image by Rory Midhani

image by Rory Midhani

Hello and welcome to this week’s FRIDAY OPEN THREAD, a weekly gathering where we hex our enemies, take turns calling our senators, and share our favorite vegetable-forward recipes. Mine’s this:

Two plates of cauliflower on a tray on a bed.

Roasted cauliflower with pumpkin seeds, brown butter, lime and parsley. I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen and it makes my girlfriend swear she can taste how much I love her whenever I make it.

Hey, while we’re on the subject of sharing photos, can I see some of yours? There was a thing going around on Facebook this past week where you post #X photo from your phone, whatever it was. Let’s try that? Post the 16th photo in your phone to the comments. You know, if you want to. Mine’s this:

photo of a cat peeking out behind curtains

That’s Kairi. She likes to sit in the window and watch the people below.

If you don’t want to share a photo, maybe you could take a snapshot in words? As I write this post, I’m sitting in a towel on my bed with wet hair, listening to birds outside the window and NPR on my Alexa device. In the other room, my girlfriend is trying on suit jackets and doing some last minute packing for our road trip. Sun is streaming through the window, and my perfume smells like patchouli and vanilla.

Okay! Now you go!

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!

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Laura Mandanas

Laura Mandanas is a Filipina American living in Boston. By day, she works as an industrial engineer. By night, she is beautiful and terrible as the morn, treacherous as the seas, stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love her and despair. Follow her: @LauraMWrites.

Laura has written 210 articles for us.



    I don’t know how to post photos but like many things I could learn, but I’m just not going to.

    But, I am on my couch at the end of my work on admin day wearing a pajama top that is stealth outdoor clothes and plum-colored jeggings. I have an almost-finished knitting project in navy yarn that my friend is integrating into what she calls her post-apocalyptic woman warrior aesthetic, and a copy of Laura Jane Grace’s book Tr*nny (she doesn’t include the asterik but I don’t feel comfortable just putting it out there) 3/4 finished, still pretty good. My hair is still a little wet from my morning shower, but is satisfyingly sticking out sideways. My planner has a pile of checks in it that need to get cashed. My tummy is a little rumbly from too much tea and not enough breakfast (damn you old age that brings me stomach problems with too much caffeine!) and I feel a little creaky in the back but calm. Our house is a little disheveled from the week but I think can ease into a comfortable tidiness with a few shakes. Our neighborhood is very quiet, I haven’t seen any hummingbirds this morning even though the feeders are full, probably because the camellia is in full bloom.

    Hope yall have a lovely weekend, I have been prioritizing seeing very old and very new friends lately and it’s been nice to remember that lots of kinds of people like me and it’s interesting to have different kinds of friends.


  2. I can’t really do photos at work, but imagine me sitting at my desk in a very stuffy office in 70 degree February NYC, eating a caesar salad with tofu and tomatoes.

    I just learned that my work crush has a boyfriend. And then she proceeded to flirt with me. (She may be queer and poly, or maybe she’s straight and monogamous and just wanted to know about my tattoos.) Please don’t mistake my work crush with the girl I matched with on Tinder who also I work with. This all sounds like a horrible idea. I do work at a huge company, and I work 10 floors above these two girls. It’s still a really bad idea. I make bad decisions. WE’LL SEE.

  3. I’ve never had 16 photos on my phone at once, but I did try to take a cute cat selfie this week to show off my new fuchsia lipstick and how much Miss Kitty Fantastico has grown. I failed miserably, but I still kind of like the end result. How do people take cute cat selfies anyway? Are the cats sedated?

    It’s been a pretty cool week. A major American news website bought the rights to reprint one of my articles and the response has been huge and very positive. Numerous people have even gone to the trouble of finding my e-mail address to tell me how much it touched them, which is pretty much what writers (or at least I) dream of.

    Cool as this was, it prompted me to push forward my timeline for scrubbing the internet of my home address and personal phone number. This has obviously been on my to-do list forever, but it had been de-prioritised since my freelance journalism was on hold for a few months while I got used to this new and overwhelming content creation gig. Lots of unexpected extra work, but worthwhile.

  4. Happy Friday, muffins!

    This is actually the seventeenth photo from my phone, but the sixteenth was really boring – a Joybird couch I’ll never be able to afford. But THIS one is an outtake from the bedroom pics I took for Autostraddle (not in a weird way ;-)). Foxes and doggies!

  5. I chose a photo that wasn’t a selfie and wasn’t a photo of someone else because that seemed weird.

    Everything seems so very quiet lately. Like, ignoring the news. Its just quiet and waiting. Unfortunately, I hate waiting. It’s wild to me that its almost March. Anyone have any spring projects?

    You know, other than general resist activities and the like.

    • Your photo reminds me a bit of some luminist landscape paintings by Albert Bierstadt or Thomas Cole and it nicely accentuates the melancholy and somber pensiveness contained in your comment. =)

      I can relate to the “how is it almost March already” sentiment. These last few weeks with all their terrible political developments seem to have passed incredibly fast. Although whenever I hear the name “Trump” on the news I can understand how Americans might feel like being trapped in an agonizingly slow progressing nightmare.

      As for spring projects… I’m planning on trying out paragliding with some friends sometime this spring.

      • Ah! That is so cool! I want to go parasailing sometime–I’m oddly not sure if I’m brave enough to do Paragliding, though! Please post about your experience when you do it, I’d love to live vicariously!

        Including videos from my instagram my 16th was This Video which probably doesn’t help the pensiveness.

        I’ve made sure to not listen to the news–text news only for me. Otherwise I might end up with a tick every time I hear Trump or any of the other names of…just…gross. /Sigh

        I am kind of convinced February is always a bit of a wash of a month. This year just gets an extra layer of “wait…what the absolute fuck?”

        • I can relate to the fear of getting a Trump-related tick. ^^

          We went on a mini-excursion yesterday to check out our paragliding location and on such a lovely, sunny, not-quite-spring day the view we had from atop the hillside was stunning. I think the scenery alone, and the chance of circling over Hohenneuffen Castle carried by those April/May breezes, will definitely be worth it.
          So I thought I’d share some pictures:

          >img src=””>

  6. Also Laura you have an Alexa! So: I don’t know how you feel about windchimes but after hating them all my life I suddenly love them and you can ask Alexa to play windchimes and then put it on repeat and that, in combination with a couple of salt lamps and a good book, means that I now pretty much NEVER want to leave my bedroom after dark.

    • ! I’m going to try this out when I get home. Thank you!

      I wish I could make Alexa do guided meditations, but alas, I have not found a way to make this happen. I do enjoy asking her to “tell me something good.” (Her idea of “good” is quite interesting.)

    • My partner and I picked up an Echo Dot recently for some smart home tips. We haven’t really gotten into anything like this. This sounds pretty cool, but I have to ask do you have any other tips? I’d love to hear about how you use your Alexa device.

      • Ooh! Ok let’s see. Every morning I usually ask her to read me the news, and she plays me that short update that NPR does at the top of every hour (you can configure what news she plays). I’ve been using her as a sound machine a LOT lately – she seems to have access to recordings (maybe through Prime music) of waves, crickets, wind chimes, etc. etc. You can ask her to Wikipedia anything, which is fun. Obviously she’s good with database stuff, like stats and weather and IMDB type stuff and populations and that sort of thing. I also linked her up to my Audible account so she can play my audio books when I’m falling asleep. I’ve had the TV on a LOT less since I got my dot!

      • I do most of the same things @queergirl listed. I haven’t asked for Wikipedia specifically, but wherever Alexa pulls information whenever I ask random questions is pretty good! My girlfriend asks Alexa about movies for us sometimes, too. Oh and one time I went to someone else’s house and they had Alexa run a Jeopardy game for us, which I didn’t know you could do before that.

  7. Hey, happy Friday!! I am enjoying my holidays, eating a lot of fresh vegetables from my uncle’s finca, grilled pizza and enjoying the beach, yesterday was a birthday, so there was lots of cake, it’s awesome!

  8. Ohio doesn’t know it’s February. 77 degrees, flowers blooming- climate change is here y’all, so… enjoy with caution? I spent like an hour out there so probs already sunburned.

    This week Donnie T amorphously invaded my dreams guys–a sacred space generally reserved only for smokin’ hot babes and occasionally Ewan McGregor. Sad! Next night, Wilmer Valderrama shows up, shoots me through the wrist w/ a bb gun inside a Target while I was tryin’ to get shit done. Wtf, Fez? Maybe it was the bedtime spicy guac, idk.

    Anyway, keep it cool open thread; gotta get back to makin’ bacon. ;)

  9. Also, I don’t know how to post a photo, but it’s of me and one of my best friends, who is also very gay and was wearing a flannel, a beanie and a leather jacket. I was visiting her in Berlin and we smile drunkenly into the camera, while I hold a bottle of wine and she says: “I look so gay“. Thanks for reminding me of that glorious evening, Autostraddle <3

  10. I won’t even try to post a photo here because I’m a failure when it comes to that kind of things but it’s my dog sleeping in my bed with red blanket, yay!

    It’s been a nice week. I feel like I wasn’t wasting time like always, so even if I actually can’t remember what exactly I was doing besides sleeping it’s a good feeling. I’m not so anxious about my future as usual which is also a relief. And today I sent a birthday letter to my best friend and I hope she’ll be happy when she reads it. We haven’t seen each other for like seven months and I miss her so much.

    Oh, and yesterday my teacher was talking about Gombrowicz and about his bisexuality (though that’s what his friends thought, he refused to put a label on himself) and she basically said that he wanted to be so cool that he had two sexual orientations at once. I seriously couldn’t believe what I’m hearing. It’s 2017 and I’m so tired of her and her comments and this school and can I graduate already, please? I’m quess I’m just frustrated, sorry.

    I’m also wondering how to improve my English. And I’m going to see La La Land and Moonlight tomorrow, finally!

  11. I can’t post pictures because of reasons but I can take my Instagram account off private for the day


    I’m on lunch at work and am reading and I made a doctor’s appointment and a friend is visiting tonight

    The kids at work keep biting

    It’s unseasonably warm out

    I side swiped a trashcan on my bike last night and my pinky is bruised and I didn’t realize how much I used my pinky until today

  12. Heyo!
    I am ridiculously excited because tomorrow I have a first date with super cute, funny, smart, girl!!
    Dating app pro tip: have one of your pics be you holding the program at a Hamilton performance and wait for the girl who opens with “Please tell me all about seeing Hamilton because that sounds amazing” because it will inevitably lead to a fantastic conversation. I haven’t been on a first date in sort of a really long time, but at the moment I am like 90% excited and 10% freaking out. That could change literally any second, but for now I’m gonna go with it.

    My #16 photo is one I snuck in the park last weekend because this woman HAD A PARROT JUST HANGING OUT ON HER SHOULDER.

    I’ve also included a picture of my cat being The Empress of Her Domain for good measure

  13. You are in luck my 16th pic is kind of queer & not some document. This was taken at a lgbtq bar in South Bay area of LA, don’t remember the name but I went for an event that got canceled.

    How’s everyone’s week? Mines has me long and right now on a bus to see my doctor to see why I have been getting dizzy all week. Bus is not helping. I’m also worried about out trans youth as I know first hand what it’s like to be kicked out for using the bathroom to just pee and at a gay bar in L.A. to boot. So, to tell our trans youth you aren’t protected and it’s up to the state, city or school just tells us we have no rights & protections. Remember what they said about civil rights for poc? I’m in my 30s in California, I can kind of deal with this or maybe hang out with like minded queers at a bar. Seriously lgbtq kids & adults need safe spaces that aren’t bars or alcohol centric. Fuck

    On more positive note I switch my settings on tinder and it’s way better. So far in the past day and half gotten 10 matches and two replies from some very cool queers. Saw the profile of 2 cool autostraddle writers & so far haven’t been reported like I was with HER. So feeling positive about that.

    So this week(mostly yesterday) I went around and did some more light graffiti with a permanent marker. Caption says Protect trans kids!

    Thank you for viewing(I’m on mobile so I hope the images posted) & reading my post. Have a positive & safe weekend!

    PS. Depeche Mode essential told the alt right/white supremacists to Fuck off! So that made me smile.

  14. Hello everyone!

    I’m currently sitting on my bed listening to the Collectively Speaking podcast because it was recently featured in an article on here. My window is open. There is a nice breeze, and there are talkative birds. It is February, and I am not freezing. No stink bugs have tried to get in. I will take my dogs for a walk at some point today.

    Yesterday, meanwhile, I got in a verbal fight with my deplorable step-father about transgender rights (I am a mostly closeted trans person). He purposely ignored all of my factual rebuttals to his hate-and-ignorance-fueled commentary. My mother, who was trying to be the moderator, responded positively to my facts about other cultures that have more than two genders and scientific studies about trans* people’s brains. She then confused gay and trans, but it’s a step in the right direction. Turning her more to the left is one of my resistance goals. The step-fart is hopeless. I only responded to the “speech” he was spitting because it’s one of those issues where I just can’t not respond (for obvious reasons), where I just can’t not try to quell the excessive ignorance.

  15. I’ve never left a photo in the comments before so this should be interesting–

    That is a pic of some mushrooms from a hike a took nearly four years ago. I have a hard time letting some things go it seems.

    This has been the longest week and I am so glad it is Friday. The weather here has been unbelievably warm which is so nice but also makes me uneasy as it is February and it shouldn’t feel this good. It has also made me get ahead of myself. I planned to hike to this secluded little lake tomorrow with my dog and a book and have a picnic but surprise! it’s going to be 43 degrees–not very picnic-y.

    Here’s a pic from my hike last weekend. It was foggy but mild.

    Just think–in a couple weeks daylight savings time begins which means more sunlight in the evening to do outdoor things!

  16. Yay Friday!

    My 16th photo – if my html doesn’t fail as it so often does – is a snap of me from a musical theatre villain themed pub crawl last semester. Any excuse for Doctor Horrible and I’m there.

    This Friday has been a weird one for me. I’m in the middle of my dissertation / coming up to graduation and anxiety / low moods have been crazy lately; I was feeling pretty crappy this morning so I just upped and went out with no heading, I ended up in Edinburgh and spent the day between visiting the Edinburgh Dungeons and looking at art in the National Gallery, and now I feel like I actually have some spoons in the drawer again.

    Not my 16th photo, but for the sake of amusement, this is my mum’s rescue cat discovering what a crisp packet is;

    I hope wherever you guys are / whatever you’ve been up to this Friday you have a lovely evening / Saturday. (What are time zones, even?)

    If any of you have been through dissertation h-e-double hockeysticks, hooowwww did you survive it? I think I’m only still here because I refuse to have so many student loans only to leave two months before graduating.

  17. The 16th photo is me hung over at an aiport the day after a wedding (the 15th was from the actual party and that one would have been way better):

    Now, if we go to the 16th counting back, we get a bonus pupper pic. This is Gandalf, thinking deep thoughts:

  18. I don’t know how to post photo here bc I’m on my phone but I have updates I want to share!!:

    I hooked up with a cis dude for the first time ever a few days ago and it made me really happy…. I enjoyed it a lot and at the same time, the way in which I enjoyed it somehow reinforced even more how much I love and am attracted to and constantly swooning after queer and gq and trans people. (altho we got into a slight moment of almost non consent about a condom, which, sigh. he just reinforces all the prejudices I already had about cis gender men.) At the moment I’m toying with the idea of the labels “homoromantic” and “heterosexual”, but also labels are silly and so is the binary. It’s fun to think about, though. Mostly I’m just really really really happy that I’ve finally moved past trauma to be able to make out and get nakey with a variety of people who have a variety of identities, and feel good and happy and chill doing it. Yay! ?

  19. So this was on the wall in the theatre I was working in last weekend-I posted it on Instagram so anyone who follows me over there may well have seen it before. It was a heavy weekend. But life is back to normal now.

    So funny thing…kinda; Last week before the T&S gig, Missus and I were sitting in a bar, I was there with my Seitan and kale burger in a vegan bun, with my 0.5 alcohol craft beer and my wife turned to me and said “Would your 15 year old self believe this was your life.” Well fuck no -was the answer. At 15 if you told me I’d be a vegetarian who was 90% tee total and listened to electro/indie music, I’d have laughed in your face. At 15 I drank, smoked, listened exclusively to rock/grunge/metal and was a carnivore who took the piss out of vegetarians, especially the one I was seeing-poor girl. So yeah…I shouldn’t be amazed how much I’ve changed in the 18 intervening years…is a long ass time and people change, but here I am-kind of astounded. It’s a thing….a weird thing…a thing I can’t seem to stop thinking about so thought I’d share. *shrugs* And yet… I still dress the same.

    Have amazing weekends folks. ?

  20. My 16th photo is of my mom dressed up as Mrs. Santa on Christmas morning, and it’s adorable, but since I don’t have her permission to post it here I’ll share my 15th instead. This is my parents’ cat Genny (short for generic because they couldn’t think of a name for her). She’s the kind of cat whose cuteness is magnified by the fact that she looks disgruntled all the time.

  21. Hello wonderful people!!

    This really seems to have flown by wow! It’s been choc full of things…on Saturday I went to a women only bondage group (shibari) which was awesome and I cant wait until the next one :)

    On Sunday my anti-street harassment group and I did an event where we get people to write on the street with chalk about their experiences with harassment and stuff and it went AMAZINGLY WELL. We had to go buy more chalk from the nearby shops because so many people wanted to participate that we ran out of the big street chalk!
    Here (hopefully coz it never seems to work for me – although I think I’ve figured out it’s because when I copy/past the code from the box at the top it pasts the ” weird…let’s see) are some photos, the second one also happens to be the 16th in my gallery and is something I wrote (translation: I want to feel comfortable when I kiss another woman)

    On Saturday night I went to our usual lesbian club, and ok I am 99% of the time read as straight which is annoying in itself, and there’s always at least one person who asks me why I’m in a girl bar every single time…..but ok this time I was wearing a t shirt that actually said “no boys” on it and I STILL got asked if I was straight. Bah!

    Anyways hope you all have wonderful weekends! Huggles!

  22. The 16th picture on my phone is a pic of Oscar I shared 2 (?) weeks ago, so please accept this picture in its stead.

    I don’t know what my mom said to him just before that pic, but I have never seen a dog look so shocked and betrayed.

  23. HI FRIENDS. So a couple Fridays ago I said that I was going on a friend date with a cool girl, and since then we’ve gone out several more times and she is VERY cool and we get along very well and have the same sense of humor but now I’m like is this a friend thing or a date thing and am VERY confused!

    Also my 16th picture is a series of photos from a photobooth that my friends and I took on a night out a few weeks ago and we look so carefree and happy that they could be a prop for a Freeform show about a group of 20-somethings living their life in the city.

    • You know, this attraction thing is such a hard thing to get your head around.
      If you click well as friends there’s bound to be parts of the other, non-specifically-friendly things there, too.
      My advice would be to take your time and lean back and see where this evolving relationship takes its evolving to.

      • Thank you! I definitely want to see where things lead, and also I might try to just put it out there a little and be like “p.s. I’m interested if you are, but if not that’s cool too let’s still go to the movies next week.”

        But also I am a coward who is afraid of rejection so we’ll see if that actually happens. I will try to be brave!

      • I would love for it to be a date thing! But also I do genuinely like her company and it’s harder and harder to find people I click with as I get older so if it’s just a friend thing for her I wouldn’t be too down about it.

  24. Hopefully the picture worked, I don’t think it requires explanation, it’s quite obvious what’s going on.

    Been a strange week, I’ve pretty much lost my voice which is not ideal given that I work in a sort of call centre type place, it doesn’t hurt so I kept turning up which probably didn’t help. Besides I wouldn’t want my friends and colleagues to miss out on the apparent comedy gold of saying that I have been rendered speechless by various non events as and when they occur. It’s all good though I’ve consulted Dr. Google and I’m either dying of something rare and terrible or it’s laryngitis and it’ll get better, I’m backing laryngitis for the win.

    I’m guessing the news everywhere in the world has been dominated by th UK being hit by what one national paper described as a “weather bomb”. As a result, yesterday my fence had to have a lie down. I don’t want to worry anyone, but it still hasn’t got back up and I fear it may be terminal but too early to tell at this stage. On the plus side, I have become a famous photographer – my picture of said fence was used on the BBC Suffolk twitter and live feeds this morning (yes that’s right I’m one of the super cool weather watchers).

    Still procrastinating over actually doing online dating because, well the horror of it all but watch out lady loving ladies of Ipswich maybe one day I’ll get to it – I’ve typed this to try to sort of make myself get on and do it, but the horror you know.

    This is my first comment ever on here, still worried the picture won’t work and my love for the idea was my main reason for commenting

  25. I’m honestly shocked… there were at least 16 pictures on my phone (hopefully there’s a picture up there…). I didn’t think there would be.

    Anywho, this is my brother’s dog, Pippin (named after a certain fool of a Took from The Lord of the Rings), and this picture was taken while I was visiting my family for the holidays this year. Not much to say there except that while uploading the image, I took a look back through my Photobucket album (there were some more recent items, but most of it is from years ago). So that was weird.

    Nothing much going on in my life outside of a desperate job search since the Bursar’s Office at my university has forced me to take a semester off and so far I’ve had no luck finding a professor with room in their research budget to hire an undergrad for anything (seriously, the entire department seems to be tapped out). I need to try the Physics and Engineering departments, but Physics will almost certainly have no slots available and I don’t know anyone in Engineering. This semester has been ever so much fun… fml.

  26. I bought that picture at a queer artists’ gallery thing in Barcelona during a gay festival last year and had my friend stow it in his luggage for safekeeping. I picked it up at his place when I took that picture.
    Still haven’t found a place to put it.

    Right this moment, I’m lying in bed, greasy with sunscreen, overfed from dinner, at my mom’s house in Florida.
    I brought a friend on vacation who turned out to be super meek which has been driving me up the walls since day two, when we were in New York and I felt like I had to show a toddler around.
    Also, my mom is a bad drunk, and this is day four and I’m kind of anxious for her to drink too much and snap.
    I actually brought said friend to defuse the entire situation, which so far has been working out, actually, and I’ve been eating well and working out, but I’m not sleeping too well.
    Also, I’m spending 90% of my time hiding because I’m the one annoyed beyond belief and about to snap, so yeah, living the fun vacation dream, although the weather really IS rather nice now!
    P.S.: How do I manage to always get myself into these situations?

      • Well, maybe I need to discuss expectations and realities more.
        I really had no clue it would be like this and I’m mostly angry because I wasn’t pre-warned.
        We’re talking about “I don’t know how to turn the shower to hot, help!” levels here.
        But we’ve had “the talk” and things are looking up slightly.
        Over a week to go.
        In her defense, I’m super out going and fun when around people, but actually, I’m a quiet introvert who really enjoys her alone time and deep discussions about the architectural style of brutalism, the change of the media in the last few months in the US, the prevalence of mental illness among the homeless veterans populating the streets of NY and not the steal deal someone made by getting pre bought tickets to the Rockefeller Tower something.
        Wow, people can really be different.
        Lesson learned.

  27. I started a new job this week and I’m still working my old job from home because the new one is not technically classified as a job (everyone is an “independent contractor” because capitalism is fun) so I have to see how things go before I can quit, and I am exhausted and falling apart. My partner has been out of town but will be back tomorrow and I can’t wait. I’m hoping I can adjust to this schedule soon and next week will be less exhausting?

    Also if anyone has recommendations for career options with the least amount of mansplaining involved in the job I’m all ears.

    My 16th photo is obviously my cat, lying in the sun, because every photo on my phone is cats, girls with cats, or ironic juxtaposition of signage, but I’m too tired to get it uploaded anywhere.

  28. My 16th photo chronologically is of my mom on her birthday 4 or 5 years ago, and my 16th photo reverse chronologically is of my dad and me last weekend enjoying the free ice cream we got because my derby team won our game by >100 points, and one of our sponsors is an ice cream shop. Because I don’t think either of my parents would appreciate me posting photos of them online, I won’t, but I would like y’all to know that both of them look real cute and are smiling.

    It freezing rained all afternoon; the trees are dramatic and heavy with ice. I had a very social week, so I’m spending tonight with West Wing reruns and a bottle of wine. My girlfriend is out hanging out on a roofdeck on the east coast, where it’s still unseasonably warm, so we’ll Skype when she gets home.

    One of my best friends invited me over tomorrow to watch movies and bake cookies and use her washing machines — my apartment has pay machines in the basement, but I am out of quarters. She has an in-unit washer and dryer, and is super generous and thoughtful to offer to let me use her appliances.

  29. Hey, everyone, this was a special week for me. Tuesday I went to DMV to get my letter on my driver’s license changed to an F, something I should’ve done ages ago & am doing now because it’s relatively easy in New York State, and after 11/8 it mattered more. And I thought I was headed the right direction, I’d probably be wearing my clothes outdoors by April, I thought, at this rate. Not bad.

    Relatively easy. Unless the system at DMV goes down. It was this epic struggle, four hours to get finished, I was dressed sort of gq, still edging (I thought) toward finally being really out in public. I thought I’d be done in a half-hour, I had a purple tank and a necklace on under my jacket, on my way to somewhere else, but then the system went down … we ended up getting lined up manually, like the Old Days. At some point I decided that everyone there had noticed me, if they cared, stared if they wanted to, and I kind of just stopped worrying about it—I call it Getting Stared At practice, and this was like getting thrown in the deep end. By the time they asked me, “Are you here to register a vehicle?” and I answered, “No, I’m changing my sex, to an F,” the fact that everyone could hear me (we were in the special line, in the middle of the room) really didn’t matter at all.

    Wednesday I went to the gym dressed mostly out, black tank and this marled cotton hoodie I got (I’m kind of clothes-happy these days, just learning all these new words like “marled”; males are taught maybe a half-dozen nouns for articles of clothing and use them the rest of their lives, and this is much more fun). Only three blocks, still felt vulnerable the whole way, but really impressed with my progress.

    Yesterday we all woke up to the anti-trans decree, & even though I knew it was coming I was so unbelievably angry. As soon as I heard about the rally at Stonewall last night, I was determined to go undisguised. I borrowed a pair of my wife’s pants because I didn’t have quite what I needed—she’s in SF this week, she won’t mind—and went off wearing 100% not-male clothing: my tank that says, “Let Us Transgend Where No Transgender Has Transgended Before,” my green cardigan, her black corded trousers. It looked to me at first like it would be one of those rallies where there are more cops than protestors, then suddenly enough people had gotten off work and it was huge. It was awesome.

    Today, when I went out to go shopping, I wore what I would’ve if I were cis (it’s a standard I apply sometimes, “If I were cis”), unwashed hair (washed it yesterday), a Hampshire College tee (our son goes there), and green cotton drawstring-tie capris. No makeup, I hate makeup and consequently am not very good at it. I did shave. Went out of my way to be just me.

    And, like, there were gay people everywhere! I swear. Some people, who might not have been seen clearly by everyone to be queer, had gone out of their way, like one guy had these totally flaming sunglasses. It was a nice, scarily-warm day in Brooklyn, which helped. Yes, it’s Park Slope, etc., but still … I knew it wasn’t just me when I overheard someone say, “It seems like every other person I’ve seen today is gay!” It was as if someone had flipped a switch. I didn’t feel so different today. Whatever is going on, I hope it stays like this, at least for a while. Maybe the point is that sometimes, like the day I made the mistake of wearing my Straddle scissors tee (my premium, thx) into the City, suddenly you realize there are even more queers in this town than you’d thought. Lots more.

    So, I’m out! Out, out, out! Surely did not expect to be here a week ago. I’m still nervous as hell when I go out, but not scared to death anymore. Four days now I’ve been out in public; somehow getting my F on my license, seeing it there — but only after being stuck in a room with hundreds of other people for hours — finally unlocked something in my head; the ptsd will tell me I’m in constant danger but I’m *not*. I feel like I finally left something behind this week that I don’t need anymore. Yesterday sort of confirmed that, and today was the icing on top of the cupcake. There was this expression I used to hear a lot: “She came shooting out of the closet like a rocket.” It’s been something like that for me. I wanted to tell y’all first, I love this site, and y’all helped convince me that it was safe now, being a trans dyke. I had read a lot on the site, for months, proving it to myself over and over. Being a trans anything in the 90s was dangerous, to put it mildly, so I hid again, for a long time. Not anymore.

  30. I had a really great week this week! I had my first week of uni classes and I enjoyed most of them :) oh and my gender studies lecturer talked about a-camp during class which was pretty awesome!
    I’ve been figuring out how to cook for myself and it’s been good because my friends and I have been sharing the cooking :) and I went to the supermarket 4 times this week!
    Yesterday I went on a date with a girl and it went really well :) so we’re going to the movies next week hopefully. I really like her and we have a lot in common which is nice.
    Ooh and I got to give my friend a slight under cut today which was equally fun and terrifying. And one of my other friends came to visit from Sydney which has been lovely.

  31. Hey so first time in the open thread so hello everyone!

    My 16th photo is of my gf when we went to the coast last weekend to enjoy the last of summer.

    And next weekend we are going to mardi gras!! Which is the first pride thing I’ve ever been to so pretty excited. Also nervous bc i don’t like crowds that much but it should be awesome.

    So that’s me :)

  32. I actually look pretty femme right now which isn’t my usual style. Lying in bed eating prawn cocktail crisps wearing pink football shirt and listening to pop music. The offshoots of a team I didn’t like lost big time last night so I’m a bit dazed.

    Read two good and new books this week (at last!). Finished doing an experimental poetry thing for the course. Really my thing since I love reading experimental lit although I’m more used to reading it as novels than as poetry. My folks got a holiday home w my help which I’m going to help make nice for tourists (I always wanted to run a hotel). One day it might be mine but it can’t be at the moment as I wouldn’t feel comfortable living alone.

    BUT it’s a lovely cute cottage, park at the end of the street w a library that doesnt seem to be run by bigots (I don’t visit our local village library as the people in it are homophobes and racists who I used to work w and it made me ill). All sorts of people there and even what I assumed to be a (my mum calls them a single sex family but I’m too aspie to call them that) pair of dads and their daughter. So a lot less racist/homophobic to what I’m used to seeing. So if I move anywhere on my own it’s there. And even as a holiday home I love it.

      • I need to read more, it’s been a while since I did. (currently reading sports books which aren’t at all experimental)
        The last book I read that I liked and was experimental was called Hystopia. It’s on the booker long list this year. Before that it was sort of non/proto pomo novel Finnegans Wake. I love Joyce. The reason why I say it was kind of is that I’ve tried to read it traditionally and got not much out of it. I had an audio book which is mostly in Irish accents with a bit of other ones where appropriate and I found it much easier in that format.
        Those are two of my favourites too. I’ll try to remember you when I get back to reading my experimental lit novels and message you with suggestions.

  33. Car plowed into the crowd on parade route of Endymion tonight.
    12 people in critical condition and one local news outlet reporting a description of the arrested driver as “glassy eyed” and “disheveled”

    Had a tiny freak out because in the back of my mind I’ve been waiting for Reichstag fire moments to happen. Freedom of the press and right to assembly are already under attack.
    The first official shots at freedom of the press have been fired this week with the banning of CNN and NYT from the White House press briefings and use of the gaggle rather the televised version.

    This administration is like that nauseous pre-puke feeling before you puke, that’s so awful you just wish you’d puke already.

    • You too?

      My girl and I thought we were the only ones waiting for the fire. I know what you mean about the pukie feelings though.

      Remember the quote “the lights are going out all over Europe”?

      I hate to say it, but this time I think we’re on the way to them going out everywhere.

      • Yes, me too.
        We can’t be the only ones. Maybe some people are dreading a Reichstag fire too but don’t know the term or history behind it

        The lights going out all over Europe heard it before, WWI ref I think. Probably British, some poor doomed university fella mostly likely.

        If they go out, turning them back on will be a messy affair we’ll likely not live to see to fruition.
        That’s the thing the back of my mind is holding over my head making me feel nuts.

        The moment when it’s realized diplomacy and the democratic process isn’t going stop the crush and it’s time to push back with “aggressive negotiations” as a certain movie character once said.
        Or the moment when it’s too late for that and things go Soviet Russia after the first flush and the shortages began or Maoist China’s Great Leap Forward eco disaster.
        Nothing and no energy to fight for because everyone but the high ranking party members are starving.

  34. My life is currently consumed by school (fifth year, second to last semester (not counting my post bacc program), currently trying to destroy me) and trauma counselling (we have started to get somewhere but now I feel like I am constanstly teetering on some edge where one side is punching something and the other side is crying forever; but this is what progress looks like), but sometimes I see family and work out and have friends. This weekend I saw my family for my dad’s birthday and my dad almost cried at dinner because he was so happy I was home. I had been home like the week before that too! What a softie. Working out and friends aren’t going as well though, although my relationship with my roommate is very good right now.

    This picture is one that I took at my work in the fall of 2015. I have a problem with deleting pictures from my phone. I love my work, though! Look at this beautiful, rainy, king tide dock.

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