Long Live (Heather’s Version)

My beloved friends,

I’ve been staring at a blank page for weeks, thinking about Tim Riggins. The lovable, aimless, sensitive, brooding scamp from Friday Night Lights. The only man I’ve ever loved. (Well, the only man I’m not related to that I’ve ever loved.) From the moment I told Carmen and Kayla and Riese that, after nine years, I was ready to pass along the Autostraddle torch and leap into the wild unknown to pursue new creative dreams, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Dillion Panthers #33. Because, dang, that guy knew how to say goodbye. In fact, one of the most moving moments on the whole show — which is full of sob-inducing scenes, by the way — is when Tim Riggins walks out onto the field after losing the state championship his senior year and places his cleats at the goal line. No fans, no teammates, no coaches, no cheerleaders; just stadium lights illuminating the dark Texas sky, and a guy who loves football more than anything in the world. The symbolism isn’t subtle, but it’s real.

I don’t know how to talk about my feelings without talking about TV, or books, or movies, or video games. Fictional characters whose lives I’ve imprinted mine onto to help me make sense of the tangled, tricky, sometimes cruel and lonely world. And the first place that was ever okay was Autostraddle. That’s actually a thing we say a lot around here: Only at Autostraddle.

Sorry I’m late, I just spent six hours doing Veronica Mars-style deep-sleuthing because this famous woman showed up on that famous woman’s Instagram with their faces kinda smooshed together. Only at Autostraddle. What if I review The Land Before Time (1988) because that Kate Winslet lesbian archeologist movie is a slog? Only at Autostraddle. Just give me ten minutes, and I’ll Photoshop Megan Thee Stallion onto a soccer pitch with Megan Rapinoe. Only at Autostraddle. Okay what about if I make a full black-to-white gradient chart of kittens called 50 Shades of Grey Cats? Only at Autostraddle. I want to write about how much I love my wife on Monday and how much I hate onions on Tuesday and how to use a cordless drill on Wednesday and a review of my favorite cartoon on Thursday and an essay about chronic illness on Friday. Only at Autostraddle.

Four photos of lots of queer people from A-Camp in Ojai, CA

I walked in the door here and was invited to be as weird as I wanted to be for the first time in my life. I figured out who I am here, who I really am, because of so many of you and so many of my colleagues. Your kindness, your compassion, your generosity, your senses of humor, your commitment to doing what’s right no matter how hard it is, your vulnerability, your courage, your willingness to hold the people you love most accountable, your innate and overflowing goodness. Over the past nine years, I have become a better writer, absolutely — but, more importantly, I have become a better person. The very best version of myself. And none of that would be true if it weren’t for you.

You helped me embrace my butch identity and cheered me on when the bowties came out and the hair got chopped off. You helped me summon the audacity to believe in the kind of love that made me a wife. You guided me toward finally understanding, and then celebrating, my neurodivergence. You cheered me on when I rescued feral cats, you sent your deepest sympathies when friends and family passed away, you cackled at my silly jokes, and watched all my favorite TV right beside me, and when I got sick with Long Covid, you only held me tighter so I would have the strength to re-find my footing. The comments, the emails, the DMs, the cards, the letters, the coffee mugs and stickers and fountain pens and t-shirts and comic books and hand-knitted mittens and hand-woven friendship bracelets and hand-crafted ceramic gay sharks — you have given me more in my time here than I could repay in a dozen lifetimes. In my last Autostraddle Zoom meeting, I cried my little lesbian eyeballs out, sobbing about how I have felt more seen and loved in my time here than I could ever have imagined feeling, in all my whole life.

Nic, Heather, and Valerie in backwards hats hanging out on the street.

I feel like since I started with Tim Riggins, I should toss out my stats, to really drive home my time here in numbers. Nine years. 1,716 articles. 1.5 million words. Countless millions of pageviews. When I started writing for the queer internet, there were zero — ZERO! — queer women characters on primetime broadcast TV. In fact, almost all the sapphics were crowded onto one channel, one show: The L Word. Last year, GLAAD counted 596 total LGBTQ+ characters across all networks and streamers. (And yes, you’re calculating correctly: Streaming TV absolutely did not exist when I started doing this work, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying fan uploads and language-dubs of international shows on YouTube! Coronation Street and Hand aufs Herz forever!) I’ve been working my entire career in the middle of a representation hurricane! I’ve watched the world change as the landscape of TV has changed! Before I came to Autostraddle, I used to have to fisticuffs my co-workers for one gay TV thing to write about PER WEEK. Now there’s so much gay TV, we can hardly cover it all, even if we never sleep, even at a glance.

The next part I can’t write about, really. It’s all very Jane Austen: If I loved you less, I could talk about it more, etc. It’s just that working at Autostraddle has put me in the path of some of the most wonderful, brilliant, hilarious, genuinely good people in the entire world, people who are now some of my dearest friends.

My TV Team! Natalie, who I met because she had to call me out a hundred years ago for something very problematic I wrote, and who is now my constant sports companion and favorite co-writer. Valerie Anne, whose personal blog of Glee recaps I stumbled over during the show’s first season, and who became my first queer writer friend. Nic, who drifted into my path during my #BooRadleyVanCullen Pretty Little Liars tweeting days, and who I never let go from that moment. Those two clown shoes are now my actual real life neighbors and some of my closest friends, my Dungeons & Dragons teachers and co-adventurers. Y’all know I would rush into and carry any of y’all out of a burning building, in my arms, Wildmoore-style!

Carmen, Valerie, and Heather hanging out in a bar.

My senior staff! Carmen, secret queer sports femme, who came to me in a comment on a TV post and is now in charge of this entire publication, who gave me the absolute gift of her friendship and her leadership. Kayla, who somehow tells in-person stories even better than written ones (which is saying something), and who had me enthralled and in stitches when I met her at a rainy, spooky Wisconsin A-Camp. Nico, whose gift for wacky astrology posts is aspirational, and whose commitment to doing what’s best for our A+ members is a kind of care that’s unmatched. Laneia, the only person who really, truly got it when I said ten minutes on the phone with Dolly Parton would change my life, and who is the only person I ever met who could think of a fresh way to describe literally anything. Riese, who took the biggest chance in the world on me a decade ago, who cheered on almost every bonkers idea I ever floated, and who stood by my side when I got sick without ever flinching. We don’t have matching tattoos, but we do have matching bruises and scars, and that’s forever.

My A-Campers who became my beloved friends. And my other colleagues who spent time with me here and have gone on to do even more prodigious things.

Where could I ever have met a group of people that changed me on such a fundamental level? Who I will love with my whole heart for always? Only at Autostraddle.

Which leads me to the other announcement of this post: Taking over at Autostraddle Senior Editor is someone you also already know and already love: Drew Burnett Gregory. I’m just going to tell y’all exactly what I told the Autostraddle team: I could write twenty pages on Drew’s qualifications. I could say there’s no one on this earth who knows more about queer cinema than her. I could say that her ability to make all art accessible to all queers is unparalleled. I could say that I have seen her grow from a woman who wanted to write a single essay about Supergirl into an absolute powerhouse of TV and film criticism, Rotten Tomatoes top critic, dozens of film festivals. I could say that every dream she’s ever shared with me is a dream I believed like the sun, because they were her dreams — and that would all be true.

But what I really want to say about Drew is that her courage to engage fully with queer art, to search for new ways to appreciate everything she watches, is aspirational. And somehow, through some kind of magic and mind alchemy, she’s also able to never settle for less than what she believes this community deserves. She can find ways to love and relate to almost any story, and then she can stand confidently in that love and ask for more. I have been watching her do it for years now and it has never stopped blowing my mind, and inspiring the absolute heck out of me.

Thank you all for understanding that I will never be able to write a book, or chase after the fleeting butterflies of whispered dreams, while also working full-time at a place that calls to me the way Autostraddle does. I will always put it first because I love it too much not to. Plus, I know for sure — like a bone-deep knowing — that this is the absolute perfect time for me to transition out of my role, and for Drew to step in and live out her own editorial dreams. She is so well-loved and so widely respected and there is no doubt that her time as an editor here is going to be one of renewed enthusiasm and energy.

Four photos of lots of queer people from A-Camp Wisconsin.

This is not even close to the end of my writing career (I hope!). I’m really trying to publish a dang book of essays, I promise. Everyone always asks, and friends, I sure am working on it. In the meantime, your support of my newsletter would mean the absolute world to me. That’s where I’ll be twice a week for the foreseeable future as I figure out what the next phase of dreaming looks like for me. And, of course, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Blue Sky.

The thing I love about Tim Riggins’ football send-off is, well, what human on earth can ever really say they left it all on the field? It is such a rare and impossible thing to look back at any time period in your life — even four quarters of some kind of sports matchup — and say, yes, I gave it literally everything I had. This is my last week at Autostraddle, and as I think over my time here, I firmly believe I could drop my cleats at the goal line with pride. Not every play went the way I hoped it would. Not every decision I made was the right one. But, man, I did some cool stuff with some awesome people, and I left all my sweat and blood and every bit of effort I could conjure on the field. I’m sad and excited and hopeful and proud. So proud. Mostly, though, I will remain forever grateful that you took this journey with me. Clear eyes, full hearts, thank you.

Tim Riggins puts his cleats on the goal line on Friday Night Lights


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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.


    • Heather,

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words over the years have made me laugh and cry and everything in-between.

      You are a treasure and I am excited to keep following you on your journey.


  1. Heather,

    Every time I try to find the proper words of thank you for everything you’ve done for the website, this community, and for my own life — I keep coming up blank, because how do you put words to a well of gratitude? It’s an impossible task. But thank you. Thank you for everything, big and little.

    It is Texas Forever. You gave everything there was to give. And I know you already said that you know it, deep in your bones, but I wanted to make sure it’s said again, because you deserve it. Your next adventures are going to be astronomical and I consider myself lucky that I’ll get to keep cheering you on, each and every step.

    I love you.

  2. I’ll never stop saying thank you for being the first one here to publish me and being the one to staff me and being so supportive as I step into your massive unfillable editor shoes.

    You’ve truly changed my life. So here I’ll go again: thank you!!

  3. Darling Heather,

    Been following you from a tiny cuntry named The Netherlands across the pond and reading lots of articles and opinions you have shared here at AUTOSTRADDLE.

    Thank you for all these years and good luck with all your new adventures.

    Love always from Feromoon

  4. Your writing was what brought me to become obsessed with AS as a site, and follow everything here religiously for a very long time. In the same was AS allowed you to be your full self, your writing (and AS and A-Camp) helped me to do the same. I wish you the best in your new journey.

  5. Really sad to see you go Heather, so much of the heart in this gay corner of the internet came from you. The WNBA recaps will be particularly missed as they’ve become the highlight of my Mondays all summer long. I hope that all your contributions here will continue to be a great source of pride for you over many years to come. Good luck with your next chapter!

  6. From one Tim Riggins lover to another, I’ve loved reading your writing over the years, and I always will. I so agree with Carmen — it’s hard to even really articulate just how much you’ve impacted, fostered the heart that is this website. I can’t wait to see what comes next for you, Heather <3

    And I am SO excited for Drew's leadership!! Truly thrilled to get to read more of your work!

  7. Heather, I read you long before I ever had the chance to actually talk to you. But here’s the thing that anyone who knows Heather Hogan can attest to — the persona is just the tip of the iceberg of Heather’s kindness, her smarts, her intrepidness. Working with you in this office over the course of these past four years — which have been hard years — has left me blown away with the ways that you show up in a space. I’ll miss your spark, your humor, your encyclopedic knowledge of queer TV and celebrities and herstory. I know that none of us are here forever, but Autostraddle has grown and evolved along with and because of you, and you will be sorely missed. That said, I know it’s time for you to write your book, and I respect the hell out of your ability to know what’s maybe not the easy next step, but the right one. I cannot wait to see where you go, what you do next and to — very likely — cry incredibly huge tears onto the pages of your book.

    Drew! I know we’ll get into this more later, but it’s always been absolutely a treasure to work with you and this feels so right. I cannot wait to see what’s next for you at Autostraddle. We’ve said it again and again and again this week, but welcome to the senior team!!!

  8. Wow, Heather, you got me crying here! And also thinking…okay maybe it’s time for this TV lesbian to finally watch Friday Night Lights? Never did I think it would be for me but now I’m really thinking I need to tune in. Your time at AS sounds like it was more than a dream and I am so excited for all the amazing things you’re due for. Good luck and I can’t wait to watch where you go!

  9. Congrats Heather on ending one era and beginning another! I can’t wait to see what comes next. So grateful for all the time, energy, and trust you’ve given us at AS.

    Congrats as well to Drew!

  10. Thank you for all the tears, the hurt that heals the soul and being mirrored and therefore seen, that your writing has given me, unlike anything else.
    Thank you so much and may you continue to grow how you must!

    Tearfully yours, No_No

  11. Heather, you know this, but you literally changed my life. You sliding into my DMs to tell me you liked my silly little Glee blog gave me the courage to ask you how to write about TV for the internet like you did, and your advice is the only reason I’m doing exactly that still today, all these years later. And you vouching for me here when that last website collapsed underneath me helped me find a home here at Autostraddle. Being edited by you has been the greatest pleasure of my career, and even though you have to warn me before they come, I hold every compliment you’ve ever given me so close to my heart. I’ll miss working alongside you every day but I CANNOT WAIT to see where your writing adventures take you next. I will be devouring every word you write, so at least that much will not have changed.

    Love you forever. Thank you for everything.

  12. Heather I love you always and forever. I’ll never stop being grateful for the generosity you provided to me and this space, for your patience and wit and brilliance. Thank you for teaching me the best way to make a grilled cheese sandwich and leading the only beer-related activity I have ever enjoyed in my whole life. Thank you for talking to me for hours about leadership and Glee and the nuances of queer representation and my own personal problems. Thank you for saying “I’m on it!” so many times, again and again.

    Drew — you are going to kill it. I can’t wait to be on an editorial team with you. <3

  13. Heather this was wonderful. The most Heather Hogan thing in the world is to read your goodbye article and see that most of it is the most beautifully expressed gratitude for the people around you. I’ve followed your writing from before you came here, I remember when AS first published you and I was so happy – my fave online publication hired my fave online writer! – and getting to witness you thriving here has been an honour. Thanks for everything, here and elsewhere, and I cannot wait to see what you do next.

  14. I’ve been reading Autostraddle for a very long time, starting with the TV recaps that made me laugh and cry when I was a repressed, closeted, teenaged egg. It’s no exaggeration to say this site has changed my life, too. Your writing, and your role in shaping this community, were no small part of that. I still think about those last few Glee recaps from time to time, and their reflections on how much the TV landscape – and the social landscape more generally – changed over the course of its run. So, thank you for that. And thank you, as well, for your essays on your experiences with Long Covid. They were very illuminating and important.

    I’m very excited to see what Drew does with this job. Her writing, more than anyone else’s, helped me truly see myself for the first time, and it’s a true testament to your skills as a leader that you brought her into the fold and encouraged her to grow. Like so many of the writers and creatives here, she really is an extraordinary talent.

    Long Live came up on my shuffle as I was writing this comment. If that isn’t fate, I’m not sure what is. I wish you the very best for the future. Thank you, Heather.

  15. Sad to see you go, happy for what life will be for you post-AS.

    Wishing you the best of luck for whatever may come. And looking forward to reading all about it.

    Write on 🥳

    And congrats to Drew!

  16. Oh Heather, thank you for these words. I will so miss your work here (and am excited to subscribe to your newsletter to keep up with future work!). I think Drew is an amazing choice to succeed you, and I’m wishing both of you all the best in this transition.

  17. Heather, I am absolutely gutted. I can’t think of what to say. I know Autostraddle won’t be the same without you. I’ve been following your writing around on the internet since I first realized I was gay and watched Emily and Naomi make out by the lake with headphones on and the bedroom door closed so my roommates wouldn’t find out what I was watching. I was there through #BooRadleyVanCullen and #GaySharks and every show since, and I’ll be following you to your newsletter too. Even though we’ve never met I’ve referred to you as a friend to my IRL friends and family and I’ve listed you amongst my favourite writers of all time. I can easily say that your writing has given me all the feelings, and even changed my life. If you’re ever in Toronto, I owe you so many beers. Thanks for always being willing to spill your heart open on the internet for all us queers. Never doubt the impact you’ve had.

  18. Heather, you’re a legend. Thank you for EVERYTHING you’ve written for AS over the years, and I can’t wait to follow your writing as you move on. You will be missed. Thrilled to hear that Drew will be taking over – congrats and looking forward to more from her as always!

  19. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million more times but I CANNOT WAIT TO READ YOUR BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you for being my First Gay Editor, an editor who let me be my complete self on the page, even when I was just writing silly little Riverdale recaps. Can’t wait to see where you go/grow!

  20. This brings up so many feelings, the strongest is being greatfull.loved all your words and feelings. Always.

    Happy for you on this next adventure and excited to see what Drew will come up with!!!!

  21. Heather, it was your Pretty Little Liar recaps that brought me here, and even this week I saw Boo Radley written on a poster and thought of you. You will be so so missed here, I am so glad that I already subscribe to your newsletter. And thank you for taking the edge off the sadness of losing you to gaining the amazing Drew.Cannot wait to see what she brings to the site as an editor!! Thank you for everything

  22. One of my favorite Heather Hogan memories is from New York Comic Con many moons ago, when you introduced yourself to our now friend and A-Camp cabin-mate Ashanti. She laughed a little and said, “I know who you are!” That experience has always reminded me that despite all of your success and how many lives you’ve changed with your words, you do it all with humility and without an ounce of ego.

    I knew your name and your work before I was honored to call you my friend and editor, and I will never be able to thank you enough for how much you’ve helped me to grow as a writer and as a storyteller. Thank you for every piece of yourself you’ve shared with us over the years. Thank you for helping this anxious bean feel at ease and safe at camp. Thank you for bringing me on to this incredible team where I know all-caps yelling about sapphic ships is not only accepted, but encouraged.

    #BooRadleyVanCullen feels like a fever dream sometimes, but it gave me some of the most important people in my life, including you. Thank you for believing in me and I cannot wait to continue to devour every single word you publish in the future, no matter what form they come in.

    I love you, friend.

  23. Autostraddle’s been so many things, but being the place to find Heather Hogan is very, very high on that list. Congrats on an amazing stint, and thanks for sharing your brains and heart with everyone. I look forward to accidentally yet cheerfully pre-ordering multiple copies of your book. <3

    And congrats to Drew, too!

  24. I started crying before I read a single word.

    I’ve been reading the beautiful words of Heather Hogan for about half my life. I found her around the time I found gay stuff on the internet which has lead me on journey I’m still not done with. The BooRadleyVanCullen recaps are STILL some of my favorite internet memories.

    Not seeing a Heather Hogan byline constantly is going to take some adjusting, but I’ll get through it.

    Thanks for everything,Heather!

  25. I have adored your writing since the Warehouse 13 days on the site that shall not be named, and that heartbreaking Atlantis ending. It was a pleasure attending your panel at A-Camp 2017. Thank you so much for all of your words, and good luck with all your future writing! I’ll be following along :)

  26. I’m so glad we got to meet at that weird autumn Wisconsin A-Camp! Honestly, when we started chatting, you just said your name was Heather and I had no idea what your last name was or that you’d written all those clever articles, you were just someone I instantly clicked with, and I really enjoy the time we spent together, both in that camp and on the Internets since!

  27. Heather, you’re fantastic and wonderful and I’m going to miss reading all your writing here, though at least there’s still Substack! The generosity and care with which you write is one in a million. I can’t wait to get a copy of your essays for everyone!

    Also, congratulations Drew! Can’t wait to see what you do with the role!

  28. Heather Hogan! Thank you for all of the work you’ve done and all the work you will continue to do. Thank you for helping me process my adolescent childhood with your PLL recaps way back in the day. Thank you for answering my tweet when I asked you where those recaps had gone and you told me you were moving over to Autostraddle! Thank you for introducing me to this place, that has meant so much to me, and introduced me to so many of my dearest friends. Thank you for being in community with all of us, always.

    And thank you, truly, for my very favorite Heather Hogan post of all time, the link to which I am not finding at first google, but was titled roughly “Fics I wrote before I knew what lesbian sex was,” and had the funniest line I have ever read to date, something about Captain Janeway, Seven of Nine, and, I believe, “four nipples” between the two of them.

  29. Im glad you’re going to be expanding your brilliant, warm, deeply humane, good-humoured into new places – congratulations and best of luck! I’m also an old reader of yours from the AE days (where you were the only part of that site that genuinely spoke to my kind of queerness). I have loved and lived in your writing in ways that helped me make sense of grief, compassion, and the joy of getting to connect as my true self. You’ve helped expand my sense of connection with queer culture, history, and disability activism. Thank you, thank you!

  30. I’m very sad that you’re leaving but also excited to see what comes next!! You’ll be so missed here, thank you for everything you’ve done for this site and community. It’s so hard to imagine this place without you and it’s hard to wrap my head around everything you’ve done here <3 (I've been really enjoying your substack and now I'm especially glad to know where to go to keep reading your work.)

    Also, huge congratulations to Drew!!

  31. This is the most Heather Hogan goodbye possible. Instead of using this post to celebrate your literal GOAT status, you turned it into a mediation of gratitude and grace because of course you did. 
    I don’t know if you’ll remember this but I met you at A-Camp in Ojai. I was basically starstruck by you like everyone else. I was determined to introduce myself by the end of camp to try to tell you how much your writing changed my life. The day before we left I tripped on a solo hike and twisted my ankle. I was sitting in the woods crying and you popped up out of nowhere and introduced yourself as “Heather” like everyone there didn’t know you’re Heather Hogan. My cabin had a joke about your backpack. ‘What doesn’t she have in there?’ Every time we turned around you were giving someone some necessity out of your backpack. You saw me on the ground and plopped down beside me and pulled out an icepack from your backpack like Mary Fucking Poppins. I told you I was autistic and you asked if I had any sensory issues with the plastic ice pack which I did. So you took my shoe and sock off my disgusting sweaty foot and put your own clean t-shirt on it from your bag and then an ice pack on top of it. You gave me Advil and a bottle of cold water. My special interest is foraging and you sat there for a goddamn hour listening to me talk about fungus like it was the most interesting thing in the world and you didn’t have a million other places to be. I’ll never forget that. I know I’m just one of a million people who have had that kind of experience with you but it still makes me feel like one of the luckiest queers on earth. I’ll follow you wherever you go – but not in a creepy way! Thank you for everything you’ve given us. 

  32. Thanks for everything you’ve done Heather – it’s difficult to imagine Autostraddle without you, but looking forward to reading whatever you do next. I’ve read your work since Skins recaps on AE when I was a confused teenager, and your writing has kept me company all the way to being a confident gay adult. I’m sure your words will keep me going for another decade at least.

  33. Thank you so much for everything you’ve shared with us over the years, Heather! I started reading your PLL recaps on that former website as a closeted queer teen in high school, met my first girlfriend thanks to a BooRadleyVanCullen T-shirt, and have followed you and your amazing writing since. Thank you for the absolute joy, the courageous vulnerability, and the honest humility. You’ll certainly be missed at AS, but I’m so excited to see where you take on life next! Your newsletter has been a joy already, and I’m sure that book (whenever it gets done) will make me laugh and cry and explode/implode in a thousand beautifully human ways.

  34. Heather, you don’t know me. I know your sister and I think it was a tweet of hers that led you to me. I’m a bi woman who got out of an abusive relationship with a shitty man a couple of years ago. I was living in a motel with my mom trying to save up first and last month’s rent to move us into an apartment. Then my car died. I had no hope left. We weren’t even going to make rent at our motel. You reached out to me and asked how much money I needed for first and last month’s rent and the car. And you just GAVE IT TO ME. You literally PayPal’d some stranger you’d never met enough money to get AN APARTMENT and a NEW TRANSMISSION. The money was a life changer but the fact that you did that was the thing that gave me hope in life and humanity again. I have a great job now and a loving girlfriend and a beautiful home. You saved my life, Heather. You saved my life. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’ll never be able to repay you because you gave me so much more than money, but I joined your newsletter at the founder level and will support your writing for as long as you’re putting words to paper. Thank you isn’t enough but thank you. 

  35. Heather, your writing has changed my life. You wrote an essay a loooong time ago about your partner (who I think is now your wife?) buying soft sheets for your sensory needs because she cared about you, not because you were a burden. It was around the time, or maybe even a bit before, autism was really on my radar (HA- to imagine a time when autism was not a glaringly obvious part of me…) but it shook me to my core and I’ve thought about it at not-infrequent intervals ever since. I’m so sad to see you go, but so excited for your next chapter, and have already signed up for your newsletter! Lots of love.

  36. Heather! I am so happy for you to spread your wings and begin a new chapter in your writing life.

    I have been reading your material since you wrote your Skins recaps. Your writing made me feel everything you did, I did, and made the show that much more. I’ve been following you ever since.

    Thank you for everything you have put on the page about entertainment, life and your own experiences. You made a lonely lesbian in Nova Scotia a lot less lonely and allowed me to find a host of others.

    Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  37. Heather! I can’t thank you enough for all you and your writing have done for me since I was a closeted kid watching Pretty Little Liars and pretending to my friends I thought the boys were hot. Your recaps changed my life then and your writing has since and I can’t wait to read the f*ck out of your book of essays!

  38. Heather, over the last couple of years that I’ve been a reader of AS I have often reflected on the generosity, specificity, and care that you take in your writing. I adore your more personal essays, which are so evocative and vulnerable but never sentimental (I still think about the one about your mother). And I also appreciate the passionate focus, candor, and fun you bring to such a range of other topics too… as an academic, I have more than once considered how I might embody some of these qualities in my more scholarly writing!

    I came here to post a thank you for being such a steady, welcoming, open presence here as an editor and writer. But I inevitably got caught up in reading the comments, and was really moved how many testify not only to your professional role but also what a genuinely caring and engaged person you in how you move through the world (which doesn’t surprise me to learn one bit!). I can’t wait to see all that comes next! Waiting with bells on for your book, and in the meantime am glad to be able to continue reading you via your newsletter. Bon courage, Heather! You will be missed.

    Drew, I’m so thrilled that you will be stepping into this role and can’t wait to read more of your work and see how your voice shapes AS with your own slant. Congrats!

  39. Heather, your writing and humor and joy and gentleness and kindness have always been shared so freely with us and I’m so glad I’ll still have the opportunity to read your work. I met you at the incredibly cold and wet Wisconsin a-camp. It was teevee trivia and you got a little teary about something, so I gave you my travel pack of Kleenex with Princess Leia on it. Every time one of your amazing tweets pops up as a meme (usually about lesbian cat rescue) my friends send it to me and I get to say “I met her!” Thank you for sharing yourself so freely with the world.

  40. Heather, you are leaving an amazing legacy. I always read any article for you – and particularly love your personal essays. You sharing your life with AS readers has been a true and beautiful gift. I’m incredibly grateful.

    Thank you especially for your openness about your long covid journey.

    I hope you know you’ve made the world a whole lot gayer, kinder and more wholesome.

    Wishing you love, care and bravery in your next journey.

  41. Heather, I’ve been reading your writing since I was just a small baby gay, figuring it all out while deleting my browser history religiously. I read every word you ever wrote about Pretty Little Liars and then everything else after. I am so glad I followed you to Autostraddle and discovered this wonderful site. Thank you for all you’ve done. From one sports loving, butch from the south to another, it’s truly meant so much. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

  42. I have been wanting to tell you I enjoy the things you say in your writing. I’ve been reading some of your columns for a long time. I appreciated the sharing of the efforts you have made concerning seeking full recovery from COVID.

    I’ll look out for new writings of yours.

  43. Wow! This is unsurprisingly beautifully written and I’m so thrilled for your next chapter, Heather. I’ve always admired your earnestness and your eagerness to dive head first into the media that you love.

    I first read your writing about Skins on a different site when I just a gay teenager who didn’t yet know that I was allowed to feel invested in and excited about fictional characters, and I only meandered over to Autostraddle specifically because I found out you’d be writing here. You literally changed my life and my approach to and respect for all sorts of media and incidentally introduced me to loads of incredible queer writers’ work and also probs owe compensation to my friends who have spent years playing captive audience to my very deeply-held beliefs about people who simply do not exist irl.

    I have every confidence that Drew will find some magical way to somehow uphold your legacy while blazing an even bigger trail of her own, but I’ll miss your voice around AS just the same.

  44. I’ve been following your work since the early 2000’s (seriously, where does the time go? Also Hand aufs Herz for the win) and you were the reason I first came to AS. Your work has never failed to make me feel ALL of the emotions and more than anything has always made me feel a little less alone in the world. Super excited to see what you do next and super excited to see Drew flourish in a new role.

  45. Heather, you’ve been one of my favorite and one of THE most important writers here at Autostraddle since I first came to the site over three years ago. Everything from your personal essays to TV recaps and whenever you decided to rank something by “lesbianism” has been immaterial to what the Autostraddle I have known has been, and I will be devastated to see it go. But thank you so much for your years of service, and best of luck on your next adventure :)

    “And [Heather], thank you for being in my life.”
    -Eda Clawthorne, The Owl House

  46. Heather Hogan, my god. There is no one else on earth like you. I dropped in here to share a story about you thinking I was the most special person here but it turns out everyone’s got a story of you saving them. For me, it was at New York Comic Con. I came in from out of town and got scammed on some extra passes I bought so I didn’t have any spending money because I was counting on the money from the passes. You invited everyone out to this bar after a panel where you stood up during the Q&A and demanded to know why the only gay-specfic panel was all cis white men and why they felt qualified to all weigh in on Laverne Cox getting cast in Rocky Horror. You were wearing a cape? A red cape over a t-shirt? You sat down beside me at the bar and asked if you could get me a drink or anything, I remember you offering to get me a Shirley Temple which I thought was the cutest fucking thing. You said it really sincerely that they would give us extra cherries. I told you about getting scammed and you opened up your (velcro) wallet and handed me the entire sum of money inside it. It was a couple hundred dollars. You didn’t know me! You reached into your wallet and gave me ALL YOUR MONEY. It probably looked like I was robbing you but nope just Heather Hogan being Heather Hogan. Your writing will be missed here but YOU will be missed so much more. You are one in a billion, HH.

  47. I’ve been reading Autostraddle since 2009 and have literally never left a comment. But I wanted to finally leave one today to say Heather you are my favorite writer on this site. Thank you for being so huge-hearted, hilarious, and radically yourself. It means so much to so many. Excited to follow your newsletter and the rest of your journey!

  48. Well, if Tim Riggins metaphors are in order, here’s the one that comes to mind: early in season one, the Panthers rush back into the locker room to celebrate their Homecoming win. Coach Taylor hands the game ball to Riggins who stepped up when his team needed him the most. Upon accepting it, he says, “Coach is always talking about one team and one heart and to be honest with you, I thought it was…I thought that was stupid. Fact is he’s right. He’s right. Everybody in this room knows who…where we get our heart from.” Then he goes over and hands the game ball to Jason Street.

    I don’t know what the rhetorical equivalent of a game ball is but one thing’s for sure: everyone on this team, everybody in this corner of the internet, knows where we get our heart from. I don’t know how we fill that space now…or if we even can…but my hope is that you’ve given some small piece of your heart to all of us over the years that maybe it’s part of us now. Maybe it’ll persist, even in your absence. I hope so.

    I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me: for taking that criticism all those many years ago with the grace with which it was offered, for tracking me down years later and convincing me I had a voice that the world needed to hear (and pulling me out of the worst depression of my life in the process). I don’t know who I’d be today if you hadn’t been so certain of my potential.

    Selfishly, I want to keep you here…I want to read your words everyday on this page, I want to work with you on new projects, I want to keep learning from you. I want the easy reminder that our conversations always bring: that my weirdness isn’t all that weird because you’ve been thinking the exact same thing I have. But I’m fine with having to work a little harder to keep our connection alive — even if it’s just sending Viola Davis pics back and forth — because you’ve got a voice that the world needs to hear. I want these new opportunities for you…these bigger megaphones to project your kindness and generosity further into the world. I only hope that I can be half as good a cheerleader for you as you’ve been for me.

    Don’t ask me to do any backflips, though. I’m no Lyla Garrity.

    Clear eyes, full hearts…

  49. Heather, back in 2020 or 2021 you wrote an article for an AS fundraiser about how you were once a closeted baby gay dreaming of running away to a life where you could write and date girls, and how you went and grabbed that dream and now you had a wife. I’m sure for you that article was a routine task on your to-do list, but I *sobbed* because up until I read it I’d been kidding myself about how much I wanted that too. I’ve always wanted to tell you that I went ahead and grabbed my dream and right now I’m on holiday with my first ever girlfriend. Thank you.

  50. Oof this is a tough loss – one of my absolute favorite writers! Heather, you really brought your personality to everything you wrote here; I could always tell when it was something you wrote and they were always my favorite pieces. So so glad to hear that, even though Autostraddle won’t be the same, this also means there is more yet to come and, honestly, Drew is the perfect choice!

  51. Dear Heather,

    I can’t thank you enough for your generosity of words and heart, and the stories that have come out about just how much of a good person you are, are incredibly touching.

    And Congrats Drew ! It’s truly awesome to see you take on this leadership role. Thank you !

  52. I’m sorry to see you go, but happy you are working on a book, and have a newsletter. I like that you’ve written about pens, and tv, and taking precautions against covid. Thanks for all that.

  53. Heather, no other writer about television and queerness has moved me the way you have. All those amazing PLL recaps, each and every one of your essays, they’re masterpieces. I also admire your bravery in dealing with long COVID, and in sharing your struggles with us. And your ability to interweave reflections on your life with the tv narratives you were discussing is phenomenal. All best wishes for your journey and endeavors to come!!

  54. Heather, I’ve loved your writing since the Stunt Double days at ~AE~, even though I’m not sure I was happy that your PLL recaps eventually got me to watch the show—mostly to have an idea of what was real and what was all you.

    So many of your essays have made me cry, often while laughing.

    I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve given with your writing. And I’m so glad we’ve got Cattywampus while you work on a book and other great things.

    I hope to keep hearing your wnba thoughts too!

  55. Gotta say I teared up a bit reading this! Heather, your writings have been some of the most beautiful and touching things I’ve read on the internet. Excited to see what’s next for you and will be eagerly following your work!

  56. Heather! You were my favourite Autostraddle writer and there are some articles you wrote that I will cherish forever and reread again and again. I am already subscribed to your newsletter and am looking forward to reading your new projects! What I liked about your writing was that it was, first and foremost, simply artistically phenomenal. You made me cry so many times! Also, you seem to be just as nerdy as I am, and the stuff you wrote about Long Covid was many times relatable as a disabled person. I also valued how you let us into your mind even when it came to difficult topics that I was really interested in. Your perspective was new to me in many ways. And, last but certainly not least, the love you and your wife seem to have for each other, you transformed it into such beautiful writing, it was truly moving and inspirational to read, and really such a privilege to be able to experience that as a reader. You made me believe in love many times when I thought it was lost! Also, someone else once pointed out that you so unapologetically cherish women in a very lesbian way, and this is truly something that I also value because I could see it in the things you wrote. The way you embody your butch identity inspired me to embrace mine, and also reminded me of the butch mentors I have in my life. Thank you so much, Heather, I will miss your writing and follow whatever you decide to do next!

  57. Heather!!! I’ve followed your writing for over a decade now, all the way to Autostraddle, and I look forward to following where ever it leads next.
    Thank you for so beautifully sharing yourself and your ideas here for nine years. It’s been a pleasure to read your work on Autostraddle.

  58. F*** Heather! I wasn’t expecting this today of all days. And you made me cry now.
    You have been a great source of entertainment and profound thoughts at the same time. Maybe because we are around the same age and you were one of my sources of shared references, maybe because I just shared some of your interests and points of view. In any case, know that you will be terribly missed.
    A non-American bisexual down the south thanks you for how much you taught her with your words in this website.
    Good luck with your projects! I wish you the best and I will be there whenever possible to support you one way or another.

  59. I will definitely keep following your career and writing. You have always been one of my favorites. I know autostraddle will thrive with Drew stepping into your shoes. She is brilliant and amazing and I look forward to seeing what she does!
    Heather, so excited for your new chapter to begin. Cheers to you and your continued improvement with your health. You have come so far. We are all rooting for you.

  60. Heather, your recaps were my gateway drug into the gay internet long before it seemed prudent to interrogate why I was so interested in your recaps. Come for the #gaysharks, stay for the #booradleyvancullen. When you joined autostraddle shortly after I had started reading it, it felt like fate to have all the things I loved in one place.

    There was a time that I would watch anything that got recapped on AS (or AE) because that’s where I knew there would be breadcrumbs. I don’t watch so many of the same shows as you any more, but that’s kind of a beautiful thing in its own way that there’s so much diversity of gay TV that we dont all overlap.

    Anyway, I’m sad to see you moving on, but grateful for the important role you played in my life 14 years ago and in all the time since. Good luck with the next steps!!

  61. I have been an avid reader of all the content that you’ve put out since the AE days, when I was just a young baby gay in desperate need of representation. Every recap, think piece, article you have ever written has never ceased to make me laugh, tear up, and most importantly, make me feel less alone in this world. Truly, it has been an honour to be a fan. Thank you so much for all that you have done and will continue to do. Can’t wait to see what’s next in store for you! All the best.

  62. I didn’t read through all the comments, so forgive me if I’m being a bit redundant. I will miss you. You opened my eyes to grilled cheese possibilities and that maybe Aidan is not perfect. But I am also happy and excited for your personal journey, evolution, and writing prospects.

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