FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Welcome, New Friends!


Hi there and welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread! This is the part of the week where we all gather and talk openly about our lives and our hopes and our dreams and our pets and how mortified we are that we clicked like on that instagram post from four months ago and ugh to text or not to text and can you believe this cool new thing her dog did and work or school went really well or really badly today and a hurricane is coming but things are getting better all the time or they aren’t right now but they will. Share your week, share your life; everything that doesn’t fit in the comments of a regular post goes right in here.

Today is extra special because we have a lot of new faces! (Also bodies attached to them.) If you’re here from AfterEllen, welcome! Share your old AE name, your whole deal, and the best part of your week. We see you, and this is the place where we see each other, and we’re excited you’re here.

And for everyone else: Hi I missed you! How’s it going? Let’s be extra warm and welcoming this week; don’t be afraid to reintroduce yourself or to introduce yourself for the first time; it’s always a good week to come out of the woodwork. (I want to hear about the best part and all the other parts of your week, too.)

We're also into photos here. Cannot even w/ this face.

We’re also into photos and gifs here. Cannot even w/ this face.

I’ll go first: I’m Carolyn, I’m Autostraddle’s NSFW editor, I’m Canadian but I live in Los Angeles now, I’m super into my wife and dog (she’s the cutie just above, the dog, that is) and talking about polyamory and kink and books and food allergies, and I’ve got the A-Camp plague right now but I’m making the best of it. The other day I found a new room at an old favourite bookstore and it felt haunted and I was into it.

YOUR TURN. Who are you, how are you, what are you up to this weekend?

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Hiiiii new friends! I am at a wedding in North Carolina with my girlfriend and our very dear friends. They are all playing brass instruments to warm up for the ceremony (where I guess the groom will be singing “This Will Be Our Year” by the Zombies?) and I am on Autostraddle distracting myself. I’m so glad everyone is here in this queer weirdo community love space!

  2. Hi all new people! I hope everyone’s staying safe in this weekend’s scary weather.

    I went on a good date for the first time in ages this week! I think it was a romantic date, not a friend date. Stay tuned for updates. I’m all excited and dreamy and nervous about how to text well. How do you text well?

    FYI: Fun Home is available on Spotify again and Batwoman is getting a solo comic again. I’m super excited to go visit my parents this weekend and be a bum sheltering from the storm and binging on queer media.

  3. I’m still feeling the loss of AfterEllen, despite it shutting down 2 and a half weeks ago. My username over there was iSkout, so hi to anyone who recognizes me!

    Currently I am extremely angry/annoyed/depressed at the new “content” that (StraightWhiteMale)AfterEllen has just published. They took our space, then told us our space wasn’t going anywhere, then they go and publish an article called “Naughty Lesbian Sex Scenes.” Enraging, to say the least.

    So, that’s where I’m at. It’s Friday, and I am not happy. And I am not happy about not being happy because it’s Friday. They ruined my Friday, damn it!

    • I had no idea stuff was being posted on AE, i just went there after i read your comment. I couldnt find the said article though just a few lines, like ‘these images will leave you fanning yourself and make you bite your lip’. Who does that anyway? I dont know why biting the lip is supposed to be erotic or sexy.I wonder if people actually do that, when they are being sexy or whatever, do you bite your lip, ever?
      And im sorry youre depressed on firday, c’mon, i just find hilarious, cos it so ridiculous. Doesn’t it happen to you, things get so crazy, that you’re not even angry, you just laugh hysterically, and end up looking like a serial killer or something.

    • I feel rather a sense of loss for the Afterellen space too and am still trying to find my way around here… I just went to have a look at this post you mentioned and even weirder is if you scroll down the comments at the bottom there are comments from 4 years ago… It looks like they have just reposted the most selacious/clickbait worthy article that they could find to draw people to the site! Disgusting! And such a shame for all the younger new readers who find the site.

    • Hey, it’s Rod (who has two Moms). I’m still really freaked out/pissed as well. I haven’t been back to AE since I read Trishs sign off, and wrote my last post. TBH, I’ve been arguing with myself about signing up here since Heather moved over, and though I drop the occational comment on the bookFace page, I’m just not entirely sure I need to be HERE. Yanno? Aaaaanyway, it’s Tuesday, I got little sleep, and I’m babbling. Ick.

      • Hey Rod, it’s always nice to see a familiar face! I have calmed down a lot since the article was posted on Friday, but I’m still annoyed. On the other hand, it helped me stay away from the empty shell of AE. It was just too depressing to go back there. Anyway, I think you should stick around, I for one would love to have you here :)

          • Kristana brings the fun and the puns! I just wish AS had a “morning brew,” which was always my favorite part over at AE.

            I think people here will be cool. Everyone seems more positive and inclusive, less confrontational. I truly loved AE, but there were a few trolls that ruined the fun. Hopefully those people won’t make their way over here! I gave your post below a little thumbs up, so you have my support :)

  4. Hello lovely people. I think I still count as new? I’ve been here a few weeks, the site helped me come out to three people, and after seeing the upset about AE (which I never read, I am very late to liking lady type feelings) I upgraded my membership so places like this are protected.

    I am currently continuing to work out how I feel about my sexuality with lots of fiction reading that places LGBT issues in contexts other than ‘my tragic coming out story’ and using AS to supplement that with the non fiction important things I feel like I need to know. Gradually feel like I’m starting to ‘settle’ if that makes sense? I’ve so painfully grateful for this lovely community so far, and am sort of unembarrassed to admit I REALLY look forward to this thread, I love the positivity pile on :)

    In other news, we’ve had some good news about a family member’s treatment, which means I feel like I’ve found a temporary shelf on the hill I’m rolling this boulder up. It will let us breathe, just a little.

    In sadder news I’m working away till tomorrow night and I am so ill. And it’s a work thing where I’m in a hotel away from anyone who might provide a cuddle, and I have to present to important adults with a very squeaky voice.

    But onwards! I bought myself a new comic book as a weekend treat and am comforting myself with that.

    Thank you everyone. Have lovely weekend

  5. Hi, I’m Rachel! I live in NYC! I write musicals, run a non-profit theatre company for queer women (, and have a new (started 1 month ago) day job in Jewish programming/events administration. I have a 5 year-old female shih tzu named Bernie.

    I really like FOTs because I have a lot of feelings and like to share them.

    I’m really good at recognizing people on the street (everyone from celebrities to elementary school classmates, etc.). It gets kind of frustrating because I never know if they recognize me (they usually don’t), and I don’t know if I should say hi. It’s a fun trait to have, though.

    Another interesting trait (?) of mine is that I don’t watch tv. I used to be obsessed and watch so many shows, even before Hulu and Netflix binges were a thing. I even once aspired to writing for tv. Now I never watch it.

    Welcome, AE readers and anyone else who’s new! Lez be friends! :D

    • Your dog is adorable and your job sounds fascinating.

      Just wanted to jump in and say : as a person who never, ever recognizes anyone on the street–I’m always fine with being stopped… so long as its not high school remembrance (because that was not a great time). I’ve gotten mighty good at pausing and going “you know, you’re name is on the tip of my tongue–do you mind reminding me?”

      Also, I alternate what names I go by: if nothing else “they are calling me x, this means they can only be from n or q” helps a lot.

      • I second this. I love it when people re-introduce themselves, but ‘hey you!’ is socially terrifying to me because despite best intentions I do struggle with names and faces, even if we’ve had repeated conversations.

        ‘Hey, I don’t know if you remember, but we met at X and my name is Y’ is such a kind approach. And often starts great conversations!

    • THAT IS SUCH A GOOD SUPER POWER. One of mine is not recognizing people on the street even five minutes into a conversation, but pretending I totally remember meeting them at that thing or whatnot. (…Or recognizing their dogs but not them.)

  6. Hi y’all! I’m not exactly new here but I’ve mostly been a lurker. But I went to A-Camp for the first time last weekend and now I feel like I want ALLLLL the queer connections! So. Gonna try and comment more :)

    Best part of this week for me is definitely all the art I’ve been doing! I’ve feeling unbelievably creative/inspired/motivated after getting back from A-Camp (coincidence? I THINK NOT.) and have started like three different projects and finished two of them! Which is a big deal because the last time I finished a project was like 9 or 10 months ago. I’m currently unemployed and it feels good to fill my time with art rather than mindless web browsing.

    Hope y’all have a good weekend!

  7. You know, I don’t think I ever actually introduced myself on these threads. I just sort of jumped in and started thumb upping things.

    I’m Sara–Just moved to Northern Atlanta about two months ago. I’m an awkward, people avoidant, librarian type who does tech stuff and then tries (and fails) to write. I’m currently writing a mermaid short story and a w|w steampunk retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice (which I feel I really want to write but also am temped on because of the whole bury your gays trope and, well). Oh, I’m aces but when I date I prefer women (unfortunately, dating is impacted by being people avoidant)

    This week has been pretty cool–I have some books coming in, my screw ups will only make me sweat for the next few months without really having a lasting effect and…

    I’m trying to decide if I have the energy to go to Atlanta Pride both days or just one? And if so…what one? It’d be a solo adventure, which I’m fine with, but lots of people! Which is exciting but terrifying at the same time. I’ve accidentally missed every other pride I’ve been near the past decade so…

    But it’d be nice to maybe meet people ?

    So I’m trying to channel my cat–we’ll see how that goes

  8. i am kind of not sure what’s with life lately. depression has been a fairly constant thing in my life for a really long time, and sometimes it’s okay-ish and sometimes it’s not okay-ish, and right now it’s kinda not okay-ish. i moved cities this summer, and i haven’t found a job yet and i really really need to, but it’s hard to play the numbers game of applications when most the time i don’t even want to get out of bed. feeling kinda discouraged about it. i know at some point things will swing back around and i’ll feel alright about life, but i’m having a hard time doing much to bring about that change.

    so that’s my tmi of the week / month / season, i guess.

    i’m maybe going hiking, weather permitting, with a friend and some of her friends on sunday, so i’ve been googling what on earth you’re supposed to wear when you go hiking. and i watched the first episode of the original first season of the great british bake off last night, and it was interesting to watch them trying to find their footing with the show after having already seen the more polished season (3, i think?) that’s on american netflix. i liked the history bits. i wish pbs hadn’t decided americans wouldn’t be interested in that.

    • Yes, I agree the first series is a lot of fun to watch in hindsight. Although I’m not that not the history bits, I’m content to hear Mary and Paul tell me the history of whatever the technical challenge is.

      Also it’s fun to see how much the standard goes up in the later series. What’s consider a showstopper or a hard technical in series one would barely get you through the first week now!

    • Just sending a general hug. Depressed days suck. No worries if this doesn’t work for you, but a suggestions – I sometimes find telling myself I don’t have to do something, but might get round to it, helps? So a guilt free day of ‘I don’t have to apply to anything today,’ helps with ‘but maybe I’ll spend some time looking.’ Then you’re already ahead on what you set yourself for the day :)

      Just a thought. But mostly e-hugs.

  9. Hi sweetpeas,

    oh no! did everybody get sick at a-camp? isn’t that just the worst.

    are folks likely going to come here from AE? It wouldn’t be surprising, but I feel like the comments over there got sort of salty. play nice, folks!

    (also I am salty bc I wrote some things for them once and some rude person was like ‘this is the worst piece of writing on the whole internet’ and I was like damn, you haven’t read the whole internet)

    But, new people! I’m sure you’re nice and fine! You can sit next to us! Do you want some snacks, I brought enough to share.

    Anyway, my week was ok! I am doing putter-y work things but I am going to the naked lady spa with a friend later, which’ll be very sweet because a) it’s properly wet and fall-like, and I am enthused about getting overheated in this weird spa that is decorated like a goth mermaid den (like it’s all orange netting and aqua walls, it’s weird) and b) going for a medium walk to get there, I’ve been cooped up the last couple of days.

    This has been a week of relatively solid adulting, by which I mean that I flossed more than twice and paid my quarterly taxes which I’ve been sitting on for several months. LIFE STUFF ACHIEVED.

    And I’m hoping for some fall-activity this weekend, which may involve hiking and foliage, or possibly just building a fire in our dinky fireplace. We’ll see.

    My life updates are boring, like I bought earl grey tea from three different places (bulk bins at the grocery store) and they are all on sale because nothing smells like bergamot, it smells like boring-ass black tea.

    And I started knitting my new fall hat that I will lose by April, but I have some really nice yarn my ex gave me and I am sufficently friends-with-them-now to have a hat made of yarn they gave me and not overthink it.

    And I reread Pages for You and The Ihop Papers this week which is about having affairs with your college professors, and they are both hot and desolate, and I just got on an Ali Liebegott kick this week and am picking through a couple of anthologies with her stuff in it.

    And I’m setting up to get a tattoo of this thing!

    And I wrote this thing:

    And I think this is so silly:

    Happy weekend, weirdos.

  10. Hi there. I’m super happy to be here (particularly in light of the fact that AfterEllen is now just a raging dumpster fire).

    This long weekend my family and I are going to Washing, D.C. for five whole days. I started a new job this summer and this is the first chance we’ve had to get away so we are taking advantage of the Monday holiday and the fact that my kids are off Wednesday for Yom Kippur to spend some time in our nation’s capital learning, being dorks, and doing fun stuff with our kids. (The gay agenda should scare you, people. It involves teaching our children about our nation’s symbols and history).

  11. Though I almost never comment, I measure my life in Autostraddle articles. Every Friday, open thread signals that another arduous week is finally over. But y’all, I’m pretty sure this week was about a month long.

    First, let me reminisce about my mega-accomplishment of last weekend! I found my wedding dress. It’s incredible. Just a “oh wow” kind of dress, you know? Plus, I was able to support a local business that’s LGBT friendly. I will never be past this excitement. Dress dress dress.

    Wednesday, I came with a gnarly case of strep throat. I can’t have dairy for a while as a result, which is news I’m taking much harder than necessary. Roughly everyone important in my life is having a major crisis, which means long sniffly talks all day and long weepy talks all night. College is very hard. I’m spread too thin, like honey butter on anything that’s not more honey butter.

    Thank you everybody here for making this week better. I’m off to watch the L word and stare wistfully at pictures of milkshakes. Much love, y’all.

  12. Hello everyone!
    I don´t know if I´m “old” or “new” around here – but old enough to feel very much at home around you guys! So thank you all so much for this awesome space and a big warm welcome to everyone who joins us here! :)

    It was a big week for me… Two days ago I came out to my mother as ftm/non-binary/a demi-boy! And it went so so well!!! :) It was a pretty spontaneous decision to do this already now – I nearly hadn´t slept the night before and one of the things on my mind was the question, how she would react if I told her. I´m only “out” to myself and really coming to terms with this during the last two month. So it´s kind of early. But when we were talking on the phone and she came up with (pretty) weird ideas, why I couldn´t sleep so well the last couple of days, I just decided to do it. And I´m so impressed with her! She asked some questions (some minor doubts/alternative explanations for my feelings, which I had shortly considered as well during the process of coming to terms with being trans) listened to my explanations and stories and took me completely seriously. She was not at all doubting my feelings. At the end she even mentioned a documentary about a trans woman, who transitioned at age 58 and wished, she had been able to do it earlier. She said, she was proud of me for telling her and honored, that I trusted her with this. :) And she added: “It takes a lot to take me off course, right?!” (I don´t know if the translation is fitting.) That made me laugh and was so cute. I am so impressed by my mom and proud of her and happy and relieved and could hug the whole world right now! So instead, I hug all of you! (Of couse only everyone, who is comfortable with a hug! Everyone else: Have a smile!)

    Also: I had the first appointment at a new practice for physical therapy today and the physical therapist (a woman about my age) was really cute. :) I don´t generally believe in gaydar, but we had this “a bit longer than normal and kind of recognizing”-eye contact, when we first introduced ourselves. :) Soo…yeah… And she gave me a “secret” discount by telling her boss we did a cheaper treatment than we really did, so that I had to pay less. Which was so nice!

    I love you all so much and wish everyone a very nice weekend! And to anyone near the storm: Be safe! (And of course, a nice weekend to you, too!)

    • Good for you! That takes a lot of courage :) Also, go Mom! I love hearing stories where parents respond so positively. I’ll totally take that hug because both you and your mom deserve it. I said it last week, but I’ll say it again… all the best wishes for you as you continue figuring it out!

      Also, did you see the article promoting the making of a drag queen? The highly self involved part of me felt like it was a direct response to our convo last week!

      • Thank you! :) And thanks for the hug! I´ll be able to hug my mom in about 3 weeks – it´s her 60th birthday, and I will enjoy the pretty big party so much more now!

        Yeah, I saw the article and was so very excited about it… And had a similiar thought like you! I didn´t read it yet, because I wanted to look forward to it for a bit longer… (now typing it I realize that sounds pretty weird) :)

        • I guess I didn´t make it very clear in my comment: I don´t identify as male. I identify as non-binary, leaning towards demi-boy and at this point I´m not able to completely rule out the possibility, that I will maybe at some point later on end up identifying as male. But right now, non-binary is most fitting (I realise, that the order, in which I mentioned the terms, made it sound as if ftm was an identity of mine.) Also I identify as pansexual/queer… and have been attracted to non-binary people, men and women in the past. So… I don´t know…! Gaydar probably isn´t the right word, but as I said, I don´t really believe in it anyways. Probably the physical therapist and I just liked each other right away and realised that at the same time (and maybe both had a feeling, that the other one was at least not straight… ;) I don´t know her thoughts…)

          As you can deduce from my lenghty answer: I´ve already thought about your exact question! :) (I´m still very very new at maneuvering the sees of identifying as non-binary/a demi-boy…)

      • Thank you so much! :) I´m still kind of surprised that I really did talk to her!
        I´m really thankful for my doctor (who I talked to about the question if I should tell my mom at this point or not), who said: You have to find out, what is best and feels most fitting for you(!). (Not for anyone else in a similiar situation).

  13. Hi everyone! I’m new here, though I’ve been reading Autostraddle for a while now. I’m Alex, 18, from Poland (so forgive me any grammar mistakes, please) and I’m feeling kinda weird here since I don’t live in USA but I hope that’s okay. I love, love, love literature and musical theatre.
    I feel like I need to organize few things in my life right now, especially since I have matura exam in May and well, I have to study a lot. Other than that I’m okay. I read a lot of books, I decided what I wanna do in future and life is just pretty cool. And since I’m obsessed with Notre Dame de Paris (it recently had premiere FINALLY in my country) I listen to soundtrack on the loop and I just can’t wait till I see it again in February.
    Anyway, I would be very thankful if you could recommend some really good lesbian/bi books. Like really, really good.
    I send you a lot of love and hugs ✿

  14. hi everyone! former AE contributor here. that awful “naughty lesbian sexxxx scenes” article on AE was removed, and now the error page is running a @#$@#$ trump ad. wonderful!

    i’ve had an account here on AS for many years and will be logging in more often. i’m not doing anything today except toil away at the office. but every friday night i take photos at hot rabbit – a weekly party for lesbians, queer women and the broader LGBT community. if you’re in nyc, come to boots and saddle drag lounge in the west village tonight, and here’s the password to get in free tonight: NASCAR.


  15. Welcome all. I’ve been lurking for a couple – few years. I’m bi, I live in Chicago 2 blocks from the lake and I’m a web designer and educator.

    I’m currently in the car, driving south to Missouri for my husband’s aunt and uncle’s 50th and I’m kind of dreading it. It will be a lot of people I don’t know, in a red state the month before the US election and ugh.

    I’ve been unusually social – went to a WordPress meetup and a stitch and bitch this week. And I’m re-reading Ancillary Justice for my Queer Genre Fiction book group.

  16. Hello frens. I am currently at work and just ate a sandwich with mac n cheese in it.

    I also have had a supremely rude individual on the phone only 20 minutes after I got here this morning, and then she bitched to my supervisor about how terrible I was lmao. Because how dare I not kiss her ass, right? And give her everything she demanded? She was so, so rude; I can’t help but feel offended that she accused me of rudeness when she was extremely combative. She was at work, too, and I heard a ton of children in the background. So, yknow, A+ professionalism, rite?

    I, uh, also keep fucking up today, apparently. I just wanna go home and sleep and pet my dog, please. I’m feeling kinda sad today and I don’t know why.

    I also feel like I don’t really exist much outside of this job. I don’t know how to explain it, even to myself. I feel kinda weird, I guess. I’m really kind of silly at work, but. .. I feel weird. I dunno. I guess I feel disconnected in some way.

    Hope you all are doing well and stuff ♡

  17. Ughhh Autostraddle I heart you. I am not remotely new (lurker, like 3 years running) but never came out of the woodwork because I fear internet interactions. Yet here I am. Hi! I’m Dani! 26, Bay Area, Militant femme bisexual. Big fan of the circus and public health and sex ed and sex toys and sex geekery of all kinds.

    I am about to head into the woods for the weekend for a Queer Body Love retreat with a bunch of strangers, and I know this is good for my (objectively horrible) relationship to my body and self love and good for my social life and my sense of adventure and all that, but I’m honestly not close to excited and I’m just pretty terrified. But facing it! And proud of that. And will be better for it! And probably have a great time! Basically this is me:

    So yeah. Hope everyone has a magical day and weekend and week and life, etc.

  18. Hi,my name is Kim and feel kind of sick right now. Didn’t get much sleep last night, because we decided to drink and play board game til morning but I fell asleep somewhere in between and now my coughing is getting worst. Feel regard about my decision to drink, even it is barely anything compare to other.

    Anyway can’t wait for lazy Sunday afternoon at the library.

    By the way hi.

  19. I had an all around grumpy/mopey week, but last night I went out to watch Miss Sharon Jones! the new documentary about her and it was really really good and was just so healing! I had missed all the other showtimes in the week and it was my last chance but I’m glad that it ended up being the start to my weekend! Today I’m still using that energy and started to work on grad school stuff instead of just thinking about grad school stuff!!!
    Also my small town’s Pride is tomorrow and I’m pretty excited to hang out with a friend I haven’t seen in a while.

  20. Hey folks I’m Hat, I’m across the pond in England. This site is a glorious constant in my life. I found it a few years back whilst researching queer artists for my MA and never left, although I comment less when stressed…aside from FOT-the most glorious of constants.
    I just got in from working my first half day of the weekend. Recently I’ve been trying to stay on top of inktober -which I’ve managed so far in 20 mins or less a day whilst functional post work, and yesterday I wrote a quick poem for the first time in a decade because it was national poetry day. (Which I shall share below in a reply to this because of reasons).
    Mostly my life consists of; dayjob, trying to find time to make art in various forms because that’s what I really want to/have studied to do, hanging out with my awesome wife and our dog, wearing a lot of flannel, reading waaaay too much fanfic but not enough of the shelves of shame, and sleeping far too little.
    Have totally rocking/super chill weekends folks…whichever your hearts desire. :)

    • Oh valleys within whom I have walked,
      And run.
      Upon whose benches I have sat and passed the time
      As time has passed me.
      Where I imbibed whilst underage
      And in whose darkened forests upon cushioned beds
      Of pine needles I have
      Pissed while pissed.
      In courts with racquet, and ball
      I have wooed
      And lost
      women fair and foul.
      Whilst in my lap
      I have received both love and hate
      With words thrown
      And I have caught them.
      I walk my dog along the paths I
      Skated, skipped,
      and ran.
      Where I once smoked, and passed
      I pass
      A wisp
      As seasons change.

  21. Is there anyone here who can do chin ups/ pull ups? Im sort of struggling to accomplish that, its like my ‘if i get this done, everything in life will be easy’, kinda goal. I cant go straight to pull ups cos thats much much difficult, so im aiming to knock of a couple of chin ups before i can try pull ups. Its so fucking hard to develop strength for pull ups you know. I thought i could gain enough strength by sticking to body weight exercises like dips and push ups, and just hanging from the bar. But ive hit saturation , and i finally had to resort to lifting some free weights, to make some gains. I try my best to avoid weights and machines, cos i dont want to be dependent on them. But i guess i have to rely on weights to make some base strength for chin ups.
    Pull ups for me are like the ultimate proof of peak physical accomplishment, cos i read that females have less upper body strength or whatever , so its difficult to achieve , so it got me thinking , ‘fuck it im nailing this’.I also love it becos hanging from branches and ledges is great fun, not to mention quite badass.
    I was able to do three measly/ugly looking chin ups a while back, but then i got busy in between and lost it! Muscles are so hard to keep! But no matter, ive decided im going to do at least seven consecutive chin ups before 2016 ends. And then after that pull ups , and maybe a muscle up(nothing wrong with dreaming!)
    I couldve have posted this on something like muscle and fitness , or breaking muscle or bla bla any other fitness site or forum, but thats too boring, and not gay.
    Im posting it here, cos its something personal yet not too personal(i have some issues obviously). Sorry for the typos, im sure there are some.

    • Have you ever checked out Bodyweight 666? They have progressions for different bodyweight exercises so you can scale them down until you can do the exercise.
      I followed their full body workout and was able to eventually do 1 whole pull up! :D 2 if I took a rest haha not very impressive but I was very proud of myself. Now I just run and can no longer do pull ups :/

    • The best pullup progression I have ever seen is this:
      1) hang from bar until fatigue, once you can hold yourself for a while move to step two
      2) Use chair to get your chin over the bar, grab bar, and hold yourself up with chest/ neck touching bar (keep your elbows u tight into your body, this will give you more stability). Hold as long as you can
      3) When you can’t hold yourself up there any longer let yourself down as slowly as possible
      4)repeat steps 2 and 3 until you can let yourself down so slowly you could stop and hold yourself in that position at any point
      5) Once you have accomplished step 4, start working the pullups. They will come much easier, I promise. (and if you can only do partial pull ups once you get to part 5, combine part 5 and 4, where you do as much of a pullup as you can and you let yourself down as slowly as possible — if you are at this point make sure to keep throwing in steps 2 and 3 so you get the training for the top half of the motion too).

      • Thats good advice, i think im at step 3, cos i can kip up to above the bar and keep there for twenty seconds or so, but i cant bring myself up again. But then i dont repeat kipping, cos it gets kinda frustrating, when youre just kipping continuously. Thats whey i decided to work on areas that are hit by the pull up, like my back , also, my shoulder strength is not great, thats why i started with weights.But i think im going to increase my bar time now. Thanks for the advice:)

    • If you happen to have one of those rubber tension bands, loop it around your bar and get down on one knee a fair distance away. Then lean forward on an angle and pull in the same formation you would if doing a pull up, chin up or whatever. It works the same muscles until you’re strong enough for the real thing.

  22. I am Al, I’m a confused queer out of Southern California, and I use they/them pronouns. As I told someone this week, I’m not a dude. Speaking of which I didn’t go out with that straight woman, cause she had some weird idea the masculine person has to do all the planning, and I just wanted to cry because I partially align with trans feminine(is trans feminine butch a thing, if not I am making it a thing). I told her it’s not the right time for me. She also asked does talking to me make her queer, I really wanted to say yes, cause if I really want to I can radiate queerness, but I just said that’s up to you. Ugh cis-het women.

    How’s everyone’s week? I’ve had a bit of a medical scare the past week. So, instead of having a normal bloody nose due to the weather; I had bloody come out of my mouth instead of my nose. Saw a doctor and he said I was fine, also got blood work that I am waiting to get the results for. It really messed me up for a few days. Still am, as I had another incident this morning.

    On the plus side, I am going to a queer housewarming party tomorrow night, which should be nice; but, more importantly Sunday my friend(an adorable queer) and I are having a fuck Columbus day party. We shall be baking pumpkin/fall related vegan food, while hopefully listening to Halloween and anti-colonialism songs. I’m very excited for it.

    I didn’t go outdoors on Sunday, so I have no images to share this week. I am setting up my new tumblr page though. Right now it is mostly images from all my urban/street photography work, but eventually I will get to sharing all my wildlife, and nature images. Some of it’s okay, and some of the images are subjects I find interesting. It’s no Molly, or Michelle Groskopf(another queer LA photographer), but I am trying. If anyone is interested my work is at.

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

  23. Hello straddlers!
    This week has been kind of weird. I came back from a trip to Lake Tahoe with my friend who is a gay/cis/male and tl;dr we had issues I thought we had worked out before but it turns out he’s still a manipulative, gaslighting kind of jerk and so I felt like even though Tahoe was beautiful, I didn’t really have a good time? I don’t really know what to do about him anymore.
    That put me in a bad mood for Sunday night/Monday and triggered a downward depressive spiral which was horrible and I was so emotional but somehow I felt better by Wednesday afternoon, and I went and did my weekly volunteering at a cat sanctuary which always makes me feel good, because kitty cuddles! <3 |
    And then Thursday I woke up feeling fine but when I got to work there was a bomb threat so my boss told us to leave so I walked to the library to get some exercise in and also, library! I got Gloria Steinem's newish autbio, "A Cup of Water Under my Bed" which I am about 20 pgs into and is great and heartbreaking all at the same time, and "A Theory of Small Earthquakes" which was on my goodreads list and I guess is a lesbian/bi/poly novel? I think an AS article or person recommended it to me. I tried to find "Bitch Planet, Vol. 1" and the computer database SAID it was on the shelf but I couldn't find it :(
    So then I went home and read a bit and played Animal Crossing: New Leaf-which if you play please send me your friend code so I can visit your town!!!-and took a nap and then visited a friend I met on AS and we had dinner and talked and played with her cat and watched Star Trek and it was really good and necessary. So now it is Friday and I am back at work waiting for the weekend where I will hang out with some queer folks and go to a corn maze/pumpking patch!
    I'm also v. worried about this hurricane because I'm supposed to go to Charleston, SC on the 22nd to visit a friend but she had to evacuate (she lives inland from Charleston) and the storm surge is supposed to be really bad and I'm really worried for everyone!

  24. Hi, I’m Lucia and live in Madison. Not super new, but newish, I guess? I joined this past winter when I first started coming out.

    This week has been fraught. I just started a new job, and everyone on my team was out of town this week, so I was left in the office with very little idea of what I’m supposed to be doing. Meanwhile, on the bright side, my girlfriend came into town last night, and I found out that I got drafted to one of the home teams on my roller derby league. There’s a party tonight where I’ll find out which one took me. It’s all very exciting, but it’s been emotionally draining, and I’ve had far too much time throughout the week to perseverate about it!

    Gonna be the most basic of them all and go apple picking and hiking this weekend. Huzzah for flannel weather!

  25. Greetings and confabulations to all you glorious goddesses and magnificent mortals ~ whether gregariously garrulous, or laid~back lurkers.
    I have been variously a costume~maker, a Morris dancer, a voracious reader, a lover of midnight skies, a rosicrucian, a preferrer of licorice and tamarind, and most comfortable with others who inhabit border spaces. I speak French in my sleep (so my wife tells me), but use English daily in my now ~ home of Vancouver, Canada.
    I fought five years to get to be in the same country as my beloved wife, and need very little encouragement to tell the tale…

    …and I look forward to Fridays every week thanks to AS and cannot wait to meet new lovelies, and hear updates for those more familiar.
    Have a wondrous weekend all!!

      • Why thank you!

        Here’s a short version, from my perspective, are you sitting comfortably?

        Once upon a time, a lonely costume~maker moved back to London, and found she’d turned invisible. She tried and tried to speak, wave, smile, but nobody saw her. One day, she decided to go to a concert, by Tori Amos, and walked by someone she’d had all kinds of interesting conversations with in the long ago. She dressed up in a 1950’s wedding dress, for she loved to wear top hats, tutus, and everything and anything, sometimes all at once. But to her dismay, she found she was still invisible…
        …a few nights later, she was wandering late at night, as crowds watched fireworks on the bridges, when she saw an orange sign: a bright bright sign of an internet cafe.
        Now this was long ago, once upon a time in 1999, and she had never balanced on the internet’s strands, so she breathed in, went in and logged on.
        The first page she landed on was a newsgroup for Tori, where people left messages (why, how like our FOT), and what did she espy but this: a message vaunting the concert’s merits, and then mentioning a girl in a wedding dress.

        And so the invisibility spell was broken…online she spoke and swirled and whirled and was caught up in a new world. And then one day, an email, one line, caught her, by surprise; a moonlit goddess, Artemis, sent her this ~ “Do you think there is a relation between human pathos and the drive to create art?”

        Well, how could she not be entranced?

        Hmmmm…even this short version is lengthening like the shadows.

        And this was her first glimpse, through the forest, of a fleet~ footed beauty, she never could have dreamed she would catch up to <3.

        Thank you for listening to our faerytale's beginning ~ and may you experience your own!

  26. Cheers from Upstate New York — long-time AS supporter here! I was reminded last night that Lesbian Invisibility is still A Thing and it’s always awkward. Last night my partner and I hosted a fund-raiser for our state assembly Democratic candidate. We sent out nice written invitations to area Democrats to “come to our home,” with our joint address on the return label and all that stuff. One guest, a lady who was too chatty for her own good, just could not see that we are a couple. She was surprised to learn that D also lives in the house, and apparently wondered if D rented the upstairs separately from me. I ended up referring to D pointedly as “my wife,” a term that I usually do not like to use, just to make things crystal clear. WTF??!! We’re in our 50s, have been together for 26 years, and still some people cannot see beyond their assumptions. She wasn’t rude or anything, but I’m still grumpy about it.

    Otherwise, a beautiful fall day here!

    • I don’t know what it takes for some people to open their eyes. Much the same thing still happens to my partner and I when we meet new people. We’ve been told that we’re sisters, half sisters, even once, admittedly by someone without their glasses, mother and daughter. There’s only a few months between us in age, both in our sixties. That’s why I was incredulous at the time.
      Depending on how these people actually ask I just usually tell them, no, this is my partner of 40 years. She would be my wife but our useless government won’t change the marriage act. Boo Australia!

      • I have the opposite problem from you ladies. So often when I go hang out with a female friend, we get assumed to be a couple, even though we’re not! It’s particularly the case when we go out to dinner together. People are so weird.

  27. Hello beautiful humans! My name is Caitlin but also I’m trying out Gilbert with my rugby team with a view to changing in the future and it’s actually going alright. There’s two other Caitlins on the team and I’ve stopped jumping everytime someone talks to them. A real improvement came when I started referring to myself as Gilbert outloud a few days ago which was a real confidence boost.

    I’ve been super social this week, birthday parties and rugby training and socials and course friends. It’s going well.
    Also I had my first hug since I moved here a month ago! And not only one, I’ve hugged a couple of people I’ll now call friends. Turns out four weeks is how long it takes for me to feel comfortable about physical touch.

    I’m really glad I’m getting to that point because I was feeling a bit cut off beforehand. It’s all babysteps but making some solid friendships is super important to me.

  28. Hey all! I’m trying my darnedest to not think about election, or debate, or ” the guy who is running for president who lost $916,000,000 because of business failures which allowed him to not have to pay *ANY* income tax for 20 years and then turns around and claims he is a business genius”!!!??? If he didn’t pay any taxes to support the government for 20 years, how does he have the gall to ask us to be President? Sheesh!! That’s total disrespect of our intelligence.

    So I have been in my flower garden, looking at pretty things, and thinking about all you cream puffs.

    Mexican Firebush blossom

    Butterfly Bush

    Yellow Bells Esperanza and Bumble Bee visitor

    Butterfly Weed Milkweed and predator bug, this is the plant Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on.

  29. That´s so awesome to hear, that things are going so well and you have made friends and feel comfortable hugging them! :) And congrats on trying a new name and feeling good about it! I´ve been going by a new (“male”) name (Tammo) with two of my closest friends as well and made the same experience – saying it out loud feels really good! Tommorow I´ll go to the first meeting of a trans/nb-group (if I feel strong enough-I´ve been sick) and am pretty nervous/excited, because that´ll be the first time I want to introduce myself (only/directly) as Tammo to new people I meet. :)

    • That’s super cool! My uni do nonbinary meet ups every few weeks and I’ve not got the courage to go yet. I probably will at some point but atm I’m okay with thinking about it, talking it over with some close friends, and telling myself how goddamn gorgeous I look in the mirror every morning with a name that feels more me. ;)

      Little steps, one at a time.

      • Oh – that´s so cool! Having a meet up specifically for nonbinary folks! The group I could go to is “just” a trans group for folks over the age of 27, but they specifically stressed, that they are very much open to all genders on the spectrum, so… I feel like I will be welcome as a non-binary person. Since I don´t feel strong enought (physically) I´ll not go today – but the meet nearly every week, so I´ll just go soon! :) Also – I don´t really feel ready yet, I´m just really looking forward to meeting new people in this city, especially some, who are non-binary/trans, too. Your mirror routinge sounds like something I should take over from you! I am so happy about my new name and hearing someone say it out loud (even if its just me) feels so good!

        And yeah, you are right! One step at a time… At this point I sometimes feel like I´m in a hurry, and try to rush things (in my mind). But it is important to stay at a pace that feels natural and comfortable, otherwise for me it would be just too much at once… :)

  30. Hi everyone!

    This week has just been bananas. I hate bananas, if that gives anyone context.

    So after the absolute worst seven months, I feel like I’m finally on the upswing. Sorta. But my grandma just told me she got the name of my biological father (I didn’t ask her to do this) and now I’m feeling all weird about it. This is possibly a massive overshare, but my mom and my “step”father disowned our whole family this year and on the heels of that, my grandpa, sweetest person ever and my kindred spirit, passed away. And now I have this prospect of putting a name to a person I have virtually never even considered.

    So yeah. Idk. Needed to get that off my chest.

    If anyone is willing to talk about this, does anyone have experience with the whole “no relationship with a biological parent but suddenly getting the option of getting information or what have you”?

    otherwise, thanks for being a safe space to dump my feelings!!

    • So its not the same by a LONG SHOT

      but I am adopted and I did that 23andme test because I needed to know if I have children, is there anything major I don’t know about? Sufficed to say I was emotionally tied by mixed feelings regarding the ancestry portion: what might I learn? In theory I could find biological family… but I am big on do-no-harm and my family is great.

      Long story short, the most I learned is I might have like a 3rd cousin or something that may or may not have an interest in young, skinny, white girls who wear the confederate flag on their butts.

      Different, yeah, by a lot: but I feel you regarding this and I’m willing to listen if you need a text ear

      • Thank you for this! The part about the girl wearing a confederate flag on her butt made me giggle.

        I’ve also considered 23andme just for the medical history as well, then they went through that whole “maybe the FDA won’t let us release medical stuff” and now that they can, the price doubled so I’m saving for it.

        I think my concern is that I don’t know my own intentions with finding out more info about my biological father nor do I know this person’s level of awareness of my existence. And since no one else in my family or close circle of friends has experience with this, it’s helpful to get some other perspectives from people like you. So again, thank you.

        • You’re very welcome–and I’d say it might not hurt to check out adoptee forums and As I recall, there’s some discussions in there that are very close to what you’re experience is (and even the ones that aren’t exactly like yours might have a grain of help). Alternatively, if you’re only interested in your genetics–you can also look into cheaper ones like Ancestry and then use

          Now, Promethease tells you ALL SORTS of stuff–and some of it might seem contradictory. This is because it’s checking based off all sorts of research and if you read the additional information it might be like “so…this one study said this was related to that but it hasn’t been replicated”. You’ll also find out other funny things like “did you know you have larger than average breasts for your size”—nah, man, I had no idea what these two lumps on my chest were. Mystery solved 15 years later.

          Outside of that, I think you’re on a good thought pattern about your biological father. For me, I would love to meet my biological family just because I’m curious–not because I have much expectation. I’ve long accepted the simple fact that I’m not ACTUALLY a princess or something like that. For others, it’s a downright NEED to meet biological family and often (but not always) that seems to come from deep hurt.

          The only real advice I can give is this: keep doing what you are doing–thinking things through. What do you need? Or What do you want? What would be the absolute best outcome from that? What is the worst ones—and would you be okay in the event one of those were to happen?

          From there, there are a lot of ways to go about contact. You might be able to get in touch with an adoptee angel–which is sort of a term for people who help adoptees out (which you aren’t one but its a similar situation) and help with the contact process. You might decide to throw in on your own. Regardless, check in with yourself at all steps because no matter what you decide these things aren’t easy.

          • Thank you for recommending those others sites, I will definitely check those out! And I am trying to be very deliberate about my actions w/r/t my biological father so those were some helpful guidelines to keep asking myself. Ah, thanks again. This really helped.

    • I’ve known about my biological father all my life, and we’ve actually met a few times up until I was about eight.
      I had no idea of him.
      At 31, he invited me over to his place for a few days and things got very awkward and uncomfortable when I turned out gay and he a big homophobe.
      It turned out that I had A LOT more beef with him, and that I, strangely enough, didn’t care about his opinion of me, at all.
      Father or not, he was still a stranger, and as such, didn’t matter to me,really.
      Not even on a molecular level.
      It was nice to see how some of my tics were genetic and were I had come from, but it wasn’t the grand, emotional revelation I’d always thought it would be.

      • I completely understand where you’re coming from re: being biologically related but nothing more than that. For a long time that’s how I felt about my stepfather (who, until I was thirteen, I thought was my biological father).

        I think with everything that’s happened to me I probably like the idea way more than the reality of this distant nonfictional yet still largely fictional biological father. And I know I can wait to make any decision but I feel like even getting a name makes it all way more real and forces me to kind of have to confront some identity issues.

        So thank you for sharing your experience. On a general human level, I’m sorry your biological father turned out to be such a jerk (people like that are awful).

  31. I’ve been reading for months now, so, why not, today’s the day I’m sighing in, I guess!

    I’m 24, writing from Poland, an out lesbian and a closeted sex worker.
    I had a sex dream today starring Audrey Hepburn (who was not amused) and then Jacqueline Toboni (who was just fine). I woke up really wanting a pixie cut.

    But really, I’m going back to school, and I’ve got a morning meeting with the dean tomorrow, and I’m stressed out of my mind.
    If it goes well, I might start third year on Monday. And I thought I’d be back to the begining really, and it’s scary, and it’s happening so fast.

    What really irritates me, though, is that I had like four days to prepare for this meeting, and I’ve done nothing, and it’s just like my old uni experience all over again, with me agonizing over things and not doing anything about it.

    Also, Fall is here. It started all golden leaves and warm afternoons, and then it hit us with non stop rain and what seems like total darkness. I had to pep talk myself with pinterest pictures of sweaters and pumpkins to even leave the house. I’ve got all my fairy lights out, and Christmas music on. I refuse to get depressed because of bad weather. I’m gonna eat all the vitimine D pills and be just fine.

    Damn, I’m freaked out about tomorrow. Good talk, good talk.

  32. I’ve had the weirdest day.
    Remember how I was on vacation at my mom’s a little over a week ago?
    Well, my mom’s now evacuated to Tallahassee and I’ve been tracking Matthew all through the day, wondering about my old friends from school and whether my mom will have a house to return to.
    It’s been weird and strangely flash backy to my teen years, being in that Florida obsessively storm tracking kind of mind set, 8000 miles away.
    That has been woven throughout my day(and that bitch never made landfall after all!).
    But my Friday actually started out with a car running into a young woman on a bike 20 feet from my bus stop, the 911 being busy and putting me on hold for forever, me missing my train and being absurdly late for work.
    Due to that, I was forced to sit in a comfortable Starbucks,sipping lattes for over an hour in the morning.
    The work day itself was more of an epsiode of Scrubs than anything else.
    (I actually almost had a patient hug me because I cured him of his hiccups.)
    Later, I met a new co-worker who is exactly my type (nobody is ever my type) but probably married, had another co-worker whisper in my ear about her failed parship dates and asking me whether she’s weird (she’s a little weird), and finally, I met an old co-worker and friend for dinner who’s freshly pregnant, but probably has acute toxoplasmosis,which:Aaah!
    So, now, as the day draws to a close I’m looking at pictures of streets underwater that I was driving on two weeks ago.
    Life is a little surreal sometimes.
    And ever changing, as the world turns on its axis, once again.
    And a new day begins.

    I hope you guys are carping all your diems! xoxo

  33. Hi everyone!

    I’m Vicky, I’m English but live in Madrid, Spain. Decided to post and say hi after a reasonable time lurking, mainly because I’m super happy about something!

    I’m a little baby lesbian, and I’m super excited this week! My childhood neighbour came to visit this week, and left obviously rather confused/pissed off/whatever by my somewhat feminist and queer lifestyle. This would upset me…except for one thing. When I told my parents what happened (forseeing inevitable fallout between her mum and my mum) they told me they don’t care, they are completely behind me. When I then embellished on the situation with the fact I think she is annoyed and doesn’t understand my life with all the influences and activities from the “feminist community” and the “gay community” my parents told me they are “proud of me and my life, and the fact I’m happy” woohoo! I only came out to them 2 months ago, and as the only child/miracle baby they didn’t take it brilliantly (although could have been a LOT worse) but seems like they’re coming around :)

    Anyway, I’m currently chilling and watching the L Word, and looking forwards to an afternoon of watching lesbian web series with 2 friends tomorrow! Happy weekend everyone!

  34. Howdy folks! I’m just trying to keep my head above water for two more shifts at work. I’ve got a long weekend with the wifey planned because it’s our one year anniversary! After my trial by fire at work, we’ll be heading off to Maryland RenFest for funnel cake and turkey legs. Huzzah!

  35. After yesterdays AMAZING Batwoman news I didn’t think today could get any better but Marvel has finally announced a solo series for super badass Latina lesbian America Chavez!!! I’m going nuts over this!

  36. So last week I mentioned I had this dress to wear to a fancy event that had been sitting for ages with no fancy event in the right season, and now that I had a fancy event, I didn’t wear dresses any more. I wore it anyway, it ended up being middle-of-summer-hot outside, wearing a fancy dress felt really awkward, and on top of that, it’s too tight now, so I just felt uncomfortable on many different levels. (Also, my shoes didn’t fit.) Lesson learned that it’s time to acquire some less femme dress clothes, and safely get rid of all the vintage dresses I’ve been on the fence about.

    I also read The Haunting of Hill House this week and kept thinking about how very gay it was (which was totally not the reason I’d picked it up) and wondered why I’d never heard this, but I looked it up and it turned out Casey the Lesbrarian already got to this: In case anyone needs some queer-subtext ghost stories for Halloween, which presumably, most of you do.

  37. Hi, I’m Ilene Chaiken. Creator and executive producer of Showtime’s hit series The L Word.

    Ehehehe just kidding. Do you guys remember that YouTube video? No? Just me? Okay then…

    Hello AfterEllenites! Welcome, hope you’re getting acquainted with the Straddlers here.

    I was just thinking “on Monday I’ll start looking for a job and suddenly I got a text message offering me a job. Life is funny like that sometimes.

  38. Hi all! I was Jerzey over at AE. Same for Twitter, so I’m carrying that over here ? I’ve read AS for a few years, but bought an A+ membership since the demise of AE. Good week for me. 1 month done at my new job, and it’s still going well. It’s pay day. I got a new desk today (gotta put that together) and plan for tomorrow is buying apple cider donuts. Tis the season here in Massachusetts! Hope you all have a great weekend!

  39. Hello! I am a very anxious person so I usually psych myself out from commenting on anything, but hi! Long time peruser of both AE and Autostraddle, I just signed up for an account here after recent events. I’m a twenty four year old Canadian queer/lesbian/femme. I am in the first semester of my phd in gender/sexuality studies, so I’m really embracing the Canadian thanksgiving long weekend to try to get ahead on some works / write some new songs / maybe, possibly relax. Waiting to go pick my girlfriend up from work so we can get lattes and spend some quality time together… doing schoolwork (which I really do usually enjoy).

    Hope everyone’s gearing up for a lovely weekend!

  40. Hey you cuties! Welcome new friends!

    I’ve been following Autostraddle for 5ish years now? But have always sort of lurked in the background. I went to my first A-Camp last weekend and it was such a beautiful experience (I can’t even begin to articulate) so I’m inspired to get more involved.
    I live in Wisconsin- Anyone else? (#midwestrepresent). I love it here in Appleton, but I’m hoping to relocate to the Twin Cities or Madison next summer!

    I started playing roller derby with the Fox Cities RD teams this summer and Y’ALL. I began learning how to HIT STUFF yesterday. Not people yet, just a target training bag, but OH MY GOD it was so exciting and fun and I’m absolutely pumped. Also I’ve finally settled on my undergrad senior capstone topic and I’m writing about Roxana by Daniel Defoe and am just thrilled about it. So there are my good things from this week. <3

  41. Hey everyone – now that everyone’s introducing themselves, I’ll jump in as well.
    I’m Mina, from Europe, bi, poly, ace and have been lurking around in the comment section for a while, mostly commenting on the Friday open thread or kink-related articles.

    This week has been very busy – I just came back from a research trip with a research group that I’m still involved with but that’s not related to my day (research) job and subsequently had a lot of catching up to do at my day job, including a long meeting with my boss that ended at 9.30 pm. Now I’m looking forward to a weekend that will mostly be spent studying for my university degree and talking to my two favourite people in the world, who both unfortunately live pretty far away.

  42. I’m not new at all but on AfterEllen my username was pancreas. I live in Melbourne, Australia and I really hope that AfterEllen’s Janet King recaps make their way over here for season 3 next year because no site in Australia really bothers recapping anything.

  43. Hi all, I love FOT– favorite time of the week, and about time I start posting, right?

    I’m Christina. I am (newly) in Vermont. Mostly a lurker- have posted very occasionally– but recently told myself I must make a conscious effort to get more involved, so HELLO!
    Regarding my week–I’ve got the new prof thing going on, and thankfully I feel like my classes are going really well. It is a lot of work, but it has been great so far. Unfortunately, a cold has decided to take up residence in the right side of my face, which is annoying on top of being a cold. I’ve been lounging around with one eye open and my nose all wrinkled up as it is the most comfortable of all face positionings at this point. Weekend plans are contingent upon the eradication of this ick- but might involve apple picking, beer/cider tasting, and going to a “get together”.
    One thing that has been bothering me recently is that even though I work in a somewhat social situation, and am surrounded by a lot of likeminded people I have had a very hard time establishing close friendships. I think I have a very different approach to “work-life balance” than most other academics–they are always so seemingly busy– and I am typically pretty chill. I am down for making last minute plans, or next to last minute plans, and most people seem to need 2 week notice to schedule 20 minutes to get coffee. I am worried I am doing something wrong. Additionally so many people here are “groups” people and I am a one-on-one person…. and initiating one-on-one time with people you normally see in groups feels super awkward to me. Do others find initiating this awkward? Does it feel awkward to a person when one-on-one time is initiated to them (does that sentence make sense? )
    But when all is said and done I look out the window, see the leaves changing, and realize, yeah baby, I live in Vermont! (and that makes my day better)

    • i’m not sure that’s an academics thing so much as just an “adults” thing. i’ve had similar frustrations with trying to make friends. i just want people i can text to come over and watch tv and have a drink with me. or be a little spontaneous with.

      • As someone who struggles with awkwardness every moment of social interaction, i feel spontaneity is an effective way to get over it. If someone makes plans with me, who i don’t quite know well enough yet, i just keep feeling weird about it and meeting them becomes a task. So what i do is when asked about plans for a later day, i suggest we do it that day itself, or in an hour. Like if someone says, lets have lunch sometime, i say sure, lets do it now. If they really want to hang out theyll agree.And it wont be so awkward cos then both the people are figuring out what to do next.
        It seems like BS but it makes sense sometimes.

    • See, im awkward for both one on one and group interactions first. But then later i prefer one on one, but if someone im not comfortable with asks me on a one on one thing, i panic and invite a buffer person, then it gets super awkward, its like a mega awkwafest. But, slowly a few people get my weirdness, and decide to be friends with me. So i guess you should do both and give it time.

    • Good luck to you, New Prof in Vermont! May I ask what you’re teaching? I used to teach anthropology classes as a grad student but since I didn’t finish my PhD, no sweet tenure-track jobs for me :p

      You’ve incorporated two of my favorite things into a post – Vermont, and teaching college. Awesome! I used to live in White River Junction. I’m going to be going up to see a buddy in the Barre area in a few weeks.

      • I teach bio at Middlebury. It is awesome, and I super love it. The town can be a little sleepy, but I am ok with that. It isn’t TT which blows, as of now just a 1yr appointment- so I am also on the market. Hopefully one of those sweet tenure track jobs will come my way. Yay for visiting friends in VT! I’ve never been to Barre.
        Where are you from?

  44. Hey I’m Brooke and just moved back home to Ohio after being stationed in Mississippi. I’m a longtime lurker and infrequent commenter.

    Now that’s out of the way I can share with you the highlight of my week which was, hands down, getting to play Eldrith Horror for the first time! It was great! Sadly, didn’t get to finish it though. Will remedy that probably next week.

    Also, I survived my very first solo zombie horde in 7 Days to Die! :D It made me feel very capable.

    Speaking of survival, I just got a full-time job! 3rd shift at a warehouse and good pay.

    That’s about it! Have a good weekend! I’m about to head out to go play Cards Against Humanity and drink beer with some friends and I can’t wait! Cya

  45. Evening :) I don’t think this week has been particularly great or bad. There were a lot of up and downs, I think–the biggest of which is that a Kickstarter I’m part of got fully funded, yay! But I also received an inappropriate and racist comment during a review with a visiting artist whose work I respect a lot, which was bad and weird and just disappointing. I wasn’t sure if I was just being sensitive (tbh if it had happened to a friend I wouldn’t have once thought that, but self-doubt…), but it was really affirming to hear from classmates who backed up my general frustration later. I think it’s times like these that I really appreciate the community of my department.

    Things like that happen, but they don’t happen often enough for me to really know how to handle it, especially if it’s not a blatantly mean comment. And it always seems to happen to me in a professional environment. I think that’s when I find it particularly hard to know how to respond…it’s not like I can easily challenge them without souring THEIR opinion of ME, or making things awkward. I’m not interested in telling my uber driver “hey that wasn’t okay actually” if it means a 30 minute awkward drive afterward with him, or telling a portfolio reviewer “honestly, i don’t know what to say to that inappropriate comment you just made, or why you said it” if it means possibly damaging my own reputation. So the alternative is always “it’s okay” or just moving on without saying anything. Every single time it’s happened to me in the past several years, somehow I can’t defend myself.

  46. Hi everyone, I’m Leslie from Pennsylvania. I’m from the AfterEllen world, I discovered it after I dove into discovering myself and it was a wonderful place to learn and explore. The Pretty Little Liars recaps by Heather Hogan were/are my favorite. I laughed with tears coming down and I learned more about putting myself in others’ shoes. I also met a wonderful pen pal from Australia on that site. So I am glad that Autostraddle is welcoming us with open arms (duh what else would you do?). So I just wanted to say hi and thank you :)

  47. Hi new friends (also hi old friends)! I’m Hollis, a weirdo primarily residing in various locales in upstate NY. I’m bi, ace, and prefer they/them pronouns. I spend a good 60% of my time thinking/dreaming about whitewater, and the rest of my time is split between managing my chronic illnesses and applying for graduate programs in neuroscience (I wanna make some new drugs!). I’ve also got a 14 year old pupper that is the best and cutest ally and solidarity in chronic illness that one could ask for, plus two cats–one is pretty cute and sometimes a pain in the ass, the other is EXTREMELY CUTE and almost always a pain in the ass to the point of her responding better to “SHIT!” than her actual name (thanks mom for that).

    My week has been pretty meh? I’m feeling eons better than last week, but still forcing myself to take it easy activity-wise. I’m also kinda nervous about the capsule endoscopy I’ve got on Tuesday–less so for the test itself, but more for the whole “you can’t eat anything for almost 30 hours and also can’t drink anything for like 14 hours” because that sounds MISERABLE. I like food y’all.

    On the side of my week being not-meh, interpersonal relationships are HAAAAAARD and I just want people to use their words. Mostly a specific person (but also like me a bit too because I’m not helping my cause here). How do you be like “so you said you just wanted to be friends but now you’re flirting with me again and touching my butt a lot and I just want to know what is going on here because MIXED SIGNALS”? Asking for a friend.

    • I’m glad you’re feeling better even though tests can be scary. (Ugh 30 hours. How much of it can you reasonably be asleep for while still living your life?)

      Also you could totally just ask that specific person exactly what you asked us. That could totally be a thing.

      • Just like, normal hours?? It’s also inconvenient hours–no eating from 9am to around 2pm the next day, but I will be asleep for almost all of the “no drinking” period though!

        And that’s probably pretty much verbatim what I’ll wind up saying. I’m particularly bad at in-person confrontation type things, but this also is something I’d prefer to not do over text so, the struggle is real.

    • Where abouts upstate? And good luck woth grad apps. I applied to bunch of neuro programs, but ended up going the bio path instead.
      Cats that are pains in the.butt are the best. We call one of my childhood cats dennis because he is a menace..And he is the best

        • Graduate school advice– (this is shortened, and i hope it doesn’t come across doomsdayish. But I will preface this with: I found grad school to be a giant emotional rollercoaster. I constantly battled imposter syndrome, felt like I wasn’t doing enough, felt like I wasn’t smart enough, felt like any time I did anything that wasn’t school related I was slacking off. When I graduated and moved on it felt like a cloud lifted and I could finally function again- I think I forgot what happy and chill felt like– and I was very proactive about self care. Be prepared, research a good therapist in the area and start as soon as you get there.– I guess that is my first piece of advice) Additionally :

          Don’t go unless your program is fully funded– if it isn’t funded try and negotiate for funding.

          Don’t be afraid to shop around for a mentor once you are there–if the lab you are in is run by an asshat jump ship or you will (likely) be miserable* (*if you are anything like me. I jumped three ships–questioned whether I actually like science, had a massive nervous breakdown in the process before I found my “forever (the rest of grad school) lab”).

          Make sure you have friends who are in similar situations (grad school for the sciences) who understand when your frustrated/stressed/absolutely done with it all–your assay that takes 3 days to run got ruined on the last step and now you have to start over ::sobs::– someone who hasn’t gone through the process may be supportive but they don’t likely get it and may respond “That sucks, but at least you can start over”, in response to which you (me) will probably cry.

          Make sure you have friends who are NOT in graduate school for the sciences– because the last thing you need whenever everything is going disastrously is being around people who are constantly talking about graduate school/their research etc. You need people who you can sit on the couch with, eat a pint of ice cream, drink beer and watch Clueless.

          Following that up– everything in graduate school feels like SUCH. A. BIG. DEAL…. and it is (but it also isn’t). Take Tuesday off and go to the cat cafe downtown, leave the lab early to have dinner with friends, sleep in when you need to– YOU are not graduate school, your worth is not based on the amount of time you spend in the lab, your productivity is not your only asset. Don’t lose yourself. Maintain your hobbies, develop new hobbies. It is OK to have a “no work on the weekend” rule– you might be the only one who has said rule– and trust me, you won’t be any less productive than anyone else. Life doesn’t stop because you are in grad school– so don’t stop living your life.

          Finally: Everyone else is faking it too. Everyone else feels like an imposter at least sometimes. The people who walk around acting like they know everything don’t know more than you– they just have a different approach to proving to everyone that they deserve to be there. You can’t/don’t need to/shouldn’t compare yourself and your research to anyone else (it is super hard to not do that).

          Hope you don’t mind the lengthy response. I have a lot of feels about graduate school.

          • Thank you for this whole thing. I’m not doing grad school (recently had the weird and wonderful revelation that I actually want to go to dental school instead of a chem grad program), but I remember the strange feeling of being the only person in my lab over the summers who had a ‘no work on the weekend’ rule, even if I broke it once or twice a month. Now that classes have started again and I’m back to the academic treadmill, it’s so easy to feel like every single moment has to accomplish something. I give myself Friday afternoons off, but I don’t think I’ve hit my “back in the swing of things” stride yet.

    • I’ve been there with the mixed signals. People have told me to be upfront but I’ve had that backfire on me. Like why do all these actions or say all these things, if you just want to be my friend.

      • I am pretty sure that’s not what this person wants because me being trans was a deal-breaker for them, but they wanted to remain friends. Which, y’know, wasn’t my preferred outcome, but whatever, friends are great and friendship is magic. Intensely emotionally intimate friendships with weird romantic-sexual tension? Not so great, nor magical in the slightest (except as an antidote for getting hit on at the bar).

  48. Good evening everyone!

    I’m super late to the party this Friday :) I suppose it would be best if I introduced myself. I’m devon and I live in Louisville, KY, the progressive gem in an otherwise weird but beautiful state. I’ve only been on AS for a few months now but I don’t really know what I did before I stumbled upon this community. As for things I like/enjoy: hiking, cats, dogs, Indian Cuisine, reading, and Friday Open-Thread.

    Looks like I have a terrible case of comment-writer’s block tonight so I’m off to read. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

  49. This week, as I do EVERY SINGLE WEEK, I was watching Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and a particualr segment caught my attention and made me totally curious about stupidity. So I did a little search and found Carlo M. Cipolla’s essay “The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity”, with his 5 fundamental laws:

    1. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

    2. The probability that a certain person (will) be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

    3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

    4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.

    5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

    These laws are now vividly imprinted in my mind and, if you watch this, probably the same will happen to you…

  50. Hi everyone! I’m an infrequent commenter and frequent lurker and I’m trying to make more of an effort to be involved after my first A-Camp last weekend! I’m bisexual, use she/her pronouns, and live in a college town in Michigan.

    My week has been pretty good. I’m trying to get my life back together after a really bad bout of depression and have been working on getting a job. I actually got a job in a restaurant, but was then offered an even better job about a month later with higher pay and benefits, so I had to put in my two weeks notice tonight. I felt bad because the boss is really nice but I couldn’t pass this chance up. But the fact that I got a new job I wanted is really great!!

  51. Hi everyone! I’m an infrequent commenter and frequent lurker and I’m trying to make more of an effort to be involved after my first A-Camp last weekend! I’m bisexual, use she/her pronouns, and live in a college town in Michigan.

    My week has been pretty good. I’m trying to get my life back together after a really bad bout of depression and have been working on getting a job. I actually got a job in a restaurant, but was then offered an even better job about a month later with higher pay and benefits, so I had to put in my two weeks notice tonight. I felt bad because the boss is really nice but I couldn’t pass this chance up. But the fact that I got a new job I wanted is really great!!

  52. Hi everyone. I’m from Washington but have been living in Cambodia for the last seven years. For the first time since moving to Asia I’m actually starting to feel like I might be ready to move back to the states, if only for six months to a year to try it out, save some money, and see if I can still fit there after being away for so long. There are many things I love about living here, and I have so many friends who I love, but something is not feeling right lately. Also… I’d really like to not be single forever and the odds here are not great, to say the least! I’ve only started coming out as gay/queer/lesbian whatever you want to call it over the last year or two and for the first time ever I feel like I’m actually interested in dating. That in and of itself isn’t a great reason to move halfway around the world, but it’s something I am factoring in. I’m terrible at decision making so I’m probably going to deliberate about this for ages and ages before coming up with anything resembling a plan.

    I hope you all have a great weekend!

  53. So I guess it’s time for me to suck it up, get some courage and finally do this:

    Hello, everibody, my name is Yam (short for Yamila; my full name is like an United Nations meeting: Arab first name, Spanish middle name and Italian last name). I’m from Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I’m a big bad butch. I’m also what I call a “rational radical leftie”.

    The last few weeks were pretty hard because I can’t get a freaking job and my money is now totally gone. The most depressing thing is that now I need to leave my aparment. All my shit is packed and next week will be my last week in this perfect place that was my place for more than 6 years.

    But I have my little-not-so-little boy, Lorenzo, and let me tell you, those 30 minutes a day he’s awake (well, he’s a cat after all) are the best…

  54. My week has been pretty great! And I woke up today to find out that I had won a comment award so that was exciting :)
    I had mock exams last week so this week we got them back and I did surprisingly well :) So I’m feeling a bit more ready for my upcoming IB exams.
    I had lunch with a friend today which was really nice. It made me realise how many lovely people there are at school and how I should try to stay I touch with all of them next year at uni.

  55. Hi, all. So happy to see this thread. I’ve been a reader for 5 years but I don’t think I ever worked up to introducing myself (or commenting on) an Open Friday thread. Perfect opportunity! So hi, I’m Rachel. I love sending postcards, trying recipes, and kayaking. I have a deep affinity for Tabasco Cheez-Its.Generally, I work as a research tech in a lab that studies cystic fibrosis.

    This week has been less than stellar. I’ve been completely sidelined with a mysterious pain in my left side, which is making it difficult to eat, move, or sleep (hence the 1am Autostraddle comment). Lost around 18% of my body weight since Monday. Everything the doctors have checked for has come back negative, and they are unable to get me in for an ultrasound to check my organs for two more weeks. Ugh! Since I live alone, I’m having people check in with me by phone every few hours. It’s easy to feel worried that this is something serious.

    On the bright side, I was able to eat a tiny serving of mac and cheese today, which was amazing after several days of nothing but chicken broth and water. Mac and cheese is the absolute best, so it totally made my Friday.

  56. I’m from Canada but moved to Perth, Australia with my gf about 8 months ago.

    I just landed a contract to work at a festival which is amazing! Despite that good news I have no one to celebrate with because my gf works nights and I don’t really know anyone other than her friends and family. Also the bicycle swap meet I was gonna go to today was cancelled due to the rain so I’m just having a netflix marathon.

  57. G’day, g’day! I’m so late to this thread, but thought I’d come out of my usual lurkdom to say hi.

    This week has been quite good to me. I got a promotion at work, turned 30 and had some fun birthday celebrations thanks to some lovely friends.

    I’m currently sitting in an airport at 1.00 am waiting to fly out for a few weeks holiday in Vietnam and Cambodia. I can’t wait to eat lots of delicious cheap food and see some sights!

  58. Oh, hi pals! Nice to meetcha, JD, longtime reader. Southern nerdy goth enby in Houston, looking to possibly move to Seattle after I finish my second degree in Mortuary Science. Just got off my shift at Starbucks, worrying I might’ve pissed off my coworker for not wanting to put in more than the 2.5 hours of overtime I had already done, oops

      • Your dog is quite stylish, you have a snake on your face, and you’re earning a second degree in mortuary science. Two questions: do the dog and snake hang out (are they friends (this is my dream)) and is the Houston market over-saturated with mortuary experts so you want to move on? I find careers in the mortuary sciences world fascinating, like oh yeah that’s a thing a person can do with their life.

  59. Hi, I’m Maria, I’m from London and I live in Japan. I’m currently on a very windswept beach at an EDM music festival, sitting by the bins because my back is killing me. What a weird day. I went to my first Osaka Pride yesterday. It was lovely.

    I love Autostraddle, and I also love how many queer people love autumn, as I do. Welcome everybody.

    I’m going to get some Hennessy and walk around now. KAMPAI


  60. Look y’all, I’m a guy with two Moms, two bi-sexual sisters (one older, one younger), and a bi-sexual daughter. I’ve been reading Reese’s blog since it was “This girl called automatic win”, and I’ve been reading A-strad since it began.

    I’m a cis/het/male, but my family/friend circle is majority Les-queer/Bi-female, and I read sites like AE(GRrrrr), A-strad, Curve, and The Mary Sue because I Prefer to be a WELL INFORMED lesbro, and fail less (hopefully) at being an ally.

    On a personal note, I’m disabled (motor-neuron disease) and a 40 year wheelchair user, so I have a decent grasp of what ‘intersectionality’ means. So I’ll prolly drop my 2cents in on those threads, but will try not to be an ass about it.

    Mssge me if my being here makes anyone uncomfortable, I really DON’T want to bothersome.



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