Hello, sea otters! You all look so amazing today! You’re radiating! I’m so excited to be back at it again, just like Damn Daniel, with this week’s Friday Open Thread. As I have told you all many many times before, I’m obsessed with you and your plants and your dogs and your cool pictures. You just live life to the fullest, and I think that’s so rad!

My cats "helping" me move

My cats “helping” me move

Maybe it’s because I just came off a mountain of queers where I was told every day how good I looked, but I have been totally feeling myself lately! Like, I’m currently dealing with a moving situation from hell where I had to just leave my luggage at LAX in order to fly across the country and move out within 18 hours of landing.

But! Even though the majority of my cute clothes are sitting all alone in airport lost and found, I feel really good about myself. I’m feeling super affirmed about my body and my gender and like… so what if all I had that was clean and wasn’t packed away was a Tomboy Femme tee and some biker shorts?! At least everyone can tell that my ass looks good!! Having sandwiches for lunch every day for a week will really help you look on the bright side of life.

feeling my feeling my

feeling my feeling my

Let’s get honest, though, I’m really here because I want to know all about you!! What’s going on in your life? Are you getting geared up for Pride? Are you hosting a meetup?! You should host a meetup!! Or you should go to one near you! I’m going to be lounging around using up free air conditioning and eating my parents’ food this summer in Connecticut, so I’m totally going to make my way to NYC for the Everyone is Gay + Autostraddle All Ages Pride Party!! Have you seen the musician lineup?? *swoon*


musical babes bell’s roar, Mal Blum, and Allison Weiss will be there and you should too!

Also, how are you adjusting back to the real world if you were on the mountain? I came back with a serious cold that is getting more manageable but still leaves me with perpetually dry lips. Emotionally…I’m dealing. I am like, the world’s hugest introvert and going to Camp is like my big stint at not giving a shit about how I look for just a little bit. Coming down the mountain is like coming off of a high… I always feel like my best self there, or at least like I’m really, really working towards being my best self. This year, I feel like I’m keeping a little of that magic with me, and I hope you’re keeping that magic with you too.

Haüs boi: call me to clean your house in super cute undies

Haüs boi: call me to clean your house in super cute undies

Okay, now it’s time for you to tell me everything about everything. Dog and cat pictures are always encouraged. Stories about you and your pals being big old gaymos are also some of my absolute favorites. I just wanna hear everything about you!! You know the way that Alfalfa stares into Darla’s eyes when they’re on that little boat? That’s how I feel about you. I’m staring and waiting and just in wonder of how beautiful and perfect and self-assured you all are!! I’m gushing!! I’ll stop now. But seriously: tell me everything.

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 Ali’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, paste it, you’re good to go!

Ari is a 20-something artist and educator. They are a mom to two cats, they love domesticity, ritual, and porch time. They have studied, loved, and learned in CT, Greensboro, NC, and ATX.

Ari has written 322 articles for us.


  1. You guys, so tired, just meant to drop in and say Hi!
    I’ve been thinking about getting back into dating, but am really clueless.
    So now, I’ve signed up for this App, “Once”, which is exactly like Tinder just that it shows you only one person/day?
    Any advice?
    I would really like to just be reminded that I’m a gay lady and that that’s a good thing, occasionally, preferably over coffee, once in a while.

    • but also, get out there and be your perfect charming self once you do say yes. a friend also suggested suggesting active dates, because then you actually get to know if you do wanna spend time with that person!

    • When I was single, had I been in the correct geographic area, I would have been happy to remind you over a hot beverage.

      I think it’s slightly awkward and easy with good choices and just awkward with those you should match up with other people. My advice is, oddly, the opposite. Do coffee with everyone who seems like a remote possibility. After that, exercise no freely but take joy in the unexpected.

  2. Connecticut?! I’m from Connecticut. And I’m eternally defending it and Hartford from all the haters. so I hope you love Connecticut! Because Connecticut needs love.

    I have been dealing with depression lately, and I think maybe I have been for a long time, but didn’t realize it was depression.. I just thought I was messed up.. which I guess I am, but at least now I know I can call it depression instead of just thinking I’m broken and alone.. but I guess having depression is like feeling broken and alone so who knows.. I guess I’m just sad most days and feel like I can’t handle life. But I know friday open space is a good place to talk about that kind of thing, so here I am!

    Hope you all have wonderful weekends!

  3. I am heading off today to pick up my girlfriend and bring her back to my city for the next two months. Also taking the opportunity to get a long overdue haircut. And Monday is a holiday. All good things.

  4. Conversation of the week:

    Specialist vet: “Wow, her brain could use some drugs.”

    Me: “This is her brain on drugs.”

    The dog would not leave me with enough distance to clear the waiting room. The dog-reactive dog and vet were then blocking the entrance to the tertiary care hospital while I paid. She had Xanax and benadryl on board (because the silly dog ate a bee shortly after I gave her the Xanax) and was actually quite chill, for her.

    • Dude that’s like several conversation I overheard as kid in special education.
      Gave me a giggle fit, not that the over medication of still developing small humans (aka children) is funny. Just really brought me back and then contrasted to the anti-vaxx “natural” is best approach of now…well.

  5. Sea otters eh?
    Now I feel the need to inform the FOT of giant river otters (pteronura brasiliensis). They are ROUSes that eat young caimans,anacondas, piranha and steal food from gators because they are the honey badgers of the Amazon and hunt in packs.
    And my favorite part they crave iron and get it from watermelons which they fucking hate the taste of.

    Look at that faaaace “fuck this fucking watermelon ugggggggggh but needs iron” *hatechomps*

    Just now there’s an effort to get me to cosplay

    Vampire Hunter D and it will involve no wig because my hairs can do that already, but will involve football pants and possibly shoulder pads.
    Beautiful beautiful shiny black football pads.

    I’m not gearing up for Pride at all tbh and I am too chicken/over thinker to host anything by myself.
    Time, place, space and activity makes me nix anything I think of. I just want hide in the oaks of City Park and eat a snoball at 2 in the afternoon, but that is boring and not Pride related at all.

    I’m still hanging out in LA post-camp.

    Earlier I got to go to the beach with two previous A-Campers and an adorable 5 year old who drove an hour to see me. We ate breakfast burritos and the 5 year old was incredibly respectful of my pronouns (brb crying).

    Currently I’m laughing my ass off at my 18 year old American cousin because I’ve just made her her first proper cup of tea and she thinks it’s the weirdest thing ever :P Apparently the idea of milk in tea is not one she’s used to.


    I hope this holiday never ends…

  7. Oh goodness, what a week. I’m so exhausted and I didn’t even go to A-Camp. It has been an emotionally heavy and work heavy kind of week. My office is downsizing considerably because, as it goes working for the government, the budget for our branch still hasn’t been cleared for us to hire. As a result, my caseload is growing rapidly. This summer is going to be a doozy.

    Then, at the beginning of the week, my mom dropped a horrible bomb on me that I wish never happened. Just about a year ago, I came out to my mom who did not take it so fondly. She has come around in an exceptional way to the point that we can talk openly about my relationship and she treats my fiancee like family and me still as her daughter. I recently told her when our wedding date would be, which she congratulated me on. Then she asked me a series of pretty standard questions about my fiancee like how she treats me, if she supports me, and whether she feels there is mutual respect in our relationship. Although I am out to my mom, I am not out to my dad. Coming out was a bit of a compromise. My mom essentially concluded that my dad, under no circumstances, could know because he would never be able to handle it. He would take it so poorly to the point that he might actually just give up on everything. Sounds a bit dramatic, but after a lot of thought, I realized my mom was right (a long explanation comes with that so I’m going to skip it). After her standard questions, she told me, rather implored me, not to have children with my finacee (at least until my dad passed away) because that would be a dead give away about me and my dad just couldn’t handle that. What really had me reeling was how good my mom had been the last few days talking about my wedding and my relationship then she dropped this awful request on me because I have always wanted to raise my own family with the woman I love. And the woman I love also wants the same; one of her life goals is to have children.

    This pattern of raising me up and taking me down has been a constant between me and my mom. I am hard-pressed to admit that it is manipulative even though my gut warns me that it is every time she does this to me. When she asked me not to have children, I felt like I was being torn apart and my heart was being choked. I was so stuck between “Why can’t I give her just this? She has given up literally everything to raise me to this point and even more to put aside her biases and misgivings to accept me as I am. What’s giving her this request?” and “I know this is going to kill my relationship. The one relationship that truly anchors me to this world and makes me believe in a future. The relationship that has taught me to embrace who I am and the things I want, including having children and being a mother.” I ended having to break this terrible event to my fiancee and it nearly tore us apart. I couldn’t breathe half the time we were trying to work out what this could mean for us and how we wanted to proceed. I was 90% sure she’d walk out and I would be lost forever. In the end, we worked it through and came to the conclusion that it is my mom being manipulative, trying to channel her anxieties or concerns through other people or other means. Trying to create leverage to mold circumstances her way. This is a battle I have to pick with her and draw a line where she can take my love for her and use it against me. Again, there is a much longer, complicated, and winded history behind all this that would take more words and time to explain, more than would probably be appropriate for Friday Open Thread. But getting it out is important so I can continue processing and affirm my stance on this matter.

    Thank you all for sharing this space to put it all out <3

    On a lighter note, my craziness continues this weekend as I am going dress shopping! Then having a sibling night in Boston with all you can eat sushi. I am pumped to just let the emotional turmoil and residue of work stress roll off my back and indulge myself in looking the prettiest I can for myself and my lovely soulmate and in stuffing my face with sushi (and hopefully some sort of strong liquor).

    Happy weekend everyone and take care <3

  8. I temporarily conquered my anxiety and made three (THREE!!) phone calls to various healthcare providers scheduling appointments for things I’ve been avoiding. I also wrote back to/initiated conversations with people I should talk to, filled out a ton of paperwork for my internship this summer, and did a lot of bureaucratic BS for a fellowship nomination. Wooo!!

    Re: Pride – I’m not going, but I AM going to a roller derby bout with a queer friend during Pride weekend here. So I’m counting that!

  9. I was going to go to the opening night of the Chicago Blues Fest, but it’s 95˚ out and I opted instead to eat a burrito in bed and re-watch Leverage. I have a roller derby bout tomorrow night (just got cleared to skate again after dislocating my shoulder in the last bout!) so a night without other humans is probably in order if I’m to go be social and active all day tomorrow.

    2 more weeks of school! Then Pride (my first!), then a week of packing and last-minute doctor/dentist appointments and other adulting, then moving, then a solid month with my girlfriend before my new job starts in August. It’s scary to be moving someplace completely new where I know exactly 1 person, but I’m sure I’ll find a community in derby and work.

  10. I just got over my camp plague! During my red-eye I felt so crappy I remember getting a cup of ice water and even though I had the tray down I fell asleep with it in my hands anyways because I was just so into it, thus spilling it all over myself and waking up the dude next to me. Although I would much rather be on the mountain it feels good to be home. Camp gave me the needed extra strength to get shit done and getting shit done is also a great way to avoid being sad about not being on the mountain.

    My cat totally gave me the cold shoulder for a while after I got home but she eventually realized she still loves me and that I’m worthy (thank god, I was starting to worry).

    I watched a lot of Steven Universe while recovering from my cold in hopes of keeping my “queer bubble” intact. I still feel very much in my queer bubble. Pride is tomorrow for me! Which is mostly a beerfest but I’ve decided to go anyways in hopes of socializing. WHO IS THIS NEW POST-CAMP PERSON?

  11. I’m feeling pretty relieved now that my exams are over. I still have a few final assessments due but I’m working my way through them.
    I’m going to a tea party at my friends’ place tomorrow so I’m super pumped about that :) I haven’t seen them in about two months so it’ll be good to catch up.
    And tonight I have an 18th so that should be fun too! I’m going as fairy/pixie.
    Unfortunately our pride here in Melbourne isn’t until January but I can’t wait. There is a marriage equality rally though in two weeks which I’m going to with all my pals so that will be exciting ?

  12. Erg. I’m in the midst of adjusting my meds which always leaves me groggy and not entirely sure that I’m actually a person. But also, I’m adjusting my meds! So hopefully I can get some more effective pain relief and that all I need to do is adjust them and it’ll be fine.

    But just in case I get to call up some specialists on Monday to try to get in and seen. Both a GI specialist and a neurologist are the next on the list. Yay chronic pain that nobody knows what the deal is. At least I’m feeling slightly better than I was so even though working is still out of the cards, I can probably start back with physical therapy for my ankle next week.

    On the positive side, all my health problems might mean that I actually will get to go to Pride this year because normally there’s a 3000% chance that I’ll be working because weekends but that’s pretty likely to not be the case this year. Silver linings on the chronic illness front?

    Oh ALSO–folks who know about insurance and laws and stuff. I just got a denial letter from my insurance company for top surgery because it’s “excluded” from my plan. I can’t get a straight answer from people because nobody’s sure but the general consensus of people has been “I don’t think that’s legal for them to do…” so if anyone knows legal stuff regarding trans exclusions in NY for insurance companies hit me up.

    • Hollis,
      if you wouldn’t live half a world away, I’d tell you to come on over, bring a week or two and get checked into my clinic, and we’d figure out what the hell the deal is with that pain.
      I hope you find a doctor with a bit of passion and creativity who’ll figure it out.
      It may take a while, especially in an outpatient setting, but you’ll get there, I’m sure of it.

  13. I usually comment on here logged in but I can’t. It’s because I met so many great friends but I have been falling for one in particular and I don’t want her to read this. I think about her all the time and want nothing more than to be there for her.The thing is I am married and love my wife. My wife is my rock and the reason I always strive to be a better woman. I don’t want to be without my wife but I don’t know what to do about these feelings other than bury them. I have been feeling so guilty and ashamed that I just hold my wife while she sleeps, as if I am going to lose her. I asked my wife if she was open to me being poly and she doesn’t like the idea. I guess I will just value my friendship. I just hate lying to myself and to my wife. I hate not being able to tell my friend that I want more than just friendship. Then again she probably doesn’t feel the same way ?

    I hope no one else is going something like this. Have a good night everyone.

  14. I’m late folks… Blame it on the Britishness and the dayjob which is breaking me this week. So I’ve been hitting the double denim pretty hard this week, pretty sure that is as on fleek as I get. I realised I was dressed more 90s than I did in the 90s yesterday and I gave 0 fucks.
    So some of you may know, from a previous FOT, that Missus and I got married in Toronto while we were there. We eloped like the sneaky Slytherpuff pair we are and told everyone when we got back. Well last weekend we had the shotgun receptions we hoped to avoid. Friendception was cool, Famception was an ordeal as predicted. My weirdo bigot uncle mansplained to me that Canada was one of the first places “you” (GAYS) could get married… My look of WTAF as I said “yeah I know, that’s MY cultural history…” Must have said it all. FML. He then proceeded to tell everyone including my inlaws, who were meeting my family for the first time, about his bowel disorder…When they were asking me about the wedding. Weirdly G-Ma was well behaved. Honestly you couldn’t make it up. Anyhoo that madness is over and I’m halfway into dayjob hell fortnight. Also trying to fathom if what I thought was toxic friendship, between a couple of students, is actually toxic crush on straight girl… God I hope not. I fear being made to deal with the fallout. Might play boyfriend by Tegan and Sara loud in the office and see what happens. Have great weekends folks :)

  15. I had friends who work at our university library over after work to have snacks and cold drinks. It is already hot down here, so I rigged up a misting system and fans to stay cool……and it turned out good, but also …..*damp*!? But they are tough, and the party was fun. I have been busy in my yard and flowers… much rain this year, everything is growing and blooming like crazy. I am a happy camper…..and wish-I-could- A Camper!

          • There are so many ways that this will affect others……the family, the friends.. of the dead and injured……the whole lgbtq group …..and really all Americans, as well… think this might happen in any group gathering……and there is no real way to protect against this type of hate crime.

            Carpe diem, everyone.

          • I thought of that too. People who weren’t out yet. People who were estranged from their families. So terrible.

        • All of us will probably know someone who knew someone who was killed or injured there. So heartbreaking and tragic. If anyone knows of a good charity or is willing to start a good charity to help the survivors and families, they should post it…

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!