PHOTO GALLERY: Queer at Work

Louisa / 21 / London, England

“First day of my internship at a visual publishing company! They have this cool mood board in the kitchen area with drawings from illustrators they’ve worked with.”

Yvonne Marquez / 26 / Mukwonago, WI

Just a Brittney Spears lip-synch that brought the house down at A-Camp 8.0.

Doreen / 36 / ER, Hospital near Berlin, Germany

“Working in internal medicine translates roughly into a mixture of Scrubs and ER with a Dr. House moment thrown in here and there, if you’re lucky, and well, at least ten times more patients than on TV. I never wanted to study medicine, and I kind of ended up here, somehow, but honestly, it’s the great love story of my life.”

Aubrey (I also go by Lux) / 23 / VA

“I am a full time student, majoring in studio art and media studies. My concentrations are photography and journalism. I am aiming to work within LGBT+ journalism and documentation. My photography final review project revolves around my acceptance of what I consider to be a genderless self within a clearly female-read binary body. My goal with my photography, especially this project, is to bring awareness of non binary genders to otherwise uninformed parties. It’s also a somewhat of a ‘coming out’ project. Though I came out as LGBT when I was in high school, I tend to keep my non binary identity a secret, aside from a few very close friends. Almost all of my review photos are self portraits taken in this room, where my dog sleeps and I feel the most comfortable.”

Kate / 24 / MD

“I’m a therapist at a domestic violence/sexual assault agency. I primarily work with survivors and children who have witnessed domestic violence, but I also facilitate abuse intervention groups with perpetrators, which is a whole different challenge. I am amazingly humbled by the work I do and the people I have the honor of working with- every single time someone trusts me with their trauma and vulnerability is a sacred moment. My favorite part of my job is how I have the opportunity to incorporate social justice into trauma work. I’m not out at work but I’ve made it my mission in life to queer-ify the group curricula/referrals and resources/whatever else I can get my hands on so the agency is as inclusive as possible.”

Mallory / 20s / The White House, D.C.

“Though I am a third year law student, this past semester I worked full time as a law clerk for the Executive Office of the President. I believe that having queer women in spaces not traditionally occupied by our community serves an important purpose. Through this occupation, we can work to protect our rights, as well as the rights of people of color and religious minorities, among others.”

A Gayby Limnologist / Greater Boston, MA

Checking how the babies are doing in the soft-release pen. This one had a dead baby catfish in their mouth!

A sheet to fill out vital stats and measurements for each head start. Each one has a code of notches on the edge of their carapace for identification.

Not an actual photo of me on the job, but I pretty much went out in waders all day all summer to check the soft-release pen, check turtle traps, catch bait, and radio-track turtles in the mud. I can’t imagine anything better than being outside all day long!

“I’m actually gonna remove giant hogweed this summer! This job doesn’t start until after the submission date for the queer at work gallery, so I’m gonna talk about my previous internship with Blanding’s turtle conservation!

I’ve interned at a small non-profit wildlife conservation organization for several years. We promote education, outreach, and conservation of local threatened wildlife, particularly herpetiles and plants, and we mainly do work on Blanding’s turtles. My role was to collect soft-release data on head started Blanding’s turtles and record behavioral patterns of the remaining adult turtle populations using radio telemetry in various state parks and residences of eastern MA.

I really really really REALLY love turtles (especially softshell turtles), and I love wetlands! I want to do conservation work with softshell turtles one day, particularly on the aspect of habitat restoration and watershed management.”

Arielle /26 / My sad and unused porch in Portland, OR

“I’m in grad school to be a family therapist and any free time (including with dinner!) whorls be spent reading and taking notes. I had just opened a beer when I realized the article I had to read was on working with Gay and Lesbian Christians and I just needed to document the moment. In that bowl is quinoa and homemade barbacoa with corn and Valentina hot sauce I picked up visiting my family in Mexico City. And yes, there are camels on my blouse.”

Rachel / 33 / Chicago, IL

“I’m a bartender. I’ve been between jobs recently, but I had a one-off special event last week. This month, my job search finally took a turn for the better — I start at a new place in a couple weeks!”

Sadie Powers / 34 / Baltimore, MD

“I play bass in Shearwater and spent close to five months in 2016 on the road. Approximately 92% of the professional music industry comprises of cis men, and as a woman — and a visibly queer one at that — one needs to be twice as good to be taken half as seriously. I joke that gender equality will be reached when women have the freedom to be as mediocre at their instruments as most men and not be considered a token. But I’m not really joking.

My desire is simple: Be the musician that shy, 12-year-old violin-playing me would have looked up to, because I’m sure that there are other socially awkward queer classical musician teens out there, who want to make loud rock music and who have no desire to be the focus of attention but are perfectly satisfied to be competent support. In fact, that’s where we shine.

I love this photo, taken by my friend, Michelle Hazuda, during our sound check in Baltimore. It’s not the flashy performance shot and there’s no European city behind me with a cutesy “hashtag tourlife.” It’s my third week away from home. I’m tired and have lost count of which cup of tea I’m on. My resting bitch face is in full bloom. I don’t know if I’m waiting to do levels on my bass or am waiting to get levels on the entire band, but either way I’m waiting. This is the work I get paid to do. The performance — those 90 minutes of pure elation — that’s free.”

Vicky / 27 / Madrid, Spain

“These photos were taken at a chalkwalk event I organised with my anti-street harassment group Levanta La Voz (branch of Hollaback!) to visualise that street harassment is a problem and to show sufferers they are not alone. My actual job isn’t very useful to my community, so I like to be involved in activist work as well. Hopefully together we can change the world, one baby step at a time!”

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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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