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Hello, Schnitzels and Noodles! Welcome to your Thanksgiving Open Thread, which will also serve as your Friday Open Thread this holiday week! This is the place where we hang out together to share stories and photos and videos and love and advice and brain hugs. I feel like a lot of us need some extra huggin’ this week.

So this is my first time hosting at Autostraddle Open Thread, and I’ll be honest with you: I’m a little bit nervous! One of the things I am most thankful for this year is that the stars aligned and allowed me to join the staff of the Greatest Website of Our Generation, something I’ve been wanting to do for longer than I can even remember. All of the writers and editors and readers here have made me feel so at home, and there’s not even one single hour of the day when I am not gobsmacked (right in the face!) by an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I get to exist right in the middle of a group of people who wake up every day asking themselves how they can be better and do better, how they can actually change the shape of the world. And so thank you for reaching out and internet hugging me so good.


I am spending Thanksgiving today with just my girlfriend, and while I’ll miss my family back home in Georgia, I cherish these moments in our crazy busy lives when it’s just me and Stacy in our pajamas for three straight days, eating macaroni and cheese with hot sauce, and cuddling up to read or watch TV or joke our inside jokes until we’re laugh-crying at what anyone else would think is the dumbest thing. She is my favorite hug-giver on this big earth. She’s a tiny thing and I’m kind of a giant, so her head fits just right in the nook of my neck. We’re big huggers. We hug all the time. But we’ve been hugging nonstop lately for body warmth (which is my favorite fan fiction trope, by the way), because our landlord was being a wanker and not turning on the heat. He finally did, and the cold propelled Stacy and I to both buy new winter coats, and she looks so adorable in hers I can hardly deal with it.

My next favorite hugger is my dog Margaret, who would rather sit in my lap and be hugged than anything else on the planet, including eating treats and riding in the car with her nose out the window. She’s a rocky road breed of dog, one of every single kind of the very best flavors, and one of the flavors is a snow dog, I guess, because she’s got more fur than a polar bear. So what happens is she always wants to hug, always wants to spoon (as the little spoon), always wants to be pressed right up against you — but she gets so hot! So she just pants and pants and pants. A lot of the time I have to force her to stop hugging so she won’t hyperventilate!


And my third favorite hugger is my grandma, who always smells like vanilla (but naturally, not even with lotion or anything!) and wraps me up and holds onto me for as long as I want. Even when I was at that teenage age where I felt weird about everything, including anyone touching me, I always loved to hug my grandma. She’s making steak for Thanksgiving today, she told me!

This is our cat, Quasar, and she looks like she wants a hug, right? Well, she does not and if you are dumb enough to stick your hand down there and touch her belly — even though it appears to be exactly what she wants — she would bite off at least one of your fingers. Probably one right now and one in your sleep, to be honest. Tricksy little hobbitses!


Do you need a hug this Thanksgiving? Tell us why, and how we can hug you with our internet arms. Who are the best huggers in your life? What makes a hug a good hug? Do your pets like to hug also? I am thankful for you today; it’s important to me for you to know that.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. Guh, favorite hugger is in Spain for thanksgiving. She is not even doing it till saturday! But! Only 30 days till she comes out to the desert to hug me an soak up some of the only available sunlight on the northern hemisphere!

  2. This has to be one of the cutest things I’ve read.

    “She is my favorite hug-giver on this big earth. She’s a tiny thing and I’m kind of a giant, so her head fits just right in the nook of my neck.”

    I’m not much of a huger as I do not care to be touched but I do enjoy hugging my parents dog.

  3. I am grateful for the hugs of tiny humans because they are so genuine and enthusiastic and loving (although they are sometimes also sticky, smelly, and/or and followed by requests to fix the various catastrophes they have created)

    I am trying very hard to convince my parents’ dog of the majesty of hugs. She is currently torn between her love of petting and her paralyzing fear of literally everything

  4. I’ve never been much of a hugger, but my bother was probably the first person to ever give me a lesson in hugging. I think I’ve gotten better – my hugs aren’t such a “reluctant limp jellyfish” anymore.

    Thanksgiving will be spent alone this year, but I don’t really care because I’m visiting with family on my weekends before and after. Last Sunday I drove up to my parents’ house a couple hours north because my brother was also here visiting from college. We woke up at 6:30 the next morning to catch the sunrise. We drove east towards the mountains and I asked him to take pictures with my camera from the passenger seat, which I think turned out pretty well considering his “tripod” was going 60 mph.

    Does anyone else find that your relationship with a sibling has improved as you’ve both grown up? I do. We’ve both changed, become more mature, more open-minded. It’s pretty cool.

    PS – quasar is an awesome name for a cat!

    Photos of sunrise

    • 1. That sunrise is beautiful.

      2. My relationships with all three of my siblings are 10 times better now that we’re all adults. Now that we’ve all experienced life outside our small town and developed our own points of view, we’re all able to communicate with each other much better.

      • Those pictures are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing that moment.

        About the sibling thing- both my brother and I are in our early 20’s, and while we were always really close, we are bad about keeping in touch when we live far apart. He recently moved to my city and last night we went to a bar with my mom and then went to this 80’s dance club that was kind of empty, but danced anyway. Pro tip for siblings: go to the club together, because your only goal is to drink and dance like you’re in 5th grade and have no shame. Thanksgiving for me is always a time for good sibling moments.

      • Whooaa Patricia! These are gorgeous photos! I’ve seen sunsets like this, but never sunrises…which doesn’t make much sense now that I think about it, haha.

        My relationship with my older sister has improved, as well. :D We got along okay in the past, but there was definitely a lot of fighting and tension. A couple years before she moved out, I avoided as much conversation as possible, just to prevent arguments. This year, 4 years later, she moved back in. At first I avoided her, but now we’re both starting to warm up. Something changed about both of us. This thanksgiving it was pretty evident that our relationship is taking a huge turn for the better! Should make it way easier for me to come out to her…eventually. c: Good luck with your family!

    • Gorgeous sunset! My sister and I fought all the time growing up, but now she’s one of my closest friends. But, it took us years to get to that point, and it only works because we still maintain a degree of geographical distance. When we spend too much time in the same space (sharing a room on family trips, for example) it can get a little tense still. But that’s true for some of my other friends, who are not my sister too, so.

    • My brother and I fought constantly from when I was six to when I was seventeen. Then my brother suddenly became cool and now we’re best friends.

      My wife and her sister are similar – they’re 6 1/2 years apart and when Des was at home, her sister just seemed like an annoying brat. But now we’re grownups and the two of them are good friends Bowne

    • Awesome pictures! Definitely worth waking up for :)

      I look forward to having a closer relationship with my brother like you’re describing. He’s about to turn 18, so we’re finally past the stage of constantly fighting and annoying each other. I wish I got to see him more, but he’s probably going to college in the opposite direction from home than I moved.

    • Thanks for the replies everyone. I think it’s really cool to hear about when relationships change for the better – it’s a nice break from negativity. I think part of it is that there’s a fairly large age difference between us (6 1/2 years), so we can relate to each other better now that we’re older. And we’ve both experienced more of life too, and I think we’ve both become a bit kinder and wiser and less naive and petty. Siblings can be really special kinds of friends – you can relate to them in ways you can’t relate to parents or other family members.

      • My sister and I get along very well now!

        When we were kids, we moved around a lot, so we were each other’s only friends. But then came puberty and we were jerks to each other.

        Now, in adulthood, we get along very well. And she is thrilled to have a sister at last!

    • With my sister and I it’s all about proximity–when we don’t see each other for a while we don’t fight! But if we see each other often, it’s not so fun. Sounds terrible, but I think we’re both just strong personalities. Time has definitely helped, though!

  5. AHHHHH ok you guys so you know how last week I went on my first real actual date which ended up being a little bit terrible? Well then this week I had my FIRST EVER kiss with a girl (or like, anyone ever). So that happened.

    It was the night after the date (I’m a terrible person) and she was over at my house. I’ve had a crush on her for over a year now but there were Teenagery Complications and since I was technically single I’d decided that it might be good for me to open myself up to dating other people. But I’d also still hang out with her sometimes because we still have excellent conversations and I’m still really attracted to her.

    So she was over Saturday night, and we were doing the thing where we casually get closer all evening until our arms are touching or she’s resting her head on top of my head, but neither admitting it. And then right before she had to leave we were both leaning against my bed and we’d stopped talking and there was this long period of really intense silence. She asked me what I was thinking, and I said “I don’t know” and she said “I think you do”. And then she was kissing me.

    I, being the complete idiot I am, stepped back because I was so surprised, and then immediately felt horrible about it because oh no what if she wouldn’t kiss me again because she thought I didn’t want her to I don’t know how to kiss people life social skills what is this. So then I sort of mumbled “Um I do want to I just don’t know how” and she said “here” and grabbed my hand and kissed me again.

    And then her mom got there so we were interrupted. But all things considered, on the scale of awkward first kiss stories, mine is kind of adorable. I mean, I was still really awkward, but I didn’t accidentally injure anyone so I consider at least that part a success.

    Also I went swing dancing in hiking boots last night because I forgot “snow appropriate” and “dance appropriate” footgear are separate things. Do I get lesbian points for that.

    • 1. Congratulations on the first kiss!
      2. You went on one date. You don’t belong to that other girl, unless you had a conversation about that and mutually decided to be exclusive on the first date. Even so, you are an autonomous human being. You do you.
      3. The older I get the more time function wins out over fashion. If I had a dollar for every time I went to a bar wearing snow boots and then started dancing to Beyonce, I’d have well over $20. Sometimes I forget how to dance with regular shoes on.

    • Just replying to say that that was an adorable story and I am super happy for you!

      My first kiss with my current person happened on the escalators of the London underground. It was totally unexpected, they kissed me first, and I am still proud of myself for not falling down the escalators.

    • All of this is great. Congrats. Especially the boots story. I know a choreographer who will happily knock out the moves to his latest jazz piece in Doc Martens.

    • First kiss with a girl AND swing-dancing in hiking boots? You are checking off a lot of squares in the Queer Bingo game of life this week! Congrats!

    • What a lovely, adorable story. Congrats.
      And the hiking boot thing is completely relatable. No shame in dancing in snow boots. :D

  6. My favorite hugger is some 7000 miles away. She makes sure she hugs our cat enough for the both of us. In the meantime, our stuffed monkeys will do <3

    So how is everyone celebrating? I will be heading to my sisters later and it might get interesting if I get some drink in me and come back here!

    Thankful for everyone here, staff, contributors, my fellow members. Without you guys my life would be so so dull. Fill up on Thanksgiving goods and whiskey!!!

    Last Sunday I did the mustache dache here in LA. I did a Fu Manchu get up and it was awesome. A lot of people say I look like my dad. Lol.

  7. I saw bologna for the first time in my life today (am a foreign and only know about bologna from Sweet Valley Twins). So I’m thankful I didn’t grow up in a place where kids have to eat that.

    • You use to be able to get it in giant rolls (you might still be able too). My grandma would get one and cut thick slices off of it and fry it. It was amazing and disgusting all at the same time.

      • OMG my mom used to take a bologna slice and take one of those processed Kraft American cheese squares and then roll them up together. SO good and SO gross. I’m veg now, but I still have fond memories. I’ve tried making this with vegan bologna and vegan cheese, but it’s not the same. :/

  8. Heather! Your first OT and already the hugs are abounding…how mirabulous!

    My beautiful beloved love ensures we hug to the right so that we are heart to heart – she is the most wonderful hugger*lovelovelove*. Today is being made brighter by the red cedar bracelet she made for me.

    The wind is also a wondrous, albeit at times enthusiastic hugger. It is exhorting the charcoal clouds to hug the mountains closer closer, and I surreptitiously hugged it on it’s way.

    Giant hugs, gentle hugs, whispered hugs, or space without/within, I have them all for you gorgeous fierce tender beauties whom I have the pleasure of meeting here – take your pick!

  9. at the risk of outing myself as a huge cheeseball, i will say that my favourite person to hug and spoon and fall-asleep-in-a-hug-with is currently far away in noo yawk city but i will get to hug her so soon and i cannot wait. !!!
    and she will get to hug her silly dogcat too, who is the best example of a dog-like cat i’ve ever met. i just wish i could hug my cat, who is a furry terrorist.

  10. I’m really weird about touching, so letting someone hug me a big deal. My favorite hugger is my best friend, Wesley. He gives the best hugs. He’s one of a handful of people I’ll let hug me like an infant (my arms curled up, not hugging back, but fully giving into the embrace). Giving up all control and letting myself be totally vulnerable like that takes a lot of trust, and I would trust Wesley with my life.

    I’m thankful for my chosen family. I’m thankful for forums like Autostraddle that create an opportunity for us to come together and learn and grow. I am grateful for the love and support I’ve been given in my life, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to give back.

  11. I need a hug. I’m having (yet another) existential crisis. I’d go into detail, but there are other parties involved, and I want to protect everyone’s privacy. I’m a confused Rachel.

    My dog, Bernie, gives amazing hugs. She’s a 10 pound shih tzu pansexual femme princess who enjoys being the little spoon. I put too much time into my dog’s identity…

  12. Thanks, I do need a hug. Feeling alone when surrounded by “family” is perhaps worse than actually being alone. I am excited to get on a bus and go back to my own quiet apartment tonight.

    • Quiet apartments rule. I’m grateful that my parents moved across the state, so I have a solid excuse to spend all of today in my own quiet apartment.

  13. Team Hug! Yes! Hug the humans, hug the animals, and when none are available, hug the plush. I have one of these; it’s the gayest thing I own somehow, including the Legalize Gay shirt and my AS flask:

    Heather thank you for hugger solidarity in this OT and welcome to AS. Also, I am doing T-day solo this year (by choice) and wasn’t sure what to make for dinner but now it’s going to be mac and cheese, which I will try with hot sauce for the first time.

    Happy Thanksgiving straddlers; you rule the school.

  14. I’m feeling nervous for today. Last thanksgiving everyone was still using the wrong pronouns and name for me, now people know and I’m not sure how good they will be about using the right ones. Everyone in my family seems to be okay about name and pronouns in written form but talking in person they continuously mess up. I haven’t seen my grandparents since they were told and I have no idea how they are with it. I suppose any improvement on last year is good but its hard when in my normal life i never have to hear any mess ups.

    • This made me want to send you a (consensual) hug and lots of you-deserve-respect, you-do-you, just-keep-swimming, yes-we-respect-and-understand-your-preferred-pronoun-and-name karma your way.

    • I’m worried about this for my wife. I’m meeting some of her extended family for the first time today. Her mom and siblings have been pretty good with her name change and pronouns, though it did take a few years.

      I hope your day went well, Jay!

  15. Luckily since all my family is either abusive or somewhere in the crazy abusive adjacent space, I’m spared from the hugging and can enjoy my wine in peace. Lacking a family is a blessing in disguise I dare say.

    It also makes the holidays very affordable!

    • “Abusive adjacent” is such a good phrase. I’m going to have to start using that. Sorry that the need for such a phrase exists in your life, though.

  16. My favorite huggers are my best friends, who are home in Atlanta, while I’m doing a year of volunteer service in Indianapolis. Spending Thanksgiving alone makes me so much more thankful for when I get to go home and see my fridge and family.

  17. I love hugging. I will hug anyone. WATCH OUT

    My wife is a great hugger. I feel so safe in her arms.

    My favorite pet to hug is my mom’s dog Marcie, who is now my brother’s dog Marcie because my parents just sold all of their possessions and moved to my aunt’s backyard in Oakland in preparation for buying a catamaran and sailing around the world. Anyway, Marcie loves hugging and will jump up with her paws on your lap for a snuggle. She is my favorite living dog and I’m sad we don’t live on the same continent.

    I do have a cat who loves hugs. He especially likes to be hugged early in the morning when he jumps on your chest and violently headbutts you in the face.

  18. At a family TG for the 1st time in 10 years. Already avoided questions about the queer. And started drinking. Moscato. I’m drinking Moscato. Thinking about sneaking a slice of pie.

  19. This is the first Thanksgiving I am not spending it with my actual family. I moved to Seattle at the end of May and am currently living/working at a hostel. I plan on spending the day with my Hostel Family. I live with the biggest group of misfits, weirdos and everyone comes from a very different backgrounds. We also have guests staying from around the world that some will experience their first American Thanksgiving.

    I just want to sit around and share stories. Listen and Learn.

    This holiday is always a rough one for me to handle. The basis of the tradition and history is very disheartening. I plan on reading parts of Lies My Teacher Told Me just so I check into the reality of what really happened.

    I want to continue to be thankful throughout the whole year instead of at this small holiday centered around food. I am thankful for so much and I have come so far.

    Thanks to all of your shining faced, lovely souled people who are my Autostraddle Family.

  20. I love hugging EVERYONE! I mostly hugged my sister and nephews today! I will be making yummy Pumpkin Chocolate ship muffins and pigs in the blanket today

  21. I think everyone in my family deserves a big hug today because we just finished Thanksgiving lunch and everything ended up going fine! Nobody brought up politics, current events, or any remotely controversial topics at the dinner table, nobody told any offensive jokes, everyone complimented each other’s food they made, it was great!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of Autostraddle! I’m thankful for y’all.

  22. In the absence of my gorgeous love, who’s away for MONTHS, it’s a dog for me too. Billie Bean curls up with me every night and sometimes she’s the big spoon but mostly I swing her round so she’s the little spoon. When she’s happy and snuggling she does this gorgeous grunty-snore noise which makes me so so happy.

  23. I’d hug my relatives who are in other parts of the world as I haven’t seen them in a while.

    I kind of hate thanksgiving at it made my work week harder. Our employee was snippy all week because I don’t think how much work we did all week, while he shows up hour late every day, and leaves 30 minutes early regularly. I’m kind of dreading going to work tomorrow, so I can avoid seeing him. Plus, it probably going to be super empty as everyone will be at the mall. I wish I could come in late to work, cause I’m out late tonight playing board games at a queer thanksgiving.

  24. I am a huge hugger, but most of the people I would most like to hug are not hug fans. Womp womp.

    Naturally, I take full advantage of the few people in my life who do enjoy hugs to fill my quota.

  25. I’m a cliché and love to hug the missus. We are both super busy at the moment with work and preparing for/dealing with “the holidays” (how is it a holiday if there is no rest?) so any opportunity for hugs/ conversation that doesn’t start with “did you order…” or “are you working on…” or “what day is it?” is taken seriously. I hug my dog, 8y/o Jack Russell x whippet, a lot -more than any living thing (mainly because I see her more than any living thing)- she likes to be cradled like a baby and nod off with her chin on my shoulder. It’s adorable.

    • Jack Russell/whippet mix sounds like the cutest everrr!! Two of my favorite breeds in one!

      Good luck with the holiday madness!

  26. I am not okay being hugged by just anyone, but I do love being hugged by my dear friends and also my family SOMETIMES. My littlest brother does the best hugs, but also they are also very painful, so there’s some give and take with that one. But he does seem to know when I might need a hug, so I appreciate that a lot. My mom’s pretty good with hugs too, and hers are definitely the MOST comforting, but also sometimes they are annoying and suffocating. So there you go.

  27. I love hugs! I would hug everyone. Whenever I meet a new stranger that I spend some time with, I ask them if they are a hugger so I can give them a hug goodbye – I just really like hugging.

    One of my most memorable hugs has been the one given to me by Andrea Gibson. I told them some really personal things and they listened so carefully and I could almost feel the love radiating from them. And then they asked if I was a hugger (and I very much am) and upon getting my consent they gave me one of the most wonderful hugs I’ve ever had … It was truly special.

    My favourite hugger, however, is my partner. Despite being smaller than me, they are an amazing big spoon, and I don’t think words can describe how great it is to be hugged by them. Unfortunately my person is 1200 kilometres away and I don’t get to hug them as often as I would like. Long distance relationships suck. There are 24 days (and 11 hours) left until I see D and I feel like I am going insane. I know a lot of straddlers are in LDRs too, any tips on how to cope?

    (I also like hugs from animals. All the animals, always!)

    • I immediately visualized you being hugged by a giant bevy of animals, and the tiger got there first, but then all the rest piled in too!

      • That would be the best. Sometimes I get sad because big fluffy animals like tigers and bears don’t hug – imagine how amazing it would be to hug them in all of their massive softness!

    • Your description of Andrea Gibson is exactly in line with my impression of them–so glad you had such a wonderful experience!

    • I was in a LDR for 5 years (until immigration worked out, yay!), and it’s super hard.
      One of the things we did is go on virtual dates – we’d both go do something at the same time ( go to the park, see a movie, have a candlelit meal; she’d do it at midday and I would in the evening because of the eight hour time difference), and then we’d call or email each other about it. It helped us feel more connected/closer.
      Also multicolored padded envelopes in the mail filled with surprises – a leaf, a cut out of a bath you’re visualizing them in, glitter, anything!

      Remember also that what makes you YOU is why they want to be with you in the first place. Dance, write, socialize, or whatever is part of you and you will not only feel better, but have a stronger relationship with more to bring to it.

      Good luck and giant fuzzy hugs to you!

  28. I got to cuddle this morning with my person before we each went to our respective families for the rest of the day. She is definitely my favorite hugger. We did the big extended family Thanksgiving earlier this month, so it’s just my mom and me today eating pizza. Pizza is an A+ Thanksgiving food.

  29. I got quite a few memorable hugs when I left my job about two weeks ago from some of my favorite people, but my favorite hugger is probably my three-year-old nephew. I miss him, and all of my family, today. This is my first Thanksgiving on my own/without them today, and it’s kinda weird.
    (But it is kinda awesome. It was very low-key with not a lot of stress because I could do what I wanted, which was nice. I made sure to eat a turkey pot pie for dinner too :P)

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all had a great day, whether you had a big feast or it was just a normal Thursday. You’re awesome. :)

  30. You guys, my friend hugged me – well, basically provided a human shield – so that we could survive the most intense storm in Brisbane in the last 10 years, taking shelter IN A PHONE BOOTH.

    This storm right here:

    Anyways, nothing makes for a real Thanksgiving like being able to say, “Oh yeah, and I’m grateful I didn’t get knocked unconscious by the softball-sized hail.”

  31. So I’m hesitant to say this because I don’t want everyone to feel sorry for me… but I’ve been extremely hug deficient as of late. My family are NOT huggers. I don’t have friends that like to hug either. Plus, I’m single. Honestly today for Thanksgiving was the first time I’ve been hugged in… I don’t even know how long! But it was just short, awkward, welcome type hugs from my cousins and Aunt, Uncle. I could use like a long, bear hug, ya know? I wish it was possible to hug myself and have that be enough, but it’s really not! They should make a body pillow that hugs you! Oh damn, that sounds sad…

    In other news, I survived Thanksgiving! My Uncle only made one vegetarian joke, “Casey, the turkey is saying ‘EAT ME'” He thinks he’s so hilarious… My mom tried to get me to take my glasses off for a “nice” picture with my cousins (really because she HATES my glasses and thinks she can control my appearance in general by berating me but that’s another story…), but I refused to take them off, which really pissed her off but made me feel victorious. The food was good. We went to see the Mockingjay movie after dinner, which was good. Well the second half of it was good, the first half was pretty boring and slow.

    I’m thankful for Autostraddle! xoxo

    • I could also use more bear hugs in my life! I feel like the only times I really hug people are when I’m saying goodbye to someone. I need someone in my life who will hug me just because. Or else your body pillow idea…

      We saw Mockingjay too, I agree that it was good but slow at times. I could definitely tell that they were just trying to stretch it into two movies. But I didn’t mind looking at Jennifer Lawrence’s face for extended periods of time!

      Congrats on your glasses victory!

    • 1) *Internet bear hugs* for youuu!

      2) Jealous you got to see Mockingjay; I tried to get my family to see it tonight but it was a no go.

      3) Your glasses look rad! Glasses 4ever! *FISTBUMP*

  32. To avoid sharing my story of the past 50 hours and a tale of woe from long ago I will just submit a little anecdote.

    A telemarketer from some “Pro-Life” organisation called yesterday during a family dinner and asked for man or lady of house. I was closest to the landline so I inquired politely like I was raised as to who was calling and the nature of the call.
    When she said BlahBlah Name with BlahBlah Pro-life Group I chuckled and said,”Nope, bye-bye now.”
    Incredulously horrified she said,”Excuse me? What?” and I may have snort chuckled while saying bye again

    I think I may have ruined a strangers holiday season and failed to uh argue with her or something.
    All that was on my mind was plate of yummy food and it wasn’t an important call to interrupt anyone else’s meal.
    Evil baby killing radicals get hungry too.
    Still feel bad for not giving her a piece of my mind or telling her that the lady of the house (my mother) would not support them either because abortion is something that should only concern the uterus having person considering it and everyone else should butt out. It’s hard enough.

    At least she and I meet eye to eye on that.

    Oh I think I would like one of those hug, time magic and some chocolate or maybe just a MAC with the Adobe Suite on it and the specs to run Photoshop and Illustrator at the same time.
    My grandmother ate all my chocolate >_> and my replacement chocolate is missing.

    • I think this “man/lady of the house” is nonsense. It’s like the person is saying to you “You don’t sound very important. Can I speak with the person who is actually important?”

      • Eh my phone answering voice does not sound like the voice of a kid and the elocution is all professional and shit. Like law office kind of professional.

        It’s more like a “genteel” way of ascertaining if the person they’re talking to is the one with the monies for their “cause” than a pass the phone to a grown person you penniless pubescent pissant sorta thing.
        Asking for the man/lady of the house I mean.

      • I just wish I had done in a more educational or fighting for re-productive justice sort of way, but I just wanted to eat my dinner.

        And maybe just maybe I feel a teeny tiny bit guilty about acting like gleeful little monster again because I chuckled in enjoyment at her horror. >_>

  33. This won’t be cheerful, so feel free to ignore. I could use a hug. I’m pretty newly out of eating disorder treatment. I thought I could do Thanksgiving, but it won. I flaked out on everything. And then didn’t eat anyway. I want people to touch me but know I react oddly right now because I feel uncomfortable. So I guess that’s my own fault. Sorry. I haven’t been able to say any of that all day. As far as everyone knows, everything is going really well. Sorry.

  34. I love hugs so much but my family aren’t big huggers, thus one week school break away from my super awesome queer gamma rho lambda sorority siblings is really hard because I want to hug them all all day everyday and also my camp friends. Thanksgivig in rural Iowa kinda sucks y’all

  35. ugh.

    I got home from family thankstaking, it was pretty disappointing.

    mostly I have a pretty-good relationship with my siblings, and met my brother’s girlfriend’s parents- they were pretty nice!- and my honey came in the last act and hung out for a couple of hours.

    mostly, my family gets too drunk, and too loud, and too rude, and all those things can be acceptable and enjoyable to a certain extent, but eventually people just get abrasive and shitty, and that’s how tonight was. there’s some age-old stuff going on with me and my older brother, and I am trying to get better at taking the high road in the midst of everything with the shouting and the various states of inebriation, and from my side things went okay tonight, but ugh.

    the food was pretty good. we tapped out early and I spooned my girlfriend and we talked about why family is hard and I made us some settle-your-stomach tea and we’re going to watch stupid tv. I dunno. I went through this whole developmental process leaving my family and then coming back so that like, I knew I wasn’t the fucked up person they told me I was, so now it just feels less harmful when they tell me that. But it’s still fucking mean, and sometimes my family is really okay. Today they were not. I guess, at least I’m a grown up now, and I go home to my house where that isn’t how it is.

    Sorry it sounds so dramatic. Tonight was sort of bullshit. Thanks for listening.

    • Family holidays can be so rough. I’m glad you’ve gained the perspective that the way your family sees you/treats you doesn’t actually have to define you. It can still hurt, though.

    • I’m sorry for all that shittiness, but so glad that you got to have some post-awfulness tea and girlfriend happy time to decompress!

      Also if it makes you feel better, I think of this gif every time I read your username and life always feels better after!


        that is adorable, and thanks. that’s very sweet of you.

        I have had some follow up with family members about like, hey, that really hurt my feelings, I may not come to this Big Event because like, I mean it when I say this is not okay. Unresolved, but talking about it. I cried a bunch and gf hung with me like a champ.

        And you GUYS. I had second thanksgiving with my girlfriend’s family tonight, which historically has been a little bit hard with a few of her family members, but we just got engaged like a month ago, and this was our first holiday with her family as people-who-are-gonna-have-a-wedding, and it was like somebody flicked a damn light switch, they were so fucking sweet. Sort of silly that it took us getting engaged, but dammit, they were so silly and kind and her dad got us “Happy engagement!” lotto tickets, because he’s like that.

        it was a huge fucking relief. family is hard, man. I so appreciate when people make an effort.

        And I appreciate y’all engaging with me on here.

        • Huzzah huzzah, here to the start of a beautiful relationship (with the in-laws)!!! Hopefully it’ll just be this great virtuous circle where you all become happier and more relaxed with each other every get-together!

  36. Unfortunately, I don’t get nearly as many hugs as I would like – currently living on a different continent from most of my good hug-buddy friends.

    However! I did recently go on a short trip with 3 dear friends. Every evening the four of us would pile into one double bed and snuggle and spoon while listening to good music for several hours. It was awesome and much-needed. I wish there could be more of this in my life.

    Yesterday I went to a semi-spontaneous Thanksgiving potluck with a bunch other other ex-pats. I met a very cool and attractive person (don’t know if she’s queer though) whom I really clicked with and we talked for most of the evening. She had an awesome sense of humor mixed with understanding and empathy. We have mutual friends so I’m hoping to meet her again this weekend, maybe? Whatever comes of it, I really enjoyed the interaction. It was kind of uncharacteristic for me, since I rarely feel attracted to anyone right off the bat – I take a lot of time to warm up to new people, usually.

    • So glad you had a great time!
      Isn’t meeting someone you click with just the most incredibly energizing thing?
      Hope you get to meet up again this weekend – have fun however it turns out!

    • I feel like there is something uniquely special about friend cuddle piles. Like, nothing else is quite like that!

  37. I REALLY love hugs. Like, sometimes I get this spontaneous urge to hug one of my friends or family and I just GO FOR IT. It’s always out of the blue, but my loved-ones don’t mind. I’d say my favorite person to hug is my lil bro. c:

    My thanksgiving was great!! My mom and I did a ton of cooking today. It was a lot of fun! My family aren’t big eaters so we got full pretty quick, and had a lot of leftovers. I got no complaints, though. ;) We even had time to visit a cousin and join her thanksgiving. It was funny because my aunt shook hands with me and asked “So what’s your name?”. She didn’t recognize me because of my awesome butchness.

    But yeah, lovely day! I hope everyone else has a lovely night, too.

  38. This Thanksgiving was also my birthday and, while it was not bad, it was just super weird and I could really use a hug.

    I am still half closeted genderqueer/transmasculine/still unsure of full label and lately it’s been making me feel so isolated and misunderstood by everyone I’m theoretically close to. It was so weird and uncomfortable receiving birthday wishes with the wrong pronouns and a name that feels so mismatched and my girlfriend is out of town and also doesn’t understand and I just got my wisdom teeth out this week and they hurt and just ugh. I know I should suck it up and not be whiny and be genuinely grateful because I still have people in my life who do care and their intentions are good, but everything feels so off right now.

    So sorry for the ramble and hugs to everyone on this thread!

    • hey, a really big hug and good vibes your way, first of all. also, even if people’s intentions are good doesn’t mean that they can’t hurt you/make you feel weird/off.

      I’m not big on birthdays, but my friend Sarah once told me something that made them a lot better, that birthdays are like a new year’s celebration: ” a new year of you. hopeful and happy and an excuse to party with people who think you’re the best. ”

      so everything feels off right now, but this is a new year of you which means there’s hope!!

  39. I’ve been incredibly hug-deprived since about July… I’m studying abroad in Buenos Aires right now (which also means no turkey day!), and although porteñxs greet each other with kisses on the cheeks and PDA is a hella thing here, hugging just doesn’t happen.

    A month or so before I left the US my dad and I got a new kitten and I was acclimating him to being my cuddle buddy but being a new kitten everything was SO EXCITING and too!! tempting!! but I’m excited because I’ll see him in two weeks before coming back to South America for another seven months.

    When I first meet someone I’m not the hugging type, more likely a kiss on the cheek or a handshake, whichever they’re more comfortable with but once I’m friends with someone I LOVE HUGS.

    My dad gives amazing hugs, but my friend Majesta gives probably the best hugs ever recorded in human history, and they’re probs so amazing because unless you’re their fiancee, Sarah (who also gives amazing hugs for the record), they happen like once a year. And I’m gonna get Sarah & Majesta hugs in two and a half weeks!! I’m endlessly excited

  40. My wife, my mother, and I worked on putting new flooring in the dining room. We made a lot of progress but stopped when we got to the floor transitions as we needed to go to the store. Maybe we’ll shop tomorrow, and we should still have time to finished and get things moved back in for Monday.

    Today we are going to visit with my wife’s relatives who are conservative Christians, so we’ll see how that goes. Then tomorrow we are taking some time off from flooring to have a meal with our friends and my family.

    As for hugs I work with little kids so I get lots of hugs. Kids don’t really care if you like hugs or not, so it’s been good for me. My wife is my favorite person to hug. And we are trying to make a little person of our own for hugs and snuggles, which has been an emotional roller coaster.

  41. Such a sweet post!

    I’ve never been much of a hug person. But I now want to be. It’s transition. The happier I am with my body, the more willing I am to touch and be touched. I think my mom is my favorite person to hug at the moment. She’s been supportive about transition.

    I do want someone to hug that isn’t my mom, of course. It’s been tough after my divorce. But I’m sure someone will come along.

    I came out to my grandparents yesterday. They were pretty great about it. The only struggle I had was when my grandpa said that all he really cares about is if I’m right with God(dess). I was too emotionally vulnerable to obfuscate with my normal skill. But no one pressed the issue. I don’t ever see coming out as an atheist to my family, it just seems like it would break their hearts and serve no other purpose.

    Anyway, now if I only had the guts to talk to my father, who know but is seemingly in denial.

    Anyway, small victories, steps in the right direction.

    Happy thanksgiving, straddlers!

    • So so glad to hear about your mom and grandparents!! Your Dad will come around eventually, and you have your lovely people and all of us to support you in the mean time :)

      And I smile and nod about the God thing occasionally, too; sometimes it’s just easier not to rock the boat. Sigh!

      • Thank you! I absolutely have a ton of support from friends, both old and new. Friends have given me the strength to get through everything. I remember a year and a half ago being afraid to leave the house as a woman. But that has totally changed!

        Yeah, my atheism would be a path to useless debate and tears. Them believing does not hurt me, and my disbelief would only cause them grief. As long as they don’t say anything against the LGBT community (or anyone else, for that matter) we’re fine.

  42. So, no joke, my partner just left for work wearing this t-shirt:

    Suffice it to say, hugs are not a thing that Waffle likes to give or get. So I feel really lucky that I get real Waffle hugs and not the awkward limp back pats that other people tend to get. Waffle bear hugs are the best.

    I’m actually a decent hugger, but I come across as stand off-ish when it comes to personal physical boundaries. People are not sure whether I’m huggable or not. Huggers ask me before they go in for the hug. I’m OK with it. This is actually exactly the vibe I want to give off. Ha.

  43. You guyyys!! I am an awesome hugger and I want to hug all of you. I’ve got a nice amount of boobage and a just a little pudginess and plenty of enthusiasm, which outweighs the downside of hugging me which is that sometimes my BO overpowers my clinical strength deodorant. Not TOO bad usually though? I shower!

    Anyway, my Thanksgiving turned out about a million times better than I thought it would!

    My grampa couldn’t come to dinner because he just had surgery, so my mum and uncle and I went ot visit him for lunch. We all played cards the whole time, his horrible evil abusive snake of a girlfriend who he continually prioritizes over all his other family wasn’t there, and he didn’t try to talk to us about his incredibly conservative politics! It was just fun and lively and happy. Until the end when my mom asked if the two handguns he insists on keeping in the house were loaded, and he told us that they weren’t just loaded but that they were also chambered. Mind you,m he lives in an affluent, incredibly safe community in Newport. Fun times! UGGGGH. /Anyway/ I’m trying to focus on the good happy parts!!

    Thanksgiving dinner was only an hour late, but no one cared because everyone demolished my beautiful cheese plate–yay! I helped do most of the food and it all turned out amazingly–we’ve been cooking for a week! My core family went to a family friends’ and they had some other friends over, so it was a wonderful friendly dinner party instead of a triple-F (FFF for forced family function, or other creative curse-filled alternatives. It was a little drunken, the food was absolutely divine, we had as much desert as we had savory food, and I took a really nice nap in the middle of the party and no one minded. Woke up and ate more desert. Solid party.

    My lipstick stayed on the whole night, even through a lot lot lot of eating. Witchcraft!

    Mom, friendmom, and BillDad, hanging out after dinner!

    humongous bowl of leftovers for breakfast; sauteed fresh carrots, green beans with shallots, broccoli puree, fucking amazing stuffing, the low fat/low cholesterol potatoes that my sister made special for me and my dad :)

    Now I’m sitting at work, which is busy but pretty mellow. I’ve worked black friday at Justice, Macy’s, and now Twig (this adorable little boutique in Laguna), and the difference between the big corporations and this little family owned place is HUGE. Justice and Macy’s were both brutal when I did them–I had to work the overnight shift both times, and people were complete assholes the whole time. At twig, I didn’t have to work over night, no one’s being mean to me, and if they are I can just tell them to shove it. Magical! I made a cute banner for the window this morning because I was actually so pleased to be at Twig :)

    Also I just made the fb event for my first meetup! I’m hosting a holiday crafting party on the 6th at my house–wish me luck? You should all come! :)

    Tomorrow I’m going to a vegan friendsgiving that’s being put on by Holly’s friends, and I’m excited! She stayed over on tuesday, and we had a cute/disgusting mini photoshoot. Please note the hand coming out of my shirt?? So silly!

    And finally, I leave you with the only flower picture I took this week. I meant to take some of the thanksgiving table and this beautiful arrangement I did for the mantel, but I totally forgot. I was too excited about food!

    Actually I lied, I’m leaving you with some weird shit I found in my imgur images. I have about a million weird old gifs that I’ve made? And also this beautiful photoshop job for a very obscure joke I made this week. I think cb @carules was the only one who liked it on my tumblr, because she is a very patient friend, so now I’m subjecting the rest of you to it.

    Have you ever heard Mal Blum’s San Cristobal? You know at the end when they keep repeating “everything’s brand/everything’s brand/everything’s brand new”? Well I misheard that part as “everything’s bran” and I honestly can’t unhear it now. I still think it’s hilarious. HA

    I have no idea what the context was for these? Maybe a very heated argument about pasta? It’s not clear and it may never be, but sometimes life is a beautiful mystery

    Hope this is all super useful OKAY LOVE YOU GUYS BYE

  44. My favorite person to hug is my best friend/brother by choice. He’s not all that big on hugs, so it just makes me feel super special that I fall into the small group of people that he’ll initiate hugs with. It also makes up for the fact that he’s not a great hugger but the emotions in the hug still come through a ton.

    It was not an easy Thanksgiving. It will probably be a harder Christmas.

    I’ve just started coming out to my family about being trans, and right now I’ve only told my parents (though a few of my cousins might know things). Things have gone better than I expected, with my mom falling into the more clueless than malicious group. But it was also hard that after coming out I had to be the one to say “oh hey this constant misgendering is something for me to be upset about”. I feel better about things, but wow, our relationship is really broken, and up until yesterday I was kind of waiting for the “final straw” to happen so I could cut ties without too much guilt after years of emotional manipulation. I’m still at a point where I’m not sure I want to put the work into rebuilding a relationship, and if I do, how the heck to go about doing this. At the same time, it seems like my mom just didn’t realize how much she’d been hurting me (which, I mean, that also makes me angry because how could you just NOT NOTICE) and that she wants to do better. And despite some really, really ignorant questions, she is trying to support me. And I know that once some/most of my Dad’s family hears about this, I (and probably my parents) will be dead to them.

    And my grandmother has some pretty bad dementia and health problems and that’s been hard on pretty much everyone, too.

    And to top it off I just have a ton of homework and papers I should be working on but I just don’t have the mental/emotional energy to do that, which is going to make for a particularly awful end to the semester.

    • I’m sorry that you’ve got such a difficult bit of time ahead, but I know you can do it! You are so wonderful and I know that the people who matter most will be able to see it eventually. <3

  45. I’m in Canada so it’s not Thanksgiving and is in fact Exams! But I did go to an impromptu queer American thanksgiving at a friend’s place yesterday which was nice. I brought dairy-free butter chicken (it involves coconut cream), because rules are made to be broken :p
    I love to give and receive hugs, and I’m going to agree with a lot of you that my partner gives the best hugs. Tender. Warm. Fierce. Safe. Her hugs make me melt.
    This is followed closely by my older (almost twin) brother, who is out of the country these days and my best friend since forever, whose birthday party is tomorrow.

    Thinking ahead, I am not looking forward to Christmas this year.
    This will be my first year having a queer partner and then not talking about her (due to uber-conservative parents and their friends) This is not a huge deal, but she is super awesome and I want to share how HAPPY I am with folks in my extended family circle! My general rule of thumb is not to lie if asked directly, but to deflect vague questions about dating etc. Does anyone have helpful strategies?

    • You are formally invites to my thanksgiving next year especially if you bring dairy free butter chicken because that sounds AMAZING

      strategies include: hanging out in the kitchen/bathroom to avoid people, making quiet snarky comments to your sister/cousins who know and support you, and binge drinking! Your mileage may vary.

  46. omg i love hugs! Hugs hugs hugs hugs let’s all hug right now i am available for hugs they are free, too

    I got to hang out with a friend today, & i petted one of her parents’ cats & the cat purred & also there were cat loaves & the purring cat faceplanted in sleep??? & i had three mugs of tea & my friend fed me vegetarian Indian food, & desserts her boyfriend’s mom made. Like, apple cake & lemon bars, that sort of thing. And then some of those Biscoff cookies that i swear taste like Trader Joe’s-s’ cookie butter.

    So i’m trying to keep my mood up & okay, now that i’m in my room & life is seeming kind of… eh & stuff, & my mind has greater leeway to wander. I am listening to acoustic guitar Christmas music on Songza & i have two candles lit in an attempt to help warm my room. I also feel very chatty, which is pretty self-centered, for which i apologize.

    Here is a picture of the faceplant cat, as your reward for reading through this babbly comment.

    • Your day sounds adorable and delicious! And don’t be embarrassed about being chatty–chat with all of is! This’s what open threads are forrr!!

    • I enjoyed your babbly comment, but I am also very glad you shared the faceplant cat photo, because I was trying to make a mental image of it, and the photo was even cuter than the image in my head.

  47. For my first ‘adulthood’ Thanksgiving, it was pretty great. I had some cohort folks/drifters come to my house for a potluck. My girlfriend was in charge of the main dishes, but someone brought macaroni and cheese casserole and pumpkin pie. So many good eats. However, truth be told, I’m glad its over. Because I am a hardcore Christmas fan and I am ready to play All I Want for Christmas is You and Love, Actually on repeat.

    Happy Holigays, y’all.

  48. Hugs?
    I’m afraid I’ve gone from that precarious sweet puppy age of hugging straight on over to cynic adulthood, where hugs are substituted by alcohol.
    “I think I need a hug” has now been sufficiently replaced by “I think I need a drink.”
    But hugs have now become very special unicorn things, always wondrous and amazing, to be treasured greatly.
    And remembered.
    Last New Years, I was working, and just after midnight, a super nice co-worker I usually don’t have that much contact with, just wrapped me up and wished me a genuine Happy New Year.
    I’ll also remember how I hugged my grandmother goodbye at the airport, and when I went to visit her and my mom before that.
    No matter how hard you hold on to people, sometimes they just slip away.
    Sorry for the downer, sore subject.
    Yeah, well, I’m going to need that one or other drink this Holiday Season, some of us just do.
    But I will have those drinks in the form of mulled wine with freezing feet and lots of friends, no worries:-)
    Geez, and to think I came here to confess my newfound obsession with the Kim Kardashian Game…
    Have a great long,stuffed weekend Americanos!

  49. I love hugs and I feel like I don’t get them very often. I feel awkward about hugging most people because I’m just weird about touching people in general. My brothers are among my fav people to hug because they are good hugging size, also it’s not weird if I hug them randomly. My brother’s dog can also be a good hugger because she loves to cuddle. She also really like to hold hands. It’s hilarious.

    I actually got a really good hug last weekend because I came out to a friend. I normally come out in passing and hope everyone just rolls with it, but I have been stressing about how to come out to one of my best friends, whom I’ve known for most of my life. I didn’t want to come out to any of our mutual friends until I told her, but I keep putting it off because we have a complicated friendship. Anyway, I was hanging out with one of our mutual friends and I started crying and told her I was gay, and she gave me a big, comforting hug. It was the only time I’ve had a big dramatic coming out, and I’m really amazed at how comforting hugs can be.

  50. My cat is an expert hugger. This is the first time I’ve left him with a cat sitter, and it makes me really sad. Thankfully my cat sitter is awesome and sends me pictures of my cat.

    He thinks he’s a big spoon. And loves to snuggle with me.

  51. My daughter is my primary hug source. She’s an enthusiastic hugger in almost any situation, and I’m grateful that she’s willing to include me in the largesse.

    Especially last night. I came out to my parents as trans*, and told them what steps I’ve take in starting to transition. All things considered, it went better than I expected, but I still was grateful for the hugs and sympathy I got from my kid.

    • Congratulations!!! So pleased and proud for you :) Glad you have a munchkin to help you keep everything together!! <3

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