Friday, October 30, 2020

My Vice Presidential Weekend Crush

This year has been more than a lot. This infernal year, this endless pandemic, this criminal administration. Through it all, in our struggle just to get through the day-to-day, we can lose sight of the history we are witnessing. Yes, all the horrible stuff we can’t look away from is history. The unprecedented corruption, cruelty and criminal negligence of Trump and all his enablers should go down in the history books as one of America’s darkest periods told in the same embarrassedly hushed tones as the Japanese internment camps, McCarthy era witch hunts and America’s original sins of chattel slavery and the genocide of Native Americans.

But, we don’t have to write just another shameful chapter on America’s history of racism, sexism, xenophobia, classism and ongoing exclusion. We can choose another path. We can choose to open doors instead. We can choose to make history in the best, most inclusive way possible. We can vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and in doing so break the 232-year exclusive stranglehold of men on the presidency. Sure, it’s not the Main Event. But it’s a heartbeat away and that has never, not in the entire history of our country, happened before. Madame Vice President sounds pretty damn good to me.

But Kamala Harris would not just represent a victory for women. She would represent a victory for Black Americans, for Indian-Americans, for immigrants and first-generation Americans.

Think about how you felt when Barack Obama was elected that November night in 2008. That indescribable feeling when you know a country just made itself better. You may quibble over his policies, but you can’t reject the history the man made and the difference having him in the Oval Office made in how countless Americans now see themselves. They realized perhaps for the first time that they too could become president if only they worked hard and inspired people.

And with Kamala, the exact same thing could happen. It’s hard to dream when you haven’t shown what is possible. When I was a little kid I used to like to watch the Miss America beauty pageant (I know, don’t start, the ladies were pretty). But as an Asian-American kid watching this pageant every year I also knew inherently that I could never be Miss America because I’d never seen an Asian-American woman win the crowd (and in fact it took until 2001, long after I’d stopped watching, for that to happen).

Now, the vice presidency is much more important than Miss America. And the impact could be so much more important.

But, and this is an important but, it isn’t just that Kamala would be so many historic firsts. It is that Kamala is also eminently qualified, unquestionably brilliant and genuinely compassionate. Of course, that only makes sense. To be a first means to have overcome so many obstacles and navigated such an uncharted course for yourself, you’d have to be. No one who wasn’t all those things could accomplish these firsts.

And, look, it doesn’t hurt that Kamala Harris is indeed the Straight Bette Porter. Strong, smart, powerful and pretty darn good in the who face-body area. What? History can be sexy. Now, everyone go vote for Democrats up and down the ballots. Here’s to seeing these firsts happen in four days. Vote. Happy safe, healthy and righteous weekend, all.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Gender Fuck Thursday: Lezzy High Edition

Wait? What is this? More good news? And it isn’t even Nov. 3 yet! And this news is, like yesterday’s, a bit like Big Gay Christmas came early this year - again. Tegan & Sara, everyone’s favorite queer singing twins, are turning their high school memoir into a comedy TV series being adapted by Clea DuVall, everyone's favorite gay conversion camp dropout. I know, it’s like your Baby Dyke self dreamed up a TV show with all her favorite people AND IT HAPPENED. The series is coming to Amazon’s IMBd TV and the adaptation based on their aptly named book “High School” is described as a coming-of-age story that follows the twin sisters as they navigate identities and sexuality separate from each other against the backdrop of 1990s grunge and rave culture. So, you know, count me in. And if the ladies who are eventually cast in the series happen to slip into some suits like Tegan, Sara or Clea, all the better.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Big Prom Energy

Well, here’s something extremely gay to look forward to past Nov. 3. I haven’t had the chance to see “The Prom” on Broadway for a myriad of reasons (and, uh, COVID-19 is keeping it dark until May 2021 at the very earliest because we haven’t had a chance to vote out that Orange Stain in the White House yet). But I know it’s the story of a small town Indiana lesbian who gets banned from bringing her girlfriend to the prom. Plus there was that Macy’s thanksgiving Day Parade kiss. Now luckily we’ll all be able to catch the show in the comfort of our homes this Dec. 11 on Netflix. It appears to be an all-singing, all-dancing spectacular, spectacular - like if “Mamma Mia!” and “Glee” had a baby directed by Ryan Murphy. And, you know, you can’t beat Meryl Streep going full diva. So mark your calendars and deploy your Tonys. It’s should be a night to remember, and you don't even have to rent a tux.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

One Damn Week

One week. One. Week. ONE WEEK. ONE. DAMN. WEEK. We dropped out mail-in ballots off one week ago, and got confirmation they were accepted. Now, if you haven’t already, you have one week to get your ballot in. By mail. By drop-box. By early in-person voting. And in exactly one week at the polls. We can do this. We can get through one week. And then we can make it to Jan. 20. Just think about the joy of never, ever having to think about what Donald Trump is doing, saying or destroying again. Well, other than when they arrest him for all of his blatant criming. But, you know, one thing at a time. And, right now, that one thing is making it one week. Vote, kittens. Vote.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Music Monday: We Got Him Beat

Some Mondays, you just need a great beat. So please enjoy the socially distanced Go-Gos and their most welcome joyful earworm “We Got the Beat.” We sure do. Eight days. Keep the beat, and let’s beat that Orange Stain. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, October 23, 2020

My Weekend Crush

Lynda Carter, and her iconic portrayal of Wonder Woman, makes her a forever hero in my book. And while her public persona has always been delightful, she has taken a very appreciated political bent of late. And has also proven she can throw more than a little presidential shade. Truly, anyone who considers herself (their self or himself) a hero must speak out. These are not normal times and we are facing a not normal threat. When faced with a man so unabashedly and outwardly corrupt, racist, sexist and homophobic all good people must stand up and demand his defeat. So, thanks Lynda. I was already a fan, and now I feel even more validated in the hero worship. Happy safe, healthy and righteous weekend, all.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Gender Fuck Thursday: Be a Lady Edition

While we’re talking about Cynthia Nixon, how about her performance of the Camille Rainville poem “Be a Lady.” So much of what women face in society is predicated on such absolute rubbish. Be sexy, but not too sexy. Be smart, but not too smart. Blah blah blah. It’s exhausting and, quite frankly, boring. Women, in all of our multitudes, are so much more than what the tiny minds of the patriarchy could ever envision. And while you’re at it, fuck their binary. Be a lady however you like.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Lesbian Storytime

So, over the last few weeks we’ve watched not one, but two high-profile new TV shows with queer female couples at their center. I’m talking about “Ratched” and “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” both on Netflix. Now, I can’t say either are necessarily great. I actually have pretty significant issues with both shows. But I am still glad I watched them both. The fact that we have two popular shows highlighting women in relationships with other women who aren’t just side characters but the main characters remains thrilling. Think back to the days when you waited for The Very Special Lesbian Episode to happen once every year or show, and you can’t help but appreciate the progress we’ve made.

Hands down the best thing about “Ratched” was getting to watch two out queer women play two queer women on screen. I can’t imagine what it must feel like, after a full career already, to be able to express one’s sexual orientation authentically on screen. Truly, it’s the strongest argument for watching “Ratched.” It’s other saving grave, amid the jumbled narrative and whiplash character development, is the candy apple beauty of the show’s costume and set design. Everything feels supersaturated and the colors pop off screen. And, of course, Sarah Paulson and Cynthia Nixon, as well as the rest of the cast, do their level best with the material they’ve been given. If only it lived up to their talent.

As for “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” hands down the best thing about the show is getting to finally add another adorable lesbian florist to our official canon. British actress Amelia Eve’s Jamie is like the melancholy yin to the upbeat yang of fellow British actress Lena Headey’s Luce. They make lovely green-thumbed lesbian bookends. But what I didn’t love about the series was [MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE SHOW AHEAD. MAJOR.] how it romanticized the Dead Lesbian Trope to a ghostly degree. Yes, Jamie and Dani’s love story was beautiful and haunting. And if we were only in it for another pretty sad story that would be fine. But, alas, we are still not quite at the point where our representation is so prevalent that we have the luxury of complete choice. Instead, we keep seeing the same often damaging stories arise, time and time again. Sadness, while part of life, shouldn’t be our dominant narrative on screen. Also, while I am complaining, I wasn’t thrilled that the chief haunting and reason for the cursed home is a feud between two sisters, complete with jealousy and vengefulness. Otherwise, it was a fairly stylish if at times messy haunted house story, with lesbians at its very center. And I do take heart that every generation of queer women has its tragic romance that it must fall in love with. I appreciate that “The Haunting of Bly Manor” will be that story for a whole new generation.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Original Equality

Today is our second wedding anniversary. In celebration of two years of our legally recognized love we plan to bring our mail-in ballots to the official ballot drop-box. Voting is indeed the one thing that can turn around 2020. Will it fix everything automatically? Absolutely not. By the end of this week the Republicans will no doubt have voted through an illegitimate and politically biased nominee into an unabashedly stolen Supreme Court seat. The debate about “Originalism” when it comes to the Constitution sadly remains an abstract philosophy to too many who continue to not recognize their own privilege. But for any of us who aren’t wealthy straight cis-white men (and the people who rely on wealthy straight cis-white men for their status and protection – cough, cough, wealthy straight cis-white women, cough), the Constitution as it was originally written simply does not consider us people. It does not consider us equal with rights that are unalienable. And it does not consider us worthy of the full exercise of our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. So, no, we (including Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and every other person of color, women, members of the LGBTQ community, et al) are not Originalists. But we are worthy of full equal rights – every last one of us. So vote for Democrats up and down the ballot. For Joe and Kamala. For Democratic governors and senators and congresspeople. For Democratic mayors and city council members and school board trustees. Vote for the one party capable of winning and bringing more people those unalienable rights. Vote. Our continued place in the Constitution depends on it.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Music Monday: Defy the GOP, Vote Edition

Not that you should need additional motivation to vote this year, of all hellish and apocalyptic years. But if you just needed a soundtrack, might I suggest the entire cast of Broadway’s “Wicked” – not to mention the show’s iconic emeritus stars Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel – serenading you as you get ready, make a plan and vote.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

My (Belated) Weekend Crush

Whew, well this was, against all odds, actually a very nice weekend. So to end things here are some very nice, and very funny bloopers from my pandemic savior show "Schitt's Creek." Happy safe, healthy and righteous what is left of the weekend, all.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Gender Fuck Thursday: Lil Cynthia Nixon Edition

If you watched “Ratched,” you were no doubt reminded of how talented Cynthia Nixon is. While narratively the series was a jumble, the cast and the fact that two gay women were playing two gay women on screen made it worth the time. Also worth the time? Catching 7-year-old Cynthia on “To Tell the Truth.” I don’t know why none of us realized she was family earlier. The way she wears that lil cowgirl outfit, you just know.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

All in the Numbers, Ladies

Some people say casting a bunch of talented, intelligent, beautiful women and putting them in traditionally male movie roles is just tokenism. But I say, how about you give us a larger sample size before we cast judgment. And, in turn, a larger sample size will eliminate all talk of tokenism. Because, ladies, we all know that us women know how to lie, steal, fight, shoot, kill just like the fellas when the occasion arises. I’m not entirely sure what’s up with the numeric names of these kinds of movies in questions (“Ocean’s 8” and now “The 355”). But, you give me Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong'o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbin all in one movie and I’ll say, let the research begin.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Know Dis

I don’t know about you, but there is something vaguely reassuring about watching Kate McKinnon slowly lose her mind live on “Saturday Night Live.” She’s all of us swimming in our anxiety, rage, exhaustion and chronic exponential dread. What will happen Nov. 3? We do not know dis. But we all have to do everything we can to make it the day we turn around 2020 for the better, finally.