Open Thread: We’re Not At Camp

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Hi beautiful humans.

It’s so nice to see you here, on the Internet.

I mean, let’s be real, it would be a lot nicer if we were all on a mountaintop, drinking tea and basking in the sun and attending gender panels and flirting with cute queers, but whatever, I guess the Internet is fine.


Who are we kidding? I’m totally depressed. Camp is happening right now, and the gang’s all there, except they’re not all there, because some of us aren’t there. That’s us. We’re the gang that’s not there. It’s a bummer, isn’t it? I’m bummed.

So I thought we could talk about our feelings. Spoiler alert, I’m sad and mopey and leaving awkwardly depressing comments on the A-Camp Facebook group. But I’m 100% willing to talk about that and/or convey my emotions in the form of images and gifs, and possibly also Ani DiFranco lyrics. You should do that too. Go crazy in the comments — images, song lyrics, gifs, poems…surprise me with all the forms your feelings can take! And hey, no pressure to be sad. If you’ve got some happy feels going on this week, spread them around. I could sure use some cheer.

This sad kitten was made by Taylor to represent her sadness about not attending camp

But wait! I’m not starting this open thread with that much gloom and doom. Start planning your triumphant journey to California THIS Spring, because Camp’s gonna happen again (and again and again and again) and I have the greatest feeling that one day, we’ll all be there.

So this is the part where I was going to announce the dates for A-Camp Spring 2013, but we’ve run into this teeny tiny problem called “getting in touch with Riese, or Laneia, or really anyone on that gosh darn mountain.” So I can tell you that we are 90% sure that A-Camp will take place in or around the last week of May 2013, and I can also promise you that as soon as we hear definitive words from Riese, I will update this very post and we will all rejoice. Though I feel like I must warn you not to get your hopes up, because given the status of cell service on the mountain I’m pretty sure all forms of communication involve a pack mule and/or messenger pigeon situation, so.

UPDATE: JUST KIDDING KIDS. Intern Grace obviously read my mind and acquired a messenger pigeon for this very situation, because as of 1:40pm EST I have received the official dates for A-Camp Spring 2013! You heard it here first:

A-Camp Spring 2013 will take place from Wednesday, May 22 to Monday, May 27 at Alpine Meadows Retreat Center in Angelus Oaks, California.

I’ll see you babes on the mountain then. Until then…I’ll see you in the comments.

Vanessa is a queer feminist writer and photographer currently based in New York. She really misses Portland. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 333 articles for us.


    • yes, that is totally something! i woke up at 10am and cleaned my kitchen and my living room so i feel like that is something too. but you’re boxing right now so your something might be more than my something. but we’re all superstars, is the point.

  1. This is my first comment!
    My girlfriend is at A-Camp right now. I’m in Chicago and miss her terribly- and not just because of A-Camp. She moved to California a few weeks ago to go to grad school at UCLA. But! I’m visiting her in four days! And we have monthly plans to see each other!
    I still wish I was at A-Camp with her though.

    • thank you for commenting! keep commenting! we love you and we love your comments and i love that you’ve commented since then (on my funday!) and i can’t wait for you to see your girlfriend and also for you both to come to camp in may because you’re both coming to camp in may, right??

  2. GUYS, GUYS, GUYS, I really need your help. I moved to university last week all on my lonesome. I hate, hate, hate my flatmates, but luckily I’ve managed to find a little gang of queers to hang around with due to our great LGBT society.

    Unfortunately, after a way too drunken night out last night, I brought one of them back to my flat and, well…you know.

    Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but then she insisted on smoking out my window, told me half way through that she’d have to tell her flatmates she’d got with a guy that night, started knocking on my flatmates doors while still naked to try and wake them up and took up the entire fucking bed (damn you, university accomodation single beds).

    Then I woke up in the morning and realised she’d scratched all down my back – no, seriously, it looks like I’ve been mauled by a tiger. I’m pretty sure it’s going to scar. I went to the bathroom to inspect the damage, came back to my room and found she’d dissappeared with all her stuff.

    She’s pretty much one of about three friends I’ve made since I got here and, even worse, she’s doing the same course as me, so I’m going to see her all the time. Even worse than that, I don’t even like her that much, but the sex was pretty damn great, mauling aside. WHAT DO I DO?

    • I think the first thing to remember is that university is a big place filled with lots of people. It’s only your first week?? Give it time, try joining some other societies and meeting new people? Also if you really hate the people you’re living with, you can probably apply to switch halls.

      Also maybe after a while of being forced to interact with her on your course and in a similar friendship group, you’ll both look back on this as just a funny story, and it won’t be that awkward?

      Probably gonna be awkward for a while though. My best advice on avoiding awkward situations is to just act like you’re not awkward at all and you don’t regret a thing. Good luck :)

  3. I wish that “attending A-camp” is enough of “a strong and persuasive petition” to be approved of a US Tourist Visa sans the “show money”. Can anyone (AS staff and/or member) work for Manila US Embassy for a little while and help us Filipina ‘Straddlers go to A-Camp please? LOL ^_^

    • hi lindsey! as riese wrote above, there are campers of all ages:

      “It actually goes right down the middle — this session definitely skews older, I ended up making three full cabins (16 people each) for 28+ campers — but about half the campers are under 25 and about half are over. we’re also making an effort to bring in older staff, too, and have done so this time and will in the future.” – riese

      hope that helps :)

  4. Reasons Why I Cannot Go To A-Camp:

    1) I am 16 and live in the UK. This means I am going to need to wait until I am at least 18 to even consider A-Camp. Also the comments have made me realise that a lot of stuff is 21+ in the US but I’m really not sure I can wait that long. It’s cool, I’ve got a savings account to build in the meantime. Also, I made one of the paint chip calendars Autostraddle showed me because they’re totally cute, so I’m counting how many prides I get to go to between now and possible autumn 2014 A-Camp to keep myself busy/happy and gay.
    2) I’m currently sitting in front of about 50 photos of London attempting to make a moodboard out of them. Apparently this is what art students do. I’ve only just converted to being one from being a drama student because of timetable problems. in these photos are about 5 of the same close-ups of a freaking postbox because I’m not allowed to use illustrative images in my final piece, only abstract expressions of things. The only thing weirder than having to write about the details on a postbox in a very serious and artistic manner is having to walk around the city for an entire day shamelessly taking close-ups of said postboxes, landmarks and random objects.

  5. So, I really really want to go to A-camp in the spring. It will be like 2 months after I get home from the Peace Corps and I can’t imagine a better present to myself after over 2 years in a Muslim country than a weekend with amazing queers. Hopefully that will work out, we shall see.

    On a happy note even though I’m definitely not at A-camp I had a wonderful weekend with some great people and worked hard and played hard and decided to learn to play the guitar and hitchhiked and had a fire outdoors and came in to possession of a sweatshirt that says “Pussyfoot” on it. So, life is good.

  6. If only I could find a way to convince my uni that my PhD research involves going to A-Camp in the US of A. I’ve only ever been to the East Coast as well, I bet my Irish skin would be bright red in California in May, hopefully from blushing as well as sun!

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