Friday, September 30, 2016

My Weekend After AfterEllen

As by now you’ve realized, I’ve been moving the last two weeks and am surrounded by a mountain of boxes and my own exhausted tears. But I wanted to offer two more very gay cents on what is happening over at AfterEllen right now. A week after the last original posts under the old AfterEllen were published Sept. 21, a new post has sprung up from one of the site’s relatively newer freelance writers explaining “Why I’m Still Here.” It is well-written and no doubt heartfelt. And I sympathize with the writer’s desire to not lose something so very important to our collective histories as queer women. AfterEllen has born witness to our culture for the past 14 years, often when no one else would.

But right now, to be brutally honest, I’d rather AfterEllen shutdown all together than become a rotting zombie corpse of itself buoyed by the occasional “evergreen” lesbian-ish clickbait lists and coasting on the enduring strength of its archives.

This is a site I, we, all cared deeply about. It had its flaws as all sites do. But since its inception it was edited, managed, curated and cultivated by gay women - period. To hire random freelancers and have some random Evolve editor try to recreate that is ludicrous.

What the company did to Trish and our readers (not to mention us writers) was shameful. The site – any editorial site – cannot run without an editor who understands its mission and vision. It cannot run without writers who buy into that mission and vision. It can not run without a community who supports that mission and vision.

Look, I understand everyone needs to pay her bills. I am not criticizing the writer’s decision. This change will be a big hit to what has been a steady income for me for pretty much 10 years. And I understand the desire to cling to the vestiges of AE. It has also been my home for more than a decade and I would absolutely not be the person I am today without it. But this is why I’m leaving. Until the people who own AfterEllen can prove – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that whatever they try to build out of this festering rubble is a real, genuine and sincere attempt at creating engaging/educational/entertaining content for and by queer women – I am out.

We built this together and it matters. We dictate our own history and our own future. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. As previously announced, I’ve climbed on board with the fine folks at Autostraddle where I will be blissfully rejoining my friend Heather Hogan. So look for my writing there in the near future.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

My (SGALGG) Moving Crush

Because I didn’t watch the Emmys this year I didn’t do an EMMY SGALGG. But luckily I stumbled on this photo of American Ferrera and Judith Light about to make up, which I will use as my mea culpa. Also “Transparent” is back and I just started watching “Superstore,” which is a lot of fun. And they are both super, feminist, wonderful ladies. So there is that, too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My Moving Crush

You guys, I am so incredibly tired right now. So tired. Here is Ellen page is a suit. I’m still tired, but at least there is now Ellen Page in a suit.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Moving Crush

My entire life is sitting around me in cardboard boxes and the bottle opener is missing and the TV and Internet still aren’t working and the only thing keeping me going is the thought of Kate McKinnon and Sigourney Weaver slow-dancing together in perfect little circles around the “Ghostbusters” set.

Monday, September 26, 2016

My (Presidential) Moving Crush

On the day of our the first presidential debate, when expectations have been lowed for Trump so far that if he doesn’t shit on the stage and smear it on Hillary he will be considered “presidential,” here are just a shit-ton of celebrities telling you to please – for fuck’s sake – do the right thing. Though, I’m fine with Mark keeping his pants on.

Friday, September 23, 2016

My Moving Crush: Kristen Bell

I have liked Kristen Bell for a long time, but I have not really watched any of her shows. (Yes, yes – I know “Veronica Mars” is supposed to be awesome - I know.) Her public persona has always been delightful, and also incredibly smart. So during the Olympics when I saw like 30 million ads for “The Good Place”* and it looked, well, good I could not have been more excited. And, indeed, I watched and the first episode Monday was good. Like, really good. It reminds me a little of “Pushing Daisies” in its magical weirdness. And I mean that in the very best way. So now I get to enjoy Kristen the person (who hate the pay gap) and the performer (who hates clown paintings). That’s what I call a win-win.

* Called it The Good Spot because, due to my impending move, I apparently boxed my brain. I think it is somewhere in with the kitchen utensils. Anyway, watch this show!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

My Moving Crush: Angelina Jolie

So Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are dunzo. Is nothing sacred in 2016? What else will this infernal year claim? Sweet merciful Xena, save us from this madness. (And Trump, please please save us from Trump.) Though, I will admit, a itsy bitsy, teeny weeny part of me wants Angie to return to her wild child days now that she is a single lady again. You know, when she danced (and kissed) Peta Wilson with abandon and jumped into hotel pools fully dressed. We can still skip the Billy Bob years, though.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

After AfterEllen

So that’s that. Yesterday news broke that Evolve Media had suddenly decided to shut down AfterEllen. After Friday, there will no longer post regular daily content posted. The archives will remain intact, at least for now. But the site, as we have come to know and love it, will be over.

I cannot tell you how heavy this makes my heart. This is terrible news for so many reasons. So many talented writers have lost their jobs. So many queer women have lost a place to go for news, information and community. So many voices supporting gay women have lost their home. In short, a legacy of advocacy for more and better representation of queer women in the media has come to a close.

On a personal note, AfterEllen changed my life. I started writing for AfterEllen in in 2007 – February 4, 2007 to be exact. When I started with AE I wasn’t just like so many of its readers, I was one of its readers. Site founder Sarah Warn messaged me one day and asked me to write for them. I had, until then, only been a frequent lurker and a sometimes commenter. And I was so deeply, deeply flattered and floored.

The first thing I wrote for AE was a picture post about hot ladies in red dresses. In retrospect, it could not have been more fitting.

For a time I wrote for the site nearly every day. I wrote news, reviews and all manner of silliness in between. You name it, I blogged about it for AE over the last almost 10 years. More recently my work has been largely recaps and interviews, with occasional commentary thrown in for good measure.

The site has evolved and changed hands over the years. Sarah sold it to Viacom and MTV/Logo. MTV/Logo sold it to Evolve Media. It’s focus and tenor has shifted some as well, but never strayed too far from its founding tenet: Visibility Matters. But now its corporate owner has decided that ensuring that visibility for queer women simply isn’t profitable enough, or important enough, for them.

Well, you know what, fuck that. Gay women need a site like AfterEllen. Gay women deserve as rich and robust a media landscape as possible. In fact all underrepresented communities deserve places that are made by them and for them. (So, while you still can and whenever you can, support existing queer women’s media - like, say, Autostraddle.)

Like for so many others, AfterEllen was a lifeline for me when it first started. I grew up in the Midwest and didn’t know a lot of gay ladies back then. For so many gay women, AfterEllen was the first site for gay women they ever visited. AE showed me that there were gay women out there with my same interests and ideas. The same aspirations and the same frustrations.

Through the years I've been humbled time and time again by readers who have written to say how the site, and my writing, has helped them through hard times. Who have said reading things written by gay women for gay women has been important to them, and reminded them of their own importance.

Hell, I am one of the people AfterEllen helped, too. It helped me find my voice and myself. It helped me become the writer – the person – I am today. Being a part of AE allowed me to meet and become friends with so many wonderful women, so many inspiring writers. I thank all the editors who helped mold my writing at AE from Sarah Warn to ScribeGrrrl to Malinda Lo to Karman Kregloe to Heather Hogan to Dana Piccoli to Trish Bendix.

Thanks to all my fellow writers, who did it for the love of celebrating, and when necessary critiquing, queer women’s representation in the media. Yes, I know am leaving so many amazing people out simply because there were so many amazing people who worked for the site.

Never stop believing that queer women’s stories deserve to be told. Lesbian, bisexual and trans women may not be “profitable,” but our lives matter. AE was a place that, at its core, always believed in and championed that simple fact.

So what’s next for me? Well, don’t worry, I’ll keep writing here at Dorothy Surrenders. I’ll keep looking for other outlets that care deeply about LGBT representation. I’ll keep pushing for more and better presentation of queer women in the media.

So thank you, AfterEllen. Thank you for so many things. But possibly most of all thank you for helping me find all of you. I will forever be grateful to AE for that and for you. Thank you for reading along all these years.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Moving Crush: Kate McKinnon

So during my time of flux and boxes (when I can’t get a full post up), I’ll be posting some Moving Crushes for you so you still have something pretty to look at because I care. First things first, belated look at the Emmys. I wasn’t in town Sunday night and was busy all day so I actually missed them completely. Sheesh, the one year I miss and Kate McKinnon, Tatiana Maslany and Sarah Paulson all win. My timing is absolutely the worst. THE WORST. Anyway, I had to go searching for clips of their acceptance speeches and Kate’s in particular was just wonderful. But then, Kate is wonderful period. It’s like one of the tenets of lesbianism that you have to have a crush on her, right? Right.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Cuddle Time

Right, so as you can see I have gotten behind on the posting a tad. I am in the midst of a confluence of pretty insane (and incredibly time consuming) life events. In short, I am in the process of moving somewhat unexpectedly (and very begrudgingly). It is all happening rather quickly so all this week I will packing everything I own into cardboard boxes and lugging them across town. Yayyyy. So until things return to normal (and I have a reliable internet service hooked up again) please bear with me as my posting will likely be intermittent. Please accept this otter cuddle party as my sincere apology. And thanks, as always, for reading.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Return To Fall

Finally, FINALLY, we get to have Gillian Anderson’s glorious, glorious face back on our televisions. “The Fall” has consistently been one of the most well-written, tautly acted and just plain fascinating shows on television. As it enters its third season, I expect no less. Plus – and this may sound like sacrilege to some X-Philes – I think it’s an even better showcase of Gillian’s true skill set. (Especially considering what an utter disaster the new season of “The X-Files” was.)

If you haven’t watched the series, I so highly recommend you catch up (plus, it’s only 11 episodes total, between its first and second season – so not too grueling a time commitment). Also, did I mention Gillian’s DSI Stella Gibson is bisexual and totally game to bring an attractive female co-worker to her hotel room? Dammit, Reed Smith, get on that elevator, you idiot.

I have no idea whether Archie Panjabi will be back this season as said attractive female co-worker (American entertainment sites are absolute rubbish with UK TV show info/spoilers.) But it does appear from promo shots that the very clearly (probably) gay lady cop PC Hagstrom will be back this season – so that’s something. And, of course, there will be so much Gillian and her glorious, glorious face.

p.s. I will be recapping the show again for AfterEllen. If you want to catch up on the recaps from last season, or refresh your memory, you can find them here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Both Sides Not Now

I am going to have a fucking aneurysm before this goddamn endless election is over. The media treatment of these two candidates is the very definition of false equivalency. Look, any LGBT person knows "both sides" reporting is bullshit. One side says we're humans, the other says we're monsters destroying the universe. So then to treat both those opinions equally is preposterous. Truth is the ultimate balance, not "both sides." Same, of course, goes for this election. One side is a normal politician with flaws. The other side is DONALD FUCKING TRUMP. Like, I realize this is unprecedented, political reporters. But sometimes you have to call a woefully unqualified, terrifyingly reckless bellicose orange fart what it actually is. Anyway, thank God for Samantha Bee who gets to yell the things I can only yell at my screen out of a screen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016



Monday, September 12, 2016

Ask Tina & Amy

What better way to come back from a vacation, and start a new week, than with some good advice. So here is some from two of my favorite people – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Granted, I’d listen to anything My Fake TV Wife and her BFF had to say, regardless. But this really is good advice. Especially the ISIS stuff. Especially that.

Friday, September 09, 2016

My Weekend Gayzzoli

So we begin as we ended. With Jane and Maura in bed and in love. My final “Rizzoli & Isles” Subtext Recap is up on AfterEllen today. I’ve spent seven years writing about this sometimes silly, sometimes wonderful, sometimes frustrating show in all its subtext glory. Why? Because the chemistry demanded it, and because it was damn fun. Being involved in the Rizzles fandom has been a true honor and a privilege. Sure, many people scoff at subtext. But I think for any underrepresented group – no matter how our visibility improves – subtext is an acknowledgment that we will always try to bend the world more to our image and our liking. It doesn’t mean we’re settling, it means we will always dreaming of more. Thanks for reading all this time. Thanks for believing and laughing and loving these women with me. Happy weekend and end of Gayzzoli, all.

p.s. You can read the final recap, and the entire seven-season run, here.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Vacation Vixen: Megan Follows

I’m very, very happy that Megan Follows has been gainfully employed on “Reign” for a few years now. But I truly and sincerely hope Netflix will make a place for her, to at the very least guest star, on its new Anne of Green Gables series. I mean, they have to, right? They have to.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Vacation Vixen: Leslie & Kate

Well, you caught me. I’m on vacation this week. I’m having family over to visit and catching up on a little sleep when I can – which are not necessarily two activities that go together. So in my stead I’ll let Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon express my feelings right about now.

Monday, September 05, 2016

The Big Gayzzoli Ending

Well here we are. Tonight is the night. Last chance to follow (and tweet) along to see The Big Gayzzoli Ending. Do I have high hopes for the Gayzzoli? No, not at all. But We have seen it through the start to the finish together. And I intend to go down rooting for this ship, no matter what the writers have in store. Because, of course, this was never about what the show wanted. It was about what the chemistry demanded. And it was about what our hearts and imaginations desired. So, please enjoy and let us tweet along with #gayzzoli one last time together.

Friday, September 02, 2016

My Weekend Crush

Sometimes, when I’m a little down about the world, I randomly remember that there is a real song called “Lesbian Seagull” and I feel a little better about the world instead. And then Engelbert Humperdinck – who is also a real person whose name makes me feel a little better about the world in a weird way, too – sang it and everything. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. Actually, the whole history of “Lesbian Seagull” is kind of amazing. It was written in 1979 by an out gay singer named Tom Wilson Weinberg as a response to a government study about, well, lesbian seagulls. It was on his album called “Gay Name Game,” which includes tons of other gay-themed music – much like the rest of his music. Years later it appeared in the 1996 film “Beavis and Butt-head Do America” and Humperdinck sang it for the soundtrack. And now you know.

p.p.s. You can hear Tom’s original version here.

p.p.s. OMG, he also has a song he wrote called “Turkey Baster Baby.” Come on, that’s gotta make you feel a little better about everything.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Take These Wives

[Video removed because link died because Seeso died]

Well here’s something neat – and also gay. Is that being redundant? Should you automatically assume that anything I call “neat” is also “gay?” I mean, it’s a strong assumption but not necessarily a wrong one all things considered. Anyway – where was I? Right this neat, gay thing. Wonderful comics (and gay ladies – dammit, am I being redundant again?) Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher are staring in a new series together. It’s called “Take My Wife.” You see, because in addition to being gay ladies they are gay ladies married to each other – gayly. Now I know I am just being redundant. Anyway – back on track, I promise.

Their new show is on Seeso which – don’t worry – I’ve never heard of either. But apparently it’s a comedy streaming service where you can watch episodes of “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation” so, you know, awesome. Anyway, their new show, “Take My Wife” has its first episode online for free. Like totally free. Like, no monies. Though, if you then like it, you should definitely pay the monies to watch the rest of the series because that’s the only way independent artists can make a living and cool things can sustain. Right, sorry, lesbian on a soapbox here. (Again, redundant?)

I had the great privilege of seeing Cameron and Rhea perform last year and they were really great, much funny, so wow. If they happen to come to your town, grab every lesbian you know and a few questioning friends and see them. Fine, straight friends can come, too. But they can’t make any cracks about the side mullet. That’s our side mullet, dammit. It belongs to us.

Anyway. Like I was saying, these lesbians are very funny and you should probably watch their show.

p.s. Tatiana Maslany thinks you should watch their show, too.

p.s.s. Here is the whole first episode embedded because, I get it, sometimes clicking a link is hard.