Friday, July 30, 2021

My Weekend Crush

Simone Biles is the greatest. This is undisputed. That she withdrew from the Olympics, THE OLYMPICS, because she knew her mental health wasn’t there to compete makes her even greater. Athletes, even the greatest athletes in the world, are only human. And all humans, even the strongest in the world, are fragile. If Simone Biles, the greatest gymnast in history and one of the greatest athletes in any sport, says she can’t compete then she can’t compete and we should honor and appreciate the wisdom and concern she has shown for her own body and mind.

To those criticizing her “toughness” or her “commitment” or her “responsibilities,” I have some questions. Are you an elite gymnast who has been training since she was 6 years old with the singular goal of making it to the Olympics? No, interesting. Have you publicly discussed your long-term sexual abuse at the hands of the U.S.A. team doctor/person whose sole job was to keep you healthy that was covered up by the very organization you are now performing for at the Olympics? No, also interesting. Were you touted for years and years and years (and years and years) as the face of the Olympics for having what has been portrayed as unstoppable superhuman abilities so much so that people expect your greatness to be automatic? No, again, interesting. Are you a Black woman who is continually expected to perform at the upper echelon of your field for a culture that then casually ascribes much of your excellence to your race? No, wow, interesting.

Though, it’s not interesting — it’s pathetic. Every criticism I have read of Simone withdrawing from the team and all-around events has been pathetic — and I mean every last one, which largely and unsurprisingly are coming from a slew of mediocre straight white men.

Yeah, of course, we all have opinions about things we really don’t know much of anything about. Mouthing off is also human nature. But we should always check ourselves in criticizing those who prioritize their mental health. When an NBA player breaks a leg in a game, no one would dare scream at him to “Shake it off, be a team player!” But if mentally you know you can’t compete and are risking grave bodily harm to do so, suddenly you’re “soft.” Again, I’d laugh if it wasn’t so pathetic.

Here’s the thing, no one has an obligation to compete for an Olympic gold medal for your viewing pleasure. No one. The Olympics are, of course, a public spectacle. But at its core it’s about a group of extraordinary humans pushing themselves to lengths us normal humans for the most part could never even fathom. It’s personal, it’s their bodies. And unlike some pretty topical public health requirements that have been implemented to protect us as a society (vaccinations, masks, social distancing, et al), no one should ever tell you what you can and can’t do with your own bodies. Because, here’s the thing, if Simone doesn’t compete it doesn’t truly hurt anyone else. We just won’t get to see her excellence, which is a shame because when she is at her best it is wondrous to behold. But that’s it, we’re just disappointed. She’s the one who has to deal with the hurt of training for a moment you suddenly know you can’t perform in. We should wrap her in our support and thanks, not criticize her for denying us a show.

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s those who do the least to protect humankind are the same ones who often demand the most of everyone else. Wear a mask to protect other people? But my FREEDOMMMMM to kill anyone I might infect by not wearing a simple piece of fabric on my face! Get vaccinated to end this pandemic? My body, my CHOOOOOICE to continue this misery and keep us from attaining herd immunity thereby taking all of us who are already vaccinated or cannot get vaccinated for health reasons hostage in an unending cycle of death, disability and suffering! (Will I work this infernal pandemic of stupidity into every post, even the Olympic ones because the world is all connected and YOU SEE THOSE EMPTY STANDS RIGHT?)

The other hopefully bigger lesson of this pandemic is that we all need to take care of our mental health. It is OK to not be OK and seek help. Our bodies don’t run without our minds. And we humans, as I’ve said before, are so fragile. But fragility is not a sign of personal failing, it’s a sign of our humanity. Think of the pressures you face on a daily basis — bills, relationships, jobs and generally just trying to navigate the random chaos of everyday existence — and now add pushing yourself to perform at the highest, hardest levels of a sport with the expectations of not only your team but your entire country and indeed the whole world on your shoulders. I know I couldn’t, I’d be crushed. So I have nothing but respect for the Simones and Naomis of the world who have said loud and clear that their lives matter more than their sports. Honestly, I’m continually in awe of these athletes. I still watch the Olympics, despite its many flaws and institutional failings, because of these magnificent humans who devote their lives to being the best they can be at something — which, a quick reminder, is about more than just winning medals.

Simone should be lifted up as an example of setting healthy priorities, not the opposite. Because if we’re disappointed, she must be devastated. But she did this because she knew her limits. No one should be forced to push past that point — especially not just for a shiny trinket. Depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, suicidal ideations — these are all serious medical issues. They hurt us as much as any broken leg. They can lead to death. They have led to death.

Being the Greatest of All Time means knowing when to stop. It means knowing that your physical and mental health are more important than any competition. In the end these are all just games, even the Olympic Games. Each one of these athletes has a life outside of what we see on TV, and deserves the best shot at as full and happy life possible. We all do. If by exiting Simone gave more athletes — and really any of us — permission to do just that then she won’t just be the greatest gymnast of all time. She’ll be one of the greatest humans. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. None of this, none of this, takes away from Sunisa Lee’s amazing, inspiring, julilant all-around gold medal. In stepping aside to protect her own health, Simone created more opportunities for her teammates to shine as well. And that, after all, should be the goal of any sporting competition, to create chances for people to be their best.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Out, Out Damn Bra

I told you she would be avenged. After yesterday’s appalling lack of Gillian, today is all about Gillian. Well, Gillian and her girls. And can I just say, hard agree, Gillian. HARD AGREE. When this pandemic is finally over (not quite though so GO GET VACCINATED), perhaps the biggest thing I will miss is being able to go braless every single day at work. Like, I’m mad if I have to leave the house and put on a bra for longer than two hours at a time. Indeed, I HATE it. So, anyway, same Gillian. SAME. Hoping to see a lot more of you (no comment on the girls) in the new season of “Sex Education.”

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Too Cool for School

Look, no offense to the fine students of Moordale Secondary, but what is this crap? I mean, yes, it’s great to see Maeve/Emma Mackey and Ola/Patricia Allison and Lily/Tanya Reynolds and Eric/Ncuti Gatwa, et al. Oh, and don’t think I missed Jemima Kirke/Jessa from “Girls” as the new school headmaster. But where, pray tell, is Dr. Jean? Where is Gillian? This is a travesty. An outrage! It must be AVENGED!! Am I overreacting? Definitely. Especially because I know Gillian is in the new season. So basically they’re just making us wait to see her. Which, um, a show called “Sex Education” making us wait? I’m sure there’s a naughty metaphor in there somewhere.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Lesbian Reality

A splashy reality show about LESBIANS IN FLORIDA? Yeah, go ahead and tilt your head, but admit it you’re probably gonna watch at least a little bit of the new Amazon Prime series “Tampa Baes.” Now, I’m no reality TV junkie. The reality shows I watch regularly are typically about either food or home improvement or British people baking. Oh and I watch “Making It” with Amy Poehler because it’s cute and Nick Offerman is one of the more acceptable straight white men out there — plus they still have some fun Leslie & Ron energy as hosts.

Right, where were we? Oh yeah, Florida Lesbians! Amazon Prime described the series as about:

“The young lesbian ‘it-crowd’ navigating and celebrating life in Tampa Bay – Florida’s LGBTQ+ hub and the place to see and be seen. Always ready for an adventure or a good party, this group of loyal friends – and sometimes more than friends – is ambitious and unapologetic while constantly battling stereotypes and labels. With all eyes on these fun-loving women at this pivotal moment in their personal and professional lives, there’s not a challenge or hot-button issue they won’t tackle, even if it means getting real with one another.”
So like “the Real Lesbians of Tampa Bay” or something, basically.

Now those with long enough memories will remember we’ve had a splashy lesbian reality show already, “The Real L Word,” from Ilene Chaiken herself about the young lesbian “it-crowd” in Los Angeles. The show spawned its own mini-universe of LA-based celesbians when it ran for three seasons, from 2010 to 2012, on Showtime. As I recall, they even had a location switch in the last season when the show went “bi-coastal” between LA and NY. And then, in 2014, to prove it wasn’t all about just capitalizing on sexy lesbians and their sexy drama, Ilene produced “Real L Word: Mississippi” in 2014. I watched that too, and it bummed me out about the hard hold the closet and self-loathing still has on too many (and you know, the continual horror of bigots).

Also, those with extra long memories may remember our old friend Logo lead the way in lesbian reality shows in the late 2000s — first in 2007 with “Curl Girls” about a groups of lesbian surfers and then in 2008-2009 with “Gimme Sugar” about a group of queer women promoting a nightclub. I have vague recollections of both shows, but it was harder to watch everything back then so I don’t recall if I watched either in their entirety. And, if I did, um, they didn’t leave a huge impression.

Anyway, back to Florida Lesbians. The White Party/Beach Party/Pool Party vibes from the first promo images are giving me distinct “The Real L Word” flashbacks. Plus, those hoping for a lot of butch/masc representation might be dissapointed at first glance (though, I see you top knots, I see you). Sadly, same goes for those looking for better body size representation, but alas that’s basically all of the business called show.

Time will tell if the names Ali Myers, Nelly Ramirez, Shiva Pishdad, Jordan Whitley, Marissa Gialousis, Summer Mitchell, Cuppie Bragg, Brianna Murphy, Haley Grable, Melanie Posner, Olivia Mullins and Mack McKenzie (the full cast) become emblazoned on our collective queer gal consciousnesses. But, yeah, of course I’m going to watch at least a little. Y’all know hate watching is a thing, right?

Monday, July 26, 2021

Music Monday: Brandi Edition

It’s been a long and hard pandemic for all of us, to be sure (and, it ain’t over folks). But I can imagine for such a pure performer like Brandi Carlile, being forced off the road and out of theaters and away from crowds, well, that’s got to hurt. But Brandi used her forced time off to write with her longtime collaborators the twins. They wrote so much that her latest album “In These Silent Days” will be released Oct. 1. She released the video for its first single, “Right On Time,” last week.

She told Rolling Stone about the experience of writing the record:

“Never before have the twins and I written an album during a time of such uncertainty and quiet solitude. I never imagined that I’d feel so exposed and weird as an artist without the armor of a costume, the thrill of an applause and the platform of the sacred stage. Despite all this, the songs flowed through — pure and unperformed, loud and proud, joyful and mournful.”
The video is an interesting homage to larger-than-life stage personalities like Elton John and David Bowie, while Brandi herself is glassed off from the world. You know, symbolism and shit. Also, did I mention Courteney Cox directed it? Yes, that Coureney Cox. I can’t say if glam-rock Brandi is my favorite look for her, but goodness, have I missed those soaring pipes. Probably won’t be until next year when I’m able to see her again on a stage. But I will, oh I will. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, July 23, 2021

My Olympic Weekend Crush

For all its many (many, many, many, many, many*) problematic issues, I still plan to watch the Tokyo Olympics starting tonight. I just can’t quit watching athletes in peak physical condition achieve their dreams and ll that triumph of the human spirit shit. Also, jock women are hot and you know it. To kick off the Lez Olympics here is the U.S. Women’s Rowing team helpfully explaining which members of are gay and which are not. The popular TIkTok meme is a delight to watch after years (and years and year and years and years and years) spent scraping the outer edges of the Internet to figure out which athletes were actually out and which were only, you know, known by those in the know. According to Outsports, this Olympics there will be at least 142 out athletes competing, more than double the number from Rio and exponentially more than previous Olympics as well. What a difference a decade or two makes, eh?
@kennychase25

If you weren’t interested in rowing before…let me introduce our OlympiGays™️ ##olympics ##gayathlete ##rowing ##lgbtq ##lgbt🌈 ##tokyo2020 ##fyp

♬ the token straight - chloe
Out Olympic rower Kenny Chase posted the video. Follow her on TikTok or Instagram and you’ll find a delightful assortment of queer affirmation and lady arm porn. Hello, rower arms and rower backs, hello. Yeah, admit it, for all its flaws it’s hard to find a more satisfying and varied display of female physical power, skill and talent than the Olympics. So light the torch and let’s queer up this place. I call upon the athletes of the world to assemble and go faster, higher, stronger, gayer in Tokyo. Happy Olympic weekend, all.
* Yes, I am still mad about Sha’Carri. The former (REPUBLICAN) Speaker of the House is on the board of a cannabis company now, so let’s not pretend this is about just “following the rules” and tell it like it is. One class/race of Americans gets to profit off marijuana, the other side gets only trouble and misery. Legalize it federally and expunge all past possession convictions, period.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Drawn Out

When last we saw Tig she was getting CGI-ed into a Vegas heist zombie apocalypse movie – as one does. And when next we see her she’ll be even more animated. See what I did there? The out lesbian comic has a new comedy special coming to HBO Max this weekend. And, yes, it is animated – which, sure, why not. Interesting concept. Also, it appears she is depicted in different animation styles throughout the show, which, sure, why not. Interesting concept. Plus, it gives us a queer representation a twofer – comedy special and animated special. Can she make it the two great things that go great together of comedy? Sure, why not?

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Single Serving of Sara

Is it Lesbian Bat Signal time? Or, you know, something pretty darn close for single LGBTQ+ folks everywhere? This is a public service announcement for all peoples interested in dating Sara Ramirez. Yep, they’re single now. Earlier this month Sara announced their separation from husband Ryan DeBolt after 9 years of marriage in a tasteful Instagram post. The former “Grey’s Anatomy” actor came out as bisexual and non-binary after leaving the show in 2016. They’ve since thrown themself into supporting LGBTQ+ and POC causes.

Sara will also be a very welcome queer addition to the new revival of “Sex and the City,” HBO Max’s “And Just Like That.” The series has began filming recently in New York and while Sara isn’t in the first official photo of the famous former foursome (and now threesome, since Kim Cattrall/Samantha isn’t rejoining the series), I think we can safely say from the first on-set shots of them that The Gay will not be ignored. I mean, that outfit alone just hit on someone at Cubbyhole.

So here’s your chance, single folks. Shoot your shot. I mean, with that hair and those pipes and all that, um, you know, I doubt Sara will be single for long.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

A Real Bee Charmer

Wanna feel good about what’s still possible in this world and awed at a young person’s talent while still feeling a tinge of outrage it took this long for another milestone to fall (you know that feeling, right)? Earlier this month Zaila Avant-garde became the first Black American student to win the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee. Since 1925, when the national spelling bee started, only one other Black student, 12-year-old from Jamaican Jody-Anne Maxwell, has won the championship. So, yeah, I can do math — 96 years and only two Black children have ever won. But, sure, let’s keep Republican statehouses keep banning the teaching of our country’s deep-rooted racist history (not to mention present) because it hurts white people’s feelings or whatever.

Anyway, this post is not meant to be another bummer list of grievances (because, heavens, where do we stop with that?), but a celebration of Zaila. And spelling isn’t even her best subject. Zaila’s true passion is basketball. Like, the girl has mad skills. She even holds three Guinness Book of World Records in the sport. Shooting. Dribbling. Juggling. Riding a freaking unicycle while seemingly doing all three. Like, it’s not fair to get that much mental and physical ability in one little person, right? Imagine if you won a national championship for your side hustle? All that and she has a cool name? Yeah, I can’t wait to see what she becomes when she grows up.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Music Monday: P!nk Edition

If you missed the Billboard Music Awards a couple months ago, (which, honestly, I did because who has time for non-EGOT shows in this economy?) you missed this lovely performance of P!nk. The artist formerly known as Alecia Moore performed a medley of her hits in celebration of receiving a well-deserved Icon Award. She opened her performance by performing aerial stunts with her 10-year-old daughter Willow. I’ve always liked P!nk, and well, she’s on my wife’s freebie list. So, you’re welcome, honey. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, July 16, 2021

My Weekend Crush

It’s my blog and I’ll post about Jodie Foster twice in one week if I want to. Fifteen years ago Jodie was my very first Weekend Crush. She’s kind of my Forever Crush, as she was perhaps the first female celebrity I found myself following obsessively (which, bad word choice given her unfortunate history with fanatics — but I promise my obsession is largely academic and sedentary.) And I am struck by how the magnificent architecture of her face has aged into an elegant enduring monument of her life experiences. Her ice-blue eyes are as sharp as ever, and the lines are a reminder of where she’s been. From that Coppertone baby to a happily married gay woman with a distinguished career. Honestly, what I think I’m happiest about is how her face now reveals more joy. Sure, she’s not crazy effusive. But there’s an almost impish spark amid the ever-present toughness. Before — back when her private life was private and you’d never see her walking down the red carpets with her actual partner — there was a hardness behind that toughness. A guard that was never dropped. Now, clearly, I could be all projecting. I don’t know Jodie, obviously, and am not privy to the intricacies of her inner life. But I’ve known a lot of people pre and post coming out and the relief and ease that comes with time is palpable. I guess, in the end, that’s the eternal power of coming out. The energy we waste not being ourselves is energy we could have spent just enjoying our lives. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Gender Fuck Thursday: The Crown Edition

I did not watch the latest season of “The Crown” — mostly because I haven’t watched any seasons of “The Crown” except for the few random episodes I catch when I’m visiting my mom. But I heard endlessly good things about it, plus there’s Gillian Anderson and Olivia Colman and Emma Corrin. I wasn’t too familiar with Emma before the English actor was cast as Princess Diana for the show’s fourth season other than that they looked a lot like the late royal, complete with those huge blue deer eyes. But now, I’m positively curious as Emma appears to have come out as both queer and non-binary.
Last week they posted a series of shots of themselves in binders, and updated (but then perhaps deleted — they weren’t there when I looked but articles mentioned they were new in their Instagram bio) their pronouns to she/they. The binder photoshoot were in a post that read, in part:
“It’s all a journey right. Lots of twists and turns and change and that’s ok! Embrace it.”
Life’s a journey, enjoy where it takes you and you take it. Be like Lizzo and respect people’s identities.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Vax That Thang Up

This isn’t particularly gay. And I don’t typically write about straight male rappers here. Though, the video also includes a lot of attractive women backing that vaxxed thing up — so there’s that. But, honestly, I kind of love it. Juvenile telling people to “Vax That Thang Up” to his “Back That Azz Up” rap booty anthem? Yes. Definitely. More of this. Sure, it’s a little cringey. Yeah, it’s actually a dating app stunt. But it’s also catchy and PEOPLE SHOULD GET FUCKING VACCINATED. Like, you wanna fuck? Get your Pfizer, Moderna, J&J or whatever they’ve got where you are. The shots are free to anyone 12 and up and freely available. GET THAT JAB, young horny people (and older horny people — and non-horny people...EVERYONE GET YOUR SHOT).

Look, COVID-19 is not done with us, particularly the frighteningly contagious Delta variant. And our Republican family members, friends, neighbors and kooks across the country are fucking up our shot at herd immunity. We’re only at 55.8% of those 12 and up fully vaccinated in America despite it being available for more than six months. So, whatever works. Shoot your shot, but get your shot first. Vax. That. Thang. Up. America.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Franco-Foster

Would you like to watch Jodie Foster talk uninterrupted for three minutes in flawless French? Yeah, of course you do. A week ago Jodie was awarded an honorary Palme d’Or for lifetime achievement at the Cannes Film Festival in the South of France. She accepted in her typical fluent French, which, rawrrr.

One of the things I love about Jodie’s current career moment is how completely herself she has finally become. After years of being the secretive one, she’s now truly the brave one as she has allowed the world into her personal life. I mean, not a lot. But enough so that we all know Jodie is happily married to a woman, the also very talented Alexandra Hedison (who possibly dodged a bullet by not marrying that other lesbian), and they walk the red carpet together and they canoodle in public and they kiss when she wins major award and it’s all very normal because that’s what being gay and in a relationship is. Kissing your wife when you feel like it, holding her arm when out on the town. I’m so happy for her — and not just because she was honored at Cannes this year. But because she seems happy and herself. And, in the end, isn’t that what we all want? Oh, that and to be able to speak flawless French, like Jodie.

Also, I don’t mean to be that creep, but goodness they’re a handsome couple.