FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Summer Lovin’ – Are You Having a Blast or Nah?

Yo, feliz Friday, oh most fierce, hyper-intelligent and oh so sexified children of love. Did you get all that? That was a lot for a greeting but you already know, I meant every word. It’s that time of the week again also known as the Friday Open Thread where we share our deepest secrets and favorite selfies and I know this open thread situation is for everyone but can I just say that I really need this space right now? I’m not gonna get into the details because I did that already here but if I could pay each of you a dollar for a hug, I would. Life is weird and hard and violent and holy shit, is it ok if I just snuggle myself and watch Bob’s Burgers for an hour or twenty-four? I vote Tina Belcher for Queen of the Summer, btw.

tina belcher gif

BUT IT’S SUMMER and we’re supposed to be having all the fun. Are you having fun, sweet bae, or nah? I want to know. This summer we’ve been hit mad hard with so much important stuff to worry about, stuff that goes beyond our bills, our health issues, our awkward families. I was going to make a list but if you have the internet in your life then you’ve probably heard about Ferguson and the death of Mike Brown, Robin Williams, the man who made me believe in Neverland dying, Detroit’s water war against its people, Ebola, and Sarah fucking Palin getting a damn TV Channel like as if she was even half as important as weather or food. (Oprah should be allowed to backhand her whole entire channel tho, for real).

With all of this chaos swirling around us, we need to actively engage in summer self-care and read Beyoncé/Nicki Minaj femslash while eating S’mores ice cream sandwiches from Trader Joe’s and taking a minute to take a deep breath and chill out.

straight up, I'd disown myself for a box of these.

straight up, I’d disown myself for a box of these.

It is imperative that you put on your flyest fatkini and strut every inch of your body and take a picture, take a million. Gather up your favorite weirdos, a soft football, red plastic cups, cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Lime Rickeys free of alcohol, and take yo asses to the beach. Take more pictures. If you hate the beach and don’t wanna flash any inch of flesh, then by all means do whatever it is that you do in the summer and do it well. Find a foxy loverboi, fall in love hard, fall in love like the summer will never end and sweat out your doobie wrap makin’ love, mami, cuz you deserve it.

you guise, Mal Blum totally supports beaching it up this summer and look how fucking cute they are laying on a beach blanket!

you guise, Mal Blum totally supports beaching it up this summer and look how fucking cute they are laying on a beach blanket!

This is my first time hosting a Friday Open Thread, btw. So, talk dirty to me. But not like Jason Derulo, more like Janelle Monae in the Electric Lady Video, ok? Don’t tell me that hasn’t been the most swoon-inducing video of your summer/life. Cuz you will be lying. Talk to me in your best Spanglish. However you communicate, dimelo. What summer things have given you life? Is there a smoking hot mid-August fling happening right now? I want to know! Are you the smoking hot thing? Have you nailed this summer so hard that you’re puffing a cigar for yo damn self? Also, what books are you reading while laying out? Where have you gone on vacay? What did you  eat at your abuela’s cook out? Undo your belt, let your gut loose and tell me all the things in the comments.

I will be here, waiting to talk and dish like as if I was Mama Ru at a BBQ.

janelle monae


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Gabrielle Rivera is an awesomely queer Bronx bred, writer, spoken word artist and director. Her short stories and poems have been published in various anthologies such as the Lambda Award winning Portland Queer: Tales from the Rose City and The Best of Panic! En Vivo from the East Village. Her short film "Spanish Girls are Beautiful" follows a group of young Latina and Caucasian girls who like girls as they hook up, smoke up and try to figure sh*t out. She also freelances for Autostraddle.com while working in the film and television industry. Gabrielle is currently working on her first novel while bouncing around NYC performing spoken word and trying to stick it to the man.

gabby has written 102 articles for us.

235 Comments

  1. The summer is long and difficult when Portland hasn’t dipped below 50% humidity in memory and I’ve had a half-dozen caveties filled this week and all my crushes are like “ew, feelings”.

    At least I’m adorable. Thanks, estrogen.

  2. I’m an adult(though I don’t feel like one) who is technically a business owner so I work 6 days a week, while my father works 7(he’s a workaholic and he doesn’t care). My summer is that one day a week(sundays) that I have to do just be queer and free. I got last Saturday off as a guise of going to OC Fair when I really went to OC pride, which was great.

    On another note, the woman I have an interest in on sent me a text saying I was in her dream She said she made be vegan snacks, & defended me when was incorrectly gendered in her dream. While it’s great that a queer woman sees & respects me queer, my friend is right when he said, “talk is cheap, don’t waste your time and energy one someone like this” It seems like every time I ask to hang she is either busy or like replies a few days later. :-/ I think I am going to be forever alone. *sigh*

    • ahh no forever alone is like not a thing i believe in, sunshine. but your brother is on to something. back when DMX was a real rapper and not just some throwback sketchy personality, he had this song where the intro was him screaming: talk is cheap, muthafuckas! followed by the sounds of guns blasting and it was crazy.
      #gangstarap
      but what i’m saying is, that you’re bro seems to be on to something. and if she’s telling you about her dreams like that then she’s like playing with you maybe?

      so fuck that. you seem mad brave. you ASKED HER TO HANG! AHHH that’s the best. that’s how I know you won’t be forever alone, homie.

      • It was very small, with a bit of a hipster feel in a neighborhood that is generally filled with Hispanic and Asian people. Plus the local gay bar was charging a high cover fee of 25 to get in. Plus, one of the queers in my circle of straddler friends apparently said a comment a MichFest attendee may say when it comes to dating.

        • oh hi hispanic people! i’m hugging all of you in spirit.
          fuck those expensive pride cover fees like gaaahhhddd, stop it. stop over charging me to be extra gay on this one day.

          and, i’m afraid to ask, but did someone say something transphobic? or something along the lines of “i built this henna tent myself from my own arm hair and then i made a song about it?

        • Heyyy I heard about this happening! I don’t know if it happened after I left or something, but if you want to talk about it, you know how to get ahold of me. I’m sorry, sounds so so shitty 🙁
          On a different note, so glad I got to meet you in person and everything!

    • Oh, that sounds so tough. When your feelings are all tied up in one person, and when that person isn’t interested, it seems like you’re doomed to be alone? I can relate – pretty much right now, actually. But there are so many other beautiful people out there.

  3. I’ve spent the summer in Eastern Mass. working in a tidal marsh, but I’m at least an hour and a half away from anything good/fun, so I’ve spent most of it by myself. I love the marsh, just wish there were more college kids/social opportunities here. Safe to say that I’m not really feeling this summer.

  4. I love smores ice cream sandwiched from TJs!!!!!!!

    I have a benefit concert that I’m producing tonight, which I’m excited about! It’s at 9:30 pm at Joe’s Pub in NYC, if anyone is free and wants to support and amazing cause (the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation) and enjoy a night of amazing songs, one written by yours truly. 🙂

      • i like those mini ice cream sandwiches ’cause you can eat like a thousand and pretend that it’s only the equivalent of like two big ones…even though it’s a total lie. plus, like, i just really love mini food. i dunno, man.

        • this isn’t really the quality of pic i was hoping for, but..

          also, i found this monstrosity/delight while googling:

          “Blue Bell Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches, homemade whipped cream, crushed Oreo Cookies and sprinkled on top with super fine crushed Oreo Cookies just before serving! Pure delight!”

          i dunno if the picture or the description is more intense.

        • omg what is that pic? it’s like they’re marketed to lesbians, specifically lesbians that deliver the mail. omg thank you for that first pic forever.

          that second pic is what i see when i close my eyes and wish for world peace and rainbows.

  5. I am having a blast! I am currently on holiday in San Francisco, where my girlfriend has just moved. Striking a balance between helping her stick contact paper in drawers and doing actual tourism – off to the Castro tomorrow! Since the bridge was super foggy when we went, the actual highlight so far has probably been watching the sea lions derp at Pier 39.

  6. This is my first out summer, and I’m feeling very isolated as I try to figure things out. Today I went to an LGBT community center to try to find some books about bisexual experiences, since I don’t know any real live people here that I can talk to about this stuff. Most of the books they had on the “bisexuality shelf” were about how bisexual people lie to their straight partners, sleep around behind their backs and probably give them AIDS.

    • oh wow, those books must be super helpful and full of all the truths. jeezus lawd, i’m not into book burnings but for fucks sake, right?

      i’m sad you’re feeling isolated. come over. i have mad hugs to give.

      how were the people at the center? were they cool?

      • Thank you 🙂 It’s good to get hugs.

        I talked to someone at the library who seemed really understanding, and helped me get the contact info of someone I can talk to. I started out good but then the tears started flowing, and they were very understanding. I think it’s likely that a face to face conversation will lead to the library disposing of some of these books and getting better ones – I certainly will donate some myself once I have found good ones.

    • Wow, that’s terrible. Could you like, submit an anonymous suggestion that they purchase something a little less prejudiced? I’m really hoping that they just purchased these titles without knowing the contents.

      I hear that the queer center in my city is awesome, but I’ve only been there twice and the second time there was some major biphobia going on. Basically the entire group of people I had been chatting with confirmed that they wouldn’t want to date someone like me. Afterwards I was thinking, maybe I don’t belong here, which isn’t accurate but unfortunately reflects the opinions of some gay people. I kind of felt like I was in that Chappelle show skit, with the klan member who doesn’t realize he’s black. I just wanted to get out of there before anyone found me out. This is one of the many reasons why I prefer cats to humans.

      Also also. You should join the bi straddlers group on Facebook. It just got started, but it’s a great place to talk to other people who have experienced all sorts of bizarre stereotypes about bisexuals.

      • that’s an awesome suggestion. also, i just want to offer a hug. that’s all i really have to give these days anyway. i’m sorry you’re both experiencing this type of discrimination in different ways. i won’t take up anymore space talking about something that i don’t experience. but i do want to say that i would stomp any fool who said dumb ass shit to you both in a heartbeat.

      • I’m going to schedule a meeting with someone at the library, actually, to talk about the book selection. I am hopeful that something good will come out of that.

        I haven’t been very involved with this community center yet, so I don’t know the overall culture with regards to bisexuality, but I am hoping to find out and change things with my involvement. Right now I feel like I have the emotional energy for that. I’ll see if that holds.

        I can relate to feeling like maybe you don’t belong in those spaces. When I first tried to understand my attraction to women, I was unwilling to identify as bi because I thought I didn’t deserve to be part of queer communities.

        I am joining that FB group. Thanks for the tip!

    • That is awful but uh Betty Dodson is bisexual, the opposite of awful and has written at least one memoir. Plenty of other stuff written too.
      Gotta be something about bisexual experiences in her body of works somewhere just it might be dated or a part of an advice column.

    • A part of my life this week has been super relevant to your interests! A minister I know who I knew was connected with the queer community mentioned her bisexuality and a book that’s really been amazing she’s been reading about it!

      It’s called ‘Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution’ by Shiri Eisner. Here’s a google books blurb of sorts:

      ‘Depicted as duplicitous, traitorous, and promiscuous, bisexuality has long been suspected, marginalized, and rejected by both straight and gay communities alike.

      Bi takes a long overdue, comprehensive look at bisexual politics–from the issues surrounding biphobia/monosexism, feminism, and transgenderism to the practice of labeling those who identify as bi as either “too bisexual” (promiscuous and incapable of fidelity) or “not bisexual enough” (not actively engaging romantically or sexually with people of at least two different genders). In this forward-thinking and eye-opening book, feminist bisexual and genderqueer activist Shiri Eisner takes readers on a journey through the many aspects of the meanings and politics of bisexuality, specifically highlighting how bisexuality can open up new and exciting ways of challenging social convention.

      Informed by feminist, transgender, and queer theory, as well as politics and activism, Bi is a radical manifesto for a group that has been too frequently silenced, erased, and denied–and a starting point from which to launch a bisexual revolution.’

      Anyway apparently it’s really good and the tone isn’t too heavy and academic. I’d order it or even better, ask if your library might consider it (so they have less shitty titles)!

      Ps congrats on your first out summer- it might all feel a little weird and new but I really do think it gets better and better 🙂

      • Thank you! I will definitely grab a copy of that book and recommend it to the library as well. I have a meeting on Wednesday with someone there, so we’re going to talk about this, and she said she’s interested in recommendations for the library!

        And thanks so much for the encouragement. It is weird, and definitely discouraging at times, but I do see signs that things will improve and become awesome.

  7. Please insert a sheepish wave here. Hi you guys. Hi Gabby.

    I haven’t been around because I was inpatient at a hospital and only got out Monday. Now I am outpatient. I still do not feel okay. Things have been extremely rough, and on top of it, I have an ear infection and am supposed to go to see Tori Amos in concert tomorrow. But my ear hurts and I am so, so drained and tired.

    I’m trying to remember the support of people, but even when im reading it, it’s so, so hard to feel like I can even believe it. Right now I just feel very very sad, very quiet, very scared.

    • either way, i’m sorry about your ear infection. summer colds suck everything and not in a good way.
      hope you feel good enough to catch that tori amos concert. i had no idea tori was like 50+ years old. i stopped listening to her after from the choirgirl hotel. but damn if i didn’t love that album.

      but like are you ok? ok enough to stay outpatient?

    • Caitlin, we miss you when you’re gone! I hope you’re in a better place now, even if it’s not “okay”. I hope you can find some bright spots to keep you going through the upward climb. I hope you have people that you can lean on when you need a hand. I hope you know that we’re happy to be that person for you if you need it.

      And obviously I hope your ear gets better soon. Duh!

      Anyway. I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad you keep us up to date on what’s going on. I’m glad you’re hanging in there for now.

    • I’ve been having mostly an amazing summer. I just hit five months on HRT. It’s been an emotional Rollercoaster. I’m overall amazingly happy, but struggling with what is almost like a completely new level of emotional-ness.

      I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I feel like I’ve been depressed for years without knowing it. I still have down days, but they are days, and then I have something great happen and I’m riding so high.

      Live music has been the thing that has really made this summer amazing. I’ve had so many great experiences at live events that I wish there were always concerts happening all of the time.

      At one concert, between shows, I met Monica, the lead singer of Phox. She was amazing. We had a great time chatting, then I learned whom she was and saw her on stage! It was really cool.

      I mentioned last week the lesbian (or at least mostly female) impromptu dance party in the street during a concert. There may have been a little exotic dancing featuring yours truly and a friend I haven’t seen in a while. (she was a bit tipsy.) But that is something boy me would never have done. It was incredible.

      I’m also heading up a clothing drive for trans* folk at our local pride. (September 6th Champaign IL, if you’re in central Illinois!) it’s been a bit of a struggle for me to keep on it, fighting a little depression and work stress. But it is coming together.

      This is the last summer I will spend switching between gender presentations. So I’m a bit eager for time to fly… I’ve been undergoing laser hair removal on my face. It’s gone well, but I’m thinking it’s time I get an electrolysis treatment to finish things off. After that, I need to build a professional woman’s wardrobe and then it’s time to be visibly female at all times!

    • Yo Caitlin, hang in there. Especially the first few weeks out are rough, and draining. It’s a fight uphill, but worth it. Maybe put a wad of paper into your ear to make it less sensitive, if you want to catch that concert.

  8. My summer in one long, run-on sentence:

    Ooh the girl I have a major crush on might finally be into me life is great oh wait never mind she says she has to work out personal issues and wants to just be friends and now it’s my first Pride and hey gay church camp that was like the best experience to ever happen in my life I made friends and I think I’m over that girl oh wait no I’m not but hey I got my first alternative lifestyle haircut and it’s looking pretty good and life is–oh what did you say about me totally and completely messing things up with my former best friend who I’ve been trying to break it off with for years and accidentally just insulted and now she hates me?

    So yeah. A mixed bag.

    • first of all, you look perfect in your user pic. second, i wanna see pics of the new and first ever ALH. show us show us.
      ps- when a girl you’re crushing on says they gotta work out personal issues, back away slowly. leave no cookie crumbs as a trail. poof yourself outta that situation.

      also, gay church camp??? tell me massss por favor

  9. i just wrote 5 haikus about autostraddle, bees, lesbians, and other feelings on a postcard to send to chelsey for the a+ bee. i hope she likes them! but even if she doesn’t, they were fun to write! i haven’t written haikus, or any poetry in a long time and i’m proud of myself for the effort.

    i’m having sort of a lame week followed by a lamer weekend and could use hugs. i would like ice cream, a loverboi, an opportunity to move to a new city, and a job offer, not necessarily all at once or in that order

    • CASEY pero like where are the haikus? do you always tease the women/people who adore you? is this some game you’re running on us/me? what can i trade you? virtual lapdance? basket full of smiles? where are the haikus?

    • i also want all the things you do, cept i’m a loverboi and i have a hard femme foxy bae but if i didn’t have her, omg i’d be writing to santa for a loverboi for real.

      i have so many hugs to give you. come to my neighborhood. i’ll take you out for pizza and get everyone on the block to hug you

    • I just started writing poetry! 😀 it’s all pretty bad (I’m at approximately the “Fox in Socks” level), but I’m having fun with it. And I can get you the hug and the ice cream, but the rest might be tricky.

  10. My summer has been quiet interesting and fun in certain ways. I thought I found love but turned she was the devil Lmao. I’ve done so many fun activities with new people.

    Ready for next summer!!

  11. This is probably the best summer I’ve ever had. I’ve recently fully come out, embraced being social, started dating and actively pursuing people who interest me, AND I went to the beach and swam in the ocean for the first time voluntarily! I’m enjoying all of it. It has taken me 25 years, but I feel like I’m really enjoying myself and going for what I want out of life instead of hiding out and waiting for it to come around, or being to scared to do anything!
    I’m really proud of myself.

    • i am really proud of you. one for swimming in the ocean. bc omg sharks.
      two because you’re out, all of you, and you’re living that hella no fucks given life. and man, it’s so good to pursue people who like you instead of pining for oblivious birds who don’t know a good thing ever.
      hi5 friend

  12. So here’s the hair:

    The person who cut it yesterday also styled it, and I just sort of slept with it in. But I like that I can do that now and get away with not brushing my hair. I’m looking forward to trying new things with it. Also thank you! I took my user pic at Pride (which you can probably tell) and I was pretty happy with it. And thank you for the advice on girls.
    And as for camp–I went with a group called The Naming Project, which is an organization devoted to working with LGBTQ+ teens on reconciling sexuality and gender identity with spirituality. It’s specifically a Christian camp but I don’t think they’d discriminate against people of other religions. I went up to camp for a week with fifteen other kids and it was probably one of the most eye-opening and freeing experiences I’ve ever had. I’m lucky to have been a part of it.

  13. Hi Gaby *waves enthusiastically*

    I’ve been spending this second half of summer starting my new job (at home tech support for apple, what what, so everyday is now bring your dog to work day so I’m lovin it) moving into a new place, reading Harry Potter over again, and weeping nostalgically while I watch old Robin Williams movies . Next weekend is Dykeadence down here in NOLA so Im supppppperrrr stoked for that!!! There’s always the chance of some summer loving going on there ;).

    • sadie! it’s a mockingjays reunion in the comments thread y’all. all of my hearts, dear sweet beautiful girl. i’ve missed you. congrats on the badass job. your commute must be killer. roll outta bed, brush the teeth, oh shit i’m at work. bam.

      you’re making me jealous tho. i wanna go to a dykeadence party. sigh. it sounds so dreamy and surreal.

    • Um can I say I like your taste in clothes, want to go shopping with you someday and am legit jealous of all the nice apple things you will get to see and touch. Will be at Dykeadance and might pop up like a weirdo to say hi. You’ll know it’s me cause a baby lesbian with the blond version of Joan Jett’s haircut certica Queens of Noise wearing too many rainbow accessories will tagging along with me giddy as can be. I’ll either look like a causal ballerina, Pink Lady or a member of Guns ‘n’ Rose so it’s just easier to identify me by the person I’m chaperoning.

      • Thanks!! ha ha, my clothes are thrift store chic. I’ve got a body type kinda like Plank from Ed Edd and Eddy

        sooo its pretty hard to find clothes, I’m a big fan of the 5 dollar dress though 😛

        Ill be on the look out for you, I really hope I meet some people during dykeadance, most of my friends have moved out of town as of late so i gots to broaden my circle.

        • There’s some store I can never remember the name but I can find on foot that sells clothes and shoes models wore in shoots and stuff. At a reduced price but still *ahem* way pricey. You’d probably find some chic stuff there that would compliment your build.
          It’s kinda where the CBD and Quarter almost meet.

          Other than that I’d suggest Target or TJ Maxx.

          It feels like our queer lady community is transient here, once they graduate college they leave. And for those of us who grew up here or the ones who stay have to search for community. Like we’re frickin shipwrecked.
          Hope I can find ya or you at least meet some folks and make buddies.

  14. I hate to be off topic, but I have a bit of a dilemma. I’ve been looking to move out from my homophobic religious (Jehovah’s Witness) family. I live in NJ (NYC metro area) and I am 22. I currently make $2500 a month. I’ve been offered an apartment that is closer to work in a good area. It is $800 a month rent and $200 a month utilities. I would be on the third floor with the bottom two floors belonging to Indian families (I’m black). I am MOC. I’m unsure as to if I can afford it. I’m thinking of either taking this apartment, trying to find a roommate online, or just staying put. I have no family besides my homophobic mom and sister and no real friends to turn to for help. Should I get a roommate or just rent a whole apartment?

    • yo friend, have you checked out the nyc queer housing exchange on FB?

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/QhousingNYC/

      see if you can find anything better there. people are always posting new shit.
      i’m sorry you don’t have good people around you or family that’s got your back. that is the absolute worst. i’m glad you’re here with us. we’ve got mad love for you.
      take a deep breath. take some time to do a little more searching. you don’t wanna just take all your stuff and your beautiful heart and land somewhere that isn’t safe.

    • So your rent (not including utilities) would be about 32% of your income. I’m here to tell you that I pay about 53% of my income on rent and I survive. It’s definitely uncomfortable, but I don’t starve. And the solitude of not having a roommate is worth it to me. So if it’s worth it to you and you’re able to budget carefully, I’d say go for it.

    • Hi Katie, It sounds as thought you may have enough to live on but you really need to do a supermarket run and an assessment of travel fees etc. to see if you can manage it financially. The idea of finding someone to share expenses with is a good one but of course you need to know that you can live with that person. Have a long Disscussion with her/him when you’re sorting possibilities.
      Make sure you look after your rights as well as your obligations.
      We all fly the nest at some point and sometimes need to return to lick our wounds. Just because our family is intolerant doesn’t necessarily mean that they stop loving us.
      We may have to cut them (family) some slack, probably more than they would cut us sometimes. Eventually you make a decision about how much you are able to compromise. Then you live with it. That’s life!
      If you do decide to take the chance/opportunity, this time, remember that there is nothing that can’t be fixed with time and effort.
      Good luck, with the big decision. Best Love, Diane.

  15. I was visiting my parents most of this week. Monday I spent hours cleaning the whole house as a surprise for my mom. I’m back home now and finally watching Parks and Rec after hearing how good it is from so many people. This morning my grandma texted me “You are a good man charlie brown. I am proud to have you for a grandson.” This is the first time she’s really acknowledged my gender in such a positive way. I think this is a sign of her finally accepting me. I am super excited! I can’t wait for next week, I’m going to a Trombone Shorty concert and AS brunch meetup. So many good things in one week.

    • jay that’s so great. mad love to your grandma for acknowledging your gender but also for using the best charlie brown line ever. my dad’s name is charlie and i say that to him all the time. i also pretend to set up a football for him and then move it at the last minute so that he falls after trying to kick it. but i’m a jerk. whatevs.

      no seriously, i wanna hug you a million times over, friend. the world is good sometimes.
      where is your AS brunch?

      • haha I would probably do the same if my dad’s name was charlie.
        I want to hug you too, you seem like a person that gives amazing hugs.
        Ashland, Oregon at my favorite brunch place ever. After eating there I am so full I can’t eat till dinner. They make lemon butter and walnut butter for all their waffles/pancakes. Last fall they had gingerbread waffles as a special. Best waffles I have ever had!

  16. HI GABBY!

    1. that photo of mal blum.

    2. i forgive you for using a grease feature image instead of a grease 2 feature image even though everyone knows how i feel about grease vs. grease 2 because i love you and also because that side eye is amazing.

    3. i am house sitting in portland and let me just say AMAZING WORK PORTLAND YOU ARE THE FIRST CITY I HAVE VISITED SINCE LEAVING NYC THAT HAS TEMPTED ME TO COME LIVE IN YOU, YOUR QUEERS ARE SO HOT AND YOUR BEER IS SO CHEAP AND YOUR GARDENS ARE SO PRETTY AND DAMN OKAY YES I WILL MOVE HERE. in three or so years, when i’m done living in a tent.

    4. on tuesday i ended up at a bar with one of my favorite authors and she read my tarot cards and told me i am presently living my “rewards life” and i am really feeling that.

    5. i love you, gabby.

    this is my very first comment on an autostraddle open thread, did i do it right i hope so.

    • 1. mal blum is such a baebae.

      2. the only thing good about grease 2 is michelle pfeiffer and that’s only because she was the best catwoman ever.

      3. I AM SO JEALOUS. I AM GREEN. I AM LIME FUCKING GREEN W JEALOUSY. portland is perfect and all the queers there are poly-happy-fuckers and like it’s just beautiful and i had vegan gumbo from a food truck and praised la virgen afterwards.

      4.tarot cards are so real why don’t we use them all the time?

      5. i love you. you are my little sister. always wear black bras.

      for your first open thread comment, you sure aced the shit out of it.

  17. This summer has been amazing and I would say more but I’m about to run out the door and head to a beer tasting (like I said, good summer). I’ve been exploring the silver lining of being unemployed. Life moves slower, more time to figure things out. Okay, okay, figure ME out. It’s been a soul searching summer for sure. But I like where it’s taking me.

    Just wanted to chime in and say as always, I dig your writing voice. When I read your stuff I always feel like you’re talking to all of us, but also all of us individually. I really feel your presence and your voice in your posts. You’re sincere and cool and funny as fuck and I’m glad to have you around, and this space.

  18. Oh this summer. In the middle of it I went off on a paid-for trip to Europe with my 15 year old cousin whom I find pretty easy to get along with. Yes, I’m very lucky. We went to Paris and Rome and wow, I loved Rome. I really loved Rome and I want to go back to Italy. My life has become so stressful and work focused and sometimes I think wistfully of times before when I traveled about, could fit all my belongings on my back or in my car, and just seemed to have more place in my life for dancing and music and crafts and impromptu midnight swims. By the end of our trip I was putting lipstick on every morning (not something I ever do irl), drinking wine every night, eating gelato every afternoon, lounging by the fountain in the square every evening. I reconnected to that part of me that’s there when my brain lets go of the worry its gnawing on and it was so so wonderful.

    I went salsa dancing last weekend and got someone’s phone number. I’m getting a massage tomorrow from someone who uses the words “universe” and “indigenous” a lot. I’m slowly intentionally creating better self-care habits for myself that will last and while I’ve pulled inward a little to do so, I feel good about it, hopeful. The last few weeks have felt like a premature Fall and I bought a pool pass this summer that I haven’t used yet. This has been a really emotional week and I’m very tired.

    This weekend will be my first 2-day weekend off in a long time (last Sunday marked my first day off for a long stretch.)

    In closing, a cutsey couple photo starring me and the best cat that has ever existed:

  19. Hi everyone! Happy Friday! Happy summer!

    I love the summer but I’m kind of sad that it’s ending soon. Partly because I love summer the best, but also partly because of my job. People seem to think that it’s just going to be a “summer job” but actually it’s the only one I’ve got for right now, and I’m feeling kinda bad that I didn’t get a “real” job after I graduated in May. I mean, I’m happy with the job I have now, and I don’t really need to be making tons of money, but I just feel like everyone’s expecting me to be more ambitious than I really am. I just want to enjoy my life and feel like it’s summer all the time, instead of worrying about how my life is gonna end up. I don’t know if I’m really a lazy person or if I just can’t decide what I want to be when I grow up, even at the age of 21.

    • no you’re fine. fuck ambition. be 21. do you. the way is there and you will find it. enjoy the sunrise, enjoy the waves, enjoy the damn summer. there is no pressure to do anything but breathe.

  20. Wow the s’mores ice cream sandwiches sound amazing. Trader Joe’s is the best (not to mention their cookie butter, yum).
    Also I feel you on Bob’s Burgers. It’s my go-to Netflix show for when I can’t fall asleep or am bored, it’s embarrassingly first on that automated “Watch it Again” queue on Netflix.
    On the bright side, it’s looking very likely that I’ll get my first nursing job out of school soon. I really hope so at least- I’m getting pretty burnt out on job apps.

  21. I have been wanting to comment on this thread since about Tuesday, oh my gosh.

    So I had a date organised with a queer lady friend, and we’d arranged to meet at the cafe at her Uni since it was close to a thing we both had to be at an hour and a half or so later. We mostly know each other through the volunteer organisation we both work for, and it was a bit of a “let’s just have a catch up/I’m not really sure if this is a date or not” type thing.

    I get to this cafe about ten minutes before we’re meant to meet, because I am one of those people and I try to always be early. I wait and wait and wait and it gets to her being twenty-five minutes late and I’m mildly upset and I’ve finished my chai latte and complimentary brownie the lovely barista gave me. I try and convince myself that she must have just gotten busy and oh maybe you should have messaged her this morning and made sure we were still on but try not to be pissed off because you don’t even know her that well and it’s totally fine.

    Feeling a little pissed off and not at all in the mood to see her, I show up to this meeting and she strolls in, looking gorgeous and a little flustered. She sees me, looks me up and down with the filthiest look ever, hugs one of our mutual friends and all but ignores me for most of the night. I try to text my friend who’s driving me home and work out I have no credit. She’s sat next to me, so I ask to use her phone and it seems fine because she offers it up pretty much immediately.

    I get home. I get onto facebook and check my messages. All I see from her is “Hola! Shall we meet in [University courtyard] at five?” and I smack my hand to my head not unlike Suzanne in the S1 finale of OITNB. So she’d thought I’d blown her off (hence cold shouldering) and I thought she’d blown me off (hence general annoyance) and all because I did not have any phone credit and thus, couldn’t check my facebook.

    Moral of the story, kids, is CONFIRM YOUR PLANS WITH PEOPLE MORE THAN HALF AN HOUR BEFORE OVER FACEBOOK. Also remember to get credit when your phone runs out. Shit sucks when you’re trying to be a good cohesive team and actually be useful when you’re preoccupied with your own shit with a colleague/friend person.

    If you’re at all interested, we’re fine now and we’re going to reschedule, and even though I offered to express my love in baked goods she says it’s okay. (I still feel a little bit bad. She’s still getting baked goods.)

    In other news, if you’re following the adventures of Kate through this weekly comment thread, I am, unsurprisingly, still sick. I’m out of bed and actually functioning again, but my lungs are not cooperating on the whole breathing thing too much. I love me a bronchodilator.

    • i was so ready to reply to this comment with: THAT BITCH

      but wow, she wasn’t on some stand you up shit. good. jeez, at least some people are still respectful and honest and wanting to meet in real life.

      well damn, don’t leave me hanging. did you write her back and tell her what happened on your end? did you call her the moment you got credit and tell her all of your truths? did you serenade her with violins and arias?

      spillll

      • oh Erin, I wish it was one of those looks. I have seen many a sexy look from this lady as she is thankfully the kind of person who lives through facebook. The downside of this is that none of those looks were directed at me. All in good time(?)(hopefully?)

  22. Finished my internship for the summer but confirmed I will be coming back for the fall, I’m super excited! This summer has been great so far. I learned a lot about a lot and now I’m looking forward to some much needed relaxation before preparing for school in the fall!

    …now I have a desire to blast “Electric Lady” on my speakers.

  23. I am not having a blast this summer. My anxiety is really out of control. And it seems like every time I turn on the TV or the computer, things just get worse. Kidnapped Nigerian girls! Detroit water crisis! Ferguson! Immigrant children being kept in cages! Robin Williams!

    I’ve just noped the fuck out of life right now. It took two Xanax just to make myself get out and go to the Rifftrax Live Godzilla show at the theater last night. Before that, I hadn’t left the house in over 3 weeks. I haven’t even been able to make myself go to the comic book store on Wednesdays. I had to send my mom to go get them and bring them to me.

    Oh yeah, and that reminds me of another shitty thing: Hawkeye is apparently ending with #22, so I won’t even have one of my favorite bits of escapism anymore. Why is everything always awful?

    • everything is awful botp! and racism! and because we only get to go on the mountain like once or twice a year. everything is awful because people don’t have enough puppies or hugs or sex partners or friends or french fries or hawkeyes.

      misery is a racket indeed.

      if i was your neighbor, i’d ask if you’d go to the comic book store with me.

      also, i get mad anxiety too. it’s awful. i had a panic attack two blocks from my house the other day. so i feel you. eeeep. all i can do is take deep breaths and go on long walks when the sun is up and eat pizza when i want to.

      sounds like you have a good mom tho. that’s totally a plus.

  24. Nearly every autostraddle comment of mine is all:

    Internally I’m going, “STAAAHP” but I caaan’t. Only thing in my life that’s fluent in the stuff I keep inside or have no one to discuss with is autostraddle. I hate being emotional all over the comments. Not a weepy sappy person, have a brick wall as my avatar for petra’s sake.

    My summer was weird but fun.
    Took a summer session math course, had crying holding myself in the bath tub break down before even getting half way through it, note I have dyscalculia. Passed with B.
    Sobbed like my own momma just up and died when Dr. Angelou died. It took the autostraddle eulogy post to let those tears out though. See what I mean about all the feelings?
    Planned to wear a Pink Lady inspired def high femme outfit to the Pride celebration that happened the same day as my birthday but chickened out. It was June and the chickening out wasn’t just how nervous I feel when doing femme in public instead of my usual outfit of male gaze invisibility/ macho woman who plays with fire. The deciding factor was the heat and my cotton circle skirt had pockets. My highwaist pencil skirt is frickin’ lycra and certainly doesn’t have pockets. 😉
    The bar I went to that night sorta inspired some faith in humanity. People across race,the gender spectrum/expression, gay and straight were all dancing, using the restrooms and having fun. No one judging or acting like the gate keeper to the restroom. Just having fun without being hassled or hassling. Isn’t that the dream our queerforefolks worked for and what we should continue to strive for?
    It was fucking inspiring man, fucking inspiring.
    Oh and I saw Dolly Parton on float.

        • I feel ya, I’m often that person too. I’ve been slowly trying to make myself seek out help from my friends and family when I need it, and it’s been going so well! I would recommend it, if your’e up to it. But sometimes you just need to tell your problems to sort-of strangers on the internet. Whatever you need, dude <3

      • Gunna try but it involves leather and lycra as major component every which way so far and in the 504 there’s gunna be like 3 days out of the year wearing such an outfit will not make me either be too hot an’ nasty or shiver because humidity and cold are Satan’s gentle whispers to your bones that a coat doesn’t save me from.
        Then there’s if that perfect weather day happens to fall on a queer lady party or bar night because our last all lady all the time bar died with a slew of other bars in Fat City.
        An outfit should not get this complicated.

  25. Along with travel and prep for grad school, this summer has sort of culminated in the fact that I went camping this week with one of my best friends, who I’ve had a will-we-won’t-we relationship with for the past couple of years. Predictably enough, we did. And then she wrote a poem about how cuddling was the best part, and I completely agree, so now I’m kind of confused, but also reassured? Possibly this is not the place to be oversharing like this, but it was also my first time, so it’s left me with a lot of feels that I’m dying to air out. The bottom line is that I think it’s time to go back to living like a hermit in a cave somewhere.

      • Cuddling IS good! I guess the thing is we’d tried to date back in the spring, but I just wasn’t feeling the romance side of things, and only wanted a friends with benefits situation. Having finally got the “benefits,” I’m feeling confused by the fact that that part was underwhelming, and just kind of being together beforehand was the best part. Even though I still have zero interest in a real relationship. Ahh. Clearly, as stated previously, I’m best suited to the hermit life where I don’t have to try to understand human interactions 😛

    • Leonard Cohen puts it well. It sums up pretty much my attitude to life.

      “Let’s be alone together, let’s see if we’re that strong”
      (waiting for the miracle to come).

      so take her into your hermits cave and be alone together, talking when you have to but cuddling lots. Report back, amiga.

        • Yeah, I’m not feeling like this is going anywhere from what you’re saying. But at least you tried it! Although I can’t lie, I’m still a little weirded out about how she wrote poetry about how the cuddling was better than the sex. Like I thought about it when I woke up this morning.

      • Yeah, it was definitely an at least I tried moment. It was something that kind of needed to happen, to sort of get out of the way, I guess. The poem was actually really sweet, which I realise sounds weird, but it was about the most intimate, lovely part of the night, and also completely reflects the sentiments I was feeling a bit guilty about having, so that’s good.

  26. I’m supposed to go to a queer dance party tonight but I feel tired and am 75% convinced that none of my friends will care if I’m there or not (which is how I feel about most social situations, thx social anxiety).

    So, tell me to go to this party.

  27. Ah, summer, the time when kids are released from pris– uh, school, work gets even more difficult because of the sudden flow of kids into swim classes, and this particular porcelain pansy here has to stay indoors 24/7 or else she’ll get sunburn/moon burn. Moon. Burn.

    This week I turned 17, failed my driving test and had a surprisingly bad day at work on my birthday, had a terrifying experience which combined anemia with sudden period explosion and gut-twisting cramps, scheduled an appointment to have my wisdom teeth cut out of my face before they grow in, and crocheted baby shoes for a friend’s new sisters which I will be giving to her at my own goddamn birthday party.

    On a lighter note, I obtained Cards Against Humanity, some sick Attack On Titan and Homestuck doodads, got my paycheck, bought a new bra after four years of just not trying, and recovered completely from a horrible haircut that happened in June, although my bangs are now acting as eyeball curtains.

    That is my story ksorrybye.

    • Yes, I can relate to the not buying new bras then just steeling myself and doing it. The part I hated was acknowledging my loathed boob expansion and having a bra fitter put measuring tape around my breasts about 5 times, because she was using a new tape measuring device and she did not want to get my size wrong, make me come back, and measure me again. I was with on her on that wicket. I did not want to get measured in the first place. But she was having some difficulty getting the tape right, and I felt as though I could have had A Boob Measuring Pro stepping into the fracas at attempt three. Nup. That never happened.
      Having an incompetent Boob Measurer stumble over whether Im a 16DD or 16EE is kind of splitting hairs, I thought, and all of me wanted to run and recklessly buy a $60 maybe wrong size bra and never go there again until that fell apart, but no, I behaved and bought the right size bra. I seriously hope that Bra Fitter has gotten better with tape experience. Situations like this need anaesthetic, and more privacy than a dutch double door.

  28. YOU GUYS. im having watermelon seagrams and it is fucki g delicious. Ive had like 5 bottles of idk whay the other thing was. Omg you guys im so red in tbe face and my week was awesome. I taught people and i hope they can apply that shit. Yoi guys. I love this place.

    • Hahahaha. I think somehow i made sure i didnt miss Brotha G’s friday open thread.

      Im still on the fence about teaching. Im really a nurse who got recruited into teaching our new electronic charting thing. Its been good so far. I still have like 3 weeks to go.

      • i love you, brother V. so glad to see your badass drunk self up in this thread. not sure how i feel about the watermelon seagrams but if it makes you happy then it can’t be that bad.

        • much love Brotha G. Those are lyrics to a Sheryl Crow song! Lol. But the watermelon seagrams is really really good. It’s sort of like those cruiser things from smirnoff but they aren’t so bubbly. Too bad the watermelon is the only flavor I would recommend to anyone.

  29. You know that summer where you’re anticipating loss of virginity in a steamy dorm room shower but instead the closest you get is being seductively fed a marshmallow? Yeah, that was my summer in a nutshell.

  30. This has been the best summer of my life! I’m with Kala re. no more hiding out. Except I just started a new job and am not sure how my being out will be received. I’ve fallen in love with the most wonderful person in the world who has been totally accepting and patient with my awkward fumbling and trying to figure it all out along with all the other stuff going down in my life right now. I’m very happy but totally stressed out and exhausted. I’m really looking forward to when I can get some extended rest time.

  31. Sadly, no summer lovin’ for me…just starting to come out so I notice women everywhere (butches in tank tops…yes, please!) but don’t know how to meet them. I’ll figure it out, it just feels awkward right now.

  32. this summer has been a little insane you guys omg. This year I came out to myself which was so so stressful and hard but also a good thing and this summer is when I really came to accept it.(which autostraddle and tumblr were a big deal in helping me with btw) We’ll see how it goes if/when I ever decide to tell my friends before I leave at the end of the summer.

    And last night was my 21st birthday!! I’m 21!! Me and my friends went barhopping and one of my friends insisted on taking me to my first strip club.She’s apparently tight with one of the bouncers so we got in free. I lost at pool really bad before I go and sit down with a captain and coke and my friend is yelling something and before I know it theres a scantily clad lady with her head between my legs and climbing up my body and biting me on the neck and disappearing to dance with someone else. You guys I am so gay.

    Then a fight broke out and it turns out the bouncer is the awesome guy who did my kickass new tattoo last month. I guess that was our cue to leave because after that I just remember waking up in my bed this morning.

    Side note, in case anyone was wondering if Hannah Harts book is awesome, it is.

    • Okay so #1 – HAPPY coming out to yourself AND HAPPY 21st!

      Number two- don’t freak out but do you think there’s a chance your friends already suspect or know given that (as it sounds) they may have organised the lap dance? I say this not to freak you out but to suggest they might actually suspect and be kinda okay about it already 😉

  33. My summer’s been pretty okay so far. I got a new job at the local library, and recommended some new LGBT books to be added to the collection, based off that really helpful Autostraddle article that was posted a few weeks ago (thanks, btw). The only bad thing about the library is the amount of creepy-ass white dudes who hang out there and hit on us, it’s ridiculous. Um, I got a fashion makeover from my best friends and have started embracing skirts and dresses. I started taking medication for my anxiety in the beginning of summer and I’m only sad I didn’t start taking them sooner, they’ve made such a difference, I feel more confident and balanced with my emotions. Oooh, and I’m planning a date with this wicked smart and beautiful girl I met online, we’ve been talking all summer; the big issue is that she lives a couple of hours away in the next state over, but we’re really excited to try and meet up IRL, and even if the date doesn’t go well we’re gonna try to stay friends. So yeah, that’s my summer in a nutshell. I’m sad it’s coming to a close with school starting soon. 🙁

  34. I’ve been hanging with my sister in Berkeley for the last almost-week, which has been lovely in that it’s gotten me away from my parents’ house. Also though it makes me even sadder to leave and go back there. I really need a job, guys. I’m going crazy.

      • *hugs back* Well I’m back at the parents’ as of last night. One plus: no longer sleeping in a sleeping bag on a cot and waking up with an aching back and wayyy overheated. Beds are nice.

        Other than that just trying to deal with my mother’s suffocating presence and my ailing grandmother while staying positive. This fall. I’m getting out this fall.

  35. I spent a lot of time on a wifi-less rural island, which was sometimes amazing and made me feel peaceful and excited to explore nature and sometimes left me anxious and starved for contact with people my age range. I wrote a lot of postcards to friends.
    I’m excited for my final year as an undergrad to start, but also sad because a lot of people I care about have graduated and gone on leave and I miss them really deeply. One of my grandparents is almost certainly going to pass away soon, too, so there’s a tension there in anticipation of loss.
    I think once I’m back on campus and closer to a lot of my core friend group, some things will feel easier.

    • the wifi-less rural island sounds perfect. where in the world is it?

      also, oh no, losing a grandparent is one of the most painful things a person can experience. much love to you and your family during this time. i hope that you have good people you can reach out to even if they’re physically far away.

  36. I’m so tardy to this party…

    But this summer has been UHMAYZING! It’s been my first summer not working since 2010. I’ve actually been able to travel and hang out with people and go to the beach and SLEEP. Sleeping is so good! I may have been juuuust a little strapped for cash, but I’m pretty sure that made the adventures oh so much better (shoutout to ballin’ on a budget!!). Cruises, weddings, random weekend trips, oh my!

    It’s all come to a crashing halt as I’ve gone back to work to prepare for my new position (!!!) teaching adults with disabilities for which I am SO EXCITED. Not only does it come with a significant pay raise (!!!) but I’ll actually be working less hours per week, which leaves me open to find another job, for which I have a second interview this week. It’s been a great summer!!

  37. I need to get my computer back up and running. I lost a post into the ether.

    this summer has been quite amazing for me, but also a time of struggle.

    I just hit five months on HRT, and overall, I couldn’t be happier. I’m so proud of who I am and who I’m becoming. I still have to fight against depression, but I am overall so much happier that I have DAYS when I’m down, not weeks or months (or potentially years…)

    This summer has been incredible because this town has embraced live music and there are concerts happening always and everywhere. These have been so great!

    I think in my comment on last week’s open thread, I mentioned the impromptu lesbian (or at least mainly woman) dance party in the street that happened and was amazing!
    I also met Monica from Phox, who was amazing. We were just chatting in a bar before her set and I had no idea who she was. Then it was like: “goddess! The beautiful, incredible woman I was chatting with is singing on stage with the most amazing voice.” (she’s also gorgeous and tragically straight, sigh) I talked to her some after the show too. So fun.

    I’ve been out and proud and owning it this summer. This is my last summer living between genders. Very soon I’ll be presenting as a few female all of the time. I can’t wait!

    Also, I’m on the pride planning committee for our town. (Champaign-Urbana September 6th! If you’re in central IL, be there!) I’m heading up a clothing drive for trans folks. It’s going to rock!

    So yeah, busy stressful, but overall awesome! Last summer was my baby step into the LGBT community, this summer I’m rocking my transition, I can’t wait for next summer!

    • clothing drives are the best. also, swaps, fleamarkets, and trade situations make me a happy boi. so excited for you. i wanna know more.

      yes to being happier and rocking your transition. wooo

      • Right!? It’s so weird, and I know it’s common, but I know that I had happy times pre-transition, but they were fewer and farther between. My marriage was so toxic, neither of us came out unscathed. She and I have managed to become good friends once again, and that makes my heart soar, even if the guy she is dating is the guy she slept with while we were still married.(I’m trying so so so hard to forgive and forget, but I haven’t been able to.he still triggers fits of tears and intense sadness)

        But yeah, clothes drive! I’ve reached out to friends, a local thrift store is donating, and my friend Cameron (handsome, charming, and married trans-man [whom I should tell about this site]) has been putting together a collection of clothing I think he’s willing to bring to the table. I think it’s coming together, even if depression is limiting my utility.

        Every weekend seems to have the highest highs and the lowest lows, and it can be tough. Head up, I’ll level out, and they won’t be able to touch me.

  38. All your love over that one little selfie make me blush something fierce.

    Today I shall spend all afternoon listening to T&S for the first time, and looking for an endocrinologist who isn’t a creep, and commiserating about dating with my girl Chloe.

    Portlanders are fickle, flaky people.

  39. Hey guys! I’m a little late to the party this week!

    My friend’s dad, who’s basically family to me, had a stroke last night and even though he seems to be doing really well, I’m just so worried for all of them. It reminds me of when my dad had a heart attack, which was so scary and awful and made us all, including him, feel so so helpless. I feel like I just finally realized that everyone I love is fragile.

    sigh.

    Moving ON from sad shit,

    I’m navigating dating? And it’s super fun! And exciting! Sort of! But it is! But it’s scary! And I live at home and I think it’s making my mum really uncomfortable! But she’s trying! but juuuuudgiiing. So. How to do the thing? I do not know. Whatever, it…seems to be going okay? Yes? I am being vague because sometimes people who are relevant to this dating process read this HI SORRY I TAKE SO LONG TO TEXT BACK

    Also this week I got some really ridiculous shoes that I’m excited about! They’re amazing except I’m pretty sure it’s going to take me 14 years to wear them in, hence the socks in summer.

  40. This summer has been bomb tbh. I met a girl who I was in mutual like with and right after we became roommates with two other queer women so we have this gay lil enclave in DC. And we’ve spent time going to work or not and laying on the porch or watching movies at 3 in the morning. And now we are girlfriends. Abd right now I’m typing this on the porch chilling with my Girlfriend listening to FKA Twigs radio while she’s playing tap tap something on her phone and we keep giving each other sweet eyes and playfighting. So yeah the world is acting wild around me and I got no money but I’m really happy. Also doritos jacked are good as shit.

    And here’s me:

    • i love your hair. i love everything you just wrote. goddamn hifive for all of it. the FKA twigs radio, the gay enclave, the doritos, like i want your whole life right now. yay to being boo’ed up in the summer.

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