PHOTO GALLERY: Queer in the Bedroom

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.

Our second gallery is Queer in the Bedroom! About 170 people submitted this time around and I’m obsessed with all of you. Remember the feeling of seeing your new friend’s bedroom for the first time — like there’s a whole entire world in there and they’re letting you into it? That’s how this gallery feels. I just want to look out all of your windows and stare up at your ceilings and spend 50 years with your bookshelves.

Thanks for letting us into your personal spaces! It was truly a privilege.


Rae (and Fox Mulder and Ruth Bader Ginsburg) / 25 / Austin, TX / Cat Adoption Counselor

“My cats, my plants and I all deeply enjoy the sunspot that falls right across my bed.”


Col / 18 / A Dorm in Chicago / Student

“Before leaving for college last August, I’d lived my entire life between the same four yellow walls, with the same blue and yellow floral bedspread, and the same conservative parents overseeing my decor. This little corner of a dorm room is the first space I’ve had to decorate as mine alone, and so I decided to fill it with colors and objects that make me happiest–letters, art, plants, and of course, yellow.”


Tess / 20 / Guildford, UK / Student

“My tiny room is the smallest in the house but one wall has shelves and one wall is a pinboard so that makes up for it. I have far more sticky notes than any one person needs, and my favourite things in my room are my Pop Vinyl figures of Dana Scully and Willow Rosenberg.”


Kayla / 22 / San Diego / Barista, Emerging Documentary Filmmaker

“I just moved back home after going away for university and living abroad for 8 months, and I have plans to keep traveling, so I like the map above my bed to remind me of where I’ve been and where I’m going. This room was a junk room last week, but when I moved back I totally cleaned it up and made it my own (again).”


Hannah / 24 / Oslo, Norway / Bicycle Fixer, Master Student

“My bedroom is my sanctuary; a place that just mine in a otherwise communal living-space. My favorite item in the room is either my Klimt-Cow that lives in my bookcase (given to me by my mom when I moved out), or my papasan chair I recently found after wanting one for years.”


Ari / 20 / Boston, MA / Student, Freelance Writer, Coder

“I wanted to show off my huge collection of posters/postcards/wall decor – my favorite thing about this room/ Also it’s blizzarding here right now so that’s fun.”


Sam Polivick / 23 / Sikeston, MO / Yoga Instructor

“My room is my little creative retreat in the midst of the loud, chaotic reality of my house. My favorite things in my room right now are probably the two voodoo prints on the nightstand- they reflect my morbid obsession with love and death and are always a good inspiration.”


Simone / 18 / Chicago, IL / Student


Ocean Capewell / 34 / Oakland, CA / Social Worker

“I am not allowed to paint in my apartment, and in the Bay Area I am nervous about disobeying my landlord cuz there’s really nowhere else to go. But I couldn’t stand living in an off-white apartment any longer so one day I taped up hundreds of pieces of pink printer paper. it immediately improved my life. I found this map in a freebox. It’s a road map from 1990 and I hung it over my bed because it makes me want to go everywhere.”


Lark Malakai Grey / 29 / Ypsilanti, MI / Nutritionist

“The last thing I think of before falling asleep is Harry Potter, because I literally fall asleep reading it every single night to ward off my anxiety. The first things I think of when I wake up are these two angel-pit bull hybrids, mostly because they both sleep on top of me.”


Beatrice / 21 / Oakland, CA / Student and Legislative Analyst

“This is my fourth bedroom in as many months, but if I’ve got my Shabbat candles and my mic it’s home.”


Mickey / 25 / Suburbs / Assistant Preschool Teacher

“I hate clutter. I bought this bed when I first tried to escape, and could fit all of my belongings into eight bankers boxes. I sleep on it now that I’m back – two times over – because the memory of being thirteen under this roof doesn’t leave room for anything bigger.”


Finn and Sushi / 26, 5 months / Brodnica, Poland / English Teacher

“I live in a pretty conservative town and I’m not at all out here, so my one-room flat is my queer sanctuary. I surround myself with pictures and trinkets that remind me of my favourite humans and my community. The best part of my room is definitely my little spoon Sushi, even when he’s dive-bombing my toes at four in the morning and breaking lamps.”


Pigeon / 23 / Kent, England / Archives Assistant

“My room reflects the place I am in my life, the creative and personal freedom I had at uni vs the scary adult working world now that I’m back home. It’s small but home is where you put Jillian Holtzmann pop funko figure.”


Beth Maiden / 35 / Isle of Skye / Tarot Reader

“Our tiny house bedroom isn’t made yet, but I already love it. It is approximately one inch bigger than a mattress and has a ceiling height carefully calculated to allow for various types of bedroom activity (some carefully). My cats are not currently in this bedroom, but they will be soon and they have no idea how cosy and wonderful it’s going to be. The last thing I think of at night is my rotator cuff, which is damaged from too much DIY.”


Megan / 23 / Hilo, HI / Horticultural Therapy Guide

“Hawaii has these tiny invasive frogs called coquis, named after the super loud mating calls they make at night. When I first moved here, the sound would keep me awake, but now it’s one of my favorite things about falling asleep. There’s also a river that goes through my backyard. I love being able to hear that at night too”


Kass / 35 / Ohio / Comic, Proprietor of Funny Girl’s Vegan Bacon

“Dream vs reality. In the seconds it took me to reset the cam timer every pet decided this was THE time to get on the bed. Best aspect of room: window (obv not pictured) faces a bird feeder that also attracts deer, raccoons, and opossum. Deer bonk their heads on it to shake seeds loose. Nature!”


Cassie / 24 / Manhattan, NY / Seminary Student

“Even though I’m in a dorm, this is the first double bed I’ve ever had and I excitedly shopped for coordinated bedding months before I moved in. I spend a lot of time in bed (depression + your girlfriend being 1300 miles away + not having an actual apartment will do that) and I wanted to surround myself with comforting things– you can see my stuffed animals, and the little altar I made with my goddess tarot and a statue of the Virgin Mary.”


Colleen / 27 / Thunder Bay-ish, Ontario, Canada / Elementary Teacher

“My favourite thing about my room is the view I have of the lake. This is the view in a much different season than we’re in now, as you may have deduced based on the presence of my snowshoes.”


Alex and Gabby the Wondercat / 33, 8 / Chicago, IL / Librarian; Professional Nap Taker

“As a kid, my room was a mass of conflict between trying to be who I was “supposed” to be, and wanting to be myself. As an adult, I have created a sanctuary that is filled only with things that bring me joy and reflect self love. My favorite things are my teddy bear – the only thing from my childhood that I’ve kept, and the art I painted that hangs on the walls. The quotes above my desk inspire me to write like I’m running out of time. The Four Seasons paintings above my bed remind me that the sun comes up and the world still spins. And my cat reminds me to take a break.”


Michelle (she/her), Emma (she/her), Giles / 26, 25, 4 / Cambridge, MA / Public Health Communications; Graphic Designer; House Panther

“Michelle’s favorite item in the room is Barbar the Elephant (bottom right). Emma’s favorite item is either the boob pillow Michelle gave her for hannukah this year, or the hanging plant I stole from my office. Giles’ favorite item is Michelle’s pillow (not the one with boobs, the normal one that she sleeps on).”


Emily / 21 / Western IL / Recent Grad, Post-Bacc

“I have always loved my bedroom, but this one is especially important because it is my first room post grad in my first apartment ever. My favorite thing about my room is how much of everything in it has been given and made with love. Also the plants. Also the cemetery view.”


Bee / 27 / Sacramento, CA / Project Manager for Autism Research Studies

“When I first moved into this house, it felt too big and lonely. My girlfriend is currently living across the country (although you can see her “shrine” on the bookshelf on the left). In the fall though, I adopted my dog Beau. Now I have a live-in snuggle buddy and there are constantly paw prints all over my blankets and bedsheets.”


Katy T / 29 / Sydney, Australia / Office Worker, Psych Student

“I live with my partner but we sleep apart due to having vastly different schedules, so my bed has become a kind of a dump. I’m writing my honours thesis so this is where I try to destress whenever I get a chance. That’s why I have 6-9 books and every gadget possible within arm’s reach at all times, plus two consoles and a TV out of frame. The thing I love most about my room is the blackout curtains, which let me sink into perfect darkness whenever I need to sleep, no matter what time of day it actually is! Perfect for someone who works odd hours like me.”


Kelly / 25 / Vancouver, WA / Lesbian of an Accounting Department

“My top five favorite things in this space are as follows: 1. The nugget o’ cat currently cold shouldering the camera. 2. Beloved dick in a jar. 3.  The lopsided collage of Iceland vacation photos. 4. The Victorian lace curtains, circa 2015 Ikea. 5. The craigslist dresser that nearly broke my foot.”


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Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and she thinks you're fucking rad. She's 36, has two kids, two dogs, one Megan, some personal essays and a lot of emails in her inbox. More at LaneiaJones.com.

Laneia has written 658 articles for us.

101 Comments

  1. 1

    Hey Bee from Sacramento! I am also living in Sacramento! We should meet up! We also have a NorCal straddlers group and I have been trying forever to get an IRL meetup going there!
    Love everyone’s pets and plants! I missed the deadline for this but I think I might post a picture of my room in the comments later.

  2. 2

    It never would’ve occurred to me to take multiple pictures and now there’s so much I wanna share with you! The poem on my wall. The Converse piggy bank my old nanny kid and I painted together. The fox pillow, the quotes, the way everything turns pink from the salt lamps at night. The framed pic of the porcupine in love with a cactus. It’s all there, and you can’t see any of it!

    Next time 😀

  3. 2

    Erin, 28, Ontario – judge you? Who would do such a thing? You tell me and I’ll punch them in the nose (unless immediately after the photo was taken you won at connect 4 then danced round the room gloating until your kid cried. Then I think I’d consider judging you pretty harshly).

  4. 2

    I love this! It is so exciting to see myself up here with all you amazing people and I echo Queer Girl’s sentiment that I wish I would have taken more pictures. Next time.
    I also now want to purchase all the fairy lights, make my own curtains, and buy more books so I can be as amazing as you all.
    I love seeing you beautiful humans. You are awesome and your hair looks really good today 🙂

  5. 1

    I love seeing everyone’s spaces and it makes me feel happy and proud that I am part of this awesome community <3

    Also I've realised my bedroom was pretty minimalist in comparison to most, apparently I don't give enough credit to the Virgo side of my Virgo/Libra cusp!

    Can't wait for the next assignment!

  6. 4

    i love how many of us have the same ikea herb-ish wildflower vaguely witchy bedspread cover. you can’t tell in the picture but i’m sitting on mine in my picture, and the person above me is wrapped in the same blanky. synchronicity!

    also, sionnain: seeing other thoughtful queer bookworms from long island makes me feel slightly less alone in the world, even though i haven’t lived there in so long.

    • 3

      Ocean! It was, in a lot of ways, not the easiest place to grow up queer, but it was even longer ago for you. I think you’ll be happy to know that I’m running a queer book club for high school kids, and the queer kids I know who are growing up here now are so amazing. They give me hope.

      • 0

        yay! i am so glad things have gotten better. i met my first girlfriend in the 90s because she saw the rainbow sticker on my riot grrrl lunchbox and we used to make out in the food court at roosevelt field and people were so mean to us but we did it for the closeted queer girls and cos we liked each other. Anyway, you rule!

  7. 2

    Lots of cosy bedrooms! I definitely don’t feel at all weird about having cats, random stuff on the walls and fairy lights in my room anymore, although I am per definition an adult.
    I live in Norway, and over here everyone pretty much has the same layout when it comes to bedding. Thus, I am intrigued by what seems to be duvets with no cover at all? Is this a common thing in the US?

    • 1

      Yes! Cultural differences in bedding are interesting. I noticed in Europe people use duvet covers but no top sheet sometimes. We (my corner of America) sleep between two sheets with then an uncovered duvet/quilt/comforter/blanket on top.

  8. 4

    Vest collector is a title I would like to aspire to and probably could.

    But those trans Pride flags being used as DIY decorative curtains.
    Brilliant, I love it.

    When AS gets to queer in the bathroom tho call me up.
    Need to show off my duct tape patching of the hole in my wall.
    I feel it represents my life right now.

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