Monday, March 30, 2015

Indiana, oh, Indiana

Oh, Indiana. Oh, Hoosiers. How could you? Why did you? But, alas, I know why. And it’s the same reason I moved away all those many long years ago. Living in a state that does not support you, does not embrace your very personhood, is soul crushing. For how can you love a place that does not love you back?

Granted, I grew up in perhaps the most liberal outpost in the deep, blood-red political morass that is Indiana. I was sheltered from the worst of it but was always very (very, very, very) cognizant that just up the road from my hometown was a town that everyone knew use to be a headquarters for the Klu Klux Klan. A town where a young black woman was killed while walking on the street in broad daylight and her murder was never solved.

So this news about Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signing a so-called “Religious Freedom” law that really is just a license to keep discriminating is not surprising. Disappointing, disheartening and disgusting – you-fucking-betcha. But, alas, not surprising.

Because when change comes to the most recalcitrant parts of our society, it never comes cleanly. The news last year that Indiana was the next in a domino of states to open up to same-sex marriage filled me with elation. If Indiana could do it, I thought, how could any other state be far behind? But, again, I forgot about all the kicking and screaming that is involved when dragging some folks into the future.

And this is that – the last desperate kicks and screams of a past howling fruitlessly against the future. For even in his thick, wrong and prehistoric headedness, the Mike Pences of the world have to hide their true intentions. It wasn’t all that long ago where a piece of legislation like this would be openly touted as protection against the homosexual scourge (granted, some supporters still gleefully portrayed it as that). They called it the Defense of Marriage Act not too long ago, remember? Because The Gay had to be defended against at all cost. But in signing the damned bill Pence made sure to claim that this extremely bigoted piece of legislation wasn’t bigoted at all. It was about religious freedom, see? Not hatred, see? Freedom, see? So the good news is they can no longer just be honest and say this is a “Freedom to Discriminate” law. They have to pretend.

But, of course, we all see through it. And while similar bills are snaking their way through similarly weasely state legislatures with similarly conservative governors promising to sign them (I see you, Arkansas and Georgia), their time is limited. What we must do in the face of this sort of retrograde governance is fight that much harder. Sure, marriage equality might be decided once and for all this summer, but what about non-discrimination protection for housing, the workplace and parenting/adoption? What about anti-bulling laws? What about all the protections that help make us full, equal members of our society?

Yes, Indiana reminds us what a long, long way we have yet to go. But it also should invigorate us to do better. And so many Indiana residents have done just that, are doing just that and continue to show their outrage. So for all of my fellow Hoosiers still living in state, may the spirit of perhaps our greatest Hoosier Leslie Knope guide and protect you doing this difficult time. Nope, we can’t put up with this bullshit, Indiana.

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.