OPEN THREAD: Poussey Washington Has My Heart; Who Has Yours?

Hi family! Happy Friday Open Thread! How are you doing? This has been such a tough week for so many of us. I hope you’re all taking care of yourselves.

This past week I’ve been in Arkansas, indulging in fried food at every meal: fried peaches with ice cream, fried catfish with grits, pan fried chicken, deep fried avocado slices… It’s not the healthiest thing I’ve ever done, but I feel pretty good about my choices right now! It takes a lot of energy to fight off hopelessness. I can eat salad next week, maybe.

Speaking of which! How many of y’all will be bingeing Orange Is The New Black this week? I haven’t started yet, but I’m very excited to see more Poussey Washington. May I remind you what a mega babe Samira Wiley is?


My heart. She has it.

Poussey was last seen holding hands with Soso on the beach behind Litchfield. They’re together in the trailer too, which leads me to believe Ms. Washington will finally have the tenderhearted mixed-race Asian girlfriend she deserves! And if that’s not the case, I’m still, like, right here. Appreciating that dazzling smile. Never not laughing at Poussey and Taystee’s impressions of white girls.


I’ve also been enjoying Heroes of the Storm lately. My favorite hero is Jaina, and all I want is to get her to level 10 so I can buy that pretty skin for her with my gold. I don’t know anything about the character backstory, but Jaina basically has the same powers as Elsa in Frozen, and I thoroughly appreciate that one of her battlecries is “I hate resorting to violence.” I like playing the game with my girlfriend and her cat — who, by the way, has finally warmed up to me. Photo evidence:

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 5.10.20 PM

So what have you all been up to? Is it okay if I hug each and every one of you? Are you going to any Pride activities this weekend? Vigils, protests, or parties? What are you going to snack on while you binge watch OITNB Season 4? What are you want to see this season? If you’ve already started, what do you think? Thanks in advance for labeling your spoilers, btw. I’m so glad you’re here with me.

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Laura Mandanas

Laura Mandanas is a Filipina American living in Boston. By day, she works as an industrial engineer. By night, she is beautiful and terrible as the morn, treacherous as the seas, stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love her and despair. Follow her: @LauraMWrites.

Laura has written 210 articles for us.


  1. <3 hugs to you too and everyone at Autostraddle, you guys have been a beacon of light all week.

    I'm hosting an OITNB viewing party tonight ! There's gonna be 4 of us, and too much food and alcohol ! Yay homemade hummus, homemade pizza, homemade sourdough bread, and more ! I've also made a strawberry-kiwi sangria and someone is bringing the ingredients to make the lavender gin cocktail that Ali posted in the 2014 (I think) OITNB themed cocktails post.

    There's just gonna be way too much alcohol and food for just us 4. Everyone is sleeping over afterwards :).

    It's not Pride weekend here in the UK so the weekend will be spent working like crazy to catch up on deadlines.

    Everyone have a LOVELY PRIDE WEEKEND. Celebrate, love, and laugh.

  2. I’m eating some lavender boiled lollies and looking forward to celebrating winter solstice in the country. If I can involve mulled wine or mead I’ll be set.

  3. This week has been stressful, so I’m going to share my favourite misheard lyric of the week from my class of 13-year-old EFL learners:

    Kid (singing): “It’s raining again! Hallelujah!” (pause when he sees me smiling in amusement) “No?”
    Me: “Men. It’s raining men. Those are the words, usually.”
    Kid: “Ahhhhh.” (pause for thought) “Eso tiene más sentido.”

    I love that he thought “raining men” was a more logical option than “raining again” even though we live in the Basque Country, where it rains almost as much as it does in England and was actually raining non-stop that day.

  4. A message I sent to my friend a couple hours ago:But beyond that im…confused? Conflicted and scared. It sort of feels like I don’t have a right to those feelings because like. I’m not /out/ out. I don’t really know like a whole bunch of gay people. It’s such a community hurt but I don’t feel a part of the community. And ppl keep talking about being brave and going out and living your gay life anyway but I am not brave!!! I am very scared! I’ve never been proud or very ok with being gay and this made it lots worse tbh. Idk. Lots of sad feelings.

    so that’s. Sort of where I’m at.

    I’m like 70% through the first ep of OITNB and so far, so good.

    • omg omg you absolutely have the right to those feelings! Including the complicated ones. It’s ok not to feel a connection too.

      I am very scared too! Even when I’m safe! I wish I could stand up to people more, but I’m just not brave. I take baby steps but I still mostly hide. I try to accept that it’s not everyone’s job to wave the flag and be loud and confident and deal with homophobes every day. There are other ways to help, like supporting other people, or taking care of yourself.

    • It’s 100% ok to not “be brave.” Being brave can also mean staying safe and protecting your heart and your body and your soul. Seriously. It’s just not safe for everyone. The world still sucks in a lot of ways. It takes a lot of time to build up resiliency to the shittiness in the world. On top of that, some people never get to feel safe because of who they are, where the live, the color of their skin, their church or family. There are a ton of reasons not to come out yet or not to come out “proudly.” That’s the truth. You don’t need to be ashamed because you aren’t “living out loud.” Just know that the bad stuff, the stuff that makes you want to hide, is not about anything wrong with you. It’s the world that sucks. You’re beautiful.

      Sending <3 and hoping you take care of yourself in the way that feels best and safest for you. You are part of our community and this impacts you, too. Especially when you don’t feel that community connection in your everyday life and aren’t able to be out all the time, the grief is probably even harder to hold and process. Thinking of you. <3

    • Oh man, this hit me. When I really wasn’t out, I used to shout at therapists, “I’m a coward, can’t you see I’m a coward?”

      I was wrong. Looking back I can see how wrong I was. I can see how much energy and strength it took to hold myself in that place, in the place I thought was protective, until I couldn’t bear it anymore.

      You ARE brave. Brave doesn’t mean not being scared. Sometimes it means finding ways to sit with and maybe make peace with where you are, as you gather the energy to change the situation when you’re ready to do so.

      Someday, you will be proud, or at least okay. You will do the work. You are doing the work right now. Your brain is rearranging furniture and gathering strength even when you’re not aware that it’s doing it. I know that because mine was.

      It is a process, it will always be a process, it’s never done. But I’ve been there and nearly ALL OF US have been there and I am telling you, you will be ok.

      Haha omg I’m sorry that was so intense.

    • Hi – you are a part of my community. You don’t need anyone’s permission to feel how you feel, but if it helps, I think that’s a very valid reaction, and I’m sorry the world is doing this.

      Sending so much love to you right now.

    • it’s okay to be scared. whether you are part of a big or small community, online or irl, or even if you feel alone, you need to know that you are loved and that it takes bravery to be queer and live in this world, no matter how you live in this world, in or out of the closet, loving yourself or uncomfortable with yourself. i’m sending you lots of warm love through these mysterious waves of the internet. <3 <3 <3

  5. Hi! This week I have relied a lot on the internet to connect with my queer friends, since where I live there is no queer community (rural village). I also have to thank Autostraddle for helping me recognize my feelings as valid. I was also glad that my friends reached out for me too, so even if the occasion was sad, there was this feeling of mutual trust that gave me energy.

    Work has also been a source of distraction: the kids at school are writing their final exams and I am super happy about how well they’re doing. It provides some sense of closure and achievement that is very important for me as a teacher newbie.

    I’m going to my first Pride tomorrow (Ljubljana), and I feel excited and scared at the same time, cause I’m really intimidated by crowds, but also I need to gtfo this place and connect with my community. It’s nice to finally be able to consider myself part of it, after a late coming out process and many doubts and thoughts about the validity of my identity (why do some people keep asking me “are you sure?” when I come out).

    I think I will spend this day doing housework and taking care of myself. I’ll top everything with sushi and as soon as the exams end, I’ll definitely retire to my den to watch oitnb.

    Hugs back! Have a nice weekend everyone :)

    • Have a wonderful time at your first Pride!

      It really does feel good when your students do well. Like, you did them proud!

    • Happy Pride! And way to be awesome at teaching! I think I want sushi for dinner now, too. Fried tempura shrimp.

  6. Hugs to all you people!

    I can’t wait to have some free time, so far no OITNB for me! This week I just wanted to curl in a queer-feminist-blanket, but instead I was for the first time in my life in a situation where I was unable to let slide some off-hand mansplaining and the same guy interrupting me continuously, and thus called someone out on their behavior for the first time ever. What I got in response was a huge defensive backlash, where he literally yelled at me until I cried. I’m still shaken by this. Obviously there were other people there as well, none of whom seemed to understand why I was so upset, so now I’m an overreacting crazy person in their eyes.

    Not the biggest problem in the world, but you know, shitty all the same.

    This was also a guy that I have done some work stuff with before, and he’s kind of a gatekeeper in me getting one more thing done. We did end it on an ok note (mostly cause I was too tired to argue any longer so I let him have a “let’s agree to disagree.”) But if I contact him and ask about that work thing I would feel too weird not saying anything about our massive argument, but I don’t want to start it again. Aarrgh.

    /End of venting. Other than that my week’s been ok. Our Pride week starts on the 27th, and I just got confirmation that I will be opening the opening event with two of my songs, so that’s something good to look forward to! PLUS I’m going to see PJ Harvey today <3

    • Oh wow, that really sucks with the dude yelling. That is so unprofessional, and even on a personal level just totally lame. He needs to git gud at communicating.

    • Mansplainy work dudes are the worst. I quit the job very inconveniently when I had to deal with one and it was very satisfying, and then I made him someone else’s terrible boss in a story. I don’t know the details of your situation, but also sometimes just contacting the person you have to talk to and acting as though The Big Thing That Just Happened never happened can be pretty satisfying too? They’ll usually be too confused and embarassed to bring it up themselves.

      • Thanks for the suggestion! That actually sounds like something I could do and that could work in this situation.

        Maybe I should make a hobby of confusing mansplainers and other blind-to-their-priviledges-and-unable-to-admit-when-they-are-wrong-and-called-out-for-it-folk. I generally use the tactic of “I don’t understand, would you explain it to me” whenever someone tells a sexist/cis-sexist/racist/homophobic/ joke, it works very well!

    • Fuck that guy. The first one.

      For the second one — do you think it’s possible/likely that he’s less stressed over the argument than you are? I don’t know the details of what happened, but I bet there’s a good chance he wouldn’t be bothered if you sent him an email that was solely work-focused. Also, it would be really unprofessional of him to use his gatekeeping ability to keep you from getting things done just because of a one-off interpersonal disagreement.

      • It was just one guy! He’s an acquaintance, who has helped me with a project, where I now need one extra thing done. I also might have a crush on one of his close friends, so I don’t want to burn bridges…

        I think I’m just gonna wait a few days and then send him a purely professional message. I did hear that he was embarrassed the next day about the argument, but I don’t know if he sees any responsibility on his part. What he kept yelling at me while I tried to explain him why his behavior was upsetting to me was “You don’t understand! I’m not a bad guy, I’m a feminist”, (while not listening to a word I said…) so I guess the fact that I accused him of doing something un-feminist was something that he took pretty hard because he considers himself as one? I don’t know. I’ve never been yelled at by other people than loved-ones and family members, and I’m finding it hard to get over the aggression he directed at me.

        • Oh! My mistake.

          I hope he really is a feminist, and that he’s embarrassed because he belatedly realized that someone with male privilege yelling “I’m a feminist” over someone who probably doesn’t have male privilege… is very unfeminist.

    • Ugh, that’s so shitty. I’m sending you hugs. I hate mansplaining. :/ Yay for opening Pride with your songs! That sounds amazing. Happy Pride!

    • It is heartbreaking. I see the pictures of her kids and I can’t breathe. I don’t understand people.

    • Same here. Going to the vigil in Westminster tonight (If anyone is looking for info, there’s a list of various vigils tonight across the country on the Guardian live blog)

      I never thought to see it happen here. I used to work for an MP and always admired the way they all go about their business just as anyone else does, trusting that they will not be harmed – so unlike America. It is the right way to do things and my heart breaks that this trust was so tragically and mercilessly broken yesterday.

      Out on a boat with her family on Wednesday for the surreal Battle of the Thames and dead less than 24 hours later. The world is stood on its head.

    • I heard about that. So sad. I was reading an article just a couple of hours ago that mentioned some of those supporting Britain’s exit from the EU have been using some pretty vitriolic language about it, and I couldn’t help but think about the parallels between them and people here in the US who talk about “Second Amendment Solutions” and “the bullet box” if some voters don’t like the results of an election. Then these people feign surprise when someone takes them seriously and acts on the vitriol. I feel so sorry for her husband and kids.

    • This is so incredibly sad. All this hate in the world just makes you feel so powerless.

  7. What I’ve been up to is school, listening to enough Celia Cruz to make youtube give up on me as someone that the English language matters or applies to, and falling down the ASoIaF fandom rabbit hole which has brought me back to getting adds and suggestions for English language because Metallica.

    I don’t feel like FOT after Orlando is the right time or place to yammer my observations that ASoIaF is anti-war in the vein of Apocalypse Now and other post Vietnam media.
    When you see the violence it’s not supposed to cool it’s supposed to sicken you, supposed to remind there is no glory to be had.

    Fun fact I will share though is cynic comes from kynikos (doglike) and kynos (dog)
    The first character in the books who vocally comes out against the romanticisation violence and the lies of chivalry is one called the Hound. It’s probably not a coincidence, but it amuses me.
    Also amusing(okay screwed up maybe) is myself and that character have repeat parallels. Both have a scar on the left side of our face from family and lost our innocent young, used to scare people on purpose, but I got chance to gentle my rage earlier in life.

    • Hm, cynic and dogs! That’s interesting. I always think of dogs being really trusting, which is kind of the opposite.

      • It has to do with an Ancient Greek school of philosophy.
        To achieve eudaimonia (it’s like enlightenment, happiness and the flourishment of human civil being) remove ignorance, conceit, arrogance from your life and live ascetically.
        It’s a philosophy rejecting the values that mattered to the Ancient Greeks fame, power and money.
        And instead living as shamelessly as a “dog” which was intended as an insult but was adopted as a name with pride by the Cynics
        Dogs have no artifice, lies or guile like humans do they live and love honestly and simply. They don’t simper niceties to their “enemies” they bark, growl or if really pushed bite them.
        A dog with die for you but never lie to you/

        Also cynics didn’t go run away to the countryside to go live their ascetic ways they did it in full view of the polis. And would totes “hound” society on the errors of its way. Very bluntly without using any pretty words of course. Satires sure, but nothing that could be construed as having proper courtesy, gentleness or a lie.

        Which is were we get the contemporary definition of a cynic, emphasis on the “hounding” aspect by modern Europeans rediscovered Ancient Greek philosophies.

  8. I was in a reeeeeally bad place when I first watched OitNB over a year ago and I binge watched it to escape. I thought the opening music would momentarily transport me back to that time (as nostalgic music often does for me) but it actually sounded DIFFERENT. Did they remaster it? Or is it just that I’ve changed massively since then?

    Anyway I’ve watched 2 episodes and I’m glad they haven’t let it get boring.

    I think maybe Pride week/month/whatever isn’t as big a thing here in Aus, I’d like to go to the Sydney Autostraddle meetup but that takes a LOT of spoons to travel to and from in one day, and I’m doing a lot of Pagan stuff for the Solstice so I may be ready to crash.

  9. Last night I fell asleep in my fiancee’s arms as some Beatles musics played softly in the background. It was the first time in a while that I had some restful sleep! I wrote a little love note for her before I left for work.

    In other news, a group of cats keep sleeping under my car. I caught them rubbing themselves on my tires and looking at me. I think they will try to either carjack me or kill me lol.

    • That’s so sweet.

      And if those cars are trying to kill you, they’ve put themselves in a very precarious position to so do. I hope you don’t run over any!

  10. I want to go to Pride in London this year because Orlando has reminded me why it’s important and I don’t really have anyone to go with.

    Are there any other older-ish queer ladies out there in a similar situation? Especially other bisexual women who also feel a little unsure about whether they belong enough to go?

    • Yes, bisexual who has never been to Pride here. I’ve just recently come out to myself, so I still have a lot of “I don’t belong enough” feelings. I usually feel more connected when I’m with my queer friends, but they are away this weekend. So, I have chosen to go alone anyway and see how it goes :)

    • Darling, you belong. From one bi woman (me) to you, you belong here and at Pride. Grab a pal, put on some rainbows, and go have fun!

    • Go! I went to the one here in Leicester last year and it was a little strange, almost entirely teenagers and really really young people and youth groups. Which is not a bad thing at all, it was just a bit odd and I didn’t really stick around the city centre after the parade. My partner is from Madrid and we’ve been trying for a couple years to get ourselves together enough to plan a trip at the beginning of July because it’s the largest Pride in Europe. would be really excellent to go! (Madrid also has an excellent and beautiful gay quarter if anyone’s ever there for a visit)

    • I wonder how much I belong too. I want to belong. I still haven’t settled on a label, still working it out. I’m another older-ish person.

      I feel like I’m in a weird in-between place. I lost my hetero privilege last year, the day my partner came out as a trans woman, but I still haven’t received my gay agenda in the post. So I wonder, am I gay enough?

      I love my girlfriend fiercely, she’s getting better looking day by day. I’ve always thought women are more beautiful than men. And yet, I’ve lived my life thus far as a straight woman, and so it sometimes feels like I am only accidentally gay. Though, that’s not really true, we never played those hetero gender roles, and even though I confused her for a man, she was always a feminine person.

      I suppose it’s because I was outed by my partner’s coming out, rather than working my sexuality out first, then coming out when I was ready. But it’s hard to know where I belong. But I can’t be straight if I love another woman this way, can I?

      I’d love to go to a Pride with our beautiful little family and share our pride with our new, bigger family.

    • To echo those above, because support is awesome, you are enough and most definitely belong! :D

    • DO IT. :D I’m in the same boat – I’m 34, slowly starting to come out, and bi, and I’m going to Houston Pride next weekend. I refuse to be erased from the narrative after Orlando. If the London Autostraddlers are meeting up, you’ll already have a group of badasses with whom to enjoy the day.

  11. I’m going to be going to pride tomorrow with my brother and a group of friends. It was kind of funny in a not terribly nice way: my brother approached me about coming as an ally, then got cold feet and started thinking about not coming after all because “he didn’t want to get shot”. Welcome to my world, buddy. JFC.

    But yeah, orange is the new black. Am I the only lesbian in the universe who could never get into it? IDK. Maybe I should give it another chance.

    • Your brother clearly has some work to do on being a good ally. Sorry you had to deal with that.

      On OITNB — the show becomes much more about the ensemble cast after season 1. The general tone is the same though. Larry disappears, if that’s what you didn’t like, haha.

  12. This has been quite a week. I’ve been job searching and studying while alternating between grief and anger over the events of the past week. To calm down I’ve been watching Cosmos (both the old and new series), playing some video games, and watching some interesting Youtube channels (like Periodic Videos and Numberphile).

    I’m still not sure if I’m going to go to Denver Pride tomorrow. I feel like Pride is so much more this year, but I also have to fight my introversion (it’s a bloody lot of people milling about Cap Hill for Pride), my aversion to the sun, and the fact that it’s over an hour by bus just to get to Denver and a little more to get to Cap Hill from Union Station. Overall, I probably won’t go. Maybe I’ll attend Boulder Pride this September, but the problem I always run into then is I’m busy with homework. Ugh! Oh well, with luck (and me not screwing up) I’ll have graduated by this time next year and I won’t have moved anywhere for grad school (assuming I can find one that will take me).

    • Have your own little Pride at home. Seriously, it’s OK. Pride can be exhausting. As can being around so many people with so many emotions riding high this year. Take care of yourself!

  13. hi all. I’m really new to this community and queer community in general because I just emerged from a 7 year long relationship with a man and I’ve actually never dated women before. Since my breakup I’ve been coming out to basically everyone. I even went to a meetup for queer women this week. I’m 30 and it feels like I am starting all over with life. Yikes.

    This is a weird week for introductions and coming out. The shooting has reminded me what a homophobic community I grew up in. As soon as I realized I was also attracted to men when I was a teenager, I basically shut the door on my queer identity and minimized it as just a trivial footnote to who I am. Now I’ve decided to make different choices and I’m realizing that’s not a frivolous thing to do at all.

    So, hi?

    • Congrats on coming out and welcome into the light! <3

      It’s a little scary out here, but it’s also really liberating. I hope you’re feeling that way, at least.


      • Yes, it really is liberating. It feels weird because I’m totally not ready to date or hook up with anyone at all after such a long relationship, so I’m very confronted with queer as identity rather than behavior if that makes sense, hahaha. But I feel so much better. Successfully navigating that meetup was pretty great.

    • Hi! I’m so glad you’re with us. Congratulations on coming out, and welcome. <3

    • Welcome Girl Scout Motto! Your AS screenname is already super queer* and I’m so happy you’re here.

      *If that’s how it wants to identify

    • HI! I was in your exact situation 2 years ago, and I can’t even understand how much I’ve changed in that time. I feel like I finally know myself, even though I was openly bi during my 8-year relationship as well. So good luck with your journey and WELCOME!

      • Wow! I hope that I can soon say the same. Thank you so much for saying hi! <3

    • I also came out around 30 (it’s complicated) and while I had no preexisting relationship to deal with, I know the feeling of it being like starting all over. I finally feel like I’m ready to date now, but there’s no community for queer women in this part of NC that I’ve been able to find, so I think I have to find a job and move before I can do that.

      • Ah, yep. Thanks to my breakup I am considering moving back in with my parents (it’s a long story of international intrigue or whatever) so that’s potentially going to be challenging. I know that feeling of, oh this could never happen anyway, so I might as well just not come out. I’m glad you’re out and exploring your options now too!

    • Hi! I came out as queer after a seven year heterosexual relationship, too. Breakups are already a weird place, and adding coming out on top of it can be difficult, but it’s also an extremely exciting place, full of possibilities. I hope you’re feeling that! Sending you hugs.

      • Yeah, it’s super weird and my breakup was pretty sudden / dramatic. I am trying my hardest to find exciting things, and this is definitely one of them. Soooo glad that so many of us with similar histories are commenting to me, that gives me hope!

    • You’re totally not alone. I was 27 when I came out. Heterosexual marriage ended and I was really, really damn Christian, conservative, and abused. Absolutely brainwashed into it and my wife saved my life. Six years later and… I feel like I’ve live a second lifetime. All the fundamentalist years of abuse seem distant and from another existence.

      • Can I give you a hug? :( I consider myself lucky that I wasn’t raised within religion, but very conservative Christianity was really endemic to my community and extended family. Even now, I’m hanging back from coming out to specific people because I think I will probably lose them. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have that kind of pressure in such an immediate way.

        So glad you are on the other side now. If you can do this, so can I.

    • HI! *huge ghost hug* Welcome! We have cake. Or pie, whichever you prefer.

      Everyone’s experience is different – don’t apologize for feeling the need to be more visible as a queer person. :) I’m feeling the need to be more visible after Orlando, so you are definitely not alone. This is an awesome community, and it’s even more awesome because you’re here.

  14. I just started the new season and I don’t how it’s possible but Piper has this unbelievable talent for becoming increasingly obnoxious every time I see her. I pray things get better.

  15. i came out to my aunt because i felt like it and she said “oh i know, i’m friends with you on Faceyou” and then she tried to make me smoke her shitty weed.

    • Oh wow, haha. Your aunt sounds cool, I think? How do you feel about all that?

      • oh i think it’s super funny, the “faceyou” thing really got me. aunt cathy is always trying to make people smoke her shitty weed.

        • “Aunt Cathy is always trying to make people smoke her shitty weed” is the best opening sentence of a memoir I’ve ever heard.

        • I’m intrigued, does she grow it herself or know a grower? Cause maybe she can use more of it and turn it into cookies(which makes it a bit more effective) or some other delicious snack.

    • I’ll admit, I nearly snorted my iced mocha after reading this. That was so nonchalant of her.

  16. This week has been rough, and it’s been hard trying to process the news while dealing with some tough realizations in my own life, which makes me feel like a lousy queer and fraud activist.

    I’m making some progress on life decisions, made a new friend and have been reconnecting with some other people. Going to a queer party tomorrow that should be fun. Mostly I’ve been cuddling my cat a lot and he is having dental surgery next week and I’m worried about it.

    • Any activist deserves time to deal with her own life. You’re not a fraud. You can take time and space for yourself and come back stronger, the other way lies activist burnout.

      This is just a standard speech I find myself giving a lot, but nice to meet you, and I hope everything goes well for your kitty cat next week.

    • You are not a fraud! Nobody can be 100% activism 100% of the time. I don’t think I’m 100% activism even 30% of the time. We all have lives to live, you know?

      I hope your cat’s dental surgery goes well. <3

  17. I want a nap. It’s been a week of falling asleep very, very slowly following by long days filled with tasks that just needed to get done that (urgent but mostly not really important).

    A nap will be an option tomorrow, maybe. If all goes well, it will be a nap with spooning. And then I think I want to have a planning details of life conversation, in a let’s have a hopeful future sort of way because we could both use something to look forward to.

    • Ooooh, spooning and life planning. That sounds so nice. I’m happy for you, and I hope you find/make time for that. :)

  18. Hello all you beloved, lovely, loving ones ~ I am grateful you are here ***

    I felt a spiraling inwards,

    And then, on this bus, I suddenly felt how fear and hatred are such constricting forces…

    …and so I wish to expand instead…for us all to expand and spread across the horizons

    Rainbow thoughts…and love to all of you, wherever you are.

  19. I just finished my last grad school exam two days ago and now I have more freedom with my time than I’ve had ever in the last two years. It’s amazing. BUT I can’t binge-watch OITNB all day because my fiancée is at work and if I watch it without her I’m pretty sure the wedding is off. The struggle is real, everyone.

  20. Good morning all of you steamed buns! You are my light.

    This WEEK.

    Thank you Autostraddle. All of you editors and curators and writers and other contributors and everyone reading and commenting have provided the most intentional and caring community I can IMAGINE on the intrawebz. Like if you told me about AS for the first time today and described it in detail I wouldn’t believe you, I wouldn’t believe that something like that could exist online. It feels, to me at least, that you all have centered exactly the voices you needed to center this week while still giving us all room to grieve and hold and feel our fear, to connect with each other and hold and feel our love for one another. I love you all.

    A-camp really reminded me how much we need other people, at exactly the right time. Before Sunday, I was already reaching out to friends, realizing I needed that nourishment and connectedness. After Sunday, I TRULY needed that. I think it’s really easy in our thirties to go to work and go home and cook something and fall into the sofa watching OITNB, and forget how much we need other people, but we do, we do!

    I’m rambling. I love you all so much and we are capable of EVERYTHING.

    • Also ever since I stayed in Bakersfield on my way down CA to the mountain WILL NOT STOP SENDING ME TRAVEL DEALS TO BAKERSFIELD. Stahp! I do not want to go to Bakersfield! Nobody wants to go to Bakersfield!

      *If you live in or want to go to Bakersfield I apologize, I’m sure it’s very lovely

  21. Aw, kitty.

    I don’t watch oitnb, but i dont really watch anything and i dont have Netflix, so that’s my life there.

    Even if the shooting hadn’t happened, i still would’ve had a bad week. I’m afraid to talk about it, though, honestly, bc im nervous that people will accuse me of wanting attention, & making everything about myself, among other things. You know? It hasn’t been enough with the shooting and the almost-bad-thing at LA Pride, and a bunch of things popping up online that “authorities are investigating” & arresting ppl who post “we’ll finish what you started”– it’s been a really bad mental health week for me & i think it would’ve been even without all the fuckery. But i dont want to sit here and say what im dealing w bc im afraid of how ppl will react. I know i get nice comments & stuff, but i still don’t feel like i belong, here or anywhere, really. I’m always waiting for the shoe to drop, for more people to decide they’re sick of me. I keep saying stuff online & i keep feeling like instead i should go back to bottling it up inside & get all this over & done with.

    Plus i keep getting job rejection emails, & my money is dwindling, & soon my phone bill is going to be all mine again & i dont have money for that & all the other stuff im already paying for (my part of groceries, public transportation passes, & necessities for my dog). My YouCaring is at 0 & im only making a bit through etsy & im panicking on top of everything else.

    I hope everyone is as safe as possible this weekend at any events, which i know is a ridiculous thing to say, but i guess it’s more like i wish safety on you all. If that makes any sense.

    • Try a temp agency until you get the job you want. I had to do it out of desperation and worked both interesting and shitty jobs but all the overtime hours filled up my savings. Learn to coupon to save money too. Look up fugal recipes too.

      What stuff do you make on etsy?

      • I could look into that…. I’m working with my state Division of Rehabilitation Services to try and get smthg and they assigned me a job coach kind of person so I could talk with him abt it

        Mostly what ive got on etsy right now is some handmade simple jewelery stuff, a zine, some lithographs from 2011 that i made, and some divination readings for ppl who are into that. Ive made a few sales in the past month, but it’s still not steady income, if course. I was thinking of making downloadable stationary and stuff, too.

    • I know the fraud-syndrome all too well! I used to have this constant fear of getting found out as a horrible person, all my friends would leave me and I’d be excluded from everything I belonged to. For me it was a symptom of general anxiety and a shitty life situation, and now I’m a lot better than say, 5 years ago. I have two particular thoughts that help me when I start feeling like I’ve done something mysterious and awful and I’m afraid people will get sick of me, maybe they might help you too?

      1. People don’t usually care all that much. It sounds a little bit depressing to say that people don’t really care what stupid stuff you do and say (as long as you don’t go hurting other people on the way), but it’s actually really liberating!

      2. Try to think how you would react to someone else doing/ saying/ posting the same thing you just did/ were thinking of. Usually we are so much more understanding to other people, even strangers, than ourselves. Thus it helps trying to look at your actions as though they were done by a friend or just a random person.

      But feel free to ignore this if it’s not for you and in that case I’m just sending hugs instead!

      • Oh gosh, it sounds like I’m saying that you are saying stupid stuff and you’re not!! I meant on a much broader level; you can do whatever you do and other people are usually just compassionate and won’t stress about or even notice the things that sometimes feel huge in our own minds, the “what will they think of me” -things.

        But I don’t know your situation, I just hope it gets better and if nothing I just said is applicable to you then just keep ignoring my rambling :)

        • @sanna no no you’re fine, my brain just isn’t working well at all lately so processing things is a little difficult rn.

          A lot of people have left me & are ignoring me rn, & i get really paranoid & convinced of abandonment bc it’s happened in the past a lot (i also have BPD, so it comes with the territory unfortunately). Lately it’s been really really bad, to the point where it legit feels like im losing my mind & then i get scared bc i just can’t go back inpatient again. Yknow?

          I haven’t had a break from shitty mental health stuff for 13 years (bc i lived in a mix of stuff including denial) & 2014 & this year have been the worst– i almost want to say this year is outdoing 2014, which is saying a lot– & so im really thinking people are sick & tired of having to deal with me. I feel really alone & untrusting– like i don’t really trust anyone anymore, i feel like im literally incapable of really trusting, & then it gets really bad & it feels like my mind is just gone. lmao i need a therapist; i sound like ye olde basket case.

          Sorry for blah blahing at you; i hope any of that made any sense. I just… i dunno. I feel like i try so hard, but nothing i do is ever enough. And 2016 needs to go sit in a corner & have a time out.

          • Sounds really draining and difficult. A therapist might not be a bad idea? You are allowed to get help! But know that whenever someone leaves or abandons or ignores someone else it’s NOT the fault of whoever gets left behind! I had my “fair” share of exactly that (re: shitty life situation up until about 5 years ago) and I’ve now come to realize that those people ignoring and not really being there for me during that time had so much more to do with their own hang-ups and shit that they were just dealing with in a very poor way than me being unworthy of their attention. And I’m sure this is a universal phenomenon.

            BPD sucks majorly. One of my best friends has it and she’s struggled so much, but now after years of therapy and finding right medication she is doing better, and I’m so incredibly happy for her.

            I feel like a few years back me and very many of my friends were dealing with a ton of mental health problems, like you’d have to go quite far from my inner circle of friends to find someone who wouldn’t had gone to any kind of therapy ever. And now suddenly everyone seems to be doing at least a little bit better. I really wish I’d have kept a diary or something so that I could remember what and how things have changed, so that I could give you something more concrete, but these things happen so incrementally that you don’t really notice the change until you’re there, in a calmer place. And it’s not like I’m fine all the time, I still need beeta blockers every now and then and get week-long bouts of depression, but in the bigger picture I am much better.

            I have all the faith that you will find there too! It takes time but you can always take solace in the fact that nothing is ever permanent, not even bad periods no matter how long they continue for. It is not permanent, and you are important <3

          • @sanna haha yeeeah i need to try & find a new one. I keep striking out with them, though (the last one was extremely unhelpful; even suggesting my “sleeping all the time” was “partially laziness”), & it’s so draining to try & even look when i feel so bad already. It’s as bad as job searching, especially when i specifically need someone who can take medicaid. :(

            BPD is sooo shitty. I’m glad you’re understanding of what your friend is dealing with, though; there’s so much hurtful misinformation about ppl with BPD out there. I know mine has definitely caused huge strain on relationships with people in the past, including to the point of ruining them. (So, unfortunately for me, sometimes it is that people just don’t want to deal with me anymore ahahah;;;;; But i definitely hear you & see what you’re saying about that not always being the case; i just assume the worst, i guess, based on past experiences, plus the paranoia, & i’ve also become a very untrusting person even just within this year. To be Super Eloquent here: it’s a clusterfuck.)

            aw, thanks ♥ i know the feeling of wishing you had documentation; i actually had a contained (??) depressive episode when i was in 8th grade, & i wrote about it in my journal. But when it was over, against what older people online were suggesting, i ripped out all the pages & stuffed them deep in the recycling bag. I was like, “That was depression & it’s never happening again!” HA HA HAAAH. I wish i hadn’t done that, now, because i don’t remember what might have even triggered it. I only remember vague things, like crying before school, & leaning heavily on Spirited Away to try & get through it for some reason.

    • You belong! I am not sick of you! You belong!

      I hope your situation improves soon, and I’m glad you have a job coach to help. I hope they’re useful.

      • @laura-m thank you ♥ it’s smthg i’m always dealing with; i never feel like im enough? I never went to my university’s QSU bc i never felt “queer enough”; i didn’t feel “enough” when i went to A-camp; i don’t feel “enough” even at a festival i’ve been going to for over 10 years now… i dunno. I’m also really paranoid, especially recently (like,,over a month now).

        So far it’s… kind of weird bc i thought he’d have more “insider” type stuff to help out/would help me get hired, but im not going to snub it & hopefully it’ll ultimately help.

    • “i still don’t feel like i belong, here or anywhere, really. I’m always waiting for the shoe to drop, for more people to decide they’re sick of me.”

      THIS. SO MUCH. SO SO SO MUCH. I am constantly telling my therapist that i am wating for the other shoe to drop…she keeps saying she isn’t sick of me or frustrated with me, but IT COULD STILL HAPPEN.

      This week has been the toughest in probably about a year. I completely melted down last night, and fuuucckkkk…this weekend will last eons and eons. Depression fucking blows, and sometimes i just am so tired of trying to fight it off. On nights like last night, in the midst of all the crying, i just want it all to end. I am sick of feeling this way, and i know i make it worse by drinking and self-harming, but i just don’t care enough to try more…which makes me hate myself even more…vicious circle and all that.

      So Caitlin—i always look for your posts, because a lot of what you says resonates with me, so please don’t stop!

      • @confused04 im totalayt going to reply to you but later when im not in the land of strangeness brought on bu y Ambien

        & when i can type better when im not on Ambien

        but im going to reply sont worry!!

        • Ahh, ambien. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I am in love with the feeling when the drug kicks in and you think “YES. everything will be alright!” The problem came when I woke up one day with 5 ambien missing (on top of the one i took and went to bed with), half a bottle of bourbon gone, my cat outside (all night?)–when he is a strictly indoor cat, puke all over my shirt, a huge bump on my forehead, scraped arms and knees….and a FUCKED UP video on my phone of me talking to non-existent people.

          I was not prescribed anymore ambien after that, though i do still miss it.

          I use seroquel for sleep, and it works 95% of the time, which is nice.

          I get the not feeling “enough,” because I feel that way too. Starting roller derby back in November was HARD. I wanted to quit…a lot, and am still terrifed of it. The only things that kept me going was my therapist championing for me to continue, and for these amazing woman to stand by me and tell me i am doing good, and to not give up.

          What my therapist constantly tells me is that I need connection. I live alone, and before i started derby, have one friend in town, but you know, she’s busy, has a boyfriend…etc. Even though people are being super kind to me, it is HARD to accept and believe, so i get it.

          Does this place do private messages? If so…feel free to message me always.

          • @confused04 hOLY SHIT THAT SOUNDS TERRIFYING. Mine wore off after i was loopy & drew pictures, so i still didn’t get a lot of sleep. :\

            On nights like last night, in the midst of all the crying, i just want it all to end. I am sick of feeling this way, and i know i make it worse by drinking and self-harming, but i just don’t care enough to try more…which makes me hate myself even more…vicious circle and all that.

            Same same same same yes. This past week was so rough; it was like stress on top of the fact that this year has been utter shit on top of the fact that i’ve been depressed even before my father decided to be an asshole– just has all come crashing down on me really fucking hard. I was pretty close to trying to kill myself two nights this week, not gonna lie. And yesterday was a bad day & i had to go volunteer at an art museum (which is my only job rn, & of course it’s unpaid…). I was so out of it, & then my coworker insisted that the shooting in Orlando was bc the man was “mentally ill & confused” & i’m like hahahahahaha : ))))

            & afterwards i went to a coffee place to try & drink & eat something– just an iced coffee & a muffin– & trying to eat felt torturous. It took me over an hour to eat something that should’ve tasted good, that i should’ve wanted. But it felt dry in my mouth & chewing was hard.

            And then i’m trying to avoid some guy who hit on me last Tuesday bc i’m afraid of repercussions, which changed up trying to catch my second bus– & i got on the wrong bus when i swear to god i saw the correct number on it. Which really scared me bc it really felt like i’m losing my mind. Like who mistakes the number 58 for 44? And then there’s so much more stress i’m not even mentioning bc it’s all just too much, & yeah. It’s been 13 years in a row of suicidal thoughts & shit, & 2014 & now this year have been absolutely horrible years, & i’m worn the fuck down. I just wanna be done.

            And then people get sick of me bc i’m so miserable all the time, & so they leave me, which makes me feel even worse. Shrug emojiiiii hahahah. But seriously, it’s… the worst. The paranoia is up there on the 1 – 10 scale, so it’s not just my depression acting up, but my BPD, too, which has literally ruined relationships for me & made others very difficult. I mean, when someone doesn’t ever reply to your “hey what’s up i miss you” texts, & i mean for literal months after you’ve sent them, it’s hard not to want to be like, “Okay, bitch, fuck you too, i see you interacting online & off with people who aren’t me; go fuck yourself.”

            Idk. Life is just so damned difficult & i’m running out of ways to stay alive. I’ve never had any reasons to, which sounds emo, but it’s the honest truth. I’ve been running on fear for 13 years, & it’s getting to the point where that’s not enough anymore. :\

            IM A RAY OF SUNSHINE lmao aaaaaa

  22. Navigating two raging crushes, said crushes are neither of them available. I’m trying to reconcile what this attraction means for me as someone who has never questioned her straightness and having a hard time identifying the motivations behind my actions and desires to act. I don’t want to hurt people and I have a terrible fear or hurting myself with things I might say or do now and realize later were part of an infatuated hormone surge or whatever it is that causes those achy feelings in our physical selves. I’m trying to move beyond fear as a motivator but these crushes are people I am part of a small community with. I WILL see them at work and play for years to come. I don’t want to take risks but I want to be open and genuine. I would like for these feelings to end but they also feel precious in a way because I am finding out more about who I am. I have read a lot of Autostraddle articles this week!

    • “I would like for these feelings to end but they also feel precious in a way because I am finding out more about who I am.” Sounds like you are on the right path. Everything will be okay and you should know that there are amazing people that you can talk to. Just be honest with yourself ( I know it is harder than it seems). Talk with someone that you trust and won’t judge you. This is a safe place to talk so don’t be scared to reach out to someone on here. :)

    • Hi, welcome! This sounds really frustrating, but in a way that I think a LOT of people here would relate to. Hang in there. You’re gonna be okay. <3

  23. I’m going to Stonewall Columbus Pride tomorrow, other wise known as my first ever pride event!!!!! I am super stoked and super nervous, but I know my sister, friends and I will have so much fun. Can’t wait to bask in the love and acceptance.

    On another note, I must confess that I have never watched OITNB even though I hear so much about it. Am I missing out?

    • Yay, congrats on your first Pride! I hope you have a blast.

      Also I hope you watch OITNB. I think it’s pretty special, if only because I can name all the queer-normative TV shows that exist on one hand.

  24. yes let’s hug hi laura yay laura!

    Pride is next weekend for us, this weekend is uh…..oh, my belated birthday thing with my family and a thing for my gf’s dad and I have agreed to go along and help in the garden and whatever.

    I just biked to therapy and back which was 10 miles each way so I bought myself fancy beer on the ride home and made myself some rice noodles with greens and eggs, and I am too bodytired now to worry about anything pointless.

    This week my coping mechanisms have been like cry/eat ice cream bars/hug my friends/therapize my clients/and yell at the hummingbirds that chase off the other hummingbirds, because apparently those little buttheads are very territorial.

    And idk, I’m fine. It was a busy week and I have been feeling my feelings (but not numb, seems like a funny win, but it feels like a win to me?) and it was my birthday and I ate really good things and went to the Korean spa.

    I’m gonna go eat some more snacks, I hope everybody is solid.

    I wrote you a blog post, in case your dad is a jerk!

  25. Fam it’s been a hard week. Let’s hug. i’m a little drunk. There’s a pizza in the oven and I smell it, does that mean it’s done?

  26. Yes, you can give me a consensual hug. I smell a bit like oranges(perfume not the food). I hope you have a good support system where you are.

    I am still feeing shocked, like I’m a bit worried to go to a safe space(like I already wasn’t after being kicked out of a bathroom and having cis gay men sexual harass me). My support system is getting a little smaller, as a friend is moving back to her parents house(only two hours away); at least I hope cause she’s been saying some concerning things. Plus, I think I have some food based depression, due to soy and bread, but google was giving me mixed answers.

    How’s everyone week beside Sunday’s news? Work has just been long and has me really re-evaluating if what I am doing is sitting right with me. Plus, after having a positive date last week, this week it felt like meh in terms of trying setup something again. Oh well? At least I have a bottle of wine, & OITNB to binge this weekend(which is great cause Sunday it’s suppose to be 95 in my area). On another note I have jury duty Monday and sort of like swapping cities with my mother, who also has jury duty(what are the odds). She’s coming downtown, and i’m going close to the coast(which won’t be 100+ Monday but 90+).

    I don’t have any new images, but took this last year and thought it was kind of fitting for the week. More so since it was his birthday yesterday and it’s words of positivity. We will get through this as a community.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

    • More from that poem.

      You see you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete
      had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love it’s will to reach the sun/
      Well, we are the roses – this is the concrete – and these are
      My damaged petals. Don’t ask me why, thank God nigga, ask me how!

    • I like your orange perfume.

      I really enjoyed my jury duty! I hope they pick you and you get to serve some justice!

      • I rather not get picked, but then again I may take the Tuesday off and see if the lady I like during the day. I could just say I got called back another day and have a ditch day. Hmmm.

  27. My girlfriend’s on her way in to my city for a weekend of binging Orange is the New Black and probably also picnics. And less than a week ago, we signed a lease for our first ever apartment together!
    Through all the mourning we’ve been doing this week, it’s all the sweeter having things to celebrate.
    Also, my boss let me write our organisation’s statement on Orlando, which really helped.

    • Picnics!! What a wonderful weekend you have ahead of you.

      Congrats on the apartment!

  28. This week I’ve been such a mix of emotions. I’m out to all my friends and some of my family, and I generally feel cool about coming out in small situations, “do you have a boyfriend” type questions from colleagues and acquaintances. I was presented with two coming out opportunities at work this week and both times I just couldn’t.

    It’s easy to live in a bubble and feel pretty great about being gay. But the events of last weekend were this stark reminder that there is still so much hate out there. And in actuality we live in a constant state of vigilance, policing our actions and words in order to stay safe. Words and actions so small they would never ever cross a straight person’s mind as dangerous.

    I’m also feeling so lucky to live in Australia, where the thought of getting caught up in a mass shooting is absurd. But I want to move to the US for work (my field is small in Australia and US has 1000x more opportunities).

    On the flip side, I lost my shit with Australian politics this week. In response to the Orlando shooting, our Prime Minister made it all about terrorism and never once mentioned it being a hate crime, an attack on LBBT+ people, or Latinx people. And then there were awful politicians or would-be politicians (we’re in an election year too) coming out and using the shooting to further their own twisted agendas, saying awful things about the LGBT+ community and LBBT+ rights in Australia. It just all made me so sad. I love to think of my country as generally good, forward thinkibig. This week, and this election campaign has shown that not to be so true. We’re a lot more like the US than most of us would care to admit.

    Heading to work to bury my head in music – I work for a children’s choir and it’s concert weekend. I’ll be spending 22+ hours with 1500+ school age girls this weekend. It’s going to be a great distraction from my thoughts.

  29. I am still sad I couldn’t go to Camp this year because of my brother’s wedding, but c’est la vie. Maybe I can next year, though the problem will (as always) be money, unless I get a job in which case it will be time off.

    I’m glad to be making money for the summer, but my internship’s going to be over all too soon and then it’s back to looking for a job, which is the thing I’m the worst in the world at. The process of sending out resumes and never hearing back is so soul-destroying for me, it’s like the fastest way I know of to make myself clinically depressed. I’m doing better now, but am I going to just fall back into previous patterns when I have to find a job? I’m worried. I’m considering applying to, but living in NYC is so expensive
    and I can’t imagine I would get funding if I applied for that. I’ve never understood how I can simultaneously look so good that I obviously don’t need any help (there’s no box to check for, “I know I’m good at doing work, but I’m really awful at finding work so please help me”) and so bad that I never ever get any response from employers. If I did get in to Recurse and spent the money, would that just be more avoiding finding a job or would I manage to get someone to hire me from there without having to go through the grinding death of applying for jobs via the Internet? I’m also thinking about going to Grace Hopper, just to talk to more employers at one time, but that also costs money, even more money because I’m not a student or an academic so they charge me more, assuming I have a job even though I won’t.

    I’m still worried about coming out as trans in communities for queer women, even here which is openly accepting. I want to date, but I also don’t want to have to put forward that painful and unpleasant part of my history as the first thing for people to learn about me. (It’s not the most important or interesting thing about me, I swear, it’s not even in the top five.) It’s especially bad right now because I’m worried about being trans and queer interacting poorly with needing to find a job.

    • Argh, I totally get the soul-crushing aspect of job hunting. It’s like… you spend all this time crafting this “Look at me, I’m awesome!” document and then they just ignore you. Even though it’s impractical, it would be nice if they would just acknowledge you!!

      My advice would be to start looking for Facebook groups in your field. Even if you just lurk, you’d be surprised how many job opportunities pop up. And if you make a point of commenting a few times (especially on posts by people in your area), it can exponentially boost your chances of landing a job because people recognize your name. If you’re worried about people finding out you’re trans, create a “professional” profile under the name you’ll be using to apply for jobs. Alternately, if you ever post anything about your field, make it public so people who visit your page only see the things that make you look like a Responsible Professional.

  30. I have not had a good week. My pup went missing for a night probably because she is deaf and has poor vision and got confused. She’s back same and sound thank goodness though.

    I had finally been feeling better until today when I had a major pain flare up from taking ibuprofen earlier because my uterus has decided to cramp for the past week for no apparent reason (which has been mostly annoying but is starting to get concerning). Plus I really need to find a solution for not-chronic pain that won’t cause my chronic pain to flare up. Or like figure out what’s causing the chronic pain.

  31. I’m really happy this exists<3 I've had a rough week. My partner of over a year and a half and I split, and I really want her back but right now distance is what's best for us. And then Orlando happened and I'm not around a big LGBT community right now so it was hard to deal with that sort of alone. But I started wynonna Earp and that's awesome! I love the whole cast and it's nice to be happy about that.

    • I know this isn’t quite the same bc I’m a teen and all, but my girlfriend of two years dumped me over text last week, also my great gma died, and my cat died. And the Orlando shootings devastated me. I’m here for you <3

      • Bella, I see you and I’m so sorry to hear that all of those horrible things happened to you at once. Sending a Patronus your way.

  32. It feels like it has been forever since I stopped by a FOT! I wish I had better feels to share. I’m stoked about the new season of OITNB and all, but what’s really been on my mind is how I’m skipping Portland’s Pride events this weekend. Because–and this has been burdening me for months now–I’m ashamed about being trans. Not other trans folk at all–this is all just internal and directed at myself. It feels like the worst handicap to have on my life. Gets in the way of everything I want to do, even though it’s really a tiny part of who I am. I feel pride and community with other LGBT people, but I’ve been pulling back lately and don’t feel like I deserve to stand with my sisters, brothers, and folks because I’m just falling apart inside. I don’t know what to do with all these feels, but I feel like popping open a beer and doing some classic Netflix and chill is a good start.

    • You don’t need to feel bad about not going to Pride if it’s not your jam right now, but know that you DO deserve to be there as much as anyone else <3

  33. Most of my friends are out of town so I’m a little sad. I’m still not over the breakup from last week, but I’m getting back into my groove. I’ve been preparing for my year abroad and stuff. I hung out with this girl the other day and that was nice. I’ve kinda thrown myself into art. I’m turning my wall into an angry queer collage. Also I’ve been doing fun things upside down like this:

  34. Also, are there any Argentine people who read this website? I’m going there on exchange in the fall and I would like to know if the smaller towns are safe for our people.

  35. Not much to report this week – I’ve been doing interview transcriptions for the Euro Cup, so I’m more or less on house arrest because it’s an on-call situation. On the upside, I’m powering through my rewatch of OITNB…

    Will probably post more tomorrow. Just got back from glow-in-the-dark yoga, wherein I got the opportunity to moon a couple of hundred passersby. Also our “mantra” for the practice was “Livin’ on a Prayer.” It was an interesting night.

    • I… just read the OITNB spoiler. And I just… FUUUUUUUUUUCCCKKKKKKKKKK. I’m about halfway through my rewatch and I’m not going to be able to see the character(s) without crying now. Why?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  36. This week was my first teaching reading for the summer, and the kids are SO. FRICKIN. CUTE. I luff them.

    I’ve been sewing a whole lot, making my new wardrobe for grad school this fall.

    I’ve been wanting to write lately. I have depression of the severest type (with psychotic features, yaaay), and I want to explore my experiences with my illness. Tell me, ‘Straddlers, what interests you about mental illness? What are some aspects of mental illness that often go unshared or uninvestigated? Thanks in advance for any replies!

    • I have no idea what goes unshared, but I’m kind of curious about depression and humour. Like, how do you manage that/feel about that when you’re at your worst? Does it affect what you (can) laugh at, and when? I know that sometimes when I have anxiety issues, I actually avoid comedies because after laughing a lot my anxiety gets worse. For others it may be hard to even get to the point of laughing. But at the same time humour is so important for well-being, for many people.

      I’m also curious what pop culture you think does justice to mental illness, especially depression (maybe in connection to humour – when does it work, and when is it offensive or falls flat?). And finally, to be a bit shameless: If you don’t already have a venue for publishing a post about that, I think everyone at the blog I’m part of,, would love something like that. Otherwise, I’d just like to read it. Do you have a blog or something?

  37. Being in NZ means I’m always super late to this thread so I don’t usually bother posting! But just here to say I’m thinking of you all in the US and hope you’re finding ways to feel safe.

  38. Congrats on winning over your girlfriend’s cute cat!

    I marathoned OITNB yesterday because I’m poorly and sofa bound at the moment. I kind of wish I hadn’t… not going to post any spoilers, but I will say that this season broke my heart a few times and I really wasn’t prepared for it! :'(

  39. UGH.

    Thanks to the AS members who decided they had to post a massive OITNB spoiler in this thread which I saw in the latest comments portion on the frontpage.

    So, suddenly my weekend is free…

    • Now I just want to comment enough times to knock the spoiler off the frontpage so no one else will be spoiled.

  40. Hi all! AS, thanks for the sense of community – as an older, pretty much life long lesbian from a small time, single for an abysmally long while – recovering addict and alcoholic – fairly discouraged with hanging out with predominantly straight sober folks. Sickened re Orlando.
    My younger sister sent me a text last Sunday after she heard about Orlando – she is straight but not narrow. She feels safe but also probably an addict/alcoholic herself (not in recovery).
    A much needed lighter note – I am awed by the feminist (non -sexist) energy & the queer-positive ‘younger generation’ of queers. I am 56 yo, out since 18 yo & frankly, I feel tired & discouraged a lot of the time, life’s demands for decades, miss having a partner but relatively content to make my own decisions about this & that.
    I work in human services – for the past 5 plus years, before that $ was a big strain… I have had 3 different jobs in tge past 5 years & still trying to find the balance of enough $ & enough time.
    Now (new job this past April) I find I have slightly more free time but less money. Really sick of feeling the need to be mostly closeted at my new job (for Catholic Organization). No one at work this week said word one re Orlando… I am out to one woman at work – I look gender queer so I suppose I am further out than it seems.
    Anyway, the closest community Pride event is in August I probably will go to some kind if something IRL – some vigil.
    Thanks for letting me vent –
    Big gay (consensual) hugs to newly out and long time queers as well (or how ever you identify)…
    I have lived through much of gay bashing times I was 10 years old When Stonewall happened – probably didn’t here about it until the late 1970’s. My first Pride was probably in the mid ’80’s. I went to the second March on Washington in the early 90’s. My gay younger brother was at the first March in the late 80’s. He passed away in 1989, AIDS related.
    I am feeling cumulative grief..
    Sorry Not Sorry.
    I did watch some OITNB last night – amazing to me – when I remember watching ‘The Ellen Episode’ and joking a earning a toaster oven.
    My 18 yo daughter (legally second parent adopted by me in 2003ish) graduated from high school last weekend. I also have a 15 yo daughter – they will see a better world –

  41. Hello all, I missed this last night as due to my “I can’t watch OITNB til Sunday” blinkers being on I scrolled past the image without reading the text. So that’s this week’s excuse for my tardiness.
    Right – now I need some advice. It has finally happened I have finally begun to spot possible, maybe, could be, queer leanings in one of my students. Lets start at the beginning.
    Some months ago two of my students suddenly became very close, it appeared to be an act of social climbing on the part of one and need for a deep friendship (as her best friend had left) from the other. This caused a rift between these two and the rest of the group. There was fighting, bitching and general badness as happens amongst groups of teenage girls. As there is vast amounts of group work in their assessments I put out as many fires as I could with my trademark “just get on with it” spiel, and “suck it up you have to work together” chat. Other staff noticed it and did similar. At one point I sang “Why can’t we be friends” at them in utter frustration. Everyone found the situation hard. Then it got worse. There was minor sabotage and drama…girls will be godawful monsters…especially between the ages of 16 and 18, let’s all apologise and play nicely together we thought. So they all seemed to be getting along, it all seemed to have calmed down.
    Were we ever so naive…
    In the last week for me the penny dropped. Social climber became possible queer kid and Lonely kid became straight girl crush. This happened when A. PQK thanked SGC for sharing her bed -former B-Fri looked on in shock. B. During end of term/pre study leave movie watching PQK commented on an actress’s abs whilst other kids were talking about hot dudes in the movie. C. PQK and SGC fell out because PQK txt her wanting to talk and SGC replied that she was too tired leading to PQK blanking her all day and then sobbing like the world ended when SGC left without saying anything about it… FML I wish pastoral care wasn’t my problem and I wish the rest of the kids didn’t come and tell me all of this but they did…because they don’t want to deal with PQK after she dumped them all for SGC. Now my perspective is this: If PQK is dealing with shiny new gay feelings her behaviour is still not great, but it is more understandable, as dammit it’s hard to have those feelings and not know why you have them. You do weird shit when you’re working out your sexuality, I was an asshole-hence the penny dropping r.e. PQK. There is a lot of hypothesising here (all entirely in my own head and on this thread), and who knows maybe she is just an asshole and not in any way queer, but honestly she didn’t used to be, and this change looks pretty gay from the outside.
    So…other than asking them to give her a break (when they come to me to rant about her-which they do) as “she might have more going on than we realise” what in the hell can I do?
    I wish exam season was over already but sadly I have 2 more weeks of this to get through, and they have practical exams together. I fear the worst is yet to come. The tension is awful. All suggestions welcome. I’m doing my best to stay out of it, but I keep being made to deal with emotional kids. Anyone got a diffusion technique? Or a hose?

  42. Shouldn’t have watched OITNB after this heartbreaking week. We need a place for those of us who have already seen all of season 4 to process our feelings.

    But for now, I’m gonna be crying for an indefinite period of time.

    • also calling for an “orange is the new black season 4 completion group therapy thread”

      • i’m writing a thing about it, hopefully for tomorrow, that i hope will be this space for everybody

    • I too was hoping it would be a nice thing to watch specifically after this week. All the POC, the queer, the… And even before the last two episodes I was a bit let down. Did anyone else feel that there was much less lady sex this season??? HOW has Boo gone this long without any action????? Is that really possible???? And now I just really want to chat here with all the Autostraddle people about the whole thing. I get that people don’t want it spoiled. But this is the only space where people understand that this isn’t just something that happened on TV. This was one of the few people who actually got to be the way I want to be on my TV screen who is now gone. And I have to go back to what, pretend subtext from Olivia Benson??? That doesn’t cut it anymore. They have given me more than subtext. They have given me everything. And then one by one. Lexa, others, they are ripping it away. Not cool TV. Not cool. How hard would it have been to have her release date come up? Poof. And she could have lived on happily ever after in my imagination. And perhaps some really good fanfic.

  43. I’m busy trying to pick up people (like a proper pick-up artist, but 90% less gross) for round-table reviews of OITNB on mah blog. (Like, mine and 18 other people’s blog). Well, anyway – it’s not been going great. If anyone here wants to make me happy and join, just send me a private message here!

    More general OITNB feelings: I never know whether to hate or feel sorry for Healy. He makes it so damn difficult to make up my mind. The others are easier: I like most of them. I love Poussey. Piper is boring.

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