Friday, July 01, 2022

My Weekend Rage

Wow, are we fucked. Also, fuck the Supreme Court. These two fucks are unfortunately intractably related, and sadly so is the real-life fucking — at least the kind that can cause pregnancy. (Though, don’t worry, they’ll come for all the other kinds soon enough.) So here we are, in our new, horrible post-Roe America. Abortion is no longer a right across every state. A week ago five men and one woman took away all women’s constitutional right to control their own bodies and choose whether to continue their pregnancies. They also took away the right from trans men and non-binary people who can become pregnant to control their own bodies (though, they’ve been fucking with trans/nonbinary/genderqueer’s people’s right to bodily autonomy for a while now — gotta love those election-year GOP wedge issues).

A right more than half the population has had for 50 years is now gone. A new generation of women, and all people who can become pregnant, will have fewer rights than their mothers. It’s fucked up. It’s wrong. It’s what our current Republican party and its far-right base have been not-so-secretly working toward for decades. The far-right takeover of our Supreme Court is now complete, and it happened while we were all watching. This is why we cried when RBG died. We knew. We lost.

All you need to know about the so-called values of the GOP and its right-wing voting bloc is they’re thrilled that a well-known con man who notoriously cheated on his three wives was able to ascend to the presidency despite losing the popular vote by 3 million votes, then fill three lifetime appointments (one that was clearly stolen by Mitch McConnell), and then loses the popular vote again (and this time the Electoral College for good measure), foment a violent insurrection at the Capitol, and continues to lie to this day claiming he actually won. They’d all vote for him again tomorrow.

I don’t know how to fix this. Voting is the most obvious answer, but clearly not the only one. More is needed in this moment. I need Democratic leaders to be as angry as we are. I need Democratic leaders to be as hair-on-fire alarmed as we are. I need Democratic leaders to try bold action, even if they think it will fail because of Manchin, Sinema and those 50 other Republican senators. Doesn’t matter, at least you’re trying. At least you’re fighting. Now is the moment to do the most, not the least.

We must do the most because, believe me, abortion is not their endgame. Abortion is the beginning of all their christofascist dreams coming true. More rights for guns, less rights for women is just the beginning. Clarence Thomas even said so in writing. They’re coming for laws that protect same-sex marriage, same-sex relationships and even your contraception. They’re coming for them. This is not a drill. The drills were over ages ago. This is where America is going, thanks to Trump’s Supreme Court. So we have to fight. We have to scream. We can’t just say “Vote in November! (though, obviously, vote in November).

America is a slow-motion trainwreck where we all saw the car on the tracks coming for decades, yet somehow kept allowing it to get closer and closer. So now the crash has happened, and the only question is how many rail cars will topple over. How many rights will be allow this unaccountable, unelected body of lifetime appointees to take from us? Democrats, progressives, liberals, old-school hippies, open-minded centrists, libertarians who aren’t also secretly fascists, people who hate labels but also think outlawing abortion is whack, and all the other rational, kind, good citizens of this country who think what you do in your uterus and in your home/bedroom with other consenting adults is nobody’s business unite. Now is the time to be heard. Now is the time to rage, rage against the dying of our rights. Happy rage-filled weekend, all.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Pride Matters

Like I was going to finish out a Pride Month without posting about Tegan & Sara. I believe that’s in one of the Lesbian Commandements, right? The Original Lesbian Twin Syndrome trendsetters released the new song “F*****g Up What Matters” earlier this spring. If you want to get right to the music, fast forward to 1:45. Otherwise enjoy the sisters musing about how to shoot their new music video in an original way. And, in case they need a tip for what to do for the next video, bring Erin Daniels in to just dance with them on stage and become LEGENDS. I mean, they’re already legends. But, it never hurts to gild the gay lily. Happy last day of Pride, kittens.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

See You In Hell

I had not heard about Rina Sawayama until the queer internet gods somehow surfaced her on one of my feeds. But now all I want to do is follow her straight into “This Hell.” The Japanese-British singer has made what can only be called a definitive Pride bop. What? We still have two days left to dance it out. The artist, who identifies as pansexual, has made the queer line dancing wedding ceremony party of our dreams. As we witness the old-school return of 90s-style homophobia (why, oh why couldn’t we have left that out of our current 90s fashion revival?), songs that tweak the ridiculousness of these conservative bigots just hit different. Based on the hatemongers standards, we queers already know Hell is the place to be. Eternal damnation looks fun. Plus, all the best people will be there.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Flip It and Reverse It

So I guess we’re gonna dance it out these last few days of Pride, which is fine by me. I don’t care, like even a little, about most reality television. But following the latest trend among celesbians of introducing the previously considered straight woman you are now dating via your new music video previously seen from Lesbian Jesus herself Hayley Kiyoko, Australian queer nonbinary singer G Flip had a public coming out for her new girlfriend with her video for “Get Me Outta Here.” G Flip is dating Chrishell Stause of “Selling Sunset” which I have never watched but whatever. But I will watch them make out in a 7-Eleven because I am shallow like that. Also G Flip wears a ton of tank tops and it’s Tuesday. So, you know, I have my reasons.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Music Monday: Lesbian Pride Edition

It’s been almost 30 years since Melissa Etheridge told a screaming room at the Triangle Ball for Bill Clinton’s first inauguration that “I’m very proud to have been a lesbian all my life.” But, rewatching the moment (and seeing k.d. lang’s immediate joy) makes it feel like it was yesterday. Back in 1993, yeah, that mattered. Goodness, did it matter. So let’s close out these Pride Month Music Mondays with Melissa and k.d. Happy last Monday of Pride, kittens.

p.s. Honestly, the coming out moment deserves a rewatch too. Thanks, ladies, we’ll always be grateful for your honesty and openness. We will not go back into the closet, ever.

Friday, June 24, 2022

My Weekend (Pride) Crush

Obviously, these ladies get the honor of being the last My Weekend Crush of Pride Month. Obviously. As much as we like to gripe about this show, we still watch. We watch because no matter its shortcomings, “The L Word” is important to queer women. Never perfect, but always important. And, indeed, its overall quality has gotten better. If you watched the new reboot of “Queer As Folk,” Ruthie sums it up kinda perfectly as “actually better than I thought.” I know I’ve griped about how while the new show is more competent it’s also less fun. We also have more, and more diverse choices now so the pressure and impact of being The One L Show is no longer there. But, you never forget your first. So I’m excited as the show begins filling its third season. Call me a hopeless optimist. But they say the third time’s the charm, so maybe the new season will merge the fun of the old show with the quality of the new show. But, who am I kidding, I’d watch these three ladies read the phone book. Happy last weekend of Pride, all.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

West-What In The-World

The multiverse is out, the simulation is in. Look, I have no idea what’s happening in the fourth season trailer for “Westworld” either. Honestly, I often have no idea what’s happening on the show while I’m actually watching it either. But I guess the reason I keep coming back (apart from the fact that this new season will feature three out queer actresses — Evan Rachel Wood, Tessa Thompson and Ariana DeBose), is its big swing ambition. Sure, sometimes you can’t shake the nagging feeling this show is nothing more than a series of unrelentingly extravagant setpieces in search of a coherent storyline. I appreciate the scope of this series, if its actual plots can leave you scratching your head. I also appreciate having Evan, Tessa, Ariana and Thandiwe Newton on my TV set on the regular. What I can kind of discern from the trailer is that a Not Dolores But Looks Like Dolores character is slowly realizing the world is perhaps not what it seems. Also, there are a lot of creepy flies. Honestly, if we’re all just living in a simulation, could we maybe not have as many obnoxious hatemongers and crypto-fascist billionaires around? Who made these programming decisions. I would like to speak to the manager.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Queer Island

So, while I no longer feel it’s my lesbionic duty to watch every queer piece of media ever produced anymore, I do still feel bound to support the fellas and our trans/nonbinary friends when it comes to entertainment. So I’ve dutifully watched both Hulu’s “Fire Island” and Peacock’s rebooted “Queer As Folk” which have come out this month in time for Pride. I mean it when I say there should be more LGBTQ+ media of all types, and I want to support that with my eyeballs when I can. (Same goes for “Bros” when it eventually comes out this fall — but come on, girl, waiting until September instead of Pride? Hm.)

Truly, I recommend them both. While they both have flaws (don’t we all), both are interesting and work hard to show us the lives of queer people who haven’t necessarily always been centered in queer media before. Asian gay men and women (well, woman, bless you Margaret Cho), POC queer men, trans women, nonbinary people of color, disabled queer people.

“Fire Island” is a well-crafted rom-com loosely based on Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. The story pulls the curtain back a little on what the circuit party life is like for anyone who isn’t your typical white, ripped shirtless gay boy. And it embraces the power of our chosen families, which queers everywhere can certainly relate to. Bown Yang is particularly good, and Joel Kim Booster should already be a star.

The new “Queer As Folk” reboot brings needed diversity to the series. But, admittedly, the first few episodes are a tad rocky — heavy on the sex, drugs and trauma instead of the humanity. Choosing to follow the fallout of a Pulse-style shooting at a gay club is a big swing, and it works sometimes and doesn’t others. The series gels more toward the end of its eight-episode run when the characters’ messiness becomes less about making a show of their messiness and more about the organic messiness of being alive in this world. Jesse James Keitel is very good as Ruthie, who feels real and complicated and could be Dominique Provost-Chalkley’s sister in another universe.

Plus, both “Fire Island” and “Queer As Folk” have made a point of hiring LGBTQ+ people in front of and behind the cameras. And in my book, that’s a win any way you look at it. The more we get to tell our own stories our own ways, the better.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

TV Review: Fire Kill

How you feel about “First Kill” is probably an expectations game. If you were expecting some pioneering, genre-defying, soul-cleansing work of art, well…no. But if you were expecting a campy show about sapphic star-crossed lovers that hasn’t fully embraced its camp potential yet and that you don’t have to turn your brain on too much to watch with, then bingo-bongo is this show for you.

“First Kill” isn’t a great show. But it is occasionally a fun show. And it has hot women smooching which, honestly, can absolve many a show’s sins. We watched it over a weekend and while I haven’t thought too much about it since, I’m happy we gave it a binge.

The series is about as subtle as a pair of vampire fangs. It lays its scene in fair Savannah — not Verona — but the Romeo & Juliet overtones are, well, very overtoney. Like, the young vampire heroine is called Juliette. JULIETTE, GET IT. Her star-crossed Romeo is Calliope, Cal for short and masc representation reasons. Juliette is from a long-line of vampire legacies. Cal is from a long line of vampire slayer legacies. You get the deal.

Honestly, the acting is pretty meh. The matriarchs of both the vampire and vampire hunter clans — Aubin Wise and Elizabeth Mitchell, respectively — are the best actors on the set by a mile of wooden stakes. Everyone else, well, I’m always happy when actors get work.

Sarah Catherine Hook as Juliette and Imani Lewis as Cal are likable actors, but the chemistry between them when they aren’t smooching is, uh, underwhelming. But when they are smooching? Again, I fully embrace my shallowness sometimes.

The plotting could also use work. An extravagant amount of time is used setting up the show’s lore, which could have been better used showing and not telling us how this vamp/vamp hunter world works. And its action is, well, let’s just say Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s fight sequences will look like they’re filmed in fast-forward compared to these.

Yes, I realize I’ve listed a lot of negative things in a row yet still somehow think people should watch this show. But that’s the thing about art. I enjoy all of it — the highbrow, the low-brow and even sometimes the middling. Not everything has to be “Mad Men” or “Breaking Bad” or “The Sopranos” or whatever else male-dominated world critics convince us is Very Important and Thus Good.

Some things can be kinda dumb and kinda fun and, again, hot women kiss and there are also vampires.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Music Monday: Making Fletch Happen

We’re keeping it queer for Music Mondays this month. And right now no one is queerer (at least on my TikTok feed) than Fletcher. The singer has an unmistakably young and queer female fanbase. And she is definitely not shy about appealing to them either. A good percentage of my For You Page is young women screaming at Fletcher concerts while the singer straddles her bassist. I mean, I’m not mad at it. So, you know, enjoy. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, June 17, 2022

My Weekend (Wonder) Crush

I know every lesbian of a certain age has a crush on Lynda Carter. That Wonder Woman costume sure made an impression on my young-impressionable mind, and many others. Ahem. So, of course, I was thrilled by her appearance at the end of the latest “Wonder Woman” movie (even if the rest of the movie was basically a dud). But, as we grow older, the hero worship of our youth can become a disappointing reality. But not so of Lynda.

Our Wonder Woman remains a wonder and has, for years and years, been an outspoken supporter of queer and progressive causes. And this Pride Month she has been on a wonderful Twitter spree spreading love for LGBTQ+ people, causes and heroes. She’s also dashing the bigoted dreams of homophobes by confirming that Wonder Woman herself is a bi icon, extoling the virtues of drag brunch and generally being a Super Ally to believe in.

Like, I know Twitter crushes are so like 2012, but Lynda Carter is a forever crush. I mean, she’s 70 and I still want her to (lovingly and with respect) step on my neck — especially if she’s wearing the Wonder Boots. So. You know, there’s also that. We all deserve superheroes we can believe in. Thanks, woman, you’re a true wonder. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Hey, It's Still Che Diaz

Look, just because it’s Pride doesn’t mean we have to love everything gay, OK? So I’ll just come out and say it. Che Diaz is annoying. Che Diaz is written to be annoying. Che Diaz’s annoyingness has nothing to do with their gender identity. Whew, see, that wasn’t hard.

This month Variety did a big cover story on Che Diaz/Sara Ramirez and more than anything I find it perplexing. The lede calls Che “the most visible (and often most ridiculed) queer character on TV.” And then goes on to say how this nonbinary character played by a nonbinary actor has become a “Rorschach test for viewers.”

Make no mistake, we are in an incredibly perilous time for trans, nonbinary, genderqueer and otherwise “other” presenting human beings. The rights of trans people to play school sports, use public bathrooms and generally just exist is getting legislated away with each passing day so Republicans can get more votes. Make no mistake, the political climate is terrifying for queer and nonbinary people. You need need only look at the 31 white supremicist domestic terrorists arrested in Idaho over the weekend to know that Pride events and queer existence are being targeted.

But, none of that changes the fact that Che Diaz is annoying. Am I glad Che exists? Of course, I think more queer, trans and genderfluid representation is great basically always. The more the merrier. But let’s also admit that Che falls into the grand tradition of annoying and polarizing characters à la Rachel Berry and Jenny Schecter. (To not be misogynistic about it, also there are your Pete Campbells, Ross Gellars, Will Schuesters, et al. because the world has no shortage of annoying dudes, unfortunately.)

While I understand the showrunners may be a little confused at the general reaction to Che (I mean, I wasn’t expecting the memes), they really shouldn’t be. They made them this way. They set this character up to be disliked by making them the reason Miranda cheats on Steve (who, let’s admit it, was probably the most likable of SATC’s straight dudes) and making their “comedy concerts” universally unfunny.

Like, I get it, in theory who wouldn’t immediately fall for Sara Ramirez? Sara Ramirez is amazing. Period. But the way they wrote Che in no way reflects how amazing Sara is. And it also does not reflect how the other characters react to Che. They’ve written them as kind of a woke fuckboi hipster, yet all the other characters react as if they are instead meeting an extraterrestrial charisma supernova.

Again, make no mistake, writing one of the highest profile nonbinary characters to join an already high-profile series as annoying is a choice. Setting up a pioneering character like Che to be widely disliked is also a disservice.

The point of representation is always more than just visibility. It’s to make what people consider “other” (and therefore to them something scary or weird or bad) more human. And, yes, that also means making queer characters annoying and/or bad and/or frightening. But — and again this is a big Sir Mix-A-Lot-worthy BUT — we have to get to the point where LGBTQ+ people are seen as human before we revel in any kind of caricatures of our community.

The Variety article also makes reference to people maybe being turned off my Miranda and Che’s big kitchen sex scene because it wasn’t your sterotypical hot girl-on-girl action. I think it’s more likely people were turned off because it was juxtaposed with Carrie LITERALLY PEEING THE BED. No kink shame, but that’s just not my thing. Also, come on, the whole reason Miranda was there in the first place was to help Carrie recover from hip surgery and instead she gets fucked in her kitchen. That’s just bad friendship form, people.

Yes, I understand there are small-minded people who think watching two very attractive and talented people like Sara Ramirez and Cynthia Nixon get it on is gross because they don’t fall into the stereotypical gender norms. I also know there are people who recoil at Che Diaz's mere presence. Those bigots that would rather none of us exists. But thinking small-minded bigots should fuck off forever and that Che Diaz is annoying are not mutually exclusive mindsets.

Also, it’s a choice to make Sara Ramirez dress like this for a photoshoot to go with an article about being taken seriously as a pioneering nonbinary character on a high-profile show. A real, big choice.

Apparently we’ll be getting “more of Che rather than less of Che,” in the second season of “And Just Like That…” which I hope will be a good thing. More Che more more chances for Che to be fleshed out into a fully realized person. Bottom line, I’m glad Che Diaz exists and think we should get more nonbinary (and lesbian and gay and bisexual and trans) characters on television. I’m also certain Che Diaz is annoying because Che Diaz was written that way.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Hack It Up

Since it’s Pride and we’re gay and we want to celebrate by watching gay stuff, here’s another suggestion. Have you checked out the second season of HBO Max’s “Hacks?” I mean, I’m assuming you already watched the first season because, come on, JEAN FREAKING SMART. The second season continues the show’s excellence, while leaning into its vulnerability and heart. Also, it’s a lot more gay.

That is to say out bi actor Hannah Einbinder’s out bi character Ava gets to smooch and flirt with ladies. And there are just more queer ladies, period. Did I mention there’s an episode set on a lesbian cruise with a cameo from Margaret Cho? Honestly, for parts of that episode you’ll think you’ve died and gone to lesbian heaven. The look on Ava’s face sure thought so too.

And, while some may say the show doesn’t have the hard, ugly edges needed to be great (though, come on, it is in no way bad), I think that’s bullshit. Things don’t need to hurt to be good. Indeed, one of the things I enjoy most about Hacks is its undercurrent of sweetness. Ava in particular in the new season is less of a jerk and more of a young person trying to find herself. We also aren’t given nearly enough shows about female mentorship and generational friendships that aren’t familial. (I mean, really, try to think of like two more shows with that kind of dynamic. I’m waiting.)

Truly, anything that gives us maximum Jean Smart and much more general gaiety is well worth the watch. Also, somebody give Ming-Na Wen her own show immediately because she was smoking this season. Smoking.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

5eva Always

Hey, wanna watch something fun with an all-female starring cast and significant queer character development that ALSO makes you laugh at and feel nostalgic for the 90s? Oh, and it’s absurdly funny with one of the highest jokes-per-minute ratios of any comedy on TV right now? Well you should wanna watch, because the second season of “Girls5Eva” is as delightful as the first, and somehow both crazier and more grounded. Plus it gives us more of Paula Pell’s lesbian character Gloria, and her TV/real-life wife. Also, believe it or not, the season also features a key plot point involving a fight sequence with the Property Brothers. The second season focuses on the formerly famous fivesome, now attempting a comeback foursome recording their first new album on their terms. Anyway, the short 8-episode season ended last week and you can now stream the whole thing if you want to laugh and see women doing zany things and, unexpectedly, be moved (“Leave a Message If You Love Me?” Sob.) while letting you momentarily forget that America is basically a raging, unrepentant garbage fire right now. I mean, what more do you want from your TV than that? That’s what I thought. Now the only question is whether you get Peacock or not.