Friday, June 28, 2019

My Pride Weekend Crush

On this the final weekend of Pride Month, please remember that while Pride started as a riot on the streets, the most important riot will always be the one inside of our hearts. The riot that starts when we realize and to admit to ourselves our own differentness and ends when we embrace and acknowledge that very same differentness to the world. Coming out is always a personal choice. And no one should be forced out before they are ready. The goal will always be to create a world where every LGBTQIA person feels safe and protected and loved enough to come out whenever she, he, they, them want. Yes, you – you right there – you are a person. May standing together underneath this big umbrella of sexual orientation and gender identity otherness be the light and joy of all of our lives. So get out there, kittens, and celebrate the hell out of all of our beautiful differentness. Have yourself a gay old riot, kittens. Happy Pride Weekend, all.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Taylor Made Pride

If you told wee baby gay Snarker that one day one of the biggest pop stars in the known universe would make an entire rainbow-filled music video filled with real out LGBTQ celebrities that chided “haters” for being homophobic, I’d have thought you were smoking that stuff that sometimes floated out of the back bathroom stall at school. As undeniably nice it is to have someone of the star wattage of Taylor Swift on Team Rainbow, I admit to feeling a little uneasy at all this shiny happy symbolism. It’s not that I dislike the video, it’s catchy Technicolor fun.

But it’s the same kind of unease I feel with all this new-found corporate pride we’re seeing everywhere. While I will always commend companies that support LGBTQ rights, they have to truly support LGBTQ rights and not just turn their avatars rainbow for a month. Because, repeat after me, corporations are not your friend – their only friend is money. That we the once untouchable are now suddenly profitable is a result of the tireless work of activists and advocates, not the benevolent hearts of CEOs.

It’s an interesting time to be queer. We’ve come so far. We’ve fought so hard. Yet here we are now 50 years after Stonewall, and LGBTQ people still aren’t equal to our straight, cis counterparts. Not by a long shot.

Yes, we no longer have to worry about being arrested just for being gay. Yes, we can get married and file our taxes together. Yes, we have major corporations clamoring to slap rainbows on all their products in order to court our very green dollars.

But here’s the thing. We are still getting stuffed in lockers. We’ are still getting turned away at cake shops. We are still getting fired for being ourselves. We are still getting banned from the military if we happen to be trans. We are still getting beaten on buses. We are still getting killed in the streets.

The increased acceptance of LGBTQ people in the public sphere is still a relatively new phenomenon. Ellen DeGeneres’ ratings tanked after coming out and then her show got cancelled just two decades ago. Today she is on TV every damn day and you can walk into any Target and find a “Pride” section.

My worry is that for all this surface progress, we still have so much farther to go before the law and the courts catch up. No federal laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment. No federal laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination in housing. No federal laws protecting LGBTQ people from access to public amenities. Yet this perception of equality persists. It’s like, “Look, we gave you people marriage. And YouTube turned its logo rainbow. You’re good now, right?”

Obviously, this is not a new phenomenon in the American Political Playbook. For reference please ask any person of color if the Civil Rights Act of 1964 solved racism. Or ask any white woman if the 19th Amendment in 1920 solved sexism.

Now, to her credit, Swift advocates for the passage of the Equality Act in the Senate at the end of her video. Which is, again, undeniably nice. So I really don’t have a beef (or a Katy Perry) with Swift or this video.

I just have a beef with the precarious place we find ourselves as queer people. We are suddenly seen as more accepted than we really are. And while it’s always good to be thought of nicely, it would be even better if we were equal.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Beautiful Game

This being the very last week of Pride Month, I thought I’d share some love for some of our fiercest (and in this case fittest) famous LGBTQ folks. Megan Rapinoe has been unabashedly out, loud and proud since 2012 – and wears a lot more than just a captain’s armband on her sleeve. The only reason her kneeling in solidarity against police brutality/racial inequality during the national anthem since 2016 hasn’t caused the firestorm of Colin Kaepernick because, well, this is women’s sports and you can barely get people to pay attention to us on a good day. But, world watching or without, she has been steadfast and unapologetic and unsparing in her criticism of our current political climate. In short, she’s not going to the fucking White House. And, really, no one should with that absolute garbage human being residing there. Don’t pretend what’s happening now is normal; this is America wallowing in its worst impulses. So, yeah, don’t go to the fucking White House.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Lizzo Top Tuesday

Look, I’m late to everything music-y these days. (See: My new-found endless of love of Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour”) But then again I was never one of those, “I knew X before it was cool” kind of people. So my confession is I had heard of Lizzo before, but I don’t think I actually heard Lizzo until I started jamming out to her “Truth Hurts.”

I feel like, even as a lesbian, I feel this song in my bones. Maybe it’s just the straight lady sympathy factor – because we’ve all fallen hard for one and that leaves a mark. Or that men in general deserve it. But, hello, does this song make me happy. And I hope it does you as well. Oh, and while Lizzo and her ladies aren’t technically wearing tank tops, I think their outfits might still meet one’s approval on this Tuesday. Like, a lot of approval.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Fetch Us Our Axes

Fetch us our axe, we’ve all got grinding to do. Look, these are extraordinarily shitty times (To recap: Muslim ban, children in cages, trans military ban, unprecedented corporate tax cuts, eroding LGBTQ civil liberties, vanishing abortion access for all and bodily autonomy for all people with uteruses, lifetime appointments for unqualified and unhinged federal judges, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, willfully ignoring the looming extinction-level threat of climate change, et al). So we need to take extraordinarily aggressive counteraction. And while I’m not saying we should all take up and axe and smash the patriarchy, literally. But figuratively? Get it ladies. Unleash your Inner Joan Crawford. (Or Inner Buffy, or Inner Johanna, or Inner Tahani, Or Inner Emma Watson, Or Inner Rosario Dawson, Inner Tam-Tam, Inner Walmart Lady, Inner Menstrual Tina Fey, et al.) We’ve got some major chopping to do.

I mean, as Det. Rosa Diaz was saying.

p.s. p.s. Just a reminder, this is my personal blog which I have been writing daily for 13 years without any kind of financial compensation and I in turn provide entirely free to anyone who cares to stop and read without any advertising or other commercial distractions. As such, I say whatever the fuck I want whenever the fuck I want. So if any so-called progressive lesbians want to defend conservatism in the United States here, you are more than welcome to stop reading and leave. Because I will never, ever condone the kind of greedy, small-minded, hate-filled and me-at-all-costs thinking that the G.O.P. and conservatism stands for today.

Friday, June 21, 2019

My Weekend Crush

You start the week with Jodie Comer, you end the week with Sandra Oh. Look, I don’t make the rules, I just follow them. While in many ways Season 2 was more about Villanelle than Eve (and more of a showcase of Jodie than Sandra), you can never underestimate an Oh. She brought a quiet power to the strange and enchanting agony of watching someone come unraveled. Eve was a mess last season. And she ended on the messiest (ahem) note possible. What I always love about “Killing Eve” is how I have absolutely no freaking idea what is going to happen next. And, so the tradition continues with Season 3. But there is one thing I know without a shadow of a doubt. Sandra Oh will knock it out of the fucking ballpark, or coliseum, or whatever ancient ruin you shoot her in. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Gender Fuck Thursday: Queen of the North

All hail the Queen of the North!

Wearer of Sharp Suits!

Sitter of Lesbian Persuasion!

And Mother of The Gods Is She Still One Billion Times More Worthy The Throne Than Bran!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Zoie The North

Um, Canada, have you been holding out? I checked my local listings and “Pure,” “WGN America” and “Detective Krochak” are not a thing on my American telelvision set. So what’s up? Are you hoarding all the Zoie Palmer to yourselves up there? Granted, you just won our National Basketball Association Championship. I get it, You The North and all. But it really isn’t neighborly to not share.

p.s. We’re really, really sorry aboot our president, too.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Live-Action Lesbian Romance Novel

I would like to talk, for just a moment, about expectations. As queer women – lesbians, bisexuals, trans and nonbinary folks – we share certain expectations about our representation in the media. Unfortunately many of those expectations center around rarity, disappointment, tragedy, and possible death. It’s the whole Bury Your Gays, Dead Lesbian Syndrome media phenomena. For us, happily ever after remains the rarest of rarities. (Like I watched a seemingly innocuous newish lesbian movie that shall remain nameless the other day that all it did in the end was make me feel sorry for Mena Suvari.)

So I think that’s why I came into “Gentleman Jack” with my guard up. My expectation was for horrible things to happen – interspersed with glimpses of happy gayness if we were really lucky. I mean, this is a late 18th and early 19th Century noblewoman who refused to conform to the demands of femininity of the era, and instead blazed her own trail and wore her heart very much on her sleeve.

Obviously, in a dramatized version of her life, the hardship of such differentness must be the central theme. Right? This is why with each episode I watched with partially held breath. Would this be when the horrible homophobic shoe would drop? I instinctively tightened my shoulders in anticipation of whatever was coming.

Now, this show is based in real world realities, so homophobia certainly happened on screen. But it was just one of many obstacles of lovers had before, you know, being able to call each other lovers (also, while neither is named Cindi, they very gayly share the name Anne/Ann). So there was homophobia and the coal industry and societal norms and sexism and classism and lot of other issues that made the rich tapestry of Anne Lister and Ann Walker’s love story.

And, after watching perhaps The Most Swoony Romantic Lesbian Scene Ever Dedicated To Screen (i.e. that “Gentleman Jack” season finale scene), I can finally relax my shoulders. They made it. And not only did nothing truly terrible happen (well, I mean, there was the whole trying to slit her wrists thing, but it seemed a rather feeble attempt so…), but it all ended so unbelievably well.

Like I don’t think, even in our most femflashy/fan-ficy/lesbionicy daydreams we could have believed one day we would watch a lady, in uncharacteristically mannish period dress, and another lady, in characteristically feminine period dress promise themselves to each other in a freaking mountaintop proposal with sweeping vistas of the spectacular West Yorkshire countryside as backdrop with the light so golden and true it only ever happens in the movies. Yet, there we were, all watching it happen.

And it was glorious. And I think I squealed. I know I clapped. It was like walking into a live-action lesbian romance novel, and then some. Now, bring on Volume Two!

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Most Interesting Psychopath in the World

I sincerely apologize in advance, but I’m about to have one of those, “Oprah, Uma. Uma, Oprah.” moments. So here goes. Jodie Comer, meet Tatiana Maslany. Tatiana Maslany, meet Jodie Comer.

Why, do you ask? Because few other actress working on television today are as thoroughly impressive and undeniably chameleon-like as Tatiana Maslany. But Jodie Comer is one of them. While I loved her in the first season, I was astounded by her in the second season. Her Villanelle is one of the most electrifying anti-heroines on screen right now. She is The Most Interesting Psychopath in the World, and then some.

The way, in particular, Jodie can make her eyes light up with perverse joy during a kill is, like, goddamn. Just as impressive is her ability to switch accents and personas on a dime, which only furthers deepens the Tatiana comparisons. And – as far as I can tell – they haven’t once used her real accent, which as a Liverpudlian is a sweet scouse.

In short, Jodie Comer is very, very, extremely, extremely impressive and is it weird that if I had to be murdered, I would want to be murdered by her?

Friday, June 14, 2019

My Weekend Crush

It’s been an incredibly hectic week, I am behind on all of the things. But at least I have Kacey Musgraves as my soundtrack. I know I’m a latecomer to loving “Golden Hour.” I didn’t get into it until after she won all those Grammys. But now I listen to it on repeat. And I don’t even like contemporary country music. But then Kacey, like Brandi Carlile, are just out there making their own beautiful music no matter the genre. And, you know, there are rainbows. So it’ll be all right. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, June 13, 2019


So, just this once the “S” stands for “Sporty” and not “Straight” because, um – well, you know. The United States Women’s National Team opened their FIFA World Cup play with a 13-0 route of Thailand. A few naysayers said the ladies shouldn’t have run up the score like that. But 1) This is Group Round play so scores freaking matter, and the more you score the better you have a chance of moving to the next round, and 2) When do they ever ask male athletes playing at the highest level to take it down a notch?

Oh, yeah… Never.

Instead this opening match was yet another example of the startling performance vs. pay wage gap between men’s and women’s sports. The record-setting game for the USWNT was:

- The most goals ever in a Women’s or Men’s World Cup Game (13)
- Tied the most goals scored by a man or woman in a World Cup game (5 for Alex Morgan)
- The most ever second-half goals scored in a Women’s or Men’s World Cup Game (10)
In the last 17 years (between June 2002 and 2019), the USMNT has scored 12 goals in all its games of World Cup play.

Meanwhile, in under two hours this past Tuesday the USWNT scored 13 points in one game World Cup Play.

All this, of course, makes it all the more galling that the women’s national team makes so much less than the men’s national team. Like much, much less.

Bottom line: Women’s sports are exciting. Women athletes are exceptional. Women athletes deserve equal pay. Period.

And, just in case, this is how female members of the USWNT hug each other (with their legs in friendship and otherwise) when they score. And, I think we can all agree we’d like to see a lot more of that.

p.s. Special shout out to the out members of the USWNT (remember, I said out): Coach Jill Ellis, Forward Megan Rapinoe, Defender Ali Krieger and Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Kate Pride

I won’t lie, this isn’t the funniest “Billy on the Street” ever. Pretending Kate McKinnon is Reese Witherspoon? That’s a waste of both Kate McKinnon and Reese Witherspoon. And Reese wasn’t even there. Alas, it is still Kate McKinnon. I am but one lesbian woman, I cannot resist. It is Pride Month, after all. Honor our icons and such. And, unquestionably, the best part about this clip is the Obvious Lesbian who immediately 100-foots Kate McKinnon and says as much to Billy. May we all be Obvious Lesbian Acknowledging Kate McKinnon some day.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Portrait of a Swoony Lesbian Historical Romance

Good Lady Story Year continues, unabated. And it couldn’t have come at a better time what with “Gentleman Jack” finishing its first season last night and our Swoony Lesbian Historical Romance options suddenly lacking. At this year’s Cannes Film Festival the “buzziest” film was queer French female writer-director Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady On Fire.”

The description is as such:

The French-language film stars Noémie Merlant as Marianne, an 18th-century artist commissioned to paint a portrait of eligible bachelorette Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) to be used in pursuit of the perfect suitor. The problem is that Héloïse has no intention of marrying, and therefore refuses to sit for the portrait, forcing Marianne to pose as her lady’s maid to gain her trust.
And, according to reports, she gains more than just her trust as this is being described as a “queer love story.” So it’s kind of like, “Won’t you come up to see my etchings?” But make it gay.

Now, I wasn’t sure I was familiar with Sciamma’s work until I looked her up on IMDB and, lo and behold, she wrote and directed both the 2007 teen lesbian drama “Water Lilies” and 2011 trans/non-binary drama “Tomboy.” In short, she’s the real deal.

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” took home the Queer Palm (the first time a female director had won the feature honor) and Best Screenplay overall.

The clips are light on the lady-loving-lady stuff. But in tone, and style the film certainly piques my interest. I mean, is this new weak-in-the-knees feeling I’m feeling what all those straight ladies who won’t stop going on about “Outlander” get to feel like all the time? Because, damn.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Wander Cate

Who gets to tell stories matters, a lot. When stories are told exclusively by one group, you tend to see exclusively one kind of story. Like, gee, it does not show at all that in the eight full seasons of “Game of Thrones,” only four episodes were ever credited to female writers and only one episode was ever helmed by a female director. In eight damn years. Meanwhile the most exhilarating shows on TV right now are all made by and about women. Think “Killing Eve.” Think “Vida.” Think “Fleabag.” Think “Gentleman Jack.” Anyway. It’s not that those kinds of stories are inherently bad, it’s just that there are so many other stories that are just as good – if not better. And those stories never get told.

So I have this irrationally optimistic hope that a movie like “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” will give us another viewpoint on motherhood – and in association womanhood. Yes, I know, it looks on its surface just like a witty, almost light-hearted look at a midlife crisis from a female point of view. That alone would be different. But there’s this radical idea that women – even mothers – could want more from life than just a family. It’s the radical idea that women are people who have dreams and ambitions and narcissism and imagination and everything else. Or maybe I’m just being irrationally charmed – as usual – by Cate Blanchett’s everything. Either way, I’m going to see this movie.

Friday, June 07, 2019

My Weekend Pride

Well, as you no doubt have probably noticed thanks to the sudden eruption of rainbows on everything, it is June which means it is Pride Month which means it’s time for a little history lesson. Don’t worry, this is a “Drunk History” lesson. While drinking and driving is bad, drinking and learning valuable history about our LGBTQ forbearers is always a good time. Especially on this, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. So it only seems fitting that trans rights pioneers Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera (who are highlighted in the above boozy segment) will finally be honored with a permanent monument near the Stonewall Inn in New York City. If we don’t learn from our history, we are doomed to keep having to punch Nazis until the end of fucking time. Happy Pride Month, kittens. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Gender Fuck Gemma

I realize I still have some unresolved feelings about the “Game of Thrones” finale and unrelenting continuation of the Patriarchy both on screen and in real life. And I’m starting to realize I have some equally unresolved feelings about watching so many shows that glorify the Oligarchy (“Game of Thrones,” “Gentleman Jack”). All this is just a fancy way of saying isn’t it weird that the same actress plays both Yara Greyjoy and Marianne Lister? I will confess to it taking me way (way, way) too long to figure out that the lovely Gemma Whelan plays both on “Game of Thrones” and “Gentleman Jack,” respectively. I do wish Marian had a little more of Yara’s Gender Fuck energy – in the liking the ladies department in particular. But then I guess there can be only one in any one family at a time on television. I also can’t be the only one rooting for a few more Marian looks into the camera.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Lady Storytime

While June is LGBTQ Pride Month, May should be retroactively named Good Lady TV Month. In the last week of May I watched the Season 2 finale of “Killing Eve,” the first two episodes of the new season of “Vida,” the entire second season of “Fleabag” and the continuation of the first season of “Gentleman Jack.”

I’ve honestly never felt more exhilarated by all the diverse female-led, female-told, stories on television. (All that, and I also went to see “Booksmart” last week – so it was really just Good Lady Stories, Period, Month.)

Truly, it has felt like a good, long, passionate kiss right smack dab on the lips. I won’t mention any of the other bases might have been passed. Not because a lady never tells, but because it’s nobody’s goddamn business what women do with their bodies. And we are more than capable of telling our own stories.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Tank Top Halle

Full Disclosure: I do not like guns. I do not own any guns. I do want all the gun control.

That being said, the lizard part of my brain grew up watching American TV and American movies so I therefore cannot resist a good fictional (and only ever fictional) shoot out. So it is that spirit which I share this video of a mostly tank-topped Halle Berry showing off her shooting skills while training for “John Wick: Chapter 3.” Gotta love that double tap. Ahem.

I will also admit to having an outsized fondness for the operatic violence of the whole John Wick franchise. It’s, like, finally – an action movie series that admits that life is just random bursts of violence, chaos and inequality, but at least we get to pet dogs sometimes.

p.s. For those who don’t like even seeing guns, you can still enjoy some Halle Berry tank top action, plus some bonus lady-smooching-lady action from when she dropped by Jimmy Kimmel Live to give some needed inspiration to guest host/everyone’s favorite stud Lena Waithe.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Music Monday: Chika Edition

If you have not been formally introduced, please allow me to introduce you to viral sensation/rapper extraordinaire Chika perform on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” with guest host Lena Waithe (but, seriously, can she just host it always?) This is just another reminder that art - the high, the low, the middling - all exists to make us feel and think and experience something, anything. And the best art also makes us act.

p.s. As an added bonus, because it’s now Pride Month after all, here is her reworking Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” into something actually awesome.