Also.Also.Also: Jenna Lyons on Coming Out at 43, “It Was All New and I Didn’t Have Any Guideposts.”

Feature Image via Jenna Lyons on Instagram. 

I’ll tell you what… I got new allergy meds today and I feel brand new! Have y’all really just been out here able to breathe through your nose this whole time? THIS WHOLE TIME???? Show offs.

Queer as in F*ck You

This is… so good.

“I was tumbling into love with a woman and it was all new and I didn’t have any guideposts. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t make any definitive decisions for myself around the whole situation.

I was 43 years old. I was the head of a huge company and a very American, classic brand. We had an intercom at the office, and I was running a pretty large meeting. I was standing in front of the room, and I get a call over the intercom. The heads of marketing were on the other end, and they said, ‘We have a call from New York Post. There’s a report that you’re seeing a woman — should we confirm or deny?’ You have to imagine: I’m standing on the phone with a whole room full of people and I can feel their eyes on me. And I’m like, literally six weeks into this totally new relationship. I heard the word ‘confirm’ come out of my mouth. It wasn’t like I was confirming that I was gay or that I was bi. The truth was, I was seeing a woman, so yes, confirmed. I wasn’t going to lie about it. And then it just kind of snowballed.”

Jenna Lyons on Coming Out (and Being Outed) After 40. And also here’s a present for you, you need it, you want it, you just don’t know it yet:

May we all have such a badass 40s. Ashe.

The Secret Early History of Queer Foster Families. In the 1970s, in discrete acts of quiet radicalism, social workers in several states placed queer teenagers with queer foster parents.

And to take your mind on a journey, pair that history piece with this contemporary one: Major Evangelical Adoption Agency Will Now Serve Gay Parents Nationwide “The decision comes as more cities and states require organizations to accept applications from L.G.B.T.Q. couples or risk losing government contracts.”

Frida Kahlo’s Art Broke Taboos Then and Now a Dallas Exhibit Highlights Five Lesser-Known Works from Autostraddle alum Yvonne Marquez (I thought some of our longtime Straddlers might appreciate reading more of what Yvonne’s been up to!), who had this to say about the piece: “I’ve visited Frida Kahlo’s home & have seen her work at exhibits. But I learned so much more writing this article for Texas Monthly. I asked art historians about what this painting, debuting at the Dallas Museum of Art this week, tells us about her work.”

I Was A Trans Comedian. Here’s Why I Quit (this comes recommended by Ro, whose opinion on queer comedy I trust thee most!)

The Queer Mobilization Fund (QMF) was created in 2016, and provides up to $5,000 per request in grants to support organizations that are building power for queer communities — specifically LGBTQ, people of color led, rural and youth-led organizations in North Carolina and across the Southeaster US. Rachel put me on to them and now I am so obsessed. If you know any queer organizers in the South, please let them know that applications are NOW OPEN for Spring! (They close on April 4th, 2021.) Learn more and apply right here.

Also.Also.Also! This Co-Op Is Tackling Homelessness With Its Own House For Queer People Of Color! “It feels really good to be able to take a little piece of the figurative pie from all the things Black and indigenous queer and trans and Two-Spirit people of color have had to undergo for hundreds of years in this country.”

Positive Obsession: Octavia E. Butler’s Visionary Science Fiction by Gabrielle Bellot (!!!!!) … well look at that, here goes today’s must read!

Saw This, Thought of You

This is your official reminder! Take Your Full Lunch Break. Schedule Your PTO.

The Founders Of LatinxHikers Want To Change Your Definition of “Outdoorsy”

Time for your weekly Britney read! Speaking of Britney… What About All Those Other Women? “Monica Lewinsky. Janet Jackson. Lindsay Lohan. Whitney Houston. We are living in an era of reappraisals.”

“It’s difficult to describe anti-Asian racism when society lacks a coherent, historical account of what that racism actually looks like.” The Muddled History of Anti-Asian Violence. (Can we have two Must Reads in the same day? We can, and we do!)

Political Snacks

Did anyone else spontaneously cry today at the thought of all your loved ones being able to get vaccinated? Oh just me?

Biden Says U.S. Will Have Enough Vaccines for 300 Million Adults by End of May. I tried to (cautiously, hopefully) imagine a new kind of summer for myself than I had previously prepared for, and honestly it’s almost too much.

And speaking of which, ok this is just too cute not to share:

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Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 715 articles for us.


    • Thanks for this comment! I’ve worked in Illinois my whole life and I had no idea that wasn’t a national standard.

    • And at my work we got this whole speech from HR about how we shouldn’t use out PTO because you need to bank it away in case you get seriously ill and need more time off. So don’t use if for normal illness or vacation. Just work yourself into a state of unhealthiness until you have a heart attack, like the presenter did, and oh good you have so much PTO saved up so you aren’t fired for missing work. He literally said it’s irresponsible to use PTO for an actual vacation.

  1. If I get to hug my daughter for the first time in a year and a half….
    [Yes, I’m tearing up]

  2. Oof. Needed that reminder to use PTO and take full lunch breaks. Especially as I was slipping out of bed to get to my desk an hour early.

  3. Thanks for sharing the piece about the history of queer foster parents and queer foster youth! I was pleasantly surprised by how much of a non issue it was that we were queer when getting licensed as foster parents. Currently we have three teenagers who all identify as some type of queer, one of whom is trans*. There is a Facebook group for lgbt+ foster/adopt families that also is helpful and sometimes works to help place queer youth.

  4. The adoption agency opening up to LGBTQ parents is NOT ok by any means.

    TW for this whole post for discussion of child abuse and race-based abuse.
    I feel like it’s important to say that the adoption agency forced into serving LGBTQ parents is, like…not a good entity on any front. This heartbreaking story from a (Black) birth parent whose child was killed because she was left in a hot car by her (white) adoptive parents and everything Bethany did to gaslight the birth parent and try to get this horrific story OUT of the media:

    As a queer person who doesn’t want to gestate, I have been trying to read up on adoption and there is SO MUCH under the surface about racial dynamics and who is “capable” of caring for children vs. who is not/needs to have their children taken away for their “safety.”

    I have been reading up on this since the also-horrific story of that lesbian, white couple from Oregon who adopted multiple Black children and (MAJOR TW) ended up killing all of them in a murder-suicide when they drove their car off a cliff.

    I am deeply concerned about the aspects of racial exploitation that seem to be embedded into the adoption industry (see: Korean adoptees post-Korean War, US government programs to steal Indigenous children away from families, white Evangelicals “saving” Black children from Africa, etc). I don’t believe we as a community created this problem, but I have a deep question about how we as an LGBTQ community – knowing that adoption is a main avenue for us to become parents – can engage in this ethically, or if it’s even possible :(

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