FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: The Bachelors’ Edition

Straddlers, I have some exciting news for you — I graduated! According to the state of North Carolina and God, I guess, I am officially a bachelor. Which is also weird, because I’ve been single for a really long time, so it feels strange to have my bachelorhood finally acknowledged by the powers that be. Does that mean I could be on The Bachelor? What are the rules for being “The Bachelor” on The Bachelor? Has there ever been a woman looking for another woman on The Bachelor? Does that show still even come on??

Being around extended family for graduation weekend was awkward, because of gay reasons, but nice. It felt great to be celebrated for something that I worked really hard on — because I worked very hard to get my degrees. Higher education is not always the easiest place for anyone, and as a queer person of color, there were specific hurdles I had to jump through to get my degree. But I did! I honestly did not think that I would at multiple times, but I did. I checked something off of my Life To-Do List and it felt great.

They give you an empty diploma holder

They give you an empty diploma holder

Maybe you too have accomplished a huge goal of yours? Or maybe you’ve made a step towards a goal you are working on? I want you to know that I’m super proud of you! I’m proud of all of us! Getting stuff done isn’t always easy. Life is hard and (like a good Women’s and Gender Studies graduate should think) capitalism is kinda lame. But being able to accomplish your goals and feel fulfilled — that’s amazing. And you should be proud of yourself and I am proud of you. I want to hear about all the amazing things you’re doing with your life, because I know it’s amazing.

Other than feeling really proud of accomplishing something that I worked very hard on, the best part of graduating is that I finally have a break. I’m going camping this weekend in a real life tent, in real life mountains, and I’m so excited. I have time to read books — and fan fiction (what are you reading right now, tell me all the good stuff)! I fall asleep at 9:30 most weeknights and wake up at 9:30 in the morning. I sat outside at a diner with a friend where we read books and ate half our weight in food.

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We ate almost all of this

We ate almost all of this

And I can finally feel the humidity that signifies summer is coming soon to North Carolina. I’m excited about summer, I always am. Other than A-Camp I don’t have many plans, but I like it that way. I know that once August/September rolls around, I will be wishing that I could have a moment of quiet again, and I’m really going to try and take advantage of it. What are your plans for summer? Do you vacation? How do the hip, LGBTQ women of Autostraddle vacation? Other than things like A-Camp, when I think of vacation, I think of 1990s family comedies, white families, and cruises. That’s not really my style…

Summer also always feels like a perfect time to transition. When you’re in school, it’s when you transition from one grade or level the next. The first day of summer is the longest day of the year, and it’s always felt like something was saying, “Do something huge! Change your life! Take advantage of me!” It’s the time for going away and coming back renewed and refreshed.

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Summer feels like moving forward to me. This year, I’m moving forward to Austin (anybody have hookups on one-bedrooms that take cats???) and starting a new academic chapter. I want to take my summer and prepare myself, as best as I can for my new phase in life. How are you moving forward this summer? What are you gonna do to take advantage of all that sunshine that’s coming your way? How are you gonna let it guide you into your best self?

Other than these huge pressing questions about the future (graduation puts you in that sort of mood), how are you? I have missed you so much, and I want to know everything about your week. Did something great happen? I want to hear about it. Even if something not so great happened, I’m here for you, and will bake you solidarity cinnamon rolls if you want. I cannot wait to hear from you, you all are my favorite people on the internet to have a conversation with, and I can’t wait to hear from you!


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Alaina is a 20-something working on a PhD in Performance as Public Practice. They are a mom to three cats, they listen to a lot of NPR and musicals, and they spend a lot of time on Pinterest lusting over studio apartments. They are actively trying to build A Brand on twitter @alainamonts. One day, they will be First Lady of the United States.

Al(aina) has written 270 articles for us.

161 Comments

  1. I just graduated last weekend! I lost my parents in the crowd after the ceremony because they forgot the first rule of being in public (if you get lost, stay where you are and I’ll find you). *sigh* Parents *shakes head*

    Now I’ve been adding a few words to my resume everyday so I can honestly tell my mom I’ve been working on getting a job. I have not spent all day everyday watching movies and eating junk food. No siree. (Does anyone have any recommendations for either of those things?)

    • Hey, question. Are you the same Jenny who comments (or at least used to) on AE with that same picture? Just wondering. I mostly gave up reading there (a lot of the comments there are just mean and spiteful and really negative =/ ), but I think I remember seeing your picture there!

      Anyway, congratulations on your graduation! For junk food, I recommend resolving the age-old “cake vs. pie” debate with the simple answer: Yes! =)

      • Yeah, I still do occasionally but I don’t read much more than recaps over there. Not since the whole 100 thing (and I never even watched that show). And thank you! I do love cake and pie.

  2. Happy Friday all!

    Accomplishment: 5 Boro Bike Tour-40 miles, 5 boros, 1 amazing wife (from 2 weeks ago): It was brutal. It rained the whole time and I had to stop a lot and walked up all the inclines. If it weren’t for my wife, I definitely wouldn’t have made it…I love her.

  3. Congratulations! I love graduation season. So many happy people! So many accomplished people. I graduated four years ago and my only wish is that I hadn’t drunk half a bottle of whisky through a curly straw the night before (“none of us can take it home, so *someone* has to drink it!”) and ended up hungover for the first time in my life while Jane Lynch gave a speech.

    Goals: I think I’m close to my current goal, which is to get back on roller skates. I’m keeping up with my stretches for PT and giving every PT session my all. My leg gets stronger every day. I’m so close I can taste it.

    I don’t vacation much, but I do keep busy in the summer. The roller derby season is in full swing so I’ll be going to plenty of games, mostly as an official. I know I want to walk a bunch and then add in some hiking when my knee is more stable. But for the most part I’d be happy to spend my summer in the shade with a cool drink and a never-ending supply of books. I am a lazy person at heart and I think summer is the ideal season for lying about and soaking in the world.

      • It was really good! She was funny and familiar and got right to the point. It was about always looking forward and reaching for more. I think the subject was probably pretty typical for a commencement address but she made it seem… I don’t know how to explain it, exactly, she just seemed so happy to be there and so happy for all of us even though we were just a bunch of twenty-somethings she’d never met. Like she could see all our futures in front of her and wanted the best of all of us. I don’t remember the words so much–I was having a hard time concentrating–as that feeling. It was a great end to my time as a student.

  4. Hi everyone!! So my amazing girlfriend and I are closing the distance this week after a year of visits and it’s SO exciting. Next week is also her birthday and just like Alaina she just graduated from college (congrats Alaina on your bachelorhood!). So a lot of big stuff going on! I’d love to get any advice on living with a girlfriend for the first time, what to expect after ending an LDR (unfortunately we may have to become long distance again depending on how jobs turn out, but this summer is going to be everything), etc.

    Also she’s my first girlfriend and since we’ve only been together for like… 20 days max in the past year, it’s still a little weird to go out in public holding hands and just be, you know, read as a girl-girl couple. I live in a super lgbt friendly city, but my gf and I always get double takes. Maybe bc we both are very femme, if that matters? And I do get a little self-conscious. I’ve noticed that overall it’s not too common to see couples holding hands, queer or otherwise. Idk friends, help a baby gay out! FYI this is also like, my first relationship, so on top of queer visibility, it’s also a bit interesting to balance a relationship with friends, family, etc. All the things you’d usually bring your significant other to are new to me, and bc of LDR, we haven’t had the chance to do a lot of them!

    Hope everyone has a lovely Friday ☀️

    • I found that it took a while to get used to my fiancee being physically there instead of on a laptop screen. Visiting and living together can be very different. Talk about things that annoy you ahead of time, like leaving dishes in the sink or who gets what side of the sink. Other than that, you will both naturally find a comfortable way of living together after dealing with each other’s living habits. For me the hardest part about my fiancee moving all the way from New Jersey was having to share bathroom space.

    • About the double takes you get when holding hands: no need to interpret this as a bad sign always. A good friend of mine said she also double takes when seeing a gay couple holding hands and she worries that people see it as disapproving, which it absolutely isn’t. It would be awkward for her to go up to the couple to say she approves obviously. So she smiles at them which also sounds creepy. Best to go on your happy way and don’t worry about what people that stare may or may not think.

  5. I can’t answer all these questions about transitions as I’ve been freaking out over them for weeks, but my ideas are becoming clearer. My ex and I were supposed to keep living together for a while but I am living alone now because she did some awful things and I told her to leave. She also graduated, so now I suppose we are both bachelors. My friends say it is going to be okay eventually and I made this Facebook post about how I ate dinner one night and people got way more excited about it than they do about the things in my life I’m actually excited about, so I guess they are looking out for me.

    I am looking for cat-friendly one-bedrooms too, except the cat and I are most likely moving somewhere I have no hope of being able to afford to live alone. Everything is full of possibility and exhausting and sad.

  6. congratulations on graduating! big stuff!

    this week has been bonkers busy, but I feel like I was mostly handling everything okay, and like, did the stuff I needed to do when I needed to do it, which is as much as I can probably hope for.

    I just got back from a road trip to Missoula, so I already vacationed, but I’m going to Sacramento in a couple of weeks to meet my friends’ baby! And otherwise I might go to Jamaica with my girlfriend for work in August (it will be great and I will not whine about the heat).

    I’m in a kind of transitional period with my business where I am coming up on reaching my ceiling for clients, and have to decide how busy I want to be, and if/when I want to start saying no to people! This is a really different situation for me professionally than it has been pretty much ever, so it’s been exciting/surprising/exhausting.

    I just had a meeting with a sweet lady I know and we talked about a)wanting to have babies and b) she teaches at law school and I’m a clinical social worker and I’m helping her with a class on secondary trauma, and just had a solid meeting with her on it.

    I wrote a thing, also: http://www.seattlefeministtherapy.com/2016/05/20/no-non-monogamy-class-president/

    Otherwise I am really ready for a weekend of doing nothing. I’m hanging out with a baby this afternoon but hopefully she’ll sleep and I’ll putter on the internet (hahahaha yeah right) but excited for chill vibes and no working.

    idk otherwise I started the couch to 5k again? I have been interested in leveling up my movement practice efforts in the last while, and I started and it went okay.

        • Yeah it’s pretty entertaining, although def. too scary for me to listen to at night 😀

          Basically the plot is that you’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and you’ve been dropped by helicopter into a base surrounded by zombie territory. You have to do supply and rescue “runs” out of the base. Each episode is different, and consists of people talking to you via your ‘radio’ in between songs on your own phone’s playlist. Every once in awhile they let you know that zombies are approaching, and you have to run faster or be caught! You can literally hear their rasping breath behind you.

          When I was starting out, I used the intervals when the zombies were directly chasing me as the only time I ran, and walked the rest – then I graduated myself up to jogging, and sprinting on the zombie runs. It’s very entertaining and there are multiple ‘seasons’ so you always have a new mission.

          • Zombiesrun do a separate couch to 5k app as well, if (like me) you need some guidance to build up your runs without pushing too far! The set up to that one is that you’re in the camp and they need to train you up to replace a runner they lost, so you go on training runs with the camp dr. I find it really helpful because the story distracts me from the fact I’m awful at running…

        • Ahem. My phone features both apps in the paid for version and I wigged out after mission number one, again.
          And again.
          Couch to 5k is too mellow, but a full 40 minute mission is too much.
          I love Zombies Run very deeply though, and I wish I’d get beyond the first mission at some point.
          I’ve heard great things about the stories to come!

  7. Congratulations! Your post was very happy and made me feel warm. This year I often felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything and I was really depressed, but on this beautiful day I realised that it’s been my first year with a full time job and I have handled it pretty well … I think this will be my accomplishment!

    Also, this summer I want to travel and to spend as much time as possible with the friends I cannot see during the year.

    We are planning a trip to Paris in July, so if there are any Autostraddlers there that would like to meet, feel free to write to me.

    Today was a beautiful day with a big event in my place, and I saw a lot of people and the sun was finally out, and I hope these good vibes last all summer! 🙂

  8. Congrats on getting your degree! ??????????????????????????????????.

    Nothing going on with me again. Thinking of becoming an uber driver so i can focus on school instead of work. But I worry about not having a car and I wish I had teleportation powers so I can charge an ass load of money for that instead.

    An old lady is jamming out to some heavy metal in the car next to me. Rock on lady. Rock on.?

  9. Overheard at work this week:
    Woman 1: I have something I have to talk to you about!
    Woman 2: Is it the Bachelor bios that just got posted?
    Me, internally: This is a thing???

    My last vacation was me packing a suitcase full of crafts and sex toys and books and hanging out in a magical little cabin in the woods for a week with no plans. I recommend it.

    I’ve been dying for this thread to come out mostly because of something dumb I did this week: I left my bag with my Tomboi harness and 2 Vixen dildos (one brand fucking new) on public transportation, and I don’t think I’m gonna get it back. I feel like y’all will understand how devastating this is.

  10. i’m moving! that has been on the agenda for quite some time, but it’s finally working out for it to happen, and i’m excited about it. nervous too, but excited. starting in june, i’ll be in the DC area. (****looking for friends there; please be my friend i promise i am a pretty okay person****)

    later today i am making pies with a friend of mine, and tonight i am going to a game night + desserts at some friends’ house. the whole moving thing has come about pretty suddenly, so i’m trying to make sure i see everyone before i go.

  11. Confession: I watch the bachelor/bachelorette every week it’s on with a group of friends. And we love it. We even have brackets of who we think will make it to next week with a bottle of wine as an entry bet. Most guesses right over the season wins half a dozen bottles of wine! My favorite is to guess who is queer in the bunch. There has got to be at least one if not more cuz statistics. Last season I got major queer vibes from the chicken lady. You know who I mean if you watch this show. She didn’t make it past the first round with Ben but her and her favorite chicken made an appearance on the women tell all episode. ANYWAY, happy graduation and a virtual red rose to you Alaina!

  12. Congratulations on your graduation, Alaina! I am beyond stoked for you.

    Hello other lovelies! You’re pretty and/or handsome.

    I had a weird family trip last weekend (some parts of it wonderful) and a weird resulting week. I don’t really know how to talk about it yet but what I DO know how to do is ask for your FOT warm and fuzzies! All the virtual hugs please!

    Anyway, looking forward, holy CRAP, A-Camp is like a week away! What do I need to pack? So far I have heard: warm stuff for bedtime; an animal onesie; whiskey. (I added that last one). I think at this point I’ve got one carpool buddy from norcal, with room for a couple more (I can probably stop in the bay area). 😀 I haven’t decided yet whether I’m doing the 8 hour drive in one day, but I probably will. So many decisions! So much to do! Eeeek!

  13. Well congrats on the exciting news! Hope you have a blast this summer.

    One of my goals is to make more new friends(hopefully queer, trans and nb people, not binary men). I also hope to get more queer people to come work in my building, cause you can never have too many queers working near you. Not sure how else I am moving forwards, but I am hoping to figure something out.

    How’s everyone’s week? I am doing good. Spent time with a friend last night. I also have the issue that OKC is not like blocking out cis-hetro women, and it’s kind of a problem. I am not a dude, and I don’t want to lead anyone on, so why are straight women liking my profile, when I specifically check I don’t want to be seen by straight people. Anyone else having this issue? Is there anything better than OKC for trans and non-binary/genderqueer folks? Even trying to make friends is kind of hard. At least being a queer hermit isn’t too out of the ordinary.

    Saw this abandoned house last night and it looked interesting.

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

  14. I keep seeing people graduating and it’s making me so excited for my own graduation, but it isn’t until July!
    Although I really need to find a pair of shoes for the day, so I guess it’s good to have some time!

    Other than that, I’ve been crazy impatient waiting to hear where I’m being placed in Japan on the JET Programme, but they just updated the Twitter to say they should be sending placements soon, so aaaaah! Hopefully Tuesday!

  15. I’m moving cross country for 6 months tomorrow and I’m in the stage of moving where I packed all the heavy boxes I’m putting into storage in my car and now I’m lying on my couch because they were heavy and I don’t want to drive across town and unpack them again…

    On the plus side, my childhood best friend and I are going on a cross-country road trip!!!

      • Hahaha not quite. It’s temporary (its for an internship) so I packed the boxes I’m putting into storage (aka my friend’s basement, because I’m too cheap to pay for a storage container).

        Luckily, said friend just helped me move them into his basement so crisis mode was averted.

  16. Hi, Alaina! Congratulations on your graduation. I hope your camping trip goes well too. Also, that’s an impressive amount of food you finished. It looks pretty good!

    I guess I don’t really do vacations as an adult, I guess. At my work, we get ten PTO days per year, but I’m always wary of using them, since I don’t want to end up sick and then not have any to use, you know? For me, vacations bring back memories of my parents loudly arguing over anything and everything (Let’s just say Disney World wasn’t the happiest place on Earth). Well, at least that’s what vacations consisted of until I was 12, and my parents got divorced. :p

    I’m not really into reading “book” books, to be honest, but I do like some graphic novels and comics. I’m reading a series right now called “Secret Recipe,” about two girls in a school Cooking Club, where one is love with the other. I’m assuming they’ll eventually get together, but the plot’s rather slow. It’s cute and endearing all the same, though!

    I can’t really think of any major goals for right now. I just have minor ones that I always try to keep up with: eat well, get enough sleep, exercise each day, pay my bills, do my work, keep my apartment clean, play games, go out, have fun, and so forth and so on.

    I hope everyone has a good weekend!

  17. Congratulations, Alaina!

    I am also starting a new academic chapter in my life – I’m not graduating, but I’m transferring out of community college. I don’t know where to yet (the decisions are still trickling in). It’s all anyone can think to talk to me about, though, so I’m tired of talking about it (also, talking about it just fans the flame of my obsessive thinking about admissions and acceptance rates and majors and everything else). I may be moving across the country in August to go to college in Oregon, so that’s wonderful/terrifying/awful if I don’t get in. I’m bored with where I live now and bummed that I have to spend the summer here.

  18. Congrats Alaina!

    I recently had two job interviews and before going in I seriously imagined the awesome people at Autostraddle cheering me on and believing in me. I don’t comment that often and don’t know anyone here personally, but this whole website and the people (staff & readers) are so encouraging it really helped me feel like I was on top of this. And I got offered both jobs! So now I am in the extremely luxury position of having to choose between them.

  19. I graduated too, on Sunday! It was a nicer day than I expected and it turned out that it really didn’t matter what I wore.

    Now I’m in a little bit of a slump. I don’t relax easily, and I’m impatient so this lull of a summer is going to be a little difficult to find a rhythm in.

    But my sister is graduating middle school and my brother is also graduating college, both in the next couple weeks, so I’m excited to spend time with them experiencing these big moments.

    • congrats on your graduation! what did you wear? figuring out what to wear was one of my biggest hurdles but it totally shouldn’t have been! i was comfy and cute and i worked so hard i couldve shown up in sweats and it wouldve been fine!

      • Went with an old dress – black, spaghetti strap, sorta fitted, thicker material, black nylons, and pumps, with a short black sweater thrown over it. It barely scratched 50 degrees that day, otherwise I would have felt like I had more options. It worked for lunch with the parents and the party afterwards 🙂

  20. I am also going camping! I just got home from a long day at work, and with two more left before I am on holiday! Flying into LA for camping and then CAMP. Work friends are pretty fed up of me talking about it every minute but I am not done in the slightest. I am ready for mountains, I am ready for a gay old time, I am ready to meet more of you guys! I’m also ready for a hug. Don’t you just hate it when your housemates have lives outside of making you happy?
    Stop writing Caitlin, go to bed.

  21. Congratulations Alaina!!

    I also graduated last weekend and it feels AMAZING. It felt so good to get my diploma (they actually gave us our diplomas in the diploma holder which was very shocking to me) and walk across the stage, but there’s obvious sadness that comes along with that. The hard part of graduating is leaving the people. All of my friends have dispersed to various cities across the east coast while I went half way across the country to the midwest for the next six weeks. I cried so much while we were all moving out! I never cry! I’ll be back closer to friends soon, but I have no idea what I’m going to do here for the next few weeks. Especially because I am 1,046 miles from my person. That’s so many!

    I’m trying to use the next few weeks to relax and catch up on all of the sleep I did not get during my four years of undergrad, but my body has decided that it likes to be awake at 8am now which was never true when I actually had class at 8am.

    I’m also trying to read all the books I didn’t have time for during the last few years, but my list is already impossibly long and I’m adding a few more books each day. Anyone have any must reads? I haven’t read a book for fun in four years and I am so ready.

    Also, I’m moving to NYC in July and I have never done anything more complicated than try and find a place to live in NYC. And I wrote an honor’s thesis.

  22. Hey FOT babes! This week I’ve had a cold/been tired out from work, but this lead to me spending every evening at home in my room and it’s actually been great. I’ve been listening to Lucinda Williams endlessly and reading poetry and WRITING and just generally enjoying my own company. So no major changes for me right now, but I am pretty content (plus my cold has gone, as of today!!) And I’m looking forward to catching up with a couple of friends this weekend. 🙂 🙂 🙂 sending good weekend wishes to everyone!

  23. Congratulations Alaina!!!! It’s already been 2 whole years since my graduation and I cannot believe that.

    This summer I’ll be moving… somewhere. Idk where yet, depends on jobs and other things so I’m still in the process of figuring everything out. But I’m looking forward to moving, the summer, and A-Camp!!!

    Hope everyone has a good weekend!

  24. I am winding down the school year (5 more weeks, ugh! The students are getting really restless…) and getting ready to move to Madison, WI for a new, exciting job. Downside is, it’s gonna take me even farther from my long-distance girlfriend, and I’m really having to fight the urge to say fuck it, I’m just gonna move to her city and figure out career stuff later. But we’re going to New Orleans next weekend, and get to spend the entire month of July together when I’m in between jobs, so maybe that’ll be enough to tide me over.

    Dislocated my shoulder at my second-ever derby game last weekend, so I’m off skates and doing PT for a while. It’s kind of a drag.

    I’m driving to my hometown tonight to attend my cousin’s wedding tomorrow. Wondering whether this is really the best weekend to come out to my mom, or whether it can wait until Christmas.

    Today is pajama day at school, and I am wearing a Slytherin onesie. One of the second graders was APPALLED that I was sporting Slytherin swag, and very earnestly informed me that I should want to be in Gryffindor.

    • oooh, a slytherin onesie??? that sounds perfect and warm. Good luck on your new job and your move. You’re gonna have a blast in July, so hopefully all that love will tie you over in your new job when you’re missing her <3

    • Oh, sorry to hear about the shoulder dislocation. That sucks. 🙁 One of my teammates dislocated hers last weekend (indeed, that’s how come I’m playing a game tomorrow). Hope you get the root cause sorted and can get back to contact safely.

  25. Congrats on graduating! I’ve just realised it’s been 5 years since I graduated, which doesn’t seem possible!

    This week I’m proud of myself for messaging the girl I like to tell her how I feel. As of yet she hasn’t replied, but no matter what she says I’m proud that I put myself out there which seemed pretty impossible until recently.

    Happy weekend everyone 🙂

  26. I figured out why I don’t like the new AS typeface; it’s because it reminds me of Times New Roman which reminds me of All The Homework.

    Maybe my love of AS will help me reclaim my enjoyment of serif typefaces outside of a work environment.

    I love you AS happy Friday everybodyyyyy. <333

  27. @alarae Congrats!!! Not just on the graduating, but on the navigating that with family and all the other things that come along with it. Sounds like your camping adventures will be the perfect reward!
    Today I officially finished emptying out my storage unit, which is awesome. I live a pretty nomadic life, and I’ve been hanging on to some things from once upon a time when I would live in one place for more than 6months…but its all being reduced, donated, and otherwise sorted. I’m almost done with that part. Then, I need to organize and pack everything because on Sunday I hit the road again! First I’ll be up in Colorado, and then making my way across the country towards New England. Much work to be done between here and there, and hopefully much camping and running to be done while making my way from here to there.
    This past weekend I ran a night time trail race, which was a lot of fun, and I wrote about it here: http://scout-bbnd.blogspot.com/2016/05/adrenaline-night-runs-night-in-desert.html
    I’m also starting to freak out about meeting my fundraising goal for a race I’m doing in July, but I’m sure it will eventually happen.
    Oh, and I also went to Flagstaff to visit a friend and a brewery, and decided to stop for a run in Sedona on my way back south…I took some pictures because it was glorious. I will try to attach them here…


    I hope everyone has a lovely time with whatever y’all get up to this weekend!

  28. Congratulations! I live in Austin and I hope you love it and I would love to give you heads up on apartment searching (it sucks and everything is overpriced but it is possible). We’ve got an Austin Autostraddle facebook group too!

    I am super proud of myself because I got an interview for my graduate school field placement (think internship) with Out Youth and they were super enthusiastic about me and their clinical director is going to get creative and see if they can meet all the requirements to be my field agency! They were my first choice!!!

    Also I have a wonderful solo vacation planned for July. I rented an airbnb with an amazing covered patio (including a hot tub!) that is walking distance from the beach (galveston, gulf of mexico but STILL) and walking distance from the liquor store. I’m ready for a week of reading books and shell collecting.

    • Thanks for the heads up!! I’m finding that out in my search and it’s a little disheartening, but I’m gonna keep looking! I’m also totally gonna join the Austin Autostraddle facebook group!! Congrats on your field placement interview! That sounds really amazing.

  29. Nice!! Congratulations on graduating! I’ve still got a year left, but I just finished up the semester a couple of weeks ago as well. Isn’t summer amazing? For some reason, this summer feels better to me than any one I’ve had before.

    I’m also just feeling really proud of myself recently; art school has been such a grossly high and low experience for me, and I have always worried about if I made the right choice, but I can honestly say that for the first time in the past several years, I’m happy and confident to do what I’m doing. There’s so much more to learn and improve, but I feel more happy than afraid. I just started my first internship (paid, and the couple that runs the place have two really cute tiny kids who say cute things), I’m doing stuff for an anthology, and I’m working on a few other personal side projects too, all of which I care really deeply about. I’m finally starting to feel like an adult, and like someone who probably will not completely crash and burn post-graduation.

    None of my close friends are in our hometown with me right now, but I’m hoping to drive down to SoCal with a friend and go visit our other friend who lives there later this summer! I’m excited just in general about having more freedom to do stuff on my own.

  30. Hi all!! Happy Friday!! I’m at work on my break. I couldn’t miss the chance to post for FOT this week because next week is CAAAAAAMPPPPP!!!!! CAMPCAMPCAMPCAMP. Any first timers? I hope you dance your little hearts out in Klub Deer when you’re on the mountain. Or in the woods. Or in the shower. Whatever. YOU DO YOU!!

    ALSO CONGRATS!!!

    How is everyone!! YOUR HAIR! BABIES. FURBABIES! UGH I MISS BEING ON HERE MORE.

    I’ve been Busy mainly because I’VE MOVED!! Gah! All the big things like the sofa, bed and this heavy dresser are now officially in the apartment. I’m still at my parent’s place though, mainly because I have to dog sit my sister’s dog and we’re worried he might have some accidents at the apartment because it’s unfamiliar to him. And he’ll be alone for EXTENDED periods during the day when I’m at work so that’s not good. Hopefully I can at least sleep there once before A CAMP! MOUNT FEELINGS HERE WE COME!

    SUMMER! OMG summer is going to be scorching out where I’ll be living. Northridge CA if you’re curious. LOL. Basically the valley. I’ve been there when it’s like 110 deg outside and man it is not too fun to sit in the car. Anyway, I’m glad that I’m not the only one who thinks summer is about new beginnings/transitions. I feel like this summer will be really good because my wife will be here SO SOON. YES I WILL FINALLY BE ABLE TO POST PICTURES OF US TOGETHER. And she won’t be leaving. You guys, I might need someone to be with me at the airport when she arrives. What if I can’t keep it together!

    ANYWAY! I was finally able to put up my medal holder!! Staring at it made me sign up for my first half marathon in October.

    Me and the U-Haul. Sorry I couldn’t resist. The Ikea furniture was way in the back.

    The fries I had with my parents on Sunday looked and tasted amazing. Tiny salts

  31. This week was so weird. A lot of great things and then a lot of just being in a weird grumpy sad mood. Yesterday I was feeling grumpy all day until game night with my gsws capstone pals who are seriously the BEST.They made me really happy!!! Today I just slept forever and rewatching a lot of parenthood. i should be getting the last of my school wok for the term done before camp….but i really dont want to. I still have a little time i guess.

  32. It’s been bloody hard work but I kick a reasonable amount of ass at roller derby. I happen to be surrounded by talented, hard-working, committed players so it doesn’t feel like I’ve achieved much, but for a previous PC-potato non-athlete I’ve come a long way.

    Going to play a game tomorrow, my second this year, and then go dance to Peaches! Any Dublin heads going to Yestival?

  33. This summer I’m going to be involved at least three research projects, all of which will hopefully culminate in published science journal articles with me as a coauthor- which is AWESOME. I’m pretty pumped about that.

    Today’s been rough- I’ve been having an ongoing battle with my dysphoria, mostly about my voice. I actually have a pretty good contralto speaking voice at this point, but my singing voice is another story. I’ve been taking singing lessons for about 5 months now, and while I’ve made progress, with any of the songs I’ve been working on it still takes a huge amount of practice and effort to get to the point where I don’t sound like a dude singing falsetto. I worry that it’s *never* going to get easy, that it’ll always be a struggle, simply because puberty 1.0 fucked over my physiology so badly. And the bitter irony is that I *do* actually have a really rich, warm, full singing voice…the only problem is that it’s a baritone. I’m trying to just take it on faith that I’ll get to a point where it starts to get a bit easier (I’ve only been taking lessons for 5 months, after all), but sometimes it’s really hard.

    It’s been tough because the normal way I usually get myself out of dysphoric funks is to jam out to some of my favorite songs and sing along- but in this case, that’s unfortunately *exactly* what I’m dysphoric about, so that’s no go. I am feeling a little better since I did some bra shopping earlier today (turns out I’m now a 36C? I was hoping I was a 34D, but on the other hand, 36C means it’ll be easier to find wirefree bras in my size, which is good since underwires are the devil), and I also got my hair dye refreshed (see below).

    I’m hoping my mood will improve in time for this evening- my fiancee and a couple of queer/trans friends of ours are going out to see a queer cabaret show, which should be a ton of fun, and hopefully an improvement in my day.

    • You are very lovely looking. I have similar fears that if I start T-blockers that it won’t give my desired effect and make my dysphoria worse? On the plus side, I am told t-blockers do help with stopping hair loss(which is always a worry no matter who you are). Hopefully, the queer cabaret show does improve your day.

  34. Congrats!!!

    This is a big year of transition for me, and it’s terrifying and excited. My summer will have a ton of changes! I’m moving from Washington state to Florida and recently signed my lease. Now I just need to cram all my worldly possessions + cat into my little car. That will be on July 5. On July 8 I will arrive at my new home. On July 11 I will start oceanography research. On August 22, I will start graduate school classes!

    But first! A-camp!!! I just got the program emailed and I’m so excited! Seriously, 10 years ago I never would’ve imagined this. The closest thing I had experienced was vacation bible school, haha. I keep thinking, “this is kinda like the grown up queer version of my childhood summer camp. Only a lot cooler and less judge-y.” And a lovely elderly neighbor couple has agreed to cat sit while I’m gone.

    I feel pretty lucky at this point in my life tbh. Things have gotten so much better over the past few years.
    Camp camp camp!!!

  35. I also just finished school and am going camping! (+ am also a sub and love your other articles, but anyway…)

    I’m headed back to Nordhouse Dunes on beautiful Lake Michigan with my college queer bestie and I could not be more excited!

    (this is me near where I’m camping next week four years ago when I graduated high school!)

    I hope you have an amazing trip! You SO deserve a break for finishing school and powering through an institution that bases your value on what you produced and now it’s OVER AND DONE YAY! (at least until Fall).

  36. I’m at work(again).It’s two a.m.*sigh*
    Anyways.
    It’s my niece’s baptism this Sunday and I’m her godmother.
    Instead of suffering through my gay friendly yet stuffy and conservative brother’s friends and wife, I’ve resolved to take a friend.
    I’ve been single for so long and ALWAYS minus the plus one, so I’ve decided to now introduce my friends to my family.
    I’m this particular friend’s fake imaginary girlfriend already (she can’t talk about her real gf with coworkers, it’s complicated, so she subs my name and characteristics in, when needed) so now, she’s going to put on a suit, and return the favor.
    In the same vein, I introduced my gay best friend to my great aunt a couple of weeks back and it was awkward and funny, and anyways, I have a fake gf for official stuff and a gay boyfriend to hang out and talk endlessly on the phone with.
    I also have a roomba subbing in for a pet and a couple of godchildren I never see and I’m married to my job.
    They never mentioned this particular set up, when they were talking about alternative lifestyles back in the day, but whatever works, right?

  37. Things were going pretty dang swell in my life. I had been kayaking a decent amount and was finally, finally back in shape (for the most part). We even had a midnight lap of the local river! Because we make EXCELLENT (read: terrible) decisions! I was supposed to have my first official day at work tomorrow. But no, I fucked up my ankle on Sunday loading my kayak onto my car aka what is clearly the most dangerous part of the day, not the class V+ rapids.

    So I’m in a boot for another week+ and then it’ll be evaluated again and see what needs to happen–more boot time, a cast, rehab, or surgery (NO. NO. I DO NOT WANT THAT). So yeah, that’s frustrating, and it’s even more frustrating that the chronic pain that nobody knows what it is is aggravated by ibuprofen and tylenol so I can’t take those for the ankle pain. And the prescription I was given is 10/10 for the ankle pain, 8/10 for not aggravating the chronic pain in my side but 0/10 for leaving me a functional non-zombie/asleep human. So that’s been fun.

    BUT ANYWAY:
    here’s a quick clip from last weekend before the ankle damage!

    Not the cleanest center line of Fowlersville I've ever run but also not the worst #kayaking #whitewater #whitewaterismagic #adk #latergram #sunsetlap A video posted by Hollis (@viaholliday) on May 14, 2016 at 11:51pm PDT

    here’s a quick pic collage of my damaged ankle

    Loading boats onto cars is dangerous… #ouch #day4 #injury #ankles A photo posted by Hollis (@viaholliday) on May 19, 2016 at 1:13pm PDT

  38. Congrats!!!! Graduating is a big step. I graduated almost exactly a year ago (?!?!) and it’s a weird feeling. The freedom is AWESOME, though.

    As for vacations, as a freelance translator I’m kind of always and never on vacation. On one hand, I can work from just about anywhere, so I’m free to do more or less whatever the hell I want with my days. On the other hand… I can work from just about anywhere, so I’m never really off-duty. This will be doubly true this summer because I’m doing work for the EURO Cup, which means I’ll be working with European time zones. In Canada. Let’s just say I’m stocking up on Red Bull now.

    Does anyone here read the Kingkiller Chronicle series? I’ve just finished my 8th or so reread and am still in book-hangover mode. It’s one of those rare books that I can go back to again and again without tiring of it – even on my nth read through, I’m still picking up on new stuff and finding fodder for crackpot theories.

    Also, a random bit of happy: I finally took my bike in for its spring tune-up, so I got to go for my first ride of the season tonight. All the lilac trees are in bloom and the city’s in the midst of its annual tulip festival, so everything was really pretty. Plus there’s something so freeing about coasting down a steep slope, y’know?

    Hope everyone has/had a happy Friday 🙂

  39. Congratulations on graduating! I managed to accomplish a big goal of mine, getting a paid programming internship for the summer. I’m hoping that as of this fall, I can get a full-time software engineering job, move out of North Carolina, and maybe start dating girls. I’ve never liked this state but it’s felt even more hostile ever since the Republicans passed HB2, and if there are any other queer women my age anywhere near where I live, I have no idea where.

    Next week I’m going to my brother’s wedding, which looks like it’s going to be a very heteronormative event even though my family is pretty accepting. At least it’s in SF, so I’m hoping to see some of my very-much-not heteronormative friends while I’m there.

  40. omg congrats on graduating!
    unfortunately it is winter in Australia, but this summer is going to be the best one yet, probably as I graduate in December.
    today I went to a therapist for the first time and it went pretty well. She seems pretty helpful so hopefully it will work out in the future. my mum’s kind of annoyed though because I haven’t really told her enough about the session, but I feel like I’m not required to, so she should just accept that.

  41. This isn’t me calling out in a hostile way–because I am guilty of this language also–but I’m sure there would be a less-ableist way to approach mentioning capitalism other than calling it “lame”–like calling it “the pits” for example.

  42. Something great happened alright I gathered up my courage and looked at my final grades.
    I passed all of the things which means I’m done with academic math for the rest of my natural life and I did this under my own power.
    I almost can’t believe it and I took a screen shot because I need to check it to see if it’s real sometimes.

    If that weren’t enough the analog design class from hell I passed that too. Which means I eligible to register and take the final set of classes for my program.

    When I was evaluated and diagnosed the doctor tried to gently bring my mother’s expectations down by telling her it was not likely I’d finished high school and that it would best if she prepared me for a vocational track of some kind.
    She never told me this until I graduated high school and it’s fucked up in a way because with out anyone telling me to not get my hopes or dream too big that is what I did to myself as little kid. Crush dreams and hopes of good things so that I wouldn’t be upset when things would not turn out well. Not a way to good way to live or even a way to live at all. >_>

    Um totally unrelated to that is this
    http://archiveofourown.org/works/206515

    It’s about Tatooine slave culture starting through Shmi Skywalker’s perspective, completely fan made concept but completely perfect in a way I don’t know how to articulate.

    I ran into it a long while ago, lost track of it and now that I’ve found it again I can’t stop reading it and thinking about the things in Star Wars that are influenced by existing cultures in our world but are hardly acknowledged or understood by people consuming it.
    Also Padme and how much the “dying of a broken heart” thing pissed me off as child.
    Aneurysm, irreparable blood vessels damage something but that just…Vader is villain at that point and trying to soften an act of intimate partner violence with some bullshit tragic romantic demise rather than face the ugly violence of him makes no sense to me at all.

      • I didn’t get choice, that must be some four year college/university perk.
        Just a never ending supply of algebra to defeat with mathematical logic and theory as the final boss. Still I can’t call math evil, it’s like a aquatic predator majestic and powerful in ways the human body cannot complete with as terrestrial animal with no claws and tiny teeth.

        But yes thank you for the kudos 🙂

  43. I’m moving to another city this summer because I’m starting a new chapter in my academic life as well. I already found an appartment and today I went with friends to take my marks; when we arrived in what will be my future street, there was a bunch of people selling hand-made stuff like jewelry & clothes. Everything looked cool ans animated! There were pink banners all over the walls! I was already so happy to live in a cool lil street like this!

    Then it turned out, the event was organized by the main lgbt association of the city. Because they are my LITERAL neighbours.

    ??? I AM SO HAPPY I CAN’T WAIT TO MOVE THERE

  44. I THOUGHT YESTERDAY WAS THURSDAY ALL DAY AND AS A RESULT I

    1. MISSED THE FRIDAY OPEN THREAD

    2. GHOSTED ON THE JOB I’VE ALREADY QUIT ANYWAY, SO NOW I GUESS I’VE REALLY REALLY QUIT??

    But OH MAN I got so much done. I’ve got the panel layout pretty much set for this comic I’m working on, and I almost finished inking the first page

    (mostly as a way to avoid starting the pencils for page 2, but STILL)

    And I’m feeling So Solid about it.

    I finally caved and bought giant Bristol board made specifically for graphic novels,so it has the live area and bleed and trim already designated and helpful lines for making neat and tidy panels nine per page tin tin style, which is so 100% My Shit and also makes it look So Pro

    Also the thing I’m turning into a comic is a POEM and I’m actually ok at reading it aloud and it’s a semi scary story about a monster in the forest so like if there are campfire stories at Camp, I’m hoping I can Perform it, because Im very pleased with how it turned out

    ANYWAY I’M A HUMAN DISASTER BUT YES COMICS

  45. A day late again as usual, but I needed to say this to you all. I have officially done it. I reached Peak Lesbian today.

    While listening to Tegan & Sara and hanging out with a girl friend, she was looking through my laundry for an undershirt for me. She unearths one and holds it out to see if it is acceptable. And I, in my black leggings, said, “oh no I can’t wear that as an undershirt. That’s my good tank top.”

    I have never felt so truly gay in my life, and it was one of my crowning achievements. Thank you for your time in listening to another tardy moment from my life.

  46. Yesterday a very important woman died. Maybe you don’t know who she was, but Patricia M. Derian was Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs under the Jimmy Carter administration.

    She was and still is a highly regarded figure in Argentina because she was the first member of a government, any government, to compiled the first lists about extrajudicial killings, kidnappings and acts of torture during our 1976/1983 dictatorship, and this happened in 1977.

    In one meeting, that year, she said to Emilio Eduardo Massera, then a high member of the Junta: ‘As for torture, I know people are being tortured right here under this roof. I have a map of that floor. In fact somebody’s probably being tortured right under our feet right now.’ That took a lot of ovaries.

    Her policies, and Carter’s, were destroyed when Ronald Regan took power and replaced those with the Kirkpatrick Doctrine, which practically guaranteed that all the Latin American dictatorships maintained they power for a longer period of time.

    May you rest in peace, Patt.

  47. I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS.

    In 4 days, I’ll finish my work day, drive to the airport and catch a plane. To A-freaking-Merica. For Camp.

    For weeks now, I haven’t been able to sleep. I’m crying, so much. My tummy keeps doing flippy things and I don’t know if it’s my anxiety or excitement. Mostly a combination of both.

    It’s just – overwhelming.

    Massive congratulations, Alaina!

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