For the last week of this issue, beloved astrologer Chani Nicholas has graced us with a reading of Autostraddle’s birth chart, looking at what the stars were doing the minute we came into the world and what they’re telling us now.
Emily Dickinson sent her girlfriend, Nellie, her recipe for Black Cake that was so staggering (two pounds of flour, 19 eggs, etc) that it reads like one of her curiously queer poems. It seems impossible, but suggests the potential for a delicious celebration.
It’s difficult to romanticize your teenage years when you’re not straight and spent them anxiously hiding your identity.
When it’s your birthday, you should get to do whatever you want — here are our requests.
“I cried when it came to the Island of Misfit Toys. I thought of all the perfectly-good toys I’d rendered misfits by my casual disregard of them, how it always ate away at me as a child. I thought of being casually disregarded, myself.”
17 years of birthday diary entries.
Some of us have birthmarks! How neat. Here are our stories about ours.
“Musicals? Too weird. My favorite indie band? Too pretentious. Tegan and Sara? Too gay. C’mon, Jennifer, get it together!”
By the time I was ten, I’d attended three home births.
“She would have loved to carry our child. Would have met the body changes with joy. That she was physically barred from being pregnant did not make the situation easier. She hid it well. But now I understood why she looked forward to the birth with such clear-eyed intensity.”
And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives…
Your late 20s/early 30s are thought by many to mark your Saturn Return, when Saturn circles back around to the placement it was in when you were born, and generally fucks everything up. Here’s how that went for us!
Birthdays are weird when you have a dead mom.
Not only did you send cards and love notes, you also sent us homemade vegan cookies, cash donations, and a fucking handmade seahorse enamel charm?!?!?!
Sweet birthday AMA!! Eight full hours of advice, answers, resolutions, and camaraderie! No question will go unanswered! Not an A+ member yet? TODAY’S A GREAT DAY TO JOIN!
Reneice is making us a cake! Then you can make the cake! We can all make the cake!
We all sat in a big circle. We were asked to share. I told them that I’d recently moved back to Seattle, only a month ago, after having been gone for about seven years. My mom died a very violent death here, I said.
“I had dreamt about my new sister that very night. An almost spiritual connection. Perhaps my mother could have sensed, then, that I felt the same as her; that I would grow to feel the same. That I had inherited that bond, that tether; that we shared that, too. But how could she have known? How could she understand that her son could ever carry that weight?”
“Play to everyone’s culinary strengths, know your nemeses, and make sure all your guests are familiar with poison-free alternatives to food with poison in them.”
It’s our party and we’ll cry if we want to — because these birthdays were terrible.
Every birthday after I admitted to myself that I am queer has been a celebration of that fact. A celebration that I listened to myself, that I am not currently trapped in a marriage I don’t want, a marriage slowly draining me of life and hope.