our existence has serious side effects

things i have read so far in 2014 

my life in france by julia child

the english patient by michael ondaatje 

calling dr. laura by nicole georges

a dance with dragons by george rr martin 

rubyfruit jungle by rita mae brown 

the informers by bret easton ellis 

the fortress of solitude by jonathan lethem

midnight in the garden of good and evil by john berendt

fun home by alison bechdel

sister outsider by audre lorde

zami by audre lorde

just kids by patti smith 

the color purple by alice walker 

the yonalassee riding camp for girls by anton disclafani 

fried green tomatoes by fannie flagg

the essential dykes to watch out for by alison bechdel

beloved by toni morrison (in progress)

IF ANYONE HAS ANY AWESOME BOOK SUGGESTIONS PLEASE LET ME KNOW! …i am running out of books to steal from deirdre’s house. any recommendations for queer lit (fiction or non fiction) is especially welcome. 

random life update

things are pretty much great. it’s summer in Portland which means a lot of boozing outside on beaches, bluffs and patios. I am reading all the books (srsly all of them). I don’t think I’ve read so many books so fast since high school and I will probably compile a list of what I’ve read once I look at my book shelf (I cant remember all of it). right now I’m splitting my attention between beloved by Toni Morrison and the compilation of the Dykes to Watch out for comics by Alison Bechdel.

One important thing has happened over the past six months I guess. Since moving back to Portland and meeting people and finding and building a community that I never had in Seattle (and never had in California or Massachusetts or high school in Portland…or ever…) I’m really starting to feel a part of an awesome queer community and discovering what that means and my place in it and exploring my own queer identity. I’ve also been trying to make up for lost time and have been reading all the queer lit ever. Srsly though, I can’t express enough how great it feels to be surrounded by other queers (and not just gay boys) for the first time ever. I never thought it would be important or actually mean anything to me until I experienced it.

In addition to queer things,Parker & West, the vintage biz I started with my mom is going fabulously. we’re going strong on etsy and doing even better at our shop space in Portland. please take a sec to like our etsy page and support a queer lady (and her awesome mother) in the vintage/design scene. our shop is at etsy.com/shop/parkerandwest

Third life update - I’m trying to make going to grad school a thing and am hoping to apply for a masters in teaching for middle school/ high school social studies at Lewis and Clark next June. Sooo wish me luck in that endeavor.

Room for rent in Portland

Anyone need an apartment in Portland? I will probably have a room in my apartment opening up in the next month or two.

Here’s some quick details:
I have a LARGE 2 bedroom/1 bath apartment in northeast Portland on a very popular street, within walking distance of shops/restaurants/coffee/pie/booze (if you’re seriously interested I can give you the exact location after some chatting).

You would have your own fairly large room (fits a queen bed w/plenty of room for a chair, dresser, bookcase, etc.) and share the bathroom. The rest of the apartment is pretty much furnished but you’re welcome to add your stuff if you have it. Don’t have a ton of excess stuff? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

The total rent is $1,125/month + utilities.

Your half is $562/month + utilities. This is a good deal for a 2 bed in Portland and with only one roommate.

I’m looking for someone who is:<br/>
Someone with a stable job - professional or food service - doesn’t matter
Good credit/rental history. You would be taking over the lease and need to be vetted by the apt. Management company so this is a MUST.
Someone already in Portland - no sight unseen.
Queer friendly.

If you’re interested, message me for more details.

Finally wrapped up my ridiculously stressful Christmas shopping tonight with the quickest trip to sur la table ever. Now I feel like I can finally sit back and enjoy a low-key, relaxing Christmas with my parents.

Last night I went to an early Christmas get together with Deirdre and her family. Everyone was so lovely and welcoming and since I also spent thanksgiving with them I pretty much had met everyone already. My family never does big get togethers as most of my extended family doesn’t live in Oregon and the ones that do we don’t get along with. Thus, big family things have never been something I’ve experienced, or enjoyed (in the handful I have been to). Between thanksgiving and Christmas, I am having so many warm, fuzzy feelings about being welcomed into a family that couldn’t be more sweet or welcoming to me - especially as a queer person. Honestly it’s kind of helping me understand that family can be important, which is something I never really got before.

Also I spent most of the night playing with an 11 month old baby and a kitten, so really, what more could I ask for?

hey tumblr, i live in portland now. let’s be friends.

thinking a lot today about the gross sexualization of queer people and lesbians in particular. 

two girls were dumped in an extremely unsafe location on the side of the interstate at night by a cab driver who was offended by the fact that they were gay and they kissed a couple of times. They also had a friend in the back seat with them. 

here are some choice excerpts from the comments:

In fact, depending upon the action, I’d wager most cab driver would gladly drive them to their destination but very slowly — “Sorry ladies, there’s an accident on the freeway ahead. We’ll have to take the much slower surface streets… and don’t mind this camera.”  

The only thing that might make this situation better is if they were wearing loose clothing and a cat fight broke out too.”

"There is likely more to the story than just a kiss or two. I can only imagine the tawdry scene that the poor cab driver was subjected to when he looked in his rear view mirror. Now the guy is being villanized because two sexually confused individuals were likely engaged in extremely erotic behavior. "

and obviously, the list goes on. i wish people could live their lives without everything little thing becoming part of some old white dude’s fucked up porn fantasy. 

Broadway Cab driver suspended after allegedly forcing same-sex couple out on I-84

also, the commenters on this article are literally the worst. 

hey portland folks

i’m moving back to the city in just over a week. want to be friends?

i like outdoorsy things, tea + coffee, reading, vintage and antique things, kinfolk magazine, interior design, cats, gardening, queer things and a whole lot of other things.

I’m also pretty good at meeting people from the Internet, if you are in fact a real human being.

Hey interesting and creative Portland folk! I’m looking for a roommate!

Hey Portland folks! My name’s Sarah and I’m a 23 year old queer lady currently living in Seattle. After living several places in the past few years (California, Massachusetts and Washington) I’ve decided to make the move back to Portland which is where I grew up. I’ve yet to find a place that I love more. 

When I move back I will be working as a barista (what I’ve been doing for the past couple years since I graduated from college) and working on starting an antiques business with my mom. I like vintage things, old buildings and houses, trips to the coast and going on hikes. I used to surf and snowboard when I was growing up in Oregon but haven’t gone in a long time. I’m hoping to get back into it! I like to make things and I’m trying to learn more craft and woodworking skills and hoping to put them to good use with various projects. 

I’m moving back to the city in August and I am not in need of immediate housing/roommate. I would love to be able to find a roommate and an apartment or house by September, October or November, depending on what’s for rent out there. If you are not also looking for an immediate roommate situation, this might be great so we can take some time to get to know each other. 

What I’m looking for in a housing situation: 

- 2 bedroom apartment or house

- My budget is $800/month possibly more if I get a second job. 

- Preferably somewhere in inner SE in the Belmont/Hawthorne/Laurelhurst area. Possibly NW or some parts of SW, although I’ve found those areas to be more expensive. 

- An older apartment/house. I like places with character and charm. Do you like built-in cabinets and wood floors? Me too! I’m willing to pay more to not live in a 1960’s box. 

Things I’m looking for in a roommate:

- I’m queer, but you don’t need to be as long as you are queer friendly. 

- Ideally, I’m looking for just one roommate who is interested in settling down in a place and not in a super transitional place in their lives. 

- Someone who respects personal space. I’m totally okay with having people over, but I’m not one for hosting parties in my own home. I also love hanging out with my roommate, but also enjoy lots of personal time. Like to spend a few hours every day reading in your room or doing art projects? Great! So do I. 

- Somewhat tidy - Sometimes I can be a bit cluttered, and it’s okay if you are too. I just appreciate someone who can clean up their own messes or who have no problem helping clean communal areas from time to time. 

- Someone who has similar taste in decorating as I do. This sounds weird and picky, but I’m working on an antique/interior design business, so I do a TON of decorating because my apartment is usually where I show things off. Want to know what I like? Check out my tumblr or my instagram for pics of my current apartment. 

- Someone who is totally OK with the fact that I am not vegan or vegetarian. I like to prepare most of my meals myself but am totally down to make meals together sometimes! 

There’s a few other things obviously, but if I sound like a good match so far, please feel free to contact me and we can chat more about what we’re looking for! 


they had a photo booth at the holiday party for my work.  aren’t we the cutest?

mara and i being super silly/gay/drunk/cute. 

(Source: bighoopsandanattitudeproblem)

dear folks

day #3 in seattle. i’m exhausted. not sure if i am motivated enough to write about the move, so you should all follow me on instagram to get an idea of what mara and i have been up to and lots of pictures of kingsley. my username is pitseleh09.

also there are SO MANY QUEER FOLKS HERE and this is great but everyone looks so cool and i don’t know how to make new friends without the confines of a college campus so if anyone out there is a cool queer person from seattle please say hello. 

Why I’m Not Going To Pride


by Mia McKenzie

It’s almost pride weekend in San Francisco. Preparations are being made for any number of festive activities. Marches, parades, parties. Right now, countless dykes are painting signs that read, “Dykes united will never be divided,” and such. Countless drag queens are deciding which wigs to don for the big day. Glitter is sold out everywhere.

I’ve gotten Facebook invites to more events than I can keep track of. There is something pride-related to get into every hour of the day from five on Friday to Sunday at two a.m. It’s all very exciting. I guess.

This whole “pride” thing…I don’t get it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, when I was younger, when I was first out, when the newness of gayness in public made the idea of parades and pride festivals really tantalizing, I was into it. I attended pride parades in many of the cities I lived in, including Philly and Denver. But after a while, it got…you know…old. And not just old. It got…pointless.

I needed pride parades when I was just coming out, I guess. I needed just to know that other “gays and lesbians” existed. And I guess I needed to spend a Sunday with all of them once a year? But very quickly what I needed, as a young, queer person, changed. Today what I need has nothing whatsoever to do with parades. Nothing whatsoever to do with Bud Light sponsorship.

What I need, and what most of the folks in my community need, is access to education, and health care, and food that isn’t slowly killing us. We need for our tax dollars to not be spent killing other brown people all over the world. We need the police to stop using our black bodies for target practice. We need…shit, we need a lot of things. And very few of them involve hot pants and feathered floats.

I know what some of y’all are going to say. “It’s a parade! It’s fun! I like it! Why do you hate everything?” To you, I say, Please stop hearing only what you want to hear. Thanks.

I don’t hate parades. And I find glitter to be all kinds of wonderful. And, yeah, wear those hot pants, guuuurl! AND ALSO, I have a brain and a sense of justice and a heart that connects to the suffering of other human beings. K?

I just wish some of this “pride” energy (and a LOT of this Pride money) was being spent demanding justice for Brandi Martell. And Cece McDonald. I wish all the people who care about after-parties cared about Rekia Boyd. (I realize that some people care about these things simultaneously. Most people, however, do not. Please don’t talk to me about how you know five people who do, and how that makes my argument null and void. Thanks again.)

I do not identify as “gay” or “lesbian”. The reasons are myriad, and it comes down to the fact that my association with gays and lesbians is with marriage equality and Subarus and we are just like straight people once you get past all the butt-fucking. I identify as queer because that term, for me, is about the ways in which I do not want to conform, the ways in which the idea of being “just like straight people” makes me want to watch paint dry, or something else that sounds equally interesting. More than that, though, being queer, for me, is about understanding the intersections. About being able to see how sexuality and gender and race and class and a whole bunch of other things are all tools used to keep the same machine in tip-top shape. And you know what? I have never heard anybody talking about that type of shit on a stage after a pride parade.

So, I’m opting out. (This is not me telling you that you should opt out. This is me saying that I am.)

Because, despite what today’s LGBT mega-organizations want you to think, Stonewall was a RIOT, y’all. Not a parade.

Like this blog? Feel represented here? Then please support queer, trans*, and gender-non-conforming writers of color! Watch this video and then GO HERE!

Black Girl Dangerous Writing Workshop Video from Black Girl Dangerous on Vimeo.

Mia McKenzie is a writer and a smart, scrappy Philadelphian with a deep love of vegan pomegranate ice cream and fake fur collars. She is a black feminist and a freaking queer, facts that are often reflected in her writings, which have won her some awards and grants, such as the Astraea Foundation’s Writers Fund Award and the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award. She just finished a novel and has a short story forthcoming in The Kenyon Review. She is a nerd, and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous, a revolutionary blog.

LIKE Black Girl Dangerous on Facebook.

(via loveyourchaos)

2011 things

on new years eve mara and i went over to a friend’s house for a burn party where we wrote down all the things that we wanted to leave behind in 2011 and threw them in the wood stove. 

besides bad habits (throwing the cat, not being assertive with what i want, etc.) i honestly couldn’t think of any major things that i wanted to leave behind in 2011. 

from the beginning - spending last new years at my friend leia’s house in corvallis - until the very end, spending this new years with mara in amherst/northampton. 

last winter, i was extremely hesitant about returning to school at umass. i wanted nothing more than to stay in portland and was incredibly jealous of everyone i knew that was able to do that. i had just begun to make some great friends in the fall, but wasn’t sure what would happen in the spring. mara and i also had some history that i wanted to leave behind me. 

when i got to school, i jumped into things headfirst from the very beginning. i got to know the friends that i had even better and met countless more. i had some ridiculous nights with my roommates. i spent over a week drunk. i got stranded at mt. holyoke college and nearly froze at 2 am. for better or for worse, i had some hookups and did some pretty shitty things to someone who didn’t really deserve it. i finally felt like i had settled in - both at school with my friends, and who i was as a person. i have never felt so loved for who i am as i did in 2011. 

i went to new york city for spring break and had one of the most amazing weekends of my life. i’m pretty sure that i fell in love at the metropolitan museum of art, telling mara everything i’d learned about post-impressionism in art history. i knew for sure that i had fallen in love a few weeks later, after walks through the woods, crying after watching into the wild, going to various feminist readings and lots of learning and laughing. and every day it just gets better. 

when 2011 began, i had no idea that it would hold so much for me. i had no idea i’d find such amazing friends, have so many adventures, fall in love with massachusetts, fall in love with a beautiful girl and make plans for the future. i had no idea that i would have nothing that i wanted to leave behind in 2011. i guess i can only hope that 2012 continues all of that. i’m excited for the new year.

A guy in my psychology class said he thought orientation could possibly be a choice;



Me: Okay so if orientation is a choice, choose to be gay, right now.

Him: No.

Me: Why not?

Him: Because I don’t find men attractive

Me: So CHOOSE to find them attractive

Him: ……. I can’t.

Me: Sorry, WHAT was that? You CAN’T????

we need to get beyond this argument that being gay is not a choice, because guess what? for some people it IS a choice. I do know women that have chosen to be lesbian because they feel safer with women than with men (one of these women went through A LOT of trauma as a child). We can argue all day and night that we deserve equal rights because we didn’t choose to be this way, but the real thing is that that shouldn’t matter. 

this is AMERICA. you should be able to choose to be in a same sex relationship just as you should be able to choose to be asexual, heterosexual, or single. By stating that its “not a choice” we’ll forever be butting heads with the religious and explaining ourselves forever. the basic fact is, however, that we shouldn’t have to explain ourselves. our personal lives are just that and it doesn’t matter who we love, we just want equal rights. end of story.

amen. biological determinism sucks. my life shouldn’t have to be proven scientifically or any other way. stating that being gay is not a choice will not only lead people to forever question that and try to prove you wrong, but it also excludes tons of people.

as for me, i don’t really care if my loving a woman was nature vs. nurture. i spent a lot of time worrying about this when i was first coming out; I worried that i was being influenced by listening to tegan and sara and the people that i was friends with who were mostly lesbian/queer/trans. i was scared to come out because what if i wasn’t really gay? what if i was just subconsciously becoming gay because of all these other influences? was i really as gay as the girls who figured out that they liked other girls when they were 3 and i didn’t until i was 18? and then i decided “so fucking what” because i shouldn’t have to prove my gayness and why i like girls. saying that people can only be biologically gay ignores and invalidates tons of peoples’ experiences where that may not be the case and makes them feel like that they will never be gay enough or make them forever question whether they have the elusive “gay gene.” it’s stupid. people should be able to do what they want. it IS a choice. we are all autonomous people. 

(Source: sextoysrus, via indywasthedog-deactivated201208)

things i need to know: how friendly is ireland to the gays?

thinking about at least starting a trip to europe there this summer, depending on airfare. i’m not really that concerned because i’ve travelled in much more conservative countries (singapore and malaysia especially) but mara and i would be going together to it’s sort of a good thing to know.