FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What Are You Loving TF Out of RN?

Hello queermo pals! Welcome to your Friday Open Thread, a place where we come together as a community and chat about our weeks and also whatever topic I can come up with. I’m your host, A-Person-Who-Technically-Doesn’t-Work-Here-Anymore-But-Still-Loves-You-And-Wants-To-Do-Friday-Open-Threads. It is sunny right now and I can smell Spring on the air! And I want to hear about your weeks AND ALSO this specific thing I came up with: the thing you are so into right now and you can’t believe you haven’t been into it all along, gosh, life would’ve been so much better if you had been! Mostly this is because health and circumstance have forced me to really take self-care seriously, and that means a lot of things for me: the ways I treat my body, the things I put into my brain, the folks I talk with (that’s you all!). And I figure all of y’all have some tips and tricks on living your best life and gosh darn it, I want to know them ALL!

I’ll go first, and I’ve got three things to share with you. The first: taking themed baths. You might remember that I touched on this in my Masculine Nerd Witch playlist, but I’ve gone and kicked it up a notch. This came out of the realization that Lush bath bombs, while expensive, are cheaper than extra therapy sessions. It also came out of being in constant pain and needing to be warm and covered in Epsom salts. I’ve never felt good in a bathtub (comes with all the body stuff!) and I’ve discovered the way to make myself feel really amazing in that space is theming my baths—what I’m eating or drinking, what I’m reading, what sort of face mask I’m doing? That sort of thing. Here’s the bath supplies for the one I took on Easter!

Carrot-shaped bubble bar, the best bubble facemask ever and a new toothbrush…oh yeah, and Open City, which somehow I missed when it came out. I still have two more uses out of that bubble bar, btw.

And here’s the stuff for my Spring Cleaning/Vicious Novel Revisions one!

As you can see, I cut whole chapters while bathing in what looks like a liquid unicorn.

It’s basically like throwing yourself a theme party except you don’t have to be responsible for anyone else’s fun or feelings. You just, like, get to read and write and think and exist.

Second thing: subscribing to Daniel Ortberg’s newsletter. I cancelled an Audible subscription that I barely used and instead decided to give my money to Daniel Ortberg, whose new book is rad and who Audrey interviewed on this very website. Somehow, despite being a huge fan of Ortberg’s work and teaching it in my class full o’ undergraduates, I somehow missed out on the existence of The Shatner Chatner until now? And like, after reading “Things I Imagine Joni Mitchell To Have Plausibly Said At Some Point Despite Never Really Engaging With Her Work,” I was essentially all TAKE MY MONEY. Because I want to be consuming humor that also challenges my brain meats instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram which is the equivalent of sucking on a Sour Warhead every ten minutes except for your mind. I want brain fuel funny; Ortberg is good at that. Plus then I got to read “Impulses I Have Had To Restrain This Year” and whooooo boy, that is Relatable Content.

And lastly: cooking recipes out of One Pan, Two Plates. I am a good baker; I am a shitty cook. So I do things like “eat microwaved veggie sausage for three meals a day and also bake a cake with twelve sticks of butter in it and eat slices of that.” My wife used to cook for us because she is really good at it, and so the meal/dessert division of labor worked out. But! She is working one bajillion hours a week and my jobs are flexible enough that I could maybe not eat microwaved veggie sausage for all meals if I just…cooked? Enter this book, which we received as a wedding present and is the easiest vegetarian cookbook I have ever cooked from. Might I recommend the Eggplant Rollatini recipe?

So what about you? What things are you loving tf out of right now that you can’t believe you haven’t been doing? I want to know! Let’s all talk about it in the comments below!


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Staff Writer for Autostraddle, Part-time Faculty at The New School (teaching digital storytelling), Managing Editor for Scholar & Feminist Online at Barnard Center for Research On Women. Follow me on Twitter @AEOsworth or on Instagram, also @AEOsworth.

A.E. has written 531 articles for us.

145 Comments

  1. What am I loving right now?
    That when the pendulum swings the other way it’s gonna be a goddam wrecking ball

    Roger Ailes was forced out.
    Bill O’Reilly was forced out.
    Women across the country are demanding NO MORE SEXUAL ABUSE!
    Teenagers across the country are demanding NO MORE KILLING US!
    Ratings for MSNBC are way up, Fox News is down.
    Courts are continually striking down Trump shit.
    NYT and WaPo subscriptions are way up.
    Stormfront will soon shut down.
    Massive protests the likes of which have not been seen since the 1960s.
    Dems are winning elections in places thought impossible to win.
    And transgender candidates have won!
    A record number of female Democrats have filed US House bids.

  2. I am loving Rhea Butcher’s Three Swings Podcast. They are exactly the kind of baseball fan I am/like to listen to, and they have really gotten me excited about baseball again in a thoughtful way.

  3. I’ve been enjoying a lot of new music recently! Superfruit, Troye Sivan, Benny, Conan Gray, etc.

    It turns out that if you play gay music on Spotify, it suggests a lot of other artists who are also gay, which I find both hilarious and apt. You just get us, Spotify.

    The moral of the story is that I basically have Hayley Kiyoko to thank for all of the above. (Or at least my obsessive playing thereof.)

      • Yes, do iiit! Let’s see… From Troye Sivan I like YOUTH, for him, and FOOLS. From Superfruit, I like Goodbye from Lonely and GUY.exe. From Conan Gray, Grow.

        Benny (aka the YouTube creator Ben J. Pierce) only has 3 songs, and I love them all. Check out the video for Little Game—it has very But I’m A Cheerleader vibes.

        Hope you find something you like!

  4. I’ve been having health problems lately, and decided to do something about it – so I joined a gym across from my preschool. Best decision of my life.

    Not ever playing any sports, I never thought I’d be the gym kinda person, but I’ve fallen in love. This isn’t your typical place — we have cross-fit, ninja warrior training, and tons of yoga and piyo. Why didn’t I do this sooner?

    The best part of all is the locker rooms are trans friendly and the trainers are super affirming. After yoga class, I roll up my mat and file into the locker room with all the other women. And it just feels normal and safe.

    Your bath bombs look lovely! Have you tried making some at home before?

    • Re: bath bombs. I haven’t! I’m not a very good cook, but I am a good baker and a good mixer o’ drinks. Is that the same skill set as cooking, or more like either baking or drink mixing?

      Also re: gyms. HELLS FUCKING YES. That’s so goddamn important. I have a ton of feelings about the gender-y spaces in my gym that I’m not quite ready to discuss on the internet just yet, but needless to say I am THRILLED FOR YOU, FRIEND. Also gyms are helping me immensely as well. Did you see my Cardio playlist? Would that be a helpful thing for you? If so, here ya go!

      • Funny story… In another life, I used to work at this bakery nestled at the base of a volcano. Nice place. I packaged bread. They played lots of Sinatra. But then they turned out to be stowing forgery plates behind the bread shelf, and the whole thing blew up pretty quickly…

        The Starfox reference was a nice touch 😉 Thank you for these! Everything is right up my alley.

    • Isn’t it strange the winding paths of life. My best friend since fourth grade (who now lives across the ocean) was home visiting one time and we went running together at a gym. We were not the running type in school, so it was definitely a trip to be running together across the street from our old high school.

      I’m so glad you found an exercise you enjoy!

      One of my jobs offers tabata on the lunch break, which is perfect as I stopped exercising when we got kids.

  5. Things I am really into Right Now:

    Hayley Kiyoko’s first album ‘Expectations’. It is the first album where I have listened to all songs in order several times. Every song is a banger. every. single. one. Will I ever figure out which one is my favourite??

    Writing. Me and a few other writing friends have been doing camp nano this month and I’ve been very good at keeping up with my 967 words a day. I’m at a point where I can skip a day of writing and I’d still be on track for 29000 at the end of the month. It has been keeping me sane amidst the soul-crushing boredom of unemployment. That being said..

    Applications for creative writing related things. grants for retreats. scholarships for festivals. Mentorships. I may get none of these things, but in my opinion the most exciting part is the application because its the excitement of possibility.

    Hope everybody has a good weekend!

    • I am a person who wordses professionally and yo, 967 a day is astronomical! Just keep going, and keep applying, and you’ll be GOLDEN. Are you looking at MFA programs at all?

      Confession: I have not yet listened to Haley Kiyoko at all. *ducks out of way of thrown objects*

      • I’ve thought about doing creative writing programmes ( I live in the UK so we have masters but not MFAs) but creative writing isn’t taken seriously as a discipline over here. There are a few unis that do creative writing, but even then I’m not sure if taking it as a course is the alright thing for me? Maybe one day if I get the money ( or enough if a career to get a fellowship) I’d like to do one in the US

    • I too am listening to Expectations constantly – it’s making my MTA experience a million times better.

      Congrats on all the writing, that’s so amazing! I did NaNoWriMo one year and was so proud of myself for completing it – you’re inspiring me to try to do it again this year.

  6. I started last year deciding I was going to be healthy. So I went on weight watchers, which I love, and have lost 45 pounds. I decided the next step was to do some sort of physical activity. So I tried yoga. I like sweaty yoga were you do a lot of strength and conditioning stuff. But my favorite, and I think the best kind, is called Yin yoga. It is meditative, slow and consists of relaxation and stretching. You start out lying in a comfortable position and the instructor goes through a meditation for the first 10 minutes. Then you move into other poses and hold them for 2 to 5 minutes. It clears the mind, it focuses the thoughts, it relaxes muscles that I didn’t even know were tight. It’s amazing and I’m totally into it.

  7. I have restarted my home yoga practice after many years of very irregular time on the mat, and it feels amazing. It’s often only 20 minutes a day, and I skip a day every other week or so, but the consistency of that small amount of practice has been amazing! I no longer feel like I’m dragging myself to move because I should, but really love and relish the time. It feels like deep self-love, and just by doing it daily I’ve gotten so much better at accepting the ways my ability and strength change with the swings of chronic neuromuscular illness… today I can barely walk but feel calm and trusting in the fact that this will change, while a few months ago when my body was this weak I was thrown into some rough depressed spaces. Learning to breathe and accept wherever I am…

  8. It’s super silly, but freaking boy short underwear!!!!! I’ve been battling bikinis my whole life and I’m pretty sure ladies underpants are a tool of the Patriarchy to make us just *slightly* uncomfortable All The Time, until we don’t even realize it’s a problem but we are too worried about if people can see our damn panty lines to Rise the Fuck Up. I got properly fitting boy shorts and I forget, for the first time in my life, about my underwear! And then I got really mad that I’d been uncomfortable for so long. I also gave up on underwire bras about a year ago (except for special occasions) and wearing a soft “sleep bra” as your daily driver as a C-cup feels like a thumb right in society’s eye.
    So yeah. Proper underpants making me want to take over the world.

    • Oh my god, I feel this so hard!! I was always one of those people who spouted the “thongs are actually the most comfortable underwear” line, partly because I was semi-brainwashed by the patriarchy, but also because when you’re comparing them to other terrible women’s underwear options, it’s kind of true? I’d prefer something permanently riding up my butt on purpose than just sort of sliding around/intermittently doing so throughout the day.

      But now I *finally* stopped wearing women’s underwear (just uniqlo mens and tomboyx, which is all gender neutral-ish) and gave up on underwire bras (isn’t it amazing that you can just do that??). It’s so. much. better. I’m happy to see that, in general, stores/brands seem to be moving towards bralettes/padded and supportive sports-bra-type things. Even Victoria’s secret is getting in on this. I know that some people prefer the feeling of ~total support~ that can only come from underwire, but personally (C/D cup here), I find that soft bras are totally fine for daily wear. Sometimes I wear a lightly-padded one if I’m wearing like, a white tshirt. But I also am sort of at the place in my feminism/misandry that I’m like, what’s the worst thing that could happen, I’m comfortable but someone is aware that I have nipples for like one second of the day?

        • tomboyX is where I got my fab new boyshorts. They are very comfortable! I bought the wrong size, but had to wear (and wash) to figure that out, and when I contacted them they sent me a free pair in the right size. I love the wide soft waistband! I seriously forget I’m wearing them they are so soft.

        • Sorry for the late reply, but I love TomboyX a whole lot. The brand is super queer and inclusive of lots of body sizes and gender identities, including in their modeling and social media. They’re definitely expensive, but I was finding that my Uniqlo boyshorts/boxers (which had been my go-to before) were starting to get holes in them pretty quickly, and I felt like their newer iterations are sort of flimsier? It started to feel less like good basics and more like fast fashion. So I went pretty much full Tomboyx and haven’t looked back.

          In terms of what to try, probably if you’re just experimenting, it’s worth getting 1 or 2 single pairs in the different styles to see what you think — micromodal is soo soft and feels amazing, like legit the softest underwear I’ve ever worn, but I tend to prefer wearing those on the weekends and the “classic cotton” ones for daily wear, and then there’s deciding between the different lengths. After a like year+-long journey, I’ve landed on the classic cotton 6-inch boxers for daily wear (they come in fun colors and at a better price in 3-packs: https://tomboyx.com/products/3-pack-6-boxer-briefs-the-grey-agenda). I also have 2 of the 9-inch classic cotton boxers for sleeping in, which I love a lot but I feel slightly Mormon in them (one of the pairs is white and I got it bc it was on sale but it looks EXACTLY like Mormon temple garments…I still wear them a lot though ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).

          That is my very long response. I hope it helps and that you try them and love them!

          • Oh, also, the classic cotton ones tend to run a little small/tight (maybe just because there’s no spandex for stretch), so maybe try a size up.

      • Don’t laugh, ok? Until a girlfriend told me last week, I was completely clueless about the whole “panty line” thing. So I like to wear yoga pants to workout or the occasional skinny jean and the whole time have probably giving the whole world a show >___<

        No one teaches me this stuff! It's not like I had the good fortune to learn growing up like most women, but now that I know some women go without undies altogether, my mind is blown!

        • The whole going with undies thing squicks me out. I like to wear my pants multiple times before washing and it just seems like they’d get……funky. I mean, if you are wearing tights or leggings just once, that’s one thing.
          I live in a college town and often see girls in Very short skirts and thongs and all I can think is “Your actual ass is touching The. Whole. World!!!!!”
          Also, I never feel bad about panty lines. Like, if it’s a terrible affront to someone’s “delicate sensibilities” to know that I’m wearing underpants, they have bigger problems than seeing a ridge of fabric and also were given eyelids that they are welcome to use!

  9. I’m going to my first drag show this weekend, with over half of the (small) group of people I’m out to! I get to wear my leather pants!

    And, I’m starting therapy next week after a 2-year break. Time to unpack some shit!

  10. I loved that I figured out how to work tarot back into my school routine!!! It helps immensely!
    I also really love spending at least two hours a week listening to music that I hadn’t heard before by women musicians.
    But I especially love that somehow I’ve been able to speak certain desires into being. Like having an ice cream party at school! All because I was craving ice cream and said something!

    But I’m not really feeling so great this week. Physically, since I’ve had this cold/bronchitis thing lingering for 3 weeks now. Mentally, because I am not sure I am capable of doing what I need to do and what I want to do in life. I’m really doubting and questioning myself as I’m nearing the end of my first year of grad school. Like what am i even doing? The only part I genuinely am enjoying is working toward my thesis, but even that I feel insecure about this week. :/

    • Hey friend. I was a graduate student. It’s really, really hard sometimes. Just know that almost everyone, including the people who seem really sure, feel this way sometimes. Even often! And knowing nothing else about the situation, when your body isn’t feeling wonderful, that affects your mental and emotional state as well. Maybe take some time to get down and stay down this weekend? Does your school have a health center? When something hangs on that long, it might actually require meds/more meds than you are currently taking/different meds than you are currently taking.

      <3 <3 <3 I believe in you. Feel better.

      • Thanks <3 this weekend is the first one in maybe two months that I don't have any obligations, so I am definitely taking it easy! Also should probably do more to figure out what this cold thing is,and how to get rid of it, yes Haha!

      • Hi Jay, I’m late to the party but just wanted to second everything AE said. I just finished my PhD, and it blew goats (uh…not in a good way…). Self-doubt, physical and mental exhaustion, depression, blah blah blah. Take care of yourself, hang in there, find whatever supports work for you and make ’em support the heck out of you. It’s a really good sign that you are enjoying working on your thesis!

        When you get down on yourself, think about the idea or question that you are most passionate about. It’s pretty awesome, isn’t it? I bet your thesis is about something super-cool. And who’s going to do it, if you don’t? Then go to a bookstore or library and get yourself _What Do You Do With an Idea?_ and _What Do You Do With a Problem?_ by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom. Probably in the children’s section. Then go home and get comfy and read your books and take a nap and wake up and kick ass. 😉

        You can do this. We’re all rooting for you. Hope you feel better soon!

  11. Hm, let’s see. I’m feeling like I have the hang of my new job now, just over two months into it. I am still writing a lot of fanfic most days of the week, having not written for several years, which makes me very happy.

    I bought the DVD of Carol cause y’all have convinced me I need to educate the lesbian side of my bi self.

    Also, Autostraddle has been educating me that even at 47 it is OK to start questioning more aspects of my identity and who I am and what labels I want to own – if any. I’m beginning to understand the gender spectrum more although I worry about upsetting or offending people. I don’t get to hang out with anybody who isn’t cishet outside of online life because I live in a tiny town and have no means of getting out until I (hopefully, eventually) manage to pass my driving test and get a car.

    So thanks to AS for giving me a space to be my true self – even if I’m not sure who that is right now.

    And now I need to go have a cry. Excuse me.

    • A) iT TAKEs YOU TWO MONTHS TO GET GOOD AT A JOB? IT TAKES ME A WHOLE YEAR ONE ENTIRE YEAR OF MY LIFE GO YOU, FRIEND, FOUR FOR YOU!

      B) I’m having a lot of gender feels that I’m not quite ready to talk about on the internet yet. But here’s what I have learned so far that I’m perfectly into sharing, and it applies to all sorts of situations:

      When you tell people what you’re feeling and what you’re going through, sometimes people will tell you they’ve been going through the exact same thing. And it’s really healing when that happens. So even when it’s scary—especially when it’s scary—keep talking about your process. Even when it’s soup running through your fingers. Even when you’re stumbling on the language. Keep doing it. You’ll find your people that way.

    • Thank you for sharing this! So much of your experience resonates with my life right now. I’m finding that my identity becomes clear to me only when I am safe enough to address it– I am from a small place and small people and possibilities have always been limited. Unlearning all of that, while looking around and seeing all the ways a person can BE a person, sparks something in me. Not sure what yet, exactly. But as long as we’re alive, we can keep exploring. So thanks. And I’m crying a bit myself.

  12. Can I be super braggy and say the thing I’m loving is me? Because an article I wrote about coming out for the local news was picked up by the national CBC news site (which is a big deal in Canada) and I’ve gotten such a nice response back and I’m basically bursting with pride rn

    I don’t know why I phrased this as a question I’m doing it anyway

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/why-it-took-me-28-years-to-come-out-1.4575584

    😀

  13. Yes, I also highly recommend subscribing to The Shatner Chatner! It is the best $5 I spend every month. You never know what kind of content you’re going to get, which is one of the best things about it. It’s like sometimes a long creepy surreal story about the boxcar children, sometimes a hilarious riff off the term “my ward” in old-timey novels, and sometimes a really personal and raw and great take on life/gender/etc. I really felt the “Impulses I Have Had To Restrain This Year” one too!

    In general, I have subscribed to a lot of email newsletters recently, and I feel really good about it. It’s such a strange but cool and intimate format. I especially like Ruth Curry’s Coffee and TV (https://tinyletter.com/coffeeandtv), Katie Heaney’s Do Not Buy (https://tinyletter.com/DoNotBuy). Also GriefBacon is not queer but super interesting and strange and sometimes upsetting but great: https://griefbacon.substack.com/.

    • I love that newsletters are having a comeback over the last year and a half or so (maybe longer? Maybe two years or three?). It really feels like you’re emailing with a friend. I have taught newsletters in my digital storytelling class, but I MIIIIGGGHHHTTTT have a more structured newsletter project this year? I had a student to a newsletter from the POV of a fictional music critic for a final once and it was killer. So much you can do with the format!

  14. A.E., I *love* your idea of taking themed baths. I’m also a Lush fan & will try a few themed baths of my own!

    Something I’ve been loving lately is shopping in the men’s section at thrift stores. I was nervous at first to be in that aisle and trying stuff on. But I’ve found great clothes for good prices and they actually fit me better than any clothes I’ve owned before. I don’t feel like I’m intruding in “someone else’s” space anymore and I look forward to checking out what clothes have come in to browse. So, yay! Also this week I finally purchased my first binder and it has yet to arrive, but I am very excited to try it on and see how my body feels. Maybe I will love it, maybe I won’t, but I’m glad to be trying something new.

    This week was nice because I’m back home with my pups and my local community, and it’s been so good to see friends and be with other queer folks. Next week I get to travel to California to see more friends and family, and I’m so ready for the sunshine.

    Also I just have to say the AS community is so wonderful and I felt so loved this week. <3

    Finally, while I was away from home last month, I found lots of queer goodness to keep me going. Some favorites:
    Karen & The Sorrows' "Take Me for a Ride" is my new favorite song
    The actor who plays Devon in "I Love Dick", omg what a dreamboat
    "Take My Wife" season 2, so sweet & cute

  15. I’m leaving for Chicago today to attend a huge blues dance workshop weekend. I went for the first time last year and saw SO MANY queer girls and was too shy to dance with ANY of them. I’m hoping this year will be different.

    So I am LOVING Blues music/dance in general RN.

    I am loving Thi Bui’s graphic novel The Best We Could Do. Beautiful and sad and beautiful.

    I also realized that, after years of wearing “cute” underwear that made me feel uncomfortable and gave me wedgies just because the men I was dating liked it, that I am not trying to impress anybody(especially not men) and can wear whatever underwear I like. So I bought a Hanes 6-pack of briefs to supplement my boyshorts(because sometimes I want to wear leggings and not have an underwear line) and I am SO SATISFIED everytime I wear them.

    Annnnd, this is a little self-centered, but I’m loving on me? or at least a project I’m doing?
    I’m participating in the 100 day project, where you Do A Thing every day for 100 days. I’m drawing a portrait of an awesome woman from history every day(trying to focus on lesser-known women, queer and/or WOC). I’m only 4 days in, but I’m really happy with what I’ve done so far.

    • Hey. I have some unsolicited advice for you re: the dance.

      Ask people to dance. Everyone is shy and no one likes to do it, so chances are seeing you do it will give everyone the courage they need. Also. The worst someone can say is no. And in the end, that doesn’t affect you at all. It’s okay that they said no; it doesn’t mean one gosh darn thing about you. And if they say yes? Then you get to dance with that person! And that’s rad! But they DEFINITELY won’t say yes if you don’t ask them.

      • Hey, thanks for the unsolicited advice! I am super good at asking people to dance(a lot of the events I go to have a big imbalance of follows and leads so I’ve learned real quick that I have to be proactive if I want to dance at all). I’m just primarily a follow, not a lead, and heteronormativity in the dance scene makes me hesitant to ask other female-presenting dancers to dance when I’m not comfortable leading them if they ask me to? It’s probably not as big of a problem as I make it to be in my head, but last year it really tripped me up.
        This year I’m a slightly better lead, and feel more confident taking either role based on what my partner prefers, so I hope asking people to dance will be a lot easier, because yeah, they can’t say yes if they aren’t asked.

          • Yay, another social dancer! I totally know what you mean. My leading is basically nonexistent, but I want to get good enough where I can ask girls to dance and not feel totally embarrassed at my shitty leading. As it is, I only dance with women who I know can lead, and I’m not usually the one to ask.

            I actually wrote a blog post for my local dance scene on exactly this topic yesterday! I’d say “weird coincidence,” but tbh, the intersection of dance roles and gender roles is kind of impossible not to think about for us queermos, so it makes sense.

            Anyway, have a great time at the blues weekend!

  16. I am right now loving roller skating. A friend and I went and did rainbow rollerskating(still haven’t run into ERWB skating there yet). It just so fun to be out there free and open with other lgbtq people who are doing the same thing. My friend want’s to it weekly, but I think that’s a bit much for my back. Also, the past few days I’ve also gotten into the works of Shel Silverstein. He was this quirky children’s author who made weird-ish drawings paired with words all for kids, some, some real. I like this one, it’s about a unicorn.

    My week has been long, and confusing. I spent my Sunday with the woman I am may or may not be seeing(kind of broke it off, but still in love). We spent most of the day together. We went to Cuties coffee, had some wine, and be queer babes. Like we both want to be with each other, but there is some things interfering, and would like the advice/help from fellow straddlers. Like she want to have my kids, but the idea of that makes me feel dysphoric; partially because the idea of making the baby would some how invalidate me. Idea of making a children feels so very cis-het, and to be honest like boring straight sex. I know I am trans woman-ish and queer, and she’s queer too, but still might be why it may not work out. The messy part is it’s her birthday tomorrow and mines Monday. I am hoping to spend Saturday or Sunday with her, but not sure that will happen? It’s been on my mind almost the whole week, not good. Oddly enough the night before I told me sister I was in a relationship with this person.

    Some spring flowers I saw the other day.

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

    • I’m sorry you are having relationship problems. I don’t have any experience of being trans or of dysphoria but my ex-wife and I knew from early on that she wanted children and I didn’t and we basically ignored it for years until we were in the situation at which it would have been the right time to have children if we wanted them.

      It was one of the issues that contributed to the end of our relationship, although it was more complicated than that.

      Do you not want children at all or is the issue specifically with regards to the way in which they are made? If it is the latter would you both be open to having children in a different way?

      • Thank you for the reply. I think it’s a little of both tbh. But, I am not sure as the idea of that type of interaction during sex is kind of a turn off if I attmepted it.

        • Before my wife started transitioning she went to a clinic to bank some of her genetic materials. Then when we got together and wanted to have kids, we went to the doctor and tried to make a baby with her gametes and mine. It didn’t work, but it definitely didn’t feel hetero-normative. Also there’s always turkey basters. 🙂 But only if you decide you want to try to have a kid. Not having kids is also a valid decision.

  17. What am I loving right now? First and foremost, this thread and this community. Super into the themed bath idea, playlist threads, “Expectations” and Kesha, and comfortable underwear. Also was really happy to see the conservative religious article from Heather earlier this week that made me feel a lot less alone in my Baptist upbringing and late coming out.

    Finally started watching Madame Secretary and I can’t turn it off. Eagerly awaiting Sara Ramirez and her amazing haircut.

    Started a new tarot challenge on Instagram and am loving it.

    Have been nervous about what to pack and wear for my first A-Camp, but it inspired me to successfully clean out my entire closet and pack two big bags of clothing donations, so it still feels like a win. (Still don’t know what to pack.)

    Training for my first marathon this year, and am pumped about how much faster I’m getting now that I’m running consistently.

    Been working to create distance from a friendship turned toxic, and while it’s been hard, I’m proud of myself for sticking with it and doing something healthy for myself.

    Happy Friday!

  18. Xena: Warrior Podcast is giving me life right now! Even if you’ve never seen the show, give it a shot because it’s hilarious, insightful, and actually really informative about what went on behind the scenes in the making of one of the gayest shows ever.

    Also, I’m seeing Rhea Butcher live tonight and I’m so friggin’ excited!!!

    • I just started watching (re-watching? Not sure I ever actually watched it when it was on) Xena, from the beginning so I might have to add that podcast to my never ending list of things I’m behind on!

  19. I’ve been reading The Merry Spinster, which is awesome. I think there was an interview with the author on here a couple weeks ago.

    I also read From Here to Eternity by Caitlyn Doughty. She is the mortician who has a YouTube channel. I loved this book bc even though I’m not super comfortable with death I appreciated how frank and funny she is.(Very simple recap, but I only have a few minutes for lunch).

    On that note, I’m seriously thinking about starting a creepy queer bookclub >:)

  20. Running with the music on.
    I’m not a runner.
    I usually sort people into greyhounds and meatballs.
    I’m a meatball.
    A hobbit in a land of elves.
    But I decided to take up running last year.
    And it took forever and I hurt and overtrained and whatnot, but at some point I started running continually enough to listen to a full episode of Zombies Run and then I finished the entire first season late December of last year.
    I listen to driving house, to electro, to gangster rap, to pounding instrumental music, and after not having stepped into a club in too long, that’s where I let loose, on the treadmill at the gym.
    I’ll put some batshit crazy program on like “hillside” or “intervals” that would have had me laughing in your crazy,crazy face not half a year ago if you would have suggested it to mine, but that’s what I do.
    I’ll gasp for air like a fish eventually, and my pulse rate will be too high if the song is any good.
    Way,way too high if it is really good.
    It’s usually outside of any range I’m supposedly supposed to be in.
    Because I party on the treadmill.
    I fistpump when the base drops and I whoop and grin while my feet beat the silicone lining of the treadmill like an enemy.
    The enemy, however, is me.
    It’s depression, it’s anger and frustration and loneliness and whatnot, but for that blessed time that my phone is strapped to my arm, that I have to focus on not wrapping myself around a piece of motorized gym equipment, I fucking live.
    I live, live, live with a beat drumming in my ear and my feet keeping time.
    I huff out the anger and breathe in life, gasping and aching and happy.
    Who knew I was a runner after all?
    A hobbitelf a greyhound meatball.
    Who would have guessed, indeed.

  21. Oooh. A few things:

    Singing. I’m in a super-inclusive super cool feminist chorus and I love everything about it.

    Reading. Although I’m at a point where I have so much to read that I don’t know what to read lol.

    “The Read” podcast. Two friends who are both black and queer spend ~2 hours or so every week talking about the good and bad of black culture and then some. They also answer listener questions. It might be vulgar to some but it makes me laugh every single time.

    The games on my phone. Bonza x2, Typeshift, the NYT Crossword, Geometry Dash, Doodle Jump, Bubble Witch Saga 3, annnndCandyCrushSaga because I need that mental break.

    Also La Croix, because I’m that kind of queer woman. Whoops.

  22. Coming at you with a peak gay answer to this question… I really like this girl I’ve been dating. I am kind of shocked by how much? Like, usually I’ll go on two or three dates with someone and I’ll like them but feel kind of indifferent to whether we continue seeing each other. And that is definitely not what’s happening this time. But that’s what always happened before so I don’t know what to do next. How do, y’all.

  23. I went to a Hayley Kiyoko meet and greet yesterday in LA with a couple of queer friends! I find official meet and greets super awkward and weird but it was still a pretty fun time and we got a pretty cute picture so…

  24. Yes to all this, I am currently enjoying having a flexible enough job that I can build a garden in our yard and nest and take care of this house we bought. I was really resistant to the whole settling down thing at first because rootedness and stability and boring? But now I am leaning into it and loving our little old cracked house and the yard that gets me out in the sun working my body and moving tons of dirt and growing us food. Feels alive!

    • I love flexible enough jobs! I have raspberry bushes, grape vines, and peaches trees in my yard that I mildly neglect, but greatly enjoy. My vegetable garden always needed more weeding, so this year I’m trying a plot at the community garden across the street from my parents’ house.

  25. I’m really into autostraddle right now! I’ve just became A+ yesterday so I’m catching up and reading every single and awesome post. Also, I’m really happy about this community, the AS team, and to be queer! Yay

  26. Things I am loving right now: Planning a day trip to NYC ~ I want to go to the High Line park & walk around Chelsea Market.
    Getting more hours at work ~ I work at a library and we have Sunday hours in our main branch. And I volunteered for the Sunday hours for the rest April into May. Totally didn’t think I was going to get it.
    Reading the newspaper more. ~ I stopped getting my news (aside from a few things on AS) from a lot of places online and went back to a newspaper. It is pretty simple and quiet, which is great with my coffee in the morning.

    Things I am sort of coming around to right now:
    Learning my limits of what I can and can’t do with my CP. While the self discovery part is kind of nice, (“Oh I am not stupid for not really tying my shoes correctly, I just can’t do that.”)
    There is a sort of embarrassment and frustration with it. But I have been watching a lot of Youtubers (queer, trans, and disabled ones like me) and that has made me feel a bit better about my CP.

  27. I’ve gotten super into Spotify lately. Been going and listening to a lot of music that I haven’t listened to in forever, and new stuff by the same people/bands. And also discovering new artists. My fave right now is Down Like Silver, which has the kind of melancholy folky-but-not-too-folky thing going on that makes my heart swoon. Which is what I look for in all music. Not the folky necessarily, but the heart-swoony quality.

    Also, super into trying to post on AS more often. Changed “name” on from Al to my soon-to-be legal-name Alistair because I sometimes feel weird about posting since there’s the lovely person I call “other Al” in my mind who posts a lot (hi Other Al!) and I’d feel weird if people got us confused.

    Made Reneice’s PB cookies this afternoon and they were fab. https://www.autostraddle.com/femme-brulee-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookies-411306/

  28. First and foremost, I love that you’re loving baths! I started working at Lush a few months back in part because their bath products bring me to the happiest of places. It fills me with joy to see that you liked your April Showers (the cloud with purple and pink cocoa butter bits) because IT IS SO AMAZING and I want everyone to have it in their lives! You even have one of those drain covers that allows you to fill up past your tub’s structural limits – pro status.

    Second, and related, I’m loving my new apartment that I have all to myself and can take as many baths in as I want 😀

    In theory, my baths and apartment are helping me cope with the mind fuck and financial instability that are being a PhD student, providing comfort and warmth necessary for me to put one foot forward at a time so I can get. this. done.

  29. My wife recently noticed again that she likes cuddles and hanging out with me! It’s a thing she forgets when she gets depressed/sees a shiny new thing, but then she remembers and we hang out!

    I feel like I’m making it past survival mode with the kid who has been with us for 4 months (but she had a birthday and had a few rough patches). Our other kid who has been with us for a year is on unlimited visits with her bio mom, which is movement in the right direction! I’m going to miss her, and so I’ve been thinking, maybe we should say yes to another foster placement. Then I remind myself that there will be plenty of time and not to rush.

    I have 5 weeks more at a job that I’ve enjoyed but is not a good fit with the foster parenting. I’m a bit sad to be learning my field, but for multiple reasons the job is not right at this time in my life.

    I did goal setting in my passion planner and I wanted financial stability and to be a parent. I’m pretty proud that my family was fine money wise last year even with my wife not working for several months, and me working my many part-time jobs. For parenting, I’ve gotten to support several families with reunification. I do want to be a forever parent to a child, but for now these kids have had good people to go home to.

    I have been loving walks with the kid! So many spring flowers to see and pick (before it turns cold again). I’ve started getting Sundays to myself, as both kids are with their grandmoms. I got to do taxes the last two weekend without worrying about the kids! This weekend I’m going to help clean my parents’ house (my mom has been sick for about 2 months which is so totally not like her, but hopefully she’s getting better). If the weather is nice next weekend I want to take myself out for a hike!

    • @shewasnice
      You sound like a wonderful parent, and I’m happy you’re making more space in your life for the little ones. I’m in a similar situation right now with work – I just gave my job and most people in my profession notice that I will be leaving teaching for the foreseeable future at the end of this summer.

      While I’m terrified and deeply depressed to leave what I love behind, I’m finding it’s also inhibiting my sense of growth. I need to spread my wings and try something new. Still not sure what that something is… but that’s part of the adventure!

  30. Well, I’ve been loving plain ol’ 2015 Oscar-nominated film Carol. (Thank you, Erin.)

    In addition to that, I’ve been loving these things:

    – Dominating business interviews
    – Reconnecting with old friends
    – The Chris Gethard Show (DON’T MISS, if you are sad you will LOVE IT)
    – The song “Brave” by Sarah Bareille
    – Janelle Monae
    – The whole wheat macaroni and cheese by Amy’s I guess, I’m sorry and embarrassed

    Just do you. I will do me. I think we’ll be alive tomorrow. That’s neat. 🙂

  31. lately i’m loving reading for pleasure again — i was on planes for about 20 hours over spring break and i managed to get through three novels. it’s amazing what you can do when you don’t have wi-fi. i finally got around to reading “the awakening,” which was AMAZING, and i read “olive kitteridge” at my mom’s recommendation, which was also great. (and isn’t it great when someone recommends a book to you and you end up loving it? it feels like they really know you.) and i re-read “wild.” the first time i read it was in high school, and i remember being so angry at the protagonist, thinking she was so stupid and the whole book was dumb. i think i was so reactive because so much of her psyche was too close to home and i wasn’t ready to confront myself, but i was this time, and reading it again changed my life. it was so good. i couldn’t even put it down to go to the bathroom. i was crying in economy class, y’all! this quarter i have a lot of free time and i’ve promised myself i’m going to read more. (i’ve also promised myself i’m going to write more, so… we’ll see how that goes.)
    i’m also really loving this quarter! i only have classes two days a week, they’re all with professors i really love, and i’m counting the days until the warm weather is back. we had two beautiful sunny days and then the rain returned, and it looks like it’s going to stay for a while. i like the damp and gloom as much as the next northern california coast-dweller, but if i don’t get some sun soon i’m really going to lose it. but! i’m holding out hope for sunshine.

  32. A friend of mine wrote a book — a queer YA book — and I read it and loved it, which is always a good thing when your friend writes a book because you want to say you loved it and not be lying. It’s called The Summer of Jordi Perez and it’s basically a romcom in book form, but totally gay, which the world needs more of, I think.

  33. Going to miss you.

    I’m a good baker and good cook, I’ve ID’d as kitchen witch before. It pretty much holds up because with the power of just my nose I made a spice mix for stir fry without soy(allergic womp womp) and I didn’t miss the soy at all. Nor did anybody else who tried it.

    Also I’m a human version of this website

    http://www.supercook.com/#/recipes

    where you give ingredients and it spits out a recipe but minus the recipe I just make a thing and maybe remember to right it down in case it’s really good xD

    Regularly I do spice mixes for small stuff using only my sense of smell for a direction, but for something big I follow a recipe. Recently tho my mom trusted me with making the rub and the marinade for a roast so I dunno one day I might surpass the need for spice mix recipes.

    So what I’m loving right now is my baking and cooking, but that’s all my life really has going for it. Just made a dense mini cake for which I will be making ganache frosting for tomorrow. Finally stocked up enough soy-less chocolate to do it and I have left over cream from making Easter cheesecake.
    Lately I been experimenting with trying to make potato kookoo in the oven because it too big for me to flip and making little pancakes of it is abhorrent to me for some reason.

    I take relaxing hot baths, too many skin issue for bathbombs and stuff but I know how do medicinal cool baths for angry skin fo’sure, and all I do is bring a treat with me to eat real fucking slow like I’m some divine sovereign with all the time in the world.
    My favourite is probably yogurt parfaits because I have fancy little plastic bowls to put them in that fit just right into supersize cups from Rotolo’s full of ice so the yogurt stays nice and chill.
    Also tiny spoon, I have tiny spoons to help me as slow as possible and savour every bite.

    Uh I think I want to rec you a book but I’m not sure if this is the book because my copy has the most hideous metallic hot pink cover

    https://www.amazon.com/Over-Delicious-Dishes-Cooked-Just/dp/1405496789

    It’s called Just 1 Pot and my fanciest looking dinner recipe came from it.
    Not a vegetarian book, but there’s vegetable soups, stews, casseroles and a pilaf in the vegetable section.
    There’s also a dessert section and boy is it hard to look at rn while my lil cake cools

  34. This song has been stuck in my head today

    In case embed fails:
    Tito Larriva and the MDH Band-Anarchy In The USA

    This is what I hear in my head when I’m trying to sleep

    Arvo Pärt – Tabula Rasa
    but like a mix of the different parts, mostly the tragic sounding violins from Fratres

    Arvo Pärt is a composer who had like a breakdown and made his way back to composing by studying liturgical chanting

  35. It seems as though we went on the same finally-subscribing-to-the-chatner journey this week, @aeosworth. Brb, ordering that cookbook for my girlfriend in anticipation of my own work schedule increasing to one bajillion hours next month.

  36. I’m feeling so good! It’s the first beautiful day in the spring over here (21 C), and today it seemed the entire city was out to walk around in the sun or sit at sidewalk cafés. Everyone seemed more happy and kind.

    My lingering mild depression has gone, so everything feels so much better anyway. I feel so energized and inspired and all I want to do is create and experience. Today I made my first beeswax candles and there is wax all over my kitchen counter but I’m still happy and they are great. I’m back to making my own cosmetics. Today I’ve bought lovely fabric to sew a summers pants and dress. (Recommending these patterns: http://www.patternsforpirates.com/) (Also: I may have too many hobbies.)

    Yesterday I exercised for the first time in way too long and I really didn’t want to do it, but afterwards I felt so good! Today I’ve got very sore muscles but it’s feels kind of ok because it’s a reminder that I’m taking better care of myself. (Used this app for the first time: https://fitifyapps.com/) My weekly yoga classes are also a very good way to accept and feel my body.

    Besides this I’m getting back to doing some tarot and witchcraft and it’s helping me and inspiring me.

    (I just looked at the news to see what temparature it was today – saw a horrific message. Have decided to not read right now. I’m enjoying the bliss for just a bit longer.)

    Here is some amazing music to celebrate the sun

    Be good my lovelies <3

  37. i keep missing the Friday open thread

    not a lot of things feel good right now

    i just restarted Trileptal, which I’ve been on before, but i can’t remember if it worked or not. i think if it worked i would have remembered?

    doc wants me to take some new atypical anti psychotic, says he’s had good results w it for mixed episodes or “activated depression”, which is what he calls what i have (“bipolar disorder unspecified” , 31.9, which is more of an insurance formality than it is an actual diagnosis)

    but i hate antipsychotics

    so

    much

    • I’m so sorry you’re going through this, Michael. I’m not a big fan of the meds either. If you ever need someone to listen, please message me. That sometimes helps me feel better when I’m going through something similar.

  38. What I’m loving right now:

    My town (Colorado Springs) has no public queer femme/lesbian/female identifying/womxn spaces, and I’ve been feeling really sad about that. But I went to Denver last night with one of my queer friends and we went out to one of the gay bars there and I ENDED THE NIGHT BY KISSING A BEAUTIFUL NB AND I AM DEAD pls give me a v queer and rainbow themed funeral!!!!

    The band MUNA – they’re all so hot and HOW DID I NOT KNOW OF THEM BEFORE THE PAST 2 WEEKS. Their entire album has been on repeat all week.

  39. First of all I got rejected from a position teaching a Gender and Law class and instead they picked some people who are like…the worst White Cis Feminists and I want to scream but basically can’t.

    Also things I’m into right now:
    1. face masks (specifically the Boscia pink activated charcoal peeloff mask, because I was the kind of kid who really enjoyed peeling dried glue off my hands, and this weird Ole Henriksen gel mask with lavender, aloe, and blueberry extract that I found at TJ Maxx that has done wonders for my puffiness and undereye circles).

    2. Fountain pens! I’ve been reading a lot of fountain pen blogs and I’ve ordered myself a bunch of cool pens (AliExpress has great pens for as low as a dollar, with free shipping; JetPens has fancier pens at reasonable prices and free shipping over $25, and a great selection of inks and ink cartridges) that I use to take notes in class and write in my journal.

    3. Exercise. There’s a gym right in my building and I try to fit in at least 30 minutes on the treadmill and 10-20 minutes of cool-down yoga after school every day.

    Also I’ve started making plans to study law abroad in the Netherlands next spring, it’s going to be great!

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