PHOTO GALLERY: Queer at Work

Welcome to Queer IRL, a monthly Autostraddle community photo series that gathers little clips of lesbian, bisexual, queer and otherwise-identified women, trans and non-binary folks, just living our lives in 2017.

I thought it would be cool to have a gallery of everyone working their butts off before the summer holiday — and it is, it’s super cool — but also it’s really moving?? I wasn’t prepared for that. WE ARE EVERYWHERE AND DOING SO MUCH. So much! You’re out in the world better and smarter and more fascinating, and it’s really important!

Good job, everyone. Now kick back and enjoy this gallery of nearly 100 queers doing the damn thing!

Rebecca Olivia / 30 / Tyrone, GA

One of the classic, ancient queer artist professions: barista.

Clear photo of RBF: resting barista face.

“I went back to coffee after a few years of other things, because it was one of the few things that didn’t, oddly, feel demeaning to me as an artist, and it’s flexible. I move a lot and it’s an easy job to find.

Forever trying to coax rural Georgians into drinking a proper Macchiato by day, writing scripts/plays and preparing for acting auditions by night.”

Rebecca / NY

“I study computer science and had a very stressful dream last night where my laptop fell into a river. The cat mug is an excellent gift with a cat that looks like mine but actually isn’t. I didn’t clean up my desk for this (sorry, not sorry). I love that I can see trees while I work.”

Mia Li / 26 / Adult film performer / Oakland and San Francisco, CA

Eva / 36 / Hog Island, ME

“Since I was young I have always been passionate about nature and now I have the extreme privilege to work for the National Audubon Society.  I am the program manager of an adult summer camp for birdwatchers located at the historic Hog Island Audubon Camp. For five months of the year I live on a little slice of heaven and connect people to the great outdoors and the remaining months I work from home in Colorado.

Shea / 26 / Chicago, IL

“Front Office attached to a locomotive shop where I am currently emailing city transit authorities.”

India / 25 / KY

“I nanny this kiddo and do some odd jobs on the farm where he lives. I don’t know how I got so lucky. I hope he remembers me when he gets older.”

Alaina / Almost 26 / Mukwonago, WI

“I’m smiling because I didn’t throw up during my A-Camp staff reading.”

Alice / 26 / New York, NY

“I’m a research assistant at a university film library, where I watch our library’s laserdisc collection and document rare and exclusive film content.  People who work in my department are always asking me, “What…exactly do you do?” I have a standard, sophisticated answer I give them but the real answer is, “I watch movies all day.” Also, since I’m used to 12″ laserdiscs, DVDs now look very small in my hand.”

Jeanne Foxe / 23 / French Countryside

“This is me! Teaching people how to build a wind turbine! That’s what I do and I love it!

I face a LOT of sexism, each course I teach brings me between 2 and 6 male specimens, older than me, who can’t believe (or can’t accept) a young queer gal like me is about to teach them how to properly use woodworking tools and how to weld. I’m always supported by my colleagues. I remain in love with my work environment despite of these sad encounters.

I feel like I’m making a change in the world, one wind turbine at a time!”

Tess / 20 / UK

“I took the first picture while I was actually at work (in a burrito restaurant – hence the bright green apron!) on the day of the Women’s March. I was working a 10-hour shift and couldn’t make it to the march in London, which I was gutted about. I tried to make up for it with the pins on my shirt.

The second picture was taken at the National Union of Students LGBT+ Conference in March, when I was all dressed up to attend a fancy dinner as a delegate of my university’s students’ union. It was the first time I’d worn a suit and I felt great!”

Fotini K / Student, Photography Apprentice

“Having the opportunity to learn about darkroom photography in a social space has been awesome for me because I get to collaborate with people that love what they do.. Also having a space outside of school to do something fun but productive is really calming.. I might get a little sweaty rolling film and stuff, but it’s definitely worth it!”

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  1. My heart squeezes every time I look through these galleries. So many beautiful queer people doing beautiful things. Sigh.

  2. look at all of you working hard! jealous of arielle’s homemade barbacoa and jay’s where the wild things are sweater, and kind of wishing i was surrounded by succulents rn.

  3. This is like meeting the Kara Danvers and Clark Kent selves of the Superheroes you hang out with on the regular at the gaylien bar, only to realize they’re even cooler in RL.

  4. Hi queer babes! I fell in love like, 20 times!

    Also hi Rachel from Chicago! I met you last August at the Autostraddle brunch meet up and you gave me your cognac ! Thank you that was so niiiice ❤️

    • Oh hai, Chloe! It was so lovely to meet you! That was the day of the Air and Water show wasn’t it? Super loud jet planes kept going by :)

  5. I love this series so much although I am too shy to submit one myself…this one is my favorite so far! I love seeing what cool jobs everyone has and what everyone likes and doesn’t like about their jobs. If I ever feel like I need a career change I’m totally gonna come back to this gallery for some inspiration!

  6. Soo many cool people and cool jobs here, this is amazing. Also, I noticed this round of images had more people in SoCal than the last two rounds, but I could be wrong?

  7. GAAAH!! I love ALL the photos!! *heart eyes emoji* You all have cool jobs! Special shout out to Hannah and Kim – reminds me of Grey’s Anatomy?? LOL And Priscilla’s window shot with the CN Tower – super awesome!! And Erin!! That Orphan Black – Cosima’s DNA laptop cover you made as screensaver??!!! Sestra!!! :) The final trip is in just less than 2 weeks!!

      • We’ve never gotten to deliver a lesbian couple together before! That’s my dream :) If you’re in indianapolis and need labor and delivery services, let me know!0

    • Hahaha it is a little like Grey’s! We met at work and tried to keep our falling in love a secret, especially since I wasn’t out yet. But we’ve come a long way! Everyone at work is super supportive, and the only thing we get harassed about it when we’ll have a baby.

  8. Damn, I knew I was forgetting to do something. Oh well.

    Very much appreciating the cluttered-desk representation here.

  9. Don’t mind me, just crying over every pic and description ???ya’ll are so sweet and wondrous and lovely.

  10. Everyone looks so beautiful and happy! Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your queer lives. Wish I submitted but alas, it was too late

  11. OH NO!!!!!!! I was so looking forward to this post and totally missed it! Ugh! Oh well, y’all will just have to imagine me lugging around heavy lumber and using power tools all day.

    But also, wow! y’all are so amazing and inspiring with your big beautiful brains and killer work ethic.

  12. Eva in Los Angeles, that “fingering chart” had me in stitches. Great photo prep!

    Y’all look so awesome and I’m jealous of all the amazing jobs you have! I hope if we do another version of this in a year’s time that I too will be able to post about a cool job, instead of cheating and showing some activist stuff!

  13. I can’t post photos of my workspace so I’m living vicariously through the rest of these beautiful humans!

    And Liz, I see you representing <3 #indystraddlers

  14. Wow!! Just Wow!!

    All you clever, talented, beautiful, thoughtful and brilliant people. The world’s definitely better for having you all in it.

  15. After looking at all the photos (and it’s so great to see so many people in their own world!) I wonder do Autostraddle readers tend not to have white collar jobs or do those of us with one feel embarrassed about taking part in this?

    • idk about embarrassed, but desk jobs make for less interesting photographs, and I don’t know how old you are, but my jobs got more office-y as I got older, and it was much more interesting to photograph me making waffle cones or wrangling dogs or making art projects with kiddos, and AS tends to skew definitely toward folks in their 20s, maybe that’s it? (I know there are others! I’m 33! but like, I’m not wrong that there’s a strong cohort of folks in their 20s)

      and I think some folks worry their white collar jobs are boring to talk about if you’re not in the field? and I know folks who are like “I have a fancy job and have a lot of money” are very sheepish about talking about it in public.

      in conclusion, idk.

      • You make very good points fellow 33 year old!

        “Here is me on draft 17 of the strategy” is probably not a good photo.


    Legit though yall are adorable and it’s nice to see all the kinds of jobs folks have.

  17. PRISCILA!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Y’all are rad AF. And Cute AF.
    Why is everyone so cute.

  18. I’m always in the worng part of the world… I work for a sand factory but it seems to me that I’ll have to change the mining type and get into coal. That way I’d get to go to Canada and meet fellow queers.

  19. I’m always in the wrong part of the world… I work for a sand factory but it seems to me that I’ll have to change the mining type and get into coal. That way I’d get to go to Canada and meet fellow queers.

  20. I can’t believe there is someone posting from South Los Angeles! I am an Americorp (volunteer) member at another school, but my program serves Normandie Ave. Elementary! Cool to know there are people everywhere in places that are familiar to me. Keep doing good work Eva!!!

  21. This actually made me cry. I’m so proud to belong to this beautiful queer community. <3

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