m 5’3” on a good day and am used to being the short one.

    In some ways it’s very jarring for me because I’m used to being the one putting in 110% in a relationship and getting 50% back, and she’s matching my 110% so it’s much more intense than I’m used to. Plus she lives 15-30 minutes away depending on traffic so we’ve been able to see each other every day, and I’m used to having to work hard/drive far to see my partner once a week (again 110%).

    That was much longer than I anticipated so much love to anybody who read all of this.

    • @mirabelle23, thanks for sharing!

      Your line about having been in all these unequal relationships and now finding someone who matches your investment…well that’s #relationshipgoals for sure.

    • Congratulations on finding someone else who believes in relationship equality.
      Best wishes to you both for much happiness together.

    • Being 5ft 2 and 3/4 myself, I can only say hell yeah! All that concentrated love energy is awesome !

  17. This week has been one of those weeks indeed, a week of sadness. A family friend who went to our church died of lung cancer on Valentine’s Day. This was a shock!… Hearing about the Florida incident added to my sadness. To top it all off, the Trump administration seems to be as dysfunctional as can be.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your loss, @caramocha71…the fact that it happened on Valentine’s Day makes it especially tough. A day of love shouldn’t be tainted with so much loss. My condolences to you and your family.

  18. Hi, I bought Sabrina Benaim’s book „Depression and other Magic Tricks“ this week, because of this poem:
    and it’s reminded me of how great a magic lies in poetry sometimes.
    Also, lonely on Valentines Day? Let’s at least own it!
    Have a good weekend, evyerone!

  19. In a hellish week, this hardly made the news cycle. While you were distracted, HR 620 passed the house and it has the potential to take major civil rights away from people with disabilities.

    <img src=”"

  20. In a hellish week, this hardly made the news cycle. While we were distracted, bill HR 620 passed the house. It has the potential to take major civil rights away from people with disabilities.

    • Thanks for reminding us about HR 620; I’m remiss that I neglected to include it in my post. Hopefully we’ll have a post on it here at Autostraddle soon…we need to do all we can to make sure the Senate stops this bill in its tracks.

  21. In a hellish week, this hardly made the news cycle. While you were distracted, HR 620 passed the house and it has the potential to take major civil rights away from people with disabilities.

  22. I feel like I’m jinxing this by discussing it, but I have a conditional job offer! All I have to do is get references sorted, and by the end of this month I will have a new job that is all my favourite parts of my old job and none of the terrible parts (the only downside is it pays significantly less, so it’s gonna be a tight squeeze for a few years, but not waking up to a sense of absolute dread has got to be worth it, right?)

    • @aimsme Yes! Congratulations on your conditional offer. That’s big!

      And yes, there is definitely value in doing a job you love. You deserve to work in an environment that supports you and where you’re empowered to do your best work.

      • I agree. I took a pay cut a few years back in order to leave a toxic environment and I’ve never looked back. I may have a smaller pay cheque but… I spend way less on booze and junk food, I have more energy, and I’m much healthier. Win !

    • Having had a similar working experience and then finally being able to leave it to do something that was much more rewarding, even though it was less well paid was one of the best things I’ve done in my life.

      I hope you manage OK financially. I’m pretty sure you’ll be happier with the change. Best of luck.

  23. Yay welcome!

    Woof. It was a WEEK. Or has been a week. I’m at work for another four hours lol.

    I’ve been extra thankful for my work/job this week with all the news. I used to write/produce local news, and now I work behind the scenes on community/state productions at a PBS station. So I don’t have to follow the news if I don’t want to. Self-care has been big and important. This week it’s come in the form of Geometry Dash on my iPhone, “The Read” podcast, and pictures of my nephews back home celebrating Valentine’s Day. The cute.

    I also wrote a spoken word piece about queer love for the first time in years and I’m excited about that.

    And…my partner and I went out to our first date spot for V-Day and…I basically told her that I’m almost ready to propose. Our dads want us to ask permission first, so there’s that but…eee. :)

    • @cmcasarez I know it goes against like every principle of feminism to ask someone’s father for permission to marry their child but I still love that tradition and excited that you and your partner are going to do it.

      It’s no wonder that you were able to pick up a pen and craft that spoken word piece. Your life’s a testament to queer love right now.

      Oh, and also…this week’s episode of The Read is extra funny, IMO.

  24. This has certainly been A Week.

    I have a date for getting my gallbladder ganked out, it’s in just over a week, and I’m mostly happy that it’s happening so fast that I don’t have weeks to amp up my anxiety over it and can channel a lot of anxiety about it into food prep for after surgery recovery when I will not really want to or be able to cook, but also, it’s in 10 days soooooo yeah, that’s soon.

    With the Threat Of Impending Surgery, I became motivated to clean out my car the way I’ve been saying I’m going to for the past year and a half-ish because if I did not get it done before surgery it just is exceptionally unlikely to happen for another year and that was not an option. Also, unseasonably warm weather for February gave a solid assist there, except for the part where it started to rain before I could vacuum the passenger-side back seat, but also whatever, that part of the car is also the realm of the doggo so it’s not like it’d stay clean for long anyway. Unfortunately, there was good reason that cleaning my car got put off as long as it did and that reason is that it’s super hard on me so my body is protesting the cleaning of the car quite vigorously today.

    The House passing the bill to gut the ADA was another sort of gutting and I am desperately hoping the Senate will…not do the same thing.

    Here is my cat suffering communal grooming from my pupper even if she is Unhappy About It (img src=””)

    • @hollisb Sending you all my best wishes for a speedy recovery from surgery. And while there’s a benefit to never having to sit with your pre-surgery anxiety for too long, do allow yourself the emotional space to feel your feelings about it. My best friend just had an emergency hernia surgery and it all happened so fast that she didn’t have time to worry…but after it was over, she had a minor emotional breakdown because the weight of it hit her all at once.

      It looks like your pup is getting ready for your surgery too! He’s already helping around the house. Too cute!

      You’re right about HR 620, though, it’s dreadful…and I’m remiss I didn’t include it in the litany of awful things that happened in DC this week. I’m hoping that Sens. Murray and Duckworth can stop its progress in the Senate.

    • You go @hollisb ! Cleaning your body and your ride, totally fab. We’re all rooting for you (and also hoping that you’re nearing the end of the ‘removable parts’ list… as you once mentionned)


  25. It’s been a big week. I got accepted for a mentorship with a local women’s circus to put on a show for Melbourne Fringe – signed the contract on Valentine’s Day! Queer Lady Magician is going to be REAL!

  26. I just came back from seeing Black Panther and as I told my friends it is an honest to god 11/10. T’Challa, Killmonger, Naki, Okaye, Shuri…I love them all. Shuri especially is my new role model: in charge of the Waka ndan tech AND had the best lines.

  27. Hi Natalie!!!

    Honestly your excitement for Black Panther makes me 900% happy this is the first Friday Open Thread you’re hosting!!! AHH IM TRYING TO CALM DOWN BUT I JUST SAW IT A FEW HOURS AGO AND IM STILL TRYING HOW TO GET US ALL TO WAKANDA IMMEDIATELY

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH so that’s what I’m doing with my weekend, and working (boo, it makes me wish I had superpowers just so people would stop touching/harassing me), but mostly trying to get us to Wakanda

    I hope you have a good weekend and really, I don’t think there’s anything anyone can really say after the tragedy we had this week, but thank you for being honest and giving space to it, it really helps. I have no idea what to do and it makes me feel empty and hopeless, but just having space for whatever feelings it brings up, whatever we’ve got to think on it, helps, a lot, so thank you.

    • @asmithers Finding my way to Wakanda is now my #1 goal in life, honestly. If you figure it out this weekend while you’re working, leave us all a roadmap.

      It’s hard not to spend all of my time in the comments gushing about the movie but I don’t want to risk spoiling it for anyone. I’ve just got to make it until Monday when Carmen’s review posts.

  28. I had to deal with a lot of shit from my law school classmates this week, but the cherry on top was a classmate sending me a message she believed to be anonymous in which she called me a dumb bitch…for making a post asking people to be considerate of their classmates and not come to class sick.
    I’ve never been called a dumb bitch by a woman before, that was a novel experience. Usually that sort of language is only used by men.

    On the plus side…I feel like my New Year’s resolutions to eat better and drink more water and fix my sleep schedule are actually sticking. On Valentine’s Day I re-watched The Big Sick (one of the few romcoms I actually enjoy) with wine and chocolate, and this weekend I have a call scheduled with my best friend who’s studying abroad in Paris.

    • I’m sorry you had to go through that this week, @circumferenceofamoose. Your call for folks to be considerate of their classmates should’ve been a welcome one, especially given how dangerous this flu season has been…I’m sorry your classmate decided to be such a jerk.

      What have you been doing to fix your sleep schedule? Mine has been off for weeks now and I can’t seem to get myself back on track.

      • Separating my “sleeping space” and my “working space” has really helped – if I categorize the bed as only for sleeping then it’s easier for my brain and body to get into “sleep mode” when I get in bed. Also I avoid screens for an hour before bed, cause blue light interferes with melatonin production. I also got a bottle of gummy melatonin supplements that I take if I can’t fall asleep by midnight.

        • Ari, I read your post and was like, “well, damn, I do all of those bad things.” I definitely let my sleep and work spaces intermingle and when it’s time to go to bed, I’ll watch Netflix on my kindle or listen to podcasts on my phone until I’m really sleepy.

          I’ve definitely going to make some changes, starting with those melatonin supplements which sound both delicious and helpful. Thanks for the advice.

          • Podcasts can actually help, so long as you don’t look at your phone while you’re listening – I’ve been using Within the Wires to help me get to sleep for a while now. It does need to be something lowkey and soothing though.

          • You might be right that it’s just the type of podcasts I’m listening to that’s a problem, @circumferenceofamoose. I’m listening to stuff that gets my mind going or makes me laugh alot and it makes it harder to wind down.

            And thanks, @owl, for sharing that story about your friend. I’ll heed your warning about melatonin and watch the amount I use when I try it.

          • @owl is right, be careful with melatonin – start with 1mg pills and only take them when you really need to (I only use mine when I’m really having trouble falling asleep or when I need to adjust my internal clock after a trip). Headaches are definitely a common side effect, and if you’re on anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication melatonin can mix badly with those. And it definitely shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol or other things that have a sedative effect.
            And yeah if you’re listening to a podcast it needs to be low-key and quiet. Classical piano or white noise is also really helpful.

  29. Um I don’t know how to word my feelings about Black Panther actually happening and something I can go see. I was thrilled about his appearance in Civil War and did an impression of a bouncing ball about the post credit scene in Wakanda giving me the implication Marvel was really going to Wakanda. That we would get to go to Wakanda.

    It’s like I can’t believe it is happen that’s real, it’s really happened is happening.

    There’s just so many feelings that I have and I’m just white fan of afro-futurism, the Black Panther as hero, and sci-fi in general.

    I get real emotional when I think about the impact this is going to have on black kids and creatives. Cause I know on a much smaller, milder scale what it’s like to finally see yourself after never have.

    Things like Blade Runner just don’t click with me because still all the way in the 21st century they have an aesthetic of peoples that don’t appear in the media.
    Afro-futurism does.

    Even Star Wars is guilty of cribbing aesthetics and things from Asian cultures with no Asian representation until recently but still 2 characters is a pittance.

    My week was good because Mardi Gras and 2 for $1 sale on garlic gloves.

    • I so feel this comment! I first heard we were going to Wakanda like a year or two before Civil War came out, and I still remember the day clearly. I screamed out loud in my office, and my then-boss (also a black comics geek) joined me.

      I went to see CW SPECIFICALLY for my first glimpse at T’Challa. It’s been such a year’s long journey we’ve been on. For it to finally be here, in all of its Afro-futurism glory… just… whew! It’s so much.

      I’m glad we could be on the journey together!

      • I heard the rumors, but I didn’t allow myself to get my hopes up and believe them til that post-credit scene.
        I looked a bit Winter Soldiery so my bouncing ball impression while shouting, “We’re going to Wakanda! WAKANDaaaaa!” is not something I or some innocent bystanders are going to forget either. :P

        It’s been a good journey and it’s not the end, it’s a beginning.

        To the future and Afro-futurism! *raises glass*

  30. On vacation in Arizona this weekend for my partner’s birthday after a long, draining work week. We went to the Grand Canyon today for my first time and her third today. I was awestruck. We also found out today during the Grand Canyon visit with some of the family that we’re going to be brand new gunkles.

    I can’t wait to see Black Panther. I hope someone invites Roxane Gay to the premiere for the sequel and that everyone in sci-fi finally decides to leave ableism at the door very very very soon. One can dream. In the meantime, I can’t wait to celebrate and enjoy the movie along with An Extraordinary Woman, the latter of which will be coming to my local theater in March.

  31. I’m very excited about the fact that I was re-elected as the treasurer in the Queer Student society of Iceland and that said society has gotten so many donations and attention in the past year, mainly because of my wonderful colleagues. We are all volunteers and the amount of work everyone has put in is really impressive. We have really started to make a difference, we have held multiple assemblies about queer representation and life for about fifteen different departments and have had amazing responses from students in particular, who want to know more about sexuality and gender in their society. The assemblies have proved really popular and this is also the first year that the two parties that make up the Student body have included Queer Rights in their election manifestos and pressured the Senior staff to include genderless toilets (and they have) which is really amazing. It feels good to know that we are making a difference in the lives of queer young people in Iceland. I only hope we get to do more in the coming year.

    • This comment makes my day, @asag. I was involved in student governance and I’m such a big believer in its capacity to change the lives of students for the better. You’re making things easier for queer young people around you, definitely, but you’re also changing the landscape for lots of queer young people that you’ll never meet…not just through genderless bathrooms and assemblies, but by showing them that change is possible if they get involved and are willing to do the work.

      That’s quite a legacy to leave…congratulations!

  32. This took a while to sort out so I’m a bit late for the open thread.

    (but first… BLACK PANTHER!!)

    Valentine’s Day was unique in my book. I started the day getting a Valentine’s card from my straight crush. Then my ex (now my roommate) went to stay with her lover who’s in town for a week. So I’m home alone for a whole 7 days, for like, only the second time in 24 years !

    I’m really happy for my ex, she’s come such a long way. And so have I ! After a long and grueling two years, we’ve been gradually able to talk things through. So @Tanaria, I feel for you, and I’m so proud that you’re talking sooner rather than later !

    I was wondering about possibly being ace myself, but there was my ex’s chronic depression, with me in caretaking overdrive, and our menopauses also in the mix. So I’m not quite sure if ace is the place I’m at. Not that I’m into classifying myself, but reading about all the different flavours and colours of asexuality has been a big help in understanding moi. I so appreciate the AVEN site for that. I’m leaning towards demi-romantic as a possible call number right now but I’m still in process.

    To round out Valentine’s Day, my ex left a chocolate-caramel torte in the fridge for me, yum !

    This week I’ve been blasting Hayley Kiyoko and Muna throughout the apartment while making my favourite dishes. I’ve been ignoring the news and even the ‘lympics. Instead I’ve been watching lesbian movies as selected by Erin and following along with her brilliant deconstructions.

    At this moment, I appreciate that I can live unconventionally and follow my heart. I can love how I want to love, and I can find happiness and wonder all around me. It’s like I ran at the wall at full speed and landed in a whole new world instead of bashing my head in ! That sounds like an idea for a book, I wonder if it’s been done before.

  33. This week my wife and I have had a few talks about me wanting kids in my life and her not wanting to be involved in the work/responsibility of kids. It is tricky. I had an in home day care when we met, so there were kids around, and she knew I liked kids and said she wanted to have kids, too. We tried fertility treatments to have a kid and it didn’t work. Now we have been doing foster care for almost a year, which definitely has its ups and downs. I willingly take on the majority of the care for the kids, as I know it is more my thing than hers. But when I get stuck and need her help, she has expressed an annoyance. So we’ll see.

    • @shewasnice So, first and foremost, thank you for your work as a foster parent. That’s such an amazing thing to do and requires so much heart…I’m so grateful that there are people like you in the world.

      It seems odd to ask this and forgive me if I’m overstepping, but you said that when you met, you talked about kids and your wife was interested in having them. Now she’s starting to see the kids as an annoyance. What do you think caused the shift? Do you think that she’s emotional frayed after the unsuccessful fertility treatments or could there be something else at play? I know a few couples that have gone the adoption route after being unable to get pregnant and, all of a sudden, there’s some trepidation because they were so emotionall invested in that potential pregnancy and they’re carrying that failure with them. Do you think that could be the issue with your wife?

      Whatever the issue, I hope that you and your wife are able to work it out through open communication.

      • I do think there is a sense of failure from the fertility treatments not working (especially as we were using gametes that my wife had stored before transitioning). But I think even more so is that the reality of kids is different than the idea. Sometimes they are angry and the scream. They require attention and take some of my attention away from her. Also she doesn’t like the responsibility.

Comments are closed.