Thursday, June 30, 2016

Uh-oh, Rizzles

Is it any wonder I have been taking longer to write the "Rizzoli & Isles" Subtext Recaps for this, its final run? Maybe I am trying to savor the moment. Maybe I am getting lost in my own moments. Mostly I can't believe there are only eight episodes left. Siiiigh. Thanks for reading all the recaps. New one up at AfterEllen later today tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

All The Ships

Whew, I have been so busy recently I have not had time to pay proper attention to my postings. How about all your favorite ships making out in lieu of an apology? Forgive me? Thought so.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Please Hold

Tuckered out Pride Dog.

A photo posted by Dorothy Snarker (@mssnarker) on

Please hold, recharging batteries.

Monday, June 27, 2016

National Pride

Still recovering from Pride Weekend here. Yet, it is important to keep that feeling, that joy, indeed that pride going all year round. Now, thanks to President Obama, we have one more official reminder of our history. Here is yet another shining example to point at when people whine, "Republicans and Democrats are exactly the same." Yeah, not hardly. Thanks, Obama.

Friday, June 24, 2016

My Weekend Holy Shit

Wow. Like holy shit, wow. Well, to all my friends in the U.K., my deep condolences. This Brexit business is fairly horrible and fairly terrifying. So here is Emma Thompson being delightful to remind us all that our British friends really are lovely, despite the dark times that lie ahead. Also, let this be a lesson for us Yanks. If we don't want to crash our economy and succumb to xenophobia, how about we vote for the candidate actually running against Trump, eh? Yeah, I'm with her. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Smiling Pile of Tat

Look, if TV executives aren’t climbing and clawing over each other to get to Tatiana Maslany, then they’re worse than idiots. With “Orphan Black” slated to only go one more season, we have a whole year to come to terms with the fact that is the last we’ll see of Tat playing not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, but a number only limited to the writer’s creativity characters at once. I mean, can you imagine how weird it will be watching her playing just one character? Like, it’s almost a waste of talent. But I have absolutely no doubt whatever she does next, Tatiana will be riveting to watch. I mean, she even goes method on the poop emoji. Now that, that’s acting.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Marvelous Meryl

Today is the 67th birthday of national treasure/accent maestro/delightful human Meryl Streep. So I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to revel in her mastery of the English language, whatever accent that may take, than to watch her act for five solid minutes. Here’s to many more birthdays and many more accents, Meryl.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Remember All Their Faces

Spoiler Alert: All of the spoilers. Major, earth-shattering, body-shaking spoilers for “Orange Is the New Black” Season 4. If you haven’t finished watching, turn back now. Or don’t. But don’t blame me. I warned you. I really warned you. Last chance. I mean it.

Fuck. Goddamn it. Fuck fuck fuck. They killed Poussey Washington. They really killed Poussey Washington.

“Orange Is the New Black” has always been social commentary masquerading as mass entertainment. It has been unapologetically sneaky in the way it lured unsuspecting viewers (read: white folks) in by pretending to tell the story of a WASPy blond-haired, blue-eyed woman named Piper who finds herself in the fish-out-of-water world of minimum-security prison. But then it has Trojan Horsed these very same viewers with stories about women of color, poor women, queer women, older women – really every type of woman that typically gets ignored by mainstream American television. This has always been the power of this show. It has told the stories we haven’t been told and made us better for them.

So now, this. This. Fuck. Goddamn it. Fuck fuck fuck. This is more than a gut punch. This is more than just heartbreak. This is soul-crushing storytelling. This is the kind of thing you just don’t get over.

I had stayed away from spoilers, as I try to do almost always. Because I believe stories work better that way, when you allow them to unfold unsure of anything but what you hope or dread may happen. So this season truly was a surprise to me. I had heard a few rumblings, a few veiled things. But nothing, nothing prepared me for this.

But then, even if we knew, how could we be ready for this. Fuck. Goddamn it. Fuck fuck fuck. I mean, we were kind of warned. We were told that Jenji Kohan was interested in delving into what was wrong, really wrong, with our prison industrial complex. The inequality. The corruption. The racism. The sexism. The general cruelty. The fact that all-too-often stick low-level drug offenders in jail for years. The fact that all-too-often allow the rich and – let’s face it – the white to skirt serious time. The fact that our prison systems have been turned into a for-profit business where the bottom line depends on turning inmates into dollar signs instead of human beings.

As we’ve been told these stories season after season after season – social commentary masquerading as mass entertainment. And because they’re good at what they’re doing, we’ve also fallen in love with these people. They’re not just inmates. They’re not just caricatures. They’re people. And in some cases, people we love very much.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again – I don’t think killing a lesbian or gay or bisexual or transgender character automatically makes a show irredeemably bad. I would never demand a show keep all of its LGBT characters alive for the sake of them simply being alive. And yet. Fuck. Goddamn it. Fuck fuck fuck. And to have it happen this year, this year in particular. This year when we’ve lost so many already. When we’ve made such a point of demanding our stories end in something other than tragedy. This year we’ve finally broken through about the importance of ending the Bury Your Gays trope. This year of all years.

I know why they did it. I get it. I understand. I understand it had to be someone we all cared about. It had to be someone without reproach. It had to be someone whose death would devastate. Then by that metric it had to be Poussey Washington. She was always the smiling heart of this show. She was the good we hope to see in ourselves – kind, loyal, open, hopeful, talented, smart, sweet. So sweet. She was the wonder of discovery and the joy of simply living. Fuck. Goddamn it. Fuck fuck fuck.

And I understand why they chose Bayley. It had to be someone who was not just evil. Not just a racist. Not just a sadist. It had to be someone who was just inept. (Though, and this is important, this is not a justification for his actions – nor a cry for sympathy or leniency.) You see, the broad stoke villains exist still. But to make one of them the killer would have been too easy. It would have shifted focus from a bad system to a bad person. And the problem is this system is fundamentally flawed, period.

Poussey’s death meant something. It was for a reason, a real reason. It was for a cause. This was this show’s definitive statement about Black Lives Matter. She can’t breathe, oh my God, I can’t breathe. So it wasn’t to advance a straight character’s storyline. It wasn’t randomly from a stray bullet. It wasn’t to punish her because she was gay. Yet in other ways it also embodied the some of the most sickening characteristics of the trope. Poussey, finally in love. Poussey, on the cusp of success. Poussey, so thoroughly happy. And then brutally, instantly gone. Fuck. Goddamn it. Fuck fuck fuck.

My stomach ached all that night. I watched a happy movie, just to feel a little better before going to bed. But then I woke up and tossed and turned later that night. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I was angry. I was hurt. It still hurts.

So now we are left with this, these shambles. Will I keep watching this show? Yes, I will. Am I furious another queer woman has been killed off on television? Yes, I am. Do I mourn all those lost too soon because of the Dead Lesbian Syndrome? Yes, I do. Shall I keep fighting for our happy endings? Yes, always. Will I ever forget Poussey Washington? No, never. I will never forget Poussey Washington. I don’t think any of us will. And perhaps, in the end, that was the point.

Fuck. Goddamn it. Fuck fuck fuck.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Up for This, Really

Oh, God, I ship it. I ship it so hard. Look, “Games of Thrones” has been an admittedly mixed bag when it comes to empowering stories for a lesbian feminist like myself who is tired of watching the same old patriarchy hootenannies on her television week after week to enjoy. But, this season in particular, the way the women of the seven kingdoms have started to step up and step out has been nothing short of holler-at-your-TV awesome. In fact, after last week I’m pretty sure my sexuality has shifted from “gay,” to “Daenerys saying Dracarys.” But those flirty looks between Dany and Yara? Well, like I said, I ship it. I ship it so hard.

Friday, June 17, 2016

My Weekend Crush

We deserve this. We really do. After this long, infernal week filled with horrors no one should ever have to experience for our community, we deserve this. We deserve a show that celebrates the glorious spectrum of human otherness. The attack in Orlando was, indeed, an attack on LGBT people. And in particular LGBT people of color. It was an act of hate and it was an act of terror. It was fueled by the hate that still festers above and beneath the surface in this country. A hate that forces too many people to live miserably in the closet. A hate that insinuates that the simple act of going to the bathroom could somehow be harmful to children. A hate that thinks being paid to bake a cake for two people in love could be a violation of anyone’s rights. A hate that means in the state of Florida survivors of the deadliest mass shooting in United States history can still be fired the very next day for just being gay. A hate that would strike at the only place some people feel truly able to be themselves. To be free.

Yet somehow by slapping the dreaded “terror” label on this tragedy, the rest of the nation gets to conveniently gloss over those facts. There is no examination of the lingering homophobia that exists both in our attitudes and in our laws. Instead we’re just called on to rally against another other. To funnel our anger and fear into a group conveniently different from ourselves. But, guess what, we did this. This is on us and our laws. And it is up to us to fix it. So, yes, this was an act of hate and an act of terror. But we will not be terrorized. We will be seen. We will live and love and be free. So, what does this have to do with a TV show about a racially diverse, multi-cultural group of young and old lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight women in prison? Well, for one, I bet the shooter would hate this show down to his despicable core. And for another, it’s going to make a lot of gay ladies – and our queer friends and allies – really happy on a week when we deserve more than a little happiness. We deserve this. Happy weekend all.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dead Ringer

[Orphan Black Spoilers, sweeties]

So, I don’t know about you, but after last week’s “Orphan Black” ended I spent the next 15 minutes screaming and rewinding the last 30 seconds. And then screaming and rewinding the last 30 seconds. So, yes, Delphine is back. Yes, this show has pulled the most epic Not-So Dead Lesbian (Non-)Trope plot twist ever. Yes, I am so excited and cannot believe there is only one episode left this season. To make up for all the anguish it put all us Cophine fans through, perhaps they can just have those two make out for all 10 episodes next season. What? It only seems fair.

I have – decapitated swans aside – enjoyed the hell out of this season. Sure, there was a tragic lack of Delphine (again – you sneaky, glorious bastards). But it was almost made up for by an abundance of Krystal. Though, I have one suggestion for next season. Can we please get some stylish bullet-proof vests for our gals? Hey, gay ladies on TV can never be too careful.

p.s. So news broke this morning that “Orphan Black” has been renewed for a fifth and final season. So take note, TV executives: Tatiana Maslany will be available in one year. Begin your mad scramble accordingly. Man, it will be so strange seeing her play only one role at a time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I scream, we all scream

Hey, is it OK if I just scream for 7 minutes? Yep. That’s exactly where I am, America. Well, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy did for over 14 hours. So, you know, why the hell not?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


This is so deeply weird and/or possibly Canadian and I love every single second of it. This Twin vs. Twin extravaganza featuring the Quin Sisters and Scott Brothers is, well, I already mentioned it was deeply weird, right? But it is also deeply funny. Like, I laught more each time I watch it funny. Also, I would totally, totally watch a show where Tegan and Sara did home improvement projects. All I wanna get is, a little more subway tile...

p.s. Have I mentioned I’ve actually met both of these sets of twins? Like, for realsies. So, you could say, I’m the link that set these twinsies on their deeply weird collision course. You’re welcome, universe.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Don't Stop the Dancing

I’m not a great dancer. I can be awkward. I can be off beat. I can’t really Whip or Nae Nae. Still, despite my rhythm-challenged nature, one of the first places I felt I really belonged was a gay nightclub. I suspect that’s how it was for many of us LGBT folks. Be it a little hole in the wall bar or sweaty metropolitan dance club, these places help us become ourselves. At times they were like walking into heaven. All of these people, together, dancing. All of these people, together, being exactly who they are. All of these people, together, just gay as hell.

In the wake of the Orlando gay nightclub shootings yesterday, that sense of safety has been shaken. The one place we could feel truly free, to dance to love to kiss to be. Someone else’s hatred gets taken out on innocents once again. As we’ve seen at schools. At colleges. At movie theaters. At churches. No place can shield us from those who wish to do us harm and have easy access to weapons of mass destruction.

Like you, I was glued to the news for parts of yesterday, hoping to make sense of the senseless. What struck me is as soon as the suspected shooter’s religion was revealed, talk abruptly shifted from “hate” to “terrorism.” And once the T-word gets brought up, nothing else seems to matter. But that these were LGBT people, that this was an LGBT club, that matters. That matters deeply.

Say it was a gay club. Say it was a hate crime. Because it was. Could it also have been a home-grown act of terror? Of course. But one does not cancel out the other.

This man can be a homophobe and a lone wolf and a wife beater and all kinds of other terrible things – all at once. He is not indicative of anything except the impotent rage and entitled dissatisfaction that too often bubbles over for these kinds of angry men into horrific violence. In Newton. In Charleston. In Aurora. In Columbine. In too many American cities, time after time.

But now that the T-word has been invoked, there can be no talk of gun control in this country. There can be no questioning why a man who was twice investigated by the FBI can legally purchase his arsenal of death. There can be no reflection on how little we’ve tried to do as a nation to limit our epidemic of gun violence. There can only be fear of the unknown and tweets from ignorant men with designs on the most powerful position in the world.

But now that the T-word has been invoked, there can be no discussion about the continuing discrimination against LGBT people in this country. There can be no pointing out that the politicians who howl that trans people in bathrooms are a public threat are now disingenuously offering up thoughts and prayers. There can be no acknowledgment that too often extremists of all stripes use religion, be it Islam or Christianity, to justify hate. They’re too busy erasing LGBT people as victims in order to ensure we’re all properly scared of some “other” group of marginalized people.

But you can’t erase us from our own tragedy. And you can’t ignore the multi-faceted nature of this crime. It was not an accident that it happened during Pride month.

This is why we celebrate Pride in the first place. This is how we fight the darkness. It’s not about the rainbow tchotchkes or glitter explosions or the go-go dancers. Sure, those things help make it more fabulous. But it’s really about being proud of ourselves, even when no one else was. It’s saying you can’t stamp out our joy with your hatred. It’s about the bravery it still takes to simply exist as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person in this world.

So, this Pride, let’s dance our little gay hearts out. Because we can. Because no amount of hatred can ever stop us.

Friday, June 10, 2016

My Weekend Crush

Whitney Houston was an absolute favorite of mine growing up. I can’t tell you how many times I danced alone to her songs in my bedroom, stereo turned up and the windows pushed open. Her voice, that supreme instrument, was always a marvel. But what I really liked, especially back in my preteeny bopper days, were her poppy songs. They were, after all, the best to dance to. In particular, I loved “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” It was such a simple, declarative statement. Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody, too, Whitney. Baring that, I’ll dance to you.

News (and perhaps I should put that word in quotes) emerged this week that Whitney’s ex-husband Bobby Brown has confirmed her long-rumored bisexuality. Apparently he writes about it, and her equally long-rumored relationship with her best friend and assistant Robyn Crawford, in his upcoming memoir. Sadly, with her passing four years ago, Whitney will never be able to confirm or deny this herself. Over the course of her life she often scoffed, sometimes angrily so, at those very same rumors.

But back then, when Whitney became Whitney, it was a very different time in America. There was no out and dancing Ellen. No lesbian cheerleaders singing about their love on primetime TV. No president issuing gay pride month proclamations. No Supreme Court validating that love really is love.

Our society’s sometimes painfully slow progression on accepting LGBT people has had both highly political and deeply personal impacts. Yes, for too many decades – in fact centuries – LGBT people have been denied their basic human rights as citizens. And yes, for too many decades – in fact centuries – LGBT people have had to hide who they are from even some of the people they love most in order to survive. This is the truth about our queer pasts and for still too many, our queer presents.

If indeed Whitney was a bisexual woman, the sad fact is she was not truly allowed to be herself to the public. To be forced to stay in the closet, for whatever reason, is to never reveal the full breadth of one’s humanness. We are all of us extraordinary, ordinary, fascinating, boring, dynamic, plain weirdos. While our sexuality does not define us, it is an indelible part of us. And, for too many, it is a part that forever remains hidden from view.

This is not to scold Whitney for her choices. Everyone should come out how and when they want, if they want. But it is to lament a society that forces those choices on us. Yes, it’s getting better. Yes we still have a ways to go.

Which brings me back to Whitney and those bedroom dance sessions. I had no inkling back then, jamming alone in my knee socks, that Whitney might be a gay lady. I didn’t even know I was a gay anything. But something about “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and the open, celebratory way she sang it spoke to me. It’s also one of her rare songs that – aside from a couple quick mentions of wanting a “man” and one use of a male pronoun – is largely, delightfully gender free. I want to dance with somebody. Anybody. Just as long as that somebody loves me. Don’t we all, Whitney. Don’t we all. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Going, Going, Gayzzoli

And we’re back. So starts the final season of Rizzles. The last of the Totally Gratuitous, Totally Gay Touching. The end of the eye sex. Kidding, Jane and Maura will be having eye sex until the sun swallows the Earth and then collapses into itself into a white hot ball of nothingness. And then even a little bit longer. But I do feel sad that this is the beginning of the end for “Rizzoli & Isles.” For all of its ridiculous flaws it is just a turn off your bran, enjoy the chemistry fun hour of television. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

So please, won’t you join along with me as along with the final “Rizzoli & Isles” episodes come the final “Rizzoli & Isles” Subtext Recaps. Episodes 701 and 702 are up today on AfterEllen. Thanks, for following them all these years. I hope you had even half as much reading them as I did writing them.

Check them out here:

Your 701 Gayzzoli Recap

Your 702 Gayzzoli Recap

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

United States of Roar

Hello, herstory. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but forgive me – I’m feeling my woman today. So hear me roar. It only took our country 227 years to elect a woman as the presidential candidate for a major party. Five more months, and we can make it truly official. So, until then, please enjoy all these amazing women talking about women’s amazingness. A United States of Women? Hell yeah, I’ll vote for that.

p.s. This video, this fairly innocuous statement of female empowerment, currently has 638 likes and 1,806 dislikes on YouTube. So, tell me again how there is no pervasive sexism and misogyny in our culture.

p.p.s. This is a really, really great video about the history made last night. Thanks, Hill.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

I'm With Her

I’m with her, but you knew that already. Today in my great state of California I get to cast my second primary vote for Hillary Clinton. I voted for her back in 2008, but you knew that already, too.

You, of course, are free to vote for whomever you choose in this – the last gasp of the primary season. But I hope, come November 8, you’ll all be voting along with me. Because whatever your hesitation with Hillary (who, it should be noted, is nearly a carbon copy of President Obama on policy), she is infinitely more qualified and capable to be president than Donald Trump. That is a fact.

This isn’t an ordinary election where two party faithful repeat relatively conventional party policies and the electorate picks based on their pre-existing inclinations and unquantifiables like who they’d rather have a beer with. This is an election where one person has served our country dutifully as First Lady, a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State and the other is a silver spoon real estate developer proposing we “temporarily” ban all Muslims, build a wall to keep out Mexicans, punish women who have abortions and overturn federal marriage equality. Oh, and he thinks a judge of Mexican descent can’t preside over his fake university trial because he is of Mexican descent. Maybe you can live with a racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic demagogue in the White House. But just the thought of it gives me panic attacks on a fairly regular basis.

But as much as I am horrified by the thought of Donald Trump winning the presidency, I’m excited for Hillary Clinton to be president. I want her to president. It is as simple as that. Like I said, I’m with her.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Just Read This Letter

[Trigger Warning]

I am hoping that by now you have read her letter. The letter of a woman who was sexually assaulted behind a dumpster while unconscious by a man who was just given only a six month sentence by a judge because any longer could have “a severe impact on him.” Oh, and have you heard, he could also swim pretty fast.

This is some of the most powerful writing I’ve ever read. It’s devastating, as it should be devastating. And it’s also infuriating, as it shouldn’t be infuriating. This is what we talk about when we talk about “rape culture.” This is the impact of a society that tells men from the very earliest age they are entitled to women’s bodies. This is the impact of a culture that still classifies women who unapologetically enjoy sex as sluts, but allows men to just be studs. This is the impact of a society that overwhelmingly look at the female victims’ pasts and the male perpetrators’ bright futures when passing judgment in cases of rape and sexual assault.

This is the impact of a society where the father of this convicted rapist can write a letter to the judge asking for leniency because it would otherwise be too steep a price to pay for “20 minutes of action.” Yes, he really said that. And that, that’s how rape culture gets passed on from father to son. Sexually assaulting a passed-out young woman behind a dumpster is “20 minutes of action.”

Here’s a thought: Teach men to not rape women. Teach men about consent. Teach men that women are not prizes to be won or things to be conquered. Or, if all that is just too much of a burden, maybe just have men read this letter. Just read this letter. And then try to say there is no such thing as rape culture in our society.

Friday, June 03, 2016

My Weekend Crush

In honor of Defend a Bisexual Day*, here is a little tribute to my favorite on-screen bisexual badass of all time. Oh, Bo Dennis, how I miss you so. But I’m buoyed by the thought that you’re off somewhere scissoring** with Dr. Lauren Lewis. So why all the bisexual love today? Well, why not. But also because I will have a new column up over at Women & Hollywood about how the media should stop being terrible about Amber Heard’s bisexuality. And also how they should stop being terrible about domestic violence in general. But then, you knew that already. Happy take-no-shit-like-Bo weekend, all.

* Not a real day, but maybe it should be.
** Not a real thing, and it probably shouldn’t be.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

It's Alive! Alive!

Storytelling is about many things. Creating engaging make believe. Fleshing out believable characters. Building trust with an audience. So then it seems only appropriate that Canadian TV writers Emily Andras has pulled off that elusive hat trick. The former “Lost Girl” show runner and current “Wynonna Earp” creator chatted with me to about her new series, the Bury Your Gays trope and the connection she feels with her LGBT fanbase. And, to ease all your worried minds, she reassured us all that WayHaught makes it out of Season 1 alive and in love.

It’s always interesting talking with creative people like Emily, because it’s clear the good ones take what they do very seriously and want to treat their audiences with respect. But, and I think this is key, they also want to be clear that they’re the storytellers and we’re the ones being told the stories. They drive the bus, but they’re thrilled have us on board sharing the ride.

There’s been a lot of back-and-forth about what the right balance between writers/creators and fans/fandom should be. I don’t believe writers owe us anything but the best, most honest and most representative stories they can tell. Within the context of that, I think they should be aware and cautious of harming already underrepresented communities – like LGBT people, like people of color, like people with disabilities, etc. And I think Emily get it. I think she really, really gets it.

Sure, writers will make mistakes. They may stumble, they may make a wrong turn. But the ones who care about our community, they keep coming back and trying to do better. And that what matters. That’s what makes for a good story.

p.s. Please do read her whole, thoughtful interview over at AfterEllen.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Out of the Black

Holy shit guys. Wait, first, spoilers for last week’s “Orphan Black” ahead. OK, we all clear? Good. Then let me say: It’s alive! ALIVE! The Cophine fandom LIVES! You know, it’s hard to think of another instance where we (potentially) got one back from the Bury Your Gays trope. Yet here we are, on the verge of erasing Dr. Delphine Cormier from the Dead Lesbian Syndrome rolls. And it’s so terribly clever.

I had resigned myself, after the week’s before episode, to the fact that the blonde French doctor was, indeed gone. Cosima’s breakdown when Evie Cho told her as much was one of the most gut-wrenching, soul-shaking cries I’ve ever heard uttered from a human person. Slow and forever clap for Tatiana Maslany.

But then, this week. Holy shit, guys.

This season has been *insert fire emoji here* and I don’t mind saying it. Not one bit. Now, let’s go find our girl, eh?