Things I Read That I Love #117: Strangely, Our Outfits Match The Volkswagen.

HELLO and welcome to the 117th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can read them too and we can all know more about real estate! This “column” is less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.

The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.

The Plot From Solitary (February 2014), by Benjamin Wallace-Wells for New York Magazine – About the massive hunger strikes protesting solitary confinement. Obviously this is an issue I’ve read about and written about extensively so I appreciated this in-depth look at what went down.

That Your Days May Be Long (January 2014), by Megan Hustad for Guernica “Occasionally I meet someone who was raised in a secular home and I am not envious. Far more often I am. I want to crawl into their skin and take on their swagger, their stride. People who weren’t raised with the specter of an all-seeing God looking over their shoulder, meaningfully clearing His throat when you’re about to make a mistake, are more confident. They must get a lot more done, I imagine, with all the emotional and intellectual energy they save not having to translate from Christianese.”

I Want This Apartment (February 1999), by Susan Orlean for The New Yorker – Feels almost quaint, this piece, now that the terror of New York real estate is both more widely known and even more terrifying than it was when this was written. It was also written about one year before I looked for a New York City apartment for the first time. But also it’s about real estate sales, which I guess is different than rentals, which is what most New Yorkers are used to dealing with.

Spies, Lies and Rape in The Air Force, by Jacob Siegel for The Daily Beast – Jane Neubauer had just begun a stage of her training for The Air Force when she was recruited to be an undercover informant about drug use within the ranks. When she was raped while on an undercover mission, her supervisors did just about everything they could to make her life progressively worse.

Love Thy Sister (March 2014), by Sara Grossman for The Daily Californian – “Kylie Foo and Sophia Chaparro were active members of the campus chapter of the Christian sorority Alpha Delta Chi when they fell in love in the spring of 2012. After sorority officials were notified, the girls were given a choice: stay in the sorority or stay together.”

The Spectacular Unraveling of Washington’s Favorite Shrink (January 2014), by Ariel Sabar for The Washingtonian – This guy was a big-time psychiatrist and then he started doing this thing where he prescribed people shit-tons of Oxy to treat their psychiatric problems? You can imagine what happened next.

Creativity and Madness: On Writing Through The Drugs (February 2014), by Gila Lyons for The Millions “I agree that powerful art is created out of a deep need, and bears the imprint of the essential raw self or soul. But if my anxiety really is a biological disorder, as doctors and psychologists have repeatedly insisted, then my essential self isn’t the anxious thoughts and existential dread I used to constantly feel. My essential self would lie underneath the layers of catastrophic images and anguished mental chatter.”

Obama’s Trauma Team (February 2014), by Steven Brill for TIME – This is basically the backstory to why the website was a shitshow and didn’t work, and how they fixed it.

The Banal and The Profane: Imogen Binnie (February 2014), by Imogen Binnie for Lambda Literary – “The Banal and the Profane” is a Lambda column that “lifts the veil on both the writerly life and the publishing industry” by asking a different LGBT author to write about a week in their life. This one is transgender author Imogen Binnie.

The Perfect Wife (September 2013), by Ariel Levy for The New Yorker – All about Edie Windsor and the landmark case against gay marriage. If you haven’t already read this one I really do think it’s a thing you should read.

The Party Monster Lives For The Applause (February 2014), by Caitlin Dickson for The Daily Beast – I’ve seen Party Monster and read the New York Magazine article about him in 2007, and there’s not much new in this, but I still read it anyway because that’s just me being myself and expressing myself, is reading this article. I think it’s on the list of Top Five things I’ll read about no matter what, along with Action Park, Tonya Harding, YA Novels and Scientology.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3182 articles for us.


  1. That Imogen Binnie piece is phenomenal. She’s the raddest. I had no idea the subject trans women’s reproductive health was so neglected–how disheartening, if not exactly surprising.

  2. Ugh, between The Invisible War and Spies, Lies and Rape in The Air Force I’m really not a fan of dudes in our armed forces.

  3. I just have to comment to say how much I LOVE Imogen Binnie’s writing. Nevada was definitely one of the best books I read last year, I’m super excited to read that article!

  4. Anything and everything about Edie and/or Thea makes me cry my eyes out, and I loved that New Yorker piece.

    • I stumbled onto that expecting it to be a 1-2 page op-ed and was so thankful it turned out to be an in-depth piece. Heartbreaking, inspiring, beautiful. I teared up several times at the power of stories and characters to give their son (and other students!) a way to express himself, and his insight into relationships.

  5. “Try remembering, too, when you don’t see your relatives that often. The routine hauling out of memories, shaping and refining them against one another’s versions of what happened, is not routine for someone like you. Especially when you’re afraid to remember because who you are is not something you’re sure you want to know.”

    I’ve expressed the fear to my friends and therapist many times that without consistent reminiscing with old friends (or siblings), I’m losing the good memories of friendships and happy times that did exist in adolescence because the most salient personal memories are not great ones. Partly because teenage angst and embarrassment, partly because I’m no longer the quasi-fundamentalist totally-closeted-even-to-myself Christian that I was for most of my life, partly because remembering seems to involve re-feeling the emotions of the time, and phew are they intense.

    At any rate, thanks Riese, for the link to Hustad’s Guernica essay, and for the space/community in which I can ramble my response.

  6. I look forward to this series every weekend, when I spend my Saturday lying naked in bed, lazily binging on one long-read after another – thanks so much, Riese.

Comments are closed.