Also.Also.Also: “Mermaiding” Is the Next Terrain of Queer Subculture

Tonight’s stir fry is eggplant with garlic and I am beside myself, I am so excited. Should I have a mango popsicle for desert? Happy late summer days to you, xoxo.

Queer as in F*ck You

Mermaiding Is the Queer Subculture Promoting Self-Acceptance, I am my happiest and most peaceful when I am swimming laps and I am therefore excited to promote the mermaiding as queer culture agenda. Immaculate summer vibes. Be your own siren. Eat the heads of sailors. Swim away in bliss. IYKYK.

“While its popularity may have recently spiked, mermaiding in fact has a proud history. It’s been a key part of cosplay culture for decades, and as far back as 1983, Coney Island USA has hosted an annual artists’ gathering dubbed the Mermaid Parade, where members of the LGBTQIA+ community dress up as more-is-more, glitterbombed mermaids. More recently, mermaid conventions like MerMagic Con, which happens annually in Washington DC, and competitions like the World Mermaid Championship – last held pre-pandemic in 2019 – have acted as hubs for the geographically dispersed community. While mermaiding’s IRL tailprint may seem modest, it’s another story entirely online: the TikTok hashtag #mermaiding has over 79 million views.”

Queer YA Books Are Selling in Record Numbers Despite Bans Targeting Them

We Can’t Fight Monkeypox “Ourselves.” “Legacy media has reintroduced shame-based conversations from the AIDS era centering on behavioral change to contain an epidemic without mentioning vaccines. Have we learned nothing?”

Gender Dysphoria Covered by Disability Law, Court Rules. “A federal ruling that gender dysphoria is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act could help block conservative political efforts to restrict access to gender-affirming care, advocates and experts say.”

From our very own Stef Rubino, for Catapult!! Learning the Limits of Nonviolence. “Trying to reason with someone hell-bent on eradicating your existence is not only futile but also impossible.”

The anti-queer culture war happening in American public schools is not by itself new news, but it has been swirling in my brain the last few days: Missouri High School Asks Teachers to Remove Gay Pride Flags and Conservative Activists Want to Ban 400 Books From a Library — But They Aren’t Even on Shelves

And this is actually from earlier in the month, but I’m just now seeing it, and I love Josephine Baker with the entire depths of my heart and soul and spirit, so here: Josephine Baker Was the Star France Wanted—and the Spy It Needed

Saw This, Thought of You

How to Dismantle Systemic Ableism, According to Disabled People

“Mumia Abu-Jamal was the face of the anti-death penalty movement in the U.S. for years. Now his personal archive, which filled his cell on death row, will help chronicle the carceral system as one of the most pervasive aspects of American life.” Brown University Acquires the Papers of Mumia Abu-Jamal
This was solid advice for a salary range that feels relatable: ‘I’m Finally Making $55K, But I’m Scared It Won’t Last.’ “The best antidote to that anxiety… is to create a safety net.”

Poletic Justice Instructor Mona Marie Is De-Gentrifying Pole Dance. To be honest, I am here for anything that includes “de-gentrifying” + “pole dance.”

I don’t keep up like that with the kids of Euphoria High, but this felt like big news: Barbie Ferreira will not be returning to Euphoria

I’m sorry, I saw this and I still haven’t stopped laughing: What Does Jennifer Lopez Have Against Virgos: A story that involves Jennifer Lopez, astrology, and somehow also Heather Morris/Brittany from Glee???

Political Snacks

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, following that, this Twitter thread from Tech4Aboltion gets into some of the plan’s fine print (and how it will effect you or other regular schmegular people) in straightforward plain language. I found it very helpful!

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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.


  1. “De-gentrifying” pole dancing by… selling $30 fitness classes to non-sex workers? 🙄 I guess the discussion about how the mainstreaming and appropriation of pole dancing is increasing the stigma against sex workers bypassed Autostraddle.

  2. OMG, I love mermaids, and someday I’m going to try mermaiding! Love that there’s a whole queer community out there doing it.
    Also, I love YA books, and I’m currently reading faith: greater Heights

  3. Having complicated feelings about the Monkeypox article. The idea of just going to a bar and breathing the air is still inconceivable to me. Not because of Monkeypox, because of Covid.

    We have been let down so much during the pandemic in all the ways the author discusses: ending the vaccine research push before there’s a vaccine that can effectively stop transmission for the long term. The massive numbers of people who are uninsured. The lack of state mandated/funded sick leave for people who have it to recover in isolation. I don’t want the author’s friend to feel shame for contracting a disease. But sometimes, yeah, I have moments of private anger at people who decided to go out and “go back to normal.” When they get Covid, and when they don’t. Because I don’t want to blame people, because we’ve been let down by all those things plus the lifting of any kind of reasonable requirements for masking, but at the same time, I’m here living a very restricted life and still being exposed to maskless people everywhere I go and seeing others decide that’s all too stressful and just… not.

    • Thank you for this comment – I completely agree. This behaviour is also at the expense of those of us who are vulnerable, which it seems everyone else has decided is an okay expense.

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