Friday, May 30, 2014

My Weekend Crush

Well, isn’t this a lovely way to end the week. After calls for Laverne Cox to make the Time 100 most influential people list only to be left unceremoniously out of the issue, the actress and activist roars back as its cover girl. In doing so she becomes the first transgender person to grace the magazine’s cover. And what grace. Laverne has skyrocketed into the national consciousness thanks to her role as inmate Sophia Burset on “Orange Is the New Black.” But what she has done with that spotlight is even more extraordinary. She has used her fame to shine a light directly onto trans issues and the all-too-frequent violence, hatred and misconceptions faced by the community. Refreshingly, what makes Sophia so important is that she is one of the few trans characters portrayed by a trans actor who isn’t solely the subject of constant harassment or ridicule. Because why would you ever ridicule Sophia or – even more so – Laverne? Indeed the most appropriate adjective I can think to describe her is majestic. Like this cover. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Phenomenal, Always

Such a loss, such a life. Maya Angelou’s passing yesterday feels significant because it is significant. The world has lost a friend. One of her greatest gifts, besides her words and wisdom, was her generosity of spirit. She made every single one of us feel like she cared about us, because she did. Her gentleness in the face of a life filled with several lives worth of hardship never ceases to amaze. A kind light has left us, but her heart remains eternal.

To quote the phenomenal woman herself:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Maya made us all feel human, that most basic connection that binds us despite differences in our skin or our loves or our languages or our backgrounds. She was the rainbow in all of our clouds. Her spirit rises with us still, always. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yes, All Us

This has been a hell of a weekend for 51 percent of the population. An angry, disturbed young man with firearms took out his rage and resentment at women by killing six innocent people. Predictably, a meaningful discussion on gun control has not followed. This is America, how dare we blame drugs for yet another mass shooting, how dare we. This is not to say we don’t also need better, stronger mental health care in this country. We do, we desperately do. But the most encouraging thing – if anything can be encouraging in such a senseless tragedy – is the #YesAllWomen hashtag that has emerged in the wake of such ugliness.

I am normally not one to jump on board with hashtag activism. It can be a glib, lazy way to out of actually doing something to address real problems. But this hashtag is different. Because instead of just parroting a flavor-of-the-day causes (like #StopKony) or at worst proliferating knee-jerk outrage (like #CancelColbert), it seeks to educate. The best #YesAllWomen posts are bracing in their honesty. But their intent is not to preach to the choir. Their intent is to open the eyes of the other 49 percent of the world.

Women don’t owe men anything – dates, sex, smiles. Yet this culture of entitlement to our bodies persists. This outmoded idea that women are still prizes for men to collect. That we are ornaments for their entertainment. That all successful men deserve our adoration. And if we don’t give those things, then we’re somehow to blame.

Still, what #YesAllWomen is about isn’t just the blatant misogyny – the hatred toward women that in this case and too many others literally kills – that we have to worry about. It’s the little things, the fact that even the simple act of walking to our cars alone at night is a different experience for men than women – that matters. How we have all told the lie that we have a boyfriend to get a guy to quit bugging us. How we have all learned how to carry our keys like Wolverine claws. How we all have been asked to smile by strange men on the street.

In this respect (and many, many others), I am so grateful to be gay. So don’t have to try to explain that, yes, things are different for women. Because she knows. She knows already that things are different for us largely because of men.

As novelist Margaret Atwood said so succinctly: Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.

And, yes, yes – Not All Men. But that is never what we’ve been saying. And, if you immediately feel defensive about women asking you to be compassionate about how unsafe and unwelcome we feel at times, wow. I don’t know what else to say, dude.

I still don’t think a hashtag can change the world. But if men take the time to stop and see how the other 51 percent feels, maybe it can start to make a different. And if that doesn’t work, ladies, might I suggest lesbianism*.

*Kidding, kidding – we don’t actually recruit. Much.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Orange Is the New Gay

Another day, another lovely coming out moment. Another state’s highest courts overturns the ban on same-sex marriage. It’s an exciting time to be gaymo, let me tell you. If you didn’t read it late last week, I highly recommend you give a read to “Orange Is the New Black” writer Lauren Morelli’s coming out essay.

Playfully titled, “While Writing for 'Orange Is the New Black,' I Realized I Am Gay,” it’s touching and telling in many ways. But I think the part that resonates the most was how Lauren spoke about feeling like an outsider among her own community.

Lauren spoke about how, “uncomfortable I felt around groups of lesbians.” And it’s the same feeling Ellen Page spoke of after coming out, saying, “I felt awkward around gay people; I felt guilty for not being myself.”

The days when the closet was the standard are dwindling. Not that people need to come out before they are ready. But the numbers who have come out and the example they set makes it easier for each other person. Which is really wonderful. And the welcoming community waiting for people when they embrace who they are is even more wonderful.

To quote Lauren again:
“Now, when I am in the writers' room or on set, I no longer feel like I am stuck in the middle of two truths. I belong because my own narrative fits in alongside the fictional stories that we are telling on the show: stories of people finding themselves, of difficult paths and of redemption.”
Indeed, it’s an exciting time for us gaymos. Come on and join the fun.

Monday, May 26, 2014

My Three-Day Weekend Crush

Apologies for the lack of a post this weekend. I was busy being this bunny (metaphorically) and enjoying this three-day weekend like a big, juicy raspberry. Hope you did as well. Happy holiday weekend, all.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gender Fuck Thursday

You guys, YOU GUYS. I have been sitting on these pictures since Monday. SINCE MONDAY. You don’t know how hard it was to not share them. SO HARD. Because I am the last person on this planet to want to deprive you of the gorgeousness of Cate Blanchett and Emily Blunt in impeccably tailored menswear for even one second. But, you know, it wasn’t Thursday yet. Rules are rules. So not what it is Thursday, ZOMGHOWHOTARETHEY? So freaking hot.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get hotter, here comes Zhou Xun. *incomprehensible gurgling sound* The three women (and Ewan McGregor and Christoph Waltz – but who cares about them) were all shooting a commercial for International Watch Company. Never before have I so eagerly anticipated a watch commercial. Never. Ever. They’re making me want to watch advertising. That’s how hot this whole situation is. Throw away the remote control give me your commercials hot.

Also, Cate’s disheveled tie? *gurgle gurgle gurgle* So hot. And that lip bite says she knows it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kiss Us, Kate

I don’t really know what Kate Winslet has been up to lately. I mean I do, she was in “Divergent,” which I totally didn’t watch. And “Labor Day,” which I totally didn’t watch. And “Contact” and “Carnage” – ditto, ditto. She married some guy named Ned Rocknroll and they named their baby Bear Blaze. But now it looks like she finally has a string of movies coming out I might actually watch. (I’ll catch “Divergent” on RedBox, don’t worry.) They include the crime drama “Triple Nine” and “The Dressmaker” based on the bestselling book. And also she has a new feature in Harper's Bazaar. Bottom line, this is all an elaborate excuse to post very, very pretty pictures of Kate. What is it the kids today say? Sorry, not sorry.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tank Top Tuesday: Rehab Edition

Hello, my name is Ms. Snarker and I am an addict. I’m addicted to “Rehab Addict.” My addiction to HGTV is already well documented. Yelling at idiots who whine about granite countertops on “House Hunters” is practically a sport for me. But my latest obsession involves so many of the things I love: tank tops, women with power tools and copious use of subway tile. Yep, I’m talking about “Rehab Addict.” This show and its host Nicole Curtis are pretty amazing. Nicole restores old homes to their original beauty with a real passion for preservation. Also, the lady knows how to handle a chainsaw (and a bobcat and a back hoe…I could go on).

What I love, besides her penchant for tank tops, is her desire to make these old houses happy homes again. I’ve never seen someone so focused on conserving the past, and so good at refurbishing old hardwoods. Seriously, she can save any floors. Thanks to Nicole, I randomly scream, “I just want brick!” at suspenseful moments during the day. Not really, but in my head. Yeah, I’m addicted. As long as there is some original tile to save, I will gladly go to rehab for it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Light Our Fires

Just a little inspiration to help you begin your week. Here are female firefighters stationed at Pearl Harbor. Interesting that more than 70 years later and a picture like this still stands out for its depiction of female strength and diversity. Go ladies, go.

Friday, May 16, 2014

My Weekend Crush

I’m not much of a “Grey’s Anatomy” watcher these days. I stopped my occasionally viewing a while back, despite general affection for Calzona and cast, because I’ve always found navel-gazing doctors a little, you know, oooof. But what I’ve appreciated for all 10 years of the show is its gainful employment of the singular Sandra Oh and her portrayal of the even more singular Dr. Cristina Yang. Brusque, ambitious, competitive, talented. She has not time for niceties, there’s work to be done. This makes her a role model for pushy women everywhere. She’s pushy because she is smart and deserves it. Most pushy women are. In many other settings – say perhaps the executive editorship of the New York Times – being pushy as a woman can be seen as some sort of fatal character flaw. But on “Grey’s Anatomy” she is allowed to be a heroine – not to mention best friend to its title character. I like that, I’ll miss that. I’m also sad to see another Asian-American major female character leave television. There are so few as is. But I’m happy for Sandra to finally be free to do other things. And I hope to see much more of her – hopefully still dancing it out with style – in the future. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Proof is in the Jennifer

I admit to having a never-ending soft spot for all of “The L Word” alumni. Such a talented cast, alas, made to suffer so much. And I’m always happy to see when they land successfully elsewhere. (Oh, hai, Sarah Shahi – I wish I’d watched “Person of Interest” from the start now like my mom kept telling me to.) Over the years I’ve seen them come (it’s the Soup Chef on “CSI!”) and go (there goes Tasha on “Chase!”) Though, sorry Shane, I just can’t get into “Ray Donovan.”

I’ve been particularly interested in Jennifer Beals’ career comings and goings since the show. I thought she was pretty damn good on “The Chicago Code.” The uniform helped. But now, looks like she is back at another shot at her own show. And, darn it, I want this one to stick. Next year she’ll be back on our TVs with “Proof,” a new medical/supernatural drama on TNT. And it looks, well, it looks pretty damn good.

Things I like: Jennifer Beals, Jennifer Beals in scrubs, Jennifer Beals in a suit… But actually, this search for “proof” of what happens after we die already has me hooked. I love a good mystery, and they don’t get much bigger than this one. Sure, Matthew Modine is playing an obvious Steve Jobs-like billionaire who is funding it all. But the premise is intriguing. I also like that it is executive produced by Kyra Sedgwick, a lady who knows all about cable’s capacity to showcase talented female leads. Plus, little kids talking about unseen forces is always creepy. And, fine, it doesn’t hurt that we get to see shades of Alpha Bette. That wall slam was damn near vintage. Yep, sign me up. I’ve got all the proof I need.

p.s. Hey, TNT, pair this show with “Rizzoli & Isles” and it’ll be the badass ladies bloc/make my DVR very happy.

p.p.s. If all else fails, just greenlight Jennifer in “Cop-Puter.” You know that thing is a guaranteed hit.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

No more Trophies

You guys, I am so upset. Oh, don’t worry – not about life. I’m upset about something more important. TV, duh. “Trophy Wife” got canceled and aired its last-ever episode last night. Now, I blame myself. I should have talked about Sarah Haskin’s show more. Relax, I don’t think I have the power to make this show a hit. But I feel terrible for not doing all I could so more people could enjoy this little gem while it was on. After an above-average pilot, the series went on to become the funniest, sweetest, surprisingest (go with it) show on TV this season. Why ABC never paired it with “Modern Family” is one of those great unexplained stupidities the universe allows to keep happening. Yet, it does. So a show, and a cast, as great at this goes into the dump heap of history. I hope it finds a seat next to “Go On,” and they talk smack about the Nielsens for eternity.

If you didn’t watch, damn you missed out. Granted, we all hate the name. Ironic TV show titles never work, TV executives. Ever. But aside from that it had everything. Interesting and off-beat characters that are still believable (and super adorable – Bert, Berrrrrt!) Many, many, many great female characters (I don’t think a single episode failed the Bechdel Test). Unbelievable cast chemistry (I mean it, I want the entire cast to move to a new show together – better yet the same show with a different name that airs after “Modern Family.”)

Sigh. I’ll just be over here shaking my fists at the TV gods and cursing their names, per usual.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tank Top (Belated) Tuesday

Apologies! Work, life, etc. To make up for it here is Lena Headey in a tank with a hula hoop while sticking her tongue out in a gay bar. She went there with Peter Dinklage, a.k.a. the brother she is trying to have executed. So I guess they patched things up, after all. Or perhaps GoT will take a radical turn and end this with a hula-hoop battle to the death.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Are you ready for some football

Just in case you have not had your Monday morning cry yet, here is Michael Sam receiving the news her has been drafted by the St. Louis Rams, making him the first out gay player in the NFL. Bonus for kissing his boyfriend, Vito, live on ESPN afterward. Guess I have to root for the Rams now.

Friday, May 09, 2014

My Weekend Crush

Hey, remember a few years ago (2011, to be exact) when I talked about this cool “Self Evident Truths” photography project? It was the one artist iO Tillett Wright was crisscrossing the nation taking pictures of LGBTQ people, remember? Well, guess what, it’s still happening – and it has gotten bigger. iO is still taking pictures and has now expanded her goal to 10,000 faces with it all culminating in an instillation on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It’s ambitious, for sure. And it needs your help to happen. So far more than 4,200 people have been photographed. To reach its new goal, the project is looking for people to sponsor each face in the form of a $20 “We Are You” T-shirt. (If you’re wondering where all the money is going, the site has a comprehensive breakdown here.) You can also still pose for the project. The touring schedule is here. Do a cool deed, get a cool shirt. Kind of win-win, no? Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Gender Fuck Thursday

Seeing how Tuesday and Wednesday’s ladies were all doing it, I thought it only seemed fair that Thursday made it official. Also, Ladies in suit jackets are hot, duh. Especially when paired with a nice tie. Since we haven’t had a Gender Fuck Thursday in a while, we were also due.

Angelina Jolie

God, I cannot wait for “Maleficent.”

Christina Hendricks

I feel like I haven’t seen her and the ladies in forever.

Lena Headey

Even though much of it is quite troubling, I’m thrilled for Lena that Cersei is getting more screen time this season.

Michelle Krusiec

After “Imagine Me & You,” “Saving Face” is my go-to happy-place lezzie rom-com.

Anjelica Huston

Man, that lady gives good face.

Ellen Page

Man, it really is lovely watching a smart, talented young woman articulate exactly how coming out has improved her life.

BONUS: Some casual Ellen Page Gender Fuck, courtesy her The Hollywood Reporter cover story.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

I Choose Sara

OK, we all know viral marriage proposal videos are cheesy. The flash mobs and lip dubs and Grand Romantic Gestures. But admit it, you kind of like them deep down, too. The hope of love is stronger than the snark of cynicism. And that’s a lot for someone who calls herself Ms. Snarker to say. So into that already crowded fray comes the lovely Sara Bareilles. I say lovely because really there is no better way to describe her. She’s lovely. And you know I love her “Brave” so much more than Katy Perry’s (cough, derivative, cough) “Roar.” (Also, that “Brave” video is pretty great, too.) Well now Sara has gone and done it again and brought you the ultimate marriage proposal video for her song, “I Choose You.” Not only is the song unquestionably catchy, the video is unbelievably adorable. And it features a lesbian couple marriage proposal.


You know, a little over two years ago I made the conscious choice to say “Yes” to the things that made me happy. And to stop saying “Yes” to all the crap that didn’t. Simple, really. But it sure made a difference. I choose happiness, and things that make me happy. Like Sara’s “I Choose You.” Now, please bring on the onslaught of videos of even more people popping the question to “I Choose You.”

p.s. Sara is also half of my favorite sweetly melancholic holiday song ever. Yep, that one is a keeper.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Ellen & Ellen

Isn’t this a wonderful thing? Two immensely popular celebrities talking about being gay on television together. Talking about the power and personal freedom of coming out. Sharing admiration. Just generally being amazing. This, my friends, is progress. And, damn, if progress doesn’t look great in blazer.

p.s. The episode airs May 27. So stay tuned, even more awesome will probably happen.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Back in Orange

Remember when folks thought Laura Prepon was leaving “Orange Is the New Black” because SCIENTOLOGY. But then it turned out it was probably just because she was busy working on her secret directorial debut and Netflix being stupid for not locking her down for a long-term contract? And Laura has also since been to the GLAAD Awards and on the cover of Curve and lots of lesborific things. Yeah, those were heady, heady, wrong-heady times. Not that I love Scientology, or anything. But I do love when conspiracy theories get debunked. Also, vaccinate your kids, dammit. Anyway, today it was announced that “Orange Is the New Black” will be back for a third season and it was already announced that Laura will be back full time in said season. So I see our future. And it involves MORE ALEX VAUSE. In conclusion, fuck yeah.

p.s. I love these fake episode titles for the third season. “The Lesbian Thread” and “back to the Rape Well” are my personal favorites. The latter is also the alternate title for “Game of Thrones.”

Friday, May 02, 2014

My Weekend Crush

I really like Emma Stone. I mean, I saw “Easy A,” like everyone else. How can you not like her? And each time she is on a talk show she is beyond dependably charming. Whether she is dancing behind someone’s back for Ellen or lip sync battling with Fallon, she never fails to deliver. The gal is good. Funny, endearing, quick on her feet. And she is an A+ eye crosser. But here’s the thing. She also makes me a little disappointed. Not in her, for all those reasons I have already enumerated and more. I’m disappointed because since her big breakouts with “Easy A” and “The Help,” she has mainly been relegated to one role: superhero girlfriend.

And therein lies the rub. Once an actress finally makes it to a certain level of fame there are only a few real roles open to her unless she managed to make it all the way to the very top. And those roles are girlfriend, love interest, romantic foil, etc. She’s Spider-Man’s girlfriend in those (cough, completely unnecessary, cough) reboots of the webslinger franchise. And in her next three movies, it is pretty much more of the same. She is the lady standing beside the leading man. In Woody Allen’s new film “Magic In the Moonlight,” she plays the leading lady for Colin Firth. In the new Cameron Crowe film she plays the leading lady to Bradley Cooper. And in “Birdman,” she plays the daughter to Michael Keaton (who, continuing the trend, plays an actor who used to play a superhero – which admittedly is not a stretch for him).

With a comedic actress this skilled, it seems inconceivable no one has created another vehicle for her. But, once again, there sadly appears to be a gap between what should be available and what is available to a talented young actress like Emma. Of course, I could be wrong. Emma could be turning down star vehicle after star vehicle for some unknown reason. And here’s hoping I am and Emma snaps one of those roles up right quick. Because I know we all want to see her in one. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. Here’s that lip synching by the way. You just knew her rap game would be strong too, yo.

p.p.s. I also hate that those stupid Spidey films made her a blonde. Long live the red.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Days of Our Lesbians

It was a big news week for us gay ladies. Some of it mere rumor, some of it true facts. K-Stew may or may not be dating her lady BFF. Naya Rivera may or may not be fired from “Glee.” Michelle Rodriguez may or may not have broken up with her model girlfriend Cara Delevingne. Queen Latifah definitely wants to star in a biopic about bisexual singer Bessie Smith helmed by out “Pariah” director Dee Rees. Sarah Silverman definitely is playing a lesbian on the new season of “Masters of Sex.” And Ellen Page most very definitely looks hot on the cover of Flare magazine. And wasn’t it just last week Jodie Foster got married to Ellen DeGeneres’ ex-girlfriend? EVERYTHING HAPPENS SO MUCH.

These are heady times to be a gay lady, indeed.

I kid, of course. I mean the definitelys are definitely positive. Thought, dammit, does this mean I have to start watching “Masters of Sex” again? But mostly I just want to say what an interesting time we live in. When I started this blog eight (yes – EIGHT) years ago, it seemed only a pipe dream that so much news about out lesbian actresses/lesbian and bisexual characters/rumored lesbians would happen in less than a week. Speaking of those eight years ago, I realize I missed my eighth blogiversary last Thursday. So I’ll blame my last weekend lapse in posting on unconscious anniversary partying. And, as I do every year, I want to thank you all for sticking around all this time. Heady times, indeed.

p.s. I claim absolutely no knowledge of the veracity of the “may or may not” items. I am Jon Snow, I know nothing.

p.s. I really wasn’t kidding about how great Ellen Page looks in Flare. I feel old and skeevy just thinking about it.