Friday, March 27, 2015

My Weekend Crush

Sometimes we scoff when folks call themselves allies. Like, anyone can say they support us, but how about you show us instead, eh? But the concept of an ally, and building allies, is always invaluable. The minority will always need the majority to come to their side for real, lasting change to occur. But, as happens all too often, one minority group ends up fighting with another minority group for progress/approval/support. And that’s just ridiculous. Also, just as ridiculous, is when people who belong to multiple minority groups are asked to choose which one takes precedence over the other. As if we can simply lop off one part of ourselves and put it on a shelf.

But in both regards we must resist this idea of an Otherness Olympics. For me my femaleness and my gayness and my Asianness are all part of one complete package. And it’s like that for so many others as well. So then for us as the gay community our support of the feminist community and the trans community and communities of color and so many others must be unwavering. (And, of course, for so many of us in various communities it already is.)

So when people get that intersectionality, like really get it, it makes our hearts swell. Which is why listening to Kerry Washington’s GLAAD Media Awards Vanguard Award acceptance speech is so damn wonderful. I got to see her three years ago at the GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco when she introduced Shonda Rhimes and she was just as lovely then. Her message of seeing each other, helping each other, believing each other’s fundamental humanity and celebrating our otherness is one everyone should hear. Be bold, be allies - all of us. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Evan Rachel Did

So, normally I don’t go in too much for blatant advertising campaigns. Naturally, there are exceptions and most involve either a) cute animals, or b) cute gays. (There’s also a subset I reserve for “empowering messages,” but those can sometimes be obviously self-serving corporate marketing.) Anywayyy, find the thread, Snarker. Right, so this campaign fits in pretty well because it has both a cute gay in the form of bisexual actress and all-around swell gal Evan Rachel Wood and vaguely cute/vaguely nightmare-inducing animal mascot costumes. But mostly this is just funny. And that it’s from queer-owned fashion brand Wildfang which is pretty much your gold standard when it comes to lesbian hipsterism. For reference please see Kate Moennig, Ellen Page, Megan Rapinoe, et al. So, it is basically a big gay win-win. Also, I don’t understand why I don’t own a Tomboy T-shirt already.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Truth is Back Out There

If yesterday afternoon you heard a great, ear-piercing squeal from the nerd in your workplace/home/chair (that being you), then you probably already know that “The X-Files” is coming back for a six-episode limited run helmed by series mastermind Chris Carter and starring everyone’s favorite skeptic and believer duo Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. Admit it, you did a little geeked out dance of joy around your living room and immediately started humming the theme music. ADMIT IT.

If you weren’t an X-Files fan in the 90s I’m going to assume you were either a) too young, or b) kidnapped and being held underground in a doomsday cult à la Kimmy Schmidt. If it’s the latter I’m really sorry about that and perhaps you should start watching on Netflix now. Go on, we’ll wait. I’ll gauge your progress from here and assume by your screams of unending horror you’ve made it to the episode “Home.” You may want to take a little break after that, and that’s totally understandable. But, please, do persevere.

The show was so great for so many reasons and – while looking back at some of the fashions, hairstyles and shoulder pads may say otherwise – is in no way dated. In fact it pre-dated our rampant Internet culture and issued a stern warning against government surveillance and the erosion of privacy while touching on everything from whistle blowers to national security, scientific ethics and of course general paranoia about the world. Just think what the Lone Gunmen must think of us now. And it did it all with humor, scares and real chemistry. Sure, even I petered out watching at the end and, OK, maybe the movies were only OK. But, hell, this is still just the geekiest, greatest news.

The other great thing about this news, other than it is just really fucking great news, is that this seems to be the continuation of the Gillian Anderson Moment we’ve all been having for the past year and change. While at first it may have seemed that David was having the best post-Mulder career thanks to his Showtime series “Californication” (Jesus, didn’t that thing seem like it was on forever – like is it still on? I have no idea, nor did I watch), Gillian has come on beyond strong post-Scully of late.

Granted, those of you lucky to be across the pond in England had much more access to her post-special agent career as she has focused much of her work both on stage and screen there in the years since. But now, thanks to the sheer force of her luminous talent (and face, dear God, that face), audiences have fully rediscovering her stateside as well thanks to her undeniably great work in “Hannibal” and “The Fall.” Have I mentioned how excited I am that’s coming back for a third season? Because, sweet merciful Zeus, AM I EXCITED.

Anyway, where was I? Right, “The X-Files.” Congrats, fellow nerds. We believed hard enough and it’s happening. It’s really, really happening.

With that, please enjoy these videos celebrating everything and anything that makes Special Agent Dana Scully special.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beals is Back

Alas, there’s no “Rizzoli & Isles” on Tuesgay again until June. So as long as we’re pining for our two favorite totally gay, not-gay couple, add in a little longing for our favorite artist formerly known as Alpha Bette. Since its initial announcement last May little has been released on Jennifer Beals’ new show, “Proof.” We knew it was going to be about a doctor looking for proof of live after death. We knew it was produced by Kyra Sedgwick. We knew it was on TNT. And we knew it had one trailer of Jennifer looking very Alpha.

But after that, not much. So now, finally, we have another trailer for the show which gives us just a teeny-tiny bit more. But it’s making me a whole lot more excited for the show because medical drama + supernatural elements + Jennifer Beals in a labcoat = Yes, Please, and Thank You.

While the show doesn’t have a launch date other than “Summer 2015,” my continued great hope is that TNT will pair this show with “Rizzoli & Isles” to give us an all-awesome-ladies, all-the-time bloc of programming.

So, thoughts? I don’t know about you, but man, does it feel good to have Jennifer back on our teevees. So good. 

p.s. Damn, I swear the video head didn't say "June 2015" before, but I will absolutely take it. Woo and hoo!

Monday, March 23, 2015

T-Swizzle of Eden

So, every time I hear Taylor Swift’s song “Style,” I stop on these lyrics:

You got that James Dean day dream look in your eye/
And I got that red lip classic thing that you like
And every time I hear those lyrics, I stop and see this:

Yep, just me gaying up the world, one pop songs at a time. But admit it, K-Stew and T-Swizzle make a pretty cute-looking couple.

And now, you won’t be able to see anything else when those lyrics come on either. You’re welcome. Happy Monday!

Friday, March 20, 2015

My Weekend Crush

It’s funny, I actually feel a little sad. Not about life, in general – though there’s always plenty to be bummed about on the daily. Get it together, world. But mostly just about the series finale of “Glee” tonight. I haven’t decided if I’m going to watch it live. Mostly this is because I haven’t watched all but a couple select episodes this whole season (you know the ones *cough, Brittana, cough*). But what I will mourn if the possibility and hope of “Glee.” Have no doubt this is a show that did something extraordinary during its run. This is a show that helps to define the generational gap between old-school homophobia and new-era acceptance.

This isn’t to say that we’ve solved LGBT bigotry in America because of a TV show about high school kids (and now high school graduates who inexplicably keep returning to high school) who sing and dance in unison. But it’s pretty extraordinary to think where we’ve come. I can remember the days Ellen DeGeneres’ totally tame sitcom ran with a parental advisory before it because the lead character dared to be a gay to now when young people and their families sat down together to root for the gay kids to stop getting thrown into a dumpster together.

Change comes slowly, but also sometimes breathtakingly quickly. So much has changed since 2009, when “Glee” debuted in terms of LGBT rights and LGBT acceptance. We’ve crossed the threshold where back during Obama’s first presidential election it was perfectly acceptable for my across-the-street neighbors to plant a “Yes on 8” sign in their yards proudly. Now, such public displays of bigotry simply would not fly. Sure, they may still feel it. But would they say it out in the open like that without fear of ridicule and scorn? I kinda don’t think so.

Now, that isn’t all because of “Glee,” of course. So much has shifted in conventional wisdom because of the tenacious and tireless work of LGBT advocates. But it certainly helped that for a time one of the most popular and talked-about shows on television had not qualms about being out and proud and gay as freaking hell.

We can go on and on and on – and I most certainly have – about all of the show’s shortcomings. Dear sweet fanciful Cheerio shirt, was it not perfect. But I have to say, overall, as a phenomenon in our culture it did so much more good than harm. Sure, it squandered a lot of opportunities to do more and be better. But, in the end, I’m happy were able to be part of it – however long we stayed. Because it never hurts to have a show that unapologetically reminds us to “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Happy weekend, all.

p.s. Also, there is always the music. That first “Don’t Stop Believin’” still gives me chills.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Holy Moly, Gayzzoli

With that, please enjoy the back-to-back recaps (way to make a recapper's job tougher, TNT, by burning off the final two episodes on the same night) over at AfterEllen today.

p.s. No, I did not watch Sasha's episode of Shameless. Yes, I did see the, um, pertinent scenes with Sasha in them. Hello.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

On Wednesdays We Sing Orange

Granted, it’s not quite as catchy as FEE-MALES ARE STRONG AS HELL, but it’s still pretty damn catchy. And it makes me miss these ladies even more. June 12 can’t get here fast enough, and that’s the whole damn truth.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tank Top Tuesday

Told you I have having an SMG moment. Though, really, anyone in a tank top can make me have a moment. Hey, sometimes I’m easy. And you love it, too.

Angelica Huston

The tank top that started it all. No, really.

Danielle Brooks

Taystee, indeed.

Nicole Curtis

But, seriously, have you started watching “Rehab Addict” yet?

Ming-Na Wen

Every time I see her I feel bad for not sticking with “Agent of Shield.”

Scarlett Johansson

Finally watched “Lucy” and, damn, she was good in it. Weird movie, though. Weird.

Padma Lakshmi

She makes me want to be a better…cook. Yeah, we’ll go with cook.

Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson

Every time I see these two I feel bad for not finding time to watch “Broad City” yet. But I will, I WILL, dammit.


Aliyah O’Brien

The Canadian actress is one half of the Office Lunchbox ship from “Rookie Blue” (the other half being Charlotte Sullivan). This is a show which I don’t watch but have seen countless gifs for on Tumblr. Aliyah has also described her sexuality as “who cares” because she is “attracted to men and women.” Oh, and I didn’t even realize it but she was also in “Ascension.”

Laura Vandervoort

Hey, look, another Canadian actress I’m relatively unfamiliar with. But she stars in “Bitten,” a show about werewolves. So, naturally, now I’m interested.

Teri Polo

Now this lady I do know. And I couldn’t be happier for the continued success of “The Fosters.”

p.s. Oh, kittens, there will be some Ashlyn Harris/Ali Krieger tank top loving in our future. Gotta stock up for the World Cup. Also, I need a refresher on which team members are officially out again. By default I assume they all are, obviously.

Monday, March 16, 2015

True Jinx

If you will allow me, I want to talk about a straight white male today. Yes, I know, it is highly unorthodox for a lesbian pop culture blog to spend valuable time and space talking about straight white men. That’s what the rest of the Internet is for, duh.

But if you’ve been watching the HBO documentary series “The Jinx” at all, then you know that we just have to talk about last night’s shocking-as-fuck finale. If you haven’t been watching, finish this paragraph, log onto HBO Go (or beg your friends/parents/siblings for their HBO Go password) and start watching immediately. Spoilers be ahead (if you can call events that happened in real-life spoilers…)

The series follows the so-called “Jinx” himself, Robert Durst, the eldest son of New York real estate dynast the Durst Family (net worth: $4.4 billion). The title is meant to leave some ambiguity about who in fact was jinxed, Durst or anyone who happened to meet Durst. But the facts are three people close to Durst were murdered (well, one disappeared and was later declared dead without her body being ever found). While he denies two of the killings (his first wife who disappeared and his former female best friend who was shot execution style), he admitted to killing the third person (his former next-door neighbor), chopping up his body and throwing it in the Bay.

Now, the kicker is of course Durst has not been convicted or served any prison time for any of these deaths. None, nada, nothing. And, to me, this is perhaps the most textbook example of white male privilege – especially rich white male privilege – that I have ever seen. Ah, see, I knew I could work in some liberal, lesbian world view into this post. Man-hating mission statement, accomplished!

Durst’s riches and privilege meant police didn’t look too hard when in 1982 his wife, Kathleen, disappeared. He told them she took the train back to New York and was never seen again. They pretty much believed him, despite discrepancies and out-right lies and much more. They never searched their house. They never interviewed his other family members. You know, wives sometimes they run away and stuff. Am I right, fellas? Rich. White. Male. Privilege.

Durst’s riches and privilege meant investigators didn’t look into his connection to the shooting death of his long-time friend and one-time protector Susan Berman in 2000. After NY detectives reopened the now 18-year-old case of his wife’s murder, they had planned to speak with Berman but she was conveniently killed before she could talk with anyone. Still, at the time no one pressed too hard to figure out of Durst was in California at the time or find other evidence of involvement. Rich. White. Male. Privilege.

Durst’s riches and privilege meant he could (and did) hire the best legal counsel in the world after he was arrested for the murder and dismemberment of his 71-year-old neighbor in Texas. His lawyers argued self-defense and placed some of the blame for his erratic behavior (i.e. hacking the body into many pieces and throwing it into the Bay in trash bags) on the fact that an ambitious, politically driven female district attorney was aggressively pursing him for the old case of his wife’s murder in New York. Ambitious career women, amirite, fellas? Rich. White. Male. Privilege.

I’m going to go way, way, wayyyy out on a limb and compare Durst’s real-life Texas trial to the fake-comedy trail on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” The not-real trial of the preacher who kidnapped and held Kimmy and three other women captive for 15-years as part of his underground doomsday cult played on exactly the ways we hope against hope that our justice system doesn’t work. Folksy charm sways instead of facts and likeability trumps evidence. But then you watch the actually real Durst trial unfold and it’s exactly what happened. Jurors who were interviewed afterward said they believed his story because they felt he didn’t have it in his heart to commit a murder. So he was acquitted even though, again, he admitted to killing him and chopping up his body. Likeability – or more like very carefully trained and practiced body language and answers – won. It’s so fascinating and so infuriating.

Which leads me to last night’s episode. The almost too-perfect timing that Durst was arrested the day before the finale aired for the Susan Berman murder would have made a fine ending in and of itself. But then the real ending happened and there wasn’t an O-M-G in the world big enough to express my OMG. The cliché “my jaw hit the floor” is usually just that – a cliché. But I swear to God during the final scene my jaw involuntarily dropped and if I wasn’t already sitting on the couch it may well have found the floor. We could argue the ethics of the “hot mic” confession and more than likely someone with the resources of Durst will hire an expensive-enough lawyer to make sure the footage never sees the inside of a courtroom. But, still, from a public opinion perspective you can’t really come back from, “Killed them all, of course.”

Rich white male privilege means for more than 33 years Durst has been able to continue living his life in luxury and freedom. Rich white male privilege means the Durst family continues to thrive and prosper, even just acquiring the leasing rights to New York’s new, instantly iconic One World Trade Center. Rich white male privilege means Durst can continue to afford the best, craftiest, most effective legal counsel in the world. Justice may be blind, but she certainly ain’t poor.

Look, I’m a sucker for crime stories. I loved “Serial” and there’s hardly a crime procedural I can’t get sucked into (except “CSI: Cyber” – Jesus, that show is teeth-grindingly bad). But “The Jinx” took it to another level. No, it’s not fair, that’s for sure. But it does make for some extremely riveting television.

p.s. If Durst’s blank, blinking lizard eyes don’t haunt you to your grave, I worry about your humanity.

p.p.s. Don’t worry, I’ll be back to tank tops tomorrow, just like you like it. Suggestions always welcome.