Friday, December 31, 2021

My New Year's Crush

So here we are preparing for our second pandemic New Year’s Eve and another winter where COVID is surging. Same as it ever was, I guess. So please enjoy the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as they give a virtual rendition of “Auld Lang Syne.” This was recorded last year, when we were all hopeful that 2021 would bring an end to this pandemic. But here we are, with omicron roaring and many people once again making the decision to stay away from the people they love precisely because they love them. Sigh. May we not need another virtual rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” this time next year. May we sing it at the top of our lungs surrounded by love. May this new year bring your heart’s desire, and a healing world. Best wishes for the happiest, healthiest 2022, kittens. Happy New Year’s Eve weekend, all.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Peace on Earth & Good Doggos to All

I can’t believe it’s almost 2022 and we’ve all lived through another whole damn year of this endless pandemic. Some day the world will truly take stock of the more than 5 million lives lost and almost 400 million people who have gotten sick from this terrible plague. In America, 800,000 people have forever left an empty chair at the table for the holidays. Still, this year I am most thankful for science. I go into 2022 with three things I didn’t have at the start of 2021 — namely three COVID-19 vaccine shots in my arm. And, well, I am also most thankful for dogs. We took in a new dog, one a family member couldn’t keep anymore this year. And it was the absolute best thing we could have done in 2021. May these rescue dogs getting a chance to pick out their own Christmas presents bring you boundless joy and be the engergy you need for a happy 2022.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

It's The End of the World as We Know It

Wow, are you watching “Station Eleven?” Because you should definitely be watching “Station Eleven.” The new HBO Max series based on the novel by the same name is about a post-apocalyptic future after a deadly flu pandemic has wiped out much of humanity. Yes, I know, this is precisely the kind of thing I’ve been trying to avoid because HELLO, REAL LIFE. In The Before Times, I was a disaster/apocalypse movie junkie. But the pandemic has tempered my love for the end of the world. And now “Station Eleven” is bringing it back.

It sounds weird to say that a miniseries about the collapse of society and mass death feels hopeful. But dammit, if this thing isn’t strangely affirming instead of just flat-out depressing. “Happiest Season” star Mackenzie Davis headlines the show, and is already proving why my crush on her since “San Junipero” continues unabated. I haven’t read the book, so I have no idea where this will ultimately take us. But for now this show is helping the world make sense, if only for a minute.

Also, it’s got Lori Petty who I’ve had a crush on since at least “A League of Their Own.” And, there has already been some queer undertones (Mackenzie’s character has mentioned being with men and women). So two crushes in one show about trying to build a better world after a global pandemic – and hopefully more gay stuff? Yeah, duh, I clearly love it. Somehow it makes the perfect binge watch during this weird time at the end of one year and the beginning of the next. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel better than fine about my viewing choices.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Save the Lesbian Trees

The calendar may say Christmas is over, but in our hearts we can keep the holi-gay cheer going all year long. This holiday season saw the first-ever lesbian Christmas movies on Lifetime and Hallmark. While Hallmark made their debut entry into women-loving-women holiday fare with its one-of-these-three-sisters-is-gay entry “Every Time a Bell Rings,” Lifetime has easily won the cable holi-gay rom-com wars this year with their charming and cheestastic entry “Under the Christmas Tree.”

“Under the Christmas Tree” is exactly what you want from a lesbian holiday rom-com. A meet cute. An obstacle to overcome. An artisanal business on the brink of collapse. A woman who talks to trees. A sly strap-on joke. How is this not everyone’s favorite movie already?

Kidding! Sort of. But I think what made “Under the Christmas” tree truly enjoyable for me was it didn’t try to “baby steps” queerness to the audience. There was no coming out drama or “love is love” speechifying. Instead it allowed contextual clues to get watchers who needs it up to speed while offering a knowing head nod to those of us who area already firmly on Team Rainbow.

So, yes, they say the “L” word, and make it a toast even. So, yes, there are discussions of queer roots. And, yes, there’s a subtextual strap-on joke. And, yes, everyone’s jeans are cuffed so we know they’re gay. Plus, they have Ricki Lake who pops in every 20 minutes or so to offer a few lines of sage wisdom and a French pastry. Did I mention there is also a baking competition? So, again, I ask, how is this not everyone’s favorite movie already?

They even get to [SPOILER ALERT FOR THE ENDING. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.] to kiss for more than a damn split second (we all saw that millisecond kiss, Hallmark, and honestly – not impressed). Also, moving to a whole new town to be near your Christmas sweetie? Yeah, that’s next level U-Hauling, queer gays. Next level.

Now besides Ricki, the movie flexes its Lesbo Street Cred bona fides with lead actress Elise Bauman, who played queer characters in both the vampire lesbian webseries and movie “Carmilla” and the indie film “Almost Adults” (and both times with co-star Natasha Negovanlis). Here her co-star (besides those Bettie Page bangs) is the Tattiawna Jones whose previous credits include “The 100,” “The Bold Type” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” so the six-degrees of gay separation game is real easy with these two.

Also, as an Easter egg for its wlw viewers, Lifetime has cast Wendy Crewson as he mom of Elise’s character Alma. Now imagine Wendy with her signature dark brown hair instead of the white mom do and you’ll likely instantaneously have “Better Than Chocolate” and “An Unexpected Love” flashbacks.

The latter, way back in 2003, was also a Lifetime movie and one of the first cable movies to tackle lesbian relationhips (in this case a late-in-life lesbian epiphany courtesy Wendy’s power suit-wearing Mac).

So, have you unwrapped “Under the Christmas Tree” yet in your household? And if not, what are you waiting for?

Monday, December 27, 2021

Music Monday: Christmastime Edition

Hope everyone who celebrates had a warm and joyous Christmas. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always such a strange, unfocused time. Honestly, we should all be home and on vacation. But, you know, capitalism. So please take the time to slow down and enjoy the season. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Make the Yuletide Gay

Well, we made it to our second (and hopefully our last) pandemic Christmas. We’ve certainly been muddling through somehow. Merry and happy to all who celebrate. May you find yourself among family and friends this holiday. And if those two things are not the same thing for you, may you be surrounded by only love and support and joy. May next year all our troubles truly be miles away. And may we all continue to make the yuletide, and all year long, gay. Merry Christmas, kittens.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Love-ish Thy Neighbor

May this be a cautionary tale. Don’t invite your racist and/or anti-Semitic and/or sexist neighbors over for the holidays. Even if they do look kinda like Kate McKinnon. Though she might not-so inadvertently flash you. Anyway, either way you’ve been warned.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Ever Vigil-ant

Oh, kittens. Christmas is coming early! Well, two days early. But, early none the less. As some of you noted in my last whiny post about it, “Vigil” is coming stateside on Peacock tomorrow (Dec. 23). Finally queer women on this side of the pond who are too lazy to set up a VPN like me can watch Gentleman Jack and Ygritte the Wildling solve murders and perhaps smooch (or at the very least process their relationship) on a nuclear submarine. After seeing clips and gifs aplenty about the series, I can’t wait. This is not the first time Suranne Jones or Rose Leslie have played gay, the former of course as the eponymous “Gentleman Jack” and the latter in the series “The Good Fight.” The American trailer keeps the gay stuff a little under wraps which, hmmm. But you and I know that hug contains multitudes. So let’s don we now our gay apparel, and let’s watch this thing finally.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Happy Carol Aird Day

Happy Carol Aird Day to all who celebrate. I plan to make poached eggs and creamed spinach (but in my heart because that sounds disgusting in real life) and listen to Billie Holiday on repeat. We already have our tree, so no need to stop at a lot to pick one out or snap any surreptitious pictures. Well, at least the dry martini with an olive will be good. So go fling yourself out of space and enjoy, kittens.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Music Monday: A Night Editions

I’m not a religious person, so I only celebrate the idea of non-secular Christmas with the jolly old elf and the reindeers. But I admit I like a good Christmas carol, even some of the religious ones. And “O Holy Night” was one our family used to play every Christmas - on an actual vinyl record and everything. Yeah, let’s all feel old together. Anyway, ours was a scratchy record with Luciano Pavarotti singing, and his phrasing was so Pavarotti Italian, I can hear it exactly in my head to this day. But, Brandi Carlile sure gives that a good run for its money. Happy Christmas week to all who celebration, and happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, December 17, 2021

My Weekend Crush

I haven’t commented on the Britney Spears situation much because it should go without saying that I was on Team Free Britney. Obviously, her situation is complicated by her unfathomable fame and the spectacularly public nature of her mental health issues. I hope she is now able to surround herself with people who will truly look after only her best interests, and she is able to enjoy her life however she sees fit. Bottom line, I want this woman to have a good life because heavens knows she has given enough of herself for the entertainment of others since before she just a girl (and definitely not yet a woman). Anyway, long story short, I want this woman to live a long and fulfilling life doing whatever she wants and being healthy and happy. Happy weekend, all – but especially to Britney Spears.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Boom Goes the Sam-o-nite

Here I go saying I don’t really follow sportsball and I go write about sportsball two days in a row. I contain multitudes, or something. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you all the end of the week boost you needed in the form of soccer star Sam Kerr absolutely decking a dumbass who ran onto the pitch. Like you can see her track, drop the shoulder and BOOM.

Like, you can practically hear the “splat” sound he made as she flattened him.

I particularly loved all the people screaming “Wanker!” at the pitch invader. If only he’d also been wearing a No. 9 jersey. As awesome as it was to see Sam (a.k.a. notable on field gal pal of Kristie Mewis) bring the hurt on an idiot who deserved it, it’s frustrating to know that a) she got a yellow card for her troubles, and b) the pitch invader wasn’t even arrested because it’s only a crime in UK law to crash a MALE professional soccer match. Cool, cool, cool.

Who else feels like body checking the world right now? Yeah, thought so.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Gay Lady Hat Trick

I admittedly don’t follow much of the sportsball (other than the Olympics and Women’s World Cup), but even I know it’s kind of a BFD that WNBA star Candace Parker both came out, introduced the world to her wife of two years/former teammate Anna Petrakova and announced they were having a baby all in one day. That sound you likely heard around midday yesterday was queer lady sportsball enthusiasts squealing in delight at the long suspected, but never official news. Also, talk about your coming out hat tricks. I’m gay! Here’s my wife! We’re having a baby! I mean, that level of coming out should gets you an entire convection oven, not just a toaster oven. Mazel tov to the happy and talented and very attractive (what, I have eyes) couple. Sportsball folks, feel free to talk amongst yourselves on this one. Me, I’ll just look at the pretty…scenery.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Oh, Lesbian Christmas Tree...

At this point I feel a little like Lesbian Oprah. You get a Lesbian Christmas Movie! And you get a Lesbian Christmas Movie! And you get a Lesbian Christmas Movie! But wait, there’s more! Actually, no, it’s just another lesbian Christmas movie! The trailer for Lifetime’s “Under the Christmas Tree” has landed and lemme tell you it’s cute and cheesy and features Ricki Lake. Clearly, I’m sold. I mean, lesbians wearing reindeer antlers while gay panicking at meeting other lesbians? Clearly, I set my DVR already for this Sunday. Clearly. Like, have we reached the point where someone says, “Let’s watch that lesbian Christmas movie!” and you have to respond, “Which one?” Yeah, we sure as Santa have.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Music Monday: Kelly Freaking Clarkson Edition

One of the best things about Kelly Clarkson is that she is always, entirely Kelly Clarkson. On her talk show she often covers famous songs because she’s Kelly Clarkson and why wouldn’t she sing on her show because, again, she’s Kelly Clarkson. But what makes her covers truly great is how she is able to arrange them perfectly to showcase her voice thereby making them entirely hers. She doesn’t try to be Ariana Grande singing “7 Rings” here. Instead she’s just Kelly Clarkson eating up “7 Rings” and making us almost forget Ariana did it first. When you’re Kelly Clarkson, it’s just another day killing it at the office. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Vacation Vixen: Gillian Anderson

Whatever is in the water at Gillian Anderson’s house, please continue to supply her with it because, dayummm. Happy weekend, all - but especially to Gillian.

Thursday, December 09, 2021

Vacation Vixen: Det. Cate

I take it back, cast Janelle and Cate Blanchett in one of those twee Wes Anderson-esque crime capers where they play a crime-fighting detective duo who always wear complimenting suits and 70s glasses you are pretty certain don’t magnify anything but their beauty. And, obviously, they’re 100% gay for each other.

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Vacation Vixen: Det. Blanche

Free Casting Advice: Ditch Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc in the “Knives Out” sequel and instead cast Janelle Monae as Det. Benoîte Blanche. You’re welcome, Hollywood.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Vacation Vixen: Charlize & KStew

So it’s mini-vacation time at Surrenders as I celebrate my 10-year dating anniversary with my wife (and also her birthday) this week. So, as always, I’ll leave you with some Vacation Vixens in my absence. Charlize and Kristen kick it off as we ponder the eternal question: Why would you put these two in a movie together and not make them kiss. Like, you know, at least once. For science! See you next week, kittens.

Monday, December 06, 2021

Music Monday: Winter Edition

The calendar shows this is the first Monday in December. So that means it’s that time of year again – time once more to settle into the beautiful melancholy of winter. And, of course, a time to share my favorite winter song, appropriately named “Winter Song.” I’d like Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson to provide my entire winter soundtrack, honestly. Grab a scarf and some hot chocolate, 'tis the season after all. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, December 03, 2021

My Weekend (Holi-Gays) Crush

I did not intend for this week’s post to be all about the Christmas Industrial Complex. Still one of the better byproducts of our relentless focus on Dec. 25 is the small (but growing) raft of LGBTQ+ inclusive holiday movies. Last year’s “The Happiest Season” was of course the highest-profile entry into the Holi-Gays Rom-Com pantheon. I can’t believe that movie has been out for a year, and that Abby really picked Harper over Riley. (Hope spring eternal we get the Riley/Aubrey Plaza lesbian holiday rom-com we all deserve.)

One of the more pleasant entries so far this year comes from lesbian-owned Tello Films, which for its third consecutive year has been released a new holiday-themed rom-com for queer women to enjoy. They’ve found a great niche with these movies and are clearly filling an even greater need. I’m also happy to report that this year’s entry, “Christmas at the Ranch” is their best lesbian Christmas movie yet.

Make no mistake, “Christmas at the Rach” is straight off the pages of lesbian romance novels. A busy city gal with a high-powered job. A family back home who needs her to help save the ranch. A tall, handsome ranch hand who basically always wears her cowboy hat and bandana. At first they fight, but then… There’s even a scene where the handsome ranch gal catches the busy city gal as she slips off a hay-ride wagon. I mean, COME ON, how ripped from your favorite romance novel pages perfect is that?

Now, full disclosure, I don’t read lesbian romances reguarly (this is not a judgment call, just a hours in the day call). But my wife LOVES them. And she basically clapped and squealed the whole way through this movie. So if you’ve ever wanted one of your romance novels to sprint to life, this is the movie for you.

It is cheesy in the ways you want your holiday rom-coms to be cheesy. But the characters, setting and story are likable enough for the cheese to be delicious. Plus, following the holiday movie rule of casting at least one veteran actor with name recognition, this movie has the Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner herself. Lesbians, cowboy hats, hay rides and the Bionic Woman? Please, who can resist? It’s streaming now on Tello. Happy weekend and watching, all.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

More Holi-Gay Cheer

Yes, I know, it’s all Lesbian Holiday Movies all the time on Surrenders this week. And I haven’t even put up the decorations at home yet. But I had to share Hallmark’s foray into ladies who love ladies AND the holidays with their new movie “Every Time Bell Rings.” And instead of just throwing a veteran actress with name recognition into the mix and calling it a day (hello Fran Drescher and Andie MacDowell, how are your gay TV sons?), this movie has its own lesbo street cred bona fides.

Yes, that’s right, our own Ali Liebert stars in the new Hallmark Christmas movie as one of three sisters returning home for the holidays. Ali, who identifies as queer in real life, plays the gay sister, ‘natch. Honestly it’s only fitting that the “Bomb Girls” alum is the one to first slap a rainbow sticker over Hallmark’s Christmas movie juggernaut. (Though, you’d never realize it from the trailer, alas — unless that leather jacket is subtle code for G-A-Y.)

[Spoiler Alert: If you don’t want to know about potential smoochies, stop reading.]

Now, all that is fine and good, but does the gay sister get any action? Well the answer to that seems to be a resounding, “Yay, gay!” Ali shared pictures of her character kissing another woman on her Instagram feed recently. I mean there’s shoulder touching and everything. Hallmark, you minx.

All kidding aside, this new slew of queer-friendly holiday fare is a reminder that being more inclusive isn’t a fad. It’s a way to make more people feel accepted and embraced in our culture, and it’s something long long overdue. So I don’t know if this movie is going to be any good, but I’m certainly setting my DVR to record “Every Time a Bell Rings” this Sunday. ‘Tis the season, after all.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Witchy Winter Vibes


NO IM SO EXCITED I CANT (from @ electrop0p on ig)

♬ original sound - evilhag4ever <3
All I want for Christmas is the Riley-centric “Happiest Season” sequel we all deserve. Happy December, kittens. May you find your hearts desire and/or Aubrey Plaza under the tree.

p.s. I don’t know if a witchy Aubrey is truly breaking news at her book signing or not. But there was talk of a sequel. So go cast some spells my witchy friends. Make it gayly so!