This is Your Friday Open Thread for July 3, 2020

I genuinely cannot believe it is July. What happened? Where are we? What is time?

For those who joined us at our very first virtual benefit show last Sunday, thank you so much! You raised $2,000 for Women for Political Change! Hell yeah. If you’re an A+ member, you can watch a replay of the show – the link and password for that will arrive in your A+ newsletter this week. If you’re not an A+ member, maybe now is the time to join?

Here are some things from Autostraddle dot com that I really appreciated this week: Crafting The Narrative Of Abuse,
“Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the 21st Century” Centers the Wisdom of Disabled People, Playlist: My Favorite Anti-Cop, Pro-Black Songs for the Revolution, Queer Horoscopes for July 2020: What Work Stands Before You to Learn to Love Subversively?, Principles of Pride: We Owe Our Lives to Trans Elders Like Ceyenne Doroshow, and Queer Flagging 101: How to Signal the Sex You Want Using the Hanky Code.

What was your favorite article we published this week? What’s up with you today? How’s your heart?

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Vanessa is a writer, a teacher, and the community editor at Autostraddle. Very hot, very fun, very weird. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 404 articles for us.


  1. After about a week I finally got my bike repaired, so I can resume riding. On top of that, it’s overcast and not near as humid. Great riding weather for summer in Louisiana.

  2. I’m searching for an apartment as my landlord is selling the house I’ve been living in. All I can think about is going swimming but the pools are closed and the lakes are crowded. I don’t want to complain because social distancing is a sacrifice I’m happy to make for the sake of public health, but my heart misses water and I don’t even have a bathtub to splash in.

  3. After getting a raise/not letting laid off yesterday, I re-signed up for A+! So glad to be able to support this wonderful space.

    My sister and I drove around Manhattan today to see what the city looks like these days, and we saw an empty Times Square. It was really weird. I’ve loved Broadway since I was 10 years old, and while I know theatre has been dark since March, and even though I hate Times Square, seeing the area so desolate was heartbreaking. This is not the New York City I know and love. I’m approaching my 10th anniversary living in NYC, and I miss my city. I hope that we as New Yorkers and theatre people can overcome this “intermission”.

    I tried the new Two Chip cookie from Levain Bakery (home of massive, delicious cookies in NYC: today. I’m sad to say I didn’t love it. I found the dark chocolate chips too bitter. If you actually like super dark chocolate, you may enjoy it more than I did.

  4. How’s everyone’s week going? I am right now a little tired cause someone at 1am was setting off fireworks for no reason. Seriously, I am people are trying to sleep & it’s not good for pets. Let’s see what happens tonight. On the plus side I don’t have to go into work tomorrow.

    In other news I was going to order this very beautiful purple bike(All-City Cosmic Stallion in purple) to match my lipstick, but a less flashy option(attracts less attention, which is good) & better priced option was available & purchased it. Kind of good that I didn’t as I saw my tax guy this week; the government expects people, I included, to pay during a pandemic. This fucking country, money for pointless wars that destabilize countries, but can’t give small business owners a break. They can’t even get taxes from Bezos & other rich assholes cause IRS has no money to go after the ultra wealthy. This weeks episode of Patriot Act with Hassan Minhaj talks about taxes & it’s really good. In realated news I found out because we have cable w/ HBO at home, I was able to watch the new season of Search Party on HBO Max. Alia Shawkat does a great job in it!

    Some flowers to share. It was a a little windy, so it got the leaves in focus instead of the flowers.

    Thank you for reading & viewing my post. Have a positive weekend!

    ps Be queer & be safe friends!

  5. Happy it’s a short week this week. I was going to head out of town on a solo trip but decided against it given the rising Covid cases in my area and the fact that everyone would be flocking out of town. I went hiking this morning instead and now I’m debating whether to read the afternoon away or go out and about now that the sun is out.

    The downside of staying inside is that somewhere in or near my apartment, mosquitos are breeding…I’ve killed 3 in the last 48 hours and I woke up with a bite on my finger and a bite on the rim of my ear which just feels super unfair! Those are terrible places to scratch.

    This week felt a little heavy on the personal side (it always feels very heavy on the political side/grand scheme of things) because my ex and I had our last mediation session. Just one more visit with our mediator to sign our divorce papers and that’s it. Divorce is weird and I’ve been reflecting on how no one talks about it, which I think just makes it infinitely harder.

    Anyway, I hope everyone gets some rest, relaxation, downtime, uptime, energy, adventure this weekend – whatever you need, I hope you get it.

    • Hope everybody is surviving out there ❤
      I’ve been in here working on making my little house greener and happier, including naming all my plants. I’m particularly proud of recently-named Celery Dion (her heart will go on and on), but having a hard time deciding on a name for my Viola sororia I’m transplanting from my yard to a pot. I’d like to name her after a trans lesbian in history (distant, recent, or otherwise), since she’s a transplanted violet. I’d love any inspiration/reading material/name ideas from you clever folks!

      • I don’t know a lot about trans women in history, although I’m in the process of learning. Your viola sororia made me think of of Vi (Violet), Jen Richards’ character in Her Story. Would you consider a queer trans woman from film? I can’t remember if Vi is explicitly lesbian or not.

        Celery Dion is just the best and I hope you enjoy the process of finding the right name for the viola! Your post was lovely to read!

    • Divorce is such a strange thing. I’ve been thinking about it a lot as of late. I just went to counseling with my wife. I’m debating how much more I’m willing to put in. I’ve appreciated Rachel’s article “Just Not,” I believe it’s called.

    • Divorce is a really difficult time; my heart goes out to you. Just stay strong.

      I remember when my wife and I got divorced. There’s just so many decisions to make. Who gets the house, how things get split up, whose responsible for what bills and all that. It’s remarkable how intertwined things are. Not to mention the emotional toll. It’s long in the rearview mirror for me now, and I still talk to the ex on rare occasion.

      For us, we were separated before we were divorced. I got a promotion which involved a move, and she decided to stay behind where she had a friend network as we knew we’d be divorcing. I moved to Madison alone. At first it was hard sleeping alone. My job kept me busy, and I made a new set of friends which helped a lot. I think the important thing is to keep busy and keep your mind occupied.

      I’m sure it’s harder with staying in due to Covid. But please just hang in there. It will get better.

  6. my heart feels like someone shot it with a machine gun. everything in my life decided to become so heavy at the worst possible time. i just wish someone could hold me

  7. I was in a bad place a little while back (Covid isolation realizations whoo!) and decided that I needed to change things, so I became a member in a new gym (with a rad outdoor space, because I can’t in good conscience work out inside as long as I’m working in the ER), applied for a new job, and joined OK Cupid, and am actually seeing someone, which is very awkward.
    So awkward. Jesus.How does any of this even work!
    So, life is very weird,atm, also because it’s really hot and I live right underneath the roof and am just loopy from never sleeping enough or well,so, like weird with a dreamlike quality.
    However, what I’m taking away from all of this is, that you don’t have to be in a solid place of self realization and knowing exactly what you want to change things,but you have to do something if you’re not well, because change won’t come about on its own.
    This week I’m also thinking that, maybe, “precariously ok” is as good as it’s going to get for some of us, and that’s probably ok, too.

    • “became a member in a new gym” “joined OK Cupid”
      These are two of the bravest things I can think of doing – on a good week.
      Way to go.
      “precariously ok” is okay. That’s a great way of thinking.
      Thank you for sharing.

    • The phrase “precariously okay” captures the EXACT way I’ve been feeling but couldn’t articulate for weeks now so thank you for giving me these words!

      Also, I’m glad to hear you’re okay, precariously or others :)

  8. I floated in the pool all day. My best friend has a pool that I can use any time I wish. It was 90 and sunny.

    In two weeks I go on a camping trip I have really been looking forward to. I’m meeting this cool girl I’ve been talking to since the beginning of March. We were going to meet back then but decided it would be irresponsible. We have both been staying home. (I’m usually the only one at the pool). Anyway we will be on a private campground so there will be no interaction with others.

  9. Busy work week engineering another hockey rink #canadiandyke

    Today I met my girlfriend’s Aunt. My girlfriend and I have been dating for 10 months. Covid put the brakes on meeting each other’s family and friends. It’s been nice having a quiet incubation period. And I’m antisocial. But it went okay.

  10. I’m late to this party, but I’ve adored spending extra time with my brother’s dog the past two weeks. A couple of Mondays ago he called to say that he’d twisted his ankle and couldn’t take the dog out to go potty (my brother lives in a third-floor apartment with no elevator), so my Mom and I promptly drove the hour and a half to pick up the dog, an adorable 39-pound poodle named Paris. Paris curls up on the armchair next to the one where I’m reading, leans against me when he wants attention, gleefully chomps the ice cubes we give him when it’s hot outside, and is basically the sweetest company I could imagine. (He also has acquired the nickname “Stinky,” though, as we have been slowly breaking his habit of peeing on his front legs…and he will periodically stretch into a downward dog position, tail aimed at me, and then, at the deepest part of the stretch, let off a fart! This happens about once a day.)

  11. I’m not really doing much but a zoom get together later. It’s been a pretty slow week.

    Last weekend I couldn’t take it any longer so I went to visit some good friends in Iowa for the weekend. We had all been quarantining and social distancing so it was nice to get away from Wisconsin for a while. We had a picnic and hiked around the lake that was there. Actually did a fair amount of hiking and had a bbq with just a few girlfriends. Watched a lot of movies and finished the “Feel Good” series on Netflix.

    It felt like too short of a getaway really, but we’re back to keeping in touch over zoom for now.

  12. I’ve been stressed this week and am continued being stressed. So last week I commented that I was waiting to find out if my coworkers had tested positive for coronavirus and they tested negative but my head boss might have it because his grandson (who also works where I work) tested positive. So it’s just a bunch of waiting for results. I wish I could work from home but I doubt that will happen because the last time my boss let us work from home he felt people were taking advantage of being off and we had to come back to work. But honestly I just feel like this is how it’s going to continue to be, someone gets it and we have to wait to get results. I know things could be worse it just annoys me that people don’t take this seriously and don’t wear masks or practice social distancing. The city I live in jumped from very low cases to hundreds, it all hit after Memorial Day weekend and it’s been going strong ever since.

  13. I just got back from a weeks leave which i spent hiking in the mountains and I am so so depressed to be back at my shitty wfh desk now. I am totally aware how lucky I am to be working and earning money and to be healthy but sometimes I feel shitty regardless. I miss my community and being physically with them. In good news, I bought a shark costume for my dog, it brought me a lot of joy.

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