Friday, July 03, 2015

My Weekend Crush

Are you ready for some fooooootball? Damn, I enjoy watching women’s soccer. I particularly enjoy watching the Women’s World Cup because it’s got everything you could possibly want in good television. Action, comedy, drama, regret, determination, jubilation, anger, despair, elation and sometimes even a little blood. Fine, a lot of blood.

Given, as an American I’m particularly pleased with my home team. And it is Fourth of July Weekend. Finals on Sunday, baby. So in honor of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s accomplishments this World Cup, here is a tribute to everything that makes them great. OK, well perhaps not everything, but the things you lesbians care about the most. Happy weekend and go USA, all.

The Intensity:

Tobin Heath roars.

Carli Lloyd pumps.

Abby Wambach grits.

Yes, she’s problematic, but no one gives better bitch-get-away-from-my-goal face than Hope Solo.

The Hugs:

Baby Horse prances.

Meghan Klingenberg leaps.

Kelley O’Hara bounds.

Megan Rapinoe bear hugs.

The Lifts:

Tobin’s good lift.

Tobin’s bad lift.

The Thighs:

Ali Krieger, all day long.

Sydney Leroux, all night long.

Tobin, day and night.

Kelley, always.

The Hair Goals:


Or Abby?

The abs:

Rapinoe-oh, damn, girl.

p.s. Just to get you extra pumped, here are Abby’s teammates impersonating her. USA! USA! USA!

p.p.s. Well done rest of the world, too, of course.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Principally Awesome

Some people are just awesome. Not in the hyperbolic sense often used to describe a cool pair of sneakers or a particularly tasty sandwich, but in the stunning, awe-inspiring way the dictionary demands. Misty Copeland is that kind of dancer. This week she was promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, the country’s most prestigious dance company. The announcement makes her the first-ever black dancer to earn the distinction in the company’s 75-year history. She had already been one of the company’s first African-American soloists, but now her place in history is more than complete.

That alone would be inspiring. But her life has been about defying definition and exceeding expectations. She wasn’t the “right” age to start dancing (about a decade too late at age 13). She wasn’t the “right” body types (muscular curves instead of classically willowy). She doesn’t have the “right” skin color (it wasn’t until 1990 that a black dancer - Lauren Anderson – was named principal dancer to any major American company).

But here she is, arguably one of the most famous ballerinas dancing today. Last year she landed a major Under Armour endorsement deal. Earlier this spring she was named to and a cover girl for the Time 100. And last month she became the first African-American dancer for the company to perform the most-coveted role in ballet, the dual leads of Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake.”

Yes, like I was saying, truly awesome.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

For Every Girl

You probably already know about this. You might have even already donated. But it’s worth repeating because it is always worth repeating when good things happen. Sometimes it seems in this world all the bad stuff can beat us down. Like the story of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington who were given a $100,000 donation, but only with if none of the money went toward supporting transgender girls. Wow, way to go, asshole.

But that’s where the good kicks in. The Girl Scouts of Western Washington returned that money, because Girl Scouts are for every girl – regardless of race, class, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity or anything else. That alone would be great, an organization taking a stand against such blatant bigotry. But the part that makes it that much better is how we as a community have responded.

When the Girl Scouts put out the word about the donation being returned, it also asked the public to perhaps match the amount they lost to help girls go to camp. And, boy, did we deliver. The group’s Indiegogo #ForEVERYGirl campaign matched the $100,000 by midday. At the time of writing their donations are up to $269,000 and climbing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised that if by the time you read this the amount has been tripled, if not more.

Yes, nearly a quarter million dollars was raised in one day to support trans girls, and girls everywhere. Wow, way to go, world.

I was a Girl Scout growing up. And it was a wonderful, empowering and incredibly fun experience. I couldn’t be more proud to be a former Girl Scout today. Also, we have cookies.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Who ya gonna call?

Ask and ye shall receive from The Internets. And just in time for gayzzoli. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a glorious mastercut of Det. Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles performing their signature “Rizzoli” and “Isles” synchronized phone greetings. That series of tubes never fails to amaze. [Hat tip, @loudestdork!]

p.s. Don’t forget to check out my Gayzzoli Recaps up at AfterEllen on Thursdays this season.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A More Perfect Union

Lest you forget, sometimes the world really does get better. Friday’s historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage – or just marriage as it’s now called in all 50 states – has finalized the case for enshrining June 26 as a national gay holiday. The date is the anniversary of Lawrence vs. Texas (2003), which decriminalized gay sex; Hollingsworth v. Perry (2013), which overturned Proposition 8; and United States v. Windsor (2013), which ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Now with this year’s Obergefell v. Hodges creating a constitutional right to marriage equality, June 26 truly has become the gayest day of the year.

Progress on this journey has been slow, but also stunning. From 2004, when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, to 11 years later, where it is the law across the union, it has been an incredible journey. We have the tireless work and fierce devotion of countless advocates to thank for this achievement. But it’s also proof that people can change, that the hearts and minds of everyday Americans can change when our shared humanity is realized.

The thing about civil rights is that our collective advancement isn’t really about the minority group in question. Granted, each community pushes for its own progress. It’s not as if in 1964 all of a sudden African-Americans become enlightened and therefore worthy of discrimination protection. It’s that the majority – white Americans – become enlightened and realized we’re all just humans imbued with the same inalienable rights. (Granted, there’s a still a long way to go on that regards, a long damn way.) The same goes for gay rights. It’s not that LGBT people finally deserved the right to marry, it’s that the majority – straight America – finally realized love is love. (And, of course, we still have a way to go for employment, housing and other full protections.)

But therein again is why days like June 26 matter so much. It’s hard work fighting for equal rights. It’s exhausting and draining and often thankless. So when the Obergefell v. Hodges days happen, we must celebrate them as, to coin a term from President Obama, the thunderbolt of justice that it is. Days like that are the jolts we need to keep going. They are the sparks to keep the struggle alive for all groups who deserve full and equal protection under the law.

June 26 is a day to celebrate and a day to inspire us to continue our journey toward that more perfect union. Now, let’s all go get married, you big beautiful country.

p.s. I’m not the kind to normally chant this, but “USA! USA! USA!”

Friday, June 26, 2015

My Weekend Pride

Today could be the day. Monday could be the day. We never fucking know with SCOTUS. But what we do know is that it’s Pride Month and that means regardless of what nine people in black robes say, we should feel empowered to celebrate ourselves. I’ve been going to pride for more than a decade now. And each time I go, despite the crush of humanity and desperate hunt for restrooms, I leave feeling glad I went. Because there is strength and joy in numbers. The modern gay rights movement started as a riot against police brutality. So our pride at being out together en masse is about so much more than wearing rainbow-themed tchotchkes and seeing go-go dancers on floats. It’s about celebrating every single stride we have made and reaffirming our resolve to continue to our struggle toward full equality. So here are a few gifs to help you shout it loud and proud this weekend. Happy Pride and happy weekend, all.

p.s. Also, please enjoy this lovely Equality video from our gal Hillary.

p.p.s. We won! We won! We won! We won! We won! We won! We won!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Secret's in the Subtext

So I’ve got another new Women & Hollywood column up (or about to be up) this week. This time I went through a chronology of lesbian films through the decades to show how far we’ve come (and still need to go). One of the films I included, “Fried Green Tomatoes,” continues to be a lesbian favorite despite not featuring any explicitly lesbian content.

But we all knew, we alllll knew. Those of us who read Fannie Flagg’s source material knew with even more certainly, but still anyone with even a modicum of gaydar knew that Idgie & Ruth were a couple. Not best friends. Not gal pals. Not business partners. They were girlfriends, they were a family.

Yet, through the magic of Hollywood, two women could live together, raise a child together, start a business together yet still somehow be just friends. Some folk’s willful ability to delude themselves is truly impressive.

Still I think, despite the silly subterfuge, what “Fried Green Tomatoes” is really a great example of is our ability to embrace the narratives we want to see. A story that perhaps back in 1991 was too risqué (Women! In love! Gasp!) has been reclaimed by our community. And, better yet, in the years since we’ve been able to tell our own stories with total clarity.

Our progress since means it’s OK to keep a soft spot for the ladies of the Whistle Stop Café. Plus, I dare you to call yourself a true lesbian if you haven’t named at least one pet Idgie, Ruth or some combination of the two. Pet names for each other count, too. Secret’s in the sauce, ladies. Secret’s in the sauce.

You can read the column here.

p.s. That food fight continues to be one of my all-time favorite movie scenes. She’s tryin’ to teach me how to cook!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Streep Tease

As news broke yesterday of yet another unknown white guy (Tom Holland who?) being tapped to helm another major franchise (does anyone even want another “Spider-Man” movie?) as directed by some equally unknown white guy (Jon Watts what?), I didn’t even bother repressing my yawn. Seriously that willmake six “Spider-Man” films featuring three different white guys as “Spider-Man” with three different white guy as director since 2002, I could not be more bored. I mean, we get it, he sticks to stuff. I would rather watch Meryl Streep take on and off her glasses one million times than see another “Spider-Man” story on the big screen. In fact, I think I will. Could you imagine how epid Meryl would be peering through, over and under her glasses in IMAX? That is all.

p.s. Please consider this a belated happy birthday for Meryl, who turned 66 on Monday.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Orphan Puppy

Damn, “Orphan Black,” damn. I haven’t really been able to process this season past the “holy shit” and “noooo” of it all. But, you know, holy shit and nooooooo!

[Spoilers for the “Orphan Black” season finale, obviously]

So, yeah. I hate to say it but going into the season finale I was pretty sure either a) Shay, or b) Delphine would die. The cynical side of me would say it’s because there couldn’t possibly continue to be two strong, viable romantic interests for the lesbian character on television. The less cynical side of me says that under her breath, but also understands how story development works and saw either of them as the most likely “expendables” in the plot.

So while I wasn’t shocked, I am terribly saddened that Delphine had to get that gut shot. (Though, fingers crossed, we didn’t actually see the kill shot – I know, I know – let me dream.)

I can’t say I’m super excited about this new Neolution direction. But then I wasn’t super excited about the Castor clones direction either, and they turned out to be mostly harmless (well, not literally, but you know what I mean). It’s not that I think the concept of the Neolutionists is bad, it’s that whenever you get religious wingnuts (or whatever this brand of zealotry is) involved things can get, well, nuts.

But, anyway, back to Delphine. Oh, Ms. Dr. Cormier. How I will miss her. How much she loved Cosima. How well Evelyne Brochu played this whole season. That last scene when she tells Cosima goodbye? As the kids today say, ALL OF THE FEELS. They still say that, right?

It’s hard to imagine that all that crazy science and all that puppy love is really gone. But, damn, way to become the hero this show deserves.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Do Squeeze the Sharmen

Damn, it’s the start of another workweek. Damn, it’s the return of Sharmen. See, inflection makes all the difference. In case you missed it last week, Kate Moennig and Sarah Shahi reunited on the set of “Ray Donovan.” Sarah guests on the Showtime series as an “Armenian pop star,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Yeah, that’s still not gonna make me watch the show. But the mini “The L Word” reunion did make ne feel all nostalgic. And it no doubt swelled the heart of Sharmen lovers (hisss, Shenny lovers, hisssss) everywhere. Can you believe it has been almost 10 years since Shane left Carmen at the altar? Damn. Yeah, like I was saying, inflection.