Friday, August 30, 2013

My Weekend Crush

As one might expect, I’m pretty damn excited that my Fake TV Wife Tina Fey has landed not one, but two new TV shows. Sure, she’s just executive producing and not starring in either. But both the stories revolve around female leads and are being co-produced by talented members of her “30 Rock” team. One was sold to Fox about an all-woman’s college accepting men for the first time. The other, sold to NBC, is about a young woman who finds a new home and family in New York’s famous gay enclave of Fire Island. Shows about possible gay shenanigans and a woman’s college? Yeah, I’m expecting good, good things. But what I’m also excited about is that Tina having two TV shows means Tina will be doing more press again. Which means Tina will appear on late-night talk shows and tell delightful stories about her life and possibly sociopath of a youngest daughter. Like she did

p.s. If you stole Tina’s computer and all her unfinished jokes, you are the biggest jerkstore there ever was.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

For Good

Life gives us so few moments of pure serendipity. So when they happen, I think it’s important to stop and appreciate the universe’s happy accidents. Like when Kristin Chenoweth called up a random audience member while performing at the Hollywood Bowl last Friday to sing with her on “For Good.” And that audience member turned out to be a vocal instructor who could really, really sing. That’s what happened when Sarah Horn came on stage. I love when, given that once-in-a-lifetime chance at something extraordinary, we humans totally nail it. And I love how much everyone’s favorite pocket-sized human, Cheno, loved the moment, too. Good on you, Sarah.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

When Naya met Demi

I’m going to be super honest, I mix Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez up in my head all the time. Which one dated Justin Bieber again? Weren’t they in a movie together? Is she the one who went to rehab? Actually, despite my frequent habit of mixing up the assorted Disneyettes, once I straighten out who she is I realized I like Demi. “Skyscraper” is a good little song and I totally sing along to “Heart Attack” in the car. And she has been refreshingly frank about her struggles with everything form bulimia to cutting and drug and alcohol abuse. All that and the girl is only 21 years old.

So when I heard she was joining “Glee” next season as Dani, a struggling NYC artist, I thought, well, that’s a pretty good casting choice. Can sing, can act (I’m guessing here, I’ve never seen “Camp Rock”). And now the Naya Rivera let news sneaks out at the MTV VMAs that Demi will play none other than Santana Lopez’s love interest next season on “Glee.” (p.s. Way to bury the lede, MTV. The headline on their story On Naya’s interview talks just about Demi joining the “Dark Side.”)

[NOTE: A couple of you said this was autoplaying. It wasn't for me when I open the page. But I turned it into a link anyway. GO HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO.]

Boom went the lesbian dynamite. OK, fine. Dammit, FINE. I’m intrigued, “Glee.” You’ve made me decide to set the DVR again for a season pass. Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.

The evolution of my interest in the show has gone from shushing those in the room to not miss a thing to multi-tasking while it’s on in the background. Oh, that utterly forgettable Ryder kid is singing about being Catfished? Guess it’s time to reorganize the sock drawer again.

But I remain, despite my better judgment, curious about how this show where kids who sing their often boneheaded and sometimes beautiful feelings will handle the next step in Ms. Lopez’s life. Yes, I’ll always miss that rare, fleeting unicorn that was Brittana. They will always, always be special. But, like many people, we move on from our first loves – sometimes after very painful, premature endings – to find new people to fill our hearts with song. And, if we’re very lucky, the one to make it sing forever.

I have no idea what Glee & Co. has in store for Santana and Dani. I hope it’s the kind of organic, unexpected love story I know the show can do if they really try. Still, even if it’s not, there’s always laundry to fold while nice kids sing and dance on the screen.

p.s. Sandani? Dantana? Santani? Dana? Sani? Nope, not Sani – that sounds like sanitary napkin which is the worst portmanteau imagery of all time.

p.p.s. If the video auto-playing for anyone else. It is not for me, but was mentioned in the comments. Let me know and I will attempt to fix it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Target: Trophy Women

Hey, remember Sarah Haskins? Funny lady saying smart things about how women’s representation in the media in funny ways? I called her My Fake Internet Girlfriend? You can find posts here, here and, well, just click the “Sarah Haskins” tag. (Sadly Current TV no longer supports its own old embed – boo, you suck – so I’ve embedded working prime example below. With bonus cameo by Leisha Hailey.)

Well, she left Current and stopped doing her Target Women segments back in 2010. And since then you really haven’t heard much from her. I garnered from following her on The Tweeter Machine that she got married and had a kid. And earlier this month, while again reading The Tweets, this time from the Television Critics Association press tour I read that she had created a new TV series coming to ABC this fall. It’s called “Trophy Wife.” I know, we all hate the title already. At the TCA’s last week, the show’s producers said the title was meant to be “ironic.” But see how well that worked out for Alanis Morissette? Also, the concept is also a little meh. A woman marries a man 20 years her senior who already has two ex-wives and assorted children from his previous marriages and hijinks ensues. If Sarah Haskin’s name wasn’t attached to it, I’d skip it and rewatch “The Fosters” instead for some blended family kickassery.

But Sarah does have her name attached to it, and it is actually based loosely on her real life. She moved to LA, met Blake Edward’s son (who is also 20 years her senior and the stepson of Julie Andrews), got married and had a kid. But this is Sarah. She has skewered everything from Botox, rom-coms and that yogurt that makes you poop. So surely she’ll be able to bring a feminist twist to the May-December cliché of being the so-called trophy wife, right?

Having seen the pilot, I can say it has promise. It’s not great, not by a long shot. At least not yet. It relies on an irritating voiceover technique from its heroine, played by Malin Akerman. But I do think there’s potential for a lot of wonderful female performances and perspective from the all the wives – the exes are played by Marcia Gay Harden and Michaela Watkins.

So, guess what, I’m going to give a show called – gulp, grit my teeth – “Trophy Wife” a chance. Because Sarah has never been off target on women before. So let’s see how she does this time.

p.s. Though, I’ll be honest, the Asian stepson is by far my favorite character so far.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Naked Lady Monday: VMA Edition

With each passing year I get more, “You kids get off my lawn!” about the MTV VMAs. So much noise, posturing and bright lights. And I know this year everyone wants to talk about Miley Cyrus and her tongue, teddy bears and twerking on some Footlocker employee who wandered onstage. (True Fact: If you say Beetlejuice three times Robin Thicke appears to have Miley grind on him.) While I, like everyone else, have the tendency to shake my head at Hannah Montana’s current shenanigans, I also don’t think there’s anything particularly new and/or scandalous about female pop stars going through a look-at-me-I’m-so-raunchy phase and/or career. Please see Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna et al. To quote the lady herself, “It’s our body we can do what we want to.” It’s not the end of the civilized world as we know it. Though, honey, those flesh-tone bikini bottoms are doing no one any favors.

But what I’d rather talk about is the fact that Lady Gaga sold her new single “Applause” to the Kia hamsters. What the what? Look, I understand everyone needs to make a buck. I have no problem with blatant commercialism. This is America and capitalism is our only one true religion. But if you’re going to shill for some dancing rodents, please don’t name your album “ARTPOP” and expect us to take it seriously. Though, in her defense, “Applause” is the best damn anthem for Tinkerbell that anyone has ever written.

Also, just to make sure my Gay Card gets renewed (I mean, even Obama acknowledged Gaga as our fearless leader), the Lady does have the most amazing ass. Sure, that seashell underwear was probably uncomfortable. But at least it gave us this. Now that is dedication to one’s art.

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Weekend Crush

The older I get – and believe me, I’m getting fucking older – the less informed I become by my anger. Finding coalition around anger is easy. It’s what built the multi-million dollar anger empires of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Anger that flails around in a frenzy looking for a reason loves company. The certainty of rage can, oddly enough, be comforting. The Tea Party is political group built entirely around anger about taxes and guns and assorted other things they believe are their God-given right to get angry about.

I have found, in my almost seven and a half years writing for the series of tubes, that people get the most angry at me when I’m not angry at the same things they are. It’s an interesting and understandable phenomena. We come online, many of us, seeking solidarity and a megaphone for our voice. That’s why fandom is so powerful. The communal experience of loving a thing is transcendent. But the flip side is the shared experience of hating a thing, of shared anger and indignation. Folks responded more to the posts where I just railed at Ryan Murphy than the posts where I just loved on Brittana. That’s not a judgment, that’s just a fact.

If you are angry, I certainly understand that and would never deny you your anger. We have a lot of shit to be angry about. In fact sometimes all we feel is hate, so I understand the desire to lash out at anything associated with that kind of pain. Anger can be justified and anger can be righteous. Anger can spark a revolution. We need anger. But right now, for me, love – that undeniable source of all good in this too often cruel and random universe – is what I’d rather project. I know, I’m sounding all Rainshower Moonbeam Kale & Quinoa Salad here. But compassion is truly what moves the human heart. Anger moves our other muscles and our mouths.

I am also certainly not here to scold anyone. Scolding in itself implies self-righteous anger. I’m not angry with anyone here. I’m sad you feel mad at my lack of anger, mostly. I write to parse out ideas, express opinions, spread information and share Big Lesbian Feelings. You are welcome to take what you want and leave what you want. You are welcome to remain angry with me until the end of time. That’s entirely your prerogative.

But while we may not agree on every issue, I hope we can disagree respectfully. And I hope we can at least agree on the big issues. LGBT rights are immutable human rights. Women’s rights are immutable human rights. Minority rights are immutable human rights. Also, ladies are awesome and look amazing in tank tops. These are the things that matter.

Life is such a strange, strange journey and in the end if all we can say we’ve tried our best to be kind to those around us then I believe it was well worth every dip in the road.

In other life-is-fucking-weird news, here is Taylor Swift and Tegan & Sara singing “Closer.” I can’t quite get my head around it, nor can I comprehend T-Swizzle’s silver high-waisted hotpants. But then there are also 15,000 people jumping up and down with joy while singing about lesbian sex, so why the hell not. Let’s all get a little bit closer, shall we? Happy Weekend, all.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

For Lee

Watching “Rizzoli & Isles” was quietly painful experience this week, and not just for the glaring disregard of actual police procedure and/or common logic. Instead it was, as you well know, because of the suicide Monday of one of its stars, Lee Thompson Young. We knew and loved watching him as Det. Barold “Barry” Frost . The always kind, sometimes squeamish, secretly geeky police partner of Det. Jane Rizzoli. He was a welcome presence in any scene.

What makes his death even more shocking is that the cast has always struck me as a tight-knit group that was quick with a laugh. These, of course, could just be projections. We never truly know what is happening in someone else’s heart. But I do know that at 29 years old, Mr. Young was indeed too young to leave this mortal coil. When real-life tragedy invades our cozy world of imagination, it jars all of us back to Earth. We are reminded that life can be short and hard and seemingly senseless. So why not be as kind as you can for as long as you can.

I will miss Barry. I will miss imagining the adorable possibilities of Frostie. I hope Lee knew how much we enjoyed seeing his beautiful smile each week.

p.s. This week’s “Rizzoli & Isles” Subtext Recap will be posted today on AfterEllen in memory of Mr. Young. If you are feeling alone, please know there is help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

True Dud

Just to prove I can still get mad about things, how about a feel-good, old-fashioned rant about television. Hell yeah, let’s do this thing. As what feels like one of the last idiots left watching “True Blood,” I take great issue with this past season. It’s not necessarily that this past season was more ridiculous than any other past season. Vampires, werewolves, fairies, shifters, werepanthers, maenads, witches, etc. etc. etc. But this season was a true dud (See what I did there? See, see, see?) when it came to its LGBT relationships. The series has long been the kinky party girl of positive LGBT visibility on television. The show has had LGBT characters – Lafayette, Pam, et al – from the start. And the show has been open, so very open, to fluid sexuality. I mean, all vampires are essentially a little gay, right?

Here’s what pissed me off this season. At the end of last season, after Tara came through being shot in the head and sired by Pam, the two lady vamps sealed their relationship with a pretty fucking hot kiss. And in that moment we were all Jessica when she screamed, “I KNEW IT!” Hot damn, we knew they were hot for each other. Yay gay and a round of (non-Hep.V spiked) True Blood for everyone on me.

But then this season came and we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited some damn more to see just the tiniest of sliver of affection and, you know, hot lesbian action between these two and instead were given nothing. Nada. Bupkis. Zilch. Pam snarled at Tara. Tara snarled at Pam. Then Pam slept with the gross pervy shrink to get what she wanted and that’s pretty much it. And not only did the show completely ignore their relationship storyline, they completely ignored the storyline of Bon Temps’ other resident gaymo, Lafayette. How bad was it for us gays this season? This picture of Pam and Tara kinda, sorta adjacent each other was the only production still of them I could find where they’re in the same frame.

Which begs the question, why have Pam and Tara act like they were in love/lust with each other at all at the end of last season? Why go there if you had no intention on following through? I mean, besides just general sloppy storytelling. Ending the season as they did sets the audience up with certain expectations, which then leads to disappointment and general feelings of extreme annoyance. Was this all just for stupid, simple titillation? Really, I watched all this summer for this? They missed a golden opportunity to add layers to both Pam and Tara’s characters by delving into their complicated bond and intertwined affections. Instead, I’m pretty sure the entire point of this past season of “True Blood” was to get Alexander Skarsgard to go full frontal. As with Eric and his Little Viking, I was not impressed with the results.

Say what you will about me (and you do and that’s cool – everyone’s got an opinion), but I have always championed more and better LGBT representation on the screen. And I have always railed against tokenism (you know, that sweeps week shit). So for a show that has, for all its flaws, never trafficked in the latter to suddenly indulge in easy exploitation of temporary girl-on-girl action is discouraging, to say the least. You can do better, “True Blood.” Or maybe not. I mean, did you watch this past season? Perhaps “better” is entirely out of your reach at this point.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

On Faith & Fandom

I am not a religious person. I have never gone to church regularly. My father was a scientist and my first paying job was collecting data in his lab. So I tend to look at deeply religious people with a mix of bemusement, skepticism and wariness. I do not fully understand their faith.

But, here’s the thing, I also believe people are entitled to feel their religious beliefs as deeply as they want. Just as I am free to not believe, they are free to believe. I do not have to agree with their beliefs. But as long as they don’t actively condemn me for my non-belief, I will not actively condemn them for their beliefs. Sure, we can try to change minds, but in the end if we cannot – well – live and let live.

I also do not believe everyone who belongs to a church whose doctrine includes anti-gay rhetoric is themselves anti-gay. Certainly, I wish they’d consider their denomination’s dogma and examine whether it follows their true feelings. But I don’t think all Catholics or Mormons or Scientologists or Southern Baptists are necessarily homophobes even though their religions have been overwhelmingly unsupportive of LGBT people and our rights. The irony of my love the sinner, not the sin approach to deeply religious people is not lost on me.

Which leads me to the recent heated fandom debates – to put it very mildly; you should see the email folder I’ve made for all the messages – over Rachel Skarsten of “Lost Girl” and most recently Laura Prepon of “Orange Is the New Black.” Both have been tied to churches that are reportedly anti-gay. For Rachel it is the Los Angeles church Mosaic and its pastor Erwin McManus. And for Laura it is Scientology and the speculation it had something to do with leaving her show.

McManus is on record seven years ago giving an all-too-familiar kind of soft-focus anti-gay sermon about how “I don’t believe you are in a healthy place when your identity is built around who you have sex with” and other such nonsense that’ll make you grind your teeth. You can download a full podcast of his October 2006 sermon “Life’s Toughest Questions” on iTunes for free. As for Scientology, high-profile claims of homophobia in the church and from its late founder L. Ron Hubbard have been around for ages. You can get trapped in that Google search rabbit hole for days.

I am, admittedly and obviously, not really a fan of either church or leader. And that is being incredibly gracious about my opinion.

But I will also be completely honest and say that I do not indisputably know either women’s level of involvement in their respective churches. I think most people don’t know for certain. Rachel has tweeted about being at Mosaic and has also mentioned a short film she worked on with McManus in a May interview with the blog No White Noise. Laura has said in a 2007 Women’s Health magazine interview that she is a Scientologist, though it’s not totally clear if she’s still involved with the church.

But here is what we do know. Both actresses, regardless of their religions, have signed on to play overtly lesbian or bisexual roles on television shows with overtly lesbian and bisexual content. These are not shows that stumbled upon their LGBT content during sweeps week. These are shows that wore it proudly from the start. Hell, we saw hot lesbian shower action in the first 10 seconds on OITNB. Both women have promoted their shows, championed their stories and given interviews with the LGBT press, including exclusive interview by both Rachel and Laura with us big-time lezzers at AfterEllen.

Earlier this month Laura said in an interview with
I’m a supporter of the gay and lesbian community. I have friends who are lesbian, I have friends who are gay. It’s all about the character. Yes there are a lot of lesbians on this show. Besides the L Word there aren’t lesbians portrayed like this on television. For me, I’ve never played a lesbian before and I think it’s awesome. As a learning experience playing this love for someone on camera and having it be a women was very interesting because I’m straight and I’ve only done it with men on camera. There is a big gay and lesbian community out there and it’s good to have more relationships on television that they can relate to and I’m glad we could be a part of that.
And a week ago Rachel tweeted:

Does this absolve them of their church’s beliefs? No. And I truly hope each person who believes differently from her religion would work to change its discriminatory practices. So, yes, I am disappointed in both to a degree. And you are perfectly entitled to feel disappointed and upset. But just as we in the LGBT community do not want to be prejudged as a whole, I will not prejudge their hearts. Prove to me you are not worth my tolerance.

I choose not to eat at Chik-fil-A because its CEO has made it perfectly clear that he thinks same-sex marriage will destroy families and the company has donated millions to anti-gay groups working against our rights. I choose not to shop at Hobby Lobby because the company is suing the government to not have to provide health care coverage for contraceptives, and because each July 4 since 2008 they’ve run full-page newspaper ads espousing the need for religion in the government (this year’s included pointed condemnation of Supreme Court judges as a result of the DOMA and Prop. 8 decisions). I choose not to see “Ender’s Game” because its writer Orson Scott Card actively supported an aggressively anti-gay agenda for years including his self-penned belief that marriage equality “marks the end of democracy in America,” and also sounds more than a little accidentally racist. Not that being accidentally racist is a thing, Brad Paisley.

And I choose to laugh my ass off at that decrepit relic of bigotry Pat Robertson because, you know, how could you not.

I make these choices because I believe in their core these people/organizations wish gay people ill will. They would rather we not exist altogether, but if we must exist be seen as unnatural, unworthy things.

Now, some folks may be very upset at my refusal to condemn either Rachel or Laura off hand. You are mad that they went to those churches in the first place. You are mad that they talked about their religions at all. I can see where you’re coming from. Though it should be noted that Rachel was specifically asked what projects she was working on besides “Lost Girl” in the interview in question. And so she answered accordingly.

Thing is, when we start telling people what they can and cannot say about something that matters in their lives, then how different are we than the people who tell us what we can or cannot say about ourselves? The people who tell us to keep our lives quiet and stop being so blatant and other words synonymous for “couldn’t you please just be invisible.”

I will not be invisible. But I will also not force other people to be. And if we truly are in a battle for the hearts and minds for those people and organizations that do not accept us, we will need people on our side on the inside. We need LGBT friendly Catholics and Mormons and Scientologists and Southern Baptists and everything in between. We cannot do it alone. We need allies everywhere.

Calling someone a homophobe is a powerful thing not to be taken lightly. A homophobe hates us. A homophobe fears us. A homophobe fights against us in words or actions. A homophobe thinks we truly are an abomination and wants us to be treated as such.

Certainly, one could argue that simply being a part of or participating in a church that feels we are not totally equal is in itself is an act of homophobia. It’s a thorny morale balancing act and one I myself find problematic. But life is complicated and filled with every shade of gray imaginable. Just as I choose to not support people/organizations that have a proven history of not supporting me, I also choose to see the best in people as long as I can. Guilt by association is just that.

If either woman proves herself to be truly guilty, to truly hate us in her heart of hearts, I will not hesitate to call her out. I will be deeply saddened and hurt and angry. I will be mad as fucking hell. But until that time, until they show me otherwise, I will accept their support for us at face value.

Hate can consume us, whether from others or ourselves. It’s an insidious, ugly thing that – fast or slow – corrodes our ability to feel all other emotions. I feel bad for those who have it in their hearts. I understand the white-hot rage we feel when it’s directed at us. But pick your battles, and make sure your enemies are really enemies. I may not be a person of faith, but I try to have faith in the goodness and growth of others’ hearts.

“The issue is, and always has been, [insert thing here] promoting a [insert thing here] to an impressionable, vulnerable audience.”

“It is not intended to deprive people of any [insert thing here], but to ban the promotion of [insert thing here] among the young generation.”
The first is some of your arguments about why we should be condemning Rachel Skarsten, the second is Russian Sports Minister Vitali Mutko defending his country’s law banning gay propaganda. One comes from a place of righteous anger about a man who has made homophobic statements in the past, the other comes from a place of hateful anger about a country that is systematically quashing the rights of its LGBT people. I am not comparing the sentiments, which are of course diametrically opposed. But I am comparing the language which we use to justify our demands. If we start to sound like what we are fighting against, we’ve lost already.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Ever Afters

Nostalgia is a powerful drug. It’s why an unexpected mention of one of your favorite childhood books – be it “Where the Red Fern Grows” or “Anne of Green Gables” or that childhood memories juggernaut “Harry Potter” – can bring up instant emotions of communal delight. And that why lesbians everywhere goes nuts when Piper Perabo tweets Lena Headey. And why every time Renee O’Connor and Lucy Lawless hug at some public event a baby dyke gets her wings. And why the photo of Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall snuggling up above probably made your heart skip a big lesbian beat. I remember seeing “But I’m a Cheerleader” in theaters some 14 years ago. Yes, FOURTEEN years ago. That movie came out in 1999, people. But I think I can still recite Natasha’s big gay cheer for Clea by heart. Like childhood memories, lesbian movies memories from our formative coming out years always tend to mean the most. Hell, I happily own a copy of “Go Fish” – terrible acting and all. And it’s often the couple – whether they end up happily ever after or not – that make the biggest impression. And that couple becomes The Couple to us. Plus we gay ladies tend to be a stubbornly loyal group – once we love you we’ll love you forever. So here’s a small taste of then & now nostalgia via some of The Couples we all love

For a lot of people Megan & Graham will be The Couple of their youth. For others it’s Rachel & Luce. For others still it’s Vivian & Cay.

Lena Headey & Piper Perabo/Rachel & Luce
Lena needs to cameo on “Covert Affairs.” I’d wish for Piper to be on “Game of Thrones,” but we all know she’d probably just die a horrible death. So, you know, let’s play it safe.

Helen Shaver & Patricia Charbonneau/Vivian & Cay
See, she stayed on that train well past the next stop.

Lucy Lawless & Renee O’Connor/Xena & Gabrielle
Could you imagine if Renee showed up on “Parks & Rec” and Ron suddenly felt strangely jealous? You’re welcome for the free story idea, writers.

Natasha Lyonne & Clea DuVall/Megan & Graham
Clearly, Clea needs to get herself sent to Litchfield. Clearly.

Right, so who it The Couple for you. And, admit it, you feel all warm and fuzzy just thinking about all these imaginary happily ever afters.

Friday, August 16, 2013

My Weekend Music

My apologies for the lack of post today. I’m preoccupied at the thought of finally, finally seeing her this weekend. Don't be too jealous, OK, kittens. I’ll keeping you in my heart in spirit the whole time.

p.s. That post I promised you on The Twitters is coming Monday Tuesday.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Don't You Fucking Leave Us, Alex Vause

Did you hear that sound at about 5:30 p.m. EST/2:30 p.m. PST yesterday afternoon? It was the sound of lesbians everywhere collectively wailing and gnashing their teeth at the news that Laura Prepon is reportedly leaving “Orange Is the New Black.” WHAT? WHY? NOOOOOOOOOO! And repeat.

To quote Alex Vause herself, DON’T YOU FUCKING LEAVE ME.

Buzzfeed reported yesterday that Laura hadn’t signed a contract yet and would not be a regular for season two. She would only appear in a limited number of episodes to essentially wrap up the Alex/Piper storyline. WHAT? WHY? NOOOOOOOOOO! And just yesterday I had rejoiced at our glorious summer of lesbian love on television. This is what I get for not knocking on wood first. To be even more gay than I already am and quote Tegan and Sara, WHERE DOES THE GOOD GO?

Sorry for to copious all caps, but my BIG LESBIAN FEELINGS can hardly take it. We threw our pies for her. Does this mean we’re getting a lot more of Larry (ugh, Larry) next season? Oh my God, just make it “The Larry & Pennsatucky Show” and I can officially cancel my Netflix subscription and give that $8 a month to orphaned puppies like Sarah McLachlan keeps demanding I do anyway.

There have been reports (from Variety, HuffPost, TV Guide) that Netflix is saying the story is “not accurate.” I am not a person who prays, but I am lighting a virtual candle for hope that Prepon has a change of heart. Still the always reliable @Snoodit at The Hollywood Reporter confirmed her exit. So sounds like we’re going to get a lot less Alex in the second season and that makes me sad beyond belief.

It should be noted that there’s nothing right now to indicate that Alex Vause is being intentionally written out of the show. Reports says Laura did not sign a contract to be a series regular, not that she wasn’t offered a contract to be a series regular. It is being left open for her to possibly return to the show in the future. So I don’t think the series is purposefully being de-gayed. Which is good. Though, how did Netflix not lock her into a multi-year deal beforehand? Shit, those “Glee” kids are enslaved for seven years (though, clearly, the studio retained the right to drop them earlier if they wanted).

The good news is the show isn’t just one person and there are a lot (like a lot – Nicky, Crazy Eyes, Taystee, Big Boo, Sophia, Red, et al) of other reasons to keep watching. This remains one of the most female-friendly and ethnically diverse programs on the air. And it still has lesbian and bisexual characters and the potential for same-sex relationships abound. But it also can’t be denied that the Piper and Alex storyline was at the heart of this merry band of incarcerated misfit and malcontents.

(SPOILERS, but seriously, if you haven’t binged-watched the whole thing at this point you have only yourself to blame.) That’s part of why the ending to the first season was so terribly gutting. In losing the possibility of Alex, Piper also loses touch with the part of her humanity that would keep her from, say, smashing in a methhead Jesus freak’s face. Alex, for all her flaws, was a big part of what was good about Piper – her wild impulses, her sense of adventure, her endless yearning. How can something that felt so inevitable end? Plus, think of all the hot shower sex we will be missing.

Also, we are legitimately going to have to have a wake for Alex Vause’s Glasses.

A world where Alex Vause isn’t constantly adjusting her glasses is a world without rainbows and unicorns. This is Tara Maclay bad. This is Dana Fairbannks bad. Is it raining somewhere in the world? Then it’s from the collective tears of lesbians soaking the Earth in our sorrow. Too much? Fuck everything, not enough. I will not be consoled. THIS IS ALEX VAUSE.

Will begging help? I am not above begging.

p.s. Yo, “Orphan Black,” don’t get any funny ideas and kill off Cosima or I take back every nice thing I ever said about this lesbian TV summer.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Best. Lesbian. TV. Summer. Ever.

Hey, how’s your summer going? Did you go camping? Plant an organic vegetable garden? Knit a sweater out of your cat’s shedded hair? Hopefully not the latter. Though, if we’re being honest, you probably did what ever other lesbian did. You sat in front of a screen and watched TV. Like, a lot of TV. Like, a lot of good TV. Like, seriously, is this the Best. Lesbian. TV. Summer. Ever. or what? The ass-shaped dent in my couch says yes.

Lesbians have been all over TV these long, hot months. Lesbians on “Pretty Little Liars.” Lesbians on “Orange Is the New Black.” Lesbians on “The Fosters.” Lesbians on “Mistresses.” Lesbians on “Under the Dome.” Lesbians on “The Killing.” Lesbians on “True Blood.” Lesbians on “The Bridge.” Lesbians on “Orphan Black” (fine, that was technically spring, but many folks didn’t catch up until the summer and also Tatiana Maslany). Granted, some of the lesbians and their same-sex relationships were more central to the story than other. Like, what the hell, “True Blood?” If I don’t see some Pam and Tara action before this completely ridiculous season is over I’ll spike your cocktails with Hep-V myself. And, yes, there has been a couple of unfortunately Dead Lesbians.

But, overall, as far as rich, diverse and quality content goes, this summer TV season is kicking all the other TV season’s ass when it comes to quantity and quality for us gay gals. We’re not just peripheral characters to fill a requisite quota. We’re integral to the plot, we’re the reason for the plot. We matter and better yet we’re making people care. And, dayum, some of us are hot. I mean, it’s summer – we should be hot. The days of summer TV being a wasteland are over. Step it up, Fall TV. You’re getting served this summer. I hope this Best. Lesbian. TV. Summer. never ends.

p.s. Further proof that this was truly the Best. Lesbian. TV. Summer. Ever., my dear friend Heather rightfully won the Zeebox $10,000 Get A Room Contest with her Heather Hogan's Summer TV Shenanigans Room.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Short Cuts

Hey, did you hear Beyoncé got a haircut? Of course you did. It was the STOP THE PRESSES news from last week, dammit. I for one applaud each woman who decides it’s time for an alternative lifestyle haircut. I don’t have the face for it, too round like a pumpkin. But I sure do appreciate others who can make it work. And, interestingly, so many are making it work as blondes. Do they have even more fun the shorter they go? For each straight lady who successfully goes Ellen with her locks, one bad lesbian hair joke gets forever laid to rest. Just don’t screw it up by brining back the mullet, fashion. You’ve already brought back high-waisted jean shorts and fanny packs. We can’t survive another era of business in the front, party in the back.

Some short hair, do care looks to enjoy along with Queen Bey’s.


I can’t wait to see this styled and paired with a tuxedo jacket.

Charlize Theron

Marrying this haircut is now legal in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

Cate Blanchett

I’m kind of excited for “Blue Jasmine,” Woody Allen notwithstanding.

Carey Mulligan

I kind of think she should never have long hair.

Anne Hathaway

I don’t hate her blonde pompadour. I really didn’t.

Miley Cyrus

I really, really don’t hate her blonde pompadour. Really.


Blonde Pompadour + Visible Obliques = Nothing to Hate Here.

Tilda Swinton

Please, you knew she’d be on this list.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Lesbian Living: The Magazine

Sometimes I have to go in to work on a Sunday and my mind wanders. Like, a lot. Like, what if there was a Lesbian Living magazine? It would be like Southern Living magazine, but with more tips on how to fix your own plumbing. And comparisons of the softest flannels instead of hottest lipsticks. Yeah, like I said, my mind wanders. So I thought I would ask you kittens on Twitter to wander with me. And dammit if I don’t want to read every single one of your article pitches. Come on, ladies. Get writing. This magazine won't publish itself.

Inquire within for subscriptions.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Your Weekend Crushes

As promised, here are some My Weekend Crush perks from you, my extremely generous friends. Please enjoy and let’s all crush on these amazing women together.

Dar Williams, for Sally G

If we really gave out Honorary Lesbian Hot Plates, Dar Williams might be the first on the list to receive the illustrious award. The longtime singer-songwriter, who Ms. magazine dubbed the “intellectual folk queen,” was a staple on the college progressive circuit in the 90s. And remains today a radical and resonate voice worth an honored straight-but-definitely-not-narrow spot on anyone’s favorite LGBT artist playlist. I mean, she wrote a song about lesbian pagans in 1996, come on.

Jennifer Beals, for Ying Z
Speaking of honorary lesbians, you can’t bronze enough hot plates to honor Jennifer Beals. Just say her name in a group of lesbians and you’re bound to get a low, involuntary moan from the crowd. Mmmm, Jennifer Beals. Because, let’s be honest, we all love a bossy Alpha sometimes. And there is no better than Alpha Bette. This Crush is dedicated to Sabrina Liu.

Zoie Palmer, for @jocool70
Some women are just lesbian catnip. (Please see above and Alex Vause.) And they don’t get more catnippy than Zoie. From the first moment her big, warm brown eyes pierced into our souls, we were hooked. I’ve stopped eating apples entirely out of hopes that one day Dr. Hotpants will pay me a house call. Hey, you have your dreams, I have mine.

Fabiola Gianotti, for Audrey Z
Italian particle physicist Fabiola Gianotti leader a team of the top physicists in the world that helped to discover a little insignificant thing called the “God Particle” last year (well, Higgs boson if you must be formal). Finding what could be the particle responsible for all the mass in the universe is just your average no big deal. Except the opposite. The achievement earned her runner-up status as Time’s 2012 Person of the Year. So if you ever hear anyone tell you girls can’t do math and science, tell them to stick it up their Higgs boson. But first, they’ll need Fabiola Gianotti to find it for them.

Michelle “Shelly” Jane Allen, for Andrea Shively

[Clockwise from Top: Andrea, Ty, Shelly and Gray]

They met long ago, in that galaxy far, far away. Shelly and Andrea, set up on a blind date to go see the 20th anniversary rerelease of “Star Wars.” Their relationship progressed like so many relationships – the adventure of late night phone calls, the excitement of Uh-Haul move ins, the thrill of parenthood and the sparkle of wedding rings. Shelly was a fourth grade teacher for 11 years and Andrea’s rock for 16. The couple adopted two sons together – Ty and Gray. In October 2008, before Californians voted in that most awful Proposition 8, they married. And though the last eight and a half years Shelly fought that most awful of all – cancer. First breast cancer, which was found when she was only 30. Then two years later she had preventative surgery to remove her uterus and ovaries. Two years later still a local reoccurrence of breast cancer popped up (found two days before their wedding day). Two years later again, thyroid cancer was found – this time in Andrea. Then on New Year’s Eve Day 2010, Shelly was diagnosed with cancerous Stage IV tumor in her tibia. Then it was discovered there was cancer throughout her bones – including a tumor pressing on her spine that forced her to quit teaching in 2012. Finally, in June of this year, at age 38, Shelly lost her fight with cancer. But the measure of a life is never its breadth or in simply breathing. What matters isn’t fame or wealth or power. What matters is the love we spread while we’re here. And while Shelly belongs to the stars now, Andrea, Ty and Gray remain a testament to that love on Earth. Rest in peace, Shelly.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Fostering our Future

The new fantastic, flashy, female-fronted shows of the season have received seemingly endless and endlessly deserving ink. We all love “Orphan Black” and “Orange Is the New Black,” like a lot a lot a lot a lot lot lot. But there’s a quieter, also deserving show of the summer that has been quietly revolutionary in its own way. And that show is “The Fosters.”

At its surface, it’s just another family drama. Big brood faces adversities large and small. Heartwarming familial love triumphs over everything. But there are also some obvious and and obviously important differences. This is a two-mama drama, a household led by two gay women who are in a committed (and now legally recognized) relationship. And this, this makes all the difference.

We humans are a visual bunch. We like to be shown, not told. We like to see what makes us different and makes us the same. In the absence of those visual and personal cues we have this terrible tendency to believe the worst in each other. Racial stereotypes. Gender stereotypes. LGBT stereotypes. Those stereotypes can breed bigotry, hatred and violence. Most of that – not all, clearly, but most – comes from ignorance. People naturally fear what they don’t know and don’t understand. So showing them, exposing them, to these things becomes even more important.

Television has always been a powerful medium for shedding light in dark places. Too often it gets used to feed us comfort and laugh tracks. But at its best it’s a mirror of our best selves. Of the world we should be seeing and need to see – a world reflecting our richness and diversity. A world where we’ve all got a place around that proverbial table. What we do once we get there, well, that’s on us. But we should all be allowed to sit together at least to start.

And that – taking the long road home – brings me back to “The Fosters.” TV has never shown us a more clear picture of lesbian parenting (sorry, Callie and Arizona – but that baby’s kind of a glorified prop) than this little ABC Family drama that could. A blended family, a multi-ethnic family, a LGBT family, a loving family – “The Fosters” is all these things, yet in the end just simply family. This is a show about a family, and while the individual components of this family may be different from yours, we all recognize its universal mission. Protect one another, support another, love one another. These are things we all understand.

So when we see two women doing these things for their family, even if on TV, it matters. It matters because it models – for those who have never seen or dreamed or realized it before – what an LGBT family looks like. That we’re no so scary, not so terrible, not so other. To quote little Scout Finch, “I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.”

Of course, all of this modeling wouldn’t mean much if the show itself wasn’t so very solid. If you didn’t tear up at least once – something in my eye, it was something in my eye, dammit – during its 10-episode summer run then I attribute it to severe dehydration and recommend you drink more fluids immediately. Some shows just try too hard (cough, “The New Normal,” cough) to show the new LGBT family. But “The Fosters” didn’t have to strain to make us believe, it just got down to the business of showing us.

Whether it was how a lesbian family handles parenting alongside one of the children’s birth father or deals with embarrassment from another child about being nontraditional, the situations – and how they handled them – felt organic. This show could have easily been like an After School Special of the Week. But instead it made the mundane extraordinary. Parents, families, deal with the silly to the life-threatening and for the most part all they have is humor, grit and that all-important glue of love to get through them.

Lena and Stef, along the way, became TV’s first legally married LGBT couple since the Supreme Court overturned Prop. 8 and DOMA in the summer season finale on Monday. And in doing so showed people on the most basic level how what happens in Washington D.C. matters in the living rooms of everyday Americans across this county. Elections have consequences. Legal rulings change lives. Lena and Stef can get married and the government will recognize them as such. And, better yet, we’re happy it does – we’re happy for them.

In the end, “The Fosters” worked because we could always feel the love. It never waivers, and shone through every possible obstacle. Seeing truly is believing. I sure can’t wait to see them again in January.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Not what the Doctor ordered

Boring. Perfectly acceptable choice, perfectly fine actor, perfectly predictable result. No spoilers, just another white male Doctor Who. Like I said, boring. I mean, sure, instead of being a young white dude this time we have a slightly older white dude. Huuzah! Because middle-aged white men get so few breaks in this business, you know?

But it’s no so much the news from this weekend about 55-year-old Scottish actor Peter Capaldi taking over as Doctor Who that’s upsetting. And, yes, I know he’s a very good actor and very funny and very all of those good things. It’s that once you’ve been offered a glimmer of hope at a smorgasbord of endless wonder, to be given the same – albeit slightly older – dish seems a terrible disappointment. Really, mashed potatoes, again? I mean, I like mashed potatoes – who doesn’t. But, again?

That’s the thing about the world, the more we see the more we grow. And the more we’re exposed to, the more we want to see. I want to see great shows with great diversity because it opens the door to a whole new world. More can mean more interesting. Sure, not always. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes. But more gives us the chance to tell a different kind of story. A female doctor, a doctor of another race, a LGBTQ doctor. Anything, something. Just not more of the same. Same can be quite good, but it will never be more.

I watch shows like “Orange Is the New Black” and “The Fosters” and, yes, even “Glee” and I see racially, culturally and sexually diverse casts not led by a single white male and it is glorious. But they are still the exception, not the rule. NBC’s new fall lineup is entirely shows built around male leads. Time yourself and try to name 10 shows on broadcast primetime TV with non-white and/or non-male leads (that are not primarily a large ensemble show without a definitive lead) in less than a minute. After Shonda Rhimes creations, it gets damn complicated.

Look, TV producers, the time is now. The world is big. Take a chance, be different. Stop giving us mashed potatoes and expecting us to keep getting excited with each subsequent dish. And stop insisting it’s us ladies who keep telling we will only accept mashed potatoes (Really, Stephen Moffat, really?).

What I lament in the latest Doctor Who announcement isn’t the actor, who I am sure will do a fine job. But the missed opportunity to give us something so very new and so very exciting. Just like our taste bus, our minds need new flavors to stay alert. In a world that’s always bigger on the inside, why keep giving us the same superficial outside? Seems a shame, sweetie. A damn, damn shame.

p.s. I for one think they should have bent space and time and made River Song the next doctor. I mean, they fly around in a blue police box with a swimming pool in the basement, anything is fucking possible.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

For Russia, With Hope

How do we solve a problem like Russia’s treatment of gays? The recent wave of political and physical violence against LGBT rights and people simply cannot be ignored. At a time when many other parts of the world are starting to finally embrace us fully as equal and worthy, Russia is going backwards with angry fists flying.

- Gay Pride parade banned in Russia for 100 years.
- Law against foreign LGBT couples adopting Russian children.
- Law against spreading “gay propaganda” to minors, effectively making it illegal to call same-sex and straight relationships equal.
- Anti-gay violence and attacks on the rise, including the targeting, torture and humiliation of gays online via social media.
Over the summer almost every attempt to hold peaceful Pride Parades or rallies have ended in violence, arrests and blood. It’s not pretty and it’s very real.

So now the question become, how does the LGBT community and its allies best protest these atrocities? How do we get this to stop? It’s not an easy question and there are no easy answers. It will all come to a head this winter when the Olympic Games come to Sochi, Russia. LGBT athletes and spectators will show up in a country that decidedly does not want them there. And us fans at home must decide how watching them in a backdrop filled with such hate.

So far, response has been varied. Some say boycott the Sochi Olympics. Others say don’t boycott the Sochi Olympics. Some say boycott Russian vodka. Others say don’t boycott Russian vodka. And Lady Gaga tweeted. Boycotts, backlashes and Gaga, oh my.

The truth is, there’s no one right way to make change. Boycotting the Olympics hurts the athletes who train a lifetime for their chance at glory. Boycotting Stoli hurts a company that has been incredibly LGBT friendly over its history. Not boycotting either sends a message of passive acceptance. Perhaps letting the Olympics proceed, but reporting on its human rights violations is the answer. Or drinking Stoli, yet pressuring its owners to put pressure on its mother country is the answer. More likely, all kinds of combinations of all kinds of responses, while always pressing for change, is the ultimate answer. What I know is we can’t stop talking about it, we can’t stop exposing it for what it is, we can’t stop supporting the brave LGBT people and allies in Russia who are facing jail, beatings and even death fighting for their rights. So I guess the only answer that isn’t an option is to close our eyes.

Monday, August 05, 2013

That’s Out Raven

I am of the age that remembers Raven-Symoné more as little Olivia on the Cosby show as the eponymous Raven of “That’s So Raven.” Now be quiet and fetch me my slippers, honey, my stories are on. But old age jokes aside, the former Disney star’s coming out on Friday mattered. It mattered for all the reasons coming out normally matters. Visibility, openness, acceptance, etc. Also, how great is it to have another famous out woman of color? So great. But it also mattered in the way that it happened, not to mention the medium.

Coming out casually is all the rage. The afterthought outing via a short mention in a larger profile in a classy publication (à la Parsons and Quinto) has been the preferred modus operandi of saying “Yep, I’m Gay” in the media for a while now. Recently, more anti-cover story ways of getting your toaster over have also been en vogue. There was the aside in a press release route that Sarah Huffman (a.k.a. Abby Wambach’s, uh, frequent red carpet date). And then yesterday there was Raven coming out via, of all things, Twitter. What do we call that? A twouting? No, that sounds like a strange lesbian fish.

I particularly like that she clarified her coming out tweet with a yes, really, this means she’s actually out, retweet.

To be honest, Twitter as a coming out medium makes a lot of sense. Short, sweet, direct - type 140, hit send, be happy. And it is the epitome of the no-big-deal, still-a-big-deal nature of coming out for today’s celebrities. Also, I think we can all agree that from here on out, “That’s So Raven” is the new “Yep, I’m Gay.”

p.s. Yeah, I know Raven was so about a month late in commenting. But, hey, better late than continually oblivious I guess.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Please Hold

Greetings kittens,

A quick note to let you know why I am running a wee behind today on this weekend's My Weekend Crush. It is because I am working on Your Weekend Crush, that is, completing the Weekend Crushes of you fine folks who donated at that perk level. Stupidly belated, I know. But I am getting through them all because a promise is a promise. Expect them to begin posting through the weekend next weekend.

In the meantime, here is a gentle reminder that there are plenty of other daily ways to get your Snarker fix, if you're in to that kind of thing.
Find me on AfterEllen.
Find me on Twitter.
Find me on Tumblr.
Find me on Instagram.
Ugh, great, now I'm sick of me. Thanks so much for coming to my little corner of the series of tubes and for your patience. Also, you're pretty.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Everybody Dance Now

Thursday dance break, y’all. So, I’ll admit, “Rizzoli & Isles” recap season takes a lot of my brain power and funnels it into me, staring at a lit screen in the middle of the night and thinking, “What’s another way to say, ‘These two would totally be fucking in the real world?’” (p.s. You can read those recaps here, by the way. This week’s recap should post a little later today. Please and thank you for the clicks/comments.)

So today I just need to shake it out. Like get up and move the body. Or, you know, watch other people get up and move their bodies. Vicarious dancing is a thing, people. A thing. And because “Orphan Black” and “Orange Is the New Black” are my two favorite pop culture addictions at the moment, please enjoy these totally unsolicited, but totally irresistible dance breaks.

Helena from “Orphan Black”

This is exactly how you’d think Helena would dance.

Alison from “Orphan Black”
This is not how you’d except Alison to dance. Daaaayum.

Taystee from “Orange Is the New Black”

I am so excited that Danielle Brooks got promoted to a series regular. Mo Taystee, mo better.

Big Boo from “Orange Is the New Black”

With an assist from Crazy Eyes. Man, I could write an essay about my love to Crazy Eyes. You’ve been warned.

Got some favorite dance breaks? Sharing is caring, ladies.