Monday, May 20, 2019

Music Monday: Kacey Edition

Look, sometimes life – and the GOP – just get you down. You know, Republicans just really subjugate you to second-class status, remove your bodily autonomy and police your vagina. Like, who wouldn’t feel a little blue realizing that Alabama specifically rejected an exemption for rape or incest because, a woman’s suffering is nothing compared to the potential of the lump of cells growing inside of her. I mean, what if it grows up to be a straight white man? Anyway, all these terrible – and terribly illegal – so-called “heartbeat bills” are designed to be heat seeking missiles for the Trump/McConnell/Kavanaugh Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade once and for all. I mean, it’s enough to make a lady want to have a gun surgically inserted into her womb – because then at least conservatives would maybe think twice before regulating it.

Anyway, we must and will continue to fight this rollback of women’s rights (and the continued assault on immigrants, Muslims, POC, the disabled, LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities because this administration is indeed that hateful). What else can we do? But, at least for a little bit, take some time to yourself. Self care is key to resistance. So why not follow our gal Kacey Musgraves’s advice to “roll up a joint – or don’t” and let yourself distress from an unquestionably stressful past week to be a woman (or any person with empathy and a desire for bodily autonomy) in America. I can only assume that’s what Kacey did when she made this visual video for “Oh, What a World” complete with its Geocities-era graphics and majestic centaur doppelgangers. I’ve loved Kasey since she told everyone to “Follow Your Arrow.” I suggest watching this video on a loop until everything melts away. I also highly recommend the rest of Kacey’s Grammy-winning album “Golden Hour.” While it wont’ cure what ails America, it certainly helps heal the soul a little. Unplug, get weird, and come back stronger, kittens.

Friday, May 17, 2019

My Weekend Crush

Yep, I am gayly watching the hell out of this. So now that we have a trailer for the new “Batwoman” series on The CW. And it’s...good. It’s pretty darn good. Also gay. So very gay. Like, have we ever seen such a kickass out butch heroine leading a show? Despite all the initial misgivings about Ruby Rose’s acting abilities, her physicality is unquestionably great here (and, well, that swagger ain’t bad either).

But what makes me most encouraged is the female pedigree behind the new show. “Vampire Diaries” alum Caroline Dries serves as showrunner. And one it writers is none other than Natalie Abrams (former TV journalist turned TV writer), who happens to be the wife of former AfterEllen (in the good old days) writer Snoodit. It’s a small (and super gay) world after all.

So, bring it Batwoman. I’m 100 percent here for an awesome, hilarious, handsome butch badass who does not let a man take credit for a woman’s work. Happy Batwoman weekend, all.

p.s. So very very (very, very, very) nice to see you, Rachel Skarsten/Alice/Tamsin.

p.p.s. I also super relieved that it looks like Kate Kane’s love interest won’t be fridged in the first episode, but rescued by our Bat shero instead. (I hope, don’t let me down, show…)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Gender Fuck Thompsons

Tessa Thompson in a suit? Check. Emma Thompson in that hair. Check. Agent M origin story? Check. Thor being handsome? Check. Cute aliens? Check. Have I mentioned all the suits? I’m kind of stupidly excited to see this movie mostly because of all the reasons listed above. But, really, I’d watch anything with the Thompsons in it – the suits are just gravy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Second Vida

As sad as I am with what’s happening to “Wynonna Earp” and “One Day at a Time,” (and I am very, very, inconsolably sad about having to fight tooth-and-lesbian nail for both those shows), I am grateful that not all television executives are so small-minded. “Vida” is a deeply layered, richly textured look at two sisters and their Latinx community in East Los Angeles. It’s not a story that gets told every day, a story filled with LGBTQIA people, if it even gets told at all. But, amazingly, here we are about to start a second season May 26 on Starz. Like I said, amazing.

p.s. As much as this show deserves a GLAAD Award, it 110 percent IS NOT A COMEDY. Sooooo. Yeah.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Swimsuit Tuesday

A swimsuit is not a tank top...or is it? Researchers are split. It covers the bodice, and typically has two straps - in a full-body suit or bikini varieties alike. Sooo, you know, technically it’s fair game. I’ve already ruled that leotards are fair game. So please enjoy Megan Rapinoe in her swimsuit/unrestrained tank top glory as the first openly gay woman in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.



Yes, yes - I know the swimsuit issue is gross, but LGBTQ equality is striving for gross things straight people can do, achieving them, and making them cooler in the process. I mean, we already did it for marriage. (Kidding...kind of...but not about a swimsuit being a tank top.)



Anyway, my point is you could slice ham on those hip bones and do your laundry on them abs.

Monday, May 13, 2019

GOP Don't Own Me

I am sad to report that Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” is still what we would call a timeless classic. Not sad because Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” is a bad song. It’s a great song. An amazing song. An incredibly powerful song that every woman feels deeply in her bones. The sad part is we still have to sing it. And feel it. The song remains as relevant as ever. And so we continue to belt it loud. And proud. And be filled with unending righteous indignation.

You don't own me
I'm not just one of your many toys
You don't own me
Don't say I can't go with other boys

Yet here we are, in our year 2019, watching as state legislatures pass so-called “Heartbeat Bills” that police women, strip us of our autonomy and take away our right to control our own bodies. These six-week abortion bans are effectively total abortion bans. If you’re late on your period by two weeks, boom, you are probably past six-weeks pregnant. So now you’ve missed your window to make your own decision on how to proceed with your pregnancy, body and life in general.

And don't tell me what to do
Don't tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don't put me on display 'cause

The so-called Governor of Georgia (which should rightfully be Stacey Abrams, but voter suppression is a hell of a drug), just signed the most atrocious fetal heartbeat bill in the country. Earlier Mississippi and Ohio governors signed similar bills, effective this July. And some 16 states across the country have passed or are trying to pass similar laws.

You don't own me
Don't try to change me in any way
You don't own me
Don't tie me down 'cause I'd never stay

Let’s take a peek at that newly passed Georgia law, shall we? Obviously it restrict women from having an abortion after six weeks (again, that means most women wouldn’t even realize they are pregnant until after it’s too late). It also gives the unborn fetus full citizenship rights meaning this lump of underdeveloped cells will be counted as a person for population determination (even though, you know, it isn’t even here yet), and the law provides provisions for alimony, child support and even income tax deductions for fetuses. No, I am not kidding.

I don't tell you what to say
I don't tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That's all I ask of you

But wait, like those terrible late-night infomercials, there’s more! The bill will also criminalize women who get abortions. You heard that right, women who decide to self-terminate after six weeks in Georgia can go to jail for life and even be eligible to the damn death penalty. If a woman seeks an abortion after six weeks from a health care provider she will be party to murder and subject to life in prison. So much for not punishing the woman, pro-lifers. No, I am NOT KIDDING.

I'm young, and I love to be young
I'm free, and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
To say and do whatever I please

If a woman miscarries because of “her own conduct” she is committing second-degree murder now in Georgia and subject to 10 to 30 years in prison. And prosecutors may interrogate a woman who miscarries to determine if it was because of, again, “her own conduct,” and if they believe it is they could arrest, prosecute and imprison here. NO, I AM NOT KIDDING.

And don't tell me what to do
Oh, don't tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don't put me on display

And, guess what, you can’t even leave the state to obtain an abortion in a state where it is still legal. A woman can be charged with 10 years imprisonment if she does this. Oh, oh, and you also can’t help a woman obtain an abortion in-state or out-of-state after six weeks because you could also be charged with conspiracy. OH MY FUCKING GOD I AM NOT FUCKING KIDDING.

I don't tell you what to say
Oh, don't tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That's all I ask of you

Local elections matter. State elections matter. I know we’re all in a frenzy what with 21,000 Democrats running for president. But this right here? This is why you vote in every election. You vote for school board and county coroner and state assembly. You vote for your representatives and your senators. You vote for governors. You vote because if we don’t they take away our rights. Not slowly, not carefully. But with maximum cruelty and disregard of women as human beings who - unlike their beloved fetus - are actually here and have already been imbued with unalienable rights as citizens of this country. But, you know, not in Georgia.

I'm young, and I love to be young
I'm free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
To say and do whatever I please

So, we sing. We fight. We protest. We take their asses to court (since, obviously, that’s the objective here - for one of these cases winf its way to Trump’s stolen Supreme Court to overturn Roe V. Wade). But no matter how hard they try and what laws they pass, the GOP doesn’t own women. They certainly don’t care about them. So vote every single last one of them out of office. And we can all be free, and love to be free.

Friday, May 10, 2019

My Weekend Crush

If I was in the position to work with, provide a guided tour to and set up a dressing room for Dame Emma Thompson, I say without hesitation that this is exactly the way I would act. Except, well, instead of the Jonas Brothers I’d have Tegan & Sara to croon for her. Kate McKinnon is doing queer women everywhere a solid by repping us hard in front of Emma Thompson. If they don’t kiss this weekend on SNL I will consider it a travesty of gay justice. Respect. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Gender Fuck Met Gala

The Met Gala is, as the kids today say, extra. It’s always been extra and continues to be extra by design. This year’s theme - camp - seemed destined to bring out the very extraest exta in all the richest and famousest among us. And for some it did. And others wouldn't know camp if it hit them in the fucking face.

But, good news. The queers, and many of the queer favs, at the event this year came out swinging from the chandeliers (or, in Katy Perry’s case, wearing one). So in a week filled with so much rage-inducement, a little joy in the effervescent frivolity of fashion. No, it won’t save the world and stop the ice caps from melting. But, at least for a little while, I hope it makes you smile. Or, you know, boobie wink.

Janelle Monae

All hail the Queen of Fashionable Cubism! Eyes, everywhere. Lips, who knows. Hats, so many! Winking boobie? FLIRTING, BUT MAKE IT FASHION.



Lena Waithe

Yes, black drag queens invented (or inventend, whatever works) camp. While I'm not sure anything can top last year’s Rainbow Cape, this is close. Oh, did I mention the pinstripes are lyrics to “I’m Coming Out.”

Lady Gaga

Please, like Gaga was gonna fuck up camp.

Danai Gurira

This isn’t necessarily camp, but damn it’s HOT.

Tracee Ellis Ross (Bonus: Sarah Paulson Photobomb)

Is it even the Met Gala if Sarah doesn’t photobomb someone famous with totally relatable emotions?

Kristen Stewart

I can’t say I approve and it’s definitely not camp. But it’s fascinating to watch K-Stew reintroduce herself as punk rock Meg Ryan.

Tessa Thompson

Yes, Mistress. Right away, Mistress. Whatever you want, Mistress.

p.s. I feel this picture on a deep spiritual level. In my pants.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Run, Caster, Run

Well, I guess this is my week to be mad at the universe (both real and fictitious).

All Caster Semenya wants to do is run. And run fast. But all the world seems to want to do is slow her down. Last week an international sports court ruled that the South African Olympic medalist must lower her natural levels of testosterone to compete.

Let that sink in for a second. They are saying how she was born is somehow unfair. Never mind that there are plenty of male athletes with genetic anomalies that give them a perceived edge – and we give them Wheaties boxes and endless acclaim.

Plus, the research simply does not bear out that testosterone is destiny. You aren’t guaranteed a gold medal simply for having more or less of it as a woman. Really, our gender (not to mention our performance) is far too complex to ever oil down to just one factor.

Caster is also a black female lesbian, a group that historically has been subject to relentless discrimination and policing by those in power. Body and gender policing of women and those who do not neatly fit into the prescribed binary is never good and eventually erodes all of our rights. Every woman, and truly all humans, deserve body autonomy. Period.

So keep running, keep running fast. No one defines you but your feet.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Huston, We Have A Problem

Look, I’m not here to shit on anyone’s faves. I think Anjelica Huston is a magnificent actor. She’s a striking presence on screen. (And featured in my very first Tank Top Tuesdays.) As people began to read her expansive Q&A in New York Magazine last week, they were delighted by her frankness and take-no-shit attitude. Quotes were shared on Twitter. Much of the interview was so great. But then I read further. And, well, hoo boy.

But this? NOT GREAT.

When asked about some of the famous men who have been rightly reviled in the #MeToo Movement things went terribly wrong.

You were in two Woody Allen films, Crimes and Misdemeanors, alongside Mia Farrow, and then Manhattan Murder Mystery. Woody Allen is basically unable to make films now because of the outcry about the molestation allegations.
I think that’s after two states investigated him, and neither of them prosecuted him.
Well, the industry seems to be treating him as though he’s guilty. Would you work with him again?
Yeah, in a second.
Jeffrey Tambor, whose girlfriend you played on seasons two and three of Transparent, was accused by his former assistant and an actress on the show of behaving inappropriately toward them. Did you know the two women?
I’ve met them both. At least insofar as I was concerned, nobody did or said anything inappropriate. I do think in this work we have to feel freedom. We have to feel as though we can say and do things that are not necessarily judged, particularly by the other people in the cast or crew.
So you think what happens on the set should stay on the set, and there are processes that make the rules of behavior a little different from what you might find at a corporate job?
That’s absolutely what I’m saying.
So would it be fair to say this is a defense of things that Jeffrey might have said that were possibly misinterpreted?
Yes, that is fair. He certainly never said or did anything inappropriate with me.
How did you come down on Polanski when people were signing petitions to have him readmitted to the U.S.?
My opinion is: He’s paid his price, and at the time that it happened, it was kind of unprecedented. This was not an unusual situation. You know that movie An Education with Carey Mulligan? That happened to me. It’s about a schoolgirl in England who falls in love with an older dude, Peter Sarsgaard. My first serious boyfriend I met when he was 42 and I was 18.
The photographer Bob Richardson. It wasn’t illegal though.
He was way older than me. I mean, old enough to know better. But these things happen, that’s what I’m saying. These things weren’t judged on the same basis that they’re judged on now. So you can’t compare them.
Here’s the thing, we can't change our culture if we keep letting bad men slide. Cultural mores may evolve, but wrong is wrong.

Drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl? Wrong.

Sexually abusing your 7-year-old daughter? Wrong.

Sexually harassing the trans actresses on your set? Wrong.

I’m not a fan of cancel culture, instead I’m a fan of genuine growth. So I my hope is that someone in Anjelica’s life looks at what she said about these unrepentant Bad Men and have a talk with her.

And that talk will include saying just because someone has never been personally mean, bullying, abusive, criminal and or sexually inappropriate with you, does not mean that person has not done any or all of those things to someone else.

So when you say about your “Transparent” co-star Jeffrey Tambor, “He certainly never said or did anything inappropriate with me,” that actually doesn’t prove one single thing. Instead it assumes your experience – as a rich, famous, respected, white woman – is universal. That since you, a person who has been famous for decades, was treated well by a co-worker, everyone will obviously be treated by said co-worker exactly the same way.

Just like being married to a woman does not inoculate a sexist man from being sexist, or just like having a black friend does not inoculate a racist from being racist, or just having a gay family member does not inoculate a homophobe from being homophobic. You can be nice and decent even to certain people, while still being horrible and monstrous to others.

Anyway, in life, always strive to be more empathetic – not less.

Monday, May 06, 2019

But Is She Electable?

THIS POST IS DARK AND FULL OF RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION, AND SPOILERS

Well, fuck. After last week’s episode saw The Living saved by women and only women (like, all of The North would be in “The Walking Dead” right now if it wasn’t for Dany’s dragons, Melisandre’s fire and Arya’s dagger), I worried that would be the last hurrah for the Double Xs of Westeros (and non-binary, trans folks - if there were any on the show which has precious few queer characters as is). And this week’s “The Last of the Starks” is sadly proving that prediction right. Move aside, ladies, it’s time for The Man to take over.

I swear to the old gods and the new, if these whole eight seasons lead up to just glorifying the straight white male savior I will go Full Cersei on the universe. Though, you gotta hand it to the show writers, everyone rallying behind a white dude instead of a qualified woman who worked and sacrificed her whole life to get to this point is very on brand for 2019.

What more does Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains and Drinker of Starbucks have to do to get some respect? She ate a stallion’s heart. She walked into a funeral pyre and came out with three dragons. She burned the Dothraki Patriarchy to ash. She flies into battles riding a freaking dragon. She stopped what she was doing to help save The North. What more does a lady have to do to be “likable” enough to rule, yo?

But now all of a sudden she is irrational and a dangerous and “unelectable” what with her weak poll numbers with the white working glass in The North. Good thing there’s a better, whiter, maler choice! Seriously, stop being so 2019, show!

And I haven’t even gotten in to the other problematic stuff – like, I dunno, Sansa saying being raped and abused was actually character building, Brienne suddenly being boy crazy and lovey-dovey, The Starks suddenly becoming So Lannister about their precious bloodline, and the show killing off basically its only black female character. And Jon not petting Ghost before sending him to live on some farm in The North? Burn it all down!

After eight seasons, it seems we are now just plodding toward the inevitable coronation of Jon Snow, a man so white it’s typified by his last name. Some Game, eh?

Friday, May 03, 2019

My Weekend Crush

THIS POST IS DARK AND FULL OF GoT SPOILERS

Lady Arya Stark of Winterfell. First of Her Name. Slayer of Night Kings. Queen of the Dawn. Baker of Freys. Waster of Waifs. Keeper of Lists. Wearer of Faces. Second to No One. And The Baddest Bitch in the Seven Kingdoms.

I, like everyone else, watched - more like squinted - at my TV through the murky darkness of “The Longest Night” and hoped that my favs (a.k.a. All The Women) made it out alive on “Game of Thrones.” And, miraculously, many of them did. Though pour one out for Lyanna Mormont and Melisandre. (Also, dude, the low death count totally screwed up my GoT Death Pool bracket at work.)

But, while I probably should have, I did not expect Arya to be the one to kill - more like shatter - the Night King. So to call me pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. Of course, after the episode aired it became apparent I wasn’t the only one to be surprised by Arya’s fatal blow. And, of course, the inevitable cries of, “But how could Arya kill him so easily?” And, even worse, cries that Arya was a Mary Sue. Yeah, fuck them and the dragons they only wished they flew in on.

Did Arya Stark not train for a whole damn season with the Faceless Men? Did she not lose her vision, get the shit kicked out of her, and come out deadlier than ever? Did she not learn the water dance from Syrio Forel? Did she not spar with Ser Brienne of motherfreakin’ Tarth and use that exact same hand change trick? Has she not used Needle – considerably more than once or twice – to slice names off her list? A Mary Sue? Bitchy Fanboys, please.

While I still have no idea who will ultimately take the throne, after last week I know our girl Arya will always say Not Today to the God of Death. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. Hey, Maisie Williams, I heard your boyfriend thought Jon Snow should have killed the Night King instead of you. I’m not saying you should dump him, I’m just saying every lesbian I know was endlessly impressed. Just sayin’.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Gender Fuck Thursday: Jodie Comer Edition

Goddamn, Jodie Comer. I said, GODDAMN. That is all.

p.s. Are you watching this new season of “Killing Eve” because Jodie is AH-MURDER-ZING. But, seriously, she’s so good. So, so, so good. Like, she should wear more ties good.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Marvel-ous Women

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS ENDGAME. I REPEAT, MAJOR SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS ENDGAME. ONE LAST REPEAT, MAJOR SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS ENDGAME. SO STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT ALREADY. OR DON’T, YOUR CALL. I’M NOT HERE TO TELL YOU HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE.

*****

OK, can we talk about how Marvel in general and The Avengers in particular have a thing with killing its women? First, Gamora dies in “Avengers: Infinity War.” Then Black Widow dies in “Avengers: Endgame.” And, guess what, they both died some dude (or, in Thanos’ case, some big purple dude) can get the Soul Stone. Women. Souls. Get it, guys. We’ve seen this all before. It’s called fridging. Women dying is the personal sacrifice men need to motivate them to be better and/or redeem their own souls. I know, gross. Besides being, let's see, sexist as fuck, fridging is also just lazy storytelling. Period.

(Yes, I know, 2014 timeline Gamora is still out there, maybe, but present her is definitely dead now. So, yeah, fridged. And, totally unrelated, what is with only showing Tony’s funeral?)

So, Marvel, what you’re telling me is that in the past 11 years you have made 22 superhero movies. Men have been the solo or joint leads of all but one – yes, I said one – of those superhero movies. Yet still, somehow, you’ve managed to kill off the main female character in two of these franchises (well, actually three, because after the first “Captain America” movie, Peggy Carter was out of the picture and Black Widow was the main female character).

And Natasha died to save Clint? Seriously? That dude? I mean, literally zero people would have missed Hawkeye, except maybe Jeremy Renner. And even so, eh, he’s got other franchises.

Look, I enjoyed the woman power moment when all the remaining Marvel ladies lined up to provide their true Captain an assist across the battlefield toward the end of Endgame as much as the next lesbian. And, yes, there even was an actual gay moment (thank, nameless dude in the grief support group) which I appreciate – sorta (again, nameless guy in a support group…) But, come on. There are like 25 extraneous superdudes you could have offed instead of these two Marvel ladies.

But then, I guess it’s just too hard to ask straight white guys who write and direct superhero movies to think of what the deaths of non-male, non-white, non-straight characters means to those underrepresented groups.

But, at least Valkyrie gets to rule Asgard. Pepper Potts is now single. Scarlet Witch remains decidedly on the market. And Captain Marvel got that haircut. We take what we can get in superhero land, I guess.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tank Top Tuesday: Gif-tasic Edition

Women in tank tops are a thing of beauty. Women in tank tops moving in an eternal loop of hotness are also a thing of beauty. You’re welcome.

Tessa Thompson


Evangeline Lilly


Alicia Vikander


Janelle Monae


Daisy Ridley


Gal Gadot


Anne Hathaway


Anna Silk


Zoie Palmer

Monday, April 29, 2019

Monday Motivations

As we come to the end of one beloved epic fantasy series (Reminder: Team Any of the Women), may Jodie Foster remind you about the best thing about another former beloved epic fantasy series. I have never related to a two-time Oscar winner who is also a married lesbian who also has excellent taste in reasons to watch science-fiction/fantasy franchises. Happy having your priorities right Monday, kittens.

Friday, April 26, 2019

My Weekend Crush

I, like the rest of the civilized and uncivilized world with televisions and an HBO subscription, am watching the end of “Game of Thrones” with great interest – and, now that we’re a third through this final season, questions. Who will win the Iron Throne? Why in the world did they make Arya straight? (Or, at least, straight curious…) Who actually thinks Sir Brienne of Tarth is not a lesbian? Is it OK to root for Cersei just because of residual warm and fuzzy feelings from “Imagine Me & You.” To be perfectly honest, I’m rooting for any of the women to finish atop the Iron Throne. Daenerys, Sansa, Arya, Brienne, Yara, Missandei, Gilly, Lyanna total badass Mormont, Melisandre (I mean, why not, she can raise the dead which seems – you know – helpful) and, yes, even Cersei fucking Lannister. Why? Because it’s about time women earn the respect – look at me work in the word of the day like a pro – they deserve by coming out the sole victor in a major science-fiction/fantasy franchise. Plus, we all know Cersei has a soft spot for muppets. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Gender Fuck Kidman

I don’t really know what’s going on with Nicole Kidman in this Vanity Fair photoshoot. Like that wig is…something? And the whole Michael Jackson vibes with that jacket are…intentional? But I am happy she has apparently forgotten how to button buttons. Hey, it’s the little things.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Sex Bloopers

Just a reminder, “Sex Education” was a truly delightful and unexpectedly thoughtful look at teenage (and adult) sexuality. Plus there’s Gillian Anderson with that hair and this accent. So, you know, you should have probably watched it by now. Like, if the cast is this endearing when they’re fucking up, think of how great they are when they aren’t.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Saving Sequel

If you’re anything like me you consider “Saving Face” among the best lesbian rom-coms of all time. Sweet, well-acted and nicely-paced, the film was a refreshing look at being queer as a young, modern Asian-American woman growing up in a tight-knit immigrant community. You know, the kind of stuff Hollywood doesn’t even do that much of even when it’s straight stories.

So now, 15 years later, we finally get a follow-up film from “Saving Face” filmmaker Alice Wu. (Yes, I too raised an eyebrow at the fact that it took Wu 15 years to get a chance at a follow-up film when rando white male directors get one film into a festival and are promptly signed to helm a three-film, billion-dollar franchise.)

Netflix has picked up the project, called “The Half of It,” which is being billed as a teenage retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac with a queer twist.

It’s about “a shy, introverted, Chinese-American, straight-A student finds herself helping the school jock woo the girl they both secretly love. In the process, each teaches the other about the nature of love as they find connection in the most unlikely of places.”

As delightful as “Saving Face” was, I have no doubt “The Half of It” will be a wonderful, and very very welcome, addition to the LGBTQ pantheon of movies. Now, if we can get Alice to make her next movie in fewer than 15 years, we’ll really be getting somewhere.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Scribegrrrl Reports: Gentleman Jack

Special Report: Well, kittens, you are in for quite the treat. We have a very special report from my new Surrenders East Coast Correspondent, Scribegrrrl. Yes, you remember Scribe. She of the definitive "The L Word" recaps. She of just being the most awesomely Scribe to have ever scribed, period. Well I managed to lure her out of blogging retirement with a trip to the New York premiere of "Gentleman Jack." And this is the glorious result. So please enjoy.

Scribegrrrl Reports: Gentleman Jack

As this very blog has shown -- to thrilling, breathtaking, and staggering effect -- there's something about a woman in a suit. And as of tonight, there's a new deity in the suited pantheon: Suranne Jones, star of HBO's "Gentleman Jack."


"Gentleman Jack" tells the criminally untold story of Anne Lister, a 19th-century English landowner with a big brain and a hungry heart. If you haven't heard of Lister, that's because she's mostly been left out of the history books. “Gentleman Jack” creator Sally Wainwright (more on her later) has been trying to bring Lister's story to the screen for two decades, and I’m so glad she didn't give up.

The show draws from Lister's diaries, which comprise more than four million (!) words. They were partly written in a secret code and were never published, but Wainwright is helping to digitize them and has also helped produce a “Gentleman Jack” tie-in book. Not that you're likely to need supplemental reading material: in Suranne Jones's hands, Anne Lister is fully realized. Jones expertly conveys Lister's lust for life, as well as her impatience with the repression of her day. But Jones doesn’t paint Lister as a legend or an archetype; she keeps her human. Magnetic and dazzling, yes, but also human.


Jones is something of a muse for Wainwright. Their past projects include a little show called "Scott and Bailey." I expected to see some similarities between Rachel Bailey and Anne Lister, but Jones is a much better actor than that. She seems like a pretty great person as well: in interviews, she respects the magnitude of Lister's story and acknowledges the importance of getting it right.

I still haven't forgiven Wainwright for killing off Kate in "Last Tango in Halifax," but “Gentleman Jack” might start to heal the rift. Some aspects of the show feel kind of off, especially an addressing-the-camera thing that comes out of nowhere and then takes too long to come back. But overall the show is absorbing, romantic, and funny. And Jones has considerable chemistry with Sophie Rundle, who plays her love interest. It's the kind of chemistry that would bring forth fanfic if this were subtext rather than main text -- but it's not! The real Anne Lister would be gobsmacked.


The show includes other Wainwright favorites, including a scene-stealing Amelia Bullmore. (The pool of across-the-pond actors seems *so* tiny!) The generally excellent cast holds its own against the stunning landscapes and sets; a lot of filming took place at the actual Shibden Hall, Lister's family estate that dates back to the 15th century.


And of course the costumes are key. (Never mind Anne's weird hair -- it's historically accurate.) Suranne Jones in a top hat, carrying a walking stick... well, SWOON.

Friday, April 19, 2019

My Weekend Trailer

Well now, this seems fun. I am weathering a female friendship TV show drought right now. “Broad City” just ended. “Girls” and “Sex and the City” and “Rizzoli & Isles” are long gone. “Laverne & Shirley,” “Kate & Allie,” and “Ab Fab” are even longer gone. (Yes, I realize I probably should jump into “Grace & Frankie,” but I just haven’t had the time.) And I gave “2 Broke Girls” a fair and honest try, I really did. So now I pin my hopes on the animated “Tuca & Bertie.” It’s from one of the female minds behind “BoJack Horseman” (which I also didn’t watch) and stars Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong as the voice talent and eponymous Tuca and Bertie, respectively. I’ve been getting into animated shows more (have you checked out Netflix’s animated short series “Love, Death & Robots” because it’s worth it for the trippy visuals alone.) So I am looking forward to what aviary feminist shenanigans/patriarchy smashing rage blackouts these two can get themselves into. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Wine Us Away

Wine! Women! Lesbianism! Laughter! I mean, what’s not to love? Amy Poehler’s directorial debut brings together so, so many funny ladies. I was excited when I heard about this project and I’m excited now that I’ve seen the trailer. Plus, there’s a lesbian in the mix because – as we well know – everything is more fun with us gay gals. Fine, Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer and Tina Fey also help.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Telling Tales

Nostalgia for beautiful things is natural. I was never a huge “Tales of the City” fan. It was a bit before my time and it always felt kind of sudsy to me. But there’s something sort of sleepily sweet about the nostalgia the new “Tales of the City” series is peddling. While I’m not necessarily personally invested in these characters, I welcome new LGBTQ stories. I welcome the beautiful diversity of our community and embrace all of our magnificent differences. More, better stories always. Now, isn’t that beautiful?

p.s. Also Ellen Page kissing the girl who talked really fast from “Girls” is pretty OK, too.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Our Beautiful Lady

No pop culture today, instead just a few words about the collective importance of beauty. Regardless your views on religion and religious organizations, Notre Dame was a thing of beauty. It’s soaring spire and elegant buttresses and breathtaking windows. You don’t have to know anything about architecture to see it was special. I have been lucky enough to visit it twice in my life. And when you see it you are reminded that while humans may be and do terrible, sad, angry, greedy, violent, simple, selfish, wasteful, frivolous, impatient and ignorant things, sometimes we can also make things that transcend even our own infinite sins. So when that something beautiful is destroyed – literally goes up on flames for us to watch on live television – we feel a collective helplessness. No, see, that’s one of the few things we can do, when we really try – build things that inspire. Create things that stand the test of time. Make our world more beautiful. This just reminds us of our impermanence. Still, moments like these challenge us to be our better selves again. To rebuild and remember. We can make beautiful things, if only we try.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Lesbian Heart Eyes Forever, Again

Well now, Kathryn Hahn staring lustily at Rachel Weisz is giving Kristen Stewart staring lustily at Cate Blanchett a run for her lusty lesbian money. Seriously, I could watch this on a loop all day. Wait, no, I would watch “Carol,” then this video again, then “Carol” again, then this video again. Well, you know the rest.

Friday, April 12, 2019

My Weekend Crush

Look, I’m neither a Baylor or Notre Dame fan. They’re both conservative Christian colleges. But being from Indiana, I had to root for the Fighting Irish. So I was dissapointed when they lost the Women’s NCAA basketball championships. But I was still thirlled about Muffet McGraw. The team’s head coach went viral last week after being asked about hiring practices in the sport. But what she was really talking about was hiring practices and women’s treatment in the wider world. It was great, really really great. She dissects traditional gender roles, the need for female leaders, workplace power dynamics and ye olde patriarchy all in just about two minutes with such passion and conviction there’s no wonder she’s a great coach. Because, damn, that was inspiring. Also her name is Muffet, so how could you not root for her? Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Gender Fuck Thursday: JT LeRoy Edition

The sorted story of JT LeRoy is one anyone who lived through the early 2000s will no doubt recall. You know, back in the good old says when our scandals were about fictional authors instead of deranged presidents. Kristen Stewart plays “JT,” the made-up avatar of real-life author Laura Albert who in turn is played by Laura Dern. Also did I mention Courtney Love and Diane Kruger and exactly zero famous men are also in this movie.

Can I just say this may very well be the role K-Stew was born to play. Instead of her perceived above-it-all, hipster ironic persona, her JT seems sweet and vulnerable and even endearingly awkward. Like, is this what Bella Swan would have actually been like in real life? Well, you know, minus the hat and sunglasses and pretending to be a man who had suffered a childhood filled with poverty, drug use and sexual abuse.

And we haven’t even begun to talk about K-Stew and Diana kissing yet. Diana plays a fictionalized version of Asia Argento, here called Eva Avelin. She’s a charming manipulator who wants the rights to JT's work to make a film. In real life (I know, so much back-and-forth), Asia made JT's second book, “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things” into a movie in 2004.

Just another movie about dressing in male drag, kissing ladies and pulling off a huge literary coup. No bigs.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Killing It

I have, ever so impatiently, given you enough time to watch the “Killing Eve” season two premiere. I mean, you’ve watched it by now – right, kittens? Like, at least twice. Naturally. Because if you haven’t I have to seriously question your commitment to assassin motion.

I’m happy to report that so far “Killing Eve” is as good as ever in its sophomore season. Smart, taught, funny, unexpected, stylish, smart some more. The show remains one of the most original stories on television – two women chasing each other for professional and personal reasons like we’ve never seen explored on a mainstream show before.

And, even better yet, the series has been renewed for a third season already. What’s interesting is it is following a new model for television with a new, female showrunner taking over each season. It is pretty much the polar opposite of the auteur model preferred by most prestige TV. Think “The Sopranos” and “Mad Men” where their male creators (David Chase and Matt Weiner) served as showrunner for the entire run of their respective series.

But here a show created by the exceedingly brilliant Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who served as showrunner the first season, is instead handed off to another female showrunner. This collective genius versus singular genius style of storytelling is in itself telling. “Killing Eve” is, indeed the creation of an amazing woman. But it was an amazing woman who was confident enough in the concepts and characters she created to let share them other deserving women. And then they take the unbelievably talented cast of women, and create even more magic.

Running the show this season is Emerald Fennell, who previously had primarily been known as an actress on shows like “The Crown” and “Call the Midwife” and films like “The Danish Girl” and “Albert Nobbs.” Helming the third season will be “Fear the Walking Dead” writer Suzanne Heathcote.

See, that’s how a whole new class of female showrunners gets created. One woman’s story is now several women’s stories. And we’re all richer for it.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

The One With the Banana

Hello. It’s your id. Normally, your superego keeps me in check. But not today. Whooo double doggie, not today. Why? Because today I have brought you pictures of Cate Blanchett wear a strap-on banana. Yes, indeed, you read every part of that last sentence right. Cate Blachett. Strap-on. Banana. It was for a cover story for Beauty Pages magazine. I’ve never heard of it either. Did I mention there’s also pictures of her eating the banana? Because she does.



Anyway, all of this is just a warning to say that today I am going to make you hump your screen. I’ll try to do it in a discrete, non-public place. But, this is Cate Blanchett wearing a strap-on, after all. So. You know. Id’s gotta id. I mean, how can I not?




p.s. I have also brought you a picture of Cate Blanchett wearing white makeup and drawing on her face. Look, it is totally possible to be confused and turned on at the same time.



p.p.s. See. Like, I said, turned-on confusion. You are welcome, back to you superego.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Music Monday: Brandi Edition

So last month Brandi Carlile was featured on CBS Sunday Morning. The news show called her “The most popular musician you’ve never heard of. The one all the cool kids already adore.”

And by “cool kids,” they should have just said “lesbians.” Well, lesbians and Barack Obama and Bradley Cooper (some of her highest profile fans). But, as a quick scan of her audiences will tell you, it’s us queer gals who have loved her from the start. And we will continue to love her. And we’ll even let the rest of the world in on the secret.

p.s. Sorry for the weird video, it is the only one I could find.

Friday, April 05, 2019

My Weekend Kill

[Click to Embiggen the Wow]

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more deadly and more obsessive. It’s hard to quantify how much I love “Killing Eve.” But I simply cannot wait for its rough winds to shake the darling buds of April. There simply isn’t anything else quite like this on television right now. The chemistry between these two women is not just electric – it is nuclear. And, best of all, it remains positively unpredictable – and super, duper queer.



I particularly like how much they’ve leaned into the romantic confusion. Like they’re a pair of lethal romantic foils, which is exactly what they are. So long as women can breathe, or eyes can see, so long lives my love for this show. Happy “Killing Eve” Is Back Weekend, all.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Gender Fuck Thursday: Krashlyn Edition

Well, Krashlyn has made it official. Last month soccer stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris announced their engagement in People magazine, which was also their de facto joint coming out statement for anyone who hasn’t been paying or attention and/or does not have eyes. The couple plan to get married this year after being together since 2010. The women both play on the United States Women's National Team and for the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League – so it’s another case of workplace romance. Now, one might quibble with the nine whole years it took for these ladies to make it official while past and present teammates like Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach have been out for years. But, you know, better late then never.

But what I really care about, what truly matters, is what suit Ashlyn plans to wear to the wedding. The two soccer stars haven’t been shy about stepping out together looking…good. They look good. It’s all good. The suits are good. The dresses are good. The suits and dresses together are good. In short, we expect next-level suit game at these nuptials.