FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Tell Me Something Good

Feature image via Keely Weiss

Hey there, Dumbledore’s Army. You’ve found your way to our Friday Open Thread, which is normally like a fun family meeting but who knows this week. Because who knows about anything this week, right? I feel like somebody just slapped a giant TBD over all of my plans, my hopes, my emotional state, my safety and my friends’ safety. To be determined. We’ll see. Maybe.

As of this writing, the whole thing still feels very fresh. I’m eating my first real meal of the day and it’s 10:00 PM. I went to a protest, ran into some friends, and felt heartened. But it has been one rough ride. If you are feeling that way too, or that way and more, or any combination, know that I see you here, we all do, and I love you and am going to keep fighting and writing and doing whatever I can to help all of us get and do better.

I want to use this thread to talk about the positive stuff, big or small, that happened to you this week or that you’re excited about. Because life is still churning on and there are good things in this world and that’s what I need to hear from you now. I’ll start, ready? I got new foot braces yesterday! Hooray!

For those of you who have never laid eyes on me in real life, I wear ankle-high braces called AFOs to stabilize my feet. I’ve had some version of them for as long as I’ve worn shoes, though they’ve changed height and look over time. They generally last me about two years. I’d put off getting my most recent pair replaced because I’d had the same orthotist my entire life and he retired at the end of 2015. The prospect of finding someone new intimidated me, so like a responsible adult I just ignored it for a while. When the inside of my right brace wore down to the plastic during Wisconsin A-Camp and I couldn’t do that anymore, I finally called his apprentice for a referral. And surprise: he let me stay on with him! “We’re not just gonna kick you out after 20 years. Make an appointment; it’ll be fine.” It was like we’d traveled back to the days when doctors made house calls. So personal! So kind! Not sure this is actually allowed, but okay!

The best part about continuing to see a pediatric orthotist — besides continuity of care — is the aesthetic choices. They just don’t value whimsical colors and patterns the same way in adult offices. I needed the right combination of foam and velcro to reflect my core values and demonstrate how I’ve grown since ordering my last pair.

Obviously I chose the Party Dino pattern. With rainbow padding.

Yes, those are dinosaurs.

Yes, those are dinosaurs.

(Also I’m really glad I stocked up on these now, because yikes. Party dinos, please be kind; you might need to last me until 2020.)

In other news, my girlfriend and I are getting ready to take a trip to the woods next weekend. I thought I was looking forward to it before, but that’s nothing compared to now. I hope you have something similar on your horizon that is lighting you up inside, even just a little bit.

So tell me about it. Name any and all bright spots of this godforsaken week. How have you been taking care of yourselves? Big plans coming up? Major wardrobe acquisitions you want to show off? (I just got a denim jacket that has inner pockets, amazing.) Have a crush on someone new you want to talk about? Are you celebrating Veterans Day? Lay it all out there and bring hope to our world. It’s what you do best.


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Carrie's body is weird and she's making that work for her. She lives in DC by way of Los Angeles and has a conflicted relationship with social media, but you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram anyway.

Carrie has written 83 articles for us.

278 Comments

  1. So the one bright spot in this terrible week was Sunday, when my favourite roller derby team won the international championship for the second year in a row – go Wheels of Justice!

    But that was Sunday. Since Tuesday night, I’ve been thinking about what silver linings can possible come out of this catastrophe. So far, I’ve come up with the following:

    – Some of my Canadian friends who are currently living in the US are thinking seriously about moving back to Canada, so I’ll get to see them more often

    – That Toni Morrison article Laneia linked to in the AAA reminded me that it is in times of oppression and tragedy that some of the best artwork is produced, so I’m looking forward to all the incredible art that will come from the next 4 years

    – I was so angry on Wednesday that I had to do something with all that rage and frustration, so I went for a run. Usually, it’s really hard to push myself to do that, but I did, and it felt good for a while

    Aaaand I’m out. That’s all I can come up with right now.

  2. oh hi honeys,

    I don’t know what’s like, REALLY good, but I just wrote this thing and I made my girlfriend watch this video of corgi puppies chasing each other for like 15 minutes, see:

    http://www.seattlefeministtherapy.com/2016/11/11/okay-youre-not-okay/

    otherwise, dear everyone, I’m so sorry. I hope you have come back to your bodies after disassociating for the last couple days, I hope people are being really nice to you, I hope you are eating things you like and have gotten to move around a little bit and that even though things feel scary and awful, I hope you have the succor of each other’s presence. Let me know if you’re lonesome, I’ll write you a sweet note.

    I’m okay, I have a serious need to stretch because my body has tensed up so much, but I’ve had an easy morning, and a couple days without serious work, and am gonna go to therapy, do some light work this afternoon, and see a friend for Bad Lesbian Movie Night, and she has a whole projector setup that feels very fancy, and I majored in gay movies, and she has never seen in them because I don’t know why? Tonight we’re watching debs and better than chocolate, because silliness. And I’ve been knitting an enormous fluffy cozy blanket for my friend and knitting with bulky yarn on circular needles feels this particular kind of luxurious that is really satisfying these days.

    But seriously let me know if you need a pep talk or a compliment or a video of puppies nervous to walk down stairs.

    xoxoxoxo.

  3. Carrie, your AFOs are literally the best thing I have seen all week. The dinos actually made me smile.

    Hi, loves. Got your safety pins today?

    Here is my doggo when he was just a pup. This boy and I have been pals for nine years. This morning he stuck his face in mine and whined until I put my phone down and then he crawled into my arms and pushed the top of his head up under my chin. Cyrus knows what’s up. <3

  4. I was really nervous about having a conversation with my brother about all this because I have known him to be apathetic and selfish about politics. But he surprised me by reaching out first and sparking a really good, motivating conversation about this finally being the thing that gets white people to join the (ongoing) struggle of marginalized communities en masse. Not exactly his words, but the intent was far more embracing and involved than I had expected.

    It felt good to know I had one less person to censor myself around within my family.

  5. carrie! did you notice that in the rainbow padding for the shoe on the right side of the pic, there’s a secret bonus penguin on the toe?

    tuesday night / wednesday morning was pretty tough, so a friend and i watched mrs. doubtfire at like 4am for a little reprieve. it was pretty strong decision. i hadn’t seen it since i was 8, probably, and it’s apparently one of my friend’s favorite movies, so she kept being horrified that i couldn’t remember what was going to happen in any given scene.

    also, i might get my hair cut today. tbd on if that turns out to be a good thing. (though, like, my hair is out of control too long and i’m just not a mullet queer, so mullet prevention at least will be 100% good.)

    oh AND i did a productive thing last night that i had been avoiding and feeling a lot of anxiety about so.

    my local (dc area) autostraddle group is having “post election healing brunch” on sunday. that’s obviously good.

  6. Christian Preschool Updates:

    Roo, who is two, and choosey about displays of affection, asked to sit in my lap yesterday (“can I sit there?” “YES” *pushes other child out of lap forcefully*)

    and then she let me pretend to be a monster who eats ears, and it was very momentous & important. Then she sang old Macdonald for an hour.

    One of the fours insists on being called “Romeo the Scientist” on a semi regular basis. Yesterday he told me that I could scare away dragons by using my uniform vest to make me look larger than I really am. V useful info.

    I have had a cold since mid September, and laryngitis for about two weeks now, and it’s getting old, but at least I don’t have pink eye anymore.

    • I’m sorry you’re feeling sick, but holy crap those kids sound like fun. Kids come up with some of the best gems – my personal favourite was when one of my daycare kids told me “I really like hugging you because you’re nice and squishy.” :D

    • Are you a preschool teacher? Me too! I teach 2-3s. Aren’t they the best? I have one little girl who is the the smallest cuddliest ball of squishy goodness. She has a coat that makes her look like an ewok. I just want to put her in my pocket. Anyway, on Wednesday I got to work after crying all morning and she ran over and put her head on my shoulder when I sat down and then gave me the

        • Yes! I’m an assistant teacher in a twos class right now,but normally I float between classes when they need to fix staff ratios.

          I work in a place that is pretty Christian.it’s Lutheran, but the kind that might as well be catholic, in terms of how conservative their views are. I’m butch presenting, and some of my coworkers don’t even realize I’m gay. Like, that would never occur to them.

          They’re mostly lovely people, as long as I steer every conversation as far away from politics as possible.

          Anyway, what I’m saying is: I didn’t expect going to the kids chapel on Wednesday morning would feel good. But seeing how excited the kids were to dance (to cheesey God songs, but who cares, they’re two), and how earnest and open and sweet they all are, was a really great way to start an otherwise awful day.

  7. Those braces are pretty fab! My cousin had dinos when he was little. I think it’s a teenage boy thing.

    Good things? Hmmm. It’s a little hard to think of any right now, TBH! Not only is this week miserable for the obvious reasons, but my wife got sick on Tuesday and I got sick yesterday and it’s pretty miserable. I’ve got aches and pains and I’m at work trying to be productive and it’s so hard. I wish I could go home but I’ve got too much shit to do before the weekend.

    Oh! A good thing! My boss reviewed a report I wrote summarizing some testing I did and he had so many good things to say. He threw it on my desk (scaring the shit out of me) and said, “Hey. Seriously. This is great. *THAT* is how we should be writing all of our reports in this place.” So thanks, Smith College, for teaching me how to write engineering reports like a boss!

  8. my college has come together in incredible ways. i’ve spent more time with my friends hanging out and being together in the past few days than in the past few weeks. hugs and declarations of love and affection abound and it gives me the warm fuzzies.

    also! a week from today i fly home for thanksgiving break and see my family for the first time in months. while i’m home we’re going on a train trip because trains are AWESOME

  9. I hope everyone is taking the time they need to process, mourn, and practice self-care.

    I love those AFOs and the print on the padding!

    The one positive thing just happened to me! I’m pretty into the knitting community on Instagram and after Tuesday a bunch of knitters started a #knitterspayitforward movement. For one of them, the knitter asked that everyone comment with the ways they will work to make the world better and that would be the entry into a giveaway. So I typed my thoughts down … and I won!!! I’m so pleased and excited to knit a beautiful cowl and pass that forward to someone else.

  10. Good things:

    – Twin polar bears were just born at the Columbus Zoo!!

    – I’m part of an organization that puts on a free week long summer camp for kids whose parents have or have had cancer and we are already kicking ass with fundraising!!!

    – One of the voice professors at my college brings her dog to work every day and on Tuesday she was wearing a sweater and the hood kept falling in her eyes but she was so! determined! to! see! and I just want to be that dog

    – I work as a section leader in a church choir and one of the other (female) section leaders is married to the (female) contemporary worship leader and they brought their baby to church and he is the cutest!!

    – The same church just confirmed another gay couple and their adopted son as members!!!

    I know this was long and random but once I started thinking about the good things they just kept coming and I want y’all to get as many warm fuzzies as I can give today <3 Love this community so much <3

      • CARRIE I FEEL LIKE YOU UNDERSTAND ME THANK YOU <3

        ALSO THE DOG'S NAME IS CRICKET WHICH IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ABOUT HER AND IT WAS IRRESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM FOR ME TO LEAVE THAT OUT OK

        i needed all caps to convey my emotions my apologies

  11. Oh and I’m such a dork. Jeez, waive a cute knitting bag and yarn in my face and I neglect to mention EVEN BIGGER great news.

    My partner and I are officially getting married on November 29th! We still plan to hold our ceremony/celebration in June as initially decided, but I’m super pumped and happy and the person at the county clerk’s office was wonderful when we got our marriage license. So yay!!

  12. One of my friends has been really stepping up to the plate as an ally this past week (I even got a care package!) and his acknowledgment of what I’m going through means a helluva lot.

    This is more of my nerdom showing but I was able to track down the brands from most of Jillian Holtzmann’s outfits and I’m all over the Internet, trying to order everything in my size.

  13. Love love love the Dinos! I hope that helps.

    As for me…I’m going to see my girlfriend in the Twin Cities this weekend for the last time before we officially close the distance and I’m SO excited especially after this week. And I have an interview for a job I really want on Sunday. Fingers crossed.

    As for tonight after work I plan on celebrating getting thru Election week as a cis QWOC news producer with chicken strips, potatoes, cheese, and a shower beer. And cheese.

    Have a good one, y’all. Remember to treat yourselves and take care of yourselves. You’re worth it.

  14. Hey Straddlers. I’ve been quiet here for a while, but I’m so glad we’re in this space together.

    Here are some bright spots:
    – I’ve been a temp for more than two years and I have an interview for a permanent job next week
    – My roommate and I stayed up until 2 am last night casting our friends as Game of Thrones characters, and we did a pretty good job
    – My NYC improv community has come together in a big way as a space for hugs, laughing, and (best of all) solidarity in the fight to come

    <3

  15. I don’t have any major good things, so I’m going to stick to the basely materialistic.
    1. Gin-gin candies will help get rid of your persistent feeling of election related nausea
    2. Uniqlo’s woven boxers are the most comfortable things I’ve ever slept in.

    I’m very, very sad that Trump is president. The consequences will be terrible and I’m really scared. But it’s a little comforting to be part of an opposition community again. Now we’re the ones who are only responsible for stopping things we disagree with, not for making sure everything goes right. I hope we’re successful enough that I don’t feel guilty for that reaction.

  16. So Wednesday afternoon, in an act of dispair and heartbreak, I deleted my HER app because, you know, what’s the point when the safer world you thought you were prepping to come Out in doesn’t actually exist, right?
    Thursday morning, I restored it to my phone because FUCK THAT NOISE.
    And you know what? I found out that this really sweet librarian I’ve been messaging for a few weeks wants to meet up for coffee and adorableness. We’re comparing schedules and making time and joking about being awkward ducks. So there’s that.
    Also, I’ve decided that I AM still gonna save up for my gay badass Alex Danvers style haircut.
    And finally, the following article was posted in my city newspaper recently and it gave me a few seconds of calm.
    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/What-we-share-A-baby-And-disdain-for-Trump-10607226.php?t=b72ddc99fe438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium

    Let’s be each other’s arc, darlings. Let’s hold tight and strong and shelter one another through this long flood.

  17. I got a job with Amazon!
    It’s my first full time job and my first job since I took a break from college a month ago.
    It means that I can now begin to properly save to move to California next year (I’m in Texas right now). I went from earning maybe 400 bucks a month to about 1800.
    It also means that I’m going to become financially independent which is an exciting and thrilling process because I can be myself without worrying about basic needs.
    Amazon also doesn’t mind that I have my Afro and they’re the only place out of everywhere I interviewed that said I could wear my hair however I like.
    I feel really good because my family was telling what a huge mistake I was making when I left school. I’m glad to have this win.

  18. This week has not been the greatest. With the great TBD (okay if I borrow this?) hanging over things, it has been hard to find joy. My grandpa is going into the hospital for testing, and possible surgery. He is 89, and his heart might not be able to take the stress. So that is hurting me.

    But in spite of that, my two best friends, who pretty much are my sisters at this point, have been cheering me up. I also went to a book sale at my library (where I happen to work). Because I was stressed by everything, I completely forgot about the book sale. I picked up a few books I was looking for and a few I have never read before.

    I also gave myself a pedicure when I got home. Sally Hansen’s “Wine Stock”. A nice dark red/burgundy color. That is making me happy.

    I also made myself a promise to find a trans support group* in my area (South NJ) in 2017. I also want to stand up and fight more for my own rights by the rights of others the next 4 years.

    Sending all of you in this thread love.

    – Sarah

    * I am not out as trans yet, but I am slowly getting to it.

  19. Ok positives only

    – Ghostbusters has come out and is available for download in the UK. It was one of the key moments for making me think that maybe I really needed to sit down and address my sexuality, rather than ignoring all the murmurs. Now I can can just watch it with joy. Also, imagining the entitled little prick in that film as Donald Trump (not a huge jump) and watching him get annihilated helps.

    – I changed doctors. My other doctor had had no time for me, and I had a phone introduction with my dr today and she instantly made suggestions for things that I might want to do at some point. It felt nice to be treated as an adult

    – This had been a great place for feeling sad about the election. You people are all awesome

    – I am almost done with a rubbish stage at work

    – the stray cat came back.

  20. First of all, just wanted to let you all know that I (a Canadian) am offering marriage and/or adoption to any of you who want to flee the States. Just putting that out there.

    I’m also going to say that I’ve seen a pretty impressive outpouring of positivity and love online this week – everything from offers of legal help to shows of solidarity to just collections of cute animal pictures for anyone who needs a mental break. Like Mr. Rogers said, you have to look for the helpers, and I’m seeing so many right now.

    Speaking of cute animals, here’s a slightly blurry Oscar selfie.

  21. My dog, Charlie, is good. Nov 21st is his 1-year-adoption-day! Here is a picture of him in a basket. Doesn’t that just make your heart smile?

    When I got Charlie he was dirty and slept a lot and now he is the most upbeat pup you’ll ever meet. You’re all invited to celebrate with me on his instagram @CharliePup251! Love you peeps!

    ^ left: him on Nov. 21, 2015 and right: him now!

  22. 2016 sucks globally. Here’s what’s been good in my life:

    – I got a piano and a ton of plants for my home. I can play an actual acoustic piano in a home that starts to resemble a jungle, ALL THE HAPPINESS!
    – I’ve had some progress with my thesis. And a seminar that I had dreaded as it’s very demanding has turned out to be really interesting and inspiring.
    – I saw a play of the poet Edith Sodergrann’s (at least partly unrequited) love to another woman in the 20’s and was thoroughly moved. It wasn’t about forbidden sexuality, just two humans trying to find a way to be in each other’s company, but who weren’t really sure what they wanted. Very relatable, I might have cried.
    – I’ve got a (tinder) date tomorrow with a super cute girl, and even if it goes like all my other tinder dates (nice people but no chemistry whatsoever), we’re gonna see an exhibition I’ve been wanting to see for a while!

    Aaaand I’ve got criss cross potato chips in the oven!

    Love and blanket fortresses to everyone <3

  23. I don’t know–I feel like I hit the bottom out period of my activity high last week and crashed. The election, the stories friends have shared with me…

    On top of that my mom broke her foot AGAIN–last September I canceled and rebooked our trip for December… I didn’t tell her it was easily a thousand dollars to do so, she’d feel terrible. But there’s that. And we’ve been invited to have thanksgiving with the Trump supporting side of the family…

    I just don’t feel comfortable at all, or safe–even though I know they won’t do anything beyond words.

    Good thing! …I did, in fact, submit to two major publishers this week (aiming for last weekend, needed an extra edit) so thats kind of heartening even though the likely result is negative.

      • Thank you! I figure a ) it gives me experience I can use elsewhere if I want b ) … frankly I know a couple bigoted writers who wouldn’t feel abashed at all about at least submitting… so I looked to myself and said “…why should I?”

        It helped.

  24. Sumn gud is that the democratic party will be forced to cater to working/middle class people by having more politicians like Bernie. And politicians who thought everything was great are realising that for most people, the rich are getting richer but normal ppl ain’t being helped economically. Also, many who voted for trump, previously voted twice for Obama – and they aren’t all unchangeable in their opinions. And humans have survived much worse, and are currently surviving much worse in war zones, famines, dictatorships and mo around the world.. and most people in the u.s. are still against racism.. and we still have the power to b organised and change ish.. and trump doesn’t support NATO so there shud be less wars, bombings and droning attacks on civilians hopefully..and trump is protectionist so multinationals will find it harder to exploit workers hopefully.. and trump is more blatantly discriminating against minorities – which just means shit which always happened, is merely now in the open instead of being hidden – so the enemy is easier to see and confront – and those puppy pics are very cute :0) and organisations like All Out and Black Lives Matter still exist and are accepting donations and volunteers

  25. In times like these, I always feel fortunate to be at a school where I think I can confidently say that almost everyone is united against this horrible, common enemy. It’s so hard to think about the future when all I can see on my feed and in my social circles are these accounts of hate crimes that have escalated in the past few days. In the midst of all this, it’s hard to think about my parents too–immigrants who have voted Republican every election. I have not spoken to them at all about the election. I don’t know who they voted for, and I don’t want to know. My sister and I have tried countless times to talk to them about politics and social responsibility in the past, and each time my heart has just fallen into pieces. They don’t hear it. I _want_ to talk to them about this, I want to have an honest discussion, I want to rid them of misinformation, but at this point I just don’t know if I can handle this emotionally anymore. At the least, I feel secure in knowing that they live in an extremely blue state.

    For better things:
    – I’ve been thinking a lot about asking someone out when I see her next. The boundaries between friendship and romantic feelings have always been kind of smudged for me, but whatever. I want to do this. I have over a month to think about it, so if I decide it’s a bad idea in the end then I won’t. But I probably will.
    – On Saturday, I finally have time to go grocery shopping, so I can eat something that’s not marshmallows or noodles.

    Wishing I had time to go to safe space discussions at my school about the election results this week, but I have work during those times. I so wish I could go. I’ll go to work today instead and hopefully it will just get my mind off of things for a few hours.

  26. According to my mom, on Wednesday morning my ten year old sister picked up the newspaper, saw who won, and immediately threw it down in disgust.
    She’ll be able to vote the presidential election after next and with any luck, our generation and hers combined will have the power to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.
    That’s my hope.

    Other than that, we still have our freedoms to fight and protest. The Hamilton Mixtape has some hella relevant songs. The dogs in my office are super cute. Autostraddle exists. Life goes on, slowly but surely.

  27. I love you I love you I love you AS <3 thank you for being here this week especially.

    I read so many uplifting things and great ideas on how to come together as a community on this site this week.

    One from reader dev who said they're going to make sure over the next 4 years that they support businesses that don't support Donald (take a page from HRC's book and call him by his first name; he hates it). Great idea, dev; me too.

    Several professors I work with have been using their influence to actively support persecuted groups at their universities, and encourage their students to do so. https://labroides.org/2016/11/09/an-open-letter-to-my-class/

    For me, I feel closer to my grandparents as they are the generation that safely got us through WWII. I plan on learning from those who have gotten us through the Civil Rights Movement during the 60s, and the de-colonialization of India, and the heroes in Carmen's column who made and are making the world a better place for us.

    Good news I can share: I passed my PhD dissertation defense on Monday. After more than EIGHT YEARS, readers. I almost dropped out. I left school for a while because I was so depressed. But in the end, thanks to my friends and to AS, I made it through.

    Quote from the acknowledgements section of my thesis:

    "I also want to thank the brilliant online community of feminists at Autostraddle.com, for helping me maintain good mental and social health while navigating the patriarchy during grad school. They were essential, too."

    I enjoyed the prospect of a bunch of uptight engineers on my committee reading that. :^D

    And, pics: cyanobacteria cupcakes, and my dumb victorious face while wearing a diatom tie, thanks to Laura Mandanas for suggesting that tie company. @laura-m

    I have a gender-neutral title now IT FEELS SO RADDDDD!

  28. ANOTHER KICK ASS THING:

    47 sisters at the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority at Tufts University quit together when their national organization told them to “hold off” on giving a bid to a trans girl. HALF OF THE SORORITY STRAIGHT UP WALKED OUT TO SUPPORT THIS GIRL i am feeling so many feels about this <33333

  29. I draw a webcomic and today I took commissions of characters from the comic for progressive charities – raised $1300 before I had to close it due to time constraints. Most of the people wanted me to draw cute pictures of the two queer girls who have been flirting in recent updates. Most of the people buying commissions were dudes who sent me emails saying the comic has pushed them to be more socially aware. It’s a tiny drop in the ocean but left me feeling hopeful about allies and good people today.
    Also, running D&D for friends tonight. Always feels good to create a fantasy world to escape to for a little bit.

  30. I moved cities! It has been totally exhausting and between the physical moving and the emotional aspect and everything else emotionally exhausting (both in the private and public spheres) I haven’t been feeling very productive this week.

    Good things: My new library has SO MUCH cool stuff happening! I registered for queer women/trans literary speed dating and the whole prospect of speed dating has always seemed like a terrible way to meet people but I’m going to try to quickly not be awkward with other awkward queers who like books. I love my neighbourhood and my friend is going to send me a copy of her new book on feminism for free because I have no money for books after moving.

    Aside from that, I need all your help this week! Yesterday my cousin sent me an invite to something which I think is a baby “gender reveal” party (without using that name), and I am grossed out and unclear how to respond. I really really want to say something and I don’t want to start a fight but I want to be clear why it’s problematic while wishing them the best as new parents. Does anyone have any links I can send or tips what to say? Should I just send my best for the baby and not attend and buy their daughter bow ties and let their son use my lipstick and ask the kid about preferred pronouns as soon as it’s mastered syllables? We’re not close, but I just moved back to my hometown and it’s nice to be included but also I don’t think *anybody* should be included in this particular event?

    • Hm, I wish I had more of an answer for the “gender reveal” party…how strong is your suspicion that it is indeed a “gender reveal” party? Some options that I can imagine:

      “Why do we have to say ‘it’s a boy!’ or ‘it’s a girl!’? It isn’t even born yet, can’t we just let it be a baby?”

      “You know, I know a lot of folks who were forced into a lot of pink clothing/dresses as small children and grew to hate pink/dresses for years because of that. Maybe it would be better to let us get to know your child more before association a baby with pink versus blue.”

      “If you don’t tell us the (designated) sex of your baby before birth, then shower gifts will be more gender-neutral and easier to re-use as hand-me-downs for children of any sex” (this was why some really Catholic straight friends didn’t say, or possibly even want to know, the sex of their child before birth, so that they’d get gender-neutral things to re-use, since they want a big family – depending on whether your cousin wants more kids, this may or may not be applicable)

      Explaining that all this emphasis on boy/girl (but actually, what they see in the ultrasound) seems to limit their child (girls can be strong and good at math! etc. – you don’t even have to go into LGBT issues if you don’t want to with your cousin – but more power to you if you want to), and therefore you will be giving them something gender-neutral.

      Any other ideas, folks? This summer my cousin also invited me to a baby shower (which I couldn’t attend because it was during the semester), and said in the invitation that it was a girl. I ended up coming out to her as we emailed back and forth, since she wrote not long after the Pulse shooting (and she came out right back!!). It was not framed as a gender-reveal party, but I knit the baby a red sweater vest and matching brimmed cap along with thee pairs of tiny pink/green/tan socks in leftover variegated yarn, and gave a couple of picture books, including “It’s Okay To Be Different.”

  31. Word started circulating on Wednesday night in my local trans circles that folk were concerned that the new regime might act to make getting updated Social Security cards and passports harder (reversing the rules put in place in, I think, 2010). The consensus developed that if you were going to do it, get it done right now or potentially have to wait 8-12 years.

    I decided to move up my timetable for doing that. But changing my Social Security record means that Payroll and HR at work would have to know. So … move up the timetable for coming out at work.

    So yesterday I sat down with the head of my department to come out to her and to get a sense of what kind of support I should accept. I heard total acceptance, full support.

    So next week she, my manager, and I will sit down with HR and see where we go from here. There may be bumps ahead, but I have a pretty good feeling about it. Meanwhile, I’ll file me name change petition next week.

    That’s my good news.

  32. I had some conversations with a few students of color about their dissatisfaction with the department, and their feelings of marginalization yesterday, and they told me that the lack of departmental community isolates them from all the other students in the department. As a result, I set up a meeting with the department chair. I’m just a visiting professor, but he listened to the community building ideas I was bringing to him, offered to help me organize, AND told me that there would be plenty of funds!
    It is just a small step, but I hope it leads to more and more.

    Now I am going to cut out of work for the rest of the day and *attempt* to get more than 4 hrs of sleep tonight since I don’t need to get up for work in the AM.

  33. Evening folks.
    Good things:
    Mass Effect 2 & 3 are now backwards compatible for Xbox one. I’ve been longing for this since January. I’m off to get my space wife back. Liara I’m coming for you!
    Also I’ve stopped crying at least once every hour.
    Also my new puffy gilet arrived and is super cosy. The fleece inside is the softest in the world I swear.

    At this juncture I feel that a little personal embarrassment story may lighten your days; Ahem.
    Last week I was driving to te DIY store and I touch myself by the Divinyls came on my stereo. Now normally I’d see the irony and laugh and crank the volume and sing it full belt…buuuut…I was not alone in the car, during a lull in conversation, about midway through the chorus, I realised it was “I touch myself” playing over the stereo – Folks I was driving MY MOTHER to the DIY store…and by that point it was too far into the track to skip without drawing attanetion, and I swear at that moment I felt like I was 15 again and she’d caught me watching a lesbian sex scene on TV…I gripped the steering wheel and talked really loud until the end of the track.
    Let my awkwardness wash over you.

    Flannel encased Hugs from this little butch to all that want them, and huge amounts of love.

    (I’ll be over here reading Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit. Recs for other books taken with gratitude.)

    • I just started reading The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience, and it’s already giving me so many feelings and so much fire to fight with. Plus sounds like she might have been kinda secretly gay? Still early, but there are apparently lots of “intimate letters to female friends” about, so stay tuned. So far can enthusiastically recommend.

    • I needed to comment just because you mentioned Mass Effect, which is guaranteed to grab my attention. I have been so busy recently that I haven’t even looked at my Xbox so this the first I am learning about 2 and 3 finally being available on the Xbox one, so thank you! This is the perfect time of year to curl up with a billion blankets and go into space to buy fish and model ships and flirt with blue ladies.

  34. Something good…
    I made plans to spend next weekend with my very best friend (since we were 3). We were already considering plans since my birthday is the tuesday after that weekend, but given everything we for sure made it a priority to be together.
    The last two days I spent a lot of time with lovely, supportive people while we all are having a hard time. Someone I had been wanting to get to know more anyway hung out with me a lot yesterday and that was really kind. They seem really cool and I’m glad they wanted to be my friend too.
    Today I’m going to my local bagel shop (the best bagels around!!) with another friend. We almost always get bagels together on Wednesdays, but this week had to delay it, I’m glad to have something nice for today.

  35. I’m feeling kind of shy because I’ve never commented here before, but I guess now’s the time? With all that’s been happening, I think I want to try to stop self-harming. The world doesn’t need more queer suffering, even if it’s self-inflicted, and it’s a big ‘fuck you’ to the people who want people like me to be hurt. Probably I’m going to relapse and mess up sometimes, but I’m going to try anyway. I deserve better than this.

    Five days clean so far, hoping to make that number a lot bigger. I love you all.

    • “I deserve better than this.”

      Yes you absolutely do, and congratulations on really believing that and seeing it through, even if your progress is imperfect. You are a thousand percent, fundamentally right that one of the best things we can do right now is create less pain for those assholes to prey on. This is such a huge step and I know I’m not the only one who’s really proud of you, not only for the resolve you’re showing, but for sharing it with us. AS is here always and if there’s one thing I know about this community, it’s that we’ll step up for each other. So please hang in and know that we’ve got your back.

    • That’s so great! The beginning of recovery can be hard but five days clean is an awesome start. You can do it! I promise it gets easier and one day you’ll realise that it never even occurs to you anymore to use self-harm to cope or to punish yourself or to suppress your feelings (or whatever function it serves in your life now). Just keep building one day at a time.

      • it definitely gets easier. it’s ok if your brain keeps suggesting it, though. it still occurs to me sometimes, and i haven’t done it in like 12 years. you just do your best. when i first quit, those suggestions were so hard to ignore, but now i just roll my eyes and move on ’cause i know that’s not what i want for myself.

        thanks so much for sharing with us, and know we’re here for you.

    • Everything in small steps. You do deserve better and no one can tell you otherwise. And if you do end up “messing up” it won’t be the end of the world. We all stumble sometimes when we move towards progress. I suggest making an account with an alias if you aren’t comfortable with being seen in the community yet. I only say this because people care and it would make it easier to reach out if you need to talk.

      Depending on what kind of self harm you’ve done, i suggest using Mederma. It helps reduce the visibility of scars and I used it to move on from my own experience. Just remember we support you! Good job!

  36. Inspired by the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, my friend and I email each other every Friday to tell each other what’s making us happy that week. It was tough this week but more needed than ever and I was so glad that it’s already something we do every week. I highly recommend it. Here are my making-me-happys for this week:

    I went on holiday to Seville for the first half of the week and had a lovely time. It’s a beautiful city. Ate lots of good tapas and drank nice wine.

    It’s my girlfriend’s birthday tomorrow and I’m really excited about the presents I’ve got her because I think she’ll really like them.

    There is a new series of Planet Earth and a new series of Humans on TV in the U.K. and they’re both great.

  37. I got a girlfriend for the first time. She’s a roller derby teammate. I’ve known her for a year and always thought she was cool, but some switch flipped a few weeks ago. Something changed. We played music together a couple times and then watched roller derby world championships over the weekend and then ended up bailing on the afterparty and making out at my house and now we’re dating. She is amazing. I can’t believe my good fortune. It feels weird to be extremely happy while also extremely angry/afraid/sad about The Terrible. But here we are. Here we go! I will be proud to fight by her side.

  38. Where to begin? This week has been so dark and sad and angry and numb. When I look back on it my memories are in colors; Monday was full of bright primary colors and Tuesday onward are shades of navy, black, and gray. Last night I felt the lowest that I have felt in months. I feel hopeless and empty and worthless. I’m exhausted. The amount of coffee I need just to function has doubled and my bedtime has moved in an hour.

    So now how to we move forward? We have to take care of ourselves and others. We have to tell ourselves we matter and that we belong here and that people love us and we have to love ourselves. It’s going to be hard as hell but we’re going to have to fight for it. As for self-care, I removed myself from Facebook. I needed a break from the constant scroll of bad news after bad news + everyone’s opinion on bad news. Also, this weekend I plan to sleep, shop, eat Indian food, spend some time outdoors, and go to church. Deliberate self-care is the only way I’m going to get through this.

    Next week I am leaving for the mountains and I can’t wait. Four days of hiking and outdoors should help to heal me. That is my good news.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend. Be good to each other and yourself.

    PS – A denim jacket with inner pockets!? That is rad!

    • INDEED. When I discovered the inner pockets it was revelatory. That jacket just jumped way forward in the wardrobe standings.

      Excellent call on Facebook, I think. I’ve been strongly considering taking some time off in light of everything and you’ve made it sound quite appealing. Give the ol’ brain a break and some space to stock up on real information.

  39. First post on here but this is a thread I absolutely feel it’s necessary to contribute to; I’m over here in Europe/ Switzerland so I’m nowhere as affected as most of you are, but from the bottom of my heart I can only say I am so sorry for the decision that was made and everyone here I’ve talked to feels the exact same. We’ll do all we can to help and support you <3

    So, after the rough Wednesday we all had, here's some good things that have happened that I'll share with you:

    – a friend of mine just got her second translation/authorship credit in a book she helped work on
    – my girlfriend got pokemon x today and she's playing it as I write this – watching her reactions and enthusiasm is the sweetest!
    – the Hamilton Mixtape is out! A year ago I came across the cast album and now a year later the mixtape is out.
    – we're blasting The Greatest by Sia
    – there's been a lot of absolutely adorable dogs out and about in town
    – a friend of mine is in Las Vegas at the moment and she went to the Avengers exhibtion and sent me many geeky selfies
    – another friend of mine is coming up to her one year anniversary with her girlfriend on Monday
    – we went on the ferris wheel at the autumn fair today and the view was lovely
    – tomorrow i'll be going to an extra bodypump session and i've been noticing muscle gains which makes me happy
    – started watching Bobs Burgers. So great. Louise is so messed up, how is she 9??

    Sending lots of love to you all -hug-

  40. I’m currently getting sick and ready to sleep through the entire weekend. I survived speaking with my father, a Trump voter without exploding (mostly because I was too exhausted to argue, but still, progress).

    Now onto the good news…bi-annually my local library has a book sale where people donate their gently used books and the library sells them for dirt cheap. I’m talking $2.00 for barely-used, brand new books or really cool finds. I once found a 1960’s book put out as propaganda by the USSR a recounting of the Russian Revolution in English. Every once in a while I’ll find some real treasures. I got a first edition of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in pretty good condition for $12.00. I’ve been thinking about starting a tumblr page just for cool, old books. But then I wonder if I’m the only one who really gets into that kind of stuff.

    Anyway, my mom would volunteer to help set it up and take me along solely so I could get first pick of the books. Christmas and Birthday presents would be a cardboard box of books I’d picked out from there. I’ve been volunteering there since I was old enough to. It’s still where I get my stock of books for the year.

    Sorry if I’ve been rambling. I’m under the influence of cold medicine. Also, here’s some fall leaves. The foliage here is still really pretty.

  41. Hello Everyone!

    Here are a few good things, that recently happened to me…

    – After being already out to my mother I came out to my father as well (as non-binary/a demi-boy/maybe ftm). I was nervous, because we don´t often talk about personal things like that, but we still are kind of close. We talked for some time and it went so well! He basically said, that he doesn´t have any problem with it and that I´m mostly his child and a human being to him – anything else is not that important. :) I was hoping for such a reaction, but really couldn´t predict it, of course.
    – In the same conversation, I was finally able to tell my dad, that he´s a really awesome dad. That´s something I´ve wanted to tell him (and my parents in general) for a pretty long time, but kind of never managed to. He looked really really happy about it and we hugged. :)
    – For the first time ever I went to a trans support group and it felt so good! Tomorow I´m going for the second time and am so much looking forward to it.
    – I really really enjoy being called by my “new/male” name. And I got the first letter in the mail with the new name! I was so happy I wanted to hug the whole world.
    – When I cried on the train recently (I was just super exhausted, but basically okay…) a women stepped up to me to ask me if everything was okay and to comfort me. And tell me, that this had happened to her, too. That made me so happy, that I afterwards cried some tears of joy. ;)
    – Probably the biggest thing for me: I´m slowly accepting the fact that I´m trans and want to transition medically (of course its a process and I´ll see later on to which degree/ how exactly I want to do that). Being really okay with this realisation is a new thing for me and I try to enjoy it and continue to take one day at a time.

    I send you all so much love from over here in Europe! You are all awesome and beautiful and I´m so proud of all of you and this amazing community here at Autostraddle. Have a wonderfull weekend!

    • So happy to hear that your parents are with you and that there are such good people in your community. I wish our train riders were that kind. And congrats on the mail with your new name–I hope you saved it forever!

      • :) Thank you! :) I feel so lucky about my parents and my community, too! I am definitely going to save the letter forever! Whenever I want to feel a bit better, I´m looking at this letter to remind myself that everything is gonna be fine. :)

    • Congrats !
      .

      But yeah why is it so hard to tell our fathers how much they mean to us ? I don’t have many conversations with my dad either. I show how much he means by the things we share (whisky, music, photography) which bring us closer because he’s not great with words ! I hope when I come out to my parents I can do it in front of both of them instead of coming out to my mum and hoping she relies the info to him.

      SO yay happy for you :)

      • Thank you for being happy with me! :)

        Yeah, I don´t really know, why its so hard to tell them, either… We also have our topics (musical instruments/music and computer repair stuff, mostly) about which we bond. :) But he is really childish sometimes (difficult to describe – makes him seem very very young. He is 60) and thats why I sometimes underestimate him, I think. If we have a more serious conversation, I´m kind of impressed, that he is really mature and smart and kind. Which I know, but sometimes forget because of it childishness, so to say… ;) And he is also not good with words, sometimes. Well – I´m really thankfull for my dad. :)

        I found it a lot easier, to do it one on one… To just answer questions from one person… ;) (My mom was over the phone… I live pretty far away from them). But I think that is a relly individual decision and one should do what feels best for oneself. :) (By the way – in this process I found out, that my mom never tells my dad anything personal I tell her – I kind of assumed, she did, and would have been okay with it… But she never told him, that I am bi – so I just came out to him as bi, too…) :)

  42. I don’t have much good news this week as it has been rough. Tuesday was just awful, and not just because of the news; my father and I had to wrestle a (cishet white)guy out of our car because he was trying to take it(no keys in it and I guess the push button confused him). He was pretty mad we were touching him(trying to drag him out the car), and speaking another language. This was next to work, but thankfully we haven’t seen him yet. This was also at 6pm on a Tuesday. I know Ive seen white thief call the cops for getting hit after stealing something from a middle eastern guy. Like am I to expect this more?

    On the other hand I had dysphoria yesterday and this morning. So, I have that to think about, while still trying to grasp my feeling of weather to start estrogen or not. It still has me mixed up. Kind has me forgetting he may ruin the open internet, cancer research, and other good things, he doesn’t fully grasp(he’s not really tech oriented like Obama or even Bush Jr is).
    But, on the plus side we have community to band us together and spend time with. Also, I live in the part of California where he wasn’t liked much.

    I posted this a while ago, but still relevant.

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

  43. This week has been very, very tough.

    I’ve had to learn to be a parent to a baby when all I want to do is lie in bed and cry, but managed to channel all that sadness and focus on my kid and it feels like I’ve grown as a person.

    Also something that makes me very happy to be gay is that me and my girlfriend have this parenting thing down pat. She works all day which sucks but when she comes home she’s all over the baby and is so great.

    I read mostly straight parenting forums where the kids are all the same age as mine and they all talk about how they’re struggling and their partners/husbands don’t help and come home and expect dinner and a clean house and ask what they’ve been doing all day (looking after a baby is time consuming). I feel for these women but thank fuck we don’t have traditional gender roles. Moments like this I am SO happy to be gay.

    Here is a picture of my baby Octavia and my dog Albus from yesterday. Albus is a ball of energy and it’s so hard to get them both still for a photo. She’s just starting noticing the big fluff ball running around and I can’t wait for them to be best friends. It makes my heart swell with happiness.

  44. Some good things:

    I signed up for a volunteer orientation for The Trevor Project, so I can feel like I’m helping in some small way.

    I’m going to adopt a cat or kitten or kittens this weekend.

    Went to Half-Price Books and found a copy of a Patrick O’Brian book I don’t yet own for $4. I’m rereading it and it’s making me happy.

    My derby league has a friends and family bout on Sunday. My girlfriend is coming, which will be the first time she’s seen me skate.

    My neighbor jumped through some logistical hoops to contact me when he saw a light inside my car still on. It was a very kind thing for him to do.

    A cousin from the conservative side of my family called me today because she needed someone else liberal to talk to. I’m not out to that side of my family, but I’m discovering that this cousin might be an ally.

    We’re having a week of truly lovely weather.

    I have 3 overripe bananas on my kitchen counter and am going to make banana bread tonight. I don’t really love banana bread, but the act of baking is soothing.

    I got a standing desk, so less back pain/more attention-maintaining movement at work.

  45. I was talking to my mom this afternoon and her comments made it clear that she was consciously considering how the people she could vote for felt about LGBTQ rights. My Catholic mother now regarding being against marriage equality as a stroke against a politician instead of a mark in their favor is a big good thing.

    And I started watching Supergirl as a way to stay off social media, and now that I know I’ll have queer Alex Danvers in a season it’s making all the “coming out” language of the first few episodes bearable.

    ALSO I successfully passed my doctoral exams at the beginning of the week, so I’ve been taking the time and brainspace to read more things that seem practical and relevant or sometimes fun, and WOW reading is nice.

  46. I was productive today. I scheduled flights/hotels for interviews, rescheduled a doctor’s appointment, asked some friends to help me practice, and took care of some other random things. Now I’m sitting here yawning and feeling tired, even though it’s only 4:30 and in some ways I feel like I didn’t do anything. The disastrous results of the election make it only more imperative that I get out of NC and get a job with health insurance. No pressure!

    My mother got a second opinion from another oncologist yesterday, who told her that he wouldn’t necessarily recommend the second course of chemo after the current three months are done. I don’t know what she’ll decide, but the first course has been really hard on her.

  47. Good things!

    1) My community hosted a very successful fundraiser on Wednesday night to send people, supplies, support down to Standing Rock.

    2) I know a stray cat has been coming to visit because I get to see it’s cute footprints in the snow. I wish I had a picture but just imagine adorable, little cat prints in the snow to get the same warm feeling I get when I see them.

    3) One of my best friends might be moving to the west coast which would be about 3,000 miles closer to me than most of my friends and family.

    4) Autostraddle is a wonderful, safe-space this week. Thank you to all of you for making this community so amazing just by being your incredible selves :)

  48. With the daylight savings time switch, darkness descended and my neurotransmitters flew right out of the window and I have been in a crap place for a couple of weeks.
    But I’ll go to the gym tomorrow, and I might actually get one of those indoor bike trainers, after all.
    Right now, I’m so tired, though.
    After I get through the 24h shift on Sunday, I’ll hopefully start plotting ways to enrich the gay community in my city.
    And maybe after that, I might start to think of ways to reconnect my country or empower my community or something, so we won’t be dropped into hot water like the U.K. and US right now.
    Germany grants asylum for people persecuted due to their sexual orientation, btw.
    If things get too rough, you’ll always be welcome here.
    It’s not exactly Hogwarts, but we have really great bread.

  49. Carrie! Your party dinos are the BEST party dinos. I’m really glad you were able to stay on with the orthotist!

    So… last Friday I met Cher at a campaign event, and she was impossibly sweet and kind and lovely, and she took both of my hands in hers and told me to “keep going on [my] journey,” and that meant immeasurably much at the time but even more so a week later.

  50. Good things: Last weekend was my 21st bday! I took a trip to NYC, saw a show, drank moonshine, and went to a lesbian bar which!!! was an experience!!! I can’t dance but I had fun doing it anyway. My friend told strangers it was my birthday and people cheered. It was super awesome. I’dnever been in such an…explicitly queer space, I guess. I was almost weepy.

    Another good thing is that it’s my granny’s 66th birthday today! Yay!

    • I´m so happy for you about your awesome first lesbian bar experience! And even more so, since it was combined with your 21st birthday! :) Happy belated 21st birthday! That sounds like such a cool and emotional evening!

  51. Good things: I’m applying for MFAs in film / video ?

    Stressful things: I’m having trouble accessing video editing software…my former college’s software labs are apparently not open to Media Studies alums. Any ideas? I’m in the Orange County area~

    Also my parents are coming to visit tomorrow so fingers crossed yall

  52. Good things: I work at a nonprofit full of supportive, kind people who are still committed to changing the world. I’m fortunate enough to have parents who love and accept me, and I get to see them and their dogs in a week. I have a kitty who enjoys cuddles and sitting in my lap.

    There is still tea.

    There is still chocolate (though perhaps too much of it).

    There is another Grand Prix figure skating tournament this weekend, which is my favorite self-soothing thing to watch.

    My Wild Unknown tarot deck was waiting for me when I got home on Wednesday morning, and it’s even more lovely than I thought it would be.

    I got my haircut. Sorry, I’m still not visibly queer, but I am visibly me.

    It’s starting to get easier to get out of bed in the morning.

  53. good things? i actually have a bunch right now.

    the biggest and best is that FINALLY, after three long, hard years, I’ve finished VCE and graduated high school. (VCE is the Victorian equivalent of what I think you guys call a GED?). Due to mental and chronic illness, I had to drop out in my last year of school, and guys, I am SO PROUD OF MYSELF for finally getting here. I don’t even know what to do without that hanging over my head – I might be able to stop feeling guilty on sick/recovery days! Imagine! I also received a school academic award for one of my subjects, which I am SO PLEASED about.

    So this week I’m taking a mini-holiday with two of my friends, and we’re going to read and watch movies and swim and eat and drink and play games and not talk about T***p or about the hideously awful things Australia is doing to asylum seekers at the moment.

    Also positive is that now exams are over, I can start following up on all of my medical referrals! I’m getting a workup of all the medications that I don’t react to (which I already know includes painkillers, sadface), seeing a neurologist for my migraines, seeing an OT for help with coping with sensory stuff caused by my autism, and hopefully attending a clinic which will help me manage my chronic fatigue and migraines. I also get to start trialling some new anti-depressants! I am so lucky and so grateful that I live in a place and situation where I have access to all of these healthcare resources and I’m excited! I might find something that really works for me! Fingers crossed.

    Lastly, it’s my 19th birthday next week, and my sister is getting me a beautiful folio society edition of Stasiland, one of my favourite books.

    I am so lucky!! Even though there are so many things going wrong in the world, there are finally some things going right in my personal life! I haven’t stopped smiling since I got out of my LAST EVER VCE EXAM!!!!

  54. My highschool’s homecoming is really late in the year, and my girlfriend and I decided to have a competition to see who could ask each other to the dance in a better way.
    I stuck a whole bag of clementines in her locker with a sign that said “Hey cutie, orange you glad i asked you to homecoming?”. I thought it was a great idea, then she walked me to her car, blindfolded me, drove me to the park, handed me a note, and ran away. The note lead me on a scavenger hunt around the park, all my friends had the clues, and she was at the end, with a poster that said “hoco?” and my other friend (in a tree) pouring glitter on her. We kissed under a glitter storm and it was the sweetest. She definitely won the competition.

  55. Came on here to read all the good things because I need it. But I guess I should pay it forward and contribute a few things of my own. Hmm. Good things in my life:

    – I was hung up on this girl I had a crush on and then the election happened and I realised I had much, much, much bigger things to worry about, hahahaha. So my unrequited crush has kind of been left by the wayside as a result.

    – I walked around the city last night by myself, listening to podcasts (Politically Re-Active! Aaa. So good.) and soaking up the evening air and enjoying my solitude, and it was great.

    – ALSO, as I was walking around, this super babely swoony lady FULLY checked me out and it was GREAT. It’s pride at the moment here and my hair is currently long, wavy, and partially aqua, so it fulfills all my queer thick femme visibility dreams.

    ALSO ALSO ALSO!

    I took my time to grieve (as per Rachel’s excellent article) and now (as a white person) I am going back into the fray, commenting on my white relatives’ shitty facebook posts.

    I and my relatives are not from the U.S. but we’re still from countries with tons of white privilege/supremacy (and right-wing hatred is spreading throughout the West, unfortunately….) so I want to be having these post-election conversations anyway; it’s still important.

    I really hate confrontation of any kind and political discussions terrify me because I often feel I’m not smart enough for them, BUT, I need to get past that! That’s not a good enough reason for holding back! So for now my approach is to practise via facebook posts. I am girding my (deeply, deeply queer) loins for the real in-person conversations that I may have to have some day soon.

    much love and strength to all!

    • Oh gosh, so many people are being absolutely brilliant on facebook, holding up their ideals against ridiculous discrimination and bigotry, I’m in awe. (Guess I unfriended everyone long ago? Also, I’d be so intimidated to confront anyone, even on social media).

      Just wanted to say, well done. Also, your mermaid hair sounds beautiful.

  56. Since the election my brother has been saying stupid shit to me like how all of the things Trump said and did during the election was just to get elected and its not going to be so bad, and that it doesn’t matter anyway because the government doesn’t affect your daily life. Isn’t that the epitome of straight white male privilege? But yesterday I finally got through to him and made him understand why that kind of talk is so hurtful, and he genuinely apologized. That’s the first time that’s ever happened. So that was good.

  57. I played hooker for the first time in a rugby match today! Which means I’m right in the middle of a scrum trying to hook the ball with my foot. It was a lot of fun! It was also my first proper match in nearly two years and I played nearly the whole 80 minutes. Basically a lot of rugby goodness for me today.

    Also i’ve had the first week of my first placement in a hospital for my nursing course. It’s good! I’m still floundering in a ball of confusion about what I’m meant to be doing but I’ve learnt lots and generally been helpful.

    Carrie it’s been said above, but I am so down for your AFOs. Seriously great job.

    • Hookers unite! IMO best position. No feeling like a good tight bind. I used to love winning scrums. It’s changed now though hasn’t it? Do you contest their put in still? Have you thrown any lineouts yet? – So many questions, sorry, rugby nerding.
      Also anecdote; My coach taught me to intimidate the other hooker by flirting…which was entertaining. Like saying “fancy getting a drink after this” as she was about to throw or just before the put in. Oh those halcyon days of cocky youth.

      • HAhaha that’s so funny, I don’t think I’d have the confidence for that. And yeah you still contest their scrums, or at least I did. It would be pretty dull not to I reckon. I’m not quite sure of all the rules exactly yet, just going for it, y’know. Tbh I had two lineouts and they were both pitiful, but I’m all ready to get better at it! And it was scrums that I was intimidated by. As a flanker, I just held onto the side a bit, but I really enjoyed getting properly stuck in. Why did you stop playing?

        • I was a cocky little shit at 19…so yeah it came easy. So good to be in the middle hookin it like you own it, but lineouts are my jam. I used to practice by throwing the ball at a brick on the wall above the halls laundry and aiming to hit that brick over and over as my washing was on. Got my throw good and straight. Plus I could throw further than the boys team hooker…I was so proud-see aforementioned cockiness, gave us an advantage over other teams…as did our 100 stone pack weight, of which I was the smallest at 11 stone, we walked over them haha. Sadly we never won a match, I did score the teams first try of the season though. Rolling maul all the way to the line. I stopped playing when I dropped out of uni (finished my degrees later while working full time)-then Jobs got in the way of training so I stopped, plus I had some gnarly shin and knee injuries…like so bad my wife can’t bear to hear me climb stairs haha, it’s like someone rattling a bag of marbles. I miss it so much. I kinda want to do my coaching quals. Have an awesome time playing. I look forward to FOT instalments.

  58. Big plans coming up? Major wardrobe acquisitions you want to show off?

    Bright spot is definitely the dogs, they are surrounding me with their unconditional love the only a pet can.
    Legs has her own fancy awesome bed but she slept in front of my bed, Chubs has been her snugglebeast self.
    I put the names of 2 relatives on a Veteran’s wall who faced discrimination during their lives and when they served. I wrote literal wall of text about it and posted it in the post election thread, but long story short they were people the Fart likes to forget, people who actually made this country great and made me wanna be great right back.

    I don’t know if I’ve been taking care of myself, but I haven’t allowed myself to feel like shit for not being devastated or surprised by the outcome of the presidential election. I saw it coming like I saw my PePe’s decline and death coming, so I just consider myself a bit ahead of the grieving process than some people.
    Also a realisation I’m in better place to defend or help people because I’m sane, or as sane as I’ll ever get. Once upon a time, back when I thought of suicide everyday, I help someone in a very not recommended way (confrontatin). I had no sense self preservation just as sense of “he’s hurting her, his friends are laughing, no one is doing anything” and the instinct to shield her body with mine, look him in the eye, tell him,”You aren’t going to fucking touch her.”
    That could have gone very badly, I could have gotten hurt, and she could have gotten hurt worse than just cigarette burns and gripping bruises.
    Where my is head at now I think of the consequences and consider my actions more carefully.

    I swear I’m not a Gryffindor (Ravenclaw/Slytherin whut whut), just I can’t abide by certain things I will take steps to stop or prevent those things.

    Some music I’ve been listening to, coping with:
    L7- Bad Things

    Kat Dahlia- Gangsta
    English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-cmhitm7qA
    Español: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMuhgU_tUcc

    Sabaton- Resist and Bite

    Sabton- Night Witches

    Ingenious underdogs scare the shit out of Nazis who think it’s evil magic, earning them the nickname Nachthexen

    Um and Beethoven’s 9th.

    • Ugh I didn’t mean to submit that and didn’t realise it submitted for like 30 minutes xD

      I’ve been singing this
      Adio Kerida

      My favorite part is:
      Tu madre kuando te pario
      i te kit al mundo
      korason eya no te dio
      para amar segundo

      because it’s the nicest way of saying,”You’re a selfish heartless fuck” I’ve ever heard.

      Adio Kerida is my banishing song, goodbye evilness, I deal with I break you down song. Repeated singing adio.

      I cannot sing deeply Semitic languages to save my life but the Kaddish Orfa Haza recorded is inspiring. A prayer to hold in your heart, night after night into the daylight

  59. Today I wrote “What good did you do today?” on the whiteboard on my door (I’m at college) and invited people on my floor to write answers. I got a call from my local Planned Parenthood about volunteering. I started working on my application for an internship with my state’s senator (so I can figure out better how to change the world). There was delicious vegan pumpkin cheesecake in the dining hall. And I only cried a few times today about the election, which is better than it’s been in the last few days.

    I am gutted. This is devastating. I don’t know the way forward yet. But I am taking it hour by hour, day by day.

    • Volunteering for your senator is a great idea. I feel disconnected from my city and state and community politics (being in school, it’s a bit of a necessity) and I hope to take a page from your and others’ books to be more informed and involved starting next year. It will be good to connect with people who are already thinking deeply about these issues and know some strategic ways towards positive change, instead of just feeling lost and upset.

      That cheesecake sounds rly good. :V

  60. So this week has been rough and my good news is also kind of shitty? But I had surgery on Tuesday, which wasn’t terrible? The lesion in the cartilage wasn’t as bad as the doc thought it might be so didn’t need to do an extensive repair there and so I only need to spend 2 weeks with 0 weight-bearing instead of 6, which is good news! Also after getting the splint re-done yesterday because the initial splint was cutting off circulation in my toes, I am in way less pain.

    I also feel heartened by my queer friends and family and community doing work to check up on each other and be here for one another.

  61. Wednesday night my fiance told me she has been drinking again. She has a drinking problem, was sober 10 years, then this spring went on a bender that led to her trying to drive her kids while blackout drunk, I didn’t let it happen, but I had enabled months of questionable behavior before that.

    I’m getting to the good part I swear, because a)what a way to take the sting off an election and b) I know I’m going to fight so hard for my family and I will not be ashamed again to passively sit by and let my love hurt herself. I am so strong, and I will do everything I can to love and support her, and I will bring every skill I have to bear how hard it might be. I can do that for her, for us, and also I’m gonna do it for everyone I can.

    I can’t stop suffering and pain from happening to us all, but I will be here listening and fighting every fucking inch of the way. This is my good thing, wrapped up with the worst thing I can imagine, the loss of my family.

    I think we’re all fighting with that right now, the strength and powerlessness pouring through our veins, the knowledge this is hard and will definitely not end perfectly, but that we will fight and fight and fight regardless and unto the bittersweet end.

  62. The best thing that has happened all week is that my dear friend brought me homemade cookies yesterday (even though I’ve been too stress-sick to eat them).

    Additionally, I’ve just discovered that “The Secret of NIMH” is on Amazon Prime streaming so at least I have something to watch from my bed.

  63. FYI I tried to upvote all your posts but for some reason it’s not letting me so just pretend you all have +1 thumbs up to whatever it’s showing.

    Good things… I managed to sleep through the whole night last night? And got through the whole day without crying? I also woke up with the entire side of my neck covered in itchy welts but… uh… that gave me an excuse to wear my favourite scarf today?? Trying. I’m trying.

  64. My cat has not come back and I’m freaking out because my nerves and anxiety are already stretched to breaking point and I need sleep and I can’t sleep until he comes home. And there is nobody to comfort me because he is all I have here.

  65. The prime minister of Australia was uninvited to Mardi Gras next year and it makes me SO happy.

    He is personally in favour of marriage equality and was against holding a plebiscite (public vote) before he was PM but changed his mind when he ousted the guy we all thought was worse. The conservatives in his party hate him so he’ll do anything to keep them happy and the plebiscite was always a stalling tactic.

    Anyway last year he dared rock up in a leather jacket with his wife like some sort of hero and it made me so mad.

    I’m happy our community is standing up and telling him he isn’t welcome.

  66. I sat on the floor in my room yesterday afternoon teaching my niece to read the words in a book. I explained to her that letters are really cool individually; the letter “I” being one of the strongest because it is who you are: one solitary, yet powerful, letter. But I also told her that letters could be pretty boring all by themselves; they need each other most of the time. Letters need other letters to bring out the best in them and make words happen. Words put together can build stories, and stories can change lives.

    She looked at me like I was crazy, after all, she is six, but then when she started to read a sentence after sounding words off on her own and putting it all together, I could see her light up with the joy of unlocking something in her head. It was fucking glorious.

    Maybe I should become a teacher.

  67. I have something good to tell that I learned last night, Paprika is really good on popcorn.
    It doesn’t overwhelm the light flavour of the pop corn like cayenne would, it’s just nice earthy undertone that adds to the flavour.

    Paprika + Popcorn Salt + Popcorn= GOOD.

  68. I got an update about my grandpa. They took a vein from his arm to run & circulate the blood in his leg. (His left)

    I asked my friend who is a nurse. She said it was a pretty common procedure to recirculate the blood flow. Which hoping it goes well, there would be no need to remove anything.

    I took a bike ride today. I haven’t done that in a while. It was cold but really nice out.

  69. 1. A good thing but more just a funny thing – somehow we get Jockey’s catalogue and we have zero need for it, so I went on Catalogue Choice to cancel it. Apparently you can’t do it through Catalogue Choice, so I went on Jockey’s website directly, and now all the ads on my laptop are for men’s underwear!

    2. I went climbing for like, 4 hours today. SO NEEDED. Climbing forces me to use my whole body and my whole brain and then I feel awesome afterwards, so it was a lovely catharsis.

    3. While the election results are the shitty thing that they are, it’s also been a big kick in the pants to get back to the kind of participation in making-things-better that I used to do and have slacked on. Gave blood yesterday, and am making plans to turn our holiday party into an opportunity to help the local women’s shelter.
    And also called out a woman at the climbing gym who was saying to her young son, “C’mon, that girl is beating you!” I turned and looked at her like “wtf,” and she said, “Oh, you know boys, it’s just encouragement,” and I looked her dead in the eye and said, “I don’t see how.” She looked away first. :-D

  70. Another thing that is food and is something good:

    Soup in a coffee mug.

    Especially if that soup is left over pho and there’s not enough of the broth to properly immerse the noodles and beans sprouts.

    Pho broth is the best if you’ve been nauseous or vomiting and are ready to try more than ice chips.
    Also it reminds me of what actually makes this country great

  71. Very late, but I just got back from GaymerX East (in New York City). Great fun, and I got my copy of the Chainmail Bikini comic anthology (even got it signed by the editor).

    Hope everyone else had a great weekend.

  72. yesterday was terrible but ended well :D
    first, you need to know that my family has a history of breaking new cars. The last three years, none of the cars we purchased lasted more than six months. Last week we bought a new car after the last one got squashed in an accident, only five months after we bought it.
    Yesterday, went to visit my cousin in her new apartment in another city.
    1. Before we started the car, my father said some sort of “Oh but there is one good thing about this accident, the new car is much bigger than the last!” After he said that, he tried to close the trunk of the car and slammed the door on his forehead. He had a massive wound that bled a lot and spent the rest of the day with a giant band-aid on his forehead.
    2. Twenty minutes traveling, the (brandnew!) car makes strange noises. It breaks down immediately. We wait for hours.
    3. Turns out there was a dead mole in the motor thing who had bitten some cables. There goes the brandnew car.
    4. We finally arrived in the city we were heading to, with the help of some roadside assistance workers.
    5. I needed to arrive at a concert in the city we came from in an hour. So actually we didn’t see my cousin’s apartment, we just went out to eat something since we hadn’t eaten anything for six hours.
    6. Luckily, I arrived at the Moderat concert in time and met a friend there!
    So, that was my Sunday…
    After two minutes the (brandnew!) car broke down.
    We waited for hours. Turns out there was a dead

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