FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What Are You Grateful For?

Hello dearest muffin berries!

We are here and it is Friday and we are alive and maybe some of us have even gotten to drink coffee already.

I was thinking today about this email chain I used to have with about eight other friends, all living in different cities, that we affectionately called The Gratefuls. Every day we would write three things that we were grateful for. It could be anything under the sun (or moon) — the only rule was to avoid repeats. It went on pretty consistently for about a year and a half. In that time, one of us had a baby, one of us took a trip around the world, one of us had a brain tumor removed, and two of us fell in love.

It is sometimes the hardest and most simple thing, to conjure up three things you are thankful to have in your life, every single day. It feels especially hard, and especially necessary, right now.

Can I tell y’all something? I’ve had a pretty tough month. I had a big job shake-up, which has required me to spend many hours at various governmental offices with multiple umlauts in their names, plus lean on my friends/partner for support in ways I’m not usually comfortable with (I’m used to being the leanee, not the leaner!). It feels self-focused to admit that I’m struggling, considering errrrrrything else going on in the world, but there you have it.

So. Instead of three, I’m going to name five things I’m grateful for this week:

  1. Moonlight, and that it won the Oscar for Best Picture (even though I think the Academy should dedicate a special broadcast to the cast and crew so they get their much-deserved moment in the spotlight).
  2. This rose in my kitchen window that I thought was dead until it suddenly bloomed.
    rose in window
  3. Crispy M&Ms.
  4. This building that looks like it has a face that I came across unexpectedly today.
    building
  5. Hot water.

Cool cool awesome sweet now it’s your turn! Name three (or five, or however many) things you’re grateful for too. If you’re having trouble thinking of one, just look down at what you’re wearing (or not wearing). Shoes, for example, are a great place to start.

Other topics open for discussion: why is the best part of the muffin the top? Who else is watching One Day at a Time? What’s the best thing you’ve ever done on your birthday?


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Maree lives in Berlin and is usually carrying some sort of Tupperware product on her person. She's written for Marie Claire, The Rumpus, and Teen Vogue, but still has not fulfilled her lifelong dream of seeing a real blue-footed booby. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter and probably the dance floor.

Maree has written 20 articles for us.

167 Comments

  1. 10

    Helloooo! I loved One Day at a Time, so much so that I’ve convinced my mom to watch it.

    Here’s some doses of gratitude:

    1) My city, Cincinnati. We had a trans solidarity rally downtown last night and I couldn’t go because of work, but friends texted me updates and said that the turnout was good! I very much love my local queer folks.
    2) Snacks
    3) Cartoons
    4) Twitter
    5) The woman who adopted a famously difficult cat from work this week!

  2. 11

    I LOVED One Day at a Time! Did anyone else go completely nuts over how cute the photo-backsplash in the intro was? In our house, the intro/theme song were the best parts of the show, particularly when the photo of baby Elena (or as we called her, “sink baby”) came on the screen. We’d be singing the theme song and dancing and then someone would yell “SINK BABY!” every time.

    Anyways. Here is what I’m grateful for this week:

    1. Fresh starts. We’re moving to Cleveland, OH this spring, and are going in a couple week to sign a lease on a new apartment!
    2. Time off from work. I’ve been putting in crazy hours lately, and having a full day away from my job to go to therapy, catch up on some reading, and tidy up is absolutely life changing.
    3. Spontaneous nights out. Last night I was sitting around in sweatpants when I got the offer to head downtown to my favorite brewery and have a beer. I went, which was shocking, given that it was a weeknight, and it was so much fun! One of the things I’ve struggled with as an adult is saying “yes” to fun more often. I’ve always been a very responsible type of person (some would say “disciplined,” critics have said “uptight”), and giving myself permission for unplanned, unscheduled fun has been transformative.
    4. You all! Thanks, Autostraddle commenters, for being my buddies since I found this website 5ish years ago <3

  3. 8

    The last two weeks have been quite a ride for me as well! I am so, so grateful for all of it though.

    1. My friends and I had our “Game of Thrones” Mardi Gras ball last Friday night. I found a velvet blazer to wear with my black velvet jeans, so I had a fun black tie look that I was really happy with.

    2. Sunday afternoon we had the biggest crowd to date for our parade. Our float was the Rainbow Guard, so we had a rainbow unicorn theme and it was basically just the most glitter possible. It was a really cooperative effort to build and so much fun to experience together.


    3. On Monday, I started training my replacement at my corporate job because Wednesday was my LAST DAY. I am now officially self-employed. It’s incredibly exciting and also totally terrifying. My Facebook page went live and it’s already got quite a bit of reach locally so I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself.

    I can’t wait to see all you beautiful humans at A-Camp in a few months. I’m looking forward to it so much!!!

  4. 7

    woof, what a couple of months. man. My girlfriend and I broke up after a little more than a year together and that’s been tough and I’m processing but also in the middle of a vague identity crisis re: my relationship styles. I’m grateful for space to process that and talk about it.
    Oh, and I also almost got deported (from the UK, back to the US) – so THAT WAS FUN. I’m grateful that didn’t happen and for the support network that showed up for me.

    Is that last point a subtle way of asking us all what we’re wearing right now? *eyebrow waggle*

  5. 6

    Hi everyone! Today I’m grateful for doing well on math exam, for a chance that I’ll visit Budapest in June with my best friend and her girlfriend and for Lea Michele’s new song!

    This week I found out that according to president of our public TV, gay dates are illegal. This country is just too ridiculous.

    I finally did blood tests today and I hope everything will be okay though I’m actually really afraid I might have an anemia. Pleeease no.

    Last Saturday I went to the Song Laboratory’s concert. They are eight girls performing traditional songs from Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, Balkans etc. And they were AWESOME. So wild, feminine and powerful. Highly recommend!

    Happy Friday! <3

  6. 5

    I feel you. Having a bit of a rough time at work at the moment including having to deal professionally with a guy talking at me about how unnatural homosexuality is… but it did make me realise that I live in such a progressive orbit and its been so long since I intereacted with a real live homophobe, so I’m grateful for my world.
    I’m also grateful for my job… even in a rough patch is still better than my last one, and I’m grateful we can buy such good quality wine so cheaply here in Germany 😉 cheers to the freaking weekend

  7. 11

    1. That feeling when you think it’s roadkill but then you get closer and see it’s not anything dead at all!

    2. When the cute af grocery clerk laughs and tells you no seriously, you’re really funny. (Girl, if I couldn’t technically be your mom…)

    3. Realizing it’s cool to eat every single vegan bacon dish you made for the photo shoot to load “Madam Faycon’s” biz instagram. #somuchbeanbaconinmymouth

    4. When the tall dark and handsome pharmacist double takes even though you’re in your workout clothes and then actually considers your advice to maybe move the fudge display away from where folks pick up their diabetes meds.

    5. When you realize that irritating need to eat food interrupting you from work can be solved by drinking a brown rice protein drink in like 2 minutes saving so much time and effort.

    Wasn’t all great this week: My hopes to get a kosher label were trampled hard rabbi style and inexplicably my subaru developed a zombie radio prob, meaning I have to disconnect the battery each night. 🙁

    But I’d say it was an okay week on balance. Here’s winkin’ atcha open thread! 😉

  8. 6

    I guess the first thing I am grateful for is my family. Yeah they gender me and are confused about me not wanting to be gendered, my distaste for marriage(at least one that requires government to approve), and a few other things, but they have supported me when I’ve needed it. Plus, they(and the rest of the Jewish-Iranian community) made the right choice moving to California.
    2). I am grateful for Autostraddle as it has lead to me meeting some really cool lbtq folks and gives me a safe space to be trans and queer without worrying to much will I experience transphobia.
    3) Trans women, because of all the shit our fore-mothers did to give the community rights.
    4) nature, because it’s just so good, It feels like summer rigt now and I do live near accessible areas to unwind and relax while in nature on nature.
    5) vegan desserts, because it’s just soo good
    6) Carrie Brownstein, because she’s magical, funny, and 1/3 of Sleater-Kinney(which is 6.1)!

    How’s everyones week going? Mines has been solid. Still no real luck yet on Tinder after switching my settings, but still trying to be hopeful. Positive is I am matching up with more people. Negative is transphobic aggressions, and cissexism. Which begs the question did the person read my profile & why even match up and to only say those comments? Like one person(who had inclusive queer in their profile) say despite the fact I ID as nb Jew(both in my profile) I am a privileged white person. So, did you just match up with me to group me with people are trying to oppress me or you assuming things about people? That persons loss, cause I am too fabulous & queer for you!

    Come to think of it, I think of it, this the queer trans version of men saying inappropriate things to women. Hmm, as others have suggested, maybe autostraddle can offer a dating service? I think it was CarmenSanDiego who came with naming it Straddlr? Either way I’d pay for an Autostraddle dating/friends meeting service, just to avoid the mess that is Tinder, OKC, and HER. Yes, I know there a fews apps like Thurst that is a very trans inclusive lgbtq dating app, but it’s new and still not that good yet.

    I did more lgbtq positive “graffiti” this week.
    Protect Trans Kids

    I also have a few other ones on my tumblr page thefleetingimage.tumblr.com that might be worth looking at. A mix of stuff I found and wrote.

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

  9. 10

    1) My favorite roommate (if you live with more than two people you have a favorite, don’t deny it) has tentatively begun to express that she’s not as straight as she thought, which is maybe a weird thing to be grateful for? but i feel like a gay momma or big sister to a shy baby queer, and i also feel less like i have to demur when my other roommates start talking about tinder and boys and hooking up. and i’m also no longer scared of her freaking out about sharing a room with a lesbian. and maybe i have a friend to navigate the fraught waters of Being Gay In Your Twenties with.
    2) i’m going to be teaching elementary school with my best friend again this summer, so three cheers for jobs that pay well, look great on a resume, AND are fun and amazing.
    3) THE UC DAVIS UNDERGRAD RESEARCH CONFERENCE ACCEPTED MY ABSTRACT, Y’ALL!! I’m going to be speaking about the wife of bath and reading female voices in male-authored texts to a real live academic conference instead of telling my ideas to the stray cat who visits my apartment.
    4) My mom started doing gardening work part-time with one of her best friends who’s a landscape designer after a period of imminent empty-nester mom existential crisis and its accompanying family tension, so i’m grateful that things are returning to normal-ish and my momma is getting her groove back. (but i’m also jealous that my mom has a gayer job than i do. gardening with a friend she played softball with. COME ON.)
    5) it finally stopped pouring rain up here and it’s returning to the sunny-but-brisk weather i thrive in. i’m realizing i can never leave northern california because i’m a baby about weather and i’ve been spoiled by san francisco’s beautiful mediterranean microclimate.

  10. 5

    Yay! I used to do this every day for about a year but I forgot a bunch and just stopped doing it
    1. I am SO enormously grateful for the group of friends I have made over the last year. They are a huge support for me, we all support each other and truly its some of the healthiest relationships I’ve ever had. They were particularly lovely this week <3
    2. A project that had meant so much to me but had turned into a nightmare is now over! And despite the things I wasn't happy with and was disappointed by, the audience still got a lot out of it and enjoyed it. Some people I look up to told me they really liked my part of it and that made me feel really good.
    3. It's Friday!!!! And slept 3 hours more than I meant to but clearly needed it!
    4. The like buttons are back! Thank you Cee!!!!

  11. 4

    Hello all you amazing avocados!
    I am wonder~filled with gratitude for the gorgeousness that is Window Horses:

    I went to a preview with my friend last night, with the director Ann Marie Fleming in attendance, together with soul- meltingly beautiful live Persian classical music, and delicious Syrian food. It was all so amazing, and the film is stunning ~ it centres the individual experience of learning your heart’s truth, whilst acknowledging the impact of the world around us. Go see it if you can!

    Also, I’m really enjoying the process of creating the weekly mini art pieces for my wife’s christmas present. Here is this week’s –

    It’s from a plate shard found in her garden, sitting on a rock.

    May you find wonders everywhere you go…

  12. 6

    Hi hi, friends. Hopping on this bandwagon early today because I need a brain break from my projects. I’ve been pushing out work so my lead counsel and I can keep up with catching up and (optimistically) create a month cushion on our deadlines. I’m still green in my job so it’s a mix of “GOT GET IT DONE” and “IT. MUST. BE. PERFECT.” so I am emotionally drained. Despite stretching my brain muscles between coaxing myself to be patient with myself in this new position and pushing myself to do my best, this has been a good week. I have a lot to be grateful for in this moment and over the last couple of months while making my transition into this job.

    1. Casual Fridays. There is something incredibly satisfying about wearing jeans to work.

    2. In-building gym. Since finishing law school, I’ve realized that exercise is super important to my mental health toolbox. My company has a gym in the basement that is full-equipped and offers classes. My boss is great and is A-okay with us using our lunch time to get some exercise, which has shown a huge improvement in my mental and physical health.

    3. Incredibly patient lead counsel. Whether he hates me or not, my lead counsel has been so kind to me throughout this process of learning, acclimating, and building experience in this new job. He is a wonderful teacher and keeps his head on straight even when I indicate that I feel like I’ve totally fucked up. He encourages me and always has my back.

    4. My wife. Always my wife. She is everything. I am grateful for her every single day and will be for the rest of my life. I could write a tome for all the things she does. One example I will leave here is: she is the morning person to my evening person and she makes my coffee and lunch and feeds the cats every morning <3

    5. Cinnamon buns. I got one from a co-worker and am so damn happy about it.

    Wishing everyone a restful and relaxing weekend because ya'll deserve it 🙂

  13. 6

    1) The house that I’m house-sitting and my dad’s neighbors who let me house-sit for them and also bring my dog. Particularly that last bit, as my mom kicked my dog out of the house earlier this week.
    2) The Rachel Maddow Show Podcast, and news podcasts in general, so that I can still get the news when my work schedule means I can’t watch it.
    3) Last but not least, my supportive aunt. She is helping me move away from Trumptown and my hostile home environment after I didn’t get into grad school.

  14. 8

    I love this idea of sharing our gratitude!

    1. My sweet little puppy nugget, Stax.

    This was her on our way to the forest last weekend. She was very excited.
    2. This early start to spring.

    Daffodils in bloom in February! Just don’t think about the fact that this is a result of climate change and just enjoy the beauty.

    3. Today is Friday. I have a weekend full of good things planed and I actually have the energy to do those things. This is a new feeling and I’m just riding this wave.

    4. And a bonus: Getting to see my terribly talented friend’s band play last weekend. We used to work together but I moved to the corporate side of business and she left the company to be able to tour with her band more frequently. We don’t get to see each other as often as we used to but I’m just so proud and inspired to see someone I care about doing something they love.

    I hope everyone has a rad weekend and takes time to take care of themselves <3

  15. 4

    I’m grateful that I’m off to Vienna this weekend! And thoroughly excited to boot – I’ve booked tickets to see the Spanish Riding School, which I’ve been reading about since I was a little girl 🙂

    I’ve been living literally in the middle of nowhere for the last couple of months so this is even more exciting than it sounds as well!

  16. 7

    This week I’m grateful for…

    1. Heating. We finished installing our new wood stove this week, which means we finally have a heating system in the house beyond dragging an electric radiator from room to room!

    2. This handsome fellow. He celebrated his 11th birthday this past week. He’s such a goofy, excitable snugglebum and I love him.

    3. How much better I am able to manage my PMS today compared to a year ago. With exercise, diet, and starting my herbs early enough, I only get sensitive and irritable, which I am able to work through with rational thinking and the occasional item from my distraction list*. A year ago, I just figured out that my several days long suicidal bouts, spent mostly immobile and crying, were cyclical.

    *I have two lists for when I feel bad. The distraction list is when I’m in a funk and need something to pull me out of it, but I feel bad enough that I wouldn’t be able to think of anything to do that in the moment. It has items like “hug a dog”, “aromatherapy” and “power metal”. I also have a crisis list, for when I’m basically verging on suicidal and nothing useful is going to get done that day, with items like “have a shower”, “go buy soy milk”, “watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.

    Also, this week I taught Miss Kitty Fantastico, our stray kitten turned adopted kitten, to sit on command. Next up, high five!

    • 3

      @faustine there’s a wood stove in the house I grew up in, and there’s nothing like that cozy heat that spreads over you and through the rooms and warms your heart. Also the smell of burning wood.

      Thank you for bringing up managing PMS tips! It’s something I’ve struggled with, and have only recently begun to realize it’s because I was never taught to manage it, or to try to find the tools that will enable me to. It’s interesting because the worst day of my period seems to intersect with a monthly event I run. It’s the exact day that I want to curl up in the dark with tea and not talk to anyone, and it’s the exact day that I have to stand in front of a room full of strangers and encourage them to tell stories. What’s interesting is that, every time, the event ends up giving me exactly the energy I need, the exact opposite of what I thought I needed. It levels me out.

      Gonna go make my own crisis list now. Thanks for the inspiration, and happy birthday to your snugglebum!

      • 4

        PMS can be really difficult to come to grips with. What really threw me a curve ball was that I had never had any symptoms before my late 20s, and when symptoms arose they weren’t “mood swings” and “breast tenderness”, they were “I look around this room and all I see are the ways in which I could kill myself” and sleeplessness from trying to figure out ways to kill myself which wouldn’t involve my spouse having to in any way deal with finding or identifying me. I’d had feelings like that before, but that was in my early 20s and for a months long stretch. It took me sooooo long to realise there was a monthly pattern. Honestly, I had figured out that it gets worse when I stop running regularly long before I figured that it was period-related.

        • 4

          I’ve found that when I’m running regularly, it completes eliminates my PMS symptoms! If only I had better time and motivation for it during winter.

          That sounds like a very intense thing to experience and deal with — thank you so much for talking about it, because I imagine there are a lot of people out there who struggle with it and haven’t made the correlation. It always blows me away how much I learn about myself from just simply sharing with others on these topics we aren’t always encouraged to discuss. SO important. THANK YOU.

          • 2

            Ugh, I know! What is it about human nature that makes “If I do this now I’m going to feel better in three weeks” such a bad motivator?

            Thank you, Maree, for your kind replies! It’s people like you who give the rest of us the courage to talk more about our socially unpalatable craziness. 🙂

      • 6

        He is quite the hunk, if I may say so myself (it’s not like I made him or anything, after all, I’m just his personal trainer and dietician). Unfortunately, his showdog career had to be cut short because he wouldn’t stop forcibly making out with the judges. 🙂

        (Ok, that’s not quite true, there’s a longer story involving hunting merits and timing, but he did knock over and slobber on quite a few judges)

  17. 2

    I forgot two important things I am grateful for!!
    Both Valerie June and Hurrary For The Riff Raff have albums being released next friday! And NPR has posted first listen streaming for both albums!!!! So I’ve been switching between the two constantly and am more and more in love! <3

  18. 5

    I’ve actually been doing a similar thing (started off as a variation on the #100happydays challenge) wherein I post at least 3 positive things about my day on Tumblr every day. It’s often incredibly small stuff, like “I had a good cup of coffee” or “the sun is shining,” but it’s been immensely helpful for coping with depression. Some days it’ll take me like 45 minutes to come up with even one thing, but the point is that positivity is *possible*, even when it seems like everything is awful.

    On that note, my happiness for today:
    – I got to help a Tumblr friend and they were really grateful.
    – Didn’t have to go into work today. Yay for long weekends and spending the day in my PJs.
    – I did, in fact, have a really good cup of coffee today.

  19. 4

    Been doing a lot of studying and thinking. I somehow lost almost all my motivation for school but it’s all good. I will keep going through the motions until I find that passion again. Lately I haven been writing more and doing random sketches. I spend less and less time online except to talk and support/cheer up some friends that need that extra push to keep pursuing their own goals and dreams. This week has been an eventful one in the friend department. I am greatful for that.

    Have a safe weekend people. Enjoy life and smile often.

    Happy Friday everyone.

  20. 3

    love love love this idea. this week im grateful for:

    -spring break starting today! (even though i’ll just be catching up on reading for class over break, lol)

    -this pretty cool person i started seeing–dating as a queer demisexual who is really an introverted extrovert is not always easy, but they seem worth the effort, which is exciting.

    -having gotten into the habit of volunteering regularly. making the time to give back has been really great.

    -more sunny skies than cloudy/rainy ones. my mood is 10000x better if i get to see even just a peek of sunshine during the day.

  21. 4

    I’m grateful for my gaggle of lesbian friends, for the fact that I can make my voice heard, for my tutors at university, and for the open-mindedness of my friends.

    I’ve had a pretty awesome week this week. I had an essay title about marriage equality in France approved, I made signs and banners for a march I’m going to on Sunday, and I found out that I got the internship I wanted for part of my year abroad, which means that in January I will be going to live and work in Paris for six months!

  22. 8

    I used to struggle a lot with these kinds of things, gratitude journals and the like, because I always heard them with an undertone of admonishment – as in, you should feel thankful that you have so much, why can’t you just pick yourself up out of your funk and feel better?! But then I went through some really bad shit and came out the other side, and desperately had to learn to fall in love with life again otherwise I was not going to make it. And now I feel like I finally understand all those aphorisms about learning to find whatever goodness and happiness you can in whatever moment you find yourself in. Not that I succeed all the time, but I do much better than I used to.

    So, I’m grateful for how far I’ve come since this time last year. Everything else I would say pretty much falls under that. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to reflect on all of this, so thank you for that, Maree.

    • 2

      I am so grateful that you are here and reflecting and yes, I do think sometimes it’s very easy to get lost in a hole of, BUT I AM SO LUCKY AND PRIVILEGED WHY AM I NOT HAPPY. It’s all relative and it’s all a balance. And you are a rock star, for fighting for yourself. <3

    • 3

      There’s a children’s haiku by Jack Prelutsky about a mouse, and it goes

      If not for the cat
      And the scarcity of cheese,
      I could be content.

      At different times it means different things to me, and the meanings are linked to the things you said about gratitude and contentment above. Sometimes it’s all about the fact that when my basic needs are met – safety, food – I have all the tools I need to be happy. Sometimes it’s about the fact that I think humans fill the space we have, in every sense, so there will always be discontent when there is room for it – always something that I would want to be different, and that’s ok. And sometimes there is cheese, and the cat is gone, and I AM content, and it’s about that too.

      Lol that was supposed to relate more closely to what you were saying about gratitude!

  23. 7

    Hello friends!!

    I watched all of One Day at a Time and cried a lot at the last episode and told everyone I know to watch it. So that’s happening.

    What am I grateful for right now….
    1) My cat who makes me laugh and licks my tears off my face and reminds me to be a person when that is hard
    2) My amazing friends who listen and cheerlead and laugh and love with me
    3) My therapist. For real tho.
    4) A job that is stable and makes me feel like I’m making a difference and leaves me enough emotional energy to do other things. And also because I can wear jeans.
    5) Lake Michigan. It makes me feel connected to The Force.

  24. 4

    1. My peeps. All of them. Coworkers, internet friends, my parents who accept that their oldest child is a depressed bi. Even you, reader, scrolling down the page.
    2. Exercise. I’ve been playing Zombies, Run! and strength training. Saw some improvements. And it helps with my depression. Of course, I’m trying to get out of a depression rut but things are looking up.
    3. The lady I met on Her. We went and platonically got some Scandinavian food near our work. It was a delight to get out, taste new and different food, and have really awesome conversations.
    4. I got really organized with my planner this week. I made a color-coding key, trying out a habit checklist, and made a logbook out of my small Moleskine to track sleep/food/exercise/moods.

  25. 4

    I want to take this Friday Open Thread to say how grateful I am for my friends/coworkers, who feel more like a family to me.

    I was planning on asking the girl I like if she wanted to be date friends, and I had been thinking about it for DAYS and making plans for what I was going to say (because things like this are very hard for me) but at the end of the night I chickened out and said nothing.

    I was SO mad at myself and so let down thinking I had missed my opportunity, but by chance I ran into a couple of my friends, and we decided to meet up with a few other people I really love and we went out and had drinks and karaoke and they were all so sympathetic and supportive and it was exactly what I had needed that night.

    Also on a related note I’m so so thankful to be able to be completely out where I work and feel nothing but 100% loved and accepted and NORMAL for it.

    Anyway, enough sappiness.

    I’m currently wearing a shirt with a huge photo of Idina Menzel’s face on it and above it in large capital letters it reads IDINA, which was so incredible and extra I had to buy it even though it’s a size too large.

    • 1

      Ok I want a picture of this shirt and also perhaps my own version.

      Friends who are coworkers and coworkers who are friends — the greatest gift since creamy peanut butter.

      It’s ok to chicken out sometimes, peanut. It lead to a spectacular evening and lovefest, and maybe that’s just what you needed from the universe. But also remember: sometimes you gotta just go for it. You’ll also never say what you practiced saying, and you know what? That’s the best part, what happens when step into the unknown.

  26. 3

    1. Plants & Nature & The Ocean
    2. The Ability to Accept my Gayness.
    3. Boobs
    4. Television/Netflix Shows
    5. The Ability to Create Stories & Write Them Down

    I’m almost ready to come out, just to my Mom though.I’m afraid of coming out because my Mom can be so annoying. I don’t want to be mad at her reaction, but she acts so ignorant and hypocritical at times. I don’t trust the men I go to school with and I don’t feel like being seen as different (or raped/harassed/murdered). There is a sexual harrasment problem on campus, the Dean even sent out an email. I’ve been raped/preyed upon once and I can’t deal with it again. I still haven’t gotten all the help I’ve needed. I’m really disgusted by the men I know at the moment. I dated one guy for 3 extra months because I didn’t have a good reason to stop dating him. (He wanted a reason). He might not have realized it, but he made it hard for me to break it off. I was questioning my sexuality and afraid, so I just decided to keep on dating him because I didn’t want to tell him. We only went on 3 dates. I don’t think it was any of his fucking business that I was confused. He tried being helpful, but it was too much. I finally just stopped saying what I really felt and held it in, in fear of another psychology session. Another guy wanted me to tell him that I thought he was ugly because I WOULDN’T HAVE SEX WITH HIM. WTF. There is so much more, but it’s a lot…
    I submitted a personal essay to AutoStraddle last night. It wasn’t the best, but it was me. Hopefully I’ll get some writerly experience from this.
    I want to start dating women I like and I want some romance in my life. I never thought I’d say this, but I want rose petals and cuddles and Netflix &Chill sessions. I want someone to touch my books. I don’t even want sexual contact.
    On a brighter note: Some of my scripts and movie making skills are taking me places. I’m super excited. My 2 newest scripts are dope.like I ACTUALLY LIKE THEM!

    • 3

      @midnightkissed I am grateful that you wrote all of this here, and that you’re writing everywhere, and that you’re submitting to AS and that you have TWO SCRIPTS that are dope. YES YES.

      I’m super sorry to here about all the other things you’ve been going through — and that you feel ready to come out to someone in your life, despite the fact that sometimes moms are challenging. She loves you, and she will find a way to support you. I’ll be honest that I’m a little bit concerned about some of the stuff happening on your campus: are there people and resources you feel like you can turn to, when the men around you are behaving in these kinds of ways? I really really encourage you to seek out and talk to people you can trust, and people who are going to help advocate for you and your safety. I know you may not be ready yet to engage with LGBTQ groups yet, but these can also be good, safe spaces.

      You will get the rose petals and and Netflix and chill sessions, I promise. Your own acceptance and love of yourself is the first step — you are doing the good, hard work, and it will pay off.

      • 1

        In all honesty I don’t feel like talking to anyone on campus, it is all white feminism. I don’t think most faculty or staff will get it because some of the things men do are so sly I look like the crazy one. It’s the stuff in private. It gives me such a headache. There was a situation with a guy in my Tech writing class. He made me look like a controlling bitch (and he called me an afromilitant neo feminazi for trying to protect a group memberfrom his accusations. He was angry women give out their numbers, but don’t answer texts. He started getting all heated and calling me names, telling me my relationships don’t work and are invalid. Just in general he doesn’t know I’m gay. Although my other group member, Amanda, was chastised worse. I’ve only ever hung out with him to study, we don’t really know each other outside of academia. So he wouldn’t know about my personal life. He called me cruel when I texted my ex that I was studing with him. I wasn’t being cruel just honest. I’m sure he’s angry because I denied him sex. The crazy came out and now I avoid him.), the only solace I have is that my group member, Amanda, saw through his bull.
        SorrY if the story is confusing. I’m trying to keep it short.

        I am reaching out and finding safe spaces, but it might take awhile. There are so many drugs and so much anger in the queer community near me. A lot of poly too, which is awesome!!!!! But not for me. Beyond that I’ve never really fit in, I’ve been trying for over a year. I don’t drink, I don’t like engaging in rado sex. I don’t smoke marijuana. I’ve tried/attempted all of these things, but they are not for me. Being a queer mixed girl is being an outsider in the area I live in. But that doesn’t upset me, because I know I WILL find a place and a partner.
        Thank you for your kind words. And for listening! This community keeps me alive.

  27. 4

    Listing our gratitudes is such a wonderful idea and something I’m trying to work on more! It’s certainly been *a week* in my life but there’s a lot of things looking up!

    1. I’m designing the costumes for “Shakespeare’s R&J”, a Romeo and Juliet play adaption that’s typically done with four men but we’re doing with four women. I could not be more excited about it and it’s been amazing to put all of my queer research to use! We haven’t set a period for it yet but we’re leaning towards the 1930s/50s. I have a feeling I’m going to be the only queer woman on the production team for our gay lady play, but I’ve been linking to autostraddle articles and herstory left and right and I’m determined to make sure we get this lesbian love story right.

    2. The mouse problem in my NYC apartment is dwindling, which sounds like a small win but is huge for my peace of mind these days!

    3. I’ve set a price alert on tickets to Thailand. I’m aiming to go for a couple weeks with my girlfriend in December and this makes it feel so much closer. The cold weather is getting me down as a Texas native so daydreaming for summer and planning this trip is a great escape.

    4. I’m also such a lurker on AS and trying to create more community in my life, so it also has to be said that I’m so thankful for this thread and website as always!

    • 2

      Yay! Queer Romeo & Juliet. That sounds awesome. I was just asked to be a script supervisor and apart of a production team. Do you have any theater/film/script writing tips? I’m trying to become a better team member and writer.
      I hope you and your girlfriend have an awesome time in Thailand. That sounds so romantic! <3

      • 1

        That sounds so exciting!! I’ve never done TV/film work before, I’ve always been in the live performance realm (theatre/opera/dance) but I’ve heard it’s pretty different? As to theatrical writing, hm. I’m not too sure what tips to give about theatrical writing- I’m seldom lucky enough to work directly with my playwrights. I always love the chance to involve them where possible, especially since they’ve already created such wonderful source material as a jumping off point.

        In terms of being a better team member, open communication and sharing research always get you so far! So many people that I’ve worked with have different styles of communicating and figuring out how to demonstrate an idea for the group is always helpful. Some directors are more visual and need images, some more literal and want text, and some are happy coming up with ideas throughout the process. For me, it’s all about establishing the language and method that works for a particular group of people. I’ve never had a one size size fits all approach because every group of collaborators is so different. Good luck with your new job and I’m sure you’ll be great!! Let me know how it goes 🙂

    • 2

      I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THIS VERSION OF ROMEO AND JULIET! It sounds perfect and spectacular.

      And as a former NYC dweller, I get the triumph of dwindling mouse presences. Thailand will be a BALM.

      We are grateful that you are lurking are these parts and also chiming in too.

      • 2

        I’m SO thrilled about it!! My fingers are crossed for more queer women on the production team for the next few months but I’m already super hopeful. It already feels damn good to tell someone it’s a research necessity to go watch Carol and But I’m a Cheerleader

  28. 2

    Aw dangit Maree and anybody who can read you’re going to be sad, just don’t pity me. It’s a waste and I’ve healed pretty well all things considered. Having a moment of unpacking that needed to happen.

    The word grateful has negative connections for me.
    I cringe when I see or hear the word.
    It’s forever connected to an invalidation of suffering and injustice or a sneering non-apology that I should take comfort in that I wasn’t physically harmed to the extend that was possible for one human to do to another. A threat that said, “I could do worse.”

    Also like the root of the word doesn’t fit me
    Gratus; pleasing, agreeable.
    Not me at all, if I was agreeable I’d be dead or not me.

    5 things I was thankful for this week
    Mardi Gras
    Fish
    Blankets
    Dogs
    DVD commentary with not just cast but crew too

    Thankful for all the time:
    Food but especially rice, corn, chicken, beans.
    Spices, the access I have to them
    My backbone, even when I look at my life and think it’s a bad idea
    Cooking and baking skillz
    That I haven’t lost the ability to trust another human being to not hurt me, one can’t live without people.

    • 2

      @gunna-see-the-light Ugh, I’m sorry that the word has negative connotations for you — I get that. But I’m glad you’re here to do some unpacking, with us, and that you still can name so many things in your life that you feel good to have there, and that you can find comfort in. Now I’m thinking about all those delicious spices you must have in your kitchen, and all the filling warming things you’re going to make with them…

      • 2

        Eh my life is at times a balance of bad shit that sometimes get out weighed feather to rock by my stubbornness, or skill and ability to do a thing. Like uh I’m allergic to an additive that’s the majority of commercially made bread in the US, but yeast baking is fun and easy for me (it’s supposed to be hard I’m told) and love corn tortillas that are also a thing I can make with ease.

        Oh yeah most recent thing added to my repertoire is chicken tacos, and it is wonderful and filling 🙂
        The spice mix I use and tip to marinate in lime was given to me by user Avawn.
        Only one of the spices I did not already have in my possession and had to grind myself.

        Finding the good things isn’t ignoring that bad, and acknowledging the bad isn’t erasing the good.

        • 3

          Man you really like that spice mix. It makes me happy! Just one question, have you tried it on raw vegetables? I’m trying to find ways to make my lunches more enjoyable and change things up a bit. Kind of tired of just eating my cucumber and zucchini with salt and lemon juice. -_- Any ideas would be very much appreciated.

          • 1

            Yes I do and having tacos with a side of congri for dinner. 😛
            Might become my “perk up the week is almost over” dinner.

            No I have not tried it on raw veggies, but in my family when we grill zucchini and summer squash we uh roll it olive oil (not much just enough to get ’em wet) then attack with basil, tiniest bit of thyme and some black pepper. I have used cumin, parika powdered garlic in addition. Turmeric too, I’m a tart for turmeric as you know. Will try to tap anything with it at least once.

            There’s not a lot of raw veggie eating my life to be perfectly honest, except for carrots. Love carrots, they are like candy.
            But still I don’t see putting what is basically a powder on a veggie that’s never going to be cooked as ending well.
            Like texture wise and how the flavour might not imbue itself yanno.
            Might be something to the effect dropping flour on a raw slice of tomato, but it kicks your face with a flavour that was meant to distribute it self and could not.

            All I got is:

            Cucumber- tzatziki sauce probably, hummus maybe/probs not

            Tzatziki sauce is composed of greek yoghurt, cucumber garlic, olive oil, and fresh dill, it’s that white stuff in gyro. My dad claims it to be an excellent dipping sauce for all vegetables, he is man who loves dipping.

            Zucchini- a nice cheese maaaaybe

            Never had raw zucchini in my life but had zucchini pasta with probably mozzarella or parm on it and it was alright. I don’t think a sharp flavour would go well, something mild. Hey maybe even queso blanco.
            But I’m the weirdo who puts feta in grits, not quite the family shame when it comes to cheese. Just they (sicilian side and otherwise) question my judgment and knowledge of cheese names and terms.

            Any vegans or vegetarians wanna tag in please do!

  29. 7

    Okay, 5 things. Today is one of my favorite days ever, so this’ll be easy.

    1. I’m currently in Vegas at Clexacon with my fancy lady-friend
    2. I just met Mey Rude. I got so excited I had to run away.
    3. My fiancée and I keep making the most wonderful new friends here
    4. I actually real-life met Mey Rude. She told me I didn’t even have to run away, right between when I announced that I was running away and when I actually ran away
    5. I will never be over meeting Mey.

  30. 3

    Ahh gratitude! I’ve had a sort of hard/weird week, but I think things are on the upswing AND a lot of good things did happen to me this week. So, right now, I am grateful for:

    1. My community! Some pals and I hosted a potluck to help folks get energized and organized about fighting a proposed CAFO in our region and it went super super well, it is so gratifying to live in a community where people show up for what matters and to be a part of making it happen.
    2. The kiddos that I work with! I’ve been having a lot of conflicts with my organization lately (an anarchist in the workplace, go figure), but these kiddos keep me going. I love all of my clients, and each client is my favorite client. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to serve these young people!
    3. Knowing that I have a three day weekend ahead! I’ve already decided I’m calling in sick Monday so I have some time to play catch-up/give myself a break.

    I hope you all are well! I haven’t been able to read or comment as much lately but I always so look forward to FOT. If anyone reads this and/or has any sage advice, here are three things that I’ve been thinking about this week that I’d love some input on.

    -How do you unfuck your bad habits/how do you pull yourself out of a rut? Like, how do you start adding new positive things to your routine/life and how do you pick yourself up and restart when you veer way off course? Advice/anecdotes appreciated!

    -Are there any MSWs out there doing clinical work specifically with marginalized communities that wanna talk about how to do therapy but still serve vulnerable populations? Been thinking about pursuing that degree but don’t want to give up my commitment to the folks I serve.

    -Anyone out there that knows about tarot/astrology/crystals that can offer a good starting place for a total newbie?

    Thanks all! When I said above that I’m grateful for my community, I meant my actual physical community (like where I live), but I’m also really grateful for THIS community and the opportunity to get to know a little bit about each and every one of you. Take care and have a great weekend! <3

    • 1

      @courtneyquixote THIS community is grateful for you, and that you also have such an incredible community IRL too. Sounds like you are doing awesome things.

      I don’t know if I have any groundbreaking advice on unfucking ones bad habits, BUT, I do know one thing that’s helped me lately is trying to build new habits one tiny-baby-resistance-free step at a time. Generally I’m a GO BIG OR GO HOME type of person, but that’s not a great way to sustain good lasting habits (as it turns out). So, what I have focused on is doing the thing I want to do more of in tiny ways every day. For example, instead of saying OMG I need to write a novel in the next month, I focus on writing one sentence a day — and not even a novel-related sentence, just a sentence, period. Sometimes I write more than one. Sometimes I write a very short one. But it’s all about flexing those muscles in small ways, and building on your progress.

      Another commenter on here said something about feeling in a rut and just going through the motions anyway. There can be a huge benefit to that: if you know that you did enjoy something at one point, or at least need to do it whether you want to or not, just go with the momentum and keep it up. It’s better than stopping and then trying to start again, BELIEVE me.

  31. 2

    grateful for:

    1. A good part-time bilingual work environment with really sweet managers and coworkers and minimal customer problems
    2. Drawing, which makes me happy
    3. Art school, which made me grow as a person (even though I’m still trying to make peace with the reality that I can’t be the best at everything I do)

  32. 3

    Right now I’m at work on a night shift and I’ve just had my meal break.

    I’m grateful for cheese and onion toasties like 3 times, well and pizza. I’m always grateful for pizza. Basically cheese really. Anything with cheese but right now toasties most of all.

  33. 4

    I’m awake in the middle of the night so apologies in advance if this is overly soppy! My anxiety has been particularly bad lately so this feels necessary.

    I am grateful for:

    1. Having enough money to eat, live comfortably, and share with others

    2. My incredible friends, especially my best friend who’s endlessly supportive, funny, and I’m able to be fully myself around

    3. My Quaker faith and community, the spiritual journey I’m on with no judgment

    4. Yummy vegan food

    5. Amazing stuff created by others e.g. books, tv, films, music

    Which leads me into, yes, I devoured One Day At A Time. I loved how female centric it is and Elena’s coming out story resonated so deeply with me. I’ve also just finished You Me Her which features some very beautiful women.

  34. 3

    Hello beautiful people!

    I’ve had a pretty uneventful but also hectic week! But here’s some things I’m super grateful for:
    1. Last Saturday I finally got the (Dutch) courage to ask a girl out in person for the first time ever
    2. Today I was able to work from home which was so much better
    3. The Getting in to bed with Kristen episode about coming out to yourself.

    Anyways wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

  35. 3

    Am at Clexacon right now, and grateful for fandom and the way it has swept real people and real friends into my life over the years.
    Wishing that for everyone here, this moment when virtual reality translates into real life, and you realize, that the difference between knowing someone’s secret passion and sharing it and meeting them in real life, wasn’t that momentous a thing all along.

  36. 1

    Is being genderqueer something you’re allowed to figure out about yourself when you’re older (like 28)? If you’re a bisexual who grew up as a (tom)boy then didn’t want to be a man as you got older but weren’t that great about being a woman either? Or do you have to be aware of it all your life to not be co-opting someone else’s experiences?

    1 The fact my mum ran me a warm bath because I’m feeling ill without pestering me
    2 My team. Everything from things I’m not sure I can talk about on here (because it’s a girl-girl site) like the cute lad I’ve got a huge crush on at the moment, to the manager who seems to have turned his life around coming here, to our success currently to our success in the past and those who brought us such success and RIP to those who’ve died and I hope the former player/manager who’s ill isn’t quite as bad as everyone I’ve heard of before with his condition and is comfortable.
    3 The fact I’m not surrounded by bigots anymore. So much that when I meet people like that I have to remind myself not to wind them up because they can be dangerous. It’s tempting though actually.
    4 My writing tutor and her great advice even if she does insist every word I use be googleable. Which I guess is better than being look-up-able in the dictionary but I like making words up when I write experimental stuff.
    5 Autostraddle. The great content, content makers and fellow readers of the site. I love you guys.
    6 The cop who’s finally going to do something about the dog who attacked my parents and my dog this week. And more especially the owners of the dog. The dog has been attacking other dogs and cats for years but they’ve finally taken it seriously as it injured a human. Also, not sure who I can be grateful to this for as an agnostic (my parents, I guess), the fact that when it did attack it attacked adults and didn’t kill anyone. If it can overpower someone who’s six foot then I don’t like to think what it might have done to a toddler.
    7 My cats always my cats especially my own actual cat who I’ll be moving out with one day and who comes downstairs when I’m too long down there (even though she’s scared of the dog) to tell me to get my butt back upstairs again. Even though that is annoying when I’m halfway through dinner.

    • 1

      I’ve known people who were working out their gender in their late 40s, so I’m pretty sure you’re good.

      There’s no limitation on how many years you have to figure yourself out before you’re stuck with whatever limited understanding of yourself you had when you ran out of time. Oftentimes we don’t have the words to understand our experiences until much later. Oftentimes, the world is so unwelcoming that we force ourselves to view our experiences through normative lenses. There shouldn’t be a penalty on top of that.

  37. 3

    I am so thankful for supportive family and friends. My wife and I got our first foster placement- we’ve had a four year old girl staying with us for a little over a week. She and I hung out last night with some friends who made us dinner, and then when she didn’t want to get back in the car to go pick up my wife from work, I called my mom who said of course and quickly headed over to my wife’s work and drove her home. I woke up this morning worrying about so many what ifs, but this thread is helping me not to get overtaken by worries. I don’t want to be a person who does not try something just because of fear.

    I am thankful for the working plumbing in our house,
    a lovely library down the street with weekly storytimes,
    Saturday morning coffee (tea and smoothies) with my dad,
    and quiet morning time before the other wake up. <3

  38. 2

    I’m grateful for:
    College and the experiences I’m getting here
    My girlfriend
    The support my friends give
    Big dreams!
    The valentine’s flowers that I’m now drying out
    The ability to be out and myself at school and work currently

    Why is the best part of the muffin the top? It might be because it’s more filled with air than the denser bottom that is stuck in the muffin tin, just a thought

    Who else is watching One Day at a Time? This was my favorite show on Netflix! I’ve watched it probably 3 times through

    What’s the best thing you’ve ever done on your birthday? My birthday is always the middle of the week. But one year I had a surprise party with my family on my birthday

  39. 1

    I’m always super late to these because of the time difference, but:
    1. I’m grateful that Friday Open Thread exists at all!
    2. My friends (and the fact that they’re generally always up for anything)
    3. Fuel being cheap enough here that yesterday I drove for 6 hours, only used half a tank, and I swear that was the equivalent of £5 – £10. Amazing!

    Also the reason the bottom half of the muffin is subpar is because it’s so crumbly and hard to eat.
    I now really reaaaally want a blueberry muffin, but no idea how to make that work for me in this country.

  40. 0

    1. This may seem … self-serving or whatever, but I’m grateful for Autostraddle. This website, and the articles and comments, have (for the better, I hope) changed how I look at things in society.

    2. My Wife and Daughter.

    3. My 5 Dogs( aka my five other kids).

    4. I have a job.

    5. We have a place to live.

    Now, as far as the rest …

    Why is the best part of the muffin the top?
    *** ‘Cos that’s where the icing is?

    Who else is watching One Day at a Time?
    *** Already watched it. Unless Season 2 is up???

    What’s the best thing you’ve ever done on your birthday?
    *** Well, if memory serves, one year it snowed on my b-day (which, April in Texas — snow is a rarity), and I went out and played in the snow.

    — Yes, I am male. But please, don’t hold it against me; I promise, it wasn’t my fault. —

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