The Austin Woman staff have finally been able to reconnect with some people and places they missed during the pandemic.


Parke Ballantine

Director of Events and Branding Strategy

June is Pride month, and it was the highlight of the year to reconnect with my vibrant, loving and fabulous LGBTQIA2S+ people! Filled with the bold embodiment of being, I basked in the sun, sweated on the dance floor and adorned myself with glitz and glam. I was often reminded of Madison Moore’s book Fabulous in which he notes, “Fabulousness almost always stems from a turning point: the moment we realize that suppressing our full selves by trying to fit in does us more harm than good, that it just isn’t working, even if sometimes we are forced to blend in to feel safe.” Being queer, femme and nonbinary can be complicated, yet reconnecting with my community I am reminded of the incredible gifts we offer: the brave modeling of radical self-love and the creation of worlds where we can be all our parts, fabulous and proud.


Anne Cox

Production Coordinator

When the pandemic first started, my circle got very small (as did most people’s). I basically only saw my girlfriend and my roommates. Now that vaccinations are widely available, I’ve been able to reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in over a year! I didn’t realize how much I’d missed them until seeing them in person and being able to talk about all the memories and weird hobbies we all picked up in quarantine. Before the pandemic, I totally used to hide when I saw someone I knew out and about just because I didn’t feel like having a conversation. Now it’s like the greatest feeling in the world. (Pictured: My weird quarantine hobby, knitting!)


Dawn Weston


Virtual meetings have certainly found a place in my heart mostly because you don’t have to account for traffic and travel time. But it has been so nice to get back into my regular work flow, which always includes lots of coffee meetings and networking events. I’m thrilled to be out of my “Zoom office” and having in-person conversations with our partners and team. The connections are so much more impactful when you’re meeting someone in person. I’m also really excited for a few upcoming concerts that we’ve got tickets to. I think I speak for all of Austin when I say we missed you, live music! 

austin-woman-Tori K

Tori Klein

Editorial Intern

Recently, I reconnected with the outside world by going on a camping road trip with my sister. We went from the Bay Area in California to Death Valley, Zion National Park and Horseshoe Bend. It was amazing to see how the desert fades into the red mountain ranges of Utah and then to the colorful rock of the canyons in Arizona. In Zion, we did the Angel’s Landing hike to the top of one of the mountains. The last part of the hike is so steep you have to hold onto a chain as you climb, meaning that you get beautiful, breathtaking and life-threatening views from every direction. It was incredibly grounding to be able to immerse myself in nature with someone I love, and I am so grateful that I got to reconnect to the outside world in this way.

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Claire Misfeldt

Editorial Intern

Consistent dog-walking has made it easier to reconnect with the outside world. After my university switched to online courses for the 2020 spring semester, I moved back in with my parents. I started walking the dogs every afternoon just to get out of the house, and they quickly got in the habit of me giving them walks. For the 2020 fall semester, I moved back on campus and found myself stuck in my dorm. To get out, I joined my friend on daily dog walks. Her dog, Dobby, loved the extra attention I gave him. It’s still uncanny, after a year of Zoom University and not going out. Yet this practice of dog-walking has made it easier to reconnect with the outside world.

austin-woman-Cy and Rebs (and VM)

Cy White

Managing Editor

I’m very much a home body. So when the pandemic hit it didn’t affect my overall lifestyle as much as most. However, one of my dear friends, Rebs, ended up having to leave the state. She just now got to come back for real. We got a chance to see each other in May for the first time since she officially moved back. It really was an emotional experience for both of us. Being able to see her and know that she was staying for good just made my heart lighter. Reminds me of our last SXSW together (2018). Those are the types of moments I want back more than anything. I don’t need to go out a lot or even be in public very often. But seeing those closest to me and experiencing music again…that would mean so much.



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