Late in June, our very own Darcy made some waves in the Autostraddle Slack by dropping the following message featuring a viral meme:
The headline has since been debunked as false and is just a digital alteration, but for at least one blissful day, many folks on the Autostraddle team hypothesized what a They/Them Summer might look like. The headline might be fake, but you can’t unmake a meme, and so we’re still gonna have some They/Them Summer fun, ok!!!!
Here are the mood boards some of our team members made for their sunny, lush, splashy, adventurous, hot, memorable, delicious They/Them Summers. What’s on yours? 🏖
Ro White, Sex & Dating Editor
Hello. Here’s how I’m spending my they/them summer: I will be hiking. I will be biking. I will be petting dogs. I will continue buying my shorts in the Target boys’ department. For extra gay points, I will be moving in with my girlfriend. Our new apartment will have a backyard with a fire pit, so yes, I will be building fires and telling ghost stories with my friends and roasting marshmallows for s’mores with GLUTEN-FREE GRAHAM CRACKERS I MADE WITH MY OWN THEY/THEM HANDS. I will also be seeing a bear in the wild. I have no plans to travel anywhere where there are bears — but one will find me and hold me gently in their bear arms. I know it. I will also be feeling ambivalent about my own pronouns, so I guess it’s a they/shrug summer for me?
Darcy , Writer
The quote in my moodboard is from a poem called The Orange, by Wendy Cope. This they/them summer, I want to focus on the things that are simple and good. I want to remember that some things in this world still come to us in abundance, like oranges, like water, like love. This summer, I want to float on my back in the creek and stare at the blue blue sky for as long as it takes for that sky to reveal its full depth: up and up and up, forever. And now look at us again, so small and busy and sometimes happy, so far below.
Em Win, Writer
This mood more is more aspirational than anything. I was summer love! I want lots of water! I want to paint my feelings! I want to have crushes by the campfire and spend lazy summer Sundays in bed! I want to encourage my inner child to come out and play! However, my summer is shaping up to be one of a lot of drastic change. I’m hoping I can cling to the things I love (all pictured here) to help me work through transition, growth, and our collective trauma.
A. Tony Jerome, Writer
For my they/them summer experience I’m leaning into the overwhelm! More black women! More black basketball players! More black queerness! More connection in places where they are least expected because that’s how to make a life worth living! More black women as superheroes even though the world is fuckdoor and wants to see the destruction of them! More fighting for freedom and getting free! More creating! More lesbian-ing! More horror especially black horror dictated by black creators so that we live to the other side of it, not perish less than five minutes into the story! More more more!
Summer is a hard time for me which feels absolutely ridiculous because I feel like I always end up going [this season] is a hard time for me, but I mean it. The heat, my asthma, the sweat that forces me to remember I’m in my body especially when I’m around *other* bodies? The thought of it makes me wanna bury under my pillow, but I’m gonna get on out there because connection! I mean not a lot, cause you see Alessia Cara’s Here, (which everyone in my life sent to me the moment they heard it because they were like “there has never been a song that fit you more perfectly”) but i’m gonna make sure that my summer is me carrying these things that are important to me, like all of em in a little universes I put in my pocket and even though they are not always bright or without pain, they are my heart’s and so I will do that with my summer: universe my heart, carry it in my important, even though sometimes it hurts, even though sometimes the hurt means it, I’m going to un-bury and reach out my hand and see what happens.
Stef Rubino, Writer
I guess this isn’t a moodboard so much as it is a “This is what I’ll be doing ALL summer long board” but we’re goin’ with it. I’m a teacher on a 12-month pay schedule, so I generally have my summers to myself. I do a lot of other organizing work all year long (which I didn’t include on this board), but I also use the time to rest and recharge and do whatever the hell I want. So, this summer, in addition to hanging out with my partner and my friends as much as humanly possible, I’m doing all this stuff. I’m going to the beach and to whatever pool will have me whenever I can. I’m eating foods—like key lime pie, s’mores, and sno-balls and Italian ice—and drinking cocktails, like Aperol spritzes, that remind me of summer until I get sick of them. I’m getting through my summer TBR pile and seeing movies at my favorite movie theater in the world. I’m making it out to see as much live music as I can. And lastly, I’m working on other projects I truly care about like my work here at Autostraddle, my podcast, and volunteering at Miami Girls Rock Camp.
Nicole Hall, A+ & Fundraising Director
This is both aspirational and littered with real photos of things I am currently doing! I’m gardening (and I recently expanded the vegetable garden I had, about doubling my veggie-growing situation in terms of size), teaching myself to can and making jams and pickles, brewing kombucha, helping Sadie fix up the house, escaping to the woods with Sadie and Mya whenever possible, making sure Mya has a really, truly excellent summer (she’ll be 15!), seeing fireflies which are a wonder I’m always grateful for as I didn’t grow up with them, volunteering, reading physical books outdoors in the shade and working on my fucking novel. (OH AND WORKING AT AUTOSTRADDLE YOU ALL, but that goes without saying!) Besides all that, a personal goal for me with my they/them summer is to be more present in my body. No time like the present to get better at that.
Shea Martin, Writer
More days than not, it’s hard for me to get out of bed as a “they/them” in this world on fire. When I do, I try to fill it with all of the things that bring me joy like music, DIYing everything around the house, road trips with my wife, and cuddling with my dog, Mabel the Pig. During the school year (and almost always), I am always going hard — reading, writing, teaching, going to classes, etc. I’m hoping my mood board reminds me (and all of us) to take an intentional break — hike a mountain, play some good music, read a book, say “yes” to brunch, and celebrate that we are still f*cking here.