Friday, December 14, 2018

My Weekend Crush

“The Favourite” isn’t necessarily a lesbian movie. Yes, it is a movie with probable lesbian characters and plenty of lesbian activity. But there is no coming out scene. There is no gay panic tragedy. There is absolutely no queer agenda. This is just about three extremely complex women who are doing everything they can to navigate their lives – and really an entire country – without a single worry about the feelings of the frivolous men who surround them. It’s in short, pretty freaking amazing. And, actually when you think about it, plenty gay where it counts.

What “The Favourite” really is a celebration of the cunning – and cunnilingus (please, you knew that joke was coming) – power of women. What it is also is tons of wicked, perverse fun and another reminder that movies without a typical strong male leads are really rather good. In fact – in many ways, they’re favorable. (Not to mention more profitable.)

Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone have created characters in their real-life roles (with much creative license and Sapphic historical reimagining, of course) that are neither likeable or unlikeable. They are, instead, just riveting. You simply can’t stop watching – and why would you? These are actresses biting down hard into the juiciest, ripest of cinematic fruits. Here is a film that doesn’t insult their intelligence or exploit their sexuality.

It lets them be scheming, without being stereotypically scheming. It lets them be vain and ridiculous, without pigeonholing all women as vain or ridiculous. It lets them be smart – because surprise women are really fucking smart. In short, it lets them be the sorts of things men have been in films forever without a second thought – but it does so while still being true the very foundation of our feminine uniqueness. There’s a pathos to it that lingers long after the wild ride is done. All three women find themselves at destinations they hadn’t necessarily planned for. But then, as the saying goes, it’s the journey – not the destination. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

It's Not A Bird, It's A Bat

So Batwoman/Kate Kane/Ruby Rose made her TV debut in the DC-verse this week. I have absolutely no idea what’s happening in the story because I never watched the CW superhero shows and quit “Supergirl” a bit ago because there’s only so much wishing and hoping you can do for Kara and Lena to taste the rainbow together. But I do know that Batwoman/Kate Kane/Ruby Rose sure looks the part. And, really, can there ever be enough badass, street-fighting lesbian superheroes on our TV? No, the answer is no.

So, thoughts those who are fans of the comic and/or well versed in the DC-CW land? How’d she do? Also, never mind Lena. Supergirl clearly has a new crush

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Brandi's Like Fine Wine

If you ever get a chance to see Brandi Carlile live, run – don’t walk. What a glorious sound, what a glorious show that lady puts on. And, really, what a glorious artist. Out and proud from early in her career, she has runs her own foundation – the Looking Out Foundation – which does various good deeds to empower those without a voice. Indeed, Brandi is the kind of artist worth rooting for. Root for her we will with her six – count ‘em, six – Grammy nominations for her latest album “By the Way, I Forgive You.” And these aren’t some fringe categories, we’re talking Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year territory. In fact she is the she is the most nominated female artist, and behind just Kendrick Lamar and Drake overall, this year. How about them big lesbian apples, eh?

p.s. p.s. Brandi released her latest music video, for “Party of One,” yesterday. It features Elisabeth Moss in what I believe is her first-ever gay role. It’s an intense, intense look at queer domestic intranquility – but [Spoiler Alert] don’t worry it all ends well and gay.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Doctor Rainbows

Well, goodness, that was fun. I’ve watched the first season of the Thirteenth Doctor with wonder and delight. What a gloriously seamless transition from all those Mr. Doctors to the very first Ms. Doctor. But more than just swapping the Doctor’s gender, what the new season has done is open up the series to a whole new universe of stories it couldn’t – or just wouldn’t – tell before. The lovely Rosa Parks episode. The powerful Partition of India episode.

Plus, don’t think I haven’t missed the couple of casual lesbian characters to pop into the series all matter-of-fact so far. And, oh yeah, I’ve noticed the double rainbows in the Doctor’s outfit. (On her shirt on and on her zipper – and apparently on her upcoming super rainbow scarf.) All the way, folks. All the way.

What makes this season so great is not only that it’s telling good (and important) stories. It’s that it is telling a whole new group of people – who so rarely get themselves as the heroes of their own stories – that they too can save the world.

Monday, December 10, 2018

We The (Lady) People

Well, here is something lovely and uplifting to start your week. Here are your 35 new Congresswomen, all elected to the House of Representatives as part of the massive Blue Wave this November. They remind us that America – this vast, sprawling expanse of differences and similarities and nothingness and everything – can still have the power to inspire awe. We the lady people are going to Congress.

Friday, December 07, 2018

My Weekend Non-Crush

Here is the thing about us humans. We’re often bad. We have bad thoughts and bad ideas and bad actions. Literally, no one is perfect. But the other thing about humans is so many of us try to be better.

So when people say they’ve “changed” as a person, sometimes they actually have. But sometimes, they really, really haven’t.

When Kevin Hart was announced as the new Oscar host for the most part I shrugged. He isn’t my brand of comedy, but whatever. We’ve had plenty of mediocre and/or uninspiring Oscar hosts. But then almost immediately after the announcement, when his truly vile past anti-pay tweets emerged, I got annoyed.

And when he issued his “statement” on Instagram that started by saying, “Stop looking for reasons to be negative...Stop searching for reasons to be angry.” I got even more annoyed.

Now, if you aren’t familiar with Kevin Hart’s past anti-gay tweets, all posted less than 10 years ago, here is a sampling. Like I was saying, vile. [Click to embiggen the vileness]

The thing about these tweets is they aren’t just your run-of-the-mill “ha-ha, that’s so gay” throwaways. Sure, that kind of language is not acceptable and should be addressed and corrected. But much of that is more thoughtless than malicious. No, his tweets displayed a deep, deep discomfort and even revulsion with gay identity. The mere thought of someone – heaven forbid his child – being gay makes him resort to talk of violence. So, again, vile.

In his statement/non-apology he say in a shirtless video (because sure, why not, do this kind of thing shirtless):
“Guys. I'm almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man. I’m in a great place, a great mature place, where all I do is spread positivity.”
Whew. OK, here we go. I am glad you are in a great place, Kevin. You know what LGBTQ people want? To also be in a great place where celebrities do not see our very existence as something to laugh at with obvious disgust. And do you know what is not spreading positivity? Glossing over your past bigotry with weird self platitudes.

So first he posted his weird self-congratulatory video/non-apology. And then later that same day he put up another video on Instagram saying he purposely “passed” on apologizing:
“I passed. The reason I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. Regardless, to the Academy, I’m thankful for the opportunity, if it goes away, no harm, no foul”
And then even later that same day, he – I mean clearly his publicist, posted a tweet that said:
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's....this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
This is as textbook an example of “How Not To Apologize Properly” as you can get. His eventual apology seems hollow. Because, let’s be honest, it is.

Look, people can genuinely evolve. I hope we all do. But to evolve you have to acknowledge past mistakes, apologize for them and show real growth.

So now that we’re short an Oscar host this year, might I suggest – oh I don’t know – a woman? How about Kate McKinnon? Or Wanda Sykes? Or Ellen DeGeneres? Or Tiffany Haddish? Or Tina Fey and Amy Poehler? Or Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer? Or Constance Wu? Or, dream of dreams, Hannah Gadsby?

There are so many amazing choices who would make wonderful Oscar/Gay Super Bowl hosts for next year who are not, you know, homophobic garbage. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

After After AfterEllen

Just a reminder, AfterEllen is terrible. Yes, it was my online home for almost 10 years. It discovered and cultivated some of the brightest queer women’s voices on the internet since its founding in 2002. But since September 2016, when its latest corporate overlord – Evolve Media/TotallyHer – decided it wasn’t profitable enough to run as it had been, it’s been a horror show. And if you’re wondering why nearly all the writers (myself included) quit after that decision, well, this is why.

And, this, too – published just yesterday. Don’t click it. Life is too fucking short and they absolutely do not deserve the views.

That a site I once loved and helped me find myself as a lesbian and member of the LGBTQ community has turned into a wildly transphobic cesspool is beyond disappointing, beyond tragic, beyond rage-inducing. But the thing is, from the moment Evolve backpedaled and kept the site open, instead installing an Editor in Chief whose past support indicated a strong transphobic leanings, we all knew it was going to be bad.

Look, AE was never perfect. It had its blind spots and its weaknesses. Heck, things I’ve written in the past I cringe at today. But I always knew its heart and the mission of its writers was one of inclusivity and equality. We wanted more and better representation, always. Because, you know, visibility matters. We welcomed everyone to come and be part of that community who shared that vision. Did we fight? Fuck yes, sometimes we fought. But that’s what happens in any big, sprawling community.

But now, now I can’t go to the site. Before yesterday, I honestly can’t remember the last time I visited AE. Because it hurts to go there. It really does. And it disgusts me to my core.

Whatever you thought of AE, you can’t argue with its importance as an early online LGBTQ community. For queer women it was at the forefront – and sometimes the only – place to go and find other queer women to talk to about pop culture and life in general. A place to learn about queer female representation in the media. A place to share about the shows, the movies, the music you loved that spoke to you. A place to talk about the things that made you feel less alone.

If I won the lotto tomorrow, one of the first things I would do is buy AfterEllen – split off all the content from after the 2016 ruining to a separate site – and preserve it as an online document of queer women’s history. Or, you know, the current editor and management could just stop being transphobic garbage. You know, as a suggestion.

p.s. I know I still have a link to my past AE work up here. I wrestle with it often. On the one hand, that's almost a decade of work. A career in queer media. On the other hand, that site is terrible and should not get any clicks. Like I said, I wrestle with it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Ready, Set, Baking Innuendo!

I will happily confess to spending many a lovely hours watching the newest season of “The Great British Bake Off” (no, I refuse to call it the “Great British Baking Show,” like America demands, its GBBO dammit). While I do not hate the new judges – in fact they’re perfectly serviceable for the most part – I very much miss the zany and inappropriate chemistry of Mel and Sue. They brought a je ne sais quoi to the whole affair. Though, if we’re being really honest, it was their inappropriate banter I loved the most. And, you know, their genuine sweetness and caring toward the contestants. But, yeah, the naughty bits did not hurt. I mean, you can’t blame Mary Berry for being excited about eating some carpet when there’s all this talk of soggy bottoms and moist insides, can you?

p.s. Not baking, but if you feel like following my adventures making my very first fried green tomatoes ever, check out my thread on Twitter from last night. I hope Idgie and Ruth would be proud.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Simply Marvel-ous

The second “Captain Marvel” trailer was released yesterday. And in addition to giving us a little more backstory (and forestory) about our intrepid noble warrior hero, it also gives us gay ladies more reasons to buy a ticket. I mean, it’s a female superhero story, so clearly already we’re excited. But here is a closer look at all the little (and big) gay gifts packed into the trailer.

First, and foremost, this look. I remember having a misplaced butch crush on Tom Cruise in “Top Gun” because, duh, everyone had a crush on Tom Cruise in “Top Gun.” But now, finally, some fighter pilot hotness gender swap for all us queer girls.

Second, her alternative lifestyle haircut/helmet-cut. I mean, Tegan and Sara wish they could rock a flamey, glowy mohawk this hard. And the pure energy hair is a 100 percent mood

Third, please, she is wearing a baseball cap with a leather jacket. And it’s the 90s. Need I say more?

Fourth, lip ring! Kidding, it’s something to do with her helmet/space gear no doubt. But still, looks a lot like a 90s lip ring. Just sayin’.

Fifth, she isn’t afraid to hit old women/bad creatures. Strong assertive action despite possible public perception is always a turn on.

Six, she’s the leader of the pack. And her squad includes Smurf Gemma Chan.

Seventh, she also hangs with Annette Bening with only slightly less dykey hair than her “The Kids Are All Right” days.

Eighth, this is how she asserts herself on the subway. Beware, manspreaders, the avenger of all female passengers squished in their seats is here!

Ninth (of course it’s ninth), the cat. Yes, yes – I know it’s really a “cat.” But you know we can never resist petting a nice pussy.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Oh Lesbotree, Oh Lesbotree!

Well now that it is December (WAIT, IT’S DECEMBER ALREADY?), I thought I would get all us kittens snuggled into the holiday spirit with a lovely, heartwarming and really, really gay Christmas story.

Once upon a time there was a woman who grew up in the Bronx without a single tree on her block. Fast forward some 30-odd years and has spent her career working in public service, then retires with her wife to upstate New York. And a year later a tree from her garden has been selected to be the grandest Christmas tree in all of the land. Best of all, this Christmas story is 100 percent true.

Shirley Figueroa, the woman in question, and her wife Lissette Gutierrez had a tree from their property selected to be this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The 72-foot Norwegian Spruce had been scouted by the Rockefeller folks, who pick a tree from a different place each year).

In having their tree selected they become not only the first same-sex couple, but also the first Latinx-couple to donate a tree for the Rockefeller honor.

Figueroa told The New York Times:

“Just the fact that I have a tree that I can donate when I came from somewhere that had no trees — it’s so surreal.”
And about the couple’s historic firsts:
“That’s cool. We’re happy all around. We’re New Yorkers.”
Happy holidays, may the season be filled with big gay trees and much merriment.

Friday, November 30, 2018

My Weekend Crush

Tomorrow marks the 63rd anniversary of Rosa Parks refusing to relinquish her seat on a segregated Montgomery, Alabama bus. What most of us were taught in school was just the story of a tired seamstress who would not get up and move when it was demanded by a white bus driver. History, of course, is always more complicated than the few paragraphs we get in school books. Social movements take planning and organizing and hard work. They’re also about optics and symbols and being smart. For every Rosa Parks, who is very rightfully celebrated as a hero for the ages, there is a Claudette Colvin who history has largely forgotten. So here, thanks to a few cocktails, is a celebration of both women and the history they made. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward so many wonderful women working so hard for the cause of justice. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, November 29, 2018


This is legit me when I start looking at pictures of Gillian Anderson.

And this is legit how I would hope Gillian Anderson would respond to me responding like this to pictures of her. She gets it. She totally gets it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

I Wanna Elaine Dance With Somebody

Let’s be honest, the week after a holiday is always hard. Like, it’s only Wednesday? Seriously? So here is a collective cathartic moment of shaking-it-out/doing The Elaine Dance for you to enjoy and rejuvenate yourself with this Hump Day. Yeah, you deserve this. Let is all hang out, kittens. And don’t forget to work those thumbs.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Cophine Wishes

Well now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s all holidays all the time from here until the New Year’s Eve. That means holiday gatherings and other assorted get togethers with friends/family/coworkers/etc. And if you’re an introvert like me, the prospect of such get gatherings fills you with occasional dread and continual longing for your comfy sweatpants. But no matter how much socializing you do or don’t plan to do over the holidays, may you at least feel good that you weren’t awkwardly turned down for a threesome by Cosima and Delphine. Though, you can’t blame a gal for trying when in the presence of Cophine. Take your shot, Amy. Take your shot.

[Hat tip to the always brilliant editing by Orphan Crack]