OPEN THREAD: Let’s Talk About How Awesome A-Camp Was

this is camper kate hinchey's photo of someone taking our team photo

I’m sitting at the desk in Crystal’s hotel room — she’s flying out to Australia tonight, so Marni and I stayed with her here last night — and I slept for like eight entire hours and I’m not even hungover! So I’m feeling pretty good, is what I’m telling you. But not as good as I felt at A-Camp — sans sleep, nutrients or sobriety — because nothing in the entire world that I’ve seen so far has felt as good as A-Camp. As you may or may not know, I’ve had a LOT of feelings throughout my tender exploratory life on earth, but I don’t know yet how to talk about the A-Camp feelings.

Luckily, we’ve got an eight-hour drive and two battles with transportation companies ahead of us today, and you know what that means — lots of time to process!

For now, I have this: I wish it had gone on and on and on and on, just like in the song, that I could’ve sat down and talked to every single camper instead of just some of the campers, that I had words for this (rather than just facial expressions). I’ve never been so proud of my 35-strong team and so honored to be working with them, or more in awe of their incredible talent and intelligence and spirit — and I’d like to specifically mention Robin and Marni here, too, ’cause they organized and ran this weekend like pros.

I’ve never been so proud of all of you — 163 beautiful, energetic women and otherwise-identified queers — who came to a spot in the mountains from all over the world with such enormously positive attitudes and open arms. We talked about writing, made ‘zines, went hiking, drank tea, cross-stitched, pressed flowers, got alternative lifestyle haircuts, had our breasts pelted by giant super soakers wielded by Julie Goldman & Brandy Howard, met and geeked, performed slam poetry, played jeopardy, took photos, did interviews for Carly’s documentary, speed-dated with Hannah Hart, learned to sing with Haviland, attended gender panels and queer women of color panels and sex panels and queer-women-in-media panels and activism panels and career panels and formspring panels and also we drank/danced/laughed/sang/played/loved. I laughed so fucking hard my jaw ached by the end of every day, and we all clapped and cheered for all the things. And I believe somewhere in between planning elaborate pranks on one another, many of you got laid!

But maybe the one personal memememe feeling I think I’ve got right now at 30 minutes ’til check-out and three unpacked bags is that maybe this weekend I finally started to get it, what you’ve been telling me all along — I did this, right? I found you crazy-ass motherfuckers and we made this place and I had this vision and you all helped me realize it and we all found our words and now lots of people have been transformed forever and we have THIS — THIS THING! So — I guess I’m pretty proud of myself, too.

So yes, we’re looking at October (UPDATE: Maybe September or November actually, we’ll let you know!) for our next A-Camp event — in California again, although we do plan to host camps on other coasts hopefully next year (we’re aware of your 50 billion requests for this, never fear) — and I need to see all of your faces and also a lot of new faces next time.

And now I turn this open thread over to you and your feelings. We’ll have lots of camp-related content throughout the week to share our joy with you, but if you’re anything like me, you probably have lots of joy you already need to talk about right now. Take it away, special snowflakes!

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3182 articles for us.


  1. There are no words for how grateful I am that you did this for us Riese. It was a surreal and indescribable experience. I haven’t really found the words but I know where I will be in October.


  2. My feelings are, basically:

    1. Even though I’m upset I couldn’t go because I live in another continent,
    2. I’m glad it all went amazing and you all had lots of funsies,
    3. And yes, Riese, be proud, be really proud. This place is hilarious, enlightening, interesting and in general fucking great – and you created it. :)

  3. I can’t even begin to process the feelings I have about this past weekend but I’m so glad that I was there for the first ever ACamp. It’s amazing to see what the combined power of incredible diverse women can yield.
    I’m surprised that the next camp is already just around the corner in October and also curious to see what changes will be made to make the next ACamp even better. For a first time event this was an awesome turn out and if there is one thing I’ve come to learn about Autostraddle & its amazing staff is that they create a safe space with open communication. I no doubt any (constructive) insights and valued opinions from this first time event will be taken into consideration in making the next, and all future, ACamps even more amazing.

  4. all the feelings

    I couldn’t go – but it sounds so awesome!!!

    this isn’t real emotion, it’s femotion

  5. My favorite parts of camp were the panels and the conversations I had with fellow campers. It was so nice being around so many people on the same page.
    I loved my cabin and also everyone else, so much. I wanted to know everyone and hug everyone and listen to everyones stories.
    Camp was so feelings heavy/feelings friendly; I never ever cry and I just couldn’t stop crying sunday.
    Nothing compares to camp.

    • Morgan! We’re looking for you. Get on facebook, add your cabin friends, and join the 21 Hump Street group.

      • HAI DARLINS! Morgan got me goin on Sunday. I’m a big crier, but only in private. I’m gonna choke up right now picturing you waving to me outside that van though, Morgan!

  6. Well now I know what thread I will be obsessively refreshing for the next several days so I can live vicariously through everyone’s A-Camp experiences. I hope when the first East Coast A-Camp happens I’m able to convince my wife that this is a thing we should go to.

  7. i miss everyone so much. i still have spraypaint on my hands and when i saw a lone lesbian in the las vegas airport at like 3 am EST i almost cried.

    • I think I will be sad will the purple washes off my fingers. Rockin’ my new shirt though! Such an awesome experience and everyone was so nice!

  8. Zomg A-Camp was so amazing and thank you so much for all the AS staff that were there and so nice and amazing and honestly like a million times more attractive than they look online (so, yeah they look cute online but in person? Holy shit. Just sayin’).

    I can’t wait for next camp and all the amazing activities it promises to bring, and I hope that the Little Rascals are together again and Laura can be our counselor, because she’s so amazing.


    • Your cabin’s Tegan and Sara singalong was THE BEST EVER, fyi. (ps – this is Kate. We met on the plane! I don’t have a real picture up on AS)

    • I can’t even deal with the real world any more. Fuck this shit and bring back the lesbians, please.

      ..which is my negative way of saying that this weekend was amazing and terrifying and boundary-pushing and validating and necessary and basically I felt ALL the feelings all weekend long.

      Come on, October.

      • (not sure why that comment decided to post itself there of all places, but all right.)

  9. “maybe this weekend I finally started to get it, what you’ve been telling me all along — I did this, right?”

    one of my favorite things was every time riese was on a stage, covering her face with her hands (just like her impersonator in the talent show), you could see her realizing this. it was so funny and cute. and yes, you did this. so thank you, and thanks to the whole team. it was kind of exactly like what I imagined autostraddle would be like in real life, and it was perfect.

  10. This was insane. Like, reading the summary of what went down, I cannot believe that I was there and now I’m not anymore. Like, holy shit, coming back to this website is surreal because I KNOW YOU WEIRDOS. AND HOLY FUCK, YOU KNOW ME?? YOU ACTUALLY KNOW ME?? That still blows my mind that I’m “famous” because everyone at here is my hero.

    My voice is still sore from singing, and I hope it never ever goes away.


  11. Riese, I just wanted to thank you and all of the staff so, so profusely for the incredible experience you constructed for us. I found myself again and again throughout the weekend looking around and seeing all of these gorgeous folks and thinking with awe, “These people are all queer. All of them. THIS IS CRAZY.” There just seemed to be this pervasive trust in each other, in this beautiful shining idea, and I still can’t seem to put into words how amazing that felt.

    You guys, every single one of you was so glorious. I felt like every time I turned around with my dissolving coffee cup of whiskey in Wolf Lounge I was meeting somebody stunning, living their truth. It was like looking into the sun, all day, every day. Thank you so, so much for your rays, dudes. I had an absolute ball.

    • this is a fantastic comment because it acknowledges the strange/intangible feeling that i had looking around the room at every activity and every event. everyone was so OPEN to one another, to new ideas, to dialoguing and making connections. i have literally never felt such earnest receptiveness in a group of people anywhere, ever. it was like we were all intoxicated with riese’s/the team’s vision, and with each other.

      the weekend was incredible and somehow surpassed my ridiculously hopeful and high expectations. everyone i met was brilliant and thoughtful and hilarious, and, best of all, understood so much about me and my experiences without us having to vocalize anything.

      • As Dorothy said to the Scarecrow: “I think I’ll miss you most of all!” You’re the best, Marni! Great job!

    • This is exactly what I would’ve pictured and definitely what I hope to experience if I get the chance to go next time!

  12. I’m going to try and sum up my favorite times at camp with a few sentences.

    Getting to ride in the car with Riese right off the bat (freaked out). Met some of the best people in my van including the cutest butch and femme couple of all time. Pretended not to know any of the Autostraddle staff or Hannah Hart (I was joking but I think I was too convincing). Met the Little Rascals and fell in love with my cabin including the best of the staff, Laura and Jamie. Asking Beth for the 34th time if what I was eating was lactose free. Hiking with Sarah where I got the nickname ‘Dora’. Laughing until I cried with Julie and Brandi. Sneaking off into the woods for a ‘talk’. Swinging on the swing set for hours. Learning more about myself than I knew possible on the gender panel. Throwing my underwear on stage at the talent show… And the whole talent show. And finally, meeting all the amazing Autostraddle writers and staff and of course all the campers.

    I think I’m forgetting something… Oh yeah!
    ‘Fuck me with a strap-on.’

  13. It meant a lot to me to be able to thank the Team in person for their amazing coverage on AS. Being back in the “real world” is surreal and I definitely didn’t want to leave the safe haven that was camp. Thank you so much Robin, Marni, Riese, and the rest of your crazy posse for organizing this, making it affordable, accessible, welcoming, and just tons of fun. I sobbed great big crocodile tears at the Queer Women of Color Panel, stitched my own book, and shot the shit with Katrina while she gave me the BEST UNDERCUT EVER and I feel like I have a new home in my skin (does that make any sense?).

    Totally wish I could be there in October, but I will have my thesis defense and other responsibilities that require my time and money. :( But I will forever remember my first A-Camp experience!

    P.S. now all the collars of my T-shirts have been cut out. FREEDOM.

    • yes, all my work t-shirts have had their collars surgically removed! Liberation!

  14. Can I ask a possibly dumb question? What was the age range of campers this time around? Because me and my wife are in our mid-30s and I’m afraid we’ll be like the old ladies if we go to one of these. (Yes, I am worrying about fitting in at a thing that I may hypothetically go to 1+ years in the future. This is how I operate.)

    • There was a whole cabin made up of campers in your age range, I believe. So you will not be the only ones. But even if you were I can honestly say that no one would even blink.

    • There was a cabin for older campers, and trust me, there was no sense of “being too old” for camp. Age ain’t nothin’ but a number at A-Camp.

    • I was in the Golden Girls and we were def a little older than the majority. Camp was amazing in many many ways but there was most definitely a generation gap + some of the content was geared more towards college students. HOWEVER, it was still a great and worthwhile experience.

    • I am 31 and I honestly did not feel old or out of place for one second at camp. There were also a few married couples. And the Golden Girls cabin was amazing!
      Whatever your age, if you like woods, queers, laughing, doing crafts, whiskey, listening to hot women talk about gender/sex/media etc, then you will fit in at A-Camp.

  15. CAMP..I can’t even…You all reinforced what I already knew to be true: You are all beautiful, special, amazing, lovely and inspiring. Thank you for letting me share your lives for a brief moment in time.

  16. I left camp a hundred thousand times more grateful and inspired than I expected to. This community is a brilliant fucking thing to have in the world.

  17. This was such an amazing experience. Gabby and Katrina were the best counselors! They loved us so much that they stuck it out in our packed cabin.

    There are so many things I could say, but I guess the moment that stuck with me the most was when Robin was dropping me off at the airport (in her awesome captains hat) and she smiled at me and gave me the biggest hug to see me off. I have never felt so loved, accepted, amused, crazy, overwhelmed, amazed and fulfilled than I felt at camp.


  18. This camp was my 21st century Daughters of Bilitis experience. It was good to see the idea manifest in the form of a weekend sanctuary in the woods with so many amazing queers. This is probably what many of us often fantasized about while living in our heteronormative world. I am thankful to be a part of this and I hope for many more!

  19. i loved camp so much that i can’t stop talking about it and i’m wearing my ‘yolo’ shirt at school, which i just finished…for all time.

    i loved all of you!!

    • remember that time when we were stuck in a van in santa monica and only had thoughts about drake and peanut butter pretzel combos to keep us from going insane? still 10x better than “real life.”

  20. Reading Autostraddle every morning makes my life significantly less lonely and makes me feel like I’m surrounded by queer women. Going to A-Camp and literally being surrounded by you guys was one of the best experiences of my life. I completely agree Dena about coming back to reality being surreal. It wasn’t until I logged on to Autostraddle from home that I truly realized camp was over. I wish I had a time machine so I could go back to the, as Gabby put it, magical fairyland known as A-Camp over and over again.

    Thank you so much to the entire Autostraddle crew. You guys are fantastic and I love you all!

  21. Main feelings: Insanely jealous I wasn’t there and super stoked for next year. When I’ll be bringing the shit to all yous motherlovers.

  22. A-Camp was the best thing ever and I could never ever thank you guys enough. I cried so much on the way home. I can’t even really believe it happened, it felt like a dream. I’m excited to see the documentary so I can be sure I didn’t make the whole thing up! I love all of you so so so so much!!

  23. One afternoon I saw this random guy walking around. He seemed to be associated with the camp, like making a delivery or something. And he said, “Why are all these people here? Like, who are you?” and I answered, “We’re, um, all friends from this online community and we’ve come from all over the world and we all happen to be gay.” He had this look of wonder on his face and said, “That’s awesome, I’m so glad you guys have this. Have a great weekend.”

    One of my favorite parts of camp was the moment I had with Gaby where I got to tell her in person something I had wrote in the comments on a piece she had written. She gave me a hug and a kiss and told me how much it meant to her. In that (very sweet) moment, I realized that yeah, we really are family. I’m still riding the wave of warm fuzzies.

    • by the mailboxes? with discussions about avoiding a possible Mr. Schue hair situation?

      cuz if this is you, then know that i was so touched by what you said and wrote. i hug all the time but every single time it’s cuz i mean it. you are lovely and now i wish we could hug again.

      if this isn’t you, then i still love you and meant that hug but this could get awkward now so…


      • That was her! And trust me when I say you’ve just made her day/week/month by remembering!

      • Here’s to always avoiding possible Mr. Schue hair situations and to special moments on bridges. Cheers!

      • The Mr. Schue hair situation by the mailboxes was actually me. I love that you remember me for that comment. Next A-Camp I will be rocking an amazing alternative lifestyle haircut that DOES NOT make me look like Mr. Schue!

        • Also, also, also…
          Digger & Ranger, it was an honor getting to meet both of you! One of the best parts of A-Camp for sure. You are both amazing people and I wish I had more time to get to chat with you.

  24. You are all beautiful and amazing and I’m having all the feelings. I can’t even articulate how great this weekend was.

  25. This was just, wow! I met some great new friends, and had sooo much fun at all the activities I got to go to. I didn’t want this weekend to end!!! Thank you Autostraddle Staff!!!
    This website keeps changing my life again and again for the better. Thank you!!!

  26. You know what’s awesome? Reading through these comments and putting super amazing faces to the usernames. I love you all.

    • I hope I didn’t get you sick Wallow, you were so unbelievably generous; the chat crew on a whole was just absolutely super even though I was anti social and nervous.

  27. You guys I have so many feelings about this weekend. I’ve never felt so accepted/inspired/happy. You’re all amazing and I love every single one of you.


  28. You did it, Riese. You really did. :)
    Be super-proud of yourself ’cause all of us are very, very proud of you.

  29. Literally just going down the page and liking all the comments. It’s all so true. I <3 you all!

  30. I thought I was going to be super jealous about not being able to be there, but I’m actually just really warmed reading these comments. It sounds like it was incredible, and I hope one day I can go!!

    • I thought I was going to be super jealous too e. Really though, it just makes me so happy as well.

      On out Autostraddle Tinychat facebook page someone posted a video from the talent show and I could not stop grinning. It was like all of the love in that room was radiating out of my laptop and into my heart. <3 <3 <3

      Can't wait for October!

    • I can’t wait for everyone who couldn’t make it this time to get more chances to go in the future.

    • Same!! I thought it would make me sad but instead I’m just vicariously feeling all the warm fuzzies. What an amazing, amazing thing.

    • Yeah, me too… I thought I was gonna be all envious of everyone who went bit instead I am just so happy for you guys

    • ditto! I am already counting down and saving pennies for October! I gotta get in on all this warm fuzzy greatness!

    • Wait you guys, I already told some people this story but just get ready:

      True life, on the last night, I got pretty teary eyed (read: also drunk) and Beth noticed me being sad. She offered me some ice cream and chocolate chips and I happily took her up on the offer. I then thanked her for having us, and she said, “We’ve loved having you, you’re such a strong wonderful group, I hope you’ll come back,” and then another camper said something like, “Well you know, not every campsite would be so welcoming to a group of queers, so we really appreciate it,” AND THEN BETH GOT EMOTIONAL and was like, “WELL THAT IS JUST HORRIBLE, THAT IS A SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS, I HOPE THINGS CHANGE, EVERYONE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CAMP.”

      So basically, if you’re not already in love with Beth…I’d say now would be the time to hop on that love train?

      Also I miss camp.

  31. I have so many feelings about camp, that this has been one of the hardest Mondays in the history of Mondays.
    A-camp is the best thing that has ever happened to me, I have been changed. I met so many amazing people, especially my cabin. 21 hump street yo! I don’t think I can really articulate the awesomeness that is Camp Autostraddle. Can’t wait until next time!

    Thank you so much Riese for sharing your dream with us!

  32. Oh maaaaan I’m in America in October but I’M ON THE WRONG FREAKING COAST D: I don’t think I’ll get the money to come to America again for a good few years, either, so this is generally a little sad. But still, one day, I will meet you all and have as much fun as you all did.

    • Have you checked Southwest airlines ? Flying to California might be cheaper than you think, plus there’s sales…

      • Yeah just be sure not to make out with your girlfriend or you might get kicked off the flight :)

  33. All these little pieces and memories of camp keeping floating in and out of my head. I, too, am unwilling to form a cohesive narrative out of the weekend ’cause it’ll make it too past tense, too rigidly a story I will one day tell like it had structure and linear movement when for me it was really a continuous spontaneous effervescence of the joy, merriment, and excitement of all being in one place.

    • What I’m really trying to say is I got hammered and drunk hugged everyone within an arms reach and they let me!

    • I’m really glad we got to meet. And I’m still floored that *anyone* would be in awe of me and/or think of me as an “institution”! ;)

  34. I’m so happy it was awesome for you guys. I couldn’t attend this one as I’m slightly underage, but I will definitely be at the next one. Thank you so much to everyone who made this happen, and especially Riese.

  35. Hey hey! I seriously can’t stop talking about it. Whoever I’m talking to could mention literally anything and I’ll find a way to turn it into a story about gay camp.

    I’m dying that I know so many of these comment faces now. It was just the best weekend ever and ever amen.

    Highlights include:

    I wanna gayyyy baby

    My new cut that totally does look even better curly

    Dancing to Robyn

    Sleeping “with” an Olympian (I plan to not tell anyone it was just an adjacent bunk bed)

    Pull my hair, no don’t pull my hair, pull my hair!

    Beth rapping

    The like 40 lesbian spin the bottle game (is this real life?)

    Amazing new friends most of whom have texted me but if you have not yet- get on it.

    Now when I walk down the street I am pretty sure every woman I see is gay after seeing the amazing diversity of our group. It was really beautiful.

    Thank you sooo much for making this possible. I’m already making plans for next camp. Hotel Cali for life.

    • I felt weird this morning when I woke up because there weren’t 10 girls in the room waking up (hungover) with me. I miss you crazy ass Hotel Californians! We’re going to have to meet up in the super near future.

    • I’m so uncomfortable with the fact that I’m in love with all of you. This whole experience was way out of my comfort zone on so many levels. Feelings, you guys. Feelings.

  36. I was so disappointed I wasn’t able to go, but that disappointment faded when I read “October” and everyone’s awesome A Camp stories.

  37. I don’t have words for how absolutely incredible camp was. I had some of the most amazing conversations with everyone- I was just struck my how honest, beautiful, and interesting every single camper and staff member was. I’m even more in love with Autostraddle than I was before, if that’s even possible. The talent show was the most fun I’ve had in a really long time, and the panels were just fantastic. I don’t have the words for how great camp was – those of you who were there know what I mean, and those of you who weren’t: I hope you have the chance to find out.

    I want to thank all the staff for being so open and welcoming. I’m honored that I was able to go the first ever A-camp, and that I actually had the chance to TALK to all of you.

    Also- the Autostraddle published poetry anthology has to happen, okay? cool.

      • YES! I think I’m going to start working on a super special project of the Autostraddle staff. Let me know if you guys have requests! (I’m already making squids for Megan as soon as she emails me.)

        • oh neat! i can’t wait to see everything! your work is awesome.

          god i don’t know what we would’ve done without you that morning. if you come in october, there’s definitely a job waiting for you.

        • oh becca! your stuff was the best! thanks for all your lessons; i’ve been embroidering up a storm since i got home.

  38. I’d also like to add that being at camp made me feel the most comfortable and free I’ve ever felt. Being with other queer women who shared my thoughts and love and anger with the world made me feel complete, so thanks to the A Team and every single camper who made me grateful to be gay. So, yeah, that cocky bitch with the giant ego? You all made her ;) Thanks <3

    • This.

      Returning from camp made me aware of all of the anxiety I have to deal with on a daily basis in relation to my gayness and the people around me. I thought such feelings were simply a part of life, but A-Camp has shown me how wonderful life can/should be without all of that.

    • Also. I came out to my mom tonight, and I told her about camp as a way to ease her into it, especially the conversation I had with Haviland about my mom and singing. She’s going to need some time to process (haha), but…yeah. She was smiling when I was telling her about my voice lesson, so I think we’re going to be okay =)

    • Yesterday I was buying something at a antique shop in Santa Barbara when this dude said something like “I have to listen to her because she’s my boss. Normally I don’t listen to women.” Normally I would have just seethed but instead I smiled and said, “You know, we’ve got some really good things to say!” Which felt a hell of a lot better.

  39. I finally know what the game Apples to Apples is!

    also, morning time hugs and cuddles, A MILLI, $269 worth of BOOZERY, bottom bitch trundles that turned into floor group snuggle sessions and all of you beautiful, bold and badass babygirls as campers.


    • Cherry Bomb!

      And I wanna add… Gabby and Katrina were the best cabin mamas I could ask for. They even stayed in the cabin with us every night! I feel so honored to have met you, Gabby!

    • Gabby, you are such an inspiration on line and in 3-D, glad to know you’ll be keepin it real in the Bronx. Much love and badassery to ya. Word, girl, word.

    • Can we get Vanessa in here to express my feelings for me?

      Y’all are so amazing. Thanks for a wonderful weekend. The internet has now gone from taking up half of my time to taking up all of my time, which is a great idea in this week of final exams. :P

      Can’t wait to party it up in NYC with you and Katrina! And hopefully all the rest of you in 6 months.

    • You’re a mother fucking problem…And your morning cuddles made camp the best.

    • Oh Gabby. We all played Apples to Apples maybe two minutes before it rapidly devolved into so many cuddle puddles and booze and rapping. And so much cherry bomb love.

      Missing everyone so much and can’t wait for next time!

      • i held cards in my hand and never even played a round before we had moved on to rapping and spooning. #cherrybombpriorities

    • The best thing ever was waking up in the cabin and having Gabby pat my head as she walked by. Too many warm fuzzies in our cabin.

  40. Some way I’m going to earn enough money to afford a flight from Europe in October. I’m going to do it. I would just feel absolutely miserable if I missed out on another A-Camp.

    Did a lot of international folks come this time?

    • There were a good handful of Aussies and Canucks, but I don’t think I met anyone from Europe.

    • There were two ppl from the uk

      (look I’m typing this on marni’s iPhone !!!!)

      I think next time somebody else can be transport head so Laneia and I can be counselors together

    • I’m one of the two people from the UK (London, specifically) but NOT REALLY because I’m actually S’porean plus there were a few people from Australia, but anyway what I want to say is that don’t let the whole international thing stop you (aside from cost issues of course) because even though there weren’t more than a handful of us at no point did I feel left out or like I didn’t click with people. There was a lot of clicking.

      ALSO it turns out people will listen to you even if you talk endlessly about tea and EU politics, who woulda thought?!

  41. It’s hard to find the words to describe the weekend, but maybe amazing and tiring and thrilling and thought-provoking and comforting are a good start. Thank you to Riese and Marni and Robin and the whole team and Beth and everyone for putting this together. You did an awesome job making us feel welcome and loved.

    Here are some highlights of my weekend, in no particular order.

    Meeting Julie and Brandy and getting my picture taken with them

    The talent show

    Hanging out with the amazing women in my cabin. Shoutout to Wolfpack and our awesome counselor Stef. Ow owwwwww.

    The gender panel, how to pick up ladies with Katrina and Gabby, high tea with Laneia and Rachel

    Being interviewed for the A-Camp documentary

    Riding back to the airport with Laneia and Megan and seeing how completely f’ing adorable they are together.

    And, last but not least – Riding with Laneia in a towtruck the last ten miles to camp on Thursday night with Megan’s car on the back after the power steering died halfway up the mountain in the dark and fog. Never would I have predicted such a crazy start to to an amazing weekend.

    For all of you who couldn’t make it this time, start saving now for October. Queer Autostraddle love in 3D awaits you.

    • omg my lifesaver! i have too many feelings for this box, but i can say that meeting you was beyond fantastic. still owe your dad a thank-you card — don’t think i’ve forgotten.


      • You and Megan are the best, and I was so happy I could help in some small way. Thank goodness for stickler parents who insist on sending you a new AAA card every year. He’s going to love his thank-you card.


          • Yes! I’m so glad you noticed. As soon as you called me that I knew it had to become my new handle. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • We love you back, and Riese and Rachel and Marni and Robin and the whole team. You are all amazing fairy godmothers and godpeople for queers everywhere, and we can never thank you enough for loving us just as we are every day.

        • I find that yelling at people over the internet is a great way to get them to do what you want them to do. I hope that you and everyone else who couldn’t be there this time can make it to camp in the future.

          • Haha I am definitely trying to figure out how I can possibly do this and go to grad school in Seattle at the same time. THERE MUST BE WAYS.

          • It looks like a Southwest flight from Seattle to LAX in October would run you about $400 round trip. Kind of a lot, but maybe doable? Now I’m really invested in you making it to camp next time.

          • Haha aw you’re sweet! Hm. Well. October is maybe a bit soon for me to get my money/shit together. BUT THERE WILL BE OTHER CAMPS. I will go to one of them. *promises self*

  42. This fortune from Sunday:
    “Love is the first feeling people feel, because love is nice”
    …at A-Camp.

    • Thanks for keeping this fortune safe, Morgan! Also, how fun was that turbulence on our flight back?

        • Are you talking about around Chicago? Because if so we hit the same turbulence a little after you and THAT SHIT CRAY.

        • Yeah, I was zoned-out and E! was the only channel working on my tv so the end of days feeling seemed fairly appropriate.

          • (As opposed to my BOS-LAX flight when I only had TNT) I actually got channels on our return flight! But my credit card swiper was broken, so no plane booze or food.
            Virgin America is only alright.

  43. i’m back in the real world buried in emails and paperwork and all i can think about is how much i ♥ all of you. can’t wait for october! :)

    • You reminded me of someone and that you look a lot like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. It was totally nagging me but when I got home I saw a picture of Uma and then I was like, oh man! She totally looks like Annika!

  44. i hope you guys know that you are all the best people i’ve ever spent too few days with.

  45. Riese and I are driving back to Oakland right now (and I’m eating what feels like my tenth in n out burger in 3 days) but I just wanted to say how grateful I am to every single human who came to camp and made it so fucking fun and life-changing. And wow what an amazing staff of people who all gave 150% and made everything so fucking perfect and amazing. I love you all! Not even 24 hours have gone by an we’re already planning the next one!

  46. I have GIGANTIC crushes on every A Camper.

    Also, who knew (Editorial Specialist) Bren was a f*cking stand-up comedian?

    • me! i knew!!

      but i was still a little scared when she started off with “i’m gonna tell you what it’s like behind the scenes…”

      • I was a little scared in the shuttle back to LAX when she started off “How about Julie Goldman getting those girls to take off their shirts?” *facepalm*

    • First of all J.Gail I second your feelings for the A-Camp staff!! Secondly, I’m going to hit you up in June, when I’m in SD to run myself to death :/

  47. Best. Thread. Ever.
    This totally makes it feel like you guys are all actually people. And I wasn’t even there. But we’re like a group of people with lives and feelings and shit.

    Also, at camp did Hannah Hart and Brittani morph into some kind of power duo? If they do a show together that would be beyond awesome.

  48. I have no words for how awesome A Camp was. Thank you guys so much for making it happen.

  49. I’m so glad everyone had such a beautiful time – I can feel the love even though I wasn’t there! I cannot wait for any east coast and/or Canada A-Camp.

    Let’s hear it for community that crosses so much space and place, amirite? Way to go, team.

  50. Insanely jealous of all of you A-Campers. I’m going to sulk in a corner now.
    That will be all.

  51. this morning i took a bus to the train into manhattan for a meeting, and i looked around and wrote an email to my wolf pack, because i can’t believe that camp is over and i’m so glad that it happened.

    i’ve always felt like this was a community that i belonged to, even though i’m introverted and a little strange, and camp was the best confirmation of that idea.
    i know i won’t be able to afford to go back in october. but that’s ok, someone else should get a chance. and now i can say i have queer friends in new york, finally.
    and when a camp comes to the east coast, you better believe i’ll be there.

    love you all
    the girl on crutches

  52. This is me leaving a comment, because now I know how important it is to always always leave a comment.


  53. Dammit, I’m fifteen on the East Coast. I need more friends.
    But also, A-Camp sounds like magic, and at some point I’ll attend. I will I will I will…

  54. this is the only comment thread where i’ve read every comment not once but twice and it just might turn into a problem.


  55. I am so excited it went so well, cause even though I couldn’t go, it means there will be more, and I might eventually get to go. I can’t wait.

  56. The only problem with A-camp, after I left, everyone I saw looked like a lesbian. I swear! In the airport I kept trying to make gay eye contact with everyone, but they were all just as hetero as I was a homo. I have so many A-camp feelings to process!

    • me too. i saw two women holding hands and got excited but it turned out to be a mother and daughter.

    • Becca, remember how at the airport I asked you about TSA and the embroidery needles? They totally gave me a bunch of shit for my little 2-inch craft scissors! They ran my bag back through the thing like 3 times. Anyway. I thought of you because I was like I KNOW I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING BAD IN THERE! heh.

      • i have to say I did LOL when I caught the beautiful nighttime view of the Santa Monica pier from my airplane window :)

        • from the sound of it I am really glad I didn’t go, although spending 5 hours in the airport before my flight kind of blew, it would have been worse to miss it!

          • I thought it ended up being a positive waste of time. If I had left camp at like 1pm to go to LAX, I would have had 8 hours to kill in the airport, so.


        Also you guys were troopers about that.

        • Lizz just wanted to say thanks so much for making sure I got to the airport on time amidst all the craziness that was Santa Monica. Hope you managed to get to your flight ok too :)

    • did you take that wine? i remembered that, like, on the plane. also katie i really liked your haircut

    • Hey yea, thanks for that Barefoot merlot Marni. We passed it around at Alex/Sarah/Sara’s house last night while we processed our feelings.

      • For the record I bought that wine to share with Rachel and process our feelings, so I’m glad it’s intended purpose was seen through.


  57. Is now an (in)appropriate time to yell “PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN”?

    Just kidding. But honestly. We non-campers need some sort of A-Camp recap post… possibly multiple posts.

    • I agree with this statement. One AS pic and a few camper pics aren’t nearly enough to live vicariously through.

  58. I don’t know if squee is still a word people use, but every one of y’alls’ comments is making me squee. Fucking adorbz and very heartwarming.

    I’m ready for it to be October so I can write my very own A-Camp abstract.

  59. Wow, the energy is palpable in these comments; it’s weird, you guys, I’m totally getting all your ESP feelings from over here.

    Question: was there any sort of sobriety corner at camp? Y’know, for those of us who are teetotalers and might be interested in going in the future.

    • I was in the sobriety corner (not just because of legality- but because I make affirmative decision not to drink)! I’m not sure actually how many other people weren’t boozing, but it definitely wasn’t required and pretty easy to avoid. The dance was totally not my scene on Saturday night, but they had a nice campfire outside as an alternative.

    • the whole camp was teetotaler-friendly! we didn’t like, ring a booze bell after dinner or anything. COME IN THE FUTURE.

    • Thanks! This definitely makes me feel better.

      You guys–first weekend in October. Crossing fingers. Maybe legs, too.

      • I didn’t drink the entire time, and I can guarantee that I didn’t miss out on anything because of it.

    • I had a sip of whiskey from Shannon’s dissolving cup (see comments above) the first night but didn’t have any more alcohol the rest of the trip. I felt absolutely zero pressure to drink. I still had an awesome time, and you will too!

    • we didn’t serve or provide alcohol at camp but a lot of campers brought their own. technically there was only one lodge at camp where you were even allowed to drink, so i think it’s pretty teetotaler-friendly!

      • that being said, i drank a sip of every drink handed to me by anybody all weekend, which i would not necessarily recommend

    • Not only did I not drink the entire weekend (and didn’t miss out on anything), I found someone who doesn’t drink for the same reasons that I do. I FINALLY FEEL UNDERSTOOD.

  60. The Automagical A-Camp Anthem (Autostraddle has got it going on)
    Lyrics by Emily Goldsmith
    sung to the tune of Stacey’s Mom by Fountains of Wayne

    Team Autostraddle has got it going on
    Robin and Marni have got it going on
    Julie, Brandy and Harto have got it going on
    All of A-Camp has got it going on

    You teach us things we never learned in school (learned in school)
    Like how perpetuating the patriarchy totally isn’t cool (so not cool)
    Damn I am so fucking glad that you planned this trip (planned this trip)
    Umm Wait, insert another witty rhyming quip (too many whiskey sips)

    You know I am not the baby dyke I used to be
    I am all wised up now, Alex can’t you see

    Seriously A-Camp has got it going on,
    it’s all that we wanted and you waited for so long
    Riese can’t you see, we just love the way you be
    We know that it’s not wrong to Autostraddle all night long

    Team Autostraddle has got it going on
    Unicorn Plan-it has got it going on

    Steph and Hav, do you remember when you sang us songs (sang us songs)
    This all just started with our chart and a blog (autowinning blog)
    I could tell you trusted us Laneia, by the way you shared (way you shared)
    You taught how to have lesbian sex, cut our hair (and what to wear)

    This all just seems like a fantasy, but ever since YOU DO YOU,
    I am free just to be!!

    Seriously A-Camp has got it going on, it’s all that I wanted and I want it to go on
    Now I can see this is just the world for me
    I know that it’s not wrong to Autostraddle all night long

    • This was a labor of love for everyone at Autostraddle, I miss everyone from camp already and feel so fortunate to have all you beautiful and awesome people in my life!!!

  61. Currently coming out of my lurker closet in order to become a member and say how OBNOXIOUSLY HAPPY I am for everyone who had an awesome time at camp. And that I am now super determined to make it to the next one even if it means reminding my mother that I like girls and then also asking her to loan me some money.

  62. I have so many feels about A-Camp! It was really the first time I felt I was really with “my people” (and the first time I really felt I could call queer women “my people”). Everyone (everyone!) I met was awesome and the staff I interacted with were friendly, outgoing, and helpful to a fault.

    I embroidered! Not terribly well, but I did it! I collaged up a bit for the camp zine (really, I did this? I went to town on issues of Nylon and Bitch with scissors, and X-Acto Knife, and glue sticks!?)! I drank Tieguanyin while talking about dissertation research and how hilarious and awesome everyone was 7,000 feet up the side of a mountain! It was too much and almost unbelievable, but it happened, and I’m glad.

    I don’t know if I could make it to the next one in October, but A-Camp was, in a small way, a life changing experience.

    Thank you A-Camp. And I love all you Golden Girls! Keep Reaching for that Whiskey Flask in the sky!

  63. OH MY FUCKING GOD RIESE JUST POSTED A VIDEO OF ME HOLY HELL. Seriously, camp was fucking amazing and I still can’t even handle it. The fact that I will never ever be able to afford to fix my car due to paying for camp is completely and totally ok with me now.

  64. Taking breaks to read these comments on A-Camp is the only thing that’s getting me through finals. You’re reminding me that happiness exists somewhere, that there is life outside of school.



  65. I am a huge ball of feelings right now:

    1) The gender panel (so so so good), high tea with Laneia & Rachel, my cabin’s jaunt, and the talent show were probably the top highlights for me. I will definitely be going back because I missed so many things like the sex panel, zines, & t-shirts!

    2) My goal next time is to meet as many people as possible. I kinda kept to myself a bit more than others due to residual shyness. But I am super proud of myself for doing an interview for the documentary. Baby steps, right?

    3) A huge thing for me was seeing so many people who are so comfortable in their skin and with who they are. I’m out, but I’ve never been super comfortable with me or how I present myself. I’ve decided it’s time to make my appearance match how I mentally see myself.

    4) I need to learn how to dance.

    5) Everyone in charge at Autostraddle seriously rocks. I am so totally amazed that so much awesome was located in one place at one time. And I’m even more amazed that the universe didn’t collapse because of it.

    • Seriously with you on number three. Just seeing and talking to so many people who seemed to know who they were and what they wanted and live their lives in line with that was truly amazing.

    • You. Were. Awesome…And we finally got to drink together! We shared my flask!

      • Um, pretty sure it was my flask. But the point is, Hobbes, great to meet you!

        • Put you’re burner on low and simmer down..I was referring to her and I at the talent show..Look at that Hobbes..We’re fighting over you! Bet I’d win though!

          • No need to fight… I share very nicely! And I did indeed get to drink with both of you, from both of your flasks (I feel like there is a euphemism in there somewhere). I look forward to more whiskey drinking in the future.

          • From this point forward, my breasts must always be referred to as “My Flaks”…And they are where the whiskey comes from!

  66. A-camp sounds like it was magical. I’m seriously loving reading about everyone’s feelings/experiences, the banter between new friends, the inside jokes that I don’t understand (cherry bomb?), and everything else. I can’t stop smiling! I already knew that this community was extraordinary, but right now it really shows. I’m so so happy for all of the people who went and I hope I can make it next time!

      • Riese really liked thanking us all for coming on the last night. Riese loves it when autostraddles come. She wants us all to come again. (A-camp is really just about coming).

          • also i believe that speech was a transformative experience that will change my life forever insofar as next time i’m nervous about talking to a large group of people i love on a stage, i’ll take half a xanax instead of 56 shots of whiskey

  67. i’m going to start by agreeing with a lot of your feelings and then add my own. EDIT: there are too many feelings that i agree with. i agree with all of you, but especially:

    “nothing in the entire world that I’ve seen so far has felt as good as A-Camp.”
    “Learning more about myself than I knew possible on the gender panel.”

    ok you guys. i highly doubt that my words can really describe how fucking incredible this weekend was, but i’m gonna do my damnedest. (i am already starting to cry.) camp was the best weekend of my life. i went there with the hope that it would be amazing but the reality of it completely blew me away. i had no idea that putting 200 of us in the woods on the top of a mountain would be, as dina said, one of the most inspiring and empowering weekends of my life. i don’t think i’ve ever experienced such a safe space before and i am 100% positive that it’s because i’ve never been surrounded by 200 autostraddlers before. you are all beautiful, stunning, inspiring, loving, open, wild, hilarious, strong, AMAZING human beings. i am grateful beyond words to the autostraddle staff for making this happen. you had this incredible vision and you made it exist and i feel like now our community has become something completely on another level. you always say you love us but i don’t think i really realized how much you mean it until now, and of course it is totally and completely mutual. i can’t think of anything like this anywhere else. i’m not exaggerating when i say i love ALL of you who were at camp. the friendships that we made this weekend are on par with those that have taken years to develop and that is something really special. i’ve never felt so comfortable and safe around people i’ve never met. i can’t wait to see robin’s pictures and carly and lauren’s documentary and our zine and i can’t wait to see you guys again in october. sending you all infinite love and light.

  68. I was saving for a house, I think instead I’m going to be saving for flights to the US for camp next year. Houses can wait, right?

      • Clearly I needed a lot of convincing, I’m sold! I might even make it to the October camp.

        Should be researching for a paper now, will instead be working out how long I can make my trip and what else I can do while I’m there… So exciting!!

      • Agreed, i’m honestly tempted to make the trip from Australia again in October for the next camp.

      • I’m doing it.

        (though now that I’m being realistic about my job and real life, it won’t be until next year. But I will do it if it kills me)

  69. Tea that tasted like roasted marshmallows, magical queers (who came bearing candy) from Australia, beautiful hikes long and short, the funny and gorgeous ladies who made up my bunk at the Golden Girls, our unbelievable collection of booze (somebody needs to post a picture of that ASAP), the way the woods looked in the fog and rain Friday afternoon, Brittani stopping our van so the non-California kids could know what an In and Out Burger tasted like, Katrina and Gabby playing off each other in the picking up girls seminar (I laughed the whole time, and knew I would)…just SO MUCH STUFF, YOU GUYS.

    It was enchanting – even if I was akward. And our bunk leaders. An authentic stand up comedian. A PBR cracking pirate. A super sweet person who ran in each afternoon to see how we were doing.

    This experience was incredible and everybody on this site needs to live it once. Don’t let it get away from you. Make it happen for yourself.

    Thank you AS (your proper thank you note/email is forthcoming).

      • I did, lol!

        I also have a tiny toy cougar on my bookshelf from the pinata Saturday night. Go coogs?

        • You left out my thinking you were Miss Anon” because of how you reacted when I introduced myself as “Digger”..Still not sure what you meant by “Oh…You’re..Digger..”

          • this is where one of those innumerable links to articles about introverts would be invaluable. Because I am a person of few words (stilted ones, at that), you took it as being negative. When, “Oh…You’re…Digger” roughly translates to, “Oh Digger, thank g-d you’re here in the van with me and all thse people I don’t know, I’m so happy to meet you, I remember you from the GG page.”

            I need to get a jump on writing that introvert-extrovert language dictionary ASAP.

            Anyway, I LOVE YOU, DIGGER. Truly.

          • Oh..Is that all? I’m going to need a copy of that book once it’s written. This translating is a bitch! And I’m so easily distracted by shiny things…And whiskey!

          • I think I have the perfect cover art for it – me under my bed holding my cat…

            anyway, thanks for not asking if I was Miss Anon. That shit could have gotten ugly. That shit could have gotten me killed – or put out of the van on the side of the road.

        • Go coogs! Next time that has to be our cabin name.
          My little gay pinata unicorn is hanging from my rear-view mirror in my car.


          i knew missing that to put on deoderant was a terrible mistake

          • There were TWO toy cougars. And other wild animals, and scorpion rings, and York Peppermint Patties…

            so yes, :(. you didn’t smell, you looked clean – sadness.

            don’t worry, though, we’ll bring another.

          • My tiny gay zebra = not as cool. I glued a stick on his head, though, so – unicorn!

          • My toy cougar is really a tiger, but hey, whatevs. I’ve been carrying it around in my shirt pocket at work as a tiny reminder that camp actually happened and I didn’t just dream the whole thing up :)

            And if you need help with that introvert dictionary Melanie, look me up k?

      • i wish i was eating an in-n-out grilled cheese on my way up the mountain right now.

        • i was so jealous when i realized grilled cheese was an option

          remember the time i asked if we could stop at in-n-out expecting to hear “no” but then brittani said YES? i feel like that’s a metaphor for life vs. camp. not exactly sure what i mean but y’all feel me maybe?

  70. I AM MOVING TO CALIFORNIA IN SEPTEMBER AND WILL BE ABLE TO GO TO OCTOBER A-CAMP 2.0. this is going to make moving so much less sad!!!

  71. Omg you guys I miss you all so much!

    I loved my crafty buddies, my awesome cabin-mates (The Beats!), and of course, the A-Team up close and in person!

    The Queer Women of Color panel made me cry real tears, I felt all the feelings. It was amazing.

    High Tea with Rachel and Laneia (which I know how to say now!) and the fact that Rachel knows my name! And called me by it, more than once! Also, those teas were amazing. Smoky Earl Grey <3.

    Hanging out with Katrina and everyone while she was doing all the haircuts was rad.

    My girlfriend Dena and I making Carly laugh a lot during our interview.

    Every conversation that was so awesome, even the really short ones where we didn't get each other's names. (Next time I'm gonna wear my name tag more, but y'all may remember me having light blue glasses.)

    All the things. Just. All the moments.

  72. Seriously, I can’t get over how amazing camp was. It was like before camp I was in the heteronormative matrix. But now A-Camp has given me the red pill and shown me how things can be. Now I can’t go back to the way things were before camp. I want the gay baby army to destroy the damn matrix!

  73. You guys, camp was fucking magic. I want to go baaaaaack.

    Also: thank you to everyone for checking in on my ankle. I feel like the whole camp checked in on me after I fell on day one. Y’all are the sweetest… and my ankle is totally fine now!

  74. I have so many feelings I can’t even right now. Just, thank you. Thank you so much for making camp happen. I’ll try this again in the morning. I love each and every one of you.


  75. I’m breaking out of my obsessive-autostraddle-reading-without-commenting routine to say I’m so jealous of and inspired by all the comments and the feelings here. The idea of being in the same place with all of you amazing people is overwhelming–in a good way! I’m newly motivated to find room in my grad student budget to make October A-camp happen. If not, can we start an east coast version sometime soon?

  76. Oh this sounds like the most marvelous experience ever. Also the next A-Camp should be sometime during the October 20 – 28 window. That’s when my fall break is and it’s probably the same for a bunch of other people.
    Also it should be in the midwest or somewhere that I can drive to from Ohio. Just saying………… :P
    Then I’d actually be able to go. XD
    And oh I want to go so so so badly.
    I will find a way.

  77. I CAN COME IN 2014! JUST HAVE TO FINISH MY FRAKKING DEGREE BEFORE I CAN TAKE OFF ACROSS THE WORLD. Damn living in the place that is the furthest away from anywhere else ever.
    Actually, we have couch surfers and the amount of times they answer: ‘So, why did you come here’ with; ‘It was the furthest away I could get’
    Yeah, we have a lame country thanks.

  78. Oh good lord. I didn’t know this open thread was happening because I’ve more or less been sleeping since this afternoon.

    If the next camp is in October, does that mean registration will probably open up in August and I have three months to save $600-$700?

    My justification of the cost is that I had three personal days to use. I was paid to be at a-camp, at least that’s how I like to think of it…

    • we haven’t solidified any dates yet — it could very well be in september or november, depending on what the site has available. we should know within the next few weeks and will announce dates as soon as we can and then figure out when to open registration… probably shortly thereafter, though full payment deadlines can be much later than initial registration deadlines. nothing is set in stone! but also the whole process will be handled differently this time, i believe the term is “streamlined”

  79. I did not attend A Camp BUT I decided to chime in only cause:
    I woke up this morning to this traumatic dream where I DID attend A Camp and it was located in a college dormitory and even involved a talent show. At some point, I tried to help Riese set up a table and failed so hard that the table WAS TAKEN AWAY. What does this mean? Discuss.
    Anyway, if I go to October A Camp, I am staying away from tables.

    • Beth probably took the table away because you were standing and you didn’t have a hopper sticker on.


    Because I happen to know I will be free. And living in the States again. And maybe I could save up enough for a trip to the other coast.

    All these stories have made me mad jealous of camp and I really want to go.

    • mmmm… probably not — but maybe in several years during that fantasy period of time known as “the future” when anything could happen? one of the primary expenses of putting camp on is flying our staff to the location. that’s why we picked a place near LAX, ’cause that’s convenient for most of our staff and talent to drive (especially the ones with a lot of supplies to bring — aka me, Marni, Alex and Laneia) and because LAX and NYC are the cheapest places to fly into in the country — AND YOU GUYS asking for an east coast camp… if we had camp on the east coast anywhere besides NYC, it’d be just as expensive if not moreso than flying to LAX from wherever you are. It’d be easier for me to have a site near SFO, but that’d add a few hundred bucks onto everybody else’s plane ticket (as opposed to LAX), so this we are confident is wise. Don’t let distance defer you! I used to fly from NYC to LAX a lot, also, sidenote, and those tickets were always cheaper or the same price as flying to see my family in the midwest. we had campers from australia, the UK, and at least 20 or 30 campers from Canada!

  81. Oh god I’m going to have to make some hard decisions here.

    Like, one of my cousins is getting married Oct 20th (MAKE A CAMP EARLY OCTOBER PLZ). And then there’s derby. I might have to give up going to roller derby regionals to save money for this.

    I feel like it would be worth it, and that’s saying a lot.

    • rachel and robin are both going to be at weddings on october 20th, too! (rachel attending a friend’s wedding, robin photographing a wedding as is her way) so don’t you worry about a thing, it will not be that weekend!

      • I’m actually photographing the Autostraddle wedding giveaway winner’s wedding that weekend. Remember that little contest? I’m going to mexico! :)

  82. If we were playing the lesbian processing drinking game we’d all be dead right now. This thread is the best thing.

    I am still recovering from my 19 hour travel day back to Michigan. So my feelings are still somewhat jumbled.

    My number one feelings: I was so grateful to be able to see all your beautiful faces in real life. Seeing all of you being open and gorgeously living your truths has inspired me to start telling the truth more in my own life, which means coming out to more family and at work. So thank you for that!

    Winning lesbian jeopardy was definitely a highlight of the weekend, as well as zine making (can’t wait for the finished project!) and the gender panel.

    Also the insane amount of booze the Golden Girls consumed this weekend was spectacular. Thanks Digger, Cynthia, and everyone else who made our pub crawl cabin happen!

  83. i am not a cryer and i wasn’t even there, but this thread has made me tear up. i’m just so happy for everyone who went and so grateful to the whole team for creating this for everyone. riese, you really have made such an amazing, inspiring thing, that is way way more than just a website, NEVER sell yourself short.

  84. Oh God. All these comments give me so many feelings that I don’t think I stopped running around to feel during camp.

    Can I just take a second to thank all the girls who came up to me and told me they bought blazers because of Autostraddle? It weirdly really really meant a lot to me. There were so many blazers and I LOVED IT. You know how I feel about blazers!

    Also if you missed the How To Pick Up Girls Workshop you missed a moment of life.

    • I bought a blazer because of your advice, and also these shoes I have, and I’m ordering some rad boots right now!

    • That workshop was amazing. Gaby and Katrina are hilarious together, but I also felt like I learned a lot about, well, how to pick up girls. I loved the question about how to pick up Autostraddle team members.

    • “Don’t be afraid to look nice.”- you in the style workshop. Those words will change my life forever! I went shopping in LA and I now own two blazers, a vest, fancy grey shoes, lots of jewelry, and a black AA v-neck. Everything you and Sara Medd said in that workshop was great and finally made me understand style. THANK YOU!!!!

    • sadly missed my chance to tell you in person this time, but I too bought a blazer because of AS.

    • yay i told you this! it’s true! ps you were just as stylish in real life as i imagined you’d be, and i found that very comforting/pleasing.

  85. Would a fifteen year old questioning girl be welcomed in October or is it more for older, actual queers?
    This all looks so so so so so amazing
    And meeting reise and everyone else of course
    And this is just like unicorns

    • I don’t know about age parameters but look into a Girls Rock/Rock Camp for Girls near you! They’re a very similar environment as far as openness and safe-spaceness and having a lot of cool, open people around.

      • wow morgan, it would be so cool if i got to learn more about rock camp for girls at some point…maybe soon… ;)

  86. I’ve always wanted to see the US. I think I could make October :)

    and, I’m so glad everyone had a wonderful time! But how could you not, what with everyone being awesomesauce and all.

  87. I can have ice whenever I want now that I’m home and I don’t even care. I WANT TO GO BACK TO CAMP.

  88. Bummed I had to miss it. Sounds like it was pure awesomeness.

    But, there’s hope for October! Maybe A-Camp will happen early enough in the law school semester when I won’t have to study during the weekend and could skip off to the the West Coast…or I could always study torts and contracts during that long ass flight to California.

    A more central (ie: Midwest) or East Coast location for future A-Camps would be awesome though. Snow is not an evil word.

    • seriously though, I came from Michigan and only paid like 300 dollars for my plane ticket. It’s totally doable.

  89. So I was the kid sitting awkwardly in the corner while everyone else took the massive group photo because I am so far in the closet I chose not to appear in pictures, but I want to say thank you to everyone who made me feel super comfortable the whole time, entertained my endless stream of questions, and endured my rants about not being able to convert Farenheit to Celsius in my head. Having a safe space to be myself and be among people who were really my people, people who got me, was really truly amazing even if it was just for a weekend.

    I don’t think I’ll be attending the next camp because I don’t think I could justify spending that kinda money and time on myself twice, but I will at least sponsor and/or otherwise persuade someone around me to go because (a) I really want my friends to feel the same kind of acceptance & safety that I did and (b) both Singapore and London are on the list of top 20 cities AS readers come from so WE NEED TO BE REPRESENTED.

    To anyone who might have any doubts about attending the next A-Camp: no one EVER pressurises you into doing anything you don’t want to do, and you will find plenty of things you will want to do, and honestly the best part for me was hanging around (IN THE SUN) and just talking to people. I would pay the full price just for the environment and the people alone, that’s how worth it it was.

    P.S. Riese in my haphazard rush to catch the shuttle I left my pen with you and it made it a little harder for me to fill in my UK landing card, but it’s cool I still love you because of all the other things. And by that I mean EVERYTHING. Thank you for doing this, you fully