Tag: Vibe

Come Vibe With Me: Attention Please

Come Vibe With Me: Attention Please

My friend’s birthday was this week and, given the circumstances, her girlfriend wanted to make this one special as possible. We hid presents in my apartment while she was home (we live in the same building), she quietly blew up balloons in the early morning hours, and there were surprise calls from many friends and family. It was all sweet and heartfelt, her girlfriend wanting to shower her with love and attention on her special day.

I’ve written before about how my own birthday isn’t something I look forward to — mostly because I don’t care for the attention. My social media presence, my personality, and perhaps more could suggest that I love it but in total honesty, it scares me. However, this week I found myself craving attention, not in the narcissistic sense but in the form of wanting to be heard. I was at this frustrating intersection of simultaneously wanting to understand and wanting to be understood. I was unraveling and so was the situation, and a pause in that coming undone didn’t seem in sight.

My friend’s special day went perfectly, her whole day was filled with people who care for her showing just how much they do. When I joined them in their apartment, she closed the computer after getting off her final call and said “I’ve had enough attention today to last me for 2 years.” She seemed happily exhausted and when I thought back to my circumstance, I was jealous that I wasn’t the same.

photo of a hand, fingernails painted red. A ring cigar holder is on one finger and it is holding a pink and gold cigarette.
A pretty shot in a chaotic moment

I was simply — exhausted. Mentally tired from going in circles and physically from the toll the whole thing had taken on my body. Do you ever forget to take a moment? To think about why you’re fighting for what you are? To take a quick recount of your needs — and why you need them?

A break finally came when I stopped — I paused. I quit seeking the attention I needed and tried to answer the very questions I asked you. I honestly still feel terrible. I’m still working as hard as I can to make my way through.

Sweet Sunday bbs.

Y’all Come Look at This

Continuing my love for my Gen Z queen, Flo Milli looks stunning on the cover of PAPER and reminds us again that she is here to stay.

Rapper Flo Milli on the cover of PAPER magazine posing in a hat made of denim, cutout denim long skirt and shapes cut out of denim material over her upper body.

One of my favorite shows on the Certainly White network, Riverdale, continues to get called out about its representation of minorities — here’s hoping change is on the horizon.

There is often talk about how to repair romantic relationships but friendship breakups hurt, too. Over on BITCH, Josie Pickens talks about healing those broken friendships.

I am P-Valley Hive and this interview on how Nicco Annan made the character, Uncle Clifford, queer royalty just makes me even more excited for the shows return.

I discovered the new short film, Polygraph, about a relationship between an Arab lesbian army nurse and her lover, who, very unexpectedly, is an Israeli intelligence officer. It’s only available for streaming in Israel right now but it looks AMAZING — here is the trailer.

Moving to another country has always been a dream of mine, doing so while black has been a fear. This piece on being a black expat is helping to assuage that fear and then some.

I love fast fashion, Megan THEE stallion and Tabria Majors. All three came together in this Fashion Nova collection that dropped this week.

A photo of the poster for the film Appropriate Behavior, it shows a close up of a womans face with hands in the frame and lists text with the names and titles of the cast, crew and other production members.

Appropriate Behavior

I’m still in Queer film throwback mode this week.

Desiree Akhavan is my favorite director and storyteller. The way she is able to portray things that may hold trauma for queer people, like love, sexuality, and family — but not make it triggering is an immense talent.

Appropriate Behavior has a lead who is messy, confused and weird but somehow — to me anyway — entirely put together at the same time.

In 2015, during the film’s original release, some of the crew here at Autostraddle got together and talked about it. It’s available to stream free in a few places so after you watch give the roundtable a read!

Watch the trailer here!

This week there is an opportunity to donate some new or gently used tents to those folks in the community who are unhoused and FroSkate in Chicago is selling new stickers for only $5, all the money will help support a holiday food drive. Mutual aid is incredibly close to my heart, which is why this virtual bulletin board is a large part of this column. On Wednesday, November 25, 2020, there’s a virtual opportunity to learn how mutual aid is ABOLITION WORK — I will be there and I hope you check it out too.

If you have anything happening in your city (or virtually) that you think would be a good fit for the community love virtual billboard, send it my way via Instagram!

Click images to enlarge.

These emotions are trying to get the best of me and right now they are winning. I’m not sure how up or down they will be but perhaps the best thing is to just feel them.

Come Vibe with Me: Show Your homies You Care

Come Vibe with Me: Show Your homies You Care

A photo of a bouquet of lavender flowers and a white carnation. In the background is a mirror that shows the reflection of other plants and records in a sunlit apartment
These flowers will always remind me of the sweetest Blue Moon.

I lost my voice a bit last week and I couldn’t be more grateful for the reason why. Last Saturday I gave away care kits to celebrate the blue moon to Black women, femmes and non-binary babes in my community.

The kits were filled with things that I love that bring me peace, protection, and joy. Plants, beautiful floral bouquets, skincare products, candles, herbs and so much more. I wanted to give them away to spread tangible joy and love to those who are often expected to do all the work, take all the pain, and expect nothing in return. I wanted to show that I care and on top of all that — I selfishly wanted to be around my own people.

I wanted to safely share myself, give my love and just have a few cute, quick kikis with a bunch of random niggas like I normally would be. It’s great to have a diverse crew of homies but it is also completely ok to want to be around people with whom you have an unspoken understanding.

You know when your party starts and even though all your friends are perpetually late you still worry no one is going to come? That was me, filled with nerves and talking myself off the ledge behind my mask and then it happened. The minute the last rose was tied to the gate behind me a bunch of beautiful black babes came down the Chicago alley where the table was set up, the sunlight soaking them through the trees and Solange serving as the soundtrack to their struts.

I was soaked in Blackness and loved every minute of it. As they picked their bags I would laugh and shriek loudly with some, I would cry as I heard some of their stories of missing community, I social distance bopped with others when a song came on that called for shimmy — it was glorious.

The importance of community and taking care of my own is something I was taught by my parents as a kid. They reminded me to always do it from the heart, it will be obvious if you’re doing it for clout or something more. When the day was over and my voice was gone, I clicked through my IG stories and cried. In giving from my heart, the universe paid me back tenfold and gave me sweet memories that will get me through 2020 and last long after.

In the words of my favorite digital space Ethel’s Club — care for your homies.

If you’re able to be around your own, I hope you don’t take that community for granted. Make dinner together, scream and laugh with each other during your next streaming binge, bask in each other’s greatness, and appreciate the safe space you are for each other.

Happy Sunday bbs,

Shelli Nicole

Y’all Come Look at This

I, and my millennial-aged dollars, love YA books and Rachel Charlene Lewis over at BITCH has 9 for me to read this November.

Ancestral magick is real and Krista White introduces us to a few Black witches who are sharing their magickal practice online to help us tap in.

Che Scott-Heron writes about the critiques against Black Americans who chose not to vote during this election.

Youtuber, Influencer and all-around babe, Shalom Black walks us through her skincare routine which zooms in on skin concerns like scars and dark spots.

Earlier this week them launched a new ongoing series with Eva Reign entitled In Bloom. The series highlighting all that it means to be Black and trans in today’s America.

Letitia Wright, John Boyega, and Director Steve McQueen look stunning in the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter and they are discussing McQueens’ anthology about Black, British life, Small Axe.

Our Black and Bougie (sometimes problematic) favs from TV/Film get an analysis from Karis Pierre over on gal-dem.

A still of FKA Twigs with braided red tinged hair standing behind a wall revealing only half of her face. The Still is from her music video "Sad Day"

Sad Day

I’ve been a fan of FKA Twigs since she made the short with Spike Jonze that made me want to give Apple even more money than I already have.

I came across the short for her single “Sad Day” while clicking around on Hulu. In the short, directed by Hiro Murai, who I’m familiar with from Atlanta on FX, her late-night visit to a Chinese takeaway spot takes us on a beautifully dope six-minute adventure.

Watch the short here

This week we have a dream support hotline for Black dreamers all through the diaspora, an opportunity to support a much-needed Black queer travel guide, and not one but TWO coat drives to support. A few other things are on this week’s bulletin board too so click through and share!

Click images to enlarge.

When folks came to pick up their care kits from me last weekend, and were chatting and dancing while waiting in line, I looked at them and missed community more than ever before. This week’s playlist is filled with “I Miss You’s’” — there’s an “I miss you to taking over aux cords in cars and playing songs that no one asked for,” an “I miss you to turning a 4 AM bar into Black girl karaoke,” and an “I miss you to happily singing loud and off-key with a group of my homies.” I miss you… see you soon?

Come Vibe With Me: You Can Meditate and Still Be Mad

Come Vibe With Me: You Can Meditate and Still Be

I got really angry and intensely frustrated at one point this week. After those emotions made their way through, I immediately felt sad.

I’ve been on quite the journey this year with coming to a fuller and more realized version of myself. I’ve been proud of this person I’ve been peeling back layers to unveil, excited for the elements of my ancestry that I discovered and deeply (quickly) connected to that have helped me along the way. Life has been testing this fuller version me since the moment I decided to truly lean in. Old traumas appearing waiting around to get the same past reaction and at mostly every turn I succeeded in responding better — smarter.

"Sex and the City" plays on Shell's laptop in her kitchen, which has a pink countertop.
I dealt with my feelings by making tacos and watching rich white women

But this time in my anger and frustration I responded just as I would have before. I felt like such a fucking failure, this version of Shelli doesn’t act like this, she doesnt feel this way and so I got discouraged. All the meditation, magick, herbs, and astrology in the world won’t stop human emotion.

Understand that your old “faults” and traumas may sporadically reappear. I wanted the other person in my situation to discern that this was just a moment, a blip in my transformation and that I was still this fuller person. I wanted them to remember that all the work I’d done, all the new tools they had seen me use were still relevant. I wanted them to tell me all the things that I should have been telling myself but in the moment – couldn’t.

I spent the next day or so holding space for myself — space to spiral, space to just be — my body and mind opted to just being. I put the first thread or two into stitching up the pain I was part of causing and then switched to start healing the wounds I caused myself. I went back to that medication, that magick, those other new tools, and put them back to work.

I need – you need – to both stan and stand for yourself. To not focus on failures but let them happen and move forward. To see how others view you as simply a cherry on top of the love you feel for yourself.

In growth we have to find that happy balance of pushing ourselves and forgiving ourselves, I’m learning how constant and difficult it will be but I won’t let it stop me and neither should you.

Happy Sunday bbs,

Shelli Nicole

Y’all Come Look at This

Makeda Easter turned to roller skating during the pandemic and it helped her connect with a bit of LA’s Black culture.

This piece on Taurus moons by Alice Sparkly Kat’s site made me cry actual tears from feeling so seen.

Saweetie in fringe looking beautiful in the desert makes me love Bay Area girls more than I already do.

Dani Janae and I give you our feelings about Hulu’s new Black-led and written horror-comedy “Bad Hair. (This also gets a shout-out over in this weeks Comment Awards but I’m really proud of it so had to give it even more love.)

Every Nigga deserves to be heard, I found this instagram that colorfully and proudly touts that message.

Danielle Desouzas’ beautiful personal essay on why this year’s Asexual Awareness Week is extra special over on Gal-Dem.

This cypher with Erykah Badu, Teyana Taylor & H.E.R at the BET Hip Hop Awards has once again made me wish I could rap. Brandy joins and her iconic song “I Wanna Be Down” serves as the backtrack and it’s all pure Black girl perfection.


Black Women are embracing their spiritual roots and finding power in the once gatekept world of all things magick.

The Netflix poster for "Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia" has a photo of Michelle Buteau on stage in a shimmering gold dress and her natural curly hair down to her shoulders.

Welcome to Buteaupia

Can I apply to be Michelle Buteaus’ nanny just so i can be around her for hours at a time?

I needed to watch something I knew was guaranteed to make me laugh, not trigger me and lasted just long enough between crying sessions and this was it.

I’d already watched this once but the second viewing was still as hilarious. I love when a comic stays in their lane and jokes about their own lives, she does just that, and it’s still fresh and funny. She is a complete and total charmer and if she didn’t return the outfit she was wearing yet I will attempt to steal it when I get hired.

Watch the trailer here!

This week on the bulletin board we have free self-defense kits for black and brown trans women in Chicago, A healing circle taking place in West Philadelphia lead by local healing and wellness practitioners, and a mentorship opportunity for U.S writers who are Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. A few other things are on this week’s bulletin board too so click through and share!

Click images to enlarge.

The word Sassy usually makes me roll my eyes, but that’s how I was feeling when I made this weeks playlist. It’s got the sweet selfish vibes that I needed to feel when remembering that messing up is apart of growth. When I was done reading myself for filth, these vibes felt like I was making a mixtape to give my subconscious and tell it to start acting right.

Come Vibe With Me: Singing Our Own Praises

Come Vibe With Me: Singing Our Own Praises

When was the last time you were proud of yourself?

The last time you truly paused, took yourself in and sang your own praises at the top of your lungs.

This weekend, I saw my parents for the first time in nearly a year. When I last saw them they were moving me into an empty apartment with not a vibe in sight. It’s now filled with plants, love, and energy for days. When they walked in the door I felt excitement and nerves, I wanted them to be proud of this place I had made completely my own. My daddy told me how impressed he was with me for always doing my own thing and my mother (after we got into it one good time, of course) was happy that I was still living my life on my terms.

Shelli in a mirror surrounded by books, plants and coffee
Celebrating myself looks good on me

I love those moments. Although their praises warm my heart, I realized I need to congratulate myself for my accomplishments even more than I already do. Some days I let my failures get the best of me, I allow my shortcomings to overshadow my achievements. I get stuck. I pull myself up and out, but it still takes work.

Trauma stalks QPOC like Dan Humphrey in that one Netflix show that I didn’t really like, and this generation is doing the laborious work of truly healing from it. I don’t think we are celebrating ourselves enough for taking on such a difficult task. I’ve read many an article saying that millennials demand applause for every little thing; maybe they are talking about white people because the Black and brown queer folks I know are too busy suffering from imposter syndrome and burnout to expect praise.

It’s hard for many of us to feel deserving and even harder for us to take a pause — but I dare you to try both. Celebrate things big and small and when you can’t do it on your own, ask for help. Call on your friends, call on your partner(s), call on your community to celebrate you, and then when the time comes return the favor.

So while you’re waiting for your tea to steep, or in my case, waiting for the lavender simple syrup you made to cool off… go hype yourself up.

You Deserve.

Happy Sunday bbs,

Shelli Nicole


Y’all Come Look at This


Jenna Wortham chats about curating beautiful scented profiles in the home and shares some current favorites

Katori Hall’s P-Valley has been one of my favorite new shows of the season — Jourdain Seales beautifully explains it’s portrayal on blackness, motherhood, sex work and more over on BITCH

Autostraddles’ own Carmen Phillips gets us excited for Viola Davis’ upcoming portrayal of queer icon, Ma Rainey, in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

An in depth read and conversation with Angela Davis over on The New York Times. We learn more about her activism roots and her hopes for the next generation. (This also got a shot out in Tuesday’s “Also.Also.Also”! But it’s worth your time to read again if you missed it.)

In the latest episode of Back Issue podcast, Tracy Clayton and Josh Gwynn (and special guest Hannah Giorgis) make me want to flat iron my hair and put 70 bracelets on my arms when they chat with black alt kid legend, Fefe Dobson

I fell in love with rapper, Flo Milli this summer while scrolling through TikTok — Niki Mcgloster writes up why the Gen-Z rapper isn’t going anywhere anytime soon

One of my favorite Bollywood movies, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, turned 25 this year. This thread over on Twitter by Maham Hasan is a sweet love letter to the film

The kids are so fucking alright, Producer & Actress Marsai Martin graces the first cover of Girls United from Essence Magazine



The Forty-Year-Old Version

This movie was so incredible. Shot on 35 mm black and white film, it’s a movie about discovering what it means to you to make it. Radha Blank wrote and directed the film that is a bit based on her own experiences as a Black playwright in New York City.

I loved it because sometimes I have moments where I look at my life and question if I am behind. The Forty-Year-Old Version serves as a reminder that we make our own rules, and we determine if where we are is where we are supposed to be.

There is also a bit of a queer element in one of the supporting storylines that made my heart so happy!

Watch the trailer here!


This week on the bulletin board we have a donation request for a makeup room supporting QTGNCPOC Sex Workers and others, a virtual teach-in discussing the #EndSars protests in Nigeria, a Mutual Aid request to donate public transit cards to NYC Trans & Queer folks, and much more. Links and social media handles are on images to visit and learn more.

Click images to enlarge.

I saw my mama this weekend so this playlist is inspired by her. When I was younger, if I caught an attitude in the car she would embarrass me and sing loudly to the old school station while at the red light. She would put on whole performances, waving her hands and grabbing my face; singing to me until my attitude was gone and I was smiling and singing with her. These songs remind me of those moments — also, there’s no way you can get through this playlist without turning a nearby object into a microphone.

Come Vibe With Me: Sunday Cozy Sunday

Come Vibe With Me: Sunday Cozy Sunday

Welcome to Come Vibe With Me, my new weekly Sunday column here on Autostraddle.

Sundays are my favorite day of the week, the afternoons in particular. I wake up, take my time making the sexiest homemade coffee drink I’ve had all week, put on my lofi hip-hop beats, cozy up on the couch, and start reading all the articles I’ve saved in my Pocket app through the week.

I had to start my Sunday with The Sanderson Sisters

It’s the start to me resetting after what has probably been a long week. Putting myself first and kicking back. I do the things that make me happy, which is something more and more black people have been learning and encouraged to do in recent months, and I am absolutely here for it. As my Sunday goes on, I tend to my plants, watch shows or films, hop on a zoom date — I do what I want to curate the cozy vibe my Sundays have come to be.

If you aren’t new to me here on Autostraddle, you know that community, true self-care, and vibes are quite important to me. My identity allows me to be part of multiple communities at once and although sometimes that can be draining, most days it’s a beautiful fulfilling experience. I want to use this space to share with you things from the multiple facets of who I am that I’ve enjoyed throughout the week.

You’ll find articles that I connected with, be introduced to movies & television that I couldn’t stop watching, find ways to do your part to help different communities and so much more — all while vibing out to a weekly playlist curated by me to play during your Sundays.

I hope you find joy in this piece of me that I wanted to share with you.

It’s simple, it’s Shelli and it’s a Vibe.

Love ya bunches honeys,

Shelli Nicole

Y’all Come Look at This

Peppermint is my pastel princess in her latest music video “Best Sex” — This video makes me miss getting eaten out on kitchen countertops more than I already did

Rachel Charlene Lewis & Evette Dionne chat about their disappointment with the new Netflix series Emily In Paris

Lex Amor had her Colors show this week and every bit of it was amazing — this performance of her song Odogwu is Sunday perfection

Fahima Hersi on her black identity and racism in the muslim community during the time of revolution

Lovecraft Country creator Misha Green took accountability for the hurtful storyline of the show’s Two-Spirit Indigenous character, Yahima

Jamila Woods talks creativity, blackness, femininity, and more while modeling the latest Perfect Number collection. Photos shot by the wonderfully dope Mercedes Zapata

The hairstyles of 8 Black Final Girls — Angela Bassett and her bangs deserve literally everything good in the world

Remember COVID is still a very big thing and it’s also flu season, Big Freedia premiered Rona Rona this week to remind you to cancel your plans, stay at home, and chill in the fucking house.

The poster of Vampires vs. The Bronx on Netflix, in which four Black and Latinx Teens are hand drawn holding roses and stakes while they fight vampires.

Vampires VS. The Bronx

It’s Halloween season and while I will be revisiting my favorite spooky movies non-stop I am excited to get some new ones too. Vampires Vs. The Bronx is the story of a few teens who are minding their own business — while trying to save their neighborhood from gentrification, drug dealers, and vampires.

I’ve already watched it a few times and it’s such a cute movie! It’s gonna give you a few jump scares, will def make you laugh and it’s got a hella witty plot that unfolds and wraps up decently. The cast is mostly Latinx and Black, and I love that because having more POC folks in the horror genre is needed and wanted.

There are def vampires in your neighborhood but the question is, are you on of them?

Watch the trailer here!

This week on the bulletin board we have some sweet platonic love speed friending, A live chat about being queer, Black, and Caribbean from some of our British homies, an opportunity to support Black Trans Power in Chicago, the return of QUEEN! live from Chicago and much more! If you have any QTBIPOC Events, Mutual Aids, Fellowships and more that you want to share with me send me a message over on Instagram.

Click images to enlarge.

This playlist came to me after I imagined chilling on a beautiful woman’s couch. My fingers in her hair while she comfortably lays between my legs, a throw gently draped over us, and the music serving as our soundtrack. Play this and kick back — think about that kind of sweetness on a Sunday morning.