Friday, November 30, 2012

My Weekend Crush

First, they gave her a stutter. And made her shy. Then they said her stutter was fake. Then they made her goth…ish. Then they largely ignored her. Then they put her with the other Asian. Then they kept largely ignoring her. Then they did an episode where they joked about largely ignoring her. But she still was largely ignored. Then all the seniors finally graduated and it was going to be her time to shine. Then they made her a diva for a split second. Then they largely ignored her. Then they allowed her to sing lead on an Asian pop song. It ain’t easy being Jenna Ushkowitz. The artist otherwise known as Tina Cohen-Chang has been the perennial seat filler on “Glee.” Sure, she has moments to shine – and shine she did during them. “Tonight,” “True Colors,” “I Follow Rivers.” And then there was that hilarious time she was a vicious Asian vampire princess.

But here she is, in what we can only assume is her last full season on “Glee,” and instead of getting to finally take the spotlight she gets to play second fiddle again to Rachel, Puck, Finn & Quinn version 2.0s. And let me tell you, the younger generation pales in comparison. Like, Marley, get a clue – all of your regular clothes fit perfectly still. You were likeable for one episode when you wore that pageboy cap. But now your tired afterschool special eating disorder plotline makes me want to leave the room to make a sandwich and never come back. But back to the topic at hand. It would be nice for one of the very, very, very few Asian-American actresses playing main characters on primetime shows (hey there Sandra, Lucy, Maggie) to be more than glorified set dressing. But, alas, it seems not to be. Oh, and can we talk for a moment about making the one regular Asian cast member (now that “Other Asian” is gone) sing “Gangnam Style?” Sure, Jenna is Korean, but she was adopted by American parents when she was a few months old. So, um, no. Sigh. One day, Tina, one day your solo will come. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My pretties

Who says I need a fucking theme? After staying up way, way, crazy way too late writing this week’s Rizzoli & Isles Subtext Recap (check it out later today on AfterEllen, won’t you please), I just felt like posting pretty things. And I am in the process of some technological transition (more on that soon). So today all I could muster was this thought, if there must be a theme. Ladies, pretty. Pictures, good. It’s the best I can do. Please accept them with my sincerest apologies. But then, who needs complex thought with all this pretty?

Halle Berry
I have no idea what is happening in her personal life, but damn if that woman can’t fill out a T-shirt.

Vivienne Westwood & Christina Hendricks
Just a couple ginger gals hanging out and stuff.

Lucy Liu
Sure, I like her on “Elementary.” But, gosh, if I don’t miss the cop outfit from “Southland.”

Lena Headey
Because I can. Because it makes me feel good. That’s why.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

About Last Night

Right, so all of you kittens across the pond can just cross your arms and feel smug for a for being way ahead of me. But I’ve just fallen for Lucy Spraggan. The UK “X-Factor” contestant sang her way into you Brits hearts way back in August. But this Yank was slow to catch on. And in fact would still be oblivious if I hadn’t lazily clicked a video link I found while dawdling researching on Tumblr. See, procrastination pays off! Click play and lose your heart as well.

Things you should know. 1) She is gay and came out when she was 14. 2) She pulled out of “X-Factor” earlier this month due to illness. 3) She reminds me of clever a little gay Lily Allen. That last part is just my humble opinion. But, goodness, if her song didn’t put a smile on my face. And all I needed to see were her trainers (sneakers, to us Americans) to know she was definitely family. Adorable, hilarious, very talented family. Happy Wednesday. Now who needs a drink?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Welcome back, Gayzzoli

Happy We’re Not Gay, We Just Act That Way Day! Otherwise known as “Rizzoli & Isles” premiere day. Everyone’s favorite totally gay, not-gay show about LLBFFs Rizzoli & Isles returns tonight. And having seen the first two new episodes I can assure you there will be gayzzoli. In fact (look away spoilerphobes and skip to the end of the post), I can assure you that the first time we seen Jane and Maura on screen together you will scream, “COME ON.” Really. Really? Here’s a taste.

Yes. Together. In jammies. The morning after. Oh, show. How am I expected to respect the supposed maintext when the first thing you show me is this? Actually, I kind of love it. Sure, sure – subtext is not for everyone. And you have every right to be frustrated or despise it as an endless tease with no ultimate satisfaction. But me, I’m not in it for the payoff. I’m in it for the ridiculous chemistry and blatant subtext that makes me giggle like an idiot even though this is a show about gruesome and horrible murders. So, having seen the first two episodes of the mini five-episode winter season, I can say the gayzzoli rides again. And I’m giggling again. And our gals are totally gay in a non-gay way. Tweet you Big Gay Feelings during the show tonight using the #gayzzoli tag. And then Subtext Recaps will be back at each week on Thursday. When the gals look at each other like this, it is almost too easy.

I can only assume in this last photo they are in some sort of couples counseling because of a lingering disagreement over the proper way to squeeze the tube of toothepaste. Happy subtexting.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Total studs

The season of tryptophan-induced napping and workplace cookie snacking is now officially in full swing. Now I fully approve with indulging and enjoying to your little heart’s content. One of my particular weaknesses is homemade, still-warm snickerdoodles. But I am also in awe and respect of the hard-work and dedication it takes to mold one’s body into a piece of flesh-and-blood marble. So then let us all indulge and enjoy in a delicious treat of another variety today. Something scrumptious like the queer black female “athletes, artists, lovers” featured in Nick Knight’s V magazine spread Studs. So. Many. Abs. I must say, for a glossy fashion mag, this is a pretty damn progressive, gorgeously gender bendy photo essay. Not a bad way to start a Monday, not a bad way at all.

And look, there is video too!

p.s. I am not even kidding, but there is an additional SIXTEEN AND A HALF HOURS of uncut footage from the photoshoot on the V site, in case you still can’t get off the couch from all that turkey.

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Weekend Acrobatics

Now, I have crushed on Pink before. Because, well, how could I not? But, damn, if that women doesn’t keep keep bringing it with her live performances. In fact, I’m starting to think her actual aspirations are to run away and join the circus. Because those acrobatics are Cirque de Awesome. I half-watched the “American Music Awards” last weekend, and missed Pink’s performance all together because it was fairly awful otherwise. But big mistake on my part because holy feats of strength and balance. Oh, Pink, how we’ve missed you while you were away becoming one insanely hot mama. Thanks for all the muscles, I mean, music. Happy Weekend, all.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Food Coma Day

Today is the day Americans thankfully gorge themselves on turkey and all the fixings and then go sleep it off on the couch. Wherever you are today, may your day be filled with warmth, love and food. And may you eat so well this happens.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Queer fears

You know when you call something a mind fuck and really you mean, “That’s kind of fucked up. Let’s put it out my mind.”? Will if you, like me, are being forced against your will to watch this season of “American Horror Story” then you are among the few who can legitimately use the term “mind fuck” and mean it in almost the literal sense. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are having nonconsensual sex with my brain and I don’t like it one bit. As I have already mentioned, I am a huge wuss when it comes to scary things. I only watched the first few episodes of the first season of “American Horror Story,” but knew it was not for me with its ghouls and ghosts.

But this season, this season is less about the things that go bump in the dark and more about the things that go bump in your brain. The creators have gone for the non-too-subtle metaphor of making this season about psychological scares and setting it in, duh, a mental asylum. And, boy, have they done a terrifying job of bringing every gay person’s worst nightmares to life this season. Having your lover blackmailed into committing you to the institution just because you are both lesbians. Getting locked up against your will in the nut house just for being a lesbian. Being subjected to electroshock treatment just for being a lesbian. Enduring sexual behavior modification therapy just because you are a lesbian. And now (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS) finding out your girlfriend has been brutally murdered by the one seemingly rational man in the entire place and kept on ice (minus her teeth – shudder) for you to continue your sick ex-gay therapy on just because you are a lesbian? Welcome to your mind fuck, there is no lube.

I can’t say I enjoy this season of “American Horror Story,” because I don’t. I had to close my eyes during the whole (SPOILERS AGAIN) possibly Anne Frank lobotomy scene. And don’t get me started about what the hell they’ve done to poor Chloe Sevigny. But I will say that Ryan and Brad are doing an admirable job of making my every worst nightmare spring to life on screen to terrify and disgust me in equal measure. And while it is not, in any way shape or form, easy to watch, it is interesting. And it is interesting not just for the sheer WTFness of it, but because it does something few horror genre offerings do. It makes us sympathize with the lesbian character above pretty much all others. Sarah Paulson’s Lana is the proxy for the audience, and her anguish is the audience’s anguish. Granted, I’m never happy when a LGBT character has to endure terrible, horrible, very bad, no good things. But I do commend them for making Lana’s horrifying journey our journey. More so than the young man accused of killing his wife. More so than the French girl accused of killing her family. More so than the promiscuous young woman who gets her legs cut off. More than anyone, we’re stuck in this god-awful place with Lana. And we’re rooting for her, above all others, to make it out.

Now will she? Fuck if I know. Also, what the fuck is up with the aliens?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tank Top Tuesday

Goodness, it has been forever since I’ve done a proper Tank Top Tuesday. In fact, I feel a little rusty. Do tank top made of coats of armor count? While they might not moves as freely as their cotton equivalent, they are infinitely more bad ass. So, yep, I’m counting them. Cotton, polyester, silk, armor. It’s all good in my book.

Lindsey Shaw
If you think you’re a good girlfriend, just realize Paige puts up with living ex-girlfriends, murdered ex-girlfriends, being framed for murder, being kidnapped, being almost murdered and the presence of a still rampant serial stalker/murderer and is still by Emily’s side. And you just bought your girlfriends flowers that once.

Brittany Snow
Her character in “Pitch Perfect” was so gay for Anna Kendrick’s character. So, so gay.

Chrissy Teigen
When I said she was a funny supermodel who loved to cook, I really wasn’t kidding.

Anna Silk
A leather tank top vest? Man, do I miss the “Lost Girl” costume department.

Danai Gurira
Andrea is an idiot for staying with the Governor instead of going with Michonne. Such an idiot.

Lucy Liu
I like “Elementary,” a lot, I just wish Johnny Lee Miller wasn’t such a fast mumbler.

Piper Perabo
I stopped watching “Covert Affairs.” Is Piper still cute? Oh who am I kidding, of course she is.

Jennifer Morrison
B-girl Emma Snow is giving me weird feelings. Good weird feelings.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chick flick power

I wants it. I needs it. Gives it to me now. Now. Now. Sorry, sometimes I get a little impatient when presented with things I want. Things like two movies featuring three of my favorite actresses. Also one of my favorite actors. But, as is almost always the case with me, it’s all about the ladies. Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy AND Tina Fey? Yeah, we’re gonna need a bigger popcorn boat.

First, Sandra and Melissa in “The Heat.”

This is your friendly neighborhood odd-couple female buddy cop movie. Which in and of itself is awesome. Not because of the formula, necessarily – which is well tread. But that it’s two women instead of the standard two men. Thank you, “Bridesmaids.” And then there’s the matter of the two very, very funny women who make even middling material (I’m talking to you “Miss Congeniality” and “Mike & Molly” somewhat enjoyable).

Then there’s Tina and Paul Rudd in “Admission.”

Now, it too seems to follow a formula, though this time the rom-com one. But it has enough of an interesting twist – possible long-lost son given up for adoption – to make it more than your by the numbers meet cute, overcome obstacle, fall in love flick. Plus, it’s pretty hard to any human to resist the combo of Tina and Paul together. Damn near impossible, actually.

Is it next spring yet?

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Weekend Lost Girl

ZOMG. I mean it, ZOMG. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you miss something until you get a reminder that it is coming back. And, in this case, it’s a Bo-sized reminder of epically sexy proportions. “Lost Girl” returns Jan. 6 to Shaowcase in Canada (and a week and a day later, Jan. 14 on Syfy in the US). Oh, and here is your first look at Lauren in Season 3. D I mention ZOMG?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

SGALGG: Shine Bright Like a Diamond

Right. So I’m normally not the kind of gal to go for those girl-on-girl exploity kind of photoshoots that run in fashion and lad mags. But it has been a long week and there is no shame in just enjoying the visual smorgasbord that happens when Rihanna and Kate Moss mingle for the cameras for V magazine. Now, I like Rihanna a lot – despite her seeming forgiveness of the unforgiveable Chris Brown. And Kate Moss, well, she reminds me of the 90s and those were generally pretty good for me. So, yeah. Hey, I never said this place was exclusively highbrow. And you know you love the smut, kittens. You love it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A tall glass of Pinoe

Sports and gay ladies go together like the peanut butter and jelly of lesbianism. Sure, not all lesbians and bisexual women play softball – or any sport for that matter. I include myself in the decidedly “non-sporty” category. It’s all I can do to walk and breathe at the same time some days. But if you don’t know at least one sporty dyke then you should go hang out by a grassy sports field any given Sunday. They are there. Trust me. So the fact that we still have little more than a handful of high-profile out ladies in professional sports is, to put it mildly, perplexing. Sure, there is Martina. And Billy Jean. Also France’s Amélie Mauresmo, Norway’s Gro Hammerseng, Australia’s Natalie Cook, Sweden’s Jessica Landström. And others, of course. But we always want more because we know they’re out there – playing their big gay hearts out.

So that’s why a Megan Rapinoe is so special. Well, really, she’s special for a lot of reasons – the hair, the personality, the ass-kicking soccer skills. But she’s also an athlete who came out at the height of her success, right before she stepped on the grandest stage of all – the Olympics. Not late in her career, not after her career was over. So then we could celebrate with her as an out and proud gay athlete as they put that gold medal around her neck. It was as close to winning a gold medal as I’ll ever come, that’s for sure.

Megan credits coming out with helping her play her best at the Olympics. She said of coming out: “I think it was the best decision I ever made. To be able to go into such an important event like that being a wide open book and just saying this is who I am, I’m damn proud of it and hopefully you are too.”

So over the weekend Megan was deservedly awarded the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Board of Directors Award.

And if that doesn’t convince you to become a Pinoe superfan, maybe Tom Hanks screaming “Megan Rapinoe! Megan Rapinoe!” will. And, of course, if all else fails there’s always The Hair.

Thanks, Megan. And, as always, love The Hair.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Truth is a thing

OK, OK, one very last gloat. Because a week ago we did something awesome. Which then prompted Rachel Maddow to something awesome. Yeah, the truth hurts – and is awesome.

Monday, November 12, 2012

What Glee?

Oh, “Glee.” What I once equated with a squeal and a joyous giggle, now more often elicits a sigh and shoulder shrug. The thing about this show, the thing about all shows, is that the stories only matter if we believe in them. TV is the tinkerbell of mediums. It only lives when we clap. But when the clapping stops, shows stop. That's how it works. Even the most brilliant TV (My So-Called Life, Firefly, Wonderfalls) can't live without fans.

So, when a show – or its creator – goes out of its way to alienate parts of its fanbase, well, that'’ a problem. So, I ask you, how do we solve a problem like Ryan Murphy? Ryan Murphy is a little bit genius at creating TV shows that make us care, at least at first. Popular, Nip/Tuck, Glee. Come on, pretty awesome. But then being a little bit genius is sort of like being a little bit pregnant. It tends to be all or nothing proposition.

The best stories come alive, both off the page an on the screen. The characters stop feeling like characters and start feeling like people. So then a good rule of thumb when it comes to writing characters is how readers react to them. Not necessarily whether a character is liked or not – that’s just taste and personality. But instead our reaction to their actions. If a character does something we don't like, do we get mad at the character or do we get mad at the writer? If it’s the latter that's a Houston we have a problem.

On “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” when Willow got – quite literally – high off magic and Tara broke up with her, no one called for Joss Whedon’s head. That felt like horrible, terrible, so very sad real life (minus the mystical powers part). On “Modern Family,” no one gets mad at Steven Levitan for letting Phil embarrass his children/wife/father-in-law week after week. That feels like the dorky dad in all of our lives.

But on, “Glee,” we rarely blame the characters for their own bad behavior. We blame Ryan Murphy. (Well, minus maybe Finn. We blame Finn and Ryan Murphy.) Finn outs Santana then song assaults her to having fun about it and everyone hugs & sings Katy Perry afterward. RYAN MURPHY! After sleeping together for three years Santana & Brittany continue to only give each other deep, meaningful hugs on camera. RYAN MURPHY! Finn is the requisite white male hero, yet continues to have to relearn lessons he already learned in the first season. RYAN MURPHY!

For lesbian TV viewers, it is an all-too familiar formula. A show we begin breathlessly watching filled with characters we love and actors we respect that somehow veers off course and becomes a frequent kicking bag. Just replace our current cries of RYAN MURPHY with our past cries of ILENE CHAIKEN and you get the picture. We can all tell when the strings on the marionette start to show. And that is one of the worst sins of storytelling – not letting your stories come alive.

But now, more than having just shortcomings in storytelling, “Glee” seems to be taking on a decidedly ungleeful attitude toward its lesbian and bisexual fans. The aforementioned Mr. Murphy in fact seems to be actively trolling lesbian fandom with tweets like this.

And, yes, I saw the “Wedding of the Year” tweet, too.

Now, I understand that constant negativity and hateful feedback suck. Anyone who shares their opinions or art with the public is subject to adoration and wrath in equal measure. And, of course, people should not be harassed or bullied for their work. There is a difference between haranguing and respectful disagreement. But it confounds me when storytellers get angry at people who care deeply about the characters they created for them to care about. Yes, a lot of Glee’s gay women fans are annoyed with the show for its inconsistencies. But why shouldn’t they be allowed to express that frustrations? Am I thankful “Glee” allowed Santana and Brittany to exist and fall in love and be a couple? God, yes. So much yes. They are lovely. They are important. But that doesn’t mean all future treatment of those characters or other storylines must be worshipped. Also, don’t get me started on the idea that characters should somehow be punished for fan reactions. Do writers really “give up” on storylines because of fans? Shouldn’t they only give up on storylines because the story doesn’t work?

Like I was saying – oh, “Glee.”

Friday, November 09, 2012

My Weekend Crush

Kittens, sweet sweet kittens. You’ve indulged my politicking while I pontificated on that whole hopey changey lady power yay gay stuff. So now, after a sufficient period of shameless revelry, I feel you deserve a treat. Something sweet and savory. Something hot and tasty. Something like a swimsuit model. Yeah, I told you it was a treat. Now, I’m not normally the type to go for swimsuit models. Nothing against them, bless them and their sun-kissed bodies. But it’s just that all we normally learn about their personalities could fit on the back of a G-string. But Chrissy Teigen, well, she’s different. She’s got so much personality, you almost forget she’s a swimsuit model. Well, almost.

Many people probably know her as John Legend’s fiancé, which she is. Or they could know her from her multiple appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, which she did. But me, me I know her from The Tweeter Machines. I started following Chrissy on Twitter after seeing some of her very funny posts retweeted in my feed. And I thought, who is this lady? Well, it turns out she’s a lot of things. She’s hot, duh. But she’s also funny, smart, progressive, candid and unwilling to suffer fools who think just because she’s a model she should shut up and be pretty. She won’t be cowed and remains delightfully unfiltered. Also, she’s a foodie, who has her own food blog and went to cooking school. And loves to drunk tweet. Yeah, I know. No wonder John snapped her up. In fact, she’s the kind of woman who makes me respect the person she is with even more because they had the good taste to be with her. But don’t take my word for it. Take hers.

All that and she isn’t half bad to look at. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

We do

[Click to Enlarge the Awwww]

You know, I don’t mean to gloat – ah, who am I kidding. Let’s fucking gloat. After 32 straight ballot box losses – yes, thirty fucking two – in one night it all changed. People say change doesn’t happen overnight, and of course that’s true. But it was stunning to see all the hard work, long hours and unwavering dedication pay off finally. Marriage equality won in all four ballot measures across the country. Voters approved same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington. And voters repudiated a ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota. That is a Joe Biden-style Big Fucking Deal. Sure, it’s not legal in every state yet. Sure, it’s not legal federally yet. Sure, it’s not something people should be voting on in the first place. But the march of progress will not be denied. It will happen. Let no bigots put our rights asunder. And you just know the weddings are going to be so damn fabulous. But the equality will be even better.

Mazel tov, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. It starts with four, it ends with love.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Four more

It was a good night for hope. It was a good night for love. It was a good night for progress. It was a great night for America. President Obama is reelected. Marriage equality votes go four for four. Women will have the most-ever seats in the U.S. Senate. We have our first openly gay person elected to the Senate in Tammy Baldwin. Our first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate in Mazie Hirono. Our first disabled female veteran elected to the House of Representatives in Tammy Duckworth. Rape legitimizers Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock lose. All-around badass Elizabeth Warren wins. Stick that in your binder.

When all the pundits were quieted, when all the numbers were unspun, the people spoke the loudest. And what they said was they want a government that embraces us all. Not just the rich. Not just the privileged. Not just the old straight white heterosexual males. And for someone who is the exact opposite of an old straight white heterosexual male, it felt pretty fucking amazing. As a minority and a gay lady and an owner of a uterus, I’m used to being represented by people who don’t actually represent me. So when the world shifts and becomes a little more inclusive, it’s always a good thing. Always.

Tonight feels different, but no less sweet than four years ago. In fact, in some ways it’s sweeter. Certainly, nothing can top that moment when we realized, as a nation, we had overcome hundred of years of oppressive history and elected our first African American president. But for LGBT Americans, there was the bittersweet realization that California – supposedly the most liberal state in the country – had rejected same-sex marriage. Two steps forward, one step back. But last night, last night we reelected our first African American president. And we also, for the first time ever, passed marriage equality on the ballot in three states and also rejected a gay marriage ban in another. Two steps forward, just forward. Yes, indeed, it was a great night for America.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


[Click Image to Read]

I want a President who will answer the 10-year-old daughter of two gay dads with a letter like this. And, luckily, we have one. Thank you, Barack Obama. Four more years. Forward. Vote.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Naked Lady Monday

All this politics can make a girl weary. So while tomorrow we will all have our eyes glued to the Electoral College, today here is a little something else to ogle as a momentary distraction. And if that momentary distraction is in the form of a nude Kate Winslet, all the better. So here are some more lovely distractions to ogle – in a respectful way, of course. If it has got to be Monday, the ladies might as well be naked. But on Tuesday, be sure to vote.

Kristen Wiig
Funny is sexy. Case in point.

Olivia Wilde
Yet another reason to hate the existence of white jean jackets.

Charlize Theron
This was originally shot for a watch ad. To which I say, what watch?

Winona Ryder
I approve of this wardrobe malfunction.

Kerry Washington
If she dresses like this on “Scandal,” I definitely need to start watching.

Our Firefighter Friends
Let’s hear it for first responders. Also, abs.