Thursday, May 23, 2019

What the L

TV: Hey, that show we made about you lesbians is coming back.

Me: Cool, I think.

TV: Yeah, we decided to call it “The L Word: Generation Q.”


TV: Hey, lesbians, your show is coming back!

ME: Oka….

TV: We know letters are your people’s thing, so we subtitled it “Generation Q!”


Me: It's going to be crazy to see The L Word back on TV this fall.

TV: Right? Also we renamed it Generation Q.


TV: Whatever, you hated that Betty theme song, but you still watched me all six seasons. You know you're gonna watch Generation Q, too.




Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Do You Take This Gay Rat?

Sometimes I feel like writing long, detailed treatise about the continued need to fight for complete LGBTQ rights in America. And sometimes I just feel like telling you that a public television station in Alabama refused to air an episode of a popular children’s cartoon because a fictional rat character and a fictional aardvark character, who happened to both be male, got married. Because, uhhhh… God made a fictional male rat named Adam and a fictional female aardvark named Eve, not a fictional male rate named Adam and a fictional male aardvark named Steve – you fucking perverts.

I also just feel like telling you that last week for the first time in United States history one of the branches of government passed a bill fully protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodations. Not one single Democrat voted no, but 173 Republicans sure did. And now the Republican-controlled Senate probably won’t even give it a vote. So, you know, never tell me again how the two parties are exactly the same, and one is no better than the other.

Anyway, just a reminder that conservatives believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and really all queer people are so terrible that children and the general public must be shielded from seeing even fictional cartoon animals of the same gender demonstrating their love and commitment to one another in the form of a marriage. And conservatives also believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and really all queer people are so terrible that everyone should be allowed to discriminate against them whenever they want for whatever reason they want. These are the things they believe and the ways they vote. And they’re proud of those votes and those beliefs. But, you know, it’s us queers who are the terrible people.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Same Old Thrones

Well, for a thing that started with Ice and Fire that sure ended on a blandly bureaucratic note. Like, who would have through after eight long years, numerous kings and queens, endless betrayals and countless innocent lives lost that the Iron Throne would be decided because of…electability? Yeah, you know, the male candidate with the best story. Nothing to do with gender or the patriarchy. Just, you know, a likable story. I’d totally vote for a female Queen of Westeros, just not that female Queen of Westeros.

Yes, a show that dared us to soar with the dragons has ended with a king no one wanted, who isn’t even really a person, but darn if he doesn’t have a good story. And have we mentioned that he is a he? Remember, “ Men decide where power resides, whether or not they know it.” I mean, they even wrote that directly into the dialogue – unironically. Men. Decide. Where. Power. Resides. OK, got it, fellas.

You can practically hear Benioff and Weisss saying, “Look, I like Warren Sansa, too. But it’s too much to have her rule all Seven Kingdoms right now. Especially after the Hillary Daenerys debacle. We don’t want another Trump Joffrey, do we?”

Also, can we talk about Tyrion Lannister embodying the maddening ability for straight white men to fail up? He served as hand for King Joffrey Baratheon. King Joffrey Baratheon: Dead. Served as hand for Queen Daenerys Targaryen. Queen Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, Lady of Dragonstone, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons: Dead.

And now he gets to be Hand of the King for Bran the Broken, too? And while we are at it, why would all those Lords and Ladies listen to a prisoner who is literally in chains in the first place? (While laughing uproariously at the idea of democracy, pish-posh unwashed rabble!)

Cool story, bro. Well, at least Sansa got The North and Arya peaced out of the narrative entirely.

In giving us a neat and tidy bureaucratic ending to the Game of Thrones, the writers have decided their story was strong enough to transcend the times it was told in. But, here’s the thing, it isn’t. I’ve read a couple round-up of reviews of the “Game of Thrones” finale and I’ve noticed an undeniable trend. Men seem OK with it. Women are pissed. Because the world we live in continues to have men decide where power resides – right down to controlling our bodies and our uteruses. Politics is always personal, and intricately intertwined with our entertainment.

We have invested almost a decade in Daenerys and Sansa and Arya and Brienne and Yara and even Cersei freaking Lannister. We thought a world where dragons painted shadows across the sky and wolves strode like stallions through the wilderness and a woman would not be burned no matter how big the stake that anyone could rule. But, you see, men decide where power resides. So, in the end, it was the same old game after all. The Patriarchy is alive and doing extremely well in Westeros.

It’s not easy to see something that’s never been before. And Game of Thrones decided not to even try.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Music Monday: Kacey Edition

Look, sometimes life – and the GOP – just get you down. You know, Republicans just really subjugate you to second-class status, remove your bodily autonomy and police your vagina. Like, who wouldn’t feel a little blue realizing that Alabama specifically rejected an exemption for rape or incest because, a woman’s suffering is nothing compared to the potential of the lump of cells growing inside of her. I mean, what if it grows up to be a straight white man? Anyway, all these terrible – and terribly illegal – so-called “heartbeat bills” are designed to be heat seeking missiles for the Trump/McConnell/Kavanaugh Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade once and for all. I mean, it’s enough to make a lady want to have a gun surgically inserted into her womb – because then at least conservatives would maybe think twice before regulating it.

Anyway, we must and will continue to fight this rollback of women’s rights (and the continued assault on immigrants, Muslims, POC, the disabled, LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities because this administration is indeed that hateful). What else can we do? But, at least for a little bit, take some time to yourself. Self care is key to resistance. So why not follow our gal Kacey Musgraves’s advice to “roll up a joint – or don’t” and let yourself distress from an unquestionably stressful past week to be a woman (or any person with empathy and a desire for bodily autonomy) in America. I can only assume that’s what Kacey did when she made this visual video for “Oh, What a World” complete with its Geocities-era graphics and majestic centaur doppelgangers. I’ve loved Kasey since she told everyone to “Follow Your Arrow.” I suggest watching this video on a loop until everything melts away. I also highly recommend the rest of Kacey’s Grammy-winning album “Golden Hour.” While it wont’ cure what ails America, it certainly helps heal the soul a little. Unplug, get weird, and come back stronger, kittens.

Friday, May 17, 2019

My Weekend Crush

Yep, I am gayly watching the hell out of this. So now that we have a trailer for the new “Batwoman” series on The CW. And it’s...good. It’s pretty darn good. Also gay. So very gay. Like, have we ever seen such a kickass out butch heroine leading a show? Despite all the initial misgivings about Ruby Rose’s acting abilities, her physicality is unquestionably great here (and, well, that swagger ain’t bad either).

But what makes me most encouraged is the female pedigree behind the new show. “Vampire Diaries” alum Caroline Dries serves as showrunner. And one it writers is none other than Natalie Abrams (former TV journalist turned TV writer), who happens to be the wife of former AfterEllen (in the good old days) writer Snoodit. It’s a small (and super gay) world after all.

So, bring it Batwoman. I’m 100 percent here for an awesome, hilarious, handsome butch badass who does not let a man take credit for a woman’s work. Happy Batwoman weekend, all.

p.s. So very very (very, very, very) nice to see you, Rachel Skarsten/Alice/Tamsin.

p.p.s. I also super relieved that it looks like Kate Kane’s love interest won’t be fridged in the first episode, but rescued by our Bat shero instead. (I hope, don’t let me down, show…)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Gender Fuck Thompsons

Tessa Thompson in a suit? Check. Emma Thompson in that hair. Check. Agent M origin story? Check. Thor being handsome? Check. Cute aliens? Check. Have I mentioned all the suits? I’m kind of stupidly excited to see this movie mostly because of all the reasons listed above. But, really, I’d watch anything with the Thompsons in it – the suits are just gravy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Second Vida

As sad as I am with what’s happening to “Wynonna Earp” and “One Day at a Time,” (and I am very, very, inconsolably sad about having to fight tooth-and-lesbian nail for both those shows), I am grateful that not all television executives are so small-minded. “Vida” is a deeply layered, richly textured look at two sisters and their Latinx community in East Los Angeles. It’s not a story that gets told every day, a story filled with LGBTQIA people, if it even gets told at all. But, amazingly, here we are about to start a second season May 26 on Starz. Like I said, amazing.

p.s. As much as this show deserves a GLAAD Award, it 110 percent IS NOT A COMEDY. Sooooo. Yeah.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Swimsuit Tuesday

A swimsuit is not a tank top...or is it? Researchers are split. It covers the bodice, and typically has two straps - in a full-body suit or bikini varieties alike. Sooo, you know, technically it’s fair game. I’ve already ruled that leotards are fair game. So please enjoy Megan Rapinoe in her swimsuit/unrestrained tank top glory as the first openly gay woman in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Yes, yes - I know the swimsuit issue is gross, but LGBTQ equality is striving for gross things straight people can do, achieving them, and making them cooler in the process. I mean, we already did it for marriage. (Kidding...kind of...but not about a swimsuit being a tank top.)

Anyway, my point is you could slice ham on those hip bones and do your laundry on them abs.

Monday, May 13, 2019

GOP Don't Own Me

I am sad to report that Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” is still what we would call a timeless classic. Not sad because Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” is a bad song. It’s a great song. An amazing song. An incredibly powerful song that every woman feels deeply in her bones. The sad part is we still have to sing it. And feel it. The song remains as relevant as ever. And so we continue to belt it loud. And proud. And be filled with unending righteous indignation.

You don't own me
I'm not just one of your many toys
You don't own me
Don't say I can't go with other boys

Yet here we are, in our year 2019, watching as state legislatures pass so-called “Heartbeat Bills” that police women, strip us of our autonomy and take away our right to control our own bodies. These six-week abortion bans are effectively total abortion bans. If you’re late on your period by two weeks, boom, you are probably past six-weeks pregnant. So now you’ve missed your window to make your own decision on how to proceed with your pregnancy, body and life in general.

And don't tell me what to do
Don't tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don't put me on display 'cause

The so-called Governor of Georgia (which should rightfully be Stacey Abrams, but voter suppression is a hell of a drug), just signed the most atrocious fetal heartbeat bill in the country. Earlier Mississippi and Ohio governors signed similar bills, effective this July. And some 16 states across the country have passed or are trying to pass similar laws.

You don't own me
Don't try to change me in any way
You don't own me
Don't tie me down 'cause I'd never stay

Let’s take a peek at that newly passed Georgia law, shall we? Obviously it restrict women from having an abortion after six weeks (again, that means most women wouldn’t even realize they are pregnant until after it’s too late). It also gives the unborn fetus full citizenship rights meaning this lump of underdeveloped cells will be counted as a person for population determination (even though, you know, it isn’t even here yet), and the law provides provisions for alimony, child support and even income tax deductions for fetuses. No, I am not kidding.

I don't tell you what to say
I don't tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That's all I ask of you

But wait, like those terrible late-night infomercials, there’s more! The bill will also criminalize women who get abortions. You heard that right, women who decide to self-terminate after six weeks in Georgia can go to jail for life and even be eligible to the damn death penalty. If a woman seeks an abortion after six weeks from a health care provider she will be party to murder and subject to life in prison. So much for not punishing the woman, pro-lifers. No, I am NOT KIDDING.

I'm young, and I love to be young
I'm free, and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
To say and do whatever I please

If a woman miscarries because of “her own conduct” she is committing second-degree murder now in Georgia and subject to 10 to 30 years in prison. And prosecutors may interrogate a woman who miscarries to determine if it was because of, again, “her own conduct,” and if they believe it is they could arrest, prosecute and imprison here. NO, I AM NOT KIDDING.

And don't tell me what to do
Oh, don't tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don't put me on display

And, guess what, you can’t even leave the state to obtain an abortion in a state where it is still legal. A woman can be charged with 10 years imprisonment if she does this. Oh, oh, and you also can’t help a woman obtain an abortion in-state or out-of-state after six weeks because you could also be charged with conspiracy. OH MY FUCKING GOD I AM NOT FUCKING KIDDING.

I don't tell you what to say
Oh, don't tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That's all I ask of you

Local elections matter. State elections matter. I know we’re all in a frenzy what with 21,000 Democrats running for president. But this right here? This is why you vote in every election. You vote for school board and county coroner and state assembly. You vote for your representatives and your senators. You vote for governors. You vote because if we don’t they take away our rights. Not slowly, not carefully. But with maximum cruelty and disregard of women as human beings who - unlike their beloved fetus - are actually here and have already been imbued with unalienable rights as citizens of this country. But, you know, not in Georgia.

I'm young, and I love to be young
I'm free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
To say and do whatever I please

So, we sing. We fight. We protest. We take their asses to court (since, obviously, that’s the objective here - for one of these cases winf its way to Trump’s stolen Supreme Court to overturn Roe V. Wade). But no matter how hard they try and what laws they pass, the GOP doesn’t own women. They certainly don’t care about them. So vote every single last one of them out of office. And we can all be free, and love to be free.

Friday, May 10, 2019

My Weekend Crush

If I was in the position to work with, provide a guided tour to and set up a dressing room for Dame Emma Thompson, I say without hesitation that this is exactly the way I would act. Except, well, instead of the Jonas Brothers I’d have Tegan & Sara to croon for her. Kate McKinnon is doing queer women everywhere a solid by repping us hard in front of Emma Thompson. If they don’t kiss this weekend on SNL I will consider it a travesty of gay justice. Respect. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Gender Fuck Met Gala

The Met Gala is, as the kids today say, extra. It’s always been extra and continues to be extra by design. This year’s theme - camp - seemed destined to bring out the very extraest exta in all the richest and famousest among us. And for some it did. And others wouldn't know camp if it hit them in the fucking face.

But, good news. The queers, and many of the queer favs, at the event this year came out swinging from the chandeliers (or, in Katy Perry’s case, wearing one). So in a week filled with so much rage-inducement, a little joy in the effervescent frivolity of fashion. No, it won’t save the world and stop the ice caps from melting. But, at least for a little while, I hope it makes you smile. Or, you know, boobie wink.

Janelle Monae

All hail the Queen of Fashionable Cubism! Eyes, everywhere. Lips, who knows. Hats, so many! Winking boobie? FLIRTING, BUT MAKE IT FASHION.

Lena Waithe

Yes, black drag queens invented (or inventend, whatever works) camp. While I'm not sure anything can top last year’s Rainbow Cape, this is close. Oh, did I mention the pinstripes are lyrics to “I’m Coming Out.”

Lady Gaga

Please, like Gaga was gonna fuck up camp.

Danai Gurira

This isn’t necessarily camp, but damn it’s HOT.

Tracee Ellis Ross (Bonus: Sarah Paulson Photobomb)

Is it even the Met Gala if Sarah doesn’t photobomb someone famous with totally relatable emotions?

Kristen Stewart

I can’t say I approve and it’s definitely not camp. But it’s fascinating to watch K-Stew reintroduce herself as punk rock Meg Ryan.

Tessa Thompson

Yes, Mistress. Right away, Mistress. Whatever you want, Mistress.

p.s. I feel this picture on a deep spiritual level. In my pants.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Run, Caster, Run

Well, I guess this is my week to be mad at the universe (both real and fictitious).

All Caster Semenya wants to do is run. And run fast. But all the world seems to want to do is slow her down. Last week an international sports court ruled that the South African Olympic medalist must lower her natural levels of testosterone to compete.

Let that sink in for a second. They are saying how she was born is somehow unfair. Never mind that there are plenty of male athletes with genetic anomalies that give them a perceived edge – and we give them Wheaties boxes and endless acclaim.

Plus, the research simply does not bear out that testosterone is destiny. You aren’t guaranteed a gold medal simply for having more or less of it as a woman. Really, our gender (not to mention our performance) is far too complex to ever oil down to just one factor.

Caster is also a black female lesbian, a group that historically has been subject to relentless discrimination and policing by those in power. Body and gender policing of women and those who do not neatly fit into the prescribed binary is never good and eventually erodes all of our rights. Every woman, and truly all humans, deserve body autonomy. Period.

So keep running, keep running fast. No one defines you but your feet.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Huston, We Have A Problem

Look, I’m not here to shit on anyone’s faves. I think Anjelica Huston is a magnificent actor. She’s a striking presence on screen. (And featured in my very first Tank Top Tuesdays.) As people began to read her expansive Q&A in New York Magazine last week, they were delighted by her frankness and take-no-shit attitude. Quotes were shared on Twitter. Much of the interview was so great. But then I read further. And, well, hoo boy.

But this? NOT GREAT.

When asked about some of the famous men who have been rightly reviled in the #MeToo Movement things went terribly wrong.

You were in two Woody Allen films, Crimes and Misdemeanors, alongside Mia Farrow, and then Manhattan Murder Mystery. Woody Allen is basically unable to make films now because of the outcry about the molestation allegations.
I think that’s after two states investigated him, and neither of them prosecuted him.
Well, the industry seems to be treating him as though he’s guilty. Would you work with him again?
Yeah, in a second.
Jeffrey Tambor, whose girlfriend you played on seasons two and three of Transparent, was accused by his former assistant and an actress on the show of behaving inappropriately toward them. Did you know the two women?
I’ve met them both. At least insofar as I was concerned, nobody did or said anything inappropriate. I do think in this work we have to feel freedom. We have to feel as though we can say and do things that are not necessarily judged, particularly by the other people in the cast or crew.
So you think what happens on the set should stay on the set, and there are processes that make the rules of behavior a little different from what you might find at a corporate job?
That’s absolutely what I’m saying.
So would it be fair to say this is a defense of things that Jeffrey might have said that were possibly misinterpreted?
Yes, that is fair. He certainly never said or did anything inappropriate with me.
How did you come down on Polanski when people were signing petitions to have him readmitted to the U.S.?
My opinion is: He’s paid his price, and at the time that it happened, it was kind of unprecedented. This was not an unusual situation. You know that movie An Education with Carey Mulligan? That happened to me. It’s about a schoolgirl in England who falls in love with an older dude, Peter Sarsgaard. My first serious boyfriend I met when he was 42 and I was 18.
The photographer Bob Richardson. It wasn’t illegal though.
He was way older than me. I mean, old enough to know better. But these things happen, that’s what I’m saying. These things weren’t judged on the same basis that they’re judged on now. So you can’t compare them.
Here’s the thing, we can't change our culture if we keep letting bad men slide. Cultural mores may evolve, but wrong is wrong.

Drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl? Wrong.

Sexually abusing your 7-year-old daughter? Wrong.

Sexually harassing the trans actresses on your set? Wrong.

I’m not a fan of cancel culture, instead I’m a fan of genuine growth. So I my hope is that someone in Anjelica’s life looks at what she said about these unrepentant Bad Men and have a talk with her.

And that talk will include saying just because someone has never been personally mean, bullying, abusive, criminal and or sexually inappropriate with you, does not mean that person has not done any or all of those things to someone else.

So when you say about your “Transparent” co-star Jeffrey Tambor, “He certainly never said or did anything inappropriate with me,” that actually doesn’t prove one single thing. Instead it assumes your experience – as a rich, famous, respected, white woman – is universal. That since you, a person who has been famous for decades, was treated well by a co-worker, everyone will obviously be treated by said co-worker exactly the same way.

Just like being married to a woman does not inoculate a sexist man from being sexist, or just like having a black friend does not inoculate a racist from being racist, or just having a gay family member does not inoculate a homophobe from being homophobic. You can be nice and decent even to certain people, while still being horrible and monstrous to others.

Anyway, in life, always strive to be more empathetic – not less.

Monday, May 06, 2019

But Is She Electable?


Well, fuck. After last week’s episode saw The Living saved by women and only women (like, all of The North would be in “The Walking Dead” right now if it wasn’t for Dany’s dragons, Melisandre’s fire and Arya’s dagger), I worried that would be the last hurrah for the Double Xs of Westeros (and non-binary, trans folks - if there were any on the show which has precious few queer characters as is). And this week’s “The Last of the Starks” is sadly proving that prediction right. Move aside, ladies, it’s time for The Man to take over.

I swear to the old gods and the new, if these whole eight seasons lead up to just glorifying the straight white male savior I will go Full Cersei on the universe. Though, you gotta hand it to the show writers, everyone rallying behind a white dude instead of a qualified woman who worked and sacrificed her whole life to get to this point is very on brand for 2019.

What more does Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains and Drinker of Starbucks have to do to get some respect? She ate a stallion’s heart. She walked into a funeral pyre and came out with three dragons. She burned the Dothraki Patriarchy to ash. She flies into battles riding a freaking dragon. She stopped what she was doing to help save The North. What more does a lady have to do to be “likable” enough to rule, yo?

But now all of a sudden she is irrational and a dangerous and “unelectable” what with her weak poll numbers with the white working glass in The North. Good thing there’s a better, whiter, maler choice! Seriously, stop being so 2019, show!

And I haven’t even gotten in to the other problematic stuff – like, I dunno, Sansa saying being raped and abused was actually character building, Brienne suddenly being boy crazy and lovey-dovey, The Starks suddenly becoming So Lannister about their precious bloodline, and the show killing off basically its only black female character. And Jon not petting Ghost before sending him to live on some farm in The North? Burn it all down!

After eight seasons, it seems we are now just plodding toward the inevitable coronation of Jon Snow, a man so white it’s typified by his last name. Some Game, eh?