Win or Get An A+ Membership and Be There For Our A+ AMA Advice-a-Thon On March 9th

As of this upcoming Monday, we will have been alive and in the world for SIX ENTIRE YEARS! At this point, we’re super-good at reading and writing, and really brushing up on our arithmetic skills. We’ll be doing cool stuff all over the site on Monday, and we’d like to talk about one of them right this minute!

The #1 thing we want for our birthday is for you to join A+. So, we’ve put together a wildly ambitious Online Event, our first ever! It’s an Advice-A-Thon / Ask Us Anything Birthday Party, and we’re about to tell you ALL about it, but first we want you to know that we’ll be giving away SIX year-long Bronze A+ Memberships and SIX year-long Silver A+ Memberships on Monday morning, plus another year-long Bronze A+ Membership for every six new A+ sign-ups we get all Monday long! 

If you want to be entered in the drawing to win a Bronze A+ Membership, just comment on this post and tell us the best advice you’ve ever received. 

Check in with the announcement post on Monday morning to see who the winners are, and stay with it all day as more winners are announced!

If you’d like to toss another A+ Membership in the ring for a lucky reader, just buy a gift membership at the Autostraddle store and forward riese [at] autostraddle [dot] com your confirmation e-mail saying you’d like to gift it to a deserving ‘Straddler. The Monday post will be updated constantly with a count of how many A+ Members we have and how many memberships we’ve given away and will give away.

A+ Member Count As Of 10AM March 9th: 1,094

A+ Memberships To Give Away: 6 Bronze, 6 Silver

A+ Memberships Donated By Autostraddle Readers To Give Away: 2 Silver, 2 Bronze


A+ Birthday Party Details

Where: On the Internet! We’ll post a link here and on our Announcement Post as soon as the A+ post has gone live.

When: The Birthday Advice-a-Thon begins at 10 AM EST / 7 AM PST and goes until 2 AM EST / 11 PM PST.

What: You’ll ask questions in the comments and we’ll answer ’em. You can ask a specific question to a specific person or just throw your needs out there in general and see who swoops in to solve your problems and quell your fears! We’ve highlighted all our special guests below, and there’ll be a full schedule up on the Announcement Post and the A+ AMA post on Monday.

Why: Well, this was actually your idea! We had lots of A+ members suggest they’d love an AMA-style Advice-a-thon with us, and when A+ launched, it was suggested that we invest in live events like this to really make A+ special.  So that’s exactly what we’re doing!

Who: All A+ Members. You can be an A+ member for as little as $5 a month, so hop on it!

All-Day Ask-Us-Anything / Advice-a-Thon Advice-Givers

ajaAja, Femme Fashion Icon

2 PM – 5 PM PST / 5 PM – 8 PM EST

Expertise: Style, beauty, parenting, relationships, boundaries


stef-ali-airportAli Osworth, Geekery Editor,

8 AM – 10 AM PST / 11AM – 1PM EST

Expertise: Relationships, sex, technology and existing in an MFA program. Oh, and liquor!

a-loba-loca-newAna Bel (aka “La Loba Loca“), Community organizer, Artist, Researcher, Writer, Body-powered tattooist, Midwife student and Eco-feminista

3 PM – 5 PM PST / 6 PM – 8 PM EST

Expertise: Decolonial food, reclaiming abuelita knowledge,’cultural’ Spanish, reproductive justice, abortion support and companionship, re-wording body parts and situations to better support people through reproductive lives, conscious mooning, healthy and delicious food and drinks, herbs and their uses, eco-feminism, how to survive academic institutions as a Queer Brown person, how to not be a complete privileged asshole

beth-maidenBeth Maiden, Tarot Columnist,

11 AM – 2 PM PST / 2 PM – 5 PM EST

Expertise: Tarot, living in a tiny space, starting/running a just-you business

Brittani_NicholsBrittani Nichols, Comedy Editor & Dear Sour,

9 PM – 11 PM PST / 12 AM – 2 AM EST

Expertise: Writing, Comedy, Relationships and “Being Perpetually Sad.”

carolyn-yatesCarolyn Yates, NSFW Editor,

6 PM – 9 PM PST / 9 PM – 12 AM EST

Expertise: Relationships & Sex

danniellebioDannielle Owens-Reid, Co-Founder of Everyone is Gay

12 PM – 3 PM PST / 3 PM – 6 PM EST

Expertise: Relationships, cat care, andro / genderqueer shopping, healthy living, being vegan, how to use social media like not a dumbass

danielaDani Rodriguez Da Silva, Sexuality Educator

5PM – 8PM PST / 8 PM – 11 PM EST

Expertise: Queer sex(ual health), gender (de)construction, relationships, living queerly as a Latin@. I can also give some advice on how to have a healthy, happy dog while working full time and living alone.

djuan-2Djuan Trent, Motivational speaker, Activist and former Miss Kentucky

5 PM – 7PM PST / 8 PM – 10 PM EST

Expertise: Relationships, being single, Self-Esteem, Religion, Coming Out, Goal Setting and Achieving, Self-Awareness, Race Relations, Self Discovery and Identity.

gabby1Gabby Rivera, QPOC Speakeasy,

7 AM – 8 AM PST / 10 AM – 9 AM EST

Expertise: Interracial dating, boundaries, being muy romantic, dealing with a partner that has an addiction(s), sex w different body types


Ginger Hale, Sobriety Columnist,

8 PM – 9 PM PST / 5 PM – 6 PM EST

heatherHeather Hogan, Senior Editor,

7 AM – 7 PM PST / 10 AM – 10 PM EST (with a lunch break)

Expertise: Books, pop culture, depression, ad(h)d, christianity (general theology, reconciling faith with religious upbringing, super religious family), long-distance relationships (turned living-together relationship), women’s college basketball (I will fill out your march madness brackets), bicycle maintenance and repair, volunteering questions, animal questions (rescuing, training, etc.), and social media.

kaelynheadshot2014Kaelyn Rich, Contributing Editor,

7 AM – 10 AM PST / 10 AM – 1 PM EST

Expertise: Sex & sexuality, small animal care, grown up life shit (buying a house, finding a financial planner, leasing v. buying a car), “Should I go to law school?”, relationships, bisexual/pansexual/queer stuff, nonprofit career advice, IPV and sexual assault support, community organizing as hobby or career (coalition building, legislative advocacy, government relations, etc), leggings as pants affirmation, monolid makeup, veg food, clothes, and lifestyle, leadership & management, feminist careers, body positive / fat positive stuff including fatshion

Kristin Russo
, Co-Founder of Everyone is Gay

2 PM – 3 PM PST / 5 PM – 6 PM EST

Expertise: Relationships, cat care, healthy living, dealing with a vegan, planning a wedding, writing a book, hula hooping, lip syncing, how to use social media like not a dumbass

laneiaLaneia Jones, Executive Editor,

9 AM – 11 PM PST / 12 PM – 2 AM EST (with a lunch break)

Expertise: Parenting, being older than 30, feelings, 60s/70s classic rock, teen pregnancy, divorce, hippie bullshit, death


lauramandanasLaura Mandanas, Contributing Editor,

4 PM – 7 PM PST / 7PM – 10 PM EST

Expertise: Women in STEM, TV pop culture, mixed-race issues, martial arts, bisexuality


lizz-rubinLizz Rubin, Med Student & Former Autostraddle Fashion/Style Editor

4 PM – 6 PM PST / 7 PM – 9 PM EST

Expertise: Fashion, Sex and Health


lydia photoLydia Okello, Blogger & Fashion Editor,

7:15 PM – 9:15 PM PST / 10:15 PM – 12:15 AM EST

Expertise: Fashion, beginner gay things, friendship. Also being a minority in a largely conservative/predominantly white environment.

Mari Brighe, Contributing Editor, Autostraddle.commari_horizontal

4 PM – 6 PM PST / 7 PM – 9 PM EST

Expertise: Skincare, hair-care, makeup, and sex/dating for trans girls

via Jack Tar 207Mey Rude, Trans Editor,

11 AM – 1 PM & 3 PM – 4 PM PST / 2 PM – 4 PM & 6 PM – 7 PM EST

Expertise: Being fat, femme stuff (“especially low-budget femme), Trans issues, Geeky (“if anyone has questions about sci-fi movies or tv shows or comic books or superheroes or things of that nature, I can talk for days about that stuff”), being Queer & Christian (“specifically Catholic.”) Also: witch stuff (“but not wicca, I’m not wiccan. but I am more than just an aesthetic witch, like my witchcraft is tied into my Mexican La Virgen-based semi-Catholicism, sort of like what was in the Gloria background story of OITNB, but not nearly as hardcore.”)

malloryMallory Ortberg, Co-Founder, The Toast

8 PM – 11 PM PST / 11 PM – 2 AM EST

Expertise: Jobs, boundaries, jokes, being direct, coming from a religious background, cute ladies in sports

morganMorgan McCormick, Kinky Transy Poly Gamer Ginger Southerner

7 PM – 9 PM PST / 10 PM – 12 AM EST

Expertise: Being trans, poly, kinky, queer/trans/sex friendly video games and spaces.


Rachel_KincaidRachel Kincaid, Managing Editor,

7 AM – 8 PM PST / 10 AM – 11 PM EST (with a lunch break)

Expertise: Basic budgeting and financial literacy, intense skincare regimens, pursuing a career in creative writing, teaching at the college level, bisexuality and dating/general wellbeing as a bisexual, legumes of all kinds, The X-Files, getting married/having a wedding


Riese_BernardRiese Bernard, Editor-in-Chief / CEO,

11 AM – 11PM PST / 2 PM – 2 AM EST (with a lunch break)

Expertise: Relationships, sex & dating, DEATH, writing & reading, starting your own business, sex work, mental health (personal history as well as experiences as a partner and family member, whatever your little heart desires)

Tinkerbell, Autostraddle Mascottink

4 PM – 8 PM PST / 7 PM – 11 PM EST

Expertise: Having one eyeball bigger than the other, Uh Huh Her, pink outfits, being famous, Littlefoot, trysexuality


vikkiVikki Reich, Co-Founder of VillageQ

9 AM – 11 AM PST / 11 AM – 1 PM EST

Expertise: Relationships, kids, coming out stuff, life


yvonneYvonne Marquez, Senior Editor,

7 AM – 10 AM PST / 10 AM – 1PM EST

Expertise: Being gay and Latina, growing up and being gay in a border town / returning to that border town and still being gay, being in a long-term relationship, going through an extremely unpleasant break-up, working from home, taking care of a big dog, navigating white, radical spaces as a queer brown woman, being a chunky brown girl and giving no fucks about it (especially in yoga), talking about Texas forever!


So! If you want to win an A+ Membership, tell us in the comments the best advice anybody has ever given you!

To help us facilitate this contest as efficiently as possible, we ask to keep comments limited to “the best advice you’ve ever gotten.” 

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 3202 articles for us.


  1. The best advice Ive ever gotten was JOIN A+!!!!!!!!

    Well that and to buy a sex toy so….

  2. Best advice I’ve ever heard is: you have to live with yourself your whole life, so you have to be your favorite person, you have to love yourself and cherish yourself because you’re going to be with yourself a long time (corny eh but it works!)

  3. I’ll always remember my mum telling me: “It may not seem like it now, but one day you’ll look back on life and realise it all worked out.”

    And you know what? I’m still getting there, but she was totally right!

  4. I have two pieces of advice that have stuck with me for years:

    1. Whatever you do, do it with dignity and grace. (This was given to me by my mother when I had to own up to something very difficult)

    2. You dictate how people treat you. Establishing your boundaries is more important than being polite.

    P.S. This is very exciting because my birthday is also on Monday! Yay!

    • little did you know that when we launched the site in 2009, we were doing it as a present to you! also you share your birthdate with the day jenny schecter died, so it’s a monumental occasion all around.

  5. The best advice I ever received was to try forgiving myself the way I forgive others; to have compassion for myself like I have compassion for others. That rocked me to my core.

    • Someone once told me you should treat others (and yourself) not as you want to be treated, but as you want your best friend to be treated. Sometimes it is easier to see someone you love deserves something than you do

  6. Here is of my favourite pieces of advice, which was given to me by the mother of one of my friends when I asked her what it was like having two sisters (as opposed to the one brother I have). She said it was wonderful, and then she said:

    “Once you and all your siblings are adults, you should ignore/completely disregard what order you were born in.”

    And she was absolutely right.

  7. Best two pieces of advice I’ve ever received:
    1. “Life’s hard get a helmet.” (simple enough but goddamn is it true)
    2. “Make sure you always own a George Foreman grill. You could throw a leather shoe in there with some butter and end up with a good meal.” – My high school psychology teacher (while I’ve never tried to cook a leather shoe, she was right)

  8. “Don’t sink to their level” because no one can hurt you if don’t let them is a fantasy that stone broke not a single bone and words can destroy so much. All you can do is rise above and not give them the satisfaction of bringing you down.

  9. Best advice I’ve ever received:
    “Make sure you’re the crazy one in the relationship.”

    Close runner up:
    “If you don’t have a gay cousin, then the gay cousin is probably you.”

    • there’s a quote from billy in six feet under that i have on my desktop stickie notes that says, “My theory, which l have yet to put into practice, is to pick someone slightly less crazier than you are.” i’ve always liked that

  10. Buy comfortable shoes. And socks.

    *caveat: had already whole-heartedly embraced this philosophy.

  11. Awesome!
    The best advice I ever received was:
    1) fake it ’til you make it
    2) sometimes love is not enough

  12. Now it seem pretty obvious but I had no idea Ali’s name was Allison…
    Oh, and the best adviceI’ve ever received was to stick an unlit match in your mouth when cutting onions

    • Yes, my name is Alison but no one really calls me that! Does the unlit match thing really work?

      • It does. There is a chemical explanation for it but I don’t remember it now

  13. I was always a really timid person who hated public speaking or doing anything I thought would be embarrassing. The Summer before I started college I was really nervous about going to freshmen orientation because there was a mandatory lip-synching contest we all had to participate in. I told this to one of my former high school teachers, who I was working with at a Summer theatre program. She told me to just get up there and do it because I’d look more stupid standing off to the side and being awkward and not having fun and acting like an idiot with everyone else. It really stuck with me(our group ended up winning!) and I apply that logic to a lot of situations in my life, whether it be speaking in front of a large group of people at work or singing karaoke with friends. That bit of advice really helped me grow as a person and shape who I am today. :)

  14. Best advice: “when you think about it, we’re all different people all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good. You gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.” (Doctor Who)

    Runner up, OBVIOUSLY: you do you.

  15. I am not competing for this membership situation, but the best advice I have received, many times from different people in different contexts, is to “SLOW. DOWN.”

    As my mom once said, “KaeLyn does everything fast.” It’s the truth and it’s not a bad quality to have, but sometimes I forget to take a step back, breathe, think, take care of myself, etc. I’m working on it.

  16. Every letter/card my dad sends me ends with “Have fun. Be good.”

    Just the right amount of specificity and subjectivity to apply to almost any situation.

  17. The idea “Is it true? It is kind? Is it helpful?” is something I think about a lot when deciding whether to say something.

  18. Hmmmm…this is an awesome idea!! Love it.

    The best advice I have gotten is probably from my dad. Whenever I am stressing (mostly about my lack of money), he always says “It always works out, don’t worry. Somehow it will work out.” I am not sure why it quells the anxiety some, probably because it is my dad and they are immortal and superhuman (the good ones that is).

  19. Wow, my first comment! The best advice I’ve ever received is: if something’s not going to matter in 3 years, I shouldn’t worry about it now. It’s what got me through high school.

    • Literally that thinking got me through high school as well. I had A LOT of stress in high school (life tip: DO NOT TAKE ADVANCED COURSES IF YOU ARE A TERRIBLE STUDENT) and if it ever got too much I would be like “am I even going to remember this test/assignment/whatever situation in 5 years?” and almost every time it put everything into perspective.

  20. Love this idea but is there a more private or anonymous way to ask questions on the day?

    • we’ll have an anonymous A+ member you can message with your question who will then post your question on the thread. but we really encourage y’all to be yourselves whenever possible ’cause it’s hidden behind the curtain of A+!

      • A+ comments can’t be read from clicking on the article, but they CAN be read on individual members’ profile pages (as I discovered to my chagrin a while back). I think it’s important for everyone to be aware of that.

        • Hey Chandra,
          You can change the privacy settings in your profile to hide your comments from non-friends. In your profile go to settings > privacy, then “only show activity to friends”. Please let me know if that doesn’t work!

  21. Some of the best advice I ever got was during a time I was constantly freaking out, panicking, feeling anxious about everything:

    “A boat only ports in a calm sea”

    Something about that phrase just calms me down and allows me to see a situation without all the noise of anxiety.

  22. The best advice I ever received was from someone I wrote theatre pieces with. She was studying abroad and I was struggling to make theatre pieces that were really creative and interesting. She shared with me her mottot for her study abroad experience (which has since become my life motto) which is “say yes when you want to say no.” I’ve totally integrated that into my creative work but I’ve also tried to integrate it into my life experiences as well – sometimes things that my shy/reserved self wants to say no to are things I should really be saying yes to.

    • yes! this was a motto that a friend of mine adopted when her life started taking unexpected turns. basically, if it won’t cause physical or emotional harm to yourself or others, say yes. just keep saying yes to opportunities that arise, and see where you end up.

      she now has a great partner and a great job and is in a really happy place in her life, even though it’s not what she imagined for herself. so! anecdotes being incontrovertible truth: it works!

    • You’ve gotta be careful with this one because sometimes your gut is telling you some very good reasons to say no.

  23. best / most lasting piece of advice comes from muriel rukeyser, by way of an old friend in college, when i most needed to connect my feminism with my healing:

    “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?The world would split open.”

    and shortly after that, dorothy allison visited my school and i don’t remember exactly what she said because i had too many feelings to take notes during her talk but it was along the lines of this quote that i found later:

    “I need you to do more than survive. As writers, as revolutionaries, tell the truth, your truth in your own way.”

    i wrote out and taped these two pieces to my desk and brought them with me in every move for about five years. at some point, i lost those pieces of paper, but they’d already been written into my heart.

    • yes! both of those quotes have meant so much to me. i could quote dorothy allison FOR DAYSSSS

  24. The first few are from some of my counselors so my advice is like really specific, and I like keep a journal of all of it, so sorry they’re not short (also love love what’s happening Monday so exciting!):

    ”I know there’s evil in this world. I know that I will come up against it and even if I trigger that, it’s okay. I know I’m capable of working through it to the point where it will be okay. Eventually. And I know you can too. Because you called me back and you came in today.”

    “But you have to think about what you’re sending into the world and how you’re giving what you’re getting.”

    “And this blog? It’s a great idea. To give yourself stable footing before the rug is taken from under you. It’s good and I know you feel things so much that you can’t just watch something or read something and not have it affect you, and that’s a good thing. It doesn’t always feel like it, but it is. It’s important and I wouldn’t want that to be any different. I know it’s hard because if you get stuck in it too long, you spiral down into a very dark place and you stay stuck. But when you take your medicine, when you take a step before it gets too bad, you can do something good with it. So instead of you sitting in your house, letting this emotion destroy you, you can put it out into the world and use it. You can use this for good. To help people. Not everyone can do this.”

    “You’ve done so much good work and not everyone can do this program. Some people need more intensive treatment. But you’ve gotten to the end of this. And you did the work. Not me. Not us. We were here, but we didn’t get you here every morning or get you to open up or to trust us. You did that. And it’s not going anywhere. All the work you’ve done, that you continue to do, this whole experience, everything you’ve gotten out of it, it’s not going to disappear just because you’re not in it, because you’re not here anymore. You get to carry this. In here. You get to carry this and that stays.”

    “You give and people want you, they want to be around you. I’m sorry it’s true but you give and it’s so good they want to magic scarf pull more out of you, they want as much as you can give and you have to be careful because they’ll take all of you.”

    “Why are people happy now if they’re just doing to be sad later? And the answer, of course, is because they’re going to be sad later.” (Doctor Who)

  25. Best advice is something I tell myself often: If it’s shit, just leave.

    It’s not poetic, but you know. Not sure whether you should go to the place/do the thing/date the person? Eh, try it and if it’s shit, just leave.

  26. “If you don’t like what you’re doing, don’t be afraid to quit. Try something new.” – NOLS instructor

    “Be who you are, because the people who mind don’t matter, and the people who matter don’t mind.” – anonymous summer camp quote

    Both have gained greater relevance and new meaning with time.

    • That quote, “Be who you are, because the people who mind don’t matter, and the people who matter don’t mind”, is actually from Dr. Seuss, I believe. Still stellar stuff.

  27. The best advice I have ever received was this (to the best of my memory, from a former love):
    Use what you have. You have a heart because you were meant to love, you have a brain because you were meant to think for yourself, and you have feet because you were meant to go places. Don’t squander your potential on indecision and fear; it will only and always lead to regret.

    (Side note: I would like to add that you can totally also go places without feet!)

  28. “You’re Arab, you’re a woman [you’re queer!], you’re not rich. I am a man, and they wouldn’t let me stand with my back straight. Imagine what they will do to you. But sometimes, you just have to stand.”

    When I wanted to apply for my BSc and hopefully continue to medicine, my father gave me that piece of advice when I asked him what to do. My father was so concerned about me being female presenting in a science heavy course. I admire my father a lot, so this piece of advice means so much to me. My father has three degrees with honours and various diplomas, but he drove taxi and bus most of his life. He is the strongest man I have met, and he won’t bow his back to anybody that does not deserve it. I used to get upset when my father would quit a good job because of racism, I mean, the money was good, but now I understand why. Sometimes, it’s not worth selling your soul for a few pennies.

    Also, “Tell them you came on a boat.” Advice on how to piss off the “real Australians”, ’cause sometimes you need a good laugh at the expense of bigotry.

  29. The best advice anyone’s ever given me was to write. Just write, even if it seems mundane or trivial, just do it anyway. I’ve made it no huge secret to those in my life that I’ve battled mental illness my entire life and the advice to write has helped with that struggle so much. I definitely can be prone to getting mired down in my issues but the flip side is writing about those times. I’d love to one day put all of those experiences together in a memoir format or even to submit a piece to Autostraddle about what it’s like navigating life as a lesbian who is both married and a mother and trying to balance those things while struggling with mental illness and being on disability. My confidence isn’t at the point where I see those things happening in the immediate future but hopefully in the next 5 years. Until then, I’m going to follow that advice and keep writing.

  30. The absolute best advice I have ever received is from my dad.

    “They can’t take your birthday away.”

    Go for “it” in life. Say what you need to say. Try and give “it” whatever you have that day… No one can take away who you are.

  31. Thee best advice I ever received here on Autostraddle was for navigating relationships and sexuality in a respectful and loving manner with trans* women.

  32. “Never compare it. Everyone I’ve ever met tries to invalidate what hapened to them by saying it was worse for someone else. What happened to you was real. What happened to you was terrible. What happened to you counts. Don’t belittle it.”

  33. The best advice I ever received was when I was told that I should stop comparing myself (and my achievements and milestones) to others. Everyone has their own pace, their own areas of ability and inability, and I should stop judging myself for being unable to match ‘everyone else.’ As long as I’m doing the best I can, even when it’s difficult, that is what should matter. Everyone’s circumstances are different.

  34. I was once told to not let my happiness depend on another person – I’m working on that.

    That, and fake it ’till you make it!

  35. This is so wonderful! Advice columns (and advice in all forms) are an obsession of mine. And it’s well-timed, in that I’m finally sitting in my office (instead of pretending the couch is a really effective place to finish my master’s thesis), so I have a bunch of quotes right in front of me.

    A whole bunch of life-changing advice for me has come from There’s way too much to sum up here, so I’ll just share her motto: Use Your Words. It’s been a pretty handy response to so many (so many!) situations. It’s the same with Dear Sugar/Cheryl Strayed…so many good options, but one that often seems relevant is “be brave enough to break your own heart.”

    On the importance of writing: “The answer to any problem is in the middle of page two. That’s universal. Got a problem? Start. Writing. The solution, or at least the real question, is halfway into the second page.” -Meg, Buttered Toast

    On uncertainty and life: “You are so young; you stand before beginnings. I would beg of you, dear friend, as well I can to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and books written in a foreign language. […] At present you need to live the question.” -Rilke, 4th Letter

    Not quite advice, but a philosophy I try to remember and inhabit: “If there is any secret to this life I life, this is it: the sound of what cannot be seen sings within everything that can. & there is nothing more to it than that.” -Brian Andreas, StoryPeople

    And where would I be without “you do you” and “be right here”?! (Not to mention all the amazing, thoughtful content on this site!) They’ve meant so much to me over the last few years of coming out (at 27), discovering Autostraddle, discovering myself, etc. I’ve been thinking about getting the latter phrase as a tattoo for awhile now; maybe it’ll be my finally-done-with-grad-school present to myself. On that note, back to my thesis…

  36. Now is the time. Figure out the life you want, and then figure out how to live it. ASAP.”

    Advise to young folks who think they might be TS

    This post pushed me to act on feelings I’d had for years. I came out to people a few months after this was posted, started transitioning a year later and am now living a very happy life as my true, authentic self. I’ll be forever grateful to this person for helping push me towards a better life. ♡

  37. I dealt with crushed self-esteem and various other “side-effects” from bullying all my life, survived an abusive relationship in another country and a rape-attempt as soon as I got back home.

    Now, I live in a society where I can’t get a slow-paced job (the only kind of job I can do while recovering) because by now I’m reaching the age where I should have a steady job, a B.A. in this or that, a car, a kid, a man (phah, right!) a house and a mortage, I’ve felt pretty damn bummed out, especially when looking at the people in my age bracket (of 20-somethings! It sounds and is ridiculous, but that’s tiny shit island in the middle of nowhere for you…?).

    Mum’s said this countless of times, and even if I don’t aways believe it, it works:

    “They haven’t been through what you’ve been through. They likely haven’t had to struggle just keeping their feet attached to their bodies, let alone walk. Don’t worry if you feel like you’ve fallen behind, you have experience that they don’t. Value it and use it to feel stronger. The rest will come eventually.” I’m so sorry it doesn’t translate well

    And, advice from a dear, dear friend from Spain:

    “Allow yourself to be more selfish (live for you first, before even daring to live for others).”

  38. Best Advice: Don’t pile your love onto someone who doesn’t deserve it from you. You’re only rewarding negative behavior… It’s like the Pavlov’s dog experiment. You’re basically teaching them to treat you like crap through positive reinforcement.

    I feel like someone could have taught me this way earlier and that would have been kind of nice…

  39. A teacher in middle school, back in 1998, once told that “people say these are the best years of your life. They’re lying. It get’s so much better than this. I promise.” I’m so glad she let me know that, because she was right. It got way better!

  40. Everything will be alright in the end and if it’s not alright it’s not the end.

    • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel! I love this movie so much! And this is one of my favorite quotes too, and I was also considering using it for my best advice.

  41. Autostraddle’s very own sex guide- learnt how to do the do and how I found this website

  42. The best advice I have ever had was not to live my life through characters in books and shows but to actually go out there and experience te world. Don’t be afraid, and don’t let anyone kill your amazing glitter parade (;

  43. The best advice I ever got to was to stop taking responsibility for other people.

    If other people make decisions based on my actions, I can’t blame myself for those decisions. If other people feel bad then I can’t spend all my energy on helping them and ignore my own problems.

  44. The best advice I have ever received was from a friend who is Wiccan – the mantra of “do what you want, so long as you aren’t hurting anyone else.”

  45. This two pieces of advice have helped me a lot:

    Think outside the box looking for the big picture and don’t carry worries, guilt, suffer and responsabilities that doesn’t belong to you.

  46. I used to get really stressed about using toilets on the train as I am a squatter on anything public due to being a massive germophobe. My girlfriend told me to think of it as a game! I see train toiletting in a different light now and can enjoy my train ride as opposed to limiting beverages and constantly reevaluating if I really need to pee or is it just nerves?

  47. best piece of advice i’ve ever seen was from Jodi Picoult “You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
    It’s become my go-to motto whenever i’m (frequently) trying to motivate myself to write

  48. I was in elementary school and tearing through the children’s section of the library, because I always have been a huge reader and thought that quantity was key. My mother told me that you can never read a book for the first time twice. I know that sounds super un-self-help-book, and it isn’t, but anything you try, whether it’s a book or something else– there’s only one time it’s completely new. Many (probably most) things you can go back and enjoy again and again (and get new and different things out of them, maybe even enjoy them more than the first time), but it’s only going to be a completely new experience once.

    • i think aja, lydia and lizz can probably give you advice on what you should’ve worn on your date tonight?

      • btw i wore a black and white patterned skirt, a black velvet crop top with a black open knit cropped sweater on top and a moto jacket with black ankle boots, if anyone was wondering

  49. “When a boy won’t talk to you because your a girl, it’s because he’s jealous he’s not a girl. Because girls are cooler than boys”. – my mom, when I was a wee tot.

  50. I had a friend who told me my freshman year (when she was a senior) that she never regretted losing a few hours of sleep to help a friend. I’ve come to realize that I feel the same way.

  51. What a great group of women and voices. Sure wish I had this when I was younger but better now than never.

  52. “Have some fire. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature. Be better than anyone here, and don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. There are no teams here, no buddies. You’re on your own. Be on your own.” – Cristina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy)

  53. So in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the Australian equestrian team was in line to win the gold medal. The last rider just had to finish and they’d have it in the bag. But then the rider fell off her horse, and broke her collarbone. But she got back on that horse and she finished the race. And in the press afterwards, when they asked how she did it, what she said about the Olympics was this —

    ‘when you get there, being there isn’t enough. then you have to work harder than you know how to.’

    I’ve held on to that quote since I was fifteen. It’s gotten me through design school, through my first job, and then my second.

    The other one, I can’t remember where its from, and I’ve heard so many iterations of it is —

    ‘unless you’re in actual physical danger, feeling scared is just a sign that you’re about to grow.’

    [PS. I just wanted to comment and contribute. Like some of the other folks on this thread, I’m not seeking to enter the contest either]

  54. “Stop being mean to your sister. One day you’ll be glad she’s around because no one else will understand how you grew up. You’re going to need each other. Also, she’s going to get bigger than you.”

    Both were true.

  55. The best advice I ever received was to remember that today is the only day we’re promised and to choose to find a way to be happy and kind in it, no matter what. Also, that suffering is the only promise life must keep so we should be over-the-top grateful for everything else. I try to remember this every day and look for opportunities to be thankful and chances to giggle.

  56. A few years ago, when I was burned out on my job, despairing and shaky after a “normal” day, I spoke to my mother.

    My mother was a feminist trailblazer in her field in the 70’s and has continued to kick ass well into her golden years. She tutors adult literacy and also English for immigrants, and continues to learn Spanish with the goal of better serving her students. And she has always been supportive of me, proudly posing with me and a rainbow flag at our last Pride parade.

    About seven years ago, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but she was fortunate (and proactive in seeking an early diagnosis) and survived.

    As I was talking about how utterly defeated I felt, she took my hands and said, “Take it from me, sweetie. Life is too short.”

    She was right. Knowing how close I came to losing her to cancer gave her advice additional weight. It shocked me into action. Life is too short to voluntarily stay in a situation that makes you miserable.

    I’ve taken that advice to heart in many areas of my life. I quit that job shortly thereafter. They asked me to stay, said I could work part time, and put me under a different boss. I decided to give it a go, and it has turned out to be a dream position.

    Whenever I find myself ready to play the martyr or make a choice that’s not good for me, I think of my mother’s hands on mine and decide to evaluate what’s really “best.” I’m a lot happier because of it.

    Thanks, Mom.

  57. When I was younger my older sister would always tell me that there is joy in being weird and ridiculous and that is the only advice that has stuck with me trough the years. She also introduced me to the X-Files and Buffy so she’s pretty much a genius and the perfect sister.

  58. “Happiness is doing everyday things well.”

    That’s what my dad told me when I asked why we have a whole bookshelf full of old cookbooks. It helps me remember that the only thing I have control over is the present moment, and that if I can make my routine a place of daily comfort and pleasure, things will be good.

  59. Once I had to memorize this (at first I thought it was stupid, now I love it). It has also been my experience since:
    “Until one is committed
    There is hesitancy, the chance to draw back
    Always ineffectiveness.
    Concerning all acts of initiative(and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
    That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
    All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred.
    A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethes couplets: ” whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. “”-W. H. Murray

  60. Short Hair: a Frustrated Essay is the most comforting thing that has applied to my life. It may not be advice, per se, but it let me know that I wasn’t alone. It let me know that I could explore the world of clothes and hair cuts, that I could be me.

  61. Best advice ever was from my dad. I was 15, he almost never gave me advice unless he really meant it. He met a super unstable and troubled friend of mine, and he just said to be careful, when many parents would have fruitlessly flipped out. He trusted me,i listened. Great advice.

  62. Treat yourself as you would treat someone you love.

    I interpret this as like, if a i had a guest staying with me, I’d feed them well and give them a nice place to sleep and give them all the things that other people ‘deserve’. I recently decided that I deserve those things just as much as the people I love. Looking after yourself is hard, but worth it.

  63. I’m a little confused about how the six year-long silver memberships are won. Because it says comment to win the bronze ones, but nothing else is mentioned. Is my comprehension a bit dodge?

  64. You do you.

    I want to go to the library and read a lesbian novel but am married to a dude… What if someone sees?! What if I get judged? You do you.

    Oh. This is good. This is REALLY good. Holy shit. I’m gay? I’m gay! You do you.

    I’ve always wanted short hair, but what if I don’t like it? What if people know I’m a gay lady?! You do you.

    Coming out. Divorce. Dating profiles. Oh god- dating profiles? What if? What if What if? God damn– you do you!

    The opening of the door… bow ties, skinny ties, oxfords, pocket squares? Pocket squares! Fucking queer ass fantabulous style! YES! YOU DO YOU.

  65. The best advice I was ever given is to “always assume you don’t have all of the information” because it keeps you from making rash decisions on the fly that can negatively affect your relationships.

  66. Best advice I’ve come across was from a book (written by Sarah Henderson).
    If you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, go down there and light the damn thing yourself.

  67. The best advice somebody has ever given me was “Go with the flow and stop worrying about everything”.

  68. ‘So far you’ve been acting in the best interest of someone else. It’s up to you, but why don’t you try acting in your own best interest now.’

    • Yep. Or as I saw it put recently: “You don’t have to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.”

  69. The best advice I’ve ever received was on forgiveness; my mother and grandmother always made sure that I understood it was one of life’s staples. Their understanding and teaching of forgiveness was steeped in Christian values. For them, we should forgive because God does; why hold something against another person when the most supreme of beings won’t. Though I have found that Christianity is exactly my cup of tea, I have recently realized the importance of being able to let something go, and being able to confront and reconcile the mistakes that people make, even if it’s only done privately.

  70. When I started high school I began hanging out with some unsavory characters. I told my aunt that just because I hung out with people that did that stuff didn’t mean I would. She said, “Just remember when you run with dogs, you catch their fleas.” Sure enough it didn’t matter if I was innocent or not, I got their reputation. Best advice I’ve ever gotten!

  71. Also…. because Pushing Daisies was/ is my favorite show and is basically just two whole seasons of good advice!

    Ned: You’re the only one for me.

    Chuck: I know you feel that now, but there are things you want. There’re things we both want.

    Ned: So? Everyone wants stuff, we wake up every day with list of wishes a mile long and maybe we spend our lives trying to make those wishes come true, but just because we want them doesn’t mean we need them to be happy.

    Chuck: What do you need to be happy?

    Ned: You.

  72. Advice from Mary Oliver via a chick I was secretly in love with in high school:
    “You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.”

  73. Found in the Bible. If by “soul” you mean “your deepest and truest essence” I think it applies regardless of religion or faith…

    “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
    (Mark 8:36, there’s a similar in Matthew 16:26)

  74. “Everyone’s survival looks a little bit like death sometimes.”- Andrea Gibson, Angels of the Get Through

    Sometimes the best advice isn’t given in the form of an imperative.

  75. This isn’t really a piece of advice, as much as an outlook on life. I have a coworker who always seems to have a good attitude about things, even when things are going not-so-great. The other day, I asked her how her day was going. She sighed and smiled, appearing a bit stressed, and said “Every day is a good day. Somedays are just better than others.”

    Another piece of wisdom I got was from my younger brother, whom I admire. “Everybody has a story. Don’t assume that one person’s life is harder than another’s.”

  76. “Eat what you want and be happy.” – Tom Potter c. 1999

    “There’s so much in life you can do.” – Mary Clear c. 2004

  77. 1) When hugging a child, never let go first, you don’t know how much that child might need that hug.
    2)Love yourself
    3)Treat others as you wish to be treated.
    4)Ask questions
    5)The difference between stress and pressure, pressure is good, it’s manageable, pressure implies a lot to do, but you’re getting it done, Stress is the fear before you ever start.

  78. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

    Read it when I was 16, reframed my believe in my self-worth and shook me to my core. Thank you, Eleanor.

  79. The best advice I ever got: just let go. Things will fall into place if you let it. Rejection can be painful but it’s only temporary.

  80. best piece of advice: if you don’t want someone to ask personal questions about you just ask them a question about themselves. They’ll probably just go on and on about their life at that point and you won’t have to say a thing!

  81. HAPPY BIRTHDAY I always wonder what one question someone wishes someone else would ask. I can’t choose one of the experts to answer this question but I hope someone will put up that question and then answer it.
    I am Maddie s grandmother and ask her questions often.
    My best to you all. I am very happy to be a member.
    Polly Leshan

  82. OK SO I feel so incredibly pathetic and inadequate compared to all my friends who have been dating and hooking up with people since at least high school. I have dated ONE person my entire life (with no one else ever indicating interest. Granted I only just realized I’m gay so that probably didn’t help) and didn’t even kiss anyone until twenties—-and haven’t gone further than that. I feel like such a loser and petrified that people will find out my lack dating history. It’s like my lack of experience in the romantic world is equated with my own (and others’ perception) of my self-worth. I objectively know this isn’t true but when people make comments about other people who have never dated, or other ’virgins’ out there, I obviously take it personally even though they don’t know their comments are impacting me. While I want to trust and believe that the person/people I’m meant to be with will come along when the time is right, and maybe I’m just *special* (in a good way lol), I blame all this on being ugly, quiet, introverted or otherwise ”weird”. But it mostly just hurts and I don’t know how I’ll ever find someone, let alone someone who will accept this about me.

    • I feel the same way you do and when I was reading your comment it felt as if I was the one who wrote it, but there is something weirdly comforting in knowing that I’m not the only one going through something that makes me feel so lonely, so maybe knowing you’re not the only one will make it hurt a little bit less even if it is just a little :)

  83. As a recovering people-pleaser, I always repeat to myself this advice I got from a friend: “it’s not your job to make everyone happy, you are not a clown”.

    Another piece of advice that I have to remind myself of often is not to worry about other people’s opinions of your life unless they’re genuinely happier than you.

  84. “Be yourself” It’s the best advice I’ve received, but I still can’t seem to get the courage to actually do it (100%). March 9 is my birthday as well. So, happy belated b day!

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