FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Which Fictional Character’s Energy Are You Channeling in 2019?

Happy New Year, my friends, and welcome to the first FRIDAY OPEN THREAD of 20biteen! I’m having the weirdest experience this week of needing to restart my brain after the holiday break, because for the first time since I left my office job in 2008, I actually took a holiday break! It was the culmination of my main 2018 goal, which was to get some balance into my relationship with my career. I slept in, I read three books — Becoming, by Michelle Obama; Binti 2: Home, by Nnedi Okorafor; and The Queens of Innis Lear, by Tessa Gratton — I cooked so many delicious meals, I rode my bike almost every day, I cuddled with my cats and Stacy, and I started Assassin’s Creed Odyssey which I have been promised is very gay. (It better be; Assassin’s Creed Syndicate forced my beloved Evie into a relationship with a man and I have neither forgotten nor forgiven!)

I didn’t realize how much I needed the holiday rest and to check out of the internet until I was resting and checked out of the internet. Did y’all know when you don’t go on Twitter no one can yell at you on Twitter? WILD!

I’m hyped to the point of tears today watching this 116th Congress get sworn in! Two LGBTQ Senators and eight LGBTQ representatives, 55 members (the most ever) of the Congressional Black Caucus, the first Somali-American member of Congress, Muslim and Native American women serving for the first time, Nancy Pelosi retaking the speakership. I just keep hearing Natalie’s words in my head: “Even in bad times, there are moments of pure light and joy that reinvigorate my spirit and convince me that things are going to get better.”

In 2018 I spent a lot of time wrapping myself up in stories that gave me hope: Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who, She-Ra, Jane the Virgin, Adventure Time, The Good Place, One Day at a Time, and most especially Steven Universe. Which leads me into my open thread question this week: Which fictional character’s energy are you channeling in 2019?

For me, it’s going to be Garnet. Tough and powerful and unflinching in her commitment to fight evil, but full of joy and wonder, and literally made of love. I want to ask a lot of questions about myself in 2019 and not be scared of the answers, I want to protect my family and use my powers to make the world better and brighter, I want to dance like a goof and share inside jokes with the people I care about most, and I want to find a pair of sunglasses that make me look like a badass motherfucking boss.

How about you?

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. Happy Awesome Kick-Ass New Year, Heather !

    I think I want to channel Yasmin, one of the 13th Doctor’s companions. She’s a cop and she’s ultra-smart and she’s a knockout and most importantly she’s an all-around kind, compassionate person. She faces danger head-on, and is able to deal with complicated family stuff, and forgive her family for that complicated family stuff. She’s a good friend too. All things I aspire to !

    • Yes! Yaz! I fell in love with her immediately and my affection for her has only grown as she’s spent more time in the TARDIS. What a perfect choice!

  2. I feel like this should probably read as a little bit concerning, but honestly I just really want to bring some big Villanelle energy into 2019. Seriously! She goes after what she wants, she takes great care with her work, and she does it all while wearing killer (hah!) clothes. I could definitely use some of that in my life.

  3. i also am having a lot of feelings about these photos. i’m so damn proud of these women, and for the first time in a long time am feeling a bit of hope. (and those images of kyrsten sinema getting sworn in by human dumpster fire mike pence are bringing some major 20biteen energy.)

    for 2019 i’m channeling catra all the way. ambitious, clever, helps and supports her friends when they need it (even if she doesn’t agree with them), and looks hot as hell in a suit.

  4. Madam Satan a.k.a. Ms. Wardwell a.k.a. Lilith (Jesus CHRIST) from “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” Jk, that would be lightly horrifying in many regards, but I am here for her abject misandry!

    • I haven’t watched Sabrina because of the blood but hearing that there’s a character called “Madam Satan” is really making me think hard about trying to tough it out.

      • The show is problematic in parts (disappointed but not surprised), but Madam Satan is… ugh, she’s something. Picture the actress who played Missy on “Doctor Who” as a MILFy quasi-double agent demon/teacher with aspirations of taking over hell from the Dark Lord himself. Oh, and she has ridiculous chemistry with one of Sabrina’s aunts, so there’s that.

        Oh and tbh there isn’t as much gore as you might expect; it’s more the themes that are dark (cannibalism, necromancy, devil-worshipping, etc.) *chants* Watch. It. Watch. It.

    • I am desperate for the second installment, if only so that we can get this name business straightened out – three names is far too many to keep track of!

      • S E R I O U S L Y. I mean technically Mary Wardwell is the identity she’s assumed, Madam Satan is her chosen moniker, and Lilith is her Official Demon Name™. But really SOMEONE in Greendale should’ve determined by now that the historically meek, bookish, bespectacled Mary’s abrupt and total 180 means the real Ms. Wardwell is no longer of this world and thus begin addressing Madam Satan accordingly!!!!! (I have a lot of feelings.)

  5. Dear Heather, you make our world better and brighter every day!
    I wanna channel Hermione Granger, because “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery”

  6. When I saw that it was “Friday Open Thread” I didn’t believe it at first because I’m a lucky furloughed gov worker and I’ve been in a perpetual state of Saturday for 2 weeks now (which hasn’t been terrible, but damnit I wants to get back to work, and more importantly get paid!)

    Anyways, I’m channeling Linda Belcher this year for a few reasons: her fierce love for her children, her willingness to do anything for them, and her need to sing and dance. Also I’m channeling a bit of the rest of the Belcher family because they all have some bits of awesome that I’d like to have too.

  7. Love this thread! I’m interested to read the responses.

    I’m channeling Marcelline this year, she’s my favorite soft butch goth. Assertively speaking up for herself and setting boundaries, embracing her dark feelings and expressing them creatively, using her anger as motivation to make change, still ready to drop everything and have some fun. My wardrobe already matches!

  8. I’m not even American and I felt empowered seeing all those awesome women in your government. Now if only the one we have running our country was half as good as any one of them! We have had two women prime ministers and they’re neither of them what I would want a daughter of mine to have as a role model, if I had a daughter.

    I’m with Deli Twotone above as regards sheroes – Yasmin is pretty awesome! I’m hoping Captain Marvel is as awesome when her movie comes out in March – the trailers look pretty cool!

  9. I think I’m feeling a bit like Gloria Estefan the Penguin from The Muppets reboot show a while ago. They are often carried around, people/muppets use various pronouns to address them. The Muppet Wiki for them says gender is unclear (undetermined) and like same. Also I can’t move my arm except in a very penguin-like fashion rn because of top surgery. Also they are silly and a bit feisty and I’m feeling like I want to bring a little good chaos into my life once I’m healed.
    I’m feeling soooo good, not sure if it the pain meds or like just feeling good and happy, maybe a bit of both. but like wow I am so exited for the future rn!!!!! <3

    • @lundy Jay, congrats on the surgery ! I hope you make lots of mischief this year, I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures.

    • Congrats on your top surgery, Jay! What an amazing way to ring in the New Year! I hope you continue to heal quickly and without too much pain. I love this comment. It made me smile very big.

      • Thanks <3 <3 <3 <3
        So glad I could add some cheer to your day!!!
        Feeling good and cheerful as I'm groggy, so I think thats a good sign :D

      • Yes! While some muppets/people are chaos muppets, they can be good and sweet and have just the right balance of fun, nice, respectful chaos. Especially Sweetums!!! Who I named my lil kitten after! I can’t wait to get back to my place and be with my kitten! my folks cats are great but not the same!

  10. I feel like I’m going to channel Sarah Manning from Orphan Black, or possibly Alexandra Quick from the eponymous series of fanfiction by Inverarity. I need to take control of my own life, and not let my fear or anyone else get in the way of where I want to go — and I want to be a badass doing it.

  11. Happy New Year!
    I am channeling the 13th Doctor herself because she is so full of hope and optimism and compassion and doing the damn thing-ness in a way that gives me life. I want to stare down the Daleks of my past and present with that fierce glint in my eye while also cracking jokes and protecting people I care about. They will not defeat us. They will never defeat us.

    Also her speech about evolving while staying true to who we are is exactly where I am at the moment.

    • YES YES YES! I’ll tell you the truth: Nothing has ever cracked my chest open with hope the way 13 did this season. It hurt me sometimes, physically, in such a wonderful way.

      • YES exactly this. I didn’t know that a TV show could be so precisely what I needed in life, but HERE WE ARE.

    • I came here to say 13 as well! I hope to embody more of her wonder, curiosity, and kindness in this new year. I’ve never wanted to channel a fictional character more than her.

  12. I’m channeling Leslie Knope this year! I’m admittedly more of a Liz Lemon, but I’m trying to be more optimistic, caring, and determined. I’d also like to get more joy out of work this year, whether that means investing more fully in my existing jobs or seeking out new opportunities that will be more fulfilling.

    • I love this! The Liz Lemon/Leslie Knope dichotomy is one of my favorite things to talk about!

  13. I don’t think I can insert a pic into my comment, but I’m 100% channeling Grant Ward (ew, no one should aspire to be him) from Agents of SHIELD saying really dismissively “I’m EVERYONE’S type”.

  14. This year I want to channel Rosa, from Brooklyn 99. Gives no damns, and takes no shit. I’ve been leaning hard into my Scorpio moon this year as well, and I think that energy is hopefully going to carry me into next year.

  15. Happy new year! Excited for 20biteen and the possibility of new things.

    I have two characters in mind. The first is Stevonnie from Steven Universe because I feel very much in sync with them right now as I figure out my own identity. And I want a combination of steven’s optimism and connie’s intelligence. And their willingness to try and save the day.
    The second is Amanita from sense8 because my partner and I are basically the IRL version of her and Nomi. And I want to continue to be as supportive of my partner as I can. (Engagement…?)

  16. Hi everyone! I’ll have to think about which fictional characters I want to embody in the coming year, but I just wanted to say that Garnet is such a fantastic choice.

    I am now listening to the SU soundtrack for the first time in a few months and it’s just soooo good. (No one talk about the recent episodes, I haven’t watched them yet!)

    Unrelated to the question, I’m going to go pick up my very first foster cat in an hour and I’m so excited!!! Her name is Jazz and I’m gonna play her a bunch of her namesake music because I’m a giant nerd.

      • Will do! She’s clearly stressed by all the upheaval, so I’ll wait to interact and take photos until she’s had some time to settle in. The bathroom will be her personal kingdom for the next few days.

  17. I’m not sure what character, but I’m definitely channeling big clit energy in 2019.

    I’m searching apartments to move in with friends, I’m being healthier (emotionally and phisically). I’ve unfollowed, muted and blocked people on social media as needed, I’ve mended some family relationships and let go of others completely. I’m actually feeling calm and low key confident. It feels good.

    In other news I’m going to my first flamenco class since 2002 and I’m so excited 💃🏻

  18. I mean, this is my whole life really, but for 2019 in particular I think I can’t do better than Sailor Moon herself, Usagi Tsukino. She’s complex, tender, tough, optimistic, and knows how to make hard decisions. Her entire character arc is about coming to terms with how to prioritize her relationships of care in a way that considers the good of the whole world and I am HERE for working through tough issues for myself in this way. Plus also she eats whatever she wants whenever she wants with no shame and cries liberally and unapologetically.

  19. I want to bring some Gina Linetti energy into my life. The confidence, the ease with which she voices her opinions, the lack of self-consciousness, how much she just believes in herself.

    • I was just thinking the same thing! I love every other character on this show because all of them share one of my flaws but endearingly deal with them. But Gina? Goals. ALSO financial goals!

  20. I feel most like Sister Monica Joan from Call the Midwife. I speak in verse and have a fierce love of cake.

  21. Happy new years. Yes, a lot of these women are doing some great things, and will continue their best. I don’t know which fictional character I would be. Maybe Abby or Ilana from Broad City. I like them cause they are two Jewish women who aren’t straight and isn’t letting the city/world stop them. Plus, I think one(or both) of them is(are) my age, but looks and acts much younger, which is how I feel sometimes. Oh and I too have a bff who ID’s as Jewish and is total delightful babe.

    How was everyone’s new years? Mine was just great and wonderful. I stayed at a sleazy HOtel with my bff in the cupid suite, which has a heart shaped hot tub. We sat in said tub relaxing and drinking gin I mixed, and boiled with actual pomegranate seeds, which came out good. We also had a little bit of absithne and bottle of Vernors ginger ale(she tells me it’s a Detroit classic). Afterwards we went to a queer party in DTLA, had a new years kiss, danced, meet new people, flirted with new people, and froze ourself waiting for a Lyft. (Seriously waited 10 mintues in LA cold before we ordered another one, which we shared with some lovely gbq men.) Then in the morning we had Indian food, starbucks and walked the city a bit. We have plans to do this agian in the near future.

    Rest of my week was not as good as I had to take my car to the dealership for a second week in a row. Thankfully, this time they found the problem, electronics related. Plus, week of new years so work is kind of slow right now as some folks are still on vacation. On the plus side, first cuties event of the year is this Sunday and I think I found a bag/purse I wll buy for myself. In an unrelated note sending images via facebook messenger there is way less compression vs sending it through sms. So, if you want to send those hot images to someone and one of you isn’t on imessage or whatsapp, fb messenger is a good way to send it as it compresses the images less than sms.

    From Saturday night around my neighborhood.

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

    • That sounds like an intense weekend! I’m sorry about your car trouble; I hope you’re able to get it sorted out soon and it stops causing you trouble!

  22. Great question! On reflection, I want to channel some Nanny Ogg energy ~ her comfort in her own body, her trust in herself and her unapologetic sensuality.

  23. Feeling like Eddie Brock today, the rest of the year is up for grabs.
    Funeral is tomorrow, I’m a pallbearer and my mom won’t state it outright but she wants me to wear a dress or skirt.
    Fuck that it’s January,cloudy, boots with a dress is too kicky/trendy for a funeral, and last time I dressed for someone else’s comfort I got stared at like a freak show anyway.
    I’m on a bio break from getting the pictures for tomorrow ready so I might come back later to vent about the clothes thing and a theory I have.

    • Maybe address this with your mom directly to take at least that worry out of your head.
      I wish you a lot of strength and sending you the biggest hug.

      • That’s thing tho.
        I did address it directly by asking her point blank, “Do you need me to wear a dress?” after I made what I realize was the mistake of asking her if the shirt I chose was too informal which devolved into suggesting “prettier” options all the way into “Surely you have a nice black dress you could wear with some tights?”
        Then was when I asked directly she didn’t give me a real answer just mumbled something I couldn’t pick out and dropped the conversation like it wasn’t happening.

    • My condolences again, @gunna-see-the-light, and I’m sorry that you’re having this thrown on top of the grief you’re already experiencing. It was beyond generous of you to ask your mother for her preference.

      I’ll encourage you to prioritize your own comfort in this moment…mostly because the grief is already enough of a burden to carry but also because, as you pointed out, it’s January. Plus, if you’re going to be a pallbearer, you need to be in comfortable shoes above all other things (especially if it’s been cold and damp where you live). Don’t discount those boots because they might seem too trendy…it might be the exact thing you need.

      • I did prioritize my own comfort and it turned out okay, the boots aren’t too trendy with pants just with a skirt or dress they would have been too trendy.

        The reason it turned out okay was my mom wasn’t solely advocating for more feminine but more formal clothing and I made an assumption on past experiences mixed with her giving a vague answer when I needed a yes or no then suggesting dresses and skirts.

        But what am I supposed to think when I say, “Is this shirt too informal?” and she answers with “Don’t you have prettier shirts?” instead of “Yes, it’s too informal.”
        My mom isn’t a passive or indirect person.

  24. I haven‘t met her yet, but probably Captain Marvel.
    I want to be that person you call when shit hits the fan.

    And I want to own it.
    Be calm and collected and competent.As much as possible.
    Not rolling my eyes, not joking, not overworked and burned out and sleep deprived and hangry but always friendly and ready to help.

    Now, if Captain Marvel turns out to be quite the ass, I‘ll more than manage to roll with that,too😄

  25. I LOVE this thread!
    My 2019 spirit character is Adora.
    I live in NYC and am definitely moving this year. It has definitely taken it’s toll over the years, and I feel like Adora did living in the Fright Zone. I can’t wait for my mind to re-learn that not everything everywhere is like it is here.
    I love that Adora went searching for her purpose and is slowly starting to figure out what she wants that to be. What and who are important to her, and what’s worth fighting for. She’s fierce, loving, brave, adaptive, determined, and just. She learns from her mistakes and does what is right.

    And we both love Catra.

      • The Good Place has really influenced me a lot, so I’m gonna go with Eleanor Shellstrop! Flawed af but evolving and discovering herself. And I might legit be into Tahani.

        I’m so excited, folks! I’m moving to be on my own, hopefully this month and I just told my parents and they took it SO WELL. I’m extremely lucky to have them.

        We’re latinxs (living in a Central American country) and it’s so true how we stay for quite long with our parents… it’s part of our culture and I guess it’s fine, but I’m really looking forward to being independent AND living 10 min from work by foot.

      • This scene! The first time I watched it I was like, “What? Wait, what???” So chill and casual and sweet and wonderful!

  26. I’m definitely channeling Moana this year! I feel I’ll be embarking on many new adventures, daring to push boundaries which others have imposed upon me.

  27. I’ve got a bit of Moana going on too, where the water is my gender and how far I’ll go is my transition as a nonbinary person, because I know something is out there and always has been but I don’t know what I’ll find ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  28. I’ve read all the comments and wondered about who I’m going to channel. And Moana seems ideal for me. Along with Graham from Doctor Who, because I need to eat regularly. I will be moving to the other side of the country as soon as I can to start a new life with affordable housing and most importantly, escape my abusive relationship. I will be heading for a new horizon. I will be swimming in a new ocean. I’ve never swam in the Indian Ocean, I’ve spent my life by the Pacific Ocean, in East Coast Australia and Fiji. I am moving to Perth. It’s faster to fly to New Zealand than it is to Perth from Sydney. I’d move to New Zealand happily but I don’t have a support system there and need my government benefits. I’m a disabled pensioner, so I don’t have a lot of flexibility.

  29. @snaelle You be Nanny Ogg, I’ll be Granny Weatherwax. Granted I like Nanny Ogg’s sense of fun (her scene in the back halls in Masquerade is one of my all-time favorites), but I need to call on Granny Weatherwax’s iron self-confidence for my job hunt.

    After staying up most of the night last night reading James Alan Gardner’s _They Promised Me the Gun Wasn’t Loaded_, I am also thinking about that narrator, Jools. “The moment I became a Spark was the moment I stopped listening to all the voices trying to tell me I wasn’t worth it,” or something like that. Plus she’s a maybe-semi-mad-scientist creative person whose brain stops shouting at her when she gets absorbed in a good problem, so.

  30. Well, at least going into 2019 – it might change, early days and all that – I’m thinking Jennifer Goines and David Rose. David might have his issues (anxious mess with trust issues? hashtag relatable) but he and Jennifer are both so unabashedly themselves and I love that. (Which I’m sure you can say about a ton of characters, but these two just idk, speak to me rn. *shrug* ^^)

    Maybe sprinkle in some Holtzmann, to balance things out with some of that a bit more laidback energy. ^^

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