Time to Share Your Autostraddle Air Mail

Hey everyone! Some 800+ of you (at least!) should remember our super-awesome pen pal project from this summer. Have you sent a letter to your Autostraddle pen pal lately? We hope you’ve been keeping up with your new buddies, but who could blame you for letting yuletide stress swallow up some of your lesser obligations?


Now that it’s post-finals and post-holidays, it’s time to pull out your snowman stationary and send your pen pal some love. Or perhaps you could make your pen pal some cookies? Laura sent me her famous homemade Oreos earlier this semester and it made my week. You, too, could engender this same sense of joy! (Just remember, you don’t want to make your vegan or peanut-allergic pen pal cry, so make sure to ascertain any dietary restrictions or preferences they might have before you send off your baked goods).

Do you have any excellent pictures, quotes, stories, etc. that you’ve received or sent so far that you want to share with the class? With permission from your pen pal, pull out the shoebox from under your bed where you’ve been stashing all the cute things and send that love our way email-style to julia [at] autostraddle [dot] com or laura [at] autostraddle [dot] com. We’ll feature it in a gallery in January!

(Also, if you’re having trouble reaching your pen pal, please contact us at the above emails, and we’ll send your pen pal a line and see what’s up.)

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Julia has written 1 article for us.


  1. Like several others, I was moving when the first pen pal list was drawn up.

    Please do another one, or I will be forever unable to make amends for never replying to my school-mandated Belgian pen friend when I was 10.

    Oh! The guilt!

    But it’s ok, I am prepared now. I have: five coloured envelopes, two sheets of butterfly stickers, sixteen glitter pens and one bucket of attitude.

  2. I’ll bite!

    Getting mail from overseas is way more exciting than the bills I usually receive, especially when it includes glitter, stickers and a photo collage. Also I felt vaguely stalker-ish when I realised I recognised my pen pal from her blog/AS contributions.

    I’ve been a completely useless pen pal over the last couple of months (ugh, so ashamed) because work completely took over my life. I DID just send an Aussie-festive-season-themed box of things to make up for it, so that counts, right?

  3. I always thought that having a pen pal was nice… but having a pen pal from AS is simply amazing!
    Although I am not sure I would even sign up because I’m not out to my mom (not out to anybody actually) and… well, I don’t know how I would explain this random letter from another country.

  4. My dearest darlingest prodigal Ketzel:
    I just got your letter yesterday! It would seem you mixed up the name of my town, and the US postal service just figured it out. If you read this, I promise your mega-beautiful letter is in the mail <3

  5. The letter I wrote included:

    Gold glitter!
    Rainbow stickers!
    A small collage of watermelons!
    A page of thought bubbles!

    I never received a response, nor did my pen pal write back to Laura’s follow up inquiry.

    I’m genuinely worried that this person may not be all right, because who doesn’t like glitter, rainbows, collages of fruit, and cartoonish letters?

  6. I wrote my penpal back but never received a second reply – but my reply was a month later because I’d just moved to start grad school out-of-state…so probably my fault.

    Still – I also vote for AS Penpal 2.0.

  7. I lost my pen pal’s address and I feel really bad about it! She changed addresses right after the first letter and somehow I got confused and threw it away. So if molly from new york reads this then mail me something with your address on it please :) sorry

  8. My pen pal is terrific. We’ve only exchanged 3-4 pieces of mail because of busy schedules, but they are always welcome and enjoyed. Her last one sent shortly before Thanksgiving said she was in the middle of moving. I sent her a holiday card and short letter this week anyway, and only hope Canada forwards it…

  9. Yes! I would be up for doing the penpal thing again. I haven’t had a proper penpal for ages and I am happy to post internationally (and received some nice stationery for Christmas!!)

    Also, I hope Autostraddle won’t mind me sharing this – but I actually started a LiveJournal community for this a few years ago (I know I know, LJ, oldschool!) It’s for finding queer penpals:


    I don’t moderate it at all any more but I think quite a few people still use it. Might be of interest to some people.

  10. I’ve been collecting stickers since I was seven and I seriously need to offload them onto someone – so I would TOTES be up for a new penpal round (since I never got in on the last one) so that someone can SAVE ME FROM DROWNING IN HEARTS AND RAINBOWS AND FLUFFY UNICORNS.

    (No I’m not kidding. I have fluffy unicorn stickers. Form an orderly queue, ladies.)

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