Meet Autostraddle’s Newest Staff Writers!

Last October, we put out a call for new staff writers and we received over 550 applications just teeming with talent. There were so many qualified queermos, it was difficult picking a handful of writers to join the team. We think these new staff writers make excellent additions to our team and we’re excited to properly introduce them to you today! You might have already noticed their wonderful writing and are already in love with them.

Here are the new staff writers making your days brighter with hard-hitting journalism, hilarious articles, TV criticism, sex advice, introspective personal essays and moving writing!

ALAINA, Staff Writer

tumblr / tweeter / instagram / cat’s instagram

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 10.47.16 AM

Alaina is a 20-something working on a PhD in Performance as Public Practice. They are a mom to three cats, they listen to a lot of NPR and musicals, and they spend a lot of time on Pinterest lusting over studio apartments. They are actively trying to build A Brand on twitter  @alainamonts. One day, they will be First Lady of the United States.

Interesting Facts:

  • I have three cats because I had two cats of different sexes and didn’t get them spayed and neutered early enough. Oops!
  • I have an abnormally large optic nerve in my left eye.
  • I’m the music director of an all female a cappella group

ERIN, Staff Writer

tweeter / instagram


Erin’s a writer, Georgia native, and back in the American south after all these years. Interests include screenwriting, film, wine, your dog, my dog, and also important things. Her mom called her dancing as a young ballerina “breathtaking”, and had she known this as a child her whole life as she now knows it would have been different.

Interesting Facts:

  • My bangs have been in the in-between phase for 2 years now.
  • I have a 10 year old lab/great dane mix named Cooper that I love but ruins my life in special ways.
  • I’m a miranda.

AISHA, Staff Writer



Aisha writes essays about art, race and film from Tucson, Arizona. Her work has appeared or can soon be found in Ecotone, The Offing, Sierra Nevada Review, Ninth Letter, The Southern Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Essay Daily and Guernica, where she serves as a contributing editor. Her book, The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White, was published by University of Iowa Press in 2013.

Interesting Facts:

  • I drink water when I’m anxious.
  • When they come on, I cannot not sing “Landslide” or tracks from The Bodyguard.
  • When I daydream about having a new tattoo I’m always at the airport.

KAYLA, Staff Writer

tweeter / instagram


Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is a Chicago-based writer, television critic, and comedian who spends most of her time over-analyzing queer subtext on television, singing “Take Me Or Leave Me” in public places, and assembling cheese platters. She has a cat named after Piper Halliwell from Charmed, and her go-to karaoke song is “Everywhere” by Michelle Branch. Her writing can also be found at The A.V. Club and The Hollywood Reporter, and she wrote the webseries Sidetrack. You can catch her screaming in all-caps about Kalinda Sharma, Jennifer Lopez, and oysters on Twitter and Instagram.

Interesting Facts:

  • In retrospect, I’m pretty sure the movie Spy Kids made me realize I’m gay.
  • I love hot dogs more than any human being should love hot dogs.
  • My idea of the perfect date would be to watch all of the Fast & Furious movies on a boat while eating lobster.

MAREE, Staff Writer

tweeter / instagram

Slack for iOS Upload

Maree lives in Berlin and is usually carrying some sort of Tupperware product on her person. She’s written for Marie Claire, The Rumpus, and Teen Vogue, but still has not fulfilled her lifelong dream of seeing a real blue-footed booby. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter and probably the dance floor.

Interesting Facts:

  • I can wiggle one of my ears. Yup, only one.
  • My parents met in Antarctica.
  • I like the number five so much I got it tattooed on my body.

ISABEL, Staff Writer

tweeter / instagram


Isabel is a Mexico City native and current Brooklyn dweller, stands about 5-feet tall and gets really mad when her girlfriend stores the olive oil on a high shelf. She’s a documentary filmmaker by day and expert quesadilla architect by night. She runs a small production company with her brother and has worked with Paper Magazine, A&E, History Channel, Bon Appetit and The New York Times. You can find some short, dry sentences on her Twitter and her fauxtography on Instagram. She’s a mediocre bowler.

Interesting Facts:

  • I always sneeze twice in a row
  • I absolutely CANNOT do a cartwheel
  • I met Julia Stiles once and she told me I had tiny feet.
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  1. Kayla, if that’s your idea of a perfect date, we should go out sometime. XD

    Alaina, I’ve been absolutely loving your work!

    FYI, you’re all great, keep it up. =)

  2. Very excited to continue reading all of your contributions! And likely follow y’all on Twitter.

  3. I love these intros! Welcome all, looking forward to reading your stuff and following your instagram.

    Kayla – I love your Grace and Frankie recaps! And your hair. I’m super jealous of your hair in that photo.

    Aisha – Yay cool people from Arizona! We need more awesomeness to counterbalance all the stupid crap our state government pulls.

  4. I don’t know what this says about me but I thought Erin was making a Lizzie McGuire reference.

    I’m a Gordo.

    It’s fine.

      • Ha ha, don’t feel bad, I have no idea either.

        We should have an article explaining all the inside jokes and references tossed around here, because I feel like there’s a lot of them I don’t get, lol. =)

      • It’s from Sex and the City. Miranda is one of the four main characters. But I’ve actually never seen the show, so I have no idea how to identify…

  5. Sweet humans, I am so pleased you are all here! You all make really, truly excellent fashion choices.

  6. hey Erin remember that one time we met at camp and I played it really cool and pretended like I wasn’t obsessed with every single piece you’ve ever written for Autostraddle except I actually was

    if you don’t remember that’s cool too

    never mind forget about it don’t worry i’m trash

    i love you

    • (Monique we r the same person & also I wish we had hung out more than just recognizing eachother in the bathroom at Eagle from each other’s profile pics)

      • I’m glad we got this cleared up because usually I have to meet people at least four times before I’m convinced they will remember who I am. It comes from a place of being incredibly confident and deeply secure.

    • True story I was too scared to say hi to Erin b/c of her queenly stare and topknot

      • Those caps look really aggressive, I promise I was just using them because I really wanted to meet you and casually chat and exchange tips for keeping your comment awards freshly polished.

        • lol from your profile pic it’s hard to imagine you being aggressive! i mean, unless you want to be. ;-)

          where was I?? where were you?? there were so many amazing straddlers I wanted to connect with but there’s like no way to on the mountain!!!

  7. Now I want to watch Fast & Furious movies on a boat while eating lobster!
    And welcome, new humans! Can’t wait to be amazed by your talent

  8. Welcome to all the new writers…and thank you, in advance, for the talent and wisdom you’re going to share with the AS community…

  9. ALAINA. You putting your cat’s Instagram up there will forever be one of my favorite things to have ever happened.

  10. I feel like I have properly encountered, or as properly as one can on the internet 4 out of the 6 of y’all.
    Gemini fistbump Kayla, your hair is what I wish mine could be at that length but never will. Piper is the best Halliwell sister to name a cat after. I look forward to seeing more things from you.

    Isabel you have a theme song in my head it’s Wrecking Ball, completely and unironically because of one essay. Do I apologize for this?
    I feel like most people are mediocre bowlers, but the only bowlers who deserve mockery are the sober ones who try to cheat and literally fall on their ass.
    Bon Appetit….does this mean there are food things you might write about?
    Either way I look forward to more things. No pressure

    ….Alaina I might be writing an essay about the night I made jollof and had a fuck working to fit or subside because I can fly moment for a required compositional english class. Thank you again for that recipe, it’s going to get put into this photo album I use for a cookbook. It’s that precious to me.

    And Erin I showed the first outfit from the What I Wore: Navigating the Heternormative Patriarchy series to somebody IRL and they went,” Yep, that’s you on a girlie day.”
    Need more of that and us former ballerinas totally win at making frosty monarch faces. We win so hard at it sometimes we don’t even know we’re doing it.

    Good luck and good writing to you all.
    There’d be more but sleep is calling my name and this probably already a ridiculously long paragraph.

  11. really looking forward to all of your writing! Autostraddle just got even better! Love from Munich x

  12. “My idea of the perfect date would be to watch all of the Fast & Furious movies on a boat while eating lobster.”

    Didn’t realize this until I read it, but same!!!

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