FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: You’ve Got Some Explaining to Do

As some of you already know, I missed a month of internet. Luckily I came back in time for the “Flawless” remix. Who knows what I would have done had I missed that. Possibly never have gone without the internet again by any means possible. I’m mostly concerned no one texted me about a BIG INTERNET THING because I’m sure there were several and I might never understand their true magnitude. I’m happy to be back and I’ve already been captivated by several internet happenings. It’s a beautiful place we have here. Have you heard Chance the Rapper’s version of the Arthur theme song? It’s important that you listen to that.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160999195″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Also, I’m thinking about growing out my hair and I’ve started a photo series titled “The Growth.” I keep telling everyone because accountability but I actually think that I might get two months in and decide that how I have my hair now is the good life and cut it again? Who knows?! We can’t all be Carmen Rios is what I’m saying.

IMAG3276_1

A few things about how I internet are different now… I’m easing my way back into Tumblr after a long hiatus. I’m not as into Twitter because I’m a narcissist and my favorite thing about Twitter is probably me. Facebook is now overcome with videos that play automatically in your feed and that’s turned out to be a real time suck because I first watch it without sound to verify that it is indeed worthy of my time THEN I rewatch it with sound. I clearly can’t be left to my own devices when it comes to catching up on things which is where  y’all come in. What have been the highlights of the interweb for the past month? Best articles, favorite tweets, bothersome yet fascinating YouTube videos, your newest .gifs? Lemme see ’em! And what the heck have you weirdos been up to? Do you have a new haircut, a new t-shirt, a new boo piece? I hate answering a question like this but I love asking it because I’m a hypocrite: what are the three best things that happened to you over the past month?


How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

1. Find a photo!This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…

2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code, and use a DIRECT LINK to the image. Your image link should end in .JPG or .GIF or .PNG or .CallMeWhateverYouWant even. I don’t care, but it should be an image suffix!

<img src=”http://imageurlgoeshere.jpg”>

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more, check out Ali’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.

2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.

Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 330 articles for us.

163 Comments

  1. Dear straddlers: tonight I am going to a party where we are eating retro snacks and marathoning episodes of Twilight Zone episodes where women exact revenge, called “They Both Reached For the Gun”

    Also I am brewing a fiction piece for submission, a Stephanie Perkins pastiche called Shulie and the Odd Girl Out, which has a plot but I definitely no longer know how to write fiction in this brave new online world.

  2. This month I have acquired a very significant other and gone on a lot of dorky, fun dates. I dyed my hair black, but now I’m really missing the white-blond situation I had going a couple months back. We’ll see how that pans out, I guess.

  3. Tomorrow I am going to my first acupuncture appointment. I mostly believe my wife when she says, “painless,” and, “healing,” in her super soothing voice, but the back of my brain keeps yelling that if Pinhead walks into the room I am out and she can walk back home. I’m not fucking with movie monsters, not even to get my stomach and back to quit mouthing off every damn day.

  4. Sorry guys, no cute puppy/cat pictures today.

    So I do this thing every year called Wasteland Weekend, which is a Mad Max themed post apocalyptic desert event. I met a girl named Jaci there, who was really cool and sweet and funny and energetic – she was the person everyone who has gone to a con or event like this has met – the one that makes you feel like you’re welcome there. Jaci was in our group at Wasteland (everyone camps in groups that have themes for their costumes and camp sites) and as corny as it sounds your group becomes really close.

    Jaci was killed in motorcycle accident on Monday. I’m still really shocked – there’s been a lot of crying, it’s strange… you can forget for a moment, then remember and it’s a gut punch all over again. I don’t really know how to process it yet. Our whole organization is reeling. It’s really weird with Facebook, too – like we look through our group and there’s a post from her, less than a week ago, talking about what she’ll bring and what costume she’s planning. I guess the hardest parts are those plans that are half finished? Like, I was supposed to show her the armor I was making for the event and now… It’s just a lot of little ellipses left in our lives.

    I wanted to show my favorite two pictures of Jaci, because it sort of sums up the two sides of her – the side that was really passionate about creating entertaining and creative spaces, and then the fun side that was always playful and game for anything.

    So here’s Jaci on top of our watchtower..

    And here’s Jaci with the head of one of the ‘bounty hunting’ games after our group won the event. We got rum as a reward that we had to drink out of a gas can. Jaci was the first one willing to try.

    So, Jaci, I hope you can hear me somewhere, and that you’re waiting for us at the bar. We’ll meet up again.

  5. I couldn’t help it and on Monday I texted the woman I have a crush on(who I have mentioned before), a simple have positive week. Hadn’t sent a message to her in over a week(she never replied to the last message), so I thought she lost interest. Positive news is, I’m still trying what one could consider flirting, and I think she flirting back too, but it’s a bit hard to tell with texting. She busy for a while, but still trying to hang with her, cause she just soo adorable and queer.

    On another note my father keeps getting mad at me cause I’m always butting heads with him. He keeps insisting on getting me a new car, that I don’t want(rather save up and do it myself). And he keeps getting mad at my food choices or the fact that he can’t force food onto people. Thank you for listening. I feel a little better now.

    • Oh man I am so in the same boat on the flirting thing; like, is she into me? Maybe? I hope so? I want to hang out again but is she just being polite? I can’t reaaally tell for sure and part of me just worries that I’m bothering her.

      Hope your weekend is father-annoyance free! I love my dad but he’s out of town right now and it’s like, really relaxing.

      • I know that feeling all to well. I also worry that I am too talkative, or the fact I am almost a decade older is an issue, because she using all these emojis that confuse me and I have to ask her what she means. Like who would have guessed star emoji means something that sparkles and glitters and those are her favorite things.

        I work with my father, and he keeps thinking I need to learn, but the fact of the matter is you can’t pressure people into certain things if they don’t want to. And sometimes it’s not related to what was said. At least I get the day off tomorrow to hang with my straddler friends, which is something I need as my back has been killing me.

      • I’m in a really similar situation, except I feel like I’m doing all the messaging and I don’t want to annoy her and I don’t even know if she’s interested anymore AND she’s said she’s busy (hence intermittent replies) and I’m busy with super important university things right now so I can’t afford to be distracted and she’s an (awesome) distraction and I don’t want to stress about her not messaging me back so I’m just *not* but I do want to see her again and she’s super cute but I don’t know how to navigate this whole thing. Gah.

        As for haircuts, I’m getting mine cut again next week! I’m excited because it’s growing too quickly and I feel really out of sorts with my hair wonky. I’m also bleaching and dying it which is going to be interesting. I’m not sure if I’m going to dye it pink or green yet though.

        AND YES, CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT THE FLAWLESS REMIX? And Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda? Because um. I’m on tenterhooks for the video. The teaser alone did all sorts of things to me.

  6. I do have a new haircut! My hair is just below shoulder-length now, and it’s actually curly again. I’m pretty happy with it. I also accomplished a ton at work this month. And I’m back to living the roommate-free life again! Hooray!

    To list a fourth thing, I’ve spent most of the year feeling very ambivalent about how to label myself, but a good conversation I had last weekend left me with a little extra validation for “you do you.” I want to be gay. There is no Objective Arbiter Of My Sexuality who will come out of the woodwork to yell at me for being wrong. It actually can be that simple.

  7. I guess I just can’t believe it’s Friday again already?? The days have all been blurring together, and I just really need to find a job and get out of my parents’ house. It’s really starting to bring me down. I guess I just feel down in general lately. I miss Seattle, I miss my friends, I miss grad school… This summer has felt like being in limbo, and I don’t like it.

  8. Feeling kind of a little bit shitty bout myself right now.

    Earlier I was told that I am lesbiphobic and a transmisogynist because I stated that I wouldn’t want to sleep with anyone that has a penis because I’m just not into them. I still can’t see where I’m wrong here. I respect gender identity and I would never claim that someone is {A} if they identify as {B} because of their genitals or any other factor. I made that fact abundantly clear and everyone that knows me is aware of this but I’m weary of my choices now. Someone even stated that I am no better than racist lesbians which really has me fucked up here.

    Idk

    • I’ve been there already…
      It’s really confusing and frustrating to hear something like that, especially from someone you trust somehow. But I think this kind of thing is way more complex than this dichotomic structure (oppressive person and non-oppressive person). I mean, our desires are connected to the place/society we live, and it’s nice to be critical about who we are. But you can’t just put a label in someone and blame so much on that individual, you know? I think the word for this idea in english is dialectic.
      Btw, I think it’s ok you don’t like dicks. Yet I would like to know what a trans girl would say

      • Well I am bit more genderqueer than trans woman atm, and I am just answering for myself but it’s a hard question to answer. Like in some ways I get it, but at the same time if you are into women it shouldn’t really matter what equipment is down there. I would personally feel a bit slighted if I see a lesbian say I will date a trans man and not a trans woman, because to me that’s saying I see the trans man as ex woman, and trans woman as ex male, which imho is incorrect.

        • I don’t really identify as anything sexuality or gender wise. If I had to describe myself/ who I’m attracted to I’d say I’m feminine fdab and I prefer other fdab people that don’t have penises.

          I’m just tying to figure out if I did anything wrong here. I don’t think I did. My preference isn’t based on denying someone their womanhood. I tried dongs once and I was dryer than my aunt’s chicken.And as a poc having anyone liken my behavior to that of racism, I’m always looking to make sure that I’m not being shitty.

      • And not liking certain genitalia down there is perfectly acceptable, as it doesn’t mean anything seeing as there a trans women and trans feminine people who own a vagina.

        • @Mackenzie

          There are a gender/non binary people with vaginas, trans women without penises,feminine coded transmen that haven’t had bottom surgery,etc.so I’m not limited to cis women and trans men who haven’t had bottom surgery. Basically any feminine coded person without a penis.

          My relationship before my current one was with a faab agender person, who wears dresses,feminine coded makeup,has long hair, and had top surgery.

        • It’s pretty gross for people to accuse you (especially as a person of colour) of being similar to racist lesbians, and I’m sorry that happened to you.

          I think when it comes to sexual preference, when people say things like “I prefer to date / not to date X race” it could be helpful for those people to consider whether their preferences have been subconsciously influenced by latent racist socialization, even if they don’t think of themselves as racist people. But genitalia… I would say that’s a different story. I mean, genitalia are pretty integral to sex. Since your last comment suggests that you would be open to dating trans women without penises, I don’t see how you can be viewed as transphobic. But I am saying this as a cis woman, so.

          (Also, I don’t know if Mackenzie’s comment was referring to your statement above that you prefer “fdab” partners – but when I first read that I assumed it meant something similar to faab? Google was not helpful in clarifying, though.)

      • Well, let me speak for myself. My whole entire self is female emotionally, including my penis. There is so much naïveté in the lesbian world about thoughts about a penis. As a translesbian, my penis is sexually irrelevant because my emotions for any of you… and any desire …. is female…..like your thoughts for other lesbians. If you were my lesbian friend you would do injustice to me to dismiss my female love for you because I have penis. In fact, if you were my lover, I would have great anxiety to use any toy with my love for fear of seeming male to her, and losing her love.

        • But for a lesbian ,it takes awhile to understand and be comfortable with a penis on a translesbian without having anxiety. I guess. 🙂 Think about the penis on a small baby boy. 🙂

        • Sarah, I didn’t mean at all to imply that the genitalia of a non-op trans woman are any less female than the rest of her. A penis on a trans woman is a female penis, absolutely. But, respectfully, I don’t see this issue as being about naïveté. Some people simply aren’t into penises, whether female or male. Sexual drives come from a very deep and primal part of the brain and generally can’t be helped, so if a person can’t be turned on by a penis, they simply can’t. It’s not a choice any more than their sexual orientation is.

          We have no problem supporting people when they say that they dislike oral sex, or anal sex, or penetration, etc. So if someone happens to fundamentally dislike any forms of sex that involve a penis, I don’t think it’s helpful to shame them for those feelings that they can’t help having.

          I can definitely understand how this issue can be painful for non-op trans women or other female-identified people with penises. But in a sense, many other people deal with rejection on the basis of their genitalia at some point too. When a cis lesbian falls in love with a straight friend who tells her she loves everything about her but isn’t into vaginas, she is being rejected on the basis of her genitalia. I realize that the issue is probably far more sensitive for trans folk who may have dysmorphic feelings about their own genitalia, but the simple truth is you can’t make people attracted to what they aren’t attracted to.

        • I’d never deny you or any other trans woman their womanhood for any reason. I stated that above. My question is (and I hope this doesn’t sound standoffish) why is it not okay for me to just not like penises on my sexual partners while still respecting their identity? Your comment (I could just be interpreting it wrong) seems like you’re telling me to get over it and that I’m disrespecting you.

          Also,I don’t identify as a lesbian. It may say that on my profile (I’m not sure if it does but it might) I just haven’t gotten around to changing it yet.

    • Okay may I contribute my 2d?

      I totally get what you’re saying, and I wouldn’t say you’re transmisogynist for not wanting to get with someone who has a penis… I feel the same way. And I’m a (pre-op but def post-op-to-be) trans woman, and basically stone for the time being (until after surgery anyways).

      So yeah, I think you’re fine. If you ain’t into it you ain’t into it and that’s that. 🙂

      • replying to chandra, victoria, and the other women …..

        I would encourage any lesbian who meets a translesbian who still has male parts to not disqualify her as someone you might love and be happy with simply because of those parts

        If a lesbian can realize that the male parts take on a totally feminine meaning for us…a truly non-sexual meaning…..and that any friendship that developes will clearly prove that…….Then perhaps they may change their perception of a translesbian who has a penis……

        The praise “not into penises” being compared to liking a certain color hair or someone who is tall…..is an attempt to avoid the real issue………the true understanding that translesbians are female and love lesbians as any other woman……that their penis is female…..and we would never be male toward our sweet female lover because we love you deep in our hearts and need your wonderful female love to be happy in this world.

        We really are females….our whole body….and we just want you to truly know that deep inside your hearts because your acceptance is the key to us finding love and happiness as a lesbian.

        • Yeah, I have to disagree with part of that.

          Yes, pre-op or non-op, you/we are all women. That’s a simple thing.

          You seemed to be using a too-inclusive “we” in your post. Some of us are anything but comfortable with our genital arrangement.

          And I would argue strongly that the phrase “just not into penis” is NOT an attempt to avoid the “real issue”. Some people really do have issues with penes, either in how they’re wired or through negative experience, and it is anything but helpful to tell someone like that that they’re “avoiding the issue” because they’ve had traumatic experience with a penis or whatever other reason they may have for not wanting to interact with one sexually.

          So yeah. If I or anyone else says “sorry, I can’t interact with that” there is probably a reason for it… and whatever that reason is, so long as they’re still recognising/accepting you as a woman and that that is not the motivation behind the non-desire for penis, then it is a perfectly valid reason.

          I may have been a little bit unstraightforward there… hmm. Well tl;dr just because I say “I can’t deal with penis sexually” doesn’t make me transmisogynistic (since it would be like, undermining myself) and doesn’t mean I have to rethink anything, and insisting that I do is akin to saying that my previous experiences are invalid… which, just no.

        • reply to Xenia….you took the phrase ” not into penises” out of yhe context of the sentence where I compared it to being similar to whether someone prefers girls with blonde hair or brown hair….and the reference to that being the same type of choice….and I believe equating those two choices is “avoiding the issue”

          and I will say that I feel the real issue is the social construct ( what society …..which includes lesbians ……has chosen as the general assumption of truth)…..
          of what “having a penis” implies as to the behavior of the individual who has one is false for translesbians who have a penis……..and I would request, respectfully, for the cis-lesbians to try to realize that inaccuracy when they are meeting and interacting with translesbian……

          that is what I meant by “the real issue”

    • I don’t see how not liking penises is any different than any other aesthetic preferences that one might have concerning who they are physically attracted to. I’m not attracted to extreme femininity. That doesn’t mean that I hate feminine women or see them as “lesser” for being feminine — I just don’t typically want to have sex with them.
      “Not being attracted to X” and “actively hating or promoting social/political/economic discrimination against X” are not the same things.

      • Well this thread makes me feel a lot better. I thought my preference was fine until the (I don’t know if it’s an important variable but keep in mind, they were white) transwomen I was talking to got SO angry at me and I was just like “but I’m a good noodle :(”

        And then I had to explain that a dildo isnt the same as a penis which got uncomfortable real fast.

        • I kind of have to agree with Xinia. I’m not exactly a fan of my own genitalia and definitely plan to have it surgically alerted. I would seem strange to judge someone who was not a fan from the other side, if that makes sense.

    • Yeah, speaking as a trans woman, that’s a really crappy thing for them to say to you. All anyone can ask is that people interrogate their own preferences to make sure they’re really theirs, not something socially constructed and imposed. You’ve clearly done that (and more, and you’re awesome for doing so), and it’s turned out there are body types you’re just not ever gonna be into. When someone’s at that point it’s like, this is no different to not being into my hair or my scrawny-ass build or my boobs or something. Some people are never going be into a woman with a penis, some people are never gonna be into a butch woman or, I don’t know, a short woman or a tattooed woman or whoever, and as long as that isn’t being used to classify anyone not-a-real-woman that’s 100% fine.

      At the same time I can kind of understand why trans women get hyperdefensive, given the number of people who pounce on discussion of lesbian attraction and body preferences to try to paint us as predatory men. I’m guilty of jumping to the worst conclusion more than once myself. But that in no way excuses it and it sucks, and I’m sorry these women were jerks.

  9. Hey everyone!!!!! So….How is everyone? Did you kick Monday in the butt and did a somersault into Friday? If you did, props and fistbumps all around! It’s National Cat day! MEOW. Our cat HATES pictures.


    NO


    NOPE


    leave me alone ok.


    I mean it. #restingbitchface

  10. Hi straddlers! I want to say a thing today!

    The best thing that’s happened on the internet for me lately has been (finally) starting to listen to 99% Invisible. So good! So nerdy!

    And three good things that have happened to me in the last month are:

    – coming home to my boo and my bird
    – spending quality time with an old friend who i really miss
    – finding the perfect striped t-shirt after searching for months.

  11. I had some days trying/inventing different drinks with friends. Then other days rewatching retro music videos (pop music divas).

    This week I’ve restarted watching Sakura Card Captors with my niece (7 years old) – and realized that it was one of the gayest animes Ive seen.

    That’s pretty much it: friends, drinks, nostalgic stuff, family and more nostalgic stuff

  12. I came out recently to my liberal parents and..it wasn’t what I expected? I had thought they would have a reaction along the lines of “we always knew/we love you” but they ended up being really taken aback and not wanting to believe it.

    I mean overall it was fine, it was just not a response I predicted or prepared myself for at all.

    • My mom is really liberal and she was in denial for awhile. A few of my friends told me their parents were in denial as well when they came out. I guess it’s kinda normal? But I know that their response wasn’t what you expected and was totally disappointing. For awhile, my mom was telling me that I just need t

    • My mom is really liberal and she was in denial for awhile. A few of my friends told me their parents were in denial as well when they came out. I guess it’s kinda normal? But I know that their response wasn’t what you expected and was totally disappointing. For awhile, my mom was telling me that I just need to meet the right guy. But she came around. And hopefully your parents will too.

    • I think that parents in general go into a bit of denial even after they say the “we’ll always love you” part. I guess it’s part of their defense mechanism? Hopefully it gets better!!!! =) We’re all here for you!

  13. I am just tired of life lately. I know things I could/should do to fix it, and I just don’t fucking want to do them. it is problematic. I’m making brownies right now, so there’s that at least.

    so, best things to happen over the last month:
    • moved apartments, new place is better and I have a roommate now which I think is a good thing?
    • I’ve been back in touch with an old friend, and that has been really nice. I’ve always valued her friendship, but it had been a long time since we actively kept up with each other.
    • sad one: I finally admitted that I couldn’t keep talking to my ex and deal properly with us having broken up and all the shit that’s brought up in me. it’s better for both of us and I know it. fucking hate it, though.

    • I know how you feel about the ex thing. It’s really hard to make the right decision and just cut off contact, because your ex was a part of your life and it’s habitual and all that. Be strong!!!

    • OH MY GOD IT’S THE WORST BUT IT’S FOR THE BEST. That was me yelling (in a good way) and shaking you so that you’re proud of your decision to stop talking to your ex. Seriously. Do what you need to do to be right with yourself. Everyone else can go fuck themselves. I applaud you!!

    • so uh, after all that, totally talked to my ex both last night and tonight and currently feel no regret. i’m not sure if i’m an idiot or not?

      oh well. thanks for the kind words even though i apparently am awful at listening!

  14. So, I’ve been back in Chicago for a week now. I MAY have an apartment that I am in love with, but I won’t get news on that until at least Monday, because other people also applied for it, so I’m trying not to get my hopes up. But I can’t stop thinking about it!!!
    And I’m looking through this textbook that I am teaching in 2 weeks and am realizing how much Spanish that I’ve forgotten since I left Spain. So nervous.

  15. Best three things that have happened this month for me are: gravity falls is back and it is spectacular! ive had a really tough week but its getting a lot better cause people can be really lovely a lot of times, and i made a lot of people i care about smile and laugh which are like the most marvelous sights/sounds in my universe tbh (wait can i do four i also want to say the leak of ryan reynolds as deadpool made mY WEEK).

    I’m leaving for a house party in like an hour and I’m pretty nervous because I’m already a nervous person and also all the parties I’ve been to in the past have ended in my playing Apples to Apples while everyone else is drinking and this one has people who I used to be friends with but we’re not so much anymore and I also have to figure out which bses trains to take to get there so who knows how this’ll play out. But my sister’s going with me and she always looks out for me and let’s me do the same for her so I think I’ll be good. (And regardless of how this plays out I can still come home and watch Short Term 12 with hot chocolate so yes good!)

    And most of the good stuff I find are quotes:

    “i hope to learn to love myself when no one is looking.” ~lauren zuniga

    (about the hunger games trilogy): “The rebellion started because the innocence of a black girl was defiled. That is a powerful statement that a lot of people gloss over for this book.” ~sourcedumal.tumblr.com

    “Just because you fell in love with the river
    doesn’t mean you must feed it your bones.” ~Jeanann Verlee

    I hope everyone has a great weekend 🙂

  16. Probably going to repaint my room and tear up my gross old carpet soon, so that’s nice! Also, has anyone else been having trouble with AS’s mobile site this week? Like, the text is all there but the display looks really strange?

  17. Tomorrow is Orange County Pride, which is definitely going to be tiny, but I’m excited! There’s an autostraddle lunch meetup before hand that I’m going to! Yay!

    In other news I got some really great jeans (for free!) this week, which is exciting because they actually fit me! My butt looks so nice in these things it is insane. In the past couple months I’ve started eating better and actually exercising in an attempt to lower my cholesterol (I’m 25 good lord is this what growing old is like? I’m not supposed to eat cheese anymore this BLOWS), and so anyway for some reason it didn’t occur to me that I would probably actually lose weight? Anyway I did and so I was down to only one pair of pants that fit, but now I have two so life is much better. Debating whether or not to post another obnoxious selfie this week, that is how much I love these jeans. They’re so great I want to share them with all of you. Everyone should have pants that fit this well. PANTS!

    Work/small businessing is going really *really* well, the trying Tinder experiment is going pretty well(sort of? I think? I don’t know???), and I bought this roll of paper at the art store yesterday while doing errands that is basically the greatest. It’s big! Really big! Like, 42 inches by ten feet, and it’s NICE QUALITY TONED PAPER HOLY WOW HOT DAMN that is SO HARD TO FIND. But anyway now I HAVE it and I am SO EXCITED PAPER YAY ART DRAWING YAY YAY!! So now I just need to find people to model for me. Anyone want to lay on the ground for half an hour in some state of undress while I draw you? I will give you cheese puffs.

    I don’t have any new videos, so instead I’m going to post my favorite youtube video ever. Ever ever. This is the youtube video that I pull out when all my friends are gathered around one tiny laptop sharing stuff, even though I know it’s going to result in 2 minutes of me losing it and everyone else vaguely concerned for my mental state, because a video of a cat walking on an underwater treadmill while porny music plays will reduce me to tears while I gasp for air between snort laughs. It’s the best.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mJDfNqiXpE&w=420&h=315%5D

    So anyway that’s what’s up with me. It’s been a pretty good week!

  18. Also in my excitement for national cat day I almost forgot to share that 1) I’ve officially started to panic to plan for my trip to the Philippines in January. It’s our 6th anniversary, y’all I feel old. 2) My metal earth thing which I’m sure many of our Washington/Seattle straddlers will like=)

    So, in all of this planning business I told my mom already (SHE AND THE POPS ARE CONSERVATIVE FOLK STILL SORT OF) that I was going with Christine who I still refer to as my GF. We’re not legally married etc, but she and I have agreed we’re at that point where gf doesn’t cut it so. Anyway, we’re headed here!

    I always feel excited to share stuff like this here because I feel like you guys REALLY share my joy and excitement. ♥

  19. No new haircuts or anything like that for me, but I need some “newness” in my life. I broke up, and then got back together, and then broke up again with a complicated girl who admittedly isn’t the best for me, yet I can’t fucking stay away from her? She makes me want to take long road trips where I smoke a lot of weed and write bad poetry for no other reason than to clear my head. And I can’t afford to do that so I’m watching the travel channel and stress eating hot cheetos like that’s going to work.

    Also I’m starting classes again in a few weeks (at 24 yaay!) and it’s making me break out in nervous sweat like I don’t remember how to be a student? Or a how to be one that doesn’t flunk out in the first semester.

  20. “I actually think that I might get two months in and decide that how I have my hair now is the good life and cut it again? Who knows?! We can’t all be Carmen Rios is what I’m saying.”

    oh my god but that is totally something i would do. can you maybe re-begin your twitter career using the hashtag #thegrowth.

    my three things:

    1. missed you on the internet a lot, like would literally go to text you, but then realize since you didn’t have the internet you had no idea, then thought about if it was earth-shattering to me just because i HAD the internet, then would sit back as my perspective on the internet changed, then would fall asleep from thinking too hard.

    2. probably read your entire twitter feed just because, just because i do that every once in a while

    3. discovered that the mixed bags of goldfish – where there is like, say, half pretzel, half cheddar – change lives. namely, mine.

  21. I am having a not-so-easy-to-feel-grateful month so far for reasons I don’t feel like going into. BUT, here is one (literal) high point:

    Not the highest summit around, but a personal victory, as I am chickenshit about steep slopes. At first I stopped halfway up and told the others to keep going without me. Then after about 10 minutes of enviously watching them climb like agile little mountain goats, I got pissed at myself and decided to stop missing out on things because I’m afraid. So I shoved down my panicky vertigo feelings and pulled myself up to the top, knowing all the while that coming back down was going to be 200% more terrifying (it actually wasn’t though). I made it and it was beautiful up there and then I got an ice burn trying to boot-ski down a snow slope on the way back which I now wear as a badge of pride.

  22. I arrived in the US on August 1st, to visit the American girlfriend. Here are three best things from the month so far:

    1) For the first time since January, my girlfriend and I are in the same place/city/country/continent and that is obviously super awesome.

    2) I am currently getting to see all the sights and important locations in my girlfriend’s home town, which has included a tour of all the best ice cream places. Also there is a farmer’s market where they have ridiculously good cheese.

    3) Related to 2, today I went out for brunch for only the second time ever and there was so much amazing food that I got to bring half of it home for another meal. Highlight: waffles. Gosh, there are some American foodstuffs I really love.

  23. So a few weeks back I mentioned a girl I met at Pride who I was sort of seeing, but since she’s leaving at the end of summer for school, we both agreed that whatever we have should probably stay casual. So as far as I was aware, there was no commitment or exclusivity, we were just having fun and kissing and flirting.

    Then something happened this week that’s got me all confused. Y’know that thing where you have a “straight” best friend that you’ve known for a few years, and then recently she admits she’s pansexual and kind of is attracted to you and you flirt a bit, and it’s harmless, right? Until that escalates and you kiss and then nothing makes sense. That’s where I’m at. I’m not sure what I want or if I’m a horrible person or if I should feel guilty towards the first girl I mentioned.

    All I know is I’m confused and scared and feel guilty towards both parties. The first girl is super sweet, but I don’t think either of us are looking for a serious relationship considering she’s leaving. And the second girl is amazing as well, but I’m not sure if I have romantic feelings for her, and I’m scared of messing up our friendship. I have no idea what I’m doing, to be honest.

    Since when do multiple girls want to kiss me? Girls are confusing, man.

    On a simpler note, I bought a cat Vans hat today and it is very exciting and super cute.

  24. I’m also thinking about growing my hair back out! I think right now it’s mostly just me being too lazy to cut it, but we’ll see how it goes. I think one of the best things that’s happened to me this month is I’m visiting my parents this weekend and they made me steak for dinner. I love steak. When I get rich someday I’m going to donate lots of money to Autostraddle and eat steak every weekend.

  25. I’m getting my hair did tomorrow cuz I think I let it grow out long enough. I’m excited/nervous/excited cuz hair salons make me feel really awkward.

    This past month I decided to give online dating yet, another try. I’ve deemed this idea:

    Finally, I’m regretting not stopping by to pick up a some beer and a pizza right about now.

  26. I’m still really jazzed that Fun Home is officially Broadway bound! Highlight of the week tbh. I can’t wait for all the Broadway audiences to get a seminar on Joan’s ass in her Levi’s

  27. My internship ends in a week, and I can finally leave the near-disaster of a house I’ve been living in. (There’s a difference between ‘messy’ and ‘dirty’ in my book and this house is definitely the latter, despite my attempts). Other than that here’s what happened with me this month:

    1. I cut my hair and it’s now the shortest it’s ever been. It’s also a style that I like and I’m finally comfortable with my body and appearance.
    2. I visited this grocery store near my area that has really good produce for good prices. They also sell a variety of tea and sweets, including baklava, chocolate truffles, and Apple tea, which I was really excited about. Definitely going there for my grocery needs next time.
    3. I finally put my doubts about myself to rest. When I was first questioning my sexuality, I was so scared I actually tried to logically convince myself that there was no way I could possibly ever be a lesbian, using arguments and “evidence.” Once I finally came to terms with it, I still doubted myself. This past summer helped me realize that I am indeed a lesbian. I gotta say it was in part because of Autostraddle. AS has helped me accept myself, and I’m so grateful for this amazing site and for all the people who are a part of it So, thank you. (Ack! I did not mean to get this sappy.)

  28. Time seems to be going so fast. Lately, I’ve felt both upset and perfectly okay with the large amount of space in all of my relationships. There are days where I need people and no one is there and there are days where I’m happy to have a whole day for myself because I love me more than anyone else. Maybe its just the fact that I’ve had the first fresh green beans of the season today or I’m visiting home and can be with my cat for a few days, but I feel great today. I feel like I’m everything I need to be for myself.

  29. I’m coming up to 6 weeks of being ill, and for most of that bed ridden. Probably haven’t gotten better because my final year of high school is kicking my ass, and also I originally got sick on a flight overseas… but so far in the last six weeks I have:

    – been put in hospital for 3+ hours of non-stop vomiting + subsequent dehydration
    – been suspected to have bronchitis/whooping cough/pneumonia/flu
    – had a chest infection (so at least they picked the bronchitis)
    – had the flu despite being immunised
    – had a sinus infection
    – had endless blood tests/sinus swabs (fucking horrendous) for all above ailments
    – received multiple bruises, and bruises on bruises from IV drips/blood draws
    – been diagnosed with an iron deficiency
    – had 2 preg tests (because doctors say fuck it, the 17 year old lesbian could totally be lying when she says she’s not sexually active) (lesbianism is fantastic birth control, fyi)
    – had three round of antibiotics, one of which I had an allergic reaction to
    – taken from a minimum of four and a maximum of seven tablets to manage illness/iron deficiency/infection

    – spent more time in a hospital than I have in school, where I’m trying to prepare myself for my final semester exams, and the test in three weeks time that will give me my University entry score.

    So like, not stressed at all about anything. I have fallen in love with electric blankets and people who come over with food like chicken soup or fried rice and will sit with me and watch doco’s in an attempt to keep my brain functioning somewhat while I try and heal a bit. I have also fallen in love with careers advisors who call me and say “Hey, so you know how the Australian National University does early entry? Do you want the principal to write you a nice recommendation, because we could organise that!”

    One good thing that has come from all of this is that I’ve been able to finally get through Season One of Orange is the New Black from start to finish without interruptions, and my father who is being a massive asshole won’t come near me (and thus start arguments) because he’s too worried he’ll catch something.

    It’s all about the silver lining, folks. Hope y’all are doing better than me! x

    • This is courage. I really hope the last few days have been kind to you.

      ANU is a fantastic choice for a university. Your careers advisor sounds excellent; I hope they’ve explained that there are multiple university entry options that don’t rely on the TER score. Sending you lots of love and best wishes for this particular time.

  30. Last night I saw Ziggy Marley live and today and tomorrow is Pride with lots of parties today and the parade tomorrow.

    Since the month is only a week old, it’s hard to think of 3 best things that have happened. #1: I started yoga classes which are super great and relaxing
    #2: Aforementioned Ziggy Marley
    #3: This hasn’t happened yet but next week I get to bring home my kitten babies and I’m super excited.

  31. I’m growing my hair out for the first time in my life. (designated male at birth, military, married straight for five years, etc…) it’s nearing five inches in length in places, and is of course unruly even though I’m doing it “right” and having my stylist clean things up every eight weeks or so. I have thick, coarse hair, so it is just now to the point where it will move ever so slightly when I shake my head, and that is a strange feeling.

    So, there is that.

    I had more, but I’m tired this morning and it’s been lost. I’m running a clothing drive for Trans folk, we are having our local pride in September (college town, we are hoping to have students attend! Champaign, IL) I think things are coming together, but I’ve taken on a lot this month so finding motivation is sometimes a challenge. I’m semi indigent this month too, because my old lease ended last month and my new one doesn’t start until the end of this one. Staying with friends and a few house sitting gigs are getting me through, but it is stressful. I know, I’ve got it pretty easy, but it’s a big change for me.

    Meeting an old friend for brunch soon. I just need to wake up!

  32. THREE GOOD THINGS FROM THE LAST MONTH

    1. I am making Actual Efforts to save money. I have managed to save money with four digits in it. This is good.

    2. Home life has been more harmonious than usual, because my parents are on a holiday (of sorts, dad’s speaking at a conference and mum’s taken long service leave and then they’re sightseeing) in Europe. This is good because they’re having a fabulous time, and also because it’s just quieter at home and there are less arguments.

    It’s the little things but when everyone is home, usually mum and dad have televisions on in both our lounge rooms, and dad has fairly arbitrary/double-standard-y rules about who can make noise where and when which tends to result in very frequent arguments.

    Currently it’s me and my two sisters (one twin, one sister five years younger). The house is a lot more messy but there’s more negotiation rather than dad-ocracy and we’re all on more similar sleep schedules which makes it easier. I mean, it’s extreme but we’re making dinner right now and it’s 1am. (When I say ‘we’, they’re making it and I was going to help but then the internet happened. But generally I’ve been pretty good I think! ).

    I think also because I’ve had a bit of a funny time lately with personal stuff going on, it’s been easier not to have the parents around- we’ve never been close enough to share what’s really going on with each other, but sometimes if I’m having a rough time and they don’t seem to notice or comment then it’s a bit more rough. If they’re not here then it’s sometimes easier.

    3. Friends that you may not talk to often – or whom may only be friendly acquaintances – but who make a point to show they care. I’m going to court for civil disobedience on Wednesday and some people I didn’t expect are coming to support me. I really appreciate this.

    So there’s that. Three things.

  33. I always miss the Friday threads. I’ve been working every day for nearly 3 weeks straight, and M-F it’s been 12-13 hour days. Insanity. And it’s been a stressful, frustrating and discouraging stretch. But! Last week I wanted to hop on on Friday and say “Hey, y’all, I got arrested!” (except I don’t actually use the word y’all.) On purpose, civil disobedience in support of a union: http://www.post-gazette.com/video/?bcpid=1403117306001&bckey=AQ~~,AAABAWGN-5E~,qpDkffrm8g8Gb3FcY-LgpN3iS3KJUKdd&bctid=3705556778001 . We thought we might have to spend the night in jail but we didn’t- we were taken to the police station and processed quickly.

    And then other good news: my best friend who’s house burnt down finally got into her new apartment! (paid for by her insurance). And then this last week I had a few wishes/desires come up and then opportunities for getting them came out of the woodwork. I’ve been really wanting a massage- majorly stiff and ouchy back- and I’ve decided I really need to see someone for my low-level anxiety and depression. And I wandered into a store for change for a $20 and the lovely wonderful woman there does kemetic massage and counseling.

    And then also I came to the conclusion this morning that a mentor in my field (community organizing) would really help me, but it would have to be someone outside my organization yet someone I would feel like I could speak freely with and not have to worry how it might affect how they see us, and I was racking my brain about this. Later I’m at a labor and community groups picnic for our democratic candidate for governor, freaked out because I realized that since my boss wasn’t there I should go shake the guy’s hand and say something intelligent. I reached out to someone who is sort of an elder in the Pittsburgh organizing world and not only was he really helpful but when I thanked him for it he told me to call him any time, and that he’d fucked up all the ways, so he’s learned a lot he likes to share. Then he assured me that he would never speak badly of anyone in my organization and that I wouldn’t have to worry about that.

    • Oh and then today! I did a spot of door-knocking with some members for a community meeting we have next week. I love door-knocking in a neighborhood I have connections in because I find myself sitting on someone’s front porch catching up with her grandson on my lap. 🙂 Dreamy. And then I went to a cook-out with these interns we’ve been co-hosting from Center for Third World Organizing’s Movement Apprenticeship Activist Program http://ctwo.org/programs/maap/, and they were all surprised that I can dance. =p They need money! So donate if you can. 🙂

  34. Straddlers,

    Three best things that have happened over the last month:

    1. Last week finally saw the end of the lurgy-turned-sinusitis.

    2. My highlight of the week turned out to be literally high. I’m an teacher in an alternative, at-risk student program. We’d hired a mobile 10m high climbing wall for the day. The challenge was to climb to the top, walk out to a ledge and leap for a hanging bar. One of my hardest students climbed up, only to totally freeze at the top. 45 mins of negotiation from the ground didn’t work with him, so I made a split second decision to join him. I then sat at the top of the tower for a further hour, having a heart to heart with him about his progress this year, and how sometimes we have to trust those around us. Especially when we have to take a huge risk and jump. There were tears. I promised to bake him any cake he’d like if he could get down (had to jump, no alternative). An hour later, he bravely jumped off the wall. And then I followed. New mutual respect was formed. Oh, did I mention I’m terrified of heights?

    My student requested chocolate sponge cake with blue icing and lolly snakes. This was how I discovered that although I am a wonderful baker, I cannot do sponges. However, a promise is a promise, so I delivered and he was thrilled.

    3. I also taught my students to play Texas Hold Em’ which led, somehow, to a conversation about ‘gay people’. I was humbled by how wonderfully accepting this generation is to everyone. It gives me a lot of hope.

    Honourable Mention:

    When you own a cat like mine, every day is Cat Day. Here’s my boy, Bling.

    Last week was awesome!

    • Ellaria……I totally agree with you about this generation!! That is why I love AutoStraddle too. The members are willing to think, and talk, and debate, and learn new truths about gender and sexuality and themselves and others.

      Bravo! To all of them! 🙂

  35. 3 best things to happen to me this month would have to be …Brighton (UK) pride, Brighton Pride and Brighton Pride. If I say gay disneyland, I hope you will understand the magnitude of how awesome it was. Seriously though, the job hunt is looking up and my hair seems to have got past that awkward does this count as an actual style or is it just bad stage of growing out. Nice to see you back.

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