Say Hello To The New Contributing Editors On The Block

We’ve welcomed all kinds of new writers to the Autostraddle team, and now it’s your turn to say hello! Read about the newest Contributing Editors — including a few that have been here for a while but haven’t been formally introduced UNTIL NOW.

Here are the new kids who’ve been pumping extra smarts into your brainspace! We’re so glad they’re here!


AUDREY

Contributing Editor

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Audrey is a 2013 UT-Austin graduate living in Managua, Nicaragua. She manages English communications and fundraising for a development nonprofit and goes to the beach with glorious frequency. She started writing at age 5 and never stopped. She spent most of her time at UT-Austin in the basement office of The Daily Texan. These days, she also contributes at ByVolume. Here at Autostraddle, she is excited to write about policy, radical activism, music, and feelings.

Interesting Facts:

  • I can plan the guitar and the harmonica at the same time.
  • I have the outline of Texas tattoo’d on my shoulder and am unequivocally one of *those* Texans.
  • I first learned about feminism listening to Alanis Morissette with my mother on road trips to Memphis, thus beginning the journey that brought me here. Thanks mom <3

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HELEN

Contributing Editor

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Bunny Friend!
Helen is a New England-born, professional procrastinator. She identifies as a chocolate enthusiast and is always the little spoon. When she doesn’t have her head inside a book, Helen indulges in some form of femme-flagging or sharing her feelings on Tumblr. She’s fun-sized but has a big mouth. Feel free to check out more of her work on ElixHer.

Interesting Facts:

  • I’m afraid of chickens. It’s okay though because I’m a vegetarian.
  • I spent a lot of my childhood convinced that I was pikachu.
  • My body is probably 56% peanut butter thanks to the inordinate amount of PB I consume.

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MADDIE

Contributing Editor

website / tweeter

Maddie_Water

Maddie recently graduated from Vassar College with a degree in Women’s Studies. While at Vassar, she was a friend of the Geography department and worked on a peer hotline for students affected by interpersonal violence. Maddie was raised on the 1970s children’s album/book/movie Free to Be…You and Me, which her friends often say, “explains a lot.” Maddie is passionate about immigrant justice, and she envisions a world in which no one will be unnecessarily separated from their chosen families. Maddie plays guitar, runs, cooks without recipes, and talks about maps with her housemates. She does not have a smartphone and likes it that way.

Interesting Facts:

  • This past summer I made a papier-mâché unicorn head with my best friend. We named it Pink Ivy.
  • I have three close friends who are also named Maddie/Maddy/Matty.
  • I didn’t become a fan of Tegan and Sara until Heartthrob came out, sparking a three-month period in which I listened to them exclusively, which I think makes up for lost time.

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MARI

Contributing Editor

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Mari is a delightfully (some spell that “painfully”) nerdy queer girl born, raised, and currently stuck in America’s High-Five (you, know, Michigan). She’s a healthcare professional who decided, in a moment of total loss of all rationality, that getting a PhD in genetics sounded like a really good thing to start at the age of 30. She likes to spend time ignoring her dissertation so she can write about trans and queer issues and pick apart pop-culture. She’s an avid science-fiction fan, and you can often find her at any of the sci-fi conventions in Detroit and Chicago giving panels on queer/trans inclusion and consent culture. She dislikes brussel sprouts, romance novels, and people who randomly touch her tattoos. In addition to writing for Autostraddle, she’s also a contributing writer at Transadvocate, and [does her best to] maintain her personal blog at transnerdfeminist.com.

Interesting Facts:

  • I’ve been a semi-professional DJ since 2007 (I even got a random mention in HuffPo for a party earlier this summer.)
  • I’m an obsessive music fan, and I’ve been to well over 300 concerts.
  • I initially went to school to work in radio production, so I do an excellent impression of an NPR reporter.

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BRIANA

Contributing Editor

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Briana is an Afro-Dominicana stuck in the Mitten state. Aggro Hard-Femme. Anarch-ishh Black Punx. Team Rih Rih. Bruja. Big Mouth. Cooking Mami. Lana Del Rey’s wanna-be wifey.

Interesting Facts:

  • I share a hometown with Davey Havok, Kim Gordon, and Lydia Lunch.
  • My maternal grandfather was an exorcist.
  • I can make paper airplanes out of starburst wrappers with my mouth.

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KAELYN

Contributing Editor

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headshot2014
Kaelyn is a (femme)nist activist and the reigning Queer Fat Vegan Korean Immigrant Ms. America Pageant winner. She is a full-time community organizer, and a part-time lover/sex educator. You can find her binge-watching TV, over-caffeinating herself, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, eating vegan comfort food, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Upstate NY with her partner-in-crime/spouse and their furkids: a xenophobic cat, two bossy bunnies, and two sassy guinea pigs.

Interesting Facts:

  • I was in a pageant…I mean “scholarship contest” once in high school. 3rd runner up Lakewood Area Junior Miss RIGHT HERE.
  • I have an extensive collection of Rocky Horror Picture Show memorabilia.
  • I love, love, love rats and have had five fancy rats as pets over the years.

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ROBIN

Contributing Editor

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introphoto
Robin is a dandy-bro Chinese-American gay lady who does internet stuff by day and different internet stuff by night. She’s very into the history of tech and the future of people-machine interactions. She graduated from Princeton with a degree in English, which has provided her with a perfect recall of Grey Gardens. She loves theorizing her ideal TV show, hiking to and skinny dipping in swimming holes and communing with animals by imitating them. If you ever find yourself with fifteen minutes to kill, ask her about cold-brew coffee.

Interesting Facts:

  • Two of my three tattoos are inspired by “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”: that line about mermaids runs up the middle of my back, and the yellow fog-cat rubs its muzzle upon my spine right above it.
  • I’ve been trying to make clotted cream for six months now, and I’m still not getting it right. I need dairy help!
  • I have never met an Oxford shoe that I did not covet.

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ALLEY

Contributing Editor

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Alley Hector is a writer and Web Developer based in Portland, Oregon where she has lived since the dawn of queer time. This means that if you have ever been here she has probably gone on a date with your ex and has accidentally responded to friends Craigslists personals no less than 3 times. (Remember Craiglist personals? Of course not, you’re 22.) Past projects have included editing Just Out magazine and founding and editing local queer news and events blog/ex-girlfriend-making program qPDX.com.

Interesting Facts:

  • I am currently obsessed with making my iPhone speak in emoji. Turn on the accessibility and then Siri will say all kinds of creepy things to you like: “A Monkey that can speak no evil. Face with no mouth. Face with no mouth. Face with no mouth. Face screaming in fear. Chinese man with hat. Boar.”
  • I learned to code by making a drag trivia game in a long dead programming language called Lingo. It was for a Digital Art class in 2003 at Smith College. And if you won you were treated to a animated dance number of a woman with a riding crop dancing to Madonna’s “Human Nature.”
  • I grew up listening to 1990s Dyke Punk in Portland, Oregon like my favorites Team Dresch, Sleater-Kinney and the Third Sex and even got to play with them during an amazing riot grrl convention we put on called SPRGRL Conspiracy in the summer of 96 with my first band Bonanza Jellybean. My Chainsaw Chat handle was Idgie, in case any of y’all remember waiting for 30 seconds for the forum and chat pages to reload each time. Fuck yeah Geocities!

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73 Comments

  1. I just love you all. Also, I feel like I could have upped my queer photo game. Your beautiful and whimsical photos are making me feel insecure about my boring headshot selfie.

    Also, I need to know all about that bunny you’re holding, Helen. BUNNIES.

  2. Bunnies aren’t just cute like everybody supposes,
    They’ve got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses.
    And what’s with all the carrots-?
    What do they need such good eyesight for anywa – y?
    Bunnies, bunnies it must be bunnies!
    – pause –
    …or maybe midgets…

    • COOOOLD BREEEEWWWW.

      stumptown did sell out so hard, but I am at a place in my life where sometimes my friends go on trips and manage to bring back raw unroasted coffee beans so that I can learn to roast ’em myself, so maybe I’m being too hard on the coffee industry in general?

      • Yeah I gotta admit, I’m addicted to the cream and sugar version of Steumptown’s cold brew (even though the black glass bottle version is way more hardcore). It’s really dangerous if I buy the half gallon. It only lasts like a week in my house…and I only have 1 housemate. It’s like a coffee milkshake.

        That said, in terms of actually going to the coffeeshop it’s so easy to not go to a chain (or only a local chain) here. So here’s to hoping Starbucks doesn’t buy Coava, Water Ave or Ristretto! PDX forevs!

  3. most of what i got out of that was:
    a) you guys are awesome, hallo! yay for you.
    b) people randomly touch tattoos? maybe i don’t want any after all. pretty sure i’d have to murder someone.

    • I wish that was an exaggeration, but it’s not. For some reason, really openly displayed tattoos are like an invitation for strangers to touch you. I find it really distressing because I have a problem with strangers and uninvited touching. One would think having six large tattoos visible when wearing a tank top would send “Fuck Off” signals, but it appears not to be the case. =/

      Even more impressive? One of my tattoos actually includes with words “Touch Me And You’ll Burn.” And yet…still with the touching.

      • Accurate.

        Tattoo compliments, tattoo appreciation = fine, especially great if you also have visible tattoos and we can be tattoo friends.

        Touching my body pretty much any time without my explicit consent = NOT OK.

        Taking off your clothing to show me your tattoos that I did not explicitly ask to see also = NOT OK.

        We need a tattoo etiquette guide to distribute in these situations.

        • Wow, I’m so lucky to always just get “Oh hey, what is that? Can I see it?” on all of my tattoos. Even the men in Ecuador who were incredulous that I had tattoos, especially of any size/prominence and just shook their heads in awe never touched me. I’ll consider myself blessed.

  4. a) wow I work at the most amazing place with the coolest humans.

    b) since writing this bio forever ago, I have obtained a smartphone, and I have to say, with gritted teeth, that I really don’t regret it.

  5. I am very excited about the new AS class of 2014!

    Audrey I am glad to meet a feminist who is one of *those* Texans.

    Helen, fun-sized with a big mouth is like a platonic ideal, and I love ElixHer.

    Maddie my pre-internet flip-phone is so retro it will be hip in 5 years, and I share your love of maps and especially covet this hand-drawn paper map of the U.S.

    Briana I want to hear stories about your grandfather and I will never look at Starburst the same way agayn.

    Kaelyn I am interested in comparing our lists of vegan comfort foods. (Did french fries or mushroom soup make your list?)

    Robin It would be awesome to bro with you about tech and other stuff. *fistbump*

    Alley I am strongly hoping we can become internet friends because I also grew up Portland during the 90’s (SE Foster Road, David Douglas School District) but I MISSED THE WHOLE RIOT GRRL THING. Bikini Kill was at the X-ray Café and I totally could have seen it. My parents were really strict, though (7 p.m. curfew in high school) and we didn’t have internet at home, so I only found out about this scene in the last few years from Tavi Gevinson’s websites and especially the Kathleen Hanna doc on Netflix which I’ve seen twice now and taken notes on because I wanted to read more about these feminists and hopefully track down some copies of their zines. But it would be so much better to hear about it from someone who was actually there! Be my internet friend? I’m 100% internet serious and hopefully a significantly smaller percentage of internet creepy. We could share Portland stories. Mine involve getting a concussion doing dumb things with my bike on Powell’s Butte, working in the planetarium at the old OMSI, protesting Prop 9 at Pioneer Square, and I was a dispatcher for the campus police at PSU.

    Anyway, welcome all of you new AS contributing editors and you are so awesome! Also don’t judge if my html doesn’t work. Ok bai!

  6. Wait how could I forget! (Probs because comment is already too longggg) Mari we are both genetics PhD students in our 30s! Hence massive procrastination this very moment on ghey/queer websites. Solidarity!

    • *Queer Lady Genetics PhD Students in Their 30s Fist Bump*

      Seriously, knowing there are more out there makes me so happy. I feel so bloody alone all the time. Everyone is my department (and pretty much all the PhD students in the Medical School) are 25 and straight. I’m the token queer girl.

      • I completely relate, Mari! I literally do not have any gay friends at school? How is this even possible? The age difference can be isolating too, for sure. Are you in a big city at least, with hopefully an active Straddler group? How far are you in your program? Ooo, what genetics are you studying? 🙂

        • If there’s an active Straddler group in Metro Detroit, then I sadly don’t know about it. 🙁 It would just be really awesome to have other queer grad school friends who understand grad student life!

          I’m in my 2nd year in the program. I do mostly human genomics. 95% of my work is computational and functional annotation. Long Non-Coding RNAs are my bread and butter. Before grad school, I worked in medical genetics for many years.

        • Okay I have to butt in here, because I had a similar experience in grad school! Admittedly we had small class, only 35 of us in my year, but my experience had been that museum studies and museums in general tend to have a fair number of queer women, so I was pretty disappointed to be the only gay lady there. I definitely felt like the token queer friend most of the time. But it turned out there was a bi girl in my class too, and I just hadn’t realised because she had a boyfriend and never brought her queerness up. And the best friend I made there later came out to me as asexual (and helped me to claim my own asexuality), so I wasn’t alone after all! I think sometimes it’s just hard to see that, especially if they’re not people you’re friends with anyway.

      • Guys, you’re scaring me. I’m a genetics undergrad aiming to study and do research foreverrrrrr. Currently ~1/5 of my course mates are out as queer, none of us have experienced problems and it’s amazing. I even got to write a dissertation last semester on the possible effects of researching “gay genes”, which was the most fun thing I’ve ever written. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be the only queer around, I feel really sorry for you!

        • Hang in there Emma! I encourage you to follow your science bliss and if your grad program doesn’t have queer colleagues, the AS online community helped me a lot and I found some pockets of queermos and allies through local urban bicycle clubs. There’s also an AS article about finding queer friends that suggested OkCupid friends and I’ve found some good queer friends in my city through tumblr / fb / MeetUp.

    • Ha! It’s a pageant joke, but it was technically a scholarship program. Seriously! It really was! It kind of looked like a pageant, though. There was a talent section and a promenade walk, but it was based on smarts and talent and GPAs and not looks. I swear.

    • oh gosh it’s just the most delicious thing that’s ever overcaffeinated your body, I am not sure where to start, what’s your stance on coffee, how dark do you like your roast, PM ME (or whatever the verbage is on AS) and LET’S HAVE A DISCUSSION

  7. Hello to all the new editors, you are all such a cool and fascinating bunch of talented humans. It is great getting to know you via these little random facts share morsels. Alley, getting Siri to speak emoji sounds genuinely creepy, that sounds bad dream inducing.

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