I’m Shelli Nicole and starting this week, I’m Autostraddle’s new Culture Editor. I’m sure a bunch of y’all already know me from around the Autostraddle way but let’s do a cute little fun fact moment:
- I was born and raised in the gorgeous city of Detroit, MI and now live in Chicago, IL. Both cities mean so much to me and have honestly made me the total babe I am today.
- I’m a Black, queer lesbian and if I weren’t writing, I’d be living in my dream home in Roswell, New Mexico, minding my own business and sitting on an unexplained amount of expendable income.
- My fear of mermaids is 1000% real. When I was younger, my TV and film habits were rarely supervised — except for my mother telling me to stop sitting so close to the big screen, square TV that I know many of y’all also had in the early aughts. I would scoot back when she said it but somehow always made my way right back in front. One night, Splash was on TV, and remember the bathtub scene? Yeah, me too — imagine sitting directly in front of the screen while Daryl Hannah’s tail slowly unfurled in front of my pre-teen eyes. And that class, is where the fear began.
- When I’m sad, I always watch Breakfast At Tiffany’s, I have been doing that since I was about 12 years old. In a quick scene that has no dialogue, Varjak (comma) Paul types on his typewriter, “There once was a very lovely, very frightened girl”. I had some extremely rough times in my adolescence and when my mother introduced me to that movie, that scene stood out because it’s how I felt — lovely & frightened — and it helped to bring me comfort that I wasn’t the only one.
I’ve Got Some Big Ideas Y’all — like, a Lot of ‘Em
I’m nervous and imposter syndrome is tapping me on my fucking shoulder. I’m worried that people won’t think I’m doing enough, scared that folks won’t get my ideas, or that it will take me longer to get my bearings in this role than I think. I’m not saying any of that because I need your encouragement — I’m just saying it because I wanna keep it real and I lowkey wanted to get it out the way.
The crew here at Autostraddle already knows that I am the princess of big ideas. I am in our Slack chats with messages that start like “Okay, I know it’s 2 A.M. and also that this sounds wild… but what if we….” on at least a monthly basis. Guess what though? That’s where things like Shelter in Our Place, Come Vibe With Me, and Home for the Holigays came from. I want to do all that typa shit and more as the new Culture Editor.
My priority is QTPOC voices with Black folks right at the top of that list.
Community. Blackness. That Gay Shit. Pop Culture. Writing.
Those are some of the main ingredients that make me up as a person. This position is giving me the opportunity to pour even more of all that into the world. I want to give some great QTPOC writers their first pieces that aren’t wrapped up in trauma. I want to introduce the world to pop culture shit from fresh and doper perspectives. I want us to connect with the world of art and the Black queer and trans folks who are creating it. I want to do so much and this is the space to do it.
So I’m excited but in typical Shelli fashion, I’m done showing emotions and instead will let music speak for me — just a short chaotic mix of some of my favs.
Catch ya later cuties.