Happy Birthday, Riese!: An Internet/national Party Post

Hey welcome to Riese’s Internet/national Birthday Party! Grab a drink or don’t, it’ll be fun either way. There are snacks and brunch/dinner-y foods — all Riese’s favorites, of course — as well as some sweet beats. And look, all your friends are here! I hope you’re wearing something black. Tinkerbell looks AMAZING, you guys.

tink started pregaming last night, via marni

We just wanted everyone to be together for Riese’s birthday — like, all of us, even you! — because we love her so so much, but that’s logistically impossible, so an Internet/national Birthday Party is the next best thing. This means that you can all have your own Riese birthday parties right where you’re standing and no one will have to worry about cab fare. Here are our recommended menus:

via vanessa

Now you’ll just need some music. Rachel and DJ Carlytron have put together this birthday playlist, including a surprise track featuring risen star, Haviland Stillwell!


I Want You Back – Jackson 5
Defying Gravity (Dance Mix) – Idina Menzel
Jolene – Dolly Parton
We Are Young – Glee Cast
Least Complicated – Indigo Girls
Maybe This Time – Liza Minnelli
Set Yourself On Fire – Stars
Shameless – Ani DiFranco
Get Out The Map – Indigo Girls
Take Me Or Leave Me – Idina Menzel and Tracie Thoms
I Dreamed A Dream – Haviland Stillwell
Iowa – Dar Williams
SOS – Rihanna
Are You Ten Years Ago – Tegan and Sara
Heart – Stars
Little Plastic Castle – Ani DiFranco

Riese We Love You from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.

Ok! Let’s take a little walk down Riese Memory Lane. Hold my hand.

this is still riese’s go-to pose

alex, riese and carly via tlw recapping dayz of thunder

riese is an astronaut duh

riese getting her wrist tattoo

alex and riese at the carousel of progress aka the best ride ever

riese and crystal

alex, riese, haviland and caitlin on the r family cruise

Hey look! It’s the video Riese and Carly made for their tv show, Living It Out!

haviland and riese at a live birthday party, circa 2008

alex, haviland, riese and caitlin

alex and riese are looking at the future and it is hella bright

katrina, riese, emily, laura and lily at nyc pride 2009

riese and carly are birthday dinosaurs

laneia and riese are chained to a fence near a birdhouse, in support of both same-sex marriage rights and birds’ rights

julia, riese and jess r. during trlw parody filming

riese moved to california in 2010

riese and marni, on their way to something fancy

riese draws names for the reaping at april a-camp

marni and riese, being normal

riese and alex at september a-camp, via rachel walker


via the amazeballs intern geneva

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  1. Happy birthday Riese! Thank you for everything you do for us every day! I hope you get all the bourbon you want for your birthday. <3

  2. How cool is it that I actually ate egg and toast and a chicken brocolli combination today! On to the wiskey now! Happy Birthday!

  3. Woah I have been following the Autostraddle dream since the halcyon days of L Word Online, how have I never seen Living It Out before?! Did it ever get made? I’m guessing not that website doesn’t exist any more and googling just comes up with some jesus stuff, so. Still, do want.

    Happy birthday Riese, thank you sincerely for everything you have given us.

    • alas, nobody wanted to make that amazing television show. as per ushe, i blame the haircut (no really, that video was shot during the three-day period between “the time i cut my own hair” and “the time i paid someone to fix it”)

      • So basically you’re saying I shouldn’t cut my own hair even though I am broke and living in Stockholm and my Swedish does not extend to phrases such as “They’re in a band” and “No they’re twins, from Canada”?

  4. Dear Riese,
    Thank you for being born and for making such good friends with whom you can parent really great ideas – like this website- that grow up into amazing community building components in so many many many little baby queerios lives. You matter and Autostraddle matters and I think a lot of us straddlers feel like we matter too because, well, you and the whiskey and tinkerbell and I think what I am trying to say is: I’m glad you are here and that because of you, here even exists.

  5. Riese. This is late because my time zone is different to yours, but I’m still making it JUST. You are amazing. How you ever sleep is beyond me. I presume that lots of whiskey wouldn’t hurt helping you to do so in the future. I hope you continue being well and awesome until FOREVER, because every human needs an opportunity to interact with you or read some of your wonderful words. You have been a massive influence on my life these past few years, and I’m sure many others as well. Tomorrow I shall be eating pretty much that entire brunch menu because I want to celebrate your birthday with the rest of Autostraddle. Also it sounds like the best thing ever.

    A toast (of whiskey) to Riese people!

  6. Happy Birthday Riese! you are probably the gaymazingest person ever.

    p.s. cookie cake is just the best thing ever. it’s been my birthday cake every year since age 7.

  7. omg the living it out video! how had i never seen that! wish that made it to our big or small screens :( the pics made me smile, i’ve enjoyed living through them all these past few years. have the best day ever riese. you deserve it. thanks for changing my life and stuff ex oh

  8. Happy Birthday Riese, our fearless leader, our winner of the internet, our power-queer. Thank you for existing and being amazing.

  9. Riese, you are full of win.

    I hope your birthday is also full of win.

    I will eat peanut butter M&Ms in your honor. And maybe a small sip o’ whiskey.


    except i suppose we could and SHOULD indeed party too, but WHATEVER this song is still awesome, AS ARE YOU!

  11. I only made the Living It Out pitch tape visible to the general public TODAY, in honor of our fearless leader’s anniversary of birth. Up until a few hours ago it was password-protected and hidden deep within the bowels of the internet (specifically my Vimeo page). WERE WE EVER SO YOUNG?

    Happy birthday, dearest Riese. MWAH.

  12. Happy Birthday Riese!! Enjoy your day!

    PS I am LOVING that playlist! Those are my favorite Stars songs :)

  13. Happy birthday Riese! I’m so happy you were conceived and birthed into the world. If you didn’t exist then none of this would exist and we all wouldn’t be a big happy family!

    And,I like the inclusion of Jolene in this playlist :)

  14. Take a moment to think about how shitty your life would be if Riese didn’t get born. Now stop thinking about that because thinking about sad things is sad. We should probably drink some whiskey.

    I love you, Riese! Happy birthday!

    • Seriously. Kiyomi and I had a tomato canning party today and we talked all about how A.S. is so important to us. We wouldn’t have even met, let alone had a tomato canning party if not for A.S.

      So, Thank you Riese! I hope you have a seriously amazing birthday.


  15. Aww Riese. Happy birthday! This is odd cause we really don’t know each other but I am so happy you exist, as without you there would be no Autostraddle (and perhaps more importantly, no Things I Read That I Loved, which is high on my list of Things I Love). So have a lovely day! Whoo-hoo!

  16. Disillusioned by much of the stuff that was already out there, I found Autostraddle when I frantically started googling around for an interesting/fun/happy-making lgbt site about a year and a half ago. Clicked on Autostraddle, and I’ve never looked back. Thanks, Riese – and all the rest of you that make it so good. Happy Birthday!

  17. Happy birthday Riese, CEO of my entire Internet and so basically my life. Thanks for genuinely making both of those things way better.

  18. This post is too fucking cute. That playlist kicks ass.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY RIESE! I really don’t want to know what my life would be like right now if you didn’t get born. I hope you’re having the best birthday ever!

  19. Carousel of Progress IS the best ride ever! I don’t care if you’re kidding. I never kid about Carousel of Progress.

    Happy happy happy birthday Riese! I can’t even imagine what it’s like to know you’ve made such a difference for good in the world. Isn’t that the dream? I kept looking around at A Camp and thinking, “All these people are here because of one person. All this is happening because of *one person*.” I am so so so glad it was you / it could never have been anyone but you. I have no idea how you managed to take a spirit of good and make Autostraddle so we could all be a part of it, but I will be grateful forever that you did. Have an amazing day.

  20. “much like my mother’s jeans, we tapered off at the end.”

    this is why we love you, riese. happy birthday!

  21. ok first things first happy birthday riese!!!!! you are the most amaze love you forever and ever also that video of you and carly you are BABIES i’m dying. the future IS bright! so so bright.

    but can we talk about the fact that there’s a dance remix of defying gravity?
    what? even is that.

  22. Oooh! I knew there was a reason for why I was seeing so many cute gay people today on the street. WHAT A GLORIOUS DAY. Also a fan of hipster Tinkerbell. You rock those frames, Tink.

  23. Happy Birthday, Riese.
    I’m so so happy that you worked so hard to make this space for all of us.
    I hope you had a really great day:)

  24. Happy Birthday Riese! You are an amazing human. Tomorrow I will honor you by eating many peanut butter-y things.

  25. Only an hour and a half left of Sept. 23rd; hope it was a winner day for you, Riese! Thanks for all you do and all you dream of doing. We all love you to bits!!

  26. Riese omg it’s my birthday too

    This feels really special because I love you and your writing has helped me through my weird confusing gross dark gay teenage years

    Happy Birthday!

  27. Riese, happy celebration of your womb escape, and may the odds of consuming peanut buttery items on this day be ever in your favour!

    • (Or in the day just been.. Time zones are confusing. But don’t feel like the peanut needs to stop just because the birthday has! Eat the peanut if you want! YOU DO YOU)

  28. I had whiskey yesterday and on somepoint totally said: ” cheers to autostraddle!” several times. so I didn’t know it was your birthday but still had drinks in honor of you. automaticwin!
    happy birthday!

  29. Happy birthday!! <3 <3 <3

    We totally should've had a pre-birthday party for you at Camp though. I'm disappointed that this didn't happen.

  30. Hope your birthday was wonderful! I’m a 9/23 baby too, so it was a fun surprise to see we share a birthday! I’ve always loved the day’s proximity (and sometimes coincidence) with the equinox.

  31. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RIESE! I wish my internet was working so I could look at all those photos. Thank you for making Autostraddle, and thank you to Anyone But Me for leading me to Autostraddle, and thank you to The Webbys for leading me to Anyone But Me, and thank you to Cracked.com for leading me to The Webbys. No really. Cracked.com brought me here. And I’m so happy it did. Thank you for having feelings and thank you for writing about them. Thank you reading things you love and thank you for writing about them too. Thank you for existing I guess. Thank you to your parents. Thank you to their parents. Thank you everyone. Thank you Riese.

  32. Thank you all for the warm birthday wishes of love and kittens! This post is amazing and these comments are even more amazing. I spent my birthday physically alone but virtually surrounded by love and peanut butter products! So thank you, thank you, thank you.

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