Things I Read That I Love #72: Even If She Was Gay Emotionally

dylan-readingHELLO and welcome to the 72nd 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 Gia! 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.

In Mississippi, The Murder of a Gay Black Politician (March 2013), by Ben Terris for The National Journal  “It’s tempting to think Marco McMillian was killed because of his race, his sexuality, or because he was running for mayor. The truth is more elusive.”

The Hell of American Day Care (April 2013),  by Jonathan Cohn for The New Republic – About how this country totally fails at day care and then sometimes kids actually end up dead. Which isn’t exactly what I thought they meant by “care.”

Thing of Beauty (November 1988), by Stephen Fried for Philadelphia – Firstly, the way they talk about gay women in this article is fucking hilarious, it’s so antiquated. Also, it’s about Gia Carnagi, so you’re obviously gonna read it. Also in part two of the story, a dude in 1988 talks about rape like a dude in 1988, so brace yourself.

How Jenna Lyons Transformed JCrew Into a Cult Brand (April 2013), by Danielle Sacks for Fast Company – Jenna Lyons, my fashion icon! It’s really hard for me to disassociate J.Crew from its ubiquity at my boarding school as the retailer-of-choice for light blue uniform shirts amongst the kids who could afford it, but I think this article officially did it. Also Jenna Lyons is gay, so. A lot of gay/fashion here today.

A Fate Worse Than Death (March 2013), by William Blake for Solitary Watch “Had I known in 1987 that I would spend the next quarter-century in solitary confinement, I would have certainly killed myself. If I took a month to die and spent every minute of it in severe pain, it seems to me that on a balance that fate would still be far easier to endure than the last twenty-five years have been.”

Homeless to Harvard (August 2010), by Jeanne Amber for Essence Magazine – As the title suggests, this story has a happy ending.

My So-Called ‘Post-Feminist’ Life in Arts and Letters (April 2013), by Deborah Copaken Kogan for The Nation “The lack of respectful coverage, the slut-shaming and name-calling, all the girly book covers and not-my-titles despite high literary aspirations, has worn me down, made me question everything: my abilities, my future, my life. This is what sexism does best: it makes you feel crazy for desiring parity and hopeless about ever achieving it.”

The Kings of Q*bert (March 2013), by Michael Weinreb for Grantland – Some people play video games for days and days to break records and stuff, which seems totally insane, and probably is. It sounds sort of like my own personal hell.

Night Prom (October 1995), by Jeanne Marie Laskas for Allure “And do you know what else I like? I like that this prom is going to be over in 12 hours! And I can’t wait! Because we are not saying your name, Christi. Do you hear? We’re not going to talk about you anymore, Christi, we’re going to talk about… me! Me, me, me! I’m going to wake you up in the morning and say, ‘Do I look pretty?’ OK? For three days!”

He Who Makes The Rules (March 2013), by Haley Sweetland Edwards for The Washington Monthly – This is really interesting stuff to know about our government! – Barack Obama’s biggest second-term challenge isn’t guns or immigration. It’s saving his biggest first-term achievements, like the Dodd-Frank law, from being dismembered by lobbyists and conservative jurists in the shadowy, Byzantine “rule-making” process.

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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 3202 articles for us.


  1. GOD THE PROM ARTICLE. My senior prom (aka the Last Hurrah for the Patriarchy, since my boi self is taking a cisguy to the dance and wearing a dress) is next Sunday, and OMG DRAMA. The least of it is the secret facebook page created by one of the senior girls for the purpose of dress dissemination and making sure that nobody is, Lord help us, accidentally going to show up in the same dress. Because it’s gonna be the BEST FUCKING NIGHT OF OUR LIVES, whether or not we want it to be.

    • Oh, I’m so glad that there wasn’t Facebook when I had my prom. I forgot until I read this article how stressful the whole thing was!

  2. whoaaa jenna lyons!! i knew i loved j crew and now i know WHY. i am so glad you linked this and that i read it and that j crew exists even if right now my dreams of their hot ladysuits are still just dreams.

  3. I am kind of obsessed with Gia Carangi. Did you know that this article was the seed for a whole book about her? (Also called Thing of Beauty.) There are lots of photos in it, and Gia totally seemed to have that Barbara Stanwyck femme body/butch way of moving it. OBSESSED. Also you have all probably seen the movie version with Angelina Jolie by now, but it’s worth mentioning again (again = over and over).

    • I had never even heard of her before this article! I adore this column. The articles stay with me long after reading. Will see said movie, thanks!

      • the movie “gia” made me gay
        i have seen it approximately 569 times
        if you haven’t seen it
        you need to see it today
        i’m serious
        right this minute

    • You and me both! I read Thing of Beauty and I will admit it took me to a dark place. So much to say about the book and far more so her life.

      And the pictures in that book—I’ll await the firestorm of hate, but Angelina has got NOTHING on Gia. My goodness she was unreal.

  4. Oh my god, the Day Care article. That’s so horrible. America desperately needs better care and education for our children. I started taking child development classes a few years ago and decided that I wanted to run my own daycare. My dad was horrified. He said “You are better than that. You should do more with your life than take care of other people’s children.” So now I’m on track to become a teacher, and that’s marginally better in his eyes, but still not the best choice because I’ll barely make enough money to support myself. And that’s the problem. I would be great at daycare. I have tons of experience, and enough child development classes that I could almost get my AA in the subject. I know what I’m doing, but I was talked out of it at every turn. I made more at Target than I would have at daycare. There are lots of people like me, who would love to do this job, but it’s just not worth it. On top of that, there are lots of mothers who would love to work, but the amount they would make at a full time, minimum wage job, would be less than the amount they would have to pay for day care. It’s the worst system. There are so many things wrong with this situation, I can’t even articulate them all.

    • Agreed. Completely heartbreaking article. So apt to describe some day cares as “warehouses for children.” Just like nursing homes are warehouses for the elderly and prisons are warehouses for (insert any number of sad terms here).

  5. I was just wondering how to know who wrote an article on this site. Even though it says “posted by__”, I’ve seen articles posted by one person but then later updated and marked as posted by someone else. If I hadn’t seen it when it was first put up, I wouldn’t have known that the bulk of it was written by someone other than the individual whose name is currently on it. Also, like in this article posted by Riese it says Jenna Lyons is “my fashion icon,” but that links to a post by Lizz. I always thought Riese wrote things I read that I love, but maybe I’m wrong. It was also confusing because Riese doesn’t really dress like Jenna Lyons, but I digress. Anyway, I was just kind of confused.

    • Jenna Lyons is my new fashion icon! I linked to Lizz’s post because it was Lizz’s post about Jenna Lyons that made Jenna Lyons my fashion icon. She wrote that post like six months ago, so she’s only been my fashion icon for like six months, during which time I’ve gone out maybe four times, and I dressed like Jenna Lyons at least two of those times. And by that I mean I wore big glasses and buttoned up my shirt to the top. See! –

      Anyhow, yeah, of course I write the Things I Read That I Love! The author of these posts has never changed.

      I’m not sure what you’re referring to about authors changing mid-post… there are definitely posts where one of the editors, usually me or rachel, has written some of it, because that’s what editors do, but when that happens we still give full credit to the original writer. If authors change, it’s because the author changed — like when Lizz took over Cara’s Boston liveblog on Monday — or else sometimes I have marked something as being by “the team” when it’s really by me and then at some point I change my mind and decide I will take credit for it. I used to mark everything by “the team” even though it was really by me. Like I did that for a lot of 2009. I just didn’t want the website to seem like it was me me me me. Or IDK, sometimes if it’s really detailed and involved I feel like people will think I’m crazy if they know I did it all by myself, like the Trans 100 post. Actually writing this out makes me seem way crazier, I’m realizing.

  6. I’m sure one of the reasons I feel ambivalent about marriage is that I’m scared my wedding will be like my formal (that’s Australian for ‘prom’!) – I’ll feel self-conscious and hate everything about it except my partner.

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