I’ll admit it: I was ready to leave the beach. We’d been there since something like 11 a.m., and I was sunburnt, tired, and craving food more substantial than the snack variety. I’d thrown a T-shirt over my swimsuit and was attempting to rally the troops, folding blankets and picking up bottles and cans. It was Sunday, and I was already dreading a cold return to the office. The sun was setting, and my friends were reluctantly following suit when Jenni threw out a hand like a traffic cop in the face of an oncoming semi: “Wait!” She paired her phone with our massive speaker and I heard the opening notes of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own.” So, apparently, did half the beach. Less than 20 seconds into the song we were surrounded, half a dozen groups merging into ours as we leapt around the sand, sun-loopy and gyrating. The sun was still setting, and quickly, but my sense of urgency had evaporated.
Plenty has been written about Robyn and queerness in general, and about “Dancing On My Own” and queerness in particular. “Contrary emotions wrapped up in one package, happiness and sadness living together in a groove: Everything about this song is a juxtaposition,” Sam Sanders wrote for NPR’s American Anthem series. “That’s what makes it an anthem.” That’s also, I would argue, what makes it queer: such great joy existing in tandem with such great sadness. This, in essence, is what Pride month is about—recognizing the senseless persecution of queer people, particularly trans women of color, that continues to this day, even as we delight in the space we’ve carved out for ourselves. Dancing through the tears, so to speak.
Or, you know, literally. Because behind my sunglasses I was sobbing. Everywhere I turned I saw people I loved moving like kids in a wave pool, all thrashing limbs and strange footwork. Everyone was ocean-drunk. Everyone was mouthing the words. Everyone was dizzy, dramatic, overjoyed. More than one person fell over. Someone in a black speedo with orange flames twirled over to me and shouted, “I feel like I’m 18 again, and my boyfriend just broke up with me!” And that was it, I thought, the reason I was crying: all the feelings, like a knife twist to the abdomen. My emotions had simply overflowed.
After that there was another song, then another. Each carried diminishing returns, but the crowd of 30 or so stayed with us until Caitlin began to walk away with the speaker balanced on her shoulder. We sustained the bubble as long as we could, across the street and into the parking lot—a snatch of joy you almost forget is possible until you feel it again.
The Time I Went On A Lesbian Cruise And It Blew Up My Entire Life - BuzzFeed - Yes, this is “the lesbian cruise essay.” Yes, you should read it. Yes, I cried.
These Boots Were Made for Walkin’ Away from Oklahoma - Catapult - When your whole life leads away from the place you were raised, where is home?
The Pink - n + 1 - Andrea Long Chu on getting a vagina.
An Oral History of the Early Trans Internet - Gizmodo - How trans people found each other before social media.
How To Draw A Horse - The New Yorker - This twist ending just about killed me.
Just Break Open the Establishment Already - The Cut - This piece was written in response to an interview that Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor in chief of the Atlantic, did with Nieman Lab. The interview was ostensibly about Goldberg’s efforts to achieve gender parity at the magazine, but he opened a can of worms when he said, “It’s really, really hard to write a 10,000-word cover story. There are not a lot of journalists in America who can do it. The journalists in America who do it are almost exclusively white males.” He says he meant more men than women are given this opportunity, which is true. To me and to others, the remark read as patronizing (let me mentor you lowly women into these lofty ranks) and out of touch (almost all the best long-form writers working today are women). Noreen, who’s one of them, parses what exactly is wrong with Goldberg’s statement and the sentiment behind it.
The Lie of Feminist Meritocracy - Jezebel - Another media controversy! I won’t get into it here because Jezebel explains it well, but this is the best piece I’ve seen in response.
E. Jean Carroll and the Raising, and Lowering, Of the Bar - The New Yorker - This piece focuses more on what Jia Tolentino feels as the Me Too movement, hopelessly intertwined with Trump’s presidency, marches onward, but it also touches on the press’s collective reaction.
Why We Can’t Stop Watching Keanu Reeves, 30 Years On - Vulture - This Keanu retrospective is just so good. Exhibit A: “Reeves’s willingness [to explore romance and desire] brought another layer of intimacy to his relationship with his audience, offering a more flexible, vulnerable portrait of masculinity that sets him apart from other name stars.” Yes, please.
The Best Two Minutes of Debate Programming Ever - Slate - This totally qualifies as entertainment. Just watch the clips.
Ariana Grande on Grief and Growing Up - Vogue - The number of times she says “therapist” in this interview is truly inspirational.
How to Destroy Your Friends Emotionally With Astrology Memes - BuzzFeed - The true, sinister purpose of @notallgeminis!
A supercut of Rihanna laughing. Sue Bird on Megan Rapinoe. Kristen Arnett’s fridge. Kristen Arnett recommends the outdoors. Don’t forget to drink water.
I will admit I watched the World Cup not on TV, but entirely on Twitter. The images that came out of it are full of joy.