OPEN THREAD: Can We Make Today Extremely Gay?

Okay hello, good morning, good afternoon, can I just say – how is it the end of November…again? Does anyone else feel like we literally just did this? What is time? Why does every week feel like a full year? Has anyone gotten 8 hours of sleep recently? What is that like? Did you take a nap yesterday? Are you gonna take one today? How are you doing? No really, how are you doing?

So here we are, weirdos. Another year, another open thread on the day that some people celebrate Thanksgiving. The internet is so different now than it was when we started Autostraddle and started hosting open threads; honestly, the whole world is so different now! I’ve been thinking a lot about what an open thread is for, what we are all doing here together, what the point of it is, how to make this space feel like home while acknowledging that we’re too big a publication to really be a tiny clubhouse anymore, challenging myself to figure out how to entice you to hang with each other here instead of on Twitter all day… I’m not sure I know the answers. Do you have thoughts about that? What draws you here, to a space owned and operated and populated by queers, rather than Twitter or other social media, spaces owned and operated by a variety of wealthy cis white men and populated by some lovely humans and some literal nazis? (See what I did there?) But sincerely – what are we doing here together, these days? What moves you? What are you searching for? What are you offering? What happens next? How can we hold each other, no matter what the future looks like?

It’s November again, the earth keeps turning (for now), and I think we are all just doing our best, mostly. What are you up to today? Are you with chosen family? Bio family? Are you sleeping in your childhood bedroom this week (I am)? Does it feel weird and bad or weird and good or a confusing mixture of both? Do you spend the full weekend at your parents’ house or do you show up for dinner and leave? Did you make a pie? Did you make tofurkey? Is tofurkey good? Is turkey good? (No.) Have you opted out of Thanksgiving festivities entirely? Do you watch the parade? Are you having the necessary hard talks with your family? Are you acknowledging that this holiday is really a memorial and celebration of genocide and ongoing violence? Are you supporting native people with your actions and your money (today, but also every day?)

Whether you’re spending the day with friends, family, strangers, or by yourself, I have one major request: Can we please make today extremely gay together, right here, right now? I’ll start with three gay posts from Autostraddle dot com:

1. A Heather Hogan Holigay Special

There’s No Right (or Wrong) Way to Go Home for the Holidays

2. An REI Option For You Tomorrow

Join Autostraddle and REI for an #OptOutside Gathering in NYC on Black Friday

3. Autostraddle’s Ultimate Holigay Toolkit

Autostraddle’s Ultimate Holigay Toolkit

Okay, now it’s your turn. What makes today extremely gay for you? Hint: being here in this open thread counts!

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Vanessa is a writer, a teacher, and the community editor at Autostraddle. Very hot, very fun, very weird. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 404 articles for us.


  1. I’m spending the day with my parents. This is the first holiday with them since I fully transitioned, and we’ll see how that goes. I’m making a tofurkey, and yes it will be good, with roasted baby potatoes and carrots and vegan pumpkin pie that I baked last night. Vegan stuffing is also on tap.

    Why am I here? On Autostraddle? I don’t do social media anywhere else, at least since Tumblr kicked the freaks out. This is my connection. This is the community I want to be part of. This is where I feel safe and supported. These are the people I chose to interact with, who I respect and who respect me. A place where trans women can get some love! I’m here for that, for all of that. I’ve met some absolutely fantastic people on here, and I am so thankful for that. You rock.

    • I agree: I also don’t do most social media (Twitter, Tumbler, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram…though I’m somewhat tempted by the latter, and yesterday’s cross-stitch post prompted me to add a couple of Straddlers on Ravelry, which I didn’t even know was a possibility), so this is a way to connect to a larger queer community and to individual people I may or may not meet in person. I just moved in August, and though I found some new queer friends (or perhaps they found me) much quicker than I expected, I’m still finding my way around town, and I only have one of their phone numbers!

      I don’t always post on the open threads (and when I do, it’s usually a reply), but I almost always read them.

      Thanksgiving is among my least favorite holidays (colonialism, bland food), and I’d need to fly to visit my parents, so I’m staying put with my housemates (landlady, her two kids, and co-worker of mine). We’re hosting a total of twelve adults and two kids, and I’ve been drafted to make cheese enchiladas. Hopefully there will be some extra sauce, so I can put it on the potatoes instead of gravy.

      • Same, I finally managed to wean myself off Facebook before the Canadian election and it was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made in recent times. I still keep my account around but hardly ever log in anymore. Instagram is good though imo because it seems easier to curate your feed and not be continually drawn into toxic bullshit.

        I miss the Friday Open Threads even though I too mostly read/replied rather than starting convos there.

    • Snow – in your second paragraph you said exactly what I would have said. I am not at all a ‘me too’ person but in this case …I think I am wise enough not to attempt to add to something perfect. So, happy thanksgiving, from a Over the Ocean and Under the City!

    • Yesss to community!

      I hope that your holiday with your parents goes just as you would wish it to and with extra gay sprinkles on top. And if it doesn’t, then I hope you feel all the love and support you’d want anyways, wherever it comes from 💜

        • Wait wait I just realized this must be the famous air-fried Tofurkey of renown and legend. Let me rephrase my comment: what a superb banquet of obvious culinary perfection!!

          • AND I only got misgendered 9 times and dead named twice, so that’s….. Better than I expected. Not that I was counting, of course. An effort was made by both parents and I appreciate that.

          • It’s been a poorly hidden secret that never got discussed for twenty some years, and I forced the conversation last year. So… a year? They’re doing their best. My aunt and uncle and a random cousin came by as well, and no one got weird at me. Big success, thank you!

  2. I’m spending the day with my parents. Luckily they only live 20 minutes away so I can nope out when things get a little too… Republican, and as it’s a week away from the end of the semester I have like three research papers to work on that also give me an excuse to cut things short. Because it’s only the three of us this year my mom is making a chicken rather than a turkey because, as you said, turkey is not good. Saturday I am going to a friendsgiving with chosen family, which will be much less tense. I will bring pickles that I made over the summer.

    I’m here because I love the community Autostraddle has built, and I love supporting independent queer media. Because I am terrified of the future some days(a lot of days), but it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone, that we’re all here for each other, despite it being the Darkest Timeline. So thank you, y’all, for that.

    • Lots of wishes for good luck and fortitude…divide it as needed between parent and research paper-wrangling! And happy friendsgiving this weekend.

  3. Hi Vanessa!❤ I have the urge to answer each of your 73 questions!!

    I’m spending thanksgiving with my husband and mother-in-law. We’re making a turkey breast in the instant pot because the oven is broken. I recently came out to my husband as someone attracted to all genders. Which feels really good. But there’s still a tightness in my chest and sometimes i feel phoney and sad and know something is missing. Baby steps, my therapist says.

    Why do I come here? Because i can say stuff like that ^ without feeling judged. And read content and opinions i can relate to so hard it feels like it was hand picked for me.

    How will I make today gay? By wearing my loosest jeans and commenting on attractive women on tv and reading autostraddle in my downtime?

    😘😘😘 to you all

  4. I’m crashing a friend’s family thanksgiving because my bosses wouldn’t give me time off to travel to my family! But I’ll tell ya, I don’t miss the weird family nonsense that invariably happens at the holidays

    To make today extremely gay, I’m going on a first date with a girl I met on Her! We’re going to get drinks and see Charlie’s Angels, which adds to the queer factor

  5. Hello all you thoughtful tortoises and home-longing hedgehogs!

    This community feels like a home that I keep coming back to ~ one where we share dreams and anger and love and anxieties and where we all get a place at the table. We can have passionate discussions and learn and grow from our differing points of view, we can laugh till it hurts, and most of all, we can express who we are, in all our changing ways.

    To me, it’s a place for us all to be seen and celebrated for who we are, in our full imperfect, perfect selves.

    I’m on my way to work, as I’m living in the part of unceded Coast Salish territories that is North of the colonial border.

    Thank you for being a place that acknowledges that home is complex, and needed for all.

    Wishing you all love and a safe place to be 💜

  6. My plan was to be nature all day, but bad weather has forced me to be inside and celebrate the holidays with my family. Ugh, I’d rather be outdoors. At least the food will be good today & there won’t be many family members over so that’s good too.

    Twice this week I sent to selfies to my bff when I wasn’t sober and twice no reply to them. Bound to happen, with the time difference I guess.

  7. No thanksgiving in my part of the world but am visiting my family nonetheless for a couple of days. I will bake cookies with my mom and go hiking with my dad (and the other way around) and drink beer with old school friends. It’s a time of year that I love because everything slows down and Christmas’ mania (which I also love) is still far enough away. The gay part: I finally have time again to read a lot of fanfiction! On the train today I already read a delightful Fleur/Hermione one. Oh, and nobody here wants me to be different than I am (straight or otherwise) which I’m deeply grateful for.

    • Sharing is caring in regards to ff!
      I might have some scandalously good Hermione/Bellatrix ones up my sleeve!

      • I’m happy to share 😊 It’s called “We are not who we used to be” over at AO3 (from writing_escapism). It’s written in second person which is not everyone’s cup of tea but works brilliantly here, I think. The characterization is spot on and not too tropey. And: It’s decidedly not a coffee shop AU but there is a coffee shop scene.

  8. I’m being very gay by still missing my ex gf from five years ago ( but am not gay enough to try and force a friendship) and trying to stave off the impending doom of xmas by listening to songs that make me cry!

  9. I’m also at work in the frozen north today, but can always take time to shower AS and the Straddler community with some gratitude and love. This place is directly responsible for at least half my social circle including my actual wife, I have learned and grown so much from all of you, and I am a better person because of it.


  10. I’m blessed to have found a diverse, affirming, inter-faith spiritual community. We had a short service this morning in which I sang in the choir, followed by a pot-luck featuring more food than I’ve ever seen in my life!!! After a bit of down time, I have to go to my parents’ house… It’s not far so if things get out of hand, I can pece out! Tomorrow, I’ll be spendng most of the day outside and will probably watch the Macy’s parade that someone inevitablly put on Youtube. What made today extremely gay? Being fortunate enough to spend it with some of my queer elders in my faith community.

    • Well this is lovely! And I especially love hearing of community with gay elders, since we have so many less than we should. Lol singing before eating sounds like a very smart move 😋

  11. Originally I had friendsgiving plans today but everyone else decided for various reasons that they weren’t up to hosting/cooking/gathering so I am unexpectedly flying solo. So I am taking on some ambitious cooking projects and catching up on podcasts and trying not to feel expendable. (I’m single right now, most of my local friends live with SOs, and it’s just really fucking difficult to coax them out of their houses. I really need some more single friends.)

    Anyway, I am making myself a flight of tiny cocktails and wrapping things in puff pastry and it’s really their loss because things wrapped in puff pastry are FUCKING DELICIOUS.

    • Things in puff pastry are delicious!!

      Oof it sucks to have plans change and feel like you’ve been dropped – no matter what the circumstances are.

      Wishing you much enjoyment in scrumptious food, podcasts, and knowing you’re both not expendable and are in fact warmly wanted and welcomed here.

      p.s. there’s a giant gay group hug happening up above if you want to join 😊

    • tiny cocktail update! from the left: tiny scotch neat, tiny old-fashioned, tiny thai iced tea with a nip of whiskey and a sugar rim

      (the old-fashioned would be improved by a tiny orange peel, but not too shabby)

  12. Bio family, bringing baked saffron tomato rice and ugly pumpkin pie bars but today I have started to cough so uh they will not be cut into bar form.
    My 6ft baby cousins are seniors this year so any future talk will not be directed my way yay.

  13. As an Australian, today is just another normal day for me – which is possibly a bit of a relief tbh. I did celebrate Thanksgiving for the first time last year when I was in North America, so big fan of tofurkey and a good vegan pumpkin pie.
    Why am I here? This is my space to put my thoughts out there, and learn all the things from other queers. Plus, I published my first ever article on Autostraddle the other week, (which was both terrifying and exciting!), so I’m here because this is a publication that makes space for voices like mine and this doesn’t happen nearly enough.

  14. I spatchcocked a turkey! As well as being a fun new word it felt very Butch and impressive to do and reduced the cooking time as much as Babish said it would (though not enough to keep my roommate’s parents from impulse buying us a whole toaster oven to make bread in)

  15. I made Thanksgiving very gay by wearing sweats while everyone else was dressed up! It made my stepmom mad but I don’t care. I mean we’re eating a big meal that’s messy so why dress up in Sunday best? I can’t wait until the day I don’t have to do family meals anymore.

    Currently I am traveling to vist ‘family’ and I quote family because they are 99.9% conservative catholics, who I am not out to and constantly make horrible remarks about LGBTQ+ community, and my dad and stepmom are my ride. I have to stay until Sunday so I’m just really hoping these next few days fly by.

    Also I’m not really feeling the holidays much this year because my grandma passed away back in February and I was so close to her so it’s been hard and Christmas will be hard for me.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope your sweatpants are super comfy and you can find some space for yourself this weekend!

  16. Heya! No thanksgiving in my neck of the woods, but I’m totally here for your podcast/ff/recipe recommendations in case any of you want to share!
    Oh, and also, if your family/friends/SO situation is a shitfest or you‘re all alone, fret not, I‘m here for that,too!
    Holidays often come with great expectations, but you usually stick a bunch of people who probably are very different, together into a confined space, give them booze and watch what happens.
    The ones who opt out of that or are opted out get super stressed by media and expectations and childhood memories about being alone.
    What I’m trying to say is this: Holidays are really likely to be hard in some way, and there‘s zero shame in that.
    If they’re hard for you, right now, maybe make plans on how to make them less hard for you in the future.
    Good luck and bon appetit!

    • Expectations, even tamped down and ignored, are always such tricksy things, it’s true! And yes, there’s no shame in any kind of mix of emotions.

      I’m going to add in a recommendation to look up Persian rice recipes, because Lex’s comment brought it to mind, and there is nothing like the golden crispy TahDig on the bottom. There’s variations with layers of vegetables inside the form of rice, or thinly sliced crispy potato slices on the outside and I’m drooling now.

  17. I’m extremely gay so my existence makes everything around me extremely gay. It’s a gift.

    Hanging out watching tv with my sister today. I’m not accepted by most of my family so no big family thing for me. We’re just marathoning West Wing and eating popcorn. No place I’d rather be.

  18. This is the first time I have seen my teenage cousin since she came out as gay and we got to talk about being gay and our girlfriends and it was so good. Highly recommend.

  19. I want to send a special thank you to @floralprintdress for creating this magic today, this space, with love, enthusiasm and reverence. I hope you have had a day that has brought you joy, and that your care has been returned to you threefold.

    • this is so incredibly kind, and absolutely made my weekend. <3 <3 <3

      thank you, and thank you to everyone who made this open thread lively and festive. y’all remind me why we’re here and i am very grateful.

      • I wore a rusty red knit tunic dress with long laced dangling sleeves and black leggings. Festive.

        Also stacked heeled boots because I am a monster.

      • Couldn’t find the right words.

        Button down shirt that expresses dad-ness and boots that say daddy or mommi is an over powered chaotic description that makes no sense.
        And joke tallying up “gay points” was too silly.
        Also is sneaking Halloween colors into a not-Halloween some form of queer culture because it should be.

        Picture it a tasteful burnt orange western style button down partially buttoned with a tucked in with undershirt, slim fit black levis and formal ankle boots.
        Said ankle boots never fail to make me feel like a rougish princely type.
        If you’ve read this in Sophia’s voice bless you.

  20. I haven’t been to a big family holiday since 2015. Estranged isn’t quite the right word since the problem people are all my mom’s first cousins and their kids rather than close relations that I had cared very much. The cousin that hosts the holiday is an evangelical with an anti-abortion poster in his living room, a car full of nra/pro tr*mp bumper stickers, and a playboy calendar on his wall because jesus. My parents aren’t like that, but are also centrist, “civility will save us all!” and “the family doesn’t even talk politics!” types although I have finally convinced them that spending time with those people is detrimental to my well-being so I no longer get the guilt trip. Truthfully, it really hurts that they don’t value me enough to break off contact with people who actively undermine my well-being, but I’m thankful that at least they aren’t those people. My parents ended up going to the other coast where my sister moved rather than the big family thing, but I didn’t feel like traveling. I instead spent the day covered in cats, reading, and playing a video game where in my head I am in a poly quad with my three other party members. I made an apple crisp! It was p. lovely. Today I’m meeting up with a couple I’ve been dating and one of their sets of parents so should be interesting!

  21. Your day yesterday sounded lovely @shibbie, hope today’s interesting meetup went well too!

    …and who knows, maybe your parents might present an alternative point of view as to ways of living to your cousins etc whilst thankfully you get to do waaaay more enjoyable things.

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