Monday, December 31, 2018

Best of 20GayTeen

Well, kittens, we made it another lap around the sun together. 20GayTeen lived up to its name, and then some. And what another crazy, crazy, super fucking crazy year it was. Personally, wonderful things happened. Like, you know, I got married. Politically, cruelty and corruption continued to reign. But at least a Blue Wave came in to offer us hope and reinforcements. And in the pop culture world? Well, art did its part to entertain, engage (occasionally enrage) and otherwise provide escapism exactly when needed. And, heavens, did we need it.

So here is a little ode to the best things I watched, listened and generally consumed in this year of our Lesbian Jesus, 20GayTeen. Thanks for keeping things super duper gay, universe. May the New Year aspire to such queerness, and then some. Happy New Year, kittens.

TV: Killing Eve

I just finished my fifth full rewatch of the entire first season of “Killing Eve,” and I can assuredly say this show only gets richer with each watch. In fact the complexity and brilliance of the series demands multiple viewings. Because on first watch you’ll likely be most stunned by the plot (like, holy shit, it really went there). Then another watch and you’re floored again by the acting because the things Sandra Oh can do with a few muscles in her face. And then a third rewatch you are dazzled anew by the impeccable writing and sublime use of music. And a fourth you’re drafting legal papers allowing Jodie Comer to legally murder you, should the want arise. And so on, and so forth. In short, if “Killing Eve” wasn’t your favorite new queer obsession last year, honey, there’s always this year.

Also: The Good Place

Hot forking damn this show is so good. Any show that passes between multiple dimensions so seamlessly obviously has no problem being fluid in its interpretations of gender, sexuality and personhood. Also, I would watch a 24-hour Janet channel. I really, really would.

Movie: The Favourite

What a tart, wicked delight. It’s beyond refreshing to watch a movie that allows women to be smart, cunning and ruthless without making them the villains of their own story. Instead, they’re treated as men would be in the exact same situation – as smart, cunning and ruthlessly heroes of their own stories. And, as we all know, heroes have all the fun.

Also: “Crazy Rich Asians”

If this movie only had a queer female character it would have been perfect. As is it was still a true delight, a feast for the eyes and a joy for our hearts. Plus, so much attractive Asian excellence in one place.

Music: Janelle Monae, Dirty Computer

Not only did Janelle Monae compose the greatest celebration of Lady Parts since Georgia O’Keeffe picked up a paintbrush, she also made the definitive ode to Bisexual Lighting. Plus, it has a beat and you can gayly dance it it.

Also: Hayley Kiyoko

I mean, we can’t leave Lesbian Jesus off a best of 20GayTeen list. I mean, that would be a gay sin.

Friday, December 28, 2018

My Weekend Crush

As enduring all those truly terrible comments (and some that continue to trickle in) on my post about AfterEllen’s two-year turn descent into full-on transphobia, please enjoy this advertisement from the Philippines instead. I know, I know – beauty products are in the business of selling you beauty products. But even if Pantene ultimately just wants to sell us all more shampoo – they’re selling all of us shampoo. Not just cis-men and women. But also trans men and women. Also nonbinary folks. Basically just everyone who wants shiny, healthy hair. And that, in and of itself, is beautiful.

I really can’t fathom lesbians, gay men and anyone else on the LGBTQ spectrum who turn their backs on their trans brothers and sisters. Can’t you see the exact same fear-mongering and bigoted stereotypes were used to discredit gays and lesbians not that long ago? They’re a threat to children! They’re going to prey on me in the locker room! I don’t care what you do in your bedroom, just don’t be so gratuitous about it in public! Ugh, why do you have to talk about it all the time? Can’t we just have someplace of our own where we can be with our own kind without them ruining everything?

Once more, with so much feeling – equal rights aren’t pie. If one group is granted civil rights, it does not mean you take them away from someone else. It just means finally the pie is big enough for everyone to have their rightful slice. And, again, don’t worry lesbians who don’t like trans women – no trans woman wants to date you. Trust me on this. Not a one. May we leave this kind of exclusionary thinking in 2018, with the rest of the garbage. Happy inclusive and beautifully shiny haired weekend, all.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

That's So Dench

I hope you have seen “The Favourite” at this point. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone were spectacular in it (as, of course, was the sublime Olivia Colman). Another delight is hearing Rachel explain British slang to Emma. I need something like this, but for “Great British Bake Off” terminology. That would be so Dench.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Suit Up

Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas, kittens? Well, if not, here is something to belatedly full your stocking. The trailer for “Men in Black: International” should just be renamed “Tessa Thomas: Wears a Suit” because – hello. It’s like Tank Top Tuesday and Gender Fuck Thursday got together and had a beautiful baby and that baby grew up to be Tessa Thomson in both a tank top and a suit. And she even flirts with Emma Thompson.

Well, now, it almost feels like Christmas morning again.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Merry, Happy Happy

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. May your day be nothing but merry and bright. To get you into the spirit please enjoy Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings singing some holiday carols (though, alas, not Carol carols) just for you. Merry happy, kittens, merry happy.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Have Yourself A Merry Little Carolmas

Have you left it too long? Your holiday shopping, that is. Well, no bother. Just pop on down to your local Frankenberg’s department store and get yourself a train set. Who knows, you might leave your gloves on the counter and meet your angel flung out of space.

Let the straights argue about whether “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie. All queer women know the true queen of Christmas movies is “Carol.” Time to don your gayest apparel and have yourself a Christmas Eve rewatch tonight, kittens. And, yes – Harold, they’re lesbians.

p.s. Why yes, I’ve been singing those Carolmas Carols ever since last week, why do you ask?

Friday, December 21, 2018

My Weekend Crush

It might be easy to dismiss Penny Marshall, who passed away at age 75 this week, as a caricature of herself. Those bangs. Those tinted glasses. And, yeah, that voice like a clench-jawed marionette had taken a handful of Quaaludes. But what Penny Marshall really was was a trailblazer. From the first moment she “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!”-herself into our living rooms, she had us laughing. And laughter is an underrated revolutionary force.

While “Laverne & Shirley” was a spinoff of “Happy Days,” it was actually a slyly feminist statement. Here were two single women living together, working factory jobs and navigating life’s bumps and pratfalls together. They made us laugh and fall in love with their independent spunk.

When Penny moved on to directing, she chose projects that spoke with humor – so much humor – and heart. From “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” to “Big,” to “Awakenings” to “A League of Their Own” and more, her movies stuck with you in unexpected ways. “Big” was one of my absolute favorite movies as a kid – and I still stop to eat baby corn that way. It perfectly captured the impatience for adulthood you felt as a child, and why it’s always better to take your time instead.

And, of course, there was “A League of Their Own,” which is the all-time greatest sports movie. Period. (Don’t @ me with your “Bull Durham” or “A Field of Dreams” or “Major League” nonsense.) You know what else it is? The highest grossing baseball movie of all time – yeah, more than all those other dude films. In fact, Penny was the first female director to have a movie gross over $100 million. First with “Big” and then with “A League of Their Own.”

The thing about Penny’s movies is they’re instantly iconic in so many ways. They’ve slipped seamlessly into our lexicon. They’re just a part of us now. There’s no crying in baseball! They made us laugh, but they also showed us something special. “A League of Their Own” remains a landmark. It’s about how good it feels to be seen, to be appreciated, to be celebrated for doing something well that no one expects from us. And, really, that’s what we all want. Plus, it was ladies playing baseball. And we all know that is something all queer gals can get behind. Thanks, Penny, for all the laughs and love. Please say hello (and crack some really dirty jokes) with Carrie Fisher for us. Rest in peace, lady. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Gender Fuck Thursday: Julia Edition

So every year The New York Times does this “Great Performances” series where they have the year’s biggest stars perform short scenes. This year Julia Roberts, fresh off her first TV series with “Homecoming,” is The Commuter who daydreams about being in full tux and tails on the subway. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Julia and her mega-watt smile in a full tuxedo like this. But I know I like it. Plus, who doesn’t love a little soft shoe?

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Carol's Carols

We are being wooed, gay ladies. Netflix is trying to woo us. How do I know? Not only is “Carol” still streaming on the service more than a year after it was added, but they’ve created a Carol Movie Sing-Along series on YouTube for you to really, really lez out with over the holidays. The Carol Caroler (dressed either in fur coats, coral hats and errant gloves or black jumpers, Santa cap and ugly turtlenecks) belt out super gay versions of your favorite Christmas tunes. Never mind those herald angels, this is “Hard! The Herald Carols Sing.” Now that’s what I call a Christmas carol glow up.

I have no idea why, three years after its release, Netflix decided to give “Carol” an extra holiday boost. But I know I’m eternally grateful to whatever queer gal wrote these lyrics in a fit of super gay seasonal spirit. I mean, if you think about it, it makes sense – lesbians have been singing Carol Aird’s praises all this time already. So, naturally, why not express that joy to the world in song.

Here are some for holiday tunes Carol-ized for your pleasure. Thanks, Netflix. You’ve earned this lesbian’s subscription for another year – and then some.

“Away in a Toy Shop”

The “Waterloo is where they’ll share something sweet” line made me snort a little.

“I Saw Carol Aird”

Minus a point for spelling Aird wrong. Plus a point for celebrating their “raw intimacy.”

ETA: Guess they realized they spelled Aird wrong and took it down. Tip your friendly neighborhood copy editor.

“The 12 Days of Carolmas”

It took me a second to realize what “Five Jolly Os” were. And then, ahem, oh my. Now, everyone have fun singing this all through Christmas dinner with your relatives.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Not Ready to (Keep Making) Nice

For whatever reason, we demand out female daytime talk show hosts be nice. Really, really, unblinkingly nice. Those with long memories will no doubt recall when Rosie O’Donnell was dubbed the “Queen of Nice” by Time magazine. Oprah was so nice she gave everyone a freaking car. And Ellen has picked up both their mantels to become the nicest, sunniest, danciest daytime talk host of them all.

But now, in an interesting, in-depth interview with The New York Times, Ellen is talking about her niceness and whether she wants it to continue – well, more accurately whether she wants her exceedingly nice talk show to continue – and her persona as an exceedingly nice talk show host. It’s worth a click for sure (you can find the full article here).

As the article mentions, and I’ve also heard in certain circles, The Ellen of real life is different from The Ellen of her talk show. Her true “niceness” is up for debate. But, on some level, we’re all like that. The person we present in our professional lives versus our private lives is very often different – usually in subtle ways but sometimes significant.

It’s strange to think, but her niceness can be seen as a cage. Veer anywhere outside the smiling, dancing blonde bubbliness and she is called out as a fraud. But, hey, we all have bad days. We all want to flip people off on the freeway sometimes.

Instead of her so-called niceness, what I’ve always admired about Ellen is her resilience. She had arguably one of the highest-profile comings out of all time. But that “Yep, I’m Gay”-heard around the world left her career in shambles for three years. And she rebuilt herself, joke by joke, into one of the most beloved entertainers working today. Seriously, think of a more loved celebrity? She is like the less risqué Betty White at this point.

So whenever Ellen is ready to quit her talk show (which is what the interview was ostensibly about – and to promote her new Netflix comedy special “Relatable” which debuts today), I am fine with it. Because I have no doubt this lady will come out on top. And isn’t that nice?

Monday, December 17, 2018

Music Monday: True Colors Edition

Just a reminder: Sara Ramirez can really sing. Oh, and Cyndi Lauper could always really sing. Please enjoy this moment of beauty to start your week from Cyndi’s “Friends: Home for the Holidays” show last week which benefited her lovely True Colors Fund, a charity that helps homeless LGBTQ youth. “True Colors” remains one of my all-time favorite songs, a glorious celebration of our differences – the vast, amazing, super weird rainbow of humanity. Don’t be afraid to let them show, kittens.

Friday, December 14, 2018

My Weekend Crush

“The Favourite” isn’t necessarily a lesbian movie. Yes, it is a movie with probable lesbian characters and plenty of lesbian activity. But there is no coming out scene. There is no gay panic tragedy. There is absolutely no queer agenda. This is just about three extremely complex women who are doing everything they can to navigate their lives – and really an entire country – without a single worry about the feelings of the frivolous men who surround them. It’s in short, pretty freaking amazing. And, actually when you think about it, plenty gay where it counts.

What “The Favourite” really is a celebration of the cunning – and cunnilingus (please, you knew that joke was coming) – power of women. What it is also is tons of wicked, perverse fun and another reminder that movies without a typical strong male leads are really rather good. In fact – in many ways, they’re favorable. (Not to mention more profitable.)

Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone have created characters in their real-life roles (with much creative license and Sapphic historical reimagining, of course) that are neither likeable or unlikeable. They are, instead, just riveting. You simply can’t stop watching – and why would you? These are actresses biting down hard into the juiciest, ripest of cinematic fruits. Here is a film that doesn’t insult their intelligence or exploit their sexuality.

It lets them be scheming, without being stereotypically scheming. It lets them be vain and ridiculous, without pigeonholing all women as vain or ridiculous. It lets them be smart – because surprise women are really fucking smart. In short, it lets them be the sorts of things men have been in films forever without a second thought – but it does so while still being true the very foundation of our feminine uniqueness. There’s a pathos to it that lingers long after the wild ride is done. All three women find themselves at destinations they hadn’t necessarily planned for. But then, as the saying goes, it’s the journey – not the destination. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

It's Not A Bird, It's A Bat

So Batwoman/Kate Kane/Ruby Rose made her TV debut in the DC-verse this week. I have absolutely no idea what’s happening in the story because I never watched the CW superhero shows and quit “Supergirl” a bit ago because there’s only so much wishing and hoping you can do for Kara and Lena to taste the rainbow together. But I do know that Batwoman/Kate Kane/Ruby Rose sure looks the part. And, really, can there ever be enough badass, street-fighting lesbian superheroes on our TV? No, the answer is no.

So, thoughts those who are fans of the comic and/or well versed in the DC-CW land? How’d she do? Also, never mind Lena. Supergirl clearly has a new crush

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Brandi's Like Fine Wine

If you ever get a chance to see Brandi Carlile live, run – don’t walk. What a glorious sound, what a glorious show that lady puts on. And, really, what a glorious artist. Out and proud from early in her career, she has runs her own foundation – the Looking Out Foundation – which does various good deeds to empower those without a voice. Indeed, Brandi is the kind of artist worth rooting for. Root for her we will with her six – count ‘em, six – Grammy nominations for her latest album “By the Way, I Forgive You.” And these aren’t some fringe categories, we’re talking Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year territory. In fact she is the she is the most nominated female artist, and behind just Kendrick Lamar and Drake overall, this year. How about them big lesbian apples, eh?

p.s. p.s. Brandi released her latest music video, for “Party of One,” yesterday. It features Elisabeth Moss in what I believe is her first-ever gay role. It’s an intense, intense look at queer domestic intranquility – but [Spoiler Alert] don’t worry it all ends well and gay.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Doctor Rainbows

Well, goodness, that was fun. I’ve watched the first season of the Thirteenth Doctor with wonder and delight. What a gloriously seamless transition from all those Mr. Doctors to the very first Ms. Doctor. But more than just swapping the Doctor’s gender, what the new season has done is open up the series to a whole new universe of stories it couldn’t – or just wouldn’t – tell before. The lovely Rosa Parks episode. The powerful Partition of India episode.

Plus, don’t think I haven’t missed the couple of casual lesbian characters to pop into the series all matter-of-fact so far. And, oh yeah, I’ve noticed the double rainbows in the Doctor’s outfit. (On her shirt on and on her zipper – and apparently on her upcoming super rainbow scarf.) All the way, folks. All the way.

What makes this season so great is not only that it’s telling good (and important) stories. It’s that it is telling a whole new group of people – who so rarely get themselves as the heroes of their own stories – that they too can save the world.

Monday, December 10, 2018

We The (Lady) People

Well, here is something lovely and uplifting to start your week. Here are your 35 new Congresswomen, all elected to the House of Representatives as part of the massive Blue Wave this November. They remind us that America – this vast, sprawling expanse of differences and similarities and nothingness and everything – can still have the power to inspire awe. We the lady people are going to Congress.

Friday, December 07, 2018

My Weekend Non-Crush

Here is the thing about us humans. We’re often bad. We have bad thoughts and bad ideas and bad actions. Literally, no one is perfect. But the other thing about humans is so many of us try to be better.

So when people say they’ve “changed” as a person, sometimes they actually have. But sometimes, they really, really haven’t.

When Kevin Hart was announced as the new Oscar host for the most part I shrugged. He isn’t my brand of comedy, but whatever. We’ve had plenty of mediocre and/or uninspiring Oscar hosts. But then almost immediately after the announcement, when his truly vile past anti-pay tweets emerged, I got annoyed.

And when he issued his “statement” on Instagram that started by saying, “Stop looking for reasons to be negative...Stop searching for reasons to be angry.” I got even more annoyed.

Now, if you aren’t familiar with Kevin Hart’s past anti-gay tweets, all posted less than 10 years ago, here is a sampling. Like I was saying, vile. [Click to embiggen the vileness]

The thing about these tweets is they aren’t just your run-of-the-mill “ha-ha, that’s so gay” throwaways. Sure, that kind of language is not acceptable and should be addressed and corrected. But much of that is more thoughtless than malicious. No, his tweets displayed a deep, deep discomfort and even revulsion with gay identity. The mere thought of someone – heaven forbid his child – being gay makes him resort to talk of violence. So, again, vile.

In his statement/non-apology he say in a shirtless video (because sure, why not, do this kind of thing shirtless):
“Guys. I'm almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man. I’m in a great place, a great mature place, where all I do is spread positivity.”
Whew. OK, here we go. I am glad you are in a great place, Kevin. You know what LGBTQ people want? To also be in a great place where celebrities do not see our very existence as something to laugh at with obvious disgust. And do you know what is not spreading positivity? Glossing over your past bigotry with weird self platitudes.

So first he posted his weird self-congratulatory video/non-apology. And then later that same day he put up another video on Instagram saying he purposely “passed” on apologizing:
“I passed. The reason I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. Regardless, to the Academy, I’m thankful for the opportunity, if it goes away, no harm, no foul”
And then even later that same day, he – I mean clearly his publicist, posted a tweet that said:
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's....this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
This is as textbook an example of “How Not To Apologize Properly” as you can get. His eventual apology seems hollow. Because, let’s be honest, it is.

Look, people can genuinely evolve. I hope we all do. But to evolve you have to acknowledge past mistakes, apologize for them and show real growth.

So now that we’re short an Oscar host this year, might I suggest – oh I don’t know – a woman? How about Kate McKinnon? Or Wanda Sykes? Or Ellen DeGeneres? Or Tiffany Haddish? Or Tina Fey and Amy Poehler? Or Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer? Or Constance Wu? Or, dream of dreams, Hannah Gadsby?

There are so many amazing choices who would make wonderful Oscar/Gay Super Bowl hosts for next year who are not, you know, homophobic garbage. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

After After AfterEllen

Just a reminder, AfterEllen is terrible. Yes, it was my online home for almost 10 years. It discovered and cultivated some of the brightest queer women’s voices on the internet since its founding in 2002. But since September 2016, when its latest corporate overlord – Evolve Media/TotallyHer – decided it wasn’t profitable enough to run as it had been, it’s been a horror show. And if you’re wondering why nearly all the writers (myself included) quit after that decision, well, this is why.

And, this, too – published just yesterday. Don’t click it. Life is too fucking short and they absolutely do not deserve the views.

That a site I once loved and helped me find myself as a lesbian and member of the LGBTQ community has turned into a wildly transphobic cesspool is beyond disappointing, beyond tragic, beyond rage-inducing. But the thing is, from the moment Evolve backpedaled and kept the site open, instead installing an Editor in Chief whose past support indicated a strong transphobic leanings, we all knew it was going to be bad.

Look, AE was never perfect. It had its blind spots and its weaknesses. Heck, things I’ve written in the past I cringe at today. But I always knew its heart and the mission of its writers was one of inclusivity and equality. We wanted more and better representation, always. Because, you know, visibility matters. We welcomed everyone to come and be part of that community who shared that vision. Did we fight? Fuck yes, sometimes we fought. But that’s what happens in any big, sprawling community.

But now, now I can’t go to the site. Before yesterday, I honestly can’t remember the last time I visited AE. Because it hurts to go there. It really does. And it disgusts me to my core.

Whatever you thought of AE, you can’t argue with its importance as an early online LGBTQ community. For queer women it was at the forefront – and sometimes the only – place to go and find other queer women to talk to about pop culture and life in general. A place to learn about queer female representation in the media. A place to share about the shows, the movies, the music you loved that spoke to you. A place to talk about the things that made you feel less alone.

If I won the lotto tomorrow, one of the first things I would do is buy AfterEllen – split off all the content from after the 2016 ruining to a separate site – and preserve it as an online document of queer women’s history. Or, you know, the current editor and management could just stop being transphobic garbage. You know, as a suggestion.

p.s. I know I still have a link to my past AE work up here. I wrestle with it often. On the one hand, that's almost a decade of work. A career in queer media. On the other hand, that site is terrible and should not get any clicks. Like I said, I wrestle with it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Ready, Set, Baking Innuendo!

I will happily confess to spending many a lovely hours watching the newest season of “The Great British Bake Off” (no, I refuse to call it the “Great British Baking Show,” like America demands, its GBBO dammit). While I do not hate the new judges – in fact they’re perfectly serviceable for the most part – I very much miss the zany and inappropriate chemistry of Mel and Sue. They brought a je ne sais quoi to the whole affair. Though, if we’re being really honest, it was their inappropriate banter I loved the most. And, you know, their genuine sweetness and caring toward the contestants. But, yeah, the naughty bits did not hurt. I mean, you can’t blame Mary Berry for being excited about eating some carpet when there’s all this talk of soggy bottoms and moist insides, can you?

p.s. Not baking, but if you feel like following my adventures making my very first fried green tomatoes ever, check out my thread on Twitter from last night. I hope Idgie and Ruth would be proud.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Simply Marvel-ous

The second “Captain Marvel” trailer was released yesterday. And in addition to giving us a little more backstory (and forestory) about our intrepid noble warrior hero, it also gives us gay ladies more reasons to buy a ticket. I mean, it’s a female superhero story, so clearly already we’re excited. But here is a closer look at all the little (and big) gay gifts packed into the trailer.

First, and foremost, this look. I remember having a misplaced butch crush on Tom Cruise in “Top Gun” because, duh, everyone had a crush on Tom Cruise in “Top Gun.” But now, finally, some fighter pilot hotness gender swap for all us queer girls.

Second, her alternative lifestyle haircut/helmet-cut. I mean, Tegan and Sara wish they could rock a flamey, glowy mohawk this hard. And the pure energy hair is a 100 percent mood

Third, please, she is wearing a baseball cap with a leather jacket. And it’s the 90s. Need I say more?

Fourth, lip ring! Kidding, it’s something to do with her helmet/space gear no doubt. But still, looks a lot like a 90s lip ring. Just sayin’.

Fifth, she isn’t afraid to hit old women/bad creatures. Strong assertive action despite possible public perception is always a turn on.

Six, she’s the leader of the pack. And her squad includes Smurf Gemma Chan.

Seventh, she also hangs with Annette Bening with only slightly less dykey hair than her “The Kids Are All Right” days.

Eighth, this is how she asserts herself on the subway. Beware, manspreaders, the avenger of all female passengers squished in their seats is here!

Ninth (of course it’s ninth), the cat. Yes, yes – I know it’s really a “cat.” But you know we can never resist petting a nice pussy.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Oh Lesbotree, Oh Lesbotree!

Well now that it is December (WAIT, IT’S DECEMBER ALREADY?), I thought I would get all us kittens snuggled into the holiday spirit with a lovely, heartwarming and really, really gay Christmas story.

Once upon a time there was a woman who grew up in the Bronx without a single tree on her block. Fast forward some 30-odd years and has spent her career working in public service, then retires with her wife to upstate New York. And a year later a tree from her garden has been selected to be the grandest Christmas tree in all of the land. Best of all, this Christmas story is 100 percent true.

Shirley Figueroa, the woman in question, and her wife Lissette Gutierrez had a tree from their property selected to be this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The 72-foot Norwegian Spruce had been scouted by the Rockefeller folks, who pick a tree from a different place each year).

In having their tree selected they become not only the first same-sex couple, but also the first Latinx-couple to donate a tree for the Rockefeller honor.

Figueroa told The New York Times:

“Just the fact that I have a tree that I can donate when I came from somewhere that had no trees — it’s so surreal.”
And about the couple’s historic firsts:
“That’s cool. We’re happy all around. We’re New Yorkers.”
Happy holidays, may the season be filled with big gay trees and much merriment.